Video: South Africa – Forgotten Freedom Fighters – Part 2

24 April 2009 — Youtube

In 1961, Nelson Mandela formed the military wing of the ANC to help in the struggle against Apartheid.

As South Africans prepare to go to the polls in their fourth general election since the end of Apartheid, Al Jazeera follows a group of former combatants who have stopped waiting for the compensation promised to them by the ANC and have decided to start their own business.

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Video: South Africa – Forgotten freedom fighters Part One

24 April 2009 — Youtube

In 1961, Nelson Mandela formed the military wing of the ANC to help in the struggle against Apartheid. It was known as ‘Umkhonto we Sizwe’ or ‘Spear of the Nation’ and often referred to as MK.

In 1990, when the first steps were taken to dismantle the Apartheid system, thousands of ex-combatants, who for years had been living in exile, began to return home.

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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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Iqbal Tamimi – Gaza artists deliver hope out of the womb of destruction

21 April, 2009

pal-art-1.jpgIsrael should realize by now that the Palestinian nation is indestructible. A nation that was born from the womb of a great civilization is hard to defeat regardless of the methods or the variety of arms used to attack them. Nothing ever will break their spirit. Israel keeps destroying and Palestinians keep rising up from the ashes, green and willing to rebuild.

Israel has bombed everything in Gaza during the latest 21 day assault including hospitals and the only museum in the Strip. But the artists of Gaza who even do not have any materials to experiment with, have been able to make their statement heard out of the rubble.

No colours were left in Gaza, no canvas or building material since the tools of arts are like food and medicine and were subjected to the cruel Israeli siege. But Gaza’s artists will never give up, they used destroyed oxygen cylinders, parts of what is left of a bed, remains of destroyed ambulances that were shelled by Israel, lab coats, a destroyed children’s swing, and burned medical gloves to create their art on the half-standing walls of the hospital destroyed by the Israeli army.

pal-art-2.jpgThe artwork was created to commemorate the 14 doctors and paramedics killed during the attack that left the white walls of the hospital in black and grey and smelling of gun powder.

Three artists from Gaza celebrated the rebirth of Gaza. Basil Almaqusi, Shareef Sarhan, and Majid Shala are members of the modern artists school, they are a group called Shababeek (it means windows in Arabic). Life might have deserted Gaza, but art will bring it back to life through the windows of hope and art.

The artists chose to name their gallery the Rescue, and the venue was on the remains of the bombed hospital ground of the Red Crescent at Tal Elhawa south of Gaza which was destroyed last January.

The white surgical gloves and white bandages offers hints of hope on the verge of death and destruction, 14 medical lab coats were part of the exhibition, those were the coats of the doctors and paramedics who were also victims of the Israeli aggression, they were killed while stretching their hands to help those who were swinging between life and death. Israel forced its siege on everything including art materials, but this never stopped the artists of Gaza from creating art of whatever available in their destroyed city. Viva Gaza…Viva Palestine.

Source: Palestine Think Tank

Gilad Atzmon – Ahmadinejad: “Read My Lips”

21 April, 2009

Once again I find myself saluting Iranian President Ahmadinejad, in full support of his words. No one could do better bringing to light European racial discriminatory sentiments.

What we saw yesterday at the UN Anti Racism Forum was crude collective institutional Islamophobic racism in its making, a coordinated show of rabid western chauvinism. A bunch of European diplomats behaving as a herd of sheep, exhibiting complete denial of the notion of freedom of speech and the culture of debate.

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Full Text of President Ahmadinejad’s Remarks at U.N. Conference on Racism By Jeremy R. Hammond

21 April, 2009

[This is a rush transcript of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks at the United Nations Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 20, 2009.]

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful… [Protestors in clown costumes escorted out by security] May he bestow upon his prophets… Praise be upon Allah, the Almighty, who is just, kind, and compassionate. May he bestow upon his prophets his blessings and his grace from Adam to Noah; Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, and His last prophet, Mohammed. Peace be upon them all who are the harbingers of monotheism, fraternity, love … [Applause] … human dignity and justice.

Mr. Chairman. I call upon all distinguished guests to forgive these ignorant people.

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Wounds Of the Heart: An Artist and Her Nation

18 April, 2009


wounds.jpgBorn and raised in the village of Tarsheha in the Galilee, Rana Bishara is a Palestinian Visual Artist whose creative practice includes sculpture, installation work and performance art. Her artwork functions simultaneously as an elegy to the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for The Great Disaster that began in 1948), an unmasking of the brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a critique of the biased Western media’s depiction of the Palestinians’ struggle against their occupiers. The objects employed in her artwork perform as surrogates for the body and spirit of Palestine and its people. Her work, in both its physical and conceptual manifestations is an expression of the inseparable blending of the personal and political experiences that define the identity of every Palestinian.

As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, Rana deeply understands how feelings of belonging and claims of ownership, irrevocably separate, yet permanently connect Arabs and Jews in their struggle for a land that is called Palestine by one group and Israel by the other. Each of the two cultures wants to hold on to every inch of land claimed by the other. The Palestinians strongly feel that they belong to the land, while the Israelis insist that the land belongs to them.  Bishara’s artwork is deeply embedded in and informed by the Palestinian experiences of displacement, exile and occupation and the desire of Palestinian refugees to return to the lands they were displaced from. Through her work, Rana wants to convey the wounds of the heart inflicted upon her father’s generation and subsequent generations of Palestinians. She wants to bear witness to a once multicultural Palestinian society that was destroyed in 1948 and a once thriving agricultural society that has been irrevocably changed.

2009 release by SittingCrow Productions

Produced, filmed, written, narrated and directed by John Halaka.

Edited by Marissa Bowman.

Music composed and performed by the Ramallah based musician Samer Totah

Running time: 53 minutes

For further information regarding the film, please contact John Halaka at, or call 619.260.4107.


Obama's Real Plan in Latin America By Shamus Cooke

20 April, 2009 – Global Research

At first glance Obama seems to have softened U.S. policy toward Latin America, especially when compared to his predecessor. There has been no shortage of editorials praising Obama’s conciliatory approach while comparing it to FDR’s ”Good Neighbor” Latin American policy.

It’s important to remember, however, that FDR’s vision of being neighborly meant that the U.S. would merely stop direct military interventions in Latin America, while reserving the right to create and prop up dictators, arm and train unpopular regional militaries, promote economic dominance through free trade and bank loans, conspire with right-wing groups, etc

And although Obama’s policy towards Latin America has a similar subversive feeling to it, many of FDR’s methods of dominance are closed to him. Decades of U.S. “good neighbor” policy in Latin America resulted in a continuous string of U.S. backed military coups, broken-debtor economies, and consequently, a hemisphere-wide revolt.

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The Economic Model That is in Crisis Needs Urgent Change

As representatives from a wide diversity of trade union, farmer, indigenous, women’s, youth, consumer advocacy, human rights, environmental and, in general, social and civil organizations that are part of hemispheric networks such as the Hemispheric Social Alliance and united here at the IV People’s Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, we wish to transmit this message from the people we represent:

1) The Summit of the Americas continues to be marked by exclusion and lack of democracy. First, we consider the continued exclusion of Cuba from hemispheric governmental forums to be inexplicable and unacceptable. No reason suffices to justify this exclusion, especially when nearly all countries of the hemisphere – the only exception being the U.S. – have diplomatic relations with this sovereign nation. We demand the full inclusion of Cuba in all hemispheric spaces in which it chooses to participate and, above all, an end to the illegitimate and unjust blockade that the United States has imposed on the island for decades. [This Summit represents an opportunity for President Obama to demonstrate whether or not he intends to truly change hemispheric relations that have been based on impositions]. Continue reading

The Arab World and Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal WRITTEN BY Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

18 April, 2009

DimonaThe vociferous Israeli campaign against the Iranian nuclear program is undoubtedly a classical example of Israel’s pornographic hypocrisy in this regard.

After all, it was Israel that introduced nuclear weapons into the Middle East more than four decades ago, with the knowledge and acquiescence of western powers.

The CIA first concluded that Israel had begun to produce nuclear weapons in 1968, but few details emerged until 1986 when Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at the Dimona nuclear facility, gave the Sunday Times detailed descriptions that led defence analysts to rank the Jewish state as the sixth largest nuclear power.

Today, Israel is widely believed to possess 250-300 nuclear weapons, along with their delivery systems which include the Yariho (Jericho) missiles and the long-range F-15 and F-16 fighter warplanes.

Needless to say, these nuclear missiles are not trained toward Berlin or Warsaw but toward Muslim capitals such as Cairo, Damascus and Tehran.

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VTV, "Eduardo Galeano's Book Soars to No. 1 after Being Gifted to Obama by Chávez"

The Best Seller in a Matter of Hours

Open Veins of Latin America, a book by Eduardo Galeano, soared from No. 54,295 to No.1 once the Venezuelan leader gave a copy of it to his US counterpart at the Fifth Summit of the Americas.

The sales rank of the English version of Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America) by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano soared to No. 1 in a matter of hours, according to YVKE Mundial, which was able to verify it this Saturday thanks to a group of Facebook (social networking site) users. Its rise began after President Hugo Chávez presented a copy of the book to his US counterpart Barack Obama.

Las venas abiertas . . . was written by Eduardo Galeano in 1971. It’s a book of chronicles and narratives that demonstrate the constant plunder of natural resources suffered by the Latin American continent through the course of its history from the 15th century till the final years of the 20th century, and it remains a reference book for anyone interested in Latin America. The book is often quoted by Chávez.

The English Version, titled Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, was in 54,295th place on Friday in the ranking system of, one of the most popular online bookstores that allow credit card purchase and mail delivery.

However, this Saturday, by 11:57 AM in Venezuela, about four hours after Chávez’s official gift to Obama, the book had risen to the 288th in sales ranking; by the evening of the same day, it had become No. 1.

At Barnes & Noble, considered to be the second most important online store after Amazon, the book is in 183rd place, whereas on the 11th of April, according to the Google cache, its sales ranking was the 84,483rd.

A similar rise occurred when President Chávez, during his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2006, showed Noam Chomsky’s book Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, which shot up to No. 7 in sales, after being in 160,000th place.

Correction: Later in the day, VTV changed the article’s headline and text, now saying that Open Veins of Latin America rose to No.2, not No.1.

The original article ‘Libro de Eduardo Galeano subió al puesto Nº 1 tras ser regalado por Chávez a Obama’ was published by Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) on 18 April 2009. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi.

Source: MRZine – Monthly Review

Emir Sader, “‘What about Cuba, Mr. Obama?'”

Barack Obama hopes to be received differently at the summit in Trinidad and Tobago: he can talk about the crisis, his administration’s new positions on Iraq and Iran, and any number of other things, but he can’t escape the fact that what matters most is his position on Cuba.

The imperial vision of the United States in relation to Latin America is summed up in its position on Cuba. That was made clear when the United States was faced with a truly revolutionary process, which overthrew one of the region’s many dictatorships backed by Washington, and whose new government in Havana moreover radically reclaimed Cuba’s sovereignty, while making progress in the construction of a just society, beginning with land reform.

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Evelyn Rico, “Israel Forcefully Condemned at UN Conference against Racism”

The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended the conference to condemn the Israeli government’s brutal and repressive policy against the Palestinians. The European delegates walked out when he called the government of Israel ‘racist,’ but the Latin Americans stayed. The United States and eight other countries boycotted the event.

The Israeli government’s stance against the Palestinian people, as well as unconditional support for the Israeli government given by not only the US but also some European governments, has been the main point of controversies this Monday at the United Nations’ World Conference against Racism, which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Haitians Reject Electoral Sham By Stephen Lendman

Whoever wins, it will be impossible to call the results legitimate

On April 19, sham elections were held to fill 12 open seats in the 30-member Haitian Senate, but most Haitians refused to go along.

Earlier in February on procedural grounds, Haiti’s Provisional Election Council (CEP) disqualified Fanmi Lavalas (FL) candidates from participating, the party most Haitians support.

Mass outrage and apprehension showed up in Priorities Project (HPP) pre-election polls with only 5% of eligible voters stating an intention to participate.

HPP’s Jacob Francois told Inter Press Service (IPS):

‘We organized our census primarily through town hall meetings, where organizers spoke to people in groups and individually. From this we tallied the opinions of what we estimated to be 65,000 from an eight million population.’ From this sampling, a 5% participation rate was calculated.

Francois added: ‘They just do not learn. They can’t exclude a major party,’ and do it on a first time ever procedural technicality, ‘that’s total exclusion. It will undermine the entire process. In addition, the CEP has no business (interfering with) the internal affairs of Lavalas,’ or taking orders from Washington to do it.

Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, said in a press release:

‘I cannot help but express my concern about the possibility that an important group of Haitian citizens might feel that they are not being represented in this process.’

In a pre-election radio interview, one Haitian activist said:

‘In the matter of elections, basically what you have is a decision to explode Fanmi Lavalas (FL)….with the complicity of President Rene Preval (and the international community)….because everyone knows FL is the majority party in the country.’

Meanwhile, the Haiti Information Project (HIP) reported at 3:00PM on April 19 that ‘today’s senatorial elections (are) a total failure.’ Port-au-Prince polling stations ‘had more election workers and police than actual voters.’ Normally busy city streets were ‘virtually deserted. A rough exit sampling from journalists (on the ground) shows that voter turnout may be as low as 3%.’

Astonishing. Imagine holding a national election and virtually no one shows up. Because of clear electoral rigging, FL leaders urged Haitians to support a national boycott. In overwhelming numbers, they complied by staying home and not voting. Whoever wins, it will be impossible to call the results legitimate.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at:


Haiti: Fanmi Lavalas Banned, Voter Apprehension Widespread By Jeb Sprague

20 April, 2009

NEW YORK, Apr 17 (IPS) – Weekend senatorial elections in Haiti are mired in controversy as Fanmi Lavalas (FL), the political party widely backed by the poor majority, has been disqualified.

As the global financial crisis unfolds, U.N. officials in New York City and Port-au-Prince are struggling to defend a troubled electoral process while gathering donor aid.

Meanwhile, a recent study by the Florida-based advocacy organisation Haiti Priorities Project (HPP) has found widespread popular apprehension and disaffection among Haitians ahead of the upcoming senatorial elections.

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