Archive for the ‘knowledge is power’ Category

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Cuba Leads the Way in Hurricane Irma Preparedness

Cuba’s hurricane and tropical storm protection measures, compared to the limited financial resources available on the island, is second to none. As Hurricane Irma churns its destructive path over the Caribbean, Cuba’s storm preparation measures are operating at full throttle.
Speaking about the tropical weather system carrying winds up to 185 mph, and having caused 10 casualties and widespread property damage in the northeastern Caribbean, Cuba’s head of the National General Staff of Civil Defense Ramon Pardo stated that the storm’s trajectory is “threatening.” He added that the risk factors include heavy “winds, rain and waves that cause flooding,” according to Sputnik News.
Addressing a publicly televised meeting coordinated between the National Defense Council, the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, Pardo urged everybody to remain updated on information provided by the Institute of Meteorology and Civil Defense.
Public television also broadcast informational programs about hurricane preparedness, including how solar panels, irrigation machinery and construction materials are dismantled and warehoused in local schools.
The National Electrical Union televised warnings for people to turn off their electricity when Irma strikes to avoid being shocked by poles or wiring.
Cuba’s hurricane and tropical storm protection measures, compared to the limited financial resources available on the island, is second to none.
Marguerite Jimenez, senior associate for Cuba at Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas, told teleSUR that Cuba’s hurricane preparedness measures combine a comprehensive national and local emergency response plans, as well as education about disaster protection.
She emphasized that the Caribbean island’s response strategy is designed so that “everyone survives and that their response protects people of all socioeconomic classes no matter where you live. It means that poor people are not disproportionately affected,” by dangerous storms.
Jimenez also noted that Cuba’s rapid detection systems are coupled with “rapid mobilization through local community groups called the Communities for the Defense of the Revolution,” which have “existed in Cuba since the mid-60s.” This vital organ is very efficient at spreading information and responding to people’s needs.
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Video Against Fascism

Public

Monday August 28, 2017. 630pm-900pm
Best Video Film and Cultural Center
1042 Whitney Ave. Hamden Ct.
Facebook page HERE.
A collection of videos and trailers to spur discussion on how to oppose fascists  and a tribute to Sacco and Vanzetti on the 90th anniversary of their execution in Massachusetts
Brought to you by Promoting Enduring Peace

Free Admission *** Refreshments on Sale

New Haven vs. The Proud Boys
The Antifascists (new film)
Charlottesville: Heather Heyer, Deandre Harris
Z (Greece)
Killah P I won’t cry, I won’t fear (Greece)
Hell on Earth (new film about Syria)
All You Fascists Bound to Lose (Woody Guthrie)
Here’s to You Nicola and Bart (Joan Baez)
Bella Ciao
and more

How about a little taste:

This is a very important article. It is from Liberation School and a comrade of ours posted it on facebook. A lot has been said about cops and their role in society and this article sums it up quite nicely. Here is the opening paragraph:

Cops: Enforcers for the Capitalist Class.

“For decades, into the 1980s, school districts across the country employed the “Officer Friendly” program that brought local cops into kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. Their point was obvious: to “educate” children with the belief that the police are an indispensable part of society, who not only uphold the law but heroically protect them.
This idealized concept of police has to be pushed upon workers at every turn because so much of their real-life experiences show the truth, which is the opposite: that the police function as an organized instrument of state repression.”

and further in the article this:

Historically the police are always used to break strikes and assault picket lines where workers are struggling for rights and better conditions. The cops repressed workers who fought for the eight-hour workday because it was in the interest of the capitalist class to hold onto the highest rate of exploitation possible. But not only have the police functioned to defend the capitalist’ profits they have also functioned, most importantly, to defend the system itself from being politically challenged and overturned. (more…)

The LGBTQ Movement is an Intersectional Fail

By GLN Co-founder Andy Thayer
Reprinted from CounterPunch

In recent years “intersectionality” has been the biggest buzz word in progressive circles, liberally sprinkled in activist conferences and social media. Yet few movements have been as long on intersectional talk, and little on action, as the LGBTQ movement.

