Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

cast away illusions, prepare for struggle!

Non-Profits: Tethered to the System, Not to the People

Why NonProfits Can’t Lead the 99%

[A seasoned movement elder examines what happens left organizations are led exclusively by college-educated professionals answerable to self-perpetuating boards and philanthropic funders, what happens when union leaderships free themselves from their memberships, and when community organizations become government contractors.  Only membership supported and membership-driven organizations, he suggests, can actually lead the 99%.”]

Why NonProfits Can’t Lead the 99%
by Warren Marr

Warren Mar has written a provocative piece on the role of Community Based Organizations and Worker Centers in the working class movement. He explores controversial issues of the funding and democratic control of these organizations which have filled a vacuum in organizing particularly among immigrant workers.

The author entered community and labor organizing in the late 60’s and early 70’s during the second resurgence of a left alternative to capitalism. Many new left activists entered the labor movement during this time, hoping that American Unions would finally represent the entire working class, and not only those workers under a specific work place contract.

Even at its peak in 1953 the AFL-CIO unions only represented 33% of American workers. This year coincided with continuing legal Jim Crow segregation in the South, excluding African Americans from unions, and years of Asian and Latino exclusion from unions on the West Coast. Therefore the 33% reflected on longingly by union old-timers may have represented a majority of white males concentrated in heavy industry and the skilled construction trades of the Midwest and Northeast. This was the geographic concentration of the majority of union members during the height of the AFL-CIO. Not until the late 60’s and early 70’s when public sector unions were formed and – and public sector civil service jobs were integrated – did large numbers of women and minorities become card-carrying AFL-CIO union members even in the most liberal of northern cities. Continue reading

Indian Court Charges Arundhati Roy with Contempt of Court for Writing on Injustice

[Upon revoking the bail and medical release for yet-untried political prisoner Professor GN Saibaba, Bombay High Court Justice Arum Choudari, according to The Hindu newspaper, “issued a notice to writer Arundhati Roy on an intervention plea filed by advocate Bhandarkar , who had blamed Ms.Roy for ‘interference with the administration of justice’ for writing an article in the Outlook magazine in support of Prof.Saibaba.”  This move to suppress the writings of the prominent writer and activist Arundhati Roy further illuminates the repressive and fascist character of the undemocratic Indian state and judiciary.  Roy’s May 2015 Outlook article, “Professor, P.O.W.” which earned the court’s “contempt” notice, is reprinted here below.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Professor, P.O.W.

So afraid is the government of this paralysed wheelchair-bound academic that the Maharashtra police had to abduct him for arrest
May 9, 2015, marks one year since Dr G.N. Saibaba, lecturer of English at Ramlal Anand College, Delhi University, was abducted by unknown men on his way home from work. When her husband went missing and his cellphone did not respond, Vasantha, Dr Saibaba’s wife, filed a missing person’s complaint in the local police station. Subsequently the unknown men identified themselves as the Maharashtra Police and described the abduction as an arrest.

 

Why did they abduct him in this way when they could easily have arrested him formally, this professor who happens to be wheelchair-bound and paralysed from his waist downwards since he was five years old? There were two reasons: First, because they knew from their previous visits to his house that if they picked him up from his home on the Delhi University campus they would have to deal with a crowd of angry people—professors, activists and students who loved and admired Professor Saibaba not just because he was a dedicated teacher but also because of his fearless political worldview. Second, because abducting him made it look as though they, armed only with their wit and daring, had tracked down and captured a dangerous terrorist. The truth is more prosaic. Many of us had known for a long time that Professor Saibaba was likely to be arrested. It had been the subject of open discussion for months. Never in all those months, right up to the day of his abduction, did it ever occur to him or to anybody else that he should do anything else but face up to it fair and square. In fact, during that period, he put in extra hours and finished his PhD on the Politics of the Discipline of Indian English Writing. Why did we think he would be arrested? What was his crime? Continue reading

Professor G.N. Saibaba writes on Nagpur Jail experience

[Upon publication of this article about his experience in an ‘anda’ (an egg-shaped jail cell), the court denied his temporary bail, ordered his return to jail and withdrew his access to decent medical care. — Frontlines ed.]

by G.N. Saibaba, Frontline, December 23, 2015

My view from an ‘anda’

Bombay HC rejects ailing DU professor GN Saibaba

Delhi University professor GN Saibaba

G.N. Saibaba, a wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor, talks of the days he spent in Nagpur Central Jail, in solitary confinement, after his arrest for alleged Maoist links.

G.N. Saibaba is a professor of English at Delhi University and is wheelchair-bound owing to physical disabilities to the extent of 90 per cent. On May 9, 2014, he was “abducted” when he was on his way home from work, and the next day, he was taken to Aheri, in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. From there, he was taken to Nagpur Central Jail where he was lodged until June this year when he was granted interim bail for medical treatment. He was charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for alleged Maoist links, and the trial, which began on October 27, 2015, at the Gadchiroli Sessions Court resulted in bail being granted for all co-accused except him. The hearing on his plea for permanent bail was held on December 11, and a final order was awaited at the time of going to press.

