Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mali and AFRICOM’s Africa Agenda: Target China by F. William Engdahl

Full article here :

The following are extracts from the article that Democracy and Class Struggle find interesting.

We agree with Dan Glazebrook that Algeria is the immediate target of this new War in Mali and with F. William Engdahl that China is the long term strategic target of this war.

The embrace by France and Britain of Algeria is perfidy at its worst - it is the same embrace of death that killed Gaddafy.

Curious Mali Coup and AQIM terror—exquisite timing

Events in the formerly peaceful, democratic Mali began to get very strange on March 22, 2012 when Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted and driven into exile in a military coup one month before a scheduled presidential election. Toure had earlier instituted a multi-party democratic system. The putsch leader, Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, received military training in the US, at Fort Benning, Georgia and the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia according to AFRICOM’s spokesman. [12] Sanogo claimed the military coup was necessary because Toure’s government was not doing enough to quell Tuareg unrest in northern Mali.

As Meyssan points out, the March 2012 military coup against Toure was suspicious in every regard. A previously unheard-of group called CNRDRE (in English: National Commitee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State) overthrew Touré and declared intention to restore Mali law and order in the north.

“This resulted in great confusion,” Meyssan goes on, “since the putschists were incapable of explaining how their actions would improve the situation. The overthrow of the President was even stranger since a presidential election was to be held five weeks later and the outgoing President was not running for office.

The CNRDRE is composed of officers who were trained in the United States. They halted the election process and handed power to one of their candidates, who happened to be the Francophile Dioncounda Traore. This sleight of hand was legalized by the CEDEAO (or in English, ECOWAS—Economic Community of West African States), whose President is none other than Alassane Ouattara, who was placed in power in the Ivory Coast by the French army a year earlier.” [13]

Alassane Ouattara, educated in economics in the US, is a former senior IMF official who in 2011 forced out his Ivory Coast presidential rival with French military assistance. He owes his job not to “the New York Times,” but to French Special Forces. [14]

At the time of the military coup, the unrest in question was from an ethnic tribe, Tuareg, a secular, nomadic group of pastoral cattle-herding people who demanded independence from Mali in early 2012.

The Tuareg Rebellion was reportedly armed and financed by France who repatriated Tuaregs who had been fighting in Libya for the purpose of splitting the north of Mali along Algeria’s border, from the rest of the country and declaring Sharia law.

It only lasted from January to April 2012, at which time the nomadic Tuareg fighters rode off to their nomad haunts in the central Sahara and borders of the Sahel, a vast borderless desert area between Libya and Algeria, Mali and Niger. That left the Algerian-Libyan LIFG/Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and their associates in the Jihadist Asnar Dine to carry out the dirty work for Paris. [15]

In their 2012 battle for independence from Mali, the Tuareg had made an unholy alliance with the Jihadist AQIM. Both groups, briefly joined together with Asnar Dine, another islamist organization led by Iyad Ag Ghaly. Asnar Dine is believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb which is led by Ag Ghaly’s cousin, Hamada Ag Hama. Ansar Dine wants the imposition of strict Sharia law across Mali.

The three main groups briefly joined forces the moment Mali was plunged into chaos following the March 2012 military coup. The coup leader was Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who received military training at the Marine Corps camp at Quantico, Virginia and Special Forces training at Fort Benning, Georgia in the US.

In a bizarre play of events, despite the claim the coup was driven by the civilian government’s failure to contain the rebellion in the north, the Malian military lost control of the regional capitals of Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu within ten days of Sanogo’s assuming office. Reuters describe the farcical coup as "a spectacular own-goal." [16]

The violation of Mali’s constitution by the military was used to trigger severe sanctions against the central military government. Mali was suspended from membership in the African Union; the World Bank and African Development Bank have suspended aid. The US has cut half of the $140 million in aid that it sends each year, all of which created chaos in Mali and made it virtually impossible for the government to respond to the growing loss of territory in the north to Salafists.

Terror- Anti-Terror

What then ensued is like a page ripped out of the insurgency-counter-insurgency textbook of Britain’s Brigadier Frank E. Kitson during the 1950s British Mau Mau operations in Kenya. The Jihadist insurgency in the North and the simultaneous military coup in the capital led to a situation in which Mali was immediately isolated and massively punished with economic sanctions.

Acting with indecent haste, the US and French-controlled regional 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded the coup leaders restore civilian rule. On March 26, the US cut off all military aid to the impoverished country, ensuring maximum chaos just as the Jihadists made their major push south., Then at a meeting April 2 in Dakar, Senegal, ECOWAS members closed their countries’ borders with land-locked Mali and imposed severe sanctions, including cutting off access to the regional bank, raising the possibility that Mali will soon be unable to pay for essential supplies, including gasoline.

The same military that “trains” the terrorists also trains the “anti-terrorists.” This seems a bizarre contradiction in policy only when we fail to grasp the essence of US and British-developed methods of irregular warfare employed actively since the early 1950’s.

The method was originally termed Low Intensity Warfare by the British Army officer who developed and refined the method for control of subject areas in Malaysia, Kenya during the Mau Mau 1950’s freedom struggles and later for the British Army in Northern Ireland. Low intensity warfare as he termed it in a book by that name, [17] involves use of deception, of infiltration of double-agents, provocateurs, and use of defectors into legitimate popular movements such as those struggles for colonial independence after 1945.

The method is sometimes referred to as “Gang/Counter-Gang.” The essence is that the orchestrating intelligence agency or military occupying force, whether the British Army in Kenya or the CIA in Afghanistan, de facto controls the actions of both sides in an internal conflict, creating small civil wars or gang wars to the aim of dividing the overall legitimate movement and creating the pretext for outside military force in what the US now has deceptively renamed as “Peace-Keeping Operations” or PKO. [18]

In his advanced course on American Military Intervention Since Vietnam, Grant Hammond of the US Air War College refers openly to Low Intensity Conflict aka Peace Keeping Operations as “war by another name.” [19]

We begin to see the bloody footprints of a not-so-well-disguised French recolonisation of former French Africa, this time using Al-Qaeda terror as the springboard to direct military presence for the first time in more than half a century. French troops will likely stay on to help Mali in a “peace keeping operation.” The US is fully backing France as AFRICOM’s “cat’s paw.” And Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its spinoffs make the whole NATO military intervention possible.
Washington claimed to have been caught blind-sided by the military coup.

