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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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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

Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat on May 1: The popular classes of Palestine are on the front lines of revolution

Posted in PFLP, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, delivered a special message from prison via the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat to the forces and movements of the Left in the world on the occasion of International Workers’ Day, marking a renewed landmark of revolutionary struggle against imperialism, Zionism and fascism and the forces of class and social exploitation. Sa’adat said in the statement that the open-ended hunger strike being waged currently by the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is the most prominent national site of confrontation with the Zionist occupation and its racist settler-colonial laws. He urges the expansion of the campaign for boycott and the isolation of the occupation at an international level.

Comrades and friends

Revolutionary greetings,
Greetings of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,
Greetings to the strugglers for justice, freedom, equality and progress everywhere.

Greetings to you from inside the prisons and cells of Zionism, and salutes to all those who celebrate today, who march and participate in this day, in the lighting of the flame of this immortal, human, day, the first of May, the day of workers, the people, and the struggling classes. This is the day in which we together renew our primary commitment to defend the rights and interests of the impoverished and struggling classes with a fundamental interest in progress and change, the classes that were and still are the front line of the revolution, standing against the savage forces of capitalism, occupation, colonialism and racism.

Greetings from the camps of our people in the homeland and in the Diaspora, these Palestinian camps that were and still are strongholds of resistance, popular resistance and revolution, the birth of the front of popular classes, struggling workers, poor revolutionaries and revolutionary intellectuals. Our Palestinian camps, the incubator of the revolution and the popular intifada, are living these days under harsh and difficult conditions, both within and outside Palestine. Despite oppression, exclusion, marginalization and siege, the masses of our people continue to fight for their sacred right to return to their land and to the homes, villages and towns from which they were forcibly displaced.

Our message today is to all the revolutionary forces in Latin America and Africa, in the Philippines, Turkey and Greece, in the belts of misery and the struggling cities everywhere: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine stands with you on May 1, renewing its commitment to the relentless and unconditional defense of the rights of the exploited, confronting the domination of colonialism, the forces of exploitation and the tools of class and social oppression. We call for the widest international left alliance to confront the camp of exploitation and capital and build the alternative, a socialist society.

May 1 was and will remain a day of struggle and adherence to the fundamental principles that the revolutionary, democratic left was created to achieve. The values of a society of justice, freedom and equality, working to consolidate the values of international and human solidarity to serve the people, for the well-being and dignity of humanity. One of our common tasks is to defend the rights of refugees everywhere and to defend migrants and the impoverished classes, especially those living in the midst of imperialist countries.

From here, from the Israeli prison cells, where our brave and beloved ones are fighting a new heroic epic that is entering its 15th consecutive day in the battle of the open hunger strike, we call upon you to uphold these values and put them into action by supporting the struggle of the prisoners and putting pressure on your governments to boycott, divest from and sanction the occupation state. The isolation of the occupation state, besieging it on a popular, international level, means that the date of freedom for our people and for all prisoners inside the prisons of “Israel” approaches ever more closely.

Comrades,

Today, almost everywhere, our Palestinian people are facing a campaign of relentless and unprecedented wars against our national liberation movement. A broad economic, political and security campaign led by the United States and Israel and the reactionary forces in the region is a war aimed first and foremost at the popular classes, seeking to liquidate the cause of the Palestinian people and the rights of the Palestinian people.

What is happening in the Arab world and the region generally demands that all the forces of the international left must unite and come together to face the threatened disasters, woes and wars in the region, especially if Trump and his right-wing racist, fascist camp succeed in implementing their plans to swallow the wealth of the Arab nation. And therefore, we in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine call upon you to bang on the walls of silence in your society against the Trump camp, run today by a handful of generals and major corporations.

Comrades and friends everywhere,

Today, the Israeli racist entity is further rooting its settlement laws and institutionalizing them in all of the details of the lives of the Palestinian people within the occupied territory and throughout our historic homeland, with the aim of imposing an enhanced form of subjugation based on oppression, exploitation, apartheid, siege and starvation. Israel is trying to impose this new order of subjugation on the masses of our people, inside occupied Palestine 1948, in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, even if some details differ here and there.

Our Palestinian liberation struggle is entering a new and difficult stage of struggle, but we have a deep confidence in the will of the masses of our people, our courageous workers, and their revolutionary capacities are firmly established and stronger than anything.

We promise that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine will remain on the front lines to confront imperialism, Zionism and the forces of injustice and social oppression in Palestine and in the region. Because this is our responsibility. This is our duty. This is the path we choose to achieve our people’s goals of return, liberation, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on all of the land of historic Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, the eternal and united capital of the Palestinian people.

