Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CENSORED NEWS: TransCanada encouraged torture of peaceful protestors Day 3 Texas

CENSORED NEWS: TransCanada encouraged torture of peaceful protestors Day 3 Texas

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Petition against the occupation of Gaza...

 International petition against the Gaza siege
While the Swedish ship Estelle makes her slow way to Gaza, visiting numerous ports on the way and being warmly welcomed, hundreds of parlamentarians, prominent civil society actors and artists from different countries signed a petition against the siege, due to be published in the European and American media in a few days.

To add your signture write to organizer Mikael Lצfgren at:
cam.lofgren@gmail.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Text of the petition:

This summer, the intensified blockade of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip has continued into its sixth year. The blockade—referred to as `the siege` by its victims—is a violation of international law and of the fundamental human rights of the civilian population in Gaza. The blockade has devastating humanitarian consequences for more than 1.6 million people, most of them children, on this coastal strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the Negev desert.
  
The blockade is illegal, inhumane and—from Israel´s point of view—counterproductive; it neither stops weapons from being smuggled into the Strip or missiles from being fired, nor has it put Hamas out of power. On the contrary.
  
The documentation of the blockade´s inhumanity and failure to generate anything but violence and despair, is mounting. ”End the blockade on Gaza now”, 50 humanitarian organizations and UN agencies urged in an exceptionally frank statement in June. In addition, a UN report issued in August concluded that Gaza won’t be livable by 2020 if urgent action is not taken.

The blockade makes it impossible to properly rebuild the hospitals, homes and water treatment plants that were all destroyed in the massive bombing of Gaza in the winter of 2008/2009. The export ban prevents Gaza’s residents from earning a living and is an important factor behind the almost total dependency on aid. The “tunnel economy”, which is one of the consequences of the blockade, nurtures criminality and undermines any legitimate economy.

Family members who live in Gaza and the West Bank are denied the right to visit each other. Young people are denied access to higher education at Palestinian universities in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Fishermen are forbidden to fish outside of three nautical miles from the coast.
  
Throughout history, the Mediterranean Sea has provided a link between people and cultures. However, for the Palestinians in Gaza the sea constitutes a wall, just like the ones that separate them from Israel, Egypt and other parts of Palestine.

The blockade is a clear impediment to a sustainable and just peace. However, it is evident that our politicians have fallen short when it comes to adhering to declarations on human rights and international law. It is now time for civil action.
  
Civil action is what the Ship to Gaza/Freedom Flotilla is offering. The S/V Estelle has been sailing since the beginning of the summer. Gaza is her destination; ending the siege is her goal. We, the undersigned, express our support for non-violent actions of solidarity like the Ship to Gaza/Freedom Flotilla, an initiative in which some of us are participating as passengers and others as committed sympathizers on land.

Our message is simple:
Palestinians are humans with human rights! End the siege! Let the people go!



News of Swedish Ship to Gaza
http://shiptogaza.se/en





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Anonymous Video of brutal police raid on Zuccotti Park Occupy protesters...

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Documentary about the ignored genocide of the Heroro of Namibia...

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Monday, September 17, 2012

This was a comment I wrote over on facebook in response to discussion about Obama's relationship to the Black middle class...

 I think that one of our collective failings as Black peoples in the west has been our collective choice to move away from understanding class, class divisions and class oppressions consciously, critically.

 There was a moment, a time when the forefathers and foremothers did not concern themselves with whether those who wanted to see their defiance stopped called them communists. I think that if they weren't fully communists they were definitely, as conscious working class people who understood themselves as revolutionaries, whose goals where collective and (truly) left rather than hierarchical and right of center or extreme right, communist sympathizers who were powerfully allied with working people led movements for change around the planet.


They thought and wrote about how their Blackness combined with their class location in ways that pitted them in direct struggle with members of the upper classes regardless of ethnicity. They could sniff out a jive ass sympathizer/collaborator of The Man and did not assume that just because someone was Black that they were on the side of revolution.


A few years back I came across a conversation on youtube. It was between some premier Black academics. Two men and one woman. All very highly respected. All very well known. One of the men and the woman, who is a premier feminist thinker, engaged in conversation about Black community in the time of crack.


Class came up...sort...of.


It was brought up by the male academic who is very well known for trumpeting the praises of Black people presenting as heterosexual, married, middle class as a way to "uplift" our peoples. He said (and I'm paraphrasing and interpreting here, which means that your reading of what occurred might be very different and that you're welcome to it, of course) that he thought there were two Black communities. One was the desperately poor drug riddled one. The other was the community of those who had high paying jobs, houses, property, vacations, good schools for their children.


