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Lugh Ildánach

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  1. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to jmstipe20 in Committee launched to hold International POW-Day 2013 on October 26   
    In July 2013, republican activists from Europe, North America and Australia launched the “International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War” as a permanent and independent body to coordinate international support with Irish Republican Prisoners of War.
     
    In the context of a blackout of mainstream media and reformist politics, we rely on our strengths and build solidarity from below. Hence the committee works towards promoting solidarity with all genuine Irish Republican POWs. It operates as an independent network to coordinate support with the Irish Republican POWs world-wide.
     
    It has been agreed by the members of the committee to hold the 3rd Annual International Day in Support of the Irish Prisoners of War on October 26, 2013. All international organisations and Irish republican activists and their supporters are invited to join preparations to make the 3rd annual POW-Day a success.
     
    The 1st International POW-Day in 2011 was organised by the Republican Sinn Féin International Bureau and Liberation Irlande from France. The 2nd International Day 2012 was organised by an ad-hoc committee chaired by Dieter Blumenfeld. Since the situation in Maghaberry has not been solved and internment continues, various republican activists joined forces to set up the permanent “International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War”.
     
    Chairperson of the committee for the coming period is Dieter Blumenfeld. He welcomed the launch of the International POW-Committee as “an important step to promote the cause of Irish Republicanism and the case of the Irish Republican Prisoners in English, Irish and Lithuanian jails on an international level all over the world”.
     
    The main focus of the committee in the coming period is the organisation of the 3rd Annual International Day in Support of the Irish Prisoners of War on October 26, 2013. On the weekend of October 25/26/27, Irish republicans and their supporters will hold various protest and events on at least three continents, Australia, Europe and North America.
     
    October 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the escape of three republican POWs by helicopter from Mountjoy jail. October 25 is also the anniversary of the death of Sinn Féin’s Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence Mac Swiney and republican Joseph Murphy in Cork prison. Both died on hunger strike in July 1920. On October 27, 1980 the first H-Block hunger strike began.
     
    The members of the committee urge all Irish Republicans abroad, international human-rights activists and progressive political activists to support the 3rd Annual International Day in Support of the Irish Prisoners of War on October 26, 2013. The republican POWs scream, but their voices die away in silence. We on the outside must become the voice of the prisoners!
     
    The members of the committee for the coming period are: from Europe: George Faisan of Liberation Irlande, France, and Dieter Blumenfeld of Republican Sinn Féin, Austria; from North America: Padraig MacLiam of the Release Martin Corey Campaign, USA, and Dominick Bruno of the National Irish Freedom Committee, USA; and Martin Longwill of the Sydney Branch of the James Connolly Association.
     
    The website of the International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War is: http://supportthepows.irish-solidarity.net/. The contact details to the Chairperson of the Committee are: supporthepows@irish-solidarity.net and 0043 664 556 18 68. Further contact details to each area are available from the website.
     
     
  2. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from nico in Revolutionary Anarchafeminist Group Dublin   
    http://ragdublin.blogspot.ie/ 
      Why Anarcha-feminism? RAG is a group of anarcha-feminist women in Dublin, Ireland. We are all feminists, united in our recognition that women's subordination exists. Our struggle needs to be fought alongside the struggle against other forms of oppression, not treated as an afterthought or as a distraction. We are all anarchists, united in our belief for the need to create alternatives to this capitalist, patriarchal society wherein all are dominated and exploited. RAG meets weekly as a group to discuss topics which are important to us. We have produced five issues of a magazine, The Rag, and we hold occasional open meetings. The article below was written from notes on an open discussion we held called “Why Anarcha-feminism?” It touches briefly upon a lot of topics in a short article, so to read a more in-depth analysis of the issues raised please refer to the Rag magazine.     What is Anarchism? Sometimes defined as libertarian socialism, the ultimate aim of anarchism is total democracy – for each person to have a direct say in issues that affect their lives, not rely on government to represent them. This requires the destruction of state, hierarchy and class society, and the construction of non-hierarchical bottom-up systems of organisations such as local councils and unions to replace these. There is the need for strong grassroots action and organisation in to prepare for radical change. As many people as possible need to be personally invested in organising to take control of our own resources and interests and to defend our right to do so.   Class and Feminism Anarcha-feminists have tried to develop an understanding of class, race, ability and LGBTQ issues, paying attention to the fact that all women do not have the same experiences in their oppression as women. We try to be aware of privilege and to make ourselves aware of and learn from women’s struggles globally.   From an anarchist perspective, some anarchists see feminism as a divisive issue, distracting from the 'real' issue of class struggle. Thanks to anarcha-feminism, the anarchist approach increasingly accepts that sexism does exist, and is not just a minor side issue which will fade away with the end of capitalism. When anarchists constantly stress that all experience of patriarchy is linked to class, they can gloss over another truth: the experience of class is differentiated by gender.   In traditional anarchist dialogue the site for revolution has been the workplace; from a feminist perspective the family and the body are additional sites of conflict. This is our literal “means of production” which we should be determined to seize.     Anarcha-feminist Identity Anarcha-feminists often find it easier to publicly label themselves as feminist than as anarchist. This is because many people who have not considered either concept are more willing to accept the premise that women and men should have equality than to question the core of the current economic and political systems. Many people who profess to believe in equality have not even considered life without capitalism, or that economic systems affect equality. Anarchism also suffers from negative connotations, for example the misassociation with chaos and violence. Ironically, some anarchists are unwilling to identify as feminist due to the negative connotations associated with the feminist label. The capitalist system is very effective in muddying the meaning of concepts which pose a clear threat to that system. It is important to us to be clear that we are feminists and anarchists, and that we see this as a pathway to freedom.   Equality not Sameness We believe that true equality can never be achieved within any capitalist system. Capitalism will only concede enough to give a convincing illusion of equality. The ideals that early feminists courageously fought for have now been entirely diluted and sold back to us as pink and sterile girl power. We can be whatever we want to be as long as it’s sexy - politician, athlete, scientist or ‘housewife’. We need to be clear that when feminist gains are won, it is in the name of true equality for all people, not as a concession or privilege. Real feminism requires complete social restructuring which can essentially be equated with true anarchism.   One of the misconceptions of the feminist movement has been that for women to be equal to men, we have to be the same. Women joined the rush into the modern workplace to have equal access to exploitation. Many women find they experience a double shift of work – both outside and inside the home. Capitalism has made effective use of patriarchy and in many ways is reliant on it – for example on the nuclear family as the unit of effective consumption and control. The work that women do in producing and caring for children, in keeping the home and in caring for the sick and the old is not valued under capitalism. The value system of capitalism is profit-driven; only that which produces profit is seen as productive.   Queer Feminism There are overlaps between feminism and queer theory (queerness might be roughly defined as gender or sexuality non-conformism). Anarcha-feminism recognises the fluidity of gender and its construction from birth as a way of acting/talking/thinking. While recognising gender binaries as socially constructed, anarcha-feminism sees that society divides people into ‘male’ and ‘female’, oppressing women and those that don’t fit into strict gender roles.   Although there is some acceptance by wealthy capitalist countries of difference with regard to gender and sexuality, ultimately it is acceptable only as a lifestyle choice, not as a revolutionary force, which it should ultimately be. The destruction of the systems of capitalism, state and patriarchy would lead to an explosion in different ways of being – sexualities, gender identities, family, structures etc.   Patriarchy and Men The fight for women’s equality has been framed as a “battle of the sexes”. However, feminism has led to a growing consciousness of male oppression under patriarchy, such as strict adherence to masculine gender roles, duty to “provide” in the realm of work and lack of equal rights to active parenthood. Male oppression has been misconstrued as either a product of the feminist movement, or an oversight of it. Yet it is often through feminist dialogue that a space has opened up for discussing these aspects of men’s lives and experiences. Pro-feminist solidarity between men and women can make meaningful inroads into these issues.   Meaningful reform Many very real changes have been made in women’s lives due to feminist efforts. These include suffrage, the right to work outside the home, equal pay legislation, anti-domestic violence legislation etc. Unlike anarchism, feminist ideology can and has been accepted into capitalist reform. Yet it is socialists and anarchists who have mainly been behind meaningful reform – through the trade union movements, anti-racism work, community work and women’s liberation movements. Unfortunately, many of the ultimate aims of those who struggled to create these reforms have now been lost. Their achievements have been co-opted into seeming like the achievements of “democracy” when in fact they were concessions hard won by activists condemned as radicals of their time.   While continuing to fight for meaningful reform (for example, abortion rights and free childcare), we also want to remain completely clear about what we are fighting for: not just women’s equality, but absolute equality. The ultimate endpoint of feminism is anarchism.   RAG is always looking for new members, so if you'd like to get involved, please drop us a line either on our Facebook page, or by emailing RAGDublin@gmail.com.  
  3. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to nico in Photography   
    A nice B&W shot I took of the Flats. The old TV aerial still up there.
  4. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to nico in Photography   
    "In my son's veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels"
    ~ Ernesto "Che" Guevara Lynch - (Che's Father)
  5. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to nico in Photography   
    A thread for the photography enthusiasts among us.
    I recently bought myself a DSLR camera, I'm only scratching the surface to what it can do, here's a few practice shots I took myself.
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

