OPERATION ‘PROFUNC’: Canada’s Plans to Intern 16,000 Communists, 50,000 Sympathizers

From Basics Community News Service:

To many, the unprecedented crackdown and detention of over 1000 activists, dissidents, even regular people, at the G20 Summit in Toronto seemed to express the emergence of a ‘police state’ in Canada. For others, it was unbelievable that this could happen ‘here,’ that things like this only happened elsewhere, in ‘other’ places, like in third world countries or under military dictatorships.

Some Canadians may recall the internment of over 9000 ‘enemy aliens’ during World War I – mostly the Ukrainians who were reduced to slave-like labour, working under the barrel of a gun, clearing, draining, and cultivating new lands for more worthy settlers. Many more will also remember the dispossession and internment of some 22,000 Japanese Canadians during World War II. However, ceremonial apologies have rendered these events regrettable things of the past and have nothing to do with today, right? Wrong.

Continue reading “OPERATION ‘PROFUNC’: Canada’s Plans to Intern 16,000 Communists, 50,000 Sympathizers”

Liu Bai: The Trial of Zhao Dong-min and China’s Political Reform

[This article was published by Revolutionary Frontlines and details the struggles of contemporary Maoist activists in China. – RI Ed.]

[Update: On October 20 Zhao was sentenced to three years in jail for “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”]

The legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party has been challenged from both the Right and the Left. These challenges have become more open and vocal. The Right has been pushing for political reform that will change China’s Constitution to allow a multi-party Western style democracy. This is the movement behind the 08 Charter. Liu Xiao Bo, who was recently given the Nobel Peace Prize, is one of the leaders of this movement.

The Left has rallied to support Mao Zedong Thought. The growing number of memorials held in September in many parts of the country on the 34th anniversary of Mao’s death demonstrated their strength. In these memorials the masses and their leaders demanded that Yuan Teng-fei be stripped of his Party membership. Yuan has been openly denouncing the Chinese Communist Party, socialism, and viciously attaching Chairman Mao. The Communist Party is trying to find a way out through some kind of political reform. The arrest and recent trial of Zhao Dong-min has led to support from the Left and has further intensified the crisis faced by the Communist Party.

Mourners follow the coffin of Deng Yongxia, wife of detained labor activist Zhao Dongmin. Deng Yongxia died of the auto-immune disorder lupus on Aug. 31, never having been allowed to visit Zhao in the detention center.

Zhao Dong-min is a Communist Party member and has a law degree from a corresponding school (of the Party School) in Shaanxi. Before his arrest in August 2009 he worked for many years providing legal services to many workers to resolve issues such as unpaid pensions and loss of other benefits. He did this as a volunteer without any compensation. Zhao also served as the temporary coordinator of the Mao Zedong Thought Study Group in Xian, Shaanxi until his arrest.

Continue reading “Liu Bai: The Trial of Zhao Dong-min and China’s Political Reform”

Arundhati Roy: The crisis of Indian democracy (part 2)

Over the past few months, the government has poured tens of thousands of heavily armed paramilitary troops into the forest. The Maoists responded with a series of aggressive attacks and ambushes. More than 200 policemen have been killed. The bodies keep coming out of the forest. Slain policemen wrapped in the national flag, slain Maoists, displayed like hunter’s trophies, their wrists and ankles lashed to bamboo poles; bullet-ridden bodies, bodies that don’t look human any more, mutilated in ambushes, beheadings and summary executions. Of the bodies being buried in the forest, we have no news. The theatre of war has been cordoned off, closed to activists and journalists. So there are no body counts.On 6 April 2010, in its biggest strike ever, in Dantewada the Maoists’ People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) ambushed a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) company and killed 76 policemen. The party issued a coldly triumphant statement. Television milked the tragedy for everything it was worth. The nation was called upon to condemn the killing. Many of us were not prepared to – not because we celebrate killing, nor because we are all Maoists, but because we have thorny, knotty views about Operation Green Hunt. For refusing to buy shares in the rapidly growing condemnation industry, we were branded “terrorist sympathisers” and had our photographs flashed repeatedly on TV like wanted criminals. What was a CRPF contingent doing, patrolling tribal villages with 21 AK-47 rifles, 38 INSAS rifles, seven self-loading rifles, six light machine-guns, one Sten gun and one two-inch mortar? To ask that question almost amounted to an act of treason.

Days after the ambush, I ran into two paramilitary commandos chatting to a bunch of drivers in a Delhi car park. They were waiting for their VIP to emerge from some restaurant or health club or hotel. Their view on what is going on involved neither grief nor patriotism. It was simple accounting. A balance sheet. They were talking about how many lakhs of rupees in bribes it takes for a man to get a job in the paramilitary forces, and how most families incur huge debts to pay that bribe. That debt can never be repaid by the pathetic wages paid to a jawan, for example. The only way to repay it is to do what policemen in India do – blackmail and threaten people, run protection rackets, demand payoffs, do dirty deals. (In the case of Dantewada, loot villagers, steal cash and jewellery.) But if the man dies an untimely death, it leaves the families hugely in debt. The anger of the men in the car park was directed at the government and senior police officers who make fortunes from bribes and then so casually send young men to their death. They knew that the handsome compensation that was announced for the dead in the 6 April attack was just to blunt the impact of the scandal. It was never going to be standard practice for every policeman who dies in this sordid war. Continue reading “Arundhati Roy: The crisis of Indian democracy (part 2)”

Arundhati Roy: India in Crisis

The law locks up the hapless felon
who steals the goose from off the common,
but lets the greater felon loose
who steals the common from the goose.
– Anonymous, England, 1821

In the early morning hours of the 2nd of July 2010, in the remote forests of Adilabad, the Andhra Pradesh State Police fired a bullet into the chest of a man called Cherukuri Rajkumar, known to his comrades as Azad. Azad was a member of the Polit Bureau of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and had been nominated by his party as its chief negotiator for the proposed peace talks with the Government of India. Why did the police fire at point-blank range and leave those telltale burn marks, when they could so easily have covered their tracks? Was it a mistake or was it a message?

They killed a second person that morning — Hem Chandra Pandey, a young journalist who was traveling with Azad when he was apprehended. Why did they kill him? Was it to make sure no eyewitness remained alive to tell the tale? Or was it just whimsy?

In the course of a war, if , in the preliminary stages of a peace negotiation, one side executes the envoy of the other side, it’s reasonable to assume that the side that did the killing does not want peace. It looks very much as though Azad was killed because someone decided that the stakes were too high to allow him to remain alive. That decision could turn out to be a serious error of judgment. Not just because of who he was, but because of the political climate in India today. Continue reading “Arundhati Roy: India in Crisis”

ILPS Condemns Rise of Fascist Current in the US & Urges the American People to Fight Back

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle

October 5, 2010 Press Statement

At the center of the world capitalist system, the current of fascism is running high.  It  is whipping up the  terrorism scare, racism, xenophobia, anti-migrant prejudices and religious bigotry.  The Republican and Democratic parties keep moving towards the Right, egged on by ultra-Rightist groups and sections of the corporate mass media.

The finance oligarchy and the military-industrial complex are deliberately generating the fascist current and its various ingredients in order to conceal the root cause of the financial and economic crisis, to cover up their criminal culpability, to shift the burden of crisis to the proletariat and the people and to scapegoat the anti-imperialist and peace activists, the immigrants, the people of color, the Arabs and Muslims.

The fascist current took a new ugly turn when on Friday, September 24, 2010 the FBI raided at least six houses in Chicago and Minneapolis and began a US-wide intimidation campaign of activists who work with organizations such as the Palestine Solidarity Group, Students for a Democratic Society, the Twin-Cities Anti-War Committee, the Colombia Action Network, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera (a Colombian political prisoner).

As revealed by the warrants and line of questioning by the FBI agents, the activists are being targeted and pilloried for their solidarity work with the people’s struggles for national self-determination abroad as well as for their work within the US to build a movement to oppose US imperialism, crisis and war.  The intimidation campaign has included FBI raids, visits and Grand Jury subpoenas.  It is obviously inspired by the reactionary ruling of the US Supreme Court in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project on June 22, 2010.

The said Supreme Court ruling has made it a crime to provide support, including humanitarian aid, literature distribution, legal advice, and political advocacy to any entity that the government has designated as a foreign terrorist organization, even when such support is intended solely to promote the lawful and non-violent activities of a designated organization.

Civil rights advocates and a section of the mainstream media have condemned the Supreme Court ruling and have denounced the decision as violative of the US constitution by criminalizing free speech and imposing guilt by association.  On July 26, the Washington Post began publishing an investigative series critical of the extensive counterterrorism and intelligence network put up by the US government in reaction to the 9/11/2001 attacks.

In an interview on Democracy Now, the Washington Post reporters discussed how the top-secret world of US intelligence agencies has become “so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work”.   Among the findings:  about 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances; and  more than 1,200 government organizations and nearly 2,000 private companies work on programs related to counter-terrorism, homeland security and intelligence in 10,000 locations.  The US has practically become the biggest police state in the world.

Continue reading “ILPS Condemns Rise of Fascist Current in the US & Urges the American People to Fight Back”

Ten reasons not to talk – or listen – to CSIS

By People’s Commission Network.  Posted on rabble.ca

Over past months, reports have multiplied of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) visits to the homes and even workplaces of people working for social justice. In addition to its longstanding and ongoing harassment and intimidation of indigenous peoples, immigrant communities, and others, the spy agency has become much more visible in its surveillance of movements for social justice.

The People’s Commission is aware of dozens of such visits in the Montreal area alone. People visited range from writers and artists to staff at advocacy organizations and anarchists living in collective houses. Unannounced, in the morning, the middle of the day or the evening, CSIS agents knock at the door of private homes. Their interest is far ranging: from the tar sands, to the G8, to indigenous organizing, Palestine solidarity, Afghanistan; who you know and what you think. Their very presence is disruptive, their tone can be intimidating, and their questions intrusive, manipulative and inappropriate. They guarantee confidentiality — “just like in security certificate cases” — and invariably ask people to keep quiet about the visit.

The People’s Commission Network advocates total non-collaboration with CSIS. That means refusing to answer questions from CSIS agents, refusing to listen to whatever CSIS may want to tell you, and breaking the silence by speaking out whenever CSIS comes knocking.

If you are in immigration proceedings, or in a vulnerable situation, we strongly advise you to insist that any interview with CSIS be conducted in the presence of a lawyer of your own choosing.

Here are 10 good reasons not to talk — or listen — to CSIS: Continue reading “Ten reasons not to talk – or listen – to CSIS”