Thursday, May 31, 2012

Indian Anger over Economic Woes

The Sarkari Gatekeepers by Rahul Pandita

What will the Government achieve by banning Swedish author Jan Myrdal’s entry?

For many years, the Indian government has been wary of the international focus on Kashmir. On many occasions, it has banned journalists or activists from entering Kashmir, and in some cases has even deported them. But, of late, the focus has shifted to the ongoing war in Maoist-affected areas. For obvious reasons, it has made the Government nervous, prompting it to try and choke channels through which such information may reach outside India.

One such step is the proposed ban on the entry of the noted Swedish author, Jan Myrdal. On 16 May, Minister of State for Home affairs Jitendra Singh, while making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, referred to him as “pro-Maoist”, and said he had, in January, attended Maoist conventions in four Indian cities including Delhi. Singh alleged that Myrdal had advised the Maoists to “garner support from the middle-class in India by focusing on propaganda against security forces and highlighting human rights issues.”

The 85-year-old Jan Myrdal is the son of the Nobel laureate couple, Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, who had close ties with the Nehru-Gandhi family. In fact, the two were personal friends of Jawaharlal Nehru. It was Gunnar Myrdal who coined the word ‘soft state’ to describe Asian states like India, which he said “were dominated by powerful interests that exploit the power of the State or Government to serve their own interests rather than the interests of their citizens.” Though Indira Gandhi had disagreements with this notion of India, she quoted this coinage in her speeches.

The Government’s move seems to have been triggered by a barrage of mails sent to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, calling for the release of two activists who are under arrest on charges of being Maoists. Many of these mails have come from Sweden, where Myrdal is based. Myrdal seems to have first ruffled the Government’s feathers when, two years ago, he visited Dandakaranya, the epicentre of the Maoist rebellion, and met Maoist supreme commander Ganapathi. Based on his travels, he wrote a book, Red Star over India, which was released in India in January this year. In March, he attended and spoke at a few ‘anti-war’ conventions. Open has the full text of his two speeches made in Delhi, and nowhere has he spoken about what the Home Ministry accuses him of. In one of the speeches made at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, titled ‘Some notes on the working class and the imperialist wars’, he hardly speaks of India. Instead he talks almost entirely about the working class and the present situation in Europe.

The speech is full of references to Marx, Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, the Nazi regime and ‘the new imperialist wars’. In another speech at a public meeting in Delhi, Myrdal makes it clear he is speaking only to express solidarity with “the people of India against the horrors of this war [Operation Green Hunt, an anti-Maoist operation by Indian security forces]”. “To try and do that is not an interference in the internal affairs of India. We do not tell you in India how to conduct your affairs. That is for you to decide. No foreigner has the right to prescribe for you,” he says right after.

In an email response to this correspondent, Myrdal wrote: ‘I have written about the Maoist movement and that is no secret.’

Referring to his meeting with Maoists, Myrdal wrote: ‘In my discussions with them, I talked of experiences in our countries (the aftermath of the Paris Commune 1871, for instance) and the very long struggle in Europe against feudalism (from the peasant wars of the thirteenth century to 1789). But that was no “advice,” just a comradely exchange of ideas’.

The Indian government’s proposed ban on his entry has prompted Myrdal to shoot off a letter to the Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt. Quoting a newspaper report on how activists from all over the world were petitioning Chidambaram through email, Myrdal writes: ‘The Indian government is obviously more and more disturbed by the growing international knowledge about and interest in Indian affairs.’ Rubbishing all claims that he had publicly supported Maoists, Myrdal writes how his publishers had kept the authorities informed of where he stayed or made public appearances and what he had said was printed as well as released on the internet. ‘The present reaction of the Indian government against me is a normal—but irrational—reaction of governments when they notice that they are being subjected to an informed international opinion,’

Myrdal writes further. He urges Bildt to take ‘a broader—and more long-range—view [of the situation in India]’. ‘The information is there in India. India is not like Chile during the dictatorship or the Soviet Union!’ he writes.

Myrdal is right. India is most unlike the old Chile or the Soviet Union. But then perhaps he has not heard of how the Indian government recently reacted to a six-decade-old cartoon.


The Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen

Why God Save the Queen was banned : The Sex Pistols - Censorship during the Silver Jubilee

The true story behind the banning of God save the Queen. The Sex Pistols faced unheard of censorship in 1977 from the Monarchy and the establishment. To the manipulation of the charts in the Queens Jubilee year. Just in case you forgot or missed the censorship around the recent Royal Wedding here is a video statement from March 26th Movement reminding you how Monarchy closed down democracy at will on that day.

'Ireland year away from Greek devastation unless austerity stopped'

With close to 500,000 unemployed and 250,000 children living in poverty, Ireland is feeling the burden of austerity. Now the traumatized Irish economy is faced with even more cuts.

 Richard Boyd Barrett is a member of the Irish parliament and will vote "no" in a referendum on a fiscal pact with the European Union on Thursday, May 31st. The pact would impose further austerity cuts on the already reeling Irish economy.

Immortal Technique: Our ignorance affects the world

Whilst we are fans of Immortal Technique we do not embrace all his ideas - but he is our brother.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Following her statement on the Queen, Leanne Wood has helped shatter some of the illusions her election as leader of Plaid Cymru had engendered.

Leanne Wood said, to the apparent surprise of Labour AMs, that she wanted to

 “place on record my personal and my party’s best wishes to the Queen as she celebrates her 60 years of public service”.

We at the Great Unrest Group for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party are not surprised by the Plaid Cymru leaders speech, in fact we could go so far as to say we expected it.

We said in a Great Unrest Group statement on her election as leader of Plaid Cymru Toward a Welsh Socialist Republican Party reject Plaid Cymru's Great Deception  that.

" Leanne Wood taking the leadership of Plaid Cymru will spread and perpetuate the illusion that Plaid Cymru is or can become a vehicle for a progressive, socialist and republican movement, that Plaid Cymru can challenge the Westminster imposed austerities, take Wales out of the neo-imperialist wars in the middle east and elsewhere, and get rid of those imposters posing as the Prince and Princess of Wales"

Following her statement on the Queen today Leanne Wood has helped shatter some of the illusions her election had engendered.

Forward to a Welsh Socialist Republican Party

Statement from  the Great Unrest Group for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party.

Remembering the action carried out by the Maoist Communist Centre in Dalechauk Baghera in Aurangabad on May 29th 1987.

The Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) was one of the largest two armed Maoist groups in India, and fused with the other, the People's War Group in September 2004, to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

One of he most famous actions carried out by the Maoist Communist Centre was in Dalechauk Baghera in Aurangabad on May 29th 1987.

The Yadav activists of the Maoist Communist Centre slaughtered 42 Rajputs in retaliation for murders. Aurangabad is a feudal centre.

In Seshani Village the landlords launched an attack on Seshani vilage on April 19th 1987. This was in retaliation to the policies of the Krantikari Kisan Commitees who banned the selling of 150 acres of land owned by the Mahanta of Jnibigha village.

This land was bought by Lootan Sinh. The Kisan Commitee destroyed the office of Babu Lotan and his tractors wee burnt.

A red flag was hoisted over his land. The landlords were also enraged by an earlier clash with the M.C.C and the fact that hundreds of Mahua trees were owned by the Kisan SAmiti.

In a attack he landlords launched an attack on M.C.C activists in Seshani, killing 8 activists and 2 children.

Following this the Red Defence Corpes launched an attack on Dalechauk Baghera.

That area historically had the most notorious landlords like Satyendra Narayan Singh,Ram Narseh Singh and Lootan Babu.Triveni Singh,Samresh Singh and Abhan Singh and other tyrants. It was the Krantikari Kisan Commitees that challenged their might. 

On November 4th 1992, 8 of the landless peasant activists were sentenced to death.

These landless peasants were avenging the atrocities of the upper caste Rajput Landlords They killed 44 members of Rajput Families in Dalechauk Baghera.

This has historical significance as it depicts the hypocritical State policies which sides with the powerful and the landed.

Bihar has a strong history of a revolutionary peasant movement. The Story of Bihar is an epic in the struggle of the toiling peasantry against the dark forces of oppression. The government has done everything to suppress the historic struggle of the peasantry by colluding with the big upper-caste landlords.

In Bihar casteism is predominant and land divisions took place on caste lines. The upper caste Brahmins and Rajput landlords owned up to 500 acres of land reminding people of India in the 15th Century!

The peasants live under the tyranny of big landlords who own over 100 to 500acres of land in contrast to the majority who are either landless or barely own an acre of land.

Through landlord Senas (Armies of Landlords) like the Ranbir Sena the landlords grab the land of the poor and suppress the struggles of the poor peasantry. The Ruling government in Bihar never has got the criminal landlords arrested but has arrested several innocent peasants struggling against landlord oppression.

Thousands of activists of the Mazdoor Kisan Sangrami Parishad are languishing in jails. Landlords gangs in Bihar include the Lorrik Sena of the Rajputs, the Bramarshi Sena of the Bhumihars and the Ranbir Sena. Bihar still has about 100 Zamindars, who own more than 500 acres of land and 6,000 landlords who own more than 100 acres each.

The most oppressed communities in Bihar which comprise the majority of the landless peasantry, are the Dalits. 

They are virtually landless and 90%of victims of the tyranny of landlord`s armies are the Dalit Community.

Historically they have been known as the Harijans or untouchables.

John Weeks on Zakaria's (of CNN and Time Magazine) analysis of the Greek crisis is nonsense that misses the entire context of the problem

Welsh Republican Revolt 1-7th June 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chicago Memorial Day Massacre 1937

In the Memorial Day massacre of 1937, the Chicago Police Department shot and killed ten unarmed demonstrators in Chicago, on May 30, 1937. The incident took place during the "Little Steel Strike" in the United States. "Those who forget the past are destined to re-live it"

It is right to Rebel against reactionaries - The spirit of 70 year old Mr Zhao

70 year old Mr. Zhao refuses to be evicted from his home when it was purchased out from under him. He has taken a violent stand to protect his home.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time to recall the land grabbers

An extract from ‘The Great Food Robbery’: Right Livelihood Award 2011 GRAIN’s acceptance speech, 5 December 2011


On 5 December 2011, GRAIN received the 2011 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. GRAIN was awarded “for its worldwide work to protect the livelihoods and rights of farming communities and to expose the massive purchases of farmland in developing countries by foreign financial interests”. GRAIN seized on the opportunity to demand an immediate end to land grabbing and a restitution of lands to local communities. The following speech was delivered to the Swedish Parliament by GRAIN during the Awards Ceremony.


Three weeks ago, on the 16th of November, Cristian Ferreyra was shot dead by two masked men in front of his house and his family. Cristian lived in San Antonio, a village north of Santiago del Estero in Argentina. He was part of an indigenous community and a member of one of our partners, the indigenous peasant organisation MOCASE Via Campesina. His “crime”? To refuse to leave his homeland in order to make way for a massive soybean plantation, one of so many that have been encroaching on rural communities throughout Argen- tina in the last decade. So the plantation owners had him assassinated. Cristian was only 25 years old.

Six weeks ago, on the 26th of October, one farmer died and 21 others were injured, ten of them critically, in the village of Fanaye in northern Senegal. They, too, were trying to stop the takeover of their lands. Government officials had handed over 20,000 hectares surrounding their area to an Italian businessman who wanted to grow sweet potatoes and sunflowers to produce biofuels for European cars. The project would displace whole villages, destroy grazing areas for cattle and desecrate the local cemeteries and mosques. Fanaye is not an isolated case. Over the past few years, nearly half a million hectares in Senegal have been signed away to foreign agribusiness companies.

Gambela is a region in Ethiopia that borders South Sudan. It is home to one of the most extreme cases of land grabbing in the world. Over half of the arable land in the region has been signed away to Indian, Saudi and other investors who are now busy moving the tractors in and the people out. Ethiopia is in the midst of a severe food crisis and is heavily dependent on food aid to feed its people. Yet, the government has already signed away about 10% of the country’s entire agricultural area to foreign investors to produce commodities for the international market. Earlier this year, we were involved in the production of a video on the situation of the indigenous Anuak peoples in Gambela, who now face losing their farms, their villages and their ancestral territories. We wanted to help raise their voices to the international level, but in the video we had to distort their voices and hide their faces – to pro- tect them from backlash by the Ethiopian government.

One could continue with many more examples of how people who just want to grow food and make a living from the land are being expelled, criminalised, and sometimes killed, to make room for the production of commodities and someone else’s wealth. Today, we are witnessing nothing less than a frontal assault on the world’s peasantry. This is not only happening in the global South. Here in the European Union, we have lost three million farms since 2003. This amounts to a loss of one fifth of our farms in just eight years. Living from the land is becoming more difficult and, in many parts of the world, more danger- ous by the day. Peasants who have been feeding the world for thousands of years – and still are – are now increasingly being cast as backwards, inefficient and obstacles to development. The not-so- subtle message is: they should cease to exist.

GRAIN was established two decades ago to help stem the loss of the world’s agricultural biodiversity, and the traditional knowledge associated with it. We learned, however, that the problem was not so much the loss of indigenous seeds and breeds but the loss of the people who create, nurture and sustain that diversity. “Genetic erosion”, as we called it 20 years ago, is really just a consequence of a larger development that is promoting industrial farming and leading to the annihilation of the world’s rural peoples.

But these people, all over the world, are fighting back. In all corners of the globe there are dynamic movements of resistance and rebuilding, where people are struggling to hold on to their territories and keep control over their resilient food systems.


Via Campesina, the international peasant movement, has called today, the 5th of December, the “International food sovereignty day to cool down the earth”. Right now, Via Campesina members and allies are out in the streets of Durban, South Africa, protesting the negotiations over false solutions to climate change, and insisting that small farmers can not only cool the world but can feed it too. They are right.

The basic idea of food sovereignty is that the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food, rather than the demands of trans- national corporations, should be at the heart of our food systems. It prioritises local food production, based on agro- ecology and family farming, and local markets. It keeps seeds and biodiversity in the hands of farming communities, and GMO free. It nurtures and builds on indigenous knowledge of soils, seeds and farming systems. It recognises the crucial and central role of women.

The world desperately needs food sovereignty. It is our best hope to solve the planet’s most pressing crises. Today, over a billion people on the planet do not have enough to eat. Around 80% of these people are food producers living in the countryside. This intolerable situation is not due to a lack of food or technol- ogy. It is due to government policies that deliberately replace peasant agriculture with an industrial model driven by the needs of transnational corporations. This model produces commodities for the global market. It does not and can- not feed people.

We are all acutely aware of the climate crisis.

But how many people realise that the current industrial food system con- tributes around half of all global green- house gas emissions? 

You get this figure if you add up the emissions from agriculture itself, plus the change in land use when forests are turned into plantations, plus the enormous distances that food and feed are transported around the globe, plus the energy that goes into processing, cooling and freezing, plus the waste of energy and food in the increasingly centralised supermarket chains. Food sovereignty, which prioritises agro-ecological farming and local markets, can massively reduce these emissions. GRAIN has calculated that just by focusing on soil fertility restoration in agricultural lands, we could off- set between one-quarter and one-third of all current global annual greenhouse gas emissions! Small farmers can indeed cool the world.

They can also feed the world. Earlier this year, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food presented a report showing that agroecology, if sufficiently supported, can double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty. Others have shown that policies oriented towards promoting local markets, short food- transport circuits and peasant farming, all help to do the same. The issue is as simple as keeping food in the hands of people, rather than corporations.
Still, peasants, fishers and other food producers have never been more in danger of extinction.


Never before has so much money gone into the industrial food system. The last decade has witnessed a spectacular increase in speculation on food commodity markets, increasing food prices everywhere. With today’s global financial and economic crises, speculative capital is searching for safe places to multiply. Food and farmland are such places. “Everyone has to eat” is the new mantra preached in boardrooms. The race is on to take control of the world’s food-producing resources – seeds, water and land – and the global distribution of food. Today, much of those resources and food systems are still in the hands of the poor. For example, 90% of India’s milk market, the largest in the world, is in the hands of millions of small dairy farmers and vendors who collect milk and bring it fresh to consumers. These are the kind of markets that corporations, banks and investors now want to take over.

Money is also flowing directly into farming and land acquisition. Banks, investment houses and pension funds are actively buying up farmland all over the world. The data and the contracts are very hard to acquire, but current estimates are that 60-80 million hectares of land have fallen under the control of foreign investors for the production of food in the last few years only. This is equal to half the farmland of the EU! Most of this is happening in Africa, where people’s customary rights to land are being grossly ignored.

This latest trend in global land grabbing – that for outsourced food production – is only one part of a larger attack on land, territories and resources. Land grabs for mining, tourism, biofuels, dam construction, infrastructure projects, timber and now carbon trading are all part of the same process, turning farm- ers into refugees on their own land.

There is much to be done. But GRAIN would like to use this opportunity, here in the Swedish Parliament, to call for one specific action. We want an immediate end to the global farmland grab – an urgent and massive “recall” of land grabbers, analogous to what food safety authorities do when recalling contaminated food. We call on everyone to do whatever is possible to stop the inter- national flow of money for the global acquisition of farmland and to return lands to all affected rural communities. Stopping land grabbing is not just about what is legal. It is about what is just.

Here in Sweden, people can start by taking on companies, like Black Earth Farming, that have bought or leased farmland overseas. They are not allowed to do this here in Sweden and should not be permitted to do so abroad. Campaigns can be launched to pressure Swed-fund, which is using taxpayers’ money to finance the land grabber Addax in Sierra Leone. The Swedish pension fund AP2 is also going into global farmland acquisitions as a new strategy, supposedly to protect the retirement savings of working Swedes. Swedish development aid projects ought to be scrutinised, as there are already indications that some are promoting land grabbing activities in Mozambique and elsewhere. Such actions and campaigns are already brewing in other parts of Europe and in the US. These should be strengthened and supported, in order to stop land grabbing at the source.

Rural communities have fed the world for millennia. Today, the massive expansion of large scale industrial farming is destroying our capacity to move on. At GRAIN, together with peasant organisations and others social movements, we will continue exposing what is going wrong, while fighting for an equitable, just and sustainable food system. This award gives this struggle a tremendous boost. We see it not only as an acknowledgement of our work but also as a powerful recognition of the contributions of countless people and organisations engaged in the fight for genuine community-based food sovereignty. Together, we will continue this struggle. We have no other option if we are to survive on this planet with some dignity.

Thank you very much for this award, and for your attention.

Nepal's Poor Left out of Political Process

No new Constitution in Nepal from the Constituent Assembly and Peoples'Liberation Army disbanded by Prachanda Bhattarai revisionists - who pays the cost - the poor and the landless - the real cost of the Prachanda/Bhattarai betrayal of the revolutionary process in Nepal are the empty promises of Land Reform and Social Security .

Smash Revisionism - rebuild the revolutionary process in Nepal.

Africom - Expands Mission in Africa

Maurice Carney: A U.S.-based unit has been selected as the Army's first "regionally aligned" brigade, and by next year its soldiers could begin conducting operations in Africa.

Stryveland 111

More information on film regards Mynydd y Betws - Mynydd y Gwair occupation which is to take place on 8 -10 June 2012. Speeches by Cymric patriot Gethin ap Iestyn Gruffydd. See Also:

Statement in support of a Welsh Land Act by Great Unrest Group for Welsh Socialist Republican Party here:

Sign Petition for new Welsh Land Act here :

Posted by nickglais on 5/11/2012 03:52:00 AM

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) CENTRAL COMMITTEE, (dated May 11, 2012): "Chidambaram has no moral right to talk about ‘kidnaps’ by Maoists while incarcerating thousands of Adivasis and agitators in jails"

On 9-05-2012 Home Minister P. Chidambaram while replying in Rajya Sabha said – “Maoists ‘kidnapping’ young collectors, elected representatives and foreigners indicates a clear shift in the nature of the Maoist extremism and shows that Maoists are resorting to ‘terror’ tactics to bend the state government to their demands and that Maoists seek to stop development in those districts.” He reiterated his government’s resolve to continue the anti-naxal operations by following a two-pronged strategy of development and security related strategies to face this challenge.
Chidambaram was obviously referring to the recent ‘kidnaps’ of the Italian tourists and Jhina Hikaka (MLA) in Odisha and collector Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh. This statement also comes in the backdrop of the centre pushing hard for the formation of the NCTC. The government wants to put each and every just struggle under the head of so-called ‘terrorism’ and suppress the movements that they are part of. With the May 5th meeting with the Chief Ministers not reaching a decisive conclusion on the formation of NCTC, P. Chidambaram even while trying every trick in his basket to form it, is fast weaving his vicious web to create opinion that would push every action taken by the people for their genuine demands into the so-called ‘terrorism’ vat and consequently makes every citizen who participates in these struggle forms a so-called ‘terrorist’.
Firstly, we want to state that these are not ‘kidnaps’ done for ransom, vendetta, personal demands or settling scores. People are ‘arresting’ them and putting the genuine long-standing collective demands of the oppressed people, particularly the Adivasis in those areas in front of the government. All the demands are pertaining to the severe excruciating state repression that has been unleashed on them, particularly for the release of thousands of Adivasis incarcerated in the jails and their leaders. 3000 Adivasis are in jails in Chhattisgarh while 6000 Adivasis are in jails in Jharkhand. Thousands more are jailed in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and other states for fighting against displacement and for Jal-Jungle-Zameen. Peasants fighting the land lords with the slogan ‘Land to the tiller’ and fighting police atrocities have been put in jails in large numbers in areas like Narayanapatna and Lalgarh. They had been implicated under false cases and denied bails in the most unjust manner. Many had been arrested in front of the jail gates after being granted bails and again put in jails after foisting more false cases on them. In fact, most of them would have been released even if they had been sentenced. Such is the callousness of the Indian state towards the Adivasis and the poor of our country and the reason for this is to pave the way for corporate loot of natural resources in the mineral rich forest areas of our country.
The sole reason for such ‘arrests’ is not any so-called ‘terrorist tendencies’ among the people or the CPI (Maoist) leading them but the Indian State. If at all it had delivered justice to the people at any point of their life, people would not have been forced to take up such struggle forms to get their demands fulfilled. A people crushed under the iron heels of the State are very rarely taking up such forms after taking up all kinds of struggle forms like dharnas, bandhs, rallies, protest marches, hunger strikes – in one word every kind of collective struggle form involving hundreds and thousands of people for days, weeks, months or even years together to get their people (ranging from juveniles to very elderly persons) released. The Indian state always answered with bullets, more arrests, more beatings, more custodial deaths, more false cases and more ‘abductions’ of these agitators. The police, paramilitary, judiciary, civil administration, bureaucracy etc that constitute the Indian State are acting like the tentacles of a giant Octopus and entangling the people and making them breathless. The struggles of political prisoners in the jails are also being crushed most brutally. The rights to which prisoners are entitled are also violated most blatantly. It is this suffocating situation inside and outside jails that is leading to arrests of government representatives by people.
With all doors closed for justice, such struggle forms are taken up to find some respite from the umpteen numbers of violations of human rights of the Adivasi people by the central and state armed forces. In a country where media corporations are in cahoots with the interests of the imperialists, MNCs and the big land lords and do not lend their voice or space to the poor people, sometimes such struggle forms are being used by the people to even bring the genuine demands of theirs to the attention of the citizens of this country.
A quick perusal of the main demands put forward during such arrests would give anybody a fair idea about the ordeal of people under Operation Green Hunt (OGH). They are demanding the release of ordinary Adivasis who were ‘kidnapped’ by the state and have been traceless since then or were put in jails under fabricated charges and they are demanding the release of their leaders. On such occasions, they are also focusing the demand to end the multi-pronged country-wide offensive named OGH but in reality a ‘War on People’ – on the toiling masses of our country, most of whom are Dalits and Adivasis and half of whom are invariably women.
The young collectors that Chidambaram is speaking of are implementing the ‘development’ part of the two-pronged strategy and this development leads to nothing but the impoverishment and displacement of the hundreds of thousands of Adivasis and is nothing but the other side of the coin that has repression on one side. And the foreigners he is speaking of were taking objectionable photos of Adivasi women as part of tourism that the Indian state wants to promote at the cost of the dignity of the Adivasi people. There is no need to write much about the ‘elected representatives’ that are part of the rotten parliamentary system reeking of corruption, nepotism and is implementing nothing but anti-people policies as dictated by their imperialist masters. These representatives have done nothing to get the poor Adivasis released from the jails and deliver justice to them in all the years of their tenure. In fact, they are very much part of the implementation of OGH in their areas.
So we appeal to all democrats and citizens of this country to truly distinguish who the real ‘terrorists’ are – is it the poor Adivasis led by their party the CPI (Maoist) resorting to some struggle forms for their genuine demands or the Indian State that is unleashing ‘terror’ day in and day out on the disadvantaged destitute of our country? We appeal to the Indian masses to support the genuine demands put forward by the people during such arrests and fight for their fulfillment by joining hands with them. Our party firmly believes that a broad united struggle of the Indian masses is compulsory and necessary for getting the indisputable democratic rights of the deprived to be realized in practice.
It is the democratic right of the people to take up various struggle forms for fulfilling their genuine demands or even to propagate them when every inch of democratic space is being gradually but rapidly occupied by the giant octopus that is the Indian State. When this space is getting shrunk with each passing day due to the marching of the security forces in their hamlets and villages and now with the formation of a fascist institution like the NCTC, it is the inalienable right of the people to resort to various struggle forms including arrests of this kind. No struggle form is anathema to the fighting people as long as they adhere to mass line and class line as taught by our Marxist Teachers.
Chidambaram is saying that formation of NCTC is the ‘need of the hour’. Through this fascist institution modeled on the NCTC of US, the Indian ruling classes and the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists backing them wish to crush every democratic aspiration and genuine demand of the people. The ‘need of the hour’ is to fight back such fascist attempts by the Indian State to crush every political struggle and struggle form in the name of so-called ‘terrorism’. The Indian people would definitely defeat the two-pronged strategy of ‘development’ and repression (two sides of the same coin) of the central and state governments by creatively inaugurating a rainbow of myriad struggle forms. Yes, of course, Mr. Chidambaram! The people led by the CPI (Maoist) definitely wish to put a stop to your anti-people, pro-imperialist, undemocratic and repressive ‘development’ model. They categorically reject it and are very clear about it. They would prove with their uncompromising struggle for New Democratic Revolution that true ‘development’ is what they aspire for while having the interests of their children and their ecology at heart and not what the ruling classes want to impose on them while having the interests of the MNCs and the big land lords at heart.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Statement from Revolutionary Democratic Front - On banning of Jan Myrdal from visiting India - Sign Protest Petition

Picture Jan Myrdal


 24 May 2012

In the latest of its fascist move to strangle all voices of dissent and criticism, the Indian state has decided to ban any future visits of reputed Swedish scholar Jan Myrdal to India, for his support for the people’s movements in India. Recently the Ministry of State for Home Affairs, Jitender Singh made the statement in parliament that any future visit of Jan will be completely banned as he has been found guilty of ‘advising’ the CPI (Maoist) and doing propaganda on their behalf.

Historically, world over, pro-people intellectuals and scholars have always stood by people’s movements for their basic rights. Jan Myrdal too throughout his life has stood steadfast beside anti-imperialist movements and struggles. He led the movement against US war on Vietnam, in Europe and Sweden and has also written prolifically to support people’s movements in Palestine, Afghanistan, China and other places in the world. In India too he has made several visits in the past and has interacted and written about the Indian situation and people’s resistance. In 2010, at the age of 83, he travelled extensively in Dandakaranya, to have a firsthand experience of people’s resistance against the state backed war on people in the name of Operation Green Hunt and also of the larger struggle of adivasis for their land, lives and livelihood. There he also met the top leadership of CPI (Maoist) and interviewed the general secretary of the party.

Based on his experiences he wrote a book "Red Star Over India. Impressions, Reflections and Discussions when the Wretched of the Earth are Rising." The book has already been widely sold and reached its second edition in India and is being translated in various other regional languages like Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi while more contracts are being discussed.

The book is an extremely analytical and outstanding critique of Indian state’s undemocratic and anti-people policies and people’s mounting resistance against that. This year he was invited by the Kolkata book Fair to launch the book in India, which was followed by a series of lectures in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ludhiana and Delhi. In Delhi, the Forum against War on People invited him to speak on state repression. The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University also invited him to deliver the First Naveen Babu Memorial Lecture organized to commemorate the martyrdom of Naveen Babu, an ex-student of JNU who was killed by the state forces in AP on February 10, 2010.

Jan’s entire itinerary was known to the home Ministry and all his lectures and writings were published and made public. The only reason the Home Ministry is raising such an unfounded hue and cry is because they are not being able to face the issues, concerns and sharp criticism that Jan has raised and the fact that he being a scholar of such repute his criticism will be well received and taken seriously by the world. He out rightly said in one of his lectures in Delhi that it was a war against the people for simple economic reasons. Greed and profit. That is a truth even officially documented by the Government of India.”

It is the reiteration of this simple truth coming from someone as reputed and well accepted as Jan, that the Indian government cannot accept and hence has become alarmed. Jan himself has come forward and justified his visits to India and clarified his purpose rebutting the propaganda of the Indian state. He has clearly said in a letter to Swedish foreign minister he has written “The intense discussion and debate in India is not reflected in our media in the Western countries.

That is not due to any official Indian censorship (as the British one in India during WW2). It is due to the censorship of the editorial "gate keepers" in our media (and the self censorship of our correspondents in India)”.

And he rightly believes more interaction and exchanges from activists across the world is a basic necessity of the current times to forge a broad based anti-imperialist solidarity. The proposed ban on Myrdal therefore is nothing but one more fascist stranglehold over voices of dissent and protests.

The Indian state is implementing a series of repressive measures to criminalise protest and to suppress voices and forces of dissent and resistance. On one hand it is waging the most bloody war on people with the use of paramilitary, army, police force, air force and vigilante gangs; on the other hand it is banning and proscribing political parties, mass organizations, cultural fronts and arresting people under false charges. It is using the corporate media to run a psychological warfare by maligning people’s movements with vicious campaigns.

Off late the Indian IB is also harassing woman activists by sending fake audio and videos and mails with slanderous contents. The proposed ban on Jan is just another of the effort by the Indian state to muffle strong voices of critiques. The progressive and democratic forces in India and the rest of the world must raise their voices to oppose such a fascist tactic by the Indian state. The proposed ban on Jan Myrdal must be withdrawn with immediate effect.

President Varavara Rao 09676541715

General Secretary Rajkishore 09717583539

Sign the following petition to Stop the ban on entry to India of Jan Myrdal here:

700 in mass arrests at Montreal and Quebec Student Protests - Right to Protest in Danger

Around 700 people were arrested overnight in the Canadian cities of Montreal and Quebec after thousands of demonstrators hit the streets in an ongoing protest against a planned hike in student tuition fees, a police spokesperson said on Thursday.

Janet Alder Sister of British Soldier Killed in Police Station - Inspiring Speech from Inspiring Sister

Democracy and Class Struggle says deaths in Police Custody are one of Britain's dirty little secrets and there is nothing more dirty than the death and cover up of Jane Alders brother.

Support Hunger Strikers at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia - USA

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Land and Liberty for Wales - Support Petition for new Land Act for Wales

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Land and Liberty for Wales - Support Petition for new Land Act for Wales

Cymrwch y Tir Y Ol

 A 16th Century View Of The Land Grabbing Lords of the Land.

'Being oppressive and detestable;
scorning God and his commanments;
harrassing the weak for his land and welfare,
and behaving with abundant arrogance'.

Sion Brwynog who in 1597 wrote in reference to the
Forest of Snowdon Controversy:

'Trech Gwlad Nag Arglwydd'

(Adopted by Keir Hardie in his Aberdare/Merthyr 1900 Election Campaign.)

The Small Holders and landless Peasantry of Cwmwd Caeo made this their call in resistance to Gentry enclosues of their Common Land. the same Cwmwd Caeo where Gruffydd ap Rhys and his Young Wife Princes Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd ap Cynan with a small band of followers made their hide out from which to launch the great War of 1136 against then 'Anglo - Norman Robber Barons - the 'Conquistadores' of older times. The same Cwmwd Caeo of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan and sons who fought for freedom with Owain Glyndwr, Llywelyn being brutally executed in Llandovery Market Square for refusing to inform to the English King, the whereabouts of his sons. Let their sacrifices in struggles for Land and Liberty inspire us to continue the struggles of they and later generations of ‘People of the Pitcfork’ who fought against enclosures and later those farmers and Small Holders who fought in the great Tithe Wars 1886 – 88 for their Land Rights free of Economic Robbery by the Anglican Church of Anglo – Norman Conquest and Tudor Protestant Reformation.

Before these times, there was the  age of the medival Anglo – Norman Robber Barons war of conquest and Colonisation complete with ethnic cleansing and with it creation of an ‘Apartheid’ system of ‘Englishry’ and ‘Welshry’, created as a weapon of Social – Economic colonialism which made it possible for the ‘Conquistadoes’ and the settlers that came with them from England, Flanders and else where to seize  the best of our land whilst forcing the native Cymry into the margins of marsh and heathland of uplands as Mynydd y Betws  and Mynydd y Gwair as but two examples of many and much of our land still held by English Aristocrats as much made Possible by the Tudors who as example seized it to give to along with Mynydd y Gwair and many other parts of our land to their English Aristocrat favourites, many of whom still posses it as the Duke of Beaufort on Mynydd y Gwair. Ironically, it was Oliver Cromwell who delived it back to the Welsh but Charles II deliverd it back to  the English Lords and thence in part in recent times bought by Mynydd y Betws ‘Commoners’. In recent times along with other Common land that has been enclosed by the ‘New Conquistadores’ over running our land – the 'Windmill Masters' - Renewables Robber Barons.

Other than the ‘Old’ English Robber Barons, there is of course the English Crown itself who following the Conquest of 1282 – 84 made the greatest land grab of all – ‘Our Country’ , Completed by the Tudors in their 1536 Act of Annexation. Much of it is still in their hands in form of Crown Estates as recent one possessed being Swansea ‘Liberty’ Retail Park and of course the older English Crown Estates all over Cymru as at Mynyddoedd Neuadd Goch, Llys Dymper. Llanllwni and Llanfihangly Rhos-y-Corn . Where else, maybe part of historic Cefn Du ? Whatever, the English Crown aside there of course also the pressing matter of the Vyrnwy Estate and great sell off by Severn Trent to ? we have yet to be told for sure which makes of this unfinished business to be taken care orf this Mis Medi 2012 again by TARIAN GLYNDWR or mybe 'STRIVELAND CYMRU'. What else needs to concern us?

We recently attempted to luanch a petition for a Wales Land Act via WAG and found we could not and was given a verity of reasons so the reallity is we have a ‘Sham Senedd’ and so called devolved powers but we still do not own our own land or have powers over it. To this I can only say for all those who now cry for Independence to my mind this is meaningless and can only be real if we struggle for Land and Liberty and the first steps in that direction will be in as many Patriots and Welsh People far and wide signing the Wales Land Act Petition:

 Support a Land Act For Wales Petition

25 Apr 2012 ... Following the complete occupation of Wales by the Anglo Normans in 1282 - 4and again, in the 1420's following the War of Independence led ... - 19k - Similar pages

That’s the easy bit as the next step gets tougher, if we not make struggle to reposses our land and put it in ownership of our people via native peoples; farmers, small holders and workers via means of long standing tradional rights and thence via community democracy and control. Then Independence and Freedom are meaningless words as are calling for a Welsh Republic, what a ‘Rainbow Republic’ of dreams and not any radical Reality born of a resurgent people seeking to readdress centuries of wrongs and finnish some unfinnished business. Such struggle will be launched ‘Jubille Jamboree’ week I – 7 June 2012 with the March Into The Mountains Initiative in association with an across Cymru poster protest campaign on the aforementioned English Crown Estates and conclude with the occupation of Mynydd y Betws – ‘Stryveland’ on 9th June 2012 also on 10th June 2012 the promotional pre launch of the Cymru y Tir Yn Ol ‘Land and Liberty sponsored ‘Land and Liberty’ ADFEDDIANT  – Wales Land act Campaign. Noting that the official Launch will be at a conference in Maenclochog on 14 July2012 and during evening of the same day at evening time there will be a Land and Liberty – Wales Land Act Rally at the Waldo memorial for reasons of successful Resistance to land Grabbing of Preseli Mountains.

'He kept the Preslau from the Beast'.

To conclue poetically again:

Below couplet, written to remind of Rhyfel y Sais Bach 1826 and of Siaci Ifan y Gof,
sounding his horn in a call to action of the time on Mynydd Bach:

Fe dwythwyrd yr udgornar ben yr Hebryg FawrDach mwy na mil o ddynionynghyd mewn hanner awr..

The horn was sounded on Hebryg Fawr.More than a 1000 men came togetherin half an hour.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Different Greece in a Different Europe - Statement from Communist Organisation of Greece

Communique by the Press Bureau of the KOE
(Issued: Athens 5/21/2012)

Thanks to Kasama for Translation

Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this statement with our own highlights of the statement to confront some distortions of the KOE's position on the European Union.

1) the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE) currently finds itself at the epicenter of an organized attack. It is an attack intended to strike at SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left, within which our organization has been such an integral part.

These last days, the political centers of the system (including the main conservative party, New Democracy, and their instruments at the highest levels of the media) have been displaying old posters of the KOE all over the TV and print news.

These posters opposed the European Union – and the reproducing of these posters in the media is declaring, like prosecutors of some monarchy, that it proves that our positions must be condemned by SYRIZA and we should be excluded from “the body politic.”

2) This is a desperate effort launched by the old political system – which seeks to deflect and obscure the core message of the recent May 6 elections in Greece. That message was that those forces in Greece who had supported the brutal agreements with the Troika (European Union, IMF, and European Bank) had lost all political initiative and had been defeated in the electoral arena.

The result is an attempt to spread confusion – at the same time that the reactionary forces are seeking to reestablish and regroup a unified political camp in opposition to the people’s camp.

They have chosen to proclaim a voluntary slavery under the banner of “Europeanism” – which they identify with the Memoranda imposed by the Troika and with those extreme measures demanded of us by powers outside Greece, by the imperialist powers and the “markets.”

They have chosen the tactic of polarization to get over with raw misery.

And they hope to use such means to hide other available social possibilities. However their campaign is very far from being convincing. Why? Because the forces making these charges against the KOE and SYRIZA are those at the head of an electoral list invented by the German Chancellor Merkel for the Greek national elections on June 17. And because it is clear that the purpose of this attack is precisely to reverse the gains made, against the Troika following the popular vote in the May 6 election.

3) As for the question of the disputed poster, which dates back to early 2010: Our poster expressed the long-standing position of the Left in Greece – which is to support the departure of Greece from the Euro zone and from the European Union in order to carry through a social and national liberation.

This is a goal which is, today, becoming more and more clearly within reach.

The first accord was made with the Troika in 2010 totally against the will of the Greek people.

It was signed by a “government” which had already lost all democratic legitimacy , and it introduced a special new kind of regime on Greece: A regime of a colonial type within the European Union, defined by these accords with the Troika and designed to enforce a politics of social extermination, a regime of economic and political occupation which annulled and abrogated the last vestiges of bourgeois democracy and national sovereignty.

In short, precisely since the beginning of 2010 the situation has changed in a dramatic way: Since May 2010 it is the EU Directorate headquartered in Brusselles (Belgium), and especially the German element, that has led Greece toward the exit doors of the Euro zone – in order to threaten the people of Greece, and to control the country politically. And, it is a given that in these scenarios, it is the Directorate (under German control) that prepares itself to control the terms and conditions of that expulsion.

As a result: It is obvious that the KOE has no choice but to resolutely oppose such an “alternative” plan by Germany – which would impose on Greece an extremely devalued “national” currency, precisely the kind Greece experienced during the Nazi occupation of World War 2.

4) At the same time this EU, characterized by an extreme neo-liberal set of policies and by domination under the German boot, is in sharp decline as the result of economic crisis, deepening poverty and rising unemployment – especially since the beginning of this year, 2012. In addition, the EU is bowing to a tide of political reaction – in a manor seemingly unmarked by any minimal observance of democratic legitimacy and marked by a rapid rise of a kind of new-fascism. This Europe must change! Map of the European Union — within which agreements have led to a freer flow of the workforce, reduced border controls, and now brutally extreme demands for cutbacks in certain countries. It is extremely important that today, all across the continent, working people are taking to the streets and making themselves heard in the national capitals and other cities.

That is how the people’s movement in Greece, which is truly without precedent and which had survived through ferocious repression, will be connected to the struggles of people all across Europe. This is how a new battleground is being created against this “Eurocracy.” This is creating the conditions for an effective counterattack against the neo-liberal plague – and this is how truly alternative roads will be created from the various peoples – both on a national and international level.

We have every reason to believe, judging by the recent political developments, that Greece and Europe may be moving on such a trajectory.

5) Based on everything we have just said, it should be clear why the slogan “Out of the Euro Zone!” has not been, for quite a while, one of the immediate demands of the KOE. And it is well known that our main goal and the main focus of our current struggle is, together with the people of Greece themselves, to dump the special regime imposed by the Troika and the political system that serves them.

At the same time we have thrown our weight behind the struggle against a Europe which is neo-liberal, anti-people, politically reactionary, and under German domination.

As expressed in the slogans put forward by our 3rd Congress: We are fighting for a different Greece within a different Europe.

6) The Communist Organization of Greece (KOE) has united its forces together with SYRIZA. As part of that, KOE hopes to contribute to important political insights and social perspectives to the struggle of our people. It is these insights which have given rise to such a panic among the anti-people forces, the imperialists and their “markets” – leading them all to search for savage methods and ridiculous arguments to use in a smear campaign against us.

Those forces, serving the Troika-imposed politics of social extermination and national destruction, will not succeed in landing heavy blows on SYRIZA, nor will they succeed in stopping the growing strength of the people. This faltering political system was severely punished on May 6. Now many things are working toward their total destruction.

On with the struggle!
For the rise of the people!
For a true democracy, national independence, and the creative reconstruction of the country!

Athens May 21, 2012

Wales - March on the Mountains - Jubilee Week June 2012

visit :

John ‘Mac’ Gaskins, the Minister of Information of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (NABPP),

(Radio Basics also interviewed John ‘Mac’ Gaskins back on October 3, 2011 about ongoing practices of torture that he and others have experienced at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia. To download that interview, click here).

Steve da Silva / BASICS: You were telling us tonight how you spent half of your life in prison – after catching some cases when you were younger. Here you are now, 31 years of age and on the outside as revolutionary and a New Afrikan Black Panther. Can you briefly recount how you arrived at where you’re at today?
John ‘Mac’ Gaskins: Well, my story doesn’t differ much from most guys raised in urban settings. I’m from Richmond, Virginia, and born into a single-parent home. My mother is from the bottom of the working-class. As a kid, I would watch my mother go to work, working two jobs that were never enough to secure the basic necessities for me and my sister. So early on I decided that I had a distinct role to fulfill. At about the age of ten, I had this friend who taught me how to go into stores, open up the food products and eat and drink until we got full and exited the store. But eventually, I realized that this wasn’t doing anything to help my family.

So I actually started stealing products, bringing them out of the store and to my family so we could prepare meals. As this went on, the activity just progressed until I got into robberies. But I had certain moral compunctions from the start though. I never robbed a common working-class person, old ladies, anything like that. It was drug dealers, commercial establishments, and people that I felt like they were criminals themselves, either pumping poison into the community or people who have these commercial establishments in the community but don’t live in our communities and are only extracting funds from us. Ultimately, over time though I would take on some traits of an illegitimate capitalist, and this would ultimately lead me to prison at the age of 17.

My incarceration would actually begin before this though. I started going to jail when I was about 14, I spent about 2 ½ years in “Juvie” (Juvenile Detention). So that was preppin’ me for what was coming in the future, these 14 years that I would spend in prison. So ultimately I went to prison and I would endure all the practices that take place there, everything from having my fingers broken to being bit by dogs, to being strapped to a bed for days and being forced to defecate and urinate on myself. I would go without meals for days at a time, my mail was being hindered. Not having access to a telephone. I was at these “Supermax” prisons out in the mountains and I didn’t get visits. My family couldn’t afford to come visit me. I was feeling every ounce of the weight of this system and this was for me where the political education began.

I met alot of my current comrades in prison, [Kevin 'Rashid' Johnson'] and Kaysie. These brothers introduced me to important figures like George Jackson, Mao, and Che Guevera. This gave me a new way of viewing the struggles that I had been a part of thus far, whether that was trying to feed myself on the streets or battling the guards. Ultimately, I would go on an join the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, operating in my capacity as the Minister of Information. I would also co-found SPARC (Supporting Prisoners and Acting for Radical Change). SPARC created this inside-outside connection, to ensure that with every act on the inside there has to be a corresponding act on the outside. Since I got out of prison [three months ago], we’ve been trying to better coordinate the struggles inside and outside the prisons.

SD / BASICS: It seems to me that you’re a living example of the line of the NABPP – which is to transform the prisons into “Schools of Liberation”, so that when your cadre step out the prison gates they’re ready to be a positive force for revolutionary change in society. And that’s what you yourself are doing. Can you tell us a little bit about how you understand the need for a revolutionary Party that organizes the working class?

