Socialism Art Nature

Translation: Ukraine must open itself up to U.S. economic and political control if it wants aid.

I’m all for the regime in Ukraine reforming away from its corrupt, repressive past, but it is an utterly hypocritical pretext for the US to claim that it only gives foreign aid to “reformed” governments.

What about the billions of dollars that the US annually sends to Saudi Arabia, a country where witchcraft, insulting the monarchy, and homosexuality are still considered crimes for which a person can be executed?! Or the billions of US dollars that go to Israel, which is in open violation of numerous international laws regarding occupation, ethnic cleansing, and land seizure? Or the puppet regime in Afghanistan — which the US all but completely controls — and which is one of the most misogynistic, corrupt, and repressive in the world? Or the billions that it gave to the former Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt for decades right up until the moment it was overthrown in 2011? And on and on …

The fact that the US is trying to exploit the situation in Ukraine in order to position itself as somehow an upholder of democratic and moral virtues around the world is simply nauseating.

As the socialist journalist John Reed explained early in the twentieth century, “Uncle Sam never gives something for nothing. He comes along with a sack stuffed with hay in one hand and a whip in the other. Anyone who accepts Uncle Sam’s promises at face value will find that they must be paid for in sweat and blood.”

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) A top U.S. diplomat says Washington is willing to consider financial aid to Ukraine as the country struggles through a polarizing political crisis, but only if it undertakes political and economic reforms.

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Hand-painted signs proclaimed “Kids want books” and “Millions for Copley. But Chinatown: No Library.” At one point, the youthful activists stopped, gathered in a circle, and sang Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ ’Bout a Revolution.”

The group of 7-year-olds was determined.

 … A group of youthful protesters marched on City Hall to raise awareness of a campaign to bring a public library to Chinatown, which is the only Boston neighborhood without a library branch. “If you read to your child for an hour every night, by the time your child is 5 years old you will have read 900 hours,” said Lonnie Zapata, a second-grader who was one of the featured speakers. The protest was planned and carried out by students at the Young Achievers School in Mattapan, which as part of its curriculum has recently spent time learning about libraries. Upon hearing that Chinatown does not have a public library, organizers said, the students decided to stage the protest.


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WANT TO turn a university into a war zone? Invite Gen. David Petraeus onto campus.

Ever since the general showed up at the City University of New York (CUNY), battles have been raging in hot and cold flashes. As students rattle barricades, the school’s Board of Trustees is maneuvering behind the scenes to quell the revolt, shutting down a popular activist hub and referring dissident collegians to the District Attorney’s office.

At the moment, the war has reached a stalemate, but as one semester ends and another begins, the university with the most diverse student body in the United States remains on the front lines of the future of public education.

If calling CUNY a war zone sounds outlandish, consider the weaponry the school’s public safety officers have at their disposal. A Freedom of Information Act request from a Hunter College student in the late ’90s found that the school was stockpiling tens of thousands of ammunition rounds, including 4,000 hollow-point 9mm bullets. No bullets have been fired so far, though rallies have come to blows.

The trouble started this semester when the school enlisted Petraeus, the disgraced ex-commander of U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and former CIA chief, to teach a class, "The Coming North American Decades," at its Macaulay Honors College.

Course materials included literature espousing the virtues of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, but no mention of the general’s ties to Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, a private equity firm with millions invested in the controversial oil-and-gas extraction method. Yet demonstrations against Petraeus’s presence mainly focused on his role as an architect of U.S. wars abroad—part of an ongoing challenge to what critics describe as the increasing militarization of the university.

The protests quickly turned violent, with police beating students in the streets this September. The confrontation could have ended there, with a cluster of roughed-up students known as the CUNY 6 arraigned on charges that included resisting arrest and rioting. But it didn’t.


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Apparently the toppling of the Lenin statue in Kiev yesterday was the work of several dozen members of Ukraine’s fascist Svoboda Party. (These people are literally open Nazi sympathizers).

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highly suspect …

"The opposition also was getting support from Ukraine’s main television channels, which are owned by the country’s wealthiest businessmen. Instead of largely toeing the government line, the channels have begun to give a greater platform to the protesters.”

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) Facing huge anti-government demonstrations after spurning a deal with the European Union, Ukraine’s embattled president sought Monday to quell public anger by moving to renew talks with Brussels.

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"My son would be in jail, where is this man? Why isn’t he in jail?" #RenishaMcBride
See http://raniakhalek.com/2013/11/06/black-detroit-woman-shot-to-death-while-seeking-help-in-white-neighborhood-after-car-crash/

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Livestream starting at 6:30PM ET! #readZinn

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Howard Zinn Read-In at Purdue University | LIVE, 5 Nov. 2013

In honor of historian Howard Zinn and all the ordinary people he celebrated in his work, on Tuesday November 5, scholars and activists from across the country will take part in a Read-in of Zinn’s work on the campus of Purdue University and on campuses across the nation. The day marks the birthday of another fighter for social justice — Indiana-born labor activist, Eugene Debs.

