Monday, February 28, 2011

The Georgia (USA) prison strike

Prisoners in the extremely harsh factory-prisons of the USA, where prisoners are exploited as slave workforce, have successfully performed a whole week-long strike in demand of their rights: educational opportunities, decent health care, end to cruel and unusual punishments, decent living conditions, nutritional (balanced) meals, vocational training, fair access to families, just parole decisions.

Read the full story at Freedom Press.

Video: Israel arrests 11 y.o. boy to pressure his 14 y.o. brother!

From Uruknet (where details are provided):

The Zionist military has arrested at least 7000 children in the last decade. 83% of them (all non-Jewish) have been sentenced to prison, in contrast only 6.5% of Jewish Palestinian ("Israeli") children are convicted by the segregated justice system.

Government kills protesters in South Kurdistan. Lebanese demand end of sectarian system

Several have been killed by government-sponsored forces in South Kurdistan (aka Iraqi Kurdistan) as demonstrators went to the streets demanding the end of corruption and the single twin-party system that governs the autonomous state since the US-led invasion of 2003.

Follows Press TV video (source:

Lebanon: first demonstration against the sectarian system

Lebanon enjoys a democratic (parlamentarian) regime but people is forced to vote along religious/communitarian lines, keeping the country artificially divided internally that way and forcing a religious identity upon people. For those reasons Lebanese have gone out to the streets demanding the end of this system imposed by the colonial powers in the past and perpetuated by means of civil war and Zionist invasions. 

See video at

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Protesters occupy Wisconsin Parliament

Robert García (from Rebelión)
There has not been a protest like this in the USA since many decades ago. It is, as far as I know, a protest against the restriction of the right to unionize and the right to strike and against the cutting of social security benefits paid in advance by the workers. 

The protesters have taken the State House (Parliament) and have the support of police unions and national guards (state militias). If Wisconsin would be a sovereign state, this would be a true revolution and the governor would have to flee to Riyad, along Ben Ali and Mubarak. However for that to happen the revolution would have to spread through the rest of the federation (not that it cannot happen). 

Washington's Blog mentions today that only 11% of US citizens trust Congress (federal parliament) and that is because democracy has been replaced by an oligarchic mafia state in which voters do not count but funders (corporations, big capital) do. This is of course creating a highly volatile situation because even the worst tyrants need a popular consensus in order to rule.

Notice how this revolt is being silenced by the media: I could not find a single mention in BBC, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, CNN or EuroNews. Even in the "progressive" (liberal in international English) Huffington Post the news is quite hidden (but at least mentioned).


However there are reports that arrests have already begun, see Naked Capitalism.

Tunisian Revolution: Gannouchi resigns

Breaking news: BBC, Al Jazeera

You blink and things have changed... interesting times we live through indeed.

Gannouchi was Prime Minister through the last decade under Ben Ali. As I just mentioned in another entry, some moderate Tunisians were willing to give him a second opportunity (and he was the dauphin appointed by Washington according to Wikileaks' cables) but he has wasted his opportunity stalling, repressing (with several killed) and robbing instead of leading much needed radical reforms.

The question is: now what?


Now  what? has been answered by the appointment of another interim PM: Beji Caïd Essebsi, a political veteran that was already Minister of Foreign Affairs in the 1980s under Bourgiba.

The demonstrators camped in the Qasbah are only partly satisfied however and have announced that they will continue their protest. While no media echoes their demands, of which Gannouchi's resignation was part, I imagine that the least they ask for is for a national unity government, the dissolution of Ben Ali's fascist party and the calling of elections for a constituent assembly in a short timeline.

One person was killed in further clashes. Others, accused of being Ben Ali loyalists, were arrested as well.

Sources: Gara[es], Al Jazeera.

Arab Revolution: Egyptian Junta yields to workers demands

From La Haine[es]

Striking workers at Egypt's largest textile industry, Misr Spinning and Weaving, sited at the industrial city of Mahalla and owned by the Egyptian state, achieved some of their demands after tend days of strike: a 25% increase in their salaries and the destitution of the company's manager, Fuad Abdel Alim, accused of corruption. They also got the payment of the days of strike. 

The Junta had threatened to force workers back to work but eventually realized they would not be able to do that, much less in the current circumstances of generalized unrest in Egypt and all around. 

The Egyptian revolutionary process continues through worker organization, protests and strikes. A new union has been formed: the Independent Workers Union, which has issued a manifesto demanding the re-nationalization of the companies that Mubarak privatized, freedom of workers' organization, the right to strike and the dissolution of the fascist labor union imposed by Mubarak.

More news from the Arab Revolution: Libya, Tunisia, Palestine and Iraq

Some more news on the Arab Revolution from Uruknet (not even Al Jazeera can or wants to keep up with the pace and extent of the uprising)

Libyan rebels' racism may be causing a holocaust of Black Africans

The hype on blaming Black Africans of all ethnic groups as mercenaries of Ghaddafi is causing it seems racist massacres of people who are not mercenaries but workers or refugees:

Turkish construction worker told the 'BBC': "We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: 'You are providing troops for Ghaddafi.' The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves."

However this is not the case everywhere: stranded Chadians have also been helped by revolutionaries to return to their home country.

Three killed in Tunis by the collapsing dictatorship of Gannouchi

Clashes have continued this weekend through Tunisia, including the capital, with many injured in both sides and three killed.

While some Tunisians were willing to give Gannouchi the benefit of doubt by allowing him to lead the transition, now even these "moderates" are tired of the continuity of robbery and repression and the total continuity of Ben Ali's regime with another face.

Gannouchi conceded on Friday to elections before July but the people does not seem interested anymore: he has wasted the opportunity that the generous (and I'd dare say somewhat naive) Tunisian People have offered him and the remaining politicians of Ben Ali's regime.

The Revolution also in Palestine

Well, I guess it was all the time there as well. But it has been reactivated.

On February 25th, the citizens of Hebron, along with Israeli and international sympathizers, went to the streets demanding the reopening of the centric Suhada Street to the Palestinians.

As nonviolence seems to fail, the situation in Palestine appears about to explode: Third Intifada, the final one?

Iraq: tortured and killed as protests extend: Green Zone besieged by demonstrators

Demonstrations have been held these days through the state.

Thousands may have been arrested and tortured according to credible testimonies and in some places (Baghdad, Fallujah, Kurdistan) even killed.

There are reports that the Green Zone, which hosts the government and the occupation forces' headquarters, is being besieged by demonstrators who demand electricity, a decent wage and an end to corruption.

Arab Revolution reaches Oman

With the first fatal casualties at a protest in Sohar, NW of the capital Muscat, Oman joins the long list of countries experiencing a quite intense revolutionary process in the Arab World and surroundings. 

The victims were killed by police rubber bullets, according to Al Jazeera, while a crowd demonstrated in this important harbor town in demand of political reforms. Another demonstration has been reported at Salalah in the south of the country (Dhofar), the birthplace of the autocrat Qaboos bin Said, who is at the same time Sultan, Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and Chair of the Central Bank.

Oman suffers one of the most repressive regimes in the area, ruled by the whim of the Sultan and Sharia law, only comparable in totalitarianism to that of Saudi Arabia, I believe. This one is about the only Arab polity that has not yet suffered a revolt of some sort in the last months (others are Syria, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates).

Oman is highly strategical because it controls, along with Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, the gate to the Persian Gulf. It is a close ally of the USA, Saudi Arabia, the UK and France.

Links Feb-27-2011

Sorry but I just can't focus on every single interesting article or event that is going on. Hence I'll have to synthesize with boring lists of links:

Yasmine Ryan explains very well why the Arab Revolution, the responsibility of Europe and the West in general, the role these regimes had been assigned in the Imperial order. At Al Jazeera.

The widespread criminality of banksters and why they are not put in jail. By Danny Schechter also at Al Jazeera.

Protests against the government in Croatia's capital, Zagreb. Video at

Interview with Julian Assange in Spanish at Página 12, via La Barricada... blog

More than 100,000 demonstrators in Wisconsin in the midst of a snowstorm. Video at

Iowa attorney who promised to put banksters in jail, now negotiating secretly with them. At Naked Capitalism.

Remembering March 3rd 1976, when a massacre against striking Basque workers was committed by then Minister of Interior and would-be conservative leader and viceroy of Galicia, Manuel Fraga. At Gara (in Spanish).

I won't pay movement goes mainstream in Greece, as people is angry by the demands of the global banksters. At Forbes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Revolution reaches Iraq

From Russia Today, via

Legend: On Friday, thousands marched on government buildings and clashed with security forces in cities across Iraq in an outpouring of anger, the largest and most violent anti-government protests in the country since political unrest began spreading in the Arab world weeks ago.

Also in Iraq a key refinery was attacked, something that had not happened, in spite of all the Saudi- and Iran-sponsored terrorism against civilians, since 2007.

Irish elections replace Tweedledee by Tweedledoom

I'm not sure what Irish people have in mind: they have voted out and nearly annihilated the historical Fianna Fáil, punishing it, along with their Green partners, for selling the country off to the vampire banksters from Britain and Germany. But... they have voted in their clone: Fine Gael, which has gathered some 36% of the votes according to preliminary results. 

Both parties are similarly conservative (maybe FG is even further to the right than FF?) and it probably requires one to be deeply acquainted with Irish politics in order to be able to discern one from the other. The platform of the Fine Gael has been one of austerity, not at all different of what the Fianna Fáil has been doing in fact, so what the heck!?

On the potentially positive side the left wing parties Labor and Sinn Féin have gathered 21% and 16% of the votes respectively. However Labor is only nominally left-wing and has traditionally collaborated with Fine Gael in the governance of the Republic. So we can expect another Fine Gael plus Labor coalition with a painful austerity program of subservience to Brussels, London and Berlin.

Source for the provisional results: Gara[es]

Why is there a revolution in Libya? The other point of view from revolutionary Venezuela

Lucha de Clases is the Venezuelan section of the International Marxist Tendency, a Trotskyist  network that has been on occasion accused of being one of the main political influences behind Hugo Chávez. However, while Chávez and some of his ministers feel the need to support Moamar al-Gaddafi's regime in Libya, the Trotskyists instead think that they must clarify how bourgeois and puppet of the Empire Gaddafi has become in the last two decades, and also how ineffective he is in delivering well being to the Libyan people, reasons why the revolution has begun. 

Specially since 2003, Libya has become very much capitalist and has allowed in several multinational oil corporations (BP, Exxon, Repsol, Total and of course the Italian ENI). In return Gaddafi has been integrated to the Italian and European bourgeois oligarchy by making him owner of some 5% of the stock of Italian car manufacturer FIAT, one of the many business of the neo-duce Berlusconi.

UN sanctions against Libya were lifted that year in exchange for an IMF-tailored economic package that meant that most of the state owned-economy was privatized. In 2006, Libya entered the WTO and in 2008 Condoleeza Rice in person blessed the regime's new alliance with the Empire. 

In spite of being as wealthy as Saudi Arabia, Libya allows 30% of its workforce to be unemployed, a figure similar to what can be found in much poorer countries like Tunisia or Egypt. Also the basic goods have become extremely more expensive in the last years, the same situation that triggered the uprisings in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, etc. 

Gaddafi also spoke out in favor of Ben Ali and Mubarak, something not even the Islamo-Fascist leaders of Iran dared to do. Only the genocidal colony of Israel was explicit in their support of Mubarak no matter what. 

In any case a strong warning is cast against any attempt of the Empire (NATO) of intervening militarily.

Quote of the week: Mikel Arizaleta

These days the burning of a trash bin in Bilbao can bring the author more years of prison and suffering than those imposed by the Nuremberg tribunal to the great Nazi criminals. 

Mikel Arizeta at Rebelión[es].

If reaction is utopic, Capitalism only destroys, who is building?

Sans culottes defined modern fashion
If you have read, and you should, the Anti-Oedipus, you probably know that the revolutionary cycle is trapped between two poles: on one side the paranoid reaction of those who wish, utopically, to restore at least some of the alleged stability of Feudalism and the related Absolute Monarchy (for instance Fundamentalists, Fascists, conservatives in general...), and, on the other, the engine of all change: the schizoid Capitalism, which destroys all it touches by exactly the same means as Midas did: corruption in form of pure exchange value (money). 

Alright, I have known this since some 15 or 20 years ago when I dived in that book two or three times in a row until I could understand this basic truth and explain it to others in mostly non-psychoanalytic words (a bad choice in my opinion). 

But, wait, if Reaction only drags and is unable to build anything and Capitalism only destroys by means of corruption... we should have reached a vacuum already. We are close to a true ethical and functional vacuum indeed but we also have new constructions and not only in the limited field of applied economy; since the schizoid Capitalist monster is free, appropriating and then giving back in form of useless rotten shit the old powerless beliefs and institutions of the old regime, there are at least a few things that have been created and that enjoy high regard for Humankind worldwide. 

Most importantly Human Rights. It may be just a piece of paper whose application is often lacking but it lists fundamental values that unites people in New York, Istanbul and Shanghai. When we talk of democracy, we do not really think so much in elections but in Human Rights: the right to free speech, the right of association, the right to strike, the right not to be arbitrarily arrested, the right not to be discriminated for what you are, the right to believe in whatever you think best, the right to a dignified work, the right to education, to a home...

The very notion that people are socio-political subject and entitled to rights has floated around and gained ground since the French Revolution (and the others that happened around that time). At first democracies would often be reserved to a most narrow sector of electors, typically the most wealthy ones, but soon the various bourgeois states had to concede to the demands of the working class and allow a growing degree of universal suffrage. 

This is something that Deleuze and Guattari seem to have missed totally (or I am missing something really big in their work): a dialectic agent that is proactively building while Capitalism destroys and Reaction only drags pointlessly. This dialectic agent is of course no other than the Working Class in its many manifestations.

The bourgeois class does not make revolutions, at most appropriate them. Capital is one of the various possible forms of leadership by which the often amorphous constructive power of the Working Class can be organized (as the USSR of Stalin and successors showed, there are other possibilities such as a Bureaucratic leadership). In any case it is workers and not fatty bourgeois who take the Tahrir Squares of the world, who walk out of the Oil Refineries and Suez Canals that themselves built and maintained to begin with. 

Even the French Revolution was to a large extent a primitive Workers' revolution driven by the energy of a proletariat that found its political manifestation in Sansculottism. I can barely find a case of genuine bourgeois revolution in which the bourgeois themselves manned the barricades. No, they just took the leadership and dampened in most cases the demands of the Working Class, causing the revolution to eventually collapse in a reactionary interlude such as that of Napoleon.

An alternative scenario, common specially in the early and middle 20th century, is that of a political party with an alleged Working Class identification and program, taking the lead, not as bourgeois but as bureaucrats. This has distinct implications which are controversial to analyze but the autocracies they produced in most cases certainly were not dictatorships of the proletariat but of someone else, who claimed to represent the Working Class but did not often. Yet they were not bourgeois regimes either (R. Astarit argues, in Spanish, for a sui generis status). 

The Russian Revolution began with a feminist protest on March 8th

Regardless, what I am trying to explain here is that all the advances of the bourgeois (or other non-reactionary) states, which do exist even if they can be legitimately criticized for insufficient or decorative, are product of the struggles of the Working Class. I do not just mean universal suffrage but freedom of speech, the right to strike and unionize, the right to demonstrate, the right to think on your own, the right not to be discriminated against for your gender or skin color, etc.

The Reaction would gladly get rid of all these in the name of some god or führer, Capitalism would not mind either because for It everything is amorphously the same: only money matters. So if all these ethical, legal and political novelties happen to exist they do because workers (in the wide sense of the term if you wish) fought for them. 

So there is more to the historical transformations than the mere bidimensional pendulum of Capitalism and Reaction, of Schizophrenia and Paranoia... there is a third Popular pole of Illusion, of Humanity. 

Humanity, Human Rights... this is something bringing together the various manifestations of workers' struggle. Why? It is not just altruism it is something we lost. 

With the development of Neolithic, agriculture, eventually societies became complex and hierarchical. This allowed for a somewhat faster socio-economic evolution but at the expense of humanity. People became slaves, serfs in Latin, robots in Czech language. We lost power on our own destiny, we lost our natural freedom. It is only normal that religions praising submission and blind obedience became common thereafter as they were the ideological transmitters of such an oppressive condition.

There is, as Marx and Engels and then Deleuze and Guattari understood, a radical decodifying component in Capitalism: it rots and destroys like a true mythological devil, this decodification is liberating for the individual, even if it can destroy it as well because certainties are not anymore certain at all... 

The result is a simplified human being similar in many aspects to the primitive huntergatherer. No wonder that our family system is known to anthropologists as Eskimo kinship - actually we are nowadays more in the even less codified Hadza one, characterized by serial monogamy... or whatever else (you choose).

In a sense, we are beyond Oedipus, which does not exist among the Hadza (nor anymore among us if you ask me), in the stage of gathering the broken pieces of what we are after once the productive forces awaken by the Neolithic Revolution and radically rearranged by the Industrial (and bourgeois) Revolution have brought us to the limits of what we can get without breaking down everything. 

Socialism or barbarism used to be the slogan many decades ago. Actually it's more like communism or extinction nowadays. But also it is like enjoying who we are or suffering the demands of others (bourgeois, Stakhanovist bureaucrats).

In any case, everything that is being built, from solar energy plants to providing content to Wikipedia, is the product of the Working Class, and that is also the case of every single ethical and political advance. Nobody else is doing it, at most parasitizing it.

I understand therefore that the Workers' society must be built on those advances already anticipated (but not completed specially for lack of economic democracy) in the form of democratic polities of universal suffrage including the right of self-determination and human rights in general. But this society also needs to eradicate the manipulative and rotting force of Capitalism by forcing the whole economy under the rule of the people: no individual or non-democratic association should ever be allowed to hold property beyond a reasonable minimum. Actually non-democratic associations should be barred altogether, and that includes corporations.

Caution: I say that the democratic polities are the way ahead. It is indeed a stand I take against those who confuse Dictatorship of the Proletariat (which can only be exerted by means of democracy because there is no difference between the Working Class and the People) and dictatorship of a self-appointed leadership camarilla. But I do not think that most modern bourgeois states are democratic enough: in fact they typically abound in Jacobin  reactionary vices such as high centralization (how can a centralized polity of maybe 60 million or more be democratic?) and mechanisms to prevent the will of the people to be properly represented (majority election systems instead of proportionality, non-revocability of elects, etc.) But still an imperfectly democratic system is better than perfectly non-democratic one. Popular power, transparency, open discussion, respect, etc. must be the principles of the political organization of the Working Class - there is no way around it.

Gannouchi concedes to elections as Tunis burns

The provisional PM M. Gannouchi, who was the lapdog of Ben Ali for a decade, has been forced to concede on elections before July as unrest, strikes and uprisings continue across the country, specially in the south, in the Kasserine area.

As a partial culmination of this process, this Friday 100,000 people gathered in Tunis before the Interior Ministry demanding the resignation of Gannouchi. There are informations of public buildings set alight.

I'd say that he's following the steps of his mentor Ben Ali in no time.

Source: Al Jazeera.

The weapons that kill Arab protesters are and will be British

At least largely so. The UK was strongly pressed to embargo weapons to Libya a few days ago but don't worry, the new far right British PM David Cameron is touring the Middle East in order to sell more British weapons to more Arab dictators.

Cameron, who is touring the region accompanied by weapon traffickers, praised the democracy (sic) of Kuwait, where police crackdowns on opposition are common and freedom of speech is all but granted.

Source: Al Jazeera.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Arab Revolution update: Algeria lifts state of emergency and other news

In yet another success of the widespread revolutionary process that is happening in the Arab World, the Republic of Algeria finally lifted yesterday (with timestamp from Feb 23) the state of emergency that had been in place for two decades since the civil war of the early 1990s. However the exceptional state remains active in the capital Algiers (Al Djazair) but only there.

Meanwhile in Yemen protests continue. At least one person was killed by a bomb attack in a separatist demonstration in the southern city of Lawdar. 

Source: Gara[es]


Meanwhile in Libya, Gaddafi has now blamed the uprising to hallucinogenic pills in milk and coffee. 

Libyan refugees in the Basque Country say that Gaddafi's power only exist because of Western finance and support. Let's recall that Italy specially but EU in general is highly reliant on Libyan oil exports. 

These refugees mentioned that Gaddafi's mercenaries are cleaning up the streets of corpses for the media in a pattern that reminds of what Mohammed VI did in West Sahara just a few months ago.

Areas allegedly controlled by each side according to some rebels (Al Jazeera)

Warning: NATO is plotting!

NATO is having an emergency meeting on the matter. No intervention is expected (other than to evacuate westerners maybe) but we should keep a tight watch for the case a colonialist operation may happen. In such case, we must do all in our hand to render the efforts of the imperialist machinery worthless. 

I'd suggest, if need be, taking the military basis right away by peaceful means, and blockading their logistics as well. If anything like that is done all across Europe, NATO should be rendered powerless rather easily. 

Source: Gara[es]

This post continues the coverage (updated more or less randomly) in this previous entry.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

CIA agent caught red-handed was Al Qaeda terrorist

Raymond Davis, the CIA agent captured by Pakistani police after murdering two people... does not have "diplomatic immunity" as first claimed by the USA but, much worse, he is apparently responsible for terrorist activity and organization. 

Such is reported by Washington's Blog today.

And terrorism in Pakistan, like in Iraq, does not mean guerrilla style military activity (or mostly not) but typically means brutal massacres against civilians in attempts to create sectarian hatred that the Empire can exploit.

Raymond Davis is a CIA agent and had worked previously for XE Services, formerly known as Blackwater, a powerful US-based mercenary company. The White House has also admitted that Davis doubled as a so-called security contractor (mercenary). 

Several news outlets have reported that Davis worked with the Taliban in order to create insecurity in Pakistan. This is supported by his calls record, which includes communications with at least 27 different Taliban leaders and the fascist terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. 

His commando buddies have fled Pakistan.

According to the Russian intelligence agency (SVR), as reported by ANI, Davis was involved in providing biological and nuclear warfare materials to Al Qaeda. The Russian spy agency also says that Davis is a member of TF373, a black operations unit deployed in Afghanistan; they also claim that the two people Davis murdered were members of the all-powerful Pakistani secret service ISI.

Some videos from Libya

At this moment maybe just better let the Libyans speak by themselves:

Source (link 1, link 2)


Locator map of districts under rebel control (red) and where struggles has happened in the last hours (orange), following Al Jazeera live blog:

The situation in the white areas is unknown at the moment.

Qaddafi has accused the rebels of not having any ideas of their own and being manipulated by Bin Laden (uh?).

Update (Feb 25 - 3am CET):

According to TeleSur, which managed to get a journalist to Tripoli not without difficulty, the situation in the capital was calm this last evening, except for a pro-Qaddafi demonstration and they also reported of institutional negotiations with the Eastern tribes for a settlement. Also a strong military and police presence was reported for Tripoli.

Al Jazeera on the other hand reported of massacres in Az Zawiya (half way between Tripoli and the Tunisian border). According to the Qatari news site, an "envoy" from Qaddafi ordered people to abandon a mosque they had sheltered in or suffer a massacre. This video showing many injured youths while gunfire is heard in the background is allegedly from Az Zawiya:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back to Greece

As said once and again, this impressive show of revolutionary determination and popular might that Arabs are showing off is not something isolated or specifically Arabic or Mideastern but rather a symptom of the slow and painful debacle of the exhausted late Capitalist system. 

Before it spread to Tunisia there was a mass uprising in Greece with good reason. And this uprising continues now as the country experiences the first general strike of 2011, including a repetition of the confrontation at the Parliament in Athens. 

As in Egypt, Greeks find themselves trapped by a government that is not serving the people but foreign interests and small elites. The main difference is that this government was elected but it was certainly not elected on this platform but the opposite one, so it's as good (or as bad) as Mubarak with the aggravation of deceit. 

I would not be surprised if this year we witness a revolution in Greece and other European countries (Ireland?) as well. Greece particularly has a very strong tradition radical left-wing struggle, both within and outside the electoral system. 

Ref. Gara, BBC.

Update: videos:

From (link 1, link 2).

Not sure but I think that the reason why the Molotov cocktails are so sticky is the use of soap in the mixture.

Labor protests extend beyond Wisconsin

I won't pretend I understand all the subtleties of Wisconsin's crisis, where apparently opposition MPs have left the state in order to prevent the governor, now dubbed Hosni Walker
by some, from gathering quorum in order to pass his laws against workers' rights, but I understand enough to grasp this is pretty big, as the US People seems to be awakening after decades of Reaganism (even under the Democrats).

It is not just Wisconsin anymore, protests are extending to other states of the Great Lakes region (Ohio, Indiana), which is one of the industrial and economic centers of the North American republic. Even in Detroit (Michigan) there is a similar standoff between the striking DSO musicians (left) and the orchestra's management, who threatens to fire them all.

Furthermore some people (who?, you tell me) are calling for nation-wide protests this upcoming weekend in front of every state capitol (parliament building).

I'm always wondering why nothing of this happened in relation to the abuses of the Deepwater Horizon massacre. What's wrong with the South? Why are not we watching permanent sit-downs in New Orleans, Mobile and Pensacola in protest for this criminal massacre?

But well, I hope that the people of the USA is finally waking up: they better do, and the same apply to Europeans and all others, if they do not want to be smashed, squeezed and pushed around like mere cattle. Either we fight for our rights or we lose them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pondering the Arab Revolution

There are a lot of meditations to make as the Arab Revolution reaches its second month of age. 

First of all, there are no clear boundaries and we cannot even contain it in the frame of the Arab World, as it is interconnected not just withe other Middle Eastern areas like Iran or Djibouti but also throughout the World. While the energy, accumulated for so long, of the Arab Revolution is immense, it is not really different to what has been going on in Europe, Latin America or South Asia, in each place in its own specific parameters and with its own specific rhythm. 

This fact alone, that we are witnessing and maybe taking part according to our means in the first Global Revolution ever, is amazing and hard to comprehend. I was a few days ago mentioning to the Moroccan guy at the nearby kebab restaurant that the revolutionary wave was bound to reach Morocco and he wanted to believe that reforms by Mohamed II were already enough to contain this wave of anger. Reality proved me right, at least to some extent. 

And I do not think this is over at all. Now the focus is on Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Algeria but tomorrow can be anywhere else, including Egypt and Tunisia, where the revolution is anything but over. Not yet. 

I think that there are three main issues to ponder about: 
  • the revolutionary nature of the processes so far most advanced in Tunisia and Egypt (as there at least the main figureheads of the respective regimes have been deposed)
  • the cases of the "anti-imperialist" regimes of the area, namely Iran, Libya and Syria
  • where can this go to

Revolution or uprising?

Some people, including James Petras, argue that these processes are not revolutions but mere popular uprisings. Why? In Petras' words:

It is a popular uprising which just displaces the old dictator but that, with the military intervention becomes a palace coup, a military barracks' coup.

True, very true. But since when is that the measure of the world revolution. There have been many unfinished revolutions which have however acquired and kept that name. For example, if we limit ourselves to the case of early 20th century Europe, there was only one triumphant revolution, the October Revolution in Russia, but the February Revolution, the 1905 Revolution, the German Revolution, the Hungarian Revolution, the Spanish (or Catalan) Revolution of 1936 and even the1968 Revolution in France and Czechoslovakia have all kept that name, even if they were unable to change things radically and in many cases ended up in reactionary regimes. 

This is also the case of the 19th century: the 1832 and 1848 revolutions and the Paris Commune of 1871 also ended with limited achievements or even reactionary repression. But that does not make them less revolutionary, and they did have an impact even where they failed. Reaction is ultimately powerless because it is pointlessly utopic in its nostalgia of a long gone past and lacks of a radical criticism of the main engine of change (by means of corruption and decodification): Capitalism. 

So, rather anomalously, I have to disagree with Petras: what happened and is still happening in Tunisia and Egypt and elsewhere in the region is a Revolution and will be recorded as such in the annals of history. Another thing is how much change and in what direction can the Revolution achieve but there is no doubt of the revolutionary nature of the process, regardless of whether it is immature, headless, disorganized or whatever, and regardless of whether the System tries to canalize the revolutionary wave into a mostly harmless Gattopardian transition. This should be no surprise regardless that we cannot be, of course, satisfied with this limited or even meaningless outcome: it was something predictable considering the objective conditions or relative lack of organization of the People and the interests of the oligarchies.

However Petras is right when he says that the outcome is very bad (so far): much worse than any transition that happened in Latin America.

But for that very reason I understand that the Arab Revolution is still a long way from its end: because the changes are not even remotely what the People wants and therefore the revolutionary wave will be recharged from its feedback of frustration and anger against such despotic and oppressive rulers. 

Let's not forget that waves are not lineal but cyclical: they come and go. And this wave is far from having exhausted its energies. 

The 'anti-imperialist' regimes: Libya, Iran and Syria

Last week I had a quite heated discussion with some Stalinists lost in fantasies of geostrategical balance nonsense who arbitrarily supported the Iranian regime for one single reason: it is formally confronted with the US Empire. It did not matter to them that communists, among many others, are being persecuted under the Islamo-Fascism, for them all revolved only to what is favorable or opposed to the Empire.

They did not seem to realize that even in a centralized empire, some governors and provinces would be most pro and some would be more against whoever rules at the center. It's quite trivial seen that way alone. Anyone who is actually political and revolutionary cannot be blinded by such narrow-mindness pretending to be geostrategy, much less revolutionary geostrategy.

What really matters is how much each political system is able to approach the ideal of Popular Power, which is exactly what the word Democracy means. Specifically, we, as communists, emphasize Popular Power not just in the political aspect, that also, but specially in the economical aspect, which cannot be detached from the rest as happens under the Capitalist system of exploitation. 

Being communist is after all nothing but being radically democratic and demanding Popular Power, democracy, in all aspects, political and economical alike. 

This is the North that a good deal of the Socialist Movement lost with the Russian Revolution and specially with its Stalinist degeneration. As I said in that debate, for me Stalin is as good as Oliver Cromwell can be for a Liberal: he had some reason maybe but really missed the point a lot after all and cannot be considered a valid reference in the end.

To the point: should we therefore defend the regime of the ayatollahs? No way, please: they are totalitarian fanatics who repress communists, atheists, workers, women, homosexuals and everything that is natural and good in us humans. We cannot accept that shit and we, or at least I, hope it falls down soon and is replaced by something at least slightly better, whatever it is. 

Similarly we cannot support the Taliban, who were fed by the USA and Israel to destroy the Afghan way to Socialism, and if we can maybe at times support Hamas is only because they are much more reasonable and intelligent, do not practice widespread repression, and, in any case, are the democratically elected government of Palestine (and not those white-only PM Netanyahu and bantustan's Uncle Tom dictator Abbas).

What about Libya? In truth I was never able to understand the pretense of the Libyan regime. I have even read the Green Book (Gaddafi's theory on socialism, essentially junk) and knew once someone who had been in Libya and found the regime rather ridiculous. I recall that the late USSR declined to accept Libya in the Socialist economic bloc (CAME) because they did not find it serious enough even to be an observer. Considering that South Yemen, Afghanistan or even something so socialdemocratic as Sandinista Nicaragua, were observers, it means that they had already decided, for a reason, that Gaddafi was not trustworthy.

When Gaddafi was among the few rulers in the region openly opposing the ousting of Ben Ali, it became clear that he felt threatened in his role of "benevolent dictator" o maybe not so benevolent after all, considering what we see now, when he is massacring the Libyan People by the hundreds, even apparently sending air force fighters against them. 

The remaining anti-imperialist case is Syria. Syria has some peculiarities that may make it a case worth defending up to a point, unlike the other two:
  • A bit like Morocco, or maybe even more, the current ruler has implemented some reforms. El Assad is quite popular in the country and the guilt of the wrongs are typically thrown, maybe with reason, to his entourage, largely inherited from his father's time.
  • Sirya is the only Pan-Arabist and rather Socialist state remaining in all the region. Unlike in Iraq where Baathism fell in the hands of a right wing militarist faction, in Syria it has been all the time the left wing of this party which has ruler. Yet this difference may be too subtle for most. In any case it is a modernizing and rather socialist, nationalist and secularist system, not the macabre cemetery of the ayatollahs. 
  • Syria is a real balance to Israel. Much like Cuba can justify to some extent its limitations because of the constant aggression of the USA, Syria can do the same because of the systematic confrontation with the apartheid Zionist colony of Israel. 
I would not risk much for the Baathist regime in Syria but at least I am not going to criticize it mercilessly as the other alleged "anti-imperialist" states. Similarly I believe that Syrians themselves are more likely to be comprehensive towards the regime for the very same reasons: it is not a mere corrupt banana republic like Egypt or the rest but is actually delivering to its citizens even if in a paternalistic and authoritarian way. 

Also it is much more critical to balance the main threat to the region: Israel, and to keep so far a secularist Arab nationalist model, which may be rooted in the past century, but is still the best that the region has produced since memory can recall. Maybe if the revolutions in the other countries can outperform Syria in the way of Popular Power and, critically, delivery to the People (by the people but also for the people), then the regime of Damascus will become obsolete and will need replacement but so far it does not seem to be the case. For that reason also I do not expect a revolution in Syria either, nor does any analyst I have read so far. 

Where is this going?

I think that the most important effect is the formation of a Popular consciousness among Arabs (and others) a notion that themselves as People(s) are subjects and not mere objects of their destiny. This alone is critical and worth all our support. 

But of course this self-respect, this dignity, this empowering, will be greater the deeper (and more positive) the changes they do accomplish. So it's not a mere matter of demonstrating power (also) but also a matter of self-organizing into power. 

Probably this is what Petras has in mind when he thinks of a Revolution: self-constitution of a People into a sovereign political entity. But that has already happened, even if so far maybe only to a limited extent, in the dramatic revolutionary pushes we have seen in Tunisia and Egypt and even in Libya now. 

When the Tunisian demonstrators realized that they could overcome the police and they actually did overcome them, they performed a revolutionary constitutive act of great value. Even if just for a moment they were effective Popular Power and learned that they can be that and not just pushovers for the police and their all-powerful boss. 

When the Egyptian demonstrators did the same in Cairo and took over Tahrir Square and retained it for more than a week, they also became, even if briefly, a constituent Popular Power and sowed the current revolutionary continuity in form of strikes and further protests (no, it is not over at all).

They are revolutionary processes, Revolutions, no doubt, even if the results so far are still far from where they should. Even if the transitions in Latin America were maybe more daring (???), there were no such revolutionary pushes in that area, maybe with some exception that I can't recall. The people of Chile did not take the center of Santiago to oust Pinochet and Pinochet managed to stay in Chile until his death by natural causes with just minor judiciary nuisances in spite of his many crimes and most evil aura. Same for the other countries as far as I can tell. At least in Tunisia and Egypt, they have sent their "Pinochets" out of the country - that alone is something that was never done in Chile or neighboring countries, much less via popular uprising. 

So yes, the Revolution is unfinished. And as long as it remains unfinished it will keep going on. I doubt very much that Egyptians, Tunisians, etc. will be satisfied with mere makeup reforms. Hence we can and should expect new episodes of these revolutions, in parallel to an extension in the geography and scope of the demands. 

Also in parallel, we should expect an increase in the self-organization of the peoples involved. These processes forge cadres, which in turn forge socio-political movements, which in turn become the head of the new phases of the Revolution.

There will be ups and downs but Pandora's box has been opened: Arabs are now masters of their own destiny and they know it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Poisoned by BP and without even healthcare

James 'Catfish' Miller is a former oil spill cleanup worker, fisherman and also a vocal activist against political complicity with the Deepwater Horizon environmental and human genocide. He is now for the third time in hospital, poisoned by oil and corexit but, for that very reason, without official diagnosis.

He speaks from his hospital bed:

From Florida Oil Spill Law (includes also another video of him vomiting, if you need evidence of his condition).

Also, what some have been saying for almost a whole year, now "official" at BBC: the Gulf  of Mexico (or huge parts of it at least) is dead. Where is Greenpeace when you need them? I mean they collect donations to defend the sea and there's been no bigger crime against the Ocean in the last years than this one.

Also check up this testimony on poisoned children by the criminal negligence of the US authorities, who did not want to close the poisoned beaches.

The Egypt-Wisconsin connection

From Uruknet:

Things thou shalt see...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wisconsin Labor Revolt video

Admittedly for me Wisconsin is a remote place (I placed that locator map to the left because I'm sure many other people has no idea where Wisconsin exactly lies) and without (yet) any other extension of the revolt against European-style draconian (and pointless) cuts to pensions and social services or the overall bipartisan autocracy, I was not paying much attention to the matter. Much less as there's a full fledged revolution going on from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans across the Arab World and some neighbor states.

But for some people in the USA this Wisconsin uprising is big stuff, specially as there has been quite a lack of popular mobilization in spite of the many attacks against the common citizens, be it with corexit and oil, with mortgage mills or with attributing civil rights to corporations so that now they can bribe their political minions openly and shamelessly.

So here it goes some fanservice to my US readers in form of this video (pointed to me by a reader) which does synthesize some of the most vibrant episodes of the Wisconsin Revolt with some nice music:

Hopefully, this is nothing but the beginning of a much needed shake-up also at the core of the Empire. Because let's face it: the Arab Revolution, while more virulent and dramatic because of the forced political underdevelopment of the area, is nothing but part of an ongoing global process of change, from which no single corner should remain exempt, much less the very heart of the beast.

USA vetoes UN Security Council resolution against Israel (again)

Much speaking about democracy and peace and blah blah but at the end of the day it is actions what really matter. And the USA has again sabotaged peace and democracy in Palestine by supporting the racist genocidal state of Israel in one of the most widely criticized behaviors: the perpetual colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem at the expense of the natives in what is a systematic genocide. 

Yesterday, the UNSC agreed by 14 votes against one to condemn Israeli settlement policy as an obstacle to peace and because they are illegal under any interpretation of the laws and conventions that rule Humankind. 

But Obama had the face of vetoing this most basic resolution. That's what we call fascism and racism over here. So how does the White House pretend to be defending "democracy" when it supports Israel in its persistent genocide against the people of Palestine, when it keeps Guantanamo concentration camp open, when it invades Haiti, when it supports the dictator Porfirio Lobo in Honduras and the criminal cocaine mafias in Colombia and Mexico... 

The White House has no legitimacy. It had not under Bush but it has not either under Uncle Tom Obama.

Arab Revolution update

Really I don't know what opinions to throw other than it all being incredibly exciting and unprecedented, with autocratic rulers who have been decades in power being challenged by a people that just realized how powerful they can be.

Approximation of the extent and impact of the Arab Revolution so far
The worst is happening now in Libya, where more than 100 demonstrators have been killed by the armed forces in Cirenaica, while in Tripoli instead there are, it seems, demonstrators of support of Col. Qaddafi, who has ruled the desertic nation since Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon, not as president or anything but as "leader of the revolution". Qaddafi, who dared to lecture the Sandinistas and even Cuba on popular power once now faces real popular power at home and has cut the Internet in the state.

That Qaddafi is being challenged by the Libyan people is maybe the most disturbing picture of the moment: the man who blended Islamism with sexy female bodyguards, socialism and who knows what, paladin of Africanism and Arabism depending on the mood of the day, confronted to Reagan and then friend of Berlusconi, the author of the Green Book and inspirer of the Great Artificial River (the thickest water pipe in the World) is probably facing his own end soon after he condemned the ousting of Ben Ali in Tunisia. Or maybe not because he's shown to be an incredible survivor... but everything has an end.

Whatever the case, he is massacring his own people and that's not in the manual of the popular ruler... unless he wishes to become most unpopular.

Another hotspot is Bahrain, where the demonstrators have retaken the Pearl Square, after a bloody crackdown that left many dead. There seem to be internal differences on how to manage the crisis within the ruling family, although it is also possible that they are playing good cop/bad cop with their own people. In any case, the people of this small strategic island where the USA have their main aeronaval base in the region, want some meaningful change as well, including surely the head of the prince who ordered their massacre. The likelihood of contagion to Saudi Arabia from this particular hotspot is very hight.

Then there is Yemen, where opposed factions of demonstrators have exchanged gunfire. As weapons are widespread in the country, there is fear of tribal raids and who knows what. The demonstrators are not limited to the capital Saana but also happen in the strategical port of Aden and other localities like Taiz, the second largest city. The number of casualties is increasing as we speak.

Then there is Algeria, Morocco, Djibouti, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait... and even Palestine.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New website to gather protest news worldwide is the name of the new site, which you can join and enrich with news content. It also has a blog.

Source: Cuestionatelotodo[es]

Huge demo demands legalization of Basque political party

"Thousands" (i.e. maybe hundreds of thousands) took over Bilbao today to demand the recognition of the new hyper-legal format of the Basque Nationalist Left: Sortu, under the slogan through peace, legalization.

Sources[es]: Gara, Sare Antifaxista, Bilboko Branka.

Background entries:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Catalan TV banished from Valencian Country

After 26 years of emissions, TV3, the public TV of Catalonia, in Catalan language, has been forced to stop emissions in the Valencian Country under threat of fine of €60,000 every 15 days. 

The Valencian Country (officially Valencian Community) is a mostly Catalan-speaking territory annexed to the newly created Kingdom of Spain after the War of Spanish Succession in the 18th century, as happened with the other states of the Crown of Aragon, largely a Catalan-speaking federation. 

Unlike in Catalonia and to some extent the Balearic Islands, where national identity is stronger, the Valencian Country has been subject to a strong process of denationalization. At the left we can see where Catalan (Valencian dialect) is spoken more or less frequently in the country (from Wikimedia commons). 

There is no other Catalan language TV in the country, as the Spanish nationalist government has mostly disdained the promotion of the native tongue. 

Source: Sare Antifaxista.

Some other stuff that is going on

Naturally I am, like nearly everybody, following with deep interest the revolutionary (and sadly also repressive) developments in North Africa and West Asia, but there is little I can say at this point that you cannot gather reading for example Al Jazeera or other media. 

But there are other interesting things going on. Briefly:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Israel murders Palestinian fishermen

I would not be surprised if the Nazi entity in Palestine, aka Israel, uses the unrest in the surrounding countries as smokescreen to perpetrate yet another phase of their planned colonial genocide. 

Regardless on whether this is right or not so right (hardly wrong in any case), tonight Israel has perpetrated another act of state terrorism by killing three fishermen who were working on shore in Gaza Strip.

Internet censorship map

A reader mentions this map of Internet censorship, which is as much as saying real democracy level:

Source: Radio Bio Bio, Open Net Initiave (see also here).

The most censored materials are blogs (20%) and political parties (19%). The means of censorship are diverse but it's clear that only a few countries seem to guarantee Internet freedom, while most are being intolerably autocratic and even outright repressive.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Internet censorship against Basques

Basque human rights whistleblower sites Apurtu and Amnistia eta Askatasuna have vanished from the Internet. The first site was involved in a repressive attack by the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional, special political tribunal) a few weeks ago involving false accusations and tortures against the people who kept it and generated much indignation among Navarrese journalists.

Additionally the site of the new political project of the Basque Nationalist Left, Sortu, which has complied with every single legal requirement to fit the Spanish law of political parties and judicial interpretations of it, has also been removed. Intriguingly the address now redirects to This never happens with, as far as I can tell, but the Spanish sub-company seems much less principled when it comes to attract unwilling web-surfers and I have seen them parasitizing other vanished addresses in the past. I wonder if they do this in order to spy on you via cookies and javascript, as one usually allows Google to get their junk penetrate your computer by default.  

Whatever the case, we are before another attack against freedom of speech in the internet. One wonders where do we have to host our sites in order to be kept safe from  arbitrary censorship: Venezuela maybe?

Also one wonders about the drift of the incipient peace process if to any initiative by the Basque side, Spain responds with arrogance and further repression. Two cannot talk if one does not want to, right?
Source: Sare Antifaxista (1, 2)

Down and around with the legalization process

This mysterious vanishing of Sortu's site, happens when the just conformed International Contact Group declares that it is their priority to assure that the political project is legalized. Indeed if after all these concessions we are next month in the situation of being unable to vote freely again, the whole process would probably be aborted sooner than later, as it would have become obvious that negotiating and making concessions and signs of goodwill are a pointless exercise. For many it'd be the confirmation that only violent ways are possible under the Spanish occupation.

Quite ironically, historical leader Tasio Erkizia declared that they are not going to be able to illegalize Sortu and that the Basque Nationalist Left will be in the upcoming municipal elections regardless of what happens to Sortu in the Spanish legal labyrinth.

Update: The website of Amnistia eta Askatasuna,, is now again online. No explanation was given.