Sigh...He said that the latter had a responsibility to the former because it was basically the besieged remnant of the home place the more affluent folks had been nurtured by and had emerged out of.


The Black feminist academic seemed to my mind to have an indignance juiced meltdown. Her words came very quickly, fairly spilling out of her. To me she seemed to not be really interested in engaging with what her co-conversant had said, much more interested in making sure she proved him wrong. Very, very binary. Very unacademic, not at all philosophical or interested in the exchange of ideas. Just sort of...peeved that he went there.


She swore that she didn't know anything about two Black communities and that for her there was only one. She said that her links to the whole community were strong and that despite being a world famous author, who most likely (I'd think) has tenure at a very well respected and high paying university far, far away from any Black people's communities, she powerfully connected with everyday Black communities all the time.


She did, however, add that she knew many successful careered Black people who were one paycheck away from the street. And that this whole notion of there being a set of more well positioned, more powerful, dominant Black people who might be trying to scrape the privileged Black communities off their shoes like so much sticking, stinking shit, was news to her.


hehehe :)


What struck me about this conversation between these highly educated Black author academic intellectuals, was the blatant lack of consciousness about the workings of class, classism, class division, class war, class stratification they displayed. It was sad the way they reached for language and analysis to describe a situation on the ground that their class privilege had so distanced them from that they were not even able to agree that there was an issue here, numerous issues, in fact, that needed to be teased out and discussed in the open that would probably embarrass and call to task people who had found a way to access privilege beyond race.


Their ideas and conversation were rudimentary, stumbling, exposing on one conversant's side an inclination towards filtering the issues through hierarchy and the oppressive dynamics of charity. On the other side textbook denial serving as cover for a positioning of the Black middle class as oppressed and endangered rather than living beyond its collective means and in need if a radical revolutionary anti-oppression re-org, was clear and present.


None of those speaking was even able to address conditions in Black working class, working poor communities. They weren't even in agreement about the importance of class or class analysis.


That conversation was difficult for me to watch as someone who was raised working class, working poor who has in a variety of different ways middle cllass/ed, yes, through education, familial alliance, relationship and who does quite clearly see the discrepancies and holes in what they were each saying. It is the fact that I bear no love for or loyalty to the middle class of any ethnic/cultural/national group of people that opens my mouth.


I suspect that it was their love for and loyalty to their own middle class privilege as career'd and status'd Black people that kept them stumbling for words that would not implicate them and their participation as Black middle class people, in systems of domination that keep other Black people in their place.




All this to say...I think that one of the reasons Barack Obama, the murderous, war mongering, dissimulating buppet of Wall Street, was voted into power was because the Black middle class were manipulated into seeing themselves, their wimminfolk, their children, their lifestyles, their dreams, their goals for themselves and for their communities in him, his relationship with his wife, his children, his family life, his success, his status, his very existence.


All of what his campaign careful marketed with the brand phrase "YES WE CAN!" combined to trumpet to those who identify with class privilege, status and hierarchy in Black communities, that he, his family and his administration would open more doors to the halls of wealth and power for the Black middle class.


Now this particular campaign strategy only worked and only continues to work because the folks who were supposed to be adept not just at speaking about race and racism but also about how white domination goes hand in hand with class dominance, creating and then utilizing to maximum benefit middle class buffers of snitching, disdainful, tsk-tsking, gate keeping, ambitious, carrot chomping, oppressive working class people who have been pretty much lobotomized into forgetting who they actually are. In other words, they have been offered incentives to forget who they actually are. Then they have re-branded themselves to others as separate, different, better quality and caliber folks than the people they came from.


Their one job whether it is in USian Black communities or in South African Black communities, or in Caribbean Black communities or in Kkkanadian Black communities is to keep those who are still understood to be working class and poor so anxious about day to day survival, so desperate to feed and clothe their children, so brokenhearted, self blaming, shame filled, humiliated, impotently filled with depression, so woefully attached to and dependent on the crumbs thrown to them by the middle class...who get their crumbs from the upper classes, that they have no time to realize they outnumber the wealthy, are just as worthy of security, are capable of forging powerful alliances and rising up to throw off the various oppressive boots on their necks.


heh :)


The problem is, that in a place like the US where the media is doing a much better job of brainwashing and distracting amerikkkan citizens, the middle class are starting to seem increasingly obsolete to the upper classes.


Note: THIS IS NOT CLASS WAR.


The middle class are not endangered as a class. Their class is a figment of their imaginations so thoroughly delluded by the upper classes that they actually understand themself as very close to upper class, definitely not at all related to working class and poor people.