Few events point up this fail more clearly than the impending release from prison this Wednesday of Transgender heroine Chelsea Manning. She is by far the single most important, impactful anti-war activist and whistle-blower that the LGBTQ movement has ever produced.

She exposed war crimes by the U.S. and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, including murder and torture, such as the infamous “Collateral Murder” video of two Reuters journalists and ten other civilians. She gave the most expansive documentary evidence ever provided of U.S. support for a host of corrupt and vicious dictators across the Middle East. This information helped fuel the wave of Arab Spring revolts, the largest democracy movement ever seen in the region, knocking out a number of these dictators.

Yet from 2010 arrest through her subsequent arduous trial and most of her incarceration – the longest imprisonment of a whistleblower in U.S. history – none of the big LGBTQ non-profits defended her.

You might think that her 2010 incarceration would have produced a “perfect storm” of intersectional and identity politics support. Here you had a working class person who identified as gay, and later came out as a Trans woman, who exposed some of the most scandalous secrets of the U.S. military and State Department in what was to that date by far the largest document dump in U.S. history.

You would think, for example, that in the heart of the most powerful military empire that the world has ever seen, that an activist who opposed the savaging of other countries by the U.S. military would receive intersectional support from a broad section of the U.S. left. And particularly since this activist identified as LGBTQ, the LGBTQ left would particularly be in her corner.

But no. Years earlier a top official in what is now known as the National LGBTQ Task Force told me that “we will never” again come out against a U.S. war, following the Task Force’s public opposition to President George H. W. Bush’s first war against Iraq. He said that the Task Force’s coming out against that war had “nearly destroyed” the organization, as wealthy donors pulled their donations and threatened to never support it again. And this was with the Task Force, the group that likes to posture itself as the “hippest” of the big LGBTQ non-profits.

But it was not the first, nor certainly the last time that LGBTQ non-profits – rightly derided as “Gay Inc.” – prioritized donors’ dollars to fund their salaries and offices, over alleged adherence to intersectional principles.

For all their talk of “grassroots organizing” – another phrase that’s become hackneyed thru repeated misuse – Gay Inc. organizations are staff-driven at best, and at worst, controlled by self-selected boards chosen for their ability to tap contributions from wealthy donors. In this way the wealthiest LGBTQs control the political agenda of what passes for our movement, a pink version of the class stratification talked about in straight society, but rarely mentioned in the movement.

Some say that the reason for this conservatism is Gay, Inc.’s affection for “heteronormativity” – the aping straight people. This is said to explain their recent emphasis on winning equal marriage rights, for example. But this interpretation doesn’t adequately explain where “heteronormativity” itself comes from, and it also radically mis-reads the chronology of how the marriage issue became center-space in our movement.

For many years almost all of the large organizations of LGBTQs opposed pushing for equal marriage rights (the one exception being the Metropolitan Community Church). As late as at its 2005 “Creating Change” conference, for example, the Task Force had only anti-equal marriage speakers at one of the conference’s two plenaries – with no opportunity for proponents to rebut.

More recently, of course, Gay Inc. mercilessly mined the marriage issue for donations, not unlike how they have done with Transgender issues for the last couple of years. The cynicism in both instances is quite breath-taking, especially when you consider, for example, the Human Rights Campaign’s well-documented betrayal [2] of Transgender employment rights under the tutelage of gay Congressman Barney Frank.

The root of Gay Inc.’s betrayal of Chelsea Manning, and their flip-flops on marriage rights and Trans rights, lie directly in their being joined at the hip with the Democratic Party. The incestuous revolving door between military contractors and ex-military officers is only exceeded by Gay Inc’s revolving door with the Democratic Party.

The pollsters and media “professionals” who gave us the disastrous failed campaign against California’s 2008 anti-gay Proposition 8, for example, were drawn directly from the Party. The current president of Gay Inc’s biggest and wealthiest group, the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, “got his start in politics volunteering for the Bill Clinton presidential campaign, which led to a position in the White House Press Office at the age of 19. Following his stint in the White House and his graduation from Georgetown University, he led a number of political campaigns advocating for or against various California ballot initiatives, as well as a number of fundraising efforts for political candidates, such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.”

A big reason why Gay Inc. was initially so loath to take on the equal marriage issue was because their main guy, President Bill Clinton, was directly implicated in the worst measure enacted against it – the Defense of Marriage Act – and the series of failed Democratic presidential candidates who followed him also opposed equal marriage rights. As I’ve written elsewhere,

“After Bill Clinton appeased the right by passing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (and NAFTA, and Anti-Terrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act, etc, etc), he took out ads on Christian Right radio stations bragging about it, as part of his re-election bid.”

Similarly with Chelsea Manning. Besides exposing George W. Bush’s dirty laundry, she also exposed the Obama White House’s illegal support for the military coup which overthrew the elected government in Honduras, with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton providing crucial support for the murderous regime that took over.

Only when an issue is considered acceptable to leading Democrats – or forced onto their agenda by incessant campaigning by truly grassroots activists – has Gay Inc. switched up its issues list. So only after years of polling numbers showed that marriage was a top issue for LGBTQs – reacting to the religious right beating us up on the issue – did Gay Inc. change its tune and decide the issue was “realistic.”

Left to their own devices, Gay Inc. groveled to the Party’s needs. This is why after the 1998 lynching of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard and the protests in hundreds of cities that followed it, Gay Inc. quickly moved to divert the movement into meaningless, if not positively reactionary, calls for “hate crimes” legislation, feeding the racist mass incarceration boom then underway.

Gay Inc. was loath to embarrass then-President Clinton for his support for the Defense of Marriage Act two years earlier, or the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military employment ban three years before that, in enabling the anti-gay hate that killed Shepard.

All of the pro-LGBTQ reforms of the past two decades that were eventually supported by the Democrats have one thing in common:  They cost virtually no money. From hate crimes legislation to marriage rights to Trans people’s access to public restrooms, all cost the profit system little, if any, serious money. (more…)

Our niece posted on facebook page and gave us permission to use it here. The original was from The Pixel Project: Its Time To Stop Violence Against Women. Together.

No automatic alt text available.

PICTURE OF THE DAY: This infographic makes an interesting point about the prevalence of violence against women by comparing rape statistics with shark attack statistics. Anyone else seen interesting and unusual infographics highlighting violence against women and girls in unconventional ways?

EDITOR’S NOTE:
We did not create this infographic but shared it because it drives home the point about the horrifically high chances of a woman getting raped in her lifetime. Since some of you have asked about the statistics, we did the legwork for you and here are the links to the sources for these statistics:

1. A woman/person’s chance of getting killed by a shark in her/their lifetime – National Geographic:
http://natgeotv.com/uk/shark-attack-experiment-live/facts

2. A woman’s 1 in 6 chance of being raped in her lifetime (U.S. only) – RAINN
https://www.rainn.org/get-informat…/…/sexual-assault-victims

Worldwide, it’s a 1 in 5 chance:
http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/pdf/VAW.pdf

3. 100 million sharks culled annually – Australian Marine Conservation Society
http://www.marineconservation.org.au/…/government-on-shark-…

4. Percentage of reported rapists convicted and imprisoned – RAINN
https://rainn.org/get-informat…/statistics/punishing-rapists

There is an excellent article I read today published on facebook by the Dragon Fly Collective. The article, Roaming Charges: The End of the Age of Protest, written by  Jeffrey St. Clair  and published on Counter Punch is a must read.  To read the whole article go to HERE.

a few lines from the article

“A few days ago, the carbon dioxide readings at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawai’i cracked 410 parts per million, an all-time record and a frightening one. On Earth Day, climate marches took place in cities across the world. Trump’s policies didn’t drive the spiking CO2 levels, but they did propel tens of thousands onto the streets for a few hours of fun. Where were those people during eight years of Barack Obama, an oil and gas man of some distinction? Where were they during eight years of Bill Clinton, one of the greatest environmental con men of our time?”

and this

“Has Trump finally shattered our illusions, so that we can see clearly the forces—economic, political and technological—that are plunging the planet toward a man-made heat death? Is he, in fact, a kind of clarifying agent for the real state of things?

