Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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Arundhati Roy Under Attack, Canadian Activists Fight Back

Vancouver and Surrey social-justice activists protest contempt charge against Arundhati Roy

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Arundhati Roy has received a contempt citation for criticizing the arrest of a high-profile Indian human-rights activist. Vikramjit Kakati

The judicial persecution of a prominent Indian author and essayist has riled activists around Vancouver.

Many of them gathered in Surrey to protest a charge of contempt of court filed against Booker Prize-winning Delhi writer Arundhati Roy.

The demonstration included Chinmoy Banerjee, Parminder Swaich, Hardev Singh, Harbhajan Cheema, Harinder Mahil, Jai Birdi, and Avtar Gill, all of whom belong to different progressive groups in the Lower Mainland. Continue reading

What Attacks on GN Saibaba and Arundhati Roy Show About India

[The writer Mannish Sethi relates the court order to the arbitrary and malevolent character of law in India today.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Blind to justice

Why the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court — refusing Professor Saibaba bail and issuing a notice of contempt to Arundhati Roy — takes one’s breath away.

 

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Social activists staged a protest in Nagpur Thursday, demanding Saibaba’s release on bail. (Source: Express Photo)

 Law is no stranger to prejudice or moral anxieties. Judicial pronouncements can sometimes cast aside constitutional values and defer to societal biases masquerading as righteousness. The recurrence of “collective conscience” in terror cases, where the threat of terrorism looms so large that it can overshadow the lack of evidence, is only too well known. Even so, the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court takes one’s breath away. It rejected the regular bail plea moved by the lawyers of Delhi University professor, Saibaba, cancelled his interim bail which allowed him to receive treatment till December 31, and ordered him to surrender within 48 hours. Besides, the court issued a notice of criminal contempt to Arundhati Roy for her article, ‘Professor, POW’, published in Outlook magazine. The order will be remembered for its naked display of contempt for civil rights, partisanship and renunciation of judicial independence.

Wheelchair bound, Saibaba spent over a year in jail before the division bench of the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail on the plea of a social activist in June 2015. (Illustration by C R  Sasikumar)

Wheelchair bound, Saibaba spent over a year in jail before the division bench of the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail on the plea of a social activist in June 2015. (Illustration by C R Sasikumar)

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India: “Justice” System Produces Political Prisoners

Vira Sathidar, right, in a scene from “Court,” directed by Chaitanya Tamhane. Credit Zeitgeist Films

 The wheels of justice grind slowly and mercilessly in “Court,” Chaitanya Tamhane’s quiet, devastating critique of the antiquated Indian legal system. As it follows the case of Narayan Kamble (Vira Sathidar), a 65-year-old folk singer and social activist accused of inciting what is presumed to be the suicide of a sewer worker in Mumbai, the film conjures an absurdist nightmare of bureaucratic incompetence, indifference and social inequity.

Narayan is first seen teaching children Indian geography in a crowded Mumbai classroom, then hurrying to board a bus that takes him to an outdoor theater where he is introduced to a small crowd as “the people’s poet.” Backed by a troupe of musicians, he sings a forceful song urging everyone to rise up against “religious, racist, casteist and nationalist jungles.” Midway through, Narayan is arrested.

The remainder of the movie observes his protracted trial. A travesty of justice that another filmmaker might have directed as a farce, the work has a gravity, a measured pace and a detachment reminiscent of a Frederick Wiseman documentary — “Court,” however, is fictional. Continue reading

United Nations Peacekeeper Soldiers Fire on Protestors in Haiti

Revolution-News, 12/13/2014

Haitian police and UN peacekeepers have attacked protesters with live ammo and chemical agents as several thousand opposition supporters tried to march on the presidential palace, demanding new leadership.

Haiti has seen many anti-government protests in recent months calling for President Michael Martelly to step down, amid a growing anger over the high levels of government corruption. Elections have been delayed now for years.

People took to the streets again today. As the video above shows, the protest march approaching the Presidential Palace faced a barrage of gunfire and tear gas.  While major media outlets have the audacity to falsely claim that Haitian police and UN peacekeepers fired only into the air to disperse the protest while on the same page show a photo of the man seen below taking aim at head height. It is profoundly clear that shots to kill were taken.

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India: Nervous Police Find Revolutionary Signs

[During electoral campaigns in India, candidates and parties often post publicity posters (“flex signs”) — a method which Maoists have apparently also adopted to promote their revolutionary program and slogans, to the distress of State police and their electoral masters and bourgeois media.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Suspected Maoists put up flex boards in Attappady, Kerala

K. A. SHAJI, The Hindu, PALAKKAD, October 5, 2014

A drive against flex boards will be launched immediately as part of Gandhi Jayanti observance. File photo.

Electioneering on flex boards. Pictures of the Maoist advocate’s posters are not published in the Indian bourgeois press.

The police have stepped up vigil in Attappady region following the appearance of flex boards allegedly installed by the banned Maoist outfit to exhort the working class to prepare for an ‘armed battle’ against ‘ruling elites.’

While most of the flex boards were seen in Kallamala region of western Attappady on Friday morning, a few were installed at Poonchola and Pambbanthode villages close to Mannarkkad. The boards claimed their ownership to a special regional committee of the CPI(Maoist) Western Ghats unit.

The boards said the organisation was observing the 10th anniversary of its armed resistance and sought cooperation of the general public in strengthening the party base in the three southern States. It wanted strong public vigilance against concerted efforts of the ruling class to plunder water, land, forests, and natural resources.

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India: Desperate State Police often frames activists with “Maoist-Jackets”

The country needs an anti-fascist force, says activist acquitted after 40 months in jail

Sudhir Dhawale, a dalit rights activist accused of having Maoist links, was declared innocent on May 15.

Aarefa Johari, scroll.in, 24 May, 2014


On May 20, after spending three years and four months in Nagpur Central Jail for crimes he did not commit, dalit rights activist Sudhir Dhawale finally walked out as a free man.

His arrest in January 2011 had outraged social activists in Maharashtra. Dhawale is a well-known poet, political commentator and publisher of Marathi magazine Vidrohi, and had attended a dalit literary gathering in Wardha district just before he was detained by the police. He was charged with sedition and, under the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation and waging war against the state. Meanwhile in Mumbai, the police barged into his modest home where his young sons were alone, gathered several books as evidence and allegedly coerced his wife to sign the list of seized articles.

Last week, after the prosecution failed to prove even a single case against him, the sessions court finally acquitted Dhawale – and eight other political prisoners – of all charges. His acquittal has come four months after Arun Ferreira, another Mumbai-based social activist who spent five years in jail for being an alleged Maoist, was cleared of all charges against him. Just two weeks before Dhawale’s release, however, GN Saibaba, a Delhi University professor, was arrested by the Maharashtra police for allegedly having links with Maoists.

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India: Thousands of protestors detained while laying siege to Tamil Nadu assembly

#Koodankulam
By Tariq Abdul Muhaimin, Kracktivist,  10/29/12  NEWZFIRST

CHENNAI, TN – Thousands of protestors including leaders of different political parties were detained by the police on Monday, when they were en route to lay siege outside the Tamil Nadu assembly demanding the closure of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNP).

More than 5000 protesters from across the state had gathered at Egmore, Chennai and started moving towards the assembly to lay siege to it until the KKNP is not shut down completely.

“We do not have permission for the rally or the protest; however we will march towards the assembly. The police is ready to arrest us when we reach there, but this will not stop us,” said Rajkumar, an activist from Tamils Cultural Centre, while speaking to Newzfirst before the rally began.

Amidst intense police deployment, the protesters including several political party leaders, Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and two Members of Parliament (MP) started their march towards the TN assembly at around 1:15 PM, where thousands of police personnel were waiting to stop the protestors and detain them. Continue reading