We are writing to you from South Africa as a collective of black students, professionals, artists, writers and activists who have been watching the protests in Ferguson and other parts of the United States.
Although we are separated from each other by vast oceans and large tracts of land, our connectedness remains a bond as inextricable as it was the day your forebears made that sad and dreadful voyage through the middle passage. That bond is less a claim of being blood relatives or that we all have roots in the motherland but that our black skin has been marked for violence and death since the beginning of slavery.
Resistance to anti-black violence has historically been crushed each time it emerged, whether on the African continent, in the US or anywhere else in the world. And yet you, knowing this full well, have refused to let the gratuitous violence and murder of black people pass as a condition that is part and parcel of being black in the world. You have chosen to fight back, to put your bodies on the firing line, and it is this courage that has inspired us to write to you.
[Each day brings news of the every-sharpening contention between imperialist powers, who have long cooperated but are now more-ready to seize advantage at the expense of each other, and place burdens of more aggressive exploitation and more oppressive conditions on working people inside the imperialist countries (from US/EU to Chinese/Russian and others scrambling to expand their profits at each others expense). One day, it is the seizure of energy resources, then it is trade routes and shipping, then monetary dominance, then credit dominance and wars, then military eyeball face-offs and surrogate/proxy hotspots, then it is digital battles and cyber wars. There is no stopping this contention, nor any way for the people to see it but to raise the people’s struggles against all imperialism and all reaction. Between these imperialists, working people have no horse in this race. — Frontlines ed.]
STRATEGIC rivalry between America and China takes many forms. Rarely does a clear winner emerge. An exception, however, is the tussle over China’s efforts to found a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China has won, gaining the support of American allies not just in Asia but in Europe, and leaving America looking churlish and ineffectual. This month first Britain and then France, Germany and Italy said they hoped to join the bank as founding shareholders. China said other European countries such as Luxembourg and Switzerland are thinking of joining the queue.
Yet America has been sceptical about the AIIB. Its officials claim they have not “lobbied against” it, but merely stressed how important it is that it abide by international standards of transparency, creditworthiness, environmental sustainability, and so on.
[As hundreds of millions of workers and peasants are driven by hunger, desperation, oppressive conditions and displacement to migrate in search of livable and workable conditions, governments worldwide stigmatize, harass, and force into desperate lives, all the better to divide the working class, heighten xenophobia, and exploit in slave-like conditions. In the UK, migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers are rounded up and stuffed into detention centers–prisons, by all estimates. But the migrants have organized and waged collective protests, as prisoners do, because “where there is oppression, there is resistance.” Here is a report on the huge hunger strike in centers across Britain. — Frontlines ed.]
Harmondsworth detention center, from where up to 100 detainees were deported to Pakistan this week. | Photo: AFP
The protests began last week, and have spread across several detention centers around the country, with hundreds of refugees reported to be taking part.
Migrants across the United Kingdom continued hunger strikes Thursday in protest against the horrendous treatment of asylum seekers in detention centers.
According to asylum seeker advocacy group Detained Voices, which records stories of the experiences of refugees in detention centers, a number of refugees were sent back to their home countries Wednesday. A source, known only as “Chowdery,” told RT that detainees were calling for the cancellation of a deportation flight to Pakistan, while another said that 100 asylum seekers were due to be deported.
[It was a rare moment in people’s movements, some 16 months ago, and we just came across it and wanted to share it, with words of caution: this was not a movement aimed at revolutionary overthrow of the Thai monarchy, or a severance of relations with capitalists or imperialism everywhere. It was a militant struggle against corruption and abuse, over local grievances, perceived inequalities, and many collective frustrations. The videos above show the intensity of the struggle when protesters confronted the police. And the picture below shows how remarkable this peaceful protest was, briefly, when the police took off their helmets and dropped their shields in a show of solidarity. But we urge our readers in the US and internationally: don’t expect the police to act like this, anywhere, ever, again. If the instruments of state power ever defect to the people’s side, it will rarely be all at once, and never all together, even for a brief moment. — Frontlines ed.]
