Posts tagged “socialist

Congressional candidate Charles Barron praises wealth redistribution, revolution, attacks Thomas Jefferson, claims “MLK was Democratic Socialist”

Charles Barron, current New York City Council member, is running for Congress from NY.  He is running against Hakeem Jeffries in the Democratic primary. Since NYC is so heavily democratic, it is likely that the primary will decide the ultimate winner. Barron already has received support from many unions.

A lot has been written about Barron.  A lot of reasons to not want to vote for this man- supporter of dictators(like Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez),  anti Israel, anti semitic according to pantheon of NYC Democrats who have come out against him, anti capitalist, pro socialist, former Black Panther, pro OWS, etc.  Perhaps most of all, not really changing the blight that has had such an effect on his district where he has been city council member since 2001.

Here are a few more reasons:

In this video from 2009, Barron praises MLK as being for “equitable redistribution of wealth”, saying “Dr. King wasn’t just a dreamer, he was a radical, a Democratic Socialist”.

He then goes on to say “we need to get revolutionaries in office, we need to get radicals in office” and talks about the group he belongs to- Operation Power- which is working on that.

The video is uploaded by a socialist organization, Cleveland FIST, and that man introducing Barron in the beginning  is Larry Holmes, current first secretary of the Worker’s World Party(communist organization).  See more about Larry, his view of the Occupy movement, and recruiting for communism here.

This next video, from a radical conference,  Barron talks about how radicals must gain/seize power through the “tactic” of electoral politics to deal with the evils of capitalism. At around 11:56, he talks about how he refuses to pledge allegiance to the flag at city council meetings, because “I cannot pledge to a lie”, calls Thomas Jefferson “a slave holding pedophile”, repeats what he said previously- “I want to slap the first white man I meet for my black mental health” at a reparations rally, at ~38:54 “we should nationalize Con Ed and automobile industry”, “revolution can and will happen in America, capitalism is a failure, it never has worked, can’t work, wouldn’t work and I want to see it in my lifetime”.   “If Barack Obama is successful in stabilizing this economy, we are in trouble. Because successful means he’ll  be patching up capitalism, trying to fix it.”   He says until we are post racism and post capitalism, we should not stop fighting capitalism.

Barron with his support of radicals and redistribution sounds a bit like our friends in Occupy. And it is no coincidence that he has been a supporter. As council member from East New York, he came out in December to support Occupy’s seizure of a foreclosed home in his neighborhood.  With huge fan fare, Occupy and Barron announced they were installing a “homeless family” into the house, taking it back from the banks.

Except it was all a lie and Charles Barron knew it.

The house was not foreclosed, it was still owned by single dad Wise Ahadzi who was in negotiations with his bank to try to hold onto the house.  See more on the story here. OWS tried to put Ahadzi off, saying we will help you but they never did.  Ahadzi said Barron was aware of this, yet went along with this charade on the media.

After all the fanfare, the lie began to unravel.  OWS never moved the “homeless family” in, but rather had OWS squatters living in the house. Those squatters basically gutted and destroyed the inside of the house.  When this hit the NY Post, OWS had a strategy meeting about what to do approach the PR fallout. The meeting included OWS members who were part of New York Communities for Change and the Working Families Party(both ACORN derivatives) and they talked about how to mitigate the fall out, including getting the “homeless father”, OWS member, into the home. After it became a political hot potato, Barron then turned on OWS, throwing them under the bus in the Post. He talked about how they came from “outside the neighborhood” and the squatters weren’t wanted.  He apparently hoped that people forgot his support and knowledge from just a couple of months before.

Apparently Wise Ahadzi wasn’t important enough for OWS or Barron to help. It was okay to “redistribute” his wealth.  Now he is left with a destroyed home. Thank you, OWS and Charles Barron.

Single dad Wise Ahadzi with his two daughters.

Advertisements

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and the Democratic Socialists of America

Last week, President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dolores Huerta, an 82-year-old labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.

Many questioned the President giving Ms. Huerta such an honor,  given she  is also an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America (along with Cornel West, Gloria Steinem and Frances Fox Piven, among others).  Huerta has also praised the likes of Hugo Chavez and Cuba for their approaches, speaking fondly of Chavez’s regime in front of high school students and talking about how Cuba is a “model for society”.

The Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis previously praised Dolores Huerta, whom she called “my teacher, my role model and mi hermana“.   In speaking at the reception for the Freedom Medal for Ms. Huerta, Solis noted that Huerta was being honored not just for her work with United Farm Workers but that, “It’s about everything she’s done, all her traditions and her values”.

This, of course, makes sense when one looks back at the history of Hilda Solis and finds her as a keynote speaker at the 2005 Democratic Socialists of America conference whose theme was “21st century Socialism”.

On Friday evening, a panel consisting of ACORN chief organizer Wade Rathke, Kent Wong of the UCLA Labor Center and Roxana Tynan of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy looked at the level of struggles nationwide. Saturday evening delegates recognized the contributions of DSA vice chair and Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson, Occidental College sociologist and longtime DSAer Peter Dreier and insurgent California Congress member Hilda Solis (D) who in turn provided in-depth perspectives of the political scene. 

Also elsewhere noted in the account:

Mike would have been impressed by the new mayor of our 21st century city of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. He was a union organizer. He was the head of the ACLU. He came out the barrio and grew up very poor. His father was an alcoholic, beat his mother—he overcame incredible obstacles. He dropped out of high school, and went back and then graduated from UCLA. He worked his way up through the labor movement and then was elected to the state legislature, becoming Speaker of the Assembly. When he was term-limited out of the legislature he ran for the LA City Council and was elected. When he ran for Mayor the first time in 2001 he lost, but he ran again and won in 2005. Now we have a progressive mayor, thanks in large part to this impressive network of grassroots organizations, labor unions and community and environmental organizations. Many of them have lifted up some of their leaders into positions of electoral power. It’s a network of activists that work closely with elected officials, like Congresswoman Hilda Solis, and it’s just remarkable what L.A. has become.

In a report submitted to the Communist Party in November 2000 Evelina Alarcon, Vice Chair CPUSA and Chair Southern California District, commented on helping Hilda Solis get elected to Congress:

The monumental victories which are occurring in Los Angeles electorally and in the workplace are because of the coalition building that the labor movement is doing with the Latino and African American community. In Los Angeles, the Labor Federation not only targeted three congressional districts but it had organized 250 volunteers to help State Senator Hilda Solis win her Congressional seat by turning out the union household and Latino vote…

We in the Party can also be proud because our members were involved in all the targeted electoral efforts.

Solis went on to join the Congressional Progressive Congress(CPC) and later became Vice Chair, Liason to Women’s Caucus.  The Congressional Progressive Caucus was founded in 1991- by Bernie Sanders-the openly socialist then Congressman from Vermont, by the DSA and by Washington DC based “think tank”  Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

DSA continues to work closely with the Congressional Progressive Caucus:

Since 1982, DSA has been working for progressive change. As a national organization, DSA joins with its allies in Congress’ Progressive Caucus and in many other progressive organizations, fighting for the interests of the average citizen both in legislative struggles and in other campaigns to educate the public on progressive issues and to secure progressive access to the media.

In June 2008, Solis sent a caseworker from her East Los Angeles office, Elana Henry, to represent her at a workers’ rights forum organized by Socialist International, which has close ties to the DSA.  On a previous occasion twelve years earlier, Solis sent another representative to serve on her behalf at a major Communist Party USA event.

Throughout Solis’ tenure in Congress, labor unions–most notably the Teamsters Union, the SEIU, and the Laborers’ International Union of North America–were responsible for nearly 60 percent of her Political Action Committee (PAC) donations.

In 2008, Hilda Solis served on Barack Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council along with another DSA honorary chair and SEIU vice president Eliseo Medina.

Michelle Malkin wrote:

“While in Congress, [Solis] opposed strengthening the border fence, supported expansion of illegal alien benefits (including driver’s licenses and in-state tuition discounts), embraced sanctuary cities that refused to cooperate with federal homeland security officials to enforce immigration laws, and aggressively championed a mass amnesty. Solis was steeped in the pro-illegal alien worker organizing movement in Southern California and was buoyed by amnesty-supporting Big Labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union.”

When Solis was named to be  Secretary of Labor, Communist Party USA’s People’s Weekly World actually states that she was suggested by Andrew Stern of the SEIU.

One labor source said Solis’ name was put forward by Service Employees President Andrew Stern, whose union — along with the Change to Win coalition — endorsed Obama’s presidential candidacy long before the AFL-CIO did.  SEIU is the biggest union in CTW.

Indeed Stern put out an SEIU video lobbying for her confirmation.

