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.
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THE MAOIST INTERNATIONALIST MOVEMENT
MIM NOTES 121 SEPTEMBER 1, 1996
MIM Notes speaks to and from the viewpoint of the world's
oppressed majority, and against the imperialist-patriarchy. Pick
it up and wield it in the service of the people. support it,
struggle with it and write for it.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. DAY OF PROTEST: MASSES RALLY TO SUPPORT SISON
2. "ALTERNATIVE" VOTE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO IMPERIALISM
3. LETTERS TO MIM AND RAIL
4. APACHE CASINO DEFIES COURT ORDER TO CLOSE:
FEDERAL COURT BACKS DOWN
5. RAPE CASE PROVOKES PSEUDO-FEMINISTS TO
RECOGNIZE POWER DIFFERENTIALS ARE HEART OF RAPE
6. PRIVILEGED KANADIANS DENY FIRST NATIONS HAVE IT WORSE
7. HOUSE PASSES ENGLISH-CHAUVINIST LAW
8. REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS UNITE:
WELFARE CUTS TARGET NON-WHITES
9. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? FBI PROMOTES XENOPHOBIA
10. MISUARI CAPITULATION IS A BAD EXAMPLE (JOSE MARIA SISON)
11. U.S. GOVERNMENT IS THE STRONGEST POWER
INTERVENING IN MY ASYLUM CASE (JOSE MARIA SISON)
12. UNITED SNAKES RECRUITS SPIES TO MONITOR
MILITANT GROUPS BEFORE APEC MEETS
13. PETITIONING IN AMERIKA FOR THE SISONS:
RESPONSES TO U.S. IMPERIALISM FROM WITHIN THE BELLY OF
14. APPEAL FOR THE GRANT OF ASYLUM TO PROF. JOSE
MARIA SISON AND FAMILY
15. UNDER LOCK AND KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONERS AND PRISONS
16. MLM ONLINE: 'DON'T CUT FUNDING FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN'
* * *
WHAT IS MIM?
The Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) is a revolutionary
communist party that upholds Marxism- Leninism-Maoism, comprising
the collection of existing or emerging Maoist internationalist
parties in the English-speaking imperialist countries and their
English-speaking internal semi- colonies, as well as the existing
or emerging Spanish-speaking Maoist internationalist parties of
Aztlan, Puerto Rico and other territories of the U.S. Empire. MIM
Notes is the newspaper of MIM. Notas Rojas is the newspaper of the
Spanish- speaking parties or emerging parties of MIM.
MIM is an internationalist organization that works from the
vantage point of the Third World proletariat; thus, its members
are not Amerikans, but world citizens.
MIM struggles to end the oppression of all groups over other
groups: classes, genders, nations. MIM knows this is only possible
by building public opinion to seize power through armed struggle.
Revolution is a reality for North America as the military becomes
over-extended in the government's attempts to maintain world
MIM differs from other communist parties on three main questions:
(1) MIM holds that after the proletariat seizes power in socialist
revolution, the potential exists for capitalist restoration under
the leadership of a new bourgeoisie within the communist party
itself. In the case of the USSR, the bourgeoisie seized power
after the death of Stalin in 1953; in China, it was after Mao's
death and the overthrow of the "Gang of Four" in 1976. (2) MIM
upholds the Chinese Cultural Revolution as the farthest advance of
communism in human history. (3) MIM believes the North American
white-working-class is primarily a non-
revolutionary worker-elite at this time; thus, it is not the
principal vehicle to advance Maoism in this country.
MIM accepts people as members who agree on these basic principles
and accept democratic centralism, the system of majority rule, on
other questions of party line.
"The theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin is universally
applicable. We should regard it not as dogma, but as a guide to
action. Studying it is not merely a matter of learning terms and
phrases, but of learning Marxism-Leninism as the science of
-- Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 208
* * *
DAY OF PROTEST:
MASSES RALLY TO SUPPORT SISON
LOS ANGELES, August 14--MIM joined supporters of the national
democratic movement in the Philippines today in protesting the
Dutch Ministry of Justice's decision to refuse Prof. Jose Maria
Sison asylum and expel him from the Netherlands. The rally in
front of the Dutch consulate was part of a worldwide "Day of
Protest" against the expulsion. Protests were also held in Manila,
The Hague, Brussels, Berlin, Oslo, Milan, Toronto, Vancouver, San
Francisco, Tokyo, Hongkong, Sydney, Melbourne and Wellington.
The Los Angeles Protest was organized by the Friends of JoMa Sison
and BAYAN International (USA).
The Dutch Ministry of Justice informed Prof. Sison on July 18 that
he would have to leave the Netherlands in four weeks, on August
15. The inJustice Ministry is using trumped up charges of
terrorism as its excuse for denying Sison asylum. Yet these
charges say that Sison was committing acts of violence or
organizing campaigns while he was either in prison or traveling
outside the Philippines.(1)
Activists participating in the Day of Protest support Sison's
position stated in a July 27 press release that "It is a matter of
duty for me to stay on in the Netherlands, if only to pursue the
asylum case to its conclusion. Were I to give up this case, then I
would be allowing the false claims and arguments of the Dutch
justice ministry to go unopposed and look as if they were
Speeches at the event stressed the fact that the Dutch Ministry of
Justice was simply doing the bidding of the United Snakes and the
Philippine government by expelling Sison. A statement distributed
at the rally stated: "If carried out, the expulsion order will
seriously disrupt the formal meetings of the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic
Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the Netherlands, in which Prof.
Sison plays an integral role. The interference by the U.S.-Ramos
Regime in the Jose Maria Sison asylum case is a ruthless scheme to
frustrate the Filipino people's aspirations for genuine freedom
and peace in the Philippines."
A supporter of BAYAN International spoke with MIM about the
hypocrisy of bourgeois "rights" -- the bourgeoisie gives lip
service to all sorts of fine ideals, but whenever these ideals get
in the way of what they want, they trample on them. MIM and this
supporter agreed that sometimes it is important to fight a
winnable battle to "hold the bourgeoisie to its word" (in order to
free a prisoner, fight censorship, etc.)
MIM adds that ultimately oppressed nations cannot count on the
imperialists to honor or support their "rights" -- some of which
(e.g. the right not to be exploited) the imperialists do not even
recognize. Revolutionary armed struggle against imperialism and
for socialism such as that waged by the NDF under the direction of
the Communist Party of the Philippines is needed in order to end
the oppression and violence of imperialism.
Activists also collected signatures on the "Appeal for the Grant
of Asylum to Prof. Sison and Family."
1. MIM Notes 120 August 15, 1996, p. 1.
2. Press statement by Jose Maria Sison July 27, 1996.
* * *
"ALTERNATIVE" VOTE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO IMPERIALISM
*Elections update*: Bob Dole announced his running mate, Jack
Kemp, who considers Ronald Reagan his role model. Bill Clinton
continues to sign bills into law that further the oppression of
Blacks, Latinos and other oppressed nations while also pushing for
passage of a bill that would give "anti-terrorist" wiretapping
freedom to the FBI so that they could even more freely conduct
covert operations (often against leftists) in Amerika. Through all
of this many leftists are wondering what kind of choice it is to
have to pick between the imperialist reactionaries and the
moderate- posing imperialist reactionaries. Some people have
turned to the alternative of Ralph Nader or other "leftist"
MIM does not support voting in the United Snakes federal or state
elections as an effective strategy at this time. The majority of
people eligible to vote in this country do not have a material
interest in opposing imperialism so there is no chance of an anti-
imperialist winning. But MIM also knows that electoralism can not
eliminate imperialism because the imperialists will not leave
power peacefully. In countries where the majority really does
oppose imperialism, the ruling class resorts to fraud or even
eliminating elections entirely. MIM does not want to send the
message that electoralism is an effective strategy, we want people
to be putting their time and energy into work that will create
revolutionary change both today and in the future.
TAKING ON RALPH NADER
None of Ralph Nader's supporters claim that he opposes
imperialism. Nader is more of a kinder-and- gentler-at-home brand
of imperialist that is not so far off from the national chauvinism
that underlies Buchanan's politics. One of Nader's agenda
statements from his 1992 campaign for president included the
following: "The American people should assume reasonable control
over the assets they have legally owned for many years so that
their use reflects citizen priorities for a prosperous America,
mindful of the needs and rights of present and future generations
of Americans to pursue happiness within benign environments."
"ALTERNATIVE" VOTE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO IMPERIALISM
Compare this with the Buchanan rhetoric pushing for more for the
Amerikan citizens and you will find a lot of similarities. Both
ignore the profits created through the exploitation of the
proletariat of the world and instead focus on the distribution of
these profits in the United Snakes where the workers are
benefiting from imperialism. Nader's rhetoric generally does not
mention redistribution of these profits even within this country
to the oppressed nationalities who are much worse off than the
whites. It is likely that Nader would say he wants to end "racial"
discrimination if he were pushed on it. But he does not offer any
plan for how to accomplish this, and he certainly would not
include the Third World in this redistribution equation.
Nader's big "leftist" policies include pushing for a 12 year term
limit, campaign finance reform and easier voter registration as
well as reforms that will empower consumers (in this country)
relative to corporations. Nader does not talk about the evils of
Capitalism because he believes in Capitalism. He believes that the
consumers in Amerika need to be protected from the big businesses
but does not care that the products these businesses are producing
are killing the people in the Third World who work long hours for
low wages, suffer environmental destruction, endure repressive
dictatorships, and live in appalling conditions. He also does not
put his energy where it should be: fighting the worst consumer
abuses of all, those that happen in the Third World where Nestle
tricks mothers into feeding their children formula rather than
breast feeding among other less public but equally horrible
Anyone supporting Ralph Nader needs to take a close look at the
message this sends. This will not tell the winning imperialists
that you want progressive reform to the system. It will tell them
that you believe the system works and at the very most it will
push for reforms that are not progressive within the context of
imperialism: more for the white workers of Amerika, ignore the
people outside of these borders. Anti-imperialists should not be
fighting for chauvinist policies that say that Amerikans deserve
more, they should focus on fighting alongside the proletariat of
the world against imperialism and chauvinism.
There are a few policies that Nader has pushed that we can agree
with. Most prominent among these is the freedom of information
work he has done trying to make more information accessible to the
public. This is something that helps progressives and MIM does
take on winnable battles like this. But when this kind of work is
balanced with Nader's overall support for imperialism and Amerika-
first chauvinism, calling on people to vote for Nader is still
incorrect and will not help the revolutionary movement.
