The Democrats hope the Black Lives Matter movement, like the Occupy Wall Street movement, will disappear amid the hype of the coming election season. “The Democrats have mounted a systematic cooption-repression response that will intensify as the election season – and Black cities – heat up.” The Democrats understand that, for the movement to succeed, their party’s power over Black America must be broken.
“The movement is inevitably on a collision course with the Democratic Party, although this may not yet be clear to many activists.”
The movement that is emerging under the banner Black Lives Matter is not yet one year old, but it will be dead before it reaches the age of two if the Democratic Party has anything to say about it. The movement’s greatest challenge will be to survive the impending mass mobilization of Black Democratic officeholders and operatives in a $5 billion presidential election season.The current Black-led grassroots campaign is, in very important ways, even more vulnerable to Democratic cooptation and dismantlement than was the white-led Occupy Wall Street movement, which succumbed to a combination of Democratic infiltration and repression – on top of its own contradictions – in the early months of 2012.
Last month many of us celebrated the 90th birthday of the one of America’s greatest revolutionaries, El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, also known as Malcolm X. That his birthday follows his assassination date (February 21) on the calendar seems appropriate this year, as Malcolm could be said to be resurrected these days: from condemnations of US racism at the United Nations, to self-defense against cops in NYC, to Black rifle clubs in Texas, to mass rebellion in Baltimore, to a growing disillusionment with the two-party system and doctrinaire nonviolence in America, he has seldom seemed more relevant.
This is all the more remarkable given that the representation of Malcolm in popular media is more distorted than ever. 2015 opened with the Martin Luther King biopic Selma giving us the most forgettable (perhaps the only forgettable) portrayal of Malcolm X in cinema history. In some ways, the muting of Malcolm was inevitable; an accurate depiction of the Muslim leader presented a danger of upstaging King in the movie the same way that he often upstaged King in real life. But that isn’t any excuse for the distortion of Malcolm X’s politics and the role he played in the Black freedom struggle.
In the short scene in which he appears, Malcolm comes literally hat in hand to Coretta Scott King begging to address the protesters and be a part of the movement. He appears to have arrived uninvited, crashing a party he has no real place in. As he offers to scare the segregationists with an “alternative” to MLK’s nonviolence, he hints that this is actually just a bluff because his “eyes see in a new way.” Everything about this scene is fundamentally wrong: Malcolm explained himself to Mrs. King after, not before, he gave his speech—a speech which he was invited to give by the director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s Selma Project.1 And when Malcolm spoke of offering an alternative to King’s pacifism, it was anything but a bluff. Continue reading →
Due to polio, his legs are 90% disabled since he was five. But the authorities find him so dangerous that he has been denied bail by a Nagpur court twice. For over a year, jail authorities have denied him the special care he needs as a disabled prisoner with cardiac problems. As a result, his health is now failing. The jail doctor has ordered an angioplasty. Without the surgery he might suffer a heart attack.
Poetry is an open secret That destroys the disquiet Stirring in my heart. It reaches in a trice Those it is meant to reach. Suddenly the ones who need to, Will understand. Rising in my thoughts, It inspires movements. The secret is, My poetry was born From the pangs of struggle. Cover it if you must – You will see it escape through The spaces of your fingers, Its vibrant, anguished notes Snapping in anger, Setting tears on fire And flowing forth – A river of blood-red syllables.
Varavara Rao is a communist, activist, naxalite sympathiser,renowned poet, journalist, literary critic, and public speaker from Telangana, India. He has been writing poetry for the last four decades.
[The Indian state, thoroughly repressive toward over 90% of the people in India, has often claimed, since being “granted” independence by the British Empire, that it is democratic, even “the world’s largest democracy.” This claim is belied by the brutal displacement and oppression of the majority of the people–the adivasis, dalits, the peasantry, the women of the oppressed castes and classes, Muslims, political opponents of the neo-colonial, semi-feudal state and their imperialist masters, and the Maoists (and all other opponents loosely, and falsely, labelled “Maoists”). As the opposition continues to grow against the oppressive police state, the contradiction with the democratic myth has grown sharply, infecting even the ranks of the repressive judiary. The rebellious people will carefully study how these “democratic dissidents in high places” will be dealt with by the repressive “powers-that-be”. — Frontlines ed.]
Person can’t be taken into custody just because he is a Maoist, Kerala HC rules
Justice AM Muhammed Mushtaq said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind the bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities.
KOCHI: In a significant development, the Kerala high court made it clear that a Maoist cannot be taken into police custody just because of his political leanings. Justice A M Muhammed Mushtaq, in his order on Friday, said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities. “Being a Maoist is no crime, though the political ideology of Maoists would not synchronise with our constitutional polity. It is a basic human right to think in terms of human aspirations,” Justice Mushtaq said in his order.The court was hearing a petition filed by Shyam Balakrishnan of Wayanad stating that he was arrested and harassed by the Thunderbolt team — a special police unit – for alleged Maoist links. The court ordered a compensation of Rs one lakh for the petitioner and also asked to state to pay litigation costs of Rs 10, 000. Continue reading →