PFLP: October 17 remains a heroic example of resistance

Posted in Ahmad Sa’adat, Alex McGuigan, Anti-Zionism, Armed Struggle, Commemoration, Gaza, International socialism, Palestine, PFLP, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

SOURCE: PFLPpflp 02

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, issued a statement on the 16th anniversary of the October 17 operation, emphasizing that those forces that attack the resistance and defend the enemy are on a criminal path, because the path to achieving the Palestinian dream and promise of liberation is that of resistance and revolutionary violence.

“The weapon of the resistance is not up for negotiated, and we will not allow it to be violated or compromised. These weapons are legitimate so long as the occupation remains on the land of Palestine,” emphasized the Brigades.

Marking the 16th anniversary of the assassination of the infamous extreme-right racist Zionist minister of tourism Rehavam Zeevi, the Brigades also stated that the way to break siege and free prisoners is well-known and is our top priority.

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades emphasized to the Zionist oppressors that their fighters are more capable and better equipped, yet on the road of the heroes of October 17. They emphasized their loyalty to the imprisoned leader, PFLP General Secretary comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, and confirmed that they march on the road of the October 17 heroes, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Majdi Rimawi, Mohammed Rimawi, Hamdi Qur’an and Basil al-Asmar.

The elimination of the Zionist criminal Rehavam Zeevi was not simple revenge or a disorganized reaction. Instead it was a culmination of painstaking efforts made by the special units of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades to make it clear to the enemy and to all the enemies of the people that the blood of the Palestinian people and their leaders is not cheap and cannot be shed in vain. The operation also came to declare that all the projects of displacement, Zionization and attempts to disperse the Palestinian people will never succeed in eliminating or suppressing the resistance, a fact made clear by a single bullet in the right time and in the right place, emphasized the Brigades.

As we mark this heroic anniversary of struggle and pledge to win the freedom of the imprisoned fighters and leaders of October 17, we re-publish two pieces on this operation and its ongoing meaning:

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October 17 and Beyond – An Interview with Comrade Khalil Maqdesi (original link)

The following dialogue was conducted for this website with Comrade Khalil Maqdesi by Comrade Rayya Amin on October 17, 2008. Comrade Maqdesi covers a broad range of critical topics, from the legacy of October 17, to the Palestinian resistance, to the future of Palestinian national unity in an era of “negotiations” and “security cooperation,” in this wide-ranging and penetrating discussion of the important issues facing the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian national liberation movement today.

Rayya Amin: Today marks the seventh anniversary of the October 17 heroic operation against the racist Zionist tourism minister, Rehavam Ze’evi, in response to the assassination of General Secretary Abu Ali Mustafa by a U.S.-made missile fired from a helicopter into his office by the occupation army. Several days ago, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades made statements about the current situation, where Palestinians in Akka are facing an ongoing assault from racist Zionists, and standing steadfast in the face of house burnings, stonings, beatings and repeated calls for their “transfer” – invoking al-Nakba, as well as Ze’evi’s infamous campaigns. The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades statement particularly noted the responsibility of Avigdor Lieberman, an infamous advocate of transfer and notorious racist, and warned that if these events do not stop, Lieberman will face the same fate as Ze’evi. This statement – paying tribute to the resistance and steadfastness of our people in our occupied homeland of 1948 – also made clear the unity of all of our people, and that the operation of October 17 was not an isolated heroic act but part of an ongoing and historic struggle. On this anniversary, how do you envision our struggle today?

Khalil Maqdesi: Our understanding, in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, of our enemy and of our conflict with this enemy, Israel, is very clear. We view Israel as a colonial settler project/state backed and fully supported by imperialist powers, particularly the United States. This state is illegitimate and will always be illegitimate, as it has been based on the oppression and suffering of our people for the past sixty years. The PFLP cannot see any reconciliation or acceptance of this state, of any acceptance of racism, colonialism, Zionism and the settler project in Palestine.

We also do not view the situation as a Palestinian – Israeli conflict only, although this is central. It is also an Arab – Israeli conflict, and international conflict. Take, for example, the relationship of Iran or Venezuela with Israel; it is an international conflict. Israel belongs to one camp – the camp of imperialism – against all progressive forces in the world and against all forces who resist imperialism. Israel is waging war against all Arab nations – its aggression has reached the shores of Tunisia. There is not one Arab country that has not faced the onslaught of Zionist aggression, directly or indirectly, over the years. The fact that Arab reactionary regimes, particularly those in Egypt an Jordan, have engaged in ‘peace agreements’ and the like, the fact that these reactionary regimes have attempted to impose normalization with this illegitimate state upon our people, does nothing to change the fundamental nature of the relationship between the Arab people and the colonial settler project. These regimes are illegitimate and unelected and do not speak for the people.

On the other hand, we see another example that does represent our people. We can see clearly, on the ground, that resistance works. We saw that in Lebanon, we are seeing that in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in Palestine. Resistance works. Submission to Israeli and American conditions, on the other hand, while fooling oneself under an illusion of peace, is a road to nowhere. We have seen this throughout the past fifteen years of the so-called “peace process” of Oslo and beyond, that this is a dead-end road for our people and our cause.

Rayya Amin: This is an important point that you mention. Recently we have been seeing a lot of articles and really, propaganda from the Zionist press, aimed at demoralizing the resistance by promoting the industry of “security cooperation” between Palestinian forces and the Zionist state. These articles have been really disgusting, with Palestinian “security” commanders arranging for funding, arms, and training from U.S. CIA and similar entities and the occupation army. It’s really difficult to see this as anything other than an attempt to forcibly push our people down this fruitless path of a so-called “peace process” and turn Palestinians into the front-line forces suppressing the resistance of our own people.