The 14 months spent in jail were like 14 years in hell. Thanks to a huge campaign outside and an order by a division bench of the Bombay High Court, I am out for medical treatment; otherwise, I would be dead by now. The prison hospital in Nagpur Central Jail lacks permanent doctors or medicines and is ill-equipped to treat severe ailments. While I was there, five people (one in his 50s, one in his 40s and three in their 30s) died; they could have survived with timely treatment. Apart from the chronic and severe health problems that I already had, I acquired spinal problems while being incarcerated. Owing to the heavy force used by the police in dragging me by my hands, the nerves from my neck to my left shoulder got severely stretched and rendered my left hand immobile. I suffered excruciating pain for 14 months. Instead of treating the ruptured nerve system, I was given painkillers, that too occasionally in the beginning and arbitrarily afterwards, which resulted in damage to my left hand. Despite rigorous treatment in various hospitals every six months, even now I can’t move my left hand above waist height. Besides, I cannot use the ground-level toilet, and they built a Western-style toilet only after eight months. That, too, did not work. Water came for 20 minutes in the morning, but with only one bucket allowed per prisoner not much could be stored. Without water, the closed anda (egg-shaped) cell where I was confined would stink ad infinitum. Continue reading

India: Disabled Professor Denied Bail and Medical Care

Bombay HC rejects ailing DU professor GN Saibaba’s temporary bail plea

Speed News Desk|23 December 2015

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has rejected the bail plea of Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who was arrested by the Maharashtra Police for his alleged Maoist links.

The bench has asked the academician, who uses a wheelchair, to surrender in 48 hours, “failing which the police shall arrest him.

“The court said that his fundamental rights would be violated if it didn’t grant him bail. The court also took note of the fact that Saibaba is suffering from multiple health problems and needs to be moved around in a wheel-chair. He had dislocated his shoulder and has a crippled right hand due to spinal problems.

He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. On 1 July, he was granted temporary bail on grounds of failing health. Saibaba had been in jail since his arrest in May 2014 from the Delhi University campus.

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Statement by Committee for the Defense and Release of Dr GN Saibaba

Statement of condemnation of the order to send Dr. G.N. Saibaba back to prison

Court cancels wheelchair-bound professor's bail, charges Arundhati Roy with contempt for defending himWe the undersigned are shocked to hear the news that Dr. G.N Saibaba’s application for permanent bail was rejected today by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. What is further appalling is that the High Court has also dismissed Saibaba’s interim bail order (Criminal Application No.785/2015), that was issued by a division bench led by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Justice Mohit Shah along with Justice Shukre on 30/06/2015 which granted him interim relief which in turn was extended by the same division bench till 31st December 2015, to avail treatments for his serious medical conditions. It was only after many democratic voices raised an alarm about the rapidly failing health condition of Saibaba, that the Bombay High Court intervened on the basis of a letter written to the Chief Justice by an activist named Purnima Upadhyay. The letter, which was suo moto converted to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by the High Court, resulted in Dr. Saibaba being granted temporary bail. Interrupting his ongoing treatment, the new judgment by a single judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered Dr. Saibaba to surrender himself to the Nagpur prison within 48 hours! The order further states upon failure to do so, he shall be arrested by the police. Continue reading

Will Sandra Bland Get Justice? Family Speaks Out After Grand Jury Won’t Indict Anyone in Her Death

Sandra Bland (1987-2015), an unarmed, suburban, middle-class Black American woman, died in police custody on July 13th 2015 – three days after a traffic stop.

Democracy Now, December 23, 2015

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/12/23/will_sandra_bland_get_justice_family

Family members and supporters are demanding justice for Sandra Bland after a grand jury failed to indict anyone for her death. Bland, an African-American woman, was arrested on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas, after she allegedly failed to signal a lane change. She was jailed with bond set at $5,000. Three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell. Authorities say she committed suicide, a claim her family rejects. The family has filed a wrongful death suit and wants charges against the officer who arrested her. Will anyone be held to account for Sandra Bland’s death? We are joined by Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal; her sister, Sharon Cooper; and family attorney, Cannon Lambert.


TRANSCRIPT

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Family members and supporters are demanding justice for Sandra Bland after a grand jury failed to indict anyone for her death. Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, was arrested on July 10th when a traffic stop escalated into a confrontation with the officer involved. Three days later, her body was found hanging from a trash bag inside her jail cell. Authorities say she killed herself, a claim her family rejects. They’ve also questioned why Bland was arrested and jailed in the first place, and why she was kept behind bars for so long.

AMY GOODMAN: Sandra Bland had recently moved to Texas to start a job at Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater. She was driving near campus when Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia pulled her over and accused her of failing to signal a lane change. Police dash cam video, that captured part of the arrest, shows Encinia threatening to forcibly remove Bland from her car. Continue reading

Israel Kills Two Palestinians Every Day

Names Of The 86 Palestinians Killed By Israeli Fire Since October 1st

November 14, 2015  —  IMEMC News

The Following is a list of names of all Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli fire in occupied Palestine, in the period between Thursday October 1st and the end of Friday November 13th, 2015, as confirmed by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

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1. Mohannad Halabi, 19, al-Biereh – Ramallah. Shot after allegedly grabbing gun and killing two Israelis. 10/3
2. Fadi Alloun, 19, Jerusalem. Israeli claim of ‘attack’ contradicted by eyewitnesses and video. 10/4
3. Amjad Hatem al-Jundi, 17, Hebron.
4. Thaer Abu Ghazala, 19, Jerusalem.
5. Abdul-Rahma Obeidallah, 11, Bethlehem.
6. Hotheifa Suleiman, 18, Tulkarem.
7. Wisam Jamal Faraj, 20, Jerusalem. Shot by an exploding bullet during protest. 10/8 Continue reading