Month: December, 2011
The resurrection of the Soviet Union
| December 31, 2011 | 8:04 pm | Action | No comments

By Max Chavez

In the 20th year after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, I know that the issue of Gorbachev is of great contention amongst our comrades. The folks at The Nation, however, have clearly been making the case that the fall of the Soviet Union was decisively not an event for the betterment of the world. I’d like to submit this article from The Nation entitled “The Soviet Union’s Afterlife”

http://www.thenation.com/article/165316/soviet-unions-afterlife?page=0,1

for posting, consideration and discussion amongst our comrades on the website since Stephen F. Cohen (husband of The Nation editor Katrina van den Heuvel) makes good, strong points about the negative effects of the fall of the Soviet Union.

Here is a video of Stephen Cohen on Democracy Now! from just this past Friday on this very issue.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/165379/stephen-cohen-russian-protests-and-soviet-unions-afterlife

Here is the first paragraph:

The Soviet Union’s Afterlife

By Stephen F. Cohen

Asked to evaluate the French Revolution nearly 200 years later, the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was famously reported to have replied, “Too early to say.” Though apocryphal, the long perspective attributed to Zhou is better informed than the certitudes of American commentators about the causes and consequences of the end of the Soviet Union only twenty years ago.

Please post your comments. All points of view are welcome.

Some statements from the Athens Conference of Communist and Workers Parties
| December 21, 2011 | 10:54 pm | Action | No comments

Please read the following statements from the Athens Conference of Communist and Workers Parties and feel free to make comments. The statement from CPUSA particularly deserves some comments.

1. Final Statement of the Athens Conference of Communist and Workers Parties
http://www.solidnet.org/13-international-meeting/2289-13-imcwp-final-statement-en

2. Colloquy on the Final Statement of the Athens Conference of Communist and Workers Parties
http://www.politicalaffairs.net/colloquy-on-the-final-statement-of-the-athen-conference-of-communist-and-workers-parties/

3. Pesentation of the Communist Party USA
http://www.solidnet.org/usa-communist-party-usa/2345-13-imcwp-contribution-of-the-cp-usa

Statement on Jeju Island
| December 19, 2011 | 8:35 pm | Action | No comments

JEJU ISLAND –NONVIOLENT PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT
TO STOP THE NAVAL BASE IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO GLOBAL SECURITY

Strategically located, Jeju Island is 60 miles off the southern coast of South Korea. It faces China to the east and Japan to the west. The Republic of Korea (ROK) is building one of the largest naval bases in the world on Jeju Island in Gangjeong Village, a small fishing village of about 1,900 citizens. The Base due to be operational in 2014 will host 20 warships, submarines and Aegis Destroyers “integrated within the US Missile Defense System”. South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak announced commitments in 2008 and 2009 to purchase and deploy a fleet of Aegis destroyers equipped with U. S. anti-ballistic missile and radar systems, built jointly by Hyundai and Lockheed Martin.

The Base is being built on a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2007), a Biosphere Reserve (2002) and Global Geological Park (2010). Since 2007, citizens have been valiantly and vigorously protesting the construction of the Naval Base, risking their lives to protect their environment from the forces of the military industrial complex. Citizens claim their consent was not obtained in a fair democratic process and would like Jeju to “contribute for national interests and security as ‘Peace Zone of North East Asia’ and not as a military base.”

Jeju was designated an “Island of World Peace” on January 27, 2005 by the Korean government. This designation was in recognition of the “April 3, Massacre” that occurred from 1948-1954. An estimated 60,000 innocent civilians were killed and 230 villages were destroyed, under the leadership of Syngman Rhee. After WW II, Korea was occupied by US military forces in the South and Russian forces in the North. In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared elections should be held to reunite Korea. A national assembly administered by the UN elected Syngman Rhee, president of the Republic of Korea, which was formed on August 15. Northern Korean Communists opposed this idea and on September 9, announced the formation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In the 1980’s the Truth Commission on Jeju was established and on November 31, 2003, President Roh Moo-hyn gave an official apology to “the survivors and to all Jeju residents for the faults of the national power in the past. We have to spread the universal value of peace and human rights for all human beings by learning from the precious lessons of the Jeju April 3rd incident.”

It is so important to support the Gangjeong Villagers in their courageous struggle to oppose the construction of this naval base. The treasured places of beauty on the earth are being destroyed by the forces of militarism, once they are gone, we will not be able to replace them. We must show support for this nonviolent struggle of the Gangjeong Villagers and do all that we can. Visit the website www.savejejuisland.org

Statement from Leonard Peltier
| December 19, 2011 | 8:33 pm | Action | No comments

12/17/11 Statement from Leonard Peltier: From Behind
the Iron DoorHau Kola

Greetings my friends, relatives, relations, supporters

I wrote a statement the other day sitting here in my cell and I know that
no one really cares to read something that is 6 pages long.
So this is my effort to shorten it a little bit.

The first subject I want to touch on is being in prison for 36 years is
hell. There are some folks who are planning to walk across America
starting in California going to Washington D.C. to bring attention to the
injustice that faces Indian people in the judicial system of America and
of which I am some of the evidence of that. But first of all what I
really want to say is I really appreciate and love the people that do
things like this for those of us who are imprisoned. And if walking
across America sounds like a lot try standing in an 8 by 6 cell for 36
years. But I want you to know as terrible and painful as this is in
a strange way I am honored that the most powerful government has
considered me a challenge that they would violate all their own laws to
keep me imprisoned. In my standing I have stood for what’s right. I
have stood for the right of a people invaded by emissaries of the
corporations they ultimately represent; the right of a people to defend
themselves in whatever way necessary to defend their women and children
and elders and life itself when attacked with deadly force by this
government.

For some of you who may recently come in contact with my case, my case is
one where an Indian community that had been continually terrorized by FBI
and a goon squad funded by them on the reservation, had opposed the sale
of 1/8th of the tribe’s mineral resources and land. On June the
26th 1975, they attacked the village of Oglala on the Pine Ridge
Reservation. It started with two FBI agents in unmarked cars and
unmarked clothing, firing into an enclave of dwellings. The two
agents numbers soon swelled to 250. In the ensuing battle the two
initial agents were killed and one young Indian man, Joe Stuntz, was
murdered by the FBI, shot between the eyes. Ultimately some 30 of
us escaped. Two men, Bob Robideau and Dino Butler that were
captured before I was, were put on trial and all the evidence of that day
was allowed to be presented in their defense. And they were acquitted by
reason of self-defense; the jury said they had the right to defend
themselves with deadly force. I had escaped to Canada and was later
apprehended there, the government perjured testimony, and they got
someone to lie to bring me back from there. I was put on trial and
all the evidence used to convict me was later proven false in court, as
well as the lie to extradite me. And the same evidence used by the
defense in the first trial was not allowed. They ultimately got a
conviction saying I was guilty of murder which was later amended to
aiding and abetting.

Then later an individual whom some called Mr. X, on tape admitted he was
the shooter. Bob Robideau one of the original two men acquitted by
reason of self-defense later told retired FBI Agent Ed Wood he was Mr. X
and that he had shot the agents. Bob feared for his life. Bob
didn’t make his statement for many years. Bob did all that he could
do to help me over the years and later started living in Spain. And
then he made a statement to a few people that he was going to come back
and speak more about being the shooter and being acquitted of the
offense. And within about a month’s time he was found dead in his
apartment in Spain. He supposedly fell out of bed and hit his head
and died. Having said that, my main point is that where all the evidence
was allowed to be presented Indian people were found not guilty
rightfully defended themselves by reason of self-defense.

There has not been a violation of human rights by America that wasn’t
first practiced on Native Americans. America’s first biological
warfare was against Indian people with small pox and measles infected
blankets, the first concentration camps were against Indian people where
they took their land and rounded them up. And Lincoln known for being
against slavery, had 38 Indian men hung in unison in Mankato Minnesota
for rebelling in the starving concentration camp they were confined to
and there were camps all across this nation for American Indian
people.

The first atomic bomb was dropped on Indian land polluting it and
destroying the water tables. To this day the result of their
digging for uranium still pollutes parts of the Navajo reservation.
They practiced sterilization of our women up until the late 1950s and
even into the 60’s. Up in Alaska they experimented with various
forms of hepatitis on the native people there. The list goes on and
on. Our people to this day suffer generational trauma as a result
of the concentration camps and invasions and starvation and boarding
schools that tried to destroy our culture. The death rate in the
boarding schools was 50%.

To this day the unemployment rate for American Indians is 35%. What
America calls “depression” has become a way of life for us.
Bureaucrats scream and jump up and down about the Israelis right to claim
their homeland, yet at the same time America still takes our land against
our will, our homeland. The black hills of South Dakota was leased for 99
years the lease has been up for some 20 something years, but they will
not return it. They have offered to pay some 3 billion dollars for
the Black Hills. Why don’t they take that money and relocate the
non-Indians from there? There have been people complaining of a
mosque in the proximity of the former World Trade Towers yet our sacred
hills have Abraham Lincoln’s face carved in the side of our sacred area,
and George Washington who practiced a scorched earth campaign against our
people in the East is there along with others.

I’m sorry if I’m getting carried away, I want America to be a great
nation, but I want it to be fair to all people. We don’t ask for
anything that wasn’t agreed to by this government,. There’s three hundred
and seventy something treaties that cover most of our concerns. I
apologize if in reading this in some way it hurts your celebration of the
holidays. Its very difficult to not be negative when you are
unjustly imprisoned for this long and every day you look through an iron
door when the true enemies and terrorists are free to terrorize the poor
and the oppressed of America. When the resources of America and the
labor of its people is used to enhance the lavish lifestyle of some 2 to
3 % of the population that owns 96% of America’s wealth or I should say
owns and controls 96% of America’s wealth then people like you and the
people occupying Wall Street and walking across America are needed more
than you would ever know.

I said I wouldn’t make this too long and it seems I have gone back on my
work. However in closing I would like to thank the National
Congress of American Indians for passing a resolution supporting me in my
bid for freedom. And I would especially like to thank Lenny Foster
who has served as a spiritual leader in prisons throughout America who
presented the resolution to the National Congress of American
Indians. I would also like to thank all the others, too numerous to
mention, who has supported me for so many years. I guess in some
off handed way I have learned to live and exist by my contact with them
over the years. This struggle has been long and difficult and I
know at times I have offended people and hurt their feelings and for that
I am deeply regretful. But rest assured I appreciate all of you in
the deepest sense of the word. And I pray that this Holiday season
brings joy to you and your families. And there is no greater gift
that we can give our children and our children’s children than freedom
and a healthy earth.

I will close for now but unless they shut me up like they did Bob, you
will hear from me again rest assured.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and all the others that have died for their
people,

Sincerely,

Leonard Peltier

Freedom Archives

522 Valencia Street

San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

www.Freedomarchives.org

March for immigrant’s rights in Bellaire, Texas
| December 18, 2011 | 8:50 pm | Action | No comments

by Dutch Hillstrom

Today, 12/18/11, I went to a march for immigrant rights in the City of Bellaire. The Bellaire Police Department has decided to adopt a new law which legalizes racial profiling by allowing the cops to ask anyone for identification who might appear to be an immigrant. There are many immigrant workers in Bellaire who already struggle each day just to provide enough food for their family and pay the monthly rent. This new law will create another burden for the immigrant community, for it will make them more afraid of cops and less likely to call the police when there is a real emergency. If, for example, there is a robbery in an immigrant household, it is unlikely that the family will report it given the dangers of doing so. For a cop only has to ask for papers and he can immediately deport anyone who does not have legal identification.

The working people in the immigrant community of Bellaire will not have it! Today, Occupy Houston and Houston United organized a large demonstration in Bellaire. There were about 200 people, all who were very upset about this new law. The march assembled at Bellaire and Chimney Rock; from there we marched to Bellaire Police Department. The march was very visible, as we had a loudspeaker and a PA system. Then we assembled at the Bellaire Police Department and rallied for about an hour; there were many speeches as well as labor songs.

The Houston Communist Party stands in solidarity with the immigrant workers of the City of Bellaire who are struggling against this new Draconian legislation. There will be many more protests and marches in the near future, as the local Houston government is also trying to pass this law. Protests and demonstrations are very important; however, we must also wage class war at the electoral level. The only way that these new laws will really be defeated is if progressives get elected to office who have the power to vote against such legislation. Protesting in the streets is good, but it will not change the minds of those in power; therefore, progressives themselves must get into power, for it is there that the struggle can truly be won. If progressive candidates rally around such protests movements, they are likely to win an election and reject every new racist law that the reactionary conservatives propose. Hence, the Progressive Left in Houston must unite with protests like those today and try to get into public office to smash racism at the legislative level.

