Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wales: March 1st St Davids Day - The Land of My Fathers Reclaimed by Nickglais

Between  1893 and 1894 Post Offices throughout Wales carried notices of a Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire, inviting people to attend public meetings with the purpose of taking evidence about the problems of Land tenure in Wales.

In all, Wales was to witness eighty such meetings with an additional nineteen meetings in London making for a total of ninety nine meetings to take evidence of tenants, landlords, the churches and other interested organisations.

The background to the Royal Commission was the activity of the Welsh Land League and Cymru Fydd and Gladstone's discussion of Home Rule all Around for Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

New disturbances erupted in the 1880s in Wales caused by tenant farmers and labourers being charged high rents by the landowners. The Welsh Land League that resulted in 1886 from this crisis approached the Welsh Land problem in a throughly constitutional way.

Whilst the problem of Land Tenure was central to the Royal Commission, there was also a tithe question in Wales where tenants were forced to pay tithes to the Anglican Church of Wales even if they were Non Conformists. The Welsh Land League was also active concerning the tithe problem and the issue was not finally resolved by legislation until the 1920's.

Whereas Ireland was to see a series of Land Acts effectively turning 10,000 large estates into 400,000 Irish owned farms overturning the Landlord tenant relationship.

The Royal Commission on Land for Wales and Monmouthshire concluded that the landord tenant relationship was the most "appropriate" for the Welsh.

The Royal Commission Report was a victory for the Landlords who were seen a "benevolent", despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

There was to be no buying out of the Landlords like in Ireland, but the Commission concluded that if some Welsh tenants were alreading buying their land then maybe assistance should be provided, however it was only retrospective and was not a future policy to be endorsed by the Commission.

Historians have interpreted the differences in the final Royal Commission Report between a majority report and a minority report has being the reason for the abandonment of a Welsh Land Act.

While the minority report was full blown Landlordism the majority report while acknowledging problems with Land Agents, compensation for improvements etc was only a more watered down version of Landlordism that we would expect from Liberals rather than Tories.

The fact that nothing happened and the Welsh Land Act was dead by 1900 shows that the constitutional approach to these matters did not work.

Lloyd George was consciously or unconsciously being absorbed by the interests of the British State, despite his flirtation with the Boers and despite his rhetoric against landords he was well on his way to becoming a servant of the British State.

Irish Land was going to be returned to the Irish people but Welsh Land was not going to be returned to the Welsh people.

One of the most deeply hidden secrets of the Victorian period was the massive expansion of Royal ownership of Land including Welsh Land enabled by an Act of 1862 which lifted restrictions on the Monarch's ownership of Land.

Since the Glorious Revolution and the placing of William of Orange on the throne through to the reign of William IV the monarchy was restricted by the rising bourgeoisie and landlords from owning more land has this was seen has a source of Royal social power and the bourgeoisie and the landlords wanted a tame symbolic monarchy.

Queen Victoria changed that, when she came to the throne, there were forty Lords owning more Land than her and she set about acquiring Land by any means necessary to restore the social power and prestige of the monarchy.

The Act of 1862 was a enabling mechanism for the monarchy to achieve real social power. A wide variety of vehicles were set in motion to achieve an  increase in Royal power, the Crown Estate, The Duchy of Cornwall and The Duchy of Lancaster.

I have estimated that Royal Lands from approximately 316,000 acres in Victorian Times approach 677,000 acres today. I would stress this is probably an underestimate has the Monarchy goes to great length's to hide it's extensive Land ownership including in Wales.

Needless to say the Monarchy has increased its Land ownership in Wales in the 20th Century.

Leaving aside the English Conquest of Wales in 1282 and The Tudor robbery of Welsh Lands one of the most invidious acts of expropriation of Welsh Land occurred between 1795 and 1874 aided and abetted by Welsh Landlords and Gentry collaborators in the Tudor Taff tradition, the real English lickspitals in Wales.This was accumulation by dispossession of the Welsh people.

Between 1795 and 1874 some 1,696,827 acres of Welsh Land belonging to the common people out of a total Welsh acreage of 5,121,013 was enclosed, deprived of community land for survival people many were driven into the industrial valleys for work, survival for ordinary folk in the nineteenth century Wales on the land was extremely hard and it looked to some with the Royal Commssion on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire in 1893 and 1894 that  help was at hand.

However hopes were dashed and the Welsh were betrayed by their erstwhile petty bourgeoise leaders who where more interested in the British State than the state of Wales.

Of course Lloyd George never failed to employ anti Landlord rhetoric when it suited him, but Wales was not going to be like Ireland or France with a large independent farming class owning its own land, the British State had decided that.

Kevin Cahill has pointed out in  "Who Owns Britain"  Wales remains a country with a small percentage of its people owning land. This of course also has implications for affordable housing has land is a key element in building new homes.

In 2012 the fallen banner of 1896 was picked up by Cymrwch Y Tir Yn Ol  and the struggle for a new Welsh Land Act is underway  and a campaign has been launched for the return of our stolen land and an electronic petition is circulating calling for the return of Royal and Aristocratic Lands in Wales to the people. Sign Here :

We are not calling for the redistribution of Welsh Land to Welsh tenant farmers like in Ireland but for the redistribution of Welsh Land to the people, the re-creation of Welsh common land that our fathers lost, like the one million acres lost between 1795 - 1874.