The idea for the event was sparked when the Associated Press reported that the current Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, in 2010 as Governor of Indiana, tried to censor and ban Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” from Indiana schools. When the news became a national scandal, many students, faculty, and citizens of Indiana had expressed deep concern over the news that the President of one of our great public universities would have attempted such censorship. ‘The Zinn Read-in Committee’ envisions the event to be a commemoration of academic freedom and a declaration of anti-censorship.

The event will also symbolize the ongoing fightback in the United States against the privatization of public education, attacks on teachers and teachers unions, and the need for real democracy in both schools and curriculum. Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is an important text for understanding the history of underrepresented populations; the fight for the right to teach this history is never separate from the fight to improve the material lives of students, teachers, minorities and workers around the world.

The Zinn Read-in Committee, encourages support for this event by any means possible.


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NY Top Cop Ray Kelly Booed From Brown Univ. Stage | PopularResistance.Org
Below: A member of the audience speaks before at what was to be a lecture by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at Brown’s Taubman Center for Public Policy Tuesday. Kelly spoke for only a minute or so, before being interrupted by protesters inside the lecture hall. He left 20 minutes later without speaking. THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL / STEVE SZYDLOWSKI

NY Top Cop Ray Kelly Booed From Brown Univ. Stage | PopularResistance.Org

Below: A member of the audience speaks before at what was to be a lecture by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at Brown’s Taubman Center for Public Policy Tuesday. Kelly spoke for only a minute or so, before being interrupted by protesters inside the lecture hall. He left 20 minutes later without speaking. THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL / STEVE SZYDLOWSKI


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image

A speech by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly at Brown University planned for Tuesday was canceled after protesters against the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk tactics disrupted the event with shouting and chants.

Officials at the university, in Providence, R.I., ended the event and cleared the auditorium after the protests continued for almost half an hour, preventing Mr. Kelly from speaking. He had been scheduled to deliver a speech titled “Proactive Policing in America’s Biggest City.”

In a video of the event posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzNSifr29CE), protesters shouted complaints about the policy as Mr. Kelly stood behind a lectern waiting to speak. A campus official told audience members that they would have time to comment during a question-and-answer session after the speech.

But a protester responded, “We’re asking you to stop stopping and frisking people.”

Many of the protesters, who also marched outside the event, appeared to be students, but the event was also open to the public.


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6 CUNY Students Violently Arrested Protesting Ex-General David Petraeus
[19 Sept. 2013]  Six students were arrested Tuesday evening in an unprovoked police attack against a peaceful protest lead by City University of New York (CUNY) students and faculty decrying the University’s appointment of former CIA chief and ex-General, David Petraeus as an adjunct professor to the Honors College. Students were punched, pushed against parked vehicles and thrown to the pavement by police captains and officers after the NYPD forced them off the sidewalk and into the street. Tuesday’s demonstration was called for by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.
The arrested students were arraigned Wednesday evening, September 18, at the Manhattan Criminal Court located at 100 Centre Street. The courtroom was flooded with supporters ranging from activists, to fellow students, to CUNY faculty outraged at the NYPD’s response to their student’s attempts to peaceably assemble.
“As students were chanting ‘War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,’ I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators,” said City College student Yexenia Vanegas. “This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made [it] clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest.”
The attack occurred in front of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, where Petraeus has been appointed to teach a class on public policy. “Protestors were marching in a circle on the sidewalk and chanting, but the police forced them into the street and then charged. One of the most brutal things I saw was that five police officers slammed a Queens College student face down to the pavement across the street from Macaulay, put their knees on his back and he was then repeatedly kneed in the back,” said Hunter student Michael Brian. “The student was one of those pointed out by ‘white shirt’ officers, then seized and brutalized. A Latina student was heaved through the air and slammed to the ground.”

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Heroes, criminalized by the system for protesting a war criminal, who the system treats like a hero.

6 CUNY Students Violently Arrested Protesting Ex-General David Petraeus

[19 Sept. 2013]  Six students were arrested Tuesday evening in an unprovoked police attack against a peaceful protest lead by City University of New York (CUNY) students and faculty decrying the University’s appointment of former CIA chief and ex-General, David Petraeus as an adjunct professor to the Honors College. Students were punched, pushed against parked vehicles and thrown to the pavement by police captains and officers after the NYPD forced them off the sidewalk and into the street. Tuesday’s demonstration was called for by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.

The arrested students were arraigned Wednesday evening, September 18, at the Manhattan Criminal Court located at 100 Centre Street. The courtroom was flooded with supporters ranging from activists, to fellow students, to CUNY faculty outraged at the NYPD’s response to their student’s attempts to peaceably assemble.

“As students were chanting ‘War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,’ I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators,” said City College student Yexenia Vanegas. “This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made [it] clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest.”

