Free Palestine — End Israeli Occupation — End the Arms trade JOIN US TO MAKE THIS THE BIGGEST DEMONSTRATION FOR PALESTINE IN THE UK


Free Palestine!

National Demonstration
Saturday 16 May 2009
Assembling 12 noon in Malet Street, London WC1
Rally in Trafalgar Square

Called by:

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Palestinian Forum in Britain

Supported by:
Action Palestine, Amos Trust, Arab Media Watch, Association of Palestinian Communities UK, Britain-Palestine Twinning Network, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Friends of Sabeel UK, The Green Party, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK, Jewish Socialists’ Group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Midlands Palestinian Community Association, Muslim Association of Britain, NUS Black Students Campaign, UNISON, Pax Christi, Public and Commercial Services Union, Rail Maritime and Transport Union, Viva Palestina, War on Want, Zaytoun.

Leaflets are available from the PSC office — please save the date and start organising transport now!

Please contact the PSC office for more information:
Tel: 020 7700 6192

Media Coverage of Haiti's Sham Elections By Stephen Lendman

22 April, 2009

What if a national election was held and virtually no one showed up? That’s precisely what happened in Haiti. On April 19, scheduled senatorial elections were to fill 12 open seats. However, after majority Fanmi Lavalas (FL) candidates were disqualified on a first time ever procedural technicality, party leaders called for a national boycott, and Haitians responded overwhelmingly with estimates of as few as 3% of eligible voters participating.

According to Rene Civil, one of the boycott’s leaders:

“What we (saw was) the non-violent resistance of the Haitian people to undemocratic elections. There is no way they will be able to call Senators elected in this process legitimate. You cannot hold elections with the majority political party” excluded.

Ronald Fareau, another leader, added:

“We want to congratulate the international community for their hypocrisy in these elections. They spent over $17 million on another electoral fraud in Haiti while our people continue to suffer from malnutrition and illiteracy.”

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COHA: Cuba and the United States: Let’s Not Waste an Opportunity for Change

On Tuesday, April 21, Fidel Castro claimed that President Obama ‘without a doubt misinterpreted’ the declarations made by his brother, and Cuban President, Raúl just before this past weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Trinidad. Speaking at an ALBA meeting on Thursday, April 17, Raúl said that his administration was willing to talk to Washington about ‘human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners — everything, everything, everything that they want to discuss.’ President Obama responded by declaring his government was open to discussions, but only with the provision that Havana would establish its bona fides by releasing some political prisoners and ceasing to tax remittances being sent to the island by U.S.-based relatives.

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Can Worker Cooperatives Build a Bridge to Socialism?

22 April, 2009

Gramsci, Economic Theory of Worker Cooperatives and the Transition to a Socialist Economy By Bruno Jossa

Economics, University of Naples

1. Introduction

gramsci.jpgIn this paper we intend to discuss the problems arising in connection with the transition from capitalism to a system of producer cooperatives, i.e. to a system of self-managed democratic firms. This subject will be addressed against the backdrop of the ideas of Gramsci, a major theorist of workers’ councils and probably the one Marxist thinker whose work has outlived the collapse of state socialism in the Soviet Union (see Buttigieg, 1995, p.105 and Baratta, 1999, p. 3).[1]

The problem is interesting because in the literature on possible forms of market socialism, the intermediate period between capitalism and socialism has received little attention right to this day. This is all the more surprising if we bear in mind that analyses of the transitional period used to occupy centre-stage in most of the debates on classical issues such as state socialism and the viability of the socialism-in-one-country option. Preliminarily, we wish to point out that, in our opinion, the transition must come about by democratic means and that we will lay particular stress on the query why Gramsci did not accept the idea that the market is a necessary option in the long-term transition to communism. Traditionally, the term ‘transition’ is used to describe a “shift from one production mode to another”.

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NATO, SCO or PATO? By Eric Walberg

Conferences and suggestions about what to do in Afghanistan are chock-a-block, but the reality speaks for itself, says Eric Walberg

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Special Conference on Afghanistan, held in Moscow on 27 March, marks a new stage in the international community’s relations with this beleaguered country. It reflected the growing clout of Russia and China, the founders of the SCO, which includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and four observers — India, Iran, Pakistan and Mongolia.

In attendance for the first time were top US and NATO officials, including US Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Patrick Moon and NATO Deputy Secretary General Martin Howard, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe Mark Perrin de Brichambaut. Among the 36 countries participating were representatives from the G8, the European Union and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. The unanimously adopted Joint Action Plan underlined the SCO’s importance “for practical interaction between Afghanistan and its neighbouring states in combating terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime.”

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What is Canada Doing in Haiti? By Jean Saint-Vil

20 April, 2009 – Global Research

The “Ottawa Initiative on Haiti”: Humanist Peacekeeping or…?

On Sussex Drive in Ottawa, just a few steps away from the enormous US embassy, stands the Peacekeeping Monument. The structure titled “Reconciliation” was erected to honour the more than 125,000 Canadians who have served in United Nations peacekeeping forces since 1947. The current article documents one particular instance –the February 2004 intervention in Haiti – where the historical record conflicts with the “good peacekeeper” narrative communicated by the Canadian government, reiterated by the corporate media, and represented by “Reconciliation.”

haiti-soldier.jpgSeeing themselves as a generous people, most Canadians also consider that their noble ideals are reflected in the foreign policy of their government. The importance of nurturing this positive image both at home and abroad is well ingrained in the national psyche and, every now and again, surveys are conducted to confirm its resilience.[1]

Walter Dorn, Associate Professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, writes that:

For Canadians, peacekeeping is about trying to protect people in mortal danger… about self-sacrifice as well as world service. These notions of courage and service resonate with the public, and politicians across the political spectrum have readily adopted the peacekeeping cause… Canadian support for its peacekeeping role has been so strong for so long that it has become a part of the national identity.[2]

Canada’s intervention in Haiti is represented and legitimized in such terms. On the very first line of the section of its website devoted to Haiti, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) boasts how “Canada has committed to allocate $555 million over five years (2006-2011) to reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti.” Such “special consideration” is given to Haiti because “[t]he Government of Canada is committed to helping the people of Haiti improve their living conditions.”[3] Unequivocally endorsing the government’s line as reiterated by its Ambassador to Haiti, Claude Boucher, Maclean’s Magazine answers its own question in an April 2008 feature article: “it’s easy to forget that what Boucher says is true. Haiti is a less dangerous, more hopeful place than it has been for years, and this is the case, in part, because of the United Nations mission there and Canada’s involvement in it.”[4]

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