Thursday, May 26, 2022

Derry Delegation Visits Detroit to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday


April 8, 2022 

Irish speakers Paul Doherty and Ciara O'Conner on April 2, 2022 

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Reprinted from Fighting Words, Journal of the Communist League (CWL) Derry Delegation Visits Detroit to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday – Fighting Words (

On January 30, 1972, British military forces opened fire on a peaceful demonstration of 15,000 in Derry, Northern Ireland leaving 14 dead and many others wounded.

This massacre became known as Bloody Sunday where the Catholic residents of Derry were protesting against the discrimination and oppression instituted by a British occupation of the territory which extended back several centuries.

Paul Doherty of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign, whose father Patrick was killed on that fateful day, and Ciara O’Connor, Project Coordinator of the Museum of Free Derry, were in the Detroit area to speak and meet with local organizers. Both of these activists and scholars are committed to preserving the legacy of the civil rights and liberation movements of Northern Ireland against British occupation.

An event held on April 2 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Detroit’s Midtown District heard Doherty and O’Connor lecture on the events surrounding the 1972 massacre. The program was jointly sponsored by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, the Detroit MLK Committee and EMEAC.

Since the 1960s, there has been striking similarities between the African American movement demanding quality education, fair housing, universal suffrage and self-determination and the campaigns in Northern Ireland for the same objectives. There were those who preferred nonviolent resistance to discrimination and others that embarked upon an armed struggle drawing inspiration from the 1916 Easter Rising led by Irish Republican nationalist and socialist leaders such as James Connolly and the subsequent War of Independence which lasted up until 1921-22.

During 1967, the Civil Rights Association was formed in Northern Ireland. It carried out demonstrations during the period and in 1968 were met with stiff opposition from the Protestant community whose allegiance remained with the British government. Therefore, the Civil Rights Association was fighting the British Loyalists and the security forces occupying the country.

The Derry Housing Action Committee was established in early 1968 to fight discrimination and substandard conditions. These demands parallel those in the U.S. when mass demonstrations and rebellions erupted between 1964 and 1970 over the deplorable conditions of African Americans and Puerto Ricans living in various cities such as New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, among many more.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was martyred on April 4, 1968. The visit by Doherty and O’Connor coincided with the 54th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee. King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were in Memphis to assist over one thousand predominantly African American sanitation workers who were on strike seeking recognition under the banner of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

After the assassination of King, the Fair Housing Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and then signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Nonetheless, in the U.S. this measure, considered the last of the Civil Rights Acts passed from the late 1950s through the 1960s, has never been fully enforced since African Americans, People of Color Communities and the working poor have never enjoyed any semblance of a guarantee for quality housing.

Doherty and O’Connor noted that: “There remains a polarization between the Catholic community in Northern Ireland and the Protestants who are seen as settlers and loyal to the British crown. We want them included as a part of the Irish culture and nation. However, no one should be forced to accept British culture. Sometimes we cannot understand our working class Protestant people maintaining their allegiance to the Democratic Unionist Party. A recent census may indicate that there is a Catholic majority in Northern Ireland which could prompt a referendum on the status of the area in regard to its continued ties with London.”

In the U.S., People of Color communities are rapidly approaching a combined majority over the European Americans. The African American, Latin American, Asian, Indigenous and Middle Eastern population groups are therefore under extreme pressure by successive Democratic and Republican administrations viewing this emerging majority as a potential threat to the racist status-quo.

Compounding the problems in Northern Ireland is the recent withdrawal by Britain from the European Union (EU). Most people in the Republic of Ireland in the South and the Northern region did not agree with many British Conservatives and other forces which voted in favor of severing ties with the EU. The question of the border between Ireland and the EU countries is still an unresolved issue in the United Kingdom.

Historic Links from the Abolitionist Movement to the Irish Liberation Struggle

This author chaired the session on April 2 and began the discussion on the role of Ireland in the struggle to end African enslavement in the U.S. Frederick Douglass, one of the leading proponents of abolition and the total freedom of African people in the U.S. traveled to Ireland in 1845. While there he gained tremendous support for the abolitionist cause and was able to reprint his Slave Narrative which was widely distributed internationally.

A review of a book entitled “Frederick Douglass in Ireland, In His Own Worlds” by Christine Kinealy, was partially read at the beginning of the program. The review published by the Irish Times and written by Brendan Kelly in 2018, says that:

“While Douglass’s work was unfinished at the time of his death – and remains incomplete today – his contribution to the abolition of slavery was inestimable and his personal story full of unexpected turns. In 1845, he published the memoir for which he is best known, ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,’ which placed him at risk of recapture. He fled to the United Kingdom and spent several months campaigning in Ireland, speaking at events in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Wexford, Waterford, Celbridge, Belfast, Lisburn, Hollywood and Bangor. Douglass heard (Daniel) O’Connell speak at a public meeting in Dublin on September 29 1845 and was immediately entranced: ‘It seems to me that the voice of O’Connell is enough to calm the most violent passion, even though it were already manifesting itself in a mob. There is a sweet persuasiveness in it, beyond any voice I ever heard. His power over an audience is perfect.’”

Since the U.S. Civil War and the ascendancy of the Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movements, the work of the African American people still remains unfinished. With respect to Northern Ireland, O’Connor and Doherty recognized the progress which has been made since the 1960s and 1970s, although Ireland remains partitioned between the North and South.

As in the U.S. and other geo-political regions, many activists took up arms after repressive institutions of the colonial and racist states closed all avenues of nonviolent resistance and change. Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Vietnam, and other formerly colonial territories won their independence through mass action and guerrilla warfare.

In Ireland, the Citizen’s Army and the Republican Army (IRA) of the early 20th century waged an armed struggle to break the colonial yoke imposed by Britain and to unite the country. James Connolly, the co-founder of the Irish Citizen’s Army, was captured and executed by the British military in 1916 after the Easter Rising. Later an Irish War of Independence began which was able to liberate vast swaths of territory inside the country. Eventually, during the early 1920s, the country was partitioned by Britain and is still divided today.

The reemergence of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), later known as the Provisional IRA, which originally grew out of the period leading up to the War of Independence (1919-1921), was a cause for concern by the British. However, the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 resulted in a ceasefire between the IRA and the British government. A referendum on a power-sharing agreement was approved by the majority of voters in Northern Ireland and the Republic in the South.

Nonetheless, these developments have not resolved all of the outstanding issues related to a complete break with Britain and unification with the Republic of Ireland. In the U.S., despite the passage of numerous Civil Rights Bills and other measures, institutional racism and state repression remain major factors in the character of relations between African Americans and the majority white population.

The discussions on April 2 in Detroit illustrated once again the convergence of the struggles for civil rights and national liberation on an international scale. Ireland and the oppressed peoples of the globe will inevitably continue their organizing work until their strategic objectives are completely achieved.

U.S. General Admits Goal to Target Russia and China Worldwide

Russian Armed Forces General delivers briefing to the international press in Moscow.

April 24, 2022

By David Sole

Four star U.S. General Laura Richardson made startling admissions in an interview with NBC news on April 16. Richardson, Commander of the United States Southern Command, was interviewed by reporter Jose Diaz-Balart.

General Richardson listed what she, and the Pentagon, consider “threats” to U.S. security. In front of a map of Latin America and the Caribbean, she started with denouncing “unregulated fishing” by China and Russia. Other so-called “threats” included billions of dollars by China of dams, ports and other infrastructure projects. Especially disturbing to General Richardson was the economic aid for countries to set up cell phone systems.

General Richardson admitted that there was no buildup of any military projects, but that she considered the many investments by China and Russia as infringing upon U.S. control and domination in a continent she called “right at our backdoor.”

Of course the U.S. has long considered everything south of the border in the Western Hemisphere as an exclusive area for exploitation for Wall Street banks and corporations. However, these remarks come at a time that the Pentagon, State Department and the capitalist media are denouncing Russia for the Special Military Operation in Ukraine starting February 24, 2022. Ukraine has a 1200 plus mile border with Russia and was posing a threat of building NATO military facilities directed against the Russian Federation.

For a leading general to take aim at Russia and China for purely economic activities exposes the very real overriding forces driving U.S. imperialism in Ukraine, where billions of dollars worth of weapons are being rushed to try to keep a proxy war going, while at the same time enriching the vast U.S. war industry.

Russia’s second stated goal in Ukraine was to secure the safety of the largely ethnic Russian Ukrainian population in the southern and eastern area of that country. The major task of securing control of the industrial port city of Mariupol is nearly completed.

Ukrainian troops in that city of over 400,000 have been militarily defeated, with over 1400 surrendering last week. Only a single pocket of resistance continued as of April 20 in the large Azovstal steel complex. Surrounded and cut off, running out of food and ammunition, it is only a matter of time before Mariupol completely falls to the Russian forces aided by militias from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

In a startling disconnect, the New York Times described on April 20 the Mariupol situation and its importance to Russia. “Clearing the plant could hold particular symbolic value for President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who has justified his invasion with the false claim that Ukraine is run by Nazis and that he is rooting them out.”

