Monday, February 28, 2011

International Committee statement on Climate Change

Congress of the Fourth International, the International Committee adopted the following statement. The resolution is here.

Since the World Congress of the Fourth International in February 2010, the consequences of climate chaos have become even more obvious. The worst floods in history in Pakistan, an intense heat wave and burning forests in Russia, chaos in Australia, floods in Sri Lanka, heavy rains and mud flows in Brazil… the summer of 2010 witnessed a record number of disasters caused by human made climate change or rather by the capitalist mode of production. What is more, the victims of those disasters are mainly the poor, women and indigenous people as in Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka,… and more largely in the countries of the South.
The enormous oil spill in the Mexican gulf, caused by the greed of BP, new plans for exploiting shale gas in the never stopping race for fossil fuels and profits, clearly show that we are facing a growing ecological crisis. The ongoing struggle by the Ecuadorian people to keep the oil resources in the soil and thus to defend the integrity of the Yasuni territory, protecting its biodiversity, indicates the only way to a real solution.
We are faced with the reappearance of the food crisis which erupted in 2007-2008. This has led to a new increase in food prices and financial speculation on raw materials. This is one of the many causes of the explosion of the revolts and revolutionary process in the Arab world. We support the struggles of peasant movements and rural communities against agribusiness and GMO’s , in defence of local seeds and agro-ecological farming. We also support movements involved in local food production and distribution, including food production in urban ‘food deserts’ in the poor districts of cities in rich countries.
In 2009, greenhouse gas emissions amounted to a total of a little more the 48 billion tons. In order to keep global warming beneath the dangerous threshold of a 2°C rise, the peak of emissions must be reached in 2015 and emissions should diminish to 40-44 billion tons before 2020.
The climate plans of the developing countries are in line with the IPCC proposals but this is not the case for the rich developed countries! Japan, Russia, Canada are opposed to any extension of the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012. The USA, which is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita, and whose emissions increased by 30% between 1990 and 2005, have not adopted any plan for reductions. The “energy package” of the European Union is totally insufficient and continues to rely on market mechanisms, the promotion of agrofuels and nuclear energy, and the privatisation of tropical forests.
After the Cancún summit , climate negotiations will resume in Durban (COP17) at the end of 2011, followed by the RIO +20 summit in 2012. The agreement concluded between the USA and the large emerging countries during the Copenhagen summit, (an agreement supported by the European Union) means that global climate negotiations are now conducted jointly by the USA and China. The so called “green fund” promises financial support for the investment in green technologies in the developing countries; this money will be managed by the World Bank and will partly consist of loans.
Against the logic of speculation, privatisation and commodification of food, we must counterpose another logic, namely the defence of food sovereignty, regaining control over agricultural and food policies, keeping access to natural resources (water, seeds, land) and fighting against the multinationals and the international institutions as well as the governments who are their accomplices.
The mobilisations of Copenhagen, the alternative summit at Cochabamba and the actions during the Cancún conference have shown that radical mobilisations against the capitalist answer to the climate crisis are possible. The urgency to build worldwide social mobilisations against the ongoing destruction of the climate and against capitalist productivism with its insatiable hunger for fossil fuels, is obvious.
The members of the Fourth International will continue to work towards the building of a unitary mass campaign ,together with the activists and the social movements, in the framework of the Climate and Social Justice campaign. This in the perspective of the organisation of counter summits during the Durban (COP17) negotiations and at the summit of Rio 20+. Only an ecosocialist and anticapitalist alternative constitute a real answer to this global crisis.
Amsterdam
23rd February 2011


__._,_.___

Make love not war- a revolution full of heart. How to make friends and overthrow a dictator.



Libya’s ‘Love Revolution’: Muslim Dating Site Seeds Protest
Coded Love Letters Help Opposition Members Organize Protest
Jeffrey Kofman and Ki Mae Heussner, 24 February 2011 -ABC World News.

When Omar Shibliy Mahmoudi exchanged sweet nothings on the Muslim dating site Mawada, it wasn’t for love but for liberty.

To avoid detection by Libyan secret police, who monitor Facebook and Twitter, Mahmoudi, the leader of the Ekhtalef (”Difference”) Movement, used what’s considered the Match.com of the Middle East to send coded love letters to rally the revolution.
It was “for the freedom, not for the marriage,” he told ABC News.
The Libyan businessman turned opposition leader said he was never politically active before, but as he watched revolutions topple governments in neighboring countries, he knew he needed to act.
So he created a Mawada profile called “Where Is Miriam?” and pretended to be on the hunt for a wife.
The conservative site doesn’t allow men to communicate with other men, so other revolutionaries posed as women to contact him, assuming aliases like “Sweet Butterfly,” “Opener of the Mountain,” “Girl of the Desert” and “Melody of Torture.”
To complete their profiles, they answered the site’s boilerplate questions, such as “How much of your face do you cover?” and “Would a shared marriage be acceptable?”
On the site, the revolutionaries used poetry laced with revolutionary references to gauge support and make initial contact. Then they had detailed follow-up conversations via text message and Yahoo Messenger.
The phrase “May your day be full of Jasmine,” for example, is a coded reference to what’s been called the Jasmine Revolution sweeping the region, Mahmoudi told ABC News.
He said the response, “And the same to you. I hope you will call me” meant they were ready to begin.
If the undercover “lovers” wrote “I want love,” it meant “I want liberty,” Mahmoudi said.
They also communicated in code the number of their comrades supporting the revolution. The five Ls in the phrase “I LLLLLove you,” for example, meant they had five people with them. If a supporter wrote, “”My lady, how I want to climb this wall of silence. I want to tell the story of a million hurts. … But I am lost in a labyrinth. … Maybe we can meet on Yahoo messenger,” it told the writer to migrate the chat to Yahoo Messenger so as not to raise the suspicion of the monitors, Mahmoudi said.
Libya Called ‘Digital Black Hole,’ Cyber Activist Says
In other parts of the Middle East, traditional social media played key a role in revolutionary efforts — a family in Egypt even named their child “Facebook” to recognize the site’s contribution. But cyber activists familiar with the region say Web 2.0 technology never took hold in Libya.
“We used to call it the digital black hole,” said Nasser Wedaddy, a civil rights outreach director for the American Islamic Congress and longtime cyber activist who has worked on cyber outreach efforts in the Middle East for years. “It’s not that they don’t use the Internet. They’re very afraid.”
Activists in Tunisia and Egypt adopted social media on a mass scale, but “for all intents and purposes, in Libya, there isn’t much cyber activism going on,” Wedaddy said.
So as the revolutionary spirit gripped the region, Libyans overseas rushed in to fill the online void.
Libyans inside the country may have uploaded video and pictures to the Internet, but it was Libyan exiles who spread information through social media, according to Wedaddy. That information spread by mainstream media may have helped push Libyan citizens to the street, he said.
“What you have is a very robust community of Libyan exiles who are in Europe and the U.S. They are a buffer layer that is spreading information about Libya,” he said.

