At UN Session, US Empire in Decline and Global Solidarity on the Rise

Global Research, September 27, 2019

As the United Nations General Assembly conducts its fall session, Popular Resistance is in New York City for the People’s Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet. Themes of the mobilization are connecting militarism and climate change and raising awareness that the United States regularly violates international laws, including the United Nations Charter. These laws are designed to facilitate peaceful relationships between countries and prevent abuses of human rights. It is time that the US be held accountable.

The People’s Mobilization arose out of the Embassy Protection Collective after the US government raided the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC last May in blatant violation of the Vienna Convention to install a failed coup and arrested Embassy Protectors even though they were in the embassy with the permission of the elected government of Venezuela. This was an escalation of US regime change efforts – the coup failed in Venezuela but the US recognized the coup leader and started turning Venezuela’s assets over to him anyway. Members of the Collective sought to bring the message that it is dangerous for the world and a threat to the future of all of us if the US continues on its lawless path.

We participated in the Climate Strike on Friday where our messages about the impact of US militarism on climate were well-received. On Sunday, we held a rally in Herald Square and on Monday, we held a public event: “A Path to International Peace: Realizing the Vision of the United Nations Charter.” We need to build an international people’s movement that complements work the Non-Aligned Movement and others are doing to bring countries together that are dedicated to upholding international law and take action together to address global crises.

In front of the United Nations after the rally and march with our message. By Yuka Azuma.

The US Military is a Great Threat to our Future

We wrote about the connections between militarism and the climate crisis in our newsletter a few weeks ago so we won’t go too deeply into those details here. The US military is the largest single user of fossil fuels and creator of greenhouse gases on the planet.

It also leaves behind toxic pollution from burn pits and weapons such as depleted uranium (DU). The use of DU violates international law, including the Biological Weapons Convention. As described in David Swanson’s article about a new study, which documents the horrific impact of DU on newborns in Iraq,

“…every round of DU ammunition leaves a residue of DU dust on everything it hits, contaminating the surrounding area with toxic waste that has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the age of our solar system, and turns every battlefield and firing range into a toxic waste site that poisons everyone in such areas.”

The US military poisons the air, land, and water at home too. Pat Elder, also with World Beyond War, has been writing, speaking and organizing to raise awareness of the use of Per and Poly Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) by the military across the US and the deadly effects it has. Elder states that the military claims to have “sovereign immunity” from environmental laws. In other words, the US military can poison whomever and wherever it chooses without risk of legal consequences.

As scary as the climate crisis and a toxic environment are, another existential threat is a nuclear war. The US military is upgrading its nuclear weapons so it can use them. The US National Security Strategy is “Great Power Conflict” and the new National Security Adviser to Trump, taking John Bolton’s place, Robert C. O’Brien, advocates for more military spending, a larger military and holding on to US global domination. These are dangerous signs. How far is the US military willing to go as US empire clings to its declining influence in the world?

In “Iran, Hong Kong and the Desperation of a Declining US Empire,” Rainer Shea writes, “There’s a term that historians use for this reactive phase that empires go through during their final years: micro-militarism.”

Alfred McCoy defines micro-militarism as “ill-advised military misadventures… [that] involve psychologically compensatory efforts to salve the sting of retreat or defeat by occupying new territories, however briefly and catastrophically.”

Micro-militarism is on display in Venezuela, where the US has been trying for two decades to overthrow the Bolivarian Process without success. It is on display in US antagonism of Iran, a country that has never attacked the US and that upheld its end of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. When the US called for countries to join its escalation of military presence in the Straits of Hormuz, there was little enthusiasm from European allies. And when the US tried to blame the attack on Saudi oil refineries on Iran, even Japan refused to go along. Now, Iran is participating in INSTEX, a mechanism for trade that bypasses institutions controlled by the US.

Micro-militarism is manifested in the US’ failed attempts to antagonize China. With KJ Noh, we wrote an Open Letter to Congress, explaining why the Hong Kong Human Rights Act must be stopped as it will further entangle the US with Hong Kong and Mainland China, providing a foundation for US regime change campaign there. As China celebrates 70 years as the Peoples Republic of China, which ended over a century of exploitation by imperialists, it is in a very strong position and indicates it has no interest in caving in to US pressure. Instead, China is building its military and global relationships to rival US hegemony.

Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese at the People’s Mobe Rally. By Ellen Davidson.

Holding the US Accountable

Micro-militarism is a symptom of the ailing US empire. We are in a period where the US military and government behave in irrational ways, consuming US resources for wars and conflicts that cannot be won instead of using them to meet basic needs of people and protection of the planet. The US is blatantly violating international laws that make regime change, unilateral coercive measures (aka sanctions) and military aggression illegal.

The US is conducting economic terrorism against scores of nations through illegal unilateral coercive measures (sanctions).  In the case of Cuba, the economic blockade goes back nearly six decades since the nation overthrew a US-backed regime there. The US blockade cost Cuba $4.3 billion in 2019, and close to $1 trillion over the past six decades, taking into account depreciation of the dollar. In Iran, sanctions have existed since their independence from the Shah of Iran’s US dictatorship in 1979 and in Zimbabwe, sanctions go back to land reform that occurred at the beginning of this century. The United States is conducting ongoing regime change campaigns in multiple nations among them Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran and now Bolivia.

The US is also abusing its power as the host country of the United Nations by ordering diplomats out of the country for spurious reasons and curtailing the travel of diplomats of countries the US is targeting. This week, the US ordered two Cuban diplomats to leave the United States. The reason was vague, i.e., their “attempts to conduct influence operations against the US.” This undefined phrase could mean almost anything and puts all diplomats at risk if they speak in the US outside of the UN. We expect this is one reason diplomatic representatives from some of the countries that planned to participate in the Monday night event stayed away.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza was the first Foreign Minister to be sanctioned while he was in the United States on official business. Arreaza was sanctioned on April 25, just after he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly as a representative of the Non-Aligned Movement denouncing the US’ attempts to remove representatives of the sovereign nation of Venezuela from the UN.

On July 30, the US imposed sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarifsaying he was targeted because he is a ‘key enabler of Ayatollah Khamenei’s policies.’  Does that mean the Foreign Minister was punished for representing Iran? When Zarif came to the UN for official business this July 14, the US took the unusual step of severely restricting his travel,  limiting him to travel between the United Nations, the Iranian UN mission, the Iranian UN ambassador’s residence, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Traditionally, diplomatic officials were allowed a 25-mile radius around Columbus Circle. The US said Zarif “is a mouthpiece of an autocracy that suppresses free speech” and suppressed his freedom of speech in response.

As the United States becomes more brazen and ridiculous in its attempts to stay in control, it is driving other countries to turn away from the US and organize around it. There are growing calls for the United Nations to consider leaving the US and reestablish itself in a location where the US cannot sanction people for its own political purposes. Perhaps there is a need for a new international institution that does not enable US domination.

Civil society panel at the Path to International Peace event. By Ellen Davidson.

People are Uniting For Peace, Security and Sustainable Development 

The US’ actions point to the need for peace and justice activists to build an international network to demand the upholding the rule of law. Popular Resistance and its allies are contributing to the formation of that transnational solidarity structure through the new Global Appeal for Peace.

This July, delegations from 120 countries of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) united to oppose US policy against Venezuela and demand an end to sanctions as part of The Caracas Declaration.  NAM was founded in 1961 and the UN General Secretary described the importance of the movement highlighting that “two-thirds of the United Nations members and 55% of the world’s population” are represented by it, making it the second-largest multinational body in the world after the UN.

From August 29 through September 6, 38 countries and hundreds of foreign and local companies participated in Syria’s 61st Damascus International Fair despite the threat of US economic sanctions against corporations and countries that participated. The Damascus International Fair is considered the Syrian economy’s window to the world, re-started in 2017 after a 5-year hiatus due to the war against Syria. Despite a NATO bombing of the Fair in 2017, people kept coming and the Fair has continued.

Countries are also working to find ways around US economic warfare by not using the US dollar or the US financial industry to conduct trade. China is challenging the US by investing $400 billion in Iran’s oil and gas industry over 25 years and has added $3 billion investment in Venezuelan oil in 2019. Russia has also allied with Venezuela providing military equipment, and porting Navy ships in Venezuela as well as providing personnel. France has called on the EU to reset its relationship with Russia, and Germany and Russia are beginning to work together to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement.

The Global Appeal for Peace is uniting people to demand of our governments in their interactions with all nations – for the sake of world peace, international security and peaceful co-existence  – to respect the principles of the United Nations Charter and to follow and defend international law. The Global Appeal urges people to immediately join this initiative and help redirect the world toward an era of global stability and cooperation.

We seek to build a transnational movement that is multi-layered. People and organizations from civil society representing different sectors, e.g. laborers, academics, doctors, lawyers, engineers, as well as representatives of governments impacted by violations of international law by the United States, need to join together. The seeds of such a network have been planted and are sprouting. If this transnational network develops and the rule of law is strengthened internationally, we will be able to achieve the goals of peace, economic sustainability, and human rights and mitigate the impacts of a dying empire gone rogue.

Watch part of the People’s Mobe Rally here:

Watch the People’s Mobe March here:

Watch the “Path to International Peace” here:

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Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.

Climate Action Protests and “Extinction Rebellion” versus 5G Microwave Radiation

Global Research, September 23, 2019

On 20 September, hundreds of thousands stepped out onto the streets of the world’s cities to call for ‘Climate Action’. The great majority doing so, no doubt based upon genuine feelings of concern for the future of the planet and the stability of the climate. A concern that has its origins in a proclamation issued at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Out of which conference emerged ‘Agenda 21’, now updated to ‘Agenda 2030’, which declares the need to ‘transform the world by fully embracing sustainable development’.

In turn, Agenda 2030 forms the foundation for current Climate Action/ Extinction Rebellion calls for A Green New Deal to replace fossil fuel powered industries by renewable resource based energy providers that will lead to a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ and the lowering of CO2 emissions to levels arrived at by United Nations backed Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

To get to grips with how and why the present large scale actions are being fomented, by just a small number of very well prepared leaders, we need to go back to the first ever meeting of the Bilderberg Group in 1954 and particularly the subsequent 1968 meeting of Club of Rome organised by Aurelio Peccei, the prominent Italian industrialist and senior executive of Fiat.

Here the ground was laid for a plan to wrest control of world affairs into the hands of a small elite group of industrialists, bankers, lawyers, military strategists and royalty, who saw their role as being ‘keepers of the world’s environment’ and stewards of economic growth, coupled to a depopulation scenario and planetary management agenda involving a perpetuation of the hierarchical pyramid structure that would maintain  a controlling influence over the wealth of all mankind.

Justin Walker, a British Green, whose uncle was closely associated with Aurelio Peccei, recounts how, in 1972,  Peccei invited him to work in his office in Rome, stating that ‘it would be at a very exciting and challenging time’. Justin, editor of ‘New Chartist’, states in the present edition “His words were, and I remember them very well

We are creating a huge global environmental problem that will frighten people into wanting a World Government run by us.

Peccie then went on to elaborate as to how they were seeking to fund the research needed in order to unite the scientists who, in turn, would influence the national decision-makers into accepting this new scientific theory of increasing human-caused CO2 levels, triggering what has become known as Man-made or Anthropogenic Global Warming.”

I believe that this makes it abundantly clear that Greens (I use the term very broadly) are now under the direct influence of this corporate deep state vision.

The scale of naivety of the vast majority of those marching through the streets with their various takes on ‘stop global warming’ , is seriously concerning. But we should be in little doubt that a few hand-picked leaders of Climate/Extinction Rebellion’s call to ‘break the law on behalf of saving the planet’ do at least know who their backers are.

And when one joins the dots between the oft quoted ‘problem, reaction, solution’ agenda, favoured by the controlling hand of the deep state, it becomes clear that Aurelio Peccei and associates initially set-up the  ‘problem’ (already described above) which produced the anticipated ‘reaction’ – ‘Help, the World is warming!’  Followed by Al Gore’s ‘inconvenient truth’ (convenient untruth) ‘the Arctic is melting’ – ‘the world is cooking’ – ‘the future is dire’. And then the preplanned ‘solution’ arrived at by the United Nation’s IPCC, to prevent ‘a global disaster’ by holding atmospheric CO2  levels at less than 450 parts per million. A solution supposedly arrived at by consensus of government named climate scientists.

