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Public Statement on Palestine by Concerned Indians

 

           Around 260 Indian citizens signed the statement calling on the Government of India to de-recognise the state of Israel, identifying it as an Apartheid state. They also called upon all Indians, as individuals, as civil society organisations, trade unions etc., to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of the Israeli state and all its allied institutions. Finally, they declared their solidarity with the Palestinian people whose Right to Political Self-determination and Right of Return must be respected and fulfilled .


The signatories included Javed Anand, Vrinda Grover, Nivedita Menon, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Teesta Setalwad, Anuradha Talwar, Dipankar Bhattacharya, Feroz Mithiborwala, Prabhat Patnaik, Utsa Patnaik, Zoya Hasan, Ammu Abraham, Harbans Mukhia, Mihir Desai, Anand Patwardhan, Admiral L. Ramdas, Soma Marik, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, and Sumanta Banerjee. The statement and full list of signatories is attached herewith is relased for public circulation.

Achin Vanaik and Kunal Chattopadhyay
(On behalf of the initiators and signatories)

 

In the wake of the latest round of brutalities by Israel on Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem we call upon progressives in India to take a clear stand, and declare to the people that enough is enough! We demand nothing less than the complete de-recognition of Israel by this and all future Indian governments as long as it is a  Zionist apartheid state which denies the right of self-determination and the right of return to the Palestinian people. This means the complete severing and cessation of all diplomatic, political, military, economic relationship with Israeli government. Twenty one countries have never recognized Israel while seven countries which had recognized it, subsequently withdrew this recognition. Two of the countries to do so, namely Cuba (in 1973) and Venezuela (in 2009), have a stated commitment to socialism.

            We also appeal to individuals, institutions, civil society organisations, trade unions, academics, artistes, etc. to respect and follow the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of the Israeli government and all its allied institutions.

            In the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) there is a formal definition of Apartheid that is based on a set of "crimes" which are listed separately as well as based on the Covenant Against Racial Discrimination. The essential content of that definition can be presented as follows: "Apartheid exists when you have on one territory, one power controlling that territory and you have two different legal systems which are applicable to two groups of different people based on their race  and ethnicity, for the goal of domination of one group over the other." Human Rights Watch and even the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, now recognize and speak of it openly as an apartheid state!

            Consider this: Israel is not only guilty of carrying out (through extreme forms of overt and covert violence) the longest running illegal military occupation of modern history but continues to carry out a "creeping colonization' in the West Bank. Golan Heights and a part of Lebanon is under its control while Gaza remains the world's largest open-air prison. Zionist Israel is the only state in the world that is NOT a state of its own citizens but is a state of the Jewish people who everywhere have full rights denied to non-Jews in the territories controlled by Israel itself. This means that like apartheid South Africa---which the Indian government never recognized---Israel is an inherently racist and apartheid state.

We the Undersigned:

* Completely reject all racist ideologies and therefore Zionism.

* Call upon the Indian government to completely de-recognize Israel forthwith.

*Declare our solidarity with the Palestinian people whose Right to political Self-determination and Right of Return must be respected and fulfilled.

 

1.     Javed Anand

Mumbai

2.     Tapan Bose

New Delhi

3.     Swapan K Chakravorty

Kolkata

4.     Neera Chandoke

New Delhi

5.     Kunal Chattopadhyay

Kolkata

6.     Ipshita Chanda

Hyderabad

7.     Mihir Desai

Mumbai

8.     Sandhya Gokhale

Mumbai

9.     Arjun Gourisaria

Kolkata

10.  Vrinda Grover

New Delhi

11.  Rita Manchanda

New Delhi

12.  Soma Marik

Kolkata

13.  Nivedita Menon

New Delhi

14.  Ritu Menon

New Delhi

15.  Feroze Mithiborwala

Mumbai

16.  Peggy Mohan

New Delhi

17.  Sukumar Muralidharan

New Delhi

18.  Vibhuti Patel

Mumbai

19.  Sumit Sarkar

New Delhi

20.  Tanika Sarkar

New Delhi

21.  Teesta Setalvad

Mumbai

22.  Navsharan Singh

Noida

23.  Atul Sood

Noida

24.   Anuradha Talwar

 Badu, West Bengal

25.   Achin Vanaik

New Delhi

26.  Aashita Dawer

New Delhi

27.  Ritajyoti

Mohali, India

28.  Maroona Murmu

Kolkata

29.  Suchetana Banerjee

Pune

30.  Arun Khote

Lucknow

31.  Abhijit Roy

Kolkata

32.  Noor Ahmad Baba

Srinagar

33.  Hartman de Souza

Pune

34.  Anusha Ravishankar

Ahmedabad

35.  Rama Melkote ,prof. Retd. Osmania university

Hyderabad, Telangana State

36.  Amir Rizvi

Mumbai

37.  Shalini Dhawan

Mumbai

38.  Professor Mohammad Javed

Mumbai

39.  Dr. Almas Kabir

Mumbai

40.  Amit Bhaduri

Delhi

41.  Persis Ginwalla

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

42.  Ayesha Khan

Bombay

43.  Wandana Sonalkar

Navi Mumbai

44.  Kranti L C

Mumbai

45.  Alya Rizvi

Gurugram

46.  Dr Lubna Sarwath

Hyderabad India

47.  Sudhanva Deshpande

New Delhi

48.  Padma Velaskar

Mumbai

49.  Sania Hashmi

Delhi

50.  Ashok Tiwari

New Delhi

51.  Tarun Kanti Bose

NEW DELHI

52.  Arundhati Dhuru

Lucknow UP

53.  Sandeep Pandey

Lucknow UP

54.  Jalindar Adsule

Dhule, Maharastra

55.  Vinutha Mallya

Bangalore

56.  Partha Chatterjee

Kolkata

57.  Amitadyuti Kumar

West Bengal

58.  E.V.Ramakrishnan

Kannur, Kerala

59.  Gautam Mody

New Delhi

60.  Usman Rafiq

Aurangabad

61.  Dunu Roy

Delhi/New Delhi/South

62.  Revati Laul

Shamli, Uttar Pradesh

63.  . Professor K.M.SHRIMALI, Retd., University of Delhi

155 VAISHALI, PITAMPURA, DELHI 110034

64.  Nandini Sundar

Delhi

65.  Geetanjali Shree

Delhi

66.  Ali Asghar

Hyderabad

67.  Ravi Nitesh

Lucknow, U.P.