THE "SOCIALIST" ON THE BALLOT
The other electoral strategy of leftists opposed to the
Clinton/Dole ticket is to vote for a "socialist" candidate.
(Socialist is in quotes here because none of the parties that run
these candidates today are Socialist). MIM disagrees with the
strategy of running anti-imperialist candidates in federal or even
state level elections. First, it is not a winnable battle and the
only thing people can learn from this is that the so-called
socialists leading these campaigns can't win within the electoral
arena they have chosen to fight. But before they lose, their
campaign sends the incorrect message that reform, or even
revolution, can gain ground in electoral battles within Amerika
today. This is not the case for our current conditions.
One example of this incorrect strategy is the Workers World Party
(WWP). They say "We look at the campaign as an opportunity to
bring working-class politics to a broad audience. Our message is
simple: elections don't change anything--a fighting working-class
movement will. Every vote for Workers World Party sends a message
to the capitalist class: Your days of exploitation are coming to
an end. The socialist movement is reawakening."
As an attempt to make use of the electoral discourse to talk about
our politics, this would be a better argument for MIM to run
electoral candidates than for MIM to support Nader. But the reason
for telling people to vote has no meaning. If the only point is to
tell the capitalists that their days are limited, why not make one
phone call on the behalf of everyone and save all the time and
expense of this electoral campaign? The fact is that telling
people to vote is also telling them that some kind of good can
come from this action. This statement from WWP can only mean that
they hope to influence the imperialists by showing them the
support a "Socialist" organization can gain.
Boycotting the elections and encouraging others to do so is a more
correct strategy because it makes clear to the people that we do
not hold out any false hope of victory within the electoral arena.
Boycotting the elections sends a clearer message and it is a
message that many in this country are already sending: we don't
believe reform can be achieved through these imperialist elections
and we are going to fight this battle in a more effective way.
People are less likely to vote the less income they have.(1) This
means that many in this country already understand that voting can
not make revolutionary change. We don't seek to change this
behavior, instead we want to show people what kinds of actions can
make a change and how people can fight imperialism.
MIM tells its supporters not to waste that hour voting and instead
to put that time into organizing for revolutionary change. We do
not believe that carrying out an electoral campaign puts out the
message that electoralism is a dead end. It just reinforces the
belief that people can change imperialism through the ballot box.
No where in their campaign materials does the WWP call for armed
revolution and this just reinforces the idea that voting can win
WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?
MIM says don't waste your time voting. But do spend your time
campaigning this election year. Campaign against all votes for
imperialism. Put up posters, hand out flyers, give talks, hold
debates, set up literature tables, and do anything else you can to
take advantage of the debate about the elections going on and to
turn it into a discussion about how to end imperialism. Tell
people why the Democrats are just like the Republicans and why
anyone who wins a federal or even state level election has to
support imperialism. Educate people about the alternative of
revolutionary struggle and get them involved in more than just
pulling a lever on election day.
MIM's alternative involves fighting for winnable reforms possible
under imperialism that will make the battle against imperialism
easier while fighting for revolutionary change. We are organizing
a Maoist party capable of leading the revolutionary struggle and
we are educating people and building support for progressive
causes both within US borders and around the world.
NOTE: New York Times, Week in Review, 8/11/96.
* * *
LETTERS TO MIM AND RAIL
FIRST NATIONS SHOULD PAY THE KANADIAN GOVERNMENT SALES TAX TOO
**After MIM posted an article from MIM Notes 117 "First Nations
win victory against Canadian taxes" to Usenet, we received the
"The views and opinions expressed here are my own and not those of
the Department of Canadian Heritage or the Government of Canada."
Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to work
along side several of our countries First Nations people and have
found them all to be very intelligent and reasonable folks. Their
stories and approaches to dealings in every day life are not all
that different from our own and in general people up here in the
North get along just fine.
This is of course until someone comes along and tells one group or
the other that they are entitled to certain privileges and
benefits merely because of their nationality or racial background.
The continued separation of our the people in this country on
issues such as the [Goods and Services Tax (GST)], which is
intended for Goods Services provided by Canadians to whoever
decides to utilize them, is causing severe problems in certain
areas of this country and does little for the
preservation of the national sovereignty of the First Nations
If the people do not want to pay the GST they don't have to, but
if they wish to utilize the benefits of Canadian suppliers there
is no reason why they shouldn't. I am a strong believer in the
recognition of our native friends' culture and heritage, but I
also recognize that along with the issue of self-government comes
certain fiscal responsibilities. No body of people in the world
today can exist without at least a minimal level of monetary
income to help sustain all the necessary social programs.
This is especially true in the North where the access, to certain
items that people have gotten used to, is limited. (Thus the
import/export industry) We all realize that we don't live in a
perfect world, but I think that in order to improve the system we
have today, we all need to pitch in. Not just a select few. The
few dollars you may save today by being successful in having
certain native bands exempt from the GST will cost you much more
in the long run. The traditional rights of the native people have
already been protected for the most part, modern benefits do not
fall into this category.
Thank you for your time.
-- an Internet reader in the North
MIM RESPONDS: Thank you for writing to MIM.
First, your premise that everyone gets along fine *until* a group
claims special privileges denies the rights and privileges claimed
and seized by the Kanadian people as settlers on First Nations
land in the first place. This is the "normal" situation from the
perspective of the privileged -- and it only looks special when
rights are claimed or seized by First Nations (or other oppressed)
peoples, such as the right to exemption from foreign taxation.
Introducing nationality or "race" (a pseudo-scientific category
MIM rejects) to say that these categories should not be divisive
similarly assumes that the Euro-descended people in North America
do not organize and identify as nations -- in opposition to First
Nations living within Kanada's borders. You see First Nations as a
minority group which is part of Kanada, whereas MIM supports the
full self-determination of First Nations people and national
independence from Kanada and the United Snakes.
Your concern with the preservation of national sovereignty of
First Nations people is seriously undermined by your notion that
"our people" are divided by such issues as the GST, and that
whenFirst Nations engage in trade with Kanadian suppliers they
should be subject to a Kanadian government sales tax. National
sovereignty includes the ability to engage in international trade.
When France or Belgium buys goods from Kanadian suppliers, are
they subject to the GST? Why then, should a sovereign nation
enclosed within the borders of Kanada be subject to a Kanadian
tax? If you believe in First Nations' "self" government, why do
they have special fiscal responsibility to Kanada? Why should
First Nations peoples fund social programs for Kanada?
As for pitching in and improving the system -- MIM is not
interested in improving the system of imperialism, but of
overthrowing it and creating a socialist society. Hence our
support for revolutionary national liberation struggles. Finally,
the so-called scarcity of resources in Kanada, which are massively
subsidized by super- profits from Third World labor-power, should
not be enhanced by sucking resources from First Nations in the
form of taxation.
The notes were missing from MN120 article "Netherlands threatens
to expel leader of Filipino struggle."
1. Reuters, July 27, 1996.
2. Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands (FREN), "Statement of
Against the Dutch Justice Ministry' order to expel the Sison
3. Luis Jalandoni, Press Statement, 24 July, 1996. 4. Reuters,
July 27, 1996.
* * *
APACHE CASINO DEFIES COURT ORDER TO CLOSE: FEDERAL COURT BACKS
When a federal court ruled that New Mexico's governor's word was
not good enough, and the state legislature had to be in on whether
the Apache could run their gaming as they pleased, president of
the Mescalero Apache, Wendell Chino, declared that his casino
would defy the order to close.
The court subsequently backed off a bit, granting a stay while the
tribes surrounded by New Mexico appeal the ruling. The courts,
legislature, and government of New Mexico or the United Snakes
have no legitimate right to determine what Apache or other nations
do to earn money. Self-determination is the heart of this
Governor Gary Johnson signed compacts with the First Nations which
officially allowed them to continue their practice of the past
nine years of supporting themselves by running casinos. The
legislature says it's not the governor's turf and the compacts
should be invalidated. The legislature and anti-gambling groups
urged the judge in the case to close the casinos immediately,
without the slightest reference to the people who actually should
be in control.
The tribes were not allowed to appear before the New Mexico
Supreme Court or the federal court on their own behalf, and the
lawyer appointed by the federal government did not represent the
tribes. According to Chino, "He has joined the other power brokers
against what is rightfully due to the Indian tribes."(1)
According to the co-chair of the New Mexico Indian Gaming
Association "The series of broken promises made by the United
States and the state of New Mexico gives the state virtual veto
over Indian gaming. It was precisely this outcome that we feared
when we opposed state involvement in the Indian Gaming Regulatory
According to Chino, "For over four-hundred years the Indian tribes
have fought these imbalances and we will continue to do so."(1) He
stated unequivocally that the casino run by his tribe would not
close regardless of what the white man's court said. Likely afraid
that the nations would respond with great resistance if the state
tried to stop their now-illegal casinos, the court offered a stay
on the enforcement. That means that during the appeal, the casinos
can stay open. It is a temporary victory.
THE REACTIONARIES ARE REELING
State Representative George Buffet said: "I thought the stay was
unbelievable. The idea of a judge saying, 'What you're doing is
illegal and felonious, but I'm going to allow you to keep doing
this' just doesn't make sense. It's like telling a bank robber,
'Well, it's against the law to rob banks, but while you're
appealing this, since you're from a low-income area, we're going
to let you keep on robbing banks.'"(3) Well, the First Nations of
New Mexico are not robbing banks. And in principle, there is
nothing wrong with First Nations reclaiming a little piece of what
was stolen from them. But there is a huge hypocrisy when one part
of the occupying imperialist government says that the First
Nations obeying their agreements with another part are egregious
criminals. The real criminals are the occupying governments, both
federal and state.
Richard Hughes, lead attorney for the nine tribes in the case,
said, "The tribes have long memories. They have a very distinct
sense that whenever they find something that looks too good to the
white man--land, water, minerals, whatever it happens to be --
there's going to be a backlash, and somebody's going to find a way
to grab it."(3) The state is going to have to do more than renege
on its pieces of paper to deny First Nation people their business.
Repression will breed resistance.
1. Indian Country Today, July 29-Aug 5, 1996, pp. 1-2.
2. Indian Country Today, July 22-29, 1996, pp. 1-2. 3. Los Angeles
Times, August 4, 1996, p. A20.
* * *
DEBATE SURROUNDING FIRST NATION GIRLS' RAPE PROVOKES PSEUDO-
FEMINISTS TO RECOGNIZE POWER DIFFERENTIALS ARE HEART OF RAPE
The popular imagination across Kanada has been provoked to think
critically about exactly what sorts of power define rape by a
court case: a Catholic bishop was convicted in July of one count
of rape and one count of sexual assault 30 years ago of First
Nation teenagers at a boarding school where he was principal. Two
facts that are undisputed have stirred thinking about "a question
of rape": the sex acts occurred, and the women did not say No. By
looking at opinion editorials and subsequent letters in the
somewhat liberal rather snooty Toronto Globe and Mail, we will
form a Maoist critique that pushes the boundaries to recognize
that in an unequal world, all sex is rape.
The Globe and Mail's own op ed piece was titled with the question:
"But was it rape?"(1) It's answer is No, because it is fearful of
the implications. It recognizes the power imbalance that the court
cited in considering it rape, but says that that only "makes what
Bishop O'Connor did thoroughly reprehensible"--not rape. On the
one hand, its analysis might be better than that of the pseudo-
feminists, since it maintains that it wants to minimize the number
of people in prison. If calling all sex rape means that it all has
to be prosecuted, well that is a problem (inherent in pseudo-
feminism which calls for pig "protection" of wimmin). MIM does not
support going to the pigs to stop rape.
However, the Globe and Mail goes on to minimize the impact of the
power differential. It says that rape is only when there is
"violence or threat of violence," and continues: "There was not
even threat of dire consequences: firing, demotion, public
embarrassment. There was only the implied threat of the priest's
position." MIM would challenge this "only." The priest's position,
of employer, academic official, and patriarch, is plenty of threat
to make real consent impossible. This case is much more obvious
than the majority of cases which MIM would call rape, wherein
differentials in power between groups are sufficient to make real
A more interesting opinion editorial was published the same day,
on the opposite page.(2) Pseudo- feminist columnist Margaret Wente
asked the same question: "Was it really rape?" She comes to the
conclusion "Yes, it really was." Her logic is mostly correct, and
exposes the bankruptcy in pseudo-feminism's insistence that not
all sex is rape.
Wente correctly starts out by pointing out coercion in cases
everyone can agree on. If a bank robber with a gun demands money,
there is no doubt of what is going on and the pigs won't assume
that the teller who handed it over was a willing party. Similarly,
sex at gunpoint is pretty universally accepted as rape.
But the lack of a gun does not answer the question of whether it
was rape. Wente asks "But what if there was no gun? What if he did
not physically overpower her, or issue threats? What if she could
have objected but didn't, could have run away, but didn't? What if
she allowed him to have sex with her several more times, over an
extended period, and kept quiet about it for decades? Could that
possibly be rape?" Yes, it could, on this she and MIM agree. When
someone who's No will not be listened to does not register that
No, it does not make the sex consensual.
Wente correctly, if opportunistically given pseudo- feminists poor
track record on listening to oppressed nations, brings in the
opinions of the First Nation people about the rapes. A generation
of First Nation children was forced far away from their families
to residential schools controlled by the church and/or state, and
according to Wente, "many members of the native community...regard
these women's stories as an act of witness against the spiritual
and physical violence inflicted on a generation of native
It is true that these stories are a testament to the brutality of
the colonialism of the church and state in Kanada. However, if
First Nation people are fooled into believing that this one case
shows that the Kanadian government itself can right the wrongs,
they are woefully mistaken. Bringing the bishop to a Kanadian
court is not correct. Now First Nations cannot prosecute the rapes
committed by bishops themselves--that is Kanada's stolen
jurisdiction. But they must not rely on the imperialists to yield
token apologies, and must instead struggle to build the
independent power to determine their own justice. Many, including
in territory surrounded by British Columbia, are doing just that
as epitomized in the standoff at Gustafsen Lake last year.
Wente concludes her piece by pointing to the progress in the
general consciousness as a result of feminist struggles. "Thirty
years ago most people would have let the bishop off the hook
because the 19-year-old secretary didn't say no. Today we know
that men do not always need weapons or even threats to abuse their
power, and that sex can be coercive without being violent. We know
that submission is not consent."
Well MIM knows that submission is not consent, but we doubt that
Wente does. Wente is caught in a bind because according to her own
analysis, a difference in power is sufficient to determine that
sex is rape. She is correct that if there is a difference of
power, even if it is not "abused," it is rape. MIM would challenge
Wente to take this seriously and disown the strategy of
incarcerating individual rapists.
The Saturday after these editorials were published, the Globe and
Mail printed some responses that were also interesting.(3) Two
supported Wente's position, and one dissented.
The first letter was from a member of the Coalition of Concerned
Canadian Catholics, a group founded by a diocese in Newfoundland
in the wake of exposures of sexual abuse there. He advocated
reform from within for the Catholic Church as a further
rectification after supporting the conviction of the bishop in
His commission concluded that "Sexual abuse is clearly not a
factor which has infected the church alone...but it is a problem
in which the church shares as an active agent in society. A
patriarchal (male-dominated) society has been reinforced by the
authoritarian institutional Roman Catholic Church. Historically,
as such attitudes became
institutionalized in the policies and structures of the church and
society, they provided strong cultural and social support for
oppression, where one person or group dominates or exploits the
This is a remarkably correct analysis coming from the Catholic
church, and makes it understandable how a minority of Catholic
leaders can be incorporated into a United Front in places like the
Philippines. This letter-writer has correctly described problems
in the Catholic Church and society historically, but can only be
drawn to the right side under feminist proletarian leadership. The
ideal society he describes can only be achieved under communism,
an end ultimately incompatible with Catholicism and other
The second letter in support of Wente was from an Member of
Parliament (MP) from Yukon calling for a more complete criticism
of the residential schools, describing them as prisons for First
Nation members. She relates: "I remember clearly several years ago
talking with aboriginal friends about a film in which prisoners
were beaten and killed by prison authorities. I was shocked when
one of them said, and the others agreed, that it reminded them of
This is a powerful illustration of the context of these particular
rapes, as MIM readers are well aware of the horrors of rape and
abuse of prisoners. However, her solution is even more bankrupt
than the Catholic's. She says the solution is better policies on
the part of Kanada. While this might help short-term, the real
solution is policies put forth by First Nations themselves.
The third and final letter, the only one from a random citizen,
criticizes Wente. He is pro- patriarchy posing as pro-womyn,
pretending he is the one who wants to empower wimmin. He asks "Is
[Wente] saying that women cannot be held responsible for their
actions?" He says that since the law says that a 14-year-olds can
consent to everyone except a person "in a position of trust--a
teacher, police officer, priest" and that 16-year- olds can give
"full consent," the fact that the woman who won the rape
conviction was 19 proved that it was not rape.
He says that her "consenting" was just a matter of a "bad
decision" on her part. He continues: "Regretted sex is not rape,
as Ms. Wente and others would have us believe. To argue anything
else is to argue that women are not responsible beings and should
be returned to the position of being considered a ward or a
MIM does indeed argue "something else," and that is in no way
advocating chattel status for women. This letter suggests that
recognizing that power is unequal is equivalent to wishing it so,
which is wrong. MIM recognizes that power is unequal, with regard
to nation, class, and gender including age, in order to abolish
that power differential.
1. Toronto Globe and Mail, July 27, 1996. 2. Toronto Globe and
Mail, July 27, 1996. 3. Toronto Globe and Mail, August 3, 1996.
* * *
PRIVILEGED KANADIANS DENY FIRST NATIONS HAVE IT WORSE
According to a survey commissioned by the Department of Indian
Affairs, almost half of people living in the Kanadian empire, and
more than two- thirds of those living in the Kanadian province of
Quebec, think that First Nations have a standard of living as good
as or better than "the average Canadian." While other so-called
leftist parties might call this willful disregard of facts simple
ignorance, MIM recognizes that the reactionary average Kanadian
has a stake in denying the misery of the First Nations.
According to the United Nations, Kanada is the best place in the
world to live. When averaging the numbers for different groups and
regions and including internal colonies, Kanada has low infant
mortality, high literacy, near-universal housing, and good
nutrition. But for the First Nations Kanada surrounds, none of
these things are true. Nearly half of all First Nation members are
unemployed. How could they possibly approach the standard of
living of Kanadians? Their housing, schools, and nutrition levels
all make the First Nations have more in common with Third World
neo- colonies than with white Kanadians.
Kanadians should be aware of this disparity. A surge in First
Nation radicalism has brought even bourgeois media attention as
police violently squelched protest from Gustafsen Lake, B.C., to
Ipperwash, Ontario. As First Nation people occupy their rightful
land, and meet repression with resistance, Kanada is forced to pay
attention. If white people still deny the injustice against First
Nations, it is because they refuse to face the contradictions
between their bourgeois ideology and the material conditions of
oppressed nations within KKKanada. "Equal rights" in a country
that exists on stolen land. "Equal opportunity" in a country
marked by disparate education. "Equality before the law" when
First Nation activism is quelled through violent repression. This
ideological rhetoric is a facade which must be exposed so that the
white nation chokes on the disparity between kkkanadians and First
NOTE: Toronto Globe and Mail, July 25, 1996.
* * *
HOUSE PASSES ENGLISH-CHAUVINIST LAW
In August, the House of Representatives passed a law that would
make English the official language of the United Snakes. The
lawmakers argued that "America" is splitting apart and that the
federal government printing ballots in multiple languages or
helping people apply for a Social Security card in Vietnamese was
encouraging this separatism. The lawmakers feared that the
"ethnic" struggle in the former Yugoslavia or Quebec's French-
speaking separatist movement could foreshadow struggle within the
Clinton opposes the bill, and the New York Times called the fate
of the bill in the Senate "uncertain." Speaker Newt Gingrich
summed up the position of the bill's supporters: "Is there a thing
we call American? Is it unique? Is it vital historically to assert
and establish that English is the common language at the heart of
He objected to the fact that California public schools teach in 80
languages, and the Chicago schools use 100 languages. Gingrich
said, "This isn't bilingualism. This is a level of confusion,
which if it was allowed to develop for another 20 or 30 years
would literally lead, I think, to the decay of the core parts of
The argument that languages other than English are signs of decay
of our civilization is just pure Amerikan chauvinism. While
overestimating the reach of current government multilingual
efforts, he is correct that the government has an interest in
forcible assimilation of non-Amerikans into Amerika. Currently,
97% of U.S. residents speak English well, and less than 1% of
Federal documents are printed in languages other than English.
According to Gingrich, this is not an adequate stick to encourage
English speaking and discourage non-English speakers from passing
through U.S. borders. That Gingrich uses the word "decay" to
describe the United Snakes with more non-English speakers exposes
the chauvinism of his position.
NOTE: New York Times, August 2, 1996, p. A10.
* * *
REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS UNITE:
WELFARE CUTS TARGET NON-WHITES
President Clinton succumbed to election-year pressure and signed a
new welfare reform bill on August 1. The bill reduces federal
funding for social programs for the poor, including food stamps,
and restricts federal welfare money from being used by legal
immigrants who are not yet citizens. The bill is expected to save
the federal government $55 billion over 6 years(2). Overall
federal spending has been reduced, and many specific programs are
no longer mandated. States will now receive "block grants" with
which to fund their own aid programs, with their own
requirements. Importantly, however, states will not be allowed to
use federal block grant money to fund programs or aid for families
who have been on welfare for a total of 5 years. States may set
The purpose of the welfare system is to pacify the oppressed.
Unable to find jobs to feed themselves or their families, the
government avoids revolution by giving the poor money--up to two-
thirds of the government poverty line.
Subsidies to the poor are unpopular with the Amerikan settlers and
in an election year, Clinton was forced to reverse himself and
sign a bill that was similar to two he had vetoed previously. This
isn't the first time Clinton bent to settler pressure. During his
1992 campaign, he pledged to "end welfare as we know it." The
struggle between the Republicans and the non-election year
Democrats on issues like welfare is not an issue between"cruel"
and "kind" but a struggle over different ways to maintain an
The white working class serves as the mass base for fascism in
North America. Normally they are apathetic politically in exchange
for their bloated wages. Not having a direct role in leading
imperialism they have a distorted view about the proportions of
government spending. Taking the view that serves their own narrow
interests, the labor aristocracy is more likely to see "welfare"
parasitism in poor people than in military contractors, who take a
bigger piece of the federal budget. Another purpose of welfare is
to serve as a subsidy to urban landlords and agricultural
corporations. Cutting welfare will force the government to
redirect some of the welfare "savings" towards direct subsidizes
to these far- from-oppressed individuals and groups.
According to a New York Times poll, 78% of Amerikans favor
"limiting how long mothers with young children can receive welfare
benefits." When the question was changed to add the words "If this
meant that many children would be living in households with no
income...", 33% still favored it.(1) This is the mass base for the
Republican- backed bill and Clinton's signature on it. The result
of this bill will mean further misery for the oppressed and will
push them closer to revolution. This is the contradiction that the
bourgeoisie has gotten itself into: making concessions to maintain
labor aristocracy support that will destabilize Amerika's hold on
the oppressed nations.
The labor aristocracy believes incorrectly that the majority of
people on welfare are Black women with lots of kids living high on
the hog. The chauvinist phony-left in Amerika responds to this
garbage by arguing that the majority of people on welfare are
white, so good racists should support welfare, because so many
welfare recipients are white.
This is a factually incorrect view that only encourages more white
nation chauvinism. Whites are the majority within U.S. borders,
but they are disproportionately not represented on welfare. Most
importantly, the position of whites on welfare is most often
transitory, whereas oppressed nations are more likely to be
trapped below the poverty line.
Blacks are 13% of the people within U.S. borders, and they make up
23% of those on welfare for 2 years or less, and 34% of those on
welfare for more than 5 years. "Hispanics" (a government and New
York Times word and distinction) are 10% of the population, 13% of
those on welfare for 2 years or less, and 23% of those on welfare
for 5 or more years. This means that Blacks and "Hispanics" are
more than twice *over-represented* in those on welfare for more
than 5 years.(2,3)
The bourgeoisie cleverly seized upon this fact and legislated a
"legal" way to cut oppressed nations off of welfare without having
to admit they were doing that. By targeting families on welfare
for more than 5 years over their lifetimes, more white people are
excluded from the cuts. Once again the bourgeoisie cements it's
alliance with the settlers by further increasing the distance
between the white nation and oppressed nationals.
1. New York Times August 2, 1996 p. A19. 2. New York Times August
1, 1996, p. A1, A23. 3. World Almanac and Book of Facts 1996, Funk
and Wagnalls, Mahwah NJ, p. 382.
* * *
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? FBI PROMOTES XENOPHOBIA
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and local Amerikan pig
departments are intensifying suspicion of non-Amerikans in the
United Snakes. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has
approved a plan marking immigrants and visitors as primary targets
of the defense against the supposed threat of terrorism from the
"After hearing an overview from the FBI and county Sheriff's
Department, the [Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors]
unanimously endorsed formation of a multi-agency, anti-terrorist
working group that will immediately review security measures at
airports and develop plans to train and equip emergency response
units.... " The board acted after Charles H. Middleton, assistant
special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office, and
Helena Ashby, chief of detectives for the Sheriff's Department,
told the supervisors that the terrorist threat is heightened by
this region's diversity.
The pigs accurately note that where First and Third World meet,
there will likely be violence. But the law and order bigots' talk
of a "threat" from outside, and their necessary "response" is a
gross misrepresentation of imperialist reality. The United Snakes
exploits proletarians and steals resources the world over. Third
World people who move to Amerika are following their own
countries' resources into U.S. borders. So the notion of Amerika
being threatened by Third World peoples is false: the only threat
is that the international proletariat will some day topple U.S.
imperialism, ending parasitic Amerikan hegemony.
"'The threat to the Los Angeles area...is based on the diverse
ethnic makeup of Los Angeles,' Middleton said. 'Nearly every
segment of violent worldwide conflict is represented here in L.A.'
Middleton said the region's geographic location as an
'international door to the world' makes it more vulnerable...."
MIM opposes closed-border policies as an extension of the division
between U.S. imperialism and its victims. As a country built by
the labor of non- citizens, Amerika belongs to the people it is
working so hard to keep out.
NOTE: Los Angeles Times, 8/7/96, p. B1.
* * *
MISUARI CAPITULATION IS A BAD EXAMPLE
**By Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant,
National Democratic Front of the Philippines July 17, 1996**
I wish to respond to the so-called challenge of Mr. Ramos that I
return to the Philippines in order to follow the example of Nur
Misuari and thereby prove my sincerity.
I do not wish to follow the bad example of Misuari who has totally
exposed himself as a
capitulationist, abandoning the revolutionary struggle of the Moro
people for self-determination and democracy, and scrambling for
positions and money under the Manila government.
Misuari is a puppet not only of Mr. Ramos but also of the US and
certain pro-US member-states in the Organization of Islamic
Conference (OIC). These states are interested in exploiting the
people and the oil and other natural resources in Mindanao.
As a result of satellite findings by the US National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) that Asia s largest oil deposit
lies in Mindanao, the US has pressed the Ramos regime and the pro-
US member states in the OIC since 1992 to compel Misuari to
The US oil companies are already exploiting the oil resources in
Northwestern Palawan and plan to do the same in the Sulu Sea.
Malaysia s Petronas is already exploring the Cotabato basin.
The surrender of Misuari and his flagrant conversion into a
traditional politician or trapo and warlord can only result in the
aggravation of problems and the intensification of armed
resistance in Mindanao. The Moro and non-Moro people, all the
revolutionary forces among them and the other armed Moro
organizations are determined to resist the Ramos-Misuari combine.
I will certainly return to the Philippines for reasons totally
different from those of Misuari. I will do so under circumstances
decided by the NDFP.
The NDFP is a revolutionary force of the Filipino people for
national liberation and democracy. The leaders of the NDFP are
entirely different from the capitulationist type like Misuari.
I wish to remind Mr. Ramos that under The Hague Joint Declaration
of 1992 there is the provision about mutually acceptable
principles and no surrender of any side to the other.
I also wish to remind him that under the Joint Agreement on Safety
and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) of 1995 the formal meetings of the
GRP and the NDFP negotiating panels and reciprocal working
committees must be in a neutral venue abroad.
The NDFP is eager to finish the work on the comprehensive
agreement on respect for human rights and international
humanitarian law, which is the first item of the substantive
agenda. But the GRP is the one delaying the work.
* * *
U.S. GOVERNMENT IS THE STRONGEST POWER INTERVENING IN MY ASYLUM
By Jose Maria Sison
August 4, 1996**
By bending to the pressures of Manila and Washington to deny me
asylum in the Netherlands, the Dutch justice ministry violates not
only the 21 February 1995 decision of the Dutch Council of State
but also the treaty obligations of the Dutch state under the
Refugee Treaty of Geneva and the European Convention on Human
Rights on Human and Fundamental Freedoms.
In order to continue treating my asylum case as a political case
rather than as a juridical case, the Dutch justice ministry uses
unfounded and malicious claims already abandoned by the Manila
government and repeatedly nullified by the Dutch Council of State.
The Dutch government is overeager to please the Manila government
because of the enormous interests of such Dutch monopoly firms as
Shell, Unilever, ING-Barings and Philips in the Philippines. But
the strongest power unlawfully intervening in my asylum case is
the US government, which has far larger interests in the
Philippines than the Dutch government.
In 1991 an agent of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and
an officer of the Dutch intelligence service (BVD) jointly
approached a Filipino asylum-seeker, Nathan Quimpo, and asked him
to become an intelligence asset of the CIA with the principal task
of spying on me in exchange for a monthly salary in US dollars,
approval of his application for asylum in the Netherlands and a US
At that time, Quimpo refused to become a CIA asset and cooperated
with journalists of a Dutch TV news program in videotaping and
exposing his meeting with the CIA and the BVD agents in Amsterdam.
However, he started to write articles against me personally and
against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in
In 1993 Quimpo was able to travel to the US despite his
participation in the exposure of the CIA and BVD agents, which had
caused quite a stir in the Netherlands and merited an inquiry in
the Dutch parliament. In early 1994 he was able to get his status
as political refugee in the Netherlands. His anti-Sison and anti-
NDFP articles were used as attachments to the brief submitted by
the Dutch justice ministry to the Dutch Council of State in 1994.
