Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chairman Gonzalo on Hunger Strike - Abimael Guzmán se declara en huelga de hambre

Comrade Chairman Gonzalo has gone on hunger strike for four reasons:

First, because the authorities had prevented his family from visiting him for almost a year (his wife was prevented from visiting since December, 2013).

Second: that the lawyer can't get legal documents found in his cell.

Third: because authorities took his memoirs.

Fourth: that the judge had asked the Court to cancel the decision of marriage to the fellow comrade Elena ..

All this information is conveyed by his lawyer Alfredo Crespo.

Freedom to Comrade Gonzalo

Freedom for all Communists in Peru.

Solidarity is our weapon of ...

Let us join with Commander Gonzalo! (After the fourth day of the strike )

Free Abimael Guzman - Free Abimael Guzman - Free Chairman Gonzalo



Elena Yparraguirre, wife of top leader of Shining Path, Abimael Guzman, was able to visit yesterday in the prison of the Callao Naval Base, three days after he began a hunger strike.

Jiang Qing (Chang Ching) Remembered by Harsh Thakor

Red Salutes to comrade Jiang Qing (Chiang Ching) in her 100th birthday year as well as to Zhang Chunqiao (Chang-Chung-Chiao)!

Long Live memories of the Gang of Four and may their names be written in letters of gold!

This article expresses the personal views of Harsh Thakor
On March 19th 1914 Comrade Jiang Qing was born.

Earlier this year on  March 19th the 100th birthday of Jiang qing, (Chiang Ching) one of the leaders of the Maoist gang of four took place.
Sadly there was no commemoration deliberately held in China as she blackened the injustice of the current C.C.P.
There was also no mention or celebration of Jiang Qing’s 100th birthday in the revolutionary camp worldwide.

A major commemorating meeting celebrating Chiang’s 100th birthday explaining the significance of her work and of ZhangChunqiao ‘ should have been held.
Without doubt she was one of the greatest women revolutionaries of all time whose contribution was immortal to  the Communist Movement.
Few women comrades were ever more daring and courageous. For 10 years she defended Mao Tse Tung’s like with the solidity of a boulder. She would traverse the steepest of cliffs and the most turbulent of seas in defending the Socialist line
She was also one of the most creative and innovative of artists in revolutionary history devising a new form of opera .She mastered artistic forms that related to the common people.

We commemorate 50 years this year since she innovated a new form of Opera in July 1964.
With Comrade Zhang Chunqiao she played the biggest role in the ten years of the G.P.C.R after Mao. She was one of the sharpest critiques of the capitalist roaders and voiced the very heart of the masses.

With the other 3 comrades she played a major role in implementing Mao’s call for supporting the line of Tachai and herself participated in agricultural production.
The phenomenal  achievements of  the G.P.C .R  in  it’s final years owe a great deal to the Gang of four especially Jiang Qing and the 1976 political rally in Tiannemen square supporting Mao ‘s line led by the gang of was one of the most significant events in revolutionary China’s political history.

A major campaign had been initiated  by Zhang Chunqiao in battle revisionism called ‘farrago on the educational front.’
This debated whether the Cultural Revolution educational policies should be followed or the conventional policies before the G.P.C.R.

Revolutionary comrades do not deny that she made grave errors and the practice of Chiang and her comrades was infested with powerful currents of left sectarianism.

The slogans raised had left adventurist overtones. This was observed by writers like William Hinton. Artists, musicians and intellectuals were subjected to persecution of phenomenal proportions.

However the 4 particularly Jiang and Zhang  initiated some of the most progressive innovation seen in any society, be it in art or production.

They withstood the 1981 trial with death defying courage.

No comrade exhibited more courage than Jiang, in spite being a women  through her historic statement .

Her speech created the sensation of  a red flame extinguishing in the court.
Sadly  the major component of the revolutionary camp in the world  in 1978 did not uphold Chiang Ching or the Gang of four as genuine exponents of Mao’s revolutionary line but clubbed them as a counter-revolutionary sect and upheld Hua Guofeng.

This included organizations like Unity Centre of Communist revolutionaries of India, C.P.Reddy-S.N.singh group, C.P.I.(M.L.) Party Unity and C.P.I.(M.L.) peoples war .

One has to credit Bob Avakian and the R.C.P.U.S.A for upholding Chiang Ching and the other comrades in 1978 itself.

In India only the Central Re-organization Commitee of the C.P.I.(M.L.)  and  the U.C.C.R.I.(M.L.)led by Harbhajan Sohi upheld the Gang of 4.

One of the strangest phenomena was the peoples rally against the gang of 4 in 1976 just after Mao’s death.

This can be attributed to weaknesses in political trends in the G.P.C.R. and the legalizing of revolutionary committees .

The masses were not educated sufficiently on who were their real enemies.

Certain writers quote Mao stating “Help Chiang correct her errors”.Mao rebuked the gang for not completely implementing the mass line not uniting the majority and resorting to factionalism and splitting.

From 1974 the revolutionary committees were morally de-activated. William Hinton stated

“The Gang of four”  was ultra-left which grossly distorted Mao’s policies and directives, carried sound initiatives to extremes that turned them inside out and upside down, and succeeded in wrecking  whatever they touched.

