Tag Archives: communism

Uniting With Comrades: Our Decision to Become a Kasama Collective

 

[Originally posted to thefirecollective.org]

After careful study and consideration, our collective, the FIRE Collective, has decided to formally affiliate ourselves with the Kasama Project. Kasama is a communist network in the US dedicated to a revolutionary reconception of communism. Further, we have decided to announce ourselves as a Kasama Collective.

In September of 2009, a group of us in Houston, Texas formed an independent communist collective, The FIRE Collective (standing for Fight Imperialism, Rethink and Experiment).

In both the US and around the world, we saw there was a process of refounding the communist movement that was both deeply necessary and at a beginning. This included a process of reconceiving the communist project, and we wanted to make our own contributions to that process together with our comrades.

We have been engaged in study and struggle for over a year. We’ve grown in numbers, developed our understanding of revolutionary theory and history, and forged a higher degree of political unity.

Revolution is not only a local exercise. It requires the strategic thinking, study, and coordinated practice of comrades throughout the country (and ultimately the world). The work of reconceiving cannot be confined to a locality, but rather it needs forms that can give expression to its fearless journey to places still unexplored, and questions unsettled. We believe there needs to be a combination of our local contributions to theory and practice with that which is developing on the national plane.

For these reasons, we are excited to join with the work the Kasama network has been engaged in, and contributing to charting an uncharted course to a communist future. Other similar collectives have also started to form as part of Kasama’s network, and we look forward to sharing theory and practice, learning from one another as we move.

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Filed under Anti-Imperialism, class struggle, Communism, Gulf States, Houston, Revolution, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Texas, Uncategorized, United States

This is My Life… Where is Our Future?

[Originally posted to kasamaproject.org]

by Rosa Harris

Rosa Harris, photo: Monte

I live confined to this housing project, surrounded by bone-hard poverty and everything it brings with it.

If our car is broken, we are literally pinned down. We can’t get out – not to doctors, not to meet political comrades.

But there is something deeper about the hole we are trapped in… My son thinks of little other than getting out. And he isn’t thinking so much about getting “the people” out – but of getting away from the people.

My mind has always dreamed of a better world,  but my daily experience  is here, in a place where you just can’t romanticize “the oppressed.” Up close, people are often caught up in some terrible stuff. It’s not just the capitalists  who live in a dog-eat-dog world, it’s us too. The dominant ideas of an epoch become dominant ideas among the people themselves.

I’m not going to apologize again for my  moods and my conflicted thoughts — even though I feel I need to. The other day something happened that made me feel very ashamed and hurt.

Mary, one of my few friends here in this project is a crack user. Her daughter is a prostitute. And her son recently got out of prison.

I’ve never understood completely what the word “lumpen” means in our communist language – but these are part of a broken section of the people. Desperate. And at times, using each other… badly. And yet, she is one of my only friends here. And what does that say about me, and my life?

I should tell the whole story I suppose. I know you won’t blame me.

Mary brought her son by. To meet me, she said.

My boy friend was getting ready to take me to the store and we were practically out the door. I walked into the kitchen and Mary handed me a  sack in each hand – each small, wrapped in cellophane. I looked at what they were and tried to put them back into her hands. She kept pressing them toward me.

I don’t know why she was trying to hand them to me in the first place. I could tell she was cracked out. Was she wanting to hide it in my place?

I said “I got to go to the bathroom” – just to get out of the situation.

I didn’t want to out to my boyfriend that they had brought this shit into our apartment. We don’t use it. We don’t want it around. And he doesn’t want me hanging with Mary.  I’m always covering for my friend when she does stupid stuff like that when she’s cracking out on me. Mary had stolen my laptop once – which is one of the few things of value I own– my connection to the world. But then we got it back afterwards.

I went to the store, came back and went to her place to let her know that this had not been ok..

Her son and daughter showed up and confronted me. They said they wanted “their money.” Even though I don’t use that shit, even though I was angry they had brought it over, even though I hadn’t bought anything. He was threatening me. And made me go to the ATM with them. They were desperate for quick cash, and the whole thing was an excuse. It was theft.

