Archives

Social Engineering

‘Our Defeats’ Review: A striking Post-Mortem of the Revolutionary Dream

Far Out Magazine

September 8, 2021

By Swapnil Dhruv Bose

 

“I realized after the shooting, and some discussions with them, that it was the first time they had discussed politics.”
— filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot [Source]

French filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot, who received international acclaim for his 2015 documentary A German Youth, is back with another fascinating work called Our Defeats. Featuring a group of high school film students from the Lycée Romain Rolland in Ivry-sur-Seine who work as cast and crew, Our Defeats is a comparative study between the charged sociopolitical climate of France in the late 1960s and the prevailing attitude of modern students.

More than anything else, Our Defeats is an intellectual exercise in political thought which constantly refers to the revolutionary works of auteurs like Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Alain Tanner among others. As a part of the film’s explorations, Périot makes the students recreate pivotal scenes from the vastly influential French political masterpieces from that period before asking them about trade unions, capitalism and the revolution.

In an interview, Périot explained that he wants his films to challenge the audience. “For me, cinema is first of all a place to feel,” the filmmaker said. “I like music for the same reason. But cinema is also, at least for me, as audience or filmmaker, a place to think. I do not like films where everything is clear, obvious or underlined, [whether we] talk about fictions or documentaries. I like films with contradictions, lacks, and questions.”

The powerful scenes that are enacted by the students are immediately deconstructed by the follow-up questions posed by Périot. A student quotes Chairman Mao with deadly conviction, preaching to us that “a revolution is not a dinner party… A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.” However, he falters and hesitates when he is asked about his own opinions regarding capitalism and the revolution that has been indefinitely deferred.

This becomes a recurring theme, with many students voicing their disapproval of police brutality and societal oppression but not being able to appropriately address questions about the subjective definitions of abstract topics like politics in general as well as objective descriptions of important things like trade unions. As a result of the restrictive curriculum of the Ideological State Apparatus that is the school, we are confronted with the brutal reality. The people in power systematically and silently quashed the revolution before it ever began by not providing proper education to the next generation.The greatest achievement of Our Defeatsis that Périot does not pass his judgement. As a documentarian, his job is to chronicle the condition and that’s exactly what he does. The outcome is stiflingly tragic, a harrowing analysis of young school students whose vocabularies are being stripped off ideas like communism and workers’ rights. Périot starts a dialogue between the past and the present by confronting the future of the revolution that has been laid to rest by youthful cynicism, censorship and the bourgeois constructs of modernity.
 

[Swapnil is a Kolkata-based columnist who specialises in film history, global cinema and media studies. He is deeply interested in the dynamic frameworks of contemporary media culture and their impact on sociopolitical structures.]

 

 

Elena Lopèz Riera, Visions du Réel, 2019: “Jean-Gabriel Périot asked students of a Parisian high school to participate in an experiment on the militant filmmaking of May 68. These students will constitute the film’s technical crew and they will also be its actors, performative bodies through which the subject of politics today will be articulated. They will re-enact legendary scenes from the films of Tanner, the Groupe Medvedkine or Godard. But in the voice of these young people, the instructions of May 68 resonate poorly with regard to the contemporary world, noting that in terms of political wording there are still more doubts than certainties. What is the working class? What is capitalism? What is a trade union? Through these questions addressed to the high school students, Périot tackles a new generation, without judgement, in an attempt to answer the essential question of the film: have we failed? Thus, some of the concepts that have marked the history of 20th century ideologies, such as communism, fascism or class consciousness, are called into question by a youth that claims the right to their own voice. A film about the urgency of reformulating political debate.” [Source]

 

 

Also showing at Mubi, A German Youth. SYNOPSIS: “Germany, late 60s. The post-war generation revolts against their parents, disillusioned by anti-communist capitalism and a state in which they see fascist tendencies. This film follows the rise of The Red Army Faction, revolutionary terrorist group founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof. OUR TAKE: “A film that opens with Godard and closes with Fassbinder can only have a combative soul. Bravely refusing audio narration, Périot’s collage of stunning archival footage from post-war Germany’s political unrest is a superb, enthralling meditation on radicalization that is of utmost relevance today.”

 

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:

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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]

LISTEN: Kanenhariyo (Mohawk War Chief) Discusses Ontario’s “State of Emergency” in response to Truckers Rebellion

LISTEN: Kanenhariyo (Mohawk War Chief) Discusses Ontario’s “State of Emergency” in response to Truckers Rebellion

February 12, 2022

 

“They’re liars. They’re lying. But they’re afraid. They’re weak right now. They’re weak, and they’re pretending that they’re strong. Stand up.”

Kanyenkehaka is a Mohawk War Chief from the Tehanakarineh family of the Bear Clan. His home is in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, but he currently resides at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory (near Hamilton, Ontario). He is an Onkwehon:we (Indigenous) man and belongs to the Kayenkehaka Nation, not the Canadian or English nation. His people have kept their ways and traditions, and despite generations of mistreatment at the hands of the Canadian government, they remain a separate, allied Nation with their own rights and responsibilities to creation.

 

“For all of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, maybe you’re new to this country. They didn’t teach you that Indigenous people own these lands. They’ll tell you that it’s theirs. It’s Canada’s wonderful free place. It was only free because they stole things. I’m talking to all the brown people in the cities that didn’t want to go and support the truckers because they thought they were racist. Well, the Liberal Government’s racist and so is the Conservative Government. The entire government of Canada is racist. And the RCMP are racist. Let’s face the facts the RCMP are just as much a culprit in the in the theft of the indigenous children that got sent to residential schools, because they were the collectors.”

 

 

Addressing Trudeau: “Maybe you didn’t, but I suspect you did, [have] the audacity to encourage the smear campaigns of swastika flags and white supremacy – but Canada’s built on white supremacy. Literally, built on white racism. The Canadian flag, that red and white maple flag has, as nasty of blood and history on it, as a swastika.”

 

 

“… well, it’s pretty simple. They said drop the mandates, and you need to quit. You can do that tomorrow… they want you to resign. They don’t have any confidence in you. You can’t even go anywhere in public without them throwing rocks at you and booing. Your people don’t love you. You can resign.”

 

 

“but that’s still our territory… Doug Ford, you don’t have any right to claim it, and you don’t have any right to make decisions, or to say ‘well, you can have your rights but we’re going to supersede them.'” ” The fuck you will.”

 

As Workers Resist, the Left Recoils

That recent working class anti-vaccine mandate protests have been met with either silence or derision from the Left speaks volumes about their allegiances.

The Bellows

January 30, 2022

by Edwin Aponte

Photo by Leila Mechoui

 

If you consider yourself on the political Left, you might be forgiven for not knowing very much about the many acts of worker resistance against the COVID-19 vaccination mandates that have taken place all around the world over the last year. This is because the professional Left media and activist class—while happy to cover traditional strike action over union contract disputes, such as with last year’s John Deere Company and the more recent Kroger strike in the United States—have completely ignored comparable labor struggles undertaken by working people over an issue which defies contemporary cultural associations; leaping over most racial, gender, and social divisions.

By making social and economic participation contingent upon the taking of a speedily-developed medical product, average members of the global labor force are being placed in a dehumanizing position—either participate in the world’s largest clinical trial, or be cast into a life of social alienation and privation. Resistance to these vaccine mandates has been expressed through walkouts, picketing, coordinated sickoutsmass resignations, and most recently in Canada, massive truck convoys. And while COVID lockdown-related supply chain backups continue to play out, such revived worker militancy is adding to the already existing crises in the shipping, healthcare, and retail industries.

With such abundant unrest on the labor front it is interesting to note that the Left press appears more concerned with covering the class character of the sport of cricket, or asking whether or not it’s OK to laugh at the unvaccinated when they die of the COVID-19 virus.

This silence betrays the Left’s allergy to the varied social character of the working class as it actually exists in 2022. Any amount of social conservatism among the lower and working classes flies in the face of the Left’s condescending narrative of the downtrodden as the most morally dignified political subject. (After all, that is how the chattering class see themselves, and do they not have workers’ best interests in mind?)

The most spectacular anti-mandate protests of late have been seen in Canada, where a 50,000-strong truck convoy has wound its way from British Columbia to Ottawa in protest of a recently implemented regulation requiring all truckers returning from the United States to show proof of vaccination before they can re-enter the country. Even so, the demonstration has broadened to include Canadians of all working-class professions who have had it with pandemic restrictions in general, and with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in particular.

(Predictably, Left-wing activists have met these protests with insults, mockery and accusations of racism and fascism.)

Such political outbursts are reminiscent of a spate of similar demonstrations last year. In October, Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights during what was widely rumored on Twitter to be a coordinated anti-mandate sickout. (Hard evidence for a coordinated strike is elusive, however Southwest walked back its policy only days after the mass-cancelation incident.) In Quebec, despite stern demands from the Interprofessional Health Federation and the Order of Nurses, healthcare workers demonstrated against the province’s looming mandatory vaccine deadline, which would have put thousands out of work. As was the case with Southwest, Quebec’s health minister backed down and delayed its implementation by a month.

“It cannot be stressed enough that these workers have mobilized against corporate colossi.”

And it didn’t end there. Teachers and students all over the state of California staged a large-scale walkout. Target and Walmart workers coordinated sick absences, and countless police and state troopers—sometimes with the backing of their unions, sometimes not—have clashed with local governments over the policy. An In-and-Out burger restaurant was temporarily closed by the city of San Francisco because its employees were flagrantly in violation of mandate rules.

But the October 2021 protests reached beyond North America. In Europe, Italy’s “green pass”—a COVID-19 vaccine passport mandatory for all workers in the country—was met with intense pushback from dock workers in the port city of Trieste. Their demonstrations were countered by police water cannons and tear gas in what has been one the most violent anti-vaccine mandate protests in the world.

It cannot be stressed enough that these workers have mobilized against corporate colossi. Pfizer, Moderna, BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca, make up the majority of the global vaccine market share. Johnson & Johnson, for example, reaped $766 million from its single-shot product in the first nine months of this year. But those numbers are nothing compared to what Moderna has reported. In August the company said that they had earned just under $4.2 billion from their own vaccine.

Absurd profits are but one aspect of big pharma’s power. Public Citizen, an American consumer advocacy group, published leaked Pfizer contracts last month demonstrating the company’s ability to “silence governments, throttle supply, shift risk and maximize profits,” by strong-arming states into accepting preferable terms, such as blocking countries from donating vaccine doses to other countries, unilaterally changing delivery schedules, and permitting public assets to be used as private collateral.

This isn’t to suggest that these workers are all protesting vaccine mandates out of any sort of conscious ideological opposition to corporate monopoly power. What matters is that it has typically been the Left that pushes back against this sort of exploitation. But recently the lawmakers of the major Left-liberal political parties (which, let’s be honest, all Left media outlets and even the most fringe activist movements are beholden to) have accepted huge sums in campaign cash from the pharmaceutical industry.

Conspicuously, in the run up to the 2020 US presidential election, big pharma flipped its decades-long strategy of primarily donating to conservative Republican lawmakers in favor of spending most of it on Democrats, instead.

As a result we have an ostensibly socialist publication like Jacobin arguing that, because we are already subject to a litany of more dramatic more dramatic intrusions upon our civil liberties (such as mandatory drug-testing for many workers and welfare recipients) and restrictions on freedom of movement for certain individuals under the pretext of “national security,” Americans may as well submit to a likewise invasive, but ultimately benign, state edict. In Canada the same argument is being made against the trucking protesters. Over in Spain, the communist website, Communia—usually among the better niche outlets—went out of its way to portray all COVID vaccine hesitancy as a type of reactionary anti-capitalism. That is to say, a movement composed of backward-looking reactionaries who only want to reverse those elements of capitalism which negatively affect them, while posturing as anti-capitalist more generally. Per their reasoning, resistance to these mandates signifies a desire for an individualist, a-la-carte style of capitalist domination. (As much as the term correctly applies to movements such as veganism and anti-GMO farming—you can’t turn back the march of technology—conflating the specificity of COVID-19 vaccination mandate resistance with all vaccine mandate resistance is dishonest and, frankly, anti-scientific.)

But the most alarming conflation made by the political Left apparatus is between anti-mandate protest action and domestic terrorism. In Chicago last year, Democratic mayor Lori Lightfoot accused the Fraternal Order of Police of trying to “induce an insurrection” by urging its police officers to ignore the order and risk disciplinary action from the city. It is true that such labor action runs afoul of the law, but it is also true that wildcat strikes and out-of-turn work stoppages are some of the most effective means of worker leverage.

Chicago’s police union ultimately asked the county court to step in, and eventually a temporary restraining order was issued against the mandate. But if the Lori Lightfoots of the political world do eventually succeed in getting their way, protesting workers may find themselves not only on the wrong side of the law, but under threat of serious and life-destroying criminal charges. The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about the “heightened” threat posed by “extremists” opposing vaccination, and President Joe Biden’s Justice Department went so far as to ask the FBI to keep a lookout for potential violence committed against school administrators and staff by concerned parents.

As we have seen from the legal proceedings of the January 6th Capitol protesters, politicians have no compunction about bringing the full force of the state on individuals who act out of line. Opposition to such brutality used to be the principled domain of the Left, and should be especially important now that their faction is in a relative position of power.

If the institutional Left is unwilling to lift a finger, then it is up to workers on all sides of the cultural and political divide to take it upon themselves to apply the appropriate amount of popular pressure, even at the risk of personal ruin. That the Left feels it has bigger fish to fry is on the one hand a grave betrayal of its historic rhetoric against capital, and on the other hand in keeping with its century-plus tendency to cozy up to the bourgeoisie when the going gets tough. Who needs them?

 

[Edwin Aponte is a writer and journalist based in Brooklyn. He is the editor and publisher of the Bellows.]