68.  M. Sreekumar

Kerala

69.  Asiskusum Ghosh

Kolkata

70.  Vijay Kumar Kalia

Delhi

71.  Prabhat Patnaik

New Delhi

72.  Utsa Patnaik

New Delhi

73.  Sudha Vasan

New Delhi

74.  Pamela Philipose

New Delhi

75.  Amit Bhattacharyya

Kolkata, India

76.  Renu Khanna

Vadodara

77.  Uma V Chandru

Bangalore, Karnataka

78.  Tapati Guha-Thakurta

Kolkata

79.  Walter Fernandes

Assam, Guwahati, Kamrup Metro district

80.  Prafulla Samantara

Bhubaneswar,Odisha

81.  Anu Chenoy

New Delhi

82.  Apeksha Vora

Mumbai

83.  Sushil Khanna

Kolkata

84.  Rajashri Dasgupta

Kolkata

85.  Mritiunjoy Mohanty

Kolkata

86.  Vasavi Kiro

Jharkhand,Ranchi,Ranchi

87.  Prabir Purkayastha

New Delhi

88.  Rajeev Bhargava

Delhi

89.  Jyothi Krishnan

Trivandrum

90.  Githa Hariharan

Delhi

91.  Abey George

Trivandrum

92.  Zoya Hasan

Delhi

93.  Ammu Abraham

Maharashtra, Mumbai, Greater Mumbai

94.  Pankaj Butalia

New Delhi

95.  Vivek Sundara

Mumbai

96.  Mohan Rao

Bangalore

97.  Pradip Kumar Datta

New Delhi

98.  Mrinmoy Pramanick

KOLKATA

99.  Vincent Manoharan

Tamilnadu - Madurai - Madurai

100.                Vithal Rajan

Ketti, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu

101.                Taskeen Aga

Mumbai

102.                Chakradhar Rao, K.

Hyderabad, Telangana

103.                Rabin Chakraborty

India, Kolkata, West Bengal

104.                Sujata Patel

Pune

105.                Sagar Dhara

Hyderabad

106.                Debal Deb

Kolkata

107.                Mita Dutta

Kolkata

108.                Partha Majumder

Barrackpore

109.                Dr. Richard Devadoss

Chennai, Tamilnadu

110.                Harbans Mukhia

Gurgaon

111.                Vincent Rajkumar

Bangalore

112.                Ammu Joseph

Bangalore

113.                Shubhra Chaturvedi

New Delhi

114.                Swatija Manorama

Thane

115.                Pushpamala N

Bangalore

116.                Bobby Kunhu

Punnayur

117.                Manas Das

Assam

118.                Dilly Naidoo

KwaZulu Natal, Durban

119.                Vidya Dinker

Mangalore

120.                Sankar Ray,veteran journalist

Calcutta,West Bengal

121.                Arup Baisya

Assam

122.                Sushanta Kar

Tinsukia, Assam

123.                Ayesha Kidwai

New Delhi

124.                Sameera Iyengar

Mumbai

125.                Wilfred Dcosta

New Delhi

126.                Subhash Mendhapurkar

Jagjit Nagar Solan Himachal Pradesh

127.                Sandip K Luis

New Delhi

128.                Shaukat Zaman Ansari

Kamptee,Nagpur

129.                Dhruv Raina

New Delhi

130.                Prafulla Samantara

Bhubaneswar,Odisha

131.                Sadanand Menon

Tamil Nadu, Chennai

132.                Sucharita Sen

New Delhi

133.                Hiren Gandhi

AHMEDABAD

134.                Saroop Dhruv

AHMEDABAD

135.                Gita Jayaraj

Chennai

136.                Antara Dev Sen

Delhi

137.                Pratik Kanjilal

Delhi

138.                NS Madhavan

Kochi

139.                Mithilesh Kumar Jha

Guwahati, Assam

140.                Goutam Kumar Bose

Jharkhand/Jamshedpur/East Singhbhum

141.                K.P. Sasi

Bangalore

142.                Sandeep Pandey

Lucknow, U.P.

143.                firoz

delhi

144.                Prasad V

Trivandrum

145.                Ajith Pillai

New Delhi

146.                Rev. E. Immanuel Nehemiah

Karnataka, Bangalore

147.                Ashok Shrimali

Ahmedabad

148.                Usha Rai,

Gurugram 122017, Haryana

149.                Dulal Sen

Assam Guwahati Kamrup

150.                Ekabali Ghosh

Kolkata

151.                Arun Kumar

Gurgaon

152.                Nandini Manjrekar

Mumbai

153.                Meena Gopal

Bombay

154.                Ashish Kothari

Pune, Maharashtra

155.                Farida khan

Delhi

156.                Anand Patwardhan

Maharashtra

157.                abha bhaiya

Himachal Pradesh, dharmashala, Kangra

158.                Zoya Hasan

Delhi

159.                Sonia Jabbar

Darjeeling District

160.                Gautam Gupta

Kolkata, West Bengal

161.                Akhtar Ehtisham

New York, USA

162.                Vijay Prashad

LeftWord Books.

