Saturday, March 28, 2015
(Editor, 'Mazdoor Bigul' and 'Muktrikami Chhatron-yuvaon ka Aahwan', Writer of blog 'Red Polemique' and Research Scholar in History Department, Delhi University)
On 25th March, we witnessed one of the most brutal, probably the most brutal lathi charge on workers in Delhi in at least last 2 decades.
It is noteworthy that this lathi-charge was ordered directly by Arvind Kejriwal, as some Police personnel casually mentioned when I was in Police custody.
It might seem surprising to some people because formally the Delhi Police is under the Central Government.
However, when I asked this question to the Police, they told me that for day-to-day law and order maintenance, the Police is obliged to follow the directives from the CM of Delhi, unless and until it is in contradiction with some directive/order of the Central Government.
The AAP government is now in a fix as it cannot fulfill the promises made to the working class of Delhi.
And the working class of Delhi has been refusing to forget the promises made to them by the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal.
As is known, on February 17, the students of School of Open Learning, DU went in sizeable numbers to submit their memorandum to the CM.
Again, on March 3, hundreds of DMRC contract employees went to submit their memorandum to the Kejriwal government and were lathi-charged.
From the beginning of this month, various workers' organizations, unions, women's organizations, student and youth organizations have been running 'WADA NA TODO ABHIYAN', which aims at reminding and then compelling the Kejriwal government to fulfill its promises to the working poor of Delhi, like the abolition of contract system in perennial nature of work, free education till class 12th, filling 55 thousand vacant seats in the Delhi government, recruiting 17 thousand new teachers, making all the housekeepers and contract teachers as permanent, etc.
The Kejriwal government and the Police administration had already been intimated about the demonstration of 25th March and the Police had not given any prior prohibitory order.
However, what happened on 25th March was horrendous and as I was part of the activists who were attacked, threatened and arrested by the Police, I would like to give an account of what happened on March 25, why did scores of workers, women and students go to the Delhi Secretariat, what treatment was meted out to them and how the majority of the mainstream media channels and newspapers conveniently blacked out the brutal repression of wokers, women and students.
Why did thousands of workers, women and student go to the Delhi Secretariat on March 25?
As mentioned earlier, a number of workers' organizations have been running 'Wada Na Todo Abhiyan' for last one month in Delhi to remind Arvind Kejriwal of the promises he and his party made to the working people of Delhi.
These promises include the abolition of contract system on work of perennial nature; filling 55 thousand vacant posts of Delhi government; recruiting 17 thousand new teachers and making the contract teachers as permanent; making all contract safai karamcharis as permanent; making school education till 12th free; these are the promises that could be fulfilled immediately.
We know it will take time to build houses for all jhuggi dwellers; however, a roadmap must be presented before the people of Delhi. Similarly, we know that providing 20 new colleges will take time; however, Mr. Kejriwal had told the media that some individuals have donated land for two colleges and he must tell now where are those lands and when is the state government going to start the construction of these colleges.
It is not as if Kejriwal government did not fulfill any of its promises. It fulfilled the promises made to the factory owners and shop-keepers of Delhi immediately!
And what did he do for the contract workers? Nothing, except a sham interim order pertaining to contract workers in the government departments only, which ordered that no contract employee in government departments/corporations shall be terminated till further notice.
However, newspapers reported a few days later that dozens of home guards were terminated just a few days after this sham interim order!
That simply means that the interim order was just a facade to fool the contract workers in the government departments and people of Delhi at large.
These are the factors that led to a suspicion among the working people of Delhi and consequently various trade unions, women's organizations, student organizations began to think about a campaign to remind Mr. Kejriwal of the promises made to the common working people of Delhi.
Consequently, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA) was initiated on March 3 with a demonstration of contract workers of DMRC. At the same day, the Kejriwal government was informally informed about the demonstration of 25th March and later an official intimation was given to the Police administration.
The Police did not give any prior prohibitory notice to the organizers before the demonstration.
However, as soon as the demonstrators reached Kisan Ghat, they were arbitrarily told to leave!
The police refused to allow them to submit their memorandum and charter of demands to the Government, which is their fundamental constitutional right, i.e., the right to be heard, the right to peacefully assemble and the right to express.
What really happened on March 25 ?
Around 1:30 PM, nearly 3500 people had gathered at the Kisan Ghat. RAF and CRPF had been deployed there right since the morning. Consequently, the workers moved peacefully towards the Delhi Secretariat in the form of a procession. They were stopped at the first barricade and the police told them to go away.
The protesters insisted on seeing a government representative and submit their memorandum to them. The protesters tried to move towards the Delhi Secretariat.
Then the police without any further warning started a brutal lathi-charge and began to chase protesters.
Some women workers and activists were seriously injured in this first round of lathi-charge and hundreds of workers were chased away by the Police.
However, a large number of workers stayed at the barricade and started their 'Mazdoor Satyagraha' on the spot.
Though, the police succeeded to chase away a number of workers, yet, almost 1300 workers were still there and they continued their satyagraha.
Almost 700 contract teachers were at the other side of the Secretariat, who had come to join this demonstration.
They were not allowed by the police to join the demonstration. So they continued their protest at the other side of the Secretariat.
The organizers repeatedly asked the Police officers to let them go to the Secretariat and submit their memorandum. The Police flatly refused.
Then the organizers reminded the police that it is their constitutional right to give their memorandum and the government is obliged to accept the memorandum. Still, the police did not let the protesters go the Secretariat and submit their memorandum.
The workers after waiting for almost one and a half hours gave an ultimatum of half an hour to the Police before trying to move towards the Secretariat again. When the Police did not let them go to the Secretariat to submit their memorandum after half an hour, then the police again started lathi charge. This time it was even more brutal.
I have been active in the student movement and working class movement of Delhi for last 16 years and I can certainly say that I have not seen such Police brutality in Delhi against any demonstration.
Women workers and activists and the workers' leaders were especially targetted.
Male police personnel brutally beat up women, dragged them on streets by their hair, tore their clothes, molested them and harrassed them.
It was absolutely shocking to see how several police personnel were holding and beating women workers and activists.
Some of the women activists were beaten till the lathis broke or the women fainted.
Tear gas was used on the workers. Hundreds of workers lied down on the ground to continue their peaceful Satyagraha. However, the police continued to brutally beat them. Finally, the workers tried to continue their protest at the Rajghat but the Police and RAF continued to hunt them down. 18 activists and workers were arrested by the Police including me.
One of my comrades, Anant, a young activist was beaten brutally even after being taken in custody in front of me. The police abused him in the worst way. Similar treatment was meted out to other activists and workers in custody. Almost all of the persons taken in custody were injured and some of them were seriously injured.
Four women activists Shivani, Varsha, Varuni and Vrishali were taken into custody and particularly targeted. Vrishali's fingers got fractured, Varsha's legs were brutally attacked, Shivani was attacked repeatedly on the back by several police personnel and also sustained a head injury and Varuni also was brutally beaten up..
The extent of injuries can be gauged by the fact that Varuni and Varsha had to be admitted again to the Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital on 27th March, when they were out on bail. Women activists were constantly abused by the police.
The police personnel hurled sexist remarks and abuses on the women activists, that I cannot mention here. It was part of the old conventional strategy of the Police to crush the dignity of the activists and protesters.
The 13 arrested male activists were also injured and five of them were seriously injured. However, they were made to wait, two of them bleeding, for more than 8 hours for medical treatment. During our stay in the Police station, we were repeatedly told by a number of police personnel that the order to lathi charge the protesters was given directly from the CM's office.
Also, the intent of the Police was clear from the very beginning: to brutalize the protestors. They told us that the plan was to teach a lesson
The next day four women comrades were granted bail and 13 male activists were granted conditional bail for 2 days. The IP Estate Police station was asked to verify the addresses of the sureties. The police was demanding 14 days police custody for the arrested activists. The intent of the administration is clear: brutalizing the activists again.
The police is constantly trying to arrest us again and slap false charges on us.
As is the convention of the police administration now, anyone who raises their voice against the injustice perpetrated by the system is branded as "Maoists", "Naxalite", "terrorists", etc.
