Category Archives: Prisoners’ Rights

Report: 11 April 2016 Trial of NATO3’s Jared Chase, Crook County Courthouse, 26th & California, Chicago, IL

Report from trial of Jared Chase, Crook County Courthouse, 26th and California, Chicago, IL
11 April 2016

The call was put out once again by the friends, comrades and supporters of the NATO3’s Jared “Jay” Chase to “pack the courtroom” for his trial for an alleged assault on a prison guard at Illinois’ Pontiac prison back on October 4th 2013. His friends and comrades put out this call on Facebook, Twitter and WordPress and it was re-Tweeted by ourselves and who knows how many others in Chicago and around the USA. This resulted in a grand total of about 15 people showing up for the trial. Once again the working class of Chicago – and the major “revolutionary socialist” parties were no-shows.

IWPCHI’s reporter (the writer of this article) showed up at about 8:30 for the trial and once again there was no demonstration outside the courtroom. We had brought a couple of protest signs but when a trio of anarchist comrades of Jay arrived bringing coffee and bananas, they had no signs or banners so our reporter was the only person who stood outside the courthouse with a protest sign that read “FREEDOM NOW for NATO3’s JARED CHASE! PRISON NOW for DEMOCRATS’ KILLER KOPS OF KAPITAL!” Our second sign read: “U.S. POLICE STATE TERROR: FROM GITMO to HOMAN SQ. – MADE IN CHICAGO by the DEMOCRATS”.

The Democratic Party criminals who run Cook County’s “justice system” – one of the most vicious and crooked racist legal systems in the world – have been playing games with the citizenry who must deal with their kangaroo court system by denying citizens the right to bring cell phones into the courthouse. In a criminal justice system in which the police routinely lie on the witness stand and the judges let them get away with it, and which historically has been the scene of rigged trials, judges getting payoffs from defense attorneys and all manner of corruption taking place it’s not hard to understand why these serial criminals would not want people possessing the means with which they could take photographs and make audio recordings of the corrupt practices common in this legal whorehouse.

About a week before Jay’s trial it was announced that Crook County Courthouse would no longer be providing lockers for cell phones so that people could attend their court hearings. Some bullshit reasons were given about the County not having the staff necessary to run the locker operation. The US capitalist class doesn’t want to spend the money necessary to run anything properly, even their for-profit injustice system. We were informed by a homeless man outside the courthouse that some enterprising “roach coach” vendors who park their catering trucks across the street from the Crooked Crook County judicial sewer had installed lockers in their trucks and were charging $2 a locker to store people’s phones while they were in court. Ah, sweet capitalism! What would we do without you?

This reporter and the three anarchist supporters of Jay Chase were outside the courthouse drinking coffee around 8:45. The courtrooms officially open for their sordid “business” at 9AM but usually things get started much later than that. Last time we were at Jay’s hearing Judge Thaddeus Wilson didn’t show up until 10:05. So we figured that we had plenty of time to burn.

As we sat around chatting, the line of unfortunate workers queuing up for their latest encounter with the Chicago Democratic Party’s idea of a “justice” system began to grow. It was a Monday, after all; and in spite of all the yammering the capitalist classes’ bought-and-paid-for politicians have been engaged in about reducing the world’s largest per-capita prison population (“USA(TM)! USA(TM)! USA(TM)! We’re Number One!(TM)”) the cops are so busy busting people over the weekends that the Crooked Crook County Jail is always kept overflowing on Mondays with people who will be forced to either fork over a wad of cash for bond or spend the next 2 months – or maybe years! – in the jail. So the hundreds of people – defendants and family and friends of those already jailed and awaiting their bond hearings and trials – all trying to get into the Crooked Crook County Courthouse at the same time cause a traffic jam that the imbecile Sheriffs cops who work the security detail can’t handle. In fifteen minutes the line was stretching all the way out to the street and it was moving at a snail’s pace. This of course meant that none of these hundreds of people would be able to get to their court hearings on time. Later on, a homeless acquaintance of mine told me that his friend got stuck in that line a while back and was late for his hearing and so an arrest warrant was issued for him because he “failed to appear in court”. This is just one of the many ways that the Democrats destroy people’s lives with their shitty, crooked justice system here in Obama’s phony “home town”.

I wanted to let Jay’s comrades know that I did not want to create a conflict with their decision whether or not to stand up together when Jay was led into the courtroom – as is a long-standing tradition of the US workers movement. The last time I came to Jay’s court appearance (the appearance before the last) I stood up when he entered the courtroom and again when he left, as per the long-standing international working class tradition; and I recieved criticism from his comrades for doing so.  On April 11 I let his comrades know that I was in favor of standing up and thereby upholding this honored and honorable tradition but that I would accept their decision on this question. Judge Thaddeus Wilson – who pretends that the Rev. Martin Luther King is his inspiration – had issued a threat to hold anyone who stood up in solidarity with Jay in contempt of court. Revolutionary Trotskyists do not cower in the face of this kind of provocation from a Kangaroo judge of the capitalist system; but the anarchists apparently do. They informed me that they believe that it is unwise to provoke the ire of the judge when Jay’s liberty is at stake. I replied that there is no justice to be expected from the capitalist system at all and especially not in political cases like Jay’s. Kissing the judge’s ass is not going to get us – or Jay – anywhere. Anyone who thinks that by acting like obedient wage-slaves we can elicit fairness from the worker-militant-hating judicial system of the capitalist class is delusional. But they had decided not to stand up when Jay came into the court, so I let them know that I would abide by their decision – although I disagreed with it.

One of the anarchists and I had  nice conversation in which that person told me  I should look up the Alexander Berkman/Emma Goldman book about the ABCs of anarchism.  (I have looked it up and have read it and it was outrageously counter-revolutionary).  I suggested to them that they should read the Communist Manifesto – which of course they had “read parts of” as so many college-educated youth will say (come on man; the Communist Manifesto is like 45 pages!).

The anarchists spotted some of their comrades in line and as these guys moved up to where we were sitting they cut into the line with their friends and went in. It was only about 9AM at that time and I thought I’d just wait a little while until the end of the line came up to where I sat on the plaza outside the front door of the “courthouse”.

The courthouse screws were out yelling at people to get into two parallel lines: one for women and one for men. There were three times as many men as women, so the men’s line continued to grow and grow until it reached the sidewalk and then stretched southwards down California. I couldn’t see the end of it from where I sat. Men who accompanied their female friends up to the front of the women’s line were summarily ordered to go to the end of the ridiculously long men’s line; this made for some amusing scenes as guys turned around and began their long, embarassed trek back to the sidewalk and down the street to the end of the queue.

Just for the hell of it I decided to wait and see how long it would actually take for the end of the line to reach me, sitting about 25 feet from the front door. It was a nice, sunny spring day and I don’t like to stand in long lines like a moron. I read the latest Chicago scandals in the Tribune (2nd brother shot by cop cleared in court”) and enjoyed the similarity between the front page story about airline passengers at O’Hare suffering long waits in boarding lines due to deliberate understaffing by the TSA who are trying to force people to pay $85 for expedited boarding. “Last month, 1,000 American Airlines passengers missed their flights at O’Hare due to ‘excessive’ TSA lines”. Oh, capitalism! There is no way we could possibly create a better system than you! “[One] flier, who asked not to be named [what is she afraid of? This is the “Land of the Free(TM)”!] said she wasn’t spending $85 to solve TSA’s problem. ‘It’s a scam,’ she said.” Right you are, dear sister! Please contact us! We need intelligent people like you to help us overthrow this rotten capitalist system!

Meanwhile back at the Crookedest Courthouse in the USA, the line was actually still getting longer and I began to wonder if I, by being such a stubborn ass about not getting in line, would miss the opening arguments in Jay’s trial! It was 9:30 and there was no end in sight for the line, which continued to grow. My homeless friend (who I met years ago when I lived in Wicker Park before it became so expensive that workers could no longer afford to live there) and I chatted a while and then he met some friends of his coming out of the courthouse and he left. It was now getting near 10 AM and still the line was running down along the sidewalk.

The women’s line, however, had only a few people in it. Why didn’t the Crooked Crook County Sheriffs’ screws start sending men through the women’s side of the security check? Who knows? You don’t have to have a lot of brains to be a Sheriffs’ cop in Crooked Crook County – or anywhere else. What would these jackasses do if the USA ever cut its prison population back down to the levels it had maintained from the 1920s until the Jimmy Carter era?

The end of the line finally came up to where I was sitting at about 10:20AM. I got into line and managed to get through security at about 10:30. I wondered: how many people had arrest warrants issued against them this morning thanks to the imbeciles running security in the Crookedest Courthouse in “The Greatest Country in the World(TM)”?

So I head up to Courtroom 303 – the lair of Judge Thaddeus Wilson, he of the prominently displayed Martin Luther King, Jr. portrait hanging on the door behind his bench. I enter and – surprise! There is another case being heard and it isn’t Jay Chase’s. Good! I sit down on one of the open spaces on the wooden bench to the left of the door to the courtroom, where I can see all the way back into the vestibule where the prisoners are briefly held after they are led from their cells and just before they enter into the courtroom proper.

This case in concluded and another is called. We all sit and listen quietly to the proceedings. This last case is concluded and the defendant and his lawyer leave the courtroom.

Two large Sheriffs’ cops enter the courtroom; then four more; all seem a bit agitated and I wonder what’s going on. Are they here to handle the “dangerous arch-criminal” Jay Chase?

Suddenly – an announcement from the bench by the (cough!) “honorable” Judge Thaddeus Wilson:
“Due to security concerns I am ordering the gallery to be cleared. Everyone must go out into the hall to be searched.”

Thaddeus thinks he’s being so clever! What an amazing act of jurisimpudence! Wouldn’t Dr. Martin Luther King be proud of him! Dr. King would be disgusted with this criminal in black robes and his dirty little ploy to make Jay Chase’s comrades – who were all sitting peacefully and politely watching the proceedings, not even making the slightest sound or gesture or any conversation at all! – appear to be posing a threat to Kangaroo Judge Thaddeus Wilson’s Kangaroo Court! But Martin Luther King had witnessed scenes like this many times before when he was dragged in front of judges who hated him and anyone else who attempted to fight for civil rights. Judge Thaddeus Wilson has far more in common than he could possibly imagine in his small mind with the bandits in black robes who persecuted Dr. King!

The group of thuggish Sheriff’s cops summoned by Kangaroo Judge Thaddeus Wilson under the false pretense that a “security threat” existed in his courtroom ushered us all out into the hallway to be searched. Male cops searched men and there were a pair of female cops to search the women. I was the fourth in line to be searched so I was back in the courtroom within 4 minutes. When I went in I saw that Jay Chase had already been rushed into the courtroom and his Kangaroo “Trial” was underway!

Jay and his lawyer had already informed the judge that he intended to plead guilty to a single charge of assault in a plea bargain deal. Judge Wilson rushed through the protocol of making sure that Jay understood what he was consenting to. Jay stood tall and firm and answered the Judge’s questions in a strong and clear voice, with his “lawyer” Peter Benesh standing by his side silently. He was pleading guilty; he was waiving his right to a jury trial; he understood the implications; he had not been coerced into making his plea.

By this time Kangaroo Judge Wilson had so rushed through the plea deal that only about half of Jay’s comrades had re-entered the courtroom. As they came back and were informed of what had transpired their faces expressed shock and dismay.

Wilson zipped through the plea deal so quickly that I was unable to get it all down. Jay was pleading guilty to an aggravated assault – a class 4 felony – punishable by 1-6 years in prison. Of couse if Jay hadn’t been framed up on the bogus terrorism charges concocted by the Chicago Police and their undercover agent-provocateurs, the “assault” on the guard would never have taken place! (Jay pled guilty to having sprayed a piss/shit combo on a guard’s leg if I understood the rushed proceedings correctly).

