Frederick Douglass

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..." Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

IWW Members discuss organizing, “activism,” and Solidarity Unionism

Good discussion.

Music can play many roles, interview with Ani DiFranco

A little off topic, but not so much really.

Just for the record: I adore this woman. She's probably achieved the best fusion of poetry and music of anyone I've ever heard. (Whether this makes for the best music is another question.) But I have to say that her theory that patriarchy is the cause of all our social problems is just profoundly wrong. Not that it isn't an important issue, and not that feminism, particularly radical feminism, hasn't made a contribution beyond that which it treats directly, but the word 'all' is just an abuse of other worthy struggles. And really is just insane.

But I still love her anyway...and her version of the song is the best I've heard.

But her best contribution to social justice remains, in my humble opinion, this:

Occupy DC Protesters Stay Put Amid Eviction Threats

Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners Update: Bets Against Homeowners Must Stop, Freddie Mac Was Told

Cries of "outrage" emanating from the very same government which was a party to the crime (read earlier post on this topic). As Frank Zappa once said: "Government is the entertainment wing of the military/industrial complex," it just dabbles in extortion, and only when so ordered by its ownership.

#SCAF and US Aid : No smoke without fire

Occupy South Africa: “we are all kings and queens!”

Corporations from America to Europe through Israel and Saudi Arabia and all the way East to Japan, China and Australia have a dominant control of our countries resources and property while we the people who were already poor are becoming even poorer.

This means what you think it means. It means that those in control of the struggle movements of the past, once they reached power sold their souls to the corporate devil overnight and took their parties with them, with the exception of a few. The South African government with its two dominant parties the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance passed neo-liberal economic policies over these last 18 years such as GEAR and NEPAD that saw the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and millions lose their jobs.
It may surprise you, but today, 18 years after 1994, South Africa has the widest class divide in the world. In a nation of 50 million people, 40 percent are jobless. Among the balance who have jobs, the poorest 50 percent collectively earn 6 percent of the wealth while the wealthiest 12 percent earn 50 percent of the wealth. South Africa has Africa’s strongest economy in terms of income but has the world’s worst disparity in wealth distribution.

What gets said far too little also is how this greed has a direct effect on our society as a people and it is this that I would like to emphasize. What many of you do already know is how violent South Africa is. It takes a little imagination to figure out the logical source of this violence, as science shows that the wider the class divide in a given area the more violent that area becomes.
We have the widest class divide in the world and therefore we have the most violent society in the world. While I of course do not condone violence and crime it would behoove anyone concerned to consider the source so that it may be firstly known how to eradicate it and secondly to know who the biggest criminals are.

Fantastic! I'm not familiar with Joe, but Hani is a famous name in SA history. Chris was assassinated, imho, to make way for Mandela, whose repulsive neo-liberal policies were more acceptable to international capital. Hani would never have cooperated the way Mandela/Mbeki/Zuma have.

Prediction: South Africa wil play a pivotal role in the initiation of the global revolution. Immense resource riches and a level of exploitation unexceeded anywhere--a recipe for revolution.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Judge Strips Power from Oakland Police

Journalists—Myself Included—Swept Up in Mass Arrest at Occupy Oakland

One million dead in Iraq

That sentence is a cognitive litmus test. Some people's immediate reaction is, "That can't be right," because the United States couldn't do that. Or because crimes on that scale don't still happen. Or because they do happen, but only in horrible places that the United States hasn't rescued.

One million is a "Grandpa, what did you do to stop it?" number. It's a number that undeniably puts the American state among history's villains. Those who are not willing or able to accept this are physically unable to retain the fact that over a million Iraqis are dead. Their brains expel it like a foreign germ.

Noam Chomsky once wrote that the "sign of a truly totalitarian culture is that important truths simply lack cognitive meaning and are interpretable only at the level of 'Fuck You,' so they can then elicit a perfectly predictable torrent of abuse in response."

Psy-op Alert: Egypt bank robbers steal in two separate incidents

I don't believe a word of this. Shooting out the tires of an armored car doesn't get you the money; and anybody seriously contemplating robbing one would surely know that.

They robbed the bank in traditional Bedouin dress and turban; well, doesn't everyone?

Gee, you think maybe, just maybe, these folks were trying to call attention to themselves?

This thing screams intel' operation. Whose and why? Who knows, but it seems quite likely that the folks in the armored car and the bank, some at least, were complicit. Remember this incident, I think we'll be hearing more about it someday.

Bedouin dress, nice flourish! Well at least they have a sense of humor.|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners

There are three shocking things about this story:

1, This happened two years after the collapse of '08 and the bailouts.

2, These treacherous, larcenous trades were and are still legal.

3, This illicit activity occurred while the company was taken into receivership by the Feds.

In other words, the thieves are still stealing, and the government is a partner in these crimes.

Once again I yield the floor to the late George Carlin:


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sudanese rebels seize 29 Chinese workers

Workers? Anti-Chinese sentiment is growing all over with rank-in-file Africans even as their government sign sweetheart deals with the Beijing bourgeoisie.|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Occupy Oakland Rally, January 28, 2012 Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

Great piece. Where information goes to die

Gilad Atzmon On History And The Bogus Palestinian Solidarity Campaign

Great essay.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sugarcoating the Lies: A New York Times Sampler

China’s advantage- Serfdom

How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’

Nice piece. Norway is unimportant enough to the global economy that such reformism can be tolerated by international capital. The process described in the article could not be duplicated in the US or UK or South Africa, but a nice story nonetheless.

Social protests spread in Eastern Europe

The Education Crisis and the Politics of Contempt

Another great essay from Richard Pithouse.

Nigeria: Was it a 14-day dream?

Great piece. politics are the same wherever capitalism exists.

Photos Of Egyptian Protest
Corporations from America to Europe through Israel and Saudi Arabia and all the way East to Japan, China and Australia have a dominant control of our countries resources and property while we the people who were already poor are becoming even poorer.

This means what you think it means. It means that those in control of the struggle movements of the past, once they reached power sold their souls to the corporate devil overnight and took their parties with them, with the exception of a few. The South African government with its two dominant parties the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance passed neo-liberal economic policies over these last 18 years such as GEAR and NEPAD that saw the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and millions lose their jobs.

It may surprise you, but today, 18 years after 1994, South Africa has the widest class divide in the world. In a nation of 50 million people, 40 percent are jobless. Among the balance who have jobs, the poorest 50 percent collectively earn 6 percent of the wealth while the wealthiest 12 percent earn 50 percent of the wealth. South Africa has Africa’s strongest economy in terms of income but has the world’s worst disparity in wealth distribution.

What gets said far too little also is how this greed has a direct effect on our society as a people and it is this that I would like to emphasize. What many of you do already know is how violent South Africa is. It takes a little imagination to figure out the logical source of this violence, as science shows that the wider the class divide in a given area the more violent that area becomes.

We have the widest class divide in the world and therefore we have the most violent society in the world. While I of course do not condone violence and crime it would behoove anyone concerned to consider the source so that it may be firstly known how to eradicate it and secondly to know who the biggest criminals are.

Fantastic! I'm not familiar with Joe, but Hani is a famous name in SA history. Chris was assassinated, imho, to make way for Mandela, whose repulsive neo-liberal policies were more acceptable to international capital. Hani would never have cooperated the way Mandela/Mbeki/Zuma have.

Prediction: South Africa wil play a pivotal role in the initiation of the global revolution. Immense resource riches and a level of exploitation unexceeded anywhere--a recipe for revolution.

Here's Joe Hani's Facebook page:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chart: Nearly One Quarter of American Workers are in Low Wage Jobs, More Than In Other Developed Nations

Destruction Of Ron Paul Update: 27 January

Here's the Post's latest bullet fired at Ron Paul. The allegations in the hit piece may well be true, I suspect they are as Paul's explanations are robustly incredible, but since when has the Post given a damn about racism? They never have before, and they still don't. A cursory survey of recent Republican presidential candidates reveals an extensive range of bigots. I'm 51 and I cannot remember an election year when the Repubs didn't produce multiple presidential hopefuls with unassailable racist credentials--they never let their base down! Racism has long been an essential plank in the Party's platform. Yet I cannot remember a defamation campaign against any of them such as we are witnessing directed at Ron Paul.

Why? Next to socialism, the thing which the plutocracy fears most is real capitalism. As it stands now there is a ruling cabal of oligarchs which stands astride the government and directs it in their interest. It collects taxes which go to the oligarchy as debt, subsidies and aid to the dictators of the world whom they control; it maintains an enormous military which protects the gangsters at the top and establishes and perpetuates their hegemony over the globe; it provides basic infrastructure services; and it suppresses rebellion against their rule. This is all done free of charge and if Ron Paul gets elected (assuming he is sincere) this comes to an end. The state is a machine by which the oligarchy maintains their domination, they do not want to see it dismantled.

South Africa: The reign of thugs

The fact that a hugely disproportionate number of black men live in prisons in the US, and the fact that black men are regularly harassed by the US police, is an expression of the living legacy of Jim Crow. And we shouldn’t be surprised that in the Chile of Pinochet the police became a branch of the oppressive apparatus. In a chameleon-like fashion, as soon as the dictatorship ended, police behavior came to mirror the new democratic ethos. The biggest thugs suddenly became soft teddy bears seemingly working for a new kind of future. And as soon as the façade of quasi-perfect democracy crumbled and student unrest threatened to destabilize the status quo, founded on some kind of not-so-noble lie, the Chilean police rapidly changed its colours once again in accordance with the demands of the state.

Great piece.

Cartoon O' The Day, 27 Jan.

Quote O' The Day, January 27

"We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of."
- Edward Bernays

Toronto Mayor Set to Lock Out City Workers

Longshore Union Settles Grain Dispute as Confrontation Loomed

Th4e devil is in the [ undisclosed ] details, but a unanimous vote tells me all I need to know. The only issue is whether EGT decided to cave on their own, or whether this came from a high-ranking Federal official worried about re-election.

In either case, congrats to the ILWU.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Conditions “horrific” for HIV/AIDS patients in the Congo

No global shortage of medecine, just a glut of capitalism.|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Egypt’s brutalization of women continues|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29


Woman tells of having pants ripped off, assaulted and prodded in Egypt’s Tahrir Square


Foreign woman stripped of clothes, assaulted, in Egypt’s Tahrir Square

Launch of women’s club’s sex education drive raided in Malaysia|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Generals Still in Charge Tough Days Ahead in Egypt

Good piece.

Didacticide Update, Tucson Front: Closing the classroom door in Tucson

China and Japan currency swap A nail in the coffin of the US Dollar

BOMBSHELL REPORT: Goldman Sachs Got Billions From Taxpayers Thru AIG For Its OWN Account, Crisis Panel Finds; Contradicting SWORN Testimony From Execs

They own this place, why should they tell Congress the truth.

NEW DETAILS: How Goldman Sachs Killed AIG

good work by the Daily Bail.

Complete AIG Counterparty Payment List - NYT

Scroll down to charts/lists.

Same people, over and over again.

Egypotian Counterrevolution Update: New IMF loan would be 'odious' and illegitimate, says Egypt debt amnesty group

Egypt will be crippled financially should its new government start acting in the best interests of the Egyptian people.,-say.aspx

Bernanke has "finger on trigger" for new bond buys

If you believe that Bernanke is trying to jump start the economy, why would he try something that has failed twice before? Is he that stupid? Hardly! He's looting the government on behalf of his employers--the private bankers who own the Fed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SCAF’S parliament

Egypt's Revolutionary Socialists: We want to expose the lies of the elites

Capital's Globe Wide Risks

Occupy Atlanta, Unions Getting Together

The New Face behind Unionized (and Feminist) Bananas in Latin America

Debating Socialist Strategy

A good debate can be had by first reading this:

Workers’ governments and socialist strategy — a reply

and then this:

Workers’ government: the realities of our era are different than in the 1920s

Photo O' the Day, 25 Jan.

Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

David Montgomery, Grand Master Workman

Nice piece.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like: Grassroots Democracy in Venezuela

Please read this.

Diary: “Forty-two years ago, I was mysteriously invited to visit North Korea...” Tariq Ali

Amusing as ever.

A seminar on Daniel Bensaïd

Nice piece.

Famine devastates states of northern Mexico

There is no shortage of food in the world, just too much capitalism.

Farmer suicides in India: a policy-induced disaster

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Farmer suicides in India: a policy-induced disaster

23 January, 2012. A World to Win News Service. Sanhati, an Indian online magazine, has written and published a major report on the farmer suicides that have reached epic proportions in that country. The full article, about twice as long as this version, with charts, graphs and maps, can be found at (15 January issue). The article exposes the choke-hold of the multinational corporations and the impact of neoliberal trade policies on small farmers in India.

Some background: With the fall of the Soviet Union 1990s, the US was able to accelerate the breaking down of barriers to globalised investment, exploitation and trade. One of the biggest changes came in India, once financially as well as politically dominated by the USSR (where socialism had been overthrown in the 1950s and replaced with a form of capitalism in the guise of state ownership).

Bostonians decry transit fare hikes and service cuts

I'm originally from Boston, and the T is one of the best mass transit systems in the country. The proposed cuts are inconceivable.

Indiana Senate Passes RTW Despite Broad Public Opposition

You didn't think the Indiana Senate cared what the public thinks, did you?

Obama Is on the Brink of a Settlement With the Big Banks—and Progressives Are Furious

Steal trillions, pay billions in fines--and get immunity from civil legal action and a guarantee from the Feds that they will not investigate potential criminal activity.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Occupy Songbook

Great stuff.

A Very Different Story About Somalia: The Rise Of Somali Capital

The centennial of the ANC: What does it mean for the working class?

Great piece.

Wild Malawi vendors strip women of miniskirts

ATTN OWS: COINTELPRO Revisited – Spying & Disruption

Oakland Commune Retrospective

11 minute video.

Neo-Racism in the Southwest

Books banned for average students but not for fast-trackers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The World War on Democracy

Great piece.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Itochu Office in San Francisco Occupied to support ILWU at Longview Port

Police And Protesters At UC Riverside

Tucson schools bans books by Chicano and Native American authors

“A Talk to Teachers” By James Baldwin

A little off topic for this blog, but worth a read.

Liberia's Charles Taylor 'was CIA spy'


Yet another wacko conspiracy theory proven to be correct.

Has NATO Created A Monster In Libya: Protesters attack NTC's Benghazi headquarters

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day Of Action In San Francisco

‘Union Stooges'? The NLRB Is No Panacea for Workers

Three New Year appointments to the National Labor Relations Board assure that it will continue to operate. But while unions are celebrating the NLRB’s ability to keep the lights on, along with a handful of union-supportive decisions by the board, the hard fact is that even when the NLRB is operational, it doesn’t work for workers.

Of course it doesn't, it wasn't designed to. The ruling class directs the state, any part thereof is for their benefit, not ours.

Thousands Rallying to Stop Indiana's 'Right to Work' Steamroll

Cablevision Workers Lead MLK Day March as Disparities Fuel Union Drive

Racial disparities are fueling the Cablevision organizing campaign. Brooklyn’s techs are almost entirely black, and start at $12.85 an hour. Starting salaries for the company’s mostly white techs on Long Island are $2 higher.

The Brooklyn workers discovered the disparity after the company dispatched help from Long Island to clean up after a storm, and the workers compared paychecks. “They limited the number of people they sent after that,” said Borris H. Reid, who has worked at the company for eight years.

ILWU's stand in Longview

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Regional Strike Paralyzes Hyrdroelectric Project in Colombia

Brave New World? Arizona school district bans books by Chicano, Native American authors

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NYC Transit Workers’ Fare Strike 2012: Can Occupy Open Horizons for a Frustrated Labor Movement?

Nice piece.

1 Million Signatures Submitted to Recall Walker

Petition: SaveEthnicStudies.Org

Don't let Chicago make free speech a crime

All eyes on Longview: An injury to one is an injury to all

Monday, January 16, 2012

Police domestic violence nearly twice average rate

Great piece.

Unlike most anarchists/socialists, I don't hate the cops, they, like soldiers, are victims too. The state not only abuses the oppressed, it corrupts those whose loathsome, soulless task it is to do the oppressing. Capitalism destroys everyone, bottom and top and all stations in between.

Egypt requests $3.2 billion loan from IMF

Remember all that public, chest-beating the military junta did about not accepting money from the IMF?

This is being done now before the new government/president are determined just in case capital can't keep the wrong people from getting elected.|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Saudi man arrested for organizing gay dates|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Bahrain woman commits suicide over gov’t brutality

DUBAI: A Bahraini woman committed suicide on Saturday in protest of continued government violence against protesters in the country, now into nearly a yearlong movement against the monarchy.|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

A dream of education equality

Nice MLK Day piece.

MLK's Greatest Speech

In Israel, 'fascist' is not a rude word

Hillary Clinton had not yet finished voicing her concern about what is happening in Israel before that industrious Knesset member from the Likud, Danny Danon, started rattling off another version of the list of bills about loyalty to the state (which have meanwhile been dropped ): "Every certificate issued by the state will oblige [the recipient] to sign a document with a clause declaring loyalty to the State of Israel."

An explanation was offered by Arutz Sheva, the settlers' news website: No declaration - then no driver's license, no identity card, no passport. Speaking to Razi Barka'i on Army Radio, Danon explained that this was indeed not enough for - watch out! - "the total solution." Even Barka'i almost choked at the phrase.

Citizenship is not an entitlement, it's a branding iron. You and I are property of the ruling class. They own us.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The day after: the movement beyond the protest

Great piece, but sentiments such as these have been expressed at least as far back as Robert Owen, and here we are reiterating them two centuries later. People have left the “plazas” and the commons fundamentally changed throughout the capitalist era without it making much of a difference. So much has been said on this topic without, I fear, getting any nearer to the riddle’s solution.

Didacticide Update, Seattle Front: The Cruel Hoax of “Choice” With Charter Schools

Good piece.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Striking Back against Picket Line Retaliation

Verizon fired 40 union members in December for picket-line activity. Aren’t members protected in legally sanctioned strikes?

Not always. The courts and the NLRB have given employers the ability to discipline workers for “picket line misconduct” or “egregious misconduct.”

They define misconduct as assaults, property destruction, and extensive blocking of non-strikers, including strikebreakers.

That's right, strikers cannot legally impede the efforts of strike-breakers.

Protesting Speed-Up, Korean Auto Worker Sets Self on Fire

Google Working as an Arm of Law Enforcement

India To Pay For Iran Crude In Rupees


Quote O' The Day, 13 Dec.

Our misery is the source of their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them.

- The words of a Poor Rebel in Shakespeare's “Coriolanus”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A poisoned chalice: Liberation, ANC-Style

Small wonder. For the chilling fact remains that while the economic gap between people defined in terms of racial categories (black as distinct from white) has narrowed statistically (as some blacks have become very rich indeed) the gap between rich and poor has actually widened. Needless to say, in South Africa such depressing facts are too readily apparent to cause surprise. The real question is: how long can it be before the anger these facts even now give rise to becomes ever more potent politically?

Great piece. There's an important lesson to be learned about race and class here. Those who see the world in racial terms cannot help but lament that for the average Black SA's living standard has become even worse under the ANC than it had been under the Boer government. Those who thought that once a Black government was installed things would improve for the long-suffering Black population have no understanding of class. The racism which existed (and still does) in SA was a product of the economic relationship between international capital, which coveted SA's resources and labor, and the country's inhabitants, a legacy of the British Empire. The end of apartheid saw a replacement of capital's White management team with its new Black management team. Nothing really changed, save that capital could be even more rapacious once the unstable White government was gone. For there to be justice in SA, the people must rise up, banish capitalism, and take power directly into their own hands. Then and only then will they be free, and racism will blow away like tumbleweed.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

The ANC centenary: A display of elite power

Aljazeera Coverage: The Revolution Will Be Televised, And Also Manipulated

Great piece. Al-Jazeera is controlled by the Arab oil oligopoly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blogger's note Jan. 11, 2012

I am often surprised by the reaction to what i post here. I've received a lot of favorable comments about this entry: Happy New Year? The Best And Worst Of 2011

I'm not sure why that struck a chord, I've just reread it and doesn't seem to me that it's worthy of the all the praise it has received. but I'm glad a few of you found "inspiration" in it, so my thanks for the especially kind words.

The credit should really go to Wordsworth as he wrote most of it.

How to Win a Fight with the 1%

Occupy Movement Beware, Here Come The Stalinists

Theory And Practice In Occupy


I posted this response which at the moment is awaiting moderation:

Somewhere Stalin can be heard applauding.

The only shallow analysis here is Cooke's.

It is by no means only the USSR which provides a cautionary example of authoritarian socialism (if you will forgive the oxymoron). There's Cuba whose socialist patrilineal succession we've recently witnessed. There's the nightmare that was China under Mao (not to mention the monster it begat). All of Lenin's bequests have been horrors.

Decentralization does not mean disorganization, this is a squalid authoritarian canard. Decentralized, egalitarian socialism does and did work. It worked in Spain, that is at least until it was undermined by Lenin's comrade and successor in Moscow.

"Instead of decentralization simply meaning "democracy,” in practice it often means "disorganization” and extreme individualism. Any powerful social movement must inevitably be organized; and although Occupy seems to realize this with its useful experiments in direct democracy, the movement as a whole remains incredibly disorganized and uncoordinated. "
(Excuse me while I recover from the paralyzing cold chill these phrases inflicted upon me.) The Sovnarkom couldn't have said it any better.

"Occupy needs both leaders and organization while still operating entirely democratically. "
Occupy IS operating entirely democratically, and it IS organized. In Seattle we just had a splendidly organized port shutdown. And if it had leaders (and let's not be coy about this-bosses is what Cooke means) it would cease being democratic. There is no point to ceding authorirty to bosses other than to impose policy/strategy against the will of the people, if the leader is in every case in accord with the will of the majority, then s/he becomes superfluous.

It already has leaders who refuse to accept the title as such, much like Noam Chomsky does, the famous anti-authoritarian and leader of the anarchist left, who thinks that by saying he is "not a leader,” he ceases to be one. In reality his massive authority continues to exist outside of his humble intentions.

This statement is telling. First, Cooke obviously doesn't understand anarchism (what a surprise!) and should perhaps would be well advised to heed Mark Twain's admonition: Better to sit in silence and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Cooke should stick to what he knows best-Stalinism.

Chomsky has no authority amongst us anarchists. He issues no directives, and we would pay them no mind if he did. He has influence among those anarchists who find insight, wisdom (whatever) in his opinions, but no anarchist would accept Chomsky as their leader. Nor do I believe he would accept the position of boss anarchist if it were offered to him. What esteem he does enjoy is freely given, and without servility. Chomsky has no authority in the anarchist movement.

In Occupy, this expresses itself by a fanatical fear of the movement being co-opted. Yes, Occupy should be wary of Democratic Party representatives in sheep's clothing, but this fear has infected and has spread throughout Occupy and now includes internal finger pointing and accusations of "co-opting,” creating more unnecessary divisiveness.

If Cooke thinks that it is the Democratic Party who represents the greatest danger of infiltration and subversion then he has a lot to learn about the history of labor and social justice movements.

It is a healthy impulse to strive towards greater democracy and away from charisma-based leadership, but any idea taken to its extreme can become nonsense
. "

I'm speechless.

To denounce real organization and leadership "on principle" is to vastly oversimplify the real processes of movement building while erecting unnecessary barriers in Occupy's path to real power.

We don't want power, we are fighting power.

In fact, true leaders can only emerge in the context of real democracy; both need the other.

Wasn't that a line from 1984, or The Case of Comrade Tulayev?

This argument goes back through Lenin/Luxembourg, Lenin/Gorter to Marx/Bakunin. If one needed to become a Fascist to effect socialism, I for one would make peace with capitalism. Fortunately it isn't. There's plenty of divisiveness in the Occupy movement, it appears that now the greatest danger is reaction.

Ilwu/Longview Update, 11 Jan.

San Franciso Labor Council Condemns Use of US Military to Escort Ship to Pick Up Scab Grain

The state intervening on the side of capital. What a shock!

San Francisco unions support ILWU Local 21 at EGT

The U.S. military has been called out in Washington state to support some of the world's worst grubby lying 1% corporatists -- who received federal funds to build their port operation in Longview, but only after promising to hire ILWU members. And then, after their federally-funded facility was built, these grubby low-lifes went back on their word. ..

A letter from the Transport Workers' Solidarity Committee:

Join the Caravan to Mass Labor Protest

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is waging a battle against union-busting. ILWU Local
21 in Longview, Washington is under attack by a giant consortium, EGT, which has built a $200 million grain
terminal and is running it as a scab operation. This directly violates the port agreement with ILWU which has had
jurisdiction for over 75 years. This union-busting must be stopped. It’s the fight of working people everywhere.
If EGT succeeds, other grain handlers will push for scab operations as well. That would affect the entire
ILWU, as grain contracts contribute 30% to our benefits. Not only health & welfare but also our pension fund,
dangerously underfunded at 64%. Breaking ILWU jurisdiction would immediately threaten our container ports.
ILWU is one of the most militant unions in the country. This is a make-or-break struggle for all organized labor.
Longview Local 21 and San Francisco Local 10, Harry Bridges’s local, are asking for your support. The
struggle is coming to a head as EGT plans to bring in a ship to load the scab grain stored in their terminal in
Longview. This could happen at any time, possibly in mid- to late-January. We are urging workers to join a
caravan to go to Longview from your area when the ship comes in and to participate in a mass labor protest rally.
It’s your right and your duty, to your fellow union members and to yourself.
If thousands of union brothers and sisters show up, along with supporters in other unions and the Occupy
movement who have aided the struggle against EGT in Longview, we can put a stop to this union-busting
operation. We won’t have much advance warning. So we need to prepare to come with our workmates, friends,
family, with everyone who understands that our future is at stake in Longview. Get ready to be there!
It can be done. Longshore workers have done it. Last July a thousand ILWU members and supporters
blocked a train carrying grain to the scab terminal. On September 7, 400 union supporters blocked a grain train in
Vancouver, Washington, and then again in Longview. The next morning hundreds of longshore workers arrived
from all the Northwest ports before dawn, and news media reported thousands of tons of grain ended up on the
tracks. The ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Vancouver and Portland were shut down – the workers were all in
Longview. Now we need you to “meet and greet” the scab ship.
The brothers and sisters in Longview are doing their part. Under a police reign of terror Local 21 with
only 225 members has 220 arrests for defending ILWU jurisdiction. They have built a large and broad support
campaign with rallies and mass pickets several totaling over a thousand.
Others have contributed too. On Nov. 2, Occupy Oakland mobilized 30,000 people to shut down the port
to show their “commitment to solidarity with Longshore workers in their struggles against EGT in Longview,
Washington.” Local 21 President Dan Coffman speaking about Nov. 2 at Occupy Oakland said, “You can’t believe
what you people did for the inspiration of my union members...” And on Dec. 12, Occupy called to shut down the
coast in support of the struggle in Longview. Again shipping in the port of Oakland was shut down, along with
terminals in Seattle, Portland and elsewhere.
We’re all in this together. The San Francisco and Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Counties Central Labor
Councils have already declared their support. We will be signing up people who are ready to go up to
Longview in a caravan when they call us. Local 21 is leading the way. Northwest locals have stepped up to
the plate, as has the Occupy movement. Now it is everyone’s turn. Together we have the power! Use it or
lose it. Show that working people are ready, willing and able to fight for our rights.
January 4, 2012

An excellent piece from Ben Shreiner

The Looming Showdown in Longview

Some background on the corporate criminals.

ILWU Longview action from felix G. glee on Vimeo.

And of course the bourgeois press is marshaling their forces for a defamation campaign.

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

Promoting ethics? Likely committed crimes? This is just the beginning. The corporate media/reactionary commentariat will be spring-loaded to cover the violence which plain-clothes law enforcement will initiate. There just getting warmed up here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Egypt’s Workers After the Revolution

And with the Islamic parties winning a majority of votes in the first round of parliamentary elections, the working class doesn’t appear to have anyone who represents their interests...

“We didn’t have time to make our own party, or to organize behind any one candidate and none of the parties represent workers,” said Bakr Hassan Bakr, a labor activist and lawyer in Port Said. “The parties didn’t consider the labor constituency when making their platforms. The workers haven’t even been part of the political debate.”

The apathy toward workers’ issues isn’t a fluke. While there have been unions here for decades, the country’s dictatorial rulers outlawed organizing in the western sense. The state run labor unions were the only ones allowed until just a few years ago. Hossam el-Hamalawy, a leftist activist and member of the newly created Democratic Workers Party, said from the very beginning, state-run unions offered few benefits.

USA: The Oakland Port Shutdown

I'm not at all sure the optimism in full display in this piece is justified, certainly things have not gone nearly so well in Seattle, but I hope he's right and I'm wrong.

What’s Really Going On In The Straits Of Hormuz

General Strike Over Fuel Hike Paralyzes Nigeria

While called by the country’s two main trade union federations, the strike movement began as a wave of nationwide protests which, in many areas, adopted the name Occupy Nigeria, in identification with movements in the United States and elsewhere that have broken out in opposition to economic deprivation and social inequality.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan announced the scrapping of the fuel subsidies on New Year’s Day, resulting in an immediate doubling of gasoline prices from the equivalent of $1.70 per gallon ($0.45 per liter) to $3.50 per gallon ($0.94 per liter) or higher.

In Lagos, over ten thousand demonstrators poured into the city’s Gani Fewehinni park. Singing and chanting slogans against “Badluck Jonathan”, the protesters carried placards, many of them hand-written, with slogans such as “Subsidy removal is a huge economic fraud”, “Nigeria is not Animal Farm”, and “The poor will have nothing to eat but the rich.” One popular poster portrayed Jonathan with a devil’s horns and fangs pumping gas at a filling station. Large numbers of youth marched waving sticks and tree boughs.

Monday, January 9, 2012

South Africa: On the Return of the Political

Nice piece.

Longview's call for solidarity

Good interview.

Postal unions under the gun

Deja Vu All Over Again: The New York Times is Misleading the Public on Iran

Quote Of The Day, January 9 2012

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
-- Albert Einstein

Quadriplegic Undocumented Immigrant Dies In Mexico After Being Deported From His Hospital Bed

Sunday, January 8, 2012

[VIDEO] Six Oaklanders arrested at anti-police rally

New York Crimes Beating The Empire's War Drums AgaIN

Rescued Iranian Fishermen - How Comes The Times Is Involved?

Judith Miller is gone, but her work lives on...

MSNBC Fabricates A "Top Syrian General" - Antiwar Promotes The Story

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oakland Anti-Police March Stormed and Kettled by Riot Police

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chile Rising: Behind the Student Protest Movement

Text and video. Worth a look.

The Facts DO Matter in Terms of Charter Schools

OccuptSeattle ILWU Meeting With Prez Dan Coffman

OS Labor Caucus: Two Days, Two Exciting Events!
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Labor Caucus


Labor Caucus


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Thursday, January 5, 2012 4:06 PM

Labor Caucus,

As was discussed at the meeting last night, there are two big events coming up, both today and tomorrow where we really need

help pushing out attendance!


First Ever West Seattle Neighborhood Meeting!

Co-hosted by the West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice, this neighborhood meeting will bring together a variety of voices from the community and the Occupy movement to discuss how to move forward with forming a state bank, and the effort to separate corporations from personhood!

· Where: West Seattle Library, 2306 42nd Ave SW, 98116

· When: Tonight, January 5th

· Time: 6:00 - 7:30pm

***Tomorrow [Friday] Night***

ILWU 21 Caravan Organizing Meeting and Roundtable Discussion

A meeting concerning organizing caravans and a roundtable discussion with ILWU president Dan Coffman will be taking place tomorrow night at the Seattle Labor Temple. At 4pm, anybody interested in being involved with hosting or participating in caravan activities is invited to take part and coordinate with other caravan leaders. At 6pm, the roundtable discussion will kick off and we will hear from Dan Coffman exactly what type of participation is needed from activists who want to get involved in ILWU 21's struggle.

It is critically important that we have many labor voices in the room to lend moderation to the discussion. We want to reinforce the notion that any activists headed down to Longview should do so only at the behest of ILWU 21, and only to support their activities there. We want to ensure that Longview is NOT used as a stage to advance other political goals.

· Where: Seattle Labor Temple, Hall 8

· When: Tomorrow Night, January 6th

· Time: 4:00pm (Caravan Planning) 6:00pm (Roundtable Discussion with ILWU 21)

Reply to: Reply to Labor Caucus

Has America’s Stolen Election Process Finally Hit Prime Time?

The Trickledown Revolution, by Arundhati Roy

Another brilliant piece from the Anglophone world's greatest essayist.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quote O' The Day, December 4, 2012

"War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday living. We precipitate war out of our daily lives; and without a transformation in ourselves, there are bound to be national and racial antagonisms, the childish quarreling over ideologies, the multiplication of soldiers, the saluting of flags, and all the many brutalities that go to create organized murder."

J. Krishnamurti

Appeal to Join the Solidarity Caravan to Longview, Washington

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rumsfeld-Era Propaganda Program Whitewashed by Pentagon

A Democratic administration running a cover-up for a Neocon Republican one?

It doesn't matter who we put in office, they own both parties.

Tunisia's revolution, one year on

Nice interview.

Bankers Trying to Use NAFTA to Kill Financial Reform

Upcoming Book Reveals The Irish Potato Famine Was A Genocide

Monday, January 2, 2012

Brief Videos On The Causes Of The Greek Revolt.

Exploring Revolt in Greece from Ross Domoney on Vimeo.

The Greek Teacher. from Ross Domoney on Vimeo.

Remembering 1973 from Ross Domoney on Vimeo.

[Discovered at]

2012, The Year Of Fascism In America?

The American bourgeois republic is dead. The bourgeoisie now rules through an omnipotent government. Fascism prevails.

While the rest of us were sipping champagne and making resolutions we'll never keep, President Bismarck Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which essentially nullifies the Bill of Rights. The latter has been on life support since the Patriot Act, and now the plug has been pulled.

Contrary to what many have been taught, the Founders were no fans of liberty. They discussed whether to allow freedom of speech and assembly and resoundingly rejected the idea. They did so because such things would eventually threaten their wealth and privilege, precisely that which they had assembled to safeguard. Unfortunately for them, once the revolution had displaced the Brits, genuinely democratic assemblies and institutions took hold. Local self-rule had broken out here and there. The American people were well armed, and were in no mind to surrender the democratic advances they had won at so dear a price. Governance had fallen into the hands of the people, and the wealthy northern merchants and southern planters met in Philadelphia to wrest it away.

The original form of the Constitution contained no Bill of Rights. It was presented to the states on a yes-or-no, as-is basis. Where the the power of money was strongest and democracy weakest, the Rights-less Constitution was passed. Elsewhere it was refused. Eventually, a series of compromises were reached among the upper classes of the respective States, the inclusion of a Bill of Rights being one of them, and the Constitution was ratified.

The goal of a majority of the Founders was to throttle democracy. Or as Alexander Hamilton euphemistically put it:

"All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well born, the other the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government. Can a democratic assembly, who annually revolve in the mass of the people, be supposed steadily to pursue the public good? Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy. Their turbulent and uncontroling disposition requires checks."

In Commonors' meetings around the country the disenfranchized "checked" fumed at the treachery. The new Constitution reversed the democratic gains which had been made, and denied to working peoples those reforms for which they had taken up arms against the British. Worse still it imposed onerous financial burdens which led to bankruptcies, foreclosures and repossessions. Talk of a new insurrection was heard.

Between the war and the ratification of the Constitution, dispossessed farmers in Massachusetts rebelled. Under their able leader, Daniel Shays, they did well enough to cause concern for the ruling class. Eventually they succumbed to superior forces, but their initial success inspired the newly dispossessed to act. The likes of John Fries and Herman Husband led insurgents against the new plutocracy, but they were defeated. The merchants and planter class had secured their ascendancy.

With the NDAA Hamilton's work is now complete. Such democratic imprudence as gainsaying the policies of the United States has now been criminalized; one can be detained indefinitely, and without charges being brought. Those who would advocate a different course from that undertaken by government, or denounce one of its bureaucrats, or have the temerity to petition the government for redress of grievances, are now enemies of the state. Liberty within a bourgeois republic was never more than a conjured spectre, now even its shadow is subject to endless confinement.

The Oligarchy now rules free of the encumbrance of legal restrictions. The American counterrevolution is complete.

Unemployed Portuguese told to 'just emigrate'

This is what bourgeois democracy looks like.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year? The Best And Worst Of 2011

The best of 2011? It's impossible to argue with the Arab Spring, but honorable mention goes to the teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico. They went on strike for more books, computers, and other supplies for their students. For themselves they asked nothing.

The worst: The wave of revolution began in Tunisia when street vendor Muhammad Bouazizi set himself ablaze. Perhaps I flatter myself to think that I can understand his revulsion, his despair, and certainly much good has come of his primal challenge, but this new custom of suicide as protest really must end. It has been going on in rural communities for decades now, tens of thousands have died by their own hand around the globe, with the abominable practice being particularly prevalent in India. Loathe though I am to intrude upon such a profoundly personal matter, but to the extent that these self eliminations were undertaken in the sangfroid of political calculation and done for effect, then to that end it is a wasteful and counterproductive strategy. Many suicide-protesters have perished now and in most places where they occurred nothing has changed. If you wish to change the world, not merely to exit it, then resist. For the reformer or revolutionary, suicide is defeat.

The revolution didn't happen this year, this wretched, squalid, insatiable beast we call capitalism still pins us underhoof. But the future belongs to those who, like the sacred teachers of Oaxaca, are strong in love. So it would do us good to remember Wordsworth's poem, "The French Revolution":

OH! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchantress--to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name!
Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth...

What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams...

Were called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,--the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!

Happy new year! Bliss will it be to be alive for the social revolution, which advances with each dawn.