Statement: From Ferguson to New York to Palestine, Solidarity with the Resistance to Racist Oppression

kush:

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Frederick Douglass

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them…Prisons are a profitable business. They are a way of legally perpetuating slavery. In every state more and more prisons are being built and even more are on the drawing board. Who are they for? They certainly aren’t planning to put white people in them. Prisons are part of this government’s genocidal war against Black and Third World people.”

- Assata Shakur

“I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We…

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Selected Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Africa…

The history of Africa is a history of humanity..

The history of Africa is a history of humanity..

1. The human race is of African origin. The oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans (or homo sapiens sapiens) were excavated at sites in East Africa. Human remains were discovered at Omo in Ethiopia that were dated at 195,000 years old, the oldest known in the world.

2. Skeletons of pre-humans have been found in Africa that date back between 4 and 5 million years. The oldest known ancestral type of humanity is thought to have been the australopithecus ramidus, who lived at least 4.4 million years ago.

3. Africans were the first to organise fishing expeditions 90,000 years ago. At Katanda, a region in northeastern Zaïre (now Congo), was recovered a finely wrought series of harpoon points, all elaborately polished and barbed. Also uncovered was a tool, equally well crafted, believed to be a dagger. The discoveries suggested the existence of an early aquatic or fishing based culture.

4. Africans were the first to engage in mining 43,000 years ago. In 1964 a hematite mine was found in Swaziland at Bomvu Ridge in the Ngwenya mountain range. Ultimately 300,000 artefacts were recovered including thousands of stone-made mining tools. Adrian Boshier, one of the archaeologists on the site, dated the mine to a staggering 43,200 years old.

5. Africans pioneered basic arithmetic 25,000 years ago. The Ishango bone is a tool handle with notches carved into it found in the Ishango region of Zaïre (now called Congo) near Lake Edward. The bone tool was originally thought to have been over 8,000 years old, but a more sensitive recent dating has given dates of 25,000 years old. On the tool are 3 rows of notches. Row 1 shows three notches carved next to six, four carved next to eight, ten carved next to two fives and finally a seven. The 3 and 6, 4 and 8, and 10 and 5, represent the process of doubling. Row 2 shows eleven notches carved next to twenty-one notches, and nineteen notches carved next to nine notches. This represents 10 + 1, 20 + 1, 20 – 1 and 10 – 1. Finally, Row 3 shows eleven notches, thirteen notches, seventeen notches and nineteen notches. 11, 13, 17 and 19 are the prime numbers between 10 and 20.

6. Africans cultivated crops 12,000 years ago, the first known advances in agriculture. Professor Fred Wendorf discovered that people in Egypt‟s Western Desert cultivated crops of barley, capers, chick-peas, dates, legumes, lentils and wheat. Their ancient tools were also recovered. There were grindstones, milling stones, cutting blades, hide scrapers, engraving burins, and mortars and pestles.

7. Africans mummified their dead 9,000 years ago. A mummified infant was found under the Uan Muhuggiag rock shelter in south western Libya. The infant was buried in the foetal position and was mummified using a very sophisticated technique that must have taken hundreds of years to evolve. The technique predates the earliest mummies known in Ancient Egypt by at least 1,000 years. Carbon dating is controversial but the mummy may date from 7438 (±220) BC.

8. Africans carved the world‟s first colossal sculpture 7,000 or more years ago. The Great Sphinx of Giza was fashioned with the head of a man combined with the body of a lion. A key and important question raised by this monument was: How old is it? In October 1991 Professor Robert Schoch, a geologist from Boston University, demonstrated that the Sphinx was sculpted between 5000 BC and 7000 BC, dates that he considered conservative.

9. On the 1 March 1979, the New York Times carried an article on its front page also page sixteen that was entitled Nubian Monarchy called Oldest. In this article we were assured that: “Evidence of the oldest recognizable monarchy in human history, preceding the rise of the earliest Egyptian kings by several generations, has been discovered in artifacts from ancient Nubia” (i.e. the territory of the northern Sudan and the southern portion of modern Egypt.)

10. The ancient Egyptians had the same type of tropically adapted skeletal proportions as modern Black Africans. A 2003 paper appeared in American Journal of Physical Anthropology by Dr Sonia Zakrzewski entitled Variation in Ancient Egyptian Stature and Body Proportions where she states that: “The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the „super-Negroid‟ body plan described by Robins (1983). The values for the brachial and crural indices show that the distal segments of each limb are longer relative to the proximal segments than in many „African‟ populations.”

11. The ancient Egyptians had Afro combs. One writer tells us that the Egyptians “manufactured a very striking range of combs in ivory: the shape of these is distinctly African and is like the combs used even today by Africans and those of African descent.”

12. The Funerary Complex in the ancient Egyptian city of Saqqara is the oldest building that tourists regularly visit today. An outer wall, now mostly in ruins, surrounded the whole structure. Through the entrance are a series of columns, the first stone-built columns known to historians. The North House also has ornamental columns built into the walls that have papyrus-like capitals. Also inside the complex is the Ceremonial Court, made of limestone blocks that have been quarried and then shaped. In the centre of the complex is the Step Pyramid, the first of 90 Egyptian pyramids.

13. The first Great Pyramid of Giza, the most extraordinary building in history, was a staggering 481 feet tall – the equivalent of a 40-storey building. It was made of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing 100 tons.

14. The ancient Egyptian city of Kahun was the world‟s first planned city. Rectangular and walled, the city was divided into two parts. One part housed the wealthier inhabitants – the scribes, officials and foremen. The other part housed the ordinary people. The streets of the western section in particular, were straight, laid out on a grid, and crossed each other at right angles. A stone gutter, over half a metre wide, ran down the centre of every street.

15. Egyptian mansions were discovered in Kahun – each boasting 70 rooms, divided into four sections or quarters. There was a master‟s quarter, quarters for women and servants, quarters for offices and finally, quarters for granaries, each facing a central courtyard. The master‟s quarters had an open court with a stone water tank for bathing. Surrounding this was a colonnade.

16 The Labyrinth in the Egyptian city of Hawara with its massive layout, multiple courtyards, chambers and halls, was the very largest building in antiquity. Boasting three thousand rooms, 1,500 of them were above ground and the other 1,500 were underground.

17. Toilets and sewerage systems existed in ancient Egypt. One of the pharaohs built a city now known as Amarna. An American urban planner noted that: “Great importance was attached to cleanliness in Amarna as in other Egyptian cities. Toilets and sewers were in use to dispose waste. Soap was made for washing the body. Perfumes and essences were popular against body odour. A solution of natron was used to keep insects from houses . . . Amarna may have been the first planned „garden city‟.”

18. Sudan has more pyramids than any other country on earth – even more than Egypt. There are at least 223 pyramids in the Sudanese cities of Al Kurru, Nuri, Gebel Barkal and Meroë. They are generally 20 to 30 metres high and steep sided.

19. The Sudanese city of Meroë is rich in surviving monuments. Becoming the capital of the Kushite Empire between 590 BC until AD 350, there are 84 pyramids in this city alone, many built with their own miniature temple. In addition, there are ruins of a bath house sharing affinities with those of the Romans. Its central feature is a large pool approached by a flight of steps with waterspouts decorated with lion heads.

20. Bling culture has a long and interesting history. Gold was used to decorate ancient Sudanese temples. One writer reported that: “Recent excavations at Meroe and Mussawwarat es-Sufra revealed temples with walls and statues covered with gold leaf”.

21. In around 300 BC, the Sudanese invented a writing script that had twenty-three letters of which four were vowels and there was also a word divider. Hundreds of ancient texts have survived that were in this script. Some are on display in the British Museum.

22. In central Nigeria, West Africa‟s oldest civilisation flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC. Discovered in 1928, the ancient culture was called the Nok Civilisation, named after the village in which the early artefacts were discovered. Two modern scholars, declare that “[a]fter calibration, the period of Nok art spans from 1000 BC until 300 BC”. The site itself is much older going back as early as 4580 or 4290 BC.

23. West Africans built in stone by 1100 BC. In the Tichitt-Walata region of Mauritania, archaeologists have found “large stone masonry villages” that date back to 1100 BC. The villages consisted of roughly circular compounds connected by “well-defined streets”.

24. By 250 BC, the foundations of West Africa‟s oldest cities were established such as Old Djenné in Mali.

25. Kumbi Saleh, the capital of Ancient Ghana, flourished from 300 to 1240 AD. Located in modern day Mauritania, archaeological excavations have revealed houses, almost habitable today, for want of renovation and several storeys high. They had underground rooms, staircases and connecting halls. Some had nine rooms. One part of the city alone is estimated to have housed 30,000 people.