Mac: First of all, prisoners are an untapped reservoir of revolutionary potential. These guys have nothing vested in the current system, so these are our soldiers. It’s just like when I go into the poorest communities, these people who be living at the bottom of society, this is where we wanna build our base and headquarters. Among the core principles of the Panthers is going into communities, living amongst people, learning about their needs, and organizing people around those needs as a means of raising mass consciousness.

By the government’s inability or unwillingness to do so, they’ve shown that they’re not addressing the basic needs of people. People are in the predicament their in now out of decades of governmental neglect and indifference. So its the role of the Panthers to be that vanguard in the communities.
But what is long range politics to people who can’t put food in their stomachs tonight? To people whose very lives are not guaranteed for tomorrow? We’re living in communities that are over-policed, they’re ridden by crime and poverty. You have whole communities that are excluded from any economic and social participation. So it’s our role to go amongst these people, learn about their needs, and organize them around those needs.

BASICS: You were telling us earlier about the need for ‘Serve the People’ programs to organize and uplift the people, which revolutionaries from Huey Newton to Mao Tse-Tung stressed the importance of. What are these ‘STP’ programs and how are you building them where you’re at, in Washington D.C.?

Mac: I think that one of the most important programs are those that are feeding people. What is [Mao's] little Red Book gonna mean to a mother who can’t put food in her children’s stomachs tonight? So that’s at the top of the agenda, creating free food programs. Winter time is coming and its getting cold, so we wanna get some clothes out to people in the communities. We wanna get some condoms out there, talk about the dangers of unprotected sex, talk to the teenage girls about pregnancy. We are also trying to get some sort of visitation transportation out to the prisons so they can visit their loved ones. We also wanna build re-entry programs for prisoners. The Panther line is all about addressing any problems and needs that the people are having in the communities. If there’s a pot-hole in the road, we gonna get us a bag of gravel and cement and we gonna fix that.
The people learn through observation and participation, so the Panther is gonna be that example in the community.

BASICS: Any thoughts on the state of this continent, where things are going, and what we need to do?

Mac: Conditions have never been more ripe for revolutionary change. People all over the world are participating in revolutionary struggles. We’re talking about the empowerment of the masses. We want the unconditional freeing of the people. That entails the liberation of the means of production and distribution. At this point, we’re gonna start with basic STPs, and these ain’t gonna change basic social conditions in and of themselves. But if people are gonna make revolution, they first have to survive. We are an internationalist organization, and we uniting with all working class people around the world. Now is the time for people to take their own destiny into their hands. All power to the people man, and thanks again Steve.
BASICS: Thanks again for being with BASICS.

Note‡ The New Afrikan Black Panther Party should not be confused with the ‘New Black Panther Party’ The NABPP that is the subject of this interview is a revolutionary communist prison-based organization (though building on the outside) that advocates for internationalism and organizing amongst all poor, oppressed and working class people in America. The ‘New Black Panther Party’, by contrast and in complete opposition to the original BPP – is a cultural nationalist organization that is not internationalist or communist, and does not uphold the leadership of the working class.

Red Onion Prisoners Unite in a Hunger Strike Protesting Abuse


Press Contacts: Solidarity with Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers

John Tuzcu /216.533.9925 /
Adwoa Masozi / 973.494.4266 /

What: Press Conference
When: 11 AM
Where: VA Department of Corrections, 6900 Atmore Dr. Richmond VA (at the DOC sign on the corner of Atmore and Wyck St.)

RICHMOND – On Tuesday May 22 as many as 45 prisoners at Red Onion State Prison, comprising at least 2 segregation pods, will enter the first day of a hunger strike protesting deplorable conditions in the prison and ongoing abuses by prison staff. For the men participating in the strike this is their only recourse to get Red Onion warden Randy Mathena to officially recognize their grievances and make immediate changes to food, sanitation and basic living conditions at the prison.

Supporters from DC and Virginia along with prisoner family members will hold a press conference at 11 AM in front of the VA Department of Corrections, in Richmond at 6900 Atmore Dr., to urge Warden Mathena, the Virginia Department of Corrections under Harold Clarke, Governor Bob McDonell, state Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb and other state and congressional legislators to act on behalf of justice and human rights. ­­

A statement released by one of the hunger strike representatives said, "We’re tired of being treated like animals. There are only two classes at this prison: the oppressor and the oppressed. We, the oppressed, despite divisions of sexual preference, gang affiliation, race and religion, are coming together. We are rival gang members but now are united as revolutionaries.”

Some of the prisoner’s demands include the right to have fully cooked meals, the right to clean cells, the right to be notified of the purpose and duration of their detention in segregation, and a call for the end to indefinite segregation. Red Onion has been repeatedly criticized since it opened in 1998. A 1999 Human Rights Watch report on Red Onion concluded that the "Virginia Department of Corrections has failed to embrace basic tenets of sound correctional practice and laws protecting inmates from abusive, degrading or cruel treatment."

After exhausting legal and administrative channels, prisoners are holding this hunger strike to bring these abusive prison conditions to light. This action comes at a time when many are speaking out against the expanding prison system in the United States in an effort to uphold their human dignity and basic human rights.

Letters signed by residents in Congressional District 9 will be delivered to the Senators office later in the week and concerned citizens from across Virginia and the nation will be pressuring the Virginia DOC to meet the prisoner’s demands.

Ten Demands of ROSP Hunger Strikers

We (Prisoners at Red Onion State Prison) demand the right to an adequate standard of living while in the custody of the state!

1. We demand fully cooked food, and access to a better quality of fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, we demand increased portions on our trays, which allows us to meet our basic nutritional needs as defined by VDOC regulations.

2. We demand that every prisoner at ROSP have unrestricted access to complaint and grievance forms and other paperwork we may request.

3. We demand better communication between prisoners and higher- ranking guards. Presently higher-ranking guards invariably take the lower-ranking guards’ side in disputes between guards and prisoners, forcing the prisoner to act out in order to be heard. We demand that higher- ranking guards take prisoner complaints and grievances into consideration without prejudice.

4. We demand an end to torture in the form of indefinite segregation through the implementation of a fair and transparent process whereby prisoners can earn the right to be released from segregation. We demand that prison officials completely adhere to the security point system, insuring that prisoners are transferred to institutions that correspond with their particular security level.

5. We demand the right to an adequate standard of living, including access to quality materials that we may use to clean our own cells. Presently, we are forced to clean our entire cell, including the inside of our toilets, with a single sponge and our bare hands. This is unsanitary and promotes the spread of disease-carrying bacteria.

6. We demand the right to have 3rd party neutral observers visit and document the condition of the prisons to ensure an end to the corruption amongst prison officials and widespread human rights abuses of prisoners. Internal Affairs and Prison Administrator's monitoring of prison conditions have not alleviated the dangerous circumstances we are living under while in custody of the state which include, but are not limited to: the threat of undue physical aggression by guards, sexual abuse and retaliatory measures, which violate prison policies and our human rights.

7. We demand to be informed of any and all changes to VDOC/IOP policies as soon as these changes are made.

8. We demand the right to adequate medical care. Our right to medical care is guaranteed under the eight amendment of the constitution, and thus the deliberate indifference of prison officials to our medical needs constitutes a violation of our constitutional rights. In particular, the toothpaste we are forced to purchase in the prison is a danger to our dental health and causes widespread gum disease and associated illnesses.

9. We demand our right as enumerated through VDOC policy, to a monthly haircut. Presently, we have been denied haircuts for nearly three months. We also demand to have our razors changed out on a weekly basis. The current practice of changing out the razors every three weeks leaves prisoners exposed to the risk of dangerous infections and injury.

10. We demand that there be no reprisals for any of the participants in the Hunger Strike. We are simply organizing in the interest of more humane living conditions.
See Also:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh leader says fight for tribal rights to intensify

Picture: Nachika Linga

The quasi-political organisation, Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh, operating in Odisha’s Koraput and Malkangiri districts, has often been described as the frontal wing of the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of Maoists. The organisation has been in the news since the abduction of Jhina Hikaka in March. It was alleged that the abduction was the result of a deal going sour between the BJD and the Sangh. Speaking to The Telegraph from a secret location in Narayanpatna, Sangh leader Nachika Linga maintained that the deal had taken place.

lIs it true that the Sangh is a frontal organisation of the Maoists?

We fight for the tribal rights and have nothing to do with the Maoists. Our mission is to destroy all the illegal manufacturing units of country liquor operating at our villages and give the land that the government has forcefully taken away from the tribal community back to them.

lBut why did the Maoists demand release of the Sangh members while they were negotiating with the government on Hikaka’s release?

The Maoists support our work for the tribals. They also feel that the Sangh members, who have been arrested, are innocent.

lWhat is your fight with the government about?

We want the government to give back the land taken away from the tribal people. Plus, the government should address basic problems, such as lack of irrigation facilities and healthcare centres and scarcity of teachers in schools. There is no anganwadi centre operating in Narayanpatna. Around 84 per cent people live below poverty line in Koraput. It’s been more than 60 years since we got Independence, but the government has paid no heed to our basic needs.

lYou are on the “most wanted” list of the state police. There are over 60 cases against you ranging from murder to waging war against the state.

These are false allegations. The government should set up an inquiry commission on this before issuing arrest warrants against me.

lDid you have an agreement with the BJD in which you said you would help the party win the Koraput zilla parishad’s presidential post if it agreed to your demands?

Yes that was the deal. MLAs, including Jayaram Pangi and Jhina Hikaka, signed it.

lWhat were the demands?

We wanted the government to remove all criminal charges against our members, who were earlier acquitted by the judiciary. Plus, we asked for an independent inquiry into the Narayanpatna police firing that took place in November 2009, in which our comrades Andru and Singhana were killed. We also asked for prohibition of liquor at our villages and all-around development. But, none of our demands has been met so far. Hikaka did not speak to chief minister Naveen Patnaik about our demands.

lThe Maoists took a written undertaking from Hikaka that he would resign as an MLA after his release. But, he hasn’t resigned yet. Does that mean he may be abducted again?

The Maoists released Hikaka because he was a tribal. Since Hikaka hasn’t kept his word, there is a possibility that he may be abducted again. He should now severe ties with his party and work for the people, especially for those in the most backward blocks — Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon.

lWhat is your support base? And what is your next course of action?

We have over 35,000 members. Our fight against the government will intensify in the coming months. We are planning to form a parallel governance system with the help of villagers to take care of our needs. Also, our uncontested elected leader, Juro Mauka, in the Koraput zilla parishad would ensure that welfare schemes reach our villagers.

Source: Telegraph - Calcutta

Naxalbari, a Village Remembered by Dr. Amitabh Mitra plus Naxalite by Asian Dub Foundation

Most dangerous is that watch
Which runs on your wrist
But stands still for your eyes.
Most dangerous is that eye
Which sees all but remains frostlike,
Most dangerous is the moon
Which rises in the numb yard
After each murder,
But does not pierce your eyes like hot chilies. '

Paash, A Naxalite Poet

During the summer holidays in Gwalior, we all went to my grandmother home in Shibpur in Howrah to escape the extreme heat of Madhya Pradesh. During one such visit, we found the walls of her house and adjoining houses plastered in red with slogans, 'Naxalbari Laal Saalam'. As a young boy unaware of the politics of that time in Bengal, I had frequently asked my father and uncles about the slogans and graffiti which they always declined to explain.

Nobody had the courage to whitewash those walls. Many years later, North East India became my favorite tramping grounds and driving long distances through little hamlets on my way to Bhutan or Along was more frequent. Visiting Naxalbari became a reality during that time. But the explosive ingredients had long fizzled off and Naxalbari I found to my great disappointment just a small village like any other village in the Darjeeling district. The ghosts of Naxalbari could not be suppressed and curiosity brings thousands of people like me just to feel the soil or try to find a tiny ember of a revolution within the tea plantations and villages of that area. The Mechi River lies close to it and across it lies Nepal. Farm lands, tea estates and forests dot this fertile geographical part of Darjeeling district. The large villages in the region are Buraganj, Hatighisha, Phansidewa and Naxalbari. It all started in May 23 1967. The landless and poor peasants of Jharugaon village raised their bow and arrows.

The attacking police hordes were met with a shower of arrows, spears, stones. An inspector was killed, the rest fled. The Naxalbari armed struggle that was to become a historic turning point in Indian politics, had begun. At the entrance to Naxalbari, a Kargil martyr's statue stands. The statue looks out of place in the village of Naxalbari. The sculptor sold it to government who thought of it erecting it there just to divert the mind from a history that is part of this place.

  A dusty path leads to the settlement of 30,000-odd people sharing borders with Nepal and Bangladesh. There is no development here, the highways are pock marked and the peasants look poorer. The illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Nepal do not know anything about this movement nor do they care to do so. The main occupation seems to be smuggling of essential goods through Nepal and Bangladesh borders.

A lone unkempt statue of Comrade Charu Mazumdar stands. The children of the village don't know anything about him. 26-Apr-2009

Asian Dub Foundation - Naxalite
Album: Rafi's Revenge

The Malkangiri Adivasi Sangh - A Study by Indian Comrade

The birth of the Sangh took place in reaction to the spontaneous movement of 1977.In the Manuskhunda jungle belt, the forest officials got a number of tribals arrested from 40 villages to punish them for having settled forest lands.10,000 tribals protested against this in Balimela,a working –class area. A Jan Pal Sangh was set up.A large number of tribals in the region were victims of displacement for development projects.

In 1983 the Malkangiri Sangh held it's first conference. However at this time a revisionist trend took place within the organisation.The mass organisation was stripped of all it's powers. There was no more democratic functioning. In 1985 the Sangh put up a candidate for the elections.This was an imposition on the mass organisation

However after 1988 some comrades under the leadership of Purshottam Palli revived the Sangh.The revisionist line was refuted. Political activity was regularised.Mass activity was re-started,village commitees and Panchayat commitees wre re-started Agitations were launched. Collective functioning was emphasized. Representative commitees were selected.Mass organisation members were asked todraft their own leaflets, devise programmes etc.The idea that outside leadership is the centre is removed.The involvement and encouragement of common people was encouraged.

Any leaflet would have to be passed only after being drafted and corrected by mass organization members in the committee.This way a sense of confidence was enthused on the tribals.A special charter of demands was made.Every May Day the Sangh renewed it's charter and the copies of the charter were distributed on a large scale.The significance of each demand was reviewed in the village committee,based on specific instances in local areas .

Solidarity with the working class in Balimela

The Sangh held joint programmes with the workers of Balimela.In 1992 they had a joint May day programme where a rally of 3000 people was staged.The workers had been mobilised to raise demands on behalf of the peasantry.

A leaflet was brought about on May day explaining the connection betweeen the struggle of the workers and the struggles of the tribals.In january 1993 the Tapu tribals grabbed about 1500 acres of land 27 tribals were arrested by the police.

The Balimela workers demonstrated against the police against the arrest.They went into the district's magistrate court and ultimately helped in releasing the tribals.

May Day programmes

In 1992 ,the leadership of the Sangha and the workers of Balimela held a joint programme. Workers were organized to support peasant's demands while peasants were organized to support Peasants demands.The central demands of the tribals were land,jungle and water.
A leaflet as written explaining the birth of the Red Flag,the symbol of the collective strength,sacrifice and Struggle.It discussed he specific oppression faced by the tribals and dalits(scheduled castes ) in the society)It explained the trelatinship between the basic demands although they were relatively small with unity could change the basic conditionsd of labour.It went on to explain that expectations from the electoral process was an illusion.