Send Winter Has Its End reporters to Turkey

Images and news reports of the ongoing rebellion in Turkey have swept the globe. Right now, a new movement has emerged and is quickly developing. What began as a defense of the last green space in Istanbul has quickly become a nation-wide uprising, reminiscent of the Arab Spring or the Squares movement in Europe. Hundreds of thousands, or more, are in rapid motion. It is sight lifting – and shocking.

This movement is at its beginning, and will continue to evolve in the days to come. You can look at what at the recent raid on Taksim Square by the Turkish state (link). Winter Has Its End plans to send a team of revolutionary journalists into the fray to give a first hand look at the quickly changing and critical situation on the ground.

WHIE has assembled a bi-lingual team (English and Turkish), prepared to do photography, interviews, video, and dig deeply into what is unfolding with both daily reporting and in-depth analysis. In the past, Winter Has Its End has covered Greece's own Squares Movement in 2011, as well as the 2010 General Strikes in Nepal, and the 2012 regroupment of Nepal's revolutionaries.
The team needs funds urgently to send people to Turkey in the next few weeks, to cover this movement in all its complexity, twists and turns. Our minimum total costs for such a trip will be roughly $10,000 for plane tickets, food, shelter, equipment and to pay expenses back home while journalists take time off of work. Donating more will enable us to bring a larger team.


Portland Event: A Fresh Start to Change Everything - Nepal's Revolution

Over the last sixteen years millions in Nepal have risen up to change their fate. They waged ten years of people’s war, battling against kings, castes, landlord classes, and foreign domination. Many around the world hoped for a revolutionary seizure of power and a new society for Nepal. After suffering tremendous setbacks the revolutionary dreamers are regrouped, aiming to start a communist revolution anew.

In January of 2013, revolutionary journalists Natalio Perez and Liam Wright of the Kasama Project traveled to Nepal. Their presentation will tell the story of Nepal’s revolution, the current situation there, feature video and photos from their journey.

Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 7PM

Flier PDF: Color B&W

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Nepal's Revolution is a Necessity: Interview with Pampha Bhushal

"What is revolution? Is revolution still relevant in today's world? Why did the Nepalese people rise up in a revolutionary "People's War" that lasted ten years (1996-2006)?

Pampha Bhushal, spokesperson of the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (CPN-M), was interviewed on January 17, 2013, by BASICS CNS and Kasama Project (Winter Has Its Ends) correspondents.

She explains how she became a revolutionary feminist and communist herself, and why the intense inequality that exists in Nepal simply cannot be solved through the existing bureaucratic and semi-feudal structures. In fact, she argues that wherever there is inequality, there is a need to change the political and economic structures to bring about the representation of all and to bring about greater equality -- revolution is a necessity." -BASICS NEWS, Canada

Thanks to Winter Has Its End and BASICS NEWS reporters for this wonderful interview.

Kali Shakti: Photos from Nepal's Maoist Congress

These photos come to Kasama from Kali Shakti, a revolutionary journalist. The photos were taken at the congress of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, a new revolutionary political party that has formed, and is in preparations for a new revolutionary uprising in Nepal. Kasama will be running more photography from Nepal over the coming week.



Interview With A Former Book Smuggler

BASICS CNS and Winter Has Its End correspondents caught up with Ganesh Kumar Chitaure, owner of a radical bookstore, Jagaran Book House, in Kathmandu.

Chitaure explains some of the basic inequalities along caste and class lines in Nepal that motivated him to join the Maoist movement.

He also talks about the role that he played as a member of the Maoist party and how that led to his founding this bookstore.

Chitaure also provides a brief overview of the differences and splits that have emerged in the Maoist movement now after the ending of the insurgency.


Interview: Women were free in the people's war, today it has reversed

Nainakala Thapa, a leading member of the All Nepal Women's Association (Revolutionary) discusses the liberation that women won through the people's war, and the changes that have come in the post-people's war period. This interview comes from the Winter Has Its End and BASICS News Canada reporter teams. -eric r

A Year and a Half Later, Returning to Nepal's Marxist School

In 2011, the last time I was in Nepal, I had the chance to visit the then fledgling Marxist Learning Center. At that time, they only had a smattering of books, a discussion group, maybe a dozen participants, and it was ran out of the home of a more seasoned Maoist. We decided to take a second look at the school and see how it had changed and hopefully grown.

Our steps were brisk down dusty Kathmandu lanes as we passed bustling laborers and busy shopkeepers. The peak of the day had already passed us; shadows were growing longer, the air cooler. I had been through this district once before but it had been dark, so the area seemed only distantly familiar... So much so that our team almost missed the entrance to the apartment building where the incognito learning center was located.

We walked inside and proceeded to climb several flights of stairs where we arrived at a well lit room. Our team and five Nepali revolutionaries together sat down cross-legged on flat pillows wrapped in plastic around a wooden table all on a green rug which stretched much of the room. I assumed the plastic was to keep the pillows from getting dirty.

We started to ask questions and listen, while they told us about their project. "There used to be study groups and learning centers led by the party," the coordinator of the school explained. He wore a gray hoodie and didn't speak any English. Thankfully another one of the leaders of the school spoke it quite well and translated for us. He sat across from me, wearing a bright red jacket and a fresh hair cut. The translation went on, elaborating on what the coordinator said, "But when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was set in motion, the party stopped all of its internal theoretical training programs. We saw a great need to educate people in Marxism."

The Marxist Learning Center isn't run by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) by any high level program, or any party for that matter. But by a few members of the CPN-M, together with other leftists, who simply took initiative. Our translator explained to us, "On the first day we had 60 books. We just called up people we knew and asked them to donate whatever they could. Now we have 4000, Marxist and books that aren't too, all donated."


Maoists regroup in Nepal: Ruptures and obstacles

Revolutionaries at the Maoist party congress in Nepal - 2013

The Nepali Maoists always talk of peace and revolution.  To us, arriving as a reporting team from the U.S., this seems like a peculiar contradiction. Revolution would seem, to us, to be sharply opposed to peace. And a social peace seems like an absence of revolution.

But here in Nepal, the revolutionary process is deeply embedded among much of the population, and it is therefore just as idiosyncratic and contradictory as its people. The country went through a difficult and brutal decade of civil war to overthrow a hated king – and the costs of igniting a new war are understood by everyone. And yet, even after all the changes and events of the last years, the great majority of people in Nepal truly need a much deeper, more thorough-going revolution – they need deep changes in the social system, they need profoundly different, and new, forms of power at all levels, they need to break with the dominating treaties with India. Nepal’s people want peace, but many of them also want radical change.

We got to attend the founding congress of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) to see how the revolutionaries were going to work through that peculiar contradiction: how they would bridge the Nepali people's desire for peace and that aspiration for revolution.

For six days, our reporting team watched over 2,000 communist delegates debate the future. Just walking into a conference of that size and hear those debates in real-time, we got a gut sense that, that for Nepal, revolutionary change is not just a dream. Here it is a living movement and confronts a set of very intense and urgent problems.

The color red in a room of comrades

We were in a towering, multilayered auditorium.

At the front, bright light shone down on the stage, illuminating podium, central committee, and those of us attending from other parts of the world. As people rose to speak their words were followed intensely by a sea of faces – fully engaged. Sometimes the seriousness was broken for a moment.

Laughing children would run across the stage and try to grab a microphone or a performer’s drumstick. We would laugh and chuckle, but to the multitude of delegates this seemed expected, even common place. This was a meeting of serious revolutionaries considering how to organize a new armed uprising – and yet it was obviously also a room of regular people with a love for each other and for the world.


Interview from Nepal: People's war and joining the Maoists

Durlabh Pun is a member of the international department of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. This interview comes to Kasama from the Winter Has its End reporter project and BASICS News, a radical media project in Canada.


First Impressions: New tremors in Nepal

The sky stretches on forever here on the rooftop of the world.

Old and new, the foreign and indigenous are contradiction that wrack Kathmandu. The ease with which this place could welcome Western money and culture is apparent. And you already see the toll of that -- the inevitable price of "aid" or commerce from India and the West. 

But just as apparent here is the terrific desire for New Nepal with dignity. There is a political movement for a different road of development  without the poisonous domination of expansionist capital. And that, after all, is what drew us here.

Streets in this city can wind on forever. People, bicycles, motorcycles, and cars are packed into the same centuries-old, dusty lanes. Walls splattered with old dirt, energetic hawkers, and storefronts with wares. All that sits right nextto the red flags, banners, and posters of communist parties. The very appearance of this place speaks to both its ancient history and the dynamism of its insurgent radicalism.

Walking through Kathmandu reminded us of the cramped avenues of old Mexican cities; streets designed for pedestrians somehow manage to accommodate every imaginable type of vehicle, resulting in some of the most harrowing near-misses and the most phenomenal driving I have ever seen. The car horns seem to speak a language of their own, but it doesn't take long to realize that here a honk  means "Excuse me," not, "F*** you!"

It is difficult to convey the strange feeling of being constantly surrounded by the presence of hammers and sickles while knowing that the slightest nuances in aesthetic and language signify the difference between capitalist democracy and radical egalitarianism. Then again, Nepal is an enigma: this is a country where “communists” are conservatives, "Unified Maoists" are liberal-Western modernizers, and the "dash Maoists" are revolutionaries. It is easy to understand how so many, looking from the outside, are initially confused.