february 2018

 SS164TR

“In February there is everything to hope for and nothing to regret….While it is February one can taste the full joys of anticipation. Spring stands at the gate with her finger on the latch”    

Patience Strong

“Reading the morning newspaper is the realist’s morning prayer. One orients one’s attitude toward the world either by God or by what the world is. The former gives as much security as the latter, in that one knows how one stands. ”  

  Hegel

Readers are asked to add more insights into these events, and also provide interesting information or critiques that are not included here.

 

 

28/2/17:

Greece, Athens: luxury shops smashed up in solidarity with imprisoned Greek anarchist on hunger & thirst strike against his transfer to prison outside Athens On 24th February at dawn, 3 days after the start of his hunger strike, cops entered his cell and violently extracted him for the purpose of transferring him back to the distant  Larissa Prison. When the news of this was heard, a mutiny broke out at Athens prison and mobilizations took place in many prisons throughout the country; on February 25th he began to refuse liquids. See also entry for 1/3/18.

27/2/18:

Peru, Lima: further clashes with cops over new youth slavery law (video) See entry for 23/2/18

US, West Virginia: possible rebellion against union leadership in teachers’ strike So far, it seems that this has remained at the level of a poll vote – it remains to be seen if this is transformed into action on March 1st when the union wants teachers to return to work on the basis of the usual lousy deal. See entry for 22/2/18 below.

Taiwan, Taipeh: pensioners, including military vets, try to storm parliament because of pension cuts

26/2/18:

UK, Essex: 600 protesters occupy town square in protest against plans to build monster tower blocks

25/2/18:

Greece, Thessaloniki: football fans burn bins, clash with cops, after match is cancelledAthens: anarchists improve pharmaceutical company building

24/2/18:

Italy, Milan: “paper bombs” (??) thrown at cops during antifa clashes with them as the cops block access to fascist demo

23/2/18:

Iran, Ahvaz: steelworkers take over Friday prayer and satirically chant “Death to the worker, long live the oppressor”  More on this struggle here

Peru, Lima: students clash with cops over new youth slave labour law “Water cannon and tear gas were used by police as protests turned violent when their route was blocked. The new law, passed by congress, could see youngsters working for up to three years without receiving a salary” More here. Video here

Italy, Pisa: antifas v cops

22/2/18:

Zimbabwe, Harare: cops & cars attacked after cop killing of bystander during clashes with mini-bus drivers attempting to shut down central business district in protest at their forced relocation to outskirts of city VIOLENCE rocked the Harare central business district late yesterday evening after police officers allegedly shot and reportedly killed a bystander after engaging in running battles with kombi drivers….Members of the public then besieged Harare Central Police Charge Office, where they wanted to lay a charge against the officers…They started throwing rocks at the police and vehicles parked outside the police station. In the ensuing melee, a car was burnt and another vehicle also caught flames. The police responded by firing teargas…” This says 2 were killed and that at least 3 cop cars were torched.

Rwanda, Karongi: 5 refugees killed by cops in clashes over UN’s reduced food rationing Around 3,000 refugees had camped outside United Nations offices at the camp since Tuesday. On Thursday police tried to disperse them using teargas…They started pelting stones, pieces of metal and in that 20 refugees were injured and seven police officers. Five of the refugees died…. the police said …there were about 500 protesters, while UNHCR put the figure at about 700. The refugees from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo had left their camp in Kiziba and walked 15 km (10 miles) to Karongi, in western Rwanda, to protest against a 25 percent cut implemented last month in rations provided by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR). The camp houses 17,000 Congolese.” Later report says 11 killed

Italy, Turin: antifas v. cops, bottles v. teargas & water cannons

France, Toulouse: windows of nuclear power-related company smashed, facade splattered with paint (communiqué)Avignon: governing party office smashed up by anti-nuke protestersboth in solidarity with this eviction, happening this morning

UK, London: tame occupation by students of university racket HQBath: students occupy council chamber in opposition to cuts & fees
US, West Virginia: all state schools close as teachers go on first strike for nearly 30 years “Teachers across the state staged a walkout in protest against one of the lowest salaries in the country and the rising cost of healthcare.”  More here.

21/2/18:

Colombia, Bogota: looting of supermarkets belonging to the Farc in 4 different areas during riots    This (in English) says 16 supermarkets nationwide were looted.

 

20/2/18:

Colombia: looting of several different supermarkets & warehouses in 6 towns & cities

looted supermarket, Melgar, Colombia

Canada, Nova Scotia: teachers vote overwhelmingly for illegal strike action Ninety-three percent of Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) members participated in Tuesday’s ballot on authorizing job action, with 82.5 percent voting in favour of a strike.” Of course, this is merely a vote…so far….

19/2/18:

Guinea, Conakry: cop killed by stone-thrower during clashes as teachers, supported by millions of school students, continue illegal strike under state threat of not having wages paid This strike, having been launched some time previously and then stopped, was resumed a week ago, during which 2 youths were killed by the state. This article is deliberately ambiguous concerning the students’ attitudes, implying that they are anti-strike, when most of the students support the teachers’ demands for higher wages and want the state to grant them. All this takes place within the context of riots following the manipulated local elections. See also entries for 6/12/17, 27/11/17, 25/11/17, 22/11/17, 21/11/17, and 16/11/17.

Iran, Tehran: 3 cops killed by bus during whirling clashes with Sufis (later reports say 5 insecurity forces killed). The Sufis, constantly repressed by the ascetic orthodox Muslim state, are the reformist wing of Islam – explicitly in favour of alcohol and pleasure. According to this, “More people are joining protesters and security forces were defeated by the protesters last night. However, dozens of protesters were arrested and their location is unknown.” Undoubtedly most of this is hardly “independent” (since the Dervishes themselves were demanding the release of their official leader), but some of it almost certainly is.

UK, Salford: 2 cops injured in graceful attack

South Africa, Limpopo: 3 prisoners awaiting trial escape

18/2/18:

Trinidad, Port-of-Spain: riots follow cop killing of 25 year old More here The protest caused the closure of dozens of businesses, at least half a dozen primary schools and three health centres in Upper Laventille, Oxford Street and George Street. The well co-ordinated action began before 6 am as irate residents hijacked a group of privately-owned garbage trucks contracted to the Port-of-Spain City Corporation and ordered the drivers to empty their contents at various strategic locations. The residents then ignited the heaps of rubbish as they vocally protested over James’ death…. teams of police and soldiers were forced to stand by as residents evaded them by moving freely through tracks and lanes, while communicating their locations through a series of coded messages passed between limers at various street corners.”

Italy, Naples: antifas clash with cops and fascists

Colombia, Choco: military occupation after office of mayor & of electricity company are totally destroyed in riot against week-long lack of electricityMeta: riots against oil company continue (see entry for 12/2/18)

 

17/2/18:

Ivory Coast, Bloléquin: homes of  prefect,  secretary general of  prefecture & sub-prefect, and  brigade of the gendarmerie, ransacked  before being set on fire following cop killing of motorcyclist and crowd killing of the cop

Bloléquin Gendarmerie

 

Nigeria, Lagos: airport runway occupied

16/2/18:

Italy, Bologna: water cannon & teargas against antifas etc. following sit-in

UK, Northern Ireland (Fermanagh): wind farm electricity poles improved

15/2/18:

Tunisia, Tunis: football supporters clash with cops (no confrontations with fans of opposing team reported) Video here. Exactly a month before, on 15th January, over 1000 of the same team supporters “gathered Monday evening in the working class Bab Souika neighborhood of Tunis. Chibani said the crowd attacked a government building with stones and bottles, before police fired back with tear gas.” ( here ). This, during the brief national uprising against the state there. In other words, I imagine that these fans had a clear anti-cop, anti-state hatred that motivated them far more than football.

South Africa, Gauteng: 2nd day of wildcat bus drivers’ strike

Turkey, Izmir: attack on governing party collaborator and state-owned gym in revenge for Afrin massacre Whilst this communiqué implies a  nationalist mentality – “We call on all Kurdish youths to take action against the fascist Turkish state everywhere. No young person should wait for a leader, because every Kurdish youth is a leader by nature” – as if Kurds are “naturally” anarchist – it also implies a rejection of leadership and an element of autonomy from the political rackets, though admittedly without any explicit critique of Ocalan and the leadership fetishism he enjoys. At the same time, whilst not ignoring the specific history of Kurdish oppression, this Kurdish identity is hardly tactical, since any effective opposition to the Turkish ruling class must obviously also be attractive to rebels amongst the non-Kurdish working class.