Khalil Maqdesi: First of all, this security cooperation is met with mass popular condemnation by our people in Palestine and in exile. It was one of the major objects of the Oslo accords – to turn Palestinian forces into guards for the occupation. Furthermore, it enhances and deepens the disunity in Palestinian society and raises the level of military oppression and aggression by the police forces against the resistance. We have seen the actions of the security forces against journalists, writers, trade unionists and other popular activists, and we have witnessed executions like that last week in Jericho prison. We in the PFLP have warned in the path that the road of this so-called “security cooperation” will lead to the authority becoming a tool in the hands of occupation. Those who supported Oslo argued otherwise, saying that this is a necessary step towards building a Palestinian state. We saw otherwise – this is not building a Palestinian state and is in fact contrary to democratic process and values and has racked up countless violations against our people.
It deceives and transmits a false message about the relationship of the Palestinian people with Israel and with these forces, as if there is some form of sovereignty or a Palestinian state. These police operate at the permission and pleasure of the occupation and receive permission in order to attack Palestinians. Some of these forces in the leadership of the security forces are quite clearly collaborators with the occupation, when they receive arms, funds and training from the occupier, they are collaborators akin to the South Lebanon Army, to UNITA in Angola, to the Contras in Nicaragua. There is always an attempt to create a local tool by the colonizers for their work.

This is also part of the so-called “war on terror” being waged by U.S. imperialism, and an attempt to bring a Palestinian force into this regional “war,” in direct confrontation with the Palestinian resistance.

We have also seen a transformation of our cause into “security” questions. Political and civil issues have been handled by Egyptian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli intelligence services – not by civil or political institutions, including our national dialogue. They want to turn the question of Palestine into a “security issue,” something that clearly and definitely serves the strategic goals of Israel and the United States.

Rayya Amin: Also, the security cooperation and the arming and training of this collaborator force by the U.S. and Israel is very much clearly part of the plans of these parties to divide our people and create disunity. The operation of these “security cooperation” forces does nothing to provide security for Palestinians – that would be providing security against the occupier, not working with the occupier against our people and our resistanc. The attempts to transform our national cause into a question of “security” and the institutions of “security” and “authority” rather than institutions of a national liberation movement can do nothing but cause division and undermine the fundamental framework of our national cause and national unity, that is based on our unity in struggle against the occupier.

Khalil Maqdesi: It is worth noting here, also, however, one of the false illusions about the past before the Oslo era – the idea that the Palestinian national liberation movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization were democratic institutions. In fact, they were not, and because of that, we have come to Oslo. The reason we are here is because of our past, because of things that have come before and policies that were conducted in the past. It is also worthwhile to state that there are no clean hands in this past, in terms of democracy, and we must learn these lessons moving forward.

The tools that have come before Oslo have led to this point, and we must be honest about that. Abu Mazen, Abu Ala’a, these forces who signed Oslo – are those that corrupted the PLO. There is no democratic process of building an authority under occupation. The alternative, however, is to rebuild our institutions not as authorities in league with the occupation, but to reclaim the potential of the PLO as the representative and unifying structure for our people, our cause, our national liberation movement.

Rayya Amin: Speaking of the PLO, the PLO at its best has always stood as a symbol of national unity and national consensus of the Palestinian people. Today, however, we are looking back on 15 years of Oslo, following a campaign to replace the PLO with an authority that exists in cooperation with the occupation and whose institutions have been decimated, and yet does not embrace the spectrum of the forces that comprise our national liberation movement. We’ve seen agreements, like the Cairo Declaration, to rebuild the PLO and make it inclusive, but the real division has only worsened since then. How can we revitalize and rebuild the PLO, and where are we going in the campaign to reassert our national unity?

Khalil Maqdesi: We must end the Oslo process in its entirety. We in the PFLP see that there is a direct connection between the continuation of the negotiations and Palestinian internal disunity. We have also seen the Palestinian leadership of the PA undermining the PLO itself and attempts to fragment the Palestinian people itself, people in the West Bank from Gaza from our people in exile from our people in 48.

Our national unity must be based on our national constants only. For example when Abu Mazen declared to the media his willingness to undermine our fundamental right to return, this only deepens the disunity. We also see that building national unity requires real political will not only on the part of the factions but also popular institutions to take their place and uphold their responsibilities to build national unity from the streets and the grassroots up. when people are confronting their enemy and building their society from the ground up, their institutions and their economic autonomy, national unity is strengthened. There is a clear and honorable example of Palestinian national unity in the prisons of the occupation. Despite all of the attempts of the occupation to fracture the Palestinian prisoners, they have failed and the prisoners are a shining example of national unity in action in confrontation of the occupation.

It is also important that national unity be in the interests of the popular classes of our Palestinian people – against all exploitation and oppression. National unity does not just mean unity of the political forces, but must involve and include all sectors of society – students, women, trade unionists. We cannot discuss national unity without a real discussion of the sectors of our society, their institutions, and the importance of strengthening the relationships and joint programs of struggle against the occupation and the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. This strengthens national unity on the ground.

RA: This is a really essential point. The reason national unity has been under attack by Israel and the United States is because it is so important for our people. The U.S., Israel, the so-called “Quartet”, try to redefine our national unity with conditions and terms that are based on a Palestinian identity that is acceptable to the enemy, and actually present only a path to disunity and division. There is no national unity to be found in these conditions imposed from outside. The point you raise, on the other hand, that national unity is among our people, and it is against the occupation rather than in accordance to its terms – is the only path to meaningful national unity, rather than empty phrases.

KM: National unity is a strategic necessity for victory. The enemy is pushing to create multiple Palestinian discourses, for the benefit of Israel.

