The black residents of Ferguson, Missouri are governed by white police and they say it feels more like Gaza than America.
The people here don’t feel like they’re living in America’s heartland; they feel like they’re living in occupied territory.
The occupied land is small, virtually microscopic in comparison to the St. Louis metropolitan area. The neighborhoods off West Florissant Avenue, including the apartment complex where Michael Brown lived before he was gunned down by a policeman Saturday night, are where most of the city’s black population reside. Patrolling it is Ferguson’s police department of 55 officers, 52 of them white.
“It’s like the elephant in the room,” said Yusra, 45, of East St. Louis. “We are being occupied.”
“They say it’s the death of three men that started a chain reaction of death and destruction in Gaza,” she continued. “Will we as a people rise up like the people of Gaza? Will our community be bombed like last night with tear gas? That was a terrorist attack.”
Posing for a picture with a groups of friends, a line of riot ready police in the background, Miller Gardner held his hands in the air.
Initially reluctant to give his name due to his impending deployment for the Air Force, Gardner defied any negative repercussions that may come with him speaking out.
"It’s messed up they’re suited for war against civilians," he said. "I’m not on that side and I’m in the military. They need to come on this side of the line."
In a McDonald’s not far from Monday night’s protest zone, journalists gathered to sip drinks and use free WiFi Tuesday evening. As the national news broadcasts began, three young men sat down to eat, talking with a woman seated nearby. The topic of conversation is the only thing worth discussing here: Mike Brown, the cop who killed him, and the state of occupation.
“Will we as a people rise up like the people of Gaza? Will our community be bombed like last night with tear gas? That was a terrorist attack.”
“That’s the biggest problem of them all,” said Cory Black, one of the men inside McDonald’s. “We don’t even know who all these officers are who are patrolling our streets.”
Forget all the officers, most people here just want to know the identity of the one who took Brown down, setting off Sunday’s looting, Monday’s clashes, and a national scandal by Tuesday that even saw President Obama weigh in.
Black wore a hat with his surname, the A formed by a depiction of the African continent. With him were Tyrone McDonald, dressed in fatigues and hiking boots, and Robert Henry, his hat bearing a blacked out American flag, hanging upside down. Their militarized garb reflected the atmosphere: West Florissant is a war zone.
“They just started saying to get out of the street or they were going to start shooting,” McDonald said of Monday’s protests. “That’s exactly what they did.”
For the third day protesters and residents made their voices heard. At a morning protest in front of a police-barricaded St. Louis County Attorney’s Office. On the steps of the old courthouse in the shadow of the arch where Al Sharpton addressed a media horde. And finally, fittingly, at the QuikTime gas station, destroyed by Sunday night’s looting. The “QT” as its known is the heart of occupied territory. Yusra sat quietly there holding a sign.
Ambush somewhere near Donetsk. I’m not a big fan of images like this, but seeing one detail, decided to publish them. 2-3 Photos ‘Путин - хуйло ла-ла-ла-ла-ла’ favorite so
A micro-bus full of right sector Ukrainian volunteers drove up to an antifascist controlled checkpoint and got ambushed. The result is that they’re slaughtered. Let’s hope Dmirty Yarosh is one of the dead Nazi’s.
There were Russian anarchists who wanted to burn down art museums and I don’t necessarily agree with the idea, but it’s still cool and makes lots of sense. They saw museums and universities as reproducers of bourgeois values and that the only way to have a full revolution would be to destroy the…
The federal coordinator of the United Left (Izquierda Unida, IU) in the Spanish state, Cayo Lara, received Público just hours after the June 2 rally in support of a referendum [to decide whether Spain should become a republic] and with the European election results still hot news.
* * *
Over the last few days, IU has once again demonstrated that its fundamental principles are sacred, no matter what. Republicanism is its element, which is why it was so quick to react to the king’s abdication by demanding what many see as a basic democratic right: that the people should decide. Focused on the mobilisations in support of a referendum over what kind of state model for Spain, and with the European election results still hot news, Cayo Lara (born in Argamasilla de Alba, Ciudad Real, in 1952) yesterday received Público in his office in the Congress of Deputies.
The IU federal coordinator does not believe the results in the European election [10% nationally] were bad for his organisation, and if errors were committed, he has no problems in accepting them. His analysis of the vote in the Madrid region is one of caution—the Plural Left[i] came fifth—but he points to some of the factors that could have influenced the results: certain positions held by people within the Madrid federation who viewed 15M [the May 15 Movement, otherwise referred to as the indignadomovement] with suspicion, and above all, Moral Santin’s presence in Bankia[ii]. Lara says the ex-advisor to [former IMF director general Rodrigo] Rato “is not a comrade”, adding that everyone in IU should pay the price for what they do.
He is also not afraid to talk about Podemos. He welcomes their emergence “because they add to the left”, but he does not see building an alliance as an easy task. He does not like the term “political caste”, which “puts everyone in the same basket”, nor their “full-frontal attacks against trade unions” and recalls that the agreement with the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) in Andalusia was “democratically decided upon” by party members in Andalusia[iii]. He recognises the merits of the campaign carried out by Pablo Iglesias and his running mates, even if he feels proud of IU’s performance and does not believe IU lost votes to Podemos because, even if the programs are similar, that were not aimed at the same people.
