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All Night, All Day, We Will Fight for Freddie Gray! In Solidarity with Baltimore

from the Political Committee of Solidarity
April 29, 2015

Sixteen days after the arrest of Freddie Gray, Baltimore police and government officials have no word for their city on why he died. No statement, no explanation, no insight as to how this young man emerged from police custody with his voice box crushed and 80% of his spinal cord severed. Outrage at this injustice and the pattern of racist violence it represents has sparked ongoing demonstrations, a drive to organize and unite against police brutality, and a politicization unprecedented in the city’s recent history.

The response of Baltimore's and Maryland’s ruling class to this movement for justice has been violent repression. Police stoked tension with fabrications, uncritically reproduced in the media, about a gang plot to kill officers, and acted deliberately to provoke a riot, forcing young people out into the streets and incessantly harassing them. The resulting expressions of rage and hopelessness have been used as a pretext for physical and political war against entire communities. Even more than usual, the police are acting as an occupying army, with reinforcements from state police and the National Guard called in and a citywide 10:00 p.m. curfew declared. Hundreds have been arrested. In spite of this onslaught, protests and organizing continue to grow. Medical, legal, and community support is being self-organized, demonstrations continue with massive ones planned for this weekend, and new coalitions are forming.

Racist violence by police is integral to the U.S. power structure, as is the social violence of joblessness, water shutoffs, and displacement perpetrated daily against black communities. Defeating this violence is central to the victory of all struggles for justice. Politicians and media exploit the riots to criticize the entire movement and call for “peaceful protest” that does not threaten the status quo, but militant struggle is needed to overcome racism and other systemic violence. Baltimore’s uprising, like Ferguson’s before it, points the way forward. We stand with Baltimore’s movement for justice and condemn the violence of police and the National Guard. Solidarity with the #BaltimoreUprising! Justice for #FreddieGray and all victims of police brutality!

Middle East Imperial Meltdown

from the Editors of Against the Current
April 23, 2015

From state meltdowns in Libya and Yemen to the overwhelming nightmares in Syria and Iraq, the spreading chaos in the Middle East today presents the most extreme examples of a core reality: imperial overreach creates problems for which it has no solutions, and the horrific human costs are paid by people who bear no responsibility for creating the mess. We’ll briefly look here at some of the key situations in the Middle East, pointing to how a relentless U.S. drive for “stability” produces the opposite, in increasingly brutal consequences (some deliberate and some unintended) and how these crises feed back into the peculiarities of U.S. domestic political culture.

The rise of the grotesquely named “Islamic State” is the direct consequence of the Bush-era neoconservative delusion that U.S. power would “transform the Middle East.” In Syria, the destruction of society by both the formerly U.S.-allied Assad regime and ISIS, the genocidal massacres of minority religious and ethnic communities, the mass dislocation of refugees with nowhere to go or anywhere to return, and the loss of priceless cultural legacies, are largely irreparable.

The imperialist scramble for political control and oil isn’t new, of course. Indeed, for at least the past century it’s been at the root of crises and tragedies in the Middle East, whether by direct invasion or by the installation and maintenance of dictatorships, manipulation of sectarian divisions, and sponsorship of settler-colonialism, especially in Palestine...

Eduardo Galeano, ¡Presente!

by Dan La Botz
April 13, 2015

Eduardo Galeano, the world-renowned leftist Uruguayan journalist and writer made famous with the publication in 1971 of his book The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, died today at the age of 74 in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he lived. Long admired as a journalist, with his three-volume Memory of Fire in 1982, Galeano also became known as a writer of non-fiction prose who might be compared to writers of fiction such as Gabriel García Márquez, author of the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, or Isabel Allende who wrote House of the Spirits. Like their novels, his trilogy captures the real spirit of Latin America’s magical history.


Eduardo Galeano.

Born Eduardo Germán María Hughes Galeano in Montevideo on September 3, 1940, Galeano began his career as a journalist in the early 1960s working as a correspondent for Sol and then as an editor for Marcha, which published such writers as Mario Vargas Llosa and Mario Benedetti. When a rightwing military coup took power in Uruguay in 1973, Galeano was jailed and subsequently went into exile, first in Argentina, where he edited Crisis, and then in Spain where he wrote his trilogy Memory of Fire (Genesis, Faces and Masks, and Century of the Wind). Memory of Fire mixed history and journalism in vignettes and biographical sketches written in a creative prose style that reminded American readers of John Dos Passos’ 1930s classic U.S.A. trilogy.

Open Veins of Latin America was a detailed, systematic, and sustained attack on European and U.S. imperialism in Latin America over five centuries...

Electoral Action Conference Will Bring Together Leaders Building Alternatives to the Two-Party System

by Robert C.
February 17, 2015

Activists and candidates from around the country will come together on May 2-3 in Chicago to share their experiences and to launch a network for future cooperation at the Future of Left/Independent Electoral Action Conference.


Left to right: Brian Jones, Kshama Sawant, and Howie Hawkins. Sawant and Hawkins have endorsed the conference.

The past few years have seen a significant uptick in independent political initiatives on the left, from election campaigns to new local electoral and social movement formations, to referenda campaigns. Kshama Sawant’s November 2014 election to the Seattle City Council captured the attention of leftists across the country, but a number of other exciting campaigns have also been path breaking, including the Jackson Plan of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Richmond Progressive Alliance’s David and Goliath fight against Chevron in the East Bay. Many recent political developments have brought organizers building alternatives to the two-party system together with those using direct action and referenda to help win gains against fracking, for a $15 minimum wage, and other important initiatives.

April 29, 2015
from the Political Committee of Solidarity
Sixteen days after the arrest of Freddie Gray, Baltimore police and government officials have no word for their city on why he died. No statement, no explanation, no insight as to how this young man...
April 23, 2015
from the Editors of Against the Current
From state meltdowns in Libya and Yemen to the overwhelming nightmares in Syria and Iraq, the spreading chaos in the Middle East today presents the most extreme examples of a core reality: imperial...
April 13, 2015
by Dan La Botz
Eduardo Galeano, the world-renowned leftist Uruguayan journalist and writer made famous with the publication in 1971 of his book The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a...
February 17, 2015
by Robert C.
Activists and candidates from around the country will come together on May 2-3 in Chicago to share their experiences and to launch a network for future cooperation at the Future of Left/Independent...

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