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A new stage in the war on dissent

An interview with Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, about the September 24, 2010 FBI raids on anti-war & international solidarity activists, their context and some of the implications. Continue reading...

A Checklist of Essential Precautions

This is excerpted from the book War at Home: Covert Actions Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It, by Brian Glick, page 40. The book was published in 1989, and is a short and essential guide for activists. Available from South End Press.

  1. Check out the authenticity of any disturbing letter, rumor, phone call, or other communication before acting on it. Ask the supposed source if she or he is responsible.
  2. Keep records of incidents which appear to reflect COINTELPRO-type activity. Evaluate your response and report your experiences to the Movement Support Network and other groups that document repression and resistance around the country.
  3. Deal openly and honestly with differences within our movements (race, class, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, personality, experience, physical and intellectual capacities, etc.) before the FBI and police can exploit them.
  4. Don't try to expose a suspected agent or informer without solid proof. Purges based on mere suspicion only help the FBI and police create distrust and paranoia. It generally works better to criticize what a disruptive person says and does, without speculating as to why.
  5. Support all movement activists who come under government attack. Don't be put off by political slander, such as recent attempts to smear some militant opponents of government policy as "terrorists". Organize public opposition to all FBI witch hunts, grand jury subpoenas, political trials, and other forms of government and right-wing harassment.
  6. Cultivate relationships with sympathetic journalists who seem willing to investigate and publicize domestic covert operations. Let them know when you are harassed. Since the FBI and police thrive on secrecy, public exposure can undermine their ability to subvert our work.
  7. Don't try to tough it out alone. Don't let others fret and suffer by themselves. Make sure that activists who are under extreme stress get the help they need (someone to talk with, rest, therapy, etc.). It is crucial that we build support networks and take care of one another.
  8. Above all, do not let our movements be diverted from their main goals. Our most powerful weapon against political repression is effective organizing around the needs and issues which directly affect people's lives.

Historia de la revolución mexicana y sus protagonistas

Video de History Channel en Espanol

documental from tvbruto on Vimeo.

Pancho Villa y la revolucion mexicana

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Mexico: La Revolucion Congelada

This is a movie (in Spanish) made in the early 1970s about the Mexican revolution by Raymundo Gleyzer. From here.

Part 1

Part 2

Vo Nguyen Giap - People's War, People's Army

This is an essay, People's War, People's Army, written by Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap. On August 25, 2010, Giap celebrated his 100th birthday.

In honor of this towering figure of the communist movement of the 20th century (who has continued to be active well into the 21st century), LeftSpot reprints this article he wrote on the occasion of the XVth anniversary of the Viet Nam People's Army, where he explains how the Vietnamese communists were able to lead a poor people in a small country to militarily defeat two great empires (France then the U.S.). continue reading...

Facebook Censors Ricardo Palmera Group

Fight Back! interviewed Josh Sykes of the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera about facebook shutting down the "Free Ricardo Palmera" group on June 30. Then, on July 7, facebook disabled Josh Sykes’ personal account, along with the accounts of Angela Denio and Tom Burke.

Fight Back!: Josh, can you tell us about the "Free Ricardo Palmera" group?

Josh Sykes: The "Free Ricardo Palmera" group was a facebook group administered by three activists with the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera. Professor Palmera is a political prisoner in the United States. He was a leading peace negotiator with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP). Since he was first arrested on a mission to meet with a United Nations representative in Ecuador and then extradited to the U.S., the National Committee has worked for his freedom. The extradition and imprisonment of Palmera, a true freedom fighter, goes against Colombian sovereignty and is a slap in the face to the Colombian people. Palmera is a good man who was railroaded in an attempt by the U.S. to criminalize the national liberation struggle in Colombia. The facebook group was one of many ways the National Committee got out information about the struggle to free Ricardo Palmera. When facebook shut it down it had more than 700 members from around the world, with many from the U.S. and Latin America. It was a good resource for us and we are working to get it back.

Fight Back!: Why was the group shut down?

Sykes: Facebook's reason was that it violated the ‘terms of use’ so they shut it down on June 30. They said that it was obscene, that it attacked people, or was hateful. Nothing could be further from the truth. They also threatened the administrators of the group with having their profiles disabled if we continued to "abuse" facebook features - which we never did. Of course it wasn't really about any of those things. We are a group advocating justice. Ricardo Palmera’s human rights are being violated. He is in solitary confinement [at the SuperMax prison in Colorado] with no human contact. He is held under ‘special administrative measures’ where the U.S. government says journalists cannot interview him, we are not allowed to visit him and when American supporters write letters they are returned saying Palmera is not permitted to read them. Palmera is currently on ‘trial by video’ in Colombia and he is shackled from head to ankle and threatened with electric shock if he moves too quickly. He cannot possibly get a fair trial this way. We continue to demand, “Free Ricardo Palmera!”

One possibility is that facebook is censoring views they don't like. They've shut down a number of groups operating in solidarity with the Palestinian people, for instance. Another possibility is that the U.S. State Department put pressure on the bosses at facebook to shut us down, just like they put pressure on the U.S. judges during the trials and sentencing of Professor Palmera. In any case, facebook is acting like the Colombian government’s death squads trying to shut people up for speaking out against the rich and powerful.

Fight Back!: What are the latest developments?

Sykes: There is what facebook calls an appeals process, which is nothing more than a run-around. Today facebook disabled the accounts of myself and the two other administrators of the Free Ricardo Palmera group, Angela Denio and Tom Burke, with no warning and no reason given. We are appealing that too. Meanwhile, we are asking that people stand up and oppose this blatant censorship on the part of facebook.

Call facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg at (650) 543-4800 and demand that the Free Ricardo Palmera group, and the accounts of the three administrators, be reinstated. Join the protest group, here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=136562699701718 Demand an end to facebook's censorship. Stop the attacks on progressive causes and activists.

I Read Some Marx (and I Liked It)

Fidel Castro reflects on the 60th Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution

Reprinted from http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2009/octubre/mier7/Reflections-6OCT.html:

Reflections of Fidel
History cannot be ignored

(Taken from CubaDebate)

THE 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China was commemorated this past October 1.

On that historic day in 1949, Mao Zedong, as leader of the Communist Party of China, presided over the first parade of the People’s Army and the people of China in Tiananmen Square. The victorious soldiers bore the arms seized in combat from invaders, oligarchies and traitors to their homeland.

Blame Facebook

Some have wondered or asked about the dearth of fresh content here lately. I blame facebook for sucking the daily life out of this blog. Facebook is now beyond the critical mass where much of the posting of new and interesting information, quick analysis, discussion and debate that previously happened on scattered blogs now happens there. I hope to rectify this situation and get back to somewhat regularly putting new things here, but I won't guarantee it.

Is individual blogging a dying art due to the rise of the huge social networking sites and interactive niche sites where discussion that previously happened on blogs often now happens?

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