Will A “Hugo Chavez-type” End the Filipino Revolution?

[The question arises: Can populist rhetoric sway hearts and minds without petrodollars?  —  Frontlines ed.]

Joma sees Duterte as Pinoy-version of Hugo Chavez

October 10, 2015

UTRECHT, The Netherlands: Jose Maria Sison, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), made himself clear—he did not endorse Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as his preferred next president of the Philippines.

“But how can I do that when he did not yet declare that he is running for president?” he said laughing, in front of him a cup of brewed coffee sitting cold – untouched – on a long white table, the ‘centerpiece’ inside the office of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) here. Continue reading

Prof. Akinyele Umoja Discusses “We Will Shoot Back”


March 27.2013

Professor Akinyele Umoja, chair, African American Studies at Georgia State University discusses his new book: We Will Shoot Back: Armed Self-defense in the Mississippi Freedom Movement. This program was sponsored by the Stone Center and the Bull’s Head Bookstore of UNC at Chapel Hill.
This is part of the presentation Professor Umoja made at Chapel Hill,  length: 30:38
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We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement

 Prof. Umoja discusses why he wrote We Will Shoot Back

The notion that the civil rights movement in the southern United States was a nonviolent movement remains a dominant theme of civil rights memory and representation in popular culture. Yet in dozens of southern communities, Black people picked up arms to defend their leaders, communities, and lives. In particular, Black people relied on armed self-defense in communities where federal government officials failed to safeguard activists and supporters from the violence of racists and segregationists, who were often supported by local law enforcement.

In We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, Akinyele Omowale Umoja argues that armed resistance was critical to the efficacy of the southern freedom struggle and the dismantling of segregation and Black disenfranchisement. Intimidation and fear were central to the system of oppression in Mississippi and most of the Deep South. To overcome the system of segregation, Black people had to overcome fear to present a significant challenge to White domination. Armed self-defense was a major tool of survival in allowing some Black southern communities to maintain their integrity and existence in the face of White supremacist terror. By 1965, armed resistance, particularly self-defense, was a significant factor in the challenge of the descendants of enslaved Africans to overturning fear and intimidation and developing different political and social relationships between Black and White Mississippians.

This riveting historical narrative relies upon oral history, archival material, and scholarly literature to reconstruct the use of armed resistance by Black activists and supporters in Mississippi to challenge racist terrorism, segregation, and fight for human rights and political empowerment from the early 1950s through the late 1970s. Continue reading

How Occupied Kashmiris “Celebrate” Freedom

Jashn-e-Azadi (How We celebrate Freedom)

a film by Sanjay Kak (2008)

Synopsis

It’s 15th August, India’s Independence day, and the Indian flag ritually goes up at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar, Kashmir. The normally bustling square is eerily empty – a handful of soldiers on parade, some more guarding them, and except for the attendant media crews, no Kashmiris.

For more than a decade, such sullen acts of protest have marked 15th August in Kashmir, and this is the point from where JASHN-E-AZADI begins to explore the many meanings of Freedom – of Azadi – in Kashmir.

In India, the real contours of the conflict in Kashmir are invariably buried under the facile depiction of an innocent population, trapped between the Terrorist’s Gun and the Army’s Boot. But after 18 years of a bloody armed struggle, after 60,000 civilians dead (and almost 7,000 enforced disappearances), what really is contained in the sentiment for Azadi, for freedom? Continue reading

Nepal: Will opposition to a fraudulent election sow the seeds of a new armed-revolutionary struggle?

[Three articles on the opposition to fraudulent elections follow. — Frontlines ed.]

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CPN-M threatens to disrupt polls

The Kathmandu Post

KATHMANDU, MAR 31 – An alliance of 33 parties led by CPN-Maoist on Sunday said they would only hold talks with President Ram Baran Yadav if the head of state assured that the ‘unconstitutional’ decision to form a chief justice-led government would be scrapped.
The alliance’s decision came two days after the four major forces and the interim election government decided to hold talks with agitating parties. The alliance, led by the breakaway Maoists, is disrupting the update of voter roll in districts and has warned to disrupt the proposed elections.
The meeting of the protesting parties held at CPN-M headquarters Buddhanagar concluded that it is meaningless to sit for talks with the current government formed by the “syndicate” of four major political forces.
“The current unconstitutional government has no status to hold dialogue with us,” CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung said. “We will only hold talks with the President.”
The agitating parties are preparing to handover a memorandum, requesting the Election Commission to halt the voter roll update on Monday. They have stressed that all the election-related activities should be halted until the constitutional process is brought into track by making an agreement between all parties over the new roadmap. A statement issued by CPN-M on the behalf of 33 parties urges the government and the Election Commission to stop all the election-related activities until there is a new cross-party agreement. The parties have also expressed reservations over the government’s preparation to introduce an ordinance against organised crime, which recommends stringent action for any activities aiming to obstruct elections.
“The plan to bring the ordinance is intended at suppressing the agitation. It shows that the government is just staging a drama in the name of holding talks,” adds the statement. The stance from the agitating parties came a day after President Ram Baran Yadav urged four major forces to hold dialogue with smaller parties to create a ‘favorable atmosphere for elections.’ Continue reading

Nepal: ‘If bourgeois state does not deliver democracy …. we will take up arms’

[While the split in the revisionist-bourgeois UCPN(M) and the formation (re-formation) of the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist has been the focus of high hopes among revolutionary Maoists internationally, the consolidation of the CPN-M has also been a subject of conflicting views and an emerging debate about how complete the split with revisionism has really been. 

