Saturday, January 18, 2014


It is theoretical weekends at Scission and I am going back ta decade or so to the journal Race Traitor.  The article which I am reproducing here  refers to an earlier piece in the journal.  To save space, I am not going to print the earlier piece "Black and White and Dead All Over. " However what I am printing contains a link to that article and I would suggest taking a look see.  It might help obviously with understanding where the interaction that occurs in what I am printing comes from.  Have I made this as confusing as possible.  Probably.  Anyway, the piece I am printing from 2001 can, I think, stands on its own.

The following is from Race Traitor.

Race Behind Bars

Editors' note. Race Traitor 8 (Winter 1998) carried an article by Staughton Lynd entitled "Black and White and Dead All Over" about the so-called riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio in April 1993. The article emphasized the extent to which black and white prisoners overcame racial antagonism to present a united front to the prison authorities. A reader replied. The editors asked Staughton to write a response. What follows is the letter from the reader, Staughton's response, and a comment by the editors. First the letter from the reader:

I just read about George Skatzes and the prison riot. I think this should in itself make self-evident the importance of pride in one's own race, be it white, black or other, as well as the importance of unification of all races against our oppressive system. The reason why George Skatzes, a white, and a member of a white pride organization, was so severely punished is because he didn't fall into the trap of divide and conquer, he kept his white pride, and joined hands with his black brothers in their own pride as well, and together they made a brave stand against the system that seeks to have them hate and kill each other in the name of racial hatred.

I find it contradictory that you [this refers to Race Traitor] would preach hatred of the white race, and take the same stand as the oppressors who wish to divide and conquer all races by this kind of attitude. You have a perfect example here in your own published article of the "Black and White and Dead All Over," yet you yourselves miss the entire point of that article in your preaching of hatred against whites. If those heroes in that prison uprising, both black and white, were to listen to this website's ideology, they would most certainly have been killing each other off just as the system whose ultimate goal is total slavery and control of all humans would want it, rather than see all humans, proud of their race or not, unite and fight them together. You people better get with the program, and realize that every race has the right to be proud, every race has shameful deeds in their past, and every race's only hope is to be both proud and proud enough to accept each other, faults included.

Staughton's response:

It has taken me a long time to feel able to respond to this letter. Recently I have read two documents that seemed helpful. The first was the unsworn statement of a defendant in one of the Lucasville trials. The other is a letter from a young man at the Ohio State Penitentiary (O.S.P.). In the hope of stimulating responses from prisoners themselves, I offer below a summary of the unsworn statement and an excerpt from the letter.

In the unsworn statement, a white man now in his early thirties described his arrival at Lucasville while still in his teens. Before incarceration he had little contact with blacks. At Lucasville, when he came back from commissary with a net bag of purchases, black prisoners would sometimes come up behind him, cut the bag, and take his things. He stopped going to the day room after witnessing a knife fight there. Then one day some big white men came up to him in the chow hall, and said, in effect, "Kid, we like your spirit. But you need protection." He joined the Aryan Brotherhood.
The AB advocated racial superiority. The new member had a work assignment at the prison that brought him into contact with a black nationalist. It seems the two men decided that what they believed was similar: not racial superiority, but racial separation. As the member of the AB put it, when you have two men in a cell and one is into country and the other is into rap, it doesn't work.
The letter writer also came to prison as a young white man.

I have to say that I came to O.S.P. a stone cold racist. I wasn't racist when I was first imprisoned, but prison quickly turned me into one because of who was picking on me. I perceived blacks as "ignorant," "primal," and "pathetic." 
Three years at O.S.P. has changed that 100%. It's the WHITE police, administrators and nurses who treat me like a "nigger"; treat all of us like that. It is so frustrating to live under such an intense, voiceless oppression; to be picked on just because I'm an inmate; to be pushed and harassed, physically, while I'm in full restraints, and to be antagonized non-stop.
I used to be proud of white historical domination, the way whites just crushed and conquered all who stood in their path historically. The European race was a juggernaut of conquest.
But now when I watch documentaries on PBS like "Conquistadors" or "The West" it makes me mad because in those conquests and legal genocides I now see the arrogance of Lt. C----- or Lt. C------ or the administrators at O.S.P., with the blind assumption of superiority by all the frontiersmen/conquistadors/correctional officers. It's the same mentality really. Nothing on this planet has equalled the juggernaut force of white violence, ingenuity, conquest and superiority-through-numbers moving in coordination, but in that there was an ignorance that led to the death of millions and the extinction of entire cultures and animal species. And this continues still today.
I guess living under this O.S.P. stuff has sapped my view of white nobility and made me realize just how impossible it is to fight the entrenched administration (on all levels of life) of an established majority. It makes me respect the Indians who fought to the death when the white man just wrote up a document (manifest destiny) which made it perfectly legal to annihilate the Indians; or the Incan/Aztec natives who stood up to the conquistadors (and were mauled as a society); or the slaves who found the courage to revolt, knowing that there was no real win to be had except self satisfaction. 
That's not to say I'm a bleeding heart liberal now, but I have a new perspective now when I see black ignorance because I see "the machine" that maintains that level of oppression and ignorance on others; I see how the foot is on the necks of second class citizens; how the whole set-up is impossible to defeat until the entire administration of all levels (president, judges, police, etc.) has been renewed by several generations. Sadly, I fear that whites will have a tough time once that overhaul takes place.