I’ve known the daughter for a long time, and she never treated me this way before. My friend Mary watched this, saying nothing. She didn’t stand up for me, or call him off. I couldn’t believe this was happening. It felt like being raped  — like I’m watching myself and my life, and my pain happening outside me — powerless.

I feel like an idiot for not just outing them in front of my boy friend – cuz it meant he was not there standing with me. I feel like an idiot for staying friends with them even though they had hurt me before.  But I’m just so alone at times.

But suddenly I was “going” with them to the ATM, and giving them all my remaining money – a few hundred dollars. Everything.

I need people, and these women were among my the only friends – and yet  they turned on me, and ripped me off. Something that happens every day here, among the people.

It is so hard and desperate here. My kid gets threatened and arrives home breathing hard. He talks of things he’s seen, and things he fears. He thinks of arming himself (which terrifies me) or simply act invisible… or somehow getting out.

It took me a few days to even tell my boy friend because I was afraid of what he would say. He turned out to be very understanding, but still said “You shouldn’t hang out with people like that” — which puts blame on me again.

I have the horrible feeling I should be blamed. Now I am also out a friend and my money. But don’t we also lose our hope — piece by piece?

And part of me knows, of course, where the blame belongs. There is a system that put us here. There is a hopelessness we are all injected with. There are circuits of empire that bring the drugs here, and run the prisons (which are just training camps for brutalization and mutual torture).

But often that system feels far away. And that blame feels very abstract. And our immediate oppressors are so often each other… as we claw each other, and brutalize each other in our despair and madness.

I even wonder why I use “we” here. I don’t claw anyone. I don’t brutalize anyone. We divide up, don’t we, once again, into victims, abusers and indifferent observers. We live in a time when, here a least, there is so little solidarity or glimpse of a bigger picture. Here  people are often broken, and it is hard to imagine where the unity or vision could come for changing anything.

My son said “The people here are so fucked up, they don’t deserve communism and would mess it up if they had it.”

I don’t believe that, of course. I never have. But I just want to share, honestly, how from here everything just feels so bleak sometimes. How do we show up here, as communists, and change people’s choice, and change the people themselves?

Are these really the people that can become the rulers of society? And how do we help that happen?

This has been a hard moment, and right now the whole world seems dark to me. And, the money thing really bothers me. I’m lucky its December – the food pantries give away a lot of food during the holidays.

And I have you, my comrades, around the world: I have your ear, and I have whatever we manage to create together.

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Filed under class struggle, Communism, Gulf States, housing, Public housing, Southern Identity, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, The Left, Theory, Uncategorized, United States, Women, workers

Communist Party USA Southern Organizing Tour to Launch from Dallas

Originally posted to Texas Communist Party

Although hundreds of Southerners have joined the Communist Party, USA, many of them have never had a sit-down discussion with a party leader. Vice-Chairperson Scotty Marshall and I plan to confront that problem with an organizing tour of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana November 11-24.

The New Members Committee of CPUSA sent out an invitation: “Interest in the Communist Party, USA is rising across the South. We have gotten inquiries about our party, our program, our philosophy and our strategy, from all the Southern states. Many are asking how to join and become active. Many also want to know how we are organized and how to form clubs or study groups. Many have also participated in our on-line webinars and discussions. Because of this interest, and because we are seeing clusters of inquiries from areas of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky, we are planning a two week trip through these areas….”

Responses from Southerners were immediate:

“I would strongly urge you to visit Mobile. I know a few of us would love to meet and talk over drinks and good topics.”

“Please do contact me when you make it into Mobile. There aren’t many people to my knowledge that are educated about CPUSA, I’m really looking forward to changing this and becoming more informed myself.”

“I live in Arkansas. You guys should come through Little Rock.”

“Hello from Arkansas! I would Love to meet with you if you come. I live In Hot Springs. Let me know if there is any thing I can do to help on your trip.”

“Where will you be in Kentucky? Thank you for all your hard work!”

“I want to become involved in the activities of the Party again and you can
instruct me on what you might want me to accomplish to prepare for the Southern tour to visit here in Louisville.”