Libyan Exiles Speak Up Online

The Libyan-born, U.K.-based blogger behind the website LibyaFeb17.com (who spoke to ABCNews.com on condition of anonymity) said he launched his blog eight days ago, as the protests in Libya began. The 23-year-old blogger said he has dual British and Libyan citizenship and is fluent in both Arabic and English.
“I’ve been following the news ever since, updating my blog with whatever I can get my hands on,” he said.
The Libyan expat said he has an interest in Web technology and Web design and wanted to help spread information for Libyans outside and inside the country.
His site aggregates Libyan radio, video and images uploaded from the region, news reports and social media updates. To help non-Arabic-speakers follow the events, he translates video dialogue, photo captions and other crucial online text.
As Libyans found Facebook blocked inside their country, he posted information about how to bypass online Firewalls.
When they lost access to the Internet altogether, he posted information from the open Internet group Telecomix, which directed Libyans to use dial-up Internet and Google’s “speak to tweet” service to communicate.
Given the unrest in his home country, he said he felt compelled to speak up on the Internet for the people in Libya who can’t.
“I felt it was an obligation to use myself, to use my skills in a field of Web development and Web design to pass on the messages and inform the world,” he said. “I’m trying to blend the best of both worlds — the Arabic and the English. … I can hopefully reach both audiences.”
When Mahmoudi created his pretend profile on Mawada, he figured 50,000 supporters would be enough to take to the streets. But using various aliases on the dating site, he said he ended up with 171, 323 “admirers” by the time Libya’s Internet crashed last Saturday.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whilst the World watches revolution we are peddled reactionary racism at home.

So a poll of 5000 by Populus informs us that 48% of those questioned would support some type of   anti-immigration far right party as long as it eschewed "fascist imagery" and did not condone violence.  Searchlight Educational Trust commissioned the report, titled Fear And Hope - The New Politics Of Identity, " which paints a disturbing picture of our attitudes towards each another and the unknown".

"It also graphically highlights the dangers that lie ahead if the issues highlighted in the research are not addressed. Fear And Hope throws down a challenge to the political parties to really understand what is happening in the body politic and then do something about it."

Director Nick Lowles pointed to some positive findings: "Young people are more hopeful about the future and more open to living in an ethnically diverse society. "The vast majority of people reject political violence and view white anti-Muslim extremists as bad as Muslim extremists and there is overwhelming support for a positive campaign against extremism."

Yes ofcourse there is support for racism, Islamaphobia and fascism in Britain today, but it is stoked up by the tabloids, the EDL and those seeking scapegoats for the present crises caused by the bankers, the City and our failed politicians. When Cameron makes his statement on multiculturalism , his opportunistic attempt at popularism far from helps the situation. There is even greater support opposing racism, Islamaphobia and fascism, as evidenced by the marches, meetings and rallies held over the past 2 years in this country organised by anti-fascists.

Public spending cuts, unemployment and attacks on the living standards of working people carried out daily, with a lack of hope for the future, is the root cause stoking up the fears people have.  However the future is far from bleak. As more and more people join in the fightback against these austerity measures and unite on the streets and in their communities against both cuts, racism and fascism then this is the most effective way of challenging racism.

In supporting ethnic minorities against racist attacks, campaigning actively against the fascists and racists marching on the streets and showing there is an alternative to the international capitalist crises, this can and will be reversed. The problem with these polls is that they fail to show up the number of people actively challenging and standing up against racists and fascists. This is the challenge for the anti-fascist and anti-racist movement, a challenge it is responding to up and down the country. Do not be fooled by the headlines and scaremongerers.

Racism must not be confused with fascism. Immigration controls are racist by nature. Capitalism welcomes immigration when it needs the labour power and selective immigration controls must be racist by definition. There is no such thing as a non violent fascist movement either.Some tried to paint Mussolini as non racist but the evidence is to the contrary. Fascists take to the streets and use violence as the last defence of Capitalism, aimed to destroy resistance by the labour movement. This is the lessons of the 30's and 40's. We have the lessons of Cable Street instead. Try explaining to the victims of Nazism and fascism that you can have a non violent fascist movement! Where and when in history did that ever occur? Never.

The EDL claim they are not fascist or racist but just anti radical Islam, although that does not prevent their supporters on the streets shouting Islamaphobic statements against Muslims, opposing mosques and attracting fascists. The BNP attempted to appear a "normal legitimate party", but there is nothing normal about rampant fascists, with or without Griffin dressed up in a suit. It fools no one.

No, we can not be complacent. The entire labour movement has a responsability in actively rejecting the racist and fascist attempts to assert themselves . Divide and rule is the last card left to a bankrupt system. State bans and polls is not the answer either. The anti-cuts movement and the anti-racist/ anti-fascist movement must ensure that they can defend all communities from racism and offer hope. That is why we must ensure the TUC march on the 26th is the largest this country has ever seen and show there is an alternative.

What the poll also fails to show is that every time fascists and racist attempt to march, there are more anti-fascists opposing them. The poll is not the final word on the matter, even though the tabloids and racists will use it to argue their case. We must counter its message with one that is internationalist, anti-racist and anti-fascist. There are polls and there are polls. Nothing is really scientific about it but it attempts to reinforce a limited view of a quickly disappearing reactionary world. The events in the Middle East , Greece and Wisconsin show these reactionary and racist ideas will end up in the dustbin of history if we unite in our opposition to them.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Days of Rage - and it's not over yet!

video
People march on Gadaffi after Friday prayers


Around 50 people attended an inspiring meeting in Brighton last night to hear about the Middle East insurrections.  Well done to the UCU for organising it at short notice.

There were eyewitness reports from Tahrir Square in Cairo from Egyptian student Hanna Elsisi, and John Rees from Stop the War.  We also heard from Libyan activist Abubaker Deghayes about the dreadful actions of a dying regime in Tripoli and about the Libyan Embassy demonstrations in London.  Abubaker reported that Gadaffi's mercenaries were turning anti-aircraft guns on protesters.

