Sunday, March 30, 2008

Google Maps to show Zim election abuses

Sokwanele (”enough is enough”), the Zimbabwe Civic Action Support Group that is campaigning for freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe recently issued a press release. The release outlines how Google Maps is being used on their site to show where electoral code breaches (from gerrymandering and vote buying to abduction and murder) is happening.

Click here to check out the map. Below is the press release:

Sokwanele has mapped a sample of breaches logged under our Zimbabwe Election Watch (ZEW) project using Google’s map function.

The interactive map aims to give a visual impression of the scale and many ways in which the Zimbabwean government has breached the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. Elections are a process, not an event, and the same applies to rigging: the scene has been set for unfree and unfair elections on March 29th, and the conditions on the ground have been developed through many months of non-compliance with regional electoral standards.

The events and incidents mapped on the Zimbabwe Election Watch map represent a small sample of the breaches identified under the project since we started monitoring the government’s non-cooperation with regional standards in July 2007. All the information logged under Zimbabwe Election Watch is derived from media sources.

Zimbabwe has a highly restrictive media environment, and fuel shortages make remote rural areas inaccessible to those brave journalists who do manage to circumvent the repressive media legislation and attempt to report regardless. This naturally means that urban areas have a greater representation on the map. It also means that empty areas on the map may not indicate ‘uneventful’ areas; on the contrary, they are more likely to represent stories we are unable to tell and incidents that have not been reported.

The map is interactive: check and un-check icons to refine focus; click on icons on the map to read more; double-click anywhere on the map to zoom in on an area in Zimbabwe, and use your mouse to click, hold and drag on the map to pan to different locations.

Despite the fact the map is based on a small sample of information we have logged since July 2007, and despite the fact that our ability to gather a full picture has been curtailed by a restrictive media environment, the ZEW map clearly shows that conditions in the country are not conducive for free and fair democratic elections.

For more detail on the full range of breaches we have logged through the duration of the project, and more information on the SADC Principles and Guidelines, please visit the Zimbabwe Election Watch section of our website and explore the data through the database interface.

Sokwanele is a great resource to find out what’s really going on in Zimbabwe, so check it out. Click here to visit their blog, This is Zimbabwe.

thanks to Afrodissident for the information.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Carnival #20 over at Leftwing Criminologist

The twentieth Carnival of Socialism has gone live over at Leftwing Criminologist with a load of posts around themes of crime, criminal justice and socialism.

He points out that issues around crime are seen as the natural territory of the right and he feels that the left needs to put across its analysis on crime more vocally. This is very true, since the left are under the impression, or illusion perhaps, that crime disappears when workers have since seized the point of production. Yet, this isn't true. Just as sexism,racism,homophobia will not be extinct after the means of production have been socialized.

Thus, this is an excellent carnival going into discussions that are hardly discussed on the left, or arrogantly brushed off. Head over to Leftwing Criminologist and read what he has put together for our community!

Leftwing Criminologist

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Message from Assata Shakur!

New Statement from Assata!!

First of all, let me say thank you, to the many people who have helped me to celebrate my 60th birthday. Thank you for your beautiful birthday cards and for your warm and eloquent messages. Thank you for your activism, your radiant energy and most of all for your love. I am sincerely grateful for your support and for your commitment to social justice, truth and freedom.

It is somehow surprising for me to realize that I have lived on this planet for 60 years. I never imagined that I would live this long. Some of those years were very hard years, other years were happier, but I have never forgotten who I am or where I came from. For as long as I can remember, I was acutely aware of my oppression and of the oppression of my people.
In some ways it was easier for my generation. Racism was blatant and obvious. The "Whites Only" signs let us know clearly, what we were up against. Not much has changed, but the system of lies and tricknology is much more sophisticated. Today young people have to be highly informed and acutely analytical, or they will be swept up into a whirlpool of lies and deception.

Freedom, justice and liberty are words that are thrown around a lot in the United States, but for most of us, it is empty rhetoric. With each and every passing day the country becomes more repressive, the police more viciously aggressive and the so-called constitutional guarantees obliterated by scare tactics. The so-called ’Conservatives’ are only interested in conserving their privileges and power and helping their rich friends to become richer. Black ’Conservatives’ serve their "masters" and are basically interested in grinning, shuffling and ’Uncle Tomming’ all the way to the bank. This is the most corrupt administration that has ever existed. They have blatantly stolen not millions, but billions of dollars. They are actively seeking to preserve the old colonial order with a new face, where the oppressed people of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are expected to suffer happily, and sing praises to imperialism to the tune of the star spangled banner.

