This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
>From [email protected] Tue Aug 24 11:46:52 1993
Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
The Maoist Internationalist Movement
-- MIM NOTES 80, SEPTEMBER 1993 --
In this issue
1. Geneva Towers, San Francisco housing struggle 1
2. Geneva Towers, San Francisco housing struggle 2
3. Mississippi floods in perspective
4. Peru update
5. Somalia update
6. La Migra scam
7. Bogus product claim
8. Israel in Lebanon
9. U.S. pays for torture in Palestine
10. Review of Tool's Undertow
11. Mao's 100th birthday
12. Review of Nemesis
13. Review of In the Line of Fire
14. Review of The Last Action Hero
15. Letters to MIM
GENEVA TOWERS RESIDENTS PROTEST PRISON CONDITIONS
The locked-down residents of Geneva Towers woke up one morning in
June to the slam of heavy metal on metal. Within the space of two
weeks a 10-foot welded steel prison fence rose to encircle the
city-block on which the two Towers decay at the edge of San
Francisco's Black community.
Electronic gates are now controlled by armed off-duty San
Francisco Police (SFPD) moonlighting as a colonial occupation
force terrorizing the 200 families left in the 576-unit Towers.
Emergency exits in the HUD-owned building have been equipped with
10-second delay mechanisms. In case of fire or earthquake,
residents who live to escape these exits will be stopped dead in
their tracks by the camera topped fence.
When questioned about the purpose of the fence, HUD's local Black
puppet Henry Dishroom testified on May 6 before the San Francisco
Board of Supervisors: "It's a matter of control. You have to lock
them in as well as lock them out."(1)
Truth Spear, the newsletter of the rebellious Geneva Towers
Tenant's Association (GTTA) stated, "The evil plan won't stop
here, next it will be strip searching for all, metal detectors,
I.D. cards and fingerprinting."(2) GTTA issued a call to action:
"Time waits on no sleeper or party hardy person. We must now
choose sides if the closed Gates of Injustice, the spy systems,
and these terrorist, perverted off-duty police are to be sent back
into HELL from whence they came and belong. Whether you wanted WAR
or not WAR IS WHAT YOU'VE GOT AND ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE.
The better you know who to trust, and who not to trust, the sooner
this WAR can be WON."(3)
A Samoan-Lakota family raised the first flag of resistance and
strapped a painted banner to their balcony, proclaiming: "Homes
Not Jails--First Nation."
GTTA and Homes Not Jails--First Nation began an ongoing 24-hour
vigil in front of the fence on July 21. A local television station
broadcast footage of the vigil and individuals from the community
came and sat with the tenants in protest. Propaganda distributed
at the vigil ranged from Truth Spear to New Bayview Newspaper,
(the local Black community paper), to MIM Notes. All three
newspapers have been relentlessly covering the Battle of Geneva
Towers for a year. The cover of Truth Spear blared: NO FENCES! NO
PRISONS! TAKE POWER!
More banners were painted and the people flew them proudly from
their rotting balconies. "EDUCATION NOT FENCES!" "FREE THE
PEOPLE!" "JUSTICE OR JUST-US?" "I AM NOT A PRISONER IN THIS JAIL!"
Activists and visitors took turns sitting at the vigil table and
talking about the true meaning of the fence while debating methods
for changing our world. A petition calling for the removal of the
fence was signed by hundreds of people as eviction letters were
delivered by armed pigs to the owners of the banners.
Many young people socialize in front of Geneva Towers. Before the
vigil and bannering began, GTTA had not been able to rally these
youth to take a stand. As the young men and women talked to the
activists, there was an increase in the frequency of SFPD cruisers
driving by full of shotguns and hateful stares. One night a young
man began to scale the fence--directly in front of a swiveling
video camera. Within seconds, the rent-a-pigs swarmed out of the
lobby. The man escaped as SFPD pig cars appeared like screaming
banshees out of the fog.
An innocent bystander was arrested for resisting arrest,
assaulting a police officer, and damaging property. After a week
in City Jail he was released without charges. A Homes Not
Jails--First Nation activist protested the man's arrest as the man
was being hauled away in handcuffs and was himself arrested for
"obstruction." The activist was released without charges the next
In May, GTTA delivered to the United States Attorney in San
Francisco a detailed accusation of conspiracy to obtain federal
monies under false pretenses by HUD officials, John Stewart and
HCDC, a non-profit developer. The accusation was backed up by HUD
documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act which
clearly show that counterfeit Articles of Incorporation were used
by the conspirators to obtain a $200,725 HUD grant for a
non-existent "Resident Management" program at Geneva Towers.
The United States Attorney wrote back to GTTA claiming that the
local HUD office is "aware of the situation at Geneva Towers and
there is no evidence of any mis- management." During this time the
extremely expensive fence was raised around a building with a
broken ventilation system, scalding hot water leaks in the
toilets, a 20-story structural crack, and nearly 300 empty
apartments in a neighborhood full of homeless people!
One of the banners flying at the Towers protests: "Respect My 13th
Amendment Rights." The 13th Amendment to the United States
Constitution outlaws slavery and false imprisonment. While MIM
understands the wishful thinking behind this slogan, MIM remarks
that the United States Constitution does not--and never did--
apply to Black people, indigenous people, or any of the oppressed
nationalities colonized within Amerika. "Rights" may be
effectively used only by those groups holding state power.
