Category: Fascist terrorism
Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die
| September 15, 2017 | 7:11 pm | Analysis, China, Fascist terrorism, Russia, Syria | No comments
Flag of the Islamic State in the conflict zone in Latakia, Syria

Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die

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Pepe Escobar
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A serious working hypothesis is being discussed for a while now among independent geopolitical analysts. Here it is, in a nutshell.

Daesh may be dying – but the world is still encumbered with its walking corpse. Plan B of Daesh’s masters may have been to indoctrinate repeated waves of misguided youth across the EU and “seduce” them into D.I. Y. jihadi terror, creating fear and insecurity in Europe. I’ve just been to Barcelona — and that’s not happening. No Fear.

Daesh can also manipulate its brand name to stake a claim into what we may call the New War Belt in Southwest Asia. That’s also not happening, because the “4+1” – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – with the addition of Turkey, and with China in a “leading from behind” role, are all working together.

The unfinished war across “Syraq” coupled with spasms of jihadism in Europe could certainly still metastasize into a massive Eurasian cancer, spreading like a plague from Afghanistan to Germany and vice-versa, and from the South China Sea to Brussels via Pakistan and vice-versa.

What would happen under this cataclysmic scenario is the complete derailment of the Chinese-driven New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); its integration with the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEC); and a massive security threat to the domestic stability of the Russia-China strategic partnership, with uncontrollable bellicose scenarios developing very close to their borders.It’s no secret which elements and institutions would very much cherish internal political chaos in both Russia and China.

Charlie gets stronger

Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski may be dead, but geopolitics is still encumbered with his corpse. Brzezinski’s life obsession is that no peer competitor to the US should be allowed to emerge. Imagine as he lay dying contemplating the ongoing, ultimate nightmare; a Russia-China pan-Eurasian alliance.

The less disastrous scenario in this case would be to seduce either Moscow or Beijing into becoming a US partner, based on which one would pose a lesser “threat” in the future. Brzezinski focused on Russia as the immediate threat and China as the long game threat.

Thus the obsession of the US deep state and the Clinton machine in demonizing all things Russia – like an infantile neo-McCarthyism on steroids. Inevitably, what this geopolitical back hole has precipitated is China’s even more rapid advance on all fronts.Not to mention that the Russia-China strategic partnership kept getting stronger every day – an eerie echo of Capt. Willard’s line in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now; “Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker, every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger”.

And yet Charlie is not squatting; he’s conquering via trade and investment. And he’s not in the bush; he’s all over the Eurasian plains.

A basket of Hobbesian flare-ups

The other American dalang, Henry Kissinger, is still alive, at 94. Advising President Trump before the January inauguration, and posing as the supreme gray eminence on China matters, he suggested Russia should be courted.

But then came the clincher. Clearly identifying that the Russia-China-Iran alliance holds the key to Eurasia integration, Kissinger revealed his true colors; it’s the weakest link – Iran – that should be neutralized.Thus his recent proclamation/warning about an “Iranian radical empire” developing/stretching from Tehran to Beirut as the “vacuum” left by Daesh is filled by the Persians.

And here we have Kissinger once again as the unreconstructed Cold Warrior that he is; exit Communism, enter Khomeinism as the supreme “evil.” And may the Lord bask in praise of the Wahhabi matrix of jihadism enablers; the House of Saud.

The Kissingerian recipe sounds like music to the US deep state; Daesh should not be routed, it should be “realigned” as a tool against Iran.

Who cares that the notion of an “Iranian radical empire” per se does not even qualify as a joke? Lebanon is multicultural. Syria will continue to be ruled by the secular Baath Party. Iraq rejects Khomeinism – with tremendously influential Ayatollah Sistani privileging the parliamentary system.

The “4+1” – backed by China — have forged a serious alliance in the fire of the Syrian war. None of this will change by a Kissinger decree. As for “filling the vacuum”, the alternative is Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria. “But wait!” — say the neocons/neoliberalcons of the War Party. “We like that!”

And that brings us full circle to the initial working hypothesis. Daesh won’t be allowed to die – as much as the geopolitical re-engineering of what Dr. Zbig used to call the “Eurasian Balkans” refuses to die.ISIS-Khorasan, or ISIS-K – that regroup in Afghanistan – can be so handy to wreak havoc in the intersection of Central Asia and South Asia, so close to key BRI development corridors.

Moscow and Beijing though, know exactly what’s goin’ on. The phony Caliphate was useful in an attempt to break off BRI across “Syraq”, as much as Maidan in Ukraine was useful to break off the EAEU. Other war fronts will follow – from the Philippines to Venezuela, all bent on disrupting regional integration projects under a Divide and Rule strategy of US satraps manipulated into Hobbesian asymmetrical flare-ups.

Sixteen years after 9/11, the name of the game is not GWOT (Global War on Terror) anymore; is how, under the cover of GWOT, to disturb geostrategic expansion by the people who matter; “peer competitors” Russia and China.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Police Fire Gas Bombs at Honduran University Students
| September 14, 2017 | 8:07 pm | Fascist terrorism, police terrorism | No comments

 

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Police-Fire-Gas-Bombs-at-Honduran-University-Students–20170913-0043.html

  • Students throw Molotov cocktails at riot police on September 13, 2017 in Tegucigalpa.

    Students throw Molotov cocktails at riot police on September 13, 2017 in Tegucigalpa. | Photo: AFP

The police threw gas bombs, tear gas and water cannons against the students after they set up a blockade in front of the University.

At least six students from the National Autonomous University of Honduras, UNAH, have been injured and in violent clashes with Honduran police.

RELATED:
Honduras University Suspends 19 Students for 5 Years

The police threw gas bombs, tear gas and water cannons against the students after they set up a blockade in front of the University.

The 30 students, part of the University Student Movement, or MEU, responded by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

The MEU has been protesting for the past three months to demand that the director of the university, Julieta Castellanos, be removed over corruption allegations.

“When will her term end?”

The ongoing demonstrations have suspended classes at the university.

While the governor called for classes to resume last week, the MEU blocked access to the school’s buildings, saying they will only allow classes to begin once Castellanos steps down.

The student group’s demonstration.

The University Management Board announced in a statement that the director will leave the post on September 25, when her term ends.

The MEU has also accused the university of “criminalizing” students after it charged nearly 50 students for damaging university property.

They have also called for the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Allende’s Last Stand Against US-Supported Fascism in Chile in 1973
| September 13, 2017 | 8:35 pm | Analysis, Fascist terrorism | No comments
A man takes part in a demonstration commemorating the 44nd anniversary of Chile's 1973 military coup, in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.

Allende’s Last Stand Against US-Supported Fascism in Chile in 1973

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On 9/11 1973 Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, perished, along with thousands of his supporters after the Chilean military, led by General Augusto Pinochet with the support of Washington, mounted a coup that succeeded in overthrowing his government.

For obvious though lamentable reasons this is the 9/11 anniversary that hardly makes the news, dwarfed by its more infamous counterpart, the terrorist attack unleashed against the United States in 2001.

However the significance of the fascist coup in Chile in 1973 cannot be overstated, as here ensued the world’s first experiment in that mass experiment in human despair more commonly known as neoliberalism. This free market economic doctrine was the brainchild of US economist Milton Friedman, developing it along with his disciples at the notorious school of economics at the University of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s, which he headed.

Friedman, who died in 2006, was and is still considered a genius on the right of the political spectrum, his doctrine embraced by various right wing leaders and governments from the 1970s to the present day. The likes of the aforementioned Augusto Pinochet, along with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Boris Yeltsin, embraced Friedman’s ideas and applied it them their respective countries with disastrous results for the working class and the poor of each.

In essence the most extreme, deregulated model of capitalism ever devised, neoliberalism changed the role of the economy from a servant of society to a tyrant ruling over it. Indeed it is an economic system and doctrine so extreme it requires a major economic and/or social convulsion — in other words a shock — to enable it to be applied with the minimum of resistance.

Thus we have the coup in Chile on 11 September 1973.

Exploring the aftermath of the coup in Chile in her peerless work, The Shock Doctrine, Canadian journalist Naomi Klein reveals, “For the first year and a half, Pinochet faithfully followed the Chicago [School] rules.” As a result, she goes on,

“In 1974 inflation reached 375 percent — the highest rate in the world…The cost of basics such as bread went through the roof. At the same time, Chileans were being thrown out of work because Pinochet’s experiment with ‘free trade’ was flooding the country with cheap imports.”

Salvador Allende, a Marxist intellectual and physician, by the time of his election as president in 1970 had been involved in Chilean politics for forty years, in which time he served as a senator, deputy and cabinet minister. He had also stood for the presidency three times and lost. His program for government was avowedly socialist — i.e. the nationalization of key industries, specifically copper, land reform, the introduction of healthcare, and redistribution of the nation’s wealth and income to the benefit of the workers responsible for creating it.

In his maiden speech to the Chilean Parliament as the nation’s president, Allende said:

“This is an unprecedented time, which offers us the material means of realizing the most generous Utopian dreams of the past. The only thing that prevents our achieving this is the heritage of greed, of fear and of obsolete institutional traditions. Between our time and that of the liberation of man on a planetary scale, this inheritance has to be overcome. Only in this way will it be possible to call upon men to reconstruct their lives, not as products of a past of slavery and exploitation, but in the most conscious realization of their noblest potentialities. This is the socialist ideal.”

However just as the Cuban people have experienced in their history, and as the people of Venezuela are experiencing now, there is nothing more powerful than the wrath of Washington-backed economic interests and oligarchs wherever and whenever socialist governments dare emerge in Latin America to challenge the right of the rich and business interests to rule.

The US president in 1970 was Richard Nixon, who in response to Allende’s election promised to “make the [Chilean] economy scream,” instructing the CIA to start working to undermine the country in order to pave the way for a military takeover. At the time US business interests in Chile were extensive, especially in the copper mining industry in which two US corporations, Anaconda and Kennicott, were major players.

Even more important than those US business interests, however, was Washington’s foreign policy priority of containing socialism and communism — a priority measured in its commitment to the War in Vietnam, thousands of miles from its own borders, at that time. When it came to its ‘own backyard’ in Latin America, where the Cuban Revolution of 1959 had inspired and catalysed socialism across the region, Washington’s determination to crush the ‘red menace’ was especially fierce.

Nixon’s Secretary of State (foreign secretary) was Henry Kissinger, a man with enough blood on his hands to have a river named after it. Of Allende’s election in Chile in 1970, he said:

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

Allende chose not to heed the advice of his friend and comrade, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, to arm the workers, having warned him against placing too much trust in his country’s military high command. It was a decision that would cost him his life. Having refused the offer of safe passage and exile from the country when the coup began, Allende shot himself rather than be taken alive.

In his farewell address, broadcast to the nation and the world over the radio with the sound of gunfire clearly discernible in the background, Allende said, “In this definitive moment, the last thing which I can say to you is that I hope you will learn this lesson: foreign capital, imperialism united with reaction, created the climate for the armed forces to break with their tradition… these are my last words. I am sure that my sacrifice will not be in vain; I am sure that it will at least be a moral lesson which will punish felony, cowardice and treason.”

Upon coming to power, General Pinochet unleashed a wave of terror and murder that none who witnessed it would ever forget. And yet right up the end of his life, Pinochet enjoyed the protection and support of the likes of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, darling of the right and like Pinochet a passionate champion of neoliberalism.

This article is dedicated to its countless victims.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik. 

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.

Neo-Confederates’ plan for unpermitted rally has Richmond police ‘preparing for the unknown’

https://www.rt.com/usa/402556-confederate-rally-richmond-ban/

Neo-Confederates’ plan for unpermitted rally has Richmond police ‘preparing for the unknown’
The Richmond Police Department is coping with “a lot of anxiety,” as a neo-Confederate group promises to rally at a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee, despite the governor issuing a ban on all demonstrations at the monument.

The New Confederate States of America (CSA II) announced that their rally planned for September 16 to ‘protect’ the General Robert E Lee monument in Virginia from being taken down, “will still be going on” despite the governor’s order.

On August 18, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) signed an executive order temporarily suspending the issuance of permits for protests and barring any demonstrations at the Lee monument.

The ban was ordered after an alt-right rally in Charlottesville turned deadly last month when a man drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, leaving 19 injured and one woman dead.

McAuliffe called the “Unite the Right” rally “an act of domestic terrorism,” adding that the ban was put in place to ensure “nothing like what occurred in Charlottesville happens again.”

“Let me be clear, this executive order has nothing to do with infringing upon first amendment rights,” the governor said. “This is a temporary suspension, issued with the singular purpose of creating failsafe regulations to preserve the health and well-being of our citizens.”

While other groups canceled their events after the ban was ordered, the CSA II issued an emphatic all-caps statement that said that the rally “WILL STILL BE GOING ON.”

“This event is not canceled,” the group’s organizers wrote. “We will be standing up to protect the General Robert E Lee monument from being taken down or destroyed.”

Richmond Councilman Michael Jones (9th District) is expected to introduce a resolution to remove certain monuments during the next meeting on September 11, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“I think the city of Richmond needs to lead on this,” Jones said. “You look at all these other localities that are making a moral stand and at some point in time, Richmond was going to have to weigh in on this.”

The Tennessee-based Confederate group, which scheduled their event five days after the rally in Charlottesville, emphasized their rally is about heritage, not hate, adding that “any Hate will NOT be stood for on our side whatsoever.”

“No Racist Groups Will Be Allowed In Our Rally Area!!!” the group’s organizers stated.

A counter-protest has been scheduled by the Community of Richmond Virginia (CORVA), a non-profit organization that claims they are protecting their city from the “the same violent extremists that were at Charlottesville.”

CSA II has asked participants to meet at a separate location before the rally to go over the rules that will be put in place by the Richmond Police Department. They claim the police are aware of the rally and are “working on providing security for this event.”

Thomas Crompton, the group’s leader, responded to a Facebook user asking if the event was canceled, saying that he has talked with the Richmond PD “in length” and, together, they are working to ensure the rally is not a repeat of what happened in Charlottesville.

“Our hearts were heavy that that had happened and we will not have a repeat episode of it whatsoever,” Crompton wrote on Facebook.

On Friday, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham told WWBT they are preparing for the event, but said there is “a lot of anxiety because of the fear of the unknown.”

“We have not received any permits so we really don’t know who’s coming. So that’s what we’re preparing for the unknown,” Durham.said.

Richmond police are also investigating vandalism at the Slavery Reconciliation Statue, one of three identical statues in cities that were prominent in the slave trade. The statues “symbolize a commitment to new relationships based on honesty and forgiveness,” according to Richmond’s tourism website.

The statue was found with graffiti on the base and a sticker that said: “Confederate States Forever,” according to State Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond)

“It’s so unfortunate because this statue (is) symbolic of where we need to be moving as a country, and that’s reconciling our differences,” McQuinn told WWBT.

Police are also investigating an incident on Thursday after an artist group known as Indecline hung eight effigies of clowns dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes from a tree.

The group said they installed the installation, dubbed “Ku Klux Klowns,” as a “protest of the White Nationalist uprising in the United States,” according to a press release obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.One of the clowns had a sign hung around its neck that read: “If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler — INDECLINE.”

The group also posted a video showing four masked men dressed in black clothing hanging the clowns from nooses in Bryan Park. Police closed the park for several hours Thursday morning.

Ukraine’s Continuing Descent Into a Swamp of Fascism and Ultra-Nationalism
| September 5, 2017 | 12:24 pm | Fascist terrorism, political struggle, Russia, Ukraine | No comments
Открытие  памятника С. Бандере во Львове

Ukraine’s Continuing Descent Into a Swamp of Fascism and Ultra-Nationalism

© Sputnik/ Miroslav Luzhetskiy
Opinion

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The recent abduction of Russian journalist Anna Kurbatova in Kiev and her subsequent deportation by the country’s state security service (SBU), on allegations of “smearing” Ukraine, is yet more evidence of the turmoil that has engulfed the country in the wake of the coup which toppled its last legitimately democratically-elected government in 2014.

According to a 2016 report compiled by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young, Ukraine tops the European corruption league, and is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, based on the perception of its citizens in a wide-ranging poll. It is an onerous title the country has held each year since the so-called Euromaidan movement toppled the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych with the active support of Washington and its European allies.

People will recall that one of the main justifications for forcing the Ukrainian president from office back in 2014 was his alleged corruption, with claims that he’d been engaged in the widespread mismanagement of government funds and the disbursement of bribes. Yet corruption at the highest levels of power in Ukraine was endemic prior to Yanukovych’s election to the presidency in 2010, while remaining endemic since his forced departure.

A conflict that has slipped off the radar of the mainstream media continues in eastern Ukraine at significant human and humanitarian cost. In April 2017 the European Commission revealed the extent of the cost paid by those Ukrainians in the eastern part of the country, who have steadfastly refused to recognize the writ of a government that came to power with the active and violent support of avowed neo-Nazis and fascists.

In a conflict in which 9,900 people have been killed and 23,246 injured, the EU Commission report reveals that an estimated 3.8 million people in eastern Ukraine are in need of humanitarian aid. We’ve learned that “damage to housing and critical civilian infrastructures, particularly water supply and electricity systems is increasing. Conflict affected resident population and internally displaced persons (IDPs) face difficult access to health care and other essential services, socio-economic exclusion, loss of income and livelihood and suffer from psychological distress.”

These are the bitter fruits of a conflict that the West helped to bring about with the opportunistic and reckless support for violent demonstrators, many of them neo-Nazis, in a part of the world where the scars of the Second World War remain deep and raw over 70 years on.

Indeed, today, more than anywhere in Europe, including Germany, the past and the present have merged to produce not so much historical amnesia but an outbreak of historical revisionism when it comes to the Nazi invasion and occupation of Ukraine (when it was part of the Soviet Union), and the ensuing atrocities and orgy of murder unleashed by the SS with the participation of Ukrainian auxiliaries.

In an wide-ranging interview with the UK Morning Star newspaper, Petro Symonenko, leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine, points out that “right across Ukraine there is…a war between the ideologists of Hitler and the Nazi collaborators of the OUN, and the anti-fascists, whose leaders have always been Communists.” Moreover Symonenko identifies the role of the coup government’s Institute of National Memory in ‘falsifying history and promoting neonazism (sic) as state ideology.”

What he is referring to with regard to the Kiev’s Institute of National Memory is a campaign it is engaged in to rewrite the history of the Second World War, while sanctioning the eradication of monuments and statues commemorating the role of the Red Army in liberating Ukraine from the scourge of fascism at enormous human cost. It comes as part of a narrative in which all things Russian are deemed abhorrent and evil, an “eternal enemy and aggressor”, regardless of the indisputable ethnic and cultural bonds both countries share, stretching all the way back to the 9th century and the Kievan Rus Federation out of which both Russia and Ukraine emerged.

The idea that a historical figure such as Stepan Bandera, the famed (infamous) Ukrainian nationalist who actively colluded and collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation of Ukraine, is now venerated and lauded as a patriot in anti-Russian parts of the country is surely offensive, when considering the indisputable barbarity that was visited on countless millions throughout the Soviet Union and elsewhere in service to their monstrous creed and ideology.

Yet this is western Ukraine today, a repository of ultra nationalism and fascism, driven by an irrational desire to destroy and substitute an alternative history for actual history.

In supporting the 2014 coup in western Ukraine, and thereby precipitating a civil war, the West created a monster. For not only has the result been civil war, it has plunged relations between Russia and Washington to the lowest point since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when the world came the closest it ever has to nuclear Armageddon.

Today, three years after the coup in Kiev, there are thousands of NATO troops on Russia’s border, along with aircraft and a missile defense shield in Romania. Cynics among us may be tempted to speculate that this was part of the script all along, given Russia’s recovery and emergence as a strategic counterweight to Western hegemony in recent years. But whatever the motives the catastrophic outcome cannot be denied.

It is something to ponder that whereas during the Second World War Russia and the West were united in a common struggle to defeat fascism, in the second decade of the 21st century the West is supporting a country that, though not governed by fascists, is undeniably infested by a recrudescence of fascism.

“As crimes pile up,” Brecht reminds us, “they become invisible.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik. 

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.

How the ILWU Stopped Fascists
| September 4, 2017 | 8:19 pm | Fascist terrorism, Labor | No comments

How the ILWU Stopped Fascists

ILWU.jpg

What role should the labor movement play in beating back the resurgence of fascism? Resistance, while a powerful concept, is far too vague. Local 10, the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)—and perhaps the most radical union in the United States—demonstrates what can be done.

This past week, the San Francisco Bay Area—long a center of unionism, social justice movements and radicalism—took center stage. Patriot Prayer is a right-wing organization with a demonstrated history of inciting racist violence, most obviously in Portland, Ore., while ironically asserting peaceful intentions. The far-right group declared it would rally in San Francisco on Saturday.

Local 10 took a lead role in organizing counter-protests that contributed to the San Francisco event being canceled the day ahead of its scheduled event. The union’s role in this wave of popular mobilizations demands consideration.

At its August 17 meeting, Local 10 passed a “Motion to Stop the Fascists in San Francisco,” which laid out members’ opposition to the rally and intention to organize. This resolution enumerated the union’s justifications, starting with Donald Trump’s “whitewashing this violent, deadly fascist and racist attack [in Charlottesville] saying ‘both sides are to blame,’ and his attacking anti-racists for opposing Confederate statues that honor slavery adds fuel to the fire of racist violence.”

The dockworkers called out Patriot Prayer for inciting violence. “[F]ar from a matter of ‘free speech,’ the racist and fascist provocations are a deadly menace, as shown in Portland on May 26 when a Nazi murdered two men and almost killed a third for defending two young African-American women he was menacing,” they declared. The union called for a protest against Patriot Prayer’s scheduled rally in San Francisco.

The motion ended with an invitation to “all unions and anti-racist and anti-fascist organizations to join us defending unions, racial minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ people, women and all the oppressed.”

As Ed Ferris, Local 10 president and one of the lead organizers succinctly declared in a recent interview with Dr. Suzi Weissman on KPFK, “A woman [Heather Heyer] was killed by Nazis on American soil and that’s absolutely unacceptable.”

Local 10’s planned counter-march received wide publicity in the Bay Area and across California via the internet, mass media and social media. Thousands would likely have joined the anti-fascist demonstration, were it not for the rally’s cancellation. While Local 10 was hardly the only Bay Area group to mobilize, they played a role in inspiring others to take action. As San Francisco Against Hate noted on Facebook, ILWU Local 10 “has a long history of fighting against racism” so “many other SF community groups and individuals who stand against white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia, will be marching from Longshoreman’s Hall to Crissy Field to protest.”

After its first rally was foiled, Patriot Prayer attempted a second at the city’s famed Alamo Park. However, thousands of counter-protesters—including ILWU members and union electricians and teachers—got to Alamo Park first and occupied it, overwhelming what few fascists and white supremacists appeared. These protesters joined another large contingent in the city’s Mission district, long a working-class neighborhood now suffering from rapid gentrification.

On Sunday, the focus shifted to the East Bay city of Berkeley where far-right forces planned to gather. Yet, once again, anti-fascists out-organized the right. Upwards of 5,000 people appeared, including—once more—Bay Area dockworkers and union teachers. Among ILWU members present was Howard Keylor, a 90-year-old who led the anti-apartheid boycott that Local 10 conducted in 1984 in solidarity with South Africans.

Yet, dockworkers have not been immune to the rising tide of hate. Earlier this year, multiple nooses were found on the Oakland waterfront, which followed the discovery of racist slurs spray painted on port equipment. The African-American Longshore Coalition, a caucus of black longshore workers within the ILWU, has led the efforts to combat such racism. In late May, about one hundred workers stopped work to protest these racist provocations. Derrick Muhammad, Local 10’s Secretary Treasurer, commented in late May: “We believe it’s a bonafide health and safety issue because of the history behind the noose and what it means for black people in America.”

Instead of protecting their workers, SSA Marine, the employer, responded by filing a complaint with the port arbitrator who ruled this stoppage illegal. The port’s communications director declared, “The Port of Oakland does not tolerate bigotry or discrimination of any kind,” but offered no specific comment on the nooses or the work stoppage. The Pacific Maritime Association, to which SSA belongs and which represents West Coast shipping corporations in dealings with the ILWU, declined to comment for this story.

The ILWU offers an example of a labor union being widely and deeply involved in social justice beyond its own workplaces. It boycotted ships loading material for fascist and racist regimes in Japan in the 1930s, Chile in the 1970s, and South Africa in the 1980s. It stood as one of the few organizations to condemn the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. It actively fought racism in its own workplaces, cities and nation. The ILWU shut down all West Coast ports, on May Day of 2008 to protest the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On Trump’s inauguration day, 90 percent of rank-and-file members in Local 10 refused to report for work.

In its anti-fascist statement, the ILWU cited its own “proud history of standing up against racism, fascism and bigotry and using our union power to do so; on May Day 2015 we shut down Bay Area ports and marched followed by thousands to Oscar Grant Plaza demanding an end to police terror against African Americans and others.”

The labor movement has been greatly weakened by decades of anti-unionism, but the ILWU and Local 10 remain unbowed. Other unions should follow their lead. And, for the 89 percent of American workers not in unions, they must be reminded that individual acts of resistance—while noble—are nowhere as effective as collective action. Sadly, there will be many more opportunities to act.

Reposted from Working In These Times

PETER COLE

Peter Cole is a Professor of History at Western Illinois University. He is the author of Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive Era Philadelphia and is currently at work on a book entitled Dockworker Power: Race, Technology & Unions in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a Research Associate in the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has published extensively on labor history and politics. He tweets from @ProfPeterCole.

Kostas Papadakis – The equation of Communism with Nazism is unacceptable and provocative

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kostas Papadakis – The equation of Communism with Nazism is unacceptable and provocative

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/kostas-papadakis-equation-of-communism.html
By Kostas Papadakis*.
 
Article first published in the “Efimerida ton Syntakton” newspaper, 22/08/2017, reproduced from inter.kke.gr.
 
The anticommunist conference-provocation of the Estonian Presidency of the EU is no bolt from the blue. Similar anti-communist events being organized in the framework of the so-called “European day of remembrance for the victims of totalitarian regimes”, as the EU with enormous budgets is trying to establish the 23rd of August. This is an orchestrated campaign that aims to slander socialism, rewrite history, and to unacceptably and provocatively equate communism with the monster of fascism. I.e. equating Nazism with the forces that in historical terms smashed it.
 
A basic goal is to conceal the fact that fascism is a form of capital’s power in specific conditions. In Germany, Nazism constituted the ideal form to support capital in the conditions of the military preparations for the conquest of new markets, in the conditions of a very deep capitalist crisis, of the rise of revolutionary ideas, of the increase of the prestige of the KPD and the USSR. It was supported politically and financially by sections of German capital, it identified with monopolies (Krupp, I.G.Farben, Siemens etc.), it collaborated with the colossi of the “democratic” capitalist states (General Motors, General Electric, ITT, Ford, IBM).
Nazism-fascism met its deadliest and most determined opponent in the socialist society of the USSR, which was established by the October Revolution 100 years ago. The 20 million dead soviets was the bloody proof of this deadly confrontation between socialism and Nazism. The communists in every country were the most determined and combative anti-fascist force, with the role of the KKE and EAM in our country being a characteristic example of this.
The  anti-communist campaign of the EU, of this capitalist union, goes hand in hand with the offensive against the workers’-people’s rights and has been going on for many years.
 
The wretched anti-communist memorandum of the Council of Europe in 2005 lent impetus to these anti-historical efforts. However it did not gain the necessary majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that would have made the measures that accompanied it compulsory for the member-states.
Through the decisive contribution and mobilization of the KKE, it met with the broad and mass condemnation of the Greek people and other peoples of Europe, of trade unions and other mass organizations, of public figures. The then governments of Greece, Portugal and Cyprus expressed their intention not to support it. The majority of MPs, MEPs  of the Greek bourgeois parties stated their opposition.
 
There followed the anti-communist resolutions in the European Parliament in 2006 and particularly the resolution of April 2009 entitle “European consciousness and totalitarianism”, it should be noted that no Greek MEP voted in favour of it.  There then followed other anti-communist proclamations and decisions of the EU.
Beyond the declarations and resolutions, practical anti-communist measures are being pushed forwards in a number of EU member-states (e.g. Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) as well as in countries connected to it (e.g. Ukraine). We are referring specifically to the persecution, prosecution, and condemnation of communists, bans on the activities of the CPs, bans on communist symbols etc.
 
A self-evident consequence of the anti-communist campaign is the justification, prettification and exoneration of Nazism-fascism and its atrocities. In these countries, honours are bestowed on, pensions and privileges granted to the Nazi collaborators and their political descendants are being promoted.
 
This year, the EU generously financed the “House of European History” in order to promote its anti-historical anti-communist proselytizing while for years it has been organizing the anti-communist programme “Europe for citizens” in order to slander socialism, with the involvement of local municipalities, NGOs etc.
 
Several forces utilized the opportunity provided by the anti-communist fiesta in Estonia to rear their heads. Primitive and crude anti-communism, in which ND plays the leading role, followed by PASOK and POTAMI, together with of course Nazi Golden Dawn, copies all the propaganda with aim of slandering socialism, the USSR, with the aim of falsifying the history of the peoples.
 
The absence of the government from this year’s anti-historical anti-communist fiestas in Estonia cannot conceal the fact that the forces of SYRIZA in the movement are propagandizing-overtly or covertly-the equation of Stalin with Hitler, are playing a leading role in anti-soviet and anti-communist propaganda, while they hide or distort the relationship between capitalism and fascism.
 
A characteristic example of the government’s hypocrisy is that fact that a representative of the government has attended similar anti-communist events last year in Bratislava, something the KKE had denounced, while a few weeks ago, on July 15th, “Avgi” published a vulgar article propagandizing the equation between communism and fascism.
 
The people’s experience proves that escalation of anticommunism is a precursor for new anti-people measures and restrictions on people’s rights, a precursor for the launching of a new round of imperialist wars. The struggle for the abolition of the anti-communist persecution and bans, the struggle against anti-communism, for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people and their rights, is integrally linked to the struggle for workers’ power, for the working class and popular strata to be emancipated from the shackles of capitalist exploitation and the imperialist unions, for the peoples to become the owners of the wealth they produce.
 
Whatever they try to do, history is not going to be rewritten with blue, green or black letters. It has been written with the blood of the millions of militants and communists who fought Nazism-fascism. It is in the hands of the peoples today to join forces with the communists in order to consign capitalism, which creates poverty, wars, fascism-Nazism and its nostalgists,  to the dustbin of history.
 
* Member of the CC and MEP of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).