There is a further ingredient in the master plan for global control; the phased introduction of chaos. So that the Eye of Horus ‘order out of chaos’ story illustrated on the back of the green back dollar, can bring into reality The totalitarian New World Order.

The master-minders of Extinction Rebellion are very keen on the widespread disruption of day to day life. Its leaders call upon ‘rebels’ to break the law, through non violent mass protest, leading to the break-down of democracy and the state. As the UK think tank Policy Exchange notes “Celebrities, politicians and members of the public have been seduced into believing that Extinction Rebellion’s methods and tactics are honourable and justified, which clearly they are not.”

Amongst those at the forefront of the Green New Deal ‘solution’ (in Europe) are Green MP Caroline Lucas, DiEM 25 leader Yanis Verufakis and Gail Bradbrook, co-leader of Extinction Rebellion. Joining them is Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party and backers of the recently called ‘climate emergency declaration’ that activists have demanded authorities act upon.

Nowhere in the Green New Deal/Climate Action agenda is there any mention of the most blatantly human and environmentally destructive activities currently being fast forwarded on the planet:

  • the illegal roll-out of 5G microwave radiation;
  • the advancement of research, development and application of a new range of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and
  • the ubiquitous application of atmospheric aerosol geoengineering on a global scale. 

All three of which, if allowed to proceed unhindered, will have achieved the ‘extinction’ of much of this world’s essential sentient life long before any heavily hyped IPCC invented climatic factors even enter the picture.

In the photos that adorned the media mapping of the Climate Action Protests of 20 September, is one of a boy holding-up a placard reading ‘Save the Planet – End Capitalism’. The actions do, of course, particularly target the young, which includes children. Greta Thunberg’s massively media promoted appearance on the ‘quit school – save the climate’ scene, has assured this.

Children, who know not what the meaning is of most of the statements they hold-up for the eager media, have been pushed into the front-lines of this vast indoctrination exercise. It is an especially devious act on the part of the organisers. Everyone knows how children ‘go straight to the heart’ of the great majority of those who who do not discern or research the contents of what they are witnessing.

How many of those parents and children would ever guess that they are, tragically, being used by the inventors and protagonists of ‘sustainable development’, Agenda 2030 and Green New Deal, to usher-in a ‘zero carbon’ world of 5G driven treeless Smart Cities, driverless microwave-pulsed toxic cars and microwave irradiating satellite weaponry aimed at the blanket covering of every corner of the earth.

Why would this all-too-real/actual agenda play no part in the mass protest movements dominating the headlines to day?

The most successful means of achieving the ends one wishes to enforce in the 21st century, is via ‘silent weapons’ of mind control indoctrination – and the most successful weapons for achieving this are mobile phones, WiFi and an all powerful telecommunications system.

There can be no Extinction Rebellion without a smart phone over which to text the organising messages that drive the military like precision with which these events are conducted. No cool young ‘rebel’ is going to forsake their cancer causing cell phone for the future of the planet. Of that, the organisers are very sure. Yet, this is precisely what is called for. The ‘real extinction’ made possible by advanced microwave radiation weapons, constitutes the biggest threat to our survival at this point in the history of the planet.

It is this avenue – the one of non-ionising electro magnetic ‘control and conquer’ enacted upon all living beings 24/7 – that is set to bring into being the barren sterile world that climate change proponents see as the end scenario of the Global Warming/Climate Change event, so well devised and put into effect by the deep state cabal more than fifty tears ago.

We must all act together in ensuring this never happens.

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Julian Rose is author of  ‘Overcoming the Robotic Mind – Why humanity Must Come Through,   now available from Amazon and Dixi Books. See www.julianrose.infofor more information  www.julianrose.infoJulian is an international activist, writer, organic farming pioneer and actor.  In 1987 and 1998, he led a campaign that saved unpasteurised milk from being banned in the UK; and, with Jadwiga Lopata, a ‘Say No to GMO’ campaign in Poland which led to a national ban of GM seeds and plants in that country in 2006. Julian is currently campaigning to ‘Stop 5G’ WiFi.

Looking Back to Move Forward: The First Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algeria, 1969

Five decades ago thousands gathered in Algiers to recommit to revolutionary transformation around the world

Global Research, September 06, 2019

Fifty years ago this year from July 21-31, 1969 in the capital of Algeria, thousands of people gathered for a groundbreaking Pan-African Cultural Festival (PACF).

Official delegations were sent to the manifestation from over 30 independent and contested nations on the African continent. A strong contingent of artists, intellectuals, journalists and political activists from the United States were also in attendance.

This ten day extravaganza had been in the making for two years after it was mandated by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1967. The location of Algeria was significant in light of the protracted armed struggle waged against French colonialism by the people of this North African state beginning in 1954 and extending to 1961.

Algeria gained its independence in 1962 under the vanguard armed organization turned political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), whose charismatic leader President Ben Bella exemplified the emerging youthful and foresighted figures shaping the progressive currents within the post-World War II period. The formation of the Conference of Independent African States and the All-African People’s Conference in April and December of 1958 respectively in Ghana under the presidency of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, had laid the framework for the OAU, established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 25, 1963.

However, the African independence movements which gained strength after 1945 were not of the same political orientation. Ideological and philosophical divergence would surface based largely upon the class character of the individuals and organizations involved in the struggle.

Image on the right: Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algiers during July 1969 at the Afro-American Center hosted by the Black Panther Party International Section.

In many respects the PACF of 1969 was designed to emphasize the anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist character of the independence and post-independence movements and parties. The invitations extended to the African American delegates were based upon the notions of revolutionary Pan-Africanism and Proletarian Internationalism.

Just three years prior to the PACF, there had been a First Festival of the Negro in the Arts held in Dakar, Senegal convened in April 1966. The then President Leopold Senghor was an artist as well as a politician. He embodied the cultural philosophy of Negritude, which had been synchronized by Martinique-born Aime Cesaire through his poetry and discourse.

Dr. Frantz Fanon, also of Martinique, a French colonial territory in the Caribbean, had been influenced by Cesaire in his early years. Fanon, who was trained in psychiatric medicine in Lyon after fleeing the Vichy fascist regime on the island and later being enlisted in the Free French Forces, broke with the Negritude approach while working in Algeria during the revolutionary war of liberation.  Fanon would join the FLN and served the movement as a journalist and diplomat.

The Dakar festival of 1966 came in the immediate aftermath of the United States engineered military and police coup against the Convention People’s Party (CPP) government of Nkrumah in Ghana. If not widely known and appreciated at the time, the Festival was encouraged by the U.S. and the imperialist nations, particularly France, which had formerly colonized Senegal.

Subsequent revelations from the period documented the role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. State Department in selecting and shaping the character of the African American delegation which attended the Dakar gathering in April 1966. As far as the West was concerned, African culture should be celebrated if it is done within the social and political context of imperialist domination under the existing world capitalist divisions of labor and economic power. Senghor and the Negritude ideologues were committed to an independence policy that closely allied itself with imperialism. In essence it was anti-communist and rejected an ideological approach based upon historical and dialectical materialism.

The African American intellectual and cultural imagination had been heavily intertwined with yearnings for a return to the homeland on the continent. The early institutions formed by Africans in North America during slavery were reflective of this phenomenon. A cursory examination of this history points to the African Baptist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Free African Society, etc. Emigration back to Africa and other geo-political regions of the globe was a recurrent pattern in the intellectual and political culture of the formerly enslaved people of the Americas, North and South.

Consequently, the role of writers, artists and other involved in intellectual work was of concern to the colonial and neo-colonial powers based in the West. The ideological struggle within the cultural spheres was a hallmark of the two Congresses of Negro Writers held in Paris in 1956 and Rome during 1959. African and African American public intellectuals such as Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Frantz Fanon, Leopold Senghor, Aime Cesaire, Horace Mann Bond, J. Price-Mars, George Lamming, Cheikh Anta Diop and others participated in these conferences to debate the place of culture in the liberation process. (See this)

A striking limitation of the First Congress in Paris in 1956 was the absence of women making any significant intellectual contribution. African American artist Josephine Baker who lived in Paris was recognized as a patron of the gathering. There are existing photographs of women in attendance in France.

This omission of women’s involvement in the discourse was recognized and commented on by African American novelist and essayist Richard Wright.  Chirstiane Diop, the wife of Presence Africaine journal founder and Congress architect Alioune Diop, was key organizer of the events, however, she remains obscured in regard to intellectual contributions to the confab. Wright, the then Paris-based author, stressed during the Congress:

“I don’t know how many of you have noticed it – there have been no women functioning vitally and responsibly upon this platform helping to mold and mobilize our thoughts. This is not a criticism of the conference, it is not a criticism of anyone, it is a criticism that I heap upon ourselves collectively… In our struggle for freedom, against great odds, we cannot afford to ignore one half of our manpower, that is, the force of women and their active collaboration. Black men will not be free until their women are free.” (See this)

An outcome of the two Congresses of Negro Writers in Paris and Rome was the founding of the Society of African Culture (SAC). The U.S. component, known as the American Society of African Culture (ASAC), would later become embroiled in controversy due to reports of funding and manipulation by the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department. (See this)

Black Power, Black Panthers and the Casbah

Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algeria during July 1969 with joint press conference hosted by the Black Panther Party and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

At the opening parade of the PACF on July 21, there was an impressive display of cultural expressions from throughout the continent. Delegations from the Republic of Guinea-Conakry, Congo-Brazzaville, Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the Southwest Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) and many others marched through the main thoroughfares of Algiers.

Although Fanon had passed away from Leukemia at the age of 36 in 1961 at a hospital in the U.S., his writings had gained monumental influence during the mid-to-late years of the decade. African American radicals and revolutionaries viewed his book “The Wretched of the Earth” as the subtitle suggested, A Guide to the Black Revolution Sweeping the World Today.”

The Black Panther Party by July 1969 was under severe attack at the aegis of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the Justice Department. Hundreds of its cadres were indicted and imprisoned on largely trumped up criminal charges. Other members were assassinated or driven into exile including Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver.

Cleaver was a well-known best-selling author by 1968. His book “Soul on Ice” had generated enormous attention by the literary community and the general public. The articles and essays which made up the book had been written and some were published while he was an inmate at Folsom Prison in California.

After observing the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (BPPSD), its previous name, led by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, confront police officers on the streets of Oakland he committed himself to the organization. He played a leading role in the Black Panther newspaper while at the same time serving as a contributing writer for Ramparts, a left-wing magazine which opposed the U.S. war in Vietnam and supported the Black Power movement.

As a result of the police shooting which resulted in the death of 17 year old Bobby Hutton in Oakland on April 6, 1968, Cleaver was jailed for several months. After being released, he was charged with violating his conditions of parole and threatened with being imprisoned again. All the while in the same year, he was nominated to run for president on the newly-formed Peace and Freedom Party ticket. After the 1968 elections, rather than be incarcerated, Cleaver fled the U.S. to Canada and then Cuba. He remained in Cuba for several months and was later invited to Algeria to open up an International Section for the BPP in the capital of Algiers.

According to the recollections of his then wife, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, formerly of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), who said:

“I’d met Eldridge Cleaver, the information minister of the Black Panther Party, at a student conference on black liberation held in Nashville over the Easter weekend of 1967. We fell in love and by Christmas we were married. In late November 1968, Eldridge fled imprisonment in the wake of a gun battle between Black Panthers and Oakland police, and by the time I set out to join him I was seven months pregnant. Determined to be with my husband when our first child was born, I headed off for Havana, but discovered en route that the place we would meet was Algiers instead. Half a year after his clandestine departure from the United States, Eldridge Cleaver, celebrated author of Soul on Ice and fugitive revolutionary, was enthusiastically welcomed to Algiers on the eve of the Pan-African Cultural Festival.” (See this)

The Panthers through their propaganda declared that they were the vanguard of the Black Revolution in the U.S. Others organizations and entities had also recognized them as such. Their widespread coverage in the national news media began in May 1967 when they marched on the California State Capitol building in Sacramento with arms to protest the debate surrounding the Mulford Act, which would ban the public brandishing of weapons. The bill was targeted against the Panthers and the African American community in general. Later in October of the same year, Newton would be wounded, arrested and charged with the gunning down of two white police officers, one fatally, in Oakland. An international campaign demanding his release gained currency across the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia.

