Saturday, December 30, 2006

Chavez Calls for United Socialist Party of Venezuela

I have not found this subject discussed on the left. Chavez calling for a socialist formation has deep implications. Was the story lost because of the holiday season?

What kind of party is this going to be? A social democratic mass party or a combat party made of advanced cadre?

Thank you Venezuela Analysis and In Defense of Marxism.

By: Gregory Wilpert -

Caracas, December 18, 2006 (— In an event to celebrate the successful reelection of President Chavez, Chavez called on his followers to dissolve their existing parties and to form a new “United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Chavez also explained that the main project for the next term is to “construct socialism from below,” via this new party.

The celebration was held last Friday in the Teresa Carreño Theater, with the participation of Chavez’s campaign team, the Commando Miranda, and the supporters that had organized in neighborhoods for Chavez’s reelection.

According to Chavez, the plethora of parties that currently support his government are an obstacle to the creation of “21st century socialism.” “We need one party, not an alphabet soup with which we would be falling over each other in lies and cheating the people,” said Chavez.

Instead, a new single party is needed, which would provide a forum for debates because, “We should not imagine socialism as a state that we will reach some day by the art of magic,” said Chavez during the event, instead, “Socialism is a process of daily construction.”

Currently Chavez is being supported by a coalition of many parties, ranging from his own MVR party (Movement for the Fifth Republic), which has millions of supporters, to many smaller parties with a long history, such as the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), Fatherland For All (PPT), and We Can (PODEMOS). Also, there are numerous very small newer parties that support Chavez, such as Popular Venezuelan Unity, Tupamaros, Revolutionary Middle Class, and Union, among others.

While Chavez’s MVR obtained 41.7% of the total votes for president, Podemos, PPT, and PCV obtained 14.5% of the total vote. The remaining 7% of Chavez’s total of 62.9% support in the December 3rd election were divided among about 20 small parties.

Chavez explained that parties that do not wish to join this new single party would have to go their own way in the future. “Those parties that wish to preserve themselves, they will leave the government,” he said.

However, the existing campaign structure, which had organized supporters of all parties into 11,000 “battalions,” 32,800 “platoons,” and 3.8 million “squads” should be maintained as the grassroots organization for the new unity party.

This initial organization should serve not only for debating socialism, but also for nominating candidates to elected office. “Enough,” said Chavez, of the old method of selecting candidates, where the President or other high ranking officials nominated candidates from above.

As a name for the new unity party Chavez proposed “United Socialist Party of Venezuela,” which would have the acronym PSUV, but said he would also be open to other suggestions for the name.

Aside from the creation of a single party of the revolution and the construction of 21st century socialism, Chavez said that the other main issue for the coming year would be constitutional reform.

With regard to the construction of 21st century socialism, Chavez said, “The transformation of the economic model is fundamental if we want to construct a true socialism.” “We have barely begun visualizing all of this,” he added.
On other occasions Chavez has indicated that his government would examine all aspects of the constitution to see what needed to be changed so that it would be more in tune with the creation of socialism. Another change he has proposed is the elimination of the two-term limit for the president, so that he might be able to run again, in 2012. All such changes would be submitted to a popular referendum.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

US Marines charged in Haditha massacre of Iraqi civilians

This is reprinted from World Socialist Website, the most read socialist website online.

By Jerry White

Four US Marines were charged Thursday with multiple counts of murder in connection with the massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha on November 19, 2005. Military officials also charged four officers with dereliction of duty and other counts relating to the cover-up of the rampage. The killings in the predominately Sunni town, 200 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, were carried out after a roadside bomb struck a convoy, claiming the life of one marine.

Four enlisted men from the Kilo Company of the First Marine Regiment’s Third Battalion were charged with unpremeditated murder. Squad leader Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 26, of Meriden, Connecticut was charged with 13 counts of murder relating to the deaths of 18 people. Three other marines—Sgt. Sanick De La Cruz, 24 of Chicago; Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt, 22 of Carbondale, Pennsylvania; and Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum, 25 of Edmund, Oklahoma—also face homicide charges.