But the Times refutes its “false claim” editorial comment in the very next sentence: “The plant’s defenders include members of the Azov Battalion, a force that does include far-right soldiers, some of them foreign, including white supremacists and people who have been described as fascists.”

These fascist forces have been waging a vicious war against the Donbass republics for eight years, causing 14,000 casualties. Before the Russian intervention, Ukraine had massed thousands more of its troops there, intent on unleashing a massive ethnic-cleansing pogrom on the Russian-speaking population, who are now labeled as “traitors” by the Ukrainian government. And Ukraine’s leaders now call Russian soldiers “orcs”, subhumans with a Tolkien twist.

But now those same Ukrainian forces are largely cut off, and may soon be encircled by the Russian forces, just as they are in Mariupol. None of this should be a surprise, however. From the very beginning of the war the western media have made no attempt to explain the Russian or Ukrainian ethnic Russian point of view. It should be hoped that stubborn facts will force average people to see through the “official story” and set the stage for a mass, anti-imperialist movement in the U.S. and abroad.

War and Peace in Ukraine

April 17, 2022

Russian fighter vs. U.S.-NATO proxy war. | Photo:

By David Sole

Reprinted from Fighting Words War and Peace in Ukraine – Fighting Words (

Attention in the Ukraine war is shifting to the east. But before we discuss the military situation we ought to spend a moment on the possibility for a negotiated end to the hostilities.

On April 12 Russia’s president Vladimir Putin announced that peace talks that had been going on between the Russian Federation and Ukraine in Turkey were, “at a dead end.” Russian troops had entered Ukraine on what Putin declared was a Special Military Operation on February 24 with two stated goals. Russia intended to ‘demilitarize” Ukraine and ensure that this neighboring country did not join NATO or establish bases with NATO or US troops or missiles on their border.

The second stated goal was to “denazify” Ukraine’s military, which had incorporated ultra-rightwing militias into its structure following the U.S./CIA orchestrated 2014 “Maidan” coup. This goal was especially urgent as Ukraine was moving large military formations and equipment up to the border with the ethnic Russian areas of East Ukraine known as the Donbass.

Ukraine’s military attacks on the Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples’ Republics in the Donbas region had been going on since 2014 when speaking the Russian language in Ukraine was outlawed. Peace had been negotiated, with the participation of other nations, including NATO members and Russia, in the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 Accords (signed February 12, 2015). Minsk 2 declared a military ceasefire, the withdrawal of Ukrainian heavy weapons from the Donbas border and constitutional granting of self-government to the two self-proclaimed people’s republics.

But Ukraine’s attacks never completely ended. Over 14,000 ethnic Russians were killed in the following years. In January and early February of 2022 the attacks escalated appeared that a major Ukrainian invasion of that region was set to occur.

It was only then that Russia declared that the Minsk Accords no longer existed and the Russian Federation recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk republics. That was on February 21 and the Russian intervention followed 3 days later.

Despite widespread, biased and false reporting from the Western mass media, Ukraine’s military has been seriously degraded by the Russian forces. Why then does Ukraine’s president Zelensky keep urging his people to fight this unequal battle? It is because Zelensky has been convinced that the U.S. and NATO will turn the tide of battle.

Jacques Baud, a former NATO military analyst, recently stated:

“the American and European political leaders deliberately pushed the Ukraine into a conflict that they knew was lost in advance – for the sole purpose of dealing a political blow to Russia.”

Baud and others have exposed how the U.S. and European powers are manipulating the situation. In an interview titled “U.S., EU sacrificing Ukraine to ‘weaken Russia’” Baud stated:

“at the end of February, as soon as Zelenskyy indicated that he might be willing to start negotiations, this was the time where these negotiations were to take place in Belarus.  Within hours after Zelenskyy decided that, the European Union came with a decision providing for half a billion arms to Ukraine, meaning that the Americans, certainly, but I think the West as a whole, made every possible effort to prevent a political solution to the conflict, and I think the Russians are aware of that.”

The ranks are being thinned of Ukraine leaders who might favor a negotiated settlement rather than see the destruction of their country in a continuing war On March 5, Ukrainian negotiator Denis Kireyev was assassinated. According to Baud, Kireyev was eliminated by the Ukrainian secret service who considered him “too friendly to Russia….The same fate befell Dmitry Demyanenko, former deputy head of the SBU’s main directorate for Kiev and its region, who was assassinated on March 10 because he was too favorable to an agreement with Russia — he was shot by the Mirotvorets (“Peacemaker”) militia. This militia is associated with the Mirotvorets website, which lists the “enemies of Ukraine,” with their personal data, addresses and telephone numbers, so that they can be harassed or even eliminated.”

Two top Ukraine generals were fired by Zelensky on April 1, who denounced them as “traitors” according to a Newsweek report.

Zelensky has also relentlessly appealed to his Ukrainian troops and militias in the southern city Mariupol to fight on despite their dire condition. Encircled for a month by Russian forces, Ukrainian military units have been hard pressed in the fighting. On April 13, “1,026 Ukrainian servicemen of the 36th marine brigade voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered” according to Russia’s defense ministry. Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, has now nearly been captured, except for some troops holed up in a huge iron works complex.

Respected military analysts such as former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter and former NATO analyst Jacques Baud have given dispassionate appraisals of the Ukraine military situation, unlike most of the Western media. They explain that Russia is carrying out limited objectives for their military and achieving their main goals. Even recent leaks from authoritative Pentagon sources confirm this and debunk much of the pro-war propaganda from the corporate media that saturates the air waves.

The great danger, however, is that the pro-war, anti-Russia ideologues in the U.S. government and European Union will continue to flood Ukraine with promises and weapons. Their goal, however, is not to win the war militarily, but to harm Russia politically and economically down to the last drop of Ukrainian blood.

New Labor Organizing

April 13, 2022

Starbucks Workers United. | Photo: Michael Sanabrian

By Gerry Scoppettuolo

Long time labor organizers and activists are detecting new signs of life in organized labor in the U.S. Starbucks and Amazon workers are leading a remarkable rank and file led upsurge that is reaching national consciousness due to widespread coverage in the mainstream bourgeois media. Whether these new victories will portend a deep and lasting change in the working class in the U.S. with attendant international effects, only time will tell.

What started at a Buffalo, New York Starbucks last winter is a movement whose time, it seems, has now come. Since those workers won the first union victory last December, something of a prairie fire has resulted.  Four Starbucks stores are petitioning the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for elections every day in recent months across the U.S.  18 out of19 stores that have held elections resulted in victories – many lopsided. As of April 11, 2022  two cafes in Boston celebrated a combined 27-0 win.  Young rank and file organizers, when they hear of interest in a store within driving distance, are visiting the location and providing organizing “startup” kits with T-shirts, authorization cards and buttons.

These are not the fabled “flying squadrons” of striking textile workers in 1934 who drove from mill to mill from Maine to the Carolinas calling out workers to come out of the factories and join the strike of eventually 375,000. But the excitement in these young workers cannot be denied. They will be joining other Starbucks workers in other countries. One third of Chilean Starbucks cafes are already organized, one store in Canada and 450 workers in New Zealand have also unionized (Wikipedia).

The vast wealth accumulated by Starbucks originates in the exploitation of very young child workers in Guatemala, Brazil and Ethiopia who work for pennies picking coffee beans on contract farms, coffee that, once ground, ends up as a designer brand on Starbucks shelves in wealthy countries. According to the Brazilian Government, some Brazilian children work in “conditions analogous” to slavery. (, the Guardian and  The capitalist supply chain of exploitation begins here and then moves to the sale force in the U.S. and Europe where additional surplus value can be wrung out of the labor of older workers.

The recent Amazon union victory of 5000 workers in Staten Island, NY- a first in the U.S. – led by African American organizer Chris Smalls has received unprecedented media coverage of an entirely positive character. The recently elected international president of the Teamsters Union, Sean O’Brien, has just met with Smalls promising unlimited support in the upcoming contract campaign. O’Brien campaigned for Teamster president on a promise to organize Amazon.

In Bessemer Alabama, the recent second election concluded recently in a near tie with 416 “challenged” ballots being examined by the NLRB. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)  lost the first election by a margin of 2-1. But the Board found so many violations of law by Amazon that it ordered a new election. Like Starbucks, Amazon has a huge international workforce of 500,000 as well as the 1.1 million in the U.S. Last year Amazon workers in France, Italy, Spain & Poland went out on strike on the same day (The Insider; This past week 6 Amazon facilities in France went on strike on April 7th as workers staged a wildcat spontaneous walkout demanding higher wages.   Amazon Workers International is a European cross-border coalition of workers in those countries.