Why does it matter that the Secretary of Labor might be a socialist?

One can examine a little of what that 2005 DSA ’21st century Socialism” conference said about socialism, according to Democratic Left magazine.  This conference account is a fascinating window into the 2005 plan for the future-how  “this democratic socialist organization could grow in numbers and influence”.  The conference description not only mentions Solis, but also ACORN, SEIU, Working Families Party, helping unions, using the anti war movement, expanding its faculty and campus contacts to “identitify and support potential campus activists”.

Hence, reforming capitalism is difficult and it often can’t be done at all without mass political mobilization and social unrest. This structural inequality erodes the promise of political democracy, perhaps nowhere more obviously so than in the United States. Voting under capitalism doesn’t include the right to decide on what corporations should do, whom they employ or who gets the profits.

Liberal freedoms can only be fully secured in a socialist society, where property rights no longer take precedence over political, civil, and social rights.

also:

It shows that private corporate property has become a constraint on the development of technology

and:

building alternative institutions takes a great deal of time. The fight against capitalism—and the fight to limit the likelihood of violence in defense of capitalism—will have to take place both inside and outside existing states.

Our job right now is work to for reforms of every kind—social, economic, and political—that will exist within capitalism but will work against capitalism and for the majority
of people. We can’t expect the tiny U.S. socialist movement to jump from minority to majority status any time soon, and we have to work with people more politically moderate than ourselves to achieve even partial goals. But as radicals we embrace not only electoral politics but also industrial struggles, strikes, civil disobedience, and direct action

Given that many workers, particularly in the U.S., don’t even think of themselves as “working class,” socialists insist on the ideal of class unity in order to distinguish the common interests of people who are otherwise divided into separate interest groups

In an article in DSA’s Democratic Left, Spring 2007, DSA National Political Committee member David Green wrote:

Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production. Our immediate task is to limit the capitalist class’s prerogatives in the workplace.

In the short run we must at least minimize the degree of exploitation of workers by capitalists. We can accomplish this by promoting full employment policies, passing local living wage laws, but most of all by increasing the union movement’s power.

If the goal of the socialist is to get rid of capitalism and “private ownership of the means of production”, then what can we expect from officials that hold those views in the administration?

One might ask are there other Socialist appointments or alliances within this administration?

Trevor Loudon raised interesting questions here  in 2009, examining the several critical positions within the administration including the then “Manufacturing Czar” and the former “Energy Czar”/Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.



“Calling all Socialists!”

Daily Kos has published a post entitled:

May Day: Socialists of America, Unite!

excerpt:

I was  was asked to post this here, in case there are any socialists lurking in these parts. This is an attempt for socialists to put aside the sectarianism that has for too long divided the left, and to show a united front on May Day.Socialists of America, Unite! on May 1, 2012

and:

Occupy spread like wildfire, setting America ablaze. From large cities like New York City and Los Angeles to small towns like Martinsburg, Virginia and Mobile, Alabama, occupiers are consistently organizing, planning, discussing, and taking direct action for the 99%.

Not since the 1960s and 1930s have so many people taken militant action against the state and capital.

No matter what we think of Occupy’s calls for a general strike on May 1, the important thing is that those calls are resonating on a scale not seen since the days of the free speech fights and the call for “One Big Union” by the Industrial Workers of the World.

and a listing of the signatories to the post:

Ben Campbell, Occupy Wall Street

Bhaskar Sunkara, Editor, Jacobin magazine

Billy Wharton, Socialist Party USA

Bob Turansky, Solidarity

Clay Claiborne, Venice filmmaker and The North Star

Chris Cutrone, Platypus Society

Chris Maisano, Democratic Socialists of America

Carl Davidson, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism

Dan La Botz, Solidarity

Jason Schulman, New Politics magazine, Democratic Socialists of America

Fernando Gapasin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization

Manuel Barrera, independent revolutionary socialist

Michael Hirsch, New Politics magazine

Steve Early, Labor journalist, organizer, and member of Newspaper Guild/CWA

Zak, Occupy Wall Street Class War Camp

*Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

Organizational endorsements: John Reed Society; Platypus Affiliated Society

In this post we see people starting to drop the mask and call Occupy what it truly is-“a militant action against the state and capital”.  It is not about reform. It is not about getting money out of politics or bailouts. It is against this present form of government, revolutionary and anti-capitalist at its core.  That is the nature of the people driving it, and where they intend to go is not to a happy place. They define themselves by terms we think of as belonging to other countries-“class war”, “communist” “anarchist” “police state”. They can’t define their purpose, not because they don’t have one. They can’t define their purpose, because bringing down the government is their purpose, and that stated so boldly, would not be acceptable to the general public.

