16 Jan 2018

Emergency Demonstration: Against Turkish attacks on Afrin! Friday 19th January

The Turkish armed forces are preparing to invade Afrin, a Kurdish canton in Syria.

We call everyone to join us and protest outside the Turkish Embassy in London . Date : 19/01/2018 Time: 12:00 Address: Turkish Embassy 43 Belgrave Square, Belgravia, London SW1X 8PA Closest station: Hyde Park Corner Kurdish People Assembly Roj Women Assembly Democratic Union Party (PYD)-UK

14 Jan 2018

White Pendragons, Fabian Society and Conspiracy

image via http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/donald-trump-supporters-sadiq-khan_uk_5a59e1ace4b03c418965d116

A meeting of the Fabian Society addressed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan was heckled by a dozen or so member of the White Pendragons, a right wing group.  They shouted pro Brexit slogans, brandished US flags and advocated for Donald Trump.  So far so straightforward, a previous unknown group, they are part of the largely white, male, British far right, a movement made up of individuals moving between UKIP, the BNP,  the English Democrats and EDL.  In other parts of Europe similar individuals are in government, one thinks of Poland or Austria.

(image via http://whattrumpdidnext.com/2018/01/13/these-trump-supporters-built-a-gallows-and-tried-to-arrest-londons-mayor-people-laughed-at-them/)

It is distressing to see mock gallows erected with a rather frank threat aimed at London's first Muslim mayor.  In the 1930s they would have marched against Jews and I guess in a future decade Hindus or Jains might be the source of their alarm, equally if we go back to the 18th century and the Gordon Riots, Catholics would have been the sectarian target.

So far so bad but so predictable.  The white pendragon incidentally is said to be a reference to the flags of Hengist and Horsa who led the Saxons, Angles and Jutes who invaded Britain in the 5th Century AD.  In fact Hengist and Horsa landed in Herne Bay, from where the White Pendragon's spokesperson Davy Russell harks.  Davy, a former member of the English Defence League (EDL) has been described as 'the Herne Bay shock jockey'.

Islamophobia is a sadly mainstream hatred but the Fabian Society is vilified for more obscure reasons.  This centre left organisation has been seen as a mainstay of moderate or right wing or establishment Labour for decades.  Where those on the Corbyn wing of Labour may vilify Progress, the Fabians are seen as part of the party furniture and largely uncontroversial.  Indeed founded in 1884, the Fabian Society predates the formation of the Labour Party by decades.

In the 1950s and 1960s far from being a shadowy left wing group they acted for the Atlanticist right of Labour, advocating a pro US cold war foreign policy.  Pro nuclear figures like Gaitskell and Dennis Healy were notably Fabians and opposed by the left of Labour in often fierce polemical battles.

For the White Pendragons the Fabians are a virtually satanic group who aim to control society.  Part of a network of one world or new world order groups,  whose ultimate aim is the destruction of British society.

While advancing socialism the Fabians are part of a conspiracy staffed by an international banking elite.

The conspiracy thread in far right politics especially anti-semitic forms is disturbing and confusing.  The White Pendragon's objections to the Fabians, which seem to be a central part of their political world view, is incomprehensible to observers.  It is a standard on the British far right.

The first leader of the National Front, A.K.Chesterton, wrote an account of conspiracy entitled 'The New Unhappy Lords'.  The Bilderburgs, Rothschilds, Rockerfellers and, indeed, the Fabians, are part of a conspiracy to advance Soviet interests and destroy the British Empire.

The far right John Birch Society advanced related conspiracy theories in the USA during the 1950s and onwards.

The international far right have variously linked freemasons, socialist networks including the Fabians, bankers and Bilderburgs and the UN into a paranoid and mutating story of manipulation.

