blog

Why Many Progressives Misrepresented and Condemned the Ottawa Trucker Protest

Chicago ALBA Solidarity

March 27, 2022

By Stansfield Smith

 

Mothers hold the line.” – Photo: Cory Morningstar, Twitter, February 18, 2022, Ottawa Truckers Protest

 

Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” began with protesting rules implemented in January by the Canadian and later the US governments requiring truck drivers to be fully vaccinated to enter their country. It snowballed into a demonstration against dysfunctional coronavirus restrictions. The Ottawa trucker protesters demanded: No Lockdowns, No Mandates, No Vaccine Passports, and if not, that Trudeau resign.

Working people are increasingly angry at the failures of the neoliberal regimes in Canada and the US to meet our needs. Unfortunately, we on the left are not positioned to effectively utilize this sentiment and grow our forces, leaving an open field for leaders with rightwing solutions to fill the vacuum. They played on public resentment to advocate getting the state off our backs rather than our demand that the state prioritize our well-being.

Working class activists should participate and build these protests, bring working class solutions to the problems we confront and lead the people in fighting back. Instead, many on the left condemned the trucker convoy, or sat on the sidelines, seeing themselves as mere critics, not leaders in this class struggle.

Liberal Party Prime Minister Trudeau called the truckers “a few people shouting and waving swastikas,” a “fringe minority” conspiracy theorists “with the tinfoil hats.” They “don’t believe in science.” He threatened, “Do we tolerate these people?”  These elitist anti-working class statements echo Hillary Clinton’s dubbing Trump supporters “deplorables.” The hysteria led by Trudeau and the corporate media even reached the point where a Member of Parliament absurdly declared trucker honking of horns meant Heil Hitler. Trudeau’s Big Business dictated covid policies even denied visas to vaccinated Cubans because they had Cuban, not Big Pharma vaccines.

Anti-trucker Leftists Repeat Trudeau’s Smears

Many left criticisms of the truckers follow the rulers’ talking points. For instance, they spread a corporate media cartoon smear, Bryan Palmer’s condemnation of the truckers as a “lumpen” alt-right petty bourgeois protest, as well as anti-war activist Stephen Gowans’ early attack on the Ottawa occupation as “a far-right movement of racists, evangelicals, union-haters, and conspiracy-minded lunatics, inspired and supported by the likes of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Elon Musk.” Gowans complained the Ottawa police had “done nothing to liberate the city” from what were peaceful protesters.

Rather than refuting the rulers’ smears, many either repeated them or remained silent in face of the onslaught. They, in effect, allied with the imperial state’s attacks on the truckers and their working-class allies. They compounded their error by making only mild objections to the central rightwing feature of the Ottawa occupation: Trudeau using martial law measures to crush peaceful protests – measures which could be used against leftists in the future if we become a social force.

What were some of the distortions so many disseminated in their unwitting role as transmission belts for ruling class propaganda against the truckers?

  1. That the protesters were racists and fascists was repeated over and over. Enough evidence shows this was not a racist protest (and here), It was claimed, with scant evidence, that the protest contained numerous Nazi and Confederate flags. A photo showed a man with a Nazi flag and another one or two with a Confederate flag. One man had the Nazi flag on a long pole underneath a sign on top saying “F*ck Trudeau,” which could mean he was equating Trudeau with Nazis. The person holding a Confederate flag was considered to be a provocateur made to leave the protest. Government agent provocateurs have played a role in other Canadian protests.

Benjamin Dichter, who is Jewish, and key spokesperson for the protest, said “Let’s assume there were guys there who did have a Confederate flag. They believe in the Confederacy of states’ rights in a foreign nation? I don’t care. I’m not here to police people’s ideas.” In a swipe at Trudeau, Dichter added “I want to hear unacceptable opinions because I want to challenge them.”

Another Freedom Convoy leader was Metis, Tamara Lich. Pat King, a fanatic racist in the Nazi mold, was portrayed as convoy leader, but this was denied by the actual leaders (and here).

  1. That the right funded the trucker protest became a key charge. Republicans do fund popular protests to further their aims. So do the Democrats, as the women’s marches testify. A protest bringing out masses of people likely involves corporate political party funding. It is a political mistake to condemn or boycott movements, MeToo, Black Lives Matter, anti-vaccine mandate, or climate change protests because they had corporate donors. To condemn a protest funded by Republican corporate donors, but not those funded by Democratic ones, given these donors serve the same ruling class owners of the US, is a double standard. To do so suggests aligning ourselves with the Democratic (or Liberal) Party faction of the ruling class.

Reports on big rightwing funders of the trucker convoy failed to establish significant dollar contributions. PressProgress gave “a round up of some of the big money donors.” The corporate donors listed contributed merely $67,300 of the $10 million raised. That amounts to less than 1% of the total, showing corporate donors gave very minor support.

GiveSendGo raised another $8.6 million for the protesters. The largest, $215,000 came from an anonymous donor, $90,000 from billionaire Thomas M. Siebel, and $75,000 from another anonymous donor. Even if we assume these three are by big rightwing donors, that amounts to $380,000, 4.4% of the total.

A Washington Post article on donors noted, “Only a handful of contributors gave more than $10,000 apiece,” which does not substantiate corporate and billionaire funding of the protests.

It seems these donations do not include seed money for the Freedom Convoy, but they do show it was no “fringe,” but gained broad support.

The GoFundMe platform raised $10 million dollars for the convoy before being shut down. The reason given was for “violating the platform’s Terms of Service prohibiting the ‘promotion of violence and harassment.’” Yet no protester had been charged with violence. Defenders of civil liberties should have condemned that repression, not approve of it.

  1. That the trucker convoy represented a social fringe is belied simply by some news reports, such as this or this.
  2. Many falsely claimed the Freedom Convoy protesters were anti-vaxxers, pointing out that 90% of Canadian truckers are vaccinated. However, the protesters were united against vaccine mandates, not against vaccines. Benjamin Dichter and Chris Barber, two convoy leaders, said they were not anti-vaxxers but fully vaccinated.
  3. Some asserted the truckers were petty bourgeois owner-operators, therefore not working class, because they owned their instruments of production. Even assuming some of the truckers are in the petty bourgeoisie, that in itself is no reason to condemn a petty bourgeois movement in struggle with the big bourgeoisie.

Aren’t owner-operators among the millions of workers who companies “contract out” to cut labor expenses and increase their profits? Are Uber drivers also middle-class owner operators? Or any worker hired by a business as an “independent contractor”? This new category of atomized workers is a product of the long neoliberal offensive to weaken solidarity among workers.

  1. Many used Trump’s support for the truckers as another reason to condemn it. That makes no more sense than saying if Biden or Trudeau opposes the protest, we should too. This liberal-left fear and loathing of Trump ignores a number of commendable statements he made on issues anti-imperialists advocate for.
  2. Some bolstered their attacks on the truckers by referring to the Teamsters and Canadian Labour Congress. The Canadian Teamsters condemned the trucker convoy as a “despicable display of hate lead by the political Right,” but provided no evidence to back that up. The statement said nothing against the central demands of the protest. The Teamsters represent only 15,000 long haul truck drivers of the 300,000 long haul drivers in Canada.

The Canadian Labour Congress condemned the protest but was also silent on vaccine mandates. “This is not a protest, it is an occupation by an angry mob trying to disguise itself as a peaceful protest.” Of course protesters are angry, otherwise they do not protest. Being angry does not mean you are not peaceful. The CLC adds “This occupation of Ottawa streets…is having a devastating effect on the livelihood of already struggling workers and businesses.” Such statements could be used against the Occupy Movement in 2011, or against Black Lives Matter protests, as Trump did. “Frontline workers, from retail to health workers, have been bullied and harassed.” Yet so was at least one pro-trucker Ottawa store owner bullied and harassed for simply donating to the protest.

True, the Freedom Convoy had no working class demands for government action to ease the hardships workers face. Neither did the CLC or Teamsters, actual workers class organizations with the social and economic weight to have their demands met.

  1. Many followed Trudeau and claimed the convoy organizers were violent and extremists. However, the police reported no physical violence, and none of the protest leaders were arrested for violent acts.

Tamara Lich was charged with ‘counselling for the offense of committing Mischief,” convoy leader Chris Barber for the same charge, plus “counselling to commit the offense of Disobey a Police Order” and “counselling to commit the offense of Obstruct Police.” Pat King was charged with mischief, counselling to commit the offence of mischief, counselling to commit the offence of disobey court order, and counselling to commit the offence of obstruct police.

Many had claimed they were guilty of violence, sedition, and attempting to overthrow a “democratic” government. Here they are, charged with “counseling” mischief (interfering with or destroying someone’s property), telling people to defy a court order or police order. What activists have ever been innocent of these charges?

  1. It was claimed the police had treated the protesters with kid gloves. Maybe. Yet, once the police cracked down, they used horses to trample some protesters. When the 2011 union protesters in Madison Wisconsin seized the Capitol building – not for a day but for weeks – the police were not only letting us enter and exit, but periodically joined the protest (and here). That was no sign that the Madison protests were rightwing, nor did leftists object to their solidarity.

As Caleb Maupin pointed out, liberals and leftists took the Fox News playbook to denounce the Black Lives Matter movement and used the same methods to attack the trucker protest. Those who support Black Lives Matter suddenly were okay with police repression of the Ottawa protests. By favoring government crackdown on peaceful protests, we gave the ruling class rope to hang ourselves with.

Working Class and Rightwing Programs towards Covid and Health care

Being vaccinated protects you from getting very sick if you have underlying conditions but does not protect you from being infected or infecting others. People know that, so resent government vaccine requirements.

Mandates work when applied by governments that put the protection of citizens over the protection of corporate profits – not the case in the United States or Canada. Targeted lockdowns once covid makes its appearance, constant testing of the population, combined with a wide array of public health measures neither Canada nor the US ever instituted, has enabled China to almost eliminate deaths from covid.

China contained covid long before their vaccine was even developed. China provided house to house care for those locked down, constant and widespread testing, as well as relatively free health care for all. As a result, China has had three covid related deaths since January 2021, while the US has had one million.

Nicaragua, which has a free, universal preventive health care system, has by far the lowest covid death rate per million inhabitants of all the Americas, yet never instituted any sort of mandate or lockdown, beyond wearing a mask inside public buildings.

Participate in the Ottawa Protests with Working Class Demands

While the demands of the trucker protest had some merit, the Freedom Convoy leaders were ideologically rightwing. Their view of health care as an individual responsibility does not conflict with the neoliberal model. This benefits those with the privileges and financial resources to handle it.

Our working class view sees the state as the protector of public health, since health is a public issue, not simply a “free” individual’s responsibility.

We missed an opportunity to participate in the Ottawa occupation and organize working class solidarity with our message: government should meet the health and economic needs of the people affected by the pandemic; the government protects big business and big pharma super profits during the pandemic while our standard of living suffers; health care is a community issue and should be a human right. It should focus on prevention, with continuous education of the public, and establish clinics in every neighborhood, cultivating regular interaction between the health workers and the community.

If we fail to help lead workers and popular struggles, we leave the field open for middle class or rightwing leaders. Even the sometimes liberal Nation recognized, “the far-right origins of the protest shouldn’t be an excuse for ignoring the fact it is attracting the support of a segment of the population that doesn’t identify with the far right but does feel economically marginalized and hurt by a pandemic now entering its third year…Those who have sympathy for the convoy tend to be poorer, younger, and less educated.”

Some activists did stand for the working class approach to the Ottawa occupation. Dust James, a trucker, encouraged the left to join the protesters and explain to them that all truckers share a common problem with others: small businesses and workers are being crushed by the larger monopolies, big banks are ripping off all of us.

Richard Wolff said leftists made a serious error by not actively participating in and solidarizing with the trucker protest, showing workers how to use their power to achieve their demands. A struggle to push back against mandates that don’t work can ignite actions against other policies that don’t serve people’s interests. Struggles often begin as a fight against a specific injustice, eventually opening the door to struggles on more fundamental issues.

Leila Mechoui and Max Blumenthal applauded actions by working class people to improve their situation and resist impositions by private and public authorities. The truckers protest scared the rulers because they fear losing their control over who determines how society is run. They don’t want workers thinking they should have some say in societal decision-making. They don’t want workers to start thinking “why should we do what the bosses tell us to do if it doesn’t make sense.”

Richard Wolff and Jimmy Dore emphasized we should be and can be everywhere workers are struggling. “The left should not put itself in a situation where the protesters can lump them together with the authorities as enemies of their struggle, which is the case now.” Here, the left isolated themselves from the working class by attacking the movement as a whole.

Why Many Repeated Ruling Class Liberal Smears of the Truckers

Being an anti-war writer like Stephen Gowans does not mean you have close connections with working class struggles at home. Likewise, many working class fighters do not possess an anti-imperialist outlook.  Unfortunately, working class and anti-war fighters often operate in distinct social and political milieus.

Many have made critiques of the convoy and Ottawa occupation, such as a recent webinar by left intellectuals. Yet the problem we face is that the function of a working class leftwing goes beyond evaluating a movement. Our function should be to create a plan of action to participate in and help lead social struggles in a working class direction through demands that benefit the working classes as a whole. We are not there, nor are we making headway in building the army of working class activists needed to carry it out.

At present, far too many critics of the truckers feel in their heart of hearts that our white working class is full of “deplorables.” That illustrates the current disconnect of leftists from the white working class. Too many feel the working class may be the force that will overthrow capitalism and build a just society, but not with the working class we have. This white working class today is too ignorant, bigoted, backwards, bought-off, too white privileged. If it is not kept in check, things could only get worse.

So, where do they turn for a social power to rotate around for building progressive social change? Often it means to the more enlightened intelligentsia, the more progressive politicians. That leads to the Democratic Party or the Canadian versions: pressure them from the left and build support for them in their struggle against Trumpers. This approach became pronounced as fear of Trumpism grew.

This may explain why many on the left repeated Trudeau’s smears and may be why they – who normally support workers – sided with the government against working people when they organized and protested. Such an approach, if not corrected, leads to more police state repression and an increasingly divided working class confused over where to turn to solve their problems.

 

 

 

 

The Outrageous Depths to Which the Fallen Left Have Descended

Internationalist 360

February 22, 2022

By Alexandra Valiente

 

Featured Image: Orlando Figuera, beaten, stabbed, and burned alive by “protesters”, gangs of the fascist right-wing in Venezuela – a tragic victim of racist hate crimes during the Guarimbas.

As the dust settles over this fallen country, the faux left continue their psychological warfare operation, spinning narrative in a desperate effort to bolster the crumbling edifice of their fortress of deception. However, their workmanship is flawed, their statements unsubstantiated, porous and weak. No effort on their part can prevent their descent into oblivion. The tide of truth is rising. The dams of collective outrage are bursting.

The depths to which they have descended are astonishing. While attention was focused on immediate events, their evolving narrative grew ever more fantastic. One group of collaborators composed an odious statement, Guarimbas in Canada, where they attempted to garner support for their position through distortion and manipulation. The statement offered lame criticism of the Canadian government, while thoroughly demonizing the protesters, presenting as “facts”, statements from corporate and government-funded media and organizations serving empire, including Amnesty International, government-funded Antihate.ca and the utterly discredited Communist Party of Canada. None of the authors of this statement were actually present at the protests.

None of their statements were based on fact and are contradicted by “on the ground” reporting done by journalists from all sides of the political spectrum (extreme right, moderate right, moderate left, extreme left).

By invoking Guarimbas, they went too far. They mocked and desecrated those who died in that tragic wave of terrorist attacks as they cover for the Nazis that supported Guarimbas – the Canadian government.

I challenge these agents of deception to explain themselves. To account for their lies. Show us the corpses, the bodies of our Black or Indigenous brothers and sisters set on fire, or crucified by protesters in Ottawa! Where were the health clinics and maternity hospitals set ablaze with patients inside? Where are the bodies of those massacred in communes and poor neighborhoods in the night, while their homes burned to the ground? Where were the “white Al Qaeda/White Helmetsmercenaries? Where the flaming barricades? The armed gangs? Where was there evidence of right-wing terrorism in Canada’s protests?

If they have forgotten what happened in Guarimbas, there is an archive of these horrific events on this website.

There are no parallels between the Freedom Convoy protests in Canada and the Venezuelan Guarimbas. The only violence witnessed came from the government of Canada itself, deeply infiltrated by Nazis.

I would like them to explain why they ignored or concealed the multi-ethnic components participating in the protests?

[Source: Instagram]

Why did they ignore all the evidence from those on the ground reporting actual events as they unfolded, who shared the stories of the people?

The lies they have promoted are blatant media crimes, including lies of omission, all in service to the oppressor.

In this, they not only betrayed Canadian workers oppressed under the Trudeau dictatorship, they betrayed Venezuelans.

Another journalist who lost his way during the recent protests, made wonderful contributions to unmasking the Nazis in the Canadian government and military.

He said,  regarding their involvement in destabilization in Venezuela:

“Over the past two decades Ottawa has aligned with fascistic forces there in the hope of overthrowing a leftist government.
Ottawa supported Juan Guaido’s Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), which repeatedly instigated violent protests. Not long after the Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition coalition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles conceded defeat in a contentious election in January 2014, VP leader Leopoldo López launched La Salida (exit/departure) in a bid to oust Nicolas Maduro. VP activists formed the shock troops of “guarimbas” protests that left forty-three Venezuelans dead, 800 hurt and a great deal of property damaged in 2014. Dozens more were killed in a new wave of VP backed protests in 2017. At a blockade that year protesters burnt a 21-young Black man, Orlando Jose Figuera, alive in what was viewed as a racist, political, attack.” [Source]

Assimilate that.

The same government the faux left  provided cover for was behind the atrocities in Guarimbas, whose memory they now invoke to serve a dark purpose.

And let us not forget Canada’s involvement in the Lima Group, their support for the Bolivian dictatorship, for Bolsonaro’s fascist and racist government in Brazil, and in the sanctions and economic warfare against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

If we are to be completely truthful, numerous valid comparisons can be found between the violent suppression of protests in Canada and those in Bolivia under the Canadian-backed coup dictatorship.

In that same article, the author describes how

“In Israel the Canadian government supports openly racist and fascistic forces. The Canada Revenue Agency subsidizes groups that promote racial/religious purity and that finance those colonizing the West Bank.”

And let this next truth be widely known, in defiance of the faux left gatekeepers shielding empire. In the Canadian Freedom protests there were Christians, Muslims,  Sikhs and Jews, united on the front lines to oppose the fascists in our government that are participating in the oppression of not only our own people, but many others in nations throughout the world. The multitude of incredible examples of unity terrified the Canadian regime. Does this truth in some way also threaten the faux left that they went to such extreme lengths to conceal it?

The author concludes, saying:

“Most Canadians have little idea that in many places their government actively supports groups that are far more fascistic than the People’s Party of Canada.”

If the faux left genuinely want to attack fascists, let them pursue and expose actual fascists and their criminal networks throughout the world.

I encourage people to search the Internationalist 360° website and the archives documenting the destruction of Libya I have constructed over the last 12 years. There are lessons contained therein that will serve us well today. I have always stood with the oppressed in every field of engagement. I have never deviated in my commitment and dedication to exposing Nazis and fascists – and will continue to do so. I am never confused about who the oppressor is in any situation.

The uprising in Canada is not the first time the “left” betrayed humanity.  During the war against Libya, “academics and intellectuals” of the left supported the destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriyah. They deployed the same tactics as have been seen today: ignored “on the ground” reports, citizen fact-finding missions, and the voices of the Libyan people. In their articles, letters and statements, they referred to and promoted propaganda by the same agencies  – mainstream media, human rights organizations aligned with MI6 and the CIA, and political opposition groups that were funded and backed by foreign governments and linked to international terrorism.  At the time this faction came to be known as the “cruise missile left”.  The war against Libya was not the only time they acted in this fashion. Many of the same left repeated this treachery against Syria.  Before that, they were not opposed to the Arab Spring, or the war against Iraq and Afghanistan. Always their position favored empire’s agenda.

Some analysts have pointed to a remarkable lack of humility and capacity for self-criticism and self-reflection in this faction of the “left”. I can only conclude from what I have observed in the past month from social media comments and articles produced about the uprising in Canada, that they are not acting from confusion, as some have suggested. There appears to be a strategic, willful complicity in the oppression of, and class war against the people, in alignment with fascists. And the defamatory statements made against protesters exercising their legitimate right to dissent were egregious incitements to hatred. This is fifth column phenomenon.

 

[Alexandra Valiente is the editor of Internationalist 360. ]

Further Reading:

 

 

 

Ukraine, International Law, and a Left Worth Wanting

Ukraine, International Law, and a Left Worth Wanting

Tortilla con Sal

March 10, 2022

By Stephen Sefton

 

 

Most commentary on Western progressive and radical media on events in Ukraine has failed to acknowledge the right to self-defense of the Russian Federation and its allies the Donetsk and Lugansk Popular Republics. This is one more example of the way North American and European progressive and radical movements collaborate with their ruling classes, just as they generally did over their governments’ repressive economic and social measures addressing Covid-19. The very Western movements claiming to be morally superior to both sides in the Ukraine war, by doing so, aid and abet the US government, its NATO allies and their Nazi sympathizer protegés in Ukraine.

The double standard could hardly be more clear. As distinguished international war crimes specialist Christopher Black notes: “When one takes account of all the factors that governed the Russian decision to send its forces into Ukraine it is clear that in law they had the legal right to do so whereas the United States continues its illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and Syria to this day and the NATO media powers and governments say nothing, because they are all complicit in those invasions.” Now, Ukrainian military documents retrieved by the Russian authorities have demonstrated conclusively that their intervention preempted a large scale assault by Ukrainian armed forces against Donetsk and Lugansk, planned for early March this year.

So President Vladimir Putin was right to argue his government was acting in self defense in Ukraine after eight years of Ukrainian attacks on Donestk and Lugansk, since, as Christopher Black argues, Article 51 of the UN Charter applies, namely “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Which renders entirely specious the argument of many widely respected left wing commentators like, for example, Ignacio Ramonet that Russia’s action in self defense “is barely even a fig leaf, a barebones legal skeleton to explain away an unjustifiable attack on Ukraine”. The role of Ramonet, like so many similar commentators, is to cover the Left flank of their social democrat and liberal support networks in the European Union and the United States, giving cover for otherwise inexcusable EU and US policies. Such commentators played a practically identical role in 2011 making excuses for Nato countries’ destructive aggression against Libya, Syria and Ivory Coast.

 

This explains why Ramonet’s claim that it is “difficult to understand why the United States did not do more to avoid this conflict in Ukraine” is fundamentally dishonest and false. Self-evidently the Western corporate elites have used the governments they own in North America and Europe to weaken and, if possible, destroy not just the independence and autonomy of the Russian Federation, but that of the European Union too. Western corporate elites will make enormous profits rearming Germany and the rest of Europe, and also Japan, and ensuring that Europe depends on US and allied country energy and food supplies. Turning Europe into a heavily militarized US vassal region prevents the US from losing the extremely lucrative, for now, European markets to Russia and China.

Also self-evident is the fact that commentators like Ignacio Ramonet and others assign completely disproportionate meaning to the recent UN General Assembly vote on the war in Ukraine which was so symbolic as to be practically meaningless. Countries representing an enormous majority of the world’s peoples chose to abstain or simply not take part in the vote. Here is the list of abstentions: Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Congo, Cuba, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikstan, Uganda, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Not taking part in the vote were: Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

So it is completely false to claim that the UN vote in any way at all represented a global condemnation of Russia by the majority of the world’s peoples. This is even more the case because, subsequently, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico have all made clear they are unwilling to apply illegal coercive economic and other measures against Russia. Nor is it likely that countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will act to damage their countries’s already fragile economies in the context of global efforts to recover from the effects of measures supposedly addressing Covid-19. These are incontrovertible realities that most Western progressives and radicals seem unwilling to acknowledge.

In turn, this means that what they think is practically irrelevant for the majority world. Very serious and committed anti-imperialist, class conscious writers openly discuss whether any kind of Left worth wanting exists any more in North America and Europe, for example Max Blumenthal and Cory Morningstar or the Black Agenda Report collective. These discussions may well be useful eventually for the cultural, social and political well being of Western countries, but in any case the majority world, despite the evil policies of the US and European ruling elites, will continue working successfully to realize their peoples’ right to a decent life, to their human development and to the sovereign independence of their nations.

[Stephen Sefton is a member of the Tortilla con Sal collective based in Nicaragua.]

Freedom Convoy – Support Black Truckers

Black Caucus Greens

Feb 22, 2022

 

The Green Party of the United States Black Caucus (GP-BC) has announced its support for the Freedom Convoy, an educational effort to help the public learn more about vaccine mandates and the best way to respond to government overreach.

 

“We are calling on all people to unite in solidarity.” says Philena Farley, National Media Co-Chair & Black Caucus Media Coordinator “The time to be divided is over. This is a time to stand together with our sisters and brothers, regardless of race or gender, in this struggle against tyranny. We are under attack by the corporate elites on every level of government. They are robbing us blind. The one thing the elites hate is unity among the working class because they thrive in dividing us by race, gender, politics, religion, class and more.”

Truckers against vaccine mandates is an international movement of citizens and truck drivers who are opposed to the forced use of government vaccines.  “Long-distance trucking has been part of my family history since 1975.” Black Caucus Co-Founder George Friday states in remembrance,  “My father was a long-distance trucker throughout my high school and college years and all of my brothers have also been truckers. Independence was the reason they chose that profession. A high amount of personal freedom and not too many interactions with racism or discrimination. They got to do things on their own terms and make their own decisions which is important for any of us.”

From Jamil Jivani  – debut in Newsweek – Stop Calling Truckers Racist –  to correct the record on the trucker convoy in Ottawa, Canada.

“We have no reason to believe the majority of truckers in the convoy are racist. In fact, appropriate for the month of February, the trucker convoy is actually a Black history moment.

Countless trucker convoy participants and supporters are Black. A popular Instagram account called “poc4freedomconvoy” (shorthand for People of Color for Freedom Convoy) with over 60,000 followers has documented the outpouring of support that the trucker convoy received from members of Black communities across Canada. The account’s first post is a picture of Chanceline Rukundo that reads, “I am Burundian/Canadian and I support the #freedomconvoy2022.”

This year’s Black History Month is a chance to see that Black people are not merely victims of history, but makers of it—exactly as Dr. Woodson intended. The trucker convoy is an example of Black people playing a meaningful role in shaping their countries. Don’t let liberal politicians or mainstream media corporations convince you of anything less.”

A post shared by POC 4 FREEDOMCONVOY (@poc4freedomconvoy)

The Green Party of the United States Black Caucus calls for the end of vaccine mandates and demands an immediate suspension of all state and federal mandates for vaccinations, including those for children and adults.

The Green Party of the United States Black Caucus, a coalition of Green Party leaders and activists within the African American community.

Please spread the word to fight against these mainstream media blackouts and support our mission to increase the participation and election victories in United States electoral politics of African and African Americans who support the GPUS Platform, and to ensure that the GPUS conducts and implements programs that concretize its platform in the interests of communities of African-American and African descent addressing community needs and disparities.

WATCH: Negating Colonial Lies About Russia

WATCH: Negating Colonial Lies About Russia

Streamed live on March 20, 2022.

 

Continued discussion on Russia’s defensive war in Ukraine against the global colonial powers.

“The attitude of the Russians were quite different because they are not attitudes that were born, that came from, [that] developed from slavery and colonialism like you find in the so-called West where the colonialism and slavery has its origins, and that continues to dominate the consciousness of white people, here, now. That’s why you see the white left, the so-called leftists in the United States, they are white nationalists. Most of them are like colonialist leftists. They are left colonizers and they’re not, generally speaking, able to unite against the oppression of the peoples of the world – including unite with Russia in this defensive war that is fighting against the United States through Ukraine…

This propaganda against Russia extends beyond just the war – the Russian people are being targeted in various places in the free world, in the colonial world. The fact of the matter is that this left, this left that comrade Tasha is talking about, this left that supports Ukraine,
is the same left that Lenin was criticizing more than a hundred years ago. It’s the same left. It’s an opportunist left. It’s a colonial base left. So it’s nothing new with how this left is acting. In the United States, or in much of Europe. This left supported French colonialism. At the same time the French claimed to be fighting against colonialism, fascism, in the 1940s – they were oppressing and killing black people in in Algeria – and and they continued to control something like fifteen different countries in Africa today under colonialism. And the communists of those countries supported that. They worked with that. So there’s a difference in a struggle against colonialism. If you don’t understand that – that the entire foundation of so-called western civilization rests upon colonial domination of Black people and other oppressed peoples around the world – that’s why we stand with Russia.”  — Chairman Omali Yeshitela

 

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Chairman Omali Yeshitela, African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), Alexander Ionov, President, Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, LIVE from Moscow, Luwezi Kinshasa, Secretary General, African Socialist International (ASI) and Tafarie Mugeri, Director of Organization, ASI Africa Region.

 

 

WATCH: Russia & Ukraine – What’s Really Happening? [Feb 23, 2022]

WATCH: Russia & Ukraine – What’s Really Happening? [Feb 23, 2022]

Uhuru Solidarity

February 22, 2022

 

“African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) Chair Penny Hess and Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM) Chair Jesse Nevel welcome special guest Chairman Omali Yeshitela for a discussion summing up the situation in Russia and Ukraine, from an African Internationalist point of view.”

Western Reporting – News From Nowhere

Tortilla con Sal

February 26, 2022

Stephen Sefton

 

There are three main senses in which practically no foreign affairs reporting by Western news media and NGOs is ever about the country ostensibly the subject of their reports. First, almost invariably the reporting is so selective and biased as to be in effect a fictional account of some notional place barely recognizable as the country in question. Secondly, any particular report is always and principally intended to serve the much larger false narrative of Western superiority and benevolence. Thirdly, the reports generally depend on some great comprehensive deceit offering false plausibility to other minor, more detailed untruths.

 

Apologies to John Heartfield’s “Whoever reads bourgeois newspapers becomes blind and deaf”

 

In Ukraine, the massive deceit has been to ignore NATO country governments’ support for a fascist regime subordinate to followers of Nazism attacking its own Ukrainian citizens since 2014 with around 14,000 deaths, tens of thousands of wounded and hundreds of thousands people displaced. Those same NATO country governments destroyed Libya and almost destroyed Syria, falsely accusing those countries’ leaders of “killing their own people”. In Latin America, the catch-all big lie is that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are incompetent brutal dictatorships, when in fact their people-focused policies put to shame the desperate social reality prevalent in the countries of US allies like Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, or Honduras.

This reality is self-evident to anyone trying to report faithfully from any of the countries targeted as enemies by the ruling elites of North America and Europe, the respective government leaders they control and, too, their pscychological warfare media and NGO apparatus. Western media and NGOs systematically mislead their populations about international affairs based on three fundamental presuppostions:

  • -North American and European countries are highly morally principled
  • -The majority world generally benefits from Western good intentions
  • -Governments opposed to the West are bad and deserve to punished

 

Thus, accounts published in NATO country psychological warfare outlets like the New York Times, the Guardian, El País, Le Monde, Deutsche Welle, France 24, the BBC, CNN and so on and on, have barely anything to do with the region or country on which they feign to be reporting. Their role is to misinform Western populations about world events, criminalizing foreign governments so as to consolidate political support for North American and European crimes against the majority world. Domestically, their role is to suppress any trace of popular dissent threatening Western ruling elites’ power and control. Since at least the Iraq war, this inverse relationship has been very clear. Overseas, Western power and influence decline: at home, economic and political repression increase.

While events in Ukraine and elsewhere currently dominate global news, long standing Western aggression against smaller countries like, in Latin America, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela continues. Typical recent coverage of that aggression in the case of Nicaragua demonstrates how the negation of basic reporting integrity renders Western media and NGO accounts of foreign affairs practically worthless. Nicaragua’s Sandinista government has been under comprehensive assault from Western media and NGOs ever since taking office in January 2007.

Mural by the Felicia Santizo Brigade of Panama, 1980. Photo: David Schwartz.

Its president, Daniel Ortega has won election after election with massive majorities. Prior to 2018 Nicaragua stood out in the region for its achievements reducing poverty, its economic growth and its political and social stability. Unable to win power with popular support via elections, the US and EU funded opposition promoted a failed coup attempt in 2018 during which opposition militants and thugs with firearms burned down public buildings, businesses and private homes and even preschools. They killed over 20 police officers wounding 400 officers.

They installed roadblocks as bases from which to terrorize local people, demanding money, searching and stealing people’s personal effects, assaulting government supporters, abusing women and girls.Those responsible for organizing that violent failed coup attempt tried to repeat it around last year’s elections. Before they could do so they were arrested and put on trial. As usual, reporting of this reality by Western media, NGOs and institutions inverted what happened, casting the traitorous opposition criminals as innocent and peaceful while portraying the Nicaraguan government as brutal and illegitimate. That mendacious inversion has facilitated every kind of false account of subsequent events.

So, for example, most recently, the New York Times reports the Nicaraguan authorities’ closure of six private universities for failing to satisfy regulatory requirements as if the government is shutting down the country’s private university sector as a whole. The NYT omits that Nicaragua has over 50 universities, the great majority of which are private and the authorities immediately set up three new public universities to guarantee good quality university education for the affected students with lower fees and more scholarships. Likewise, the NYT reports that hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans now live in Costa Rica, without explaining that this has been the case for decades rather than being any kind recent migratory phenomenon, as their report implies.

Practically all Western media reporting on Nicaragua deploys this kind of systematic deceit, sourcing their reports exclusively on Nicaragua’s plentiful opposition media outlets, almost all of which are funded directly or indirectly by US and allied governments. The most notorious of these outlets is Confidencial, which, despite receiving US government funding, is invariably described in Western reporting as being independent. North American and European NGOs and institutions collude in this bad faith reporting, reinforcing the deceitful Western consensus, especially around human rights related issues.

For example, people interested in environmental or indigenous peoples’ issues will look to NGOs like the Oakland Institute or Mongabay for trustworthy reporting. Both these organizations receive large donations from corporate owned funders. The Oakland Institute has been funded by the Howard Buffet Foundation specifically to report on Nicaragua. Mongabay, although a non profit entity, is itself a corporation whose president and chief executive officer is paid US$234,000 a year. Its income reached over US$4 million in 2020 dropping to US$2.4 million the following year. Mongabay has received numerous donations of over US$100,000 from bodies like the Walton Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), for example.

John Heatfield – “Peace and Fascism”. The dove of peace is transfixed by the fascist bayonet before the League of Nations building, whose white cross has become a Swastika

The role of these NGOs reporting on Nicaragua is thoroughly dishonest. Nicaragua has the most innovative and advanced system of indigenous people’s self government anywhere. Distorting this reality, the Oakland Institute has been shown to have claimed falsely that cattle farming for beef exports was the cause of murderous conflicts on indigenous peoples lands. Likewise, Mongabay has claimed government policy in Nicaragua incites invasion of indigenous peoples’ lands despite elected indigenous peoples leaders themselves contradicting that falsehood. This kind of false reporting by media and NGOs feeds into US controlled institutions like the Organization of American States or UN human rights bodies, rendering worthless those influential institutions’ own reports.

Writers like Cory Morningstar and Whitney Webb have explained in detail the underlying rationale for this systematic legitimization of falsehood by Western controlled international institutions, media and NGOs.The relentless psychological warfare offensive undermines national governments, promoting the predatory corporate driven social and environmental agenda aimed at privatizing nature itself and imposing relentless digital control on all aspects of human life. Western media outlets, NGOs and institutions avow transparency and accountability but that too is a contemptible, cynical lie. Anyone challenging the false consensus is either attacked or suppressed.

Corporate NGOs like Mongabay or major institutions like the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights never engage well informed challenges publicly. In part, this clear ethical failure stems from fear of having their falsity and bad faith exposed, but linked to that is a deeply anti-democratic determination to prevent a wider public from having the chance to make up their own minds based on broadly sourced information. The test of good faith for any information is whether the reporting outlet is honest in declaring its own bias and interests and at least acknowledges competing information sources. Western foreign affairs reporting outlets almost invariably fail that test, consistently and comprehensively, reducing themselves to pathetic instruments of psychological warfare.

 

[Stephen Sefton is a member of the Tortilla con Sal collective based in Nicaragua.]

 

A Message from Mohawk Women from Grand River Concerning Vaccine Mandates & Freedom

A Message from Mohawk Women from Grand River Concerning Vaccine Mandates & Freedom

Real Peoples Media

February 17, 2022

 

The following is a message from Onkwehon: we Grand River Mohawk women from the Turtle, Wolf and Bear clans to the people standing up for freedom against vaccine mandates.

“At this time I would like to remind you that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We would like to acknowledge all the ones who listened to their intuition, their gut feeling, in knowing that these vaccines weren’t a thing that resonated with their being.

Thank you for having the courage to say “No” and stand up for what you believe. Continue to be mindful of your thoughts as we enter into these next few days. You are awakened, you are the light, you are the love of humanity. Love will always prevail. Let’s continue to hold each other up as more truth and justice come to light.

This message is for all our sisters, brothers, and allies across Turtle Island and to our honored, age-old international relations.

We send love and gratitude to all of the brave men and women who are holding the line, uniting together with kindness and compassion in their hearts for freedom, so that truth and justice may prevail.

Canada is still a crime scene, and all will be held on genocide. Grand River Mohawks are alive and well. Mohawks still hold the original six international treaties, and we are in the centre of the Covenant Chain.

As women we must remind the Canadian government of their pledge to the Grand River Mohawks and to the Onkwehon: we way of life. The [emergency measures] announcement today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a breach of this trust.

Women are the allodial title holders. Even if the courts wanted to, they cannot provide the Canadian Government with a casa somasos.

Universal laws are supreme law of the land and no legislative acts will ever supersede them. A formal notice will be sent to the Honorable Governor General Mary Simon ordering her to uphold her fiduciary responsibilities and invoke the appropriate Criminal Codes that we see fit under Royal Assent and international law. Implicating the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Christia Freeland, and the Premier of Ontario Doug Ford.

In peace, freedom, and truth, take care, stay safe. We love you.”

+++

Note: the Latin term “Nemo dat quod non habet” that appears as text in the video means “no one can give what they do not have.” It is a legal rule, sometimes called the nemo dat rule, that states that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title to it. (Source: Wikipedia).

Message from Candy Sero, Mohawk Elder, After Being Trampled by Trudeau’s Henchmen

Message from Candy Sero, Mohawk Elder, After Being Trampled by Trudeau’s Henchmen

February 22, 2022

Candy Sero, trampled Mohawk Elder, has a single message for the world: “Hold the Line”.

Interview with Candy Sero, Mohawk Elder, Prior to Being Trampled by Trudeau’s Henchmen on Horses

Interview with Candy Sero, Mohawk Elder, Prior to Being Trampled by Trudeau’s Henchmen on Horses

February 22, 2022

Candy Sero is a Tyendinaga Mohawk Wolf Clan grandmother. She is fifty-one years old. On Friday, February 18, 2022, Sero, who uses a walker, was among those injured when police, mounted on horseback, charged into a crowd of protesters. Sero has been on the front lines in Ottawa, supporting the protests against vaccine mandates and lock down restrictions, since shortly after they began. Like many others, she slept in in her car, in the freezing Ottawa temperatures.

The short interview by Monique Mackay, an independent Canadian journalist, was conducted prior to the horrific event.

“My heartfelt interview with Candy pleading you all come [] to Ottawa, she’s an Indigenous woman with the Mohawk territory fighting for FREEDOM.” [Monique Mackay, independent journalist: @independent_journalism_, Instagram]