The Hands Off Syria Coalition is locked in a political noose with Hands Off Venezuela groups to support the Venezuelan government against tens of thousands of protesters. First, because Syria & Venezuela are allied, but also because the political forces in both networks are Stalinists, libertarians, fascists, rightwing socialists.
Now those groups are sending out alarmist warnings that the White Helmets are “infiltrating” Venezuela to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution. Once again, rescue workers on the front lines of troublemaking in the imaginary universe of Assadism. Stay tuned for when the “Wahhabi/Salafi jihadi head-choppers” infiltrate Venezuela. Things will really get hot, more imaginary & surreal, more politically debased, & more dangerous for protesters against inequality in Venezuela.
Duterte describes himself as a socialist. So did Hitler & Stalin. So do many who support the Assad dictatorship & claim he’s a socialist too. That claim may give others among his outright fascist supporters pause but they still all march to hell together.
Apparently socialist is one of those identities that doesn’t mean very much anymore so people should cease polemics against the left on Syria since the left doesn’t exist any more. As the left stands today, that’s not a bad thing. But don’t use Syria to grind old grievances & learn to make distinctions between the umpteen kinds of socialists, libertarians, Islamophobes, haters of Jews, & outright weirdoes that make up the Assad chorus.
When the old-time socialists said they would march with the devil himself for justice, that was an unfortunate metaphor not meant to be taken literally.
Mother’s Day is not a sentimental holiday but a time for re-commitment to solidarity, to standing with women enduring war, occupation, discrimination, racism, mass rape, forcible disappearance, ethnic cleansing.
Solidarity on Mother’s Day with the women of Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kashmir, Myanmar; with refugees & immigrants wherever they are stranded around the world; with the Guarana, Gamela, Standing Rock & other Indigenous tribes on every continent fighting expropriation & displacement; with the mothers of the Philippines who have lost beloved to Duterte’s war on the poor & those who stand against that war; with the oppressed castes & others, including Black, Latino, & Native Americans, fighting against inequality, social hatred, & stinking discrimination for their identities; with LGBT people persecuted for their sexuality; with Muslims & all others persecuted for their beliefs.
Rebuild the international antiwar movement on a principled basis.
No human being is alien to us. Sisterhood among the oppressed is powerful.
Photo is 2-year-old Aksha Yakub Rasool & her mother Bilkis Bano at a press conference in New Delhi, India last week. Bilkis was gang raped & fourteen of her relatives, including her 3-year-old daughter, were killed during pogroms against Muslims in Gujarat state in 2002. A Mumbai court upheld the conviction of 11 men for rapes & murder. Thus far, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has evaded justice for his role. Let Aksha & Bilkis speak for all of us taking a stand against oppression against anyone in all of its forms.
(Photo by Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
Mother’s Day for Rohingya in Arakan state & refugees wherever they are: a tribute to mothers protecting their children from ethnic cleansing.
End the genocide in Arakan state, Myanmar. Full human, democratic, civil rights for Rohingya in Myanmar & in diaspora.
Mother’s Day in Kashmir: a tribute to the mothers of revolution.
End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.
MC Kash, the Kashmiri musician, has dramatized this brilliant 1974 agitational speech by Shaheed Maqbool Bhat calling for self-determination.
Bhat was hung in 1984 by the Indian government which to this day refuses to return his body to his family for burial. Since the funeral services for the man murdered July 2016 (whose name cannot be said nor image shown without FB censorship) drew an estimated 600,000 mourners, Bhat’s body is likely being withheld from proper burial because India knows the services would reflect the spirit of this speech.
Voice of Victims, a human rights group in Kashmir, reported in 2014 that the Indian army maintains 471 torture centers in Kashmir, that every fifth Kashmiri is a victim of torture, & that there is one of these Guantanamo-like centers every five kilometers.
The use of torture in Kashmir has been documented by Wikileaks, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International, & of course the Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). Kashmiri activists on social media have released countless incidents of beatings, assaults done publicly but behind closed doors in the torture centers, the occupying army goes Guantanamo.
Methods of torture include electrocution, beatings, being suspended from the ceiling upside down, inserting chili powder in private parts, sprinkling salt or pepper on wounds, cutting or mutilating, stripping & keeping detainees naked during torture. sexual abuses, leg or arm stretching, inserting iron rods, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, crushing of legs by putting a bar across the thighs & sitting on it, humiliations of all kinds.
This is a UK Channel 4 documentary done in 2012 which interviews JKCCS founder & president Pervez Imroz, a noted human rights lawyer & activist in Srinagar,
Kashmir Torture Trail video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FdpaLuqOig&t=1040s
(Meme from Twitter of TanZeela)