In this case too, this intent of the police is clear.
This only shows how Indian capitalist democracy functions. Especially in the times of political and economic crisis, it can only survive by stifling any kind of resistance from the working people of India against the naked brutality of the system.
The events of 25th March stands witness to this fact.
What happens next?
It is a common mistake of the rulers to assume that brutalizing the struggling women, workers and students would silence the voices of dissent. They commit this mistake again and again. Here too, they are grossly mistaken.
The police brutality of March 25 was an attempt of the Kejriwal Government to convey a message to the working poor of Delhi and this message was simply this: if you raise your voice against the betrayal of the Kejriwal Government against the poor of Delhi, you will be dealt with in the most brutal fashion.
Our wounds are still fresh, many of us have swollen legs, fractured fingers, head injuries and with every move we can feel the pain.
However, our resolve to fight against this injustice and expose the slimy fraud that is Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP has become even stronger.
The trade unions, women organizations and student organizations and thousands of workers have refused to give up. They have refused to give in. They are already running exposure campaigns around Delhi, though most of their activists are still injured and some of us can barely walk.
Kejriwal government has committed a disgusting betrayal against the working people of Delhi who had reposed a lot of faith in AAP.
The working people of Delhi will not forgive the fraud committed by the Aam Admi Party.
I think the Fascism of Aam Aadmi Party is even more dangerous than the mainstream Fascist party like the BJP, at least in the short run, and I myself witnessed it on March 25!
And there is a reason for it: just like small capital is much more exploitative and oppressive as compared to big capital at least immediately, similarly, the regime of small capital is much more oppressive as compared to regime of big capital, at least in the short run!
And the AAP government represents the right-wing populist dictatorship of small capital, of course, with a shadow of jingoistic Fascism. This fact has been clearly demonstrated by the events of 25th March.
Apparently enough, Kejriwal is scared and has run out of ideas and that is why his government is resorting to such measures that are exposing him and his party completely.
He knows that he cannot fulfill the promises made to the working poor of the Delhi, especially, abolition of contract system on perennial nature work because if he even tries to do so, he will lose his social and economic base among the traders, factory owners, contractors and petty middlemen of Delhi.
This is the peculiarity of AAP's agenda: it is an aggregative agenda (a ostensibly class collaborationist agenda) which ostensibly includes the demands of petty traders, contracters, rich shopkeepers, middlemen and other sections professional/self-employed petty bourgeoisie as well as jhuggi-dwellers, workers, etc.
It can not fulfill all the demands mentioned in the agenda, because the demands of these disparate social groups are diametrically opposite.
The real partisanship of the AAP is with the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie of Delhi which is already apparent in the one-and-a-half-month rule of AAP. AAP actually and politically belongs to these parasitic neo-rich classes. The rhetoric of 'aam admi' was just to make good of the opportunity created by the complete disillusionment of the people with the Congress and the BJP. This rhetoric was useful as long as the elections were there.
As soon as, the people voted for the AAP en masse, in the absence of any alternative, the real ugly Fascist face of Arvind Kejriwal has become exposed.
Even internally, the AAP politics has been exposed due to the current dog-eat-dog fight for power between the Kejriwal faction and the Yadav faction.
This is not to say that had Yadav faction been at the the helm of affairs, things would have been any different for the working class of Delhi.
This ugly inner fight only shows the real character of AAP and helps a lot of people realize that AAP is not an alternative and it is no more different from the parties like the Congrees, BJP, SP, BSP, CPM, etc. Particularly, the workers of Delhi are understanding this truth.
That is the reason why the workers of Hedgewar Hospital spontaneously went on strike against the police brutality and the Kejriwal government on the evening of March 25 itself.
Anger is simmering among the DMRC workers, contract workers of other hospitals, contract teachers, jhuggi-dwellers and the poor students and unemployed youth of Delhi.
The working class of Delhi has begun to organize to win their rights and oblige the Kejriwal government to fulfill its promises; the desperate attempt of the Kejriwal government to repress the workers will definitely backfire.
Workers', students' and women organizations have begun their exposure campaign in different working class and poorer neighbourhoods of Delhi. If the AAP government fails to fulfill its promises made to the working poor of Delhi and fails to apologize the disgusting and barbaric attack on thousands of women, workers and students of Delhi, it will face a boycott from the working poor of Delhi.
Each and every of the wounds inflicted on us, the workers, women and youth of Delhi on March 25 will prove to be a fatal mistake of the present government.
Posted by nickglais on 3/28/2015 07:58:00 AM
Friday, March 27, 2015
Today their role and teachings are more significant in light of the attack of Hindu communal fascism.
Some significant programmes were in Delhi and Punjab held by organizations, lighting the torch of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and reverberating his message.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh was a unique revolutionary whose life and teachings are that of a great Marxist-Leninist revolutionary whose teachings Indian revolutionaries must imbibe.
I compliment such democratic revolutionary forces for painstaking efforts who could convert a spark into a prairie fire.
I just attended a convention opposing communalism on the 84th martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh,Sukhdev and Rajguru.in Ludhiana on March 22nd.I was tremendously impressed by the organization and response of workers in Ludhiana.
For days and nights activists of the Bigul Mazdoor dasta, Punjab Students Union(Lalkaar) Naujwan Bharat Sabha, Karkhana Mazdoor union and Textile hosiery workers union undertook a painstaking mobilisation campaign in the basis of the workers.
Leaflets were distributed, street corner meetings held, cycle rallies held, speeches made and plays staged.. Keen response was evoked amongst the working class who seemed to understand the divide and rule policies of the ruling classes. and how communalism was used as a weapon to break their struggles for genuine demands.
I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the youth and the workers and the discipline of the cadre.. It was heartening that several women also participated in the convention.
The slogans raised were “Down with Communalism”, “Long Live Peoples Unity”, and “red salutes to the martyrs and continue their struggle forever.”
Speakers narrated how today the forces of the world capitalist system were accentuating the capitalist exploitation of workers in India.
They explained how Hindu communal fascism was the primary weapon of all democratic movements and to combat it all sections of the society must be united mobilised ,be it Hindus, Muslims or Christians or any other religion.
They also emphasised that revolutionary class struggle and movements must be built to combat the menace of communalism and not just propagating brotherhood of all religions.
They highlighted instances of how even factory struggles were divided by communal leaders in Punjab deploying the Hindu-Sikh divide.
They explained how burning issues of the masses like price –rise ,employment, housing, food, transport electricity and rations were diverted and labour laws were introduced to suppress the struggles of workers.
They narrated how fascist the R.S.S .was and how the tentacles of Hindu fanaticism were used and how Hindu communalism is spreading in a more organized form.. They also condemned Muslim and Sikh fundamentalism..
The new Modi government has sharpened the thread of Hindu communalism. and the attacks on Muslims and Christians and communal poisoning was deepened.
They explained how the administration or the state’s forces could not be used to oppose communal riots and often the police colluded with forces like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. They stressed on the attacks of communal fascism on women.
The speakers could relate to the problems of the day to day lives of the workers and their connection with fighting communalism.
The speakers were Kuliwinder of Naujwan Bharat Sabha,, Rajwinder of Textile Hosiery workers Union,Lakhwinder of Karkhana workers union, Namita of Stree Mukti Leage, Harjinder of Moulder and Steel workers Union, Harsh Thakor from Mumbai, Sukhawinder,editor of magazine Pratibhadh and Chinder Pal of Punjab Students Union.(Lalkaar).
Comrade Rajwinder in detail described how rulers and industrialists divided the struggles of workers after making false promises and sanctioned economic policies to break their struggles. He gave concrete examples of the tricks the Industrialists used conniving with the politicians.
I am sorry that a translation was not made of all the speeches of the speakers. Some significant points wee also made by Harjinder Singh on how in the days of Khalistani terrorism Sikh fundamentalism was fought by revolutionary Trade Union struggle.
Unlike other speakers he called for supporting the peasant struggles and narrated past struggles of the electricity workers . The message of the fighting the menace of communalism lit a flame in the hearts of the workers attending the convention.