US, Los Angeles:70 people block ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) van

14/2/18:

Bahrain: clashes in several different parts of the country on 7th anniversary of uprising that began during the Arab Spring  I don’t  normally put up stuff about Bahrain, mainly because there ahave been clashes almost every day for 7 years (for similar reasons I don’t put up stuff about Palestine or Kashmir – which have confrontations with the state almost every day, though the duration and periods of time are different from those of Bahrain). This is not to minimise the proletarian nature of much of these clashes, even though undoubtedly there are also political factions at work here. See also thisBahrain continues to be the scene of anti-regime protests on an almost daily basis, as people in the Persian Gulf kingdom gear up to mark the seventh anniversary of their uprising on February 14…In March 2011, the Bahraini regime asked Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab countries to assist with the crackdown on the popular protests.The Bahraini regime, backed by forces from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, began a violent, deadly crackdown on protests, which has led to thousands of arrests, scores of deaths, and systematic torture of detainees.”

 

Bangladesh, Habiganj: 10 villagers resisting eviction shot by the filth

13/2/18:

France, Montpellier: clashes with riot cops, large bins burnt, tramline connections halted at Peasant’s Carnival, declared illegal by the local state More here “…rioters confronted the cops with broken  bottles and cobblestones. Garbage cans were burned and ad signs destroyed in the middle of smoke bombs and firework rockets against the cops. According to the prosecutor’s office, four policemen were wounded, one of whom was reportedly seriously injured in the face: “A hooded individual assaulted a police officer using a bottle of ice water”, writes a cop union. Five people were arrested at the end of the evening, particularly for violence against police officers.

Colombia, Bogota: students demanding improved conditions blockade main roads, clash with riot cops

Ethiopia, Oromia State: clashes continue; 17 killed
The social media-driven market strike was called to demand the immediate and unconditional release of jailed Oromo political prisoners. In dozens of towns across Oromia, tens of thousands took to the streets … Other demands include making Afaan Oromo the federal language; calls for an end to rampant impunity for federal security forces and justice for the victims of its ongoing abuses. In some localities, activists blocked roads, stopped cars, and burned tires. Arrests and crackdown were reported in Burayu, a town outside of Addis Ababa, and in Jimma zone….Businesses remained closed on Tuesday for a second day amid reports of a complete halt in nonessential travel and transportation in and out of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.” Added 17/2/18: It seems that, after years of horrible massacres in response to revolts, that the Ethiopian ruling class needs the image of reform to ensure that, “for things to remain the same, everything must change” (The Leopard). See this.

12/2/18:

Palestine, Gaza: doctors sit-in in support of cleaning staff striking because of unpaid salaries

Ethiopia, Oromia State: 7 killed as riots, sit-ins and road blockades spread throughout region

 

11/2/18:

UK, Aberdeenshire: mindless clichés illustrate mindlessness of the “educated”

12/2/18:

Colombia, Meta: 7 riot cops hurt on 2nd day of disturbances and sabotage of oil wells “…seven members of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Esmad) … were wounded on Monday when the NPR truck in which they were mobilized was attacked with stones by men on a  motorcycle. The stones hit the windshield and the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a post beside the track….Since this weekend  public order has been disturbed in Chichimene and in the municipality of Castilla La Nueva, oil towns of Meta, amid protests from communities and some oil workers who demand better wages and jobs for the population of the region…., in Castilla La Nueva a policeman was shot and wounded in the middle of the riots….vandals entered the pumping plant, destroyed equipment, cut off power and prevented the pumping of crude oil. In addition, they attacked the fire engine when it went to attend an emergency…[there was] a confrontation between hooded people and the police when unknown subjects entered the station of Chichimene, Castilla and CPO9 fields and Castilla 1 and Castilla 2 stations and  vandalised, destroyed and set fire to equipment….They sabotaged a cable of 115 volts in the Castilla Disposition Center where they knocked out the electricity for the field and that is why we had to close down the Castilla 1 and Castilla 2 station due to the collapse of electricity – those fields produce 115,000 barrels in Campo Castilla and 71,500 barrels per day in Chichimene and 6,500 barrels in the CPO9 field…. losses are calculated at 60,000 million pesos

More here

Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo: strikes and riots against electricity cuts, water shortages & unrepaired roads in poor area of capital More here

 

10/2/18:

Italy, Macerata: clashes with cops at anti-racist demo “Protesters, demonstrating against racism and the return of fascism in Italy, attacked police with sticks and threw stones, while police retaliated with batons as thousands of people took to the streets 

US, Seattle: clashes with racists at university

9/2/18:

France, Essonne: youths stone cop patrol car

Italy, Melendugno: 2nd day of clashes at gas pipeline construction site “…in the night the roads to the site had been scattered with nails and stones taken from the dry stone walls, to prevent the companies’ equipment arriving  at their destination. police cars were damaged by stone throwing.”

Iran: posters of Khamenei, the Supreme Religious Leader, set on fire

8/2/18:

India, Odisha: police station & cop vehicles torched, major road barricaded, after death of youth in cop custody

South Africa, Pretoria: tyre burnt as students shut down campus in protest against lack of accommodation

Lebanon, Beirut: army officer hospitalised in clashes with teachers at presidential palace

Senegal, Velingara (border with Guinea-Bissau): 2 killed following customs officers’ illegal demand for money off Muslim pilgrims “…the incident happened at the Nianao border crossing. At this post, there was a mixed patrol of the police and customs, who had trouble with the pilgrims. According to Bissau-Guinean accounts, “the Senegalese have set up a payment system to cross the border. They asked us to pay 2500 FCFA so as to cross”. Having refused to obey this unwritten payment order, which they consider “illegal”, the Bissau-Guinean pilgrims…came to blows with the Senegalese police. “Pursued by a furious crowd throwing stones at them, the customs officers  first entrenched themselves in their offices. Overcome by the violence of the stone throwing, they came out to face them…. So as to restore order the Senegalese forces made use of their weapons, leaving one of the pilgrims on the ground, shot….In retaliation, Bissau-Guineans reportedly killed a Senegalese driver who entered their territory.

7/2/18:

Zimbabwe, West Mashonaland: ruling party councillor saved from beating by cops as residents riot over partisan distribution of free farming inputs

UK, Sheffield: tree protesters occupy council chamber for 5 hours

6/2/18:

France, Paris: some luxury shop windows smashed on small demo against reform of the baccalaureat “…in Paris, the brave few who made the trip walked under a heavy snowfall…young people dressed in black stood out from the crowd to throw stones at windows, including that of a luxury clothing store. “We can not do anything, it’s up to the police to manage them,” said Patrick Désiré, CGT Educ’s general secretary….One of the reforms protested by the protesters is the establishment of continuous control that  calls into question the anonymity of the exam. Julie Le Mazier, Union Sud Education 95, believes that such a methodology “creates inequalities between the institutions, puts them in competition with each other, and undermines the anonymity of the…national framing of the tests”. Toulouse: barricades at university in opposition to similar reformAlpes-de-Haute-Provence: bins burnt, cars attacked, stones thrown at technical High school over these reforms


Nigeria, Edo State: cop vehicles destroyed as youths riot against cop murder of bus driver

 

Venezuela, Delta Amacuro: riots and looting after cops disperse fly pitchers Shops were destroyed and several people were injured….from the first hours of the morning there was a tense situation between a group of officials of the Bolivarian National Guard and fly pitchers in the Municipal Market. … the riots started around nine in the morning, after the GNB troops tried to evict a group of resellers. This generated a heavy altercation between “bachaqueros” and troops, which went on to attempts at looting by those who were there. The action forced the GNB to disperse the crowd by throwing tear gas…In a second encounter, the military officials fired more gases and pellets, causing a stampede and the closure of most of the premises in downtown Tucipita. After two o’clock in the afternoon, the situation intensified, as the security forces could not control the riots causing damage to the facades of the Governor’s headquarters and some banks….groups of enraged people stayed in the streets destroying everything in their path. Glass from broken vehicles and entrances of destroyed abandoned premises …”

Guinea: riots and looting in 4 areas following suspicion of electoral fraud Though some of this is obviously political party rivalry, some of these reports imply that much of the rioting was done by youths without a mention of any party affiliation.

Senegal, Mbacké: heavy clashes between youths and cops during teachers’ strike If I’ve understood this rightly this occurred because school students confronted hypocritical teachers who went on strike in the public sector and then taught in the private sector.

Kenya, Ahero: youths clash with cops after cops kill protester during demo against imprisonment of lawyer

Ivory Coast, Soubré: town hall torched, 2 of mayor’s residences ransacked, following market fire destroying livelihoods of traders at market where mayor had forced traders to relocate

5/2/18:

Italy, Rome: clashes between Kurd supporters and cops after Pope bans demonstrations whilst he meets with Turkey’s leading mass murderer Normally I would tend to avoid mentioning most clashes involving Kurdish groups nowadays as they almost invariably have nationalist  beliefs in the  illusions in the state of Rojava (or  profoundly confused illusions in the internationalist anarchist nature of this state), but some amongst them must be sympathetic to a genuinely internationalist position like this. Those ‘anarchists’ who have delusions in Rojava, should they be able to speak French, would find that they have the support of this disgusting anti-riot anti-refugee racist right-wing site, fixated on protection of Europe’s frontiers against the the tired, poor,  huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

4/2/18:

Jordan, As-Salt: rare example of social contestation in this country as demo against 60% bread price hikes ascends into barricades & riots More here “‘Down with the parliament, down with the government, we want to live in dignity,’ one banner read…Other protests have been taking place across Jordan over the past few days” …and here At night, masked men burned tires in the middle of a main street in the city and said they were protesting the rise in prices. Many websites have published photos and news of burning tires but they had to remove the images. The rioting took place only hours after King Abdullah II left the city where he met with a group of leaders in the home of former intelligence chief Nazir Rashid.