In the 1960’s unlike earlier periods found himself on ‘Liang Mountain’ in regard to leftism-that is so immobilized by a contradiction with the right that he felt tied his hands in dealing with the left.”

I feel this assessment grossly undervalues the situation the 4 comrades faced and hardly does them true justice. Such comrades hardly understood or respected the death-defying political struggle of the gang of 4 to save the Socialist State.

Quoting Bob Avakian

“ Another dimension is, I do think there were some errors of conception and methodology on the part of the people leading this—maybe Mao to some degree, but especially people like Chiang Ching and others who put a tremendous amount of effort into bringing forward these advanced model revolutionary cultural works, which were really world-class achievements in revolutionary content, but also in artistic quality: the ballets, and the Peking operas and so on.

But who also I think, had certain tendencies toward rigidity and dogmatism, and who didn’t understand fully the distinction between what goes into, of necessity, creating model cultural works, and what should be broader artistic expression, which might take a lot of diverse forms, and not only could not be, but should not be supervised in the same way and to the same finely-calibrated degree as was necessary in order to bring forward these completely unprecedented model cultural works.

And there needed to be more of a dialectical understanding, I think—and this is tentative thinking on my part, because I haven’t investigated this fully and a lot more needs to be learned, so I want to emphasize that—but I have a tendency to think that there needed to be a better dialectical understanding of the dialectical relation between some works that were led and directed in a very finely detailed and calibrated way from the highest levels, mobilizing artists in that process, and other things where you gave a lot more expression to a lot more creativity and experimentation, and you let a lot of that go on, and then you sifted through it and saw what was coming forward that was positive, and learning from different attempts in which people were struggling to bring forward something new that would actually have a revolutionary content, or even that wouldn’t but needed to nevertheless be part of the mix so that people could learn from and criticize various things and decide what it was they wanted to uphold and popularize and what they didn’t.

So I think there’s more to be learned there.”

The author claims this is an armchair criticism on the innovation of a great revolutionary,whatever maybe the shortcomings.

In fact the opera composed by Chiang Ching which she directed was one of the greatest developments in revolutionary art. In fact Chiang Ching brilliantly applied dialectics and

Avakian adopts an idealistic view.
Again quoting Avakian

“I also think there was a third dimension to this. There was an element, even in Mao—and I’ve criticized this, you know, it’s controversial, but I’m criticizing something that [has been pointed to] in various things I’ve written or talks I’ve given, in particular one called Conquer the World?6—that there was a tendency, even in Mao, toward a certain amount of nationalism.

And I think this carried over into some of the ways in which intellectuals and artists who had been trained in and were influenced by or had an interest in Western culture—there was somewhat of a sectarian attitude toward some of that.

You know, Mao had this slogan: we should make the past serve the present and foreign things serve China.

Well, in my opinion, that—particularly the second part of that—is not exactly the right way to pose it.

It’s not a matter of China and foreign things, it’s a matter of—whether from another country, or from China, or whatever country art comes from—what is its objective content?

Is it mainly progressive or is it mainly reactionary?

Is it revolutionary or counter-revolutionary? Does it help propel things in the direction of transforming society toward communism or does it help pull things back and pose obstacles to that?

And I think that formulation, even the formulation of “foreign things serve China”—while it has something correct about it, in not rejecting everything foreign, let me put it that way—has an aspect of not being quite correct and being influenced by a certain amount of nationalism, rather than a fully internationalist view [with regard to] even the question of culture.”

The author finds this analysis that Mao was nationalistic as baseless as Mao strived to promote proletarian Internationalism  and class outlook

The impact of the Bolivarian Revolution on Education by Jesus Rojas

The impact of the Bolivarian Revolution on Education

"Nations will march towards the apex of their greatness at the same pace as their education".

Simon Bolivar.

Educational achievements in Venezuela since the triumph of the Bolivarian Revolution have, along with health care come to symbolise the humanitarian aspect of this popular social revolution. The bolivarian revolution has achieved and has sustained universal access to free and secular public education at all levels and with high degree of equity. When the revolutionary government came to pòwer spending on educaction was one of the area it focused on the most. By 2001 it increased public spending on education to 4,3% of GDP (or $220 per capita), twice the level of 1996 and one of the highest level in twenty years. Much of the new investment in education went towards the building of new schools and the transformation of old ones into "Bolivarian Schools". Also public school enrollment (primary and secondary) increased from 5.5 million in 1998 to 6,5 million in 2001 an increase in one million (or 18%) in just three years, when in the previous six years there had been no increase at all in public school enrollment.

The increase in basic education enrollment represented 8,6% of children age 5 through 14, or nearly half million in school who would otherwise be without education. For secondary education, the increase meant that 14,7% of children age 14 through 19, or nearly 400.000 children have been able to stay as a direct result of improved social investment. The largest gain has seen in higher education: from 1999-2000 school year to 2006- 2007 enrollment increased by 86%. The bolivarian revolution also initiated The Ribas Mission to provide secondary for returning adult students. The Ribas Mission began in 2003 and its first students graduated in 2005. In its first three years of operation, the program graduated over half a million students- about three percent of the country`s adult population. The revolution also carried out a large scale literacy training program Misión Robinson.


On October 28, 2005, UNESCO declared Venezuela illiteracy-free territory acknowledging the educational teaching-learning method known as "Yo Sí Puedo" (Yes, I Can) which was designed by Cuba, and implemented through the social program known as Mision Robinson (Robinson Mission). During mentioned year 1.486.000 Venezuelans became literate as the result of the government`s efforts to guarantee all its citizens the right enshrined in the Bolivarian Constitution (1999) on articles 102, 103, 110, and, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines that "everyone has the right to holistic, comprehensive, good quality education, with opportunity offered equally. The late president Hugo Chavez along with Cuba`s help, promoted the Post-literacy program known as "Yo Si Puedo Seguir" (Yes, I Can Continue). Robinson Mission II, later adding other educational programs such as Ribas y Sucre for diversified university levels, respectively. According to data from the Ministry of Education, during 2011-2012 the access to education was at 96.50% while in 2012 and 2013 stood at 95.50%. This year the government will distribute 35 million textbooks to state primary and high schools from its Bicentenary Collection, which covers the national curriculum. This marks an increase from last year when 30.75 million books were distributed under the system, and 12 million in 2011.

The government is also planning to distribute 5 million copies of the National Constitution to schools this term in order to raise awareness of the constitution’s contents and promote the values defended in its articles. It will also distribute 650,000 free "Canaima" laptops to children from 1st to 6th grade this school term. A further 1.4 million will be handed out in 2014, bringing the total distributed since 2008 to 4 million, the Canaima laptops are manufactured in the country as part of a cooperation agreement with Portugal.

Today, the Venezuelan state allocates 7 percent of its GDP to education, while in 1998 the contribution was barely 3.9 percent. Without including the socialist missions that target those left outside of the formal education system, enrollment in 1998 stood at 6.2 million and has now increased to 7.5 million in both public and private institutions. Venezuela has Latin America’s second-highest rate of enrollment in higher education: 83 percent. This figure rivals that of developed countries like Finland (92 percent). The average rate of enrollment for the region stands at 29.6 percent. Investment in higher education: Funding for university has increased by 814 percent, up from less than $300 million in 1999 to $2.6 billion in 2011. 2010 marked the year when the most universities were created in the history of Venezuela- a total of nine universities. Student admissions: the policy of inclusion was consolidated in 2010, when 128,382 people were admitted to universities through the National Enrollment System (RUSNIEU).

The Bolivarian Government of Venezuela increased higher education enrollment by 170 percent, up from 785,285 students in 1998 to over 2.12 million in 2009. Public and free access to higher education has been boosted under the Bolivarian Revolution. Enrollment in public universities was at 61 percent in 1998, while in private universities it stood at 39 percent, but by 2009, the enrollment in public universities reached 75 percent, and 25 percent in private universities.[1]. Special Education: In 2012, Venezuela’s National Assembly authorized the executive to approve about $40 million for the Ministry of Education to build 1,200 special classrooms in Bolivarian public schools for children with disabilities.[2].


[1] Ministry of People’s Power for University Education "Achievements of the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution," June 2011. Accessed on May 17, 2012.

[2] Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S "National Assembly Approves Almost 40 Million to Build Especial Education Classrooms". March 7, 2012. Accessed on May 17, 2012

[3]Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S "Mission Robinson Teaches Close to Two Million People to Read and Write," March 3, 2011. Accessed on May 17, 2012.

[4] Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S. "Over 800,000 Venezuelans Have Benefitted from Social Missions "Ribas" and "Madres del Barrio," March 3, 2011. Accessed on May 17, 2012.

[5] Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S. "2,600 Bolivarian Computing Centers Bring Technology to Communities," March 20, 2012. Accessed on May 17, 2012.


Lecturing Ferguson? Again, are communists rebels or not? by Eric Ribellarsi

With every great uprising, rebellion, and revolution of this planet’s people, it has been painful to watch those of the Left who have stood to the side, complaining about this or that aspect. In practice, despite what they say, they focus their main outrage at the righteous uprisings of the people, even more so than the system.

Years ago, Kasama featured a polemic from Greece titled “Are Communists Rebels or Not?” At the time, the Communist Party of Greece was denouncing the rioting and rebellions in Greece in the name of “the real popular revolt.” Today, thousands of new young militants have come into political life with a profound hatred of that organization as a result. Despite waves of radical resistance, that organization has had very little to do with the class struggle of the recent years.

On this site (KASAMA), a similar kind of post appeared last night (before being toned down, but holding onto the same basic formulations). It claimed:

“Rebellion is right, but it is not revolution. The rebellion in Ferguson has inspired all who care about human liberation. But street fighting is not the same as revolution and we need to turn the righteous anger of Black youth into disciplined revolutionary organization.”
No shit. Also, a teenager is not an adult. Jets are not spaceships. Dating is not a committed relationship. What is the point of statements like these?

What value is there to juxtaposing revolution against righteous resistance and rebellion, other than to promote scholastic disdain for the people who are throwing their lives into the real struggle of the people?

Many rebellions are the initial sparks of revolutionary movements. Most are not. Why is it seen as the task of communists to lecture people over this difference literally the night of the uprisings?
The article continues:
“Some sincere people would have the idea that what is needed is to spread the rebellion in Ferguson to other parts of the country. Theirs is the mistaken belief that the key thing that is needed right now is more Fergusons, more riots.  
While the spread of rebellions in several urban Black suburban neighborhoods could have a positive effect on the consciousness and fighting spirit of the people, such rebellions alone will not, by themselves, lead to liberation.”
In fact, if this country is not in rebellion and uprising for a long time to come, it will solidify that Black life is worth nothing and that it is perfectly legal to lynch Black people. This is a life and death political battle that is worth fighting for, including if it never leads to revolution. Resistance matters. What value is there in denouncing that?

The article continues further:
Some revolutionary-minded people have put out calls for nationwide action with the hopes of spreading rebellion in the neighborhoods where they are. Is this the key thing that communists should be doing? Do communist networks exist with real ties to the people so that such calls can have the desired effect? If not this call for action, then what?”
Seas of people are in rebellion right now. Thousands upon thousands of people are fighting, putting their lives on the line. Mass resistance is not dependent upon some decades old entrenched social base. Who mobilized the network of the LA rebellion? Or the Watts rebellion? These things have a popular character among the people that (fortunately) runs far ahead of the consciousness of the condescending advice of the Left.
The article continues:
"What Ferguson exposes is the urgent need for communist organization."
So, fire your ideas, hire mine? Perhaps Ferguson also demonstrates how far ahead of the Left the people already are. They have learned through wave upon wave of resistance: from Oscar Grant, to Trayvon Martin, to Mike Brown, and a thousand others who were murdered. And there has been a cumulative awakening and anger, regardless of the work of communists. Perhaps it is time we shut up and listen.

Who could forget November 15th, 2011, when the Occupy movement was brutally crushed by the police, and every dogmatist tried to march out and denounce the movement. Kasama’s own post-eviction Occupy event was disrupted by dogmatist fools shouting “we need a worker’s party!” The line presented here is no different.

It is good that a toned down and revised version of this article was released, but that article unfortunately holds to the same themes. It centers its argument on "Rebellion is right, but it is not Revolution"  (a heading in the article), and it continues with platitudes like: "Street-fighting alone, however, is not itself the same thing as making revolution" and it does not remove "What Ferguson exposes is the urgent need for communist organization." It is simply wrong to issue these kinds of platitudes the night of the Darren Wilson verdict in Ferguson, even if they contain truth in an abstract sense.

Our love for the people requires a determined partisanship with the movement of the people. We should not frame ourselves as the judges of the people's actions in the way this revised article does when it says "It's encouraging to see people challenging officially-approved channels of 'nonviolent' protest."

We should be humbled, listen, learn, and fight alongside our brothers and sisters. And once we've learned from the people, perhaps then we will have a much more meaningful and profound contribution to make.

In the history of our communist movement, a similar debate once emerged in the Chinese revolution, repeatedly as history would show. Speaking of this great struggle, Mao Tse-tung wrote:
“The present upsurge of the peasant movement is a colossal event. In a very short time, in China's central, southern and northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all the trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation. They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants and evil gentry into their graves. Every revolutionary party and every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test, to be accepted or rejected as they decide. There are three alternatives. To march at their head and lead them? To trail behind them, gesticulating and criticizing? Or to stand in their way and oppose them? Every Chinese is free to choose, but events will force you to make the choice quickly…
From the middle social strata upwards to the Kuomintang right-wingers, there was not a single person who did not sum up the whole business in the phrase, "It's terrible!" Under the impact of the views of the "It's terrible!" school then flooding the city, even quite revolutionary-minded people became down-hearted as they pictured the events in the countryside in their mind's eye; and they were unable to deny the word "terrible". Even quite progressive people said, "Though terrible, it is inevitable in a revolution." In short, nobody could altogether deny the word "terrible"…
In a few months the peasants have accomplished what Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted, but failed, to accomplish in the forty years he devoted to the national revolution. This is a marvelous feat never before achieved, not just in forty, but in thousands of years. It's fine. It is not "terrible" at all. It is anything but "terrible". "It's terrible!" is obviously a theory for combating the rise of the peasants in the interests of the landlords; it is obviously a theory of the landlord class for preserving the old order of feudalism and obstructing the establishment of the new order of democracy, it is obviously a counterrevolutionary theory.
No revolutionary comrade should echo this nonsense.
If your revolutionary viewpoint is firmly established and if you have been to the villages and looked around, you will undoubtedly feel thrilled as never before. Countless thousands of the enslaved--the peasants--are striking down the enemies who battened on their flesh. What the peasants are doing is absolutely right, what they are doing is fine! "It's fine!" is the theory of the peasants and of all other revolutionaries.”


No Justice - No Profit : Boycott Black Friday

The ‘No Justice, No Profit’ campaign – led by a movement of celebrities and activists – is calling for a nationwide boycott of retail outlets to protest the recent grand jury decision not to indict a white officer for killing an unarmed black teenager.

Spearheaded by the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition, the campaign is being promoted under Twitter hashtags such as #BlackoutBlackFriday and #BoycottBlackFriday. Supporters believe justice wasn’t served for Michael Brown when Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson was not charged with a crime for fatally shooting the unarmed black teen. They also see his case as a symptom of a larger issue in the US surrounding race and the criminal justice system, and how it unfairly discriminates against certain races.

