Police State in the Economic Crisis

What have we learned from the economic crisis? That we live in the the tightening web of a police state. That contingencies for this period have been put in place since the Clinton era. We kno that between Bill Maher, Arianna Huffington and Paul Krugman, the liberals continue to get it wrong. We kno that liberal politicians lack the resolve to put away the GOP, because that means liquidating their relationship to finance bankers who manipulated us into this crisis.

The liberal reactionary police state leaves us to ponder such philosophical questions as Eliot Spitzer. He was run out of office on ethics violations last year. So did the former governor and attorney general of New York spill the beans on the Federal Reserve because he got deposed or was he discredited in office to preempt his expose of the Fed? Spitzer recently said that the Federal Reserve is a “Ponzi scheme” that created “bubble after bubble” in the US economy and needs to be held accountable for its actions. Nobody can really say Spitzer is lying, but for millions of fence sitters, the ethics violations put him in a trick bag.

Another casualty of the financial crisis, hundreds of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) set up thru Fiserv lost over $1 billion from just three Ponzi schemes. One law professor said that tapping into IRAs “would be almost like running your Ponzi scheme through the police department.” Simple enuf, since the police remain busy arresting black Harvard professors for breaking into their own homes.

Police state, bitches. As in the arrest of  Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. As in the conviction and imprisonment of NPDUM organizer Ajamu Bandele. Or the execution of Oscar Grant on a BART platform. Police state, operating in a tightening web of economic foils and snags, designed to take down African people.

Some people shouldn’t even be able to own homes, let alone nice ones in blended communities. Because as the skyrocketing mortgage fraud pushes a new trend towards abandoned cities and homeless families the need for police increases. With only three percent of the world population and twenty-five percent of its prison population, the United States has anticipated the period of social turmoil headed our way.

Indeed, the Oreo prez blinks, wavers, swerves in a racist game of chicken, one gut check away from at least letting us think he thinks for himself. Skippy Gates, whose mission to “de-ghettoize black studies”, left himself as the only black scholar working on his project. But black folks kno why we came to his side when the pigs jumped him, and we will do it again. African people must no longer support neo-colonialism, yet we will always fight against racist, bloodsucking Imperialism.

Police state in the for-profit System. People get the opportunity to sue when it messes up your lives. That is supposed to provide a modicum of satisfaction. In a perfectly flawed System that eradicates our existence as social beings, suing cannot even be considered a form of reparative justice. You need to rise up. The ruling class knows that. You just aint copping to it. Wake up, people.

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Pt. II: Africa, Obama and AFRICOM

US President Barack Obama recently made a visit to Ghana. In his first official trip to Africa, he left a strong impression on the world. An analysis of his remarks and policies regarding Africa itself is in order.

We have Obama’s most hard hitting remarks: Africa should stop blaming colonialism for its problems; Africa should stop relying on foreign aid and do for self. We also have Obama’s policy, a continuation of Bush era militarism in the form of AFRICOM, the US Africa Military Command. This policy presents the most severe plan related to structural readjustment.

Of course a direct link to structural readjustment and AFRICOM cannot be suggested without understanding the economic challenges faced by African states. The relationship of these states to capital has alienated them from the masses. Nigeria and Kenya, for instance, have felt snubbed because Obama by-passed them. At the same time, these countries have governments whih have failed to move their societies forward in a way that reflects the best use of their own natural and social resources.

This is not to say that Africa has to develop along Western industrial methods. However, it does mean that certain infrastructure deficiencies from health care to water purification and agriculture have gone neglected. This contradiction prevails in nearly all African states.

Nkrumah is very instructive on this period. When he described neo-colonialism as the last stage of Imperialism, his critique was mainly confined to conditions in our Motherland. Yet we now have to apply that analysis to the United States and its relationship to the world. The current president was elected because of his mantra of “change”. Increasingly, we see Obama as rescuing all the most odious forms of US political culture: militarism, international finance, and expansionism. Which means he represents just a mere changing of the guard.