One of the most important messages that we heard was the revolution in Egypt was not over, and that the uprisings were spreading.  People are continuing to occupy Tahrir Square to demand the complete sweeping away of the old regime and for reforms.  We also heard of protests in Bahrain, Morocco, Iraq, Iran and even Saudi Arabia.  Martin Evans, a writer on Algeria, spoke about the fight of people in that repressed country against one of the most oppressive of the regimes.

People in Egypt have formed committees to runs services and keep society running, belying the myth that Arabs cannot rule for themselves without "strongmen" to tell them what to do.  John Rees told us a good trick for recharging a mobile phone while occupying Tahrir Square - it involves taking the front off a lamp post!

Links were made with the struggles in this country against tuition fees and cuts, and with the strikers in Wisconsin. People are losing their fear!

Wisconsin police refuse to act as the Republicans' guard.

Apparently police were ordered into the Capitol building to evict the protesters -- and joined the occupation!

http://understory.ran.org/2011/02/25/breaking-wisconsin-police-have-joined-protest-inside-state-capitol/

BREAKING: Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State CapitolWritten by Jenn Breckenridge

From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:

“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”

Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:

“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”

UPDATE: This video says it all. It makes me proud of my neighbors. “Let me tell you Mr. Walker, this is not your house, this is all our house.”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Enough is enough, the fightback is spreading.Solidarity is the word.

As the struggle for freedom and liberation spreads across the  Middle East, there are those such as Gaddafi who blame it all on drugs, sex and rock and roll. Don't know about you, but the latest images suggest he is the only one who is stoned whilst his people liberate more and more of Libya from his murderous rule. His parents should have warned him about hallucinagenic drugs! Unfortunately his best friends in the WRP didn't. Shame on them for peddling his lies. Libyans will be the last to buy Newsline!


Oh what a day I have had.

How I do so admire Lizzie.
 I seem to have mislaid my
wedding invite.

In the meantime reports come in of a Day of Rage in Saudi Arabia, solidarity demos in Algeria and further mass mobilisations across the region.


The last thing the people of Libya need is western military intervention. Have we not seen how that worked out in Iraq and Afghanistan! Millions dead, tortured and maimed by western arms. Our job must be to maximise solidarity with the people in liberating themselves and oppose our own governments, who have armed these despots and dictators for the past 40 years or so.



In Haringay and Lambeth, local workers, youth and residents joined in with this resistance by actively opposing the Con Dem cuts being imposed on them. If only Labour councillors stopped giving the usual pathetic excuses for cuts and stood by the communities they claim to represent.



Haringay and Lambeth say no to cuts.

Video of 150 protesters holding "People's Assembly" in Town Hall


Now on to London 26th March TUC  demo. Let us kick these arm sellers out of office for once and for all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Save Worthing Theatres

If you are wealthy then perhaps you can afford to buy expensive West End theatre tickets but for most of us that would be a luxury beyond our purse.. The arts, culture and theatre are under attack once again and we are told it is all a case of priorities.Yet that does not stop the same Con Dems cutting and closing libraries, schools, health and all our other essential services.

Local theatre and the arts plays an important role in the life of communities, needing to be defended just as much. We are entilted to see, as a right, live plays and performances which are not only entertaining but also challenging, reflecting the  experiences and aspirations of  local people.

Access to the theatre in its widest form, at affordable prices, is a right and not just a privelege for the few  We do not believe that culture, the arts and entertainment starts and ends with soap operas and adverts.
Across the country, there are many examples of very successful local theatres which have not only been revived but grown, establishing national and international reputations. These have been achieved through imaginative programmes catering for all the communities of the area and risking challenging events. One fine example is that of the famous Trycicle Theatre in Brent.

So when we are told The Connaught should shut as it is an unsustainable business, that is quite simply garbage. Review the programmes, reach out to the communities of Worthing, involve all of us in its acvtivities and once again it will become sustainable. Accountants have little imagination and should move over, the arts are too valuable to be left to them.

The same goes for the Assembley Hall. Perhaps those in power do not like the idea of the community having a place they can hire for a large public meeting place to express how they think and to oppose their austerity plans. Live theatre in these places can be far more radical and entertaining than the poor performances of those who claim to represent us, as they vote in cuts and closures, at Council meetings.

Worthing Solidarity Network is joining in with others to campaign to defend the arts and the theatres of Worthing. There is an online petition which we urge readers to sign.

http://www.saveworthingtheatres.co.uk/

http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/business/vote_worthing_theatre_faces_closure_herald_exclusive_1_2413851

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

From Athens to Lambeth-this is what democracy looks like.

300 local workers, youth and residents occupied Lambeth Town Hall and turned the cuts budget meeting last night  into an anti-cuts peoples assembly. Labour councillors, instead of staying and turning to the people for support in refusing to implement the Con Dem cuts, did what one has grown used to expect, ran. They went and had a private meeting, where they voted their cuts budget through . This will not be forgotten or forgiven by local people come the next election.

How quickly workers across the world are turning to international solidarity. So much for those who peddle the bankrupt ideas saying history, class and class struggle is dead. Neo-liberalism is being rejected across regions and continents as international working class solidarity is once again asserting itself.

From Athens to Lambeth, Libya to Yemen and now Wisconsin , workers are fighting back against the austerity cuts agenda . Ocupations, mass meetings, demonstrations and strikes is the growing response of people power to bankers power. "That is what real democracy looks like " is becoming a popular chant as more and more turn on their failed politicians, who have sold them out.

300,000 marched in Athens yesterday during the General Strike against their government's and IMF  austerity measures. In the meantime in America, some are asking if California will follow Wisconsin?









 

Mugabe does a Gaddafi-urgent messages of solidarity needed.

Mugabe arrests leading member of International Socialist Organisation of Zimbabwe and 51 others at meeting in Harare to discuss revolution in the Middle East.
21 February 2011
 
DEMOCRATIC LEFT FRONT CONDEMNS ARREST OF ZIMBABWEAN ACTIVISTS
 
On the 19Th February , a leading member of the International Socialist Organisation of Zimbabwe,  Munyaradzi Gwisai and 51 others, including students and workers  were arrested in Harare during a unpublicised meeting held to discuss revolution in the Middle East.  They are still being held and will have to be charged today if they are to be held in detention any further. It is believed they will be charged for conspiring against the state and number of them have been beaten physically by their police  interrogators.
 
The DLF stands in solidarity with our comrades in Zimbabwe and all those people fighting against the repressive and dictatorial regime headed by Mugabe.  It is clear the despots on our own borders  fear the prospect of  the winds of massive civil disobedience that is rocking the Middle East will travel down South and confine them to the dustbin of history.   
 