National unity is not also a vague slogan, without meaning or implementation. Inside our institutions, schools, and organizations, it has to be a culture that political parties push for and enhance, rather than undermine. This is something we have to build within Palestine and also in exile, among our people and our national institutions – it is our responsibility as political parties.

RA: It is worth noting that national unity is not Palestinian Authority unity, it is Palestinian national unity. These are 2 different things.

So often the discussion of Palestinian national unity is directed as if the question is how to arrange the seats or cabinet members of the Authority, but this does little to address the real question of national unity in our struggle. I want to raise the question – how do you see the dialogue in cairo as being part of building national unity? How is it something other than just another pointless charade?

KM: Yes, we have always called for a comprehensive national dialogue. We have an understanding of this dialogue. First of all, it must come without preconditions, and it must address the real issues – the question of strengthening the Palestinian resistance, Palestinian intitutions, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian National Council, the rebuilding of our mass organizations and unions, and dealing politically with the challenges that we face today – the Wall in the West Bank, the siege on Gaza, the struggle for freedom of 11000 Palestinian prisoners, the settlements, the attacks on our people in 48, the attempts to liquidate the right of return. These are all issues of common struggle that we must face collectively. We must also face that the alternative to this comprehensive, open dialogue is division and nothing else. We have seen that the agreement between Fateh and Hamas which took place in Mecca failed miserably because it was not based on national assurance and popular assurance but rather merely on dividing seats and assigning positions.

We must also be patient and acknowledge that, like all nations, we have different political views among our people, within our national consensus. Not all division and discussion or disagreement or contradiction is negative. On the contrary, our national institutions can be a democratic place where these issues are addressed and resolved in a progressive and democratic manner as part of our revolution.

RA: Looking at my bookshelf, I see books published by the Palestine Research Center – by the PLO – in the 1970s, highlighting the various positions of the resistance, of the factions, of the sectors of the revolution. This was not unhealthy or divisive. On the contrary, it reflected a vibrant revolutionary discourse and a living movement. I think it is critical that we look toward examining this in a positive light and look at national unity as unity on our core principles, firm adherence to our national rights, unity in our resistance and in confrontation of the occupation, but that includes as a necessary condition ongoing political discussion and struggle. That is a healthy part of a revolutionary movement. It is the opposite of this bickering over positions and authority that has done so much harm to our people.

KM: In the past, when this rose to the level of armed disagreement, it was known as “the dialogue with guns,” and it came to an end, it was stopped, because our people demanded it. Now, our people – our institutions, popular organizations, civil society – must be heard very loudly and very clearly, from the level of the streets and the grassroots up, demanding meaningful national unity and an end to the division. This is the mechanism that can truly bring this division to a much-needed end.

RA: The General Secretary, Abu Ghassan (Ahmad Sa’adat), is currently continuing to face the occupation courts. It should be noted that Abu Ghassan’s case also is deeply and directly related to these issues – he was a prisoner of the Palestinian Authority for years, before he was kidnapped by the occupation forces. The occupation illegitimate courts have postponed his trial yet again, this time to November 25, and it is clear that they want to keep dragging this out for as extended a time as possible. There have been a number of events around the world – in Syria, in Canada and elsewhere – focusing on his case, and these are very important initiatives.

KM: Well, I think one of the things that needs to be said about Abu Ghassan’s case is that obviously the occupation wishes to continue this case forever. It is a battle between the General Secretary and the illegitimate courts. They are trying to pressure Comrade Ahmad on a personal level as well as to pressure the PFLP, denying him family visits, transferring him, holding him in isolation and solitary confinement, for example. The very first thing we must understand that he is a hostage and must be liberated. The prisoners are 11,000 hostages and the occupation is seeking to use them to pressure our people everywhere, to try to extract concessions in order to free these hostages.

The conditions of the prisoners and of the national leadership among the prisoners are really quite harrowing, and the daily oppression directed against the prisoners has been continually increasing. We’ve seen them trying to force Guantanamo clothing – the infamous orange jumpsuits – upon our prisoners, and Abu Ghassan has played a leading role, in the prisoners’ rejection of this. Abu Ghassan’s case symbolizes the war against the resistance and the entire Palestinian people, while the international community is silent.

RA: They are worse than silent. The U.S. and Britain are directly culpable for his imprisonment – they guarded his illegal imprisonment for four years, and arranged in advance to vacate their posts to allow for his kidnapping in the attack on Jericho prison by the occupation forces.

KM: Every time they take him to the court, he refuses to recognize it and its illegitimate nature, but instead uses it as a soapbox to call for upholding our Palestinian constants and the brotherhood and sisterhood of all of our people, and for our national unity. His clarity exposes the occupation and its crimes and the failure of its policies and the entire Zionist project in Palestine, and upholds the achievements of the Intifada. They are continually restricting his personal situation so that even his wife and children cannot visit him – they have been continually denied visits since March. They want to pressure him and silence this vital, symbolic and critical voice. The only link he has to the outside world is through his attorneys.

His steadfastness is a symbol of all Palestinian prisoners and, it is worth noting that he is a leader among the prisoners as well. He has always been a leader in the prisoner movement, in his past experiences in prison, and now he plays a major role in the struggle inside the prisons.

RA: You raise an important point about Abu Ghassan’s speeches before the court – you mention the achievements of the Intifada, this second Intifada. There are many who degrade this intifada, and say it has failed, or accomplished little to nothing, or even harmed our people and our cause, and it is quite refreshing to hear, instead, about upholding the achievements of the intifada, particularly when it has become a trend to dismiss this intifada rather than to celebrate it.

