Thursday, 30 January 2014


The new CD, "Garden City" is now available at both Ditch Records on Fort St., and also at Cavity/Talk's Cheap on Pandora. Five bucks gets you 16 songs. Buy it. Or don't bother.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


I was a fan of springsteen's for many years. I still think that "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" and "The River" are classic albums. But the break came for me when "The Rising" was released, and he talked about 9/11, and actually called for "revenge" on that album, not realizing that 9/11 was revenge for all of amerikkka's foreign meddling and exploitation. He was "soul searching", and kept asking "why did this happen?" Stupid motherfucker. The real question should have been, "why didn't this happen so much sooner?" Not that I applaud the events on that day, but figure it out, blind egotistical morons. In fact, the song "Why The Fuck Do You Think?", from our "The Fucking Enemy" CD, is a short angry answer to that question....
the fire in the blackened sky
the heart of your country ripped apart
oppressed masses celebrate
why? why do you think?
you can't see the decadence
you can't even see your fucking greed
self-centred racist fuck
why? why do you think?
i'll take a fucking hostage
a fucking ceo
and burn down fucking wall street
you'll never rise again

And this delusional fuck is so blinded by obama, that he can do no wrong in springsteen's eyes. He doesn't see the leader of the most rapacious empire on earth as exactly what he is, the head of the most exploitative imperialistic nation that has ever existed. What about the drones killing children, "boss"? I guess if they're not amerikkkan, it doesn't matter. He applauds the yanks going into Afghanistan, and killing Osama. Who the fuck trained Osama? Maybe this blinded charlatan can re-write "born in the u.s.a.", to be "trained by the u.s.a.", about this very thing. He supports the yankee troops going after their "real foreign enemies", instead of being in Iraq. What's the fucking difference? They will still be killing and raping in the name of "freedom", but realistically being in the service of u.s. capital, and trampling all over the rights of independent countries, who don't necessarily see eye to eye with the amerikkkans.
 What brought this rant on was some fucking thing I read about "the boss" doing some kind of liberal fund raising thing for someone in need. Good for him. He's done benefits for unions, homeless shelters, and other worthwhile causes, but he's still a supporter of all things "american", including imperialism.
Read this...

Six Ways That Obama Has Been Worse Than Bush

With the presidential elections approaching, there are those who argue, yet again, that whatever problems there are with the Democrats and Obama, the "alternative"—the Republicans—are much worse. So when it's all said and done, the argument goes, people who don't want the "right wing" to take over must fall in line behind Obama and the Democrats. The reality is that in key ways, Obama as U.S. president has been even worse for the masses of people, in the U.S. and worldwide. This is a fact that can be clearly demonstrated. Here are six main ways that Obama has gone beyond Bush in fascistic, brutal, reactionary moves, in service of the ruling system of capitalism-imperialism.

1. Assassinations on the President's Orders

Before becoming the president and commander-in-chief, Obama opposed the prison set up by George W. Bush at Guantánamo to indefinitely hold hundreds of people without charges, simply based on U.S. accusations of links with terrorism. Obama said then that "a perfectly innocent individual could be held and could not rebut the Government's case and has no way of proving his innocence."
Once in the White House, Obama has not only reaffirmed the policy of indefinite military detentions with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act last December. He has actually gone further than Bush by claiming, and acting on, a supposed presidential authority to assassinateanyone, including those with U.S. citizenship, anywhere in the world just based on the presidential say-so that those targeted are "terrorists" and a danger to U.S. interests.
The world saw this outrageous policy in action last September when missiles fired from a U.S. drone hit a car driving across a desert in Yemen and killed seven men, including Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was a spokesman for al-Qaeda. (Another man killed in the attack was also a U.S. citizen.) A few weeks later, another U.S. drone attack took the lives of al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son along with his 17-year-old friend. The U.S. claimed that al-Awlaki had a role in planning and directing al-Qaeda terrorist attacks—but refused to provide any evidence or present actual charges, and there was, of course, no trial. This was simply a cold-blooded "hit" ordered by the leading U.S. imperialist godfather.
According to news reports, there is a secret panel of government officials within the executive, part of the National Security Council, that discusses who to place on the kill list, with the president making the final decision. There is no public record of this process, no laws regulating it, no judicial review. In a March 5 speech, Attorney General Eric Holder made the ludicrous but chillingly fascist claim that this ultra-secret process inside the administration makes this executive assassination policy constitutional. As Leon Panetta, Obama's CIA chief, put it, "[The] President of the United States obviously reviews these cases, reviews the legal justification, and in the end says, go or no go."
For an in-depth analysis of this issue, see "Obama Administration: Judge, Jury, and Executioner."

2. Blaming Youth for Their Own Oppression

In a series of Father's Day speeches since coming into office, and in various other public remarks, Obama has consistently put the onus for the poverty, high prison rates, poor education, and the whole oppressive situation that Black and Latino youth face on the people themselves. Like Bill Cosby, Obama claims that the problem is "personal responsibility"—absentee fathers, youth with sagging pants, too much TV, and so on. Left totally out of this is the reality: how this system has devastated communities of the oppressed; left little "choice" for millions of youth except the underground economy or the military; targeted young men with "stop and frisk" racial profiling and outright police murder; and thrown millions into prisons, many for minor drug violations.
And at the core of this message is the revival and strengthening of the patriarchal family, with the father at the head and acting as "role model." In a sick "joke" at a 2010 White House dinner, Obama combined his reactionary push for patriarchy with the broadening war of drones. Addressing the members of the pop band Jonas Brothers who were in attendance, and referring to his two daughters, Obama said, "Sasha and Malia are huge fans but, boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: Predator drones. You will never see it coming."
As Carl Dix said in 2009 on the radio program Democracy Now! about Obama's message: "The people are being blamed—and who better than Barack Obama, the first Black president, to blame Black youth for their plight? If George Bush does it, people would say it's racist. But when the first Black president does it, it actually draws people into it."