The DLF will not stand idly by if treason charges are laid, we will not hesitate in establishing a defence campaign to drop the charges and have the prisoners released.       
  
Gwisai is currently living between Zimbabwe and South  Africa and has been actively involved in the Gauteng region and national launch of the DLF. He is a former MDC MP, and the Director of the Labour Law Centre, attached to the University of   Zimbabwe.    
 
WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO?
  1. Phone and complain to the Harare Central police station where they are being detained +263-4-777-777;
  2. Send letters of complaint to the representatives of the Zimbabwean government in South Africa
    1. Ambassador. Mr P Mphoko, fax - 012 342 5126
    2. Consul General  Mr. C Mapanga, fax - 011 838 5620

Cameron attempts to reinvent British Imperialism's new role in the Middle East

Having walked around Tahrir Square and greeted the Egyptian Generals, introducing them to several arms exporting salesmen, Cameron then goes on to lecture the Middle East on the benefits of liberal democracy and market forces. No doubt the UK balance of payments deficit will be somewhat reduced if despots continue shooting their own people with British military weapons.

 Obviously Cameron had in mind that classical and outdated economic theory of the Law of Comparative Advantages when he stated in one interview, " The idea that we should expect small and democratic countries like Kuwait to be able to manufacture all their means of defence seems to me completely at odds with reality." Oh goody goody they must buy ours instead?

During a forum debate in a Qatar university, he attempts to defend a, "super tolerant approach, welcoming immigrants and saying that we need to build the house together", arguing political Islam is the problem. No it is attacks by the extremist EDL, BNP and other racists and fascists that cause the problem. It is the daily scaremongering in the tabloid press feeding Islamaphobia. It is the endorsement of illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that is the root of the problem. When a Prime Minister attacks multi-cultutalism on the same day as the EDL marched in Luton then he either knows what he is doing or should sack some of his advisers. You can not have it both ways.

In the meantime, Britain continues to promote arms exports, bolsters despots and defends Israel. These neo-con policies results in the slashing of 50,000 NHS jobs today, along with other austerity cutting measures. Someone needs to remind him that it was the lack of an economic, social and political future that resulted in the youth of the region rising up in the first place. Many of them have also rejected the pro-Capitalist solutions now being offered by the Cameron tour group. The reports of increasing strike action and the growth of confidence by the independant trade unions across the Middle East would not go down well with  the Tories would it?

***BREAKING NEWS, LSE STUDENTS HAVE OCCUPIED IN PROTEST AT THEIR UNIVERSITY ACCEPTING MONEY FROM THE LIBYAN REGIME**
Thurs 24 Feb
Demonstration at the Universities UK spring meeting
2pm Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HQ
University Vice Chancellors, whose organisation Universities UK will be holding its members’ meeting this Thursday, are preparing to hike up tuition fees and make attacks on the jobs, pay and pensions of university workers, who are now being balloted for strike action.
Many of them are also complicit in the brutal repression of protestors in the Middle East: for example, the London School of Economics (LSE) Centre for Global Governance accepted a £1.5million donation from Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, now the public face of the murderous dictatorship in Libya, and many universities work closely with arms manufacturers whose weapons have been sold across the region.
We stand in solidarity with the people of countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya as they demand bread, freedom and dignity. Part of this is fighting for a free and publicly funded education system, without fees, cuts or dodgy deals with dictators and arms dealers. This is why we will be marching on the Vice Chancellors’ Universities UK conference on Thursday, and why we support strike action by education workers against the VCs’ attacks.
For more information go to http://www.educationactivist.wordpress.com/
Click to download:
  • leaflet: After LSE accepts blood money, we need universities of solidarity 
  • poster/flyer for Thursday’s demonstration in London
  • leaflet to UCU members: students will support strike action

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Educationactivistnetwork mailing list
Educationactivistnetwork@agitnet.com
http://lists.agitnet.com/mailman/listinfo/educationactivistnetwork

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Egyptian workers stand with Wisconsin workers

February 20th, 2011 3:45 PM

'We Stand With You as You Stood With Us': Statement to Workers of Wisconsin by Kamal Abbas of Egypt's Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services

About Kamal Abbas and the Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services:
Kamal Abbas is General Coordinator of the CTUWS, an umbrella advocacy organization for independent unions in Egypt. The CTUWS, which was awarded the 1999 French Republic's Human Rights Prize, suffered repeated harassment and attack by the Mubarak regime, and played a leading role in its overthrow. Abbas, who witnessed friends killed by the regime during the 1989 Helwan steel strike and was himself arrested and threatened numerous times, has received extensive international recognition for his union and civil society leadership.
Embed code available here.
English translation follows, below:



The poster in the background shows photographs of some of the recent young victims of the Mubarak government. The writing says they are among the martyrs of the 25 January Revolution.
KAMAL ABBAS: I am speaking to you from a place very close to Tahrir Square in Cairo, "Liberation Square", which was the heart of the Revolution in Egypt. This is the place were many of our youth paid with their lives and blood in the struggle for our just rights.
From this place, I want you to know that we stand with you as you stood with us.
I want you to know that no power can challenge the will of the people when they believe in their rights. When they raise their voices loud and clear and struggle against exploitation.
No one believed that our revolution could succeed against the strongest dictatorship in the region. But in 18 days the revolution achieved the victory of the people. When the working class of Egypt joined the revolution on 9 and 10 February, the dictatorship was doomed and the victory of the people became inevitable.
We want you to know that we stand on your side. Stand firm and don't waiver. Don't give up on your rights. Victory always belongs to the people who stand firm and demand their just rights.
We and all the people of the world stand on your side and give you our full support.
As our just struggle for freedom, democracy and justice succeeded, your struggle will succeed. Victory belongs to you when you stand firm and remain steadfast in demanding your just rights.
We support you. we support the struggle of the peoples of Libya, Bahrain and Algeria, who are fighting for their just rights and falling martyrs in the face of the autocratic regimes. The peoples are determined to succeed no matter the sacrifices and they will be victorious.
Today is the day of the American workers. We salute you American workers! You will be victorious. Victory belongs to all the people of the world, who are fighting against exploitation, and for their just rights.

Socialists must never collaborate with oppressive regimes or they can no longer be described as liberationists



Last week, this blog published a statement by Uri Avnery, as part of the debate on the issue of Palestine and the developments in the region. As the Arab masses struggle against their own despots and dictators, so the Palestinians face oppression from the Zionist state, reinforced by the actions taken by the Palestinian Authority.

