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La Principessa's Guatemalan Anarcho-Syndicalist Playwright Friend just posted this on FB, which I thought was nice:
"Say what you will about Fidel, he was a true believer, and in a region of the world ruled by caudillos, his caudillo rule was far more beneficial and merciful than the butchers he fought against. Latin American reformism died during Guatemala's coup in 1954. Che was in the country during the CIA sponsored bloodshed and fled for Mexico, where he met Fidel. No competent revolutionary would attempt reformism after seeing how the Americans responded. The American founding fathers recognized that a nation constantly at war couldn't be free, and Cuba's perpetual conflict with the US was not of their choosing. You can't understand the Cuban Revolution without understanding the overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala and the effect it had on leftists, anti-racists and the poor of Latin America. Cuba has many problems, but it also has strengths and accomplishments beyond what other similar countries accomplished. May Cuba continue to improve, develop and maintain the anti-imperialist struggle."
To which he appended a short video about Fidel in South Africa.
Anyway, time to go back to work.
Well, I only gave them cigarettes, so there's that.
"Tankie" is a term that comes out of the Communist Party of Great Britain (or just Britain, I forget, Comrade Longears might know better) and refers to those western communists who, during the 1956 revolution in Hungary (and, later, the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia in 1968) supported the Soviet Union and called for "sending in the tanks."
In the case of PSL, and the group they came from, the Workers World Party, their progenitor, Sam Marcy, was the head of the Buffalo, NY branch of the then-Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party who split with said Trotskyists over the latter's defense of the Hungarian Revolution, so "tankie" still fits. Both groups, PSL and WW, are often called "Stalinists" by their detractors, but members of each one have confided to me that they are "internally Trotskyist."
Nowadays, it is used more figuratively. In the case of PSL, their opposition to US imperialism in Syria, for example, tends to bleed over into defense of the Assad regime and repeating Ba'athist talking points; glorification of Mao and Maoist China; they defended the post-Maoist Chinese regime during the Tiananmen incident; I'm sure there are more.
I never thought I'd be linking South Park.
Also, that voter turnout rate is abominable.
Lowell rally went pretty well, from what I hear. Young Gay Autistic Comrade's BF made his debut speech in front of a crowd of 200 and Mr. Comrade said it was great.
Afterwards, eighty or so peeps retired to Mill Number Five, Lowell's ground zero for hipster gentrification, and had a long meeting about what to do next. Mr. Comrade proposed a mass protest on Inauguration Day, as per the party line. Other proposals were also made and they were all dutifully listed on a easel. The facilitators then revived an old Occupy ranked voting with stickers system. When no one was looking, longtime (well, two years) fellow traveler, Lebanese-American Women Who Is Always Inebriated, gave the comrades extra strips of stickers and Mr. Comrade's proposal carried.
The system is rigged!
Don't know what's happening this week. Lots of overtime, I imagine. Will be the first year in a while that we didn't organize a Black Friday Wal-Mart picket, but I see that there are a few going on in the area. We'll see.
UNITE-HERE Local 26 victory party for the UML dining hall workers was pretty fun, the Lowell Queer Labor Mafia was out in force, had some plantains and other Dominican food, Professor Bob Forrant is always a pleasure, and the punk rock lass who made eyes at me at the UMass Feminist Club meeting shyly confessed that she had been trying to get my attention for half an hour before I said "Hello." Ended with a rousing rendition of "Solidarity Forever" even though most of the attendees didn't know the words/
On the way back to the car, we ran into Mr. Comrade's new girlfriend and her sister. Sister attached herself to me in what I thought was an attempt to give Mr. Comrade and his new girlfriend room to talk, but, later, when Mr. Comrade told his new girlfriend to apologize for his rudeness in not saying "hi" to the sister, new girlfriend replied that her sister hadn't said "hi" to him because she was distracted by me.
La Principessa better make up her mind soon.
Manchester "What Next?" wasn't exactly on fire, but we did turn out a few new faces.
Now I gotta go make flyers for the Lowell rally before I go to work.
--No time to comment on Bannon's alleged "Leninism," but I remember Karl Rove was alleged to be an admirer as well.