One of the false claims made by the Dutch justice ministry against
me is responsibility for Kampanyang Ahos, a bloody witchhunt,
which took place in Mindanao in 1985 and 1986 when I was still
under maximum security detention by the US-Marcos regime. It is
widely known in the Philippines and abroad that I have strongly
condemned this crime and those chiefly responsible for it. It is
preposterous that the Dutch justice ministry would blame me for
this crime and at the same time grant Quimpo with asylum in the
Netherlands. Quimpo is notorious in the Philippines for having
been a member of the so-called caretaker committee which launched
and carried out Kampanyang Ahos in Mindanao from 1985 to 1986.
* * *
UNITED SNAKES RECRUITS SPIES TO MONITOR MILITANT GROUPS BEFORE
**BAYAN HITS US FOR RECRUITING SPIES TO MONITOR MILITANT GROUPS IN
CL, METROBEFORE APEC MEET (written by Bayan)**
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and KMU chairman Crispin
Beltran yesterday exposed what he termed as "direct intervention
by the United States in an attempt to stifle legitimate dissent in
Beltran made the statement following the discovery of a plan by
the US Embassy to recruit eight agents to monitor militant groups
in Central Luzon and the National Capital Region (NCR), five
months before the holding of the fourth summit of the Asia-
Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in Subic this November.
The Bayan chairman said last June 17, the Embassy sent out a
notice to US citizens and Filipino agents about its need for four
intelligence agents in Metro Manila to "gather information on
activities of militant students, labor groups, and similar
organizations utilized by subversive elements whose activities are
directed against the US Mission."
The same notice, Beltran revealed, also called for applicants to
"monitor the peace and order situation in urban areas as well as
in the provinces, and to keep the Regional Security Office
Rafael Mariano, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
(KMP), said KMP sources in Central Luzon have gathered that at
least four agents were already recruited in that region, where
militant labor, student and farmer organizations are mounting
campaigns against the US-led APEC summit.
Citing a document obtained from the US Embassy, Mariano stressed
the agents to be recruited will also be tasked to "assist the
Regional Security Office in establishing and maintaining effective
liaison between the US Embassy and local authorities.
Mariano explained the discovery of the document came days after a
former agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Brian
Jenkins, told the House defense committee led by Tarlac
[unintelligible] 100 percent probability of a terrorist attack
during the APEC summit."
Bayan said the revelation "confirms our worst fears that the US is
again on a rampage, creating a situation of terror in the
Philippines to justify strict security measures that could include
crackdowns and sabotage activities against legitimate people's
organizations like Bayan, KMU, KMP, GABRIELA, the League of
Filipino Students (LFS), and other militant organizations.
"It is bad enough that the Ramos government has historically
chosen to equate militancy and legitimate dissent with subversion.
But to have a foreign government like the United States directly
take a hand in the systematic prosecution of a sovereign nation's
people's organizations is totally outrageous and should not be
condoned," Beltran stressed.
Jenkins had suggested US involvement in the planning of an
elaborate security system for the APEC meeting, saying that since
the US is the only superpower left in the world, then it must
exercise control over the security of the APEC summit.
Beltran slammed the US Embassy for starting another hysteria to
justify Washington's direct
intervention in the Ramos regime's plan to sanitize the country of
so-called "terrorists" and set the stage for a crackdown, months
before the APEC meeting.
Bayan called the US Embassy's Regional Security Office (RSO) a
front for a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station and urged
nationalist legislators in Congress to immediately launch a
thorough investigation on the activities of the RSO.
* * *
PETITIONING IN AMERIKA FOR THE SISONS:
RESPONSES TO U.S. IMPERIALISM FROM WITHIN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST
CITIES ACROSS THE UNITED SNAKES, August 12-14 -- MIM and RAIL
activists collected signatures on the "Appeal for the Grant of
Asylum for Prof. Sison and Family." MIM and RAIL are petitioning
to stop to unlawful expulsion of the Sison family from the
Netherlands as a means of organizing the masses in the United
Snakes against their own government's support of brutality
internationally. Here we report and comment on some of the
responses we have gotten to the petition.
MIM participates in winnable battles like the Sison asylum case
because they can be instrumental in an eventual revolutionary
victory. As MIM Notes has reported, branding Prof. Sison as a
terrorist gives the Dutch government a bogus excuse to expel him
from the Netherlands, which interferes with peace negotiations
between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Sison would also be
in potential physical danger if he is forced back to the
As activists working within U.S. borders, MIM and RAIL have a
special responsibility to our comrades struggling to win national
self-determination against U.S. imperialism and its compradors. As
Prof. Sison said in a press statement on August 4, "the strongest
power unlawfully intervening in my asylum case is the U.S.
government, which has far larger interests in the Philippines than
the Dutch government."
THE MASSES RESPOND TO THE APPEAL
In one city, Third World exiles we spoke to about the petition
were both willing to listen to our discussion of the Sison case
because of our work in the interests of the international
proletariat, and also interested in getting involved in future
work around the Philippines. In another city, a visitor from the
Netherlands, where Sison is applying for asylum, signed the
One womyn MIM and RAIL spoke to was very interested in the
petition because s/he had heard about the case of Sara Balabagan
and became interested in the Philippines.(1) This womyn agreed
with us that feminism should encompass Third World wimmin's
struggles and not be restricted to First World wimmin's concerns.
We ran into one major problem with some wimmin we spoke to: while
they agreed that this was an important case and were willing to
sign the petition, they insisted that they did not know enough
about the Philippines to get involved in activism opposing U.S.
imperialism there. MIM struggles with wimmin to investigate
revolutionary activism and take up politics rather than succumbing
to the belief that they do not know enough. Patriarchy teaches
wimmin to think that they cannot make decisions and that they are
stupid, and buying into this socialization gives First World
wimmin an easy way out of political struggle. MIM calls on
progressive First World wimmin to combat patriarchal socialization
and take up revolutionary politics.
A large group of Black youth in one city were initially
uninterested in this case but became convinced that there is a
link between Black struggles within U.S. borders and struggles of
oppressed nations against U.S. imperialism abroad. Some of these
young people signed the petition for asylum with the understanding
that just as white government pigs have no legitimate authority in
the Black community, the U.S. military has no place in the
By far the most negative response to our requests to sign the
petition was from people who refused to investigate the Sison case
because of MIM's involvement. This is classic sectarianism:
refusing to investigate an organization's politics because of
immutable opinions about the
organization itself. Sectarianism is both a politically dangerous
and decadent practice.
MIM argues that revolutionary politics are much too serious to be
impeded by sectarian nonsense. In this case, an individual who has
no criticism of the Philippine revolution chose to ignore an
important case with consequences that could endanger a family's
life in the name of not taking up activism that MIM is involved
One person we spoke to about the petition, and about U.S.
imperialism in the Philippines suggested that as a political
party, MIM should run candidates in the Amerikan government
elections. MIM opposes voting and participation in bourgeois
elections generally because these activities are an exercise in
choosing between different imperialists and different imperialist
policies. This is a waste of time which diverts political energy
from real political issues. No Amerikan president is going to
oppose U.S. imperialism in the Philippines, so instead of messing
in presidential races, MIM works to support the revolution in the
Philippines as we know that the Filipino people are the only ones
who will be able to liberate themselves from imperialism.
Many people MIM talked to gained an understanding of Sison's case
and the Filipino struggle generally, and of the relationship
between the United Snakes and the Philippines. Those individuals
who wondered why they had not heard about Sison's case through the
Amerikan media agreed with MIM that it is necessary to build
independent media of the oppressed to get out information about
revolutionary struggles. MIM calls on all people who agree with us
on the importance of Jose Maria Sison's case to get involved: sign
and distribute copies of the petition on page six, write to us for
more information on the revolution in the Philippines, read MIM
Notes and Maoist Sojourner.NOTE: Sara Balabagan was a 16-year-old
Filipina domestic worker in the United Arab Emirates when she was
sentenced to death for killing her employer who had attempted to
rape her at knife-
point.(Maoist Sojourner no. 6 November 1995, p. 7) The Ramos
regime, in an effort to camouflage its own role in the degradation
of Filipino laborers, later hired a lawyer for Balabagan. But as a
reporter asked when publicizing this case, "what kind of system
... can drive away even a 15-year- old girl to work as a maid in a
far-away land?"(Maoist Sojourner no. 8 Feb. 1996, p. 4) It was
after protests swarmed that the court held a retrial and Sara's
family was allowed to buy her life for US$40,000.
* * *
APPEAL FOR THE GRANT OF ASYLUM TO PROF. JOSE MARIA SISON AND
Office of the Prime Minister
c/o Dutch Parliament
2500 EA s'-Gravenhage
Ministry of Justice
2500 GC s'-Gravenhage
We hereby appeal to the government of the Netherlands to respect
and follow the February 1995 and 21 February 1996 decision of the
Raad van State on the asylum case of Prof. Jose Maria Sison and
family. The decision lays down the following points:
1. Prof. Sison is a political refugee with a well-grounded fear of
persecution in the sense of the Refugee Treaty of Geneva.
2. He cannot be sent back to the Philippines and is entitled to
protection under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
We protest the 04 June 1996 negative decision of the Dutch justice
ministry which seeks to violate or circumvent the above decision
of the Raad van State. If the justice ministry is allowed to
overturn the Raad van State decision, who else can qualify for
asylum status in the Netherlands?
The negative decision of the Dutch justice ministry pays lip
service to the decision of the Raad van State but repeats the same
false accusations and false arguments which the Raad van State has
already heard and considered; and denies asylum to Prof. Sison in
the Netherlands in particular.
What seems to be the only new argument of the Dutch justice
ministry is its own argument that Article 3 of the European
Convention does not necessarily mean the grant of asylum. But the
justice ministry conveniently forgets that Prof. Sison has already
been recognized as a political refugee by the Raad van State. We
demand that the Dutch justice ministry cease to obscure the Raad
van State decision that Prof. Sison is a political refugee by
endlessly repeating false claims and false arguments already
considered worthless by the Raad van State.
At this point in time, the Dutch justice ministry must realize
that while it continues to slander Prof. Sison, who is already
adjudged a political refugee, the high officials of the Manila
government which has fed defamatory information against him are
publicly offering high positions to him in a futile attempt to
lure him back to the Philippines under their terms.