The honest reporting of these two men suggests the following to me:

1. Many young whites who are imprisoned have had relatively little experience with blacks on the street.

2. In prison, the young white man finds himself in a situation where whites do not outnumber blacks eight to one (as in the United States as a whole) but (as in the Ohio prison system) blacks and whites are approximately equal in number. Moreover, in the prison system blacks may occupy more important administrative posts, relative to whites, than they would be likely to hold outside the walls. At the time of the Lucasville uprising the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Lucasville warden, and the Lucasville deputy warden, were all black.

3. This combination of circumstances may cause such young white men, when they experience harassment from black prisoners, to become more racist than they were before incarceration and to join a whites-only group for protection.

4. From the point of view of the black prisoner, in contrast, the white oppression that existed before he went to prison continues behind the walls. Most of the guards are white. The prisoners killed by guards at Lucasville in the years leading up to the disturbance were all black.

5. In the long run, the common oppression experienced by black and white prisoners may cause them to join together in resisting the authorities.

6. It can be a step toward such a common front for white and black "gangs" to enter into agreements to settle disputes without violence, to make joint demands on the prison system, and the like. At this point, the ideology of both groups will likely be: you respect our autonomy, we will respect yours. Thus at Lucasville both whites and blacks opposed forced interracial celling.

7. Ultimately, prisoners stand together against dehumanizing treatment not as blacks or whites, but as human beings. The qualities all prisoners respect are: courage; the ability to "maintain," to "stay strong"; respect for oneself and for others; refusal to snitch. Not all prisoners display these qualities, and those who do are not all of one skin color.

As the process unfolds, black and white prisoners -- like the young white man in his letter -- will begin to feel solidarity not only with each other, but with people outside prison who are struggling against the same oppressive system: for example, rank-and-file workers; farmers displaced from their land in the Third World; Puerto Ricans struggling for self-determination; young people protesting the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.
What do you think?

Editors' comment. We think Staughton's response is a good one as far as it goes. Where black and white share a common condition, both can reject ideas of racial supremacy as tools of the oppressor and join together in a struggle for common ends. As the writer quoted by Staughton points out, white pride cannot be separated from white conquest and genocide, and its rejection is therefore part of creating a common front.

But bad ideas are not the source of the race problem. In America even down-and-out whites have an edge over blacks as a result of the advantages accumulated in the past. Even if old-fashioned racial discrimination were to disappear entirely, someone whose grandfather had formal education or a trade would still be in a better position in the rat-race than someone whose grandfather walked behind a mule. Hence a common front against common oppression is not enough. It is necessary to go further, to look for struggles that directly address the gap between black and white. Whites will never be able to take part fully in a proletarian revolution until they demonstrate their willingness to go through what the black workers have gone through. Does this mean that whites should volunteer for the worst jobs and neighborhoods, to be beaten by cops, sent to prison at the same rate as black people, etc.? Of course not. It means that they must act on the old admonition, An injury to one is an injury to all, and fight as hard against the oppression of black people as if it were directed at them (which in a sense it is). Acting that way will mark them as race traitors, jeopardize their ability to draw upon the advantages of the white skin, and call into question their membership in the white race. But it will also open the door to their own emancipation.
RACE TRAITOR - Fall 2001

Friday, January 17, 2014


The truth is I can't think of any way to introduce an article which has to do with Mumia Abu-Jamal that has not already been done.  The truth also is that I have not done many articles concerning Mumia simply because plenty of other people are doing an excellent job working to support him.  All that said, its time, its prison friday at Scission and the following is from the San Francisco Bay View.



