Chestnut-headed oropendolas feeding in Panama


This video from Panama says about itself:

Two Chestnut-headed Oropendolas Share A Fruit Buffet – July 4, 2019

Two Chestnut-headed Oropendolas enjoy a fruit breakfast and one of them takes a bill full for the road. Chestnut-headed Oropendolas are colonial nesters and weave long nests that hang from tall trees. Males are typically larger than females, but otherwise the sexes are rather similar.

Anti-Semitic anti-communism


Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

By Clara Weiss in Germany:

Part 1: Counter-revolution and anti-Semitism

8 July 2019

Paul Hanebrink: A Specter Haunting Europe. The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, Harvard University Press 2018. (Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from this book.) The second part of this review will be posted tomorrow.

The new book by historian Paul Hanebrink (Rutgers University) focuses on examining the relationship between the fear of the “specter of communism” haunting Europe, to which Marx and Engels famously alluded in their Communist Manifesto of 1847, and of anti-Semitism.

For much of the book, Hanebrink analyzes the role that the Judeo-Bolshevik myth played in the ideology and crimes of the European far-right in the first half of the 20th century, culminating in the Nazi-led genocide of 6 million European Jews during the Second World War.

His account begins with the revolution in Bavaria, southern Germany, in 1918-19. He details how the Catholic Church, international politicians such as Winston Churchill, as well as the fledgling Nazi movement in Germany, countered the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the German Revolution of 1918-1919 and—in particular, the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic—with an outburst of anti-Semitism.

Bishop Eugenio Pacelli, who was stationed in Munich during the revolution, described the Bavarian revolutionaries as “…a gang of young women, of dubious appearance, Jewish like all the rest of them.” Max Levien—who was, in fact, not Jewish—was, to Pacelli, “a young man, of about thirty or thirty-five, also Russian and a Jew. Pale, dirty, with drugged eyes, hoarse voice, vulgar and repulsive, with a face that is both intelligent and sly.” Some 15 years later, he would sign a concordat with Hitler as Pope Pius XII.

The declaration of the Bavarian Soviet Republic in a Munich newspaper on 7 April 1919

These sentiments were shared by right-wing intellectuals and politicians throughout Europe, in response to the wave of revolutions that swept the continent after World War I. Jean and Jérôme Tharaud, two extreme right-wing French intellectuals, traveled to Hungary in the wake of the revolution led by Béla Kun in 1919. In their book When Israel Is King, they wrote: “On the banks of the Danube a new Jerusalem arose, sprung from the mind of Karl Marx and built by Jewish hands on ancient [messianic] thoughts.” The bloody counter-revolution that followed claimed the lives of at least 3,000 people, roughly half of them of Jewish origin.

In far-right publications, leading figures of the revolutionary movement were “unmasked” as “Jews”. Leon Trotsky, who co-led the Russian Revolution alongside Vladimir Lenin, was typically referred to as “Bronstein”, a name he himself had long ceased to use, while the Polish revolutionary Karl Radek was referred to as Sobelsohn. In their deluded anti-Semitic frenzy, the far-right frequently designated as “Jews” a significant number of revolutionaries who were not Jewish at all, including Lenin,

who had one Jewish grandparent, not making him Jewish according to Jewish law.

Karl Liebknecht, or the aforementioned Max Levien. The terms “Asiatic” and “Jewish” Bolshevism would be used by these forces almost interchangeably. As Hanebrink explains, “The Bolshevik was at once a rootless migrant Jew, the sign of an invading horde from the East, and an Asiatic beast.’’

An anti-Semitic propaganda poster depicting Trotsky as a Jewish monster from 1919, the high point of the anti-Jewish pogroms by Whites and Ukrainian nationalists

During the Civil War of 1918-1922, launched by the invasion of 19 foreign armies against the fledgling Bolshevik regime, between 50,000 and 200,000 Jews were killed in Ukraine alone, mostly by counter-revolutionary White and Ukrainian nationalist forces. Polish armed forces too, who fought against the Red Army, committed anti-Jewish massacres, including the notorious pogrom of Pinsk, in which 35 Jews were murdered. Poland’s prime minister and foreign minister Ignacy Paderewski would justify this massacre by saying that it was a “matter of pure Bolshevism. We executed the people responsible for the crime, and they happened to be Jews.”

The Nazi movement in inter-war Germany emerged under the direct impact of these counter-revolutions. Both Germany and Austria became centers for the far-right, with nationalist emigres flocking to Vienna and Berlin, in particular, in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the revolution in Hungary. In their anti-Semitic propaganda, they continuously pointed to the “Jewish revolutionaries” in the Bavarian Soviet Republic, as well as in the Soviet Union.

Fused with the geostrategic goals and military and economic machinery of German imperialism, the myth of Judeo-Bolshevism became a central ideological basis for both the war against the Soviet Union—with between 27 and 40 million Soviet victims, the deadliest and most violent war in human history— and the genocide of European Jewry. It helped mobilize fascist regimes and far-right forces across Eastern Europe, including the governments of Romania and Hungary and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B), in what the Nazis portrayed as an anti-Bolshevik and anti-Jewish crusade.

A Nazi-era anti-Semitic propaganda poster in Polish. It says: Death! To the Jewish-Bolshevik pestilence of murdering!

In Ukraine, the OUN-B committed horrific pogroms against the Jewish population—most infamously in Lviv. Romania, under the dictatorship of Ion Antonescu and his fascist Iron Guard, carried out the largest state-sponsored anti-Jewish massacres and pogroms outside of the Nazi-occupied countries. While the Polish far-right was itself targeted by the Nazis, Poland was turned into the main site of the industrial destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis, and saw several horrific pogroms perpetrated by nationalist forces and rural layers. Substantial sections of the Polish bourgeoisie and government-in-exile in London were viciously anti-Semitic. Hanebrink points out that the government-in-exile received reports which “dwelled at length on the problem of Jewish participation in the new Communist regime…[and] labeled Jews collectively as traitors.”

After the end of the war, the “Judeo-Bolshevik myth” in West Germany was adapted to the context of the Cold War. As Hanebrink explains, instead of “Jewish Bolshevism,” former Nazis who reentered the justice system, the media, the diplomatic corps, and the military in West Germany, only had to say “Asiatic Bolshevism” to appear respectable. “While changed political circumstances imposed serious professional consequences on those who openly called the Soviet enemy a Jewish power, the U.S.-led ‘crusade’ to defend Western civilization aligned easily with other aspects of Nazi anti-Soviet ideology.”

Hanebrink mentions the well-known case of Eberhard Taubert, the head and founder of the Nazi “Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question.” He was a close co-worker of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, wrote the script of the notorious Nazi propaganda film “The Eternal Jew” and authored the law forcing Jews to wear the “yellow star.” After the war, he headed a CIA-funded anti-Communist organization, which “drew heavily on themes widely circulated during the Nazi era, including representations of ‘enemies of the people’ as animals or insects. … After 1945, Taubert dropped all references to Judeo-Bolshevism, but he retained every other ideological and symbolic feature of his earlier work.” Taubert remained an influential figure in German politics until well into the 1970s, working as an adviser to the leading Bavarian politician and one-time Chancellor candidate, Franz-Josef Strauß.

Eberhard Taubert

Hanebrink provides a wealth of empirical evidence to demonstrate the close relationship between anti-Semitism and counter-revolution in the first half of the twentieth century. However, despite this focus on the connection between anti-Semitism and anti-Communism, he deliberately eschews defining anti-Semitism as the ideology of counter-revolution. Instead, he insists on viewing anti-Semitism as a “cultural code” that takes different forms in different cultural and political contexts. For Hanebrink, Judeo-Bolshevism is but a specific, contemporary variation on earlier anti-Semitic tropes of the “Jewish conspiracy” and the “Jewish devil”.

While it is true that the latter tropes to some extent informed and were often associated with the myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, this understanding of modern political anti-Semitism ultimately strips it of its concrete historical and political content: Modern political anti-Semitism was, above all, a reaction and ideological crowbar against the socialist and Marxist workers’ movement.

Great white sharks’ small Jurassic ancestor


This 23 July 2018 video says about itself:

In the first video of this year’s Shark Week we investigate the earliest evolution of the sharks, and look at just where and when these incredibly remarkable animals came from.

From the University of Vienna in Austria:

The ancestor of the great white shark

The unique tooth structure of the great white shark gives new insights into its origin

July 8, 2019

Mackerel sharks (Lamniformes) are a group consisting of some of the most iconic sharks we know, including the mako shark (the fastest shark in the world), the infamous great white shark and Megalodon, the biggest predatory shark that has ever roamed the world’s oceans. An international team of researchers around Patrick L. Jambura from the University of Vienna found a unique feature in the teeth of these apex predators, which allowed them to trace back the origin of this group to a small benthic shark from the Middle Jurassic (165 mya). Their study was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Similar to humans, shark teeth are composed of two mineralized structures: a hard shell of hypermineralized tissue (in humans enamel, in sharks enameloid) and a dentine core. Depending on the structure of the dentine we distinguish between two different types: orthodentine and osteodentine.

Orthodentine has a very compact appearance and is similar to the dentine we can find in human teeth. In shark teeth, orthodentine is confined to the tooth crown. In contrast, the other dentine type is spongious in appearance and resembles real bone and therefore is called osteodentine. It can be found in the root, anchoring the tooth to the jaw and in some species also in the tooth crown where it supports the orthodentine.

Using high resolution CT scans, Patrick L. Jambura and his colleagues examined the tooth composition of the great white shark and its relatives and found a peculiar condition of the teeth of members of this group: the osteodentine of the roots intrudes into the crown and replaces the orthodentine there completely, making it the only type of dentine being present. This condition is not known from any other shark, which all possess orthodentine to some degree and thus it is confined to members of this group.

Another species that was examined was the fossil shark Palaeocarcharias stromeri, which is well-represented by complete skeletons from the famous 150 million-year-old Solnhofen Plattenkalks of South Germany. The oldest find of this species is from the Middle Jurassic (165 million years ago) and it didn’t have much in common with today’s mackerel sharks. Palaeocarcharias was a small sluggish benthic shark, not exceeding lengths of more than a metre and seemingly hunted small fish in shallow waters. To this day, its affiliation has been a riddle to scientists, since its body shape resembles a carpet shark, while its fang like teeth are similar to mackerel sharks. The examination of the tooth microstructure yielded the presence of the same unique tooth composition that is found only in great white sharks and their relatives. The shared tooth histology is a strong indicator that this small inconspicuous shark gave rise to one of the most iconic shark lineages that includes giants like the extinct Megalodon or the living great white shark.

“Orthodentine is known for almost all vertebrates — from fish to mammals, including all modern sharks, except for the mackerel sharks. The discovery of this unique tooth structure in the fossil shark Palaeocarcharias strongly indicates that we found the oldest known ancestor of the great white shark and shows that even this charismatic giant shark started on a shoestring” states Patrick L. Jambura.

New Zealanders against Trump’s prisons for immigrating


Karen and other New Zealanders demonstrating against United States President Trump's imprisonment of immigrants

By Tom Peters in New Zealand:

Protest in New Zealand against US brutality towards refugees

8 July 2019

Between 50 and 100 people, including students and workers, gathered outside the US embassy in Wellington last Thursday to protest against the appalling and inhuman conditions in US concentration camps, which are being filled with tens of thousands of refugees by the Trump administration.

The rally, called by Amnesty International (AI) and Mums 4 Refugees to coincide with the US Independence Day, demonstrated the growing international outrage and disgust at the brutal treatment of immigrants and refugees, including children. Several of those in attendance strongly criticised the New Zealand government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, for being complicit in attacks on immigrants and refugees.

The gathering was one of several that have been held in support of immigrants since the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack in which fascist Brenton Tarrant, an admirer of Donald Trump, killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

It followed a vigil the day before, also outside the US embassy, organised by Free Assange NZ as part of the global fight to free Julian Assange. The Trump administration is seeking to imprison the WikiLeaks founder on espionage charges for the “crime” of revealing US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The corporate media ignored both events. Along with the political establishment, the media is seeking to bury discussion about the political roots of the Christchurch atrocity, including the culpability of the US, Australian and New Zealand governments in promoting war, racism and xenophobia.

Annaliese Johnston from Amnesty International told the gathering that people fleeing persecution and violence have “been met with imprisonment, oppression, hunger.” Children had been separated from their parents and “forced to sleep on concrete floors”, without access to soap and blankets. “The multiple visits that have happened over the last few weeks have found what can only be described as completely inhumane and illegal conditions”, she said.

Johnston explained that AI had documented how humanitarian volunteers, members of clergy, journalists and lawyers had “been subjected to a campaign of intimidation, harassment and illegal imprisonment by the US government, only for seeking to help these people… and for exposing the US administration’s actions.”

AI members distributed a petition to be presented to US ambassador Scott Brown calling for “an immediate investigation” into the conditions on the border detention facilities. Johnson also called for people to “write to your local MP because I think we need the New Zealand government to speak up publicly on this.”

… While Ardern has been glorified by the global media for supposedly showing “kindness” and “compassion” in her response to the Christchurch terrorist attack, her Labour Party-NZ First-Greens coalition government has in fact strengthened the military and intelligence alliance with US imperialism.

Gayaal Iddamalgoda, from the Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign, added that “Australia, New Zealand’s ally, is committing the same atrocity against asylum seekers” as Trump. The Ardern government, he added, had set aside funds to stop asylum seeker boats from reaching New Zealand, something that has never happened.

Sarah Jane Teurakura Parton from Mums 4 Refugees described the Ardern government as “complicit” in attacks on asylum seekers. She noted that Labour MPs, including Paul Eagle, Poto Williams, Louisa Wall and Jamie Strange, were photographed in the US embassy celebrating Independence Day with ambassador Brown, “while children are dying in concentration camps along the southern US border.” She explained that Brown, a Trump-appointee and former Republican senator, had campaigned throughout his political career against rights for undocumented migrants.

Parton noted that the Labour Party had “campaigned on an anti-immigration platform,” and scapegoated people with “Chinese sounding names” for the housing crisis prior to the 2017 election.

She tried, somewhat feebly, to defend the US Democratic Party, saying that although former president Obama’s anti-immigrant policies were “terrible,” his administration was “trying to make it better.” In reality, Obama deported more people than any previous president and the Democrats have supported the Trump administration by approving billions of dollars for the fascistic border agencies.

Socialist Equality Group members spoke with some of those in attendance, distributed the WSWS perspective “No to concentration camps in America!” and promoted the SEG’s July 14 rally to demand freedom for Assange and whistleblower
Chelsea Manning.

Oliver

Oliver, a gardener, said “children shouldn’t be held in horrendous conditions. Everyone deserves a fair shot at life and not to be kept in a bad situation with no way forward. I think Trump is a monster. He doesn’t have any social conscience.” He added that the Democrats were “not doing very much at all” to oppose Trump. He noted that there were “economic causes” for the refugee crisis, including US corporations “putting Third World farmers out of business” with unfair trading practices.

Olivia, a political science student, said that describing the immigrant detention facilities as concentration camps “isn’t hyperbole.” She noted that “the Holocaust did start with this sort of discrimination. We need to learn from history. Look at the systematic discrimination against Jewish people in Nazi Germany and Europe. They didn’t just wake up one day and find they were being all of a sudden murdered by the millions.”

Olivia said the Trump administration was seeking to “scapegoat” migrants for “economic inequality and hardships in America, when it’s just the system and they really need to have a hard look at that inequality.”

Karen, whose family had immigrated to New Zealand from South Africa, was “disappointed and angry” that the Labour government and other parties had not criticised the US concentration camps. She agreed that the Christchurch terrorist had been “emboldened” by Trump, adding that Trump was “not just an overseas issue” but was setting “a precedent for people across the world to lean into fascism.”

Karen also believed nationalism and racism were being promoted to divert attention from “class and wealth disparity”. Poor people were being “manipulated into thinking that if you push down another group, you will be okay, that if other people suffer then you will have a better life.”

Jordan

Jordan, who is self-employed, said the treatment of migrants by the US was “one step towards fascism. It’s very scary to put yourself in the shoes of a child that’s going through that. I think people like us, who are in more of a privileged position, should say something about it.”

Jordan also believed the current period was similar to the 1920s and 1930s, with rising interest in socialism among young people as well as the growth of the far right. “The gap between the rich and the poor is becoming larger and larger and the easiest thing to do is to point to a scapegoat,” he said. “Now it’s immigrants, before that it was Jews.”

In appearances on two Sunday television interview programs, a top aide to President Trump on immigration issues said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was preparing to deport all one million immigrants who have been issued final removal orders by federal immigration judges: here.

Shane Jones, a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour-led government, and a member of the right-wing NZ First Party, has used the government’s intensifying attacks on immigrants to echo the extreme-right positions espoused in the Christchurch terrorist’s fascist “manifesto”: here.

Amazon.com, 25 years of exploitation


This 5 September 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Exposed: Undercover Reporter at Amazon Warehouse Found Abusive Conditions & No Bathroom Breaks

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has targeted Amazon for its role in widening the wage gap in the United States, and this week he is expected to unveil legislation requiring large employers like Amazon to cover the cost of federal assistance received by their employees.

We speak with journalist James Bloodworth, who spent a month working undercover as a “picker” in an Amazon order fulfillment center and found workers were urinating in bottles because they were discouraged from taking bathroom breaks. His new book is “Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain.”

By Tom Carter in the USA:

Amazon’s 25th anniversary: A conglomerate based on parasitism and exploitation

8 July 2019

Last week, Amazon commemorated its 25th anniversary. From its beginnings in a garage in Seattle, Washington, Amazon has grown into a multinational technology conglomerate with a market capitalization of nearly one trillion dollars.

In 1994, future Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos left his job at hedge fund D.E. Shaw to get out in front of the possibilities opened up by the accelerating development of the internet, beginning with the modest idea of an online bookstore. Bezos went on to become the wealthiest man on the planet, his hoard by one estimate peaking at a record $157 billion before his assets were divided in a divorce earlier this year.

Now considered one of the “Big Four” technology monopolies alongside Apple, Google and Facebook, Amazon controls the largest marketplace on the Internet: Amazon.com. The conglomerate’s reach extends from Whole Foods Market, which Amazon purchased in 2017 for $13.4 billion, to consumer electronics such as the Kindle reader and the voice-controlled Alexa. Amazon subsidiary Kuiper Systems announced in April of this year that it will spend a decade launching 3,236 satellites into space to provide broadband internet.

Traditional book publishers were decimated by the arrival of Amazon, which aggressively pursued them, in the words of Bezos, “the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle.” Using its vast flows of cash, Amazon ruthlessly undercut its rivals, from neighborhood stores to diaper manufacturers, accepting losses in order to drive competitors out of its way. Meanwhile, Amazon demanded and obtained free money from state and local governments in the form of tax breaks and other concessions.

Amazon’s annual revenues reached $233 billion in 2018, on which the conglomerate is expected to pay zero federal income tax. To put this figure in perspective, these revenues are nearly at the level of the annual tax revenue of Russia, which amounted to $253.9 billion in US dollars in 2017. Amazon’s revenues are higher than the government revenues of Turkey ($173.9 billion), Austria ($197.8 billion), Poland ($90.8 billion) and Iran ($77.2 billion).

Nearly half of American households now have subscriptions to Amazon Prime. The click of a mouse on a personal computer, or the tap of a finger on a mobile device, now sets into motion the speedy delivery of commodities from around the world, or the instantaneous electronic transmission of a film, song or book. Behind these deceptively simple transactions lies Amazon’s vast and complex commercial, logistics, distribution and computing empire.

Promising advances have indeed been made in automation and artificial intelligence. These technological advances carry with them tremendous liberating potential for human civilization as a whole. Heavy and repetitive toil by humans can increasingly be mitigated by robots, and possibilities appear on the horizon for advanced levels of coordination and integration around the world, assisted by artificial intelligence.

But under capitalism, new advances in technology have made possible new techniques of exploitation. Amazon has become a watchword for a new kind of despotism in the workplace.

In Amazon “fulfillment centers”, workers are forbidden to carry cellphones or to talk to each other. They are searched coming in and out, and minute details of their activity throughout the workday are tracked. Amazon specializes in putting constant pressure on workers to move as fast as possible, with electronic devices constantly prompting and prodding them to complete the next task.

Workers are instructed to compete with each other to surpass each other’s rates, which they are admonished constitutes “fun”. Arbitrarily high rates are demanded, and then raised, and then raised again. A worker who takes a moment to rest, to drink water, or to go to the bathroom can be criticized for a diminished rate. The workers who are deemed too slow, or who simply tire out, are replaced.

Amazon is now the second-largest employer in the United States, and there are around 647,000 Amazon workers worldwide. Journalist John Cassidy, writing about Amazon in the New Yorker in 2015, commented: “Behind all the technological advances and product innovation, there is a good deal of old-fashioned labor discipline, wage repression, and exertion of management power.”

Over the past week, the World Socialist Web Site published an article exposing the injury of 567 workers over a two-year period at Amazon’s DFW-7 fulfillment center near Fort Worth, Texas. In December of last year, the WSWS reported how Amazon had hired a private detective to spy on 27-year-old worker Michelle Quinones in an effort to block compensation for her injury.

Amazon has appeared in the “Dirty Dozen” list maintained by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) for two years in a row. The 2019 report highlights six worker deaths in seven months, 13 deaths since 2013, “a high incidence of suicide attempts, workers urinating in bottles and workers left without resources or income after on-the-job injuries.”

Amazon’s techniques are merely a refined expression of conditions being imposed on workers around the world. In March of this year, Ford Motor Company announced the hiring of its new chief financial officer, Tim Stone, who previously served as Amazon’s former vice president of finance and the leader of the Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. Stone was hired as Ford carries out brutal cost cutting in the US, Europe and around the world.

There is no shortage of opposition among Amazon workers. On social media, current and former Amazon workers are contacting each other, looking for ways to fight back. In Poland, where Amazon workers make around $5 per hour, Amazon walked out of negotiations on July 2 with two unions over working conditions, setting the stage for a strike.

… The WSWS fights for the building of independent, rank-and-file workplace committees to unite Amazon workers throughout the world with all workers in a common counteroffensive.

The key to the struggle of Amazon workers is an understanding that the fight against Amazon is a fight against the capitalist system itself. In 25 years, Amazon produced the biggest individual fortune in history, and it did so on the backs of hundreds of thousands of workers. In the words of Karl Marx, Amazon’s trajectory represents an “accumulation of misery, corresponding with accumulation of capital.”

Not just Bezos, but many others have enriched themselves or stand to enrich themselves from Amazon’s rise. Wall Street has its fingers in the pie. The Vanguard Group currently owns $55 billion of Amazon stock, BlackRock owns $45 billion and FMR owns $30 billion.

The parasitic activities of Amazon, through which it has sought to appropriate for itself the surplus value accumulated by other companies, has been integrated with the financial parasitism of the American economy. Amazon’s own stock has been buoyed ever higher as part of the speculative mania on Wall Street.

Amazon is entangled not only with Wall Street, but also with the US military and intelligence apparatus. Amazon was awarded a $600 million contract with the CIA in 2013, followed by a $10 billion contract with the Department of Defense last year to move government data onto the cloud. Meanwhile, Amazon’s facial-identification software “Rekognition” is being marketed to federal and local police.

In 2013, Bezos personally purchased, and now operates, the Washington Post, which has been a main media voice for the Democratic Party’s anti-Russia campaign and the overall interests of American imperialism.

The increasing integration of Amazon with the repressive apparatus of the state, while its tentacles stretch into every corner of society, confirms the Marxist understanding of the relationship between capitalism and democracy in the modern epoch. “Finance capital does not want liberty, it wants domination”, wrote Austrian Marxist Rudolf Hilferding, in a passage quoted by Lenin in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.

Amazon must be placed under public ownership and democratic control. It must be taken out of the hands of the financial oligarchy and transformed into a public utility. The technology and infrastructure behind Amazon’s meteoric trajectory and the biggest individual fortune in modern history must be turned towards the needs and aspirations of the world’s population as a whole.

This program can only be achieved through the mobilization of the working class on an international scale on the basis of a fight to overthrow the capitalist system and establish a democratically-controlled socialist economy, run on the basis of social need, not private profit.

Rescuing drowning people is not a crime


This 4 July 2019 video says about itself:

Sea-Watch migrant rescue captain ‘in hiding’ after release

The German captain of a rescue ship who angered Italy’s interior minister by bringing refugees and migrants to an Italian island has been moved to a secret location after receiving threats, according to a charity.

Carola Rackete, 31, was freed from house arrest on orders of an Italian judge on Tuesday, three days after her detention.

The European Union is spending tens of millions of euro on equipment and training for the Libyan coast guard, as part of a strategy aimed at stopping migration to Europe.

This incident has brought into sharp relief the gap between the European countries who want a closed-door policy and the activist groups who say a more humane approach is needed.

Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports.

From daily News Line in Britain:

8th July 2019

A CHARITY rescue vessel, the Alex, on Saturday brought 41 shipwrecked migrants into port in Lampedusa. This is the second boat to defy Italy’s right wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s decision to close all Italian ports to migrants, and to let them drown in the Med as the best way of dealing with some of the poorest people in the world.

After the Alex reached port, Salvini said that he would raise the maximum fine to one million euros. The Alex had requested to disembark those rescued, saying ‘Shipwrecked and crew are exhausted … people rescued need to be cared for … this is a surreal situation and it is an unnecessary cruelty to prolong the wait.’

Carola Rackete, the German captain of the first boat, the Sea Watch 3 charity ship, said she disobeyed orders not to dock in Lampedusa in order to get ‘exhausted and desperate’ people on to dry land. She said some migrants had already started self-harming and she was ‘afraid it would lead to suicides’.

She added: ‘For days, the crew had taken turns to stay on call, even at night, for fear that someone would throw themselves overboard. For those who cannot swim, that means suicide.’

Salvini responded: ‘I do not authorise any landing for those who couldn’t care less about Italian laws and help the people smugglers.’ Salvini last month signed a decree that would bring fines of up to 50,000 euros ($57,000) for the captain, owner and operator of a vessel ‘entering Italian territorial waters without authorisation’.

Authorities on Lampedusa last week arrested the Sea Watch captain, Carola Rackete. An Italian judge this week ordered Carola Rackete to be freed. However, two other investigations, on charges of helping people smugglers and resisting the authorities are still underway.

A third rescue ship, German charity Sea-Eye’s vessel Alan Kurdi, carrying 65 shipwrecked migrants rescued off Libya is now in international waters off Lampedusa.

It is a matter of record that Libya under Colonel Gadaffi had such a vibrant economy that it was able to provide jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people who are now desperate to risk their lives to get to Italy and the EU.

Under the leadership of Sarkozy and Cameron, the French and UK airforces bombed Libya and sent special forces to lead Islamist bands to overthrow Gadaffi. He was tortured to death by Islamists after they captured him following a French air raid on his convoy. The situation of acute crisis in the Med is a direct result of the EU’s war to smash Gadaffi.

The attitude of the EU-supported Libyan regime, based in Tripoli was seen when during the recent Haftar air raids on Tripoli detention centres: guards machine gunned detained migrants that sought to escape the air attack in case they should make it to Lampedusa.

As far as the EU is concerned getting its hands on Libya’s oil is their number one issue.

The European Union is not united on exactly who should get his hands on Libyan oil. The French Macron government supports warlord Haftar to grab the oil for French Total corporation. Its enemy, the Italian Salvini administration, supports the Tripoli jihadist militias to grab the oil for Italian ENI corporation.

Migrants can literally go to the bottom of the Med.

The USA has the same attitude to the migrants who are seeking to escape from US imposed poverty regimes in [Central] America, and are then detained by the hundreds on the Mexico-US border, along the Rio Grande river.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats visiting Texas facilities run by the US Customs and Border Protection stated that migrants are subjected to inhuman treatment by CBP officials who are forcing migrants to drink out of toilets. She reported: ‘Officers were keeping women in cells with no water and had told them to drink out of the toilets.’

Rep. Judy Chu of California also echoed similar views and recounted the scenes she saw at detention centres. ‘If you want water, just drink from a toilet.’ That’s what border patrol told one thirsty woman we met on today’s #DemsAtTheBorder trip,’ Chu tweeted.

She also shared a video that presented the appalling conditions at the camp.

The workers of the EU states, including the UK and the workers of the USA, cannot just stand by and watch the poor of the world being abused and left to drown in the Med or the Rio Grande. The EU and the US are currently involved in a trade war to sink each other, during which workers wages both in the US and the EU will be slashed to Greek levels to help the bosses win that war.

If they are able to get away with drowning migrants they will shortly be telling workers that if they want to keep their jobs, then there will have to be speed-ups and mass sackings, and even wage cuts, as the trade war heats up.

US workers should never forget that in the 1930s millions of US workers were forced onto the roads to march across the USA in search of jobs.

The US, the UK and the EU trade unions must tell their governments that they will take industrial action of they continue with the policy of allowing migrants to drown in the Med or the Rio Grande.

The working class of the world must take action to get rid of capitalism to move forward to a world socialist republic, where the most advanced planning of an automated socialist society will produce a situation where the norm will be: ‘From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.’ Capitalism will be consigned to museums and there certainly will not be a single migrant to drown!

The courageous action of captain Carola Rackete has once again focused public attention on the plight of refugees seeking to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. Ten days ago, Rackete, the captain of Sea Watch 3, ignored a ban issued by Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (League), and transported 42 rescued refugees to the port of Lampedusa. The Italian rescue ship Alex, run by the organisation Mediterranea, also defied Salvini’s ban. It landed 54 people in Italy on Sunday, including 11 women and four children. Another ship, the Alan Kurdi, which also headed towards Lampedusa with 64 immigrants on board, decided to continue to Malta. After 11 days, those it had rescued were finally picked up on Sunday morning by a Maltese naval boat and brought ashore: here.