We support  new land vehicles like community Land Trusts, priority right to buy Land by Welsh communities similar to the Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003. Although the Scottish Land Reform Act is far to limited.

We should set ourselves the task of recovering one million acres of Welsh Land for the community land trusts and other community land owning vehicles over the coming  years.

The Great Unrest Group for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party has set up a Welsh Land Commission for ongoing research into the Welsh Land Question and we appeal to you on St David's Day,our national day, to reclaim the Land of Our Fathers.

If the Land of your Fathers is dear to you it is time do something about it apart from singing - challenge people to sign the petition.


The Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire 1896.

Who Owns Britain by Kevin Cahill

Ken Morgan - Modern Wales

See Also:

For those on the Left who attack me for defending Welsh National Rights here is my quick guide to Marxism for you - has it is never to late to learn.

WELSH SONG -  Bod yn Rhydd - Dafydd Iwan

Kevin Rashid Johnson and Oregon's Isolation Torture Unit


This is an update about Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, a prisoner activist and intellectual who is currently in a dire situation in Snake River Correctional Institution in Oregon.

As was reported last week, Rashid has been in the midst of a health crisis for almost a month now, which has included periods of severe disorientation. For a time he was refusing to eat or drink; as far as our most recent information if concerned, he is currently accepting liquids but still not eating.

Rashid has spent most of his adult life in prison, and almost all of that time has been spent in various isolation units. This is a direct consequence of his actively resisting abuse from prison guards and their lackeys in the 1990s, and to his continued political writing and exposing conditions in America's carceral nightmare ever since. A New Afrikan Communist and the founder and Minister of Defense of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter, Rashid is also a longtime mentor to several activists (and, through his writings, other prisoners) in Virginia, and in recent years has gained national attention as the result of the publication of his book Defying the Tomb, and the use of his artwork in numerous progressive publications. Most notably, Rashid is the artist who designed the drawing used as an emblem during the historic 2011 California prisoners' hunger strikes, in which over 12,000 participated.

Rashid is a Virginia State prisoner, yet in 2012 the situation at Red Onion State Prison (where he had been held in solitary for years) escalated, with certain guards singling him out for abuse. In one harrowing incident, he was beaten while in handcuffs, which left him with a dislocated shoulder several of his dreadlocks torn out from the roots (as reported here). This attack came shortly after he wrote an article exposing a pain-compliance technique used at Red Onion which involved twisting prisoners' fingers back, leading in some cases to broken bones. Subsequent to this assault, he was transferred to Wallens Ridge prison where he was informed by guards that he "would not leave the prison walking" (as reported here).

It was following exposure of this set-up, and numerous phone calls and petitions from outside supporters, that Rashid was transferred across the country, to Oregon. This transfer was possible due to an American practice of some States agreeing to imprison people from other States, essentially renting out their prison cells for one another. Upon his arrival in Oregon, Rashid was placed in general population - the first time in almost twenty years that he had not been in solitary confinement. Nevertheless, after just a few months, his work educating other prisoners in revolutionary theory and the principles of solidarity led to his being transferred to Snake River's Intensive Management Unit, a prison within a prison on the border with Idaho in Oregon's remote south-east corner.

Outside supporters do not know the precise details that led to Rashid's current health crisis, periods of disorientation, and refusal to eat food. However, we have no doubts about the general circumstances that led to this situation. Rashid is one of roughly one hundred thousand prisoners in the United States being held in isolation, or solitary confinement. He is also one of a much smaller number who has spent decades of his life in such conditions. This despite the fact that studies have shown that “There is not a single published study of solitary or supermax-like confinement in which nonvoluntary confinement lasting for longer than 10 days, where participants were unable to terminate their isolation at will, that failed to result in negative psychological effects. The damaging effects ranged in severity and included such clinically significant symptoms as hypertension, uncontrollable anger, hallucinations, emotional breakdowns, chronic depression, and suicidal thoughts and behavior.” (Craig Haney, University of California at Santa Cruz)

In the words of Chad Landrum, a communist prisoner in California's notorious Pelican Bay SHU:
Social intercourse with others is a necessity to feed, clothe, shelter, and procreate, in order to perpetuate our species. Seeking out the company of others is a genetic drive programmed within our DNA, and in the process of social intercourse, our personalities as distinct individuals is shaped and molded, giving us our identities. To socially isolate and deprive us of social contact is to dehumanize us and destroy our identity as distinct personalities. A life of both social isolation and sensory deprivation is an unnatural state of existence artificially imposed upon a essentially social animal. Such conditions of social isolation amounts to nothing less that “social-extermination”—keeping us alive biologically as living, breathing, empty vessels, devoid of all social content—a socially engineered lobotomy. (Chad Landrum, "The Final Hour")

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Claudia Jones: African-Caribbean Communist defied racism, sexism and class oppression by Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan-African News Wire

Claudia Jones, Paul Robeson, Amy A. Garvey with friends in London, web
Claudia Jones stands beside Paul Robeson and Amy Garvey with friends in London. At Claudia’s funeral, Paul Robeson’s statement on her life was read: “It was a great privilege to have known Claudia Jones. She was a vigorous and courageous leader ... and was very active in the work for the unity of white and colored peoples and for dignity and equality, especially for the Negro people and for women.”

