Thursday, February 26, 2015

Libya Without Peace
23.02.2015 00:24

At the roar of the cannon we had to wave our flag in a foreign land, not for the success of the Italian genius that to look good is nothing else except the inventiveness of the poor. And against a defenseless nation whose army could not even compete with the Italian.

Tripoli, beautiful land of love, sweet comes to you this my song! The flag be flown in your towers at the roar of the cannon!

So sang Italy in the early twentieth century, when she imagined herself being something of important and instead she picked up only the crumbs that others had left on the street. So she illuded herself and carefree ran toward the carnage of World War I that a little later would burst.

At the roar of the cannon we had to wave our flag in a foreign land, not for the success of the Italian genius that to look good is nothing else except the inventiveness of the poor. And against a defenseless nation whose army could not even compete with the Italian.

In more recent times and after being closed the historical parenthesis of Colonel Gaddafi and the Jamahiriyya he had founded without firing a shot, Italy thought she could cash in for the betrayal that it had achieved once again. This forgetting that the traitors never have a real say in the harmful actions to which they lend themselves, especially when they are only poor bullies.

It's of these days the news appeared that ISIS is rampant in Libya. Killing dozens of Christians. Sentencing to death and slaughtering anyone who opposes its distorted view of Islam. There have even have been addressed to Italy threats of bombing with Scud missiles. According to some rumors, the members of ISIS are already in our area, not far from Rome.

Aside from the dead with their throats cut for their religious diversity, we can say that some are hotshot propaganda. It is not clear by whom, however.

Our Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the man with an ice cream in hand, immediately offered to send a contingent of troops to defend freedom, poetry and all the beautiful things that make life worth living in the West. Not least that slice of booty oil that Italy is so determined to get for herself by law for the role she has played in the bombing campaign. But shortly after Renzi backtracked: someone has explained to him that it was not the case, that would not be a victorious short ride and that in fact to Italy was not for nothing.

There is no peace in Libya but it was natural to finish so. Only fools could and can still believe that more than eight months of fierce bombardments have been put in place to defend a who knows what freedom and democracy in the post-Gaddafi Libya.

Libya found herself slaughtered and fallen into a Somalia condition and used as a forerunner for the war against Syria and Iran. And yet, perhaps for an example of historical justice, not only the Green Jamahiriyya disappeared but Italian democracy too.

Sure, it was not a thing blatant and flashy as for Libya. Of course, the process was already in place by many and too many years and therefore no one has noticed it, let alone the Italian people, but the fact remains that the disappearance there has been.

The point that interest us directly is that the Italian Prime Minister in those days, Silvio Berlusconi, literally fell from the clouds when began the facts which led to the destruction of Libya and the assassination of brother leader Muhammad Gaddafi.

It became apparent that Silvio Berlusconi knew nothing of what was brewing against Tripoli. But Italy had hosted Gaddafi in Rome a year before signing on that occasion a treaty of friendship and non-interference, as well as numerous other trade agreements.

Italian oil company ENI, founded by Enrico Mattei bemoaned and died in circumstances that someone goes back to a murder done by the Italian mafia but commissioned by the CIA, was at home in Libya. His presence was so important that almost excluded other foreign companies. And there was an entire galaxy of small and medium-sized Italian companies that traded with the Libyans and many of these companies had factories on Libyan soil too. We can not forget the great business in the Libyan public constructions, including all the major Italian manufacturers. And finally how to ignore the rescue of Italian bank Unicredit? Twenty million euro paid ready cash by Gaddafi thanks to which his failure and a dangerous domino effect on the entire Italian banking system was avoided.

So a lot of money run and yet the old Berlusconi was still surprised and shocked by the outbreak of hostilities.

You cannot think that there were no Italian intelligence agents in Libya, given the number and nature of the business that our country had with Tripoli. But our intelligence services apparently have not seen or heard anything that was worth reporting to our government.

Similarly our diplomats in the United States, France, England and other chancelleries of Europe have not been able to grasp even the slightest clue, even something of indirect that would put our leaders on notice.

Our generals and colonels have never heard any rumor during their meetings with NATO colleagues, no whisper, no allusive sentences dropped without conclusion. Nothing at all.

The reality is different: the Italian rulers have always been perfunctory, some less than others but all subjected to the command of the US. With Silvio Berlusconi the situation has reached a higher level, however. Always obsessively dominated by those his sexual instincts that so filled with ridiculous our country in the eyes of the world. Always on the run from a huge number of judicial investigations, for crimes that in another country, even just a little more civilized of contemporary Italy, would have cost the political career for even a mere suspicion.

And is natural that to such a person is given only enough rope to hang himself and not be allowed instead of governing a Nation with dignity. Notwithstanding that, it is hard to believe that the word "dignity" find place in the personal vocabulary of Berlusconi and in general in that of the Italian politicians.

The Italian Democratic Party and the remnants offal of the Italian left urged the government to go to war in the name of democracy and freedom mantra, loyalty to the Atlantic ally and NATO. Retaliation came when Berlusconi and his puppets did the same in reversed roles during the ignoble war against Serbia of Milosevic and the Balkan tragedy. Berlusconi managed to withstand a week and then capitulated, as expected.

Once again to pay for the filth of the Italian domestic politics were a foreign country and a foreign people who had not done anything against Italy but that on the contrary we Italians had already tormented much in the past.

And yet you should remember one thing well: i.e. a Nation that does not know how to express a government worthy of this name nor control her army and her secret police, is a Nation without a future. Therefore I wonder when History will make a pair with us and Italy will end up dismembered and removed, to the political games of foreign States that they said our friends until a few moments before. Maybe soon.

Costantino Ceoldo
Is Fascist America Ready for Total War Against Russia and China?
26.02.2015 17:03

Is USA ready for war?

The debate to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over fascism and the adoption of the UN Charter has recently taken part in New York. Yet, fascism as the destruction of a certain category of humans for the sake of exceptionalism of another category of humans has become the state ideology of the United States. To make matters worse, the UN does not fulfill its functions of a peacemaker.

"Before our eyes, we can see numerous examples of violations of fundamental principles of the UN Charter, - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a recent meeting in New York. - It goes about such principles as independent and sovereign equality of states. Non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes. Suffice it to recall the bombings of Serbia, the occupation of Iraq and gross manipulations with the Security Council mandate that turned to chaos in Libya. All this is the result of attempts to ensure dominance in world affairs, the wish to govern all and everywhere, use military force unilaterally to promote one's own interests," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Fascism reborn in USA

Unfortunately, 70 years after the defeat of fascism in World War II, one can say that fascism was reborn in the United States. A clear sign of it is when US leaders speak about their exceptionalism and enslavement of other nations.

Another feature is about the discrimination of society on racial, national or religious grounds. This, too, is a part of American life. Suffice it to recall the recent events in Ferguson or the activities of neo-Nazi organizations, such as the Aryan Nation, White American Knights and National Socialist Movement. They can work in the USA legally.

American fascism ensures its global reign through the dollar globalization of economy, military presence in 144 countries, the military budget worth half a trillion dollars, a huge administrative resource and the participation in multiple military conflicts globally.

The primary goal of this regime is to preserve the petrodollar as the only currency in the energy market. For this purpose, one should control not only manufacturing countries, but also the countries, through which gas and oil pipelines run. Therefore, the United States was keeping an eye on disloyal regimes in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine.

The above-mentioned speech from Sergei Lavrov is indicative. For the first time, a Russian official voiced  accusations against the American quasi fascism. It is no coincidence that many American experts say that the US is preparing for war with two enemies at once - Russia and China. The situation started to get worse after neoconservatives and "hawks" came to power in the US. Republicans who do not conceal their goal to bring Russia back to where it was under Boris Yeltsin.

USA spends billions to suppress dissent

Therefore, a new world war, even a nuclear war, is objectively possible. Barack Obama is not a dove of peace at all. The American president said at West Point that US foreign policy would be based on deterring Russia's "aggression" and China's "expansion." Immediately after Obama's statement, Defense Secretary  Chuck Hagel, while visiting Singapore, accused China of destabilizing the situation in the South China Sea.

