Monday, December 31

Stop the War - Protest the RNC - Sep 1, 2008 - St. Paul, MN


2007 is winding down and we are heading into 2008. The U.S. occupation of Iraq continues on, and the Bush administration threatens Iran. The anti-war movement did some good and important things in 2007. But 2008, an election year, can be a year the anti-war movement can really burst out on the national stage on a scale that hasn't yet happened. The Republican and Democratic candidates are all for continuing the U.S. war and occupation in some form. The only thing close to exceptions are Libertarian / Republican Ron Paul, who is absolutely nuts on other major issues, and Dennis Kucinich, who has exactly zero chance of winning the Democratic nomination, and so far has been unable to even move the other candidates' rhetoric to the left, letalone their action. The left and the anti-war movement are presented with a pretty clear situation - the vast majority of the people in the U.S. want the war to end, and none of the ruling class's hand-picked "viable" candidate from either party is calling for the war to end. We have an opportunity this year like very few other times in recent years to see the radicalization of broad numbers of people in the U.S. if we can step up and be serious about organizing spaces, activities and organizations that people can join and get involved with. 2008 could be a year for dramatic growth of the anti-war movement and the left. It won't be easy - the mass media and the electoral game will be pulling people in the opposite direction. The logic will be to "quiet down" and subsume the anti-war movement behind the eventual Democratic nominee (likely Hillary, the most pro-war of all of them) in the interest of beating the Republicans. And it's a powerful pull, because the Bush administration has been particularly odious. Different forces on the left will make different decisions about whether to support one or the other capitalist party candidates, a Green candidate (which could be Cynthia McKinney - a possibly interesting option for the anti-war movement), or to oppose them all. That remains to be seen.

But if we want to see the anti-war movement make gains this year, the bottom line that we must all unite on is the need to continue to build the anti-war movement in the streets to move the entire debate to the left and force all the politicians to respond. We need to turn up the pressure this year, not duck and cover.

Two big nodal points in that effort are the protests at the Republican and Democratic Conventions this summer/fall. In late August, the Democratic Convention will be happening in Denver, Colorado. The Recreate 68 coalition there is organizing to protest the DNC. Those protests will be important, since the Democrats will not be nominating a candidate who calls for immediate withdrawl of U.S. troops. So protesting them to demand immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops will be important.

Then, from September 1-4, 2008, the Republicans will hold their convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. While some folks on the left seem to be arguing that the main focus of our protests should be the Democrats this year, I think this is incorrect. The Republicans control the executive branch of government and are principally responsible for the occupation of Iraq and a possible attack on Iran, as well as a list of crimes on other issues so long that I don't even know where to start. And millions and millions of people correctly despise Bush and the Republicans for it. The Republicans will also be nominating a candidate who will continue the war. They must be protested, and in a big and powerful way.

Our movement can and will channel that massive outrage that people feel into the biggest street protests that Minnesota has ever seen. Unluckily for the Republicans, the anti-war movement in Minnesota is strong and well-organized. Groups like the Anti-War Committee, Women Against Military Madness and others have been doing amazing work for years. And when people heard that the RNC would be held in Minnesota, the anti-war movement and the left sprung into action right away.

The Protest RNC 2008 coalition has been building a broad-based movement to protest the RNC. Part of this effort is the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, which is planning for a massive march on the first day of the RNC, September 1, 2008. The goal is for this march to be as big as possible - tens of thousands, maybe more. On the first day of the RNC 2004 in New York City, 500,000 people marched against the Republicans and against the war. St. Paul is not NYC, but the Twin Cities are generally progressive, and the vast majority of people who live here are against the Republicans and against the war. We just have to figure out how to get a big chunk of them into the streets on September 1, 2008. There will also be tends of thousands of people coming from around the Midwest and the rest of the country.

For the anarchist-inclined out there, you may also want to hook up with the RNC Welcoming Committee, an anarchist grouping that is planning their own series of actions against the RNC. The various forces in the Minnesota left are working together to overshadow the Republicans during their convention, in front of the eyes of the world. We will not be divided between "good" and "bad" protesters, or whatever else the powers-that-be are trying to come up with to divide the movement and diminish the crowds. A very good article, Unlikely as it might seem, mainstream media lies, was recently written by Jess Sundin from the Anti-War Committee, in response to the police and mass media's first real attempt to divide protesters. This kind of principled solidarity is key to having a big, diverse and effective movement.

Organizers are encouraging everyone to come to Minnesota to protest the RNC, no matter where you live. The first day of the RNC, September 1, is Labor Day, so for many people it's a 3-day weekend. Come enjoy your 3-day weekend in scenic and beautiful Minnesota! Especially if you're in the Midwest, start planning now to bring busses, carloads, trains full of people.

The planning for the march on the first day of the RNC has already begun, and the Protest RNC 2008 coalition has been fighting with the city for months already to get permits in place to march in front of the Xcel Center where the convention will take place, which of course the government is coming up with every excuse possible not to grant. That struggle continues, but the march on September 1, 2008 will be happening regardless of how long St. Paul's bureaucrats dawdle. Start making plans to come.

And everyone is encouraged to come help plan the protests. There will be a national organizing conference for that purpose on February 9-10, 2008 at the University of Minnesota. Check out the info about it here, and register online for the conference here.

Lets make 2008 a year that will be remembered for decades to come for the anti-war movement and the left in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 11

National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian nuclear weapons: intelligence failure?

Last week it was revealed that a national intelligence estimate compiled by the country's 16 intelligence agencies, released in July, found that Iran had ceased efforts to produce nuclear weapons in 2003. Of course, the rhetoric that had been coming from the Bush regime did not match this estimate. Warnings of an Iranian nuclear threat have streamed from the regime right up untilthis past week. In fact, the regime still insist that Iran poses a significant threat to US national security. These claims have fueled endless amounts of fear mongering on the part of the mass media and others such as the religious right about the perceived threat Iran posses to the US, Israel and even western civilization as a whole.
Without hestitation the conservative hardliners were out in full force to attempt to deny this revelation. Reportedly Dick Cheney attempted to block the release of the report, claiming that it cannot be valid. This is the same man who still insist stock piles of weapons of mass destruction are still present in Iraq.
In their twisted world, where reality is seemingly always blinded by ideology, conservatives have come to believe that the dilemna in this episode, just as in the justification to invade Iraq, is that the intelligence did not refelct the claims made by the Bush regime, therefore the intelligence was flawed, it was an "intelligence failure." How could Bush and friends be wrong after all? Of course, all rational people know that the dilemna is the fact that the regime knowingly made claims that ran contary to what intelligence actually revealed to be true, in order to further their militant agenda.
Once again, we have seen that the Bush regime is willing to decieve not only the citizens of the US, but the world in order to pursue its objectives. Nor has the regiem relented in its rhetoric and push against the "Iranian nuclear threat." Condoleeza Rice was in Europe this week in attempt to muster support for new sanctions against Iran, despite the revelation that Iran had actually stopped its nuclear weapons four years ago! This time around the world must take a stand and not allow these hard line ideolouges to decive the world in order to push their agenda.

Saturday, December 8

Venezuela's Referendum Results and the Struggle for Socialism

The Following is a presentation which I wrote for a Party for Socialism and Liberation Branch Meeting digging into the reasons why the December 2nd reforms failed in Venezuela, and what it means for the movement; and intensification of the tightening of the struggle for socialism



On December 2nd, Venezuela’s bolivarian revolution faced its first real setback since the US backed counter-revolutionary coup of 2002. 69 constitutional reforms proposed by Chavez in order to solidify the revolution in Venezuela further were defeated by barely more than 1% of the vote. The next day as results of the referendum hit the press, Chavez boldy conceded defeat, “for now”, promising that the struggle was far from over and Venezuela would continue on the road to socialism.

Venezuela’s bolivarian revolution has been a process which began back in 1989 with the Caracazo where the people took to the streets rebelling against neoliberal reforms which had stripped them of basic social services. The uprising was suppressed, but the impoverished living conditions of the vast majority of people in Venezuela as a result of the neo-liberal reforms did not stop, thus the struggle for change would continue. In 1992, Chavez and the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement led a military uprising which was defeated. Chavez was then imprisoned however he became a national hero when he appreared on air after he was captured to tell the revolutionary forces to stand down... “for now.” While in prison people started organizing in their communities and neighborhoods in support of Chavez throughout the country. When he was finally released Chavez had massive support and decided to run for president in 1998. Chavez didn’t win the election because he had the most money and corporate funding as past Venezuelan presidents had, but because of his intense popular support. Since the revolution has achieved state power and consolidated itself more and more there have been massive gains for the working class from healthcare and housing in the barrios, to free university education for working class students and communal councils that empower the people. But with every inch gained by the working class, the old ruling class has fought back

In the old Venezuela, the capitalist class had complete control. This means that the US and European oil barrons and a few wealthy landowning families had complete control of Venezuela, its economy, and its oil wealth leaving the millions and millions of Venezuelans who actually produced the wealth living in dire impoverished conditions. A class with that much power is not going to give up without a fight. The loss of the Referendum is due to a variety of reasons but it stems from this class struggle between the working class, the vast majoirty of society, and the capitalist class, and in every fight or struggle, even the best fighter will take a hit. Venezuela’s revolution is no different, and socialist revolutions in the past from Russia to Cuba and China to Korea have been no different.

With this is mind, its easier to really understand why the referendum lost so narrowly. The first major reason goes back to what Russian Revolutionary Vladmir Lenin stated a little over a century ago. In order for the working class to make a revolution, it needs a party to unite itself. This party needs to lead the people to taking power and in order to do so, it naturally needs experience. In Venezuela, the “vanguard party” as Lenin called it, is the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). The party is brand new, forged out of the leftist parties which backed the bolivarian revolution and out of the struggle that defines Venezuela today. When the party was formed, corporate media all over the world was alarmed calling the formation a totalitarian move and other nonsense. The reality was that they were scared of the people uniting under one party and of the left uniting, for them, it could only spell trouble. Yet some of the groups which had supported Chavez decided to go down a road of opportunism. They took this opportunity to publicize themselves by breaking off with the movement and attempting to split the left for their own ends. Groups like Podemos campaigned for the “No” vote to the referendum under the banner of 21st century socialism, confusing supporters of the bolivarian revolution. This as well as General Baduels’ defection to the opposition make up the “fifth column” of the Venezuelan Revolution. They are liberal elements which as the struggle sharpens are begining to fade out. They’re the careerists, the bureacrats, and the liberals and they’re presence has been crushing to the Chavista movement. It is this segment of the movement which has held back socialism and the referendum’s failure should be an awakening to Venezuelans who want to see real change. It was Fifth column bureacrats who failed to organized succesful pro-si campaigns in communities and districts all over Venezuela while the opposition went door-to-door threatening working class Venezuelans and claiming the government would take their car, house, and children away if the reform was passed.

This leads to the Second major reason the referendum failed. It wasn’t just that the non-revolutionary wing of the movement and party essentially worked against the reforms confusing people by claiming to be for socialism but in fact aiding capitalis, it was the vicious campaign of the ruling class against campaign. In Venezuela there have been alot of gains for the people but the bourgeoisie still control the media. Newspapers throughout Venezuela ran editorials which spread disinformation on the nature of the reforms and ads which made outrageous claims showing supposedly Cuban butcher shops which were empty and claiming that this was Venezuela’s future if the reforms were approved. Bourgeois democracy is all based on money and corporate investment. While the Si campaign was funded grassroots from the people, the no campaign was funded by corporations, oil barrons, landlords, and business federations. A few days before referendum Venezuela uncovered CIA documents in support of the No campaign which advocated a campaign of destablization to stop the reforms. With the backing of the corporations and US imperialism the “No” campaign was able to get its message out far easier than the “Si” campaign based in the support of the working class in the barrios which have gained so much from the revolution. Thus the reality is that until capitalism is fully overthrown, there can be no real democracy just democracy of the rich.

The failure of the reforms simply serves as a reminder that socialism cannot be built just through the ballot box, it comes from the streets, from popular struggle. In Venezuela the bourgeois still have power and until they are fully expropriated and the people gain control of everything for their benefit and use, they will continue to spread their misinformation and lies. Through their wild campaign of deeming Chavez a “dictator” they scared some 2.5 million voters who had voted for Chavez and Socialism in the past away from the voting booth. The opposition gained only a small number of votes, a fraction which led them to barely win, it was the misinformation spread on individual reforms of the 69 proposed and the failure of the Bolivarian movement to respond to these lies because of the opportunist wing of the movement and their sabotage which led to the defeat.

In short, the loss of the referendum will be wake up call for the revolutionaries in Venezuela, people who have seen the benefits of the revolution and want to see it defended and progressed will now tighten up, they will correct the mistakes pointed out, and the struggle in Venezuela will only intensify. The reality is that the people are on the side of the revolution. Over 5 million people have signed to the PSUV, now its time for the PSUV to step up and lead this revolution. Revolutionaries in Venezuela will now turn to more intense struggle to defend the revolution and advance it so that Venezuela can finally be free from US imperialism.

Tuesday, December 4

Remembering Our Revolutionary Heroes: Fred Hampton

Rise! Resist! Revolt! will begin to run monthly pieces on different revolutionary figures in history, their accomplishments for the people, and their meaning for people in the struggle today. The first installment of "Remembering Our Revolutionary Heroes" will be about Fred Hampton in honor of the 40th anniversarry of his murder today, December 4th.



December Fourth is a day of great loss as well as a day to pay respect to a great revolutionary leader; Fred Hampton. On this day Forty years ago Fred Hampton was murdered in a rain of bullets by Chicago police who kicked down his door. Hampton didn't resist, he didn't even have time too because the cops were there to kill him.

How things went down

Hampton had taught a political education on the evening of December third. Him and his fellow panthers retired to his apartment after, as was customary. At 4:45 in the morning, The police busted down the door. firing automatic rounds throughout the house. The following transcript was heard by Hamptons comrade who was "sleeping" when the raid happened.

"That's Fred Hampton."
"Is he dead?... Bring him out."
"He's barely alive; he'll make it."
(Two Gun Shots)
"He's good and dead now."

The Next day the pigs claimed they had taken out a "extremely vicious" cell of the BPP. They were later praised for their "bravery" (killing unarmed people while they sleep takes courage of course) and their "restraint". Soon however the truth leaked out it was found that police had fired 98 shots while the panthers fired 1.

Why it matters today

The important lesson from the murder of Fred Hampton is that contrary to whatever the capitalists may say about this country being a "democracy" with "free speach", Fred Hampton is one of the most blatant examples of how this is no democracy, it is a dictatorship of the ruling capitalist class which brutally suppresses people who really speak up and challenge things and gain a following.

Revolutionaries and progressive people need to recognize this, and take security precautions so that in a future revolutionary situation, we do not make the same mistakes of allowing the police to know our location and kick down our doors at will.

Fred Hampton and the Movement

Fred Hampton, represented one of the leaders of the Black Panther Party who was in it until the end. When he was martyred he was a primiere leader in the party. This was important because it was largely due to him, and others like him, that the most successful revolutionary vanguard in US history was built. Fred Hampton understood Revolution
A lot of people get the word revolution mixed up and they think revolutions a bad word. Revolution is nothing but like having a sore on your body and then you put something on that sore to cure that infection. And Im telling you that were living in an infectious society right now. Im telling you that were living in a sick society. And anybody that endorses integrating into this sick society before its cleaned up is a man whos committing a crime against the people.
He also understood community organizing and appealing to the people's needs. Because of this, him and his fellow cadre were able to build a fighting party which was armed, educated, and providing for the masses. The importance of Fred Hampton to Revolutionaries today is immense as his example is one for everyone trying to build a movement in the "belly of the beast" to build on and learn from.

Giving the means to an end (of capitalism)

Greetings comrades! This is ahab writing to you directly from the belly of the beast! In this day and age dissension has never been more evident, class awareness and the idea of revolution is as prominent as its ever been, maybe even more so as we deal with our modern day hitler and his gestapo. The purpose of me writing to you is to raise awareness and prepare you for the future. We are the working class, the working men, woman and children of the world. We are the blood that pumps through the economic and social body, we are the heart and soul of it. It is up to us to change our lives and the future lives of our children.

None of us know when revolution will spring, but preparing yourself for it is a necessary task. Not just physically and mentally, but socially, we need to prepare ourselves. We are in the technological age, information about anything is at our finger tips, and spreading information is just as easy as finding it. Our culture, especially the youth, is seriously misinformed, as we know, about a lot of things socialist, communist and anarchist. The only way to raise insurrection is to inform the public of their exploitation and the evils of capitalism, to reveal it's true nature. We all know this is not an easy task, everyone has different opinions and, thanx to history class, communism and anarchism have been portrayed as evil and murderous, and anyone tied to either ideology is sold as barbaric and nieve. But do not fear comrades, because just as marx said "The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles" so, as we know, near the end people will realize for themselves the atrocities of the capitalist machine. So either through bloody or democratic revolution, our dream of utopia will one day be realized.

BUT

In the instance of bloody and violent revolution (which personally I see is the only way capitalism can and will fall) I want to introduce to you the D.I.Y. culture, a long tradition of commies and anarcho's alike. During the revolution you will need to know how to take care of yourself and others, either with first aid or weapons knowledge, its essential to the survival of guerilla's to know how to fight, kill and survive. So amongst other things I want to share educational knowledge of how to survive in an urban combat environment. That is why I joined this multi-blogger blog. We are the product of our environment, and we can change that environment to whatever we want.

So First lets start with something easy. My personal favorite and the weapon of choice of rioters, the molotov cocktail.

The molotov cocktail is a simple yet effective tool against ground troops and light vehicles, its method of preperation is simple and is as follows:

1 glass bottle or lightbulb
1 rag
1 part gasoline
1 part motor oil

-OR-

1 glass bottle or lightbulb
1 rag
1 part gasoline
1 part roofing tar
melted wax

Now like I said, this and any other recipe for disaster I share is for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY! They are dangerous and WILL GET YOU IN TROUBLE! So save it for when you need it ;).

Thats it for me today, I've spent enough time on here and am going outdoors lol peace and remember LIVE ABOVE THE LAW.

Some cool sites to check out:
My Blog
http://positivedissension.blogspot.com/

RevolutionaryLeft.com
http://revleft.com/

Instructables
http://www.instructables.com/home

Also in memory of Fred Hampton, my favorite video of him:

Monday, November 26

Call for a December 4 Day of Blogging Inspired by Fred Hampton

This is my first post here at Rise! Resist! Revolt! blog. I go by the web-name of Left Spot, for the unoriginal reason that I do a blog called Left Spot blog. I would like to thank LeftyHenry for inviting me in as a participant on Rise! Resist! Revolt!. I see it as a good experiment in grouping together a number of bloggers from the Marxist-Leninist milieu of the blogosphere.

Over the past couple of years there have been a number of blogs started by Marxist-Leninist or Maoist bloggers. Unfortunately almost none of the bloggers have been able to maintain a steady stream of new content on as much of a regular basis as we would like. I'm still doing Left Spot blog, but it seems like a good thing to also participate in this multi-blogger blog to see if through 'collectivization' we can get more regular content churning out and inspire each other to write more and better things.

That idea flows nicely into the actual content of this post. Having a multi-blogger blog is one great way to make us more than the sum of our parts within the blogosphere. Another way is to have a group of bloggers all write about a similar theme at the same time. This creates a dialogue across blogs that gives a broader reach than any individual blogger would have. So in that spirit, I am putting forward this call to write and post something inspired by Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton on December 4, the day he was assassinated in 1969. Read on for details, and leave a comment if you plan to participate. Thanks! --Left Spot




On December 4, 1969, Chicago Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton was assassinated as part of the U.S. government's campaign to neutralize the Black Panthers' growing revolutionary influence. Hampton was one of the most dynamic and politically on-point leaders in the Black Panther Party. His death was a huge loss to the BPP, to the Black Liberation Movement, the communist movement and to the revolutionary movement overall in the U.S. Since December 4 is approaching, I'd like to propose that bloggers who are interested should take that day to write and post something inspired by the legacy of Fred Hampton.

It could be something about the politics and legacy of the Black Panther Party; something about Fred Hampton specifically; something about the history or the current state of the Black Liberation Movement or the revolutionary movement in the U.S. in general; Something about how the Black Panthers tried to apply Marxist-Leninist or Maoist politics to the conditions in the U.S. and take out revolutionary politics around mass issues in a way the masses would understand and embrace, etc. Or just make up your own topic.

Almost a year ago (seemingly eons ago in internet-time) way back in January 2007, there was an interesting attempt to have a Blog Against White Supremacy Day on Martin Luther King Day. About 12 or 13 leftist bloggers participated in that and some good and interesting things were written.

I've always been frustrated that Fred Hampton is not better known and that the date of his assassination isn't more widely recognized or commemorated. I don't anticipate that there will be tons of participants in this blogging day, but if even just a few people write something, I think it will be a successful contribution toward the popularizing of Fred Hampton and his outstanding revolutionary spirit.

If you plan to participate, leave a comment here to let folks know.

Saturday, November 24

¡Si, Con Chavez, Con la Reforma!


Now that the privledged upper class students who surrounded pro-chavez students in Caracas' university of social work recieved the reaction they asked for from pro-chavez workers who obviously will not tolerate an attempt at another 2002-style coup and will defend the gains of the revolution that has pulled hundreds of thousands if not millions out of poverty and given the people power. Now that the corporate media uproar against Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution to a opposition instigated situation has calmed down here, I think its important to analyize what's going on in Venezuela and why every one who wants to see a world without poverty, exploitation, and oppression needs to show solidarity with the Revolution in Venezuela.

The biggest question people have to be asking is what are these reforms which people are ready to violently fight back to defend?

1.) Institutionalization and switch of Federal money from bureacratic state & local governors to the Communal Councils. After Chavez's initial election and even before leading up to the 1998 election, councils and groupings started to form in Venezuela all over the countries. When Mao Tse-tung, leader of the Chinese Revolution, said "A Single Spark can light a prarie fire" he wasn't kidding. What started off as a few councils to support Chavez have ignited into nationwide people's cells of power in almost every neighborhood where people decide how to use funding for their communities and how to rule collectively. The constitutional reforms being voted on December 2nd will increase funding to these bodies where everyone can join in and excercise their power. Critics claim that taking money away from the local governments and giving them to these community councils is dictatorial because these councils are a base of support for the Bolivarian Revolution. The truth is that the state governments are bureacratic and remnant of the old order. Ruling class corporate sponsored politicians are in charge in the state governments while its the people who are in charge in the communal councils. Critics in the US corporate media are simply scared of real people's democracy being legitimized in Venezuela because it means that the same type of corporations which fund these news outlets are gonna be losing power in Venezuela. Everyone who believes in real democracy needs to support this reform

2.) Lowering the amount of hours in the work day from eight to six. Venezuela has alredy garunteed all its people pensions, raised the minumum wage to the highest in the region and in general taken big steps to protect working people's rights. Lowering the amount of hours in the work day is another big step. It means working people will have more time to relax, spend time with their family, and in general enjoy life. This reform in particular has scared the US government and corporate media because it represents everything the US government stands against. People's rights? Worker's rights? This means that US corporations in Venezuela will be less profitable and more humane, something corporations are modeled to be the polar opposite of. This reform is an example of Venezuelan workers taking their country out of US corporate hands and Venezuelan robberbaron hands and putting it into their own.

3.) Lowering the voting age from 18 to 16. The prospect of a larger amount of youth and young people getting involved in the political process is a scary thought to the rulers of the US because the youth have always been the ones who are ready to change shit, they are the most progressive sector of society and they have the longest time to live in this world of any other sector of the population, thus logically they will vote based on what they think is the best for humanity in the long term rather than what's gonna get them lower taxes and out of paying for things like young peoples pensions and education like the older generations tend to vote based on. In any case this is a very democratic no matter what because its simply allowing more of the Venezuelan population into the political process. Not suprisingly, US corporate media tries its best to ignore this part of the new reforms and continues to call Chavez a evil dictator.

4.) Abolishing Term Limits. As you can probably imagine the US corporate media jumped like heroin fiend at this part of this reform using it as alledged proof that Chavez is the evil dictator ready to destroy the world and create a breeding ground for terrorism in Venezuela. What the corporate media ignored however, was the fact that countries deemd "beacons of democracy and liberty" throughout Europe have no term limits! Also the US itself has no term limits in its house and many states have no term limits for their governors. On the contrary, have no term limits is more democratic. The Bolivarian Revolution has a bold leader, so why should he go if the people don't want him too?

5.) Nationalize the Central Bank. The last major reform being proposed is taking the central bank out of the hands of the rich and wealthy bankers and putting it in the hand of the people so that any surplus value made will go to funding people's needs like healthcare and education rather than a new yacht or golf course for some banker. The corporate media reports this as Chavez the dictator taking control of the bank, but the truth is that it is not Chavez who will benefit from this, it is the working people of Venezuela.

In Summation, all progressive people need to stand with these reforms despite the widespread campaign by corporate media to spread disinformation about them. Anyone who supports real democracy should be behind Venezuela's Socialist process going on right now. It's because of this that I encourage everyone in the New York City Area to come out at 1 PM on December 1st to the Venezuelan Consulate located on 7 East 51st Street (between 5th Ave. and Madison Ave.) You can take the E, the V, or the 6 train. The ANSWER Coalition along with other organizations are calling for a emergency picket in support of the reforms which will be voted on the next day. Bring your friends, bring family, and be loud!

Thursday, November 22

A Day To Give Thanks?

The following is a piece written by Ward Churchill on Thanksgiving and the genocide of Native Americans it celebrates. Ward Churchill is a prominent political professor at the University of Colorado who has faced a large amount of political persecution being the central target of neo-conservative witchunt against professors in Universities who speak out and challenge the ruling classes version of history and current events. Horowitz, who believes black people are indebted to America for slavery, once said that there is one Ward Churchill but there are many like him all over the country and that they must all be denied tenure and essentially fired, as Ward Churchill has been. With that said, Churchill is in my view, a symbol of academic dissent against the ruling class. His piece basically addresses everything that is important to remember as you enjoy your Thankstaking.

Thanksgiving is the day the United States celebrates the fact that the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony successfully avoided starvation during the winter of 1620-21.

But from an American Indian perspective, what is it we're supposed to be so thankful for?

Does anyone really expect us to give thanks for the fact that soon after the Pilgrim Fathers regained their strength, they set out to dispossess and exterminate the very Indians who had fed them that first winter?

Are we to express our gratitude for the colonists' 1637 massacre of the Pequots at Mystic, Conn., or their rhetoric justifying the butchery by comparing Indians to "rats and mice and swarms of lice"?

Or should we be joyous about the endless series of similar slaughters that followed: at St. Francis (1759), Horseshoe Bend (1814), Bad Axe (1833), Blue Water (1854), Sand Creek (1864), Marias River (1870), Camp Robinson (1878) and Wounded Knee (1890), to name only the worst?

Should we be thankful for the scalp bounties paid by every English colony -- as well as every U.S. state and territory in the lower 48 -- for proof of the deaths of individual Indians, including women and children?

How might we best show our appreciation of the order issued by Lord Jeffrey Amherst in 1763, requiring smallpox-infested items be given as gifts to the Ottawas so that "we might extirpate this execrable race"?



Is it reasonable to assume that we might be jubilant that our overall population, numbering perhaps 15 million at the outset of the European invasion, was reduced to less than a quarter-million by 1890?

Maybe we should be glad the "peaceful settlers" didn't kill the rest of us outright. But they didn't really need to, did they? By 1900, they already had 98 percent of our land. The remaining Indians were simply dumped in the mostly arid and unwanted locales, where it was confidently predicted that we'd shortly die off altogether, out of sight and mind of the settler society.

We haven't died off yet, but we comprise far and away the most impoverished, malnourished and disease-ridden population on the continent today. Life expectancy on many reservations is about 50 years; that of Euroamericans more than 75.

We've also endured a pattern of cultural genocide during the 20th century. Our children were processed for generations through government boarding schools designed to "kill the Indian" in every child's consciousness and to replace Native traditions with a "more enlightened" Euroamerican set of values and understandings.

Should we feel grateful for the disastrous self-concept thereby fostered within our kids?

Are we to be thankful that their self-esteem is still degraded every day on cable television by a constant bombardment of recycled Hollywood Westerns and television segments presenting Indians as absurd and utterly dehumanized caricatures?

Should we tell our children to find pride in the sorts of insults to which we are subjected to as a matter of course: Tumbleweeds cartoons, for instance, or the presence of Chief Wahoo and the Redskins in professional sports?

Does anybody really believe we should feel honored by such things, or by place names like Squaw Valley and Squaw Peak? "Squaw," after all, is the Onondaga word for female genitalia. The derogatory effect on Native women should be quite clear.

About three-quarters of all adult Indians suffer alcoholism and/or other forms of substance abuse. This is not a "genetic condition." It is a desperate, collective attempt to escape our horrible reality since "America's Triumph."

It's no mystery why Indians don't observe Thanksgiving. The real question is why do you feast rather than fast on what should be a national day of mourning and atonement.

Before digging into your turkey and dressing on Nov. 23, you might wish to glance in a mirror and see if you can come up with an answer.

Monday, November 19

Putting Reparations on the Socialist Agenda

According to the International Monetary Fund(IMF), in 2006 the United States of America had a GDP of more than $13 trillion and thus ranking it as the largest national GDP in the world. GDP, or gross domestic product, is the value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given time period. Yet, this wealth is becoming gradually concentrated as yearly statistics show. According to State of Working America, in 2004, 12.7% of the population, 37 million persons, were considered poor. Not only is wealth in America unequally distributed, but poverty is as well also, with 30 percent of Blacks being poor, 20 percent of all Hispanics, but only 9 percent of Whites. How did America generate and continue to generate this vast amount of wealth and is there a connection between that process and it's disproportionate allocation?

Slavery and Primitive Accumulation of Capital

Primitive, or "original accumulation", refers to the initial process that led to a 'critical mass' of accumulation that enabled capital to be set in motion. It's a concept developed by Karl Marx to explain how the capitalist mode of production came into fruition. Marx says we must envision an accumulation of capital that was not a consequence of capitalist production but was the starting point of capitalist production. He called this "primitive accumulation of capital".

So what is this primitive or original/previous accumulation of capital? According to Marx it was the,

discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the indigenous population of that continent, the beginnings of the conquest and plunder of India, and the conversion of Africa into a preserve for the commercial hunting of blackskins, are all things which characterize the dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation. [Marx 1977, p. 915]




Capitalist development was due to the brutal exploitation of Blacks and indigenous people as consumers and workers. African slaves were forced to perform free labor for almost 250 years. Karl Marx notes,

Direct slavery is just as much the pivot of bourgeois industry as machinery, credits, etc. Without slavery you have no cotton; without cotton you have no modern industry. It is slavery that has given the colonies their value; it is the colonies that have created world trade, and it is world trade that is the pre-condition of large-scale industry.
-The Poverty of Philosophy: A Reply to M. Proudhon’s Philosophy of Poverty, New York, International Publishers, n.d., pages 94-5.



This constant expropriation of surplus value, at a high rate of exploitation, was the driving force behind capitalist development, as well as the underdevelopment of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Where did the reproduction and growth needed for capital investment come from after the abolishment of slavery?

Abolition and Permanent Accumulation of Capital

After the abolishment of the slavery mode of production in the South, the United states still continued to generate wealth. Rosa Luxemburg proposes that the cause of this continual generation of wealth is due to what is called, permanent accumulation of capital. The difference between Marx and Luxemburg is that, for Marx, primitive accumulation is the starting point for capitalism proper, whereas for Luxemburg it is an ongoing process. Even after Black Americans were "freed", they still were subject to economic exploitation and political disenfranchisement. This was accomplished by the racist/capitalist state through, but not limited to, Black Codes, convict lease, peonage, Jim Crow laws as well as institutional racism. The rate of exploitation was higher for black workers than white workers, allowing capitalists to accrue higher profits from black workers than their white counter-parts. This discrepancy still occurs today, according to State of Workign America, "For every dollar of whites’ income, minorities receive only 56 cents. For every dollar of networth that whites control, minorities control only 27 cents."

A Call for Reparations

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America(NCOBRA) views reparations as a "process of repairing, healing and restoring a people injured because of their group identity and in violation of their fundamental human rights by governments or corporations. Those groups that have been injured have the right to obtain from the government or corporation responsible for the injuries that which they need to repair and heal themselves. In addition to being a demand for justice, it is a principle of international human rights law. As a remedy, it is similar to the remedy for damages in domestic law that holds a person responsible for injuries suffered by another when the infliction of the injury violates domestic law". Economist Larry Neal, estimates that unpaid net wages to blacks before emancipation amount to $1.4 trillion today. While, University of California at Berkeley calculated the gains of whites from labor market discrimination from 1929 to 1969 to total $1.6 trillion. In total, there are estimates that blacks are owed up to 10 trillion by the US government. Yet, through all of NCOBRA's legal routes and tribunals , blacks have yet to receive any compensation. Nor, is it for certain that the government ever will as history has shown in the promise of '40 acres and a mule'.

Revolution is the Solution

There is a direct correlation between the development of capitalism and the underdevelopment of Black America. The exploitation of blacks is the motor for the United States rapid accumulation of capital. The high rate of exploitation, combined with the expropriation of surplus value from black labor is not only the cause of America's vast amount of wealth, but also the reason why that wealth is disproportionately allocated. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the capitalist class to continue to accumulate profit through division of labor according to race. The legal route for reparations and the development of Black America is a dead end. The only solution is it's usage as a backbone of a political movement towards a socialist revolution.

In that sense, reparations for Africans and indigenous people must be included on the socialist agenda. The only way compensation and development will be achieved is through the destruction of the vary economic system and state apparatus that is the cause of the underdevelopment of Black America. One of the first tasks of a socialist society would not only to meet the basic needs of the people, but to develop historically oppressed communities. The socialist society will give preference to developing these areas not to recreate inequality, but to raise the standards of life for everyone in society. This task cannot be successfully done in a capitalist society, but only a post-revolutionary socialist one.

Cheers.
-blackstone

"Four hundred years the white man has had his foot-long knife in the black man's back - and now the white man starts to wiggle the knife out, maybe six inches! The black man's supposed to be grateful? Why, if the white man jerked the knife out, it's still going to leave a scar!"
-Malcolm X

Tuesday, November 13

Rise! Resist! Revolt! is Changing...

Comrades, RRR is changing as a blog. The main change that will take place is that its open to all Revolutionary Leftists now. Any Marxist who would like to post can feel free to contact me by dropping a comment or sending an email. Several comrades of mine from a good mix of political backgrounds have wanted to join the team. When I started this blog, I was hoping to update it more frequently, but alot of things have popped up making it harder too find the time, so I got the idea to try to get together a grouping of people who share a hatred of capitalism and all the problems it brings the world; Racism, Poverty, Oppression, War, Starvation etc.. and recognize the need for a revolution to establish socialism a system where the working class owns the means of production and the wealth created is used to benefit everyone. Blackstone, from the Power to the People! blog (check my blogroll), is the first comrade to join the team. Look out for his insightful and revolutionary commentary.

Sunday, October 28

The California Wildfires and the Capitalist System



It has all the signs of a deja vu. A natural disaster hits, masses of people are forced into a stadium, thousands are left homeless with no aid from the government. The devastation is immense. By now, everyone has heard about the wildfires raging in Southern California. When I say that it has the signs of a deja vu, I'm of course, refering to Hurricane Katrina where people were left for days without food or shelter to starve and die, and when they attempted to gather food, or too leave they faced a hail of bullets from cops who were given the order to "shoot to kill" in order to protect private property. A little more than 2 years later, the people of california find themselves in a similiar situation. The differences though are immense. Hurricane Katrina killed thousands and wrecked a entire city, its destruction was 10 times that of the wildfires. But the difference that is more important I think, is that unlike Katrina, the victims of this natural disaster are both wealthy and working class while the victims of Hurricane Katrina were almost completely working class. This explains the governments' more effective response, along with the fact that they want to avoid the anger, outrage and backlash of the masses that came after the government left the people of New Orleans stranded to die.

Yet despite the corporate media proclaiming a great recovery response, there have been the inevitable failures in the response that come from and imperial system only interested in profit and money not the people. The San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year reported on how the National Guard warned that the imperial occupation of Iraq would hinder a natural disaster response in California. Trucks, radios, generators, fuel, and other supplies are missing from the recovery effort as they are serving in Iraq. This goes to show where the interests of the system we live under are, in effectively exploiting and oppressing people in other countries rather than funding people's needs, not even in emergency situations. The system's attitudes towards its people is fuck 'em, they can live on the streets if it is profitable for us, if they can pay their own way; that's the only way we'll aid them. This is further proven by the fact that after Katrina and already starting now with the wildfires, insurance companies have used the disaster to cancel deals, yet another example of how privatization fails. When privatized, weither it be healthcare or insurance, companies act only when profitable, however under socialism it is the opposite as the system is not designed to serve profit but the people.

Monday, October 22

Fidel Castro on Yesterdays Municipal Elections



From PSLweb: This first appeared Oct. 20 in Cuba's Granma Daily. Over 8.3 million Cubans will participate in municipal elections on Oct. 21, well over 90 percent of the eligible voters.

Our elections are the antithesis of those held in the United States, not on Sundays but on the first Tuesday of

November. Being very rich or having the support of lot of money is what matters the most there. Huge amounts are later on invested in publicity, specialized in brain washing and the creation of conditioned reflexes.

With honorable exceptions, no one can hope to be appointed to an important post without being backed by millions of dollars.

Being elected President in the U.S. requires hundreds of millions, which come from the coffers of big monopolies. Elections can be won by a candidate earning a minority of votes.

Less and less citizens are going to the ballots; there are many who would rather go to work or spend their time doing anything else. There is fraud, tricks, discrimination against ethnic minorities and even violence.

Having more than 90 per cent of all citizens voting in the elections and school children guarding the ballots is an unheard of experience; it’s hard to believe that this occurs in one of the "dark corners of this world," a harassed and blockaded country named Cuba. That is how we exercise the vigorous muscles of our political awareness.

Thursday, October 18

Democrats Revealing Their True Colors

Its no secret anymore, the War on Iraq is a horrific crime. With over a million civilians dead, thousands of working class youth, forced into the army, because they have no other path, to kill other exploited and oppressed people, maimed and buried, with the largest refugee crisis in the middle east since the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their land in 1948, with the country's infrastructure bombed to rubble, with people being deprived of basic needs like clean drinking water and electricity, and with kids afraid to go to school not because of bullies, but because they're afraid of being killed by the occupation, its hard to deem the War on Iraq and its consequences anything but the barbarism of an imperialist occupation and a crime against humanity.

Yet despite this, it didn't come as a suprise to me, when a week or two ago, top democratic candidates for the 2008 election refused to promise that they'd have the troops out of Iraq by 2013. It didn't suprise me that Clinton, Obama, and Edwards took the exact position that they were voted into power to act firmly and immediatly against. What did suprise me a little, I guess, was that they were honest that they would not end this colonial occupation and that they are truly not the anti-war party that they have framed themselves to be.

As a Marxist-Leninist, I've always known that the Democrats are a ruling class party. I've known that the democrats are complicit with the war. They are the ones who voted for it, fund(ed) it, armed it, and are now running it, but what's frustrating as a Anti-War activist and someone who has done a lot of organizing against the war, is seeing people continue to think that the democrats are going to end this occupation, like activists in the UFPJ continue to think despite all signs signaling the opposite. This position is detrimental. The fact of the matter is that the democrats are complicit in this war. They are a ruling class party and this war is key to their ruling class interests.

The ruling class in the US needs this war. Earlier this year, Bush toured Latin America. He went from country to country, town to town, and every place he went, he was followed by angry, militant, anti-imperialist working class protestors. The oppressed of Latin America poured out into the streets in opposition of the Bush agenda. It was a expression of the fact that the people of Latin America are tired of NAFTA and CAFTA kicking farmers of their land, they are tired of the brutal exploitation for low wages, and of the plunder of their countries' resources for private profit. The fact that so many people took action against Bush's tour is a reflection of why the War in Iraq is so crucial to the US. There is growing Anti-imperial sentiment in Latin America, headed by Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela alongside Cuba, but also with countries like Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia, US interests in Latin America are threatened like they haven't been since the Sandinistas and the July 26th Movement seized power in the height of the "cold war". But what's different today is that it is oil in particular that is threatened alongside other markets, while in the past in Cuba and Nicargua and Chile it was soley crops like sugar and bananas. The difference is that oil is what makes the system run, oil fuels everything. Oil equals your electricity, transporation, heating etc.. oil is energy. Sugar and bananas, while valuable, is far less important than oil. The Bolivarian Revolution everyday moves to deprive the US of imperial domination of the vast oil fields of Venezuela, a country which has always historically been a major exporter of oil to the US. The US ruling class has extracted a fantastic amount of surplus wealth/profit from Venezuela's oil industry over the years and put it in their pockets. But now with the oil industry nationalized and the wealth rather than going to corporate executives pockets, it is going to fund people's needs. Whats more dangerous, other countries are following Venezuela's lead! To the shock and horror of the wealthy elite in the US, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia have joined Venezuela (to different extents) and formed ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America, a anti-imperialist trading bloc based on mutual benefit of oppressed Latin American countries, not on the robbery of one country by another. This alongside Iran's growing influence in the Middle East and its own deprivation of US imperialists of its oil fields, the US more than ever needs to secure oil markets. Iraq is just that oil market that needs to be secured.

Securing Iraq would mean that the US could clamp down on Venezuela and Iran, it could embargo left and right and take action to crush the rising Anti-US sentiments in Latin America. Pulling out of Iraq though, would mean the US loses that market, and it loses the potential of controlling the Middle East and its oil in the way that it finds ideal.

Thus its no suprise the democrats are hesitant to say they won't pull out Iraq by the end of their term limit, they hold just as much interest in staying there as the Republicans do!

Saturday, October 13

Remembering Ernesto "Che" Guevara: Live for the People!


Last Monday marked the Fortieth Anniversarry of the death of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Cuban revolutionary who devoted his life to waging revolution to end the oppressive system of imperialism and unite Latin America. Forty years after his death in Bolivia while waging guerrilla warfare against the US back Bolivian puppet government and fighting off Green Berets for 12 months, Che Guevara still remains an international icon of revolution and liberation, a icon of hope for those oppressed and liberty from US imperialism. Che was born to a once wealthy, but now pauperized Argentinian family. Most of his childhood was spent impoverished. His father was out of job for most of his youth, so growing up he struggled, yet he managed to get a college education and become a doctor despite this. The most decisive factor in Che Guevara's shaping was his travels of Latin America. The book and now hollywood movie The Motorcycle Diaries illustrate his journey through Latin America with his best friend on a small, old, rusty, but mostly reliable motorcycle. While the journey was filled with stories which make you shake your head and say "those crazy kids", it was also a very lifechanging experience for Che. Che was able to experience first hand the horrors of imperialism. He saw the mass poverty, the diesease, multiple times Che tried to use his doctoring knowledge to help those who were denied healthcare for example, he also saw the oppression of governments on the working class as well as a seeing US intervention in Guatamala. Throughout all this Che Guevara grew more and more progressive, militant, and revolutionary until he met the young exile in Mexico, Fidel Castro. According to legend, Fidel and Che spent a whole night talking about the world, about poverty, and about Revolution. Fidel told Che of his plans for revolution on the little island of Cuba to overthrow the oppressive US backed Batista regime. Che immediately agreed to join him. Che would emerge as a leader during the revolution, after the revolution, he would be the most anti-imperialist, and the most militant. Che was a fighter though, and soon after liberation of Cuba, he felt he had to continue the struggle elsewhere throughout the world, something he would die doing.

Che is still an important figure today because he is a concentration of everything a revolutionary stands for. A comrade of mine recently said at a Public Party meeting that he is concentration of so much it is impossible for me to explain in a really concentrated way. However a couple days later, I think Fidel Castro came close:

I make a halt in my daily struggle to bow my head in respect and gratitude to the exceptional combatant who fell in combat on October 8th, forty years ago; for the example he passed on to us as leader of his Rebel Army Column, crossing the swampy grounds of the former provinces of Oriente and Camag├╝ey, while being chased by enemy troops. He was the liberator of the city of Santa Clara and the mastermind of voluntary work; he accomplished honorable political missions abroad and served as messenger of militant internationalism in East Congo and Bolivia. He built a new awareness in our America and the world.

I thank him for what he tried and failed to do in his home country, because he was like a flower prematurely severed from its stem.

He left to us his unmistakable literary style. He was elegant, swift and true to every detail of whatever happened to cross his mind. He was a predestinate, but he didn’t know it. He still fights with us and for

How Capitalism is Destroying Our Planet

In recent years, Global Warming has seen an incredible jump in attention recieved. Seeing as today is Blog Action Day for enviromental justice, I thought I'd post on what the real reason for why our planet is slowly rotting and what the solution is.

The Capitalist "laissez-faire" system, is a system which puts profit above all else. The economy is organized not according to what is best for the people, but what will make the most money. Because of this, there is little or no incentive for the people with power; wealthy politicians, corporations, executives, bankers and so on to do anything to care for our earth. The fact that Global Warming is also portrayed as a sort of mystical idea that won't affect us until later also helps further this because capitalism is a system which only works for the now, not for the future. This isn't a coincidence, it's the same people destroying the enviroment because it's profitable that are the ones funding the mainstream media, paying its bills with commercials. This is why you rarely hear about what kind of a danger global warming really is on CNN and FOX and other corporate media outlets, fear that car companies, for example, will pull their ads. The question still remains though how do these companies destroy the enviroment?

This question was really answered for me after I saw the film Who Killed the Electric Car? Basically, this movie was about how in the early 90s in California, new, sleek-looking, cars that produced zero carbon emissions and used no gas whatsoever hit the highways with long lists of people trying to get their hands on them. Ten years later, every single one of these cars had been impounded and destroyed. The movie explores how the companies quickly realized that these cars put gas guzzling cars in danger, and how gas company lobbies felt threatened. These two companies hold such a strong say in the government because they provide campaign funding for candidates in exchange for the candidates supporting their interests. These companies threatened the government if they didn't repeal the 1990 California law which required the companies to sell electric cars in the first place. Once the law was repealed the car companies essentially pigeon-holed this new car realizing that it would endanger the countless gas-guzzling car manufacturing plants they ran, but more importantly, that it was such a easy car with basically no matenance meaning that people would buy these cars and never need another car again.

This movie made me realize, what kind of incentive is there for companies to do enviromentally conscious things. Look at hybrids today for example, yes, they are a step up and its great that we have them, but look at how expensive they are compared to a regular car. Because of this people choose to buy things with in their budget, cars that are less expensive are worse for the enviroment, thus alot more focus is put on these cars by car companies.

This brings back to my point that things are done in this system for profit. Until we break out of that, and until we have a system -- socialism -- which puts people's needs and the earth the people live on first, there will be no significant enviromental change for the better.

Thursday, October 11

Until the Jena 6 are Free, Neither are We!

By now, most people have heard of the Jena Six. During the build up to September 20th, when 50,000 people from all over the country marched on Jena, as well as after the mass outpouring, the corporate media felt forced to address it. With every hotel booked to capacity in the week leading up to the demonstration within Fifty miles of Jena, it was an impossible thing to ignore. But for those who haven't heard, The Jena Six refers to a case which started last year in a small Louisiana town. Basically it all started when a new black student at the local high school decided to sit under a tree which only white students sat under. The next day, 3 nooses, symbolizing the KKK, lynching, etc.. were found hung on the tree, this sparked the black students in the school to protest by all sitting under the tree the day after, a clear stand against racism. As a result of this, the situation exploded, the system showed its true colors. The District Attorney called a schoolwide meeting in the school auditorium, and separated students based on race. Facing the black students directly, the District Attorney said "I can write your life away with the stroke of a pen." Later, one of the black students who sat under the tree was invited to a all white party, when he got there, he was beaten by racist white students at the party. When the police came by, they came only to tell the black student to get back to his side of town. The next day, the student was in a convenience store where he saw one of his attackers. Heated words led to the attacker pulling out a sawed-off shotgun on the black student. When he managed to wrestle it out of the hands of the white student, the police arrested him and charged him with theft! The systematic and institutionalized racism peaked when a white student provoked 6 black students by supporting the nooses, supporting lynching black people, and etc.. to beat him. Even though the student wasn't hurt, and it was just a schoolyard fight and the student went to a high school dance that night, the 6 black students involved were charged with all kinds of insane charges amounted from 15-20 years in prison.

The fact that a school yard fight has been used to throw away the lives of six promising young black students, all of them star athletes with a real chance to break out of the the dire exploitation and oppression black people all over this country face, while white students who did far worse have gotten off free is a reminder of what kind of system we live under, what the roots of this country and the capitalist system really is; white supremacy and national oppression.

Gloria La Riva, a leader of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and a videographer attended the September 20th demonstration in Jena, Louisiana and filmed a large portion. She put together this short video. In the video, a speaker comes onto the podium and remarks that the prosecuter told the masses not to come to Jena on the 20th, that the people don't know what goes on in Jena. She then said, well, we do know what goes on in Jena, because it goes on in DC, it goes on in New York, it goes on in LA and etc...

This is a reflection that the Jena 6 is just one of many, many examples of institutionalized racism. 50,000 people did not pour out into the streets of Jena because this case is so unusual, something out of the ordinary. 50,000 people showed up because this is the reality of this racist system. Weither it be the fact that in New York City, 86% of all people frisked are black despite making up less than half the city's population, or it be the consistant racist police killings and the terrorism against black communities weither it be Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, or the countless others killed.

Such a system which has racism so deeply rooted into it, cannot be ridded of racism. There will be racism no matter what type of reforms the people force out of the system. The only way to stop this from happening again, as we always claim after something like this happens (Never Again! was the rally call for Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo etc) is a socialist revolution. Only socialism puts people before profit, while capitalists attempt to profit off of racism.

Welcome to My New Blog; Rise! Resist! Revolt!

Welcome, if you're reading this then you're reading the first post of my new blog. I am LeftyHenry, I am a Marxist-Leninist and a high school student in the Bronx, New York. My old blog was Word of the Left. I decided to abandon it and start a brand new blog because I wasn't able to update it as frequently as I liked, and I felt like I needed a fresh start. So this is my attempt at a brand new blog. The central theme of my blog will be political, revolutionary, and militant. The system we live under today; capitalism is useless, oppressive, exploitative, and in general a miserable system. All of the world's problems stem from this system, a system where wealth produced by working class people is stolen from them and controlled by a tiny percentage of bankers and capitalists to meet their needs; and endless pursuit of profit. Weither it be racism being profited off by capitalists who use police terrorism against black people and immigrants from Latin America in order to get them to work for less and keep them in a position where they have so many problems they don't bother to resist, or it is the military and economic rape of the third world by developed capitalist states in pursuit of natural resources and cheap labor. We need a system where the needs of the people are met, a system where the working class is in control of everything it makes and the economy is oreintated to meet the needs of the people, not profit. For me this blog is a way of expressing my thoughts, my anger with the system, as well as communicating with other people in the struggle. I hope you enjoy reading it : )