  6. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in PLA Female Soldiers and Militias   
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cbMLeeV1ww
     
  7. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from nico in Revolutionary Anarchafeminist Group Dublin   
    http://ragdublin.blogspot.ie/ 
      Why Anarcha-feminism? RAG is a group of anarcha-feminist women in Dublin, Ireland. We are all feminists, united in our recognition that women's subordination exists. Our struggle needs to be fought alongside the struggle against other forms of oppression, not treated as an afterthought or as a distraction. We are all anarchists, united in our belief for the need to create alternatives to this capitalist, patriarchal society wherein all are dominated and exploited. RAG meets weekly as a group to discuss topics which are important to us. We have produced five issues of a magazine, The Rag, and we hold occasional open meetings. The article below was written from notes on an open discussion we held called “Why Anarcha-feminism?” It touches briefly upon a lot of topics in a short article, so to read a more in-depth analysis of the issues raised please refer to the Rag magazine.     What is Anarchism? Sometimes defined as libertarian socialism, the ultimate aim of anarchism is total democracy – for each person to have a direct say in issues that affect their lives, not rely on government to represent them. This requires the destruction of state, hierarchy and class society, and the construction of non-hierarchical bottom-up systems of organisations such as local councils and unions to replace these. There is the need for strong grassroots action and organisation in to prepare for radical change. As many people as possible need to be personally invested in organising to take control of our own resources and interests and to defend our right to do so.   Class and Feminism Anarcha-feminists have tried to develop an understanding of class, race, ability and LGBTQ issues, paying attention to the fact that all women do not have the same experiences in their oppression as women. We try to be aware of privilege and to make ourselves aware of and learn from women’s struggles globally.   From an anarchist perspective, some anarchists see feminism as a divisive issue, distracting from the 'real' issue of class struggle. Thanks to anarcha-feminism, the anarchist approach increasingly accepts that sexism does exist, and is not just a minor side issue which will fade away with the end of capitalism. When anarchists constantly stress that all experience of patriarchy is linked to class, they can gloss over another truth: the experience of class is differentiated by gender.   In traditional anarchist dialogue the site for revolution has been the workplace; from a feminist perspective the family and the body are additional sites of conflict. This is our literal “means of production” which we should be determined to seize.     Anarcha-feminist Identity Anarcha-feminists often find it easier to publicly label themselves as feminist than as anarchist. This is because many people who have not considered either concept are more willing to accept the premise that women and men should have equality than to question the core of the current economic and political systems. Many people who profess to believe in equality have not even considered life without capitalism, or that economic systems affect equality. Anarchism also suffers from negative connotations, for example the misassociation with chaos and violence. Ironically, some anarchists are unwilling to identify as feminist due to the negative connotations associated with the feminist label. The capitalist system is very effective in muddying the meaning of concepts which pose a clear threat to that system. It is important to us to be clear that we are feminists and anarchists, and that we see this as a pathway to freedom.   Equality not Sameness We believe that true equality can never be achieved within any capitalist system. Capitalism will only concede enough to give a convincing illusion of equality. The ideals that early feminists courageously fought for have now been entirely diluted and sold back to us as pink and sterile girl power. We can be whatever we want to be as long as it’s sexy - politician, athlete, scientist or ‘housewife’. We need to be clear that when feminist gains are won, it is in the name of true equality for all people, not as a concession or privilege. Real feminism requires complete social restructuring which can essentially be equated with true anarchism.   One of the misconceptions of the feminist movement has been that for women to be equal to men, we have to be the same. Women joined the rush into the modern workplace to have equal access to exploitation. Many women find they experience a double shift of work – both outside and inside the home. Capitalism has made effective use of patriarchy and in many ways is reliant on it – for example on the nuclear family as the unit of effective consumption and control. The work that women do in producing and caring for children, in keeping the home and in caring for the sick and the old is not valued under capitalism. The value system of capitalism is profit-driven; only that which produces profit is seen as productive.   Queer Feminism There are overlaps between feminism and queer theory (queerness might be roughly defined as gender or sexuality non-conformism). Anarcha-feminism recognises the fluidity of gender and its construction from birth as a way of acting/talking/thinking. While recognising gender binaries as socially constructed, anarcha-feminism sees that society divides people into ‘male’ and ‘female’, oppressing women and those that don’t fit into strict gender roles.   Although there is some acceptance by wealthy capitalist countries of difference with regard to gender and sexuality, ultimately it is acceptable only as a lifestyle choice, not as a revolutionary force, which it should ultimately be. The destruction of the systems of capitalism, state and patriarchy would lead to an explosion in different ways of being – sexualities, gender identities, family, structures etc.   Patriarchy and Men The fight for women’s equality has been framed as a “battle of the sexes”. However, feminism has led to a growing consciousness of male oppression under patriarchy, such as strict adherence to masculine gender roles, duty to “provide” in the realm of work and lack of equal rights to active parenthood. Male oppression has been misconstrued as either a product of the feminist movement, or an oversight of it. Yet it is often through feminist dialogue that a space has opened up for discussing these aspects of men’s lives and experiences. Pro-feminist solidarity between men and women can make meaningful inroads into these issues.   Meaningful reform Many very real changes have been made in women’s lives due to feminist efforts. These include suffrage, the right to work outside the home, equal pay legislation, anti-domestic violence legislation etc. Unlike anarchism, feminist ideology can and has been accepted into capitalist reform. Yet it is socialists and anarchists who have mainly been behind meaningful reform – through the trade union movements, anti-racism work, community work and women’s liberation movements. Unfortunately, many of the ultimate aims of those who struggled to create these reforms have now been lost. Their achievements have been co-opted into seeming like the achievements of “democracy” when in fact they were concessions hard won by activists condemned as radicals of their time.   While continuing to fight for meaningful reform (for example, abortion rights and free childcare), we also want to remain completely clear about what we are fighting for: not just women’s equality, but absolute equality. The ultimate endpoint of feminism is anarchism.   RAG is always looking for new members, so if you'd like to get involved, please drop us a line either on our Facebook page, or by emailing RAGDublin@gmail.com.  
  8. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to lenin86 in ‘Naxals maintaining close links with Filipino, Turkish groups’   
    http://www.systemiccapital.com/naxals-maintaining-close-links-with-filipino-turkish-groups/
  9. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Britain's Zero-Hours Contracts: Temporary Jobs Behind Half of Employment Rise   
    The legal provisions in the 26 Counties relating to Zero Sum Contracts http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1997/en/act/pub/0020/sec0018.html#sec18
  10. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Britain's Zero-Hours Contracts: Temporary Jobs Behind Half of Employment Rise   
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/dominos-uses-zero-hours-contracts-239647.html Domino’s uses zero-hours contracts
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013
    Domino’s Pizza has confirmed that it is using controversial zero-hours contracts in Ireland.