Professor Carole Boyce Davies of Cornell University has continued her unearthing of the life and political legacy of Claudia Vera Jones (1915-1964), a leading figure in the Communist and Black liberation movements between the 1930s and 1960s. Following her previous work entitled “Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones” (2008), this book “Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment” (2011), is a collection of writings by Jones herself which reveal why her impact was so profound during the period between the Great Depression and the awakening movements of the 1950s and 1960s.
The first book by Davies was more of a literary critique of Jones’ work combined with analyses of the way in which her journalism and organizing has been largely ignored by the established left and African American scholarship on the history of the struggle for a synthesis of the convergence of national oppression, gender discrimination and class struggle. This book allows Jones to more fully speak for herself over a period of three decades from the Caribbean to the United States and finally Britain.

Malcolm X holding West Indian Gazette, Claudia Jones on cover 1964
In her short time in the U.K., from 1955 to 1964, Claudia Jones labored tirelessly on issues of injustice in the community of Black Britons, establishing the newspaper West Indian Gazette and also organizing a world-renowned festival of Caribbean culture and arts that is still celebrated today, Notting Hill Carnival. Malcolm X holds the issue of the West Indian Gazette announcing her death. A year later, on Feb. 21, 1965, he was assassinated.
Jones was born Claudia Cumberbatch in1915 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, which was then a British colony. Although she came from a stable family, the economic crisis which hit the island during the 1920s prompted them to immigrate to New York City in 1922. Her mother worked in a garment factory after arriving in the U.S. but died in 1927.
A brilliant student, Jones would later join the campaign to save and free the Scottsboro Nine, who were falsely accused of raping two white women in Alabama. The young African American men faced the death penalty and had it not been for the efforts of the Communist Party and later the NAACP, they would have been executed.
Although Jones was highly accomplished academically, during the 1930s opportunities were extremely limited for African-Caribbean immigrant women. Instead of attending college or university, she took on menial jobs in laundries, factories and retail outlets in New York.
She would also become active in cultural affairs through a drama group organized by the National Urban League. Later she would begin to write a column entitled “Claudia Comments” for a Harlem publication.
In 1932, at the age of 17, she contracted tuberculosis, which damaged her health for the remainder of her life. Nonetheless, after her involvement with the Scottsboro Nine case, she became deeply involved with left politics and joined the Young Communist League (YCL) in 1936.

Claudia Jones' grave next to Karl Marx Highgate Cemetary, London, courtesy Pete Roberts
When Claudia Jones died at age 49 on Christmas Eve 1964, she was laid to rest next to the grave of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery with the words, “Valiant fighter against racism and imperialism who dedicated her life to the progress of socialism and the liberation of her own Black people.”
“I was like millions of Negro people and white progressives and people stirred by this heinous frame-up,” she explained in “We Seek Full Equality for Women” in 1949. “I was impressed by the Communist speakers who explained the reasons for this brutal crime against young Negro boys, and who related the Scottsboro case to the struggle of the Ethiopian people against fascism and Mussolini’s invasion. Friends of mine who were Communists began to have frequent discussions with me.
“I joined the party in February 1936 and was assigned to work in the Young Communist League shortly after. My first assignment was secretary of the YCL executive committee in Harlem and it was about this time, I got a job in the Business Dept. of the Daily Worker. This job coincided with my application for a $150 a week job in the field of dramatics with the Federal Theatre Project under WPA. I took the job at the Worker for $12–15 a week instead.”
Jones became an organizer in Harlem, where she engaged in mass work through the National Negro Congress (NNC) and the Southern Negro Youth Congress (SNYC).
Her talent and dedication would result in a meteoric rise within the ranks of the party. By the early 1940s, Jones would serve on the National Council of the YCL, directing its educational division. She sat on the editorial board of the Weekly Review and in 1943 she took control of Spotlight, the monthly magazine of the American Youth for Democracy.
Jones would become heavily involved as an organizer of youth, civil rights and religious groups as well as immigrant rights committees. In 1945, she was appointed “Negro Affairs” editor of the Daily Worker and became the youngest staff member. During the same year she was appointed to the National Negro Commission and the party’s National Committee.

Martin Luther King, Claudia Jones

When Claudia Jones died, condolences came from throughout the world and from those who knew her, including Paul and Eslanda Robeson and Martin Luther King Jr.

