Monday, March 30, 2009

Prime Minister Prachanda in Norway



Prime Minister Prachanda, who arrived in Norway on Sunday for a week-long Nordic trip, on Monday said that Nepal’s peace process would come to a logical conclusion in four to five months.

Prime Minister Prachanda shakes hands with Norwegian Prime Minister

Talking to Nepali and foreign journalists at the press conference,Prachanda said, “Since there are no differences on major issues among major political parties, we will be able to conclude the process in four to five months.” He said the coalition government was working to facilitate the integration and rehabilitation (of Maoist combatants) so as to take the peace process to a logical conclusion.

“The basis of integration and rehabilitation has already been laid,” he added.

Saying that Nepal’s “home-grown and unique” peace process could be a model to solve conflicts in South Asia, Prachanda also thanked Norway for its support throughout the process. He added, “We still need support of international community to move forward as we have many challenges ahead.”

He also told the media that the Constituent Assembly is most inclusive representative body Nepal ever had -- with substantial representation from ethnic and marginalised groups along with 33 percent women.

Saying that sustainable peace is not possible without economic prosperity, PM Prachanda called for more support from international community including Norway. “Drafting of the new constitution according peoples’ aspiration should go along with economic development,” he said.

He also mentioned that the government and the parties were committed to fundamental principles of democracy. “All the major parties including Maoists are committed to multiparty democracy, rule of law and human rights.”

Terming his Norway visit as "continuation of decades-old friendship", the PM said the visit would focus on enhancing hydropower development, bilateral cooperation in various sectors and other issues of mutual interest.

Speaking at the press conference Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim, descried Nepal’s peace process as “one of the most successful peace processes” and reiterated support of Norway to Nepal’s peace process, preparations for the new Constitution, economic development, education, energy and hydroelectricity, among others. Minister Solheim is hosting the Nepal PM’s visit.

PM Prachanda met his Norwegian counterpart, Jens Stolltenberg today. The meeting dwelled mainly on issues relating to Nepal's peace process, Norwegian support for peace and development, it is learnt. He will also have an audience with the King Harald V of Norway.

PM is also scheduled to visit the Solbergfoss hydroelectric power station in Østfold county, according to press release posted on Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s website.

The Maoist-led coalition government has already unveiled an ambitious plan to generate 10,000 MW of electricity within the next 10 years so as to boost social, economic and development progress.

Norway is one of the major foreign donor for Nepal and has been assisting in the peace process here. Norwegian development assistance to Nepal has increased significantly in recent years and amounted to about NOK 260 million in 2008. Priority areas of Norwegian assistance include education, energy and good governance, reports say. PM Stoltenberg and minister Solheim had visited Nepal in 2008.

Meanwhile, PM Prachanda , who embarked on the Nordic trip on Saturday with a 19-member delegation, will also Finland on Wednesday.

In Finland, he is schedule to meet his counterpart Matii Vanhanene, Presdent Tarja Halonen and other political leaders. He will fly back to Kathmandu on April 4. nepalnews.com Mar 30 09

Democracy and Class Struggle welcomes Prachanda in Europe and wishes him success in his negotiations on education and energy and good governance in Norway.

Let him also be reminded that Norway has some of the best Maoists in Europe in Serve the People.

Visit : http://tjen-folket.no/

Sunday, March 29, 2009

FM Bhattarai comes down heavily on Judiciary and Army


Senior leader of the Unified CPN (Maoist) and Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has warned failure to democratise judiciary and the army could jeopardize the republic set up of Nepal.

Speaking at a programme organised by his party in Parvat Saturday, Bhattarai said many senior army officials still have a soft corner for monarchy. We tried to relieve unscrupulous royalist generals, but they got themselves reinstated by taking the judiciary in their hands, Annapurna Post quoted him as saying.

The judiciary is rolling back all our decisions, which shows there is politics involved even in Judiciary, Bhattarai added. There is no body above the people in democracy. Army and judiciary should be democratised so that people have control over them, he said.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

G20 Protests in London have started



PM Prachanda leaves for weeklong Europe tour - Norway and Finland


Prime Minister Prachanda left for a week-long visit to Norway and Finland Saturday.

The PM left for Norway at 5 pm by a special flight. Ministers, leaders of the PM's party, Unified CPN (Maoist), security chiefs, foreign envoys and government officials were present at the Tribhuvan International Airport to see him off.

PM's 19-member entourage includes his wife Sita, son Prakash, who is a computer operator at the PM's personal secretariat, and business leaders and government officials.

The government delegation includes chief secretary Dr Bhoj Raj Ghimire, PM's foreign affair advisor Hira Bahadur Thapa, foreign secretary Gyan Chandra Acharya, media advisor Om Sharma, chief of protocol Arun Dhital and joint secretary at the foreign ministry Pradhyumna Bikram Shah. Likewise, three security personnel - Lt Col. Arun Pal, Major Sunil Singh Rathor and DSP Ram Chandra Bhandari and PM's personal physician Dr Arun Sayami are also traveling with him.

Representatives of business community including FNCCI president Kush Kumar Joshi, president of Federation of NRN Association, Upendra Mahato, chairman of Himalayan Bank, Manoj Bahadur Shrestha, chairman of Global Bank Limited, Chandra Dhakal, and water resources expert Gyanendra Lal Pradhan are also participating in the visit.

PM Prachanda will meet his Norwegian and Finnish counterparts, senior government officials and business leaders during the visit. An agreement on development aid is expected to be signed between Norway and Nepal.

Meanwhile, before flying to Norway PM Prachanda held a meeting with leaders of five ruling parties and two opposition parties - Nepali Congress and Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting held at the Unified CPN-M's Parliamentary Party office in Singha Durbar, Prachanda claimed that he was embarking on the Nordic trip after wining the confidence of the parties.

He said the visit would be focused primarily on garnering support from Norway and Finland in hydropower and 'wind energy' development to address Nepal's energy crisis.

Alain Badiou on Hardtalk

Friday, March 27, 2009

Maoist Rebel News Friday March 27th 2009

PM confers with Defence Minister, army chief on retirement row


Shortly before a meeting of the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC), Prime Minister Prachanda held discussions with Defence Minster Ram Bahadur Thapa and Chief of the Army Staffs (CoAS) Rookmangud Katwal on Friday.

The discussion concentrated on controversy surrounding the ministry's decision not to extend the terms of eight Brigadier Generals and the Supreme Court interim order to revoke the decision. They are also learnt to have discussed the formation of the technical committee under the AISC.

PM Prachanda is learnt to have requested Thapa and Katwal to help ease tension between the government and the army.

The AISC later today is scheduled to finalise the team of technical committee which will carry out the integration and rehabilitation process of the Maoist combatants.

Though the Generals have returned to work after the court order, the Defence Ministry has filed a petition to scrap the ruling

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

End of Transitional Period ?


Red Star reporter

Eleven months have been passed since the election of Constituent Assembly. Nine months since the declaration of Republic of Nepal and a few months since the formation of the Maoist-led government have been passed. The period of writing a new constitution has already been declared only for 2 and half years.

The members of Constituent Assembly are in the villages for collecting suggestions to write the new constitution. They are in the campaign to visit people door-to-door and requesting them for suggestions by providing them the sheets of questions. Big mass gatherings are being held even in the remote villages for the collection of oral suggestions. However, the analysts are complaining that the issue of drafting constitution and state restructuring is not given priority.

The demands of the Tharu, indigenous community have been addressed and people are in hopefully open their eye-lids. However, former king Gyanendra is in Delhi visit. The leader of the opposition party Nepali Congress, Girija Prasad Koirala and the leader of the coalition party UML Khadka Oli have visited India in the name of medical check.

Delhi visit of the status quo and regressive elements has roused the suspicion among Nepalese people. On the other hand, the issue of army-recruitment has not given good impact among the people and the issue has not been cool down. The Attorney General has publicly spoken that the issue of army-recruiting is the disobeying of the directive of the government. They are logically justifying that the illegal act of recruiting.

Indeed, there is struggle in between two different class, ideology and tendency about utilizing the transition period for their own interest. The regressive are trying to regain their 'lost heaven'. Delhi, visit of Former King Gyanendra is directly related with it and he is requesting Indian government for its helping hand. He has been the guest of the most disputed leader Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat State of India.

The senior most Leader of Unified CPN-Maoist Dr Baburam Bhattarai has said that "Former King Gyanendra is crying for help to declare his grand son a 'baby king'. He is crying for help with the regressive and status quo forces of Nepal'. GP Koirala is making a campaign against the Maoist-led government with the help of Indian leaders in Delhi. Anti-Maoist leader KP Oli is making campaign against the government after returning Nepal from Delhi. The Nepalese media have repeatedly published the new on the visit of Delhi even by the Nepal Army officers.

Has the transition period really ended? Most of the people and analysts are asking this question. The instability in the country and continuous interference of foreign power will not be in favour of Nepal and Nepalese people. The activities of anti-people power have clearly indicated the situation of inevitability conflict and encounter.

The movements inside the country along with the obstacles in the ongoing tasks of the government to address the aspiration and expectation of the people have provided a fertile ground for the outer intervention. The foreign reactionary powers of India and America are in search of opportunity to bring the Maoist-led government to anti-nation and anti-people treaty.

