Tuesday, January 31, 2017
31 January 2017
The Communist Party of Swaziland calls for full solidarity with students at Southern African Nazarene University (SANU), who are on strike over unpaid academic allowances.
The SANU is a state health training institution operating under the Nazareth health institutions in Swaziland, and has campuses at Steki Good Shepherd and Manzini Nazarene Hospitals.
The students are protesting at the sudden stop to their allowances, which has disrupted the payment of fees and access to academic books, accommodation, food, textbooks andother essentials.
The students have been on strike since 27 January. The university management has responded by calling in the police to try to break up the strike.
The presence of the police on campus is putting the lives of the students at risk.
Mswati’s police are increasingly deployed to clamp down on peaceful protests linked to the failures of the dictatorship to provide necessary services to the people.
The CPS calls on the administration of the institution to get the police off campus and to engage with the students to address their grievances without delay.
We call on student organisations and other progressive formations in Swaziland and outside the country to work in solidarity with the Swazi students and the Swaziland National Union of Students.
What limited rights there are in Swaziland concerning access to learning must be defended tooth and nail in the face of constant efforts by the regime to avoid its meager public spending commitments.
For details contact
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
We would like to inform you the 5th Extraordinary Congress of the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia was held on January 14. 2017. in Belgrade.
Due to the importance of the moment, due to the fact that the 2017. is anniversary year that will mark the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and that it will be an election year in Serbia, in which presidential elections will certainly be organized, and perhaps also the parliamentary, Party organs decided to organize instead of the Annual Party Conference, 5th Extraordinary Congress, with the basic goal to make further improvements in organizational terms of the functioning of our Party, in order to respond to the new tasks that lies ahead of us.
The 5th Extraordinary Congress elected a 39 members of the Central Committee and a 19 members of Political bureau of our party. The 5th Extraordinary Congress also elected comrade Aleksandar Banjanac for the position of the new General Secretary of NKPJ.
Workers, youth, the Serbian people can count on the NKPJ during these times of injustice and uncertainty.
NKPJ will fulfil its internationalist role, tasks and duties by supporting the struggle of workers and peoples for peace and solidarity, for a new society that is free of capitalist exploitation and oppression, for socialism/communism.
Member of the CC,
Responsible for International Relations
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The report by Afrobarometer on attitudes to democracy in 36 African countries, issued last November, reports among other things an increase in support for democracy in our country, Swaziland. The report reflects the views of people polled between 2014-2015.
Apparently, the demand for democracy in Swaziland has increased since the previous such Afrobarometer survey, which was conducted from 2011-2013. That earlier report put the demand for democracy in our country at 16% - low on the list of the 34 countries then covered.
The figure given in the new report is 25%, a slight improvement.
Swaziland does not figure in a couple of the core questions used to gauge public attitudes (such as the attitude to “Presidential dictatorship”). But under the theme of “support for democracy”, Swazi’s evidently take a dim view of the subject, coming in third from last with 45%. While under the rubric of “Rejection of one party rule” it comes fifth from last, with 65%. Under “Rejection of military rule”, Swazi respondents scored high, 86%, eighth from the top.
What do these figures tell us about how people in our country feel about democracy?
Given the lack of press freedom in our country and the many decades of consistently negative press propaganda against democracy, it is no wonder democracy has relatively few supporters. Views on one party rule also reflect this negative view: the existence of puppet parties – such as the Swazi Democratic Party and others - offering no opposition to the royalist autocracy (aka dictatorship), and apparently tolerated as nothing more than window dressing to suggest that political parties are tolerated.
Of course in reality opposition parties – at least real ones – are not tolerated. They are banned.
The CPS view is that polls such as Afrobarometer, though interesting at a certain level, provide little useful information. This is for two reasons.
First, the long established anti-democracy discourse of the monarchy, the lack of press freedom and general freedom of expression, and the lack of possibility for organisations such as the CPS to operate freely and to conduct political education work means that polls of Swazi attitudes to something they are denied information about are bound to yield results of dubious value.
Second, people polled and the Afrobarometer audience are offered no overview of what type of democracy we are being asked to consider. This is a general failing of the middle-class world outlook – often imported from Europe, North America etc–typical of the NGOs/civil society organisations that monitor and lobby on democracy and rights issues.
Does having a couple of competing political parties mean you have democracy? Not really, in our view. Look at the US, where the age-old tussle between Democrats and Republicans offers zero options to change society.
Where is the “people’s power”, which is the original meaning of the word democracy?
The CPS is most vocal in its demand for the unbanning of political parties in our country and for full rights of freedom of assembly. But we know well that the former is only one possible aspect of the democracy needed in Swaziland.
There is no democracy without opposition. The dynamic of political development demands a diversity of voices. This diversity may be offered by having plenty of political parties.
But it may – as the experience of the struggle years in South Africa’s townships and the situation in revolutionary Cuba showed – be even better assured by street and community-level people’s power, where decisions on how to run things are put to people directly, and ideas are thrashed out before being put into action.
Middle class ideas of democracy are light years from this sort of approach.
This is because they consider the running of the economy to be divorced from much political decision-making. They leave that to capitalist market forces. The result is that much real power is not in the hands of parliaments or local government but in the hands of the owners of capital.
But it is not only the macro economy is affected. People have little or no control over how budgets are amassed and spent and how resources managed. People’s power – real democracy – covers all areas of society: health care, culture, education, sports and recreation, agricultural and industrial policy, and human development in general.
So when we ask our people what they think of democracy, we are doing them a disservice if we don’t give them the full picture of what democracy can mean in its expanded and dynamic form. We also end up with opinion poll results that are of little value.
This is why the CPS aims to foster a full, countrywide campaign of political education in Swaziland to bring the ideas of democracy to our people. Such a campaign is crucial to the democratic development of our country in a post-Mswati setting.
That way our people will have the power of knowledge to wield against the likes of the dictator Mswati and his regime who propagandise against democracy. And they will be able to shrewdly ask “What do you mean?” when some smug pollster comes along to find out what they think of the big “D” word.
Friday, January 13, 2017
"In any struggle, whether political or, in thiscase, ideological, it's the case that equivocation emboldens the adversary. It is weakness. It is also provocative because it invites attack from foes who smell weakness. A correct approach to the situation requires more than reasserting firm control. That is a mechanical change. A correct approach requires first of all admitting that the primary task at hand involves ideological reeducation of friends and comrades operating with Maoist illusions."
THE DAY OF ACTION
January 15, 2017
Warren, Michigan Rally at 1pm EST
UAW Region 1 Pavilion
27800 George Merrelli Dr
With Senators Sanders, Schumer, Stabenow, and Peters.
San Francisco Rally at 1pm Pacific
San Francisco City Hall Steps
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102
Richmond, Virginia Rally at 1:30pm EST
Richmond State Capitol
The Bell Tower on Capitol Square (Intersection of North 9th Street and Franklin Street)
With Governor McAuliffe, Senator Kaine, Rep. Bobby Scott, and Rep. McEachin
Chicago, Illinois Rally -- Doors open at noon, rally begins at 1pm, Central
SEIU Healthcare HQ.
2229 S. Halsted Street
With Senator Durbin and Rep. Schakowsky
Please RSVP at bit.ly/SAVEHEALTHCARE
Westbury, New York Rally at 12:30pm EST
Yes We Can Community Center
141 Garden Street, Westbury, NY 11590
With Reps. Kathleen Rice and Thomas Suozzi
Seattle, Washington Rally at 12pm, Pacific
Westlake Park, 401 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101
With Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Newark, New Jersey Rally at 11:30AM EST
Robert Treat Center
50 Park Pl
Newark, NJ 07102
With Senators Booker and Menendez, Reps. Payne, Sires, Bonnie Watson Coleman
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Rally at 1pm EST
Temple University Hospital
3401 N. Broad Street
With Rep. Dwight Evans, Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals, and AFSCME
Contact: Jack Rearick, 712-594-3824; firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland, Oregon Rally at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, Pacific
Self Enhancement, Inc. Gymnasium
3920 N. Kerby Avenue, Portland OR
Gym entrance at the intersection of N Shaver St and N Commercial Ave
With Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden, Representative Blumenauer, and Representative Bonamici.
Hartford, Connecticut Rally at 1pm EST
Connecticut State Capitol (Bushnell Park side)
210 Capitol Avenue
With Sen. Murphy, Sen. Blumenthal, Rep. DeLauro, Rep. Esty
Wisconsin Rally -- Doors open 11am, event begins 11:30
Candela Banquet Hall
2537 W National Ave
West Allis, WI 53227
With Senator Tammy Baldwin https://www.tammybaldwin.com/landing/ev170106/
Burlington, Vermont Rally
Sunday January 15, 1 p.m. EST
Edmunds Middle School
275 Main Street
With Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman
Portland, Maine Rally at 1pm EST
With State Rep. Ben Collings – 207-766-1322
Connersville, Indiana Rally at 12 p.m. EST
401 N. Central Ave.
Indianapolis, Indiana Rally at 2 p.m. EST
200 Washington St
Bowie, Maryland Rally at 2 pm EST (doors at 1:30)
Bowie State University
Bowie Student Center Ballroom
14000 Jericho Park Road
Bowie, Maryland 20715
With Senator Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. Anthony Brown, Rep. John Sarbanes, Rep. Jamie Raskin and Rep. John Delaney
By Cornel West
Eight years ago the world was on the brink of a grand celebration: the inauguration of a brilliant and charismatic black president of the United States of America. Today we are on the edge of an abyss: the installation of a mendacious and cathartic white president who will replace him.
This is a depressing decline in the highest office of the most powerful empire in the history of the world. It could easily produce a pervasive cynicism and poisonous nihilism. Is there really any hope for truth and justice in this decadent time? Does America even have the capacity to be honest about itself and come to terms with its self-destructive addiction to money-worship and cowardly xenophobia?
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Herman Melville – the two great public intellectuals of 19th-century America – wrestled with similar questions and reached the same conclusion as Heraclitus: character is destiny (“sow a character and you reap a destiny”).
The age of Barack Obama may have been our last chance to break from our neoliberal soulcraft. We are rooted in market-driven brands that shun integrity and profit-driven policies that trump public goods. Our “post-integrity” and “post-truth” world is suffocated by entertaining brands and money-making activities that have little or nothing to do with truth, integrity or the long-term survival of the planet. We are witnessing the postmodern version of the full-scale gangsterization of the world.
The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it. And those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility.
A few of us begged and pleaded with Obama to break with the Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street. But he followed the advice of his “smart” neoliberal advisers to bail out Wall Street. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders. He proclaimed: I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you, he promised them. And not one Wall Street criminal executive went to jail.
We called for the accountability of US torturers of innocent Muslims and the transparency of US drone strikes killing innocent civilians. Obama’s administration told us no civilians had been killed. And then we were told a few had been killed. And then told maybe 65 or so had been killed. Yet when an American civilian, Warren Weinstein, was killed in 2015 there was an immediate press conference with deep apologies and financial compensation. And today we still don’t know how many have had their lives taken away.
We hit the streets again with Black Lives Matter and other groups and went to jailfor protesting against police killing black youth. We protested when the Israeli Defense Forces killed more than 2,000 Palestinians (including 550 children) in 50 days. Yet Obama replied with words about the difficult plight of police officers, department investigations (with no police going to jail) and the additional $225m in financial support of the Israeli army. Obama said not a mumbling word about the dead Palestinian children but he did call Baltimore black youth “criminals and thugs”.In addition, Obama’s education policy unleashed more market forces that closed hundreds of public schools for charter ones. The top 1% got nearly two-thirds of the income growth in eight years even as child poverty, especially black child poverty, remained astronomical. Labor insurgencies in Wisconsin, Seattle and Chicago (vigorously opposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a close confidant of Obama) were passed over in silence.
In 2009, Obama called New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg an “outstanding mayor”. Yet he overlooked the fact that more than 4 million people were stopped-and-frisked under Bloomberg’s watch. Along with Carl Dix and others, I sat in a jail two years later for protesting these very same policies that Obama ignored when praising Bloomberg.
Yet the mainstream media and academia failed to highlight these painful truths linked to Obama. Instead, most well-paid pundits on TV and radio celebrated the Obama brand. And most black spokespeople shamelessly defended Obama’s silences and crimes in the name of racial symbolism and their own careerism. How hypocritical to see them now speak truth to white power when most went mute in the face of black power. Their moral authority is weak and their newfound militancy is shallow.
The gross killing of US citizens with no due process after direct orders from Obama was cast aside by neoliberal supporters of all colors. And Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling and other truth-tellers were demonized just as the crimes they exposed were hardly mentioned.
The president’s greatest legislative achievement was to provide healthcare for over 25 million citizens, even as another 20 million are still uncovered. But it remained a market-based policy, created by the conservative Heritage Foundation and first pioneered by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.
Obama’s lack of courage to confront Wall Street criminals and his lapse of character in ordering drone strikesunintentionally led to rightwing populist revolts at home and ugly Islamic fascist rebellions in the Middle East. And as deporter-in-chief – nearly 2.5 million immigrants were deported under his watch – Obama policies prefigure Trump’s barbaric plans.
Bernie Sanders gallantly tried to generate a leftwing populism but he was crushed by Clinton and Obama in the unfair Democratic party primaries. So now we find ourselves entering a neofascist era: a neoliberal economy on steroids, a reactionary repressive attitude toward domestic “aliens”, a militaristic cabinet eager for war and in denial of global warming. All the while, we are seeing a wholesale eclipse of truth and integrity in the name of the Trump brand, facilitated by the profit-hungry corporate media.
What a sad legacy for our hope and change candidate – even as we warriors go down swinging in the fading names of truth and justice.