Open Threads

Open Threads is an open blogging platform, for debate and exploration of ideas among communists and radicals. Content presented here is contributed by Kasama site users.

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The US is beating the war drums over the loss of Iraqi territory to the Islamic State soldiers known as ISIS.

While the real loss is in land, prestige and control of Middle-east holdings by the US Empire, that is not what supporters of a new war are saying.

According to CNS News, Rep. Mike Rogers (R.-Mich.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said ISIS is “one plane ticket away from U.S. shores.” As usual the Republicans are using scare tactics to get the US people ready for a war they are promoting. It may be imperialist real estate and “interests” they want back but they are using fear to promote deeper involvement in the ISIS war.

ISIS "present the greatest threat we've seen since 9/11," said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, according to CNS News.

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Tagged in: iraq

It is significant that Cornel West, one of the most significant black intellectuals, who supported Obama in 2008 has now come out against him. West, like millions of others, believed Obama to be a progressive and interested genuine social change. West has seen, and is articulating, the disillusionment felt by millions of people, that Obama was not "hope and change" but just a new enforcer of Empire.


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By ISH, Photos by Jed Brandt

Wednesday evening during rush hour, pro-Palestine activists dropped a stunning, huge banner off the side of the Manhattan bridge. Reading, "Gaza In Our Hearts" and "Boycott Divest Sanction Israel," the massive multi-storey banner was soon taken down by the NYPD. The banner drop was the highlight of a Palestine solidarity march across the neighboring Brooklyn bridge. 1,700 people carrying signs and Palestinian flags filled the walkway of the bridge for two hours after a short rally in downtown Brooklyn. The action was called by an ad hoc group of activists who have been organizing various actions to call out Israel's assault on Gaza, an assault that has now taken well over 2,000 Palestinian lives.

b2ap3_thumbnail_nyc2gaza.jb-4.jpgThe march included Occupy Wall Street veterans, NYC left groups, Palestine-focused groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and Al-Awda the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, and included significant representation from New York's Palestinian community. It was a really beautiful and inspiring event, and the banner drop got a fair amount of publicity on local media, though one local TV station cluelessly headlined the banner's "Cryptic Message."

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By Nat Winn

After an entire week of rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri, the government and hypocritical forces claiming to represent the interests of Black people have begun to play a two sided game aimed at pacifying the righteous anger of the people of Ferguson and the people around the world who support them.

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The first thing I noticed when I heard about the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, of Ferguson, MO, I thought of my first home where I lived in that very town.  

I used to live on Coppinger Street, with my mother, father and two brothers. It was a small wooden, three bedroom house with a tiny kitchen. It was a wooden house, painted green. It was a mostly working class neighborhood. We moved to a more middle class neighborhood in St. Louis County in 1959. The whole time I lived in Ferguson I don’t ever remember seeing an Afro-American person. Today 67.4% of Ferguson is black, and mostly because of white flight.

I never saw black people until we drove around in downtown St. Louis. Once I started in grade school, in St. Louis County, I immediately realized that racism was alive and well. My parents discouraged all racism, especially my mother. But I could tell from other kids that they heard things not so pleasant about black people. Some used the “n” word. I remember the joke a kid told me: “If you want to take a dangerous ride, go through  n@#$%-town on a slow moving mini bike.”  Although our whole family moved to Wichita, KS in 1969 my brother Chris Otto has moved back and he has told me that there is a lot of bigotry by St. Louis’s whites today.

“In the south of St. Louis County, where I work, there are a lot of whites who believe that blacks are all on welfare or are criminals,” Otto said.

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Tagged in: racism