Archive for the ‘Democracy movements’ Category

Ghassan Kanafani

by As’ad AbuKhalil

In the early 1970s, three Palestinian intellectuals – Ghassan Kanafani, Majed Abu Sharar and Kamal Nasser – collaborated to form the Palestine Liberation Organization’s information office.

Within a decade, Israeli terrorists managed to kill all three – Kanafani in 1972, Nasser in 1973 and Abu Sharar in 1981.

The Zionist movement has never bothered to distinguish in its killing campaigns between civilians and military targets: in fact, on many occasions the Israeli government (or even the Zionist movement before the establishment of the occupation state) targeted civilians on purpose to create terror among the population. Presumably, Israel wanted to kill Kanafani and silence his voice. Yet the plan did not work as intended.

Forty-five years this month since his assassination, Kanafani’s presence is (more…)

On July 5, we ran an article on an important strike by banana workers on the island of Guadeloupe, one of France’s colonial possessions in the Caribbean Sea.  We can now report the banana workers have won!  Below is an article from the French revolutionary weekly Lutte Ouvriere (July 7) reporting on their victory.

After 42 days on strike, the banana workers of Guadeloupe have made the bosses give in. Wednesday, June 28, they agreed to pay the workers what they owed them for holiday pay, overtime, and other things.

The strike committee already made sure that a calculation was made for each worker for what was owed for the last three years. For some, this came to a few thousand euros. The bosses also agreed to pay for the days of strike and they made a first payment of 700 euros to the workers on Monday, July 3.

They also agreed on some first steps to improve the terrible (more…)

Earlier this week (July 23) marked the 50th anniversary of the urban rebellion in Detroit, Michigan.  This was the era of explosions in the deprived black communities of urban America, opening with the rebellion in Harlem (New York) on the east Coast in 1964, the Watts ghetto (Los Angeles) on the west coast in 1965 and continuing in many places in between through the rest of the 1960s, with the biggest explosions coming with the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968.  Below, we’re running a piece by the comrades of the US Marxist group The Spark; this was the editorial that appeared in the current round of all their fortnightly workplace bulletins. 

by The Spark

In 1965, Detroit’s then mayor declared that the revolt in Watts couldn’t happen in “his city”. In 2017, Detroit’s current mayor declared that 1967 wasn’t an uprising. But it DID happen, and it WAS an uprising, an uprising of oppressed people. Before it was over, the Detroit revolt of 1967 would become the largest of any uprising in 20th century America. It was “the fire next time” that James Baldwin had written about in 1962.

In 1967 – no matter how many marches, how many court cases, how many laws – unemployment continued. Impoverishment drained people. Cops went into neighborhoods like an occupying army. There was a vast powder keg of unmet needs and grievances.

All it took was an “ordinary” incident of (more…)

by Daphna Whitmore

The_Young_Karl_Marx_film_posterThis movie is two hours of non-stop Marxist banter. Tossing around the ideas of Marx, Engels, Proudon, Bakunin and Weitling, with references to Hegel here and there, it should be as dry as hell, even for a hardened Marxist. It’s not. It is rivetting. At the Auckland International Film Festival the audience stayed and applauded as the credits rolled.

The opening scene has destitute folk collecting firewood in a forest, and moments later they are savagely beaten by police on horseback. Marx contemplates how gathering dry wood, fallen from the trees and destined to rot on the forest floor, can be treated as an act of property theft?  (more…)

People from this blog and people from AWSM (Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement) are currently working together to encourage people not to vote, and do so as a conscious political choice, in the September general election.

The facebook page will, in particular, be challenging the idea that Labour is some sort of alternative to National.  That’s the argument of the Labour hacks and the soft left outside Labour.

They want you to vote for the party that, for the past two years, has been running a racist campaign against “people with Chinese-sounding surnames” and trying to blame them for the housing crisis.

A vote for Labour is a vote for a xenophobic party.

In the 2011 and 2014 elections, Labour campaigned to raise the retirement age.

The last Labour government presided over year after year of budget surpluses, while refusing to raise social welfare benefits.

The last Labour government presided over the expansion of zero-hours contracts.

The last Labour government opposed parental leave; its leader, Helen Clark, even said paid parental leave would be introduced “over my dead body”.

The last Labour government brought in a load of repressive, anti-civil liberties legislation after 9/11.

And, not content with bringing in repressive laws, they went after left activists and attempted to frame-up a whole bunch of them on absurd “terrorism” charges.  The ‘terror raids’ saw several hundred military and armed police descend on Tuhoe country, terrorising people in and around Ruatoki.  Homes of activists across the country were also raided.

Although most of the charges were so flimsy they had to be eventually dropped, Labour’s police state raids and charges made life hell for the arrested activists for several years.  And veteran Maori activist Tame Iti and fellow activist Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara were successfully stitched up and imprisoned for several years.

A vote for Labour is a vote for that.

The last Labour government threatened to end social welfare benefits for people in areas declared “unemployment black spots” and told unemployed people in these areas to move.

A vote for Labour is a vote for that.

The last Labour government joined in the invasion of Afghanistan and sent NZ troops to Iraq just in time to met the deadline allowing NZ companies to bid for ‘reconstruction’ contracts’.

A vote for Labour is a vote for that.

While the mushy section of leftists back up the Labour Party and try to act as enablers for its xenophobic, repressive and all-round anti-working class policies, there is an alternative, an anti-capitalist alternative.

Chunks of the left are revealing themselves to be merely anti-National Party rather than anti-capitalist.  Our aim, however, is to get people to make a conscious political decision not to vote and begin the task of politicising the non-voters who already vastly outnumber the people who vote Labour.  (Indeed, in the last election, more blue-collar workers voted National than Labour, seeing National as the lesser-evil).

Support – and, even better, join in – the Not Voting is a Political Act campaign.  The facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NotVotingIsAPoliticalAct/

Help us promote the page.

by Susanne Kemp

Palestinian revolutionary leader Khalida Jarrar has once again been locked up.  She is the subject of an Israeli administrative detention order, imprisoning her for six months without charge or trial.  Forces from the illegal Israeli occupation on the West Bank raided her home on July 2.  She was then imprisoned by an Israeli occupation military court.

Khalida is a central leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the largest of the secular-left currents among Palestinians and a prominent fighter for women’s rights.  She is also a member of (more…)

The following was written by the editors of the US left-wing journal Against the Current, in the July-August issue of that publication, here.