Saturday, June 09, 2012


This photo belongs to

It is Theoretical Weekends at Scission.  This will be different.

"...the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves; ...the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule."



I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
and my sleeping it was broken
but my dream it lingered near
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
that the people / have the power
to redeem / the work of fools
upon the meek / the graces shower
it's decreed / the people rule

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
and bending low as if to hear
and the armies ceased advancing
because the people had their ear
and the shepherds and the soldiers
lay beneath the stars
exchanging visions
and laying arms
to waste / in the dust
in the form of / shining valleys
where the pure air / recognized
and my senses / newly opened
I awakened / to the cry


Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
like cream the waters rise
and we strolled there together
with none to laugh or criticize
and the leopard
and the lamb
lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
to recall what I had found
I was dreaming in my dreaming
god knows / a purer view
as I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you


The power to dream / to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power
People have the power ... 


Friday, June 08, 2012


If you have ever seen my facebook page, you will find the following quote associated with it, "Ask yourself, what would John Brown do.?"  

I think five guys in Indiana asked themselves that question when they heard a bunch of crumbs associated with the white nationalist, white supremacist movement would be meeting just across the state line in Illinois.

Then they went and did it.

I posted an article on facebook about these guys last week and lots of people were upset with the news of ant-racists taking things seriously and pouncing on a group of unsuspecting white supremacist.

I wasn't.

Maybe you will be.

That's life in the big city.

It's political prisoner Friday and these guys are political prisoners.

The first article below about what happened and why comes from Workers World.  The second comes from the Tinley Park 5.  It asks for some support, especially if you live in the area.

Note:  I do not agree with the statement from WW, "The IEHA is not isolated from the repressive capitalist state; it is an appendage to it.."  

I believe fascists, white supremacist groups operate autonomous of the State, and often in opposition to it.

Tinley Park Five: Fight fascism

On May 19, one day before the 15,000-person protest against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in downtown Chicago, another kind of protest took place in a suburban community of Chicago known as Tinley Park. Eighteen anti-racists, allegedly with weapons in hand, confronted members of the Illinois European Heritage Association. Ten people were reportedly injured, mainly with head wounds.

The IEHA, which is associated with Stormfront, the so-called “Nationalist Socialist Movement” and the Knights Party, was holding an “economic summit” at the Ashford House restaurant. It was the fifth such summit organized by white supremacists in the Midwest since 2010.

The group is part of the “Pioneer Little Europe (PLE) movement, which seeks to establish mutually supportive white supremacist enclaves throughout the United States,” according to the Anti-Defamation League’s website. The ADL is pro-Israel and against the Palestinian right to return. Stormfront has a forum with “over 6 million posts, 490,000 discussion threads, and 170,000 members.” Beside English, its discussion threads include “Croatian, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, French, Russian, and other languages.” (

It is noteworthy that while the Department of Homeland Security, the Chicago police and other federal, state and local agencies were working overtime to wiretap, arrest and spy on anti-NATO activists, they allowed neofascists who openly promote the extermination of people of color and Jewish people to meet publicly in a restaurant. To think that these agencies were unaware of this meeting is to be naive.
The anti-racists, all of them white, are supported by the Hoosiers Anti-Racist Movement/"Indiana Antifa Support." HARM has relations with Anti-Racist Action, which was founded during the mid-1980s to confront racist and fascist organizations. ARA’s main ideology is anarchism. Chapters exist in various cities.

Just recently, HARM held a fundraising event for CeCe McDonald — the African-American trans woman who was a victim of a racist, anti-trans attack by white bigots in July 2011. She was subsequently charged with second-degree murder. McDonald, who was exercising her right to self-defense, is facing more than three years in prison after agreeing to the prosecution’s offer to plead guilty to a reduced second-degree manslaughter charge.

Five members were captured immediately by the police on May 19. The other 13 escaped and are still being sought by the cops. Calling themselves the Tinley Park 5, three of them are brothers, Jason W. Sutherland, Cody L. Sutherland and Dylan J. Sutherland. The other two are Alex R. Stuck and John S. Tucker. Four out of the Five are in their 20s.

The Five are scheduled to be arraigned on June 12. The bond is $175,000 each for three of the Five, $200,000 for the fourth and $250,000 for the fifth. Each bond is more than the one set for George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American youth on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman remains free.

According to the HARM Website, the Five have declined to make any public statements due to death threats their families are receiving from racists.

