When I walked through the doors of the Shabazz Center for the Spirit of Mandela Tribunal that took place on October 22-25th, I was not greeted by police or any other capitalist/white supremacist security force. Instead, after checking in, I was greeted by brothers that felt like my dad, like my uncles, like my high school track coach or my barber. These men were the Zulu Warriors, brothers who had made the trek from Atlanta to Washington Heights to protect this sacred space for the weekend. Brothers who came to offer protection to the house that Betty Shabazz built, while those who strive to continue her husbands legacy worked upstairs to follow through on the mission of charging the US, once again, with genocide against it’s African and Indigneous captive nations.
Twenty years ago, when Tony Blair tried to restore something of the old militarism of empire, invading Afghanistan and Iraq with little understanding of what had once happened there, he did so with the words and music of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ echoing through his speeches. In like manner, the work of Niall Ferguson (Empire: How Britain made the Modern World, 2004) sought to revive the old imperial dream, and, for a moment, it seemed as though what was called ‘humanitarian intervention’ was going to usher in a new imperial era. Other distinguished historians were there to provide support: Lawrence Friedman, Andrew Roberts, Max Hastings – quite a cohort of armchair imperialists enjoyed a spring offensive.
The Biden Administration has chosen to echo the same propaganda claims against China that were made by Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both the Trump and Biden administrations are charging the Chinese government with the crime of genocide against a minority people, the Uighurs, in Xinjiang Autonomous Region in western China. This campaign coincides with an economic war with China, which includes tariffs and sanctions. It also comes as the Pentagon has announced a new military doctrine which prioritizes and prepares the United States with a war on China. What are the facts? Is China actually carrying out a genocide against this minority Muslim population? Or, is this one more demonization campaign waged by the US government against a targeted country in preparation for confrontation?
Xinjiang Province, China - Up is down. War is peace. And the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands have accused China of genocide. “This is forced labor, this is forced sterilization, this is forced abortions, …the kind of thing we haven’t seen in an awfully long time in this world,” declared then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. To be fair, the accusers are experts in genocide: the U.S. and its junior imperial partner, Canada, wiped out their indigenous populations. Today the U.S. is responsible for the three biggest human rights catastrophes in the world in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. And the Netherlands is just coming to terms with its massacres in Indonesia. Mike Pompeo’s successor at the State Department, Antony Blinken, is sticking with the genocide claim.
A report published by the United Nations in 2018 stated that by the year 2020 the Gaza Strip would be uninhabitable. It said specifically that, “the United Nations has stated that Gaza may well be unlivable by 2020.” The report emphasized also that “Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, drew attention to Israel’s persistent non-cooperation with the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. As with his two predecessors, Israel has not granted him entry to visit the country, nor the Occupied Palestinian territory.” Anyone who thinks that the Gaza Strip was liveable prior to 2020 is out of their mind.
As we head into what may be the most chaotic election in our lifetime, many people on all sides of the political aisle are reeling from anxiety and responding from a place of panic. With many of us on the left organizing for mass mobilizations and actions in the post-election season, we must make sure that we are doing so from a grounded place to ensure that we are not adding more panic to the world. To ensure this, we have to have some understanding of how panic and trauma work in our own bodies, and then see what we can learn from that about how trauma is working in our collective body...
My first contribution to Black Agenda Report was “Madame President? No, Madame Prisoner,” a profile of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza published in January 2014. Late Black Agenda Report Editor Bruce A. Dixon had asked me to write it after following my conversations with Victoire and other Rwandan dissidents for some years. Those conversations began in January 2010, when I looked into why no viable challengers to incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame were being allowed into that year’s presidential election.
The U.S. military command’s pushback against President Donald Trump’s attempt to use the military against people demanding racial justice has received a lot of good press. But let’s not overdo the praise. For most of their existence, the U.S. Armed Forces were racially segregated. It was only in the 1950s that the slow process of integration began, with racial discrimination still a major problem in the ranks today. While race has been widely discussed with respect to the composition and organization of the military, much less attention has been paid to the way racism has been a central feature of how the United States has waged its wars. The military is an institution of American society, and as such its origins and development have been centrally influenced by the political economy of U.S. capitalism.
Let us talk about the suicidal aspect. Ever since the US government turned its economy to the control of a "federal reserve" (which is not federal or government but private bankers), it had forfeited the control of its economy to what Eisenhauer warned about: "a military-industrial complex" [now we can add technological]. Between signing the federal reserve law and the support of the Balfour declaration and entry into WWI, the USA's future was set in motion of militarization, special interest lobbies, and a future of cycles of recessions that could only lead to economic collapse. With the military expenses spiraling out of control ( the Caesar law is actually embedded in the National "defense" authorization act), the US deficits mushrooms. The national public (government) debt is now $26 trillion and when you add private and corporate debts we have over $80 trillion total debts (much of it owed to foreign countries and individuals).
Andrea Circle Bear, of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation near Eagle Butte, S.D., was the 29th federal inmate to die due to the coronavirus in Bureau of Prisons custody. She was sentenced to serve 26 months. Circle Bear was being held at Tripp County Jail in South Dakota up until March 20. Then, because she was pregnant, she was transferred to Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. FMC Carswell is the only federal medical prison for women in the United States. (Indian Country Today, April 29). Upon her arrival, social distancing and quarantine measures for prisoners and guards were not deployed to prevent the spread of coronavirus until after the facility officer of the American Federation of Government Employees Local filed complaints about the minimal guidelines they were given.
Despite the Jerusalem Post calling the strip the “safest place in the world” because of its isolation, last Sunday it had its first nine confirmed cases. The virus started in Gaza when two infected men entered the country from Egypt after visiting Pakistan. The Hamas government, in response, has shut down restaurants, wedding halls and Friday prayers in the strip. Approximately 2000 Gazans have entered into self quarantine. Only kilometres away, across the militarised border in Israel, the number of sick has skyrocketed this week to 4,247 with 15 dead. Completely overwhelmed, the Netanyahu government is preparing for a complete shutdown, with non-essential travel already punishable by hefty fines. Life in the West Bank, where residents are long accustomed to enforced curfews and lockdowns, was brought to a halt...
For more than five decades, Colombian indigenous peoples resisted the power of warfare, refusing to abandon their land. When the peace agreement eventually passed in November 2016 many thought that the this would be the end of the violence. But two years later the threat to their lives and their culture hasn’t gone away. This be could be read as the introduction to the history of the Siona People, who are found at the entrance of the Colombian Amazon, in the Buenavista and Santa Cruz de Piñuña Blanco shelters.
(Toronto, Ottawa, Buenaventura) Protests are being organized across Canada and in 58 cities around the world on July 26 to demand an end to the wave of mass killings targeting human rights defenders and social movement leaders in Colombia. Organizers of the Toronto “July 26, walk for Life and Peace in Colombia” say there’s an invisible genocide taking place in Colombia. Violence against civil society has intensified at an alarming rate without effective action on the part of government to end the bloodshed. More than 500 social activists and 138 demobilized guerilla combatants have been killed since the signing of the Peace Accord between the state and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in 2016.
Jeffrey Ostler’s Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas, tells a complex, honest, and nuanced story of what overall and in many particular parts fits the UN definition of and the popular conception of genocide. So, of course, it is primarily a story of not surviving genocide, though I guess that would have been too much of a “Dog Bites Man” headline for any publisher. But parts of the story are of surviving. Some of the surviving is temporary.
After withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran last year and resuming sanctions last November, the White House in April announced that its goal was to “drive Iranian exports to zero.” To make this drive happen, the White House stopped allowing (my emphasis) countries like India, China, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea to import Iranian oil: dictating to sovereign countries whom they can trade with. The dictating doesn’t stop there. Last December the United States had Canadian authorities detain and imprison a Chinese executive, the chief financial officer of telecom company Huawei.