Long live May 1, a day of freedom and struggle
Long live international solidarity
Victory to the Palestinian prisoners in the battle of freedom and dignity
Freedom for all political prisoners in the world
Victory is certain

Your comrade,
Ahmad Sa’adat
General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Ramon Prison
May 1 2017

Main Easter Rising Commemorative Oration [2017]

Posted in Commemoration, Easter 2016, Easter Commemoration, Fallen Comrades, INLA, International socialism, Internationalism, Ireland, Irish Citizen Army, Irish National Liberation Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

SOURCE: IRSP NEWS!

This years main oration was delivered by IRSP Ard Comhairle member and Trade Union activist Michael McLaughlin.

Michael McLaughlin reads the main oration

Comrades, supporters, friends, brothers and sisters one year on from the centenary of the 1916 rising we again gather to remember the sacrifice of all volunteers who fell in action in defence of the principles laid out in the  proclamation of the Irish Republic.

 

In particular this year we remember our young volunteers who died in defence of the Irish Republican Socialist Party’s right to exist. We owe them everything and as a new generation of republican socialists step up to continue the struggle for national liberation and socialism it’s on their shoulders we stand, united and stronger than ever.

 

Our journey to socialism was a natural progression out of necessity, the jackboot of imperialist occupation was our introduction to the class nature of society. We were failed, we all, at some point, lived with the bitter taste of poverty, our opposition to the physical manifestations of imperialism awakened a consciousness that naturally led us to socialism. As our contempt for the establishment grew so did our understanding that to be truly free, to be truly liberated, means giving ownership of the nation to its entire people.

 

We seen a society built upon inequality and exploitation of the communities we grew up in, wage slaves, everyone broken on some level all disenfranchised but not powerless, never powerless. The strength that it took to stand up against imperialism, to agitate and strive to confront our oppressors on any level possible, this is the strength that is alive in the Irish Republican Socialist Party today and this is the strength on which the socialist republic will be built.

 

Real change will come from the streets. As its only by the active participation of the masses, the dispossessed and exploited, taking control of their own interests for the good of our entire class can any change worth fighting for be delivered.

 

The time for a debate on the type of Ireland we wish to create is here. An Ireland with universal participation in real democracy for all citizens, constitutional rights to work, to rest, to leisure, the right to a properly maintained and funded state health service, care in old age and in sickness, a right to housing a right to education, a right to freedom of expression and a right to privacy, the right to the freedom of information, freedom of assembly, the right to religious worship or to choose not to, the separation of church and state, the right to artistic expression, the protection of the concept of diverse contemporary family. These things are not bargaining chips between the working and ruling classes, they should be enshrined in a progressive collective nation’s constitution, not become a construct of the capitalist toll bridge society to profit the few.

 

As the political establishments on both sides of the border continue to fail workers, as we witness the commencement of neoliberalist divorce proceedings between the capitalist states of Europe, in this climate a momentum towards an Irish border poll is slowly but steadily growing, we cannot ignore this. A cursory glance around the island points us to the conclusion of a society deeply divided and polarised by class, a border poll is just one issue that needs addressed.

 

We are serious about our political aims and objectives. We are serious about a united socialist Ireland,this process starts by dialogue between all progressive forces on what type of Ireland we wish to create. The IRSP are ready for that debate. We will never be a barrier to any serious attempts to remove partition, we will stand shoulder to shoulder with all who strive to achieve this, we are willing to share the important lessons we have learned standing outside the Good Friday Agreement though striving for a peaceful resolution of the national question.

 

All over Ireland a war is waging between bosses and workers. Corporations interests are protected by the state and the media, natural resources stolen and sold to enrich the few. Benefits sanctions attack our most vulnerable while working conditions are slowly eroded. Our trade unions are under constant attack. We stand in solidarity with everyone in their daily struggles. We cannot beg for equality from either the British state or the Irish capitalist state, asking for equality from entities built on hegemonic inequality is a futile act, we must take back what they have stolen, our nation’s wealth, our dignity, we must revive the collective aspirations of our class.

 

A merging of two corrupt capitalist states into one corrupt capitalist state is not good enough, the struggle cannot stop there, we strive for a society grounded in Irish neutrality and in the vision of Connolly that will never capitulate to, nor serve, the interests of the most wealthy over the needs of Irish workers.

There is much talk of the re emergence of a hard border due to a British exit from the EU.This hard border already exists due to British and European Union austerity measures all over Ireland, an uncomfortable truth for some. A most dangerous yet subtle hard border than has ever existed, a hard border that unemployment, poverty, lack of opportunities, underemployment, fear of eviction creates, a hard border that exists at the front door of the majority of homes on this island.