What can account for this new organizing? The young and low-income workforce in the U.S. (over 300,000 baristas and over a million Amazon workers) are struggling economically due to the current rampant inflation and the capitalist-induced rental housing shortage. For one thing the current low unemployment rate masks the fact that in the new world of part time employment, workers must take on two, three or more jobs to make ends meet. The federal government counts workers as employed if they work just one hour a week. Worse, real wages (adjusted for inflation) are falling fast and workers of all ages in warehousing, retail and hospitality industries are struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table. In the first year of the Great Depression, 1930, the old American Federation of Labor and the Railroad Brotherhoods could unionize barely 10% of the workers due to their craft-oriented and racial exclusionary practices.

Today the unionization rate in the private sector is below 10%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics 3/22 and National Bureau of Economic Research, 1937) Except for the Starbucks union, Workers United, a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) affiliate, established unions will not devote organizing capacity to small shops (50 and under). On the other hand, some employers like UBER and Amazon are so vast that only a really big union like the Teamsters have the capacity to organize them.

Oppressed workers have taken it upon themselves to self-organize in a thoroughly rank and file led manner. They are not waiting for an AFL-CIO organizer to knock on their door. Further, a large-scale solidarity movement is growing in parallel to this organizing. At a time when the ruling class in the U.S. and its warmongering media are driving the world to an inflationary global crisis, many workers are fighting back and choosing to engage in class struggle rather than drinking the poison of capitalist war. They deserve all the help we can give them.

Anti-imperialists Worldwide Oppose U.S./NATO Proxy War in Ukraine

April 10, 2022

Greek workers block railroad tracks carrying NATO tanks going to Ukraine.. | Photo:

By David Sole

Everyone who watches TV knows that if a crime has been committed the crime scene investigators are called to sift through the evidence. And the coroner is employed to carefully examine a body to determine identity and cause of death.

So one must ask why none of this has been done in the case of the alleged massacre in Bucha, Ukraine. The entire capitalist mass media and politicians around the U.S., Europe and their allies picked up and spread a story about so-called “Russian atrocities” without any investigation or evidence.

On March 30 Russian troops withdrew from Bucha, a town of about 37,000 people about 16 miles west of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. On March 31 the mayor of Bucha announced the town’s “liberation” making no mention of any massacre. On April 1 and 2 elements of the Ukrainian pro-Nazi Azov Battalion entered Bucha.  Only then were reports of murdered civilians heard. Without forensic evidence it would be premature to conclude that civilians were executed and who might be responsible. “Russia said images of atrocities had been staged” according to BBC News.

This lack of investigation by forensic experts didn’t stop U.S. president Joseph Biden from spreading the “Russian war crimes” story. Biden also called for Russian president Vladimir Putin to be put on trial. The BBC reported that satellite photos showed 11 bodies in the streets of Bucha from Russia’s occupation after February 27 to the March 30 withdrawal. According to the BBC the Ukraine government claims that 410 bodies had been found “in areas around Kyiv.”

Anyone familiar with previous U.S. wars (or proxy wars) knows that propaganda offensives are as important as military offensives. Claims of massacres and mass graves were often used to sway public opinion to support a war, reports that were later found false. This was true in the war against Yugoslavia in the late 1990s.

In earlier wars, like Korea and Vietnam, only years later was it shown that the United States military, itself, was responsible for slaughtering civilians. For example, it took 19 months, from March 1968 to October 1969 for the public to learn of the U.S. military’s massacre of 509 villagers in My Lai, Vietnam.

Not everyone in the world is jumping on the pro-NATO bandwagon. It has been reported that Greek railroad workers have refused to transport NATO tanks from ships unloading in Greece headed to bases in Eastern Europe bordering Ukraine.

According to the April 3 New Zealand Daily Telegraph “a dozen trade unions, including workers of the chemical industry of Northern Greece, construction, telecoms, food industry, hotels, catering establishments, local authorities and municipal enterprises” backed a resolution supporting the railroad workers.

“We, the railway workers, work to provide affordable and quality transportation to the people and for the transport of goods which can be used to meet their needs, not to become part of the country’s involvement in plans which are dangerous for the people, by transporting NATO material to areas near Ukraine. We will not be accomplices in the passage of the war machine through the territory of our country.”

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) held numerous demonstrations to support the workers and oppose NATO actions in Greece. It was also reported that “the US recently gained access to 4 additional Greek bases, and the two countries penned a major $9.4 billion naval equipment deal in December.”

It should be noted that while the KKE position on the Ukraine war does sharply target NATO and the United States, it also characterizes the war as an ‘inter-imperialist” conflict, putting some of the blame on Russia.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa strongly condemned NATO’s role for causing the Ukraine war. On March 17 Ramaphosa answered a question in parliament saying “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.”.

On March 19 the Bulgarian Revival Party held a large demonstration in Sofia, the nation’s capital. Thousands of protesters demanded that NATO get out of their country and that NATO weapons not be sent to Ukraine, dragging them into a fratricidal war.

Stop the State Police Harassment and Targeting of Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor

April 10, 2022 

The following letter was sent by the Detroit based Moratorium Now Coalition to top Michigan officials. Rev. Edward Pinkney, an African American community leader in Benton Harbor in western Michigan, needs your support. Please go to the end of the letter to see how you can help with phone calls and emails.

By Moratorium NOW! Coalition

April 7, 2022

To Governor Gretchen Whitmer, State Police Director Colonel Joseph Gafper and DHHS Deputy Director David Knezek:

We are greatly alarmed that Michigan State police are being sent to target and harass Rev. Edward Pinkney, the noted community activist in Benton Harbor, Michigan. On March 25, 2022 Sgt. Hayward of the Paw Paw State Police post and another officer went to Rev. Pinkney’s home. They raised several ridiculous allegations that Rev. Pinkney was selling (donated) water in South Bend, Indiana and that Rev. Pinkney might be tampering with water test results in Benton Harbor. When Rev. Pinkney asked about why the State of Michigan had not paid him for the use of two rooms in his church contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to store filters and water for the past months, the officers accused him of “holding the supplies hostage.” On another recent occasion state troopers came to the church and watched while water was being distributed to community members.

We cannot help but recall that Rev. Pinkney has been the victim of persecution for his community service. He was imprisoned for literally quoting the Bible in an article. This case was thrown out upon appeal but only after Rev. Pinkney spent one year in prison.

On another occasion Rev. Pinkney was arrested, tried and convicted for petitioning to recall the Mayor of Benton Harbor. He spent two and one half years in State prisons. Only after those long years Rev. Pinkney’s case was overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court which found that he had not broken any law. We believe that without mass public support and pressure Rev. Pinkney would have been killed by the guards in Marquette Prison.

So we take it very seriously when State troopers start harassing the Reverend and when spurious charges start to be floated against him.

We demand that you take immediate action to stop the harassment, apologize to Rev. Pinkney and ensure that all officials under your direction cease and desist from any and all further actions that target and endanger Rev. Pinkney.


Moratorium NOW Coalition

Take Immediate Action: Give your name and city. Express your concern clearly and briefly over the phone or via email. Be polite. On the phone, ask them to please take down your message and deliver it to the Governor or State Police Director.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

517-335-7858, click Contact the Governor, fill in the information and type in your message

State Police Director, Colonel Joseph Gafper


David Knezek, Deputy Director for Administration, Department of Health and Human Services

313- 864-0161 (cell phone)

Tens of Thousands Threatened with Property Tax Foreclosures in Detroit


March 29, 2022 

Reprinted from Fighting Words Tens of Thousands Threatened with Property Tax Foreclosures in Detroit – Fighting Words (

Detroit demonstration outside Wayne County Treasurer's Office Detroit demonstration outside Wayne County Treasurer’s Office. | Photo: Pan-African News Wire

By Abayomi Azikiwe

March 31 has been designated as the deadline for Wayne County residents to pay back property taxes from 2019 and before, despite the failure of the relevant authorities to provide adequate assistance to working and impoverished households.

For the last two years, Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree has not foreclosed on properties due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has had a disproportionate impact on area residents, particularly African Americans who make up approximately 80 percent of the Detroit population.

This issue is not a new one in Detroit and Wayne County. Since 2005, there have been tens of thousands of homes and small businesses seized due in part to over assessments which grew out of the mortgage crisis during the first decade of the century. Values of homes were artificially inflated by financial institutions in order to sell more first-time and refinancing loans which proved beneficial only to the banks and insurance companies.

Detroit and the state of Michigan were at the epicenter of the economic crisis leading up to and during the so-called “Great Recession” from 2007 to 2010. The impact of the mortgage home foreclosures was to create even more neighborhood abandonment and blight. Successive state and local officials refused to take effective measures through the implementation of long-term moratoriums along with legal actions against the banks which created the housing crisis.