AFRICOM is a plan to place military bases in Africa. Now Obama has already made comments about US policy, in comparison to Cuba. In those comments he compared Cuba favorably, noting that Latin American leaders have stated that while the primary form of aid they receive from the United States is weapons shipments, they really could not survive without the medical aid and physicians that Cuba has sent them over the years. Obama expressed his intention on changing that imbalance.

Africa, being a destitute region, has its share of problems. Parasitic worms plague people; women daily walk miles to carry drinking and cooking water home to their families; war, rape and AIDS have intensified during the post-colonial era. It does not seem as tho AFRICOM can provide any answers for African people.

Some folks might point this out as a form of selective memory but, clearly, the black prez suffers from Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) as do many of his African counterparts.

The strategic importance of AFRICOM to the US does not concern the people of Africa, except to the extent that it will be imposed upon them. As an African born in America, my black consciousness is primary. It means more to me to see the rise of our people at home than the continuation of a durable Imperialism. The US continues to produce strong expressions of racism in media, in culture, economics and in politics. Police murders of blacks have become outrageous since the Obama election. Obama was elected because people, white and Latino and black, have become disgusted with the policies in American political life. Yet he has miserably failed to take any strident steps and turns away from this. His rhetoric often says one thing, as in the words he spoke to the Organization of American States, tho the policy continues to maintain the historical status quo.

Indeed, even his rhetoric often belies his genuine stance. Following his Ghana visit, Obama met with AIPAC (American-Israel Political Action Committee). Brother president did not tell them to stop blaming the Holocaust for their problems (?) nor did he suggest that Israel cease relying upon US foreign aid — which amounts to over half the US foreign aid budget — and do for itself. Still, that is what he said while in Ghana. Obama said Africans must stop blaming colonialism and begin to depend upon their own devices, even while pushing AFRICOM. His statements in Ghana are reminiscent of last year’s Fathers Day speech, wherein he castigated absentee fathers in the black community, while ignoring conditions like unemployment which cause social disintegration and black family instability.

While the US GDP is about $13 trillion, the current military budget is $969 billion. The US maintains 737 bases around the world. It seeks to ring bases around Africa (AFRICOM) to guarantee access to oil. By 2015, it is estimated the US will receive 25% of its oil imports from Africa, which has already become the main supplier to the United States. Other strategic resources that AFRICOM will defend include coltan, gold, platinum, diamonds, timber, agriculture, political allies and labor.
African does not need foreign troops on its soil. While Obama says stop blaming colonialism, he forgets how the former colonial powers have behaved in the post-colonial period. This involves the overthrow of Nkrumah, Azikwe, Tolbert and others. During this period, history records the overthrow and physical liquidation of Patrice Lumumba for the long-term destabilization of Congo for Imperialist interests. Agents killed Cabral, Neto and Mondlane in newly independent Portuguese colonies, severely the path of development for Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique, respectively. Apartheid South Africa waged war against neighboring countries and its black population right up thru the Nineties, routinely invading Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola.

The US has had its own sordid background in Africa, hunting down Somali President Mohammed El Aidid and flying vicious sorties over Mogadishu neighborhoods. The US has sent gunships to Liberia and Sierra Leone. CIA agents have played a role in many coups in Africa. The US benefits from the destabilization of DRC, backing the occupiers of Eastern DRC, Uganda’s Yoweri Musaveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. The effects of a US military presence are already obvious to anyone with a critical eye.

The solution for Africa’s problems is not AFRICOM. It is not foreign aid. It is in what Kwame Nkrumah stated and so tirelessly worked towards, the unification of Africa under a singular socialist state. That is not on the agenda for the majority of African leaders, who seek to maintain their despotic grips on power to control fiefdoms for Imperialism. Such leaders maintain the status quo, with Africa remaining a begging bowl ravaged by guinea worm, schistosomiasis, AIDS, war, malnutrition, rape, and ignorance. Cheik Anta Diop, John Henrik Clarke and other great historians had great suggestions for redeeming our Motherland from the chokehold of capitalism. We have to accept their advice to free our people.

When Obama attended the OAS conference a few months ago, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave him a book, Eduardo Galeano’s prosaic, polemic tour de force, The Open Veins of Latin America. Had Obama read it, that would signify the beginning of real change in the United States White House.

