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Showing posts from July, 2011

Refugee Blues by W H Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,

Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,

Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

The consul banged the table and said:

'If you've got no passport, you're officially dead';
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;

Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:

'If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread';
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the th…

BOOK REVIEW. Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada’s Left History. McKay, Ian. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2006. Reviewed by Mauricio Martinez

Source: The Spark (Online Ed)

There’s an old joke (told more or less famously by Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek1), that goes something like this: a man thinks he is a grain of seed. He is promptly taken to the mental institution where the doctors eventually convince him that he is not a grain of seed but a man. But, just when he’s apparently cured – convinced that he is not a grain of seed but a man—and permitted to leave the hospital, he comes back instantly, trembling with fear: there is a chicken outside and he is afraid the chicken is going to eat him. “Come now,” says the doctor, “you know full well that you are not a grain of seed but a man.” “You and I know that,” the patient says, “but does the chicken know?”

In a psychoanalytic sense, the joke has some instructive value: it’s not enough to convince a patient that a certain delusion is not “real,” or to make them conscious of their delusion; one must tap into t…

July 20, German Communists Answer theses of CPUSA's Sam Webb, by Dr. Hans-Peter Brenner writing in the Berlin socialist daily Junge Welt , July 20, 2011

Coping with political defeat, July 20, 2011 by Hans-Peter Brenner

Source: 21stcenturymanifesto

Certain Features of the Historical Development of Marxism is a work of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. In it he dealt with the consequences of the defeat of the first Russian revolution of 1905. At that time, many party members (including many recently enrolled intellectuals) left the revolutionary party in droves. Soon after that, the farewell to Marxism, which we too experienced in 1989-1991, became the fashion.

As a reflection of this change there occurred profound disintegration, confusion, shaking and swaying of all sorts – in a word, there appeared a very serious internal crisis of Marxism. The resolute defense against this decay, the determined and persistent struggle for the basics of Marxism, again came on the agenda.

That was Lenin’s diagnosis.

It was — and still is — important for us German Communists to examine what conclusions other Communist parties later drew from the defeat of sociali…

Communist Party of Israel Raising a black flag over the destruction of democracy, 14 July 2011

Decisions of the 14th session of the Central Committee
of the Communist Party of Israel

July 8, 2011

The Boycott Law ("The Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott - 2011"), which has just passed in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), is an outrageous attempt by the Israeli right to silence every form of criticism of government policy and especially the policy of settlement in the occupied territories. By threatening to impose costly damages on offenders, even without proof of damage, the right wing is attempting to shut out the voices of those who resist the occupation, and call, for instance, for a boycott of consumer products produced in the settlements.

This law joins a full series of other discriminatory and racist laws that have been proposed by Netanyahu's right wing government in recent years - laws that trample upon democracy, but ha…

Nato’s Fascist War in Libya, in Cubadebate,by Fidel Castro Ruz, Mar 29th, 2011

You didn’t have to be clairvoyant to foresee what I wrote with great detail in three Reflection Articles I published on the CubaDebate website between February 21 and March 3: “The NATO Plan Is to Occupy Libya,” “The Cynical Danse Macabre,” and “NATO’s Inevitable War.”

Not even the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy were so blatantly shameless regarding the Spanish Civil War unleashed in 1936, an event that maybe a lot of people have been recalling over these past days.

Almost 75 years to the day have passed since then, but nothing that has happened over the last 75 centuries, or even 75 millenniums of human life on our planet can compare.

Sometimes it seems that those of us who serenely voice our opinions on these issues are exaggerating. I dare say that we have actually been naive to assume that we all should be aware of the deception or colossal ignorance that humanity has been dragged into.

In 1936 there was an intense clash between two systems and ideologies of more or less equ…

From "Let the Railsplitter Awake" by Pablo Neruda, 1948


Let none of this happen. Let the Rail Splitter awake. Let Abe come with axe and his wooden plate to eat with the farmers. Let his head like tree-bark, his eye like those in wooden planks and oak-tree boles, turn to look on the world rising above the foliage higher than the sequoias. Let him buy something in a drugstore let him take a bus to Tampa let him bite into a yellow apple and enter a moviehouse to converse with all the simple people.

Let the Rail Splitter awake

Let Abe come, let his aged yeast rise the green and gold earth of Illinois, let him lift up his axe in his own town against the new slaveholders against the slave-lash against the poisoned printing-press against the bloodied merchandise they want to sell. Let them march singing and smiling the young white, the young Negro against the walls of gold against the manufacturer of hate against the merchant of their blood let them sing, laugh and conquer.

Let the Rail Splitter awake.

Peace for the twilights to come peac…

Slim Evans: Red Labour organizer and leader of the On To Ottawa Trek of 1935, June 16-30, 2011, issue of People's Voice

This year, to mark the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of Canada's foundation in 1921, People's Voice is printing a series of articles on the party's history and prominent members.

