There is nothing left to do in the US but to organize and mobilize the masses. The US is a country made up of conservatives who are openly racist and imperialist, and liberals who are incoherent and inconsistent; only “inclusive” when it comes to upholding white supremacy and imperialism. They both give false hope to us, the colonized masses, lie after lie, broken promise after broken promise. We have come to see that the US has always resembled genocide, war, imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, and so many other cancers that we as the colonized masses are infected with. To be cured, to be free, we must rid ourselves of the tumors and infected areas of our body. Only through collective, protracted, and organized struggle will we obtain liberation.
The island was so central to Britain’s transatlantic slave trade system it was commonly referred to as ‘Little England’. Today, Barbados marks a defining break from 400 years of British rule. While there are still many challenges in overhauling all structures of governance inherited by the colonial system, Barbadians should be proud of this moment. Barbados has completed its transition to a republican system of government. From 30 November, which marks the 55th anniversary of its independence from Britain, Barbados’s head of state is no longer the British Queen. The word ‘royal’ will be removed from the names of its institutions, which will no longer bear the insignia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In her place, the tiny Caribbean island has its first elected president, Dame Sandra Mason, who represents the Barbadian struggle for self-determination and whose term won’t last a lifetime.
On the 8th of March, we commemorate working women, revolutionary women. Clara Zetkin, later a founder of the German Communist Party, proposed the commemoration in a conference of socialist women in 1920, to pay homage to the struggle of women against capitalist exploitation. We remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of March 26, 1911, in the US where 146 women textile workers were burned alive in a factory with the exits chained shut, assassinated by Big Capital. We commemorate the fight for social justice, for the rights of the working class, and the struggle against patriarchy and capitalism, which are inextricably linked. March 8 also stands out as a highly revolutionary date because of the events of 1917 in Czarist Russia when thousands of women came out into the streets demanding their rights, protesting exploitation and...
On a warm late February day in Santiago, I went to the grave of Victor Jara to pay homage to the man who was brutally killed on 16 September 1973. A theatre director, songwriter, and communist, Jara was arrested after the coup d’état against the socialist government of Salvador Allende. He was tortured and then murdered. At the rear of the Cementerio General in Recoleta, Jara was buried with other victims of the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. In 2009, Jara’s body was exhumed as part of the investigation into this murder and he was reburied a short distance away. On the original tomb in simple paint are the words el derecho de vivir en paz (‘the right to live in peace’). These words are from the title song of Jara’s 1971 album. The song, which opens the album, is an homage to the Vietnamese people, who were led by Ho Chi Minh in their fight against US imperialism.
The celebration of New Year’s Day as a moment to contemplate renewal, usually personal renewal, follows the calendar adopted by Julius Caesar in 46BC. Designed by Greek mathematicians and astrologers, its sole purpose was to attain greater mathematical accuracy in the alignment of dates to the solar year. In recent years, Antonio Gramsci’s column that was published on 1 January 1916 in the Turin issue of Avanti! has been circulated in progressive circles on New Year’s Day. In the column, Gramsci rejected the idea that New Year’s Day should be an annual day of renewal and insisted that “I want every morning to be a New Year’s for me. Every day I want to reckon with myself, and every day I want to renew myself.”
By Cecilia Gingerich for The Next System Project - We are in a time of deepening systemic crisis. Throughout the world, we see staggering levels of economic inequality, unchecked extractive behavior by corporate-dominated industries, overt attacks on civil rights, massive and ongoing violence against women and people of color, deteriorating democracy, heightened militarization, endless wars, rapidly advancing climate change—and the list goes on. Unfortunately, the system that has produced this crisis isn’t “broken.” In fact, the mounting challenges we face are to a large degree its natural byproducts and intended outcomes. Therefore, we cannot simply wait for the system to correct itself...
By Ahmed Shawki for Jacobin. After his visit to Africa, Malcolm began to argue that the black struggle in the United States was part of an international struggle, one that he connected to the struggle against capitalism and imperialism. He also began to argue in favor of socialism. Referring to the African states, he pointed out, “All of the countries that are emerging today from under the shackles of colonialism are turning towards socialism.” He no longer defined the struggle for black liberation as a racial conflict. “We are living in an era of revolution, and the revolt of the American Negro is part of the rebellion against the oppression and colonialism which has characterized this era,” he said. “It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a racial conflict of black against white, or as purely an American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiters.”
By Raymond Suttner for Polity - It is no exaggeration to suggest that the legitimacy not only of President Jacob Zuma and the ANC, but also the notion of the liberation struggle itself is in shreds. For some of us, it was unthinkable that such an alliance of forces could degenerate into a moneymaking, lawless and violent operation represented by people who were prepared to trample on the values that we understood the movement to embody. Certainly, this did not happen overnight. The process leading to the present state of affairs has been long in the making.
By Levi Gahman for ROAR Magazine - The story of the Zapatistas is one of dignity, outrage, and grit. It is an enduring saga of over 500 years of resistance to the attempted conquest of the land and lives of indigenous peasants. It is nothing less than a revolutionary and poetic account of hope, insurgency and liberation—a movement characterized as much by adversity and anguish, as it is by laughter and dancing. More precisely, the ongoing chronicles of the Zapatista insurrection provide a dramatic account of how indigenous people have defied the imposition of state violence...
By Rian Brown and Angela Peoples in Get Equal - Last week, we disrupted Hillary Clinton’s campaign event in Cleveland, OH, asking her to “divest from private prisons, invest in black trans women.” As representatives of Black Lives Matter and GetEQUAL our ask was strategic and intentional. Since Hillary Clinton makes equality for women a critical tenet of her campaign platform, we demand that Clinton -- and our own movement for black lives -- center the black transgender women so often left out of conversations about gender and racial equity. As cisgender Black women, we are fighting for our trans family: we understand that Black liberation means all Black people, and we resist the idea that anyone is disposable in our work. We are in a state of emergency -- the murder rate of trans women of color, particularly Black trans women, is higher than ever, with at least 20 women murdered since the beginning of 2015. Black trans women make up at least 13 of those killed -- in the state of Ohio alone, 6 trans women have been murdered since 2011.
Interview with Cornel West by Chris Hedges - Absolutely. Look at somebody like Ella Baker, who deserves so much more attention. She spends so much of her years, her later years, with the Puerto Rican independence movement with Albizu Campos and Oscar López Rivera, still a political prisoner today. She makes the connection between struggling against white supremacy in the States and struggling against U.S. colonialism on the island of Puerto Rico. So that critique of empire, white supremacy, always interwoven, always intermingling in the best sense. But I think in our day and time, though--and this is what this book is very much about; it's a love letter to the younger generation in our age of Ferguson and Baltimore and Staten Island and Cleveland and Oakland and so--and Charleston, North Charleston and Charleston. And what I mean by that is to say, young people, you are waking up in a magnificent way from your sleepwalking. But there's a magnificent tradition that constitutes wind at your back.
By Alicia Garza in Truth Out - Coming together across different ideologies, generations, geographies and experiences, participants in the Movement for Black Lives have the potential, the brilliance and the power to get free and to stay free. More than 1,500 Black people came together in Cleveland, Ohio, last week for the Movement for Black Lives convening. It was a gathering designed to bring Black people together across different fault lines in order to continue to solidify our vision, our purpose and our relationships with one another. The convening, which began on July 24, was an opportunity to ask ourselves the question of what a world would look like in which Black lives actually mattered - and not just some Black lives, but all Black lives.
By David Swanson - Yes, I also want to say Free Mumia. In fact, I want to say Free all the prisoners. Turn the prison holding Mumia Abu-Jamal into a school and make him dean. And if you won't free all the prisoners, free one who has been punished to a level that ought to satisfy any retributive scheme for any crime he might have committed. And if you won't do that, free him because he was put into prison by a fraudulent and corrupt trial that hid as much evidence as it revealed, and fabricated the latter. More importantly, Read Mumia. His new book is calledWriting on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and it includes commentaries by Mumia from 1982 through 2014. Mumia went ahead and made his prison a school -- a school in history, in politics, and in morality. And his own moral teaching is primarily by example.
By Setareh Baig in FSU News - Ehsaan helped inaugurate Transgender Liberation Front, a Tallahassee organization that advocates for transgender women, specifically women in color. They advocated and helped stop FL HB 583, which would have prevented transgender individuals from using the bathrooms of their choice. In April, she gave a TED Talk entitled "Trans Liberation in Communities of Color" to over 500 students on FSU's campus. "Be real with yourself," Ehsaan said. "Be what you want to be, and don't allow societal constructs to hold you back. If you want to wear a dress and still wear your beard, do that. Express your authentic self. Admit to the world who you really are and not who they want you to be."
Mya Hall. Aiyana Jones. Rekia Boyd. These are a few of the names that will be held up in Thursday's national day of action, slated to sweep at least 17 cities across the United States, demanding an end to "state violence against All Black Women and Girls," including those who are transgender. Organized by Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), Black Lives Matter, Ferguson Action, and numerous community organizations, the wave of protests come amid a growing nation-wide movement for racial justice that many are calling Black Spring. Organizers say now is a critical time to highlight the black women who are heavily impacted by police and vigilante violence—and who are at the forefront of organized resistance.