3. Threatening Preventive War Against Iran

At a March 4, 2012 speech at AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), Obama made one of his most direct and overt threats of war against Iran. He declared, "Iran's leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests."
As legal commentator Glenn Greenwald notes, "Here we have the Bush administration's most controversial war theory explicitly embraced: that the U.S. has the right not only to attack another country in order to preempt an imminent attack (pre-emptive war), but even to prevent some future, speculative threat (preventive war)."
Obama's adoption of the principle of preventive war against Iran is worse because, for one, the danger of a U.S.-Israeli war against Iran is even greater today. As Revolution writer Larry Everest has pointed out, "Ground is being laid daily in the headlines and statements by politicians of every stripe in mainstream U.S. politics calling for aggression against Iran—all justified by unsubstantiated assertions that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Whether or not Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons technology (and there is no proof they are), this U.S. imperialist narrative and framework is an outrageous effort to turn reality upside down—the reality of which of the clashing oppressive forces in the region is the dominant threatening oppressor and bully."
And it is also worse because Obama's assertion of the U.S. "right" to launch war on Iran, to prevent alleged attempts to build nuclear weapons, is treated in the current political atmosphere, and by the media and too much of the "left," as perfectly reasonable and normal.

4. An Escalating War with Drones

The attack that targeted al-Awlaki in Yemen (see #1) is part of the huge leap under Obama in the use of pilotless Predator drones by the U.S. military and CIA to kill people. The Washington Postcalled it "an emerging global apparatus for drone killing" and noted that "no president has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation's security goals." When Obama took office in 2009, the war by drones was confined to Pakistan, where there were 44 strikes over the previous five years, killing about 400 people. Now, drone attacks have spread, including to Yemen, Afghanistan, East Africa, Libya, and Iran. And the "global apparatus" for murder from the air includes dozens of secret drone facilities in the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia—with the operational hubs within the U.S., thousands of miles away from where the drones actually kill people.
According to a study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in England (TBIJ), there have been 253 drone attacks in Pakistan alone under Obama as of early August—one about every four days. The U.S., while keeping the drone wars veiled in secrecy, claims that the targets are terrorists and that very few civilians are killed. "Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties," Obama said this January.
According to the TBIJ, at least 2,347 people have been killed in Pakistan by U.S. drone attacks, and there are "credible news reports" that as many as 781 of those killed were civilians—more than 175 of them children. Another study by the New America Foundation from last May put the figure killed by drone attacks in northwest Pakistan at between 830 and 1,210 individuals, of whom between 180 and 360 were civilians.
But according to Obama—in other words, from the viewpoint of the head of the U.S. empire—these are "not ... a huge number" of human lives.

5. The War on Immigrants

The war on immigrants inside the U.S. borders began before Obama—but Obama has been intensifying this brutal, inhumane offensive to record levels. Last October, the Obama administration released figures showing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had deported almost 400,000 people in fiscal year 2011. This is the highest yearly number of deportations in the eight years of ICE. More than a million people—overwhelmingly Latinos—have been deported under Obama.
A key part of Obama's war on immigrants is a federal program called "Secure Communities," under which local police send the fingerprints of every person they arrest to the Department of Homeland Security. Those suspected of being undocumented are transferred to ICE detention centers. There is a vast network of immigration detention centers around the U.S., now numbering about 250 and growing. Exposés about these ICE prisons—like the Frontline film Lost in Detention that aired last year on PBS—have revealed widespread brutality, sexual abuse, racist treatment, and other outrages against vulnerable detainees who have no access to lawyers or other help. Secure Communities has expanded under Obama to about 1,600 local police forces, and the administration plans to further expand it to all local jurisdictions by 2013.
Obama officials claim that this anti-immigrant offensive is targeted at people who have committed serious felonies. But the truth is that this has led to mass deportations of people whose only "crime" is to cross the border for work to support themselves and their families. People have been suddenly separated—perhaps forever—from their children and spouses, simply because they were stopped for a minor traffic violation. ICE calls such deportees "collateral"—bringing to mind the civilians the U.S. kills in its wars and drone attacks, and callously dismisses as "collateral damage."

6. Persecuting Whistle-blowers

Before taking office, Obama attacked the Bush administration for fixation with government secrecy and a lack of "transparency," and he expressed support for whistle-blowers—those who leak or publicly come forward to expose various kinds of official crimes, corruption, and wrongdoing. Once in office, Obama has used the Espionage Act to press charges, with potentially very heavy punishment, against people accused of "national security leaks." According to Jane Mayer of theNew Yorker magazine, under Obama there have been "more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined."
And Obama has gone after, with extreme vindictiveness, Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of passing on to WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing site, hundreds of exposing war reports and diplomatic cables, and the infamous 2007 video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter gunning down civilians on a Baghdad street. After his arrest in May 2010, Manning was subjected to 10 months of intense solitary confinement—basically, physical and psychological torture. He is now under military trial, facing more than 30 charges, including one of "aiding the enemy" that carries a possible death penalty. (Prosecutors are recommending life imprisonment, but military judges have the option of the death sentence.) The persecution of Manning is clearly meant to send a threatening message to whistleblowers within the government and military, as well as to journalists, that they will pay a heavy price for exposing crimes being committed by the U.S.
In April 2011, when confronted by Bradley Manning supporters at a fundraiser, Obama said that Manning "broke the law"—thus declaring a verdict before Manning had even been tried. Contrast this with how Obama has refused to even investigate, let alone prosecute, top officials of the Bush regime who blatantly carried out torture and other crimes under U.S. and international law.

Sources (in alphabetical order by name of article)
"Attorney General Holder defends execution without charges," Glenn Greenwald,, March 6, 2012
"Drone War Exposed—the complete picture of CIA strikes in Pakistan," Chris Woods, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, August 10, 2011
"Jane Mayer on the Obama war on whistle-blowers," Glenn Greenwald,, May 16, 2011
"Obama administration reports record number of deportations," Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2011
"Obama Administration: Judge, Jury, and Executioner," Revolution online, March 19, 2012
"Obama says military force is option to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons," Lesley Clark, March 4, 2012, McClatchy Washington Bureau
"Obama, Iran and preventive war," Glenn Greenwald,, March 5, 2012
"Remarks by the President at AIPAC Policy Conference," March 4, 2012,
"The Secret Sharer: Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state?" Jane Mayer, New Yorker, May 23, 2011
"Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing," Greg Miller, Washington Post, December 27, 2011
"The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010," Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann, New American Foundation," February 24, 2010
 And yes, bruce springsteen is a stupid fucking idiot.

