Tag Archive: revolution

Jul 04 2015

The Declaration of Political Independence

(My apologies to Thomas Jefferson)

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the citizen long guaranteed by our Constitution, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to that separation.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all humans are created equal, and that the People of the United States of America are endowed not only with certain unalienable rights, but also with certain rights and liberties given to them by the Founding Fathers via the Constitution of the country adopted at the birth of these United States, as well as via laws passed throughout the past 239 years. That to secure these rights and liberties, the Government has been instituted among people, deriving their power from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it.

Dec 07 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Notes From An Ally On The Front Lines In Boston by UnaSpenser

Reposted from Wednesday. The night before Thanksgiving is not the best time to post. ;-

After marching for about 4 hours and being on the front line when the police confronted the protesters and having only 6 hours of sleep, I’m exhausted. Still, I have all these random thoughts going through my head this morning as I process both what I directly experienced last night and the social commentary I’ve read since then. This may ramble or be disjointed. It may also be raw, unclear or not fully thought out. I’m seeing it as a snapshot into a frame of mind and body after a highly charged event. Nuggets to, perhaps, spark dialogue or lead to further exploration. I want to see what comes out in hopes of not losing any particularly valuable nuggets. So, here goes….

Nov 19 2014

Can the US political system deal with climate change?

The American “system” has been a bit tardy in its response to climate change. Experts tell us that the longer it takes to make needed changes, the more difficult it will be to make them.

As 350.org’s Bill McKibben puts it:

We’re talking about a fight between human beings and physics. And physics is entirely uninterested in human timetables. Physics couldn’t care less if precipitous action raises gas prices, or damages the coal industry in swing states. It could care less whether putting a price on carbon slowed the pace of development in China, or made agribusiness less profitable.

Physics doesn’t understand that rapid action on climate change threatens the most lucrative business on Earth, the fossil fuel industry. It’s implacable. It takes the carbon dioxide we produce and translates it into heat, which means into melting ice and rising oceans and gathering storms. And unlike other problems, the less you do, the worse it gets.  Do nothing and you soon have a nightmare on your hands.

We could postpone healthcare reform a decade, and the cost would be terrible — all the suffering not responded to over those 10 years. But when we returned to it, the problem would be about the same size. With climate change, unless we act fairly soon in response to the timetable set by physics, there’s not much reason to act at all.

Unless you understand these distinctions you don’t understand climate change — and it’s not at all clear that President Obama understands them.

There are lots of reasons why the response of the system has been so slow. There is significant resistance in the system to the sort of changes that need to be made. That resistance has manifested itself in a number of ways, from President Obama using the spies at the NSA to kill global agreements on climate change to the bipartisan popularity of climate change denial in Congress, the media and the public relations industry, despite virtually indisputable scientific evidence.

Resistance is created by a variety of groups based on their perceived interests. Enormously wealthy, powerful corporations and individuals who want to preserve their profits from fossil fuels and related industries, people who rely on jobs created or enabled by fossil fuel industries, people who fear economic chaos and the loss of their comforts due to actions to stop climate change, and politicians whose fortunes depend upon the money and other resources of the fossil fuel industry are some huge sources of systemic inertia.

Sep 22 2014

Climate Change Protest a Success!, Peace and Antiwar Not So Much

Here we have Obama restarting the war in Iraq, escalating his proxy war in Syria, while threatening WWIII with Russia, and we’re having a climate change protest march. A protest march led by corporate interests. Sure, the people mean well, but the thing is led by the damn establishment man.

These paid activists on the left are starting to annoy me. They think that in order to fight the system they need to use the system, and they end up being dependent on the system. Here’s my PayPal account, thank you very much. That simply won’t work. We knew that back in the sixties, those of us that took it seriously. The counterculture, the radicals, the real hippies, the ones who had it right. We railed against the “establishment” back then. You rarely hear that anymore. Now they want to work within the establishment.  You want to really change what we’re doing on this planet, you are just going to have to be radical, anti-establishment. Anything less is nothing, it’s just perpetuation.

I saw how this played out. It was billed as a “Peace and Climate Movement”.

http://peoplesclimate.org/peac…

“But the developing climate emergency does not exist in isolation. And we must understand and confront the social and economic context that produced and accompanies it: war and unlimited military expenditures, corporate globalization, vast social inequality and racism.”

Most everything I’ve read since then reporting on this “event” has nary a word about Peace. It’s all climate change. There’s no big clamoring to stop Obama from bombing in Iraq and Syria, it’s all about the CO2 levels that purportedly are going to kill all of us before those darn nuclear weapons kill us. Don’t worry about the wars, imperialism, militarism, nuclear weapons, millions being killed, displaced, subjugated and hegemonized right now.  The very actions that are driving the use of more oil, more diamonds, more zirconium and natural gas.  There will be billions killed very soon if we don’t stop driving cars and shopping at Walmart! We must warn the people, they have to change! Let’s have another Earth Day!

There have been many before us that have warned us about war and imperialism. War and imperialism have always been the most insidious evil humans perpetrate on each other. After WWI, an especially ugly and brutal war, the world was so aghast that it tried to abolish war and imperialism. That effort culminated in the Kellogg-Briand Pact, eventually signed by 62 countries including the United States. It’s actually still in effect, but like treaties and laws regarding war, it means nothing to the western ruling class.

Evidently the “establishment” took hold of this event and steered it in the moderate, sanitized direction the ruling class prefers. The radicals were dispensed with, the moderates were paid off and the event proceeded with the usual “smell of cooptation in the morning”. Everybody goes home, a certain segment pledge to carry on, then the next climate change conference is arranged so everybody can get paid and books can get signed.

I saw where many were proclaiming this event a success because it is “creating awareness” about climate change. Again nothing about War and imperialism. The wars will go on, Obama will go bombs away in the MIddle East/North Africa region, but more people will have their eyes on that new Prius in the window. Hey it’s powered by electric batteries, that’s better isn’t it?

Many have lamented the antiwar movement since Obama took office. They say Obama killed it. The allegience of the mainstream left, which was instrumental during protests against the Bush wars and imperialism, was too tied into the lesser evil democratic party and it’s new savior Obama, the newest Presidential war criminal. They’re so freaked out by the republican party that they will allow their own to do things even worse. Quite the human social phenomena.

Everybody has an opinion, you know what they say about that. In my opinion we need to stop the ruling class from conducting wars and imperialism NOW. We need a national and international citizens revolution against the imperialism and militarism that is rotting this earth. We need to stop the western ruling elite from seeking their insane New World Order, their utterly delusional human belief that they can rule the world.  We can combine that with the demand for a new way of living that can address climate change. I believe if we can do that, we CAN address climate change in the way it should be addressed. I believe if we don’t, we can’t.

Aug 08 2014

Peace and the Antiwar Movement

Peace on Earth.  How many times has that been said.  We want peace on earth. Ya, most people do.  More than most, probably a “vast” majority. But make no mistake, there are plenty of humans who don’t want peace for various reasons, or believe that peace is unattainable, that it’s just the way it is.  So you know, it’s not unanimous.  

Many on the left and right/libertarians have complained over the last decade about the lack of an antiwar movement. The last significant protest movement against war was in 2002/2003 with the Iraq war.  Many organizations and groups were created during the Bush wars but then came Obama.  His rhetoric and promises (lies) and the fact that he was black and a democrat seemingly pacified an already weakening antiwar movement.

In my opinion we need one now in a big way, and quick.  

Take a look at the last 12 years with the wars, regime changes, new laws, acts, and organizations created to “keep us safe”, the pivot to Asia and now the confrontation with Russia. As many are saying over the internet, this appears to be the most dangerous time for the planet since the Cuban missle crisis. With the threat of a first strike nuclear war, that’s about as dangerous as it gets.  

Even ignoring that threat, the advent of another full blown Cold War between Russia/China and the U.S. is the last thing we serfs need now.  Here we are watching the ruling class light their cigars with trillion dollar bills while we fight each other over food stamps and minimum wage jobs.  The last thing we need is more war and more militarism.  As they say in the hood, ‘homey don’t need that bro.’

In other words, they need to be fucking stopped NOW, i.e, before it’s the proverbial too late. They aren’t going to stop their games, their quest for world domination.  They aren’t going to suddenly come to their senses and reach sensible diplomatic agreements to end imperialism and war and militarism.  That is simply not going to happen unless somehow we the people can make them.  

