Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bosses Beware!

I was in for a surprise when I read the comments in Yahoo about the Indian worker who killed the CEO who fired him. The majority, while deploring the killing, understood that corporate greed caused the situation. What's more quite a few cheered and thought it a good idea.
Only a handful of commentators came down on the bosses side, often intersperced with racist remarks – the usual suspects, in other words.
This tells me there is a lot of pent-up anger at the bullies and greed-creeps these days. SEE:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Against The Oligarchy In Bolivia - For Popular Power

SOLIDARITY WITH THE BOLIVIAN PEOPLE! ---- THE FUTURE OF LATIN AMERICA IS BEING PLAYED OUT IN BOLIVIA! ---- The current events in Bolivia leave the organized anarchists of the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (Brazil) with a sense of alarm. The problem is not the defence of a government with a nationalist profile and indigenous roots. It is the unconditional defence of the popular struggle of Latin American people. We have had and continue to keep organic contacts with Bolivian comrades since 2003, that is before the people's victory in the "Gas War", before the fall of Gonzalo Sanchez de Losada, before the fall of the president who succeeded him, Carlos Mesa, and long before the MAS' election victory.

Even then it was clear to the FAG that the political game in Bolivia was a tough one, without legal or institutional limits. The struggle to build Popular Power ("poder popular") has various aspects and at the moment the Evo Morales and Álvaro Garcia Linera government expresses the wishes of the people to win back definitive sovereignty over their ancestral land. Evo does not do just what he wants, and neither does he govern with the bankers, like the ex-factory worker Lula. Today, the country that defeated neo-liberalism dozens of times is facing
its greatest challenge. The various ancestral peoples and nationalities of the old Viceroyalty of Upper Peru, the traditional Quechua, Aymara, Guaraní, Tupi societies and dozens of other ethnic groups, the living descendants in the melting pot of the cities, the heroic resistance of the miners, the cocaleros, of El Alto, of Cochabamba, the corner-to-corner street fighting in La Paz, all this has defeated the enemy several times. These people have made the organization of the social fabric, the practice of communal justice and grassroots alliances into the bulwark of the defeat of a system of rotten political parties, corrupted by the privatizations of the 1980s; with stones and dynamite they defeated the Army which operated under the control of the trafficker General Hugo Banzer; by promoting cooperative practices, they reject the poisonous presence of the oil transnationals, including the hateful sub-imperialist presence of Brazil.

The struggle is now an intestine one, against the oligarchy of the so-called Half Moon which dominates the departments of Tarija, Beni, Pando and Chuquisaca and is controlled by the large landowners, soya farmers and drug traffickers in Santa Cruz, against the interests of the people. The Morales government is one of the targets, but these people are also aiming at destroying popular organization and the indigenous alternatives, the traditional, community forms of controlling social life, the re-appropriation by the people of the ownership of the subsoil and its natural resources. This struggle for autonomy is nothing more than the political will of an oligarchy allied with the transnationals, an attempt at a coup sponsored by the Department of State, the CIA and the DEA and financed with money stolen from the Bolivian people.

The multitude of men and women who struggle for "autonomy" are mostly the employees, party members and supporters of these oligarchies. The situation of civil, anti-governmental disobedience in Bolivia at the moment is immense. On the left, the social protests are getting stronger and stronger and their demands are forcing Morales to do what a majority of the organized people propose. But on the fight, the oligarchy which also emerged victorious from the revocative referendum of the national and regional governments is devoting every effort to the chaos, the lockout and the economic blockade. They do not want to pay taxes to the government in La Paz, they want to keep for themselves all the wealth of the country, just as the banks suck our GDP and the squalid bureaucracy sucked the lifeblood of the Venezuelan PDVSA before the people gained victory in April 2002. Comrades, today in Bolivia there is a struggle against the oligarchy; it is a struggle which is part of the Latin American peoples' war against the chains of imperialism, masked under the macabre guise of globalization.

We must be clear about something, though. It must be stated that the FAG as an
organization does not support the defence of any Statist or bourgeois government. Our support is as always for the process being carried on by the peoples who wish to defend their Bolivarian, Artigist heritage; it is for the political will of the social institutions and grassroots bodies who arduously combat the growing bureaucracy in Venezuela and the vacillation that is typical of charismatic leaders, but without the organicism and due obedience to the people, as is proper for true socialist militants. Lastly, our struggle is alongside the Ecuadorian CONAIE (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador), the Venezuelan ANMCLA (Associación Nacional Medios Comunitarios, Libres y Alternatives), the heroic COR (Central Obrero Regional) in El Alto and the entire popular movement in Bolivia.

The political impasse of the Morales government will need to be resolved by going beyond the legal possibilities. There is a popular left which lies further to the left of the recalcitrant vice-president Linera and the usual bureaucrats, who oscillate between the Latin American universities and governments with a veneer of nationalism. To the left of the MAS are the ex-guerrillas of the Movimiento Pachakuti, there is the El Alto Coordinación Regional, there are the social institutions such as Community Justice, there is an enormous organized social fabric that has no intention of consigning the country and the ancestral lands to the heirs of Cortés and Pizarro...