Mumia Abu Jamal 2013, web
Mumia Abu Jamal in a photo taken last year. He was forced to cut his hair when he left death row.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 8, I received an email from Fox News’ show, Hannity, about the possibility of an interview with me on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The heat was turned up at Fox in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing that day where Debo Adegbile was being confirmed as President Barack Obama’s nominee for assistant attorney general of civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Before long I was on the phone with one of the producers, who grilled me on my take on Adegbile’s appointment and his connection to Mumia Abu-Jamal.
I said that I am part of Mumia’s legal team, that Adegbile was never part of the small group of lawyers and staff working on the Mumia case at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, that Adegbile did not lobby for the Legal Defense Fund to take on the case, and that he simply happened to be working with the organization that had decided to take it on. I added that Fox should, however, explore why one of the most respected legal civil rights organizations in the nation, of Brown vs. Board of Education fame, would deem the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal important enough to take on.
Moreover, I added, the issue around which Adegbile is being attacked surrounds a federal appeal that challenged Mumia’s death sentence, not his conviction, which was pursued rabidly and illegally by prosecutor Joe McGill in a manner that desecrated the Constitution of the United States. The federal judges agreed with the brief, and the death sentence of this world-renowned journalist was commuted to life without parole.
Occupy Justice Dept march for Mumia, Trayvon 042412
On Mumia’s birthday, April 24, 2012, supporters marched and rallied to “Occupy the Justice Department” and demand an investigation into his case.
On this basis alone – that for over 28 years Mumia was unconstitutionally subjected to inhumane and torturous conditions on death row – Mumia should immediately be released. But in addition to being railroaded in a trial that, according to anAmnesty International Report on the case, “failed to meet minimum international standards safeguarding the fairness of legal proceedings,” the evidence in Mumia’s case suggests that an innocent man has now been imprisoned for 32 years.
As the long history of Black criminalization in the U.S. demonstrates, just because a Black person is convicted doesn’t mean he/she is guilty. Ask The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
Back to Fox News. In classic Fox form, the interview with me would not be about the case or about the appointment of Adegbile. Hannity gave ample time to Katie Pavlich, who was representing the views of the prosecution and who was clearly committed to simply echoing its conclusions.
'Fry Mumia and his supporters' white woman
“Fry Mumia” is the response of Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police supporters to the sea of “Free Mumia” signs that regularly fill the city’s streets.
In the end, the point of the segment was for Fox to call Mumia “a thrice-convicted cop killer” as many times as possible, and to associate that with Debo Adegbile so as to strategically energize a right-wing agenda against the gains of the civil rights movement – following the same pattern as in their successful campaign to decommission Van Jones.
At the end of the segment, I wanted out of the studio immediately, got up to walk off the set and was stopped by producers because I was about to walk through the camera as Hannity introduced the next segment. Then, while I was standing there, I decided to stay a while longer to let Hannity have it when the cameras went down.
I told him that his crafty staging of inflammatory propaganda parading as political debate was cheapening a desperately needed public discussion in the U.S. and destroying the project of democracy on which it depends. Hannity’s is a false front for news, journalism and debate, in which the opposing viewpoint is rudely cut off and is then pummeled to the ground with a battery of lies.
True to its form, Fox News manipulated the facts of the case to depict Mumia as an unrepentant cop-killer. For example, Ms. Pavlich claimed that Mumia did not enter a not-guilty plea in court during the trial. In fact, Mumia’s attorney entered a not-guilty plea and later in the trial Mumia himself twice upheld his innocence.
But as the trial began, Mumia took a vow of silence in protest of prosecutorial misconduct – the failure of the prosecution to honor its pre-trial agreement to release to the defendant important photographs and records before the start of the trial. Mumia also took a vow of silence because he wished to be his own attorney and to make an opening statement to the court – all requirements of fair trial proceeding under the Constitution, but denied to Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Mumia 30th anniv. imprisonment rally Nat'l Constitution Center Philly 120911 by Joseph Piette, Workers World, web
On the 30th anniversary of Mumia’s imprisonment, supporters packed Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center on Dec. 9, 2011. – Photo: Joseph Piette, Workers World
After the Hannity interview, Fox’s The Kelley Files interviewed Officer Daniel Faulkner’s widow, Maureen Faulkner. Mrs. Faulkner said on air that Obama’s appointment is tantamount to “spitting on all of our officers.”
As I watched, I was reminded of a heart-wrenching interview I conducted a few years ago with Mumia’s sister, Lydia Barashango, who was dying of cancer. She told the film crew of “Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal” that “justice for Maureen Faulkner is tied to finding out who killed Officer Daniel Faulkner. Mumia is not that person.”
Justice for Daniel Faulkner and justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal depend on an uncompromising commitment to facts, due process and truth; to date, that commitment has not been realized. As with so many other defendants, the courts failed Mumia. He was not tried by a jury of his peers, police officers tampered with evidence and the prosecution suppressed exculpatory evidence.
The most important and least known fact of the Abu-Jamal case is that a fourth person was present at the crime scene, and the prosecutor and the presiding judge repressed his presence at trial. Former TV Guide reporter and independent crimes-investigation journalist Patrick O’Connor argues convincingly in his book about the case, that that fourth person, Kenneth Freeman, killed Officer Faulkner.
Mumia Panthers Min. of Info 1970 by Phila. Inquirer
In 1970, Deputy Minister of Information Mumia Abu Jamal, 15, was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Also alarming is that 15 of the 35 officers involved in collecting evidence in the case went to jail for corruption and evidence tampering within weeks of the end of Mumia’s trial. In fact, the photos taken by Pedro Polakoff, an independent photojournalist who took the first photographs of the crime scene, show evidence tampering on the part of the police and disprove the prosecution’s entire theory of the case.
Sadly, despite the overwhelming evidence of innocence in this case, Mrs. Faulkner is denouncing Obama’s appointment of Adegbile and trying Mumia before the court of public opinion on the basis of his political affiliation with the Black Panther Party, which he joined when he was a 14-year-old. Incidentally, this was the same illegal strategy used at trial by prosecutor Joe McGill to secure the death penalty in Mumia’s case.
Deploying the language that has historically been used to silence those who fight against injustice – the language of McCarthyism – Mrs. Faulkner denounces Mumia as “a radical and a Black Panther.” But the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects freedom of speech and association and also protects against the use of political affiliation as proof of a defendant’s guilt if it is not germane to the case.
Mrs. Faulkner’s life-long campaign against Mumia Abu-Jamal is fueled, yes, by pain, but also by a blind anger that has been nurtured, misdirected and manipulated by the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Her statements are, in part, a response to the new petition, launched by The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home that calls on the Department of Justice to support the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Our aim is to get a million signatures. Please help us reach that goal by forwarding the link to your networks.
London march to Free Mumia 120911 by Getty Images
Mumia’s supporters are all over the world. Here they march to free Mumia in London on Dec. 9, 2011.
Those whose careers would be destroyed if the truth surfaced in this case argue that the failure of the appellate process to grant Abu-Jamal relief on his conviction is proof of his guilt. However, as was recently demonstrated in the case of Herman Wallace of the Angola 3, the appellate system in the United States very often fails the defendants.
The problem with the appellate process is that following a series of regressive, states’ rights laws passed in the 1990s, such as the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, appellate judges are forced to accept the “factual” rulings of lower courts, without regard for the tampered and falsified evidence often manufactured by the police and relied upon by the lower courts.
Because the appellate process is stacked against Mumia Abu-Jamal and hundreds of thousands of other defendants, the only available route to justice amidst the crisis of mass incarceration and political imprisonment in the U.S. is open debate and discussion – precisely what Hannity and his friends at Fox are intent on crushing.