Monday, 27 January 2014


Sorry I'm taking so long to write this, but I work like a motherfucker, and I'm trying to be a decent Dad all at the same time.
  The Jay Brown Memorial Show/Hospice Benefit was fucking great. Sure, there were some fucking idiots there who wanted to drink and fight, but it's a fucking bar. Fuck 'em. Let's not waste time on the morons here.
   Thanks to Hoon, Big Rick, and everyone who so tirelessly makes this happen year after year. Your efforts are appreciated, even though it might not seem like it at times. Fuck the haters and shitheads. Props to AWT, The Keg Killers, The Gnar Gnars, Class Of 1984, Killer Campground, and The Frostbacks. You were all fucking great. Thanks to Tyler and Tieman for making the AK-47 shirts for us, and in such a short time, with excellent quality. Thanks to Rob for being our merch person. Thanks to all of the people who come to this event annually, and to the newcomers also. And thank you to the photographers for putting up with all of the bullshit and getting some terrific shots of the bands and crowd. Yes, you know who you are, Mr.Carlow .
  It was wonderful seeing so many folks I haven't seen in a very long time. And I'd like to thank my wife for helping me get out of the house on time. Here's a heartwarming shot by Scott Fraser, that just says it all....

Thursday, 23 January 2014


We are so very enthusiastically looking forward to playing the 8th Annual Jay Brown Memorial Show on Saturday, Jan.25th.
   Not only is it a  great fucking cause, it's going to be a crazy ass lineup. Plus, we'll have our new 16 song CD there for 5 bucks, a limited run of shirts for 10, and actual vinyl stickers for free.
   We get to share the stage with such local luminaries as Class Of 1984, AWT, The Gnar Gnars, Keg Killers, and Killer Campground. Fuckin'rights. Be there. It'll be a great night with much fantastic music and good people. See y'all there.

Monday, 20 January 2014


Sometimes the douchebags are good for a laugh, if nothing else....
VICTORIA -- Two Vancouver Island Mounties are under investigation for trying to circumvent a court-ordered paternity test, in an attempt by one officer to deny he was the father of a woman's baby.
RCMP confirmed two officers, both seconded to the Regional Crime Unit, have been suspended with pay as Victoria police handle the criminal investigation.
Sources tell the Times Colonist one of the Mounties was having an affair with a woman who became pregnant. When she told the Mountie she was carrying his baby, he denied it was his. The court ordered a DNA test to prove paternity. The officer got a fellow officer in the Regional Crime Unit to take the test for him.
"I can advise that we have one member from the Regional Crime Unit [RCU] and one member from West Shore Detachment, who is seconded to the RCU, currently suspended as a result of an allegation that they may have committed a criminal offence," said Sgt. Rob Vermeulen, senior media officer for E Division RCMP.
"As with any suspension their badges, sidearms and police identification were seized."
Vermeulen would not provide a phone interview but answered questions by email.
He said the RCMP referred the allegations to Victoria police to carry out the criminal investigation. Victoria police were tight-lipped about when the file was brought to them or what charges are being considered.
"We can confirm that VicPD is conducting an investigation regarding this matter. Out of respect for the integrity of that investigation, we cannot disclose additional details at this time," Victoria police spokesman Bowen Osoko said.
The officers' names were not released.
To complete a court-ordered DNA test, an individual has to go in person to an appointment at a lab and provide identification, according to Genetrack Biolabs, which does medical DNA testing. A private paternity test can be done with a kit at home and mailed to the lab.
Sources say police pulled video surveillance from the lab in question to examine which Mountie went in for the DNA test.
A family lawyer in Victoria said possible criminal charges could include breach of a court order, fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud.
West Shore detachment commander Insp. Larry Chomyn did not return calls for comment.
Vermeulen said the RCMP's internal code of conduct investigations are protected under the Privacy Act. Formal discipline becomes public only if there is a disciplinary hearing.
The officers are suspended with pay but Vermeulen said "that will be re-evaluated as the investigation continues."
Langford Mayor Stew Young had not heard of the misconduct allegations but said he's confident the officers will be dealt with appropriately.
"The police are held at a high regard obviously so it makes it a bit more newsworthy and prominent when things kind of go wrong or bad decisions are made and they are scrutinized," Young said. "It's unfortunate that that would happen . . . but the RCMP have provided a good service to us and we support them 100 per cent."
The allegations come the same week RCMP announced a Sidney/North Saanich RCMP officer is facing charges of possession and production of child pornography. The offences are alleged to have occurred in Colwood between Sept. 1 and Nov. 23, 2013.
The officer quit within 24 hours of his arrest on Dec. 19. His name has not been released because of a publication

Sunday, 19 January 2014


I know, I've heard it a million times."Not all cops are bad, some are quite nice". So what? What is their social role? To maintain the fucking status quo. The same status quo where 1 out of 4 women in their lifetimes will be sexually assaulted, child sexual abuse is on the rise, people working full time jobs still need food banks to survive, and the never ending wars for profits have you convinced that "we" are fighting "terrorism". Pathetic. This story sums up what cops are really like,and what they do..

Retired officer held in movie theatre shooting

Video: A Florida man is dead after an argument over texting in a movie theatre. The victim is a 46-year-old father who was sending a message to his daughter during the previews and the accused is a 71-year-old retired police officer. Eric Sorensen reports.
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – A retired police captain is being held without bail after fatally shooting a man who was texting in a Florida movie theatre.
On Tuesday, a judge ordered Curtis Reeves, 71, held without bond on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson on Monday.
Pasco County Sheriff’s officials said the shooting happened when Reeves asked Oulson to stop texting at the theatre.
Reeves and his wife were sitting behind Oulson and his wife. Oulson told Reeves he was texting with his 3-year-old daughter, Cummings said.
“He must have just snapped,” neighbour Joe D’Andrea said of Reeves, describing him as friendly, “stand-up” guy. “I’m trying to put all of this together.”
Reeves’ personnel files from the police department show he led other agencies in gun safety training and received numerous letters of commendation for his leadership.
Still, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Tuesday: “It didn’t matter what he had done previously in his life. You don’t shoot someone over a texting incident.”
Sheriff’s Detective Allen Proctor wrote that Reeves spoke to Oulson during the movie previews, then got up and informed management.
When Reeves returned to his seat “additional words were exchanged” and Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, the report said.
After officers read him his rights, Reeves told the detective that Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object, and that’s when he removed a .380 calibre gun from his pants pocket. The report said Reeves fired the gun and struck Oulson once in the chest and that he “was in fear of being attacked.”
At the hearing, Judge Lynn Tepper said she found the evidence significant enough to warrant the no bond order.
Reeves faces life in prison if convicted. He only spoke once during his court appearance, to say “yes, ma’am” to the judge when she asked him if he could afford to hire his own attorney. Reeves, who appeared in court via a video link from the jail, appeared to be wearing a bullet proof vest without a shirt underneath.
Reeves’ attorney, Richard Escobar, argued that his client should be released because of his deep ties to the community.
Escobar said the probable cause document was “quite weak” and that Reeves was defending himself.
“The alleged victim attacked him,” Escobar said, adding that Oulson threw something, possibly popcorn, at Reeves. “At that point in time he has every right to defend himself.”
The judge said that throwing “an unknown object does not equal taking out a gun” and shooting someone.
© The Canadian Press, 2014