Moreover, the working and poor people of the United States were saddled with bailing out the banks and insurance firms that engineered the economic downturn. Legislation passed by Congress during the final quarter of 2008 placed the burden of the recession on taxpayers within the proletariat. This bailing out of the banks coincided with similar efforts related to the automotive industry where both General Motors and Chrysler were subsidized by public funding in order save them from consolidation or liquidation.

These factors are largely responsible for the housing situation in Detroit and Wayne County where more than a quarter of the population (240,0000) were driven out of the region between 2000-2010. In Detroit, the population, according to the latest Census figures, has declined an additional 80,000 since 2010. At present, population estimates indicate that the state’s largest municipality has a population of 635,000.

Detroit’s population reached its maximum in 1950 with approximately 1.8 million. Over the last 72 years, 1.2 million people have been relocated from the city. This massive displacement was both voluntary and forced when government entities such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act facilitated the destruction of majority African American communities and the suburbanization of whites outside the city limits.

The deliberate downsizing and disinvestment in heavy and light industrial production from inside the city center to suburban, out-of-state and offshore locations fueled the migration from the municipality by workers seeking viable employment. The current property tax foreclosure crisis will only further depopulate and impoverish the city.

Corporate Restructuring and the Legacy of Residential Depopulation

Since the contrived and illegal bankruptcy which was imposed on Detroit during 2013-2014, the city has fallen into deeper poverty and community underdevelopment. The appropriation of city assets such as Belle Isle, public works, lighting, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and other institutions, has not reversed the economic trajectory of the municipality.

Tax incremental funding, popularly referred to as “tax captures”, are touted for their utility in fostering “development” largely centered in key areas of the city such as downtown, Midtown, New Center and industrial sites including the new Flex-N-Gate, Stellantis, and the now under construction Amazon facilities located on the eastside of Detroit. Yet these plants and the opening of three casino hotels since 1999, has not fostered sustainable development and a rise in household incomes.

These prestige projects where the owners are largely absolved from paying corporate and other taxes are profiting at the expense of the majority Black population. At present some plants have been forced to lay-off workers as a result of supply chain problems stemming from the continuing impact of the pandemic since 2020. Noise and other forms of environmental pollution caused by these plants are also forcing people from neighborhoods.

Moratorium NOW! Coalition Calls for Mobilization Against Tax Foreclosures

On March 30, the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and other housing activists are holding a press conference and rally outside the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office located at 400 Monroe Street in the Greektown section of downtown. Sabree says he is being pressured to not extend the moratorium on home seizures despite the ongoing crisis related to the pandemic and the overall economic situation.

A statement issued by Moratorium NOW! Coalition on March 23 says that:

“There is no reasonable cause for the home seizures to resume when many households have not recovered from the economic and social impact of a public health crisis not witnessed in more than a century. We are calling on the Wayne County Treasurer to stop the foreclosures; protect renters from evictions where taxes are delinquent; and to work towards a long-term plan to put an end to the housing property tax disaster which has been in existence for more than a decade-and-a-half. A list of over 17,000 homes is being threatened with seizure. The problem is so severe that the Treasurer’s Office is not answering calls from the public seeking assistance. This is totally unacceptable. The only solution is to halt the foreclosures and work towards a sustainable solution.”

The ultimate solution to the housing crisis in Detroit lies within the necessity to change the rubric which guides property rights. Housing should be considered a human right and not a profit-making mechanism controlled by real estate firms and financial institutions. The existing model has only forced more people into homeless and poverty.

Housing Remains a National Crisis

Property tax foreclosures, rising rents, the current inflationary spiral plaguing the U.S. and the subsequent social instability, are all manifestations of the failure of the current administration of President Joe Biden and the Congress to pass legislation that would assist millions of households. None of the social spending initiatives proposed by progressive elements within the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed into law.

Therefore, the striking down of a public health moratorium enacted through the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) by the Supreme Court has never been reversed through legislative measures. This holds true as well for the programs to provide permanent child tax credits to working families along with investments in childcare and the lifting of the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour.

The Supreme Court since 2013 has eviscerated the enforcement provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act while Congress, even with a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, has failed to take action to guarantee universal suffrage. A series of Civil Rights bills passed by Congress between 1957 and 1968 are effectively null and void. Due to the passage by states of restrictive voting laws, millions of African Americans and other people of color communities will be subjected to massive disenfranchisement across the U.S. in 2022 and 2024.

Yet these issues have been taken off the agenda by the Biden administration and the corporate media which are exclusively promoting sanctions and war against the Russian Federation. Biden traveled to the European North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries during late March to drum up support for further hostilities against Russia and the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, workers are paying more than $6 per gallon for gasoline in California along with astronomical inflationary increases for the prices for automobiles, auto services, food and housing expenses throughout the length and breathe of the U.S.

Consequently, the struggle to win housing rights is an important aspect of the overall movement against austerity and imperialist war. Working people and the nationally oppressed must organize independently of the Democratic and Republican parties in order to wage the necessary campaigns aimed at improving living conditions and social stability.

Spain Abandons Former Colony in Western Sahara Endorsing Morocco Domination


March 26, 2022 

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Spain has announced that it has endorsed a proposal by the Kingdom of Morocco to designate the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as an “autonomous” region within the North African state.

Former United States President Donald Trump in 2020, recognized Moroccan control over the Western Sahara in an attempt to strengthen relations between the Kingdom and the State of Israel.

Formerly known as the “Spanish Sahara”, the people of the territory have been demanding national independence for decades.

All of the former colonies of Europe within the African continent have sought independence from the former imperialist masters. Although there are 55 African countries which are members of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations, the phenomenon of neo-colonialism has hampered genuine liberation and continental unification.

This recent proclamation by Spain is clearly a manifestation of the legacy of neo-colonialism, where even independent governments are subjected to the economic domination of the imperialist states. The most progressive states within the AU have supported the SADR in their struggle to win independence from Morocco.

The territory was ceded to Morocco and Mauritania after the exit of Spain as a colonial power in 1975. Mauritania relinquished its falsely designated authority over the Western Sahara, while the Kingdom of Morocco, one of the few remaining monarchies on the continent, has refused to allow the people of the territory to even conduct an internationally supervised and monitored election on the status of their own country.

Both the United Nations and the African Union (AU) have recognized the SADR as a government in waiting with a legitimate claim to represent the people of the de facto colony. The Western Sahara is the only country which has not been declared independent within the AU, whose predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) after contentious debate, has advocated for the total liberation of the Western Sahara for nearly four decades.

Nonetheless, in response to the seating of the SADR by the OAU/AU, Morocco withdrew its membership from the continental organization. However, several years ago, the Kingdom petitioned for readmission which was granted despite objections from several states including Algeria and the member-states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The Polisario Front, the armed liberation movement which has been fighting for independence since 1973, rejected the recent shift in the position of Spain. The UN has been unable to ensure that Morocco holds a national referendum within the Western Sahara over the future of the territory.

This consistent failure on the part of the UN and the intransigence on the part of the U.S., the European Union (EU) and its collaborators within the AU and West Asia, have stifled the independence and sovereignty of the continent’s last remaining colony. Obviously, the economic interests of Europe and the U.S. have guided their opposition towards the right of oppressed nations to self-determination.

In fact, the European Council on Foreign Relation (ECFR) in a recent report noted:

“The surprise move came to light when King Mohammed VI (Morocco) revealed some of the contents of a private letter from Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. The letter endorses Rabat’s position on Western Sahara, describing Morocco’s 2007 proposal for Sahrawi autonomy – which would integrate the territory into Morocco – as ‘the most serious, realistic, and credible’ basis for resolving the conflict. This follows a similar move by Berlin. In a bid to mend its own relations with Rabat, the German government described Morocco’s plan as an ‘important contribution’. Spain is now the strongest European supporter of Morocco’s autonomy plan – even in comparison to France, a close ally of Morocco. So far, Paris has refrained from using superlatives when endorsing the ‘serious and credible’ nature of the plan.”

These unscrupulous diplomatic maneuvers are part and parcel of the aggressive posture being displayed by the imperialist states. It must be viewed within the context of the efforts to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) further into Eastern Europe. The Russian Federation intervention in Ukraine, which has gained significant support among the masses within the AU member-states, is taking place alongside the proliferation of Pentagon and EU troops on the African continent. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the French-coordinated Operation Barkhane have established permanent and temporary makeshift bases on AU soil.

Although France has threatened to downsize its presence in West Africa and is undergoing a diplomatic row with Algeria over the legacy of its colonial domination from 1830 to 1962, Paris does not want to relinquish its capacity to respond militarily when it believes that French economic interests in Africa are compromised. The presence of the Wagner Group, a Russian Federation military services company assisting the Central African Republic, Mali and other states on the continent, indicates the discontent with Washington and Paris. These military operations in Africa by the Pentagon and other NATO countries coincides with the worsening security situation where so-called “jihadists” are utilizing sophisticated armaments to undermine the stability of AU member-states.

