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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 01:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,861

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

The bombing of MOVE

TBF note: Anniversary article from last year -

Today marks the ... anniversary of a massive police operation in Philadelphia that culminated in the helicopter bombing of the headquarters of a radical group known as MOVE. The fire from the attack killed six adults and five children and destroyed sixty-five homes.

MOVE is a Philadelphia-based black liberation group. Founded in 1972 by a Korean War veteran named John Africa, its members hold anarchist views and also take strong stances on animal rights, the exploitative nature of American class society, and the oppression of minorities within the country and across the world. Members lived communally, sharing resources and living space.

MOVE Bombing at 30: "Barbaric" 1985 Philadelphia Police Attack Killed 11 & Burned a Neighborhood
May 13, 2015

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Today marks the 30th anniversary of a massive police operation in Philadelphia that culminated in the helicopter bombing of the headquarters of a radical group known as MOVE. The fire from the attack incinerated six adults and five children, and destroyed 65 homes. Despite two grand jury investigations and a commission finding that top officials were grossly negligent, no one from city government was criminally charged. Here is how the bombing was initially reported in Philadelphia on WCAU [TV].

WCAU ANCHOR: I’ve just been advised that we have new videotape of the episode that apparently ended—we think ended—the MOVE situation tonight: the dropping of an incendiary device. And let’s take a careful look at this. 5:27 p.m., state police helicopter drops it. There is the explosion. As you can see, a very dramatic explosion that occurs 30 seconds and really rips into the MOVE compound. There you see the bunker, which soon will go up in flames. And that was the explosion close-up. Now, if there’s anybody there standing there, it’s obvious they couldn’t survive that explosion.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was WCAU TV, actually. We saw some video there. MOVE was a Philadelphia-based radical movement dedicated to black liberation and a back-to-nature lifestyle. It was founded by John Africa, and all its members took on the surname Africa. In 2010, Ramona Africa, the sole adult survivor of the attack, told Democracy Now! what happened as the bomb was dropped on her house ...

More here: http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/13/move_bombing_at_30_barbaric_1985

Another article here: http://blackthen.com/the-move-bombing-a-philadelphia-based-black-liberation-group/

Free Trade

TBF note: This is a pretty good comic going into "free trade" - and be sure to go to the source to read all the frames (this is just the first one). For me it's not just fighting these agreements, though, it's thinking about how we can reallocate resources worldwide to serve people instead of profit. I pulled this off of the "Films of Action" website which is also on Facebook. If you haven't looked at this source before they have a plethora of material. Happy reading! http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/free-trade-explained-in-an-excellent-comic/

Repression in Egypt

Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, traveled to Cairo to meet with al-Sisi in April. According to press reports, Votel confirmed that the U.S. considers Egypt a "main partner" in the Middle East and praised the regime for confronting "terrorism"--even though "counterterrorism" is transparently the Egyptian government's justification for suppressing all forms of dissent.

Protesting U.S.-backed repression in Egypt
May 5, 2016

EGYPTIAN SECURITY forces are carrying out widespread raids and repression in response to growing social and political discontent, which led to the first widespread stirrings of popular protest since the military regime led by Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi came to power nearly two years ago.

As educators and members of the academic community in the United States, we feel a particular responsibility to speak out against a regime that has targeted academics and students, in addition to many others, with the financial support and political cover of our own government. This January's abduction, torture and murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian graduate student at Cambridge University, provides a terrifying glimpse into the atmosphere of repression against all dissent that prevails under the U.S.-backed al-Sisi regime.

In the lead up to demonstrations planned for April 25, there was a wave of arrests and raids targeting well-known progressive activists, including prominent labor lawyer Haitham Mohamedain. More than 150 people were seized in the latest crackdown, joining tens of thousands of others who languish in jails, along with hundreds who have been "disappeared" by the Egyptian authorities in recent years ...

More here: https://socialistworker.org/2016/05/05/protesting-us-backed-repression-in-egypt

Against Fortress Liberalism

TBF note: We ostensibly have a rule in here about not getting into US Electoral politics, but since that rule was allowed to be broken with a piece on the virtues of incrementalism, I am providing the other side of the argument. Solidarity.

Bill Clinton’s eight-year term in the White House gave us an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and a small children’s health insurance program — but also NAFTA, the 1994 crime bill, welfare reform, the Defense of Marriage Act, financial deregulation, and a grand bargain to gut Social Security that was only thwarted by a timely sex scandal. The pragmatic, piecemeal, and irreproachably moderate achievements of Jimmy Carter are still more dispiriting. Even judged by the charitable standards of American liberalism, the forty-year balance sheet of “incremental progress” is decidedly negative.

For forty years, liberals have accepted defeat and called it “incremental progress.” Bernie Sanders offers a different way forward.
by Matt Karp 4/18/16

The primary campaign between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has produced the most direct ideological battle the Democratic Party has seen in a generation. It’s not just the policy differences that separate Sanders’s blunt social-democratic platform from Clinton’s neoliberal grab bag. The two candidates embody clashing theories of politics — alternative visions of how to achieve progressive goals within the American political system.

The Bernie Sanders model of change has all the subtlety of an index finger raised high above a debate podium. Lay out a bold, unapologetic vision of reform that speaks directly to people’s basic needs. Connect that vision to existing popular struggles, while mobilizing a broad and passionate coalition to support it (#NotMeUs). Ride this wave of democratic energy to overwhelm right-wing opposition and enact major structural reforms.

The Hillary Clinton model of change, on the other hand, begins not with policy or people but with a politician. Choose an experienced, practical leader who explicitly rejects unrealistic goals. Rally around that leader’s personal qualifications, while defending past achievements and stressing the value of party loyalty (#ImWithHer). Draw on the leader’s expertise to grind away at Congress and accumulate incremental victories that add up to significant reform.

For most of the Left, Clinton-style “incrementalism” is just a code word to disguise what is effectively a right-wing retrenchment. Nevertheless many self-identified progressives have backed Clinton’s “theory of politics” as the most realistic path to achieve Sanders’s objectives ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/04/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-dnc-primary-moderates/

Happy Birthday Brother Marx

May 5, 1818

Virtual Picket Line

“It is unconscionable for a company that made more than $4 billion dollars in profits in the first quarter of 2016 alone to cut off health care benefits for the workers who created those profits. This heartless move by Verizon shows why the strike is so important.”


Kent State

TBF note: Students re Kent State era described as "worse than brown shirts and the communist element ...". Sound familiar, Bernie Bros.? The establishment has always been the same - looking out for themselves and their profits. In the case of Kent State it was the profits made off their war-mongering.

Kent State: After 45 Years We Need a Serious Look at What Happened and Why?
By Murray Polner 5/4/16

It’s been 45 years since draft-deferred Ohio National Guardsmen aimed their M-1 rifles and .45 pistols at unarmed Kent State College students, killing four and wounding nine on May 4, 1970. You have to be well into middle age now to remember that day. My memory is stirred whenever I look at three photos: John Filo’s striking shot of teenager Mary Ann Vecchio on her knees weeping as she bends over student Jeffrey Miller’s body, a photo I took of Jeffrey’s grieving mother for a magazine my son Alex once edited, and a picture of two of the forever crippled in wheelchairs, KSU student Dean Kahler and wounded Marine Vietnam vet Ron Kovic of ‘Born on the Fourth of July” fame.

On the 41st anniversary of the shootings in 2011, the state’s largest newspaper, concluded, “There has never been a completely satisfactory explanation for why the Guard fired.” In fact, it went on, “The central unresolved question in the Kent State affair has been why several dozen Ohio Guardsmen pivoted in unison and fired” and for 13 agonizing seconds killed and wounded so many of their peers. The previous year the paper had reported the finding of an audio recording where a Guard office was said to shout, “All right, prepare to fire.” This led to an editorial urging the state to take another look “and give full account of that tragic day.”

“That tragic day” followed Nixon’s announcement that the U.S. had invaded Cambodia and expanded the war, causing antiwar college students throughout the nation to go on strike. It was a time when the President called antiwar students “bums” and Ohio’s Republican Governor James Rhodes, in a tight and ultimately losing race, described students against the war as “worse than brown shirts and the communist element and also night riders and vigilantes. They are the worst type of people that we harbor in America.” ...

More here: http://www.dsausa.org/kent_state_after_45_years_dl

This photo taken by John Filo of runaway Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling by Jeffrey Miller's body. This photo won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971:

Taxing Capitalists

Zucman conservatively estimates that $7.6 trillion is invested in hidden offshore bank accounts, the equivalent of 8 percent of the world’s total wealth. That translates into at least $200 billion in lost tax revenue every year, according to his estimates.
Reintroducing capital controls would help left movements rein in big business.

by Niko Block 5-4-16

<snip intro>

The disclosure of the so-called Panama Papers is again highlighting the United States’s continued influence. The documents implicate tax-dodging individuals and corporations from around the world who have profited handsomely from an offshore system that was established with Washington’s support. The question is not how Panama gets away with it, but why America permits it.

The answer is that the US financial sector benefits immensely from the offshore world. When we hear about the super-rich “hiding” their money in offshore accounts, it is often assumed that these accounts are like glorified piggy banks where money sits and accumulates. In reality, the funds never stay offshore; they are simply scrubbed of any affiliation with their actual owners, repackaged with the names of shell companies, and sent back to major banking centers and financial markets.

As the economist Gabriel Zucman explains,

From their offshore accounts, [owners of capital] essentially make the same investments they do from banks located in London, New York, or Sydney: they buy financial securities — that is, stocks, bonds, and, above all, shares in mutual funds. The money in tax havens doesn’t sleep. It is invested in international financial markets.

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/05/panama-papers-capital-mobility-controls/

The Fight

Happy May Day

Working-class radicals understood the unique power of collective action, fighting to ensure that the aggression of employers was often met by a groundswell of workers’ resistance.

Today Is Our Day: This May Day, we should celebrate the historic triumphs of the labor movement and the struggles to come. By Jonah Walters 5-1-16

The first May Day was celebrated in 1886, with a general strike of three hundred thousand workers at thirteen thousand businesses across the United States. It was a tremendous show of force for the American labor movement, which was among the most militant in the world.

Many of the striking workers — who numbered forty thousand in Chicago alone — rallied under the banners of anarchist and socialist organizations. Trade unionists from a variety of ethnic backgrounds — many of them recent immigrants — marched shoulder-to-shoulder, making a unified demand for the eight-hour day.

The movement to limit the workday posed a significant threat to American industrialists, who were accustomed to demanding much longer hours from their workers.

In the late nineteenth century, successive waves of immigration brought millions of immigrants to the United States, many of whom sought work in factories. Because unemployment was so high, employers could easily replace any worker who demanded better conditions or sufficient wages — so long as that worker acted alone. As individuals, workers were in no position to oppose the dehumanizing work their bosses expected of them ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/05/may-day-history-iww-haymarket-american-labor-movement/

May Day 1913:

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