The new petition, launched by The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home that calls on the Department of Justice to support the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Our aim is to get a million signatures. Please help us reach that goal by forwarding the link to your networks.

Mumia is a present-day Scottsboro Boy, and we must demand that Pennsylvania reveal his innocence now, not 80 years later the way Alabama did with the Scottsboro Boys.
Rue Mumia Abu Jamal 5th anniversary celebrated in Saint Denis, France 050811
On May 8, 2011, supporters in Saint Denis, France, a Paris suburb, celebrate the fifth anniversary of the renaming of a street Rue Mumia Abu Jamal.
In the 1990s, the Movement to Free Mumia brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets and deployed the political pressure that stopped Mumia’s execution – twice! After Mumia’s death sentence was ruled unconstitutional, Philadelphia DA Seth Williams decided not to pursue the death penalty once again.
He feared that doing so might galvanize an international movement that would descend on his city and expose the manner in which the courts, politicians and the police conspired to silence and imprison this radical journalist who is arguably the Nelson Mandela of our time.
Victories like these are rare during downturns in struggle, but our victory in winning Mumia’s release from death row coincided with a shift in consciousness in the U.S. occasioned by the economic crisis that began in 2008, the execution of Troy Davis, the emergence of the Occupy Movement, the murder of Trayvon Martin, the struggle against Stop and Frisk and the emergence of a new, embryonic but growing movement against mass incarceration.
Jorge Salinas, former PP, Mumia Solidarity Week, Mexico 120908
In Mexico City, a Mumia Solidarity Week is held every December. Here, Jorge Salinas, a former political prisoner, sings for Mumia’s freedom on Dec. 9, 2008.
Given this shift, The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home believes that it makes more sense than ever to begin to imagine a world in which Mumia Abu-Jamal walks among us. For this reason we are hard at work building a strategic grassroots movement that takes the streets and shifts the current media representation of this case, nationally and especially in Philadelphia.
Like the struggle that freed Mandela, the fight to free Mumia is bound up in the struggle to build a better world.
For those who watched my interview with Fox News, this is what I would have said on Hannity if I hadn’t been interrupted. These are the talking points that will bring Mumia home:
1. Mumia is innocent.
2. On the night that Officer Faulkner was shot, there were four persons at the crime scene. But the prosecutor, Joe McGill, and the trial judge, Albert Sabo, concealed the presence at the crime scene of that fourth person at trial. In fact, the presence of that fourth person, the passenger in the Volkswagen which Officer Faulkner had stopped, was acknowledged by prosecutor Joe McGill in another trial that was happening concurrently, surrounding the same crime scene. This key, exculpatory evidence – that there was another person at the crime scene who was the passenger – was hidden from the defense and the jury. Why?
3. It is well documented, in declassified memos, that the Philadelphia police in consultation with COINTELPRO had for many years been trying to peg a crime on former Black Panther and muckraking radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose reporting on police brutality, corruption in City Hall and the MOVE organization had long been a thorn in the side of the establishment. Now the Philadelphia police had their man and they were going to do everything in their power to frame him.
Mumia crime scene photo, guns in copGÇÖs bare hand, by copyright Pedro P. Polakoff III, web
This is the photo that blows the prosecution’s argument by showing guns in a police officer’s bare hand. – Photo: Pedro P. Polakoff III
4. The clearest sign that the Abu-Jamal trial was a miscarriage of justice came only two weeks after the end of the trial, when its lead investigator, police inspector Alfonzo Giordano, was tried and eventually convicted of rank corruption, extortion and tampering with evidence.
5. Because almost all the jurors that heard Mumia’s case were white, they believed the testimony of the police. A jury of Mumia’s peers would have known better. Shortly after Mumia’s trial, one third of the police officers involved in collecting evidence in his case were convicted of corruption and tampering with evidence to obtain a conviction.
Happening concurrently was also an investigation of the Philadelphia Police Department by the U.S. Department of Justice – the largest ever conducted of a police department in the United States. That investigation concluded that the level of corruption and tampering with evidence on the part of the Philadelphia police and its homicidal behavior against Black and Brown detainees “shocks the conscience.”