Typically a survey of the Australian far right in the 1970s noted:

In recent years Mr Butler has mellowed a little, and appears to have sought a more responsible image. But his League of Rights has continued to disseminate claims of a Communist conspiracy. One claim is that the Fabian Society and the London School of Economics are centres of operation for the International Jewish-Communist conspiracy. Mr Butler today claims that he no longer agrees with everything he has published—”Some of my best friends are Jews”, he has said. But his record speaks for itself. He has distributed anti-semitic and pro-fascist literature written by Sir Oswald Mosley, the British Fascist, and Lincoln Rockwell of the American Nazi Party

Often the conspiracies become mysterious and complex:

The American conspiracy theorist has always known that there were people out to destroy the paradise that was mythical America, land of the brave, home of the free. But they kept changing their minds about the identity of the evil conspirators. Was it the Catholics? The Masons? The Jews? The bankers? The East coast elite of 'old money'? Fabians? After 1917 they knew it was International Communism but they weren't sure if there was someone else behind the Red Menace. Some suspected that Communism was merely a front for international Jewry (weren't Marx and Engels Jews?). Sometimes all the suspects were amalgamated into one vast, muddled, fudge as in this early 1950s formulation in which the threat was a 'Fabian, Rhodes Scholar, Zionist, Pinko, Communist, New Deal, Fair Deal, Socialist-minded gang'.2

Stray facts are built into a comprehensive narrative. Hitler was another exponent and the far right wing conspiracy narrative can be traced back to Abbe Augustin Barruel's Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire du Jacobinisme.  Barruel's views were described by Nesta Webster, whose books were read by an array of far rightists including the John Birch Society.

Such conspiracies cannot, of course, be convincingly refuted.  To challenge them shows that one is part of the conspiracy.

The thinking is that any revolution or unrest is a product not of injustice but of the plans of a manipulative external group.

By demonising a particular group violence is legitimated.  Thus the gallows is symbolically put forward by the White Pendragon as the solution to treachery.  The alien all powerful enemy is the big 'other' targeted by the conspiracy thinker.

The anti-conspiracy organisation see themselves as the knights of good fighting against superhuman evil forces.  Fear is linked to moral certainty, despite the seeming incoherence and opaqueness of their views.

Sadiq Khan's religion was not the main target for the White Pendragons, instead they were challenging the Fabian Society who they view as a bastion of evil rather than a rather mild political group committed to discussion and compromise!

I will blog something critical about the Fabians another day, I am largely ignorant of the 'freemen' on the land aspect of the White Pendragons but will discuss if I have time to find out.