“Yes! I would definitely be interested in meeting with CP-USA when you come through Kentucky.”

“I am trying to get as many as possible to meet with Scott Marshall and Jim Lane in one location, most likely my city of Louisville.”

“If you could, let me know when you’d be available in Louisville Kentucky. And heck you can even give me a call if you like.”

“Howdy, I’d love to meet up. I live in Louisville, KY. I don’t know of anybody else that would be interested in meeting up, but… I might be able to get one or two other people together for a powwow.”

“I have a friend who is very interested in meeting up, and has a place to hold a meeting. Anyway, you’ve got a place to meet and speak here in Louisville.”

“I would like to meet some locals interested in organizing. Will you all be in New Orleans?”

“I would like to be able to get in contact with more people from Baton Rouge and discuss coming together and starting something here. Any information you could give me would be great.”

“I am interested in meeting with you. I live in Memphis. I am not a current member, but am interested in opportunities to find out more about the Party’s work and possibly become a member.”

“I would love to meet with any or all of you to discuss what work you’re doing and how I might be able to help. If you are in Memphis please let me know.”

“We’re both living around the Memphis area, and we’re very interested in meeting with the two of you. We’re extremely enthusiastic to get acquainted with fellow comrades within the national party. Thank you so much for sending this to me.”

“I am interested in joining CPUSA. I live in Memphis. I would like to meet with Scott and Jim if they pass through here.”

Scotty and I have wanted to carry out this tour for some time. We’re hoping to help progressive Southerners come together into regular CPUSA clubs. CPUSA has a rich tradition in the South, and there are a number of longtime comrades scattered here and there. Additionally, young people are more and more realizing that capitalism has no solutions for them and are seeking information from CPUSA.

In addition, Scotty and I intend to report regularly to CPUSA publications so that all progressives in America can better understand Southerners and one another. Our hearts are really into this trip! We depart Dallas and head toward Little Rock November 11!

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, class struggle, Communism, Communist Party USA, Gulf States, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, other announcements, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Tennessee, Texas, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events, workers

The Mountains Tremble: A Reportback from the Revolution in Nepal

Friday, November 12 · 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Southeastern Louisiana University Student Union (room 223)

N. Oak Street

Hammond, Louisiana

 

Nepal is a small land-locked country where communist revolution is changing everything. People are rising up against kings, castes and imperialism. Women are rising to lead. The revolution is related to the revolution unfolding in India.

In the first half of 2010, two revolutionary journalists, Eric Ribellarsi and Jed Brandt of the Kasama Project traveled to Nepal to report on these events. Their presentation will tell the story of this revolution, the current situation in Nepal, and feature video and photography from their journey.

Presented by the Southeastern Sociological Association (SSA) and the National Organization for Change (NOC) at Southeastern Louisiana University (SELU).

Click here for the flyer.

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Filed under class struggle, Communism, Event Announcement, Louisiana, Maoism, Nepal, Revolution, Solidarity, Southern United States, The Left, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events

FIRE Collective Event: Reportback from the Revolution in Nepal

by KurtFF8

(Taken from Kasama:)

This was originally on thefirecollective.org.

Austin, TX Event: Reportback from the Revolution in Nepal

The Mountains Tremble: A Reportback from the Revolution in Nepal

Nepal is a small land-locked country where communist revolution is changing everything. People are rising up against kings, castes and imperialism. Women are rising to lead. The revolution is related to the revolution unfolding in India. In May and June of 2010, Eric Ribellarsi traveled to Nepal to report on these events. Eric Ribellarsi’s presentation will tell the story of this revolution, the current situation in Nepal, and feature video and photography from his journey.

Saturday, November 6, 2010 @ 1PM

ACC Pinnacle Campus, Room 1013

7748 Highway 290 West

Austin, TX 78736

Presented by The FIRE Collective and Twelfth Revolution

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NEW ORLEANS, July 17: “A Capitalist Oil Catastrophe,” a talk by Larry Everest

I apologize for this being so last minute, but the announcement was just forwarded to us. – hastenawait

BP Oil Spill Protest, New Orleans, May 30, 2010.