Growing media attention, the rapid growth of the organization nationally during 1968 and the frequent clashes with law-enforcement agencies in various cities, contributed to the notion of the Panthers opening up an armed struggle against the state. The organization emerged during the advent and growth of urban rebellions led predominately by African Americans during the period of 1964-68.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the Algerian government would invite the BPP to open up an office in this North African nation. During the PACF of 1969, an “Afro-American Center” was set up on a major thoroughfare in Algiers where posters of Newton, Cleaver and other Panthers were on prominent display along with the art work of Minister of Culture Emory Douglas.

Kathleen Cleaver in the previously cited article went on to note that:

“On July 17, every seat inside la Mutualité, the auditorium where his press conference took place, was filled. Students, revolutionaries, Arabs, Europeans, Africans, and Black Americans all applauded Eldridge’s arrival, acknowledging his presence in Algiers as a symbolic triumph over America’s racist power. I felt electricity surge through the crowd when I walked onto the stage with Eldridge and his interpreter who translated his words into French. The charisma and authority in his voice, added to his imposing physical presence, brought an unexpected element into the excitement generated by the upcoming festival. Being in Africa, for him and the entire movement he represented, held deep significance for our fight for black liberation within America.”

Image below: ALGERIA. Algiers. Pan-African Festival. North Africa. ALGERIA. Algiers. 1st Panafrican Cultural Festival. Stokely CARMICHAEL (Leader of the Black Power) and Eldridge CLEAVER (a leader of the Black Panthers). Hotel St. George. Wednesday, July 23, 1969

Nonetheless, there were sharp ideological and political divisions that had surfaced in the BPP during 1968-69. Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) had initiated the Black Panther independent politics concept during his field operations in Alabama in 1965-66. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) was formed during this period as an independent political structure outside the framework of both the Democratic and Republican parties. The Black Panther was utilized as the symbol of the LCFO.

The successes of the organizing work in Lowndes County and other areas of Alabama set the stage for a statewide Black Panther Party as early as the beginning months of 1966. This approach to organizing attracted the attention of other activists across the U.S. resulting in the formation of several Black Panther organizations in various cities such as New York, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. Obviously these efforts influenced Newton and Seale along with others in California to set up separate branches of the Black Panther Party in Southern and North California. By 1968, the Newton and Cleaver grouping had declared dominance and became known as the “official BPP” on a national level. Carmichael, the former Chair of SNCC, H. Rap Brown (now known as Jamil Al-Amin), James Forman and others were drafted as leading officials in the Oakland-based BPP during 1967-1968. Carmichael was appointed as Honorary Prime Minister, Brown as Minister of Justice and Forman given the title of Foreign Minister, since he had served as the first International Affairs Director for SNCC after May 1966.

However, disagreements and misunderstandings arose in 1968-69 leading to the former SNCC leaders departing from the BPP based in Oakland. Carmichael sought to publically distance himself from the Panthers and issued a letter of resignation which was published on July 4, 1969. For the previous six months, it was announced by his then wife Miriam Makeba, a world famous singer and concert performer from the-then apartheid South Africa, noting Carmichael and her had relocated to the Guinea-Conakry.

In evaluating these schisms in the Black Panther movement it is imperative to take strong consideration of the FBI’s counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) which devoted enormous resources aimed at destroying the BPP along with other radical, revolutionary and even more liberal and moderate organizations. The BPP was infiltrated by informants from the federal government, local law-enforcement agencies and even military intelligence.

The aim of the COINTELPRO operations directed against the BPP were to frame leaders for criminal offenses; to provoke violence between local police agencies and the Panthers; sew divisions among the organization and other groups to the point of violence; and to destroy the credibility of the Panthers and other revolutionary groups among African American youth, community members and within the organization itself prompting disaffection and demoralization. (See this)

Carmichael and Makeba were in Algiers for the PACF. Makeba’s stunning performance in a concert at the Festival was well received by the audience. Carmichael met with Eldridge Cleaver during the period in which he and Makeba were in Algiers. Later Cleaver would issue his own public letter to Carmichael suggesting that his resignation came a year to late and that he was not up to the job of serving in the leadership of the BPP.

Other African American cultural, journalistic and political forces were in Algiers for the PACF. A concert was delivered by saxophonist and Jazz composer Archie Shepp where musicians such as pianist Dave Burrell, trombonist Grachan Moncur III, Alan Silva on bass, Sunny Murray on drums, Clifford Thornton on cornet and poet Don L. Lee (later known as Haki R. Madhubuti) contributed on stage along with Tuareg percussionists and vocalists. A report on the Archie Shepp concert based upon a documentary film on the PACF directed by William Klein, recounted the words spoken by an African American poet at the opening of the performance which emphasized:

“’We are still Black and we have come back. Nous sommes revenus [‘We have returned’]. We have come back and brought back to our land, Africa, the music of Africa. Jazz is a Black Power! Jazz is a Black Power! Jazz is an African Power! Jazz is an African music! Jazz is an African music! We have come back!’ proclaimed African American poet Ted Joans as he stood before an audience in the overcrowded streets of Algiers, Algeria, at the First Pan-African Cultural Festival in July 1969. He continued the poem, emphasizing his French phrases to ensure the largely Francophone African crowd would understand him: ‘Nous sommes revenus. Nous sommes les Noirs Americains, les Afro-Americains, les Africains des Etats-Unis. Mais, le premier chose, nous sommes Africains.’ [‘We have returned. We are Black Americans, Afro-Americans, Africans of the United States. But foremost, we are Africans.’]1 Next to Ted Joans was an animated and commanding Archie Shepp, pacing across the stage playing his saxophone. Riding over and through Shepp’s melodies were the rhythms of the Algerian Tuareg musicians who stood nearby, beating at their drums. The audience responded with uproarious applause and spurred on what was to become a classic jazz recording, Archie Shepp’s Live at the Pan-African Festival. Shortly after the performance, Shepp was interviewed about the experience by the Algerian national newspaper, El Moudjahid. He described the moment’s meaning in personal and political terms: ‘In my opinion, jazz is the music of all the long-lost Africans in America.’” (See this)

Social Scientist and journalist Dr. Nathan Hare attended the PACF and wrote an extensive article published in the first issue of Black Scholar released in November 1969. Hare had been hired as the first Chair of a Black Studies Department established at San Francisco State College (SFSC) in 1968. A protracted struggle over the independence of the department and other issues impacting African Americans, Chicanos, Asians and radical whites resulted in the longest student strike in U.S. history.

After the resignation of two presidents at SFSC and the appointment of Japanese American academic S.I. Hayakawa, Hare was terminated from his position as Chair of Black Studies in early 1969. Later the same year after attending the PACF, he along with Robert Chrisman and Allen Ross, started the Black Scholar journal.

Musicians Nina Simone of the U.S. and Oscar Peterson of Canada attended and performed at the PACF. Julia Wright, the daughter of legendary novelist Richard Wright then living in Paris, aligned with the BPP as the director of the Afro-American Center in Algiers.

Algeria, Africa and Pan-Africanism Today: 2019

Looking back on the First Pan-African Cultural Festival of July 1969 raises questions related to the status of national liberation, anti-capitalism and revolutionary transformation at the conclusion of the second decade of the 21stcentury. Since 1969 many of the liberation movements which participated in the PACF have won their independence.

There have been the socialist-oriented policies enacted over a period of years from the 1960s to the 1980s in Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Benin, Guinea-Conakry, Somalia, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Ghana, Mali, etc. These policies ranged from the nationalization of industries, expulsion of U.S. and other imperialist military bases, formations of self-help collectives, state-owned farms, the creation of import substitution firms aimed at reducing demand for foreign products, founding mass organizations concerned with the plight of women, youth, workers, intellectuals and artists.

The continuing domination by international finance capital of global markets involving the extraction and pricing of commodities, ownership of the means of production, the deliberate destruction of ecosystems impacting water supplies, agriculture, livestock and technological innovation, hampers the capacity of African states to achieve sustainable development. A crisis in European socialism beginning in the late 1980s and resulting in the collapse of the COMECON sector, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), a civil war fueled by imperialist interventions in the former Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia and its dissolution, has had negative consequences for African Union (AU) member states from the perspective of having narrower access to alternative terms of trade different from those of the West and the political support provided to progressive governments on the continent.

Nonetheless, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the last 40 years emerged as the second largest economy in the world. This has been done under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) which took power in this Asian state 70 years ago.

At present Beijing has greatly expanded its political and economic relations with Africa. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been in existence for two decades holding periodic conferences where agreements are discussed and ratified.

State-run Chinese publications run articles on a regular basis dealing with African affairs in addition to various aspects of relations between the PRC and AU member-states. China on principle refrains from intervention in the internal affairs of African governments. All military and intelligence operations are conducted in partnership with the respective administrations.

In contrast the U.S. has intensified its military and intelligence programs in Africa. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was formerly launched in 2008 under President George W. Bush, Jr. This separate structure focusing exclusively on the continent, its islands and waterways, was strengthened and enhanced under the Democratic administration of former President Barack Obama. Since the assumption of office by President Donald Trump there has been almost no change in Washington’s approach to Africa. AFRICOM remains on the continent building air strips, training national military forces in purported counter-terrorism preparedness, establishing drone stations for the purpose of surveillance and offensive strikes on targeted organizations, the monitoring of waterways under the guise of preventing piracy in order to allow the ostensible free flow of goods through strategic shipping lanes.

Algeria in 2019 has been characterized by large-scale demonstrations by students and professionals demanding reforms related to the electoral process and allegation of financial corruption. Former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, ailing and ageing, was forced from office due to political pressure from demonstrators.

There appears to be a predominant emphasis on ending corruption and FLN control of the state by the demonstrators without any definitive alternatives being proposed. Of course, North Africa and other regions have witnessed the mass demonstrations in Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria in 2010-11. However, these protests and general strikes have not changed the fundamental class relationships domestically and internationally within countries where they have occurred and beyond.

If the workers, farmers, youth, revolutionary intellectuals and artists are to learn anything from the so-called “Arab Spring” events of 2010-11, it is that there is a distinct demarcation related to rebellion and revolution. The term revolution is utilized in many cases to signify civil disorder, mass protests and the occupation of space critical to the maintenance of the status-quo. Understanding this profound distinction one could hardly argue that transformative revolutionary processes have taken place in Egypt and Tunisia.

If there is any confusion related to Cairo and Tunis, it would have to be crystal clear based upon an objective assessment of developments emanating from the rebel attacks, CIA interventions, Pentagon and NATO bombings and the imposition of western-backed pliant regimes in neighboring Libya. The actual counter-revolution against the Jamahiriya in Libya exemplified by the blanket bombing of the country for seven months from March to October 2011; the assassination of longtime leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi; several failed attempts to concoct United Nations mandated regimes; and the funding of militias allied with the CIA, makes an irrefutable case that imperialism is only capable of causing instability, massive carnage, population displacement and the fostering of further rightward political culture in the leading centers of the capitalist world.

African unity remains on the agenda of the AU through its regular summits and permanent commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There is the 2063 Agenda which in theory is aimed at the complete integration of economies, cooperation on various political fronts along with the creation of an effective African Standby Force. During 2018-19, there was the launching of an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which furthers the AU agenda by committing in principle to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to economic exchange among African states.