The campaign gained traction on social media Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

 It has attracted support from celebrities like Russell Simmons, Michael B. Jordan, and Hollywood stars like Tyrese and Isaiah Washington.




Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Harry Belafonte - Haiti Cherie plus Protesters demand Martelly's resignation in "Operation Burkina Faso"


Haitian Declaration of Independence in 1804

"Let us walk down another path; let us imitate those people who, extending their concern into the future, and dreading to leave an example of cowardice for posterity, preferred to be exterminated rather than lose their place as one of the world's free peoples."


It is not enough to have expelled the barbarians who have bloodied our land for two centuries; it is not enough to have restrained those ever-evolving factions that one after another mocked the specter of liberty that France dangled before you. We must, with one last act of national authority, forever assure the empire of liberty in the country of our birth; we must take any hope of re-enslaving us away from the inhuman government that for so long kept us in the most humiliating torpor. In the end we must live independent or die.

Independence or death . . . let these sacred words unite us and be the signal of battle and of our reunion.
Citizens, my countrymen, on this solemn day I have brought together those courageous soldiers who, as liberty lay dying, spilled their blood to save it; these generals who have guided your efforts against tyranny have not yet done enough for your happiness; the French name still haunts our land.

Everything revives the memories of the cruelties of this barbarous people: our laws, our habits, our towns, everything still carries the stamp of the French. Indeed! There are still French in our island, and you believe yourself free and independent of that Republic which, it is true, has fought all the nations, but which has never defeated those who wanted to be free.

What! Victims of our [own] credulity and indulgence for 14 years; defeated not by French armies, but by the pathetic eloquence of their agents' proclamations; when will we tire of breathing the air that they breathe? What do we have in common with this nation of executioners? 

The difference between its cruelty and our patient moderation, its color and ours the great seas that separate us, our avenging climate, all tell us plainly that they are not our brothers, that they never will be, and that if they find refuge among us, they will plot again to trouble and divide us.

Native citizens, men, women, girls, and children, let your gaze extend on all parts of this island: look there for your spouses, your husbands, your brothers, your sisters. Indeed! Look there for your children, your suckling infants, what have they become?... I shudder to say it ... the prey of these vultures.

Instead of these dear victims, your alarmed gaze will see only their assassins, these tigers still dripping with their blood, whose terrible presence indicts your lack of feeling and your guilty slowness in avenging them. What are you waiting for before appeasing their spirits? Remember that you had wanted your remains to rest next to those of your fathers, after you defeated tyranny; will you descend into their tombs without having avenged them? No! Their bones would reject yours.

And you, precious men, intrepid generals, who, without concern for your own pain, have revived liberty by shedding all your blood, know that you have done nothing if you do not give the nations a terrible, but just example of the vengeance that must be wrought by a people proud to have recovered its liberty and jealous to maintain it let us frighten all those who would dare try to take it from us again; let us begin with the French. Let them tremble when they approach our coast, if not from the memory of those cruelties they perpetrated here, then from the terrible resolution that we will have made to put to death anyone born French whose profane foot soils the land of liberty.

We have dared to be free, let us be thus by ourselves and for ourselves. Let us imitate the grown child: his own weight breaks the boundary that has become an obstacle to him. What people fought for us? What people wanted to gather the fruits of our labor? And what dishonorable absurdity to conquer in order to be enslaved. Enslaved?... Let us leave this description for the French; they have conquered but are no longer free.

Let us walk down another path; let us imitate those people who, extending their concern into the future, and dreading to leave an example of cowardice for posterity, preferred to be exterminated rather than lose their place as one of the world's free peoples.

Let us ensure, however, that a missionary spirit does not destroy our work; let us allow our neighbors to breathe in peace; may they live quietly under the laws that they have made for themselves, and let us not, as revolutionary firebrands, declare ourselves the lawgivers of the Caribbean, nor let our glory consist in troubling the peace of the neighboring islands. Unlike that which we inhabit, theirs has not been drenched in the innocent blood of its inhabitants; they have no vengeance to claim from the authority that protects them.

Fortunate to have never known the ideals that have destroyed us, they can only have good wishes for our prosperity.

Peace to our neighbors; but let this be our cry: "Anathama to the French name! Eternal hatred of France!"

Natives of Haiti! My happy fate was to be one day the sentinel who would watch over the idol to which you sacrifice; I have watched, sometimes fighting alone, and if I have been so fortunate as to return to your hands the sacred trust you confided to me, know that it is now your task to preserve it. In fighting for your liberty, I was working for my own happiness. Before consolidating it with laws that will guarantee your free individuality, your leaders, who I have assembled here, and I, owe you the final proof of our devotion.

Generals and you, leaders, collected here close to me for the good of our land, the day has come, the day which must make our glory, our independence, eternal.

If there could exist among us a lukewarm heart, let him distance himself and tremble to take the oath which must unite us. Let us vow to ourselves, to posterity, to the entire universe, to forever renounce France, and to die rather than live under its domination; to fight until our last breath for the independence of our country.

And you, a people so long without good fortune, witness to the oath we take, remember that I counted on your constancy and courage when I threw myself into the career of liberty to fight the despotism and tyranny you had struggled against for 14 years. Remember that I sacrificed everything to rally to your defense; family, children, fortune, and now I am rich only with your liberty; my name has become a horror to all those who want slavery. 

Despots and tyrants curse the day that I was born. If ever you refused or grumbled while receiving those laws that the spirit guarding your fate dictates to me for your own good, you would deserve the fate of an ungrateful people. But I reject that awful idea; you will sustain the liberty that you cherish and support the leader who commands you. Therefore vow before me to live free and independent, and to prefer death to anything that will try to place you back in chains. Swear, finally, to pursue forever the traitors and enemies of your independence.
*   *   *   *   *
Done at the headquarters of Gonaives, the first day of January 1804, the first year of independence.
The Deed of independence

Native Army

Today, January 1st 1804, the general in chief of the native army, accompanied by the generals of the army, assembled in order to take measures that will insure the good of the country;

After having told the assembled generals his true intentions, to assure forever a stable government for the natives of Haiti, the object of his greatest concern, which he has accomplished in a speech which declares to foreign powers the decision to make the country independent, and to enjoy a liberty consecrated by the blood of the people of this island; and after having gathered their responses has asked that each of the assembled generals take a vow to forever renounce France, to die rather than live under its domination, and to fight for independence until their last breath.

The generals, deeply moved by these sacred principles, after voting their unanimous attachment to the declared project of independence, have all sworn to posterity, to the universe, to forever renounce France, and to die rather than to live under its domination.

Five Lies in Obama's Speech After Darren Wilson Went Free from Revolution Newspaper


Obama did the little thing he was hired to do after Wilson walked free for Michael Brown's murder. But his act is wearing thin, his lies are hanging out, and his shit is getting tired. Listen to him:
  1. "First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law." NO! First and foremost, you are a nation built on violently stealing the land of the Native American Indians and kidnaping, murdering, raping, and enslaving the peoples of Africa. And today you are a nation built on plundering the whole world and the environment and enforcing it with the biggest army in history, hammering down millions of people in this country, and illegally spying on and repressing anyone who gets in your way. So don't talk to us—don't talk to anyone—about "rule of law."
  2. "Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day." NO! To paraphrase Bob Avakian, your police put the lives of our youth on the line every single day, harassing them, brutalizing them, imprisoning them, and even murdering them.
  3. "In too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country." NO! All throughout your country the police have been employed to repress and stomp on Black and Latino people, to crush their spirit and keep them "on the run," to pen them in and lock them up and kill them off... because the system you run, Obama, has no way to profitably exploit millions in these communities anymore and needs to crush resistance before it begins. The police don't "distrust" communities of color, they violently repress them, and this leads the police to fear and hate the people they keep down. And "communities of color" should, if anything, distrust the police even more—for any cooperation you give them, any time you rely on them, they will use it against you and it will backfire.
  4. "We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades. I've witnessed that in my own life. And to deny that progress I think is to deny America's capacity for change." NO! You yourself made "enormous progress" (if you can call being butcher-in-chief "progress"). Along with you, a small handful of other Black and Latino people have also become prominent. A larger group has made it into the middle class—but they are still perilously close to falling back out of it. But for most Black people, things are worse than they were several decades ago. Ten times as many people in prison, over half of them Black or Latino. More unemployment and a huge difference between the white rate and the rates for Black people or Latinos. Greater inequality in education and housing. Evictions rampant, along with homelessness. Credit discrimination. Even more segregation. And demonization in the culture. On and on, in every facet of life. Progress, my ass. Just because you made it, Obama, doesn't mean shit.
  5. "To those in Ferguson, there are ways of channeling your concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling your concerns destructively." Translation: "Walk around in a circle, talk in a dialogue that goes nowhere, get involved in a program that puts a Band-Aid on a cancer, so that business can go on as usual. Don't do anything that will actually try to STOP the outrages." Yeah, well, fuck that. We got something better. Stand up. Fight the Power, and Transform the People, For Revolution.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The "New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander


Darren Wilson Wasn’t the First: A Short History of Killer Cops Let Off the Hook by Flint Taylor

The U.S. has a long history of allowing police to walk free after vicious racist violence.

The pre-ordained failure of a biased local prosecutor to obtain an indictment against Darren Wilson should not surprise us. But the movement for justice for Michael Brown has brought widespread attention to the nationwide problem of systemic and racist police violence and highlighted the movement that has come together to battle against it.
The Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of African-American teenager Michael Brown is heartless but unsurprising. But it is important to place the case in context with the history of police violence investigations and prosecutions in high profile cases—and the systemic and racist police brutality that continues to plague the nation. In doing so, there are lessons for the movement for justice in the Michael Brown case, as well as for those who are engaged in the broader struggle against law enforcement violence.

What follows, then, is a brief history of similar high profile cases where public outrage compelled the justice system to confront acts of racially motivated police violence—with, to say the least, less than satisfactory results.
Over the past 45 years, Chicago has been a prime example of official indifference and cover-up when it comes to prosecuting the police for wanton brutality and torture.

On December 4, 1969, Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were slain in a police raid that implicated the Cook County State’s Attorney and the FBI’s Cointelpro program. A public outcry led to a Federal Civil Rights investigation. Despite finding that the raiding police fired more than 90 shots to one by the Panthers, the Grand Jury in 1970 did not indict, but rather issued a report that equally blamed the police perpetrators and the Panther victims.