 

France, Toulouse: Algerian asylum-seeker escapes from detention centre Oise: cop van torched

 

Greece, Athens: football fans clash with cops

US, Philadelphia: predictable post Super Bowl victory riot, with some funny aspects“Police in Philadelphia had been preparing for the possibility of riots following the Super Bowl, including putting hydraulic fluid on light poles in an attempt to keep fans from scaling them. …Video from after the AFC Championship Game showed fans managing to scale the 25-foot poles despite police greasing them with Crisco. Ahead of the Super Bowl, police tried to use a more powerful lubricant in the hopes of keeping fans from scaling the structures. But reports from after the Super Bowl noted that the fans who streamed out onto Broad Street after the Super Bowl had started to cause property damage. The Philadelphia riot grew from there, with reports from police scanners that light poles had been taken down …As the celebrations spread, police reported that some were throwing bottles at police officers.” More here “…windows were smashed out of some buildings. Police received at least one report of looting at a gas station. Fans also took down several light poles around town, injuring a few people” And here “…fans tipped over a car outside of a hotel and …a group of looters had broken into a convenience store screaming, “Everything is free,” while grabbing merchandise.”…Pointing out the damage inflicted upon a local Macy’s, Benitez revealed that the department store’s doors had been “completely smashed” and that there was “glass everywhere” from broken windows.”

1/2/18:

 

Iran: large protests in 6 towns & cities  “…Sanandaj (west): people gathered in Enghelab (revolution) Square, and Azadi (freedom) square and chanted “death to dictator.” They clashed with State Security Force (SSF) and set an SSF kiosk on fire. Authorities tried to disrupt the Internet connection in city. Clashes have continued, and the regime has brought in water cannons to disperse the crowd… Kermanshah (west): Protest erupted at Freedom square, with chants of “death to Khamenei”, “death to dictator.” A woman started the protest. “Death to Khamenei” was chanted non-stop. Plain clothed security forces have begun arresting protesters. Anti-riot forces arrested 7 protesters, but people charged at them, and the anti-riot forces retreated and released the protesters. Several protesters were arrested.”

 

France, Essonne: high school students clash with cops after blockading school in opposition to intensified selection Garbage cans and gates were installed in front of the main entrance to prevent students from going in. Shortly after nine o’clock, tension mounted rapidly with the police officers who had just arrived to clear the entrance. Helmeted and shielded, they scattered the blockaders. An 18-year-old student was arrested in front of many comrades…“We were gathered there, peacefully, without any provocation on our part, we even calmed those who were a bit too angry, and we were violently charged, and gassed too…The police were pelted with projectiles …”

27 Responses to february 2018
  1. Jim MacBryde says:

    Reggae reached Broadway and then went to pot (hybridised/hydroponic Dutch/American pot, to be precise). Curses on capital and all who sail on her:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sExmTD4nj0w

  2. Jim MacBryde says:

    Kraftwerk:

    “By 1918/9, Pankhurst recognised that it was pointless, and in fact reactionary, to campaign for suffrage amidst a world, proletarian revolutionary wave. At a time when the very existence of parliaments and nation-states was put into question by the revolutionary working-class, whether or not the working-class, or women, or middle-class women, should have the right to vote in elections to capitalist parliaments had simply lost all relevance. Parliaments were no longer a site of meaningful, political contestation for the proletariat, the future was to be found in the form of territorial soviets (workers’ councils).”

    Feb 11 2018 23:23

    Due to the Tchekist Administration of the ill named, Libertarian Communism Dot [B]org, I and many other comrades have no way of commenting on articles of interest placed on their rag of a website. Therefore, through the kind auspices of Sam Fanto I am able to place my musings here.

    I travelled back from the metropolis yesterday evening in my mobile coffin. I passed the megalith of the Cowley autoworks, “Oxford”, on my way. These thoughts are influenced by the sight of this huge factory.