December 6, 2013
In Thailand, riot police laid down their helmets and shields, yielding to the peaceful protesters which they had been commanded to arrest.
In a showing of solidarity, police stood aside and allowed protesters to continue on.
Those who had rallied to protest explained that their goal was to confront and overcome the political apparatus of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Shinawatra is accused of widespread corruption and abuse of power, leaving him with few sympathizers among the police.
By Matthew McLoughlin@soit_goes – Australia – On March 16, 2015, thousands took action across dozens of cities & smaller regional communities in Australia demanding the government abandon its plan to evict 150 Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. Major city centers in Brisbane & Melbourne were shut down by massive sit-ins while Perth marched on Parliament. Online people used the hashtag #SOSBlakAustralia to show their support for those taking the streets. The day’s actions were organized by a vast group of Indigenous peoples, community organizations, spear-headed by a small collective going by SOS Blak Australia.
This latest attack on Australia’s Aboriginal communities will create up to 20,000 refugees & add another chapter to the history of the Australian government’s attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples. The closures are being done under the guise of budget cuts, Australia’s racist Prime Minister Tony Abbott has gone as far as saying that the government can no longer fund a “lifestyle choice”, referring to Aboriginal people living on their traditional lands. Truth be told it is Aboriginal people who are being forced to fund the government’s “lifestyle” which continues to rely on exploiting stolen land and resources, including fossil fuels. The price they’ve paid includes not only their land but the attempted destruction of their culture. Continue reading →
A black Mississippi man who had been missing for over two weeks was found hanging from a tree on Thursday, authorities say.
Claiborne County Coroner J.W. Mallett has not disclosed details of the case, and it is not yet clear if the death was from a homicide or a suicide, the Clarion Ledger reported. The FBI, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney’s office are investigating the case.
“This is the first time I have witnessed anything like this in Claiborne County,” Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas told WAPT.
The case has sparked speculation that it could have been a lynching, the last of which took place as recently as 2011 in Mississippi, a state with a troubled history of racial violence. The sentencing judge in that case told the three men who were sentenced last month in that case that they had “ripped off the scab of the healing scars of Mississippi…causing her to bleed again.”
[Editor: This article focuses on the St Louis museum officials decision to censor and cancel an event which linked up the resistance to oppression in Ferguson, Mexico, and Palestine. The action highlighted the standard reactionary response to all protests which reveal the hand of oppressive systems–reactionaries always try to turn protests inward, to break the linkages between common experiences, to make every voice follow the line of narrow self-interest and keep things contained to single-issue orientation. But those who are repressed or find issues suppressed always seek more. As one student spoke out against the Missouri museum, “When I heard that they were canceling the panel, I thought it was even more important to come out to voice the fact that we know this is wrong and we can still be united even if we don’t attend a panel,”one student said…..She also said she believed that comparing the various situations would be helpful in making progress toward social justice and unifying people of different races and backgrounds…..“I think obviously there are differences on each one, but it only makes us weaker to divide them, and I think we’re stronger if we find the similarities instead of focus[ing] on the differences between the events,” she added.” — Censorship will fail, as issues, and their linkages, continue to grow. — Frontlines ed.]
The Missouri History Museum in St. Louis canceled a community event scheduled for Thursday after organizers refused to remove Palestinian panelists from the platform.
The panel, titled “From Ferguson to Ayotzinapa to Palestine: Solidarity and Collaborative Action,” was organized by the Washington University student group AltaVoz to draw parallels between the struggles against state violence in the US, Mexico and Palestine.
Missouri History Museum’s webpage, before they cancelled the event
AltaVoz was formed in response to the police kidnapping of 43 leftist student activists from the Ayotzinapa teacher’s college in Mexico. The students, who went missing in the city of Iguala while on their way to protest the state’s corrupt education policies, are believed to have been murdered.
Among the panelists were activists from an assortment of social justice organizations in St. Louis, including the Organization for the Black Struggle, Latinos en Axion STL, the Interfaith Committee on Latin America and the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee.