Monday, October 31, 2011
The Corporation of the City of London are planning to end Occupy London Stock Exchange St Paul's Churchyard site
The Planning and Transportation Committee of the corporation last week voted to go ahead with proceedings to remove the encampment on the grounds that it constitutes an unreasonable use of the highway.
Ronan McNern, a supporter of the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest, said it would be up to the general assembly of the protesters how they responded to the notice.
He said: "Every time that the occupiers have been challenged, they have remained calm. We have a just cause and there is absolutely no reason why we would be intimidated. We trust in the people."
Occupy London responds to the resignation of the Dean of St Paul's
The Occupy London occupations, at London Stock Exchange (by St Paul’s Churchyard) and at Finsbury Square, are about social justice, real democracy and challenging the unsustainable financial system that punishes the many and privileges the few.
The management of St Paul’s Cathedral is obviously deeply divided over the position they have taken in response to our cause – but our cause has never been directed at the staff of the Cathedral. Nor have we ever called for ‘scalps’ as reported in the media.
We ask that St Paul’s Institute publish its report into renumeration in the financial sector and call on those of all faiths and none to be part of a call for change. Together, we are the 99 per cent.
We reiterate the need for open and transparent dialogue involving all parties, including the Cathedral, the Corporation of London and others, through our relevant liaison groups. This is a historic opportunity to make a real difference and a real change for all in our society, in the UK and beyond.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Free Mumia Abu Jamal - 9th December march to US Embassy in London demanding his freedom
Mumia Abu Jamal has unjustly been in prison for 30 years! Facing the death penalty for a crime he did not commit, Mumia continues to fight for all political prisoners. He continues to speak out in support of all those struggling for freedom and justice across the globe.
We will be marking the anniversary of Mumia's arrest and imprisonment on 9 December with a march from Hyde Park (Speakers Corner) 4 pm, and picket at the US Embassy 5-7 pm.
Help us build for this event contact ;
Impressions of Occupy London Stock Exchange by Comrade Greenpepper
A protest camp, ostensibly against capitalism, involving hundreds of campers and thousands of visiting supporters lasting more than two weeks (and counting) in the City of London has to be welcomed by any revolutionary anti-capitalist, so I'll start with the positives.
In thirty years of campaigning against the system in its various manifestations I have never seen anything like this. A large community of revolutionaries organising, debating, protesting and promoting alternatives to capitalism. Most of the people involved are young and many are new to politics, some coming from the student protests of a few months back (soon to be revived), some from a variety of other campaigns. Camping out in London in October (albeit a mild October) pre-empts any question of how committed these people are. The response of tourists, passers by and others has been overwelmingly positive, suggesting the protests have struck a chord with much of the population at large; amidst headlines that bankers have had another 49% increase in their pay and bonuses. Even the mainstream media have been forced to take notice and there have been a series of fairly positive reports on television and in the local press about the camp.
The internationalism of the camp is another positive. The Occupy movement in London has given credit where its due as far as where the original inspiration has come from, with a number of references to the Egyptian Revolution including a large Egyptian flag flying above the camp. The campers and their supporters are a multi-cultural, multi-faith (Atheist, Christian, Pagan, Muslim, Sikh) mix.
One long-time revolutionary said to me on the first day of the camp 'the problem is there is no organisation'. By my second visit and on subsequent visits the fruits of organisation were everywhere; a kitchen, a cafe, a library, legal services, first aid centre, toilets, recycling centre (better than the one on my housing estate), for those of a religious persuasion there was a prayer and meditation tent. A 'Tent City University' had been organised with visiting academics from local colleges signing up to give lectures on economics and related subjects. A second satallite camp down the road in Finsbury Square had also been organised. To be fair what the comrade probably meant by 'no organisation' was that there was no political Organisation (with a capital 'O') at the head of the occupation. This is something us traditional leftists are having to get used to. The horizontal Facebook and Twitter based organisation of the student protests illustrated the arrival of a new form of political movement. The phenomenon is obviously here to stay and the way in which the established left (regardless of tradition) adapt to this will determine their ability to thrive at a time when anti-capitalism is once again a mainstream issue. My view is that the non-hierarchical forms of organisation bring with them advantages as well as disadvantages and I suspect the latter will come to the fore as the camp evolves.
The left are present at the protests but appear relatively marginal even though the main thrust of the movement is clearly leftist, albeit in a non-aligned and perhaps unfamiliar way. References to the Palstinian struggle, anti-war sentiment, Kurdish rights, opposition to student fees, anti-cuts stuff, environmentalism, feminism and a number of other traditionally left causes are represented on home-made and pre-printed posters which are plastered on any available space in the area around the camp. This said, the camp is a very mixed bag. Alongside the left are a plethora of other, less familiar ideas being promoted. Typically these do not see capitalism as such as being the problem, just one aspect of it; so a number of placards have attacked usury (I've seen these being carried by both self identifying Christians and Muslims wearing traditional dress) and there are banners and leaflets attacking fractional reserve banking. A seemingly large number of religious eccentrics have been drawn to the camp and another discernible trend is what is known as 'anti-politics'.
I do not share the optimism of some who declare that this is the start of a revolution, but I do believe, for those who dismiss the contradictory ideas which have come to the surface as 'alternatives' to the system, that this is in some ways what a revolution would look like. The idea that everyone (the 99%) would simply fall behind a single set of demands and the revolution would proceed in an orderly fashion from that point has always struck me as ridiculous.
Where the camp and related protests go from here, I wouldn't like to guess, their very nature is unpredictable, but for as long as they keep capitalism with all its faults in the spotlight, I wish them well.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Libya - Setback for Anti Imperialist Struggle by Peter Tobin
Democracy and Class Struggle publishes Comrade Peter Tobin's article on Libya and Imperialism. The views contained in this article are those of Peter Tobin and not Democracy and Class Struggle and we invite comments and contributions on the question of Libya and Imerialism from readers.
The view of Democracy and Class Struggle on Libya is here :
Copy of article written for new Nepali language UCPN(M) monthly journal - Krambaddha by Peter Tobin.
Gaddafi, lynched like Saddam Hussain, whatever his twists and turns of the last ten years, redeemed himself at the end, by dying fighting imperialism. The record shows that over the 42 years of his regime, he used Libya’s oil wealth against Western Imperialism, led by the US and its local military outpost – the white Zionist colony, Israel. He utilized ‘terrorist’ methods that Arab militants found was the only military avenue of resistance open to them, a position that no communist would criticize; it is for oppressed people to choose their way of struggle, according to their circumstances.
Therefore Gaddafi’s Libya bank-rolled many Palestinian resistant groups, and for decades was the most militant Arab leader on the Palestinian question, among Saudi Arabian lip-servers, Jordanian vacillators, or outright Egyptian traitors; like Sadat and Mubarak after him.
He also came to see the African dimension, and uniquely, for an Arab leader substantially funded the Organisation of African Unity (OAU); an act of solidarity with the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, a recognition that their sufferings under Western imperialism, were no different from those of the Arab masses; genocide, dispossession, theft of natural resources and brutal colonial, or neo-colonial rule.
Gaddafi was also a strong financial and political supporter of the African National Congress (ANC), when the West labeled it a ‘communist terror’ group. The fact that the first person Mandela visited outside South Africa was Gaddafi shows the depth of his, and ANC’s, gratitude. He will be mourned there as a mark of their continuing respect.
ROMANTIC & RUTHLESS NATIONALIST
Gaddafi’s attempt, as a devout Muslim, to counter the cultural imperialism of the West led to a radical interpretation of the Koran, which saw the ‘Ummah” (the body of the striving faithful) as the Arab masses desiring/requiring socialism. Hence the ‘Jamayriah’, proposed in the ‘Green Book’ - an Islamist parody, a riposte and rival to Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’ and ‘Red Revolution’.
He furthermore thought, until the millennium, at least, that he could build ‘Green socialism in one country’, staving off imperialist designs on Libya’s oil wealth, and the deadly enmity of all the pro-Western Arab regimes, led by Wahabbist Saudi Arabia. His state tried to mobilize the masses through popular devolving committees. However, he had no formal role within the power structure, acting as a last ‘adviser/guru’ issues and policy.
66 of Europe's Biggest Banks would Fail Stress Test says Credit Suisse AG
At least 66 of Europe’s biggest banks would fail a revised EU stress test and need to raise about 220 billion euros ($303 billion) of capital, Credit Suisse AG analysts said in a note to clients in October.
Eight banks out of about 90 tested failed the EBA’s July stress test, with a combined capital shortfall of 2.5 billion euros, when the minimum pass level was set at 5 percent.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA would need to the most, a combined total of about 47 billion euros, analysts led by Carla Antunes-Silva wrote in a note to clients today. Societe Generale SA and Barclays Plc would each need about 13 billion euros of fresh capital.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Occupy Times of London hits the streets
Collect articles and browse other HuffPost members' collections.
In the shadow of St Paul’s, a blue tent is a hive of industry Six protesters huddle around boxes, folding papers before passing newly formed pages around the circle. A short walk from Fleet Street, spiritual home to the media establishment, the newsroom of The Occupied Times looks small but has the biggest ideas in town. Visit : http://theoccupiedtimes.com/ For a copy of the first edition of the newspaper go here: http://theoccupiedtimes.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/the-occupied-times-of-london_small.pdf
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Occupy London is reviving St Paul's history of free speech
The Occupy protesters are defenders of a democratic heritage we must remember if we are to reclaim our freedoms
By Dan Plesch
Tuesday 25 October 2011
The Occupy London protest site at St Paul's has been a 'seedbed of free speech' for generations.
The protesters at St Paul's are the latest in a line of heroes speaking there for the conscience of the nation, stretching back to the 12th century. The churchyard is "where generations of Londoners played their role in fomenting public opinion and the preaching of the Christian faith", according to the cathedral's website. An Edwardian plaque explains that this was "whereat amid such scenes of good and evil as make up human affairs the conscience of church and nation through five centuries found public utterance", until eradicated by Cromwell, that is.
By the 1600s, however, this seedbed of free speech had produced the world's leading printing industry, which thrived around the church for further centuries often at odds with anti-democratic monarchs. My own ancestor James Watson, an author of the People's Charter in the 1830s, was convicted of the crime of printing, among other seditious tracts, the works of Shelley from his shop in Paternoster Row adjacent to the churchyard.
Sadly, there is nothing modern to educate Londoners and tourists about this democratic heritage, although the memorial cross erected in the early 1900s sought to "recall and renew" it. Modern protesters can call upon this history as a moral argument for staying put in that particular part of London – and it may be that church and local law gives them a legal right to remain.
Restoring the lost history of free speech at St Paul's is just a start. Once we engage in this restorative archaeology of our culture we will find much of use today – not least in the constructive criticism of capitalism. In past times politics was addressed with a precision and wit we have lost. Satire, like sex, did not start in 1963. The Edwardians were quite good at both. Of relevance in the City today is Gilbert and Sullivan's popular evisceration of corporate law in the 1893 operetta Utopia Limited which expressed public hostility to the limited liability company. Then a controversial violation of human rights which even the Economist took until 1927 to accept, today limited liability sits unquestioned and unquestionable as a natural good. In the Cambridge Journal of Economics my colleagues and I sought to end the silence, but it remains deafening. Perhaps one of the Gilbert and Sullivan societies could put on a performance at St Paul's.
The issue is that while all normal owners of property – down to Leylandii trees – are liable for the impact they have, the owners of shares are not. An anathema to Adam Smith, today through the use of shell companies and anonymous ownership limited liability has been transformed from an engine of enterprise into a corrupt protection of the 1%. On the grand scale it has become a fraud – when the banks lose their shirts at the stock market, it is you and I who must pay them off and provide them with new table stakes.
A better sense of our democratic heritage may assist the immediate situation of the protesters at St Paul's and give them and our compatriots around the world a pressure point for change. But our cultural amnesia over democracy needs to change. Our democratic heritage needs to be established alongside our royal, military, artistic and scientific heritage if our freedoms are to be reconnected to their roots
People's Movement Against BIPPA says Comrade Dev Gurung
Kathmandu, 25 October: Standing committee member of UCPN-Maoist Dev Gurung has said that people’s movement is going to be initiated against BIPPA, a traitorous treaty signed by the party vice chairman and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. Speaking in an interaction programme organized by Revolutionary Movement Nepal in Jansanchar abhiyan Club Kathmandu, Gurung said BIPPA has accepted the hegemony of comprador capitalism by replacing the national capitalism. The agreement is against the interest of national economy.
Gurung, in the programme, said that it is the continuation of traitorous 4-point agreement committed for the formation of the government of rightist wing.
Source: Red Star
Nepal Maoist Standing Committee Meeting Continues
25 October, 2011
Kathmandu, 25 October: Standing committee meeting of UCPN-Maoist is running. It is called for the discussion on BIPPA (Bilateral Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement) recently signed by Prime Minister and Vice-Chairman of the party UCPN-Maoist. Discussion is going on about BIPPA in the central office of the Maoist party at Perisdanda. Cadres of UCPN-Maoist had welcomed Bhattarai with black flags in his arrival from Delhi because he had signed the agreement BIPPA that is highly debatable in the party. Revolutionaries in the party have thought it to be traitorous and PM Bhattarai was said not to sign on it in his Delhi visit. Leaders of the party had already assumed that PM Bhattarai would sign on it.
People and the party cadres are waiting to hear the opinion of party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal who had told Bhattarai not to sign on BIPPA Agreement in the standing committee meeting held just before PM Bhattarai’s departure to Delhi. People and the cadres as well as the political leaders of the nation are suspecting Dahal having double standard.
Source: Red Star
Dahal aka Prachanda and Bhattarai will be expelled from party: Gajurel
Picture CP Gajurel
In what signals the growing crisis within the main ruling UCPN (Maoist), party secretary C.P Gajurel Tuesday went on to accuse party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of being ‘anti-national’ and that the two “have no right to stay in the party”.
Speaking at a programme in Sindhuli Tuesday, Gajurel warned that the chairman Dahal and PM Bhattarai will be ousted from party for undermining the revolutionary path of the party.
“Dahal and Bhattarai acted as agents of the India and discredited the people’s revolt. They have no right to stay in the Maoist party,” the tough-talking Maoist hardliner said.
Gajurel insisted that the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) signed with India proved the ‘anti-national’ character of Dahal and Bhattarai.
He even claimed that the party will organise a formal programme to announce the ouster of Dahal and Bhattarai from the party.
Source : nepalnews.com
Monday, October 24, 2011
Party decision not to sign BIPPA says General Secretary Badal, action to be taken against Bhattarai
Picture Comrade Badal
Kathmandu, 24 October: General Secretary of UCPN-Maoist Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ has said that UCPN-Maoist had decided not to sign on the agreement BIPPA, which was sure to be proposed by Delhi. The then party standing committee had decided not make any agreement on BIPPA if India wanted.
But, PM Bhattarai against the party decision signed on the traitorous treaty BIPPA. GS Badal has expressed this reality in Chitawan gathering of intellectuals. He said that action will be taken over Bhattarai because of breaching the party decision. According to him, BIPPA has been signed against party decision.
Before GS Badal, standing committee member and party whip Dev Gurung had said in the media that the treaty BIPPA was decided not to sign and PM Bhattarai was ordered not to do. According to him, BIPPA is more dangerous and traitorous than the treaty of 1950 signed by the then PM Mohan Samsher Rana.
Occupy London Stock Exchange - Debating the future of St Paul's Occupation plus Molly Shapes History.
Molly Shapes History - #OccupyLSX from You and I Films on Vimeo.
Do Revolutionaries Uphold the October Model or Seek to Build Base Areas ? by Joseph Ball
Democracy and Class Struggle is pleased to publish this article from Comrade Joseph Ball.
Democracy and Class struggle welcomes this thoughtful contribution to the debate about the nature of the Revolution in Imperialist Countries.
The views expressed in this article are those of Joseph Ball and not necessarily those of Democracy and Class Struggle.
The recent ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement raises the question of which model for revolution is most likely to be adopted in the coming years.
One model is the October Model in which an insurrection leads to the conquest of state power, followed by civil war against the reactionaries.
The other model is the model of building revolutionary base areas in certain parts of a country and then developing revolutionary struggle by expanding these areas, until the final goal of state power is reached.
Charu Mazumdar explained this latter model in
‘Carry Forward the Peasant Struggle by Fighting Revisionism’ when he wrote:
‘ …destruction of State power is today the first and principal task of peasant movement. If this cannot be done on a country-wide, State-wide basis, will the peasants wait silently? No, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought has taught us that if in any area the peasants can be roused politically, then we must go ahead with the task of destroying State power in that area. This is what is known as peasants' liberated area.’
Typically, Maoists have tended to argue that an‘October Model’ is appropriate in imperialist countries. Maoists have hoped that something like the 1968 movement or even protests like the ‘Occupy Wall Street Movement’ could at some point spark off a major insurrection leading to the capture of state power in a relatively short space have time.
The ‘Base Area’ model is seen as more appropriate for mainly rural societies where the urban proletariat is not so numerous.
However, 35 years of defeats have tended to undermine faith in both models. In the imperialist countries Maoists have grown disillusioned with the idea of waiting for some revolutionary crisis to occur in order to launch an ‘October style’ revolution. Related to this, in some cases, is the influence of ‘Third Worldism’. The old revolutionary slogan was ‘They’ve got the guns but we’ve got the numbers.’
The problem for revolutionaries in the First World is that ‘they’ tend to have the guns and the numbers. There are often a minority of poor and unemployed in First World countries but most people are affluent. The standard of living of the people is subsidised by cheap imports from exploited labour in the Third World. Immigration controls (generally popular with First World workers) prevent Third World workers getting better paid employment in the West and divide the world’s working class.
Philippine Underground Activists pay tribute to Comrade Ka Roger
Democracy and Class Struggle says long live the struggle of Comrade Ka Roger and the Communist Party of the Philippines, long live Marxism Leninsm Maoism.
Should Banks be a Public Utility - Debating the Occupy Movement with Leo Panitch
Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this video for information purposes and is not an endorsement of the views expressed
Leo Panitch: The OWS movement should adopt the demand for banking in the public interest which challenges the system
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Videostream from Occupy London Stock Exchange
Watch live streaming video from occupylsx at livestream.com
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Occupy London Stock Exchange - Debating the attempt to close St Paul's Cathedral Occupation
An important announcement from OccupyLSX
Our mission continues. We are delighted to announce that our second site of occupation is now open and ready to receive happy campers. 400 people are already creating a radically open democratic space at Finsbury Square EC1 and you are cordially invited to join them. Bring a tent, warm clothes, provisions , a torch and your optimism. We look forward to seeing you there.
We would like to offer our respect and best wishes to our brother and sister occupations all over the world. There is a bright future out there and we are committed to building our own small part of it in London.
Please note that we shall be occupying Finsbury Square in addition to St Paul’s Churchyard.
Open Letter from Occupy London Stock Exchange to St Paul’s Cathedral To the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s Cathedral,
We are grateful to the Reverend Canon Dr Giles Fraser, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, for reassuring us that our activities are not harming the Cathedral’s commercial concerns – that has never been our intention. Our intention was to highlight the iniquities of the global economic crisis, in a peaceful manner, especially as the Cathedral has been so hospitable.
We have endeavoured to clarify perceived health and safety issues and continue to place these as a priority for the health and safety of everyone, both inside and outside of this historic Cathedral.
Unfortunately, despite our requests of the Cathedral, they have not provided us with details and information as to how we are perceived to be threatening health and safety. We once again urge the Cathedral to bring to our attention, immediately, the particular details of the health and safety issues to address them. Our concern is if there are health and safety issues (which we in any event refute) by the Church failing to tell of them, they are exacerbating any perceived dangers.
Due to the urgency of the situation you have raised, we would appreciate your immediate response so that we can deal with these concerns.
Occupy London Stock Exchange
Protest Against the policies and decisions and other issues by Comrades Kiran and Badal
Thanks to Comrades of Next Front for posting this Statement from Comrades Kiran and Badal.
We are also pleased your site is back up comrades - keep up your good work and greetings from comrades in Britain.
Democracy and Class Struggle
(Prachand and Babu Ram are violating the decisions of the central committee and the standing committee one after another, and the senior Comrades of the revolutionary camp also are writing ‘Note of Dissent’ repeatedly.
Recently, Comrade Mohan Baidhya and Comrade Badal have registered a ‘Note of Dissent’ at the Party’s incoming CC meeting, which is going to be held on November 3. Its Nepalese version has already published in various print medias. Here are 8 pts along with the issue of ’4pt deal ‘with ‘Madhesi Morcha’ and Prachanda’s mysterious meeting with Indian intelligence high rank authorities.)
Central Committee, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Re: Protest against the policies and decisions and some other issues
Some senior comrades in the leadership rank of our Unified Communist party of Nepal (Maoist) have been seriously violating the political line, policies and decisions adopted by the central committee and the standing committee of the party. Similarly, serious attention has also not been given to several other important issues. In this connection, we have our serious objection and dissent on the following issues.
1. On four-point deal with Madhesi Front:
Some of the provisions and issues of the four-point deal mysteriously concluded by Chairman Prachanda and vice-chairman com Baburam with the United Democratic Madhesi Front at mid-night on August 28, 2011 without informing the majority members of the negotiating team are against the policies and decisions of the party.
a. In the opening paragraph of the accord, it has been stated that ‘the constitution of the democratic republic of Nepal ‘ should be written from the Constituent Assembly. In the third point of the same deal, terminologies like ‘Democratic Republic’ have been mentioned. This is clearly against the policy and political line of the party. Our party has adopted the tactical line of ‘People’s Federal Republic’ and has decided to make the constitution accordingly. But this provision of the deal has directly and openly violated the party’s line and decision.
b. In the second point of the deal, which is related to the implementation of the remaining tasks of the peace process, it is stated that ‘no person shall be deprived of the ownership of legally attained property. Although this sentence seems to be ambiguous, this provision, in the present context of peace process, has referred to the land seized during the conflict. This has paved the way for acting in the interest of the landlords and against the interest of the poor and landless farmers, tillers and tenants. This provision is against the fundamental principles and spirit of revolutionary land reforms.
c. The second sub-point of the fourth main point has incorporated the issue of inclusion of Madhesi communities in the Nepal Army. In this point, it has been agreed to make necessary amendment in the party’s proposal concerning the integration of Maoist army into a particular unit and also reduce the number of PLA members to be integrated from eight thousands to seven thousands on the one hand while it has been accepted to create a separate unit in the Nepal Army to ensure inclusion of the people from Madhesi communities in the army. We strongly support the creation of separate unit in the Nepal Army to accommodate and ensure inclusion of the oppressed communities including the Madhesis. But, this provision has, on the one hand, undermined the principle of armed and collective integration of the People’s Liberation Army, it has also negated the inclusion of oppressed community and denied the right of proportionate representation of the Madhesi community in the army, on the other.
d. The fifth sub-point of the fourth main point has mentioned the need for according high priority to improve relationship with two neighbouring countries. But it has not raised the issue concerning the abrogation of unequal treaties concluded with India including the 1950 treaty and the necessity of concluding new treaties on the basis of mutual equality. It is clear that the relationship with India marked by several unequal treaties and relationship withChina characterized by treaties concluded on mutual equality can by no means be taken on equal footing. This situation is nothing other than pushing Nepal further onto the path of national capitulation.
e. The last sentence of the above mentioned points and sub-points states “taking into account the bilateral relationship and interest with friendly countries, issues proposed to be agreed upon would be resolved’. Issues proposed for agreement are basically related with India but not with other countries. These issues basically include the question that may encroach upon Nepal’s national sovereignty like deploying air marshals in the airport, extradition treaty, deployment of Indian security force in Koshi Barrage and other places and bringing over hydro-project areas including Upper Karnali areas under India’s control. On such vital issues, this deal has attempted to sacrifice interest of the Nepali people and national independence by the use of ambiguous and abstract language.