        By Vincent RyanBusiness Reporter
    A spokesperson for the pizza chain said its Irish outlets follow the same model as in the UK where junior positions are all staffed on zero-hours contracts.
     
    A zero-hours contract of employment means the employee is available for work but does not have any specified hours of work.
     
    The contracts are widely used in the services sector, according to Siptu.
     
    A spokesperson for Domino’s Pizza said: “The stores operate the same in the [Republic] as they do in the UK — so the majority of the non-managerial or supervisory positions in a store are on zero-hours contracts.”
     
    In Ireland, employees on zero-hours contracts have to be compensated if they do not work at least 15 hours, according to the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
     
    If an employee doesn’t meet this quota then the company must compensate workers to the equivalent of 15 hours’ work.
     
    McDonald’s Ireland confirmed it is not using the practice as Irish law prohibits it. In the UK, however, the company has been widely using it.
     
    A spokesperson for McDonald’s Ireland said: “Under Irish employment law, employers are bound to provide a minimum of 15 hours per week as part of each employee’s contract. McDonald’s Ireland complies fully with this law, depending on staff availability.”
     
    Siptu’s services sector organiser, John King, said that in parts of the industry that have not been unionised there are a lot of companies using zero-hour contracts.
     
    “We have a strong number of people contacting us and a lot of anecdotal evidence that this is going on”, he said.
     
    Mr King said that the employment market was now ruthless since the removal of the Joint Labour Committee.
     
    “Since the removal of the Joint Labour Committees, the employment market has become a jungle,” he said.
     
    However, Domino’s said that by using the zero-hours contracts, they were facilitating workers.
     
    “We employ many parents, second-job workers, as well as students who would like flexibility in their role, and we ensure working hours are set and agreed a week in advance,” a spokesperson said.
    © Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
  11. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Britain's Zero-Hours Contracts: Temporary Jobs Behind Half of Employment Rise   
    Where Britain leads, the Irish comprador class will follow.
  12. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from lenin86 in Leading Light Communist Organisation   
    I doubt the CCP are interested in spreading communism beyond their borders, and have done a lot in the past decades to replace much of communism within China with an individualistic middle class.  I'd say the Chinese infrastructure budget in the developing world is less about raising the standard of life of the people there than to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to enable the Chinese middle class to have access to the developing world's mineral resources.  Compare this model with the projects of Latin American solidarity such as Cuba providing doctors and Venezuela providing oil to their neighbours.
     
    That said, I'd say we could learn a lot by studying the Chinese model more closely, and highlighting the differences between it and the Western imperialist model, both internally and in relation to "international development"
  13. Like
  14. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Al Quds Brigade: Ceasefire with Israel ended earlier today.   
    -Israel goes ahead with building more settlements on newly annexed land even though that violates the ceasefire
    -Israel shoots Palestinians because the JOF are bloodthirsty psychopaths
    -Israel then cries muh holocaust and claims the Palestinians broke the ceasefire

    this happens literally every single ceasefire ever.

