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Daily Archives: 03/07/2011

membership “Internacjonał” (“The Internationalist”)

(libcom.org) Social and political situation in Lodz at the beginning of XX century: At the beginning of XX century Lodz was a dynamically developing centre of the cotton and woollen industry. The favourable location of the city and its developing industrial infrastructure caused a rapid migration of the workers in search of the employment in its factories. At the same time, very low salaries and the lack of social security institutions caused the numerous unrests, until the year of 1906 and the general strike with so called “Lodz’s lockout” that follow.

The troubles begun in November 1906, when the management of Poznanski’s cotton factory decided to fire 96 workers, that they believed to be the leaders of the conflict and unrest within the factory. Learning the list of workers to be sacked, the rest of the factory crew protest against it and Ignacy Poznanski decided to locked out the factory from 17 of December 1906 until the workers accept his decision. In an act of solidarity with Poznanski, owners of six further factories decided to close their gates as well. So, from the beginning of the new year, the biggest city’s factories got closed, leaving 25000 workers and 75000 of their family members without job and the means to survive. Workers got support from the Polish society and the international workers movement, so in the first phase of the conflict they kept on demanding the reemployment of 96 sacked leaders. On January 31, 1907 delegation of the workers meet Poznanski in his palace to achieve an agreement including employing the sacked again, but he rejected this demand saying “all of you will die of starvation anyhow”. When the rest of protesting workers got to know his stance during the mass rally that followed, they promised a vengeance on him, that couldn’t be fulfilled as he escaped to Berlin. After three months of strike and lock out the situation of most families became so difficult that the workers decided to accept the sacking and end the dispute. So the production resumed on 6th of April 1907. The defeat caused a lot of frustration among the working class, and the working conditions after lockout become much worse, as the employers tried to cover the losses caused by lockout by intensifying the pace of production, and generally were taking advantage over defeated workers. This led to the further conflicts between the workers organizations, accusing each other of contributing to the defeat. The conflict soon turn into armed struggle between workers militias of NZR (National Union of Workers – nationalists ), SDKPiL (Social Democracy of Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania – the communists), PPS (Polish Socialist Party) and PPS FR (Revolutionary Fraction of PPS – a split leftist group of main PPS), leaving 130 dead. After the assassination of the officers from Russian infantry units based in Lodz on the city main street, Piotrkowska, armed patrols of Russian soldiers were sent to the streets. In April 1907, interparty conference was held in Lodz to stop the wave of terror. During the conference, it was agreed to establish the factory commissions to oversee the observing the truce between the fractions.

Growth of the popularity of workers parties and the lack of reading skills among workers created a need for constant agitation. Workers parties started do employ the agitators from intelligentsia to recruit new members and organize the workers. This duties were carried out semi-legally, so the agitators were heavily invigilated by a secret police and in case of cover-up either fee the city or gave the names of workers that had joined the party to the Tzarist police. This was the cause of distrust towards the intelligentsia, and the open hostility once the members of this class became a leaders of the workers parties. On the other hand, joining the illegal party made it impossible to continue the legal way of life. Party members were facing the choice: either to stay in the party, pay the contributions and follow the instructions of the leaders, risking the arrest and prison, or to leave the party, or even create an own clandestine group of “economical terror” against the intelligentsia. The leaders of the parties, especially PPS-FR defrauded the party funds. All this led, after the lockout, to the massive withdrawal from the parties, with some workers even tearing their party membership cards. Out of the workers disappointment the first anarchist groups have emerged. When the level of living of the working class had fallen dramatically after the lost strike, the anarchist militant groups, committed to both economical terror and the attacks on the management and factory owners, started to gain popularity among the workers. Their actions soon led to 20 casualties among the higher ranks of society. Read More

(firedoglake.com) There are many terrible consequences of the “austerity” plan forced on Greece by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. But there’s one I can’t get off my mind: the destruction of the Aegean Sea.

The Aegean – the ancient Greek word for it meant “chief sea” – is, of course, the body of water Agamemnon, Odysseus, Achilles and the other Achaeans crossed in their assault on Troy. Odysseus sailed its waters at the outset of his journey home.

In other words, it was Aegean waves that washed the shores where Western history began. And it’s hard not to think of the ancient sea’s destruction at the hands of greed-soaked cyclopean giants of finance as, at the very least, a symbolic end of that history.

