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Sunday, January 20th: Kasama 2

Posted by eric ribellarsi on December 7, 2012

Two tigers are better than one.

Two tigers are better than one.

Kasama began as a simple blog in December 2007, publishing Nine Letters to Our Comrades, and initiating a conversation over how to overcome two great absences: the absence of a revolutionary movement and organization, and the absence of a revolutionary strategy.

Five years and 5.6 million unique page views later, Kasama has developed an organizational network separate from this website, along with projects and collectives of many kinds and unities throughout the country.

Just after our five year anniversary, we will be launching a new, completely re-vamped site. Kasama has long out-grown the simple blog format, and it is time to experiment with something new. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news | 30 Comments »

Eric Foner: Emancipation Proclamation 150 years later

Posted by Mike E on January 15, 2013

“Up to now, we have witnessed only the first act of the civil war – the constitutional waging of war. The second act, the revolutionary waging of war, is at hand.”

Karl Marx 1862

150 years ago this month, the Emancipation Proclamation went into affect — declaring that ending slavery was now a war aim of the Union armies. A war against secession had become a revolutionary war. 

The following essay was written by Eric Foner to commemorate the announcement of this proclamation, which happened in September 1862.

The U.S. Civil War is not just a profound historical event (and one of the rare revolutionary victories in U.S. history) — but also a touchstone for understanding how the U.S. works today — (just look at the debate over the recent films Lincoln and Django!)

The Emancipation Proclamation at 150

by Eric Foner

One hundred and fifty years ago this week occurred one of the crucial turning points of the American civil war and, indeed, of American history. Not on the battlefield, although at Antietam on 17 September 1862, a Union army forced Confederates under Robert E Lee to abandon their invasion of Maryland. Rather, it came five days later, when Abraham Lincoln issued “A Proclamation” warning the south that if the war did not end within 100 days, he would declare slaves in areas under rebellion “forever free”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news | 9 Comments »

Natalio Pérez: Images from Nepal’s Maoist Congress

Posted by eric ribellarsi on January 15, 2013

These photos come to Kasama from Natalio Pérez, reporting for Winter Has Its End in Nepal. The Winter Has Its End team’s reporting will be coming shortly.

Posted in >> analysis of news | 8 Comments »

Kasama to CPN-M: New beginnings on the communist road

Posted by Mike Ely on January 12, 2013

Liam Wright, participant in the Kasama project,  speaking at the opening of the national congress of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist

Liam Wright, participant in the Kasama project, speaking at the opening of the national congress of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (more photos to come)

The following letter was shared by some participants in Kasama with the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist at the start of their recent  national congress.

This meeting represented a regroupment of revolutionary forces who were previously part of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) — and who are straining to retake the revolutionary road.

From Participants in the Kasama Project

We would like offer our sincere thanks to the people of Nepal and to the Communists of Nepal for their great contributions to the world, to the cause of collective emancipation.

The revolution in Nepal has, from the onset of the people’s war, had a massive impact. It gave cause for the hopes and dreams of millions of the oppressed to take flight. It touched on the deeply felt need of millions of Nepalese people for liberation and an end to the old, well known poverty and isolation. The revolution here has brought hope to millions the world over who feared it may have become impossible to imagine revolution in today’s world. It has profoundly stirred the whole of the South Asian continent — which is vital for our hopes of world revolution.

Your recent difficult period – with your fight against the capitalist road and its representatives in your own party – is a welcome and much needed step.

For Maoists, it is no surprise to discover that there is two line struggle in great communist parties, or that the niceties of (what Mao called) “sugar-coated bullets” can corrupt some people, or that powerful forces can emerge who want to dismantle peoples power and the peoples armed forces. This is the nature of a revolutionary process. But what cannot be assumed is that people will take it up on themselves to oppose that, with the determination to form a new communist core.

Your fight against the capitalist road is extremely important for Nepal’s people – but also for all of us watching around the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news, Liam Wright, Nepal, UCP Nepal (Maoist) | 23 Comments »

MXGM: Solidarity with Nepal’s Communist Regroupment

Posted by eric ribellarsi on January 11, 2013

logo_mxgmKasama will be sharing a series of statements in solidarity with the congress of the newly reconstituted Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. Nepal’s Maoist revolutionaries have regrouped into a new revolutionary party. They are fighting to carve out a new revolutionary path in Nepal. This statement comes to Kasama from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

Greetings of Solidarity from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) salutes you on the occasion of your Party 7th Congress.

The People’s War and the struggle for New Democracy in Nepal stand as one of the most fundamental contributions to world revolution in our time. We are heartened by your commitment to maintain and advance the struggle and not succumb to the illusions of Parliamentary democracy and the confines of the bourgeois state. We are clear, from our own painful struggles with neo-colonialism and comprador traitors, that we must remain vigilant against the dead ends of revisionism in its many guises.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) is an organization of people of Afrikan descent fighting for communism and the self-determination of colonized and oppressed peoples’ within the United States settler colonial empire. We are an integral part of the Black Liberation and Revolutionary Movement in the United States today, and have a long history of struggle going back to the 1960’s, with roots directly drawn from the Revolutionary Action Movement, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, the National Black Human Rights Coalition, and the New Afrikan People’s Organization.

People’s War is the road to final victory. We applaud your courage, conviction, and clarity in continuing its march.

Down with revisionism!
Forward to victory!

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Sunday, January 6, 2013

Posted in >> analysis of news | Leave a Comment »

BASICS News: Solidarity from Canada to Nepal

Posted by eric ribellarsi on January 11, 2013

The following video of a speech of a comrade from BASICS News, a bi-monthly radical newspaper in Canada, to the Congress of the new formed Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. Previously we posted the statement of the Revolutionary Initiative from Canada.

Posted in >> analysis of news | 1 Comment »

RI: Solidarity with Nepal’s Communist Regroupment

Posted by eric ribellarsi on January 10, 2013

riKasama will be sharing a series of statements in solidarity with the congress of the newly reconstituted Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. Nepal’s Maoist revolutionaries have regrouped into a new revolutionary party. They are fighting to carve out a new revolutionary path in Nepal. This statement comes to Kasama from the Revolutionary Initiative of Canada.

Revolutionary Initiative sends warm internationalist greetings to the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist on the occasion of your 7th Congress.

The CPN-M Party has been a source of great inspiration to us revolutionary communists in Canada and throughout the entire International Communist Movememnt since the launch of the People’s War in Nepal.  Your bold and great example in carving out a new power for the people in Nepal stimulated the new vitality of the International Communist Movement throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, when oppressed and exploited peoples of the world were being told that communism was a failure and that capitalist was the “end of history”.

The CPN-M’s’ creative approach to Maoism, your firm basis amongst the masses, your reliance on concrete study of concrete conditions, and the very open manner in which your Party has conducted its two-line struggle has provided an invaluable examples of how revolutionaries around the world can work to break with both dogmatism and revisionism in their many forms and carry the revolution forward.  We also recognize the great sacrifices that your Party has had to make and we pay homage to the great comrades and fighters that were martyred or injured during the People’s War.

We have watched for years with profound sorrow and concern as some of your former comrade leaders of the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist capitulated to imperialism and Indian expansionism; but we were are greatly inspired by your Party’s ability to reconstitute itself on a revolutionary basis.  It is our great hope that your Party will be able to emerge from the current crossroads and lead the transformation of Nepalese society and by doing so greatly advance the cause of revolution in South Asia and around the world.

As this statement is being read here in Nepal today, one of the most significant movements in decades is developing within Canada’s borders right now, a movement spreading as fast as the Occupy movement and the “Arab Spring” before it. This is a movement encompassing the dozens of nations of Indigenous peoples that long preceded the European colonization of the Americas and by any means necessary will long outlive this past five hundred years of European colonization of the Americas up to the present day imperialist world system. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news | 1 Comment »

Urgent funds needed: Send revolutionary reporters to Nepal

Posted by eric ribellarsi on December 24, 2012

People's Volunteers march through Kathmandu, 2012

People’s Volunteers march through Kathmandu, 2012

The Winter Has Its End reporter team urgently needs $7,000 to send reporters to Nepal.

