Friday, February 18, 2011


 With all the concentration on the streets of the middle east, let's not forget Greece.  The fight there has been on going for quite some time now at a hundred levels.  In steel cages many Greek brothers and sisters sit and languish, but they do not give in and they never give up.  Neither should we.

The following is from Occupied London.

#500 | Letter from prison by the anarchist Fee Marie Meyer, 18.2.2011

Behind bars…
So sometimes even the most wild scenarios become reality, and so here I am in pre-trial detention at the Female Prison of Korydallos [in Athens] precisely because I possessed already published documents, because I am anarchist. Of course, the original list of charges against me has grown, with an extremely serious crime added to it – namely my reference to the imprisoned anarchists as “political prisoners”. These are the findings upon which the decision of the Committee of Misdemeanours was based [which ordered Fee's pre-trial detention –trans.], the only findings with which they have sent me to prison. I am not surprised yet I wonder, if what I am going through is not a political persecution, then what would ever be one? Perhaps all the persecutions of comrades based solely on their relationships and their beliefs are not political. Perhaps even the detention of people awaiting trial in high-security prisons, or underground dungeons, are random phenomena, entirely unconnected to the political identity of the detainees. Not to forget the transformation of political trials into military tribunals acting under special circumstances, in absentia of the accused and the withholding of the ID of the people who chose to attend…
Are you kidding us?
Authority itself gets rid of the dipole of innocence and guilt, the same dipole it had used for so many years in order to divide the front of the people in struggle into good and bad ones, legal and illegal. From now on, everything is related; dividing lines become fluid and everyone who resists is placed on the shore of the guilty ones. Everyone is potentially incarcerated in the hospitable cells of the greek prisons.
Divide and conquer is no longer required, the junta is by now shameless, people are one again divided into two parts. Into the exploited and the powerful.
In this situation, it is not only acts who matter anymore but thoughts too. Books and publications are categorised as dangerous and we should expect the new publication of the “index librorum prohibitorum” (list of banned books by the Inquisition). The anarchist/ anti-authoritarian word is criminalised and most certainly needs to be repented as it is subversive. This is an attempt to silence and dispose not only the people in struggle but also the thoughts and our ideals, the ideas that our texts carry with them.
All this is extremely dangerous at the present time.
Dangerous because in the times that we live in a new liberal totalitarianism has made an appearance; the perfectly post-modern and always socialist junta.
Dangerous as the parts of people who resist are widening out, networking, recognising the importance of a multiform struggle.
From the dignified residents of Keratea and the nearby areas, the 300 migrant hunger strikers who demand the obvious dream in life with complete consciousness of their class, to the strikers at the Mass Transportation Systems and other working sectors refusing to bow to the blackmailing of their bosses; the “I won’t pay” movement, the members of which are facing incarceration. Them and how many, how many more…
This junta lacks nothing compared to the previous ones as it has adopted from them the military advantage of the quick, versatile and always-present forces of “Security” and the security para-state that moves around, armed, hooded up and with no initials – specialising in the chasing and torturing of people in struggle; specialising to truly terrorise. Terrorists with new and older methods, abductions in the middle of the street with cinematic effects, publication of photographs even before charges are brought forward (the recent case of comrade K.S in Thessaloniki), invented groups with no name nor action being included in the list of charges against comrades; terrorist laws with special clauses, more laws, more incarcerations.
This entire climate is sustained and reproduced via the media which take on the role that the state would never be able to fulfil on its own. With lies upon lies, TV shows about indifferent celebrities targeting only dumb people and offending the intelligence of those who watch them, they attempt on the one hand to break up and terrorise and on the other hand to keep people drugged up and subordinate to a cheap dream.
At this moment then, for all the above reasons, solidarity as a main co-ordinate unifying the front of the repressed beholds even greater value. Solidarity meaning proximity, not consonance: a recognition of the common ground of the state of our struggle. This fundamental political virtue of higher social organising combined with the utmost individual fulfilment.
Comradely regards, my friendliness and my thoughts go out to all the comrades and friends behind and outside the bars – stay strong! Because until the tearing down of the last prison and total freedom, no-one is free. Because the darkest hour is just before the dawn!
Fee Meyer
Cell 35, Wing B
female prison of Korydallos


Lets hope this report from Iran is true and the Revolutionary Guard are splintering in the face of the people's continues ire.  It may be that lower levels of the usually pro-government Guard are now saying they simply will not fire on the crowds of people who are tired of the theocratic dictatorship which seeks control of all elements of their lives.  We'll see...

The following is from In Defense of Marxism.

Iran Breaking News: Armed forces pledge not to shoot on protesters!

As we reported earlier, the situation in Iran is extremely tense. Most factions of the regime were confident that the mass movement of 2009 was now dead. But almost like lightning from a clear blue sky the demonstration last Monday shook the entire establishment, that was taken completely by surprise. Now it seems that the movement has provoked more serious cracks in the regime than we had anticipated.

According to a document received by The Telegraph, several lower ranking commanders of the Revolutionary Guards (a professional militia counting 120,000) have signed a document stating that they do not want to shoot on demonstrators. We provide here the full text of the article from The Telegraph:
“Following the recent violence that occurred during anti-government protests in Egypt, the officers argue that it is against the principles of Shi'ite Islamic law to use violence against their own people.
In a suggestion of a major split within the Islamic Republic's ruling hierarchy over its handling of anti-government protests, the letter has been circulated widely throughout the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards, the body responsible for defending religious system.
The letter, a copy of which has been seen by the Daily Telegraph, is addressed to Major Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Guards' commanding officer. It calls on Major Gen Jafari to issue guidance to both the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij paramilitary militia to use restraint when handling anti-government protests.
During the violent anti-government demonstrations that followed the disputed presidential election in June 2009, which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad elected to serve a second four-year term, the government relied heavily on the Basij to suppress the protests over fears that it could not rely on certain Guards units.
But in the letter, which is signed by senior officers commanding Guards units in Tehran, Qom, Isfahan and Tabriz, they urge Major Gen Jafari to "use your authority over the Basij to order them to leave their truncheons at home next time."
It goes on to state unequivocally, "We promise our people that we will not shoot nor beat our brothers who are seeking to express legitimate protest against the policies and conduct of their leader."
The Iranian government has called on its supporters to take to the streets today to demonstrate their "hatred" for the opposition Green Movement, which has made a dramatic return following the recent unrest in Tunisia and Egypt. One demonstrator was killed and scores more injured when pro-democracy activists protested against Mr Ahmadinejad's government, chanting "death to the dictator".
Western diplomats, who have also seen the letter and confirm its authenticity, say it has now been passed to Mr Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's Supreme Ruler, although no official response has been forthcoming.” (The Telegraph)
If the information in the document is correct, it marks a very important milestone in the development of the Iranian revolution. And there are several factors that would indicate that what is being reported here is in fact true.
Firstly the revolutions in the Arab world has shaken all regimes in the area who all feel the ground underneath them shaking. The inspiration that the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions provide the masses of the region, however, spread fear into the ruling circles of all these countries. In Iran too, the movement is resurfacing. All corners of Iranian society are being affected as tension is being raised to unheard of levels. Not only is the regime more oppressive than ever, but the social conditions for millions also being worsened by the day. This is preparing enormous explosions within society.
On top of this, the legitimacy of the regime is in free fall as it tramples on all the laws and rules that it insisted on putting in place in the past. In such a situation even the forces of the Guards are also affected – especially since the Guards are a professional army, many of whom are devoted to carrying on the Islamic revolution and all its laws (which for instance include – at least in theory – freedom of assembly and protest). But as these laws are not respected by the regime itself many of these Guards, who were once the main social base of the regime, are becoming disillusioned with it.
The guards are part of the middle classes and comprise of all kinds of layers. Its lower layers with low wages and lower living standards are closer to the masses, while their top layers have been engaging in big business and have accumulated great wealth. In the year 2000 more than 70% of the Guards voted for Khatami, a vote that was seen by most people as a protest vote against the regime. This again proves that the Guards are not one solid block of reaction, but they are receptive to socila pressures.
After six months of struggle against the masses, we saw on the day of Ashura how fraternisation was even seen between some of the Guards and the people. This latest letter of the officers, if authentic, reveals how strained the Guards must have been feeling during that year. We have also heard from other officers that the Guards cannot take much more pressure before they begin to disintegrate (Iran's Revolutionary Guards point to fresh dissent). It is therefore clear that the officers feel that the Guards cannot be forced to endure such a period again.
It is clear that the regime will denounce this news immediately and try to sow confusion so as not to encourage people to take to the streets, but the damage has been done. This news will spread like wildfire and will further heat up as the the demonstration on Sunday approaches. [This article will be followed up with a more thorough analysis on Monday.]


Sure these big demos in Wisconsin and Ohio are great.  But come on folks. There are no more little fixes. How long does it take the American people to figure out it ain't about who is governor, which party is in power, or what the labor bosses will settle for.  It's about getting rid of this whole crappy system.  We all know it doesn't work.  It's time to turn it up a notch.  It's time to add a little revolutionary fervor to the mix.  If you really want to throw the bastards out, then god damn it all, throw em out.  Don't just park your asses in front of your state house.  Grab it and don't give it back. As they say, this dog won't hunt.

The following is from Raw Story.

Ohio’s turn to revolt: Thousands flood statehouse over anti-union bill

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, February 18th, 2011 -- 3:53 pm
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The massive, government-crippling protests in Madison, Wisconsin have now spilled over into Ohio, where over 5,000 rallied Thursday in opposition to a bill that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for state workers.
Ohio's Senate Bill 5 is essentially the same as what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed, and it seems to be recieving about the same response. Just last week, more than 800 people showed up to protest the bill while it was still in committee, packing out the statehouse in a show of numbers that Thursday's demonstration easily topped.
The collective bargaining power of unionized workers is a key bullwark for American laborers, who've often been forced to organize throughout US history to force management into offering better pay, health insurance, greater job security, vacation time or even maternity leave. Without collective bargaining, the power of unionized workers would be reduced to their last and most extreme tool in their set: the general strike.
Teachers in Wisconsin showed earlier this week what that may look like, with more than 1,100 of them calling in "sick" and not showing up for work for one single day, to emphasize their importance in the education system.
Estimates on the number of protesters who turned out in Columbus, Ohio on Friday differed, but Cleveland's WTAM 1100 News Radio put the figure at "thousands," noting that it had grown from prior protests. The station also added that Friday's demonstration also drew a counter-protest from a group of tea party Republicans, who were "far outnumbered" by the workers.
The Columbus Dispatch reported Friday's protest attracted "about 3,500" demonstrators, with the Republican counter-protest stacking up at just over 200.
“Instead of focusing on solving the economic problems facing Ohio and creating family-sustaining jobs for the 500,000 Ohioans who still remain jobless, Sen. Jones and Senate GOP leadership are trying to scapegoat hard-working public service workers for our economic and budget woes,” Tim Burga, president of Ohio's AFL-CIO labor union federation, said in a statement.
"This bill is a partisan assault on working families and does nothing but punish workers and hurt the middle class, plain and simple. This bill would destroy the middle class because the working families this bill affects not only provide vital services, but put money and resources back into their communities, which support local merchants and other small businesses."
This video was published to YouTube by user truthaboutbills on Feb. 17, 2011. It contains adult language.