According to press reports, a confidential internal review completed July 2012 by the Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) concluded that the coup had unfolded too fast for American intelligence analysts to detect any clear warning signs. “The coup in Mali progressed very rapidly and with very little warning,” said AFRICOM spokesman, Col. Tom Davis. “The spark that ignited it occurred within their junior military ranks, who ultimately overthrew the government, not at the senior leadership level where warning signs might have been more easily noticed.” [20]

That view is strongly disputed. In an off-the-record interview with The New York Times, one Special Operations Forces officer disagreed, saying, “This has been brewing for five years. The analysts got complacent in their assumptions and did not see the big changes and the impacts of them, like the big weaponry coming out of Libya and the different, more Islamic fighters who came back.” [21]

More accurate it seems, AFRICOM had been “brewing” the crisis for five years since it began operations in late 2007.

Mali for the Pentagon is but the next building block in the militarization of all of Africa by AFRICOM using proxy forces like France to do the dirty work.

The Mali intervention using France upfront is but one building block in a project for the total militarization of Africa whose prime goal is not capturing strategic resources like oil, gas, uranium, gold or iron ore.

The strategic target is China and the rapidly growing Chinese business presence across Africa over the past decade.

The goal of AFRICOM is to push China out of Africa or at least to irreparably cripple her independent access to those African resources.

An economically independent China, so goes thinking in various Pentagon offices or Washington neo-conservative think-tanks, can be a politically independent China. God forbid!

So they believe.

Mali "bloody atrocities" ethnic violence already underway

Is Egypt on the Brink of Collapse? Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports From Restive City of Port Said

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

UK to send troops to Mali for war "War on Terror" in Africa : British Prime Minister Cameron in Algeria

Democracy and Class Struggle  says Cameron's and the Head of MI6's visit to Algeria confirms the interlinked events in this region.

The views of  Dan Glazebrook of the strategic importance of Algeria and its linkages with Mali is contained in the videos below.

Britain does not want to be left out in the battle for resources from Africa - The Ango/French Entente Imperialism is planning the re- Colonialisation of Africa in the 21st century.

The visit of Cameron to Algeria is part of the new Imperialist design.

In reality, the dispatch of French commandos to the uranium mines in Niger only underscores the overriding economic and geo-strategic motives behind the French military intervention in Mali. Under the cover of a supposed war against Islamist “terrorists” and a defense of the central government in Mali, French imperialism is using its military might to tighten its grip on its resource-rich former African colonies.

We endorse the views of Dan Glazebrook in the above video

Early claims that this would be a short sharp intervention have been dropped, with the French president saying he would do what it takes to stop Mali and the wider Sahel from falling into hands of groups like Ansar Dine and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

France said it is acting not just in the interest of the Malians, whose president appealed for help, the Africans, and the wider international community.

But some analysts say this isn't' strictly true. They say that by intervening in Mali, France, and her western allies have failed to learn the lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and that they're really determined to maintain their influence in the mineral rich area of West Africa.

They also complain about the shadow of French colonialism in Africa. So what do Africans think of this dangerous turn of events, and should they be suspicious of the French, British and American claims that they are now the new front in the "war on terror".

More from Dan Glazebrook on video below

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Condolences on the death of Dipankar Chakroborty (71), the founder-editor of the independent Left journal, ANEEK

Press Release from Aneek

Mahasveta Devi, Sankhaya Ghosh and others condoled the death of Dipankar Chakroborty, the editor of Left journal ‘ANEEK’.

Dipankar Chakroborty (71), the founder-editor of the independent Left journal, ANEEK, passed away on Sunday night. A cardiac patient, he had suffered respiratory problem last evening and died on the way to hospital. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter and grandchildren.

He was born in Dhaka in 1941 and grew up in Murshidabad after the partition. Educated in Baharampur and Kolkata, Chakroborty taught economics at Krishnanath college at Baharampur. he later settled in Kolkata.

A veteran of the Left movement since the sixties, he began publishing and editing ANEEK since 1964 when ruptures in the CPI on ideo-political issues led to first split and birth of the CPI(M).

In the wake of the Naxalbari uprising three years later that had triggered the second split and birth of the CPI(ML), Chakroborty did not join the new party. But he made ANEEK an independent forum for debates on contemporary communist movement, both national and international.

Under his stewardship, ANEEK has become one of the leading left periodical in Bengal and among the few ‘little magazines’ which have survived five decades against all odds. He himself was an accomplished political commentator and had several books to his credit. Chakroborty was jailed by the S.S Roy government during the Emergency.

A life-long defender of human rights, he was also one of the founders of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and its vice-president.

He was always active in the campaigns of release of political prisoners irrespective of the creed of the ruling parties and governments since the seventies. He stood by peoples’ movements and joined protests in their support despite his failng health– from Maruti to Nonadanga.

He was also one of the founders of Peoples’ Books Society, a major publication house and a enthusiast of Little Magazine movement in Bengal.

Noted novelist and activist Mahasveta Devi who knew Chakroborty closely expressed her ‘profound shock’. ” I am deeply grieved. It’s an irreplaceable loss for the human rights movement as well as for me,” the octogenarian writer said. Poet Sankhaya Ghosh, also mourned Chakroborty’s death. ” I feel like losing a near and dear one,” he said.

Dipankar Chakrabarti: The Naxalite Movement: In search of the root of its debacle

Eight decades have elapsed since the founding of the Communist Party of India. During this period great upheavals like haughty fascist onslaught, the devastating 2nd world-war, ferocious and aggressive evil designs of the U.S.imperialism to dominate this unipolar world through globalisation and sheer military might have drastically transformed the world. In the first half of the last century, revolutionary upsurges shook the world one after another, first in Russia, then in east Europe and Asia, thereby illuminating a bright road before the labouring people for achieving socialism, which is supposed to lead them to freedom from hunger and exploitation. But by the end of the nineties all those experiments have failed. And in our country India utter darkness still basically prevails, though the direct imperialist rule has been replaced by indirect dependence and virtual sub-ordination. And the communist movement here remains basically divided, social revolution a distant - almost remote - possibility, and the Indian people still hopelessly panting for liberation.

In India too, like many other countries, the thunder-clap of Russia’s October Revolution had brought the communist consciousness in the first quarter of the twentieth century. But still now, in spite of the incomparable dedication and heroic martyrdom of thousands of communist cadres and supporters, their sacrifices could not usher in a new society. Again and again the leadership has failed to recognize the soil below their feet, consequently swinging in a vicious whirlpool, in the labyrinth of rightist and ‘leftist’ deviations, and consequently, the Indian communists have not yet in its activities been able to build up a consistent and clear alternative line of action before the toiling people. That much-longed-for correct line for revolution –both strategical and tactical - has not yet emerged, and as a result revolution has become more and more distant.


Basically the same `tradition has been continuing’ in the post-independent period. Space does not permit us here to go deeper into the analysis of the underlying reasons.1 But to come to the main purpose of this short article, which is to trace meaningfully and concretely the roots of the debacle of the Naxalite movement, we should never forget that that this movement did not originate suddenly out of the sky. Rather it was basically the continuation of the past tendencies, both positive and negative, in the Indian Communist movement. In this context the importance of the ideology in the Indian communist movement demands some attention. `Iideology’, we know, does not necessarily mean just party-programmes, poltical resolutions or manifestoes of the movements. These are no doubt necessary, but for the ideological development and proletarisation of a communist, it is essential to train him to study and grasp the basic tenets of Marxism, so that he can understand the dialectical relation between the theory and practice, and follow accordingly the correct method of work. Only then can he continuously carry on the process of grasping and interpreting independently the Marxist ideology as a comprehensive world outlook and orientation to change himself, and also to change the Society and the World. This point, emphasised by both Marx and Lenin in their innumerable writings, has aptly been summarized by Mao : ``Communist must always go into the whys and wherefores, use their own heads and carefully think over whether or not it corresponds to reality and is really well-founded; on no account should they follow blindly and encourage slavishness.’’2

Since the beginning of the Communist Movement in India emphasis has mainly been given on studying the nature and character of the Indian Society and economy, and also of the ruling classes, and the nature of their inter-relationship with imperialism; determining the character of Indian Revolution and its main aim, and ascertaining its main enemies and friends etc. But what has, in the main, been neglected is the basic task to relate them to the study of the basic ideology. have stood in the path of Party’s correct development and led it to an erroneous, sometimes dangerous, path. Failure to build up and strengthen an ideological and theoretical basis, and also to develop a correct method of method have stood in the path of Party’s correct development and led it to an erroneous, sometimes dangerous, path, making the oscillations between a rightist and a ‘left’ orientation a permanent feature of the Indian Communist movement.

As an unavoidable consequence of these tendencies, time and again, the Party has failed to take a correct stand firmly on many issues leading to gradual but unnecessary splits. One of the most fundamental roots of the debacle of the Naxalite movement was inherent in such a debate. Naturally it needs some elaboration. I am referring to the vascillations in the Indian Communist movement on the question of its attitude to parliamentary activities. The Marxist pioneers from Marx to Mao clearly stated that tactically it is no doubt necessary generally to participate in parliamentary system to utilise it for revolutionary causes as far as possible., but there must be no illusion regarding the system, its basic sub-servience to the interests of the bourgeoisie. And that is why socialism cannot be built up utilising the bourgeois parliamentary state-system, but only by destroying and uprooting it. This line was successfully implemented in Russia by the Bolshevik party under Lenin’s leadership. In China, the question of such participation did not arise in the absence of any parliamentary system before the revolution, and that is why Mao stated : ``We have no parliament to make use of.’’ 3

Lenin put forth a series of relevant guiding points in this regard. It is the duty as well as aim of the communists ``to carry on a struggle within parliament for the destruction of the parliament,’’ 4 for ``a change of ministers means very little, for the real work of administration is in the hands of an enormous army of officials’’ depending and serving the landowners and the bourgeoise,5 and consequently, ``the number of parliamentary seats is of no importance to us; we are not out for seats.’ 6 He was very clear and specific regarding the relation between the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary activities (like developing mass-struggles) of the communists : But he also cautioned that``limiting the class struggle to the parliamentary struggle, or regarding the latter as the highest and decisive form, to which all the other forms are subordinate, is actually desertion to the side of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat.’’7 A clear guiding principle was adopted under his leadership at the Second Congress of the Communist International : ``Parliamentary activities of the Communist Party should be fully and completely subordinate to the aims and tasks of the mass struggles outside the parliament.’’8

Monday, January 28, 2013

1892 Preface by Engels to The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844

See also William Morris Speech in 1888 here :

The book, an English translation of which is here republished, was first issued in Germany in 1845. The author, at that time, was young, twenty-four years of age, and his production bears the stamp of his youth with its good and its faulty features, of neither of which he feels ashamed. It was translated into English, in 1885, by an American lady, Mrs. F. Kelley Wischnewetzky, and published in the following year in New York. The American edition being as good as exhausted, and having never been extensively circulated on this side of the Atlantic, the present English copyright edition is brought out with the full consent of all parties interested.

For the American edition, a new Preface and an Appendix were written in English by the author. The first had little to do with the book itself; it discussed the American Working-Class Movement of the day, and is, therefore, here omitted as irrelevant; the second — the original preface — is largely made use of in the present introductory remarks.

The state of things described in this book belongs to-day, in many respects, to the past, as far as England is concerned. Though not expressly stated in our recognised treatises, it is still a law of modern Political Economy that the larger the scale on which capitalistic production is carried on, the less can it support the petty devices of swindling and pilfering which characterise its early stages. The pettifogging business tricks of the Polish Jew, the representative in Europe of commerce in its lowest stage, those tricks that serve him so well in his own country, and are generally practised there, he finds to be out of date and out of place when he comes to Hamburg or Berlin; and, again, the commission agent who hails from Berlin or Hamburg, Jew or Christian, after frequenting the Manchester Exchange for a few months, finds out that in order to buy cotton yarn or cloth cheap, he, too, had better drop those slightly more refined but still miserable wiles and subterfuges which are considered the acme of cleverness in his native country. The fact is, those tricks do not pay any longer in a large market, where time is money, and where a certain standard of commercial morality is unavoidably developed, purely as a means of saving time and trouble. And it is the same with the relation between the manufacturer and his “hands.”

The revival of trade, after the crisis of 1847, was the dawn of a new industrial epoch. The repeal of the Corn Laws[1] and the financial reforms subsequent thereon gave to English industry and commerce all the elbow-room they had asked for. The discovery of the Californian and Australian gold-fields followed in rapid succession. The colonial markets developed at an increasing rate their capacity for absorbing English manufactured goods. In India millions of hand-weavers were finally crushed out by the Lancashire power-loom. China was more and more being opened up. Above all, the United States — then, commercially speaking, a mere colonial market, but by far the biggest of them all — underwent an economic development astounding even for that rapidly progressive country. And, finally, the new means of communication introduced at the close of the preceding period — railways and ocean steamers — were now worked out on an international scale; they realised actually what had hitherto existed only potentially, a world-market. This world-market, at first, was composed of a number of chiefly or entirely agricultural countries grouped around one manufacturing centre — England which consumed the greater part of their surplus raw produce, and supplied them in return with the greater part of their requirements in manufactured articles. No wonder England’s industrial progress was colossal and unparalleled, and such that the status of 1844 now appears to us as comparatively primitive and insignificant. And in proportion as this increase took place, in the same proportion did manufacturing industry become apparently moralised. The competition of manufacturer against manufacturer by means of petty thefts upon the workpeople did no longer pay. Trade had outgrown such low means of making money; they were not worth while practising for the manufacturing millionaire, and served merely to keep alive the competition of smaller traders, thankful to pick up a penny wherever they could. Thus the truck system was suppressed, the Ten Hours’ Bill [2] was enacted, and a number of other secondary reforms introduced — much against the spirit of Free Trade and unbridled competition, but quite as much in favour of the giant-capitalist in his competition with his less favoured brother. Moreover, the larger the concern, and with it the number of hands, the greater the loss and inconvenience caused by every conflict between master and men; and thus a new spirit came over the masters, especially the large ones, which taught them to avoid unnecessary squabbles, to acquiesce in the existence and power of Trades’ Unions, and finally even to discover in strikes — at opportune times — a powerful means to serve their own ends. The largest manufacturers, formerly the leaders of the war against the working-class, were now the foremost to preach peace and harmony. And for a very good reason. The fact is that all these concessions to justice and philanthropy were nothing else but means to accelerate the concentration of capital in the hands of the few, for whom the niggardly extra extortions of former years had lost all importance and had become actual nuisances; and to crush all the quicker and all the safer their smaller competitors, who could not make both ends meet without such perquisites. Thus the development of production on the basis of the capitalistic system has of itself sufficed — at least in the leading industries, for in the more unimportant branches this is far from being the case — to do away with all those minor grievances which aggravated the workman’s fate during its earlier stages. And thus it renders more and more evident the great central fact that the cause of the miserable condition of the working-class is to be sought, not in these minor grievances, but in the capitalistic system itself. The wage-worker sells to the capitalist his labour-power for a certain daily sum. After a few hours’ work he has reproduced the value of that sum; but the substance of his contract is, that he has to work another series of hours to complete his working-day; and the value he produces during these additional hours of surplus labour is surplus value, which costs the capitalist nothing, but yet goes into his pocket. That is the basis of the system which tends more and more to split up civilised society into a few Rothschilds and Vanderbilts, the owners of all the means of production and subsistence, on the one hand, and an immense number of wage-workers, the owners of nothing but their labour-power, on the other. And that this result is caused, not by this or that secondary grievance, but by the system itself — this fact has been brought out in bold relief by the development of Capitalism in England since 1847.

Spies and the Media - The British State's media control with Annie Machon


Apart from historicizing the caste question in its emergence and feudal mode of production, Com. Anuradha wrote perceptibly in the Anti-Brahminical and Dalit Movement in Colonial and Post-Colonial India, including mapping the anti-Brahminical Bhakti Movement. Her writings on Phule, Ambedkar, Periyar and Dalit assertions in Maharashtra assumes importance because those were important milestones in the sub-altern resistance to Brahminical oppression in India.

The anti-Brahminical movements in India, especially in Maharashtra, are important because the specific characteristics of Indian caste feudalism and the way it was transformed and yet essentially maintained by British colonial rule, defined the specific anti-feudal tasks of the Indian revolution. The most basic anti-feudal task the land question took on, was the extremely complex features as a result of Indian caste feudalism. Because of the way in which hierarchical relations were maintained within the village and among the exploited classes themselves, and because of the way in which productive work for the land was institutionalized through the jajmani/palotedarisystem, it was insufficient to look at the land question simply in terms of landlordism. Similarly, the slogan of ‘land to the tiller’ was abstract and insufficient in the Indian context without understanding the overall Brahminical domination. For the fact was that much of the land had two tillers– the cultivating middle caste peasant, whether tenant or ryot, and the Dalit field servant, whose connection to the land was equally long-standing.

The very inequality among the exploited, institutionalized through the feudal caste hierarchy, meant that the need for creating unity in the context of resolving land question was crucial. It is hard to see how this could be done without a specific programme of action constituting poor peasants including Dalits, as well as caste Hindu toilers who would have the responsibility of seizing and distributing the village lands and instituting necessary programmes of co-operative and collective agriculture.

Though attempts were begun by the Dalit castes from the late 19th century to organize themselves, the various sections of Dalit liberation movement really began to take off from the 1920s in the context of the strong social reform and anti-caste movements, which were beginning to develop a genuine mass base. The non-Brahmin movements in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu especially provided an important support. It is not accidental that Jyotirao Phule, the mali (gardener caste) who lived in the middle of the 19th century, made the initial ideological advances and formulated a theory of Brahminism and ‘Irani Aryabhat’ conquest turning the Aryan theory upside down to identify with the original ‘non-Aryan’ Shudra and anti-Shudra inhabitants of the country.
Dalits, to some extent, were organizing the 19th century also. An early attempt in Maharashtra was the movement of Gopal Babu Wangankar. Much organizing focused on the effort to regain their rights to serve in the British Indian Army, which they had helped till the 1870s, but which was then withdrawn from them. It was in the 1920s, however, that the Dalits began to organize strongly and independently throughout many regions of India. The most important of the early Dalit movements were the Adi-Dharma movement in Punjab (organized in 1926); the movement under Ambedkar in Maharashtra, mainly based among Maharas, which had its organizational beginnings in 1924; the Nama-Shudra movement in Bengal; the Adi-Dravida movement in Tamil Nadu; the Adi-Karnataka movement; the Adi-Hindu movement mainly centered around Kanpur in UP; and the organising of the Pulayas and Cherumans in Kerala. (For details see Mark Juergensmeier, “Adi Dharm: Origins of a Revolutionary Religion” University of California Press; Eleanor Zelliot, “Learning the Use of Political Means: The Mahars of Maharashtra”. In: Rajni Kothari, ed, "Caste in Indian Politics", Orient Longman, 1970. J.H. Broom-field, "Elite Conflict in a Plural Society: Twentieth Century Bengal" (University of California Press, 1968).

In most of the cases the Montagu - Chelmsford Reforms provided a spark for this organization of Dalits, but the crucial background was the massive economic and political upheavals of the post-war period. The movements had a linguistic-national organizational base and varied according to the specific social characteristics in different areas, but there was considerable all-India exchange of ideas and by the 1930s this began to take the shape of all India conferences with Ambedkar emerging as the clear national leader of the movement. The founding of the Scheduled Castes Federation in 1942, and its later conversion into the Republican Party, gave Dalits a genuine all-India political organization, though this remained weak, except in certain specific localities, and did not by any means constitute the entire Dalit movement (Bharat Patenkar, Gail Omvedt: The Dalit Liberation Movement in Colonial Period). Writing about the Non-Brahmin movement in Maharashtra led by Jyotiba Phule, Com. Anuradha says, "The movement began with the founding of the Satyasashodak Samaj in Pune. The rise of Satyasashodak Samaj (SS) took place in the context of a rise of Brahminical Hindu revivalism in western India in the 1870s, with its base in Pune, which put the upper caste reformers on the defensive. After working as a social reformer for almost 20 years, Jyotiba Phule founded the SS in 1873 in Pune. The main task of the SS was to make the non-Brahmins conscious of their exploitation by the Brahmins. Phule himself belonged to the malicaste, a caste involved in the cultivation of vegetables, and their trade in the vicinity of Pune. His family was middle class and he was educated in a mission school. The SS did not restrict its activities to any particular caste and worked among the various non-Brahmin (NB) castes in the rural areas of Thane, Pune and later in other districts in Bombay Province and Berar. They also worked among the workers in the textile mills of Bombay. The songs, booklets and plays written by Phule used a popular hard-hitting style and language to expose the various ways in which the Brahmins duped the people, especially the peasants. The SS interpreted the racial theory of the origin of caste in the context of popular tradition - the Aryan invaders had enslaved the local peasantry, the rule of Baliraja, the peasant king was defeated - showing the links of the SS with the democratic sentiments of the peasantry.

In Phule's time, the SS campaigned for social reform - they rejected their own feudal-style marriages and adopted the SS marriages, which were based on principles of equality, mutual respect and loyalty between husband and wife. The SS reform campaign in Phule's time led to a strike by barbers who decided not to tonsure widows leading to tensions in the village. Phule ran a paper called Din Bandhu. His main supporters were Telugu contractors and workers in the textile mills. The first reformist organization among the textile workers of Bombay, the Mill Hands Association, was formed in 1890 by N.M. Lokhande under Phule's guidance. This association represented the grievances of the mill workers till it was pushed aside by the militant trade unions that emerged among the workers in the aftermath of the First World War. Phule promoted modern agriculture among the peasantry and personally bought land to experiment and set an example before them. He was influenced by the democratic American writings of Tom Paine and the principles of liberty and equality. He wrongly believed that British rule had destroyed the role of Brahmins and brought modern education to all castes, and hence was a supporter of the colonial rule in the country.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

éirígí : The Price Sisters – victims of British vindictiveness

The Socialist Republican Party, éirígí, has said that the British administration’s decision to refuse Marian Price leave to attend the funeral of her sister, Dolours, is designed to add further grief to that already being felt by the Price/Rea family.

éirígí spokesperson Ursula Ní Shionnain said, “Republicans throughout Ireland were profoundly shocked and saddened to learn of the premature death of Dolours Price-Rea on Thursday.

“As young republicans, imprisoned in both Britain and Ireland from 1973 until the beginning of the 1980s, both Dolours and her sister Marian endured great hardship and ill-treatment, including the torture of force-feeding while on hunger strike, at the hands of the British state. Despite the efforts of their captors, the spirit and resolve of these two sisters could never be broken. Both Dolours and Marian provided inspiration and encouragement to many, not least of which was to their comrades in many other prisons.

“Those long years of imprisonment, isolation and ill-treatment were undoubtedly contributory factors to the ill-health which both sisters have suffered in recent years. They are not alone in that respect. It is a rarely discussed reality that many republican ex-prisoners continue to suffer the negative health impacts of long years of imprisonment and ill-treatment.”

Ursula continued, “What is special about the case of the Price sisters is the extent to which a campaign of vindictiveness and vilification has continued to be directed against them - a campaign now pursued even after death. The current internment of Marian Price has to be seen in the context of this forty year campaign by the British state.

“Even with the death of Dolours, the British state continues that campaign of vindictiveness by refusing Marian an opportunity to bid her sister a final farewell or attend her funeral. Such a cold and malevolent decision should not shock anyone – callousness and mercilessness have long been the hallmarks of ‘cruel Britannia’.

“That British decision is politically driven and designed to demonstrate the fact that, despite some cosmetic political changes, Britain remains the ultimate governing authority in the Six Counties. It is also designed to heap further unnecessary grief and torment on Marian and the wider Price/Rea family at this time of loss.

“On behalf of éirígí, I extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Dolours’ family, her two sons, Danny and Oscar, and to her many friends. We particularly extend our sympathy and solidarity to her sister, Marian, at this most difficult of times.”

Appeal from Irish TD's We call on the Justice Minister David Ford to allow Marian Price compassionate release to join her family and attend the funeral of her sister Dolours Price.

We call on the Justice Minister David Ford to allow Marion Price compassionate release to join her family and attend the funeral of her sister Dolours Price.

Marian Price is already suffering from physical and mental health difficulties which has resulted in her detention in a hospital facility for the past number of months. Continuing to detain her in isolated custody to grieve alone as her sister is buried can only have a detrimental impact on her health.

We support the call of Marion’s lawyers who have asked Mr. Ford to consider allowing her to spend a week with her family to deal with her loss. The case for allowing her to grieve at her sister’s funeral will be shared even by people of profoundly different ideas and background.

We urge Mr Ford as an act of compassion to act urgently and release Marion Price in time for her sister’s funeral.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD
Joan Collins TD
Clare Daly TD
Thomas Pringle TD

We have received news that Marian's application for compassionate parole following the tragic death of her sister Dolours has been refused: Statement from the family of Marian Price McGlinchey.

We have received news that Marian's application for compassionate parole following the tragic death of her sister Dolours has been refused, despite her being granted bail earlier today.

Given Marian's current health issues it is laughable that she would pose any kind of security or flight risk. We feel this decision is nothing more than a continuance of a vicious and vindictive campaign on the part of the Prison Service, the Department of Justice and the British secretary of state along with M15 to destroy Marian both physically and mentally.

We would urge all right thinking people to utterly condemn this blatant breach of Marian's fundamental human rights.

Marian Price Family Statement

The Great Unrest Group for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party calls for Marian Price to be freed. Marian's imprisonment is an insult to democracy, the denial of  compassionate parole to attend her sisters funeral is part of the psychological war waged against her to break her spirit.

Free Marian Price Now !

Friday, January 25, 2013

Long Distance Revolutionary: Mumia and The Black Panther Party

Marian Price given bail after death of sister

Marian Price given bail after death of sister.
Marian McGlinchey, formerly Price, has been granted bail after the death of her sister Dolours Price.

Source; BBC NEWS

Whigs, Democrats and Socialists by William Morris speech published in 1888

Democracy and Class Struggle makes available some of the thoughts of  the Revolutionary Communist, William Morris.

Many traditions have lain claim to William Morris, we just let him speak for himself as we are of the view that past is present.

William Morris made this speech at the time when German Chancellor Bismark spoke politics is the art of the possible just like the parties from Plaid Cymru to the Tories do today.

The early experiments in Capitalist, State Socialism referred to in this speech foreshadow 20th century Social Democracy and William Morris's views resonate today because they capture reality and are true.