6. Upon arrival at the scene of the crime, the police who found Mumia on the ground with a bullet from Daniel Faulkner’s gun in his gut proceeded to beat Mumia to a pulp and throw him into a paddy wagon where they beat him up some more. Approximately an hour later, they drove him to the hospital and threw him on the ground at the entrance of the Emergency Room.
Lydia Barashango, Mumia's sister, 102106 by PDC, web
Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s sister, speaks at a rally on Oct. 21, 2006.
7. The prosecution pegged the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner on Mumia based on the perjured testimony of three witnesses, who said, 60 days later, that Mumia confessed to the shooting while in the hospital. This was contradicted, however, by the testimony of Dr. Anthony Coletta, who was with him from the moment he entered the hospital.
Dr. Coletta said that Mumia was barely conscious and in a state of shock, and that the trauma produced by Mumia’s bullet wound and the beating he had endured at the hands of the cops meant that medically, Mumia was incapable of speaking. In addition, the police report written on the night of the incident by the officer assigned to Mumia at the hospital, Gary Wakshul, states, “The Negro male made no comment.”
8. The first photographs taken of the crime scene were taken by a regularly published freelance photographer, Pedro Polakoff. He repeatedly called the police to give them those photographs, but the cops never responded. Polakoff assumed that Mumia was guilty and forgot about the issue.
In 2006 these photographs were discovered and studied by Dr. Michael Schiffman of Heidelberg University in Germany. The photos disprove the prosecution’s entire case theory.
Mumia rally Philly filmmaker Johanna Fernandez 110910 by Diane Bukowski
Attorney Johanna Fernandez speaks at a rally for Mumia in Philadelphia on Nov. 9, 2010. – Photo: Diane Bukowski
They also show that the police lied and tampered with evidence. Officer James Forbes, who testified in court that he had properly handled the guns allegedly retrieved at the crime scene, is photographed holding the guns with his bare hands, destroying all potentially significant fingerprints.
Most importantly, the Polakoff photos also point to the presence of a fourth person at the crime scene: Officer Faulkner’s hat is pictured resting on top of the Volkswagen on the side of the passenger seat, suggesting that he may have had a conversation with the passenger.
9. Exonerating evidence abounds in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Because Mumia is known the world over for his commentaries and writings on inequality and because he has spent so much of his time in prison offering a radical critique and analysis of mass incarceration, a victory in Mumia’s case would open up a much larger conversation in the mainstream about the crisis of mass and political imprisonment in the U.S.
Johanna Fernandez is a professor of history at Baruch College (CUNY). Follow her on This story first appeared in the Huffington Post.
Johanna’s note: BRING MUMIA HOME! We need a media strategy and a campaign in the streets, fast! Please forward this link to your contacts: Make the “60 for Mumia’s 60th Birthday” campaign a success. Join the campaign to Bring Mumia Home. We need your help to build the campaign that will free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Okay, my greyhound bud, Hawk, informs me it is time for Scission to talk about the exploitation and abuse of his brothers and sisters again here.

The news today concerns an international protest against the Greyhound Board of Great Britain awards on January 26th where the racing industry will be spitting on the graves of thousands of greyhounds and patting themselves on the back.  The "ceremony" will take place in Manchester. While the dignitaries are dining, greyhounds are dying.  While these "people" feast  most of the greyhounds that earned the greed driven industry money to pay for their little event will be kept in cold outside kennels in the middle of winter.

 Outside the Hilton Hotel site many will gather to "Give the Dogs a Voice." Those gathered will attempt to raise public awareness of the cruelty that goes on behind the scenes of the greyhound racing industry, the injuries and suffering on the tracks, the exploitation of dogs for financial gain, and the complete failure of current legislation in Britain to protect the dogs.

The Campaign Against Greyhound Exploitation and Death (CAGED) writes:

Every year the Greyhound Board of Great Britain hold an awards ceremony to congratulate themselves and the greyhound trainers for exploiting greyhounds over the year. Whilst this is happening most of the greyhounds that earned the greed driven industry money will be kept in cold outside kennels in the middle of winter. The GBGB usually has its fancy do in London but this year they are coming to Manchester. We will be working with the guys from the Shut Down Belle Vue group,GreytexploitationsPet Levrieri & Pro Greyhound to make sure the whole of Manchester will be made aware of the monsters they are allowing into their city. 