It is extreme arrogance to attack and occupy a country and expect its people to rejoice and lick your feet. Not even Roman Emperors were involved in such misguided conceit. The U.S. government has no right whatsoever, to force its undemocratic "democracy" on the rest of the world. I am 60 years old and I cannot remember a time when my people ever experienced true democracy. It is still the active policy of the U.S. government to use a wide variety of tactics to prevent poor people and people of color from voting. And when we do get to vote, our votes usually do not count. For the most part, there are no decent candidates to vote for, because the U.S, government is a "dollarocracy" where candidates have to beg and pander to the corporate rich in order to be elected.

I am 60 years old, and I have never in my life seen such widespread violence and cruelty. The U.S. government has more people in prison than any other country in the world, and it is now actively involved in creating prisons all over the world. Abu Gharib is only the tip of the iceberg. People all over the world are being imprisoned in secret prisons, with no formal charges being made against them. They are imprisoned under the most inhumane conditions, and detained for indeterminate periods of time, with no rights, no trials, and no justice whatsoever. In short, the leaders of this country are war criminals. All the U.S. government has to do is call them terrorists or extremists, enemy combatants or whatever and they can do anything they want to these people. I live in Cuba, and the Cuban people watch horrified, as the U.S. Army illegally occupies their land in Guantanamo and commits unspeakable acts of torture on their soil, in the name of "freedom." The U.S. government not only destroys the lives of people around the world, many mothers have cried because many of our young people have had their lives destroyed as well. I believe that this earth was meant for tenderness and not terror. The imperialist countries not only implement terrorist policies in the Third World, their actions also provoke terrorist activities and internal disputes between people. I believe that when Western governments learn to respect the sovereignty of Third world governments, and to offer solidarity and support rather that imperialist policies and exploitation, most of the world’s problems will be close to being solved.

Inside the belly of the beast, conditions are also disastrous. Most of the victims of Katrina are still waiting for decent housing and public services. Schools and hospitals around the country are either deteriorating or closing down. Around the country social programs to help poor and working people are mostly a thing of the past. Our young people are being marginalized, criminalized and brutalized. It is often an act of courage to go to school, or simply drive down the street. The U.S. government’s occupation of Afghanistan has produced a record increase of heroin production, and the "war on drugs" continues to be a war on poor people and people of color. The police brutality in our communities is not a simple matter of randomly "bad" cops. This government is more repressive than ever and more and more of a police state. When you have a trigger happy president, a trigger happy vice-president, a trigger happy office of homeland security, you are bound to have an increase of trigger happy police and many of our young people are bound to end up dead or imprisoned. The social policies of the United States have deteriorated from so-called benign neglect to malignant hostility or indifference.

The role the press and the media have played in all this has been increasingly malignant. There is no such thing as a free press in the United States. Journalists receive big salaries for telling "official" lies. The media both knowingly and naively became the vehicle for misinforming the people of the United States and convincing the people that it was "necessary" to go to war. Their "reporting" was based on outright lies. Now they "embedded" in the military, continuing to misinform the people, and distort the truth.

I am 60 years old and I am proud to be one of those people who stood up against the ruthless, evil, imperialist policies of the U.S. government. In my lifetime I have opposed the war against the Vietnamese people, the illegal contras – war in Nicaragua, the illegal coup in Chile, the invasion of Haiti and of Grenada, and every other illegal, immoral and genocidal war the U.S. government has ever waged. I have never been a criminal and I never will be one. I am 60 years old and in spite of government repression, in spite of the media’s lies and distortions, in spite of the U.S, government’s COINTELPRO Program to criminalize and demonize political opponents, I feel proud to count myself as someone who believes in peace and believes in freedom. I am proud to have been a member of the Black Panther Party although the U.S. government continues try to distort history and continues to persecute ex-members of the Black Panther Party. Just recently, the U.S. government has indicted and arrested 8 ex-Black Panthers in a case that was dismissed 30 years ago. The case was dismissed some 30 years ago when it became obvious that the most vicious forms of extreme torture were used to extract false confessions from some of the so-called defendants.

I am 60 years and it is doubtful that I will ever live to see my people free of oppression and repression. But I am totally convinced that our collective dream of freedom will some day be realized. I sincerely implore young people to develop their minds, to develop their skills, to expand their states of consciousness, and sharpen their abilities to analyze reality. Those Africans who conspired with the European slave trade to sell us into slavery were seduced by trinkets. I hope and pray that our young people will not continue to fall into the same traps. I have always loved my people and always loved our culture. The culture of my people has always been rich and always been filled with the seeds of resistance. I hope that young people hold fast to that tradition. I sincerely hope that all young people will have the courage and the wisdom to hold on tight to their humanity and their historical mission. Most people in the Americas, were either indigenous people whose ancestors were victims of genocide, or brought to this hemisphere as slaves, or came to this continent seeking freedom. I believe that it is our collective duty to make freedom a reality. I truly believe that it is possible to end oppression and repression on this planet. If we all see ourselves as citizens of this planet, and citizens of the world, it will be easier for us to save this planet and recognize the human rights of human beings around the world.