163.                Rushda

New Delhi

164.                Zoha

Florida/Boca Raton/West Palm Beach

165.                Dipankar Bhattacharya

New Delhi

166.                Sukla Sen

Mumbai

167.                Preeti Mehra

New Delhi

168.                Prabhat Kumar

Delhi

169.                Sarwar khan

Pune, Maharastra

170.                Tariq Islam

Uttar Pradesh/Aligarh/Aligarh

171.                Manoj T Sarang

Kerala / Thalassery / Kannur

172.                Annie Raja

Delhi, New Delhi

173.                Neha Naqvi

New Delhi

174.                Gauhar Raza

New Delhi

175.                Arvind Sivaramakrishnan

Chennai

176.                Arun Mitra

Ludhiana Punjab

177.                Anand Swaroop Verma

U P/Noida/Gautam Buddha Nagar

178.                N. Paul Divakar

Delhi

179.                Adv.Anastasia Gill

Delhi

180.                Vimal Bhanot

Rajasthan /Pilani/Jhunjhnu

181.                PK Sarkar

Bengal/ Bankura

182.                Suneeta Dhar

New Delhi

183.                Sagari Ramdas

Telangana

184.                Kalyani Menon Sen

Gurgaon, Haryana

185.                Nityanand Jayaraman

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

186.                Sanjiv Shah

Ahmedabad

187.                Arundhati Dhuru

Lucknow

188.                Sandeep Pandey

Lucknow

189.                Indira Chandrasekhar

New Delhi

190.                Aban Raza

Delhi

191.                A. Mangai

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

192.                Deepshikha Shahi

New Delhi

193.                Pallab Sengupta

New Delhi

194.                Ahmar Raza

New Delhi

195.                Arushi Vats

New Delhi

196.                Partho Sarothi Ray

Kolkata

197.                Nandita Narain

Delhi

198.                Sanjay Kumar

Delhi

199.                SR Darapuri I.P.S.(Retd)

U.P. Lucknow

200.                Satwik Raj

Jharkhand

201.                Nuzhat Kazmi

Delhi

202.                Kamal Chenoy

new delhi

203.                Siraj Kazmi

U.P/Allahabad

204.                Rafeeq Ellias

Mumbai

205.                Nikhat Fatima

Hyderabad

206.                Amitava Chakraborty

Delhi

207.                John Dayal

Delhi

208.                Karen Gabriel

Delhi

209.                Latha Jishnu

Delhi

210.                Atul Bhardwaj

New Delhi

211.                Pallavi Sobti Rajpal

Ahmedabad

212.                Khursheed Ahmed

Canada

213.                Admiral L. Ramdas

Alibagh

214.                Lalita Ramdas

Alibagh

215.                Imrana Qadeer

New Delhi

216.                Vivan Sundaram

New Delhi

217.                Aatika Singh

New Delhi

218.                Mritiunjoy Mohanty

Kolkata, West Bengal

219.                Neshat Quaiser

Delhi

220.                Faraz Ahmad

Delhi

221.                Dr Asha Saxena Ahmad

Delhi

222.                Samir Faraz

Delhi

223.                Nidhi Singh

Delhi

224.                Shweta Damle

Mumbai

225.                Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Mumbai

226.                Chayanika Shah

Mumbai

227.                Avishek Konar

Sonipat, Haryana

228.                Komal Mohite

Mumbai

229.                N.D.Jayaprakash1

Delhi

230.                Ranjan Solomon

Salcete, Goa

231.                Badayl

Salcete Goa

232.                Roselle

Goa

233.                Leila Passah

Karnataka, Bangalore

234.                Bittu K R

Sonipat Haryana

235.                Shailesh joshi

Mumbai

236.                कामाक्षीभाटे

Mumbai

237.                अद्वैतपेडणेकर

मुंबई

238.                गुरुनाथपेडणेकर

मुंबई

239.                प्रमोदमुजुमदार

पुणे

240.                Ahsan

Solapur

241.                Renuka Kad

Aurangabad

242.                Yusuf Hajarat Bennur

Hubballi ,Karnataka

243.                नितीनसामंत

डोंबिवली

244.                विदुलारमाबाई

बेंगळुरू

245.                Shafique Qazi

Solapur

246.                Arshad Shaikh

Navi Mumbai

247.                उज्ज्वलामेहेंदळे

पुणे

248.                Sandhya Mhatre

Mumbai

249.                दिलीपजोशी

ठाणे

250.                Ramesh Sawant

Mumbai

251.                प्रतिमाजोशी

मुंबई

252.                प्रभागणोरकर

अमरावती(महाराष्ट)

253.                Sandhya Phadke

Pune

254.                Megha Pansare

Kolhapur

255.                Vanessa Chishti

Sonipat

256.                Snehil Manohar SIngh

Dehradun

257.                Anish Vanaik

Delhi

258.                Kriti Budhiraja

New Delhi

259.                Sumanta Banerjee

Hyderabad, Telangana state

260.                Nayanika Chattopadhyay

Kolkata

 

 

“A turning point in the Palestinian struggle”

Since the Great Strike of 1936, Palestine has not experienced a collective action by its people as vast and as strong as that which is now taking place. In all previous militant stages, the action was confined to one or more specific regions, supported by the rest of the Palestinians. Today Palestine has risen with all its population towards a new stage whose paths are cleared by the people on the ground, these young people who, day and night, are in the streets of Lod, the tunnels of Gaza, the squares of Haifa or the mountains of Jenin.

“This war is different”

Gaza, that open-air prison, once again saw its skies ablaze with missiles and the colonizer’s anger. Since the guns fell silent, 55 days after the start of the 2014 clashes, the war has not stopped in Gaza, it has instead taken another form: blockade, negotiations on reconstruction and starvation of the inhabitants, orchestrated by Israel with the complicity of regional regimes and the so-called international community. For its part, the resistance in Gaza, with all its factions, continued to strengthen its capacities. Israel has repeatedly threatened an operation against Gaza, and the resistance has asserted its readiness to confront this threat. No one was unaware that the battle for Gaza was inevitably to come. The only unknown in the equation was the context and the timing.

“This war is different”: a phrase you hear among Gazans with every war and every escalation. But this battle is genuinely different, whether in the unprecedented unanimity in supporting the resistance, or in its evolving capacities, or because of the feeling that Gaza is no longer alone. It is also different because of the enormity of the destruction that the colonial state’s missiles inflicted on humans and buildings.

Gaza was not alone

Because with the acceleration of the course of events in Jerusalem and the call of some inhabitants of the city that Gaza to enter the front line, the people of Gaza have not hesitated in turn to put pressure on the leaders of the resistance factions, demanding support for Jerusalem, despite their full awareness of the risk of killings and devastation that this could entail for them. This is why the few voices that criticized the rocket strikes at the start of the clash remained marginal, since most of them came from outside the besieged Gaza Strip, and they quickly fell silent because of the unprecedented broad popular support for the action of the resistance.

It’s certain that the military and political leaders of the resistance factions heeded these demands. But the most decisive factor remained the resistance’s conviction that this was the most appropriate time for a confrontation that would come sooner or later. With the launch of the resistance’s first rocket salute, settlers stormed the area around the al-Aqsa Mosque and cheers from Palestinians spread across the country.

For more than a decade, the inhabitants of Gaza have become accustomed, during wars and waves of escalation, to bearing the brunt of the battles on their own, while in the rest of Palestine the question was confined to demonstrations of support in the West Bank (when the Palestinian Authority allowed this) and the same was true in the occupied interior (within the limits of Israeli goodwill). The great surprise of this clash is that Gaza was not left alone to the murderous Israeli machine, despite the repression by the Authority in Ramallah of any solidarity action and any attempt to defy the colonial state from the areas of the West Bank it controls. The inhabitants of all the towns and villages of Palestine came out, from Jaffa and Haifa to the Triangle [of Galilee], to Al-Jalil and Al-Naqab. The city of Lod has become the icon of the most violent clash, thus belying the legend of “the specificity of the situation inside the Green Line”. All of this revived Palestinians’ ability to dream and their full readiness to rise up to continue the battle for freedom.

Palestinians surprise themselves

This shook Israel and was a traumatic wake-up call for its people. The army and intelligence services considered Gaza as a secondary front which could simply be placed under siege, while buying the silence of the resistance by allowing the passage of some goods and aid, which allows people to survive, nothing more. As for the other front, the enemy believed they had already settled the business and had moved it away from the heart of the conflict since the Nakba of 1948. But Tel Aviv, once far away from the battlefields, has received a deluge of rockets, and the Palestinian masses are now revolting in the very heart of the main cities of the colonial state. There is no longer a safe place in Israel. And it gave a great moral boost to the people in Gaza, who began to closely follow all the information and images of what is happening in the towns and villages, from which they had been driven. Better still, for many of them, talking about return or release now seems a question to be discussed rationally and no longer a dream that is difficult to achieve. This is how the Palestinians have surprised themselves, as if discovering an extraordinary strength enabling them to overcome all the shackles of the dream.

It is in this sense that the Gazan activist, Awssaj, wrote on his twitter account: “The best thing will be that after these days, when you talk about the liberation of Palestine, you will be taken for. an optimist, but never again for a dreamer, or even for a madman”. For his part, Rafat Abu Aish tweeted from Bir Essabâa: “Even if the liberation does not take place today, it is enough that everyone has realized that it is possible!”. […]

No one yet knows how this round of the conflict will end, what is certain, however, is that it has broken all the political ceilings created by the various Palestinian political parties, which must also rethink their action in the light of this event or disappear. Likewise, the impact of this round on the conscience of the Palestinians will remain engraved as a turning point in the history of their struggle. And despite the great pain and deep wounds, the people, with Gaza’s usual stubbornness, refuse to be victims, they prefer to be the spark that ignites the flame.