Tony Greenstein has written an excellent article and reproduced a response to Uri by Tikva  Honig -Parnass, an Israeli anti-Zionist. Whilst Uri has opposed the settlements and occupation , he takes a different approach to the actions of the Palestinian Authority. Socialists opposing oppression have to be consistent.

Due to  length only, the article has not been published here but do log on to Tony's blog and read it.


http://azvsas.blogspot.com/

Stand by the Libyan masses in their fight for freedom.




Witnesses have informed Aljazeera that a plane load of mercenaries have flown in the early morning from Harare airport, Zimbabwe heading for Libya. They intend to join other murdering mercenaries in being the last bastion of defence for the murderous Gaddafi regime.

http://therevolutionblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/breaking-news-libya.html

Using his oil wealth stolen from the Libyan people, Gaddafi is trying to hold on to power, having murdered hundreds of innocent civilians marching heroically for freedom. How many more will be killed and injured before this nightmare is finally ended? Hopefully as more and more of the military rebel and many others align with the masses in their struggle, his days are numbered.

In the meantime NMS International, a British arms firm, has trained Libyan police on riot control and arranged to sell military equipment which have been deployed against Libyans peacefully demanding freedom and the end of the Gaddafi regime.

According to reports in the Guardian today, one of their directors, Louis Oliver said, " What we have taught them is the British policing system and using an escalated response and not carrying any lethal weapons". He further added how this involved " giving rioters lots and lots of warnings " before they used more forceful weapons. Tell that to the people!

When Cameron visited Cairo, it is reported that his delegation included representatives of arms exporters. When will it end. Will these arms then be turned on Egyptians as they campaign for the end of military rule, the immediate release of political prisoners and the implementation of free elections?

The only ethical foreign policy we should adopt is a total end to this arms trade and a total boycott of trade with despots. Yet at Idex 2011arms trade fair in Abu Dhabi. this blood trade continues, business as normal. British firms continue to sell weapons of death, inspite of the withdrawal of 44 export licences. No doubt trade from other countries will fill any void. As these blood suckers say,"oh what a lovely war, loads of dosh to be made". This business is worth approximately £7.2 billion a year. What is the value of the murdered Libyans worth? These companies should be made to pay compensation to all the victims of their blood profits.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jobs and Services - Not Bailouts For the Rich!

March 26th -TUC " March for the Alternative" in London
 
Jobs and Services - Not Bailouts For the Rich!
So went the original Worthing Solidarity Network slogan - and it's even more relevant now we know both the scale and extent of national and local cuts, as well as the continuing obscenity of multi-billion pound profits for the banks we bailed out and the tax-dodging corporations living the high life while ordinary people face cutbacks.  There are now mushrooming anti-cuts actions and protests in almost every town and city in the UK, such as the Southampton council workers who stormed their employer's cuts budget meeting last week >> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-12483403 
 
WSN has long argued that mass protests by service users and workers, coupled with strikes by affected workers - along with bringing down this Coalition of Cutters altogether - are the only way to stop the devastating cuts our communities face.  To get there, we must continue to expose the Tory lie that cuts are necessary, as well as band together to give more people the confidence to fight back.  
The TUC-called "March For the Alternative" in London on March 26th is an excellent opportunity to do both - on the biggest national scale yet.  
 
WSN wants to ensure that everyone possible in our area knows this protest is happening - and to make it as easy as possible for people to get there. 
Local trade unions including Unite, GMB, NUT and Unison have already sponsored EIGHT coaches, of which two are already full. 

We urge every WSN supporter to get a ticket to come along on March 26th; to help publicise the protest with the posters and flyers we've produced, and to ask your friends, family and workmates to come too.
 
COACHES are leaving from Bognor (7.15am), Littlehampton (7.45am), Worthing (8.30am), and - if there is enough demand - from Lancing and Shoreham.
COACH TICKETS: are FREE to anyone who wants to go (though we're suggesting a donation to WSN of £5waged/£2 unwaged to help fund our campaigning), and are available from:
- WSN meetings (8pm, Weds 23rd Feb / Wed 9th March / Wed 23rd March - The Downview, Tarring Rd)
- WSN campaign stalls (11am-2pm every Saturday in Montague Place opposite the bandstand)

Stop the racists marching in Brighton on 24th April

You think they would have learnt their lesson by now but no. Once again the racists, under the banner, "March For England", are planning to be on the streets to spread their message of hate on April 24th in Brighton.. Last time they mobilised 100 approx ,who were sorrounded by 500 plus anti-fascists.Hopefully even more will be on the streets showing them the door.

On their facebook page ,they claim not to be racist and do not welcome the EDL or others. They would say that. Yet their message remains the same, English nationalism and mythology regarding  ayrian purity.  So nice to see them at war with each other over who is to be the reich fuhrer if they had their way. Which they won't.

Given the recent arson attack on Haywards Heath mosque, the rise in Islamaphobia and Cameron's opposition to multi-culturalism, this event will not go away nor will it be unchallenged. The anti-fascist  and anti- racist movement in Sussex, including the UAF, will be mobilising along with others to make it clear that Brighton is proud of being a multi-racial and multi-cultural society.

Now no doubt there will be some who will say,  "free speech, let them have their say". Well we know what happens when you turn a blind eye to racism and fascism. They will not go unchallenged.

Guess who is coming to dinner? Oh what a bloody meal!

Glad you have not been invited?

With blood on their hands, one wonders if they will be able to wash off the red stains of murder in time for the non event of the year, the royal smug wedding parade. Yes , the same corrupt and despotic rulers who sign lucrative arms contracts with UK arms sellers and then turn them on their own people to hold onto power, have been invited.

The list of over 1000 invites includes, as expected, the King of Jordan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Sultan of Oman, the King of Bahrain, the Sultan of Brunei and the King of Saudi Arabia

One hopes that these monarchs, dictators and despots will be delayed somewhat in attending this exercise in thrift! They may have some difficulties in buying wedding presents if their Swiss bank accounts end up being frozen.

As for Gaddafi, well he is too busy paying for mercenaries and shooting his own people, so between stirring up a civil war and comparing air flight prices for an escape he won't be able to make it either. Perhaps another time!

Oh well glad they are all planning to attend as they will all soon need to make an early escape, before they are all thrown out by their own people. Perthaps they can all squat at Buckingham Palace whilst going through their inevitable life changing experiences.

In the mean time, the people continue to rise up across the region, and refuse to be intimidated. So William, Harry and co, next time you go abroad and shake hands with these enemies of the people on some royal arms contract exporting tour, you shake hands with blood on it. Glad you feel at ease in inviting them to your wedding. Hope it is worth it!! Would not be there anyway.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Report from the Battle for Wisconsin


Have a read of the events in Madison Wisconsin USA on the Solidarity website http://www.solidarity-us.org/current/node/3160#comment-2102 A more extreme attack on workers etc than many of us are facing in our localities but, after Tunisia and Egypt etc, it feels good to see the American workers moving into action.

Report from the Battle for Wisconsin
February 18, 2011 - 11:25pm

This is a report from a Madison comrade, who has been heavily involved with the protests there. He makes great observations on the culture of the protests, how such movements are organized, contradictions between the labor bureaucracy and rank-and-file workers, and all kinds of other stuff you definitely won't learn about in the mainstream media. This was written late Thursday, February 17.
* * * * *
First, I think we're all shocked at what's happening here. There's obviously been a build-up to this point, a few test battles in union-busting public sector workers and of course the (democratic) legislature stalling out and then rejecting state contracts, but the pace at which things have proceeded this week is mindblowing. Walker introduced the bill on Friday with intent to get it passed Wednesday, which pissed people off even more than the contents of the bill already had.
Second, protests have definitely gone above and beyond what union leadership had planned. Monday's action was called by the graduate student union (TAA) to deliver valentines to the governor, "I love my university, don't break my heart", followed by a strict lobbying plan. The day then kind of fizzled. Tuesday was intended to be the same but bigger, but things blew up when firefighters showed up despite being exempt from the cuts and high school students walked out of class as well. Then there was a community forum that encouraged militancy, and as rallies kept the capitol packed throughout the night, students and workers somewhat spontaneously decided to sleep in at the capitol and keep public testimonies going all night long. The TAA initially was against it because they want to appear as good partners to make things work, but have since embraced it and then called for another sleep-in the following night. Madison Teachers soft struck by sicking-out on Wednesday, though not an official union action, and it forced school closures in the city; shortly after WEAC (NEA affiliate for Wisconsin teachers) announced Wisconsin teachers would not show up to work Thursday and Friday to be part of demonstrations.
The union bureaucracy has been lagging behind workers here. The number of handmade signs are roughly equal to mass produced placards, with all kinds of witty takes on pop culture and Wisconsin traditions, but the actions workers are taking are definitely directing how things are shaping up here. The official program of speakers were the same two days in a row—which I think says that unions were expecting a different crowd of people to come for lobbying either day. In their meeting this morning, the AFL-CIO were prepared for a loss, but the mood of workers here is increasingly confident as private sector unions and skilled trades have stuck it out for the last few days. Now it seems like unions are ready to invest in this fight; presidents of the internationals of the NEA and AFSCME were in town today, and its rumored that Trumka and Jesse Jackson will be here tomorrow.
The mood is increasingly confident and the sense of solidarity here is unlike anything I've ever experienced. Madison feels radically different and working class issues have hegemony for the moment--a few examples: two plumbers in the bathroom talking to each other, "This isn't about parties, its about the working class,"; walking downtown people all over are watching tv reports in the streets and discussing what this means for working people while cars honk approvingly at AFSCME members crossing the walk. Firefighters in uniform led demonstrators by bagpipe to a municipal building to get support for a motion to ratify municipal contracts now should the bill pass; they were cheered the whole way through. At the capitol tonight, workers chanted "We are Wisconsin!" and "Union!", and to me they're speaking about the kind of unionism represented by the solidarity in the room, not just collective bargaining. Signs are everywhere in support of the public unions, and businesses that want solicitation have all catered to workers in one way or another. Even emails from liberal-progressive groups I get daily are taking a very different turn, coming out strongly for workers and looking for ways to empower the unions. WORT, the community station, has been covering the bill and the protests around the clock, airing testimonies of workers and most all of their music is labor or struggle themed.
Lastly, things are getting more militant day by day. Monday was sleepier, Tuesday was people finding each other and feeling it out, bolstered by students and firefighters, Wednesday more support (now from cops, too!) and experimentation and today chants are turning to calls for Walker's removal, direct action and no compromises ("Kill the bill!"). Since legislators have fled the state and broken quorum, there is a little more wiggle room to plan something and we're hoping to build confidence to keep things going and encourage strikes or other job actions if the bill makes it through—my sense is that workers are livid and they want this thing dead, period. Wednesday night there was an exchange outside the finance committee where someone came out to silence the chanting, "Be quiet so we can amend this thing for you," which was countered with, "We don't want an amendment, kill the bill!"
So that's the gist of it. Who knows if we've hit the peak or if tonight's sleep-in will have more networking among unionists, students and other workers that will lead to more militancy.




Saturday, February 19, 2011

When you have friends anything is possible, including illegal settlements.


Israeli peace activists against the illegal settlements
protested last night opposite the US Embassy in
Tel-Aviv.

 Whilst talking transparency, democratic rights, freedom of speech and human dignity, the US Administration and Obama show the Palestinians what they really think. Having vetoed a resolution at the UN put forward by Palestinian diplomats, the US once again allowed the Israelis to get away with stealing more and more Palestinian land.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed that the initiative was successful despite the American veto because the 14 other Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution. However it was not passed!

And how did the Israeli Governement respond? "Israel deeply appreciates the decision by President Obama to veto the Security Council Resolution", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement. Ofcourse he would say that, wouldn't he?

In their turn some tried to present this as a great victory. “Palestinian diplomacy achieved a real victory,” said Abbas, according to Wafa, the Palestinian official news agency. What a victory? On the ground, illegal Zionist occupiers once again get away with it, inspite of a few hands going up at the UN .

Israel then went on to thank their U.S. backers for their resolute betrayal once again of the rights of the Palestinians.. In a statement, the prime minister’s office said the decision shows that peace “will come through direct negotiations and not through the decisions of international bodies.” Well what about negotiating with the elected representatives of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank without illegal blocades and attacks by the IDF on innocent civilians?

For the record, The US claims it opposes the illegal settlements but considers a vote at the UN will only complicate matters between the 2 sides. Well they can't get even more complicated at the expense of the Palestinians. Ofcourse officially Obama, like others, supports a 2 state solution but he wants to see the stalled negotiations between the two sides resume. How can Palestinians negotiate on equal terms with their arms and legs tied and guns pointed at them?

Perhaps ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian land over the past 62 years, removing the so-called peace wall and lifting all the restrictions on Palestinians would go some way to confidence building, however not as long as the present Israeli government knows it can rely on US military and political aid. The settlements on the West Bank are a deliberate attempt to prevent the construction of a Palestinian state, making a 2 state solution even less viable.

It is worth reminding ourselves what one of the founders of the Zionist state said. "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."  David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

Declaration of Opposition by Israeli Academics to Occupation and Settlement
This is the first time that Israeli academics have issued an unequivocal statement condemning Israel's policies as they affect both the relationship between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, and the moral and academic standing of Israeli Higher Education. Their focus is the college of Ariel which stands on illegally occupied land in the West Bank. In consequence the signatories have refused to recognise Ariel as a legitimate university, and are therefore boycotting the college.
This courageous stand of 155 academics which we reproduce below, demands the international support of their colleagues. Professor Gov and his colleagues have indicated they would welcome support. In view of the urgency of the situation please send a brief message of support either personally or together with colleagues.  Prof Gov will be making available a full list of signatories in English
Nir.Gov@Weizmann.ac.il
Itamar.Procaccia@Weizmann.ac.il
isaacb@post.tau.ac.il
kolodny@vms.huji.ac.il

And 152 other signatures (in Hebrew)
To send a message of support email:  Nir.Gov@Weizmann.ac.il 
To join the Facebook group click here
Read the full statement below:
Declaration:
We, academics from a variety of subjects and from all the institutes of higher education in Israel, express here publicly our opposition to the continuation of the occupation and the establishment of settlements.
Therefore, we declare our refusal to participate in any academic activity, of any sort, that takes place in the college operating in the settlement Ariel.
Ariel was established on occupied land. A few kilometers from flourishing Ariel, Palestinians live in villages and refugee camps, in hardship and deprived of even the basic of human rights.
 Not only are they denied access to higher education, some of them do not have running water. Two different realities, resulting from a policy that is leading to Apartheid.
 Ariel is an illegal settlement, in breach of the international law and the Geneva convention, which Israel has signed.
 The establishment of Ariel was aimed at one and only purpose: to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and thereby prevent from us, the citizens of Israel, the chance of ever achieving a peaceful existence in this region.
 Ariel is not part of sovereign Israel and we can not be obliged to go there. Our conscience and our public responsibility compel us to express a clear position, especially at the current time, when there is a real chance for a peace agreement, and its clearer than ever that the settlements' purpose is to prevent it.
 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Genie is out of the Bottle

As the  heroic struggles continue against the dictatorships, reports are coming in from across the region of the Middle East of desparate measures being used by state thugs and their rulers to maintain their corrupt and bloody rule. In cities across Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Iran and Bahrain, defenceless and peaceful  demonstrator are being shot and killed, yet the opposition remains strong and refuses to be cowed or defeated. Far from it.

Below is an article produced by the Israeli peace activist, Uri Avnery. Many in the Israeli peace movement recognise that they too have a part to play in this process, supporting the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination. As long as the illegal and inhumane blocade of Gaza continues, along with the occupation of Palestinian land, there can be no real peace.

Zionists have claimed falsely since 1948, that Israel is the "only true democracy in the Middle East". Well now this so-called "reality" is being challenged in front of their eyes. Not that Israel can be considered a democracy and "normal" state, given the way Palestinians and Arabs are being treated daily in Israel and the occupied territories. As the pro-democracy movement grows in the Middle East and North Africa, this strengthens the confidence of Palestinians in their own struggle for liberation and freedom from Zionist oppression.

More and more Jews across the world support the Palestinians in this struggle and reject the claim that Zionists and the Israeli state represent them, saying loudly "Not in our name".

In printing this, it does not mean that we endorse all that Uri writes but feel it is worth reading. The viability of the 2 state solution is in the view of many neither viable nor practicle but the Palestinians must be free to determine their own future, free from oppressive Zionist rule.

The Genie is out of the Bottle - Uri Avnery  February 19, 2011

THIS IS a story right out of “1001 Nights”. The genie escaped from the bottle, and no power on earth can put it back.

When it happened in Tunisia, it could have been said: OK, an Arab country, but a minor one. It was always a bit more progressive than the others. Just an isolated incident.

And then it happened in Egypt. A pivotal country. The heart of the Arab world. The spiritual center of Sunni Islam. But it could have been said: Egypt is a special case. The land of the Pharaohs. Thousands of years of history before the Arabs even got there.

But now it has spread all over the Arab world. To Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen. Jordan, Libya, even Morocco.   And to non-Arab, non-Sunni Iran, too.

The genie of revolution, of renewal, of rejuvenation, is now haunting all the regimes in the Region. The inhabitants of the “Villa in the Jungle” are liable to wake up one morning and discover that the jungle is gone, that we are surrounded by a new landscape.


WHEN OUR Zionist fathers decided to set up a safe haven in Palestine, they had the choice between two options:

They could appear in West Asia as European conquerors, who see themselves as a bridgehead of the “white” man and as masters of the “natives”, like the Spanish conquistadores and the Anglo-Saxon colonialists in America. That is what the crusaders did in their time.

The second way was to see themselves as an Asian people returning to their homeland, the heirs to the political and cultural traditions of the Semitic world, ready to take part, with the other peoples of the region, in the war of liberation from European exploitation.

I wrote these words 64 years ago, in a brochure that appeared just two months before the outbreak of the 1948 war.

I stand by these words today.

These days I have a growing feeling that we are once again standing at a historic crossroads. The direction we choose in the coming days will determine the destiny of the State of Israel for years to come, perhaps irreversibly. If we choose the wrong road, we will have “weeping for generations”, as the Hebrew saying goes.

And perhaps the greatest danger is that we make no choice at all, that we are not even aware of the need to make a decision, that we just continue on the road that has brought us to where we are today. That we are occupied with trivialities – the battle between the Minister of Defense and the departing Chief of Staff, the struggle between Netanyahu and Lieberman about the appointment of an ambassador, the non-events of “Big Brother” and similar TV inanities – that we do not even notice that history is passing us by, leaving us behind.


WHEN OUR politicians and pundits found enough time – amid all the daily distractions – to deal with the events around us, it was in the old and (sadly) familiar way.

Even in the few halfway intelligent talk shows, there was much hilarity about the idea that “Arabs” could establish democracies. Learned professors and media commentators “proved” that such a thing just could not happen – Islam was “by nature” anti-democratic and backward, Arab societies lacked the Protestant Christian ethic necessary for democracy, or the capitalist foundations for a sound middle class, etc. At best, one kind of despotism would be replaced by another.