The United States spends billions of dollars for the suppression of dissent around the world. The Americans finance NGOs that orchestrate color revolutions, sponsor opposition movements and the fifth column. To preserve the financial domination, they use the dollar peg for national currencies through loyal central banks. Should the latter disobey, the US resorts to a mechanism of sanctions.

The Americans use a powerful propaganda machine for intimidation. This machine can to turn allies in evil tyrants without reason or evidence in weeks. And then the real aggressor (try to recall how many times the US invaded other countries without a UN mandate) begins to blame its victims of aggression.

"Russia Invades Ukraine" - this is a typical headline for American media outlets. Again, there is nothing new here. Nazi Germany and its propagandists used the same technique in the past.

As for China, most American media outlets describe the country as a "communist" regime. A common American citizen, who was raised on hatred of the Soviets, needs no other explanation.

Would a common American citizen be ready for the total war at their doorstep? Do American people understand that in the era of globalization, they can not hide on the island of exceptionalism that has not seen war on its territory since the Civil War?

Let's try to look into methods and consequences.

China and Russia at war with the US dollar

First of all, China and Russia will attack the US dollar. How? They already take efforts to get rid of US treasury bills, which China has saved in large quantities, being the largest creditor of the United States. When Washington started printing dollars and set record low interest rates on treasuries, China realized that keeping them for a long period of time was unprofitable.

A publication at the International Business Times shocked the United States by saying that China was acting in concert with Russia. This is a union to "attack" the United States to destroy the ultimate source for global reign in the last 40 years - the petrodollar," the paper wrote.

Having the weakened US army and the bloated public debt, China has an excellent opportunity to bankrupt the USA. "If you think that this will not affect you, you are wrong," Richard Clark, an expert in the field of security and counter-terrorism wrote. According to him, the fall of the petrodollar will devastate all those who live, work and invest in America.

Secondly, Russia and China will continue buying gold, as they do now. The Russian Central Bank actively buys physical gold. Russia has left China behind in terms of  gold purchases in October and November of 2014. The goal of this activity is to ensure a new world currency with gold. This is not a question of weeks or months - this is a question of years, but it can be solved.

Thirdly, Russia and China will build alliances that will use BRICS currency funds, provide diplomatic and military support to the countries in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. In a nutshell, Russia and China will go hand in hand in the areas, where the United States pursues its national interests. China can act single-handedly too, by giving billions of dollars from its Export-Import Bank as large investment projects everywhere from Russia to Latin America, thus buys world's loyalty.

Fourthly, Russia and China will move away from the dollar as an exchange currency. For example, Iran has signed several major agreements to waive the US dollar in oil deals with China, Russia and India. Latin America is switching to such settlement with Russia and China. If Saudi Arabia decide it must also abandon the dollar in favor of its largest consumer - China - then nothing will be able to save America. Why not - the Saudis are already at shale war with the United States.

China and Russia on the way to crush the US petrodollar

Economic wars will aggravate the situation inside the United States. The dollar will be good as candy wrapper. Dollar bubbles will burst in the public sector, such as health care. The crisis of 2008 will seem a childish game.

Economist Martin Armstrong predicts the growth of discontent against economic inequality that is likely to cause serious political uprising in 2015-2016. Ron Holland wrote an article for Market Oracle recommending the Americans should withdraw the dollar from their savings and invest it in real estate, gold and other assets, better outside the United States.

"Americans should take advantage of recent dollar strength to diversify into gold, investments, real estate and safe haven locations outside the US dollar and the United States. Better to be early than too late because eventually the consequences of aggressive military actions, central banking manipulation and uncontrolled government debt and unfunded liabilities will come home to the American people. Neither the guilt of our political and banking leadership nor the innocence of our citizenry will protect you, your assets or your family," Ron Holland wrote.

The total war of Russia and China against the United States has already begun in the field of economy, in Ukraine and Syria, as well as in the information field. No one can say what form it will take in a year, but Obama's emergency decrees will not protect the population from what his administration implants in other countries: insolvency, bankruptcy, hunger, and perhaps even death.

Lyuba Lulko

Russia Wants to Ensure Peace in Ukraine, Not to Indulge Western Leaders — Lavrov
February 26, 13:25 UTC+3

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said observers, including those from the OSCE mission, report a significant decline in shelling in eastern Ukraine

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe report that the intensity of attacks in east Ukraine has significantly declined, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday, adding that the ceasefire is still producing results.

"Impartial observers, including those from the OSCE mission, report a significant decline in shelling, which means that the truce still produces results," Lavrov said, noting that contrary to expectations of those who "want to frustrate the Minsk agreements" and "claim that the truce doesn’t work", there was ample evidence confirming that the ceasefire deal reached in the Belarusian capital had delivered "tangible results".

"For us, it is most important not to indulge these or those Western countries or leaders, who threaten us with sanctions, but the key thing is to ensure peace and sustainable political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis," Lavrov said.
Police Disperse Protesters at Ukraine National Bank
February 27, 2:43 UTC+3

"The police have brought down the tent where we were trying to hide from rain and have driven a bulldozer towards us," protesters told reporters

KIEV, February 27. /TASS/. Several people have been injured when the police were dispersing the rally at the building of Ukraine’s National bank, an unnamed protester told TASS by phone on Friday.

"When the National Guard servicemen were dispersing the rally, many got clobbered, with broken arms and head injuries," he said. "Ambulances were taking the victims from the site."

Earlier, media reports said that police used riot batons to disperse a rally at the building of the National Bank of Ukraine while the protesters’ tents were pulled down with bulldozers, some of the protesters were injured.

"The police have brought down the tent where we were trying to hide from rain and have driven a bulldozer towards us," protesters told reporters. "A fight erupted between the activists and law enforcers. Several people were hurt - with visible blood and traumas."

No criminal case against National Bank governor — Kiev prosecutor’s office

The protesters have been demanding resignation of Ukraine’s National Bank Governor Valeria Gontareva and her first deputy Alexander Pisarchuk for several days.

On Tuesday the protesters said they would participate in an indefinite and round-the-clock action at the National Bank.

On February 19 and 23 related demonstrations organised by the Public Control of Banks public movement took place at the National Bank building.

On Wednesday, February 18, deceived investors were holding a protest action at the building of Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, and even blocked the traffic on Institutskaya Street for some time.

On December 1, 2014 Kiev’s Pechersky district court bound prosecutors to launch a criminal case against Gontareva on charges referred to the National Bank's currency interventions in August 2014.
Ukraine Military Has Begun Heavy Weapons Withdrawal – Military Spokesman
February 26, 2015 12:25

Kiev troops have started the long-promised withdrawal of heavy weapons from eastern Ukraine, a step required by the fragile ceasefire agreement signed earlier this month. The rebels have been criticizing their opponents for stalling the disengagement.

“In accordance with the agreement reached in Minsk on February 12, today Ukraine begins withdrawal of 100mm artillery from the disengagement line. It's the first step towards withdrawal of heavy weapons, which will only be carried out under OSCE monitoring and verification,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The movement of artillery pieces is already underway and should take about a day, a Ukrainian military spokesperson said. The hardware will be pulled back 25km from the disengagement line.

The order to withdraw heavy weapons was given on Thursday after the Ukrainian military confirmed that they had not been shot at for a day. No combat casualties have been reported for a second day in a row.

“If there are any attempts to launch an offensive, the withdrawal schedule will be changed. The Ukrainian troops are fully prepared to defend the country,” the statement added.

Meanwhile rebel forces are continuing to pull back their heavy weapons, as they have been doing for days.

“Today at 10am, an OSCE-monitored movement of our columns commenced. They recorded this movement,” rebel spokesman Eduard Basurin said.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said it wants to withdraw 180 artillery pieces and 17 rocket launchers on Thursday. Previously it withdrew 400 artillery pieces, including some 320 captured from the Ukrainian troops after their retreat from Debaltsevo.

The rebels have already withdrawn 90 percent of heavy weaponry from the disengagement line, their leader, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, said Thursday.