Translated from the French version in l’Anticapitaliste. Full version in French and Arabic on Assafirarabi. Translated by Saïda Charfeddine.

 

Myanmar’s Parallel Govt’s Rohingya Policy Angers Rakhine Groups

 

From ESSF

By

The Irrawaddy

 

Rakhine communities say Myanmar’s shadow civilian National Unity Government’s (NUG) policy on Rohingya does not represent Rakhine people.

The NUG, formed by elected lawmakers in mid-April to rival the military regime, on June 3 said it will replace the 1982 Citizenship Law with legislation offering the Muslim community citizenship and scrap the National Verification Cards that identify the Rohingya as foreigners.

The Muslims in Rakhine State identify as Rohingya but are labeled ‘Bengali’ by many to imply they are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. They are denied citizenship and freedom of movement by the authorities.

The All Arakanese Solidarity Committee (AASC), a Rakhine State-based network of civil society organizations, community leaders and politicians, and the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) have released statements in opposition to the NUG’s Rohingya policy.

ALP spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Khaing Kyaw Hlaing said: “Everyone knows the Bengali issue is sensitive in the country. The NUG was only formed recently and our party says a nascent government should not be making these decisions without consulting Rakhine revolutionary groups, stakeholders and civil society organizations.”

The ALP signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in October 2015 under U Thein Sein’s administration.

The NUG’s move will complicate the issue while the state is starting to see stability after two years of fighting, the group said. The issue should not be used by any party or government, said the ALP.

The AASC said the NUG’s policy will be unpopular with the Rakhine population and risk disrupting peace and stability.

The statement says the Rakhine people accept the rights of an ethnic group to choose its name freely. But it said the choice of name is intended to distort the history and identity of indigenous ethnic groups and could impact on Rakhine territory, politics and society, directly threatening the future of the Rakhine community and other ethnic minorities in the state.

It is a politically motivated move to seek international recognition and assistance, said the AASC.

The AASC declined to comment to The Irrawaddy.

Coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing told Chinese-language Phoenix TV in May: “There are no Rohingya. It is just an imaginary name. It is not an officially recognized ethnicity. We don’t recognize it.”

While some Rakhine politicians and people have shown sympathy for the Rohingya, who have been persecuted by Myanmar’s military, and agree that they should have fundamental rights, many oppose their official recognition as an ethnic group called “Rohingya”.

Some Rakhine communities fear being swallowed up by the Muslim community as a result of Rohingya recognition as an indigenous ethnic group.

Britain-based Myanmar Rohingya Association chairman U Tun Khin said: “I think Rakhine brothers have a little misunderstanding. We would like to hold talks with our Rakhine brothers as well as the NUG. This problem can be solved through negotiations between the NUG, Rakhine and Rohingya. I think Rakhine people will understand when the time comes.”

The Arakan Army (AA), which has considerable influence in the state, has declined to comment on the NUG’s policy.

In 2019, AA chief Major General Tun Myat Naing told The Irrawaddy that Rakhine people needed to get along with the Muslim community if Rakhine State was to achieve stability and development.

Communal strife broke out between Rakhine Buddhist and Muslim communities in 2012.

After the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army allegedly launched attacks on Myanmar’s security forces on Aug. 25, 2017, the military led a crackdown consisting of “clearance operations” that pushed more than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh.

The international community has called the military’s treatment of the Rohingya genocide.

When in 2019 the Gambia filed a genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice, the United Nation’s highest court, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi defended Myanmar’s military against genocide allegations.

Why trans liberation means abolishing capitalism :Transgender Marxism

Robin Craig
Jules Joanne Gleeson
Elle O’Rourke

 

Writer and historian Jules Joanne Gleeson and political economist and gender theorist Elle O’Rourke discuss their new co-edited book, which explores trans lives and movements through a Marxist lens.

Trans rights are at a crisis point. In the last year alone, we have seen threats to the healthcare of trans minors in the UK, the introduction of a discriminatory bill in Tennessee that aims to prevent transgender people from using restrooms aligning with their gender identity, and the repeal of legal recognition for trans and intersex people in Hungary.

Amid this, Transgender Marxism (Pluto Press) responds to the current global crises facing trans lives and rights with a radical collection of ‘transmarxist’ essays that analyse trans survival under capitalism. Featuring writing by a mixture of trans academics, activists, and survivors, the collection charts the relationship between transness and class struggle, including how trans people survive hostile workplaces, state violence, inaccessible healthcare, and the nuclear family.

Huck spoke to the book’s editors, Jules Joanne Gleeson and Elle O’Rourke, about the role of trans people in revolutionary organising, the value of publishing trans theory in a mass-marketed book, and the importance of trans Marxism in challenging the rise of the far-right.

In the book, you say that transgender people are unexpectedly prominent in revolutionary organising and subversive circles. Why do you think transgender people are often at the forefront of political organising?

Gleeson: The simple answer is that trans people are often exposed to the worst of the world. Many of us face down long-term unemployment, and the industries we are well known for working within are also notoriously resistant to labour organising. But it’s not quite as simple as ‘trans people are often impoverished proles and therefore against class society’ (true as that is!). Beyond the typical drain of exploitation, trans people have a specific experience of capitalism.

Our experiences of transition often force us to confront the ways that much of what gets presented to us as ‘natural’ and inevitable are actually flexible and can shift more than people realise. We’re only a century or so into informed human investigations into the endocrine system (i.e. the body’s constant regulation of itself with hormones). Trans people today enjoy the fruits of that discovery in ways that threaten a wider expected order of sexed bodies. It’s an order that is now having to justify itself, at our expense.

O’Rourke: It would be facile, and wrong, to attempt to construct some revolutionary potential out of transition as such. But transition is a deeply personal and intimate practice, one that often requires a significant rupture with much that came before, because it touches nearly every single aspect of social life. You have to come towards a new orientation with yourself, your family, your doctors, your school, your employers, and with the state.

Even those [trans people] whose class background affords them an easier time than most can find a life plan quickly thrown off course. This can often bring with it a renewed and distinct understanding of social exploitation, a keener appreciation for the politics of bodily autonomy, and a desire to commune with those who also wish to change it. As Kate Doyle Griffiths put it: “The left is not only unusually ‘tolerant’ of queers and trans people: it also consists of us.”

Do you think transness has historically been seen as incompatible with Marxism?

Gleeson: That viewpoint still exists today, but I find it very boring. A lot of what we wanted to achieve with this book was helping our movements shift out of contrasting ‘material conditions’ and ‘identity politics’. There’s already a lot of Marxist thinking helping us get out of that dead-end: from the last few years, Asad Haider’s Mistaken Identity and Ashley Bohrer’s Marxism & Intersectionality spring to mind. Our collection shows how this same point holds for trans people: whatever we identify as is forged by class society, while often leading us into struggles that are as much about resisting exploitation as anything else.