10 Jan 2018

Critical humanitarian situation in Mindanao – Urgent appeal for financial aid

The most important initiative of solidarity taken by our association, ESSF, during 2017 concerned the island of Mindanao, in the south of the Philippines, reports Pierre Rousset. Then it was a question of responding to the humanitarian consequences of the “Battle of Marawi” between government forces and jihadist movements – more than 600,000 people (mostly Muslim) had to flee the fighting and often found themselves totally destitute.
The battle of Marawi lasted 5 months. The reconquest of the city by the army did not, however, led to an improvement in the humanitarian situation in Mindanao. The situation is actually more critical than ever, for various reasons: a devastating typhoon, widespread fighting between government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) of the CPP, a new jihadist area, prolongation of martial law throughout the whole island, mountain populations directly threatened by the activities of forestry and mining companies and the impossibility for the majority of the inhabitants of Marawi to find decent living conditions …
This is why we are relaunching our solidarity initiative this beginning of 2018. The funds collected will be sent to:
Mihands coalition [1]with whom we have been working for years, specifically asking them to use the funds for the victims of humanitarian disasters, whatever their origin (whether as a result of the typhoon or of the military conflicts …).
The Tripod association [2], which is part of the Mihands network, specifically asking them to use the funds to help the mountain population.
As a result of the donations we received at the end of 2017 for our permanent Asian Solidarity Fund, we have already been able to send this month of January 4,000 euros to Tripod .[3] We thank all those who made this emergency aid possible.
Description of the situation
Typhoon Temblin (international name) Vinta (Philippine name) struck Mindanao on December 22 2017, crossing the northern part of the island from east to west and causing considerable damage: floods, landslides, etc. On December 24, we received a call for solidarity from Mihands, which was published here.
Climate change is having an effect on the area. Mindanao used to be hit by violent tidal waves, but not by the great tropical storms (typhoons), which crossed the Philippine archipelago farther north; they have now extended to the south where the people are poorly prepared for their violence. Besides, much of the devastation is due to economic activity, including deforestation –mostly illegal. This further explains why Temblin / Vinta has far more victims than this volume of rain would normally imply.
Figures from late December mentioned 670,000 people affected by the typhoon, 140,000 displaced, 2,600 homes damaged, 60% destroyed, more than 200 dead, many injured. However, the situation in many localities remained unknown. We will be receiving later assessments soon.
Mining and forestry lobbies are seizing new lands, aggravating the consequences of climate chaos Their activities also directly threaten to uproot of various lumad communities – that is the mountain tribes (or mountain ethno-linguistic groups) of Mindanao by penetrating into their ancestral domains.
The army and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are now in total conflict (even if the CPP has participated in the current government of Duerte). Fighting is widespread across much of Mindanao and is often concentrated in mountainous areas. The pressure of the state of war is felt by communities everywhere, especially by the lumad communities. In areas where there is no active armed conflict, the population tries to preserve peace by avoiding being dragged into the spiral of militarization.
Martial law has again been extended throughout the island of Mindanao for the whole of 2018. Practically, this means that the army can do what it wants, even though the 1987 Constitution, drafted after the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship, supposedly limits their powers under martial law – and states that it should be an exceptional situation. The army acts unfavourably and with suspicion against Muslim refugee families from the Battle of Marawi, the self-organization of local communities, civic movements, and left forces from all tendencies… In these conditions, the military framework renders the action of humanitarian grassroots networks more difficult.
The various causes of misfortune have been superimposed on each other, creating a particularly critical humanitarian situation in a large part of Mindanao.
As soon as we receive additional information, we will let you know.
Thank you for your solidarity,

Continue reading at  http://socialistresistance.org/critical-humanitarian-situation-in-mindanao-urgent-appeal-for-financial-aid/11354

4 Jan 2018

RIP Alan Roberts pioneer of Marxism and Ecology

Alan Roberts 1925-1917

Very sad that Alan Roberts died, he was a massive influence on my politics, I found a copy of his book The Self-Managing Environment in Chippenham Library in 1980.
He clearly lead a long healthy and militant life. A working class revolutionary and scientist, he was an associate of the amazing Nick Origlass.

Intellectual work isn't simply a mirror but about production and Alan produced impressive constructing an eco Marxist politics based on self-management, science and long before most of us had heard of Elinor Ostrom the commons. 

Comrade we miss you, we celebrate you and we will build on the foundations you have made us. 

2 Jan 2018

Hugo Blanco says 'Send Fujimori back to prison'

Taking advantage of the holiday season, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuzinski (PPK) freed former dictator Alberto Fujimori, imprisoned for multiple murder. Christmas Eve is called " the night of peace, night of love" but the Christmas gift of PPK to the Peruvian people was to free the symbol of war and hatred against our people .
From that moment, in Cusco, where I was, in Lima and in other cities, people went out to the streets, abandoning their Christmas dinner. In Lima, the capital, the demonstration intended to go to the Government Palace - the seat of government -, but in the face of police opposition went to the residence of the president. The videos show the protesters pushing against police shields.
On Christmas Day, Cusco returned to the streets and a meeting was called at the premises of the Workers’ Federation of Cusco for the following day. At the meeting, a governing body was appointed to continue the fight for Fujimori to be returned to prison. A regional strike is being prepared and a national strike will be fought. There were protest demonstrations in several cities.
Former Minister of Justice Marisol Pérez Tello had said that the Peruvian president should not be granted a common pardon since he was convicted of crimes considered crimes against humanity. But, the president changed the Comisión de Gracias Presidenciales, the body that considers pardons, by appointing a new minister, Enrique Mendoza, in order to have Fujimori’s freedom.

You can read the rest of the post at International Viewpoint, translation from Spanish by Socialist Resistance comrade

31 Dec 2017

Hugo Blanco 'Retorno a la cárcel de Fujimori'

Retorno a la cárcel de Fujimori

(This is on the protests against the pardoning of former Peruvian President Fujimori by Hugo Blanco, the BBC and most media outlets in the UK don't put this on the front page, will get a translation when I have a moment.  Fujimori's security apparatus put Hugo Blanco on their death list but he escaped before they could kill him)

Aprovechando la nochebuena el presidente peruano Pedro Pablo Kuzinski (PPK) liberó al exdictador Alberto Fujimori, encarcelado por asesinato múltiple.
La nochebuena es denominada “Noche de Paz, noche de Amor” y el regalo navideño de PPK al pueblo peruano fue liberar al símbolo de la guerra contra nuestro pueblo y del odio contra él.
A partir de ese momento, en el Cusco, donde yo estuve, en Lima y en otras ciudades, la gente salió a las calles abandonando la cena navideña.
En Lima, la capital, la manifestación pretendió ir al Palacio de Gobierno, ante el rechazo de la policía se dirigió a la residencia del presidente. Los videos muestran a los manifestantes empujando los escudos policiales.
El día de Navidad el Cusco volvió a salir a las calles y se convocó a una reunión en el local de la Federación de Trabajadores del Cusco para el día siguiente. En la reunión se nombró un cuerpo directivo para la continuación de la lucha por el retorno de Fujimori a la cárcel, se prepara un paro regional y se luchará por un paro nacional.
Hubo manifestaciones de protesta en varias ciudades.
La exministra de Justicia Marisol Pérez Tello dijo que al expresidente peruano no le correspondería un indulto común ya que fue condenado por crímenes considerados de lesa humanidad.
Por lo tanto el presidente nombró un nuevo ministro, Enrique Mendoza, para que liberara a Fujimori, éste cambió la Comisión de Gracias Presidenciales.
Nombraron una junta médica donde estaba incluido el médico del reo, que calificó de “grave” la salud de Fujimori.
El pueblo peruano opina que ésta es una traición, pues precisamente PPK fue elegido para que la hija del dictador no fuera presidente, pues liberaría a su padre. 
La ley peruana impide dar libertad a un preso cuando hay un proceso en curso: El caso de la matanza en Pativilca. Por lo tanto es ilegal la liberta de Fujimori.

¿Qué significó el Fujimorismo?
En 1990 los candidatos fueron Mario Vargas Llosa y Fujimori.
El programa económico de Vargas era neoliberal, contra eso el Perú votó a Fujimori.
Fujimori en el poder practico la política económica planteada por Vargas Losa. Privatizó las empresas públicas.
La noche del 5 de abril de 1992 Fujimori dio un mensaje a la nación en el que anunciaba la intervención del Congreso de la República, el Poder Judicial, el Ministerio Público.
Mientras el discurso era transmitido por televisión, tropas del Ejército, de la Marina y de la Fuerza Aérea llegaron al Congreso de la República, el Poder Judicial, el Ministerio Público, entre otras instituciones para tener el control completo de ellas. También fue intervenida la sede de la Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú (CGTP) y otros sindicatos.
Los hechos ocurridos inmediatamente después del mensaje a la nación, solo fueron difundidos por medios internacionales. Miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas ingresaron a canales y emisoras de radio, y obligaron a seguir con la transmisión normal, sin informar sobre lo que ocurría en las instituciones estatales y en la calles. El gobierno decretó un toque de queda y comenzó una serie de detenciones a empresarios y políticos.
Puso el Poder Judicial y el Ministerio Público (fiscales) a su servicio.
Con el dinero de todos los peruanos impulsó la “prensa chicha” a su servicio.
Educó a sus hijos en costosas universidades de EEUU con el dinero del pueblo peruano.
Sus familiares robaron dinero enviado de Japón para gente pobre. Su esposa, Susana Iguchi, denunció esto. Por esa causa hizo apresar y torturar a su esposa.  Su hija Keiko aceptó ser nombrada “primera dama” en lugar de su madre apresada y torturada.
Obligó a esterilizar forzadamente a mujeres indígenas para exterminar nuestra raza.
Cambió la Constitución para ser reelecto
Compró políticos, como se vio en un video de su principal asesor.
Organizó grupos de asesinos mercenarios como el grupo Colina que masacró a estudiantes y un profesor de La Universidad La Cantuta.
También el grupo Colina masacró en Barrios Altos.
El caso Pativilca, arriba mencionado, fue así: Los integrantes de Colina llegaron secuestraron a John Calderón Ríos (18), Toribio Ortiz Aponte (25), Felandro Castillo Manrique (38), Pedro Agüero Rivera (35), Ernesto Arias Velásquez (17) y César Rodríguez Esquivel (29).
Luego de reducirlos, los torturaron con quemaduras de soplete en diversas partes de sus cuerpos, incluido el ano; y además les propinaron patadas. Después de esto, los mataron con sendos disparos de bala en la cabeza y lanzaron sus cuerpos en un cañaveral.