Around 500 workers participated. Such gatherings are need all over India to light the flame of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Delhi Programme - Nehru Park,North Delhi in Shababdi area
In Delhi and Noida(Uttar Pradesh) Shahedi Melas or fairs were held commemorating Shaheed Bhagat Singh from March 21-March 23rd by Naujawan Bharat Sabha and Bhagat Singh publications.
Workers,students, women and children participated in large numbers. The participation of children was heartening in light of the current offensive of Hindu fascistic propaganda in primary schools and they could identify with the message of Bhagat Singh.
They may not have been quantitatively big but qualitatively they were of high class. They could tap the hearts and evoke the message of the martyrs to the workers of those areas in light of the repressive economic policies of the government and their nexus with Hindu communal fascism.
Street plays were performed, films were shown , prabhat pheris held and finally on the last day a torchlight Shaheedi rally was staged.
In Delhi certain Hindu communal goonda .elements with the blessings of the administration attempted to sabotage the campaign but the activists resisted.
A youth activist was badly attacked by the communal goondas.
The administration connived with the communal elements. Threats were particularly given to female workers.
In fact on the 1st 2 days the police or administration tried to deny permission to the stage but the resistance of the activists enabled the programme to be staged. The programme received enthusiastic support from the workers children and women whose unity thwarted the attacks of the goondas.
It was an ideal example of how the tentacles of communal poison were strengthened by the present government and of the possible times to come. In Mumbai in Mankhurd area NBS stage a cultural programme with a street play and for 3 days ran a leaflet distribution campaign.
It was significant that it was held in an area of the industrial workers.
The programmes taught us that even if the strength of forces are small qualitative work is a trump card. The numbers may not have been many but the seeds sown were of great texture.
I wish that such a convention received more support from other democratic revolutionary forces of Punjab and from other parts of the country.
Such unity is the need of the hour. Progressive Dalit organizations or Muslim organizations could also join this campaign. We also need to reach the peasantry. A united revolutionary movement against communalism is the need of the hour and various sections of the Indian revolutionary camp should comprise it.
I thank comrade Lakhwinder of Karkhana Mazdoor Union and Kavita Krishna Pallavi and Anand of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Pustakalya for reports which I translated.
I particularly thank Lakhwinder for his endorsing my personal participation. regards Harsh Thakor.
Posted by nickglais on 3/27/2015 07:47:00 AM
Thursday, March 26, 2015
India : Brutal attack on workers rally protesting AAP policies in Delhi: PUDR strongly condemns the brutal lathicharge by Delhi Police
A workers rally was attacked in Delhi today protesting against AAP.policies.Delhi police today brutally lathi charged and tear gassed hundreds of Delhi workers and students who had gathered at the Delhi secretariat to remind the Kejriwal govt about its promises.
Scores of workers and activists, including women, have been badly injured, some of them have suffered serious head injuries.
Several leading workers and activists have been arrested, including Abhinav, the editor of workers paper Mazdoor Bigul and Shivani, legal advisor of the Delhi Metro Contract Workers Union. Police have even broken the cameras and mobile phones of local journalist and individual persons covering the protest.
No medical treatment is given to injured workers inside police station and 2-3 leaders of workers are still being brutally beaten inside station.
PUDR strongly condemns the brutal lathicharge by Delhi Police on a workers’ demonstration on 25 March 2015 when nearly 1000 workers and activists belonging to different unions (Wazirpur hot rolling steel industry, Delhi Metro Railways Corporation, Karawal Nagar almond workers, safai karamcharis of Dr. Hedgevar and Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospitals and several unorganized workers from Khajuri) had gathered outside the Delhi Secretariat to meet the Labour Minister in order to present a memorandum of demands.
Several university students had also joined the demonstration. The demonstration peacefully waited for four hours but the minister did not meet them. Instead, they were attacked by the police who used several rounds of tear gas and lathicharge against them.
While the lathicharge was indiscriminate and brutal, certain activists and workers, including female activists, were particularly targeted and attacked by male policemen.
The head injuries sustained by at least two shows that the aim of the police was not to disperse but to attack.
Later, when the workers re-assembled at Rajghat, they were again lathicharged. 5 workers/activists have sustained injuries including one who has had a fracture. 17 activists including 4 women have been arrested on charges of rioting and for participating in an unlawful assembly with common object and obstructing public officials from discharging duty (s. 186, 353, 147, 148, 149, IPC).
The arrested persons have been detained in Indraprastha Estate Police Station. This is the second attack carried out by Delhi Police in less than a month's time.
On 5th March 2015, hundreds of contract workers who had demonstrated outside the Secretariat, under the banner of Delhi Metro Rail Contract Workers Union, were brutally lathi charged and several were seriously injured.
The Labour Minster was forced to meet a delegation then as the workers refused to disperse. However, unlike then, this time not only did the Government not meet any of the protesters, the police has also arrested some of the prominent faces within the demonstration.
Quite clearly, yesterday’s attack was premeditated and was meant to intimidate the workers from protesting any further. By using the old strategy of charging protesters with lawlessness—by attacking, detaining and forcing them to face criminal charges—the Kejriwal Government has exposed its class character and complicity with the police.
Not only has the Government refused to honour its election promise, of regularizing contractual work, it has deliberately turned a peaceful workers’ demonstration into law and order problem and encouraged the police to attack protesters and arrest them.
It is shocking to note that a Chief Minister, who is a believer in the right to protest and dissent, has such animosity towards legitimate protests against his Government. PUDR strongly condemns the police actions and demands an immediate and unconditional release of all 17 persons.
PUDR demands action against male policemen who targeted women activists and attacked them. Megha Bahl, Sharmila Purkayastha (Secretaries)
26th March 2015 www.pudr.org Section: Denial of Justice Worker Undemocratic Laws
Posted by nickglais on 3/26/2015 10:36:00 AM
A Song of Revolutionary Change in India : Aye Bhagat Singh Tu Zinda Hain: A Mass Song Composed and Sung by Sheetal Sathe
Lyrics, Composition and Vocalist: Sheetal Sathe. Sheetal Sathe is a great singer of the cultural organization 'Kabir Kala Manch', a troupe of Dalit protest singers and poets from Pune.
She sang this mass song about the exploitive and despotic character of Indian bourgeois politics and our discriminative society based on religion, caste, communalism and gender.
The song also portrays the possibilities of revolutionary change of the society
Posted by nickglais on 3/26/2015 08:14:00 AM
Publication of views of Alexandr Dugin is not approval of them but form the basis for an informed critical examination of his influential views.
A process which we started last year with publication of Aleksandr Dugin - Radical Conservatism dressed up as Revolution.
1. Recent attacks on you especially from Glenn Beck in the United States label you a Fascist Racist I understand you to be a conservative communist (nationalist communist) and anti racist - is my understanding correct ?
I am certainly not "Fascist Racist". I am not Fascist (not Third Position). I am convinced anti-Racist. I hate racism as part of liberal Eurocentric and imperialist ideology. Most Westerners including human rights partisans – are definitively racists being universalists and sharing the vision of Modern Western civilization as normative one.
I defend the plurality of civilizations, the absence of the universal (Western) pattern of social development. I strongly oppose any kind of xenophobia and nationalism as the bourgeois artificial and essentially Modern construction.
I am not communist nor Marxist because I refuse the materialism of any kind and deny the progress. So much more correct to describe my views as Fourth Political Theory and traditionalism.
On the level of International Relations it is translated as the Theory of Multipolar World based on the vision of the pluralist architecture of the World based on the great spaces principle (Grossraum). I am against capitalism as a essential phenomenon of Modernity.
I strongly believe that Modernity is absolutely wrong and the Sacred Tradition is absolutely right. USA is the manifestation of all I hate – Modernity, westernization, unipolarity, racism, imperialism, technocracy, individualism, capitalism.
It is in my eyes the society of Antichrist. USA hates me – repressing, putting under sanctions (only for my ideas!), blaming, lying, organizing the defamation on the world scale (Glenn Beck is only small part of it).
But I accept all this patiently. If you are against the Modernity it is but logical the Modernity were against you.