O’Rourke: The relationship between Marxism and trans issues has often been not so much an ‘unhappy marriage’ but a yawning gulf of indifference. But arguments that wish to cast Marxism as fundamentally incompatible with certain ‘social issues’ (gender, race, sexuality, anti-imperialism and the struggle for decolonisation) would have to dissolve an apparent contradiction: that Marxism is, by far, the most well-travelled social theory of the 20th century, bar none.

Marx has been read by people of all social positions, circumstances, national origins and contexts over the past two hundred years as generations of radicals have, time and again, turned to Marxism and found not just a means of understanding their conditions, but – with a certain amount of creative adaptation – a means to change them. If others see an indissoluble incompatibility, so much worse for them.

You write that global far-right regimes such as United Russia, Hungary’s Fidesz, and Brazil’s Social Liberal Party have used transness as a symbol of cultural decline. Is the fight for transgender liberation an international one?

O’Rourke: Through and through. And it’s one forged not just through affectionate sentiments of fellow feeling, but real networks of affinity, intimacy and solidarity. It’s common for trans people to have friends, lovers and comrades all around that world, and at one point or another for us to mobilise to help them access medication, keep them in their homes or find them a place of safety.

Trans women, in particular, are often mobilised as figures of cultural decline for the far-right because they serve as this ideal symptom of social change more broadly. The idea that gender is being challenged in how it is lived, embodied, and experienced is a real source of political anxiety about the breakdown of ‘traditional’ (real or imagined) thresholds of exploitation. The impression that these thresholds are increasingly difficult to verify, or are being directly challenged, or are not being enforced hard enough, have resulted in a call to arms for their violent re-imposition.

Gleeson: It’s important to remember that trans people aren’t only a ‘folk devil’ used by the right as a scapegoat for national decline. We’re also heavily involved in the efforts to reverse the victories of these movements, worldwide. Virginia Guitzel’s essay ‘Notes from Brazil’ in Transgender Marxism provides an overview both of the offensive against trans people instigated by Jair Bolsanaro and the ongoing struggle to defeat his agenda.

Why do you think it’s important to publish transgender theory in a mass-marketed book?

Gleeson: Usually, trans thinking appears in ephemeral forms: social media statuses, zines, conversations in social centres or movement meeting, and other spaces that are often limited in audience (for safety as much as anything else). These mediums are prone to dissolving across time: sometimes they are even designed to. We don’t expect this to change, but with Transgender Marxism, we aimed to provide a more lasting and accessible testament to the theoretical breakthrough trans people are achieving. The collection makes these insights available to a mass audience for the first time and hopefully will give trans revolutionaries something to draw from in years to come.

O’Rourke: The fact that we were able to publish this book at all reflects the social impact of the increasingly more confident and self-assertive trans-feminist politics that has developed in recent years. No longer are trans issues marginalised to the hackneyed biography, the lurid talk-show spectacle, the small BBS board on hidden corners of the internet.

Trans people are not just addressing a cis-gender audience who presumably know nothing about trans people, who have never met a transgender person, or do not know that they have ever met a trans person. We have so much more to say and a broader constituency who wants to hear it. We can have different conversations from the ones we’re used to being forced into having. So let’s have them, on our own terms.

You write about the UK’s Gender Identity Clinics (GICs) as spaces where access to hormone therapy is gatekept by usually cisgender practitioners. As of May 2021, Charing Cross GIC is only just seeing people referred in October 2017. Do you think healthcare access is a central fight for transgender liberation?

Gleeson: Fewer and fewer trans people find the medical treatment on offer timely or reliable. Even prior to Covid, Britain’s healthcare provision was in a state of obvious meltdown with inhumane waiting lists followed by shoddy treatment sticking strictly to outdated best practices. The clinic’s function has been to break our spirit and deny us dignity. Meanwhile, trans people from all kinds of backgrounds have been building up our own approaches, increasingly allowing us to circumvent the delays and indignities of state provision. Until we’ve rid ourselves of the clinic system, with all its systematic incompetence and routine pathologisation, trans people [will be forced to] come up with their own answers.

O’Rourke: Let’s be blunt here: the relationship between you and your doctor is an inherently antagonistic one. Doctors can deny you the healthcare you need based on personal whim, ignorance, or socially validated prejudice. And when they exercise that power prejudicially it’s you – not them – that suffer the consequences.

This is not a fight unique to trans people, and it’s often those who need care the most that suffer the system’s starkest injustices. But healthcare is a central demand of the fight for trans liberation because adequate care is so often the precondition for so many other things you want to do in life.

Bodily autonomy is a fundamental right that we should all have the opportunity to exercise as we so wish. Pathologising the small minority who undergo medical transition constrains the gender freedom and dignity of all.

Transgender Marxism discusses not only the violence trans people are frequently subject to, but also the various joys of transition, including transgender art, sex, and community. Was it important to you to include discussions of transgender life beyond suffering?

Gleeson: We don’t want to reduce ourselves to listing and illustrating the sufferings and trauma that transitioning brings down on our heads. While the conditions we face are often terrible, we have to keep in view the tremendous efforts we’ve taken – both personally and collectively – to overcome deprivation and everyday harms. Our survival is an ongoing process, and the ingenious ways we’ve navigated and challenged class societies are worth celebrating and learning from collectively.

O’Rourke: The pitiable transsexual – doomed to a fate which no one would choose to suffer of their own accord – is a genre unto itself. But no community that has suffered social oppression has defined itself through that suffering exclusively. Nor should they be expected to. There’s something deeply potent about finding joy, love, expression and community in defiance of a wider society that greets you with, at best, bemusement and, at worst, eliminationist intent. It’s a way of pushing back against a world that was fundamentally not made for you and carries with it a hope that it one day might be.

Vaccination as Class Struggle

 

Ekabali Ghosh

This is a guest post by a socialist and feminist militant on an important topic. How from early 2020 the Government f India has been treating vaccination as it has treated everything-- for the benefits of monopoly capital, and for the political gains of the BJP. -- Administrator, Radical Socialist website

Vaccines for COVID-19 were supposed to be a lifeline for people around the world, particularly in the Global South. However, as 2021 has revealed so far, their roll out has not been determined by legitimate healthcare needs but dictated by the insidious logic of capitalism. The Indian government in its move to liberalize the vaccine market, has only legitimized this business.

India’s vaccine campaign has been perhaps the worst the country has ever seen. The public vaccination system of India, which boasts polio and multiple other effective vaccination programmes for children, has been brought to a staggering failure only the Modi government is capable of. Although other local governments (especially the ones run by opposition parties) have attempted slightly better vaccination campaigns than the centre, they have essentially had to kowtow to capitalists and pander to liberalization in order to get a few lakh doses.

Amid the devastating second wave of COVID-19, getting a vaccine in India has proven to be a function of social and economic privilege. And this should not come as a surprise. The Indian government never planned to vaccinate everyone for free, knowing fully well that leaving a large section of the population to pay for the vaccines would result in the creation of a huge market which could then be exploited by large pharmaceutical companies to sell more doses at higher prices.

