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.


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


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


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