Saturday, August 27, 2011


Direct action sometimes is really direct.  The things you sometimes have to do to get some attention or to tell the powers that be that you are just tired of all the shit.  Well, across the sea in the land of Germany some folks are letting everyone in on a secret.  They ain't going quietly into the night.  In fact, it is they who are making use of the night.  Whatever you personally think of this sort of thing, you gotta admit it isn't just "interpreting the world" now is it?

From Working Class Self Organization comes this lesson in self organization.

Berlin Says No To Gentrification

For a fourth consecutive night, the authorities have been dealing with the burning of luxury cars across Berlin. Three hundred and seventy two cars have been targeted so far this year, a 100% increase on 2010. The cars are general BMW’s, Mercedes, Porsche, and Ferrari’s.

The media and politicians are blaming the attacks on ‘left wing extremists’, who are protesting against the gentrification of some of the boroughs of Berlin. The burning of luxury cars has also spread to Hamburg and Dusseldorf, but on a smaller scale. Five hundred extra officers and helicopter have been promised in the coming nights.

Several individuals have been arrested and charged with arson, however, German law does not allow sentences to be inflated to discourage copy cats, as they do in the UK, stated a disappointed official

The troubles are one of the main talking points of the current election campaign. The Christian Democrat Party is encouraging the general public to form militia groups. Election hopeful, Burkard Dregger has promised to arm 1000 volunteers with truncheons and handcuffs, if he is elected. How very Christian, and democratic!

There are several areas of Berlin that have seen numerous squatters evicted, ‘latte sipping’ yuppies have moved in, house prices have soared, and poor people have been forced out. Some areas have seen 60% of the residents moving away to other areas, due to the influx of rich folk.

Many of the ruling elite have followed a similar script to their counterparts in the UK. They believe that there can be no possible underlying issues that may be contributory factors. The burning of cars is just plain and simple vandalism. Whilst the more reactionary upper class believes that Germany is on the cusp of returning to the days of Baader-Meinhof, which may be a slight overreaction.

When will the ruling elite admit that the spate of ‘mindless violence’ that occurred across Europe over the last year, may just have just a small link to the austerity measures that governments are forcing on us, rather than just an underclass scum, who have no sense of society, or common decency.

FYI, when I say ‘underclass scum, with no sense of society of common decency’, I am referring to how the ruling classes currently refer to the working classes, rather than referring to the Conservative Party.

 Incidents of politically motivated car arson 2011 in Berlin


Sure it is easy for me to tell the Libyans to go ahead and smash the state.  I mean when was the last time I smashed a state.  I know, I know.  Still somebody has to do it sometime.  Just changing the apparatus a bit here and there just isn't going to get the job done.  In fact, I'm not sure that any "revolt" in any of the provinces by themselves can ever overcome the Empire.  We all gotta pull together.  

Meanwhile I present you this article which has a good description of just who the famed Interim Transitional National Council in Libya really is and just who they represent.  It comes from COUNTERFIRE.


The Libyan people need to challenge the leadership of the Interim Transitional National Council, and its close ties with Western imperialist powers, to create a better future, argues Joseph Daher.

Gaddafi’s regime is collapsing. The capital Tripoli has fallen to Libyan opposition forces backed by NATO, reportedly including MI6 officers on the ground. The end of Gaddafi’s power is justifiably celebrated by the Libyan people.
The Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC), established in February by a rebel coalition forged in Benghazi, has vowed recently to hand over power to an elected body within eight months of the downfall of Gaddafi. ITNC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said the transitional body is necessary “to establish stability” in the country, but that Libyans will choose a national congress in due course. He also added that a referendum on a new constitution will be held 20 months after Gaddafi is overthrown.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has announced a special Libya summit with the heads of the European Union, Arab League and African Union this week in New York, while Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu - in a press conference in Benghazi with Mustafa Abdul Jalil - declared that NATO will continue its military campaign in Libya until full "security" is established.
The following question is currently posed: what future for Libya, and for whom? To answer this question we should first look at the current composition of the ITNC and the people close to it, then look briefly at the relationship of western powers to the ITNC.

ITNC: only an interim?

The ITNC has been recognised by many countries as the legitimate governing authority. The Arab League released a statement officially recognising the ITNC, as have many western countries.
The ITNC derives its legitimacy from the decisions of local councils set up by the revolutionary people of Libya on 17 February. The ITNC’s professed aim is to steer Libya during the interim period that will follow the destruction of Gaddafi’s oppressive regime.
The ITNC has a council which consists of 31 members representing the various cities of Libya and of an executive board of 15 members. The executive board was dismissed on 8 August 2011 following the assassination of the rebel military commander, Major General Abdul Fatah Younis. The board's chairman Mahmoud Jibril is expected to name members of the new board in due course.
The previous ITNC executive board nevertheless gives us a good picture of the Libyan opposition inside the council divided mainly in two separate groups. The first one is linked to Gaddafi’s regime and has defected only recently from it to join the opposition. It has strong links with Western countries. They were the first to call for a foreign military intervention.
Mustafa Abdel Jalil resigned from his position as Gaddafi's Justice Minister on 26 February in response to the regime's violent crackdown on peaceful protests. He is known for having been supportive of some reform initiatives advanced by Sayf al Islam al Qadhafi.
Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman of the INTC's executive board, headed the National Council and the National Economic Development Board in Gaddafi's regime. Jibril is a neoliberal economist who presided over the Gaddafi regime’s neoliberal reforms from 2007 until the uprising. He now serves as a foreign affairs representative for the Council. He has worked to secure recognition of the ITNC in meetings with European and U.S. officials, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Ali Al Issawi is a foreign affairs representative for the ITNC. He served as Minister of Economy, Trade, and Investment from 2007 to 2009.
This first group brings a number of supporters with international backing to the executive body council, such as ministers Tarhouni, Boughaighis, Shareef, El Osta, Shamman and El Alagi.
The second group is composed of long time opponents to the Gaddafi regime and has strong links on the ground among the population. They don’t have the same international contacts as the first group. Many of them were human rights activists.
Abdel Hafez Ghoga, former head of the Benghazi Lawyers Syndicate, is the symbol of this second trend; he is the Vice-Chairman and spokesman for the ITNC. He is described in the Libyan press as a “human rights lawyer and community organiser.” He was initially working to convene a national transitional council at the same time as Mustafa Abdel Jalil and others were working to form the ITNC.
Fathi Terbil is the youth representative to the ITNC. He is a legal advocate from Benghazi who represented families of victims of the 1996 Abu Salim prison massacre, in which Libyan security forces are alleged to have killed over 1,000 prisoners in putting down an uprising. His arrest and release on 15 February sparked protests and confrontations that in turn fuelled the broader uprising.
Dr. Salwa Fawzi al Deghali is the Council representative for women. She is a lawyer and a native of Benghazi.
This second group was not initially in favour of foreign intervention. Abdel Hafez Ghoga said in February that the newly formed council was not contacting foreign governments and did not want them to intervene. He was responding to overtures from Hillary Clinton, who said Washington was "reaching out" to opposition groups in the east and was prepared to offer "any kind of assistance" to Libyans seeking to overthrow the regime.
The first group led by Jibril and Abdel Jalil, characterised by its international links, has become dominant in the ITNC. We can see this in, for example, the ITNC announcing in May its readiness to work with the IMF, declaring adherence to the ‘principles of good governance, accountability and transparency’ promoted by the IMF.
These policies were implemented by the same people when they were aligned with Gaddafi. Ex-head of the IMF Stauss Khan was, a few weeks before the uprising, congratulating the Gaddafi regime for its successful implementation of neo liberal policies, while the Libyan regime was collaborating these past few years with the US and other western countries in "counter-terrorism". Abdel Jalil also said that the ITNC will respect treaties signed in the past.
The recent reshuffling of the executive board might represent an attempt by the second group and people on the ground within the rebel movement, including homegrown leaders who helped start the uprising, to assert their power.
Many grassroots supporters will want the ITNC to remember its role is transitional and avoid any tactics that prolong its unchecked authority. But it is self-selected, already facing significant and sometimes lethal division within its ranks, and influenced by its dependence on Western powers.

Western interests and NATO

The Libyan leadership and NATO have both declared that NATO will continue its operations, declaring that the military mission has not changed despite the fall of Gaddafi’s regime. It remains to "protect the civilian population", and to enforce the no-fly zone and the arms embargo.
In a move led by France and Britain, the United Nations on Wednesday announced that it is working on a draft resolution that would enable Libyan assets to be unfrozen and sanctions to be unlocked. The money would be given to the ITNC.
A 70-page plan detailing Western designs for the occupation of post-Gaddafi Libya, apparently signed off by the political leadership of the ITNC, has been leaked. The plan includes keeping large portions of the security apparatus intact, with a number of the leaders of the brutal regime’s crackdown left in position on condition of loyalty to the new, pro-West regime.
Even more controversial will be the “Tripoli task force”, a 15,000-man force operated by the United Arab Emirates which may occupy the capital and conduct mass arrests of Gaddafi’s top supporters. The ITNC confirmed the authenticity of the report, and while the rebel ambassador to the UAE expressed “regret” that the truth had come out, he said it was “important that the general public knows there is an advance plan”.
An ITNC representative said he had spoken with Hillary Clinton and 10 other foreign ministers to discuss political, economic and military support for Libya during a transition period.
The future of Libya will be played out in the following months. Now there is another struggle for Libyans to fight: to regain control of the revolutionary process which is now in the hands of ex-members of Gaddafi’s regime who defected only a few months ago, and who are ruling with the assistance of their old Western imperialist allies.
The Libyans who started the popular uprising must be at the centre of the revolutionary process to protect the interests of the Libyan people. They must make clear to the leadership of the ITNC that NATO has no role in the future of Libya. Our Libyan brothers and sisters will have to renew their revolution to achieve a new democratic and anti-imperialist Libya. This is just the beginning for Libyans.

Friday, August 26, 2011


As Hurricane Irene moves on its merry way toward those famed outer banks (not to be confused with the banks to which we all tithe) and on up the coast, let us not forget that the disaster of Hurricane Katrina has never ended.  While some of the blame can be placed most certainly on the hurricane herself, the bulk of the misery cannot.  The real blame belongs to the US government, white supremacy, and a bunch of fools hellbent on the destruction of what once was the city of New Orleans.  

The following is from the San Francisco Bay View (what would we do without them).

New Orleans six years later: The disaster is not over

by M. Endesha Juakali, J.D.
The residents of St. Bernard public housing, home to 6,500 people before the flood, fought for their right under international law to return to their well-built, minimally damaged homes in every way imaginable, including with a tent city called Survivors Village set up in 2006. Nevertheless, on Dec. 20, 2007, the epic battle culminated with the New Orleans City Council voting unanimously to let HUD destroy all 4,500 of the city’s public housing apartments. Yet still the residents, 95 percent Black, fought and continue to fight for their right to return to the “replacement” housing.
The Katrina Commemoration Committee will sponsor its annual march from the base of the Industrial Canal in the 9th Ward to Hunters Field on Aug. 29, 2011.
Last year, the prevailing thought was that the fifth annual event was going to be the last chance to really make a statement because after that, the media and others around the country and world would definitely move on to other events and disasters. That is probably true from a media-marketing perspective, but for those of us who lived and are still living the disaster, moving on is not an option.
The storm that brushed by New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, was never the cause of the disaster. The shoddy work of the U.S. government that led to the levee failures and flooded the city was only the beginning of our troubles.
The real disaster began immediately after the storm when the city’s white supremacist economic elite and its “colored” collaborators decided to remake the city in their image, which strongly resembles a 21st century plantation. These collaborators, who included the mayor, city council, head of HUD and almost every Black elected official, thought that the plan would only affect the poor, who they never represented anyway!
They were not only unprincipled, but pretty misguided in not realizing that the majority of people in New Orleans were working poor and anything that affected them would change all the power relationships in the city.
It started almost immediately with the governor labeling Blacks in New Orleans “looters” and giving the police department and National Guard the power to shoot to kill. This was parroted by the then mayor. We can now see how that worked out.
St. Bernard was demolished in March 2008, part of a total 4,500 apartments destroyed. Ever since public housing residents were locked out after the flood, rent and homelessness in New Orleans have skyrocketed.
Then the state took control of the public school system, firing all the experienced teachers and breaking the union. This was done for the express purpose of privatizing the industry, so now profit is the goal, not serving the children.
Then it was decided that certain areas in the city should not be repopulated. All of these areas, such as New Orleans East, the Lower 9th Ward and all of the traditional public housing developments, were areas that were almost exclusively Black and working class. Then the decision was made not to open the public hospital, which was a critical lifeline for the Black working poor community.
Then the political attacks began – and are still going on! Though the city is only 30 percent white, the white supremacist economic elite has used the weakened state of the Black community – as well as the failure of Blacks, other people of color and progressive whites to forge any kind of united front – to take away any semblance of power by Blacks and people of color in the city.
All of the major power bases in the city that were majority Black are now majority white. This includes the mayor, city council, district attorney, police chief, school superintendent and judges elected since the storm. In fact, any position of power that has been filled since the storm has most likely been filled by a white person or a non-New Orleans native.
This has been accompanied by a sustained war against the poor, the homeless and all other lower working class persons in the city. Since New Orleans was declared a blank slate, we are the social experimental lab of the world. Anyone with money and a new idea come to New Orleans, assuming “they will accept anything.”
Survivors Village held a Right to Return rally and sit-in May 28, 2010, at Columbia Parc, the purported replacement for St. Bernard, to protest the exclusion of former residents. The leaders were persecuted and prosecuted.
This is just meant to be a sample of what has happened to the city since the storm. As a native New Orleanian and a Black person, I could go on and on with examples of how sad it feels to be politically and economically powerless in my own city. Suffice it to say, calling this a 21stcentury plantation is not meant to be a joke.
All people who believe in social justice should make it a point to march on Aug. 29. We cannot afford to move on because the disaster is not over. It’s an ongoing living event that seems to have gotten worse each year since 2005.
Therefore, we must march each year in order to remind ourselves that we are in a fight and cannot rest! We have lost many battles, but the war is ongoing and we must not quit!
I hope to see you at the levee breach on the 29th!
And after the march and program at Hunters Field, everyone is invited to join the residents and former residents of the St. Bernard community in their annual “Unity in the Community Celebration of Life” at 3820 Alfred St., in the 3800 block of St. Bernard Avenue, from 4 p.m. until.
To learn more, contact Survivors Village and the St. Bernard Fightback Center at communitiesrising@gmail.comand the Katrina Commemoration Committee at or (504) 328-3159.

Note from Sakura Kone
The Aug. 29 march will begin with a healing ceremony 10 a.m. at the Lower 9th Ward levee breach on Jourdan and Galvez. Immediately following the healing ceremony begins the Katrina Commemoration March and Secondline, a combination of traditional New Orleans secondlining, African drummers, New Orleans brass bands, social aid and pleasure clubs, various community organizations and the community-at-large. It travels through the streets of New Orleans down North Claiborne Avenue for about three miles to St. Bernard Avenue. The march/secondline ends at Hunters Field, located on the corner of North Claiborne Avenue and St. Bernard Avenue.


Okay, so even I have to report a story with a smile on my face once in a while.  I do this while acknowledging that Michelle Bachman and her MAN are not a happy couple...and certainly not a couple that makes me happy.  As you all know hubby Marcus has this infatuation with gay folks and can't seem to get them off his mind for more than a few seconds at a time.  Michelle, who many believe is really a guy in drag, has similar issues.  How these too hooked up is anyone's guess.  They are truly a match made in the fiery pits of hell.  

Well, the barbarians have come for them, the torches are lit, the sky is falling and all of civilization is on the verge of collapse (I wish).

The following comes to us all free of charge from Columbus

Horde of Gay Barbarian Flashmob Converts "Marcus Bachman" in Glitter Baptism at Clinic


The barbarians were locked out of the office, but remained undaunted and fabulous at the gates, along with newly converted "Marcus."
Earlier today in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, an army of gay barbarians marched on Michele and Marcus Bachmann’s “clinic”, condemning the couple’s attempt to “pray away” their discredited gay conversion therapy.
The flashmob protest — inspired by Marcus’s assertion that gays are “barbarians who need to be disciplined” — comes in the wake of the unlicensed therapist’s peculiar reversal, now denying he or his “therapists” ever practiced the harmful therapy.
In an attempt to clear up the confusion, the group of “gay barbarians” approached the clinic earlier this morning in hopes to speak to Marcus. When the staff saw a horde of over 100 barbarians approaching, they locked the clinic doors.
Undaunted, the barbarians at the gates demanded to see Marcus. Significant medical evidence suggests the “therapy” is a farce.

"Marcus Bachmann" (local actor Carl Atiya Swanson) gets into the spirit of Lady Gaga.
The barbarians then began chanting “you can’t pray away the gay, baby I was born this way!”. Finally, a visibly frustrated “Marcus” emerged in front of the clinic and confronted the horde yelling “you barbarians need discipline!” as he reprimanded the dancing barbarians with a black leather whip. They responded by showering him with glitter, and after the sparkling baptism “Marcus” gave in to his barbaric urges, joining the horde in their infectious flashmob dance.
The Marcus impersonator was a local actor.
“Let’s be clear: Marcus Bachmann is the practitioner of an unhealthy, unscientific and dangerous practice,” explained Nick Espinosa, one of the event organizers. “It seems all too convenient that the minute Michele Bachamann becomes a candidate for President Marcus starts making a desperate attempt to walk back his previous statements.”
Marcus’s inexplicable change of orientation on the use of “ex-gay” therapy comes a month after an interview in which he claimed to only use the therapy “at the patient’s discretion.” This statement also contradicts video evidence from an undercover investigation that shows employees of the clinic clearly encouraging the widely-discredited therapy.
“The American people have a right to know: does the Bachmann family profit from bogus “gay reparative therapy” or not,” continued Espinosa. “The medical evidence against the practice aside, the Bachmann’s subversive marginalization of the LGBT community is despicable.”
Today’s action was organized by the same young man who previously glittered Newt Gingrich, inspiring a national trend in political protest of anti-LGBT sentiments from political candidates and campaigns.
“It’s clear that the Bachmanns are the real barbarians here, and their archaic views on LGBT equality will no longer be tolerated,” Espinosa said.
Michele Bachmann has a long history of controversial anti-gay politics, and has compared the gay lifestyle to “bondage and slavery.”
Her anti-gay views have been a focal point of her career as a politician, but lately she has shied away from reporters’ questions about her controversial comments and taxpayer-funded “reparative therapy” clinic. While Michele Bachmann has long railed against federal safety net programs like Medicaid, the Bachmann & Associates clinic has received over $137,000 in Medicaid funds and over $27,000 in other state and federal funds.
For years, the scientific and medical communities — including groups like the American Psychology Association — have dismissed “reparative therapy” (also known as “conversion therapy” or “ex-gay therapy”) as dangerous and unethical.
BONUS! The Rite Thing: More Scenes from the Barbarian Struggle in Lake Elmo, Minnesota

A barbarian raises his paw in salute to Marcus Bachmann's conversion

The barbarians dance.