Here’s a short video of Occupy highlights from their NYE highlights in NYC to bring home the point (remember, this is their video, not mine; their things they wanted to remember):

As we noted in our prior post, “Occupy: Anti-capitalist, Shh, But Don’t tell”, https://citizenjournalistdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/ows-anti-capitalist-but-shhh-dont-tell/ ,  one Occupier urges others of the need to cloak their terms in more acceptable vernacular:

But it is not enough.  After Occupy’s initial splash last year,  participation has not been growing.  Hopefully it was just the winter and the heat will bring everyone out again, but I fear that we are not doing a good enough job communicating with the American people.

First we need to communicate in a language that they understand.  Speaking to middle America in the same way that you would talk to your activist friends is not effective.  Don’t use movement, socialist, anarchist, liberal… buzzwords that only some people know the definition of (and others have been trained to fear by decades of propaganda). Translate words like horizontalism, commodification, socialism, anarchy, anti-captitalist, revolution, into explanatory phrases that people without education in revolutionary thought can understand and see as moving their lives forward.

For years, the organized far Left has been scattered, separated by their various differences.  They look to Occupy as their last chance

There have been reformers in Occupy, the people who truly joined because of money in politics or economic concerns.   But they are shouted down and shut out by the revolutionaries. The revolutionists have held sway from the beginning, even before the initial boots on the ground which included anarchists, communists and reformers.   The “99% Spring” is attempting to make Occupy more acceptable, more Liberal and less Left to make it more palatable to the public as a whole.

But if you inherently define yourself as being against the state and in a war with the police, it is hard to play at being acceptable. Clearly provoked confrontations with police don’t go over well with the American public. Nor does treating sleeping in a park as a hair shirt borne for all.

On May 1, with the aid of unions, and students who want off from school, they will have more numbers out than they could get on their own(in NY, their normal numbers on a weekday are around 30, weekend day 100).  They have been working for months to get numbers for Mayday, so there may be some thousands  for example in NY. Yet they will need much more to have their revolution of the proletariat, with massive sustained tens of thousands in the streets, a la Spain or Greece, for much more than one day, sharing the same thought.

And then, on May 2, so?


OWS: Anti capitalist, but shhh, don’t tell!

OWS has a lot of problems heading into the spring.

We heard from Sage about the “anti-capitalists” trying to seize the money and the message. Of course, it appears that it is indeed the “anti-capitalists” who have held sway from the beginning, who have been forcing out the others, like Sage.

(See story on Sage: https://citizenjournalistdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/occupier-anti-capitalists-controlling-money-and-message/ )

OWS has also run out of money, and is searching for ways to be relevant as well as to promote their May 1 attempt at a general strike.

Yet, as one occupier/organizer noted in a recent email, the text of which was tweeted through a link on Twitter:

But it is not enough.  After Occupy’s initial splash last year,  participation has not been growing.  Hopefully it was just the winter and the heat will bring everyone out again, but I fear that we are not doing a good enough job communicating with the American people.

So what does the occupier suggest?

First we need to communicate in a language that they understand.  Speaking to middle America in the same way that you would talk to your activist friends is not effective.  Don’t use movement, socialist, anarchist, liberal… buzzwords that only some people know the definition of (and others have been trained to fear by decades of propaganda). Translate words like horizontalism, commodification, socialism, anarchy, anti-captitalist, revolution, into explanatory phrases that people without education in revolutionary thought can understand and see as moving their lives forward.

Read more here: http://pastebin.com/tgXieYa6

However, the occupier forgot to tell these OWS members at ~2:30.

 


Occupier: “Anti Capitalists” controlling money and message

Via filmmaker Justin Samuels, interesting interview with Sage, who has been an Occupier since day one with OWS in NY.

Sage confides that money and messages meant for Occupiers are not reaching them. He also states his belief that “OWS is not anti-capitalist” but that the “anti-capitalists” have taken over communicating the message and were cutting off the money and messages.

This follows multiple internal questions and fights with regard to transparency as to finances. Within OWS,  the question of where did the money go seems a continuing question.