    As Kraftwerk rightly says, it was the monstrosity of the Great World slaughter that finally put to rest any hope the proletariat had in parliamentary means to end its exploitation. and achieve its emancipation. This led it to put its hopes in workers’ councils.

    Yet the sight of the vast coffin factory leads me to think that even if the workers of Cowley had the wherewithal to form a council at that establishment, what purpose could it serve as the product of their labour is nowt more than a weapon of our own destruction?

    uhuru

    • Jack Sprat says:

      I want freedom of the press for myself, a proletarian, a member of the party for fift[y] years… and not abroad but inside…, facing danger and arrest… experience in tsarist prisons,…hunger strikes, beatings, and escapes…

  3. James and Kayla says:

    Dear editor and owner of DD,

    It may be advisable for the sake of “an attack on dominant social relations” as you put it — although how a social relationship can be attacked is beyond us — to place a disclaimer on this section (News of Opposition) along the lines that these news stories that you glean from the press are a mere drop in the ocean of the great class struggle that has enveloped (with the exception of the UK in your expatriate mindset) the globe for centuries past.

    From our perspective your ostensible opposition to the opportunism of petty leftist groups such as the British libcom.org and Aufheben appears as merely a front for your own posturing as revolutionary.

    Ta dah

  4. If put downs without content, context, the slightest fragment of accuracy or explanation are somehow “revolutionary” then I am certainly not into such a posture. Your comment is probably satisfying to yourselves, but I doubt anybody else would understand what the hell you were on about.

  5. James says:

    I doubt anyone else will read it Sam, if we’re honest. No, it was not satisfying in the least. You aggravated me and that was my response. Don’t forget that you are one of the chosen few still at liberty to post comments on the Tchekists’ website forum. New registrations are vetted more strictly than the Stasi vetted the football pools.

    If you want your reader/s to have some context, here it is. The libcom collective has been accused of and is seen by many as closet Leninists. To counter this one of its idiots dragged up some quote by Lenin written during the civil war in Russia. The idiot produced a salacious headline to attract attention of would be readers. One such reader pointed out the possible error in translation, not as an apology for Lenin’s action but merely as a point of reasoning. In jumped the usual shock troops of the British Libertarian left from libcom to try their oft tried tactic of character assassination whenever their holy grail is shown to be flawed. That’s the long and the short of it.

    I’m a revolutionist, play on….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neehB9q4OqE

    • Jack Sprat says:

      In place of a counter argument …, most here [and there] have resorted to name calling and belittling, which honestly just betrays their own insecurity in their argument. I’m not a ‘Leninist’ in any way.

  6. James says:

    I think the whole bunch of you old revolutionaries need to take heed of the lesson of Lot’s wife.

  7. Yacobah says:

    Anyway Sam, back to business. Got over my hissy fit and I gave the site a plug on the Socialism Subreddit.

    Long live the dictatorship of the proletariat and I’m so happy to see that our people up in Oromia are standing firm. I find the issue of the ever changing flag of Ethiopia a telling one. See this Wikipedia entry:

    <>

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Ethiopia

  8. Yacobah says:

    Note to the Chief Editor:

    It appears that the quotation marks I used above have removed the quote I intended to post. It is now below.


    In 2009, the Parliament of Ethiopia passed Proclamation 654/2009 (The Federal Flag Proclamation), which prohibited firstly amongst 23 other provisions “use [of] the Flag without its Emblem”, as well as “to deface the Flag by writing or displaying sings, [sic] symbols, emblems or picture [sic]”, or “to prepare or use the Flag without the proper order of its colors and size or its Emblem.”[11] While most offences were punishable by a fine of “3000 birr or rigorous imprisonment up to one year,” the first offense, mandating the usage of the emblem, received an increased penalty of “5000 birr or rigorous imprisonment up to one year and six months.”[11] This replaced the 1996 Flag Proclamation, which made no mention of offenses or penalties.[2]’

    Do any readers know anything about the origins of the name of present day Ethiopia? Received wisdom is that Ethiopia is derived from Greek:

    The Greek name Αἰθιοπία (from Αἰθίοψ, Aithiops, ‘an Ethiopian’) is a compound word, derived from the two Greek words, from αἴθω + ὤψ (aitho “I burn” + ops “face”). … However, the Greek formation may be a folk etymology for the Ancient Egyptian term athtiu-abu, which means ‘robbers of hearts’.

    I had the following dialogue with an honorary Ethiopian:

    Seamus: I have had a thought this new morning. Correct me if I’m wrong but until the last century the nation state of Ethiopia was called Abyssinia, which I believe is a Latinized rendition of Habesha (a name that referred to a conglomeration of the northern tribes of present day Ethiopia — Amhara, Tigri…).