Garr Tavia-Fiatoa, a resident of Geneva Towers and a Homes Not
Jails--First Nation founder writes: "My Safeway sales receipt
carries more credibility of my existence than does my birth
certificate. The capitalist system has killed my oral history and
tribal traditions and language. I am nothing but a consumer of the
goods and services I must have in order to survive and feed my
family. I am no longer self-sufficient and sovereign. I must be
controlled, according to the system, and any improvement in my
station to one of self-sufficiency and sovereignty is seen as a
threat to the owners of capital: the slumlords. The bottom line is
that both Native Americans and African Americans will resist
1. New Bayview Newspaper 8/6/93, p.1.
2. Truth Spear 7/16/93, p. 2.
3. These Eyes Sees Everything--Nothing is Impossible 7/28/93, p. 2.
4. New Bayview Newspaper 8/6/93, p. 14.
Fire in Geneva Towers
San Francisco, August 18--On the night of August 14, a raging fire
broke out in a third floor apartment at Geneva Towers. Black
firefighter Jerry Butler gave his life as he was caught in a
firestorm generated by the intense heat inside the burning
apartment. Two Asian firefighters remain in critical condition.
Nine residents suffered severely from smoke inhalation and 31
residents have been displaced from their homes and moved into
vacant apartments with only a Red Cross cot to their names.
Geneva Towers Tenants Association (GTTA) spokespeople say that the
fire in apartment 311B was an electrical fire caused by
substandard wiring in a building which has failed to meet the San
Francisco fire codes and regulations for many years. The San
Francisco Fire Department has a two-foot thick file on fire code
violations at Geneva Towers.
Geneva Towers management and Rembrandt Security neglected to
trigger the internal alarm system at Geneva Towers during the
fire. Eighty percent of the smoke detectors failed. The darkened
fire exits had recently been equipped with 10-second delay, punch-
button mechanisms which will not open unless the internal alarm is
triggered. Residents fleeing down smoke-filled, dark, slippery
stairwells were trapped at the bottom.
The San Francisco Fire Department was forced to wait until an
illegally locked gate, 100 feet from the fire exit they used to
reach the inferno, was opened by management. Firefighters were
then compelled to lug their hoses around the fence to the gate and
then back down the fence to the fire exit. This deadly delay
allowed the intensity of the fire to increase to firestorm levels.
Since the Death Fence was erected in June, GTTA has loudly and
repeatedly petitioned owner HUD, managing agents John Stewart and
Republic Management Services, the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors and numerous City officials to investigate the safety
and civil rights problems posed by the vintage-prison fence.
Despite attempts by the media to censor the tenant resistance,
television viewers of the Geneva Towers fire coverage were clearly
able to see the many large banners that residents have hung from
their balconies (risking eviction) to protest the dangers of the
fence and their incarceration in Death Towers.
This fire was not an accident: it was a murder. In August 1992,
GTTA delivered a letter detailing fire, safety and health hazards
at Geneva Towers to the Fire Department, the Department of
Building Inspections, the Department of Health, City Attorney
Louise Renne and the Mayor's Office.
This well-documented complaint was ignored by all City
Departments. City Attorney Renne telephoned GTTA to say that
Geneva Towers is not under City jurisdiction. When GTTA informed
Renne that GTTA had documents showing that the Towers have always
been under local fire, * police * and the building inspector's
jurisdiction--Ms. Renne commented: "I will have one of my
deputies look into it and get back to you." She never did--and
Jerry Butler is dead.
When MIM Notes arrived at the scene of the fire the stink of
national oppression filled the air. The San Francisco Fire
Department is notorious for assigning its few non-white
firefighters to the most dangerous tasks.
The television and print media censored statements by GTTA
spokespeople concerning the obvious impossibility of fighting a
fire when a steel fence prohibits engines and firefighters from
approaching the flames directly. The media appeared oblivious to
the banners hanging in their faces. Stories in the monopoly twins
Chronical- Examiner characterized the scene as: "A low-income
complex that has been troubled by drive-by shootings, crack
dealers and vandalism."(1)
The reporters also promoted management's self-serving and unproven
assertion that the fire was caused by a cigarette.
Arthur Hutton, Black puppet-traitor and site manager of Geneva
Towers, used the occasion of the fire to set groups of tenants
against each other. Hutton had the audacity to blame GTTA for the
fact that the burned building had not been emptied according to
his eviction schedule.
When a white MIM Notes reporter attempted to interview tenants who
were being herded into a holding area, Hutton called for the SFPD
to: "Arrest this person." In a humorous twist of racism, the SFPD
first laid their paws on one of Hutton's Black assistants who was
standing next to the reporter. MIM beat a tactical retreat amid
The next morning water still flooded out of ruined apartments on
several floors and the scene of the fire was cordoned off by
guards dedicated to prohibiting photographers from documenting the
destruction and its possible causes. MIM outwitted the pigs--one
of whom was heard to chuckle that: "Nothing can stop the
The Red Cross refused to house burned-out tenants and offered
aluminum cots and a roll of toilet paper to the elderly people
camped out in vacant units without water and electricity. During
the 1989 earthquake the Red Cross put dispossessed yuppies from
the wealthy Marina District up in expensive hotels and fed them
gourmet food. To the elders of Geneva Towers they offered
McDonalds for breakfast and cheap barbecued chicken wings for
dinner. There was no lunch--the only beverages and comfort were
supplied by GTTA.
These scenes of human destruction for profit are being played out
all over Amerika as Blacks, Latinos and the indigenous are
forcibly restricted to ever decreasing plots of land. The only
export of the urban ghetto is cheap labor. Marginally employed and
unemployed oppressed nationals are used as conduits for billions
of dollars in monthly rent subsidies that enrich the landlord and
A vast superstructure of Arthur Huttons administrates the internal
semi-colonies of Amerika. These puppets, integrationists and
national traitors dance to the tune of white capital as it
circulates in the ghetto while barely touching the ground.
Meanwhile, Black contractors and other small business people are
forced to beg for short-term loans from the Mega-Gov-Banks to
cover rising rents and operating costs in the land- banked and
gentrifying areas. These loans are only granted for non-productive
activities such as minor sub-contracts for prison construction,
fast-food franchises, security guard services, or running the
local arms of government social "welfare" agencies.
The path to the internal destruction of Amerikan imperialism lies
through the Geneva Towers of the internal semi-colonies as the
non- parasitical masses become increasingly conscious of a real
existing strength and an historically proven ability to forcibly
seize and use power. When we learn to deliberately link the
communist-led emancipation of the barrios in Peru with the
creation of autonomous socialist zones in North
Amerika--capitalism will die.
While recognizing that even impoverished U.S. citizens have a
stake in the plundered Amerikan living standard- -in North Amerika
MIM will support independent power struggles waged by economically
restricted oppressed nation capitalists as they are driven to
fight the monopolists for a piece of the Pie by disengaging their
oppressed nations from Amerikan rule. As the imperialist countries
continue to be weakened by revolutionary tides in the Third
World--the North Amerikan proletariat will assist the
international proletariat in putting White Amerika into class-
Notes: San Francisco Chronicle 6/16/93, p. A17.
WHERE IS THE REAL FLOOD DAMAGE?
Flooding along the Mississippi and its tributaries caused $10
billion in damages and took 53 lives in June and July.(1) Also in
July (in what was a slow month for Third World "natural"
disasters) 4,000 people died and 21 million were made homeless
from flooding in Bangladesh, Nepal and India.(2,3)
The natural conditions which exacerbate flooding and other
environmental crises are similar in the First and Third Worlds,
but the local victims of these crises fare very differently in
their different relations to production and power.
In Amerika, the richest country in the world, emergency government
aid, routine subsidies, insurance companies and other forms of
protection shield the labor- aristocracy flood victims from large
scale loss of life and property.
Bangladesh is one of the world's poorest countries, and a new
Amerikan "flood control" project is set to make them even poorer
to the benefit of Amerikkka.
Oppressed communities are less equipped to deal with the natural
fluctuations of the weather, and are left to its mercy. Richer
communities often escape unscathed.
By encouraging development on wetlands, which drain excess water,
capitalism destroyed the Mississippi's natural ability to deal
with excessive floods. Levees are built to protect developed areas
from floods, but the relentless drive for profits also encourages
farmers to build levees to protect their farms. When farms flood,
it destroys the current crop, but the silt left behind by the
flood serves to replenish the soil.
Flood insurance scam
The U.S. government has the National Flood Insurance Program
(NFIP) for people in high-risk flood areas. The Mississippi has a
significant flood every 30 years, but the insurance premiums don't
reflect that. Almost half of NFIP policy holders pay only
one-third of what their insurance really costs.
"Some homeowners along the lower Mississippi River system refer to
it as the 'carpet renewal' policy, since they get hit with river
flooding every six or seven years and use the government payments
to replace their water-damaged carpet."(4)
Oliver Ready, from Grafton, Ill., has been flooded five times in
the last 14 years. He's paid $6,000 in premiums, and received
$56,000. A neighbor of Ready's is filing her fourth claim in 15
years. "I think the government has paid for our house about two
times," she said.(5)
Flood insurance is pretty easy to get, and your house only has to
stay dry for five days for your policy to take effect.(5)
Where floods are lethal
The real flood disaster has been in Bangladesh, Nepal and India.
In Bangladesh alone, 21 million people are now homeless from the
flooding.(2) That's 17% of the population, or the Amerikan
equivalent of 44 million people.(6)
Through the World Bank, the United States is forcing "flood
control" on Bangladesh that could destroy that country's means of
Bangladesh's "agricultural system depends on the nourishing
flooding that every year inundates up to one third of the country.
Eighty percent of the protein consumed in Bangladesh comes from
freshwater fish that spawn in the flood plain during monsoon
Amerika is proposing to build 2,500 miles of levees along
Bangladesh's three main rivers. The Bangladeshi peasants fear
these levees would stop the replenishing, or *barsha* floods, and
would do nothing to stop the *bona* or killer, floods.(7)
Floods are often caused by cyclones. In April 1991, a cyclone
killed an estimated 500,000 people.(8) Imperialist plunder either
steals the resources of the Third World, or forces them to destroy
it in the struggle to survive. Imperialist destruction of Third
World forests adds to the fatal force of cyclones.
With the fear that up to 5 million Bangladeshis could be evicted
to make way for the levees, the peasants are beginning to
organize. The peasants are demanding that the government abandon
this Amerikan levee project, and instead build a flood management
system instead of flood control.
The peasants want small levees that would not prevent flooding,
but delay it, giving them time to move families and livestock and
to possibly harvest crops. "They need high ground refuges to
retreat to when once in a century flood comes along. They need an
effective warning system. They need boats for evacuation. . Most
importantly, people in Bangladesh need protection from the
cyclones that cause flooding along the coast. ...[B]ut more than
anything, reforestation of the coastal mangrove forests would go a
long way to reducing the loss of life from future cyclones."(9)
Amerika and Bangladesh
In 1991, Bangladesh, which already had the cheapest labor in South
Asia, in an effort to entice greater foreign investment, opened
the entire country to foreign investment and set up Export
Processing Zones (EPZs). These EPZs, like the * maquiladoras * in
northern Mexico, have reduced tariff rates to aid imperialist
Ninety percent of Bangladesh depends on agriculture for their
livelihood; the government is encouraging foreign investment in
the agricultural sector in order to drive the peasants from their
land and into the sweatshops.(10)
In 1982, 73% of the population was in "extreme poverty"(10), and
this has probably gotten worse since then as the government aids
The "aid" that imperialist countries give to countries like
Bangladesh, whether for disaster relief or "development," merely
serve to make the oppressed more dependent and easier to exploit.
The First World will never support flood management and cyclone
prevention such as that described above because those plans lead
to self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Ensuring the continued
poverty of Bangladesh is essential to the imperialists if they are
to continue to extract huge super-profits.
Second, projects such as building 2,500 miles of levees allow the
First World to hire its own workers and companies to plan the
projects and do the work, thereby returning the "aid" to its own
The peasants of Bangladesh are fighting their government and the
World Bank. In order to be able to break out of poverty and
dependence, their best path will be through revolution: kick out
the imperialists, and build self-reliant socialism.
1. Newsday 8/13/93, p. 4.
2. Christian Science Monitor 7/29/93, p. 1.
3. New York Times 8/1/93 p. A1.
4. Newsday, p. 75.
5. Newsweek, 8/2/93, p. 24.
6. Calculated from statistics in World Almanac & Book of Facts, 1991.
7. LA Times 7/21/93 p. 7.
8. Wall Street Journal, 5/8/91, p. 1.
9. National Public Radio, 7/25/93.
10. Walden Country Reports--Bangladesh
PERU ATTACKS ITS PRISONERS OF WAR: FAMILIES FIGHT BACK
Peruvian political prisoners and their families are showing
increasing resolve in the face of worsening government repression.
In a July petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, the families of prisoners at Miguel Castro Castro prison
in Canto Grande stated: "We want to denounce the government of
Alberto Fujimori, his armed forces, and his armed police for the
imminent genocide they intend to carry out against the prisoners
of war in [La Cantuta] prison."
The petition goes on to give evidence of an impending massacre:
"The prisoners of war have been moved and concentrated in Canto
Grande & Chorillos. The same thing was done prior to both the
genocides of 18-19 June 1986 and 6-9 May 1992. This concentration
of prisoners is aimed toward. totally exterminating the prisoners
According to the petition, police force commander Col. Gavino
Cajahuanca and his thugs seriously injured several prisoners,
murdering one during the recent transfers. The colonel and his
forces have reportedly threatened to murder the prisoners by
On August 3, Peru's congress, voting by secret ballot, voted 55 to
21 (with 77 abstentions) to widen application of the death penalty
to those charged with terrorism. This measure is a likely response
to the growing strength of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP), a
Maoist party which controls many peasant areas of the country.
Over the past year, almost 600 people were sentenced to prison
terms for terrorism by hooded judges and prosecutors in summary
military trials. This constitutional change will force Peru to
pull out of the Inter-American Human Rights Agreement known as the
San Jose Pact, to which it has belonged since 1969.
The Peruvian congress also voted to change the constitution to
allow Fujimori to run for re-election in 1995.(2)
More atrocities perpetrated by the Peruvian armed forces have come
to light following the discovery of remains believed to be those
of nine students and one professor who were kidnapped from La
Cantuta University by special units of the National Intelligence
service, headed by Fujimori aide Vladimiro Montesinos.(3)
New graves were discovered near Jauja in Peru's central highlands,
and were reported to contain the remains of 22 students who
disappeared from the university in Huancayo last year, according
to La Republica, a Lima daily. The Peruvian government has refused
to allow skilled forensic anthropologists from Argentina to
conduct the investigation, contrary to the wishes of observers
such as Amnesty International. Witnesses at the excavation have
characterized the police practices at the site as amateurish and
MIM calls it what it is: a police cover-up.
As the Peruvian regime prepared to celebrate its "pacification" of
Peru on the eve of Fujimori's 3rd anniversary as president, Maoist
guerrillas of the PCP dynamited electricity pylons leading to the
capital, blacking out Lima completely. PCP cadre also detonated a
powerful car bomb outside the U.S. embassy in Lima, causing
extensive damage to the first three floors of the building and
igniting several small fires.(5)
Washington continued its support for the Fujimori regime by
granting Peruvian products duty-free status under the Andean Trade
Preference Act. Clinton told Congress on August 23 that it was
".an important step for Peru in its effort to fight against
narcotics production and trafficking."(6)
People living in the belly of the imperialist beast (Amerika),
need to make the essential connections between the atrocities in
Peru and the support the Amerikan government gives to Peru.
Amerikan imperialism feeds off the oppression of people in the
Third World. Our struggle must have an internationalist
perspective as we look to the resistance in Peru for inspiration
as well as to the government repression for an understanding of
the connections between Amerika and the suffering of people all
over the world. Working on a local and national level within this
country to expose the atrocities of Amerikan imperialism is an
important contribution to the struggle of the oppressed world
1. IEC Bulletin #33
2. NYT 8/6/93, p. A11
3. Send $1 to MIM for MIM Notes 79 for more information on this.
4. Latin America Weekly Report 8/5/93
5. Reuter nN27110783
6. NYT 8/13/93
U.S./U.N. ON THE DEFENSIVE IN SOMALIA:
RESISTANCE BEGS INTERNATIONALIST SUPPORT
The Somali people have succeeded in putting and keeping the
U.S./U.N. occupation army in their country on the defensive. Their
resistance has frustrated efforts by the United States to exert
itself in the region. It has also hurt U.N. attempts to introduce
a new doctrine of "humanitarian" and "peacekeeping"
intervention--a new model of international law-of-submission
The U.S./U.N. troops have been stung repeatedly by persistent
armed Somali resistance, working within the masses of the people
in the capital city of Mogadishu.
After an intensive round of fighting in June, Somali guerillas
have dogged foreign troops with a series of well-executed ambush
In one attack, on August 8, guerillas detonated a bomb under the
first of two Amerikan vehicles, then ambushed the second. Four
Amerikans were killed, and all the guerillas escaped, although
hundreds of foreign troops rushed to the scene.(1)
The attacks followed a prolonged U.S./U.N. assault in June, which
left many Somali people dead, but did nothing to quell the
In June, U.S. military officials said they were up against "a
well-organized and effective urban guerilla force."(2)
At that time, Somalia guerillas mingled with the masses,
surrounded U.N. troops, and only fought when they had an
advantage. Guerillas kept hundreds of U.N. troops pinned down for
hours, and killed the Moroccan commander and wounded his executive
officer (the only Moroccan officers who spoke English).
Crowds of unarmed people worked with armed guerillas to build
barricades and waylay the U.N. troops, setting up the guerilla
ambush. U.S. helicopters couldn't help because the U.N. troops
were so close to the guerillas. The myth of Somali "human
shields" was proved to be a measure of popular anti-imperialist
support and mass cooperation with the war effort.(2)
The debate in Amerika after the August attack was split between
those militarists who want all-out action against Somali
resistance, and those who think killing Somalis isn't worth the
risk to Amerikans. House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-Washington) said
there should be more action to "neutralize" the resistance.(2)
On the other hand, a former ambassador to Kenya said, "I don't
think the whole country is worth the life of one American."(3)
The Somali fighters have succeeded in dividing their enemies along
national and political lines. Italian U.N. troops quit the
Mogadishu force over a conflict about how to pursue pacification.
And public opinion both in Somalia and internationally has been
affected by reports of atrocities by U.S./U.N. troops.
One such report, by the group African Rights, detailed U.N.
troops' killing of civilians, assault, theft, and irresponsible
disposal of explosives. If foreign crimes don't stop, the group
predicted, the U.N. may "find itself at war with a large segment
of the Somali population." The group also said U.N. accounts of
casualties are inaccurate.(4)
The United States and the U.N. had several objectives in Somalia,
which are all jeopardized.
The United States is trying to regain control over Somalia,
including its uranium and phosphate deposits, as well as
agricultural production, in the name of imperialist capital and
the need to maintain production by the international proletariat.
Somalia is also an important strategic location, a further
foothold in Africa and along the coasts of the Horn of Africa.(5)
The U.N. on the other hand, is pursuing its role as global
enforcer of imperialist mandates, and politically-legitimate
vehicle for suppressing disruptions to the world order of
Imperialist voices are bemoaning the loss of a good opportunity.
The Economist editorialized sadly: "Somalia, a self-contained
man-made disaster, seemed a good place to experiment with an
integrated ["relief" and "peacekeeping"] UN mandate." An
opportunity lost, for now.(6)
The Somali people have set an example as they frustrated the plans
of their would-be foreign dominators. But they remain under siege,
and without significant public support in the imperialist
In effect, neither the pro-intervention nor anti-intervention
Amerikan patriots are friends of the Somali people.
Pro-interventionists want blood, while the anti-interventionists
want peaceful pacification and the restoration of economic
dominance and submission.
Revolutionaries in the First World have to show the intentions and
effects of U.S. imperialist interventions such as the war on the
Somali people. Exposing the crimes of the imperialist powers, and
extolling the resistance of their would-be victims, is central to
the task of building public opinion for revolution in Amerika.
The revolutionary movements of oppressed nations within
Amerika--in particular Black liberation struggles--gain a
necessary greater perspective from internationalist bonds with the
oppressed nations of Africa and the rest of the Third World. In
Somalia, the people need such bonds more than ever.
1. NYT 8/9/93, p. A1.
2. NYT 6/21/93, p. A6.
3. National Public Radio 8/10/93.
4. From the Amsterdam News, via New York Transfer.
Contact African Rights in London, or the International
Action Center in New York City, 212-633-6646.
5. The Peace Center Coalition for Peace and Justice,
8124 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 213-852-0578
6. The Economist 8/14/93, p. 17.
NEVER TRUST THE STATE
MIM Notes has been reporting for a year on a tenant struggle
against forced evictions and ("off-duty") police occupation at
Geneva Towers, a housing project in San Francisco.
When MIM Notes asked a tenant to share the most important lesson
of the struggle, the tenant replied, "Never trust HUD."(1)
Similarly, a number of illegal immigrants and their friends
recently learned the hard way to "never trust *la Migra*," the
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
"Come to the Federal Building, bring some identification and we'll
give you a work permit good for a year, the letter said. How can
the letter not be authentic, asked Martinez's [the letter
recipient's] wife, Ariel ... It was written on INS stationery and
said Martinez qualified under the 'Immigration and Nationality Act
"At the end, Ariel's optimism and belief in the INS's credibility
won out.. But instead of being welcomed by their adopted country,
Martinez and dozens of others were promptly arrested and deported.
"In effect, the sting traded on the goodwill the INS has
established among millions of people seeking legal immigration
through amnesty and various other programs. That credibility has
been particularly important to the agency since passage of the
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which created the
amnesty program that has allowed more than 3 million immigrants,
more than half of them California residents, to gain legal status.
"The sting letter was sent to Martinez and more than 600 others,
resulting in 60 apprehensions..
"Attorneys who saw the letter quickly determined that it was an
INS sting because the law referred to in the letter does not
"Many law enforcement agencies have resorted to a variety of sting
operations in recent years, typically to target felons or hardened
criminals. In many of these cases, police agencies send out
letters from a false business promising cash or another prize.
"The INS conducted a sting in El Paso in 1990 using the letterhead
Argim (migra spelled backward) Ford, a phony car dealer, and lured
immigrants by telling them they might have won new cars.."(2)
Hopefully, those who didn't learn in 1990 or through routine
roundups and deportations will learn now: "Don't trust la Migra."
MIM Notes encourages its readers to look at the big picture: Don't
trust HUD; don't trust la Migra; don't trust any arm of the state.
The trust these pigs work so hard to build through bribery and
public relations campaigns is to them only a weapon--a weapon
aimed at the world's oppressed. --MC49
1. MIM Notes 76, p. 4.
2. Los Angeles Times 7/31/93, p. 1, 23.
CRUELTY FREE SOAP ISN'T CRUELTY FREE
"Clearly Natural" is a "Glycerine Honeysuckle Soap" with a net
weight of 4 ounces (114g.). It sells for 79 cents in the
supermarket. Its label claims that "Clearly Natural" is
MIM assumes that since "Clearly Natural" is made out of
honeysuckles, the "Cruelty-Free" claim is meant to distance this
soap from brands such as Ivory Soap which are made from skinned,
boiled and cruelly melted living mammals.
Is this progress? Not really. Progress will be at hand when food
packages carry a guarantee that the human labor power of starving
Third World people has not been cruelly melted down into
beefsteaks and macaroni and cheese. --MC86
ISRAEL ATTACKS LEBANON
With the United States acting as the grand facilitator, Israel,
Syria and its client state Lebanon are effectively ganging up on
the masses of southern Lebanon.
On July 25, the Amerikan-backed Israeli army launched "Operation
Accountability"--a massive, week-long airstrike against southern
Lebanon, that left more than 130 people dead, 500 wounded, and
half a million driven from their homes by the bombing.(2,3)
It was Israel's largest incursion into Lebanon since its 1982
The Israeli government announced that the fight against the
Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerillas in southern Lebanon was to be
won by making the region "uninhabitable" for civilians, who would
in turn leave their bombed-out homes to pressure their government
(and Syria) to take action against the resistance.(1)
The bombing ended with "a U.S.-brokered cease-fire" that paved the
way for new rounds of negotiations.(3)
During the military onslaught, the Lebanese government told the
masses to ignore the air raids and threats from Israel and to stay
in their homes. But "more than 70 civilians were killed in the
first three days of the raid," and most did not listen to the
advice of "their" government.(1)
Israel said the attacks were in response to Hezbollah katyusha
rocket attacks into northern Israel, and also to avenge the recent
killing of seven Israeli soldiers in the "security zone" in
occupied southern Lebanon.
What do Israel and its northern neighbors have to gain from this
calculated, bloody action? Israel, having been slightly
de-prioritized in the New World Order, is shoring up to make some
territorial sacrifices in the coming negotiations with U.S.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
Maintaining the new cease fire and preventing further Israeli
attacks is the "concession" that will be "forced" on Israel at the
new round of war talks.
This "concession" could be a way for Prime Minister Rabin to stall
on giving up the Golan Heights, land Israel stole in 1967. In
return, Israel can expect Syria and Lebanon, now on a friendlier
and more dependent relationship with the United States, to
guarantee a more "secure" (tighter, more militarized) border with
Syria's public posturing is that Israel can not control it through
terrorizing southern Lebanon. "So long as there is an occupation
of Lebanese lands, there will be a resistance to such an
opposition," said one Syrian official. But such statements, taken
with President Clinton's praising Syria's "commendable restraint"
during the attack(1) are weak battle cries.
The United States consistently identifies the Lebanese guerillas
as "Iranian-backed," in an effort to paint the resistance as one
imposed by external powers. The United States and Israel can also
better cultivate relations with the Lebanese and Syrian
governments if it portrays the south Lebanese resistance as
controlled by Iran.
But the Israeli army is "Amerikan-backed," reliant on a foreign
power in order to finance this and other operations in the region.
1. Economist 7/31-8/6/93.
2. New York Times 8/7/93.
3. Atlanta Constitution 8/7/93.
4. St. Petersburg Times 8/7/93.
U.S. AID FUNDS TORTURE
"Human rights monitors estimate that at least 30,000
[Palestinians] have been interrogated since the beginning of the
anti-Israel uprising in December 1987.
"Palestinians who have been questioned by the Shin Bet [Israel's
domestic repressive apparatus] report that several methods are
used during interrogations, which usually last from two weeks to a
"According to these accounts, prisoners are typically held on
small chairs, their heads covered with dirty, foul-smelling sacks
and their hands shackled behind them to the chair or to a wall.
Prisoners report sitting for days in such painful positions,
bombarded by loud music interrupted only by interrogation sessions
and restricted visits to the toilet, where they were forced to eat
"Palestinians also report having been held in closet- sized cells,
some of which are kept at low temperatures. Others say that their
heads were slammed into walls during questioning, or that they
were violently shaken, punched, kicked, choked and hit in the
"Although Shin Bet guidelines are secret, there recently has been
some official corroboration of prisoner accounts.
"During the trial in June of a Palestinian in the West Bank town
of Hebron, Shin Bet interrogators acknowledged that the suspect
had been held without sleep for periods of three and four days
while he was hooded and handcuffed to a wall as he sat on a low
chair in a tiny cell.
"In May, an Israeli lawyer got hold of a medical form used at an
interrogation center in another West Bank town, Tulkarm. It
required prison doctors to note whether detainees were fit to be
shackled, hooded and held in isolation cells, whether they could
stand for long periods and whether they had injuries before their
For these services, the U.S. government gives Israel $1.9 billion
aid every year.(2) --MC49
1. New York Times 8/14/93, p. 3.
2. 1991 World Almanac and Book of Facts, p. 784.
Tool is a fast-paced hard rock band that shows promise, but hasn't
quite delivered yet by Maoist standards. The cover of the Undertow
album gets our attention with the picture of a pig with dozens of
forks sticking up underneath it.
In an interview with Toronto radio, a Tool singer told listeners
that its outlook on life, as reflected in its music, is indeed
bleak. Tool recognizes that the rich and powerful don't want to
change because "they don't have to change." According to Tool,
this arrogance leads to many social problems such as homelessness
MIM agrees with Tool that there aren't any quick or easy solutions
to this problem. It isn't clear to listeners what Tool thinks of
the best way forward, but MIM is very clear on the fact that we
need a revolution in Amerika, and it is going to be a long, hard
Tool obviously put a lot of effort into the graphic and
instrumental parts of the album, but very little effort into the
lyrics. The lyrics that MIM can understand often attack abuses of
power. The problem is that this is often done at a psychological
level and not a systematic one. This approach makes it easy to
blame the masses for their own oppression instead of the power
One song damns a "belligerent fucker," who Tool wants to "shut
down." Instead of offering a material analysis of problems, Tool
thrashes wildly. People who are looking for serious social change
need to come up with effective strategies, not make directionless
attacks on power.
MIM can sympathize with people who are angry, disgusted or
depressed with everybody around them. The people of Amerika, more
than those of any other empire in history, are indeed the most
corrupted by privilege. Instead of randomly blaming the masses,
we need to analyze which groups benefit from the current
structures and which don't. Then we need to take sides.
Tool appears to be heading in the correct direction, but it needs
to make a greater effort to define its politics if it's future
albums are to be a force for positive change. --MC5
100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION FOR MAO ZEDONG
To celebrate the 100th birthday of the deceased Mao Zedong, the
founder of the New People's Army in the Philippines is organizing
an "International Seminar on Mao Zedong Thought" on November 6-7
in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Jose Maria Sison, who founded the New People's Army on explicitly
Maoist principles, is now under attack from a breakaway faction in
the Philippines according to the bourgeois media. This faction
supports only Marx and Lenin and not Mao or Stalin.
Speakers from the Philippines, Bangladesh and many other countries
have already promised to attend. The telephone and fax number for
those wishing details is 31-30-870249. Inquiries should be
addressed to Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson of the Center for
Social Studies, p/a Stichting I.N.P.S., Postbus 1452, 3500 BL
Topics at the seminar will include the relevance of Mao Zedong
Thought to each of the regions in the world, Mao's military
writings, Mao's philosophy, Mao's political economy, the status of
women, the collapse of Soviet revisionism and the capitalist
restoration in China.
Mao's birthday is December 26, and it will no doubt be celebrated
in different ways across the globe--from Peru to the Philippines.
In a slight departure from the Terminator movies' War Against the
Machines theme; Nemesis is the story of a global split between
cyborgs who develop a desire to be human, and the humans who
As in the story of the Terminator, where a computer gained
intelligence and proceeded to plot the extinction of the humans
holding its intelligence hostage, the world of Nemesis sees the
cyborgs unsatisfied with their lives in relation to humans. The
cyborgs come to understand that killing off the world's human
population is their only means of running their own lives.
Nemesis is nicely complicated by a range of "people" in between
the two extremes of human and machine who, because of accidents or
disease, have been partially reconstructed as machines. The hero
of Nemesis is approximately 50% machine by the time the film's
real action starts and he is forced into fighting for the cyborgs.
This theme provides a good twist on identity politics as some
humans submit to cyborgs out of fear or ignorance, and some
cyborgs join the human side because "it's the right thing to do."
At one point our hero asks a renegade cyborg how she can commit
herself to the human side and her own destruction just because
it's the right thing to do. She responds, "isn't that enough?"
MIM likes this response, because it makes the whole movie a very
good analogy for why First World people should fight their
material interests and throw their weight in on the side of the
Third World proletariat.
The humans in Nemesis are comparable to the Third World
proletariat under imperialism. Their labor is the source of the
society the cyborgs are trying to take over just as the Third
World proletariat is responsible for the wealth First World people
Different characters continuously point out to the cyborgs leaders
that killing off all the humans will not make the cyborgs any more
human. Likewise, centuries of conquering and killing the Third
World proletariat has not made the booty from their labor any
It is correct that the Third World proletariat impose justice on
the First World, and that all those who can understand the
simplicity of that goal unite with the interests of the majority
of the world's people. Isn't that enough?
IN THE LINE OF FIRE
Clint Eastwood's latest is a rock-solid example of how liberal
analysis can take an exciting plot with intricate politics and
turn it into a walk in the park.
The story is almost one of a government that trains killers to
protect its position in international politics. The film flirts
with the contradiction of portraying the "most advanced society on
the planet" that can't even keep its own soldiers from turning on
But ultimately In the Line of Fire is the story of an aging Secret
Service agent and the poignancy of his most challenging gig as the
U.S. President's protector: trying to keep up with people half his
Eastwood plays the good cop, tormented by a bad guy who is not
only after the President, but wants to prove himself against his
opponents in the Secret Service too. Eastwood's character (Frank)
was there when JFK was shot, and is the last remaining active
agent who was in Dallas in 1963.
For whatever reason--he was too slow or valued his own life too
much--Frank failed to react in time to save the President's life.
His nemesis, who goes by the name Booth (as in John Wilkes Booth),
played by John Malkovitch, challenges Frank to take the chance
again. The Bad Guy's taunt is "I'm willing to die killing the
president and I bet you're too chicken to die taking the bullet
In the course of Frank's investigation--trying to prevent another
assassination--we find out that Booth was a CIA-trained assassin.
At some point in his service he cracked and "disappeared" himself.
Assorted federal agencies were hunting him down when he reached
out and got Frank involved.
At one point Booth points out the irony of their competition to
Frank. He spins a picture of himself, trained to kill to protect
the Amerikan way of life, while Secret Service agents are trained
to protect against assassins to protect the Amerikan way of life.
And then when the slightest detail gets turned inside out (Booth's
loyalty to god and country fizzles) they can be turned against
each other. Finally both soldiers are at blows over the Amerikan
way of life, but they're fighting some guy who used to be on the
Frank drops a lead ball on this one though; he tells Booth that's
no irony, you're just crazy. He's not the die-hard patriot who
won't admit to any flaws in his own government. But he holds that
the Amerika is more in need of a washing to eliminate the bad
seed, instead of admitting systemic failure.
One of the most memorable aspects of this film is Malkovitch.
While the film refuses to explore the contradictions of
imperialism, Malkovitch's rendition of the hired-gun-turned-on-
his-masters brings those contradictions to the foreground (if only
to be ground into oblivion by the script). --MC45
THE LAST ACTION HERO
This Arnold Schwarznegger movie got bad reviews across the country
for all the wrong reasons. The average movie-goer expected an
action movie and instead got an education in comedy.
The result was that reviewers took it as an example of the
muscular Schwarznegger's inability to act or the movie producers'
willingness to bilk the public with stupid one-liners and
low-budget action stunts. It's true that Last Action Hero does not
compare favorably with Running Man or Total Recall, but the
reviewers missed the point, because Last Action Hero is better
than most action movies.
Last Action Hero is a comedy critical of Amerikan movie tastes.
Through the device of putting a child into a movie as if the movie
were real, we realize all the ways action movies abuse their
audiences by taking advantage of their basest emotions.
We learn in particular that violence is sanitized, particularly in
relation to the hero in the movie. The hero never suffers any of
the real-world complications of the anti-alien, racist, violent,
vigilante solutions to social problems that the Amerikan public so
Indeed, the producers go so far as to have a Tony the Tiger
animated character save the last action hero from being shot. This
has the effect of exposing the idealism of the typical movie which
has a hero that is always saved and who always prevails in the
In most Hollywood action movies, the hero is saved essentially by
god, always in the nick of time. Here god is made explicit as a
ridiculous animated character and the viewer can't help noticing.
Such jolting didactic techniques combined with jokes do not leave
the Amerikan audience laughing, but it is the audience and
reviewers in the wrong for allowing themselves the comfort of
getting stuck into a brainwashed pattern of what movies are
supposed to be.
The movie comments on the use of beautiful women, violence, the
motivation of movie producers to do what sells tickets regardless
of the consequences, and the unrealistically exaggerated virtues
of heroes as contrasted with sidekicks.
The Last Action Hero argues with Hollywood that he doesn't want to
have so much violence, machismo and sex in his future acting
roles. What is pathetic is that this mildly subversive movie which
even leaves hope for action hero type movies is way beyond what
the critics will accept. --MC5
LETTERS TO MIM
I have read several issues of MIM Notes and I have seen your
flyers posted around town. All of this has aroused an interest in
Mao's teachings and how they could make a change in Amerika before
the year 2000. I would like more info about your organization and
like what it has accomplished to this point. I would also like to
know what visible changes I could make to help spread Mao Zedong's
teachings. Do you hold meetings in the area? If so I'd like to
help. I doubt if I could ever be a full-fledged Maoist because I
am a Muslim, and I doubt if most Maoists hold strong religious
beliefs, but I am nevertheless, very interested in helping the
--a new friend in the East
MIM responds: It is important for people to realize, as this
writer does, that they need to take a role in making
revolution--that revolution is not a spectator sport.
People can help spread Maoism in countless ways: from starting a
study group to build their own--and others'- -theory, and helping
MIM to build public opinion and independent power of the
oppressed. MIM always needs help writing for and distributing the
paper. MIM needs financial help. MIM needs help postering and
putting on events.
For the best short description of the party, send for the pamphlet
"What Is MIM" which is available from MIM for $2.
On the question of religion, MIM is a materialist organization and
this friend is correct that religion is contrary to materialism, a
central tenet of Marxism.
MIM tells its members and supporters not to rely on god, but on
the science of revolution. MIM believes that in practice religion
has contributed to oppressing people all over the world while
materialism has led to the liberation of many people. But we will
struggle over these and other issues of materialism and idealism
with our religious allies, as we work together.
Just read one of the flyers you taped to a phone pole down on 9th
& K. There's no question you folks are off the wall about 10
miles. Guzman is a first rate killer who, if the Peruvian
authorities had five pesetas worth of sense, would now be pushing
up daisies. You may not like the corruption inherent in Peruvian
politics, but why kill children as a means of protest?
Guzman got off real easy, in truth. Hopefully the idiots in the
Shining Path will see the light and chuck it all in and try
working for a change. Most, I suspect are smary layabouts who
prefer killing to working, strutting about like posturing
Mussolinis when, if truth be known, they couldn't hold down a
third shift job in a Burger Hut. Give it up, guys. Stand up
straight, study hard, work harder, keep your yard cleaned up, and
try being a useful neighbor.
--Antagonist in D.C. August 1993
MC17 responds: Too bad the imperialist media is so well supported
by many so-called leftist groups in it's misinformation about
Peru. They throw around the figures of 27,000 (or so) Peruvians
killed by the Communist Party of Peru (PCP, also known as the
Shining Path) so much that many people begin to believe it. In
reality the vast majority of those people were killed by the
government. The PCP does not kill children as a means of protest,
although the Peruvian government does kill everyone they can find
as a means of retaliation.
MIM is trying to be a useful neighbor, just not to the bought off
people in this country: MIM wants to be a useful neighbor to the
MC12 adds: Oh yeah, and why should people who don't have yards of
their own waste their time cleaning other people's private
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