This AWTWNS news packet for the week of 1 December 2014 contains three articles. They may be reproduced or used in any way, in whole or in part, as long as they are credited.
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– Mexico: Spread the people’s awakening and rebellion against the criminal state!
– Sri Lanka: The presidential election and the path to liberation
– 8 March: Helping the victims is not the same as ending violence against women
Mexico: “Spread the people’s awakening and rebellion against the criminal state!”
1 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. Huge numbers of people marched in Mexico City and a dozen other cities in about a third of Mexico’s states in a “National Civil Shutdown” 1 December to step up the movement demanding that the government return the 43 Ayotzinapa teachers’ college students kidnapped in September. On the day that President Enrique Pena Neto marked the end of his second year in office with a speech promising institutional reform, the demand that he resign reflected a growing sentiment that his government is totally illegitimate.
Teachers and others in many states from Sonora and Durango in the north to more than a hundred schools in the state of Mexico and southern states went on strike. The day began when thousands of teachers in Santa Cruz blockaded an oil refinery, while others briefly seized the state’s main airport. Teachers, students and members of indigenous organizations blocked motorways and marched in San Cristobal de la Casas, Chiapas. Education workers in Guerrero, the state where Ayotzinapa is located, forced major stores to close. They later stormed the state prosecutor’s office in Chilpancing, torched police cars and rubbished administrative offices. In Guadalajara, a group of writers led a march from the International Book Fair to the city centre. In Veracruz, demonstrators responded to government accusations by chanting “We are not infiltrators, we’re the people and we’re mad as hell” and covered the walls of the National Election Institute with graffiti. In many places marchers carried photos of the disappeared students and denounced the government’s attempts to criminalize and smash the protest movement.
A half dozen marches criss-crossed the capital until they joined in a single stream led by Ayotzinapa parents. In the evening, as tens of thousands of people, said to be mainly secondary school and university students, along with union members and others, marched down a major avenue chanting slogans demanding the president’s resignation, hundreds of police ‘”kettled” (trapped) a contingent of about 500 youth. Observers from the country’s National Human Rights Commission came and escorted the demonstrators away from the police to safety.
Solidarity demonstrations took place abroad, including Los Angeles (California) and Frankfurt, Germany. While the 1 December march in LA was at the Mexican Embassy, a protest was scheduled at U.S. government facilities for 2 December to condemn U.S. complicity in the Mexican government’s war against the people.
The following, written shortly after a previous round of protests on 20 November, is from the Web site of the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR) of Mexico (aurora-roja.blogspot.com).
The parents of the 43 disappeared students arrive at the capital’s main square in the afternoon of 20 November as part of the fourth Global Action Day for Ayotzinapa, the teachers’ college they attended. After talking with many people in the course of their three car caravans through various parts of the country, they came to a very clear conclusion: “It’s not just the state of Guerrero – everywhere in Mexico there are secret mass graves, extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances.”
Throughout Mexico and around the world, the fourth Day of Protest marked a new upsurge of struggle. Many people once kept silent by fear now dare to protest and demonstrate. Many who were once overwhelmed by the daily struggle to survive or to get ahead, kept in ignorance by the mass media and its disinformation, are beginning to awaken to political life and demand justice in this totally unjust society.
Tens of thousands of people converged on the Mexico city centre, according to La Jornada and AFP. Their lively and combative marches throbbed with music. There were solidarity strikes at more than a hundred public and private universities in several states. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in 120 cities in Mexico and more than 30 cities around the world, from Argentina to Russia and in many places in the U.S. It was a magnificent day of struggle and rebellion, a repudiation of the criminal state that is responsible for the murders and disappearances of the Ayotzinapa students in Iguala and countless other blood crimes in its war against the people.
Once again the Mexico City government of Miguel Mancera of the PRD (the “leftist” opposition party to which the mayor of Iguala belongs) and the federal government headed by Enrique Pena Nieto of the PRI (the historic governing party) joined efforts to brutally and arbitrarily suppress demonstrators in the capital, again revealing the common interests of the governing parties in repressing the people. Because of the usual coordination between the government and the media there was no television coverage of the capital riot police and the federal police beating people randomly, including children and the elderly. Instead TV newscasters lectured about “violence” because a few people threw things at the national palace, which these parrots for the system consider much more reprehensible than the many murders carried out by the government. As usual they chattered about “violent demonstrators” and “the victimized police”, while covering up the police violence and random arrests.
The repression was documented in videos and photos circulating on the Net. Groups of peaceful demonstrators, sometimes including whole families, were “kettled”, pushed up against the metal fences surrounding closed stores and mercilessly beaten, many until they fell to the ground. An elderly man who held up a text to the riot police, asking them to read it, was brutally clubbed by a group of police. The so-called “law enforcement” forces also attacked reporters and representatives of human rights organizations.
As usual the arrests were arbitrary. They included a Chilean student who happened to go by on a bike and an art student whose outrageous arrest was videoed and posted on the Net. Although the numbers reported are contradictory, at least 26 people were arrested. Of the 15 who were taken to the federal prosecutor’s office, 11 have been treated as if they were dangerous criminals, locked up in high security prisons in the states of Veracruz and Nayarit, charged with criminal conspiracy, riot and attempted homicide. After the federal district authorities had bailed another 11 people who had been arrested, they received orders to stop releasing prisoners on bail and imprisoned three men and a woman still in custody. A policeman told people who had been arrested in a demonstration near the airport, ” We’re going to take you to Oaxaca and dump you like the 43″ students. Obviously the state was prepared to unleash even bloodier repression. Photos posted on the Net showed snipers on the roofs of the national palace during the demonstration, recalling the army’s massacre of hundreds of students and other people in 1968.
A few hours before the state unleashed its guard dogs against the people, President Pena Nieto led an armed forces ceremony where he condemned violence “no matter who commits it” and condemning the “unjust” accusations against the army for the cold-blooded killing of 21 youth who had surrendered to the armed forces in Tlatlaya and participating in the repression of the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college students in Iguala. State violence gets total impunity, while the people are met with an iron fist.
The families of the disappeared students have not even been allowed to see the files on this case, even though full access to the files was one of the the ten points the president had supposedly agreed to with the families. None of these points were respected. After leaving a meeting with representatives of the federal government on 21 November, family members of the 43 disappeared students threw water and soda cans to express their outrage at the duplicity of the government, which has not released any reliable information about the search for the disappeared and instead is increasingly trying to repress the protest movement.
President Pena Nieto talks about “peace and justice” while the state he heads is waging a war against the people and committing all kinds of injustice with total impunity. He condemns “the attack on our institutions” when those institutions are attacking, disappearing and killing the people. This is clear not only in this case but in the endless number of cases of murders, disappearances and tortures committed by the armed forces and police who still enjoy impunity. None of this would have come out without the struggle for justice for the Ayotzinapa students, a justice that will never come from the government. Many people are asking, Why? What should we do now?
The problem is not just with certain politicians or electoral parties. From the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre to the Atenco massacre and now Ayotzinapa, all the main electoral parties have taken part in vicious repression against the people. Nor is the problem just neo-liberalism. Tlatelolco, the 1971 massacre by paramilitary forces, the dirty war and many other state crimes took place before the system began to implement these free-market policies.
Today’s state is rooted not so much in the 1910 Revolution as the counter-revolution carried out by the “constitutionalist” forces led by generals Carranza and Obregon, who treacherously murdered Zapata and Villa and slaughtered the revolutionaries who followed them and the Flores Magon brothers. The state established back then was a state in the service of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system that has increasingly evolved into a capitalism under the heel of imperialism, especially the U.S. This state has always oppressed and repressed the people while defending the exploitative system that still keeps the majority of the people in poverty and subject to reactionary violence, just as the global capitalist-imperialist system suppresses the great majority of humanity.
Since we can’t hope for justice from this state, what should we do?
We should learn from the very positive initiative taken by the families of the 43 disappeared students, who took their struggle to the people in many areas and at the same time learned from the suffering of those people. We have to spread the exposure and struggle, taking it above all, more deeply among the masses of proletarians and peasants and the poor and oppressed of the countryside and cities in general. Along with the students and intellectuals who have powerfully driven the beginning of this movement, these lower masses can get to the root of the problem and completely change this country. Let’s spread the brigadeo (a currently widespread activity in which groups form up brigades to go out and do mass agitation, locally and across the country) and many other creative mechanisms through which everyone can learn the truth about these state crimes!
