Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mutiny in the Ranks of the Army

The Army Times has released this amazing article detailing how the violence, anger, and frustration of one platoon in Iraq culminated in a refusal to fight. The realization of the Pentagon brass during Vietnam that the soldiers would rebel if the war continued or was expanded led to the end of that war, and rank and file dissent by soldiers will be critical in ending this war. Check out Sir, No Sir, an incredible movie about soldier rebellion in Vietnam.

Read the full story on the "mutiny" in Iraq:

They decided as a platoon that they were done, DeNardi and Cardenas said, as did several other members of 2nd Platoon. At mental health, guys had told the therapist, “I’m going to murder someone.” And the therapist said, “There comes a time when you have to stand up,” 2nd Platoon members remembered. For the sake of not going to jail, the platoon decided they had to be “unplugged.”

Read more!

Monday, December 10, 2007

In the News

In a recent Spec article, Lucha was discussed among some other groups because of the connection it has developed with ANSWER Coalition in anti-war and community activism.

Another group that has links to the outside, the Revolution Club (The World Can't Wait, and the Revolutionary Communist Party) has hooked up Bryan Mercer for an interview in their Revolution newspaper.

What is there to say about the defeat of the referendum in Venezuela?

A student at the Journalism school writes on the hypocrisy of Western media.

The Wall Street Journal, a good indicator of American imperialist opinion, had this rather nasty bit of insinuation.

The New York Times, takes a more moderate tone.

PSL paper analyzed the situation as a temporary defeat that can be overcome.

Read more!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

CIA exposed for Destroying Torture Tapes

Anyone in Latin America, or familiar with the School of Americas, is aware that the CIA has long been a state sponsor of torture. However, the recent story released in the New York Times reveals how the CIA has tried to cover its tracks from scrutiny and oversight by destroying tapes made of "rough interrogation techniques."

Read more!

Palestine Vigil this Saturday at Columbia

A group called Palestine Action Union Square (PAUSE) has been holding a vigil on Saturdays at Union Square for the past five years, and will be bringing their Dec. 8 vigil to the Columbia University.

Sat. Dec. 8 - 2 PM
116th Street & Broadway

"We are opposed to the Israeli occupation and all it involves." - They call on Columbia students to join them.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Newspapers: Criticism and Cash

Two things.

1. Spectator soliciting commentary on its performance as the campus newspaper. Fill out this survey and let them know how they can better serve the activist community.

2. Organizers from the Revolution Newspaper, the "voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party" of Bob Avakian have invited Columbia activists to attend house party to raise money for the paper. It starts a 9 pm with a $5 to $15 donation. Address is 375 Edgecombe between 150th and 155th, apartment #8. Take the A/C/D to 145th. If you have any questions, contact Jack Orleans.

Read more!

Professor Mahmood Mamdani on Darfur

We missed the panel today, but in case you missed it, you can check out his article in the London Review of Books which caused considerable controversy at that time as well.

It seems a remarkable aspect of current campus activism that many schools have seen vociferous and militant campaigns on divestment from Darfur while anti-war movements on these same campuses have remained weak or non-existent. Does Darfur offer a cause which is morally compelling while remaining politically neutral? Does this reveal a fear of politics, or a depoliticization of student activism and the left on campuses?

Read more!

Discussion on Imperialism

Imperialism is a term that gets thrown around on the left quite a bit. The International Socialist Organization is hosting an open meeting on imperialism at CCNY this Thursday that will offer an explicitly Marxist-Leninist interpretation. If you want to come prepared, or to get a sense of the ideas even if you can't make it, check out these articles in the International Socialist Review, the theoretical journal of the ISO:

What is it? How do we stop it?
Sometimes, imperialism is defined very broadly to mean the domination of weaker states by stronger ones. But empire building, colonialism and military competition have existed ever since states have existed.
The Marxist approach to understanding war as a product of economic rivalries spilling over into political and military conflicts has long been dismissed as out of date, even by some people on the left. But the military occupation and corporate takeover of Iraq has put this view back at the center of discussion.
You're invited to participate in a meeting that will take up this question and discuss how understanding imperialism impacts our strategy for how to ultimately end it.
Thursday, December 6th
CCNY NAC Building
Rm. 1/211
By train: Take the 1 to 137th, enter the gates at 138th and Amsterdam , walk down the hill towards Convent Street , enter the building on your right.
By bus: Take the M101 to 137th and Amsterdam

Read more!

Monday, December 3, 2007

ROOTEd Discussion on Activism Tonight

"I am an activist"

"I am NOT an activist"

"Those activist kids have all the time in the world for 'these causes.' Unlike them, I can't afford to miss work or class"

"I wear my pink ribbon, I am an activist"

"Hunger strikes. Walk outs. Protests. What is Student Activism?"

come discuss
- Student Activism -
Sundaes on Monday Discussion
(as always, free ice cream)
Monday Dec. 3
Intercultural Resource Center (552 w. 114 )

Read more!

Lucha Elects New Steering Committee

Today Lucha approved some changes in its constitution and elected a new slate of leaders.

The 2008 Steering Committee is:

Chair: Johanna Ocaña
Vice Chair: Iliana Feliz
Secretary: Malena Arnaud
Treasurer: Daniela Garcia
Liaison for on campus groups: Paco Martin Del Campo
Alumni Relations Chair: Martin Lopez
El Particiante Editor: Wyatt Ford
Online El Participante Editor: Rudi Batzell
Publicity Chair: Jessica Medina
Public Relations Coordinator: Andrew Tillet-Saks
Historian: Stephanie Barreto

There were slight changes to Lucha's mission statement, which now reads:

Lucha seeks to promote social, political, and economic progress in the Latino and working class communities in the US and to educate our campus about political, social, and economic issues in Latin America.

The goals of this organization in achieving this mission shall be:

To build a movement that unites students and community members in the struggle for social justice, equality and dignity, power, and respect for working people

To bring together politically conscious students in an organized effort to achieve political advancement for oppressed peoples

To empower our community through political activism and popular education

Read more!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Politics on Campus

Rahel Aima has written a really great piece for The Eye and we missed it somehow. Here it is in case you missed it as well.

Rahel addresses one of the fundamental tensions on campus which often remains largely submerged. The feeling among many that "white leftists" privilege class analysis while ignoring the reality of white privilege, while the more marxist oriented activists feel that "identity politics" can be charged with emotionalism, factionalism, and superficiality. As Rahel points out, this was one of the major tensions in the New Left, and for any viable left today, it is a problematic that needs to be worked out. Lucha, as an organization that has both an orientation towards the issues of a specific ethnic group (Latinos) and a strong emphasis on class analysis, capitalism, and imperialism has held this very tension within it as an organization. Better than we have ourselves, Rahel speaks to the reasons we decided to organize el participante.

Rahel's article ends with the note that when out on the streets, it doesn't matter what the beliefs or identities of our fellow protesters might be. While this is true, and sectarianism has been a destructive curse upon the left, this point cannot go too far and reveals latent weaknesses within the left as a movement. Ideas, political philosophy, and ideology matter - ignoring our differences will only exacerbate the tensions. This is not a project that involves imposing ideological discipline and unity, but rather a self-conscious, serious, realistic debate about the ideas, identities, strengths and weaknesses of the left - as campus activists and as human beings. At a time when the left seems to be in a historic retreat, it is necessary, as Perry Anderson has written in the New Left Review to call a "spade a spade, rather than falling in with well-meaning cant or self-deception on the Left. The spirit of the Enlightenment rather than the Evangelicals is what is most needed today."

Read more!