In a report to the Communist Party national convention in 1950, she stressed the need to “demonstrate that the economic, political and social demands of Negro women are not just ordinary demands, but special demands, flowing from special discrimination facing Negro women as women, as workers and as Negroes.”
“Historically,” Jones wrote in 1950, “the Negro woman has been the guardian, the protector, of the Negro family. From the days of the slave traders down to the present, the Negro woman has had the responsibility of caring for the needs of the family, of militantly shielding it from the blows of Jim Crow insults, of rearing children in an atmosphere of lynch terror, segregation and police brutality and of fighting for an education for the children.
“The intensified oppression of the Negro people, which has been a hallmark of the postwar reactionary offensive, cannot therefore but lead to an acceleration of the militancy of the Negro woman. As a mother, as Negro and as worker, the Negro woman fights against the wiping out of the Negro family, against the Jim Crow ghetto existence which destroys the health, morale and the very life of millions of her sisters, brothers and children.”

Repression, detention and deportation

Jones’ organizing work brought her to the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In searching for background information on the young activist, government agents eventually discovered that she had applied for and been denied permanent residency and citizenship.

Claudia Jones stamp UK
In October 2008, Britain's Royal Mail commemorated Claudia Jones with a special postage stamp. She is named on the list of 100 Great Black Britons.
In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. government began an intense campaign against the left. Thousands of people were harassed, vilified and arrested, forcing many into seclusion, exile and deportation.
During this wave of repression, Jones was arrested on immigration charges in 1948. She was held at the notorious Ellis Island detention facility while a campaign was launched which halted her deportation at the time. She was represented by an African American lawyer from Detroit, George Crockett Jr., who would later become a judge and U.S. Congress member.
Eventually in 1951, she was charged with violating the Smith Act, which outlawed the “advocacy” of overthrowing the U.S. government. She was indicted along with other leading Communists, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Simon Gerson, James E. Jackson and others.
She remained free while the case was under appeal. However, in 1955 her appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court and she was sent to federal prison in Virginia, where she suffered a heart attack. Later in October 1955 she was released after a national campaign but was forced to leave the U.S. to live in Britain.
'Claudia Jones Beyond Containment' coverHer years in Britain were heavily centered on the fight against racism. She would publish the West Indian Gazette and initiate the Caribbean Carnival in London.
Jones traveled to the Soviet Union and China during the early 1960s. However, the conditions under which she lived in the U.S. when she had tuberculosis as a youth and the later heart attack in federal prison compromised her health in later years.
In December 1964, Claudia Jones passed away in Britain and was buried in Highgate Cemetery near Karl Marx. Her life contributions are becoming more well known in the current period.
This book makes a tremendous contribution to the literature on left, feminist and Pan-African struggles during the 20th century. A new generation of activists and organizers will benefit immensely from Jones’ writings on the most pressing and burning issues of the period.
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, wherethis story first appeared, can be reached Pan-African News Wire, the world’s only international daily pan-African news source, is designed to foster intelligent discussion on the affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world. Bay View staff contributed to this story.


Oregon Prisoners Driven to Suicide by Torture in Solitary Confinement Units


Dear friends of Rashid,

This essay was written by Rashid in November or early December 2012. It was transcribed in mid-December, after which (as per our usual procedure) Rashid was sent a hard copy for final edits, corrections, etc. It was sent it to him more than once and we now believe that he never received it because he usually responds quickly with his final edits, but not with this essay. Therefore, we are now publishing it anyway (without any final corrections he would have made) because it throws a lot of light on the context in which Rashid’s recent crisis has occurred. This should be circulated far and wide.

Oregon Prisoners Driven to Suicide by Torture in Solitary Confinement Units

By Kevin Rashid Johnson


I am not one prone to fits of temper. But a few days ago I almost lost it. My outrage was prompted by witnessing the steady deterioration of another prisoner, resulting from particularly acute mental torture inflicted in Oregon’s Disciplinary Segregation Units (DSU), which duplicate almost exactly conditions of torture practiced at Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, that were outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1800s. [1]

The prisoner, who’d been housed in a suicide precaution cell next to me in the DSU of Oregon’s, Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), went into an immediate depressed state upon being put into the DSU. Initially, he talked a little. Then abruptly withdrew. He stopped eating, to which the guards were unanimously indifferent. Several taunted him, “if you don’t eat it I will.” He then stuffed toilet paper and the cell’s mattress into the cracks around the edges of the door, apparently to seal off all outside sound and “barricade” himself in.

He blacked out the camera in the cell, and began talking to himself. He sat catatonic in the corner of the cell and naked for days on end. He was confronted only twice by mental health staff who indifferently left his cell when he wasn’t responsive to their half-hearted attempts to talk.

Only after I verbally protested the blatant apathy of mental health and medical staff to his condition, which was obviously due to their collaborating in his mental torture, was a nurse brought to the cell to physically examine him. Whereupon his blood pressure was found extremely low and both the nurse and accompanying guard expressed his mouth and skin showed obvious symptoms of severe dehydration – in addition to not eating, he’d also apparently not been drinking water for several days, although he was supposedly in a “monitored” cell.

The nurse had him immediately taken out of the unit, likely to the medical department since he didn’t return. The next day I was moved to another unit as well. That was on November 14th.

A High Tide of Suicide

I never learned his full name. The guards and other officials called him only “Acosta” (presumably his last name). In the DSU where we were confined together, there are six suicide precaution cells. I was housed next to one of them.

