Hard times are fighting times: Why and how we must win the South

first_imgThe following document was prepared by members of the Durham, N.C., branch of Workers World Party and updated on April 8, 2014.  The goal of this document is to help inform discussion at the March 29th Hard Times Are Fighting Times Conference on Socialism by placing current anti-racist struggles in the U.S. South and the U.S. labor movement in the context of historic national oppression and previous setbacks in the South. The goal is to avoid past mistakes and build greater unity in and between the anti-racist and union movements. To accomplish this we will first lay out some of the key historical points of the last 150 years, followed by an analysis of recent developments, and finally a few suggestions for a perspective for the coming period.The unique importance of the U.S. SouthThe U.S. South has a dual character. It is primarily a region of the United States, the biggest imperialist power in the world and the greatest threat to humanity today. At the same time, however, the U.S. South has a unique history within the United States, with a different pattern of development rooted in slavery, and as such it is part of the Global South — characterized by colonialism, exploitation by imperialist powers, and national oppression. This contradictory character is both what makes this region pivotal to revolutionaries seeking ultimately to overthrow capitalism and what has frustrated previous attempts to organize workers in the region.The role of the South — as a crucial component of modern U.S. imperialism — cannot be discounted. The School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Ga., has trained death squads and right-wing militaries that have terrorized Latin America for decades.North Carolina itself is home to two of the largest military bases in the world. Fort Bragg is the biggest U.S. Army base in the world, home to the Special Forces Command, the U.S. Army Airborne Command and the Army Reserve Command — the biggest concentration of generals outside the Pentagon, which is itself in the South (Virginia). Camp LeJeune is the largest U.S. Marine base in the world. Other crucial U.S. bases — too many to list here — are also concentrated in the South. Notable ones include Fort Jackson U.S. Army, Fort Hood Army Base, Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Shaw Air Force Base, Pope AFB, Langley AFB, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Fort Hill Army Base, and Norfolk Naval Base.These bases are located in the South for at least two reasons. First, this region has historically developed many U.S. military leaders going back to the Civil War, when many of the top military generals joined the Confederacy, as well as many military leaders of U.S. imperialism in the 20th century. Some of the worst offenders include Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels from North Carolina, who directed the invasion and occupation of Haiti in 1915, and General William Westmoreland, who became infamous during the Vietnam War.  Southern leaders also led imperialist interventions in Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and others. Second, the concentration of bases in the South is due to its proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean and the perpetual threat of U.S. aggression to the Global South.Building a movement that is visible in this stronghold of U.S. imperialism is necessary not only to show solidarity with the victims of U.S. military aggression around the world, but in the long term to organize GIs within the military.Economic concentration as well as militaryNot only is the South the center of U.S. military power, it is increasingly becoming a manufacturing center for U.S. capitalism. While it is still underdeveloped with respect to the rest of the country, it is now home to 30 percent of the manufacturing in the United States, a percentage which is growing due to both run-away shops from the more unionized North and direct foreign investment in new manufacturing. The South now receives 43 percent of all direct foreign investment in the U.S. Toyota, Honda, BMW, Nissan, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Volkswagen all have extensive operations in the South, concentrated in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina. These same states are similarly increasingly home-to-domestic steel production.The new manufacturing in the South is not only due to the racist anti-union laws that depress wages, but also the result of billions of dollars in incentives from states and cities that were forced to compete for the investments. These huge corporate giveaways drained the budgets needed to pay public workers and the money needed for housing, education, and infrastructure which was already severely underdeveloped. This makes the South even more vulnerable to human-created and natural disasters such as Hurricanes Floyd, Rita, and Katrina. States are also competing by removing any environmental protections, allowing fracking, and other practices that increase the risk of these disasters.Much has been said in the capitalist press recognizing the importance to the labor movement of organizing these new manufacturing plants, especially in the context of the recent loss at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, but it is more important to understand why that happened. Comrades should carefully review Martha Grevatt’s Feb. 20 article in Workers World, “Volkswagen workers lost. Why?” except to say that an understanding of the history of the South — especially the inextricable links among national oppression, anti-unionism, and anti-communism — is at the center of it.At the same time that manufacturing and foreign investment are increasing in the South, it is also emerging as a center of banking and finance capital, as characteristic of imperialism. In other parts of the Global South, imperialists locate production and steal natural resources, but keep finance capital at home. As part of the imperialist U.S., as well as part of the Global South, the U.S. South is also increasingly a center of finance capital, especially Charlotte, N.C., which is now the second largest banking center in the U.S., trailing only New York. Charlotte is the headquarters of Bank of America and the East Coast headquarters of Wells Fargo. Many other major capitalist conglomerates such as Nucor Steel, Duke Energy, Chiquita, and Time Warner Cable are also located there. Southern organizers began to mobilize directly against the banks in 2012 with the March on Wall Street South and the demonstrations at the BofA shareholders’ meeting. Increasingly Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and other unions are directly targeting the banks as well.The Civil War and Reconstruction: An unfinished revolution for African AmericansMonica Moorehead’s introduction to “A Voice from Harper’s Ferry” should be required reading for any revolutionary or organizer in the U.S. South. There is no need to repeat all of her analysis, but a few points are crucial to understanding where we are now. First, she states that the Civil War was not primarily a war for the liberation of slaves: “It was a class war between two different exploiting classes,” the semi-feudal slaveocracy and the emerging industrial capitalist class of the North. Furthermore the defeat of the confederacy was a military defeat only; the capitalists did not “uproot every vestige of slavery,” which “deter[ed] a transition from a reactionary feudal period to a bourgeois democracy in the South, at least as far as the Black masses were concerned.” In short, freed Black workers were left without the bourgeois democratic rights of other U.S. workers, especially whites — rights often essential to organizing and