A hard border that prevents the active participation of citizens in society, a hard border at your own front door that breaks men,women and children, a hard border at your own front door trapping people in a cycle of debt and human exploitation. A psychological hard border that destroys the dreams, hopes, imagination and aspirations of our class to collectively achieve a society which protects people, not prosecutes, a society in which no man woman or child is left behind.

This year marks the centenary of the great October revolution. A time to revisit the spirit and determination of the Soviet people who created something unique, the world’s first socialist state, it’s a time to look at the similarities between the IRSP and the Bolsheviks. Both our political parties, although thousands of miles apart we cut from the same oppressed working class anti-imperialist and internationalist cloth.

Historically the IRSP, like the Bolsheviks had no problem in working outside the perceived norms of political activity when the situation dictated it. When seeking funding for their political activities both parties were not above engaging in proletarian expropriation. When facing the might of an oppressive imperialist state both parties were not above taking up arms against it. When facing reactionary counter revolution from within, both parties were not above physically confronting it in whatever way they seen fit. When facing a changing political climate both parties were progressive enough to change with the times.

As we move towards the centenary of the great October revolution the links between the 1916 Irish rising and the Bolshevik revolution are more intertwined than modern historians would like us all to believe.

Shortly after the nineteen sixteen rising a delegation of what were to become senior Bolsheviks arrived in Dublin from exile in London to learn the lessons from the Irish fight against imperialism. What they took away from revolutionary Ireland is all academic and up for debate. But Lenin said at the second world congress of the soviet international in nineteen twenties Petrograd that he considered James Connolly to be head and shoulders above above his contemporaries in the european socialist movement. Lenin said that the easter rising was a decisive blow against the power of English imperialism.

Comrades the complete and honest truth is a powerful weapon we must not ignore when we are confronted by the false propaganda churned out from the establishment. The very curriculum in our children’s schools is capitalist propaganda to create obedient lackeys, from the pulpit, newspapers, internet articles flows capitalist propaganda, it’s an instrument of their rule.

We have to break this cycle of lies we must continue to spread the message a that stable, sustainable, shared, socialist republic is in the people’s best interests, a free Ireland that belongs to them from Ballymena to Bantry Bay.

Posted in Uncategorized
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Portraits of the '87 Martyrs are held by family members at the 2017 IRSP Easter Sunday procession.Many hundreds of the Republican Socialist faithful assembled upon Belfast’s Falls Road today (Easter Sunday 2017) to pay tribute to Ireland’s fallen martyrs and the revolutionary dead from all generations of the Irish National Liberation and working class struggles.

In particular recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the attempted neutralisation of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, pride of place was rightly given to the families of those INLA Volunteers who in 1987, gave their lives in defence of the IRSP and the primacy of revolutionary democracy.

Republican Socialist colour party salute the INLA martyrs of 1987.

Despite frivolous warnings from the PSNI/RUC a young Republican Socialist colour party emerged into large crowds congregated at Dunville Park on the Falls Road, before marching towards a small gathering of close family and comrades of INLA Volunteers; Tá Power, John O’Reilly, Mickey Kearney, Emmanuel Gargan and Kevin Barry Duffy, who had gathered with portraits of their loved ones.

Portraits of the '87 Martyrs are held by family members at the 2017 IRSP Easter Sunday procession.

The families of the ’87 Martyrs were then invited to form up at the immediate rear of the colour party, followed by wreath bearers representing the many families of INLA and IRSP fallen from all decades of the modern Republican Socialist movement.

A new appearance from the recently formed ‘Jemmy Hope Republican Socialist Flute Band’ Belfast, was met with enthusiasm from all in attendance, while columns of IRSM ex-Prisoners and veterans from around Ireland formed up at intervals, interspersed with other attending Republican Socialist and Republican Flute bands from around Ireland and beyond.

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Comrades from as far away as Sweden and France also joined in the procession which made its way up the Falls Road and into what can only be described as appallingly wet conditions and onto Belfast’s Milltown cemetery.

Upon entrance to Milltown it became apparent to all those in attendance that numbers had swelled to what may well have been record levels for a Belfast IRSM gathering, a fitting recognition of the determination of the ’87 Martyrs and all the INLA & IRSP fallen, who over the years imbued the wider Republican Socialist family with a spirit of eternal resolve and commitment to always bounce back, stronger than before.

Despite appalling conditions, flags are lowered at the home of IRSP founder, James Connolly

With proceedings chaired by Belfast IRSP activist John Nugent, this theme of resolve was touched upon by main speaker Michael McLaughlin from Strabane, who (in reference to the ’87 martyrs) reminded all those in attendance that ‘we stand upon their shoulders’.

Comrade McLaughlin then went on to touch upon the resounding political themes currently emanating from the Stormont establishment and mainstream nationalist politicians, reminding those in attendance of the ‘hard border at the door of all working-class families’.

Michael McLaughlin reads the main oration

He stated ‘This hard border already exists due to British and European Union austerity measures all over Ireland, an uncomfortable truth for some. A most dangerous yet subtle hard border than has ever existed, a hard border that unemployment, poverty, lack of opportunities, underemployment, fear of eviction creates, a hard border that exists at the front door of the majority of homes on this island.’

Confirming that the IRSP would get behind any progressive efforts to end partition, he continued however ‘A merging of two corrupt capitalist states into one corrupt capitalist state is not good enough, the struggle cannot stop there’.

Ex IRSM prisoner Jimmy McCafferty reads the INLA, IRSP & H'Block, roll of honour.

For Republican Socialist POW Jimmy McCafferty also gave what was a quite unique and personal rendition of the IRSP, INLA and H-Block roll of honour, paying attention to the individuals and how they died.

Comrade Canice Millen of the Republican Socialist Youth movement read out the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, while Comrades Danny Morrison (Derry IRSP) and Gerard Murray (Belfast IRSP) read out statements of solidarity from both the Republican Socialist Associations of North America and Republican Socialist Prisoners in Maghaberry and Portlaoise.

John Nugent (Belfast IRSP) chaired proceedings while the 1916 proclamation was read by Canice Millen

Wreaths were also laid on behalf of IRSP and INLA structures from across Ireland.

In what was a deeply moving and personal gesture, long term Belfast Republican Socialist activist Fra Halligan also read his own tribute to the fallen INLA martyrs of 1987, addressing both the personal loss of the families and friends of the fallen, but also the counter revolutionary dynamic which lay behind the events of that dark period, stating firmly that (contrary to media spin) what occurred was not factionalism in any form, but a premeditated attack upon the structured of Costello’s Irish Republican Socialist Movement, an attack which has had failed and which (should similar circumstances arise) would surely fail again.

Fra Halligan (Belfast IRSP) gives a deeply personal and moving tribute to the INLA martyrs of 1987

Fra Halligan (Belfast IRSP) gives a deeply personal and moving tribute to the INLA martyrs of 1987

Overall, Easter 2017 was a special occasion for the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, a living tribute and testimony to the spirit ideals and resolve of their fallen comrades and all of Ireland’s revolutionary dead.

Belfast IRSP activist John Kearny, proudly poses with family members and a portrait of his brother, INLA Vol Mickey Kearny.

A relative of INLA Volunteer Emmanuel Gargan rests at the Milltown Republican Socialist plot

Danny Morrison (Derry) reads statement on behalf of Republican Socialist prisoners.

Gerard Murray (Belfast) reads solidarity statements from comrades around the world

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Chris Hedges – Socialist, Presbyterian Minister, Anti-Imperialist & Pro Palestine Activist

Posted in Socialism, Solidaity, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

 

The Hezbollah – Lebanon’s Broad Front Resistance Movement

Posted in Anti-Zionism, Internationalism, Solidarity, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Forget Israeli, Brit, US and EU Imperialist propaganda – make up your own mind..

PSNI Are Playing With Fire

Posted in IRSP, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 4, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: IRSP NEWS

RSP Lower Falls Representative Michael Kelly is claiming that British Security forces risk bringing serious conflict onto the streets, following a number of high profile armed operations against its members in the city.

Over the past weeks and months, the IRSP have noted with increasing concern sustained assaults directed by the British security forces via the PSNI against its members, supporters and activists.

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Vicious and aggressive ‘stop and search’ operations against members on the roadside have been complimented by targeted and destructive house raids and arrests conducted by Balaclava-clad and heavily armed men who only this morning stormed with machine guns the family home of republican ex-prisoner and IRSP Ard Comhairle member Sean Carlin, dragging him from his bed as his frightened young children looked on. 

Some weeks ago the IRSP noted with real concern the comments of Stormont first minister Arlene Foster when she insinuated that republicans not belonging to state approved political parties here were facing a ‘fork in the road’ moment. If the recent targeted harassment of IRSP members represents this fork in the road, then the party fears that the political landscape may be facing a crisis unprecedented in decades.

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Michael Kelly continued by saying… “The Irish Republican Socialist Party has been in existence for over forty years, in that time we have never tolerated attacks on our membership from any quarter”. “This remains our principled position today; the British state and the PSNI are playing with fire”.

End of Statement.

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Source: IRSP News

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