Thursday, 30 September 2010
History cannot be turned back in Latin America
[The nationally assembly says that it will not give in, or dialogue with the protesting police and armed forces until the president has been safely returned to his office at the national palace. People are going in masses to RETIEVE THEIR PRESIDENT from the police hospital. - Sons of Malcolm]
A coup attempt is underway against the government of President Rafael
Correa. On Thursday morning, groups of police forces rebelled and
took over key strategic sites in Quito, Ecuador’s capital. President
Correa immediately went to the military base occupied by the police
leading the protest to work out a solution to the situation. The
police protesting claimed a new law passed on Wednesday regarding
public officials would reduce their benefits.
Nonetheless, President Correa affirmed that his government has
actually doubled police wages over the past four years. The law would
not cut benefits but rather restructure them. The law was used as an
excuse to justify the police protest. But other forces are behind the
chaos, attempting to provoke a coup led by former president Lucio
Guitierrez, who was impeached by popular revolt in Ecuador in 2005.
“This is a coup attempt led by Lucio Guitierrez”, denounced Correa on
Thursday afternoon via telephone. Correa was attacked by the police
forces with tear gas. "Kill me if you need to. There will be other
Correa's", said the President, addressing the police rebellion. He
was hospitalized shortly after at a military hospital, which has now
been taking over by coup forces. As of 1pm Thursday, police forces
were attempting to access his hospital room to possibly assassinate
Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño called on supporters to go to the
hospital to defend Correa and prevent his assassination. Military
forces took over an air base in Quito to prevent air transit and took
over nearby streets to prevent Correa's supporters from mobilizing
towards the hospital. Other security forces took over the parliament,
preventing legislators from accessing the state institution and
causing severe chaos and violence. Thousands of supporters filled
Quito’s streets, gathering around the presidential palace, backing
Correa and rejecting the coup attempt.
At 2pm EST, the Ecuadorian government declared an emergency state.
Countries throughout the region expressed support for Correa and
condemned the destabilization. The Organization of American States in
Washington called an emergency meeting at 2:30pm EST. ALBA nations
and UNASUR are also convening.
Ecuador is a member of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA)
and a close ally of Venezuela. Last June, Honduras, a prior ALBA
member, was victim of a coup d'etat that forced President Manuel
Zelaya from power. The coup was backed by Washington. In 2002,
Venezuela was also subject to a Washington-backed coup d'etat that
briefly ousted President Chavez from power. He was returned to office
within 48 hours after millions of Venezuelans protested and defeated
the US-backed coup leaders.
Ecuador is the newest victim of destabilization in South America.
USAID channels millions annually into political groups against Correa
that could be behind the coup attempt.
Information in development
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
VIDEO: 'HIP-HOP HISTORY' EVENT ORGANISED BY WEST LONDON YOUTH FEAT: AKALA, LOWKEY, PURPLE, KATE TEMPEST AND MANY MORE
Monday, 27 September 2010
Red Action in action - Blood & Honour rendezvous, Hyde Park, May 27th, 1989
Exclusive by Not-A-Dinner-Party for Sons of Malcolm
In 1990 activists from Anti-Fascist Action attacked a meeting of
fascists in Kensington Library. Fascists were held in the room and
beaten severely. This was part of an ongoing campaign by AFA to smash
the far-rights ability to openly organise.
As a result of this action, the BNP launched it's own security wing,
C18 was formed specifically to target the far -left. And they were
pretty successful. All around the UK leftists, the SWP in particular
came under the cosh, with their paper sales/stalls attacked on pretty
much a weekly basis. In one notorious, but far from unique example, a
SWP meeting in Glasgow was attacked as attendees left. There were
about 30 SWP members present and a handful of C18/BNP. Despite
greatly outnumbering C18, the SWPs did nothing - leaving their
people, including their local organiser, to be beaten unconscious
while they all stood around screaming in terror or running away.
The local organiser was beaten to a pulp while all of his comrades
legged it. His filofax was stolen with the names and address of
hundreds of SWP members. This led to SWPers being targeted,
threatened and attacked in their homes nationwide, including leading
members. The SWP never admit to any of this, peddling the myth that
their ANL Mark 2 "beat the nazis" with shrieked slogans and lollipop
placards alone, but the fact is they got seriously hammered. Week
after week after week. And they did nothing about it, just kept
sending their members out to get beaten on paper-sales with no means
to defend themselves (they just didnt have the type of members
capable of it and the very few they had who could were
suspended/disciplined if they even attempted to fight back).
C18 believed, just as the English Defence League do now, that the
Left was a soft target, that they could attack them with impunity.
And in the main they were correct.
However, the thing was then, just as now with the EDL, C18 could not
take any serious opposition and were battered in pretty much every
confrontation with AFA. This is despite C18 outnumbering AFA on a
national level. AFA nationwide never had more that 50 central
fighters and a periphery of a couple of hundred tops. TheBNP/C18 had
several hundred with a periphery of football hooligans that was
around a thousand or so (Chelsea Headhunters and Rangers ICF in
The security services took a very close interest in these
developments and their involvement in Combat 18 is not in any doubt.
In the early 1990's both police Special Branch and MI5 were competing
to prove their relevance in the post-cold war period. Both ran agents
in C18. Charlie Sargent, working for Special Branch led one faction.
The Sargent faction believed in mass street actions with hooligan
firms united on the streets against the Left, Republican marches etc
(much like the EDL now). Wilf Browning, working for MI5, led the
"terrorist" faction which wanted to be an elite group that would
launch an armed struggle, starting with a bombing campaign and
selective targeting of Leftists, politicians and other "race
traitors", linking up with fascist terrorists across Europe and the
US. It is not hard to see how both factions strategic orientation
would suit the agenda of their respective state sponsors.
C18 was roundly defeated on the streets by AFA in a long and violent
street war, a side effect of which was to lead to Browning's/MI5
faction getting the upper hand within the group. In the ensuing
faction fight Seargent stabbed to death a member of Brownings
faction. The Seargent/SB faction collapsed as police interview tapes
of Seargent stating he was working for SB were leaked by the
Browning/MI5 faction and Browning/MI5 took control of Combat18. How
the Browning C18 faction gained access to the tapes was the cause of
some speculation on the far-right and was seen by many as evidence of
Browning's own security service dealings.
However, C18 was by this time a dead duck. Beaten on the streets by
AFA and torn apart by murderous fueding and security service rivalry.
Nevertheless, as its final swan song Brownings/MI5 C18 went on to
send out a few letter bombs (including to AFA and Red Action), which
gave the security service the excuse to finally shut them down, with
raids, arrests and jailing, C18 all but disappeared into obscurity.
Combat 18 still exists but is mainly in Europe and Russia, its
British activists tending to keep their heads down and living off
their fading notoriety. Perhaps ironically, it was actually a member
of the rump Seargent faction that went on to carry out the most
deadly fascist terrorist campaign in England, David Copeland, the
Most of the hooligans still active who were associated with C18 in
the 90s are now associated with the EDL, and continuing animosity
between the factions led to the EDL being attacked by the Browning
C18 in a pub in London last year.
Both factions of C18 had strong links to and cross membership with
the Loyalist paramilitary groups, particularly with Billy Wright's
LVF and Johnny Adairs UDA/UFF 'C' Company faction and about the only
place C18 is still active in the UK is in the 6 counties where the
name is occasionally used by Loyalists as a cover name for racist
attacks on the new immigrant communities.
On Combat-18: (The Independent)
On Red Action: (The Independent)
Doc-Films on AFA:
The Mangrove owners during the 1970 court case: Roy Hemmings (left), Jean Cabussel and Critchlow
Frank Critchlow: Community leader who made the
Mangrove Restaurant the beating heart of
Notting Hill/Ladbroke Grove
For many years Frank Critchlow played a central role in the Notting
Hill's black community. He set up the Mangrove Restaurant, the first
black restaurant in "the Grove". This apparently innocuous activity
set him on a collision course with the local police, who equated
black radicalism with criminality. Police persecution of the Mangrove
became emblematic of the experience of the black community at large,
and Critchlow's struggle brought the British Black Power movement its
first major victory.
Critchlow was born in Trinidad in 1931. He moved to Britain at the
age of 21 and worked for a time maintaining gas lamps for British
Rail. In 1955 he took a new course, becoming band leader with The
Starlight Four. In the late 1950s Critchlow changed direction again,
setting up the El Rio, a small coffee bar in Westbourne Park Road,
Notting Dale, and then in 1968 the Mangrove Restaurant in All Saints
The Mangrove, which served the cuisine Critchlow had learned from his
mother, soon became the beating heart of Notting Hill's West Indian
community. Black people who wanted advice on housing or legal aid
went there, as did black radicals who wanted to discuss the
revolution in the Caribbean, or the fortunes of the American Black
Power movement, as well as bohemian "whitebeats" looking for an
alternative to square English culture. The community aspect of the
Mangrove was evident in the pages of The Hustler, a small community
newspaper edited by Courtney Tulloch which was produced on the
The Mangrove, like the Rio before it, gained a reputation for radical
chic. The Rio came to public attention in 1963 when it was referred
to in the Denning Report on the Profumo Affair as one of Christine
Keeler's and Stephen Ward's regular haunts. The Mangrove also saw its
fair share of big names including the black intellectuals CLR James
and Lionel Morrison, celebrities such as Nina Simone, Sammy Davis Jr,
Jimi Hendrix and Vanessa Redgrave, and white radicals like Colin
MacInnes, Richard Neville and Lord Tony Gifford.
But the thriving restaurant soon came under attack. "The heavy mob",
a group of officers who according to The Hustler policed Notting Hill
like a colonial army, raided the Mangrove 12 times between January
1969 and July 1970. They claimed that the Mangrove was a drugs den,
in spite of the fact that their repeated raids never yielded a shred
of evidence. The police pursued Critchlow on a host of petty
licensing charges, including permitting dancing and allowing his
friends to eat sweetcorn and drink tea after 11pm. Critchlow stood
resolutely against this persecution. "Unless you're an Uncle Tom," he
protested in an interview with The Guardian in 1970, "you've got no
Darcus Howe, who was working at the Mangrove, urged Critchlow to look
to the community for support. Together, Howe, Critchlow and the local
Panthers organised a March. On 9 August 1970, 150 protesters took the
streets, flanked by more than 700 police. Police intervention
resulted in violence and Critchlow, Howe and seven others were
charged with inciting riot.
The march sent shockwaves through the British polity. Special Branch
was called in, and files at the National Archives show that the Home
Office considered trying to deport Critchlow. Meanwhile, the Mangrove
Nine made legal history in demanding an all-black jury, taking
control of the case and emphasising the political nature of police
harassment. Police witnesses described Critchlow's restaurant in
lurid terms, as a hive of "criminals, ponces and prostitutes".
Critchlow fought back with numerous character witnesses who defended
his reputation as a respected community leader.
After 55 days at the Old Bailey Critchlow and his fellow defendants
were acquitted. What is more, 28 years before the Macpherson Report,
the judge publicly acknowledged that there was "evidence of racial
hatred" within the Met. Horrified, the Assistant Commissioner wrote
to the Director of Public Prosecutions seeking a retraction of the
judge's statement. The Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, arranged a
meeting between the judge and senior civil servants but the statement
was never withdrawn.
The case did not end institutional racism, but, as Critchlow put it,
"It was a turning point for black people. It put on trial the
attitudes of the police, the Home Office, of everyone towards the
black community. We took a stand and I am proud of what we achieved –
we forced them to sit down and rethink harassment."
In the '70s Critchlow founded the Mangrove Community Association,
which continued the work begun by the restaurant, organising
demonstrations against apartheid in South Africa, institutional
racism, and supporting national liberation movements from Africa to
the Middle East. Critchlow was also instrumental in establishing and
running the Notting Hill Carnival. According to Tulloch, while the
Carnival came from the community rather than any individual, there
was a group of Trinidadians with "a tremendous wealth of serious
musical ability", including Critchlow, who set the ball rolling. He
continued to be involved as it grew in scale, defending it for many
years from "McDonaldisation".
Police persecution of the Mangrove never wholly ceased. In 1989
Critchlow was in court once again, this time accused of drug-dealing,
and again, church leaders, magistrates, community leaders black and
white, all spoke out in his defence. Again he was acquitted of all
charges. The final victory was Critchlow's; in 1992 he sued the Met
for false imprisonment, battery and malicious prosecution. The police
refused to admit fabricating evidence but paid him a record £50,000.
Speaking at the time, he said that the money would help "in a small
way. But it is no compensation for what they did. Everybody knows
that I do not have anything to do with drugs. I don't even smoke
cigarettes. I cannot explain the disgust, the ugliness, not just for
me but for all my family, that this whole incident has caused."
Looking back, Lord Gifford commented, "Frank was determined to build
a business in and for the North Kensington Community. He persevered
in the face of adversity and harassment. His restaurant was a place
where all people of good will were welcome. He was a hard-working
pioneer who was not recognised as he should have been." For his
friend Darcus Howe, Frank Critchlow was simply, "a Caribbean man who
did ordinary things in extraordinary ways."
Robin Bunce and Paul Field
Frank Critchlow, community activist: born Trinidad 13 July 1931;
three daughters, one son; died 15 September 2010.
The former guerrilla set to be the world's most powerful woman
Brazil looks likely to elect an extraordinary leader next weekend
By Hugh O'Shaughnessy
The world's most powerful woman will start coming into her own next
weekend. Stocky and forceful at 63, this former leader of the
resistance to a Western-backed military dictatorship (which tortured
her) is preparing to take her place as President of Brazil.
As head of state, president Dilma Rousseff would outrank Angela
Merkel, Germany's Chancellor, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary
of State: her enormous country of 200 million people is revelling in
its new oil wealth. Brazil's growth rate, rivalling China's, is one
that Europe and Washington can only envy.
Her widely predicted victory in next Sunday's presidential poll will
be greeted with delight by millions. It marks the final demolition of
the "national security state", an arrangement that conservative
governments in the US and Europe once regarded as their best artifice
for limiting democracy and reform. It maintained a rotten status quo
that kept a vast majority in poverty in Latin America while favouring
their rich friends.
Ms Rousseff, the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant to Brazil and his
schoolteacher wife, has benefited from being, in effect, the prime
minister of the immensely popular President Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva, the former union leader. But, with a record of determination
and success (which includes appearing to have conquered lymphatic
cancer), this wife, mother and grandmother will be her own woman. The
polls say she has built up an unassailable lead – of more than 50 per
cent compared with less than 30 per cent – over her nearest rival, an
uninspiring man of the centre called Jose Serra. Few doubt that she
will be installed in the Alvorada presidential palace in Brasilia in
Like President Jose Mujica of Uruguay, Brazil's neighbour, Ms
Rousseff is unashamed of a past as an urban guerrilla which included
battling the generals and spending time in jail as a political
prisoner. As a little girl growing up in the provincial city of Belo
Horizonte, she says she dreamed successively of becoming a ballerina,
a firefighter and a trapeze artist. The nuns at her school took her
class to the city's poor area to show them the vast gaps between the
middle-class minority and the vast majority of the poor. She
remembers that when a young beggar with sad eyes came to her family's
door she tore a currency note in half to share with him, not knowing
that half a banknote had no value.
Her father, Pedro, died when she was 14, but by then he had
introduced her to the novels of Zola and Dostoevski. After that, she
and her siblings had to work hard with their mother to make ends
meet. By 16 she was in POLOP (Workers' Politics), a group outside the
traditional Brazilian Communist Party that sought to bring socialism
to those who knew little about it.
The generals seized power in 1964 and decreed a reign of terror to
defend what they called "national security". She joined secretive
radical groups that saw nothing wrong with taking up arms against an
illegitimate military regime. Besides cosseting the rich and crushing
trade unions and the underclass, the generals censored the press,
forbidding editors from leaving gaps in newspapers to show where news
had been suppressed.
Ms Rousseff ended up in the clandestine VAR-Palmares (Palmares Armed
Revolutionary Vanguard). In the 1960s and 1970s, members of such
organisations seized foreign diplomats for ransom: a US ambassador
was swapped for a dozen political prisoners; a German ambassador was
exchanged for 40 militants; a Swiss envoy swapped for 70. They also
shot foreign torture experts sent to train the generals' death
squads. Though she says she never used weapons, she was eventually
rounded up and tortured by the secret police in Brazil's equivalent
to Abu Ghraib, the Tiradentes prison in Sao Paulo. She was given a
25-month sentence for "subversion" and freed after three years. Today
she openly confesses to having "wanted to change the world".
In 1973 she moved to the prosperous southern state of Rio Grande do
Sul, where her second husband, Carlos Araujo, a lawyer, was finishing
a four-year term as a political prisoner (her first marriage with a
young left-winger, Claudio Galeno, had not survived the strains of
two people being on the run in different cities). She went back to
university, started working for the state government in 1975, and had
a daughter, Paula.
In 1986, she was named finance chief of Porto Alegre, the state
capital, where her political talents began to blossom. Yet the 1990s
were bitter-sweet years for her. In 1993 she was named secretary of
energy for the state, and pulled off the coup of vastly increasing
power production, ensuring the state was spared the power cuts that
plagued the rest of the country.
She had 1,000km of new electric power lines, new dams and thermal
power stations built while persuading citizens to switch off the
lights whenever they could. Her political star started shining
brightly. But in 1994, after 24 years together, she separated from Mr
Araujo, though apparently on good terms. At the same time she was
torn between academic life and politics, but her attempt to gain a
doctorate in social sciences failed in 1998.
In 2000 she threw her lot in with Lula and his Partido dos
Trabalhadores, or Workers' Party which set its sights successfully on
combining economic growth with an attack on poverty. The two
immediately hit it off and she became his first energy minister in
2003. Two years later he made her his chief of staff and has since
backed her as his successor. She has been by his side as Brazil has
found vast new offshore oil deposits, aiding a leader whom many in
the European and US media were denouncing a decade ago as a extreme
left-wing wrecker to pull 24 million Brazilians out of poverty. Lula
stood by her in April last year as she was diagnosed with lymphatic
cancer, a condition that was declared under control a year ago.
Recent reports of financial irregularities among her staff do not
seem to have damaged her popularity.
Ms Rousseff is likely to invite President Mujica of Uruguay to her
inauguration in the New Year. President Evo Morales of Bolivia,
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Fernando Lugo of
Paraguay – other successful South American leaders who have, like
her, weathered merciless campaigns of denigration in the Western
media – are also sure to be there. It will be a celebration of
political decency – and feminism.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
"We will express it at all the forums, and we are going to
launch an international campaign with the Chiefs of State
and the social movements (against the Arizona law),"
Bolivian President Evo Morales Tells Obama
‘Stop Deporting Immigrants’
NEW YORK – As heads of state gathered here to attend the United
Nations General Assembly, Bolivian President Evo Morales ended a
speech at Hunter College on Monday by calling on President Barack
Obama to stop “expelling” Latin American immigrants who are trying to
eke out a living.
“Here there’s a lot of talk about policies that aim to expel
immigrants,” he said. “There are deep asymmetries between countries,
between continents, so of course our brothers in Latin America come
here to improve their economic situation. But our brothers who come
to the U.S., to Europe, to survive, to reach a better station in
life, they are thrown out. What kind of policy is that?”
Morales’ message: “I call on President Obama to halt these policies
that aim to deport the Latin American people here, because we all
have the same rights.”
President Morales was at Hunter to promote his biography, recently
translated into English. But he closed his speech with a few select
words for the American president. “I was convinced a black man and an
indigenous man were going to work like a pair of oxen for the whole
world,” said the indigenous Morales. “It doesn’t make sense that one
discriminated party would discriminate against another.”
Morales’ biographer, Martin Sivak, spoke warmly of the Bolivian
President, with whom he traveled for two years to write, Evo Morales:
The Extraordinary Rise of the First Indigenous President of Bolivia.
Evo Morales was born to a poor indigenous family in the high plains
of Bolivia, and grew up to be a union organizer who represented coca
farmers. His rise to power was characterized by fierce opposition,
including detention and torture in Bolivia, and more recently,
ridicule abroad, where he has been called a puppet of Hugo Chavez.
His policies have sought to nationalize natural resources and basic
services, and The New York Times described his diplomatic
relationship with Washington as “tense.” In an 2009 article, the NYT
said it “might be the worst in the hemisphere, except for the one
His biographer described Morales’ political career and recounted
episodes which reveal the sense of humor of the man he chronicled. “I
heard him say to a waitress, ‘I would even drink poison from your
hands,’ after she asked him if he liked coffee or juice. I listened
to him lecture on the difference between llamas and people.”
At first, Sivak, a young man from Argentina, was exhausted by trying
to keep up with the Bolivian president’s rigorous schedule. “Morales
predicted I wouldn’t be able to handle the pace of his life as
president but that I should give it a try,” Sivak said:
“After the first week I had altitude sickness and I was hooked up to
an oxygen machine in a pharmacy in La Paz. The schedule, which
started at 5 o’clock in the morning and ended at 12 o’clock at night,
had included 22 airplanes and helicopters and more than 40 events in
places that do not appear on school maps. President Morales enjoyed
asking the pilots to do pirouettes because he knows how scared I am
of small planes.”
In a more serious tone, Sivak said Morales’ landslide victory (64% of
the vote) in the last presidential election “deserved a more complex
read” than the one it earned from critics of the Bolivian regime, who
said it stemmed simply from Morales’ support base in the indigenous
community, which makes up more than 60 percent of the population.
Sivak said, “I was deeply moved with what I saw in these years [...]
The decline of power of the old elites that ruled the country for so
many years and the resurgence of the poor majorities.” He urged
people in the U.S. to view Morales as a leader in his own right–more
than just an extension of Chavez who has “emotional ties” to the
Bolivian president asks Obama to reject
controversial immigration law
LA PAZ, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia's President Evo Morales Thursday
asked U.S. President Barack Obama to reject a U.S. immigration law
because it discriminates against Latin Americans.
In a letter to Obama, Morales warned the U.S. president against the
consequences of the immigration law adopted by the U.S. state of
Arizona in April.
Morales said the United States is a country of immigrants, who
contributed to its development and economic power.
He also urged Obama, the first African-American U.S. president, to
avoid past historical mistakes like racial segregation or slavery in
the United States.
"We will express it at all the forums, and we are going to launch an
international campaign with the Chiefs of State and the social
movements(against the Arizona law)," Morales said.
The Arizona law makes it a crime to stay in the United States
illegally and empowers local law enforcement to check the immigration
status of people suspected of staying in the country illegally. It
also creates misdemeanor crimes for harboring and transporting
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
[Kwame Nkrumah peaks in Harlem, with Malcolm X listening and looking on
(bottom right of the frame)]
Kwame Nkrumah speech:
I Speak of Freedom (excerpt)
For centuries, Europeans dominated the African continent. The white
man arrogated to himself the right to rule and to be obeyed by the
non-white; his mission, he claimed, was to "civilise" Africa. Under
this cloak, the Europeans robbed the continent of vast riches and
inflicted unimaginable suffering on the African people.
All this makes a sad story, but now we must be prepared to bury the
past with its unpleasant memories and look to the future. All we ask
of the former colonial powers is their goodwill and co-operation to
remedy past mistakes and injustices and to grant independence to the
colonies in Africa?
It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems,
and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are
weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good
in the world.
Although most Africans are poor, our continent is potentially
extremely rich. Our mineral resources, which are being exploited with
foreign capital only to enrich foreign investors, range from gold and
diamonds to uranium and petroleum. Our forests contain some of the
finest woods to be grown anywhere. Our cash crops include cocoa,
coffee, rubber, tobacco and cotton. As for power, which is an
important factor in any economic development, Africa contains over
40% of the potential water power of the world, as compared with about
10% in Europe and 13% in North America. Yet so far, less than 1% has
been developed. This is one of the reasons why we have in Africa the
paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty, and scarcity in the midst
Never before have a people had within their grasp so great an
opportunity for developing a continent endowed with so much wealth.
Individually, the independent states of Africa, some of them
potentially rich, others poor, can do little for their people.
Together, by mutual help, they can achieve much. But the economic
development of the continent must be planned and pursued as a whole.
A loose confederation designed only for economic co-operation would
not provide the necessary unity of purpose. Only a strong political
union can bring about full and effective development of our natural
resources for the benefit of our people.
The political situation in Africa today is heartening and at the same
time disturbing. It is heartening to see so many new flags hoisted in
place of the old; it is disturbing to see so many countries of
varying sizes and at different levels of development, weak and, in
some cases, almost helpless. If this terrible state of fragmentation
is allowed to continue it may well be disastrous for us all.
There are at present some 28 states in Africa, excluding the Union of
South Africa, and those countries not yet free. No less than nine of
these states have a population of less than three million. Can we
seriously believe that the colonial powers meant these countries to
be independent, viable states? The example of South America, which
has as much wealth, if not more than North America, and yet remains
weak and dependent on outside interests, is one which every African
would do well to study.
Critics of African unity often refer to the wide differences in
culture, language and ideas in various parts of Africa. This is true,
but the essential fact remains that we are all Africans, and have a
common interest in the independence of Africa. The difficulties
presented by questions of language, culture and different political
systems are not insuperable. If the need for political union is
agreed by us all, then the will to create it is born; and where
there's a will there's a way.
The present leaders of Africa have already shown a remarkable
willingness to consult and seek advice among themselves. Africans
have, indeed, begun to think continentally. They realise that they
have much in common, both in their past history, in their present
problems and in their future hopes. To suggest that the time is not
yet ripe for considering a political union of Africa is to evade the
facts and ignore realities in Africa today.
The greatest contribution that Africa can make to the peace of the
world is to avoid all the dangers inherent in disunity, by creating a
political union which will also by its success, stand as an example
to a divided world. A Union of African states will project more
effectively the African personality. It will command respect from a
world that has regard only for size and influence. The scant
attention paid to African opposition to the French atomic tests in
the Sahara, and the ignominious spectacle of the U.N. in the Congo
quibbling about constitutional niceties while the Republic was
tottering into anarchy, are evidence of the callous disregard of
African Independence by the Great Powers.
We have to prove that greatness is not to be measured in stockpiles
of atom bombs. I believe strongly and sincerely that with the
deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives,
the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united
under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world
bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose
greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and
suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope,
trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.
The emergence of such a mighty stabilising force in this strife-worn
world should be regarded not as the shadowy dream of a visionary, but
as a practical proposition, which the peoples of Africa can, and
should, translate into reality. There is a tide in the affairs of
every people when the moment strikes for political action. Such was
the moment in the history of the United States of America when the
Founding Fathers saw beyond the petty wranglings of the separate
states and created a Union. This is our chance. We must act now.
Tomorrow may be too late and the opportunity will have passed, and
with it the hope of free Africa's survival.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Sons of Malcolm sends a Black Power salute to our brothers and sisters who were involved in this struggle, and a major thank you to the filmmakers.
See the film online HERE
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Friday, 17 September 2010
Sons of Malcolm does not necessarily endorse all that is said in this interview, but would like share this for all your benefit, and sends revolutionary salutes to Brother Malcolm Shabazz
From Block Report Radio
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Brazil's huge new port highlights China's
drive into South America
Investments guarantee Chinese access to soy, oil and other badly
Wednesday 15 September 2010
The 'super port' in Sao Joao da Barra is the largest port
investment in Brazil and will have capacity for the largest
ships in the world. Photograph: Douglas Engle/Australfoto
Blades slicing through the morning heat, the helicopter
rose from the tarmac and swept into a cobalt sky, high
above Rio's Guanabara Bay.
It powered north-east over deserted beaches, dense Atlantic
rainforest and fishing boats that bobbed lazily in the
ocean below. Then finally, 80 minutes on, the destination
came into view: a gigantic concrete pier that juts nearly
two miles out into the South Atlantic and boasts an unusual
nickname: the Highway to China.
Dotted with orange-clad construction workers and propped up
by dozens of 38-tonne pillars, this vast concrete structure
is part of the Superporto do Acu, a £1.6bn port and
industrial complex that is being erected on the Rio
coastline, on an area equivalent to 12,000 football
Reputedly the largest industrial port complex of its type
in the world, Açu is also one of the most visible symbols
of China's rapidly accelerating drive into Brazil and South
America as it looks to guarantee access to much-needed
natural resources and bolster its support base in the
When Acu opens for business in 2012, its 10-berth pier will
play host to a globetrotting armada of cargo ships, among
them the 380-metre wide ChinaMax – the largest vessel of
its type, capable of ferrying 400,000 tonnes of cargo.
Millions of tonnes of iron ore, grain, soy and millions of
barrels of oil are expected to pass along the "Highway"
each year on their way east, where they will alleviate
China's seemingly unquenchable thirst for natural
"This project marks a new phase in relations between Brazil
and China," Rio's economic development secretary, Julio
Bueno, said during the recent visit of about 100 Chinese
businessmen to the port complex, which is being built by
the Brazilian logistics company LLX and should receive
billions of dollars of Chinese investment.
This new phase of engagement with Brazil and South America,
is part of China's "going out strategy" – an economic and,
some say, diplomatic push for Chinese companies, many of
them state-run, to invest abroad, snapping up access to
minerals, energy and food by pouring the country's colossal
foreign reserves into overseas companies and projects.
China is expected to overtake Japan as the world's second
largest economy this year and may already be the world's
greatest energy consumer. Now it is set to become Brazil's
top foreign investor, with its companies plowing $20bn into
the country in the first six months of 2010, compared with
$83m in 2009. A recent study by Deloitte predicted that
Chinese investments in Brazil could hit an average of about
$40bn a year between now and 2014, with companies throwing
money at sectors ranging from telecommunications,
infrastructure and farming, to oil, biofuels, natural gas,
mining and steel manufacturing.
"Relations with Brazil in all areas have entered a new
era," Qiu Xiaoqi, China's ambassador in Brazil, recently
told the state news agency Xinhua.
The surge in China's South American spending is not just a
Brazilian phenomenon. Ecuador has already signed around
$5bn of bilateral deals with China this year, including
$1.7bn to help build a hydro-electric dam and $1bn
investments for oil exploration and infrastructure
projects. That compared with Chinese investment of just
$56m in 2009.
Chinese companies have sunk $1.4bn into mining operations
in Peru this year, while in April Hugo Chávez announced
that the Chinese, already major sponsors of Venezuelan oil
exploration, had agreed to open a $20bn credit-line for the
Michael Klare, author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, a
book about the growing tussle for global resources,
described today's China as "the shopaholic of planet
"The Chinese authorities understand that to sustain the
country's continued growth, they will have to ensure that
its industries are provided with adequate supplies of
energy, minerals, and other basic raw materials," he said.
But the "going out" strategy went far beyond business
transactions, he added.
"They seek to fashion a multipolar world in which no single
power – read the United States – plays an overwhelmingly
dominant role. To this end, they seek to bolster ties with
rising regional powers like Brazil and South Africa."
In Sao Joao da Barra, the city nearest to Acu and one of
Rio state's poorest regions, the Chinese presence is being
felt even before Brazil's Highway to China is complete.
Keen to impress, LLX staff at the Açu port lay on hot water
and Mandarin interpreters for visiting Chinese dignitaries.
Sao Joao da Barra's town hall, meanwhile, has started
offering free Mandarin lessons to locals interested in
working with the wave of Chinese guests that is
"You should see a 10-year-old boy saying, 'I understand …
the Chinese are coming and when the Chinese industries come
I want to work for them and if I speak Mandarin I'll have a
competitive advantage on the others'," beamed Eike Batista,
the billionaire entrepreneur behind the superport and one
of the most vocal cheerleaders for Chinese advances into
Brazil. "[It is] wonderful."
Leonardo Gadelha, LLX's CFO, said during a recent tour of
the port: "This is part of a Chinese strategy of going to
the market more and more. They are already a very
considerable presence in Africa and we are now going
through this moment in Brazil."
The Highway to China lay "in the middle" of this blossoming
relationship with China, he said, adding: "We are betting
that … this will continue growing."
Not all Brazilians, or indeed western governments, share
"There are many in Washington who worry about China's
growing presence in Africa and Latin America and claim that
this poses a threat to America's long-term strategic
interests," said Klare, noting, however, that the US'
"fixation" with Afghanistan and the war on terror meant
there had been virtually no reaction.
In Brazil meanwhile China's arrival has prompted cries of
neo-colonialism. "The Chinese have bought Africa and now
they are trying to buy Brazil," the prominent economist
Antônio Delfim Netto complained in a recent interview with
the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, warning that it was a
"grave mistake" to allow a foreign state to buy "land,
minerals [and] natural resources" from another sovereign
Batista, Brazil's richest man, rejected such criticism,
saying: "The association between Brazil and China is a
two-way highway." Chinese companies such as Wuhan Iron and
Steel had committed to helping build a $5bn steel mill at
the port complex, rather than always shipping out primary
resources to process at home, he pointed out. "You want to
get three tonnes of raw iron ore, [so] produce one tonne of
steel in Brazil," he said. "That philosophy is sinking in
and is great for both sides."
Neither would Chinese companies be allowed to flood the
complex with hordes of foreign workers as had happened in
Africa, said Gadelha, the CFO.
"If it was up to them they would bring lots of Chinese
workers as they are used to doing," he admitted. "[But]
Brazil's legislation is very strict in this sense."
