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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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United States

United States SenateCandidate for SenatorFull Term

Photo of John Thompson Parker

John Thompson Parker

Social Justice Advocate
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Call for an immediate cessation of U.S. wars and proxy wars and the funding of wars and occupations; divert the funding to vital social programs and for use in programs to reverse environmental damage, prioritizing global warming.
  • Immediately call for a state of emergency in Black and Brown neighborhoods to address police murder with the initial step of ceasing the use of deadly force by police in communities where a majority of residents are Black or Latinx.
  • Institute a referendum calling for the conversion of privately owned vital industry into public ownership

Experience

Experience

Profession:Coordinator Harriet Tubman Center, editor
At-large representative board member, Empowerment Congress South Central Neighborhood Council — Elected position (2012–2016)
Marketing Manager, Brylane (1994–1998)
Marketing Assistant, Hanover Direct (1992–1994)
Substitute Teacher in Newark, NJ, Newark Board of Education (1986–1989)
Data processing and typesetting, Longview Publishing (1981–1984)
floor worker, Small steel bending and processing service plant (1980–1981)

Education

Los Angeles Trade and Technical College Certificate of completion: CISCO Networking Academy, internet routing and switching on CISCO equipment (2018)
Essex County Community College Associates Degree, music (1990)

Community Activities

founder and coordinator, Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice (2010–current)
co-founder, Socialist Unity Party (2019–current)
Representative of Lead Plaintiff in lawsuit SCLC vs Kroger Retail, Coalition to Stop the Closing of Ralph's Grocery Stores in South Central (2021–current)
initiator and author, $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative (2013–2015)

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of projects and laws.  What, if any, new programs or projects or reforms to existing programs and projects would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Answer from John Thompson Parker:

Like many problems, agribusiness and the decisions of growers do not reflect the sanity or needs of society but rather their need to maximize profits under this capitalist system. Their requirements and water usage could be greatly reduced if decisions on where crops are grown and the priorities of society were not left up to those who do not have society's needs as their concerns. Any solutions that do not work towards the process of taking control of the means of production, and that includes agricultural production, away from the private control of financial and industrial monopolists is inadequate and counterproductive. We need to make sure that crops requiring the most water do not get grown in the desert. We must ensure that decisions about water usage are not interfered with by the ownership of lands by, for example, Saudi Arabia. The solutions to drought must be analyzed by those whose interests are not inflluenced by profit.

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from John Thompson Parker:

Immigration must be understood in the context of U.S. imperialist wars. The current worldwide refugee crisis is a direct result of the U.S. war on Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with the economic destablization by the U.S. of Honduras, Haiti and Guatemala. Most of the migration from Mexico and Central and South America is due to both economic and military wars waged by the U.S. against these regions, forcing workers to come over the border risking life and faced with constant terror of being deported. Migrants in this country contribute to the vast wealth of this country without benefit of social security or pensions, yet they pay taxes. Any policy must first take this into account. And, instead of making the lives of migrants worse, perhaps reparations should be due for the destablization of countries. Any border control policies should be humane and more closely resemble the policies of those countries following humane policies established by international norm. 

When Kamala Harris went to Honduras or Guatemala she didn’t offer reparations for the destruction of their economies directly because of the policies of the CIA backed United Fruit Company, instead she warned them to keep their people suffering from drug trafficking violence the U.S. created. People should know that this corruption got so bad that the U.S. puppets they enabled into office in Honduras had to be extradited to the U.S. to face life in prison for drug conspiracy crimes – due to the insistance of NY prosecutors going over the heads of the White House by exposing the corruption and gun running.

This is why my organization, the Socialist Unity Party, is proud to be working with the Comites of Resistance under the leadership of Union del Barrio in Los Angeles to patrol our communities and warn them of any ICE presence or brutality by the police. See, there are things we can do right now to make a difference – that’s some of the activism I participate in today.

