January 27, 2011
Re-posted from Proud Labour.
David Kato’s death is a tragic loss to the human rights community. David had faced the increased threats to Ugandan LGBT people bravely and will be sorely missed. Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch
(Kampala) 27Jan2011 - Police in Uganda should urgently and impartially investigate the killing of the prominent human rights activist David Kato, Human Rights Watch said today. Kato had dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT) in Uganda, facing threats and risks to his personal safety.
The government should ensure that members of Uganda's LGBT community have adequate protection from violence and take prompt action against all threats or hate speech likely to incite violence, discrimination, or hostility toward them, Human Rights Watch said.
"David Kato's death is a tragic loss to the human rights community," said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "David had faced the increased threats to Ugandan LGBT people bravely and will be sorely missed."
Witnesses told police that a man entered Kato's home in Mukono at around 1 p.m. on January 26, 2011, hit him twice in the head and departed in a vehicle. Kato died on his way to Kawolo hospital. Police told Kato's lawyer that they had the registration number of the vehicle and were looking for it.
Kato was the advocacy officer for the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda. He had been a leading voice in the fight against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which has been before Uganda's parliament since October 15, 2009. While homosexual sex is already illegal in Uganda, the proposed law would criminalize all homosexuality, making it punishable by a fine and life imprisonment. "Repeat offenders" and those who are HIV positive would be subject to the death penalty. The bill would also oblige anyone with knowledge of someone who is or might be a homosexual to report that person to the police within 24 hours.
The bill has been widely condemned internationally, including by US President Barack Obama, who called the bill "odious." Kato had said the bill was "profoundly undemocratic and un-African."
The fight against the bill has also pushed Ugandan activists to the fore, raising concern for their privacy and safety. These deepened in late 2010 when a local tabloid called Rolling Stone, unconnected to the US magazine, published pictures, names, and residence locations of some members of the LGBT community, along with a headline saying, "Hang Them." Kato's photo appeared on the cover, and inside another photo appeared with his name.
Three activists, including Kato, eventually sued the publication and won on January 3. The judge ruled that the publication had violated their constitutional rights to privacy and ordered compensation. He also issued an injunction prohibiting any further publication of the identities and home locations of individuals labeled homosexuals.
"The Anti-Homosexuality bill has already generated hatred before it has even been enacted and it should immediately be withdrawn by its author," Burnett said. "President Yoweri Museveni should categorically reject the hate that lies behind this bill, and instead encourage tolerance of divergent views of sexuality and protect vulnerable minorities."
David Kato Was Fearless Voice for Human Rights JANUARY 27, 2011
The Tunisian people have won a splendid victory over the tyrant who fled the country in search of secure refuge. The Constitutional Council, which is none other than the work of Ben Ali, immediately announced that Fouad Mbazaa, President of the puppet Parliament, would take up the interim presidency pending the holding of new presidential elections within 45 to 60 days.
The Communist Party of the Workers of Tunisia (PCOT) welcomes this victory won by the people thanks to their will, their historic resistance, their sacrifices and the blood of the martyrs.
The PCOT states:
1. The victory won today is only partial; it will only be full with the attainment of the desired democratic change and its realization.
2. Democratic change cannot under any circumstances emanate from the same party, its symbols, institutions, apparatus and legislation, which maintained the dictatorship and deprived people of their basic rights for more than a half century, 23 years under the regime of Ben Ali.
3 Fouad Mbazaa, the interim president, is one of the arms of Ben Ali, the president of an institution imposed by Ben Ali that does not in any way represent the people. To set a period of 45-60 days for presidential elections seeks to ensure the continuity of the dictatorial regime through one of its ancient symbols.
4. The greatest danger today would be to rob the people of their victory, to deprive them of their sacrifice, of their legitimate ambitions for freedom and a dignified life through the maintenance of the Ben Ali regime under a new democratic facade.
5. Democratic change in all its political, economic, social and cultural dimensions demands an effective and immediate break with the tyrannical regime. This demands the formation of a provisional government or some other executive authority that will hold free elections for a constituent assembly, which is the basis for a genuine democratic Republic, where the people enjoy freedom, social justice and dignity.
6. The political, trade union, cultural, human rights forces and all our people must together draw up the future of Tunisia. Nobody can arrogate to themselves the right to negotiate with the regime on behalf of those forces who have played a determining role in bringing down the dictator.
7. It is urgent that the democratic forces involved on the ground form united national organs for a democratic change, whose prerogatives would to ensure the safeguarding of the gains of the people and demand the peaceful transfer of power to the people.