     Arthur H. "Slim" Evans is best known as the main organizer and leader of the On To Ottawa Trek of 1935. For his decades of organizing efforts, Slim Evans was repeatedly charged and jailed, but was widely hailed as an outstanding champion of workers' rights.

     Born on April 24, 1890 in Toronto, Slim Evans left school at 13 to help support his family. He sold newspapers, drove a team of horses and learned the carpentry trade. Like many others, Evans came west in 1911, working at various jobs on the prairies, before heading to Minneapolis and then Kansas City. There he joined the Industrial Workers of the World, and was sentenced to three years imprisonment for participating in a free speech fight, having read aloud the Declaration of Independence at a rally. "Al…


Special to PV

     The municipality of Markham, Ontario, northeast of Toronto, has been known for its rapid population growth in recent years. Now, Markham is in the news for another reason. On May 3, a majority of city councillors adopted a motion to censor "Israeli Apartheid Week", an event held this year in 95 cities and more than 75 universities on six continents. This includes three cities in Israel and four cities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

     Organized every March by students on Canadian campuses, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) features film screenings and high-profile forums with prominent academics and community leaders. IAW condemns all forms of racism and discrimination, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti‑Arab racism, and homophobia. Many Jewish students are involved in organizing IAW.

     The Canadian Arab Federation says the May 3 motion "aims to deny Canadian students…

No Anti-Poverty Plan in Ontario NDP Platform, by Donald Hughes June 30, 2011

Source:  the Media Co-op

Last weekend, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath released her party's platform for the coming provincial general election in October. The platform presented accepts neoliberal constraints while failing to address Ontario's poverty crisis.

Horwath's fiscal plan centers on the repeal of recent corporate tax cuts, restoring 2009's 14% general rate. Given that the federal general corporate rate is set to fall to 15% in 2012, the combined rate will be 29%. This would still represent a fall in the general corporate rate of over one-third from the year 2000.

The revenue gained from the corporate tax increase is largely directed towards alternative tax cuts. The four main tax cuts contained in the plan are an investment tax credit, removal of the HST from gasoline, removal of the HST from home heating and a modest small business tax reduction.

The largest area of increased public spending is health care, wi…

Greece's self-styled "Socialist" government: Nothing short of disgusting, Morning Star, Sunday 03 July 2011

Greece's self-styled "Socialist" government, which has thrown its own working class to the wolves of imperialism, has demonstrated its non-partisanship by treating the Palestinian people likewise.

George Papandreou's willingness to dance to Israel's tune is nothing short of disgusting.

His government has thrown its weight behind the oppressor and abandoned the oppressed by using the law against the Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human campaigners.

Not that Papandreou's government stands alone. It is backed by the so-called Quartet, fronted by war criminal Tony Blair, which is happy to parrot Tel Aviv's propaganda about Gaza.

The Quartet - the UN, US, EU and Russia - claims to have concerns about difficult conditions facing Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

But it notes "a marked increase in the range and scope of goods and materials" entering Gaza over the past year.

And this group of influential global powers, which has failed to t…

A line of struggle for the overthrow of capitalism, by Elisseos Vagenas, of the CC of the Communist Party Greec

This article was written during the important (48-hour) nationwide general strike on 28-29 June which has embraced every workplace. The strike demonstrations of All Workers’ Militant Front (PAME) which rallies the trade unions that work on a class oriented basis have been unprecedented.

The demonstrations and the mass rallies of PAME are different from those of the compromised trade union leaderships of the federations of the unions in the private (GSEE) and the public sector (ADEDY). The reason is not only the massive participation of the working people, their militancy and the measures for their protection but also the fact that they do not merely seek to block the new “package” of anti-people measures but to put forward the need to come into full conflict with the EU and capitalist exploitation as a whole.

In contrast with the demonstrations of the so called “indignant citizens“, who shout the so called “neutral” though misleading slogan “thieves, thieves” in fr…

A National Exercise in Scare Tactics, Written by Tamar Gozansky, Communist Party of Israel, Friday, 24 June 2011
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak and the remainder of Israel’s cabinet members are running a scare campaign about what, supposedly, will befall Israel if the UN General Assembly votes in September in favor of recognition for a Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders. Foreign Minister Lieberman has even announced that the approval of such a resolution means no less than the annihilation of Israel.

This is why the government has pulled an even more drastic tactic out of its sleeve – a national drill run by the Home Front Command, optimistically labeled “Turning Point 5”. According to the plan, command and field simulation exercises were carried out for a scenario, in which hundreds of ground-to-ground missiles are fired into Israel for a period of one month. The citizens, who according to this scenario will be subject to bombardment by thousands of missiles, were required to drill “entry into protected spaces” after receiving a warning on their c…