U.S. Trade Union Research Delegation to Cuba: April 25-May 2,2012
| December 18, 2011 | 8:45 pm | Action | No comments

by James Connolly

With U.S. Labor for Friendship with Cuba as a program consultant, Marazul Charters, Inc. is organizing a research delegation to Cuba for full-time trade unionists: April 25-May 2, 2012.

The research goals of the delegation are to (1) learn how the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC), Workers’ Central Union of Cuba, the country’s national trade union federation, is working with the new economic policies within the context of socialism; (2) learn first-hand from Cuban workers about the accomplishments and new challenges of a different economic system than our own; (3) be apprised by the CTC about the effects of the 50-year old U.S. economic blockade against the Cuban people, and; (4) learn how full economic and trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba could help workers from both countries by providing economic opportunities.

The U.S. government continues to impose restrictions on travel to Cuba. But under a General License already issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, full-time professionals are permitted to travel to Cuba to conduct research in their fields. To qualify under the General License for professional research for this particular delegation, you must work full time as an appointed or elected official of a labor union or be an academic in this field.

The cost of the program is approximately $1,600 for double occupancy and $1,700 for single occupancy, which includes round trip air fare from Miami to Havana, a Cuban visa, hotel accommodations, breakfast daily, several additional meals, a bi-lingual guide, and a full research program. Delegates are responsible for their own air fare to and from Miami. The research program will include exchanges with CTC leaders and rank and file Cuban union members, visits to hospitals, labor unions, the Lazaro Pena School of the Cuban Workers, work sites, and the observance of Cuba’s May Day celebration on May 1st.
The deadline for all applications will be Friday, April 13, 2012.

If you are interested, or know someone who is interested, that meets the above qualifications – Interested persons should contact Marazul Charters at info@marazul.com. Marazul Charters will send you details on the arrangements, the qualifications, as well as the application form.

If you have specific questions about the program itself – Please contact Carl Gentile, Chairperson of U.S. Labor for Friendship with Cuba, at 1187@comcast.net and/or call 240-285-6519. U.S. Labor for Friendship with Cuba seeks to educate working people about Cuba’s accomplishments in eliminating hunger, joblessness, illiteracy, and making free quality health care and education available to its entire population; creating a society where the 99 percent are in control of their own destiny. We are also supportive of efforts to free the Cuban Five, who are unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. for fighting right-wing terrorism and for preventing attacks from Miami against Cuba by right-wing Cuban-Americans.

After they passed the new Nuremburg laws: Poem by Gary Hicks
| December 18, 2011 | 8:42 pm | Action | No comments

after they passed the new nuremburg laws

after the long
years of accomodation
comes the occupy
to say no to everything
to say yes to everything
to tell a majority
we don’t have to
live in the old way
and then like
the rat in the
corner comes
the occupation
to say no to us
to say yes
to constantly
resurrecting
pharaoh and
priest-guardians
of the wealth
created by all but
enjoyed by few
to confirm that
franklin of fed reserve
benjamins fame
was right when
way back when
he warned that
a country trading
liberty for security
would have neither
and some of us
look at these new
children of the
alien and sedition
fugitive slave
dred scott
jim crow
criminal anarchy
anticommunist
laws and we know
from past times
these laws are just
itching to be
broken and the
standards and
flags once again
strewn at the
feet of a newly
triumphant
red army having
captured
that city having
the effrontery
to be the
new berlin of
a fourth reich
about which
even now people
the world over
are placing their
wagers on how
long this monster
will last. so
thank you whoever
you are for
creating yet more
environment
to get it on
until all this gets
historical scrap
heap upon the
already existing
junk of past
empires whose
experience
was ignored
by gangsters
with drones and
other toys
who thought
they could get
away with
criminality
this time and
once again
like the boxer
said we don’t
get along
so we’ll just
have to
get it on.

december 16, 2011
berkeley ca

gary hicks