building political power.During the period of Reconstruction, the Black masses and their white allies made substantial gains toward full legal equality, enacting statutes and constitutional amendments that in some cases were even better than those won through struggle in the Civil Rights movement a century later. Contrary to popular history, these gains were not gifts of a benevolent government. The entire second half of the 19th century was characterized by struggle, often armed struggle, across the South. In North Carolina, Henry Berry Lowery, a Native American leader, led a guerrilla band of freed slaves, Native Americans, and poor whites against the “Home Guard” — the remnants of the Confederacy. When Black workers and white Republicans were able to win control of state governments, they were opposed by armed white supremacist militias: the Ku Klux Klan, the “Red Shirts” in North Carolina, and the “White League” in Louisiana.By the turn of the century Black workers were abandoned entirely by the federal government and the Northern bourgeoisie. Southern white supremacists were left with free reign to strip all democratic rights and impose the apartheid Jim Crow regime. In 1898 in Wilmington, N.C., hundreds of Black leaders were killed in a coup by the white supremacist Democratic Party which took control of the local government. At the same time Klan violence and intimidation, combined with new laws known as the “Black Codes, stripped Blacks of the right to vote and enforced segregation.Continuing role of the state perpetuates racism and national oppressionThe use of state repressive power to enforce racial apartheid is not a historical feature, but ongoing structural racism that has adapted its form to modern conditions still serves the same function. The modern prison-industrial complex, especially in the South, is directly rooted in slavery and Jim Crow. North Carolina’s Central Prison was commissioned by the state in 1868 directly after the Civil War, as were prisons across the South. This new penal system, built with slave labor, emerged as a new tool for the oppression of former slaves.The same system of state violence continues today where the police and the racist courts are the primary tool of racial oppression. The racist death penalty is concentrated in Southern states, especially Texas. So-called “stand-your-ground” laws attempting to legitimize the murder of unarmed Black youth started in the South and are spreading. Police murders of people of color are rampant, notably the murders of Jesus Huerta and Jonathan Ferrell here in North Carolina.Organizing against this racist state and vigilante violence often originates in the South, spreading across the country as in the cases of the Jena 6, Troy Davis, and Trayvon Martin. These movements have attracted more energy, especially among young oppressed workers, than any other movements in recent years. As has been done so successfully in Baltimore, the vehicle of people’s assemblies can unite these movements with workers’ struggles.Industrialization and organizing in the SouthJim Crow emerged just as class consciousness was growing in the rest of the country and socialism was gaining in popularity, but Jim Crow was triumphant. Black workers, former slaves, and sharecroppers fled north in the Great Migration, fleeing poverty, segregation, and Klan terrorism. The bosses attempted to use these new workers to cut wages and undermine organizing drives, playing on the racism of white workers. This tactic has been the primary weapon of U.S. imperialism ever since. The effect was similar to the abolition of the commons in England, driving farmers off their land and bolstering capitalism by supplying needed workers and undermining wages.At the same time, in the process characteristic of modern imperialism, capitalists began moving manufacturing to the South to avoid organized labor, beginning with the textile industry. Huge mills opened across North Carolina, quickly becoming the dominant industry. For the first time communists recognized the critical importance of organizing the South and that it could only be done on the basis of complete anti-racist solidarity. The Communist Party sent organizers to Gastonia, N.C., in the late 1920s, leading to the largest strike in the state’s history that included both Black and white workers, even though the mills were entirely segregated. Similar efforts were undertaken across the South, especially in Alabama among steelworkers, mine workers, and sharecroppers. Ultimately most of these efforts failed due to the racism of Southern whites.This pattern has continued with every organizing effort in the South, which began with the unsuccessful Knights of Labor in the 1880s who endorsed segregation. In 1940, an organizing drive was successful at Reynolds Tobacco Company among the majority Black and women work force, but it was turned back by the racism of the federal courts, which cut Black workers out of the bargaining unit and added white supervisors, breaking the union.After World War II, the last major effort of the Congress of Industrial Organizations was Operation Dixie from 1946 to 1953 — an effort by the more radical of the two national union federations to organize the South. The entire U.S. capitalist class united with Southern white supremacists. The campaign was ultimately defeated by a combination of white supremacy, the anti-communist red scare, and the Taft-Hartley Act, which allowed states to ban strikes and closed union shops. This defeat led directly to a right-wing shift in the labor movement overall, as the CIO was forced to merge with the American Federation of Labor and abandon social unionism in a shift toward business unionism.In 1959, in the early stages of the mass Civil Rights movement that swept the South, North Carolina enacted its last major piece of racist apartheid legislation of the Jim Crow era — a ban on collective bargaining for public workers. As low-wage public workers were disproportionately Black and women workers, this attack on public workers was a racist and sexist attack by the state. Subsequently Virginia passed a similar ban. Because they were successful in the South, the bosses are now expanding this attack across formerly strong union states like Michigan and Wisconsin, which triggered an historic fightback in 2011.This history suggests only two paths that have been repeatedly argued about at least since the Gastonia strike. Either the labor movement can engage in a cowardly attempt to avoid the history of slavery and national oppression and ignore racism, in order to avoid falling victim to the prejudice of Southern whites, or it can take the only path to victory: recognize that a struggle against racism is essential to working-class solidarity and the only hope to organize the South.The changing character of the working classAs Sam Marcy, a founder and chairperson of Workers World Party, noted 30 years ago in his seminal work, High Tech, Low Pay, the social character of the U.S. working class is increasingly women workers and workers of oppressed nationalities in service sector industries. Nowhere is this more true than in the U.S. South, as the preceding history shows. African-American and women workers have always been the largest percentage of semi-skilled workers, and now Latino/a workers make up huge numbers. Latino/a workers are growing as a percentage of the workforce faster in the South than in any other region of the U.S. The states with the fastest growing Latino/a population from 2000 to 2010 were all in the South: South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and North Carolina, with Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia, and Virginia close behind.As of 2010, women make up almost half of North Carolina’s workforce, similar to that in other Southern states, which continues to increase, while the percentage of men in the workforce is decreasing. Women workers are paid significantly less for the same positions. While they are actually more likely than men to hold college and advanced degrees, women make up a much smaller fraction of professional and managerial positions.  They are also much more likely to have only part-time work.The South is also of critical importance to the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer liberation. Despite the fact that LGBTQ workers have always made up large proportions of the working class, and are increasingly coming out and self-organizing, Southern states perpetuate reactionary and anti-gay legislation that is even worse than that seen in the rest of the country.While courts in other states are being pressured to recognize same-sex marriage — most recently in Ohio — not a single Southern state has done so. In fact in 2012 North Carolina became the last state to enact a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. Activists flooded into North Carolina in 2012 and worked alongside local organizations to defeat the amendment.  While they were defeated by the right-wing, they left a legacy of resistance that continues to inspire the LGBTQ liberation movement in the South.This changing social character of the working class in the South has profound implications for the movement.Laying the foundation for uniting the anti-racist and labor movementsIn the last 15 years two unions in North Carolina have shown the way toward the necessary anti-racist approach to organizing in the South. In 1997 the United Electrical Workers came to North Carolina at the request of Black Workers for Justice to help organize Black workers at the Consolidated Diesel plant in Rocky Mount and surrounding plants. This organizing expanded to majority Black low-wage public workers in cities, state facilities, and universities with the founding of UE Local 150 in 1999.From the beginning UE-150 and BWFJ’s focus has not been on traditional card-check organizing drives, which have too often led to unions pulling out and abandoning workers after a defeat. Instead the focus has been on building workers’  direct power over working conditions with community and labor solidarity, especially around fighting racism in the workplace, which has led to deep roots in communities across the state. Similarly, beginning with the Mt. Olive Pickle campaign in 1998, FLOC has successfully organized thousands of migrant Latino/a agricultural workers by engaging a broad base of community supporters around not just workplace issues but broader questions of immigrant rights.Learning from these examples, the United Food and Commercial Workers successfully won a contract at the Smithfield plant, the largest pork processing plant in the world in 2009 after a 16-year struggle. The UFCW at times waivered on questions of immigrant rights but ultimately did not abandon the struggle and took the necessary patient, long-term view, uniting Black and Latino/a workers.This approach is now evident in the Service Employees’ fast food worker campaign, which is gaining traction across the South. Organizers are focusing on building community solidarity and workplace actions, rather than short-term card check campaigns. Pushing this movement in an explicitly anti-racist direction and building independent leadership among workers and the community are our most pressing tasks. It is noteworthy that FLOC workers, UE-150 workers, and Smithfield workers all make less than $15 an hour. We must encourage them to identify with the “low-wage” workers struggle as their leadership will be essential to its success.Jackson, Moral Mondays, and the Southern Workers AssemblyAs the economic crisis continues and millions of workers remain unemployed, we know that low-wage capitalism is not a passing phenomenon. Instead the anti-labor policies of the South, with their inherent racism, are being spread North to formerly industrialized and organized states. At the same time, Black leaders in the South are spearheading a new Civil Rights movement, but one that may prove stronger than the old because the conditions of the economic crisis are making the anti-racist struggle inseparable from union struggles and all struggles for social justice.In some ways the economic crisis for our class began with Black and rural workers in the South, who were decimated by the North American Free Trade Agreement and subsequent “free trade” agreements. North Carolina lost 370,250 manufacturing jobs from 1993 to 2009, and 170,000 textile and apparel jobs between 1997 and 2002. Most of these jobs were in small towns in the Black Belt of North Carolina. Any minimal job growth during that period was in the finance and technological centers of the Research Triangle and Charlotte among a predominantly white work force, which reinforced historic racial divides. Now even those jobs are being lost and wages are being cut. IBM announced another massive round of layoffs in the Research Triangle in February.Understanding the Moral Monday fightback, now spreading from North Carolina across the South, should begin with Saladin Muhammad’s article, “Moral Mondays: The Emergence and Dynamics of a Growing Mass Human Rights Movement.” In it he lays out the roots of Moral Mondays in a 2007 People’s Assembly and in NAACP President Rev. William Barber’s solidarity with UE-150. The people’s assembly program with its 14-point agenda combines labor and Civil Rights demands with opposition to imperialist war and the need for social programs for the unemployed. This year’s historic march of 80,000 workers in Raleigh on Feb. 9 was significant not only because of its mass size and draw from across the South, but even more so because of the large turnouts from labor unions, the youth and student movement, and the environmental justice movement under Black leadership.In Jackson, Mississippi, a people’s assembly movement led to the historic election of Chokwe Lumumba as mayor, whose recent death was a severe blow to our class, but whose success reflects the power of the people’s assembly process. Continued attention to the developments in Jackson will be necessary in the coming months to ensure that the tragic death of Lumumba does not result in a major political setback and to continue to push the assemblies to deeper engagement around workers’ struggles.The Southern Workers Assembly represents a united effort of activists and revolutionaries with BWFJ, FLOC, UE-150, the fast food worker organizing committee, and the UFCW Smithfield local to build a people’s assembly in the South, which not only unites these labor forces but also acts as a conscious independent section in the Moral Monday movement.People’s assemblies are of special importance in the South because of the possibility of using them to overcome the racism and other forms of oppression that have fractured and defeated prior organizing. First, they can build a revolutionary pole within the labor movement and an independent structure that is not beholden to the Democratic Party nor dependent on the funding of international unions that may withdraw their support. Second, and even more importantly, the assemblies provide a forum for the type of patient explanation and discussion that is necessary to win over white workers to the leadership of the most oppressed, to allow all workers to understand the similarities of their situations that transcend industries and nationalities, and to build the ongoing relationships necessary for a protracted struggle.Build the Southern Workers Assembly and All People’s Assemblies!Organize the South!Long Live the People’s Struggle!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Where is Kenya’s Field Marshal Kimathi buried?

first_imgField Marshal Kimathi ‘smonument in Nairobi.The British ruling class has lavished millions to rebury King Richard III, who was killed 530 years ago. Almost $3 million was spent on the tomb alone. (The Telegraph, March 22)Yet British colonialism still refuses to reveal where the body of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi is buried. Kimathi, a leader of Kenya’s Land and Freedom Army, was hanged on Feb. 18, 1957.Being captured with a loaded revolver was enough to send this African freedom fighter to the gallows.Queen Victoria’s storm troopers seized Kenya in 1895. Aristocrats stole the land with Lord Delamere alone grabbing 160,000 acres.Africans were forced at gunpoint into “native reserves,” which were modeled on Indian reservations in the United States.Oppression sparked resistance. When 8,000 Africans rallied in Nairobi on March 14, 1922, to protest the exiling of African leader Harry Thuku, police opened fire.White settlers standing on the Norfolk Hotel’s porch joined in the shooting. Fifty-eight Africans were murdered.The East African Trade Union Congress was founded on May 1, 1949. The average yearly wage of African workers in Kenya was then $73.On May Day in 1950, the EATUC issued a call for independence and majority rule. These genuine labor leaders in Kenya were immediately arrested by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee of the “Labour Party.”One hundred thousand workers joined a general strike to protest. Nairobi was paralyzed for nine days. It took a mobilization of the British army and colonial police to crush this uprising.Freedom demanded that an armed struggle be launched. Kenya’s Land and Freedom Army was born.Kenya’s colonial governor, Evelyn Baring, responded by declaring a state of emergency on Oct. 20, 1952. The governor’s family controlled Barings Bank, founded in 1762 by the slave trader Francis Baring. Baring himself was named a baron in 1960.Media helped lynch freedom fightersShakespeare’s play, “Richard III,” probably slandered this king. That’s not surprising since Queen Elizabeth I — a member of the Tudor family gang that wasted Richard’s Plantagenet family and seized the throne — was then ruling England.But Shakespeare’s slanders were nothing in comparison with the world capitalist media lies against freedom fighters in Kenya, who were labeled “Mau Mau.”Sixty years ago, the media called Jomo Kenyatta, who later became the leader of independent Kenya, a “terrorist.” His son, Uhuru Kenyatta, is Kenya’s current president.Baring ordered the colonial police to frame up Jomo Kenyatta and other independence fighters and imprison them. There was no jury.According to Caroline Elkins’ Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Imperial Reckoning,” Baring guaranteed a conviction by paying the judge a 20,000 pound bribe.Baring hoped Kenyatta’s frame-up would demoralize Africans. It ignited years of guerrilla warfare instead.Mau Mau fighters liberated weapons and ammunition from the colonialist army and police. Mau Mau-supporting blacksmiths made hundreds of guns.Britain mobilized 55,000 soldiers and cops to fight the Mau Mau. The Royal Air Force bombed guerrilla strongholds in Aberdares Forest and Kirinyaga.Caroline Elkins estimated that the colonial forces threw 300,000 Kenyans into concentration camps and forced another million into 800 “emergency villages” built with the Africans’ own slave labor.For Africans in Kenya, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was their Hitler. Guards used Alsatian dogs to maul women inmates at the Athi River camp, and the guards themselves clubbed prisoners arriving at the Manyani camp.Six hundred children were confined in Kamati camp alone. Almost none survived.Prisoners labeled as “hard-core Mau Mau” were selected to bury the children. “They would be tied in bundles of six babies,” recalled former inmate Helen Macharia.Uncle Sam helped this genocide by financing Nairobi’s Embakasi Airport. Now called Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, it was built by the slave labor of Mau Mau prisoners.According to David Anderson’s “Histories of the Hanged,” 1,090 Africans were hanged in Kenya during this righteous uprising. Just for supplying food to guerrilla fighters — labeled “consorting” — the British settlers sent 207 people to their deaths.A posse led by Ian Henderson, a notorious torturer of Mau Mau suspects, finally captured Field Marshal Kimathi on Oct. 21, 1956. Henderson’s cruelty couldn’t stop the freedom struggle.Twenty thousand Mau Mau guerrillas didn’t die in vain. Kenya declared its independence on Dec. 12, 1963.Henderson later spent 30 well-paid years as head of Bahrain’s secret police. On June 3, 1997, anti-war leader and British Parliament member George Galloway told the House of Commons that Henderson was a war criminal.Mau Mau veterans filed a suit in 2006 against the British government for reparations, charging it with systematic torture of Kenyan freedom fighters.Africa remembers its heroes. Kimathi’s execution is commemorated and streets are named in his honor. A statue of Dedan Kimathi was unveiled in Nairobi on Dec. 11, 2006.When Nelson Mandela visited Kenya, he asked to see where Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi was buried.But the British imperialists still refuse to reveal this hero’s burial site.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

U.S. and Afghanistan: The cynical abuse of ‘women’s rights’

first_imgThis article, originally published in 2007 in Workers World’s “Lavender & Red” series, exposes an Islamophobic argument hidden under the cloak of “human rights” and “women’s rights” as propaganda used by imperialists to justify military aggression. Under a deal signed with the Taliban by the Trump administration last year, the U.S. promised to pull all its troops out of Afghanistan by May 1. President Biden now implies the U.S. may not meet that deadline, and the false argument of “women’s rights” is again being revived to justify U.S. occupation. See Feinberg’s entire historic series on the deep interconnections between socialism and LGBTQ liberation at workers.org/lavender-red/.The U.S. did not unleash war on Afghanistan in 2001 to “liberate” women. But pro-war spin doctors — embedded with the corporate media — went into overdrive to create that impression after 9/11. Public relations campaigns “sold” as liberation a high-tech imperialist war against an impoverished country with no air force.This was designed to obscure the fact that imperialism had no right to violate Afghanistan’s self-determination and sovereignty.The New York Times offered a more candid geopolitical view as early as Jan. 18, 1996, in an article entitled “The New Great Game in Asia” — referring to the 19th-century struggle among capitalist powers to control the Eurasian landmass and the warm-water ports of the Persian Gulf.The Times explained, “While few have noticed, Central Asia has again emerged as a murky battleground among big powers engaged in an old and rough geopolitical game. Western experts believe that the largely untapped oil and natural gas riches of the Caspian Sea countries could make that region the Persian Gulf of the next century. The object of the revived game is to befriend leaders of the former Soviet republics controlling the oil, while neutralizing Russian suspicions and devising secure alternative pipeline routes to world markets.”After overturning the bloc of workers’ states in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, U.S. finance capital schemed to secure ownership of trillions of dollars worth of buried oil and gas treasure in the Caspian Sea region, which had for decades been collectively owned by the workers and peoples of the region.Transnational energy giants like Unocal and Enron saw Afghanistan as the best path to pipe oil and gas from Central Asia to the world market.The Bush neo-cons, Pentagon brass and the military-industrial complex worked overtime to frame this as a campaign for women’s rights.Laura Bush delivered the presidential radio address on Nov. 16, 2001 — a month after the Pentagon assault on Afghanistan began. Her speech focused on women’s rights in that country: “The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.” It was a total lie.Afghan Revolution advanced women’s rightsAn article in Workers World on Oct. 10, 1996, by Deirdre Griswold showed how a progressive revolution in Afghanistan in 1978 had taken measures to liberate women and challenge centuries of landlordism. In response, the U.S. pulled together an army of pro-feudal elements to crush that revolutionary government, forcing it to call on the USSR for support.The WW article quoted from a 1986 Department of Defense publication titled “Afghanistan — a Country Study.” Even this Pentagon book had to admit that the 1978 revolution brought many gains to Afghan women and girls.Women were organized in the Democratic Women’s Organization of Afghanistan. The national group was founded in 1965 by Dr. Anahita Ratebzada. Her companion Babrak Karmal, who founded the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan the same year, later became the country’s president.One of the first actions of the revolution was to end “bride-price” and allow women to make marriage choices. Punishment of women who had sex outside of marriage was prohibited. Women could choose to wear or not to wear the veil, travel in public, get an education and work at a job. Women of all classes — not just the well-to-do — were trained as doctors, teachers and lawyers.Brigades of women and other young Afghans brought medical care to rural peasants.The revolution impacted the life of one-third of the rural population — landless peasants, sharecroppers and tenants held in virtual bondage to landlords and moneylenders.Before the revolution, 5 percent of the landlords claimed ownership of more than 45 percent of the country’s arable land. “When the PDPA took power,” the Pentagon report noted, “it quickly moved to remove both landownership inequalities and usury.” One of the revolutionary land reforms was the cancellation of mortgage debt for agricultural laborers, tenants and small landowners.On the eve of the revolution, 96.3 percent of the women of Afghanistan were illiterate; rural illiteracy for all the sexes was 90.5 percent. The progressive government created massive literacy programs and printed textbooks in Dari, Pashtu, Uzbek, Turkic and Baluchi.The 1986 Pentagon report stated, “The government trained many more teachers, built additional schools and kindergartens, and instituted nurseries for orphans.”The Washington Post admitted that Afghan women were the strongest supporters of the 1978 revolution.But this revolution was crushed by a well-funded, well-armed counterrevolution in which U.S. imperialism made common cause with feudal patriarchs. Women were then bought and sold as property once again.National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA Director Robert M. Gates later publicly bragged that, beginning in early 1979, the CIA had funneled money and arms to counterrevolutionary groups, many of them members of militias loyal to local landowners.Democrats and Republicans had approved at least $8 billion for this counterrevolutionary effort that hired, armed and trained the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and other forces.CIA historian John Ranelagh recalls that then President Jimmy Carter OK’d “more secret operations than Reagan later did.” Carter later admitted in his memoirs that his administration actually considered the use of tactical nuclear weapons against the progressive developments in Afghanistan.U.S. set women’s rights back centuriesBy 1992 the Soviet Union was overturned and the progressive government in Afghanistan was defeated by imperialism. After four years of internecine struggle among different Afghan factions, the Taliban came to power.Michael Meacher, a senior Labor Party member of Parliament who had been a member of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet, observed in a Sept. 6, 2003, article in the Guardian of London: “Until July 2001 the U.S. government saw the Taliban regime as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of hydrocarbon pipelines from the oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean.“But confronted with the Taliban’s refusal to accept U.S. conditions, the U.S. representatives told them ‘either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.’”Washington then took advantage of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to launch an invasion of Afghanistan.U.S. occupiers appointed former Unocal advisors to be both the titular president of Afghanistan and the U.S. ambassador to the country.The continuing imperialist blitzkrieg has destroyed the land’s infrastructure — including potable water, sewage and electricity — worsening hunger and disease. Soviet-built public urban housing complexes and schools lie in ruins.These conditions create suffering for all sexes, genders and sexualities in Afghanistan, particularly for women. [According to the World Health Organization,] in 2004, some provinces reported 1,120 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. (tinyurl.com/yus8cdm9)Pentagon Special Forces commandos can kick in the door of a home at any hour of the day or night, body search Afghan women and their loved ones, and drag them all off in hoods to torture chambers.That’s imperialist-style “liberation.”Research by Minnie Bruce Pratt contributed to the original article.The late Leslie Feinberg was a managing editor of Workers World newspaper and the first theorist to advance a Marxist concept of trans liberation in the groundbreaking “Transgender Warriors: Making History.” (Beacon Press, 1996) Feinberg also authored the now-classic novel, “Stone Butch Blues” (1993), available as free digital download at www.lesliefeinberg.net.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Dow/DuPont Merger Gets Conditional U.S. Approval

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News Dow/DuPont Merger Gets Conditional U.S. Approval By Hoosier Ag Today – Jun 18, 2017 Previous articleFirst Beef, Now Dairy Reach Agreement with ChinaNext articleIndiana Gearing up for Pork Expansion Hoosier Ag Today DuPont and Dow Chemical announced on Thursday that their proposed merger has been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. Dow Chair and CEO Andrew Liveris says he is very pleased the DOJ approved the transaction. “With today’s DOJ clearance, we’ve taken a significant step forward in bringing together these two iconic enterprises,” he says. Ed Breen, Chair and CEO of DuPont, says, “We are on track to close our merger, with the subsequent spinoffs expected to unlock significant value for shareholders.” Part of the proposed agreement with the U.S Justice Department will require DuPont to sell off certain parts of its crop protection portfolio. Dow will also be required to divest itself of two petrochemical products in order for the merger to proceed. Those requirements are similar to those imposed by the European Union and other jurisdictions that have given conditional approval to the merger. The proposed agreement with the Justice Department is still subject to court approval.This agreement means there will be no further requirements in the U.S. for this deal to close. The companies expect the merger to finish in August of 2017, with the required spin-offs to take place within 18 months later.Source: NAFB News Service Facebook Twitter Dow/DuPont Merger Gets Conditional U.S. Approval SHARE Facebook Twitter SHARElast_img read more

Future of Farmland Values Unclear

first_img Previous articleClosing CommentsNext articleGovernor Reaffirms Strong Support for Agriculture’s Future NAFB News Service Future of Farmland Values Unclear SHARE Facebook Twitter Home Indiana Agriculture News Future of Farmland Values Unclear Farmland is one of the most significant assets producers have in their portfolio. Strong land values are critical to maintaining strong equity positions for producers and good collateral for ag lenders in the current economic downturn. An Iowa State University survey says results are unclear on where land values are going, as signals are mixed. For example, the Iowa State Land Value Survey shows the Iowa farmland market has dropped three years in a row after peaking in 2013. It is the first three-year drop in Iowa since the 1980s. At the same time, several sources are predicting that the drop in Iowa farmland value has begun to slow. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago recently reported a two and five percent increase in farmland value for Iowa and Wisconsin, respectively, from April of 2016 to this past April. That is the first year-over-year increase for Iowa in four years.USDA’s Land Value Survey in August of last year showed a modest climb in land values in the Southeast, the Delta region, and the Southern Plains, from June of 2015 to June 2016. By NAFB News Service – Aug 3, 2017 Facebook Twitter SHARElast_img read more

Call for clemency for dissident He Depu

first_img News Reporters Without Borders today appealed for clemency on humanitarian grounds for dissident He Depu, tried yesterday by a Beijing court which now has 40 days to announce its verdict and pass sentence. The circumstances of the trial, which lasted only two hours and denied the most basic rights of defence, suggest that the sentence could heavy. He appeared to be in very poor health in court.”He Depu is seriously ill and has been the victim of ill-treatment while in prison,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. “Keeping him in detention could prove fatal.” He is accused of collaborating with the banned China Democracy Party and of using the Internet to distribute messages “inciting subversion.”He’s wife, Jia Jianying, the only person aside from his lawyer allowed to attend the trial, told Reporters Without Borders that He was constantly interrupted when he tried to talk during the hearing, especially about the ill-treatment he has undergone in prison. Except at night-time, He was forced to stand upright for 85 days. He has lost a lot of weight and his health has deteriorated seriously. His wife said he has a liver ailment and his condition is very worrying.Jia received no news of He from the moment of his arrest on 4 November 2002 until his trial. When arresting him, police told her they were just taking him for “a walk.”He was born on 28 October 1956. He took part in the democracy wall movement in 1979 and founded the magazine Beijing Youth, which was subsequently banned. He helped found the China Democracy Party, also outlawed, and was detained several times for his political activities. He lost his job with the Social Sciences Academy after standing as a candidate in local elections in 1990. RSF_en March 12, 2021 Find out more News Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Follow the news on China ChinaAsia – Pacific October 15, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for clemency for dissident He Depu June 2, 2021 Find out morecenter_img News News Receive email alerts ChinaAsia – Pacific to go further Help by sharing this information Organisation China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures April 27, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Late appeal lodged against return of Corbett children to Ireland

first_imgJason Corbett killers, Molly and Tom Martens may be freed on bail tomorrow as they consider manslaughter plea bargain deal Family of Jason Corbett “devastated” after receiving “bombshell” news his killers will get bail after being offered “manslaughter” plea deal Advertisement Facebook Email Twitter Brother of slain Jason Corbett writes to US President expressing “dismay” at DA’s plea bargain offer to killers WhatsApp Linkedin Printcenter_img Previous articlePatrickswell to benefit from renewal schemeNext articleEclectic live programme for Lime Tree venues Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie TAGSfeaturedjack and sarahJason Corbett No vaccines in Limerick yet RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Andrew [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up HAVING left the US courtroom in tears following the decision of Judge April Woods to dissolve proceedings, Molly Martens, the stepmother of the Jack and Sarah Corbett has lodged a late appeal against the return of the children to Ireland.On Tuesday night last having been awarded guardianship of the two children by Clerk for the Davidson County Superior Court, Tracey and David Lynch went to court on Thursday for what was to be confirmation of the earlier decision.Judge April Woods dissolved the cases of Molly Martens paving the way for Tracey and David to return home to Ireland with the two children of Jason Corbett who was killed in his home on August 2 last.Molly Martens and her father, retired FBI agent Thomas Martens are described by police as “persons of interest” in the case as Mr Corbett was killed following a blow to the head in “domestic disturbance”. It later was filed by police as an assault and Mr Martens who alerted the emergency services said he was in an argument with his son in law and hit him with a baseball bat.Leaving court on Thursday, Ms Martens was said to be in floods of tears and in another late development, her legal team filed an appeal on the decision of the court.However, in this tragic twist, the Corbett family were only informed of the development on Friday morning.John Corbett, Jason’s brother, who was speaking on Limerick’s Live95fm, said the decision to appeal is very calculating,“It just shows you the pure callousness and coldness of the Martens family, especially Molly Martens in this desperate attempt to try and prevent my brother’s children to return to their true family because a senior family court judge decided that the long term future and care of Sarah and Jack would be the most beneficial with his true family in Ireland”.He said the latest actions were “cruel”, and that Ms Marten should not have taken it this far.John Corbett claimed that there is only one reason why Molly Martens has lodged the appeal.“The only reason, the whole family feels, that Molly Martens is desperately trying to get custody of my nephew and niece is because there is a possible pending criminal prosecution against her and other members of her family for the murder of my brother.“It’s a very very sinister agenda indeed.”The appeal goes against the comments of the Clerk of the superior court whose decision is below.The Corbett family have now been put on hold again from returning to Ireland to bury their brother and the family are said to be again traumatised on this latest twist. Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April NewsBreaking newsLate appeal lodged against return of Corbett children to IrelandBy Staff Reporter – August 21, 2015 1379 Shannondoc operating but only by appointmentlast_img read more

