Category: Civil Liberties/Repression

Who’s for a Palestinian State?

Labor Party leader Avi Gabai is right when he says: “The peace process vis-à-vis the Palestinians is interesting only for people over 50.” “Do you think,” he told his supporters, “that people care about a Palestinian state when [President Mahmoud] . . .

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Trump Takes Another Step Toward Authoritarian Government

Socialists must organize a national movement against Trump’s national emergency.

Peel Back Tulsi Gabbard’s “Progressive” Veneer

Tulsi Gabbard is getting a pass from people who should know better, first from Glenn Greenwald and then from the folks at Democracy Now! They describe her as “progressive except that some leftists on some issues say…”

The #MeToo Movement in the Middle East

The #MeToo movement against sexual assault and rape has animated women throughout the world.  In the Middle East too, despite the wars led by authoritarian states, various imperialist powers,  and extremist religious fundamentalist forces, a #MeToo movement is rising. How . . .

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As Macron Prepares New Repressive Measures, Yellow Vests and Red Unions Strike Together

On Tues, Feb. 5, as the Macron government pushed harsh repressive laws against demonstrators through the National Assembly, the Yellow Vests joined with France’s unions for the first time in a day-long, nation-wide “General Strike.”

On Capitalism, Authoritarianism and What Is New about Trumpism

Below is a revised version of a presentation given to a panel on “Mass Incarceration and the Global Rise of Authoritarian Capitalism” at the Los Angeles Peace Center on September 23, 2017.
In this paper, I would like to address four . . .

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Venezuela: The Hour of the Lackeys

The tremendous economic, political and moral crisis that Venezuela is going through has not only sunk millions of people’s living and working conditions, but also the political programs that appear confronted to the death in a highly politicized stage. It . . .

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What do Trump’s ‘withdrawal’ from Syria and the Gulf’s rapprochement with Assad have in common?

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In the days since Donald Trump’s announcement that the US was to rapidly withdraw its 2,000 troops from Syria, an enormous amount of speculation about what this means has taken place. In my initial piece, I expressed a number of views that are not widely shared.

Solidarity with the Popular Uprising in Sudan

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We, the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists, support the ongoing uprising which erupted across Sudan starting December 19th, 2018. The protests were set off by the lifting of subsidies on bread, wheat, and electricity as well as spiking inflation. The United Nations Development Program has estimated that nearly half of the population, i.e. 20 million, live below the poverty line. However, their demands go much deeper and call for the downfall of the regime of Omar al-Bashir because of its decades of economic, political, and social repression. The dictator al-Bashir was also on the verge of obtaining constitutional amendments allowing him to run in the presidential election in 2020.

Confronting China’s War on Terror

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For some eighteen months now, ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang in northwest China have been living through unprecedented wave of repression. The most extreme element of this crackdown is a network of camps across the region, designated “re-education and training centres,” where anywhere from a few hundred-thousand to upward of a million Muslim minorities have been indefinitely interned. Most victims are Uyghurs – the main non-Chinese ethnic group of the region, but the sweep has also caught Kazakhs and Kirghiz, who, like the Uyghurs, practice Islam.

Statement on Threat of Turkish Planned Military Invasion Against Northern Syria

Internationalist Solidarity Needed

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Donald Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria is a green light to Recep Tayyip Erdogan to decimate the Kurds in what remains of Rojava in northern Syria. Earlier this year, Turkey invaded the Afrin area with the assistance of Syrian reactionary armed opposition groups, leading to the forced displacement of large sections of Afrin’s Kurdish population and continuous violations of the human rights of the local population.

U.S. Labor, Boycotts, and BDS: Defending Workers’ Rights

Guest blog by Stan Heller

Image In 2017 the Texas legislature passed a law forbidding the state from contracting with companies that refuse to do business with Israel.  Some interpreted this broadly.  After destructive flooding in Houston that year, one town told homeowners that if they wanted aid in rebuilding, they’d have to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel.  After another type of flood – of bad publicity – the town said the boycott only applied to actual businesses in the town.

Nicaragua Update: Escalation of Ortega’s War on NGOs and Independent Media

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Nicaragua’s eight-month long political crisis is escalating. In the past two weeks, the government of Daniel Ortega has intensified its crackdown on opposition media and on NGOs while facing the US administration’s passage of the Magnitsky-Nica Act legislation. 

The government rescinded the legal status of nine NGOs in one week, at once seizing their assets, freezing their bank accounts, and sending into exile and hiding a new cluster of oppositional leaders. The crackdown began with CISAS, a renowned health promotion NGO led by a vocal feminist opponent to the regime, then CENIDH, the national human rights organization, and then a host of other organizations – from environmental and community development NGOs to economic think tanks that the government itself has relied upon for data and analysis.

Urgent Communiqué about Nicarauga: Government Attack on Human Rights Groups, NGOs, Media

ImageThe following statement is from the Articulación de Movimientos Sociales, the coalition of social movements in Nicaragua.

Alert and Request for International Condemnation: Nicaraguan Government Raids the offices of the principal human rights, non-governmental and media organizations.

URGENT COMUNIQUE December 14, 2018. 2PM (CST) Alert and Request for International Condemnation: Nicaraguan Government Raids the offices of the principal human rights, non-governmental and media organizations.

Yellow vests: Macron’s fuel tax was no solution to climate chaos

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The French government has decided to suspend a planned eco-tax on fuel in response to mass protests. While the movement of the ‘yellow vests’ (gilets jaunes) has turned into a broader revolt against inequality and Macron’s neoliberal reforms, economist and climate activist Maxime Combes (Attac France) argues that as a way to tackle climate change, the tax is neither fair nor effective.

Analysis originally published on the daily internet journal of ideas AOC and translated by Taisie Tsikas.

Journalists Are Calling Trump’s Caravan Claims ‘Evidence-Free’: It’s Worse Than That

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As the GOP’s fears of a progressive wave in November grow, Donald Trump has made it his personal mission to make everyone else afraid, too.

He Got the Story

ImageSeymour Hersh. Reporter: A Memoir. Knopf, 2018. 368 pp. 

Writing in 1940, George Orwell opined in a review of a Bertrand Russell book that “we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” Much the same can be said about the more than fifty-year career of journalist Seymour Hersh, whose pioneering exposés of the lies of the Great Powers report and affirm facts that follow Orwell’s dictum.

Hard Questions in Israel-Palestine

ImageJamie Stern-Weiner, ed. Moment of Truth: Tackling Israel-Palestine's Tought Questions. OR Books, 2018. 518 pp. 

The fact that, after fifty years of Palestinian support efforts, the Israeli occupation is more entrenched than ever should inspire some intellectual humility among those hawking solutions to the conflict, notes Jamie Stern-Weiner in the introduction to his edited collection Moment of Truth: Tackling Israel-Palestine’s Toughest Questions. It is humbling as well to read through the volume, with more than seventy essays and rejoinders by more than fifty different authors, from almost every one of which something new can be learned.

Nicaraguan Government Attacks and Arrests Opposition Leaders; Nicaraguans in U.S. Demand Their Release; Call for General Strike

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The following statement was issued by Nicaraguans living in the United States.

On the morning of October 14, 2018, Nicaraguan citizens in use of their constitution rights gathered to march peacefully and protest the Ortega regime and to demand the release of all political prisoners. Protestors were met with violent repression and an assault by the police.

Solidarity with Nicaragua: The Long View from Canada

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The essay below was originally delivered as an oral presentation on the panel “Solidarity in the 21st Century” as part of a conference on The Future of the Left in Latin America held on October 5-6 at the New School in New York City. The conference was sponsored by Dissent, The New School, NACLA, and the Open Society Foundation. 

MST Open Letter on Brazil Election

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Comrades and Friends of MST () around the World,

We would like to share some of our views on this delicate moment of Brazilian politics in the last week of the election campaign:

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