These charges will be followed by an Article 32 hearing—similar to a civilian grand jury investigation—after which an investigating officer makes a recommendation and commanders decide whether to proceed to courts martial. The four marines face possible life sentences if found guilty. The four officers being charged—a lieutenant colonel, two captains and a lieutenant—face lesser sentences ranging from ten years to six months in prison. The latter officers helped to conceal the killings, which the marines initially claimed had been caused by a bomb blast and a subsequent firefight with Iraqi insurgents.

The official whitewash continued until Time magazine presented military officials with video footage taken by an Iraqi journalism student showing the grisly aftermath of the massacre and the statements of surviving witnesses, who said the marines went house-to-house, systematically executing innocent men, women and children during a killing spree that lasted up to five hours. President Bush remained silent on the killings—which revived memories of the Vietnam War’s infamous 1968 My Lai massacre—for more than six months after the incident, and two months after Time magazine published a detailed exposure.

According the charges, the first deaths occurred when Sgt. Wuterich and Sgt. Sanick De La Cruz, 24 of Chicago, stopped a taxi some 100 yards away from the stalled convoy and ordered the driver and the four passengers, all college students, out of the vehicle. The two marines have been charged with murdering the five men on the spot. Wuterich is also being charged with falsely telling an investigator that the men from the taxi fired at the convoy, and with urging Sgt. De La Cruz to report that Iraqi Army soldiers at the scene had killed the men.

Wuterich and several other marines then attacked a home nearby killing several membets of the family inside. According to the charges Wuterich, who is implicated in killing six people in the house, told his unit to “shoot first and ask questions later.” Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum, 25 of Edmund, Oklahoma, is being charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of four people in the first house, including an elderly man in a wheel chair.

Squad members then proceeded to a second home where Wuterich is charged with killing six more people—two adults and four children, including three who were 4, 6 and 11 years old—and Tatum is charged with killing a 15-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl. At least two hours later, squad members attacked a third house, where Wuterich is charged with killing one person and Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt, 22 of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, is charged with killing three brothers who came to the home to find out what was happening.

Nine-year-old Eman Waleed and her younger brother Abdul Rahman survived the attack, as the adults shielded the small children with their bodies. Hours after the massacre, Iraqi soldiers found Eman and Abdul under a pile of corpses, wounded but alive. The older child recalled the marines shouting, breaking down doors, and murdering her terrified grandparents as they emerged in their bedclothes. Witnesses interviewed by the Washington Post last May testified that victims pleaded for their lives, insisting that they were not insurgents, moments before they were shot.

The cover-up of this crime began immediately after the killings. Photographs taken by a marine intelligence officer after incident revealed that the many of the victims had been shot at close range, in the head and chest, execution-style. Video taken by a US aerial drone immediately after the bomb attack on the convoy showed no evidence of a “firefight.” Nevertheless military officials maintained the lie that 15 people had been killed in the initial blast, and that the rest were caught in a crossfire between the marines and insurgents. Wuterich was even recommended for an award for heroism because his actions supposedly prevented further injury or death to marines and civilians.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the marines’ battalion commander—who is being charged with one count of violating an order and two counts of dereliction—told investigators that he believed the marines’ actions followed a complex attack meant to draw them into firing on civilian houses, according to a transcript cited by the Post. “I thought it was very sad, very unfortunate, but at the time I did not suspect any wrongdoing from my marines. I saw it as a combat action.”

Neal Puckett, one of Wuterich’s civilian attorneys, told the newspaper that the allegations do not contradict his client’s versions of events. “It’s what happens in wartime,” he said, “You intend to kill the people you’re shooting at.” Wuterich and his men “did everything they were supposed to that day to protect themselves.”

The prosecution of the eight Marines and officers for the Haditha massacre brings to a total of 64 the number of US soldiers charged in connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians since the war began in March 2003. Eighteen have been sentenced to prison time, including a 90-year term for an Army soldier who later admitted his role in raping an Iraqi teenager and murdering her and her family.

These prosecutions, however, are largely a matter of damage control. They are aimed at concealing the fact that such wanton brutality is the evitable byproduct of the colonial-style counter-insurgency campaign the US military is carrying out to crush popular resistance to the US occupation.

While those who executed 24 people should be punished for their crimes, they are victims as well. Sent to Iraq on the basis of lies, with little or no knowledge about the population they have been instructed to subjugate, they are forced to kill and witness the deaths and maiming of other American troops. This makes such monstrous acts inevitable.