Organ Donation Saves Lives

first_imgPrint RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Facebook Linkedin Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limerick Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads LimerickNewsOrgan Donation Saves LivesBy Meghann Scully – December 21, 2020 160 center_img Advertisement Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Postorgan donor Twitter Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live NO REPRO FEE 12/06/2020 HSE Covid-19 Media Briefing. Pictured is Dr Catherine Motherway, President of the Intensive Care Society of Ireland, Intensive Care Consultant, ULHG at the HSE weekly operational update on the response to Covid-19, in the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science in UCD, Dublin. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall IrelandAS is tradition, we remember our donors in this past year and celebrate and give thanks for their selfless gift to others.The HSE’s ODTI are asking people to share their views and wishes on organ donation with their families and friends over Christmas and in the New Year.  We would remind all to stay safe in these difficult times.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up We are joined again this year by patients, donor families and staff in their appeal to the public to #HaveThatConversation and remember that organ donation saves lives.Approximately 500 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Ireland. This is includes patients on dialysis awaiting kidney transplants and patients waiting for lung, heart and liver transplants. While some kidney donations can take place through the living donation programme, all other organ donations can only proceed when another life is lost.Dr Catherine Motherway, Intensive Care Consultant in University Hospital Limerick and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation explains that organ donation is among the greatest gifts we can give to another.“Having that conversation and letting family members know our views and wishes on organ donation is really important.“The priority for all of us who work in intensive care is to save lives. However, sadly at times this is not always possible. As part of end of life care when appropriate we offer families the opportunity for their relative to donate organs.“In such circumstances we approach families to ask if their loved one would have wanted to donate organs.  When faced with sudden loss and grief we know that for families who have had that conversation and have talked about organ donation the decision making can be easier and less daunting when they know what their relative would have wanted.“It can bring great comfort to a family that we in the intensive care and transplant community can honour their loved ones wishes to become an organ donor and transform someone else’s life.“We are constantly humbled working with families of our donors who in the midst of tragedy find the strength to help others in need. They have our deepest gratitude and sympathy.”In 2017 Janet O Brien lost her son Luke O Reilly (20) tragically following an attack on Halloween night. Luke’s organs were donated and Janet says Luke lives on through organ donation. She said “I instinctively knew donation was what Luke would have wanted and I find solace in knowing my son has helped others.”Rebecca Maher’s daughter Matilda passed away when she was 8 months old. Matilda was born with a major heart condition and was too sick to go on the transplant list. Matilda became an organ donor and Rebecca says for herself and her husband Brendan “It has given us huge comfort to know that Matilda has saved somebody else’s life and the life of their family.”Karen Kelly is Josh’s mammy. Last year Josh, now 8 years old, was placed on dialysis awaiting a kidney transplant. Following a thorough testing regime, in Beaumont hospital Karen was confirmed as a suitable donor for Josh.Karen bravely donated her kidney to Josh. Her kidney surgery took place in Beaumont in October and on the same day Josh received his new kidney in Temple Street. Karen said “For me the hardest part was not being able to be with Josh during his surgery in Temple Street as I recovered in Beaumont Hospital.Josh is now a happy and healthy 8 year old and I am very proud to be an organ donor. I really want to reach out and support and anyone who may find themselves in similar circumstances and let everyone know how important organ donation is in saving and improving lives.”Since his double lung transplant in 2017 David Crosby has continued to run marathons across the world in honour of the donor who gave him the gift of life. He said; “My plans for 2020 were unfortunately put on hold but I am determined to keep on running and complete the Marathon super six series as soon as I can.“I would like everyone to know how important it is to share your wishes on organ donation. I will be forever grateful to my donor their family who saved my life.” he added.Organ donation continues to be a rare event; of 31,000 deaths each year in Ireland, we see an average of 80 multi organ donations per annum.The HSE and ODTI sincerely thank the families of deceased donors who at a time of great tragedy found the strength to offer a new lease of life to many people.For all the positive stories of successful transplant, sadly some patients do and will die each year while waiting for a transplant.ODTI and their extended team, remain committed to increasing organ donations and transplants and urge all, to have that conversation about donation and make their wishes known.  Having the conversation ensures wherever possible the loss of one precious life can be turned to benefit many others through donation. Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener Previous articleShannon Group statement on suspension of flights from Shannon Airport to and from the UK from 20th DecemberNext articleWeekly Racing News | As the Festive Season fast approaches Meghann Scully last_img read more

Foyle Ferry owner says he wants the service to return, but there are no…

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also Previous articleMcGowan & Connor to consider Harps postNext articleUpdate – Police release man arrested during investigation into dissident activity News Highland Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest Twitter Google+ Pinterest LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Twittercenter_img Facebook Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Foyle Ferry owner says he wants the service to return, but there are no guarantees News Facebook WhatsApp Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week By News Highland – October 14, 2013 There are questions hanging over the long term future of the Foyle Ferry service linking Greencastle and Magilligan after the owner of the company confirmed that it will no longer operate the Lough Swilly service linking Buncrana and Rathmullan.Foyle Ferry Company owner Jim Mc Glenaghan says the Foyle service no longer receives any subventions, and while there are campaigns for government funding on both sides of the border, so far no grants have been forthcoming.Jim Mc Glenaghan says while he wants to bring the Foyle service back, it must be profitable. In relation to the ending of the Swilly service, he says that decision is final………..[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/jimfoyleferryfuture.mp3[/podcast]last_img read more

Divers locate body of missing Colorado woman after she vanished in Malibu

first_imgMicroStockHub/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles police said they discovered the remains of a missing Colorado woman who vanished while visiting Malibu last week.Divers with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said they found the body of 30-year-old Jennifer Michelle Lorber during a search on Thursday morning. The remains were located about 225 yards away from the Malibu shoreline. A family member confirmed her identity with the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroners Office on Thursday afternoon.The sheriff’s office revealed the tragic discovery after her identity was confirmed.“Body remains recovered from earlier operation in Paradise Cove have been IDed,” the office said. “To the Family & Friends of Jennifer Lorber & everyone who assisted in the search, we hope you find the strength in the love of family & friends during this heartache.”Police have not disclosed a possible cause of death.Lorber disappeared after arriving in Los Angeles from Colorado on May 23. Officers said they found her rental car near the Pacific Coast Highway around 1 a.m. Sunday, but there were no signs of her.Witnesses said they saw her at a motel not far from where the car was found. Her family said she suffers from depression and last had contact with her around 11 p.m. Thursday.Anyone with further information on the case is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more