There was a major effort after WWI to abolish war for good.  It ended in the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, an international agreement where countries “promised” not to use war to resolve their disputes.  Obviously that didn’t work and the key thing to remember here is it happened AFTER WWI.  AFTER 16 million people died because of sociopathic and psychopathic government rulers and their backers.  That’s why the world wanted war banned back then, that’s why they at least created that Pact.  People were horrified at what had happened during WWI.  Little did they (some, not all) know that the promises were just lies.

We know.

Then came the Geneva Conventions after WWII and the United Nation Charter, both outlining the parameters for war and imperialism.  Obvioiusly this hasn’t stopped them either.

One thing I’ve concluded is we are going to need a massive number of people behind whatever we do to stop war and militarism, i.e. to achieve Peace on Earth. With how ingrained militarism is in our societies and how infected the planet is with weapons, it’s going to take a global effort that ends in not just a Pact or more laws but a paradigm shift in how societies on the planet operate, are governed, and how they interact.

I went searching for people and organizations that want Peace also.  I started with lists of all the antiwar, peace, anti-nuke, anti-imperialism, etc., organizations, actions and activities to find out who’s doing what, where and how. What I found was interesting.  I’ve known about some of these organizations and people but hadn’t delved very deeply into who they are and what they do.

I found an international list on Wikipedia and another good list, overlapping with the Wikipedia list, on WorldBeyondWar, a fairly new and ambitious organization with an international mission.   There are certainly hundreds of such organizations, blogs, etc., worldwide and perhaps thousands more with affiliated missions such as climate change that could be part of a global effort.

Some of the antiwar and peace organizations I reviewed were long time organizations going back to the 1950’s, with roots in anti nuclear weapon activism.  Many organizations have Boards of Directors and paid staffs with some overlapping each other with the same Board members.  There seems to be a sort of Peace “establishment” of sorts, including celebrities from the internet media such as Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Scahill, Juan Cole, etc. who attend the same conferences and other events, some annually.   Most of the conferences, activities and events end up taking place on the East Coast because alot of these people and organzations are tied into the pulse of the D.C. political establishment and it accoutrements.

Why is it that the more antiwar/peace organizations we have, the more war and less peace we have?  

Here’s what I’d ask some of them, particularly the ones with Boards of Directors and paid staff, and the ones that go from one conference to another, raising money along the way to support their activities.  Are you really interested in Peace?  Or are you more interested in continuing what you’re doing?  Hey, I’m just asking.

What happened to the antiwar movement?  It’s been splintered by the internet and capitalism.

This is the same old thing, going round and round, mostly preaching to the choir without the real outreach that’s needed, giving more people a voice.  That should be the goal.  The people want peace, that’s a given.  They’re out there.  The goal should be to give them a voice and present that voice along with all our other voices as one.  It can be their names and phone numbers, or maybe the location of their tent or cave, but they need to be counted. The mission should be to work together to make that happen.  

Mar 30 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: A Letter to Leftist Mothers for Mother’s Day by Diane Gee

Disclaimer – this is for all women:


You don’t have to have given birth to be a Mother, either.  Those who have not, by circumstance or choice still know well of what I speak, having witnessed as a female the roles of their own Mothers, and their Sisters who may have had kids.  

We act as caregivers, to our own and others.  Its who we are, not who we have borne.

Dear Mothers,

Society has often put us in a second class position; the patriarchy on which it was formed limits our potentials in so many ways.

Perhaps it is because the know the truth:  We hold immeasurable power.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I have some questions for you my dear ones, on this Mother’s Day across the pond, and the US Mother’s Day to come.  

What will you do with that power?

Jan 26 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: No, you don’t want another OWS by AoT

There's been a common theme lately of calling for a new OWS. I would be overjoyed if all of these calls were in fact calls for a new OWS. But they aren't. I want to make clear that this isn't necessarily an attack on people making these calls. They make them for different reasons, and those reasons are often reasons I agree with. But, they are in fact calls for a completely different movement, one that bears little if any resemblance to OWS. I'm going to go through the common refrains of what “the movement” needs and my responses to them. Let me say first that I think that people really mean that they want another successful and visible social movement when they say they want another OWS they really . I'm completely on board with that, I want another movement with the energy of Occupy. The problem is that the things that made OWS successful are exactly the things people are calling to change.

Aug 25 2013

AC Meetup: Being Left of Labour is Easier than Ever… so what’s the problem? by NY Brit Expat

 photo cb1c6e8a-6e8c-4633-b28f-79fd1c0106d6_zps5568b589.jpg

“Our starting point for 2015/16 will be that we cannot reverse any cut in day to day, current spending unless it is fully funded from cuts elsewhere or extra revenue – not from more borrowing.

So when George Osborne stands up next week and announces his cuts in day to day spending, we won’t be able to promise now to reverse them because we can only do so when we can be absolutely crystal clear about where the money is coming from (Ed Miliband, June 22, 2013 (http://www.channel4.com/news/miliband-labour-will-not-borrow-more-to-reverse-cuts).”

It has become rather obvious that the tactic of shifting the Labour party to the left is futile, even in situations where government cuts are unpopular and they can pick up votes they refuse to reverse direction (e.g., bedroom tax and changes to child care benefit). Instead of saying we won’t be borrowing to reverse changes, the idea of taxes on wealth, the introduction of a general financial transactions tax, or introducing more bands on income tax to make it more progressive or closing tax loopholes to fund these changes is not discussed.

Adoption of neoliberalism as the basis for economic policy decisions is a political decision! It is not as though there is a dearth of other choices for economic policy that do not rely on lowering wages to maintain profitability and privatisation of public services.  As such, choices in the electoral arena are essentially mainstream political parties upholding a neoliberal position. There is essentially no political party that represents the interests of the majority in the context of a grotesque attack on the social welfare state, divide and rule ideology, and privatisation of what remains of the state sector including parts of the NHS.

h/t to Elise Hendricks for the title of this piece!

Aug 20 2013

Egypt: The Blood Letting Continues

The violence continues with casualties mounting on both side with no resolution in sight. Democracy Now! recounts the daily horrors with host Amy Goodman and Sharif Abdel Kouddous, independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent based in Cairo.



Transcript can be read here

Mass violence continues in Egypt amidst the bloodiest period in the country’s modern history. Around 900 people have been killed since state forces attacked Muslim Brotherhood protest encampments five days ago. At least 173 people were killed in a “Day of Rage” protest called by the Brotherhood on Friday, followed by at least 79 deaths on Saturday. Around 90 police officers and soldiers have died in the violence, but Islamist supporters of the Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi account for the bulk of the victims. On Sunday, at least 36 prisoners were killed in Cairo after guards said they tried to escape while being transferred. But the Muslim Brotherhood accused state forces of a “cold-blooded killing” and demanded an international probe. And earlier today at least 24 police officers were reportedly killed in the northern Sinai after coming under attack by militants.

Amidst rumors that the US had quietly suspended military aid, the White House said this morning that those reports are false.

“The report that we have suspended assistance to Egypt is incorrect,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

“As the president has said, we are reviewing all of our assistance to Egypt. No policy decisions have been made at this point regarding the remaining assistance,” she added.

Here is a brief summery of the latest news from the live feed at The Guardian:

The supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, has been arrested in Nasr City in north-east Cairo after the security forces discovered his hiding place, Egyptian media reported. The private ONTV network showed footage of a man it said was Badie after his arrest. In the footage, a sombre looking Badie in an off-white Arab robe, or galabiyah, sits motionless on a sofa as a man in civilian clothes and carrying an assault rifle stands nearby. Badie and his deputy Khairat el-Shater, who was already in custody, are due to go on trial on 25 August for their alleged role in the killing of eight protesters outside the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters in June.

The former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, could be freed within 48 hours after judicial authorities ruled that he has already spent too long in custody after one of the charges against him was dropped. News of the imminent release of Mubarak, who was overthrown in the 2011 revolution, looks likely to inflame a highly volatile mood in Egypt.

Interim president Adly Mansour has declared three days of mourning for the 25 policemen killed by an armed group in the Sinai desert yesterday. Egyptian state TV reports from the scene near the border with Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip town of Rafah said the terrorists had forced the police conscripts off two minibuses and murdered them in cold blood. Three others were injured. Cairo sources describe the killers as “Takfiris” – a term often used for al-Qaida and like-minded groups.

The Muslim Brotherhood said Badie was facing “political trumped up charges”. It appointed Mahmoud Ezzat, described in the media as the Brotherhood’s “iron man”, as Badie’s temporary replacement.

An Egyptian court will review a petition for the release of deposed President Hosni Mubarak filed by his lawyer tomorrow raising the prospect of him being released within 24 hours, according to Reuters citing judicial sources. The sources said if the petition is upheld Mubarak will be released as there remain no further legal grounds for his detention, though he is being retried on charges of ordering the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising. An online poster has been circulating on Facebook today supporting him for president in 2014.

A state-owned newspaper has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being being the attack in the Sinai that left 25 policemen dead yesterday. Al-Akhbar ran the headline “Brotherhood Massacre”. The Guardian’s Middle East editor said the headline and the arrest of Badie are part of a propaganda campaign intended to split the Brotherhood’s supporters and to feed into popular sentiment against the Islamist group.

Security officials say an Egyptian journalist working for a state-run daily has been shot dead by soldiers at a military checkpoint. They say Tamer Abdel-Raouf from al-Ahram newspaper and a colleague were on the road during a military-imposed nighttime curfew and a soldier opened fire after the pair drove off from the checkpoint without permission.

Amnesty International said today that there has been “an unprecedented rise in sectarian violence across Egypt targeting Coptic Christians” since the violent dispersals of pro-Morsi sit-ins in Greater Cairo on 14 August and has demanded that the Egyptian authorities take immediate steps to ensure their safety. It says several Coptic Christians have been killed, their churches, homes and businesses targeted and graves desecrated, “seemingly in retaliation for their support of the ousting of Mohamed Morsi”,

A private lawsuit has been issued against the Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradai, who was until recently part of the interim government installed after the ousting of Mohamed Morsi. It charges him with “breaching national trust” (Arabic link). The charge is that by resigning as vice-president he gave the impression that the Egyptian authorities were using excessive force. He has been referred to trial on 17 September.

Democracy Now! hosr Amy Goodman discusses the state of the revolution and the growing divide in Egypt with acclaimed Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif, Chris Toensing, executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project and Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.



Transcript can be read here

“One of most depressing things that we’ve seen has been how a strand of what was the revolution, and what was either progressive or liberal, has so completely backed, endorsed, egged on the military and the police and have completely, unrelentingly demonized the Brotherhood and Islamist currents,” Soueif says from Cairo. “And I think that is part of why we’ve had an escalation of violence. It’s as if everyone is playing out a role that is expected of them.”

Aug 14 2013

Egypt: State of Emergency

Violent clashes broke out with Muslim Brotherhood supporters and government security forces in Egypt have left scores dead and wounded on both sides. A month long state of emergency and a curfew has been declared.

CAIRO – Egypt descended into a chaotic bloodbath – and another political crisis – Wednesday after security forces backed by bulldozers moved into opposition protest camps set up by supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, sparking deadly violence.

At least 149 people were killed and 1,403 injured, the country’s health ministry said, but the toll looked certain to rise as unrest spread from Cairo to other parts of the country.

It is being reporting that interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned in protest over the crack down by the military and that at least two journalists have been killed.

Here is The Guardian‘s quick summary of events since last might:

Scores of people have been killed after the Egyptian security forces moved to clear two protest camps in Cairo. Egypt’s official news agency put the death toll at 149, although the chaotic nature of the crackdown made accurate reporting difficult. Violence began after security forces used bulldozers to dismantle camps established by supporters of the ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

Troops fired teargas and live rounds, quickly evacuating the smaller camp near Cairo University. But Morsi supporters held strong at the larger encampment, at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in east Cairo. The dawn raids came after two weeks of warnings to protesters to evacuate.

The Egyptian interim government has declared a month-long state of emergency across the country. It later announced a curfew, beginning this evening at 7pm local time and lasting until 6am. The curfew is in place in Cairo and ten other provinces including Alexandria and Suez, the government said. It will last for one month.

Egypt’s vice-president, Mohamed El-Baradei, resigned in protest against the crackdown. He said there were peaceful options for ending the political crisis. Witnesses at Rabaa al-Adawiya dozens of bodies, while photographs showed more than 40 dead laid out on the ground. There were reports of snipers firing on crowds of people. The interior ministry denied live rounds had been used despite the casualties. Two journalists, including a British cameraman for Sky News, were among the dead.

The international community has denounced the violence. The US said it “strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters” and criticised the imposition of a state of emergency. UK foreign secretary William Hague said he was “deeply concerned at the escalating violence”. “I condemn the use of force in clearing protests and call on the security forces to act with restraint,” he said.

You can follow the live up dates from The Guardian here

On this morning’s Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman and Cairo correspondent for The Independent Alastair Beach reported on the crisis.

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