Nepal remains gripped in a profound constitutional crisis. Its ruling parties have failed to re-establish a stable peace. Those who betrayed the revolution’s aspirations have instituted even more oppressive measures than existed in the old regime, selling the whole society to Indian capital and chaining Nepal to the world imperialist system.

On January 9th, 2012, the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist will take place. A historic regroupment of Nepal’s communists, aimed at continuing Nepal’s revolution, has taken place. Already, they have begun militant factory seizures, and formed a new revolutionary force, the People’s Volunteers. New art and cultural movements are springing up, transforming the ideas of the society and preparing people for a new stage of revolutionary struggle. Nepal’s revolutionaries are struggling and charting out a new course to revolution in a country like Nepal.

Please donate generously and allow the Winter Ends reporters to share these developments with the world.

To donate, go to winterends.net and click the donate button on the right-sidebar.

Posted in >> analysis of news | 6 Comments »

BREAKING: Glimpses of the new COINTELPRO

Posted by eric ribellarsi on December 22, 2012

Thanks to CAEC for pointing this out. It first appeared at Justice Online.

The actual FBI documents can be viewed online here.

FBI document

Click to view the actual FBI documents.

FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring

FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.

“This production, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI’s surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF).  “These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity.  These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”

“The documents are heavily redacted, and it is clear from the production that the FBI is withholding far more material. We are filing an appeal challenging this response and demanding full disclosure to the public of the records of this operation,” stated Heather Benno, staff attorney with the PCJF.

  • As early as August 19, 2011, the FBI in New York was meeting with the New York Stock Exchange to discuss the Occupy Wall Street protests that wouldn’t start for another month. By September, prior to the start of the OWS, the FBI was notifying businesses that they might be the focus of an OWS protest.
  • The FBI’s Indianapolis division released a “Potential Criminal Activity Alert” on September 15, 2011, even though they acknowledged that no specific protest date had been scheduled in Indiana. The documents show that the Indianapolis division of the FBI was coordinating with “All Indiana State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies,” as well as the “Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center,” the FBI “Directorate of Intelligence” and other national FBI coordinating mechanisms.
  • Documents show the spying abuses of the FBI’s “Campus Liaison Program” in which the FBI in Albany and the Syracuse Joint Terrorism Task Force disseminated information to “sixteen (16) different campus police officials,” and then “six (6) additional campus police officials.”  Campus officials were in contact with the FBI for information on OWS.  A representative of the State University of New York at Oswego contacted the FBI for information on the OWS protests and reported to the FBI on the SUNY-Oswego Occupy encampment made up of students and professors.
  • Documents released show coordination between the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and corporate America. They include a report by the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), described by the federal government as “a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector,” discussing the OWS protests at the West Coast ports to “raise awareness concerning this type of criminal activity.” The DSAC report shows the nature of secret collaboration between American intelligence agencies and their corporate clients – the document contains a “handling notice” that the information is “meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released in either written or oral form to the media, the general public or other personnel…” (The DSAC document was also obtained by the Northern California ACLU which has sought local FBI surveillance files.)
  • Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) reported to the DSAC on the relationship between OWS and organized labor for the port actions. The NCIS  describes itself as “an elite worldwide federal law enforcement organization” whose “mission is to investigate and defeat criminal, terrorist, and foreign intelligence threats to the United States Navy and Marine Corps ashore, afloat and in cyberspace.” The NCIS also assists with the transport of Guantanamo prisoners.
  • DSAC issued several tips to its corporate clients on “civil unrest” which it defines as ranging from “small, organized rallies to large-scale demonstrations and rioting.” It advised to dress conservatively, avoid political discussions and “avoid all large gatherings related to civil issues. Even seemingly peaceful rallies can spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security forces. Bystanders may be arrested or harmed by security forces using water cannons, tear gas or other measures to control crowds.”
  • The FBI in Anchorage reported from a Joint Terrorism Task Force meeting of November 3, 2011, about Occupy activities in Anchorage.
  • A port Facility Security Officer in Anchorage coordinated with the FBI to attend the meeting of protestors and gain intelligence on the planning of the port actions. He was advised to request the presence of an Anchorage Police Department official to also attend the event. The FBI Special Agent told the undercover private operative that he would notify the Joint Terrorism Task Force and that he would provide a point of contact at the Anchorage Police Department.
  • The Jacksonville, Florida FBI prepared a Domestic Terrorism briefing on the “spread of the Occupy Wall Street Movement” in October 2011. The intelligence meeting discussed Occupy venues identifying “Daytona, Gainesville and Ocala Resident Agency territories as portions …where some of the highest unemployment rates in Florida continue to exist.”
  • The Tampa, Florida FBI “Domestic Terrorism” liaison participated with the Tampa Police Department’s monthly intelligence meeting in which Occupy Lakeland, Occupy Polk County and Occupy St. Petersburg were discussed. They reported on an individual “leading the Occupy Tampa” and plans for travel to Gainesville for a protest planning meeting, as well as on Veterans for Peace plans to protest at MacDill Air Force Base.
  • The Federal Reserve in Richmond appears to have had personnel surveilling OWS planning. They were in contact with the FBI in Richmond to “pass on information regarding the movement known as occupy Wall Street.” There were repeated communications “to pass on updates of the events and decisions made during the small rallies and the following information received from the Capital Police Intelligence Unit through JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force).”
  • The Virginia FBI was collecting intelligence on the OWS movement for dissemination to the Virginia Fusion Center and other Intelligence divisions.
  • The Milwaukee division of the FBI was coordinating with the Ashwaubenon Public Safety division in Green Bay Wisconsin regarding Occupy.
  • The Memphis FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force met to discuss “domestic terrorism” threats, including, “Aryan Nations, Occupy Wall Street, and Anonymous.”
  • The Birmingham, AL division of the FBI sent communications to HAZMAT teams regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement.
  • The Jackson, Mississippi division of the FBI attended a meeting of the Bank Security Group in Biloxi, MS with multiple private banks and the Biloxi Police Department, in which they discussed an announced protest for “National Bad Bank Sit-In-Day” on December 7, 2011.
  • The Denver, CO FBI and its Bank Fraud Working Group met and were briefed on Occupy Wall Street in November 2011. Members of the Working Group include private financial institutions and local area law enforcement.
  • Jackson, MS Joint Terrorism Task Force issued a “Counterterrorism Preparedness” alert. This heavily redacted document includes the description, “To document…the Occupy Wall Street Movement.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news | 3 Comments »

Video: iGlide “Day Dream”

Posted by onehundredflowers on December 8, 2012

As if gravity didn’t matter…


Posted in dance, hip hop, video | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

Proyección comunista: Palabras, símbolos y rituales

Posted by amanezca on December 4, 2012

“El templo de la perspectiva” de Tom Greenall y Jordan Hodgson. Es una representación artística de la historia de nuestro planeta y nuestro lugar en ello (en un pilar de capas) construido como monumento visual. Una exploración secular del significado, contexto y reverencia.

[Gracias a Doxus Turquino por la traducción al español. Also available in English: Communist foreshocks: Words, ritual and symbols]

Mike Ely
18 de marzo, 2012

“La política es tan simbólica como analítica…” 

“La audiencia que necesitamos es descubierta a través de medios sociales y culturales, no simplemente atraída con palabras.”

“Como señalara Lenin: el oprimido que se levanta demanda saber cómo vivir, y cómo morir (no sólo qué creer).”

“La gente necesita expresiones ínter-humanas vivas; expresiones sobre la concepción del mundo y la moralidad que sean más que simples catálogos sobre visión del mundo y moralidad.”

Siempre me he sentido frustrado con el presupuesto que podemos atraer gentes hacia la política revolucionaria principalmente “explicándolo” todo —como si, de repente, las personas adquirieran consciencia, militancia, y determinación en la lucha por una nueva sociedad, en gran parte porque se les diga una serie de explicaciones respaldadas por elaboradas estructuras de análisis. Yo he llamado este problema “el fetiche de la palabra”. Un nombre más formal (si necesitáramos otra etiqueta) pudiera ser racionalismo.

Entretanto vemos, tanto en la sociedad como en política a nuestro alrededor, sugerencias de que las “explicaciones,” incluso detalladas y correctas, no son suficientes —y vemos con frecuencia gentes quienes son atraídas a políticas bastante irracionales a través de poderosos medios simbólicos.

Podemos trazar el surgimiento y caída de la fantástica, extravagante, política de Louis Farrakhan —la cual combina el completamente engañoso misticismo con visceral llamado al auto respeto, superación personal, orgullo y mordaz enajenación política.

O podemos ver a grandes secciones del pueblo emergiendo a la vida política durante esta Primavera Árabe, liberándose de décadas de represión y, en su mayor parte, atraídos en primera instancia por la profunda resonancia de “¡Allahu Akbar!” y la ingenua esperanza en la justicia de la ley Shariah.

¿De dónde viene ese poder?

Seguir leyendo este artículo >>

Posted in >> analysis of news, >> communist politics, Black Panthers, communism, Kasama translations, mass line, Mike Ely, organizing, philosophy, theory | Leave a Comment »

Ten Theses on the US Racial Order

Posted by onehundredflowers on December 2, 2012


This was originally posted on Fire Next Time’s blog.

From their self-description: FIRE NEXT TIME is a revolutionary network on the East Coast of the United States. We believe our central task is to seek out the revolutionary elements of people’s everyday experiences, to support and push this self-activity in ever more radical directions. At the same time, we must ruthlessly critique everything that holds it back: both the racist, sexist, reactionary elements within it, and the liberals and self-appointed leaders who co-opt it, such as politicians, nonprofit staff, and union bureaucrats.

Kasama is posting this in the hopes of sparking off a discussion on the points below.


The following theses are an attempt to understand how the U.S. racial order has changed in recent decades, how it is working at the moment, and what forces may exist in U.S. society today that could destroy capitalism and white supremacy. 


The impact of the civil rights and Black Power movements domestically, and the defeat of traditional European colonialism internationally, have shaken the national racial order more profoundly than any event since the Civil War, and the global racial order more profoundly than any event since the Haitian Revolution.


The dismantling of legal segregation after 1954 allowed a small but ideologically significant layer of blacks to enter the non-segregated bourgeoisie and upper middle class, to live, work and learn in the same places as so-called whites. Shortly thereafter, the rise of neoliberalism and deindustrialization destroyed the livelihoods of many working class blacks, and doomed millions to impoverishment and prison. The recent economic crisis has cemented this trend by decimating the black housing base, and cutting the public sector jobs on which many black households rely. Thus the “black community” today is more profoundly split by class differentiation than at any time in its history. Some blacks have “made it” into bourgeois and upper middle class institutions, where they encounter the prejudices of individual whites, but the majority remain structurally barred from even entering these arenas by the police, prison, housing, education and welfare systems.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news, organizing, politics, racism, working class | 12 Comments »

“The Central Park Five”: How the NYPD and Media Went “Wilding” on Black Teens

Posted by onehundredflowers on December 1, 2012

central park five

This comes from salon.com.

Indeed, the jogger case did capture much of what was wrong with New York and America, but not exactly the way we thought it did at the time. It illustrated the way we respond to powerful narratives about race, sex and gender, even when they turn out not to make sense. It represented a massive failure of law enforcement, journalism and public imagination, and it led to the last major wrongful-conviction case of the 20th century.

“The Central Park Five”: New York’s darkest hour

Ken Burns tackles the dreadful tale of the “Central Park jogger” — and the five young men who didn’t rape her.


If you lived in New York in 1989 – hell, if you lived in Americain 1989 and were over 12 years old – then you remember the story of the Central Park jogger. It was a terrible case that seemed to epitomize everything that had gone wrong in America’s greatest city during the reigns of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — the toxic combination of exploding Wall Street wealth, skyrocketing crime, the crack epidemic and worsening racial tension. This was the “Bonfire of the Vanities” New York, the “American Psycho” New York, in which newly created or reinforced classes, the super-rich and the alienated poor, faced off in nearly open warfare. The legendary power of that failing city is such that many contemporary visitors to New York still expect the Bronx to be on fire and Central Park to be an uninhabited zone of “muggers and trash,” in the words of my mother-in-law, and are startled by the affluent chain-store bustle of 21st century Manhattan.

Indeed, the jogger case did capture much of what was wrong with New York and America, but not exactly the way we thought it did at the time. It illustrated the way we respond to powerful narratives about race, sex and gender, even when they turn out not to make sense. It represented a massive failure of law enforcement, journalism and public imagination, and it led to the last major wrongful-conviction case of the 20th century. As is eerily depicted in “The Central Park Five,” a new film co-directed by legendary documentarian Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon, what happened to a 28-year-old investment banker named Trisha Meili on a pleasant April night in 1989 fed all too perfectly into the public’s anxiety and hysteria.

Meili went running from her Upper East Side apartment through Central Park that evening, as she often did. Partway through her run, she was assaulted on a lonely stretch of park road and was severely beaten with a heavy object, stripped naked, raped and left for dead. When she was found a few hours later in the woods near 92nd Street, she was close to death from hypothermia and blood loss, and her skull had been so badly fractured that one eye was out of its socket. That she survived at all was remarkable; that she regained most of her faculties and an adult level of physical and mental competence was a miracle. (Meili revealed her name in 2003 when she published a book, but such was the divisiveness of the case that black-oriented newspapers and radio stations had already made it public, in defiance of the usual convention.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news, film, film review, Media, police, politics, racism, rape, repression | 1 Comment »

Work with those that destroyed our camps and murder Black youth? A critique of the NGO model.

Posted by eric ribellarsi on November 26, 2012

Kasama received this debate unfolding within the movement in Atlanta. It mirrors debates happening everywhere: are NGO assumptions about organizing a basis upon which Occupy should continue itself? Are the police part of the 99%? Can collaborating with them help occupy? Take Back the Block offers a thorough and resounding “NO.”

“OOHA’s reliance on this model, most importantly, leaves behind so many people from dispossessed black and brown communities. Narrating these stories perpetuates a culture of victimization – not a culture of collective resistance. The message is always, “I did everything right, I was an upstanding member of society and then extenuating circumstances hit and I am in deep water.” The underlying logic: “good” people deserve housing- it is counter to the society we are fighting for that housing is a privilege, not a basic necessity that we must provide for each other. It is important that OOHA does more than proclaim that housing is a basic human right; w must always demonstrate that in our work as well. The “exceptionalism” of each case doesn’t demonstrate that.

A culture of collective resistance would be one which stresses the agency of communities to actively fight against the banks, the state that bailed them out while our bank accounts hit negative, and the police who enforce their will. When we victimize ourselves and then rely on enemy forces we are immediately weakening our position as active agents against our own oppression.”


The intention of this article is both to clarify our position on the police, and to engage in principled dialogue about tactics and strategy in the anti-eviction movement. Take Back the Block realizes that we have made some of the same mistakes that we now see in the movement. In order to build a strong movement, we must constantly examine ourselves and others, pushing each other forward always.

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains,” wrote Rosa Luxemburg. The true nature of police, the enforcer of chains, is less clear for the majority of the population during low movement times. This has never been the case for black men, immigrants and homeless people who feel the clarity, the mandate of the cops every day through bruises on their bodies and the threat or experience of imprisonment. This wall was broken for a few months when a mostly white, disillusioned section of the population poured into underused parks that were quickly surrounded by police in cars, on motorcycles, on bikes and horses, with the single intent of crushing peaceful gatherings and encampments. While the police trampled on tents, waving batons and laughing at us for demanding jobs and healthcare, they left shoppers alone who were camped out on sidewalks all day and night to buy discount deals on Black Friday. The police force under the orders of the mayors could not maintain the façade of contradiction: their essential role is to keep us subjugated and intimidated and to protect the rule of the rich (despite the often referenced basic duties of police, like traffic control).