Outrage at this decision led to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor who, in the face of extreme official resistance, obtained an indictment against the police and the State’s Attorneys who planned and executed the raid—not for murder and attempted murder, but rather for obstruction of justice.

The case came to trial in front of a politically connected judge who dismissed the case without even requiring that the charged officials put on a defense. Again, the outrage, particularly in the African-American community was so extreme that the chief prosecutor, Edward V. Hanrahan, was voted out of office a week after the verdict was rendered in 1972.

The Jon Burge police torture scandal provides another stark example. Evidence that had been unearthed over the years demonstrated that a crew of predominately white Chicago police detectives, led by Jon Burge, tortured at least 120 African-American men from 1972 to 1991.

Cook County State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley was tendered powerful evidence of this torture as early as 1982, but did not investigate or prosecute Burge and his men. Daley’s office continued to use confessions tortured from the victims to send scores of them to prison—10 of whom went to death row, though they were later saved by a death penalty moratorium in 2000 and by a grant of clemency in 2003 by then-Governor George Ryan—during the next seven years.

In 1989, the local U.S. Attorneys’ office declined to prosecute, as did the Department of Justice in 1996 and Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine for the five years directly thereafter. In 2001, due to continuing public pressure, a politically connected Special Prosecutor was appointed to investigate the torture. But after a four year, $7 million investigation, he too refused to indict, instead issuing what is widely considered to be a whitewash report that absolved Daley, Devine, and numerous high Chicago police officials.

Finally, in 2008 the U.S. Attorney indicted Burge for perjury and obstruction of justice, and he was convicted in 2010, and sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison. However, the U.S. Attorney has subsequently declined to prosecute Burge’s confederates for similar offenses.
New Orleans
Chicago is by no means an isolated example of how difficult it is to obtain justice for wanton police violence through the judicial system. In New Orleans, a crew of white detectives responded to the killing of a white police officer in 1980 by terrorizing the black community of Algiers, killing four innocent people and torturing numerous others by “booking and bagging” them: beating suspects with telephone books and suffocating them with bags over their heads.

Seven officers were indicted by the Department of Justice for civil rights violations arising from the torture of one of the victims and three were convicted.  No officers were charged for the four killings or for the other acts of torture.

In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, an NOPD officer fatally shot an unarmed black man named Henry Glover, then several of his fellow officers burned his body to cover-up their crime. NOPD officers also shot and killed two unarmed black men on the Danziger Bridge.

After state authorities botched their investigation, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department indicted the officers involved in the two cases and obtained convictions of some of the main police actors. However, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned the verdict in the Glover case, and the trial judge, citing government misconduct, took the extraordinary step of granting the convicted officers a new trial in the Danziger case.
New York
In 1997, an NYPD officer sexually assaulted a Haitian-American man named Abner Louima in a precinct station bathroom by shoving a broken broomstick up his rectum. Louima’s attacker was subsequently charged with federal civil rights violations, while three of his police accomplices were charged with covering up the crimes.

After Louima’s attacker pleaded guilty, his accomplices were convicted, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their convictions on the grounds that the lawyers who represented the officers had a conflict of interest.

After they were convicted a second time, the Appeals Court again overturned their convictions—this time on the basis that there was insufficient evidence of intent.

In 1999, four officers from the NYPD’s Street Crimes Unit fired 41 shots at Amadou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant who was reaching for his wallet, hitting him 19 times. The officers were indicted for second degree murder and the case was moved to upstate New York, where a jury acquitted the officers.

In July of this year, NYPD officers arrested an African-American man named Eric Garner, allegedly for selling untaxed cigarettes. They put a prohibited chokehold on him, forced him to the ground face first with his hands behind his back, and shoved his face into the pavement, where he died a few minutes later of a heart attack.

The deadly assault, which was captured on videotape, is now under investigation by a Special Grand Jury empaneled by the District Attorney’s Office.
Los Angeles
Among the most notorious cases was the brutal 1991 beating of Rodney King by five LAPD officers. A videotape captured most of the brutality and also showed several other officers standing by and doing nothing to stop the pummeling of a defenseless black man.

Four officers were charged at the state level with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force. The trial was moved to a predominantly white suburban county, and three of the officers were acquitted of all charges, while the fourth was acquitted of assault with a deadly weapon and other lesser charges. But the jury failed to reach a verdict on his use of excessive force.

After an angry uprising in the Africa- American community of Los Angeles that left 53 dead and around 2,000 injured, the U.S. Justice Department indicted the four officers, and a federal jury convicted two of them, while acquitting the other two.

This past August, LAPD officers fatally shot an unarmed mentally ill African-American man named Ezell Ford, who witnesses said was shot in the back while lying on the ground. Despite massive protests, there has been no grand jury investigation to date, the autopsy report is yet to be released, and the LAPD has not completed its investigation.
In Oakland, California in the late 1990s, a unit of police officers dubbed the “Rough Riders” systematically beat, framed and planted narcotics on African Americans whom they claimed were dealing drugs. Four of the “Riders” were indicted by the District Attorney’s Office, and the trial was moved to a suburban county. The ringleader fled the country, and was tried in absentia.

After a year-long trial before a bitterly divided jury on which there were no blacks, the officers were acquitted of eight charges, and the jury was hung on the remaining 27 counts. At the urging of then-Mayor Jerry Brown, the officers were not re-tried.

Also in Oakland, in the early morning hours of New Years Day, 2009, a BART officer shot and killed a young black man named Oscar Grant, who was lying face down, unarmed,  in a busy transit station. The shooting was videotaped, and led to militant protests in Oakland.

Another jury with no black members rejected the charge of murder and instead found the officer guilty of involuntary manslaughter. As a result, Oscar Grant’s killer spent less than a year behind bars. The Department of Justice subsequently opened a civil rights investigation, but no charges were brought.
From 2007-2012 in Milwaukee, a unit of white police officers, spurred on by the Department’s CompStat program of aggressive policing, stopped and illegally body cavity searched more than 70 African-American men whom they claimed to be investigating for drug dealing. In conducting these searches, most commonly performed on the street, the searching officer reached inside the men’s underwear, and probed their anuses and genitals.

After this highly illegal practice came to light, the unit’s ringleader, Michael Vagnini, was indicted by the Milwaukee County District Attorney on numerous counts of sexual assault, illegal searches, and official misconduct, while three of the other unit officers were also charged for participating in two of the searches. The unit’s sergeant and several other members of the unit, all of whom were present for many of the searches, were not charged.

The charged officers were permitted to plead guilty to the lesser included offenses of official misconduct and illegal strip searches, with Vagnini receiving a 36-month sentence while the other three received sentences that totaled, collectively, less than a month in jail. By pleading guilty, they also received promises that they would not be charged with federal civil rights violations.
Pattern and Practice Investigations
These high profile cases represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cases where racist police violence has not been subjected to equal justice under the law.

Recently, the Justice Department declined to prosecute Little Rock, Arkansas, officers who shot and killed Eugene Ellison, an elderly African American man who was walking out of his home with a cane in his hand, while there have been documented reports of unarmed black men recently being shot down by the police in Chicago; Houston; San Antonio; Beaver Creek, Ohio; and Sarasota, Florida.

In 1994, the United States Congress, recognizing that police misconduct and violence was systemic in many parts of the country, passed 42 U.S. Code Section 14141, which empowered the Justice Department to file suit against police departments alleging patterns and practices of unconstitutional conduct, and to obtain wide ranging court orders, consent decrees, and independent monitors in order to implement reforms to those practices.

Although understaffed, the Pattern and Practice Unit of the Justice Department has attacked systemic and discriminatory deficiencies in police hiring, supervision, and monitoring in numerous police departments over the past 20 years.

A particularly egregious act or series of acts of police violence often prompts the Unit to initiate an investigation, and its lawyers have obtained consent decrees or court orders in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Steubenville, Ohio, New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Oakland, and Miami.

Last month, lawyers handling the Little Rock cases requested that the DOJ do a pattern and investigation of the LRPD, and the Unit is reportedly now investigating the practices of the Ferguson Police Department. While these investigations are not a panacea, they offer a mechanism for exposing and reforming blatantly unconstitutional police practices, and have also demonstrated how pervasive the problem systemic police violence continues to be.

In light of this history, the pre-ordained failure of a biased local prosecutor to obtain an indictment against Darren Wilson should not surprise us. But the movement for justice for Michael Brown has brought widespread attention to the nationwide problem of systemic and racist police violence and highlighted the movement that has come together to battle against it.

Just two weeks ago, the Brown case, along with the Burge torture cases, was presented to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva. The movement should now turn its attention to the Department of Justice, demanding a federal civil rights indictment against Wilson a full scale pattern and practice investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, and, more broadly, an end to systemic and racist police violence.

As the history of the battle against racist police violence so pointedly teaches, the public outcry and agitation must continue not only in Ferguson but across the nation. Because as Frederick Douglas rightly stated many years ago, power concedes nothing without a demand. 

Flint Taylor is one of the lawyers for the families of slain Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark and together with his law partner Jeffrey Haas was trial counsel in the marathon 1976 civil trial. For more information on the Hampton/Clark case, the history of Black Panther Party, and the FBI's Program to destroy it, visit

Video on I am Mike Brown Live from Ferguson

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, right, is seen after having fake blood thrown on him during demonstrations in Times Square.

The Blood of the System they will never wash off - Time for Justice for Michael Brown
See Also:
A reporter from Revolution Newspaper briefly hijacked Missouri Governor Jay Nixon‘s Ferguson press conference tonight to ask about whether a lack of indictment would mean “fear for black people all over this country” and about the Revolutionary Communist Party’s response.
Nixon was taking questions from the press when this reporter, identifying himself as Revolution Newspaper’s Larry Everest, jumped in and shouted, “You need to let the alternative press speak here.”

He asked, “Wouldn’t a lack of indictment mean fear for black people all over this country and objectively a green light for further police violence?”

And he went on to ask Nixon for his response to the Revolutionary Communist Party’s thoughts on Ferguson. Yes, the Revolutionary Communist Party has been in Ferguson and taking a stand against the police. Here’s what one man, identified as a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party, had to say:
“If Darren Wilson walks, America must be brought to a halt. That means no business as usual. It means blocking streets and walking out of schools. It means we refuse to accept this.”