Jay waived his right to a pre-sentencing investigation; he was immediately sentenced to one year in jail and one year of mandatory supervised release.

And that was it. Jay was ushered out of the courtroom to be hauled back to rejoin his 1.8 million working class brothers and sisters languishing in the prison hellholes of the “Land of the Free(TM)”.

Jay’s comrades immediately got up and left the courtroom. I waited to see if I could get any explanation of the outcome of the trial from Jay’s ineffectual “lawyer” Peter Benesh.

Attorney Benesh was polite if brusque; he and another attorney working with him on the case – who handled the NATO3 terrorism side of the deal – went out into the hallway and tersely answered my confused questions.

I read my notes on the sentence to Benesh who corrected a couple of things. Then I asked him how much longer Jay would be in jail. “I have no idea” he said. “It’s up to IDOC [Illinois Department of Corrections] to calculate the length of the time Jay will have to serve.” I was confused. “Well when you agreed to the plea deal didn’t you work out in advance how long that would be? How could you agree to a plea deal without knowing what his sentence would be?” Benesh said that the idea was to plead guilty so that Jay could get a reduced sentence and get out of prison as soon as possible which was important due to his serious health issues. I asked Benesh how Jay’s treatment was being taken care of while he was in prison. He said “I don’t know. Obviously not very well” or words to that effect.
I said “Can you make an educated guess as to how long you think Jay’s sentence will be?” Benesh replied: “I have no idea. I’ve never worked with IDOC before, and no one in my office has ever worked with them before. It’s up to them.”

Benesh told me that in the next few weeks or months – basically, at IDOC’s leisure – Jay would be handed what is called a “yellow sheet” from IDOC informing him of their decision regarding the amount of additional prison time he would be forced to serve. “Will you be receiving a copy of that form as well? Could I get a copy of it?” I asked. Benesh replied: “I won’t get anything. Jay will get the yellow sheet”. Astounded, I said: “you won’t get anything?” and Benesh replied: “No.”

So I stood there for a few seconds trying to process this information and trying to think o other questions but couldn’t come up with anything. Benesh and his colleague seemed – as they did the last time I spoke with them – to be in a hurry and in no mood to volunteer any information beyond terse replies to my questions. So I thanked them and Benesh went back into the courtroom and his colleague and I headed towards the elevators. She was walking ahead of me by a few steps. “This is a strange situation; wasn’t that security search something?” I said to Benesh’s lawyer-colleague’s back.

“Weird things happen in this building” she replied without turning to face me as she walked off.

* * * * * * *

Jay’s friends and comrades were standing in a circle listening to one of their number as he explained something to them which I could not hear. The expressions on everyone’s faces was a mixture of shock and deep dismay. I let him finish what he was saying and then I told them what the lawyers had told me… which they already seemed to understand. Brent Betterly was there and his experience being run through the grinding gears of the Illinois “criminal justice system” enabled him to explain to his comrades what it all meant. No one looked pleased. I introduced myself to the guy who had addressed the group because I had overheard him talking to the lawyers earlier and thought he was involved in the fundraising for Jay. But I was wrong. Everyone around this group treats those who they do not know personally with some degree of suspicion, varying from mild suspicion to mild hostility. I’m not used to working with political groups who haven’t assigned someone to be a spokesperson for the group who can handle simple inquiries from concerned working-class citizens and organizations as well as the news media. So it’s very irritating to be treated with suspicion because I’m a “stranger”. “Stranger! DANGER!” is not the typical attitude of professional revolutionary organizations. All of the political organizations I’ve been either a member or sympathiser of – the Worker’s World Party, the Spartacist League and the Partisan Defense Committee – were open and friendly to people who came out to support them at demonstrations and public events of all kinds. Not so with these “anarchists”. Some were almost friendly – I had a sort of conversation with a young woman before the trial – but most of these folks just don’t seem comfortable at all talking with anyone who they don’t know.

As we left the Crook County Courthouse I tried to start a conversation with a couple of people in the hopes that I could establish some kind on ongoing working relationship with these guys. “So what party or groups are you in?” I asked one couple of people. “We’re not in a group” they replied. “Well are you guys anarchists or socialists…?” “No we’re not anything”. Total brush-off. This is no way to do political work, my friends. You have to be capable of establishing contacts with other members of political groups. You either grow or die.

It appears to me that the police entrapment scheme played out upon these young activists had the precise effect the cops wished it to have: it completely deranged them politically and socially. They are now so paranoid against anyone who approaches them on a political level that they have been rendered useless politically. This is the kind of damage that a police infiltration operation is designed to create.
The communist organizations are strong enough to withstand these kinds of attacks; these loose-knit pseudo-anarchoid collective whatevers are just demolished the minute they encounter such a common and predictable police provocation. We warn youth who are interested in joining a socialist or anarchist organization that only the revolutionary socialists have the organizational experience that will make it almost impossible for you to be set up the way the NATO3 were. Youth members of Trotskyist organizations like the Spartacist League or our party are educated right off the bat as to what our party program is and what it isn’t; youth who seek to join our parties agree to study our revolutionary program and must be capable of explaining it to others before they can become members. So you would KNOW that we do not condone or advocate terrorism as a revolutionary method of struggle – we oppose it. So when a couple of Police Explorers like the ones who framed the NATO3 come around trying to get OUR youth members to engage in stupid-ass shit like “throwing molotov cocktails at a bank” OUR youth members IMMEDIATELY recognize the signs of an agent-provocateur and are required to immediately notify the party leadership about this provocation. I simply can’t imagine a youth member of an organization like the Sparts getting set up like these naïve anarchist youth of the NATO 3 were. I’ve never heard of this happening to the Sparts or Workers World or The SWP or even the reformists of the Stalinist Communist Party! It must be said as plainly as this for your own good, dear NATO3 and their supporters: revolutionary communists are just not that stupid! I’m not trying to insult you; I’m trying to educate you as to the vast gulf that exists between the amateurishness of the anarchist grouplets and the Occupy activists and the professional Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist revolutionaries! Very, very few of you would even be considered for youth membership in any professional socialist revolutionary organization.

So the lesson for the youth is: be careful what organizations you join. We should point out the fact that anarchism has been an utterly useless political philosophy since the Bolsheviks proved in 1917 the absolute necessity of organizing a workers STATE in order to defend a workers revolution from the inevitable counterrevolutionary attacks. Anarchists have NEVER led a successful workers revolution anywhere in the world and they probably never will because of their childish and counter-revolutionary aversion to the concept of a “workers state”. Only Marxist/Leninist vanguard parties have ever led successful workers revolutions. EVERY revolution has been led by a vanguard party of some kind – including the American and French Revolutions. If you want to join a revolutionary workers organization go with the pros, not with the amateurs. Your life could be put at risk if you join a half-assed political activist group. The NATO3 case is a case-study on how untrained non-communist political activists can just walk right into a cop frame-up that would be obvious to a 15-year-old communist youth. And believe me: I’ve met 15-year old communist youth who are head-and-shoulders more politically conscious than the wisest anarchist I’ve ever met. Including Noam Chomsky!

As I left the courthouse I tried again to start a conversation with another pair of NATO3 supporters. I told them about my previous work with the Sparts and Partisan Defense Committee as they seemingly tried to walk away from me as if I was carrying the plague. “The thing about this case is that it shows the complete lack of organizational competence of the anarchist groups” I said. “Half of the commies in Chicago are cops” was the reply! “That’s not true!” I replied. These people are simply running scared now that they’ve had their fingers burned on what was probably their very first attempt to engage in political activism. They are useless as political activists. At this stage of development they are even incapable of talking about their own political ideas to workers on the street. Everyone who expresses a level of consciousness greater than that of a naïve teenage anarchist is looked upon with deepest suspicion! “Obviously he must be a cop! It’s impossible that he could be a socialist!” seems to be their reaction to me at least. I do not like being treated like this at all. It pisses me off! Lol! How can you possibly do effective political work with an attitude like this? Perhaps this is why none of the major socialist political parties are involved with the last remaining NATO3 defense case?

When I worked with the Sparts, we didn’t AVOID “strangers” at a demonstration or who had come to participate in a legal defense campaign at a courthouse: WE SOUGHT THEM OUT and introduced ourselves and talked to them! We wanted to know who they were and find out if they would be interested in joining our organization! We sold them Workers Vanguard and tried to get their phone numbers so we could call them after they had a chance to read the paper so we could see how they liked it! You know – LIKE NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS! What has this sorry-ass country come to that “political activists” are afraid to converse with people who come out to support said “political activists”?

I mentioned to one of the NATO3 supporters that I had been trying to send money to the anarchists who had fought the Nazis in Anaheim, California a couple months ago. I couldn’t send the money because the guy who was collecting it was supposedly a “friend” of one of the guys who had been stabbed by a Nazi.
“You have to know people” he replied! That is fucking pathetic! We don’t live in Nazi Germany where political activist organizations have to operate from “the underground”! It’s a worthless type of organization that can’t even raise money from the public for their comrades’ medical care because they can’t get it together to create a trustworthy official organization to collect the funds! This kind of “organization” is engaged in amateurish practices that were completely abandoned by the workers movement 200 years ago! The philosophical bankruptcy of anarchist philosophy is exposed by this kind of third-rate dysfunction exhibited time and time again by anarchist grouplets.

“Many are called; but few are chosen” goes the saying. Revolutionary working class political activism is not a video game; and it’s not a playground for children or amateurs. To have your political group destroyed by the most common police frame-up which a revolutionary communist organization would repel like water off a duck’s back is a disgrace. If you think that what happened to the NATO3 is a savage attack by the capitalist state you should open your eyes and look at the massacre of leftist youth that took place in Mexico; look at the attacks on Communist Party political candidates in India; look at what FARC went through in Colombia the last time they tried to trade guerrilla warfare for legal political work! What happened to the NATO3 was a mere scratch! 3 years in jail is nothing compared to what communists have suffered at the hands of the class enemy from Tsarist Russia to Kuomintang China to Japanese-occupied Korea to Hitler’s Germany, Pinochet’s Chile and D’Aubuisson’s El Salvador – or the ACTUAL ANARCHIST Haymarket Martyrs! If your “organization/collective/reading circle” can’t recover from a pathetic attack like what was thrown at NATO3 then your organization isn’t worth a damn.

—- IWPCHI

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International Women’s Day – The Story of the World’s Most Dangerous Woman

Artwork by Christopher Towne, Copyright 2013

Artwork by Christopher Towne, Copyright 2013

We salute International Women’s Day by presenting a compiled .pdf version of Christopher Towne’s graphic novel produced for the international campaign to free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, an innocent woman tortured, framed and imprisoned by the United States of America in order to make it appear that the US Gov’t. is “winning the ‘War on Terror(TM)'”.

A neuroscientist trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University, Dr. Siddiqui’s name was allegedly mentioned during the 183 waterboarding sessions inflicted on Al Qaeda’s Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.  Wanted for questioning by the FBI, she was apparently seized by Pakistani “intelligence” while visiting her mother in Karachi, Pakistan.  In a kidnapping method that has become infamous as a part of the “War on Terror(TM)”, Dr. Siddiqui along with three of her children, disappeared from the streets of Karachi, Pakistan in March of 2003 while on the way from her mother’s home to the airport.  A team of assailants stopped her car and seized Dr. Siddiqui and her children; her infant child was apparently killed during the abduction.  She was then taken out of the country and held as a “terrorist prisoner” in the world-infamous Bagram Prison in Afghanistan where she was tortured.  She was held for 5 years at Bagram, where she was the only woman prisoner.