While the newly active people in Occupy were painfully discovering the role of police, the Atlanta area police continued their killing spree of unarmed black youth. This led to frequent marches steaming with rage, pouring into the streets of downtown Atlanta, with chants ranging from “Fuck the police” to “Hey pigs, what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?!”. Joetavius Stafford, a 17-year-old high school student who was gunned down by police officers in a MARTA station on his way home from homecoming, was on everyone’s minds. Then there was Ariston Waiters, another unarmed youth, who was murdered by a police officer behind a shed, out of sight from witnesses. His family began to attend marches and rallies calling for justice, which they continue to do today, unwilling to be forgotten as another casualty of white supremacy. Personal experiences were creating an understanding across racial and class lines, obliging solidarity between the more privileged occupiers who were experiencing police repression for the first time and those that experience police terror daily.

Things in Atlanta exploded even more when news of Trayvon Martin’s murder reached the city. The Atlanta public packed out rallies again, speaking out against racism and police brutality. During these months, many Atlantans were openly disillusioned with the APD and the institution of policing. Though the diagnosis and solutions varied, many people were taking a stand. Some were standing up against police brutality or the racism of individual officers, and others were against police altogether. As the last remnants of the parks were cleaned out by police and the steam evaporated from the national popular demonstrations, most of us were forced to go back to normalized routines. The “moment’ of exposed contradictions–the small rupture of clarity we experienced–is now just a memory and we are still trying to make sense of it. The APD successfully broke up resistance and continues its murderous practice. Even the mildest reforms to humor the public haven’t been taken–APD has not fired its officers who were directly implicated in the high-profile murders, nor stopped their practices of harassing and targeting black and brown people.

How does Occupy Our Homes Atlanta (OOHA) tell a different story? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in >> analysis of news | 12 Comments »

Latin America: Revolution and the Art of Dreaming

Posted by onehundredflowers on November 25, 2012

This was first posted in counterpunch. H/T to Baki Wright for the heads up.

“The arts and the world of dreams play an essential role in the Latin American struggle for justice, an egalitarian society, and even in the armed struggle.

Arts teach people how to dream, and in turn the dreams are pushing societies forward.

Without the emotional outbursts, without poetry and the powerful lyrical songs, without desperation and the exposed emotions, without the ability to dream… There would never be a victorious struggle for true freedom and justice in Latin America.”

Poetry and Latin American Revolution


The world is once again in turmoil. Several Arab nations are clearly in a state of mayhem, rebelling against decades of injustice. But their struggle is not always based on ideology, and it is not well defined. The West is taking full advantage of the confusion, pushing its own agenda, destabilizing countries like Syria or attacking them directly, as was the case with Libya.

Africa is bleeding, destroyed by the new wave and breed of European and North American colonialism. About 10 million people in the Congo have died in the last few years during the slaughter encouraged by the economic and geo-political interests of former and present colonial powers.

The West is hailing both India and Indonesia for their high economic growth, but both countries are squarely failing to deliver social justice, both clinging to the appalling ogre of feudalism.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Palestinian genocide as test run

Posted by eric ribellarsi on November 25, 2012

It was hard to miss. Yesterday’s New York Times featured a front page editorial, gloating that the holocaust being carried out against the people of Palestine was not about “Hamas rocket fire,” but about a test run for a U.S./Israel invasion of Iran. Make no mistake: this attack comes after secret Israeli bombings of Somolia, and is perfectly timed to take place after the elections so that these events would not affect the election of Barack Obama who they have carefully planned this invasion with. We are reprinting that editorial here for our readers.

For Israel, Gaza Conflict Is Test for an Iran Confrontation

By  and 

Gaza, November 21, 2012. photo credit: paltoday

WASHINGTON — The conflict that ended, for now, in a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel seemed like the latest episode in a periodic showdown. But there was a second, strategic agenda unfolding, according to American and Israeli officials: The exchange was something of a practice run for any future armed confrontation with Iran, featuring improved rockets that can reach Jerusalem and new antimissile systems to counter them.

It is Iran, of course, that most preoccupies Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama. While disagreeing on tactics, both have made it clear that time is short, probably measured in months, to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.

And one key to their war-gaming has been cutting off Iran’s ability to slip next-generation missiles into the Gaza Strip or Lebanon, where they could be launched by Iran’s surrogates, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, during any crisis over sanctions or an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Michael B. Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States and a military historian, likened the insertion of Iranian missiles into Gaza to the Cuban missile crisis.

