[As the first days of the Trump regime take shape, the lurch from the ways things have been is shocking and angering many who have never considered the path now unfolding. Old plans and assumptions have been tossed into irrelevance. As the great revolutionary Karl Marx once noted about earlier crises, “All that is solid melts into air . . . . and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.” Anxiety has spilled into the streets across the US and around the world, and millions discuss and debate the situation and what to do about it. A powerful analysis begins to dissect what is happening, and chart the contours of the pathways out of the hell that the majority of people face–for many, a continuation and intensification of ago-old nightmares, now joined by many millions more whose lives have been roughly and rudely interrupted, with no prospect of returning to an idealized past. Moving forward against this tide is the challenge that fills the air. We have received, and share, this article as a first step in joining the debate at hand. — Frontlines ed.]
Build and Fight: Beyond Trump and the Limitations of the United Front
by Kali Akuno and Doug Norberg
On Inauguration Day, we note the considerable range of the opposition to Trump, from traditional activists to very mainstream folks. In many respects the opposition mounted was unprecedented, on a day where patriotic and jingoistic hyperbole is typically concentrated and loudly broadcast more than at any other time, and when, traditionally, new Presidents make appeals to the heart and to democratic unity while all who know how false the claims are, bite their lips, party, and hope for the best. The opposition struggling to find expression is broad and deep. But, nearly all expressions of opposition are resorting to traditional methods of reformist oriented protest while millions of people throughout the United States and the world are discussing and debating how they are going to survive and resist the emerging Presidential regime of Donald Trump and the rise of right-wing populism and a resurgent “America first” white nationalism. Continue reading →
The Black Panther Party was founded 50 years ago in Oakland, on Oct. 15, 1966, and within two years it had chapters across the country. The New York Times is taking this opportunity to explore the Black Panthers’ legacy, through their iconic use of imagery and how they were covered in our own pages.
The Black Panther Party is often associated with armed resistance, but one of the most potent weapons in its outreach to African-Americans in cities across the country was its artwork. In posters, pamphlets and its popular newspaper, The Black Panther, the party’s imagery was guided by the vision of Emory Douglas, its minister of culture.
His art came from many sources. As a teenager in San Francisco during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mr. Douglas found himself incarcerated at the Youth Training School in Ontario, Calif., where he got involved with its printing shop. He went on to study graphic design at San Francisco City College, where he developed a deep interest in the Black Arts Movement, the artistic arm of the Black Power Movement.
[The IMF has, says Congress and the NYTimes, become more inclusive of China and Russia (see previous Frontlines post, https://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/ny-times-on-the-liberalizing-of-the-international-monetary-fund/). But others, looking deeply, see the new IMF rules as counter-attacks on Chinese and Russian other-imperialist initiatives. See this lengthy article for more details. — Frontlines ed.]
The nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists seems to be coming true: foreign economic independence from U.S. control. Instead of privatizing and neoliberalizing the world under U.S.-centered financial planning and ownership, the Russian and Chinese governments are investing in neighboring economies on terms that cement Eurasian economic integration on the basis of Russian oil and tax exports and Chinese financing. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) threatens to replace the IMF and World Bank programs that favor U.S. suppliers, banks and bondholders (with the United States holding unique veto power).
Russia’s 2013 loan to Ukraine, made at the request of Ukraine’s elected pro-Russian government, demonstrated the benefits of mutual trade and investment relations between the two countries. As Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov points out, Ukraine’s “international reserves were barely enough to cover three months’ imports, and no other creditor was prepared to lend on terms acceptable to Kiev. Yet Russia provided $3 billion of much-needed funding at a 5 per cent interest rate, when Ukraine’s bonds were yielding nearly 12 per cent.”Continue reading →
[The IMF and the World Bank are key instruments of the finance/montary/credit-debt management of the entire world. Enacted at the end of WWII to establish US leadership of the world imperialist system, both IMF and WB have come under endless criticism and challenges over the decades, but the emergence of new imperialist powers from post-socialist Russia and China has posed historically-contending blocs-in-formation as unprecedented dangers to the once-presumed “permanent” US hegemony. Both IMF and WB have become increasingly tattered and less effective instruments, as challenges have grown. Congressional reforms aimed at a more durable structure for the IMF are hailed by the media-of-empire NY Times in the following editorial, which writes, strategically, ‘If the fund and the World Bank are to remain relevant and be truly global organizations, they cannot be seen as European and American fiefs.’ — Frontlines ed.]
Congress Gets Out of the I.M.F.’s Way
By The New York TimesEDITORIAL BOARD, December. 22, 2015
The House went into holiday recess after passing a measure that included ratification of International Monetary Fund reforms.
After five years of Republican foot-dragging, members of Congress last week ratified an agreement that will increase the capital of the International Monetary Fund and give developing countries like China and India a greater say in the organization.
This should strengthen the fund at a time when its expertise is needed to help revive a slowing global economy. In 2010, the Obama administration negotiated an agreement with other countries to double the I.M.F.’s capital to about $755 billion, so it could lend more money to troubled countries like Greece and Spain. The changes also gave more voting power in the fund’s management to China, India, Brazil and Russia while slightly reducing the clout of European countries and the United States. Continue reading →
[The World Bank, an instrument of the US-led reorganization of the world imperialist system since World War II, has enabled the maintenance of neocolonial systems with successions of comprador and puppet regimes around the globe. The suffering brought under the “development” slogan in the mis-named “developing nations” has brought displacement to hundreds of millions who, in response to such oppression, have continually and repeatedly rebelled. Even the superficial credibility of present-day World Bank has been challenged, and so, the World Bank aims to put lipstick on the pig. — Frontlines ed.]
CounterView, Wednesday, December 23, 2015
World Bank decides action on “sweeping failures” in rehabilitating people affected by projects funded by it
Fishing community in Gujarat “affected” by World Bank power project
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a powerful group of cross-border journalists, has appreciated that, after years of delay, the World Bank has initiated “action to address sweeping failures in its oversight of development projects that force people from their land or harm their livelihoods.” Continue reading →
Immigrant advocates say hundreds of men have launched a hunger strike at an immigrant detention center in the high desert city of Adelanto, Calif., making it the fourth immigrant detention facility in the United States where protesting detainees have refused food in recent weeks.
Attorneys for some of the men and advocates with a detention center visitation group say more than 300 men stopped eating Oct. 30 to protest conditions at the center. They said another group of detainees joined them in the strike on Wednesday. Continue reading →
The number of hunger strikers at a Texas immigrant detention facility has swelled to almost 500 since last Wednesday, an Austin-based advocacy group revealed in a phone call with RH Reality Check.
When news of the protest action broke on October 28, about 27 women at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, 35 miles east of Austin, were reportedly refusing their meals.
While grievances ranged from abusive treatment by guards to a lack of medical care, the women, hailing primarily from Central America, were unanimous in their one demand: immediate release.
The strike snowballed over the weekend, according to Grassroots Leadership, an organization that forms part of a larger umbrella group known as Texans United for Families (TUFF).
Cristina Parker, immigration programs director for Grassroots Leadership, told RH Reality Check that one striker who contacted the organization Sunday night to brief them on the situation used the Spanish expression “casi todo,” suggesting that nearly all of the roughly 500 detainees are now observing the strike. Continue reading →