Thursday, May 31, 2018

Time is running out for Mariano Rajoy - Catalan News

Pablo Hasel - Mariano Rajoy - Bring Him Down - His Time has Arrived !

Mariano Rajoy time is up - his crimes against Catalan People and people of Spain will not be forgotten

Tommy Robinson was sentenced in May 2018 for violating reporting restrictions and potentially risking the collapse of a child sex abuse trial and has nothing to do with freedom of speech

Democracy and Class Struggle has noticed some confusion about the sentencing of Tommy Robinson particularly in the United States and some less informed so call Leftist libertarians hence our publication of this report and detailed background on Tommy Robinson and arrest.

The Lies:

A Far-Right Activist Jailed for Breaching a Court Order Designed to ‘Protect Muslim Pedophiles’?

Tommy Robinson was jailed in order to silence his reporting on a sex abuse trial in England, and to "protect Muslim pedophiles ?

Geert Wilders and his colleagues in the Dutch Party for Freedom, or PVV, called it a “violation of freedom of speech”, and comedian Roseanne Barr retweeted a post invoking the Magna Carta to show “how far our cousins across the pond have fallen”. 

Breitbart News made great play of the reporting restrictions, running the headline “‘[Redacted] Arrested for [Redacted] Outside [Redacted]: Leeds Crown Court Issues Media Ban”. 

Even Donald Trump Jr, son of the US president, warned his 2.84m followers to not let anything similar happen in America, and called the arrest “reason #1776 for the original Brexit”.

Tommy Robinson was sentenced in May 2018 for violating reporting restrictions and potentially risking the collapse of a child sex abuse trial.

English far-right activist Tommy Robinson was given a 13-month prison sentence on 25 May 2018, following a Facebook Live video he broadcast from outside a trial of several men accused of a range of child sexual abuse offenses.

The sentence prompted a wave of outrage and protests (mostly, but not entirely, among various factions of the far right) and claims that Robinson’s rights to free speech were being violated in the interests of political correctness; Robinson stated in the video that many of the defendants were Muslim. 

On 28 May 2018, the “alternative medicine” and conspiracy theory site claimed that Robinson had been silenced without due process in order to “protect Muslim pedophiles” because “the UK government is run by criminal pedophiles who rely on Muslim pedo networks to provide a steady supply of nine and ten-year-old little girls and boys.” Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones described the episode as “historic” and his Infowars web site called the arrest of Robinson “the beginning of the end for free speech in Europe.”

These claims are based on a wild misunderstanding of a very basic principle in the legal system of England and Wales, and of other parts of the U.K. Far from being a “historic” violation of due process, Robinson was jailed because a court judged he had breached the terms of an existing suspended sentence for contempt of court by violating a set of reporting restrictions often placed on the news media and others in the United Kingdom in order to protect the due process rights of defendants and prevent the collapse of trials, something that could jeopardize the conviction of potentially guilty and dangerous individuals. 

The “media blackout” on the child sexual abuse trial referred to by Natural was not designed to “protect Muslim pedophiles,” but rather to protect the integrity of the child sexual abuse trial itself, prevent a costly re-trial, and avoid witnesses having to go through the trauma of testifying in court again.

Reporting restrictions such as those imposed in the child sexual abuse case in question are temporary, meaning that the news media can reveal previously-censored details after the trial has concluded. So Robinson was not jailed for engaging in journalism, or for merely reporting on alleged criminality. He was jailed for violating a court order, breaching the terms of an existing suspended sentence, and potentially risking the collapse of an ongoing trial. 


In May 2017, Robinson — the founder of the far-right, conspiracy-mongering English Defence League, and whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon — was arrested for contempt of court after filming inside Canterbury Crown Court in the south-eastern English county of Kent. As reported by Kent Online at the time, Robinson pleaded guilty to contempt and apologized. He had confronted some of the defendants inside the court building as they left while filming footage which he later uploaded online. Robinson accused police of helping the defendants “escape.”

In sentencing him on 26 May 2017, Judge Heather Norton said:

This is not about free speech… not about the freedom of the Press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness. 

It is about justice and ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and’s about being innocent until proven guilty. It is about preserving the integrity of the jury to continue without people being intimidated..or being affected by irresponsible and inaccurate “reporting”, if that’s what it was. 

…You made it abundantly clear that your mission was to film the defendants, who you referred to by their religion, as ‘Muslim child rapists’ and ‘Muslim paedophiles’.

…I take a very dim view of your conduct, which was in the face of repeated warnings…There are notices all over the court building making it clear that filming or taking a photograph was an offence and may be a contempt of court. You were told very clearly by the security staff at this court that you were to stop filming.

Robinson was given a three-month prison sentence, but it was suspended for 18 months on the condition that he did not commit any more criminal offenses. 

The Facebook Live video

A year later, on 25 May 2018, Robinson showed up outside Leeds Crown Court in the northern English county of Yorkshire and began broadcasting a Facebook Live video.

In the video, Robinson confronted men whom he presented as defendants in an ongoing child sexual abuse case, made it clear it was his aim to identify them and show their faces on camera, named several men and listed the purported charges against them, and in one instance encouraged the “mainstream media” to harass a man he had earlier shown on camera, as he arrived in court. 

According to the Hull Daily Mail, some of the charges Robinson associated with named defendants were inaccurate. 

That type of factual error — broadcast to a potentially huge audience  — could have serious consequences in a criminal trial.

During the course of the 75-minute video, Robinson openly declared “there is a reporting restriction on this case,” acknowledged that he was already on a suspended sentence for contempt of court and said “I have to be super-careful.”

The closing moments of the video showed police arresting Robinson outside the court for breach of the peace, a public order offense. Later that day, Judge Geoffrey Marson of Leeds Crown Court gave Robinson a 13-month prison sentence for contempt of court and violating his existing suspended sentence, ruling that the content of his Facebook Live video had the potential to prejudice and collapse the ongoing trial. Robinson had pleaded guilty. 

According to LeedsLive, Marson watched the Facebook video in court before telling Robinson: 

No one could possibly conclude that it [the video] would be anything other than highly prejudicial to the defendants in the trial. I respect everyone’s right to free speech. That’s one of the most important rights that we have. With those rights come responsibilities. The responsibility to exercise that freedom of speech within the law. I am not sure you appreciate the potential consequence of what you have done.

…You have to understand we are not preventing publication. We are postponing publication to ensure that the trial is fair.

The Hull Daily Mail quoted Marson as giving concrete examples of the harm that Robinson’s video had the potential to cause:

If the jurors in my present trial get to know of this video I will no doubt be faced with an application to discharge the jury.  If I have to do that it will mean a re-trial, costing hundreds and hundreds and thousands of pounds. A re-trial would also mean witnesses in the case would have to face the ordeal of giving evidence again before a jury.

Marson placed reporting restrictions on Robinson’s arrest and sentencing, but those restrictions were lifted after a successful application by LeedsLive on 29 May. In a textbook example of how reporting restrictions postpone but do not prohibit acts of journalism, local and national news media honored Marson’s order over the weekend and refrained from reporting on Robinson’s sentencing until the order was lifted. 

The reporting restrictions in the child sexual abuse case remain in place. 

Strict rules

The UK news media faces strict rules on what they can and cannot publish about an ongoing trial. Some of these are in place by default, while others require a court order and are at the discretion of judges.

For example, the complainant, or victim, in a sexual assault case cannot be named, unless they waive their automatic right to anonymity, but it might require a court order for the media to be restrained from publishing the identity of — for example — a minor or a vulnerable witness.

Guidelines in place in the UK state that a judge can postpone, but not prohibit, the publication of otherwise “fair and accurate reports.” The overarching principle in place is to avoid the publication of anything which “creates a substantial risk of serious prejudice to the administration of justice” if it is published during a trial.

In particular, judges are sensitive to the publication of even accurate news reports in circumstances where two separate trials are linked. In that way, the “prejudice” being avoided can relate to the same trial or a future trial involving the same defendants or complainants, or relating to the same events or circumstances.



The War You Don't See - John Pilger

Democracy and Class Struggle says 24 hour News is an Echo Chamber 

The Echo Chamber is still working and War is still being promoted especially in relation to Syria.

“Government propaganda and the war on terror from 9/11 to Syria”Journalists and academics expose UK’s criminal actions in the Middle East by Julie Hyland

Democracy and Class Struggle says it is a been a long since we have seen such systematic attempts to close down critics of British Media such as these activists and scholars who expose British Media coverage of the Syrian Crisis.

31 May 2018

Media on Trial held a successful event in Leeds on Sunday, in the face of sustained efforts to prevent the meeting taking place.

The group was formed by Frome Stop War, based in Somerset. Working with academics, investigative journalists and other interested parties and individuals, and drawing on the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, Media on Trial seeks to “cultivate public scepticism when faced with establishment and corporate media’s partisan reporting at times of conflict”. It held well-attended meetings in Frome and London last year. Its success in exposing the ongoing regime-change operations in Syria, and government/media propaganda to this end, has made its members the subject of an organised media smear campaign, culminating in efforts to silence it altogether.

“Government propaganda and the war on terror from 9/11 to Syria” was booked at Leeds City Museum. But in an assault on free speech, Labour-run Leeds City Council in West Yorkshire cancelled the event.

Sheila Coombes (Frome Stop War) has reported that the ban, made on May 3—World Press Freedom Day—came after a series of attacks on several of the featured speakers by the Huffington Post, Guardianand Time snews papers as “Assad Apologists”.

Among those targeted were Professor Piers Robinson (University of Sheffield), Professor Tim Hayward (University of Edinburgh)—both of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM)—and investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley.

Having travelled to Leeds to check out the venue, Coombes was told that Leeds City Council had cancelled the event, suggesting that “security issues” were involved. She was informed that it was a blanket ban and that no other council-run venue would host it.

Less than an hour after she had been informed, the Yorkshire Post ran an online article welcoming the ban, followed by a similar report in the Huffington Post. The speed of publication suggests that these media outlets were aware of the ban before Coombes herself had been informed.

Coombes reports that she was in contact with police regarding security arrangements for the event and that she had been informed by the police officer in charge that he had advised Leeds City Council there was “no intelligence to assess a threat”. A second alternative private venue was also cancelled.

Media on Trial was forced to keep details of the third venue secret until shortly before it was due to open and restrict entrance to those who had already purchased tickets. The panel was eventually able to go ahead on Sunday at the Baab-ul-llm Islamic education centre, one of the few venues prepared to stand in defiance of this campaign of censorship. Approximately 200 people attended.

The reports delivered during the four-hour meeting provided a devastating exposure of the connection between propaganda and censorship by the media and the warmongering of governments in Britain, the United States and across the world.

Professor Piers Robinson (Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism) spoke on the rebranding of government propaganda as “public relations.” Drawing on his research into the Iraq war, he cited material from the Chilcot Inquiry into the war confirming the systematic manipulation and exaggeration of “intelligence” on Iraq's supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction. This included discussions between the US and British governments over how the 9/11 terror attacks could be used for regime change operations, under the slogan of the “war on terror”, which Robinson described as a propaganda slogan for mobilising support for military operations.

Robert Stuart is an independent researcher whose presentation on the “irregularities” in the BBC Panorama documentary, “Saving Syria's Children,” encouraged film producer and writer Victor Lewis-Smith to tear up his BBC contract in disgust.

Stuart gave a presentation on his examination of film recorded by BBC personnel at Atareb Hospital in Aleppo on August 26, 2013 purporting to show the aftermath of a napalm-style bombing by Syrian government forces. 

The footage was broadcast the same evening that parliament delivered a shock vote against a military attack on Syria. 

He showed that much of it was staged. 

Not only did this potentially include the use of military casualty trauma simulations, but BBC personnel were travelling in vehicles displaying ISIS flags and alongside senior members of the western-funded White Helmets.

Professor Tim Hayward (Environmental Political Theory) questioned the morality of the media presenting information that was untrue and its implications for democracy and society. He questioned the media's complicity in glorifying jihadi figures, despite this being in contravention of the British governments' own anti-terror laws. 

He drew attention to broadcasts on Channel 4 that provided flattering accounts of British women signing up for jihad. The media were guilty of inverting the truth and placing a “lockdown” on information that breached the rudiments of journalistic integrity.

American journalist and broadcaster Patrick Henningsen (21st Century Wire), drew attention to the unprecedented conditions in which the meeting was being held, “in secret, in a tent”.

It was impossible to have a functioning democracy without a functioning fourth estate, he said. This had been the gold standard but was no longer the case. Henningsen noted widespread popular opposition to war in the US that successive presidential candidates had sought to manipulate, only to betray once in power—from George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

The mainstream media have enormous assets and resources but claim democracy is threatened by “fake news”, when they are the purveyors of fake news and the real threat to democracy.

Peter Ford is a former UK ambassador to Syria (2003–2006) and now Director of the British Syrian Society. He noted that the government had been forced to convene the Leveson Inquiry into the media after the phone-hacking scandal involving Murdoch's News of the World. But those actions were trivial in comparison with the real charge sheet that needed to be presented against the media: that of “war mongering and aiding and abetting war mongering”.

Vanessa Beeley is an international investigative journalist and photographer who had reported from inside Syria (including East Aleppo), Egypt and Palestine. She played an important role in exposing Syria's White Helmets as an arm of western propaganda and regime change operations.

She delivered a moving account of the situation within Syria and the capital Damascus. In addition to detailing the role of the White Helmets and other institutions financed and backed by western governments, Beeley noted that, especially following the Second World War, pro-war propaganda was deemed a threat to peace. The Nuremberg Trials in 1946 characterised propaganda to facilitate war as a serious crime against humanity; one of the gravest that could be committed. Today, those who advocate peace and the defence of international law are smeared and silenced, while those who promote war are being lauded in the media.

In the short time available for questions, contributions were made, including the possibility of practical action against war-mongering.

Julie Hyland, speaking for the World Socialist Web Site, was greeted warmly by the audience for raising that the high point of the international campaign of smears and censorship is the attack on Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who is in grave danger of eviction from the Ecuadorian Embassy and extradition to the United States.

Henningson replied that the embassy had determined to cut Assange’s internet access and personal communications while Syria was being targeted for military strikes. “I don’t underestimate the influence of Julian Assange at those critical times. His own website was taken offline as the air strike by the US, Britain and France were happening, along with several other web sites”. He added, “Julian Assange is being silenced because they don’t want someone like him to have a platform”
Video of the Media on Trial Leeds event can be viewed here.


North Korea: Kim Yong-chol, U.S. Secretary of State Meeting

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Trump and Cohen - The Tapes - Avenatti 2 - Trump 0

Rudy Giuliani Lies like his boss Donald Trump 

How to lose the class struggle: The Italian Communist Party's metamorphosis : Luka Bogdanić:

Democracy and Class Struggle says the Crisis in Italy is also a crisis of The Left in Italy and its roots are in the destruction of the Italian Communist Party. 

The roots of Italian Communist Crisis between revolution and reformism in Post Second World War started with the Salerno turn.

The Chinese Communist Party also in the 1980's discussed changing its name and began a series of Confucian Projects but decided to retain its name but reject class struggle politics ie reject revolutionary communism but rebirth it in a Confucian form today expressed in the reform communist confucian harmony speeches of Xi Jingping.

Georgio Napolitano a leading member of the miglioristi faction within the PCI, which promoted a social-democratic direction found his personal reward in being made President of Italy for the destruction of a revolutionary Italian communist movement.

                          miglioristi faction meets confucian communist


Israel Carries Out Massive Strike On Gaza, Locals Protest Against US-backed Forces In Syria

Italy : Women against the Fascists of the Casa Pound singing Bella Ciao

Journalist Debunks Syrian War & Exposes White Helmets

Cinematic Influences in the films of the Italian Communist Party (1948 - 1950)

A blast from the past :

The creativity of Italian comrades to remind us to build  a new future for Italy - in the darkest hour you need to come forth with a vision of Socialist Italy 

Harakiri Italian Style by Jan Zielonka

Liberals across Europe seem happy: President Mattarella has prevented populists from taking over the Italian government and averted another Euro crisis. Their joy will be short-lived, however.

In my view, Mattarella’s decision is bad for Italy, Germany, and Europe. 

The only political force which is likely to profit is the Northern League – an extreme right-wing party which campaigns chiefly against migrants, and sides with Vladimir Putin and Marine Le Pen.

Liberal democracy will be the greatest victim in Italy and beyond. Centrist parties will be reduced to a political footnote in the next Italian elections. Politics in the coming months will be ever more contentious, if not violent. 

Europe will be even more paralysed, faced with instability in one of its most important member-states. Germany will have to live with the implications.

Lawyers will argue for a long time over whether President Mattarella acted constitutionally by vetoing the proposed government of a coalition of two anti-establishment parties enjoying a clear majority in the Italian parliament. 

The Five Star Movement has already announced its intention to start the procedure of impeachment of the President. This idea is fiercely contested by liberals from the centre-right and the centre-left. It seems clear, however, that the political aspects of Mattarella’s decision will be more important than the legal ones.

The first victim of Mattarella’s decision will be Italian democracy. The president cited concerns about international markets as the prime reason for his veto. This implies that the markets, and not voters, are in a position to determine the future of the Italian Republic. Put differently, elections can be considered valid only if they lead to outcomes welcomed by the markets.

Mattarella did not specify how the verdict of the markets can be established. Should we look at the volatile stock exchange, productivity, trade, investment, or growth? And who is in the position to speak on behalf of the markets? The rating agencies? The International Monetary Fund? The President himself? Markets have a peculiar notion of public interests and they distribute benefits and costs unevenly. The close alliance between states and markets generated enormous inequalities, and when the 2008 financial crisis broke out, ordinary citizens were asked to shoulder the burden.

Politicians should take the markets seriously, and the proposed governmental programme made many social policies without specifying where the money would come from. 

However, democracy has no meaning if it becomes a function of capricious and partisan markets. And it is far from certain whether markets will like the prolonged political instability caused by Mattarella’s decision.

The second victim of Mattarella’s decision will be the European Union. The president told Italians that the proposed government, and especially the proposed minister of finance, could or even “inevitably” would take his country out of the Eurozone. The winners of this year’s Italian elections are clearly no fans of the Fiscal Compact because they believe that excessive austerity hampers Italy’s growth.

This is not an extreme position. Respected economists such as Paul Krugman and Josef Stiglitz share this position, as do many liberal Italian politicians from Matteo Renzi to Emma Bonino. Paolo Savona, the vetoed minister of finance, is one of the most distinguished Italian economists and a former minister in the centre-left government. Savona spent some years studying what an exit from the Euro would imply, but the official position of the governmental coalition did not envisage leaving the Euro, or even calling a referendum on the issue.

Speculation aside, the EU’s legitimacy will always suffer if it is seen as a partisan player in the politics of individual countries. We have seen it in the United Kingdom, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Hungary. Adding Italy to the list of disruptive powers within the EU will complicate European politics further. The EU cannot prosper without the cooperation of its member-states, and this cooperation will not be forthcoming with the public being told that decisions about their fate are being made in Brussels and not in their respective capitals.

The third victim of Mattarella’s decision will be Germany. Each time there is an earthquake in Europe, Germany is at its centre, as is the case this time. In recent weeks the German press, especially der Spiegel, has published articles that many Italians found offensive, if not xenophobic. The German government kept its calm, but it is far from clear whether it knows how to contain instability coming from one of the largest economies in the Eurozone. 

Is Berlin ready to reach into its pocket and soften the fiscal discipline within the Euro? Can Italy be forced into submission the way Greece was? 

How many protectorates can Brussels and Berlin run in Europe?

There is virtually no chance that Mattarella’s new pick to form a government, Carlo Cottarelli, will succeed in his mission. There will be new elections soon, and all polls indicate that the Northern League will gain the most from them. The same polls show that liberal parties are going to be pushed further into the margins of Italian politics. Democracy is obviously not only about elections, but depriving electoral winners of the possibility to form a government has little to do with democracy either. 

In an atmosphere of distrust and chaos, populists can only thrive. Prepare for an even more bumpy period in European politics. It didn’t have to be this way.

This is the English version of an article originally published in German in Die Zeit on May 28, 2018. It was first published by Open Democracy.

Italy's Political Crisis & New Elections: An Opportunity for the Far-Right?

The European Union and bourgeois democracy is in profound contradiction and conflict in Italy.  

The crisis in Italy is hastening the further disintegration of the European Union and opening the door to Fascism.

The revolutionary left is nowhere to be seen - time for the Left to self criticize and rectify and became relevant to the Italian people again.

The Left could have led the democratic anti EU struggle but instead became EU apologists  and lost the trust of the people as a result. 

Israeli Military Prevents Palestinian Attempt to Break Gaza's Naval Blockade

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

NGOs Are Trojan Horses ?


Turkey : Erdogan and Elections

Stealth Fighter Carries Out Strikes In Syria

Media on Trial - A Critique of British Media Coverage of the Syrian Crisis

Democracy and Class Struggle is publishing a critique of the British Media coverage of Syria-  not because we agree with all the critique but because is essential for us to expose the warmongering words and actions of the British State on the Question of Syria.

In fact we would be failing in our revolutionary duty if we suppressed or banned the point of view expressed in this video - which some of the Left in Wales and certainly the British State want to do and are actively doing.

The pressurized forced withdrawal of the invitations to these speakers on Syria at the Merthyr Rising in Wales led to the principled resignation of its director who would not agree to withdraw the invitations.

What was banned in Merthyr was finally allowed somewhere in a tent in Leeds so we all have an opportunity to hear the message that some on the Left and the British State does not want us to hear on the Question of Syria and the British Media - and you can judge for yourself what sort of people on the Left who call themselves anti War these people are - who would deny us access too the views expressed above in the video.

                             NO TO ECHO CHAMBER POLITICS 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

John McDonnell has called for mining firm Vedanta to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange after 13 people died in violent protests outside the firm's southern Indian copper smelter

John McDonnell has called for mining firm Vedanta to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange after 13 people died in violent protests outside the firm's southern Indian copper smelter.

John McDonnell said regulators must take action after the massacre of protesters this week.

The people were killed in clashes when police opened fire on protestors.

Residents have been staging protests for months, saying that the smelter is causing environmental damage.

India's Tamil Nadu state - where the copper smelter is based - has said it wants it permanently closed on environmental grounds.

But Vedanta has said it plans to continue operations.

Mr McDonnell said removing Vedanta from the London Stock Exchange "would prevent further reputational damage to London's financial markets from this rogue corporation".

Vedanta has been contacted for a response to Mr McDonnell's comments and the London Stock Exchange declined to comment.

Amnesty International said this week that police had "many questions to answer" and "those responsible should be brought to justice".

P. Ramnath, chief executive of Vedanta's India copper business, said it was not planning to set up a smelter elsewhere.

"We're confident that we will be able to overcome these issues. It will certainly require a huge effort but I am sure we can hope to restart as quickly as possible," he told Reuters.

The company said it was working with authorities to restore power to the plant, which has been offline since late March.

Vedanta has previously denied that the smelter has been responsible for air and water pollution.

Shares in Vedanta, which is controlled by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, fell sharply on Wednesday following the deaths, and on Friday ended the day 0.5% lower at 728p, valuing the company at about £2bn.


North and South Korean leaders meet for second time




An angry protest took place today at the Indian High Commission in London. The people were condemning the police firing which killed at least 13 unarmed protesters at an environmental demonstration against British company Vedanta Resources' copper smelter in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. There was a strong call from all groups present today to delist Vedanta from the London Stock Exchange. There were many speeches and songs from the people today. They shared new information such as Sterlite’s donations to the Police control room in Thoothukudi and highlighted the parallels and called for solidarity with Gaza, Marikana and Kalinganagar massacres. The London protest was called by Foil Vedanta (1), Tamil People in UK, Periyar Ambedkar Study Circle, South Asia Solidarity Group, Tamil Solidarity, Parai Voice of Freedom and Veera Tamilar Munnani.

See images footage from the protest here:
The protests in London, a day after an entire statewide bandh (shutdown of businesses and services) in Tamil Nadu, and parallel global protests condemn the Tamil Nadu state government's collusion in this corporate massacre ( paraidrum/videos/ 981874005309120/). A large and noisy protest dominated by traditional Parai drummers was held at the India High Commission in London on 23rd May following the Thoothukudi Vedanta Massacre. We call on the British government to launch an inquiry into the multiple legal, environmental and human rights violations by Vedanta Resources, and consider de-listing the company from the London Stock Exchange.
In India the authorities have now resorted to blocking the internet in Thoothukudi and the neighbouring districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari for five days until May 27 (https://www.thenewsminute. com/article/thoothukudi- simmers-tn-asks-internet- providers-cut-data-services-3- districts-81813). Arbitrary arrests and house to house arrests continue in Tuticorin under a heavy security clampdown while free information flow heavily curtailed. Even accusations of state terrorism are rife (2).

On 22nd May tens of thousands of people democratically organised and thronged the streets of Tuticorin for the 100th consecutive day of protest against Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite's copper smelter. The protest, as it was being organised was targeted by 17th May by Vedanta requesting the High Court to invoke the draconian Section 144, a curfew order against 'Unlawful Assembly’. Vedanta's request was to cover up to one kilometre around the smelter as a 'no protest zone' ( todays-paper/tp-national/tp- tamilnadu/vedanta-wants-no- protest-zone-around-sterlite- unit/article23908020.ece). The top district administrator, District Collector N. Venkatesh imposed Section 144 as the protest decided to march on the Collectorate to demand answers and action. When the rally reached the Collector’s office, police opened fire killing several protestors. Exact details of events especially as to who gave the order to shoot to kill remain unaddressed and there are now strong local demands seeking justice. The Section 144 is being abused even now to prevent legal support for victims ( national/tamil-nadu/preserve- bodies-of-police-firing- victims/article23974576.ece).

John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor says:
“The news from Tamil Nadu that 13 protestors against Vedanta have been killed is shocking and demands action. This is a major multinational company that for years has operated illegal mining concerns, trashing the environment and forcibly evicting local people. After the massacre of the protestors this week, regulators must now take action. Vedanta must be immediately delisted from the London Stock Exchange to remove its cloak of respectability, restore confidence in the governance of the Stock Exchange, and prevent further reputational damage to London’s financial markets from this rogue corporation.”

 Samarendra Das from Foil Vedanta says:

For 15 years since Vedanta's London listing we have been warning the British government that this criminal company is undermining democracy across India and in Zambia whilst gaining a 'cloak of respectability' from London. This corporate massacre on a peaceful environmental movement must be the last straw. The UK government must now investigate and de-list this company.”

Karthik Kamalakannan from Tamil People in UK says:

It is disgusting to learn that a British company has put its profits above human cries for safe air to breathe and water to drink. We are hugely shocked that sniper style shooters were employed to save this criminal company. The leaders of this peaceful environmental movement have been targeted by snipers, which is no surprise knowing reputation of Vedanta against any uprising against them. The internet blackout in Tuticorin destroys all semblance of democracy. This is a sad time for Tamil people.”

Prominent Thoothukudi Prof. Fatima Babu said on Thursday:

"The Madurai High court has delivered a favourable Verdict in a case that I had filed, but I am unable to savour the verdict. Thirteen declared dead and 102 injured. And this might not be the complete list. Is this a sacrifice the rulers want the people to make to drive out a single private corporate company? My heart is really heavy. Really heavy."

British company Vedanta Resources' subsidiary Sterlite Copper has begun construction of a new 4 million tonne/year smelter on the edge of the town of Tuticorin, almost doubling their capacity, but residents argue the existing smelter has continuously polluted their water and air since it was established in 1996, causing respiratory and skin problems, fainting and other illness, especially among children. Activists also claim that Sterlite obtained its Environmental Clearance illegally by falsifying information to statutory authorities, while the existing plant is regularly found to be dumping toxic waste in the town, and operating without proper licenses (3). The plant releases its waste into the sensitive Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, an area of coral reefs and mangrove forests.

Vedanta's only other copper smelter in Chingola, Zambia, is the subject of a precedent UK damages case on behalf of 2000 farmers who have been polluted by the plant since 2004 ( global-development/2016/may/ 27/zambia-vedanta-water- contamination-villagers- pollution-case-britain).

Sterlite was the first company set up by British Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal in India before he launched Vedanta Resources on the London Stock Exchange in 2003, where it is now a multi-national FTSE 250 company with operations across India and Africa. The company even had operations in military-ruled Myanmar in the 1990s (4). Vedanta, which was named the 'world's most hated company' by the Independent newspaper in 2010, has received considerable support from the British government, including the direct assistance of former Prime Minister David Cameron in buying out Indian oil company Cairn India in 2011 (http://www.heraldscotland. com/news/13058634.Secret_ state_lobbying_for_Scots_ energy_giant/).


Notes to Editors:

This press release is also available in Tamil on request.

Contact:  Samarendra Das  07941 475103

Case studies in Tamil Nadu are available.
Photos and video will be sent at 1700 GMT following the protest.

For more information please see:

'The anti-Sterlite movement: Saga of a struggle', 20 Apr, 2018 news/the-anti-sterlite- movement-saga-of-a-struggle/ world-asia-india-44207343 for a 22 May report on the massacre of protesters.

(1) Foil Vedanta is an independent grassroots solidarity organization focused primarily on the British-Indian mining giant Vedanta Resources PLC. Foil Vedanta targets the company in London where it is registered, as well as linking with people’s movements where Vedanta is destroying lives and devastating the land in India, Zambia, Liberia and South Africa and elsewhere.

(2) Most gruesome of the shootings were carried out by police snipers deployed a considerable distance from the confrontation between protesters and police outside the Collector's office. The sniper fire was without any warning, fuelling accusations that the killings were pre-meditated ( environment/anti-sterlite- protest). As spontaneous violent reactions erupted ( watch?v=R7jALJWuBlQ) live rounds were fired into unarmed crowds in multiple locations around the city. The massacre continued later in the evening, as police opened fire again at Threspuram, a fisher village, whose residents were spearheading protests in the evening. Relatives were violently prevented from accessing the hospital where the dead and injured had been taken, there are even reports of many injured fearing to seek medical help in hospital. A covert oppression had started the night before with arrests and intimidation of community activists and leaders ( vinavungal/videos/ 10156246045694336/). The oppression continued through Wednesday 23 May with a brutal killing of a protester. The numbers of dead are expected to rise in coming days. A new Collector and new police chief have been appointed for Thoothukudi district, little else is known of the security clampdown.

(3) In 2013 The Supreme Court of India found Sterlite guilty of operating without various permissions since 2003 ( in/news/supreme-court-slaps- rs-100-crore-fine-on-sterlite- for-polluting-environment- 40747). In September 2017 the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a judgment, following the show cause notice they had issued to Sterlite in March 2017 for several instances of toxic waste dumping and pollution as well as operating the smelter above its consented capacity. Many tonnes of copper slag were found dumped in the Upper Odai river, which Sterlite claimed they had sold to a developer for levelling of a construction site. The Upper Odai stream was also blocked with toxic copper slag causing a ‘manmade disaster’ ( news/thoothukudi-residents- resist-sterlite-expansion/).

(4) Sterlite Gold was one of the first companies to obtain exploration rights when Myanmar's mining regulations were modified to allow foreign companies to hold and develop mines. They explored and developed several gold and copper mines but terminated their joint venture with the Myanmar Ministry of Mines in 2005.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr at Merthyr Rising 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Have Bolton and Pence Killed US-North Korea Peace? Tim Shorrock

Red Salute to Chinese Comrades who came to Hong Kong to Mark Cultural Revolution

Study and Learn : May 16th 1966 Remembered : Celebrating 52 Years of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Democracy and Class Struggle has published a series of articles on the 52th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution largely in the form of personal testimonies that challenge the dominant Western Narrative of the Cultural Revolution.

Democracy and Class Struggle has already noticed the bourgeois media horror stories about the Cultural Revolution appearing in the Liberal Guardian Newspaper as well as the Wall Street Journal and the BBC.

The Western Media  and Russian and Chinese Media promote a bourgeois elitist narrative of the Cultural Revolution but we challenge this narrative with testimonies of Chinese workers and peasants who lived through the cultural revolution - and provide a different proletarian worldview  of those momentous events.


May 16th 1966 Statement

Mobo Gao on Cultural Revolution

Bai Di interview

Wang Zheng Interview

Dongpin Han






Christine Ahn and Tim Shorrock on Cancellation of North Korean US Summit


North Korean Statement on blasting nuclear test site

Democracy and Class Struggle says this action of good faith on the part of the DPRK was met within hours by a letter cancelling the North Korean US Summit by President Trump.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Trump;s decision to cancel summit with North Korea gave no face to South Korea - Moon Jae In is very perplexed

Donald Trump for all his praise of Moon Jae In when he was in  Washington did not inform him of his decsion to cancel summit - another world leader has got the message you cannot trust Trump the architect of a new world disorder..

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he’s “very perplexed” that the U.S.-North Korea summit won’t go ahead as planned.

Yonhap news agency cited Moon as urging direct talks between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Moon was speaking at an emergency meeting of his top security officials in Seoul after Trump announced he was canceling the summit because of North Korean “hostility.”

Moon was quoted as saying: “I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable that the North Korea-U.S. summit will not be held on June 12.”

He said, “Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace are historic tasks that can neither be abandoned nor delayed.”

Moon met Trump in Washington on Tuesday, but appeared caught unawares by the president’s decision Thursday.

India: Naxalbari Day 25th May 1967 till forever

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

Paash, A Naxalite Poet

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

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

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

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

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

Asian Dub Foundation


Album: Rafi's Revenge

Brothers and sisters of the soul unite
We are one indivisible and strong
They may try to break us but they dare not under estimate us
They know our memories are long
A mass of sleeping villages
That's how they're pitching it
At least that's what they try to pretend
But check out our history
So rich and revolutionary
A prophecy that we will rise again
That we will rise again...

Again and again until the land is ours
Again and again until we have taken the power
Again and again until the land is ours
Again and again until we have taken the power

Deep in the forest
High up in the mountains
To the future we will take an oath
Like springing tigers we encircle the cities
Our home is the undergrowth
Because I am just a naxalite warrior
Fighting for survival and equality
Police man beating up me, my brother and my father
My mother crying can't believe this reality
And we will rise again
And we will rise again...

Again and again until the land is ours
Again and again until we have taken the power
Again and again until the land is ours
Again and again until we have taken the power

Jump into the future dub zone

Roots rockers

And we have taken the power
And the land is ours
And we have taken the power
And the land is ours
And we have taken the power
And the land is ours
And we have taken the power
And the land is ours
It's ours

Because I am just a naxalite warrior
Fighting for survival and equality
Police man beating up me, my brother and my father
My mother crying can't believe this reality

Iron like a Lion from Zion
This one going all the youth, man and woman
Orginal Master D upon the microphone stand
Cater for no skeptical man- me no give a damn

'Cos me a naxalite warrior

Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom, by Stephen Gowans

Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom, by Stephen Gowans. Montreal: Baraka Books, 2018. Paper, $24.95, pp 270

The following is a review of Gowans’ book by Gregory Elich

The release of Stephen Gowans’s superb new book could not be better timed. With the Korean Peninsula on the potential brink of major change, looking to Western mainstream media for reasoned analysis is a fool’s errand. 

Gowans provides a valuable service in filling that gap by situating Korea in its historical context, while making no compromise with received opinion or resorting to lazy formulations.

A key to understanding Korea is its experience under harsh colonial rule by the Japanese Empire from 1910 through the end of the Second World War. As was the case elsewhere, some of those under oppression chose to serve power, and others resisted. While Imperial Japan shipped off Koreans as forced laborers throughout its empire and cast women into sexual slavery, a determined resistance movement arose, particularly in Manchuria, where future North Korean leader Kim Il-sung was a prominent guerrilla leader. Many of those who would later fill the ranks of the South Korean government chose a different path, and actively collaborated with the Japanese occupiers.

After the end of the Second World War, the U.S. divided the Korean Peninsula along the 38th Parallel, an act that Gowans points out the Korean people had not asked for. Liberation from Japanese rule, Koreans felt, meant that the country was once again theirs. People’s committees spontaneously sprang up throughout the peninsula, as newly freed Koreans sought to forge their destiny.

The Soviet presence in the north was mostly hands-off, allowing events to unfold unhindered.

It was a different story in the south. U.S. General John R. Hodge, as military governor of South Korea, along with his advisers “drew up a four-point plan to destroy the movement for independence.” 

The plan called for building up an army and police force to be largely staffed at upper levels by those who had collaborated with Japanese imperialism.

Gowans quotes U.S. military sources as describing the Korean police force under Japanese colonial rule as “thoroughly Japanized and efficiently utilized as an instrument of tyranny,” which made these men a natural choice for U.S. occupation authorities to perform the same role in establishing an anti-communist police state.

People’s committees were systematically crushed, as tens of thousands of leftists were killed or rounded up and imprisoned. For Koreans in the south, one colonial master had simply been exchanged for another, as it was the U.S. that called the shots.

Traitors who had served the Japanese now took orders from the Americans. “By 1950,” Gowans writes, “between 100,000 and 200,000 Korean patriots had been killed by U.S. occupation forces and their Korean subalterns.”

The division of the Korean Peninsula was intended to last no longer than a relatively brief interregnum, but discussions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union on establishing a provisional government went nowhere.

Soon the U.S. abandoned any pretense of respecting the agreement on postwar Korea. “An ongoing U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula,” Gowans observes, “offered too many attractions to Washington to leave Korea to Koreans.”

The U.S. proceeded to build a separate government by launching an election process in its occupation zone that was boycotted by a majority. 

Nevertheless, the U.S. pushed ahead. “Koreans, after all, weren’t the object of the exercise,” Gowans reports. “The building of a global U.S. empire was.” Voting in the south was organized by a police force that was dominated by former Japanese collaborators, along with right-wing thugs.

Under the circumstances, the outcome was preordained.

The Soviet Union withdrew its forces on schedule from North Korea in 1948. Decades later, the U.S. military remains firmly ensconced in South Korea, and showing no inclination of ever leaving.

The division of the Korean Peninsula, which most Koreans opposed and few recognized, laid the groundwork for the Korean War. For Koreans, the war was a brutal nightmare made far worse by the U.S. program of total destruction and the aim of annihilating North Korea along with a significant percentage of its population.

South Korea endured long decades under right-wing dictatorship. Gowans is eloquent in describing the harsh realities of life under repression, and this section is one of the book’s many strengths. 

Through continual struggle, the South Korean people eventually managed to throw off the shackles of dictatorship, yet in many ways, the nation remains subservient to the U.S. That liberation remains to be won.

For more than a century the history of Korea has been a contest between people’s needs and the demands of the powerful. Gowans places Korea in the context of the global struggle for liberation from imperialist domination, a perspective that sheds much light on developments in recent decades.

The analytical framework and information provided by Gowans reveal the basis for U.S.-North Korean animosity and depict a far more complex picture of U.S.-South Korean relations than we customarily encounter. 

It is fair to say that if all one knows about Korea before coming to this book is from mainstream news, then the reader will come away with a far deeper understanding and appreciation of Korea’s fight for independence and self-determination.

Stephen Gowans is not a writer to mince words or to defer to mainstream distortions. He makes no concessions to the standard self-serving Western narrative, and this is one of the reasons his work is so consistently refreshing. Gowans is also noted for his careful research and masterly knack for deploying information in support of logical analysis. Patriots, Traitors and Empires is no different in those respects.

His book is an impassioned call for justice, imbued with a deeply felt sympathy for the Korean people and their struggle for freedom.

Patriots, Traitors and Empires can be ordered from Baraka Books: