Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. en How frame-ups work: The Antony Gay trial <p>Peoria, IL - The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) brought a dozen activists from Chicago to Peoria, Illinois May 16 for the opening of the federal trial of Anthony Gay. Gay had previously defeated the charges when, in an historic trial, he won a hung jury representing himself. He is facing the same assistant U.S. attorneys and federal judge.</p> <p>The charge against Gay is that he is a felon and had a firearm.&nbsp;</p> <p>During the proceedings, Gay pointed out that there is no physical evidence of him having a firearm. There was a pistol found by the Rock Island police in the vicinity where they arrested him, but it has no fingerprints or DNA; there are no photos or witnesses of Gay with the pistol; and the testimony by a police officer rests on a claim that Gay fell flat in the spot where the pistol was located. Again, there is no photographic evidence of Gay falling there, and the location was a white gravel-covered alleyway. When Gay was photographed following the alleged fall, there was no gravel dust on his clothes.</p> <p>Frank Chapman, field organizer of CAARPR and executive director of the National Alliance, remarked about the day in court. “The prosecution’s case was weak, and a classic example of how frame-ups work. They don't have evidence. They concoct evidence. And the evidence that they concoct is based on lies.”</p> <p>Speaking about Gay’s performance in court, Chapman continued, “Anthony was consistently showing that they didn't even have a good theory of the case because they didn't feel like they needed one. He tore the prosecution up by just sticking to a few simple facts. Did you find me with a gun?”</p> <p>Going on, Chapman said, “They showed us about an hour of videos altogether. Not one video that shows him stumbling and falling on his face. He has organized his defense around disputing and exposing all the concocted evidence that the U.S. attorney's office put together.”</p> <p>Nina Johnson-Horton of the organization To Seek and To Save (TSTS), dedicated to exposing wrongful convictions, was also among the activists from Chicago in the courtroom. “Anthony Gay has the ability to demonstrate to the jury – although it is not of his peers – that the government has not proven their case beyond the shadow of a doubt that he had a gun or any ammunition.” Johnson-Horton referenced here the all-white jury in Peoria, a city that is 27% Black and 6% Latino. Reverend Eugene Horton of TSTS said, “I saw certain practices that lead to wrongful convictions. An all-white jury for a Black man? I think it’s a kangaroo court.” Mrs. Johnson-Horton said, “Put this trial in the context that Anthony was imprisoned for 24 years – 22 in solitary confinement – for the theft of $1.”</p> <p>In 2018, Gay was able to win his freedom from the Illinois Department of Corrections by arguing successfully that the multiple additions to his original sentence should have been served concurrently, not consecutively. Also, in those proceedings, he represented himself.</p> CAARPR Wrongful Conviction In-Justice System Wed, 18 May 2022 00:15:15 +0000 Fight Back 9690 at Fight Back! Radio features Black liberation leader <p>Chicago, IL - Kobi Guillory will be the first feature guest on our new podcast<em> Fight Back! Radio</em>. Guillory is the co-chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and an executive board member of the National Alliance. Guillory was amongst the most visible leaders in the streets of Chicago in the aftermath of the police murder of Laquan McDonald by Jason Van Dyke.</p> <p>In the interview, Guillory goes beyond one police murder and breaks down the systemic issues that have led to repeated police murder and police torture. He shows respect for the movement elders as he talks about the history of the battle for community control of the police.</p> <p>“I am honored to be the first guest on this podcast. <em>Fight Back!</em> has always lifted up our victories, now using their podcast we can speak more directly working-class fighters,” Guillory said.</p> <p>The podcast also digs into some of the strategy and tactics employed in Chicago to win community control of the police. Guillory talk about when compromises were made and when they were not, and what went into the thinking of the Alliance.</p> <p><em>Fight Back! Radio </em>release a new one hour episode every two weeks. It is available on all major podcast platforms including <a href="">Apple</a>, <a href="">Spotify</a>, <a href="">You Tube</a>, Pandora, Google and many more. Check out this episode with Kobi Guillory and subscribe to <em>Fight Back! Radio</em>.</p> People's Struggles Podcasts Police Brutality African-American Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Fight Back Radio Kobi Guillory podcast Tue, 17 May 2022 16:13:48 +0000 Fight Back 9689 at Young Lords in a new era, a celebration in Chicago <p>Chicago, Illinois - The New Era Young Lords are hosting a “Celebration of Jose ‘Cha-Cha’ Jimenez,” the founder of the Young Lords in Chicago. On June 4, family and friends will join the Young Lords to honor Jose “Cha-Cha” Jimenez, who is currently in elder care.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Young Lords were founded in 1968 in Chicago and spread rapidly to other U.S. cities, especially New York City. In the 1950s, large numbers of Puerto Ricans were displaced by U.S. colonialism from their small island nation where the U.S. military and big corporations still dominate today. People concentrated in big cities where their labor was needed, but issues arose with discrimination and poor housing, education and health care.&nbsp;</p> <p>In Chicago 1968, Puerto Ricans in the Lincoln Park found themselves being displaced again by real estate investors and bankers. The Young Lords under Cha-Cha Jimenez’s leadership transformed a neighborhood gang into a revolutionary organization that led protests and building takeovers against displacement of the community.&nbsp;</p> <p>Inspired by the Black Panther Party and Fred Hampton in particular, the Young Lords challenged police murders and crimes. They demanded childcare programs and education, equality and fairness in society, using a local Methodist Church as their headquarters. They also protested the U.S. war in Vietnam, and then formed the Rainbow Coalition with the Black Panthers and others.&nbsp;</p> <p>The celebration will feature many of the original leaders of the Young Lords who are still active in Chicago, Milwaukee, Tampa and New York. They plan to pass the torch to the New Era Young Lords coming from more than seven cities and Puerto Rico. The New Era Young Lords plan to continue the organizing work of the Young Lords, demanding independence for Puerto Rico, and opposing police killings and repression.&nbsp;</p> <p>The event flyer reads, “The new era continues the struggle for self-determination of all oppressed people atop the legacy of our elders. Join us as the new era recounts the people's revolutionary history to honor and continue the legacy of the Young Lords and Jose ‘Cha Cha’ Jimenez. Pa'lanté!”</p> <p>There will music and dance, poetry and speeches, food and beverages, from 12 to 5 p.m. on June 4 at Little Cubs Field, Humboldt Park, Chicago.&nbsp;</p> Chican@ / Latin@ Young Lords Party Tue, 17 May 2022 01:36:51 +0000 Fight Back 9688 at Philippines: Duterte and Marcos are stealing the elections <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines.&nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p> <p>The Marcoses and the Dutertes, in collusion with the tyrant’s henchmen in the Commission on Elections (Comelec), are robbing the 2022 elections right before the very eyes of the Filipino people. The stealing is being carried out brazenly by rigging the automated elections and the Comelec’s “unofficial quick count” fed to the media, to perpetuate the six-year Duterte tyranny and bring back the thieving Marcoses to power.</p> <p>The almost nightly mass rallies of hundreds of thousands of people across the country and the widespread outpouring of support both from the middle classes and toiling masses during the past several months are proof that the Robredo-Pangilinan opposition tandem are the real winners of the vote.</p> <p>Thus, a great number of people are justified in their outrage against the Comelec over the thousands of malfunctioned vote counting machines. The bigger steal, however, was carried out by the Duterte-appointed Comelec preprogramming of the Smartmatic vote counting machines that shaved and padded votes in Marcos’ favor. This was combined with massive vote-buying, preshading of ballots, as well as armed coercion, harassment and red-tagging especially in the rural areas.</p> <p>With absolute control over the electoral system, Duterte is stealing the 2022 elections with the same ease as he stole the 2019 elections. As we have pointed out earlier, the May 2022 elections are stacked up for Marcos with the system of “automated counting” under the control of Duterte, his Comelec appointees and their Smartmatic programmers.</p> <p>The results have been preprogrammed to make it appear that Marcos won by a “wide margin” and make his “victory” appear “beyond question.” The rapid release of “unofficial” results was meant to overwhelm and paralyze the people with awe, and preempt election protests and street protest actions.</p> <p>Duterte and the Comelec, however, are over weaving the illusion of a Marcos “landslide victory” over opposition leader Leni Robredo. It has left the people incredulous. Statisticians looking into the results released by the Comelec’s “transparent” server are seeing the machine-pattern of vote count increments and distribution of votes, which they believe to be inconsistent with mathematical laws.</p> <p>Marcos’ preprogrammed “victory” grossly obscures the fact that the Filipino people are disenchanted with tyranny and dictatorship, and have had enough of the oppressive policies and repression under the Duterte regime which Marcos Jr. promotes and praises. The broad masses of workers and peasants, the unemployed masses, the rank-and-file employees and small professionals, who have been at the frontlines of the anti-tyranny movement, are all fed up with corruption, military and police overspending, extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, unlawful arrests, red-tagging and terrorist-labelling, national treachery, unmitigated government borrowing, increasingly burdensome taxes, low wages and unemployment, rising prices and economic crisis due to neoliberal policies.</p> <p>Because the right to count the vote has been taken away by the automated elections, the people, opposition political parties and the media have no way of independently verifying or challenging the results of the elections. Many, especially among the petty bourgeoisie (middle classes), are dismayed by the outcome of the Comelec’s “quick count.” They tend to lay the blame on “the masses” for “voting a thief.” They harbored the illusion of a “fair elections” under Duterte’s tyranny. They discount the basic fact that the elections were stolen, and that in the final analysis, the people’s votes did not matter. They must be encouraged to break out of their individual shells, get organized, unite with the broader movement of workers and peasants and help wage widespread mass resistance.</p> <p>Even as the broad democratic sectors question the results of the elections, they need to come together to express the people’s collective disgust over the prospect of Marcos’ return to power through deceit and disinformation. They must denounce Duterte and the Comelec and work to frustrate their attempts to usher Marcos back to power.</p> <p>Through the years, the ruling reactionary system has allowed the political and financial rehabilitation of the Marcoses. For several decades now, and especially during the past several years, historical facts were distorted and people fed with false information which not only pervaded social media, but promoted as well in textbooks which poison the minds of schoolchildren about the “golden days” of the Marcos dictatorship. Imelda and the Marcos family have evaded punishment despite conviction over a number of cases of corruption and human rights violations. The tyrant Duterte, himself, has been a key peddler of the Marcos lie.</p> <p>The battle to stop the return of the Marcoses to power has not yet ended. Knowing who really won the May 9 elections, the people must be aroused, organized and mobilized to expose and fight election rigging and prevent the cheaters from seizing power.</p> <p>The broad democratic sectors have to gather all their strength and courage to unite and mobilize the greatest number of people in marches and demonstrations to block the Marcos’ path back to Malacañang. They must remain indefatigable and militantly pursue their quest to make the Marcoses and the Dutertes pay for years of plunder and oppression.</p> <p>The Marcos-Duterte stealing of the elections clearly show the further deterioration of the rotten ruling system. Thus, people are being drawn to join the revolution. Since last night, we have received reports how many young people are asking how to join the revolutionary underground and the New People’s Army. Conditions for wider civil war are arising in the country. The Party is determined to unite and lead the Filipino people in their struggle for democracy against tyranny and dictatorship, and carry forward the national democratic revolution with utmost resolve.</p> Duterte New People’s Army (NPA) Philippines Mon, 16 May 2022 23:41:44 +0000 Fight Back 9687 at Tallahassee: Demonstration defends Roe v. Wade <p>Tallahassee, FL - Around 100 people came out to support a Defend Roe v. Wade protest on May 12 at the Florida Capitol building.</p> <p>“Abortion is healthcare, and I will always support that constitutional right. I want Tallahassee to know I stand with them on this issue,” said City Commissioner Jack Porter. “Passing a resolution affirming my support for women’s healthcare and reproductive rights in general was a start, but there’s more we can do. We can provide unbiased information about abortion, create a supportive environment for people to make their own healthcare decisions, regulate misleading practices at certain clinics, and provide financial support to low-income residents.”</p> <p>Speakers addressed the danger that getting rid of Roe v. Wade would have for working-class people, women and trans people in Tallahassee. Most pointed to the fact that banning abortions would increase the danger and lower the living standards of working-class people in Tallahassee, but especially women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Speakers brought up the current U.S. shortage of baby formula as especially ironic. Although U.S. politicians claim abortion bans are to save lives, the lack of baby formula - and the lack of actual funding for parental leave in our country - says otherwise.</p> <p>On the topic of baby formula: “I had to climb the shelves to pick up the last box. We were lucky to obtain that one box, and my nephew is only two months old,” said Asia Reign, a member of Students for a Democratic Society and a speaker at the protest. “And new parents struggle to obtain the things they need to take care of their babies, or to pay rent, or to pay for gas, or food, or clothes. Yet the U.S. government has the time to contemplate our right to abortion. This is an attack on the body autonomy and privacy of people across the gender spectrum. Democrats could codify Roe and stop dangling the carrot in front of our face, but they don’t.”</p> <p>Chisara Amanze, a future Florida State University student, spoke about the need for abortion access for everyone, stating, “I believe people should have the choice of whether they want to get an abortion. I understand it’s not necessarily something that everyone feels comfortable for doing, but abortion is a human right.”</p> abortion reproductive rights Roe V. Wade Women's Movement Mon, 16 May 2022 03:15:14 +0000 Fight Back 9686 at Minnesotans march on 74th anniversary of Al Nakba <p>Minneapolis, MN - Around 150 protesters rallied and marched in Minneapolis on May 14 to mark the 74th anniversary of Al Nakba - Arabic for “the catastrophe.” To Israelis, it's a day to celebrate “declaring independence” in 1948. To Palestinians, it's a day of mourning for the ensuing war when at least 750,000 Palestinian men, women and children were ruthlessly attacked, massacred, and driven from their homes by Zionist terror groups, and have never been allowed to return - in violation of international law. The Minnesota Anti-War Committee and American Muslims for Palestine organized the annual Al Nakba march to pressure for an end to the U.S.-backed Israeli occupation and apartheid. </p> <p>The crowd was filled with Palestinian flags. Signs drew attention to the recent killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by an Israeli sniper and also called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel. </p> <p>Anti-War Committee member Autumn Lake spoke to the crowd at the opening rally, saying, “At least 47 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the start of 2022. This past week, Israeli Occupation Forces violently raided the Jenin refugee camp, killing 18-year-old Ahmad Fathi Masad and 20-year-old Ahmad Ibrahim Owaidat. However, the death that has caught the most news coverage this week is the deliberate murder of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by an Israeli sniper. Israeli Occupation Forces would go on to raid her home, confiscating Palestinian flags and preventing ‘the playing of nationalistic songs.’ Yesterday these same forces attacked her funeral procession, denying her dignity and rest even in death.”</p> <p>Lake continued, “The United States gives the Israeli apartheid state around $4 billion in military aid every single year. Aid that is used to raid refugee camps. Aid that is used to hold Palestinian political prisoners. Aid that is used to seize homes and land. Aid that is used to kill journalists. Aid that props up apartheid and genocide. President Joe Biden is on record saying, ‘America’s support for Israel’s security is unshakable, period.’”</p> <p>Other speakers included Abdul from Youth for Palestine MN, Sana Wazwaz from American Muslims for Palestine, Daniela Kunkel from the Climate Justice Committee, and Sarah Martin from Women Against Military Madness.</p> <p>After the rally at Bryant Square Park, protesters marched through the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis. At the Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street intersection, protesters laid down on the ground adorned in red-stained sheets for a die-in as Wazwaz read the names of Palestinians killed during the first Nakba in 1948. After blocking the busy intersection for 10 minutes, the protesters resumed marching. </p> <p>One block east, at Lake Street and Girard Avenue, DJ Hooker, a member of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, spoke where Winston Smith was murdered by U.S. Marshals on June 3, 2021, and where Deona Marie Knajdek was killed by a motorist ten days later during protests demanding justice for Smith. Hooker connected the Palestinian struggle for national liberation with the Black Liberation movement in the U.S.</p> <p>The next local Palestine solidarity action will be on Wednesday, May 25 at the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda. Palestine supporters will gather at 8:45 a.m. to pressure the State Board of Investment to divest from Israeli companies complicit in the occupation of Palestine. The Minnesota State Board of Investment recently divested from Russian companies within days of war breaking out in Ukraine, despite years telling local peace groups that it is unable to divest from Israel. The press conference and rally is being organized by MN BDS Community.