Friday 23rd of February 2018

reminiscent of 1968...


Workers must stand with fellow workers and unionists and not acquiesce to police demands to break up democratic protests, writes human rights activist, Gaye Demanuele.

IT HAS BEEN a busy few weeks for people willing and able to take the fight to the streets in Narrm (Melbourne) for human rights and environmental defence.

The Australian Government brought a humanitarian crisis to a new peak in its cruel treatment of refugees and asylum seekers held as political prisoners on Manus Island.

Immigration and Border Protection Minister Dutton’s starvation and dehydration tactics, with denial of medical aid, did not alter the courageous resistance stance of the prisoners who refused to be moved to another prison camp on Manus Island.

Under Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police watch, they were beaten by the notorious PNG Mobile Squad to make them leave the compound. These events created a real sense of emergency among Australian people, with a resurgence of attendance at rallies and indirect actions to disrupt business as usual. The demands are clear: to evacuate Manus Island and Nauru detention facilities and to resettle the asylum seekers and refugees safely.

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Poster at top: Mischief from Gus Leonisky. Poster from students in Paris 1968...:

police 2


looking back, from the silvered side of the mirror



The Great Recession and several key events during the Obama administration have arguably pushed young Americans even further to the left. Young people were uniquely punished by the recession and are rightfully angry. They suffered higher unemployment than any other group during the downturn, and their wages fell more more than any other group after it concluded.

This is the most educated generation in American history by both total degrees and share of college graduates. But whereas education once seemed to promise an inviolable social contract—a degree produced a job, and the job procured a good middle-class life or better—the rising cost of school has combined with a chilly labor market to create a perfect storm: Low youth wages that make it hard to pay off record-high student debt. One study from the San Francisco Federal Reserve found that since 2009, wages for recent college graduates have grown 60 percent more slowly than those of the general population. Given the alarmingly slow growth of overall wages, this is not unlike identifying an animal that moves 60 percent slower than a garden snail. The youth job market appears to require ever more preparation to secure increasingly meager wages.

The financial punishment of the last eight years has inspired several protest movements that have captured young liberals’ imagination. Occupy Wall Street might not have produced a clear policy prescription, but it told a simple, true, and easy to understand story: The recovery had been extraordinary for the stock market and disappointing for the labor market. Search the words “profit high wages low” and Google will retrieve 73,500,000 results, with the first page telling and re-telling the same story: Corporate profits reached a modern high at the same time that labor’s share of national American income reached a modern low. How many Occupy protesters, minimum-wage advocates, and Bernie Sanders supporters know that fact? It’s tough to say. How many feel it? Probably 100 percent.

Young people’s sense that America needs a moral rebirth is not just economic. The Black Lives Matter movement has done for racism and police brutality what Occupy did for financial realities—not discover a fresh injustice, but rather expose a long-festering moral blight. The words “Black Lives Matter” are a clear expression of the movement: a statement of sheer obviousness, identifying a historical ugliness that has lived in the shadows and is finally being dragged into the national light.

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How come The Dumb One got elected beggars belief... But then Obama was responsible for a bad economic back pocket for many people... and GenX stole the show from GenY... (nothing to do with the "Russians")


official fake news versus non-official fake news...



There is no panacea; constant vigilance and education are required to attack this problem. Young people and other web users must be taught to take seriously the demands of cybersecurity. High schools should be including media literacy as part of history and social science curriculums.

Most of all, students and others must be put on alert that there really is fake news — false information deliberately planted by malevolent actors — and that they need to be on guard against propaganda masquerading as truth.

The future of democracy may well rest on our ability to tell the difference.

Michael J. Abramowitz is the president of Freedom House.


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Yep, the war on Saddam comes to mind. The biggest fake news of the century so far has been that "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction". The bloodshed momentum of this "fake news" is still costing the lives of many in the Middle East, including Syria... Abramowitz, "president of Freedom House" seems to be an agent of the perpetually lying dark empire...


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decade’s most iconic, tumultuous year...

When Alan Shane Dillingham, a historian at Spring Hill College in Alabama, lectures on the 1960s he starts by displaying a timeline of the decade’s most iconic, tumultuous year — 1968.

The assassinations of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. The riots that shook Washington, Chicago, Baltimore and other U.S. cities. Campus protests. Civil rights protests. Vietnam War protests. The Tet Offensive. The My Lai massacre. The rise of Richard Nixon and the retreat of Lyndon Johnson. And so much else: Black Power, “The White Album,” Andy Warhol, “Hair,” Apollo 8, the first black character in Peanuts.

“Was there something in the water?” Dillingham asks his students. “What is it about this year?”

With 2018 marking the 50th anniversary of that extraordinary year, Dillingham and more than 1,500 other historians descend on Washington this week for the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, where they will grapple with that question and others about 1968 in a series of special panels.

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back to the drawing board...



One should, of course, not forget the real achievements of ‘68. The movement opened up a radical change in how we treat women’s rights, homosexuality and racism. After the glorious 60s, we simply cannot engage in public racism and homophobia the way we still could in the 1950s. Thus, ‘68 was not a single event but an ambiguous one in which different political tendencies were combined: this is why it also remained a thorn in the heel of many conservatives.

Nicholas Sarkozy admitted it when he said in his electoral campaign in 2007 that his great task was to make France finally get over ‘68. One should, of course, not miss the irony of this remark: the fact that Sarkozy, with his clownish outbursts and marriage to Carla Bruni, can be the French President is in itself one of the outcomes of the changes in customs brought about by May ‘68.

So we have the legacy of “their” May ‘68 and “our” May ‘68. In today’s predominant collective memory, “our” basic idea of the May demonstrations in Paris and the link between student protests and worker’s strikes, is forgotten. The true legacy of ‘68 resides in its rejection of the liberal-capitalist system, in a NO to the totality of it best encapsulated in the formula: Soyons realistes, demandons l’impossible!

The true utopia is the belief that the existing global system can reproduce itself indefinitely and that the only way to be truly “realist” is to endorse what, within the coordinates of this system, cannot but appear as impossible. The fidelity to May ‘68 is thus best expressed by the question: how are we to prepare for this radical change and to lay the foundations for it?

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Read from top and all the post about "Sarkozy-the-Twerp" on this site...