8. The totality of democratic forces throughout the country must organize in committees, commissions or councils at the levels of regions, localities and sectors, to organize the popular movement and confront the reactionary maneuvers, operations of looting and pillage that suspicious groups are carrying out in order to terrorize the citizens and scare them away from democratic change so that they put their fate in the hands of the repressive apparatus.
9. The army, consisting essentially of the children of the people, is called upon to ensure our safety and the security of the country. It must respect the choices of the people and their aspiration for freedom, dignity and social justice; this demands the rapid lifting of the state of emergency so that it cannot be a pretext to prevent the people from pursuing their legitimate struggle and achieving their ambitions.
* For a provisional government
* For a constituent assembly
* For a democratic republic
Communist Party of the Workers of Tunisia
Tunis, January 15, 2011
January 26, 2011
January 24, 2011 - 09:00
Your Public Post Office Delivers Campaign / Letter
Open Letter to the New President of Canada PostBelow is the copy for an advertisement that CUPW and PSAC published in the The Hill Times on January 24, 2011. The Hill Times is an independently-owned newsweekly based in Ottawa. It is published in English and covers parliamentary and government issues, such as appointments at Crown corporations.
On behalf of the 56,000 members of CUPW and PSAC working at Canada Post, we write to welcome you to your new position, and to outline the concerns of our members regarding our public postal service.
In recent years, we have seen dramatic cuts to service as senior managers have focused on commercial rather than public interest objectives. Post offices have been closed, red mailboxes have been removed from our streets and rural mailbox delivery has been taken away; all with very little in the way of notice or consultation.
Additional attacks on our public postal service will occur if management continues in this current direction. Canada Post is investing $2 billion in a modernization program that further threatens services and jobs. The corporation also plans on privatizing the National Philatelic and customer contact centres. These actions all run counter to our collective role in providing a quality public postal service.
CUPW and PSAC hope that you, as the new President, will take a less commercial and more socially responsible approach as you manage our public post office in the years to come.
We believe any roadmap for the future should include the following:
A management that understands that Canada Post is, first and foremost, a public service.
A respect for Canada Post’s legislated mandate to provide and improve postal service while being financially self-sustaining and ensuring good labour-management relations.
An end to the cuts and privatization, including the National Philatelic and customer contact centres. This could be done by sharing the benefits and cost savings of modernization with the public and postal workers.
A commitment to work with the federal government to dramatically improve government policy and expectations for Canada Post, as outlined in the Canadian Postal Service Charter. One month’s notice of a postal closure is neither sufficient nor responsive to the needs of communities.
We hope we can count on your support.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Public Service Alliance of Canada
January 25, 2011
20 years after the Gulf War
The importance of the struggle for peace, against imperialist exploitation and
Twenty years have elapsed since the beginning of the Gulf War. On January 17, 1991, the
armed forces of the USA, NATO and its allies unleashed - with the ratification of the
Security Council of the United Nations - their first large-scale war in the Middle East,
despite widespread anti war opposition in several countries .Being inseparable from the
profound and negative changes associated with the liquidation of Socialism in the Soviet
Union and in Eastern Europe, that war was a prelude to 20 years of large-scale
aggressions, invasions and imperialist interferences.
From the Gulf to Yugoslavia, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, imperialism
has tried to impose its domination in each country and over the globe, seeking to impose
the direct control of the world's main energy resources, to annihilate the peoples’
sovereign rights and to submit the entire planet to the exploitation and interests of the big
capital. This militarist and war-mongering offensive has been developed hand in hand with
the attacks against the workers’ and peoples' social, economic and political rights – even
in the centers of imperialism - and contributed to sharpen the contradictions among
Thanks to the peoples' resistance and struggle – first and foremost, that of the peoples
who were the victims of aggression – imperialism's offensive has faced obstacles and
suffered important setbacks. But the dangers for peace and the peoples have not
disappeared. On the contrary, capitalism's profound economic crisis, and the ruling
classes' powerlessness to overcome it, is leading – as in the past – to an attempt to
ensure their power through violence, authoritarianism, war and brutal offensives against
the workers’ and peoples' rights and living standards.
The threats of war and aggression are evident in the attacks against workers’ and peoples’
movements that struggle against imperialism, labeling it as an “internal enemy”; in the
recent NATO Summit and the new strategic concept of this militaristic and aggressive
imperialist organization– which the Lisbon Treaty considers its armed wing thus deepening
the process of affirming the European Union as an imperialist economic, political and
military block - ; in the constant imperialist threats of war, provocations and interferences
in numerous parts of the globe; in the increasing expenditure on military and security
The signatory Parties call upon the workers and peoples of the world to strengthen the
struggle for peace and against imperialism's plans of war and aggression, to strengthen
the struggle against capitalist exploitation and in defense of sovereignty and of the rights
of all peoples of the world. They stress that the struggle for peace, cooperation and
progress is an inseparable element of the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the
construction of socialism.
They express their solidarity with the peoples and to the national-liberation, revolutionary
and progressive anti-imperialist forces who are struggling against the imperialism's
aggressions, interferences and threats. In particular, they express their solidarity with the
communists and other anti-imperialist forces of the Middle East and especially with the
Palestinian people in their struggle for the right to establish an independent State of
Palestine in the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Vingt ans après la guerre du Golfe
L’importance de la lutte pour la paix, contre l’exploitation et l’oppression
Vingt ans se sont écoulés depuis le début de la guerre du Golfe. Le 17 janvier 1991,et
malgré la vaste lutte contre la guerre dans plusieurs pays, les forces armées des États-
Unis, de l’OTAN et de ses alliés déclenchaient – avec la ratification du Conseil de sécurité
des Nations unies – leur première guerre à grande échelle au Moyen-Orient. Indissociable
des changements profonds et négatifs qui sont allés de pair avec la liquidation du
socialisme en Union soviétique et dans l’Europe de l’Est, cette guerre a été un prélude à
vingt années d’agressions, d’invasions et d’ingérences impérialistes à grande échelle. Du
Golfe à la Yougoslavie, de l’Afghanistan à l’Irak, au Liban et à la Palestine, l’impérialisme a
tenté d’imposer sa domination dans chaque pays et dans le monde entier, cherchant ainsi
à s’assurer le contrôle direct des principales ressources énergétiques de la planète, à
annihiler les droits souverains des peuples et à soumettre la planète entière à
l’exploitation et aux intérêts du grand capital. Cette offensive militariste et belliciste s’est développée conjointement avec des attaques en règle contre les droits sociaux,
économiques et politiques des travailleurs et des peuples – même dans les centres mêmes
de l’impérialisme – et a contribué à accentuer les contradictions entre les puissances
Grâce à la résistance et à la lutte des peuples – et, avant tout, des peuples qui ont été les
victimes de l’agression –, l’offensive impérialiste a dû affronter des obstacles et a subi
d’importants revers. Mais les dangers pour la paix et pour les peuples n’ont pas disparu,
au contraire. La crise économique profonde du capitalisme et l’impuissance des classes
dirigeantes à la surmonter se traduisent – comme dans le passé – par une tentative
d’asseoir leur pouvoir par le biais de la violence, de l’autoritarisme, de la guerre et
d’offensives brutales contre les droits et niveaux de vie des travailleurs et des peuples.
Les menaces de guerre et d’agression sont évidentes dans les attaques contre les
mouvements ouvriers et populaires en lutte contre l’impérialisme, les qualifiant
d’« ennemis intérieurs ». Elles l’ont été aussi lors du récent sommet de l’OTAN et du
nouveau projet stratégique de cette organisation impérialiste militariste et agressive – que
le traité de Lisbonne considère comme son aile armée, approfondissant ainsi le processus
d’affirmation de l’Union européenne en tant que bloc économique, politique et militaire
impérialiste. Elles le sont également dans les incessantes menaces, provocations et
ingérences de l’impérialisme dans de nombreuses parties du monde. Et elles le sont enfin
au vu des dépenses sans cesse croissantes en appareils militaires et dispositifs
Les partis signataires appellent les travailleurs et les peuples du monde à renforcer le
combat pour la paix et contre les plans de guerre et d’agression de l’impérialisme, à
renforcer la lutte contre l’exploitation capitaliste et pour la défense de la souveraineté et
des droits de tous les peuples du monde. Ils insistent sur le fait que le combat pour la
paix, la coopération et le progrès est un élément indissociable de la lutte pour le
renversement du capitalisme et la construction du socialisme.
Ils expriment leur solidarité avec les peuples et envers les forces anti-impérialistes
révolutionnaires, progressistes et de libération nationale qui luttent contre les agressions,
ingérences et menaces de l’impérialisme. Ils expriment en particulier leur solidarité avec
les communistes et autres forces anti-impérialistes du Moyen-Orient et, plus spécialement,
du peuple palestinien dans sa lutte pour le droit d’instaurer un État palestinien
indépendant dans les frontières d’avant 1967, avec Jérusalem Est comme capitale.