As early as December 2020, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan announced that the government of India had never claimed that it will vaccinate the entire country.  https://www.firstpost.com/health/covid-19-health-minister-says-indian-govt-never-said-it-will-vaccinate-the-entire-country-9075171.html . In January, NITI AAYOG member Dr. Vinod Paul declared that the government would vaccinate only about 300 million people for free.  https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/govt-will-bear-cost-of-vaccinating-30-crore-individuals-not-the-entire-population-covid-19-task-force-head-dr-vinod-paul.  Harsh Vardhan, the union minister for Health and Family Welfare, said the same thing the day after (Jan 2) but framed it as vaccines will be free across the whole country, all 30 crore doses (https://www.deccanherald.com/national/covid-19-vaccine-will-be-free-across-india-union-health-minister-harsh-vardhan-934303.html) This claim was widely misreported by mainstream media as Indians will be getting free vaccines across the country (paraphrased). Such claims by the media are a result of the corporate media’s own complicity with the fascist central government as well as its own desperate desire to create clickbait headlines. Further, in March when quizzed on the failure of the government’s vaccination policy, the union health minister again claimed that the central government had never promised free vaccination to all Indians.

No. The central government did not. But the BJP, which runs the central government, did.

During the elections in Bengal, the BJP promised that if elected they would provide free vaccines to all in West Bengal. https://www.indiatoday.in/elections/west-bengal-assembly-polls-2021/story/bjp-says-covid19-vaccine-will-be-free-for-all-in-bengal-1794249-2021-04-23 . This came after the liberalization of vaccination policy. BJP’s campaign promises in Bengal and Bihar regarding vaccines show that the central government never considered it as a healthcare right but as both a carrot and a stick that could be used as to lure and to discipline people during a hot election season.

Under its liberalized vaccine policy which came into effect from April 21 (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/LiberalisedPricingandAcceleratedNationalCovid19VaccinationStrategy2042021.pdf), the centre in association with the multi-billion dollar vaccine businesses in India (Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech) has decided that the central government will no longer be supplying vaccines to state governments and private hospitals. Rather, state governments have to buy their doses directly from the manufacturers at a price higher than what the centre pays for the same. The repercussions of such a decision are massive. State governments are now forced to practically bid against each other in the middle of an acute crisis where people are dying by the minute, in order to get more vaccine doses for their states. Private vaccination centres buy doses from the manufacturers at a higher price than state governments but can sell vaccines at their own prices. There is no cap to vaccine pricing. There is a rush to get vaccinated in these centres among the upper and middle classes. Private vaccination centres are charging whatever they can from this populace which can afford to pay thereby increasing the gap between the rich who have been vaccinated and the poor who have not. SII is charging 300 INR per dose of Covishield (originally 400 INR which was reduced under criticism https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/serum-institute-of-india-cuts-covishield-vaccine-price-for-states-to-300-per-dose/article34431403.ece ) and Bharat Biotech is charging 600 INR to state governments. Compare that to what the central government is paying, which is 150 INR per dose to each company. Private facilities are buying Covishield at 600 INR from SII, and Covaxin at 1200 INR from Bharat Biotech. Since these private facilities can sell the vaccines at whatever price they like, Covishield prices in a private facility in West Bengal range from 750 INR to 1100 INR. Covaxin can be bought at 1500 INR at specific hospitals.

This, despite the fact that Covaxin (the great nationalist boast of the BJP, completely “made in India”) is yet to publish its Phase III data in any peer reviewed international journal. All of Bharat Biotech’s claims of close to 80% efficacy are at this point just that, claims made by the developers of the vaccine. Similarly, Zydus Cadila, another large pharmaceutical company is expected to seek Emergency Use Authorization for its Zy-Cov-D vaccine, from the Drugs Controller General of India in late May or early June. The company is yet to release data from its phase 1 and 2 trials which include the crucial safety data. These are the vaccine candidates which are being celebrated as a triumph of Indian science. The much-touted benefit of liberalizing vaccine policy is that the country can now import foreign vaccines like those of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. Yet, it was not unexpected that after the Indian government’s early snub to Pfizer (https://science.thewire.in/health/pfizer-withdraws-application-for-emergency-use-of-its-covid-19-shots-in-india/) and its lack of storage facilities, it would be next to impossible to import Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in time to turn the tide of the current wave. What then, was this government aiming at? My hypothesis is that the foreign vaccine line was used by the central government to open up a market that ultimately benefitted SII and Bharat Biotech, at a crucial point in time (rising cases fast approaching the peak) where little criticism was possible. This open market would then serve not just the two largest COVID vaccine makers in India right now but also many other big pharma companies that would enter the market later. Currently, the Indian government is at loggerheads with Pfizer over signing an indemnity bond which if signed by the Indian government would protect Pfizer from being sued in case of damages (say, someone dies after taking the vaccine) https://science.thewire.in/health/india-pfizer-impasse-covid-19-vaccine-indemnity-demand/  Given India’s lack of infrastructure and cold storage facilities, it is not surprising that Pfizer wants to push for the indemnity bond. Ultimately, the Indian government will probably have to give in to their demands. https://theprint.in/health/modi-govt-wants-more-covid-vaccines-but-moderna-is-not-keen-pfizer-has-this-condition/640139/

In comparison to the central government and despite the barriers placed on their way, the opposition ruled state governments have done slightly better at vaccination campaigns. But that is only because the bar for good performance has been set drastically low by the centre. As it became clear that India was headed for a disaster, queues of people waiting for their second doses in front of government vaccination centres increased in West Bengal all through late April and early May. People queued up from the middle of the night, foregoing their sleep. In certain parts of the state, a new profession of “line keepers” developed. These are persons you can pay to “keep” your line (or hold your position in a queue) all night in return for a few hundred rupees. Those who can afford this amount can take their overnight rest. Others have to stay in queue all night or from the wee hours of the morning in order to get a jab. As the demand for second doses grew, the central government set the gap between the first and second dose of Covishield to 12-16 weeks. While there is some scientific evidence that a 12-week (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00528-6/fulltext) gap between two doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine does increase efficacy, there is absolutely no literature to support a 16 week gap. This has been done by the central government purely because the country was facing an acute shortage of the vaccine.

One of the reasons why the vaccine hub of the Global South suddenly has to grapple with vaccine shortages is due to India’s featherbrained policy of vaccine diplomacy. India’s Ministry of External Affairs was wooing imports from other countries for months before the second wave struck. This was done under India’s Vaccine Maitreyee initiative, created to counter China’s vaccine diplomacy which resulted in the export of some 660 million vaccine doses to other countries. Admittedly, a chunk of this was given to GAVI’s COVAX initiative. While we do not support the hoarding of vaccines by powerful nations (and India is relatively powerful compared to much of the Global South), there are some long- term implications of India’s unplanned vaccine exports. Exports should have been more planned so that if cases rose, no export ban would have to be put in place. The sudden ban on exports from India has harmed poorer nations the most, particularly those in Africa which are completely dependent on SII for their vaccines. Moreover, a large chunk of the total number of doses exported was supplied to the UK https://www.mea.gov.in/vaccine-supply.htm which SII was required to do under contract with AstraZeneca (https://thewire.in/business/serum-instititue-seeks-centres-nod-to-send-50-lakh-covishield-doses-to-the-uk) . Due to delays caused by rising cases in India and the ban, the UK alleged that its vaccination programme had been thrown off course by India. UK, which had vaccinated 50% of its adult population demanded more vaccines from India which had vaccinated only 3% of its population and was facing a deadly wave. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/02/india-in-charge-of-developing-world-covid-vaccine-supply-unsustainable  The Global North-South dynamics at play here and its collaboration with capital (especially the demands placed by AstraZeneca and its contract with SII) cannot be ignored. Take for example a concerning report from Uganda in early February according to which Uganda was paying 7$ per dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca dose to SII, as opposed to 2.06$ paid by the Indian central government to SII and 2.16$ paid by EU for the same vaccine doses to its manufacturers in the first world. Countries with lower populations are reportedly paying higher prices because they do not need to place bigger orders. This is essentially an incentive to make smaller nations place orders for more doses to one manufacturer, which increases market risks of monopoly and only makes manufacturers grow larger at the cost of ethical healthcare.

Advanced capitalist nations of the Global North and its collaborationists (including fascists) in the Global South have used a cocktail of patents and nationalist priority etc. to keep vaccines out of the hands of the poorest nations (Canada booked vaccines four times the size of its population. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-07/canada-has-reserved-more-vaccine-doses-per-person-than-anywhere). Poorer nations of the Global South cannot manufacture their own doses as vaccines are patented products. Here is an example that demonstrates how completely lacking in ethics these big pharma companies are. Pfizer and Moderna have not even committed to not making profits from their vaccines during the pandemic. AstraZeneca has committed to not making profits during the pandemic but reserves the right to call the end of the pandemic so that it can start making profits. Why should AstraZeneca decide when the pandemic ends? If its vaccines are still needed long enough to make profits, then how is that the end of the pandemic?

While these structural inequalities are not always palpable, several other local developments tell a clearer story about the inequalities of access inherent in a privatized vaccine distribution policy.

As the liberalized vaccine drive for 18-44 olds (the only viable vaccine option for this age group, by the way) was opened up from May 1 (oh the irony!), tech savvy young people developed newer ways to cheat the online system. Extreme scarcity led to greater demand and software codes were made public by coders which could be run on Arogya Setu (one of the apps meant for booking a slot for a dose). Running these codes require tertiary level digital knowledge which the vast majority of Indians do not have. Until very recently, an online registration was a compulsory for vaccination in India. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/policy-must-change-as-per-ground-situation-sc-on-mandatory-cowin-registration-for-covid-19-vaccine-7337921/ which pushed many million people out of the rush for vaccines. The reason provided by the central government is that it will reduce “crowding”. Private vaccination centres are still charging close to 1000 thousand for one shot of Covishield (the Oxford AstraZeneca jab) and 1500 INR for Covaxin (the “Indian” vaccine). The injustice in this becomes clearer when we note that the Indian government has already provided both Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech with significant assistance during clinical trials,  according to its own admission in the Supreme Court (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/no-financial-aid-given-to-sii-bharat-biotech-govt-in-sc/articleshow/82539319.cms)  (https://scroll.in/article/993257/why-its-vital-for-indians-to-know-who-owns-intellectual-property-rights-to-bharat-biotechs-covaxin).

These are not unrelated incidents but rather the fallout of a vaccination strategy that prioritizes profit over public health which is only part of a larger system of broken public healthcare in India (understaffed, poorly equipped government hospitals, lack of ambulances etc.). Take for example the prices and “packages” offered by private hospitals to treat COVID 19 patients. Some people have reported paying as high as 4 million INR for a hospital stay of two weeks at private hospitals. More recently, a trend emerged where five star hotels were providing vaccine stays at package rates. Packages include doses of a vaccine, luxury stays and meals etc. Although warnings against such practices have been issued, the existence of such business schemes speak to how far privatization has been allowed unchecked in the country.

On a local scale, the West Bengal government has very recently, during the development of this article, started vaccinating 18-44 year olds in a limited capacity for free. But anecdotal reports of local TMC lumpen withholding information on the same so that they and their families can receive a dose first is concerning. Access to doses is guided by privilege and connections, not by need and rights.

Let us not for a moment pretend that COVID-19 has not been a disaster of neoliberal and privatization and the underfunding of public health. More concerning is perhaps the theory that pandemics are connected to deforestation and the increased contact between unusual animal species and human beings (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02341-1). As capitalism enables more climate change and deforestation, pandemics are going to become a regular feature in our lives. Underfunded public healthcare systems will only make sure that they are manhandled and reap increasing death tolls. The only way out is sustained international action from socialists and leftists of all hues coming together to push for free healthcare for all, medicines and vaccines without patents, and against climate change. The last should not include mealy mouthed calls to watch individual action (which we should be taking anyway) but has to be a clarion cry against governments and companies that contribute the most to pollution, deforestation and climate change. To prevent further climate change and pandemic mortality, we need structural change that only international socialist collaborations can provide.

Just when the world needed a strong socialist response to a pandemic that has killed millions, we have had to deal with the most horrific of neoliberal policies sold to us as innovation and efficiency. Instead of a people’s vaccine which many in shades of the left have already called for (which gives me hope), we have been served arch capitalism. The world does not need vaccine princes, it needs an angry mass of people with a strong will to demolish capitalism.  

Radical Socialist on CBI raid, Narada Case

Let there be Proper Inquiry for the Narada Case, but Resist the Conspiracy of the BJP, the Central Government, the CBI and Governor Dhankhar

Radical Socialist 17 May 2021

The Narada Sting operation was carried out in 2014. Its tape came into the public domain

shortly before the 2016 elections. Those tapes certainly showed that bigwigs including Mukul

Roy, Suvendu Adhikary, Saugata Ray, Shankudev Panda, Madan Mitra, Firhad Hakim, Sovan

Chattopadhyay and a few others were willing to provide ‘assistance’ in exchange for money,

or showed interest in getting special help, etc. The case began from 2017. So there is little

connection between the actual legal process and selective arrests of Firhad Hakim, Subrata

Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chattopadhyay on 17 May 2021.

1) None of those who have gone over to the BJP have been arrested.

2) The arrests were carried out using a special trick. Taking advantage of the Assembly

apparently not having sat, it was argued that the governor is the lawful authority, and his

signature was obtained. Even a child will understand that this is nothing but a conspiracy by

the BJP cum the Central Government.

These arrests at this particular juncture showed that in the guise of pursuing a case, the CBI is

acting in an utterly biased pawn in the hands of the Central Government and the BJP. The BJP

had attempted to raise a storm in West Bengal, had spent nobody knows how many tens of

millions of rupees, had turned the Election Commission itself into another player for its side,

and yet had failed to win the elections. Rather, compared to 2019, the result has been

considerably poorer. Yet this time, during the elections, Modi and Amit Shah had attempted to

directly take on Mamata Banerjee in a US Presidential election style one on one contest. So

the defeat came as a big blow to them.

So the issue is not, whether there had been corruption or not. The corruption had been shown

directly in the sting videos. Had the CBI truly felt the necessity of arresting, they could have

demanded the arrest of all the accused a long time back, and all together. Moreover, it is

worth noting that because a number of MPs were implicated, the matter had gone to the

Parliamentary Privilege Committee, which met only once, and proceeded no further after

Mukul Roy changed from TMC to BJP.

The tactics used to arrest the four was also deadly. The post of the governor was used, a gap

of a few days found, so that the arrests could be carried out. Clearly, the decision was taken to

destabilize the incoming TMC government after the BJP was badly trounced.

We are opposed to the Trinamul Congress. But those who think that in the current situation

the CBI, the BJP, the Central Government and the Governor Dhankar have not conspired

together to commit a terrible crime, are at best being willfully blind. Those who have been

arrested were not trying to flee with a foreign visa. And people with far worse criminal

accusations, or even convicted by lower courts, are moving around, thumping their chests,

provided they are in the BJP. 

The law will of course take its own course. But the arrests at this juncture did not flow from any

legal necessity. Rather, a central government and the ruling party, that in alliance with the

Election Commission, tried to win the West Bengal elections and in the process acted as a

superspreader by setting up an eight phase election, a central government that has abandoned all

public responsibility and has handed over duties to provincial governments yet has not even

released the money owed to states for Goods and Services Tax, a BJP which in power in various

provinces has arrested people for seeking oxygen, for seeking vaccines, they are clearly trying to

use the pandemic for their own narrow gains. Evidently they think that if the pandemic spreads in

West Bengal, the state government will be discredited, and they will be benefitted. Finally, it must

also be understood that this is exactly how the post of the Governor has been used in Kashmir and

in Delhi to enhance the powers of the centre. So this struggle is necessary to resist fascism. 
 
In this situation we feel:

• The BJP is taking two different stances in parliament and in the province (through the

Governor). This is a straight political fraud and has no connection with halting corruption.

• Governor Dhankar is following in the footsteps of predecessors like Dhawan, S.S. Ray,

acting like a stooge of the centre, and this shows why the post of governor itself must be

abolished.

• Right now, the main task is to prevent spread of the pandemic. The BJP has never performed

that task. But they are also unable to accept the flat rejection given to them by the people of

West Bengal. Hence we must be alert and active against the BJP.

• But that does not mean supporting the Trinamul Congress. We must move out of the binary

created by the BJP since 2013—the binary saying either corruption or BJP (which actually

means communal violence plus super corruption). We must tell Chief Minister Mamata

Bandyopadhyay directly, unitedly, that just because her party has won the elections does not

mean that people accused of corruption, with video evidence shown widely, should get a clean

chit. By keeping them in high posts, and meanwhile harassing all kinds of militant protestors

in this province, she has shown that she too is a right wing, albeit regional ruler, a patron of

corruption. So we must fight against the BJP and all its weapons, for democratic rights, for the

federal character of the country and for the preservation of human lives in the pandemic, but

keeping fully our independence from the TMC.

Resist the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians! Oppose Zionism in the Streets! Fight for B-D-S

 

(Statement of Radical Socialist, 13 May 2021)

 

Radical Socialist holds that the very existence of Israel is the existence of a colonial-settler state. The centuries of violence on Jews was carried out, not by Arabs, not by Muslims, but first by the Romans, then by Christian Europeans. Within that, the UN in 1948 had given only a small area. Over the decades, a continuously aggressive Israel has expanded, has occupied territories originally identified for Palestinians. The Naqba has been a never ending process of ethnic cleansing. Protected by US imperialism, in the initial phases by the Soviet bureaucracy, and also by the military power it has built up, Israel has waged a permanent war on the Palestinians.

The current conflict must be viewed from that broader perspective. It is not a conflict between two more or less equal sides. It is not a case where Hamas is to be held as responsible, or even almost as responsible, as Israel. It is Israel that is fully responsible for the renewed bid at ethnic cleansing by pushing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem and elsewhere. With an ultra-right figure like Netanyahu, the failure to form a stable government after the last elections was adequate reason to stoke Zionist sentiments further.

Settler violence is as old as Israel and acts as an imminent threat to Palestinians on a daily basis, rooted in European settler entitlement to Palestinian land. In fact, during the Naqba, the original mass expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians to create room for the Jewish state, was done not just by the Zionist armed forces, but by settlers who promptly replaced the native population, building homes on the ruins of the exiled and protected by the developing Zionist regime and the British government before them.

Currently, there are at least 600,000 Israeli settlers living in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank as well as East Jerusalem in direct contravention with international law. Many reports have documented that army or police personnel protect and assist settlers in their attacks against Palestinians. Many Palestinians, including children at play, have been arrested and imprisoned by Israeli forces in order to meet the needs of those residing in these illegal outposts.

Israel has consistently treated Palestinians as less than human. Israel is one of the highest in terms of per capita administered vaccines. As of April, more than half of Israel's population were vaccinated, as opposed to less than a percent of Palestinians vaccinated. Even here, they only vaccinated those Palestinians who were working in the West Bank. No one from Gaza has been vaccinated. This is simply the extension of the racist treatment that Israelis have extended to Palestinians for decades, so much so that even the Human Rights Watch have officially designated the Israeli state an apartheid in a recent report in April 2021. 

It was in this context that Palestinians of East Jerusalem mobilised in the past few days. They were defending their right to live in their own homes, from which the Zionists are trying to evict them. Since Monday, 10 May, the Israeli army has also been carrying out a violent bombing campaign against the Gaza Strip, where demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians of Jerusalem have multiplied, as in the rest of the occupied territories, killing – at the time of writing – at least 25 people, including children. In Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians have been injured and dozens imprisoned.

The Government of India has been in close alliance with the Zionists for a long period. Indian repressive institutions have had assistance from their Israeli counterparts. So it is hardly surprising that official India, the movers of the Hindutva project, will find in the Zionists their alter egos. The people of India have a long tradition of extending solidarity with victims of oppression, colonial exploitation, imperialist invasion, and the like. Even in colonial India, strong voices had been raised in support of Republican Spain against Franco; in support of the Chinese people against Japanese invasion; and soon after independence student youth had expressed solidarity with Vietnam when Indian ports were used to transfer troops. This continued for decades. Palestine solidarity has not been a novel thing. It is in continuation of those struggles, that we call for active forms of protests, forms of solidarity with the Palestinians facing a war of extermination.

Resistance, (and not any talk of negotiation, which means once more urging Palestinians to give up yet more land, to submit to yet more brutalities), is the only forward road. Today, the global media is raising an outcry, supposedly because the Palestinians have committed some violence, actually because the worldwide resistance has compelled the Zionists to momentarily pull back. They will return soon, unless international solidarity is more persistent, more consistent, and more militant.

·         Justice in Palestine can only come when the civil and military occupation is ended, and when Palestinians get self-determination.

·         End all support to Israeli state.

·         Make the Zionist state accountable for all its crimes.

·         To that end fight for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions over Israel.

#FreePalestine

#FromTheRiverToTheSea  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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