Planet Apartheid

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New Pamphlet: Environment and Revolution

Released by People’s War Press, Environment and Revolution, is a collection of articles by the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement and our allies at Monkey Smashes Heaven.

Click here for 8 page PDF

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Net-Exploitation by the Numbers (Hypothetically)

Net-Exploitation by the Numbers (Hypothetically)

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

RAIM often talks about Amerikan and First World workers as net-exploiters.

In order to discuss this further, we must first define exploitation. For our purposes, exploitation can be roughly defined as earning through work less than the full product of that work. For instance, a person might work for a day, make 10 widgets; yet only earn in wages enough to purchase six widgets. This would be exploitation.

The modern economy is arranged globally. A minority of First World countries exploit at gunpoint the Third World. Subsets of workers with vastly different functions, wage-levels and standards of living exist. Only in such a situation could a worker be a net-exploiter.

Hypothetically speaking, in today’s capitalist-imperialist economy, we might see a situation where two different workers each create 10 widgets, or 20 total. The first worker, from the First World, might earn enough wages to purchase 11 widgets whereas the latter worker, from the Third World, only one. Through the extreme exploitation of the Third World worker, the First World worker receives wages over and above what they actually created. In this situation, the First World worker gets a small ‘cut,’ the equivalent of one widget, from the 9 widgets produced by the Third World worker yet not included in the latter’s wages. In other words, the First World worker is a net-exploiter.

First World workers are net-exploiters: a class which through its relation to the capitalist-imperialist system lives in great part upon the exploitation of the Third World.

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Video: RAIM Confronting Tea Party Racists

On November 14 2009 there was a nationwide “Tea Party Against Amnesty”,  to spew hate against,  and promote violence against, non-white migrant workers. RAIM Denver went to confront these racists a few months back (see here). Someone sent a video from their side to us, here it is with some added comments.  RAIM pointed out that these crackers are on stolen land, that this is not only Mexican land but Cheyenne land and other indigenous lands.  We urged youth liberation by urging their youth to marry non-white people to piss off their parents.  Also, the tea-crackers claimed not to be racist; yet their racism comes out and is exposed, as they shout wetback, puta, and sneaks at us.  Crackerdom should be confronted whenever it pops up, and RAIM stands against settler Amerikkka.

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Fuck the Border/Support MNL Bumper Sticker

From our comrades at RAIM-Seattle:

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IDF Arrests Peaceful Resistance Organizers in West Bank

IDF Arrests Peaceful Resistance Organizers in West Bank

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

In a string of midnight raids, IDF forces have arrested several leaders of ‘civil society’ resistance in the West Bank. On December 9th in Nablus, Israeli forces snatched Wael Fahiq and Ziad Asalaos, both associated with secularism, non-violent community organizing and international outreach against Zionism.

Earlier in the year, Israel aided the Palestinian comprador party, Fatah, in wiping out Hamas and similar armed, Islamic resistance movements in the West Bank. This came after Hamas was elected as the majority party of the interim Palestinian government. Since 1947, the Israeli settler-state has seized most of the land and stripped Palestinians of basic civil rights. Today, Israel continues settlement on Palestinian land. Despite the odds against them, Palestinians still resist.

Revolutionaries support the struggles of Palestinians against imperialism and settler-occupation. This is not a liberal abstraction. Revolutionaries support those waging struggles and unity between various resisting forces. RAIM stands with Palestinians: we don’t see ourselves of having the luxury of a moral high ground. We support those on the ground, striking blows against the common enemy and building for greater resistance.

Israel, in its provocation and repression all Palestinian resistance, is creating a situation which will further unite Palestinians and hasten its own demise. RAIM and all those who support revolution must also work toward this end.

Source:

http://palsolidarity.org/2009/12/9628

Letter by ‘secular humanist’ group, Tanweer, from Nablus: http://www.tanwer.org

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Demonstration in Solidarity with Gaza

From the Colorado Palestinian Solidarity Campaign:

Demonstration and march in solidarity with Gaza and the Gaza Freedom March.

At 4:00 PM, we will march from the West steps of the
State Capitol (Colfax & Lincoln) down the 16th Street
Mall to Larimer and Blake Streets, back up the Mall, and
East on Colfax to the Unitarian Church at 1400 Lafayette.

At 6:00 PM, we will have a Vigil at the Unitarian Church,
where Gary Anderson and Abel Francisco will speak briefly.

At 7:00 PM we will march back out from the Church.

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A Merry, Revolutionary X-Mass

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In Indian, Forests Grow with Naxalite People’s War

In India, Forests Grow with Naxalite People’s War

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A new report has stunned and embarrassed imperialism and Indian compradors: forests are growing in tribal areas controlled by Naxalites, India’s Maoist-inspired revolutionaries. Some of the districts in which the Naxalites are based, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, have seen remarkable greening, leading to a marginal net gain of forests throughout India. Though it has received little media attention, the news came shortly before world leaders met in Copenhagen, purportedly to discuss curbing global climate change.

Naxalites claim they are fighting for the economic and social rights of India’s poorest. Their social base is the country’s peasants, forest-dwelling peoples and, to a lesser extend, the urban poor and sections of the intelligentsia. The Naxalite movement began as a peasant insurrection in 1967 against the ruling ‘Communist’ Party of India in West Bengal. It was led by leftist opposition within the Party, influenced by Maoism, then at its revolutionary height during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Today, Naxalites operate in over one-third of Indian and are organized into a number of groups. They claim to be carrying out a people’s war: leading guerrilla offensives against government forces, building independent bases of power and providing greatly-needed social reforms in areas under their control. Naxal base areas are said to be rich in iron, coal, bauxite, gold, uranium, magnesium and diamonds. Mining Companies are reluctant to enter these areas and it has been reported the investors have been scared away in areas where the Naxal presence has increased.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has called Naxalism the country’s greatest internal security threat. In September of 2009, the Indian state launched Operation Green Hunt, a two-year military offensive against the Naxalite movement involving over 100,000 troops. Since 2005, the Indian state has funded anti-Naxal militias. The Indian media has also launched a public relations offensive against the revolutionaries. The Naxals are often called criminals and murderers. Rather than fighting for social welfare, the Indian state claims the Naxals seek political power.

For their part, the Naxals openly state they desire political power, saying they cannot reasonably implement necessary social changes without it. They say they have been pushed to this position from decades of exploitation and state violence and claim their own violence is defensive, aimed at compradors, government forces and other enemies of the people. It is estimated that 42 percent of Indians currently live under the international poverty line of $1.25/day (PPP).

Imperialism has nothing to offer but its own wretched self-preservation. The comprador Indian state has been adamant. India’s poor will suffer deepened and widened exploitation, continued division and sale of communal lands, the building of more ‘Special Economic Zones’ and the militarism necessary to enforce these measures. At the same time, in Copenhagen, imperialists haggle over who’s going to profit from the devastating climate change they acknowledge they’re creating.

Imperialism breeds resistance. The Indian Naxalites are fighting for a system which operates around the needs of people, not capital accumulation. It should be of no surprise that areas under their influence have seen growth in forest coverings. Revolutionary struggle and social change, as the Naxalites are attempting carrying out in swaths of India, are the only real solutions to global climate change.

Sources:
http://indianvanguard.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/maoist-areas-see-green-cover-rise/01-12-2009-001-020/

Click to access KishenjiInterview-091113.pdf


http://india-forums.com/news/article.asp?id=214457
http://www.thehindu.com/2009/10/12/stories/2009101257690100.htm

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RAIM Global Digest Issue 1 Vol. 2

Contents:

RAIM Crashes Racist Tea Party

Blackwater Runs Hi-Tech Dirty War in Pakistan

Program of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement

RAIM-Seattle: Reportback from Anti-Olympics Organizing

25th Anniversary of Union Carbine Murders in Bhopal, India (MSH)

Water an Imperialism (MSH)

Black, Latinos, Other Oppressed Nations are Born Stupid, Say Imperialists (MSH)

Review: Arun Gupta asks, ‘What Anti-War Movement?’

RAIM, Others Wreck Zionist-Led War Mongering Against Iran

Full PDF Here

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Blackwater Runs Hi-Tech Dirty War in Pakistan

Blackwater runs hi-tech dirty war in Pakistan

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

A recent investigation has uncovered a convergence of drone attacks, assassinations, ‘snatch and grab’ operations and intelligence gathering, launched from inside Pakistan and coordinated in part by the two private companies, Xe Services and Total Intelligence Solutions, formerly associated with the private security contractor, Blackwater.

In a recent article for the Nation magazine, journalist Jeremy Scahill exposed a web of covert dirty-war tactics involving Blackwater, the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) and the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). According to multiple well-placed sources, the military contractor, Xe, as well as a spin-off company, Total Intelligence Solutions (TSI), are providing intelligence for, planning and even carrying out drone bombings, kidnappings and assassinations. “The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the US has not declared war,” Scahill says.

As Scahill’s investigation reveals, Blackwater secretly operates in Pakistan mainly through “rolling, no-bid contracts” with the JSOC. Unlike the CIA, which must gain congressional approval for covert operations, the JSOC, and hence Blackwater, does not. According to one of Scahill’s sources, the program through which Blackwater is involved is “so ‘compartmentalized’ that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.”

According to the unnamed sources, Blackwater’s existences runs parallel to and is given cover by a CIA operation in the country. According to the report, many of the recent drone attacks with high civilian death tolls, thought to be carried out by the CIA, were coordinated by Xe and TSI. Of the known drone attacks in Pakistan between January of 2006 and April of 2009, 687 civilians have been killed. More worrisome, the Blackwater outfit in Karachi is said to help plan JSOC covert operations in neighboring Uzbekistan.  Additionally, Blackwater is working for the Pakistani government on a subcontract basis, putting it “on the ground with Pakistani forces in counter-terrorism operations, including house raids and border interdictions.”

For months in Pakistan, rumors have swirled that Blackwater was carrying out operations in the country. Blackwater, Washington and the Pakistani state have all denied this is the case.

In 2001, the Pakistani military-state was an early supporter of Amerika’s crusade against ‘terrorism.’ This alienated the vast Pakistani masses, for whom radical Islam’s message of singling out the ‘Great Satan’ has since resonated. In 2006, a deal was struck between Washington and Islamabad which allowed the JSOC to operate in country under the conditions that if discovered the Pakistani state would deny giving permission and condemn the US for violating its sovereignty. The CIA and Blackwater is working behind-the-scenes to support the Pakistani state, which many analysts say could collapse, leaving a vast array of armaments, including nuclear weapons, into unknown hands.

The current government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari and traditionally-oppositional Pakistani People’s Party(PPP), came to power during the 2008 general elections. Unfortunately, the change of political actors has done little to alter the social conditions on the ground. Military supremacy in the country and US covert operations go on and the still-impoverished Pakistani masses rightly continue to view the state with great skepticism and disdain.  Though the current PPP-led, civilian government may not have knowledge of Blackwater’s involvement, it doesn’t matter. The PPP, Pakistan’s ruling ‘center-left’ party,  has become a foil for imperialism in the region while providing no social reforms, save neo-liberal ones, for the vast masses. Abandoning anti-imperialism and national salvation altogether, the secular ‘social democrats’ represented by the PPP are becoming understandably hated by the masses of Pakistan.

While Blackwater and the CIA are using Central Asia and elsewhere as their playground and the PPP and Western liberals offer cover to imperialism, the masses of the world are lining up against comprador regimes and the imperialist First World. Real revolutionaries are anti-imperialists. The struggle for a new world will not be carried through by becoming part of the system, as the effete PPP has proven, but by leading the movement against imperialism and its agents.

Sources:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091207/scahill
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/11/24/blackwaters_secret_war_in_pakistan_jeremy

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Program of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement

We want to smash this world and build a new one. Today, the median global income stands around $2.50 a day. Over 1 billion people face chronic hunger and a child dies every five seconds of starvation. This same situation is killing the planet at an unprecedented rate. Meanwhile, a global minority lives in comfort, unconcerned with their effect on the world. We aim to change this.

We understand that there is a causal relationship between wealth on one hand and poverty on the other. On a global level, the First World is rich because it exploits the impoverished majority, the Third World. This global divide, called imperialism, is the principal feature of the world today.

We side with the Third World masses and support their struggles for liberation. Exploiters are not going to hand over freedom to those they exploit. Only through struggle can the oppressed free themselves. We support the right of resistance- and revolution- for oppressed peoples against their oppressors. We support unity of the Third World masses against imperialism.

We reject First Worldism: politics which panders to or assumes that First Worlders are a social base for revolution. The “masses” of the First World are a global minority: a petty-exploiter class which regularly supports the imperialist system from which it benefits. Global revolution demands a just and egalitarian distribution of the world’s resources and wealth. Thus, over the course of global revolution, First Worlders will receive less, not more.

We are John Browns, staunch First World allies of the Third World. We are few and far between and behind enemy lines; there is little direct effect we can have. We consider our circumstances and focus on areas where we can effectively contribute to the revolutionary struggle.

We openly represent revolutionary anti-imperialism and work to build public opinion for Third World liberation struggles. We interject revolutionary, anti-imperialist politics into political arenas such as speaking events and protests; contribute to publishing and distributing revolutionary literature such as the RAIM Global Digest; and conduct group education through study collectives, practical tasks and informal discussion. We seek out and educate those who can be won over to consistent anti-imperialist politics.

We encourage direct participation and involvement, promote personal development and push people to become more valuable to the larger, global revolutionary movement. In part, RAIM is a ‘university of revolution.’ Through direct involvement with RAIM, we encourage people to become more proficient both politically and technically. A large part of RAIM’s purpose is to make individuals more of an asset to the Third World majority.

We encourage Third World-oriented, revolutionary political work. Though RAIM fills a roll by providing a public presence for and entry-level work into revolutionary politics, it is not the end-all-be-all of revolutionary political work. We encourage and support revolutionary, Third World-oriented politics being applied as part of different types of projects and efforts.

-Adopted by RAIM-Denver and RAIM-Seattle, November 23rd, 2009

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RAIM-Seattle: Thankkksgiving reportback on Olympic resistance organizing

(http://raims.wordpress.com)

In the name of troublemaking on the settlers’ gorge-fest known as Thankkksgiving, RAIM-S now gives a reportback on a recent presentation by representatives of No2010.com and the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) in downtown Seattle*. The presentation was promoting the Anti-Olympic Convergence in Vancouver in February, 2010. The speakers from the ORN and No2010.com filled the room with inspiration as the crimes of past and continued Kanadian settlerism against the First Nations** of so-called “British Columbia” were thoroughly exposed:

(Image courtesy of No2010.com)

A Hi$tory of British KKKolumbia and KKKlanada: False Entities Legally, Real Oppressor-Nations Materially

The underlying historical theme of the speakers goes beyond the parameters of the slogan, “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land”. In fact, as one of the speakers pointed out, the First Nations covering most of the territory within the legally fake borders so-called “B.C.” never surrendered their land and never signed treaties in the first place! All of the so-called “Land/Indian Acts” of the late 1800’s/early 1900’s were duly never recognized. The resulting land grabs, dislocations, the resource stealing, the massive Indigenous child abuse, the poisoning of the Earth, the sexual assault and murder of Indigenous women, and the outright genocide of the First Nations were righteously resisted by the Indigenous Peoples’ Warriors, as they do to this day. As far as the history of white settler nations go, there doesn’t seem to be a treaty they sign with First Nations that they don’t break. If there’s no treaty for Crackers to break to begin with, them RAIM-S sees this contemporary position as bringing a radical, “no compromise” progressive nationalist spirit to the Indigenous Peoples. This revolutionary spirit gives strength to their righteous struggle against these imperialist settler states, and in particular, the upcoming genocidal First Worldist “Five-Ring Circus” known as the Olympics.

The 2010 Olympic Game$ as a concentrated imperialist campaign of land stealing and genocide against the First Nations

The speakers laid out for the audience the ongoing conquest of Native land by the capitalist-imperialists backing the 2010 Olympics. One of these latest settler assaults on the First Nations is the ravaging of Eagleridge Bluffs by contractors for the expansion of the Route 99 “Sea-to-Sky” highway leading to Whistler ski resort. In 2006, about two dozen protesters were arrested blocking the highway expansion, including Native elder Harriet Nahanee. B.C. Supreme Court pig “Justice” Brenda Brown gave Harriet Nahanee an effective death sentence for contempt of “court” for her righteous defense of Native land, and was subsequently martyred on February 24, 2007.

Harriet Nahanee died fighting the devastation to the Earth wrought to Eagleridge Bluffs and the surrounding area, and in the interest of preserving the land and traditional Native culture for these and coming generations of First Nation youth. The resulting deforestation from the continued cracker Olympic onslaught led to an alarming increase in the deaths of black bears and other land mammals, as well as disrupted bird habitats. Concurrently, the gravel and sand mining to supply some of the materials for the highway expansion and other Olympic kkkonstruction projects has resulted in the deaths of 2 million salmon in 2006.

The toll of the Olympic fiasco on women that happen to be involved with the sex trade will also be magnified. Male tourists from the First World flip their polite “p.c.” patriarchal inhibitions with privileged white females into crude patriarchal privilege of sex slavery, rape, and murder upon many Native women in the B.C. area. National oppression seems to connect itself to gender oppression here in such a way as to show where the priorities of real feminists should be; fighting imperialism. The speakers touched on the horrific numbers of Native women gone missing, not all of whom were even involved in the sex trade per se, but were nevertheless kidnapped, tortured, raped, and murdered. Some of these women heroically escaped or survived their ordeal to tell their horrific accounts of the ways these vicious, male Cracker Klanadians and Amerikkkans perpetrated their sexual assaults on Native women. The following from “Why We Resist” on No2010.com explains the current situation and its prospects best:

Events such as the Olympics draw hundreds of thousands of spectators and cause large increases in prostitution and trafficking of women. In Vancouver, over 68 women are missing and/or murdered. Many were Native, and many were reportedly involved in the sex trade. In 2007, the trial of William Pickton occurred for six of these murders, and he is to be tried for an additional 20 more. In northern B.C., over 30 young women, mostly Native, are missing and/or murdered along Highway 16. The 2010 Olympics and its invasion of tourists and corporations will only increase this violence against women.

What’s different about RAIM from other groups is that we recognize that, like what is stated above, its not just the corporations but the tourist “mASSes” that will contribute to this patriarchal assault on Native women. By attacking this aspect of gender oppression at the node, RAIM-S believes that national oppression can be attacked at the same time! The all-round global approach utilized by RAIM makes tackling the main enemy, imperialism, as principal. By smashing imperialism, the “node” at which gender and national oppression seem to meet, there’s no telling how far humanity can go in saving the Earth and eliminating ALL exploitation and oppression.

Fascist KKKrap a hallmark of Olympic Game$’ past

The two following excerpts from No2010.com exposes the history of these Olympics as being consistent with the current atrocities being committed today:

1. Massacres and Concentration Camps: The Bloody History of the Games

The modern Olympics have walked hand-in-hand with political repression and violence. The 1936 Olympics in Berlin (held despite a call from the Jewish community to boycott the games) actively promoted the Nazi regime. IOC members who opposed holding the Games in Berlin were dropped from the organization. Witnesses reported that there were more swastikas on stage at
the opening ceremony than Olympic flags. By the time the Games opened, a concentration camp was operating just half an hour’s journey from the Olympic site. As well, the Nazi regime initiated the modern Olympic torch relay as a way of promoting fascism throughout Europe.
Hundreds of people (mostly students) were massacred by a special forces unit called the Olympia Brigade in the Tlateloco Plaza in Mexico City ten days before the Olympics began in August 1968. A recently declassified document written to President Lyndon Johnson reported that “… the current tensions in Mexico City point toward the possibility that the Olympic games will be used as a focal point for demonstrations and actively favoring leftist, subversive, and militant radical elements.” Other documents show how the US Government directed the FBI to actively investigate any Americans planning to go to Mexico to protest the Olympics. These documents show that there was active pressure on Mexican President Diaz Ordaz to quell any student rebellion before the start of the Games.

Repressive laws and security build-ups are hallmarks of recent Olympic Games. The Games have been used as a convenient cover for permanent repressive laws and to create new police and military units. In Sydney there were four cops for each athlete at the Games for a total of 35,000 police and security guards, 4000 troops and elite commando units, and Black Hawk helicopters.

The Sydney Olympics were also used as a pretext to allow the Australian government to introduce permanent legislation that allows the military to be called out to quell domestic unrest. Steve Martin, the Labour Party’s Defense Critic, called the Olympics the “catalyst” for the bill. The Olympics Arrangements Act was passed giving the police the unfettered use of cameras and recording devices, and the powers to prevent the distribution of materials, and the powers to search and detain people in both Olympic and public spaces…

2. Racism and Racial Profiling

Increased Olympic security has also led to the increased racial profiling of immigrants and people of colour by both police and immigration authorities.
During the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, police cordoned off the mostly black neighborhood surrounding the Olympic Village and required identification from everyone entering or leaving the area. There was a similar lock-down of the Black community in Atlanta during the 1996 games.

During the 2004 Athens Olympics, Islamic communities in Greece were subjected to state surveillance of places of worship, and mass document-checks and inspections. A spokesman for the Greek branch of Amnesty International warned that “security for the 2004 Olympics is used in Greece as a pretext to systematically break international treaties on the right to refugees.”

This from the No2010.com FAQ:

FAQ: Why don’t they just leave the Olympics in Greece, where they started?

Good question… Although that would be unfair to the people of Greece. It is interesting to note that the Olympics are an archaic European tradition that have only become a global phenomenon due to the expansion of Western Civilization through colonialism and imperialism. Maybe the Olympics should just be abolished!

RAIM-S would add to that: “…and abolish KKKlanada and AmeriKKKa while we’re at it!”

Good News For First Nations

The speakers brought up a couple great points about the prospects of First Nations resistance:

1. The Native Youth Movement (NYM) is spreading among Indigenous Peoples worldwide, including solidarity with the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. Recent actions by NYM supporters include interrupting Olympic schmooze-fests with “native” sellouts like AFN Grand Chief Phil Fontaine, protesting the 2010 Cracker invasion and in honor of elder Harriet Nahanee. Other heroic acts by NYM supporters of the Native Warrior Society include the taking of the Olympic flag from its flagpole at Vancouver City Hall, and releasing a statement honoring Harriet Nahanee and in defense of the Native land and Mother Earth.

2. The other good news for the First Nations 2010 Olympic Resistance is that, today, most Natives are under the age of 25! Let the IOC and the First World tremble…

The RAIM (Seattle) Conclusion – Resist the Five-Ring Circus!

A recent report from the Vancouver Sun reprinted on No2010.com says the following:

VANCOUVER — B.C. residents are more skeptical than average Canadians about the potential benefits of the 2010 Olympics, but a majority still believe the Games will have a positive impact on the province, according to an Angus Reid survey.

The online poll found that 57 per cent of British Columbians expect the Olympics will benefit B.C., compared with 76 per cent of all Canadians who feel the province will gain from hosting the Games.

Twenty-eight per cent of B.C. residents feel the Olympics will have a negative impact on B.C., more than triple the nine per cent of Canadians who feel that way.

The heroism of NYM against the 2010 Olympics is obviously demoralizing the local B.C. Cracker population vis a vis the Klanadian population at large, but there are still a majority of those settler descendants who support the ongoing “Whiter Games” genocide against the First Nations. This polling information above confirms RAIM’s point about the overwhelming majority of Klanadians and Amerikans being the enemy of the world’s oppressed.

A RAIM-S comrade asked the speakers after the event what they believed would make these settlers realize the human cost of their consumerist circuses like the Olympics, and their continued privilege from stolen land and labor. The speaker’s response was absolutely righteous with regard to the RAIM view on First World settlerist privilege (here paraphrased): If the descendants of settlers could imagine a great tidal wave, earthquake, or some great force of nature wiping out all the privileges from stolen land they live on, perhaps then they would become conscious of how to live without exploiting humanity, other living things, and Earth itself.

RAIM also believes that justice for Indigenous Peoples ultimately relies upon the elimination of First World privilege. The resistance to imperialism worldwide is itself like a great tidal wave that sweeps across the globe. Ending the settler mythology around Thankkkstaking and the Olympic Game$ are two great starts to this global movement to eliminate the AmeriKKKan and KKKlanadian scourge from the Planet.

Join the convergence in Vancouver, Feb. 10-15, 2010!

* Kudos to Common Action and Democracy Insurgent for hosting this outstanding event!

** Terminology Clarification: First Nations = (Indigenous or Native Peoples/Oppressed Nations/Friends); First World = (White Settler Crackertopian Scum/Oppressor Nation/Enemies) Crackers are good with tomato ketchup on Thankkksgiving…

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Solidarity Event for Mutulu Shakur

On Saturday, November 28th, there will be a solidarity event for Mutulu Shakur. Shakur, a one time supporter of the Republic of New Afrika movement, was arrested in 1986 on charges of bank robbery and helping his sister, Assata Shakur, escape prison. Today, he sits in Amerikkka’s dungeons, awaiting an appeal scheduled for Nov. 30th.

The event will feature live music from Debajito and Ietif and a teach-in by Ward Churchill. RAIM will be there with the latest issue of the RAIM Global Digest, representing a revolutionary anti-imperialist perspective.

Here’s more details:

An Evening of Solidarity for Mutulu Shakur

Presented by Denver and Aurora CopWatch, Sisters of Color United for Education, and Denver ABC

[when] Saturday, November 28th: 7:30pm-12ish
[where]Sisters of Color 2895 8th Ave, Denver, CO (8th and federal across the street from the bus yard)

Sliding Scale 1-5$ (if you ain’t got it don’t let it stop you from coming)

Teach-in by Professor Ward Churchill

Live Music by:
Mike Wird
Ietef
Debajito (of Debajo Del Agua)

Hosted by Shareef Aleem

Please join us on Saturday, November 28th to stand in solidarity with Dr Mutulu Shakur before his appeals hearing on Monday, November 30th at the super-maximum Federal prison in Florence, CO…

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No thanks, AmeriKKKa

image courtesy of Shubel Morgan

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Review: Arun Gupta Asks, “What Anti-War Movement”

Review: Arun Gupta Asks, “What Anti-War Movement” (presented by Democracy Now!, September 24th, 2009)

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

A year after Barack Obama’s presidential election and with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan still raging (and spreading into Pakistan), many within anti-war circles are engaged in dialogue about which way the movement should go. A large part of the problem faced by anti-war activists is that their once relatively large movement is now far smaller and less vibrant. Much focus has been given as to why this is. Many of those still dedicated to the anti-war cause are now taking a critical look at the movement’s preceeding years, attempting to find lessons which can help them recover from a major slump in organizing and mass action.

One such activist is Arun Gupta, editor of the New York City ‘left’-oriented newspaper, the Indypendent. In a speech presented by Democracy Now!, another nominally left media outlet, Arun Gupta attempts to answer some of the hows and whys of the death of the anti-war movement and offers prescriptions for future organizing.

Talking about his background, Gupta says he cut his political teeth as part of solidarity activism for the South African anti-apartheid movement and Latin American struggles. In explaining thoughts at the time about wider radical organizing, Gupta states, “there’s always been this notion that the left would re-found itself into a mass base movement if we only had some sort of imperialist war that we could oppose, something on the scale of Vietnam; that this would radicalize the population enough and it would show the true face of imperialism.” Gupta begins by noting how this never came to fruition.

Gupta on the death of the Amerikan anti-war movement

In attempting to answer why a mass, radical anti-war movement never came into being, Gupta reflects on one of the main US anti-war organizations, United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ). Gupta rightly pegs UFPJ as a shill for the war-mongering Democratic Party, something most remaining Amerikan anti-war activists are aware of. Citing mostly anecdotes and quotes, Gupta describes UFPJ’s role inside the anti-war movement as one of shepherding activists towards the reformist morass of mainstream electoral politics.

After the Democratic Party gained a congressional majority in 2006, UFPJ supporters, including Gupta, were advocating a ‘power of the purse strategy,” urging Democrats to use their federal budgeting power to cut funding to the war. Gupta says the leader of UFPJ, Judith LeBlanc, characterized that strategy, reformist as is was, as being “on the outside shaking our fists,” and told supporters that the way forward was working within the Democratic Party. Gupta also notes how long-time ‘leftists’ such as Carl Davidson, who campaigned for Barack Obama, hailed his presidential victory as a milestone for “class struggle.” According to Gupta, UFPJ and leaders such as Carl Davidson are why the anti-war movement collapsed.

Gupta also says there was a failure on the part of the “great hope” that was the “direct action left,” “anti-globalization movement,” “anarchists,” “student-led groups” and “some of the parties” [most likely referring to the ‘Party for Socialism and Liberation’ and ‘Workers World Party’]. Though there was a lot of talk between these groups about reforming and refocusing on anti-war work, he states, “nothing has really come from it.” He dwells little on why this is and fails to examine the politics of any of these groups. Instead, he still thinks they could potentially come together to form a “new, radical, principled anti-war movement.” According to Gupta, because it isn’t happening, UFPJ still maintains power in the passive, anti-war movement which now supports Obama.

Where Gupta gets it wrong

While UFPJ and Carl Davidson helped lead the anti-war movement’s shift towards support for the Democratic Party, Gupta adds no analysis or understandings beyond this. His answer of why the anti-war movement never coalesced into a mass-radical movement is shallow, bordering on conspiratorial. Thus, Gupta misses the point entirely.

From the beginning, the anti-war movement was a largely anti-Bush movement, a domestic reaction to the brash, John Wayne-esque brand of imperialism. There was almost none, if any, focused internationalism coming from the largely pro-Amerika movement. Almost all internationalist actions and slogans were by accident, as parts of the anti-war movement took up anti-militarist causes: one memorable example being when Portland ‘anarchists’ burnt an effigy of a US troop while chanting “Bye bye G.I., in Iraq you’re gonna die.” It is important to note this example was a fringe rejected by the mainstream of Amerikan anti-war sentiment. Moreover, the ‘anarchists’ undertook the action based on liberal anti-militarism, never bridging over towards a long-term, principled stand with the world’s oppressed against imperialism.

One meme to come out of the anti-war movement was that Bush had turned world opinion against the US. Another was that “peace is patriotic.” Hardly internationalist or radical slogans, the anti-war movement peddled the mythology of historic Amerikan greatness and a false picture international fraternity. It actually saw itself as trying to improve Amerika’s image worldwide. More contrived was the anti-war movement’s talk about how the wars are supposedly against the interests of Amerikans. Moaning about ‘our’ wasted tax money was common throughout the anti-war movement. The obvious problem with this is that imperialism, which Amerikans do benefit from, requires imperialist wars. Amerika’s wealth is and always has been based on the oppression of other peoples. Amerikans intuitively understand this and most never joined the anti-war movement.

Into 2005, as the war dragged on, and with Bush’s incompetence and instability in Iraq dominating attention, more Amerikans began seeing the wars as becoming overly costly and offering less in the way of long term returns, even describing them as a burden to Amerika’s interests. However, this is not an anti-imperialist view. Afterall, even ardent imperialists, such as Obama, have described the Iraq war in this light.

In the end, UFPJ didn’t simply act as a pied piper, marching the anti-war movement to grave of the Democratic Party. UFPJ is simply on the same page with those nominally opposed to the war. While Gupta thinks there is mass, radical potential within First World, UFPJ has a better understanding of where most Amerikans stand on. Thus, groups like UFPJ are able to maintain leadership of the anti-war movement despite the appearance of a seemingly radical fringe. The anti-war movement’s shift towards Obama was a natural one, not principally engineered by UFPJ.

Gupta’s “anti-imperialism”

Gupta, under mistaken notions about Amerika and the anti-war movement, says that the way forward is building a mass “anti-imperialist” movement.

From the beginning, Gupta defines imperialism in a metaphysical, abstract way. According the Gupta, capitalist-imperialism is “the defining if not dominant inter-state relation and flows of power in the world today.” Gupta points to the Iraq war as an example of Western imperialism’s attempt to secure Mideast oil against gains by the lesser imperialist bloc of Russian and China. While this is true to an extent, Gupta misses the point.

Capitalist-imperialism, today’s “flow of power,” is the process of capital accumulation on a global scale: it is the exploitation of the global majority, the Third World masses, to the effect of benefitting and buying-off virtually all of the First World. A primary feature of the current capitalist-imperialist system is vast global inequality between the exploiter First World and the exploited Third World.

Gupta is also wrong to say that imperialism is the “defining inter-state relations.” In actuality, states are propped up over the course of class struggle to enforce class rule. With few exceptions, Third World states are extentions of imperialism, surrogates to the process of capital accumulation. Also, while divisions between the imperialists of different countries exist, they are rarely a principal feature. What is significant about the Iraq war is not possible ambitions to wedge out lesser imperialist forces, but rather a multi-national, U.S.-led force invaded and occupied to country to secure a greater stake in oil reserves against the interests of the Iraqi and Third World masses.

Throughout his speech, Gupta never does come to terms what imperialism really is. Rather than stating the obvious– First Worlders enjoy greater rates of consumption, more leisure time, little repression, are visibly better off than most of the world’s people and thus have little reason to radicalize or become anti-imperialists– Gupta uses a ridiculous abstraction, “consensual hegemony,” to explain why First Worlders support the imperialist system. Gupta simply refuses to approach reality: the First World masses support imperialism because it supports them.

Because of this, Gupta’s “anti-imperialism” remains hollow. Not based on serious analysis, Gupta posits an “anti-imperialism” which almost anyone can embrace. Gupta’s “anti-imperialism” changes nothing in terms of practical implications for those who do uphold it. In this case, “anti-imperialism” is an abstract tag-on phrase, a meaningless slogan, for ultimately First Worldist, movementarian politics. Gupta is not concerned with doing a serious study of imperialism, including coming to terms with its consequences. For Gupta, his goal has always been to organize Amerikans.

The magic key theory

According to Gupta, there is a magic key that can unlock a radical potential in Amerikans. First Gupta thought it would be an imperialist war. Then he decides that supporting UFPJ and doing ‘independent’ journalism would somehow radicalize Amerikan masses. Now Gupta calls for “principled anti-imperialism” as part of his latest attempt to inspire a radical idealism into Amerikans. Gupta’s calls for “anti-imperialism,” like his calls for other moralistic positions, will fall on deaf ears as long as he sees Amerikans and the First World as a social base for radical, progressive change.

Because Gupta is a proponent of the magic key theory, his critique of other groups are petty. He claims that the more radical sectors of the anti-war movement never really confronted the state. He says that the anti-war movement was really never able to break free from the limitations of the state, and thus was never able to expand as a radical movement. But what does this mean and is it true? Just in Denver, for example, anti-war graffiti popped up. Khristopher Kolumbus and other statues have been vandalized multiple times. During the DNC, a protest led by a black bloc took the streets and marched downtown. Denver has solidarity networks for prisoners and victims of police brutality and active chapters of Copwatch. Most recently, a nominal anarchist has been accused by the pigs of breaking windows at the Democratic Party Headquarters.

What does Gupta think was missing? “A golden opportunity was missed in the counter-recruitment movement,” he says. Surely, counter-recruitment was another one of Gupta’s magic keys: another one that didn’t work supposedly because the “left” wasn’t turning hard enough.

Like Gupta’s “anti-imperialism,” his prescribed necessity to confront state power is abstract. Besides his counter-recruitment spiel, Gupta never defines “confronting state power.” He doesn’t give other examples, historic or modern. “Confronting state power,” for Gupta, is another movementarian fantasy, speculatively postulated in a way that ignores the real social and material basis of mass apathy and reaction-ism in Amerika.

Gupta’s chauvinism

Gupta’s “anti-imperialism” is not anti-imperialism at all. Instead, Gupta’s politics is one of chauvinism wrapped in loosely-construed, “anti-imperialist” slogans.

As a matter of narrowness and “left” Amerikan exceptionalism, Gupta never once mentions resistance efforts on the part of oppressed peoples in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Third World. Gupta, now a self-described “anti-imperialist,” not once mentions those exploited by imperialism in the Third World! Instead he focuses solely on the “radical potential” of the largely defunct anti-war movement in the First World. We ask, how can this possibly be  anti-imperialism?

Gupta uses his privilege and broadcasts a phoney “anti-imperialism,” objectively to the disservice of real anti-imperialism. Those in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in the Third World, for whom anti-imperialist struggles are often ones of life and death, do not have the luxury to freely and openly broadcast their ideas and experiences on their common struggle against imperialism. Instead, this is a luxury for Gupta, who not only speaks the colonizer’s language but has the privilege of doing so without repression. Does he take this privilege seriously? No. For Gupta, “anti-imperialism” is another phrase, liberally thrown around to see if Amerikans bite. Without a second thought, he uses his membership of the world’s richest 15% to broadcast an effective lie, that Amerikans are friends of the Third World, calling it “anti-imperialism.” Again, we ask, what is Gupta doing besides objectively blunting real anti-imperialism worldwide?

Revolutionary anti-imperialism

The difference between Gupta and ourselves is obvious. Gupta conceives of unity between the Third and First World masses where none meaningfully exists; he insists that Amerikans are potentially revolutionary when they clearly are not. Thus, his politics will always be implicitly pro-Amerikan and not representative of the immediate interest of the world’s people.

Real anti-imperialism, the politics of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement, derives its strength from and seeks to inspire the global masses, the 80% of the people in the Third World for whom resistance is a way of life. Real anti-imperialists see Amerikans for what they are– class enemies of the Third World masses– and understand this: imperialism will only come crashing down through the advancements of the struggle by Third World peoples for liberation.

Our strategy

While Gupta is wasting time trying to radicalize Amerikans, the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement (RAIM) is engaged in real strategies for real revolutionary change. Whereas “anti-imperialism” is just a buzzword for Gupta and First Worldists, RAIM understands that imperialism is the crux of world dynamics and proceeds from there. A hallmark of RAIM’s strategy is accounting for limitations imposed on us by the fact that Amerikans support imperialism and using our privilege to develop real aid in the revolutionary struggle.

We don’t water down genuine anti-imperialist politics to pander to First Worlders. Above all, RAIM speaks the truth and says it loud and clear: First Worlders maintain their decadent lifestyles via imperialism; are class enemies of the real masses in the Third World; the complicit ‘Volk’ in a murderous global empire; and must be overthrown along with imperialism. We openly represents anti-imperialist politics and broadcast our analysis to a global audience, using our own privilege to do so, even if most Amerikans don’t like or ‘get’ it.

First World mass movements come and go, along with most of its participants. Rather than trying to build an “anti-imperialist” mass movement in the First World, RAIM is a politically sophisticated and technically versatile one, with the aim of best serving the Third World masses and their struggle.  We want dedicated, determined comrades who are all in for the long haul. RAIM broadcasts a consistent message of anti-imperialist solidarity globally and is a focal point of revolutionary agitation, education and political development within  the belly of the beast, Amerika. Through RAIM, we seek out and educate those few First Worlders who can be best won over the consistent anti-imperialist politics. Through RAIM, we develop both politically and technically, becoming more of an asset to the revolutionary struggle.

RAIM is important as a national network which openly represents anti-imperialist politics, but it should be seen for what it is: an appendage to the vast Third World struggle; our collective effort to contribute to this larger revolutionary movement. RAIM’s message is huge, too big for RAIM alone. We encourage constant political and technical development, specialization and the application of Third World-oriented, revolutionary politics to different types and forms of work. We support those who support the movement of the exploited Third World against the imperialist First.

The scorecard

Arun Gupta and RAIM represent two very different types of “anti-imperialism.” Gupta’s is one of magic keys and preeminent, potentially ‘radical’ First World ‘masses.’ He brings little new to the table. His explanations of everything from why the anti-war movement collapsed to what is imperialism seem shallow or abstract. His analysis is neither real anti-imperialism nor a strategy for revolutionary change.

Nearing the end of his speech, after talking for thirty minutes, in the typical manner of First Worldist intellectuals, asking how to build a genuine, radical mass movement, Gupta says it’s something he’s thought about a lot about, but doesn’t have any real answers for. Typical.

RAIM posits an anti-imperialism that is new, that explains things in a way Gupta can’t. Our anti-imperialism is groundbreaking and changes the focus and look revolutionary political work for those in the First World.

RAIM won’t lead a revolutionary mass movement, nor do we intend to. Nevertheless, we still have a positive role to play in the global revolutionary struggle. By working together, representing and broadcasting a consistent anti-imperialist message, operating as a school to our own and others’ political and technical development and promoting Third World-oriented, revolutionary unity, we can act as agents of global revolutionary change in a way that First Worldists such as Gupta can’t.

The difference is simple. Gupta is First Worlder who’s into nominally-‘leftist’ mass movements. RAIM? The name says it all.

[Video of Gupta’s speech can be found here: http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/9/24/arun_gupta_asks_where_is_the_anti_war_movement%5D

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Something to think about while hangin’ with the fams

Blast from the past:

More here: ‘Don’t Blame Me, I’m Amerikkkan’

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RAIM-Seattle

Watch out Cascadia!

The first West Coast RAIM chapter, RAIM-Seattle, has arrived. We are excited to make this announcement and look forward to working with RAIM-Seattle in a joint effort against imperialism and the First World.

So what the fuck are you waiting for? Check them out now.

Lyndon Johnson’s second Presidential term was both tumultuous and a defining period in Amerikan history. No where was this better evidenced than during his 1966 State of the Union address.

Occurring on January 12th, the difficulties faced by the US, those stressed in the speech, were the related problems of tackling domestic social and economic disparities through social democratic measures embodied in the Great Society programs and similar reforms; defining a reasonable, winnable strategy amidst escalation in Vietnam; and addressing through foreign policy and public rhetoric Amerika’s role in the world.

Reactions to the speech were largely supportive domestically and hostile from those Johnson singled out internationally. In retrospect, while Johnson’s themes and ideas may not have bore fruit immediately, all of the pressing issues of the day would eventually be resolved in a reasonable. yet not entirely permanent way.

Vietnam, the Great Society and Amerika’s Global Role

Of the issues touched upon during the 1966 State of the Union, the war in Vietnam took preeminence. Johnson, before mentioning anything else, references the conflict, calling it “brutal and bitter.” Together with the broader strokes of the US’s global policy, foreign concerns vastly overshadowed other topics and themes of the speech.

Johnson’s address occurred in the context of prepping public opinion for escalating US aggression in Vietnam. Already, there were 190,000 troops in Vietnam and the US was engaged in negotiations with its adversary in what was called a “peace offensive,” yet it was clear that the south Vietnamese government was teetering on collapse. Part of the problem faced by Johnson and his administration, was the inability to articulate a clear winnable strategy to stop Communist succession in a united Vietnam. Nevertheless, Johnson premised increased US involved on a historic legacy put forward by Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy, stating, “[the ] conflict is not an isolated incident, but another great event in the policy that we have followed with strong consistency since World Ward II.” Promising to “stay until [Communist] aggression is stopped,” eight days later, on January 20th, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced a US troop increase to over 450,000 troops.

Johnson, as the leader of the self-proclaimed free world, spoke appropriately and engaged in no small amount of narrative building. He described the Vietnam People’s Army and the National Liberation Front as attackers and conquerors. Beyond the rhetoric, Johnson was able to articulate the strategic importance of Vietnam, stating that yielding in Vietnam would set the wrong example and embolden Communist forces elsewhere, that if the U.S. did not remain in Vietnam it would mean “abandoning Asia to the domination of Communists.” Had the US not escalated then, he reasoned, Vietnam surely and quickly would be reunited under Communist rule.

During the State of the Union, Johnson also promoted a social democratic domestic policy. Embodied in the ‘Great Society’ programs and other proposed reforms, Johnson conjured up an image of a prosperous Amerika where everyone benefitted.

While there was certainly an amount of mythmaking involved, Johnson’s promotion of social democracy was intended to both showcase Amerika as a capitalist success story and stem an increasing radicalization domestically. Johnson highlighted recent progress already made including rises in wages, employment and corporate after-tax earnings. Additionally, Johnson promoted legislation regarding the “war on poverty,” civil rights, ‘urban renewal,’ the environment, government reform and extending welfare. Though he declared because of the war in Vietnam, “we may not be able to do all we should” and that “time may require further sacrifice,” he stated that Amerikans shouldn’t sacrifice the “hope and opportunities of their poor.” Johnson insisted that the Great Society programs should be carried through during the war, and made doing so a central theme in his speech.

The last theme of Johnson’s third State of the Union address was a familiar one: the Cold War and Amerika’s international role.

Johnson portrayed the US as eternal defenders of freedom and independence against “Communist aggression.” He outlines US foreign engagement as based on what he describes as five continuing lines of policy: military supremacy, maintaining the rhetoric of peace, strengthening ties with non-Soviet-aligned state actors, the selective use of food aid, and a controlled end of colonialism.

At times, Johnson co-opted leftist language to describe US foreign policy aims. He said the US is committed to “national independence” and described the Soviet Union as an eroding “Stalinist empire.” Johnson sought to cast the US as containing a open, fair social system and contrast it to the oppressive, closed, expansionary one embodied by the USSR in defining Amerika’s role in the world. Johnson described the the US in as playing a progressive role globally, fighting for the “self determination” and “freedom” in south Vietnam and elsewhere.
Johnson’s lofty language and the empahsis he place on Amerika’s progressive role seemed in almost direct correlation with the amount of violence, destruction and subjugation the US was dishing out. Whilst Johnson’s claimed he was fighting for independence, he made clear what places needed US-imposed “independence” the most: Berlin, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam. In reality, “independence” and “freedom” carried little weight and were applied selectively within US foreign policy. For example, the year prior, the US invaded the Dominican Republic in order the prevent the overthrow of the ruling, CIA-installed military junta by leftists; and in another event, allowed a military coup to overthrow the popular Indonesian Sukarno-led government while supplying a list of 5000 soon-to-be-executed Indonesian communists to the coup-mongers.

Regarding Vietnam, Johnson drew upon Cold War themes and engaged in a fair amount of narrative building surrounding the history of the conflict:

“Not too long ago Vietnam was a peaceful, if troubled, land. In the north, was an independent communist regime. In the south a people struggled to build a nation, with the friendly help of the United States.

“There were some in the south who wished to force Communism on there own people. But their progress was slight. Their hope was dim. Then, little more than six years ago, north Vietnam decided on conquest.”

Here Johnson omits that in 1955, the south Vietnamese government, led by Deim, canceled national elections and began the ‘Denounce the Communists” campaign in which Ho Chi Mihn’s supporters in the south were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and executed. The next year, Diem, who was receiving direct US aid to maintain power, instituted the death penalty for communists.

Through rhetoric, Johnson kept peace on the US’s side. Johnson claimed that the US was at the forefront of efforts to control, reduce and eliminate arms proliferation and the spread of nuclear weapons. This claims is made shortly after Johnson authorized Operation Rolling Thunder, a broad bombing campaign which dropped over 850,000 tons of bombs onto Vietnam between May of 1965 and December of 1967. Such is the ability of the US President to craft reality from rhetoric.

Johnson also focused on aid to the Third World, claiming that the US would “conduct a worldwide attack on the problem of hunger and disease and ignorance.” Johnson promoted the idea of earmarking 1 billion to this global cause, 4.8 billion short of what he was expecting to spend on Vietnam that year.

The idea that aid is in and of itself peaceful is not entirely true. Afterall, the same type of nominal aid delivered by the Soviets and Chinese would have been looked at skeptically and in conjuction with military support would be seen as evidence of Communism trying to extend its influence. This is no different in the US’s case.

Aid itself was seen by some in policy-making circles as economically beneficial to the US in that it provided an immediate market for US exports and helped  orient national economies along the lines most favorable to US Capital. . More importantly, Johnson hoped it would place the US in an altruistic light and saw foreign aid as part “peace offensive.” During the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon would be more frank, stating, “the main purpose of US aid is not to help other nations but to help ourselves.” The effects of US aid come into display in 1974, when Bangledesh, a country which had become dependent of Western grain shipments, suffered upwards of 100,000 deaths in a man-made famine, caused when the US intentionally delayed, then canceled, food aid in order to secured concessions over trade deals. Though Johnson highlighted food aid as part of a humanitarian commitment, the idea of gaining cooperation on the part of foreign governments was never far behind.

Reactions

Global reactions to Johnson’s 1966 address ranged from supportive to hostile and accusatory.

On the supportive side, the vast majority of US society rallied around the themes presented Johnson’s addressed. This included the media, Time Magazine for example, and Republican congressmen, who found little in the way of fundamental objections. On the accusatory side, the Peking Review, the Chinese state-ran national publication, acted as a global focal point of opposition to the United States and ran no less than two articles in response to the state of the Union address. Ho Chi Mihn too challenged Johnson’s narrative surrounding the Vietnam conflict in a letter years later.

Republicans in the United States congress registered no large complaints with the speech from the president, who Time Magazine described as “aloof from partisan politics.”

In a televised “little State of the Union,” the Senate Republican Leader, Everitt Dirksen, commented that the US “should continue to seek peace and wage war– intensified war if that is necessary– in Vietnam.” Dirksen largely parroted Johnson, stating the US would stay ” until aggression has stopped,” and characterized Amerika’s role in Vietnam as guaranteeing “freedom and independence for the Vietnamese.” Dirksen questioned the effectiveness of foreign aid and called for an auditing of such programs to see whether there would be “dividends in the form of good will and real devotion to peace and freedom.” Gerald Ford shared the camera, expressing his “loyal dissent” and more vigorously attacking Johnson on domestic issues. He challenged government waste and inefficiency, the size of the federal budget and the top-down approach of many of Johnson’s reforms. “We must liberate the war on poverty from waste, controversy and the bad odor of political bossism,” he was quoted as saying.

In its reporting, Time Magazine described the speech as somber and straightforward, one in which Johnson stated “his belief that the US has the strength to fight the war and simultaneously improved its society at home.” Yielding much of there own reporting to Johnson’s remarks on the escalating conflict on Southeast Asia, Time states, “He managed to discuss a white-hot situation without so much as a hint of belligerence. Yet there was an unmistakable undertone of strength and determination.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Peking Review, the weekly magazine published in the People’s Republic of China. Globally at the time, communist-led national liberation movements sought to overthrow colonial and neo-colonial rule, radical youth and civil rights movement disrupted the status quo within Western societies and the Soviet system came under criticism within the International Communist Movement. The Peking Review, though not fully representative of the diversity of each of these trends, did support them at one time or another, was the single most influential publication covering them and was the furthest removed from, or most hostile to, the themes of Johnson’s message. Whereas Johnson’s State of the Union role could be described as building public opinion in support of US interests, the Peking Review was one of the main institutions, at the time at least, propagating worldwide opposition to US imperialism and war.

The Peking Review ran two notable articles in response to Johnson’s speech. The first, entitled ‘Johnson’s Challenge, Comments on US President’s State of the Union,’ and another a week later, ‘Johnson Administration’s Self Exposure.’

The first article, a commentary, summarized Johnson’s message as two-fold: ” for expanding the aggressive war in Vietnam [and] intensifying the attacks on the Amerikan people.”

The Peking Review described the US war in Vietnam as one of “military adventure” for control of Asia. “The United States wanted to ‘stay’ in Vietnam because it would not abandon Asia,” it noted. “From the State of the Union message,” the Peking Review stated, “one can only draw the conclusion that Johnson is determined to switch the US war machine into high gear and speed it along the road of a wider war of aggression.” The article remarked of Johnson’s “peace offensive,” stating “‘peace’ tactics are always used to cover up and help war tactics.”

The Peking Review described the Amerikan people as under attack and burdened by the war. Despite steady rises medium income since the ’50’s and a reduction of poverty which lasted decades, Chinese commentators described Johnson’s message as one of pulling the wool over the Amerikan public’s eyes in preparation for more “fascist” measures.

‘Johnson’s Challenge’ also noted Johnson’s message of expanding trade with Eastern Europe’s Soviet-bloc countries, and used it is as evidence of political “revisionism” and a conciliatory attitude towards the US on the part Khruschev.

Peking Review’s second article,  ‘Johnson Administration’s Self-Exposure,’ written after the announcement that US troop build-up would increase to 480,000, made the claim that Johnson is pursuing and aggressive war. It stated, “facts have again irrefutably proved that the louder the U.S. aggressors sing the tune of “peace,” the more feverish are their efforts to fan the flames of their aggressive war in Vietnam.” Commenting the the Johnson’s ‘peace offensive,  the article said that as”‘peace’ tricks failed,” the US would redouble its military focus in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Mihn, the leader of the Vietnamese Communists, also responded to parts of Johnson’s speech, particularly Johnson’s narrative of the coflict, though a year later and in a letter to the US president. “Vietnam is thousands of miles away from the United States. The Vietnamese people have never done any harm to the United States. But contrary to pledges made by its representative at the 1954 Geneva conference, the US has ceaselessly intervened in Vietnam, it has unleased and intesified and war of aggression in North Vietnam with a view to prolonging the partition of Vietnam and turning south Vietnam into a neocolony and a military base of the Unites States. For over two years now, the US government has, with its air and naval forces, carried war to the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam, an independent sovereign country.” Ho described the destruction caused by the war and noted the bombings of towns, villages, factories and schools and said the vietnamese people had united for the just cause of “genuine independence, freedom and true peace.”

Concluding remarks

Though many contemporary critics were soon to find fault with Johnson and rally against him, his presidency was hardly be said to be a failure, especially over the longer run. Of the three major themes of Johnson’s speech that year, the intentions of each were fullfiled in a reasonable, though not always glaring massive. Though the US not be able to stop the Communists from taking over the country, the massive devastation wrought by the US as well as the unfulfilled peace terms effectively prevented the progressive social programs and changes that might have otherwise been instituted, the ‘Great Society’ programs, though many sat aside the next year, were in combination with Civil Rights reforms and general prosperity to close inequalities and mute mass discontent. The US was able to help induce the collapse of the Soviet Union and establish itself as the dominant super power, though a new opposition movement would arrises in the form of Muslim Fundementalism. Johnsons more out there and limited reforms, those related to the environement.

every trend described, did at one time or another

‘Dirksen Asks Peace Efforts Backed by War,” Toledo Blade Jan 18th, 1966
‘The Presidency: the Union and War.” Time Magazine. Jan, 22th 1966. http://www.time.com
‘The Presidency: back in the ring.” Time Magazine. Jan 28th, 1966. http://www.time.com
Renmin Ribao, ‘Johnson’s Challenge, Comments of US President’s State of the Union Message.’ Peking Review. Jan 21st 1966. http://www.massline.info
Renmin Robao, ‘Johnson Administration’s Self-Expousure.’ Peking Review, Jan 28th, 1966 http://www.massline.info
Ho Chi Mihn, Letter to Lyndon Lohnson, Feb 15th, 1967, http://www.massline.info

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Water and Imperialism

Water and imperialism

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

Water is essential, in various ways, to all human activity. Water is something that humans, literally, cannot do without. Every human needs water in order live and to have a good life. Societies need water in order to be provide for the survival of their populations. Usable water, as a resource, is finite and distributed unevenly across the planet. Most societies have difficulty providing water to their populations, especially in the Third World.  The inability to access water is referred to as the water crisis. The water crisis results in terrible human costs every year. And, as usable water becomes less and less available in the future, the brunt of the water crisis will befall Third World populations. The writings of  Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, social theorist and architect of the Bolshevik revolution, have framed discussions of imperialism and global poverty. Famously, it was Vladamir Illich Lenin who predicted cycles of world wars as  the powerful nations vied for the dwindling resources of the poorer nations. In the twenty-first century, there is increasing conflict over water. Lack of usable water will be a source of great instability.

Capitalist imperialism plays a role in the crisis.  And, it is the Third World that suffers from these water wars and social instability.  As activist and author Arundhati Roy states, “Empire does not always appear in the form of cruise missiles and tanks, as it has in Iraq or Afghanistan or Vietnam. It appears in their lives in very local avatars-losing their jobs, being sent unpayable electricity bills, having their water supply cut, being evicted from their homes and uprooted from their land. It is a process of relentless impoverishment with which the poor are historically familiar. What Empire does is further entrench and exacerbate already existing inequalities.”(1)

The effects of the water crisis are wide ranging. According to secretary-general of the United Nations at the time, Kofi Annan, “One person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water; over twice that number—2.4 billion—lack access to adequate sanitation.” (2) Each year more than five million people die from water-related disease. (3) The World Health Organization states that 1.8 million children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and sanitation.  (4)

1.2 billion people have no sanitation facilities at all. 2.5 billion lack decent sanitation.(5) Fecal matter causes the majority of illnesses in the world. At any given time, half of the poor of the developing world are ill due to water supply, sanitation and hygiene. The biggest cause of infection is poor sanitation, usually related to water. (6)

In addition, agriculture and the water crisis are connected. Firstly, the water crisis is a significant factor in the world food crisis. Poor agricultural techniques waste water. And, overall, if agriculture remains on the same path, it will produce less and less relative to the growing human population. According to one source, “Irrigation-fed agriculture provides 45 percent of the world’s food supplies, and without it, we could not feed our planet’s population of six billion people.” According to the influential head of environmental research institute Worldwatch, Lester Brown, believes that water scarcity is now “the single biggest threat to global food security” (7) Much of the current irrigation is stressed, using more groundwater reserves than can be sustained. (8) As access diminishes, overuse of current water supplies results in increased pollution and environmental damage. This, in turn, diminishes water resources.  Thus, the water crisis is also a significant factor in the world food crisis.

Population growth will especially compound the problems in water and agriculture. A third of the world’s population live in “water stressed” countries currently. (9) This number will only increase in the coming years.  “Population and economic growth across Asia and the rest of the developing world is a major factor driving fresh-water scarcity. The Earth’s human population is predicted to rise from 6 billion to about 9 billion by 2050, the UN reports. Feeding them will mean more irrigation for crops.” (10) Feeding an increased population will mean more water.

This full brunt of the water crisis is suffered by the Third World. Access to water varies greatly from place to place. Looking at the distribution of access to water from one place to another shows that First World has more access than the Third World. This is exactly what one would expect. Privilege in one area accompanies privileges in other areas. Those with high incomes, those in the First World, have access to food, shelter, water, and other goods required for the good life.

The median income globally is about US $ 912.50 (US $ 2.50 per day). There are 2.5 billion people living on less than US $730 a year (US $ 2 per day).  By contrast, the median yearly  income of  a household in the United States was $46,326 in 2006. (11) The average person requires 5 gallons of water per day to survive. The average American uses 100 to 176 gallons of water a day. An average African family consumes roughly 5 gallons a day. (12) There are 2.9 billion without decent sanitation. (13) Those without access to drinking water are not in the First World.

The wealth and power of the imperialist nations translates into the ability to control access to water in the weaker nations. Imperialist nations use water as just another commodity, and they are not above brandishing their control of such a commodity for political ends. This has only increased with the rush toward globalization.

Water is increasingly playing a role in imperialist schemes against the Third World.  For example, one contention between the Palestinians and Israelis is the mountain aquifer underneath the West Bank. The Israeli state and settlers have dominated the groundwater supplies. Palestinians are charged three times more for water than Israelis. (14) Under International Law, Israel is required to provide drinking water to Palestinians. Israel is not allowed to deny it to them. (15) Yet increasing costs is one way to wage war against the Palestinians using water instead of bullets. By controlling water, its distribution and cost, the Israelis and their American allies are able to wield power over the Palestinians. Control over water means control over agriculture and food supplies, it means control over sanitation, and control over human life.

The water crisis also threatens to play a role in the reversal of Zimbabwe’s land reform movement. One consequence of the land reform movement in Zimbabwe has been an increase in water problems. Land in Zimbabwe had been controlled by Europeans, reducing the African population to pauperism. Mugabe’s land reform redistributed the land back to the majority African population. One unintended consequence of the land reform was that the new land owners proved unable to maintain the water systems and irrigation dams.

These problems can be manipulated by political forces. (16) The ex-land owners, those who had benefited from the old imperialist and white supremacist system  in  Zimbabwe, have a vested interest in a water crisis because they stand to benefit. Such a crisis could be exploited politically to oust Mugabe and return themselves to power. These forces are backed by powerful Western allies who seek to reduce Zimbabwe to the status of a colony.  (17)

The one example with a happy ending is the conflict in Bolivia. A water conflict in Bolivia also set an imperial power against a poorer people.  Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. (18) Seventy percent of its population live in poverty. Ten percent of children die before age five. Bolivia’s economy was wrecked by hyper-inflation in the 1980s. A small ruling elite dominated Bolivian society. Sixty percent of the population is indigenous. Those of European background have historically had more privileges than the poorer and indigenous segments of the population. In Bolivia in 1999, Cochabamba auctioned its water supply in order to increase services. The water system was purchased by Aguas Del Tunari, a part of Bechtel, a large American corporation. As part of the purchase, the company was guaranteed a 15 to 17% rate of profit. After taking over the water system, Aguas del Tunari raised the water rates, some as high as 300%. (19) This sparked massive protests that lasted two months. The protesters accused the company of “leasing the rain” as they clashed with the Bolivian military. Hundreds were arrested and a  seventeen year-old boy was shot and killed. Journalist Luis Bredow describes the revolt: “Everyone was protesting, everyone…I’ve never seen anything like it in Bolivia. Housewives were throwing stones at the police. It really was a revolt.”

The water conflict intersected with traditional nationalist sentiment. These clashes nearly collapsed the government of Bolivia. The sale of the water resources had to be withdrawn.

The view that water is a commodity like any other has led to disaster in the Third World. According to Vandana Shiva:

“At the core of the market solution to pollution is the assumption that water exists in unlimited supply. The idea that markets can mitigate pollution by facilitating increased allocation fails to recognize that water diversion to one area comes at the cost of water scarcity elsewhere.

In contrast to the corporate theorists who promote market solutions to pollution, grassroots organizations call for political and ecological solutions. Communities fighting high-tech industrial pollution have proposed the Community Environmental Bill of Rights, which includes rights to clean industry; to safety from harmful exposure; to prevention; to knowledge; to participation; to protection and enforcement; to compensation; and to cleanup. All of these rights are basic elements of a water democracy in which the right to clean water is protected for all citizens. Markets can guarantee none of these rights.”

Furthermore,“Market assumptions are blind to the ecological limits set by the water cycle and the economic limits set by poverty. Over-exploitation of water and disruption of the water cycle create absolute scarcity that markets cannot substitute with other commodities. The assumption of substitution is in fact central to logic of commodification. “ (20)

The problem of water crisis can be solved in principle. According to one source, 97.5 percent of the Earth’s water resources are salty. Of the remaining water, only a single percent is available for humans. “Even this tiny proportion, however, would be enough for humans to live on Earth if the water cycle was properly functioning and if we managed our water use wisely.” (21)

However, the nature of capitalism is to view every resource, from labor to water, as a commodity. The water crisis cannot be solved on a global scale until there is a change in social relations globally. It cannot be solve under the current system of capitalism because the very nature of capitalism itself is to put a price on resources, to eliminate the commons. This being the case, it is likely that solutions will not be put in place for a very long time. And, in the meantime, this translates into increased conflicts, even wars over  diminishing access to water.

The reason that the water crisis won’t be solved in the short term is that imperialists have an interest in perpetuating the crisis. Capitalist imperialism is a system organized around profit, not human need. As long as there is profit to be made by “leasing the rain” or using the water crisis to destabilize political enemies, then the policy makers of the powerful nations will not act to solve the water crisis. It will be up to the oppressed nations to solve the water conflicts themselves as was done in Bolivia.

Notes.
1. Roy, Arundhati. People vs. Empire. In These Times magazine. January 2005.

2. Hillary Mayell UN Highlights World Water Crisis for National Geographic News. June 5, 2003.

3. Pacific Institute,  Dirty Water: Estimated Deaths from Water-Related Diseases 2000-2020. 2002.

4. Global Citizens Core.  http://www.globalcitizencorps.org/issues.htm?page=issues_water&elon=1&gclid=CN7WgOrp7ZYCFRxNagodBmgurg

5  UNICEF/WHO. Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: Special Focus on Sanitation. 2008.

6. Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). 2008. A Guide to Investigating One of the Biggest Scandals of the Last 50 Years.

7. Africa’s Potential Water Wars. BBC News. 1999. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/454926.stm

8. World Water Crisis Underlies World Food Crisis. Environmental News Service. 2008. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2008/2008-08-18-01.asp

9.The World Water Crisis. http://www.worldwaterday.net/index.cfm?objectid=E39A970B-F1F6-6035-B9F75093B863ED13

10. Wallace, Scott.  Is water becoming ‘the new oil’? Christian Science Monitor. 2008. http://features.csmonitor.com/environment/2008/05/29/is-water-becoming-‘the-new-oil’/

11. US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/

12. UN Water. Tackling a Global Crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008. 2008.

13. UN Water. Tackling a Global Crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008. 2008.

14. Ofori-Amoah, Abigail. Water Wars and International Conflict. 2004. http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/OFORIAA/

15. Water war leaves Palestinians thirsty. BBS News. June 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2982730.stm

16. Maoist-Third Worldists denounce imperialist meddling in Zimbabwe. http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/maoist-third-worldists-denounce-imperialist-meddling-in-zimbabwe/

17. Banda, Ignatius. Poverty: Water Wars Hit Rural Zimbabwe. IPS. http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=44294

18. Bolivia Country Report. CIA World Fact Book. 2008. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bl.html

19. Joseph, Richard. The Water War in Bolivia. Counterpunch. March 26/7, 2005.  http://www.counterpunch.org/joseph03262005.html

20. Vandana Shiva.  Water Wars. South End Press. 2002. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Vandana_Shiva/Water_Wars_VShiva.html

21.  World Water Crisis Underlies World Food Crisis. Environmental News Service. 2008. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2008/2008-08-18-01.asp

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RAIM Crashes Racist Tea Party

RAIM Crashes Racist Tea Party

(raimd.wordpress.com)

Racist tea baggers took their anti-migrant idiocy to the steps of the capitol building. The Saturday event in Denver was part of a national day to oppose amnesty for so-called “illegal aliens.” According to the website http://www.againstamnesty.com these “Tea Parties” were to be held in 50 cities, including Denver and Durango.

RAIM learned of the meeting of the pinheads only a few days before hand. That didn’t stop RAIM from organizing a counter protest. A few days before, RAIM put a shout out to oppose the fascists and to support migrant rights.

50 teabaggers, minutemen, and other racist scum gathered at the Capitol steps on the cold morning.  RAIM and a few other migrant rights supporters turned out to counter the racists. RAIM showed up to give the racists a history lesson by pointing out that the land under their feet was stolen from other peoples, including the Cheyenne and Mexicans. We asked them where the border was in 1848 when the U.$. invaded Mexico.  “Colorado” is, after all, a Spanish word. KKKolumbus and those who followed him from Europe to this hemisphere are the real illegal migrants. If anyone should get off the land, it should be the crackers who’ve been squatting here illegally for centuries. Slogans chanted were “Get off stolen land, deport the minuteklan,” “No minutemen no kkk no fascist usa.”

The very presence of our counter demo changed the dynamic of the teabagger protest.  Despite our smaller numbers,the teabaggers were completely focused on us. Our presence provoked them, Some violently.  Many threatened violence against us from across the street.  Some crossed the street to confront us.  One old crazed cracker with a Korean War hat came across the street to us and wanted to start a fight.  He had to be held back by his wife, and then he threatened her and pushed her around.  Typical pig.  Another ugly old white trash women came and attempted to take our bullhorn.  Despite their claims to the contrary, the racism of the tea baggers was obvious to everyone. One of the baggers threw pennies at Mexicans who were present, saying “Go buy some tacos.”

Others mocked Spanish accents. Others openly stated their hatred of Mexicans. Another cracker came over and spewed racist crap about Mexicans having 15 babies at a time and being a burden on the Amerikkkan tax payer.

As we faced off, a group of high school students came by passing out flyers for a school activity.  Seeing the action, they joined our side. Kudos to the students, they had more education than the ignorant Amerikkkans on the other side of the street.

Our challenge to the teabaggers exposed their racist settler piggery.  There is no point in trying to reason with deranged people.  The “working class” and petty bourgeois Amerikkkans are the Social base of fascism. These people are some of the worst that Amerikkka has to offer.

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RAIM Global Digest 6

RAIM Digest 6 cover

Issue 6 is now out!

Contents:
-Amerikans Poison Chinese With E-Waste: RAIM-Denver
-Afghan Locals Give US Occupiers Proper Goodbye: RAIM-Denver
-Real Vs. Fake Universal Healthcare for Women: Monkey Smashes Heaven
-US Journalists Lee and Ling Ignore Role of US Policy in Impoverishing North Koreans: Stephen Gowans
-Yum! Brands PR Department Launches World Hunger Relief Campaign, Doesn’t Really Care: RAIM-Denver
-Your Playstation Has Real Blood On It: RAIM-Denver
-Harvest Season Means Forced Labor for Uzbek Children: RAIM-Denver
-Guatemala in Food Crisis, Revolution is the Solution: Monkey Smashes Heaven
-Sacred, Indigenous Sites Made Into Fill-Dirt for New Sam’s Club, Revolution Needed: RAIM-Denver
-Kolumbus Day Reportback: RAIM-Denver
-Denver Protests Ongoing Imperialist Wars: RAIM-Denver
-A Speech by a RAIM Comrade on the Eight Anniversary of the Invasion of Afghanistan: RAIM-Denver

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Protest the “Tea Party Against Amnesty and Illegal Immigrants”, This Saturday

Protest the “Tea Party Against Amnesty and Illegal Immigrants”
Support Migrant Rights!

Gather at Lincoln Park,
across from State Capitol
Saturday, November 14, 2009 – 10:00am

The Tea Bagger movement is holding a rally to agitate against migrant peoples this Saturday, November 14 at 10am-12pm at the State Capitol.  The fascistic Minutemen and other nativist and racist “patriots” will be down spouting hatred and violence against migrant and non-white peoples.

Counter this racist gathering.  Bring your signs, banners, flags, noisemakers, voices, middle fingers, etc.  The real illegal aliens are those Amerikkkans who disregarded other nations borders and stole lands in its move west.  Occupiers have no right to impose a border, and even less to decide who should be on land it stole at gunpoint.

Called by Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement Denver
raimd.wordpress.com

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RAIM, others wreck Zionist-led war mongering against Iran

rocksonzionism

RAIM, others wreck Zionist-led war mongering against Iran

On October 28th, Uzi Landua, a hard-line Zionist and long-time high-ranking official in the Israeli state, spoke at the Auraria campus in Denver. Landau was invited by the Zionist group, the Amerikan-Israeli Student Affairs Committee, to discuss the supposed threat posed by Iran. RAIM had other ideas.

Word about the event reached Denver’s activist community less than two days prior. The day before the event, officials from the student government and University of Kolorado asked activist Glenn Spagnuolo to call off a protest, stating it would force the speaking engagement to be canceled because it would create a security bill too large for the school to bear (an additional $3,500 supposedly). Spagnuolo, is a student and organizer from the DNC protest-coalition Recreate ’68.  He was in Israel at the time when Rachel Corrie was ran over by a made-in-Amerika tractor, driven by an IDF soldier and while Uzi Laudau was ‘Security’ Minister of the settler state. Glenn insisted that even if Landau had lunch on campus, which was also scheduled, there would be a some sort of a protest. Eventually, the Israeli embassy (read: Israeli state) footed the security bill.

The day of the event, a snowstorm blew into Denver, causing the campus to be closed 30 minutes prior to the start of the event. Because of the strict security the would-be audience of 25 or so was forced to wait outside, huddling against the door. A small protest of around 10 or so gathered, including some RAIMers. A RAIMer took the opportunity to hand out an special informational flier to everyone waiting to get in, sparking a debate between a hardcore Zionist and those in the crowd.

After the doors were opened, and after the crowd and protesters passed a metal detector wand and bag check, they were greeted to large amounts of pizza and soda. RAIMers helped themselves and made sure that everyone who didn’t get already get a copy of our informational flier, got one. It wasn’t hard. In the end, the audience numbered around 40-45, including the protesters. The Zionists student organizers, Uzi and his entourage were around 15. There were also around 15 pigs and 10 campus and student staff.

Uzi was flanked by a bodyguard who looked like an angry Lurch from the Adams family, with a bad military haircut, a black trench coat and obviously armed. As Uzi walked on stage, most in the audience clapped in applause. RAIMers and other protesters instead greeted him with loud boos.  Boos and hisses persisted and steadily grew more frequent as his Cold War-esque, militarist screed continued. RAIMers occasionally interrupted Uzi’s speech with shouts of “war criminal,” “liar” and “what about Palestinians?” and clapped in applause when Uzi claimed Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon capabilities.

For his part, Uzi was a crude spokesman for the Israeli state, explicitly linking Israel and Amerika’s security and calling for the “free world” to confront the Iran. Whereas many in the audience already found Israel questionable, the information prepared ahead of time by RAIM and protesters’ on the spot agit-prop helped bring out a wider, more visible hostility towards his message. Uzi, feeling the pressure from the unsympathetic crowd, kept his speech short and fulfilled his obligation to field questions.

A RAIMer took the first questions, referencing the fact-sheet and asking Uzi to account for disparities in casualties between Israelis and Palestinians; and if he agreed with the idea that the state of Israel is the fulfillment of a promise by ‘God’ and not in need of further justification. Every question asked of Uzi thereafter was critical of Zionism and the Israeli state. There was no more discussion of Iran. Uzi was forced to fruitlessly defend Israel for the remainder of the event. As he left the stage, he was parted with more and louder boos.

Rather than finding a receptive audience for his militarist cheerleading against Iran, Uzi Landau was met with effective opposition from Denver activists and Palestine supporters, including RAIM. The event, which cost thousands of dollars for both the University of Kolorado and the Israeli state, became polarized with the majority of the audience finding themselves on the side of vocal opposition towards Zionism. Incidentally, RAIM was the only organized group with a presence at the event; we talked with Palestine supporters and handed out a few RAIM Digests. Uzi Landau’s Zionist war-mongering was wrecked.

Check out our informational flier on Israel here: Israel flyer

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Fuck The Troops II: Some People Push Back

The long-awaited sequel to Fuck The Troops is finally here:

 

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Yum! Brands PR Department Launches World Hunger Relief Campaign, Doesn’t Really Care

Yum! Brands PR Department Launches World Hunger Relief Campaign, Doesn’t Really Care

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

Last September, U.S.-based Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company and parent of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W fast food chains, launched its annual World Hunger Relief campaign. Touted as part of a commitment to ending global hunger, this new campaign provides a sense of charity and progressiveness the Yum!’s true purpose, making money by selling over-valued, though inexpensive junk food to people in the First World

The money raised will go to the UN’s World Food Programme. Founded in 1963, the WFP has thus far failed in providing a solution to hunger or ending its root causes. Today, though hunger is growing and with it malnourishment and starvation, the WFP itself claims to be under funded. Yum! cites this as a reason why its World Hunger Relief campaign is “even more crucial this year.”

At face value, Yum!’s concern for world hunger is a farce. In 2007 and 2008, Yum! says its raised $36 million for the self described cash-strapped WFP. Yum! continues by patting itself on the back for pledging to raise at least $80 million over the next five years, or $2 million less each year.

Rather than ending the causes of hunger, Yum! Brands and the UN World Food Programme mitigate it through pittances. Both admit it in round about ways. “Every U.S. dollar raised will provide four meals for hungry children,” Yum! states. In reality, meal rations will not end hunger because hunger today has structural causes.

Instead of tractors being sent to the poor farmers in Africa, they are sent to Israel to tear down Palestinian homes or to other countries to build “Special Economic Zones,” sweatshop compounds, on former farm lands. Whilst 1 billion people live in chronic hunger and a child dies of starvation every five seconds, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are never short on food for First World consumers. A global relationship is at play here, imperialism, which is the root cause of hunger today.

Companies such as Yum! make money by selling over-valued, yet inexpensive convenience food to exploiters. They couldn’t run their business without the massive profits brought into the First World from the Third, resulting in widespread poverty. Likewise, the U.N. and the World Food Programme are institutions set up and lorded over by imperialists to preserve current class structure, not dissolve it.

The WFP nearly goes so far to admit this. According to WFP, chronic hunger leads to social and political instability, that is, instability to the social and political structures which maintain a state of poverty and looming hunger for most of the world’s people. Thus, the WFP’s implicit position is to mitigate instability through food rations, while providing no long term solution to the causes of poverty and hunger. Yum! Brand’s slogan for their own campaign is moving millions “from hunger to hope.”

For the Third World masses, those who regularly find themselves victim of preventable hunger, such “hope” is illusionary and short lived. While Yum! claims it has helped save the lives of 4 million people “in remote corners of the world,” the real effect has been keeping 4 million people dependent on constant food aid. In fact, despite the publicized ‘concern’ of image-conscious corporations such as Yum! Brands, hunger created by imperialism is increasing. Instead of finding a real solution to world hunger, such food aid programs hold back real solutions while keeping oppressed peoples passive and dependent.

Liberation from global poverty will not come via charity from those who create and benefit from it. Solutions capable of ending hunger will only arise as a direct affront to such self-congratulatory tactics of ‘benevolent’ corporations and their obese, petty-exploiter customers. An end to global poverty and hunger means economies and development directed by the vast majority to meet their own needs, not controlled and leeched upon by the imperialist First World.

Sources:
http://www.chainleader.com/article/CA6698439.html
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=14831&Cr=Africa&Cr1=food

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A Speech by a RAIM Comrade on the 8th Anniversary of the Invasion of Afghanistan

The following was delivered by Comrade Hector of RAIM-Denver on October 7th, 2009, the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. In the speech, the RAIM comrade tells the audience of anti-war and police brutality activists, anarchists and RAIM supporters that the problem is not Bush or Obama, it is Amerika.

“Leonard Peltier is a political prisoner – an artist, a writer, a father whose life has been stolen. Locked away for defending his land. Locked away in Amerikkka’s dungeons. He just sent an open letter to the president. To paraphrase: ‘I am not Bush’s political prisoner. I am your political prisoner now.’ He is Obama’s responsibility. This is an important point, especially for the liberals here whose politics begin and end with ‘throw out the Bush regime.’ Well, Bush is gone. Surprise, surprise. Amerikkka is still at war. Two wars wasn’t enough. Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan. And Iran is in the cross hairs. A recent poll shows a majority of Amerikans, Republican and Democrat or “Independent,” want to use force on Iran right now. Iran is in the crosshairs and it’s Obama with his finger on the trigger and your average Joe Amerikan cheering him on.

These wars are not just wars of the ‘right wing,’ or ‘conservative, or ‘Republican’ wars. These aren’t Bush’s wars. They are Obama’s now. More accurately, they are Amerika’s wars. And, it will take more to stop these wars, and the next war and the one after that, than marching in the streets holding signs. This shit goes back to 1492, even earlier. The crusaders, KKKolumbus, Manifest Destiny, chattle slavery, the endless imperialist wars of the last century.

In 1492, KKKolumbus sailed the ocean blue.. then he landed and killed everyone who wasn’t European.  Exterminated the Taino peoples. That’s the real story.

Yesterday, it was the US genocide of South East Asia, the propping-up and financing of death squad states in Latin America, the rape and enslavement of Africa. Today it’s killing Pakistanis with unmanned drones. What will it be tomorrow?

The problem is bigger than Democrats and Republicans. Bigger than Bush and Obama. The problem is Amerika, and Amerikans. We can’t let Amerikans, and the Amerikan working class off the hook. Even the poorest Amerikan benefits from imperialism.

Yet Amerikans have the hypocrisy to point their fingers at the Third World. They call the Iranian president a “holocaust denier.” Yet Amerikans are the biggest holocaust deniers on the planet. It was the US that largely exterminated the whole continent of North America, from sea to shining sea — the largest genocide in history, thousands of civilizations gone forever – tens of millions killed by Uncle Sam.

In Zimbabwe, a recent report condemned Mugabe because he ‘only’ paid three percent in compensation to the imperialists during his land reform program. Let me get this straight. The imperialist come to Africa, they steal the land from the Africans, they disrupt the African traditional way of life, the imperialists impose white supremacist terrorist states on Africans, then when those Africans take their land back, the imperialists call it ‘theft’ and impose sanctions to strangle Zimbabwe, to punish the Africans, to make them OBEY. When Mugabe turned the tables and gave land to the poor Africans, he is a ‘thief,’ yet the imperialists think nothing about stealing whole countries as was the case in Zimbabwe or whole continents as was the case in the Americas. The only compensation the Africans received was the whites imposing a terroristic white supremacist state to keep them in bondage. The only compensations the Indigenous received in North America was to be killed or herded into reservations on the worst land, to have their children stolen and culture stripped away.

Remember the pigs earlier today who dared us to cross their invisible line on the ground? The pigs told us that we could not stand on parts of the sidewalk in front of the building? Who the fuck are they to say anything about where we can and can’t go on this land? This is Mexican and Indigenous land. It’s Uncle Sam who squats here on borrowed time. This land will be returned to its rightful owners. These crackers will get a taste of socialism – the power of the Third World over the First World. RAIM opposes the war. More than that, RAIM opposes Amerika and Amerikans.

The vast majority of humanity in the Third World barely survives on about $2.50 a day. Yet, Amerikans and the First World as a whole plop themselves down in front of their stupid boxes, one hand glued to a remote controller, the other in a bag of Cheetos. Amerikans waste their lives away on the back of others. RAIM is out to settle the score. RAIM is going to turn the tables.”

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Denver Kolumbus Day Reportback

Denver Kolumbus Day Reportback

(raimd.wordpress.com)

On Saturday October 10, 2009 there was another wack ass parade of white settlers celebrating Columbus Day, disrespecting Native peoples, and engrossing themselves in settler parasitism. Denver has been an epicenter of resistance to this celebration of genocide and racism, as Colorado was the first state to officially celebrate Columbus Day over 100 years ago.

This year’s protest was different, as the official organized opposition to the parade, Transform Columbus Day, did not put out a call to protest the parade this year.  Colorado AIM put out an advisory for Native elders and children to avoid downtown Denver and the parade.  Nevertheless the controversy over the parade stayed in the news, mainly because of an attempted media prank by a Columbus Day opponent where a press release was sent out saying the parade was canceled. This later turned out to be a hoax.

We at RAIM thought that a bunch of cracker settlers celebrating being cracker settlers couldn’t go off without an anti-imperialist response.  So we issued a call to be out to confront the parade, not to take over leadership of this protest but to show that settler colonialism would not go off in Denver without resistance.  RAIM, along with about 20 other activist allies and others who came to protest the parade, made their presence known.

All of us gathered in this freezing Saturday morning to show opposition.  We chanted “Down With Columbus Day, Settlers (and Occupiers) Go Away!”  To liven up the anti-colonial festivities we brought a pinata of Uncle Sam.  Protesters had whacks at it with a shoe, in honor of Al-Zaidi in Iraq.  The media and parade pigs made a big deal about dwindling numbers at the protests, but the parade itself had fewer numbers too, even factoring in the weather.  As usual, it was made up of mostly gas-guzzling Hummers and empty flat bed semis.  There was lots of pigs out.  Some group of right wing assholes in camo gear stood across the street, one was visibly carrying a sheathed knife.

It seems that the celebration of Columbus Day overall is declining.  A corporate media report states the declining interest in Kolumbus Day, of course not all for reasons of celebrating the beginning of the largest genocide in history.

Despite the smaller turnout at the protest, the parade organizers were spurred to respond to it this year.  From http://www.columbusdayparade.org:

” Columbus Day Parade – Denver, CO

A Message from the President

Written by Richard SaBell

Sunday, 11 October 2009 18:15

Thank you all for your support and participation! The parade was a success despite the weather and the weak attempt at cancellation. The October newsletter will be out shortly with a full recap of the day. The following is copy of the letter sent to all the same people that received the phony cancellation email.

Letter to the Media October 11, 2009

As evidenced by the wonderful but cold Columbus Day Parade on Saturday, the parade was not cancelled and was never in danger of being cancelled. Some have called the attempt to disrupt the parade a hoax but in truth the criminal impersonation of anyone is a serious matter. Denver Police have informed me the investigation is ongoing. As a private citizen, as President of the Columbus Day Parade committee, and as a member of the National Order Sons of Italy in America and Grand Lodge of Colorado, I will pursue this matter to the fullest extent of the law.

It is important to remember that in addition to honoring a brave explorer and acknowledging Italian American contribution to this country, Columbus day commemorates the beginnings of America itself. A National American holiday of great importance. I feel it is long overdue for a close look at who and what opposes this celebration. We have multimedia documentation of protestor signs reading “I hate the U.S.A.,” “Victory to Afghanistan,” “Death to Empire,” and an effigy of Uncle Sam used as a pinata and beaten with a shoe. Shouted slogans over a loudspeaker of “occupier go away,” and “hey little kid, your dad is a racist.” This yearly abuse of the Italian American community at the hands of individuals with no regard for the law of the land or the rights of their fellow citizens is a disgrace. Know that the Columbus Day Parade will take place next year despite any opposition, even Mother Nature.

To avoid any confusion or misunderstanding in the future I suggest you check ou! r website for up to date info and a full contact list of anyone you may need. You may also call me direct 720-323-4260. If you reach my voice mail, please leave a message and I will return your call directly.

G. Richard SaBell

President

Columbus Day Parade Committee”

Sabell does accurately reflect the signs and pinata that were at the protest.  He is wrong to say that all who oppose the parade are against Amerika, but we at RAIM definately are.  He is accurate in saying that the Columbus Day holiday commemorates the legacy of Amerika, that of racism, colonialism, and genocide.  He attacks the supposed unsavory characters who protest the parade but ignores the shady supporters of the celebration that include white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the John Birch Society, and those who honor bringing Western civilization to the so-called New World because it is a “superior culture,” no matter the atrocities it brought.

This year’s protest kept alive a tradition of resistance to the racist parade and holiday, which started in Colorado over 100 years ago.  Worldwide this resistance continues.

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Filed under Actions and Events, First Nations, KKKolumbus Day, White Amerika

John Brown Led Raid on Harpers Ferry, 150 Years Ago Today

October 16 is the 150th anniversary of the raid of Harpers Ferry in 1859.  Led by abolitionist, nation traitor, and revolutionary John Brown, this failed raid was intended to arm Black slaves in a rebellion against white Amerika and for freedom for the Black Nation.  Democracy Now shows a reading of John Brown’s last words at his trial, as well as a reading by Frederick Douglas on John Brown:

Maoist-Thirdworldist agitation artist Shubelmorgan (named after an alias taken by John Brown) presents a video introduction to John Brown:

Anti-imperialists from oppressor nations should take on the example of John Brown.  As the video states, though, John Browns will be a minuscule minority of members of oppressor nations, so oppressed peoples and their allies should have no illusions.

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Denver Protests Ongoing Imperialist Wars

Denver Protests Ongoing Imperialist Wars

(raimd.wordpress.com)

October 7 was the 8th anniversary of the start of the current war in Afghanistan by the United States.  A number of national groups in the remaining U.S. anti-war movement called for actions.  Locally the Denver Anti-War Network (DAWN) called for a march many months ago, and it kicked off this day.  Many activists gathered for two separate events in Denver on October 7th, a march against the Afghanistan war, and a “Justice and Peace Jamboree” right after the march.

About 50 people mobilized for a rally and march that started at the Denver Federal Courthouse downtown.   A rally was held there for an hour.  A street theater was held about the situation in Afghanistan.  The crowd consisted of nominal anti-imperialists, anarchists, national liberation supporters, and anti-police brutality activists, along with RAIM members and supporters.   As it was a broad-based march against the war in Afghanistan, there were many who advocated First Worldist, pro-Amerika politics.  RAIM provided many anti-imperialist, anti-Amerika, anti-troop, and pro-Third World signs and slogans to promote our politics.  After the rally the march then set down 16th Street mall.  It was small in comparison to previous anti-war rallies, but was spirited and opted for more charged slogans.  “Number One Terrorist, U.S. Imperialists” were chanted by a large majority of the protesters for much of the march. The protest itself stayed on message, the notable interject of the so-called health care debate in the march was a sign brought by a RAIM comrade: “The Real Health Care Crisis- Amerikan Imperialism.”

Protesters addressed multiple issues in their slogans. “From Iraq to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime” and “No Justice, No Peace, Control the Police” was chanted by the crowd.  The march ended at a military recruitment office along the way.  Visual images of the victims of the war were going to be displayed, for  some truth in advertising in military recruitment, but was prevented by the pigs who were already there blocking the recruitment entrance.

For the small size of the march, the police presence was large. The federal police at the courthouse put cameras in front of and photographed protesters, and generally intimidated those expressing free speech rights.  Before stepping off, a speaker noted one local cop who was involved in a brutality case against a citizen.  He called the pig, who is black, a “twisted uncle tom” through a megaphone. Along the march anti-police brutality activist Shareef Aleem noted the large amount of pigs who followed the peaceful march. The police repression locally was also brought up, as well as the recent piggery against activists in Pittsburgh who were protesting at the G-20 meetings.  Everywhere along the march route Denver pigs were there to meet us.

The after-event, the Justice and Peace Jamboree, was held at a local restaurant and music venue, the Mercury Cafe, and was attended by over 70 people.  It was quite diverse, featuring a moving play about the Israeli settler state entitled Seven Jewish Children; interesting poetry by local poet Lenny C, hip hop by local group the Golden Soldiers; and speeches by local activists for a number of causes and organizations.  Denver RAIM member, Hector, gave a short, powerful speech which highlighted the fact the it’s not Bush or Obama that’s the problem, it’s Amerika.  Several RAIM supporters picked up the latest issue of the RAIM Global Digest and we got a chance to meet and get our message out to new people.

The numbers at this march and rally were expectedly small, as it was one of the first anti-war actions under the Obama adminstration.  On the other-hand, Obamamania has pulled some of the most reformist, pro-Amerika elements out of the anti-war movement, leaving the more radical sectors.  This was evident in Denver, as more moderate activists were absent at this march, leaving space for anti-imperialist slogans and direction.

Nationally the remnants of the anti-war movement called for protests around this anniversary date as Obama escalates war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Earlier in a march in Washington DC the corporate media reported almost 100 arrests at the marches there.  It remains to be seen where the anti-war movement will go in the U.S. under Obama.

In the end, marches and protests of 40 people or 40,000, even with anti-imperialist slogans, will not end the war. Revolutionary Anti-Imperialists know occupied peoples can only be truly liberated through their own accord. However, as allies of the oppressed Third World masses in the First World, one thing we can do is build public opinion in favor of their struggle. For those who truly desire change, there is little reason to reach out to the middle ground, water-down our message and pander to a progressive Amerikan majority that doesn’t exist. For revolutionary anti-imperialists, our message to Denver’s anti-war movement is clear: true change will only come through an end to imperialism, through a revolution of the world’s oppressed people against First World imperialism and Amerika; those who really support real change must support the Third World struggle and the defeat of Amerika.

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Call Out to Oppose KKKolumbus Day and Settler Colonialism

Join RAIM-Denver and other Denver activists as we oppose the annual celebration of genocide, Kolumbus Day.

Saturday, October 10th, 9:30 am

West Steps of the State Capitol building

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Afghan Locals Give U.S. Occupiers Proper Goodbye

afghan militia

Afghan Locals Give U.S. Occupiers Proper Goodbye

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On Saturday, October 3rd hundreds of insurgents stormed two remote military bases near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan. A proper goodbye– the attack killed eight occupiers from Fort Carson and injured many more as they were preparing to relocate from rural outposts to larger bases in more populated areas as part of a revised strategy by NATO war-planners.

This attack comes as the U.S. NATO Commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, urges President Barack Obama to add 40,000 more Amerikan occupation troops on top of the 68,000 already there or en route. In a speech in London on October 1st, McChrystal acknowledged that the NATO occupiers are unpopular and advocated a “counter-insurgency” as opposed to “counter-terrorist” strategy, saying the latter was too narrow and would mean allowing Afghanistan to become “Chaos-istan.”

In reality, the U.S. and NATO are fighting a losing war: one of occupation waged by imperialists. Recent emphasis has been placed on training Afghan military and police forces to carry out the duties of the occupiers. However, the militarily imposed Afghan puppet government is also highly unpopular, as demonstrated by evidence of widespread fraud in the country’s recent elections. Saturday’s attacks were directed both at foreign occupation forces and those of the comprador state. U.S. military officials described the insurgents as members of “tribal militias,” a code word for fighters who receive support from the common Afghan rural masses.

Those occupiers killed in Saturday’s attack did not die heroically or with honor. Rather, they were killed as part of resistance by the Afghan people to foreign occupiers and a puppet regime. Rather than dying for abstract ideas such as “freedom,” the eight troops from Colorado Springs died for just the opposite reason: depriving Afghans of their freedom by enforcing imperialist rule.

Amerikan troops serve the interest of imperialism; therefore, they are rightly hated everywhere people are oppressed and exploited by imperialism. Unlike in Colorado Springs and the U.S., in Afghanistan there will be no mourning for these eight fallen Amerikans. For the Afghan masses, they are simply eight more dead occupiers.

Sources:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html
http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_13485884
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/world/asia/02general.html

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Upcoming Anti-Imperialist Actions in Denver: No War In Afghanistan, No Kolumbus Day

If you didn’t feel there is enough to do around Denver fighting imperialism, this week will be eventful.

First, this Wednesday a march, rally, and after event to protest U.$. wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Join RAIM as we do our thing and provide platform for revolutionary, anti-imperialist politics.

Then join us this Saturday as we oppose the celebration of indigenous peoples genocide (aka Kolumbus Day).  This year’s protest will be more low key but just as creative in letting oppressors know they are oppressors.

From the Denver Anti-War Network:

EIGHT YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN IS ENOUGH

March and Rally to Demand US Out of Afghanistan

DENVER, October 5, 2009— On Wednesday, October 7, as part of a month of actions around the country, the Denver Anti War Network will lead a march and rally to call for an end to the illegal US occupation of Afghanistan. The rally will be from 4:30– 5:30 at the Federal Courthouse, 19th & Stout, downtown Denver

The march will be followed by a Justice and Peace Jamboree at the Mercury Café, 2199 California, at 7:00pm, where participants will enjoy music and poetry and share ideas for continuing opposition to the war…

and:

nokolyyyy

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 9:30am

Demonstration at State Capitol

Confront the Racist Kolumbus Day Parade!

Oppose Settler Colonialism!

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Harvest Season Means Forced Labor for Uzbek Children

uzbek children

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

Every September, hundreds of thousands of Uzbek children begin two months of forced labor in the country’s cotton fields. Receiving almost nothing in wages and acting in accordance with state mandate, schools are closed and children become virtual slaves as the harvest season rolls in.

In the fields, children as young as seven are forced to meet extreme quotas with little opportunities for rest. Conditions are described as squalid and food inadequate. They earn a few pennies per kilo of cotton and wage deductions are made for transportation and food costs. At the end of the harvest season they are left exhausted and often in poor health. Teachers are conscripted into becoming overseers and also work in the fields in order to meet production quotas. Children make up only about half of the harvest season labor force and farmers, forced to grow the export crop,  have it little better. As one Uzbek farmer describes it, “being a cotton farmer here is like hanging between life and death. The government controls our lives very tightly. If we don’t obey, we’ll end up in trouble. All we want is freedom. And the state is punishing us for wanting freedom.”

Uzbekistan’s state-administered cotton industry has also taken its toll on the environment. With the heavy irrigation demands for the cash crop, the Aral Sea, once a climate modifying feature in the region, is at 15% of its former volume. As a result, salinity has multiplied, killing 24 species of native fish and wiping out Uzbekistan’s commercial fishing industry. The cotton fields themselves have been overirrigated and suffer from high levels of soil salinity and erosion. Cotton monoculture has left Uzbekistan’s formerly prosperous lands increasingly infertile, sometimes to the point of abandonment. The heavy use of pesticides has compounded the environmental problem, leading to increased rates of birth defects and genetic mutations.

Uzbekistan is the world’s second largest exporter of cotton, shipping 800,000 metric tons overseas. The comprador Uzbek state maintains a monopoly on the export of cotton. With a barely paid, seasonally captive workforce, much of the income from the cotton is not used in future development projects or as part of social welfare programs but instead props up a small parasitic elite which make up the Third World regime. The cotton which is not exported is sent to Uzbekistan’s small domestic textile industry, made up of joint ventures between the Uzbek state and foreign investors.

According to Steve Trent, Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, “We have witnessed the forced use of children in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields and seen the conditions they work in. At the same time we have seen how a small, corrupt, ruling elite denies these facts and continues to be the main beneficiary of the cash the child labor earns Uzbekistan.” While forced child labor is undoubtedly a regular feature in the country’s cotton industry, Trent and the Environmental Justice Foundation are missing the larger picture.

Most of Uzbeck’s cotton is exported. The Uzbek state actually sells the cotton at 85% of the global market price and 43% of it is sent to Asian textile mills. There young adults, often women, endure conditions which are scarcely better than that of the common Uzbek. Produced under similar conditions of comprador capitalism, the final product is then exported to imperialist countries where it enters consumer markets. While various Third World puppet regimes may reap some of the benefits of vast pools of virtually captive people, most of it is passed along.

After cotton is harvested and spun into textiles under brutal conditions of comprador capitalism, the finished goods finally enter First World consumer markets. There, First World business realizes massive profits from simply selling the products of Third World labor to First World consumers. Also, First World workers benefit: their high wages enable them to purchase vast quantities of goods, something that would not be possible without the super exploitation of Third World workers. In the grand scheme of things, the Uzbek state is a minor player. It is the imperialist First World which is the main culprit: through its exploitative workings of global scale, it demands cheap commodities produced under conditions of virtual slavery.

Those who benefit from Uzbek forced child labor, the Uzbek comprador elite and the First World, are a global minority. In contrast, the Uzbek masses are part of a larger majority, the vast Third World masses. According the the Environmental Justice Foundation, 250 million children around the world are compelled to work, presumably in commodity exchange industries. Adding to this are the world’s exploited adults, those languishing in vast urban slums and subsistence communities under constant threat of being kicked off the land. Together, the vast Third World masses pose a serious threat to the system: they carry great potential and a historical responsibility.

Today, the most long term solution to the problem of forced child labor is an end to the system which demands it, capitalist-imperialism. Organized along their combined interest, those currently at the bottom of the global order are key to destroying it and building anew. By organizing those who have nothing to lose, Uzbek children and farmers, Chinese factory workers and the vast Third World masses, around a radical program of class war and liberation, and by supporting each others’ struggles against the imperialist system, peoples everywhere can find freedom.

The struggle to build a new world can only take place alongside advances of the oppressed over the course of class warfare. Only through a revolutionary movement of the Third World masses will children everywhere have a future of peace, freedom, prosperity and equality.

Sources:

Click to access white_gold_the_true_cost_of_cotton.pdf


http://www.newint.org/columns/currents/2009/07/01/uzbekistan/
http://www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=5409

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RAIM Global Digest # 5

RAIM masthead
RAIM Digest 5 PDF

Contents:

1,013 Afghan Civilians Killed in First Half of 2009

Pigs Deny Ward Churchill Job and Damages

Movie Review: The Rise of Cobra

Obama: More Troops, More Imperialism, More of the Same

Amerika’s Fierce Appetite

Movie Review: District 9

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Amerikan E-Waste Poisons Chinese

e-waste-orange-stuff

Amerikan E-Waste Poisons Chinese

(raimd.wordpress.com)

E-waste increasingly flows from the U.S. to the Third World. E-waste is made up of computers, cell phones, and other electronics that have been thrown away. For example, Amerikans throw out 133,000 computers a day and 100 million cell phones a year. Electronics contain harmful, toxic materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and polyvinyl chlorides. These materials are known to cause cancer, brain damage, kidney disease, etc. This toxic e-waste is the fastest growing part of the municipal waste stream in the U.S.

How does e-waste get from point a to point b? There are dozens of corporations that are contracted to dispose of e-waste. One such company is Executive Recycling out of Englewood, Colorado. Executive Recycling promotes itself as an eco-friendly corporation, sponsoring Earth Day events and a “Go Green” campaign in Colorado, for example. They are a corporation that is contracted to dispose of e-waste in an environmentally safe manner. The Executive Recycling web page even warns of the dangers to Amerikans that e-waste poses: “Here in Colorado, residential customers are not governed by law to recycle electronics; however by putting these items in the trash we are causing a larger issue, as these items leach mercury, lead, and other hazardous elements into our drinking water.”

So, how does Executive Recycling keep Amerikans safe from toxic e-waste? Rather than expose Amerikans to their own hazardous trash, Executive Recycling dumps it on Chinese. A recent story by the news journal 60 Minutes documents how toxic materials are shipped by Executive Recycling, and other First World recycling companies, from Amerika to destinations in China.

One destination is Guiyu, China. It is a city with a growing population, where peasants have come after being driven off the land. The ex-peasants breakdown and burn old computers and other electronics. They earn a few dollars a day dealing with highly toxic materials without protective equipment. They report that their lungs burn and they have trouble breathing. Their skin is damaged with scars and burns. The local water has become undrinkable. Drinking water has to be trucked in. Guiyu has the highest level of cancer-causing dioxins in the world. Seven out of ten children have too much lead in their blood. Miscarriages are six times more likely there.

The Amerikan high-tech lifestyle produces poisons that are forced upon the impoverished peoples of the Third World. Not only do Third World peoples slave away in factories producing consumer goods for Amerikans for pennies an hour, Third World peoples also have to recycle Amerikans’ toxic trash. Capitalist-imperialism poisons Third World peoples in order to maintain the Amerikan way of life. This is yet another example of how the First World lives on the backs of the Third World, exporting the cost of its lifestyle to the majority of the world’s people.

Amerikans have help in poisoning the Chinese population. The Chinese state turns a blind eye. In the 1970’s, Chinese self-determination and independent socialist development was replaced with brutal comprador capitalism. Today, the Chinese state sells the labor and health of its people to imperialism in order to make a buck. The First World and its Third World lackeys will continue to ruin the lives of Third World peoples until imperialism is defeated, until Third World peoples seize control of their own destinies.

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4586903n

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