Another Battle of Ayacucho, another 1809 Uprising

In 1809, the courage of the young Bolivians refused to recognize the demands of Charlotte Joaquina of Spain to govern the Viceroyalties. This decision marked the direction of the liberation of America in the heart of the Continent. The realistic response soon arrived when the governor of Potosí, loyal to the colonialists, occupied the rebel towns militarily. In 1824 in the Battle of Ayacucho, the reaction was defeated both politically and militarily. But political independence did not guarantee the liberation of the peoples or bring Popular Power, Self-Management and Political Federalism. Almost 190 years later, the same struggle is with us again. The right is fighting against the advancement of popular power, the transformation of the National State into a public space under the people's direct control, the dismantlement of the bourgeois apparatus of social regulation. Today it is Bolivia's turn; in 2002 it was Venezuela's; three times over the past 11 years the people of Ecuador have rid themselves of a president; in December 2001 the Argentines defeated neo-liberalism and its plan to dismantle social life. Today the war of the Latin American peoples is marching towards their liberation in the Battle of the Bolivian Half Moon.

Defeat the oligarchy!
Defeat the CIA, the DEA and the US Department of State!
May the Bolivian people go beyond the limits of national government and advance
along the road to Popular Power!
Because neo-liberalism and imperialism are the same filth!
Because Popular Power in Latin America will be built with struggle!
All solidarity to the Bolivian people!
The future of our brother country will be Quechua, Aymara, Guaraní, Tupi and
popular or there will be no future!
Latin America will never surrender!
Popular Power, Social Self-Management and Political Federalism!

Porto Alegre, 13 September 2008

Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG) – Fórum do Anarquismo Organizado (FAO) – in strategic alliance with the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation (FAU)

Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Victoria's Third Annual Anarchist Book Fair. Sept 12-13

I was impressed by last years book fair, and this year I was not disapointed.. There seemed to be at least as many people in attendance as previously, but I was pleased to see a broader cross section of the population than before. Although still largely "Euro" there was a significant contribution fromn First Nations people and I saw some Latino youth and other people of colour were present.The age range seemed broader too, not overwhelmingly young students, not that there would be anything wrong with that, but the movement has to expand into other sectors of the population to become a significant force. A fair number of babies too. Good going! Had a fine time talking and networking with folks from Victoria, Montreal, San Francisco, and Edmonton. The workshops seemed well attended – at least those in the morning-early afternoon. I only got to attend one of these, since I was tabling most of the time. This was about actualizing radical projects and was hosted by the amazing and brilliant surrealist poet, zinster, clown, and performance artist Paula Belina from Montreal. Sadly, I had to leave early, but found her workshop inspiring. The place I was going in such a hurry was the Camas Books Dinner, to help support this anarchist book shop and infocenter. About 70 people sat outside on trestle tables, chatting, listening to a guitar-mandolin-accordian duo by two very talented and beautiful young women. The food was great too, and had amusing names such as "Federated Commune Salad" While sitting there, surrounded by people of all ages and origins, it came to me that a line had been crossed. The scene was much like what I found in European anarchist circles – a sense of community, and though relatively few in number, grown beyond being a tiny, inward-looking sect, into something that has put down roots. Later at Camas Books the Anniversary Show of music and spoken word was held, but I could not stay for long, now feeling the length of the day.

I should point out that the events I describe were not the only ones occurring. A whole week of film, discussions and music preceded the Book Fair. (See www.victoriaanarchistbookfair.ca/ ) I salute the volunteers who put in so much effort and looked rather tired by Sunday afternoon!


Wet Sahara and the Diffusion of Agriculture

More evidence of a wet Sahara and the neolithic civilization that inhabited it.



Evidence that agriculture diffused through the Mediterranean, rather than the neolithic population displacing hunters and gatherers.



Why are these discoveries or possible discoveries important? The first is more support for the thesis that the drying up of the Sahara lakes created great devastation among the people living there, forcing the survivors to invade the Nile Valley, conquering its inhabitants and creating the beginnings of a class and state system. The latter for questioning the widely-held belief that agriculture gave rise to conquest of hunter-gatherers and that the new technology spread by a form of imperialism.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The So-Called Tragedy of the Commons

Whenever you bring up the idea that the forests, salmon streams and mineral lands ought to be owned by and serve the community in which they are located, the so-called "tragedy of the commons" is dragged out. One immediately is attempted to ask in rebuttal, how is it that after 5000 years of logging France with its communal forests still has a lumber industry and here in BC using capitalist methods, we managed to eliminate the trees in 100 years? Not to mention the Original People who lived here for 10,000 years who also had communal ownership and left the forests and fish in good condition for the European settler capitalists to destroy. In by Ian Angus you will find a devastating critique of this self-serving corporate myth as well as some unpleasant revelations about its creator, Garret Harding.

See www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/angus250808.html

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