26. West Africa had walled towns and cities in the pre-colonial period. Winwood Reade, an English historian visited West Africa in the nineteenth century and commented that: “There are . . . thousands of large walled cities resembling those of Europe in the Middle Ages, or of ancient Greece.”

27. Lord Lugard, an English official, estimated in 1904 that there were 170 walled towns still in existence in the whole of just the Kano province of northern Nigeria.

28. Cheques are not quite as new an invention as we were led to believe. In the tenth century, an Arab geographer, Ibn Haukal, visited a fringe region of Ancient Ghana. Writing in 951 AD, he told of a cheque for 42,000 golden dinars written to a merchant in the city of Audoghast by his partner in Sidjilmessa.

29. Ibn Haukal, writing in 951 AD, informs us that the King of Ghana was “the richest king on the face of the earth” whose pre-eminence was due to the quantity of gold nuggets that had been amassed by the himself and by his predecessors.

30. The Nigerian city of Ile-Ife was paved in 1000 AD on the orders of a female ruler with decorations that originated in Ancient America. Naturally, no-one wants to explain how this took place approximately 500 years before the time of Christopher Columbus!

The Souls of Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk

by W. E. B. Du Bois

To Burghardt and Yolande

The Lost and the Found

Of Our Spiritual Strivings

O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand,

All night long crying with a mournful cry,

As I lie and listen, and cannot understand

The voice of my heart in my side or the voice of the sea,

O water, crying for rest, is it I, is it I?

All night long the water is crying to me.

Unresting water, there shall never be rest

Till the last moon droop and the last tide fail,

And the fire of the end begin to burn in the west;

And the heart shall be weary and wonder and cry like the sea,

All life long crying without avail,

As the water all night long is crying to me.

Arthur Symons

 

BETWEEN ME and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word. And yet, being a problem is a strange experience,—peculiar even for one who has never been anything else, save perhaps in babyhood and in Europe. It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the revelation first bursts upon one, all in a day, as it were. I remember well when the shadow swept across me. I was a little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Taghkanic to the sea. In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something put it into the boys’ and girls’ heads to buy gorgeous visiting-cards—ten cents a package—and exchange. The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card, —refused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt, and lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows. That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination-time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even beat their stringy heads. Alas, with the years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the words I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine. But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them. Just how I would do it I could never decide: by reading law, by healing the sick, by telling the wonderful tales that swam in my head, —some way. With other black boys the strife was not so fiercely sunny: their youth shrunk into tasteless sycophancy, or into silent hatred of the pale world about them and mocking distrust of everything white; or wasted itself in a bitter cry, Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house? The shades of the prison-house closed round about us all: walls strait and stubborn to the whitest, but relentlessly narrow, tall, and unscalable to sons of night who must plod darkly on in resignation, or beat unavailing palms against the stone, or steadily, half hopelessly, watch the streak of blue above.

After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world, —a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,— this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face. This, then, is the end of his striving: to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture, to escape both death and isolation, to husband and use his best powers and his latent genius. These powers of body and mind have in the past been strangely wasted, dispersed, or forgotten. The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia the Shadowy and of Egypt the Sphinx. Through history, the powers of single black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness. Here in America, in the few days since Emancipation, the black man’s turning hither and thither in hesitant and doubtful striving has often made his very strength to lose effectiveness, to seem like absence of power, like weakness. And yet it is not weakness,—it is the contradiction of double aims. The double-aimed struggle of the black artisan—on the one hand to escape white contempt for a nation of mere hewers of wood and drawers of water, and on the other hand to plough and nail and dig for a povertystricken horde—could only result in making him a poor craftsman, for he had but half a heart in either cause. By the poverty and ignorance of his people, the Negro minister or doctor was tempted toward quackery and demagogy; and by the criticism of the other world, toward ideals that made him ashamed of his lowly tasks. The would-be black savant was confronted by the paradox that the knowledge his people needed was a twice-told tale to his white neighbors, while the knowledge which would teach the white world was Greek to his own flesh and blood. The innate love of harmony and beauty that set the ruder souls of his people a-dancing and a-singing raised but confusion and doubt in the soul of the black artist; for the beauty revealed to him was the soul-beauty of a race which his larger audience despised, and he could not articulate the message of another people. This waste of double aims, this seeking to satisfy two unreconciled ideals, has wrought sad havoc with the courage and faith and deeds of ten thousand thousand people,—has sent them often wooing false gods and invoking false means of salvation, and at times has even seemed about to make them ashamed of themselves.

(Click the link below to download the full pdf http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/webdubois/duboissoulsblackfolk6x9.pdf )

Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of imperialism

NEO-COLONIALISM THE LAST STAGE OF IMPERIALISM

Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of imperialism

Kwame Nkrumah 1965

INTRODUCTION

THE neo-colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage. In the past it was possible to convert a country upon which a neo-colonial regime had been imposed —Egypt in the nineteenth century is an example — into a colonial territory. Today this process is no longer feasible. Old-fashioned colonialism is by no means entirely abolished. It still constitutes an African problem, but it is everywhere on the retreat. Once a territory has become nominally independent it is no longer possible, as it was in the last century, to reverse the process. Existing colonies may linger on, but no new colonies will be created. In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism we have today neo-colonialism.

The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.

The methods and form of this direction can take various shapes. For example, in an extreme case the troops of the imperial power may garrison the territory of the neo-colonial State and control the government of it. More often, however, neo-colonialist control is exercised through economic or monetary means. The neo-colonial State may be obliged to take the manufactured products of the imperialist power to the exclusion of competing products from elsewhere. Control over government policy in the neo-colonial State may be secured by payments towards the cost of running the State, by the provision of civil servants in positions where they can dictate policy, and by monetary control over foreign exchange through the imposition of a banking system controlled by the imperial power.

Where neo-colonialism exists the power exercising control is often the State which formerly ruled the territory in question, but this is not necessarily so. For example, in the case of South Vietnam the former imperial power was France, but neo-colonial control of the State has now gone to the United States. It is possible that neo-colonial control may be exercised by a consortium of financial interests which are not specifically identifiable with any particular State. The control of the Congo by great international financial concerns is a case in point.

The result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital is used for the exploitation rather than for the development of the less developed parts of the world. Investment under neo-colonialism increases rather than decreases the gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world.

The struggle against neo-colonialism is not aimed at excluding the capital of the developed world from operating in less developed countries. It is aimed at preventing the financial power of the developed countries being used in such a way as to impoverish the less developed.

Non-alignment, as practised by Ghana and many other countries, is based on co-operation with all States whether they be capitalist, socialist or have a mixed economy. Such a policy, therefore, involves foreign investment from capitalist countries, but it must be invested in accordance with a national plan drawn up by the government of the non-aligned State with its own interests in mind. The issue is not what return the foreign investor receives on his investments. He may, in fact, do better for himself if he invests in a non-aligned country than if he invests in a neo-colonial one. The question is one of power. A State in the grip of neo-colonialism is not master of its own destiny. It is this factor which makes neo-colonialism such a serious threat to world peace. The growth of nuclear weapons has made out of date the oldfashioned balance of power which rested upon the ultimate sanction of a major war. Certainty of mutual mass destruction effectively prevents either of the great power blocs from threatening the other with the possibility of a world-wide war, and military conflict has thus become confined to ‘limited wars’. For these neo-colonialism is the breeding ground.

Such wars can, of course, take place in countries which are not neo-colonialist controlled. Indeed their object may be to establish in a small but independent country a neo-colonialist regime. The evil of neocolonialism is that it prevents the formation of those large units which would make impossible ‘limited war’. To give one example: if Africa was united, no major power bloc would attempt to subdue it by limited war because from the very nature of limited war, what can be achieved by it is itself limited. It is, only where small States exist that it is possible, by landing a few thousand marines or by financing a mercenary force, to secure a decisive result.

The restriction of military action of ‘limited wars’ is, however, no guarantee of world peace and is likely to be the factor which will ultimately involve the great power blocs in a world war, however much both are determined to avoid it.

Limited war, once embarked upon, achieves a momentum of its own. Of this, the war in South Vietnam is only one example. It escalates despite the desire of the great power blocs to keep it limited. While this particular war may be prevented from leading to a world conflict, the multiplication of similar limited wars can only have one end-world war and the terrible consequences of nuclear conflict.

Neo-colonialism is also the worst form of imperialism. For those who practise it, it means power without responsibility and for those who suffer from it, it means exploitation without redress. In the days of old-fashioned colonialism, the imperial power had at least to explain and justify at home the actions it was taking abroad. In the colony those who served the ruling imperial power could at least look to its protection against any violent move by their opponents. With neo-colonialism neither is the case.

Above all, neo-colonialism, like colonialism before it, postpones the facing of the social issues which will have to be faced by the fully developed sector of the world before the danger of world war can be eliminated or the problem of world poverty resolved.

Neo-colonialism, like colonialism, is an attempt to export the social conflicts of the capitalist countries. The temporary success of this policy can be seen in the ever widening gap between the richer and the
poorer nations of the world. But the internal contradictions and conflicts of neo-colonialism make it certain that it cannot endure as a permanent world policy. How it should be brought to an end is a problem that should be studied, above all, by the developed nations of the world, because it is they who will feel the full impact of the ultimate failure. The longer it continues the more certain it is that its inevitable collapse will destroy the social system of which they have made it a foundation.

The reason for its development in the post-war period can be briefly summarised. The problem which faced the wealthy nations of the world at the end of the second world war was the impossibility of returning to the pre-war situation in which there was a great gulf between the few rich and the many poor. Irrespective of what particular political party was in power, the internal pressures in the rich countries of the world were such that no post-war capitalist country could survive unless it became a ‘Welfare State’. There might be differences in degree in the extent of the social benefits given to the industrial and agricultural workers, but what was everywhere impossible was a return to the mass unemployment and to the low level of living of the pre-war years.

From the end of the nineteenth century onwards, colonies had been regarded as a source of wealth which could be used to mitigate the class conflicts in the capitalist States and, as will be explained later, this
policy had some success. But it failed in ‘its ultimate object because the pre-war capitalist States were so organised internally that the bulk of the profit made from colonial possessions found its way into the pockets of the capitalist class and not into those of the workers. Far from achieving the object intended, the working-class parties at times tended to identify their interests with those of the colonial peoples and the imperialist powers found themselves engaged upon a conflict on two fronts, at home with their own workers and abroad against the growing forces of colonial liberation.

Click link to download full pdf format

http://politicalanthro.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/nkrumah.pdf

#PrayForGaza

Astronaut Alexander Gerst shows Gaza war in 'saddest' photo from space

Astronaut Alexander Gerst shows Gaza war in ‘saddest’ photo from space

“The relentless and repetitively compulsive Israeli attacks over the past decade suggest that the Israelis are making innocent Palestinians pay for the savagery of the Germans 70 years ago.  Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, in fact, began in 1948 with the “Nakba,” the “catastrophe,” when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced from their homes during the Arab-Israeli War.  As a result, The Palestinians are the only refugees in the world that have been given hereditary refugee status.”

For the past seven decades, there have been very few places on the surface of the earth concentrated so much misery than in Palestine, fewer have experienced state terrorism funded, endorsed and powered by greatest military powers of our time. Gaza in the words of the British PM David Cameron is a “prison camp”. In a manner rarely identified with Western leaders Cameron, criticized the Israeli government when he said “humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions.  Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.” Although that was far back in 2010. In the eyes of the ‘exceptional’ self-acclaimed police of the world, Israel can never do wrong and when she does her wrong is sure going to end up under the filthy rug of giant propaganda machines.

Also in a manner too familiar, a voice in Washington in support of Israel’s aggression against Palestine is bound to echo in EU, so when America says Israel has the right to self-defense (when in fact Israel is busy killing civilians and children) EU member states are expected to kowtow and vomit the same line. After all Israel is the only ‘democratic’ state in the Middle East, shoving her war crimes (which is simply gift of democracy) aside wouldn’t hurt anyone except the displaced Palestinians who has no big power as friends except well-meaning citizens of the world, who can only protest. As Israeli bombardment of Gaza strip reach day 17 death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is in the region of 800 mostly civilians and unfortunately with large number of children which rouse the suspicion of ethnic cleansing.

The latest UN report: says at least 75 percent of the dead are civilians, including an estimated 168 children. In the last two days, Palestinian children have been killed at a rate of one per hour. More than 4,500 Palestinians have been wounded, and more than 150,000 have been displaced. Israel’s recent targets have included an apartment building where 19 children from one family were killed, mosques, a hospital and Gaza’s sole power plant. The United Nations says that a school for girls has been hit for the second time in three days.

Israel’s deliberate, historic and unprecedented precision at hitting civilian target in simplest of term is a war crime a premeditated genocide. In an international show of shame America, proves her sadistic exceptionalism when she defended the indefensible in a bid to protect Israel, her protege in war crimes. America cast the single no vote to investigate Israeli war crimes by the United Nations. “The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to investigate Israel for potential war crimes. The vote was 29 to one, with 17 abstentions. The United States cast the lone “no” vote. In Washington, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters: “We will stand up for Israel … even if it means standing alone.” I can only say congratulations to America, as she stand up for Israel in a manner reminiscent of the way Reagan administration stood up for apartheid in Azania (South Africa) some few decades ago. In Palestine, God seem too far away, and justice on indefinite vacation.

For the Gazans living hell on Earth the struggles continues and for those martyred Rest In Peace.

#FreePalestine #PrayForGaza

Book of the Month: The Black Jacobins

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

“Almost everyone has heard that Abraham Lincoln freed the United States’ slaves in 1863, but how many know that Haiti’s slaves emancipated themselves in 1804.”

PREFACE TO THE VINTAGE EDITION

This book was written in 1938. Today, I have little to add to or subtract from the fundamental ideas which governed its conception. They are far more common property now than they were twenty-five years ago. Where they fly in the face of historical events I have omitted or altered them, never more than to the extent of a few lines.

I have retained the concluding pages which envisage and were intended to stimulate the coming emancipation of Africa. They are a part of history of our time. In 1938 only the writer and a handful of close associates thought, wrote and spoke as if the African events of the last quarter of a century were imminent.

The Appendix, ‘From Toussaint L’Ouverture to Fidel Castro,” attempts for the future of the West Indies, all of them, what was done for Africa in 1938. Writers on the West Indies always relate them to their approximation to Britain, France, Spain and America, that is to say, to Western civilization, never in relation to their own history. This is here attempted to be the first time.

C.L.R. JAMES

JANUARY 4, 1962

 

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

IN 1789 the French West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the oversees trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave trade. It was an integral part of the economic life of the age, the greatest colony in the world, the pride of France, and the envy of every other European nation. The whole structure rested on the labour of half-a-million slaves.

In August 1791, after two years of the French Revolution and its repercussions in San Domingo, the slaves revolted. The struggle lasted for 12 years. The slaves defeated in turn the local Whites and the soldiers of the French Monarchy, a Spanish invasion, a British expedition of some 60,000 men, and a French expedition of similar size under Bonaparte’s brother-in-law. The defeat of Bonaparte’s expedition in 1803 resulted in the establishment of the Negroe state of Haiti which lasted to this day.

The revolt is the only successful slave revolt in history, and the odds it had to overcome is evidence of the magnitude of the interests that were involved. The transformation of slaves, trembling in hundreds before a single white man, into a people able to organize themselves and defeat the most powerful European nations of their day, is one of the great epics of revolutionary struggle and achievement. Why and how this happened is the theme of this book. 

By a phenomenon often observed, the individual leadership responsible for this unique achievement was almost entirely the work of a single man – Toussaint L’Ouverture. BeauChamp in the Biographie Universelle calls Toussaint L’Ouverture one of the most remarkable men of a period rich in remarkable men. He dominated from his entry until circumstances removed him from the scene. The history of the San Domingo revolution will therefore largely be a record of his achievement and its political personality. the writer believes, and is confident that narrative will prove, that between 1789 and 1815, with the single exception of Bonaparte himself, no single figure appeared on the historical stage more greatly gifted than this Negro, a slave till he was 45. Yet Toussaint did not make the revolution. It was the revolution that made Toussaint. And even that is not the whole truth.

The writing of history becomes ever more difficult. The power of God or the weakness of man, Christianity or the divine right of Kings to govern wrong, can easily be made responsible for the downfall of states and the birth of a new societies. Such elementary conception lend themselves willingly to narrative treatment and from Tacitus to Macaulay, from Thucydides to Green, the traditionally famous historians have been more artist than scientist: they wrote so well because they saw so little. To-day by a natural reaction we tend to a personification of the social forces, great men being merely or nearly instruments in the hands of economic destiny. As so often the truth does not lie in between. Great men make history, but only such history as it is possible for them to make. Their freedom of achievement is limited by the necessities of their environment. To portray the limits of those necessities and the realisation, complete or partial, of all possibilities, that is the true business of the historian.

In a revolution, when the ceaseless slow accumulation of centuries bursts into volcanic eruption, the meteoric flares and flights above are a meaningless chaos and lend themselves to infinite caprice and romanticism unless the observer sees them always as projections of the sub-soil from which they came. The writer has sought not only to analyse, but to demonstrate in their movement, the economic forces of the age; their moulding of society and politics, of men in the mass and individual men; the powerful reaction of these on their environment at one of those rare moments when society is at boiling point and therefore fluid.

The analysis is the science and the demonstration the art which is history. The violent conflicts of our age enable our practised vision to see into the very bones of previous revolutions more easily than heretofore. Yet for that very reason it is impossible to recollect historical emotions in that tranquility which a great English writer, too narrowly associated with poetry alone.

Tranquility to-day is either innate (the philistine) or to be acquired only by a deliberate doping of the personality. It was in the stillness of a seaside suburb that could be heard most clearly and insistently the booming of Franco’s heavy artillery, the rattle of Stalin’s firing squad and the fierce shrill turmoil of the revolutionary movement striving for clarity and influence. Such is our age and this book is of it, with something of the fever and the fret. Nor does the writer regret it. The books is the history of a revolution and written under different circumstances it would have been a different but not necessarily a better book.

C.L.R. JAMES

 

In Solidarity with Gaza

 

In Solidarity with Gaza

In Solidarity with Gaza

“Israel claimed that it has the right to self-defense, but an occupying power does not have the right to self-defense; it has an obligation and a duty to protect the civilians under its occupation.” -NOURA ERAKAT

As the death toll of Palestinians, keep rising the apartheid state of Israel, unfortunately intensifies bombardment of the Gaza Strip, and vow to continue this injustice and cruelty against the defenseless people of Palestine, in the Gaza Strip, under the pretext of self-defense. This latest siege lay on Palestine came after the three Israeli teenagers who were allegedly kidnapped by Hamas, on June 12, and were later found dead on the 30th of the same month. What is worth noting is that there was no single evidence no matter how farcical pointing to Hamas, or any other group inside Palestine, talk-less of a reasonable one. But the Israeli government immediately pointed to Palestine and label Hamas as the culprit.

In response Israeli government besiege Gaza and start indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, whilst claiming self-defense in an offensive called “Operation Protective Edge”. As at last Saturday, the Israeli military says it has dropped 800 tonnes of bombs on 750 targets throughout Gaza, nearly half of the victims are women and children. On Thursday, a funeral procession was held for a family of eight, including five children who were annihilated by Israeli military strike. Whilst the Israeli, are yet to record any victim on their side the narrative in the western media remain sadly the same pro-Israeli sentiment. Voices from Washington, unfortunately but not surprisingly echoes support for Israeli aggression whilst labeling Hamas as the aggressor. According to  State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki:  “As you know, we’re encouraging all sides to de-escalate the situation on the ground. But again, Israel has every right to defend themselves and take steps to defend themselves. And as we know, the aggression is currently coming from Hamas in Gaza.”

According to UN report:  more than 80 percent of the dead are civilian, of whom 20 percent are children — at least 36 dead. At least 1,200 Palestinians have been wounded, nearly two-thirds women and children. More than 940 homes have reportedly been severely damaged or destroyed, some 400,000 people are without electricity, and 17,000 people are displaced.

Also there have been missed reactions coming from Israel, whilst some are protesting against the act of aggression by their government against the Palestine people in Gaza, there have also been others who cheer on this act of barbarity. In this report  http://en.alalam.ir/news/1610487  by Danish journalist Allan Sorensen ‏ posted an image on Twitter, which shows residents watching and celebrating Gaza being bombed. This siege on Gaza, should be condemned by all peace loving people of the world, the self-defense rhetoric is a sham and nothing but absurd justification to continue the act of aggression against Palestine, a state that has no standing army. This despicable act of aggression, torture and vicious circle of violence against Palestine, has sadly turn out to be the blind spot of many, I wonder if it would have be the same if the aggression has been against the apartheid state of Israel.

#PrayForGaza