Thursday, 16 January 2014


The epidemic of police killing unarmed civilians is nothing short of warfare, especially when minority youth are involved. They do it and get away with it time and time again. People have to organize, get active, take to the streets, and learn what is at the root of this madness. 
"They Murdered My Son and they got away with it"—

The Murderers of Kelly Thomas—Once Again, Killer Cops Walk Free

January 16, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |

January 13, 2014, Fullerton, California. Another punch in the gut is delivered by the American system of injustice as the two Fullerton cops on trial for killing Kelly Thomas walk out of court free—a jury declaring "not guilty on all counts" of second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and excessive use of force.
This verdict is a message being sent to the masses of people in this country, not just by the defense and the jury in this case, but by the rulers of this country: Police repression, brutality and murder is not only perfectly fine, to be expected, and accepted, but is a "standard operating procedure." They are telling us, "This is going to continue to happen, to intensify, so shut up and take it!"
On July 5, 2011, Thomas, a white, 37-year old, mentally ill, homeless man, was jumped by six Fullerton cops in the local bus terminal. He was beaten with batons, tasered multiple times over and over, and when the electric charge ran out the cop beat him with the butt of the taser gun. The beating so disfigured his face that he was completely unrecognizable from his pictures. He died 5 days later, after never regaining consciousness.
This murder was caught on video and it showed the savagery and brutality of the beating inflicted upon Kelly. You could hear him calling out for his father and saying he could not breathe, but the beating continued until he became unconscious. One of the murdering cops, Manuel Ramos, can be seen in the video putting on a pair of Latex gloves, making two fists and telling Thomas, "Now you see my fists? They're getting ready to fuck you up." While the other murdering cop, Jay Cicinelli, later recounted, "I got to the end of my Taser and I probably...I just probably smashed his face to hell."
Protests of hundreds, demanding justice for Kelly and the arrest of the cops who killed him, took place over several months in Fullerton. It was due to these protests that the cops were finally indicted, the Chief of Police resigned, and three city council members were recalled.
The video ( of the beating was clearly evidence that Kelly had been viciously beaten to death by the cops. Plus the coroner listed the cause of death as brain death caused by asphyxiation from the officers piling on Kelly's chest. A person writing to the Orange County Register about another police murder wrote, "This case of police justifying a killing of an unarmed man reminds me of Kelly Thomas, who was beaten to death last year. Luckily in that situation they had many witnesses and videotape to bring a case against the officers."
But this is America and now in America, even clear video evidence of cops murdering people does not result in convictions. Because in America, as we have learned with the Rodney King beating and the Oscar Grant trial and Trayvon Martin murder trial, evidence and the truth does not mean shit when it comes to cops and vigilantes. In America, trials of murdering cops end up with blaming the victim, with the prosecutors forgetting how to prosecute, and with laws and rules that give cops the right "to use deadly force." This is what happened in the Kelly Thomas murder trial as clear evidence of the murder gave way to an argument about whether the cops adhered to proper standards, to attacking Kelly Thomas, painting him as a violent person due to his mental illness and as a drug user, and with the prosecutors, who openly admitted that they failed to prosecute in a way that would show a "burden of proof."
What's shown by this trial and the verdict is that it is perfectly legitimate for the cops to use "illegitimate deadly force." That was the cops' defense; that it's perfectly okay to do this. "They (the cops) were just doing their job," said the defense attorneys. "They were trained to do this." Think about it, they were trained to savagely brutalize, pummel, and murder Kelly Thomas. If you don't believe that's what they did, then watch the video and look at pictures of his face. Yes, this is the reality of America for millions of people in this country.
But we are not going to stand by and let this shit continue to go down. We are not going to stop fighting against this until we put an end to it once and for all. "The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world...when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness...those days must be GONE. And they CAN be." ("The Revolution We Need...The Leadership We Have," A Message, And A Call, From The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Revolution #170, July 19, 2009.)
Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas' father and a former Orange County Sheriff's deputy, said he was stunned by the verdict, and that he'd "never seen such a miscarriage of justice." "It's carte blanche for police officers everywhere to beat us, kill us" and "they'll get away with it." ("Former California Police Officers Found Not Guilty Of Killing Homeless Man" by Gillian Flaccus, Huffington Post, January 14, 2014) Kelly's mother said, "They murdered my son and they got away with it."
We say no more Kelly Thomases, no more Oscar Grants, no more Trayvon Martins!
"If you can't handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people's police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That's what you're supposed to do if you're actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this 'serve and protect' bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it's been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses.  And that's one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people." (Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party,BAsics 2:16, on the police murder of Tyisha Miller.)
On Monday night after the verdict, a protest of close to 100 people took place near the site where Kelly was murdered, then people marched to the police department. People shouted "Justice for Kelly Thomas. We saw the video."  Signs read "No More Killer Cops" and "End Police Brutality." People in Fullerton are planning a protest for Saturday, January 18th at 10am at the Fullerton Police Department. We'll be there and encourage others to be there too.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


Remember Trayvon Martin, and all  of the victims of this "leader of the free world". 
This call was issued by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

February 26, 2014
2 years since the murder of Trayvon Martin
A Day of Outrage and Remembrance
We Are All Trayvon Martin, The Whole Damn System is Guilty