The Polisario Front Has a Legitimate Struggle to Liberate the Sahrawi Nation

There has been a swift and terse response by the independence movement to the provocations of Spain related to its effort to bring political freedom to the Western Sahara. For many years the Polisario Front abided by a ceasefire in order to facilitate the long-promised UN-sponsored referendum on its status within the international community.

Algeria, which has been a longtime advocate for liberation movements on the continent, has continued to demand that the UN abide by its legal obligations with respect to the SADR. Algiers routinely challenges on a diplomatic level those entities which support the continued colonization of the Western Sahara.

In a recent report by Al Jazeera on the declaration by Spain the press agency emphasizes that:

“Algeria has recalled its ambassador from Madrid in protest at Spain’s decision to back a Moroccan autonomy plan for the disputed former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. Morocco sees Western Sahara, with rich phosphate resources and access to lucrative Atlantic fishing waters, as an integral part of its territory. A statement carried by Algeria’s official media on Saturday (March 19) condemned the ‘abrupt about-turn’ by Madrid, which had previously maintained neutrality in the decades-old conflict for the territory between Morocco and the Polisario Front independence movement.”

As far as the SADR and the Polisario Front are concerned, Spain continues to be the colonial power in the Western Sahara since they do not recognize the continued occupation by the Moroccan monarchy over their territory. Numerous international legal decisions and the authority of the UN and the AU are being violated by Rabat and its supporters among the imperialist governments of Europe and North America.

SADR Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Sidi Omar, issued a public letter to Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the present situation saying:

“Regarding the status of Morocco in relation to Western Sahara, the General Assembly has deeply deplored ‘the continued occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco’ in its Resolutions 34/37 of 1979 and 35/19 of 1980, among others. It is worth noting that the condition of Western Sahara being both a Non-Self-Governing Territory on the UN agenda since 1963 and an Occupied Territory is compatible with international law and practice. In view of the above, Spain therefore still has legal, historical, and moral responsibilities towards the people of Western Sahara. As such, it is still accountable to the UN and to the Sahrawi people for the fulfillment of its responsibilities and ‘sacred trust’ obligations concerning the decolonization of the Territory in line with the provisions of Chapter XI of the UN Charter and relevant General Assembly resolutions. The Frente POLISARIO and the Government of the Sahrawi Republic (SADR) call upon Spain, as the de jure Administering Power of Western Sahara, to assume fully its legal and historical responsibility regarding the Territory and the destiny of its people.”

Therefore, according to the liberation movement and the provisional government, which is recognized by the UN and the AU, the question of the Western Sahara remains one of European domination over an oppressed people. The recent decision by Spain has no moral or legal weight and must be seen as yet another attempt to deny the right to self-determination, independence and sovereignty of the African continent.

Climate Change Impacting Southern Africa from Malawi to Madagascar

March 26, 2022 

Reprinted from Fighting Words Climate Change Impacting Southern Africa from Malawi to Madagascar – Fighting Words ( 

COP26 demonstration for climate justice in Glasgow COP26 demonstration for climate justice in Glasgow. | Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Fears about the impact of climate change is a reality for billions of people around the globe.

In Southern Africa, a series of cyclones and tropical storms have done enormous damage in Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi.

The most recent Cyclone Gombe resulted in the displacement of thousands of people in Mozambique and Malawi. An earlier Tropical Storm Ana struck Madagascar along with Mozambique and Malawi.

Cyclone Gombe reached the coast of Mossuril district in Nampula Province in Mozambique on March 11. The severe tropical event was marked by winds as high as 190 km/h (118 miles) with rainfall at 200mm/24h (7.874 inches).

Gombe came just two months after Ana, which struck Mozambique in January. In addition to this there was Tropical Depression Dumako which landed in February. Just in Mozambique, 200,000 people were impacted in Nampula, Zambezia and Tete provinces. Before the month of March was over there were forecasts for heavy rains in Zambezia, Sofala, Manica and Nampula provinces which could possibly result in flooding in Licungo and Zambezia river basins along with the southeast area of Tete.

According to an article on the climate situation in southeast Africa along the Indian Ocean, Afrik 21 notes:

“In neighboring Malawi, the disaster caused heavy rains leading to flooding in nine districts, including Machinga located 256 km (159 miles) from the capital Lilongwe. A total of seven people died in the south of the country, while authorities deployed rescue teams to flood-affected areas such as Liwonde, where the country’s fourth largest national park is located, and the Namandanje River, which serves as the border with Mozambique. Although Gombe did not reach Madagascar, the country most vulnerable to natural disasters in East Africa, the big island experienced other phenomena at the beginning of the year, such as cyclone Batisrai, which followed storm Ana and had wind gusts of 235 km (146 miles) per hour. After causing flooding across the country, destroying buildings and uprooting trees, the storm left 92 people dead and 50,000 displaced.”

All three of these states, Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar, belong to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional organization encompassing 16 countries across the entire sub-continent and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). SADC holds regular meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern including greater cooperation and economic integration among its members-nations.

However, the regional plans debated and ratified by SADC summits and working groups are impeded due to the repeated tropical storms and other weather disasters. The region of Southern Africa is endowed with natural resources and close proximity to the Indian Ocean, making its potential for growth and development unlimited.

For example, Mozambique is the center of a major energy project designed to produce Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) for export in Cabo Delgado province. Independent of the recent cyclones, there is an armed insurgency which has attacked towns and villages throughout the province stalling LNG development while prompting people to flee seeking safety outside the area. The SADC and Rwandan military forces have been deployed in Cabo Delgado to assist the Mozambique armed forces in anti-insurgency operations.

SADC countries are perhaps the most unified politically of the regional organizations across the continent. Even the African Union (AU), which encompasses 55-member states and maintains a secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at its headquarters, has not been able to act as rapidly in implementing its proposals as the SADC.

Cyclone Gombe and other climate disastrous occurrences pose enormous challenges for the region along with geo-political areas. With the public health crisis over the last two years due to COVID-19, the compounding reality of cyclones and subsequent flooding, severely hampers the planning capacity for governments and other sectors of society. Consequently, cyclones are a contributing factor in the rising national debt levels of African states.

The Failed Legacy of COP26

Last year another major climate conference was sponsored by the United Nations in Glasgow, Scotland. The COP26 gathering was the scene of much political struggle surrounding the issues discussed and most importantly, the final declaration of the event.

The UN, in their report on the meeting, said:

“The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) brought together 120 world leaders and over 40,000 registered participants, including 22,274 party delegates, 14,124 observers and 3,886 media representatives. For two weeks, the world was riveted on all facets of climate change — the science, the solutions, the political will to act, and clear indications of action…. ‘The approved texts are a compromise,’ said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. ‘They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today. They take important steps, but unfortunately the collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions.’”

Yet these compromises are a direct result of the western states from Washington to Berlin which often objected to the adoption of concrete goals in regard to the emissions of greenhouse gases around the globe. It is the capitalist countries of the United States and Western Europe which are the most culpable in the degradation of the environmental status of the planet.

In fact, some studies suggest that it is the U.S. Department of Defense which is the largest polluter internationally. Through the demand for armaments, ordnances, fighter jets and other military equipment, along with the presence of more than 7,000 military bases established and administered by the Pentagon, Washington and Wall Street are behind the burning of harmful toxins which damage the air, land and water of countries around the globe.

A report published in 2016 on the link between the climate crisis and U.S. militarism says:

“Yet, despite being the planet’s single greatest institutional consumer of fossil fuels, the Pentagon has been granted a unique exemption from reducing – or even reporting – its pollution. The U.S. won this prize during the 1998 Kyoto Protocol negotiations after the Pentagon insisted on a ‘national security provision’ that would place its operations beyond global scrutiny or control…. The Air Force accounts for about half of the Pentagon’s operational energy consumption, followed by the Navy (33 percent) and Army (15 percent). In 2012, oil accounted for nearly 80 percent of the Pentagon’s energy consumption, followed by electricity, natural gas and coal.”

Imperialism and Climate Change

These facts being placed in an article without any refutation by the Pentagon illustrates clearly that the struggle against climate change must also encompass as an essential point of departure, the role of the Pentagon’s imperialist militarism. These issues remain with the international community in the current period due to the war initiated through attempts to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Eastern European to the state of Ukraine combined with efforts to rearm Germany and to reverse the neutrality of Finland and Switzerland.

Anti-imperialists and solidarity activists based in the western countries should never refrain from pointing to the role of Pentagon military bases and war efforts as the major contributing factors to the worsening of climate change. East Africa has been a focal point for what is often labeled as “natural disasters” beyond the capacity of human beings to prevent. Nonetheless, many scientists and analysts have repeatedly drawn a connection between mass production, light industry, mining, food production, military services and climate change.

The countries of Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar contribute almost nothing to the advent of climate disasters. These states should be assisted with relief efforts and the building of infrastructure designed to minimize the impact of cyclones and other serious weather disturbances.