Such atrocities as those carried out in Haditha flow from far greater crimes. Those responsible for the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq—Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the Democratic Party leaders and war propagandists in the media who paved the way for it—have never been held accountable for their war crimes. If the murder of 24 innocents in Haditha warrants the prosecution of eight soldiers and officers, then why haven’t the leading architects of the war against Iraq been prosecuted for the deaths of an estimated 650,000 Iraqis who have perished as a result of it?

Since launching its “war of choice” nearly four years ago the Bush administration bears responsibility for the deaths of far more Iraqis than the number who died during a quarter of a century of the regime of Saddam Hussein. Yet the US occupation authorities have placed the former Iraqi president on trial for war crimes, while Bush and his co-conspirators have never been held responsible for far greater acts of mass murder.

In the face of popular opposition to the continuation of the war by the American people—expressed in the November elections as well as subsequent opinion polls—both the Bush administration and the incoming Democratic Party congressional majority are determined to continue the war and escalate the violence against the Iraqi people.

At the same time, they are preparing future wars against Iran and countries as yet unnamed in the continuing drive by America’s ruling corporate elite to assert global hegemony by means of military force. This makes further Hadithas and even bloodier massacres inevitable.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Death of a dictator, Pinoccho dies

The news of the death of dictator Pinochet spread fast among circles throughout Latin America. I was in Sao Paulo at a film festival. As we heard the news, fellow political film makers embraced eachother with joy. As the meeting ended we opened bottles of beer and made a special toast: to the death of a dictator and for freedom. Traces of the dictatorship are alive and well in Chilean society. Currently Michelle Batchelet has ordered police forces to repress any street protests
that may interfere with the neoliberal order. Many activists have been put in jail in recent days, anarchists and mapuches fighting for self-determination. This short entry is dedicated to the some 3,200 Chileans who lost their lives fighting for a better world.

30 Years Since Chile's Military Coup, Allende Lives

Marie Trigona October 3, 2003

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!
These are my last words and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain.
I am certain that at least it will be a moral example
that will punish the felony, cowardice, and treason."
-- Salvador Allende, Sept. 11, 1973

For Latin Americans, Sept. 11 marked a cataclysmic event well before that same date in 2001 was etched in the conscience of the U.S. populace by terror attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Organization headquarters. On that date in 1973, Chile awoke to a U.S.-supported military coup against its democratically elected socialist president, Salvador Allende. By 12:15 p.m., Allende lay dead in La Moneda, Chile's presidential palace.

U.S. Involvement, End of People's Government

"The armed forces have acted with patriotic inspiration to take a nation out of chaos, a grave chaos that Allende's Marxist government caused," declared a triumphant Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte the night of Sept. 11. Chile's military junta (1973-1990) replaced Allende's democratic socialism with a tyranny of terror that continues to haunt the nation.

Allende's government was targeted as a threat to U.S. strategic policy in Latin America early on. White House tapes reveal that on Sept. 14, 1970, then-President Richard Nixon ordered measures to force the Chilean economy into bankruptcy. "The U.S. will not accept a Marxist government just because of the irresponsibility of the Chilean people," declared Henry Kissinger, Nixon´s secretary of State. "The CIA had a large role in the strike against Salvador Allende and the Chilean people," states U.S. author James Cockroft. "Big corporations like [the] ITT American telecommunications giant also played a large role in preparing the conditions for the coup in Chile. Economic blockades, destabilization of the economy, direct military participation were all part of the imperialist intervention of the CIA and U.S. military," continues Cockroft.

Four U.S. battle ships approached Chile's coast Sept.11, supposedly to participate in regional military practices. They maintained permanent contact with the coup leaders. Leading up to the coup, in July and August right-wing terrorists trained by U.S intelligence agencies carried out over 250 sabotage actions, exploding electric lines, targeting industry belts, and assassinating key civilians. In October 1972 the Chilean Transport Confederation called a general strike, financed by the CIA, which paralyzed the nation. Months before the military coup, the Chilean army began immobilizing worker-controlled factories by organizing operatives and testing the possible reactions of the working class to a coup. "Three years of economic war permitted the White House and internal opposition to win an important sector of the middle class. It's here the official rebels found the base of support to develop their plans," expresses Patricio Guzmán in his moving film The Battle of Chile.

"Economic methods to destabilize progressive governments were perfected in 1973," comments Cockroft. Even while confronting attempts at destabilization, Allende's approval among public opinion rose. On Sept. 4, 1970 Allende, as candidate of the Popular Unity Front, was elected with 36.4% of votes. In March of 1973, Allende's party won legislative elections with 43. 4%. In response to employer lock-outs in industry, factories were nationalized and workers organized themselves to control production. Activists from MIR, the Leftist Revolutionary Movement, tell of expropriating buses with pistols in hand and working armed inside factories to guarantee that production and transportation continued.

Workers, peasants, students, and state workers rallied behind Allende in huge street demonstrations, by organizing community deposit centers where food was sold at cost, and by opening supermarkets closed during the business shut-down. On Sept. 4, 1973, in response to the perceived immanence of the coup attempt and a plebiscite planned for Sept. 11, the largest political act in Chile's history was held in Santiago's center, mobilizing tens of thousands of people.

Cockcroft notes that as a result of the coup, the Chilean oligarchy and the U.S. imperialists were able to install a repressive dictatorship and a neoliberal economic regime that left the majority of the people poorer than during Allende's government, when over half the population improved its economic condition. Pinochet immediately applied U.S.-prescribed measures of privatization and elimination of restrictions on the circulation of capital. Conditions favorable to foreign investors, including tax exemptions, and the lowering of environmental and labor standards sought to lure foreign investors.

But the neoliberal model imposed after Allende's fall was only possible through the brutal control of all political dissent, achieved by militarizing society and implementing a state of terror. "After Sept. 11 all military resources were used to repress the Popular Unity Front, with North American compliance and presence," Guzmán narrates. In the ensuing days, sport stadiums were transformed into concentration camps where thousands passed through the hands of the dictatorship's terror and torture; executions and disappearances became commonplace.

Over the next 17 years, Pinochet's dictatorship insured a submissive and dependent economy and a stranglehold on dissent. It is estimated that about 550 enterprises under public-sector control, including most of Chile's largest corporations, were privatized between 1974 and 1990. During the same period, some 3,000 people were officially declared dead or disappeared.

The Past that Lingers.....Read more

watch Images of a dictatorship

Marie Trigona


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Campaign to save the lives of Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo

Ayatollah Lankarani, an Iranian cleric, has issued a fatwa for the death of Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo. We should resolutely protest this fatwa that has been issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s authorities against writers and critics of religion in the Azerbaijan Republic.

On November 15, 2006, Rafigh Taghi who is a journalist and columnist of San-at newspaper wrote an article entitled ‘Europe and Us’. In his article, he quoted Mohamed and the Koran, calling Mohamed an aggressor and concluding: ‘This religion is the religion of aggression against humanity.’ Islamic gangs of Hezbollah were immediately organised to protest in the streets of Tabriz and Ardebil in Iran. As a result, Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo, the editor of the journal, were immediately imprisoned in Baku. The Islamic regime’s officials even asked the government of Azerbaijan to apologise for ‘insulting Moslems!’

On November 29, 2006, Lankarani, shamelessly issued the fatwa against the two individuals.

This is an example of how political Islam treats religion’s critics and opponents. The Islamic Republic of Iran has officially and openly ordered Islamic terror gangs to assassinate these two individuals, wherever they spot them.

This is ugly face of the criminal Political Islam. They have come to power with murder, fatwas, stoning and execution, and maintain themselves with these crimes. This is a movement that cannot even tolerate a caricature or any criticism and immediately orders bloodshed. This movement should be dealt with maximum international aversion and protest, and be condemned worldwide.

We, the citizens of the world, must not allow a bunch of reactionaries in Iran or anywhere else to issue such rulings and bloodshed. Freedom of speech must be protected; secularism and the separation of religion from political power must be defended as must the right of criticism and unconditional right of freedom of expression.

Political Islam is a dark movement against humanity and against women. This movement is trying to spread its dark shadow over the entire world. This situation cannot be tolerated. One should not be submissive vis-à-vis such a Medieval and inhuman movement. Together, we must defend humanity’s achievements.

Saving the lives of Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo is our task and the duty of an international front against political Islam.

Some Azerbaijani journalists have announced that they are abandoning Islam in protest to the fatwa ruling against the two. According to Journal Express published in Baku, Aghsheen Dada-of, a journalist and writer has said: We have thought a lot about this decision in the past, but after the arrest of Rafegh Taghi, we have made up our minds and are announcing this decision to the public… We abandon Islam, with the goal of reversing the fatwa and of stopping the religious practice of execution rulings against those who have freely expressed their thoughts. The writer of the article “Europe and us” in San-at journal, Rafegh Taghi, has the right to express his opinion about negative and positive aspects of the prophet Mohammed. Rafegh Taghi has expressed his opinion in an original and comprehensive way and did not intend to insult the prophet!’

This action is considered an important move in the campaign to save the lives of Rafegh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo. We are inviting everyone to sign the petition and by doing so defend the two writers and freedom of speech. The international front against political Islam must rise against the fatwa of killing and assassination.

Defend the following:
1- Unconditional freedom of speech is the right of any human being.
2- The fatwa against these two writers is condemned.
3- Ayatollah Lankarani should be arrested and tried for issuing the fatwa and encouraging the killing of these two writers.
4- The government of Azerbaijan should be condemned for violating of the freedom of speech and for arresting these writers.
5- Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo must be freed immediately.
6- The Islamic Republic of Iran is the founder and centre of propagation of such practices, and has in the past issued the same kind of fatwa against Salman Rushdie. This government should be isolated and condemned for its criminal acts.

To sign the petition, click here.

Mina Ahadi
Maryam Namazie

Monday, December 11, 2006

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal: On Death Row 25 Years

Mumia Abu-Jamal a former Black Panther and news commentator, has as of December 09th, been on Death Row for 25 years. The evidence in his favor, is an argument in itself against capital punishment. It would be unlikely, that someone who is caucasian and connected, would be in prison, with as much evidence as Mumia has in his favor.

On December 09, 1981 Mumia was driving his cab in Philadelphia, on the corner of 13 and Locust St, when he heard gunshots. He saw people running including his brother. He got out of his cab to help him, and was critically wounded in the chest. Near him was wounded Officer Daniel Fulkner.

The main witness Robert Chobert was given favors by the prosecution in exchange for his testimony. He later denied seeing Mumia at the scene of the shooting.
Cynthia White a prostitite, was threatened by police in exchange for testimony.


Officer Faulkner was shot woth a .44 bullet, Mumia's gun is a .38. His hands were never tested for residue.

The Confession

Supposedly Mumia confessed in the hospital. He was shot in the lung. The confession was manufactured at a police roundtable meeting.

The Bigger Confession

In 2001 Arnold Beverly, confessed to being the shooter. He passed three polygraph tests. He admitted to being paid to kill Officer Faulkner. Officer Faulkner was interferring with police graft and payoffs. At the time, the Philadelphia police were being investigated for corruption by three different panels.

This is a brief summary to start the discussion. He was sentenced to die in 2001, only the mass movement of protest around the world stopped the execution. It is time for another.

Friday, December 08, 2006

In Naming Issues With its Name

I was told that a post describing Lebanon from a Class Perspective was needed over here. I couldn't think of a summary where to start or how to do it. While I was reading Assafir newspaper, I located an interesting article that sheds light on the problem. The author is a Veteran Lebanese who shed light in an interesting perspective. For those who have been following my blog, I am sure they have a clear idea what this article will be talking about. It tackles core problem which haunts the proletariat. I recommend the articles I wrote earlier would give you an idea on the 14th of March (Anti-Syrian, Pro-International Community, Anti-Israeli) and 8th of March and their allies the Free Patriotic Movement (Pro-Syrian, Anti-International Community, Anti-Israeli). The articles Lebanon, Israel, and Class Struggle series (they shed light on the history of political figures chapter 4-5), , and the latest three I wrote last week, titled under: Opposition To Hit the Street , Sectarianism All the Way Baby, and Lebanon: Sectarianism All the Way Episode II as well an article I translated two weeks ago: Lessons of the Two Independances)

The standing problems of the situation started with the demand of Late Harriri's allies of the International Tribunal and disarming Hezbollah. Hezbollah do not want to disarm (nor their massive supporters) till the army is ready to handle the South in face of Israeli aggression. Meanwhile, the Tribunal was voted by the remaining Seniora government (after one was assassinated and 6 ministers withdrew: 5 Shiites and 1 Greek Orthodox). Currently, with jumping above importent sequences from 2005 - present, the Opposition composed of the Shiite parties Hezbollah & AMAL, Christian Parties (dominating party in elections) Free Patriotic Movement & Marada, and two secular parties: SSNP and stalinist Lebanese Communist Party, demand to have the 1/3 plus of cabinet in order to veto the other side's decisions when not in agreement. The Free Patriotic Movement's leader ex-General Michel Aoun was responsible of the Syrian Act (issued by Congress) and UN resolution 1559, currently he seeks presidency. It is one mess situation between two reactionary camps. Anyways this article would shed some light on what is going on by Dr. Fawwaz Traboulsi (PS: His arabic is rather advanced so I hope I did the translation proberly)

It is difficult to be convinced that the gathered crowds, which are full of expressive anger to the extent of violence and led to the killing people, in the squares and streets, are doing so to express a difference on a vote regarding the International Tribunal agreement, or that these crowds are divided about the ministerial partnership whether it should be 1/3 plus and 19/9/2 or 20/10/1.

It is also difficult to be convinced that there is a large gap between these audiences and their leaderships. From a detective manner, we should treat these opposing sectarian slogans on the tip of the iceberg as “codes” to what is broader, deeper, and more expressive regarding the interests and emotions of the overall collective. This would lead us to attempt in explaining the algebraic equations (percentage in Algebra) in relations to Lebanese politics.

Henceforth, we have to start naming the issues with its names, and to distinguish what is said and done.

This is not limited to the polarization of which the nation is currently living as simply “political” polarization in a sense to make it clean from any sectarian polarizations. This is not excused because we assume that Politics in Lebanon became an extension to the relations between the Sectarian groups, rather for a different reason, it is the sectarian imbalance of the components of the two teams. If the Maronite (MFL: Christian Sect) political group distributed almost equally between both camp, there is a decisive majority of political Shiite parties (Hezbollah and AMAL) in the 8th of March team, and vice versa, there has been a decisive majority for political groups composed of Sunni and Durzi in the 14th of March team.

From the other side, this current struggle seems that one team is demanding change while another team is preserving what is currently standing. The team, which is inviting change, has two popular groups who entered recently the swamp of Lebanese politics. Both groups were either marginalized or deactivated during the Syrian mandate. The Free Patriotic Movement was pushed away due to exile and tyranny while Hezbollah was totally immersed to the resistance missions against Israel. This marginalization plays a role on the group components of Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, specially when both groups represent sections of the rising middle class and the categories of the people in the suburbs. That way, this marginalization gathered among these two as well in relations to the government and public employment, just as the clear belonging to the private sector of the economy pushed them closer.

Both of the allied factions seek, under the slogan of participation, a position in the political combination. This partnership was based on this quest. The Free Patriotic Movement tends to address a deep Christian emotion that is experiencing marginalization (and their logos went as far as calling it Depression) and promises his audience with a strong President. While from their side, Hezbollah is seeking to protect itself from projects of disarmament or marginalization which occurred through political mediations and foreign pressures after the failure to accomplish that via the latest Israeli aggression. No doubt that both, the Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah are demanding their rights to be present in the heart of the executive power in order to participate in a status quo which will decide the fate of the Presidential chair and place new electoral law.

If the strong president project is waiting presidential results, then the struggle is towards the balance of power inside of the government which will generate a modification in the balance between the three executive chairs (MFL notes: President, Head of the Parliament, and Prime Minister) which was generated by the Ta’ef accord to which the three sects committed to application. Till the latest elections, there was no problem with the disrupting 1/3 (on the government scale). As for the current crisis, the inspiration behind the one-third which waves behind the potentiality for another framework, in the name of conciliation, is concerned about the participation of the Shiite Islamic group, re-enforced by its allies, in a balanced presence within the government, which is often sited as a location for the Sunni political group.

This source of anger is not the only one in the current crisis, but at least it can be said that it can’t be solved by the logic of the demanding team of participation to return to the house of obedience, like two married couple on the verge of divorce. While the two teams are escalating their tone, demands, and exciting their street supporters, they are both competing to reject a “sectarian armed struggle” and at the same time inviting to take out its flames. This struggle was dormant.

The summary of the issue, which calls for deep worries, is that this sectarian system returned to confirm again that it is a system of “lacking space”. This system will remain lacking space till infinity. Its sects and streams can’t fit in it, and each group seeks to trick the Ta’ef Accord and the Constitution as each claims its commitment to this or that while arrogantly saying that nothing needs reconsidering.

This is the same system confirming that it can’t fit people. It forces people to shove its demands and interests (if admitted to it rights) from the needle of Sects’ rights and its shares?

Then how can the distribution of interests, services, and shares occur in the first place in a situation where there is nothing to distribute but the debts (MFL notes: national debt). Specially that the leaders of the Sects’ expertise are to distribute (and a huge section of the economists are not involved except to raise moral to the extent of prosperity). So who cares about wealth production and distributing it in a fairer manner among the entire Lebanese?

This is no longer a joke. The moment of truth has come (the other does not cancel the need to know truth which is on your mind) (MFL notes: Dr. Traboulsi refers to the demanded Truth by 14th of March in a satire manner). Till now, the Lebanese system solved its crises by changing people’s mentality via killing and displacement or the marginalized groups impose itself through force and foreign relations show-off. Will this occur again?

Should we change the system or the people? This was and still remains the issue. This current issue can be defined in this sense: Drastic Crisis requires drastic solutions. This is the only title worthy to be presented to any dialogue for whoever wants to avoid a disaster (and before comparing between the eve of 1975 and December of 2006).

Whatever be it, the latest updates confirmed the honesty of a popular proverb: “Politics has no God”, even if everyone wants to descend their Gods into the alleys!

Fawwaz Traboulsi

Marxist From Lebanon

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Greetings from Buenos Aires

Thank you everyone for such a great welcome. And a special thank you to Renegade Eye for inviting me to his blog. I never knew that blogging connected so many people. The idea for Latin America Activism is to archive writing, reports and photos. Much of the work is related to Grupo Alavío, direct action and video collective. Social movements in Argentina are witnessing an exciting but very difficult moment. With increasing attacks from the far right and the current govenrment progressive-repressive policies, activists are facing threats and increasing challenges. In the next coming months I will be producing many articles and radio stories which will be featured on Renegade Eye and Latin America Activism. I especially want to invite readers to visit Grupo Alavío's new community internet tv site, Ágora TV. This is the first site of its kind in Latin America.

I look forward to posting and comments.

Salud y anarquia!

Avío m, preparation, provision; picnic lunch; money advancd (to miners or laborers); pl Inf. equipment, tools. During the beginning of the 20th century in Argentina laborers often carried an avío with what provisions they needed when traveling in the countryside. They would travel from harvest to harvest to work on different plantations and farms. These workers, many of who were immigrants, carried a tradition of free worker or working only when they needed to. These workers were called crotos (English translation Hobos). They got this name because a government official named Croto passed a law to permit these workers to ride free on cargo trains. Along with food and clothes, many crotos carried inside their avío anarchist literature, newspapers and pamphlets for the release of political prisoners. They would distribute these materials among fellow workers to raise consciousness of the exploitation by the boss and to organize. Al in Spanish means to the. Alavío is a call out to take to the road. A summon to action. A call for the workers to strike.

Grupo Alavío is a direct action and video collective working in Argentina. Since the early 1990’s the group has produced audiovisual material as a tool to create a new working class subjectivity. “Through the recording and elaboration of audiovisual materials we are battling directly against the imagery of fascism. The camera is a tool, another arm, like a stick, Molotov, miguelito or covering or faces (Grupo Alavío). As a video collective we become available to the demands of organizations in struggle and often times our videos take on a life of their own. Many times the factory occupied by workers, the changing room of transport workers organizing a wildcat strike, land squat or barrio is the first place where we premiere our documentaries. Alavío uses the camera as a political organ and as a tool, which the protagonists in the films appropriate and use to organize. We use the videos as the anarchist crotos used the avío to organize and generate actions against the boss, state, macho, and church.

Making technologies and skills accessible and available to exploited people by democratizing audiovisual production and language is a priority for Grupo Alavío. For more than 15 years, Alavío has been participating in working class struggles in Argentina and supporting them with audiovisual materials.

RENEGADE EYE-Marie Trigona