Sadly, regardless of how any of the middle classes understand themselves, many of them are no longer needed as an effective human buffer between the upper classes and the working classes. For decades now in different parts of the world the middle class has been destroyed. What people describe as massive disparity between the wealthy and the poor in other parts of the world is evidence of how the middle class was either never allowed to really have a foothold or of how they have been completely obliterated, sent packing back to their roots.


Here and now in north amerikkka many of those who have traditionally been a part of the middle class or who have only recently been inducted into the middle class are being served their walking papers with only a handful of industries still on the payroll for the foreseeable future. Even the teachers are no longer in such great number to mind mess and MISeducate the working classes into self subjugation.


Significantly, just as other communities of middle class people are starting to feel the effects of no longer being needed as lackies, or rather of having their support taken for granted by the upper classes, a new group of up and coming middle class loyal worker bots have been offered legitimacy, meaning, they have been offered an official entry pass into the hallowed halls of relative class privilege via, you guessed it, marriage. Clearly the Obama administration's employers understand that in the coming years, having the loyalty of a new/er set of middle class voter buffers in the form of gay and lesbian community, will be significant. Perhaps they're concerned about having someone to keep queers who remain alienated and dispossessed in their place? Yup. That sounds just about right.


Sadly for many people, the privileged gravy train of middle class privilege is coming to an end. For many Black middle class folks the doors to the gravy train only opened recently. So, I get that it stings and frustrates many of us that the buffet is closing down just as we picked up our plates or just after we managed to get a couple of servings. It's scary because our lives and ways of being have been predicated on an assumption that abundance beyond what we had been raised with would continue indefinitely and that we, like our white counterparts, would be able to accrue enough to safeguard generations past our time here.


BUT THIS IS NOT CLASS WAR. The Black middle class has yet to divest itself of it's belief in a classed system that benefits some but not others that allowed them to come under the thrall of a snake oil salesman like Barack Obama. When Black middle class people finally do remember who they come from and stop craving the crumbs they have been offered in exchange for policing and gate keeping...when they stop seeing themselves as victims of the system and choose to understand themselves as participants in the domination of their fellow Middle Passage sibs...when they realign themselves completely with other Black people who are resisting while struggling just to draw breath each and every day, then and only then will we have class war.











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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

These words by Emmanuel Ortiz never get tired or old...

A MOMENT OF SILENCE, BEFORE I START THIS POEM

By Emmanuel Ortiz

Before I start this poem, I’d like to ask you to join me

In a moment of silence
In honor of those who died in the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon last September 11th.
I would also like to ask you

To offer up a moment of silence
For all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned,
disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes,
For the victims in both Afghanistan and the U.S.

And if I could just add one more thing…

A full day of silence...
For the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the
hands of U.S.-backed Israeli
forces over decades of occupation.

Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi people,
mostly children, who have died of
malnourishment or starvation as a result of an 11-year U.S.
embargo against the country.

Before I begin this poem,
Two months of silence for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa,
Where "homeland security" made them aliens in their own country.


Nine months of silence... for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
Where death rained down and peeled back every layer of
concrete, steel, earth and skin
And the survivors went on as if alive.


A year of silence...for the millions of dead in Vietnam – a people, not a war – for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives’ bones buried in it, their babies born of it.

A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos, victims of

a secret war...ssssshhhhhhh...
Say nothing...we don’t want them to learn that they are dead.


Two months of silence for the decades of dead in Colombia,

Whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have
piled up and slipped off our tongues.

Before I begin this poem,
Seven days of silence… for El Salvador

A day of silence… for Nicaragua
Five days of silence… for the Guatemaltecos
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years.
 

45 seconds of silence… for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas…
 

1,933 miles of silence… for every desperate body
That burns in the desert sun
Drowned in swollen rivers at the pearly gates to the Empire’s underbelly,
A gaping wound sutured shut by razor wire and corrugated steel.

 
25 years of silence… for the millions of Africans who found their graves far deeper in the
ocean than any building could poke into the sky.
For those who were strung and swung from the heights of sycamore trees
In the south… the north… the east… the west…
There will be no DNA testing or dental records to identify their remains.

100 years of silence...
For the hundreds of millions of Indigenous peoples from this half of right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen,
In postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers,
or the Trail of Tears.
Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the refrigerator of our consciousness...

From somewhere within the pillars of power...
You open your mouths to invoke a moment of our silence
And we are all left speechless,
Our tongues snatched from our mouths,
Our eyes stapled shut.
 

A moment of silence
And the poets have all been laid to rest,
The drums disintegrating into dust.

Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence...
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won’t be.


Not like it always has been.

Because this is not a 9/11 poem.

This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem
This is a 1492 poem.
This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be written.
 