Amidst this exposure and resistance to the criminal state, and struggle for justice for the students, we need to be forging a movement for revolution, because revolution is the only possible way to put an end to the massacre of our youth, the massacre of women and other intolerable injustices. Only revolution can lead to emancipation as we overthrow this criminal state and build a new state power that serves the people and humanity, as we dismantle this inhuman predominantly capitalist system and unchain the creativity of the people to build a new, fundamentally different and liberating state. Even the most advanced people in the 1910 revolution did not have the understanding necessary to lead that process, but today, as a result of the very positive and also negative lessons of the socialist revolutions of the past century, and other sources of knowledge, a new revolutionary understanding has been brought forward, the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian, which gives us new tools to be able to discover and forge the road to liberation.
Let’s not let ourselves be tricked by the illusion of being able to put this broken and intolerable system back together again. Revolution is the only road to people’s emancipation from so many insufferable and unnecessary injustices. In order for this struggle to really contribute to the building of a much better world and not waste today’s awakening of millions of people, we need to forge the movement for revolution that does not yet exist and yet is so necessary.
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Sri Lanka: The presidential election and the path to liberation
1 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. The following is by the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)-CCPM.
The stand we take and how we chose to act in relation to the upcoming presidential election in 2015 and beyond, will be most decisive. There is a rising tide of opposition to the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime spearheaded by a formidable array of forces that include the UNP, JHU, JVP, Chandrika, Sarath Fonseka and others. There is a powerful temptation among democratic forces, including the oppressed nationalities and broad Sinhala masses who share a singular wish to get rid of the neo-fascist Rajapaksa regime to bring about a change. However, we wish to alert the people about the real dangers and pitfalls that lie ahead.
The campaign itself will prove to be bloody, vengeful and decisive. We must remain alert to the possibility of a military coup and a martial law regime, with foreign powers backing their horses. The simmering volcanic crisis and the blood-letting that will surely ensue, along with the further entrenchment of neo-liberal imperialist penetration, will throw the system into a deeper spiral of dysfunction and disintegration. This is bound to open up rare historic opportunities for seeking a radical revolutionary path of liberation. It is with this strategic view in mind that we present our line and analysis so we can prepare ourselves for the decisive battles ahead. The political line and analysis we represent may not have an immediate and broad resonance today. Yet, we believe that the exploited and oppressed masses will soon realize the bitter truth and seek a radical solution beyond the system. This message is aimed at empowering the class-conscious revolutionary forces who have seen through the system and the fraud of bourgeois elections and who desire a scientific path of liberation.
However much we may desperately desire a change by overthrowing the regime, the real question is should we vote to further legitimize the oppressor state, and empower our oppressors? Should we perpetuate the system of domination and vote our slave-masters to power under whatever party, colour or banner? Or, should we reject the whole diabolical game of bourgeois elections set up to deceive, divide and conquer us? Should we decide to unite our forces across the divided and enforced barricades and organize the revolutionary class struggle of the masses to overthrow the state and the system? Should we remain slaves in this prison house of capitalist society, divided, dominated, subjugated and degraded? Or should we dare to organize and lead the revolution of the people of Lanka to power? It is up to us, together as the people of Lanka, to decide and claim our future! Then, with our indomitable collective revolutionary unity, strength and organized fighting capacity, should we build a whole new people’s democratic state and a political, economic and social order owned, designed and ruled by the collective, revolutionary power of the people?
The Rajapaksa regime has mortgaged and indebted the country, robbed the land and bled the people through astronomical graft and corruption, violated human and democratic rights, unleashed neo-fascist/chauvinist attacks on religious minorities, violently suppressed the oppressed nationalities, suppressed media freedom and rained white terror on the masses as no other regime before it. The “humanitarian war” to “liberate” the Tamil people has resulted in military occupation, political subjugation, indebtedness and wholesale exploitation of the land and resources of the Tamil people as never before. The Moslem nationality is being deliberately targeted by neo-fascist goons of the regime, while the Hill Country Tamil nationality is driven to a life of sheer poverty, misery, indebtedness and degradation. The oppressed Sinhala masses are duped by increasing doses of chauvinism and patriotism to turn their class hatred towards national and religious minorities. Selling the war victory as a glorious triumphal conquest over a subject people and drilling the ideology of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy and hegemony, while driving fear and striking terror through enforced disappearances, abductions, assassinations and torture, have become the main pillars of the Rajapaksa dictatorship. Fanatical religious extremism led by reactionary fundamentalist theocratic gestapo goons combine with the armed force of the state to instil complete, stupefied and blind subservience to the state and regime. Any form of dissent or opposition is labelled as treachery to the nation and the state, as part of an international conspiracy, and dealt with accordingly.
The Rajapaksa regime, due its own survival, has placed the country and the people of Lanka within a deadly grip of inter-imperialist rivalry and contention. Already, the country has been mortgaged and indebted to every imperialist power for all future generations, including China, the U.S., India, the European Union, Japan, the World Bank, the IMF and the Asian Development Bank. The gates to open-market/neo-liberal profit, plunder and pillage are to be opened even wider, by whoever wins the horse race. All kinds of international financial racketeers, crony contractors, drug lords, war lords, rapists, murderers, casino operators will feast while the oppressed masses – whether Sinhala, Tamil or Moslem or any other – will be crushed and bled dry to feed the appetites of these predators. Any form of mass resistance will be drowned in rivers of blood. Of course, to win the race, all kinds of reactionary, chauvinist, fascist forces will don the cap of liberal democracy and appear as the true guardians of the people. The foremost task facing the people is to get rid of the Rajapaksa regime. But, who is to replace the regime? What is the real scientific option that will lead the path to liberation?
The oppressed Tamil Nation is being played like a pawn in a deadly imperialist chess game. Worst of all is the fatal illusion being spun that the U.S., India, and the UN can be relied upon to bring liberation to the Tamil Nation. It should never be forgotten that all the imperialist and regional reactionary powers, without exception, including the U.S., EU, Japan, India, Russia, China and Pakistan supported the war, politically, diplomatically and militarily. The military decimation and political suppression of the LTTE [Tamil Tigers] has posed new questions, new solutions, new challenges in building the revolutionary movement of the people of Lanka. It is up to us to sum up and grasp the crucial lessons to be learned and the deadly traps to be avoided in waging national liberation and revolutionary war. We need to learn how to raise and transform a national liberation war into class conscious revolutionary war of the masses targeting the state and the system.
For this, we need to make the most conscious, radical, people’s democratic revolution aimed at overthrowing the prevailing feudal-colonial state. This is with the objective of breaking with all the political, economic, ideological, social and cultural relations that bind us to the system of Imperialism. We would flower new social relations, and find the ways and means, to optimize and mobilize the conscious creative initiative and power of the revolutionary masses to build a whole new society. A society where the people of Lanka will unite and cooperate at every level of productive, scientific, intellectual, social and cultural activity to achieve a united, independent, democratic and prosperous Land of Lanka, functioning as a liberated base area of world revolution. Only the most radical, anti-feudal/anti-imperialist democratic revolution, led by the proletariat in unity with all exploited and oppressed classes, nationalities and groups, with the vast majority of the peasantry, fishermen, agricultural workers and rural proletarians as a driving force and the workers guiding the way, can liberate the people of Lanka.
Whoever wins the presidency, whether the UPFA or UNP, the highly centralized, militarized, chauvinist, hegemonic unitary capitalist state will be consolidated. With or without an Executive Presidency, the Lankan state has been systematically constructed and organically matured to keep the system of feudal oppression and neocolonial domination alive and thriving. It is in this rising situation that we must ourselves decide our future as one, indivisible and invincible People of Lanka. We must decide to smash our chains of oppression and the barricades of division to overthrow the tottering and stinking neocolonial state and system and set up our own people’s democratic state and system. This is so we can join the international proletariat and the oppressed people of the world in the universal struggle for freedom from imperialism and all forms of class, national, gender and caste domination and march towards the bright new era of communism.
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8 March: Helping the victims is not the same as ending violence against women
1 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. The following statement on the occasion of the International Day Against Violence Against Women (25 November) is by the 8 March Women’s Organisation (Iran-Afghanistan) (www.8mars.com).
* One out of every three women experiences violence or sexual harassment in her lifetime. The perpetrator is usually a family member or someone close to her. That makes the home one of the most unsafe places in the world for women.
* Every year 60 million school girls are targets of sexual harassment on the way to school or elsewhere.
* 80 percent of the human beings trafficked globally are women and girls who are trafficked for the express purpose of sexual exploitation.
* At least 60 million girls are “missing” from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of infanticide, neglect or sex-selected abortion.
* Between a 100 million and 140 million women and girls alive today have been genitally mutilated.
* Over 60 million girls are sexually abused as child brides on a world scale today.
This list could go on and on, but enough is enough! Enough of such statistics! As horrifying as these simple figures may be, they depict only a small part of the reality of the war that is going on against women on a world scale. They cannot show the endless moments full of anxiety experienced by women in every walk of life and corner of society.
If these numbers are now being talked about, it is because we have been fighting to break the silence; because we no longer want to be silent, “decent” and “loving” victims; because we don’t want our bodies to be commodities for the political, economic and religious interests of the ruling powers or even individual male sexual desire. Sometimes we are forced to remain covered with a veil to indicate our modesty, and at other times our bodies are used to sell merchandise or sold outright.
We know well that as long as there is someone to buy sex, our exploitation will continue. In Iraq, Daesh has been selling our Yazidi and Christian sisters as war booty, just like 1,400 years ago, in the slave market of Mosul. Our sisters in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and so many other countries are on sale in “modern” slave markets called “red light districts”. We understand these are different forms of the same male chauvinism.
We Middle Eastern women are especially familiar with the various kinds of religious backward forces and theocratic rulers, and are witnessing more nakedly barbaric forms of violence based on Sharia law. At the same time, we are also familiar with the imperialist wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere, where women have been more directly the targets of gunfire and bombardment and the victims of refugee camps, rape, insecurity and poverty. Above all they are subject to the sell-outs and compromises among the imperialists and regional reactionaries.
In Iran, the Islamic Republic, the first and the role model of the backward fundamentalist forces in the region, a regime synonymous with the subjugation of women and the compulsory wearing of the hijab (headscarf) in particular, is increasingly closing even the smallest openings through which women can participate in the life of society and eliminating them from the political, social and economic scenes. The Islamic Republic has intensified its attacks against women and is using its armed security police to make sure that they are covered and acting “decently”, and keep them out of sport centres. It is driving working women out of jobs and social life, keeping them at home and using them as incubators. At the same time it is implementing the brutal Sharia law of Qesas (retaliation) to execute rebellious women such as Reyhaneh Jabari. (The woman executed a month ago because in an act of self-defence she killed an intelligence agent who intended to rape her). Furthermore, the regime is the force behind the recent acid attacks on so-called “bad-hijab” (insufficiently covered) women, in order to make society increasingly more insecure for women and close its door to them.
This is the reason why we believe that domestic and social violence against women would not be able to express themselves without state violence.
Women should also fight back and launch their struggle against anti-women policies and women’s oppression. And through the course of these struggles we should learn more about the oppression of women and its origins and unite with others and understand how to eliminate it.
All women, beginning from when they are a female embryo and continuing when they are old, in the entire world and in all its virtual and real spaces such as bedrooms and offices, universities and sport centres, and at any time, are threatened by violence. All women are the direct or indirect victims of the inherent, organized and systematic violence of the patriarchal capitalist system, a system that cannot continue to live without upholding and defending male superiority over females in all economic, social and domestic spheres. So it imposes an all-round, brutal and at the same time quiet war against women.
But helping the victims is not the same as ending violence against women.
There is no need to prove it. We women are the victims of the world capitalist system commanded by the quest for profit and super profit, a system that wants us to be quiet victims.
They also do their best and spend their resources to train their military, political, judicial and religious representatives, and also husbands, fathers and brothers, so that with their violence in various forms they can chain the rebellious “slaves”.
But we have not been obedient victims in this war and we will not be. As revolutionary women, we have enough experience, inspiration, anger and courage so that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters all over the world and eventually end this unjust war against women. We have scientific and liberating theories to rely on and help our sisters all over the world become conscious and organized and join the political struggle. We know that this violence will not disappear without the complete liberation of women. The subjugation of women does not come from “women’s nature,” nor does the violence come from “men’s nature”. The relationship between men and women is a product of the patriarchal class societies, including the capitalist system, that must be overthrown to put an end to male ownership of women.
With high revolutionary aims, we must build a world where women, without any obstacles or fear, are the active part of the dynamic wheel of society and the respect for human beings is institutionalized, where no man and no institution has the power or opportunity to oppress others.
Women can and must break the chains of oppression and exploitation in such a way that no-one will be able to tie them again around the foot or neck of any woman and anybody at all.
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