Thursday, September 22, 2016

Torture protest at Aero, book and plant sales, tree contest, and other upcoming events

Local friends of the library book sales:

The three-day Chatham County book sale was last week ( www.chathamnc.org/index.aspx?page=126 ), but the Lee County Library has theirs September 22-24 in Sanford (the first day is for Friends of the Library members; see leecountync.libguides.com/home ).  The Friends of the Durham Library sale is October 7-9th at the Main Library ( durhamcountylibrary.org/friends/ ).

NC AFL-CIO Convention: 

The 59th annual NC AFL-CIO State Convention is being held September 22-23 at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown ( http://aflcionc.org/nc-state-afl-cio-convention-returns-to-raleigh-sept-22-23/ ). 

[Community-Supported Hemp for Solar Energy:

This is the write up from Recyclique ( communecos.org/recyclique-shop/ ) :  "This Fri. Sept. 23, 6:30 pm come learn about prospects for Community-Supported Hemp for Solar Energy!  by Paul Tedesco.  New research shows that low-cost waste from hemp farms can be converted into a material that outperforms graphene as a nano-conductor used for solar panels, batteries and other electronics. And the timing is right: North Carolina’s new hemp commission is finally funded to design the rules for agricultural hemp in our state [amazingly, while marijuana is still illegal in conservative NC, the related industrial hemp plant, used to make textiles and numerous other products, was legalized in the last year or two]. Paul will draw on internet visuals to explain the new developments and make the case for hemp farming for solar as the future of community-supported energy.  At Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Rd., Durham 27705.  Suggested donations of $5, no one turned away.  Park in rear or next door in the Food Lion lot."   

Fall plant sales:

The NC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill is holding a native plant sale and festival September 23-24th.  Over 100 native species, sustainable propagated at the Botanical Garden, will be on offer.  The event Friday, with live music and refreshments, is from 5-7:30pm, and is for members only (it is possible to join on the spot or online at ncbg.unc.edu and members get a 10% discount on plants and other benefits throughout the year) while the Saturday event from 9am-12 is public. 

The NC Native Plant Society will table on Saturday, and they will be at the Durham Monarch Festival and have a demonstration native plant garden at the State Fair, October 14-23rd. 

The Botanical Garden has many events throughout the year, such as the annual Jenny Elder Fitch Lecture on Sunday, November 6th, this year delivered by landscape architect Thomas Rainer and titled "Planting Design in a Post-Wild World."  It will be 2-4pm at the Botanical Garden and is free, but it is necessary to pre-register.         

Duke Gardens' Fall Plant Sale is open to all and has free parking (as does the NCBG), September 24th from 8am-12.  Members get a 10% discount and it is possible to join on the 24th.  Bring any used pots you want to recycle and the staff and Durham Master Gardeners will be at hand to answer questions.  For more information, see:  gardens.duke.edu/events/plant-sales .

NCSU's JC Raulston Arboretum gives away plants to members of their friends organization on October 1st starting at 9am (but come at least 15 minutes early to register).]     

MACFest:

The Durham County Library's first annual MACFest:  Multicultural Arts and Crafts Festival will be Sunday, September 24th 2-6:30pm at the Durham Central Park (in case of rain, it will be at the Main Library).  See: durhamcountylibrary.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=143483 .

Carrboro Music Festival:

The annual Carrboro Music Festival will be held at locations throughout Carrboro, September 24-25th; see carrboromusicfestival.com/311/Carrboro-Music-Festival for more information. 

[UNC forum on Islamophobia:

UNC's Parr Center for Ethics and co-sponsors are hosting a discussion of Islamophobia Tuesday, September 27th at 6pm in Hyde Hall's University Room (Hyde Hall is across from the post office on Franklin Street and at the end of a row of buildings).  The panelists from various departments are Juliane Hammer (Religious Studies), Charles Kurzman (Sociology), Timothy Marr (American Studies), Melody Moezzi (author and attorney), and Joseph Kennedy (Law School).  For more information see:  parrcenter.unc.edu . 

The Parr Center is also marking First Amendment Day earlier on the 27th.]

Big Sweep:

NC Big Sweep is an annual campaign for volunteers throughout the state to cleanup trash along waterways, and events are planned throughout the day October 1st in Durham (but cleanups held anytime in September and October count).  See durhambigsweep.org . 

Durham's Finest Trees Contest:

The Durham City/County Sustainability Office (Greener Durham) is holding the Durham's Finest Trees contest again this year.  Trees can win for exceptional size, historical significance, or other exceptional qualities, and several winners will be announced at the Arbor Day festival in March.  Nominations are due by October 1st, by mail or email (the form is online at nc-durham.civicplus.com/1580/Durhams-Finest-Trees ). 

I just noticed that there is an article about one of the winners from last year, a very large white ash on parkland in southern Durham.  The tree survived many years of natural dangers and the construction of the Parkwood community around it, but now it is endangered by the non-native emerald ash borer, which is already in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties, and may have begun to enter the south end of Durham this summer.   

Parkwood Fall Flea Market:

There is a large flea market twice a year in front of the old Parkwood Shopping Center/ Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman mosque at the corner of Revere and Seaton roads in southern Durham and the fall sale will be October 1st, 8am-12pm (rain date October 8th).  The items sold are typically what you might find in yard sales, but sometimes non-profits have tables.  For more information, see:  parkwoodnews.blogspot.com/2016/09/fall-flea-market-october-1st-8am-noon.html .

The South Durham Farmers Market is held nearby at the corner of NC 55 and Sedwick Road ever Saturday morning.

Festifall:

Chapel Hill's annual Festifall street fair will be Sunday, October 2nd 12-6pm along West Franklin Street.  In past years Stop Torture Now had a table and while you're in the area, there is a large ash at the corner of Franklin and Columbia in the center of Chapel Hill, and some other large ones at that end of the UNC Campus (a smaller one sporting a few mistletoes was cut earlier this year, but maybe UNC will do something to protect the others from the ash borer). 

Durham Monarch Festival:

Durham's 2nd annual Monarch Festival will be Saturday, October 8th, 10am-4pm at Sandy Creek Park.  Monarchs have probably been around all summer, but they seem to be most abundant when tickseed flowers turn fields and powerline corridors gleaming yellow, which should happen once this rainy weather ends.  For details see  keepdurhambeautiful.org/event/2nd-annual-monarch-festival/  and there are several other upcoming events from Keep Durham Beautiful, such as rain garden planting at the George Watts Montessori School and a trash cleanup at the Geer Cemetery.   

[Pittsboro pollinator garden tour:

Wednesday, October 12th at 5pm and Saturday, October 15th at 2pm there will be tours of Chatham County Cooperative Extension's Pollinator Paradise Demonstration Garden at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro (480 Hillsboro Street).  The tours will be led by Agriculture Extension Agent Debbie Roos, who created the Garden, growing over 180 plant species, 85% native to North Carolina.  Participants should meet on the front lawn of the Chatham Marketplace.  For more information about the site, see:  growingsmallfarms.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms-pollinatorgarden/ .

Friends of Plant Conservation Annual Fall Gathering:

The group will meet at the NC Botanical Garden October 21st, 3-8pm, and on the 22nd there will be a field trip to some sites in Durham where igneous rocks have weathered to produce unusually alkaline soil, supporting many rare or endangered plants.  I'm not sure if the meeting is always held at the Botanical Garden.  To join, see:  www.ncplantfriends.org .] 

Stop Torture Now's last trash cleanup outside "torture taxi" airline:

For four years NC Stop Torture Now has picked up trash quarterly along Swift Creek Road, in front of Aero Contractors' hangar in Johnston County, but that is coming to an end.  There was a cleanup September 17th and the last will be Saturday, November 19th, starting with a 10am press conference at the Johnston County Airport followed by about an hour of cleaning.  People are also needed to hold signs near the hangar and a public dump site with a lot of visibility.  People who are going to pick up trash will need to see the DOT safety information and video at:  www.ncdot.gov/programs/aah/  . 

National Events

Elections:

Important dates for registration, early voting, etc. for Durham County are online at:  dconc.gov/government/departments-a-e/board-of-elections .  The voter ID law has been overturned, so an ID is not required to vote and there have been other changes, though early voting rules in various counties are still being contested.  Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th, from 6:30am to 7:30pm, and judging by the lines in the primary election and the heat in the presidential contest, thee lines will be long.  For statewide information, see:   www.ncsbe.gov/ .

It will be possible to vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and have your vote counted, I think as a write-in candidate (more details later), though punitive electoral policies prevent the NC Green Party from appearing on the ballot.  I hope to write about some candidates later in the fall.   

SOA Watch Encuentro at the Border:

School of the Americas Watch, originally started to protest a program at Fort Benning, Georgia that trains soldiers from Latin America, who often go on to stage anti-democratic coups and violate human rights in their home countries, is holding a bi-national demonstration at the border, in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, October 7-10th.  The demonstration will condemn the US interventions south of the border that force people to migrate and racism, xenophobia, and militarization in the US and internationally.  See their website at:  www.soaw.org/border/  .


From a Chapel Hill activist calendar:

Some Triangle Peace and Justice Events September 21 to October 6, 2016
 (Events listed in chronological order except for recurring events posted at end)

SCARRED LANDS & WOUNDED LIVES "Powerful documentary on the ecological consequences of warfare...which traces how military forces have intentionally destroyed ecosystems as a means to win battles." 6:15 p.m., Wednesday, September 21, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Finlator Hall , 1801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. Part of Campaign Nonviolence NC Week in Raleigh (www.paceebene.org/event/cnv- actions-raleigh-areanc-peace- week/).
 
NC PEACE ACTION PEACEMAKER AWARD DINNER  Honoring Lynn and Steve Newsom, directors of Quaker House in Fayetteville. Tickets: $30.  Reservations: www.ncpeaceaction.org/ or 919-787-2254). 6:30 p.m., Friday, September 23, Highland United Methodist Church, 1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh. Part of Campaign Nonviolence NC Week in Raleigh (www.paceebene.org/event/cnv- actions-raleigh-areanc-peace- week/).
 
CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE NC FESTIVAL Workshops and peace & justice exhibitors. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, September 24, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, Clara Barton Room, 3313 Wade Avenue, Raleigh. Part of Campaign Nonviolence NC Week in Raleigh (www.paceebene.org/event/cnv-a ctions-raleigh-areanc-peace-we ek/). Flier posted in Commons.
 
VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED FOR FARMWORKERS    Dave Austin, Eno River UU Fellowship, requests drivers for two farmworkers’ events: 1-6 p. m., Sunday, September 25, FLOC Piedmont Regional Membership Meeting; and 6 a. m., and/or 8 p.m., Wednesday. September 28, Mediation Session in court, Raleigh. Speaking Spanish not necessary. Drivers take workers from labor camp to session and same or another driver takes workers back to home labor camp. Details: Justin Flores (jflores at floc dot com). daustin@mindspring.com, 919-433-6718.

A CONVERSATION WITH DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE Public presentation featuring James R. Clapper, who has served as Director of National Intelligence since August 9, 2010, leads the Intelligence Community, serving as the principal intelligence advisor to the President. 6 – 7 p.m., Tuesday, September 27, UNC’s McColl Building, Koury Auditorium, Kenan Flagler Business School, Skipper Bowles Drive; parking in Kenan-Flagler Parking Deck. Details:  [ events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ed0j6ho870e6bcc6&llr=6qfh5neab ].  Sponsored by Triangle Institute for Security Studies. 919-619-0547.

POISONOUS POLITICS: FAITH, FEAR AND DEMOCRACY Join community leaders for discussion about racism and rise of Islamophobia in US and elsewhere. Panelists include Shafeah M'Balia, Black Workers for Justice and Muslims for Social Justice; Imam AbuTaleb, Islamic Association of Raleigh; Gene Nichol, UNC Law School. http://merinc.org/event/forum- on-islamophobia-in-politics/. Small-group discussion following. 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, October 6, McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh. Contact:  Rev. Nancy Petty, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. 919-828-0897.

ONGOING VIGILS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE: Raleigh: Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace Vigil, 1st Wednesday of every month, Noon to 1 PM, Century Post Office on Fayetteville St (919-782-0667); Raleigh: End the death penalty (PFADP, AI-USA, NC-ACLU), 5 - 6 PM, Mondays, Central Prison, corner of Hunt Dr and Western Blvd (919-779-1912); Chapel Hill: 5-6 PM EDT [4:30 - 5:30 PM EST], Fridays, corner of Elliott Rd and East Franklin St; bring your sign(s) to show your concern or take one from collection (919-942-2535). 



Monday, September 12, 2016

Stand in Solidarity with Standing Rock vigil Tuesday

There will be a vigil Tuesday, September 13th, 5:30-7:30 at the corner of Wade Avenue and Dixie Trail (814 Dixie Trail) in Raleigh in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and others fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The vigil was organized by 350 Triangle; see actionnetwork.org/events/stand-in-solidarity-with-standing-rock-nodapl?referrer=karen-bearden&source=direct_link for more information and there is a petition at http://act.350.org/sign/stop-dakota-access-pipeline/?akid=16189.92.USnZ5S&rd=1&t=1&utm_medium=email&utm_source=actionkit .  September 13th is a national day of action against the pipeline.  The social media tag is #NoDAPL.  The Raging Grannies organized a solidarity vigil last Friday in Carrboro. 

Friday, August 05, 2016

Hiroshima Day Candlelight Vigil

This Saturday, August 6th, is the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and there will be a candlelight vigil at Chapel Hill's Peace & Justice Plaza (in front of the old Post Office at 179 East Franklin Street, across from UNC), 8-9pm.  There will be some speeches and music, but it will mostly be a silent vigil with candles and signs (some will be provided, or bring one).  The vigil is sponsored by Eisenhower Chapter 157 of Veterans for Peace (veteransforpeace.org) .  The organizers recommend parking in the deck at 100 East Rosemary, but most of the parking nearby at UNC should be free on a weekend.

The flyer condemns the Obama Administration's plans to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal (I think I've heard that it would cost $1 trillion dollars, for weapons that could cause human extinction and a mass extinction of other species, and would kill huge numbers of people, and probably not just in the targeted countries, if they are used again) and calls for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.  There is a petition signed by more than 5 million people at nuclearzero.org .   

It is too often left unmentioned that a second atomic bomb with a different design was used on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, and much more powerful nuclear weapons are common today.  The USSR joined the war against Japan at about the same time and Japan surrendered a few days later.      

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Turkish Labor Party on the coup crisis and two new publications

Here is a new statement from the Labor Party of Turkey (Emek Partisi, EMEP, and related to the underground Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey, the TDKP), a member of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO), about last week's military coup attempt, first published July 21st.  It is also online at:  emep.org/en/neither-the-coup-nor-the-one-man-dictatorship/  EMEP chairwoman Selma Gurkan released a short statement opposing both the coup and Turkey's Islamist president Erdogan, calling for "the safeguarding of democratic rights and political freedoms" on July 17th.    
 
Neither the coup nor the one-man dictatorship!
 
Attempted coup:  A counter-revolution within the counter-revolution!
 
On the night on 15 July, Turkey witnessed a take-over of some critical points in two major cities by soldiers. The plotters took over the headquarters of the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff and the Gendarmerie General Command, an air base and Istanbul Atatürk Airport. The Chief Commanders of the armed forces were detained. Fighter Jets were flying low over cities and later, joined by helicopters, bombed certain targets including TBMM (Turkish Parliament Building), the vicinity of the headquarters of the General Staff and Special Forces Command.
 
Without enough preparation and power, the plotters, perhaps forced to act by the circumstances and possibly abandoned by sections of the armed forces that pledged support, arrived at a dead end within a matter of hours.
Firstly, they could not win over the people and its organised section. The coup was supported no one; no organised body such as a political party or a trade union. The four political parties in the Parliament issued a joint statement against the attempted coup.
On the other hand, the plotters could not get the main troops within the Armed Forces on their side. They were confronted by the police and the Special Forces, controlled directly by the government and numbered in their hundreds of thousands. Political Islamist militants, with jihadists among them, showed their level of organisation in confronting them hand in hand with the police. They responded to the calls to “take to the streets” by the President, whom the plotters failed to capture. Increasing numbers of AKP supporters and people from those sections of the population that insisted on democracy also filled the streets in defiance of the coup.
In a country that has seen almost ten coups, the only successful ones of which were those backed by the US; the plotters could not secure the support of the US, despite the latter’s ambiguous initial stance.
And they were unsuccessful.
However, it cannot be disputed that the line of domestic and foreign policy pursued by the incumbent AKP government and President Erdoğan – who is creating a de facto “one-manship” – dragged Turkey to this circumstance of a coup.
In fact, during the 2010 Constitutional Referendum, the primary claim of the AKP and Erdoğan was that they were “settling the score with the Constitution of the coup” of 1980 and that “there will be no more coups in Turkey”! This has not happened; not only did “settling the score with the constitution of the coup” never took place, on the contrary, all measures taken since have been taken in order to destroy the already weak institutions and freedoms of the country. The claim to “demolish the coup law” was a veil for building a “one-man, one-party dictatorship, removing what’s left from “the rule of law”.
Soon after his election as the president, Erdoğan claimed “a de facto regime change” and stated that the parliamentarian system is “put on hold”. The legislation has been subordinated to executive power. With the aggrandisement of “National Will”; despite the focus only on the “ballot” rather than democratic rights and freedoms; and finally the removal of the immunity of MPs; this has been advanced to a point of getting rid of unwanted parliamentarians. To prove that “National Will” means the “decision of one-man”, people’s “will” demonstrated in the elections held on 7 June 2015 saying “No” to “one-man dictatorship” have been rejected. Through instigation of the Kurdish war – fuelling chauvinist nationalism – the country was dragged into war and chaos and forced into elections on the 1st of November.
Freedom of the press has been almost entirely removed. Freedom of speech, and especially freedom of thought, the right to hold meetings and organise demonstrations have been made impossible. Especially Mayday demonstrations and even the right of the main opposition party members to hold meetings has been denied. Academics who signed a peace petition calling on the government to halt its military operations in Kurdish region have been sacked and imprisoned. Moreover,  it was recently announced that elected administrations of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) municipalities would be discharged and replaced by arbitrary appointments.
Executive power was strengthened by the “Internal Security Act”, giving exceptional powers to the police and district and provincial governors. In the war waged in Kurdish cities, armed forces are protected by granting of immunity; soldiers cannot be put on trial without the Prime Minister’s consent. This course is domestically carried out by renewed alliance with the Ergenekon soldiers, who were erstwhile arrested for plotting against the government, in the name of “fighting terror” instead of the “peace process”. War policies like surrounding of cities by tanks and cannons, killing thousands of people, removing democratic rights and freedoms have forced the country to a situation where it cannot be governed under ordinary circumstances. Above all, increasing use of the arms allowed soldiers to increase their influence on the governance of the country. This made the country more prone to coup attempts.
The judiciary has been subordinated to executive power: through “special courts”; alleged “coup plotters” with differing identities; through the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, made up mostly of appointed members. A third of the judges and prosecutors have been relocated. Before the coup attempt it was stated that except for the Presidents of the Court of Cassation and the Council of State, all members of both institutions would be appointed by the executive power.  The failed coup was followed by the dismissalls and detentions of  2745 judges and prosecutors, including two members of the Supreme Court, 140 members of the Constitutional Court and 48 members of the Council of State.
The same course has been advanced in foreign policy pursuing politics of war within the scope of New-Ottoman expansionism. The impracticability of it after the Russian intervention in Syria and the disharmony with US foreign policy caused displeasure and pursuit of alternatives among the dominant forces. AKP government’s “red lines” on Syria relating to Kurdish issue and the future of Bashar Assad regime lost all meaning and forced a policy change.. It adopted a political line of normalising relations with Israel and Russia. However, the collapse of foreign policy targets –focused on politics of war- led to a conflict among the ruling cliques and provoked military pursuits.
Furthermore, steps taken to unite the ruling classes in the name of transition to a one-man, one-party dictatorship led to discontent and bitterness among reactionary forces. Tax penalties and exclusion from government tenders and sharing of government resources, introduced in an attempt to “convince” even traditional monopolistic capital groups, are some of these steps.
Most serious sanctions targeted the Gülen Movement, an ally of the AKP since its foundation but fallen out with after the 17-25 December corruption investigations. This Movement is not only Islamist but also a big monetary fund. With its bank and investment companies, the largest mining company in the country, widespread investment in media and education sectors, and through its alliance with AKP, this group penetrated most of the state apparatus; primarily within the police, judiciary and the Armed Forces.
Following 25 December, this group was declared a “terrorist organisation”, its bank and mining company were seized, media and education institutions were closed down; companies and members prosecuted and imprisoned. Following the clean-up in the judiciary and the police, as the appointments and promotions in the Armed Forces at the end of August approached, inquiries, arrests and court proceedings targeting members of this group had already started. This was the “last straw”; the organised forces of this group and other discontented groups in the army attempted a coup; aware of the clean-up lists, instead of being discharged and jailed, they were, in a way, forced into this attempt.
This failed coup has emerged as a showdown within the ruling class.
It was undeniable that the coup – with its first stated measures of martial law and inhibition – was going to advance the rise of reactionism in both domestic and foreign policy and hence repelling it was important. However, it is clear that the attempted coup has strengthened the hand of the one-man, one-party reactionism of the AKP. President Erdoğan called this attempt a “gift from god” and stated that it gives him a “chance to cleanse the military”. This attempt exposed the Islamist ideological make-up of the police and the existence of a militant organisation loyal to Erdoğan that played a significant role in suppressing the coup after Erdoğan called them to take to the streets. It also strengthened this organised basis of AKP within the population. Now, under the pretext of a rushed “clean-up of the plotters”, an extreme “clean-up” among the judges and prosecutors along with the police and the army has started. It is clear that this will serve the aims to create a state mechanism that follows only the orders of “one-man”. The AKP government has already started to legitimise this purge under the pretext of  fighting against the “Gulenist terrorism” and of cracking down on the plotters of the coup. It has used failed coup as a catalyser to unite the population – starting with the bourgeois opposition – around its own objectives.
Our party, EMEP, clearly opposed the coup. Our party warns everyone that the defeat of the coup alone does not necessarily mean “democracy” is the winner. It will be gained by a difficult struggle. We call on everyone to the struggle to prevent the one-man, one-party dictatorship.
Unity & Struggle #32
A new issue of Unity & Struggle, the biannual journal of the ICMLPO, is out.  It has statements from the ICMLPO as a whole and member parties.  The contents of this issue are:

ICMLPO
On the International Situation and Our Tasks
ICMLPO
Rules of Organization of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations
Brazil
Fifty years ago Manuel Lisboa founded the PCR in Brazil
Revolutionary Communist Party – PCR
Burkina Faso
Regarding the Terrorist Attacks in the West Africa Sub-Region and its Problems
Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta – PCRV
Colombia
Peace and the Road to Power
Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist) – PCC(ML)
Denmark
‘United Europe’: The Growing Popular Resistance and Reformist Bail-Outs
Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark – APK
Dominican  Republic
The Main Question for the May 15 Elections in the Dominican Republic
Communist Party of Labor – PCT
Ecuador
The Ideological and Political Confrontation with Reformism
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador – PCMLE
France
“Left Front”: an evaluation of our experience
Workers’ Communist Party of France – PCOF
Greece
Solidarity with Migrant Refugees
Movement for the Reorganization of the KKE (1918-1955)
India
Preface to the Indian Edition of the Textbook of Political Economy (1955)
Revolutionary Democracy
Italy
The Modern Proletariat and Internationalism
Communist Platform
Mexico
Merge Marxism-Leninism with the Working Class and the Popular Masses
Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist) – PCM(ML)
Norway
Xenophobia and How the Working Class Should Respond
Revolusyon
Peru
Position of the Peruvian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) regarding the Elections of April 10 and June 5, 2016
Peruvian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) – PCP(ML)
Spain
Is There a Need for a Marxist-Leninist International?
Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) – PCE(ML)
Tunisia
Some Questions about Tactics
Workers’ Party of Tunisia – PTT
Turkey
A Global Perspective on the Middle East
Labour Party – EMEP
Venezuela
It is Necessary to Face the Present Political Moment with Revolutionary Energy and Boldness
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Venezuela – PCMLV
 
To get a copy in the US, send $5 dollars (the cost for Canadian addresses is $10 and other countries $15) to:
 
George Gruenthal
192 Claremont Ave., #5D
New York, NY 10027
 
This Land is Their Land
 
George Gruenthal is also the author of a brief (130 pages) and illustrated history of the US from a working class progressive perspective, This Land is Their Land:  A Revolutionary Working People's History of the US.  The title is similar to Howard Zinn's famous A People's History of the United States, but it was actually inspired by Pablo Miranda's Mi pais, la tierra y sus gentes, about Ecuadorean history.  Gruenthal writes "I decided that it would be helpful to progressive readers in the U.S., and particularly young people, to have a similar history of the U.S.  Of course, the inevitable weakness in a work of this size that tries to deal with such a complex subject is that it is not possible to deal even with all major events." The contents are below.  To order a copy send a check made out to George Gruenthal, a money order, or cash for $4 dollars ($9 for Canada and $12 for everywhere else) to 
 
Red Star
P.O. Box 1641
Manhattanville Sta.
New York, NY 10027
 
Red Star Publishers is another good resource - their catalogue is online at redstarpublishers.org/ .  People outside of the US can contact George to get the whole book free as a pdf file.  I'm considering talking to local bookstores about ordering copies.   
 
Introduction
1. The Americas before Columbus
Buffy Sainte Marie: My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying
2. African Slaves
European Indentures
3. Formation of the 13 Colonies into a Single Country
4. Andrew Jackson, “Representative of the  Common People,” Indian Fighter and Slave-owner
5. Compromises and Struggles between the  Plantation South and the Capitalist North
Slave Rebellions
6. The Mexican American Wars, 1836-1848
7. Civil War
8. Reconstruction and the Development  of the Afro-American Nation
Reconstruction Governments
9. The Unification of the U.S. Capitalist State
10. 1886 and the Fight for the 8-Hour Day
Lucy Parsons
11. 1880 to 1920
Joe Hill
12. Development of Imperialism and  the Spanish-American War of 1898
Major General Smedley D. Butler
13. World War I
14. The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia  and its Influence on the United States
15. Formation of the Communist Party
16. Reformist and Revolutionary Organizations  within the Black National Movement
Claude McKay
17. The “Roaring Twenties”
18. The Great Depression
Early Workers’ Struggles
19. Workers’ Struggles During the New Deal
20. The International Situation  Leading up to World War II
21. World War II and the Role of the Major Powers
Bertold Brecht
22. The International Consequences of World War II
23. Post-World War II, McCarthyism and  the Trade Union Movement
24. The Korean War
25. The Civil Rights Movement
Malcolm X
26. The Rise of the Revolutionary  Afro-American Liberation Movement
The Black Panther Party
Gil Scott Heron: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
27. Other Revolutionary National Movements
The Chicano/Mexicano Movement
Asian-American, Native American and Other Movements
28. The Vietnam War and the Anti-War Movement
Phil Ochs: Love Me, I’m a Liberal
29. The Women’s Movement
The Movement of the 1970s
30. The LGBT Movement
AIDS
31. The Rise and Decline of the  New Marxist-Leninist Movements
Maoism
32. A Period of Ebbs and Flows
The International Situation
33. From the 2000 Elections to the Attacks of 9/11/2001
34. “Terrorism” and Endless Wars
Invasion of Iraq
35. Scapegoating of Muslims and the PATRIOT ACT
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
36. May Day 2006 and the Immigrant Rights Movement
37. The Crisis of 2008 and the Decline of U.S. Imperialism
38. Inter-Imperialist Crises and Internationalism
The Class Nature of Russia and China Today
The Internationale
Bibliography

Saturday, July 16, 2016

March on the Democratic National Convention! July 25th

Buses will be leaving from Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte (and throughout the country, including Norfolk, Atlanta, and Nashville) for a demonstration on the opening day of the DNC, Sunday, July 25th.  The Raleigh bus departs from the Amtrak station at 12:19am and gets to Philadelphia at 9am; the return trip is 10am Sunday to 6:40am on Monday.  For bus information, see rallybus.net/march-on-the-democratic-national-convention/ and demo information is at www.1million4bernie.org/ .  The DNC is July 25-28th.  The Republican NC is July 18-21 in Cleveland, and there must be plans for demonstrations there, but I haven't heard about any organized rides from the Triangle area.   

Saturday, July 09, 2016

ICMLPO on UK's vote to leave the EU

This is a statement from the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO) on the UK's recent vote for Brexit from the European Union.  There is lots of information on the BBC, broadcast daily on NPR and PBS here, but the BBC portrays the vote to leave as generally rightist, xenophobic, economically depressed, and populist (a derogatory term in Europe and increasingly on NPR, applied to Trump, Sanders, the various anti-EU parties, and Venezuela).    
 
After ’Brexit’:
The struggle against ‘United Europe’ of the monopolies and neoliberalism must be intensified
mainly fighting against one’s “own” bourgeoisie
 
The British referendum to remain in the European Union or to leave resulted in a vote for Brexit that was not anticipated by the European and global elite, the capitalist governments and media, presidents and financial speculators. In spite of a major campaign of intimidation, the majority voted to reject the EU and Cameron’s scheme. This has been a major blow to the EU elite and the plan to complete the building of the ‘United States of Europe’ by 2025 and has left not only the UK, but also the EU in an uncertain political situation, where many different forces are trying to assert themselves.
The Leave-vote was not a vote of the right; it was not a racist or xenophobic vote, as the fervent supporters of the European Union try to tell. It was a broad popular vote of 52 percent against 48, solidly rooted in the British working class. It was a vote of the workers, of the popular masses, of the poor against the rich, of the ordinary people against the bankers and financial wizards of the City of London, assisted by divisions within the British bourgeoisie and its ruling party. It expressed their wish to regain sovereignty and to reverse the neoliberal platform of the European Union that makes the rich richer and broad working and popular masses ever poorer.
Both in Scotland and Northern Ireland a majority voted to remain in the EU. This reflects the protests against the reactionary imperialist and colonialist English bourgeoisie and unclarity about the class essence of the United Europe of the monopolies. Forces fighting for the unification of Ireland and for Scottish independence have demanded referendums to this end. This is the right of oppressed nations.
But to kick out one reactionary imperialist bourgeoisie to replace it with the united reactionary and imperialist bourgeoisie of the EU is not in the interest of the workers or the broad masses of any nation.
The European Union is the project of the European monopolies, their governments and political parties for a single market of maximum profits protected by tariff walls and now with barbed wire to prevent refugees from bombs, wars, hunger and exploitation from crossing the borders. The United States of Europe is a vision of a new imperialist and neocolonialist superpower, impossible or reactionary all along the line. It is not a project of peace, of prosperity and welfare, of the peoples. Neoliberalism is its economic doctrine, established in the treaties of the EU and obligatory politics of the member countries, accentuated by the rule of the Euro that was imposed in most countries of the Union.
Where referendums have been held about the basic treaties implementing closer integration and new steps in the economic, monetary, political and military union, the results have in most cases been resounding No’s that have been discarded in practice. So-called populist right forces have been able to take political advantage of this ever-increasing anger with both the practical implementation of the economic and political dictates that have impoverished broad strata and with the plans for new steps towards more of the same. They have presented themselves as the defenders of the nation and the national interests against the EU, distorting the true class character of the European Union, scapegoating the immigrants and refugees as the cause of the impoverishment of the broad masses. The ‘struggle’ of these forces against the United Europe of the monopolies is weak, inconsistent and divisive. Exactly for these reason they are strongly promoted by the bourgeois media, which are seeking to hide the class character of the struggle against the European Union and its super-state.
Let us condemn, unmask and vigorously combat the movements and parties of the extreme right, the nationalists, racists and fascists that use a “social” demagogy to help the bourgeoisie divide and exploit the workers and the popular masses, clip freedoms and political rights of the peoples.
The social-democratic, socialist and left reformist forces of the EU and the trade union organizations that they lead have been partners in the creation of the monstrous European Union of today, of the disastrous Euro and the devastating neoliberal policies – while at the same time promoting the idea of a better EU, a reformed Union, a Europe of the peoples, a ‘social’ Europe. These are illusions that serve the monopolies. Facts and all experience show that the EU cannot be reformed to the advantage of the workers and peoples. If the shackles of the neoliberal anti-worker and anti-people treaties and institutions of the EU shall be broken, they must be abolished. The EU and the euro are failed projects.
The reformists and especially the left reformist ones like the European Left Party and its member parties from Syriza and Podemos to the German Die Linke and the French Parti Gauche, play a very dirty role as defenders of the European Union, while they promote themselves as strong forces against neoliberalism. This is a fraud as demonstrated by the Syriza government. They have opposed the creation of broad popular movements combining the struggle against the European Union with the struggle against neoliberalism, and replaced the class antagonism between Capital and the workers with a political struggle between left and right.
This position of the left reformists will inevitably, when no strong and broad movements against the European Union and the euro exist in a specific country, leave an open field for the right populist EU critical forces, who engage in social demagogy and concerns for the plight of the working masses. The left reformists are guilty of a great betrayal.
The struggle against the neoliberal EU is not only manifest in the movements to leave the Union and for referendums in various countries about leaving the Union or abolishing the Euro, but also in the labor struggles and broad popular struggles against the neoliberal political and economic reforms implemented in all the countries of the EU.  All these reforms carry the stamp of the European Union, such as the labor reform promoted by the Hollande government, the so-called law “El Khomri”, which the French workers and combative trade unions are heroically fighting in spite of police state measures.
We express our full support to the workers, the young people and the popular masses, to their combative organizations, that are struggling against the neoliberal and reactionary reforms, despite the repression and the criminalization of the protest; we invite all the workers and the oppressed peoples to develop international solidarity more and more.
Such concrete struggles must promote the political struggle against the EU and reject the illusions that the European Union can be reformed into a progressive institution in the service of the workers and peoples. The reactionary pro-EU bourgeoisie of each country is weakened outside the institutions, framework and treaties of the Union. Class solidarity of the workers transcends national borders within and outside the European Union.
In the UK the workers’ movement and the progressive and revolutionary forces must rise to stop the plans of the different factions of the bourgeoisie to eliminate the result of the referendum or to impose new neoliberal measures, to ferociously attack the migrants and burdens on the masses around a Brexit-agreement with the EU.
The Brexit vote has encouraged popular and workers forces all over the European Union and outside it to strengthen their struggles. Broad movements in the EU are developing, demanding referendums in their counties to leave or to remain. In countries with special agreements with the EU such as Norway and others the struggle against their neoliberal nature is developing.
In this scenario, it should be clear that to break up with the European Union is an empty slogan if is not closely linked to the struggle of the workers, the labouring masses and the peoples against the dominant classes of their own country and their reactionary and opportunists servants.
The struggle against the European Union will be successful only if is founded on the solid base of the struggle of the working class and the broad popular masses against their own bourgeoisie to defeat it.
Therefore, broad workers and popular fronts should be created, or strengthened where they already exist. They should fight for the economic and political interests of the workers, for the democratic liberties of the oppressed majority, against the imperialist wars and the warmongering alliances like NATO, against militarization and the formation of police States, for sovereignty and national independence, for the rights of nations to manage their own affairs and destiny.
The lessons of the referendums in the countries of the EU, and also of the Brexit, is that the protests and the economic battles against the consequences of the crisis and the neoliberal and austerity measures necessarily become a political fight against the bourgeois governments and the supranational institutions of capital. Our task is to indissolubly tie both of them in one class struggle of the proletariat to defeat the bourgeoisie and build the new society without the exploitation of man by man.
July 2016
Coordinating Committee of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Spring issue of Revolutionary Democracy available