Reconstruction of damaged communities in Southern Africa should be supported by people of goodwill in the imperialist countries since it is their own governments and corporations which have for decades implemented policies which have disproportionate negative impact on the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as oppressed peoples and the working class inside the western industrialized states in North America and Western Europe.

Police Killings Continue While Biden Administration Calls for More Funding for Law Enforcement


March 18, 2022 

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Amir Locke, a 22-year-old African American youth, was shot to death on February 2 in his bed by a Minneapolis SWAT team which entered his apartment without a warrant.

Locke was not a suspect in any crime and was armed with a licensed weapon he was holding while asleep.

This is the same municipality where George Floyd was brutally murdered in broad daylight on May 25, 2020, sparking an international movement which further exposed the racist and oppressive character of the police in the U.S. The police killers of Floyd have been convicted in state and federal courts, yet the widespread terrorizing of African Americans and other people of color communities continue at a feverish pace.

In Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey, who was in office at the time of the murder of Floyd and the subsequent rebellions in the city and around the country, has now issued a proposal to ban “No-Knock Warrants”. However, the problems of police misconduct and brutality are not new to Minneapolis and the recent initiative by the City of Minneapolis does provide loopholes that would allow the type of law-enforcement intrusions into people’s homes that result in many unjustified deaths.

During a press conference on March 14, Frey told the media that:

“The purpose here is to give people who are trying to comply, people who are trying to do the right thing, giving them the ability to again, get their wherewithal, answer the call if possible, and to make sure that officers are then entering into a situation where an individual is well-informed about who is entering the place.” Nonetheless, there are no prohibitions on the use of lethal force when the police believe that an “exigent” circumstance exists in the minds of law-enforcement personnel.

Such language by Frey continues to place the onus of responsibility in encounters with the police upon the African American and other oppressed peoples. The assumption is that law-enforcement agencies are composed of people with good intentions devoid of racist and class bias.

Figures which have been gathered in recent years indicate that these false assumptions have no basis in reality. The number of people harassed, stalked, brutalized and killed by police as well as racist vigilantes has increased over the last decade.

A website which monitors the number of people dying at the hands of law-enforcement officers reveals that the problem is worsening. The mass demonstrations and rebellions which have arisen over the previous two years are in direct response to the hostility and aggressiveness of police agencies in the U.S. Among the masses of African American working class people, and their counterparts within other oppressed and marginalized population groups, there is no indication that attitudes towards the police have improved.

When the issues of security are discussed outside the ruling interests of the U.S. and its allies, there is a disconnect between proponents of increased support for the criminal justice system and those who are the victims of police brutality. Even the increase in domestic violence and street crime cannot be attributed to the lack of funding for law-enforcement. The overall social crisis in the U.S. due to economic distress aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020, is never considered by the corporate media as a major triggering factor in interpersonal conflict. says of the present situation:

“Sadly, the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States seems to only be increasing, with a total 138 civilians having been shot, nine of whom were Black, as of March 2022. In 2021, there were 1,055 fatal police shootings, and in 2020 there were 1,021 fatal shootings. Additionally, the rate of fatal police shootings against Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 38 fatal shootings per million of the population as of March 2022.”

Biden Repudiates the Main Slogan of Black Lives Matter

A State of the Union (SOTU) address delivered by President Joe Biden on March 1 drew particular attention from the corporate media when the current administration went out of its way to denounce the slogan “Defund the Police.” This slogan did not arise within a vacuum. The calls for the defunding and dismantling of law-enforcement in its present forms is rooted in the centuries-long legacy of policing which has reinforced systems of enslavement, legalized segregation, economic exploitation and national oppression.

Whether or not grassroots activists heard the resounding rejection of the BLM and the antiracist movement as a whole, the pronouncements by Biden did not go unnoticed by the corporate and government-controlled news agencies. Several articles were published the following day which emphasized this portion of the speech.

An article in USA Today, a conservative publication, said of the Biden speech:

“’Let’s not abandon our streets. Or choose between safety and equal justice,’ Biden said. ‘We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police. Fund them with resources and training they need to protect our communities.’ Biden also noted that the American Rescue Plan provided $350 billion for local governments to hire more police and invest in ‘proven strategies like community violence interruption.’ His statement comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the slogan ‘has no place’ and is not the Democrats’ position.”

American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds allocated during 2021 have not been proven sufficient to counter the burgeoning economic downturn in the U.S. Inflation is at the highest level in over 40 years and will undoubtedly rise even faster in order to finance the current NATO war in Eastern Europe. There was much discussion during the SOTU speech on the purported threat posed by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. However, the major threat in many African American and working class communities are the unbridled racist police and vigilantes, compounding the failure of the Biden administration and Congress to pass legislation to assist the people in their struggle to secure housing, quality education, voting rights, environmental justice, an increase in minimum wages and gender rights.

Priorities Must Be Shifted to a People’s Agenda

2022 is a midterm election year and the present administration in Washington has consistently declined in its approval ratings among the electorate. African Americans are a key voting constituency for the Democratic Party of which Biden is the leader.

Two examples of the inability of the administration to satisfactorily handle the rise in police violence against the oppressed, are the recent exonerations of law-enforcement officers in the killing of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio in April 2021 and Breonna Taylor during March 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Bryant, a 16-year-old in foster care, was gunned down by a police officer called to the scene of a fight between two teenagers.

The Guardian newspaper said of the decision by a Columbus grand jury to not charge the officer:

“Ma’Khia was killed in April 2021 by officer Nicholas Reardon as she swung a knife at a young woman, seconds after pushing another woman to the ground. Bryant was Black. Reardon is white…. Ma’Khia was shot four times. The coroner listed the cause of death as a homicide – a medical determination used in cases where someone has died at someone else’s hand but not a legal finding. It does not imply criminal intent…. Ma’Khia’s family expressed disappointment and said: ‘There should have been other non-deadly options available to deal with this situation.’ The family also called for ‘full-scale changes’ to Ohio’s foster-care system. ‘Ohio’s foster-care system is failing our children and we cannot stand by and allow this to continue,’ they said. ‘As the one-year anniversary of Ma’Khia’s death approaches, her family is resolute in their fight for justice on her behalf.’”

In the case of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old emergency medical technician was sleeping in her bed at home when police raided the apartment without notice. Breonna’s friend in the apartment with her fired shots in self-defense, while the police killed Taylor.

No one has ever been indicted in the death of Taylor. One dismissed officer was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm where bullets landed in another apartment. The former officer, Brett Hankison, was recently acquitted by a jury in Louisville.

The family of Taylor is demanding that the U.S. Justice Department prosecute the police officers involved in Breonna’s death for federal civil rights violations. The Biden administration has been reluctant to utilize its prosecutorial powers by going after police officers who kill civilians without cause.

This consistent defense of deadly police officers by the courts and the political system is an important priority for African Americans and other opponents of state-sponsored violence and repression in the U.S. If the Biden administration continues to antagonize the workers and oppressed, they will be faced with renewed mass demonstrations and other forms of resistance which could negatively impact their presence and status within the White House and Congress.

The Truth Will Out


March 31, 2022 fwstaff

Reprinted from Fighting Words The Truth Will Out – Fighting Words (  

Pentagon sources are leaking some info contradicting media lies about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

Pentagon sources are leaking some info contradicting media lies about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. | Photo:

By David Sole

Shakespeare wrote that “at the length truth will out” (Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene 2).

A month has passed since the start of the Russian Federation’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine. The vast propaganda machine of the United States government, its military establishment and subservient capitalist mass media have been churning out the “official story” to direct public opinion into opposing Russia. Now it is being forced to admit that their story is a pack of lies.

The source that is bringing the truth to light is not from Russia. Those sources have been silenced in the West and totally discounted by the press and politicians under U.S. and European control. No, the new information is directly from the Pentagon itself.

A major article in the mainstream Newsweek magazine by William M. Arkin appeared in the March 22 edition, titled “Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back. Here’s Why.”

Slowing down the Anti-Russian Hysteria to Keep Ukraine a Proxy War

Arkin interviewed several Pentagon analysts including one from the Defense Intelligence Agency who said “The heart of Kyiv has barely been touched. And almost all of the long-range strikes have been aimed at military targets.”

Another analyst explained that “the Russian military has actually been showing restraint in its long-range attacks.” According to Newsweek: “…as of the past weekend, in 24 days of conflict, Russia has flown some 1,400 strike sorties and delivered almost 1,000 missiles. (By contrast the United States flew more sorties and delivered more weapons in the first day of the 2003 Iraq war.) The vast majority of the airstrikes are over the battlefield, with Russian aircraft providing ‘close air support’ to ground forces.” This completely exposes the false picture painted of massive Russian attacks on civilians.

The DIA analyst admitted “I know it’s hard…to swallow that the carnage and destruction could be much worse than it is. But that’s what the facts show. This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians, that perhaps he is mindful that he needs to limit damage in order to leave an out for negotiations.”

A U.S. Air Force officer told Newsweek “I’m frustrated by the current narrative – that Russia is intentionally targeting civilians, that it is demolishing cities, and that Putin doesn’t care. Such a distorted view stands in the way of finding an end before true disaster hits or the war spreads to the rest of Europe.” The DIA analyst commented “I know that the news keeps repeating that Putin is targeting civilians, but there is no evidence that Russia is intentionally doing so.”

Why is the Pentagon leaking a bit of the truth out at this time? It must be because the anti-Russia faction’s campaign to escalate the war, involve NATO and create a no-fly zone has been whipped up to a frenzy. The propaganda machine has been too successful.

But the Pentagon does not want to get dragged into a war with Russia at this time. Having Ukrainians die in a proxy war and attacking Russia with economic sanctions is the top brass’ game plan. They realize they must cool down the hotter heads among the politicians, Wall Street and the public at large. So a small dose of the truth is being sent out to the U.S. mass media.

NATO and the Donbass Region

Two issues compelled the Russians to intervene. One was the insistence by the Ukrainian government, pushed by the United States, to join the anti-Russian North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Such a move would have put U.S. troops, military bases and nuclear missiles right on the 1200 mile long border between Ukraine and Russia.

The second issue involved Ukraine moving large numbers of troops and heavy weapons to the borders with two areas that had broken away from Ukraine after the 2014 U.S. sponsored right wing coup in Kyiv. For eight years the Lugansk and Donetsk Peoples Republics in the Donbass region, with a majority Russian speaking population, have endured military attacks and shelling from the Ukrainian armed forces, including the pro-Nazi Azov Battalion. Over 14,000 people in those republics have died from these assaults.

Too much truth, however, cannot be allowed to damage U.S. imperialism’s “official story.” Zoom has cut off access to its platform in the eastern Donbass region. The Detroit News reported “Ukraine has banned reporting on troop and equipment movements….The restrictions come after Ukrainian authorities criticized social media users…a Kyiv resident was accused…of posting images on TikTok showing Ukrainian military vehicles near a shopping mall that was later destroyed by a Russian missile strike. Russia alleged Ukraine used the site to resupply rocket artillery.” (, March 28, 2022).

U.S. president Joe Biden has repeatedly labeled Putin a “war criminal.” On March 26 Biden called for Putin’s ouster in a speech in Warsaw, Poland. Biden said “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” exposing again the U.S. strategy of regime change. The goal is to subordinate the Russian Federation to the dictates of Wall Street bankers and U.S. generals.

The Ukrainian government forces have also been exposed as endangering the civilian population. In a March 27 webinar titled “Voices from Donbass – Stop the War Lies” which was able to work around the Zoom blockade, an eyewitness named Svetlana in eastern Ukraine reported that Ukrainian troops had occupied several floors of a functioning hospital in the city of Mariupol. She went on to describe how the Ukrainian army was massacring civilians as revenge for their being forced out of areas.

Mariupol – the Azov Battalion NAZI Cauldron

Intense fighting around Mariupol was recently reported on by the Greek City Times. Mariupol is a port city on the Sea of Azov with a population of around 432,000, about 49% Ukrainian, 44% Russian and 4% Greek, with a small percentage of other nationalities. ( A report in the Greek City Times printed interviews with Greek Ukrainians from the Mariupol area that denied the propaganda in the western media. “As soon as the Russians came here, they immediately brought us help. .,, No one is shooting at civilians here” and “…the Russians do not kill any [civilians].”

“Now no one asks us if you are Ukrainian or Greek, about your origin, what language you speak” the Greek City Times reporter was told. “The Russians do not discriminate, while the Ukrainians [government troops] did, they forced us to speak only Ukrainian.” According to the same report, “Only days before the Russian troops started crossing into Ukraine, the Azov Battalion [Ukrainian fascists incorporated into the Ukrainian army] killed an ethnic Greek and shot another two only for speaking Russian.”

It took years for the U.S. public to learn some of the truth about Vietnam and build an effective anti-imperialist, anti-war movement. Despite the overwhelming unity among the pro-capitalist media and the confusion existing among some in the anti-war movement it may be possible for the truth to come out more quickly this time.

Biden: “For God’s Sake, This Man Cannot Remain in Power.”


March 29, 2022 fwstaff 

Wall Street sees big profits in continuing the Ukraine war. | Photo:

By Chris Fry

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, French President Macron and many other U.S. and European officials scrambled to walk back Joe Biden’s March 27th Russian regime-change statements from a speech he gave in Warsaw, Poland. But that these words echo George W. Bush’s false accusations of weapons of mass destruction and participation in the 9/11 attacks by the Saddam Hussein government as a pretext for war against Iraq cannot be glossed over or ignored.

With President Zelensky saying that Ukraine will not join NATO and with Russia appearing to modify the aims of their “special operations” to defend the beleaguered Russian-speaking republics in the Donbas region and the Crimea and with negotiations continuing, Biden’s incendiary speech was clearly designed to torpedo any settlement.

And, as it turns out, this same imperialist war drive continues to motivate politicians from both political parties, the corporate media, the mad generals from the Pentagon, the oil and natural gas barons, the weapons dealers, and the financial wizards of Wall Street to join together to ensure that the conflict in Ukraine intensify, that Russians and Ukrainians continue to “shed their blood for our profits”. The European natural gas and oil market is just too tempting a prize for the billionaires to pass up.

No doubt most of the 80 million people that voted for Biden in November 2020, believed his pledge to fight for stopping the fossil-fuel industry’s induced climate change. But instead, these corporations have found a new friend in the White House.  A March 4th Guardian article describes Big Oil’s stance toward the Ukraine-Russia conflict this way:

But the fossil-fuel industry had a different take. They saw an opportunity – and a shameless one at that – to turn violence and bloodshed into an oil and gas propaganda-generating scheme. Within hours, industry-led talking points were oozing into press releases, social media and opinion pieces, telling us the key to ending this crisis is to immediately hand US public lands and waters over to fossil-fuel companies and quickly loosen the regulatory strings.

Despite industry’s claims to the contrary, President Biden has not hobbled US oil and gas development. In fact, this administration actually approved more US drilling permits per month in 2021 than President Trump did during each of the first three years of his presidency. Before the pandemic, oil and gas production from public lands and waters reached an all-time high, and the current administration has done little to change that trajectory over the last 13 months.

The arms dealers are eager to cash in on the Ukraine conflict as well, indicated by this March 28th Politico report:

War means windfall. Defense companies, both large and small, are scrambling to grab their share of ballooning budgets in the U.S. and abroad sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That dash for cash is expected to create tension between more established defense firms and younger upstarts as the Pentagon and allies figure out how to divvy up funding for Ukraine.

On Monday, the Biden administration releases its fiscal 2023 budget request to Congress, and is expected to ask for $773 billion for the Pentagon — $30 billion more than this year’s level. That’s on top of the nearly $14 billion supplemental in emergency aid for Ukraine passed this month.

The Price of the Billionaires’ “Freedom” to Exploit

But it’s just not blood they want nor huge weapons sales. Nor is it just the European oil and gas market that is the target of these vultures. Through capitalist-induced inflation, the billionaire class is once again calling on the workers and oppressed here and abroad to “tighten our belts” in the face of skyrocketing inflation, including much higher gas prices. This is a typical comment on March 15th from the online journal, “The Hill”:

Bottom line. Yes, today’s high price of gas is tough on American consumers. But it’s only temporary. Analysts predict gas prices will fall to an average $3.30 by December. Meanwhile, it’s the least we can do to help Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin. You don’t have to like how much more you’re paying at the pump but stop complaining about it. Think of it as the price for freedom.

The Biden regime thought with the political elite of both political parties behind him, with the barrage of stories from the corporate media demonizing Russia and lauding the “brave” Zelensky regime and the NAZI-embedded Ukrainian military, that all of that would shore up his sinking popularity. But instead, as the New York Post reported in a March 27 article:

President Biden’s job-approval rating has plummeted to the lowest of his White House tenure — and seven in 10 Americans lack confidence in the commander-in-chief’s ability to handle the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a survey released Sunday found. ​

The number of Americans who approve of Biden’s actions since he took the helm of the country in January 2021 has fallen to 40% – the lowest of his presidency and a dramatic 13 percentage-point drop from April 2021, the NBC News poll shows.

It is impossible to predict the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine. Negotiations are set to begin in Istanbul, Turkey soon. What is clear, however, is that U.S. imperialism is desperately intent on continuing this conflict as long as possible, to bleed both Ukraine and Russia, to ensure  that both countries become subservient to the Wall Street master class.

But a strong response by the anti-war forces in the streets can foil their plans.

Dismantle NATO!

Defund the Pentagon!

Stop the sanctions and proxy wars!

Palestinian BDS National Committee Statement on Ukraine

March 19, 2022 fwstaff 

The mother of 10-month-old Hanen Tafesh, killed the day before in an Israeli air strike, mourns over her daughter’s body before her funeral in Gaza City, 16 November, 2012. Decades of zionist israel’s raining death and destruction on Palestinian nation get ignored compared to the Ukraine situation. | Photo: Majdi Fathi/APA

From the editors: The following statement is from the Palestianian BDS National Committee on the war in Ukraine. BDS leads a campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction apartheid israel because of genocide and settler-colonialism against the Palestinian people. Fighting Words and the Communist Workers League differ with the part of the first paragraph of the statement which condemns the Russian intervention to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and threatening Russia’s security. But the vast majority of the statement exposes the U.S./NATO provocations and many illegal wars over decades which we thought should be reprinted and shared.

By Palesitnian BDS National Committee

Palestinians are watching with empathy the suffering of millions of Ukrainians facing war, particularly the over two million refugees seeking safety in neighboring countries. In harmony with the absolute majority of humanity living in the Global South, the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition in Palestinian society that leads the global BDS movement, opposes war, whether it is Russia’s illegal aggression in Ukraine today, which violates the UN Charter regardless of persistent NATO provocations, or the many patently illegal and immoral US- or NATO- led wars of the past decades which have devastated whole nations and killed millions.

We see in the West’s warm reception of Ukraine’s white refugees an example for how all refugees escaping the ravages of war, economic devastation, or climate injustice should be treated by the West, particularly when these calamities are primarily caused by Western imperialism. This warmth, however, stands in sharp contrast with how these same countries have treated Brown and Black refugees arriving at their shores and borders, with racism, walls, “push-backs,” forced family separations, even drownings – the same bigotry that non-white refugees from Ukraine have experienced.

This Western double standard is painful, enraging, and humiliating for people in the Global South, including for Palestinians. After all, Israel’s decades-old regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is not only “Made in the West,” but is still armed, funded and shielded from accountability by that same deeply colonial and racist West, in particular the US, UK and EU. 

Insisting on the equal worth of humans and their rights, the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement campaigns to end complicity in Israel’s regime of oppression that denies us freedom, justice and equality. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once described boycotts for racial justice as “withdrawing … cooperation with an evil system.” Indeed, BDS is pressuring states, corporations, and institutions to end their direct and indirect cooperation with Israel’s regime which is killing us, ethnically cleansing us, denying our refugees their right to return home, incarcerating us, stealing our land, choking us in ever-shrinking bantustans, and besieging two million of us in the Gaza open-air prison camp – an ongoing Nakba.

As a nonviolent, anti-racist human rights movement, BDS has consistently targeted corporations and institutions based on their complicity, not identity. BDS does not target ordinary individuals, even if affiliated to – as opposed to representing – complicit institutions.

The current hysterical, discriminatory Western boycotts imposed on ordinary Russians based on their identity or political opinions are therefore antithetical to the BDS movement’s ethical principles. Mainstream Western media, including a surprisingly fair New York Times article, has begun to discover this fact, favorably comparing the “much more sophisticated” institutional and complicity-based BDS boycott of apartheid Israel with the alarmingly xenophobic, identity-based, McCarthyite boycotts against ordinary Russians.

These measures, fanned by a deeply racist, chauvinistic, and biased Western mainstream media, have included boycotting Russian films, cultural figures (including Tchaikovsky and Dostoevsky, who both died in the late 1800s!), academics (except those who publicly denounce the invasion), and even Russian cats. A medical “ethics” professor in New York urged pharmaceutical companies to stop selling medicine to Russia saying, “The Russian people need to be pinched … by products they use to maintain their well-being. War is cruel that way.” A hospital in Germany – a state that blindly defends and arms Israeli apartheid and is rife with anti-Palestinian racism and anti-BDS McCarthyism – has announced that it would no longer receive Russian patients, in a shameful violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

Western hypocrisy has infected international institutions dominated by the West. FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, UEFA, Eurovision, the massive EU academic research program, Horizon, among others, have for years rebuffed BDS demands to exclude apartheid Israel, shielding their complicity with platitudes such as, “sports are above politics,” “academic research is above politics,” and “art is certainly above politics.” Athletes who stood in solidarity with Palestinians have been heavily fined and even banned for many years, while athletes and national teams boycotting Russia in solidarity with Ukraine have been actively encouraged and rewarded by the same sports bodies. Some brave Arab champions are beginning to speak out about this hypocrisy.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) wasted years in wrangling before finally opening an investigation (that has yet to make any concrete move) into Israeli crimes against Palestinians, including Israel’s 2014 massacre in Gaza which killed in a few weeks more than 500 Palestinian children. In comparison, days after Russia’s invasion, the ICC rushed to open an investigation.

In addition to the hypocrisy, the speed with which all these Western-dominated entities boycotted, expelled or otherwise sanctioned Russia and ordinary Russians, only days after its invasion of Ukraine, sends a clearly racist message to Palestinians, Yemenis, Iraqis, Afghanis and many others, that our lives and rights as people of color do not count. Ironically, these acts and the statements that justify them also effectively demolish almost all the anti-BDS excuses propagated by Israel and its anti-Palestinian apologists in the West against us over 17 years to thwart our calls for accountability and justice.

While the refrain has always been, “business above politics,” suddenly hundreds of Western corporations have ended all business in Russia to protest the invasion of Ukraine, yet none of them ever protested the savage and deadly U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, McDonald’s maintains a branch in Guantanamo Bay, the world’s most notorious torture camp. Many of these same companies, like HP, Hyundai, Caterpillar, General Mills, and Puma are targeted by the BDS movement for actively supporting Israel’s decades-old military occupation and apartheid regime against Palestinians. Airbnb, which withdrew from Russia within days from the start of the invasion, continues to promote listings in illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land, which is a war crime.

It is also critical to set the record straight on the legality and morality of sanctions. States and inter-state organizations may impose sanctions under the condition that these are aimed at ending serious violations of international law, such as aggression, colonial annexation and domination, or apartheid, without distiction between perpetrating states. To be lawful, sanctions must respect fundamental human rights and humanitarian obligations and be proportional to the gravity of the violation. US-led sanctions, however, have been applied selectively to advance geo-political interests, and when targeting states of the Global South in particular, they have mostly been designed to devastate ordinary people to ultimately achieve “regime change.” In some cases, like Iraq, these sanctions have led to genocidal results.

In contrast, BDS, and with it Palestinian civil society, calls for targeted, proportional and lawful sanctions that aim at ending Israel’s oppressive system of apartheid, settler colonialism and occupation, not harming ordinary people. These include a comprehensive military-security embargo, cutting financial links with banks that finance apartheid and settlements, and expelling apartheid Israel from the Olympics, FIFA, Horizon, and other international bodies. On the other hand, cutting the supply of food, medicine and other basic goods, as US sanctions often do, can never be morally or legally justified.

Finally, war is invariably evil, but to some it presents a twisted opportunity. Among the biggest profiteers from the Ukraine war so far have been Western security and fossil fuel companies. Israel, too, has seen this war, as it has other disasters, as a great opportunity to sell gas to Europe and attract oligarchs’ investments, thus strengthening its apartheid economy. With its discriminatory tax laws that exempt new Jewish “immigrants” (seen by Indigenous Palestinians as colonial settlers) from taxes on their overseas income for at least 10 years, Israel is attracting many Russian oligarchs (those who are Jewish) escaping Western sanctions. A glaring example is Roman Abramovich, who obtained Israeli citizenship in 2018 and whose jet landed in Tel Aviv on the first day of the Russian invasion. With complete impunity, he has donated over years more than $100 million to the violently fanatic settler group, Elad, working to expel Palestinians from their homes in occupied Jerusalem.

Obsessed with maintaining its “regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea,” as the leading Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, calls it, apartheid Israel is also urging Ukrainian refugees who are Jewish (while discriminating against non-Jewish ones, of course) to migrate, with plans to illegally settle many on stolen Palestinian land in the occupied territory. Palestinians, again, are paying a heavy price for a war in which we have had no role whatsoever.

Still, we do not beg for charity. We demand accountability, justice and full equality for all humanity. We are building grassroots power and stronger intersectional solidarity networks to cut the links of international complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime. While our liberation struggle is a small part of global struggles for Indigenous, racial, economic, social, gender and climate justice, Palestine remains in the eyes of much of the world a key gauge of the ability of Western societies to truly decolonize and to overcome their centuries-old racist coloniality.

As John Dugard, South African jurist and former Judge Ad Hoc of the International Court of Justice, once wrote, “[T]he issue of Palestine has become the litmus test for human rights. If the West fails to show concern for [Palestinian] human rights … the [non-Western rest of the world] will conclude that human rights is a tool employed by the West against regimes it dislikes and not an objective and universal instrument for the measurement of the treatment of people throughout the world.”

It is high time to heed the Palestinian BDS call to contribute to our long-awaited liberation.

Originally posted here: