INDIA 

Our Battle for Love Must Be Militantly Waged – And Beautifully Won

The text of Arundhati Roy’s speech at the Elgar Parishad 2021 on January 30.

Scroll.in | January 30, 2021

I thank the organisers of the 2021 Elgar Parishad for inviting me to speak at this forum to mark what would have been Rohit Vemula’s 32nd birthday and the 1818 victory of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. Not far from here, Mahar troops fighting in the British Army defeated the Peshwa King Bajirao II under whom Mahars and other Dalit castes were cruelly persecuted and ritually debased in indescribable ways.

From this platform let me join the other speakers to express my solidarity with the farmers protest that is calling for the immediate withdrawal of the three Farm Bills that have been rammed down the throats of millions of farmers and farm workers and brought them onto the streets. We are here to express our sorrow and anger for the many who have died during the course of the protest. The situation on Delhi’s borders where the farmers have been peacefully camping for two months is becoming tense and dangerous. Every possible trick and provocation is being used to divide and discredit the movement. Now, more than ever, we must stand by the farmers.Read More »

INDIAN FARMERS’ MOVEMENT 

The Unraveling of A Script In Two Parts And Writing A New Script By Farmers

Amit Bhaduri and Chaman Lal

Frontier | January 30, 2021

The script of collaboration is in two parts. The first part was written long ago when the once revolutionary Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was released after long years from prison in the Andamans. He collaborated with the British as he had promised in several petitions for mercy he had written to the British authorities from jail. In what psychologists describe as ‘transferred anxiety’ he seemed to have transferred his hatred of the colonial British power to a hatred of fellow Indian Muslims. Since then, Guru Golwalkar and others in the RSS took this agenda forward. They all stayed away from the then anti-colonial struggle, and joined neither its non-violent stream led by Gandhi nor its violent stream led by martyrs like Bhagat Singh or Subhas Bose.

In a curious similarity the one-time revolutionary Savarkar became a collaborationist of the British, while Jinnah, a one-time resolute secular nationalist Congress leader who had stood firm even against the Khilafat movement because of its religious overtones, came to depend increasingly on the British for helping the Muslim minority against a majoritarian Hindu nationalism.  Both Savarkar and Jinnah who had started as secular political leaders ended their careers as leaders whose politics were defined by the religion they championed.Read More »

INDIAN FARMER’S MOVEMENT 

Conspiracy to Malign Farmers’ Movement

Harsh Thakor

Frontier | January 30, 2021

Tragically a historic peaceful march in the Capital of over 20 lakh peasants has been foisted as  a conspiracy against the nation. The sinister act of hoisting the Sikh flag on the red fort was undertaken by a BJP agent, Deep Sidhu. He infiltrated the ranks similar to Nazis masquerading as Communists in the burning of the Reichstag. There could not be a better manifestation of neo-fascism penetrating. The Kisan Sangarsh Commitee and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Krantikari) played into the hands of the rulers by raising Khalistani politics and robbing the agitation of it’s secular democratic prestige.

The marchers stuck to the plan and did not divert from the route. Disruptionist elements from Kisan Sangharsh Commitee with Khalistani overtones violated the discipline or programme of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and stated attacking the police barricades. Tragically one farmer succumbed to police attacks. Tremendous violence is being unleashed with a cross of swords which was instigated by elements hand in glove with the ruling party.The Social media has distorted the picture accusing or framing the participants of violating the norms set for the march. BKU(Ugrahan) secretary told me that this conduct was a complete aberration of the agenda planned with almost every participant adhering to the conditions agreed. It has virtually no w given a licence to the rulers to launch repression, paving the way for justifying terror on the farmers.Read More »

INDIAN FARMERS’ MOVEMENT 

Twitter Withholds Accounts Tweeting on Farmers’ Protests, Restores Them After Several Hours

The Wire | February 01, 2021

New Delhi: A slew of Twitter accounts – belonging to individuals, groups and media organisations – were withheld by the social media site in response to legal demands on Monday, February 1. The only common thread connecting these accounts is that nearly all of them had been posting updates and opinions on the farmers’ protests regularly.

By 9 pm, most of the accounts were back and functional. It is not known as to what triggered the reversal of the decision.

The news agency ANI quoted unnamed ‘sources’ as having said that Twitter made the move on the request of the Union home ministry headed by Amit Shah.Read More »

POLITICS AND IMPERIALIST INTERVENTION IN RUSSIA 

Is Russia Waking Up?

Aleksandr Buzgalin

MR Online | February 01, 2021

Supporters of detained Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny clash with riot police officers during an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow on 01-23-2021

The following text was translated from Russian by Renfrey Clarke and has been edited for clarity. —Eds.

This text is being written in the heat of events immediately following the mass protests that occurred in most regions of Russia on 23 and 31 January 2021. The total number of protestors throughout the country on 23 January was put by the authorities at fewer than 10,000, but by the opposition much more. The largest of the demonstrations was, as usual, the one in Moscow, where according to the official count 4,000 people came onto the streets, while unofficial figures put much bigger number. Similar numbers took part in the protests on 31 January, but this time the clashes were much more fierce, and according to various accounts between 2000 and 4000 people were detained.Read More »

CENSORSHIP BY BIG TECH

“At First I Thought it Was a Joke”: Academic Media Censorship Conference Censored by YouTube

Alan Macleod

MintPress News | February 01, 2021

YouTube Censorship Feature photo

An academic critical media literacy conference warning of the dangers of media censorship has, ironically, been censored by YouTube. The Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas 2020 took place without incident online over two days in October and featured a number of esteemed speakers and panels discussing issues concerning modern media studies.Read More »

WALL STREET IN PANIC

NYPD Deploys Counter Terrorism Unit To Protect Wall Street in Response To Gamestop Protests

Alan Macleod

MintPress News | February 01, 2021

NYPD Wall Street Feature phot

The Charging Bull statue in Manhattan’s Financial District has become the sight of protests amid a wider financial rebellion happening online. On Friday, a handful of activists were seen in Bowling Green Park, posing with the bull, and holding signs that said “Tax Wall Street Trades.” A thin band of tape was also placed on the statue’s head and rear end, featuring slogans like “Hold the line” and “WSB” — both allusions to the GameStop insurrection against hedge funds organized by Reddit’s “Wall Street Bets” community. A similar fate befell the new Fearless Girl statue, which faces the New York Stock Exchange building. Both the bull and the girl are meant to symbolize the power, bravery and daring of the city’s financial traders.Read More »

BEATING WALL STREET 

Stop The Game – I Want to Get Off!

Michael Roberts Blog | January 28, 2021

‘Hedging’ used to be a way of reducing the risk of selling or buying.  Farmers waiting for their harvest to come in are uncertain about what price per bushel they will get at the market: will they get a price that makes them a profit and a living for next year or will they be made destitute?  To reduce that risk, hedge companies offer to buy the harvest in advance at a fixed price.  The farmer is guaranteed a price and income whatever the price per bushel at the time of going to market.  The hedge fund takes the risk that it can make a profit by buying the harvest at a price below the eventual market price.  In this way, ‘hedging’ can smooth out the volatility in prices, often very high in agricultural and mineral sectors.Read More »

EXTREME WEATHER IN AFRICA 

Five African Countries Among Top 10 Affected by Extreme Weather in 2019: Germanwatch

Kiran Pandey

Down To Earth | January 25, 2021

The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Five African countries were among the global top 10 to suffer extreme weather in 2019, the Climate Risk Index 2021, released by environmental think tank Germanwatch said January 25, 2021.

The index also ranked India as the country that suffered the second-highest monetary loss due to climate change in 2019 after Japan. The index was released ahead of the climate adaption summit that began virtually January 25 and is hosted by the Netherlands.

It also showed that eight out of the ten countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2019 belong to the category of low to lower-middle income. Five of them fall into the category of Least Developed Countries.Read More »