 

As Senator what, if any, policies or legislation would you support to preserve democracy for all US residents?
Answer from John Thompson Parker:

We know that this system in the U.S. will only change when the movement of the people is so intimidating, so unified and powerful that the ruling class will have no choice but move aside – and we hope that will be a peaceful transition but given history the ruling class usually doesn’t yield completely without lashing out violently against the people. But, in order to get to the point of building an unstoppable peoples movement we must come together as a class. And there are those in our class who were left behind, who still don’t have many of the basic rights that most enjoy – that includes Black and Brown people who remain disenfranchised whether it’s due to immigration status or the long denial of voting rights that never were actualized after slavery. On the books it says Black people have all the voting rights of every other citizen, however, existing and increasingly new laws hidden as voter integrity laws continue to increase the disenfranchisement of Black people. And, if we as a class are ever going to unify we all must recognize and show solidarity to the Black population here in the U.S. that remain without any voice.

The ACLU pointed out back in August that in recent years, more than 400 anti-voter bills have been introduced in 48 states. Still, the Biden Administration does nothing but talk and refuses to seriously take on these attempts at voter disenfranchisement.

There is a section of the ruling class that wants to eliminate the few democratic rights that we have in this country, like voting rights, to bring us closer to fascism. Why? This country like all the capitalist countries are in a global economic crisis, now compounded by the pandemic, that make the attainment of profit by the financial and industrial monopolies only possible through the increased misery of working and poor people, so they must promote a denial of basic social services to ensure the continued flow of their profits. They know that this theivery of our wealth inspires us to protest, demanding we get back some of the wealth we have created for the ruling class. So, the repression attempts to keep us at bay, as would the system of fascism. The willingness to fund billions of dollars to nazi military groupings in Ukraine and the allowance of white supremacists from this country and others to go to Ukraine and train with groups there like the Azov Battaliion shows their willingness to partner with nazis to, in this case, fight their proxy war against Russia to expand NATO. This is also further evidence that Biden stands opposed to fascism only in words, but they’re actions show that they don’t want to seriously crush white supremacy or this fascist movement since - like all of the ruling class - they fear us working and poor and oppressed people – the workingclass - most of all.

 

What legislation, if any, would you support to reduce American greenhouse gas production?  Please explain the reasons for your position.
Answer from John Thompson Parker:

Here's excerpts of my ten-point program on climate change:

People's Commission on Climate Change

Not to include individuals with any relationship or association with fossil fuel energy companies or investors. It should include survivors of climate change disasters, working-class residents of affected regions, climate scientists, climate change activists and Indigenous anti-pipeline activists.

Abolish the Pentagon

The US military's carbon footprint exceeds nearly 140 countries. The largest institutional contributor to global warming on planet Earth is the Department of Defense. The U.S. military adds more CO2 than any other single entity and more than most single countries in the world. Add to that the heat trapping toxins produced by the manufacture of trillions in weapons manufacture. Trillions of dollars are wasted on death and destruction in the quest to seize oil markets. This should be reallocated to sustainable energy research and development and mitigation of climate change. 

 Peace Driven Manhattan Project for Climate Change

As the U.S. did in developing the atomic bomb, all out research and development should be done by leading scientists. Universities should end all research and development for weaponry.  All resources of NASA, all private use of scientists and researchers currently involved in profit-making schemes (including SpaceX), should be repurposed to monitoring and solving climate change crisis and global assistance in mitigation, adaptation, relocation.

 People's Takeover of Fossil-Fuel Energy Companies 

All fossil fuel companies to be seized and administered by the People's Commission during the fastest transition to sustainable energy possible. Massive oil fortunes to be seized and used for climate change mitigation.

 Ban Fracking

The process of fracking has enabled the emergence of the imperialist U.S. as the top producer of oil and gas in the world. Global environmental destruction and atmospheric heat-trapping is exacerbated by the heightened war-drive of U.S. imperialism as giant energy companies and banking investors push for U.S. wars to take over oil and gas markets globally.

 Mass Transit

From the forties through the fifties, General Motors, Firestone, Standard Oil and other companies conspired to destroy mass transit and build freeways across the country. When proven guilty of this criminal profit-grab, General Motors was fined $5,000.  Now the situation calls for immedite reversal. There must be a multi-trillion investment to build a new mass transit system with technical assistance from China - the world's leader in mass transit and high-speed trains.

Eliminate Profits as a Factor in Energy Production

Development of wind, solar, and other potential sustainable energy forms were delayed for decades as investors waited until production became cheaper than oil and coal. The earth's temperature edged closer to climate disaster while lack of funds slowed important research and development. Science must be the determining factor on how to build a new, global system of sustainable energy. Coal, fracking and offshore oil drilling must end, oil pipelines must be shut down. Profit as a guide in energy production must be eliminated. Science in the service of the people must determine the way forward.

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Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Socialism and Black Liberation

Summary

Reflections on my invitation and visit to the inauguration of President Xiomara Castro of Honduras and its significance to the struggle for socialism and Black liberation.

On Jan. 27, I was fortunate to be one of a handful of delegates from the U.S. to attend the historic inauguration of President Xiomara Castro in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Representing the Socialist Unity Party, I was part of an international delegation invited by President Castro and her Libre Party, founded by the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP). 

For the first time in 12 years, the people – service workers, factory workers, agricultural workers, unemployed workers, communities of African ethnicity and Indigenous communities – were also invited to participate.

That’s a reflection of the policies and actions already taking place under the new administration, employing a path in line with socialist economic goals. In fact, in the first five days of Castro’s presidency, she wiped out the electric bills of a million working and poor people in Honduras, in addition to ending much of the school tuition that also helped keep the poorest of the population destitute. 

In addition, Castro’s priority of ending the privatizations that have wreaked havoc on the environment – especially for Indigenous communities struggling to maintain clean water – is already being implemented.

Early on the morning of the inauguration, lining up to get into the stadium in Tegucigalpa, our 20-person international delegation witnessed the excitement and joy of the sea of people, some of whom had traveled far, and some of whom had slept there overnight to get good seats.

The gravity of this event was reflected in its open rejection of capitalist and imperialist policies, and, with the multi-ethnic diversity we saw in attendance, a rejection of racism.

Since I’m writing this during Black History Month, as a Black person I want to pose the question: Would the victory of a genuine socialist brought about by a grassroots struggle have the same beneficial effects on the Black, Brown and Indigenous populations here in the U.S.? 

And, if so, does the inauguration of Castro show the importance of the struggle for socialism for Black/African liberation in the U.S. and abroad?

Militant mobilization in the streets

Socialists and communists have long been a part of the Black struggle for liberation in the U.S., although hidden behind a wall of racist erasures in history books, state repression and anti-communist propaganda. 

Today, the mantra from the ruling class, echoed by liberal politicians, nonprofits and educational institutions, is that the struggle cannot be in the streets, only electoral. It especially cannot challenge the ownership of a very small minority of billionaires and their institutions who hold the major industries of manufacturing, war, finance, education and health care in their possession.

In Honduras, however, although this was an electoral victory, it was made possible only by militant activism in the streets and growing organization of working-class and nationally oppressed sectors to challenge the frantic drive toward privatization that characterized the years since the 2009 coup. 

The U.S. government supported the overthrow and kidnapping of then-President Manuel Zelaya with money and technical know-how. Zelaya, a socialist who was democratically elected in 2006 and is the husband of President Castro, defied U.S. imperialism by refusing to accept a cabinet chosen by the U.S. Embassy. He refused to abide by the policies of austerity and anti-communism demanded by Western monopoly banking institutions.

Like President Castro, Zelaya sought to make qualitative changes in favor of the working class shortly after becoming president. He raised the minimum wage of workers by 60%, infuriating Wall Street banks, the Obama Administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

U.S. support continued with the military coup’s targeting and killing of progressive activists, while also making Honduras the poorest country in Latin America. Repression and economic devastation drove waves of emigration by desperate refugees, who were then demonized and brutalized when they tried to enter the U.S.

Still, a very strong youth movement grew in number and influence during the last 12 years, led by socialist youth. After the coup they put their lives in danger with militant protests. Many belong to the Libre Party and some are actually part of the Castro administration.

Their militance was an echo of that of the Indigenous communities, as represented by slain activist and Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, whose photo was enlarged on the stadium walls in her honor during the inauguration.

Unity of workers and oppressed

It was that type of militancy in the streets and unity with the oppressed that culminated in the electoral victory of Xiomara Castro. And that unity continues. It will be needed, because the U.S. continues to occupy major military bases in Honduras, and is already plotting to undermine the new government with its right-wing allies.

At the inauguration, I spoke with a member of one of the Black community organizations that received a special invitation to attend and participate in the ceremony.

There are two groups in Honduras of African ethnicity. One is the Garifuna people, an Afro-Indigenous community. The other group lives near the Bay Islands and on the Honduran coast of the Caribbean sea. Because of British colonialism preceding the ownership of their lands by Honduras, these are English-speaking Black communities.

“We are the Black English-speaking people, we are located in the Bay Islands mainly, we are in La Ceila, Puerto Cortez and Puerto Castilla. We are actually the only group of Black English-speaking people in Honduras. And for many years many people didn’t even know we existed because we had been so excluded,” the community representative explained.

“But today, with the government of President Xiomara Castro, it was one of her goals that the Indigenous and Afro groups be present in this historical moment. It’s the reason we are here today showcasing a little bit of who we are, because many don’t even know that we are one of the nine ethnic groups that exist in Honduras, since we once belonged to the British government.”

About a week after the inauguration, it was announced that – for the first time – a member of the Garifuna community, Dr. Luther Castillo Harry, who studied at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, Cuba, was appointed secretary of Science, Technology and Scientific Innovation by President Castro.

Socialist activism in the U.S.

Claudia Vera Cumberbatch, who changed her name to Claudia Jones, also had roots in the Caribbean. She was born in 1915 in Trinidad, and came to Harlem in 1924 where she began advocating for socialism. Jones’ advocacy was so threatening to the ruling class here that she was later deported for her communist activism before she could get citizenship. 

She described her experience as a Black woman: “It was out of my Jim Crow experiences as a young Negro woman, experiences born of working-class poverty, that led me in search of why these things had to be, that led me to join the Young Communist League and to choose at the age of 18 the philosophy of my life – the science of Marxism-Leninism — that philosophy that not only rejects racist ideas but is the antithesis of them.”

Jones saw the crisis of working people as a direct result of capitalism in its modern stage of imperialism: “Imperialism is the root cause of racialism. It is the ideology which upholds colonial rule and exploitation. It preaches the ‘superiority’ of the white race whose ‘destiny’ it is to rule over those with colored skins, and to treat them with contempt. It is the ideology which breeds fascism, rightly condemned by the civilized people of the whole world.”

Jones, whose analysis is so relevant to today’s struggles against white supremacy and the rise of fascist forces, is just one of the many socialist voices of Black peoples in the U.S., starting as early as 1904 with the Rev. G.W. Woodbey in his books “The Bible and Socialism” and “The Distribution of Wealth.”

Woodbey, born in 1854, was a member of the Socialist Party of America, and saw the struggle for socialism as a next step after the struggle against slavery and key to fighting racism and economic exploitation.

Then there are George Jackson, Lucy Parsons, W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson, just to name a few of the Black historical figures from the U.S. who advocated the economic system of socialism.

So yes, Honduras provides further evidence that Black liberation is tied to the struggle for socialism. 

Other examples include the independence of 17 African countries from European colonial bondage during the 1960s, due to the military and financial support of the Soviet Union and China; or, here in the U.S., the rise in power of the union movement in the 1930s and 1940s, eventually greatly benefiting Black workers due to socialist/communist leadership and their growing influence; or the defense of Black workers in the South during the Great Depression by communists; or the fact that our very own Assata Shakur is alive and well, in spite of the U.S. bounty on her head, protected by Cuba’s revolutionary socialist government.

Claudia Jones expands on this in her comments that take into account not only national oppression, but also women’s oppression: “For the progressive women’s movement, the Negro woman, who combines in her status the worker, the Negro and the woman, is the vital link to this heightened political consciousness. 

“To the extent, further, that the cause of the Negro woman worker is promoted, she will be enabled to take her rightful place in the Negro-proletarian leadership of the national liberation movement and, by her active participation, contribute to the entire American working class, whose historic mission is the achievement of a Socialist America — the final and full guarantee of woman’s emancipation.”

Anyone who tells you that socialism is not relevant to our struggle as Black people either has no clue about our history or does not want to see any real struggle against this racist system of exploitation, poverty and war. 

But, in spite of the lies the ruling class and their collaborators throw at us, the struggle for liberation will continue. Just ask the people of Honduras.

Stop NATO! No War on Russia and Donbass

Summary

The U.S. war drive and it's complicit media - we've been here before.

If you happen to be in downtown Los Angeles and come across Skid Row, everywhere you look there is evidence of suffering from the humanitarian war crime of capitalism and homelessness. I’m reminded of the tens of thousands facing the same fate due to low wages, joblessness and rents driven up by perfectly legal exorbitant increases. If you’re not already homeless, you may be soon if this economic war against us continues to spread, like the unchecked virus enabled by capitalism.

The 7.9% inflation rate, the highest in 40 years, doesn’t help. The main culprits being food, rent and especially – thanks to the U.S.-NATO proxy war in Ukraine – gas. Not only that, the $16 billion COVID-relief fund was cut for this war.

But, no problem. Working-class folks, even those facing desperate circumstances, understand sacrifice for the sake of others, especially children’s lives.

The reality, however, is that our sacrifice for this war is not for children, but for the profits of those in the U.S. whose existence depends on the expansion of war and misery.

But, what about all the news reports of civilians being targeted by the Russians and that “crazy” Putin?

The first thing that occurs when plans for imperialist war are finally implemented (see Ukraine: It was all written in the Rand Corp plan 3 years ago) is the vilification of the latest targets of U.S. imperialism, and the individuals that represent those targets.

In 1915, when Britain wanted to escalate war with Germany during World War I, they launched the British cruise liner Lusitania, traveling from New York to Liverpool, England, through a declared maritime war zone. Germany had already made it very clear on numerous occasions that any British ship in that zone would be considered an enemy vessel and would be attacked. So, it was attacked and thousands died. The tragedy was used to justify the U.S. entrance into the war two years later. The New York Times prominently featured photos of those killed. The U.S. used this coverage as a primary tool for propaganda and military recruitment.

After World War I, it was exposed that the sunken Lusitania was also carrying 50 tons of ammunition. This kind of tactic is being used again to sell the current war, but first let’s get some context.

From 1990 to 1991 the Soviet Union was given assurances from the U.S. and Western European countries that an expansion of the U.S.-led anti-Soviet military alliance, NATO, would not happen — and especially not move eastward towards them (NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard). The Soviet Union in 1991 therefore unilaterally dissolved their military alliance – the Warsaw Pact. Eight years later, with no Warsaw Pact to protect them, the U.S. directed a NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia that destroyed tens of thousands of homes, roads, hospitals, crowded markets, passenger trains, and the Chinese Embassy, killing three Chinese journalists. This was followed by bombings of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and many more NATO operations on the continent of Africa in the years following.

For the last 20 years NATO has doubled its member armies, expanding eastward and surrounding Russia.

Yet, in spite of the Russian government’s repeated warnings against turning Ukraine, which borders them, into another NATO member state with possible nuclear weapons, the U.S. poured more gas on the fire. They not only orchestrated a coup in 2014 to put in an anti-Russian, pro-NATO regime, but also began sending billions of dollars in funds, weapons and training to openly Nazi battalions that are now official sections of the Ukrainian military. In February, the U.S. then pushed those Nazi forces to escalate bombings of the Donbass region against a Russian-speaking minority population.

This was the Lusitania-like provocation, by the U.S. Those in the Donbass region pleaded for help from the Russian government to save their children. Since 2014 they have endured eight years of torture and bombings, with 14,000 killed. Then in February came this increased genocidal assault by the main terrorist Nazi threat, the Azov Batallion. Russia then decided it had no choice but to answer the call of the people in the Donbass and stop an existential threat on its borders – the possibility of a U.S.-led NATO state with nuclear weapons controlled by a Nazi-led military.

This is what the U.S. government with bipartisan support has done – they’ve pushed the world into a conflict that could start World War III, gambling the futures of our children and those abroad solely for the sake of profits.

These wars are, again, eased through with stories to push our buttons of evil men and evil deeds you’re just now finding out about. We’ve been here before and a look at the history of just one “newspaper of record” shows how the media has been an essential part of the Pentagon arsenal. Take this headline in the New York Times in August 1964: “REDS DRIVEN OFF; Two Torpedo Vessels Believed Sunk in Gulf of Tonkin.” The article begins:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4—The Defense Department announced tonight that North Vietnamese PT boats made a “deliberate attack” today on two United States destroyers patrolling international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin off North Vietnam.

Although the story was a total lie, it served to begin the U.S.-escalated war on Vietnam. On the day it was published, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This  authorized a war on Vietnam (without a formal declaration of war), giving the President broad authority in the use of military force, which escalated by 1968 to a half-million U.S. troops occupying Vietnam. More than 2 million civilians in both North and South Vietnam were killed during the war. In addition, the use of millions of gallons of the chemical weapon Agent Orange, sprayed throughout by the U.S. military from 1961 to 1971, killed or maimed another 400,000. Some 500,000 children were born with chemical warfare-caused birth defects.

Six months before the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, in 1979 the Carter Administration began funding the new “freedom fighters” – the Mujahideen, which became the Taliban – in a war against a revolutionary government that, among other progressive reforms, had established for the first time laws mandating the equality of women. The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, overwhelmed by U.S. military armed and funded Mujahideen, requested help from the Soviet Union. The Soviets were also worried about the threat of a possible U.S.-sponsored Mujahideen regime on their border. Sound familiar? This created the endless war in Afghanistan.

Nevermind that. Quick, look over there! An evil dictator in Iraq must be stopped now!

Here’s more headlines from the “newspaper of record”: Czechs Confirm Iraqi Agent Met With Terror Ringleader; December 20, 2001: Iraqi Tells of Renovations at Sites for Chemical and Nuclear Arms; April 21, 2003: Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert; and here’s a big one on April 24, 2003: U.S.-Led Forces Occupy Baghdad Complex Filled with Chemical Agents.

The problem with all these stories, and admitted by the New York Times in a published apology, is that none of them are true. They say it was the result of bad information with little verification. We’re just looking at the New York Times here but, you could look into the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, or any corporate newspaper and find the same misinformation passed off as truth and accepted as such by politicians, talk-show hosts, Hollywood scripts, celebrity campaigns and most of us during whatever latest war they point our heads toward.

The reporter on that last story and many of these stories was Judith Miller and this is what Miller had to say about the numerous unchecked lies in numerous unchecked articles selling a U.S. war that killed 500,000 children: “My job isn’t to assess the government’s information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq’s arsenal.”

In that “apology” from the editors of the Times they correctly stated that the fault was not just of the journalists reporting the story but the verification process – a process that accepted without question information lining up with the narrative of the State Department. Unfortunately, like racism, that process is very much a component of the military industrial complex.

In 1996 Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes interviewed then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about the death of children in Iraq due to the U.S. war: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Albright replied calmly: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.” This, based on evidence her administration knew was a lie. One of the definitions of evil in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity.” Even evil seems too soft of a word to describe U.S. imperialism and its enablers.

Today, along with the corporate media, Congress is again playing its part in the war drive – Congress just approved $800 million more for the Ukrainian government and their Nazi battallions, which, again since it’s never mentioned, has been bombing the eastern region and committing war crimes against civilians in Lugansk and Donetsk FOR MORE THAN 8 YEARS, killing at least 14,000 civilians.

This faith in the U.S. State Department’s information comes in spite of the knowledge of contradictory news being suppressed in Ukraine. Three television stations were closed for not reporting coverage favorable to the Ukrainian government. Much information came out in Ukraine exposing the Azov Battalion when they took over hospitals, schools and apartment buildings in Mariupol that were then shown in the U.S. media as civilian buildings and not Azov Battalion outposts. Doctored and mislabeled videos and photos were prevalent during the beginning of the Russian intervention, even showing Israeli bombings and Palestinian resistance as “evidence” of Russian brutality and Ukrainian resistance.

The bombing by Nazi-led forces of the center of the city of Donetsk, killing over 20 civilians waiting at an ATM machine, was verified by various organizations in Donetsk, media outlets and independent journalists in the Donbass region. But, you never saw that report because the TV reporters and news publications in Ukraine that report those types of stories have been closed down. The journalists or activists who have reported this missile attack on civilian Donetsk, like Alexander Matyushenko from the Levitsa Association in Dnipropetrovsk (Dnipro), or the 37 other journalists detained in early March, have been jailed. In Kiev, arrests began even earlier. On Feb. 27, brothers Mikhail Kononovich and Aleksandr Kononovich, leaders of the Ukrainian Communist Youth, members of the World Federation of Democratic Youth as well as ethnic Belarusians, were seized and are being imprisoned along with members of other organizations we in the Socialist Unity Party and Struggle-La Lucha have been working with in Donbass. Last week I was communicating with someone from one of those organizations.

All of those detained are held on dubious charges with little explanation from authorities and are being denied legal representation.

The children who died in Iraq are just the tip of the iceberg of victims of U.S. and NATO wars, including the millions killed in Vietnam, Korea, Yugoslavia, Libya and Yemen. Now in Libya, because of the war by the Obama administration and destruction of civil society, slavery exists – a reality that undoubtedly is destroying the lives of children. In Yemen, the U.S. proxy war led by Saudi Arabia is now causing the starvation of millions of children, according to UN estimates.

If only those corporate editors of the media were as dedicated to exposing the war on children as they are in pushing for illegal and inhumane wars and proxy wars by the U.S., like the war in Ukraine now.

 

State of the Union Address - Fund, Fund, Fund the police?

Summary

The President solidified himself with a Republican agenda regarding repression and white supremacy

 

 

The Democratic Party is hoping to win the next presidential election by going in the direction of the Republican Party. That conservative trajectory led President Biden to chanting during his State of the Union address, that in the context of the reality of racist police murder, conjured images of lynchings and cross burnings to me – and I’m sure I’m not alone among many Black people paying attention. The chant was in opposition to the very moderate demand of taking some funds from the police. “Fund the police, Fund them, Fund them” he exclaimed as if he was preaching the gospel. And, it looked in fact like he was preaching to the choir since he got a standing ovation in the House chambers.

Biden is not worried about Black voters. He thinks we as Black people have no choice. During the last election he said if we didn’t vote for him we weren’t Black. He joins Joe Rogan in thinking he knows what it is to be Black.

His version of being Black is like being Eric Adams, the right-wing mayor from New York City who uses his African American ethnicity and willingness to push racist policing policies as a means to further his political career. Mayor Adams is now reviving the plainclothes crime units that were responsible for 31% of fatal police shootings in 2018, despite being only 6% of the police force in the city, according to a study by the Intercept.

Many will remember that in 1999 an unarmed 23-year-old Guinean immigrant and student named Amadou Diallo was also shot by four plainclothes NYC cops and killed, simply for reaching for an identification card.

Then there is Vice President Kamala Harris, another person of African ethnicity preferred by Biden, and one of the people to stand up immediately in that standing ovation for the “fund them” chant. Vice President Harris, before becoming vice president, was the top cop in California as the Attorney General — who would not allow a reform to go through that would have forced prosecutors to finally prosecute killer cops.

According to the prestigious international scientific journal, the Lancet, in a study examining fatal police violence by race and state in the U.S. from 1980–2019, the unwillingness to consistently prosecute criminal murder by police is what maintains this systemic nightmare: “Accountability and transparency in policing are lacking, as evidenced by ongoing problems with under-reporting. Police officers who kill civilians are rarely charged with a crime; Mapping Police Violence reports that in 2017, of 1,147 deaths, officers were charged with a crime in 13 cases, or 1% of the time. Police violence and racism in policing in the USA are not new or unexplained problems; they are the current manifestations of a system that was built to uphold racial hierarchy for most of the USA’s history.” [my emphasis -JP]

On the other hand, the type of Black people Biden doesn’t like would be Assata Shakur, former Black Panther who was exiled to Cuba due to a racist frameup by police. In fact, Biden’s administration has a bounty on her life. Or George Jackson, a Black Panther and political prisoner who was assassinated by prison cops in 1971. And Claudia Jones, a Black communist born in 1915 and deported from the U.S. as an adult due to her powerful activism and, like Fred Hampton, skills at uniting our class and advocating solidarity with the most oppressed.

Claudia Jones and Fred Hampton especially understood that real solidarity with the oppressed is only possible when our working class has a scientific understanding of how this capitalist society works. In considering the entities of capitalism, for example, the military and police – what are their functions in keeping capitalism alive. For those answers they also studied another revolutionary – Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917, a revolution that allowed, for the first time, working people – our class – to take control over the factories, land and machinery to utilize them for their benefit. And, it’s a good thing because it was the only country capable of stopping Nazi Germany during World War II because of its because of its non-privatized and centralized method of production and its anti-fascist ideology.

But before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution could happen, it would take the working people, agricultural workers and unemployed, to understand who were their friends and allies and who were their enemies. Lenin understood that the legislators, military and police were in place to protect the capitalist system of exploitation by any means and at all costs, especially including the taking of life, whether by the denial of basic social services or through a bullet. This is why the police keep us in fear and target the most exploited as the system pushes us further into poverty.

That right arm of capitalism – the police who protect the haves from the have nots – will never be negotiated or voted away as long as capitalism exists, unless the ruling class is forced to disband them by a mightier force than their cops and military.

We have the potential to become that force by understanding our power and ability to make their system come to a halt. There are many more of us than there are of them. And, it’s only our labor that is fundamental to the creation of their wealth – we just need unity and solidarity.

We also need to understand that our Black, Brown and Indigenous communities must have the right to banish these cops from our neighborhoods and the right to the resources to train and develop our own community entities of safety and protection. We must do more than defund – WE MUST DISARM AND DISBAND the police.

If not, we will be sentenced to hearing the endless nonsense from President Biden and others as solutions, which actually encourage more police terror and murder – so more Amadou Diallo tragedies will occur. By the way, Diallo’s killers, the four cops, remain free and after the incident were even offered their jobs back.

And, on March 2, the day after President Joe Biden delivered that State of the Union speech, Thomas Siderio, a 12-year-old boy was shot and killed by Philadelphia police.

Don’t give Biden and the enablers of genocide a pass – let’s build a militant movement with a clear understanding of what’s needed and the dedication to building real working-class solidarity, with our friends and allies – not our enemies.

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— April 13, 2022 Press TV

Two perspectives on the events of January 6th 2021 at the Capitol.

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