2. On issues concerning keys of containers:
The act of handing over the key of containers to the Army Integration Special Committee against the decision of the party on September 1, 2011 was erroneous. On the issue of handing over the keys of containers, there has not been any kind of decision in any committee of the party. On August 24, 2011, Chairman Comrade Prachanda had presented a proposal concerning the ”handing over the keys of weapon containers in the cantonments to the Army Integration Special Committee” in the meeting of the office bearers of the central office. The meeting objected to this and some other issues and demanded a meeting of the standing committee to take an appropriate decision on these issues. In this connection, PLA commander and politburo member comrade Pasang, on the eve of the standing committee meeting, had also registered a written proposal demanding that the keys of the weapon containers should not be handed over. In this situation, extensive deliberation was held on the proposal presented by the chairman and it was adopted with some necessary amendments. In the amended report, it has been stated to “hand over combatants, weapons and containers to Special Committee in a concrete manner soon after the formation of the Maoist-led government. But the issue of handing over the key has not been mentioned in it. Against this background, two issues need to be given special attention. Firstly, it does not mean that the keys should be handed over exactly on September 1, 2011 soon after the formation of the Maoist-led government. Secondly, it has stated to hand over combatants and containers along with weapons. The issue to hand over the keys of containers can by no means be raised without formulation of national security policy and finalizing the modality and criteria for armed and collective integration. Handing over the keys without settling other above mentioned issues would mean disarmament of the People’s Liberation Army. This is against the declared policy of the party.
3. On the instruction to local administration for handing over the land and property:
In the point 1.3 of relief programme of the Prime Minister’s office and Council of Ministers unveiled on September 9, 2011, it has been stated that instruction would be issued to the local administration to ensure immediate handover of the public and private buildings/houses and land captured during the armed conflict to the concerned side. This instruction/ decision, as a matter of fact, has become a menace to the poor and landless farmers and tillers and real relief to the landlords. It should be remembered that the official decision of our party has been that such land and property can be returned only after alternative arrangements are made for poor and landless farmers and tillers. The decision to return the land by applying administrative force should, therefore, be immediately scrapped.
4. On unilateral regrouping:
Recently, Chairman Comrade Prachanda, on various occasions, has expressed his views in public on unilateral regrouping of the combatants of the People’s Liberation Army, who are living in cantonments. The party has not made any decision on this issue. Without determining on issues like national security policy, modality and criteria and without advancing the constitution making process in favour of the people, it would be a grave mistake to go for regrouping.
5. On Constitution:
A new constitution must be written from the Constituent Assembly. There can be no divided opinion on this. The party’s position is that a people’s federal republican constitution with anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism essence should be made that can guarantee progressive restructuring of the state and would also guarantee the interests and rights of the people belonging to oppressed class, ethnic communities, sex and regions and also the rights of peasants and working class. But the way Chairman Comrade Prachanda has been personally active to have the decision on constitution made through the task force or sub-committee under the Constituent Assembly is totally wrong. This has to be corrected.
6. On Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari’s treacherous statement:
Even when Defence Minister Saratsingh Bhandari openly made his treacherous expression and threatened to split 22 districts on August 26, 2011, no serious attention was paid to it and no initiative was taken to sack him from the cabinet. It is a serious matter not to pay attention towards the sensitive issue of national independence and territorial integrity. An immediate decision must be taken on this issue and defence minister should be removed from the cabinet.
7. On rights of workers:
Recently the government has taken decision restricting the workers to stage a strike for four years. This is open and blatant violation of the workers. This decision should be immediately rectified.
8. On mysterious meeting:
Over the last few days, the way party Chairman, who is also former prime minister of the country, has been meeting with officials and staffs of Indian intelligence agency in Malaysia and Silguri ( India) without maintaining decorum of his position and status is politically, legally and morally wrong. He has made these meetings further mysterious by not informing the party and the people about the contents of the discussion in these meetings. We, therefore, demand that the real information of the meeting should be made to the party and the people and that such mysterious meetings should be totally stopped in future.
Finally, what we want to state here is that the above mentioned issues are of serious nature form political standpoint. It is necessary to discuss these issues in the central committee in a serious manner and arrive at a certain conclusion. We, therefore, strongly demand that all activities and procedures relating to army integration and constitution writing that are against party policy and decisions be postponed until the meeting of the central committee.
It is more than clear that our party has time and again taken the decision of agreeing for army integration in a dignified manner based on the SSR (security sector reforms) model but not on the basis of DDR (disarm, dissolve and re-integrate) model. Similarly, our party has decided that people’s federal republican constitution with the essence of anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism should made but not the democratic republican constitution. It is not hidden from anybody that our party has decided to oppose imperialism in general and domestic comprador political force and expansionism in particular and also to stand firmly in favour of country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national independence. In addition to this, our party has described the peace process or the army integration and constitution writing as inter-related issues and has decided that both of these tasks should be accomplished simultaneously in a package but not separately. The party has never taken any decision that constitution would be written only after accomplishing the tasks of peace process or army integration. But this situation has raised a serious question whether attempts are being made to degenerate the party into parliamentarism and national capitulation by diverting attention from these fundamental issues. In order not to allow this situation to arise, we make special appeal to you to hold extensive and serious discussion and deliberation in the central committee meeting on the issues concerning the violation of decisions of the central committee and the standing committee and also to rectify them and advance the party towards correct and revolutionary direction by transforming and unifying the party.
October 2, 2011
Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran’
Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘ Badal’
Mobilise to Save Occupy London Stock Exchange - Debate on future of Occupation
Statement from OccupyLSX
Posted on October 21, 2011 by occupylsx
We are disappointed to learn that that the management of St Paul’s have decided to close the Cathedral this afternoon, in their open letter regarding our peaceful occupation that aims to highlight and challenge the social and economic injustice in the UK and beyond.
Since the beginning of the occupation six days ago, OccupyLSX have tried hard to accommodate the Cathedral’s concerns in any way we can. Over the past 48 hours, we have completely re-organised the camp in response to feedback from the Fire Brigade and we have also accepted the presence of two large barriers to preserve access to the side door of the Cathedral.
Both of these measures were accepted by the General Assembly in order that the Cathedral’s normal operations should not be unduly impacted by our presence. This afternoon we have been told, in a telephone call, by the fire brigade, that they have not issued any new requirements above and beyond those already communicated directly to the camp. Therefore, there are no outstanding fire safety issues.
What outstanding issues there are appear to be concerned with, firstly, health and safety and, secondly, the Cathedral’s commercial concerns. We seek clarification from the Cathedral as to the precise nature of those health and safety concerns, so that we might address them directly. In the short space of time that we have been here, we have successfully liaised with the City authorities and outside bodies to coordinate recycling and sanitation.
As to the Cathedral’s commercial concerns, access to the restaurant has never been blocked by the encampment. The closure of the restaurant, by the Cathedral, has mystified us, especially as it came at the same time as we encouraged our people to use and support the restaurant. We would much prefer to eat there than in some of the nearby chains.
We believe the Cathedral is also concerned about their visitor numbers. We have endeavoured to ensure that our schedule does not conflict with the Cathedral’s, so that their normal operations are not impaired. Clearly, we have become another tourist attraction on the Cathedral’s doorstep – but, since we are not a commercial concern, we are struggling to understand how we have had any financial impact on the Cathedral’s revenues.
We also understand that some individuals were in the process of arranging for a contribution to be made to St Paul’s in recognition of their hospitality. It is a shame the Cathedral authorities have decided to take this action before those preparations came to fruition, as we expected them to in the next 12 hours.
Over the course of this week, we have done a huge amount to draw attention to the crisis of economic and political legitimacy experienced in the UK and mirrored in protests staged across the world. That awareness-raising exercise – and our attempts to provide a truly participatory and accountable forum in which to investigate ways forward – will continue.
Update – 4pm
We have been advised by Health and Safety Manager Rachel Sambal that the City of London’s Health and Safety Team have had no contact with St Paul’s Cathedral regarding health and safety issues at the site.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Live and Let Fail - Keiser Report
Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this video for information purposes and is not an endorsement of the Keiser Report
This week Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, talk about the European penny drops as more banks need more bailouts while the public debt clock ticks up to $40 trillion.
In the second half of the show, Max Keiser interviews Michael Betancourt about the threat that Occupy Wall Street presents to our modern form of capitalism that relies on ignorance and passivity in the population in order to operate schemes of fraud and bubbles
Pleasure of Staying at the Crossroads by Rishi Raj Baral
Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this important contribution of Comrade Rishi Raj Baral to the debate on the Nepalese Revolution and the two line struggle.
Democracy and Class Struggle draws a distinction between those who supported the peace agreement and those who did not like RCPUSA and CPI(Maoist).
Democracy and Class Struggle like the UCPN M supported the peace process and still does. Our problem is that Prachanda and Bhattarai have undermined that process by making concessions which party policy is clearly against and only the Kiran/Badal forces can rectify the peace process by going forward on the original peace process terms and not the Prachanda Bhattarai concessions which have done great harm.
The recent article by Comrade Dev Gurung makes it clear what the party line was on the peace agreement and how Prachanda and Bhattarai have turned the party line into its opposite ie liquidationism.
Democracy and Class Struggle calls for rectification of the party, Comrade Rishi Raj Baral calls for restructuring of the Party.
The next party central committee meeting has to confront Prachanda/Bhattarai revisionism on the questions of Army Integration, The Constitution and The Madesh which have undermined the peace process.
Comrade Rishi Raj Baral says there is no staying at the crossroads.
Democracy and Class Struggle says wrong decisions will be judged harshly by history, rectification of the Nepalese Party is overdue.
From Marx to Mao we have a lot of writings about two line struggle. What is two line struggle? What are the differences between inner party struggle, two line struggle and class struggle ?
Is there any difference between two line struggle and 'differences in tendencies' ?
These are the questions to be answered now. Since last four years, especially after Kharipati (2008) meeting, we are talking about –'sharpening of the two line struggle within UCPN(Maoist)'. A lot has been written about this. Before Palungtar extended meeting comrade Gaurav wrote a long article about two line struggle in Samayabaddha, an ideological magazine in Nepali language.
Now Comrade Basanta has written another article entitled 'Two-Line Struggle in the International Communist Movement'. But the questions are unanswered yet. What will be the next step of 'Revolutionary Camp'? Comrade Basanta's article also is not clear in this aspect.
It is crystal clear that Prachanda and Babu Ram Bhattarai have betrayed the revolution and they are turned into the true servant of American imperialism and Indian expansionism. The 4pt deal with Madheshi Morcha is the clear evidence of their anti-national and counter revolutionary attitudes. Prachanda and Babu Ram Bhattarai are doing one after another anti-national and anti-revolutionary decisions and the members of 'Revolutionary Camp' repeatedly asking them to correct the 4pt deal, for their participation in the government. What a fun!
It is not the question of joining the government or not. Decisions must be done on the basis of ideological and political stand. Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai have proven themselves as the true treacherous of 21st century and they must be penalized.
But it is a matter to be worried that Baidhya faction is still in the position of wait and see. It seems that they are still looking towards Prachanda's transformation-transformation of Khrushchev into Lenin. Revolutionary cadres want concrete solution of the problem in practice. We must have a new step: that is, 'restructuring' the party organization.
Questions are raising: Is there really running two line struggle within UCPN( Maoist)?
Long before RCP(America ) and CPI (Maoist) had made clear about the ideological deviation of UCPN(Maoist). These documents are available also in Nepalese language. Last year RCP(America ) raised the question that in the name of two line struggle Baidhya faction also is practicing new type of eclecticism. 'On the Critical Crossroads in the Nepal Revolution, and the Urgent Need for a Real Rupture with Revisionism' (Revolution : 200, April 22, 2010) and ' Save the Revolution' by KJA ( first published in Samayabaddha (2010) magazine and it is available also in The Next Front) have openly raised the question on this issue.
Now the Maoist party of Colombia ( The Revisionist Traitors in Nepal Still in the Service of the Reactionary State) and France (Line, tendency, fraction and the question of Nepal)have raised the questions regarding the two line struggle within UCPN(Maoist). In their opinion, there is no any two line struggle within UCPN (Maoist), there is only 'differences of tendencies'. It is the question to note. Concerning the issue of two line struggle within UCPN(Maoist), now we have a large number of articles from the Maoist organizations and supporters of Nepalese revolution.
These days, a faction of revolutionary Maoists inside the country and abroad are raising a question: actually, is there any two line struggle within UCPN(Maoist) ?
Or that is only the struggle between the various tendencies running within UCPN (Maoist)?
It is known to all that a political line is not the expression of a tactical problem, but it is a question of strategic significance. It is a matter of irony that bargaining for ministers and high post also are defined as the two line struggle. Instead of Marxism some of our 'leaders' are exercising–Post-Modernist attitudes of 'inclusive' 'exclusive' and marginalized community etc. We cannot reduce the significance of two line struggle in such INGO type of activities. The oppressed community gender, caste, and region must be addressed, but the major question is proletariat outlook and class struggle.
We know that, the two line struggle within the party is the reflection of the class struggle outside. Hence, two line struggle means struggle between two opposite class outlooks- proletariat and the bourgeoisie. In fact, it is a struggle between bourgeoisie and the proletariat headquarters. Now we have the question how the party of proletariat can exist in the party of bourgeoisie ?
Baidhya faction is doing the work in the concept of 'Party within Party'. But we must be clear that 'Party within Party' means 'Faction within Faction'. Ambiguous working style must be abandoned. It needs transparency. Likewise empiricism, factionalism, regionalism and biased attitudes are the true enemies of unified effort. How can we fight against the revisionists and reactionaries without a strong unity within the faction? I don't want to explain it more. But Baidhya and Badal must be watchful on this type of activities. It is the matter to be checked in time.
In my opinion, the concept of 'Party within Party' is just an exercise of liquidation. Staying at the crossroads from long time means to harm oneself. It is not the correct way to fight against the revisionists and reactionaries. It does not lead the revolution a head.
As I mentioned above, restructuring the party is one and the only way to move forward. Restructuring the party means to break relation with revisionism-to overthrow the revisionists, who are in exercise of party liquidation . This is the scientific way of restructuring the party. Now the time has come to perform strong will power and conscious effort. First of all we must have a strong unity among the revolutionaries. Then we have to form a joint front to fight against the anti -national and anti-revolutionary elements. It only leads us in the way to national liberation and People's Democracy.
New Democracy not possible says Prachanda
CHITWAN, Oct 15: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda has for the first time admitted before the Maoist cadres that the establishment of new-democracy in the country is not possible.
“Things have undergone a sea change since the launch of the people´s war in 1996. We therefore have to adopt the policy of peace and constitution as per the changed context,”
a participant quoted Prachanda has telling the cadres loyal to him at a closed door gathering at Global Hotel, Bharatpur, Chitwan.
“If any of the comrades refuse to acknowledge this reality and insist on going for a revolt, they may choose to quit the party.”
Earlier, Prachanda had described the party´s current policy just as a tactical line in the fight for further achievements. In the past, he had assured the cadres that the party would establish a new democracy in the long run.
Only party´s Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai had been saying that the establishment of new democracy wasn´t possible under the present circumstances. Bhattarai had advocated for economic revolution to pave the way for socialism. Prachanda's latest remarks have made it clear that he has now accepted Bhattari´s policy.
Democracy and Class Struggle source for this report is Republica a source we do not trust but the comments of Prachanda reported are consistent with his political line.
“I believe that the party should not split. But this is a different context. There is no point staying in unity while putting the nationality at peril,” said Thapa.
BAGLUNG, OCT 20 - UCPN (Maoist) General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa has said that the identity of the country cannot be put at stake in the name of keeping the party unity intact. Thapa alleged that old parties of the country along with a section of his party (Maoist) have been working under the direction of India.
Thapa remarked that the twin tasks of peace process and constitution drafting could not be completed due to submissive attitude of the political parties towards India while hollering the slogans of nationality in pretension.
“I believe that the party should not split. But this is a different context. There is no point staying in unity while putting the nationality at peril,” said Thapa.
Thapa made such remark on the very day Prime Mminister and his party Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai embarked on an offical visit to India. Thapa said PM Bhattarai , who is trying to defend the minister who gave anti-national statements, is afraid to raise his voice against the interferene of India. He urged PM Bhattarai not to sign any treaty that might have a long-term effect on the country. He also urged Bhattarai to request India to stop meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs.
Thapa is currently in Baglung to take part in a programme organised by the hard-line faction of the party led by Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya.
Prominent leaders including Netra Bikram Chand, Hitman Shakya, Santosh Buda Magar and Amrit Thapa were present in the programme.
Chairman Prachanda aka Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s faction has decided to formally boycott the programme with a written application. “This programme is against the pact, which states that there would be no formal programmes before the next Central Committee meeting. Hence, we have decided to boycott it,” said District Co-in charge Dhan Prasad Sapkota.
However, General Secretary Thapa said the formal programme was organised after Chairman Prachanda breaches the understanding by organising separate programme in Chitwan and Pokhara.
“We cannot enter the Central Committee meeting without proper trainings and sharing of ideologies. We need to consider all the ideologies and mould it into one in the Central Committee,” said Thapa.
International Meeting in Paris "From the Arab Uprising to the New Democratic Revolution, marching towards Socialism and Communism"
The internationalist meeting "From the Arab uprising to the new democratic revolution, marching towards socialism and communism", convened by the maoist Communist Party – Italy and the maoist Communist Party of France, was held with a good success, with participation and intervention of parties, organizations and comrades from Italy, France (PCm-F, Coup sur Coup, Voie Proletarienne, Anti-Imperialist Committee, Committee George Ibrahim Abdallha), Morocco, Tunisia, Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey, Canada, England, Holland, with messages from Nepal , Galicia-Spanish State, Palestine, Austria, and with the support of Peru and Turkey.
The meeting has been opened by a speech that explained the nature of working and militant discussion, internationalist unity, of the meeting itself. Followed the reading document sent to the meeting by two Tunisian Maoist organizations, and a wide intervention of the comrade of Morocco. Then followed the speeches of the maoist Communist Party of France and the maoist Communist Party- Italy.
After these speeches, the debate has been open, with the intervention of the comrades of 'Coup sur coup' from Toulouse, the Anti-Imperialist Committee of France, the comrade of Morocco on the particular situation of the Maoist political prisoners in Morocco, and a text of George Ibrahim Abdallha has been read.
Then followed the intervention of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Then followed another phase of the debate, in which participated comrades from Indonesia, France, and comrades supporting the “New Synthesis” of Bob Avakian on the influence of Islam among masses and how to treat this contradiction from the point of view of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, in the Arab world and other countries in the world, and how to address the question of the Islamic fundamentalist forces.
All the comrades intervened argued that we have respect the religious feelings of the masses, we need to build communist parties on a solid materialist dialectic base and to fight Islamic fundamentalist forces as reactionary forces which are against liberation of peoples.
After this interesting debate, on behalf of the organizers, the PCm Italy explained the resolutions, initiatives, and proposals that the meeting launches.
First of all, it has been announced that all the speeches, documents and messages will be published, in French and so many languages as possible, by this year, in a special issue of 'Maoist Road' to allow all the comrades attending and all the communist movement to read analysis, discussion, positions and treatment of problems, and to continue in all forms this militant debate, in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and with the method of unity-struggle-unity.
Then were announced three major initiatives:
First. An international day of solidarity with Maoist political prisoners in Morocco, to be held in so many countries in the world and in all forms as possible.
Second. A Maoist call for a meeting in Tunisia in the spring of 2012 at which delegates from different countries can participate.
Third. A statement, to be spread among the working class and proletarian masses in the imperialist countries everywhere is possible, to support the workers' struggles in Egypt and independent trade unions that organize and lead them against the new military-Muslim regime that tries to stifle and deny the right to strike.
Proposals were accepted by the meeting, which ended with the singing of the International and the slogan:
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
Long Live the proletarian internationalism
Long Live the uprisings of the Arab masses for the New Democratic Revolution, socialism and communism
PCm-Italy, PCm of France
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Greek Battlefield - Today on the Streets of Athens
Greek anger over new austerity measures and layoffs erupted into violence outside parliament on Wednesday, as demonstrators hurled chunks of marble and gasoline bombs and riot police responded with tear gas and stun grenades that echoed across Athens' main square.
Police said at least 14 officers were hospitalised with injuries, and at least three journalists covering the demonstrations sustained minor injuries. The violence spread across the city centre, as at least 100-thousand people marched through the Greek capital on the first day of a two-day general strike that unions described as the largest protest in years.
Most of the protesters marched peacefully, but crowds outside of parliament clashed with police who tried to disperse them with repeated rounds of tear gas. Hundreds of rioting youths smashed and looted stores in central Athens on Wednesday after the mass anti-government rally against the new painful austerity measures. Police and rioters held running battles through the narrow streets of central Athens, as thick black smoke from burning rubbish and bus-stops set ablaze filled the city's skyline and obscured its ancient monuments.
A gasoline bomb set fire to a presidential guard sentry post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Parliament, while running clashes broke out in several side streets near the legislature and the capital's main Syntagma Square. Nearby, groups of hooded, masked protesters tore chunks of marble off building fronts with hammers and crowbars and smashed windows and bank signs. Scuffles also broke out among rioters and demonstrators trying to prevent youths from destroying storefronts along the march route.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Last Call to Governor Brown of California - 160,000 Calls by 19th October 2011 - Support The Prison Hunger Strikers
Democracy and Class Struggle says start telephoning now ! Occupy Wall Street brothers and sisters support the hunger strike prisoners - the prison struggle is part of the class struggle against Wall Street. Link the struggles create the dialectic of success.
With the hunger strike reaching its third week, the medical conditions of hunger strikers are getting worse by the day. We need to work together to effectively pressure CA Governor Jerry Brown to intervene in the CDCR’s handling of the strike. It’s up to us to make sure the prisoners’ five core demands are implemented immediately and in good faith.
