Archive for the ‘State repression’ Category

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The following article first appeared in issue #6 of revolution magazine, May-June 1998.  Although nearly 20 years old, the article – which is actually based on talks given between 1995-97 – unfortunately remains highly relevant.

by Philip Ferguson

Over the last few years the term ‘political correctness’ has started to enter the vocabulary here.  Originating with a layer of liberals and leftists in the United States, politically correct practices and outlooks have gained a hold among elements of the professional classes in New Zealand.  The Anna Penn case in 1993, in which a trainee nurse was expelled from the nursing course at Christchurch Polytech for allegedly being “culturally unsafe”, and several cases in other nursing schools and social work courses, have garnered widespread media coverage.

In many ways, political correctness is stronger in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world.  It has become an important industry, with lucrative financial rewards, for a host of touchy-feely middle class liberals.  We have a range of counsellors now operating in most spheres of human problems, along with various consultancy agencies and individuals doing very nicely for themselves advising establishment institutions on how to be “culturally sensitive” to the people upon whose oppression these institutions depend.

In a real sense, political correctness in New Zealand has become the new (more…)

McGuinness’ coffin being carried through Derry city on Tuesday. His funeral is today (Thursday).  At front is his successor, Michelle O’Neill, with Gerry Adams at rear.

For people interested in Irish politics, check out material on Martin McGuinness and his political trajectory from revolutionary republican and socialist to bourgeois nationalist over on The Irish Revolution site.

The changing faces of Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuiness: a political obituary (written when he announced his resignation from Stormont, due to ill-health)

 

The piece below is taken from the site of Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, here, March 20.  Please support their work. 

Two Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike to demand their release from indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention. Mohammed Alaqimah of Jenin has been on hunger strike for 24 days, even after his health has deteriorated. He was joined by Raafat Shalash, 34, of al-Khalil, currently on his fifth day of hunger strike against administrative detention without charge or trial.

Alaqimah, 27, from the vilage of Barta’a, has been imprisoned without charge or trial since 16 August 2016. He launched a hunger strike for eight days in late December after his four-month administrative detention order was renewed. He launched his current hunger strike against the renewal once again of his imprisonment without charge or trial. Alaqimah is married and a father of two.

Shalash, from Beit Awwa village, held in the Negev desert prison, announced that he launched his hunger strike against the renewal of his administrative detention. He was seized by occupation forces on 17 January 2016 and has been subject to three consecutive administrative detention orders; his current order expires on 14 April 2017 and he is demanding that it not be renewed. He is married with three children and has spent seven years in Israeli prisons.

Alaqimah and Shalash are among over 530 Palestinians held without charge or trial under (more…)

The article below was written late last year by a veteran Canadian Marxist and anti-imperialist.  It appeared in the Australian-based international Marxist journal Links.  We’ve included the discussion on the Links site, as it contains comments representative of the two positions taken by anti-imperialists: one which focuses on the imperialists’ machinations against the regime and one which focuses on the nature of the Syrian regime and its backers in Tehran and Moscow.

by Richard Fidler

November 14, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In Syria the rebel cities that rose up four years ago in revolt against the brutal Assad dictatorship are now under a genocidal siege, bombed and assaulted from the air by Assad’s military aided and abetted by Russian fighter jets and bombers. Their desperate fight for survival, if unsuccessful, will put paid to the Arab Spring and with it the potential for building a democratic, anti-imperialist governmental alternative in the Middle East for an extended period to come. Socialists and antiwar activists everywhere have every interest in supporting the Syrian people and opposing that war.

But where is the antiwar movement? And what if anything is it doing about Syria? The most recent statement on the Canadian Peace Alliance web site is headlined Stop Bombing Syria. But it is focused on NATO. Not wrong in principle, but the statement, addressed to Canada’s previous bombing of ISIS positions in Syria, is many months out of date. There is nothing on the CPA site about the current murderous air and bombing assault on Syria’s cities. And it would appear that across the country the movement is doing nothing to protest the war.

Why the silence? Is it only because Trudeau has pulled Canada’s fighter jets out of Syria; after all, Canadian planes and troops are active in other parts of the Middle East. The CPA denounces the bombing of Syria by Harper and Trudeau but says nothing about the bombing now by Putin. And most of the left and labour movement are likewise maintaining a disquieting silence on the war in Syria.

Part of the reason lies no doubt in the complex and confused situation on the ground in that country, and throughout the Middle East.

In Syria the Assad regime has from the outset responded with brutal repression, displaying no willingness to negotiate with the democratic and popular opposition forces. It has sought to deflect attention from its war by various tactics, including the release from its prisons of Islamic fundamentalists who are now fighting with Daesh, the reactionary Islamic State forces that have been drawn into Syria from Iraq as a result of the civil war.

Iran and now Russia have intervened in support of Assad, while traditional allies of the United States (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, with the obvious sympathy of Israel) have backed the opposition, although for their own reactionary purposes and without providing the opposition forces with the weapons and other material support they so desperately need.

The United States, no friend of Assad but fearing his overthrow will further destabilize the Middle East and jeopardize Israel’s defense, has doled out aid to the opposition as if through an eye-dropper, denying it the (more…)

The following is based on a presentation at the International Communist Forum in London last month (February 2017).  ICF is organised by the British Marxist workers’ group Workers Fight, which is aligned with the French revolutionary movement Lutte Ouvriere.  This is part of our efforts to make available to readers several different viewpoints on the conflict in Syria.

Introduction

It is almost exactly 6 years since the wave of protests of the Arab Spring spread to Syria, in February 2011. Within only a few months of these protests, the confrontation between the protesters and the Syrian dictatorship turned into a bloody civil war, which remains as rife and brutal as ever today.

These six years of bloodshed have already claimed nearly half a million casualties and forced an estimated 4.5 million Syrians to seek shelter outside the country around 20% of the population. As to the state of the country, most of us have seen TV footage of Aleppo when it was recently retaken by government forces: it is a ghost town, covered in rubble. Some buildings still appear to be standing upright, but, on a closer look, most have been hollowed out by the blasts of many explosions. In fact many of Syria’s small and bigger towns have suffered the same treatment. As to the country’s infrastructure it has either been destroyed or else, it is falling apart for lack of maintenance.

In other words, the same tragedy which took place in Iraq as a result of the country’s invasion by the imperialist powers is being played out again in Syria, but this time, without (more…)

The article below is taken from Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.  Please support their work.  You can donate to them here.  

14 March 2017 marks the 11th anniversary of the attack on Jericho prisonby Israeli occupation forces and the abduction of six Palestinian political prisoners. Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, his comrades Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Majdi Rimawi, Hamdi Qur’an and Basil al-Asmar, along with Fateh veteran leader Fouad Shobaki, were seized from the PA prison after US and British guards suddenly left their posts in a violent attack by Israeli occupation forces. Today, all six of the kidnapped Palestinians remain imprisoned. Two Palestinians were killed and 23 injured by occupation forces as they waged a military assault on the prison.

The attack on Jericho prison not only reflected yet another Israeli crime against the Palestinian people and the targeting of one of Palestine’s most prominent political leaders, Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Palestinian leftist party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It also clearly indicated the joint role of imperialist powers like the United States and the United Kingdom and the devastating impact of Palestinian Authority “security coordination” with Israel.

This anniversary is particularly poignant today, following the Israeli assassination of (more…)

from mondoweiss
Jonathan Ofir on March 5, 2017

From the Israeli leadership perspective, a Palestinian state in any true capacity has always been a ‘Never-Never Land’ that should remain in the realms of fiction. When Israel and the Palestinians embarked upon the famous ‘peace process’ in Madrid in 1991, Prime Minister Itzhak Shamir coined the ‘teaspoon policy’: endless negotiating sessions at which countless teaspoons amounting to mountains of sugar would be stirred into oceans of tea and coffee, but no agreement would ever be reached. For Israel, with or without a ‘peace process’, this continues to be policy: the more it draws out the time, the more opportunity it gets to annex, the more it shrinks Palestinian enclaves into Bantustans and open air prisons.Israel has no intention of realizing a real Palestinian state, and it never had.

Let me review the history. Israel took over (more…)