These precaution cells have in-cell video cameras and prisoners confined to them are generally given only a blue nylon smock-like garment to wear, a nylon blanket, and a mattress. Throughout my DSU assignment at SRCI these cells were always occupied and a constantly changing rotation of prisoners were kept on watch as a result of suicide attempts and ideations.

In 22 years of imprisonment, I have never seen such a consistently high and continuous series of suicide cases, which I immediately recognized to result from the extreme sensory deprivation of DSU housing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hands Off Wales by Wyn Thomas reviewed by Nickglais

"There are few in Wales today who believe there is any place in modern Welsh Life for a similar campaign of militant activism. It belongs to history. It belongs to the 1960's"

page 380 Hands Off Wales by Wyn Thomas

The view expressed by Wyn Thomas is that the Militant Welsh Nationalism of the 1960's is now part of history and should not be emulated in the 21st Century.

What  however is clear to Wyn Thomas is that the record of Welsh Militancy in the 1960's was being airbrushed from history.

There was a reluctance in academia to give the subject of Welsh Militant Nationalism in the 1960's due respect. It was not going to advance anyone's academic career.

Therefore the production of what is a academic history of the militant action of Free Wales Army and Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru is welcome even if we do not share the political views of Wyn Thomas as to the inapplicability of militant direct action in 21st Century Wales.

The central role of Tryweryn in the resurgence of Welsh Nationalism is examined in detail in the book, I do not wish to underestimate the role of Tryweryn in the development of national consciousness in Wales, personally the Aberfan tradgedy played a bigger role in the development of my Welsh identity and for many in the Industrial valleys.

Wyn Thomas's observation that the Free Wales Army in Welsh History is similar to that of Iolo Morganwg rings true,first being treated as a mad aberration by the establishment but later has being afforded a modicum of respect for its propaganda in matters Welsh by the people


The Free Wales Army was more a propaganda machine than an army and its best propagandist was undoubtably Gethin Ap Gruffydd who also utilised his skills in the Patriotic Front.

The Free Wales Army which had an eclectic nationalist ideology was correctly sized up by John Jenkins of Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru who is quoted in Wyn Thomas's Hands Off Wales  book has saying :

"He did not trust them futher than he could throw them only Glyn Rowlands and Gethin ap Gruffydd had impressed him as being more or less possessed of the necessary attributes required for militant activism"

Hands off Wales - Page 220

The treatment of the Movement for the Defence of Wales, Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru in the book is quite rigourous and respectful and clearly John Jenkins the Secretary General of Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru organised a clandestine movement that any anti imperialist movement anywhere in the world would be proud of.

After reading this book you cannot be left in any doubt about the integrity of John Jenkins.
During the Investiture of Charles Windsor Prince of Wales in 1969 , MAC had the British State on tenderhooks and was its high point of the organisations effectiveness.

The fact that only two cells of Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru were ever exposed means that despite the arrest of its leader the organisation remained intact.

This book reminds us of the importance of history - especially when Welsh People fight back - a period that the powers that be, try to constantly erase.

Thirty years before the 1960's.

In 1935 Wales saw militant resistance against  national assistance cuts resulting in the so called Blaina "Riots" when 200 people were injured by the police and dozens arrested - this struggle was led by Welsh Communists but has been erased from history with no academic study to record its presence for the future, the FWA and MAC thank goodness have not suffered the same fate.

However be it 1935 or 1965 when Welsh Resistance was militant, it was basically successful contrary to our moral preaching inferiors, the Quisling collaborators of the British State.

1935 opened the long road to the Welfare State, Aneurin Bevan one of the architects of the Welfare State sat in on the trial of The Blaina "Rioters" in Monmouth to demonstrate his solidarity with them.

1965 and Trywerwyn and the investiture of Charles Windsor as Prince of Wales led to a resurgent militant nationalism, that was to underpin the revival of Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Language.

If there is a message from Wyn Thomas's book it is not the one he leaves us with on the last page of his book that militancy is past.

I venture to propose that we are on the verge of a new militancy in Wales that will combine the Resistance to Welfare Cuts - the struggle of 1935 with the struggle of 1965 a resurgent National Struggle.

The integration of the struggle for national and social liberation is the need of the hour in Wales.

We need to create full spectrum resistance to the British State with its austerity and neo-liberalism that is destroying not only the Land of Our Fathers but reducing us to economic servitude.

We must never allow the British State to utilise the Left against the democratic aspirations of the Welsh Nation like in the 1960's anymore than we should allow petty bourgeois cultural nationalism to dominate the national movement and turn Welsh democratic aspirations into a cultural crachach movement.

We can learn from Ireland and Scotland in this regard and in particular the works of James Connolly and John Maclean on how to integrate class and national questions.

We have a Wales to Win for social and national liberation in the 21st Century.

See Also:


South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Creates Political Rupture

Vishwas Satgar: New miners union growing as workers split with ANC supported union; increasing consciousness amongst workers that the issue now is class

Climate Change and Social Justice : Towards an Ecosocialist Perspective by Asit Das

"The ecological crisis is thus presented as a technical problem that can be fixed within the current system, through better ingenuity, technological innovation and the magic of the market. In this view, the economy will be increasingly dematerialized, reducing demands placed on nature. The market will ensure that new avenues of capital accumulation are created in the very process of dealing with environmental challenges.

Yet this line of thought ignores the root causes of the ecological crisis. The social metabolic order of capitalism is inherently anti-ecological, since it systematically subordinates nature in its pursuit of endless accumulation and production on ever-larger scales.

Technical fixes to socio-ecological problems typically have unintended consequences and fail to address the root of the problems - the political economic order. 

Rather than acknowledging metabolic rifts, natural limits, and ecological contradictions, capital seeks to play a shell game with the environmental problems. It generates, moving them around rather than addressing the root causes."

After the Kyoto protocol and the IPCC report, climate change has emerged as a serious issue facing mankind. Climate change and the issues of social justice should be seen in the context of the urgency of the global ecological crisis.

Some writers think that the origins of today’s global ecological crises are to be found in the unusual response in Europe’s ruling states, to the great crisis in the 14th century 1290 -1450. There are indeed striking parallels between the world system today, and the situation prevailing in a broadly feudal Europe. At the dawn of the 14th century, the agriculture regime, once capable of remarkable productivity, experienced stagnation. A large population shifted to cities; western trading networks connected far-flung economic centers. Resource extraction like copper and silver, faced new technical challenges, fettering profitability. After some six centuries of sustained expansion, by the 14th country, it had become clear that feudal Europe had reached the limits of its development, for reasons related to its environment, its configuration of social power, and the relations between them.

What followed was either immediately or eventually the rise of capitalism. Regardless of one’s specific interpretation, it is clear that the centuries after 1450 marked an era of fundamental environmental transformation. It was to be commodity-centered and exclusive, it was also an unstable and uneven, dynamic combination of seigniorial capitalist and peasant economics.

This ecological regime of early capitalism was beset with contradiction. In the middle of the 18th century, England shifted from its position as a leading grain exporter to major grain importer. Yield in England’s agriculture stagnated. Inside the country, landlords compensated by agitating for enclosures, which accelerated beyond anything known in previous centuries. Outside the country, Ireland's subordination was intensified with an eye on agricultural exports. This was the era of crisis for capitalism's first ecological regime. For all the talk of early capitalism as mercantile, it was also extraordinarily productivist and dynamic, in ways that went far beyond buying cheap and selling dear. Early capitalism had created a vast agro-ecological system of unprecedented geographical breadth, stretching from the eastern Baltic to Portugal, from southern Norway to Brazil and the Caribbean. It had delivered an expansion of the agro-extractive surplus for centuries. It had been, in other words, an expression of capitalist advancement following Adam Smith and occasionally, combining market, class and ecological transformations in a new crystallization of ecological power and process.

By the middle of the 18th century, however, this world ecological regime had become a victim of its own success. Agricultural yields, not just in England but also across Europe, extended even into the Andes and Spain. It was a contributor to the world crisis. It was a world ecological crisis, i.e., not a crisis of the earth in an idealist sense, but a crisis of early modern capitalism's organization of the world nature of capitalism and not just a world economy, but also a world ecology. For even many on the left have long regarded capitalism as something that acts upon nature treating it as a commodity. This world ecological crisis can be characterized as capitalism's first developmental environmental crisis, quite distinct from the epochal ecological crisis that characterized the transition from feudalism to capitalism. It was a crisis resolved through two major successive waves of global conquest - the creation of North America, and increasingly India as a vast supplier of food and resources; and then, by the later 19th century, the great colonial invasion and occupation of Southeast Asia, Africa and China.

The Industrial Revolution retains its hold on the popular imagination as the historical and geographical locus of today’s environmental crisis. It was a view that co-existed with the profound faith in technological progress. It can be viewed that the industrial revolution as the resolution of an earlier moment of modern ecological crisis and a more expansive, more intensive reconstruction of global nature. The industrial revolution offered not merely a technical fix to the developmental crisis that marked capitalisms ecological regimes, but within this revolution, was inscribed a vast geographical fix, which at that time was as limiting as it had once been liberating. Such a perspective of world ecological crisis offers a more historical name and a more hopeful way of looking for a pro-people approach for thinking and acting about the problems of ecological crisis in the modern world. While the technological marvels of the past two centuries are routinely celebrated, it had become clear in the 1860s that all advances in resource efficiency promised more aggregate resource consumption. This is how the modern world market functions, towards profligacy and not conservation. The technological marvels have rested on geographical expansion neither more nor less than they did in the formative centuries of capitalist development. The pressure to enclose vast new areas of the planet and to penetrate even deeper into the niches of social and ecological life has continued unabated. Now we are witnessing the imperial process of new enclosures, with a partnership with the ruling elites, and the corporate sector of the Third World countries. All this has been reinforced in the same manner by a radical plunge into the depths of the earth to extract oil, coal, water and different types of strategic resources. It is an ecological regime that has reached, or will soon reach, its limits. Whatever the geological veracity of the peak oil argument, it is clear that the American led ecological regime that promised, and for half a century delivered cheap oil, is now done for - this is a bigger issue than present limits of oil reserves.              

Sunday, February 24, 2013

FREE Marian Price NOW !

