France: A Message From the Dispossessed

[A long, drawn-out racist and xenophobic campaign in Europe, rooted in values that once marked the French colonial assault and occupation of Algeria, has re-intensified in recent months with neo-Nazi power moves and anti-migrant pograms and massive police round-ups, specifically but not exclusively aimed at Arab and African migrants and long-term residents alike.  A media campaign, both racist and Islamophobic, has heralded every new attack, and the hate-filled, quasi-satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper has been a key “culture-building” instrument for this.  Recent cartoons debasing Islam have clearly had openly provocative intentions, and with the enraged revenge attacks on the newspaper, the cartoon-provocateurs succeeded in further xenophobic expression: “Je Suis Charlie” meaning, among other things, “Je Suis Racist” and “Je Suis Xenophobe”.  Further attacks on the poorest migrants, Arab and African workers, are already underway.  The following article gives some background on all this. — Frontlines ed.]
By Chris Hedges, January 11, 2015

The terrorist attack in France that took place at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was not about free speech. It was not about radical Islam. It did not illustrate the fictitious clash of civilizations. It was a harbinger of an emerging dystopia where the wretched of the earth, deprived of resources to survive, devoid of hope, brutally controlled, belittled and mocked by the privileged who live in the splendor and indolence of the industrial West, lash out in nihilistic fury. Continue reading

1999: On the Killing of Amadou Diallo by New York Police

see the YouTube video at http://youtu.be/nghqjBwZTiE

American Skin 41 Shots — live in Tampa, FL 3/23/12

American Skin (41 Shots)” is a song written by Bruce Springsteen, inspired by the police shooting death of Amadou Diallo. It was written and premiered during the band’s 1999–2000 reunion tour. Springsteen first performed it in concert in Atlanta on June 4, 2000, the final concert before the tour’s final ten-show run at New York City‘s Madison Square Garden, where it was also featured. The performance led to some controversy in New York City, where the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association called for a boycott of Springsteen’s shows.It was played at several concerts in April 2012 on the Wrecking Ball Tour in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin.. Springsteen performed the song on July 16, 2013, a few days following George Zimmerman‘s controversial not guilty verdict. It was again dedicated to Martin at the Limerick, Ireland, concert with Springsteen saying before the song “I want to send this one out as a letter back home. For justice for Trayvon Martin”.

Shooting of Amadou Diallo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shooting of Amadou Diallo occurred on February 4, 1999, when Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea, was shot and killed by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss, who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were charged with second-degree murder and acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.

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Reparations for Slavery: A Just Demand, Constantly Blocked by Bourgeois Legal System

[In the systems whose wealth and power is rooted in historic plunder, enslavement, displacement and extermination, the demand for reparations (“to repair the damage”) is routinely dismissed and denounced by bourgeois media and law — as “unreasonable” or “unrealistic,” at best, or, more commonly, as “irrational” or “greedy” or even “treasonous.” — Frontlines ed.]

For the sins of the fathers:  Caribbean countries sue for slavery, but what could it mean for SA?

Rebecca Davis, World (South African publication)22 Oct 2013
Rebeccaslavery

Fourteen Caribbean nations are to sue European governments for reparations for slavery. The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is bringing lawsuits to the International Court of Justice in the Hague against Britain, France and the Netherlands for their roles in the Atlantic slave trade. They argue that the social and economic legacy of slavery continues to disadvantage them to this day. It’s an interesting case, and it might prompt some reflection about South Africa’s own reparations issues. By REBECCA DAVIS.

Regional Caribbean organisation Caricom, through its British law firm Leigh Day, will seek to make the case in the Hague that through their colonial participation in the slave-trade, Britain, France and the Netherlands essentially contributed towards the stunting of Caribbean development, and now owe 14 Caribbean nations reparations for slavery and an apology.

Exactly how much money they want, and how they think it should be disbursed, is not yet clear. The figure mentioned by several media outlets has been that Britain paid 20 million pounds in compensation to slave-owners in the Caribbean almost two decades after the abolition of slavery in 1834. (The slaves got nothing.) This figure was massive even at the time, amounting to 40% of the erstwhile government’s budget, and would now be equivalent to about 200 billion pounds. Continue reading

US Zionists’ attempt to stop US campus discussion of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, book by Ilan Pappe

[Ilan Pappe, an Israeli/Jewish historian, is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, an historic exposure of the Zionist settler colonial project of removal of the Palestinian people from historic Palestine.  The book is widely available from major bookstores and online. — Frontlines ed.]

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Jeff Haynes / Agence France Presse, February 20, 2012

Zionist group fails to disrupt Ilan Pappe’s tour at California state universities

The California State University (CSU) system has sent a letter in response to a Zionist group, rejecting their claim that Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian and a frequent contributor to The Electronic Intifada, should not receive CSU sponsorship during his upcoming campus tour because of his criticism of Israeli policies.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila Beckwith, professors and co-founders of the AMCHA initiative, appealed to the CSU chancellor and the presidents of CSU-Northridge, Cal Poly, and CSU-Fresno, urging them to “revoke sponsorship of Ilan Pappe’s tour.”

As I reported last month, Rossman-Benjamin and Beckwith are at the forefront of a campaign to discredit and punish professors who speak out against Israeli policies. Their targets include CSU-Northridge professor David Klein, who has been under attack from AMCHA for his outspoken support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and for his organizing against CSU’s resumption of the Israel study abroad program. Continue reading

Speak Truth to the Powerless

Some focus their efforts on

speaking truth to power,”

hoping that the unjust

and the oppressor

have acted badly

only because they are blind,

and when they see

what they have done,

they will change their ways.

All of history speaks to the

futility of such attempts.

A very different view

and effort is needed:

Speak Truth to the Powerless,

for only through the struggles

of the victims who have

nothing to lose but their chains

can injustice and oppression  be

challenged,

defeated,

and a new world be constructed

–a poem by dcn

On the legacy of colonialism and the struggles against oppression today

[Nearly 50 years after the death of Frantz Fanon, the author of “The Wretched of the Earth,” this essay traces his legacy and relevance in the oppressive realities and struggles today.  Nigel Gibson, the author of this essay, presents a profound review of the reality of the imperialist stamp on the countries and peoples who have won national independence–but not social or human liberation.  The thinking and orientation of Frantz Fanon contributes much to people who are inexorably driven to challenge their ongoing oppression in the so-called “post-colonial” world.  The essay is long, but deserves attention from all whose lives and possibilities are framed by these questions. — Frontlines ed.]

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50 years later: Fanon’s legacy

by Nigel C Gibson

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/78860, Issue 564, 2011-12-21

When I was asked by Dr. Keithley Woolward to address the question of Fanon’s contemporary relevance, I was reminded of a blurb on the back of my recent book Fanonian Practices in South Africa: From Steve Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo which reads, ‘This is not another meditation on Fanon’s continued relevance. Instead, it is an inquiry into how Fanon, the revolutionary, might think and act in the face of contemporary social crisis.’ My comments today should be considered in that spirit.

Frantz Fanon

‘Relevance’ ­ from a Latin word ‘relevare’, to lift, from ‘lavare’, to raise, levitate ­ to levitate a living Fanon who died in the USA nearly 50 years ago this coming Tuesday in cognizance of his own injunction articulated in the opening sentence from his essay ‘On national culture’: ‘Each generation must out of relative obscurity discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it’ (1968 206). The challenge was laid down at the opening of this year of Fanon’s 50th (as well as the 50th anniversary of his ‘The Wretched of the Earth’) which began with revolution ­ or at least a series of revolts and resistance across the region, known as the Arab Spring.

Fanon begins ‘The Wretched’, as you know, writing of decolonisation as a program of complete disorder, an overturning of order ­ often against the odds ­ willed collectively from the bottom up. Without time or space for a transition, there is an absolute replacement of one ‘species’ by another (1968: 35). In a period of radical change such absolutes appear quite normal, when, in spite of everything thrown against it, ideas jump across frontiers and people begin again ‘to make history’ (1968: 69-71). In short, once the mind of the oppressed experiences freedom in and through collective actions, its reason becomes a force of revolution. As the Egyptians said of 25 January: ‘When we stopped being afraid we knew we would win. We will not again allow ourselves to be scared of a government. This is the revolution in our country, the revolution in our minds.’ What started with Tunisia and then Tahrir Square has become a new global revolt, spreading to Spain and the Indignados (indignants) movement, to Athens and the massive and continuous demonstrations against vicious structural adjustment, to the urban revolt in England, to the massive student mobilisation to end education for profit in Chile, to the ‘occupy’ movement of the 99 percent.

And yet, as the revolts inevitably face new repression, elite compromises and political manoeuvrings, Fanonian questions ­ echoed across the postcolonial world ­ become more and more timely. (How can the revolution hold onto its epistemological moment, the rationality of revolt?) Surely the question is not whether Fanon is relevant, but why is Fanon relevant now? Continue reading