    Israel broke the ceasefire hundreds of times before announcing the new settlements anyway

    http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/5329-israel-breaches-truce-820-times-in-three-months

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/violates-ceasefire-jabalia.html

    http://blog.thejerusalemfund.org/2012/12/israeli-ceasefire-violations-in-gaza.html
  15. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Al Quds Brigade: Ceasefire with Israel ended earlier today.   
    Al Quds Brigade: Ceasefire with Israel ended earlier today.

    Source: http://rotter.net/forum/scoops1/42252.shtml
     
    Nicki @NickiKissil 3m
    FUCK FUCK FUCK BOMBS DRILLS IN ISRAEL ARE THE SCARIEST FUCKING THING ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE NOT AWARE THEY HAVE DRILLS FUCK

    Shleper @shleper 59s
    “@afagerbakke: BREAKING: Siren sounded in Eilat. Residents heard explosions http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4416998,00.html … #Israel”


    Mira Yanai @MiraYanai 2m
    Breaking: Sirens in Eilat, followed by 3 hits. #Israel

    @IsraelHatzolah 1m
    Alarm sounded in Eilat report of several explosions possible intercepted by iron dome
    Followed by Nathan J Hunt

    mossadnews @mossadnews 12m
    (Haim) Alarm!!! Missiles at Eilat!!!!
    4 missiles at Eilat
     
  16. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Teenager Hannah Smith killed herself because of online bullying, says father   
    100%. People these days are growing up with the mental resilience of a wet noodle. But its hard for a person to build mental resilience when they are bombarded with a stream of completely senseless information every second of their waking lives. The system makes sure you're always distracted. It makes sure you're fully absorbed. It's making sure your imagination withers, until it's about as useful as your appendix. It's making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it's worse than being watched. With the media always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind. With everyone's imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat.
  17. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Manila Water Supply Privatized   
    by Rod P. Kapunan

    One could recall that when Fidel Ramos was selling hard the foreign-dictated proposal to privatize the country’s water distribution system, the faithful errand boy trumpeted to the Filipino people it would be good for them. With the usual braggadocio of giving the monopoly-capitalist a free hand to manage, operate and distribute water to the 15 million residents of Metro Manila, that would result in a more efficient service, increase revenue collection, reduced cost, and most important eliminate graft and corruption, a favorite alibi of the yellow hypocrites to justify the disposition of the country’s national patrimony to private hands.  Thus, in 1997, with the approval of R.A. No. 8041, the journey for the privatization of the country’s water system began.
     
    The sale was hailed as the first large-scale and successful privatization of a water utility in Asia. The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) was sold without disclosing the proceeds that will go to the government, except to say that Maynilad Water Service Co. would assume 90 percent of the $900 million debt incurred by MWSS, while Manila Water Co. would take the rest. The two rent-seeking concessionaires namely, the Manila Water Co. owned by the Ayala clan was to take the east sector, while Maynilad Water Co. owned Lopez clan would take the west sector. Accordingly, ensure the “sustainability” of the operations, a guaranteed rate of return was provided, dubbed as the “appropriate discount rate” (ADR) based on operating expenses, capital investment, taxes, including the servicing of MWSS’s debts, the two firms were allowed to get back the costs incurred for their operations and maintenance, investments, and concession fees payment -over and above a market-based rate of return. This forms the foundation for the tariff-setting mechanism.  
     
    Other important features were the quarterly foreign currency differential adjustment for the payment of MWSS’s foreign-denominated debt taking into account changes in the exchange rate, annual adjustments for inflation, and an annual extraordinary price adjustment for events beyond the control of the concessionaires, e.g. natural calamities. Disputes, disagreements, controversies, or claims relating to the agreement shall be resolved through arbitration proceedings conforming with the arbitration rules of the UN Commission on International Trade Law. The World Bank through its private sector arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC), collected fees for its advisory services for the privatization strategy a whopping fee of US$6.2 million. Some say, the right to grant concession belongs to the National Water Resources Board. Rather, the concession given by MWSS was made to guarantee the huge loans the two concessionaires premeditatedly planned borrow under their so-called expansion and upgrading program. It was for that why the proceeds in the sale of MWSS evaporated fast that today the two private water utilities have incurred a huge debt from the World Bank far beyond the amount that warranted the disposition of MWSS. In fact, in 2002 Maynilad Water filed a notice to terminate its concession, blaming the government for its failure to deliver water service, and sought the return of at least US$303 million it allegedly invested. 
     
    Thus, right after the two water utilities were granted the concession, they hiked their cost per cubic meter from P2.50 as originally charged by MWSS to P5 then to P7, P20, P25, and now between P30 to P35 per cubic meter. They also scrapped the socialized pricing scheme which is to charge less for residential users as against commercial users. The reason is to encourage investors, which to this day come in like a trickle in the bucket. According to Global Water Intelligence, as of 2012 the rates of Maynilad ($7.18) and Manila Water ($5.11) are now the third and fourth highest, respectively, in Southeast Asia, after Singapore ($19.29) and Jakarta ($8.86). Davao City which was included in the report cost only $2.83, and the lowest, Phnom Penh $2.42.  The two private water utility firms practically violated the laws on public service that has for decades been observed by public utility operators such as electric, telephone, cable television companies, suppliers of liquefied petroleum gas, and water companies like the NAWASA and MWSS. Each is required to directly connect or service their user/customers. All expenses, liabilities, repairs or damages incurred from and up to the meter is supposed to be shouldered by the utility company, and beyond that is for the customer. 
     
    To prevent losses through leaks and pilferage, they would install a master meter at the gate to be connected with the existing pipes of the subdivision. In the meantime, resident-customers are required to maintain their own private meter to individually bill them, while the master meter is used to bill the entire subdivision.  The catch is while the homeowners’ association is required to pay the total amount consumed by the subdivision, it does not enjoy the benefit of a discount as buyer in bulk, say at 10 percent less than the amount paid by individual consumer. Such discount is in order much that it is the association that is paying for the employees to bill and collect payments from individual customers. Most anomalous is while the greedy operators of water utilities use the existing pipes of the subdivision, all expenses related for repairs, leaks, pilferage, bust or extension, including the replacement of private meter and valves beyond the master meter is to be shouldered by the homeowners association. In effect, the water utility firm gets in full the amount without having to pay even a drop of water lost.
     
    The two firms offered to install direct water connection in their bid to get as many customers, like subdivisions with existing water pipes. As modus operandi, they demanded the subdivision homeowners to discard their pumping wells and huge overhead water tanks to give way for their entry. More than that, direct water connection comes not without a big cost to the residents. Every individual homeowner is charged P24,000 for the rehabilitation and construction of the pipes even if the construction that will be undertaken is common or owned by the subdivision. Once the rehabilitation and piping is completed the firm would demand that they be donated to the water company despite the fact that each individual homeowner paid for them. Now, is it public service or robbery? (rpkapunan@yahoo.com)
     
     
    http://jns4fils.blogspot.ie/2013/08/mwss-privatization-manna-from-heaven.html
  18. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Teenager Hannah Smith killed herself because of online bullying, says father   
    Its not surprising in this meaningless world, where everything is reduced to commodity and people substitute real relationships with an online pretend life, that crumbles so easily.  It is not by accident that our societies are full of such weak and damaged minds, they are a product of the society that we live in.  After so much and increasingly intensive assault, it is now humanity that is crumbling.  We need to find a way of strengthening people, so that they have the energy to live, and to resist!
  19. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Teenager Hannah Smith killed herself because of online bullying, says father   
    The poor girl must have suffered a lot.  But, in general, if you look at how seriously and personally adults on debating forums take the comments of anonymous posters, I'm not surprised children would do it.  The fact is that you do have quite a lot of interpersonal dialogue on these forums and sites, and you do get to feel that the other posters are very real people that do have importance in your life.  With children this will be all the more so.
  20. Like
  21. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Interview with IRA Chief of Staff, Seán Mac Stiofáin   
    Born John Stevenson in England, MacStiofan was a key player in the early days of the IRA, especially during the split of December 1969 which resulted in the formation of PIRA. MacStiofain was at the coup's center. At the 1970 Ard Feis Convention, MacStiofain and O'Bradaigh worked intently, but unsuccessfully, against the rejection of absentionism. MacStiofain mastered the art of propaganda "techniques" and was responsible for the regular use of press conferences to get the message out. He lost some credibility within the Movement when he "caved" on his 53-day hunger strike in Curragh prison.
     
      q: What was the state of the IRA in August 1969?
    macstiofain: Very bad. Very bad. No arms, very little. No training. A few hundred people and for years no contact for weapons. Bad leadership, bad policies.
     
    q: What did the people in Belfast feel about the IRA when the IRA had not been able to defend them?
    a: Well, a slogan on the walls--IRA, we run away--very unfair to volunteers. They fight sometimes [with] their hands. But they fought with the leadership in Dublin.
     
    q: Because the leadership had let down
    a: Yes.
     
    q: The people in Belfast.
    a: Yes.
     
    q: What did people in Belfast say about the IRA?
    a: Well, I told you, right. But they want to reorganize and they're worried about more attacks. A lot of people come back to the movement and particularly the auxiliary units
     
     

     
     
    q: You went to Belfast after August 1969. What did you say to people in Belfast?
    a: I didn't want to see a split in Belfast, but it was too late. Some of the staff in Belfast were sympath[etic] to Goldings proposals and so that was too late.
     
    q: Why did the IRA split?
    a: One ... at least three, four ...
     
    q: Reasons.
    a: Reasons. One was political, and the other was military, they had this ...
     
    q: Ideological
    a: Ideological and also Republicans want to abolish Stormont.
     
    q: At the Sinn Fein national conference on the 10th of January 1970, you took the microphone from Goulding.
    a: No, no.
     
    q: Tell me what happened there, what did you do?
    a: I walked to the microphone, and said, "I pledge my allegiance to the provisional IRA." These were people who tied themselves to their Irish Republican Army. Then I said, "Now ... it's time to go. Go." And we did.
     
    q: How many left with you?
    a: About 40% more.
     
    q: And that's how the provisional IRA was born.
    a: Born, no, that's Sinn Fein. Three weeks before the IRA.
     
    q: Right, I understand. How did you get weapons in those early days?
    a: We sent orders to all units in the south. I want 90% of your weapons and money for the units in the north ... and we had no training courses, HQ and everything like that.
     
    q: What was your strategy when the provisional IRA was born?
    a: First, defense for the summer. All weapons and ammunition and equipment for Belfast, Derry and the other places, because the summer is always trouble. So we thought, right and plenty of training, and reorganization, that's it.
     
    q: So at the very beginning your strategy was purely defensive.
    a: Yes. Yes.
     
    q: When did you turn to offensive action?
    a: After internment. Before, anything else was a retaliation, because the British army was bad to the people. So we thought retaliatory action and sabotage. But after internment we went to all offensive, all offensive action.
     
    q: But wasn't the killing of Gunner Curtis, the first soldier to die, an offensive action?
    a: No. It was on retaliation for the bad treatment of British troops in Belfast.
     
    q: What was the significance of the shooting of Gunner Curtis, the first soldier to die?
    a: One, volunteers for ...
     
    q: Recruitment.
    a: Yes.
     
    q: But what was the significance of the fact that a British soldier had been killed, he was the first soldier to die in the conflict, in the recent conflict, what was the significance of that?
    a: The British people say if you stay in Ireland there's a price to pay.
     
    q: And what was the price?
    a: More soldiers go back in coffins unless the pressure the government to right thing about Ireland.
     
    q: At the beginning of 1972.
    a: Yes.
     
    q: What was the state of the IRA?
    a: Good now. When 1972 good, very good, I think, the best and better IRA for fifty years, more men, ammunition equipment and very, very good morale. And we reorganized everything.
     
    q: At the beginning of 1972 did you think you were winning?
    a: Yes. But there was a report that the British army said we give us a month in Belfast, one Derry, and then two months in the border, its over. Well, they were wrong.
     
    q: Why did you want Gerry Adams released from internment?
    a: He was a potential leader. Good thinker. And good in the national question.
     
    q: What was his role at the time?
    a: Prisoner.
     
    q: What was he before he was a prisoner?
    a: He was in leadership ... Belfast.
     
    q: The IRA leadership in Belfast.
    a: In Republican movement.
     
    q: But he was IRA Belfast, wasn't he?
    a: Well ...
     
    q: What did you do when Gerry Adams came out of internment?
    a: Well, I sent a messenger from Derry and explaining the thing, then that night I rang to Gerry and I said "Oh I'm very, very ... surprised, ... and you owe me one.
     
    q: And what did he say?
    a: He says, No, I tell 'em get, collect and in a couple of days and leave, right. His wife.
     
    q: Yes. Just going back to the press conference that you gave.
    a: Yes.
     
    q: At the time you were the most wanted man in Ireland.
    a: Yes.
     
    q: Because you were the chief of staff in the provisional IRA, how did you get into Derry without being arrested?
    a: They scout out the roads, and escort, right.
     
    q: Were you in disguise?
    a: Yes. Yes. And O'Connell was as well ... we had a driver and two others and another car.
     
    q: What was your disguise?
    a: Oh, an awful mustache and hair, different way and something else. Yes.
     
    q: And you got through.
    a: Yes. And once I went to Derry, to the funeral, Sean Keenan's son was killed. And they advice was too much activity the British army in their droves, so I said, "You take me over the fields in Derry." We did.
    q: How did you decide who should go with you to meet Mr. Whitelaw?
    a: Well ... one Seamus Toomey. O'Connell, Martin McGuinness, and myself and Adams from the prisoners.
     
    q: Ivor Bell.
    a: Yes. ... And I said and so that's it, .... I want this an IRA ...
     
    q: Delegation.
    a: Yes.
     
    q: All were IRA?
    a: Yes. Not been, not Sinn Fein, but IRA.
     
    q: All of them?
    a: Yes.
     
    q: Including Martin McGuinness?
    a: Oh yes.
     
    q: Including Gerry Adams.
    a: All of them.
     
    q: When you get to Cheyne Walk, and you meet Mr. Whitelaw.
    a: Yes.
     
    q: What do you say?
    a: Well he come to me and said, "Mr. MacStiofain, how do you do?" I [thought] this guy has done his homework because he pronounced my name perfect. I said, "I'm OK, now this is my friend Seamus Toomey, .... O'Connell, Martin McGuinness, Adams, Bell." So he said, "Oh, Mr. O'Connell, perhaps you want to sit down to me." [He] said "No, we sit down as group."
    q: You didn't want to be split, separated?
    a: No, no. And a long, a line of us right.
    q: Were you offered anything to drink?
    a: Water. Yes, he said, "Want a drink?" I said, "No. No." So he said, "I think I will begin." He was speak[ing] about five minutes and nothing he said, no interest to us. So I said, "I have a statement from the Irish Republican Army, I will read." And part of the statement was we call on the British government to publicly acknowledge the right to the Irish people, act in one unit to decide the future of Ireland. Now then Whitelaw said, "There's confusion about that, difficulties."
    q: Difficulties.
    a: Yes. "But we have a constitution guarantee for the unionists," I said. "It's a fact that one act of parliament can put back the other one." He said, "Oh that's a fact of parliamentary life." So then we would talk about the incident in ... nationalist people in rural ...
    q: Areas.
    a: Right, and Whitelaw said, "Oh, British troops will never fire on civilians." So I said, "Martin, you have something to say?" "Yes, Mr. Whitelaw, I saw your troops, paras, kill people in Derry, they were unarmed civilians." So I said and others. So no reply from Whitelaw and the staff much muttering, "No capital alliance."
    q: What did you say about British withdrawal?
    a: We want a couple of years, four years ... to withdraw.
    q: I think you said you wanted a British military withdrawal by the first of January 1975. What did you say?
    a: We want the withdrawal first of January 1975.
    q: Extend ...
    a: Extend yes.
    q: How far were you prepared to extend the 1975?
    a: ... that was negotiations.
    q: Were you talking about a British military withdrawal, in other words, demanding that Britain withdraw her troops back to the rest of the United Kingdom?
    a: Yes, yes.
    q: Or were you talking about a total British military and political withdrawal, a total withdrawal?
    a: Well, political, yes, as well. Yes. Because no, we want all military and political withdrawal.
    q: By 1975?
    a: Yes.
    q: But that was just hopelessly unrealistic.
    a: Maybe, maybe.
    q: But you must have known that.
    a: That was starters.
    q: The starting point.
    a: Yes. Yes.
    q: How long did the meeting last?
    a: The two breaks, about an hour, one hour.
    q: What did you say when the meeting was over, what did you say amongst each other?
    a: Then we discussed it ourselves, said "We'll give them three days for an answer."
    q: That wasn't very long.
    a: No. But we said, "Give them a week at the most, but start three days."
    q: You didn't really expect Mr. Whitelaw, on behalf of the British government, to come back within three days or a week and say, "OK, we agree, we're going."
    a: No, but you see, if he first said, "No," [we] were [to] give them more time ... another couple of days, then we said, "One week," because I knew that a Cabinet meeting on the Thursday, so I said, "Whitelaw, OK, that's it, but if there was in the chance to more negotiations right, we can expand that." But I don't think they were interested.
    q: What was the atmosphere like on the flight going back?
    a: Steele come to me and said, "Don't tell me you're not starting, your stupid campaign again." So I said, "Well, it's up to you people. We never worried about the casualties, we've more casualties in Germany with accidents ... you lost twenty men in two weeks in here, in Ireland."
    q: That was the two weeks leading up to the cease-fire?
    a: Yes, yes.
    q: What did he say to that?
    a: "You know what they mean." And I said, "Well that's about the troops."
    q: Did you ever hear back from the British?
    a: No. No.
    q: But shouldn't you have given the truce longer? Two days isn't much.
    a: But the British and the UDA broke the bloody truce.
    q: Well the truce was broken by Seamus Toomey ... leading that cavalcade down Lundadoon Avenue and forcing the army lines.
    a: No, that is wrong.
    q: It was there. I saw it.
    a: No ... but I had people I respect there that told you that that's not so. No, that the UDA went into break the truce and the British army in Belfast the British general, brigadier they want to break the truce. No, they, lots of incidents as well in Belfast, Portadown and ... the truce had gone by Sunday night.
    q: When the truce was over.
    a: Yes.
    q: What was your strategy, what did you decide to do as chief of staff?
    a: Well, the leadership first of all units in the north were instructions to get back to operations. And I said the campaign will be stop.
    q: Is intensified the word you're looking for?
    a: Yes. OK.
    q: After the truce had ended, what was your strategy as chief of staff of the provisional IRA?
    a: Well the leadership had an order to all units in the north, get back into offensive action and we must get intensify the campaign.
    q: Part of that intensified campaign was the planting of over twenty bombs in Belfast on what was known as Bloody Friday, was that part of the intensification?
    a: It was, 22 in Belfast and 14 other parts right, and only two had civilian casualties, and the every bomb had three warnings and the British government and the British army they not give the warnings.
    q: Those bombs planted on that day, on Bloody Friday, killed eleven people, eleven civilians.
    a: No, no, nine. Nine.
    q: Well nine or eleven, nine innocent people died.
    a: No. Nine people were killed then. Two British army, two RUC, one a known RU and a UDA. But there were four innocent people and we regretted all of them. The others were legitimate targets.
    q: Well, in the eyes of most British people, nobody is a legitimate target, even if you say they were legitimate targets four civilians were killed.
    a: They were, yes, and we regretted all of them, but the blame was the people who deliberately not given the warnings to the public.
    q: The blame rested with those people, your people the IRA who planted the bombs.
    a: No, I don't agree.
    q: You don't plant the bombs, people don't die.
    a: Oh, well, but if the British government has persistent his policies to the north of Ireland, then you get resistance and I'm sure if the same situation was England, some of your friends would resist it.
    q: Did you ever discuss taking the campaign to England?
    a: Yes. Yes. We have and there was planned an operation to sabotage the factory [that] makes CS gas in 1970, but I then the OC was bad in security and four people were arrested. Right. So then another year an operation was organized for shooting a high ranking officer, who was not, was in the north. But then we had two operations planned for the end of 72, and I was arrested so I don't know what happened, but yes.
    q: Were you aware of the planning of the Old Bailey bombs before you were arrested?
    a: No, no. ... that was my one month, ... the end of March '73.
    q: Why did you want to take the campaign to England?
    a: To make sure that the establishment would see that they must pay dearly for the north of Ireland.
    q: Their presence in the north of Ireland.
    a: And the policies and the prison.
    q: What was your reaction when you heard that Sinn Fein had rejected abstentionism in 1986?
    a: I was very, very disappointed, very disappointed. And that was one of the biggest mistakes that Adams made and so yes.
    q: Why do you say that?
    a: The government in Dublin is typical neo-colonial government ... there's no real policy about the north. And saying from the people, whole people here ... went into politics to advance the class interest, his own class.
    q: What was your reaction to the IRA's declaration of its cessation in August '94?
    a: I was pleased. Four years before I suggested to the IRA leadership that something like that to suspend offensive action and change the tactics.
    q: Do you think the war is over?
    a: No. No, I do not. Because Major and the unionists have never taken the peace process seriously
     
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ira/inside/mac.html
  22. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Communist Party Of Great Britain Opposes Scottish Independence   
    The CPB (a breakoff from the CPGB, with most of their members in Scotland), also oppose independence.  http://www.scottishcommunists.org.uk/leaflets/scotland-the-red-paper-power-for-scotland-s-people
     
    They don't seem to have the same ideological opposition to Scottish nationalism that the CPGB-ML have, but have the rather bizarre position that as capital is concentrated in England, that Scotland must maintain its influence there.
  23. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in China’s State Banks Continue to Finance World Development   
    I wonder what kind of political conditions are attached to Chinese loans.  Interesting to note that the CDB has a loan book three times the size of the World Banks, yet you don't hear of countries having to "restructure" to qualify for a Chinese loan.
     
    It is hugely significant to have this amount of capital available from sources outside of the control of the US, and allows nations that are currently in the grip of US or EU capital an escape route if they chose to take it, a route that allows them to develop their countries rather than liberalise their economies and simply run an economy to service their debt.
  24. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa - Thomas Sankara   
    http://www.thomassankara.net/spip.php?article1341 "Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa" - Thomas Sankara by Paula Akugizibwe 
     
    Thomas Sankara, former leader of Burkina Faso, was the apparent opposite of everything we are often told that success should look like. Mansions? Cars? Who? What? Get out of here. As Prime Minister and later as President, Sankara rode a bicycle to work before he upgraded, at his Cabinet’s insistence, to a Renault 5 – one of the cheapest cars available in Burkina Faso at the time. He lived in a small brick house and wore only cotton that was produced, weaved and sewn in Burkina Faso.
     
    Going by his lifestyle, Sankara was the antithesis of success, but it is this very distinction that enabled him to become the most successful president Africa has ever seen, in terms of what he accomplished for and with his people. Sankara would not have chopped P-Square’s money given twice a chance – in fact, he might have sat him down and taught him a thing or two about the creeping menace of pop culture patriarchy – because Thomas Sankara, “The Upright Man”, was a feminist. In this and many other ways, Sankara was the African dream come true, the only living proof that hopes of African independence are not dead on arrival.
     
    His life ended with a bullet which, according to the testimony of some involved in his assassination, was ordered by former Liberian president Charles Taylor with the support of the French and American governments, and delivered via Blaise Compaoré – Sankara’s long-time friend and colleague, and the current president of Burkina Faso. Four years prior, when Compaoré and Sankara had jointly staged the popular coup of 1983 that made Sankara president, Burkina Faso was one of the poorest countries in the world. Under Compaoré it still is – so much so that the dire circumstances led to a series of violent protests last year.
     
    During the years of Sankara’s administration, things were turning around, especially in the areas of health, education and the environment. Mass vaccination campaigns were rolled out with a level of rapidity and success that was unprecedented for an African country at that time. Infant mortality rates dropped. School attendance rates doubled. Millions of trees were planted in a far-sighted effort to counter deforestation. Feminism was a core element of political ideology, manifested through improved access to education for girls, and inclusion of women in leadership roles. Sankara introduced a day of solidarity in which men switched traditional gender roles – going to the market, running the household – so as to better empathise with what women handle on a daily basis. It was Africa’s greatest success story.
    How was this achieved? In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Sankara reflected on the state of Burkina Faso at the time that he had come to power, stating that “The diagnosis was clearly sombre. The root of the disease was political. The treatment could only be political.” And Sankara did not hold back with the treatment. As soon as he came into power, he set about razing the conventional structures of power and inequality.
     
    Gone were the days of politicians living lavish lives sponsored by taxpayers’ money – Sankara issued salary cuts across the board, including for himself. The fleet of Mercedes Benzes for high-ranking officials was done away with, and the cars replaced by Renault 5s. Land and oil wealth were nationalised. While the masses celebrated, the country’s elite was enraged as decades of class inequality, which had previously favoured them, suddenly came into jeopardy.
     
    The international community, whose interests were vested in the status quo, were also disturbed by Sankara’s radicalism, not least when he started calling for African countries to reject debt repayments. From the 1970s onwards, newly-independent African governments had begun to rapidly accumulate huge amounts of debt from rich countries and the Bretton Woods institutions: the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As the Cold War intensified, such loans were increasingly used as a tool for securing political support from key countries – even governments that were patently corrupt and would inevitably default on repayment, such as Mobutu’s in the DRC, were readily provided with billions of dollars in credit.
     