    On medieval European maps, Ethiopia marks the region referred to as “Black Africa” (another imposed misnomer). For some reason the state of Abyssinia/Habesh decided to co-opt the name Ethiopia, an odd decision considering it’s racist, patronising connotations meaning as it does, “burn face”.

    Addis: Ethiopia isnt literal translation of ‘burned faces even if at one time the Greeks called Ethiopians this. There were Ethiopian Negus going back named Itiopis and why would Ethiopians even refer to themself as such?

    Looking at old maps of the area it seems what we now call Afrika was called Ethiopia and the sea on west Africa was called the Ethiopian Sea. When the colonialists chopped up Afrika they gained control except for the capital which then held the name Ethiopia.

    Even at one time Memnon the Ethiopian was ruler over Greece and many well known Ethiopians like Aesop.

    So, in my opinion Ethiopia is not meaning burned faces.
    Anyway. Have a bless day. One Love

  9. Jack Sprat says:

    BBC:

    ‘Two police officers have been “badly injured” in a “disgraceful” attack involving up to 50 youths.’

    Don’t we just love the way the British state broadcaster puts inverted commas around the things it wishes to say without actually saying them.

    On the flipside, the British anti-state broadcaster, libcom. org, has announced a renovation of its putrid site and is pleading for funds to this end. The Collective says that as well changing its sickening bannerhead (again) it will be cleaning (airbrushing the contents?) up the site.

    Whilst we struggle to make the ends, the capitalists carry out cosmetic surgery when what is required is wholesale destruction of their useless facilities.

  10. Jack Sprat says:

    I have just read this and felt like reproducing it here for the attention of the editor:

    “Some English Communists have remarked to me that they have no real sympathy for the Irish and Indian movement because it is nationalistic. But, to-day, the British Empire is the greatest obstacle to International Socialism, and any of its subjugated parts succeeding in breaking away from it would be helping the cause of World Communism.”

    Claude McKay, “Socialism and the Negro,” Workers’ Dreadnought, January 31, 1920

    • So the enemy’s apparent enemy is (or was) our friend…? How many more times does this banal ideology have to be contested?

      In the 60s and 70s American Leftists supported Vietnamese nationalism for similar reasons – though then it was US imperialism that was the greatest obstacle to international Socialism. When British imperialism was the most powerful, many Indians sided with Hitler against their more obvious immediate enemy. As for Ireland – this mentality ends up with supporting Sinn Fein and all that crap.

      Probably the greatest obstacle to an anti-capitalist revolution (the term “socialism” has long been compromised and associated with all sorts of reformed versions of capitalism) are people accepting a variety of false choices determined by different forms of external authority, of which an anti-imperialist nationalist ideology is just one. Political forms of social relations – relations of domination and submission, of rivalry and complicity – are the enemy, not just one brand of them.

      • Jimmy Spats says:

        “As for Ireland – this mentality ends up with supporting Sinn Fein and all that crap.”

        However, Sylvia Pankhurst and Claude McKay did not go on to support the nationalists in Ireland thus refuting your assumption.

        Political forms of any kind are the only barrier to social revolution, whether nationalist, libertarian, communist or socialist. Barrier is to present them too strongly, however. These forms are like chaff in the wind. We, as a class, have been fooled too many times to ever be fooled again.

        • “Political forms … are like chaff in the wind.We, as a class, have been fooled too many times to ever be fooled again.”. Don’t agree at all with this optimistic form of determinism, which has been repeated in various ways ever since Marx. Optimism minimises, as it always does, not only the contradictions in radical mass movements, but also the contradictions in individual proletarian’s own struggle and the dialectic between this struggle and wider struggles. Your comment below – “great god above all Gods. Bless the proletariat, the Unconquerable and Unquenchable One”, whilst rightly expressing delight at this excellent – and very risky – action by the steelworkers in Ahvaz, also implies a religiously optimistic “We shall overcome” idea that has repeatedly been shown to ignore the enormity of problems (eg the endless notion expressed by striking miners during the UK strike that they’d win, even in the 12th and final month of that vital struggle). Revolution is not a matter of some deterministic faith, treating the proletariat as some kind of “god above all Gods” but of choice to oppose a world which we haven’t chosen. And if political forms were like “chaff in the wind” how come they have constantly contributed to undermining struggles over the last 100 years or so?

          As for your other comments – I’ve got a bad cold coming on and don’t know anything about McKay, so maybe I’ll get back to you about that.