Aspects of the emerging line have not yet been spelled out completely, but some signs of an ongoing and developing struggle over political line have been on the surface of public events.  These struggles are further expressed in former liberated (by the People’s War) base areas, among former PLA fighters, and among others who have shown dismay at the urban-centric work plans and diplomatic ties with Chinese, Korean, and Indian post-Mao revisionists.  While these issues will be watched, and debated, by Nepalis and by internationalists who continue to raise the revolutionary road, the danger of a consolidated “centrism” and of uneasy and unprincipled “reconciliation” of revisionist and revolutionary lines is present.  The following article may, or may not, be indicative of this centrism.  The response of others who are undoubtedly advocating a Leninist and Maoist understanding of the class nature of the state, is not yet being reported.  We anxiously await further developments, and hope this new party will be a far more receptive (and productive) place for this struggle than the UCPN(M) in the revisionist hands of Prachanda and Bhattarai has been. — Frontlines ed.]

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“Maoists will take up arms” if…. : Baidya

13890KATHMANDU, Jan 17: The CPN-Maoist on Wednesday warned that the party will take up arms if the state power cannot assure the rights of the people. Speaking at a press meet organized here by the party following the conclusion Tuesday of its seventh general convention, the CPN-Maoist also informed that the time for the revolt will be determined by the political situation.

“Give rights to the people. It the people get their rights, who will take up arms? Nobody. Why is the state conspiring instead of assuring people their rights in accordance with previous agreements and assurances. If rights are not given to people, it is sure that arms will be taken up,” answered Mohan Baidya, newly elected chairman of the CPN-Maoist, when asked about the reason for people´s revolt.

“As far as the date for launching a revolt is concerned, it is not a matter to be announced at present. It will rather be determined by the circumstances. Asked when they would launch their revolt, Baidya said, “We will launch the people´s revolt or people´s war as and when circumstances compel us because no one takes up arms just on the basis of the whim or interests of certain leaders”. “Arms will be taken up by any other force also when the situation so demands, even if we ourselves drop the idea.” Continue reading

Syria: The Chaos of the Armed Movement and the Organisation of the Syrian Revolution

[As we continue to seek more information about, and verification of, the politics and developing alliances and unity of Syrian opposition forces, we received this report on important issues and developments of the armed people’s struggle against the Assad regime.  While it is focused mainly on internal developments, the Syrian people’s debate over rejecting or requesting military assistance from outside is not discussed or examined.  We look forward to information on this cardinal issue. — Frontlines ed.]

from Yassari, Edition 11, by the Left Coalition in Syria – Mid-September 2012

The introduction of arms to the Syrian revolution, after months of peaceful struggle, did not come out of the blue, nor was it simply an emotional reaction. There were some parties who, from the beginning, called for arming the revolution and advocated violence. However, it was surely the increasing violence used by the authorities that made peaceful youth, who completely believed in a peaceful movement, change their minds, especially when the regime involved the Syrian army in a war against citizens at the end of July 2011, and when they adopted increasing tactics of killing and humiliating the people in Syria from August 2011.

There is no point, therefore, regretting the move from peaceful demonstrations, or fearing this significant step now. There is not even any point discussing it now. We have moved from the phase that the revolution started with, the peaceful spontaneous demonstrating of ordinary people, to the revolution of all methods, with demonstrating and fighting taking place together. Since we have reached this phase, it is important now to study the problems, as the revolution is now in need of planning, by learning from previous lessons and organising all elements.

Sensitive issues need to be addressed here. First, how to organise the armed struggle (connecting groups and finding clear strategies of how to develop this struggle). Secondly, how to coordinate between the armed movement and the popular movement, especially since the armed struggle has stolen all the attention and popular demonstrations have become marginal. Third, we need to think of how to organise and control the free areas, which are not under the control of the authorities anymore.

The armed people in Syria are actually separate groups who all call themselves “Free Army” (this is dangerous because it is a vague phrase which anyone could use) – some of them defected from the Syrian army (these are the main foundation), some are sectarian, and the rest, the majority, are ordinary people, with no experience in working with wars and weapons, and therefore they only undertake defence, and when they attack instead, lots of mistakes take place. They have made mistakes, but they haven’t learnt from them. The main mistake has been basing themselves inside residential neighborhoods, and staying there until the regime forces attack and destroy them, which has had a very negative effect on the popular movement there and almost stopped it in some areas. “Liberating” areas without considering the strength of the regime’s forces means aggravating the struggle instead of developing it. What is important now is to focus on attacking the sensitive centres, the army on their way to control cities, and the locations where rockets and cannons are based. Continue reading