2. In your Fourth Political Theory you owe much to the ontological theories of Martin Heidegger in which being is the fatherland a theory which allowed for a rebasing of Neo Fascism after the Second World War based on rootedness of being and not Nazis "scientific racism". This ontology gives ideological support to neo fascism and ethnic nationalism.
I cannot classify Heidegger as "neo-fascist". He is simply the greatest European thinker of XX century. I rate and consider him to be the founder of Fourth Political Theory.
He was resolutely anti-liberal and anti-communist but as well very critical toward national socialism. He has laid the basis for completely new political philosophy that I try to render explicit. I am convinced that we need to re-discover Heidegger , re-read his writings beyond any form of classifications. He is a kind of metaphysical prophet.
3. Inclusive Bourgeois Civic Nationalism on the Scottish Model offers a better way for dealing with social contradictions like class than ethnic nationalism which just deals with the ethnic other. Civic nationalism offers a framework in which a socialist and communist movement can move forward. Western Ukraine being prime example of self destructive ethnic nationalism.
I think the problem has two levels. First – the ethnic organic societies should be saved from nationalist modernist dictatorship of the Western kind. The Eurasianism is precisely this: traditional sacred religious and spiritual Empire based on organic traditional ethnic societies against bourgeois Nation State and globalization (that is the universalization of the liberal pattern on the world scale). Here on the first level ethnic nationalism can be considered as legitimate part of liberation struggle against imperialism. That is the case of Welsh or Scottish fight today that I fully support.
More than this: I consider legitimate the will of Ukrainians to re-affirm their ethnic identity. But one thing affirmation of identity the other – creation of new bourgeois National State that will necessarily oppress the ethnic minorities. So National State – big or small is never solution.
Here we are coming the second level. The struggle for ethnic historic identity being legitimate it should be placed in correct context. This context should be Sacred and Imperial, not national. Russian Empire was sacred.
I think that the myth of the Sacred Empire of King Arthur can be regarded as celtic project for eschatological unification of the Western Europe. That was the idea of Henry VII that was fully inverted by Henry VIII. So I suggest Red Dragon Empire as a kind of Pan-Celtic vision of the great space that should overcome the context of small ethnic nationalism.
The past has its roots in the eternity. And eternity is always new and fresh. So I consider King Arthur and Holy Grail narrative as something ontologically real.
The English Empire was thallassocratic and merchant, the new Carthage. That was anti-Empire – modernist, capitalist and racist. It was wrong not because of being Empire but because of being anti-Empire. Against it we need to oppose not only ethnic struggle of liberation but alternative continental tellurocratic Empire. Irish, Welsh and Scottish people as well as Brettons and French people should create their proper celtic imperial vision. The figures of the King of biturges Ambigatos or King Arthur can be taken as symbols for this.
So Russian Spring as it is called is not nationalist. It is imperial and spiritual revival of sacred roots of our Eurasian – inclusive, not exclusive! – identity. We are Third Rome. It is our eschatological project. Not narrow nationalism or new kind of imperialism: pluricentric vision that refuses anglosaxon and modernist global Empire but accept plurality of imperial spaces. We don’t want to exchange American domination for Russian one. We are struggling for independent great spaces – Eurasian, European, Celtic, German, North-American, South American, Muslim, Chinese, Indian, African and so on.
So first level – anticolonial struggle on the ethnic ground; the second – positive multipolar vision based on the concept of the pluralility of sacred Empires (great spaces).
4. Mao's theory of knowledge based on knowing through doing (On Practice) and his theory of contradiction (On Contradiction) and Marxism Leninism Maoism offers a better route to knowledge than Heidegger's intuitive knowledge through being.
Mao was right affirming that socialism should be not exclusively proletarian but also peasant and based on the ethnic traditions. It is closer to the truth than universalist industrial internationalist version represented by trotskyism. But I think that sacred part in Maoism was missed or underdeveloped. Its links with Confucianism and Taoism were weak. Maoism is too Modern for me. For China it would be best solution to preserve the socialism and political domination of national-communist party (as today) but develop more sacred tradition – Confucianismand Taoism. It is rather significant that ideas of Heidegger are attentively explored now by hundreds of Chinese scientists. I think Fourth Political Theory could fit to contemporary China best of all.
5. Maoism is the most successful rebasing of Communism in 21st century.
What do you think of Marxism Leninism Maoism has developed by Chairman Gonzalo in Peru and Ganapathy in India and Jose Maria Sison in Philippines ?
All these struggles were synthesis of national and class struggles and are patriotic struggles.
Generally speaking I am rather on favour of such tendencies – anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and directed toward social justice.
But I refuse their materialism, universalism and progressivism.
They could transform in something more close to Fourth Political Theory. The 4PT is based on the Dasein and Tradition. 4PT refuse the Western hegemony and Modernity.
We could collaborate with left and with right, with Maoists or with Evolians but heading always toward new vision.
I appreciate very much the Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Breton struggle for the affirmation of the deep Celtic identity. I am admirer of Celtic culture and history. I consider this the great treasure of Indo-european heritage.
So I think that Celtic front is very important part of our common fight.
Posted by nickglais on 3/26/2015 05:10:00 AM
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
By MALAYA LIBERTAD
As we celebrate the 44th year of the Makabayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA, Patriotic Movement of New Women) wih a lightning rally along Blumentritt Street, Manila, participated by almost one hundred women, we reaffirm our determination to wage the national democratic revolution especially in the face of the failings of the US-Aquino regime. The regime’s putrid and corrupt system that only serves US imperialists, local big landlords, and bureaucrat capitalists deserves to be crushed and put to an end.
We call on all patriotic armed forces of the Aquino government, the brothers-in-arms of the fallen 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) to renounce the traitor and puppet Aquino regime. Benigno Aquino has betrayed you for the pleasure of his imperialist US master. Join the New People’s Army so as to display your genuine service to the Filipino people and to support a national democratic revolution.
The fascist US-Aquino regime’s War on Terror results to more human rights violations against women, children, and their families. Hundreds of thousands of families are displaced due to militarization. Poverty and abuses aggravate. The all-out war in Mindanao, which apparently aims to crush the “terrorists”, has only displayed Aquino’s insincerity to look into the root of conflict in Muslim Mindanao. In the end, it is the marginalized Moro people, especially the women and children, who bear the hardship and oppression caused by this unjust war.
There is no other resolution to this intensifying conflict in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society but to overthrow the ruling classes and wage a people’s war. So we urge every patriotic Filipino to fight for our sovereignty and for our people. Be revolutionaries.
Posted by nickglais on 3/25/2015 08:32:00 AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The cultural and political differences besetting Ukraine are the product of very different patterns of regional settlement. Among these, the settlement of eastern and southern Ukraine stands out, for in these traditionally Russophone regions, political conflict has arisen whenever the legitimacy of Russian culture in Ukraine has been challenged.
Democracy and Class Struggle publish this article by the bourgeois academic Nicolai N. Petro because it provides some necessary background for understanding the situation in the Ukraine and how democratic solutions to its problems may be arrived at.
In particular the call for bourgeois civic nationalism in the Ukraine as opposed to ethnic nationalism is a pre-condition for a Federal democratic settlement of the Ukrainian national question.
In the absence of such civic conditions and with the continued domination of ethnic nationalism in the Western Ukraine the right of self determination and separation is the only democratic alternative for Eastern Ukraine..
A Very Brief History of Russian Settlement
After the destruction of Kiev by Batu Khan in 1240, the land ‘beyond the rapids’ [za porog] of the Dnieper River became a no man’s land disputed by the Kingdom of Muscovy, the Tatar Khanate, and the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom. It is in this region (shown in Figure 1 in yellow) that the political life of the Ukrainian people begins, as the settlers known to history as Cossacks sought to preserve their independence, while defending their traditional Orthodox Christian faith.
One of the earliest distinctions that arose among them is the geographic distinction between those who settled west of the Dnieper River, known as the Right Bank as the river flows, and those who settled east of the river, known as the Left Bank.
The Left Bank, which includes the current regions of Crimea, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkov, Kherson, Lugansk, Odessa, Nikolayevsk, and Zaporozhye, forms a relatively compact ethnic and cultural community that is distinguished by the strong influence of Russian culture, even where the majority of the population defines itself as Ukrainian.
In the eastern regions that supported Viktor Yanukovych in the 2004 elections, for example, the percentage of the population that considered itself ‘Russian’ was only 34.5 percent, but the percentage of those who considered themselves to be primarily ‘Russian speakers’ was 82.1 percent.
The reasons for this heritage can be traced to the four distinct waves of Russian settlement east of the Dnieper River: Slobodskaya Ukraina, Novorossiya, Crimea, and Donbass.
Slobodskaya Ukraina or slobozhanshchina, includes not only the Ukrainian regions of Kharkov and Sumy, but also the regions of Voronezh, Kursk and Belgorod, which are currently part of the Russian Federation.
The name derives from the sloboda, or fort settlements, that the Cossacks established on the left bank of the Dnieper. These were granted considerable local autonomy in exchange for service defending the borders of the Russian Empire. They also benefited from certain tax exemptions and trading privileges. Although their ‘free’ status ended in 1765, when Catherine the Great made the Cossacks into regular soldiers, many of these sloboda prospered and later developed into major Ukrainian cities.
Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city and the capital of the Ukrainian SSR from 1919 to 1934, was the administrative and cultural capital of slobozhanshchina. Its university, the second oldest in the Russian Empire, made it a major Russian cultural centre, as well as a prominent centre for the study of the Ukrainian language.
Novorossiya, a name that gained recent notoriety after it was used by Russian president Putin in April 2014, is actually the historical name of one of the youngest and most ethnically diverse regions of Ukraine.
Incorporated into the Russian Empire as a result of the Russo-Turkish wars of the 18th century, the settlement of this region followed a similar pattern of establishing military forts that eventually became cities, essentially an extension southward of Slobodskaya Ukraina. Since the conquest of Novorossiya added a new coastline to the Russian Empire, however, specific incentives were added to establish new ports and promote trade there.
This is how Odessa, now Ukraine’s third largest city, became the region’s cultural and commercial centre. Its early status as a free port, along with the appointment of foreign administrators, contributed to an aura of cosmopolitanism that attracted large numbers of Jews, Greeks, Armenians, and Italians. By the end of the nineteenth century, it was referred to colloquially as the ‘Southern Capital of the Russian Empire’. Further inland from the coast, Russian rulers encouraged the settlement of Serbians, Bulgarians and Hungarians. Indeed, before the 1917 Revolution, Novorossiya’s two largest administrative districts were known as New Serbia and Slavo-Serbia (ru.wikipedia.org, 2014a). Perceived as a region sympathetic to the Whites during the Russian Civil War, the use of the term Novorossiya was suppressed in Soviet times.
Crimea :Crimea, or Tauridia, is among the oldest recorded settlements along the Black Sea coast. Archaeological records reveal Greek colonies there as far back as the ninth century B.C. Later, the peninsula fell under Scythian, Gothic, and even Genovese control, until it was captured by Ottoman forces in 1475. It was finally taken by Russia in 1783.
Crimea was transferred administratively from the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) only in 1954, and is the only region of Ukraine whose population identifies itself as predominantly ethnic Russian. Along with the status of the indigenous Crimean Tatars, this has been a sore spot throughout the post-Soviet era. Given recent events there, it is worth summarising Crimea’s tense history in independent Ukraine.
In January 1991, as the USSR disintegrated, the Crimean regional government decided to hold a referendum to ‘restore’ Crimean autonomy, abrogated in 1946, and have Crimea recognised as an independent participant of the new Union Treaty being proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev. This opened the door to separating Crimea from the USSR, of which Ukraine was then still a part. Nearly 84% of registered voters participated, and over 93% voted for autonomy (ru.wikipedia.org, 2014b). 12 February 1991 – the parliament of Soviet Ukraine acknowledged this referendum, and in June amended the Ukrainian SSR constitution. On 4 September 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Autonomous Crimean Republic (ACR) proclaimed its sovereignty and declared its intent to create its own democratic state within Ukraine. On 1 December 1991, Crimean residents took part in the Ukrainian independence referendum and 54% voted for Ukraine’s independence from the USSR – the lowest percentage of any region in Ukraine.
On 5 May 1992, the Supreme Soviet of the ACR adopted an ‘Act Proclaiming the State Sovereignty of the Crimean Republic.’ Under pressure from Kiev, it was revoked the next day, but the region nevertheless adopted a Crimean constitution that conflicted with the acting Ukrainian constitution in several key points. Meanwhile, the Russian parliament voted to rescind the 1954 decision transferring Crimea from the jurisdiction of the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.
Over the course of the next several years, relations between the Crimean and Ukrainian governments remained tense. The situation, however, seemed to be resolved when Russia did not respond to Ukraine’s decision in March 1995 unilaterally to revoke the 1992 Crimean constitution. Nevertheless, the situation reignited in early 2014 when street demonstrations in Kiev turned violent (newsru.com, 2014a). The day after President Yanukovych was removed from office, three thousand regional officials from eastern and southern Ukraine gathered in Kharkov, and voted to assume political control in their regions until ‘constitutional order’ was restored in Kiev.
In Crimea, the regional parliament, one of the instigators of this meeting, went even further. It called for a referendum on Crimean autonomy within Ukraine (Rada.crimea.ua, 2014). Kiev responded by putting the Ukrainian military under the direct command of then acting speaker/president Oleksandr Turchynov, who then tried to replace local military commanders and security forces in Crimea. The Crimean authorities then appealed to the resident Russian Black Sea Fleet for assistance in ‘maintaining security.’ On 1 March, citing the threat to Russian citizens, military personnel and compatriots in Crimea, Russian president Putin asked for and received authority to use Russian troops in Ukraine. A week later the Crimean referendum was moved up and the question changed from autonomy within Ukraine to secession with the intent of joining Russia. On 16 March, secession was approved by more than 80% of the population.
The Crimean leadership thus took advantage of the turmoil in Kiev to redress an old grievance – the abrogation of its 1992 Constitution. Russian intervention directly facilitated its ability to hold such referendum, which most international legal experts consider illegal. The Crimean government, however, noted that, in its advisory opinion on Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the International Court of Justice found that ‘there was no general rule – barring declarations of independence, or authorising them for that matter, that these were political acts.’ Since Russia considered holding a referendum was just such a ‘political act,’ and the legitimacy of the government in Kiev was in dispute, it contended that the Crimean government was well within its rights to act (Newsru.com, 2014b).
Donbass is in many ways typical of south central Russia. While other regions of Ukraine were settled due to territorial disputes and conquests, the growth of Donbass is linked to the discovery in 1720 of Europe’s largest coal basin, and the rise of local industry. Until quite recently, the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk contributed nearly 16% of Ukraine’s GDP, and as much as a quarter of its industrial output (Poluneev, 2014).
Another specificity of this region is its periodic uprisings, fed in part by the half million Old Believers that settled in this region during the latter half of the 17th century. The descendants of this famously independent community would later form the backbone of anarchist Nestor Makhno’s ‘Black Army’ (Gazeta.ru, 2014). At the end of the Soviet era, the political activism and initiative shown by the Donbass miners further added to the region’s rebellious image (Kmet, 2014).
For Ukrainian nationalists, however, Donbass is also one of the most ‘Soviet’ and therefore ‘alien’ regions of Ukraine. Bohdan Chervak, the chairman of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, calls it ‘not Ukrainian territory by content’ (Chervak, 2014), and even former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko recently referred to both Crimea and Donbasss as regions ‘where our language practically does not exist, where our memory is nonexistent, where our church is absent, where our culture is absent… utterly foreign lands [de chuzhina chuzhinoyu]’ of which, he insists, ‘not a single clump of earth’ may ever be surrendered (Ukrainska pravda, 2014).
The solution most often proposed to this conundrum is to re-educate the local population into a proper appreciation of their ostensibly suppressed Ukrainian identity, a process that Donetsk University professor Elena Styazhkina euphemistically calls ‘positive, peaceful colonisation’ (Fakty.ua, 2014).
The Significance of the Past for the Present
These regions all rose to prominence as a direct result of the growth and expansion of the Russian Empire, and this fact has had a lasting impact on their identity.
First, the historical-cultural pattern of eastern Ukraine is bicultural. This Other Ukraine has developed a self-sustaining regional identity where both Russian and Ukrainian interact freely, and are interchangeable. It is interesting to note that, whereas in the Ukrainian constitution only the Ukrainian language is considered official, in the constitution proposed for the rebellious Donetsk People’s Republic, both Russian and Ukrainian are declared official languages (Komsomolskaya pravda, 2014).
Second, this territory is a border region, distinct from both Moscow and Kiev. This can be seen in the Other Ukraine’s version of Cossack mythology. While Ukrainian nationalists see the Cossacks as underscoring Ukraine’s distinctiveness from Russia, the Other Ukraine emphasises a different aspect of this myth – the Cossack defence of the Russian Empire and traditional Orthodox religion (Hillis, 2013).
Finally, there is the remarkably stable voting pattern displayed by the Other Ukraine since 1994. Critics often attribute it to Soviet-era nostalgia, but it is better understood as a yearning for Soviet-era cosmopolitanism, which is more reflective of their identity. It manifests itself in the visceral rejection of the ethnic nationalism that is popular in regions of western Ukraine like Galicia, and in the affirmation of a Ukrainian identity that is inextricably linked to Russian culture, if not to Russian politics.
It is therefore no surprise that the country’s political divisions have followed these historical patterns. Voting patterns in Donbass and Crimea stand out as being nearly the converse of those in Galicia (Kucheriva Fund, 2014). By contrast, voters in Slobozhanshchina and the inland parts of Novorossiya (Left Bank Ukraine) tend to be only marginally more pro-Russian, while the traditional areas of the Cossack hetmanate (Right Bank Ukraine) are marginally more supportive of integral Ukrainian nationalism.
These patterns re-emerged in both the 2004 and 2014 Maidan movements. As Mark Beissinger notes, participants in the Orange Revolution of 2004 were eight times more likely to be from western Ukraine, and 92 percent claimed Ukrainian as their native language. By contrast, their opponents were overwhelmingly from the East, primarily from Donetsk, and three times more likely to speak Russian at home. ‘Quite literally,’ he concludes, ‘Orange revolutionaries and opponents of the revolution “spoke different languages” in their everyday lives’ (Beissinger, 2014).
The same pattern re-emerged in 2014. Surveys of the Euromaidan in late December and early February revealed that 81 percent and 88 percent of protestors, respectively, came from outside Kiev, a largely Russian-speaking city (Tyazhlov, 2014). Given that 82 percent of the protestors communicated in Ukrainian – it is very likely that they came overwhelmingly from the western regions, where support for the protests reached 80 percent, as opposed to only 30 percent in the East and 20 percent in the South (Andreyev, 2014).
Sharply critical assessments of the Maidan movement persist in the Other Ukraine to this day. A survey of eight Russophone regions conducted 8-16 April 2014 (Zerkalo nedeli, 2014) by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology found that:
- Two-thirds of Donbass residents saw the Right Sector as ‘a prominent military formation that is politically influential and poses a threat to the citizens and national unity’;
- Most people in eastern and southern Ukraine (62 percent) blamed the loss of Crimea on the government in Kiev, rather than on Crimean separatists (24 percent) or on Russia (19 percent);
- 60 percent of those polled in Donetsk, and 52 percent in Lugansk, disagreed with the view that Russia is organising the rebels and guiding their actions;
- While 70 percent did not support secession, in April, only 25 percent wanted to join the EU, while 47 percent preferred the Russia-led Customs Union.
A follow up poll of all Ukrainian regions, conducted 12-21 September 2014 (Kucheriva Fund, 2014), confirmed the vast gulf that exists between popular attitudes in Donbass and western Ukraine. Thus, in answer to the question of whether Russia is responsible for the bloodshed and deaths of people in eastern Ukraine, only 19.1% of Donbass residents responded ‘yes’ (definitely or probably), while 62.8% said ‘no’ (definitely or probably). In western Ukraine, by contrast, 81.6% responded ‘yes’ (definitely or probably), while only 15.8% responded ‘no’ (definitely or probably).
A direct comparison of the same questions in both surveys provides some insight into the impact that six months of fighting (April to September) have had on local public opinion. Among the surprising conclusions:
- Fewer people in Donbass today believe this is a war between Russia and Ukraine than at the outset of hostilities (19.4% compared to 28.2%);
- More now feel that Russia is justified in defending the interests of Russophone citizens in eastern Ukraine (50.9% compared to 47% say ‘yes’; 8.1% compared to 33.4% say ‘no’);
- The percentage favouring separation from Ukraine has jumped dramatically, from 27.5% to 42.1%, mainly at the expense of the undecided.
In sum, the military campaign has entrenched views on both sides. Western Ukrainians are now more convinced than ever that there is a Russian invasion, and that Ukraine ought to remain a unitary state, with Ukrainian as the only one official language. Eastern Ukrainians, by contrast, are now more convinced that the fault for this crisis lies in Kiev, that the Russian language ought to have equal status with Ukrainian (at least in their regions), and are now more receptive to the idea of separating from Ukraine.
A follow-up survey by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, conducted 6-17 December 2014 (Zerkalo nedeli, 2014b), confirms the pattern. EU membership continues to be seen very differently, with only a quarter of residents of the portions of Donbass under Kievan control favouring EU membership, and nearly twice as many opposing it. In the Western regions of Ukraine, by contrast, 89.3% are in favour of EU membership and only 5.7% against.
In the Western regions of Ukraine, half (51.4%) have a positive view of the Ukrainian army’s volunteer combatants. This figure falls to 24.1% in the South, 19.1% in the East, and 8.2% in the portions of Donbass now under Kievan control. Another telling indication of just how deeply regional differences are ingrained is a comparison of how the main events of 2014 are perceived in Donbass and the Western regions (Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Volyn, Roven, Khmelnitsk, Transcarpathia, and Chernovtsy).
The following table shows the percentage within each district that named a given event the “most important of the passing year” (multiple answers were possible), followed by its rank within that district, and the percentage divergence between the two. The original wording used to describe the event was preserved.
We see that, while there is broad agreement that casualties in Donbass and Russian protection of Crimea are key events, there is much less consensus about the significance of Russian troops in Donbass. This is no doubt due to the considerable uncertainty inside Donbass as to the precise nature of Russian involvement there. Meanwhile, the deaths of the Heavenly Hundred, the signing of the EU association agreement, and proclamation of the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics are already being mythologised very differently in the different parts of Ukraine.
If these historical patterns have been stable for so long, why did fighting erupt only now? Because the peremptory removal of president Yanukovych violated the delicate balance of interests forged between Galicia and Donbass. It was thus seen as a direct threat to the core interest of Russophone Ukrainians. Only after Yanukovych’s ouster do we begin to see a popular shift in the Other Ukraine from passive rejection of the Maidan, to outright rebellion in Crimea and Donbass. By mid-April, two-thirds of Donbass residents said they regard the Maidan as ‘an armed overthrow of the government, organised by the opposition with the assistance of the West’ (Zerkalo nedeli, 2014). Such sentiments have now been hardened by thousands of combat and civilian casualties.
But, as Ukraine’s Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov notes, war can have a salutary ‘cleansing’ effect (Avakov, 2014). There are now six million fewer Russophone Ukrainians under Ukrainian government control (not counting refugees). The previous balance of power among regions has thus been radically altered. This has encouraged some to argue that the centuries old cultural mixture that has characterised Ukraine now has a chance to be replaced by the triumph of western Ukrainian nationalism.
There are a few problems with this scenario, however:
- Overt discrimination against Russian culture is likely to lead to resentment among Russophone Ukrainians who, even with the loss of Crimea and possibly portions of Donbass, will constitute no less than a third of the population;
- Efforts to ban Russian cultural imports and curtail Russian cultural influence run into the problem that the Russian language is still widely preferred in daily usage, especially in large cities (Ukrainska pravda, 2014);
- President Putin stated in November that he will not allow ‘all political opposition’ to the current Ukrainian government to be eradicated (Govorit Moskva, 2014).
Most proposals for ending the current crisis have proved to be of limited value because they tend to overlook the deep historical and cultural roots of the conflict. Both the government in Kiev and opposition leaders in Donbass are pursuing a zero-sum game, when what is needed is a mutually respectful solution. One approach that might help is that of the Copenhagen School of Security Studies, which suggests that Ukraine’s security can be enhanced by treating national identity as a shared security concern.
According to the Copenhagen School, the most profound security challenge that nations face today involves not sovereignty, but identity – specifically, the identity of the cultural subgroups that make up a society and whose cohesion and loyalty are essential for society’s (and the state’s) survival. State security could thus be significantly enhanced by satisfying, rather than suppressing, the cultural demands of minorities (Petro, 2009).
The fact that the Russian-speaking minority within Ukraine has a powerful external patron only makes this solution more attractive. Putin’s only two demands for Ukraine, stated in his interview of 4 March 2014, are: (1) that the population in the East and the South be safe, and (2) that they be part of the political process (Petro, 2014).
By embracing the Russian language and culture as legitimate aspects of Ukrainian identity, Ukraine could thus allay Russia’s concerns, while at the same time neutralising its popular support within the Other Ukraine. This would also have the salutary effect of shifting the discourse of Ukrainian patriotism away from its current obsession with “our language” and “our identity,” toward the inclusive civic patriotism that is more common in western Europe and the United States.
Acknowledging the obvious reality that Ukraine is, at its heart, bilingual and bicultural, might finally allow Ukrainians to deal with domestic issues in ways that build loyalty to the state, rather than further divide the Ukrainian nation.
*Maps of Donbass, Crimea, Novorossiya and Slobodskaya Ukraina taken from http://reconsideringrussia.org/2014/05/15/historical-geography-of-ukraine/ (Accessed: 15 February 2015).
Andreyev, O. (2014) ‘Power and money in Ukraine,’ Open Democracy, 12 February. Available at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/oleksander-andreyev/power-and-money-in-ukraine (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Avakov, A. (2014) ‘V eti paru dnei mnogo govoril s nashimi. . .,’ Facebook, 22 June. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/arsen.avakov.1/posts/657281451028631 (Accessed: 25 June 2014).
Beissinger, M. (2014) ‘Why We Should be Sober About the Long Term Prospects of Stable Democracy in Ukraine,’ Washington Post, 11 March. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/03/11/why-we-should-be-sober-about-the-long-term-prospects-of-stable-democracy-in-ukraine/ (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Chervak, B. (2014) ‘Stanet li Donbas Ukrainskim?’ Ukrainskaya pravda, 10 July. Available at: http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/columns/2014/07/10/7031364/ (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Fakty.ua (2014) ‘Professor DonNU Elena Styazhkina: ‘Donbas ne vernetsya v Ukrainy potomu chto Donbas ne sushchestvuyet’,’ 6 November. Available at: http://fakty.ua/190599-elena-styazhkina-Donbas-ne-vernetsya-v-ukrainu-potomu-chto-Donbasa-ne-sucshestvuet (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Gazeta.ru (2014) ‘O teorii i istorii anarkhizma rasskazyvaet doctor nauk Aleksandr Shubin,’ 9 June. Available at: http://www.gazeta.ru/science/2014/06/09_a_6064065.shtml (Accessed:12 December 2014).
Govorit Moskva (2014) ‘Mosksa ne pozvolit Kievu unichtozhit’ svoikh opponentov v Donbase, zayavil Putin,’ 15 November. Available at: http://govoritmoskva.ru/news/19114/ (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Hillis, F. (2013) Children of Rus’: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation. New York: Cornell University Press.
Kmet, S. (2014) ‘Pravda Shaktera,’ Ukrainskaya pravda, 11 December. Available at: http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/articles/2014/12/11/7047109/view_print/ (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Komsomolskaya pravda (2014), ‘Konstitutsiia Donetskoi respubliki: Dva yazyka, federalism i pravoslavie,’ 17 May. Available at: http://www.kp.ru/daily/26232.7/3114454/ (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Kucheriva Fund (2014) ‘Stavlennya naselennya do podii na Donbasi,’ 21 September. Available at: http://www.dif.org.ua/ua/events/stavlennjcina-miru.htm (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Newsru.com (2014a) ‘Ne menee 85% krymchan namereny uchastvovat’ v referendum,’ 11 March. Available at: http://newsru.com/world/11mar2014/opros.html (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Newsru.com (2014b) ‘Na referendume zhiteli Kryma reshat, voidet li avtonomiya v RF,’ 6 March. Available at: http://newsru.com/world/06mar2014/crimea.html#2 (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Petro, N. N. (2009) ‘The Cultural Basis of European Security: Analysis and Implication for Ukraine,’ Sotsial’na ekonomika [published by the Kharkiv National University in Ukrainian, Russian, and English], No.1, pp. 35-41
Petro, N. N. (2014) ‘West Needs to Decide Which Is More Important: Punishing Russia or Preserving the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine,’ Valdai Discussion Club, 11 March. Available at: http://valdaiclub.com/near_abroad/67320.html (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
Poluneev, Y. (2014) ‘Desyat’ shokiv Ukrainy (Part I)’ Ekonomichna pravda, 12 December. Available at: http://www.epravda.com.ua/publications/2014/12/12/512627/view_print/&usg=ALkJrhizeiv1mTxjFgfZ3IW20aP_Wjjirw (Accessed: 15 December 2014).
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Zerkalo nedeli (2014a) ‘Mnenie i vzglyady zhitelei Yugo-Vostoka Ukrainy: Aprel’ 2014,’ 18 April. Available at: http://zn.ua/article/print/UKRAINE/mneniya-i-vzglyady-zhiteley-yugo-vostoka-ukrainy-aprel-2014-143598_.html (Accessed: 12 December 2014).
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Posted by nickglais on 3/24/2015 05:56:00 AM
Laurie died in battle in 1976, but her spirit and her ideals live on. MAKIBAKA espouses liberation in the context of the national liberation struggle... the full liberation of women will come when the Filipino people will have overthrown the yoke of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
By CONI K. LEDESMA
Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA)
22 March 2015
Utrecht, the Netherlands
Good afternoon, dear sisters, comrades and friends.
My talk this afternoon will focus on a Filipina revolutionary and her contribution to the national democratic movement, and the women's movement as a whole. I will talk about Maria Lorena Barros or Laurie, as she was popularly known.
Laurie was an anthropology student at the University of the Philippines in the mid 1960s. This was the time when students became aware of the political situation in the country, and imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism were recognized as the basic problems of Philippine society.
This was the period of political awakening of the Filipino people, when widespread protests in Metro Manila against the administration of Ferdinand Marcos were taking place. The nationalist struggle had been dormant since the 1950s. This ferment would lead to a frenzy of organizing among students, community youth, workers and farmers. Students and workers demonstrated against the Marcos government and exposed the basic problems of the Filipino people.
There were demonstrations against the raising of tuition fees, support for workers on strike, and demonstrations against the Vietnam war. Police brutality in response to the demonstrations resulted in more demonstrations.
Student organizations like the Kabataang Makabayan (KM, Patriotic Youth) and other organizations drew in men and women into their organizations.
It was during this period that Laurie became a student activist.
As Laurie got more deeply involved as an activist, she and other women began to discuss the role of women in the national democratic struggle. The youth organizations, like Kabataang Makabayan, had a women's bureau. But Laurie and the other women activists saw the need for a specific organization for women in order to fight not only against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, but also to fight for women's emancipation and to draw in women – who hold up half the sky – to participate in the struggle.
Theoretical and concrete practical work related to women's issues were very limited in the other organizations. Laurie saw the importance of a women's organization to define the role of women in the struggle and to draw in the largest participation of women.
Initially, the need for establishing a women’s organization separate from the youth organizations was questioned, saying that such an organization would divide the ranks.
However, Laurie clarified the ideological line, saying that a woman’s organization would specifically address the women’s issues in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial and patriarchal Philippine society.
Through a women's organization, the women’s struggle would become ideologically more revolutionary than their precursors, in that they would fight not only against Marcos, but also address the structural inequality in Philippine society.
A women's organization was important because it would articulate the women’s question within the broader framework of national and class oppression. In addition, it would draw in and organize women into the ranks of the revolutionary forces.
In April 1970, an all women's group called Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababihan (Free Movement of New Women) or MAKIBAKA was born. Laurie was its Founding Chairperson.
The establishment of MAKIBAKA is a major landmark in the history of the women's movement in the Philippines. It articulated the oppression suffered by women and the need for women's liberation through participation in the nationalist struggle.
MAKIBAKA brought together women activists who espoused women's liberation in the context of national liberation. Women from various national democratic organizations joined MAKIBAKA.
MAKIBAKA's first all-women activity was a picket of a major beauty contest. This initial activity was significant not only because it was an all women's activity, but because it raised for the first time a woman-specific issue – the commodification of women through beauty contests. This was a concern never before addressed by the national democratic movement.
As MAKIBAKA developed, so too their activities. There was the picket of the UP Corps of Sponsors to protest the militarization of the University campus, the establishment of the National Democratic Nursery and the Mothers’ Corps, and the support for the worker’s strike at the US Tobacco Corporation. The members also held teach-ins and discussion groups where they discussed national and women’s issues, visited political prisoners, paid homage to revolutionary martyrs, and rallied against the high prices. During this time, Lorena was writing essays and short articles on the women’s situation and the emancipation of women.
In the two and a half years of its existence before the declaration of Martial Law by the late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, MAKIBAKA membership grew. Women became conscious of their double oppression, and experienced the liberating effects of participating in a national struggle as they involved themselves in performing general and specific tasks for the revolution.
Why is the founding of MAKIBAKA an important milestone in the history of the women's movement in the Philippines?
Our history tells us that from as far back as during Spanish colonization, into American colonization and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, women have participated in the struggles for national liberation. We have great women like Gabriela Silang who, when her husband was killed in battle, took his place and led her troops in the war against Spain.
There were the women of Samar who, during the Philippine-American war, danced and flirted with the American soldiers, getting them drunk, and then that night, together with their male comrades, killed all the American soldiers.
There was Joey Guerrero, a woman who had leprosy, who used her illness to slip through Japanese lines to bring messages and food to the guerrilla fighters.
So why is MAKIBAKA a major landmark in the history of the women's movement in the Philippines? MAKIBAKA espouses women's liberation in the context of the national liberation struggle. It states that women not only suffer from the oppressive and exploitative situation of the country, but that women suffer the double oppression of gender oppression. And that the full liberation of women will only come when the Filipino people will have overthrown the yoke of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Its main task is to draw in as many women to the revolution.
Laurie used to say, “The Filipino woman's place is in the struggle”. This is quite unlike the old saying, “The woman's place is in the home”!
When the Dictator Marcos declared Martial Law in September 1972, MAKIBAKA members, as well as activists and members of various national democratic organizations, went underground. That means, activists went out of sight. But this did not mean they went into hiding and just hid. Many, including Laurie, went to the countryside and joined the New People's Army. Out of sight of the fascist military, the women and men of the national democratic movement continued to organize and the national democratic movement grew in leaps and bounds.
In October 1973, a year after Martial Law was declared, Laurie was arrested, tortured and imprisoned. While in prison, she learned that her husband, and the father of her son, had surrendered to the Marcos military. Sometime later, she escaped from prison together with five other companions and rejoined the New People's Army in the area where her husband had been active before he surrendered. This was her wish: That she would take his place and fight in his stead.
On March 24,1976, an encounter took place and Laurie was wounded. She ordered her other companions to retreat while she covered for them. The story is that when the soldiers came to her, she tried to shoot them but her gun jammed. She is supposed to have said, “You are lucky gentlemen, my gun jammed.”
Laurie died in battle in 1976. But her spirit and her ideals live on. MAKIBAKA, which went underground with the declaration of Martial Law, became one of the founding organizations of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. It is a very active organization in the NDFP.
Most of its members are peasant women in the countryside. But there are also MAKIBAKA members in the cities, among women's organizations, and in the communities. In places where MAKIBAKA members are, they awaken the consciousness of women to the analysis of Philippine society, the double oppression they suffer as women, and enjoin them to participate in the struggle to liberate themselves. MAKIBAKA defines the women's movement in the Philippines as distinct but integral part to the national democratic movement.
Let me conclude my talk with a quote from the writings of Laurie Barros:
“The new woman, the new Filipina, is first and foremost a militant.
The new Filipina is one who can stay whole days and nights with striking workers, learning from them the social realities which her bourgeois education has kept from her. She is a woman who has discovered the exalting realm of responsibility, a woman fully engaged in the making of history. No longer is she a woman for marriage, but more and more a woman for action.”
Today, MAKIBAKA continues to live the dream of Maria Lorena Barros.
Posted by nickglais on 3/24/2015 03:35:00 AM
Sunday, March 22, 2015
"You can pick all the flowers, but you will never be able to stop the advance of spring." March 23rd 2015 Indefinite Hunger Strike begins by Maoist Political Prisoners in Morocco
Moroccan Spring Flowers
Communicated to the national and international opinion,indefinite hunger strike conducted by the group of political prisoners and Aziz Aziz Elkhalfawi Elbour, in local prisons Boulmharez and Oudaia Marrakech
We continue our struggle in local prisons Boulmharez and Oudaia Marrakech against catastrophic realities in which we live and to face the systematic refusal of the prison administration to meet our claims made, and despite several hunger strikes that we conducted.
We also denounce harassment and daily threats we face every day inside our prisons - whether in the form of insults, bullying, physical assault made by guards, officials, directors and presidents of our prisons.
We Maoist political prisoners have decided to engage in a new stage of resistance by conducting a fresh indefinite hunger strike for the group of Aziz Elkhalfawi and another three days for the group of renewable Aziz Elbour if necessary.
These strikes will begin Monday, March 23, 2015 in memory of the glorious uprising of March 23, 1965; and there, we seek to impose our just and legitimate demands within the prison.
Our demands are:
Our release and that of all political prisoners unconditionally
The abandonment of the charges and proceedings from scratch mounted against us
The dropping of charges against our comrades unconditionally
The abandonment of the University of militarization and the complete abandonment of the Tripartite circular.-
Authorization of access for our families, for students and for all those who want to visit us throughout the week.- I
Improving diets, the right and access to care, health and hygiene
The provision of books and free access to reference books, newspapers and all that contribute to the study.-
Authorization to enroll in bachelor's, master's and the vocational license.-
Authorization of a free phone use to communicate with the outside.-
Authorization for walks on adequate and proper time.
consolidation of political prisoners in one prison and in the same cells.-
The end of harassment and all measures having abuses we face everyday.Finally, we report on a national and international opinion our full solidarity:-
With all the struggles of the Moroccan people in all its components (workers, peasants, students, pupils, unemployed ...).-
With all political prisoners throughout the country and abroad.
We strongly condemn:
- Repression and solitary confinement experienced by our families, the National Union of Students of Morocco, activists of the movement of February 20 and all democratic activists.
- Abuses and restrictions faced by union and political freedoms in Morocco.
Finally, we declare our determination to continue the struggle inside prison by all means at our disposal to achieve our true and accurate claims and we bear full responsibility for what may happen to us in prison management and the reactionary regime.
"You can pick all the flowers, but you will never be able to stop the advance of spring."
LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLE OF STUDENT MOVEMENT!
LONG LIVE THE MOROCCAN REVOLUTION!
Long live the World proletarian revolution.
LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM!
Group Aziz Elkhalfawi:Aziz Elkhalfawi - n ° 2375 (Oudaia)Radwan Aladimi - n ° 2376 (Ouadhias)Group Aziz Elbour:Aziz Elbour - n ° 12679 (Tiznit prison)Mohammed Almouaddine - n ° 21409 (Boulmharez)Hicham Almiskini - No. 21 415 (Boulmharez)Abdelhak Atalhaoui - No. 21 853 (Boulmharez)Marrakesh, 21/03/2015
Democracy and Class Struggle appeals to comrades to support our Moroccan Brothers and Sisters.
Posted by nickglais on 3/22/2015 03:38:00 AM