The rebels voiced concerns over lack of similar moves by Kiev, suspecting it of foul play. Kiev insisted that it would keep its weapons in their positions until at least two days are spent without a single shot.

Moscow criticized Kiev's stubbornness, saying the condition it voiced was unrealistic.

Under the Minsk agreement both sides must pull their heavy weapons back from the disengagement line to form a buffer zone of 50 to 140km, depending on the type of weapon. The process is expected to be complete by March 1. OSCE is tasked with verifying the withdrawal.

Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor of the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine, told RT on Thursday that both sides of the Ukrainian conflict are finally withdrawing their heavy weaponry from the frontline, stressing the move is “something that they have not done before.”

“We see now mutual actions towards compliance within the Minsk arrangements. The OSCE special monitoring mission knows that both sides have announced that they will be moving hardware away from the frontline,” Hug said. “This afternoon, the government of Ukraine has done that as well. We welcome this mutual step now from both sides to start working towards utterance to their commitments.”
Russia Secures Military Deal to Use Cyprus' Ports Despite EU Concerns
February 26, 2015 17:38

Russian navy ships will keep having access to stop off at Cyprus' ports in Mediterranean as the two countries have agreed to prolong the pre-existing deal on military cooperation.

The agreement, which applies to Russian vessels involved in counter-terrorism and anti-piracy efforts, was signed by President Vladimir Putin and his Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades, in Moscow.

The signing came aimed heightened tensions and sanctions between Russia and the EU over the military conflict in Ukraine.

President Putin, however, stressed that the agreement, as well as Russia-Cypriot ''friendly ties aren't aimed against anyone."

"I don't think it should cause worries anywhere," he said.

During his press conference at Tass news agency’s headquarters, Anastasiades stressed that Moscow and Nicosia haven’t signed any new agreements, but only prolonged those that were in place before.

"The updated agreement envisages the right of Russian warships to visit the ports of Cyprus…for humanitarian purposes such as supply and refueling a swell as saving the lives and evacuation of Russian citizens from neighboring states,” he said.

He called the prolongation of a military deal with Russia “a sensitive issue,” adding that Vladimir Putin discussed this matter in a very delicate manner, not putting Cyprus in an uncomfortable position before its EU partners.

Despite the permission to enter Cyprus port for Russian ships, the sides also agreed that Moscow will restructure its €2.5 billion bailout loan it gave Nicosia in 2011.

In return for being granted permission for Russian navy ships to stop off in Cypriot ports, Moscow has agreed to restructure its €2.5 billion (£1.8 billion) bailout loan it gave Cyprus in 2011.

Russia isn’t only country to have military ties with Cyprus as the Mediterranean island state also planning to host British military bases.

The cool down in relations with EU and the US saw Moscow working to maintain good relations with its long-time time European partners, including Greece, Hungary and Cyprus.

READ MORE: US armor paraded 300m from Russian border (VIDEO)

Anastasiades spoke out against the implementation of further European sanctions against Russia as “they impact other countries [and] members of the EU, which include my motherland."

He also reminded that “most of the Cyprus military’s weaponry is Russian made. Apart From France, only Russia supplies weapons to Cyprus.”
Oil Strikers March on Marathon Petroleum As Strike Expands
By Martha Grevatt
Workers World  
February 26, 2015
Findlay, Ohio

Over 200 oil strikers and supporters demonstrated on Feb. 24 in Findlay, Ohio, where the Marathon Petroleum Company has its international headquarters. Despite harsh winds and near-zero temperatures, the crowd waited to begin the rally until a busload of Marathon strikers from Kentucky arrived. The delegation was delayed when one of two buses broke down.

The strike began Feb. 1 after negotiations between the United Steelworkers and oil industry representatives, led by Shell, broke down. The USW represents 30,000 oil workers in 230 facilities across the country. Initially, workers at nine refineries in Texas, California, Kentucky and Washington state walked out. On Feb. 7, the strike was expanded to two refineries in Indiana and Ohio.

Steelworkers District One Director Dave McCall, whose district represents all of Ohio, announced that workers at four more refineries — one in Texas and three in Louisiana — had joined the strike.

Representing the union’s National Oil Bargaining Policy Committee, which negotiates with the oil companies, Jim Savage explained the number one issue behind the strike: safety on the job. Staffing cuts and excessive overtime are putting workers and the community at risk, as evidenced by a horrific explosion at a refinery near Los Angeles and the fatalities of 27 USW oil workers in four years. Another issue is the high out-of-pocket health care costs that workers — in the most profitable industry in the U.S. economy — are saddled with. Savage spoke for the five members of the national negotiating team who had traveled to Findlay to attend the solidarity rally.

USW Local 719 President Dave Martin, who represents the Catlettsburg, Ky., refinery, thanked all of the supporters and reported that solidarity remains high on the picket line as the strike heads into its second month.

A large number of strikers from the BP refinery near Toledo, Ohio, attended the rally, along with Steelworkers and UAW members from Detroit and various parts of Ohio.

After the rally, a boisterous march circled Marathon’s corporate offices several times.
PFLP Endorses First Annual Malcolm X Film Festival
Feb 25 2015

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine joins dozens of organizations in endorsing the Malcolm X Film Festival, which will take place from March 16 to April 12 in seven events, six in  different places in England and one in Ireland. More details are below, or see the Facebook page for the film festival, organized by the Malcolm X Movement: Comrade Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, will speak at events during the Festival.

speakers include*:
ILYASAH SHABAZZ (writer and daughter of Malcolm X)
Dr MOUSSA IBRAHIM (Libyan Resistance)
GERRY McLOCHLAINN (former Irish POW / Sinn Fein)
GEORGE SHIRE (ZANU-PF Liberation War veteran)
GAMAL NKRUMAH (Kwame Nkrumah’s Son)
TAIMUR RAHMAN (Communist Workers Peasants Party of Pakistan)
SWISS (So Solid Crew)
SUKANT CHANDAN (Malcolm X Movement)
SARA MYERS (Exhibit B protest)
SAQIB DESHMUKH (Justice for Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah Family Campaign)

Suggested donation £5

All seven events are being filmed for publication

1. Sat 14 March – 1-630pm Culturlann, Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 6AH

2. Sat 21 March – 2-8pm, Ruskin College, Steve Biko room, OX3 9BZ

3. Sun 22 March – 2-8pm, The Drum, Aston, Birmingham, B6 4UU

4. Sat 28th March – 2-9pm, Sallis Benney Theatre, Grand Parade, Brighton, BN2 0JY

5. Mon 06 April (Bank Holiday) – 230-8pm, Rich Mix, Bethnal Green, London, E1 6LA

6. Sat 11 April – 5-8pm, Black Cultural Archives, Brixton, London, SW2 1 EF

7. Sun 12 April – 230-830pm – Malcolm X Centre, St Pauls, Bristol, BS2 8YH

The Malcolm X Movement is a Black & Asian led decolonial anti-imperialist organisation that seeks to unite Global South peoples and diaspora. The Malcolm X Movement (MXM) and supporting organisations is immensely proud to bring to our peoples the first annual Malcolm X Film Festival taking place in SEVEN cities across England including one in Belfast, (occupied) Ireland.

The First Annual Malcolm X Film Festival will feature three panels/themes with related speeches and interviews from Malcolm X, especially the last few years of his life. The three panels/themes are:




This is the biggest Black & Asian radical event of its kind to take place in England and perhaps western Europe for for the last generation since the mid 1990s. Never before in this time has such an event with such a inspiring amount of speakers and Global support (including from Ilyasah Shabazz, the Black Panther Alumni, the revolutionary Palestinian group the PFLP, the Black Panther Alumni, the Communist Workers & Peasants Party of Pakistan amongst others) taken place in the last 20 years or so.

With the steady but sure increasing power of the Global South against neo-colonialism and the ‘colonial matrix of power’, with the ‘west’ increasing its covert and overt global war in an attempt to maintain its hegemonic position and with the directly related microcosm of this global war reflected in the increasing oppression and exploitation of Black and Asian and working class peoples in the west, never has there been a more necessary time for the MXM to contribute to the building of communities of resistance in unity with the Global South.