Everyone who is against the racing industry, everyone who has rescued a greyhound, everyone who thinks exploiting these beautiful animals is wrong UNITE make this protest and show the industry how hated this industry really is. 

The Hilton Manchester are hosting this farce of an awards gala.

Manchester is also the home of the Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium which was the first oval track in Great Britain opening in 1926.  Tens of thousands of greyhounds have been raced there and they still do.

Similar vigils and protest will take place in Italy, Argentina, and Germany at the same time.

CAGED says:

It is estimated that between Ireland and the UK around 10,000 greyhounds are euthanized or disappear each year, either ‘culled’ as pups because deemed unsuitable for racing, eliminated due to being too slow or because of injury, or simply because of having reached the end of their racing careers. Only a small percentage is given up for adoption.

These dogs spend their lives caged and often muzzled, deprived of human contact and the opportunity to play. For these reasons, racing is an inherently cruel ‘sport’, which must be banned. 

Meanwhile Pet Levrieri reports in Australia (and it is the same everywhere):

Thousands of healthy greyhound puppies are disappearing, presumed killed, every year, but their deaths are not reported or investigated by the $144 million greyhound racing industry.

Shocking details about puppy farming and the mass killing of the pups have emerged as a record number of people and organizations told a NSW parliamentary inquiry about the dark practices of the greyhound industry.

In one submission, a former industry participant, who did not want to be identified because he said he feared for his safety, said: “I actually found a brown sack one day, when washing my hands in the river that ran through the property, full of dead newborn pups.”

In 2011, up to 3440 puppies were born in registered litters but disappeared before they were named. Naming is a prerequisite for the dogs to race.

Rescue and adoption group Amazing Greys says the industry is one of the largest puppy mills in Australia and relies on breeding a huge excess to find a few champions. ”The industry is characterized by routine killings of puppies and dogs, greed and profits,” its submission said.

The following is from Pet Levieri.


Greyhound racing is an abomination. No animal should be subject to the greed of the gambling industry. Thousands of dogs bred to fed the gambling machine, token dogs selected for adoption to appease the welfare issue.
Greyhounds come under the legislation of livestock, and are treated like livestock, which in their case includes the heinous crime of human greed, unscrupulous practices & protection of those unscrupulous practices, and in the name of human entertainment, and are disposed of just like livestock.
Greyhounds are essentially domestic dogs, just like any other domestic dogs. From puppies, they yearn for what all other dogs do – a home/pack to belong to. Instead, they endure cramped, caged living conditions and the rigors of becoming a racing dog through a training regime that has many injuries in itself, plus track injuries – to inevitable euthanasia, because of this or simply because they show no inclination to run & don’t cut it at the track. Every year, thousands of greyhounds are disposed of, because they are commodities to the racing industry.
It is unethical and immoral to think that entertainment involves the maltreatment and eventual blood of this beautiful, loyal, gentle, regal and even tempered dog – and turn a blind eye. Be their voice. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This post is going to look different.  The story is unfortunately a familiar one.

Global capital, this time in the form of huge mining companies, is destroying the lives of the people of Colombia.  They have corrupted local governments, privatized services (which they don't offer much of), and are destroying the environment.  They have been caught drilling deep into an agriculturally critical aquifer and contaminated the local water supply.

There has been resistance including highway and railway lines being blockaded.

Community leaders and human rights defenders are already paying the highest price – their lives – for their opposition to the large-scale corporate mining project.

It's been 4 1/2 years since a report by Mining Watch found that Canadian based  mining companies in Colombia, 

"...control the local politics and civilian economy through intimidation of the locals, that they have been responsible for massive human rights violations and displacements... and that according to representatives of the displaced communities “they had been displaced by armed actors because of interest by some companies to mine for gold”.  Reports are quoted that “indicate that soldiers have told local residents that its operations are designed to protect the interests of international mining companies in the area”.The Public Defender’s office is at risk from the local paramilitaries,the Aguilas Negras, because they state “you are against the multinationals ….and we are there to pave the way for the company’s arrival”. Trade union executives (of FEDEAGROBISMOL) and local activists opposed to the activities of the company have been served death threats by the paramilitaries. 
The report concludes that the mining activity may encourage and strengthen the paramilitaries and that the company may be benefiting from the human rights violations of those who oppose its activities. 

The report informs us that 87% of forced displacements, 82% of human rights violations and 83% of murders of trade union leaders in Colombia have occurred in resource rich locations."

As Mining Watch Canada pointed out last month:

 It is time to recognize that the emperor has no clothes. Large-scale mining is still what it has always been, a business with huge returns for a very small elite, and for home countries such as Canada, based on extracting non-renewable and finite wealth from the earth, primarily in poor host countries. 
The local environmental, social and economic impacts during and after mining are still devastating with more losers than winners, particularly in developing countries and in remote and vulnerable communities in developed countries. These impacts exacerbate poverty in ways not addressed by typical project-level CSR efforts. Nor do the newer “governance initiatives” associated with the Andean Initiative and the CIIEID address the realities of the resource curse as these efforts appear to be primarily aimed at smoothing the way for Canadian companies to gain conflict-free and cheap access to overseas ore bodies.