January 13, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |

February 26, 2014 - 2 years since Trayvon Martin was murdered by vigilante, wannabe cop George Zimmerman; 2 years since this 17-year-old African-American walking home at 7:15 PM with skittles and iced tea and wearing a hoodie was murdered because he looked "suspicious" and "up to no good" to Zimmerman.
Zimmerman didn't know Trayvon—had never met him or spoke to him. But America had taught Zimmerman that Black youth are guilty until proven innocent. And he learned this lesson well. Zimmerman called Trayvon "a punk," "a fucking asshole," and said "they always get away...."
He stalked Trayvon, confronted him and shot him dead.
This was a modern day lynching. It sent a message that Black youth have a bulls-eye on their backs that cops and any ordinary racist can use as target practice. The recent murders of Renisha McBride in Detroit, Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Florida, Jonathan Smith in North Carolina and Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California underscore this message.
In response we must deliver our own message: we will not stand by in silence as our youth are brutalized, locked up, murdered and more. On Feb. 26th, we must say NO MORE! to the criminalization of whole generations of Black and Latino youth.
Look at what this case revealed. When the police arrived on the scene finding Zimmerman standing over Trayvon's dead body, they drug tested Trayvon—the victim—and let Zimmerman—the killer—walk free. It took weeks of nationwide mobilization to force the authorities to put Zimmerman on trial.
Then Trayvon was put on trial. Stories of marijuana being found in his backpack and a school suspension filled the media. As Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, put it: "They've killed my son, and now they are trying to kill his reputation."
In the trial, the judge ruled the prosecution could talk about profiling, but not RACIAL profiling. The prosecutors forgot how to prosecute, putting on Zimmerman's case so well he didn't have to testify. The defense assassinated the character of Trayvon and then unleashed crude insults and racist attacks on Rachel Jeantel, who spoke the truth about what happened the night of Trayvon's murder.
The question is what will we do now in the face of this outrage? Will we stand by in silence as youth like Trayvon die or face lives of brutality, misery and incarceration? Or will we stand up and say NO MORE!—on February 26, 2014, and from here on out? Now is NOT the time to "move on." Now IS the time for basic people and youth, professors and students, artists and writers, athletes, musicians and prominent voices of conscience to rise up in spirited resistance with the clear objective of STOPPING mass incarceration, criminalization and murder of our youth.
On February 26, step off in determined street protests; hold campus teach-ins and cultural events; speak out in the media; spread the image and national sticker "We Are All Trayvon, The Whole Damn System is Guilty" and say NO MORE! to the green light this system has given to police and vigilantes to gun down and murder any youth they deem "suspect" because of the color of their skin or the clothes they wear. Spread the "We Say No More" statement which condemns the murder of Trayvon.
The murder of Trayvon was and is a towering outrage. Remember: when the verdict came down many thousands rejected the call for "calm reflection" from Obama and others and took to the streets in outrage. Many more asked: Why does this happen? And, what can we do about it? There is a challenge before us: what kind of world are we going to live in? On February 26, 2014 we must answer that challenge with a day of outrage and remembrance for Trayvon Martin and all the others like Trayvon.
Hoodies Up! We Are All Trayvon,
The Whole Damn System is Guilty!
The Youth Are Not Suspects, They Are Human Beings!
Stop Mass Incarceration Network, P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station, New York, NY 10002-0900
Email:, Twitter:@StopMassIncNet, Phone: 347-979-SMIN (7646)


The same hypocritical motherfuckers who heaped praise on the deceased leader of south africa's anti-apartheid movement, are now filled with sorrow over the death of someone who fought his whole life to keep and strengthen the apartheid system in occupied Palestine. Ariel the asshole sharon. Fuck him, and all those who eulogize him as a "strong leader", because he sent tanks in against stone throwing children. Read this.

Israel's Sharon, Sharon's Israel

January 13, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |

January 13, 2014. A World to Win News Service. When Ariel Sharon died January 11 after eight years in a coma, most Western politicians and media, if they were critical at all, called him "controversial" or "divisive, mainly referring to Israeli public opinion. Nevertheless they treated the occasion with great solemnity and respect. It was like "a death in the family", U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden lamented at the memorial ceremony in Tel Aviv, notable for the empty seats and hilltops that the public failed to fill.
What Israeli and Western statesmen felt should be considered most memorable and unifying about Sharon was his qualities as a "warrior"—his "courage" and his "North Star", as Biden put it, his commitment to the Zionist cause. This reveals much of what the Palestinian people are up against. There is no controversy about the facts. Sharon built an identity as a butcher on a mass scale. There are no two conflicting sides to his story, just two different sides in the real world, divided by whether or not the Palestinian people should be crushed.
Sharon's military career started with the Naqba, the armed expulsion of Palestinians from their homes that marked the establishment of Israel in 1948. Later, as a rapidly rising young officer, he founded and commanded the Israeli Army's Unit 101. Its mission was to carry out reprisal raids against villages outside of what was then Israel, punishing civilians for harbouring "infiltrators"—Palestinian fighters, smugglers and often unarmed people trying to get back home. In 1953, he lead an assault against a village called Qibya.
The village was guarded by a dozen or less armed men. Sharon's unit, with hundreds of soldiers, blocked off the village on all sides, fired mortars and rockets and then went in. They killed 69 people. More than half (The New York Times, January 13, 2014) of the dead and perhaps as many as two-thirds were women and children. Many died in their homes, which soldiers shot up and then demolished without checking to see who was inside. The attackers suffered only one slightly wounded soldier. This is the "battle" that brought Sharon to prominence as Israel's signature "warrior", to quote the title of his autobiography.
Sharon was a cold-blooded strategist, however, not just a monster, and he understood the political aims of his war. "The orders were utterly clear: Qibya was to become an example for everyone," wrote Israeli historian Benny Morris in Israel's Border Wars. That was Sharon's creed as a soldier: to make a special point of killing not just fighters but civilians in order to demonstrate Israeli power and ruthlessness, to terrorize the Palestinian people into submission. The UN condemned the massacre but Sharon was promoted to help reorganize and shape the Israeli army. Unit 101 was disbanded, but it became a model for the tactics and spirit of the Israeli armed forces.
Real courage in the pursuit of justice lay with Israel's enemies. After those years Sharon himself was not directly involved in fighting Palestinian fedayeen, who won some important tactical victories against overwhelming odds, for instance the celebrated battle of Karameh in 1968. Sharon's most famous campaign was when he led the invasion of Egypt in 1973. In the city of Suez, factory workers and other people, armed and hastily organized by nationalist army officers and leftists in the Popular Resistance Committees, came out to stop the Israeli army from taking the city. Armed mainly with rifles and RPGs, they destroyed tanks, surrounded the invaders and captured many professional soldiers, helping to halt the Israeli push towards Cairo. Although Israel eventually came out on top in this war, it destroyed the myth of Zionist invincibility.
In 1982, Sharon repeated Qibya on an even more massive scale. With U.S. backing, he launched and led an invasion of Lebanon. The pretext was that Israel was protecting its own security by clearing Palestinian fighters along the border. Then the Israeli armed forces moved far north into Beirut, where they forced the Palestine Liberation Organization leadership and thousands of its fighters to leave the country by ship. The American government, supposedly acting as a mediator, guaranteed the safety of the Palestinian civilians left behind.
The U.S. and Israel hoped they could run the country through an alliance with the Christian-based Phalangist party, whose head Bashir Gamayel was set to become the country's president. Bashir had agreed to let Israel take over southern Lebanon, which they did. But then he was assassinated.
The day Bashir was killed, Sharon met with the family, one of the most powerful clans in Lebanon, supposedly to offer his condolences. According to Time magazine, "Sharon reportedly told the Gemayels that the Israeli army would be moving into West Beirut and that he expected the Christian forces to go into the Palestinian refugee camps. Sharon also reportedly discussed with the Geymayels the need for the Phalangists to take revenge for the assassination of Bashir, but the details of the conversation are not known." (Time, February 21, 1983) The Israeli government blamed the PLO for the assassination, even though they knew that was not true.
The Israeli army surrounded the adjacent Palestinian refugee camps known as Sabra and Shatila. They prevented anyone from leaving, but let Phalangist militiamen move in. Israeli flares lit the night sky. The Phalangist leader of the operation, Elie Hobeika, and the Israeli field commander on the scene, Brigadier General Amos Yanon, were stationed together on an overlooking rooftop.
An Israeli lieutenant later told a Knesset (Israeli parliament) commission that an hour after the Phalangist militia entered the camp's narrow streets, an officer in the camp radioed for instructions about what to do with the women and children. Hobeika answered, "This is the last time you're going to ask me a question like that. You know exactly what to do." The Israeli general was aware of this exchange (see When twenty years later, a Belgian court prepared to try Sharon, Yanon and Hobeika for the massacre, the Phalangist said that in his own defence he would testify that the Israelis knew and approved of everything. He was killed by a car bomb and the case was dismissed at the U.S.'s insistence.
There is also evidence that the Israeli army itself killed many Palestinians, even after the massacre had ended in the camp. Only about 600 bodies were found in Sabra and Shatila, while almost 2,000 people are known to have disappeared and the actual toll may have been higher. British journalist Robert Fisk, who arrived on the scene shortly after the Phalangists left, wrote that the Israelis brought "probably well over a thousand" Palestinian men and boys to the nearby sports stadium. When he returned, they were gone, and their families couldn't find them. After discussions with witnesses, he concluded that the Israelis killed the prisoners and buried them in secret graves. (Robert Fisk, The Independent, reprinted by Counterpunch, November 28, 2001)
The basic facts about Sabra and Shatila came out in the report of the commission established by the Israeli parliament after an unprecedented public outcry in Israel in the days following the massacre. Yet the Kahan commission came to the conclusion that the massacre was the work of the Phalangists alone, while Sharon and other officers were guilty of failing to prevent it. That commission held that Sharon bore "personal responsibility", and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was "indirectly responsible" for not looking into Sharon's negligence.
That was both a mere slap on the hand and a cover-up. While Sharon certainly did bear personal responsibility, the massacre was not due to his negligence or indifference—or even his personal criminality. It was committed as part of overall Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and its neighbours, policies that led to three invasions of Lebanon and continuing horrors against the Palestinians. These are the natural result of Zionism itself—logical solutions to the problem of establishing and safeguarding a Jewish state based on the racist fantasy of a mystically-defined Jewish people worldwide somehow gathered into a single nation and endowed with a genetic birthright to land already peopled for thousands of years.
As a consequence, Sharon was forced to resign as Defence Minister, but Begin kept him on in the cabinet. Begin is said to have told Sharon, "You are young. You still have much to do." He remained a pillar of Israel's political establishment as well as its leading general, and went on to continue his work as prime minister until a stroke left him all but dead in 2006. His "personal responsibility" was approved by Israel's ruling class as a whole and a large part of the electorate. There was never any danger that he would end up facing an international trial for his crimes. The U.S. did not let that happen.
Sharon used the various cabinet posts he occupied to win himself the name of the father of the Jewish settlement movement. The Israeli government financed and protected Jewish "settlers" who helped themselves to land still occupied and farmed by Palestinians in the West Bank. In 1998 he told them to "run and grab as many hilltops as they can, because everything we take will be ours." (Reuters, January 12, 2014) These settlements are armed outposts of the Zionist state in what remains of Palestinian territories.
But what most made Sharon "controversial", especially in Israel today, is that he supposedly turned against the settlement movement. In 2005 he sent Israeli troops to evacuate Jewish families who refused to leave Gaza, which Israel invaded and took over in 1967.
The evacuation move sparked an ideological crisis in a movement that until then thought itself entitled to whatever it wanted because of what it considered God's promise. Some families are still enraged about losing their highly subsidized farms and businesses in Gaza. Perhaps they resent having been wiling Zionist cannon fodder. But the evacuation did not represent a departure from the goals behind state support for the settler movement.
It enabled the Israeli state to consolidate its military situation, so that its troops would no longer be tied down defending a few hundred families. The displaced settlers were supposed to be sent to fatten up more viable Jewish towns in the West Bank.
Even more important was the political purpose of what Sharon called "disengagement". For Sharon this was a change of tactics, not change of heart. Tony Blair, who famously lied to the British public to garner acceptance for the invasion of Iraq and was rewarded by becoming the envoy for the Quartet, a body established by the U.S.,UK, EU, UN and Russia to oversee the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, shamelessly told the truth at Ariel Sharon's memorial. Blair said he wanted to correct the widely-accepted misconception that Sharon "changed from man of war to a man of peace. He never changed. His strategic objective never wavered. The state of Israel... had to be preserved for future generations. When that meant fighting, he fought. When that meant making peace, he sought peace with the same iron determination."
But what was this talk of "peace" if not another attempt to crush the Palestinians by other means? Sharon conducted the evacuation of Gaza unilaterally in order to weaken and not strengthen the PLO's authority. He considered it a matter of principle never to negotiate with Palestinians. He had refused to shake hands with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat when Arafat signed on to the U.S. plan for a "two-state solution", and kept Arafat a prisoner in his home until the day he died under circumstances that have never been made clear.
If Sharon had come to believe in the necessity of a "two-state solution," as the U.S. had by then—and because of his subsequent stroke no one can know exactly what he had in mind or what he would have done later—the plan was (and still is) to make a "Palestinian" state that would amount to nothing more than a big detention centre. The same vision connected Israel's construction of a wall around the West Bank, which began under Sharon, and his policy of "disengagement" that meant that instead of occupying Gaza, Israel would fence it in and pick off its inhabitants from the air whenever considered necessary.
Whether or not a Palestinian "mini-state" is ever allowed to emerge, what Sharon tried to further, and the U.S. still values, is the "peace process". This "process" only goes one way—against Palestinians. The number of West Bank settlers swelled by a third during the years Sharon spent in a coma, with no end in sight. Further, it is based on an illusion: the U.S. is no more likely to protect the Palestinians in the future than it did at Sabra and Shatila. Very importantly, it provides political cover for reactionary Arab regimes allied with Washington, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
But it also causes some ideological friction for some Israelis who object to interference with what they consider God's plan. They hate even pretending to consider Palestinians as worthy of rights. To the degree that there are real contradictions between Israel and the U.S., it is because that while the U.S. cannot do without the Jewish state, a reliable outpost in an increasingly volatile region, the U.S. is also concerned with the regional stability that Israel often endangers. For the U.S. and the EU, Sharon's memorial—where they hailed this mass murderer as a "man of peace"—was an occasion to gently nudge the Israeli government toward the revival of the "peace process".
This was unwelcome for many Israelis. Only a few thousand came to his funeral. Many hated Sharon. Some of them were embarrassed by his naked, joyful brutality, even though they cannot imagine an acceptable alternative to the Jewish state. Others, especially the so-called national religious movement, considered him a traitor. As much as they clash, both currents operate within the limits of the interests of the larger settler state. That's why a sober-minded, secular Zionist like Sharon championed crazed Jewish religious fanatics when that served Israel's goals.
The concept of a multi-national, non-religious state once championed by the PLO has been blasted off today's political landscape, in no small part due to Sharon and the policies he represented. He did his part—under the wing of the U.S., of course—to create the conditions, at times deliberately, in which Islamic fundamentalism is thrusting itself to the forefront of the struggle against Zionism.
At the memorial for Sharon, the present Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said, "Your memory will be part of this nation forever." That's true: Sharon's criminal deeds were totally consistent with the criminality of the Zionist project, and will always be synonymous with Israel and the imperialist powers it serves.

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

Saturday, 11 January 2014


As you can see by the new picture in the heading, we have our new CDs,and they will be available at the Jay Brown Memorial Show on the 25th. 16 songs in just over 17 and and half minutes, all for the low price of 5 bucks. If all goes well, we will also have a limited number of shirts for sale,and vinyl stickers for free. It's all been a long time coming, and hopefully it's been worth the wait. We are still planning on doing a record with Tyler for Stiff Hombre Records. Thanks to Evan at Company Zero for doing the CDs in such a short time, and Bruce Dean and John Carlow for the cover and band shots, respectively. We'll keep you posted as to what's happening band-wise, and where. Thank you.

Monday, 6 January 2014


There are far too many people who just do not want to know how they are connected to all of the misery that exists in this world. There are billions who do not have this choice, but have to keep slaving away (yes, I mean literally), just to survive and put food on the table for their families. Next time you see the label on your clothing indicating which Third World country it came from, think about what needs to be done to eradicate the suffering and enslavement that goes into every fucking stitch of the clothing we all wear. No, not better consumer practices. REVOLUTION.

Everyone's Talkin' About Inequality—Let's Talk About the System Causing It

Lesson from Bangladesh

January 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed and became an instant tomb for more than 1,100 people. Aside from the dead, many others are now maimed for life, their bodies mangled, without arms and legs. The incident became emblematic of a world of inequalities. But what people aren't talking about is why capitalism must generate such inequalities.

April 30, 2013, Bangladesh: Factory worker being pulled from the rubble where more than 1,100 workers died. Photo: AP
Since this disaster, the deadliest in the history of the garment industry, questions have been raised: Who should be responsible to the victims' families? What can be done to prevent this from happening again? What is the culpability of companies like Walmart that outsource to factories in Third World countries?
Many have pointed to the unfair, unsafe, sweatshop conditions of the workers in Rana Plaza: that Bangladesh has one of the lowest costs of labor in the world with the national minimum wage at 21 cents an hour, or $38 per month; that the eight-story building was so shoddily built that workers had reported massive cracks in the walls the day before and refused to work—but factory owners coldly calculated that deadlines were more important than safety so workers were told if they didn't return to work their pay would be cut.
Millions around the world looked at this horrific incident and what it says about the gross inequalities in the world. Many people are not just aware of, but appalled by the fact that we live in a world where so many people live in conditions of misery, poverty, and starvation. Some talk about how capitalism is "greedy" and "unfair" for the majority of people who live on this globe.

April 30, 2013, Bangladesh: An attempt to rescue several factory workers buried in rubble after the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapsed. Photo: AP
But what is really needed—to get at the problem AND the solution—is a lot more discussion and understanding about WHY capitalism, by its very nature, HAS TO generate such inequality and impoverishment. WHY the economic laws that govern the system of capitalism will and can only lead to horrors like what happened in Rana Plaza. That no amount of regulation, reform, compensation, or even capitalists with good intentions who try to treat the workers fairly, is going to fundamentally change this hellish situation. That what is really needed is REVOLUTION to get rid of this system of capitalism, and to replace it with a whole new economic and political system working towards the emancipation of humanity worldwide.
The story of Rana Plaza provides a lesson in exactly this point.

A System at Work

Mango is an international fashion brand based in Spain that ships 60 million garments a year. At the time of the disaster, it had arranged to have 25,000 samples of polo shirts and other items produced at the Phantom Tac factory in Rana Plaza. This factory, a recent New York Times article noted, "could be regarded as an unlikely attempt to prove that a Bangladeshi factory could be socially responsible and make a profit." But let's look at what these efforts to be a "socially responsible" factory really show.
One of the owners of the Phantom Tac factory, David Mayor in Spain, did seem to be trying to do some good things. His fashion clothes, for example, had the motto "clothing with a heart." Mayor said he wanted to show it was possible to run an ethical business in which workers were trained well and treated with respect. He teamed up with a Vatican missionary to offer a training program aimed at poor women in rural Bangladesh who flock to Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital, in search of work. He hired about a dozen of them at his own factory. He wanted consumers to understand how their clothes are made, so he created a website to connect them with workers sewing their clothes. He opened a shop in Dhaka where clothes had a code on the sales tag so that buyers could type this in and learn about the Bangladeshi women who had made the garments they had bought. (See "Clothing Brands Sidestep Blame for Safety Lapses," New York Times, December 30, 2013.)
All this, of course, took money to set up. It took money to finance the rural training program. It took money to set up the shop in Dhaka. A woman was hired to develop the website. So what happens when someone like Mayor tries to "do something good" like this in the whole setup of capitalism?
Well, first of all, Mayor was not operating in a vacuum. He had to go up against all kinds of other capitalists all over the world who are trying to make a profit just like him. Other capitalists who are not spending this extra money on "socially conscious" projects.
Think of all the different companies around the world making clothes. There's a lot of anarchy here—uncertainty, disorder, and chaos.
By the time Mr. Mayor had set up his factory in Rana Plaza, he had already bought machinery, the cotton for the shirts, and bought people's labor to work and was paying them wages for that. He had already invested all that, and that money was gone—it was now embodied in the machinery, the raw materials, and the wages. So the only way he could get that back—plus end up with more capital in the form of more money, or profit—was to exploit the people working for his company—to have them produce more value than all the money he had invested in the first place. Then he had to sell the products, the shirts, in order to realize his profit.
BUT here's where the anarchy of capitalist commodity production and exchange comes in. Every capitalist is competing with all the other capitalists doing the same thing all over the world, facing the same compulsion to "expand or die," to beat out your competitors—or go under. And this requires cutting costs at every step along the way.
The fact of the matter is: The capitalists who aren't doing extra socially conscious projects like training programs for young girls in rural Bangladesh or connecting consumers in the West with factory workers in the Third World—which cost money—are going to have a competitive edge over someone like Mayor. So eventually Mayor will have to either stop such programs or go under.
In a 2008 interview in the World Trade Review, Mayor said he'd figured out that he would have to charge an extra 10 cents per piece to really improve the lives of his workers. And he said, "When you are a manufacturer negotiating orders with buyers that 10 cents becomes very important, it is very competitive and 10 cents becomes a lot."
In fact, Mango set up production in Bangladesh at Rana Plaza in order to cut costs to be more competitive. The New York Times noted: "Technology and investment are transforming the upper end of the industry, enabling Mango and other brands to increase sales, manage global inventories with pinpoint precision and introduce new clothes faster than ever—all as consumers now expect to see new things every time they visit a store. But these brands depend on factories in developing countries like Bangladesh, where wages are very low and the pressure to work faster and cheaper has spawned familiar problems: unsafe buildings, substandard work conditions, and repeated wage and labor violations."
While Mayor was trying to carry out some socially conscious projects, workers at the Phantom Tac factory said deadline pressures were relentless. Managers hid excessive overtime or other wage violations. There were violations of child labor. Conditions in the factory deteriorated as the company began to focus on winning larger orders. Right before the building collapse, under pressure to meet orders, workers were forced to work through the night. Workers were told if they complained they'd lose their job. (Reuters, "Bangladesh disaster crushes owner's ideal of clothes with a conscience," June 16, 2013)
Mayor's factory was just a small part of Mango's worldwide operations where a big part of its "growth strategy" has been placing a premium on efficiency, cost and speed. No room here for any extra "socially responsible" costs.
Eventually Mayor had to tighten expenses at his factory in Rana Plaza. He stopped funding the training program for women in the rural areas. The person developing the consumer website left.
Now, 200 of the men and women who worked in Mayor's factory—bent over their machines for 12 or more hours a day for barely enough to live on—are dead and others are now living with bodies crushed beyond repair.
Mayor has disappeared and his business partner in Bangladesh is in jail in connection with the building collapse.
The 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh and the 3.6 million garment workers in Bangladesh who are mostly women are part of a $1 trillion global clothing industry. Garment manufacturing in Bangladesh is a $20 billion industry. It is the mainstay of the country's economy, employing 40 percent of the country's industrial workforce. Bangladesh is the second-largest exporter of garments in the world (after China)—garments account for 80 percent of the country's exports. The bulk of these exports, 60 percent, go to Europe; 23 percent go to the United States—more than to any other individual nation.
In the business of making clothes, just like any other business, a capitalist has to get a bigger and bigger share of the market. Each one has to keep fighting to outdo their competitors or go under—and have to continually cheapen costs in order to stay alive. This means seeking out the lowest, most exploitative wages. This means cutting costs wherever possible—even if it means shoddy and dangerous working conditions. This means denying workers any kind of organizing rights. This means violating safety codes that if followed would require spending money.
The needless deaths of the workers in Rana Plaza teach us a lesson about the problem AND the solution.
There is no such thing as capitalism without inequality, without exploitation, without misery, without horrific disasters like what happened in Rana Plaza. This hellish situation is dictated by the very nature and laws of how this system must and can only operate. And yes, no amount of regulation, reform, compensation, or capitalists with good intentions who try to treat the workers fairly, is going to fundamentally change this hellish situation. What is really needed IS revolution to get rid of this system of capitalism, and to replace it with a whole new economic and political system working towards the emancipation of humanity worldwide.