July 26, 2014 - No. 25

Fighting for the Right to Be

All Out to Support the Victory of
the Palestinian People in
Smashing the Blockade of Gaza, Ending the Occupation of Their Homeland and Affirming Their Right to Be!




 
Hamas' Just Terms for a Ceasefire
The Massacre at al-Shujaiyya Underscores Zionist Crimes
- Pauline Easton -
Israel's Crimes
UN Human Rights Council Condemns Israel's Actions
Demand for Prisoner Exchange
Actions Across Canada and Around the World

35th Anniversary of Sandinista Revolution
Nicaraguans Celebrate Their Advances

61st Anniversary of Attack on Moncada Barracks
Long Live Revolutionary Cuba!

A Day of Infamy One Hundred Years Ago
Forced Expulsion of Komagata Maru from Vancouver Harbour
- Charles Boylan
-

231st Anniversary of the Birth of Simon Bolívar
Hero of Latin American Independence



Fighting for the Right to Be

All Out to Support the
Victory of the Palestinian People in
Smashing the Blockade of Gaza,
Ending the Occupation of Their Homeland and Affirming Their Right to Be!


Mass action in Nablus, Palestine, July 24 defends right to be.

The people of Palestine have been engaged in a courageous battle for their right to be since WWII. Following the war, the Anglo-U.S. imperialists decided to form a Zionist colonial entity in Palestine as a military base to strengthen their empire in West Asia and North Africa. The imperialist front provided arms, other assets and displaced people from Europe to occupy Palestine and force out the indigenous Palestinians from much of their land.

Using overwhelming military power, money and people supplied by Anglo-U.S. imperialism, a Zionist colonial entity occupied Palestine and negated the Palestinian people's right to be. The Zionist colonial entity's right to exist and defend itself has required the negation of the right to be of the Palestinian people, the theft of their land, their suppression and brutalization, and the continuing military occupation of Palestine.

Within occupied Palestine, one of the enclaves, reserves or ghettoes where the Palestinians have been forced to exist is a small strip of land called Gaza. The Zionist colonial entity has isolated the Gaza Strip within occupied Palestine and blockaded it from any contact, trade or other normal activity with other areas of occupied Palestine and the outside world.

The Palestinian people of Gaza and throughout occupied Palestine have never accepted their negation and have consistently fought for their right to be. Their heroic resistance against a powerful military machine backed by the U.S.-led imperialist system of states has gained their people respect and a special place of honour within humanity. Their leadership throughout the long resistance, including the current Hamas movement as the governing political force in Gaza, has sworn that their struggle will continue until Palestine is free from occupation and the people's right to be blossoms and is assured.

The peoples of the world should reject with contempt the slanders and disinformation of the U.S.-led imperialist system of states against the Palestinian resistance to the Zionist colonial entity. The monopoly media and political representatives in power and in official opposition within the U.S.-led imperialist system of states have never dealt seriously with the demands and program of the Palestinian resistance and its political representatives such as Hamas or allowed their views to be widely discussed objectively amongst the polity. They have reduced the Palestinian political and resistance organizations and their programs to epithets such as terrorists, and for purely propaganda purposes characterize as anti-Semitic the people's refusal to recognize and accept occupation of Palestine by the Zionist colonial entity.

The imperialists consider their disinformation and slander justification for the continued slaughter of Palestinians and the occupation of their homeland. On the contrary, to denigrate the Palestinians' fight for their right to be and against the occupation of their homeland is unacceptable and a crime against humanity. The political and mass media conciliation with the fascism and militarism of the Zionist colonial entity and its special role as an imperialist military base in West Asia and North Africa to threaten the people and inhibit their movements for change towards the new is a gross insult to all peoples. Resistance to oppression and occupation is a right and people everywhere should provide the Palestinian resistance as much assistance as possible and completely isolate the Zionist colonial entity from all international affairs.

As the great Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat proclaimed at the United Nations, Zionism is racism and has no place in modern society. As long as Palestine is occupied and the people's right to be denied, all humanity is sullied and dragged down by such a retrogressive and dangerous state of affairs.

Such it was with the German Nazi warmongers and their occupation of other people's lands and destruction of their right to be prior to and during WWII. Only resistance to and destruction of the German Nazi state would allow humanity to assert its rights and cast off the humiliation, state-organized terror and degradation of living under fascism and militarism. Conciliation with fascism and militarism was an enormous crime at that time just as it is today. This great humanity can assert itself and break with all vestiges of medievalism and colonialism by casting off the old and building the new.

All out to support the victory of the Palestinian people in smashing the blockade of Gaza, ending the occupation of their homeland and affirming their right to be!

Down with the murderous Zionist colonial entity and its imperialist backers, collaborators and conciliators!

Long live the Palestinian Resistance and Free Palestine!

Return to top


Hamas' Just Terms for a Ceasefire

Hamas, joined by the Palestinian Authority and backed by Palestinian public opinion insists that the conditions for a ceasefire with Israel are a full lifting of the blockade and the release of those recently detained in the West Bank.

In a letter sent to the United States, members of the Arab League as well as other governments involved in negotiations, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority outlined their conditions required for a ceasefire:

The conditions listed are:

- the opening of borders and freedom of movement for Gazan residents;

- the opening of the Rafah crossing in coordination with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority;

- the release of prisoners who were re-arrested after they were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal (during Israel's "Operation Brother's Keeper" in which Israel without evidence or any due process began arresting Palestinians following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers);

- the carrying out of the fourth prisoner release (which Israel refused to do);

- permitting Gazan fishermen to sail up to 12 nautical miles from shore; and

- enabling freedom of movement for Palestinians in currently restricted corridors, including agricultural areas along the Strip's border.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are also demanding an international committee be set up to guarantee to implementation of the agreement.

"We will not accept any initiative that does not lift the blockade on our people and that does not respect their sacrifices," Khaled Meshaal, Hamas' leader re-iterated to reporters at a news conference in Qatar on July 23. "The years of blockade have killed more of our people than have the wars," he added. Meshaal said he does not "wish for war" but reiterated that Hamas "will not yield" unless their conditions for a ceasefire are met.

Referring to the Israeli blockade in force since 2006, on July 21 former Palestinian Prime Minister and leader of the government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said on television, "We cannot go backwards, to a slow death...The conditions of the Palestinian resistance constitute the minimum required for a truce. The resistance and the sons of our people who have made such sacrifices in this mad war cannot accept anything less."

The demand for an end to the blockade as a condition for any ceasefire has the broad support of the Palestinian people. Prominent Palestinian academics, public figures and activists who recently published an open letter in the online journal Electronic Intifada, wrote:

"We call for a ceasefire only when negotiated conditions result in freedom of movement of Palestinians in and out of the Gaza Strip." Gaza must be allowed "unlimited import and export" of goods and "unrestricted use of the Gaza seaport," the letter said.

"Each of these expectations is taken for granted by most countries, and it is time for the Palestinians of Gaza to be accorded the human rights they deserve," the letter added.

(Ha'aretz, Middle East Eye)

Return to top


The Massacre at al-Shujaiyya
Underscores Zionist Crimes

The world continues to watch in horror as the Palestinian residents of Gaza are slaughtered by the Zionist occupiers of their land, while the residents of the West Bank are also wantonly killed for protesting. On July 21, the Occupation Forces committed a massacre in the al-Shujaiyya neighbourhood of Gaza city. As of 2 pm on July 26, medical teams had already recovered 85 bodies from the rubble. In addition to the killing of Palestinians, the massacre forced some 60,000 Gazans to flee their homes in the area for fear of more attacks, adding to a total number of internally displaced persons that has now hit 183,000 out of a population in Gaza of 1.7 million residents. All Palestinians, unable to flee due to the blockade of Gaza by land, sea and air, are targets of the Israeli onslaught.

Many drew comparisons between the ongoing assault on Gaza and the Nakba of 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes in what became Israel. More than half of Gaza's people are Nakba refugees, descendants of those who were dispossessed by Israel, the Ma'an news agency reports.

Because all borders are closed, the vast majority have sought refuge in UN-designated shelters in zones further from the epicenter of fighting.

These refugees, however, are not necessarily safer -- an Israeli shell hit a Beit Hanoun shelter on July 23, killing at least 17.

To prevent and eliminate the resistance, the Zionists have systematically bombed hospitals, schools and religious institutions. Only if the resistance ends, will the attacks end, they claim.

The Palestinian plight is captured by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano who says: the Palestinians lost their land, their homes, their water, their homeland itself. They are not permitted to choose their own leaders. They cannot even breathe without permission.


Bethleham, Palestine, July 17, 2014

However, the more massacres take place, the more the Resistance is vindicated and the more the Israelis stand condemned. Only the most craven allies of Israel such as the U.S. and Canada defend the massacres, claiming Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas which they have declared a terrorist organization for waging the Resistance struggle and persisting in affirming Palestine's right to be.

Speaking at a pro-Israel rally in Montreal, Canada's arch reactionary misnamed Minister of Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre stated: "You can't establish an equivalence between a great liberal democracy, Israel, which absolutely must defend its citizens against violent rocket attacks, and a terrorist organization, Hamas, which has not ceased to sow chaos and destruction. One hundred per cent of the blame is attributable to Hamas. Israel uses its weapons to protect its civilians while Hamas uses its civilians to protect its weapons."

At the time of Hamas' election in 2006, the Canadian government was the first to refuse to recognize the result of the election because it claims Hamas is a terrorist organization. It shows its hypocrisy when it comes to democratic elections and vile hatred for the resistance struggle. At the time, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated that he would only recognize a "de-militarized" Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. In other words, the Harper government's claim today that Hamas uses civilians "to protect its guns" is in fact a cover for its stand that it wants the resistance completely disarmed so that Israel can establish settlers on the entire territory of Palestine and impose its Hitlerite final solution on the Palestinian people. This is why Canada works to train Palestinian security forces -- not to protect Palestinians from the Occupation Forces, but to suppress any resistance to occupation.

In this vein, at another pro-Israel rally in Ottawa on July 17, the Harper government's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird went to great lengths to claim there are no rockets coming from the West Bank and emphasize Canadian aid to assist the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank build institutions they allegedly need for an independent Palestinian state which provides security for a separate Israeli state. It is a fraud because Israel has no intention of recognizing any Palestinian state but instead, it wants all Palestinian land without exception.

To their shame the Opposition parties in the House of Commons also blame the resistance for the suffering of the Palestinian people. Their craven spirit merely blames the Harper government for no longer having influence in international affairs to negotiate a peace in favour of Israel. Their refusal to fall in line with Canadian public opinion and international law denies that occupation is a crime and resistance is a right. They also refuse to demand an immediate end to the blockade of the occupied, blockaded and besieged Palestinian people while they call for an immediate end to their resistance.

On July 15, Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau issued a statement on "the situation in Israel and Gaza" stating: "The Liberal Party of Canada strongly condemns Hamas' rejection of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal and its rocket attacks on civilians.(...) Israel should be commended for having accepted the ceasefire proposal, and demonstrating its commitment to peace. The Liberal Party of Canada, and many in the international community including the United States, the U.N. Security Council, and the Palestinian Authority, had urged a ceasefire that could have ended the tragic civilian loss of life in Gaza and the suffering of Israelis under terrorist attack. (...)Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Hamas is a terrorist organization and must cease its rocket attacks immediately."

In a statement on July 22, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said: "We're watching in horror at what's happening in the region. The attacks and incursion into Gaza have already caused too many civilian casualties. No one in Canada can remain indifferent to these deaths. The firing of rockets by Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants at civilian populations is utterly unacceptable. Hamas is a recognized terrorist organization and Israel has the right to defend its citizens from these attacks, while doing its utmost to protect civilians. With Hamas' firm rejection of an Egyptian-negotiated ceasefire and Israel's ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the conflict has entered a more dangerous phase. The world must redouble efforts toward de-escalation and a ceasefire now. The priority has to be to work for peace."

Join actions across Canada to show Canadians stand with the Palestinian Resistance and its just demands to end the siege of Gaza, return all prisoners, stop the killings and end the occupation!

O Martyrs of Zionist Genocide!
May the World Rise up to End the Slaughter of Your Valiant People!


Nablus, West Bank, July 24, 2014

Return to top


Israel's Crimes

Reports indicate that as of Saturday, July 26 the death toll in Gaza as a result of Israel's attacks stood at 907. On July 26, just before a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and the Palestinian resistance came into force, Israeli missiles hit a home in the town of Beit Hanoun killing an entire 18-member family inside.

Five thousand eight hundred and sixty Palestinians have been injured since the assault began, while the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees reports that the numbers of Internally

Displaced People (IDPs) in 83 UNRWA schools continue to increase, now exceeding 162,862. Since June 1, 93 UNRWA installations have been targeted on multiple occasions. In addition, an estimated 20,000 displaced persons are sheltering with relatives and in public schools, mosques, churches, unfinished buildings and open areas bringing the total to almost 183,000 internally displaced people of a population of 1.86 million. The number of displaced people is now more than triple the peak number from the 2008/9 Israeli attack.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said 81.5 per cent of those killed were civilians and 24 per cent of them children.

"One child has been killed each hour in Gaza over the past two days," said Kyung-Wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator on July 23.

Forty-three per cent of the territory in Gaza has been subject to Israeli evacuation warnings or designated "no-go areas" by the Occupation Forces, the UN said. However, no place is safe from Israeli attack in the besieged coastal enclave. Shelling from land and sea as well as air strikes have not left any region untouched.

Israel claims that it has given advance warning to all residents to leave their homes prior to a bombing raid. "Where in the world can they go?" many have responded, pointing out that Israel's "border" with Gaza is shut tight while Egypt too has kept its border closed.

The Israeli crimes have reached untold proportions. The military "targeted specific sites" in the al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital compound "in light of several occasions in which fire was opened" and "despite repeated warnings against such activities," it said. Doctors were forced to leave the premises with their patients, including 14 of whom were paralyzed or in a coma. On July 21, Israeli shells left four dead and 60 wounded at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah.

The Zionists repeated their claim on July 23 that the attacks were justified as military targets and that warnings were given for civilians to vacate the hospital. "(W)arnings have been conveyed directly to the hospital administration and other Palestinian officials," they said.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Minister of Health reported that one of their ambulances was targeted by airstrikes on its way to Gaza European hospital from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis. The driver, doctor and nurse were injured after being hit by one missile, but were able to flee before the ambulance was hit by another two strikes that destroyed it.

Hospitals were also facing continuous power outages, as electricity has fallen by more than 70 per cent as a result of Israeli shelling and the siege itself, which even prior to the assault had reduced availability to eight-hour stints.

A Norwegian doctor working at the Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest medical facility, has written an open letter urging American president Obama to visit and spend a night among its workers.

"I invite you -- spend one night -- just one night -- with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe," wrote Dr. Mads Gilbert. "I am convinced, 100%, it would change history."

"Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people," he added.

"The food needs in Gaza are urgent," says UN World Food Program Country Director Pablo Recalde. "We are seeing the effectiveness of WFP's food assistance programmes, which provides the opportunity for a rapid response and flexibility to scale-up emergency food assistance if the need arises."

Since the latest wave of fighting began, the agency has provided emergency food rations and vouchers to more than 20,000 displaced people. It has appealed for $20 million to continue its food assistance programs to more than 600,000 of the most vulnerable people in the area.

(UNRWA, Middle East Monitor, Ma'an Agency)

Return to top


UN Human Rights Council Condemns Israel's Actions

On July 23, the United Nations Human Rights Council overwhelmingly condemned Israel's actions and decided to launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Meeting in an emergency session the Council adopted a resolution agreeing to send the investigative team by a vote of 29 countries in favour, with 17 abstentions and a sole negative vote by the United States. The resolution strongly condemned the failure of Israel to end its prolonged occupation of the area.

The Council condemned in the strongest terms the "widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms" arising from the Israeli military operations since June 13, and called for an immediate ceasefire.

"The Council further condemned all violence against civilians wherever it occurred, including the killing of two Israeli civilians as a result of rocket fire," according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

In the resolution, the Council also demanded that Israel immediately reopen the occupied Gaza Strip and called upon the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance and services to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

Responding to the condemnation, Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird again blamed the Palestinian resistance for Israeli crimes.

"This resolution turns a blind eye to the facts on the ground and that one party is responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian people, and that is the international terrorist group Hamas," he said.

In total denial that Israel is an Occupying Power, Baird continued, "Hamas continues to indiscriminately fire rockets into Israeli communities, striking fear in millions of Israelis. Like every other sovereign state of the United Nations, Israel has every right, and the fundamental duty, to protect its citizens.

"There must be no moral equivalence between an international terrorist organization and a liberal democratic state, and today's decision undermines this body's credibility.

"Failure to condemn the reprehensible actions of Hamas has only emboldened its brutality and encouraged these terrorists to continue their inexcusable actions," he said.

Meanwhile, on July 25 Israeli warplanes targeted Hamza Mosque in Khan Younis with two airstrikes.

The Ecuadorian government recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv because of the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said: "We condemn the Israeli military incursion into Palestinian territory, we require cessation of operations and indiscriminate attacks against civilians."

Brazil also recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest at the Tel Aviv regime's "disproportionate use of force" in the besieged Gaza Strip. A statement released in Brasilia on July 24 said: "The Brazilian government considers unacceptable escalation of violence. We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, from which large numbers of civilian casualties, including women and children, resulted."

The Brazilian statement added: "Given the seriousness of the situation, the Brazilian government voted for the resolution of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on the subject. In addition, the ambassador of Brazil in Tel Aviv was called to Brasilia for consultations."

Return to top


Demand for Prisoner Exchange

The Hamas-affiliated al-Qassam Brigades announced on July 20 that it had captured an Israeli soldier during fighting in the Gaza Strip. Many Palestinians hope that the soldier will be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, which number around 6,000, many of whom were arbitrarily incarcerated by Israel in retaliation for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youth for which Israel blames Hamas without any evidence.

Forty per cent of Palestinian men in the Occupied Territories have served time in Israeli jails since 1967 and for many sentenced the only possible hope for release is a prisoner exchange.

Return to top


Actions Across Canada and Around the World

Canada

Halifax


Montreal




Ottawa


Toronto



Hamilton


Edmonton



July 25



July 18

Calgary


July 25




July 18

Vancouver

July 25



July 18

Around the World

United States


Chicago



New York City

Mexico

Mexico City

Colombia

Bogota

Uraguay
Montevideo

Greece

Athens

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sarajevo

Lebanon

Tripoli

Jordan


Iran

Islamic Council member states meeting in Tehran July 22, condemn Israeli aggression against Gaza

Syria


Damascus

Yemen

Sanaa


Pakistan

Dhaka


Peshawar


Quetta

India


Indonesia

Jakarta

(TML, Xinhua, Active Stills, Ifran, A. Sidique, L. Sababa, A Al Bazz, Khalid, H. Memija, M. Kolos, N. Celaya, A. Kane, B. Simpson, CAIA, L. Diop, CritiqueMyPhoto, Muslims of Calgary)

Return to top


35th Anniversary of Sandinista Revolution

Nicaraguans Celebrate Their Advances


Over one hundred thousand Nicaraguans celebrate historic 35th anniversary of their Revolution, July 19, 2014, Managua.

On July 19, over one hundred thousand Nicaraguans gathered for celebrations in their capital Managua to mark the 35th anniversary of the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution. The revolution carried out under the leadership of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) saw the Nicaraguan people put a decisive end to decades of murder and oppression by the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza on July 19, 1979.

Prior to the official ceremony large groups of FSLN supporters marched from the south of the city to the far north along the Avenida de Bolívar to Chávez, passing through much of Managua, including the old city centre, and showing their pride along the way by chanting, singing and making their presence felt with colourful dress, red-and-black flags of the FSLN and other party insignia.


FSLN supporters caravan and march through Managua to the official celebrations.

Foreign heads of state and dignitaries in attendance at the commemoration ceremony included the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro; the Vice President of Cuba, Ramiro Valdés; the President of the Ecuadoran Parliament, Gabriela Rivadeneira; and the newly-elected President of El Salvador, Salvador Sánchez Cerén. Also present were several former heads of state of the region: Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, ousted in a U.S. and Canadian-backed coup in 2009, Martín Torrijos of Panamá (2004-2009) and Guatemala's Marco Vinicio Cerezo (1986-1991). Among other dignitaries attending was Guatemalan Indigenous figure and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchú.

The official ceremony was opened by Rosario Murillo, the Sandinista government's spokeswoman, and First Lady who herself was an activist and guerrilla with the FSLN. Murillo thanked all the international delegations and visitors and put Nicaragua's victory in the context of the fight for the rights of all. "From Nicaragua, we recognize all the revolutionary people and nations that wrote history and made strides in social justice. They have inspired us, and continue to do so, on the road to socialism that we have taken," she said. Murillo also paid tribute to Augusto Sandino, "the father of our revolution" and "to all our martyrs."

Murillo particularly hailed "Comandante Fidel Castro, his fellow revolutionaries, the Cuban people and Cuba's immortal revolution." Despite Fidel or Raúl Castro, the current President of Cuba, being unable to attend the celebrations in person, both sent official greetings to mark the anniversary of the Sandinista victory which were read aloud by Murillo.

Murillo also recalled the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez and remembered his "kindness and brilliance" that provided "inspiration for everyone fighting for social justice in the world." "How can we forget the legacy of Comandante Hugo Chávez? Our sincere thanks to him and for our fraternal links with his people," Murillo said as she welcomed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.


Left to Right: First Lady Rosario Murillo, President Daniel Ortega and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The rally was then addressed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega who was also a guerrilla of the FSLN during the revolution. In his opening remarks he emphasized that the Nicaraguan revolution was an act of the Nicaraguan people in opposition to foreign interference and domination. "This is a revolution that has been forged in Nicaraguan culture, rooted in our indigenous roots. This is not someone else's nation, this is our nation. It is an honor and we are proud to have aboriginal blood running through our veins." He then spoke about the advances made in Nicaragua under the Sandinista government today.

He emphasized advances made in healthcare, education, the construction of roads and highways, productive policies, the rights of young people, the involvement of the people and above all, solidarity. He also commented on the many challenges facing the country, stating that there are some areas in which illiteracy persists, principally in the mountains, and highlighted the need to bring literacy to the communities in these regions.

While making advances in addressing domestic needs and solving specific problems, Ortega, as well as other Latin American dignitaries who spoke, highlighted the importance of Nicaragua turning its attention to the major interoceanic canal, the proposed Nicaraguan Grand Canal that will link the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea. The waterway, which is set to begin construction in December of this year, will allow Nicaragua to double its national economy and become one of the fastest growing economies in the region by 2019, Ortega said. This new waterway will radically cut the distances between Latin America and the Caribbean and the whole of Asia.

Linking the present challenges with the importance of overthrowing the tyranny and brutality of the former U.S.-backed dictatorship, Ortega highlighted how the people overthrew the dictatorship. The people organized in different fronts of combat, the insurrection in the cities, and the youth raising the black and red flag to defend, save and tear the chains off the blue and white flag of the homeland, he stated.

Indicating the continued role of criminal elements working to destabilize the government, following the celebrations it was reported that at least five people were killed and 19 more wounded as they returned home in buses from the celebrations. The attacks were carried out by heavily armed men who shot at the buses in which the Sandinista supporters were travelling. In a ceremony for the victims, President Ortega condemned the massacre as a cowardly act targeting women and children on their way home from a holiday celebration.

(PL, inSerbia.com. Photos: El 19 Digital, Escambray.cu, Telesur, El Pueblo Presidente)

Return to top


61st Anniversary of Attack on Moncada Barracks

Long Live Revolutionary Cuba!


Fidel Castro (centre) and other Moncada rebels released from prison, May 1955.

July 26 this year marks the 61st anniversary of the historic attack on the Moncada Barracks led by the revolutionary Cuban youth with Comrade Fidel Castro at the head. Although the attack did not succeed, this audacious action was decisive in galvanizing the struggle of the Cuban people to affirm their sovereignty, ultimately leading to the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. The action also stirred the revolutionary spirit of the peoples of the world.

In 1953, Cuba was governed by the U.S. puppet dictator Fulgencio Batista. On July 26, 1953 a group of youth, led by the legendary leader of the Cuban Revolution Comrade Fidel Castro, sought to decisively change the situation and attacked the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Barracks of Batista's army in Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo respectively. The Moncada Barracks were the military centre of the Batista regime in the south and its second largest and most powerful garrison and a symbol of the regime's power. The bold action by the youth on July 26 to this day symbolizes the revolutionary spirit and audacity of the Cuban people in affirming their right to decide their own fate free from foreign interference or domination.

Around 120 youths were part of the attacks, approximately 70 of whom were killed, with many being tortured and executed after the attack. The survivors, including Fidel Castro, were subsequently put on trial and given lengthy prison sentences. Most, including Fidel Castro, were released after an amnesty in May 1955 due to the broad mobilization of support from the Cuban people for the aims of the action. At his trial Fidel Castro delivered his famous speech "History Will Absolve Me" which laid out the national and social goals of the revolutionary movement that eventually triumphed January 1, 1959.

On the occasion of Moncada Day, CPC(M-L) calls on the working class and people to step up the support for revolutionary Cuba. By affirming Cuba's right to pursue an independent path outside of U.S. imperialism's domination we contribute to affirming our own right to do the same.


This is particularly important at a time when all over the world the U.S. imperialists in their desperation are becoming more reckless in their attempts to violently oppose and destroy the coherence of all those who seek or are on an independent path. The U.S. was recently exposed for using cyber warfare, or what is euphemistically called "Digital Diplomacy," through sending out twitter-like text messages in a program called "Zunzuneo" designed to try and confuse the Cuban youth and destroy the coherence of their own nation-building project. Such acts reveal that the U.S. Imperialists can only destroy and manipulate and are incapable of providing any way forward for the future for their own youth, let alone those of other lands.

Support for Cuba at this time also includes continuing to demand the immediate release of the remaining three members of the Cuban Five heroes held unjustly and in contradiction with world public opinion in U.S. jails for protecting Cuba from terrorist attacks launched from U.S. soil.

On the anniversary of the Moncada attack, CPC(M-L) salutes the Cuban people and their indomitable spirit of sacrifice in defence of their principles and ideas.

Free the Cuban Five! Step Up Support for Revolutionary Cuba!
Long Live the Cuban Revolution!

Celebrate 61st Anniversary of Attack on
the Moncado Barracks




CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Return to top


A Day of Infamy One Hundred Years Ago

Forced Expulsion of Komagata Maru
from Vancouver Harbour


Hardial Bains addresses a meeting of the East Indian Defense Committee - Peoples Front in Vancouver in 1989, on the
occasion of the 75th anniversary of the expulsion of the Komagatu Maru

On July 23, 1914, the Canadian warship Rainbow with several hundred armed Canadian soldiers on board forced the chartered freighter Komagata Maru with the 352 British subjects of Punjabi nationality it carried, out of Vancouver harbour. Supplied with food and water obtained through the mass actions of the passengers and their allies in Vancouver, the ship made a 66-day passage to Calcutta. The passengers, who had invested their life savings to obtain passage to Vancouver where they aspired to join other countrymen living in BC, needed to find work in Calcutta to recover their losses. However, the ship was diverted by a British gunboat and docked at Budge Budge where British officers, guns drawn, tried to arrest Gurdit Singh, leader of the expedition and force the passengers onto a train to return them to Punjab. The passengers would not hand over Gurdit Singh or other leaders.

The arbitrary and brutal actions of the British occupying army at Budge Budge culminated in their opening fire on the resisting disembarked crowd. Once the shooting started, a number, including Gurdit Singh, escaped and went into hiding, but 19 others were shot to death. The British state had entered World War One on August 4 while the Komagata Maru was at sea and most of the rest of the passengers were forcibly returned to Punjab by train, where they were held either in jail or under village detention until the end of the war. Gurdit Singh lived free underground for five years, but was persuaded by Mahatma Gandhi to turn himself in to the British occupiers in 1922. He subsequently served five years in a British occupation jail. Thus with mass killings, arrests and jail terms ended this sordid and shameful story of racism, violence and imperialist hypocrisy played out by the British state and its colonial administration in Canada and India.

The story preceding the expulsion of the Komagata Maru from Vancouver is one of a brave act of resistance against the unjust and racist immigration policy of Britain and its colony Canada. Settlement of Punjabi workers in BC and on the west coast of the U.S.A. began at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. These early Indian settlers organized themselves against the prevailing racist working conditions imposed by sawmill owners, and took up the cause of liberating their homeland. British colonial authorities feared this development and in 1908 planted a key Indian colonial police agent in Vancouver, William Charles Hopkinson, who posed as a Canadian immigration official. His mission was to infiltrate and liquidate revolutionary organization within the Punjabi community.

Immigration was the prerogative of the British and on January 1, 1908 the British Governor-General passed an Order-in-Council which stated "immigrants may be prohibited from landing or coming into Canada unless they come from the country of their birth, or citizenship, by a continuous journey and on through tickets purchased before leaving the country of their birth, or citizenship." This "continuous journey" provision, which remained in law until 1947, was written explicitly to prohibit any more Indians from migrating to BC.

The state tried to hide its racist hand by blaming non-Asian settlers. The society had been incited by the capitalist newspapers and reactionary politicians to push racism as a means of dividing workers, and enabling capitalists to establish a two-wage and apartheid system in the province. However, enlightened workers in BC founded the Socialist Party of Canada in December 1904 during the 4th annual convention of the Socialist Party of BC. These socialists had inscribed the ideas of Karl Marx in their program. In 1908 the party elected one of its members, J. Edward Bird, to City Council. Bird, a lawyer who had migrated to Vancouver from Ontario in 1901, developed close relations with the Punjabi community undertaking both business and immigration matters. Bird and his socialist colleagues fought against the racist attacks being organized by the state on behalf of the capitalists and the racist "continuous journey" regulation. Bird was elected to City Council just months after a notorious racist attack on the Vancouver Chinese and Japanese communities organized by an agent from San Francisco in 1907 which shows the advanced working class movement never collaborated with imperialist racist politics in BC.

In October 1913, a group of Punjabi immigrants arrived in Victoria arguing they had previously been settled in BC, but the Immigration Board nonetheless ordered them deported. Bird was hired by the Indian community to fight. He "filed a notice of appeal with the Interior Ministry and also applied for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the wording of the Orders-in-Councils that amended the Immigration Act conflicted with the original legislation. In Rex vs. Thirty Nine Hindus, B.C. Chief Justice Gordon Hunter ruled the ' continuous journey' regulations to be ultra vires, or beyond the power of the Act, allowing the immigrants to land in Canada."[1]

This was an historic victory for rights and it encouraged Indians to write to friends and relatives urging them to book passage to BC. Within this situation Gurdit Singh, a patriotic businessman in Singapore, chartered the Komagata Maru and sold tickets to Indians wanting to emigrate to BC. In April they set sail from Hong Kong to pick up passengers in various Asian ports, departing Yokohama, Japan with 376 passengers on May 3 and arriving in Vancouver on May 23. His objective was clear: challenge the racist "continuous journey" regulation. He and his political allies on the vessel and in Vancouver were determined to take a stand for their right to settle in BC.

The Indian community and its allies organized another legal battle, raised funds and held public meetings to counter the filthy racist propaganda in the Vancouver Sun and Province and the racist slanders of politicians like Conservative MP H.H. Stevens and Conservative Premier Richard McBride who adamantly refused to allow the immigrants to land. They deprived the vessel of food and water, and only the active organizing of the community in Vancouver provided the passengers with necessities. The legal battle was again headed by Bird, but he was curtailed to challenge the newly re-written order-in-council on behalf of only one immigrant, Munshi Singh. The full bench of the BC Court of Appeal unanimously rejected Bird's case on July 6, saying it had no authority to interfere with the Department of Immigration and Colonization.

The passengers on board the Komagata Maru fired the Japanese captain. They were adamant to stay. The Vancouver police attacked the ship on July 19 from a police launch. They were decisively repelled by the immigrants, who pelted them with lumps of coal. Only after the authorities allowed proper provisions for the ship and called in the warship Rainbow with its decks lined with armed soldiers did the Komagata Maru, its captain back on board, raise anchor and sail out of Vancouver on July 23. This was a most sordid deed by British imperialists and Canadian colonial politicians.

A hundred years later, how are British Columbians and all Canadians to assess the significance of this reactionary act denying the rights of Indians to settle here? The official narrative is: "well those were the bad old days." In a hundred years, this story goes, Canada has grown up. Both federal and provincial governments issued some words of apology back in 2008, although Harper never spoke those words in parliament.

In reality, however, things remain very similar -- not the same, but similar -- to those days. When the Komogata Maru was driven out of Vancouver harbor in 1914, only 50 years had passed since Justice Begbie hanged five Tsilhqot'in chiefs in Quesnel for waging an armed resistance against the genocidal spread of small pox amongst the Pacific indigenous nations by Governor Douglas in order to "clear the land" for European settlement. The genocide was followed by more genocide in the residential schools. More apologies have been made, and more apologetic words from reactionary governments will follow.

But has the situation changed in essence? Can it be said that the rights of immigrant workers settled in BC have been secured? Can it be said that the rights of First Nations are enforced? Is it not the case that workers like the port truck drivers are unable to force the companies to honour agreements made months ago? Is not public education being starved of funds which specifically hits hardest at working class, immigrant and First Nations children? Is it not the case that the descendants of those capitalists and politicians who profited from genocide and apartheid racism 150 years ago, 100 years ago, are still impoverishing First Nation reserves, still imposing racist and exploitative "temporary foreign workers" programs to divide the working class and deny rights to workers?

The conditions today are similar to those in 1914, but not the same. Today the capital of the ruling empire is Washington, DC, not the colonial office in London. Today the working class has inherited the fighting anti-racist spirit of the early Socialist Party, but has evolved its thinking and organization into a militant contemporary Marxist-Leninist force, which under the leadership of its founder, Hardial Bains, gave rise to a modern Canadian working class-led anti-racist and anti-fascist movement in BC to lead the fight for rights.

Imperialism dominates the world today as in 1914. Days after the Komagata Maru left Vancouver the British empire engaged in industrial mass slaughter against their rivals for world domination. Sixty-thousand Canadian youth perished in the muddy filth, rat-infested trenches of World War One, part of the millions slaughtered to decide whether the financial oligarchs in London or Berlin would rule the world. Today the war-monger Harper supports the colonial occupying state of Israel's genocide of the indigenous Palestinians. War runs through the veins of the financial oligarchs who profit from arms production and sales. Great dangers face the peoples. Only qualitative changes can save humanity.

Here in BC, the story of the heroic resistance of Gurdit Singh, the passengers on the Komagata Maru, the internationalist fighting stance of British Columbians, led by the then 5,000 strong Indian community and joined by other progressive people like Bird inspires the working class to step up the battle for the rights of all: for workers, First Nations, immigrants, women, youth, everyone. Today's British Columbian masses have had enough with neo-liberalism, with hypocrisy and lies, with being marginalized and deprived of the power to decide. The ignominious act of the racist Canadian state on July 23, 1914 and the courageous struggle of resistance against it, inspires the working class today, inspires all those who want to learn from history, to step up the struggle to bring an end to the old, racist world of empire disguising itself today as multi-cultural and democratic. Those early struggles of the BC working class to resist the racist imperialists in 1914 as shown by the fight of the passengers on the Komagata Maru together with their allies on shore, will most certainly mature and grow to put an end to racism, empire and imperialist war and usher in new arrangements that empower the people to ensure the rights of all. A new world will be born!

Notes

1. "Behind the Komagata Maru's fight to open Canada's border," Globe and Mail, May 24, 2014.

(CPC ML Archives, Wikipedia, Globe & Mail, Government of Canada Website)

Return to top


231st Anniversary of the Birth of Simon Bolívar

Hero of Latin American Independence

"I swear before you; I swear on the God of my parents; I swear on them; I swear on my honor and I swear on my country that I shall not give rest to my arm nor respite to my soul until I have broken the chains that oppress us by the will of the Spanish power."

(Oath of Simon Bolivar at age 22 sworn in 1805 in Italy in the presence of his teacher and friend Simon Rodriguez. The following year Bolívar returned to Venezuela from Europe to take up the fight for independence from Spain.)

July 24 marks the 231st anniversary of the birth of the liberator Simon Bolívar. Bolívar emerged during a period of revolutionary ferment when indigenous and creole peoples in the Americas were rising up against colonial domination and tyranny. It was also a period of vicious inter-colonial rivalries, in particular among the French, British and Spanish empires, for control of territory and resources.

Bolívar contributed his life to liberating the territories of the Americas controlled by the Spanish colonial empire that included Venezuela, Colombia (which included what is now Panama), Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. His military and political exploits were decisive in providing leadership to the aspirations of the peoples of these lands to rid themselves of the yoke of Spanish tyranny and chart an independent course based on their own nation-building projects. One of Bolívar's important contributions was his work to unify patriotic military and political forces in their pursuit of a new direction free from the colonial domination of Spain.

Bolívar was a general who led armies in combat with the Spanish royalist armies and their supporters in Latin America. He also participated in the foundation of the first union of independent nations in Latin America named Gran Colombia that included the territories of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, northern Peru, western Guyana and northwest Brazil. Since Gran Colombia's territory corresponded more or less to the original jurisdiction of the former Viceroyalty of New Granada, it also claimed the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the Mosquito Coast, and Guayana Esequiba in Guyana. Bolívar was president from 1819 until its dissolution in 1830.

In the liberation struggles with which he was associated, Bolívar was aided greatly by the Haitian revolution. Haiti was the first independent nation in Latin America and the only nation in the world whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion. The Haitian president Pétion provided Bolívar and his forces sanctuary and protection and the possibility of launching new attacks against the Spanish. Within this, Haitian soldiers joined the fight for freedom in the rest of the Americas as part of Bolívar's army. With soldiers and vital material support provided by Haiti, Bolívar landed in Venezuela and fulfilled a promise to Pétion by issuing a decree granting slaves their freedom in territories under his control on June 2, 1816.

Today the struggle for independence and unity of the peoples of the Americas against imperialist domination finds its expression in the ongoing efforts of the countries and peoples of the Americas to strengthen their independent thinking and create the institutions that are necessary to solve the political, economic and social problems they face free from U.S. imperialist hegemony and dictate.

Return to top


PREVIOUS ISSUES | HOME

Read The Marxist-Leninist Daily
Website:  www.cpcml.ca   Email:  editor@cpcml.ca