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is calling for a massive flood of phone calls to Governor Jerry Brown. Help us make 160,000 phone calls to Governor Jerry Brown by Wednesday October 19th!
We know this is an ambitious goal, and we need your help forwarding this call out to everyone you know! Please let us know if you can organize a community call-in event near you and we will publicize it on this website. Email us at prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity[at]wordpress.com
Support the Prisoners in Winning their Demands!
Solidarity with ALL Prisoners!
160,000 Calls to Governor Jerry Brown!
Governor Brown’s Office: (916) 445-2841
“Hi my name is _________. I’m calling about the statewide prisoner hunger strike that resumed on Sept 26th. I support the prisoners & their reasonable “five core demands.” I am alarmed by the CDCR’s refusal to implement these demands and by your refusal to intervene as the hunger strikers’ medical conditions are rapidly deteriorating. I urge you to make sure the demands are implemented for all SHU-status prisoners in CA immediately and in good faith before anyone dies. I also urge you to lift the CDCR’s ban on lawyers from the prisoners’ mediation team, and ensure the CDCR ceases all retaliation on the hunger strikers. Thank you.”
The US imprisons more than 2.5 million people in prisons, jails, juvenile facilities & detention centers, far more than any other country. California imprisons 160,000 of those people in its state prison system alone. Solitary confinement is a key piece of this gigantic crisis. Conditions in California’s Security Housing Units & Administrative Segregation show just how brutal and inhumane the system is at its core.
For Updates :
As prisoners throughout California continue their struggle for human rights and against torture, we must keep up the pressure on Governor Jerry Brown and the CDCR as the 5 core demands have only been minimally addressed We will continue to post updates as we get them.
A recent letter from a hunger striker stated:
“A caged man is a spirit trapped in steel — leave him alone and his
spirit becomes one with his cage — it’s all he knows. Motivate him,
nurture and socialize him, and his spirit soars. It’s only then that the
man realizes the difference between him and his cage — the reasons for
it. Thus, allowing him to finally be free from it.”
Monday, October 17, 2011
Lumpenproletariat, Riots and Revolution by Harry Powell
Democracy and Class Struggle is pleased to publish Comrade Harry's article on the Lumpenproletariat, Riots and Revolution.
Publication does not mean that the views of Democracy and Class Struggle are the same as Comrade Harry.
My commentary on the August urban disturbances in Britain attracted some responses with respect to the role of the lumpenproletariat. I suggested that criminal, lumpenproletarian elements were prominent in the rioting. The subsequent court appearances of persons arrested reveal that the great majority are people with previous criminal convictions. We need to examine the question of the lumpenproletariat more closely.
WHO ARE THE LUMPENPROLETARIAT?
The concept comes from Marx and Engels. In his The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon Marx famously accuses Louis Bonaparte of mobilizing the lumpenproletariat in pursuit of his reactionary aims. He refers to the lumpenproletariat (“ragged” proletariat) as:
“ … decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie, vagabonds (vagrants), discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni (scoundrels), pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, maquereaus (pimps), brothel keepers, porters, literati (men of letters), organ-grinders, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars – in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither, which the French term la boheme;”.
He calls these people “this scum, offal, refuse of all classes”. Strong stuff!
Two things are immediately obvious:
1.This is a highly heterogenous category in terms of its members’ positions in the relations of production and in the ideological superstructure.
2.It is a very negative, moralistic, description.
Some of the above people are self-employed, members of the semi-proletariat; porters, organ-grinders, rag pickers, knife grinders and tinkers. Their economic position was precarious so at times some of them would spend periods as wage labourers and would be tempted to engage in petty thieving. In Britain and similar countries today there are many such semi-proletarians and they are concentrated in the deprived, “inner city” areas. They include asylum seekers and illegal immigrants whose legal position bars them from regular paid employment and so they have to hustle by street trading and casual, off the books, employment. Given their objective position, these people are potentially open to revolutionary ideas and actions.
Among others mentioned are vagabonds (vagrants), discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, mountebanks (includes mentally disturbed people) and beggars. These are people who have fallen out of and been thrown out of society, existing on the fringes of society, the drop-outs. They are a very recognizable category in Britain today. We encounter homeless people, former soldiers and prisoners begging. Quite often such people have mental problems and are heavily into drink and drugs. Their numbers are increasing as a result of rising unemployment and Government cuts in funding for state and voluntary services trying to help such people. These people are so downtrodden and screwed up that they do not really have the capacity for sustained political action.
Then there are the criminal elements: swindlers, lazzaroni (scoundrels), pickpockets, tricksters (con men), gamblers, maquereaus (pimps), brothel keepers. These certainly exist in poor, deprived urban areas in Britain . These people oppress and exploit the poor semi-proletariat and the drop-outs. They are definitely an enemy of the people at large.
Finally there are the literati (men of letters). Marx also uses the term la boheme (bohemians) to refer to all the types he mentions. More typically and specifically this term describes people consciously pursuing alternative life styles, particularly ones with some artistic content. In some deprived areas in Britain today there are clusters of such people. Some of them are educated people who have failed to establish themselves in regular, secure employment. Many get by on state welfare benefits. They tend to reject and be hostile to the bourgeois social order and some of them do embrace radical and revolutionary perspectives. Indeed, in so far as there is any visible oppositional political presence in these areas it consists of people from this category. Many of these people are of middle strata origin and so could be said to be “adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie”.
These different sections of what Marx calls the proletariat are not hermetically sealed from each other. Individuals may move between the groups. For example unemployed casual workers may engage in some petty crime such as burglary. Some of the bohemians can end up as homeless beggars as a result of excessive use of drink and drugs or themselves become drug dealers to fund their habit. Even so the elements Marx identified as lumpenproletarian are significantly different from each other and it can be questioned just how useful the term lumpenproletariat is for rigorous analysis of the revolutionary potentialities of these different people.
Interview with Comrade Dev Gurung of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Democracy and Class Struggle is pleased to make available this interview of Dev Gurung has it brings clarity to the two line struggle in Nepal. Please circulate this interview widely.
1. Would you please mention in brief the present political situation of Nepalese revolution?
Nepalese revolution at present is at a serious crossroads of revolution and counter-revolution. Nepal is in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial condition. Feudalism had developed since 250 years before and semi-colonial oppression has been carried on upon Nepal ever since the signing of Sugauli Treaty with East India Company in 1816. Monarchy had provided traditional leadership to feudalism and the monopoly, comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie, protected by Indian expansionism, has been leading the semi-colonial condition.
As a result of 10 years' long Maoist people's war and other anti monarchical mass movements, monarchy had been brought to an end in 2008. It resulted in the weakening of political power of feudalism to a certain extent. But on the other, the monopoly and bureaucratic-comprador bourgeoisie and their representatives, protected by Indian expansionism, strengthened further. After the Indian expansionist forces strengthened their monopoly in the state power, Nepal has been swiftly leading towards neo-colonisation politically and economically. In such a situation the question of National independence has become serious.
Paying attention to this very situation, the political resolution adopted in the expanded meeting held one year before of our party concluded that the end of monarchy and the establishment of republic had brought about a change in the principal contradiction that existed between monarchy and Nepalese people before. It was agreed that the contradiction between monopoly capitalists and the agents of Indian expansionism on the one hand and Nepalese people on the other was the principal contradiction. In such a situation, the expanded meeting adopted the policy of building united front among those forces which are prepared to go against the comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie protected by Indian expansionism. The line of armed people's insurrection was adopted as the main form of struggle but tactically a policy was taken up to use struggle in the street, legislature and the government by making first one to be principal.
But, some of our comrades went against this in practice. In fact they abandoned the tactic of People's Federal Republic but stuck in democratic republic in practice. They adopted a policy of keeping the patriotic and revolutionary forces aside but bringing in pro-Indian expansionist forces in the united front. As a result of this, our party is not moving towards establishing People's Federal Republic but is being trapped in status quo and reformist line of bourgeois democracy. Today, parliamentarian, status quo and the national capitulationist forces have been dominant in the Nepalese state power. The leftist, patriotic and revolutionary forces are becoming defensive. Leftists have about two-third majority in the Constituent Assembly in which Maoists have more than a half. Even then, the patriotic and revolutionary forces are in defensive condition. In every party, national capitulationist forces are in a dominant position, so the national sovereignty of Nepal is in a serious threat. The struggle for national sovereignty is taking a principal form.
2. What do you say about the recent handing over of the containers' key of the PLA? Has the danger of disarming the PLA increased?
It is a suicidal step for the Nepalese communist movement. Because, handing over of the keys is a step to disarm the PLA. Not only had our party never taken a decision to disarm the PLA, it had not even imagined.
The comprehensive peace agreement and the interim constitution have stated about army integration, but never and nowhere has been the disarmament of PLA talked of. The agreement which was reached between CPN (Maoist) and the Government of Nepal in 2006 was an agreement reached between two sides both of which were in win-win position. In other words, the agreement was not reached as to disarm, demobilize, decamp and rehabilitate (DDDR) to the defeated force. Though the term was not used, it is clear that the agreement was reached with a concept of security sector restructure (SSR).
In the interim constitution it is said that Nepali army will be of democratic structure, national character and inclusiveness. So, it is presumed that the army integration will be carried out between two forces in the unit-wise basis and combatant form. However, against such constitutional provision, party leadership and the Prime Minister, by secretly gathering some commanders from the cantonments unilaterally instructed to handover containers' keys. Even the government special committee has not taken any decision to hand over or receive keys. But, when the commanders sought to handover keys, government officials in the cantonments receipted them.
From all this, it seems that the leadership is working to disarm the PLA by surrendering arms and then dissolve the PLA. Even now, the leadership is emphasizing to unilaterally surrender arms, dissolve PLA by disarming them and recruit them as civilians under Nepal army's chain of command as non-combatant force.
Party leadership and the Prime Minister seem prepared to regroup (separate those to be integrated and rehabilitated) the PLA, handover the entire arms to the special committee and protect those arms by Nepal army or Armed Police. And also home work is going on to keep the separated groups of the PLA under the protection of Nepal Police and make senior PLA commanders retire voluntarily.
This kind of thinking is not class reconciliation and reformism only but it is class capitulationism. In the situation when the main form of struggle has become national liberation movement, disarmament and dissolution of the PLA, which is trained with patriotic and revolutionary ideology, is to follow the path of national capitulation. Even some bourgeoisie are patriots. But, it seems to be the culmination of national capitulation from the leaders of the communist movement who have even lagged behind the national feeling of the bourgeoisie.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
It is five minutes to dawn and the wind smells like freedom by Mike Ely
Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this article by Mike Ely of Kasama has a contribution towards the dialectics of success of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Like Mike Ely and Kasama we are looking for the "new" in the movement but we also see the mechanics of defeat in a movement if it does not listen to its supporter critics.
It is no longer five minutes to midnight. After Arab Spring leaps to Spain, and Greece, and on to New York’s Wall Street, it suddenly feels like five minutes to dawn.
We no longer need assume that there is no time to stop the world going to shit. There is an opening and we are flooding into it.
We are suddenly in a moment that is not marked by exhausted routine protests that speak for no one and speak to no one.
The oppressors (our common enemies) are no longer unchallenged — or more no longer unchallengeable. They are instead rocked backward, confused, bewildered, furious. The billionaire mayor of New York can’t clear a tiny park — and suddenly the question is not how to force the occupiers out, but whether he may be forced out of power if he pursues that course.
For so long, all of the things that leave people crying at night: the numbing global poverty itself, the painful loneliness of atomized non-community, the discarding of the old and the young, endless war for dominance, global structures of empire, the ravaging of nature, the manufacture of ignorance, intolerance and bigotry, the rape and casual daily brutality toward women — all of these things have seemed untouchable and permanent.
Now suddenly….a different day is approaching — where we can increasingly see and act in in startling ways, with rippling new impact. Ears perk up. Sights are raised. The pulse quickens. Suddenly we recognize the faces of others — once unknown to us — animated and awake with a common spirit. The powerful look discredited and vulnerable.
Morning is coming…. Go and wake the sleeping ones.
The hope of a radically new society, of abolishing capitalism, reveals it is far from exhausted. No, it suddenly springs from every pore. These occupations of dozens of city squares are a wind that heralds a coming storm.
This is a mood that produces actual revolutionary movements and dedicated militants of a new truth process.
Advanced, radical and discontented people who felt alone and isolated — suddenly realize they are millions. Allies emerge out of shadows, attracted by each early flame.
Networks congeal almost overnight. New thought jumps from human to human, morphing in each passage, adapting and refining. The forms of expression shake off the old and exhausted… A new generation invents its language from the messaging in the air.
Let’s understand what this is. Let’s recognize where we stand. Let’s embrace the possibilities within the new.
This break in the norm reveals what has already moved into place, and had long been building. And that revelation transforms everything — especially because we all see it together, in common, and recognize ourselves in that picture.
Be relentlessly impatient with this criminal system.
Be lovingly patient with each other — as we find the common language to act and transform.
Listen for the new. And grasp firmly to the truths that have so long been hidden and denied — but that we are now speaking from center stage.
Let’s seize the high moral ground (a precious position to hold), and never give it up. And be aware that thugs with suits and video cameras will be coming to snatch that ground away and portray us as fools, or dupes, or barbarians at the gate.
Above all: Let’s consciously go for the whole thing!
The change we want is about taking the accumulated wealth, technology, hard work, science, and connections of a complex global civilization — and finally (finally!) putting it into the service of us all, including the very least and previously powerless among us. It is about the voiceless suddenly speaking, and the wealthy suddenly becoming silent.
This is not about “budget financing” (!) but about power in the most fundamental sense. We don’t want to tax the zillionaires of finance capital — we need to rip their zombie hands from the throats of us all…. so we can breathe, perhaps for the first time in our lives. And so we can change the whole direction of the world.
The “freedom” we want is not the individual license promoted by smug Republican ideologues (the freedom of “up with me, you suck”). Instead, we need to seek the freedom of people, together, to shape their common world — an ethos of mutual caring and solidarity That is the freedom (the ability and possibility) that comes when new power of the people wrenches everything from the very few.
A revolution starts in ideas and mutual recognition. It then moves to the terrain of power.
At this moment: we can get a glimmer of how empires break, and how armies start to unravel. They don’t die on the battlefields, at least not at first — but in sudden re-allegiances of the young and awakening.
We cannot “take America back” — we never had it. But we can take over our own lives, our own planet and our common future — wrenching them away from sinister and hostile forces.
This moment of occupations is not about some concept of “America” anyway. It is global — because our society, our future and our biosphere are all global. This wave of contagious occupations and manifestations is about who will shape this beautiful blue orb as a whole. And we cannot allow that to be diminished and corrupted by slogans of America First.
The old “American dream” promised each one the ability to climb up upon the others. This new coming dream can be about a global community of mutual flourishing among human beings — about substituting community for the sale of humanity.
Let’s go for the whole thing. Let’s go for the future itself. Let’s save the only earth we have. Let’s aim to wipe out together the poverty of the many and the suffering of the abused.
Here at dawn, let’s envision the day we want, and make that revolutionary vision the center of debate, for once, and perhaps from now on.
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