The President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, Fr. Seán Mc Manus issues an emotional statement on the continued INTERNMENT of Marian and recognises the life long contribution and dedication to the Irish cause of Dolours (RIP).

My Heart Broken By Marian’s Case, I don’t think anyone has ever made a greater impression on me than Marian Price.

She and her late sister Dolours are, of course, iconic figures in the Irish freedom struggle. Indeed, there are probably no two women or men to match their heroism.

And, yet, it was not Marian’s heroic stature that so deeply moved me. It was, rather, her gentleness, soft-spokeness and loveliness… That despite all the outrageous, vengeful, cruel and vicious treatment by the British-Northern Ireland Government, she remains a dignified, gracious and beautiful human being.

I visited Marian in her prison-hospital in Belfast on Friday, February 22, 2013. Along with her attorney and husband, I spent ninety minutes with her.

I had gone back to Ireland for a family funeral. And the first thing Marian did was to express condolences to me.

There she was --- almost two years in prison, six months gravely ill in prison- hospital, and just trying to recover from the death of her beloved sister --- and she the takes time to comfort me! 

The British-Northern Ireland Government is criminal in its treatment of Marian. Anyone in a position of power in Ireland – North or South – who has turned their back on Marian is criminally irresponsible.

Shame on them, and shame on former colleagues who have deserted her.

This is one of the most shameless incidents in the sad history of the Irish struggle. How can one have confidence in a government that treats Marian Price in such a vicious way?

Is this what we were promised by the peace-process? Is this what the political Parties, North and South, are asking Irish-Americans to support?

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Report of the meeting of the International Committee to Support the People’s War in India

Report of the meeting of the International Committee to support the People’s War in India


The Committee had invited the Parties and Organizations that had participated the in the International Conference in Hamburg, or were interested in the activity of support, to send their representatives.

Some of them attended the meeting, other sent messages and communications.

Particularly, we welcomed with joy the attendance of the comrades of Gran Marcha Hacia el Comunismo from Spain and the Revolutionary Front to defend the people’s rights from Brazil. We wish they will take part also in the future meetings and activities of the Committee. The Committee is not yet structured in final form, it fulfils the tasks pointed out in its founding Call and realizing campaigns and actions.


The purpose of this meeting is at the same time important and limited. We have to draw a summary assessment of the Conference, organize the publishing of the booklet of speeches and fix the tasks to be accomplished with operational decisions.

We have to be a dynamic organization capable of mobilizing energies and at the same time to tune its activity with the current state of People’s War in India.

All the speeches the International Conference stressed the importance of People’s War in India, and the Committee considers all the forces participating in the conference as forces of real support to the People’s War. The point is not to impose a general line to which such forces have to conform, but to promote in a unified form all this activity.

Our work is twofold: first, to go on with the line and the method of work that led to the International Conference in Hamburg, second, to share this line and working method with even more large and articulated forces.

The decisive concept is that the Committee is not an ideological supporter to the CPIM. It is clear that all those are here are Maoist organizations, but the Committee is not the RIM, it can not be an organization of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists only. That is why the relationship and work with the German comrades of the BGIA, and the other anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces taking part at the Conference, were important and positive.

The result of the International Conference showed the correctness of this approach. The first point of the Committee’s assessment is that this task has been fulfilled. We could have not organize the International Conference if we had forged not this unity and made the decision to hold it in Hamburg, where we relied on the mass support of an anti-imperialist forces really in solidarity with the People’s War in India.

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson Medical Emergency


Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a New Afrikan Communist prison organizer and intellectual in the United States and one of the founders of the NABPP-PC (New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter). He has spent most of his adult life in the prison system and continually been subjected to political repression and violence in retaliation for his organizing efforts. He is currently held at Snake River Correctional Inst in Oregon.

A supporter recently received a very distressing letter informing us that Rashid was in a serious medical situation, and was not receiving adequate care. Details from this letter were circulated online, however are currently being removed in order to respect Rashid’s privacy.

On February 22, a lawyer managed to speak to Rashid. This was an invaluable first step, as up until then all we had to go by was a letter from a third party, which was already dated by the time it was received.

The good news is that new x-rays have confirmed that there are no razor-blades in his system and there is apparently no longer blood in his urine. Furthermore, Rashid is now drinking liquids.

According to the lawyer, the two biggest concerns currently are (1) that Rashid receive proper medical monitoring as he gets back to a normal diet, and (2) that he be allowed to receive his mail (which he says has been accumulating for more than a week in a box within sight of his cell).

Rashid explained to the lawyer that he currently has no access to his personal property and mail. Officials have placed him on a security designation that precludes access to these things, so he is unable to contact anyone or publish anything. He believes this is in retaliation for articles he published that are critical of the Oregon Department of Corrections. The pretext that the officials are using to put him on this status is an alleged incident on January 28, 2012, even though he was cleared of any misconduct in that incident after a disciplinary hearing. Furthermore, deprivation of property and mail is not reasonably related to the alleged incident.

Rashid thinks thinks the best people to contact would be Doug Yancey, the security threat manager for the Oregon Department of Corrections, and C. Schultz, the security threat manager at Snake River. They are the ones who made this decision to deprive him of his personal belongings.

