“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
by Robin D. G. Kelley, August 8, 2014
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” –Nelson Mandela
Israel’s illegal, genocidal war on the people of Gaza has the characteristics of a massive tsunami.
Waged with even greater ferocity than Operation Cast Lead or any other assault since the Nakba of 1948 or the 1967 War, its destructive impact may even be worse. Masked as a war of “self-defense,” the euphemistically-named “Operation Protective Edge” is state violence at warp speed; it is completely indiscriminate yet calculated in its targeting of children and adult civilians, hospitals, schools, shelters, markets, and neighborhoods. So massive the onslaught, so swift the reports on social media, that my twitter feed resembles a ticker-tape machine. No one can write or speak fast enough to keep up with the body count.
As I write now, the Palestinian dead is inching toward the 2,000 mark, the injured close to 10,000; a quarter of Gaza’s population is displaced; about 10,000 homes were destroyed—including 141 schools; entire neighborhoods have been razed to the ground; morgues are filled to capacity as dead bodies lay strewn in streets, under rubble or placed in vegetable refrigerators or commercial ice cream freezers. The lack of electricity, clean water, food, sanitation, medical supplies, among other things, means a variety of infectious, nutritional and water-borne diseases are imminent.
If you are reading this, you’re probably familiar with these terrifying facts. Continue reading
Nelson Mandela: A Hero for the oppressors, A BETRAYER FOR THE OPPRESSED!
The mournings & praises from the imperialists and their agents, are Mandela’s “legacy” of brokering one of the biggest sell outs of the 20th century!
Ever since the death of Nelson Mandela on the 6th of December, the most flowery tributes have been showered on him by a wide spectrum of the ruling classes all over the world. While the face of US imperialism Barak Obama “led the world” in paying tribute to “his personal hero”, the speeches his lieutenants in Britian, much of Europe, and across the world reverberated the same. The mass murderer president of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakshe who oversaw the genocide of the people of Tamil Ealam also had tears to shed for Mandela. The Indian state also gargled the same and declared a four day long state mourning. The same waves also reached our campus. From ABVP to the parliamentary pseudo-left AISA or SFI and their likes, several organizations vied with each other in presenting their laurels to their “hero”. This spectrum is certainly striking, and may even confuse a few as to the real “legacy” of Mandela. However in reality, it is precisely this unanimity of imperialists and their agents that is most revealing. Mandela’s so called legacy is built upon on an illusion, the seeds of which were laid by Mandela himself. It is extremely important that we break this collective iconization and the illusion of Mandela’s legacy. Continue reading
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” ― Nelson Mandela
Video of the Joint Informational Hearing on Segregation Policies in California Prisons in the California Legislature on October 9, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama met the family of South Africa’s ailing anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela but faced protests by South Africans against U.S. foreign policy. Obama faced protests by South Africans against U.S. foreign policy, especially American drone strikes.
Police fired stun grenades on June 29 to disperse several hundred protesters who had gathered outside the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg, where Obama was due to address a town hall meeting with students.
JOHANNESBURG — Police fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade into a crowd of hundreds of protesters before President Obama arrived at the University of Johannesburg on Saturday.
The crowd quickly scattered as police officers walked up the street pushing protesters away with shot guns.
“I feel my rights are being infringed,” said 24-year-old Bilaal Qibr, who was at the protest. “We can’t protest anymore. Personally, I feel like this is an extension of the U.S.” Continue reading
[This article, from the Nepali Maoist press, examines the historic compromise which brought the ANC to power in the post-apartheid period—looking for lessons which may have relevance to the present situation in Nepal. It traces how the African National Congress built a post-apartheid system which is still dominated by imperialism and is characterized by extremes of wealth and poverty.-ed.]
This article is from Maoist Information Bulletin from Nepal. Published by UCPN(Maoist), International Bureau, Vol. 04, No. 13.
Two Decades After Mandela’s Release: 20 Years of Freedom in South Africa?
The world watched elatedly 20 years ago as Nelson Mandela was finally freed from 27 years in South African jails in February 1990, so hated was the apartheid regime and all the injustice it stood for. Mandela, as one of the world’s longest-held political prisoners has become a sort of living legend.
Apartheid’s jails regorged with thousands of political prisoners from the decades of struggle against apartheid representing different organizations and different perspectives. Many fighters, leaders and soldiers died in detainment or were hanged in police stations, thrown out of upper-story windows and never saw a wigged white apartheid judge go through the motions of a trial. Treason was a common charge. And the masses of South African people had made enormous and heroic sacrifices during the struggle and periods of upsurge over the previous decades. Although Mandela’s enemies secretly began negotiations with him in 1988, it was never a secret that their releasing political leaders and unbanning opposition groups in 1990 was a calculated step in the dismantling of apartheid and reorganisation of political rule in South Africa.
At the end of the 1980′s the apartheid system of enforced racial segregation and oppression in which the black majority (including people of Indian and mixed race origin) was legally forbidden the most elementary rights was rotting at the seams under the combined weight of major social, political and economic crisis.
It was a revolutionary situation, which the white settler regime fully realized as it could no longer contain the political upsurge that had been shaking the country in waves since 1976 and reached a peak in the mid-1980′s. Despite police invasion of the townships where most blacks lived, these became bases to stage different forms of struggle. Youth, students and workers, including foreign migrant workers, organized mass boycotts, stay-aways (from school, businesses and work}, strikes, fighting with the police and then funeral marches after people were gunned down. In the rural areas too, where most Africans were forced to live in phony ethnic-based reserves, people rioted against the despised bantustan authorities and their vigilante squads, fought for better land and resisted forced removals as part of apartheid’s territorial consolidation. Continue reading