Revolutionary Democracy (www.revolutionarydemocracy.org) is an outstanding communist theoretical and political journal published twice a year and covering "problems facing the communist movement, particularly relating to Russia, China and India, the origins of modern revisionism, the restoration of capitalism in the USSR and developments in the international communist movement."  It is published in India (in English), and usually has several articles on Indian issues, such as the situation in Kashmir and labor struggles, but it also covers historical issues, such as translating notes of discussions between Soviet leaders and British or Chinese communists after WWII, articles and statements on current international events and developments in countries such as Venezuela, and revolutionary poetry, music, and art.  Here are is the table of contents for the current issue, much of which is posted online:

The Case of Rohith Vemula, C.N. Subramaniam
The Budget: Recalibration of Economic Policy to Mask a Political Crisis, Gautam Mody
India’s New Economic Challenges and the Chinese Economic Crisis, Dr. N. Bhattacharya
Between Tolerance and Intolerance: The Army And its Nation, Dr. Malem Ningthouja
Settlement Won by Contract Workers in Chhatisgarh Cement Works, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha
How Democracy ‘Uses’ a Colonial Law, PUDR
MSAD solidarity to JNU and the Critique of JNU Nationalism, Seram Rojesh
The Elections in Venezuela, Pablo Miranda
The Left in Bangladesh, Badruddin Umar
Recollections of the Events in Georgia of 4-9th March, 1956, Grigor Oniani
Preface to the Indian Edition of the Textbook of Political Economy of 1955, Vijay Singh
On Work Among Women, ICMLPO
First Meeting of the Women of Latin America and the Caribbean, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, September 24 -27, 2015
XXI Plenum of the ICMLPO:
On the International Situation and our Tasks, ICMLPO
Towards the 100th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution
Developments in Turkey and India
No to the politics of war, terror and misery! ICMLPO
A Farewell Letter to A.B. Bardhan, Vineet Tiwari
A Condolence Meeting in Memory of M. Rajan, Kuldip Sin
Remembering Prof. Randhir Singh, Gautam Navlakha
Pankaj Singh (1948-2015): Reminiscence, Karan Singh Chauhan
Concerning the Materials on the Situation in the Communist Party of India (3rd February 1951), CPSU (b)
L. Trotsky’s Theory of Imperialism and the Universal Crisis of Capitalism, V. Serebryakov
Women in the Art of Chittaprosad, Ashok Bhowmick
 
Revolutionary Democracy is available at some bookstores in the USA, UK, and India, but in North and South America, copies can be ordered from: 
George Gruenthal
192 Claremont Ave., 5D
New York, NY 10027
 
In the USA, send cash or a check (made out to George Gruenthal) for $6 dollars for an issue.  A mistake was made and too many copies were printed this time, so if you want two copies, send $8.  The Canadian cost is $5 ($8 for two) and for other countries one copy costs $10 ($16 for two).  George will have to give you a quote for a bulk order.     
 
Speaking of new issues, I have the June issue of Voice of Revolution (www.usmlo.org) and will start distributing it to the usual locations shortly.