Dr. Siddiqui says she was released in 2008 and then rearrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan, allegedly for possessing incriminating documents about bomb making and terrorist attack plans in the USA.  While being interrogated by US military and the FBI the next day (18 July 2008)

siddiqui-aafia-complaint

Dr. Siddiqui was alleged to have made a spectacular attempt to escape; she allegedly seized a weapon from a soldier (who had left it unattended in the presence of an unrestrained “terrorist” prisoner) and then attempted to shoot everyone in the room with it (unsuccessfully) and was herself shot 3 times in the abdomen – almost killing her.

Dr. Siddiqui was never actually charged by US authorities for any terrorism-related charges!  All she was charged with were several counts of attempted murder during her attempt to “escape”!  Despite the fact that the only person actually injured during her “escape attempt” was Dr. Siddiqui herself, she was found guilty and sentenced to 86 years in jail.  The failure of the US Government to even develop a terrorism case against her after years of investigation indicates the depth of the fraudulence of the indictment itself.  It certainly looks as if the FBI’s dramatic “escape” narrative was concocted in order to justify the fact that an innocent victim of torture by the US military and/or its proxies was “shot trying to escape” from the clutches of her torturers – an old Nazi trick.

In researching this case we ran across additional information that may explain why Dr. Siddiqui became the focus of a terrorism investigation: there was another woman named Siddiqui –

velentzas-siddiqui-complaint

Asia Siddiqui – who had also been picked up on the FBI’s “terrorist” radar at least as early as 2006.  It’s difficult to believe that two US female “terrorists” could have almost identical names… is it possible that these two cases… well we’ll have to leave that question unanswered.  In the upside-down world of US “terrorism” investigations, anything can happen.

The graphic novel we present below was produced for the  international effort to free Dr. Siddiqui  by Christopher Towne.  It was originally presented on the  aafiamovement.com website, where you can find the latest updates on the case as well as information about demonstrations taking place on Dr. Siddiqui’s behalf all over the world.

The Story of The World’s Most Dangerous Woman – by Christopher Towne

FREE DR. AAFIA SIDDIQUI NOW!

—IWPCHI

Report on NATO 3 Defendant Jared Chase’s Court Appearance 18 February 2016

DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST JARED CHASE AND FREE HIM NOW!

At a pre-trial hearing held today (18 February, 2016), former NATO 3 defendant Jared Chase’s Cook County Public Defender Peter Benesh made an ineffectual attempt to obtain a court injunction prohibiting the shackling of Chase using a “black box” device, which causes physical injury to Chase, who suffers from Huntington’s Disease.  Chase was in court to answer to charges of “aggravated battery to a corrections officer” – a Class I offense, punishable by between 4 and 15 years in the penitentiary.  Yet Chase’s lawyer was repeatedly rebuffed by Cook County Court Judge Thaddeus Wilson for lack of preparation in not asking for this protective court order in the proper fashion.

We were informed about the hearing via the Twitter and WordPress accounts of   “Free the NATO 3”.

In our experience attending hearings like this one (since circa 1979), defendants have almost always had a legal defense campaign orchestrated by one or another revolutionary socialist party. Having had more than a century of experience defending class-war prisoners, the communists know how to run an effective defense campaign in a politically-charged case like this.  Understanding that, in political cases, legal precedent and rule of law have a tendency to fly out the window, the communists do not act as if it’s just “business as usual” defending a political activist:  they organize media campaigns to get out their side of the story in defense of the accused, make sure that their physical presence is asserted before every court hearing with a protest outside the “temple of justice” and make sure that the lawyers in the case understand the nature of how the capitalist frame-up system works in cases involving anti-capitalist political activists.  Effective tactics are employed to let the powers that be understand that the defendant does not stand alone in facing the charges; the revolutionary working class principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all” means that every worker in the USA – in fact, the revolutionary workers movement itself – is on trial, not just the defendant.  Inside the courtroom they stand in solidarity with the accused when the defendant’s name or names are called.  This always pisses off the judges – but the communists don’t mount defense campaigns for their comrades in order to have the opportunity to kiss a judge’s ass.  Communists understand that it is imperative to make it clear to both the accused person(s) and the court and spectators that THIS defendant is not fighting his or her case by themselves – he or she has a strong and militant base of supporters closely watching every development in the case.  Often times major court victories have been won only after huge national and international defense campaigns have made it politically extremely expensive for the bourgeoisie to railroad the defendant.  These class-struggle methods have worked time and time again to expose the injustice of the capitalist system to the world; they alert the working class to the vital necessity of NOT acting as if these cases are just “business as usual”.  The outrageous US government frame-up of the NATO 3  is an attempt by the capitalist state to intimidate the working class and crush political dissent.  Workers must be awakened to this fact and taught not to cower in the face of such criminal conspiracies that the capitalist class and its justice system continuously launch against worker-militants.

For activist groups who are not part of the revolutionary socialist movement, like the NATO 3 folks, these historical lessons have not been incorporated into their defense tactics.  Not having the revolutionary Marxist understanding that there is no justice for workers – especially communist or anarchist workers or trade union militants – in the capitalist courts, they tend to try to “play by the rules” of the court, allowing defense attorneys to kowtow to the judge’s every whim; they advise supporters to “keep a low profile” in and around the courtroom, often even going so far as to assert that the defense attorneys “know” this judge and know how best to “get on the good side of the judge” for a favorable ruling.  More often than not, these class-collaborationist tactics result in complete disaster, with the defendants getting the book thrown at them.  The defense attorneys then express “shock” at the “uncharacteristically severe” sentence handed out by their “friend” the judge.  Revolutionary Marxists don’t fall for this bullshit.

Having been informed by Jared Chase’s supporters’ websites that the hearing today would occur at 9AM, I made certain to arrive early so I could participate in the demonstration that would undoubtedly occur before the hearing.  But when I arrived at 8:45 AM, this is what I saw:

... not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

… not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

This was not good.  When I expressed my disappointment later to a handful of his supporters in the court gallery at not having seen the slightest hint of public protest outside the courthouse, I was chastised for being so arrogant in criticising them since  they had been attending all these hearings for all these years and I had not.  As if that matters in terms of the simple expression of disappointment at seeing NO evidence of support outside the courthouse TODAY!  These poor defense tactics usually don’t obtain much sympathy from the judges, who have been instructed by the political powers in the Cook County Democratic machine to “make an example” of the defendants.

While it is entirely understandable that Chase’s supporters are depressed and dismayed at the prospect of their friend spending up to 15 years in prison if he gets the maximum sentence possible in this case, that is no excuse for failing to organize an effective defense campaign and then expressing hostility towards supporters who express their dismay when they show up at court in response to an appeal for support and find no organized support at all!

Progress cannot be achieved by the workers movement if historical lessons go unlearned and if every generation just keeps making the same avoidable mistakes over and over and over again.  Our capitalist class opponents have centuries of experience buttressing their class rule; they learn from their failures and don’t repeat the same stupidity twice!  Likewise, the communist movement has nearly 200 years of experience fighting frame-ups in the courts of the capitalist classes all over the world.  To fail to take advantage of the hard-won experience of the revolutionary communist movement is a major error on the part of any activist group that finds its comrades in a situation like Jared Chase is in.

It was no surprise in this era of mass apathy among US workers that – in Chicago, a city of 4 million – a grand total of 9 supporters of Chase (including this reporter) made the trek to the Cook County Courthouse for the hearing.  It was held in a bizarre glassed-in courtroom in which spectators are entirely sealed off from the actual courtroom, which sits behind a semicircular glass-and-metal barrier that looks like something out of the original Star Wars movie.  No photos could be taken of the courtroom because in the “free and open” court system of Crooked Crook County, the Chief Justice has banned all cell phones from the premises.  Members of the public who wish to observe the proceedings in Cook County Courthouse at 26th St. and California Avenue in Chicago must not only pass a metal detector screening before entering the courthouse, but they must also place their cell phones, chargers and any other electronic recording devices in secure lockers (provided for free by the county) before they are allowed to enter the building.  The criminals running the farcical “justice” system  in Crook County Courthouse – widely acknowledged to be one of the most corrupt in the United States of America – must keep video and audio evidence of their many blatant miscarriages of justice hidden from the eyes of the working class at all costs.

The court hearing in room 303 (which was set for 9:00 AM according to the “Free the NATO 3” website ) never actually got underway until 10:05 when the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson finally graced us with his presence.  Wilson, who is black, has hung a large framed color photograph of the Rev. Martin Luther King on the door behind the bench in order to give the appearance (to the uninitiated) that in his courtroom, the respected principles of Dr. King are upheld.  King would undoubtedly not be amused to know that his portrait is being utilized in this manner in a courtroom in Cook County, where brutal racist injustice is meted out daily to hundreds of primarily black and Hispanic defendants.  Hundreds of people of color are daily shipped to this County Courthouse for “kangaroo court”-style bond hearings at which it’s “your money or the next two months of your life” while you wait in jail for your trial.   Judge Wilson’s courtroom sits directly above a filthy, overcrowded basement prison dungeon where hundreds of people are crammed into holding cells awaiting trial; this is a place completely at odds with everything Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.

On the dark, smoked glass barrier that stands between the public and the “bar of justice” are affixed a number of printed and crudely hand-lettered signs threatening the citizenry – who are supposed to be those from whom Judge Wilson derives whatever limited power he actually possesses – not to do a multiplicity of things.  “Absolutely No Food or Drinks Allowed in this Courtroom” one declares.  “DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOUR NAME IS CALLED” screams another.  If a citizen dares to enter the courtroom he or she has paid for many times over with their taxes – what would happen?  Would the altar of justice be rendered unclean by an unindicted citizen’s presence?  Would it have to be then reconsecrated to the gods of justice, Crook County-style?   No children are allowed to cry or call out to a parent, sister or brother they see being brought into the courtroom in handcuffs and prison rags: “Children must be kept quiet or you will be asked to leave!”  Surely Martin Luther King would endorse all this! A child crying out at seeing her father for perhaps the first time in months or even years would be cast out of the room by the “honorable” Judge Wilson!  Such is justice in Crooked Crook County, USA, run for the past 100 years by the “lesser evil” Democratic Party!  Everything is crooked about this place: the huge cockroaches at the jail skitter crookedly across the floors and the walls; even the birds flying over this place seem to fly sideways.  Let’s not even mention the crooked guards!

While we waited for Jared’s case to be called an attorney emerged from the courtroom into the spectators’ seating area to converse with his client, who was seated among us.  They openly discussed their strategy right there where it could be heard by all the court employees and the judge via the intercom system connecting both rooms.  There is no private place in this courthouse for attorneys and their clients to discuss their cases!  The image of Martin Luther King gazes pensively down from the wall of Judge Wilson’s courtroom upon this farce.  If only that portrait could come to life to tell Judge Wilson what it thinks about the monstrous scenes that have played out in that courtroom under its eyes day after day after brutal day!

Finally, at around 10:32 AM, Jared Chase is led into the courtroom.  As he enters, I stand up in solidarity.  “SIT DOWN!” bellows the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus Wilson.

Chase is a big guy; 6 feet tall, perhaps a bit more.  Thinnish but well-muscled in his brownish v-necked prison shirt and matching brown pants, he looks as healthy as can be expected – given the circumstances of his confinement in a hellhole Illinois state prison in Pontiac – to me, who has never seen him before.  But to his friends he “looks very thin and gaunt, and his health is visibly not well.”

Chase stands erect, calm and collected; his hands are not manacled but I can’t see his feet.

There is some preliminary chatter between the judge, prosecutor and Jared’s Public Defender Benesh.  Then Benesh asks the judge for a court order to prevent Chase’s being manacled with what is called a “black box”.

"Black Box" restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

“Black Box” restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

This high-security restraint is usually only used for the most dangerous inmates: murderers and terrorists.  In spite of the fact that all of the “terrorism charges” that the government had brought against the NATO 3 were repudiated by the jury in the original trial, Chase is still being periodically subjected to this abuse by the prison screws when they transfer him to court for trial.

Benesh is asking the judge for a “court order” prohibiting the use of the “black box” on Chase.  He states that there is an existing doctors’ order that these restraints not be used on Chase due to his suffering from Huntington’s Disease, which causes sufferers to shake uncontrollably.  This shaking, combined with the harsh restraints, has been found to be causing injury to Chase, Benesh explains.  The use of harsh restraints “cuts off circulation” of blood in Chase’s hands.

Who do you want me to order to stop using the restraints?” asks Judge Wilson?

Benesh appears to be somewhat taken aback by the question.

“Who do you want the court order to be issued to?  Eye-Doc?” asks the judge again, indicating the acronym for the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), as if to prompt Benesh… who appears to fumble for an answer.

“In terms of transport…” Benesh begins to reply.  “We are asking that the least restrictive means possible should be used.”  He describes a less physically punishing type of restraint known to be used by IDOC.

Judge Wilson advises Benesh to “talk to IDOC… I am not in a position to order such a thing.  You can file a Federal lawsuit against IDOC if they are not following doctors’ recommendations.  If it’s within my authority I’ll do it.  I don’t know of any need for extra security.  But just based on oral statements  I’m not going to do anything.”

It appeared that Benesh was unprepared to properly ask Judge Wilson for a court order, having not submitted to the court any legal document for the judge to review and sign!  Not only that, but Benesh seemed uncertain who it was that he wanted the judge to order to stop using the “black box” restraint!  Unbelievably poor preparation for the hearing by Benesh – not at all atypical for the Public Defenders here in the “Land of the Free(TM)”.

It’s pretty outrageous that the Public Defender’s Office had their client dragged in chains all the way to Cook County Jail from the dungeon at Pontiac Correctional Center – a distance of 100 miles – so they could challenge the state’s use of cruel restraints used when he is transported from jail to court and back, causing physical harm to him – and then the PD wasn’t even prepared to properly ask for and obtain the court order necessary to get the chains removed!  Sadly, this kind of third-rate legal defense for the poor is common, not only in Crooked Crook County but all over the USA – and in all the “advanced” countries of the capitalist world.

Benesh then asked for a status hearing to be set for March 23rd.  He appeared not to have submitted any requests for discovery of evidence such as videos of the alleged physical altercations between Chase and prison guards that led to the present assault on a prison officer charges against Chase.

The judge agrees to set a status hearing for March 23rd at 9AM and for the trial to begin on April 11th of 2016.  Chase is dismissed and I stand up again in solidarity as he leaves; and I and all Chase’s friends and supporters leave the courtroom.

Moments later Public Defender Benesh comes out into the hallway and I introduce myself and ask him for his business card.  He says “no problem” and goes back into the courtroom to take care of some other legal business.  After a few minutes he comes back out again, accompanied by a female colleague, and I ask him a few questions.

I had heard from one of Chase’s supporters that there might be video evidence available in this case.  Is Benesh aware of any?  “Not that I’m aware of; and I don’t know if it would be helpful or not if there was” he replied.  Surprised at his answer I ask “really?  No videos at all?”  (There are cameras all over the jails).  “No I don’t know of any”.  “Have you asked if there was any such evidence through the discovery process?” “No.” he replied.

“The next hearing on March 23rd; will Jared have to appear in court again for that?” I ask.  “Yes, he’ll be appearing at all of the hearings”.  This is a real ordeal for Chase, who has to come, shackled, all the way from Pontiac to Chicago, especially considering his health.

“What is the specific offense Chase is charged with and what are the potential penalties?” I inquire.

“He is charged with ‘aggravated battery to a corrections officer’, which is a ‘Class I’ offense, punishable by 4-15 years in prison” Benesh replies.  Very serious, indeed.  (For a description of the incident as related in a letter from Chase to a supporter, click here).

I ask Benesh if he has been on the case from the beginning of the NATO 3 trial; he says: “I just got this case two weeks ago from my colleague in the Public Defender’s Office.  I had nothing to do with the earlier case; this case has nothing to do with the original one”.  But of course, this is not true at all!  This case has EVERYTHING to do with the earlier case; Chase is a political prisoner who was framed up by undercover cops in the first place!  If that frame-up hadn’t been successful, this assault case would never have occurred!

This is what we meant earlier in this article when we spoke of the danger of having inexperienced defense attorneys who do not understand the difference between a typical criminal case and one involving a political frame-up.  This lawyer appears to be unaware of the very political nature of the charges his client is facing.  “Business as usual”; just another assault case in the hideously overloaded docket of the vastly understaffed and underfunded Public Defender’s office.

It’s too bad that the crew of “Free the NATO 3” supporters didn’t bother to talk to this new defense attorney for their comrade!  They had all just walked away from the courtroom without even bothering to talk to their comrade’s new lawyer!

It was not a very impressive performance by the “Free the NATO 3” defense campaign.

Later on that evening, I checked the “Free the NATO 3” WordPress site to obtain more background information about the case and to see if they had written a report about the hearing; commendably, as we stated above, they had. Their article criticises that I stood up in solidarity with Chase as he was led into the courtroom: “While prisoner supporters have employed the tactic often to stand up when the defendant’s name is called in various cases, Judge Thadeus [sic – IWPCHI] Wilson issued an injunction in the NATO 3 case preventing supporters from doing so, and does not respond kindly to this. So please remain seated when Jay’s name is called, as protest tactics or standing up only backfires on Jay.”

This expresses quite clearly the touching faith that these so-called “anarchists” have in the “impartiality” of the US capitalist “justice” system!

The “Free the NATO 3” website operated by these folks appears to offer a decent amount of information about the case – including copies of Judge Wilson’s outrageous piece-of-shit injunction against displays of class solidarity for political prisoners who appear in “his” courtroom.  Unfortunately, the amateurishness of the anarcho-reformists reared its ugly head again when we tried to download a copy of this fine example of legal treachery; we received a “404- File Not Found” error.  We left a message on that page so the website admins could fix the problem; checking it again today a week later, we found that it has still not been corrected.  We left another message, for what it’s worth.

***

This should serve as a warning to young activists trying to decide between joining a revolutionary socialist organization or a more loosely organized “anarchist” or other activist group.  It a choice between joining a party of organized, disciplined revolutionaries who will know how to avoid a cheap police entrapment scheme and defend you if you get framed up on bogus charges or joining a group that will fall right into a trap set by a pair of half-assed Police Explorers who infiltrate their organization on the first try.  In a revolutionary socialist party, youth members are taught about the history of police entrapment schemes; internal party discipline requires them to report provocations like the one launched against the NATO 3 defendants to party leaders, who know how to deal with these things properly.  It would be almost impossible for this kind of entrapment scam to ensnare a youth member of a revolutionary Trotskyist party; for amateur “activist” and “anarchist” organizations, this is not the case.  So choose wisely when you choose the revolutionary political organization you want to join.

***

One last glimpse of the “justice” that takes place in the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson’s judicial chamber of horrors:

A tall, well-groomed black man in a new winter jacket stands calmly before the dais upon which Judge Wilson sits.  A few feet to his  right, a middle-aged, stooped blonde white female Assistant District Attorney is trying to make this man look like Capone times ten.  She rattles off a seemingly endless number of arrests and convictions for petty offenses this man has suffered all his life for the “crime” of being a black man living in Democratic Party-run Crooked Crook County.  She chatters on: case after case, from the 1990s to the present.  Only after she has made it up to June of 2008 does the “Honorable” Judge Wilson stop her, saying tiredly: “That’s enough.  I get the picture”.

Perhaps it was a trick of the light, refracted through the smoked glass barrier of the courtroom… but we swear we saw the left hand of Dr. King move in front of his eyes; his shoulders seemed to heave spasmodically.  He appeared to be crying.

Thanks to the poor defense work today by Atty. Peter Benesh of the Crook County Public Defender’s Office, Jared Chase will once again most likely by dragged in chains – including the “black box” apparatus that is causing him physical harm – from Pontiac “Correctional” Center to Crook County Courthouse for his next status hearing on March 23; his trial is scheduled to begin on April 11.

— IWPCHI

 

 

 

 

 

239th Anniversary of US Declaration of Independence: US Working Class Has Little to Celebrate

Even in the relatively affluent suburbs of the USA, like Glenview, IL - located just outside Democratic Party-run and financially tottering Chicago - if you want to have a Fourth of July celebration you have to cough up some dough, because the greedy capitalist class won't foot the bill any more. [Photo by IWPCHI]

Even in the relatively affluent suburbs of the USA – like Glenview, IL, located just outside Democratic Party-run and financially tottering Chicago – if you want to have a Fourth of July celebration you’d better dig deep into your own pockets, because the greedy capitalist class won’t foot the bill any more. [Photo by IWPCHI]

Today on the Fourth of July we honor the revolutionary worker- and farmer- heroes of 1776 by honoring the revolutionary workers of 2015 who suffer in prison and exile for daring to fight for the rights of every working man and woman on this planet.

There are two kinds of workers in the world: wage-slaves and revolutionaries. In 2015, as in every era of human history, the mass of working people is composed of the wage-slaves, who sullenly bear their burdens like the downtrodden slaves they are, lashing out at anyone who tries to organize a slave rebellion and who slavishly place themselves at the service of their capitalist masters no matter how humiliating or savage the requests may be. Only at times of actual revolutionary struggle do these people attempt to finally cast off their chains and join in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the ruling class – and then only if the odds of success are heavily on the side of the revolutionaries. It has ever been thus and it will ever be this way. This article is addressed to the revolutionary-minded workers of the United States and throughout the world who hate the capitalist status quo and who will NOT be mindlessly waving the flag on this 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. They will be mindful of the vast and widening gulf that exists between the largely empty promises of 1776 and the current realities of a US government run by a greed-drunk capitalist class whose regime grows more and more monstrously oppressive with each passing hour.

The annual celebrations in honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 are being conducted in their usual senseless manner this year – but with an ironic twist. The ruling capitalist class, which sees no point in spending their hard-stolen money on such frivolities as education for the nation’s children, has apparently lost interest even in providing the ‘bread and circuses’ they once deemed essential for the maintenance of class peace between the millions of exploited wage- and debt-slaves and their exploiters. Today the once sacred budget appropriations for celebrations of the 4th of July have been placed on the chopping block; if you want to have a big 4th of July fireworks display, forget it – there’s not enough tax revenue left in the coffers of our cities and towns to be able to afford such an extravagance – the capitalists’ hired politicians and their co-conspirators have stolen it all. Increasingly, workers – even in the more affluent towns like Glenview, IL are going around hat-in-hand begging the citizens to donate money if they want to see any fireworks on the nation’s birthday!

Parades roll on full of fresh-faced military “heroes” the most recently-minted of which have only achieved the destruction of several small and poorly-defended nation-states, having left nothing but corpses, chaos and hatred for the United States in their wake. Many of these young men and women will not be marching in today’s parades – because it is no longer possible for them to do so; they have been horribly maimed while fighting in US imperialism’s endless and unwinnable “War on Terror”(TM). Now they have a new fight ahead of them: the struggle to survive, to obtain the health care and family services they desperately need, and which a money-grubbing US government doles out to them with an eye-dropper – if they can “qualify” for any assistance at all. Once a soldier is no longer able to physically defend the overseas investments of the US capitalist class, the capitalists discard them like an old pair of army boots. Yet every major sporting event and every Fourth of July parade, every newscast you’ll see today and millions of fatuously “patriotic” advertisements include a bombastic and idiotic salute to the nation’s military “heroes” freshly returned from one-sided “battlefields” where the only sacrifices being made are on the side of those wantonly attacked by the United States Government.  Crowds of stupefied American wage-slaves cheer as these veterans are trotted out for the national photo ops all over the nation, and then sent back home to figure out how the hell they are going to find a job so they can keep a roof over the heads of their families.   Almost completely ignored are the tens of thousands of homeless US veterans  who will be out there panhandling at these very parades that pretend to honor them; for these homeless veterans of America’s many, many wars, these Fourth of July celebration’s of America’s hometown military heroes must seem like deliberate mockery.

Military jets fly over baseball parks from coast to coast, prompting “oohs and ahhs” from the throng of stupid American wage-slaves idiotically applauding machines designed to do nothing but blast human beings into tiny pieces – bought and paid for with the workers own hard-earned tax money. Meanwhile, our cities are mismanaged,  looted by the politician-hirelings of capital and driven into bankruptcy;

US citizens across the nation are being denied access to a basic human need – water –  because they can’t afford to pay the water bill; racist cops shoot down citizens for no reason and get away with it and the US president declares to the world that he has a “right” to order the assassination of anyone who he deems to be a “terrorist” – even if they are a U.S. citizen! Happy Fourth of July! Wave a flag, dummies!

Meanwhile, more and more of the actual heroes who have risked their lives and fortunes trying to expose the horrendous crimes being committed by an increasingly deranged US capitalist class and its hirelings are being framed up on bogus criminal charges, convicted – by juries composed of cowards who will never rise to the level of the women and men they are sitting in judgment of, and thrown into the notoriously overcrowded and violent hellhole prison system for years or even decades. Brave men and women like Jason and Jeremy Hammond and  Chelsea Manning languish in prison; courageous people like Julian Assange of WikiLeaks have their lives turned upside down for exposing the crimes and endless lies of the US Government; true working-class heroes like Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal have been brutalized, imprisoned and live under a sentence of death issued by the ruthless and bloodthirsty US capitalist class that seeks to destroy all who dare to oppose it. These are a mere handful of the cases we could cite; what about the millions like Tim Tyler who languish in US prisons, victims of the idiotic “War on Drugs”(TM)? And still tens of millions of US worker-slaves stand dumbly by waving their flags and doing nothing to stop these outrages! Wage-slaves who refuse to come to the defense of those who risk their lives in our behalf do not deserve to breathe the same air as these imprisoned and exiled worker-heroes!

Millions of US workers are unemployed – some for so long that they are no longer even being counted by the government as “unemployed” any more ; more than half of all US public school children live in poverty; the world’s largest prison population languishes in some of the most brutal prisons in the “civilized” world; immigrant workers are being brutalized in prison camps where small children are imprisoned along with their mothers

the children beg visiting US politicians – whose colleagues wrote the laws under which they are imprisoned – to help free them; US citizens – particularly those who “happen to be black” are being shot to death by the nation’s police on a daily basis and never prosecuted for their crimes; US politicians, in the wake of the latest racist atrocity – this time in Charleston, S.C. – proclaim to the world that their love for their “southern heritage” demands that the racist Confederate flag of the southern slavocracy should be flown proudly across the USA, inspiring more members of the deranged racist lunatic fringe of the United States to commit more atrocities – it is hard to understand what it is that we have reason to celebrate on this July 4, 2015.

An 8-year-old Mexican girl handed this drawing to a US Congressman inspecting a detention center housing "illegal" immigrant mothers and their children.

An 8-year-old Mexican girl named “Helen” handed this drawing to a US politician inspecting a detention center in California housing “illegal” immigrant mothers and their children. It reads: “I want to be free”. Source: ilw.com, “House Democrats Recap Trip to Family Detention Facilities”, 24 June 2015 (see link above)

It has been 239 years since this nation’s founders declared independence from Great Britain and launched their revolution to “free” the oppressed white, male property-owners of colonial America from their British overlords. It was indeed a bold move and inadvertently set in motion the global chain of events that would almost completely wipe out feudalism in the world within 100 years – a major step forward for the human race and one the revolutionary socialist movement has always honored. In 2015 it is easy to see that, then and now, that group of courageous yet fatally flawed bourgeois revolutionaries made promises they never intended to make good on for anyone but themselves and their friends. To celebrate their revolution 238 years after the fact takes no courage at all; and it requires that we ignore a mountain of evidence proving that the progressive aspects of the US capitalist class were discarded by the ancestors of those revolutionists more than a century ago. This generation of capitalists don’t even want to shell out money for the fireworks displays and parades held in honor of their own ancestors! It really is a sad spectacle for a revolutionary worker to behold!

The success of the “American Experiment” that has been celebrated every Fourth of July since 1776 – in spite of the fact that the “freedom” gained by the US Revolution was only really gained by a tiny minority of rich, white men – has long since lost its golden halo. The United States capitalist class hasn’t done anything “revolutionary” or hugely progressive since the Reconstruction period unless a gun was being held to its collective head in the form of an enraged and fighting working class that wasn’t going to take anything but “yes” for an answer. Immediately after the American Revolution, women, slaves and the rest of the toiling classes were all left essentially right where they were before the revolution began! Every political gain made by blacks, women and the working class since then was gained only after prolonged and bloody struggle against the cabal of rich, white men by and for whose sole benefit the revolution was fought. Every major social gain since Reconstruction has been made on the initiative of the working class itself – the ruling capitalist class has fought us tooth and nail and all along the line. The struggle for the 8-hour day; the right of women to vote; the right of unions to organize; the right to withhold our labor-power in order to win better wages and working conditions (the right to strike); civil rights for blacks and LBGT people were all opposed by the capitalist class and their political parties and cops and courts. Workers blood has been shed in every one of these struggles before the capitalist class finally gave in and grudgingly made the necessary concessions – and then only in order to prevent the workers impulse towards revolution from reaching the boiling point. The plans of the ruling capitalist class are well-laid and made with their long-term objectives always in mind. The entrenched bourgeoisie of the United States consists of those who made their family fortunes stealing land from the Native Americans and selling it to the immigrants streaming in from all over the globe; their wealth is hereditary and they have been part of the US ruling class in some cases since their ancestors landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620! They have a lot of experience in these matters and know full well that any concessions they make to the workers today can eventually be clawed back once the temperature of the working class eventually cools off – as it inevitably does unless kept red hot via the work of a revolutionary vanguard party.

The American Revolution of 1776 was not as wildly popular as we have been led to believe. Every flag-waving moron in the USA who defends the racist, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-worker status quo in the USA today wants you to believe that if he or she was alive in 1776, they’d not have hesitated to attack the status quo under British rule! It’s so easy for them to say now, isn’t it? Defense of the American Revolution in 2015 risks not a hair on the head of anyone wrapping themselves in the Stars and Stripes. But that was NOT the case in 1776. Then, to take up arms against the “legitimate forces of law and order” – the British – was an act of treason punishable by death! So only about a third of the workers and farmers of 1776 actually had the guts to take up arms and join the army of Washington. And he had a hell of a time keeping an army in the field because the war was so unpopular. At Valley Forge, as the Americans were unable to procure food or decent clothing or bedding for the revolutionary troops, the local farmers of Pennsylvania were smuggling cattle, and all kinds of foodstuffs and homemade goods – to the British in Philadelphia! Washington had to send out detachments of troops to intercept the steady stream of vitally needed food and other goods that were being sold by Americans to the British, who paid them in good English money instead of the worthless money issued by the Continental Congress! These flag-waving patriots who bellow their love for the revolutionaries of 1776 while threatening to murder worker-revolutionaries of 2015 are cowards who would have been waving the British flag in 1776 just as these shameless American neo-fascists wave the US flag now! Who are they kidding? If they are such valiant defenders of our “freedoms” why do they refuse to lift a finger or donate a penny to the defense of people like  Edward Snowden, whose “crime” in the eyes of the capitalist class – exposing the fact that the US’ National Security Agency is spying on every human being on the planet, including US citizens –  is no crime at all in the eyes of worker-revolutionaries? These people who wrap themselves in the flag today will NEVER fight for even the rights of their own children against their capitalist masters – they are too craven and cowardly to ever fight the “powers that be” – and if they were around back in 1776 you can be sure that, just as they do today, they would have taken up their position in defense of the strongest party – the British – and would have been counted among the Tories, hated by all the revolutionaries of the 1770s!

Historians tell us that the American Revolution was not wildly popular at all and that only about a third of the population in 1776 actually supported the Revolution in ways that mattered – in 1775-1781 – and even those weak numbers rose and fell parallel to the successes and failures of the revolutionary struggle. I has never been easy to take a stand against the powerful monied interests that rule over us – the work we do is not for the faint of heart or for the flag-waving coward! Those courageous women and men who took up arms to overthrow the British monarchy did so selflessly – and because they mistakenly believed that those ringing words, those freedom-promising principles announced to the world in the heroic language of the Declaration of Independence were meant for THEM and not just for the handful of rich white men leading the revolution. Like the confused women and men in the US military today, the worker-heroes of the American Revolution risked their lives and their meager fortunes in order to defend the glorious ideals that the government leaders pretended would be available to all should their side emerge victorious from the war. It was only after the revolution, when the American revolutionary leaders “forgot” to add a Bill of Rights to the US Constitution that the workers discovered with horror that they had been robbed of the fruits of the years of labor in the service of the Revolution. Then, as the new nascent capitalist masters proved to be every bit as arrogant and oppressive to the working class and yeomanry as the British had been, a new wave of revolutionary struggles broke out – first, Shays’ Rebellion, then the Whiskey Rebellion and, later, Fries’ Rebellion all reflected the anger of the workers and farmers of the new nation who felt that their rights were being trampled on by the new rulers of the young United States of America just as they had been by the British. Their working class aspirations were crushed by the infant US capitalist class and their leaders were hunted down like dogs, tried and hanged or imprisoned. And thus began the long struggle for worker rights under the then-emerging capitalist dictatorship that continues to this day.

At the top of the political and economic pyramid of the United States in 2015 sits a small cabal of primarily rich, white men whose ancestors, in many cases, led the Revolution and made their fortunes thereby. What a clever gang of lawyers those original founders were! Somehow they managed to lead a successful bourgeois revolution whose stated aim was to bring into existence a “free nation” dedicated to the principle “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – but which “somehow” ended up only creating “freedom” for less than a tenth of the population, while making chattel slavery the law of the land! Only a gang of very clever lawyers could pull off such a scam! All of us who were not born rich or white or male have been fighting for OUR freedom without cessation since 1776 and we still haven’t reached our goal! Our ancestors worked as slaves, as indentured servants as brutally exploited factory workers, fought in all the wars waged under the Stars and Stripes, yet we still must struggle to keep a roof over our heads while the tiny gang of rich white men live lives of unbelievable luxury – and every year on the 4th of July, all of us, worker and capitalist, rich and poor, are supposed to join hands and sing hosannas to the glorious revolution of 1776! A revolution our worker and farmer ancestors fought in over two hundred years ago and which millions of us to this day have have only barely been able to enjoy a fraction of the fruits of! It’s taken us two hundred years of constant class warfare to force our rich masters to bestow upon us third-rate rat-infested public housing housing, health care on the installment plan and food stamps. “Hooray for the Fourth of July!”

In Chicago, it was announced this week that yet another round of savage budget cuts will be made to the already vastly underfunded Chicago Public Schools. The filthy rich capitalist class has decided that it makes no sense to spend “their” money (which they stole from us) to educate our children whom they never intend to employ, ever! So every year they cut back on education – to them it’s nothing but a bad investment! “Where” – the dull-witted among us ask “is their patriotism?” The fact is that the only thing the capitalists pledge allegiance to is their bank accounts! All they care about is: “how much money is in my bank accounts?” and “is the pile growing or shrinking”? All that wealth was derived from the labor of workers somewhere – either in the United States or somewhere else in the world – and they have no intention of allocating any more of it than is absolutely necessary in order to make those piles of cash of theirs keep on growing. They couldn’t care less about the future of us, or our kids!

So where is the outrage of the working class of the United States? We would think that when the capitalists start attacking your CHILDREN you’d start paying attention and get off your fat asses and start fighting for your kids’ futures! Yet that is simply not happening. Apparently, American workers have become so fat, lazy, apathetic and cowardly that even when the capitalist class and their government attack your CHILDREN you just mumble “oh well, you can’t fight City Hall” and go to the fridge for another beer! What the hell is wrong with you? Your hard-earned money has been taken from you in the form of taxes and spent – not to educate your children or to make your lives and theirs better – it has been taken and used to create a vast war machine which has as its primary purpose the defense of the overseas investments of the tiny U.S. capitalist class! Your sons and daughters have been sent overseas to butcher your fellow workers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere; many of them have come back physically and/or mentally maimed, unable to function as complete human beings and lead normal lives. Your sons and daughters in the US military have left a trail of destruction of whole nations, where the conditions of life now are far worse than they were under the dictators whose regimes our children were sent to overthrow! By the work of your military “heroes” the name of “American” has become a sort of curse in the mouths of decent human beings all over the world! Cities, towns and villages lie in ruins – destroyed by your sons and daughters; parents have had to bury their infant children by the tens of thousands; other children have been left orphaned thanks to the work of the US military – and for what? For whose benefit? For the benefit of that tiny gang of greedheads on Wall St. whose investments around the world are threatened by any kind of opposition, whether it comes from the heads of competing nation-states or individual U.S. citizens!

What is there to celebrate? The working class of the United States has not ONE representative in the US Senate or House of Representatives! Not one! Each and every politician in the national government of BOTH political parties is owned and operated by that same tiny cabal of capitalists who run the banks, insurance, pharmaceutical, energy and telecommunications companies and the defense contractors who make the weapons being used by OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS to butcher our working-class sisters and brothers around the world! This is the true state of things in the “free” “democratic” United States of America on the 4th of July 2015!

The police forces of the United States – paid for, as everything else is paid for in this country, by taxes squeezed from the working class – seem to have been given orders to shoot to kill any worker who dares to stand up for her or his rights. Even little children are gunned down as if they were a nuisance animal by police forces that are looking more and more like occupying troops in a foreign country. The US citizens are their “enemy”! Hardly a day goes by without another disgusting murder of an unarmed citizen by a police officer somewhere in the USA. Black people, as usual, are their favorite “prey”. These racist cops in the US major cities are all being run by a political party that styles itself as “the party of labor”! Our so-called trade union “leaders” take our union dues and lavish it on this “party of labor” – the Democratic Party – telling us that we must go to the polls and vote for the Democrats because they are the “lesser of two evils” – as if the purpose of a modern “democracy” is to provide the working class with a choice between “firing squad” or “lethal injection”! And you are so stupid, dear brother and sister workers, that you actually BELIEVE this to be ‘the best of all possible worlds” and act as if you – all 300 million of you! – were “powerless to do anything” to change the way this country is run!

The fact of the matter is that the United States of America has always been a hellhole for black and minority workers, for immigrants and for the poor of all “races” from 1776 to today! And yet here you are, in 2015, with the Internet at your fingertips and cell phones in your pockets, cars in your driveways and credit cards in your hands, sitting around telling yourselves that you are powerless to do anything!

In order to fight racism we need to have a political party of by and for the working class that has as one of its fundamental principles the idea that racism must be driven out of existence permanently. We need a government that fights racism, not a government that defends it and uses it to divide and conquer us! In every capitalist country in the world we see racist capitalist governments attacking minority workers, scapegoating scapegoating immigrants for the joblessness created by the capitalist system itself to hold down wages; attacking striking workers and students protesting austerity programs imposed on them by the capitalists; using racist ideology to divide the working class against itself! This is not just happening in the United States! We must come to understand that it is the capitalist system itself and the capitalist class of the United States that are our enemies; not the Muslim or Mexican immigrants; not the Chinese or Indian workers but the greedy scumbags on Wall St. are the common enemy of the workers! This is not and will never be the program of the so-called “friends of labor”:Democratic Party, whose politicians are now going around defending “southern heritage” and the Confederate flag as merely expressions of the “free speech rights” of racist rats like Dylann Roof and his kind!   A workers government will not allow mentally ill people like Dylann Roof to walk the streets seeking people to attack; a workers government will FINISH THE CIVIL WAR by overthrowing the racist capitalist class of the United States and by throughly cleaning up every nest of Ku Klux Klan and Nazis we can find, so that never again will there be another atrocity like that which took place in Charleston, S.C. Under capitalism, these racists are protected and even given police badges and allowed to run police departments in our major cities! This will be IMPOSSIBLE under a workers government! The “free speech rights” of the Klan and nazis will be abolished under a workers government! The Democrats and the capitalist mouthpieces in the bourgeois press claim that if we smash the Nazis and Klan and outlaw their organizations and their “right” to spread racist lies we will somehow be destroying civilized society! This is just their back-door way of defending the racists whom they keep in reserve to attack the workers movement whenever we try to organize ourselves across racial lines. The Klan and Nazis are the attack dogs of the capitalist class – and the “friends of Labor” – the Democrats – use the code words of “southern heritage” and “free speech rights” to DEFEND the fascists like Dylann Roof. Under a workers government, people like Roof will be placed in insane asylums and taken out of circulation so they can’t poison the minds of any other young people.

The Democratic Party – Enemies of Labor

The Democrats put on a fine dog-and-pony show over the anti-worker “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) agreement, first pretending to vote against it in a fake “rebellion” “opposing” Obama and then turning around and passing it in a flurry of activity that took all the US union misleaders totally by surprise!  The AFL-CIO’s own website has still not recovered from their embarrassment to issue a statement on the vicious bitch-slapping they received from the Democrats on TPP!  But what can they say?

30 June 2015: Obama signs "Fast Track" into law, surrounded by his criminal co-cospirators and cracks "This is so much fun we should do it again!" Source: AFP-JIJI via japan Times

30 June 2015: Obama signs “Fast Track” into law surrounded by his criminal co-conspirators and cracks “This is so much fun, we should do it again!” Source: AFP-JIJI via japan Times

The Japan Times described the scene as “friend of labor” Obama was signing the “Fast Track” legislation surrounded by a joyful gang of capitalist criminals whose capitalist masters will undoubtedly reward them richly for this magnificent gift:

“As Obama signed the legislation, using a set of 20 commemorative pens set out for the ceremony, he remarked: “This is so much fun, we should do it again!”

Source: Reuters via the Japan Times, “Obama inks ‘fast-track’ trade bills but says tough talks lie ahead before TPP is reality”, 30 June 2015]

You have to stop believing the lies of the fake worker-leaders who tell you that the Democrats are the party of labor.  No “party of labor” would even attempt to pull off a robbery of the working class like the one the Democrats just committed on TPP. Expecting the Democratic Party politicians – who owe their seats in Congress to the rich people who financed their campaigns – to fight against the interests of the capitalists who own them is like expecting the small lampreys that live by attaching themselves to the bodies of enormous Whale Sharks to swallow the shark whole!  It ain’t gonna happen!  The working class needs its OWN party, its OWN political leaders who owe their positions only to the workers and owe the capitalists not one thin dime!  Until we have such a party, the working class of the United States will continue to see its standard of living decimated by the capitalists who are “running the tables” of the world unopposed with the help of the bribed officials at the AFL-CIO and their employees in the Democratic Party!

Another big lie that you must stop believing is that the rich people are sooo powerful and we workers are so weak! The opposite is true: the working class creates ALL the wealth in a capitalist country – and we make up the vast majority of the population! We have the power to shut down the US economy completely simply by refusing to work; our sons and daughters essentially run the US war machine as well!  A workers government would by its very nature be a really democratic government, a real case of “majority rule”. Right now the US Government is essentially owned and operated by a cabal of filthy rich capitalists who make up less than a tenth of the population; this isn’t a democracy, it’s an autocracy! Its the dictatorship of the capitalist class! The capitalist class owns and operates BOTH the Republican and the Democratic Parties. They pre-select who we will get to vote for by allocating their campaign donations only to those candidates who are most willing to carry out the orders of the capitalists. There is absolutely nothing democratic about how the presidential, senatorial or Congressional candidates are chosen: they must pass the test of the capitalist class first – only then will their campaigns be funded.

How do we get from here to there? First we must build ourselves a revolutionary workers party that refuses to take even a penny in funding from the capitalist class. A party completely funded by the workers and beholden only to the working class! The Democratic Party is entirely owned and operated by the capitalist class. Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, like all the others are EMPLOYEES of the capitalist class – these politicians go around begging for campaign donations from the capitalists who own this planet and they offer their services to the capitalists in exchange for those campaign donations. A revolutionary workers party would raise its funds from membership dues and donations from the workers who make up the vast majority of the population. The active working class in the US is about 170,000,000 strong! If only half of that number sent in a dollar a month, our party could run candidates in all 50 states in its first year! This is what we must do!

This means, sisters and brothers that until we create a revolutionary workers party that represents only the interests of the working class, THE CAPITALIST CLASS WILL CONTINUE TO WIN EVERY ELECTION as they have been doing since 1776!

Capitalism Must Die so that the Working Class May Live!  Break with the Democrats – Build a Revolutionary Workers Party to Fight for a Workers Government!

– IWPCHI

Why Socialism? Part One

Q: Why does the Trotskyist Independent Workers Party of Chicago call for a workers socialist revolution to overthrow the capitalist class and its capitalist system and to replace it with an egalitarian workers socialist republic?

A: At the root of all social ills and evils is the capitalist class and its anarchic economic system, which is designed to exploit the many (theworking class) for the benefit of the few (the capitalist class).

Poverty; war; homelessness; police brutality; racial and sexual discrimination; all of these are caused by the normal workings of the capitalist system, an economic and political system designed to facilitate the systematic exploitation of the world’s natural resources and the labor power of its’ human population.

Capitalist economies are designed to funnel the profits created by the exploitation of human beings and natural resources into the hands of a tiny minority of people who run the world’s economic and political systems for their own selfish ends.  Only about 170,000 people on planet Earth are the richest people, capable of spending $150 million on a single painting and still having more than enough money left over to live like kings and queens.  ALL of their wealth is derived from the exploitation and superexploitation of workers, who make up the vast majority of the world’s population.

The capitalist system is based firmly on the “nuclear family”: one male and one female (or, now, two female or two male) wage- and debt-slaves raise the next generation of wage- and debt-slaves for future exploitation by future generations of capitalists.  The wage-slave parents carry out their responsibilities of inculcating in the heads of their children respect for the capitalist system and its police and military forces, and a robust belief that “our country” is better than all the other countries and must be defended at all costs.  Hatred of various despised races and religions is handed down, generation after generation, all to the benefit of the capitalist class, which can thereby organize the workers into military units to go anywhere in the world to defend the domestic and foreign investments of the capitalist masters.  The work of feeding, clothing, sheltering and health care of the young wage-slaves is financed using the wages and debt incurred by the parents, which is another huge gift to the capitalist class, as it means that the wages paid out by capitalists on the one hand are almost entirely returned to the capitalists through the economic activity of the wage- and debt-slave parents.  In the modern era, the capitalists have found that it is a far more effective method of social control to “pay” workers by extending them credit, rather than by actually paying wages.  This keeps the wage slaves drowning in debt, which forces them to work harder and longer every year to keep their heads from going deeper under water than they already are.  The proof that this system works effectively at brainwashing the wage- and debt- slaves into defending their own exploitation can perhaps best be seen here in the United States, where the vast majority of the heavily indebted wage- and debt-slaves are convinced that they are enjoying a “freedom” not to be surpassed anywhere in the world.

To call countries like the United States “democracies” is the capitalist class’ idea of a good joke.  They have successfully conned millions of wage- and debt-slaves (collectively known as “the working class”) into believing that they actually have a role to play in deciding which gang of politicians hired by the capitalists will get to “run the country” over a set period of time.  In fact, in “bourgeois democracies” like the USA and Great Britain, the working class plays almost no role at all in making such decisions.  It is the tiny minority of the capitalist class who finance every major political campaign and who decide well in advance of any election which party politician will be hired to do the bidding of the capitalist class.  Any politician deemed to be insufficiently loyal to the capitalist class, insufficiently dedicated to the continued existence of the capitalist system, will find him or herself unable to raise the funds necessary to get their name on the ballot.

The current US presidential campaign is a perfect case in point:  Hillary Clinton has raised over $1,000,000,000.00 for her Presidential run already.  She did not get the vast majority of that money from the working class: she was given it by the richest 1% of US citizens – the capitalist class.  And that money comes with a lot of strings attached: Ms. Clinton has made binding promises to each and every major donor to her campaign that whatever it is that they want done under  Clinton presidency will get done whether it is politically popular among the workers or not.

In every capitalist country in the world the capitalist class wields its massive wealth to sabotage any attempt made by the workers to fight for their rights, even to the extent of creating phony “political activism” NGOs and other organizations that pretend to defend worker rights but which invariably actually are financed by and therefore beholden to the capitalist class.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, 360.org and the Tor Project – to name but a few – are all firmly in the pockets of the big capitalists.  They will never, ever do either of two things: 1) oppose the “right” of capitalists to exploit workers and to amass tremendous private fortunes and 2) during times of “class peace” they will NEVER form any political party in opposition to the political parties of the capitalist class or to oppose the fundamental class interests of the capitalists.

Even this near-total control of the political and economic systems is not enough for the top capitalists, whose massive wealth alienates them more and more from the working classes of the world: they are not surprisingly terrified of the workers someday organizing themselves to topple the capitalist class from its increasingly precarious position atop the social pyramid.  This is why the capitalist class of the US, for example – in spite of decades of statistics showing a long-term decrease in violent crimes – has demanded that its hired politicians allocate more and more money to the military and police forces whose real role is not “to protect and serve” ALL classes of people, but, in the final analysis, to protect and serve the 1% of the wealthiest from the justified rage of the oppressed workers.

This is why, as more and more wealth has been squeezed out of the blood, bone and sinew of the working class and transferred to a smaller and smaller percentage of the capitalist class we have seen a concomitant increase in police and military brutality across the capitalist world.  The United States Government – wholly owned and under the direction of the US capitalist class – has even re-legalized torture and the right of the principal political representative of the capitalist class – the President of the United States – to order the extralegal assassination of US citizens who dare to oppose the class interests of the leaders of the US capitalist class.  Police brutality is not an aberration under the capitalist system, as the reformists dutifully and continually teach the workers; it is the norm and the necessary corollary of an economic and political system which ruthlessly exploits the many for the benefit of fewer and fewer.

Also in contradiction to what the reformists preach, environmental degradation and war are also symptoms of “normal” conditions of life under the throughly irrational capitalist system.  In their mad, global quest for more and more wealth, the capitalists must search in nation-states not their own for opportunities to enrich themselves, which brings them face-to-face with three sources of opposition: the raw materials they seek are in the possession and under the control of another nation’s capitalist class, and those raw materials are being worked by that nation’s workers.  The capitalist class of major imperialist countries first attempts to arrange a business deal with their competitor capitalists in that foreign nation-state under which the imperialist power gets the majority of the profits.  If the capitalist class of that minor nation-state proves to be unwilling to allow this to happen, then the imperialist power unleashes its secret police forces as well as its banking power to try to engineer a political change inside the target country that benefits the US capitalist class.  They will attempt to purchase politicians and capitalists; if that fails to work, the CIA will assassinate the obstreperous opponent of the US capitalist class.  If that fails, then they send in the Marines and overthrow the government under some phony pretext.

The military forces of a capitalist state do not defend the “national interests”, as the bourgeois press owned by the capitalist class would have us believe: they defend the foreign investments of the US capitalist class, making it “safe” for US capitalists to risk their stolen wealth by opening mines, oil fields and agricultural lands to their untrammelled exploitation.  If workers in these targeted countries rise up in revolt against the oppressive governments forced upon them and supported by US political and military intervention, the US capitalist class, through its secret police agencies and its military discover who the uppity slaves are among the workers and order their hirelings in that targeted country to arrest, torture and imprison those rebels – or they just have them murdered, or have the CIA/Navy Seals/Special Forces do it for them.

Lastly, the capitalist system is an ad-hoc system, under which, since every billionaire is free to invest his or her stolen wealth as he or she sees fit, no one is in control of the economy.  It lurches forward, propelled only by the blind lust for personal wealth of the capitalists.  Occasionally, opportunities arise to obtain superprofits in one or another economic sphere: it might be the spice trade in one era, oil production and distribution in another or even real estate.  Once it becomes clear to the smaller capitalists that the big capitalists have created a “bull market” in a certain economic area (let’s say real estate), hundreds of billions of dollars are rerouted from other spheres of exploitation and into the “booming” real estate sphere – and an economic crisis is precipitated.  As more and more investors seek to enrich themselves in this one area of the economic “boom”, prices begin to rise far beyond the intrinsic value of the property in demand, until the economic bubble bursts, causing extensive damage to the national or even the global economy.  Since no government in any capitalist state actually has anything like real “control” of the economy, the politicians and bankers find themselves unable to repair the damage they themselves created due to their unquenchable greed.  In the end it is the working class that is made to pay for the damage: social spending is cut and taxes are raised to plug up the financial holes created by the blowout of the speculative bubble.  And then the cycle begins anew.

To Be Continued – IWPCHI

 

“To A Certain Class of Citizens” (with apologies to Walt Whitman)

[This is a slightly edited version of Walt Whitman’s poem “To a Certain Civilian”, which we would address to all those who denigrate the idea of workers socialist revolution and our project, however modest, to create revolutionary socialist Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist vanguard parties of the working class from Chicago to Kolkata.  We read this today and thought it perfectly captured our attitude to those who sneer at the efforts of those who seek to emancipate the working class from capitalist wage- and debt-slavery worldwide, and also our attitude towards those who attempt to trick the workers into adopting every half-assed form of struggle they can imagine, all the while denigrating and slandering the only method that has ever led to a successful seizure of power and lasting victory by the working class: the Leninist vanguard party.  –  IWPCHI]

“To a Certain Class of Citizens”

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from us?

Did you seek the citizen’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?

Did you find what we sang erewhile so hard to follow?

We were not singing erewhile for you to follow, to

understand – nor are we now;

What to such as you anyhow, such poets as us?  therefore leave

our works,

And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with

pop-tunes,

For we lull nobody, and you will never understand us.

— (With apologies to and deep respect for Walt Whitman),

IWPCHI

Chelsea Manning Letter Acknowledges Her Authorization of @xychelsea Twitter Account

We are publishing – as a service to our readers and all supporters of heroic whistleblower and US political prisoner Chelsea Manning (this is not authorized by her or anything) – a text version of the handwritten letter released on 16 April 2015.  We just want to help disseminate this information as far and wide as possible.

The letter is legible but for some people difficult to read as it is in cursive handwriting, so we’ve made our own transcription of it.  It’s in two pages, on “official” Chelsea Manning Fort Leavenworth stationery and is signed by her. Here’s a .pdf of the two-page letter: Manning _4apr2015_Twitter account letter

The official Chelsea Manning Support Group is here.   The Chelsea Manning Legal Defense Fund is here.  And the new Chelsea Manning Twitter account can be found here.  We encourage all our readers to give generously to this most worthy cause!  We say: FREE CHELSEA MANNING NOW!

IWPCHI

Chelsea E. Manning
89289
1300 North Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304

                                                            2015.04.04

STATEMENT FOR: PUBLIC RELEASE

SUBJECT: @XYCHELSEA TWITTER ACCOUNT

Everyone,

  I want to thank all of those of you who are now
following my new Twitter account. It was pretty amazing
to get so many followers so quickly! It’s only possible
because of you all, out there, who care about the
things and people that I do.

  I wanted to set up this account awhile ago, but
I didn’t really have the time or energy to until I
began to start taking hormones a few months ago. So a few
weeks ago I asked my friend Trevor Fitzgibbon if he would
set up an account that I reserved in 2013, and he
agreed to help for no cost.

   This is a temporary arrangement until I can find
a way to either access my account more easily, or find
someone else willing to put in the labor of managing
the account, like Courage to Resist or another volunteer.

   The tweets, except for retweets, are verbatim dictated
over the phone to someone that I can call from here in Kansas.

(1)

[Page 2: IWPCHI]

                                                                                                    2014.04.04 [sic – IWPCHI]

SUBJECT: @XYCHELSEA TWITTER ACCOUNT

  I think this arrangement is the best way for me
to be able to stay in as much contact with all
of you who are out there and wanting to help me
and support me!

  And, again, I want to thank all of you for
your support and funding throughout my court-martial
and now my appeal! We’re working very hard and
I am hopeful that we can be successful if we
can keep funding the Chelsea Manning Support
Network’s Legal Defense Fund!

                         With Warm Regards,
Chelsea Manning

P.S. #itsreallyme =P

(2)

[End of letter – IWPCHI]

Reply to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Lame Foreword to Senate Torture Report

Dianne Feinstein’s foreword to the newly released Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s CIA Torture Report is a masterpiece of evasion, excuse-mongering and all-around Democratic Party political fuckery. In this essay we are going to attempt a point-by-point refutation of the lame alibis offered up by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to justify the shredding of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights by herself and her co-conspirators in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It’s unpleasant work – but it has to be attempted because her pathetic rationalizations in her foreword are apt to be swallowed whole,  accepted uncritically and regurgitated in print and on air by most of the hack journalists of the bourgeois press ad nauseam. None of the excuses she retails in her foreword make any sense at all to anyone who isn’t a naked apologist for the crimes of US imperialism. Since the US working class has not one single representative in Congress we have no way to launch the campaign to release the full, uncensored Torture Report; the working class of the US – at least 175 million strong – can only make appeals from the sidelines like fans shouting disapproval of a bad call made by referees in a football game. It’s a shameful state of affairs for the workers of the US to have created for themselves by supporting the pro-capitalist Democrats instead of building revolutionary workers parties and electing real worker-representatives to Congress!

**************

The full Committee Study, which totals more than 6,700 pages, remains classified but is now an official Senate Report. The full report has been provided to the White House, the CIA, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the hopes that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices and inform the management of other covert action programs.”

The Study “remains classified”? This is absolutely unacceptable. Everyone can read it except the workers of the United States and the world, apparently. We demand that the full, uncensored 6,700 page magnum opus of the Obama Administration, along with all the videos, audio recordings and documentary addenda be released in full to the world so we can see it with our own eyes and judge it for ourselves. We simply do not and can not trust the lying US Government to tell us the truth. Releasing only a 500-page heavily-censored summary of a 6,700-page report is an obvious attempt by the Senate Intelligence Committee to deceive the citizens of the US and the world.

The full report has been provided…”. This is a ruse to make it appear as if “all the responsible people” in the government have access to the full report. In fact only the very top criminals in all the named organizations – many of whom were themselves deeply involved in approving and directing the CIA’s kidnapping and torture programs – are allowed to read it. Again, this is unacceptable. By authorizing the kidnapping, torture and murder of our working class brothers and sisters all over the world, the US Government gave official sanction to their criminal acts and carried them out in the name of each and every one of us who are citizens of the USA. By dragging the entire nation into their murderous conspiracy, the criminals in the US Government who sponsored the re-legalization of torture and, later, the assassination of US citizens have drawn every US citizen into their conspiracy. We demand full access to these documents and the uncensored report so that we can determine who must be held to account for these disgusting crimes carried out in our names!

The full report has been provided [to the criminals leading the organizations that carried out the kidnapping, torture and murder conspiracy] in the hopes [sic] [!!] that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices [still in denial, won’t say “torture”] and inform the management of other covert action programs.”

This is a prayer for the Lord’s forgiveness rather than what it should be: the prelude to a series of criminal indictments of and long prison terms for Bush and Obama Administration officials and their agents who ordered and carried out an illegal and immoral program under which men and women were seized, kidnapped, tortured and in several cases, murdered.

In the United States we witnessed Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her Democratic Party friends in California enacting the notorious “Three Strikes” laws under which people convicted of such heinous crimes as stealing $150 worth of videotapes from a KMart as their “third strike” were given multiple LIFE SENTENCES! Yet the working class is supposed to accept the proposal made by none other than Feinstein herself that top government officials who ordered people to be tortured and murdered be allowed to decide what the penalty should be for their own far more heinous crimes! This is a monstrous proposal made by the “lesser evil” Democrat Feinstein, who thinks nothing of sending a worker to jail for decades for stealing a bag of cookies, but who not only conspired to allow torture to be re-legalized but who conspires today to let the perpetrators of torture she worked hand-in-glove with to avoid even the slightest wrist-slap to be imposed upon them!

Feinstein treats us to a pathetic apologia in which she seeks to be absolved from responsibility for signing off on the CIA’s torture program because she was in shock from the carnage of 9/11/2001! Poor woman! But it is your JOB to NOT be driven to commit outrages against the rights of the citizens by a mere terrorist attack! You and your co-conspirators have the authority to launch the US’ massive nuclear arsenal, capable of turning Earth into an irradiated human-free zone – and you tell us that a mere handful of criminals seizing a few civilian airliners and smashing them into skyscrapers is enough to derange your professed commitment to the rule of law to the degree that you will shred the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? If this is the case, then you are confessing to the world that you are utterly unqualified to hold the position you have held at the top of the cesspool of corruption that is the US Government! When did you realize that you were so far out of your depth? And why didn’t you resign when that realization dawned on you, years ago?

We are supposed to believe that all the savagery unleashed by the US Government against the world in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was the result of the temporary derangement of the intellectual faculties of the entire top leadership of the US Government! Is there any better proof that these bought-and-paid-for cretins running the US Government should be thrown out of office immediately – and permanently replaced by a workers government?

Reading [this Executive Summary and Findings and Conclusions of the report] it is easy to forget the context in which the program began – not that the context should serve as an excuse” [our emphasis – IWPCHI] But that is precisely why you bring up the context: to provide an excuse for why you personally and the entire leadership of the US Government, Republican and Democratic parties alike, authorized the dismemberment of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights!

It is worth remembering the pervasive fear in late 2001 and how immediate the threat felt”.

WE remember feeling no such fear at all! We do, however, remember the overwhelming revulsion we felt knowing that a chain of events that had been initiated by Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1979 (when he authorized the CIA’s provision of weapons and training to Al Qaeda’s precursors in the holy war against the USSR’s intervention in Afghanistan) had finally come full circle to visit pain and suffering on the citizens of the US. We remember not being the least bit afraid of the pathetic criminal gangs of Al Qaeda, who possessed not a single warplane, aircraft carrier, nuclear submarine, missile or other form of modern weaponry capable of launching serious attacks on the US. We remember being very aware that it was out of their complete incapacity to launch any serious military assault on the US that Al Qaeda chose to sacrifice its best-trained operatives in suicide attacks using civilian airliners; and that, having done so, and as the weeks and months passed and nothing more happened, we recall being acutely aware that Al Qaeda had already “blown their wad” on 9/11. But you, Sen. Feinstein, and your co-conspirators in Washington, you want us to believe that, in spite of all your deep knowledge of the vast military superiority of the US military in comparison with the puny, impotent (then and now) sub-military forces of Al Qaeda, were living in constant fear of another massive attack? Based on what, exactly? You are either a liar or a shameless incompetent – which is it, Sen. Feinstein? No one with an ounce of intelligence could consider Al Qaeda to be anything other than what they were and are: a gang of reactionary, woman-hating serial killers. The Wehrmacht, the Red Army they most decidedly are not! If this tiny cabal of killer cretins could derange the entire US Government into shredding the Bill of Rights, what would you do if the nation was at war with a full-fledged industrialized nation-state of the caliber of Germany or Russia? The US working class had damned well better do all it can to see to it that you and your co-conspirators never get the chance again to showcase your utter inability to keep your wits about you in such an eventuality!

The major lesson of this report is that regardless of the pressures and the need to act, the Intelligence Community’s actions must always reflect who we are as a nation, and adhere to our laws and standards”. But, Sen. Feinstein: you have just explained to us how a mere series of terrorist attacks in which 0.000009% of the US population was murdered and a handful of buildings destroyed is enough to send the so-called “leadership” of that very poorly named “Intelligence Community” running around like a flock of chickens with their heads cut off! How can we expect you to perform better in the future, especially if actual military forces using modern weaponry were attacking the US?

CIA personnel, aided by two outside contractors, decided to initiate a program of indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques [still in denial, Sen. Feinstein, but you’re almost there! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e!] Here the Democrats try to throw all the blame for the torture campaign on the CIA and two subcontractors when in fact the top leadership of the Democratic Party was kept appraised of all these developments as they happened – and did nothing to oppose them.

The Committee Study documents the abuses and countless mistakes [our emphasis – IWPCHI] made between 2001 and early 2009.” Ah yes; there were not CRIMES committed but mere “abuses” and “mistakes”! You can’t prosecute people for making mistakes now, can you? The CIA, with the full knowledge of the Democratic and Republican leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee made “countless” “mistakes” – like waterboarding a man over 180 times! Like beating and freezing prisoners to death! “Oops! Naughty boys! Don’t do that again!” says Sen. Feinstein!

The full Committee Study… provides substantially more detail than what is included in the Executive Summary…” YET: “I chose”… [“I chose” she says!] “not to seek declassification of the full Committee Study at this time. I believe that the Executive Summary includes enough information to adequately describe the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program [ah, you’re backsliding again, Senator! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e…]”

Well Sen. Feinstein, we are not impressed with your ability to judge these matters intelligently, as you have just described to the world your and your co-conspirators’ inability to keep your wits about you when you feel threatened. The release of the full report will undoubtedly provide far more proof that something more than a series of cynical hand-wringing apologies are in order to even begin to redress the horrendous crimes you and your co-conspirators committed in the name of “protecting the homeland”!

Decisions will be made later on the declassification and release of the full 6,700 page study”. That is also quite unacceptable. We demand the release of the full, UNCENSORED text of the summary, the report and the immediate release of ALL the addenda, including audio and video recordings, photographs, documents and depositions – EVERYTHING! We’re not going to be made to wait 25 years for this festering boil to be lanced!

Sen. Feinstein, who should recuse herself from proposing what punishments she and her co-conspirators deserve (since she is a likely co-defendant in any war crimes or crimes-against-humanity trial), instead proposes to the world the following non-recommendations:

It is my sincere and deep hope [hope?] that through the release of these Findings and Conclusions and Executive Summary [through their release alone!] that U.S. policy will never again allow for secret indefinite detention and the use of coercive interrogations [Still in denial! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e…!]… we cannot again allow… grievous past mistakes [mistakes!] to be repeated.”

Executive Order 13491 prohibiting “the CIA from holding detainees other than on a ‘short-term, transitory basis’” as well as the limitation of interrogation techniques to those included in the Army Field Manual “should be enshrined in legislation”. But, dear Sen. Feinstein: the prohibitions against the use of torture are already “enshrined in legislation”, aren’t they? They are “enshrined” in both US legislation and international law! Of course, that never has and never will prevent the use of torture whenever the bloodthirsty US capitalist class feels that its class rule is seriously threatened by workers or governments anywhere oppose their endless quest for more and more money – especially if the opposition is led by the US working class.

While the Committee did not make specific recommendations, several emerge from the Committee’s review. The CIA… has already made and begun to implement its own recommendations.” So, not only do the “lesser evil” Democrats cop out on making specific recommendations to “enshrine in legislation” prohibitions against torture and murder of prisoners (which were prohibited by legislation long ago); they are more than happy to let the criminals at the CIA responsible for initiating the campaign of systematic torture and murder of prisoners “correct” their own “mistakes”! What could be more outrageous?

The Committee Study, including the now-declassified Executive Summary and Findings and Conclusions, as updated is now final… [t]his and future Administrations should use this Study to guide future programs, correct past mistakes [“mistakes” again!] increase oversight of CIA representations to policymakers [merely increase oversight of the CIA’s representations to policymakers!] and ensure coercive interrogation practices are not used by our government again”. This is all far beneath what needs to be done – it barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done! And mark the careful phrasing of the end of the last sentence: torture is not to be used “by our government” again! But we have seen how the CIA repeatedly “outsourced” torture to other nations – including those that were alleged to be “rogue nations” like Qaddafi’s Libya! Sen. Feinstein provides the US Government with a loophole large enough to fly a B-1 bomber through: the CIA mustn’t detain prisoners for anything more than a “short-term, transitory basis” at which time they remain as before free to turn over their victims to criminals in another country who can carry out the torture for them! Sen. Feinstein, this non-proposal proposal of your Committee’s will not stand.

Ms. Feinstein’s foreword says absolutely NOTHING on the subject of the imperialist President Obama’s declaration that he has the “right” to order the assassination of US citizens! Undoubtedly this tyrannical declaration of the nation’s top Democrat is not considered to be one of the “mistakes” made by Ms. Feinstein and her cabal of co-conspirators in their project to eviscerate the Constitution and Bill of Rights! She also makes no mention of the major Constitutional crisis that SHOULD have occurred when it was revealed that the CIA spied on members of the Senate Committee as it researched and deliberated during the production of the Torture Report! That the CIA spied on the very governmental body that is responsible for overseeing the CIA’s activities is just another innocent “mistake” in the eyes of Senator Feinstein! This pantomime CIA watchdog refuses to bark – or even to yelp when its tail is rudely stomped on!

The fact that the US capitalist class has become so deranged that it would give its bought-and-paid-for employees in Congress the green light to bring legalized torture back into existence from the dungeons of the Dark Ages proves to us beyond a doubt the need for the US working class to determinedly struggle to create the revolutionary socialist workers parties necessary to lead the nation forward to overthrow the capitalist system – a system which threatens to drag world civilization back in time to the days of the torture chambers of the Holy Inquisition. As we have repeatedly warned: time is not on our side, sister and brother workers! Leaving this savage US ruling class in power allows a standing threat to the workers of the entire world to remain at large, armed to the teeth and ready to unleash its massive military force against our fellow workers all over the world. If the workers of the United States fail to disarm the savage ruling class of the US, the carrying out of that historically necessary task will pass to the rest of the world’s workers, who make up over 95% of the world’s population. By abdicating our responsibility to overthrow the US capitalist class the US working class will force the rest of the world to organize armies to crush the US government in the same manner that Hitler’s Nazi regime was crushed by the Red Army in WWII. WWIII is avoidable only if the US working class acts in time to organize itself into revolutionary vanguard parties in order to overthrow its main enemy – the US capitalist class thereby launching the final revolutionary struggle to liberate the world’s workers from capitalist wage-slavery.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago