Saturday, May 31, 2014

Can we or can we not? Meditations on the advance of the Left in Spain

Electoral results in Spain (May 2014)
There is little doubt that the European Elections of last Sunday represent a turning point of some sort in the political history of the Spanish state. As mentioned before, the twin-party has nearly collapsed although it retains the ability to form a wide coalition at the style of Greece, Italy or Germany in order to secure the interests of the international and local Big Capital against the people. 

While United Left (running as The Plural Left) did manage to gain some one million votes and become the third political force with 10% of the vote, this is still under their best historical achievements and no doubt that there is a bitter-sweet aftertaste among their ranks, considering the anger that runs through the population. 

To the surprise of all, the newly formed irregular party Podemos (We Can) gathered another 1.2 million votes and became the fourth force. Another million votes went for Left-leaning independentist lists and 300.000 for the Green party Equo. Total 4.1 million votes and 26% of the votes, the same as the ruling PP and more than fake opposition PSOE.

Apology of Podemos or why the upstarts threaten the old school aparatchik

Nega, singer of Los Chikos del Maíz and supporter of Podemos, was interviewed this week by Kaos en la Red, and he explains quite well the reasons behind the surge of this political phenomenon.

He vindicates the historical Pablo Iglesias, founder of the PSOE and namesake of the leader of Podemos, as someone who supported worker violence against the bourgeoisie, something unthinkable in the current liberal party that the PSOE has become. 
Does anyone imagine him earning 8000 euros [monthly] and flying in business class?

He defends the irregular grassroots organization of Podemos in "circles" and cites Lenin as reference:

Lenin said that the relationship of the party with the masses must be reciprocal: the party learns from the masses and the masses learn and gain formation from the party. Well, we have been for too long not learning from the masses. It is about time to step down form our glass ballot boxes and our pedestals, and, instead of talking so much from the pulpits about ideological purity, shut up for a while and pay attention to what the people has to say.

He uses his own formerly apathically apolitical brother as example of why the Podemos formula works: he spontaneously began spreading propaganda of the party in the neighborhood and the Internet and, after the elections, demanded that everything must remain the same: that every decision must be voted. 

Nega goes on to say that the rich must pay their share of the taxes or risk nationalization, something he says is possible even in the context of the current Spanish constitution. Then he claims against poverty and malnutrition.
We don't have the sickle and the hammer in the statutes but we know a bit of political science and are therefore very conscious that this is a dialectic relationship: in order to allow for millionaires in a yacht drinking champagne at 200 euros the bottle, there must be children fainting in the schoolyards because they don't eat three times a day.

On their competitors of similar ideology, United Left (Communist Party and allies), he makes some major criticisms. On one side Nega explains that it is not about a mere gathering of a letter soup of parties: that what really matters is to mobilize all those people that are potentially in the Left but are not being seduced by the dynamics of the parties. He criticizes that the first positions in the electoral ballot of United Left were reserved for the aparatchik and that instead of appointing a popular figure like Javier Couso (social activist since the 1980s and brother of a journalist murdered in Baghdad by the US Army in 2003). As supposed "wink" to the social movements they included a member of of the mainline union CC.OO., which has lost most of its initial appeal by collaborating with the bourgeoisie and becoming a largely corrupt bureaucracy.

Obviously these are the kind of decisions that can only harm the Left: existing in a sectarian-bureaucratic bubble. And in this sense the rise of Podemos appears to be at the very least a strong call of attention for all the established political organizations of the Left.
How is this solved? Giving the power back to the People. Or does anyone really think that would there have been internal elections, Meyer would have been elected instead of Couso?

Another somewhat interesting article can be found at Canarias Semanal, where Arturo Borges wonders if we can actually move the mountains with Podemos. He hopes so and appeals to overcome the traditional inertias that have cramped the Left in the plurinational realities of the Spanish state, including the differences between unionists (federalists) and nationalists (secessionists). He hopes that the grassroots democratic nature of Podemos helps decisively in this advance but he also questions the very notion of "left", arguing instead for a division between the people and the oligarchy. 

Criticisms of Podemos and United Left

There are a number of other interesting articles these days in Canarias Semanal, a leftist weekly magazine.

According to Manuel Medina, even someone as the Governor of the Bank of England could well have voted for these formations because he actually delivered a speech that was almost exactly the same as the way too moderate electoral program of the Left parties. Mark Carney declared that:
Capitalism is at risk of self-destruction if bankers ignore their obligation of creating a more just society. 

Adding that:
A Capitalist system that causes these situations of misery is just not sustainable. Prosperity requires not just investing in economic capital but also in social capital. 

His advise is similar to the kind of proposals that the Left parties spouse in their programs: severe correctives for those financiers who don't fulfill the social needs.

And that is what spooks Medina: that their discourses are so similar. Nothing about revolutionary collectivizations but just some corrective spanking and taxing for the ultra-rich. Way too moderate, no doubt.

Podemos is clearly considering electoral unity with United Left and it would be interesting indeed if the resulting coalition gets the best of both formations. United Left has not yet said a word though. 

However one of the Podemos' new MEPs, former anti-corruption chief attorney Carlos Jiménez-Villarejo, has suggested also electoral unity with the liberal PSOE, so discredited after accepting all the IMF impositions and retaining the extremely unpopular Secretary General and former Interior Minister Pérez Rubalcaba, which has now resigned. It is not of course a problem of Pérez Rubalcaba alone but one affecting the whole party which has drifted way to the right in the last decades, losing credibility as result. 

The alternative candidates to Rubalcaba (Madina, Chacón, etc.) are younger, more confident and less ugly but they do not represent substantial changes in political orientation at all, so the PSOE is almost certainly going to be the same liberal party that supports the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie with mere occasional winks to the demands of the masses: a reformist party that does not even reform anything anymore. 

While the main leader of the upstart formation, Pablo Iglesias, has also suggested in the past this kind of political pragmatism in government, he has never gone as far as to suggest electoral unity with such a discredited formation as the PSOE.

However it is true that many of the members of Podemos, including Pablo Iglesias himself, are disgruntled militants of this party and naturally they feel some sympathy for their former political home. On the other hand it is also true that many disgruntled supporters of other more radical Left-wing parties, including people who have openly opposed these flirtations with the PSOE, have seen in Podemos some hope, precisely because it challenges the established aparatchiks with their grassroots direct democracy irregular structure, allowing for much greater plurality.

Bolivarian and proud

As colophon, I found interesting this apology of Bolivarianism in the same Canarian magazine by Francisco González Tejera, because in practical terms the Latin American Left rallied around the Bolivarian label and praxis (in power in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, etc.) is the only real Left reference globally right now and can only be a major reference for us Europeans as well, and particularly in the context of the Spanish state, linked to America by language and history (for the good and for the bad). 

It is quite apparent that something like Bolivarianism is as far as the institutional Left reaches in Europe right now. Capitalism as such is not really questioned but only put under control by the power of the state (classical social-democracy by another name and maybe with a slightly more flaming discourse). 

González wonders what is the problem with being Bolivarian...
If being Bolivarian is being against the plunder of our citizen rights, against the destruction of the natural heritage, against the sell-out of health care and public education, gifted to corrupt companies, against the mass evictions of whole families from their homes, against the murder by suicide of 20  desperate people every day, pushed by the corrupt regime, against the existence of six million of unemployed souls, against child famine, against generalized political corruption.

Indeed this is its meaning. I am Bolivarian, Libertarian, Revolutionary and I have no reasons to feel ashamed of fighting for justice, freedom and true democracy.

European elections in the Basque Country: map of most voted list by township

I already wrote a quick review on Sunday night on how the European elections went on in the Basque Country. I believe that this map of most voted list by municipality has some interest as well, as it illustrates, even if shallowly, the socio-political trends through the Basque geography.

It must be said that the Basque Country should be highlighted along with Greece, Cyprus and Spain, as one of the European countries where the Left performs best. In the South EH Bildu came first in two of the four regions (Gipuzkoa and Araba) and second in the other two, while the all-Spain Left lists Plural Left and Podemos performed well also, with notable growth that is unclear how it will reflect in elections where the only district is not the Spanish state as a whole.

It is also apparent that there some geographical trends that must be explained:

The Basque Nationalist Left is most strong in the core-Basque area around Gipuzkoa, Eastern Biscay and the mountains, with some important penetration in second tier urban areas like Laudio or the towns around Iruña-Pamplona, and in general an obvious reinforcement in the central parts of Navarre and Araba. It is notable that this time they won in Eibar, traditionally a Spanish social-democrat stronghold. In Navarre it is the only Basque Nationalist option to consider, at least within the context of these elections.

The Basque Nationalist Right is still well established in its traditional stronghold of Biscay (NW). It is quite ironical that much of this area is urban and of industrial tradition and that EAJ has been gaining many votes among the worker class of Greater Bilbao, largely of Castilian and Galician immigrant origins. In Sestao the recent racist declarations of the EAJ Mayor against the Roma community and African immigrants apparently boosted the voters' sympathies for this list. 

Otherwise it is worth mentioning the inroads that the EAJ-PNB has made in the North, while in Navarre it became apparent that the vote for Geroa Bai! does not automatically translates as support for EAJ at all (almost no votes for them in that region).
The Spanish Unionist parties (PP, PSOE) are still very strong in Southern Navarre and to some extent also southernmost Araba, where the population seems quite refractive towards Basque ethnic identity. The PP managed to come first in Navarre in spite of heavy loses, giving some air to the beleaguered President Yolanda Barcina (UPN, a close ally of the PP). Still the Real Left vote in Navarre was ~40%, roughly the same as gathered by Barcina Unionist supporters (PP, PSOE in these elections), so it does seem that the turnover in political power in this Basque region, prisoner for decades of Spanish Unionist corrupt mismanagement, is something very real and will happen almost certainly.

In the Northern Basque Country, politics are still dominated by the all-France political parameters, with clear win for the Unionist Right (UMP). However the Basque Nationalist forces' increased presence is apparent in the many towns won by Europe Écologie and EAJ-PNB in the interior.

Most worrisome is, of course, the advance of the Fascist National Front, which, in spite of getting quite worse results in the Basque Country than elsewhere in the French state (15% in Lapurdi, 11% in Low Navarre and Zuberoa) has managed to come first in several communes (notably Hendaia) and is clearly a dangerous enemy of freedom and human rights to eradicate from our land (and elesewhere).

Sources: Gara, Liberation.

See also:


Friday, May 30, 2014

Western Basque Parliament ratifies the right to self-determination

48 (out of 75) MPs voted in favor of a declaration that states the right of Euskal Herria (Basque Country, Basque Nation and/or Basque People) to self-determination. 

The bill states that Basques are fully entitled to decide their "political, economic, social and cultural status, either establishing their own political frame or sharing, totally or partially, their sovereignty with other peoples". 

The bill was voted for by both independentist groups (EAJ-PNV and EH Bildu) and against by the three unionist parties (PSOE, PP and UPyD). The nearly 2/3 majority enjoyed by the independentists is negatively slanted by the equal representation of the three regions (provinces) that favors Araba, the least populated one but also where the unionists get their best results. In any case, the unionist parties have been performing extremely poorly in the last European elections and therefore it is expected by all that the independentist majority will grow in the 2015-16 elections, not just in the Western Basque Country but also in Navarre, where a turnover is almost certain to happen as soon as there are elections because people are totally fed-up with the unionist corruption and sell-off of public properties to banksters and the Catholic Church. 

The main obstacle to actual self-determination is the legal and military opposition of the occupant power, Spain, as well as the calculated ambiguity of the conservative EAJ-PNV, which talks of independence but does nothing about it. 

Source: Naiz Info.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fukushima An In Depth Documentary (13 mins)

Must watch: it is not just short but also very good, synthesizing in those few minutes nearly everything that we must know about the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and the aggravation of the policy of denial.

Via: Fukushima Emergency...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hitler 1933, Le Pen 2015? The same horrible story

While the raise of fascism in Italy or Spain was caused mostly by paramilitary or military violence, we cannot, we must not ever ignore that the right-wing wolf under the "democratic" sheep skin was key in their rise in both states, giving them the economic resources and the political power that allowed them to thrive. Fascism and conservatism are just the same thing in two different modalities: the same individuals and their networks of economic and political power switch between one and the other at their convenience. 

Good cop, bad cop. The same dungeon and the same torture. 

But this reactionary hubris of the oligarchies and their political and media cronies is probably best understood in the case of Hitler's raise to power, which is sometimes claimed to be a democratic rise by popular election, what is not really true. 

Austerity policies cause Fascism

Not worth the paper it was printed on.
Hungarian worthless currency in 1946.
Another typical myth about the raise of fascism is that it was propelled by hyper-inflation. This is again false. While German hyper-inflation was going on, the Nazis were weak. It was only when hyper-inflation was drastically tackled by hyper-austerity measures very similar to the ones we suffer now, when Hitler found his niche in popular discontent. 

And what politics did he apply when he rose to power? Military Keynesianism (heavy state expenditure), which was totally unsustainable in the mid-run and therefore required of a sustained imperialist expansion, which was designed to head East: against the Soviet Union primarily, which was meant to become "the India of Germany", the great colonial empire that would sustain Germany as great power able to feed and cloth its own population at the expense of those supposedly "sub-human" Slavs.

But between Germany and the USSR was Poland and, not geographically but conceptually, Great Britain. The British bourgeois oligarchies had been toying with fascism in Europe for more than a decade and were happy with it... as long as it did not become a competitor. Nazi Germany dared to try and was therefore involved in a Western war it did not desire at all. 

While the Soviet war effort and sacrifice no doubt saved Europe from Nazism later on, initially it was the inter-imperialist competition between London and Berlin, the same one that triggered World War I, which delayed the blow against Russia. 

The dirty facts of Hitler's rise to power or how the conservatives put him there

But back to Hitler's rise. Which are the facts? Did he really reach power "democratically" as some claim?

First of all the Weimar's Right courted the Nazis and did not outlaw them, even if there were plenty of reasons to do so, as they openly advocated for a coup and the destruction of the Republic. Instead they attacked the socialdemocrat government of Prussia, putting the largest and most central German lander under federal (right-wing) control by means of an institutional coup, using the same Presidential emergency powers that Hitler would use later on (not even with Nazi support Von Pappen held a majority in the Reichstag).

In the elections of June 1932, in which the Nazis resorted to populist violence measures such as supporting a worker strike with their SA militia, the Nazis managed to get a plurality of the vote (37%) and of seats (230). However they lost the Presidential election as everybody else rallied around Hindenburg, much as they did around Chirac in France a decade ago, out of fear of something much worse. 

The socialdemocrats, as the rest of the Weimar bloc, were being electorally punished but were still the second force (133 seats), while the communists managed to gain third position (89 seats). 

In such circumstances no stable government could be formed so back to the ballots. In November 1932, the Nazis lost some ground, while only the communists and the DNVP (national-conservatives) gained support. The Nazi plurality (193 seats) was not that strong anymore compared with that of the wider Left (221 seats, even if divided in two parties). The Weimar "moderate" Right Wing held the key to power with 169 seats (split in many parties).

This resulted in the appointment of Hitler as vice-Chancellor of a coalition government.

On January 1933 Hitler was made Chancelor with conservative support (again a coalition government). 

On February 1933, the Nazis burned the Reichstag and blamed the communists, what was used as pretext to persecute many KPD members and also to weaken their popular appeal. It was also pretext for the general abolition of most human rights and civil liberties: a state of emergency ensued.

Nazi patrol 1933
The last "elections" were held on March 1933, in which the Nazis openly resorted to large scale violence and coercion against communists and socialdemocrats alike, banning newspapers, etc. SS militiamen patrolled the streets menacingly, while all the resources of the Big Capital were poured onto the Nazi campaign. Even with such methods, Hitler could not assure a majority for the NSDAP (288/647 seats). 

The KPD was then banned and their seats declared null. A new Nazi-Conservative coalition ensued with Hitler as Chancellor.

The Enabling Act allowing the Cabinet (i.e. Hitler, Hindenburg's influence as President was almost never exerted) to enact laws without need of Parliament approval, required of 2/3 of the votes: 431. With the 81 communist seats and the opposition of the 120 socialdemocrat ones, Hitler needed everybody else to pass the dictatorship bill. 

He got that support: not just his national-conservative allies voted for but also the Catholic (Christian-Democrats of today), the Bavarian Right, the all-German Right, etc. Every single right-winger representative voted for Hitler's dictatorship (but for two absent deputies). Only the SPD voted against (the communist were already banned and several socialdemocrat deputies were in prison already).

The next months were of formal change to the III Reich. All thanks to the "moderate" Right Wing and the bourgeoisie in general (never mind the gullibility of wide sectors of the working class, of course).

Germany 1932, France 1914

At this point all avenues are open but the fact that Marine Le Pen and her National Front, which advocates not just for racism and xenophobia but also against the right to abortion and for sending women back to the kitchens and for the suppression of human rights in general, have won the elections with 25% of the vote is extremely dangerous. 

The notorious socialdemocrat (social-liberal) defeat of this Sunday (only 14% of support) and the weakening of real Left parties, which have been dragged by the PS collapse in popular appeal, it seems, puts one of the most crucial European states in the same situation, more or less, as Germany in 1932.

In all logic Hollande will have to call for early elections because his support is obviously way too weak to continue without them, nor with them. Then the French Nazis will almost certainly get a plurality of the Parliament and force the hand of the conservatives. Alternatively the conservatives (second force in these elections) can benefit from the Nazi scare and get power for themselves within a coalition, maybe even one including the PS. Their policies will satisfy nobody, no doubt, so in the next elections, whenever they are, the Nazis will win (or hopefully not but very likely they will). 

At least this is one of the most likely chain of events. Once Le Pen is in power, she will never allow democracy again and the French Republic will enter a long shadowy night of darkness and fear unknown since the German occupation. And it will no doubt affect its neighbors as well.

Which is the solution? I say round them up before it is too late. But it is already too late probably. Fascism is best eradicated when young and weak, when it grows it becomes a clearly unmanageable problem. That is why we say once and again: zero tolerance against fascism!

We must get ready for the worst because it will come no doubt. Fascism and freedom cannot coexist, so Europe will be dragged to wars of all kind.

Be strong, be prepared. No pasarán!

Barcelona: persistent riots against the demolition of social center

The day after the elections, the authorities forcibly evicted the occupied social center Can Vies of the popular neighborhood of Sants, Barcelona, in spite of important popular opposition. 

Demonstration in defense of Can Vies
Can Vies being demolished

As result two nights of riots have ensued so far in the neighborhood.

Setting up a barricade
Burning of an official media van
Large fire barricade
Source: Webguerrillero[es] (link1, link2, link3).

Update (May 29): protest did not just continue yesterday night but extended to other neighborhoods and even Palma de Mallorca, across the sea. Police has arrested at least 28 people in Barcelona and other four in Palma. Source: Sare Antifaxista.

Monday, May 26, 2014

European elections (5): overview of the real Left across Europe

This is the color-coded list of parties and coalitions aligned with either the European Unitary Left or The Greens - Free Alliance (or in some cases most likely to be in one such European parliamentary group). They roughly reflect the push for real change in Europe. Sorted by total percent by state:

  • Syriza: 27% (7 seats)
  • KKE: 6% (1 seat)
Cyprus: Communist Party (AKEL): 30% (2 seats)
  • Plural Left: 10% (6 seats)
  • Podemos (indignados' party): 8% (5 seats)
  • Left for the Right to Choose (ERC+, social-democrat but green-aligned): 4% (2 seats)
  • The Peoples Decide (EH Bildu, BNG, etc.): 2% (1 seat)
  • European Spring (Equo+): 2% (1 seat)
  • Greens: 15% (3 seats)
  • Left Party: 6% (1 seat)
  • Greens: 11% (11 seats)
  • The Left: 7% (7 seats)
  • Pirates: 1% (1 seat)
  • Socialist Party: 10% (3 seats)
  • Green Links: 7% (2 seats)
  • Party of the Animals: 4% (1 seat)

  • People's Socialist Party: 11% (1 seat)
  • People's Movement against the EU: 8% (1 seat)
  • Unitary Left Coalition: 13% (3 seats)
  • Left Bloc: 5% (1 seat)
Ireland: Sinn Féin: 17% (3 seats)

Austria: The Greens: 15% (3 seats)

  • Europe Écologie: 9% (6 seats)
  • Front de Gauche: 6% (3 seats)
  • Union of Greens and Farmers: 8% (1 seat)
  • LKS: 6% (1 seat)
  • Greens: 7% (1 seat)
  • Politics may be different: 5% (1 seat)
Belgium: Greens: 11% (2 seats)

Czech Republic: Communist Party: 11% (3 seats)

Estonia: independent Indrek Tarand (green-aligned): 11% (1 seat)

Croatia: Croatian Sustainable Development (ORaH): 9% (1 seat)

Finland: Left Alliance: 9% (1 seat)

Lithuania: Peasants and Greens Union: 7% (1 seat)

Italy: The Other Europe - With Tsipras: 4% (3 seats)

United Kingdom (no clear vote data yet, estimates):
  • Greens: 3 seats
  • Scottish Nationalist Party (center-right but green-aligned): 2 seats
  • Plaid Cymru (social-democrat but green-aligned): 1 seat
  • Sinn Féin: 1 seat
No meaningful presence of any discernible Left: Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania.

European elections (4): Greece and the rise of the real Left

Syriza, the party (formerly coalition) formed around the historical Eurocommunist split in Greece managed finally to win the elections in Greece with 27% of the vote, four percentual points over the ruling party Nea Demokratia (conservative, 22%). This outcome was already forecast in the first round of the local elections last week, where Syriza managed to get excellent results in spite of its relatively weak local structure, winning in Attica region. 

This is good news of course because it seems that finally one European country is drawing the thick red line that seems so necessary against the social destruction caused by the declining late Capitalist regime. But it is far from a decisive victory and, together with the rather weak results of the Left in most of the rest of Europe (Ireland and Spain are marching in the right, I mean: left, direction but that's about it), it seems we are still many years away from exiting the IMF-imposed tunnel of poverty and repression. 

Another worrying (even if expected) result from Greece is the relatively strong performance of the fascist parties Golden Dawn (9%) and LAOS (3%). Other lists with significant results were Elia DA (social-democrats) with 8%, To Potami (maverick populist) with 7%, old-school communist KKE with 6% and ANEL (dissident right) with less than 3%. 

The Syriza breakup party by the right DIMAR simply collapsed after it had supported the pro-IMF government (even if they eventually recanted). The alternative to Syriza by the left, Antarsya, which had performed rather well in the local elections (almost 3%) did not manage to repeat the feat in the European polls.

The victory of Syriza is hopeful but will not be enough to bring down the Troika government in Athens, so a real change in Greece will probably have to wait to 2016 (with these results and the extra 50 seats for coming first it would be impossible to form government without Syriza, however it may be impossible for them to form a stable coalition unless they manage to rally more voters).

European elections (3): France and the raise of fascism

The fascist party National Front won 25% of the vote in the French state, becoming the first party of La Republique. That is simply scary. 

Even the hardline (and quite reactionary himself) Prime Minister Valls looked really scared when he had to announce the "political earthquake". I will make an exception and agree tonight with monsieur Valls because I am scared too.

The rise of Hitler to power began similarly and France is no small fish (nuclear weapons, centerpiece of the European Union, etc.) 

And it is not just France: in Hungary the fascist FIDESZ continues concentrating the popular vote (almost 60%), with the second force being the outright Nazi party Jobbik (almost 20%). 

And it is not just France and Hungary: in Denmark the European elections have been won by another clearly fascist party, the Dansk Folkeparti, which has gathered 27% of the popular vote.

And while not so insultingly obvious other fascist parties are making gains all around Europe: in Germany, Greece, Austria, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, etc. Never mind whatever the vote for UKIP means in Britain.

So we Europeans are at serious risk of fascist implosion. And France is no doubt the keystone in this most dangerous game of empty brains and populist xenophobia. 

The very sad results for France were:
  1. National Front (fascist): 25.4% (22 MEPs)
  2. UMP (conservative): 21.0% (18 MEPs)
  3. PS-PRG (social-democrats): 14.5% (12 MEPs)
  4. Alternative (UDI-MODEM, center-right): 10.3% (8 MEPs)
  5. Europe Écologie (greens + ethnic minorities): 9.4% (8 MEPs)
  6. Front the Gauche (left): 6.5% (5 MEPs)
  7. Debout la République (conservative): 3.7% (no MEPs)
  8. Nouvelle Donne: 3.0% (no MEPs)
  9. Worker List: 1% (no MEPs)
Also the Union for the Overseas got one MP, representing the residual colonies.

In brief: the country that the worker assemblies managed to get to a standstill for weeks in the general strike of 2010 has almost overnight turned into the most dangerous fascist nest in Europe, while the Left performs quite poorly (~17%) and looks in clear decline. 

What to do?

Update (May 31): map of most voted list by commune:

black - Fascists (FN), dark blue - UMP, light blue - UDI-MODEM
pink - PS, green - Europe Écologie, red - Left Front
(the top left detail is Greater Paris)

The extremely black coloration of nearly all the Republic should worry even the most phlegmatic.

Source: Liberation (h/t Heraus).

European Elections (2): Spain and the twin party's collapse

The most notable outcome of the Euro-elections in Spain is not who came first (same as before) but how many votes they lost. The twin party (PP & PSOE) used to command the 81% of the popular vote and now it doesn't even reach the 50%.

When abstention (~55%) is considered, their share of the popular support is barely above 20%.

Electoral results in Spain
(source: Kaos en la Red)

The other side of the coin is the notable rise of the "radical left" lists: United Left and Podemos, who cater a very similar niche. Add to them the more modest achievement of Equo (European Spring coalition) of "green" ideology. 

Podemos (We Can) was the great surprise. The party, which emanates from sectors of the indignados movement, has gathered much of the discontent about the lack of real (participative) democracy, which was the keystone of their program and political philosophy. They collected 1.2 million votes starting from zero and, while opinion polls suggested that they would get one MEP, they finally got five. 

United Left (La Izquierda Plural in these elections), coalition formed around the Communist Party and akin to Greek Syriza, the French Front de Gauche or the German Die Linke, also gained one million votes over their previous base, obtaining 6 MEPs (they had only 2). 

It seems apparent that both forces will have to negotiate some sort of cooperation in order to maximize their chances in the 2015 state elections. Their electoral programs are similar but there is some sort of rivalry between a weathered aparatchkik with almost a century of political history and these startups which appeal to popular assemblies.

Some maverick reactionary forces also got some support: UPyD, often accused of flirting with fascism and clearly extremist Spanish nationalist in their ideology, gained 3 MEPs (had one before). The other far right force that collected important support is the xenophobic Catalan unionist list Ciutadans, which managed to get 2 MEPs. 

The other forces gaining (mostly pointless) Euro-representation are independentist forces of Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, which ran in three state-wide coalitions and got 6 MEPs.

For details on the Basque Country see here.

Sources: Kaos, La Marea (link 1, link 2).

European elections (1): the Basque Country

Europeans voted this Sunday, and so did Basques. The options and evolution of the vote were largely conditioned by state-wide parameters however.

In the Southern Basque Country, the two nationalist forces were very close, with slight advantage of some 6,500 votes for the leftist coalition EH Bildu over the conservative Basque Nationalist Party. 

The Spanish unionist twin party (PP, PSOE) collapsed, as happened in the the rest of the state. And, for similar reasons all-Spain Leftist forces United Left and Podemos (We Can, a new "indignados" party) gained many votes.

Vote evolution in the Southern Basque Country
(screenshot from Naiz Info)

It is notorious that the collapse of the Spanish twin party in Navarre and Araba opens the gate for stronger independentist and socialist action, confirming previous opinion polls that suggested such a radical change in the political balance of Navarre, which nevertheless has still to materialize (elections are only expected for 2016).

In the North instead the twin party largely maintained positions, although the conservative UMP ceded many votes to the fascist FN, which got as much as 15% of the vote in Lapurdi and 11% in the two interior provinces.

The right-wing nationalist Basque Nationalist Party grew quite a bit, more than doubling its previous, quite modest achievements, while the list Europe Ecológie, which includes the left nationalists of the North, lost some votes. 

However, together, the Basque Nationalist Left, integrated in the The Greens - European Free Alliance comes as the first political force of Euskal Herria, followed at short distance by the Basque Nationalist Party, integrated in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Overall it is evident and we must congratulate for the growth of the leftist forces and the clear decline of the mainline parties, although the rise of the National Front in the North is quite worrisome.

Data source: Naiz Info, Berria.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sinn Féin wins Irish elections

Good day. Today is European elections in most districts. Remember to vote red, Europe needs it. 

Both North and South Ireland had elections yesterday anyhow and the provisional results show that the Sinn Féin (socialist republican) is doing extremely well. 

In the Republic, with just 130 or the 949 local seats assigned, the Sinn Féin leads the count with 48, followed by independents with 34, Fianna Fáil (conservatives) 27, Fine Gael (christian-democrats) 17 and Labour Party with just four.

In the North, the Sinn Féin got more than 24% of the vote, followed by the DUP (conservative unionists) with 23%. 

Congratulations to our Irish comrades and in general to the Irish People for standing for their rights, which are also ours. 

Source: Irish Times (first random news site that gave some results).

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Huge mushroom-shaped ground-shaking explosion in US military drills near Okinawa

The cloud rose well above the horizon
Fukushima Diary reports of this strange and worrying incident on which no official details have been produced as of now.

The explosion, which must have been huge and possibly nuclear, happened on Wednesday's morning, while the US Air Force was having a military drill 28 Km North of Kumejima, East of Okinawa. No details have been officially reported.

While not all mushroom-shaped clouds need to have been caused by nuclear weapons, they need to be caused by really huge explosions, and the easiest way to get one of those is nuclear, of course.

The residents of Kumejima felt the ground shaken and the sound of the explosion. To cause that kind of effects at 28 km of distance it must have been something really big. And that again brings us to the likelihood of a nuclear weapon or reactor being involved.

Navarre: institutional apology of historical fascist terror protected by today's fascist prohibition of protest

Rally poster
The rally called by Ahaztuak 1936-1977 for Friday in Pamplona was suspended after the Spanish Government forbade it and therefore would have been attacked by police forces, making protest nearly impossible and most risky.

The rally, which has been moved to the next weekend, was meant to protest for the institutional apology of fascist terrorism by the Spanish Army's infamous "America 66" regiment, which raped and murdered many citizens in Valdedios, Asturias, in 1937.

The regiment, still active, is being institutionally honored for their alleged "service to Spain" with an exposition in the Citadel of Pamplona (a fortress meant to control the oft rebellious city) with the support of the far-right unionist city council.

The popular anger about this act of fascist apology by the neo-Francoist Spanish Regime is so strong that the authorities ordered to protect the citadel with a massive police deployment. 

Four antimilitarist activists of the Conscientious Objection Movement (KEM-MOC, War Resistants International) attempted to enter the fascist exposition dressed in denounce costumes as publicity men but were impeded to do so by police. 

United Left has denounced the exposition at court. 

For the organizers, Ahaztuak 1936-1977 (The Forgotten Ones 1936-1977, an association dedicated to the recovering of the historical memory and denounce of the many crimes against Humankind of the Spanish Fascist regime):
The prohibition is another instance of the persistence of the Spanish model of impunity that we have denounced since long ago, a model where the insult to the victims of Francoism and the impunity of their aggressors are combined; the continuous obstacles to mobilizations and claims by the victims of Fascism, together with all the facilitations and praise for the Francoist criminals; the abandonment by the institutions of our denounces and claims, together with the help and support by those same institutions to the Francoist criminals via subsidies and homages like this one we pretend to denounce... a prohibition that furthermore takes place in a city that, to greater shame, still retains other Francoist symbols: a mausoleum "to the fallen for God and for Spain", were putschist generals Mola and Sanjurjo rest and are honored yearly by their acolytes.

Sources[es]: Ahaztuak 1936-1977, Naiz Info.

Spain: march for the release of political prisoners held in the Dignity March

A major march was held yesterday in Madrid for the release of Miguel and Ismael, political prisoners held without trial since two months ago, when they were arrested on arbitrary charges in the context of the two million strong March for Dignity.

Source: Webguerrillero[es].

And the crossword solution was... Afghanistan (naturally)

Not so hard to guess, really. As I suggested on Wednesday, the country, other than Bahamas, where the USA is taping all data calls content (as of 2012) is Afghanistan. 

Source: Russia Today.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guess the ~12 letter name country whose phone calls are fully recorded by NSA

The Interecept recently published an article, based on Wikileaks information, where it was explained that (at least) three sovereign states (Mexico, Philippines and Kenya) have 100% of their phone calls metadata collected by the USA, while other two have 100% of their full fall calls available for them for at least 30 days.

One of those is named, Bahamas, but, for mysterious reasons, the magazine decided to hide a second country's under the same extreme telephone control, claiming that it "could lead to increased violence". 

Wikileaks strongly disagrees with that argument, claiming, surely with great reason, that truth never harmed the innocent, and has given The Intercept a 72 hours deadline for the publication of the censored country name. Otherwise they will make it public themselves. 

Meanwhile we can play crossword puzzles, or something like that.

Image from TI, originally NSA document, with a country name censored

Something I immediately noticed is that the censor's mark size is a huge clue. Try measuring it with a ruler and compare with "Bahamas". It is significantly larger 25-to-18-ratio (in mm at my screen resolution). You have to take out one or two blank spaces and consider that the capital letter is twice the size of regular ones. Also some letters like m, w, i or l have greater or smaller widths, so it's not so easy but my estimate is that the redacted country has a name of around 12 letters. 

That basically excludes nearly all America and in fact most country names, which are way too short. So which country may it be?

With the help of a crossword puzzle guide, I gather the following candidates:

12 letter category:
  • Great Britain (actually 13 with the blank space, it also has two capitals but short characters may compensate for that)
  • United States (discarded because it is supposed to be foreign).
  • Turkmenistan
  • St Kitts-Nevis (sic)
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • New Caledonia (a French colony, not likely either)
Of these I consider seriously Great Britain and Turkmenistan. The rest seem much less likely. 

11 letter category:
  • Afghanistan (a very likely candidate, if you ask me)
  • Saudi Arabia (12 with the blank space, why not?)
  • Philippines (discarded because it is in another phone-tapping category)
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • South Africa (12 with the blank space)
  • Sierra Leone (same)
  • Burkina Faso (same)
  • Vatican City (usually written The Vatican - similar width though)
Afghanistan is my number one candidate because of several contextual cues but Saudi Arabia and most of the others are plausible anyhow.

13 letter category:

Liechtenstein is the only one without an intermediate space and/or requiring a "the" before the name (would be too long).  

10 letter category (just to be sure):

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • El Salvador (space and two capitals)
  • Ivory Coast (same)
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritania
  • Micronesia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • New Zealand (space and two capitals)
  • North Korea (same)
  • Puerto Rico (unlikely for the same reason as United States)
  • Seychelles
  • South Korea (double name again)
  • South Sudan
  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan
The main interest here seems to be that key Central Asian countries are included, as well as some prominent West Pacific countries (both US allies and hostiles). 

As I said above, my best tentative candidate is Afghanistan. Why? Because of TI references to increased violence risk and Wikileaks accusations of "racism". I'd say from that it's not a European country nor a stable one, so Afghanistan seems a most likely candidate and one to which the US secret services would have easy access because of 12 years of continued occupation.

But I'm not finished: after I first publish this I will try to match the length of the names directly to Bahamas, plus the corresponding ratio, using a type that approximates the one used in the cable (seems Times New Roman, right?). Doing so must necessarily thin the list of candidates a lot. Stay tuned for updates.

Update: the optimal fits:

Copy-pasted from a formatted word editor (the xx- characters try to approximate the missing letter-space and blank space). I used Times New Roman, which seems to be the actual type. Much longer than Bahamasxx- and it's not it, shorter than Bahamasxx and it's not it either.

My main suspects:
Saudi Arabia
Great Britain
I have already explained why I think that Afghanistan has by far the greatest chances to be the one: opposed claims of increased violence risk and racism, as well as the fact that the country has been occupied by the USA (and allies) for more than a decade, make it almost default.

Both Great Britain and Saudi Arabia are also "main suspects" because of their particularly important role in the US Empire. However Great Britain at least does not seem to fit the context of the Wikileaks-IT allegations. On the other hand, it does have a history of being extremely subservient to US whims, even deporting its own citizens to the North American republic, and does not have a formal legal system of human rights, as it is a chartered parliamentary kingdom and not a constitutional state, with many laws dating to centuries ago.

Saudi Arabia fits somewhat more in the discussion context  than Britain and is equally subservient to US diktats. Being the most totalitarian state on Earth, it has no human rights whatsoever.

Other Asian fits:

North Korea
South Korea

African fits:

South Africa
Sierra Leone
South Sudan
Burkina Faso
European and American fits:

El Salvador
Well, now judge yourself... or just wait for the solution to be revealed on Friday.

Update (May 24): it is Afghanistan - no surprises. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The humble weed that defeats Monsanto

Actually amaranth can be a weed but also a nice food source and a garden flower. But in this case it is weed power which is defeating the flagship of Bio-Capitalism, Monsanto Inc.

The plant has become immune to the real product that Monsanto sells: glyphosate, a dangerous herbicide commercially known as Roundup. 

In many parts of the World, soy planters are giving up the Monsanto transgenic seeds because they and their attached herbicide simply fails in the fight against amaranth, which has learned to thrive in such conditions.

It is unknown how amaranth acquired resistance to glyphosate but it has become the nightmare of Monsanto's apprentices of Dr. Frankenstein.

And voilá: now it has gone viral how to fight those pests that are genetically modified crops: gather about a kilogram (two pounds) of amaranth seeds, mix them with earth and clay in small balls, let them dry and throw them in that pesky GMO field that is ruining your crops, your environment, your health and your patience. Rain and the miracle weed will do the rest. Sit and enjoy the flowers.

Sources[es]: Taringa, Webguerrillero.

Colombian Army murders four civilians

The victims are:
  • José Antonio Jacanamejoy
  • Deibi López (minor, 16 y.o.)
  • Brayan Yesid Yatacue (member of the Nasa indigenous community)
  • José Esterilla (member of the community council Nueva Esperanza)
On Saturday soldiers violently entered a farmhouse in Nariño department, forcing the four out and shooting them dead once outside. Then they brought them to their military base at Puerto Asís and claimed that they were guerrillas killed in combat. 

This is how the Colombian Army often justifies their salaries and the massive subsidies received from the USA: by the so-called "false positives", which have been common since at least 2008, in which common citizens are murdered and claimed to be "guerrilleros".

Colombia has the largest military force in America after the USA, with almost half million soldiers and policemen, in spite of being a middle-sized and rather poor country.

Source: Hispan TV[es].

Solidarity convoy breaks Zionist blockade of Gaza

A solidarity convoy sponsored by Algeria and Jordan has managed to breach the cruel blockade that the Zionist Apartheid and Genocide Regime in Palestine, with the necessary collaboration of Egypt, holds against the largest ghetto on Earth today. 

The convoy, named Miles of Smiles 27, arrived with $2 million worth of medical equipment and medicines. 25 humanitarian activists managed to enter with it as well. 

On January the Egyptian military authorities denied entry to the convoy. Egypt has been crucial, no matter who was in power, for the strangling of Gaza Strip. If Egypt would just open the border and denounce the infamous agreements with the Zionist Regime, things would be very different, not just in Gaza but all the region. 

In this case the pretext was that the solidarity convoy was arguably sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood but, whatever the case, Egypt is doing all the time what the Zionists demand from it, be it under Militarist or Islamist regimes.

In this case it seems that it was the active diplomacy of the organizers what eventually bended the arm of the Egyptian gatekeeper. When is Egypt going to take an active stand on the issue of Gaza or at the very least allow trade and relief to freely cross the border?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ukraine: mass bombing of Slavyansk by Junta, Nazis try to seize nuclear reactor

Webguerrillero[es], citing Interfax, reports brutal shelling of residential and central areas of the city of Slavyansk, half-way between Donetsk and Kharkov.

Relatedly there are intense combats in the area of the Zevs-Keramika manufacture and apparently also in the city center, as well as in the outskirts of the besieged city.

There are no victim figures yet but the fact that housing areas are being bombed probably implies many civilian casualties. 

According to the Mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomariov, the attackers suffered at least 650 casualties, as well as many injured and captured personnel, only between the 2 and 12 of May. They also lost eight helicopters, a Hummer vehicle, three cannons, six light tanks and four tanks. 

Nazis attempt nuclear power plant seizure in Zaporizhia

Russia Today reports that several cars full of paramilitary troopers which identified themselves as members of the Pravy Sektor (Nazis) were arrested as they attempted to enter and seize the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest of Europe.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Palestine's Apartheid in figures and facts

Categories of the Zionist Apartheid system:
  1. 5.7 million forced exiles or refugees: not recognized in any way, barred from returning to their homeland
  2. 1.6 million Gaza denizens: forced to live in this giant Ghetto.
  3. 2.3 million West Bank denizens: can only live in a fragmented 40% of the West Bank (the "Bantustan").
  4. 0.3 million East Jerusalem Palestinian denizens: can only live in East Jerusalem, no citizenship. Their homes are being regularly demolished and they see themselves often deported to Gaza.
  5. 1.3 million "Israeli" Palestinians: theoretically recognized as "citizens" but in practice only allowed to live in some areas (32% of internationally recognized "Israel"), where they lack all kind of resources. They can't marry Palestinians from other Apartheid zones.
  6. 5.9 million Jewish colonists from abroad and their descendants: full citizenship rights and allowed to live in almost all Palestine, including 60% of the West Bank. Around 1 million of them do not even live in Palestine at all and many more (~35%) have dual citizenship (USA, Russia, Ukraine, EU, etc.) This means that less than 4 million "Israeli Jews" are actually rooted in Palestine (single Israeli citizenship), even if as racist colonial oppressors.
Total aboriginal Palestinians (victims of Apartheid): 11.2 million.  

Total Palestinians (Jewish colonists included, even those not even living in the country): 17.1 million.

Palestinian and South African bantustans compared (source)

In percentages:
  1. 33.3% are exiles (refugees), with no rights whatsoever in their homeland.
  2. 9.4% are Gaza ghetto denizens.
  3. 13.5% are West Bank bantustan denizens.
  4. 1.8% are East Jerusalem natives.
  5. 7.6% are "Israeli" Palestinians.
  6. 34.5% are Jewish settlers:
    1. ~ 29% live in Palestine.
    2. ~ 5% are mere foreigners with Zionist citizenship.
Total aboriginal Palestinians: 65.6%, of which less than half are actually allowed to live in just some very specific areas of their own country by the Apartheid regime.