Here’s how Iannis Carras describes the plunder of Greece by the powers that be, in his article, “A Farewell to the Aegean: the EU, the IMF and the destruction of an ancient sea”:

To meet the demands of the EU and the IMF, Greece is supposed to raise 50 billion Euros from privatisation proceeds. As a report in the Financial Times (based on research by Privatisation Barometer) makes clear (Greece faces ‘fire sale’ shortfall, 28 June 2011), Greece has only 13 billion Euros of assets ready to be sold. The shortfall has to be covered through the sale of state land; in particular Greece needs to add “more prime land and cultural heritage to its sales list”. In other words, the EU and the IMF are requesting the sale of coastal land on an unprecedented scale throughout the Aegean. These will be fire sales at a tiny proportion of the actual value of the properties concerned. They will be used to reduce the rate of increase of Greece’s debt as a percentage of GDP. Once sold and constructed, the nature of the Aegean will change for ever.

Carras, who said the mandatory privatization and Aegean construction plans would lead to “the worst man-made environmental destruction in the history of the Aegean,” explains the motivation:

In short, EU and IMF policies on the sale and construction of the Aegean constitute a form of colonialism: primary resources (in this case land) are being extracted for the benefit of foreign interests served by a highly corrupt class of state servitors.

It is startling that great numbers of regular folk in America and around the world are buying into the con that the economic crisis was the fault of the little people.

I don’t mean to wade into waters over my head, but it is the case that: 1) the financial crisis was facilitated by the deregulation of financial markets; and, 2) the very same people who did the deregulating, caused the crises, and were made whole by the taxpayers are trying to use the crisis to further enrich themselves by privatizing Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, by forcing the sale of public assets (national parkland, Aegean coastal areas), etc.; and, to disguise their piracy, they are, 3) spreading the propaganda that it was all our fault, they’re just saving us from ourselves.

It is disaster capitalism’s shock doctrine at work. First you cause the disaster, then you capitalize on it. That some would do this is no surprise. That so many support it – and support it in the name of freedom – is maddening.

We might remind the pirates of what happened to Odysseus when he set sail from Troy across the Aegean. He and his men sacked Ismarus, stronghold of the Cicones. Distracted by their plunder, Odysseus’ men refused his order to leave. The Cicones regrouped and killed six from each of Odysseus’ ships.

Escaping with his survivors, Odysseus sailed on to the land of the Lotus-Eaters, which, if I believed in time travel, I’d say looks an awful lot like 21st Century America.

The photo above pictures tons of human garbage collapsing into the Aegean. It is from the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation. Archipelago was the original Greek name for the Aegean. It means “chief sea.” You can visit the Institute here.

By: Glenn W. Smith Sunday July 3, 2011

Source: http://firedoglake.com/2011/07/03/will-western-democracy-end-where-it-began/

(Shabab Libya) Libyan Freedom Fighters continue their struggle against Muammer Gaddafi loyalists; for the rebels it is a matter of life or death.
“You rats, you sons of rats, we are coming to get you.” The voice of the regime loyalist crackled on the rebel radio.

Under the pine trees behind a sand barrier defence on Misurata’s western front line, the boys of the Martyr brigade laughed, and returned a torrent of insults. The group’s anti-aircraft gun was pointed outwards to the open expanse of fields where the loyalist troops roam.

The bonds between the young men were forged in the urban battles that raged for months on Misurata’s Tripoli Street. Now they are to learning adapt to the front line of open war.

For more than a month, the fighters have been stationed at the end of a dirt track that delineates the western front line at Dafniya. Long range shelling; pounding mortars, BM21 ‘Grad’ missiles, and katyusha rockets define their new war.

“Before we were street fighters, you slept on one road, whilst the enemy slept next door. Kalashnikovs were useful. Here we are fighting in open fields, we need bigger weapons and new tactics,” said fighter Hazem Abu Zeid, 29.

Life and death

They lack heavy munitions, with Grad rocket launchers being few and far between. The weapons they do have are captured by running incursions into enemy ground. “This is the good weapon!” said Salah Mabrook, spying a rusty antiquated anti-aircraft gun on a green leopard print painted Toyota pickup that they took in battle.

Every Friday forces loyal to Colonel Muammer Gaddafi have launched massive offensives on their position. Friday in mid-June, a day that still sends shivers down their spines, was second bloodiest day for the rebel fighters since the battled moved to the city; over 30 of their comrades were killed, and 150 injured.

A crater of splattered shrapnel marks in the road beside the fighters’. Mattresses marks where one of the rockets exploded. A fighter plucked a piece of shrapnel beside a pillow. “This is the piece of rocket killed our friend Ali Seck. We feel such sorrow for our friends, a lot of them have died beside me, just shot in the head,” said Zeid.

Every Thursday, Misurata braces herself for attack. Rebels clean and load their Kalashnikovs, medical staff organise emergency room teams and prepare surgical instrument sets. The elderly and their children scurry to buy provisions so that they won’t have to go outdoors on Friday. Housewives cook meals for the rebels on the front lines.

Rebels gathered on the beach, running, and diving into the crashing waves. As the sun sank on the horizon silence fell on the group as they contemplated what tomorrow would bring. “Maybe tomorrow I will be dead,” said a young fighter nicknamed ‘Ronaldo’ for his love of football.

But as members of the Misurata council declared that their fighters could not again suffer such an attack, on the front line rebel youths stand determined to fight.

Read more: http://shabablibya.org/news/libya-we-win-or-we-die

(eagainst) The Greek regime has banned a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza from leaving its ports. One of its vessels carrying hundreds of activists destined for the blockaded enclave has been towed back – after just minutes at sea. Campaigners on board have suggested the Greek government gave into pressure from the US and Israel

The Real Democracy Now assembly at Syntagma Sq, (Athens), voted yesterday in favour of organising a protest and demonstrate against the decision of the Greek Minister of “Citizen’s Protection” which is preventing the sailing of the Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. “We will assemble at the Syntagma Sq at 6:30 p.m. 3/7/11. From there will take the metro to Katehaki metro station and will continue to our destination the Ministry of Citizen Protection.”


Open Letter to Mr. Papandreou

Corfu, 3rd of July

Dear Mr. Papandreou,

We, members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla II, are outraged by your government’s decision to close the ports of Greece to our humanitarian initiative, even by force if needed. From all parts of the world we have come to the shores of Greece, leaving behind our work places and families, in order to peacefully put into practice our solidarity with the oppressed people of Gaza.

This decision not only violates the consecrated principle within international law of the freedom of the seas and the ancient tradition of freedom of the Mediterranean, but also disregards the claims for democracy and self-determination of the people of Palestine as well as of the non-governmental organizations we represent.

It is totally incomprehensible to us and fills us with just wrath that the Greek government closes the ports to our ships at the very moment in which you, Mr. Papandreou, have been constantly expressing the need for solidarity with the Greek people. You and your government acting as an ally of Israel in the Palestinian question means you also seem to have forgotten the struggle against the military dictatorship in your own country.

The members of this international peace mission therefore demand, on behalf of the people of Gaza, for us the same right to move that has been granted for centuries to the Greek people in our countries.

MR. PAPANDREOU, LET US SAIL!

Nourdin el Ouali
Ibrahim Belaidi
Rafiq Fris
Amar Harraoui
Anne de Jong
Manu van Kersbergen
Marlos Kuijer
Max van Lingen
Chris Verweij
Delegation from The NETHERLANDS

Immad Kareem
Delegation from AUSTRALIA

Leo Gabriel
Delegation from AUSTRIA

Monder Nemri
Delegation from BELGIUM

Ines Mizic
Delegation from BOSNIA

Antonio Padron
Delegation from CUBA

Dr. Samir Kazkaz
Delegation from GERMANY

Ewa Jasiewicz
Delegation from GREAT BRITTAIN, POLAND

Fintan Lane
Delegation from IRELAND

Vauro Senesi
Delegation from ITALY

Nooravman Samsuddin
Delegation from MALAYSIA

Gunnar Rutle
Delegation from NORWAY

Nadia Kevorkova
Delegation from RUSSIA

Fernando Jose Forsthuber
Delegation from SPAIN

Giovanni Esposito
Delegation from SWITZERLAND

Khalid Tuhraani
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Source: http://eagainst.com/articles/greece-call-for-protests-against-the-blockage-of-flotilla-ii/