One can hope so.

Except one mustn’t hope.

As Kafka, the High Priest of Realism, admonished his readers, “There is hope. But not for us.”

Hope is an illusion, an opiate, an Oxycontin for the masses.

Instead of hope, we need a heavy dose of realism. A realism as chilling as reality itself.”

and a big YES to this:

“The time for protests is over.

Protests will not prick the conscience of the unmasked beast called Donald Trump. Trump has no conscience to arouse, no shame to trigger, no remorse to cultivate. Trump is a full-frontal menace, that dangerous object in the mirror that is closer than it appears. It is the old threat, coming at us faster than before and from all directions at once. An unchained beast that will not be moderated by regulations, social conventions or appeals to common decency.”

Check out this article that came on our facebook page. We fully support these actions and will not be going to work on Monday.

by Anonymous Contributor

by New Haven Anti-Fascists, Industrial Workers of the World – CT, and Dragonfly Climate Collective

The history of May Day is rooted in anarchist solidarity and action. On May 1, 1886, some 40,000 workers in Chicago joined over 300,000 workers nationwide in a strike demanding an eight hour workday. In the days that followed, as strikers continued their show of solidarity, several people were shot and killed by police including in an incident that became known as the Haymarket Massacre. Four others were later executed by the state. Since then, May Day has been recognized as International Workers’ Day to commemorate the comrades who took part in, and were murdered because of, radical anarchist politics. This was the first step in establishing the modern standard of the 8 hour work day and 40 hour work week, demonstrating the effectiveness of militant direct action tactics, which the state vilifies to this day.

In 2006, millions of immigrants and their supporters around the country marched in the streets, returning May Day to its radical roots. Since then, May Day celebrations have seen a resurgence as an opportunity to mobilize thousands of immigrants and their allies to stand for immigrant rights.

Since its inception, this country has seen multiple waves of migration, first and foremost the enslaved Africans who were stolen from their lands and forced to work in the so-called United States and Caribbean islands, while this country’s founders massacred indigenous peoples in one of the most horrific genocides in the history of humanity. Over a hundred years ago, working people began to flee the Eurasian continent en masse, bound for a chance at a better life. Today, immigrants and refugees from Latin America and the Middle East flee violence and the terror of American foreign policy in search of opportunities for themselves and their children. In all cases, they have always been considered not only a working class but an underclass that the corporate elite relies on in order to exploit their labor and vulnerable position in society.

This extortion is known as capitalism. We know that even with all of the gains made by workers’ struggles to date, there continue to exist those on the margins who fall victim to the exploitative capitalist. Women, people of color, transgender people, immigrants (documented or otherwise), refugees, and others are among the most vulnerable when it comes to workers’ rights. This system has also been systematically tearing apart the Earth and plundering peoples, putting never-ending growth above all hopes for a livable planet.

This exploitation of autonomous labor and ecosystems is wholly contrary to human nature, the natural tendency to establish and maintain true human connections through mutual aid, and to know and care for the land bases surrounding us. Within capitalism, those whose labor is not classified under the normal definition of work, such as caretakers, domestic workers, and sex workers, are excluded. These workers tend to be from the very same marginalized communities that are most exploited in every area of life.

All of this combined with the ascension of white supremacist and neo-Nazi presence since inauguration 2017 necessitates a more radical and creative May Day. As anti-authoritarians we seek nothing short of total liberation. No one is free until all are free.

This May Day, we call for a return to its original anti-authoritarian roots as we participate in a nationwide strike once again. Join us as we create a visible presence and stand side by side in defense and solidarity with communities in struggle. The beast of capital will fall.

Events:

 – Hartford on Saturday April 29th: Rally: CT Immigrants Are Here To Stay!
 – May 1st in New Haven: General Strike, Solidarity and Resistance, Rally and March
 – Danbury May Day Rally! Un Dia Sin Immigrantes
 – Bridgeport May Day: Sanctuary City March!
 – Stamford: Gather at 888 Washington Boulevard at 4:00

This submission came to It’s Going Down anonymously through itsgoingdown.org/contribute. IGD is not the author of this post.