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Isocracy Newsletter, February 6, 2010

No revolution can ever succeed as a factor of liberation unless the MEANS used to further it be identical in spirit and tendency with the PURPOSES to be achieved. Revolution is the negation of the existing, a violent protest against man's inhumanity to man with all the thousand and one slaveries it involves. It is the destroyer of dominant values upon which a complex system of injustice, oppression, and wrong has been built up by ignorance and brutality. It is the herald of NEW VALUES, ushering in a transformation of the basic relations of man to man, and of man to society.

Emma Goldman, My Disllusionment With Russia (1923)

Electoral Roundup

On January 17 the conservative Sebastián Piñera was elected President of Chile with 51.61% of the vote in the second round. Supported by centre-right Alliance for Chile, Piñera defeated Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle who was backed by the centre-left Concert of Parties for Democracy. In the first round an independent, Marco Enríquez-Ominami, received 20.14% of the vote and Juntos Podemos Más of the Communist Party, 6.21%. This is the first time since 1958 that a conservative has been elected President of Chile.

General elections were held in Saint Kitts and Nevis on 25 January 2010. The ruling centre-left Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party won six seats (46.96% of the vote) whereas the centrist People's Action Movement won 2 seats (32.24%). The Nevis-based Concerned Citizens Movement also won 2 seats (10.99%)

With the defeat of the Tamil Tigers still fresh, incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, representing the United People's Freedom Alliance, went to an early election winning 57.88% in the first round. Second-placed candidate Sarath Fonseka, of the New Democratic Front, received 40.15%. Interestingly, although Foneska is a former Chief of Defence Staff and commander of the Sri Lanka Army, won the Tamil regions of the Northern and Eastern provinces.

The Great Iraq Deception

The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war has had its 'star witness', former Prime Minister Tony Blair in attendence. Blair has previously stated that regardless of the presence of WMDs in Iraq "force was always an option... if necessary, we were going to remove him [Hussein]", and regardless of UN support. He also took the opportunity to advocate an invasion of Iran. Kate Hudson, chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament argued that Blair should put on trial for crimes against humanity.

A week later Clare Short, former Blair minister who resigned from cabinet and now sits as an independent, has told the inquiry that cabinet was misled by about the legality of the invasion. Short has also said that Gordon Brown had been marginalised in the lead up to the war."misled"_about_legality_of_Iraq_war

The Independent newspaper has obtained a copy of a document headed "confidential UK/US eyes", and finalised on 11 June 2001 and approved by ministers. It outlines a a secret plan to foster an internal coup against Saddam Hussein was drawn up by the UK Government two years before the invasion of Iraq.

Yemen Conflict and Separatism

Conflict between the Yemani government and Houthi (Zaidi Shi’ite minority) rebels has escalated in recent weeks, leading the number of internally displaced people doubling to 250,000 according to the UNHCR. Yemen, the poorest Arab state, is also troubled by potential al-Qaeda supporters and southern secessionists, a leading politician of the latter group being assasinated recently. Houthi rebels have also launched attacks within Saudi Arabia.

Disasters In Haiti

The January 12 earthquake near the capital Port au Prince has left an estimated 212,000 dead and 300,000 injured. Already poor, the recovery is expected to take 'generations' according to the head of the UN mission in Haiti. As bad as a natural disaster is however, there is also a growing presence of child slaves in the country, nominally employed as household servants for food and board.

Haiti is currently carrying $891 million in debt owed to multinational creditors such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), as well as countries such as Venezuela and Taiwan. Interest alone on this debt costs Haiti nearly $50 million a year.

Avaaz has raised a call for full cancelation of Haiti's debt is building steam across the world, and has won over some leaders -- but other rich lender countries are rumoured to be resisting. And time is short: G7 finance ministers could reach a final decision next week at their summit in Canada.

The Canada Haiti Action Network (CHAN) has initiated an open-letter following delays in the distribution of essential aid to victims of the earthquake in Haiti, following unilateral seizure by of the Port-au-Prince airport by the US Air Force. CHAN is also calling that Jean-Bertrand Aristide (whose party won 90% of the parliamentary seats in the country's last round of democratic elections), following the 2004 Haiti rebellion (

The Virginian People's Assembly

by Dean Sayers and the VPA

From the VPA's "Read the Call"

On Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, hundreds of activists from the labor, civil rights, immigrant, prisoner advocacy, student, health, anti-war movements & more
will meet & march & rally to tell the new governor & the Virginia General Assembly:

(1) Don't balance the budget on the backs of Virginia's workers!
(2) Raise Virginia's income tax on large corporations – the 2nd lowest in the country!
(3) Enact an immediate moratorium on layoffs, cutbacks, evictions & foreclosures!
(4) No scapegoating of immigrants! Equality for people of color, women & the LGBT community!
(5) Money for jobs & education, not for prisons, wars & occupations!

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, the Virginia General Assembly will open its 2010 session. We'll have a new governor, but the same old problem: the state budget has been hit hard by the recession, resulting in rising unemployment and steep losses in income tax and sales tax revenue. Already, $7 billion has been cut from the present two-year budget. Sometime in December, outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine will unveil his proposal for the state's next two-year budget. That document will be the basis for discussion at the General Assembly - and it will be chock-full of layoffs and cutbacks that will hurt all working people, coming down hardest on people of color and women.

Of course, there will be arguments about how to carry out the cuts, but one thing that all politicians of both major parties agree on is that the only way to balance the state budget is to lay off state workers, cut needed social services and aid to the cities and counties and find a million-and-one other ways to squeeze the hides of Virginia's working people.

Meanwhile, all the politicians will try their very best to ignore this one simple fact: VIRGINIA

Meanwhile, all the politicians will try their very best to ignore this one simple fact: VIRGINIA HAS THE SECOND LOWEST CORPORATE INCOME TAX IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY! This means that the wealthiest people in the state are not paying their fair share of the tax burden! Leveling the playing field could mean balancing the budget without having to hurt those who are already suffering the real effects of the recession: the layoffs, cutbacks, evictions and foreclosures. We're not talking here about small businesses that already are being crushed by Virginia's regressive tax rates. We're demanding that the banks and big corporations like Dominion, Philip Morris, Massey Energy, Northrop Grumman, Verizon and Media General pay their fair share!

Report by Dean Sayers

On January 9th, about a hundred other members of the anti-war, black and labor groups / communities came together in a small church in Richmond, VA. After passionate speeches by a number of speakers in the group, we split off into several groups, depending on our interests: among those were the aforementioned groups, as well as for Women and prisons rights. We each decided on a list of demands, heavily influenced by the same list drawn up in the same fashion last year, to be brought to the Virginia General Assembly.

Then we headed out to the streets, representing the causes of "Jobs, Peace and Justice" specifically. We marched through the financial district, decrying various corporate entities and their attacks on the working class. The bitter cold had subsided for the day in the form of surprisingly calm winds, and of the few bystanders who braved the cold that Saturday, I personally saw at least 5 of them join in the march. The police had given us no trouble, aside from some bureaucratic issues with the route earlier on.

Later on, on the first day of the Virginia General Assembly, about five of us converged on the senate building to hold our banner (which then governor-elect McDonnell saw as he walked with about four other delegates down 9th St) and to bring our list of demands - printed on bright yellow, 11x17 sheets - to each of the senators and delegates.

Since then, we have held our banner (demanding "Jobs, Peace Justice" and to "Make the corporations pay their fair share") at the inauguration, and elected representatives of the groups will be having continuations meetings on a monthly basis, until we can bring our demands to the General Assembly again next year.