The Dutch justice ministry must also realize that Prof. Sison has
been active in the ongoing peace talks between the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) and the Philippine
government. It is ridiculous that while the Dutch foreign ministry
hosts these talks, the Dutch justice ministry is trying to
undermine the talks by expelling the NDF chief political
consultant who has been fulfilling a crucially important role in
the talks. It is a matter of justice that asylum be granted to
Prof. Sison in the Netherlands.
It is also a matter of general interest that the Dutch government
fulfill its obligations under the Refugee Treaty and the European
Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This general
interest concerning political refugees is even higher than the
narrower political and economic interests involved in bilateral
relations between the Dutch government and the Philippine
government or even with the U.S. government.
It is totally reprehensible for the Dutch justice ministry to
convert the asylum procedure from a juridical process to a
political process in the case of Prof. Sison. The justice ministry
has blocked his asylum request for nearly eight years. It must
cease to delay or even try to deprive him of his right to asylum,
which has been decided as duly belonging to him by the Raad van
Stop the expulsion of the Sison Family!
Protect and advance the rights of all political asylum-seekers!
NAME: SIGNATURE: ADDRESS: DATE:
SUPPORT THE SISON FAMILY -- DOWNLOAD, COPY DISTRIBUTE, COLLECT
SIGNATURES FOR, AND SEND IN THE ABOVE APPEAL!
* * *
UNDER LOCK AND KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONERS AND PRISONS
IN REMEMBRANCE OF ZIYON YISRAYAH
The following two letters were written in remembrance of Ziyon
Yisrayah (slave name(s/n) Tommie Smith) who was legally murdered
by the State of Indiana in the early hours of July 18, 1996.
On December 11, 1980 the police made a pre-dawn raid on the home
of Ziyon, Ajamu and Kondo Nassor (s/n Earl Resnover). As a result,
one police officer was killed and Ziyon was wounded. Ziyon, Ajamu
and Kondo were politically active, and had a history of exchanges
with the local police because of their stand against social
injustices perpetrated against Blacks in the community.
Both Ajamu Nassor and Ziyon Yisrayah were sentenced to be
executed, even though there is strong evidence that the police
officer was shot by someone else. Ajamu Nassor was legally
murdered by the State of Indiana on December 8, 1994 and Ziyon
Yisrayah was legally murdered by the State of Indiana on July 18,
IN DE STORM
*July 18th, 1996, 12:00 midnight*
There came a storm. A storm that rocked de tombs of Michigan City
Prisons disciplinary segregation unit and "X-Row" (death row) that
was so profound and so heartfelt that mere words are too
inadequate to express de electricity that flowed throughout de
Convicts, particularly Afrikan men, expressed our Black rage in
solidarity against de racist murder of our Brotha and comrade
Ziyon Yisrayah by de neo- kkkolonialist state. As it stormed
inside de tombs, so too did it storm outside. [Š]
i recall wondering as i kicked and shook de bars, if Ziyon could
hear or feel us. Diz made me put all my energy into it, b'cuz i
wanted him to hear and feel us, in spite of distance between Us
and de murder room. i remembered comrade Ajamu Nassor, Ziyon's
rapy, whom de fascist pigs had murdered in December of 94, and de
storm grew. You could feel de pain from de westside of seg. and
even from beneath us in X-Row. It was as if We were trying to send
a message out to Ziyon and We were all writing with de same pen.
De message read: "We luv you Bro. and We will continue to struggle
for liberation. Your blood and de blood of those before you will
not go unavenged! For diz is de day of de guerrilla -- de final
Ziyon was pronounced dead at 1:21 A.M. by de imperialist state,
but de people pronounce him forever alive. There is no doubt in my
mind that Ziyon got our message or felt our luv for him. Nope, no
doubt at all.....for it was written in de storm.
'In remembrance of Ziyon Yisrayah' Let his last words forever be
written upon our hearts: "All that is necessary for evil to
prevail, is for man to do nothing"
Abolish de death penalty. Free all P.P./P.O.W.'s Uhuru Sasa!!!
--An Indiana Prisoner, July 18th, 1996
Today is the day that a comrade, a brother and friend name Ziyon
Yisrayah is scheduled to be murdered. As i sit at my make ship
desk of cardboard, sitting a top a folded mattress drafting motion
after motion in an attempt to defeat the bogus charges of
conspiracy to riot and
threatening, my head is filled with thoughts of my brother, friend
As i sit here i gaze through the bars at the many filled sack
lunches strewn across the floor, thrown and rejected by
approximately 104 men of all nationalities housed on this lock up
unit, who refused to eat for the next 2 days in protest of
premeditated murder. i think about the sacrifice these men are
making who have been on total lockdown for 47 days only receiving
two cold sack lunches a day. And then any thoughts return back to
my/Our brother, friend and Comrade Ziyon and the larger sacrifice
he has made. [Š]
As i sit here reflecting with simmering rage i listen to the
silence of the unit and the whisper of oppression. Quiet because
approximately 104 men refuse to speak for the next 2 days in
protest of premeditated murder. Hearing nothing but an occasional
shout/alarm of "One time!" warning others that a kop, a potential
murderer is in the area on patrol.
As i sit here thinking and observing this New Afrikan womyn kop
who goes out of her way to be liberal rationing out toilet paper,
she seems so far removed from today's scheduled events. As she
leans over with a smile to place two rolls of toilet paper in the
cell door, her eyes show she does not overstand why i do not
acknowledge her, do not acknowledge her smile. In my mind i ask
her what if it was your brother, friend and comrade who just two
floors below was scheduled to be murdered? Would you be so quick
to smile, to flirt? Would you be so far removed from this reality
in which you find yourself?
i often think about the kops who try to befriend Us and yet are a
part of the death squad/execution team and you never knowing it.
Imagine being on death row and befriending a kop who secretly
belonged to the death squad, who was secretly conspiring to help
murder you and you never know it until the last night of your life
when he approaches the cage you in with handcuffs in hand and says
"It's time". How would that make you feel And yet they charge me
and my brothers with conspiring to riot! Conspiracy to stop a
i think about this saturday on July 13th as i sat in a 2 by 3 foot
sweltering non-contact visiting booth, visiting with a comrade
from BCAC [Brew City Anti-Authoritarian Collective] through bullet
proof glass with thick steel bars across the front of it. This
sweltering booth with the solid steel door with slit window and 6
by 6 inch hole set in the middle of it and red telephone. In my
minds eye i see the symbolism of this day as 40 to 50 friends,
comrades, allies and supporters demonstrated at the front prison
gate demanding the re-opening of Ziyon's case and the dismissal of
the bogus charges filed against myself and a total of 12 others.
People the price of our lives must increase. Burning candles have
never saved any of Us and burning candles over Our corpses have
never stopped the next one from being murdered. As you sit in the
comfort of your homes and return back to you "normal" lives, put
yourself in Ziyon's place and ask yourself if it was you what
would you want someone on the streets to do for you?
Just as comrade Ajamu Nassor's, murdered by the state on 12-8-94,
spirit continues to live and inspire Us so shall comrade Ziyons.
Brother, friend and Comrade from those of Us who cared and gave a
damn may you rest in peace.
The Struggle Continues!!
--An Indiana Prisoner, July 17, 1996
PRISONERS SENT TO SUPERMAX FOR SILENT PROTEST
The National Campaign to Stop Control Unit Prisons/Midwest Region
is asking that as many of you as possible respond to the following
and participate in our emergency response network:
Recently, 150 prisoners organized a silent mealtime vigil at the
Indiana State prison in Michigan City, Indiana. The vigil was to
protest the upcoming execution of Ziyon Yisrayah (Tommie Smith).
Ziyon Yisrayah was subsequently murdered by the State of Indiana
on July 18, 1996. Shortly after this vigil, ten New Afrikan
prisoners were transferred to the supermax prison in Westville,
Indiana and charged with a variety of serious offenses, including
conspiracy to riot, threatening a guard, and physically resisting
These trumped up charges were clearly an attempt by Superintendent
Al Parke to show he's boss and break the spirit of solidarity
growing in D Cell House. It is also a classic case of how the more
political prisoners get sent to the supermax. At issue is
prisoners' rights to protest the death penalty. In addition, the
fact that all ten prisoners charged are black reveals the racist
nature of the Indiana State Prison system.
Of these ten prisoners, six were found guilty in an internal
prison hearing and sentenced from one to five years in the cruel
torture chambers known as supermax prisons in Indiana.
The National Campaign to Stop Control Unit Prisons asked people to
call or fax Supt. Al Parke at (219) 874-7256 (phone) and (219)
874-9001 and demand that the charges be dropped against the
CALL FOR PRISONERS TO BECOME POLITICALLY MOTIVATED
*"...If we Afrikan Men do not get ourselves together NOW by
preparing for battle then, the destruction and annihilation of our
people will be our doing." -- Che (Hopp X) Assari*
The powers of racist amerikkka within the state of michigan, are
determined to 'destroy' the encaptured Afrikan male/female, who
are languishing within one of these states many death kkkamps. New
psychological warfare is being applied (daily) to oppress and
repress those of us under this yoke.
Recently the m.d.o.k. [Michigan Department of Corrections] has
been implementing a lot of "self- righteous" (illegal) policies in
which to continue sadistic measures of control, but in reality,
'punishment'. The m.d.o.k. have instituted a so- called "gang
coordinator/monitor" for purposes of identifying those who are
considered "leaders" within the death kkkamps. Or those who are
political agitators and jailhouse lawyers. This blatant attack
against the prisoner-klass is one that has no substance other than
to cause psychological pain and emotional damage and aggression.
Aggression which these nazis and uncle toms know will increase
prisoner on prisoner violence.
It is time that we (as prisoners within the state of michigan)
stop the violence among ourselves and become violent with our
captors. It is time that we become serious about wanting to make
change and stop merely talking about it among our respective
groups and/or friends. It is time that we look at the examples
left to us from other rades, e.g., rade George Jackson; Malik El
Haqq Shabazz (aka: Malcolm X); JiJu (aka: Geronimo Pratt); Leonard
Pelter; Mumia; John Africa and countless others.
The pig governor and his grand shit-head piglet kkklansmen, are
out to destroy us whether we are willing to believe/accept it or
The prisoner-klass within michigan must become politically
motivated and stop being pacified with cheap tokenage hurled at us
with such things as basketballs, baseballs, weights, various
catalogs in which to order gym shoes and other clothing items. Its
cool to do these things, but in proper perspective. We aren't in a
fashion ballroom so the need for that shouldn't be priority. And
no one is walking out of here becoming the next Michael Jordan,
Darryl Strawberry, or Mike Tyson...so the perspectives should be
put into its rightful place. We are in war, and in war you fight
and learn from your commanders on the application of warfare.
Until this is done we will continue to suffer (as collective
prisoner-klass) within the kkklans death kkkamps.
In the trenches,
--A Michigan prisoner, June 29, 1996.
RCG1 responds: This letter clearly shows how prisons are used as a
form of social control. It demonstrates how prisoncrats attempt to
"divide and conquer" prisoners especially by singling out the
leaders, old heads and jailhouse lawyers.
We agree that prisoners should be politicized and not pacified.
Their focus should be on building a revolutionary party. We also
agree that prisoners should stop violence among themselves. It is
destructive to revolution and is how the pigs want prisoners to
act. Prisoncrats benefit when prisoners fight each other because
then prisoners can not organize against the principle problem: the
MIM disagrees with the above letter in that we not advocate
prisoner violence against their captors at this time. Violence
against prisoncrats only leads to more repression of prisoners. We
suggest that prisoners look at historically revolutionary figures
such as George Jackson, and Malik El Haqq Shabazz (aka: Malcolm X)
and learn from history of the FBI's COINTELPRO war against the
Black Panther Party.
MIM argues this is the time to organize, study and expose the
atrocities of the imperialist system that oppresses people. Help
MIM build a strong revolutionary party that will eventually
overthrow the oppressive capitalist government.
UPDATE OF MASSACHUSETTS PRISONERS IN TEXAS
Thanks for the good reading and information your newspaper offers.
I usually read it right away and pass around its good news to
We are no longer allowed to write letters or send any
correspondence to other Massachusetts prisons. This was started
last month. All our mail is stamped on the back that the contents
are from a prison and the Commonwealth is not responsible for is
contents....The Department of Correction doesn't want anyone
having long time commitments and friendships. This is unfair. Your
paper helps me keep in touch even more as I write to as far as
Texas to some of my friends.
On October 31, 1995, 299 inmates were kidnapped from Shirley,
Massachusetts. Most are still there. About 60 have returned for
health or similar reasons. They were supposed to be sent because
of overcrowding. Most of the minimums are half filled. They just
want more mediums and maxes, but most of these people here belong
in a minimum.
The move was all a publicity stunt to get the public to want more
prisons built. Enclosed is what was sent to the guys who got sent
to Texas [The document describes the effects of the transfer on
participation in the sex offenders program which is "voluntary",
but if a prisoner does not participate or confess to some crime
they will not be eligible for phase IV of the program, which will
transfer them back to Massachusetts.-ed]. They were supposed to
stay one year but they renewed the contract for another year. When
I was in the service I thought the government wasted taxpayers
dollars more than anyone else. Now I know the Department of
Corrections wastes the most. Half of the staff work double shifts,
and the benefits are the best ever for them. Well thanks for
listening. Keep up the good work.
-- A Massachusetts Prisoner, July 15, 1996
PRISONER RECEIVES LONGER SENTENCE FOR MAINTAINING INNOCENCE
Dear MIM Notes,
I'm writing to you from a Pennsylvania State Correctional
Institution. I have just received your June 1st and June 15th
issues. I just read an article in the June 15th issue in which I
find to be very interesting.
First let me say that your paper is not being screened here at
this Institution. And I wish that a lot more of my fellow inmates
would write to receive your paper. I show your paper around every
time I receive one and a lot of the guys write down the address,
but I'm not sure on how many people receive your paper.
What caught my interest is the article in the June 15th paper, It
was called "Boston Globe Fuels Crusades Against Sex Offenders".
I'm in search of as much information I can find and any cases and
case law if any pertaining to this so called Megan's Law. I'm
serving a 6 to 36 month sentence for an indecent assault charge,
in which I have now served 28 months on because of the DOC
[Department of Corrections] and the PA parole boards refusal to
I was told by the Parole Board to Max my sentence out for refusal
to complete a SOP [most likely stands for sexual offenders program
-ed] they have here, because I refuse to sign papers admitting my
guilt. I pleaded not guilty in a jury trial and was found guilty.
Now I have an appeal pending in court in the form of a (PCRA) Post
Collateral Relief Act, which is being dragged out by the courts
for the last two years.
I'm being told by the DOC that upon my Max date I must sign this
so called Megan's Law in order to be released on my Max date. I
was sentenced in April 1993 before this law was passed. So how can
I beforced to sign these papers if I wasn't sentenced under this
law? Any info or case you may refer me to or print in your paper
will be a great help to me and my family. Thank you.
--A Pennsylvania Prisoner, July 9, 1996.
RCG1 RESPONDS: Megan Kanka was killed in 1994 by a convicted sex
offender in New Jersey, who lived across the street from her. The
Kankas did not know their neighbor was a convicted sex
offender(1). After Megan's death, New Jersey passed Megan's Law,
and Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement
Act of 1994(1994 Fed Act). Both laws require states to inform
communities when convicted sex offenders move into the area(1).
The 1994 Fed Act requires people convicted of a sex offense to
register with the state for ten years after their release from
prison. This law requires states to punish people who do not
In addition, state law enforcement agencies must transmit a copy
of the convict data and
fingerprints to the FBI. Failure to do so would result in the
state's loss of 10% of special federal grant money(3).
Clinton signed the 1996 Federal Megan's Law which requires states
to inform the public when "convicted sex offenders" are released
and to establish a system of warning the public by September 1997
or states may lose federal "anti- crime" money(1). Fifteen states
already have these warning systems in place(4).
This legislation focuses upon the release of convicted sex
offenders, it is unclear whether people convicted before the
signing of Megan's Law are required to register with states. If
anyone has more information please write to MIM.
http://allpolitics.com/news/9605/17/clinton.sign/ 2.Violent Crime
Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,
http://gopher.usdoj.gov/crime/crime.html 3.Violent Crime Control
and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: Substantive Criminal Provisions,
http://gopher.usdoj.gov/crime/crm_brf.html 4. CNN/Time,
PRISONER EXPOSES THE CREATORS OF DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS
I recently received your letter informing me of the censoring of
some materials you sent me. I did receive MIM Notes in May and the
administration didn't give me notice barring anything. However it
should come as no surprise that these
"pekkkerwoods" will interfere with anything they see as a threat
to the state of ignorance they have founded here in Texas prisons.
I see Playboy, Penthouse and Playgirl ... coming in faster than
the speed of light. These publications are unhindered due to the
effect is serves upon an already brain dead mass of ignorance.
Recently I was watching a film with "Clinton the Crookkk" and he
was expounding on how the gangbangers were/are such cowards for
doing drive- by shootings. And the "all-white but never right"
audience was agreeing lock stock and barrel.
First of all most non-European ethnic groups have been
continuously drilled and indoctrinated by the white owned media
and societal fads into living the "Amerikkkan" way. In other words
the evil, wicked lifestyle of the whiteman.
Incidentally white-folks invented the drive-by shooting. A drive-
by is no more than an unsuspected surprise attack on a person or
persons. I am sure if we ask the Indians and Afrikans of this
country about this issue they will readily confirm that the
whiteman has been driving-by on them for hundreds of years.
The funny thing is when black gang-bangers (who need guidance and
who will play a major role in the armed struggle) commit a drive-
by, they are thugs and cowards. But white-boys in the 20's and
30's who drove-by and gunned other humans down unsuspectingly, are
hailed as heros in the whitemans gangster movies. And white-boys
who unsuspectingly burn down black churches only need to be caught
to add that extra edge to some devils political career, but are
not cowards or thugs, is simply the "Amerikkkan Way"....
2 STRONG, 2 BLACK, 2 BE BULLIED.
--A Texas Prisoner, July 1,1996.
LOUISIANA FORCES PRISONERS TO PAY FOR MEDICAL CARE
**The following policy memorandum was sent to MIM by a prisoner
who wanted to see more news about his state. This demonstrates the
repression against prisoners that extends even into their health
care. Charging prisoners for health care when they have no source
of income (or are working for the prisons earning slave wages)
forces them into debt and means that any money they are sent from
the outside will be confiscated by the prisoncrats.**
As of August 1, 1996, medical co-payments will be applied to all
new medical incidents occurring after the implementation of date
of revised Department Regulation No. b-06-001, "Health Care".
...Inmates will be charged a $3.00 fee for each unscheduled, self-
initiated request for medical, dental and mental health service.
...After release from care for an injury or illness, subsequent
unscheduled, self-initiated requests for treatment for that injury
or illness, may be chargeable.
No inmate will be charged for any contact that is scheduled by the
Warden or designee (medical/mental health personnel).
Additionally, no fees will be charged for any contacts that are
mandated by departmental or institutional policy [or]...When the
fee is waived by the Warden or designee.
...Inmates will be charged a sum of $2.00 for each new
prescription written and dispensed with the exception of
psychotropic medications. There will be no charge for refills of
prescriptions where the effects of the illness or injury are
chronic or long-term.
...Indigent inmates will be assessed of all current funds
available in their account, and will owe the balance. The account
will then be placed on "hold" pending future receipt of funds.
--Michael L. Phillips, Warden, June 7, 1996
***WHAT NON-PRISONERS CAN DO TO SUPPORT
*1. Struggle with, work with, finance and join MIM. The best way
to support prisoners is to overthrow the system under which
capitalists profit from the exploitation of prisoners. History
shows that the best way to do this is to build a Marxist-Leninist-
Maoist party. The oppressors will not give up their power without
*2. Finance MIM's prison work. Our biggest bill each month is
postage. Most of the prison comrades who read MIM Notes have no
way of paying for it. So if you have money, send what you can
afford. Every cent helps, and stamps are as good as cash to us.
*3. Distribute MIM Notes and Notas Rojas. Bring the voices of
prisoners and their supporters to as large and wide an audience of
people as possible. Contact MIM for bulk rates and distribution
tips. *4. Start or join a prison support group. MIM can provide
advice and resources to help you build public opinion for
prisoners and their struggles. *5. Fight censorship, beatings,
torture and other fascist outrages. Under Lock and Key often
features the addresses of prisoners' friends and enemies. Work
with the friends and let the enemies know you're watching. (Don't
expect to win the fascists to the side of humanity, however. See
#1 in this list).
*6. Stay in touch. Keep us informed of pro-prisoner work you do.
Our readers might find it educational or inspirational.
***WHAT PRISONERS CAN DO TO BUILD MIM***
*1. Start a study group. This is the best way to share materials
and ideas. In groups, prisoners can better benefit from the
limited resources MIM has. *2. Get MIM Notes and MIM Theory into
your library. This allows one copy of the paper to be seen by many
*3. Contact people on the outside. MIM needs comrades and allies
everywhere. Maybe you know people on the outside who want to
subscribe to MIM Notes or distribute it.
*4. Share materials. If MIM sends books or periodicals, please
make sure that as many people as possible get a chance to read
*5. Write MIM at least every three months. Otherwise, you will be
dropped from our mailing list. There are many cases where your
keepers throw out MIM Notes, so we need to know that you actually
get it. Also, comrades are moved around a lot, especially those
who are known to be political. Please let us know of any address
changes as soon as you know them.
*6. Make MIM Distributors an official distributor. Many prisons
require registration before MIM can send books or other materials.
Usually we can comply with these bogus rules. It helps immensely
to have someone there do the reasearch and send us the proper
*7. Send money or stamps. Our biggest bill each month is postage.
Most of the prison comrades who read MIM Notes have no way of
paying for it. So if you have money, send what you can afford.
Every cent helps, and stamps are as good as cash to us. Please
make all checks payable to "MIM
*8. Write for MIM Notes or Notas Rojas. Prisoners write almost all
of Under Lock & Key. We don't care if you know how to spell or
write good English or Spanish. Write on any topic you like, it
does not have to be a prison story.
*9. Translate. If you can read and write English and another
language fluently, let us know. Any translation work you do will
help us make Maoist ideas accessible to more people.
*10. Fight censorship. When you know of censorship of books or
newspapers, investigate. Write to MIM to confirm what has
happened, then see what you can do about it.
*11. Keep in touch after your release. Many comrades stop doing
political work after their release. Write to MIM as soon as you
know where you'll be so we can hook you up with comrades on the
* * *
KULTURE REVIEW: CYCLO
directed by: Tran Anh Hung
reviewed by MC206
*Cyclo* portrays contemporary urban Vietnamese bicycle-taxi gangs
and should infuriate anti- imperialists and anti-capitalists. It
shows the results of an economic system which is concerned with
securing profits for foreign imperialists and local elite but not
meeting the needs of the majority of the people: oppressive
poverty, fatuous decadence, dog-eat-dog competition, violence,
prostitution, escapism, drug abuse, despair and suicide. But
because of its petit-bourgeois focus on individuals and their
"inner motivations," *Cyclo* fails to offer an alternative to
despair and hopelessness. By contrast, MIM emphasizes the fact
that imperialism creates the conditions for its own destruction
and encourages people to turn their rage against imperialism,
capitalism, and patriarchy and work to overthrow oppression.
*Cyclo* also inadvertently offers evidence that Vietnam is not a
socialist country. Instead of undertaking improvements in the
infrastructure or sponsoring collective kitchens or such the
government offers "small business loans" to individual workers --
after a thorough credit check at that! This policy, the obvious
attempts to lure foreign capital to Vietnam with big expensive
Western hotels, and all the typical capitalist problems listed
above are symptoms of the fact that Vietnam is a state-capitalist
country with a revisionist (socialist in words, capitalist in
* * *
'DON'T CUT FUNDING FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN'
**In response to an article on MIM's website from MIM Theory 9,
"Psychology and Imperialism," on the abuse of children under
patriarchy, a reader wrote:**
"Revolutionary Young Greetings. I am curious about [what] MIM's
policies are regarding treatment of special needs children,
particularly those with autism and attention deficit disorder.
Right wing politicians have consistently tried to cut funds for
their therapy, which these children need to become able to live
independently as adults. I would like to see this discussed in MIM
We are happy to take up the topic. Communists are concerned about
the alienation of youth, and support their liberation from both
parental and state oppression. But it is precisely because we
support their ability to live independently that we do not share
the writer's enthusiasm for the standard "treatment" of children
diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), including the
addictive and harmful drug Ritalin, and we do not want to see more
government funding for therapy which amounts to outright social
control of youth. At the same time we understand the
reactionaries' opposition to the growth of ADD diagnoses, and the
current plans to reduce funding for special education, as a
clamoring for more patriarchal, parental power in place of the
medication. MIM has not studied autism, but there appear to be
some diseases with both physical and mental components that may
need medical treatment. In these cases, we look to the example of
China under Mao for guidance on integrating social and medical
treatments. (See MIM Theory 9.)
ADD was inaugurated by the psychiatric industry in the 1980s, and
the number of children diagnosed with, and medicated for, the
disease has skyrocketed since then. The Department of Education
officially recognized it as a disorder in 1991, protecting people
with the diagnosis under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA). With adults now also diagnosed with ADD, and
mental health "experts" claiming that the majority of cases can be
improved with medication,
"prescriptions for Ritalin have increased more than 600% over the
last five years, according to the DEA."(1) The Department of
Education estimates that 4 million people now take the drug.(2)
"In the last five years, the number of students receiving federal
special education aid has leaped from 4.8 million to 5.4 million.
Education Department officials say the increase is occurring
largely because school administrators nationwide are identifying
many more students with problems such as attention-deficit
disorder."(3) The reactionaries may be right that schools are
diagnosing and medicating children in order to get more money for
themselves and the psychiatric establishment, which is well
represented in schools. Also, children who score poorly on bogus
standardized tests don't have to be counted if they are diagnosed
with ADD -- so the diagnosis can also be used to beef up "success"
figures for schools.
The promotion of Ritalin has been a combined effort by Ciba-Giegy,
the manufacturers of the drug, their mouthpiece advocacy group
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHAAD), the
coercive powers of parents and the school system, and the official
recognition of the disorder by the state and the American
Psychiatric Association. Parents, especially of oppressed nations,
often do not have a choice about medicating their children if they
want them to remain in the public school system, and the drug thus
becomes a measure of their social control as well.
Anti-psychiatry psychiatrist Peter Breggin has correctly denounced
Ritalin as social control of youth. He is now joined in his
denunciation of ADD -- as well as the profit motive driving the
diagnosis up and extending it to adults (one group estimates that
between 8 and 15 million adults have the disorder) -- by the
reactionary Phyllis Schlafley. While the reactionaries must be
exposed for their promotion of non-medical oppression of youth --
including behavior modification, stricter parenting, state-
enforced curfews, etc. -- communists do not oppose cutting funding
for existing coercive measures.
On the other hand, special education funds that go to real
education, including extra teachers and other resources that
improve conditions in poorer schools, are a potentially good
"side-effect" to this pernicious growth of ADD diagnoses. Schools
already disadvantage children from birth depending on the wealth
of the family they are born into, and MIM does not oppose funding
that helps provide actual material benefits to children in school.
In theory, the laws protecting students with ADD are supposed to
provide them with specialized instruction, which can be good.
The same legislation proposing the restructuring of special
education funds to schools (which means cutting money) also
proposes to remove restrictions on disciplining special education
children through suspension and expulsion.(3) In other words, in
place of drugging children, the reactionaries want the ability to
get rid of them altogether from the school system, and go back to
explanations of bad parenting for "hyperactivity" in young people.
MIM believes the principal contradiction in the imperialist
nations is age -- and that youth are the most likely anti-
imperialist force to emerge in the white nation. Although youth
from oppressed and oppressor nations suffer different forms of
oppression, there are similarities in their domination by
Most of what passes for mental health "care" and "therapy" for
youth is a blatant system of oppression and social control. The
biggest problems youth face are not their own behavior, but the
rape, violence, alienation and domination they experience at the
hands of their elders, which in the case of the poor includes the
effects of poverty. However, we do not pretend that these negative
forces do not have bad consequences for mental health. Everything
from rape and alienation to TV, junk food and environmental toxins
can and does negatively affect children in terms of physical and
The squabbles within the imperialist patriarchy are over how best
to oppress and repress children. MIM supports reforms when they
are progressive -- and chief among those are changes that will
help youth gain independence as much as possible -- without
holding out hope for salvaging the system.
2. http://www.bergen.com/health/db/ritalin.html 3. Washington
Post, June 26, 1996.
ONLINE ACTIVIST RESOURCE WANTS HISTORY OF MAOISM
**In MIM Notes 119, we printed a letter from the Activists Web
Starter's Kit, a hotlinked World Wide Web database of
"progressive" groups. While we were glad to be included in the
site, we also criticized the inclusion of outright reactionary
groups like the National Organization for Women and the Anti-
Defamation League. We got the following response:**
"Thank you for your response. I found your remarks very
interesting, and fair. Although you may disagree with some of the
organizations that are present in the clearinghouse (I certainly
do), I try to cover the bases in a broad way to promote different
perspectives, not because I believe that all perspectives are
right, but so that people can come to rational conclusions about
their political and ethical beliefs well informed. Obviously, a
certain amount of censoring is necessary, and I do tend to let my
own political values come through in the writing of the blurbs,
but I don't see this as necessarily bad. People are free to follow
the links and decide for themselves. I also believe that the
personal touch adds a sense of lightness and fun to serious
political endeavors, values I adhere to. Although I am not
affiliated with any socialist or communist organization, I believe
firmly that we may learn valuable lessons of community and
selflessness and intellectual rigour from communism, both living
"As Maoism has become a marginalized political stance in North
America, I think it would be a lovely thing if you put a broad and
comprehensive history of the movement on your site. In keeping
with my own purposes of augmenting radical and progressive
political discussion, I believe that such a site would be of great
value on the 'net. Peace."
MIM RESPONDS: MIM's Web site does contain a history of MIM,
founding documents of the party, and essays by Mao Zedong. You can
also find a history of the Black Panther Party's (BPP) Maoism. We
would be happy to take submissions of broad histories of Maoism
for inclusion in our Web site, and encourage our readers to take
on this challenge. By the way, Maoism has never grown beyond
"marginal" status in North America, but we disagree with the
implication that it is becoming more marginal. MIM's history is
also the history of the resurgence of Maoism in North America
since the BPP's day. The "history" of Maoism is important -- but
the most important part of that history is now!
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