William Morris intimates that we have to go through this process of discovering that Social Reform will not bring permanent gains to learn the necessity of Social Revolution.

Nickglais, Editor of Democracy and Class Struggle

What is the state of parties in England to-day? How shall we enumerate them? The Whigs, who stand first on the list in my title, are considered generally to be the survival of an old historical party once looked on as having democratic tendencies, but now the hope of all who would stand soberly on the ancient ways. Besides these, there are Tories also, the descendants of the stout defenders of Church and State and the divine right of kings Now, I don't mean to say but that at the back of this ancient name of Tory there lies a great mass of genuine Conservative feeling, held by people who, if they had their own way, would play some rather fantastic tricks, I fancy nay, even might in the course of time be somewhat rough with such people as are in this hall at present(3). But this feeling, after all, is only a sentiment now; all practical hope has died out of it, and these worthy people CANNOT have their own way.

 It is true that they elect members of Parliament, who talk very big to please them, and sometimes even they manage to get a Government into power that nominally represents their sentiment, but when that happens the said Government is forced, even when its party has a majority in the House of Commons, to take a much lower standpoint than the high Tory ideal; the utmost that the real Tory party can do, even when backed by the Primrose League and its sham hierarchy, is to delude the electors to return Tories to Parliament to pass measures more akin to Radicalism than the Whigs durst attempt, so that, though there are Tories, there is no Tory party in England.

On the other hand, there is a party, which I can call for the present by no other name than Whig, which is both numerous and very powerful, and which does, in fact, govern England, and to my mind will always do so as long as the present constitutional Parliament lasts. Of course, like all parties it includes men of various shades of opinion, from the Tory-tinted Whiggery of Lord Salisbury to the Radical-tinted Whiggery of Mr. Chamberlain's present tail. Neither do I mean to say that they are conscious of being a united party; on the contrary, the groups will sometimes oppose each other furiously at elections, and perhaps the more simple-minded of them really think that it is a matter of importance to the nation which section of them may be in power; but they may always be reckoned upon to be in their places and vote against any measure which carries with it a real attack on our constitutional system; surely very naturally, since they are there for no other purpose than to do so. They are, and always must be, conscious defenders of the present system, political and economical, as long as they have any cohesion as Tories, Whigs, Liberals, or even Radicals. Not one of them probably would go such a very short journey towards revolution as the abolition of the House of Lords. A one-chamber Parliament would seem to them an impious horror, and the abolition of the monarchy they would consider a serious inconvenience to the London tradesman.

Now this is the real Parliamentary Party, at present divided into jarring sections under the influence of the survival of the party warfare of the last few generations, but which already shows signs of sinking its differences so as to offer a solid front of resistance to the growing instinct which on its side will before long result in a party claiming full economical as well as political freedom for the whole people.

But is there nothing in Parliament, or seeking entrance to it, except this variously tinted Whiggery, this Harlequin of Reaction? Well, inside Parliament, setting aside the Irish party, which is, we may now well hope, merely temporarily there, there is not much. It is not among people of "wealth and local influence," who I see are supposed to be the only available candidates for Parliament of a recognized party, that you will find the elements of revolution.

Catalonia has adopted a declaration of sovereignty - a proclamation that gives it the right to hold a referendum on breaking away from Spain.

Privatising Water and Health Care and handing your economy over to Deutsche Bank is not Independence but dependence on foreign capitalism.

Real independence for people is building up public assets not destroying them.

Oppose bourgeois nationalism that rearranges chairs on the capitalist Titanic with a Socialist Republic of Catalonia to bring down the Ancien Régimes of late Capitalist Europe.

For National and Social Liberation for Catalonia

For a Catalan Socialist Republic.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Syria: Some serious problems to be solved

This Report is published for information by Democracy and Class Struggle
21 January 2013. A World to Win News Service. The following is a condensed version of a discussion in which the Syrian revolutionary Hassan Khaled Chatila gave his views on the current situation there. It is especially important because of the light it sheds on the relationship between classes and class contradictions on the one hand, and ideological factors on the other.
There has been a vertiginous rise of Islamic fundamentalism over the last period, in terms of both its ideological influence among various classes in what was once considered the Middle East's secular society, as well as its organized military strength. Some reports say that since the Islamic fundamentalists have clearly come to dominate the armed revolt, the regime has actually become somewhat less isolated, with some people who were formerly pro-opposition or neutral now seeing Assad as the best of bad alternatives. A few Western commentators have begun saying things like, "The opposition is in fact helping to hold the regime together" (Peter Harling, an analyst with the International Crisis Group). Harling's comment reflects the fact that this development also poses problems for the U.S. and its allies, who want to make Syria serve their interests and defeat any challenge to their dominance in the Middle East.
Here Chatila discusses some of the class contradictions that persist despite this ideologically unfavourable situation, arguing that it did not have to take this turn and that the class contradictions that brought into being a revolt against the regime in March 2011 are still at work.
There is a basis for a revolutionary strategy founded on the basic interests of the great majority of the Syrian people in antagonism with the imperialists and the big Syrian exploiters inside and outside the regime who are ultimately dependent on the world imperialist system. The great difficulty in working out such a strategy and making it into a material force among the people is undeniable, but there is no other way out for the broad masses of people, and no reactionary regime of any kind can make these contradictions disappear.
The situation in Syria is now dominated  by rival reactionary forces. The political class [the traditional, once tolerated opposition, mainly operating from abroad] seeks foreign intervention, while the Free Syrian Army is a heterogeneous mix with no clear political and military strategy. They take towns and neighbourhoods and occupy them, and then the regime destroys them. This benefits the regime, and makes it possible for it to take full advantage of its still superior military forces and arms. The FSA makes no attempt to mobilise the masses of people or to lead them in establishing local revolutionary political power.
The regime is now using the entry of Islamist forces into the country to justify its existence as a barrier against them.
What began as a social movement against the regime has been smothered by pro-Western and Islamist forces. In short, the revolt that began in Daraa on 15 March 2011 has been turned into something else by the Free Syrian Army and the political class. It is possible that the situation could slide into a religious civil war; the armed fundamentalists are certainly trying to provoke a Sunni-Alawite war. Many people who were previously favourable to the opposition no longer see the fall of Assad as a good idea.
You asked me about the role of regional inequalities and the growing gap between the countryside and city, both in driving the revolt, and also in providing an audience for fundamentalists.
I would answer this way: During the last decade the regime used financial aid and other incentives to encourage big landowners to eliminate the small peasants. In this, it has been following the IMF strategy for developing globally-competitive commercial agriculture and attracting foreign investment.
The now landless peasants immigrate to the big cities in hopes of accumulating enough money to be able to return to their land. In addition, for a long time many small peasants who still own land [and grow vegetables and so on for urban markets] have lived on the outskirts of towns and cities. So there is a very large peasant population ringing all the big towns and cities. Unemployment is very high in both the cities and the countryside, and many people are hungry.
The Syrian peasantry has been playing a big role in the revolt, both in the countryside and the big-city suburbs. The middle classes in the provinces and the cities have gone back and forth, although they have certainly played an important role in the revolt, too. Some sections of the lower middle classes came over to the revolt and some supported the regime, especially the better-off sections. The Islamists draw many of their recruits from the lower classes, and better-off sections as well, such as engineers, doctors, architects and businessmen, including shopkeepers. In the past, the lower classes tended to be Arab nationalists or supporters of parties that called themselves socialist and communist, and anti-Israel and anti-imperialist. The Moslem Brotherhood has been deeply rooted in the middle classes. I'm not sure who the members of the FSA are, but I'm certain that many are from the middle classes.
The chambers of commerce and industry, which group together the large number of middle capitalists and the biggest, continue to support the regime, even though the majority are Sunnis. The Sunni-Alawite fracture doesn't cancel out the class fracture. There are divisions on both religious and class lines. There are small, medium and big Sunni capitalists who have prospered in alliance with the bureaucrat-capitalist regime. It's important to note that the souks [the traditional markets that are the centre of both retail and wholesale commerce] have never shut down in protest against the regime. There has been no generalized civil insurrection even among Sunnis.
Industry and commerce is mostly controlled by Sunnis, as well as Christians. The ethnic and religious minorities like the Alawites tend to be peasants, and rise socially by becoming government employees or military men. Alawites close to the regime have gotten rich.
Among the workers, including the Sunni majority, a large section has no steady work and certainly not a regular work contract. They live week to week on the crumbs their employers throw them. They work in close proximity with their bosses in beauty salons, garages and other small service businesses. This can mean that they are attracted to the bourgeoisie. But either way they play an important role because they feel that they have nothing to lose. When their children reach the age of 12, usually they have to quit school and look for work. They are involved in both the popular movement and the Islamist movement.
To the extent that it was organized, the popular revolt was based on the lower middle classes and the desperately poor, as well as other sections of the masses. In the provincial cities like Homs [an epicentre of the revolt], it is the poor urban neighbourhoods and not the better-off quarters that have been destroyed by the regime. In Damascus all the poor neighbourhoods have been destroyed.
The villages were very much involved in the demonstrations and the general revolt against the regime. A revolution would have tried to organize these peasants into political committees to exercise political power in the countryside and eliminate the regime's local political and administrative control. While the country's topology makes a frontal confrontation with the state very difficult, it would be possible to organize small groups of guerillas to mount effective attacks on the power centres and then melt away. These peasants have played a very important role in the popular revolt but not in an organized revolutionary way, and they are susceptible to being organized by the fundamentalists, whose sole form of organisation is military. The Islamists in the FSA make no attempt to win civilians over to their side, [even though] the majority of the population is Moslem. The social and political demands of the revolt have receded into the background.
There has arisen an embryonic mass movement demanding a stop to the violence. For instance, there was a famous incident when a woman dressed in white demonstrated all by herself in front of the parliament building in Damascus, and got a lot of support. Calling for an end to all violence is not the solution, but the growth of this sentiment shows the isolation of the FSA from the people. The political and social mass movement against the regime has been buried. With its demands for bread, dignity, freedom and justice, it had many things in common with the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

 In my opinion, the Free Syrian Army aborted that revolution before it could mature.
Because of its hybrid nature, the FSA could disintegrate into rival clans waging war on each other. That could happen if it doesn't succeed in overthrowing the regime, or even if it does. It would be a mutual slaughter. There are real gangster elements involved.
Syria is sinking into chaos. The Western imperialists want to destroy the country economically and see its army torn to shreds so that it can't oppose Israel. When this political crisis is resolved, one way or the other, Syria will come out of it completely destroyed. Its economy will become even more dependent on the world market. But on the other hand, the objective basis for revolution will continue to exist because the factors for this crisis are deeply rooted in Syrian society. That was reflected in the revolt that began in March 2011. A transition to a fully neo-liberal economy can't resolve that crisis and certainly cannot develop an economy that would meet the needs of the people. That can be done only by smashing both bureaucrat capitalism and big private capital. So there will always be an objective basis for revolution, but then there is the question of who will influence the people. The fundamentalists will continue to attack the neo-liberals, including by an armed struggle whose methods are often basically "terrorist".
Because of the strength of the Islamists the Western powers are now somewhat more favourable to leaving the regime intact and maybe even leaving Assad in place. The U.S. is afraid of the FSA because it might go against American interests and those of its regional allies.
This is the position of Turkey and Iraq, as well as Iran, in terms of neighbouring countries, and of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Right now none of them is interested in supplying the FSA with game-changing weapons. The FSA is receiving less military aid than ever. Nobody wants to give them surface-to-air rockets.
Even though the Saudis have been bankrolling the fundamentalists, as part of their policy of developing a Sunni-Shia confrontation to oppose Iranian influence in the region, they are worried about the rise of the jihadis. They know they can't control these people. Their policy could backfire if fundamentalism in Syria takes up the anti-U.S. banner.
The U.S. is even softening its tone toward Assad a bit. Hillary Clinton has criticized the traditional opposition, demanding that it unite and form a government [one acceptable to the U.S., which it hasn't been able to do in any convincing way. There is some revived talk about a "political solution" between the regime and the opposition in Western policy circles].
In short, no state cares about the Syrian people. They don't care about the 60,000 people killed, the 300,000 people forced to seek refuge abroad or the internally displaced people who number as many as a million. They don't care about the fact that among a population where half the people already lived below the UN-defined poverty line of 2 dollars a day, price speculation has brought about real famine. Prices for bread, sugar and fuel oil for cooking have doubled and tripled, if these things can be found at all. Forget about meat, which the poor seldom ate anyway.
The fake "solidarity with the Syrian people" that used to fill the Western media is fading. Even many people who have genuinely wanted to express their solidarity with the Syrian people have become discouraged because they don't know who to support. This shows how serious the problems are.

See Also :

Report on Meeting of International Committee to Support People's War in India

The meeting of the International Committee to support people's war in India was held in Italy on January 19th to assess the great success of the International Conference held in Hamburg on November 24 last year.

All the forces of the Committee attended the meeting or given their support in various forms. In addition were added other participants from Spain and Brazil.

After the introduction speech and debate, the meeting made several decisions, in all fields of activity, that will be included in the report being prepared that will be submitted internationally for discussion, by sending directly to all the participating and interested forces.

The first decisions are:

1) The issuing, within this month, the booklet of the Conference in English,Italian and Spanish, and, in the next months, relying on the forces that wish to take up this task, in French, Spanish, other languages (Turkish, Hindi, Arabic, etc..).

2) The participation of the Committee in different countries at the
international initiatives for 8th March (International Womens Day) and 1st of May (May Day).

3) To promote a new militant international day of struggle, to be held within the springtime, in forms coordinated with the Committee, in as many as possible countries in the world. The date will be agreed following the consultation with all the forces of the international conference.

The meeting calls all forces and the comrades to join more and more in the ranks of the International Committee under the slogans and spirit of the great International Conference of Hamburg.

International Committee to support people's war in India

January 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Please Sign Petition in Support of Dr G.N. Saibaba Now ! Call from Democracy and Class Struggle

Picture Dr G.N.Saibaba

Democracy and Class Struggle calls for maximum support for this petition for Dr G.N Saibaba, please read the letter below and sign the petition immediately.

Dr. M. M. Pallam Raju
Minister of Human Resource Development
Government of India
Dear Dr. M. M. Pallam Raju,

We the undersigned are astounded to know that the University of Delhi is withdrawing a facility provided to a severely disabled teacher of its College. Taking recourse to technicalities as the benchmark to forcefully evacuate a disabled teacher ignoring further national and international developments in law pertaining to the differently-abled is a sad state of affairs of one of the leading universities in India. Any future perusal by the university authorities of the question of special accommodation at the warden’s flat, Gwyer Hall accorded to Dr. G. N. Saibaba cannot ignore the specific grounds of his 90 percent disability.

Universities should be centres of excellence, where cutting edge ideas are discussed and deliberated towards building a future which is humane and compassionate. University of Delhi is witness to a comparatively sizeable increase in the intake of differently-abled people as faculty, students and non-teaching staff. Given the fact that there are few Universities in the country with such intake it becomes imperative that Delhi University also be a model in providing a humane and dignified space for the differently-abled. And this demands urgently a disable-sensitive administration which is humanely conversant with the new developments in jurisprudence pertaining to the differently-abled.

Under the disabilities laws and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 to which India is a signatory country since 2007, it is the primary obligation of all institutions of the Indian Government to provide all facilities including “reasonable accommodation”.

Instead of extending the facilities and making them broad-based for all disabled teachers and students on the campus, the present proceedings of the University to forcefully evict Dr. G. N. Saibaba is highly deplorable.

What is required today is to make the University Campuses habitable and create workable environment to the differently-abled teachers and students. It is the legal and ethical obligation of the University to provide reasonable accommodation on the campuses to the differently-abled teachers and students in order to increase their participation in the higher education.

The University of Delhi cannot take away this facility provided to Dr. G. N. Saibaba on any technical grounds which is a total misreading of the very grounds on which the whole premises was allotted to him. On the contrary such facility has to be broadened and extended to all differently-abled teachers and students of the Colleges and Departments.

Thus we would like you to:

1. Implore the University to desist from withdrawing the residence facility to Dr. G.N. Saibaba and,
2. Constitute a high powered committee to find ways and means to provide all facilities including “reasonable accommodation” to disabled persons in the University as mandated by the disabilities laws and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified by India in 2007.

Issued for endorsement by:

Anand Teltumbde, Professor, School of Management, IIT, Kharagpur. Contact:
Maya Pandit Narkar, Professor, Department of English Language Teaching, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. Contact:

Petition here :

Wales: Case Against Metropolitan Police spying on Welsh Anarchists to be held in secret

A High Court case against the Metropolitan Police over accusations they spied on a Welsh anarchist group will be held in secret, it has emerged.

Tom Fowler, a member of the Cardiff Anarchist Network, is one of 12 people taking the force to court for allegedly infiltrating groups across the country.

But today the High Court ruled his and the case of 11 women taking on the Metropolitan Police will be heard in an Investigatory Powers Tribunal – normally used to deal with MI5 cases.

“It’s an outrage,” said Mr Fowler, from Newport.

“The existence of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal itself is an outrage in a country that calls itself a democracy.

“It is an aberration within our justice system. Any case being heard there is an injustice.

“It is not just that it is in secret. It is not like a normal case being heard in court where elements might not be allowed to be broadcast, it is as secret as you can get.

“We’ll get a one line judgement. Your lawyers get no opportunity to attend.
“It is a closed hearing in which only the police will have any say.

“I will not get any opportunity to present evidence or make arguments. It’s a sham.”
The group are suing the Met for the behaviour of five former undercover officers.

Mr Fowler thought he was friends with a clandestine officer calling himself Mark “Marco” Jacobs, who infiltrated the Cardiff Anarchist Network – one of the groups the 33-year-old is involved with.

Another of the officers, Mark Kennedy, hit the headlines in 2011 after infiltrating environmental groups.

Some of the women’s allegations are that they were tricked into sex.

The women want damages for emotional, psychiatric and financial losses.

Another undercover officer unmasked in 2011 – Jim Boyling – married and had children with an environmentalist after admitting he had been planted by the Met. The couple have since divorced.

Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled the women were making serious allegations – but the IPT had jurisdiction over their human rights claims.

He said claimants could bring elements of the claims to the High Court at a later date but only after the IPT had ruled.

Jules Carey represents six claimants, including Mr Fowler.

He said: “Today the court has acknowledged that they have suffered the ‘gravest’ interference with their fundamental rights.

“It has nonetheless taken the view that the police are capable of authorising such grave interferences under RIPA.”

That is the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

“Our clients will have to carefully study the judgement and consider an appeal on this issue,” he said.

Harriet Wistrich, a solicitor for the other claimants, said: “This decision prevents both the claimants and the public from seeing the extent of the violation of human rights and abuses of public office perpetrated by these undercover units.

“The claimants have already suffered a gross violation of their privacy and abuse of trust by the police.

“If the case is dealt with by the IPT they will be denied access to justice and may never discover why they were thus violated by the state.”

In written submissions lawyers for three women said Mark Kennedy had “encouraged them to become emotionally dependent on him and to publicise their intimate relationship with him widely amongst other activists and their own families.”

They said the cases “raise serious questions about police misconduct and the extent to which police officers can invade the personal, psychological, and bodily integrity of members of the general population.”

Mark Jacobs was working for the Met when he infiltrated a small group of activists in Cardiff until 2009, masqueradeing as a Northampton trucker.

“We became what I thought to be close friends,” Mr Fowler said.

“We hung out together and we used to go to punk gigs in Newport.”

Mr Jacobs forged links with Gwent Anarchists, Pembrokeshire Anarchists, Swansea Animal Rights, No Borders South Wales and a group called Eat Out Vegan Wales.

He then vanished, having had a relationship with a 29-year-old he had known for three years in Cardiff.

Read more: Wales Online