 

New Orleans Secular Humanist Association presents:

Larry Everest – “A Capitalist Oil Catastrophe – System Not A Fit Caretaker of the Planet”

Saturday, July 17 at 2pm
Audubon Zoo
6500 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70118

Larry Everest (www.larryeverest.com) correspondent for Revolution newspaper (revcom.us), reporting from Iran, Iraq, Palestine and India. He’s the author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda, which former United States military analyst and Pentagon Papers author Dan Ellsberg calls “remarkable, horrifying, brilliantly illuminating,” and which director Oliver Stone drew from in making “W,” his film about George W. Bush. In 1986, Everest wrote Behind the Poison Cloud: Union Carbide’s Bhopal Massacre, based on his on-the-scene investigation. He’s currently in New Orleans reporting and working with the Emergency Committee to Stop the Gulf Oil Disaster (www.stopgulfoildisaster.org)

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Filed under Anti-Imperialism, class struggle, Communism, Corporations, Demonstration Announcements, Environment, Environmental Justice, Gulf Oil Spill, Gulf States, Louisiana, Oil, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, The Left, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events

Sooo…the United States is the greatest country in the world, you say? Best place on earth to live, you say?

Submitted by Dustin Getz, of Alabama

A few days ago a conservative told me that only the radical left saw immense problems at home in the U.S., and that the rest of the country was content to just live their lives as best they could. I gave this some thought, and I think this is far from the truth. I think there are many, many people that sense a huge problem but aren’t quite sure what it is.

Just ask the mother with a nursing baby that was evicted from her apartment despite the fact that she has no family nearby, or perhaps her family is in a position hardly better than her own? Would she say there are no big problems facing this nation? What about the homeless man who can’t get on government programs because of having been convicted of a drug felony?

What about the grandmother that had her home payed off and is raising her grandchildren because their mother is in prison for having to sell her body because she couldn’t find a “real” job and their father is serving a life sentence for selling crack cocaine, and then joined the refinancing craze only to be swallowed up by the adjustable rate trap and had her home she had lived in for 30 years taken from her? What about the family with their credit destroyed to the point of not being able to rent or buy a house because of medical bills?

These people, and millions more, see a problem. Oh yes, they see a problem. It is only a matter of time and effort till we can make them see the solution. A Socialist society is the answer. When this large group of disenfranchised Americans come to realize this on a mass scale, the fat cats in Washington D.C. and the state capitols should tremble. For on that day, the age of capitalism in the U.S. will be in it’s last throes.

Sooo…the United States is the greatest country in the world, you say? Best place on Earth to live, you say?

Lets take a look at the truth of that sentiment. I’m not saying we have it bad off here compared to a lot of nations, it’s just that I tire of people thinking we’re all that. The fact is we’re average on most things, decent at some things and below average on some things. Anyway, I’ll shut up and let the facts speak for themselves.

Life expectancy: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_lif_exp_at_bir_tot_pop-life-expectancy-birth-total-population

Infant mortlity rate:  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html

Abortion rates: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_abo_percap-health-abortions-per-capita

Crime: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

Overall crime rates:  http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_tot_cri_percap-crime-total-crimes-per-capita

Education: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/11/26/world/main530872.shtml

“South Korea has the most effective education system in the world’s richest countries, with Japan in second place and the United States and Germany near the bottom, a United Nations study said Tuesday.”

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Filed under Alabama, class struggle, Communism, Revolution, The Left, Uncategorized, United States

The FIRE Collective

I would like to highlight the FIRE Collective (Fight Imperialism, Rethink and Experiment), “a radical collective that is rethinking communism and organizing for revlolution.” Because of their creative work they may be of interest to the Left in general, but they should be of special interest to Leftists in the South because they are based out of Houston, Texas. You can visit their website here. For your consideration, I am including the declaration of their collective, Our Declaration to Our Generation, along with a link to their pamphlet on the revolution in Nepal and their work to defend it. 

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Filed under Communism, Revolution, Southern United States, Texas, Uncategorized, United States