The attack occurred in front of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, where Petraeus has been appointed to teach a class on public policy. “Protestors were marching in a circle on the sidewalk and chanting, but the police forced them into the street and then charged. One of the most brutal things I saw was that five police officers slammed a Queens College student face down to the pavement across the street from Macaulay, put their knees on his back and he was then repeatedly kneed in the back,” said Hunter student Michael Brian. “The student was one of those pointed out by ‘white shirt’ officers, then seized and brutalized. A Latina student was heaved through the air and slammed to the ground.”

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Heroes, criminalized by the system for protesting a war criminal, who the system treats like a hero.


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CUNY Student Group: Six Students Violently Arrested Protesting Petraeus Await Charges
Six student activists were violently arrested yesterday outside of a City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College fundraiser featuring former CIA Director and Honors College adjunct professor David Petraeus.
The activists have yet to receive charges, currently detained at the New York Police Department’s 20th Precinct.
They await an arraignment hearing scheduled for “between 9:00 a.m. and the afternoon at the Arraignment Court in the Manhattan Criminal Court,” according to a press release issued by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.
“Students were punched, slammed against vehicles and against the pavement by police captains and officers, after the NYPD forced them off the pavement and into the street,” the press release further explains.
One student quoted in the Ad Hoc Committee’s press release explains the violent nature of the arrests juxtaposed with what they say was peaceful, non-violent protest.
“As students were chanting ‘War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,’ I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators,” one male student details in the release. “This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest.”

CUNY Student Group: Six Students Violently Arrested Protesting Petraeus Await Charges

Six student activists were violently arrested yesterday outside of a City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College fundraiser featuring former CIA Director and Honors College adjunct professor David Petraeus.

The activists have yet to receive charges, currently detained at the New York Police Department’s 20th Precinct.

They await an arraignment hearing scheduled for “between 9:00 a.m. and the afternoon at the Arraignment Court in the Manhattan Criminal Court,” according to a press release issued by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.

“Students were punched, slammed against vehicles and against the pavement by police captains and officers, after the NYPD forced them off the pavement and into the street,” the press release further explains.

One student quoted in the Ad Hoc Committee’s press release explains the violent nature of the arrests juxtaposed with what they say was peaceful, non-violent protest.

“As students were chanting ‘War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,’ I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators,” one male student details in the release. “This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest.”


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A Hundred Arrested Protesting Walmart Firings | Labor Notes
September 06, 2013 / Alexandra Bradbury
They didn’t strike this time—but Walmart workers and their allies marched, rallied, danced, blew horns, and took arrests in a coordinated day of action in 15 cities yesterday. They were protesting the company’s recent crackdown on worker activists.
Walmart fired 20 members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart)—and disciplined 50 others—for taking part in a week-long strike in June. The company claimed the workers were “no-call, no-shows,” though they made it clear they were striking. “We don’t recognize strikers,” one supervisor told a fired employee in Baker, Louisiana.
Thousands of people participated in Thursday’s protests, according to OUR Walmart, and 100 were arrested—including in Dallas, Chicago, Seattle, Maryland, Orlando, Los Angeles, and New York.
http://www.labornotes.org/2013/09/hundred-arrested-protesting-walmart-firings#sthash.BSauA4qt.dpuf

A Hundred Arrested Protesting Walmart Firings | Labor Notes

September 06, 2013 / Alexandra Bradbury

They didn’t strike this time—but Walmart workers and their allies marched, rallied, danced, blew horns, and took arrests in a coordinated day of action in 15 cities yesterday. They were protesting the company’s recent crackdown on worker activists.

Walmart fired 20 members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart)—and disciplined 50 others—for taking part in a week-long strike in June. The company claimed the workers were “no-call, no-shows,” though they made it clear they were striking. “We don’t recognize strikers,” one supervisor told a fired employee in Baker, Louisiana.

Thousands of people participated in Thursday’s protests, according to OUR Walmart, and 100 were arrested—including in Dallas, Chicago, Seattle, Maryland, Orlando, Los Angeles, and New York.

http://www.labornotes.org/2013/09/hundred-arrested-protesting-walmart-firings#sthash.BSauA4qt.dpuf


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Playwright James Baldwin, center, and friends attend a pro-March on Washington event in Paris, August 1963. #ThrowbackThursday #MarchOn

Playwright James Baldwin, center, and friends attend a pro-March on Washington event in Paris, August 1963. #ThrowbackThursday #MarchOn


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 … IN THINKING about these questions, I’ll always remember an Occupy march I was on a few years ago.

We were going across the Brooklyn Bridge (the pedestrian part, not the car part), and marching at a slow pace, with no chanting. I was with a number of International Socialist Organization comrades, and all of us felt like the march was a dud. It was very low energy, and had the pointless route of crossing the bridge and then dispersing in Brooklyn, which hadn’t been decided democratically at all. We felt dispirited.

However, when we began talking to people around us, we discovered that they felt they were on an incredible march, one that showed how much support the movement had and really energized them. Those of us hoping for a more rambunctious and democratic march had missed what the march was actually doing for the people we wanted to be talking to.


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