Apareció un video que mostró a su asesor Vladimiro Montesinos (ahora preso) comprando a un político opositor.
Fujimori anunció que habría elecciones y que él no postularía.
Luego viajó a la reunión del Foro de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC) realizada en Brunei, desde ahí renunció a la presidencia por fax. Luego viajó a Japón, como también es ciudadano japonés por ser hijo de japoneses, ese país no lo enviaría al Perú.
Cercanas las elecciones en el Perú en 2006, viajó a Chile, pues sus partidarios le dijeron que el apoyo de la población peruana era grande.
Al pedido de extradición de Perú por los crímenes de su gobierno, Chile lo extraditó.
Fue encarcelado por las masacres de La Cantuta y Barrios Altos.

El indulto
Es un indulto político. Cuando el congreso votó la vacancia de PPK, Fujimori telefoneó a sus partidarios para que votaran en contra. En recompensa a eso PPK lo indultó.
Es ilegal, pues ahora existe la aceptación de extradición por otros delitos: La resolución de la Corte Suprema de Chile, que aprobó por unanimidad la ampliación de la extradición de Fujimori, habilita al Poder Judicial de Perú a seguir un proceso por el llamado caso Pativilca.
La ley peruana impide dar libertad a un preso cuando hay un proceso en curso. Por lo tanto es ilegal la liberación de Fujimori.

Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos solicitaron una audiencia a la Corte Internacional de DDHH que será en febrero de 1918.
La Oficina Regional para América del Sur del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos (Acnudh), Fundación para el Debido Proceso (DPLF),  Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (Cejil) y la Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos (WOLA), opinan que no se respeta las normas internacionales de Derechos Humanos.
Corte Interamericana de DDHH cita a audiencia. Señala que participación de su médico de cabecera en junta médica afecta la imparcialidad del proceso y que derecho de gracia impide procesarlo por el caso Pativilca. Audiencia extraordinaria de la CIDH será el 2 de febrero. Tribunal supranacional advirtió que al haber dado el indulto, PPK incumplió obligaciones internacionales.

Renuncias en protesta contra el indulto
Renuncian 3 funcionarios del Ministerio de Justicia a causa del indulto
El director general de Derechos Humanos del Ministerio de Justicia renunció.
La prefecta (el más alto cargo político a nivel departamental) de Moquegua, Paulina Lourdes Cano Oviedo,  renuncia a su cargo y al partido del gobierno.
Renuncia el Ministro de Cultura Salvador del Solar.
Tres parlamentarios del partido del presidente renuncian a dicho partido.

Continúan las movilizaciones populares
Arequipa, Cusco, Puno y Tacna continúan protestando.
Gremios de Puno declaran traidor a PPK y saldrán a marchar a las calles. Dicen: “El fujimorismo llegó al poder a través de PPK. ¡Que se vayan todos!” refiriéndose a los políticos corruptos.
En el norte: Chiclayo, Trujillo Chimbote y Piura también se movilizaron.
La Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú evalúa la posibilidad de un paro a nivel nacional.

Emergency Demonstration: Against Turkish attacks on Afrin! Friday 19th January

The Turkish armed forces are preparing to invade Afrin, a Kurdish canton in Syria. We call everyone to join us and protes...