</p> Anti-War Committee Nakba Day Palestine Mon, 16 May 2022 02:47:48 +0000 Fight Back 9685 at Orlando, FL: Palestinians protest the 74th year of the ongoing Nakba <p>Orlando, FL - On May 15, the Florida Palestine Network organized a rally and march at Lake Eola park in downtown Orlando. Over 60 people came out in support of Palestinian liberation, waving Palestinian flags and holding signs with slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” and “Save Masafer Yatta,” in reference to the Palestinian village that has recently been under attack from the Israeli occupation. </p> <p>The rally was held to commemorate the 74th year of the ongoing Nakba, an event which occurred in 1948 when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced and murdered by Zionist colonizers. The Nakba has continued, as the state of Israel continues to occupy more Palestinian land each year. </p> <p>At the start of the rally protesters laid flowers in front of a portrait of Shireen Abu Aqleh, the Palestinian journalist who was assassinated by the Israeli Occupation Forces, May 11, while reporting on the Zionist storming of the Jenin refugee camp. </p> <p>Organizers gave speeches emphasizing the urgency of national liberation for Palestine and a hope that this will be the last Nakba. </p> <p>Ahmad Daraldik, one of the organizers, is an FSU student who was removed from his position as student government president in 2020 for being unapologetically Palestinian and standing for Palestinian liberation. Daraldik discussed the relationship between U.S. police forces and the Israeli government, stating, “The Orlando Police Department has been trained in the same tactics used by the IOF. You look around in every city and every state in the U.S. and you will see time and time again that trainings are going down, where they’re taking cops all the way across the ocean and saying, ‘Hey, let’s teach you how to put a knee on people’s neck, lets teach you how to kill people.’ That’s what your tax dollars are going towards, I hope you know that, and I hope you’re mad”</p> <p>After speeches were given the protesters marched twice around Lake Eola, chanting “Hey Joe Biden what do you say? How many kids did you kill today!” and “Not a nickel, not a dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes!” The march was met with support from a number of onlookers. The rally after the march reaffirmed the need to always support Palestine and to tell as many people as possible about the Palestinian national liberation cause.</p> People's Struggles Florida Palestine Network Nakba Day Palestine Mon, 16 May 2022 02:30:29 +0000 Fight Back 9684 at Red Theory: The role of labor in the development of human society <p>The cornerstone of historical materialism is class struggle as the motor driving historical change. So, what is the role of labor in historical development?&nbsp;</p> <p>In <em>Dialectics of Nature</em>, Engels argues that what truly distinguishes humanity from other animals is that we seek to change our environment, rather than merely use it as it is given to us. In other words, what distinguishes humanity is our construction of tools, the instruments of production which we use to affect the world. But we don’t get to arbitrarily choose these instruments. We inherit them from the society that we are born into, and gradually build upon and improve them. The early production of tools represents the beginning of labor, and the further development and improvement of the tools and the technique of their use allows for the further development of human society.</p> <p>At first the instruments of production were very simple and consisted of things like hunting and fishing implements. According to Engels, this led to the mastery of fire and the early domestication of animals:</p> <p>“Agriculture was added to hunting and cattle raising; then came spinning, weaving, metalworking, pottery and navigation. Along with trade and industry, art and science finally appeared. Tribes developed into nations and states. Law and politics arose, and with them that fantastic reflection of human things in the human mind – religion.”</p> <p>Engels argues that the dominant conception of history privileges the workings of the mind rather than the work of laboring hands because of the division that arose between mental and manual labor: “The mind that planned the labor was able, at a very early stage in the development of society (for example, already in the primitive family), to have the labor that had been planned carried out by other hands than its own.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Thus, social progress was deceptively ascribed to the function of the ideas of great thinkers instead of to our material activity in production. It wasn’t until Marx and Engels developed their materialist conception of history that this misconception of historical development was corrected. It isn’t the ideas of great thinkers that play the primary role in changing the material world, but the material world and our activity in it that shapes our ideas.&nbsp;</p> <p>This division between mental and manual labor is important, and the various divisions of labor generally are a cornerstone of how labor functions in history. We’ll talk more about this division of labor later, but for now let’s emphasize that we are talking about the separation and specialization of tasks in production. In <em>The German Ideology</em>, Marx and Engels write, “How far the productive forces of a nation are developed is shown most manifestly by the degree to which the division of labor has been carried.” In other words, the more advanced the productive forces, the more complex the division of labor.</p> <p>Early forms of human society had relatively simple productive forces. Because the productive forces were not very advanced, they did not require an advanced division of labor. As the productive forces were developed further and they became more and more complex, so too did the division of labor become more complex. But this division of labor is also the source of the development of classes. As Marx and Engels put it, “The various stages of development in the division of labor are just so many different forms of ownership, i.e. the existing stage in the division of labor determines also the relations of individuals to one another with reference to the material, instrument, and product of labor.” The division of labor leads at a certain point to the means of production – that is the instruments and objects of labor, i.e., the tools and natural resources – being separated from those who do the work, as the ownership of the means of production are concentrated in the hands of only a few members of society.</p> <p>With capitalism the division of labor is extremely complex, and the contradiction between social production and private accumulation at the heart of it leads to ever deepening crises of overproduction, and ever sharpening class antagonism between the capitalists and the workers. The only way forward is proletarian revolution.</p> <p>This brings us to a crucial point: the decisive role of the masses in history. Mao Zedong put it succinctly when he said, “the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” Within the forces of production themselves, as the agents of production who wield the instruments of production, the masses play the decisive role. And likewise, when the relations of production become decisive over the productive forces, that is, when they become fetters on their further advancement and a revolutionary situation is at hand, then too the conscious activity of the masses plays a decisive role. Che Guevara said this another way: “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.” Therefore, Marxist-Leninists must understand that the most important aspect of their work is organizational, ideological and educational work, utilizing the mass line among working and oppressed people, for the overthrow of capitalism and imperialism.</p> <p>Whenever the relations of production hinder the development of the productive forces an economic crisis results. The economic crisis itself isn’t enough to change society. The exploited classes must fight to revolutionize the relations of production, that is, the class relations of society.&nbsp;</p> <p>When a capitalist crisis intensifies, the economic crisis will become a political crisis when the working class realizes that it cannot live in the old way and the ruling class realizes it can no longer rule in the old way. But in order to take advantage of this revolutionary moment, working and oppressed people must develop their class consciousness and organization. This means building a new Marxist-Leninist communist party, capable of leading unions and mass organizations, and developing the united front against monopoly capitalism with the strategic alliance of the multinational working class and oppressed nationalities at its core. Only this way can we seize the time.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the essence of the role of labor in human history. We work to fulfill our material needs, creating and developing tools to help us change the world around us. As our tools, and the techniques with which we wield them, become more advanced, so too must our division of labor advance to match. Class struggle follows from this basic materialist fact. The symbol of communism is the hammer the sickle because these are the tools of the workers and the peasants, the tools that built the old society, the weapons that will dismantle it, and the tools that will build the new society. This is the historic mission of the working class: to overthrow capitalism, and by building socialism, to end all exploitation.</p> Marxism-Leninism ML Theory Theory Sun, 15 May 2022 20:55:43 +0000 Fight Back 9682 at FRSO leader condemns white supremacist murders in Buffalo, NY <p>On Saturday, May 14, Masao Suzuki, chair of the Joint Nationalities Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) expressed outrage at another white supremacist mass murder. “Three years ago, white supremacist Patrick Crusius drove hundreds of miles to kill Chicanos and Mexicanos in El Paso, Texas,” said Suzuki. “Then today another young white supremacist, Payton Gendron, also drove into Buffalo, New York to attack the African American community.” Eleven of the 13 people Gendron shot were African American, and ten died.</p> <p>Both Crusius and Gendron had posted manifestos repeating the lies of “replacement theory,” a neo-Nazi idea that white Americans and Europeans were being displaced. This theory is a call for ethnic cleansing and mass murder of people of African, Asian, and Latino descent. Gendron livestreamed his killing spree to further spread hate and violence.</p> <p>“These events are just the modern-day versions of mass lynchings historically aimed at African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanos and Latinos, and indigenous people,” said Suzuki. “This country was founded on the genocide and seizure of land from Native Americans, and enriched by the chattel slavery of millions of Africans kidnapped from their homelands.” Suzuki added, “These white supremacists are trying to start a race war, and our communities need to prepare to defend themselves.”