“In the Cuban missile crisis, the U.S. was not confronting Cuba, but rather the Soviet Union,” Mr. Oren said Wednesday, as the cease-fire was declared. “In Operation Pillar of Defense,” the name the Israel Defense Force gave the Gaza operation, “Israel was not confronting Gaza, but Iran.”

It is an imprecise analogy. What the Soviet Union was slipping into Cuba 50 years ago was a nuclear arsenal. In Gaza, the rockets and parts that came from Iran were conventional, and, as the Israelis learned, still have significant accuracy problems. But from one point of view, Israel was using the Gaza battle to learn the capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad — the group that has the closest ties to Iran — as well as to disrupt those links. Read the rest of this entry »

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Argentina’s RCP on general strikes and coming struggles

Posted by eric ribellarsi on November 23, 2012

What follows is a brief analysis of the on-going general strikes in Argentina, along with a tactical and strategic program, by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Argentina. We offer this piece as an initial contribution to understanding recent rapidly moving events in Argentina. Thanks to Joe M for the translation. Original Español here.

The key right now is to work with audacity, among the larger workplaces and among the masses, to prepare a great national strike.

Preparing the national strike and joining the PTP are not opposing tasks. From now up until the strike, the entire membership drive must be built by demonstrating the need and importance of the strike, and calling on people to join the PTP to become a part of preparing the strike. And these new members should join the PTP membership drive, to bring more people in for preparation of the strike.

The PTP membership drive must base itself on the masses and have a mass line. And the dedication and willpower to turn the PTP and PCR into forces of the masses. Building up strength in the economic struggle and the political struggle, including in elections, to pave the way for the Argentinazo.

Editor note: “Argentinazo” refers to the general revolutionary strategy of the RCP of Argentina, which is a preparation for a national mass-insurrection, based on factory occupations, mass militancy, broad class alliances, and theoretically modeled after the Cultural Revolution in China.


Now, an active national general strike

Working for the strike, the unity of the people’s forces, and the PTP membership drive

[trans.: The PTP is the Party of Labor and of the People – the electoral front of the PCR of Argentina]
Author: Ricardo Fiero
Hoy #1445, Nov. 14, 2012

1. 8N [November 8th] Read the rest of this entry »

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People currently without power

Posted by Mike E on November 22, 2012

This makes a simple, basic radical assertion — that we need to promote and explain at every turn.

At the same time it is surprisingly controversial — certainly among the non-political and liberal who have illusions about this system. But also among leftists for another reasons: because some people confuse relative privilege with actual power.

Posted in >> analysis of news | 26 Comments »

Our lips are sealed: tactics for grand jury resistance

Posted by eric ribellarsi on November 21, 2012

photo credit: Olga Palma

This post first appeared at radioautonomia. Thanks to Ryan S from advancethestruggle for sharing this.

Recordings from panels at the event “Our Lips Are Sealed- Grand Jury Defense” which took place Sunday November 11, 2012 at The Holdout Social Center in Oakland, California.

From the Event Page: “Considering that recently, over half a dozen people in the Pacific Northwest have received Grand Jury subpoenas in the last few months, houses connected to OWS organizers have been raided, and many of our comrades down here are facing very serious charges, folks have put together a Grand Jury panel/discussion that is going to be very focused on how we (the collective Left in the Bay Area) can protect ourselves and each other in the case of heightened repression.

This full day event features short presentations from folks with Grand Jury experience — Kristian Williams (author of Our Enemies in Blue), Richard Brown from the SF8, and others.”

* Only the panel presentations were recorded. The discussions and Q&A are not included here.

(Click on the Panel Title to hear the audio)

Panel 1: Legal Rights with Megan, Dan, Sami

Panel 2: Grand Juries Past & Present with Dennison, Kristian, and Richard

Panel 3: Media Strategies with Claude and Kristian

Panel 4: Family Matters, Self Care & PTSD with Mona and Mickey

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Ohio Sanhati event on people’s movements in India

Posted by eric ribellarsi on November 21, 2012

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