Friday, June 24, 2016

"How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote" -- Michael Hudson on The Real News

Brexit Is About to Usher in Third World Britain -- Nafeez Ahmed


Aim your disillusionment at the cause, not the symptom

This model is accelerating global and national inequalities. For the last 8 years, the model has failed dismally to restore global growth, which is plateauing.
The model, which for a while marginally ‘lifted all boats’, stopped doing so in the very golden age of globalisation (1980s onwards), and has increasingly led to the regression of social progress on key indicators: not just in the poorer, less developed countries, but across richer, developed nations, too.
Sleight-of-hand data calculations have allowed policymakers to pretend that the model has halved global poverty since the 1990s. But this is a lie based on measuring poverty at a mere $1.25 a day. When measured more accurately, at between $5 and $10 a day, the last few decades of wonderful global economic progress have seen the number of poor people increase dramatically. Since 1990, the number of people living under $10 a day has increased by a quarter. Today, 4.3 billion people – nearly two-thirds of the global population – live on less than $5 a day.
While this model is horrific for the global working class, it works for the one percenters. That’s because the rules of the global economic system are structured to facilitate the interests that dominate it, transnational banks and corporations, which in turn hold excessive lobbying power over both the EU and national governments.
And those rules function to extract wealth and resources from the planet, from people, from workers, and hoard them in an ever decreasing circle of elite power.
And as corporate-backed governments have resorted to bailing out their friends, the public purse has suffered on the back of gruelling austerity. That’s why the NHS, schools, and other critical public services are haemorrhaging. And that’s why the ‘haemorrhage effect’ is not unique to Britain: the crisis is not British – it’s global.
The same global system is rapidly eroding its own environmental resource base, over-exploiting energy and raw materials leading to rising costs and diminishing returns fuelling climate change to the danger point of no-return, and using excessive debt-money to keep itself chugging along while turning more and more citizens into debt-slaves.
Feeling powerless?
You’re missing the mark if you want to pinpoint all the blame on any one political party, on one government, on one institution, or on just the EU. It’s all of them, together, collectively, systemically: it’s a system that is crumbling under the weight of its own chronic unsustainability.
Simply remaining in the EU without an agenda for radical systemic transformation would never have addressed this. Equally, simply leaving the EU without grasping that lacking radical systemic transformation, this will create space for more deregulated financial forces in the City to play havoc, does not address this.
You’ll notice that none of this ever really made it into the Brexit debate. That’s the level of ostrich-like insanity we’re inhabiting as we frantically rearrange the deck-chairs on the Titanic, while pointing fingers at everything other than ourselves and the hole in the boat.
The next recession was coming with or without Brexit. Brexit just brought it on faster – it also brought on the short-termist knee-jerk ‘solutions’ faster.
Neither side of this political charade is going to address the real issues, the real causes, the fundamental need for radical systemic transformation to get out of the mess we’re in.
That’s why now is the time for a renewed form of solidarity between citizens, wherever we stand within the defunct Leave/Remain paradigm, to begin exploring grassroots action to re-build our communities from the ground-up.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#BlackLivesMatter Speaks Out On Orlando Killings

In Honor of Our Dead: Latinx, Queer, Trans, Muslim, Black — We Will Be Free | En Honor a Nuestros Muertos: Latinx, Queer, Trans, Musulmanes, Negros – Seremos Libres

It is with pain and heartache that the Black Lives Matter Network extends love, light, protection, and abundance to our family in Orlando, Florida. We love you. Black people are a diverse community, and though the hate-filled rhetoric of the conservative right is currently trying to pit us against our kin — we will always stand with all the parts of ourselves. Today, Queer, Latinx, andMuslim family, we lift you up.
Despite the media’s framing of this as a terrorist attack, we are very clear that this terror is completely homegrown, born from the anti-Black white supremacy, patriarchy and homophobia of  the conservative right and of those who would use religious extremism as a weapon to gain power for the few and take power from the rest. Those who seek to profit from our deaths hope we will forget who our real enemy is, and blame Muslim communities instead.
But we will never forget.
Homegrown terror is the product of a long history of colonialism, including state and vigilante violence. It is the product of white supremacy and capitalism, which deforms the spirit and fuels interpersonal violence. We especially hold space for our Latinx family now, knowing that the vast majority of those murdered were Latinx, and many were specifically Puerto Rican. From the forced migration of thousands of young people from the island of Puerto Rico to Orlando, to the deadly forced migration throughout Latin America and the Caribbean — we know this is not the first time in history our families have been mowed down with malice, and we stand with you.
Religious extremism is not new to America and is not unique to Islam. For centuries, religion has been used to subjugate queer people of color and lay the groundwork for our deaths. We live in a society that gasps at mass murder but does little to produce the policies or radical ideological shift needed to keep LGBTQ people and our families alive and safe.
And so we will fight for you. We will fight for a world that celebrates your strength and the creativity of your survival.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 and Stanley Almodovar III, 23 and Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20.
We will fight for you. For a movement that celebrates Black and Brown Trans women, instead of neglecting their leadership and devaluing their lives.
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22. Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36. Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22.
We will fight for you. We will not allow a false narrative of “Islamic terrorism” to be dictated by white supremacists and corporate media. We know it was bullets and bigotry that killed you.
Luis S. Vielma, 22. Kimberly Morris, 37. Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30.
We will fight for you. We will not allow our movement to be dominated by white progressives that still attempt to define our solutions and limit our leadership. We will not allow the vision to be stunted by a gun control agenda with neither racial context nor a clear history of the relationship between white supremacy and guns in the United States. Yes, there is value in gun control and a ban on assault rifles, but it is not the complete answer. You cannot decry guns without also decrying how those guns were used to take Native land, to enslave Black bodies, to remake “Latin America”, and to redefine the western hemisphere. We need more than legislation, more than vigils and prayers, more than donations — we need a deep transformation at the cellular levels of this nation. And we’re here for it. All of it.
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29. Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32. Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21.
We will fight for you. Like our families and communities, love is under attack. We will focus on healing our communities and ourselves. We remain committed to the internal work of building revolutionary love and resilience. We are lit from within by this love.
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25.
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35.
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50.
  • Amanda Alvear, 25.
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33.
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37.
  • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26.
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35.
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25.
  • Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31.
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26.
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25.
  • Miguel Angel Honorato, 30.
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40.
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32.
  • Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19.
  • Cory James Connell, 21.
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37.
  • Luis Daniel Conde, 39.
  • Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33.
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25.
  • Jerald Arthur Wright, 31.
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25.
  • Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25.
  • Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24.
  • Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27.
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33.
  • Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49.
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24.
  • Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32.
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28.
  • Frank Hernandez, 27.
  • Paul Terrell Henry, 41.
  • Antonio Davon Brown, 29.
  • Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24.
  • Akyra Monet Murray, 18.
To honor our dead, and fight like hell for the living, we need a new vision for safety that prioritizes human rights and does not facilitate deadly violence. We need a world that realizes that the word “terrorist” is not synonymous with Muslim, any more than “criminal” is synonymous with Black. The enemy is now and has always been the four threats of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and militarism.  These forces and not Islam create terrorism. These forces, and not queerness, create homophobia. These forces unleash destruction primarily on those who are Trans, and queer, and brown and Black, and we are the first to experience its’ violence. These forces create the conditions for our dehumanization and our death, and we will hold them to account, no matter whose face they may wear.  (emphasis mine)
Until these systems are defeated, until anti-Blackness no longer fuels anti-Muslim and anti-queer and trans bigotry, exploitation, and exclusion — we can never be truly free.
But, we believe that we will win.

Friday, June 17, 2016

"Announcement of Nationally Coordinated Prisoner Workstoppage for Sept 9, 2016"

Announcement of Nationally Coordinated Prisoner Workstoppage for Sept 9, 2016

Prisoners from across the United States have just released this call to action for a nationally coordinated prisoner workstoppage against prison slavery to take place on September 9th, 2016.
This is a Call to Action Against Slavery in America
In one voice, rising from the cells of long term solitary confinement, echoed in the dormitories and cell blocks from Virginia to Oregon, we prisoners across the United States vow to finally end slavery in 2016.
On September 9th of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On September 9th of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.
In the 1970s the US prison system was crumbling. In Walpole, San Quentin, Soledad, Angola and many other prisons, people were standing up, fighting and taking ownership of their lives and bodies back from the plantation prisons. For the last six years we have remembered and renewed that struggle. In the interim, the prisoner population has ballooned and technologies of control and confinement have developed into the most sophisticated and repressive in world history. The prisons have become more dependent on slavery and torture to maintain their stability.
Prisoners are forced to work for little or no pay. That is slavery. The 13th amendment to the US constitution maintains a legal exception for continued slavery in US prisons. It states “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Overseers watch over our every move, and if we do not perform our appointed tasks to their liking, we are punished. They may have replaced the whip with pepper spray, but many of the other torments remain: isolation, restraint positions, stripping off our clothes and investigating our bodies as though we are animals.
Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.
This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.
Non-violent protests, work stoppages, hunger strikes and other refusals to participate in prison routines and needs have increased in recent years. The 2010 Georgia prison strike, the massive rolling California hunger strikes, the Free Alabama Movement’s 2014 work stoppage, have gathered the most attention, but they are far from the only demonstrations of prisoner power. Large, sometimes effective hunger strikes have broken out at Ohio State Penitentiary, at Menard Correctional in Illinois, at Red Onion in Virginia as well as many other prisons. The burgeoning resistance movement is diverse and interconnected, including immigrant detention centers, women’s prisons and juvenile facilities. Last fall, women prisoners at Yuba County Jail in California joined a hunger strike initiated by women held in immigrant detention centers in California, Colorado and Texas.
Prisoners all across the country regularly engage in myriad demonstrations of power on the inside. They have most often done so with convict solidarity, building coalitions across race lines and gang lines to confront the common oppressor.
Forty-five years after Attica, the waves of change are returning to America’s prisons. This September we hope to coordinate and generalize these protests, to build them into a single tidal shift that the American prison system cannot ignore or withstand. We hope to end prison slavery by making it impossible, by refusing to be slaves any longer.
To achieve this goal, we need support from people on the outside. A prison is an easy-lockdown environment, a place of control and confinement where repression is built into every stone wall and chain link, every gesture and routine. When we stand up to these authorities, they come down on us, and the only protection we have is solidarity from the outside. Mass incarceration, whether in private or state-run facilities is a scheme where slave catchers patrol our neighborhoods and monitor our lives. It requires mass criminalization. Our tribulations on the inside are a tool used to control our families and communities on the outside. Certain Americans live every day under not only the threat of extra-judicial execution—as protests surrounding the deaths of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and so many others have drawn long overdue attention to—but also under the threat of capture, of being thrown into these plantations, shackled and forced to work.
Our protest against prison slavery is a protest against the school to prison pipeline, a protest against police terror, a protest against post-release controls. When we abolish slavery, they’ll lose much of their incentive to lock up our children, they’ll stop building traps to pull back those who they’ve released. When we remove the economic motive and grease of our forced labor from the US prison system, the entire structure of courts and police, of control and slave-catching must shift to accommodate us as humans, rather than slaves.
Prison impacts everyone, when we stand up and refuse on September 9th, 2016, we need to know our friends, families and allies on the outside will have our backs. This spring and summer will be seasons of organizing, of spreading the word, building the networks of solidarity and showing that we’re serious and what we’re capable of.
Step up, stand up, and join us.
Against prison slavery.
For liberation of all.
Find more information, updates and organizing materials and opportunities at the following websites:

New York Governor Cuomo Bares All on Boycotts -- Kate Miranda

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Ludlow Massacre [When the Gov't Kills at Rockefeller Bidding, It Doesn't Count?]

Why isn't the Ludlow Massacre included in the count of our innumerable and violent U.S. massacres?  Because the Rockefellers and the gov't were behind the guns and fire bombs? Linda

"In the early twentieth century, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company was owned and controlled by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who lived some 2,000 miles away from his tormented miners.


"The coal company was growing desperate. On April 20, 1914 Karl Linderfelt, a company officer and a bitter veteran of the strike of 1904, lead the [Colorado Nat'l Guard] militia in a brutal attack. The militia surrounded the colony and opened fire. The strikers defended themselves as best they could while women and children huddled in trenches dug out underneath tables in the tents.

A train operator who was running his train past the coal mines at the time of the massacre stopped his train between the two sides in an attempt to end the blood-shed. By doing this, the man saved many lives and opened a doorway for Louis Tikas to begin leading the women and children to a cave over the hills. When Tikas retuned he was kidnapped by the coal company and taken to their side. Although Tikas was unarmed, his head was cracked open with the butt of a rifle and he was then shot in the back.

Among the dead were 11 children and 2 women who were suffocated in he underground trenches when the colony was set aflame.

After the combat, when all was quiet and the firing had stopped, over 60 people had lost their lives.

At Seattle's Gathering in Support of Orlando's Victims -- June 12, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

ISIS in Florida, by Margaret Kimberley at Freedom Rider

"Early this morning a gunman killed 50 people at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. The suspect, Omar Mateen, is among the dead. We are told that Mateen was interviewed by the FBI several times because of alleged terrorist sympathies. We are also told that he called 911 before the shootings began and claimed responsibility in the name of ISIS.

President Obama, the killer of many thousands of people, gave a press conference expressing condolences, disavowing terror and babbling about American greatness. In the coming days he'll visit Orlando to hug grieving relatives and will look like a normal person instead of the criminal that he is.

I posted this screen shot of a tweet I sent six days ago. Glen Ford explained in Black Agenda Report that American claims of wanting to fight ISIS and other jihadists are a lie. They are his foot soldiers, an imperial asset just as they have been for past presidents who want to destroy secular governments from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya and on to Syria. 

ISIS thrives wherever America has intervened. Their continued existence is a direct result of U.S. foreign policy and so is the mayhem they cause. All of the public statements about fighting terror are phony. Our government doesn't care about people being beheaded or burned alive or shot in Florida for that matter. It isn't clear if Mateen was a member of ISIS or just inspired by them. He's dead so we don't know why he chose that location or that date. We don't know if he hated gay people or acted because of Ramadan. Of course common sense won't stop the corporate media nor will it keep foolish people from expressing their opinions. 

The 140 character limit prevented me from explaining as well as I wanted to. The United States is responsible for terrorism in Brussels and Paris and Orlando. Our government knows that ISIS can strike anywhere and kill anyone but doesn't care. Maintaining a crumbling but increasingly violent empire is their only concern. Party goers in Orlando are just collateral damage. So when Obama arrives there looking sad and spewing platitudes just remember that the blood is on his hands too."

Friday, June 10, 2016

"N.J. Pro-Israel Bills Take Big Brother to the Extreme" -- Great Editorial in New Jersey Star Ledger!


"Believe it or not, New Jersey politicians are trying to rush through legislation that would prohibit our pension fund from being invested in any business put on their industry "blacklist."

You read that right: Blacklist. This time, though, it's not about rooting out the seditious pinko commies. It's about rooting out the anti-Israel thought offenders, and punishing them. See how different?

Our Legislature is following in the footsteps of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who just ordered state agencies to divest from any companies or organizations that participate in a Palestinian-backed boycott movement against Israel.
N.J. Senate passes bill banning pension investments with businesses boycotting Israel
The bill would require the public pension fund to divest from companies boycotting Israeli goods and businesses.

Supporters liken this to the movement to divest from firms doing business in South Africa during the apartheid regime. But there is a critical difference. Back then, state governments punished any business that dealt with the oppressive regime, no matter what the reason.

That approach would not work when it comes to the boycott of Israel, since most American firms don't do business there in the first place. So this legislation sets up an agency that can act as a kind of thought police to find out why a given company is not invested there. If it's for commercial reasons, that's fine. But if the motive is political, then the company would face these sanctions.

The problem is pretty easy to see: the legislation actually requires our state to hire outside investigators to probe the political motives of these companies. If their failure to invest in Israel is a form of protest, explicit or side-eyed, then they would go on the blacklist.

Why N.J. shouldn't block freedom of speech in Israeli boycott debate
A N.J. attorney make a case against the Legislature's anti-BDS position, which he claims cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment.

How would the state know this? Perhaps by mining Facebook posts, speeches or writings, for clues about what a CEO thinks -- or using lists that other states have compiled. The legislation says our state should keep a list of companies that are in compliance and not in compliance, too.

As New Jersey's ACLU argues, the message couldn't be clearer: Say something perceived as anti-Israel, and you could be subject to government sanctions.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), one of the bill's sponsors, says it sends a strong message against anti-Semitism.

"Making sure that we are not investing in any company that seeks to hurt the interests of Israel or its people through boycotts, divestments, and sanctions will send a clear message that we stand against this kind of veiled discrimination," she said in a statement.

But the bill has already passed the Senate and is now headed for a floor vote in the Assembly with virtually no public debate. Intentional or not, that's unacceptable. Such a controversial issue deserves extensive public discussion, and raises serious legal questions.

A state government that divests in companies purely based on their political opinion should expect to be sued in federal court, on First Amendment grounds. Like the man flying Donald Trump flags on his home in West Long Branch, this is protected speech, like it or not.

So, no, this legislation is not a constitutional way for lawmakers to express their opinion about those who advocate boycott, divestment and sanctions (known as "BDS") against Israel, to protest its policies toward Palestinians.

If it sounds more like the McCarthy hearings of the 1950's than a message against "veiled discrimination," that's because it is."

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Remembering Muhammad Ali: “I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland”


On the occasion of the passing of legendary athlete and struggler for justice, Muhammad Ali, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins millions around the world in remembering Ali’s historic legacy of commitment to the liberation of oppressed peoples and his willingness to sacrifice in order to adhere to those principles.
In 1985, Ali traveled to Israel in an attempt to secure the release of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in occupied Southern Lebanon. This followed on his visits to Palestinian refugee camps in 1974, when he declared in Beirut that “the United States is the stronghold of Zionism and imperialism.” While visiting Palestinian refugee camps in South Lebanon, he declared “In my name and the name of all Muslims in America, I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland and oust the Zionist invaders.”
Ali championed the Black liberation struggle on multiple fronts; within the United States, and as a force against US imperialism worldwide. He wrote poetry in tribute to the Black leaders of the Attica prison uprising. At the height of his career, Muhammad Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam War in 1967, was sentenced to five years in prison and stripped of his title. When asked about his refusal while participating in a Louisville housing justice struggle, Ali said:
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end.
I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.
If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”
Dave Zirin writes, “Ali’s refusal to fight in Vietnam was front-page news all over the world. In Guyana there was a picket of support in front of the US embassy. In Karachi, young Pakistanis fasted. And there was a mass demonstration in Cairo.”  While Ali’s later depoliticization and cooperation with the US government speak to a more complex legacy, the national and international resonance of his resistance to imperialism in the 1960s and 1970s at the height of his athletic greatness echoed around the world.
Ali’s history of struggle illustrates the lengthy and deep history of joint struggle and mutual solidarity among oppressed peoples and national liberation movements, and that Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon – and the Black Liberation Movement – were centers and incubators not only for the Palestinian revolution and Black struggle, but revolutionary movements the world over. We recall Ali’s role in representing a deep and collective legacy of resistance to imperialism, to anti-Black racism, and to Zionism, and of the struggle to free prisoners – and peoples – from the jails these systems of oppression create.