And if this is a 9/11 poem, then:
This is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1973.
This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South Africa, 1977.
This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at Attica Prison, New York, 1971.
This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.
This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground amidst the ashes of amnesia.


This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told
The 110 stories that history uprooted from its textbooks
The 110 stories that CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored.
This is a poem for interrupting this program.

This is not a peace poem,

Not a poem for forgiveness.
This is a justice poem,
A poem for never forgetting.
This is a poem to remind us
That all that glitters
Might just be broken glass.

And still you want a moment of silence for the dead?
We could give you lifetimes of empty:
The unmarked graves
The lost languages
The uprooted trees and histories
The dead stares on the faces of nameless children...


Before I start this poem we could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.

So, if you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines and the televisions
Sink the cruise ships


Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights,
Delete the e-mails and instant messages,
Derail the trains, ground the planes.

If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through the window of Taco Bell,
And pay the workers for wages lost.
Tear down the liquor stores,
The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the Penthouses and the Playboys.

If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July
During Dayton’s 13 hour sale
Or the next time your white guilt fills the room where my beautiful people have gathered.

You want a moment of silence
Then take it NOW,
Before this poem begins.


Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,
In the space between bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence.
Take it.
But take it all...
Don’t cut in line.
Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime.
 

And we,
Tonight,

We will keep right on singing
For our dead.

Emmanuel Ortiz is a third-generation Chicano/Puerto Rican/Irish-American community organizer and spoken word poet residing in Minneapolis, MN. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Spoken Word Association, and is the coordinator of Guerrilla Wordfare, a Twin Cities-based grassroots project bringing together artists of color to address socio-political issues and raise funds for progressive organizing in communities of color through art as a tool of social change.




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No matter how certain folks try to shame those of us who primarily write and dream into doing work we are suited for...

At the end of the day I still understand the war between right and left to be a war of ideas, knowings, visions, spirit and words.

Artists, writers, singers, lightworkers, counselors...all those who work in some form with the dream/soul/emotional core of revolution are important. We hold that uncomfortable kernel, the prescient ember, the wise wisp of something resilient that is passed from person to person, that canNOT be destroyed, that forms the foundation for revolutions that inevitably spread like wave upon wave over the planet time and time and time again.

We are part of the change.
We see that change is possible.
We demand change with our images, our voices, our words, our blood beats.

We call out for a new world in times when the old ways constrict. We are a necessary and precious good. We are meant to be right here, right now doing the work of holding and sharing that vision in whatever ways we can.


"Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

― Arundhati Roy, War Talk






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I got this from Solidarity: a socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization...

9/11

On this day in 1973: A U.S.-backed military coup topples the democratically elected socialist government of Chile. The right-wing military government lasted for 17 years and lead to the imprisonment, abduction, and murdered of thousands and thousands of leftists.




Victor Jara (1932-1973) was a Chilean musician, songwriter, and socialist activist. Jara was a leader of Chile's vibrant political folk music renaissance, the 'New Song Movement'. Jara was promptly arrested by the '73 rightist coup, imprisoned with thousands of others in a stadium, tortured, and finally executed. But his songs could not be killed.

This was the last song Victor Jara wrote before he was murdered in Pinochet's 11 September coup in Chile in 1973.



Yo no canto por cantar
ni por tener buena voz
canto porque la guitarra
tiene sentido y razon,
tiene corazon de tierra
y alas de palomita,
es como el agua bendita
santigua glorias y penas,
aqui se encajo mi canto
como dijera Violeta
guitarra trabajadora
con olor a primavera.


Que no es guitarra de ricos
ni cosa que se parezca
mi canto es de los andamios
para alcanzar las estrellas,
que el canto tiene sentido
cuando palpita en las venas
del que morira cantando
las verdades verdaderas,
no las lisonjas fugaces
ni las famas extranjeras
sino el canto de una alondra
hasta el fondo de la tierra.


Ahi donde llega todo
y donde todo comienza
canto que ha sido valiente
siempre sera cancion nueva.

*****************************************

I don’t sing for love of singing
or to show off my voice
but for the statements
made by my honest guitar
for its heart is of the earth
and like the dove it goes flying....
endlessly as holy water
blessing the brave and the dying
so my song has found a purpose
as Violet Parra would say.


Yes, my guitar is a worker
shining and smelling of spring
my guitar is not for killers
greedy for money and power
but for the people who labour
so that the future may flower.
For a song takes on a meaning
when its own heart beat is strong
sung by a man who will die singing
truthfully singing his song.


I don’t care for adulation
or so that strangers may weep.
I sing for a far strip of country
narrow but endlessly deep.




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