KM: The first achievement of this Intifada is that it proved, conclusively, the utter failure of the Oslo process. It exposed the bankruptcy of the “peace process” and made clear that it has been nothing more than a charade based on the continuing abrogation of Palestinian national rights. It made clear that our core rights – our right to return, our right to self-determination, our right to be free of occupation – were nowhere to be found in the Oslo process, and that our people were not willing to accept this and will continue to demand these rights until victory.

It is also key to note that this intifada strengthened the military resistance inside Palestine in such a way as has never been seen before, which is an enormous accomplishment of our people and our resistance.

Furthermore, this Intifada put Israel in the position of being forced to constantly confront the issue of the nature of the Israeli state and raised these critical questions: What is the nature of Israel, its racist, colonial, illegitimate nature? How can there be any solution in the face of this racist state? How can such a state exist? And it faces these questions and this discourse now, because of the resistance and steadfastness of the Palestinian people in this Intifada, in the face of this aggression. This intifada has made quite clear two sides of the equation – Palestinian steadfastness and suffering and Israeli occupation and oppression. Both point to the fundamental issue of what is Israel. This intifada has exposed this question of the world, raised it among intellectuals and in the academy. The emergence of this discourse that challenges the Zionist project and its illegitimacy in our homeland, the reason this is a topic of debate and discussion now, is because of the achievements of the Intifada and the sacrifices of our people.

RA: There is now an attempt almost to set the clock back, and to erase the last eight years, to instead speak of a path of endless “negotiations” leading nowhere, of “final status agreements” and a “peace process” that seems to have no connection to reality. Even the “security cooperation” harkens back to the conditions of Oslo, and the implementation of the so-called “Roadmap” designed by the U.S. – only, of course, against our Palestinian people. –

KM: Israel is given a green light – all of what it did, its crimes against our people, are ignored, and it acts as if it is a “peace partner” while building settlements, arresting and killing our people and engaging in a daily siege and occupation. The process of security cooperation goes hand in hand with the negotiations – one cannot be separated from the other, as the whole intention of the “peace process” is to find a Palestinian governance to act on behalf of the occupier.

In fact, Israel has practiced U.S. policy on a regional scale throughout the Intifada, from the slogan of “harboring terrorism” to the assassination of the first ranks of the leadership of our people – from Yasser Arafat, to Abu Ali Mustafa, to Sheikh Yassin, to Fathi Shiqaqi and hundreds of others. The Palestinian leadership cannot blame the intifada for their failures – when they blame the intifada, they are actually blaming the people. When Abu Mazen, or the PA leadership, or the Fayyad regime blames the intifada, they blame the people, the martyrs, and the prisoners. Indeed, they have shown little concern for the prisoners other than as yet another issue in the so-called “negotiations.” It is worth pointing out that the Authority created this situation for Abu Ghassan when they imprisoned him in Jericho and allowed him to be held under U.S. and British guards, and today – there is no statement of solidarity with him.

RA: It is adopting the argument of the occupation that the people are at fault for our own oppression because we continue to resist. And returning to the question of resistance, and highlighting the point that you have made about the war of assassinations against our people and particularly against the front ranks of our leadership, how do you assess today October 17 and its lessons?

KM: The lesson of October 17 is that the occupier must learn that for its actions, there will be consequences and repercussions. We are as Palestinians and in the Popular Front, to praise the heroic quality, strategic and skilled ability and will of our resistance, and the firmness of the decision-making and action by political leaders and the heroes of the Wadie Haddad Group who executed the operation, in which the infamous racist Zionist tourism minister and advocate of the “transfer” of our people, Rehavam Ze’evi, was killed by the arms and the awareness of fighters from the PFLP, coming in response to the assassination of our great leader Abu Ali Mustafa.

However, the official Palestinian leadership did not succeed in taking the message of October 17 – that there is no end to the assassinations of our leaders and our people carried out by the enemy forces, without just such strategic decisions that extract a high cost from the enemy but also require great steadfastness and political will on behalf of our leadership, who are subject to great risk. It is regrettable that the operation of October 17, though an act of valor, accuracy and accomplishment, ramians an orphan. We have not achieved the collective goal of the Palestinian resistance, in all of its visions and currents, in this long battle with a vicious and strong enemy.

We are discussing a mere act of a “culture of revenge.” Rather, we are discussing a concrete and strategic decision to make it clear to the enemy that there is a distinct price to be paid for the campaign of assassination and sixty years of crimes against our people, and that we will simply not allow this to continue without creating a situation in which it is very difficult for the occupier to continue its crimes.

It is no secret that the Front has and will make further attempts to liquidate such symbols of the Zionist enemy. Even attempts that are not fully successful exert pressure upon the enemy. However, for the Front to continue along this difficult path of struggle means that dealing with this in the resistance, the logic of force and deterrence, and utilizing October 17 as a model, must become a culture of all of the resistance forces, and not just a heroic tale of glory that speaks to our emotions. October 17 is a symbol of heroism, yes, but it is also a difficult yet necessary strategic action and path for our resistance. The enemy knows well that the conflict between it and the Front did not begin with the assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa, nor with October 17. There is no need for a narrative of confrontations, but only to point out that we will meet with this enemy only in the field of confrontation.

Everyone knows the lesson – that the liquidation of the personality is not nearly so important as the impact of the liquidation of the role of that individual and the school and the trend that he represents. Comrade Abu Ali Mustafa was well-known to the Zionist enemy for his positions, his commitment and his leadership in the Palestinian arena, and he was known to face the daily threat of assassination because of who and what he represented, stood for and lived. They killed him, and the Front responded by killing the one who represented the naked and ugly face of Zionist racism – the school and the trend of the occupier.