The MXM has already delivered a free one year liberation school under the initiative of its ‘Assata Tupac Liberation School’, and has held one public conference entitled ‘Strike the Empire Back’ in June 2014, see here:

The MXM is not launching until August this year (2015) when it will organise with supporting organisations the first annual Malcolm X Summer Festival.

We in the MXM take inspiration and leadership from Malcolm X who made it plain himself, advocate uniting all peoples against the ‘greatest purveyors of violence in the world’ (Dr King Jr) today which is the neo-colonialism: “We have a common enemy. We have this in common: We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter, and a common discriminator. But once we all realize that we have this common enemy, then we unite on the basis of what we have in common”***

Supporting organisations**:

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Libyan Peoples National Movement
Black Panther Almuni
Communist Workers Peasants Party of Pakistan
Respect Party
Kurdish Students Union
Global Afrikan Congress
Hansib Publications
African Peoples Liberation Organisation
Islamic Human Rights Commission
‘Rice N Peas’ Films
Nu Beyond
Black History Studies
NUS Black Students
Black British Islamic Bureau
Intifada Street
Pan-African Society Community Forum
Justice for Habib Ullah Campaign
Media Diversified
International Institute for Scientific Research
Muslim Vibe
Global Studies School, University of Sussex
Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform
Migrant Media
Ujima FM
I am Hip-Hop
Voice Over Productions
South Bristol Workers Forum
Bristol Ukraine Antifascist Solidarity
Oomk Magazine

*Please note: Not all speakers are speaking at every event of the Malcolm X Film Festival, and at some events some speakers may speak either in person or via live video link. Please check the individual events to see which speakers are speaking

** More organisations can apply to be a supporting organisation to the MX Film Festival, please get in touch if you would like to do so.

***All enquiries, including getting involved in the Malcolm X Movement, should be emailed to
PFLP Leadership Meets With US Delegation Headed by Ramsey Clark in Damascus
Feb 25 2015

Comrade Abu Ahmad Fuad, deputy General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Comrade Abu Sami Marwan, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, met with a US delegation to Syria, which arrived in Damascus on Tuesday. The delegation was headed by Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General, and included US leftist activists and leaders, including former member of Congress Cynthia McKinnery and Sara Flounders, director of the International Action Center in New York City.

The meeting was convened at the request of the US delegation, which was eager to meet with the leadership of the Front and exchange political positions regarding the ongoing developments in Palestine and the region. The PFLP leaders discussed the nature of the US/Zionist aggression against the people of the region, their intervention in Syria and the attempts of colonial powers to impose their hegemony by force and military aggression, through division of the land and people, and by pushing the region into sectarian or religious conflict.

This US policy is nothing new, noted the Front’s leaders, but is the ongoing manifestation of US imperialism in the interests of the Zionist state, the US and European corporations. The Front noted that the colonial powers have waged an ongoing war against the Arab people to prevent any real progress for the region on the road to liberation, self-determination and an end to Zionist occupation. The daily crimes committed by the Zionist enemy against our people in occupied Palestine are one of the main aspects of this Zionist/imperialist campaign that must be confronted on an international level, they said.

The US delegation discussed the urgent need for building ongoing solidarity with Palestine in the United States and internationally, in particular to confront the deep involvement of the United States – militarily, politically and financially – in the crimes of the occupier, and to end its attacks on Syria, Iraq and the people of the entire region.

The delegates noted that there is a colonial scheme to divide and re-partition the region according to the interests of major corporations and imperial powers, targeting the resources of the people, sometimes through blatant political interference in the affairs of the region and other times through wars and military attacks on states and peoples.

Ramsey Clark thanked the leadership of the PFLP for meeting with the delegation, emphasizing the delegates’ political agreement with the vision and analysis presented by the Front’s leaders in the meeting. The two sides emphasized the importance of communication between the Palestinian Arab left and progressive and democratic forces in the United States to confront Zionism and imperialism in the US and in Palestine alike.
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Delivers Statement to Press TV: 'US Government Does Nothing About Human Rights Violations by Police’
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:19AM

To listen to this statement delivered by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, just click on the website below:

Police departments across the US are perpetuating “gross human rights violations” against minorities.
Police departments across the United States are perpetuating “gross human rights violations” against African-Americans and Latinos and the White House does nothing about it, a journalist in Detroit says.

Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, says a new report about a secretive facility used for interrogations by Chicago police follows “a decades-long series of human rights abuses and civil rights abuses against mainly African-Americans and Latinos in Chicago.”

“The revelation that the Chicago police department has operated a so-called black site is not surprising to those of us who have followed the affairs of the Chicago police for many years,” Azikiwe told Press TV during a phone interview on Wednesday.

“This is further proof that there are gross human rights violations in the United States that are being perpetuated by the police and the US Justice Department, the White House are virtually doing nothing about it,” he said.

“This requires action on the part of civil society groups to rally further and to demand an end to police repression,” the journalist added.

According to a new investigation by the Guardian, the Chicago police department operates a secret interrogation compound, what civil rights lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The site, known as Homan Square facility on Chicago’s west side, is used to isolate suspects from family members or proper legal counsel while they are interrogated, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Those familiar with the site list a range of abuses which have taken place, including police beatings and prolonged shackling. Because suspects taken to Homan Square are not officially booked, there is no record of their location.
Kabul Attack Targets Turkish Embassy Vehicle
A suicide bomber in an explosive-packed car targeted a Turkish embassy car during Kabul's morning rush, officials said

February 26, 2015 1:21AM ET
Al Jazeera

A suicide bomber driving a car packed with explosives targeted a Turkish Embassy vehicle near the Iranian Embassy in Kabul during the Thursday morning rush hour, Afghan officials said.

One Turkish national and an Afghan passerby were killed in the attack, a police spokesman said.

"The target was a Turkish Embassy vehicle. One person is wounded and the driver possibly killed," Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayub Salangi told media outside the Iranian Embassy.

The blast took place outside the gate of the embassy, which is adjacent to the Turkish mission in the center of Kabul.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast in a text message to media, saying the target was a "convoy of foreigners' vehicles." The group often inflates claims.

It is the first known attack on a Turkish target in the Afghan capital. The last similar suicide car bomb attack in Kabul took place near the airport in January.

It was the second time an embassy vehicle has been targeted by insurgents in the capital in recent months, after a British embassy car was attacked by a suicide bomber in November.

One Turkish official reached by phone confirmed the location of the incident, but said he could not provide further details.
Baltimore Police Shoot, Taser a Man in Front of Trayvon Martin Mural
February 23, 2015 19:05

A man was left in critical condition on Sunday after Baltimore police shot and Tasered him in front of a mural commemorating Trayvon Martin – the Florida teenager killed by self-styled neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in 2012.

The Baltimore Police Department said the encounter began when two officers attempted to stop a vehicle in the midst of the city's Upton and Sandtown-Winchester neighborhoods, according to the Baltimore Sun. Law enforcement did not elaborate on how incident unfolded, but Col. Garnell Green said police did attempt to use a Taser on the man before a gun was used.

"One of our officers initiated a car stop. During that car stop, the suspect got out of his vehicle," said Green. "What happens after that is still under investigation. What I can tell you right now is this: One of our officers did tase the suspect and another officer shot the suspect."

Green would not say if the man was armed, how many times he was shot, or why officers tried to stop his Nissan Altima.

The man was taken to a local hospital in critical but stable condition, according to reports.

"This investigation is early on," Green said. "We're still canvassing for witnesses, checking cameras and we're asking anyone who has witnessed it to come forward."

No officers were injured in the incident.

Crowds gathered at the scene of the shooting, in the shadow of a large mural of Trayvon Martin pulling a hoodie over his head.

Martin’s murder gained national attention in 2012. The unarmed black teenager was gunned down in Sanford, Florida, by Zimmerman – a white neighborhood watch volunteer who was later acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the summer of 2013 based in part on the state’s “stand your ground” law.

Zimmerman, who was involved in a physical altercation with Martin at the time of the shooting, claimed he had acted in self-defense. The prosecution argued that Zimmerman had racially profiled the unarmed teen and instigated the fight that led to the shooting.