The analysts say, "The Indian government can take more benefit from putting Maoist-led government in power than replacing it from the power. It is a known fact that the Indian government is always taking disadvantages from the newly formed government; whether it is from revolution or people's movement. Now, India is hatching conspiracies to make a new anti-nation treaty through the creation of a big pressure. Because, India knows Nepali Congress or CPN UML can not run the government due to their lack of faith and minority vote."

PM Prachanda says his party is committed to multiparty system




Prime Minister and chairman of Unified CPN (Maoist)Prachanda has reiterated his party’s commitments to multiparty political system, adding that his party believes in multi-party system in socialism as well.

Speaking at the Constitutional Committee of the Constituent Assembly Wednesday morning, PM DahalPrachanada said his party will always remain against imperialism and feudalism.

He claimed Nepal has been facing inhibition and suppression from foreign powers though the country seems to remain as an independent and sovereign country. Claiming that Nepal is currently passing through the state of semi-colonialism, PM Prachanda stressed on the need to strengthen sovereignty and national integrity through the new constitution that the constituent assembly is to draft this year.

PM Prachanda on the occassion handed over the suggestions for new constitution on behalf of his party.

The committee has invited top leaders of the four big political parties to get their party-view on the constitution after the parties did not submit their suggestions by the time frame as prescribed by the committee earlier

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to reinstate the eight Generals of the Nepal Army on Tuesday.


After first day’s hearing of the writ filed by the generals whose tenure was not extended by the coalition government, the one-member bench of the Justice Kalyan Shrestha issued an interim order in the name of government to reinstate the generals.

Failing to get their term extended, the army officials reached Supreme Court on Sunday saying that government decision was illegal.

The SC verdict says the government decision not to the extend terms for the army generals did not complete legal procedures.

The order would remain as final verdict of the court unless government supplies sufficient reasons to prove that its decision completed all legal procedures, lawyers say.

Democracy and Class Struggle says now the Judiciary has weighed in against the UCPN Maoist led Government in support of the Nepal Army and against the Ministry of Defence.

We also have evidence of Government bureaucrats like the Nepali Ambassador to the UK underming the policy of the Government.


The Judiciary the Nepal Army and the Bureaucratic apparatus of The Nepali State are throwing down challeges to the Maoist led government and Koirala is racheting up the anti Maoist rhetoric - it is time for the UCPN Maoist to seize the initiative and smash this rotten Nepali State apparatus before it destroys them and their government.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Letters to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, 2005-2008


Important documents to understand developments in Nepal from the Revolutionary Communist Party USA. Read them here :

http://revcom.us/index.html

The main charges against the Prachanda/Bhattarai leadership of UCPN Maoist by the RCPUSA are centrism and eclecticism.

From an initial reading of the RCPUSA documents ,while we do not agree with some of the minor issues raised by the RCPUSA ,we agree with the main thrust of the RCPUSA that the UCPN Maoist is following a centrist line under Prachanda and Bhattarai and we look to the UCPN Maoist leaders like Gujarel and Kiran to correct this line. The charge of eclecticism against Prachanda and Bhattarai is also well argued and we feel is basically correct.

However we invite readers to study these documents themselves and reach their own conclusions and tell us their opinions on these important documents. Here are some defintions of terms used :

Centrism : The term used for tendencies in the radical movement which stand or oscilate between reformism, which is the position of the labor bureaucracy and the labor aristocracy, and Marxism, which expresses the historic interests of the working class.

Since a centrist tendency has no independent social base, it must be evaluated in terms of its origins, internal dynamic, and the direction it is being pushed towards by events


Eclecticism :Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.

For a Printable File of the documents of RCPUSA with thanks to Mike Ely and RCPUSA go here :

http://mikeely.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/letters.pdf

Koirala says 'real war' has just begun


"The real war has just started and it will be for democracy. The Maoists have only won the first round of a battle. It should not befool itself thinking that it has won the entire war," he said speaking to a select group of journalists at his residence in Biratnagar where he has gone to take a break from his busy schedule in Kathmandu.

The former Prime Minister, however, said that his party might consider joining the coalition government headed by the Maoists if the latter implements all the past agreements and understandings it has done.

PM Prachanda says army integration will complete in four months

Prime Minister Prachanda said on Monday that integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist People's Liberation Army (PLA) would be completed in four months.

PM Prachanda , who heads the army integration special committee (AISC), said this during a meeting with US ambassador to Nepal, Nancy J. Powell.

During the meeting at the PMO, the US ambassador is known to have queried if army integration would complete when the renewed term of United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) expires, in four months.

Constitution-drafting process and the ongoing dispute over the retirement of eight Nepal Army Generals also figured during the meeting.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the AISC today discussed the army integration issue, but no formal decision was taken. The meeting also discussed matters concerning the technical committee that would be formed to assist the AISC, according to Mohammad Habibullah, a Madhesi Janadhikar Forum leader and AISC member.

An AISC meeting last week had decided to form eight-member technical committee, but its members are yet to be named.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nepal Government sacks Murari Sharma UK envoy


The foreign ministry has relieved Nepali ambassador to the United Kingdom Murari Sharma effective from Friday.

The ministry on Friday decided to sack Sharma with immediate effect after it was learnt he was preparing to forward a letter to the British foreign secretary David Miliband stating Nepal government had failed politically and diplomatically.

A meeting chaired by the foreign minister held after the ministry received a draft of the letter took the decision, sources say.

The ministry had written to call back Sharma for the third time on Thursday. Sharma has been refusing to come back even though the government recalled him two months ago.

The government has prohibited him to carry out any diplomatic, financial, administrative and other activities related to the embassy from Friday.

Meanwhile, the private secretariat of the foreign minister issued a press statement on Saturday saying that the recalled envoys should come back on time. The appointment, tenure and termination of envoys should be at the discretion of the government and there should be no controversies on these issues, mentions the statement

Democracy and Class Struggle says just how many others have been undermining the activity of the elected government of Nepal ?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Thunder - Videos of "On the Idea of Communism - Birkbeck Institute"



Visit: http://nickglais-springthunder.blogspot.com/

Regressive forces trying to topple government


Regressive elements trying to topple govt: PM Prachanda

Prime Minister Prachanda has said there are elements that want to bring down the Maoist-led government to install regressive rule.

Prachanda said this while addressing a function in Dhankuta on Saturday. The country will slide into crisis if the "government led by revolutionaries" fails, he warned.

The PM, however, admitted that the government has not been able to live up to the expectations of the people. "People are disappointed that the government has not been able to take radical steps," he said.

"The government is facing so many challenges at the movement. There is regressive threat, too," he added, "We had to tackle with these challenges."

PM Prachanda also criticised UML leaders for 'doublespeak'. "Those in the government are talking like opposition leaders."

Friday, March 20, 2009

UML and UCPN Maoist win student elections


UML affiliated ANNFSU wins most seats in FSU polls

All Nepal National Free Students' Union (ANNFSU affiliated to the UML) has won the most seats in the student elections conducted in various government aided colleges across the country on Thursday.

UML affiliated ANNFSU students of Min Bhawan college staging a victory...
At the time of filing this news (9:00am), candidates representing ANNFSU-UML have been elected presidents of Free Students' Union (FSU) in 74 colleges. Nepal Students Union (NSU- affiliated to Nepali Congress) has won the post of presidents in 55 colleges and ANNFSU-Revolutionary (affiliated to Maoists) candidates have been elected presidents of FSU in 42 colleges.

ANNFSU-UML has won the post of president in Amrit Science College, Pulchowk Engineering College, Mahendra Ratna College, Patan Multiple College and Koteshwar College, among others from Kathmandu.

NSU candidates have been elected president in Shankar Dev College, Pashupati College, Balmiki College, Kathmandu Education College and Baneshwar College, among others.

ANNFSU-Revolutionary has won the contest for president as well as most other posts in colleges in Chitwan including Rampur Agriculture College, Shahid Smarak and Madi Colleges. NSU boycotted elections in Chitwan and have said they will not accept the poll results.

Revolutionary has also won polls in Kathmandu's Public Youth College and Thapathali Engineering College.

ANNFSU-UML and ANNFSU-Revolutionary had contested the elections with joint panels in some colleges.

Rupandehi College is the only college where candidates representing other student unions have won the polls.

Results from Kathmandu's Tri-Chandra College and Central College, Kirtipur has not been declared yet.

Earlier, polls in capital's Saraswoti Multiple College, Bishwa Bhasa Campus, Ratna Rajya College, Nepal Law College and Padma Kanya College had been postponed. Likewise, elections at Dharan Multiple Campus of Sunsari district, Mahendra Ratna Multiple Campus of Ilam district and Adarrsha Bahumukhi Campus in Nuwakot were postponed due to clashes among rival student unions.

FSU polls are conducted in more than 160 colleges affiliated to Tribhuvan University and about 13 colleges affiliated to Nepal Sanskrit University.

Political parties take FSU elections as a real time test of their people base.

Meanwhile, private colleges in and outside Kathmandu were largely unaffected by the FSU polls

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Israeli Apartheid - Palestinian Resistance

- Pla

Serial blasts injure students in S Nepal


KATHMANDU, March 19 (Xinhua) -- About half a dozen students were wounded in a serial bomb blasts in south Nepal on Thursday morning.

The blasts occurred on Thursday morning in front of the Thakurram Campus in Birgunj, some 90 km south of Nepali capital Kathmandu, according to local news website Myrepublica.

The students were in a queue to cast their votes for the Free Students' Union (FSU) election.

No organization or individual has claimed the responsibility for the blasts.

FSU elections are taking place on Thursday in various colleges affiliated to Tribuhuvan University (TU), the largest and most important university in Nepal, and Sanskrit University (SU) across the country.

There are 160 colleges affiliated to TU and 13 affiliated to SU. Some 250,000 students in these colleges will vote to elect their student leaders.

Elections have been postponed in various colleges due to controversy on voters' list and the row over proportional representation in the FSU.

Student wing of the opposition party Nepali Congress, Nepal Students' Union (NSU) has called for a strike in some places of the country.

Security has been beefed up around the colleges throughout the country in order to prevent violence during the elections. Some 1,300 security personnel have been deployed in Kathmandu to maintainsecurity in Kathmandu colleges

No rethink on retirement of Generals: Prachanda


Prachanda has made it clear that the government would not reconsider its decision to give retirement to eight Nepal Army Brigadier Generals.

Prime Minister Prachanda met Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala at the latter's Maharajgunj residence Thursday, telling him that the Defence Ministry's decision on the Generals' retirement was right and that it could not be retracted on legal grounds.

He is also known to have told Koirala, whose party has described the government's decision as an attempt to 'demoralise' the army, not to politicise the issue.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Visit servethepeople: Li Minqi and The Rise of China


servethepeople: Li Minqi and The Rise of China

Barburam Bhattarai addressing Maoist Student Union



Barbarum Bhattarai speaking at a student election campaign organised by All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary) at Tri-Chandra campus, Ghantaghar on Monday,

Finance Minister and senior leader of Unified Maoist Dr Baburam Bhattarai said that Nepali people will decide their own future and will not be influenced by different foreign power centers.

CoAS Katawal serious reservations about Defence Ministry's refusal to extend tenure of eight Generals


Nepal Army chief Rookmangud Katawal held separate meetings with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa on Monday over the Defence Ministry's refusal to extend the tenure of eight Brigadier Generals.

He first called on President Yadav at the latter's office, Shital Niwas, to discuss the Defence Ministry's decision and its ramifications. Katawal is known to have expressed serious reservation over the ministry's decision saying it could create administrative complications in the army, especially in the promotion procedures of senior officials.

The eight Brigadier Generals, who will retire from today, are: Pradeep Bikram Rana, Pawan Bahadur Pandey, Kumar Budhathoki, Narendra Bahadur Rawal, Raju Pratap K.C, Ramesh Bista, Nara Bahadur Kandel and Shiva Poudel.

In a letter to the Defence Ministry on February 1, General Katawal had requested the ministry to extend their tenure by three years.

Meanwhile, during his meetings with Prime Prachanda and Defence Minister Thapa in the afternoon, the army chief is known to have complained about the ministry's decision and urged them to reconsider it.

Brigadier Generals get retired after completing four years in the post, but the Army Act allows them to continue until 57 years of age provided the Defence Ministry extends their tenure. Most of the retiring Generals are said to be under 54 years

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maoists form task force to upkeep PLA cadres


The central secretariat meeting of the main ruling party the Unified CPN (Maoists) has decided to form a task force headed by party leader Mohan Baidhya to upkeep the cadres of People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar Tuesday evening.

The party has also decided to hold mass meetings at eight different places across the country on April 6.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Govt-Tharu representatives sign six point pact; Tharu agitation withdrawn


The government and the representatives of agitating Tharu community have signed a six-point pact bringing an end to the two-week long agitation that had crippled life in various Terai districts Saturday night.

Talks between the agitating Tharu community and the government finally succeeded after Prime Minister Prachanda himself participated in the talks on Saturday.

The talks succeeded after Tharu leaders agreed on the government’s proposal to replace the term ‘Madhesh’ by ‘Terai-Madhesh’ in the interim constitution and other statutes including the controversial ordinance on reservations.

The government will initiate process of constitution amendment to make the changes, according to the agreement. The ordinance on reservation will also be amended to guarantee a proportional representation of all ethnic communities in public bodies.

The agreement was reached at the talks held between the government team headed by PM Prachanda and representatives of the agitating Tharu community in presence of various other leaders at PM’s residence in Baluwatar, late Saturday night.

Earlier, a meeting of the seven major political parties had authorised the PM to go ahead with the talks with a proposal to amend the constitution to address the demands of the agitating Tharu community along with other ethnic groups.

Tharu organisations and other ethnic communities supporting the agitation have called off all programmes of agitation with the agreement. A general strike called by the Muslim community has also been called off.

According to the agreement, the government will declare four cadres killed during the agitation as martyrs, bear the cost of treatment of those injured and release all cadres arrested in connection with the agitation.

Chairman of Tharuhat Struggle Committee Laxman Tharu, General Secretary of Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha Raj Kumar Lekhi, Babu Ram Chaudhary from Nepal Loktantrik Tharu Sangh, Indrajeet Chaudhary from Tharu Rastriya Mukti Morcha and chairman Janajati Mahasangh Pasang Sherpa on behalf of the agitators and peace minister Janardan Sharma on behalf of the government have signed the agreement

Democracy and Class Struggle Welcomes this agreement between the Tharu community and the Government congratulations to Prachanda and the Tharu leadership

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Prachanda to speak to Tharu leaders


A meeting of seven parties - five ruling and two opposition parties - held at Baluwatar Saturday afternoon authorised Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to talk to the representative of agitating Tharus and other janajati groups to settle their demands.

After the meeting, leaders said the Prime Minister has been asked to address the grievances of agitating groups in a way that does not undermine the identity of other communities.

Maoist secretariat asks govt to address Tharu demands after political Consensus


Maoist secretariat asks govt to address Tharu demands after political Consensus; PM to talk to Tharu leaders

The central secretariat of the main ruling party, Unified CPN (Maoist), has asked the government to address the demands of agitating Tharus and other janajati groups after consultation with major parties including those in the opposition.

A meeting of the Maoist central secretariat held at the Baluawatar residence of party chairman and Prime Minister Prachanda suggested the government to first forge consensus on the agitators' demands.

According to secretariat member Narayankaji Shrestha, the meeting asked the government to call a meeting of major parties today itself to address the demands of the agitators.

A meeting of five ruling parties, main opposition Nepali Congress and Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party has been planned later today. Following the meeting, PM Prachanda is expected to hold talks with the representatives of different groups.

The third round of talks held Friday night hit a deadlock over the issue of 'Madhesh'. Tharu leaders demanded the term 'Madhesh' be removed from the interim constitution, while the government said the term could not be removed altogether.

After the unsuccessful talks on Friday Tharu leaders said they would now talk only with the PM.
Meanwhile, the day-to-day situation in various Terai districts has become extremely difficult on the 13th day of the agitation.

Tharu stronghold Dang has remained tense after two demonstrators were killed in police firing last night. The district administration has imposed a curfew for an indefinite period. Clashes between police and demonstrators have also been reported from other parts of the country.

Tharus, Muslims and different janajati groups have been waging a massive protest movement for the last 13 days, demanding withdrawal of government decision to put them in Madhesi category and amendment in the interim constitution in a way it recognises their distinct identity.

At least five persons including a security official have died in violence during protests that have brought life in the Terai plains to a standstill

Tristan Anderson represents the best that humanity can offer


Anderson's friend, Gabrielle Silverman, says he was struck by a canister from a high velocity rifle after the protest subsided. She says troops kept firing tear gas as Palestinian medics evacuated him. He was taken to an Israeli hospital.

We wish Tristan well and hope he makes a full recovery from the surgery in Israel has he is a rare human being who is prepared to put his life on the line to support others weaker than himself.

We feel we must comment on some of the comments about on the Internet in US and Israel calling him a leftist lunatic and getting what he deserved - the inability in these times to distinguish between the actions of the self sacrifice of Tristan Andersen has that representing the best that humanity has to offer and the necessity to hurl abuse at such self sacrifice to self justify poltical positions on the right in Israel and US shows not only their moral bankruptcy but the fundamental weakness of their political beliefs.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tristan Anderson of Oakland, California, in critical condition at a Tel Aviv hospital after being shot by Israeli soldier with teargas cannister

US citizen in critical condition; four others wounded by Israeli fire in Ni'lin

Ramallah – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers critically wounded an American peace activist after launching a tear-gas canister at his head and shot four Palestinians with rubber-coated bullets in the West Bank village of Ni’lin, west of Ramallah, on Friday.

“He had a large hole in the front of his head, and his brain was visible,” one protester said of the injuries to the American activist.

Dozens of others choked on tear gas at an otherwise peaceful demonstration against the Israeli separation wall. The protest is a weekly event attended regularly by international peace activists, many affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement.

Demonstrators marched through the streets of Ni’lin toward the Israeli separation wall chanting slogans calling for Palestinian national unity and for resistance to the occupation. Then “the Israeli soldiers attacked the peaceful demonstration using rubber-coated bullets gas and stun grenades.”

The coordinator of the anti-wall Popular Committee in the village, A’hed Al- Khawaja, added, “Four were injured [and] others choked after inhaling gas.”
ater in the day the AP reported that one ISM activist, Tristan Anderson of Oakland, California, was in critical condition at a Tel Aviv hospital. The agency quoted one hospital official as saying “he's in critical condition, anesthetized and on a ventilator and undergoing imaging tests.”

According to Teah Lunqvist, another protestor, "Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500 meters."

“I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After five minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed," she said.

In 2003 Rachel Corrie, another ISM peace activist, was crushed by a bulldozer as she stood protecting the home of a Palestinian family from Israeli demolition.

ESP spokesperson Ersin Sedefoğlu speaking on the Police Raids and arrests


ESP spokesperson Ersin Sedefoğlu said:

The police has used the Anti-Terrorism Law, which intellectuals and socialists have renamed the Anti-Society Law, to raid democratic institutions and newspapers with their guns at night. Without waiting for lawyers, they broke down doors and carried out searches. Waking up people at night, terrorising them and taking them into custody has become routine practice.”

He pointed out that these practices were rights violations, but that legal institutions were legitimising them.

“Some media organs are also portraying the police, which is out on hunts for humans, as acting legitimately; some newspapers even reported that institutions that were not raided were raided.”

“The freedom of speech, action and organisation is being withheld from the people; the police is free to terrorise with random detentions and conspiracies. It is forbidden to tell the people the truth, to protest against workers paying the price for the crisis, to say no to a dirty war, to ask for peace and brotherhood; however, others are free to carry out coups, to bomb people, and to support the gendarmerie officers caught throwing a bomb by saying that they are ‘good kids’.”

The Internationale in Turkish - Solidarity with the 60 comrades arrested in Turkey

Turkey: Another wave of state terror on socialists:60 arrested in 6 cities

Socialist organisations in Turkey which are continuously under the state terror have been raided again.

As a result of office and house raids by the Turkish police, about 60 people have been arrested and arrest warrants have been issued for many others. The ESP (Socialist Platform of the Oppressed),BEKSAV (Foundation of Science, Education, Aesthetic, Culture and Art Researches), SGD (SocialistYouth Association), EKD (Labouring Women's Association) and Limter-Is (Dockyard Workers'Union) had been the target of such repression also on September 21, 2006 and tens of their leaders and activists were arrested and imprisoned.

On March 10 early in the morning, the police raided the offices of socialist organisations and the houses of their activists simultaneously in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Antakya and Mersin.

In Istanbul, the police raided the central office of the ESP and confiscated the hard disks, laptops and many other materials in the office.

At 5:30 in the morning, the police raided the office of the Gunes Agency in Aksaray, Istanbul, where the technical preparation o the newspaper Atilim is carried out, has been raided by the police. A laptop,two hard disks, 46 CDs, letters from the political prisoners and personal notes in the office have been confiscated and Cetin Poyraz has been arrested. At the house raids, Figen Yuksekdag, editor of the newspaper Atilim as well as Onder Oner and Muharrem Demirkiran, correspondents of the newspaper,have been arrested.

The names of the arrested in Istanbul at the police raids on many houses are as follows:

Haci Orman (Head of the Executive Committee of BEKSAV and the chief editor of the review Sanatve Hayat)
Alp Altinors (Among the coordinators of the Academy of Marxist Sciences “Nazim Hikmet”)
Munevver Iltemur (Executive Committee member of the EKD)
Ozan Emre Ozyilmaz (President of the SGDF), Serap Unal (member of the SGD),
Ali Tektas (Executive Committee member of the students' union Genc-Sen)
Yusuf Demir, Kurtulus Sarıkaya, Erhan Calparmak, Hasan Cagin, Irfan Gercek, Zelal Armutlu, Asur
Isbilir, Bulent Kapar, Abbas Duman, Tarik Tepeli, Yuksel Bulut, Yesim Sonmez, Hızır Uzundag,
Hatice Aydemir, Sevilay Atesci and Hasan Ozan from the ESP.

It was learnt that also the house of Cem Dinc, General President of the dockyard workers' union Limter-Is, was raided and his laptop was confiscated, but Dinc was not arrested due to the fact that he was at at home.

The names of the arrested in Ankara as a result of police raids on the office of the ESP and on houses are as follows:

Alihan Alhan, representative of the ESP in Ankara, Cebrail Dogan, Serdar Cimen, Savas Bulut and Sercan Ustundas, activists of the ESP and journalist Hasan Cosar who was arrested in September 2006 and set free a short time ago from prison.

In Antakya, the police arrested Muhsin Cobanoglu, the candidate of the united platform of the revolutionary, democratic and Kurdish patriotic forces for the municipal elections on March 29.Gokben Keskin and Ilker Tatlipinar have also been arrested in the same city.

In Adana
, 13 activists of the ESP have been arrested at house raids. The names of the arrested are as follows:

Hulya Gercek, the representative of the ESP in Adana, Yasemin Tugcu, Baris Cipan, Mehmet Genc, Seval Gundogdu, Halil Gögercin, Burcu Ciplak, Murat Piskinbas, Sabahattin Piskinbas, Celal Mezarci, Ibrahim Yapici, Gulay Turk and Ersin Bilgili.

In Mersin
, Hacer Kocak, Erden Fesli, Esat Suner, Seher Kilisli, Deniz Melih Ozsen have been arrested.

In Izmir, Serife Ozbay form the SGD is under police arrest.
Figen Yuksekdas, editor of the newspaper Atilim, Hasan Cagin, Irfan Gercek, Hatice Aydemir and Sevilay Atesci, activists of the ESP, have been set free on the same day. The others are still under arrest, where they are banned to see their lawyers through a secrecy bench on the case and the lawyers are not informed on the legal pretext of the raids and arrests due to the same reason.

www.we wantfreedom.org info@w ewantfreedom.org

We Want Freedom Campaign
Web: www.wewantfreedom.org
E-mail: info@wewantfreedom.org

Call for International Solidarity

Protests have been raised in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan against the police raids and arrests.Socialist organisations which have exposed to such repression waves and imprisonments for many times before cry out once more the slogan “You are not strong enough to defeat us!”

Just as the previous attacks, this repression wave will neither be able to make the socialists give up their fight for revolution and socialism. The socialist were able to fight back the repression wave of September 8-21, 2006 with the power they got from the working class and labourers as well as from the solidarity raised by the revolutionary and progressive forces inside and outside the country. They will fight back this wave of repression as well and they will continue their march towards the
revolution.

We Want Freedom Campaign calls upon all progressive, revolutionary and communist forces to show solidarity with the arrested socialists and to protest the Turkish state.

Please send your protest letters to the addresses below:

President of the Republic Abdullah Gul: cumhurbaskanlıgı@tccb.gov.tr

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan: hiliskiler@basbakanlık.gov.tr,
bimer@basbakanlık.gov.tr

Minister of Justice Mehmet Ali Sahin: buro.mehmetalisahin@başbakanlık.gov.tr

Minister of Internal Affairs Besir Atalay: besir.atalay@icisleri.gov.tr

Please send a copy of your protest letters and solidarity messages to: info@wewantfreedom.org

Long live revolution, long live socialism!

Long live the international solidarity!

We Want Freedom Campaign

Student Spring Thunder Supports New York CUNY students



Visit: http://nickglais-springthunder.blogspot.com/

Student Spring Thunder at CUNY in New York - Fight the tuition purge

The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) -- have agreed to sort the ongoing Tharu ethnic agitation


KATHMANDU, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Two major government coalition partners, -- the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) -- have agreed to sort the ongoing Tharu ethnic agitation even by amending the Interim Constitution.

"We agreed to address the rightful demands raised by the indigenous Tharu community. For this we are ready to amend the Interim Constitution and ordinance too," local newspaper The Rising Nepal on Friday quoted the UCPN-M leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha as saying following a meeting of the two parties Thursday.

The Interim Constitution was promulgated on Jan. 15, 2007 after the Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed between the then government and the formerly Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), ending the decade civil war.

The UCPN-M emerged from the elections as the largest party in the Constituent Assembly last year, and led the formation of the first republic government, joined by the third largest party, the CPN-UML as the major coalition partner.

Realizing that the demands raised by the Tharus were right for safeguarding their own rights and caste identity, top leaders of the two communist parties had agreed to forge consensus among other parties.

A six-party meeting held on Tuesday stated that the Nepali government would come up with a plan to guarantee the proportional representation of all indigenous communities in the state mechanism.

The daily life in the 22 Terai districts in the south of Nepal has been crippled because of restive Tharu agitation, demanding the withdrawal of government introduced ordinance. The hilly districts and capital Kathmandu are also hit with the shortage of provisions and fuel due to the blockade of transportation.

Three persons, including one policeman were killed in clashes between police and Tharu protesters in south Nepal on last Thursday and Friday.

Following the failure to find a solution through talks between the agitating Tharus and the government, the top brasses of the two parties had gathered at the CPN-UML headquarters in Kathmandu.

The Tharu community in Chitwan had called banda (general strike) and had blocked the highway against a former cabinet decision of identifying them as one of the Madhesi groups.

Tharu claimed they are indigenous people in south Nepal, Terai plains, while the Madhesi people mainly refer to the Nepalese, socio-culturally close to neighboring Indians living also in Terai.

Manchester University Student Progess in Negotiations


Negotiations with Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert started on Monday. There were three occupiers sitting alongside the Student Union Executive (which has many pro Israeli members). There will be further negotiations on Friday.

Demands met?

The University is arranging for surplus academic supplies to be sent to the Islamic University of Gaza. Alan Gilbert was very keen on this demand, and has been in discussions with the librarians to ensure that all disused books and other supplies are made available. As the occupation lasted a lot longer than expected (evidently longer than it takes to drive to Gaza!), the Viva Palestina convoy mentioned in the original demand has now arrived in Gaza, so we are in the process of researching other ways we can transport these supplies.