Comrades! I have my radio show right now! Radio Internationale, begins 12-2pm PST (Every Monday). You can listen in on KUCI.ORG, and click on “listen now” on the top right hand corner. I shall remain on Tumblr&facebook while on air, so shoot me a message, call in, or request a song and I shall…
Pour caricaturer nos idées, on nous reproche de préparer on ne sait quel grand soir. Mais ce que nous voulons pour l’immédiat, c’est que la classe ouvrière redevienne une force politique pour pouvoir peser sur la vie politique en fonction de ses intérêts qui sont ceux de toutes les classes populaires.
Il faut que ce parti soit présent dans les grandes entreprises, dans les petites, dans les quartiers populaires, dans les lycées, dans les collèges. Ce n’est qu’ainsi qu’il pourra exprimer les aspirations de la population et en même temps, défendre l’idée d’un changement social véritable.
La bourgeoisie, le patronat sont représentés par une multitude de partis. Ces partis peuvent témoigner un intérêt plus ou moins grand, et surtout plus ou moins sincère, pour les travailleurs. Mais, une fois au gouvernement, ils mènent la politique que souhaite le grand patronat, comme on a pu le vérifier à travers tous les changements de gouvernement de ces vingt dernières années.
Alors oui, il faut que la classe ouvrière utilise sa force, c’est-à-dire son nombre et plus encore sa position irremplaçable dans l’activité économique, pour peser sur la vie politique et sur la vie sociale.
Mais, seul un parti qui n’a pas d’attache avec le patronat, qui n’a pas peur de s’en prendre au fonctionnement même de l’économie capitaliste, à la propriété privée des grandes entreprises et des banques, peut représenter avec conséquence même les intérêts les plus quotidiens du monde du travail.
C’était cela le rôle du Parti Socialiste au début de ce siècle, c’était cela le rôle que s’était assigné le Parti Communiste à sa naissance.
Mais l’exemple du Parti Socialiste et du Parti Communiste montre que les partis qui cessent d’être révolutionnaires, qui abandonnent la volonté de lutter pour la transformation de la société, deviennent des soutiens de cette société et des serviteurs du capital.
On ne peut agir dans le sens du simple progrès social que si on reste révolutionnaire.
Alors oui, il faut aux travailleurs un véritable parti communiste révolutionnaire !
When Kshama Sawant ran for a Seattle City Council seat in 2013, she campaigned as a candidate of the Socialist Alternative party on a platform of a $15 minimum hourly wage. Many observers scoffed that her politics and wage demand made the likelihood of victory scant. Sawant went on to win her seat — and on May 5, it was her turn to scoff.
When Sawant and her fellow Seattle council members were reviewing Mayor Ed Murray’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all private-sector workers, she wanted to give credit where it was due. Sawant told the hundreds packed into the council chambers that the plan materialized not because “business and politicians came from on high and delivered this but because workers demanded this.” Her supporters wore red T-shirts reading “15 Now.”
Just a slogan a year ago, it is now a plan of action in the nation’s 12th-biggest economic engine (PDF). On May 15, Murray unveiled a bill to make a $15 hourly minimum wage a reality. If it is passed, Seattle’s private-sector workers will eventually earn more than double the current federal minimum wage; an estimated 102,000 workers currently making less than $15 an hour will see their incomes jump in 2015, and many households will be lifted out of poverty.
Sawant and her party, instrumental in putting the issue on Seattle’s agenda, are now engaging in realpolitik, decrying the bill’s limits even as they call it a victory for the movement. Philip Locker, Sawant’s campaign manager, pointed to “serious weaknesses as a result of the political establishment catering to business” — such as allowing companies with billion-dollar annual profits such as Starbucks three to four years before they must start paying $15 an hour. But he maintained the movement “forced business to accept the highest minimum wage in the country.”
Sawant’s ascendancy has shown that being a socialist is no longer a liability in running for public office. More important, the $15-an-hour campaign has nurtured a model of grass-roots democracy that challenges the corporate-controlled political process. Observers expect the bill to pass by the end of May. If it passes, the win — though imperfect — will validate Socialist Alternative’s approach, swell its ranks and crack open more space for socialist politics in the United States.
Paul Kellogg’s review in Socialist Studies of my edition of the Communist International’s 1922 world congress raises two probing questions regarding the legacy of the Communist International (Comintern) in Lenin’s time.
First, he questions a long-held conception that the Bolshevik leaders initiated all the Comintern’s major steps in policy development. Second, he challenges the belief that the Lenin-era International represents a model or template for program and strategy in our time.
Kellogg, an experienced and respected Marxist activist based in Canada, is right on the first point. On the second, he takes a correct initial step but needs to engage with the substance of the Comintern’s strategic heritage.
Kellogg’s essay ranges far and wide. Much of it deals with the character of the October 1917 Russian revolution and the soviet government it created. The topics covered include the Polish-Russian war of 1920, the role of anti-Semitism in Soviet Russia, the Russian upheaval’s relationship to earlier bourgeois revolutions in Britain and France, and more. These questions require separate analysis. In this working paper, I will address instead the two questions related to Kellogg’s initial focus, the Comintern’s Fourth Congress.