The controversial stand your ground law – which Florida pioneered before similar legislation spread across the United States – allows someone in a place they are legally allowed to be to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they face an imminent and immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death.

Zimmerman has had several run-ins with the law since his acquittal.

In September 2013, Zimmerman was detained after his estranged wife called the police, claiming he had threatened her and her father with a gun and punched her father in the face. In both cases, the alleged victims declined to press charges.

In November 2013, Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, domestic violence battery, and criminal mischief following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.

In September 2014, police said Zimmerman threatened to kill a driver during a road rage incident in Lake Mary, and later showed up at the man’s workplace. The man claimed that Zimmerman, who was carrying a gun, asked: "Do you know who I am?" before threatening "I'll f***ing kill you," Orlando's Channel 6 reported. The unidentified driver also opted not to press charges.

In January, the 31-year-old was again arrested in Florida on an aggravated assault charge.
Trayvon Martin's Father: Hate Crime 'Bar Is Too High' For Prosecution, Report Says
By  Morgan Winsor @MorganWinsor
February 25 2015 11:01 PM EST

The father of Trayvon Martin reportedly said Wednesday “the bar is too high” to meet the standard for a federal hate crime prosecution, one day after the U.S. Department of Justice announced there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges against his son’s killer, George Zimmerman. “We knew that to get sufficient enough of evidence, Trayvon would have to be here to tell his story,” Tracy Martin told BuzzFeed News. “The state tried and failed.”

Justice Department officials met with Trayvon Martin’s family Tuesday, after concluding a nearly three-year-long independent investigation into the death of the unarmed black teen, who was shot and killed by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida on Feb. 26, 2012. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged the “high” criteria for a federal hate-crime prosecution and said the investigation found insufficient evidence to support charges against Zimmerman.

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a devastating tragedy,” Holder said in a statement Tuesday. “This young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface.”

Trayvon Martin’s family said in a statement Tuesday they were “disappointed” but thanked the Justice Department for “their extensive and thorough investigation into the killing of our son,” as well as “the millions of people around the world who have supported us through prayer and vigilance.”

The mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, told the Associated Press that she believes Zimmerman got away with murder. “He took a life, carelessly and recklessly, and he shouldn't deserve to have his entire life walking around on the street free. I just believe that he should be held accountable for what he's done," Fulton reportedly said Wednesday, one day before the third anniversary of her 17-year-old son’s death.

Tracy Martin told BuzzFeed News that officials did determine the state of Florida failed to ask Zimmerman certain questions during their investigation of the fatal shooting. The Justice Department also determined that some of Zimmerman’s statements were fabricated. “They knew that [Zimmerman’s] account of the situation, that the way that he said it, it wasn’t true,” Tracy Martin reportedly said Wednesday, adding that the family will not bring a civil suit against Zimmerman. “There’s nothing left to do but continue to fight for kids like Trayvon.”
Trayvon Martin's Mother Says Justice Department Let Killer Get Away With Murder
JENNIFER KAY , Associated Press
February 25, 2015 - 6:37 PM

MIAMI — The mother of Trayvon Martin says she's disappointed that federal prosecutors decided not to charge a neighborhood watch volunteer with a hate crime for killing her son three years ago.

Speaking with The Associated Press on Wednesday before the third anniversary of her 17-year-old son's death, Sybrina Fulton says she still believes George Zimmerman got away with murder.

"He took a life, carelessly and recklessly, and he shouldn't deserve to have his entire life walking around on the street free. I just believe that he should be held accountable for what he's done," Fulton said.

Zimmerman claimed he shot the unarmed teenager in self-defense after confronting Martin while volunteering for his neighborhood watch group. A jury acquitted him of second-degree murder the next year.

The case sparked a national conversation about race, bias and crime in part because Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, was not immediately arrested after shooting Martin, who is black.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday that it found insufficient evidence to establish that Zimmerman willfully deprived Martin of his civil rights or killed him because of his race.

"The Justice Department is the top of the line here," Fulton said. "But what they found just wasn't enough."

Zimmerman, for his part, is relieved the case is closed, according to his attorney, Don West.

"This cloud he was under has been lifted," West told the AP, adding that he finds it misleading to suggest that charges weren't filed only because the legal standard for federal hate crime is so tough to meet.

"There simply was never any compelling evidence that this was a federal hate crime. Race played no role in it whatsoever," West said.

The February 2012 confrontation began after Zimmerman spotted Martin walking through the neighborhood, returning to his father's home after buying candy and a soft drink at a convenience store.

Zimmerman called 911 to report a suspicious person, and got out of his car to follow Martin despite being warned by the dispatcher not to. Zimmerman did not testify at his trial, but he told investigators he feared for his life as Martin straddled him and punched him during the ensuing fight.

Wearing a T-shirt bearing a black-and-white image of her son in a hoodie, Fulton said she still longs for Zimmerman to be held responsible.

"I want to see people held accountable for what they're doing. It's just upsetting to know that a person can shoot and kill someone and justify it," Fulton said.

Fulton now channels her grief into work with The Trayvon Martin Foundation, which reaches out to other families who have lost children to violence, awards scholarships and collects school supplies for poor students.

She's also watching to see how the Justice Department handles other high-profile killings of unarmed blacks. Decisions are pending on whether to charge police in New York and Ferguson, Missouri with depriving the victims of their civil rights by using excessive force in the course of duty.

"What we want is accountability, we want somebody to be arrested, we want somebody to go to jail, of course," Fulton said. "But ... we have grand juries and special grand juries; they're making a decision to not even arrest a person."
Morgan Stanley to Pay $2.6 bln to Settle Mortgage-bond Claims
8:01am IST

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley said it will pay $2.6 billion to the U.S. government to resolve potential claims stemming from the sale of mortgage bonds before the financial crisis, reducing its 2014 profit by more than half.

Morgan Stanley increased its legal reserves by about $2.8 billion, which lowered its 2014 income from continuing operations by $2.7 billion, or $1.35 per share, the bank said in a regulatory filing. (

The bank had reported earnings from continuing operations of $5.83 billion, or $2.96 per share, for 2014.

Morgan Stanley said it settled with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California on Wednesday.

The DoJ declined to comment. Representatives at the Northern District of California were not immediately available for comment.

The Justice Department, in conjunction with other authorities, extracted record penalties from major banks in 2013 and 2014 for inappropriately marketing risky mortgage securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

JPMorgan Chase & Co agreed to a $13 billion deal in November 2013; Citigroup Inc signed a $7 billion settlement in July 2014; and Bank of America Corp reached a $16.65 billion agreement in August.

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has given federal prosecutors a 90-day deadline to decide whether they can bring cases against individuals for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis.

The government cases came out of a task force formed by President Barack Obama in 2012 to probe misconduct that contributed to the financial crisis.

Obama said he was creating the group to "hold accountable those who broke the law" and "help turn the page on an era of recklessness."

Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Monday it could face a federal civil lawsuit after a government probe concluded that the bank had violated laws related to sale of residential mortgage-backed securities before the crisis.

Goldman had also raised the top end of its estimate of "reasonably possible" legal losses to about $3 billion from $2.5 billion.

Morgan Stanley's shares closed at $36.59 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. (Reporting by Neha Dimri and Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Don Sebastian and Anupama Dwivedi)
Al-Jazeera Journalists Held Over Paris Drone
IANS  |  Paris  
February 26, 2015

Three Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested in Paris after flying a drone from a park on the edge of the city, a judicial source said.

"The first was piloting the drone, the second was filming and the third was watching," the source said.

The arrests were made Wednesday after multiple drone sightings over the French capital for the past two nights, although there was no immediate suggestion that the arrested journalists were linked to the earlier incidents, The Local reported.

The three were apprehended in the Bois de Boulogne, a park on the western edge of the city.

Flying drones over the French capital is banned by law, and the latest sightings come at a time of heightened vigilance following last month's jihadi attacks on the office of satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' which left at least 17 people dead.

The names and nationalities of the three journalists from Al-Jazeera have not been disclosed yet.
'Selma' Wasn't Historically Inaccurate, It Was Just Another Side of the Story
02/25/2015 5:54 pm EST
By Julie MacArthur

I am a historian by profession, and a historian of nineteenth and twentieth century Africa more specifically. I have also worked in the film world for over a decade, from running small African film festivals to working as a programming associate for artistic director Cameron Bailey and programmer Rasha Salti at the Toronto International Film Festival. I have curated academic programs on African and Black diaspora filmmaking and have taught courses on the relationship between film and history: film as source of history, film as reconstruction of history, and film as history itself.

And so the debate around Selma and the responsibility of filmmakers to the historical imagination hits particularly close to home. These debates emerge periodically, usually when particular pundits or involved parties, sometimes with academic credentials though often not, charge a big budget, historical drama with historical inaccuracy. They trot out their lists of grievances: historical omissions, problems of chronology, personal knowledge of particular aspects of the events in question, and the retreat to artistic license at the expense of historical fidelity.

Running through these debates is the assumption of a tension between the imagination and what "really happened," between fiction and history. This tension speaks directly to a pervasive misapprehension about what the study of history is now. Very few historians today would define their work as the collection of objective and verifiable facts that allow for the writing of a singular, complete, and "true" history; few historians today believe this actually exists. Indeed if it did, we would not have jobs as everyone would agree on what history was and means, which is certainly not the case. More and more, historians define their work as an engagement in evolving struggles over the multiple meanings of the past, as the exploration of the diverse and often dissenting narratives and voices from the past only heard and understood in the present.

When I teach history and film, the first hurdle to clear is to convince students that our job is not to judge the "historical accuracy" of the film. This is a fool's errand, as multiple historical narratives always co-exist, and it is also not a very interesting exercise. What we are looking for is what historical argument the film presents, and they all present one (though some more self-consciously than others). If there are blatant inaccuracies or anachronisms, so what? And more importantly, why? How do they impact the ways in which the film constructs an argument about the past? Do they reproduce stereotypes and biases or do they prompt new ways of thinking about the past?

The critiques around the portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in Selma are not actually about historical accuracy -- they are about weight and ownership, about who owns particular historical achievements and who can claim the authority to speak these histories. Johnson does come across as fairly impotent and even cranky in the film, but he also speaks to current frustrations over the limits of the office.

To say Johnson and King disagreed only on the way to achieve civil rights and not on the principle is disingenuous. Timing matters. The stakes were, and are, much higher. Whether or not Johnson was as committed to the civil rights movement as some of his proponents claim, whether he was reluctantly pushed or waiting and grateful to be pushed, it remains that the Voting Rights Bill did not come to the floor until after -- after the deaths of so many, after the brutality experienced and witnessed on Edmund Pettus Bridge, after the activism and sacrifice of thousands of black men and women made it politically undesirable to wait any longer.

If Spielberg's Lincoln can erase Frederick Douglass from the story of abolition with little opposition, and if American Sniper can repackage Chris Kyle's memoirs through rebooting cowboy movie aesthetics to shape a mythic version of the Iraq war that recasts a kind of patriotic racism as heroism and entertainment, then certainly Selma should be allowed to put the contribution of Johnson into sharper perspective.

The historical accuracy of each of these cases is not really the question. Cinematic histories are important, but also dangerous, precisely because of the powerful role they play in shaping our historical imaginations. Frederick Douglass's omission from Lincoln is damaging not because it is historically inaccurate but because it perpetuates the myth that freedom was given to black people, that black people were not part of the struggle and intellectual debates over the end of slavery in U.S. history. Historians need to engage in these questions, but to do so they need to come to grips with the form and language of this particular source; they need to meet the filmmaker on the plane of representation and argument.

Robert Rosenstone, one of the foremost scholars on history and film, writes of "true inventions" -- examples when historical and imaginative license is taken to better illuminate broader social truths.

And this is where Selma succeeds so brilliantly, bringing out multiple, often silenced or obscured social truths from this critical historical moment without sacrificing character or complexity. I won't detail the contribution Selma made through its depiction of the particular events leading up to Bloody Sunday and Dr. Martin Luther King's triumphant speech at Montgomery on March 25, 1965 -- fellow historian Professor Peniel Joseph did a masterful job on these subjects and on why the film's particular vision ("too black and too strong") has caused such controversy in his piece on NPR. Instead, I want to examine some of the quieter moments in the film and how they reveal director Ava DuVernay's sophisticated engagement with larger historical questions.

A perfect example of "true invention," DuVernay opens the film by intercutting two chronologically separate events: King's 1964 speech accepting the Nobel Prize in Oslo and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham where four young girls lost their lives over a year earlier. While the sequence may mislead viewers to think the events depicted occurred simultaneously, their juxtaposition serves a much larger purpose. Putting these events in the same frame, DuVernay implores us to think about historical time in a different way, about the ways people might remember historical trajectories, tensions and motivations differently: through their emotive and ideological connectedness, through acts of remembrance, expressed in King's re-imagined speech, even if not representing his actual words (as the film did not get the King's estates' permission to use his speech in its original form) and even though separated in time. It is all, after all, "one effort."

DuVernay also makes several bold choices in her treatment of the man himself. She opts to foreground King's personal life and to include claims of his infidelity. But she also convincingly argues that the judgment on such issues lies with Coretta Scott King (beautifully captured by Carmen Ejogo) alone: she made her choice, for all the complex reasons a woman might make that choice, and we should respect it. In this quiet moment, DuVernay articulates a much larger point: that the choices black women faced during the struggle were different, constrained by a different set of social impositions, but no less heroic or dignified.

And while King is certainly the leading man in this story, he is often subsumed within an overwhelming collective: an intelligent, angry, disciplined, and committed collective. Some of the most powerful scenes come when diverse members of the movement gather together to discuss and dissent on what the way forward should be. Here we get the voices of women, of students, and of the multiple civil rights leaders that are too often sidelined in hagiographic biopics about great leaders.

The inclusion of Malcolm X in the film also speaks to this willingness to confront historical complexity. The conversation between Coretta King and Malcolm X, as well as Coretta's later recounting of the conversation to her sceptical husband, provides a window into the multiple layers -- personal, political, emotional, ideological -- that informed debates over the strategies of resistance and change.

The new generation of protesters and social activists coming of age right now will find in Selma a powerful lesson -- every movement seeking dramatic social change needs to decide whether it believes the system can be reformed or whether the system itself must be destroyed. Where King succeeded, a point forcefully made throughout the film, was in tying specific protests to specific calls for legislative change. The pragmatism involved in King's approach might not be as appealing as the grand revolutionary narrative, but it speaks volumes of the intellectual and moral positions available to him. But some, including King in his portentous jail-house conversation about the limits of rights in the face of economic and educational poverty, might argue this is also where he faltered, or did not go far enough; and why Selma still has such great resonances today.

It is not enough to say historical fiction has different rules than History with a capital "H." Indeed DuVernay mobilizes multiple techniques to draw attention to the film's historical provenance and bolster the film's argument: archival snippets in the form of periodic logs from FBI surveillance, re-animated photographs and newspaper reportage, and authorial commentary that sketch out the future fates of the film's protagonists punctuate the film's more personal approach. DuVernay actively, and self-consciously, engages in the historical project.

What historians need to engage with in turn, in the films that will undoubtedly be seen and remembered far more widely than any academic monograph or lecture, are not derivative debates over historical accuracy or completeness -- a standard we do not even hold ourselves to. Both historians and filmmakers can only hope to provide representations of the past, not the past itself. Historians need to ask, of filmmakers as much as of themselves, what contribution these versions of the past make to our understandings not only of past hopes and hardships but moreover of current and future struggles to build better worlds.

And that is the true achievement of Selma: to reveal the social truths about the limits of power and the triumph of spirit and moral argument in complex times. As long as blackness is seen as a weapon, the black man can never be unarmed. As long as rights and justice depend on perspective and privilege, King's vision will remain unfulfilled. As long as history is past, we as a society will struggle to see what is right in front of us. In so many ways, Selma is now.
Inquisitive Student Finds Some Living History Linked to Malcolm X
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Ever since Malcolm X was killed, every detail of his life has been scoured. At least that's what Malcolm Burnley thought ... until, as a senior at Brown University, he discovered a story about a campus visit.

"Reading his autobiography was a really big moment in my adolescence," said Burnley, who said he realized that Malcolm X was on his campus, but he didn't know about it. "I didn't know about it, and no one knew about it."

Malcolm X came to Brown University in 1961 in response to Katherine Pierce's writing in the Brown Daily Herald.

Burnley had come across a 1961 article in the Brown Daily Herald written by a student named Katherine Pierce, who argued that integration of the races was the key to progress. Malcolm X had read the article and came to Brown to push back.

"My instinct was to find her phone number," said Burnley. "Hope that she was still alive and really remembered the entire story."

Burnley, named in part for Malcolm X, tracked down Katie Pierce. It turned out, she remembered it all.

"He did not detract from his central thesis," said Pierce. "Which is that separation is better than segregation. Brilliant speaker."

She even had a tape of that night in Sayles Hall that included her own introduction.

"I now turn the platform over to Minister Malcolm X Shabazz."

And the words of the man himself.

"We who follow the Honorable Elijah Muhammad absolutely reject integration because we feel that it is hypocritical and that it takes too long."

Burnley believes the idea that Malcolm X would go to a university after seeing a criticism in a student paper wouldn't happen today.

"I mean, usually the battle will happen on Twitter or something," Burnley said.

Pierce said Malcolm X did not change her mind.

In fact, Malcolm X would change his, moving closer to Pierce's belief in integration before he died. Four years after he traveled to Brown.

"It was almost giddy, being in the midst of something potentially interesting historically," said Pierce.

Time has not eroded Malcolm X's place in history, nor in her-story either.

Watch this CBS story at the following link:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rasmea Defense Committee: Defense Attorneys File Sentencing Memorandum in Federal Court

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Contact: Hatem Abudayyeh, National Spokesperson, Rasmea Defense Committee, 773.301.4108,

Defense attorneys file "sentencing memorandum" calling for judge NOT to imprison Rasmea Odeh
Supporters mobilize for March 12 sentencing in Detroit

Today, defense attorneys for Rasmea Odeh, Chicago’s 67-year-old Palestinian community leader, filed a “sentencing memorandum” in a Detroit federal court, arguing that Odeh “should not be sentenced to further imprisonment” following her conviction in November 2014 on a single charge of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization.  Included in the memorandum were “over 70 letters from religious leaders, university professors, human rights attorneys, community activists and people who have worked with her, attesting to her extraordinary and original work with Arab immigrant women.”

Maysoon Gharbieh, a member of the 600-strong Arab Women’s Committee that Rasmea built in Chicago, wrote, “Rasmea is a valuable and lovely icon for us and for the entire community. She works without reward or personal profit. All she cares about is supporting and protecting us and our families. Her ultimate goal is to help develop families that are educated, active and effective in contributing to keeping the community and the country safe for all who live here.”

In support of Odeh, Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit wrote, “I am asking for compassion in her sentencing. Rasmea has much to offer her community...keeping her out of prison would allow her to continue as a contributing and productive person, doing the work that is so critical to hundreds of refugee women.”

Odeh’s attorneys are asking Judge Gershwin Drain to take her age, poor health, chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and “exemplary history in the United States” into consideration when deciding on her sentence, adding that “there is no reasonable justification for sending Ms. Odeh to federal prison.”

Despite the fact that 98% of all sentences for this offense are at or below sentencing guidelines, the prosecution has called for a heavier, enhanced one of 5 to 7 years, based on allegations that Odeh obstructed justice in her trial and on this ridiculous comparison: “A light sentence in this case would be a signal to anyone who has fought overseas for ISIS or a similar organization that there is not much risk in coming to the United States, hiding one’s past, and seeking citizenship."

Odeh’s attorneys challenge this linkage, writing, “The Government, for its part, insists that the defendant be branded a terrorist, and sentenced accordingly, based on a conviction for bombings obtained in an illegitimate military trial, conducted by war criminals, 45 years ago.  Their position is that only the bombing matters: Not the illegal 1967 massacres and occupation - let alone the military ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from the land and their homes when Palestine was partitioned in 1948 - not the midnight sweeps and kidnapping by the invading Army after the 1967 war, not the torture, not the kangaroo court and false confessions, not the prison time.”

Odeh plans to appeal her conviction, and will request the granting of an appellate bond no matter the sentence, which could be the prison time, heavy fines, and deportation.

“Hundreds of people will be in Detroit for the sentencing hearing on March 12th,” says Tampa’s Marisol Marquez of the national Rasmea Defense Committee, “and there have been, and will continue to be, events and fundraisers to support Rasmea all across the country. She’s a beloved leader of the Palestinian community, and we will not stop organizing until she’s exonerated.”

For more information and background on Rasmea Odeh’s case, go to
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Feb. 22, 2015 Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to this special worldwide radio broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, by just clicking on the website below:

We feature our PANW reports focusing on events in the Sudans, Egypt, Russia and Libya.

The second and third hours continue the month long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Malcolm X, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz.

In this broadcast we examine further the ideological and political evolution of Malcolm X through his "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech in Detroit during April 1964 as well as an extensive interview on his outlook during the summer of 1964.
Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe on Sat. Feb. 21, 2015
Listen to this edition of the Pan-African Journal hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, by clicking on the website below:

In this broadcast we present our regular PANW reports on developments in Somalia, the Central African Republic, Greece, Russia and other geo-political regions.

The second and third hours continues the monthlong commemoration of the life and legacy of Malcolm X, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz.

Today we look at Malcolm's transition from the Nation of Islam beginning in 1962-63 to his public break with Elijah Muhammad in March 1964.

Malcolm X begins his focus on a political solution to the national oppression of African Americans.
Malcolm X and Black Lives Matter
By Monica Moorehead
February 24, 2015

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X was commemorated in many cities throughout the U.S. on the weekend of Feb. 21-22, with events that included street actions against police terror, speak-outs, forums, vigils and more.

A common thread running through many activities was the use of Malcolm’s legacy to forward the current fight against all forms of imperialism, especially racism and national oppression, in the form of the Black Lives Matter movement — by any means necessary. Workers World Party held forums and participated in numerous events with other progressive forces to honor this great anti-racist, anti-imperialist leader. Several activities are described below.

The Baltimore chapter of WWP and Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) youth group held a special joint forum to honor Malcolm X on Feb. 22.  Despite a major snowstorm, the Baltimore Solidarity Center meeting space was packed. All seats were filled by a diverse crowd of mostly young activists of all nationalities.

The event featured Larry Holmes, first secretary of WWP, who spoke on the legacy of Malcolm X and what it means for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The program and discussion lasted more than three hours because of the number of lively questions and comments. The majority of participants came from the Black Lives Matter movement.

It was standing room only at the Malcolm X tribute hosted by Detroit WWP and FIST on Feb. 21. Chaired by Tachae Davis, a member of both groups, the program included a video of an interview with Malcolm X as well as talks and a delicious soul food dinner.

Marcina Cole spoke on the struggle to free political prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Mich., who is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 27. Pinkney was convicted on charges of allegedly forging dates on petitions to oust the city’s mayor.

Joe Mchahwar of FIST and WWP presented the militant, anti-racist history of the Boston School Bus Drivers Union, United Steelworkers Local 8751, and told of the Veolia corporation’s campaign to bust the union and criminalize its leaders.

Davis spoke about Assata Shakur, Black Panther Party member and political exile, who escaped from prison in 1979 and took refuge in revolutionary Cuba. Debbie Johnson of WWP exposed the role of the corporate media in perpetuating racist lies and urged the audience to read Workers World newspaper for revolutionary and working-class truth. After the meeting, copies were quickly grabbed up.

‘Revolutionary Voice of Struggle and Liberation’

Abayomi Azikiwe, a leader of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and Detroit WWP, as well as editor of the Pan-African News Wire and WW contributing editor, gave the main presentation on the struggle legacy of Malcolm X. His powerful and informative talk, entitled “Malcolm X: Revolutionary Voice of Struggle and Liberation,” was published by Modern Ghana and can be read at

The New York City branch of WWP held “A Tribute to Malcolm X” forum at the Solidarity Center on Feb. 21. Despite a winter storm, a standing-room-only crowd participated in a more than two-hour dialogue on how the contributions made by Malcolm X impact the Black Lives Matter movement today.

Opening remarks were made by Alexia Filpo and Colin Ashley from the Peoples Power Assembly; Simone Gamble from Brooklyn’s East Flatbush Cop Watch; Ramiro Fúnez from FIST and Larry Holmes from WWP. Three videos featuring Malcolm X were played.

“A walk in his footsteps in Harlem,” organized by the PPA and Occu-Evolve, took place earlier that day. It started where Malcolm X once held street meetings at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, followed by a walk to the police precinct where he organized a protest against police brutality in 1957.

The Buffalo, N.Y., Anti Racism Coalition hosted an event Feb. 22 to honor all young Black lives stolen by state violence, with speakers, poetry, music and a reading of Malcolm X’s words.

The Los Angeles WWP branch organized a Feb. 21 film showing of Spike Lee’s 1992 feature film, “Malcolm X,” starring Denzel Washington. After the movie, a political discussion was held on how Pan-Africanism, international solidarity, the right of Black people to self-defense and other concepts popularized by Malcolm X apply to today’s movement against state violence and for Black Liberation.

The Durham, N.C., branch of WWP held a “Malcolm X: Black Liberation and Black Lives Matter” forum on Feb. 21 at the Hayti Heritage Center. Featured speakers included Manzoor Cheema from Muslims for Social Justice and Larry Hales from WWP and PPA. The meeting explored the movement that Malcolm came to inspire and represent, his thoughts, political practice and militancy.

Other Malcolm X/Black History Month WWP forums are scheduled for Philadelphia on Feb. 24 and Boston on Feb. 28.

Contributors to this article include Sharon Black, Ellie Dorritie, Kris Hamel, Andy Katz and John Parker.
Egypt Foreign Ministry Expresses "Extreme Discontent" at Amnesty Report
Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Feb 2015

An Amnesty International report has claimed that seven civilians were killed in Egyptian airstrikes in Libya last week

The foreign ministry spokesperson on Tuesday expressed his "extreme astonishment and discontent" at the "false information" in an Amnesty International report claiming that seven civilians were killed by Egyptian airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) group targets in Derna, eastern Libya, last week.

Coordinating with the Libyan army, the Egyptian forces launched the airstrikes on 16 February, in retaliation for IS group beheading 20 Egyptian Coptic migrant workers a day earlier.

"Egypt considers and abides by international agreements and standards, and the targets against this terrorist organisation were carefully chosen, as the airstrike focused on the training camps and weaponry reserves of terrorist organisation IS," said Ambassador Badr Abdel-Aty in a foreign ministry statement published on Tuesday.

He also said that Egypt had used its right to self-defense in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and that Egypt had coordinated with the "legitimate Libyan government", which asked for Egypt's support in facing the danger of "terrorist organisations including IS".

The foreign ministry spokesperson said Egypt is keen on protecting the lives of civilians, as the airstrike came following an accurate study to avoid any casualties among civilians.

In a televised speech on Sunday, Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi rejected accusations that the army had targeted civilians, saying the airstrikes against the IS group were precisely aimed at specific military targets.

Libyan air force chief Saqr Al-Jaroushi had told an Egyptian broadcaster shortly after the Egyptian airstrikes that his country's airforce, which coordinated the attacks with Cairo, bombed an anti-aircraft system which was stationed on the roof of a civilian building.

Amnesty published a report on Tuesday containing alleged testimonies by residents who claimed two missiles had landed in the heavily populated residential area of Sheiha al-Gharbiya in Derna.

According to eyewitnesses, reported Amnesty, most of the Egyptian airstrikes in and around Derna were on military targets, but two missiles landed in the heavily populated residential area of Sheiha al-Gharbiya.

The foreign ministry spokesperson wondered where those organisations were when thousands of airstrikes by "major countries" in various Arab and Islamic countries resulted in hundreds, if not thousands of civilian casualties.

"It is surprising that these organisations, including Amnesty, were keen on ignoring those facts with the claim they happened unintentionally, which raises questions about how serious they are and the reality of their intentions, and about their strategy of double standards and selectiveness when it comes to the actions of major countries".
Egypt Denies Reports of Potential War Crimes in Libya Airstrikes
Emir Nader
Daily News Egypt
February 24, 2015

Egypt’s foreign ministry fiercely spoke out against reports that airstrikes in Libya last week killed seven civilians, which rights groups have called potential war crimes.

The ministry told Daily News Egypt that the claims of the deaths are based on “false information”.

Seven civilians were killed by Egyptian jets in retaliatory strikes against suspected Islamist militant targets in the Libyan city of Derna last week, according to research published by Amnesty International Monday.

Alongside a Human Rights Watch report Tuesday, evidence appears to indicate that both militant fighters and Egyptian forces are responsible for committing war crimes by the killing of civilians, Amnesty said.

Egypt responded to a video by a Libyan militant group affiliated with Islamic State showing the beheading of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians with airstrikes on 16 February, which President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi openly called revenge.

According to eyewitness testimonies documented by both prominent rights watchdogs, the airstrikes struck not only military targets but also hit the heavily populated residential area Sheiha Al-Gharbiya in the eastern city of Derna.

The airstrikes would have killed a mother, her three children and three other civilians. Approximately ten houses were destroyed, 30 more damaged, as well as 20 private cars in attacks which suggest that the “Egyptian Air Force failed to take the necessary precautions” in carrying out the attack, the Amnesty report said.

However, Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Badr Abdelatty told Daily News Egypt that the “no civilians were killed in the attacks” and that the claims were “nonsense reports based on wrong information”.

Referring to a picture of three dead children widely circulated on social media and on Al Jazeera’s Arabic website following the attacks – but later proved to be unrelated – Abdelatty said there was a campaign to “perceive the Egyptian army in a negative light”. He added that the campaign was aimed at discrediting the actions and professionalism of the forces.

Despite the Amnesty and HRW reports interviewing eyewitnesses, families of victims and medical officials, Abdelatty suggested the reports were based on information that was mischaracterised as the picture.

However, according to one eyewitness who spoke to Amesty:”One missile struck a four-storey house belonging to the Al-Kharshoufi family, killing a mother and her three children aged between three and eight, and injuring their father and another child.” Other accounts corroborated that there was “no evidence that any military target was located in the Al-Kharshoufi family’s house, and the attack was carried out without any prior warning to civilians”, Amnesty said.

Whilst it is difficult to establish and verify information in Libya owing to the departure of most NGOs and journalists in the country, Amnesty interviewed eyewitnesses and medical workers that treated the injured. The director of Derna Hospital reported there were no fighters amongst the wounded and dead that they received.

Asserting that the initial beheadings are themselves war crimes, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International said: “Attacks which do not discriminate between civilians and fighters are war crimes.”

The rights group has called on Egypt to investigate the deaths and disclose detailed information on all the airstrikes in Derna and the measures taken to avoid harm to civilians.

“Egypt and Libya say they are fighting extremists affiliated with ISIS, but that doesn’t give them a free hand to kill civilians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Abdelatty also told Daily News Egypt that the Egyptian air strikes were requested by and conducted in coordination with the internationally recognised Libyan government. The Chief of Staff of the Libyan army, Saqr Al-Jeroushi, has previously denied any civilian casualties in the mainly Islamist town and said that 40-50 fighters had been killed in the attacks. He said that residential units had anti-aircraft guns mounted on them, although eyewitnesses told Amnesty that they had not seen such installations.

The Egyptian air force took “revenge for those slaughtered and were very accurate in targeting only training camps and military facilities”, Abdelatty said. “Egypt is keeping up with international standards laid out by the UN. I question the motivations of organisations behind the reports who say nothing about the thousands of airstrikes that kill thousands of civilians in Arab and Muslim countries by superpowers.”