Sunday, December 24, 2017

Witch Hunting Democrats Target Green Party Candidate Jill Stein (Boston Indie) 22 Dec 2017



All fair minded people should condemn the targeting of Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate in the 2016 election, by the neo-McCarthyite witch hunters on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Many of us have fundamental political differences with the Green Party. However, we should unequivocally defend the constitutional right of the Green Party to conduct its work and campaign for office unmolested by the government, and its police and intelligence agencies.

The attack on Stein, spearheaded by the Democratic Party, is an unconstitutional attempt to delegitimize and suppress political opposition to the monopoly of the capitalist two-party system.

Stein warned in a statement that investigations are being "used to intimidate and silence principled opposition to the political establishment" in a climate of "attacks on our civil liberties, with the emergence of censorship in social media and the press, criminalization of protest, militarization of police and massive expansion of the surveillance state."

On Monday, Stein confirmed that Senate investigators had demanded that she produce documents related to her alleged interactions with Russia. Her suspicious activity, according to the congressional investigators, consisted of attending a dinner celebrating the tenth anniversary of RT, the only TV network that gave her campaign any significant coverage, at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was also present.

Stein has absolutely nothing to answer for to the US Congress. As a presidential candidate, she was fully within her rights not only to attend a media event, but to meet and have discussions with any other public figure, foreign or domestic.

Is anyone expected to believe that neither Hillary Clinton nor her campaign had contact with any political leaders of other countries? On September 19, 2016, for example, Clinton met publicly with three foreign heads of state, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, installed in a fascist-led putsch, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the butcher of Cairo who drowned the Egyptian revolution in blood. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-un/clinton-trump-vie-for-world-leaders-attention-in-new-york-idUSKCN11Q0BS )

The investigations into allegations of Russian "meddling" are based on unfounded claims that Russia manipulated the US elections. However, the fact that Sisi and Poroshenko are in power exposes the extent to which the United States meddles in the political affairs of every country all over the world, staging coups, propping up dictatorships, and bombing and invading countries at will.

In addition to the dinner hosted by RT, Stein, according to ranking committee Democrat Mark Warner, had "very complimentary things to say about Julian Assange." And this is now evidence of potentially criminal activity? Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is a journalist who has helped expose the crimes of the US political establishment.

For having spoken out publicly in support of a political prisoner and dissident, Stein is threatened with being hauled before a congressional committee as if she were involved in treasonous activity.

This is the Orwellian reality of America in 2017, ruled by two right-wing, oligarchic parties that can and will tolerate no political opposition.

The entire premise of "Russian collusion" is made up out of whole cloth, aimed at explaining away the Democrats' own hemorrhaging support among broad sections of the population, and seeking to pin their electoral defeat on the very existence of an alternative to the two-party system.

In her book, What Happened, Clinton fumed that "the Russians targeted propaganda to undecided voters and to 'soft' Clinton supporters who might be persuaded to stay home or support a third-party candidate."

She continued, "Perhaps this is one reason why third-party candidates received more than five million more votes in 2016 than they had in 2012. That was an aim of both the Russians and the Republicans, and it worked," resulting in Clinton's loss.

Now, the Democrats are using their institutional power to pursue a vendetta against a party they blame for having contributed to their electoral defeat.

The reason the third-party vote grew in 2016 was not because of Russian "meddling," but because millions of people hated the candidates of the two big business parties. The Democratic Party is leading the attack on political opposition within the United States because it feels itself under siege from popular sentiment, which is on the whole moving to the left.

For this reason, the Democratic Party has lashed out with a series of provocations, from allegations of Russian "meddling" to the hysteria surrounding sexual misconduct. All the while, they have created the most favorable possible conditions for the Republicans to pass a massive reduction of corporate taxes, a policy that enjoys bipartisan support.

The old tropes of the most right-wing sections of the Republican Party at the height of the Cold War McCarthyism--in which the foreign policy setbacks of US imperialism and all political dissent were presented as the result of a conspiracy of foreign infiltrators and left-wing agitators--have been adopted by the Democratic Party.

The Senate's investigation of the Green Party comes as figures like Warner and House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff are pressing for mass political censorship by technology companies, and as the FCC has ruled to revoke net neutrality, giving internet service providers free reign to block access to oppositional web sites.

The targeting of the Green Party marks a new stage in the drive to criminalize dissent and political opposition within the United States as the ruling elite prepares yet another onslaught on the social rights of the working class, and is laying plans for "great power" conflicts that threaten a new world war.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Was Lee Harvey Oswald A Communist or Leftist of Any Kind? No



Was Lee Harvey Oswald a Leftist? L.H. Oswald went to a lot of trouble to look like a pro-Communist Leftist. The documentation for his actual leftist beliefs is pretty thin. One can watched the videos, and read articles and documents related to Lee Harvey Oswald's political views and identification as a Communist. The amount of material related to L.H. Oswald's political beliefs is not very big. L.H. Oswald claimed to be a Communist, but he wasn't really very interested in Communist ideas.

Was he a Stalinist, or a Trotskyist? That was an important question in the 1950's and 1960's when L.H. Oswald publicly claimed he followed communist politics. Apparently L.H. Oswald never spoke a word about this pressing divide in communist and leftist circles. Right Wingers couldn't understand the debate, and that seems to be where L.H. Oswald got his 'communist' ideas.

Oswald did not have many working class experiences when he was young and was the lower class child of a struggling mother. Oswald may have publicly voiced leftist opinions, but he did not seek to join a labor union, or go to work in a factory. Oswald had contact in a youth group with a Right Wing military veteran who was focused on fighting Soviet Communism. All of L.H. Oswald's supposed 'communist' ideas come out of the Right Wing playbook of the John Birch Society conception of what communism was in the 1950's and 1960's.

L.H. Oswald was an obnoxious 'in your face' communist in the 1950's America, and then joined the military? That would seem to make more sense for a villain in a Batman comic than a real committed communist. Was L.H. Oswald building up a list of Leftist accomplishments as some kind of 'deep cover' to accomplish ... what?

L.H. Oswald did not join the American Communist Party, but he felt a political loyalty to move to the Soviet Union? Maybe he was just a self motivated windup idiot, but, where did he get these bizarre ideas, and who thought they might have a use for him?

L.H. Oswald's writings and audio recordings from his times in the Soviet Union show someone who seems creepy and interested in playing a deep undercover agent, and not a socialist who came to build the Soviet Union and communism. One long piece allegedly written by L.H. Oswald about the socialist cooperation structure of the factory system as he experienced it reads like it was written by someone else as it gets lost in technical detail in a way that just about nothing else L.H. Oswald ever wrote.

When L.H. Oswald left the Soviet Union he made no break with Stalinism or any break with any political belief at all. So, why did he go to communist Russia, and why did he leave? Politics and left wing beliefs don't seem to have anything to do with his actions. Padding a Left Wing resume as some kind of cover does seem like a plausible motive for L.H. Oswald's actions.

Once back in the US H.L. Oswald hooks up with the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party that was running a defense of Cuba campaign under the group name "Fair Play for Cuba Committee" L.H. Oswald simply set up a branch of the "Fair Play for Cuba Committee" on his own in New Orleans and began to provocatively hand out leftist leaflets defending the Cuban revolution on the streets. L.H. Oswald's pro-Cuba office was in the same building as a Right Wing Cuban anti-Castro groups office as well as some other security agents who must have known what L.H. Oswald was doing. The Socialist Workers Party did not have any members in the city or state and had urged L.H. Oswald not to open a public office. But, somehow the low wage L.H. Oswald had money to set up phony Leftist political front groups.

What was L.H. Oswald's view on the conflict between Che Guevara and the guerilla war style communism as opposed to the Stalinist cold war peace deals with the US and Europe? L.H. Oswald apparently never expressed any opinions on some of the most hotly debated ideas in the communist movement worldwide. Why? Because L.H. Oswald was not a Leftist, or a Communist. L. H. Oswald was not interested in any of these debates about communist strategy. L.H. Oswald seems to have cultivated an image as a Leftist pro-Communist.

While in Texas L.H. Oswald had contacts with some strange people who funded Right Wing causes and it looks like L.H. Oswald drove to a Right Wing general's house and fire some rifle shots. These are provocative acts that are not what any Leftist would advocate as a way to build a Left Wing movement in the US. No political groups in the US at that time were telling people to do the kinds of things L.H. Oswald was doing in Texas in 1963. L.H. Oswald did not write a pamphlet advocating armed struggle and hand out the leaflets on the street, as he had done in the past. L.H. Oswald wanted action, and especially a reaction. L.H. Oswald seems to have wanted to initiate anti-Right Wing attacks - that would ultimately strengthen the Right Winger attacked.

As to what happened on the day JFK was killed...I'll leave that to so many others who have dealt with the question. Was Lee Harvey Oswald a useful idiot who walked into a setup, or the central actor who changed so much?

I wanted to address a question that I have not seen adequately addressed - Was Lee Harvey Oswald a Communist? No.

Did the people who arranged the whole thing, if it wasn't just Lee Harvey Oswald and his lucky shots, get what they wanted? Did the political changes that came after Kennedy was assassinated go the way they wanted them to? Did a Right Wing assassination of a very mildly Liberal president result in a more Liberal Leftist congress that passed a host of progressive Great Society programs? Wasn't that the opposite of what they killed Kennedy for? Lee Harvey Oswald created himself as a kind of character in a Cold War spy novel, and ended with the kind of drama he always sought. No communists or leftists recognized Lee Harvey Oswald as any kind of leftist after his death...he was alone.

Shaun Train Blogger

https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy2/comments/7krmrv/was_lee_harvey_oswald_a_communist_or_leftist_of/?st=jbdmtega&sh=51ae5ca0

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Boston Common Right Wing Rally Outnumbered by Leftists Counter-Protesters – 18 Nov 2017



(Photo: Alt Right March to Rally on Boston Common)

Boston, MA – 18 Nov 2017

Around 11:30 am a crowd opposing the Right Wing rally on the Boston Common was gathering at the edge of the steel fences surrounding Parkman Bandstand. Two rings of barriers protected the protest area along with several hundred Boston Police officers in bright day-glow vests and helmets. A little before noon a group of Right Wingers gathered and marched along the perimeter fence towards the gate at the Public Garden end of the enclosure. The opposing Leftist crowd formed a line to block the Right Wingers. Police with bikes formed a line between the two groups and prevented contact. The Right Wing group turned around and marched back toward the Tremont Street side to enter.

Police made each person stop as they were frisked and patted down if they wanted to get in the protest area. People’s back packs were searched. After passing the first police check point people had to go through another check where police were using metal detecting wands. Both Right Wingers and media people were searched.

At the bandstand the speeches started to a small crowd of maybe one hundred Right Wingers, and the Leftist crowd of about a thousand along the fence about fifty yards away roared back. The Rightists repeatedly asked the Leftist crowd to define ‘fascism.’ The Leftist crowd chanted back ‘No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!’

At one point two black clad people got into some kind of altercation and were arrested. A crowd of Leftist gathered around the police and chanted, ‘Let them go!’ The police formed a wedge of a dozen officers and removed the arrested people.

Out of the Leftist crowd of about a thousand there were maybe a hundred black clad – black block – Antifa. They were vocal and stood together, but did not engage in any very provocative actions. Someone moved around the crowd with a Communist Hammer and Sickle flag. Many people had hand made signs and posters.

A couple of people from the Progressive Labor Party held up a banner that read “Never Again! Death to Fascism! Power to the Workers” while a woman spoke through a sound system. The group Refuse Fascism had a banner that read: “Refuse Fascism, In the name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

A couple of men played a ruckus song on brass horns while someone banged a tambourine. For comic relief there was a man with a white bib overalls with a pink heart painted on sloppily who had a long black rubber boot on his head. He had a bullhorn and circulated through the crowd making odd pronouncements. “We have you surrounded, give up!” But who was he talking about? The police, the Right Wingers, or the Leftists? The Boston Police Department was completely in control of the situation with hundreds of officers in bright vests and helmets as well as a half a dozen grim faced plain clothes officers standing with their hands in there pockets on the sides of the crowds nodding to their uniformed friends.

Different groups circulated among the crowd with banners, leaflets and newspapers. The Democratic Socialists of America had a banner, Don’t Resist Alone handed out cards for the website, and the Workers Vanguard newspaper was offered by labor union members. People used bullhorns and sound systems to address the Leftist crowd.

A young black woman stood on a green park bench with a mic and sound system and told the crowd that she would not stop fighting because she was from Roxbury, a predominately black neighborhood. “Coming from Roxbury I have to fight everyday,” she said. Shiva – a Republican candidate for senate stood near the edge of the rally with a banner and a few supporters.

After about a hour of speeches and taunts back and forth the crowd of about one hundred Rightists ended their event and were escorted out of the area by Boston Police while the crowd of Leftist were held back by bicycle police. The Right Wingers had come to Boston to hold another rally and were again met by a larger determined Leftist crowd of over a thousand.

On Youtube:

Boston Common: Right Wing 50 v Left Wing 500 – 18 Nov 2017 (3:10 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRYLONrQ-8s

Boston Common Right v Left Rallies – Right Wing View Video – 18 Nov 2017 (1:09:11 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qadI37xRK6k

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lenin: Not Far from Moscow - 4 Aug 2017



In this photo taken on Aug. 4, 2017, a statue of Vladimir Lenin stands in the town of Uglich, 200 kilometers (124 miles) north-east of Moscow, Russia. The thousands of statues of Vladimir Lenin spread across the vast region bring to mind poet Vladimir Mayakovsky's ringing line of devotion: "Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live." (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NYC Attacker Was Uber Driver for Six Months - 1 Nov 2017

(Islamic State flag displayed in NYC) NYC Attacker Was Uber Driver for Six Months - Uzbeki Islamist Immigrant Was Arrested in Multiple States - Had Active Arrest Warrant for Missouri - Passed Uber's 'Rigorous' Background Check

The Islamist attack on civilians in New York City on October 31, 2017 was carried out by a Muslim immigrant in the name of the Islamic State.

The suspect was identified by two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. He's from Uzbekistan in Central Asia but had been living in the US since 2010, sources said. Saipov is a legal immigrant.

A senior law enforcement officer told CNN a note, written in English, was found in the truck that said the attack, which unfolded around 3 p.m. on Halloween, was done in the name of the Islamic State.

Law enforcement sources said Saipov most recently lived in New Jersey, in Paterson. He also lived in Florida for a period, sources said.

For the past six months, he was an Uber driver. The company said he passed a background check that the company claims is 'rigorous.' Uber has removed Saipov from the app.

Despite being able to pass Uber's background investigation a casual look through internet records reveals numerous problems with the law for Saipov. He had multiple interactions with law enforcement in several states, online records show. Uber does not seem to be looking very hard at drivers records.

He had traffic citations issued in Missouri and Pennsylvania. He was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in October 2016 after a warrant was issued when he failed to show in court for a misdemeanor offense. He paid a $200 bond, which he forfeited when he didn't show up in court for his next hearing in November. A guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

There is an active Missouri state warrant out for the arrest of Saipov, but he passed the Uber background check.

Uzbekistan ties

Saipov was a Muslim and a supporter of the hardline Islamic State. Saipov came to the US under the Obama administrations lax rules that considered Muslims a top priority to help come to America.

Authorities are sure to look at whether the suspect returned to Uzbekistan since he moved to the United States seven years ago, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said. "There has been a significant problem with jihadism in Uzbekistan," he said. According to Cruickshank there are two large jihadi groups in the country. One of them is the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is affiliated with the Islamic State.

In April, an Uzbeki Muslim immigrant to Sweden, who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State, was arrested after an Islamic truck attack killed five people in Stockholm.

New York City’s annual Halloween parade Tuesday night was the scene of additional militarization, with the attack serving as a pretext for a massive police deployment. NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez told a news conference: “We will proceed with the parade and certainly we’ve added more resources, more police officers, heavy weapons teams, blocker vehicles on the street leading to the route as well as more sand truck[s]. There’s also heavy weapons teams being deployed throughout the city at key, iconic locations.”

Eric Philips, de Blasio’s press secretary, tweeted, “The Halloween Parade will go on, with NYPD dramatically increasing presence (personnel, blocker trucks, long guns etc).”

Saturday, October 28, 2017

NH: Artist Arrested for Tagging Other People's Buildings

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Thirty-four year old man arrested for multiple counts of graffiti tagging of random buildings.

Regular cannabis users have more sex, study says - By Jen Christensen (CNN)



https://archive.is/z2AMw

(CNN)Dr. Michael Eisenberg, an assistant professor of urology, sees a lot of patients at the Stanford University Medical Center who have problems performing in the bedroom.

To determine what the problem is, they'll go through a laundry list of regular activities. Often, patients will ask whether they need to smoke less marijuana.

There isn't a lot of research on the topic. However, with marijuana becoming legal in a growing number of states, Eisenberg thought it'd be worth exploring.

What he found surprised him.

"Usually, people assume the more frequently you smoke, the worse it could be when it came to sex, but in fact, we learned the opposite was true," Eisenberg said. His study was published in this week's Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The study looked at data from the US government's National Survey of Family Growth. It asked more than 28,000 women and nearly 23,000 men how often they had sex in the four weeks prior to the survey and how frequently they used marijuana in the past year.

Women who didn't use marijuana reported having sex six times on average during the past four weeks. Women who used marijuana daily had sex 7.1 times on average.

The trend was similar for men. Men who abstained from marijuana said they had sex an average of 5.6 times in the four weeks before the survey, compared with the daily marijuana users who reported having sex 6.9 times, on average.

"We were surprised to see the positive association between users," Eisenberg said. "This was across the board: marital status, race, none of that mattered." The study focused on heterosexual sex, and it didn't explain why there might be a connection between sex and marijuana.

Eisenberg said past research on human and rodent models has shown that marijuana use may generally increase arousal. However, studies have also shown that too much marijuana use can decrease sperm count, and while men may want to have sex more, orgasm may be a challenge.

"It can have a different impact on different people," said Joseph Palamar, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at New York University, who is not connected with the current study.

He thought it was a "cool epidemiological paper" that "did the best it could with the data," but it did have limitations. "It's unclear from the data if people had marijuana in their system before or during sex," Palamar said. Someone could smoke in the morning but not have sex until the evening, when it wouldn't be in their system any more, for example. He added he'd like to see a study that could show more of a direct effect on frequency.

Palamar authored a small study comparing the sexual experience of people who are under the influence of alcohol versus marijuana. Studying 24 adults, his research found that people under either influence had increased feelings of self-attractiveness, but alcohol seemed to make people more social and bold and helped them make more connections with potential partners, compared with those people using marijuana.

It showed that drinkers typically have more regrets about who they slept with and are less choosy, whereas marijuana users tended to be more selective.

Because marijuana is still illegal in the majority of places, Palamar found that most people have to smoke in private, and that could lead to more opportunities to initiate intimacy, compared with people who drink, since alcohol is everywhere.

Marijuana may also have increased some people's sensitivity during the act itself, although some reported getting so "lost in their own heads," they weren't paying as much attention to their partners, and they did not enjoy sex as much.

"And if marijuana makes you paranoid, as it does with some people, it could really, pardon the pun, screw your ability to have an orgasm," Palamar said. Some women also reported vaginal dryness when they smoked pot, and that too can limit sexual pleasure.

Both scholars hoped these studies will encourage other researchers to dive deeper into the topic. In the meantime, Eisenberg said that if a patient asks whether his frequent marijuana use is getting in the way of his sex life, he will tell them that "it may not be the culprit."

Regular marijuana use can have other impacts on your health. Research in adults is still limited, but what we know is that smoking can irritate your lungs, and studies have shown it can raise your heart rate, making you more vulnerable to a heart attack.

"For most people, we tell them instead to go to the gym and lose 20 pounds," Eisenberg said. Being overweight can give men arousal problems.

"We always talk about anything that can be good for your heart can be good for your penis," he said. "For a lot of guys, hearing that is an amazing motivator."

https://archive.is/z2AMw

Sunday, September 24, 2017

With Witches on Boston Common Defending Immigrant Rights – 16 September 2017

I was there with the black hat shading my face from the sun, yet two people said to me: “You have beautiful eyes.” Witchcraft. We were in a row at city hall plaza in the shadow of the JFK building.

The women in witch costumes had signs: ‘Protect the Dreamers,’ ‘Immigration is a Human Right,’ ‘Support Immigrants – Deport Racists,’ ‘Welcome Immigrants Their Children’ A lot of people gathered to take pictures as the witches sat on a cement wall in a row on City Hall Plaza. I was standing up to the side holding Workers Vanguard on a clipboard and in my hand hawking to the crowd.

Earlier, just after noon, a large table laden with food was set out to feed the arriving protest organizers and rally supporters for immigrant rights. Next to the Massachusetts 54th Memorial, at the top of the stone steps, a sound system was set up and some music was playing. At the foot of the steps, up against a wrought iron gate, there were many signs supporting immigrants and calling for the re-installment of the Dreamers – DACA act.

As the rally’s official starting time of one o’clock approached more people assembled at the foot of the stairs and around a nearby drink vendor with a pushcart. People were sitting on the park benches chatting and eating food with their protest signs by their side. A group of young women gathered closely together as someone took a ‘selfie’ with their phone. The grey skies of the early morning where clearing up and the temperature was a summery seventy degrees.

While there was a good twenty percent or more of the crowd who were older, most of the people look to be in their twenties. There were lots of white people and Latinos along with a smaller number of black and Asian people. Some people had kids in strollers or by the hand. The rally had a festive atmosphere with food and music and conversations and people greeting friends warmly.

Various groups set up tables with books and newspapers like the Socialist Workers Party, and Socialist Alternative. People circulated through the crowd selling Workers World newspaper, and Workers Vanguard. Some had leaflets to hand out. There were passionate political discussions among the many clots of people gathered around before the speeches.

A large group of about a hundred chanting youth marched up the pathway from Commonwealth Avenue with a large banner chanting “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!” to applause from the crowd which parted so the militant contingent could march to the front.

The crowd had swelled to about four hundred people as the first speaker began to address the crowd. On Beacon Street at the top of the stairs one police SUV with blue lights flashing blocked off one lane of travel, but the tourist double-decker buses and regular traffic still went by – some one on the tour bus might be able to get a picture that included the Robert Gould Shaw memorial and the assembled crowd rallying for freedom and compassion right nest to the statue. A dozen cops were near by some of them with bicycles. The police seemed relaxed and the rally and march had a permit with no seeming threat of violence.

A Boston Teachers Union member spoke, someone from the Chelsea Teachers Association also called for tolerance for immigrants whatever their status. Boston mayoral candidate Tito Jackson spoke to the crowd. Some of the speakers addressed the crowd in Spanish. People were steadily coming up the hill from Park Street Station. A brass band was playing near the fountain near the station, and the sounds drifted up and mingled with the chants.

One sign handed out read: “Trump: Tool of the Rich – Enemy of All Working People”

Another sign: “Justice for Immigrants #DefendDACA”

As the march was to begin the rally marshals lined one of the paths through the common and the speaker at the podium assured people that this was a completely legal march and that there was a permit and the police were in cooperation. The march headed down the slope towards Park Street and crossed Tremont Street as people watched and cheered or jeered from the sidelines. The common was full of people on a beautiful September summer day. Over at the bandstand the Cannabis ‘Freedom’ Rally was taking place. The marchers went down Winter Street as shopkeepers stepped outside to applaud the defense of immigrant rights.

The march turned north on Washington Street which was full of shoppers as the rally moved down the pedestrian mall. As the march stretched out there looked to be about 2,000 people walking and chanting and carrying signs. At the front of the march there were horn players and drummers making some noise and attracting attention. On the sidewalk people raised their cell phones to take pictures or videos of the protest. Many people applauded. In Boston immigrants have support.

Down Washington Street, past the Irish Famine memorial on School Street, past the Old Globe Bookstore now a food joint, past the Old South Church, and then left at the Old Statehouse where all of New England was once governed from by the Colonial Governor sent by the King.

Up Court Street past the back of the Old City Hall and onto City Hall Plaza and over to the steps at the foot of the JFK Federal Building. The crowd filed in and lined up on the stairs facing a podium and listened to speeches. A little after three o’clock the last speaker urged the crowd to continue the campaign to show support for Dreamers and other immigrants who need support from the community they are in, and from all decent people. The radical booksellers folded up their tables and some people left signs behind as the sound system was dismantled and some core planners gathered under the trees near City Hall to plan the next steps.

I was drawing on the train home and sketched on the back of a protest poster I picked up as I was leaving city hall plaza. I had a Workers Vanguard newspaper on my clip board and unrolled the sign on top as best I could on my knees. The front of the poster featured a picture of Trump with a diagonal red line across his face with a DANGER logo underneath and a yellow banner reading – ‘Racist Poison.’ Next to the graphic was the slogan: Trump Tool of the Rich – Enemy of All Working People. I turned over to the empty white back of the poster board and got a pencil out of my backpack. I looked up and saw a man’s tee-shirt facing me with an intricate Celtic weave pattern that I copied onto the back of the poster. In a trance I produced a wavy set of grey lines – what to put in the middle? I drew a cube head in isometric with Easter Island Eyes. You have beautiful eyes.

https://archive.is/d5vSr

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Minneapolis: Black Muslim Cop Recklessly Shoots A White Woman - Racist Murder?



Minneapolis: Black Muslim Cop Recklessly Shoots A White Woman - Racist Murder?

I honestly don't think it was a racial thing. I also think some of the police shootings were not explicitly racial. White people are the majority of shootings by white cops. But some play everything as 'white racism.' Philandro Castile, a black man, was shot by a Mexican-American cop - many labelled that 'white racism.' Yet when Mexican Americans are shot by cops the Mexicans become 'brown' and that's a racist shooting. '

I think the real issue of Mohamed Noor shooting a white woman was his fitness to be an American police officer. He is an out loud and proud Muslim and he comes from Somalia. The failed state of Somalia fell apart in part because of their horrendously corrupt and brutal police forces. Affirmative action was the reason to push an unqualified person through the police academy. The same sort of situation happened in Seattle. An unqualified Somali was put on the force and simply acted like someone in a tin horn African dictatorship. After a year or so of coddling the inept and clueless 'police officer' he was fired.

What is also notable is the chief of police, a Native American Indian, was on vacation when one of her officers carried out the street execution of the woman. She didn't return from vacation as the biggest international story about her department played out. The mayor of the town instantly sprang into action - to reassure the Somali community that Islamophobia would not be tolerated. Her Facebook page gave an several phone numbers that Somalis could call for help.

When a black person is shot under these kinds of circumstances - its the black community that is comforted. The mayor wouldn't dream of comforting the 'white community.'

In Minneapolis a month ago a crowd of 30 young Somali Muslims drove through a predominately wealthy white neighborhood threatening women who were dressed 'immodestly' and taunting men to fight with the mob. The city leaders sprang into action - to defend Muslims and point out that the vast majority of Somalis did not go through the neighborhood.

The same trend can be seen in the UK. The Muslim mayor of London told people after several Islamic commando attacks that 'terrorist attacks are just a part of life in a big city.' But then a Englishman attacked a group of Muslims and one died. Outrage! This is unacceptable was the response.

There is a double standard. Someone seems to want Muslim populations all over the US and EU. The media labels people who are intellectually opposed the the Islamic system 'racists.' Yet when an unarmed woman who happens to be white calls the police for help and is instantly shot down by a careless poorly disciplined black Muslim cop - silence about the racial aspect.

The media simply wants to make the issue about body cameras. We know what happened. No one thinks the woman was threatening the police with a weapon. That woman made a fatal mistake - she called the police when she thought there was danger. Brendan Behan, and Irish writer, said: "I have never seen a situation so miserable that it could not be made worse by the presence of a policeman."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Boston Common - Leftist Confront Alt Right Trump Supporters (13 May 2017)





Boston Common 11:00 am, 13 May 2017

The Antifa demonstrators were assembled at a monument on a hill, the highest point in Boston Common. Leftist were on the hill waving red flags and black flags and carrying signs. The hill faced the bandstand were the Alt Right was rallying. The crowd was about 200 people with maybe 40 Black Block activists out front halfway down the hill. The police had a line of about ten cops on the walkway at the bottom of the hill. The police faced the Antifa crowd.

Liberals who had endorsed the demonstration had wanted to move the rally to Copley Square - about a mile away. When the more militant sponsors refused - the Liberals pulled out and did not come. The International Socialist Organization endorsed the demonstration, but none of them were seen at the rally. WWP was not at the rally at all.

There were no American flags at the counter rally.

At the bandstand the Alt Right had dozens and dozens of American flags along with a Japanese Rising Sun flag, a Nazi looking flag, a Don't Treat on Me flag, an Italian fascist flag with SPQR, and a Betsy Ross circle star flag. In the early hours the Alt Right had about 300 people but eventually grew to 400 or so. A number of them had shields and heavy wooden sticks. Stickman is one of their mascots.



There were numerous times when the Alt Right were taunting on their megaphone and the Antifa people with bullhorns taunted back. The Alt Right shouted out "Commie Fags!" The Antifa and Leftists shouted "Fuck You." Husbands and wives with children between them strolled by on the park's walkway. Lots of tourists took pictures with their phones.

One Alt Righter crossed over the walkway and got into a fight with an Antifa and they both were arrested. Latter there was another incident were a fight broke out but I'm not sure if either fighter was taken away. The police had about a dozen people on the line separating the crowds and civilians were walking along the pathway between the two groups. The bandstand where the Alt Right were gathered is about 50 yards back from the walkway, and the Antifa crowd was mostly at the top of the hill while the Black Block were in the middle of the hill and down at the walkway taunting the Alt Righters facing them.

At one point a line of about ten motorcycle police officers arrived at the far side of the bandstand, but they left after five or ten minutes. Others said there where a number of cops further away with lots of plastic handcuffs on their belts. Four bicycle cops were to the left of the Antifa demo half way up the hill.



Some of the signs the Antifa carried were: "Liberty and Justice for All," "No In the name of Humanity we refuse to accept fascism," "Punching Richard Spencer," "Trump is a Fucking Moron," "Racist Get the Fuck Out of Boston."

Some of the chants from the Antifa crowd were "The people united will never be defeated," "No war but class war," "Nazis Out," and as a reply to some taunt from the Rightists "Your Shit's Weak," and because the Antifa crowd sounded louder than the Alt Right and there were about three bullhorns in the crowd - "Buy a better bullhorn." The Rightists were hard to hear but had lots to say about Communism and denounced Black Lives Matter. The Alt Rightist demo security were in battle fatigues and seemed to have some kind of body armor on. Most of the time the police were facing the Antifa side, but occasionally they pushed back the thirty or so Rightists who came to the walkway to taunt the Antifa on the other side.

Someone pointed out that the Rightists did not have one female speaker over the course of three hours. Sometimes when their speakers were talking the Alt Right crowd turned around and look toward the confrontations near the walkway. When the Antifa crowd had speakers at the top of the hill - the same thing happened as the crowd turned around and watched what was happening below. Two Alt Right men came up the to the hill from a different direction, one in a maroon tri-corner hat with gilt edging and odd beige suit, and as they approached a few people confronted them and told them to leave. A couple of marshals confronted him, and one marshall came in with the police in tow and they told the Rightist to go back to their side.

At one o'clock the lead organizers of the Antifa crowd announced that the marshals and many people would be leaving. Almost all of the crowd stayed. One or two of the marshals took off their bright reflective vests and stayed at the demonstration. The Leftist crowd was about 250 people, perhaps half of them women.

At about 2:45 the Alt Right ended their rally at the bandstand and lined up thirty feet away from the walkway to face the Antifa crowd and chant "USA." The Antifa crowd chanted "America Was Never Great." The Alt Right looked to be about 400 or 500 people - twice as many as the Leftists.

At that point some wondered if there would be a surge from the Rightist and they would sweep past the police - but they mostly marched off in a different direction and had said they were going to walk the Freedom Trail, a foot tour of significant Boston Revolutionary sites. Perhaps the motorcycle and bike police were to escort the Alt Right throught the streets.. About a dozen Rightists stood behind the police and continued to hurl insults as the Antifa crowd returned the taunts.

At about 3:10pm the Antifa crowd dispersed. The Alt Right held a rally in Boston and they were confronted by organized Leftist determined to oppose them.

http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/index.php

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Worker safety group names the most dangerous employers



http://coshnetwork.org/dirty-dozen-report-and-infographics#overlay-context=user

By Mark Gruenberg

Among the companies the Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) identifies as this year’s Dirty Dozen are a Boston contractor whose indifference to safety led to the deaths of two workers in a trench collapse and a Lansing, Illinois, tanker cleaning service that did nothing to prevent fumes from filling a tank car and killing an employee.

COSH, is a coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others that advocates for worker health and safety. National COSH released its report in advance of Workers Memorial Day, this past April 28, unveiling it at a press conference April 26.

At the press conference, Jordan Barab, a deputy assistant OSHA director during the Obama administration, said “The Dirty Dozen shows the need for more enforcement” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and by federally approved state OSHAs.

Dedicated TCS, an Illinois-based tank cleaning firm made the list because it did not check the air quality in a rail tank car located in New Orleans before the work began. As a result, Armond Stack died and his two co-workers almost did.

The three lacked harnesses, and the confined space lacked oxygen, the New Orleans coroner said. OSHA proposed fining Dedicated TCS $226,310. The firm had prior repeated confined space violations in other locations, including in Lansing and Channahon, Illinois.

The Boston trench collapse occurred when a nearby water main broke, throwing dirt, mud, gravel and water on top of trench diggers Robert Higgins and Kelvin Mattocks.

Mattocks and Higgins were killed because their employer, Atlantic Drain, did not follow basic safety rules. The Boston district attorney indicted both the firm and its owner on two counts of manslaughter and other charges.

Furthermore, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance barring construction firms with a history of serious and repeated OSHA violations – like Atlantic Drain – from getting city permits. Now the state senate is considering similar legislation. And the city council is considering amending a 200-year-old law that now limits fines in such cases to $1,000. The bill under consideration would raise fines to $250,000.

Along with Atlantic Drain and Dedicated TCS, the Dirty Dozen include:

California Cartage of Long Beach, California: Because the company did not provide machine safeguards, and because there were faulty brakes on its trucks, driver William Vasquez was killed.

Speakers at the COSH press conference said that the firm treats its drivers as “independent contractors” unprotected by workplace laws, including labor laws.

Dollar General in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. The Dirty Dozen report calls all the chain’s stores “a fire disaster waiting to happen” because exits were blocked. OSHA cited the chain more than 100 times and fined it more than $1 million combined for that violation alone in its stores nationwide.

Environmental Enterprises, Inc., of Spring Grove, Ohio, where a chemical explosion killed employee Zachary Henzerling. An OSHA report describes the company as having a “complete disregard for employees’ safety.” The firm was indicted for involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.

Fuyao Glass America of Dayton, Ohio. The firm operates the world’s largest auto glass plant but doesn’t provide its workers with gloves. Workers were exposed to broken glass and risked amputation. OSHA cited it for 23 serious violations.

The Nissan USA auto plant in Franklin, Tennessee: Four workers died over a four-year period. Safety violations are rampant, one speaker at the press conference said, because workers fear losing their jobs if they complain, despite the fact that federal law bans retaliation against whistleblowers. OSHA has fined Nissan $99,000.

The Pilgrim’s Pride poultry processing plant in Greeley, Colorado: One worker died and another lost fingers in a machine “because management did nothing” to address amputation risk, the Dirty Dozen report says. Workers are also exposed to toxic ammonia.

PrimeFlight of Nashville, Tennessee exposes its workers to blood-borne pathogens. OSHA said PrimeFlight had 22 violations in the last three years. Conditions there are “likely to cause death or serious harm.”

TransAm Trucking of Olathe, Kansas: In minus 37 degree weather, after reporting that his cab had frozen brakes and receiving no help, driver Alphonse Maddin left the vehicle on the side of a road to seek assistance. OSHA and its appeals board ruled for him after TransAm fired him for protecting his own life. The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Every member of that court upheld OSHA’s ruling except Judge Neil Gorsuch, the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Valley Garlic and X-Treme AG of California: Four migrant workers died in the crash of an illegal transport van. Following a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Labor, the contractor was enjoined from transporting agricultural workers.

The Dirty Dozen report also cites one foreign firm: the South Korean computer/phone chip maker Samsung.

The report says that more than 200 Samsung workers became seriously ill, and 76 died, from fumes released while making the chips. The firm also retaliates by a secret plan to “dominate employees” and “punish leaders,” the report says. Samsung’s CEO is now awaiting trial in South Korea’s wide-ranging presidential bribery scandal.

http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/worker-safety-group-names-the-most-dangerous-employers/

http://shauntrain.blogspot.com/2017/05/worker-safety-group-names-most.html

Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War Conference MIT 6 May 2017



When: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 8:45 am to 5:00 pm Where: MIT • 50 Vassar St. • room 34-101 • Cambridge Room 34-101, 50 Vassar St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action.

Responding to the continuing risk of nuclear war or accident, this conference is intended to advocate and organize toward reducing the danger of nuclear war. It is not an academic conference, but rather one that addresses the political and economic realities of the new Trump administration, and attempts to stimulate and inform the kinds of social movement needed to change national policy. This year we mark the 50thanniversary of MLK Jr.’s historic “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church.

8:45 am. Registration and Coffee

9:15 am. Welcome from City of Cambridge: Mayor Denise Simmons

9:30 am. Program for the Day: Prof. Jonathan King (MIT, Mass. Peace Action)

9:45 am. Session I. The Need for Nuclear Disarmament

Costs and Profits from Nuclear Weapons Manufacture - William Hartung (Center for International Policy)

Reasons to Reject the Trillion Dollar Nuclear Weapons Escalation- Joseph Cirincione(Ploughshares Fund)

Nuclear Weapons Undermine Democracy - Prof. Elaine Scarry (Harvard University)

10:45 am. II. Destabilizing Factors

Chair: Hon. John Tierney (former US Representative, Council for a Livable World)

Dangers of Hair Trigger Alert - Lisbeth Gronlund (Union of Concerned Scientists).

Nuclear Modernization vs. National Security – Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World)

Accidents and Unexpected events – Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute)

12:00 pm. Lunch Workshops (Listed below)

2:00 pm. Session III. Economic and Social Consequences of Excessive Weapons Spending

Chair: Prof. Melissa Nobles (MIT):

Build Housing Not Bombs - Rev. Paul Robeson Ford (Union Baptist Church) Education as a National Priority - Barbara Madeloni (Mass. Teachers Association) Invest in Minds Not Missiles - Prof. Jonathan King (MIT) Build Subways Not Submarines - Fred Salvucci (former Mass. Secretary of Transportation)

3:00 pm. Session IV. Current Prospects for Progress

Chair: Hon. John Tierney (former US Representative, Council for a Livable World)

Congressional Steps Toward Nuclear Disarmament – U. S. Representative Barbara Lee Maintaining the Iran Nuclear Agreement – Ernest Moniz, CEO, Nuclear Threat Initiative; former U.S. Secretary of Energy

4:15 pm. Session V: Organizing to Reduce the Dangers

Chair: Jim Anderson (Peace Action New York State);

Divesting from Nuclear Weapons Investments - Susi Snyder (Don’t Bank on the Bomb) Taxpayers Information and Transparency Acts – State Reps. Denise Provost/Mike Connolly Mobilizing the Scientific Community – Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT) A National Nuclear Disarmament Organizing Network 2017 -2018 – Program Committee.

5:00 pm. Adjourn. Conference Workshops (12:00 – 2:00 pm):

a) Campus Organizing - Chair: Kate Alexander (Peace Action, NY State); Caitlin Forbes (Mass. Peace Action); Remy Pontes (Brandeis Peace Action); Haleigh Copley-Cunningham (Peace Action Chapter at Tufts), Lucas Perry (Don’t Bank on the Bomb, Future of Life Institute); Matthew Hahm (Boston College Peace Action); Luisa Kenausis (MIT Nuclear Weapons Matter).

b) Bringing nuclear weapons into physics and history course curricula - Chair: Frank Davis (past President of TERC); Gary Goldstein (Tufts University); Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT); Prof. Vincent Intondi(Montgomery College); Ray Matsumiya (Oleander/Hiroshima Peace Initiative).

c) Dangerous Conflicts - Chair, Erica Fein (WAND); Jim Walsh (MIT Security Studies program); John Tierney (former US Representative; Council for a Livable World); Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT).

d) Municipal and State Initiatives - Chair Cole Harrison (Mass. Peace Action): Denise Provost (Mass State Legislature); Councilor Dennis Carlone (Cambridge City Council); Jared Hicks (Our Revolution Massachusetts); Prof. Ceasar McDowell (MIT Urban Studies).

e) Peace with Justice: People’s Budget and Related Campaigns to Shift Federal budget Priorities – Chair, Andrea Miller (People Demanding Action); Mike Connolly (Mass State Legislature); Paul Shannon(AFSC); Madelyn Hoffman (NJPA); Richard Krushnic (Mass Peoples Budget Campaign); Arne Alpert(New Hampshire AFSC).

f) Reducing Nuclear Weapons through Treaties and Negotiation – Chair, Nazli Choucri (MIT), Kevin Martin (national Peace Action), Shelagh Foreman (Mass. Peace Action); Michel DeGraff (MIT Haiti Project).

g) Strengthening the Connection between Averting Climate Change and Averting Nuclear War РChair,Frank Von Hippel (Princeton University); Rosalie Anders (Mass. Peace Action); Josué Lopez (Fossil Free MIT).

h) Working with Communities of Faith - Chair, Thea Keith-Lucas (MIT Radius); Rev. Herb Taylor(Harvard Epworth Methodist Church); Pat Ferrone (Pax Christi Massachusetts); Rev. Paul Robeson Ford(Union Baptist Church).

More Info on Conference Participants

Program Committee: Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World), Joseph Gerson (American Friends Service Committee), Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT), Prof. Gary Goldstein (Tufts University), Cole Harrison (Mass. Peace Action), Jonathan King (MIT and Mass. Peace Action), Guntram Mueller (Mass. Peace Action), State Rep. Denise Provost, John Ratliff (Mass. Peace Action, Mass Senior Action), Prof. Elaine Scarry (Harvard University), Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute), Patricia Weinmann (MIT Radius).

Sponsored by MIT Radius (the former Technology and Culture Forum), Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, American Friends Service Committee, and the Future of Life

InstituteRegistration (includes lunch): $12.00 through May 1, $15.00 after. Students and low income: $5.00 through May 1, $8.00 after. If this is a hardship, contactweinmann@mit.edu for waiver. Register online, or mail check payable to "Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund" to 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 and write "MIT Conference" on memo line. For information call 617-354-2169or email info@masspeaceaction.org; MIT community members may also contact Radius.

http://justicewithpeace.org/node/6683

Friday, April 28, 2017

Qatar Pays the Largest Ransom in History - $500,000,000



The Qataris and Saudis were hunting with falcons in southern Iraq in December 2015 when they were seized by armed men from the the powerful Iranian-supported movement known as Ketaeb of God. What an adventure hunting with falcons in southern Iraq must have seemed like to two dozen wealthy Qataris and two Saudi Arabian friends. The hunting party got permission to hunt with their birds of prey from the government in Baghdad. The group, including several members of the Qatari royal al-Thani family, was going to be in the 'safe' part of the country far from the fighting against Isis in the north around Mosul. But there are many armed groups in many parts of Iraq that are not under the control of the Baghdad government. The armed groups are called 'militia' but they are often more like private armies that carry out the goals of religious or other leaders who are essentially war lords. When not fighting other religious groups or 'enemy' targets the militias are often engaged in criminal enterprises with the aim of self enrichment



Southern Iraq is also heavily Shia and Qatar and Saudi Arabia have backed and are backing Sunni militants in Syria and Iraq who are making war on Shia communities. That this wealthy hunting party thought they could go into the heartland of the Shia as Qatar and Saudi Arabia fund and arm Sunni fanatics who make merciless war on Shia shows how out of touch they are. The hunter became the hunted. The 24 Qataris and 2 Saudis were captured by a Shia militia.

The ransom not only involved $500,000,000 in dollars and euros in 23 x-ray proof bags sent to Baghdad airport - the trade involved the release of two surrounded Shia communities in Syria and two surrounded Sunni 'rebel' communities being allowed to evacuate to other areas under a truce. The Islamist 'rebels' showed what they thought of the truce when a suicide bomber in a truck that seemed to be loaded with supplies and treats for children drove next to the evacuation buses of the Shia civilians. As the bomber called the children off a number of buses to his vehicle he set of an explosion that killed about 170 people and wounded another 350. Qatar backs the Islamist 'rebels' who send truck bombers to specifically target Shia children. Another part of the $500,000,000 deal felt through when the Baghdad authorities tried to x-ray and scan the 23 bags that came in on an airplane from Qatar. The bags were cut open and the hundreds of millions of dollars and euros where reveal to the Iraqi authorities who seized the money. The Qatari ambassador to Iraq was on the airplane but had not asked for the bags to be given diplomatic immunity. The Qataris had apparently thought the the hostage takers where working with the Iraqi airport authorities and would pick up the money at the airport.

The Iraq government does not want to give a half billion dollars to help fund a private army that they have no control over. "Hundreds of millions for armed groups? Is this acceptable?" Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asked later at a press conference. In a special confidential document Mr. Abadi sent on 22 April 2017 told the Dawa Party members that Qatar had requested landing permission for a plane at Baghdad International Airport on 15 April 2017 so that freed hostages from the hunting party could fly home. When the aircraft landed and was routinely inspected airport officials "were surprised that there were 23 large heavy bags that appeared without prior notice or approval." Going through the x-ray machine "the image appeared black," meaning the contents were in some kind of lead lined bag to avoid detection.

Strangely the Qatari ambassador to Iraq and a special envoy sent by the Qatari Emir Tamimbin Hamad al-Thani got off the plane but did not ask for diplomatic immunity for the bags of money. Apparently the Qataris thought the kidnappers and militia had their own operatives at the airport who would take the bags upon arrival as the hostages came to the plane.

Even before the bags were opened the airport officials could hear the Qataris talking as if the 23 bags contained money. But opening the bags revealed a great deal of money, "hundreds of millions of dollars and euros."

The Iraq government confiscated the money even as the Qatar government informed them that it was a ransom payment. The Iraq government had not been informed, and the Iraq government did not want to see a private army get a half a billion in funding.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Puerto Rico Students Battle Colonial Austerity For the Right of Independence!



https://archive.is/f7bXt

Workers Vanguard No. 1110 21 April 2017

Puerto Rico

Students Battle Colonial Austerity

For the Right of Independence!

Since March 28, students have been on strike at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), the island’s main public university system with a total of 70,000 students. UPR has been the target of $348 million in budget cuts over the past three years and it faces more austerity demanded by the American colonial masters. The students’ main demands are no budget cuts and no tuition increases. The strike is being actively supported by the unions of teachers and campus workers, who have themselves experienced union-busting attacks, wage reductions and shrinking pensions over the past decade. The students’ battle gives voice to the anguish and anger of Puerto Ricans enduring a desperate economic situation—a direct consequence of imperialist colonial domination. Victory to the student strike!

Many strikers today remember the two-month student strike at UPR in 2010, when the students fought against attempts by the bourgeoisie and campus administration to implement tuition hikes and budget cuts. That strike was met with bloody police repression, but it successfully beat back the worst of the government’s and UPR administration’s attacks.

We stand for free, quality public education for all, including open admissions and a state-paid living stipend for all students! But under capitalism, the provision of education and other social services is subordinated to the ruling class’s drive for profit. Our Marxist perspective is for a free, egalitarian society based on material abundance, where education is an actual right. This can only be achieved through a socialist revolution that sweeps away the decaying capitalist system and establishes workers rule in the oppressed colonies and neocolonies as well as in the U.S.

In 2016, the Obama administration imposed a Financial Oversight and Management Board, known as the “junta,” to ensure that Puerto Rico’s debt of over $70 billion is paid to the hedge fund parasites and financial institutions. The capitalist investors claim that Puerto Ricans, almost half of whom subsist below the poverty line, have been living “beyond their means” and must pay. These vultures sucked the blood of Puerto Rico’s economy and for decades enjoyed a tax haven with low-wage labor. The junta’s task is to oversee implementation by the island’s government of the bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress, grotesquely dubbed PROMESA (“promise,” Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act). This law demands budget cuts of $450 million to education alone—in addition to more taxes, the sale of $4 billion worth of public buildings and the slashing of government spending. The governor, Ricardo Rosell√≥, is a union-busting lackey of the imperialists, who is faithfully imposing their austerity.

The Puerto Rican masses are threatened with the destruction of public education, health care, pensions and the privatization of the government-owned public utility company, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. The teachers’ pension fund is so depleted that contributions by working teachers flow straight out to retirees. The New York Times (8 March) reported that “none of Puerto Rico’s current teachers can expect to get their money back, because the fund is due to run out of money in 2018.” Since 2008, more than 350 schools in Puerto Rico have closed and today many hospitals have no funding to provide essential services. Workers in the U.S. should take a side with the workers and oppressed of Puerto Rico who are being ground down by colonial oppression and demand: Cancel the debt!

A century ago, Puerto Ricans were given limited American citizenship rights, but they are unable to vote in federal elections and have no voting representation in Congress. When Puerto Rico came under the rule of the U.S. in 1898, as a result of the Spanish-American War, the population was forced to receive their education in English. In 1909, Spanish was banned in all public schools. This was an assault on four hundred years of language and culture under the guise of “civilizing a savage people.” It wasn’t until 1949 that Spanish became the language of public education.

As forthright opponents of national oppression and U.S. imperialism, we favor Puerto Rican independence. Puerto Ricans hate their second-class status as residents of a U.S. commonwealth, but their feelings about independence are mixed. On the one hand, people on the island have a very strong sense of nationhood; on the other, many are fearful of losing the ability to live and work on the mainland and of sinking to the level of poverty of their independent Caribbean neighbors. We oppose any attempts to forcibly impose independence against the will of the population. Thus, we emphasize the right of independence.

The fight against colonial oppression in Puerto Rico would necessarily be directed at the local agents of imperialism and could therefore act as a lever for socialist revolution. Such struggles would also reverberate throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and on the U.S. mainland.

About five million Puerto Ricans live in the United States (the population on the island is 3.5 million), where they are a component of the multiracial U.S. working class in many urban centers. These workers can be a link for class unity of workers in Puerto Rico and the United States against both the imperialists and their local enforcers. Our perspective is to build Leninist parties in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico whose goal is to establish workers rule.

As we said in our article “U.S. Colonialism Chokes Puerto Rico” (WV No. 1075, 2 October 2015):

“A victorious workers revolution in the U.S., in which class-conscious Puerto Rican workers can play a vanguard role, would immediately grant Puerto Rico independence and massive amounts of economic aid, establishing relations on the basis of its freedom to exercise national self-determination. But the spark of revolution could also come from the colonial or neocolonial countries. Workers struggle in Puerto Rico against U.S. colonial domination could inspire the multiracial working class on the mainland in the revolutionary overthrow of U.S. imperialism.”

http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1110/puerto_rico.html

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

'Wake Them Up!' - Making Videos About Ken Russell



When UK movie maker Ken Russell died in 2011 I made a number of videos using obituaries and summations of the man's work with a slide show as the visual. At one point the man had three first run films playing in London simultaneously. Yet he was treated as an eccentric joke by much of the British media for most of his working life. Ken Russell took chances, and he sure made mistakes, but his work is notable and striking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGEEe5PB9js https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGEEe5PB9js

Monday, April 24, 2017

Russia and China Should Fear the X37-B Space Plane



The Strategist 19 Oct 2016 by Malcolm Davis

A transformation in military space capabilities is occurring hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface as the US Air Force X-37B Space Plane logs over 500 days in orbit in its latest mission.

The unmanned X-37B Space Plane is designed for long-endurance missions that are highly classified. It’s officially referred to as the ‘Orbital Test Vehicle’, and is described as a platform for testing “reusable spacecraft technologies for America’s future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.” A total of four missions have been flown since April 2010, with the fourth in progress since 20th May 2015. It’s designed to be launched on an expendable Atlas V booster, and there are currently two operational X-37Bs in the USAF’s inventory.

The current mission is testing a new type of ion-engine called a ‘Hall-effect thruster’. It was the Hall thrusters on the first USAF Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite that saved the satellite when a rocket motor failed to raise it to the correct orbit. Hall thrusters provide higher thrust than traditional ion propulsion, with sustained thrust allowing a spacecraft to reach about 50km per second—much faster than even NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe now travelling out of the solar system at mere 17km per second. For satellites they provide a much more cost effective way of remaining in the right location within an orbit.

The laws of orbital dynamics and the fact that rockets use fuel at an alarming rate means satellites and spacecraft are not maneuverable like fighter aircraft within Earth’s atmosphere. Minimizing fuel use also demands the use of Hohmann transfer trajectories to move between orbits, reducing their orbital agility even further. Rocket engines and the need to carry large amounts of fuel adds mass and complexity to spacecraft design, blowing out cost and extending development time. Once the rocket fuel is used up, the spacecraft or satellite is useless.

The X-37B potentially changes this situation, as not only can the spacecraft be recovered and reused, but it uses a small amount of Xenon gas that is far lighter than traditional rocket fuel like hydrazine, though it has a high storage density to allow greater useful fuel. Maneuvering with Hall thrusters is slow compared to rockets (even though prolonged acceleration over time produces much higher velocities), but far more cost effective in terms of fuel. So the X-37B can stay up longer, maneuver at far lower cost in terms of fuel than a similar vehicle with traditional rockets, and enjoy a greater ability to maneuver within and between orbits. This flexibility would allow it to do more in space, including close surveillance of an adversary’s satellites in orbit, both in terms of optical imaging, and electronic intelligence and signals intelligence gathering. It can also fill a gap if satellites are badly positioned to respond to short notice events like a nuclear test in North Korea. The X-37B suggests a new generation of space capabilities beyond traditional satellites.

The Obama administration’s space policy eschews the weapons in space option. It instead emphasizes efforts towards ensuring space resilience and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) as a key aspects of space policy to deter adversary counter-space threats like anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. Reconstitution of space capabilities after an adversary ASAT attack is also an essential aspect of space resilience, and DARPA is developing a vehicle similar to the X-37B, the XS-1 Spaceplane, which is designed to launch payloads at low cost in a responsive manner. Matching this responsive space launch capability with low-cost Cubesats means the US can rapidly replace lost capability after an attack.

Furthermore an ability to temporarily operate in a degraded space environment may also mitigate the effects of losing access to space capabilities. Yet the X-37B would give the next Administration an option to quickly develop a very advanced ASAT capability if it were needed. That’s going to be an important issue for the next occupant of the White House to consider, given that both Russia and China are continuing to ignore US efforts to prevent the weaponization of space, and are developing a broad range of ASAT capabilities that will allow them to threaten the vital satellites depended upon by the US and its allies. SSA only permits the monitoring of space activities, and real space resilience may need to include defending critical high-end satellites such as missile early warning, GPS or strategic communications satellites.

An expanded X-37B capability may be an answer to defending these vital assets through providing close-in escorting capabilities that can respond to an approaching threat before it can close within range of its target. For the US to take a step towards the weaponization of space is a policy dilemma for Washington and has implications on space security, both of which will considered in a subsequent article. https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/spaceplanes-high-frontier/

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why this scientist is marching



"Science is real" and "Objective reality exists" read the signs that covered Jessie Square in San Francisco last December. "Immigrants make science great" read some at Boston's Copley Square in February.

An unlikely sector of the populace has begun to respond to the threat that the Trump agenda represents. Earth Day, April 22, has been called as a day of action for all of us who want to defend academic freedom, public health and the human habitability of the planet itself.

A few scientists were inspired by the January 21 women's marches that drew millions out in cities across the U.S. and began posting messages on Facebook that maybe those protesting were onto something. Maybe protest was the best way to defend ourselves against the anti-science agenda rolling out of D.C. And on January 22, scientists weren't merely onlookers. A contingent of hundreds of women and men in lab coats (some carrying their lab equipment) produced some of the loudest chants that day in Washington, D.C.

Why are science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) advocates so mad? What could possibly make us leave our microscopes and spectrometers en mass to engage in the political sphere?

Setting aside the fact that "STEMinist" T-shirts are selling like hotcakes and a huge proportion of STEM professionals are women, immigrants and LGBTQ people, scientists are mad because of, essentially, workplace grievances. In theory, the purpose of science is to understand the world so we can make positive change, but scientists cannot do this if we are unable to communicate our findings. And the current administration is not a fan of evidence-based peer-reviewed information being "leaked" to the public.

According to the Associated Press, political appointees of the current administration have been directed to review all studies and data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to public release. "Review," in this case, will mean censorship. The current EPA scientific integrity statement reads that actions be "grounded, at a most fundamental level, in sound, high-quality science" that is "free from political interference." Clearly, this integrity can no longer be maintained without threat to one's career.

Even an agency as innocuous as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be subject to political pressure. The FDA is the agency that ensures that our pills aren't going to make the cure worse than the disease. Before some federal oversight of our medications, drugs could have deadly side effects or be tainted with dangerous additives. Scott Gottlieb, Trump's candidate to head up the FDA, has suggested that rigorous clinical trials shouldn't be required for placing a drug on the market. Let the consumer decide if it is deadly--or, at least, their living relatives.

I AM marching on April 22 because, like other scientists, I'm mad about this. Like other scientists, I'm scared about this. And, like other scientists, I am determined to fight back.

I want to be counted among the people who are trying to send a message to the Trump administration that it should not cut public funding for science censor or restrict the communication of scientific findings or; ignore the scientific consensus in making policy.

But I also have other, more specific, reasons to march.

I am a teacher. Anyone who has ever taught, or even had a favorite teacher, knows the way teachers can care about their students. You become invested in how they feel, how well you help them get what they want in life. My task is to give them information, but much more importantly, to give them motivation and a method for exploring the natural world (I'm a biologist). And now, the same students I most inspired are the ones who won't have jobs--the students who wanted to study public health, the students who wanted to preserve endangered species, the students who wanted clean water. I work in the classroom to help them achieve this goal, why not also in the streets?

I am an anti-racist. Cuts to programs that protect the environment don't just affect all people equally. The lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, is the most recent well-known example, but the list goes on and on. It includes coal ash in Uniontown, Alabama; lead in West Dallas, Texas; and toxic polychlorinated biphenyls in Warren County, North Carolina. Environmental destruction disproportionately impacts communities of color.

The beginning of any struggle against environmental racism is to prove that the damage is happening. With severe cuts to the EPA, the routine monitoring will not happen. Say you smell oil as you walk by a creek on your way home from school. You call the city to report it, and they tell you to call the EPA. But no one is there to pick up the phone--they were all fired by the Trump administration.

There are also likely to be cuts in federal health-monitoring programs. Those who work on those programs study things like why, unlike the global trend, more and more mothers are dying during childbirth in the U.S. Just like many other health disparities, these women are disproportionately low-income and Black. The Trump administration doesn't want to fund the studies that help us know this, much less the programs to help us stop it.

I am a socialist. I believe that mass social movements can win big reforms. Scientists were an important part of the original mobilizations that led Richard Nixon to create the EPA in the first place. And the experience of fighting for something well beyond laboratory funding made a more healthy, left-wing science.

When scientists sit back and let the "experts" handle the politics, we are in trouble. Ordinary people mobilizing--that's what can win.

I expect that very few scientists voted for Trump. I imagine that almost all of the participants in the upcoming March for Science think we wouldn't need to march if Hillary Clinton had won.

But as scientists, we also call for evidenced-based policy--and there's not a lot of evidence that the Democrats in power have responded seriously to things like the life-or-death situation around climate change. Bernie Sanders called out the inaction, why can't we?

So I'm marching as part of an argument both for science and with science. We should have a grassroots movement that is independent and self-reliant. Only then will we be able to pressure any and all politicians to enact the immediate change that's so badly needed.

https://archive.is/6HcFT

'March for Science' Worldwide Rallies - 22 April 2017



By Bryan Dyne

22 April 2017

Hundreds of thousands of scientists, researchers, workers and youth are poised to participate in today’s “March for Science.” The main rally will take place in Washington, DC, with sister demonstrations and marches taking place in more than 600 locations across the world, involving people in at least 130 countries and encompassing six continents. It is slated to be the world’s largest pro-science demonstration to date.

The initial impulse for the march arose when the Trump administration deleted all references to climate change from the official White House web site minutes after Trump’s inauguration. Scientists across the United States saw this as the opening salvo in a much broader attack on science generally, leading to the creation of the March for Science Facebook group calling for a demonstration in Washington, DC, mirroring the protests against the Trump administration before, during and in the weeks following Trump’s first days as president.

More broadly, the March for Science reflects the general anti-Trump sentiment in the majority of the US and world’s population. The fact that the Facebook group has attracted more than 830,000 members shows just how many people, both scientists and non-scientists from all corners of the globe, are seeking an avenue to oppose the Trump administration and its reactionary policies.

One measure of this is the fact that the march has been endorsed by virtually every US organization with an orientation towards science and several international scientific institutions, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Planetary Society, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The notable exceptions are endorsements from the official scientific agencies of various governments, such as ESA or NASA, though no doubt individuals from these organizations support and will be participating in the marches.

The event is being led by three honorary co-chairs, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Bill Nye “the Science Guy” and Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff, all of whom have been involved on some level as advocates for science in the political arena. Dr. Hanna-Attisha fought to expose lead poisoning in Flint, Bill Nye has repeatedly spoken out against climate change deniers and Dr. Villa-Komaroff pioneered the field of biotechnology.

Despite this, however, and despite the anti-Trump origins of the March for Science, the organizers have taken great pains to avoid any discussions of the anti-science policies of various Trump administration officials, from EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to Trump himself. No mention has been made of the policies that allow for the destruction of the environment, attacks on public education or various forms of censorship that scientists in the US and internationally often face, much less the increasing danger of nuclear war and the existential threat that this poses to all life on Earth.

These limitations are summed up in the declaration that attacks on science “are not a partisan issue.” While the mission statement for the March for Science correctly notes that science has been attacked by both Republicans and Democrats, it does not fully explain the inherently political nature of this question.

This is particularly striking when one considers that one of the three honorary co-chairs for the event is Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the Flint Hurley Medical Center’s pediatric residency program, and the person who first revealed the doubling and tripling of lead in the blood of Flint children since April 2014. The science behind lead poisoning has been understood for decades, particularly the potentially deadly effect it has, especially on children.

This has become an intensely political issue for the residents of Flint, who are outraged over the fact that this problem was known to city and state officials but ignored by state appointed Emergency Manager Darnell Earley to slash city operating costs in order to pay city debts to Wall Street banks. Dr. Hanna-Attisha herself was attacked by city and state officials for tampering with the data even as residents were becoming ill and dying.

The forces that suppressed the lead poisoning data in Flint can trace their political heritage to those that have denied the dangers of nuclear winter for nearly four decades, those that attacked the theory of evolution during the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, and even as far back as the reactionary methods used to suppress Copernicus’ idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun. In every one of these cases, the scientists threatened material and political interests and were forcefully attacked.

The challenge for those participating in today’s march is not merely the “celebration of science,” but of connecting the attacks on science to the broader attacks on all progressive aspects of modern society by capitalism, a social and economic system in which all human activity is subordinated to the profit motive. As such, scientists and their supporters must connect the defense of science to the struggle of the most progressive social force in society, the working class, against the corporate elite.

https://archive.is/NOSc5

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Louisiana's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Disappearing Coastline



20 April 2017 by Merrit Kennedy Instagram

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency over the state's rapidly eroding coastline.

It's an effort to bring nationwide attention to the issue and speed up the federal permitting process for coastal restoration projects.

"Decades of saltwater intrusion, subsidence and rising sea levels have made the Louisiana coast the nation's most rapidly deteriorating shoreline," WWNO's Travis Lux tells our Newscast unit. "It loses the equivalent of one football field of land every hour."

More than half of the state's population lives on the coast, the declaration states. It adds that the pace of erosion is getting faster: "more than 1,800 square miles of land between 1932 and 2010, including 300 square miles of marshland between 2004 and 2008 alone."

The governor estimates that if no further action is taken, "2,250 square miles of coastal Louisiana is expected to be lost" in the next 50 years. He emphasized the importance of the land to industries such as energy, maritime transportation and trade.

Lux says the governor hopes this will pave the way to move ahead with coastal projects:

"The state has a plan to implement more than 100 restoration and protection projects — like rebuilding marshes and barrier islands — but some of those projects are getting slowed down by federal environmental permits."

Those projects are part of a 50-year, $50 billion master plan that was unanimously approved by a state panel on Wednesday, according to The Times-Picayune. The newspaper says the plan "relies largely on money from settlement of the 2010 BP oil spill litigation to speed restoration of coastal land and wetlands and protect them from hurricanes."

Now Edwards is asking President Trump to declare the erosion of Louisiana's coast a national emergency and "provide appropriate federal attention and cooperation" to assist the state. The emergency declaration also asks for Congress to "consider legislation to provide for means by which to expedite all federal permitting and environmental review."

The New Orleans Advocate newspaper points out that Wednesday's emergency declaration and master plan are designed to work hand in hand:

"The juxtaposition of urgency and long-term planning is necessary when it comes to the coast, state officials have said. Projects to help stave off land loss will take years to design and build, but an emergency declaration could cut years off the permitting process for those projects."

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/20/524896256/louisianas-governor-declares-state-of-emergency-over-disappearing-coastline

BBC Report: “A Spy in the IRA” reveals British collusion in Irish Republican Army internal discipline murders

By Steve James 21 April 2017

The BBC’s April 11 flagship documentary Panorama, “The Spy in the IRA” by veteran journalist John Ware, highlighted the decades-long British state infiltration of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Ware centred on Alfredo Scappaticci, who became infamous 14 years ago, in 2003, when he was named as the alleged British agent “Stakeknife.”

Scappaticci, notorious as the alleged one time head of the IRA’s Internal Security, responsible for identifying and dealing with informers, denied everything.

In the intervening period, such material that has emerged into the public domain has tended to confirm the role of “Stakeknife” in the extended and murderous British military intelligence operation, which for many years hopelessly compromised the security of the IRA.

Three years after Scappaticci was named, in 2006, Denis Donaldson, the former head of the IRA’s international relations, was exposed as a long-term British agent.

Donaldson was assassinated later the same year. No one has ever been charged with the killing.

In 2008, Roy McShane, also formerly of IRA Internal Security, was taken into “protective custody” for fear his role as a British agent was about to be revealed.

Scappaticci, Donaldson, and McShane are only a few of the most prominent figures thus far identified, in what is now assumed to be a list of agents that runs into many hundreds.

The role of “Stakeknife” and Scappaticci’s name only became known because of the efforts of a former British military intelligence officer, Ian Hurst. Hurst was a member of the British Army’s Force Research Unit (FRU), one of whose tasks was running spies in both loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations. Hurst appears to be primarily motivated by anger over the fact that British agents’ lives were sacrificed to maintain “Stakeknife’s” cover within the IRA. This was chiefly the angle taken by Ware, although the broadcast shed light on how Scappaticci came to be recruited.

Former IRA volunteer, now historian and writer, Anthony McIntyre, told Ware that Scappaticci was an admired and feared republican figure in the Markets area of Belfast. Scappaticci was detained in 1971, when, during the early years of “the Troubles” the British government introduced mass internment without trial, and was only released four years later.

Sometime after this, according to Ware, Scappaticci, who was a building worker, appears to have become tangled up in a VAT fraud. He was arrested by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), was recruited as a police informer and avoided prosecution. At some later stage, responsibility for handling him was transferred to the FRU. He was given number 6126, and a codename, “Stakeknife.” By this time, he already appears to have been placed in the IRA’s Internal Security section, which he came to lead during the 1980s.

McIntyre described Internal Security as “like an electrical junction box through which every wire must flow.”

Scappaticci was able to inform his handlers on many operations the IRA was planning and on threats to other perceived or real British agents within the organisation. Some of these, like Vincent Robinson, were innocent. According to Ware, Robinson was killed by the IRA after he was tortured by the police into revealing the location of an arms dump.

Others, such as Frank Hegarty, were spies. Hegarty was a republican who dropped out of the movement, then rejoined as an FRU agent. Having passed on the whereabouts of a stash of Libyan-supplied arms, he was shot in the head in 1986. According to Ware, Scappaticci knew Hegarty was going to be killed and told his handlers as much.

Ware has also recently brought out another aspect of Scappaticci’s activities, although this was not covered by Panorama.

Writing in the Irish Times April 15, Ware noted that Scappaticci was also responsible for the IRA’s “Civil Administration” in nationalist areas. According to Ware, Civil Administration was responsible for the vile practice of shooting working class youth in the knees, elbows and ankles for petty misdemeanours such as car theft and drug dealing. One mother described Scappaticci as warning her, “The next time we hear he’s been at it, or of any complaints against him, I will personally blow the head off him.”

The man in question was shot dead a few years later.

In 2016, after years of delay, the British police opened Operation Kenova, a £35 million police investigation involving as many as 50 detectives from across the UK with a remit to establish whether there is evidence of crimes that may have been committed by “Stakeknife” or “by members of the British Army, the Security Services or other Government agencies.”

Head of Operation Kenova, Jon Boutcher was distinctly non-committal to Panorama, but Ware outlined the circumstances surrounding two of the cases with which Kenova is likely to be dealing.

One was the murder of Joe Fenton, a Belfast estate agent who was manipulated into serving as an agent for the Special Branch of the then Northern Ireland police, the RUC. According to Ware, Fenton set up safe houses for the IRA, which were then bugged by Special Branch and information gathered used to compromise their operations. As head of IRA Internal Security, Fenton came to Scappaticci’s attention, as did a succession of failed operations. Scappaticci is said to have warned his handlers that an investigation into Fenton was imminent. Nothing was done, so Fenton was interrogated and shot.

As many as 50 murders are alleged to have been carried out by Internal Security, 30 under Scappaticci. By contrast, another agent, Sandy Lynch, who was facing the same fate under Scappaticci’s supervision, was rescued at the last moment by the RUC.

The entire sordid affair is a testimony to the brutal and oppressive character of the British and Northern Ireland military, intelligence and police operations against the IRA during the decades-long “dirty war.” But Sinn Fein have also colluded with the British state in preventing exposure of the infiltration and subversion of their own ranks and leading bodies. This is consistent with the party’s key goal of securing a working agreement with British imperialism. Following the 1999 Good Friday Agreement, and 2006 St Andrews Agreement, Sinn Fein has functioned as a loyal government partner with the hard-right Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland and currently promotes itself as a prospective coalition partner with either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail in the Irish Republic.

Sinn Fein are currently embroiled in protracted negotiations with the British government and the DUP over the terms on which it might be possible for the Northern Ireland Assembly to be revived after an indecisive election in March left the DUP with just one more seat than Sinn Fein. Items under dispute include the impact of Brexit, the status of the Northern Ireland border, the Irish language, and the continued leadership of the DUP by Arlene Foster.

Also under discussion are the so-called “legacy” cases of “the Troubles.” However, while historical cases are the subject of immense tension between the talks’ participants, none of them, including Sinn Fein, have any interest in a full exposure of what took place since all are compromised and implicated.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/04/21/scap-a21.html