As soon as we have phone numbers for Yancey and Schultz, we will post them here.

Apart a brief period in general population when he was transferred from Virginia to Oregon last tear, Rashid has spent close to twenty years in solitary isolation, as a direct result of his activities resisting abuse in various Virginia prisons in the 1990s, and to his political writings and articles documenting ongoing abuse in the prison system since then. Long-term isolation was developed during the Cold War as a method to neutralize political prisoners, both by cutting them off from the outside world, and by inflicting conditions upon them that are designed to inflict severe psychological/emotional distress.

Isolation imprisonment has been described as “clean torture,” for it does its damage without leaving any visible wounds. As Craig Haney of the University of California at Santa Cruz has noted, “There is not a single published study of solitary or supermax-like confinement in which nonvoluntary confinement lasting for longer than 10 days, where participants were unable to terminate their isolation at will, that failed to result in negative psychological effects. The damaging effects ranged in severity and included such clinically significant symptoms as hypertension, uncontrollable anger, hallucinations, emotional breakdowns, chronic depression, and suicidal thoughts and behavior.”

We see both aspects of the isolation-torture regimen playing themselves out in Rashid’s case. He is currently cut off from the outside world, deprived of his mail and of any easy means of informing us of what is going on with him, so that we need to rely on communications from third parties. At the same time, he continues to be held in conditions that are known and intended to be detrimental to his health and recovery.

We will continue to keep you abreast of the situation as it develops


Bradley Manning 1000 Days in Jail and more Government Crackdown on Transparency

Michael Ratner: World wide support for Manning as trial of alleged Stratfor hacker Jeremy Hammond takes bizarre twist

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Urgent - Emergency : Fight to Save the Life of Kevin Rashid Johnson

Kevin Rashid Johnson is a political prisoner and leader of a prison organization called the New Afrikan Black Panther Party. He is an outspoken communist revolutionary whose life is in danger.
Kasama recieved the following from Victor:
I have not heard from Rashid for about two weeks, which is surprising, because he normally sends me 2 or 3 letters a week, sometimes for other prisoners. I just received a letter written Feb. 11, at Rashid's request, by another Snake River prisoner,
"This is about Rashid. We need a lot of help. They are trying to kill him. On Jan. 31 they put something in his food that made him crazy.

On Feb. 2 he took 30 pills. They did not do anything to get the pills out of him.... On Jan. 4 [sic; I assume he means Feb. 4] he ate 3 razor blades. This is all on videotape. They lied and said the X-ray showed nothing. The [blades] are still in him right now.

He has not eaten since Feb. 3. He has not drunk anything since Feb. 5.... He is passing out and they won't do anything to help him.... Said he is the one that won't eat or drink so they are not helping him at all.

He is peeing blood and has bad kidney pains.... Med staff will not give him IV fluids.... [As of Feb. 10 he had] lost over 16 pounds. His blood pressure is 191/100 and his urine is the color of coffee...."

I phoned Snake River immediately. If you want to speak with anyone, you have to dial 541-881-5000 and then press "0". I left messages with his counselor, Alice Tomlinson and also with a staff member named José Delgado. So far I have not heard back from either of them. I then called again, saying that it's an emergency and I needed to speak to someone who would pick up (I mentioned the warden's office).
They connected me with a Sergeant Di Andrea. He looked up Rashid on his computer and said he was "all right"; I said I wanted to know more specifically, so he put me back onto the counselor's answering machine. Obviously he is not "all right"; on the other hand, I think that if he had died, they would have had to tell me. I will keep trying. We should make many calls, reaching as high up as possible.

There are obviously a lot of questions here. How could it have been on videotape? How could he have obtained all those pills? etc etc. The idea that he would try to destroy himself is totally out of character; on the other hand, I suppose that with certain kinds of drug, many strange things are possible. Let's all stay in touch if we get any news.

I am sending this both to the listserv and to the individual addresses I have, just to make sure everyone gets it.

Ironically, just 2 days ago I mailed Rashid the proofs for the article of his that we will be publishing in the July issue of Socialism and Democracy.

Let's all write to him (address below). Even if the letters aren't delivered, the officials will know that a lot of people are ready to protest whatever abuses they inflict.


CALL IMMEDIATELY: 541-881-5000 and then press "0"
inspector general's line: (877) 678-4222
number for the or-doc: 503-945-9090. they're open 8am-5pm.
Kevin Johnson
777 Stanton Blvd.
Ontario, OR 97914

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

100 Million on Strike in India

Solidarity to our Indian Brothers and Sisters in Struggle - Democracy and Class Struggle

The Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) extends its solidarity with the workers who are going on a two-day countrywide general strike on 20 and 21 February. 

While all the major trade union centres affiliated to various ruling class parties of the country have come together for giving a call for this strike due to the pressure from the working masses, the revolutionary and militant trade unions and workers’ organisations too have given a strike call for these two days. 

This strike is an opportunity for the workers across different sectors of the economy and regions to come together to highlight the burning problems of their common concern, which require urgent redressal.

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