Despite these laudable efforts, as this author wrote in another article earlier this year (2019):

“Nevertheless, the presence of western military forces within AU member states represents the antithesis of the progressive and revolutionary currents of Pan-Africanism emanating from the First All-African Peoples Conference of December 1958 in Ghana right through to the armed resistance phase to colonialism, the founding of the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor to the AU, and the burgeoning class struggle against a comprador elite propped up by international finance capital. Under the present circumstances, the imperialists are firmly positioned to stifle any economic development planning, which views the dominance of the world capitalist system as the major obstruction to Africa making a decisive turn in the direction of its rightful trajectory towards continental unification based upon the interests of the majority of its people.” (See this)

As it relates to the plight of Africans in the U.S., there has been the expansion of representation within municipal, state and governmental legislative structures over the last 50 years directly stemming from the gains of the Civil Rights, Black Power and Pan-African movements. A person of African descent, former President Barack Obama, was elected to two terms of office in 2008 and again in 2012. Notwithstanding this symbolic victory over institutional racism which is still quite prevalent in the 21stcentury in the U.S., the fundamental conditions of African Americans, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, women and other oppressed and working class people has in fact worsened.

The foreign policy negative effectuation of the Obama presidency proved disastrous in regard to the prosperity and well-being of Africa. The destruction of Libya and a concomitant destabilization of the entire North Africa region have led to the human trafficking of millions. This African, Arab and Asian migration tide across the Mediterranean, compounded by the overall lethargy of the world capitalist system, has fueled the rise of neo-fascist parties and politicians in Europe as well as the U.S.

Obama took no specific policy initiatives to improve the social conditions of African Americans who as a result of the Great Recession beginning in 2007, lost more than half of their household wealth through foreclosures, job losses, the decline in real wages and the rapid gentrification of urban areas. Police and vigilante killings of African Americans under the Obama administration sparked several limited rebellions along with mass demonstrations against this genocidal violence, coined by the corporate media as the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Absent the consolidation of anti-racist sentiment which arose during the period of 2013-2016, the character of the struggle remains largely spontaneous. In the U.S. today there is nothing remotely resembling the BPP or SNCC. The political imperatives of the African American people are rudimentary in relationship to the building of mass and vanguard organizations whose objectives are the revolutionary uprooting of national oppression, gender discrimination, capitalism and imperialism.

These subjective weaknesses among the nationally oppressed and proletariat by no means guarantees the stability of capitalism. The imposition of tariffs by Washington against the PRC and other states is a reflection of the uncertainty of the future of imperialism as an exploitative system. Bourgeois economists are predicting another recession originating on Wall Street. The question becomes: what will the U.S. ruling class and capitalist state do in response to this inevitability?

The massive bailout of the capitalist system from 2008 to the present to the tune of $10 trillion or more in resources has drained the capacity for much needed rebuilding of infrastructure and the lifting of social wages for the nationally oppressed, farmers and the working class as a whole. Rising annual federal deficits provide an ominous preview to the potential collapse of governmental agencies rendering them incapable of responding to environmental catastrophes and a potential for the rapid rise of unemployment and poverty.

Africans in the U.S. and around the world have virtual no alternatives to revolutionary organization and the seizure of political power on an international scale. The lessons of the PACF of 50 years ago portend much for this contemporary crisis.

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Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of Pan-African News Wire. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

All images in this article are from the author; featured image: Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algiers during July 1969 showing the FRELIMO delegation at the opening parade.

Mona from the Corner: Set Aside Political Differences, Converge in Harmony for Truth and Justice

Global Research, September 05, 2019

She’s a little lady, 70 something, with this cute, addictive smile. Drives an old bomb of a car, replete with Peace and End the Occupation type stickers on it. She’s a nurse, still works, doing home care for very ill folks with that special Mona type TLC.

I first met her at a progressive discussion event my friends and I organized back in ’03.

Many of us were disgusted with the government’s hog wash version of 9/11 and the insuring illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. We wanted to rally our community (those few who took the time to really care about such things in ’03) to speak out. Tiny, quiet Mona joined our monthly group of concerned citizens, acknowledging her ‘lack of depth’ on what was happening. Yet, she quickly added, that her  inner self told her what was right and what was wrong. She became a regular member of our group.

When Michael Moore’s new film, Fahrenheit 911, was opening in Daytona, rumors spread that Bush supporters in this area were going to hold a protest outside the theater. I asked if anyone would join me in a counter demonstration. Mona raised her hand. We met outside the theater in the parking lot. She had told me that her daughter would accompany her, as this was the first time in both their lives that either of them had demonstrated. Mona was scared! What if? What if the Bush supporters got physical? What if a fight broke out? Here was this little lady going against ….. what and who? At the parking lot, at our allotted time to meet, Mona walked slowly towards me. Where was her daughter? “She stayed in the car….. she’s frightened. So am I, but I gave my word. Let’s do it!” We did, and the Bush lovers protest never occurred (when does it?). Mona proudly held her sign, smiled a lot, and made a greater impression on the moviegoers than I ever could.

There are a bunch of folks who have been standing on the same corner in Port Orange, my town, each and every Tuesday. Some, like Mona, have been there from the beginning, which is now almost 3 and 1/2 years. She stands there, with her Honk for Peace sign, or whatever else she may decide to hold, and waves at the cars. Always that smile, that… well, that Mona Lisa half smile her namesake wore. She raises her hand as if to say to all who pass “Hey, here I am, because I care!The others, those who come and stand with Mona, they care too. Enough to put aside political differences (not all are Democratic Party loyalists) and converge in harmony for truth and justice. And Mona? Well, she’s the glue, the non judgmental glue, that keeps it all together.

This writer has strayed from that corner recently, with my differences with the mainstream Democrats overpowering and frustrating my efforts. Then, while recently driving in our local shopping center, I spot Mona, walking to her car. “When are you coming back? We miss you on the corner.” If only there were more Monas in this community. Because of her I will be back!

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Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 300 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘ It’s the Empire… Stupid‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net.

Featured image is from Rise Up Times

The African American Struggle: Reflections on the Black Panther Party’s United Front Against Fascism (UFAF)

Lessons for 2019, Five Decades Later and the Struggle Continues

Global Research, September 04, 2019

During July 18-20, 1969 a gathering in Oakland, California sought to galvanize a broad cross section of progressive and revolutionary organizations across the United States into a united front opposing the escalating repressive policies leveled principally at the African American people.

This National Revolutionary Conference for a United Front Against Fascism (UFAF) was conceived and constructed by the Black Panther Party. This organization which grew out of the Civil Rights Movement of earlier years and the mass rebellions which struck urban areas throughout the country beginning during the period of 1962-64 and extending through 1965-1968, radicalized a significant sector of youth within the larger municipalities, the rural south and the college campuses.

In response to the rapidly shifting mood of the African American struggle, the federal government unleashed a wave of repressive measures resulting in the deaths of such luminaries as Medgar Evers; three Civil Rights workers in Mississippi during the Summer of 1964; Malcolm X of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU); Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); to name only a few of the most widely known.

Although the initial framework and structures for the movement emerged from the work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Lowndes County, Alabama in 1965-66, leading to the ascendancy of Stokely Carmichael as chair of that pioneering organization in May 1966, the concept of independent political parties under the banner of the Black Panther spread throughout the state and the country. All during the course of 1966, Black Panther groups were established in cities such as Detroit, New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles, etc.

Image on the right: Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale delivering address at the National Conference for a United Front Against Fascism, July 18-20, 1969

In the Bay Area city of Oakland, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, two student and community activists formed the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (BBPSD) in October of 1966. The Panthers purchased arms, sold copies of Mao Tse-tung’s Red Book, established patrols to monitor the actions of the police, founding a weekly newspaper which by July 1969 was circulated to hundreds of thousands in order to build political clout within African American and broader communities.

After a series of encounters with law-enforcement and an armed march on the State Capitol building in Sacramento on May 2, 1967 to oppose the passage of the Mulford Act which was designed to restrict the capacity of African Americans to publically carry weapons, the Party was soon identified by the state apparatus for containment and liquidation. A shoot-out on October 28 of the same year left two white Oakland police shot, one fatally, along with the wounding and arrest of BPPSD co-founder Huey P. Newton.

In the aftermath of the October 28 confrontation, the reputation of the BPPSD rapidly spread prompting significant growth within the organization. Chapters sprung up around the U.S. during 1968. The Oakland-based Panthers would form an alliance with the newly-created Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) where they ran candidates for several offices including U.S. Congress and President.

Building a United Front Against Repression

By mid-1969, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had labeled the Black Panther Party (BPP) as the most dangerous of all of the radical and revolutionary groups in operation at the time. Local field offices were encouraged to develop tactics aimed at disrupting and neutralizing the Party and its leadership.

Several hundred BPP members and supporters were arrested on largely trumped up charges, others were driven into exile, while many died in confrontations with law-enforcement personnel. Bobby Hutton, one of the early recruits of Newton and Seale, who served as the Party treasurer at the age of 17, was gunned down in cold blood by Oakland police on August 6, 1968. Later John Huggins and Alprentice Bunchy Carter, two leaders of the Los Angeles chapter were killed in January 1969 on the campus of the University of California by members of the US organization headed by Ron Karenga. The Panthers were in a political struggle with US members over the control of the Black Student Union (BSU) at UCLA. A brief physical clash led to the assassination of Carter and Huggins.

Other leading Party members including Erika Huggins and Bobby Seale were arrested and charged with murder conspiracy in the brutal torture and killing of a New York Panther named Alex Rackley who was accused of being a police informant. Seale was also brought to Chicago as a defendant in the trial charging that 8 movement leaders had conspired to disrupt the Democratic National Convention in August 1968.

An article published in the weekly Black Panther newspaper on May 31, 1969 made an appeal for people around the U.S. attend the UFAF Conference. The July 18-20 gathering attracted an estimated crowd between 3,000-5,000 people, a majority, approximately 90%, being European Americans.

Various organizations and activists attended the Conference including members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); Young Patriots Organization of Chicago, a white youth group composed of people from Appalachia; Young Lords Organization (YLO), a Puerto Rican group similar in posture to the BPP; Herbert Aptheker, a Marxist historian and then member of the Communist Party, USA; movement Attys. William Kunstler and Charles Gerry; Dr. Marlene Dixon, who had been terminated for her activism from the University of Chicago; Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., then of SCLC Operation Breadbasket; the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), the family and supporters of Los Siete del la Raza, a group of seven Chicanos charged in the killing of a San Francisco police officer in a confrontation; among others.

Chairman Bobby Seale opened the Conference with an appeal for unity among progressive forces throughout the U.S. He warned against the problems associated with ideological conflict and emphasized the necessity of concrete political action against the rising tide of fascism.

One of the highlights of the Conference was a Women’s panel featuring Elaine Brown, a Central Committee member of the BPP, who read a statement from prison written by Erika Huggins; Evelyn Harris of the NWRO; Carol Henry of the BPP; Penny Nakatsu, a Japanese American activist and later lawyer; Dr. Marlene Dixon; and Roberta Alexander of the BPP. The women emphasized that the struggle against male domination, patriarchy and chauvinism was integral in the fight to defeat fascism.

Contradictions and Conflicts: Strategic and Tactical Questions in Defining Fascism

Of course the ideological and political differences within the Left and National Liberation Movements in the U.S. during mid-1969 could not be avoided at the UFAF Conference. One major incident was the physical exclusion of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP), an organization which evolved from the splits within the CPUSA during the late 1950s after the rise of Nikita Khrushchev to the leadership in the Soviet Union and the subsequent ideological positions emanating from developments inside the world socialist movement.

PLP youth members had entered SDS in previous years, and as a result, sharp ideological differences would surface over the role of students, workers and the nationally oppressed in the Left movement in the U.S. The June 18-23, 1969 SDS national conference in Chicago had voted to expel PLP for what it described as disruptive behavior.

At a March 30, 1969 national leadership meeting of SDS in Austin, Texas the organization had passed a resolution recognizing the BPP as the vanguard of the liberation struggle among African Americans. This position was opposed by the PLP faction of SDS. The alliance with the Panthers is cited as an influencing factor in the purging of PLP at the June 18-23 national conference of SDS in Chicago.

Nonetheless, disagreements would arise between the leaderships of both the Panthers and SDS over the question of community control of the police. A mandate was given to delegates of the UFAF Conference to launch petition campaigns aimed at community control of police in African American, Chicano, Asian and white neighborhoods. SDS held the view that the concept of community control of police agencies did not apply among European Americans unless it was directed by class conscious working class organizations.

Following the conclusion of the UFAF, Mark Rudd and other SDS national leaders adopted a resolution rejecting the mandate of seeking to build support for community control of police in white neighborhoods. This decision drew the ire of Panther leaders Bobby Seale and David Hillard, the Chief of Staff of the Party.