At the end, October 17 is a shining example – a star on the path of Palestinian resistance toward victory.

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Anti-Irish Bigotry, Sexism, Fascism & Racism Exposed During Twitter Study

Posted in Alex McGuigan, anti social behaviour, Anti-IRSP revisionism, Belfast, Class Solidarity, Criminal, Grenfell Tower, Homophobic Attacks, Human Rights, Internationalism, Ireland, Making A Murderer, Neo Nazis, Political prisoners, Proletariat, Racism, Reading list, Reviews, Sectarianism, Sureveillance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Let us begin by stating categorically that Twitter is an excellent online resource, I particularly like the succinct wordsmithing required in ‘Tweets’ and it’s inertia-free dynamic.  Dickens summed up my Twitter journey perfectly and prophetically in 1859:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…

I have the highest regard for the vast majority of people I’ve interacted with during my Twitter experience.  Many campaign against the most cruel of injustices, fight against terrible miscarriages of justice, advocate for an egalitarian future and oppose Racism in all it’s vile forms.  Many bravely expose a broken system, bravely support national liberation struggles, making public all aspects of the class struggle and many, many more causes that all decent human beings can embrace.

Of course, there is always a downside using online platforms as one is exposed to a wide cross-section of those individuals whose zeitgeist has inhabited the nadirs of a global sewage system for millenia.  Far from being repulsed by this phenomena, it should interest those from a variety of professions, not least being the pathology of some of these lumpen specimens. So I will provide just a few examples and add more during further editing..

 

 

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This is just a small sample of screenshots that I’ve saved but have not fully collated.  I will add substantially more by the final draft.  I found some of the accusations levelled at me personally to be sanity-defying but interesting nonetheless.  Watch this space for further additions….

Alex McGuigan, Belfast

PFLP: Arrests of our leaders will not deter us from continuing resistance

Posted in Ahmad Sa’adat, Alex McGuigan, Anti-Zionism, Armed Struggle, cadre, Gaza, Human Rights, Hunger Strikes, Imperialism, Internationalism, Palestine, PFLP, PFLP/IRSP Solidarity, Political prisoners, Solidarity, Statements, zionism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: PFLP

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine confirmed that the Zionist occupation forces launched a pre-dawn campaign of raids across the occupied West Bank of Palestine on Sunday, arresting a number of leaders and activists of the Front, led by the Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar, feminist activist Khitam Saafin and former prisoner Ihab Massoud, as well as a number of activists in al-Khalil. The Front declared that these attacks will not stop it from continuing its role in resistance to occupation and confronting the crimes and projects that attempt to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

The Front emphasized that these arrests only underline the futility of the choices of the Palestinian Authority to continue to bet on settlements, “peace process” and security coordination. It also confirms the correctness of the Front’s position and its continuing struggle to build the resistance and the primary contradiction with the occupation as a major feature of its approach and political positions.

The Front further stated that these arrests have come after the major campaign of incitement launched by the Zionist entity and its prime minister, the war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the resistance factions.

The PFLP urged the Palestinian masses to escalate the popular movement to support the struggle of the brave prisoners in Israeli jails, for Jarrar and Saafin and the prisoner Muhammad Allan, on hunger strike for 25 days.

The Front promised to continue to defend the rights and principles of the Palestinian people. Continued targeting by the occupation only emphasizes the importance of continuing the path to return and liberation.

الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
July 2, 2017

GRENFELL TOWER FIRE by Grenfell Action Group

Posted in Anti-Austerity, campaigns, Censorship, Collusion, Criminal, Grenfell Tower, Human Rights, LSL Property services, Polarisation of the classes, Proletariat, Solidarity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: Re-blog from Grenfell Action Group

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  Source: Grenfell action Group

 GRENFELL TOWER FIRE 

Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon (5am) to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences to all who have perished, to the injured, to those who are bereaved or are still searching for missing loved ones.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/fire-safety-scandal-at-lancaster-west/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/more-on-fire-safety/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/another-fire-safety-scandal/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/kctmo-feeling-the-heat/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/why-are-we-waiting/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/grenfell-tower-from-bad-to-worse/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/more-trouble-at-grenfell-tower/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/the-disempowered-of-grenfell-tower/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/tmo-still-asleep-at-the-wheel

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

KCC – Clear And Present Danger

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Back in April 2016 the Grenfell Action Group published a blog highlighting our concerns regarding the long term future of Wornington College. We provided a link to a RBKC Cabinet Key Decision report (KD04801R) that revealed that the Wornington College building had been secretly sold to the Council for demolition, after which the site would be privately redeveloped as housing.

The report was markedly vague on specifics, presenting instead a mish mash of options that ranged from selling the entire site (planning permission included) to a private developer or alternatively entering into a partnership with a Private Rented Sector (PRS) developer. The plans appear to have been conditional on retention of some unquantified educational component, provision of some ‘affordable housing’ by the developer, and possibly an option for the Council to to repossess  part of the finished development for use as decant housing for council tenants displaced from redevelopment elsewhere. Under this mish mash of half baked ‘planning’ many, perhaps most, Wornington students would presumably have to travel to Hortensia Road in Chelsea if they wished to access education.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/wornington-college-threat-confirmed/

Rather than deal with the concerns raised by our blog, and by supporters of the Save Wornington College Campaign, the management at Kensington and Chelsea College attempted to demonise those trying to protect this much loved educational institute. Members of the KCC management team abused their power by attempting to intimidate our supporters, and shamelessly spread rumours that the Save Wornington College campaign was responsible for declining student enrolment numbers at Wornington and for endangering the future of adult education in North Kensington. When Interim Principal Michelle Sutton was invited to provide credible evidence that the Save Wornington Campaign was responsible for these negative effects she failed to do so.

Instead of working in partnership with the North Kensington community, acknowledging the management and financial problems at KCC, and the threat to the long term future of Wornington College following the departure of Principal Mark Brickley, the College opted instead for a disingenuous propoganda campaign. Using similar tactics to those employed by the neo-Cons at RBKC, when they sold off the North Kensington Library to their friends at Notting Hill Prep School, the KCC management claimed, in a Press Release in April 2017, that the Wornington building was no longer fit for purpose, was too large and could not meet the needs of those students and staff with disabilities. The KCC Press Release also sought to negate and dismiss the fears and concerns of the existing College’s supporters by stating that KCC remained committed to expanding its presence in North Kensington, claiming that it planned to replace the Wornington facilities on-site or nearby with modern state-of-the-art facilities for both school-leavers and adults, creating space for increased student numbers and potentially more courses.

http://www.kcc.ac.uk/news/big-plans-north-kensington/

We now understand that despite these promises the future of Wornington College and the provision of adult education in North Kensington is still very much under threat. Instead of securing the long term future of Wornington the KCC Board appears to have begun making existing staff redundant, pending a merger deal in which they will become the subserviant partner to a rival adult education college and in which they are unlikely to have any say in whether adult education will survive in any form in North Kensington.

In a serious and troubling development, it has come to our attention that members of the Wornington College teaching and auxillary staff have been issued with voluntary redundancy notices. These have been distributed to staff recently and cast doubt on KCC’s previous claim that staff numbers will be protected by virtue of an increase in student numbers and an expansion in the number of courses that the College will be offering.

It is our understanding that members of staff who might be tempted to accept offers of voluntary redundancy will not have their length of service or seniority taken into consideration as part of any financial settlement and will simply receive a statutory redundancy pay out. Any member of staff who accepts voluntary redudancy and is below retirement age will not be able to apply for social security payments such as unemployment benefit, housing benefit, etc if they fail to find replacement jobs, as they will be deemed to have made themselves intentionally unemployed.

It is also our understanding that the KCC Board were preparing to make a vitally important decision concerning the future of the College at a Corporaton meeting last Tuesday 6th June. We applied for permission to attend this meeting but were refused, ostensibly due to the sensitivity of the issues scheduled for discussion. It is a matter of record that major changes in adult education have been encouraged at a national and regional level following major cuts to government funding and a recent government review of further education which recommended that local colleges (such as Wornington) should merge with neighbouring colleges in order to protect their longer term prospects.

In line with this recommendation KCC and City Lit have conducted merger negotiations on two occasions since 2012. Both of these attempts failed, the most recent, earlier this year, because KCC failed a due diligence test performed by City Lit, apparently because of poor financial viability and poor Osted inspection results over the past three years. We have made a Freedom of Information request to City lit seeking access to the due dilignce report. We will publish this when and if we acquire it as it may shine some light on the management failings at KCC under former Principal Mark Brickley. The failure of KCC to satisfy this due diligence test has left KCC in an invidious position and vulnerable to a hostile take-over from either Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College or the recently merged North West London/City of Westminster College.

Ideally we would all prefer that KCC remain a fully independent college serving the specific needs of the local RBKC communities but we acknowledge that, in the present austere financial climate, a merger appears to be a necessary evil. With this in mind, we feel that it is a great shame that the proposed merger between KCC and City Lit failed. The benefits of a merger with City Lit have been explained in the minutes of previous confidential discussions by the Governors of KCC who stated that:

KCC students have good reason to fear the consequences of the failure of the City Lit merger. It has left KCC extremely vulnerable to a hostile take-over by either Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College or the North West London/City of Westminster College and we believe that such an outcome will greatly disempower and reduce the quality of our local education provision. There are concerns also that if either of the two aforementioned colleges are successful in a take-over of KCC the provision of adult education at the Wornington Centre, and in North Kensington generally, may cease altogether and adult educational courses may be halved at the Hortensia Centre.

These concerns are based on hard evidence obtained through Freedom of Information requests and access to supposedly confidential minutes of the KCC Corporation. We also have a copy of an email sent to RBKC councillors by Tony Redpath, a member of the KCC Board of Governors and a senior Officer at KCC in January 2017, that refers to Kensington and Chelsea College as some kind of tempting carcass that other ‘suitors‘, including Ealing Hammersmith and West London College and North West London/City of Westminster College ‘are already circling’ and waiting to devour. Redpath goes on to identify the predatory nature of such a take-over in that ‘KCC’s problem, put baldly, is that it’s attraction to other College’s is based on it’s assets rather than it’s activities’ and that following any take-over ‘a longer than anticipated period of change and uncertainty for the College beckons’. We believe that this statement from Tony Redpath unequivocably highlights the clear and present danger that faces the future of adult education in RBKC.

https://grenfellactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/redpath-confidential-email-kcc-ofsted-result-etc.pdf

Redpath’s analysis is entirely consistent with minutes already quoted of a KCC Board meeting in 2012 when a hostile take-over by Ealing, Hammermith and West London College was characterised as an unwelcome but distinctly possible outcome. Confidential minutes from that Board of Governors meeting state the following:

www.kcc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/KCC-BOC-minutes-111212.pdf

We have little doubt, based on the evidence above, that the kind of take-over that now seems inevitable will be extremely detrimental to the future of adult educational provision in RBKC generally, and North Kensington in particular. We believe that the failure of the proposed merger with City Lit has left KCC at the mercy of more powerful and predatory organisations that are primarily concerned with KCC’s financial assests and property portfolio rather than with providing the adult educational services our communities need.

The KCC Board of Governors and senior management team need to be held fully and properly accountable for their failure to secure a more propitious merger with City Lit. This failure has left KCC open to a hostile take-over by either Ealing, Hammersmith and West london College or City of Westminster/College of North West London. Both of these outcomes could best be described as worst case scenarios but have somehow become the most likely outcome we can expect. The KCC Board should be held accountable for this!

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KCC resignations – was there a cover-up?

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The Grenfell action Group have recently been contacted by the Information Commissioners Office regarding our appeal against the refusal of Kensington and Chelsea College to provide us with information we requested explaining the departure of former Principal, Mark Brickley, and his former sidekick Deputy Principal Fiona Ross. The correspondence between the Information Commissioners Office and the Grenfell Action Group must remain confidential for now as we do not want to preempt the appeals process which we hope will lead to disclosure of the information we are seeking. However, we can confirm that we have lodged a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner in an attempt to obtain a full explanation from KCC of the departures of Mark Brickley and Fiona Ross from the College in such haste and in such opaque circumstances.

Following the sudden departure of Mr Brickley, at the end of October 2017, the College claimed that he had resigned for ‘personal reasons’, although the circumstances of his departure  have never been fully explained and were not recorded in the minutes of the relevant Board of Governors meeting. Following Brickley’s departure there have been persistent rumours, in College circles and in the local community, that the departure of the former Principal had less to do with ‘personal reasons’ and may have had much more to do with some form of serious misconduct in office.

It has become evident to the Grenfell Action Group that the interim Principal, Michelle Sutton is well aware of some of the allegations made against the former Principal and other  members of the College’s senior management team that surfaced through responses to a recent staff survey at the College. These concerns were recorded in the mintues from the KCC Governors Meeting held on 5th December 2016 and paint an alarming picture of low staff morale and poor leadership at this much loved educational establishment.Members of the Grenfell Action Group can only guess at the contents of the alleged ‘unprofessional responses’ made by staff members against various members of the senior management team but it hasn’t escaped our notice that the Interim Principal, Michelle Sutton, seems to have done her best to intimidate complainants into silence by strongly implying that their most serious allegations were ‘defamatory or libellous comments’.

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis will know that the Grenfell Action Group do not normally publish content based only on rumour or hearsay and that all of our postings are backed up with authoritative corroborating evidence. For this reason we have not yet detailed the nature of the rumours that accompanied the sudden departure of Principal Mark Brickley and Deputy Principal Fiona Ross from KCC.  However, we have not shyed away from our efforts to reveal the truth behind the circumstances surrounding Mark Brickley’s departure from the College and we are now in a position to publish, with some confidence, further information that we have received in relation to this matter.

At a recent “Let’s Clear Some Air” community event organised by Rap23 at the Acklam Village a member of the Grenfell Action Group spoke with our local MP, Victoria Borwick, and a local Tory Councillor, Robert Freeman, who were both attending the event. We took this opportunity to speak to our elected representatives about the situation at KCC and asked Cllr Freeman to explain why the freehold for the College building had been purchased by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council and why the College appeared to be in crisis and facing such an uncertain future.

Cllr Freeman chose to answer these questions by stating that the College building was too large for it’s current student intake and that most of the students that now attend the College come from other London Boroughs and are no longer local. This response was then challenged by our representative who pointed out that the College is still vital to the educational well being of the North Kensington community and that the dire situation that the College finds itself in might be partly attributed to the behaviour of the ex Principal Mark Brickley. It was at this point that our MP, Victoria Borwick turned to Cllr Freeman and asked what was meant by this latter statement. Cllr Freeman responded thus; “Mark Brickley was the unfortunate man who put up those compromising photos”.

The Grenfell Action Group would not wish to overinterpret the statement above made by Cllr Freeman to our local Member of Parliament, and witnessed by others present at the event, but we would suggest that these words certainly hint that there might be more to the departure of Mark Brickley than has so far been revealed by the College.

We have been informed by KCC that Brickley resigned his position for ‘personal reasons’ but we strongly suspect that these ‘personal reasons’ may be related to the actions so tantalisingly referred to by Cllr Freeman at the Rap23 event. If we are correct, and KCC are attempting to cover-up serious professional misconduct by either Brickley or Ross, or even both, then we can be confident that the Information Commissioner will order KCC to release the documents that we have requested, and which they have so far witheld.

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Don’t Try Us Again! Great Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah

Posted in anti-ISIL, Anti-Zionism, Armed Struggle, cadre, Hezbollah, Internationalism, Lebanon, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah, Solidarity, Statements with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Hezbollah Helps Civilian Population of Haifa

‘The Case Against Steven Avery and What Making a Murderer Gets Wrong’ by K.KRatz

Posted in Alex McGuigan, Crap Books Never To read Again, Criminal, drugs, Making A Murderer, Reviews, Revisionism, Worst Books, YPJ with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Kratz 4 (1 of 1)

(Editor’s Note: I’m going to ask if you are under the age of 15 that you discontinue reading this review)

I approached the dread task of reading this book with the unprejudiced objectivity that was sadly lacking in Manitowoc County’s District Attorney’s Office during King Kratz’s infamous reign.  I would stress that even though the most casual research suggests that KRatz is an internationally hated figure, due to his alleged penchant for serious ethical violations, including but not limited to perjury; fabricating evidence; crimes against the poor and vulnerable; which are compounded by an alleged myriad of many, many other despicably craven acts….I did not let my research of this alleged fiend prejudice my approach to KkKRatz’ self-proclaimed literary opus.

The foreword by internationally despised, reactionary cretin, Nancy Grace, proved an accurate signpost to the dire literary journey I was about to endure.   Sadly, any reasonable person’s thoughts after reading a quarter way through the book will be whether they can get a refund.  By midway through, a reader will begin to wonder did Hydrocodone have a guiding hand in KKRatz’ wordsmithing?  The seriously lengthy inventory of deepseated resentments towards people, places and things KKRatz spews out was impossible to ignore.  Around the the same point in reading KKRatz’s book one may experience an arcane revelation as to the true meaning of the term ‘vanity publishing.’

 
The only vaguely useful section of this Penny Dreadful is that it allows one to understand the psychopathy of the author.  One will instantly indentify parallels with the kind of mind that could concoct that detailed, graphic and grizly yet totally false account of T Hallbach’s demise at KKRatz’s infamously prejudicial press conference documented in the Netflix series.

 
By the time one has finished this highly narcissistic, polemical potboiler there will be real proof of KKRatz’s criminality, even outside Manitowoc!  Readers will find KKKRatz is not only responsible for a sordid crimewave against Literature, but also find him unanimously guilty of Larceny – by permanently depriving hapless readers of the sum of £16 ($20) they’ve just paid for his ‘book’.  On surfacing after the dive into this nadir of the lowest circuit of the literary sewer one may well immediately feel the need to take a shower.  There is absolutely nothing positive to state about the experience of reading Herr KkKRatz’s Kampf except that positively nobody should ever be foolish enough to pay money for this bound myre of bile, fiction and nonsense.  Manitowoc’s very own Solomon aka K.KKratz  @Ken723Ken has a Twitter account where he has dispensed over 500 veritable gems of Jurisprudence in under 140 charecters.  Needless to say it is not advisable to give him your cellphone number…..

 

 

However, if one has resisted the temptation to decant KKKratz’s Kampf swiftly into a neighbour’s bin, it may actually be worth keeping as a reference of sorts due to forthcoming legal developments.  Anyone in search of an objective view of  the draconian injustices piled upon Exoneree Steven Avery and young Brendan Dassey by an honest lawyer, I can personally recommend Jerry Buting’s insightful Illusion of Justice: Inside Making A Murderer And America’s Broken System

By Alex McGuigan

kratz 1

Illusion of Justice: Inside Making A Murderer and America’s Broken System by Jerry Buting

Posted in Making A Murderer, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

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Jerry Buting’s Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System should be compulsory reading for all US citizens.  It is important reading by virtue of the fact that one in ten US citizens are currently incarcerated, via that broken system, in the security-industrial complex’s ever growing Gulag Archipelago.  Jerry’s book is not simply a one-dimensional insider view of the groundbreaking Making a Murderer docu-series that made most of us angry and appalled at the blatant miscarriage of justice visited upon Steven Avery, despite the best efforts of his erudite, indomitable lawyers, Jerry Buting and Dean Strang.  However, any fan of the Netflix docus-eries will find it invaluable reading, revealing many crucial details that did not make it onto the series, not least the near pugilistic meeting in Judge Willis’ chambers with one of the real villains of the piece, District Attorney Ken Kratz.

Jerry Buting’s Illusion of Justice is in part biographical, part case studies, including those of Steve Avery and Brendan Dassey and of others who were hastily arrested, then subsequently convicted on the most dubious of evidence and the long, hard struggle to prove their innocence.  Interwoven throughout each compelling thread from the first Uppercase letter to the last Period is Jerry’s very rational, very compelling indictment of the USA’s criminal justice system:

“So many courts and officials ducked their duties and kept these men incarcerated that we are only kidding ourselves if we say that these cases prove the system fixes it’s own mistakes.  That is the illusion of justice.”

One does not need any personal experience or direct link to the criminal law system to understand Jerry’s thesis in Illusion of Justice as it is very much legalese-free, with what little legal terminology used being adequately explained by the author.  The reader may come away feeling that their misplaced faith in the equity of the Judicial component of their Government has been rocked, while others may have their own bleak experiences within the so-called justice system very much affirmed.  Every reasonable person, irrespective of jurisdiction, will have no doubt after reading Illusion of Justice that the book’s title is tragically apt and that Jerry is a proactive advocate for the rights of the wretched of the earth who by lack of means are overwhelmed and/or buried by the broken justice system.  Likewise, no-one will be in any doubt that access to anything vaguely resembling ‘justice’ is rarely available to those who are indigent or of modest means.  Illusion of Justice clearly illustrates Jerry’s passsion for the rights of the many who are marginalised and brutalised by a class-based pejorative legal system that effectively functions exclusively for those who would have great difficulty fitting through the eye of a needle.

There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind, including even the myre of Ken Kratz’s psyche, that Jerry Buting has always believed in the innocence of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey and has not faltered in his efforts to keep their cause in the public domain, both before and after the groundbreaking Netflix docu-series.  Jerry’s cause is not limited to just two defendants, he seeks to effect real change in a broken system and he is in it for the long run:

“…in my work as criminal defence lawyer, I still cover long distances.  Yes, some cases are sprints, or middle distances.  Yet in others, getting justice is a journey that spans decades.  Once I get started, I keep going.  It turns out that there is really no choice”

Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System by Jerome F Buting can be purchased on Amazon.com via this link or through Amazon.co.uk and at most book shops.  Jerry is a shareholder in the Buting, Williams & Stilling, SC, law firm in Brookfield, Wisconsin and also has a Twitter account where one can get a variety of snapshots of his legal work, life and worldview.

DEFENCE-LAWYER-JERRY-BUTING

Reporter (2007): So do you think there’s a killer out there that the police have not caught?

Jerry Buting: Absolutely, I mean, that’s been our position all Along!

 (Illusion of Justice: Inside Making A Murderer And America’s Broken system)

By
Alex McGuigan, Belfast

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