Batista suggested that rather than complaining about
China's courtship of Brazil, western powers should urge
their own companies to pay more attention to the region
"In the last 15 years or so the [American and European]
CEOs have stopped coming here and that is why they are a
little bit behind," he said. "We are pushing European
companies and saying: 'You're not really understanding what
is happening in Brazil'."
"Don't put Brazil in the same bag as our neighbours," he
added. "We are not Central America. We are not Venezuela.
We are not Argentina."
Brazil In November 2009 Brazilian energy giant Petrobras
signed a $10bn loan deal with China's Development Bank. As
part of the deal Petrobras will guarantee the supply of
200,000 barrels of oil per day to China over the next 10
years. Chinese companies and state banks pumped around
$20bn into Brazil in the first half of this year
Venezuela Hugo Chávez, pictured, unveiled a $20bn credit
line from China's Development Bank to fund the "Bolivarian
revolution" in April
Ecuador The country has already signed around $5bn of
bilateral deals with China this year, including $1.7bn to
help build a hydro-electric dam and $1bn investments for
oil exploration and infrastructure projects. In 2009 direct
Chinese investment in the country was just $56m
Peru Chinese companies invested $1.4bn in mining operations
in Peru during the first four months of this year, making
China the country's second largest trade partner
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Said Shabram, who drowned after British soldiers allegedly pushed him from
a jetty into the Shatt al-Arab waterway near Basra.
British servicemen suspected of murdering Iraqi civilians
Soldiers and airmen are suspected of killing significant number of
civilians, but have not been put on trial
Sunday 12 September 2010
Said Shabram, who drowned after British soldiers allegedly pushed him
from a jetty into the Shatt al-Arab waterway near Basra. British
soldiers and airmen are suspected of being responsible for the murder
and manslaughter of a number of Iraqi civilians in addition to the
high-profile case of Baha Mousa, defence officials have admitted.
The victims include a man who was allegedly kicked to death on board
an RAF helicopter, another who was shot by a soldier of the Black
Watch after being involved in a traffic incident, and a 19-year-old
who drowned after allegedly being pushed into a river by soldiers
serving with the Royal Engineers.
Military police recommended that some of the alleged killers be put
on trial for murder and manslaughter, but military prosecutors
declined to do so after concluding that there was no realistic
prospect of convictions. The Ministry of Defence and the Service
Prosecuting Authority (SPA) have repeatedly declined to offer
detailed explanations for those decisions. The MoD has also been
reluctant to offer anything other than sketchy details of some of the
In the case of the man said to have been kicked to death aboard an
RAF helicopter by troops of the RAF Regiment, the MoD has admitted
that the allegation was investigated by RAF police, who decided not
to conduct any postmortem examination of the body. After the case was
referred to the RAF's most senior prosecutor, a decision was taken
not to bring charges, apparently because the cause of death remained
unknown. MoD officials are refusing to say whether any of the alleged
killers were ever interviewed as part of the investigation. They did
admit, however, that the British military has made no attempt to
contact the man's family since his death.
The disclosure that British servicemen are suspected of being
involved in the unlawful killing of a significant number of Iraqi
civilians comes after the high court gave permission for a judicial
review of the MoD's failure to establish a public inquiry into the
British military's entire detention policy in the wake of the 2003
An army investigation into a number of cases – including that of
Mousa, who was tortured to death by British troops – conceded in 2008
that they were a cause for "professional humility", but concluded
that there was nothing endemic about the mistreatment.
In July, however, after reviewing evidence submitted by lawyers
representing 102 survivors of British military detention facilities,
the high court ruled: "There is an arguable case that the alleged
ill-treatment was systemic, and not just at the whim of individual
soldiers." The court also cast doubt on the ability of military
police to conduct independent investigations.
The abuse documented by a team of lawyers led by Birmingham solicitor
Phil Shiner includes 59 allegations of detainees being hooded, 11 of
electric shocks, 122 of sound deprivation through the use of ear
muffs, 52 of sleep deprivation, 131 of sight deprivation using
blackened goggles, 39 of enforced nakedness and 18 allegations that
detainees were kept awake by pornographic DVDs played on laptops.
The incidents which led to British servicemen being suspected of
murder or manslaughter came shortly after the invasion, at a time of
growing chaos and lawlessness in Iraq.
The RAF case concerns the death of a man called Tanik Mahmud, who was
detained at a checkpoint at Ramadi in western Iraq on 11 April 2003
for reasons that the MoD has repeatedly declined to disclose. He and
a number of other detainees were put aboard a Chinook helicopter, and
guarded by three men from the 2nd Squadron of the RAF Regiment.
The MoD says that Mahmud "sustained a fatal injury" while on board
the aircraft, but maintains that it does not know what sort of injury
this was. On the Chinook's arrival at a US air base, Mahmud's body
was examined by a US military doctor, who declared the cause of death
to be unknown.
The MoD says that an RAF police investigation was opened two months
later following a complaint that the three men from the RAF Regiment
"had kicked, punched or otherwise assaulted" Mahmud. According to the
MoD's account, the RAF investigators waited a further 10 months
before asking a pathologist whether it was worth conducting a
postmortem examination. According to the RAF investigators, this
pathologist advised them that Mahmud's body would be too decomposed
for an examination to be worthwhile. The MoD would not say whether
the pathologist was an RAF officer.
That view is disputed by an experienced forensic pathologist, who has
told the Guardian that an examination could still reveal evidence of
an assault, particularly if any ribs or facial bones had been
damaged. Derrick Pounder, professor of forensic medicine at the
University of Dundee, who has experience of exhumations and
postmortems in the Middle East, said: "That advice would be contrary
to the advice that any UK forensic scientist would offer to any
police in the UK who were investigating an allegation of assault
leading to death." When the Guardian asked the MoD if it could see a
copy of the pathologist's advice that it says the RAF police
received, a spokesman said no copy could be found in its files.
Three weeks after Mahmud was killed, a man called Ather Karim Khalaf,
a newlywed aged 24, was shot dead, allegedly after the door of his
car swung open at a checkpoint and struck a soldier of the Black
Watch. An eyewitness has told the Guardian that after being shot at
close range Karim Khalaf was dragged from the car and beaten. He died
later in hospital. The MoD confirmed that Karim Khalaf had been
sitting at the wheel of his car when he was shot, and that witnesses
have complained that he was then taken from the vehicle and beaten. A
spokesman said the Royal Military Police (RMP) recommended that the
soldier be prosecuted for murder, but military prosecutors declined
to do so.
Four weeks after Karim Khalaf was shot dead, Said Shabram, 19,
drowned after British soldiers allegedly pushed him and another man,
Munaam Bali Akaili, from a four-metre-high jetty into the Shatt
al-Arab waterway near Basra.
In a statement that Akaili made during a claim for compensation, he
described the moments before his friend died. "The soldier with the
gun then started pushing us towards the edge of the jetty," he said.
"Said and I were very afraid and started begging the soldier to stop.
The soldier continued to push us towards the edge. He seemed to get
agitated that we would not jump in and, at one point, I thought he
was getting so angry he would shoot us. The soldiers were laughing.
The soldier with the gun suddenly pushed us into the water."
Akaili was dragged from the water by passersby. Shabram's body was
recovered after his family hired a diver to search the water. An MoD
spokesman said the three Royal Engineers were reported by the RMP for
manslaughter, but military prosecutors declined to bring charges.
The MoD evaded a series of questions about prosecution decisions in
these cases for more than three months, before deciding they should
be addressed by the Service Prosecuting Authority, which was formed
last year from the merger of the armed services' prosecuting bodies.
Brigadier Philip McEvoy, deputy director of the SPA, said the name
Ather Karim Khalaf meant nothing to him; when asked how many cases
there could be in which military police had recommended a soldier be
prosecuted for murder, he replied: "God knows."
McEvoy also said he knew little about the Tanik Mahmud case because
the file had been retained by the RAF's directorate of legal
services. He then maintained that he had no idea where that
directorate was based.
McEvoy issued a statement in which he said there had been too little
evidence to justify a prosecution in the Mahmud or Shabram cases. He
added that "the presumption of innocence can only be undermined" if
the SPA were to release information allowing the public to determine
why an individual had fallen under suspicion.
A small number of soldiers alleged to have killed Iraqi civilians
have faced prosecution.
A court martial cleared four soldiers who were accused of the
manslaughter of a 15-year-old, Ahmed Jabbar Kareem, who drowned after
he was allegedly pushed into a canal in Basra two weeks before the
death of Shabram. The court heard that British troops had a policy of
"wetting" suspected looters by forcing them into canals and rivers.
In a separate case, seven soldiers were cleared of the murder of
another Iraqi teenager, Nadhem Abdullah, after a judge ruled that
there was insufficient evidence.
Six soldiers were cleared of the abuse of Baha Mousa. A seventh
pleaded guilty to inhumane treatment and was jailed for a year.
In a number of other cases in which Iraqi civilians have died in
British military custody, the RMP has not recommended criminal
charges. These include the case of Abdul Jabbar Musa Ali, a
headteacher aged 55, who was detained by soldiers of the Black Watch,
along with his son, after a number of firearms were found at their
home. Both men are alleged to have been beaten as they were being
detained, and the MoD concedes that "there is some corroborative
witness evidence to support allegations that they were assaulted"
In a statement that Musa Ali's son has given to lawyers, he said his
father was subsequently kept hooded and beaten repeatedly for several
hours, and that his screaming abruptly stopped. When his family
retrieved his body it was said to have been extensively bruised. The
MoD said it was not possible to establish whether a crime had been
committed because the family refused permission for an exhumation.
Another man died five days earlier after being detained by soldiers
of the Black Watch, apparently at the same detention centre. His
corpse was taken to a local hospital where his death was recorded as
being the result of cardiac arrest. The MoD admits that this
recording was made by a man with no medical qualifications. "The RMP
subsequently investigated and established that no crime had been
committed," the MoD said.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Keep Ya Head Up
Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots
I give a holler to my sisters on welfare
Tupac cares, and don't nobody else care
And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot
When you come around the block brothas clown a lot
But please don't cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don't forget, girl keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain't nuttin don't believe him
And if he can't learn to love you you should leave him
Cause sista you don't need him
And I ain't tryin to gas ya up, I just call em how I see em
You know it makes me unhappy (what's that)
When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it's time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don't we'll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can't make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you're fed up ladies, but keep your head up
Come on come on
I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself
is life worth living should I blast myself?
I'm tired of bein' poor & even worse I'm black
my stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch
Cops give a damn about a negro
pull the trigger kill a nigga he's a hero
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares
one less hungry mouth on the welfare
First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers
give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other
It's time to fight back that's what Huey said
2 shots in the dark now Huey's dead
I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere
unless we share with each other
We gotta start makin' changes
learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers
and that's how it's supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
but things changed, and that's the way it is
Come on come on
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
one better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
'cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
and only time we chill is when we kill each other
it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is
We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.
And still I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace
It's war on the streets & the war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs
so the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the facts givin' it back to you
Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up,
crack you up and pimp smack you up
You gotta learn to hold ya own
they get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone
But tell the cops they can't touch this
I don't trust this when they try to rush I bust this
That's the sound of my tool you say it ain't cool
my mama didn't raise no fool
And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
& I never get to lay back
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs
some punk that I roughed up way back
comin' back after all these years
rat-tat-tat-tat-tat that's the way it is uhh
Some things will never change