An article published in the August 16 edition of the-then New York-based Guardian newspaper outlined the conflict saying:

“Referring to SDS’s agreement to support the petition in the ‘colonies’ (black and brown communities) but not in the ‘oppressor country’ (white America), Hilliard wrote in the Black Panther: ‘How abstract and divorced from the reality of the world around them they must be to think that the Black Panther Party would allow them to leave their communities and begin to organize the colony; to control the fascists in the oppressor country is a very definite step towards white people’s power, because James Rector [a white youth killed by police in Berkeley during the confrontations over People’s Park in May 1969] was not shotgunned to death in the black community. It seems they prefer to allow the already legitimate reactionary forces to take root or sanctuary in the white communities.’ Stating that the ‘Black Panther Party will not be dictated to by people who are obviously bourgeois procrastinators,’ Hilliard went on to imply that SDS, among other groups, was ‘at best national socialist’ (i.e., fascist).” (See this)

Black Panther Party led National Conference for a United Front Against Fascism delegates in Oakland, July 18-20, 1969

This same above-mentioned report went on to illustrate the obvious frustrations of the Panther leadership with SDS, noting:

“In the interview with Guardian correspondent Goldberg, the Panther leaders described many white radicals as ‘bourgeois Boy Scouts,’ and ‘little petty racists.’ ‘All revolutionaries and all revolutionary organizations eventually have to make a choice between revolution and counter-revolution,’ Hilliard said. ‘If they will not take the lead from the vanguard, then they will have to move to the other side. From now on we will not take theory, but actions as the basis for the coalitions we make. The Young Patriots [a Chicago white working-class youth organization] are the only revolutionaries we respect that ever came out of the mother country.’ Then Hillard added, “[T]he only revolutionary force in the bourgeois mother country is the women.’ In the Guardian interview, the Panther leaders defended their community control petition as ‘revolutionary,’ saying that community control of police would eventually lead to “liberated zones” and that when the people really controlled the police forces, you had in actuality a “people’s militia.’ Seale and Hilliard argued that by refusing to circulate the petition in the white community, white radicals were giving fascist elements sanctuary there. Seale said that over 1500 persons had signed up at the UFAF conference to work on the National Committees to Combat Fascism, and circulate the community control petition. ‘When you circulate that petition, you are moving in direct opposition to the chief opponents of the revolutionary movement,’ he said.”

Moreover, the lack of agreement over a clear definition of what is fascism would aggravate these ideological and political conflicts. Historically, this was not a new problem. With the emergence of fascism in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s there were different explanations regarding the character of fascism and the struggle to eliminate state repression.

In Italy, Communist leader Antonio Gramsci wrote in a 1921 essay on what he analyzes as the “Two Fascism.” On the actual social origins of the phenomenon Gramsci says:

“The crisis of fascism, about whose origins and causes so much is now being written, can easily be explained by a serious examination of the evolution of the fascist movement itself…. Due to their trenchant opposition to the socialist movement they obtained the support of the capitalists and the authorities. This aspect of the Fasci was inherited in part from the conflict between the Socialist Party and the ‘interventionist’ associations during the war years. They emerged during the same period when the rural landowners were feeling the need to create a White Guard to tackle the growing workers’ organizations. The gangs that were already organized and armed by the big landowners soon adopted the label Fasci for themselves too. With their subsequent development, these gangs would acquire their own distinct character – as a White Guard of capitalism against the class organs of the proletariat.” (See this)

Benito Mussolini came to power in 1922 and would serve as an inspiration to Hitler and the Nazis in Germany. The rise of fascism on a foreign policy level lead to the calamitous second imperialist war, and from an African viewpoint, it began with the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

Leon Trotsky, the exiled (1928-1940) co-leader of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and head of the Red Army in the Civil War against counter-revolutionaries backed by the imperialist countries during 1918-1921, wrote extensively on the rise of fascism in Germany over the period of 1928-1933. Trotsky viewed fascism as arising among the petty-bourgeois elements in alliance with the capitalist class. In essence fascism is characterized by a mass movement of reactionary elements which seeks power in its own name, as developments in Italy and Germany would reveal. (See this)

Later Bulgarian Communist, Georgi Dimitrov, who was put on trial in Germany after the rise of the Nazis, called for a United Front Against War & Fascism in 1935. The Panther’s approach was more akin to Dimitrov, accepting a similar name as the Third International’s efforts of the 1930s and early 1940s. (See this)

With specific reference to the Panthers in 1969, the debate over whether the U.S. had become a fascist state and society was theoretically abstract. The African American people had been brought to North America for the purpose of enslavement. There had never been any genuine social equality or self-determination for the African population. Reconstruction after the Civil War of 1861-65 had been betrayed due to a compromise among all leading sectors of the ruling class of the period. The burgeoning Civil Rights, Black Power and revolutionary movements of the mid-20thcentury had been subjected to severe repression by the capitalist state and supported by the majority of white constituents whether they were members of the Democratic or Republican parties.

Consequently, the Panther lexicon, and that of many other elements in the Left and African American movements of the 1960s and 1970s, suggested that fascism had already arrived as a fact of state policy and societal institutions. The poster issued by the BPP which promoted the UFAF had as a sub-text: “Fascism: The Power of Finance Capital.” Therefore, the priority of the Party was to first defeat fascism as a prerequisite to the ultimate struggle to build socialism.

George Jackson, who after 1970 became a much read theoretician of the BPP and the revolutionary prisoners’ movement in general, advanced the notion often attributed to Mussolini declaring that:

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

Whether this is an accurate quote from the Italian fascist or not and if this definition is accepted, then fascism has been in existence for decades in the U.S.

So therefore, if this is the case regarding the contemporary character of the capitalist state in the U.S., it does not necessarily provide answers as it relates to the questions of fighting fascism in the modern period of President Donald Trump, who is routinely categorized by many leftists and liberals as a neo-fascist. The putative neo-fascism of Trump can be distinguished from the National Front of France and other formations in Western Europe which operate outside of the mainstream liberal, conservative and social democratic parties.

The outcomes from the UFAF led to the creation of National Committees to Combat Fascism (NCCF) in several cities. In many cases the NCCFs became de facto BPP chapters (labeled as organizing bureaus) such as what occurred in Detroit in the second half of 1969 in the aftermath of the decision by some cadre locally as well as the national office to close down the previously existing BPP chapter.

In other areas such as Berkeley, California, an Intercommunal Committee to Combat Fascism (ICCF) was formed by white activists who worked in close collaboration with the Black Panther Party of the same city. ICCF sought to build solidarity in white areas with the BPP and its programs. The Berkeley grouping took up the petition drive for community control seriously and placed it as a referendum on the ballot in early 1970.

Lessons for 2019: Trumpism and Neo-Fascism

In the era of the Trump presidency there is an enormous amount of usage of the term fascism. Many of Trump’s positions including the targeting of nationally oppressed peoples, xenophobia, misogyny, the scapegoating of immigrants, massive tax cuts and direct aid to the capitalist class along with the military industrial complex, embody the character of fascist domestic policy. Although Left, African American, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latinx political groupings are still allowed to function openly, their weakness in relationship to the conservative political base, the state apparatus, security forces and the Pentagon, can in no way reassure those who fear and contemplate far more aggressive measures to curtail dissent and enhance exploitation and oppression.

The prison industrial complex has grown exponentially since 1969. Today well over two million people in the U.S., who are disproportionately people of color, are being housed in the correctional facilities. Detention camps for migrant workers and asylum seekers have been compared to concentration camps during World War II.

Trump’s campaign rallies are centered-around him as a political personality. The administration has refused to acknowledge the rising wave of racist violence across the U.S. where scores of white supremacists and other neo-fascist groupings are active utilizing social media and direct contact with their constituencies as well as those they are trying to recruit. Presidential rhetoric and demagoguery encourages racist violence, the rejection of scientific findings related to climate change, extreme hostilities towards Muslims and immigrants, all under the guise of American (actually white) nationalism.

This atmosphere of mass shootings such as in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, compounded by police and vigilante attacks on African Americans and Latinx people, has resulted in a social culture of apprehension and caution. Despite the claims of an economic boom, tens of millions remain trapped in poverty, which has a racialized and gendered character. Volatility in the global financial markets during the summer of 2019 raised fears of another economic downturn similar or even perhaps worse than what occurred in 2008. The trade wars against the People’s Republic of China and European Union (EU) states through the imposition of tariffs is worsening the plight of those within the agricultural, retail and manufacturing sectors of the U.S. capitalist system.

Today in 2019 there is no Black Panther Party (BPP) or a comparable organization to take on the administration, the capitalist class and their supporters through a program of effective mobilization, organization and political education. This is the principal task of anti-fascists in the contemporary era and that is the imperatives of building revolutionary organizations which have the capacity to reach millions with a program of sweeping social transformation and socialist development.

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Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of Pan-African News Wire. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

All images in this article are from the author

The African American Struggle: Reflections on the Black Panther Party’s United Front Against Fascism (UFAF)

 

Hurricane Wars. Awaiting Another Deadly Storm

Global Research, September 03, 2019

As we in Florida await in our (hopefully) boarded up and sandbagged homes the arrival of but another deadly storm, one has time to sit and ponder things. This writer lived through a major hurricane assault, when Mathew trampled through Port Orange, Florida in October of 2016. We were lucky while being the unlucky neighbors in our 50 unit sub division. As we lay on the master bedroom floor with our two frightened kittens, 100 mph winds tore a pine tree and sent it flying through our roof. Moments earlier, I had crawled to our bedroom window, pulled down the shade and watched the pine trees five yards from our townhome. They were already waving like a flag on a frigate in a storm. I turned to my wife and actually said: “If one of those trees crashes into our bedroom, we’ll all be dead! Lucky for us, the unlucky family, nature chose the upstairs bedroom to have the tree go flying through its ceiling. Two hours later, after having used every towel and comforter we owned to soak up the monsoon like buckets of rain flowing down our walls and ceilings, we finally evacuated.

It seems every year our country has Category 4 or 5 deadly hurricanes invading our space. Yet, the infrastructure of our nation is still not up to snuff. Why? Well, half of our federal taxes goes to what the con men in Washington (both ’embedded in empire’ political parties) like to label Defense Spending AKA Phony Wars Spending.

Keeping ONE soldier in Afghanistan or on one of our many bases in Iraq costs over $1,000,000 a year. Imagine how that money could have been spent to place our power lines underground, as they have in Europe. Imagine how the Army Corps of Engineers could have used some of that over $700 Billion dollars going to military spending. They could have created real flood protection for New Orleans and Houston before those monster hurricanes attacked. Regardless of whomever occupies the White House and Congress, the subject of drastically cutting military spending is synonymous to trashing motherhood.

To this writer my experience with FEMA had been a sick joke. After the hurricane destroyed our home, and we had to live elsewhere for over FIVE months, we begged FEMA to help us.

NO! Their estimators said sorry on our need for funds to supplement our shitty homeowners insurance (Did you know that our policy did NOT even cover spoilage from our freezer and refrigerator?). Sorry, you don’t qualify, they answered us in their rejection letter.

Meanwhile, right after the hurricane my wife began having panic attacks which she previously NEVER experienced in her 50 + years on earth. She had no health coverage other than an expensive and shitty hospitalization plan ( another victim of the ‘too expensive private insurance’ under Obama Care).

We sent in claims to FEMA for reimbursement for the semi successful acupuncture and Chinese herbs treatments from our Doctor of Chinese Medicine. FEMA did the usual rejection and double talk to justify their action… or rather their lack of. So, we had to go to Senator Nelson’s office and found a ‘gem’ of a young staffer who had the empathy for us that ALL elected officials should have. He contacted FEMA after their 2nd rejection letter and put on the pressure needed. They finally rescinded their rejection and  reimbursed us.

Why did FEMA do what it did to us, and do worse for millions of others in disaster areas?

The easy answer is that THEY DON’T HAVE THE BUDGETING NEEDED!

Plain and simple folks! FEMA has become, to a certain extent, a public relations outfit.

They send out hundreds of field reps to sign people up after a disaster and then reject or underpay most of us for damages etc. Look at Houston.

FEMA could not get the proper cots needed to supply the shelters.

Why? NOT ENOUGH FUNDING!

Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico saw President Cheetos throwing paper towels out to a crowd when he finally took time out to visit (As I write this he is out playing golf while the Bahamas is destroyed and the monster approaches us).

You won’t hear Trump or really any of the so called ‘Feel your pain’ Democrats coming before the cameras and demanding that this obscene military spending be substantially CUT NOW, and sent back to fund the myriad of ‘safety nets’ we need here at home. Wake up folks and understand why many of us suffer unnecessarily.

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Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 300 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net.

 

Linking Popular Movements and Unions Is a Winning Strategy for Workers

Global Research, September 02, 2019

After years of declining power and stagnant wages, workers in the United States are awakening, striking and demanding more rights.  A Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows the number of striking workers is the highest since 1986. In 2018, 485,000 people went on strike, a number not exceeded since the 533,000 people in 1986, and 2019 will be even larger. Workers should be in revolt, as the Economic Policy Institute found workers have had stagnant wages for three and a half decades even though productivity is increasing. 

This week we look at the origin of Labor Day, how workers are returning to those roots and the future for workers in the United States.

From the Economic Policy Institute

Labor Returns To Its Roots: Strikes Escalate

This is the 125th anniversary of Labor Day, which was declared in 1894 after the nationwide Pullman railroad strike led by the American Railway Union under Eugene Debs when 260,000 workers in 27 states participated. Federal troops were used to stop the strike and 26 people were killed. Six days after the more than two-month-long strike ended, President Grover Cleveland pushed legislation through Congress creating Labor Day as a conciliatory gesture to the workers.

Near the end of the strike, on July 4, Debs described the strike as the beginning of a conflict where “90 percent of the people of the United States will be arrayed against the other 10 percent.” Six days later, Debs was arrested and, after his conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court, he served six months in prison for violating an injunction against the strike. When released, Debs started the Socialist Party, which built worker power in elections, resulting in many changes to the laws.

The Pullman Strike was part of a growing labor movement that won reforms such as ending child labor, the 8-hour workday, the right to unionize and Depression-era New Deal laws, which included many laws demanded by workers, the Socialist Party and the Progressive Party.

Since the 1947 Taft-Harley Act, which restricted worker rights, unions have been in decline with reduced members and rights. The Janus decision, which some saw as a fatal attack on public-sector unions, might be the low point, perhaps the darkness before the dawn, for workers in the United States. Workers are realizing that democracy requires unions and now 64% of people say they approve of unions, a dramatic increase of 16 percent over a record-low figure registered in 2009.

Janus seems to have focused unions on the need to rethink their approach, and so far unions who have moved to an organizing culture have not been hurt by Janus. In recent years, there has been an awakening with a wave of strikes such as the teachers’ strikes in multiple states (CaliforniaColoradoMichiganNew JerseyOregonPennsylvaniaTennesseeWashingtonWest Virginia, among others). There have also been recent strikes by healthcare and hotel workers in ten citiesgrad studentsfarmworkers and Stop and ShopNational Grid and Steelworkers, as well as the largest strike of manufacturing workers in the Trump eraMcDonald’s, and even prisoners on stike in 17 states. WalMart workers threatened to strike and won increased wages.

Workers in the new gig economy also face challenges. When Uber and Lyft went public, it was bad news for drivers. While investors made billions of dollars, it created new “demands from investors for fare increases and further attacks on drivers, already grossly undercompensated.”  These drivers are contractors, not employees subject to minimum wage laws or the benefits of being an employee. The effective hourly wage of an Uber driver is less than what 90 percent of US workers earn. Drivers have begun to organize and strike to demand better wages and benefits.

It is time for a new era of worker rights, union organizing, higher wages, and worker ownership. Decades of mistreatment of workers are boomeranging and could make the next decade one of massive advancement by workers.

People participate in a workers’ rights protest. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Transformation Requires More Than Wages

The vast majority of people in the United States are wage slaves as they depend on their job for survival and missing a short time without work puts people in serious financial difficulty. This is the time to transform the relationship of workers to their jobs.

The Congressional Budget Office found the wealth divide has reached new levels of disparity, finding the wealthiest top 10 percent of families with incomes of at least $942,000 now hold 76 percent of the total wealth and average $4 million in wealth. The remainder of the top half of the population took most of the rest, 23 percent, which left only 1 percent of wealth for the bottom 50 percent. That bottom half can barely pay their bills, has no money for emergencies, has no savings, can’t afford to send their children to college and is trapped with great insecurity and no upward mobility. In fact, the bottom 25 percent of people in the US are, on average, in debt $13,000 and the bottom 12 percent is $32,000 in debt.

One reason for the wealth divide is that since 1979 productivity has increased by 70 percent while hourly compensation has increased only by 12 percent. During this period, the top one percent’s wages grew 138 percent, while wages of the bottom 90 percent grew just 15 percent. If the wages of the bottom 90 percent had grown in parallel with the increase in productivity, then the bottom 90 percent’s wages would have grown by 32 percent, more than double the actual growth. Breaking this down further, middle-class wages have been stagnant with an hourly wage increase of only 6 percent since 1979, while low-wage workers’ wages have actually declined by 5 percent. Those with very high wages had a 41 percent increase.

Radical transformation is needed to correct decades of decline in worker’s rights and wages. This means reversing the era of privatization and creating economic democracy, such as worker ownership and workers sharing in the profits. As the calls to declare a climate emergency get louder, there is an opportunity to do both while we confront the reality of the climate crisis. Various proposals are being put forward for a Green New Deal. Transitioning to a clean energy economy requires changes in many economic sectors, e.g. construction, manufacturing, transit, agriculture, housing, finance, energy, and infrastructure. Jeremy Brecher and Joe Uehlein list twelve reasons why a Green New Deal could be good for workers.

Responding to the climate crisis is going to require major public capital investments over the next two decades. With these public investments, the United States needs a democratically controlled economy. This means more public works, and the nationalizing of some sectors of the economy, especially the energy and transportation sectors.  It is an opportunity to put in place public ownership where workers have a share in ownership of businesses or complete ownership based on a worker-cooperative model.

Labor unions need to be involved in determining the details of the new Green-era economy. As Labor for Sustainability points out, many unions are already on board. It is important for workers involved in the fossil fuel economy to realize the new economy of the future will not include fossil fuels and they need to help create that new economy so they can be part of it and benefit from it. Green New Deal advocates are calling for a “Just Transition”, where workers are compensated and receive training as they transition to the new economy. One of the challenges of building the new economy is it will require millions of workers. There will be a worker shortage as all sectors of the economy will have to transition to sustainability and clean energy.

Join the People’s Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet, September 20 to 23 in New York City. We will join the climate strike with messages that war = ecocide. We’ll march for Puerto Rico’s independence. We’ll talk about racism, militarism, and resistance. We’ll rally and march to demand the US be held accountable for its global gangsterism with Cornel West, Roger Waters, and the Embassy Protectors. And we’ll hold an evening of solidarity with representatives from countries impacted by US sanctions and intervention and music by David Rovics (you must register for this at bit.ly/RSVPapathtopeace). Learn more at PeoplesMobe.org. And sign the Global Appeal for Peace.

The shift to a democratized economy is already underway as more people are developing worker-owned businesses. The movement for worker ownership in the United States has been growing rapidly since before the 2008 financial crash. This movement is now reflecting itself in the electoral process. Polls show widespread support among people in the US for workers having ownership in corporations where they are employed.

Last week, Senator Sanders put forward a labor program that included giving workers a greater ownership stake in companies. Senator Warren made a similar proposal last year when she announced her exploratory campaign that included workers on boards of directors and receiving a share of the profits. Green candidate Howie Hawkins has a long history of support for economic democracy, giving workers more rights, a share in profits and ownership of corporations. Such “codetermination” policies are widely prevalent in Europe providing unions with a strong voice in corporate decision-making.

Commencement celebration, Bronx, NY

Wage-Slaves Must Revolt To Reverse The Era of Privatization

The attack on workers is a product of the privatization era that began under Reagan, accelerated under Clinton and continues today. Some of the teacher’s strikes have focused on charter schools, highlighting how privatization hurts workers. Privatization strengthens the financiers. The negative consequences of the privatization era are increasing support for socialism and economic democracy as well as specific policies such as national improved Medicare for all, municipal Internet networks, public utilities, and worked-controlled businesses.

There has been an increased call for general strikes by workers, climate activists, and immigrants. When the people of the United States become mobilized enough to organize a general strike, it will be a revolutionary moment in the development of the United States. People will realize they have the power to determine their own futures.

When we describe building power at Popular Resistance, we are describing the kind of people’s movement that is able to stop business as usual with a mass general walkout or other tactics. A wage-slave revolt is where the popular movement is going in the foreseeable future.

The escalation in worker organizing in the US, both inside and outside of unions, over the past half-dozen years is coming at a time when people are being radicalized in social movements from Occupy to Black Lives Matter. Unions are connecting worker struggles to community concerns and as a result, when they strike, the community supports them.  The linking of the popular movement to growth in unions strengthens both workers and activists. People uniting across issues is building a popular movement that is demanding people and planet, not profit.

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the potential of workers building power. The people are on the path to build a powerful political movement against both corporate-controlled parties to fight for a government that represents the interests of workers and puts people and planet before profits.

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Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.

The Open Amazon and Its Enemies: A Call for Action and Optimism

Global Research, August 29, 2019
Impakter 23 August 2019

The Amazon, now on fire, has become the central political and geopolitical hot spot for humanity’s right to its own future. Optimism is the gasoline that must feed the fight.

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June and July have been the hottest months on record in the Western Hemisphere as the climate crisis escalates. This summer, the ice in Greenland has been melting at an unseen rate under an unprecedented heat wave. Droughts and wildfires are on the rise ravaging significant forest surfaces, and the role of the rainforest as a carbon dioxide absorber is being jeopardized by a substantial acceleration in deforestation efforts.

The Amazon basin, which contains 40% of the world’s rainforest, plays a very complex yet central role as a buffer of climate change. It functions as a cooler of the atmosphere through moisture evaporation and it produces its own rainfall in the dry season while also capturing carbon and acting as the Earth’s lungs.

But lately, the Amazon’s vulnerability has become apparent, as fires have been spreading at an unprecedented rate. As Leonardo DiCaprio put it to his 34 million Instagram followers in a post: “the lungs of the Earth are in flames.” Data released by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research shows that from January to July, 4.6 million acres of the Brazilian Amazon went ablaze, a 62 percent increase over last year.

Overall, the basin is experiencing an increasing number of threats from “development” involving logging, mining, farming, ranching and infrastructure construction (road and dam building). At the beginning of August, the latest in a series of reports from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focused on the impacts of agriculture, deforestation and other land use on the environment.

“Climate change, including increases in frequency and intensity of extremes, has adversely impacted food security and terrestrial ecosystems, as well as contributed to desertification and land degradation in many regions,” the report states.

To slow global warming, the UN report warns, agriculture and cattle ranching must change. This conclusion holds political undertones as agriculture and cattle ranching support many capitalist world economies.

Today, one cannot talk about the Amazon without talking about local, regional, and global politics.

Since Jair Bolsonaroa far right-wing politician, was elected president in Brazil and took office this past January, many of the policies put in place to protect the Amazon over at least the past two decades are being paralyzed or reversed, while “trees have been disappearing at a rate of two Manhattans a week.” As The Economist writes in its first week of August issue, Deathwatch for the Amazon:

  “If there is a green shot in Mr. Bolsonaro’s scorched-earth tactics towards the rainforest, it is that it has made the Amazon’s plight harder to ignore”.

With the Amazon ablaze since January, the issue can no longer be avoided by the international community.

“The ongoing forest fires in Brazil are deeply worrying,” the European Commission said in a statement last Thursday. “Forests are our lungs and life support systems.”

The fact that the international press has joined activists and has become more aggressive on the issue of the climate crisis and the Amazon, acknowledging that this is a political issue and that it has to be approached as such, is progress. Journalism has a key political role in preventing the furthering of this catastrophe and it must be used to its fullest extent. And yet, when journalists working in the Amazon talk about politics, we discuss the people living there.

One should recall that the Greek root of politics is “polis” meaning city, which produced the word “polités” meaning citizens. And when one talks about the people living in the Amazon, be they indigenous, riberin(river dwellers) or quilombolas (escaped black slaves’ descendants), one should not forget that these people are all citizens of the Earth; citizens, just like most of the readers of this article.

Yet, being citizens means having equal rights, and when we investigate in this part of the world and meet indigenous riberine or quilombola people, we must overcome our neocolonial, Western-centered and often racist prejudices. We must always bear in mind that they are our equals and that they are as much citizens of this world as we are, even if their lives are different from our own.

This concept of global citizenship seems obvious from an intellectual point of view. However, it is not so straightforward. There is a severe contrast between our urban, technology-driven lives and their traditional, ancestral and analogic world.  An effort should always be made to bridge cultural gaps, but that has become increasingly difficult for young generations born in the urban digital world.

Yet, as journalists working in the Amazon basin, our priority should be putting people at the center of our approach, which must be, above everything, humanistic. Yes, humanistic in the sense expressed by the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras who said, “Man is the measure of all things,” but also humanistic in the sense of bringing together different concepts of knowledge and disciplines.

The term humanist can also be interpreted as having an interdisciplinary perspective. One cannot approach such a complex and interconnected system as the Amazon from only one discipline, for to cover the Amazon means to be able to consider many disciplines. From geography to economics, ecology to anthropology, history to sociology, and engineering to environmental and climate sciences. But, above all these disciplines, it is key to acknowledge that in the Amazon, when any kind of scientific or journalistic work is performed, people and politics are involved.

The Amazon is so key to the future of our planet that it has become a hot issue of geopolitics. And, we are not only talking about the physical environment. We are talking about the future of the people- those who live there and us. And, above all, when we talk about people, we talk about values. We need a humanistic and value-oriented approach when working in the Amazon to solve the issues developing in the area.

Yet, with a president like Bolsonaro, who considers the Amazon a commodity to deplete and export, and its people as leftists who refuse to integrate into his development mirage, we have to agree that the root of this issue has to do with human rights. What we are witnessing in the Amazon is a natural and human rights violation. But also, and most importantly, it is the violation of the right of humanity to exist in the future. So, it is not an exaggeration to sustain that, should Bolsonaro pursue his vandalistic approach to the Brazilian rainforest, he should be brought to justice by the international court.

The fact that the Amazon has become significant as it occupies an increasingly central position in the spotlight of global media gives room for some optimism.  Karl Popper, the Austrian philosopher who was very influential to science with his theory of falsification and its implications to the methodology of scientific research, was an optimist. He said something which is of key importance today, and that is that “optimism is a moral duty.” For him, the future is not written, but rather depends very much on what we do in the present.

Our duty is to be optimistic as a way to shape a better future for all.

And, optimism is what is found in Open Democracy’s Rainforest Defenders series, produced with photojournalist Pablo Albarenga and the people from the Brazilian environmentalist NGO Engajamundo down in the Tapajós River with the support of the Rainforest Journalism Fund, administered by the Pulitzer Center in Washington.

In producing the series, Open Democracy put young people at the center of the stories, allowing them to speak about their struggles, frustrations, hopes and views for a better world. And, in spite of the many difficulties they face daily, we found optimism in them after all.

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This article is based on the speech delivered by the author on July 11, 2019, in Manaus (Amazonas / Brazil) during the first meeting of the Rainforest Journalism Fund which funds reports in the Amazon and other tropical forests, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is editor of democraciaAbierta at openDemocracy.net London and a journalist. A political analyst, an author and a publisher, he specializes in International Affairs and is a Pulitzer grantee. Born in Mexico and based in Barcelona, Francesc has been senior fellow and general manager at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), general manager at the European Institute of the Mediterranean and at the Interarts Foundation. He was executive director of URB-AL-III, a decentralised and urban cooperation program for Latin America of the European Commission.

Featured image is from Wikimedia Commons

Anti-China Witch-hunt Targets Australian Universities

Global Research, August 27, 2019

On August 21, the Australian government convened a “crisis meeting” with representatives of the universities and the intelligence agencies, as part of a hysterical campaign alleging pervasive “Chinese influence” throughout society.

Little has been revealed about what was discussed at the closed-door meeting. It was called amid demands by senior political figures and the corporate press for a crackdown on ties between Australian and Chinese research institutions, supposedly because they threaten “national security.”

The official purpose of the talks was to set “guidelines” governing collaboration with Chinese academics. As well as Education Department officials, the gathering was attended by representatives of the Home Affairs Department, which oversees the domestic spy agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and the Australian Federal Police. Representatives from the Group of Eight, the country’s elite public universities, participated, along with members of university security and computer departments.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that the major universities had agreed to the meetings after briefings by Education Minister Dan Tehan earlier this month.

The article declared that the “university sector has allowed itself to become dependent on Chinese students.” It stated:

“The government and its security agencies feel the sector has become compromised, and over past weeks and months the sector has been given multiple briefings by such agencies as ASIO, the Home Affairs Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Defence Signals Directorate voicing concerns about Chinese influence.”

The article said the “security agencies” were particularly concerned about research partnerships involving Australian and Chinese universities. After the meeting, Tehan insisted that universities would “likely” have to “liaise more closely with national security agencies.”

Lurid claims that such collaboration aids the Chinese military have played a central role in an anti-China campaign spearheaded over the past two years by the government, the Labor Party, the Greens and the corporate media.

These unsubstantiated assertions have been based almost entirely on the claims of the intelligence agencies. In 2017, for instance, the Guardian warned against a $100 million “innovation precinct” at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), unveiled the previous year by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The Guardian trumpeted “defence fears” over the centre. It was funded, however, by private Chinese corporations, and focused on non-military research projects, including marine technologies, solar and wind power generation and the development of nanotechnologies.

Similar media campaigns have targeted other research initiatives, claiming, without any evidence, that they are of use to the Chinese military. The military and intelligence apparatus has invoked these assertions to push for unprecedented control over research, directly attacking academic freedom.

In a submission to the government in July 2018, the Australian Department of Defence requested powers to prohibit the publication of research, even for scientific purposes, and for warrantless entry, search, questioning and seizure powers to monitor compliance.

The department demanded authority to prohibit research on the virtually limitless ground that it has “reason to believe the technology is significant to developing or maintaining national defence capability or international relations of Australia.”

The request was inextricably tied to the Australia’s deepening integration into the US-led war drive against China, overseen by successive governments, Labor and Coalition alike.

The latest crackdown is also doubtless being conducted in close collaboration with the Trump administration. The AFR reported after last week’s meeting:

“The university sector fears the government could be pressured by the United States to crack down even harder on its collaboration with China, following a series of measures being proposed by US Republicans, one of which directly implicates Australia.”

The Trump administration is currently pushing a series of bills targeting Chinese academics, researchers and students.

One bill would ban visas for “individuals who are employed, funded, or otherwise sponsored by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.” Given that China’s university sector is state-controlled, this provision could be used to target any Chinese researcher. Other measures would force Chinese, Russian and Iranian students to undergo intrusive background checks before engaging in any “sensitive research projects” in the US.

The US legislation demands that Washington’s allies impose the same authoritarian regulations, declaring:

“Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom should take measures similar to the measures outlined in [the bill] to address security concerns posed by researchers and scientists affiliated with, or funded by, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.”

The AFR noted that “the university sector is aware it needs to work with the government if only to avoid an even more onerous crackdown on its liaison with Chinese institutions.”

The US measures are one aspect of a military, economic and diplomatic confrontation with the Beijing regime, aimed at shoring-up Washington’s dominance in the Asia-Pacific and internationally. The attack on Chinese researchers is connected to the Trump administration’s trade war measures, which seek to stymie Beijing’s development of the high-tech sector.

The crackdown on Australian universities comes amid warnings from Washington’s mouthpieces within the political and media establishment over the sector’s reliance on Chinese student enrolments after decades of government funding cuts. At the same time, estimates indicate that partnerships with Chinese research institutions will eclipse those involving any other nation by the end of next year.

The growing ties underscore the dilemma facing the Australian corporate and political establishment, between its strategic alignment with US imperialism and its economic and trade ties to China. The Coalition government’s measures, which have Labor’s full support, are another indication that the dominant sections of the ruling elite are fully committed to the US confrontation with China.

The renewed focus on universities follows the visit to Australia last month by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Labor and the Coalition welcomed Pompeo as he called for stepped-up involvement in US provocations targeting China, and in preparations for war with Iran.

Following Pompeo’s trip, Chinese international students have again been vilified as agents of the Chinese Communist Party, and there have been calls for their prosecution under draconian “foreign interference” legislation.

This week, the New South Wales Coalition government cancelled Mandarin and Chinese cultural classes in 13 public schools on the absurd grounds they “could be facilitating inappropriate foreign influence.” The sole ground for the decision was that the program involved Chinese government agencies, Hanban and the Confucius Institute.

These measures are aimed at vilifying China to legitimise the escalating war drive. They are also establishing a precedent for further attacks on democratic rights, to suppress the opposition to militarism and war that exists in the working class.

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Uniting for a “Green New Deal”

Global Research, January 15, 2019

 

green-new-deal

Support is growing in the United States for a Green New Deal. Though there are competing visions for what that looks like, essentially, a Green New Deal includes a rapid transition to a clean energy economy, a jobs program and a stronger social safety net.

We need a Green New Deal for many reasons, most obviously the climate crisis and growing economic insecurity. Each new climate report describes the severe consequences of climate change with increasing alarm and the window of opportunity for action is closing. At the same time, wealth inequality is also growing. Paul Bucheit writes that more than half of the population in the United States is suffering from poverty.

The Green New Deal provides an opportunity for transformational changes, not just reform, but changes that fundamentally solve the crises we face. This is the time to be pushing for a Green New Deal at all levels, in our towns and cities, states and nationally.

Hundreds gathered in San Francisco with the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Dec. 11. Peg Hunter / Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0.

Growing support for the Green New Deal

The idea of a Green New Deal seems to have arisen in early 2007 when the Green New Deal Group started meeting to discuss it, specifically as a plan for the United Kingdom. They published their reportin July 2008. In April 2009, the United Nations Environmental Program also issued a plan for a global Green New Deal.

In the United States, Barack Obama included a Green New Deal in his 2008 presidential campaign and conservative Thomas Friedman started talking about it in 2007. Howie Hawkins, a Green Party gubernatorial candidate in New York, campaigned on a Green New Deal starting in 2010. Listen to our interview with Hawkins about how we win the Green New Deal on Clearing the FOGJill Steincampaigned on it during her presidential runs in 2012 and 2016, as have many Green Party candidates.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC), who ran for Congress as a Democrat and won in 2018, has made the Green New Deal a major priority. With the backing of the Sunrise Movement, AOC pushed for a congressional committee tasked with developing a Green New Deal and convinced dozens of members of Congress to support it. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sidelined that idea by creating a climate committee headed by Kathy Castor, which has no mandate to do anything and lacks  the power to write legislation and issue subpoenas. Now the Sunrise Movement is planning a tour to build support for the Green New Deal. At each stop they will provide organizing tools to make the Green New Deal a major issue in the 2020 election season.

This week, more than 600 organizations, mostly environmental groups, sent a letter to Congress calling on it to take climate change seriously and design a plan to end dependence on fossil fuels, a transition to 100% clean energy by 2035, create jobs and more. Indigenous leaders are also organizing to urge Congress to pass a Green New Deal that is “Indigenized,” meaning it prioritizes input from and the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples.

YALE UNIVERSITY
Survey data shows the strongest support for a Green New Deal among liberal Democrats.

Defining a transformative Green New Deal

The Green New Deal, as a tool to address climate change and economic insecurity, could be transformative in many ways or it could reinforce current systems. Our political system is inclined towards programs that do the latter, so it is critical that the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice and peace is clear about what we mean by a Green New Deal.

At the heart of the issue is capitalism, a root cause of many of the crises we face today. Capitalism drives growth at all costs including exploitation of people and the planet. It drives competition and individualism instead cooperation and community. It requires militarism as the strong arm for corporations to pillage other countries for their resources and militarized police to suppress dissent at home.

Capitalism was in crisis in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when, like today, there was great inequality and a political system that catered to the wealthy. Progressive, populist, labor and socialist movements were pressing for significant changes. This came to a head in the depression when tens of thousands of Bonus Marchers occupied Washington DC during the summer of the 1932 presidential election demanding their bonus pay from World War I. The newly-elected President Roosevelt was forced to act, so he put reforms in place called the New Deal.

While the New Deal brought relief to many people through banking reform, Social Security, jobs programs and greater rights for workers, it was not transformative. Some argue that the New Deal was essential to save capitalism. It relieved suffering enough that dissent quieted but left the capitalist economic system intact. In the decades since the New Deal, monopolization, inequality, and exploitation have again increased with the added crises of climate change and environmental destruction.

This time around, we need a broad Green New Deal that changes the system so there is greater public ownership and democratization of the economy. It can also be used to address theft of wealth from Indigenous, black and brown communities. And it can set us on a path to end US imperialism in the least harmful manner.

Wayne Price discusses this in “A Green New Deal vs Revolutionary Eco-socialism.” He writes,

“…the capitalists’ wealth and power should be taken away from them (expropriated) by the self-organization of the working class and its allies. Capitalism should be replaced by a society which is decentralized and cooperative, producing for use rather than profit, democratically self-managed in the workplace and the community, and federated together from the local level to national and international levels.”

It is interesting that the Yellow Vest movement in France is also seeking transformative change from a representative government to one that uses greater participation through direct democracy. System change is needed to confront these economic and environmental crises. One alternative system gaining traction is ecosocialism which combines the insights of ecology with the necessity for worker’s rights and public control over the economy. We discussed ecosocialism with Victor Wallis, author of “Red Green Revolution: The politics and technology of ecosocialism,” on Clearing the FOG.

The Green Party divides the Green New Deal into four pillars: An economic bill of rights, a green transition, financial reform, and a functioning democracy. The economic bill of rights includes not only a job at a living wage for all who want it but also single payer healthcare, free college education, and affordable housing and utilities. The green transition to renewable energy sources includes building mass transit, “complete streets” that promote walking and biking, local food systems and clean manufacturing. Financial reform includes debt relief, public banks and breaking up the big banks. And the democracy section includes getting money out of politics, guaranteeing the right to vote, strengthening local democracy, democratizing the media and significant changes to the military. We would add to this prioritizing the involvement of Indigenous, black and brown communities. As Jon Olsen writes, ecosocialism is now part of the platform of the Green Party of the United States and has entered the political dialogue.

Join the Green Power Project national call on Thursday, January 17 at 8:00 pm Eastern to learn more about the Green New Deal. Click here for details.

Uniting to win the Green New Deal

Conditions are ripe for a Green New Deal. Wealth inequality continues to accelerate. As Lawrence Wittner describes, we have a new era of Robber Barons like the Waltons and Jeff Bezos who pay low wages and rake in millions in public subsidies for their new facilities. They use their economic power to influence lawmakers so laws are passed that increase rather than threaten their riches.

new report shows that 40% of people in the United States have negative wealth; they are in debt. And another 20% have minimal wealth, meaning 60% of people in the US have virtually no assets. The report was focused on millennials finding they are less well off than previous generations.

Anthony DiMaggio, who wrote about the report, also found that the affluent are oblivious to the high degree of inequality in the United States and that without this understanding, they are unlikely to support policies that reduce inequality.

The Democratic Party is starting to get the message. With student loan debt at a record $1.465 trillion, twice the amount in 2009, candidates are starting to talk about this issue. Members of Congress in the House are planning to hold hearings on National Improved Medicare for All and increasing Social Security. Democratic voters strongly support these changes, so the Democrats are feeling compelled to appear to be taking action on them, though this could mostly be for show to keep people from leaving the party in the lead up to the 2020 elections.

To win a Green New Deal, which could include a stronger social safety net, we will need to unite as a movement of movements and make the demand impossible to ignore. Uniting across issues makes sense because the Green New Deal is broad, addressing multiple crises at once. And we will need to push issues that Democrats will not want to discuss, such as nationalization of industries, more democracy, and cuts to the military. Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report urges us to organize not just nationally but at the state level too by introducing plans for state Green New Deals.

We can work at many levels to build the demand for a Green New Deal. Talk to people in your community about it. Start local initiatives for clean energy, local food networks, protecting public schools and water systems, promoting cooperatives and more. Push your state and federal legislators too. This is an opportunity to unite in support of a bold new vision for our society.

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Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese co-direct Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.

 

Uniting for a “Green New Deal”

 

Demand Transparency in Medicare for All

Global Research, December 27, 2018
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One of the most important pieces of legislation of our times, one that will impact every person in the United States, is currently being drafted in a non-transparent and non-participatory process by a small group of insiders. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is redrafting HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which has existed for 15 years and is based on the Physician’s Working Group Proposal, the work of the single payer movement.

Single payer activists are calling on Jayapal to share the content of her draft so the extensive expertise of the single payer movement can advise her. On Monday, December 17, 2018, the Health Over Profit for Everyone campaign delivered a letter to Congresswoman Jayapal requesting her to share a draft text of HR 676 with the single payer movement for review and input. See, Letter to Congresswoman Jayapal – Release the text of HR 676.

The letter was developed at an in-depth strategy conference that developed a plan for success, How We Win National Improved Medicare for All. The strategy includes, as an immediate priority, protecting and improving HR 676, which has the support of 123 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. The letter to Jayapal points out a red flag, stating:

“Some of your public statements recently have caused concern. In particular, statements about your desire to align the text with the Senate bill, S 1804, which is inferior to HR 676. Indeed, the Senate Bill is so deficient that many in the single payer movement cannot support it unless it is significantly revised.”

Click here to take action.

This comparison between the House Bill and S.1804, whose lead sponsor is Sen. Bernie Sanders, describes some of the serious deficiencies of that bill. Many single payer advocates cannot support the Sanders bill because, for example, it leaves out people who require long-term care, protects the profits of investor-owned providers and has loopholes that allow the insurance industry to continue to participate, making it, in essence, a multi-payer bill. HOPE will also focus attention on Sanders and his co-sponsors to push for improvements to that bill, but the threats to the gold standard bill, HR 676, are more imminent.

Jayapal should follow the lead of Green New Deal legislative advocates. They published a Google Doc with the draft of the Green New Deal legislation. This approach would allow the single payer movement to see the draft and provide Jayapal’s office with comments on it. There is a lot of experience and expertise in the single payer movement that should be involved in order to produce the best bill possible.

The letter points out that the single payer movement wants to be a strong ally to Rep. Jayapal and do all it can to help pass HR 676. A transparent and participatory process will ensure a bill is introduced that the movement can support and can feel confident mobilizing people to help make national improved Medicare for all a reality. Jayapal should see mass participation of the movement as a way to strengthen the bill and its chance for passage.

At the same time, there is anger in the single payer movement at Jayapal’s lack of transparency and that a bill that will impact everyone is being drafted by a small group of insiders. People are ready to protest the lack of transparency and participation but want to give Jayapal the opportunity to do the right thing before escalating to protest.

Click here to take action.

The strategy report points out that the Democratic Party has undermined the single payer movement multiple times, pointing to the Clinton era when HillaryCare created concentrated private insurance corporations and required people to buy insurance, and ObamaCare, which required people to buy private insurance as well. Neither administration would consider single payer Medicare for all, despite majority support.

They also point to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s recent refusal to endorse Medicare for all while listing a host of false policy approaches that will not solve the US healthcare crisis. And Speaker Pelosi is criticized for sending the single payer movement down the false path of state legislation when single payer is not possible at the state level. These refusals by Democratic  leadership to support meaningful reform come when the United States has a major healthcare crisis — 30,000 people die annually because they do not have insurance, the life expectancy of people in the US is decreasing and more than 100,000 deaths could be prevented annually if the US had a single payer system like France or the United Kingdom. There is too much at stake. People will not let the Democrats send the movement off course again.

Everyone should take action because healthcare impacts everyone. Contact Congresswoman Jayapal.  HOPE has created a tool for you to use to Call Rep. Jayapal and urge her to release the text. When you contact her office, let them know about how the Green New Deal draft legislation has been made public and demand the same be done for HR 676.

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Letter To Congresswoman Jayapal – Release The Text Of HR 676

The Honorable Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
319 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Ms. Jayapal:

We Write To You As Longtime Advocates For National Improved Medicare For All As Embodied In The Current Version Of HR 676. We Have Championed HR 676 For The Past Fifteen Years, Working With Congressman John Conyers And His Staff.

We Have A Deep Appreciation For Your Willingness To Not Only Take On The Lead Sponsorship Of HR 676 But Also To Create A Medicare For All Caucus. We Believe We Share A Common Vision Of A National, Universal, Publicly-Funded, Comprehensive And High-Quality Healthcare System In The United States.

We Understand That You Are Rewriting HR 676 Before You Introduce It In 2019. It Is Important To Us That HR 676 Not Be Weakened In This Process, But Be Made Stronger. We Ask That You Release A Draft Of The Text Of The Revised HR 676 So That Longtime Single Payer Advocates Can Read It And Share Our Views With You Before The Bill Is Introduced.

Transparency Matters Greatly To Us As Does Getting The Policy Right. HR 676 Must Be Strong From The Outset So That As It Goes Through The Legislative Process, We Can Be Sure The Final Bill Will Solve The Healthcare Crisis In The United States.

We Know You Have Met With Representatives Of Some Groups. Opening Up The Process Will Ensure That The Best Information On Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Is Contained In The Bill. And, It Will Ensure That The Whole Single Payer Movement Is In Support Of The Bill.

Some Of Your Public Statements Recently Have Caused Concern. In Particular, Statements About Your Desire To Align The Text With The Senate Bill, S 1804, Which Is Inferior To HR 676. Indeed, The Senate Bill Is So Deficient That Many In The Single Payer Movement Cannot Support It Unless It Is Significantly Revised. We Want The House Bill To Remain Strong And Fully Supported By The Entire Single Payer Movement As The Gold Standard That The Senate Must Measure Up To.

We Are Committed To Winning National Improved Medicare For All And Believe The Movement Is Capable Of Winning This Issue In The Near Future. It Will Be A Historic Victory For The United States. We Want To Help You Succeed In Leading This Effort.

We Urge You To Release A Draft Copy Of The New Legislation Before The End Of The Year So People Can Have Input Before It Is Made Final. We Are Being Asked To Mobilize Support For The New HR 676, But We Cannot Support A Bill We Have Not Seen.

Please Let Us Know As Soon As Possible If You Are Willing To Release A Draft Copy Of The New Legislation For Input And When We Can Expect To Receive It.

Kind Regards,

Margaret Flowers, MD, Coordinator, Health Over Profit For Everyone Campaign

Kip Sullivan, Health Care For All Minnesota

Leigh K. Haynes – People’s Health Movement-USA*

Eric Naumburg, M.D., M.P.H., Healthcare Is A Human Right Maryland

Kevin Zeese, Co-Director, Popular Resistance

Kay Tillow, Coordinator, All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care–HR 676

Sumitra Joy, National Consumer Voice Leadership Council-Member Elect*

Health Care For All Minnesota

Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign

James Squire, MD United For Single Payer

Lee Stanfield, HOPE Steering Committee, Founder Of Single-Payer NOW Tucson*

Jody Coss And Ed Klein, Co-Directors, HOPE In The Midwest

Vanessa Beck, MSW, Coordinating Committee, Black Alliance For Peace*

Anne Scheetz, MD, Physicians For A National Health Program, Illinois Single-Payer Coalition, Chicago ADAPT, HOPE

Donna M. Ellington, M.Ed., EdS, Social Media Influencer

Ethel Long-Scott, Executive Director, Women’s Economic Agenda Project*

Bruce G Trigg, MD,  Addiction Medicine Consultant

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This article was originally published on Health Over Profit.

Featured image is from HOP

 

Demand Transparency in Medicare for All