1. Algerian Part for Democracy and Socialism
2. Communist Party of Bangladesh
3. Communist Party of Brazil
4. Worker's Party of Belgium
5. New Communist Party of Britain
6. Communist Party of Canada
7. AKEL, Cyprus
8. Communist Party in Denmark
9. Communist Party of Finland
10.Communist Party of Greece
11.New Communist Party of the Netherlands
12.Hungarian Communist Workers Party
13.Communist Party of India (Marxist)
14.Communist Party of Ireland
15.Workers Party of Ireland
16.Party of the Italian Communists
17.Workers' Party of Korea
18.Lebanese Communist Party
19. Communist Party of Luxembourg
20.Communist Party of Mexico
21.Communist Party of Norway
22.Palestinian Peoples Party
23.Peruan Communist Party
24.Communist Party of Philippines
25.Portuguese Communist Party
26.South African Communist Party
27.Communist Party of the Russian Federation
28.Communist Party of Spain
29.Party of the Communists Catalonia, Spain
30.Communist Party Peoples of Spain
31.Communist Party of Turkey
32.Communist Party of Venezuela
33.New Communist Party of Yugoslavia
January 23, 2011
What do you do with a nasty old Nazi? Let him stew in exile in South America or use him for the value he might still have?
The latter is what the secret services of post-war West Germany chose to do, according to Spiegel magazine.
The normally reliable news magazine reports that Klaus Barbie became an agent of the West German foreign intelligence agency when he was apparently in hiding in South America.
It has seen documents of the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND, and these papers reveal that the "Butcher of Lyon" was helping German intelligence with information about his South American country of hiding even as he was on the run.
Barbie risked life in prison or even the death penalty had he been caught because he had been in charge of the deportation of Jews and others to death camps, including the ordering of the deportation of children from an orphanage.
He was eventually captured and put on trial in France, but Spiegel reports that long before that he was sending reports to the BND about the politics of Bolivia where he had become something of a figure in society under the false name, Klaus Altmann.
SS war criminal Klaus Barbie arriving at court in Lyons (May 1987) Barbie had been living in Bolivia under the false name, Klaus Altmann
According to Spiegel, the BND recruited him in 1960 and was well aware of his true identity.
At least Barbie might have had a use, but how do you explain the similar case of Adolf Eichmann?
There is no evidence that this organiser of mass-murder became a post-war spy, but there is evidence that post-war German intelligence knew where he was - in Argentina - nearly a decade before Israeli intelligence captured him.
The German mass-circulation newspaper, Bild, petitioned the government in Berlin for files and these, once produced, showed that the BND located Eichmann in Argentina in 1952, eight years before he was kidnapped by agents from Mossad and taken to Israel where he was tried and hanged.
How do you explain the concealments? The harshest view is that post-war West Germany was not a complete break from its past.
Many people in post-war power had been Nazis who continued in official roles. The German foreign ministry, for example, has just published its official investigation and found that some diplomats did have a blood-stained past before 1945. And in this world, so the argument runs, sympathy for the Nazis meant precisely that.
According to this view, Germans tolerated Nazis because some post-war Germans were not repelled by their own country's past.
A more nuanced view is that as one war ended another one began and that the new battle was the one that had to be fought, and with whatever weapons - and personnel - were available.
With Germany defeated, the new threat to democracy was the Soviet Union so anybody who was useful in that fight was used, even if it was the Butcher of Lyon.
The United States used the rocket science developed to destroy British cities as the basis for its own space programme.
Operation Paper Clip was set up by the US intelligence agencies to make sure scientists went West and not East. And so they did, including Wernher von Braun who designed the V2 (aimed at London) and the Saturn V (aimed at the moon).
Wernher von Braun (L) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, 15th July 1959 The United States used Nazi rocket technology for its space programme
In her book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, Frances Stonor Saunders relates how even musical figures with a Nazi past (like the conductor Herbert von Karajan) were given an easy time for fear they would end up in the Russian sphere.
Many of the people involved are now dead and gone, from musicians who held party cards but who "merely" kept Berlin entertained to the active doers of genocide.
But revelation does still matter. Germany is still examining itself about what happened seven decades ago. There has been an outpouring of documentation, particularly since the fall of the Berlin Wall. And it is thought that Stasi files may yet reveal more details of the dark past of prominent figures.
So, the post-war accommodation of Nazis reaches down to us today. Some in the generation of 1968 justified their violence as a continued war against what they claimed to see as the continuation of the Nazi state because the Federal Republic had taken a soft-line on former Nazis other than the very highest echelons who were tried and executed.
Few take that view now and perhaps few did then. But there is a debate about when Germany might be able to become a "normal" state, one which remembers the horrors Germans perpetrated but which is not permanently damaged by the memory.
Towards that end, the flow of information about what really happened after the war and the debate it has prompted may be a sign of hope: Germany is facing up to its own ghosts.
This article is part of an seven-part series of short quotes Rebel Youth is issuing about class struggle, revolution, civil-war, and pa...
Letter of Condolences to the Victims of Natural Disaster in Japan World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) would like to express its...
Rebel Youth is looking for hitchhiking stories, and also experiences with the challenges faced by women, trans people, hitchhickers facing ...