    In one of his most famous speeches [above], delivered at the summit of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) in Addis Ababa in 1987, Sankara issued a passionate call for a United Front Against Debt. “We think that debt has to be seen from the standpoint of its origins. Debt’s origins come from colonialism’s origins. Those who lend us money are those who had colonized us before,” he declared. “Under its current form, that is imperialism-controlled, debt is a cleverly managed re-conquest of Africa, aiming at subjugating its growth and development through foreign rules. Thus, each one of us becomes the financial slave, which is to say a true slave…”
     
    At the time of his speech it was clear, just a couple of decades into independence, that African countries were quickly becoming financial slaves. Interest rates rose sharply in the 1980s, but governments continued to borrow more and more. Between 1982 and 1990, African debt doubled from US0 billion to US0 billion. Sankara rightly predicted that this would cripple African development for generations to come. Despite debt relief programs, which have resulted in increased spending on health and education in African countries, Jubilee Debt Campaign estimates that in 2008, low income countries paid over US million a day to rich countries.
     
    Their decision-making power is also constrained within the limits of orders given by the institutions and countries to which they are indebted. Strangely enough, while these orders demand decreased public spending for example on health, they don’t seem to have made a dent on the perpetual rise of Africa’s waBenzi clan: politicians rolling in flashy Mercedes Benzes bought with taxpayers’ money. And to make matters worse, with access to new creditors – especially China – many African governments are once again sinking into the vicious cycle of debt dependency that Sankara foresaw.
     
    His Foreign Policy Advisor, Fidèle Kientega, explains how this foresight was shared with ordinary people. “Sankara did not dictate to people or force them to work. He told them about the mechanisms of getting loans…He said that they could relax at home and ask him to borrow money from the neo-colonialists, but that they would have to bear in mind that they and their children would have to pay back the loans with interests. Consequently, his government would find it difficult to provide universal education and health care because he would have to spend a greater chunk of the meagre tax revenues in servicing the debt. They could also beg for aid but then they would remain beggars forever. The people got the message and were motivated into working harder.”
     
    Stories of Sankara tend to focus on his radical policies, but it is this approach that was probably the most radical of all – his efforts to bring discussions and decisions, “the apparatus of democracy” as Kientega puts it, to ordinary people. He was able to do this not only because he had political commitment to the proverbial grassroots – as many leaders claim to do – but because, through the choices he made, he positioned himself as their equal. Sankara made personal sacrifices that no other president has ever made, and did not view them as sacrifices, but as an act of solidarity, of African pride. In his view it was only through collective commitment to such sacrifices, which he hoped would one day be viewed as “normal and simple” actions, that Africans could begin to work their way towards self-reliance.
     
    “He who does not feed you can demand nothing of you,” he said. “We however, are being fed every day and every year. We say, ’Down with imperialism!’ yet we can’t ignore our bellies... Let us consume only what we ourselves control! Many people ask, “Where is imperialism?” Look at your plates when you eat. These imported grains of rice, corn, and millet—that is imperialism. You need look no further."
     
    Despite Sankara’s incredible oratorical gift, the message came across even more eloquently through his actions: it is better to live a simple life in freedom, than a fabulous lifestyle in economic chains. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, most African governments did not share his philosophy. In a recent series of debates on democracy organised by TIA, people from Ghana, Kenya and South Africa all expressed a lack of faith in their countries’ democratic systems. Why? Because, they said, existing political systems across the world don’t answer to ordinary people – they answer to money. African governments are first accountable to rich countries, then to their own local elites; and finally, if convenient, to the people.
     
    In a world that only answers to money, everything is for sale – democracy, freedom, dignity, integrity. Thomas Sankara bucked this trend, and in so doing struck at the very core of the international system of control – because for once, the world was faced with an African leader it could neither buy nor co-opt.
     
    And because he was not for sale, Sankara had to be eliminated, buried in an unmarked grave whose whereabouts are still unknown. To this day, Sankara’s family and supporters in Burkina Faso and around the world are still fighting for justice, some in the face of death threats. Meanwhile, despite the fact that some of the fastest growing economies in the world are now African, and the fact that poverty rates are falling, so much of our energy now and for the foreseeable future will have to be devoted to further reducing poverty levels relating to decades of political selling out. And the selling out continues, even as our economies are bouncing back. Why do our leaders keep selling us out? Same reason we all sell out – for nice things. “Where does this debt come from anyway?” Sankara asked. “Did we need to build mansions…or foster the mentality of overpaid men among our officers?” This last question, in particular, has become more relevant as we learn of just how much money Africa’s elite have been salting away in foreign accounts even as their countries’ foreign debts mount: ’Capgemini and Merrill Lynch estimate in their latest World Wealth Report that Africa has about 100,000 “high net worth individuals” with a total of .2 trillion in liquid assets. The debts, on the other hand, are owed by the African people as a whole through their governments.’
     
    Of all the holy cows in the world today, materialism is probably the deepest and most universally entrenched – from home to school to pop culture. This entrenchment is necessary to preserve the current system of inequality, because it opens us all up to compromise, to co-option. How much would you sell your values for? How much do you sell your values for? Sankara demonstrated that the make-or-break of freedom is not so much about heroes and politics as it is about the very personal struggle between principles and cash-money.
     
    A week before he died, Sankara said, “revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, but you cannot kill ideas”. And so, for us today, the final challenge rests not in finding more Sankaras, but in becoming them – in bringing these ideas to life. “You have to dare to look reality in the face and take a whack at some of the long-standing privileges,” Sankara said, “so long-standing in fact that they seem to have become normal, unquestionable.” And that’s the most daunting thing of all, because it requires a struggle with the person in the mirror.
     
    "You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future." – Thomas Sankara
     
    Paula Akugizibwe is a music-possessed writing-obsessed pan-African nomad.
     
    For more information on Thomas Sankara, visit http://thomassankara.net/spip.php?rubrique27 (english part of Thomas Sanakra Web site and http://fuckyeahthomassankara.tumblr.com
     
     
  25. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in The Act of Killing   
    What happened in Indonesia - and in Germany also - should be a lesson to all Communist parties.  If you're going to seriously challenge the ruling class, you better be armed and willing and able to use those arms.  Because, the minute you seriously threaten the wealth and privilege of the Masters of Men, they will hunt you down and kill you - unless you can do it to them first...
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