Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

cast away illusions, prepare for struggle!

Making Do in the Belly of the Beast

Thinking Outside the Box by Moving Into One

On a street in Oakland, Calif., a tiny home sits on wheels. The artist Gregory Kloehn, using recycled materials picked up from the streets, made several such homes and gave them to the homeless in the industrial neighborhood near the Port of Oakland.

OCT. 13, 2015 – nytimes.com

OAKLAND, Calif. — This summer, the median rent for a one-bedroom in San Francisco’s cityscape of peaked Victorians soared higher than Manhattan’s, sent skyward by a housing shortage fueled in part by the arrival of droves of newcomers here to mine tech gold.

And so, as the story of such cities goes, the priced-out move outward — in New York City, to Brooklyn and, increasingly, to Queens. For San Franciscans, the rent refuge is here in Oakland, where the rates are increasing as well — so much so that young professionals are living in repurposed shipping containers while the homeless are lugging around coffinlike sleeping boxes on wheels. Continue reading

May Day 2015 — Dock Workers Walk Out to Protest Police Killings

Workers of All Colors Unite!

International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 in the Bay area will use its monthly stop-work meeting on Friday to idle the ports of Oakland and San Francisco to protest recent police killings of African Americans. The executive board and membership of Local 10 aligned its “Union Action to Stop Police Killings of Black and Brown People” with International Workers’ Day, which is celebrated on May 1 in many countries.

May Day in Oakland: ILWU March and Rally Against Police Terror!
STATEMENT TO THE BAY AREA LABOR MOVEMENT
A CALL TO ACTION!
April 22, 2015
The membership of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 has voted at its meeting on April 16, 2015 to call for a stopwork meeting on May 1st. It is fitting that on May Day, International Workers Day, Bay Area ports will be shut down to protest the racist police killing of mainly black and brown people. This is the first U.S. union to take such action. Local 10 took similar action on May Day 2008 to close Pacific Coast ports stopping all work to demand an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the first such anti-war union action in American labor history.

ILWU Local 10 dock workers march in San Francisco on May Day 2008 in the first-ever strike action by U.S. workers against U.S. imperialist war. The work stoppage shut down all 29 West Coast ports demanding an end to the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as support for immigrant rights.

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The System Says: All 59 Police Bullets Were Justified, Every One

4 San Francisco cops cleared in Alex Nieto killing

Four San Francisco police officers will not face charges for shooting and killing Alejandro “Alex” Nieto last year in Bernal Heights Park, because Nieto pointed a Taser shock weapon that the officers reasonably mistook for a pistol, the district attorney’s office said Friday.

The officers fired a total of 59 shots, District Attorney George Gascón said in a letter to Police Chief Greg Suhr. Two later-arriving officers opened fire on Nieto after they heard the popping of their colleagues’ gun blasts and believed Nieto was firing back, the letter said.

But Gascón’s report said all four officers had “continued to believe their lives were in danger … until Mr. Nieto’s head and weapon went down.”

The four — Lt. Jason Sawyer and Officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff and Nathan Chew — had responded to witness reports that Nieto, a 28-year-old Mission resident, had a gun and was acting erratically on March 21.

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Protesters demanding justice for Alex Nieto march from Bernal Heights Park to the Federal Building in San Francisco, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. The demonstrators are angry that the police shot and killed Nieto, who was holding a taser, in the park early on March 21. San Francisco police released the names of four officers involved in the shooting on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, following a court order. Photo: Paul Chinn / Paul Chinn / The Chronicle / ONLINE_YES

The Broken System: No consequence, no confidence. A response to the non-indictment of Alex Nieto’s killers. 

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Not One More Deportation: Tired of Futile Requests, Activists Block Deportations

San Francisco Blocks Deportation Buses

Just moments ago, dozens of undocumented immigrants and allies peacefully sat down in front of the San Francisco offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and blocked a bus filled with community members en route to deportation.

The action is occurring at 630 Sansome Street in San Francisco.

Today’s protest marks the expansion of a national movement to pressure the President to use his existing executive authority to halt painful deportations of immigrant community members – a move which will bolster efforts in Congress to win inclusive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented Americans. Continue reading

1913, The Gadar Party, and the Roots of India’s Armed anti-British Colonial Struggle–in San Francisco

[In 1913, a growing number of migrants from India to Canada and the US  formed The Gadar Party in San Francisco, designed to  organize an army to overthrow British colonial rule in India.  This organization  organized thousands of primarily Punjabis and Sikhs to return to India with the purpose of launching armed revolts (and mutinies among Indian soldiers in the British colonial army), and thereby sparked the struggle of millions during the first half of the 20th Century.  The noted revolutionary, Bhagat Singh, was himself motivated strongly by the Gadar Party’s revolutionary struggles.  Eventually, much of the party was crushed and its members hanged–and the remainder split into Communist and anti-Communist sections.  Today, while millions of Indians celebrate this heroic resistance and heritage, people in the US remain largely ignorant of the important history of these revolutionary and criminalized migrants.  We salute the heroic and historic resistance, 100 years ago, of these remarkable revolutionaries!  —  Frontlines ed.]

“The Ghadar Party’s main support came from Punjabi peasants who had begun to migrate from Punjab in the 1890’s. Moving east to Hong Kong and further east to the United States, and Canada in search of better wages, these men, most of them Sikh, worked as laborers in the Pacific Northwest. During the slump of 1907, Punjabis in Canada found themselves the butt of racial prejudice, as had other Asian immigrant groups also sources of cheap labor, who preceded them. The Punjabis were vilified as “ragheads” and the “turbanes tide”, and they found themselves at the storm center of racial tensions that occasionally flared into violence. Stung by their bitter experiences with prejudice and bigotry, disheartened by the British government’s failure to assist with problems of immigration to Canada, harboring a persecuted immigrant’s need to reaffirm his cultural identity, the Indians in California and the other coastal states were primed to be receptive to the idea of fighting a revolutionary struggle for India’s freedom.”

–from  “The Ghadar Party – Historical Assessment of an Indian Revolutionary Movement” by Emily Datta

“The major weakness of the Ghadar Party was its exceptionally poor sense of secrecy, which made it an easy target for British imperialism, armed as the latter was with the knowledge of the Ghadarites’ plans, not to say a monstrous police and military machine for suppression of the Indian people. The second weakness of the leadership of the Ghadar Party was its failure to understand the essence of imperialism. Hence the entertainment of the illusion by it that it could rely on the assistance of imperialist Germany for India’s freedom, whereas German imperialism was only interested in using the Ghadarites against Britain and snatching the latter’s colonial possessions for itself. Such an understanding had to await the epoch-making victory of the October Revolution in Russia.”  —  by Harpal Brar

Gadar – Overseas Indians Attempt to Free India from British Serfdom

By Inder Singh

Gadar Movement is the saga of courage, valor and determination of overseas Indians who had come to Canada and the United States either for higher education or for economic opportunities. They imbibed the fire and zeal of revolutionaries and became the trail blazers of freedom struggle for their motherland, India. They may have lived ordinary lives but they left an extra-ordinary legacy.

Cover of India Against Britain by Ram Chandra. Published in San Francisco by the Gadar Party [1916]. Excerpts from articles that refute allegations made by loyalists to the British Raj.

Cover of “India Against Britain” by Ram Chandra. Published in San Francisco by the Gadar Party [1916]. Excerpts from articles that refute allegations made by loyalists to the British Raj.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, both India and Canada were British dominions, so, Indians had easier access to emigrate to Canada. The new immigrants were hard working and accepted lower wages, so some Canadian companies publicized the economic and job opportunities available in Canada to seek more cheap labor from India. During the first few years, every year about 2000 immigrants, mostly Punjabi farmers and laborers were permitted to come. As the number of immigrants increased, the locals felt threatened by labor competition from the hardy and adventurous Punjabis. Fear of labor competition led to racial antagonism and demands for exclusionary laws from cheap foreign Asian workers. In 1909, severe immigration restrictions virtually ended legal Indian immigration to Canada.

When Indian immigrants saw the doors closing on them in Canada, they started coming to the United States which needed more people to do hard labor work to build new communities. In the U.S, they faced many difficulties, suffered numerous hardships and encountered rampant discrimination. Initially, they could find only menial jobs, but over a period of time and with their hard work and determination, many of them became successful farmers with their own land.

Within a span of few years, number of immigrant workers had swelled, so they starting facing widespread hostility which led to racial riots, resulting in certain cases, a loss of life and property. Like Canada, the United States, which had initially welcomed the Asian labor to do menial jobs, enacted Asian exclusionary laws to bar Asians emigrating to the United States. Continue reading

“Net sharpens divide over cop shootings”

[The San Francisco Chronicle performs its duty as bourgeois media,  blaming the internet for the outrage over police killings.  The epidemic of such killings of, especially,  Black and Brown youth, as detailed in the recent Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report detailing that such killings take place every 26 hours, is not described by the Chronicle as alarming or disturbing.  Instead, they decry the attention given by the internet. — Frontlines ed.]

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Demian Bulwa, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, October 14, 2012
Jimmy Blueford, whose cousin Alan Blueford was shot by police, marches in Oakland. Photo: Sarah Rice, Special To The Chronicle / SF

[Jimmy Blueford, whose cousin Alan Blueford was shot by police, marches in Oakland. Photo: Sarah Rice, Special To The Chronicle / SF]

From San Jose to Oakland to Vallejo, fatal police shootings often follow a familiar script.

An officer makes a split-second decision to kill, later explaining that he had no choice. His department struggles to communicate with the dead person’s family and the public. Anger spills into the streets, with activists demanding that authorities condemn the shooting – not just as a mistake but as murder. And an investigation clears the officer of any wrongdoing.

This could describe the shooting of 18-year-old Alan Blueford in Oakland in May or many other recent Bay Area cases.

While there is little evidence that police shootings are on the rise, they have become more politically divisive and combustible, people on all sides say, in part because of the spread of video cameras and the immediacy of online communication. Continue reading

What will it take to remove anti-Palestinian slanders from public transportation?

ABC: “Pro-Israel ads on Muni buses spark criticism”

Zionist Hate Propaganda Promoted On A Bus !

by James Ashburn, Friday, August 10, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency has a policy against political ads on its buses, but an ad being displayed now comes pretty close. The ad says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”

James Ashburn was surprised when he saw his bus roll up with the ad on the side. “It really struck me as an inappropriate ad to be on a city bus,” he said. Ashburn took a picture of the ad and sent it to ABC7 News via uReport. He thought the ad crossed a line. “No matter what side you’re on, you should not describe your opponent as a savage,” he said.

The pro-Israel ad was purchased by the American Freedom Defense Initiative run by Pamela Geller. “The reason I wanted to run these ads was to counter the anti-Israel ads that were running in various cities across the country in New York, in D.C., on San Francisco BART,” she said. If you don’t remember any anti-Israel ads on BART, that’s understandable. It has been a year since an ad ran calling on the U.S. to cut military aid to Israel. “It was a fallacious and dangerous message and it had to be countered with the truth,” Geller said.

The truth being in the eye of the beholder, ABC7 News showed the ad to Muslim’s going into Friday prayers at a San Francisco mosque. Adam Kennard called it propaganda. Ted Oriqat pointed out that the ad distorts the meaning of jihad. “Jihad, it doesn’t mean killing people or anything like that,” he said. And Oriqat is correct. Jihad means “struggle” and is frequently used as in “striving towards the way of God.” Continue reading