5.5.16 DIH

children, kids, art, sunToday is Children’s Day in both Japan and South Korea, while the U.S. and Mexico commemorate Cinco de Mayo, and conscious citizens around the world celebrate International Midwives’ Day; in Constantinople fourteen hundred sixty-three years ago, the Second Council of Constantinople began, one of seven such meetings that shaped the form and function on both Eastern and Western Christian churches; much later, eight centuries and a year before this very day, rebellious nobility in England renounced their loyalty to King John, a foreswearing that soon led to the signing of the Magna Carta; forty five years later, in 1260, the grandson of Genghis became Kublai Khan, consolidating control over East Asia and maintaining a complex interlocking set of power relationships that oversaw plus-or-minus one sixth of the world’s most inhabited areas; two centuries and thirty-four years beyond that juncture, in 1494, Christopher Columbus was among those in his expedition who set foot on what is now Jamaica, an inhabited land that he claimed for Spain; a hundred forty-six years thereafter, in 1640, the first King Charles Stuart sought to manipulate the Parliament he had dissolved a dozen years before into financing his campaigns against Scotland and his own people, which when they refused to be pawns to such a charade, led to this new sitting’s dissolution and moniker of the Short Parliament; a year shy of a century-and-a-half later, in 1789, France’s revolutionary art revolution french art-Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peupleattack on despotic aristocracy permitted the convening for the first time in close to two hundred years of the feeble but still-real expression of democracy that the Estates General embodied; eleven years beyond that date in time, in 1800, a new kind of prince—of the bourgeoisie—came into the world in France as baby boy Louis Christophe Francois Hachette, who became—and whose family still remains—one of the world’s chief publishers; thirteen years hence, in 1813, further North and East in Europe a male child was born who would mature as the remarkable and penetrating thinker and critic, Soren Kierkegaard; half-a-decade henceforth, in 1818, in a German part of Europe between France and Denmark another young male entered the world who would grow up to enmity and acclaim as a philosopher and thinker and political-economist and people’s champion named Karl Marx; three years yet more proximate to today, in 1821, an experiment in imperial imprimatur exited the world with Napoleon’s death, in exile on Elba; eleven years subsequently, in 1832, across the Atlantic and the North American landmass, a male infant took his first breath in Ohio en route to life as historian of indigenous peoples and the West, Hubert H. Bancroft; another fourteen years along the arc of time’s flight, in 1846, a Polish baby boy entered the world in the usual way, a member of a ‘displaced’ aristocratic clan, who would go on to great popularity and fame, including Nobel literary laurels, as Henryk Sienkiewicz; an additional fourteen years forward in time, in 1860, tuscany italyGiuseppe Garibaldi embarked with a small army on the voyage of ‘conquest’ to Sicily that would result in a modern, more-or-less united Europe; two years after that conjunction, in 1862, across the ocean in Mexico, national forces there—with the assistance of the United States—repelled a French incursion that sought to ‘revolutionize’ this northernmost outpost of Hispanic America as a redoubt for free trade, debt-slavery, relief-of-the-rich-from-bubbles, and fallen aristocrats; seven hundred sixty-six days after that point, in 1864, a baby girl was born who would rise to fame and fortune as reporter and founder of ‘immersion journalism,’ Nellie Bly, who bested Jules Verne’s record for traversing the globe by eight days; another year along the cosmos’ temporal road, in 1865, the first U.S. train robbery occurred near Cincinnati; a dozen years yet later on, in 1877, Chief Sitting Bull of the Lakota Sioux led some of his people across the Canadian border in order to avoid harassment and predation at the hands of the U.S. Calvary; not quite a decade hence, in 1886, National Guard forces murdered protestors in the Bay View section of Wisconsin’s premier city, serving the interests of propertied elites and under the orders of the Republican Governor to “shoot to kill,” while a short distance South in Chicago, police pummeled and harassed Jewish protesters who were decrying the conditions of their slum; four years later, in 1890, a male child took his first breath of privilege, going on to become the largely uncritical, but prolific, chronicler of the bourgeoisie, Christopher Morley; three hundred sixty-five days

"Piano Andrés Bello" by Jorge Barrios - Own work.
“Piano Andrés Bello” by Jorge Barrios – Own work.

nearer to now, in 1891, New York opened a municipal Music Hall with flair as Tchaikovsky served as guest-conductor; ten years beyond that temporal conjunction, in 1901, a baby boy from an entirely different milieu, a working-class child of Georgia, came along who matured as legendary singer and songwriter and guitarist ‘Blind’ Willie McTell; eleven years later in space and time, in 1912,Russia’s Bolsheviks first published the particular voice of Pravda; half a decade even closer to the current context, in 1917, a baby boy was born who would go on to a long life as the singer and songwriter and Cuban icon of the Buena Vista Social Club, Pio Leyva; fourteen hundred sixty-one days hence, in 1921, Alfred H. Fried, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and denizen of a pacifism that stood impotently by as World War One exploded, drew his final breath, and ‘dreaded’ anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti faced arrest for murders that they did not commit but for which they would die; four years still further on, in 1925, Tennessee teacher John Scopes faced arrest and brief incarceration for the crime of instructing his students about evolution; six years more on time’s path to now, in 1931, the upheaval that we now know as Bloody Harlan began in Kentucky, a life-and-death struggle in the Appalachian coal fields; three years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1934, the Three Stooges released their first short feature, an exercise in misogyny and comic confusion, The Woman Haters; a single year past that point, in 1936, six thousand miles from Tennessee in Ethiopia, Italy ‘annexed’ the African nation with the arrival at Addis Ababa of troops to install the fascists formally after half a year of poison gas and imperial attrition against Imperial Ethiopian forces that France and England supported; another annual solar passage subsequent to that moment, in 1937, some forty thousand lumberjacks went on strike in the Pacific Northwest,

CC BY-NC by State Library Victoria Collections
CC BY-NC by State Library Victoria Collections

soon enough winning union recognition, an eight hour day, and higher—if still execrable—wages; four years henceforth, in 1941, Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie returned to rule his country with the help of both British Nigerian troops and the coming implosion that resulted from Italy’s alliance with Hitler; a year beyond that day, in 1942 across the Atlantic in the U.S. a baby girl uttered her first heartfelt cry on her way to a life as crooner and songwriter Tammy Wynette; three years later still, back across the Atlantic in 1945, citizens of Prague rose en masse against the Nazis who remained nominally in command in Czechoslovakia; another year along the temporal arc, in 1946, halfway round the world in Japan, a tribunal first sat in judgment against Japanese military and government officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity; three more years further down time’s twisting pathways, in 1949, the Treaty of London established a basis for opposition to further communist expansion in the region with the establishment of the Council of Europe; a decade and a half yet later on, in 1964, this same Council of Europe declared May 5 as

"Film strip" by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0
“Film strip” by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0

Europe Day; filmmaker and critic John Waters died a single year subsequent to that passage, in 1965, and the group that became the Grateful Dead premiered as the Warlocks in Menlo Park, California; a dozen years later still, in 1977, David Frost and the British Broadcasting Corporation released the first of the host’s lengthy interviews with Richard Nixon; three years afterward, in 1980 across the ocean in London, British Special Forces responded to the Iranian militants’ seizure of the Iranian embassy—which had theretofore been an outpost of British Petroleum and ‘Western’ intelligence—by storming the building and eliminating at least this reminder of the resistance to a new imperialism; seven years later, in 1987, in an outgrowth of the same process, U.S. television networks began live coverage of the Iran Contra hearings; four years further on, in 1991, riots erupted in the Mt. Pleasant section of the District of Columbia after police murdered an unarmed Salvadoran resident there; ten hundred ninety-six days thereafter, in 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to manage their differences over Nagorno-Karabakh without warfare, a promise that has since unraveled; seven further years beyond that juncture, in 2001, Clifton Hillegas, the originator of an original ‘cheat sheet,’ Cliff’s Notes, breathed his last; two years closer still to the present, in 2003, seven thousand miles Southeast in Southern Africa, Apartheid critic and thinker and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Walter Sisilu, died; eleven years more in the direction of today, in 2014, plus or minus twenty-eight refugees drowned in the Aegean Sea when two boats laden with would-be immigrants collided in mid-ocean.

5.04.2016 TOF

http://www.salon.com/2016/05/02/the_dark_road_to_criminalizing_pregnancy_why_everyone_should_care_about_the_feticide_conviction_of_purvi_patel/ – From Salon, a long-past-due wake-up call for scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens about the amplified recent assaults on women in the guise of protection for them and their fetuses, an analysis that flows from a meticulously researched item that Duke recently published about the hundreds of instances of such interventions over the past four decades, essentially threatening to criminalize pregnancy and target all poor women who might want abortions or be unable to manage their ‘terms’ readily, an incontrovertible ‘slippery slope’ in the direction of fascism that also, as TruthOut reports, guarantees further evisceration of an already troubled political economic landscape: “(Purvi Patel faces twenty years in prison for the ‘crime’ of losing her baby).  Patel says she had a miscarriage.  When she arrived, bleeding, at a hospital near South Bend, her doctor called the police on her.  The state of Indiana charged her with both feticide for allegedly inducing an abortion, and child neglect for allegedly having a premature baby and then allowing the baby to die — an inconsistent and contradictory set of charges.Pixabay Image 174822
On May 23, Ms. Patel’s case comes up for an appeal.  And all of us who care about reproductive rights had better be paying attention, because this case is particularly significant.  Farah Diaz-Tello, senior staff attorney at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, told Salon that if the state of Indiana permits Ms. Patel’s prosecution to stand it will change the way women can be prosecuted: ‘The state has used laws that were never intended to punish pregnant people for losing or ending a pregnancy, and now unless the appellate court steps in, anyone who self-induces an abortion at any stage (which is becoming increasingly common as abortion clinics vanish) could be charged with feticide.’  Permitting a person to be charged based on the outcome of the pregnancy could mean requiring people to prove that a miscarriage or a stillbirth was unintentional.
          (Her doctor, who induced police intervention, and then testified against her, is militantly anti-abortion).  This question of the whether Dr. McGuire was influenced by his own prejudices is crucial.  Miriam Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, says that knowing what happened to Ms. Patel may cause other women experiencing a miscarriage to fear going to the hospital for care, particularly if they are immigrants.  ‘Immigrant women already face barriers in accessing healthcare,’ Yeung told Salon.  ‘Unfortunately the actions of this doctor have created further misinformation for immigrant women, particularly pregnant women of color, who may now be more hesitant to access emergency healthcare.’
           (This conjunction of ‘helping professions’ and police is to say the least terrifying).  ‘When Donald Trump said pregnant people should face some kind of criminal penalty for having abortions, people were falling over themselves to distance themselves from that opinion,’ Diaz-Tello said.  ‘Well, here’s a case where that is precisely what happened.’  Both the March for Life and the National Right to Life Committee released statements in the wake of Donald Trump’s appalling remarks saying hat they didn’t believe that women who seek abortions should be punished.  Neither of those organizations have issued a statement on Ms. Patel’s case.  Neither responded to my inquiry as to why not, or whether they were planning to.

‘No matter how far along (Ms. Patel) actually was in pregnancy, or whether the pills she was alleged to have taken had anything to do with the outcome of the pregnancy,’ said Diaz-Tello, ‘to permit criminal charges based on a pregnancy outcome has huge ramifications for everyone who can become pregnant.’ …’This could mean prosecution could be brought for any action or inaction by a pregnant person, whether for a self-induced abortion, an accidental fall down the stairs, or a miscarriage.  They all may all lead to criminalizing pregnancy.'”

5.4.2016 History

"Oumijingu rokoku" by KENPEI - Own work.
“Oumijingu rokoku” by KENPEI – Own work.

Today in the United States is Bird Day, in Japan Greenery Day, in China Youth Day and around the world International Firefighters Day and Star Wars Day; for the Church of Rome, seven hundred and sixty years ago, the Augustinian monastic order formed under orders of Pope Alexander IV; six centuries and a year before the here and now, a Catholic Council of Constance, on the Swiss border, condemned two reformers, one long dead, predecessors of Protestants, who despised the Church’s affectations and corruption; a sixth Pope Alexander seventy-eight years subsequently, in 1493, arrogantly divvied up the Western Hemisphere between Spain and Portugal; a century, three decades, and three years later, in 1626, a Dutch explorer claimed lands for his homeland as New Netherlands, real estate that included what is now Manhattan and then was part of indigenous territory; just shy of three more decades toward today from that, in 1655, a male infant uttered his first cry on his way to having the command of music and materials that were necessary to facilitate inventing the piano as Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori;two decades along past that point, in 1675, King Charles II ordered the construction of the Royal Conservatory at Greenwich; one hundred and one years old american revolution-Declaration_independencesubsequently, in 1776, Rhode Island became the initial American colony to renounce British crown rule; twenty years after that inception of conflagration, in 1796, among the male children who came along were two boys, one who grew up as historian William Prescott, the other who would age as education-innovator and social-control expert, Horace Mann; three years beyond that conjunction in time and space, in 1799, the fourth conflict on the Indian subcontinent between England and the Indian contingent started; a decade and a half further past that juncture, in 1814,  the former emperor Napoleon began his exile on Elba; eleven years henceforth, in 1825, a male infant came along in England who as Thomas H. Huxley would help to revolutionize biology, making products and applying social control out of biochemical comprehension; one hundred thirty years back, in Haymarket Square in Chicago, agents provocateur exploded a bomb which caused police to fire indiscriminately into the crowd and kill and injure innocent participants, a day after murderous authorities had killed three union sympathizers; eighteen years later and twelve hundred miles south, in 1904, U.S. shipping and other commercial interests orchestrated the official beginning of construction of a

"Panama Canal Gatun Locks opening" by Stan Shebs. cc 3.0
“Panama Canal Gatun Locks opening” by Stan Shebs. cc 3.0

trans-oceanic canal in the territory of Panama, which the United States had just successfully separated from Colombia; a dozen years afterward, in 1916, a baby girl took her first breath in the U.S. on the way to life as thinker, critic, scholar, and environmental defender Jane Jacobs; three years yet more proximate to the present, in 1919, student protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to cavil against the transfer of Chinese territory to Japan; seven years onward toward today, in 1926, around the world in Britain, workers around the United Kingdom began a general strike; six years hence, in 1932, gangland kingpin Al Capone began serving al 11 year sentence much of which was for tax evasion; half a dozen years more down the pike, in 1938, a German hero, languishing in a concentration camp for the ‘crime’ of pointing out Germany’s rearmament, died just a few years after he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, and on the other side of the world, the venerable initiator of the discipline of Judo, Kano Jigoro, took a final tumble; a single additional year in the direction of the here and now, in 1939, a baby boy entered the world who would mature as Israeli thinker and journalist Amos Oz; a year still closer to now, in 1940, a baby boy was born who would grow up as physician and popular author Robin Cook; half a decade thereafter, in 1945, British soldiers entered the place near Hamburg that had housed Jews and others as the

San Francisco Holocaust Memorial Wally Gobetz Flickr
San Francisco Holocaust Memorial Wally Gobetz Flickr

Neuengamme prisoner-of-war facility that practiced “extermination through labor;” a single year past that horrific conjunction, seven thousand miles west in 1946, rioters at Alcatraz Federal prison in California forced the intervention of the Marine Corp to stop their attacks against ill treatment and barbarism in a different sort of concentration camp; seven years after that exact point, in 1953, Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for his slender but powerful novel, The Old Man and the Sea; six years further down the road, in 1959, the American music industry initiated the Grammy Awards; seven hundred thirty one leap years days later, in 1961, Black and White freedom riders began a drive to integrate interstate transportation in the Deep South; nine years later still, in 1970, in a sign of further social discord about American politics and empire, protesters at Kent State University in Ohio died at the hands of National Guard troops dispatched to ‘keep order;’ eight years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1972, the environmental organization Greenpeace took its current name a year after its original formation in Canada as the Don’t Make a Wave Committee; a year henceforth exactly, in 1973, American author and dramatist Jane Bowles exited the stage; sixteen years even closer to the current context, in 1989, Oliver North received nine acquittals in regard to his Iran Contra crimes, and three convictions that Federal Courts later overturned; three hundred and sixty five days beyond that hour and day, in 1990, six thousand miles northeast in the Baltic, Latvia renewed its proclamation of Independence after the end of a Soviet occupation; four years yet later on, in 1994,Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Peace accords, though in the end their signatures didn’t amount to much; two decades precisely in the future from that moment in space and time, in 2014 of course, the brilliant-but-in-English-little-recognized novelist, physicist, feminist, and thinker, Helga Konigsberg, who lived and worked in Eastern Germany, breathed her last after a three-decade struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

5.4.16 Quote

“I have been indicted on the charge of murder, as an accomplice or accessory.  Upon this indictment I have been convicted.  There was no evidence produced by the State to show or even indicate that I had any knowledge of the man who threw the bomb, or that I myself had anything to do with the throwing of the missile, unless, of course, you weigh the testimony of the accomplices of the State’s Attorney and Bonfield, the testimony of Thompson and Gilmer, BY THE PRICE THEY WERE PAID FOR IT.
money rockefeller fountain wealth privilege elite
If there was no evidence to show that I was legally responsible for the deed, then my conviction and the execution of the sentence is nothing less than willful, malicious, and deliberate murder, as foul a murder as may be found in the annals of religious, political, or any other sort of persecution.  There have been many judicial murders committed where the representatives of the State were acting in good faith, believing their victims to be guilty of the charge accused of.  In this case the representatives of the State cannot shield themselves with a similar excuse.  For they themselves have fabricated most of the testimony which was used as a pretense to convict us; to convict us by a jury picked out to convict!  Before this court, and before the public, which is supposed to be the State, I charge the State’s Attorney and Bonfield with the heinous CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER.

CC BY by ToGa Wanderings
CC BY by ToGa Wanderings

I will state a little incident which may throw light upon this charge.  On the evening on which the Praetorian Guards of the Citizen’s Association, the Bankers’ Association, the Association of the Board of Trade men, and the railroad princes, attacked the meeting of workingmen on the Haymarket,with murderous intent—on that evening, about 8 o’clock I met a young man, Legner by name, who is a member of the Aurora Turn-Verein.  He accompanied me, and never left me on that evening until I jumped from the wagon, a few seconds before the explosion occurred.  He knew that I had not seen Schwab on that evening.  He knew that I had no such conversation with anybody as Mr. Marshal Field’s protege, Thompson, testified to.  He knew that I did not jump from the wagon to strike the match and hand it to the man who threw the bomb.  He is not a Socialist.  Why did we not bring him on the stand?  Because the honorable representatives of the State, Grinnell and Bonfield, SPIRITED HIM AWAY.”monkey rhesus macaque animals

“It is not much I have to say.  And I would say nothing at all if keeping silent did not look like a cowardly approval of what has been done here.  To term the proceedings during the trial justice, would be a sneer.  Justice has not been done, more than this, could not be done.  If one class is arrayed against the other, it is idle and hypocritical to think about justice.  Anarchy was on trial, as the State’s Attorney put it in his closing speech.  A doctrine, an opinion hostile to brute force, hostile to our present murderous system of production and distribution.  I am condemned to die for writing newspaper articles and making speeches.  The State’s Attorney knows as well as I do that that alleged conversation between Mr. Spies and myself never took place.  He knows a good deal more than that.  He knows of all the beautiful work of his organizer Furthman.  When I was before the Coroner’s jury, two or three detectives swore very positive of having seen me at the Haymarket when Mr. Parsons finished his speech.  I suppose they wanted at that time TO FIX THE BOMB-THROWING ON ME.

Anarchy was on trial.  Little did it matter who the persons were to be honored by the prosecution.  It was the movement the blow was aimed at.  It was directed against the labor movement, against Socialism, for today every labor movement must, of necessity, be socialistic.

CC BY-SA by Elvert Barnes
CC BY-SA by Elvert Barnes

Talk about a gigantic conspiracy!  A movement is not a conspiracy.  All we did WAS DONE IN OPEN DAYLIGHT.

Design for the U.S. Capitol, "An Elevation for a Capitol", by James Diamond was one of many submitted in the 1792 contest, but not selected.
Design for the U.S. Capitol, “An Elevation for a Capitol”, by James Diamond was one of many submitted in the 1792 contest, but not selected.

There were no secrets.  We prophesied in word and writing the coming of a great revolution, a change in the system of production in all industrial countries of the globe.  And the change will come, and must come.  Is it not absurd, as the State’s Attorney and his associates have done, to suppose that this social revolution–a change of such immense proportions–was to be inaugurated on or about the first of May in the city of Chicago by making war on the police!  The organizer Furthman searched hundreds of numbers of the Arbeiter-Zeitung and the Alarm, and so the prosecution must have known very well what we understood when we talked about the coming revolution.  But the prosecuting attorneys preferred to ignore these explanatory articles.”civil war-Confederate_100_Dollars money

           “I have found out during the last few days what law is.  Before, I didn’t know.  I did not know before that I was convicted because I knew Spies and Fielden and Parsons, I have met these gentlemen.  I have presided in a mass-meeting, as the evidence against me shows, held in the Turner Hall, at which meeting YOUR HONOR WAS INVITED to appear.  The judges, the preachers, the newspaper men, and everybody in fact, were invited to appear at that meeting for the purpose of the discussion of Anarchism and Socialism.  I was at that hall.  I am well known among the workingmen of this city, and I was elected chairman of that meeting.  None of the representatives of the capitalistic system came forward to speak, to discuss the questions of Labor and Anarchism or Socialism with laboring men.Russel means food not bombs rally protest demonstration
NO; THEY COULDN’T STAND IT.  I was chairman of that meeting.  I don’t deny it.  I also on one occasion had the honor to be marshal of a labor demonstration in this city, and I never saw a more respectable lot of men than I saw on that day.  They marched like soldiers, and I am proud that I WAS MARSHAL OF THOSE MEN.rally protest demonstration
They were the toilers and the workingmen of this city.  The men marched through the streets to protest against the wrongs of society, and I was marshal of them.  If that is a crime, then I have found out, as a native, free-born American, of what I have been guilty.  I always supposed I had a right to express my opinion as the chairman of a peaceable meeting, and to be marshal of a labor demonstration.  My friends–the labor agitators and the marshals of a demonstration–was it a crime to be marshal of that demonstration?
I AM CONVICTED FOR THAT.””You ask me why sentence of death should not be passed upon me.  I will not talk much.  I will only say that I protest against my being sentenced to death, because I have committed no crime.  I was tried here in this room for murder, and I was convicted of Anarchy.  I protest against being sentenced to death, because I have not been found guilty of murder.  But, however, if I am to die on account of being an Anarchist, on account of my love for liberty, fraternity and equality, then I will not remonstrate.  If death is the penalty for our love of the freedom of the human race, then I say openly I have forfeited my life; but a murderer I am not.  Although being one of the parties who arranged the Haymarket meeting, I had no more to do with the throwing of that bomb, I had no more connection with it than State’s Attorney Grinnell had, perhaps.  I do not deny that I was present at the Haymarket meeting but that meeting-(At this point Mr. Salomon stepped up and spoke to Mr. Fischer in a low tone, but the latter waved him off and said:)–Mr. Salomon, be so kind.  I know what I am talking about.  Now, that Haymarket meeting was not called for the purpose of committing violence and crime.  No; but the meeting was called for the purpose of PROTESTING AGAINST THE OUTRAGES AND CRIMES committed by the police on the day previous, out at McCormick’s.  The State’s witness, Waller, and others have testified here, and I only need to repeat it, that we had a meeting on Monday night, and in this meeting–the affair at McCormick’s taking place just a few hours previous–took action and called a mass-meeting FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROTESTING AGAINST the brutal outrages of the police. korean protest rally demonstration
Waller was chairman of this meeting, and he himself made the motion to hold the meeting at the Haymarket.  It was he also who appointed me as a committee to have handbills printed and to provide for speakers; that I did, and nothing else.  The next day I went to Wehrer & Klein, and had 25,000 handbills printed, and I invited Spies to speak at the Haymarket meeting.  In the original of the ‘copy’ I had the line ‘Workingmen, appear armed!’ and I had my reason too for putting those words in, because I didn’t want the WORKINGMEN TO BE SHOT DOWN in that meeting as on other occasions.

CC BY-NC by mrchrisadams
CC BY-NC by mrchrisadams

But as those circulars were printed, or as a few of them were printed and brought over to me at the Arbeiter-Zeitung office, my comrade Spies saw one of them.  I had invited him to speak before that.  He showed me the circular, and said: ‘Well, Fischer, if those circulars are distributed, I won’t speak.’  I admitted it would be better to take the objectionable words out, and Mr. Spies spoke.  And that is all I had to do with that meeting.  Well, I went to the Haymarket about 8:15 o’clock, and stayed there until Parsons interrupted Fielden’s speech.  Parsons stepped up to the stand, and said that it looked like it was going to rain, and that the assembly had better adjourn to Zepf’s Hall.  At that moment a friend of mine who testified on the witness stand, went with me to Zepf’s Hall, and we sat down at a table and had a glass of beer.  At the moment I was going to sit down, my friend Parsons came in with some other persons, and after I was sitting there about five minutes the explosion occurred.  I had no idea that anything of the kind would happen, because, as the State’s witnesses testified, themselves, there was no agreement to defend ourselves that night.”

CC BY-NC-ND by Chris Devers
CC BY-NC-ND by Chris Devers

“COURT OF JUSTICE!  With the same irony with which you have regarded my efforts to win, in this ‘free land of America,’ a livelihood SUCH AS HUMAN KIND IS WORTHY TO ENJOY, do you now, after condemning me to death, concede me the liberty of making a final speech.  I accept your concession; but it is only for the purpose of exposing the injustice, the calumnies, and the outrages which have been heaped upon me.

Emancipation Day celebration in Richmond, Virginia in 1905
Emancipation Day celebration in Richmond, Virginia in 1905

You have accused me of murder, and convicted me: WHAT PROOF HAVE YOU BROUGHT that I am guilty?  In the first place, you have brought this fellow Seliger to testify against me.  Him I have helped to make bombs, and you have further proven that with the assistance of another, I took those bombs to No. 58 Clybourne avenue, but what you have not proven–even with the assistance of your bought ‘squealer,’ Seliger, who would appear to have acted such a prominent part in the affair–is that any of those bombs were taken to the Haymarket.solidarity
A couple of chemists also, have been brought here as specialists, yet they could only state that the metal of which the Haymarket bomb was made BORE A CERTAIN RESEMBLANCE to those bombs of mine, and your Mr. Ingham has vainly endeavored to deny that the bombs were quite different.  He had to admit that there was a difference of a full half inch in their diameters, although he suppressed the fact that there was also a difference of a quarter of an inch in the thickness of the shell.  This is the kind of evidence upon which you have convicted me.

Lyrics to "Solidarity Forever" from UE song book, 1952 (Helen Quirini Papers)
Lyrics to “Solidarity Forever” from UE song book, 1952 (Helen Quirini Papers)

It is not murder, however, of which you have convicted me.  The Judge has stated that much only this morning in his resume of the case, and Grinnell has repeatedly asserted that we were being tried, not for murder, but for Anarchy, so that the condemnation is—that I am an Anarchist!  WHAT IS ANARCHY?  This is a subject which my comrades have explained with sufficient clearness, and it is unnecessary for me to go over it again.  They have told you plainly enough what our aims are.  The State’s Attorney, however, has not given you that information.  He has merely criticized and condemned, NOT THE DOCTRINES OF ANARCHY, but our methods of giving them practical effect, and even here he has maintained a discreet silence as to the fact that those methods were forced upon us by the brutality of the police.  Grinnell’s own proffered remedy for our grievances is the ballot and combination of trades unions, and Ingham has even avowed the desirability of a six-hour movement!  But the fact is, that at every attempt to wield the ballot, at every endeavor to combine the efforts of workingmen, you have displayed the brutal violence of the police club, and this is why I have recommended rude force, TO COMBAT THE RUDER FORCE OF THE POLICE.” The final statements of August Spies, Michael Scwab, Oscar Neebe, Adolph Fischer, and Louis Lingg, five of the defendants in the capital murder ‘Haymarket’ trial, which was such an abortion of justice that its details still sicken anyone who learns the story

5.3.16 TOF


https://roarmag.org/essays/linebaugh-history-may-day/ – A smattering of analysis, as a radical holiday recedes into the past, about the origins, evolution, and contemporary meaning of May Day, which–though ninety-nine out of a hundred Americans would be clueless in this regard–grew out of U.S. proletarians’ militant lobbying and activism in favor of eight-hour laws and worker rights to organize and more, in the first place from England’s Roar Magazine, which gave its lead position to historian Peter Linebaugh, whose monograph on the holiday is, for scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens, a must-read that explicates the ecological, relational, and class-solidarity underpinnings of this now barely-remembered American institution, an intricate assessment that, in at least a modest way, a pair of profferals from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History affirms, the first of which  examines the copious conscious attempts by wealthy nineteenth century hegemons to coopt the celebration in such a way as to preclude radical results and the second of which portrays the working class organized moves to lionize the day in such a fashion as to build solidarity, organization, and power among workers; a complex delving that in the present pass a report  from The Prospect also facilitates, in its delineation of how the aggressively pro-worker class consciousness of past May Day activism can again come to the fore in this current context of dire need and apparent apathy; a nuanced telling that also fits nicely with a TruthDig pastiche  about the thousands of celebrations and commemorations of solidarity and empowerment that have just occurred around the world to mark this passage in radical and stand-up ways, all of which intersects with the sense that, just as in the emanation of the first of May as a holy-day in the past, working people must claim the cultural and physical space that are requisite for a movement for grassroots power, an essential ingredient in salvaging the common human’s existence from the doldrums that afflict workers today: “To the history of May Day there is a Green side and there is a Red side.  Under the rainbow, our methodology must be colorful.  Green is a relationship to the earth and what grows there-from.  Red is a relationship to other people and the blood spilt there among.  Green designates life with only necessary labor; Red designates death with surplus labor.  Green is natural appropriation; Red is social expropriation.  Green is husbandry and nurturance; Red is proletarianization and prostitution.  Green is useful activity; Red is useless toil.  Green is creation of desire; Red is class struggle.  May Day is both.

swamp-bayou tree south      (For more than ninety-nine percent of human existence, forests covered most of the habitable Earth).  The origin of May Day is to be found in the Woodland Epoch of History.  In Europe, as in Africa, people honored the woods in many ways.  With the leafing of the trees in spring, people celebrated ‘the fructifying spirit of vegetation,’ to use the phrase of J.G. Frazer, the anthropologist.  They did this in May, a month named after Maia, the mother of all the gods according to the ancient Greeks, giving birth even to Zeus. …Everywhere(in Europe) people ‘went a-Maying’ by going into the woods and bringing back leaf, bough, and blossom to decorate their persons, homes, and loved ones with green garlands.  Outside theater was performed with characters like ‘Jack-in-the-Green’ and the ‘Queen of the May.’  Trees were planted.  Maypoles were erected.  Dances were danced.  Music was played.  Drinks were drunk, and love was made.  Winter was over, spring had sprung.

(This affirmation of life existed in repression, however).  The farmers, workers, and child bearers (laborers) of the Middle Ages had hundreds of holy days which preserved the May Green, despite the attack on peasants and witches.  Despite the complexities, whether May Day was observed by sacred or profane ritual, by pagan or Christian, by magic or not, by straights or gays, by gentle or calloused hands, it was always a celebration of all that is free and life-giving in the world.  That is the Green side of the story.  Whatever else it was, it was not a time to work.

(This of course increased the repressive response of exploiters).  The people resisted the repressions.  Thenceforth, they called their May sports the ‘Robin Hood Games.’  Capering about with sprigs of hawthorn in their hair and bells jangling from their knees, the ancient characters of May were transformed into an outlaw community, Maid Marians and Little Johns.  The May feast was presided over by the ‘Lord of Misrule,’ ‘the King of Unreason,’ or the ‘Abbot of Inobedience.’  Washington Irving was later to write that the feeling for May ‘has become chilled by habits of gain and traffic.’  As the gainers and traffickers sought to impose the regimen of monotonous work, the people responded to preserve their holyday.  Thus began in earnest the Red side of the story of May Day.  The struggle was brought to Massachusetts in 1626(where lusty libertines clashed with dour Puritans).

The history of the modern May Day originates in the center of the North American plains, at Haymarket, in Chicago — ‘the city on the make’ — in May 1886.  The Red side of that story is more well-known than the Green, because it was bloody.  But there was also a Green side to the tale, though the green was not so much that of pretty grass garlands, as it was of greenbacks, for in Chicago, it was said, the dollar is king.  Of course the prairies are green in May. Virgin soil, dark, brown, crumbling, shot with fine black sand, it was the produce of thousands of years of humus and organic decomposition.  For many centuries this earth was husbanded by the Native Americans of the plains.  As Black Elk said, theirs is ‘the story of all life that is holy and is good to tell, and of us two-leggeds sharing in it with the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is one Spirit.’  From such a green perspective, the white men appeared as pharaohs, and indeed, as Abe Lincoln put it, these prairies were the ‘Egypt of the West.'”

5.3.16 DIH

media papers newspaperThis date marks Japan’s acceptance of U.S. political hegemony with that nation’s celebration of Constitution Day, and around the planet, citizens commemorate World Press Freedom Day, a fundamental human right; in post-Roman Italy, five hundred and forty-seven years ago, a male infant bounced into our presence who would mature as the deep thinker and often caricatured schemer Niccolo Machiavelli; three hundred and one years before today’s dawning, in 1715,  a solar eclipse across much of Northern Europe and Asia confirmed new cosmic methods that Edmond Halley had predicted within a few minutes; a century and thirty-four years subsequently in 1849,radical protesters in Dresden began the final German installment of the European Revolution of 1848, and slightly further North in Denmark, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the estimable documentarian and advocate of the poor, Jacob Riis; half a dozen years beyond that intersection in time and space, in 1855, William Walker of Tennessee displayed the arrogance and impunity of the slave-owning class, which also marked the upper crusts of the U.S. in general, when he left San Francisco with a few score co-conspirators in order to overthrow and plunder Nicaragua; another dozen years onward toward today, in 1867, the Hudson Bay Company finally relinquished all its claims to Vancouver Island; just short of two decades after that instant in time, in 1886, Eastward in the center of the continent in Chicago, in police murdered several protesters in a huge labor battle with the McCormick Harvesting Combine Company on the eve of the false flag Haymarket Massacre; nine years in the future from that, in 1895,  Eugene Debs and several cohorts with the Pullman workers suffered at the hands of the reactionary plutocratic state when they all received six months in prison for contempt of court, for the ‘crime’ of organizing workers into unions; eighteen years henceforth, in 1913, Indian filmmakers release the Subcontinent’s first feature movie, and a male child gave his first cry who would mature as the dramatist and thinker William Inge; two years more in the direction of now, in 1915, an English officer issues what has become an iconic, if sentimental, statement about the brutalities of war, ‘In Flanders Field;’ four years thereafter, in 1919, a little baby boy sang out whom fate had selected to fill the shoes of the renowned and beloved and ‘red’ folk

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singer Pete Seeger; another two years further along time’s path, in 1921, the state of West Virginia became the first to legislate a comprehensive sales tax, albeit it did not immediately go into effect, and across the wide Atlantic, a partial independence for Ireland happened when the southern part of the island became its own republic, and northern Ireland remained a part of the UK; three years afterward, in 1924, a German Jewish male child took his first breath en route to a life as the German-born Israeli writer and poet Yehuda Amichai; nine years hence, in 1933, another boy infant entered our midst whose destiny was to grow as the iconic crooner and lyricist of soul, James Brown; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days nearer to now, in 1937,Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction; a decade past that instant in space and time, in 1947, Japan’s post-World War Two constitution came into effect, embodying the military management model that Douglas MacArthur epitomized and the businesslike efficiency of a modern ‘liberal,’ corporate, ‘free market’ state; a year later, in 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that prohibited the enforcement of covenants to exclude Blacks and other minorities as future purchasers of real estate; just ten hundred ninety-five days further down the pike, in 1951, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees began their closed door hearings to investigate the forced resignation of Douglas MacArthur from command of U.S. forces in Korea for insubordination; nine years afterward, in 1960, a different sort of eventuality unfolded as the musical Fantasticks opened off-Broadway on its way to becoming the longest-running musical comedy in history, and the European Free Trade Association came into existence; three years yet later on, in 1963, police in Birmingham Alabama, after a period of watch-and-wait in relation to civil rights marchers and activists, began to employ harsh tactics such as water cannons and unleashed attack dogs against protesters in the city; a decade and a half even closer to the current context, in 1978, a Digital Equipment Corporation sales operative dispatched a mass batch e-mail to every DARPA-net address in the Western U.S., the world’s first mass spamming; another twenty-three years more proximate to the present pass, in 2001, for the first time, the U.S. failed to garner a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

5.3.16 Quote

“(Yankee ‘ingenuity’ brought prostitution and ever-more-constricted quartering to New York’s tenant population early on in national history).  Worse was to follow.  It was ‘soon perceived by estate owners and agents of property that a greater percentage of profits could be realized by the conversion of houses and blocks into barracks, and dividing their space into smaller proportions capable of containing human life within four walls. … Blocks were rented of real estate owners, or ‘purchased on time,’ or taken in charge at a percentage, and held for under-letting.’  With the appearance of the middleman, wholly irresponsible, and utterly reckless and unrestrained, began the era of tenement building which turned out such blocks as Gotham Court, where, in one cholera epidemic that scarcely touched the clean wards, the tenants died at the rate of one hundred and ninety-five to the thousand of population; which forced the general mortality of the city up from 1 in 41.83 in 1815, to 1 in 27.33 in 1855, a year of unusual freedom from epidemic disease, and which wrung from the early organizers of the Health Department this wail: ‘There are numerous examples of tenement-houses in which are lodged several hundred people that have a prorata allotment of ground area scarcely equal to two square yards upon the city lot, court-yards and all included.’  The tenement-house population had swelled to half a million souls by that time, and on the East Side, in what is still the most densely populated district in all the world, China not excluded, it was packed at the rate of 290,000 to the square mile, a state of affairs wholly unexampled.  The utmost cupidity of other lands and other days had never contrived to herd much more than half that number within the same space.  The greatest crowding of Old London was at the rate of 175,816.  Swine roamed the streets and gutters as their principal scavengers.
 The death of a child in a tenement was registered at the Bureau of Vital Statistics as ‘plainly due to suffocation in the foul air of an unventillated apartment,’ and the Senators, who had come down from Albany to find out what was the matter with New York, reported that ‘there are annually cut off from the population by disease and death enough human beings to people a city, and enough human labor to sustain it.’  And yet experts had testified that, as compared with updown, rents were from twenty-five to thirty per cent, higher in the worst slums of the lower wards, with such accommodations as were enjoyed, for instance, by a ‘family with boarders’ in Cedar Street, who fed hogs in the cellar that contained eight or ten loads of manure; or a one room 12 x 12 with ‘five families living in it, comprising twenty persons of both sexes and all ages, with only two beds, without partition, screen, chair, or table.’   The rate of rent has been successfully maintained to the present day, though the hog at least has been eliminated.

          (Every race and nationality has its denizens in such quarters).  (However, perhaps) nowhere in the world are so many people crowded together on a square mile as (in the) Hebrew quarter.  The average five-story tenement adds a story or two to its stature in Ludlow Street and an extra building on the rear lot, and yet the sign ‘To Let’ is the rarest of all there.  Here is one seven stories high.  The sanitary policeman whose beat this is will tell you that it contains thirty-six families, but the term has a widely different meaning here and on the avenues.  In this house, where a case of small-pox was reported, there were fifty-eight babies and thirty-eight children that were over five years of age.

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In Essex Street two small rooms in a six-story tenement were made to hold a ‘family’ of father and mother, twelve children, and six boarders.  The boarder plays as important a part in the domestic economy of Jewtown as the lodger in the Mulberry Street Bend.  These are samples of the packing of the population that has run up the record here to the rate of three hundred and thirty thousand per square mile.  The densest crowding of Old London, I pointed out before, never got beyond a hundred and seventy-five thousand.  Even the alley is crowded out.  Through dark hallways and filthy cellars, crowded, as is every foot of the street, with dirty children, the settlements in the rear are reached.  Thieves know how to find them when pursued by the police, and the tramps that sneak in on chilly nights to fight for the warm spot in the yard over some baker’s oven.  They are out of place in this hive of busy industry, and they know it.  It has nothing in common with them or with their philosophy of life, that the world owes the idler a living.  Life here means the hardest kind of work almost from the cradle.queue workers DEPRESSION BREAD LINE
The world as a debtor has no credit in Jewtown.  Its promise to pay wouldn’t buy one of the old hats that are hawked about Hester Street, unless backed by security representing labor done at lowest market rates.  But this army of workers must have bread.  It is cheap and filling, and bakeries abound.  Wherever they are in the tenements the tramp will skulk in, if he can.  There is such a tramps’ roost in the rear of a tenement near the lower end of Ludlow Street, that is never without its tenants in winter.  By a judicious practice of flopping over on the stone pavement at intervals and thus warming one side at a time, and with an empty box to put the feet in, it is possible to keep reasonably comfortable there even on a rainy night.  In summer the yard is the only one in the neighborhood that does not do duty as a public dormitory.

(In such a widespread context of poverty and oppression, the worst potentials of humankind are easy to manifest).  The pen that wrote the ‘Song of the Shirt’ is needed to tell of the sad and toil-worn lives of New York’s working-women.  The cry echoes by night and by day through its tenements:
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!
Six months have not passed since at a great public meeting in this city, the Working Women’s Society reported: ‘It is a known fact that men’s wages cannot fall below a limit upon which they can exist, but woman’s wages have no limit, since the paths of shame are always open to her.  It is simply impossible for any woman to live without assistance on the low salary a saleswoman earns, without depriving herself of real necessities… It is inevitable that they must in many instances resort to evil.’  It was only a few brief weeks before that verdict was uttered, that the community was shocked by the story of a gentle and refined woman who, left in direst poverty to earn her own living alone among strangers, threw herself from her attic window, preferring death to dishonor.  ‘I would have done any honest work, even to scrubbing,’ she wrote, drenched and starving, after a vain search for work in a driving storm.  She had tramped the streets for weeks on her weary errand, and the only living wages that were offered her were the wages of sin.  The ink was not dry upon her letter before a woman in an East Side tenement wrote down her reason for self-murder: ‘Weakness, sleeplessness, and yet obliged to work.  My strength fails me.  Sing at my coffin: Where does the soul find a home and rest?’  Her story may be found as one of two typical ‘cases of despair’ in one little church community, in the City Mission Society’s Monthly for last February.  It is a story that has many parallels in the experience of every missionary, every police reporter and every family doctor whose practice is among the poor.

        (The result of such an arena is obvious).  A man stood at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street the other day, looking gloomily at the carriages that rolled by, carrying the wealth and fashion of the avenues to and from the big stores down town.  He was poor, and hungry, and ragged.  This thought was in his mind: ‘They behind their well-fed teams have no thought for the morrow; they know hunger only by name, and ride down to spend in an hour’s shopping what would keep me and my little ones from want a whole year.’  There rose up before him the picture of those little ones crying for bread around the cold and cheerless hearth—then he sprang into the throng and slashed about him with a knife, blindly seeking to kill, to revenge.
 working ppl bus art

 The man was arrested, of course, and locked up.  To day he is probably in a mad-house, forgotten.  And the carriages roll by to and from the big stores with their gay throng of shoppers.  The world forgets easily, too easily, what it does not like to remember.  Nevertheless the man and his knife had a mission.  They spoke in their ignorant, impatient way the warning one of the most conservative, dispassionate of public bodies had sounded only a little while before: ‘Our only fear is that reform may come in a burst of public indignation destructive to property and to good morals.’  They represented one solution of the problem of ignorant poverty versus ignorant wealth that has come down to us unsolved, the danger-cry of which we have lately heard in the shout that never should have been raised on American soil—the shout of ‘the masses against the classes’—the solution of violence.  There is another solution, that of justice.  The choice is between the two.  Which shall it be?”


Jacob Riis: How the Other Half Lives

4.26.16 Hist

nuclear radioactiveToday in Belarus marks a Day of Remembrance of the Chernobyl Tragedy, while in a passing of hours of critical import to scribes, this date also inscribes World Intellectual Property Day, as, on a lighter and yet also important note, April 26th is Hug a Friend Day; in the South of bustling England four hundred fifty-two years ago, a baptism took place for a boy who would become the bard of the ages, William Shakespeare, even as his birthday eludes the snares of memory; two hundred thirteen years hence, in 1777, a young woman, Sybyl Ludington, rode over forty miles throughout the night along the New York and Connecticut border to warn of advancing British forces;five years thereafter, in 1772, the baby boy entered our midst whose fate was to create the masterpieces of art and thought of John James Audubon; two decades forward in space and time, in 1802, Napoleon issued a general amnesty that permitted all but the most reactionary rejectors of the revolution to return to France, thereby guaranteeing a rapprochement with elements of the aristocracy and a cementing of his own position of power;  one thousand ninety-six days beyond that, in 1805, ‘the shores of Tripoli’ experienced an initial incursion by U.S. commercial war afghanistanadventurers under the auspices of military might when the U.S. marines captured a village in what is now Libya in the first Barbary War; a hundred ninety-four years ahead of today’s light and air, a male infant first cried out en route to a life as the architect and designer, Frederick Law Olmstead; forty-three years beyond that birthing interlude, in 1865, Union soldiers captured and killed Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth; one hundred eighteen years back, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the Spanish dramatist and poet who might merit Nobel Literary Laureates as Vicente Aleixandre; only a dozen years later, in 1910, one of the first recipients of that prize, Bjornstjerne Bjornson, lived out his final scene; four years subsequently, in 1914, a male child burst on the scene who would mature as the estimable and popular novelist and thinker, Bernard Malamud; ten additional years in the direction of now, in 1924, the United States Congress passed a resolution condemning child labor for those under eighteen years of age; nine years henceforth, in 1933, the German Government inaugurated a Gestapo, or secret state police force; fourteen hundred and sixty-one days further along the temporal road, in 1937, a related development unfolded in carnage and conflagration as German bombers laid waste to Guernica; a half decade farther along, in 1942, a grotesque ‘accident’ claimed the lives of well over 1,500 miners at a Chinese-operated facility in Manchukuo; an Easter uprising at Uppsala, Sweden began exactly three hundred sixty-five days yet later on, in 1943, as challenges to fascist rule and passivity to it intensified; yet one more year afterward, in 1944, Georgios Papandreou became head of the Greek government-in-exile in Cairo, and five thousand miles Northwest, Federal authorities seized control of the Montgomery Ward headquarters when that company refused to recognize a union that had won an election as bargaining agent; ten years subsequent to that passage in space and time, in 1954, a Geneva Conference began with the goal of bringing a peaceful resolution to conflicts in Korea and Indochina; another half dozen years forward toward today, in 1960, South Korea’s ‘democratic dictator,’ Syngman Rhee, abdicated after massive pro-people demonstrations against his rule took place; three years additional toward the here and now, in 1963, a United Kingdom of Libya came into being with a female franchise and other indicia of progress toward democratic forms; a quarter turn of the planet to the East, six years nearer to now, in 1969, Morihei Ueshiba, the ancient master of martial arts and initiator of Aikido, drew a final breath; in the United States precisely one year even later, in 1970, the tell-all mistress, advisor, and creative communicator Gypsy Rose Lee had a final dance, and the World Intellectual Property Organization came into being; five years even closer to the current context, in 1975, citizens marched on Washington 60,000 strong to demand jobs for all, ‘a fat lot of good it did them;’ seven years farther down the pike, in 1982, half a world away in Korea, an enraged former Marine and current

"SIG Pro by Augustas Didzgalvis"
“SIG Pro by Augustas Didzgalvis”

policeman went on a methodical killing rampage, in which he murdered fifty-three people before blowing himself and three hostages up with a grenade; four years after that horrifying day, in 1986, an even more horrific event evolved as the Chernobyl nuclear complex in Ukraine melted down and spread death and destruction across much of Northern Europe; an editorial in the People’s Daily three years thereafter, in 1989, led to an uprising among the criticized protesters that soon enough became the Tianmien Square imbroglio; sixteen years more proximate to the present pass, in 2005, Syria responded to diplomatic pressure and withdrew plus or minus 14,000 of its troops from Lebanon; another four years on the path to today, in 2009, the United Autoworkers acquired a fifty-five percent stake in Chrysler in exchange for their agreeing to concessions, which the union quickly turned into a trust fund to cover ongoing retirees’ costs that had not received adequate coverage; country music crooner and songsmith George Jones four years later, in 2013,exited life’s stage; one year still closer to now, in 2014, the accomplished son of the renowned singer and Communist, Paul Robeson, whose name added a “Junior” to his father’s moniker, died after a long life and a fruitful career as historian and archivist.

4.26.16 TOF

One chronicler has stated the matter under consideration like this: ‘The division of labor among nations is that some of them specialize in winning and others in losing.  Our part of the world, known today as Latin America, was precocious: it has specialized in losing ever since those remote times when Renaissance Europeans ventured across the ocean and buried their teeth in the throat of Indian civilization.’

CC BY by pete_weis
CC BY by pete_weis

The winners are frequently easily recognizable, among them the likes of Henry Kissinger and Citibank; Richard Helms and the Central Intelligence Agency; the Guggenheim interests, the Rockefeller interests, and the panoply of well-heeled conquerors who dot the modern prospect.  The losers often seem less obviously noteworthy or famous—Salvador Allende, Victor Jara, and Rene Schneider simply don’t have the same name recognition as, say, Richard Nixon does.fire, catastrophe, holocaust, nuclear, nuke
Those whose lives the winners snuffed out, sometimes in a hail of bullets and other times through hunger and more protracted forms of attrition, had many different hopes and dreams.  Though one might easily have chosen differently, this essay focuses on some of those ‘losers’ who believed in social justice and social democracy, particularly in Chile during the 1960’s and 1970’s.rect3336 space
The ‘winners,’ on the other hand, possessed a much more uniform consciousness and set of goals.  They sought profit over all else; most importantly, they organized to crush the merest hints of any workable expression of sharing, of mutuality, of popular empowerment.  They organized themselves in trust-funded operations that served a single purpose: the promotion and persistence of monopoly empire.  Understanding these points about the commonly-held attitudes among history’s victors is at least half the problem of understanding why these travails have played out as they have.

With very few exceptions, the dramas and conflicts, the heroics and horror, that took place in and around Santiago Chile during the thirty years from 1960-1990 did not happen to the readers of this document.  Thus, in order to dig into the heart and soul of these struggles for human decency and the battles of the above ‘winners’ against them, one needs a willingness to identify with both sides of the ‘class war’ that unfolded in these environs plus-or-minus forty years ago.rect3336 space
Identification with those who prevailed is much easier, since they own or control, along with most everything else on our fair planet, the means of production of information and knowledge.  They hold the keys to the secrets that they still hide away.  Identification with those who lost, often dying for their actions and beliefs and songs, presents a thornier problem.  We have to try harder to see and feel what they underwent.

One might picture a large stadium in one’s mind’s eye, at the cusp of a Southern Hemisphere Spring, ten days from the Vernal Equinox.  The pitch has a huge table in the very center, its top splotched with mottled blood and pieces of flesh, patches of hair and tissue.  At all the exits and facing the stands are uniformed men, most carrying assault rifles, all their faces grim and sleep-deprived except when the occasional joke or comment elicits derision and cackles; a few gather in groups around .30 and .50 caliber machine guns.  They point these instruments of management and death casually at the stands.

At one point during the third day of this ‘spontaneous’ upwelling of fascism that took place in Santiago de Chile in the period after September 11, 1973, this man, whose name is Victor, approaches one of the commandantes with a request from an ailing comrade.  The officer, at first impassive, grins with sadistic glee when he recognizes the speaker, mimicking a simpering guitarist, eyes arched inquisitively.
          (Soon enough, too quickly), (s)eated at the grimy table spattered with slime and fluid, he finds himself surrounded.  Two men restrain him from rising.  A third man extends his right arm, a fourth his left, into the bloody mess on the sturdy wooden surface where he sits, trembling.  Another teniente smacks him in the head each time that he balls his fists.  Ultimately, he splays his fingers, and the pistol-whipping stops.rect3336 space
Already battered and bruised from ‘interrogation,’ he breathes unevenly.  He begins to weep.  Standing nearby, a man with a machete—or is it a hand-axe of some sort?—whistles a tuneless, psychotic dirge.
           (The brutal and psychopathic severing of the fingers that had played for revolution was easy to accomplish, of course, under these circumstances so fully supported by the CIA and big business; this leads to a precis of the primary point).  To state this overviewsuccinctly, we might employ a more or less definitive clause here: That the United States Proceeded in Chile as Elsewhere With MALICE Aforethought.  This combination of subject and verb and modifiers itself contains an acronym: MALICE—Murder, Antipathy, Lies, Individualism, Conspiracy, Emiseration—that perfectly and more or less completely summarizes the period from 1960 till now in Chile and the so-called ‘Southern Cone.’  In fact, this is one of the many environments where John F. Kennedy disingenuously called for continuing a ‘good neighbor policy’ that had arguably not existed when Franklin Roosevelt advanced it during the 1930’s and had close to zero correspondence to actuality during JFK’s Presidency or the administrations that followed.rect3336 space
An arguably crucial point in this regard is as follows.  As Victor Jara, hands dripping gore and painful beyond sore, croaked out a last song—he had stood, stumps of fingers that spurted blood, and the leader of the butchers had commanded ‘sing for us now, poet’—in a voice choked with pain and fear, as he stared down the barrels of the automatic weapons that would end his life, he understood these things about empire and power and knew their central place in any future resistance to such events’ transpiring again.”

4.25.2016 Day in History

Portugal today marks Freedom Day as Italy commemorates a different sort of release in Liberation Day, while around the planet celebrants recognize DNA Day, World Malaria Day, Remembrance of Parental Alienation Day and Red Hat Society Day; among contending groups of Greeks two thousand four hundred and twenty years ago, Sparta’s soldiers overwhelmed the Athenians, thus ending the Peloponnesian War on terms unfavorable to even the limited form’s of Athens’ ancient democracy; twelve hundred forty-one years in advance of today’s dawn, the Battle of Bagrevand ended to the Abbasid Caliphate’s decided advantage, crushing the Armenian rebellion and causing leading proponents of the uprising to flee to the shelter, risky thought it might prove, of the Byzantine Empire; two dozen years later, in 799, a third Pope Leo absconded with himself to the court of Charlemagne after Roman opponents of his rule attacked and disfigured the pontiff; eight hundred forty-five years subsequently, in 1644, the final Ming Dynasty emperor killed himself as peasants rose in a fiery uprising against his regime; a hundred forty-eight years after that, in 1792, Claude Joseph de Lisle composed La Marseillaise as an appropriate national anthem for art revolution french art-Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuplerevolutionary France, and a hapless highwayman lost his head as the first victim to suffer execution via ‘Madam’ Guillotine; eight years beyond that, in 1800, the acclaimed and widely popular hymn writer William Cowper sang his final verse; another four years past that point, in 1804, a Georgian kingdom adjacent to Ukraine acknowledged Russian rule for the first time; seventeen decades back, the so-called Thornton Affair unfolded with fierce fighting along the Texas-Mexican border that quickly erupted in the Mexican-American War; three years thereafter, in 1849, a different imbroglio erupted in North America when Canada’s Governor General acceded to the Rebellion Losses Bill and induced riots among Montreal’s English speaking residents; a decade additional in the direction of now, in 1859, workers under the guidance of French and British engineers broke ground for the Suez Canal; in a further extension of imperial sway, even further from home, twenty-three years hence, in 1882, French troops fought Vietnamese as the Europeans sought dominion over Indochina; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days more in the vicinity of now, in 1886, the New York Times editorialized that the movement for an eight hour day was tantamount to a treasonous plot to undermine the sacred imprimatur of property and capital, a plot against property that other sources guaranteed would lead to licentiousness, dissolution, and non-stop vice; twelve years farther along time’s pathway, in 1898, the U.S. inaugurated its first extracontinental imperial conquest with a declaration of war against Spain; three years yet later on, in 1901, New York required America’s first license plates on cars; seven years afterward, in 1908, a male infant opened his eyes who would rise as the celebrated journalist, Edward R. Murrow; eight years nearer to now, in 1916, in the aftermath of an uprising, the English colonial authorities declared martial law in Dublin and Ireland; a mere three hundred sixty-five days down the pike from that, in 1917, across the wide Atlantic, a little baby girl entered our midst en route to a life of magnificence as a performer and lyricist by the name of Ella Fitzgerald;ten hundred ninety-six days subsequent to that conjunction, in 1920, the ‘victors’ of World War One at the San Remo Conference proceeded to divvy up the ‘spoils of war,’ parceling out former Ottoman territories as ‘mandates’ of England and France for the most part; another three years onward exactly, in 1923, International Workers of the World Maritime Workers Union adherents began a wave of West Coast strikes; half a decade later, in 1928, a baby boy cried out who would become the renowned fiddler and bluegrass performer, Vassar Clements; a decade henceforth, in 1938, the Supreme Court decided in the Erie Railroad case of that year that no Federal diversity jurisdiction necessities permitted any establishment of a ‘Federal common law,’ meaning that reactionary states could not face compulsion, except according to statutory provisions, to adhere to a uniform standard of justice; six years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1944, the United Negro College Fund first solicited money to assist Black scholars and historically black colleges and universities in, respectively, obtaining and providing higher education; a single year past that juncture in time and space, in 1945, across the sea in fire, catastrophe, holocaust, nuclear, nukeEurope, American G.I.’s and seasoned soldiers of the Red Army met at the River Elbe, sundering German lines and effectively ending the war, and Italian partisans captured Benito Mussolini as he sought to escape with his mistress, and six thousand miles to the West, representatives of fifty nations met in San Francisco to grapple with what international organizations could do to avoid a World War Three scenario; five years even closer to the current context, in 1953, Frank Crick and James Watson published Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acid: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, claiming credit, whether with complete accuracy or not, for discovering the DNA that sits at the base of all life; a year thereafter, in 1954, Bell Laboratory scientists first released a practically functional solar cell, though even now the Modern Nuclear Project impedes its full utilization for human benefit; five years onward from that intersection, in 1959, Canadian and American engineers and workers opened the St. Lawrence Seaway, thereby permitting ocean-going ships to penetrate deep into the heart of North America via the Great Lakes; two years on the dot after that, in 1961, researcher Frank Noyce garnered the first patent for a fully integrated circuit, on which most all consumer and production output now rests; four years on the road to today, in 1965, one of the first outbreaks of male teenage mass murder unfolded in California, as Michael Clark shot highway bypassers, murdering three, before he blew his own brains out; a farther four year trek en route to the here and now, in 1969, Ralph David Abernathy and more than a hundred cohorts faced arrest and solidarityincarceration rather than give up their pickets for workers’ union rights at a Charleston, South Carolina hospital; five extra years on the trajectory toward this moment, in 1974, Portuguese citizens rose up in a ‘Carnation Revolution’ that for the most part consigned fascists and reactionaries to the sidelines in their portion of the Iberian Peninsula; back across the Atlantic four years yet later on, in 1978, the Supreme Court held that pension plans that required higher contributions from women were inherently unconstitutional; a half decade even more subsequent to today’s dawn and passage, in 1983, young Samantha Smith met with Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union after he read her letter of concern about nuclear war, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Pioneer 10 spaceship hurtled past Pluto on its way to the stars; seven years beyond that, in 1990, Violetta Chamorro became the first woman to lead war-torn and blood-drenched Nicaragua; fifteen years more on the trek toward our light and air, in 2005,Bulgaria and Romania became part of the European Union, more fodder for Russia’s worries of geopolitical isolation and attack; five further years along the temporal arc, in 2010, the writer and storyteller of working class narratives and socially real plots, Alan Sillitoe, lived out his final scene; a half a decade subsequent to that exact instant, in 2015, citizens of Baltimore burst forth in riotous protest against the murderous impunity of the Baltimore police, on display in the crucifixion of Freddie Gray just a short time before their uprising.

for World Organization of Writers