Flogging the Willie Lynches

Defeat Neo-Colonial Ideology!

An African patriot, a brother from the DR Congo, recently stated on his Facebook page that he had just crossed the James River (Virginia), where Willie Lynch supposedly delivered his infamous speech. This young brother, a steeled freedom fighter for the Congolese African people, has obviously been exposed to the mythology of the black middle class. Willie Lynch never delivered any speeches in Virginia on how whip crackers need to manage their slaves. Yet he did not kno this, and mistook the urban legend as fact.

Needless to say, this myth has been made famous by people like Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to name a few. Today, it is often used to explain the “self-inflicted” disasters within the ghetto, the African colony inside the United States.

The ghetto, as a colony or neo-colony, whichever you prefer, is a destabilized zone. Capitalism destabilizes class forces across the social spectrum.

This is the character of Capitalism. It destablizes the producing classes as a matter of policy, by creating dependency. At the same time, Capitalism destabilizes the middle class (petty bourgeoisie) because that class resides between the ruling class (capitalist class, or bourgeoisie) and the producing classes. African people produce everything society needs for its existence. We do not need the bourgeoisie or its managerial base, the middle class, but currently we maintain this relationship.

The Capitalist class is also currently experiencing widespread destabilization because of the currency manipulation by the international finance sector, the ones who have come out on top economically and politically. Before we panic at what has happened to the Big Three, the banks, and other business entities, we must see corporations as mere tools for concentrating capital (money) in the hands of as few as possible.

Of course, this accumulation of capital assets (land, mines, slaves, machinery, factories and money) began with two horrific, genocidal crimes, the Transatlantic African Captivity (the Maafa) and European settlements in North America (Turtle Island) and elsewhere. This became the origin of capitalist wealth as well as that of destabilization.

The Willie Lynch Speech reflects back to this period (1712, allegedly). Prof Manu Ampim has thoroly debunked Willie Lynch. He has showed how it is out of context with history, as well as submitting sources which lead Africans out of the self-absorbed fascination with their colonial identity and towards a genuine history of struggle.

Jelani Cobb and others have also debunked the Willie Lynch Speech as well. Willie Lynch is an urban myth. It came out of prolly the Seventies and was a middle class reaction to the Black Liberation Movement of the Sixties. Willie Lynch is just an excuse for people to hold onto the old ways Malcolm X, the Panthers and others have worked so tirelessly to vanquish.

There is no better antidote to the colonial mentality, if we may buy into Frantz Fanon, than a firm grasp of history, your accomplishments, the battles we have fought and the causes we have raised.

So the black middle class has no analysis of the financial meltdown and no scientific analysis of class relationships. Without an analysis of economics, how can Farrakhan or Jesse or Sharpton provide leadership? Farrakhan, for one, totally ignores the economic conditions inside our community, except for citing the mantra, “do for self”. Jesse and Sharpton cannot use Willie Lynch to define capitalism, unemployment, regentrification nor any other ill afflicting African people.

The black petty bourgeoisie as a whole cannot solve its own problems. Despite all their education, statistically, they trail white workers in stacking long-term assets such as real estate and retirement funds. Petty bourgeois ideas are inadequate for the purposes of an oppressed nationality. Neo-colonialism is an inadequate exchange for the liberation and unity of African people. Inadequate! The ideology of neo-colonialism keeps us locked in an unprincipled relationship to Capitalism, a relationship which needs to be broken.

Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) is the way AZAPO Cde Mongezi Sifika Nkomo has described the black middle class. That is a more accurate description and definition than Willie Lynch Syndrome. Here is how PAIDS is described:

…Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) …
A negro does not believe any other system will ever exist in our lifetimes.
A negro will never work for the Revolution.
A negro may try to convince you that capitalism is forever, that it cannot be destroyed, and that nothing better can possibly exist+
Negroes will work for Imperialism under any circumstances, and will work against the liberation movement in one way or another.

….PAIDS is the trouble with negroes.

Once people understand how alien is the profit-motive for African people, nay, all people, they will aim to break with Capitalism. The working class does not make any profit on its labor; that is impossible. Otherwise, there cannot be profits for the capitalist classes to distribute amongst themselves.

Thus, the question for African people is who shall we follow, our ne(gr)o-colonial leadership, or the revolutionaries who have striven against the Capitalist system? Those of us in the belly of the Beast must make a decision, whether to remain within the System and be digested and excreted thru its bowels or to forge resolute unity and come out thru its heart!

RIP: TAJUDEEN ABDUL RAHEEM

A GIANT IS LOST ON AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY

Firoze Manji

Pambazuka News
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/56535

25 May is Africa Liberation Day. What a day to learn the terrible news
that one of the leading proponents of Africa’s liberation – Tajudeen
Abdul Raheem – should be so tragically lost in a senseless car
accident in Nairobi. Messages have been pouring in from across the
world as we all fail to hold back our tears at this loss.

Tajudeen led Justice Africa’s work with the African Union since its
early days. He combined this with his role as General Secretary of the
Pan-African Movement, chairperson of the Centre for Democracy and
Development, the Pan-African Development Education and Advocacy
Programme, and was a fighter in the struggle to get the UN’s
Millennium Development Campaign to support meaningful programmes.
There was hardly a pan African initiative that took place without
Tajudeen’s inimitable presence, support, humour and perceptive
political perspectives. Quite how he managed to combine all of this
with writing his weekly ‘Pan African Postcard’ that were published
regularly in Pambazuka News and in several newspapers including The
Monitor (Uganda), Weekly Trust (Nigeria), The African (Tanzania),
Nairobi Star (Kenya) and the Weekly Herald (Zimbabwe), has always been
a mystery to us. You could always rely on Tajudeen to draw our
attention to the most significant aspects of the latest political
event in Africa – just as you could rely on him to provide guidance
and encouragement during hard times, restoring in us the courage for
the longer struggles ahead for emancipation of the continent.

Tajudeen’s departure leaves a massive hole in all our lives. We all
need to grieve the loss of this giant of a man. But if his life is to
mean anything, we must follow his call in the signature line of his
every email – ‘Don’t agonise, Organise!’

As part of our tribute to Tajudeen, comrade, brother and fighter of
Pan-Africanism, Pambazuka News invites you to send messages of
condolence and tributes, please send these to edi@pambazuka.org or
comment online at http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/56535

******
Also see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8067260.stm

Neo-Colonialism in the Racist US Police State

In this period of Obama-ite neo-colonialism, our colonial experience as Africans reminds us that we have previously traveled this road. To qualify this as a colonial experience clarifies the fact that African history does not begin with slavery or any relationship with Europeans. Therefore, any statements or feelings that the presidency of Barack Obama is in any way history-making or even “the end of racism” grossly misrepresents reality. It smears our role as a people in the vast interwoven social fabric that produces history thru COLLECTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERACTION.

So some racist ideologues continue to say that “your own people sold you into slavery”, and if it weren’t for slavery we could not enjoy freedom, etc. These views, all too often backed up by negro preachers and politicians at some level or another, derive directly from colonialist self-justification rather than any message that will liberate our people from the bondage of colonialism and Imperialism.

True, the seeds of ne(gr)o-colonialism took root when the first slatees received handfuls of beads in exchange for capturing their fellow Africans and selling them to white slavers. Hence, the guilt of neo-colonialism – beyond being an emotional game but embedded in a criminal activity – requires that the crooks engaged in this enterprise maintain their grip on the minds of a people sold out and eviscerated. In hand with slavery, neo-colonialism justifies Imperialism and obstructs our community from elevating critical issues like reparations, prisons, the war-of-drugs, health-care, and so forth.

It must be said that Obama is a neo-colonialist who speaks very differently from any prior US president. Obama seems to support the unions; he points out how Cuba’s relates to Latin America by sending physicians, while the US has historically sent weapons. If Obama wants to place a human face upon Imperialism, that will fail in the long run. He cannot dismiss any of the deep-seated hostility of a racist system, which presses down upon our community.

Thru out our colonial experience, those wielding power whose faces remain indistinguishable from ours have typically remained unable or unwilling to diminish the State monopoly on violence. Obama has yet to discuss critical issues relating to the State’s conduct in its operations, policies, and undue weight of forces on the black community. The apparent diluting effect of Obama-ite neo-colonialism, on the concentrated class question better known as racism, so far has failed to dilute anti-black police State repression.