          • Jimmy Spats says:

            I can’t help it Sam, that’s the way I see it. I admit, I have always been an optimist, except when I suffered from depression.

            “And if political forms were like “chaff in the wind” how come they have constantly contributed to undermining struggles over the last 100 years or so?”

            We have gone through a 100 year period of counter revolution but its because of these long years of defeat that we as a class have lost our illusions in political solutions.

            I like that you recognise the risky nature of the Iranian factory workers’ slogan raising. Again, it is the fact that we are beginning to take fullhardy risks that raises my optimism. We are no longer waiting for political forms to arise before we attack:

            ‘Speaking later, specifically of Amar Singh, Engels said that he showed some “knowledge of guerrilla warfare; at all events, he attacks the British whenever he can, instead of quietly waiting for them.’

  11. Jimmy Spats says:

    23/2/18

    “Protesting workers in #Ahvaz “Iran National Steel Industrial Group” took over Friday Prayer & despite security forces’ attempts to remove them stayed inside the building & satirically chanted “Death to the worker, long live the oppressor” against subpoverty wages & injustice and repressive government and management policies and practices.”

    Great, great god above all Gods. Bless the proletariat, the Unconquerable and Unquenchable One

  12. Jimmy Spats says:

    25/2/2018:

    “[National] Anarchists have damaged the entrance to Novartis’ offices in Athens on Sunday morning. The Swiss pharma giant is currently under investigation over a bribery scandal involving Greek politicians.”

    What at first sight may be interpreted as an attack on the pharmaceutical industry in general, on closer inspection transpires to be indignation by national anarchists that a “foreign” corporation have corrupted their native politicians.

    • You’ve researched this group “Rouvikonas”? You know for sure they’re national anarchists? The article itself could just as much imply an attack on Novartis as on the politicians bribed by them – but maybe you know something more about them.

      • Jack Sprat says:

        Sam:

        “…you know something more about them.”

        I know that I am not an anarchist, national nor otherwise; that I eschew publicity and make no claims to the public as this group has done. What more do I need to know about them?

    • In fact, this group cannot be described as “national anarchists” – check out this: http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/26/never-mind-the-troika-heres-rouvikonas/

      I can’t understand why you leap to conclusions that merely come from your mind without any evidence – interpretation without the slightest “closer inspection”.

      • Jack Sprat says:

        Further to our researches I conclude that this anarchist group is indeed a national organisation. There is no evidence that the “group is directly organised on an international level.” Rather, from the evidence provided by your good self, the grouplet appears merely as the anarchist side to the fascist side of the archaic Greek coin. This is not the time for nostalgia. Forward ever, backward for Trevor, as our Australian comrades are won’t to say.

        • You attack the group Rouvikonas for being a national anarchist group. Whilst it’s fair to critique them for publicising themselves through communiques, it’s just word-play sectarian bullshit to say that because they are a national organisation they are national anarchists (“Further to our researches I conclude that this anarchist group is indeed a national organisation. There is no evidence that the “group is directly organised on an international level.” Rather, from the evidence provided by your good self, the grouplet appears merely as the anarchist side to the fascist side of the archaic Greek coin.”). This is repulsive – implying there’s no difference between them and fascists, when they – for all their faults – are taking risks against this world and can hardly be seen as the other side of the coin of fascists. I hardly organise on an international level, unless you count the website or the fact that I know and communicate with people in different parts of the world, occasionally writing stuff with them. Most proletarians do not organise directly on an international level, even if they think internationally – most proletarians organise locally with people they meet face-to-face, even though aspects of our “organising” have international implications. And then (in an email) you “defend Kurdish self-determination, as I would defend Yiddish self-determination before the extermination of that nation.” – directly contradicting your internationalist position. Now I suspect you’ll use another specious spurious form of reasoning to say that “self-determination” is not the same as a nationalist perspective. But any self-determination which begins with a national definition of “self” (in this case, Kurdish or Yiddish) has nothing to do with genuine “self-determination” if one thinks in terms of proletarian selves determining themselves, rather than in Woodrow Wilson’s original notion from 100 years ago of the right of nations to self-determination (or Lenin’s before him). And your perspective re. “Yiddish self-determination” ends up implicitly supporting pre-WWll Zionism, in an epoch when the leading Zionists were trying to negotiate with Eichmann for the establishment of Israel, in an epoch when all the revolutionary strands opposed Zionism as a distraction from the task of the self-emancipation of the working class (admittedly, most of these strands adhering to various hierarchical statist forms every bit as bad as what Zionism became).

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