Finished The Black Jacobins. Excellent read, but I was a little underwhelmed given its reputation.
Also made some creeping progress in A Clash of Kings; Dany just got to Qarth.
Managed to get myself to Sugar Candy Mountain for this peak season, so that's a plus; although, thus far, I've only been able to get a few pages in each day.
I don't want to get dragged back into the Bernie debate, because I never supported him, but I seem to remember him getting red-baited by Team Hillary for his support for the Sandinistas (which, IIRC, wasn't that far left back in the days when the Democrats were passing the Boland Amendment to stop Reagan from funding the Contras) and his positive comments about Castro.
Anyway, article I haven't fully read yet--
but I was taken by one of the points: if a couple hundred thousand of those Hillary votes were spread throughout other states, we'd all (well, not me) be talking about how progressive and equality-minded the American electorate is.
In other news entirely, I recently discovered that Trump Supporting Teamster voted for Obama in '08 and was arrested with his father-in-law sometime in the late eighties/early nineties for punching a Klansman at a rally somewhere in the Massachusetts North Shore area.
There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, etc.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
It's less a slogan of communists (although, it is) and more of a slogan of the labor movement. For example, it's printed on my Teamsters membership card.
I don't know much about La Riva personally, but her Party of Socialism and Liberation is a pretty well-known quantity. Locally, they run the Mass Action Against Police Brutality coalition and their spokesman, with the awesome name (given or assumed, I'm not sure) of Nino Brown, worked with us at our anti-Trump rally in Lowell last January, as well as speaking at our mass anti-Trump rally in Boston last week.
Nationally, they have been prominent in the anti-Trump rallies, they were key organizers in the Akai Gurley case, and they are usually neck deep in any direct action against ICE and deporting undocumented workers.
They have a few "tankie" positions that I don't like, but, tbh, there are far worse groups one could join and they certainly teach their members how to organize.
Oh yeah, and Celebrity Leftist Heartthrob, Abby Martin, is dating one of their members. Here, she interviews La Riva: The Empire Files: Meet the Socialist Woman Running for President
Good news and bad news:
Bad news first: We abandoned our office at the end of October. There was significant water damage to the ceiling from an overflowing sink on the floor above and they never fixed it. Apparently, the landlord moved to Hawaii and after, two months, we bailed. Sorry to waste your money, Comrade Longears.
Good news: The dining hall workers at UMass Lowell, who used to meet in our office, won recognition of UNITE-HERE Local 26 as their bargaining-unit representative. Huzzah!
Victory party this Saturday and, then, onwards to the fight for a first contract!
Organize the unorganized!
Vive le Galt!!!
Yeah, I know. Have no idea why the What Next? thread was locked, but maybe I missed some deleted posts.
Anyway, I'm all for abolishing the electoral college and, while we're at it, the Senate. The presidency, too. Also, appointed Supreme Court justices. Elect that shiznit.
So, anti-Trump protests in New Hampshire were alright. About 100-150 people in Concord on Friday evening, no sizable right-wing presence; Manchester the following day was about 400-500 with heavily armed Oath Keepers, Soldiers of Odin, etc. In fact there were so many death threats on the FB event page that I can honestly say this was the first demonstration that I've been to with open-carrying liberals. (New Hampshire, baby!)
Won't go into it much, but, one thing that I noticed:
Despite the contigent of red flags and the delegation from New England Anti-Fascist Action, most of the protesters were young, well-heeled women. All of the right wing counterprotesters were scruffy-looking working class dudes with beards. Most of the protest marshals (including myself and Mr. Comrade) were scruffy-looking working class dudes with beards (we did have a few women and POC men, but the white beardos outnumbered them). There were a couple of times that the well-heeled liberal women taunted the scruffy-looking working class counterprotesters with cries such as "What are you going to do when Trump cuts off your food stamps?!?" or "Look at your shoes, are you on welfare?" or "You just want your factory jobs back!"