Major progress has been made in securing divestment from the arms trade. Gilbert has agreed to improve transparency over the University’s investment portfolio. This may not seem like a lot, but students have been campaigning over the University’s millions of pounds of investments in the arms trade for over three years now and, despite numerous stunts and protests over the issue, progress has been frustratingly slow. In a matter of weeks, Manchester students will know exactly where the University is involved with the arms trade, and so, in future, will be able to make far more specific, and therefore realistic, demands for divestment.

Although the Vice Chancellor refused to boycott a country, he was willing to consider boycotting key companies linked to Israel. Soon the University should make available to us lists of the companies that it holds investments in, and purchases supplies from. From these we plan to make specific, realistic suggestions of companies linked to Israel that the University can boycott, and Gilbert has indicated that he would be willing to do this.

The University will not official fundraise for the DEC appeal, although Gilbert has invited us to do so ourselves on campus, including by entering lectures.

Newcastle University to issue a statement Occupation Student Victories


Newcastle University will facilitate us bringing the issue of arms investments to the finance council - demand not met, but action will be taken to facilitate a process.

Newcastle University will ‘actively support’ our campaign and its projects - demand met.

a) a collection of computers, books etc for the Islamic University of Gaza (ICU)
b) the visit of a student delegation to the ICU to establish their requirements/how we can best help them:
c) the university will actively support the campaign in following up on those needs.
d) the University supports us in campaigning for an ethical trade policy with regard to Israel
e) Newcastle University will publicise the DEC appeal for aid on notice boards around campus

Newcastle University supports new and ongoing collaborations with IUG, including distance education tools to link Newcastle students and IUG students - demand met.

Newcastle University will conduct a public review of the rules and regulations which currently restrict political activism on campus. Furthermore, the Newcastle University Gaza Solidarity Campaign will no longer face restrictions on leafleting about our events, meetings etc on campus - demand met.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Communism at a Crossroads - meeting at University of London Union


Come hear a presentation by Raymond Lotta based on Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party , USA . Discussion will follow.

Saturday evening, March 14
7:30 pm
ULU

A follow-up talk and further discussion on communism and revolution, the historical moment, and Bob Avakian's new synthesis and the framework for the future.
Sunday, March 15
3:00 pm
ULU

ULU – University of London Union , Malet Street , across from Waterstones at Torrington Place . Saturday 7:30 pm Sunday 3 pm, both in Bloomsbury Suite, 2nd Floor.

Raymond Lotta is a Maoist political economist. He is the author of America in Decline and editor of Maoist Economics and the Revolutionary Road to Communism. Lotta has been speaking widely about Bob Avakian's reenvisioned communism

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Newcastle University Occupation for Gaza has ended


The occupation itself has ended at this point because we have been promised that the necessary steps will be taken immediately for our demands to be realised. We have no guarentee, of course, that our demands will be met, but are confident that the appropriate people will be present at these talks to continue our campaign effectively. This was our democratically chosen condition for the occupation.

We will not rule out further direct action if the University management go back on their word.It's been great! We are tired and now we are going to the pub to plan for tomorrows important meeting - the next step.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGES OF SUPPORT

The major seven parties—five ruling and two opposition—Wednesday reached an agreement on Wednesday to address the demands of the Tharu community

photo Dev Gurung

KATHMANDU, March 11 - The major seven parties—five ruling and two opposition—Wednesday reached an agreement on Wednesday to address the demands of the agitating Tharu communities even by bringing in a new ordinance.

A meeting of the seven parties including the main opposition party Nepali Congress and Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) held at Prime Minister’s Office in Singha Durbar today agreed to fulfill the demands of the Tharu groups after meeting the legal and constitutional process.

Emerging from the meeting, UML leader Ishwor Pokhrel said that the demands of the disgruntled Tharus, who are launching their strike to press their demands in the southern plains, would be resolved by rectifying the error of the ordinance.

The Tarai region is witnessing a life crippling bandha since the past ten days due to the strike called by the Tharu communities in protest of the ordinance that categorises them as Madheshi—people from the restive southern plains.

“We have opened the legal and constitutional roads to address Tharus’ demands,” said Pokhrel, “All the parties have agreed on that.”

Nepali Congress (NC) leader Arjun Narsingh KC said that the government should address the demands of the agitating Tharus as soon as possible. He went on to claim that the inability to deal with the problems that has thrown normal life of the entire country out of gear has proved that the government is incapable.

KC said that the nation crippling shutdown is the result of the ordinance that was brought in despite out party’s protest.

Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP) leader Rajendra Mahato said that his party would accept if the government brings in the ordinance that ensures representation of all indigenous groups.

Saying that his party would not disapprove if the word ‘Madheshi’ is replaced with ‘Tarai-Madhesh’ in the constitution, the NSP leader said that the government should take account of every groups’ recognition and honour.

Maoist leader and Minister for Law and Justice Dev Gurung said that his party is ready to address the Thrus’ demands based on the principle of inclusiveness. “Democracy is the representation of all groups,” said Gurung, “That’s why the reasonable demands of the Tharu communities will be fulfilled.”

TMDP central leader Ram Kumar Sharma accused the government of sitting for dialogue with Thraus without due homework.

Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Janardan Sharma walked out of the meeting that lasted for about two hours to hold dialogue with the agitating groups.

The talks between the government and the agitating indigenous groups including Tharu community ended without making headway.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

London Solidarity event for K. Kuneva 13/3/09


Konstantina Kuneva is a female, single mother, migrant worker and grassroots syndicalist who was attacked with sulfuric acid by employer-hired thugs in late December 2008. She has suffered major injuries and is being treated in intensive care in Athens since. The attack happened in the aftermath of the December revolt, and the solidarity response of the movement was vigorous and dynamic throughout the country. Fund raising events are still taking place in various greek cities because of the urgent need for money, that will allow Konstantina to travel to the USA for an elaborate and very expensive operation, which her only chance to have some of her basic bodily functions restored.

Benefit event for Konstantina: Screenings, discussion, food and live music on Friday March 13 from 5 to 11 at 100 Flowers squat, 2A Belgrade Road, Dalston N16 8DJ. The event is organised jointly by Greek comrades in solidarity, local Turkish/Kurdish workers organizations, and comrades from North East London squats

IF YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS EVENT IN LONDON THEN SEND SOME MONEY TO KONSTANTINA

The Communist Organization of Greece is active part of this movement of solidarity, which moves under the slogan “Konstantina you are not alone”. We address an appeal to all the progressive forces to express their solidarity with Konstantina Kouneva, with the All-Attica Union of Janitors, with all those most exploited and “anonymous” militant workers who save the honor of the trade-union movement and continue its best militant traditions, bravely facing the attacks of the bosses and the hostility of the state and of the “official” trade-union leaderships.

The Union of the Working People, which is active in the movement of solidarity with Konstantina, would welcome your support and the support of trade-unions from your country.

Also, consider the possibility to address the trade-unions and other workers’ organizations in your country and ask them to contribute financially in the fund-raising organized by the Union of the Working People for Konstantina.

The details of the bank account opened by the Union of Working People for Konstantina are the following:

Bank Account Number (IBAN): GR3401106640000066474762649

Bank International Code - BIC: ETHNGRAA
Bank Branch: National Bank of Greece, Branch 664
Branch Address: Spyrou Patsi 2, GR-10441 Athens, Greece
Branch Phone Nr: +30-210-5224016
Account Holder: Papageorgiou Marriana (Union of the Working People representative)

In case you participate in the fund-raising, please inform the Union of the Working People and/or KOE.

We thank you in advance for any action you may undertake in order to express your solidarity and to condemn the murderous crime against the militant worker and unionist Konstantina Kouneva, who is always fighting for her life and for the rights of the most oppressed and exploited workers

Visit Political Economy Research


Visit Political Economy Research

* Gunnar Tomasson on Icelandic TV
* Eastern Europe on the Brink of mimicking 1997 Asian Crisis
* John Bellamy Foster of Monthly Review on Crisis
* Michael Hudson on Renegade Economist
* Foreign investors pull $1 trillion out of the City

PRESS THIS LINK TO GO TO POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH

http://democracyandclassstruggle.blogspot.com/

Govt-Tharu talks inconclusive



The first round of talks between the government and the agitating Tharus and other janajati groups ended inconclusively Tuesday evening.

The talks held at a resort in Babalmahal, Kathmandu, were adjourned as the government team headed by Peace and Reconstruction Minister Janardan Sharma said it could not decide on the demands of the agitating groups without discussing them with the Prime Minister.

"Minister Sharma told us that he would clarify the government's position on our demands tomorrow," Laxman Tharu, who led a nine-member team of Tharu Joint Struggle Committee, told reporters.

He said the agitations would continue unless the demands, which include scrapping of the ordinance that put Tharus in the Madhesi category, were met.

"If there is no appropriate response from the government side by tomorrow protests will spread across the country," Tharu warned.

Seven-member team of Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha (TKS), Muslims and other janajati groups led by TKS general secretary Raj Kumar Lekhi, Maoist-affiliated Tharu National Liberation Front led by Indrajeet Choudhary and a team of UML-affiliated Nepal Democratic Tharu Association also participated in the talks.

Tharus and other Terai-based janajati groups have been waging a protest movement in Terai for the last ten days, closing highways, educational institutions and businesses.

George Galloway of Viva Palestina speaking in Gaza

Monday, March 9, 2009

PUBLIC MEETING ON BINAYAK SEN


Date: Tuesday, 10 March 2009.
Time: 7.00 p.m.

Venue: SOAS main building (room 4421), Thornaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC IX 0XG

Speakers: Professor Ilina Sen (feminist scholar, human rights activist, wife of Binayak Sen); Kavita Srivastava (People's Union For Civil Liberties, India); Ramesh Gopalakrishnan (Amnesty International) ; Professor Jonathan Parry (London School of Economics); Mike Marqusee (writer, activist).

Binayak Sen, doctor and civil rights activist, has been in prison since 14 May 2007, when he was arrested under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (which allows arrest up to 90 days without charge) on suspicion of 'involvement' with Maoist insurgents. The mineral-rich central Indian state of Chhattisgarh has seen massive forced displacement of adivasi (tribal) people to make way for the exploitation of resources by private companies in recent years. In this context, a civil war-like situation has emerged in the state, marked by brutal conflict between the state and the Maoists, who control significant stretches of territory. Binayak and Ilina Sen have been campaigning for human rights in Chhattisgarh for many years, and have been outspoken opponents of the Salwa Judum, a state-sponsored paramilitary terror initiative, which has involved arming local people 'against Maoists' and thus unleashing even deeper strife in the state. Soon after helping expose police involvement in the killing of 12 tribal people on 31 March 2007, Binayak Sen was targeted and imprisoned. His applications for bail have repeatedly been rejected by Indian courts.

Sen is nationally and globally known for his work in community health. In 1983, he was instrumental in setting up the community-based Shaheed Hospital for mine-workers, and, later, was a member of the state advisory committee initating community-based health programmes across the state. Recently, while in jail, he was awarded the Jonathan Mann Award by the Global Health Council for his work with impoverished communities and his commitment to human rights.

Sen's advocacy and activism, in the fields of both health and civil rights, have been a persistent thorn in the side of the Chhattisgarh government and, at a deeper level, the Indian state and its neo-liberal agenda. The embarrassingly flimsy 'evidence' on which he was arrested was his visits to a Maoist leader in jail, visits he had undertaken as state general secretary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, to provide medical and legal assistance, with the full knowledge and permission of the jail authorities. It is impossible to see his arrest, and the continued refusal of bail, as anything other than a very deliberate attempt by the state to thwart dissidence expressed in any form, and to avert uncomfortable questions about its role and agenda.

For further details contact: Subir Sinha (ss61@soas.ac. uk), Nandini Nayak (nandini@soas. ac.uk), Aditya Sarkar (bhochka@gmail. com, bhochka_81@yahoo. co.uk)

Viva Palestina Convoy enters Gaza


And they entered side by side like heroes, some on foot some in their vehicles, tears, smiles, hugs, flowers. It was historic, it was legendary. Gaza we are here. We have fulfilled the promise - Viva Palestina! The lifeline from the people of Britain to you, the people of Gaza, has arrived.

We have broken the barriers, we have opened closed borders, we have defied the odds,we have overcome the challenges across thousands of miles and three continents. We are here to be with you, to embrace you, to share your tragedy with you.

After another morning of intense negotiations, a deal was reached to allow all of the members of the convoy to go through. In the end, Viva Palestina had to make the sacrifice of agreeing that some vehicles will have to cross the border from the Al Ouja Israeli controlled crossing point. This includes our mascot, the fire engine and the boat. This was due to the restrictions imposed by Egyptian law governing the Rafah Crossing.

A tearful Talat Ali told me that 'Rafah is the most beautiful crossing in the world', he also said that the time , effort and sacrifices put in by all the Viva Palestina family meant that history has been made today - on the day the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was born.

News Flash - Viva Palestina Convoy has just entered Gaza


“Our party never took the Tharu Community as Madhesis”, clarified Gajurel of UCPN Maoist


“Our party never took the Tharu Community as Madhesis”, he clarified.

Mr. Gajurel said, India has occupied Nepali lands in 58 different locations along the open border including Susta, Kalapani and Ilam, our party will soon launch a National Awareness Program against this continued Indian aggression”.

Mr. Matrika Yadav, a Madesh and renegade leader however, believes that the Pahadiya Rulers of Nepal ( he Means Prachanda and Bhattarai ) are trying to create fissures between the indigenous Tharu community and the Madhesi community to create unrest in Terai.

Eighth day of Terai strike see more vandalism


The eighth day of strike by Tharus in Terai districts saw more incidents of vehicles being vandalised by the agitators as people attempted to defy the strike.

In few districts including Dang, the agitators have agreed to let the vehicles ply the roads for at least two hours a day to allow transportation of essential goods. In Siraha, the Tharus decided to withhold all protests programmes for three days to mark Holi, a popular Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal.

In Kapilvastu, most market places are open while everything remains shut in Sunsari, Morang, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Nawalparasi, Udaypur, Bardiya, Parsa and others districts.

In Rautahat, the Tharu cadres vandalised over a dozen vehicles alleging them of defying the strike. In Nawalparasi, two vehicles including an ambulance were vandalised. Few vehicles have been vandalised in Sarlahi as well.

Chitwan, which experienced bloodshed during the demonstration, saw a peaceful rally today but market places, educational institutions and transport services remain closed.

Democracy and Class Struggle supports the demands of the Tharus and calls on the Government to seriously address their concerns as well as to combat the separatist Madesh campaigns of renegades like Matrika Yadav and others.

On the move


The convoy has started to move out of the two car parks in Al Arish and onto the road to Rafah. At 7.55 (GMT) George's party reported that the first of the two car parks was now almost empty. It took 90 minutes for all the vehicles to leave. They were waiting for the second group of vehicles to get on the road. George intended his vehicle to be the last to leave - to ensure the safe departure of the entire convoy.
Negotiations with the Egyptian authorities have continued. Some non-medical aid was unloaded, in the line with the outcome of the negotiations, and has been handed over to the Egyptian Red Crescent for delivery by them to Gaza.
The convoy expects to cross later today into Gaza.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Five Members of Viva Palestina Convoy Injured


Breaking News - 17:20 GMT

I have just spoke to brother Naveed (A-Team), he says that the powere cuts appear to be orchestarted, Intially when the lights went out “locals in the town” began attacking the generators with stones and other projectiles and then after a while the lights came back on. A short time later the power agin went off and this time projectiles were thrown towards the convoy vehicles and 5 memebrs of the convoy have been injured some with gashes accross their head. He says quote “It looks like they want to sabbotage the generator because it’s now been allowed to go in, so they want to flex thier muscle and try to damage it”. He further goes on to say that when the power goes off loads of police gather and start marching banging thier battons, clearly designed to cause fear. Vans and trucks have also been grafetied with anti-Hamas propaganda.

They are now due to have a meeting of how to counter-act this problem and it looks like they may have to be alert throughout the night and take shifts to guard the vehicles and the members of the convoy. This is becoming a clear disgrace by Egypt.

Zubair Ayub

Monday's cabinet meeting to take 'concrete decision' on Tharu demands


Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has told some Tharu leaders that a cabinet meeting on Monday would 'address' the demands of the agitating Tharu community.

The Prime Minister's assurance came during an informal meeting with Tharu leaders, most of them associated with Unified CPN (Maoist), at the PMO in Singha Durbar Sunday.

However, leaders of the major Tharu outfits like Joint Tharu Struggle Committee and Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha that have been waging a massive protest movement, together with other indigenous groups, refused to come to the table saying that talks cannot start before the government meets some conditions including prior commitment to address the demands, martyrs status to two activists killed in police firing in Chitwan and release of those detained during the protests.

They have also asked the government to invite other ethnic groups that have joined the protests.

Tharus have been organising protests in Terai districts for nearly a week after the government categorised them as Madhesis. Highways, industries and educational institutions remain closed in Terai due to the shutdown strike

FRUSTRATIONS AT RAFAH CROSSING


The Viva Palestina convoy is still stuck at the Rafah border crossing after it was being prevented from progressing to the gates of Gaza.

According to the leaders of the convoy, obstacles have been erected to stop the convoy moving from El Arich to the amazement and disbelief of everyone involved.

The whole convoy is determined to stay united in purpose and that all vehicles and equipment including the convoy's mascot, the fire engine,the boat and the generator.

George Galloway and other convoy leaders have been involved in lenghty negociations all day with the Egyptians to find a solution to whatever the problem seems to be. Negociations will carry on for the rest of the day,and it does look like the convoy WILL NOT cross into Gaza today.

Frustration is building up amongst the convoy members who are baffled by the decision and attitude of the Egyptian authorities. They are hopeful that the humanitarian aid they have carried for 10000km and 24 days across seven countries and two continent will finally reach the needy and destitute people and children of Gaza without any further unnecessary delays

Friday, March 6, 2009

International Womens Day - Remember Konstantina Kuneva

On December 23, sulphuric acid was thrown at the face of Konstantina Kuneva as she was returning home from work. Konstantina is in the intensive care ward of Evangelismos hospital suffering serious sight and respiratory system problems.

Who was Konstantina? Why was she attacked?

Konstantina is one among the hundreds of female immigrant workers who have been working for years as cleaners. She is general secretary of the Panattic Union of Cleaners and Domestic Personnel. She is a militant union organizer, well known for her stance against various bosses. She had a clash with the employer company “OIKOMET” when she demanded for herself and the rest of her colleagues to get paid the whole amount of money of her Christmas bonus. She also denounced illegal procedures in payments. Just a short while ago the same company fired her mother in an act of revenge against her and she got herself an unfavourable transfer to Marousi station.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

International Womans Day 8th March - Remember Konstantina Kuneva


For information about Konstantina Kuneva visit :
http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.com/2009/03/carc-solidarity-statement-with.html

Viva Palestina convoy was over 3 miles long and contained about 220 vehicles enters Egypt


The convoy was over 3 miles long and contained about 220 vehicles. So it was an awesome sight when finally, at about 1.00pm local time, the first vehicles rolled into Egypt, where they were met at the borders by officials and a jubilant crowd.

The Egyptians organised the convoy into smaller groups and set off towards the town of SALUM, their first stop. The convoy was handled with military precision by the army and the police. I am told and everyone was relieved at the speed of the crossing.

In Salum they were met by children, who handed them flowers, and they were warmly welcomed by the people. Then they were taken to a huge tent where a press conference was held and a reception ceremony took place.

Lunch was on the menu, before being whisked away to continue their journey towards the beautiful coastal town of MATRUH.

A lavish reception awaits them in this picturesque part of Egypt where they are expected to enjoy the sea breeze after experiencing the beauty and quietness of the desert.

Overall, a good start to the final leg of the journey. Gaza is getting ever so close and the mission is close to being accomplished.

The Gaddafi Foundation for Charity and Development sent a message to Viva Palestina expressing its sorrow and offering its condolences for the family of the deceased Journalist Souad Abu Shiba and wish a quick recovery for her colleagues Ibrahim Hania, and the photographer Salah Nejm after the tragic car accident which occurred yesterday.

International Womens Day by Alexandra Kollontai


First published in 1920, this essay traces the history of international women's day and its importance to working class struggle with particular focus on the 1917 Russian Revolution.

A militant celebration


Women's Day or Working Women's Day is a day of international solidarity, and a day for reviewing the strength and organization of proletarian women.

But this is not a special day for women alone. The 8th of March is a historic and memorable day for the workers and peasants, for all the Russian workers and for the workers of the whole world. In 1917, on this day, the great February revolution broke out.[2] It was the working women of Petersburg who began this revolution; it was they who first decided to raise the banner of opposition to the Tsar and his associates. And so, working women's day is a double celebration for us.

But if this is a general holiday for all the proletariat, why do we call it "Women's Day"? Why then do we hold special celebrations and meetings aimed above all at the women workers and the peasant women? Doesn't this jeopardize the unity and solidarity of the working class? To answer these questions, we have to look back and see how Women's Day came about and for what purpose it was organized.

How and why was women's day organised?


Not very long ago, in fact about ten years ago, the question of women's equality, and the question of whether women could take part in government alongside men was being hotly debated. The working class in all capitalist countries struggled for the rights of working women: the bourgeoisie did not want to accept these rights. It was not in the interest of the bourgeoisie to strengthen the vote of the working class in parliament; and in every country they hindered the passing of laws that gave the right to working women.

Socialists in North America insisted upon their demands for the vote with particular persistence. On the 28th of February, 1909, the women socialists of the U.S.A. organized huge demonstrations and meetings all over the country demanding political rights for working women. This was the first "Woman's Day". The initiative on organizing a woman's day thus belongs to the working women of America.

In 1910, at the Second International Conference of Working Women, Clara Zetkin [3] brought forward the question of organizing an International Working Women's Day. The conference decided that every year, in every country, they should celebrate on the same day a "Women's Day" under the slogan "The vote for women will unite our strength in the struggle for socialism".

During these years, the question of making parliament more democratic, i.e., of widening the franchise and extending the vote to women, was a vital issue. Even before the first world war, the workers had the right to vote in all bourgeois countries except Russia. [4] Only women, along with the insane, remained without these rights. Yet, at the same time, the harsh reality of capitalism demanded the participation of women in the country's economy. Every year there was an increase in the number of women who had to work in the factories and workshops, or as servants and charwomen. Women worked alongside men and the wealth of the country was created by their hands. But women remained without the vote.

But in the last years before the war the rise in prices forced even the most peaceful housewife to take an interest in questions of politics and to protest loudly against the bourgeoisie's economy of plunder. "Housewives uprisings" became increasingly frequent, flaring up at different times in Austria, England, France and Germany.

The working women understood that it wasn't enough to break up the stalls at the market or threaten the odd merchant: They understood that such action doesn't bring down the cost of living. You have to change the politics of the government. And to achieve this, the working class has to see that the franchise is widened.

It was decided to have a Woman's Day in every country as a form of struggle in getting working women to vote. This day was to be a day of international solidarity in the fight for common objectives and a day for reviewing the organized strength of working women under the banner of socialism.

The first international women's day


The decision taken at the Second International Congress of Socialist Women was not left on paper. It was decided to hold the first International Women's Day on the 19th of March, 1911.

This date was not chosen at random. Our German comrades picked the day because of its historic importance for the German proletariat. On the 19th of March in the year of 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognized for the first time the strength of the armed people and gave way before the threat of a proletarian uprising. Among the many promise he made, which he later failed to keep, was the introduction of votes for women.

After January 11, efforts were made in Germany and Austria to prepare for Women's Day. They made known the plans for a demonstration both by word of mouth and in the press. During the week before Women's Day two journals appeared: The Vote for Women in Germany and Women's Day in Austria. The various articles devoted to Women's Day – "Women and Parliament," "The Working Women and Municipal Affairs," "What Has the Housewife got to do with Politics?", etc. – analyzed thoroughly the question of the equality of women in the government and in society. All the articles emphasized the same point: that it was absolutely necessary to make parliament more democratic by extending the franchise to women.

The first International Women's Day took place in 1911. Its success succeeded all expectation. Germany and Austria on Working Women's Day was one seething, trembling sea of women. Meetings were organized everywhere – in the small towns and even in the villages halls were packed so full that they had to ask male workers to give up their places for the women.

This was certainly the first show of militancy by the working woman. Men stayed at home with their children for a change, and their wives, the captive housewives, went to meetings. During the largest street demonstrations, in which 30,000 were taking part, the police decided to remove the demonstrators' banners: the women workers made a stand. In the scuffle that followed, bloodshed was averted only with the help of the socialist deputies in Parliament.

In 1913 International Women's Day was transferred to the 8th of March. This day has remained the working women's day of militancy.

Is women's day necessary?


Women's Day in America and Europe had amazing results. It's true that not a single bourgeois parliament thought of making concessions to the workers or of responding to the women's demands. For at that time, the bourgeoisie was not threatened by a socialist revolution.

But Women's Day did achieve something. It turned out above all to be an excellent method of agitation among the less political of our proletarian sisters. They could not help but turn their attention to the meetings, demonstrations, posters, pamphlets and newspapers that were devoted to Women's Day. Even the politically backward working woman thought to herself: "This is our day, the festival for working women," and she hurried to the meetings and demonstrations. After each Working Women's Day, more women joined the socialist parties and the trade unions grew. Organizations improved and political consciousness developed.

Women's Day served yet another function; it strengthened the international solidarity of the workers. The parties in different countries usually exchange speakers for this occasion: German comrades go to England, English comrades go to Holland, etc. The international cohesion of the working class has become strong and firm and this means that the fighting strength of the proletariat as a whole has grown.

These are the results of working women's day of militancy. The day of working women's militancy helps increase the consciousness and organization of proletarian women. And this means that its contribution is essential to the success of those fighting for a better future for the working class.

Women workers' day in Russia


The Russia working woman first took part in "Working Women's Day" in 1913. This was a time of reaction when Tsarism held the workers and peasants in its vise like a grip. There could be no thought of celebrating "Working Women's Day" by open demonstrations. But the organized working women were able to mark their international day. Both the legal newspapers of the working class – the Bolshevik Pravda and the Menshevik Looch – carried articles about the International Women's Day: [5] they carried special articles, portraits of some of those taking part in the working women's movement and greetings from comrades such as Bebel and Zetkin.[6]

In those bleak years meetings were forbidden. But in Petrograd, at the Kalashaikovsky Exchange, those women workers who belonged to the Party organized a public forum on "The Woman Question." Entrance was five kopecks. This was an illegal meeting but the hall was absolutely packed. Members of the Party spoke. But this animated "closed" meeting had hardly finished when the police, alarmed at such proceedings, intervened and arrested many of the speakers.

It was of great significance for the workers of the world that the women of Russia, who lived under Tsarist repression, should join in and somehow manage to acknowledge with actions International Women's Day. This was a welcome sign that Russia was waking up and the Tsarist prisons and gallows were powerless to kill the workers' spirit of struggle and protest.

In 1914, "Women Workers Day" in Russia was better organized. Both the workers' newspapers concerned themselves with the celebration. Our comrades put a lot of effort into the preparation of "Women Workers Day." Because of police intervention, they didn't manage to organize a demonstration. Those involved in the planning of "Women Workers Day" found themselves in the Tsarist prisons, and many were later sent to the cold north. For the slogan "for the working women's vote" had naturally become in Russia an open call for the overthrow of Tsarist autocracy.

Women workers during the imperialist war

The first world war broke out. The working class in every country was covered with the blood of war. [7] In 1915 and 1916 "Working Women's Day" abroad was a feeble affair – left wing socialist women who shared the views of the Russian Bolshevik Party tried to turn March 8th into a demonstration of working women against the war. But those socialist party traitors in Germany and other countries would not allow the socialist women to organize gatherings; and the socialist women were refused passports to go to neutral countries where the working women wanted to hold International meetings and show that in spite of the desire of the bourgeoisie, the spirit of International solidarity lived on.

In 1915, it was only in Norway that they managed to organize an international demonstration on Women's Day; representatives from Russia and neutral countries attended. There could be no thought of organizing a Women's Day in Russia, for here the power of Tsarism and the military machine was unbridled.

Then came the great, great year of 1917. Hunger, cold and trials of war broke the patience of the women workers and the peasant women of Russia. In 1917, on the 8th of March (23rd of February), on Working Women's Day, they came out boldly in the streets of Petrograd. The women – some were workers, some were wives of soldiers – demanded "Bread for our children" and "The return of our husbands from the trenches." At this decisive time the protests of the working women posed such a threat that even the Tsarist security forces did not dare take the usual measures against the rebels but looked on in confusion at the stormy sea of the people's anger.

The 1917 Working Women's Day has become memorable in history. On this day the Russian women raised the torch of proletarian revolution and set the world on fire. The February revolution marks its beginning from this day.

Our call to battle

"Working Women's Day" was first organized ten years ago in the campaign for the political equality of women and the struggle for socialism. This aim has been achieved by the working class women in Russia. In the soviet republic the working women and peasants don't need to fight for the franchise and for civil rights. They have already won these rights. The Russian workers and the peasant women are equal citizens – in their hands is a powerful weapon to make the struggle for a better life easier – the right to vote, to take part in the Soviets and in all collective organizations. [8]

But rights alone are not enough. We have to learn to make use of them. The right to vote is a weapon which we have to learn to master for our own benefit, and for the good of the workers' republic. In the two years of Soviet Power, life itself has not been absolutely changed. We are only in the process of struggling for communism and we are surrounded by the world we have inherited from the dark and repressive past. The shackles of the family, of housework, of prostitution still weigh heavily on the working woman. Working women and peasant women can only rid themselves of this situation and achieve equality in life itself, and not just in law, if they put all their energies into making Russia a truly communist society.

And to quicken this coming, we have first to put right Russia's shattered economy. We must consider the solving of our two most immediate tasks – the creation of a well organized and politically conscious labor force and the re-establishment of transport. If our army of labor works well we shall soon have steam engines once more; the railways will begin to function. This means that the working men and women will get the bread and firewood they desperately need.

Getting transport back to normal will speed up the victory of communism. And with the victory of communism will come the complete and fundamental equality of women. This is why the message of "Working Women's Day" must this year be: "Working women, peasant women, mothers, wives and sisters, all efforts to helping the workers and comrades in overcoming the chaos of the railways and re-establishing transport. Everyone in the struggle for bread and firewood and raw materials."

Last year the slogan of the Day of Women Workers was: "All to the victory of the Red Front." [9] Now we call working women to rally their strength on a new bloodless front – the labor front! The Red Army defeated the external enemy because it was organized, disciplined and ready for self sacrifice. With organization, hard work, self-discipline and self sacrifice, the workers' republic will overcome the internal foe – the dislocation (of) transport and the economy, hunger, cold and disease. "Everyone to the victory on the bloodless labor front! Everyone to this victory!"

The new task of working women's day

The October revolution gave women equality with men as far as civil rights are concerned. The women of the Russian proletariat, who were not so long ago the most unfortunate and oppressed, are now in the Soviet Republic able to show with pride to comrades in other countries the path to political equality through the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and soviet power.

The situation is very different in the capitalist countries where women are still overworked and underprivileged. In these countries the voice of the working woman is weak and lifeless. It is true that in various countries – in Norway, Australia, Finland and in some of the States of North America – women had won civil rights even before the war. [10]

In Germany, after the Kaiser had been thrown out and a bourgeois republic established, headed by the "compromisers," [11] thirty-six women entered parliament – but not a single communist!

In 1919, in England, a woman was for the first time elected a Member of Parliament. But who was she? A "lady". That means a landowner, an aristocrat. [12]

In France, too, the question has been coming up lately of extending the franchise to women.

But what use are these rights to working women in the framework of bourgeois parliaments? While the power is in the hands of the capitalists and property owners, no political rights will save the working woman from the traditional position of slavery in the home and society. The French bourgeoisie are ready to throw another sop to the working class, in the face of growing Bolshevik ideas amongst the proletariat: they are prepared to give women the vote.[13]

Mr. Bourgeois, sir - it is too late!

After the experience of the Russian October revolution, it is clear to every working woman in France, in England and in other countries that only the dictatorship of the working class, only the power of the soviets can guarantee complete and absolute equality, the ultimate victory of communism will tear down the century-old chains of repression and lack of rights. If the task of "International Working Women's Day" was earlier in the face of the supremacy of the bourgeois parliaments to fight for the right of women to vote, the working class now has a new task: to organize working women around the fighting slogans of the Third International. Instead of taking part in the working of the bourgeois parliament, listen to the call from Russia –

"Working women of all countries! Organize a united proletarian front in the struggle against those who are plundering the world! Down with the parliamentarism of the bourgeoisie! We welcome soviet power! Away with inequalities suffer by the working men and women! We will fight with the workers for the triumph of world communism!"

This call was first heard amidst the trials of a new order, in the battles of civil war it will be heard by and it will strike a chord in the hearts of working women of other countries. The working woman will listen and believe this call to be right. Until recently they thought that if they managed to send a few representatives to parliament their lives would be easier and the oppression of capitalism more bearable. Now they know otherwise.

Only the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of soviet power will save them from the world of suffering, humiliations and inequality that makes the life of the working woman in the capitalist countries so hard. The "Working Woman's Day" turns from a day of struggle for the franchise into an international day of struggle for the full and absolute liberation of women, which means a struggle for the victory of the soviets and for communism!

Down with the world of property and the power of capital!
Away with the inequality, lack of rights and the oppression of women - the legacy of the bourgeois world!
Forward to the international unity of working women and male workers in the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat - the proletariat of both sexes!

Notes
2. Tsarist Russia still used the old "Julian" calendar of the Middle Ages, which was 13 days behind the "Gregorian" calendar used in most of the rest of the world. Thus March 8 was "February 23" in the old calendar. This is why the revolution of March 1917 is called "the February revolution" and that of November 1917 "the October revolution."

3. Clara Zetkin was a leader of the German socialist movement and the main leader of the international working women's movement. Kollontai was a delegate to the international conference representing the St. Petersburg textile workers.

4. This is not accurate. The vast majority of unskilled workers in England, France and Germany could not vote. A smaller percentage of working class men in the United States could not vote – in particular immigrant men. In the South of the US black men were often prevented from voting. The middle class suffrage movements in all the European countries did not fight to give votes to either working class women or men.

5. At its 1903 Congress, the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party divided into two wings, the Bolsheviks (which means "majority" in Russian) and the Mensheviks (which means "minority"). In the period between 1903 and 1912 (when the division became permanent) the two wings worked together, unified for a while, split again. Many socialists, including entire local organizations, worked with both wings or tried to stay neutral in the disputes. Kollontai, an active socialist and fighter for women's rights since 1899, was at first independent of the factions, then became a Menshevik for several years. She joined the Bolsheviks in 1915 and became the only woman member of their central committee. She also served as Commissar of Welfare of the Soviet Republic and head of the Women's Section of the Bolshevik Party.

6. August Bebel (1840-1913) was a leader of the German Social-Democratic Party. He was a well-known supporter of the women's movement and author of a classic book on Marxism and women (Die Frauenfrage, translated into English as Woman Under Socialism, which has been translated into many languages.

7. When war broke out in 1914, there was a massive split in the international socialist movement. The majority of the Social Democrats in Germany, Austria, France and England supported the war. Other socialists, such Kollontai, Lenin, the Bolshevik Party and Trotsky in Russia, Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg in Germany and Eugene Debs in the United States, to name some of the leaders, denounced the pro-war socialists for being traitors to the working class and to the fight for a workers' revolution.

8. The word "soviet" means "council." Soviets, or workers' councils, are democratic bodies in which delegates are elected in factory and neighborhood meetings and are controlled by their sister and brother workers. The representatives of the soviets must report back to their constituency and are subject to immediate recall.

9. After the working class seizure of power in October/November 1917, the Russian workers' state was faced with two major problems. One was an invasion by thirteen countries, including the United States; the second was resistance by the pro-monarchist and pro-capitalist elements in Russia. Primarily under the direction of Leon Trotsky, the soviets created a workers and peasants army, the Red Army, which defeated the forces of counterrevolution.

10. Women had won the right to vote in several of the United States prior to World War I. A federal amendment guaranteeing all women over 21 the right to vote was passed on August 26, 1920. It was not until the 1960s that the last legal barriers to working class people voting in the United States were abolished.

11. The "compromisers" Kollontai is referring to are the Social Democratic leaders who formed a new capitalist government in Germany after the fall of the Kaiser in 1918. They actively supported counterrevolution after coming to office.

12. While the aristocratic Lady Astor was indeed the first woman to serve in the British parliament, the first woman elected to parliament was the Irish revolutionary Constance Markievicz. Together with other members of the Sinn Fein party, she refused to take her seat in the imperial parliament.

13. French women did not finally get the vote until after World War II