For this reason, Africans must recognize the realities of Imperialism. The State continues to display naked aggression against the black community. Arizona’s Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio recently expressed his admiration of the Ku Klux Klan in a broadcast interview. This same official imposes the worst work camp conditions on detainees, and recently fired NBA law and order slatee Shaquille O’Neal.

Former US congressman turned Oakland mayor, Ron Dellums attempted to intervene in a demonstration protesting the recent police murder of Oscar Grant. Officers involved in the execution of Grant, a New Year’s Day reveler, in full view of scores of people on a BART platform, had remained at large. The State dragged its feet, despite more than ample footage captured by camera phone users, plus eyewitness accounts. For some reason, Dellums obviously believed that protests were uncalled for and people should never take to the street. Well, the demo turned int a rebellion when the mayor disappeared and the pigs moved in to arrest San Francisco Bay View activist/reporter JR Valrey.

Following that day’s uprising, the State finally arrested the trigger man, tho his two accomplices – who accessorized the crime by confiscating camera phones – have not been charged. Meanwhile, Valrey continues to fight charges for participating in a demonstration.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, another journalist, has spent 26 years on Pennsylvania’s death row for a wrongful murder conviction. He steadfastly continues to write about the plight of poor and disorganized working people. The State refuses to not only recognize his innocence, it refuses to review exculpatory testimony from witnesses, and ignores established legal precedents where Mumia’s rights have been violated.

One of two orgiastic statues on the Pennsylvania State Assembly

One of two orgiastic statues on the Pennsylvania State Assembly

Indeed, across Pennsylvania more political prisoners waste away in prison than in any other state. Maroon Shoatz has been on 23-hour lockdown since 1991. The MOVE Eight cannot receive a fair and lenient parole hearing for a crime that they did not commit.

A group of human rights activists traveled to Harrisburg on April 22 to discuss with state lawmakers the conditions that prisoners face inside the state prison system. These people complained of sons, friends and contacts who were on 23 hour lockdown, had urine and other contaminants in their food, denied medical attention, and subjected to other horrendous problems. Some of the lawmakers or their aides seemed concerned, while a few appeared nonplussed. In any event, the struggle for prisoner rights will not stop there, let alone the struggle for those wrongly convicted to serve as fodder for the Imperialist system.

These are the conditions which real freedom fighters face, and our community must not wait for anybody else to speak for these oppressed sisters and brothers. Four percent of the world population, the US accounts for 25% of all prisoners worldwide. Of that number, fully two-thirds are colonized workers, being Latino and African. Together, these two groups make up one-fourth of the US population. FBI crime states have consistently stated that crimes are committed fairly evenly across populations, meaning that white commit the same crimes at the same rate as anybody else, which means that white prisoners should out-number blacks or Latinos by eight-to-one. But they do not because law enforcement and the prison system are based upon colonialism and racism.

While any number of somebodies still need to justify the State by pleading for balance when conditions demand mass uprisings, that blind lady with the sword and scales comes from mythology. Our mistress for justice is Mama Assata Shakur, living in exile in revolutionary Cuba with a $1 million bounty on her head by this same injustice system.

Cuba, the embargoed country which sends doctors to Latin America while America sends guns. Cuba, a land where people took up arms and joined the fight against apartheid South Africa ten thousand miles away, while America deepens African oppression. Negroes want to become doctors and politicians not to help their own people but to help capitalism. Yet African people need revolutionary physicians, revolutionary politicians and journalists, and revolutionary thinkers and doers who will help liberate our people. We must not believe in neo-colonialism no matter how well it works; we must pick up on revolution.

Happy Birthday Greetings to MAJ from Subcommandante Marcos

via:  Greg Ruggiero

==============

Hi All–

I thought you would like this birthday letter written to Mumia ten years ago by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos spokesperson for the clandestine Mexican insurgent group, the Zapatistas. The original letter was written in Spanish. Both the English and Spanish versions were first published here in the books “Our Word is Our Weapon, Selected Writings of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos” and “Nuestra Arma es Nuestra Palabra.”

La lucha sigue!

va un abrazo desde Brooklyn,

Greg


Greg Ruggiero | Editor | City Lights Books | www.citylights.com

===========

Letter To Mumia Abu-Jamal

April 24, 1999

For: Mumia Abu-Jamal, American Union

From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, Mexico


Mr. Mumia:

I am writing to you in the name of the men, women, children and elderly of the Zapatista National Liberation Army in order to congratulate you on April 24, your birthday.

Perhaps you have heard of us. We are Mexican, mostly indigenous, and we took up arms on January 1, 1994 demanding a voice, a face and a name for the forgotten of the earth.

Since then, the Mexican government has made war on us, pursues and harasses us seeking our death, our disappearance and our absolute silence. The reason? These lands are rich with oil, uranium and precious lumber. The government wants them for the great transnational companies. We want them for all Mexicans. The government sees our lands as a business. We see our history written in these lands. In order to defend our right (and that of all Mexicans) to live with liberty, democracy, justice and dignity we became an army and took on a name, a voice and face.

Perhaps you wonder how we know of you, about your birthday, and why it is that we extend this long bridge which goes from the mountains of the Mexican Southeast to the prison of Pennsylvania where you are incarcerated unjustly. Many good people from many parts of the world have spoken of you, through them we have learned how you were ambushed by the North American police in December of 1981, of the lies which they constructed in the procedures against you, and of your death sentence in 1982. We learned about your birthday through the international mobilizations which, under the name of “Millions for Mumia,” are being prepared this April 24.

It is harder to explain this bridge which this letter extends, it is more complicated. I could tell you that, for the powerful of Mexico and the government, to be indigenous, or to look indigenous, is reason for disdain, abhorrence, distrust and hatred. The racism which now floods the palaces of power in Mexico goes to the extreme of carrying out a war of extermination and genocide against millions of indigenous. I am sure that you will find similarities with what power in the United States does with the so-called “people of color” (African-American, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Asians, North American Indians and any other peoples who do not have the insipid color of money).

We are also “people of color” (the same color as our brothers who have Mexican blood and live and struggle in the American Union). Our color is “brown,” the color of the earth, the color from which we take our history, our strength, our wisdom and our hope. But in order to struggle we add the color black to our brown. We use black ski-masks to show our faces, only then can we be seen and heard. Following the advice of an indigenous Mayan elder, who explained to us the meaning of the color black, we chose this color.

Old Don Antonio, this wise elder, died in these rebel Zapatista lands in March of 1994, a victim of tuberculosis which gnawed away at his lungs and his breath. Old Don Antonio used to tell us that from black came light and from there came the stars which light up the sky around the world. He recounted a story of a long time ago (in the times when time was not measured), when the first gods were given the task of giving birth to the world. In one of their meetings they understood that the world needed to have life and movement, and to have life and movement, light was necessary. Then they thought of making the sun in order that the days move and so that there would be day and night and time for struggling and time for making love, and the world would go walking with the days and nights. The gods had their meeting and made this agreement in front of a large fire, and they knew it was necessary that one of them be sacrificed by throwing himself into the fire and himself become fire and fly into the sky. The gods thought that the sun’s work was the most important, so they chose the most beautiful god so that he would fly into the fire and become the sun. But he was afraid. Then the smallest god, the one who was black, said he was not afraid and he threw himself into the fire and became the sun. Then the world had light and movement, and there was time for struggle and time for love, and while it was day the bodies worked to make the world and while it was night the bodies made love and sparkles filled the darkness.

This is what Old Don Antonio told us and that is why we use black ski masks. So we are of the color brown and of the color black. But we are also the color yellow, because the first people who walked these lands were made of corn so they would be true. And we are also red because this is the call of blood which has dignity, and we are also blue because we are the sky in which we fly, and green for the mountain which is our house and our strength. And we are white because we are paper so that tomorrow can write its story.

So we are 7 colors because there were 7 first gods who birthed the world.

This is what Old Don Antonio said long ago and now I tell you this story so that you may understand the reason for this bridge of paper and ink which I send to you all the way from the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

And also so that you may understand that with this bridge go greetings and embraces for Leonard Peltier (who is in the prison at Leavenworth, Kansas), and for the more than 100 political prisoners in the USA who are the victims of injustice, stupidity and authoritarianism.

And with this letter-bridge walks as well a greeting for the Dine (the Navajo), who fight in Big Mountain, Arizona against the violations of their traditional Dine religious practices.” They struggle against those who favor large businesses instead of respect for the religious freedom of Indian peoples, against those who want to destroy sacred grounds and ceremonial sites (as is the case of Peabody Western Coal Company which, without reason, wants to take the lands and the land rights, and the history which belong to the Dine and their future generations.)

But this letter-bridge has more than just stories of resistance against North American injustice. In the extreme south of our continent, in Chile, the indigenous Mapuche women in the Pewenche Center of Alto Bio-Bio confront stupidity. Bertha and Nicolasa Quintreman are accused of “mistreating” members of the armed forces of the Chilean government. There you have it.  An armed military unit with rifles, sticks, and tear-gas, protected by bulletproof vests, helmets and shields, accuse two indigenous women of “mistreatment.” But Bertha is 74 years old and Nicolasa is 60. How is it possible that two elderly people confronted a “heroic” group of heavily-armed military? Because they are Mapuche. The story is the same as that of the Dine brothers and sisters of Arizona—it repeats itself throughout the Americas. A company—ENDESA—wants the Mapuches’ land, and in spite of the law which protects the indigenous, the government is on the side of the companies. The Mapuche students have pointed out that the government and the company with the military intelligence made a “study” of the Mapuche communities and concluded that the Mapuche could not think, defend themselves, resist, or build a better future for themselves. Apparently, the study was wrong.

Now it occurs to me that, perhaps the powerful in North America carried out a similar “military intelligence” study (frankly, this is a contradiction, because those of us who are military are not intelligent, if we were we would not be military) about the case of the Dine in Arizona, about Leonard Peltier, about other political prisoners, about yourself, Mr. Mumia.

Perhaps they made this study and came to the conclusion that they might be able to violate justice and reason, to assault history and lose the truth, and that no one would say anything. The Dine Indians would stand by and watch the destruction of the most sacred of their history, Leonard Peltier would be alone, and you, Mister Mumia, would be silenced. ( I remember your own words: “They not only want my death, they want my silence.”)

But the studies were wrong. Happy mistake? The Dine resist against those who would kill their memory, Leonard Peltier is accompanied by all those who demand his liberty, and you sir, today you speak and shout with all the voices which celebrate your birthday as all birthdays should be celebrated, by struggling.

Mr. Mumia:

We have nothing big to give you as a gift for your birthday. It is poor and little, but all of us send you an abrazo—an embrace.

We hope that when you gain your freedom you will come to visit us. Then we will give you a birthday party, even if it isn’t April 24, it will be an unbirthday party. There will be music, dance and talk, which are the means by which men and women of all colors understand and know one another, and build bridges over which they walk together, towards history, towards tomorrow.

Happy Birthday!

Vale. We greet you and may justice and truth find their place.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, April of 1999

P.S. I read somewhere that you are a father and a grandfather. So I am sending you a gift for your children and grandchildren. It is a little wooden car with Zapatistas dressed in black ski-masks.

Tell your children and grandchildren that it is a gift the Zapatistas have sent you. You can explain to them that there are people of all colors everywhere, just like you, who want justice, liberty and democracy for people of all colors.

Letter To the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, USA

April of 1999

For: Mr. Tom Ridge

Governor of Pennsylvania

United States, North America

From : Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico


To the Magistrate and Governor

Dear sirs:

I write to you in the name of the men, women, children and elderly of the EZLN. Most of us are indigenous Mexicans and we struggle for liberty, democracy and justice.

The purpose of the following letter is to demand justice in the case of Mr. Mumia Abu-Jamal, condemned unjustly to the death penalty in 1982. As you know, the judicial process against Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal was plagued with lies and irregularities: the police who accuse him lied about a supposed confession of his, one of the witnesses has changed testimony and declared that he was forced to lie or face prison, the ballistic evidence has proved it was impossible that Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal fired the weapon which killed the policeman. This should be enough evidence for a new trial, but even this recourse has been denied to Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal. If the Judicial system of Pennsylvania and the governor are certain of the guilt of Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal, they should not fear a new trial which adheres to the truth.

I do not ask clemency, pardon, nor mercy from you for Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal. I demand justice, something which I believe is within your powers. No one within the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania or governor Tom Ridge has anything to lose. A new trial can bring the truth forward, and justice, supposedly, is all that should matter.

That is all. From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos




Check Langalibalele’s Political Journals I & II:
Mbantunyankompong
Kilombo Republic

Kilombo Republic II

Find Langalibalele’s Work also at these Sites:
Whispering Art
Urbanite Dweller
Umshini Wam
Afro Spear
My Train of Thoughts
Assata Shakur Forums


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WELL PAST TIME TO RAISE UP:
Stop the Police State Execution of
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!!!

Healthcare in the Capitalist Arena

The Foul Legacy of Profit-Making


Healthcare is one of the most important issues in US political and social culture. Tho a catastrophic condition will not likely strike most individuals during their working lives, for those who themselves or family members have crucial health problems  the matter of healthcare poses a concern.

Hospitals and nursing homes practices often leave many in the lurch. Profit making for healthcare institutions means that the bottom line means more than the old adage, “The customer is always right.” In this industry, people’s bodies have become commodities, and even if the quality of service is high, that nearly always depends on level of insurance as well as the condition for which they receive treatment.

For the most part, hospital workers remain overworked and underpaid. Short-staffing means that the institutions have nurses and aids serving more beds than is optimal. In some cases, the hospitals and nursing homes may even take more drastic measures.

In Pittsburgh, workers at two different healthcare systems recently filed lawsuits with the Department of Labor because they did not get paid for hours they worked. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) must appear in court as defendants of cases where they cheated workers out of pay:

“Court documents reveal employees of the hospitals deducted half-hour meal breaks out of their paychecks even if they worked through their meal times. The legal action filed also alleges employees were not paid for work performed before and after scheduled shifts and not paid for required training. Any employer who fails to pay employees for hours worked and does not allow for breaks as required by federal guidelines is in violation of U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) http://www.dol.gov wage laws. On Monday, a federal lawsuit for two former Pittsburgh Mercy Health System nurses was filed by their employment attorneys. The documents filed in court state the nurses were not paid for training and work they performed during meal breaks over a three-year period.” (Justice News Flash)

In a country where doctors typically graduate from medical $100,000 in debt, the finance world dominates even in education and medicine. Pressure to make high salaries and establish a practice ties them into a complex web filled with medical suppliers, pharmaceuticals, keeping apace with scientific advances, and their relationships with employers, patients and staff. Compare this with statistics that say doctors live an average of 55 years; profit making does not afford them time to care for their own health and fulfillment.

If one of the wealthiest segments of the population cannot find time to care for its own health, health professionals themselves, what does this say for the rest of us?

Even tho the average worker does not understand how the system of capitalism bases itself on their oppression and exploitation, nevertheless the level of dissatisfaction with the capitalist system continues to mount. With the present economic meltdown weighing heavily upon workers, the middle class and business, no workable alternatives for “weaning” people off of capitalism have become popular. People talk about weaning this country away from foreign oil, however the discussion about the evil of capitalism have yet to become serious.

For this discussion to become serious, the Left has to be courageous. Black Power advocates have to sharpen their line and push the Left. We must take on this role since the problems in our communities are sharper and deeper than in the white community. Imperialist exploitation and oppression concentrates on colonized peoples.

When the wealthiest sectors of the communities receive government giveaways, we have to push the Reparations question. When we see government merging with corporate finance institutions, we must form dual and competing political power. When the unemployment lines swell at the rate of 50,000 lost jobs per month, the time for shutting down capitalism thru strikes and plant takeovers is overdue.

What effective agitational components can we bring to unions and workers, to the churches and masjids, to community centers, small businesses and athletic associations? These are questions begging to be answered, if only the Left will first ask them. All power to the people, and Black Power to the Black Community!