At one point, late in the demo, the crowd surged across the street and surrounded the counterprotesters. We quickly set up a cordon of marshals between the two groups. While we stood there keeping the liberals from the reactionaries, I turned around and noticed a comely young women staring at me with hate and screaming "MY BODY, MY CHOICE!" It took me a while to figure out that, based on my appearance, she assumed I was one of the Trumpers. "What the f@!%?!? I'm on your side!" I shouted, gesturing towards my arm band. She kept it up for awhile, until her friends noticed and started yelling in her ear. Then she got all red-faced, started mouthing "I'm sorry" over and over again and, I think, started to cry.
Gee, I can't understand why the Trumpers think the Democrats are a bunch of elitist snobs.
Anyway, after the demo, we were invited to join a host of newly-sprung up NH groups ranging from LoveTrumpsHate New Hampshire to the John Brown Militia*. Mr. Comrade's got two contact sessions while I go to work, and the entire New Hampshire left thinks we're the shiznit.
Anyway, as a good anti-accelerationist, I used to pooh-pooh the argument that a Trump election would be better for the Far Left. I guess I still do, but I admit I underestimated how many new layers would be propelled into action. Hope we're up to the challenge.
Rather successful mini-wave of anti-Trump protests we just pulled off on The Day After. Boston's was pretty big. Made me feel a little better.
It may be too early to tell just yet, but it looks like at least one campaign I worked on this season succeeded.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Made a similar post on Facebook and Trump Supporting Teamster saw it. He made some comment, I drove him off my page with some clever insults that made me feel pretty smug, like I got one over on him. Got to work and he sees me and starts gesticulating wildly and pointing at me. I go over to see what's up and, as I approach, he points at me and yells "Get him!"
Whirling around to see what terrible Trump thug ambush he had prepared, I was surprised to see Sanders-voting Female Teamster behind me. What nefarious treachery be this?
"Get him!" TST repeated.
"Is it true? That you wouldn't drive your father to the polls? That's terrible..."
"But, but, it's right down the street!"
"...I can't believe you wouldn't do that..."
"You know, my father can drive, he has a truck..."
"And him with his diabetes and his stroke last year, I'm so disappointed..."
"Walking is supposed to good for him."
(TST is in the background laughing uproariously)
"And your mother" ("Your poor mother!") "She asked you to take him, and you couldn't do that for her?"
Finally, I realized that I couldn't escape the public guilt-trip and, like a presidential candidate, tried to pivot.
"Look, [Female Teamster,] he was going to vote Trump."
"I know, but who are you" [accusatory finger to chest] ("Haw haw haw!") "To take away, to rob him of his rights as an American citizen?"
"You're right, [Female Teamster], what can I say? It's been that kind of election. It's turned brother against brother, father against son."
"Yeah, it's been a bad one."
"Might be a civil war before it's all through."
TST: "I hope your father shoots rock salt in your commie ass!"
Comrade Who Was Published in Jacobin posted his ballot online:
Write-in for the Soltysik/Walker campaign, write-ins for local activists down ballot (he voted for me for Executive Council, although I objected that that's some royalist holdover nonsense) and a final write-in at the bottom for Thomas Carcetti.
I expelled him for voting for a Democrat, no matter how fictional.
Hey, it's less than a ten minute walk down the street. Not my fault he's to busy fixing his shotgun shell reloader.
Oh, and he just took off his pants.
Sister Wallace is a Facebook Friend. She posts all day about workers revolution and being black and nerdy. Also, some animal videos.
I'm glad we can finally agree on something, Comrade Pravda.
Conservative Anklebiter wrote:
No, "Comrade" is like "Mr." or "Citizen". I want to say it's a title, but I'm pretty exhausted. Not sure if that's the right word.
Hey Comrade Fergie, you might recall mention of Adolph Reed, the guy who quipped that identity politics is the left wing of neoliberalism.
He wrote an article that was being passed around by the Facebook Far Left. I don't agree with its conclusion, obviously, but I have to admit that I appreciate his honesty.
What are the other ways the former Secretary of State, Senator from Wall Street, most hawkish member of Obama's cabinet who is running on "America Is Already Great" doesn't represent the status quo?
I'll be back, Citizen Lion, to answer your super serious questions later. 'Tis already the season for UPS overtime.