</p> <p>“Today the white supremacist movement is funded by parts of the monopoly capitalists, and their poison spread by Fox News and anchor Tucker Carlson. These same capitalists are the ones jacking up prices,” referring to the record profits being reported by big businesses such as Shell Oil and Tyson Foods. “Wages can’t keep up, more and more people are turning up at food banks, and the numbers of homeless keep rising,” said Suzuki, “Our organization sees the need to replace this racist and exploitative system with socialism.”&nbsp;</p> mass shooting White Supremacy Editorials Sun, 15 May 2022 16:06:22 +0000 Fight Back 9681 at Crisis in Sri Lanka <p>Sri Lanka - Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Sri Lanka, May 9, to protest the deplorable state of affairs in the country. A failing governmental infrastructure has led to food insecurities, acute shortage of medicines and medical equipment in hospitals, prolonged power cuts, fuel crisis and exorbitant prices of necessities.</p> <p>The island country has had a woeful bout with liberalization in its policies. Liberalization entails reduced governmental economic regulation and a higher influence of private companies and foreign entities on the economy of Sri Lanka.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sri Lanka was the first country in South Asia to have universal suffrage and it was also the first country to attempt economic liberalization. Liberalization was seen as the pathway towards nation building as attempts were made to replicate the successes of countries like Singapore, an open economy removed from state intervention.</p> <p>In this process of liberalization, the country opened its doors to the International Monetary Fund first in 1965; the enacting of the IMF intervention would come into effect in 1988 as a structural adjustment. Liberalization of this country took place during the Civil War which started in 1983, initiated by violent pogroms of the minority Tamil population inhabiting the northern Provinces of Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mannar, etc. by the larger Sinhalese majority. The Civil War would come to an end in 2009 and by this time Sri Lanka had accepted 15 IMF loans.&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2008, with the global financial crisis, there was an impetus to invest in emerging markets like Sri Lanka, which brought foreign finance capital into the country. After an initial boom in the economy, with the country’s GDP rising to 8%, the bubble of growth burst and led to economic slowdown. By 2016, Sri Lanka went for another IMF loan, its 16th and final one to date. This got the snowball rolling and ultimately culminated into the situation we see today of perpetual debt-entrapment and economic collapse.</p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic which took hold of the entire globe had a terrible effect, particularly in the countries like Sri Lanka. Major disruptions came to the informal sector. The tourism industry, which is the center of the main foreign earnings, came to a standstill; exports of cash crops like tea, rubber and coconut came to a halt, and a bulk of remittances from migrant workers slowed down as well. This was compounded with the poor planning of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government, which initiated tax cuts for the tourism industry and other corporations at the beginning of the pandemic, benefitting a small segment of the population while the large portions of the working people in the country suffered heavily.&nbsp;</p> <p>The neoliberal policies affected the agrarian sector as well, since state investment into agriculture decreased, leading to foreign dependency on imports and reducing self-sufficiency. During the pandemic and the emerging food crisis, people left the urban areas and moved back to the villages to cultivate fallow land and subsist. The economic failure in this sector came when the Rajapaksa government announced the banning chemical fertilizer subsidies, leading to crop failure. This, along with reduced foreign exchange, led to lower imports and ultimately food shortages.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the midst of this crisis, the JVP (Janata Vimukthi Perumana) the largest communist party of Sri Lanka, has emerged as the face of these massive protests across the country, the largest in the country’s history, demanding that the Rajapaksa government listen to the people’s demands.&nbsp;</p> <p>On April 17 the JVP announced a three-day protest and people’s march. People from all walks of life participated in these protests. These massive protests have also seen repression from the side of the government: military personnel and police have jailed, arrested and injured many. A curfew and shoot-on-sight order has been established by the government as well. Despite the unrest, the people’s demands will not be quelled by the violence from the Rajapaksa government.</p> <div></div> Asia IMF Sun, 15 May 2022 02:46:12 +0000 Fight Back 9680 at