Archive | February, 2014

END THE USE OF PLASTIC BULLETS NOW!

28 Feb

from http://www.belfast32.blogspot.com

Plastic bullets are used in the north of Ireland by the crown forces. The plastic bullet weighs 4.75 ounces and is approximately 4.5 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. They are constructed of rock-solid PVC (polyvinylchloride). When a plastic bullet is fired, it leaves the barrel at approximately 160 miles per hour. The plastic bullet replaced the rubber bullet in 1973 and since then more tha…n 60,000 have been fired. Seventeen people have been killed by rubber and plastic bullets in the last 30 years in the north of Ireland.

The PSNI claim that plastic bullets cause fewer and less severe injuries than live ammunition. This belief has led to the indiscriminate use of plastic bullets that would be unthinkable if live ammunition was being used. In 1996 over 7,000 rounds were fired by the British Army and the RUC during Unionist and Nationalist protests. In Derry alone 2,815 plastic bullets were fired from 11th July to 14th July. Although plastic bullets are labelled ‘non-lethal’ fourteen people, including seven children, were killed in the north of Ireland by plastic bullets between 1974 and 1996 and hundreds more have suffered grievous and life-changing injuries, including blindness and shattered bones.

Allegations of the sectarian use of plastic bullets are supported by eyewitness and victim testimony collected by Human Rights Watch and also by the disparity in the number of plastic bullets fired at the two communities. In 1996 according to RUC statistics, eight times as many plastic bullets were fired in three and a half days of Nationalist protest as were fired during four and a half days of Unionist protest.

Until recently the British forces had never used plastic bullets on their own people, although it seemed acceptable to use them in the north of Ireland.

When the British Labour Party was in opposition they pledged to ban plastic bullets. Once in power however, they introduced the new plastic bullet which is more lethal than the old one and bought a 50,000 stockpile days before the RUC was re-named the Police Service of Northern Ireland. They have now authorised their use in the Britain.

THESE LETHAL PROJECTILES MUST BE BANNED NOW!

They’re in there for you! – Oppose the ongoing Sectarian persecution inflicted upon Republican POWs in MagHaberry!

27 Feb

from http://www.irpwa.com

Guest piece from former MagHaberry POW Liam O’Donnell

As the Republican prisoners of Roe House, MagHaberry enter into what can only be described as another torturous night of protest in the face of a non progressive, securocratic Prison Administration, whose concerted campaign of brutality and Unjustified force, used to enable their barbaric regime, in an attempt to dehumanise our POW’s and break the spirit of the republican ideal….I ask you to take a look at yourselves, take a look at what you have become. Put yourself in the shoes of a family member of a republican prisoner today, shoes that many of you have worn in the past, take a look at your children and of those you love and remember that no one is immune to the injustices that are currently inflicted upon those who refuse to conform……open your eyes……open your ears but most importantly open your mouths and exercise your god given right to freedom of speech. Those who refuse to speak up are on the side of the oppressor. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that this isn’t happening. or that it wont come knocking at your door…..as those who are in need of your help now may one day be the only people who are willing to assist you if this scenario becomes an unfortunate reality for those you hold so dear. Remember the Republican Prisoners in Roe House tonight and in the coming days and remember that they now face another phase of Prison Struggle, one that requires the whole hearted support of the republican family across this island, and allow yourself the opportunity to stand up and be heard. Don’t allow this façade to continue….
End Strip Searches End Controlled Movement End The Isolation of Republican Prisoners and End the continued use of Internment By Remand NOW!!
They’re in there for you….Be out here for them.

If Jesus Christ appeared tonight, with his body bruised and bare,
and he said he lived in H-Block, and asked you did you care,
If he asked you would you help him before he went insane,
to help him bear his burden of suffering and pain,
I wonder would it stir you, to raise your voice and cry,
to tell the world of torture, and all the reasons why?
But what about his children, who suffer day and night,
have you raised a hand to free them, from their lonely hell-like night?
For this day a broken body, will live through trial and fear,
and feel the pain of hunger, and shed a silent tear.
He’ll take a look around him, and to heaven make a plea,
“They crucified you, Jesus, now they’re doing it to me”.
But even through his anguish, when nothing seems worthwhile,
the thought of home and family, will always raise a smile.
The efforts of his loved ones, his friends and comrades too,
they’ve tried their best to help him. The question is, will you?

ILPS analyzes situation in Ukraine, condemns trouble-making by US and EU

22 Feb

Created on Saturday, 22 February 2014 00:46
Written by Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON

By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle

Since the horrendous attack of Nazi Germany, the great anti-fascist victory of the Soviet Union, and the socialist reconstruction after World War II, Ukraine has suffered a series of catastrophes in so many decades: the rise of modern revisionism and gradual restoration of capitalism from the late 1950s onwards leading to the rapid full-scale restoration of capitalism and collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the social and economic devastation of the Ukraine as the Mafia-type bourgeoisie fully privatized the economy, exploited the people with impunity and carried out the neoliberal economic policy of boundless greed.

The US and the European Union have sought to extend the tentacles of Western monopoly capitalism and the NATO to the borders and weakest parts of the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine. The section of the Ukrainian big bourgeoisie most servile to Western imperialism has imagined that it can overcome the socio-economic and political crisis and further guarantee its profit-taking by being integrated in the European Union. It is oblivious of the fact that Ukraine would be in deeper trouble if it gave up the emergency loans and concessional oil supply from Russia, and accepted the austerity programs being applied by the EU on its member countries in debt crisis.

The current political turmoil in Ukraine, which has been simmering since 2012, is fuelled by the same basic factors that caused the so-called Orange Revolution in 2004. The main internal factor is the impact of the world capitalist crisis on the Ukrainian economy, especially among the young workers and student youth. This has intensified the struggle between bourgeois factions, some of which want Ukraine to integrate with the EU, while others want the country to either join the Russia-led alliance or manage a balancing act between the two imperialist powers.

Upon the signal of the US, the EU fomented trouble in Ukraine by offering to it an economic agreement packaged as the path to integration, with clauses offensive to Russia, such as the imposition of NATO policies and restriction on economic relations with Russia. At first, the Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich (a big bourgeois belonging to a robber baron family) showed interest in the EU either with real earnestness or for the purpose of bargaining with Russia. He rejected the offer in November last year when he saw that he could get, at the most, only a loan of USD 600 million from the EU, and Russia was to provide an emergency loan of USD 15 billion in several tranches and reduced prices for fuel supply. In this regard, Russia is considerate of its security needs (naval fleet in Crimea and defense facilities elsewhere) and desire to develop a Eurasian economic bloc.

Since late November, opposition groups agitated by the economic crisis and bureaucratic corruption, and motivated by the pro-Western big bourgeoisie, have generated mass actions (so-called Euromaidan) at the Independence Square of Kiev and other parts of Ukraine to demand the resignation of the Yanukovich government and integration with the EU as a form of salvation from the capitalist crisis. They have taken an appearance of petty-bourgeois forces demanding democracy, especially after anti-protest laws were passed in January by the pro-Yanukovich parliament. The government became more repressive. Then, in the face of rising and spreading mass unrest, it offered a coalition government by offering the positions of prime minister and deputy prime minister to leaders of the opposition.

At first, a prominent opposition leader, Vitaly Klitschko, former world boxing champion and known agent of Germany, was inclined to accept the compromise. But when he consulted the street leaders of Euromaidan, he was rebuffed, especially by the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) that had gained control over the mass actions. This group is a collection of fascists, football hooligans, ultra-nationalists, and various neo-Nazi elements. Ultra-nationalist paramilitaries identified with the extreme-rightist Svoboda party eventually took the lead in seizing weapons, burning government buildings, and sniping at and battling with the police.

Since 1991, the US has spent USD 5 billion for the so-called democratization of Ukraine. It has fielded intelligence and political operatives to cultivate intellectual and political agents to become pro-US and anti-Russia. It has funded anti-Russia and Russophobic NGOs, student and professional groups, and even hooligans. In the current political turmoil, the US has been pushing the EU to proclaim and undertake sanctions against Ukraine in order to inflame anti-Russia sentiments.

Despite the repeal by parliament of the anti-protest laws and the offer of amnesty, violence has escalated between the security forces and street militants. The latter have occupied, barricaded or firebombed government buildings and facilities. They have seized arms from armories. Scores of death have been inflicted on one side by the other of the contending forces. The most assertive Ukrainian nationalists are vociferous about being Russophobes, opposing Russian colonialism and basing themselves on the Ukrainian-speaking population in western Ukraine.

By stressing Russophobia and avoiding class struggle against the Russian big bourgeoisie in Ukraine, they are practically goading the Russian-speaking population to unite as Russians in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine as well as in major cities to assert their own Russian character. The Russian population in the Ukraine is the product of long history, including the struggle against the Tatars, the integration of the Ukraine in Russia for two centuries, the opening of what was formerly a vast eastern hinterland for Russian settlement, the integration of the Ukraine in the Soviet Union and the role of Russian workers in building factories and major cities from which the Ukrainian bourgeoisie would arise.

Upon the breakup of the Soviet Union and the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, both the Ukrainian- speaking and Russian-speaking Ukrainians showed cohesiveness even in their distressful situation of severe economic suffering and declining life spans. But now the break up of Ukraine into two Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking countries has become a distinct possibility as the Western imperialists continue to foment an anti-Russia movement and violence continues to escalate, according to some observers. At any rate, in the absence of a strong revolutionary movement led by the proletariat, the big bourgeoisie which is predominantly Russian-speaking will make the crucial decisions on retaining Ukraine as a whole country of 46 million people. The fuel dependence of the Ukraine on Russia is also a major desideratum.

In the meantime, the Western imperialists in the US and EU are happy that they have whipped up the current social and political turmoil and these open up to them further opportunities to make trouble in Ukraine, to turn Ukraine against Russia and to burden Russia with bigger problems and possibly lessen its capabilities in the struggle for a redivision of the world among the imperialist powers.

The Western imperialist powers are always engaged in a drive to contain and debilitate Russia in its own home grounds and vicinity. They are playing a dangerous game adverse to the cause of world peace. In this regard, they must be condemned for interfering in the Ukraine, whipping up civil war, further messing up the lives of the people and endangering peace on a scale beyond Ukraine.

The current political turmoil may not yet lead to a full scale civil war in Ukraine or to a regional war but it is an episode towards further episodes as the crisis of global capitalism worsens and the struggle for a redivision of the world intensifies among the imperialist powers.

– See more at: http://www.ilps.info/index.php/en/office-of-the-chairperson/statements-and-calls-to-action/678-ilps-analyzes-situation-in-ukraine-condemns-trouble-making-by-us-and-eu#sthash.dXxqFO16.zIZ3VzeZ.dpuf

MARCH 15TH=INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY!!!!

19 Feb

A day to take the streets against police brutality.
Saturday March 15th 1:00PM, City Hall
Free Food, Speakers, and a March!!!

DEMAND POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY!
March 15th is International Day Against Police Brutality. We will take the streets demanding police accountability, and march against the militarization of the police in our communities.

We will be releasing our second annual peoples’ report on the experiences our community faces with the current models of policing being used in Kitchener.

Join us for free food, music, speakers and a march to oppose state violence.

Want to participate or be interviewed for the peoples’ report? Come to the Queen Street Commons, Wednesdays at 7pm.

Solidarity statement – Canadians condemn attempt of coup d’état led by the venezuelan opposition please endorse

17 Feb

Solidarity statement – Canadians condemn attempt

of coup d’état led by the venezuelan opposition

We

The undersigned, condemn the violence perpetuated by a small sector of the fascist right-wing in different cities across Venezuela in the last days, in an attempt to destabilize the county in a similar fashion as it was done with President Hugo Chávez, on April 2002.

We express our solidarity with the families of the victims and the wounded as well as with our Venezuelan brothers and sisters who struggle for peace, sovereignty and social justice.

We strongly denounce the plan to undermine and overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution, the legacy of President Hugo Chavez, and the legitimate and constitutional government under President Nicolás Maduro.

We support the Venezuelan government’s right to stop violent protestors and to defend the revolution as elected by the people. The Bolivarian process has won more elections than any other government in the world, having won 17 out of the last 18 elections.

This is just part of the indisputable democratic and participatory nature of the Bolivarian Revolution that it is supported by the majority of the Venezuelan people.

We condemn the well-documented bias in the corporate media that looks to generate support for the most violent and undemocratic elements of Venezuela’s opposition by distorting the reality in in the country. This is part of a larger campaign, funded by imperialist governments, mainly by the U.S. and other agents of capital in and outside of Venezuela, who reject the self-determination of Venezuela’s people to construct socialism in their country. These sectors are the enemies of Venezuela’s people and they seek to exploit and profit from the natural resources of Latin America at any cost, including bloodshed.

From Canada we declare our unconditional support for the self-determination of the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian revolution.

Venezuela´s people deserve peace!

(Names by alphabetical order)

Organizations and collectives:

Anti Colonialist Working Group

Barrio Nuevo

Canadian and Quebec sections of the International League of People’s Struggles

Hugo Chavez People’s Defense Front

KW Occupy

KW Basics News

Kitchner Spot Collective

Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network

Movimiento Todxs a La Moneda-Ontario

Red de Amigos de la Revolución Ciudadana

Sunday Poetry

Individuals:

Bill Shpikula
Jani Mills
Ernest Cohen
Alison Martin

Nino Pagliccia

Call out for peace and respect for the democratically elected Government of Venezuela.

Peaceful and creative activity:
Saturday February 22, 2014
From 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
Dundas Square (South-East corner of Dundas & Yonge)

Cultural Event:
Concert for Peace in Venezuela
Saturday February 22, 2014
7 pm.
Clave Social – 1345 St. Clair Ave West, Toronto
Free admission

send endorsements by tuesday to venesolnet@gmail.com

Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper Regarding a National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing First Nations Women – Shawn M. Brant, February 10, 2014 –

14 Feb

Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper Regarding a National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing First Nations Women

– Shawn M. Brant, February 10, 2014 –

Dear Stephen Harper,

I am writing in regards to a mandate issued from the Mohawk Community of Tyendinaga, dated October 27th 2013, requiring your cooperation for the facilitation of a national inquiry into the circumstances of murdered and missing First Nations Women.

We had anticipated that the government of Canada would have voluntarily asserted its responsibility and made such an announcement during last years Speech From The Throne. While a minor reference was directed to the issue, in the form of the government’s intention to strengthen anti-prostitution laws, we felt that this served little comfort and reflected the ignorance of your administration in understanding the scope and severity of the crisis.

In a report, published in September 2013 by MaryAnne Pearce and recently obtained by the RCMP, some 824 First Nations women have now been identified as having been murdered or gone missing, with a majority of those cases documented as having occurred in the past 15 years.

Placing that number into perspective, the National Native Women’s Association has determined that 67% of all cases initially reported have concluded in the verifiable death of the person. Accordingly, based on the data provided in the Pearce report, 552 women identified have been murdered while 272 remain missing and whose remains have not yet been recovered.

Your suggestion that strengthening Canada’s prostitution laws will serve to reduce this phenomenon is disturbing and simply intended to negatively influence the opinion of other Canadians into believing that First Nations Women are somehow responsible for their own victimization.

It is a well established fact, and confirmed by the Pearce report, that only 20% of the women identified had ever engaged in any “risky behavior” including the sex trade.

Having regard for all the facts, your contempt and disrespect for First Nations women is both blatant and obvious.

If we were to exclude, from the overall numbers, those persons involved in “risky behavior” assuming that they are unworthy of justice, there remains 442 women who have been confirmed as having been murdered who have never engaged in any behavior that is inconsistent with your values, and who are equally deserving of the same protections afforded to every woman in Canada.

Your unwillingness to consider this first step at reconciliation is well documented and understood.

It is our opinion that all diplomatic means to convince you of the need for an inquiry have failed. Further, the tears and sadness of the families left behind have not moved you to any position of compassion.

We have therefore resolved that we will take whatever and further actions that are deemed necessary, to compel you to call a National Inquiry into the crisis of Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women and Girls.

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn M. Brant

Communiques of the Peace Delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP)

13 Feb

Extermination of Political Activists Denounced

– January 22, 2014 –

On January 20, at a press conference, former Senator Piedad Córdoba denounced to the world the murder of 29 political activists of the political and social movement Marcha Patriótica, during the two years of its existence.

At the same event, one of the 256 jailed activists, Francisco Tolosa, in charge of the international relations of the organization, without ever having carried a weapon, said by telephone from prison, that “we are in jail because of doing politics without weapons” and added “that there is no real democracy in Colombia without Marcha Patriótica.”

We are feeling a little frustrated here in Havana, where we signed a partial agreement with the government of Juan Manuel Santos, to expand democracy and political participation in Colombia, because the facts alleged by the leader of Marcha are in contradiction with what we agreed. It’s a lack of awareness of the State’s duties, and a bad signal that continues to undermine our trust in the government’s word.

What Piedad Córdoba denounces, reaffirms that under President Santos the right to political choice is not being respected. The extermination of political activists and social and popular organizations continues.

In order for this peace process not to end in a farce or a comedy, in empty words about expansion of democracy, it is urgent that the government stop the ordeal of Marcha Patriótica.

All Colombians, who have always dreamed of a political solution to the longest conflict in the hemisphere, in order to achieve national reconciliation, must defend the peace process and demand real political and security guarantees for the social and political movements of the country.

Mass action called by Marcha Patriótica, December 13, 2013, in Bolivar Square in Bogota, Colombia.

We cannot tolerate that in the midst of a peace process, Marcha Patriótica is annihilated systematically, day by day, as happened with the [political party] Union Patriótica (UP). The government wasn’t only watching it; they were even covertly involved in it, keeping silence about the killings, plotting the legal persecution of leaders to place them behind bars, because they “represent dangerous ideas,” as one of the prosecutors says. The murders of social and popular leaders in Colombia always started with the so-called prosecution, but afterwards they ended up dead.

We are permanently encouraged by the government to change bullets for votes, but farmers, claiming justice, are murdered and mutilated when they protest on the roads against state policies that only serve the interests of transnationals and condemn the majority to live as outcasts with the flags of sovereignty tumbled to the ground.

The justifications made by some state officials to explain the terrible genocide of the UP deeply hurt us. We will never accept the brutal and uncivilized explanation that those deaths occurred because the combination of the methods of struggle could not go unpunished. But we affirm that neither Jaime Pardo, nor Bernardo Jaramillo, nor Leonardo Posada nor José Antequera, nor Manuel Cépeda, nor the congressmen; none of the thousands of martyrs of the UP were carrying rifles before or at the moment they were killed.

The Attorney General of the Republic, Dr. Eduardo Montealegre, is right when he states that “the great challenge of post-conflict will be the dirty war.”

In Colombia there is a vital need to disassemble the National Security Doctrine, the concept of the internal enemy and paramilitarism, as factors that have spurred state terrorism. The government should not only swear “never again” but also deploy compelling action to curb murderous operations like the infamous “Red Ball” (“Baile Rojo”) that exterminated a movement and now intends to apply it to Marcha Patriótica.

Where is the much-vaunted tolerance we talk about in the partial agreement for Political Participation? We must put aside the sweet and honeyed words on democracy, when the outbreak of bullets against opponents of the regime is tolerated, to destroy, in a calculated way, any attempt to build a political alternative. We have to start the implementation of the agreements right now, so that the process won’t be just a vacuous verbiage. It is a State’s duty to protect the lives of citizens and guarantee the right to political choice in Colombia.