Favoriting for Standing Rock fundraising links and for fundraising links alone.
IIRC, I was 15 when he was first elected president and it wasn't too long thereafter that I started peddling socialist newspapers with articles against his crime bill, welfare reform, NAFTA (no nationalist protectionists us, we denounced it as the "free trade rape of Mexico;" I know, I know, metaphoric use of the word "rape" is frowned upon on these boards, but that's what the papers I was peddling called it), "don't ask, don't tell," etc., etc. I've hated, despised and demonized Slick Willie my whole adult life.
What I have found interesting, however, is how this whole election cycle has made me soft on Obama. I mean, for example, if we were to go back to the 2012 election threads or round thereabouts anyway, you would find me going on about, say, the 2009 coup in Honduras, castigating Obama up and down and nary a word about Hillary. These days, I'll be watching, say, that video where he shares a cigarette with Boener and catch myself thinking "You know, he's pretty likable for a stooge of the plutocracy."
Tales from the Shopfloor
Trump Supporting Teamster and I got into it the other day about Hillary and Israel. TST went on and on about how she was friends with Saudi Arabia and other Islamic theocracies, but was an enemy of "the Jew." I said I was pretty sure the latter part was completely false and cited her speech to AIPAC earlier this year.
Anyway, I clock in this morning and am sitting in the break room when TST says "Hey, I did some research last night" (uh-oh) and started rambling about something, I'm not sure what actually, I think it had to do with calling for Israel to stop building illegal settlements. Anyway, we started arguing about Israel ("Now there's a people who understand the importance of building a wall!") and I trotted out my usual anti-Zionist talking points. He got louder and louder and then demanded to know why I hated Jews.
"Are you f~$+ing kidding me?!?" I replied. "I refuse to listen to accusations of anti-Semitism from a guy who calls the boss 'Wesley Coulliard-steen' every time he cuts our hours!" I wish I could report that that shut him up, but actually it just made him break out laughing and then he changed the subject.
Afterwards, I remembered that Trump was busted tweeting a picture of Crooked Hillary in a Star of David, or whatever it was, and wondered why I even talk to TST. (Oh yeah, because despite his retrograde politics and Archie Bunker-demeanor, he's smart and funny.)
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Yeah, I think he knew that.
Also, we already went over this: Nader took his votes, at least in Florida, equally from Gore and Bush and most of them claimed to be former Perot voters.
I'm impressed, Dicey.
Also, the last bunch of posts reminded me:
While holding aloft my "Stop Police Brutality" sign outside of the Radisson, intermingled with the Hillary staffers, we were all approached by three Trump supporters. One of them was pretty confrontational, standing in front of the Hillary staffers, insulting them, asking them where they went to school, etc., etc.
When he got to us, he looked at my sign and said, "You're protesting, huh? You voting for Trump?" I screwed up my face and said "F%~+ no!" but before we could get into it, one of the NH Green Party members piped up about Jill Stein.
The Trumper turned his attention to them, and I didn't pay much attention to what they were talking about, but I did hear the Trumper get disgusted and loudly exclaim: "A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Hillary!"
Third party candidates get it from all sides, I guess.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Huh. While I wasn't looking the New Hampshire Green Party went and changed tomorrow's protest outside the Dem's Clinton/Kennedy dinner (changed earlier this autumn from the "Jefferson/Jackson dinner") from a Jill Stein demo into a Solidarity with Standing Rock demo.
Didn't realize until I got there that Chelsea was speaking.
When we lined up in front of the Radisson with our various signs against pipelines and plutocracy, they sent staffers out with giant signs. We called the other half of the demo that was in front of the parking garage to come over and they sent out even more staffers.
I have to give it to the staffers: They were much better dressed than us. And hawt. Conferred with my male gay comrades and they confirmed that the male staffers were pretty hawt, too, although, Young Gay Autistic Comrade commented that he wouldn't touch them with a seven-and-a-half inch penis.
I thought that was odd, but he is odd often.
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
And La Principessa's Single Mother Comrade just headed out there earlier this week.
sez the title of the page. I tend to agree.