Much love, Much Solidarity,
May we all make freedom a reality,
Assata Shakur

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Women of Zimbabwe Arise - Stand up for Your Child

Women of Zimbabwe Arise or WOZA was formed in 2003 to fill a gap left by various NGOs, church organizations and political parties that left women nationwide voiceless on issues concerning women. It is derived from the idea that the women have common issues and the solutions to which are not to be found in political affiliations. WOZA was thus envisioned to provide a platform for women to use the power of their numbers to press for policies and programmes to solve current issues, not to gain political power.

One of the more recent campaigns being spearheaded by WOZA is the Stand Up for your Child. Flyers saying "Intando yakho, ivoti yakho, yikukhonona kwakho" or "Your choice, your voice your protest" and encouraging to "Be ready to stand up and be counted!" are being plastered in urban and suburban neighborhoods. The message as the WOZA website centered on encouraging Zimbabweans to vote and to vote wisely for candidates that will deliver a future for the children. WOZA has taken a position to mobilise Zimbabweans to vote for any candidate that they feel will deliver social justice rather than follow blindly party loyalties.

Recently, eight members of WOZA were arrested in Pumula Frida as they put up posters encouraging Zimbabweans to stand up for their child and vote in the upcoming elections. They were subsequently taken to the Pumula Police Station. They were interrogated as to why they were wearing t-shirts encouraging voting and about the Stand Up for Your Child campaign. They were warned to cease their actions and finally released after 30 minutes of questioning.

With elections looming, the wanton arrest and physical abuse of citizens, as well as sexual abuse on female citizens who were not campaigning for any political party, but merely encouraging people to exercise their democratic right to vote is obvious human rights violation and example of the instrumentalization of violence by the Mugabe regume. Nonetheless, WOZA continues to encourage Zimbabweans to be ready to stand up and be counted on 29 March.

For more on WOZA check out their website

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Real Human Freedom Not Fake Human Rights

Message from the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front

South Africa is said to have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. It enshrines the rights of every person, of every background, from workers and immigrants to women and homosexuals. As such you would think that, especially for people from oppressed groups, South Africa would be a safe haven.

But if you look a bit closer you will surely see that, despite all the rights we hold on paper, people living in South Africa are far from guaranteed a safe and enjoyable existence. Our so-called human rights, as enshrined by the constitution and gloated over by politicians, are violated on a daily basis.

Workers have the right to strike, but only if they first warn their bosses of their intentions and after they have exhausted all other avenues for addressing their concerns. Workers who decide to strike without first giving their boss a chance to hire scab labour, and even when they do - as we have recently witnessed with the excessive use of force by the SAPS on striking Samwu workers in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole (137 of whom were arrested and held over night after being shot at without warning) - are likely to be arrested, fired or violently attacked.

Workers do not have the right to decide what they produce and how they distribute it, and in what quantities, because everything that a worker produces belongs to his or her boss - the owners of the factories and machines, those to whom the workers sell their labour for a wage in order to survive. In the constitution workers do not have the right to take over the factories and occupy the land, in order to produce the goods they need to survive, because that would be violating another sacred right, the property rights of the bosses and land-owners.

Under capitalism, the economic system of the world, people are allowed by law to own, buy and sell private property. Those who can afford to buy property, be it a piece of farm land or a factory and its machines, very often use this property to enrich themselves from the labour of those who have no property, and thus have no choice but to work for a wage under the direction of those who have property. In this way the group of people who own private property - and it is a relatively small group - exploit the labour of those who do not own private property - a much larger group.

They get rich through the labour of the poor, simply for having already been rich enough to buy property in the first place; and their right to exploit the workers and poor is protected by the same constitution which protects the rights of the workers not be be exploited! Ironic, isn't it?

Similarly, the equal rights of women with men are written into the constitution and upheld by law, but, as recent events - such as that at Noord street - have once again shown, so too are these rights violated on a daily basis. Women in South Africa are not treated as the equals of men, they are harassed, abused, raped and degraded by virtue of the fact that they were born women. It matters very little to a woman who is beaten by her husband, or raped by a taxi driver, whether or not this is allowed under the constitution. What she cares about is not being raped, not being beaten. This is a security that cannot be guaranteed to her under the present capitalist system, because the same system that defends the rights of the bosses to exploit the workers, also relies on the patriarchal oppression of women by men, in order to keep the poor and working class divided from itself, thus unable to find the strength to challenge the system which protects the rights of the propertied classes at the expense of the workers, poor and oppressed minorities.

We anarchist communists believe that constitutional human rights mean next to nothing as long as we are living in a world which thrives on the violent exploitation of the masses by a ruling minority, a system in which the majority of the population - the workers and poor - are divided from each other by means of sexism, racism, nationalism and religion. We believe that, as long as we live under the threat of starvation and imprisonment, oppression and exploitation, our human rights will never be safe. It is impossible for the workers and poor, for women and oppressed minorities to live in dignity under capitalism. As long as there is a price on our labour, as long as we are under threat of attack because of our identifies, and as long as we live under threat of unemployment, hunger and disease, our rights to live with dignity and free from violence will never be realised.

Under such circumstances, in which we find ourselves today - as many of us did under Apartheid - the only way to live with dignity is to take up the fight against the system of capitalism, the system which defends the profits and property of the rich and powerful at the expense of the human rights of the exploited and oppressed. The only way to live with dignity is for us to live and struggle for a new system; a new world in which we are no longer divided, where there is no private property, and where we are all workers and in which we all have control over what we produce and how it is distributed, according to the principle "from each according to ability, to each according to need". A world in which, because we are all workers, and we all work for the benefit of our fellow human beings, we treat each other with the respect that each one of us deserves.

Capitalism cannot guarantee human rights for all, only real human freedom can guarantee and protect our rights, rights which are safeguarded by our belonging to an international community of free workers, not by writing them onto paper. If we had real freedom, there would be no need for the phony rights of the bourgeois constitutions of South Africa and other so-called democracies.

We are supposed to have the freedom of choice, but the only choice we have under capitalism is either to be exploited and oppressed, or to organise and resist. Anarchist communists have chosen to organise and resist, to fight for a better future, and in so doing to live and die with dignity. Join us.

-Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front

Thursday, March 20, 2008

ACTION ALERT! MOVE 9 Parole Campaign/New Petition!

MOVE 9 Needs Letters & Calls Now!

Time Frame: 2 Months

Phil Africa says that the MOVE 9 can really use letters and calls to the PA
Parole Board this month and next [February & March]. Letters supporting their
release can make a big difference. The Board will be having a hearing in
April. After THIRTY years, our brothers and sisters are finally up for parole.
If not given probation this year, they may all be forced to serve another
. They have almost completed their minimum sentence [of the 30-100 year

For supporters to brush up on the history of MOVE and the "MOVE 9," this
recent 45-minute talk by Ramona is great:

Purpose of Action;
This April parole hearing is SO important. Letters and calls to the Parole
Board now can really help. Phil is asking that folks send copies of their
letters to him. He wants to take a pile of copies of our letters to the hearing
as a show of public support.

What you should do now- Plan of Action

Letters and phone calls to the Board are needed NOW. Let's bring 'em HOME.
30 years is too much already, 70 more is unthinkable!!

It is probably a good idea for folks to send letters to each of the nine
Board members. The chairperson was appointed by Ed "1985 Bomber" Rendell so
don't count on her getting your message to the whole Board. Their individual
names are on this web page:

Letters can all be sent to this address:

[name of Board member]
Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole
1101 South Front Street, Suite #5100
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2517
tel: (717) 787-5699

Please send copies of the letters to Phil at:

William Phillips Africa #AM-4984
1000 Follies Rd.
Dallas, PA 18612


Let's bring them home where they belong in August 2008!


The MOVE 9 are innocent men and women who have been in prison since August 8, 1978, following a massive police attack on us at our home in Powelton Village (Philadelphia). This was seven years before the government dropped a bomb on MOVE, killing 11 people, including 5 babies. The August 8, 1978 police attack on MOVE followed years of police brutality against MOVE and was a major military operation carried out by the Philadelphia police department under orders of then-mayor, Frank Rizzo, whose reputation for racism and brutality is well known; it followed him up thru the ranks of the police department to the police commissioner's office to the mayor's office. During this attack, heavy equipment was used to tear down the fence surrounding our home, and cops filled our home with enough tear gas to kill us and our babies, while SWAT teams covered every possible exit. We were all in the basement of our home, where we had 10 thousand pounds of water pressure per minute directed at us from 4 fire department water cannons (for a total of 40 thousand pounds of water pressure per minute). As the basement filled with nearly six feet of water we had to hold our babies and animals above the rising water so they wouldn't drown. Suddenly shots rang out (news reporters and others know the shots came from a house at 33rd and Baring St., not our home, because they actually saw the man shooting) and bullets immediately filled the air as police through-out the area opened fire on us. Officer James Ramp, who was standing above us on street-level and facing our home, was killed by a single bullet that struck him on a downward angle. This alone makes it impossible for MOVE to have killed Ramp, since we were below street level, in the basement. MOVE adults came out of the house carrying our children through clouds of tear gas, we were beat and arrested. Television cameras actually filmed the vicious beating of our brother Delbert Africa (3 of the 4 cops that beat Delbert went to trial on minor charges). Despite the photographic evidence, the trial judge (Stanley Kubacki) refused to let the jury render a verdict and himself acquitted the cops by directed order. Nine of us were charged with murder and related charges for the death of James Ramp. Within a few hours of our arrest, our home (which is supposed to be the "scene of the crime" and therefore evidence) was deliberately destroyed, demolished, by city officials when they were legally obligated to preserve all evidence, but we were held for trial anyway. We went to trial before Judge Edward Malmed who convicted all nine of us of third degree murder (while admitting that he didn't have "the faintest idea" who killed Ramp) and sentenced each of us to 30 - 100 years in prison. Judge Malmed also stated that MOVE people said we are a family so he sentenced us as a family; we were supposed to be on trial for murder, not for being a family. It is clear that the MOVE 9 are in prison for being committed MOVE members, not for any accusation of crime. Three other adults that were in the house on August 8th did not get the same treatment as those that this government knows are committed MOVE members. One had all charges dismissed against her in September of 1978 with the judge saying that there was no evidence that she was a committed MOVE member when the issue was supposed to be murder. The second one was held for trial but released on bail; she was acquitted. The third one was held for trial with no bail, convicted of conspiracy and given 10-23 years; she was paroled in 1994. It is obvious that everything depended on whether or not the courts thought it was dealing with a committed MOVE member, court decisions had nothing to do with the accusation of murder. It has been 25 years since the August 8, 1978 police attack on MOVE, 25 years of unjust of imprisonment, but despite the hardship of being separated from family-members, despite the grief over the murder of family-members (including babies), the MOVE 9 remain strong and loyal to our Belief, our Belief in Life, the Teaching of our Founder, JOHN AFRICA. We have an uncompromising commitment to our Belief, which is what makes us a strong unified family, despite all this government have done to break us up and ultimately exterminate us.

It will take a massive amount of public pressure to force this rotten corrupt government to release the MOVE 9 and all political prisoners----What can YOU do to add to the pressure?


Debbie Sims Africa #006307; Janet Hollaway Africa #006308 Janine Phillips Africa #6309
451 Fullerton Ave.
Cambridge Springs, PA. 16403-1238

William Phillips Africa #AM 4984; Delbert Orr Africa #AM 4985
1000 Follies Rd.
Dallas, PA. 18612

Michael Davis Africa #AM 4973; Charles Sims Africa #AM 4975
P.O. Box 244
Graterford, PA. 19426-0246

Edward Goodman Africa #AM 4974
301 Morea Rd.
Frackville, PA. 17932

P.O. Box 19709 Phila., PA. 19143
610 499-0979

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Teacher Strike Ends, But Their Demands Don't!

Zimbabwe’s teachers, who were this week awarded huge salary increments, are now demanding new salaries of Z$10 billion a month warning that they would resort to more strike action to press their demands.

Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said the new government elected during the 29 March elections should brace for more crippling strikes from teachers.

“We should remain organised for action. We have new demands for the second quarter - April to June 2008. Our demand for the second quarter is Z$10 750 600 (officially about US$325 000 but a mere US$300 on the widely used parallel market).

“Whichever party shall form the next government after the March elections should brace for more strike action from teachers because we are still not happy with the increments,” said Majongwe.

Teachers were pleasantly surprised this week when they saw huge salary deposits into their bank accounts.

The lowest paid teachers now earns about $3.9 billion a month, a huge jump from the $500 million they earned last month while the highest paid teacher now earns about $5.7 billion a month.

Political analysts said the move to award teachers and other government workers huge salary increments, a few weeks before a key election, smacked of vote-buying tactics by President Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe government is desperate to placate hundreds of thousands of workers who are battling to make ends meet as they struggle with rampant inflation that at over 100 000 percent is the highest in the world. - ZimOnline

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Liberation politics and Internationalism

Welcome to Carnival of Socialism #19 on Liberation politics and Internationalism . If there are posts I've missed which relate to the topic, feel free to leave a link in the comments.


This carnival i wanted to highlight posts in the left blogosphere which not only hardly receive coverage in the mainstream media, but independent and left press as well. My only hypothesis is that since what we know of as the revolutionary left is mostly made up of comrades from Western countries, their focus tends to be on,well, Western countries.

Is it because there is no class struggle in Africa, Latin America or Asia? As the following posts show, it is certainly not the case. There is intense class struggle in Argentina, South Africa, Egypt and other "third world" countries. Is race, gender and sexuality second to economic class? Will racism, sexism and homophobia vanish when the last factory has been expropriated from capitalists and production, consumption and allocation is determined not by a small elite but by all? If not, why are some issues swept under the rug only to appear again or take center stage on certain Days or Months like Black History month or International Women's day. A rain coat only to be worn when the time is right, before being thrown in the back of the closet with the rest of your dirty laundry.

Not here, not no more.

I hope you enjoy this post and the links the comrades have worked hard to share to the world. If not all, check a few of the links out and drop a comment to the posters showing solidarity.

Now, let's get on with the show.

Race, Gender and Sexuality

Afrodissident wrote a revealing piece on the race toture going on at University of Free State in South Africa. Saying "For those of you who thought that the racist UFS [University of the Free State] student video was a storm in a teacup, think again. The Mail & Guardian has uncovered accounts of race-based victimisation, torture and intimidation at UFS residences. Much of this occurred during drunken initiation rites but it is clear from the article that day-to-day life for black students in formerly white hostels hasn’t been much better:".

Stroppy bird wrote a post on how, Mehdi Kazemi, 19, who sought sanctuary in Britain in 2005 when he discovered that his partner had been hanged in Tehran for engaging in homosexual acts, is expected to be returned to Iran in the next few weeks. Gay Uganda and Gay Nairobi Man both comment on this event and it's international impact.

Also, Diary of an Angry Black Woman wrote on Decolonizing Feminism. She states, "I think we need to think of ways to reframe how such women[Congolese] are positioned - not as helpless victims dependent on white or "developed" women over here but as powerful agents doing all they can to resist such oppressive forces and calling on those of us in privileged positions - whether in the U.S. or in Africa, middle-class or working-class - to join them in solidarity." Penny Red delivered a strong speech that she was nice enough to share to the blogosphere". There was recently released an an essay by Parvati, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and head of that party’s Women’s Department on Woman's leadership in Nepal's People of War. These selected posts highlight how race, gender and sexuality cannot be ignored by those fighting for liberation of all peoples. Which can be witnessed by the recent demo to protest the cut in funding to southall black sisters. Solidarity must be given to these people and groups.

A very public sociologist wrote a very penetrating piece on the economics of Ethiopian coffee. Last year around this time Ethiopia was in a heavy dispute with Starbucks over the beans it supplies. Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, wanted to trademark the names of three coffee-growing regions to force companies that sell its beans to sign licensing agreements and to gain higher prices for its produce. For at that time, the networth of a pound of coffee beans was $1, yet in America, the same pound of coffee would fetch for over $20. Phil BC states,"As long as production is subordinate to the market, as long as workers are not paid the full value of their labour power, superexploitation and one-sided development/underdevelopment will remain the lot of Africa. And no amount of consumption with a conscience will change that." View from Steeltown notes powerfully, "Capitalism cannot win the war on poverty. The notion that social reform and economic development under capitalism will someday overcome and eradicate poverty around the world is absurd. A system which creates vast and profound economic inequalities among people and nations, rewarding a tiny minority while leaving behind the vast majority, cannot, by definition, provide for the most fundamental needs of the majority". In addition, Socialist Banner has an interesting article on Migrating Capital. Ajohnstone posits that "Over and over again , workers learn the hard lesson that businesses exists to accumulate capital and will forever seek fresh pastures and new exploitation."

And learn they shall.

A strike and subsequent sackings at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) in Zambia have attracted widespread media focus on Chinese investments in extractives in Africa. On March 2, More than 500 workers at CCS staged a work stoppage to press for improved wages and conditions. Mine Watch Zambia provides an excellent resource of frequently updated news and events correlating to the Zambian mines.

Egypt has been a hotbed for working class action in Africa, and Northern Africa in particular. There has been alot of great activity in the last year, specifically the strikes and workers actions in the text tile industry. Hossam has been writing as well as posting vivid pictures of the strikes and protests going on in Egypt, such as the doctor's strike. Keep your eye on these North African countries for the next year or so. They are the more industrialized nations in Africa and are very critical for the revolution in Africa. Hossam has also issued A Call to Blogo-Arms to try to build up a definitive list of IST bloggers.

Latin America

One of the biggest topics in leftists discussion on Latin America is Cuba, Venezuela and Columbia. Venezeula and Columbia found themselves in a very tense standoff that evenutally cooled down. Renegade Eye, posted information how the accusation that FARC recieved $300 million from Chavez was false. Lonestone Revolution wrote a piece revealing how it is actually Columbian para-militaries and not FARC who are responsible for 70% of human right violations and how in that regard US is backing terrorism. Red Mantis claimed, "In some ways I am both baffled and not surprised at all to see the U.S. media campaign launched in support of Colombia." and goes on to unravel the chirade of US support behind Columbia in the Latin American crisis. There's a web of lies that need to be uncovered and Red Mantis and Renegade Eye both posted released information that the slain Columbian insurgent was having talks with US diplomats.

In regards to Cuba, Leftwing Criminologist made a very interesting statement. That in Cuba "the revolutionary conditions already existed, what was missing was a correct leadership. The leadership that Castro and his comrades gave did influence the direction of the struggle in Cuba dramatically, leading to an overturn of the dominance of capitalism in that country, but a movement led by the workers in that country would have been even more dramatic and fruitful." This was part of a larger piece on the role of the individual in history. The role of the individual is a big debate in leftist theory. Read the article as well as one on the Daily Maybe by Jim Jay and weigh in on it.

Tristen, a South African human rights organizer wrote a speech on Tibet and posted it on Contrary to Authority. He claims, "The situation in Tibet continues to deteriorate in regards to the basic human rights of the Tibetan people and the prospects for self-rule or independence are still remote."

Mike Ely, from the infamous 9 letters blog, posts frequent information the events in Nepal. He claims, "In Nepal, the anti-monarchy struggle and the peoples war has produced a situation where a broad range of parties have agreed to a “Constituent Assembly” — an extra-ordinary gathering outside the ordinary parliamentary framework to decide the future framework of Nepali society and government."

Middle East
SB news reported that"The electricity Workers in many locations had organized series of protest rallies, on Monday morning 4-2 - 2008 after giving a warning to the Ministry of electricity in case their demands were not met."

Sursock relays a report from BBC on young workers. The report claims, "Most of the children work unsupervised. Some wield potentially lethal tools and machines with no protective clothing at all."

Bahrain Youth Society reports, "A NEW law to control websites and radio broadcasting in the region has been attacked by Bahrain human rights organisations under a regional campaign. Thirty-four groups, including three from Bahrain, have rejected the law stating that it is against human rights because it imposes restrictions on freedom of expression."

The latest issue of Al-Manshour, Lebanon's leading left wing magazine, is available online (in Arabic).

Forward from Here
I hope I opened some comrades eyes to the international scope of liberation politcs, for those whom are already aware, I hope I cemented that fact. There's more blog posts that exist that i can cover, but my objective wasn't to report on every report. No, I wanted us to show solidarity to the working class and working peasentry the world over in their struggle for liberation and our collective pursuit for a classless, stateless society. Individually we are weak, but when we come together as a fist, we can knock down anything standing before us.

Put your fist in the air.

Power to the People

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chinese and Zambia in Collision Course

A strike and subsequent sackings at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) in Zambia have attracted widespread media focus on Chinese investments in extractives in Africa. The Chambisi Copper Smelter is at the heart of the African Economic and Trade Zone that was inaugurated by Chinese President Hu Jintao during his African tour in 2007. The smelter is a joint venture between China Nonferrous Metal Mining (CNMC) and Yunnan Copper Industry (YNCIG).The German company Norddeutsche operates in conjunction with the Chinese companies at Chambisi. Ord River Resources Limited, an Australian company, also has a stake in the venture.

China is about to invest another $300m into mining and manufacturing in the Copper Belt in top of the $900m previously invested, according to a recent announcement by the Zambian government. President of Mineworkers' Union of Zambia, Rayford Mbulu, says the Chinese have the worst safety record and pay the lowest wages. The average salary is 250,000 kwacha ($65) a month. In 2005 50 workers died in an explosion at a Chinese-owned copper mine nearby. In 2003 the smelter had to cease operation when 55 workers fell ill from poisoning.O

On March 2, More than 500 workers at CCS staged a work stoppage to press for improved wages and conditions. Reports stated that workers were earning as little as K291, 200 (US$78) per month and that Chinese management was allegedly not following Zambian labour laws. The following day workers rioted, injuring a Chinese manager and damaging property and Chinese managers were taken hostage. Later, Zambian workers set fire to a truck and a guardroom and damaged other property, which in turn caused Chinese management to fire 500 employees involved in the riots.

However, under intense scrutiny and tension, Chinese management reinstated the 500 workers. Yet, this action by management has not relieved tension but attracted widespread media focus on Chinese investments in extractives in Africa. The mines deputy Chief Executive says part of China's purpose in opening the mine was to help the local economy, but there is little sign of improvement in the township of Chambishi or in regards to the economic status of Zambians.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Strikes spread across Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean soldiers - given substantial pay rise

Teachers, nurses, doctors and civil servants have been taking industrial action since last Wednesday calling for an immediate review of salaries and benefits.

In the capital Harare, the strike has been compounded by the ongoing strike by council workers who downed tools last Wednesday, demanding a rise in their salaries.

The Public Service Association (PSA - affiliated to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) said its members were forced to take action after giving the government until the end of February to the review their wages. These local government workers are especially angry due to military and police personnel being awarded substantial salary raises and soft loans. Work at government offices have ground to a halt in the last week as staff were either taking 'go-slow' or full-blown strike action.

Meanwhile, teachers have gone on strike across all of Zimbabwe as the pro-government Zimbabwe Teachers Union (ZIMTA) joined the protests of the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ). The strike by teachers has effectively paralysed operations in schools across the country. PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said there was no going back on the strike unless the government capitulated to the union’s demand of a minimum of Z$1.7 billion salary for teachers, currently earning around Z$400 million.

Nurses and doctors have also joined the strike shutting down council hospitals and clinics across the whole country.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Girl Like Me: Complexion, Hair and Facial Feature Issues in African Community

A Girl Like Me is a 2005 award-winning documentary by Kiri Davis. The seven-minute documentary examines such things as the importance of color, hair and facial features for young African American women. It won the Diversity Award at the 6th Annual Media That Matters film festival in New York City, and has received coverage on on various American media sources, such as CNN, ABC, NPR. The documentary has been shown on HBO and is available, in its entirety, on The documentary was made as part of Reel Works Teen Filmmaking.

The video begins with interviews with Kiri and her peers about how 'black' features did not conform to society's standards of beauty. The next section was a repeat of an experiment conducted by Kenneth Clark in the 1940s where African-American children were asked to choose between black or white dolls. In the original experiment(s) the majority of the children choose the white dolls. When Davis repeated the experiment 15 out of 21 children also choose the white dolls over the black, giving similar reasons as the original subjects, associating white with being "pretty" or "good" and black with "ugly" or "bad". The dolls used in the documentary were identical except for skin colour.

My jaw dropped when i first seen this documentary a few years ago and had to spread it around. Not that I didn't know of these issues of the black community, but it's completely different when looking from the outside in.

I hope this video will have an impact on you as it did to me. If so, please spread this around and leave a comment!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism, No.8 now available

We are happy to finally announce the long-overdue publication of the eighth issue of "Zabalaza - A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism". Our organisation having recently undergone some changes, we hope to get back on track and to meet our goals of publishing Zabalaza twice a year.

In this long-awaited issue:

* Asgisa: A Working Class Critique
* S.A. Public Sector Strikes
* The 2010 World Cup
* Protests Against University Privatisation
* Introduction to the ABC
* Vigilante Farmers Want Refugee Camps
* Swaziland: The Assassination of Our Dear Comrade
* Europe, Africa and the Neo-Liberal Strategy of Co- Optation
* Fallacies of the Darfur War
* The Congo's Dilemma
* A New Guantanamo in Africa?
* Misrepresentation of Self-Management in the Caribbean
* Some Thoughts on Theoretical Unity & Collective Responsibility
* Clarity on What Anarcho-Syndicalism Is
* Towards an Anarcho-Syndicalist Strategy for Africa

Download the PDF here:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"I Can End Deportations" Video Game Release

Found this interesting post on the blog LeftSpot, please spread the word comrades. If you tried it out, let me know what you think.

I am very excited to announce the launch of Breakthrough's new free
and downloadable video game ICED - I Can End Deportation. ICED lets
you experience first hand the unfair nature of immigration laws on
detention and deportation.

You can be Ayesha, the Green Card holder, who was deported for a
school essay; or Marc, a Green Card holder, who fought for the
and ended up in detention.

Play the game, spread it far and wide, and visit the website for
action ideas. I encourage you to get involved in the campaign for
fair immigration laws. Because when we let the government deny due
process and human rights to some people, we put all of our freedoms

Warm regards,


Dear Friends:

After two years of hard work and lots of support from many of you, I
am pleased to announce that ICED is finally out. The game can be
downloaded at and we would really appreciate your
support in spreading this to your networks. We'd particularly be
interested in reaching out to youth groups and educators with the
upcoming curriculum. But please - everybody – download and play the

We've already started to get media coverage - here are a few links.
Thanks for all the quick responses for the Orange County Register

Extensive report on GameDaily:

and here's the version on AOL Latino:

Thank you again for all the support and input. I hope ICED will
contribute positively to our struggle for due process and human
in the United States.

Warm regards,

Mallika //