The most common conclusion was that democratic elections would inevitably lead to the victory of “Islamist” fanatics, who would set up brutal Taliban-style theocracies, or worse.

Part of this, of course, is deliberate propaganda, designed to convince the naïve Americans and Europeans that they must shore up the Mubaraks of the region or alternative military strongmen. But most of it was quite sincere: most Israelis really believe that the Arabs, left to their own devices, will set up murderous “Islamist” regimes, whose main aim would be to wipe Israel off the map.

Ordinary Israelis know next to nothing about Islam and the Arab world. As a (left-wing) Israeli general answered 65 years ago, when asked how he viewed the Arab world: “though the sights of my rifle.” Everything is reduced to “security”, and insecurity prevents, of course, any serious reflection.


THIS ATTITUDE goes back to the beginnings of the Zionist movement.

Its founder – Theodor Herzl – famously wrote in his historic treatise that the future Jewish State would constitute “a part of the wall of civilization” against Asiatic (meaning Arab) barbarism. Herzl admired Cecil Rhodes, the standard-bearer of British imperialism, He and his followers shared the cultural attitude then common in Europe, which Eduard Said latter labeled “Orientalism”.

Viewed in retrospect, that was perhaps natural, considering that the Zionist movement was born in Europe towards the end of the imperialist era, and that it was planning to create a Jewish homeland in a country in which another people – an Arab people – was living.

The tragedy is that this attitude has not changed in 120 years, and that it is stronger today than ever. Those of us who propose a different course – and there have always been some – remain voices in the wilderness.

This is evident these days in the Israeli attitude to the events shaking the Arab world and beyond. Among ordinary Israelis, there was quite a lot of spontaneous sympathy for the Egyptians confronting their tormentors in Tahrir Square - but everything was viewed from the outside, from afar, as if it were happening on the moon. 

The only practical question raised was: will the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty hold? Or do we need to raise new army divisions for a possible war with Egypt? When almost all “security experts” assured us that the treaty was safe, people lost interest in the whole matter.


BUT THE treaty – actually an armistice between regimes and armies – should only be of secondary concern for us. The most important question is: how will the new Arab world look? Will the transition to democracy be relatively smooth and peaceful, or not? Will it happen at all, and will it mean that a more radical Islamic region emerges - which is a distinct possibility? Can we have any influence on the course of events?

Of course, none of today’s Arab movements is eager for an Israeli embrace. It would be a bear hug. Israel is viewed today by practically all Arabs as a colonialist, anti-Arab state that oppresses the Palestinians and is out to dispossess as many Arabs as possible – though there is, I believe, also a lot of silent admiration for Israel’s technological and other achievements.

But when entire peoples rise up and revolution upsets all entrenched attitudes, there is the possibility of changing old ideas. If Israeli political and intellectual leaders were to stand up today and openly declare their solidarity with the Arab masses in their struggle for freedom, justice and dignity, they could plant a seed that would bear fruit in coming years.

Of course, such statements must really come from the heart. As a superficial political ploy, they would be rightly despised. They must be accompanied by a profound change in our attitude towards the Palestinian people. That’s why peace with the Palestinians now, at once, is a vital necessity for Israel.

Our future is not with Europe or America. Our future is in this region, to which our state belongs, for better or for worse. It’s not just our policies that must change, but our basic outlook, our geographical orientation. We must understand that we are not a bridgehead from somewhere distant, but a part of a region that is now – at long last – joining the human march towards freedom.

The Arab Awakening is not a matter of months or a few years. It may well be a prolonged struggle, with many failures and defeats, but the genie will not return to the bottle. The images of the 18 days in
Tahrir Square
will be kept alive in the hearts of an entire new generation from Marakksh to Mosul, and any new dictatorship that emerges here or there will not be able to erase them.

In my fondest dreams I could not imagine a wiser and more attractive course for us Israelis, than to join this march in body and spirit.

Breaking up hurts, especially over AV

So Clegg and Cameron are going their own way on AV. Clegg for AV and Cameron for the status quo.Well it is most strange to hear that the arguement that Cleg uses for AV is that, " we don't always get the MP we voted for". He suggests that AV would ensure better representation. Well only 47% of the electorate voted for the Con Dems and a coalition government was never part of their manifestos.

However these 2 partners of a government committed to attacking working people, the poor and the weak in our society, intend to continue with their attacks after the referendum is over, irrespective of the outcome. AV is not PR, being a very poor version of it.

Whilst some view this as a matter of principle and a do or die issue, will it actually change the outcome? The bankers will continue to make their profits, their bonuses will still be paid and the cuts will continue to bite hard.

No, this is not a blog against PR but a question as to whether AV will make much difference? Some think not.Perhaps those campaigning hard on AV to get elected should be asked to campaign even harder to fight the cuts and support those fighting the Con Dems .

What ever the outcome of the referendum will be, the Con Dems will make up with each other and carry on cutting. Clegg and Cameron will not break up over AV. In the Middle East, in the meantime, the people continue their heoic struggles against undemocratic and despotic regimes. These regimes continue to be armed under export licences by Britain and other governments, AV or no AV.

"You are the generation that will overcome defeat"

Collective Resistance | February 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Categories: Adverts, Egypt | URL: http://wp.me/p1fTzV-9Z

SHIRT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR DEMOCRACY GROUPS IN EGYPT
image"You are the generation that will overcome defeat" Arab poet Nizar Qabbani
For eighteen days so many of us were glued to the TV screens as a revolt unfolded that shook the Arab world , and beyond.  When Mubarak finally resigned Philosophy Football were inspired to produce a fundraising solidarity T-shirt by an article Tariq Ali wrote in the Guardian (see)
The article quotes one of the great Arab poets of the modern era, Nizar Qabbani. Writing in the aftermath of the 1967 six-day war and the coming to power in Egypt of the US-backed dictators, first Sadat, then Mubarak, the poem's prophecy was finaly fulfilled in 2011 " You are the Generation that will overcome defeat."
imagePhilosophy Football's T- shirt is produced in association with the publishers Verso. It will raise funds for Egypt's pro-democracy campaign groups. Groups already active in solidarity with Egypt, Stop the War and others, as well as Verso authors who know the protest movement very well, including Tariq Ali,  will be asked to nominate recipients who will make the most effective use of the resources.  And generosity is rewarded with the offer of The Verso Book of Dissent  half-price, usual price £12.99, when bought with the shirt. Available from http://www.philosophyfootball.com/.