The following is a bit more personal.

It is from Mi Mundo by way of Upside Down World. 
Southwest Antioquia: Microcosm of Social Conflict in Colombia’s New Gold Rush

Written by James Rodríguez   
On February 2011, an article in Canada’s Business Financial Post declared: “Colombia, whose rich gold deposits were once the
 source of the Spanish Empire’s power, is hot again… Seemingly overnight, its nearly dormant gold-mining industry has stirred to 
life, and the country has become a mecca for junior miners searching for the next big find.” (1)
Today, roughly 90% of the territory in the mountainous department of Antioquia has been licensed primarily for
 metal mining exploration. Despite ongoing peace talks attempting to end a brutal internal armed conflict spanning over 50 years,
 the new gold rush is dangerously fracturing new social divisions in a fragile State. (2)
The new gold rush has arrived seemingly overnight in southwest Antioquia, a traditionally agricultural region that has
 thrived from the production of coffee and livestock for generations.
In the town of Jericó, declared a Heritage Town of Colombia in July 2013, the social tensions are clear: hundreds of
 homes display white flags that read “No to mining”. The town has a growing resistance to the 50,000 hectare gold mining
 license for exploration given in November 2012 to Minera Quebradonda, local subsidiary of South Africa-based AngloGold Ashanti.
Local restaurant owner Nirvana Valencia states: “Above all, we feel attacked because no one has ever asked us if we want 
the mine or not!”
Hair salon owner Mónica Marín, 32, states: “Many of my clients are miners. Sure, I benefit now. But, what about the 
environment? What’s going to happen in the future? The situation is very tense right now as many are starting to support 
the ‘no to mining’ campaign. And those in favor are very narrow minded.”
Father Nabor Suárez, president of Jerico’s History Center, states: “Here in Jericó we follow Monsignor Noel Antonio 
Londoño Buitrago’s stance against mining. There is a long time ecological tradition in southwest Antioquia. We may be poor, 
but this land has always provided for us.”
With an urban population of 7,200, the town of Jericó holds roughly half of the municipality’s total population of 15,000.
Local city councilwoman Marta Cecilia Espinoza, 50, declares: “Personally, I feel the conservation of our water and 
environment is the most important issue. I don’t believe a mining project can be 100% contamination free. We depend on 
agriculture and live relatively tranquil lives. We are worried that violence, prostitution, and other social ills will develop here 
as we have seen in other mining regions. Jericó is a cultural heritage town, so mining is not compatible with its status. 
The townspeople’s opinions are very polarized – the first serious social problem that has affected us even before any mining operations have begun.”
Locals who oppose the industrial project are aware of AngloGold Ashanti’s reputation worldwide. In 2011, Greenpeace awarded
 the mining company its Public Eye Global Award as the world’s worst company in environmental terms “for its contamination 
of land, and the poisoning of people in Ghana… In addition, local residents were occasionally tortured in the company’s guard
 house; some cases resulted in fatalities.” (3)
Frictions between locals and the mining company have already taken place. On September 20, 2013, residents from the
 rural community of Corregimiento Palo Cabildo setup a blockade into the Finca Aurora, disallowing AngoGold Ashanti
 vehicles from entering. Locals demanded the company to halt operations in this area of the mountainside where water 
springs provide water for the valleys below. The peaceful protest was quickly dispersed, but it has signaled a turning point in
 the locals’ relationship with the mining company.
Hernando García, 63, resident of Corregimiento Palo Cabildo, states: “It is amazing how quickly things have changed in a 
year since the mining company arrived. This year no one wanted to work in the coffee fields unless it was for the same salary 
as the mine is paying its manual labor employees. Numerous crops have been lost, as we can’t find anyone to harvest them.
 No authority or media outlet has paid attention to us, so we decided to carry out the peaceful blockade into Minera Quebradona’s
 installations last September.”
Porfirio Garcés, 74, coffee producer and resident of Corregimiento Palo Cabildo, states: “The mining company fooled us. 
There is a serious social division today due to this mine. This is truly a life or death issue. We want to keep our culture based 
on coffee production, where honesty reigns. We do not want a mining culture based on destruction.”
Twenty kilometers west, in the municipality of Ciudad Bolivar, locals have carried out protest marches and painted numerous 
anti-mining murals throughout the municipality. Diego Tobón, president of the Friends of the Arboleda Environmental 
Corporation (Corporación Ambiental Amigos de la Arboleda, COAMAR, in Spanish), states: “Ciudad Bolivar is a farming 
municipality and [the government] wants to impose a mining culture that nobody here wants.” (4)
One of the main concerns in Ciudad Bolivar involves a mining license issued on the protected area of Farallones del Citará,
 a páramo ecosystem and major water source. Additionally, an Emberá Chamí indigenous community’s territory has also
 been included in the license polygon without previous consent – a direct violation of Colombia’s ratification of the International
 Labor Organization’s Convention 169.
Pedro Manuel Gonzalez Tamaníz, 36, an Emberá-Chamí man from the Indigenous Community of Hermenegildo Chakiama,
 on the slopes of Farallones del Citará, states: “In our culture, development means more that just money, but a life plan. 
This plan includes a heritage for our future generations, what we leave for them. This place is full of important medicinal
 plants that our jaibaná (spiritual healers) can’t find anywhere else. We want to make sure our children benefit from it as well.
 Mining will only bring desolation and sadness.” Waterfalls are a key element in Emberá culture, as they are believed to be
 homes for both positive and negative spirits that help bring balance to the world.
Roughly twenty kilometers south of Jericó and Ciudad Bolivar, the Emberá-Chamí Indigenous Community of Cristianía-Karmata 
Rua, within the municipality of Jardín, has been on high alert since an unauthorized incursion into their autonomous territory 
by geologists from the former National Institute for Geological Mining Research (INGEOMINAS) placed the mining problematic 
on the national spotlight. On September 26, 2012, Karmata Rua’s indigenous guard, a legal autonomous security force 
recognized by the Colombian government, captured INGEOMINAS geologist Daniel Prieto.
Daniel Prieto was retained for three days in Karmata Rua, as local leaders demanded an “explanation for his presence
 in their ancestral indigenous territory.” Locals are concerned segments of Karmata Rua’s territory have been included 
[without consent] in a hydroelectric project and/or a mining license. (5)
Gilberto Tascón, 52, carries out a cultural radio program from the local Chamí Estereo station in Karmata Rua. Gilberto
 founded the radio station in 1997, was governor of Karmata Rua, and head of the National Indigenous Organization of 
Colombia (ONIC) from 1982 to 1986. He states: “In the late 1970s, the community became organized not only for the sole
 purpose of legalizing our territory, but also for education, health, women’s rights, and our culture – the defense of our
 language. Mining is a threat to all these. Hence, no to mining, yes to the defense of our territory.”
Local teacher Gladys Yagarí sings at the community’s primary school during a cultural event.
Alicia Tamanís, 60, Emberá Chamí woman and coffee grower, works on her harvest. The town of Andes can be seen
 in the background.
María Olga Panchí, 58, former governess of the Karmata Rua Indigenous Reserve from 1986 to 1987, was the first
 indigenous governess in Antioquia. She declares: “Just as we organized ourselves to recover our territory in the late 
1970s, we must do so now to protect our territory. If we allow the miners to come in, where will we grow our food? 
Where will we go? We cannot allow this plunder. We have seen in other mining communities how the industry changes
 the culture. It brings drugs, prostitution. We need to cling to our culture with our teeth and nails.”
María Ofelia Carubia, 87, arranges some of the local jewelry and handicrafts she makes.
Rosa Yagarí, 65, collects her coffee harvest. With regards to mining licenses given by the Colombian government to foreign 
companies without previous consultation to the local population, Rosa states: “This is not a jungle, but an Indigenous Reservation. 
We must fight for our territory or else our children will be left without land. The foreigner who comes will find trouble. 
We do not mess with the local landlords either, so we want to be respected. I hope they don’t come and that the State respects
 our sovereignty.”
Argemio Baquiaza, 60, local jaibaná performs a healing session. The Jaibaná are equivalent to shamans or spiritual 
healers who control the flow of spirits according to the Emberá culture.
Amanda González Yagarí, 46, coffee producer and current governess of the Karmata Rua Indigenous Reserve, declares 

as she rakes her coffee harvest: “We are against metal mining because we have seen the deterioration of other communities at 
the hands of this industry. We must protect our territory in order to maintain our unity and culture. We do not want the
 decomposition of our family or social structures.”
As she works on her vegetable garden, Inéz Yagarí states: “We are very worried about mining here. If they take our
 lands, where will we go?”
1. “Colombia a ‘new frontier’ for gold miners.” The Business Financial Post. February 1, 2011.
(Accessed on Wednesday January 8, 2014).
2. Despierta Jericó. Número 1 – Febrero 15 de 2013.
d/0ByHKPUVjxcvdVk1tVUI5SEVvbWs/edit (Accessed on Wednesday January 8, 2014).
3. Greenpeace. “South African Company ‘Wins’ Public Eye Award. Congratulations to AngloGold/Ashanti!” 
Feature story – January 31, 2011.
South-African-Corp-Wins-Public-Eye-Award/(Accessed on Wednesday January 8, 2014).
4. “Ciudad Bolívar marcha contra la minería.” El Colombiano. 30 de mayo de 2013.
/ (Accessed on Wednesday January 8, 2014).
5. Martínez Arango, Rodrigo. “Comunidad indígena de Jardín retiene a geólogo de Ingeominas.
” El Colombiano. 27 de septiembre de 2012.
(Accessed on Wednesday January 8, 2014).