The right to preemptive strike

The May 19 incident should be viewed within the broad context of the global economic crisis that fuels the racist profiling of oppressed peoples, especially if they are Black and Brown. One only need utter the names of Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Ramarley Graham, Anastasio Hernández Rojas, Rekia Boyd, Darrin Hanna, Bo Morrison, Alan Blueford, Aiyana Stanley Jones and many others who have been killed by police or vigilante terror. Earlier this year, neo-Nazis randomly killed four Black men in Tulsa, Okla.

There are mass incarcerations, no jobs, attacks on education and virtually no bright future for young people under capitalism, no matter their nationality. The economic crisis is felt acutely throughout the U.S., but it has hit the Midwest especially hard.

In light of this unprecedented crisis, the Tinley Park 5, as well as many whites involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, are consciously choosing to side with the oppressed youth and workers and not succumb to racist demagogy by neofascists. No matter one’s view of the Five’s choice of tactics, the main question is: Don’t the workers and oppressed have the right to independently strike back, by any means necessary, when their rights are being threatened or denied by forces of political reaction?

WW says yes.

During the 19th century, the great militants John Brown and Nat Turner did not wait for approval from the abolitionist movement — whose leadership was dedicated to pacifism — to use organized violence to strike a blow against the barbaric, genocidal system of slavery.

There is no equal sign between the violence of the oppressed and those who stand with the workers and oppressed against the violence of the oppressor. The same principle should apply to any righteous struggle of an oppressed people against imperialist war and occupation, no matter what ideology may dominate that struggle. This is what communists refer to as self-determination of oppressed people.

The IEHA is not isolated from the repressive capitalist state; it is an appendage to it. It is an extra-legal terrorist force that does not have any legal standing, including any First Amendment rights. What the Tinley Park 5 did on May 19 was to carry out a preemptive strike to help expose the real danger that extremist groups pose to the movement and the masses here and worldwide. The Five heroically showed that these groups have to be crushed sooner than later.

Free the Tinley Park 5!

For more information on the case, including legal defense information, go to @TinleyPark5 and @IndianaAntifa and


Call to Action: Pack the courtroom for June 12 appearance

The Tinley Park Five have a court appearance 9am June 12 at the Bridgeview Courthouse (10220 South 76th Avenue Bridgeview , IL 60455). The white supremacist community is threatening later violence against anyone in attendance as can be seen in this thread from Stormfront. The International Action Center has posted a short article about the court date located here. The Tinley Park Five and their support network hope to gather a large group of people to attend, in order to prevent their friends and family from being targeted by violent fascists.

We realize that many activists in the Chicago area might not be supportive of the tactics the Tinley Park Five are accused of. Keep in mind, they have not been convicted of anything at this time. We ask that you consider attending this court date even if you’re uncomfortable with militant actions as a show of support to their families. We need a large group of people for the families to be able to blend into. If you’re not comfortable showing solidarity with the Tinley Park Five, we ask that you consider attending as a show of solidarity to their families and friends who have never participated in any direct action and just want to be able to see their sons, brothers, and partners without fear of being murdered by fascist thugs.

Those willing to participate in this show of solidarity are asked to seriously consider the potential risks of walking into the cross-hairs of these racist lunatics.

If you are willing to come, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines in order to protect the families and loved ones of the Tinley Park Five as well as to not jeopardize the legal outcome of the case:

  • Do not bring cameras.
  • If asked to comment by media, or anyone claiming to be a journalist, say only two words: “NO COMMENT
  • Be respectful and cooperative with all law enforcement and court officials
  • Do not engage in debate or discussion with any racist elements
  • Do not confront or posture against white supremacists at the courthouse. They will be there trying to provoke a response.
  • Do not assume that anyone you do not personally know is a supporter. White nationalists do have plans to ‘infiltrate’  their supporters as well as pose as journalists, bloggers, and curious activists
  • Do not wear any clothing that shows allegiance to any anti-racist or anti-fascist cause.
  • Be aware that the Chicago Tribune and other main-stream media outlets have already jeopardized the safety of Tinley Park Five supporters. They are desperate for any chance to portray the Tinley Park Five and their supporters as crazy fanatics. Don’t give them this ammunition, even though both reporters and white supremacists will be doing their best to bait you into behaving in a militant fashion.
  • This is serious business. If you don’t think you’re capable of holding your tongue when hearing Nazis and Klansman call supporters things such as “race-traitors”, “niggers”, “anti-white terrorists”, “mud-babies”, and every other ethnic slur imaginable we ask that you show your support in one of these different ways.

The overwhelming support the Tinley Park Five continue to receive has become a life-altering experience for those of us working on jail support. Thank you for considering to help. Solidarity.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


What the hell is going on in the farm fields of America.  Rape is going on, thats what.  Female farmworkers always facing horrendous working conditions also have to deal with sexual assaults and rapes from their bosses.

The even disgusting news, I guess, is that it isn't just the bosses.  Sometimes, women will tell you even their "brother" workers will decide it is okay to harass and abuse women workers, too.

Taking advantage of workers, paid or otherwise, who always are vulnerable to the bosses is taken to a new level when the workers are women.  When the workers are barely surviving doing hard labor to put food not just on their tables, but ours, too, well, you can read the results below.

Women farmworkers are also in no position to report such abuse to anyone.  As Alternet reports, 

... women face--not just institutional sexism but also crippling poverty and discrimination in law enforcement. Women may feel they have little choice but to suffer humiliating treatment and abuse in order to support their families. The consequences of reporting sexual violence can be devastating for the whole household, because the boss might fire both the victim and the family members who work alongside her.

 Although the law should theoretically protect all women from such abuse, immigrant workers are deterred from reporting work-related sexual violence because the law tends to criminalize them rather than treat them as survivors deserving of justice. As federal and state authorities have focused on arresting and deporting the undocumented, immigrant communities have every reason to see police as a source of terror, not protection.

 It should be no surprise that on America’s farms, so many women are treated as less than human, since not even the government sees them as worthy of respect under the law.

I would point out that if you think this is only happening in the USA you are nuts.  Of course, women workers across the world are special targets of the Empire's petty managers and the local representatives of global capital. Capital eats workers for lunch, breakfast, and dinner, chews em up, spits em out.

Some may think the answer is to unionize.  To that I say, I wouldn't place my faith in the bureaucratic trade unions, virtually all run by men.  No, only independent workers organizations, run by workers, joining in cooperation with other organizations created by the multitudes across the world will ever successfully put an end to all this.  The goal isn't labor peace, the goal is workers power.

This report from my old friend Bill Berkowitz and taken from Buzzflash is the sort of things that just makes me want to go outside and scream.

Resistance is not futile.

But it is damn tough.

Farmworkers Face Rape and Sexual Abuse Epidemic in the Fields

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


You know you can talk about theory and you can talk analysis.  You can report on the big stories.  Every now and then though it is good to remember that all of those things translate at some point into actual lives.  The story below from Prison Culture is a real story about a real person in a real place at a real time.

A Dispatch from Chicago’s Economic Wastelands…

This week has SUCKED on so many levels that it is difficult to know where to even begin… I will limit myself to one particular illustration of how terrible of a week it truly was. I am so glad that it is Sunday and that the start of a new week is just around the corner.

At around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, I received a panicked call from the grandmother of a young man (I’ll call him George) who I first met in mid-2010. George was referred to me by a teacher friend because he had been recently released from prison and needed some support. Honestly, what he desperately needed (like millions of others) was a job. There were no jobs in sight. My friend had been his teacher in the 8th grade and he had come by the school where she still works asking for her help. She was honestly very surprised that he remembered her after all of these years. This underscores the truth of the famous quote by Henry Adams: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence ends.”

At 21, George had spent the better part of 8 years cycling in and out of first juvenile detention, then youth prison, and finally adult prison. He was somehow able to pass his GED examination in between stints behind bars. This gives you a sense of how bright he is. After much stress and some begging, we were able to find him a job at a local retailer. He has been working there since last June. Today he is 23 years old, has a 1 year old daughter and a lovely girlfriend.

So I rushed over to Grandma’s apartment (located on the West side of Chicago). By the time I arrived, it was after midnight. The young man, who I will call George, had locked himself in his bedroom with his girlfriend and daughter, he had a gun and was threatening to kill both of them and then himself. [Honestly, if I were not actually living my life, I wouldn't believe half of the situations that I find myself involved in. Most of the individuals who I work with are in some form of crisis and I don't write about 90% of what happens on a daily basis]. The apartment was packed with random family members and some neighbors. Everyone was taking turns shouting through the locked door telling him to release his daughter and girlfriend. I tried to intervene by asking people to stop yelling suggesting that this was not helping the situation but was summarily ignored. At around 1:30 am, George finally allowed his girlfriend and daughter to safely leave the room. He quickly slammed the door and locked himself in the room again. Needless to say that both the girlfriend and the baby were inconsolable. The girlfriend insisted that he would never have harmed her or their daughter. And I believe her. She explained that on Monday, he had received a notice that he would be laid off from his retail job. HE. JUST. LOST. IT.

Now I was sitting on the couch, feeling completely helpless, while large men were throwing themselves against the door to try to break it down. Others were threatening to call the police in very loud voices. I again tried to pipe in to say that this would only make matters much worse since George would most certainly be re-incarcerated for violating the terms of his parole. He was in possession of a firearm. It seems that I got through to folks on that point because they stopped threatening to call the cops.

At around 1:45 am, George’s godmother (who he is apparently very close to) arrived from the far southside. Thankfully, she was a hospital social worker. She took command of the room and successfully got the men to stop trying to break down the door. She also proceeded to clear the apartment asking all of us to leave. I have to admit to being more than a little relieved that I was not going to be expected to talk George down from a suicide attempt. I am not a licensed social worker or counselor and this situation felt well-above my pay grade.

By Peter Yahnke
The next day I returned to the grandmother’s apartment for an update on the incident. George’s godmother was able to convince him to open the door and give her the gun. She then drove him to a local psychiatric hospital where he was admitted. On Thursday, I stopped by said hospital knowing that I would not have a chance to see George but wanting to leave him a card along with a couple of books that I know he will appreciate.

There is so much to unpack in this story and I will leave it to others to do it. The way that we talk about the impact of incarceration in our culture is woefully inadequate. Our language obscures the concrete and day-to-day struggles that people who are released from prison experience. George was one of the “lucky” few who had been on his way to recovering from the brutal experience of incarceration. He had a job, was building a family, and was contributing to society by mentoring younger men who, like him, had found themselves in trouble. Now he is in a psychiatric hospital, on his way to being unemployed again. I’ve reached out to his employer and will meet with a manager there next week. It is my hope that we can find some sort of accommodation that will allow him to keep his job (at least on a part-time basis). In the meantime, I have feelers out for other potential employment.

One last thing, if we had involved the police in this matter, George would surely have been shipped right back to prison: a place that he most certainly did not need to be. This episode frankly underscores the value and importance of developing community-based accountability models across the country. It was George’s great fortune that he happened to have a family member (his godmother) who had the skills and the access to resources that could help him without further trapping him in the prison industrial complex. Many other people need similar opportunities.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


If you happened to turn on the TV news over the weekend, you could not have missed all the senseless pageantry in London celebrating the Queen.  What you did miss is that some of those who made up the workforce that made the pageantry possible weren't getting paid and were living under a bridge.

So while celebrating Royalty, it seems the brits were also celebrating capitalism, that great economic system which gives everyone, rich and poor, the absolute right to sleep under a bridge.

Truthfully, this is not a funny story.  This is a story of what the British call Workfare.  Workfare demands that people who receive welfare work unpaid jobs.  As Boycott Workfare points out, "Workfare profits the rich by providing free labour, whilst threatening the poor by taking away welfare rights if people refuse to work without a living wage."

Workfare, of course, does not only impact those workers without jobs, it impacts those with them.  Also, as reported by Boycott Workfare:

In February of this year, the following account emerged from one MP on the Public Audit Committee:

“… the situation that I am observing in retail where people are being placed for free in retail operations for work experience….

…squeezing out permanent employment in relatively low-paid retail. I have noticed companies such as Tesco making their standard contracts four-hour contracts. WH Smith has a zero-hour contract policy, as do places such as Primark in my constituency. I have constituents who have worked in those places and who are not getting the hours of work that they used to have, which is obviously having very substantial follow-on impacts on tax credits and so on….

…In my constituency, one of the things that is happening is that many people are being given work experience-unpaid-in retail,…when they [retailers] are offering jobs, a company such as A4e, which operates in Slough, can say to Primark, “If you want more of our free workers, I hope you are going to give our people 20-hour jobs…

…I want to know how – it is not even in the Report – we protect against the risk of job substitution as a result of this programme, because it is not factored into how people are paid.”

So while the Royals make lots of money and don't do any work, lots of others do work and make no money, so that some others can make money off the labor of others, and lay off some who work and make some money, so they can become others who do work and make no money.....


The following is from the UK'S Guardian.

Unemployed bussed in to steward river pageant

Coachloads of jobless people brought in to work unpaid on river pageant as part of Work Programme
Some of those hired as stewards had to spend the night before the pageant sleeping under London Bridge.

A group of long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.
Up to 30 jobseekers and another 50 people on apprentice wages were taken to London by coach from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth as part of the government's Work Programme.
Two jobseekers, who did not want to be identified in case they lost their benefits, said they had to camp under London Bridge the night before the pageant. They told the Guardian they had to change into security gear in public, had no access to toilets for 24 hours, and were taken to a swampy campsite outside London after working a 14-hour shift in the pouring rain on the banks of the Thames on Sunday.
One young worker said she was on duty between London Bridge and Tower Bridge during the £12m river spectacle of a 1,000-boat flotilla and members of the Royal family sail by . She said that the security firm Close Protection UK, which won a stewarding contract for the jubilee events, gave her a plastic see-through poncho and a high-visibility jacket for protection against the rain.
Close Protection UK confirmed that it was using up to 30 unpaid staff and 50 apprentices, who were paid £2.80 an hour, for the three-day event in London. A spokesman said the unpaid work was a trial for paid roles at the Olympics, which it had also won a contract to staff. Unpaid staff were expected to work two days out of the three-day holiday.
The firm said it had spent considerable resources on training and equipment that stewards could keep and that the experience was voluntary and did not affect jobseekers keeping their benefits.
The woman said that people were picked up at Bristol at 11pm on Saturday and arrived in London at 3am on Sunday. "We all got off the coach and we were stranded on the side of the road for 20 minutes until they came back and told us all to follow them," she said. "We followed them under London Bridge and that's where they told us to camp out for the night … It was raining and freezing."
A 30-year-old steward told the Guardian that the conditions under the bridge were "cold and wet and we were told to get our head down [to sleep]". He said that it was impossible to pitch a tent because of the concrete floor.
The woman said they were woken at 5.30am and supplied with boots, combat trousers and polo shirts. She said: "They had told the ladies we were getting ready in a minibus around the corner and I went to the minibus and they had failed to open it so it was locked. I waited around to find someone to unlock it, and all of the other girls were coming down trying to get ready and no one was bothering to come down to unlock [it], so some of us, including me, were getting undressed in public in the freezing cold and rain." The men are understood to have changed under the bridge.
The female steward said that after the royal pageant, the group travelled by tube to a campsite in Theydon Bois, Essex, where some had to pitch their tents in the dark.
She said: "London was supposed to be a nice experience, but they left us in the rain. They couldn't give a crap … No one is supposed to be treated like that, [working] for free. I don't want to be treated where I have to sleep under a bridge and wait for food." The male steward said: "It was the worst experience I've ever had. I've had many a job, and many a bad job, but this one was the worst."
Both stewards said they were originally told they would be paid. But when they got to the coach on Saturday night, they said, they were told that the work would be unpaid and that if they did not accept it they would not be considered for well-paid work at the Olympics.
Molly Prince, managing director of Close Protection UK, said in a statement: "We take the welfare of our staff and apprentices very seriously indeed.
"The staff travelling to the jubilee are completing their training and being assessed on the job for NVQ Level 2 in spectator safety after having completed all the knowledge requirements in the classroom and some previous work experience. It is essential that they are assessed in a live work environment in order to complete their chosen qualifications.
"The nature of festival and event work is such that we often travel sleeping on coaches through the night with an early morning pre-event start – it is the nature of the business … It's hard work and not for the faint-hearted.
"We had staff travel from several locations and some arrived earlier than others at the meeting point, which I believe was London Bridge, which was why some had to hang around. This is an unfortunate set of circumstances but not lack of care on the part of CPUK."
The company said it had spent up to £220 on sponsoring security training licences for each participant and that boots and combat trousers cost more than £100.
The charity Tomorrow's People, which set up the placements at Close Protection under the work programme, said it would review the situation, but stressed that unpaid work was valuable and made people more employable. Tomorrow's People is one of eight youth charities that were supported in the Guardian and Observer's Christmas appeal last year.
Abi Levitt, director of development services at the charity, said: "We have been unable to verify the accuracy of the situation with either the people on work experience or the business concerned.
"We will undertake a review of the situation as matter of urgency. Tomorrow's People believes strongly in the value of work experience in helping people to build the skills, confidence and CV they need to get and keep a job and we have an exemplary record going back nearly 30 years for our work with the long-term unemployed."