Madrid protests fail to intimidate retail sector.
Madrid, March 31, 2012, by El Marco
Thursday’s general srike in Madrid, unlike Barcelona’s, was largely a pacific affair. Two communist unions, the CCOO and the UGT, did their best to shut down the capital of Spain, and were met with solid resistance from the retail sector. The two unions, which represent a majority of unionized Spanish workers, failed to paralyze the retail sector, with approximately 80 percent of businesses remaining open. 17% of Spanish workers belong to unions with membership being voluntary. Huge mobs of union-led protesters attempted to force the closure of retail shops in the streets adjacent to the Puerta del Sol Plaza in Madrid’s city center.
Above, Spanish riot police guard a shop after a mob of thousands move down the street to their next target. A few minutes later the gates were reopened for business, but the riot police remained.
Union vandals have covered an entire city with stickers and graffiti in opposition to the new Spanish government’s proposed fiscal and labor reforms. Store windows, ATMs, and government ministry signs were targeted. Even stoplights and walk signals were covered with union stickers.
I arrived late on the Gran Via, after the mobs moved down to the Puerta del Sol around noon. Anarcho-syndicalist flags dominated the scene. The Occupy Movement in the States claims their inspiration came from these anarcho-syndicalists when they occupied plazas across Spain in the spring and summer of 2011.
Like the Occupy Movement in the U.S., many young people have joined the old guard communists. These sixteen year olds shared a joint while nearby thousands besieged the many businesses that defied the strike.
The A on his necklace stands for anarchy and the V on the partially obscured shirt on left stands for Vendetta the anarchist slasher movie. Add to that a Clockwork Orange T-shirt and a faux Jew-killer scarf, and your statement is made. The kid in green sports a totalitarian message on his shirt. PUBLIC SCHOOL – OF ALL – FOR ALL. Note the environmentalist watermelon green. Green has been the new red for years now.
Above is a CGT union flag. The CGT is one of a number of powerful anarcho-syndicalist unions in Spain. The CCOO union along with the UGT and CGT claim to represent more than 75 percent of Spanish union workers.
The Communist Party played the dominant role in creating the CCOO. In recent years it operates in a pact with the UGT which is the official union of the PSOE, the social democratic party in Spain, which acts much like the Democrats in the USA.
CGT derives from the anarcho-syndicalist tradition, but members include Trotskyites and Maoists along with anarchists. CGT has approximately 70,000 members whereas CCOO and UGT are much larger…around 1,000,000 and 750,000 members respectively.
Unions direct special attention to attracting young people and converting them to the cause.
Proud communists in Puerta del Sol Plaza, Madrid. Note that this thirty-something’s T-shirt is also Clockwork Orange.
Clockwork Orange is an ultra-violent cult movie by Stanley Kubrick. It seems to carry as much weight here as V for Vendetta does among young Occupy anarchists in the U.S..
Here, a shoe store is besieged by thousands of chanting protesters. Unlike American protesters from the left or the right, Spanish leftists carry very few signs. The one above says “Labor reform, legal violence.” A cordon of riot police protects the shoe store as protesters rail against the owner and employees inside.
After throwing a few eggs into the shoe store, and besieging it for thirty minutes, the mob moved down the street to a store specializing in traditional Spanish clothing and adornments for women. The store being protested is on the left, under the awning on the corner, above.
Employees of the store and police can be seen on the left, facing the unionists at the front door of the store.
Here, the store owner and two staff join the police to face a mob of thousands.
This woman led the chanting and haranguing in front of the store. This store was targeted for approximately thirty minutes before the eggs were thrown and the mob moved on to the next shop. Each time the mob moved, a new group of police would intercede with a cordon at the front door of their next target. They would leave several officers to protect each targeted shop after the mob left.
The sign above reads: Combative Strikes against Aggressive Reforms.
Nearby, a crowd formed around this man. He insisted that he had a right to work, and would not be deterred by the strike.
I did not hear the entire conversation, but I do know that he was called a “bag of garbage” and “a fascist.” He was calm, well spoken, and even tempered, and they were not.
This poster is from the Juventudes Comunistas (Communist Youth) and the PCE (Communist Party of Spain.) It shows a young foot with a skateboarder’s shoe about to stomp on a capitalist rat with a Jewish head.
This image is indistinguishable from Nazi images printed in Der Stürmer in the 1930s and 1940s.
Much of the demonstration dissipated for Siesta. The plazas and streets emptied as protesters observed the time-honored tradition of “Spanish yoga” which is practiced between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. every day. It should be noted here that only half of Spaniards take their siestas lying down, while the other half do it standing up, drinking wine or beer at the tapas taverns which are ubiquitous in every Spanish city and town.
Protesters reappeared at 4:30 in the afternoon for a “Siesta Strike” in front of Madrid’s City Hall, where they lay in the street and blocked traffic. The ”Siesta Strike” and march were organized by 15-M, which is the Spanish “ingidnados” movement. This is the movement that inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S.
Approximately 40,000 Siesta strikers marched from City Hall to the Puerta del Sol plaza, which is the birthplace of Spain’s Occupy movement.
The 15M march was composed of mostly young bohemians and anarchists. They carried very few signs, and were much more pleasant than their famously naughty U.S. counterparts. I saw no American style leftist tantrums or nastiness. I didn’t even hear an angry word. No one spit on the police, or hurled abuse at them. Although earlier in the day police were instrumental in protecting retail outlets, this crowd seemed entirely too relaxed to seek confrontation.
This was all the force needed to protect the Ministry of Education and Sports. In New York, many more police are needed to protect the city from the Occupy movement. The people of Madrid should be very proud of the degree of civility displayed during this general strike.
Vandalism was a different matter. Almost every ATM in central Madrid was rendered inoperable by cement-like stickers, and I saw two machines that had their screens smashed. I saw the woman, above, attempting unsuccessfully to scrape stickers off the ATM screen using her CCOO union card.
AFTERMATH: I cannot exaggerate the amount of graffiti and sticker damage done in Madrid’s general strike. These stickers are like cement, and cannot be ripped off. They have to be removed with special tools and solvents.
After the strike, the scraping begins, on a bank building in this case.
The translation of this clever sticker: Don’t have a job? Take advantage of your free time!
There was violence in Barcelona, and other parts of Spain during this general strike, but very little in the center of Madrid. The responsible people of Spain, including those in the new center-right government, are deeply concerned that this radical protest movement will get out of control and damage Spain’s image internationally, a la Greece.
Spain’s unemployment rate is already 22.8pc, rising to more than 51pc for youths, the highest since records began. That being said, I must say that visiting Spain, from Extremadura to Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid recently, I felt much safer than in many American cities. The Spanish people conduct themselves in such a friendly and civil manner that I am left with deep admiration for their society. If it weren’t for the statistics I read, it would be difficult to perceive that Spain is experiencing such a disastrous economic crisis.
One policeman’s perspective. That’s the Ministry of Education and Sports sign above his head.
Here is the shoe store in the afternoon open for business, but look at all the garbage left by protesters.
It seems that many people in Madrid enjoy ripping these posters and stickers, which requires quite a bit of effort. All over the city it seems as if an army of citizens were each doing their part in removing the posters and stickers. The Madrid strikers failed to intimidate the retail sector, with the vast majority of stores remaining open for business. The overburdened business sector of Spain is praying for fiscal and labor reform.
The Rise and Demise of the Zuccotti Park Commune
November 23, 2011, by El Marco
I recently traveled from Colorado to New York the weekend before the demise of the revolutionary social experiment in lower Manhattan known as Occupy Wall Street’s “Camp Anonymous.” I went intending to capture for posterity photographic images of the people and infrastructure that comprised that hopeful utopian “model community for a new world.”
A pamphlet entitled Mutual Responsibility OWS I picked up at one of the information desks stated:
The global reality is not the currency or market fluctuations, but rather a direct result of the new global, integral, and social restructuring taking place. Until now, we developed ourselves on a personal level. Now humanity is approaching a new phase, and the old world must make way for the new world. We are dealing with the natural law of development. Everything that we considered true up until yesterday no longer works …
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
Utopian futurist Buckminster Fuller, in the mid 1960s, popularized a “new model structure” for the way we would all live in the future. The geodesic dome hasn’t exactly transformed the global human condition as promised. Today, the Occupy Wall Street revolutionary utopians are offering a “new model social structure for the entire global community“. The OWS big thinkers created an entire revolutionary community in Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street. It thrived and grew for two months until the liberal billionaire mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, ordered police and sanitation workers to relegate it to the trash-heap of history.
This is the first in a series of photo-essays which will bring you into that model utopian community created by the anarchists and Marxists of the OWS revolutionary movement. These people are convinced, each in his or her own way, that this new movement will bring down the entire global free enterprise system, and replace it with their kinder, better, wiser, revolutionary … uh, you know … revolutionary thing.
These were the first Occupiers I encountered in Zuccotti Park. They are self-described anarchists. Above, the boy on the right wears a shirt with the motto of Anonymous, an international activist hacking group which set its sights on Wall Street earlier this year. On March 2, 2011, Anonymous issued a press release:
Attention Brothers: The opportunity to create financial chaos and public unrest and from that, there will be a previously unachieved amount of lulz to be had. Charge your lasers and aim them at the New York Stock Exchange.
We are not merely human. Anonymous is something much more for we possess neither fear nor mercy. It is time to show the world the true power and the true face of the faceless, the nameless and the ghosts of society.
Like Icarus, the powers that be have flown too close to the sun and the time has come to set the wings of their empire ablaze and watch the system their power relies on come to a grinding halt and come crashing down around them. We must strike at the heart of their empire by once again throw a wrench into the machine, but this time we face a much bigger target; the global financial system. This time our target is the New York Stock Exchange.
This is a call to arms my brothers who for too long have stood for nothing but have criticized everything. Stand now, behind the banner of free men against the tyrannical matrix of institutions that oppose us. Ready your weapons and aim them at the New York Stock Exchange. This is the operation to end all others. Innocent people may stand to lose something from this but the powers that be stand to lose much more. Bring the rain brothers.
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Internet activists have joined with international Marxist-Leninists, 1960s radicals, powerful labor unions, neo-flower children, and elements of the Democrat party to form what has become the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Colleen, age 20, from Johnston State College in Vermont.
This Floridian spent every day, all day, soliciting funds for the commune’s women’s group. Panhandling seemed to be the only productive activity I witnessed during my four days inside the Zuccotti Park commune. The woman above, and many like her, have to turn in the majority of their funds to the Central Committee, which in turn passes it on to the Finance Committee, some of whom were staying in $700 a night hotels nearby.
Most protesters still can’t define their goals beyond ending capitalism and making life more fair, which means they want other people’s money. Meanwhile, donations of goods and cash pile up, with a reported $500,000 on deposit. (now over 600,000 – El Marco)
The cash marks an embarrassment for a movement supposedly railing against capitalism and wealth, especially now that a radical group called the Alliance for Global Justice is legally sponsoring the protest. By lending its tax-exempt status — for a 7 percent cut! — the global-justice group allows donors to deduct their contributions from federal taxes and gives its own board control over the money.
The alliance, based in Washington, is a hotbed of far-left causes that range from backing hunger strikes in California prisons and supporting Hugo Chavez to denouncing the CIA and oil companies. Its Web site says the group sponsors operations in the Gaza Strip, with Hamas, and boasts of an alliance with Anarchists Against the Wall, which contests Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank. - NYPost
Continue reading Zuccotti Utopia: Portraits of The New Revolutionaries
Community Organizers are waging Astroturf Lawfare in Colorado
Denver, November 2, 2011 – by El Marco
What follows is a close look at the leftist lawfare campaign of uncivil agitation as it unfolded in Denver last week. Denver, like other cities that have Occupy manifestations, is faced by a core of protesters from anarchist groups, labor unions, and communist organizations, often obscuring their affiliations, mixed in with a mishmash of confused students, concerned citizen activists, children, and all sorts of evil clowns.
Hello. My name is 99%. This fifteen year old was among a group of seven ranging from age 13 to 18 years young.
We have all heard the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) described as a grassroots movement. We have been told that it just sprang up after Adbusters, a Canadian left-wing magazine, floated the idea on the internet. The Dominant Liberal Establishment Media (DLEM) has continued repeating this implausible propaganda line since September, despite emerging evidence that OWS has actually been orchestrated by a who’s who list of American radical extremists. It has become clear that Adbusters is just one of a host of leftist organizations, supported by the Tides Foundation and/or George Soros, that have been jointly planning the OWS movement since at least February 2011.
Last week, Occupy Chicago protesters stormed City Hall to let Mayor Rahm Emanuel know their displeasure in the recent arrests of the Occupy campers at Grant Park on Michigan Avenue. They were lead by radical anti-war activists Joe Iosbaker (SEIU) and Andy Thayer, who we have reported on in the past for their ongoing investigations by the FBI. In September of 2010 they were targeted for suspicion of providing material support to Hamas, the F.A.R.C. and other terrorist organizations. Hat Tip: Rebelpundit
Names like Stephen Lerner (SEIU) or Wade Rathke (ACORN founder) are among those exposed as main strategists behind OWS. Stephen Lerner said of OWS events, “It’s a confluence of planned and unplanned demonstrations…. We (radical organizations) build on each other. We go ping-ponging back and forth.”
Also, Dave Swanson, a former communications director for ACORN, said: “we’re planning to model our behavior on the actions that happened earlier this year in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, in Tunisia, and the actions you see in Spain and Greece and countries around the world when governments get even a fraction as bad as ours has gotten.”
Also, AFL-CIO trained anarchist, Lisa Fithian, is the top street-level organizer of the Occupy Wall Street movement. As a longtime community organizer and direct-action agitator, she was a key organizer of the violent demonstrations that caused the shutdown of the 1999 WTO meetings in Seattle. Fithian famously said: “When people ask me, ‘What do you do?’ I say I create crisis, because crisis is that edge where change is possible.”
And David Fenton, who has ties to the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers, and Barack Obama, has been shown to be involved in promoting OWS marches. Fenton Communications has created public relations strategies for communist countries. Fenton was the photographer for Bill Ayers’ Weather Underground terrorist organization in the 1970s and served on the board of the Chicago Woods fund with Ayers and Obama, where they doled out 200 million dollars to radical organizations.
OWS is the culmination of a process that surfaced at the One Nation rally in Washington, D.C. in October, 2010. The Democrat Party invited a long list of labor unions and communist organizations to publicly support the Obama administration. I photographed and wrote at the time: ”The lines between the Democratic Party, labor unions, socialist and communist organizations, were blurred at the One Nation Working Together rally at the Lincoln Memorial … . Organized by One Nation Working Together, which is headed by the cream of the Dem crop at the Democratic National Committee. The rally was a showcase for the most radical elements of the Democrat party base. This movement also has its roots in the 2009 astroturf campaign organized by Obama For America/Organizing for America and labor unions to bully and intimidate the Tea Party movement.
Viva la Revolucion. This little clown, wearing the cop-killer Guy Fawkes mask made popular in the movie V for Vendetta, told me he is just thirteen years old. I have photographed many children at the Occupy Denver rallies. They are brought by parents, or often grandparents, and I could devote an entire essay to this theme alone.
In this case, these kids deferred to the man with the pony-tail who can be seen here carrying astroturf signs wrapped in a black plastic bag. Small astroturf operations like this can be seen throughout every rally. For me, this is a shocking insight into the lengths to which radicals will go to indoctrinate children. I don’t know who this adult is, I just hope he’s not their school teacher.
OCCUPY THE WORLD This 17 year-old is another member of the children’s troupe. As of October 15, the Occupy movement became a global movement with violent rallies in many cities in North America, Europe and Asia. In Rome that day, the Occupy protesters injured forty policemen, some severely, and also attacked ATMs and banks with their firebombs, iron bars and sledgehammers.
“On October 15, 2011, OWS rallies were held in more than 900 cities around the world, with violence breaking out most notably in Rome, where tens of thousands of demonstrators converged. According to a Reuters report: “Hundreds of hooded, masked demonstrators rampaged in some of the worst violence seen in the Italian capital in years, setting cars ablaze, breaking bank and shop windows and destroying traffic lights and signposts.” Meanwhile, 175 protesters were arrested in Chicago and 92 were arrested in New York.” – Discoverthenetworks.org
Continue reading Evil Clowns and Radical Ringmasters of the Anti-Capitalist Revolution in Denver
Back with a Vengeance, Evicted Protesters Take the Streets
Denver, October 16, 2011 - by El Marco
“Occupy Denver” returned to the streets with a vengeance Saturday after being expelled, having their camp forcibly removed from Veterans’ Park by police at 4 a.m. Friday morning. October 15 was declared International Day of Action, which saw radical socialist/anarchist Occupy protests and violence in European and American cities.
The Occupy Denver crowd reached approximately 2000 – 3,000.
Chanting “Whose street? Our street!,” Occupy Denver blocked off Broadway street in front of the State Capitol Building for much of Saturday afternoon and evening.
Colorado State Troopers ringed the State Capitol to protect a gathering of veterans, as well as a State Congressional prayer meeting. Already wary after protesters disrupted a press conference on the Capitol steps by rushing the building en masse late last week, troopers stood guard all day and into the night.
This was the scene across from the Capitol at noon, as protesters gathered before the planned march on the Federal Reserve Building six blocks to the north. Left-wing protesters have the clenched fist as their symbol just as the Tea Party uses a teabag. The term “Fister” is now commonly used to describe any fist-pumping leftist protester.
The crowd, which later distilled into a hot-headed mob battling police, included an odd mixture of liberals dominated by organized communist, trade union and anarchist groups, as well as a large presence of 9/11 Truthers and Ron Paul libertarians. Tie-dyed psychedelic geezers from the ’60s tottered about amongst more recent generations of drug-users, and the smell of medical marijuana mingled in the air with the sounds of the zombie-like chanting made famous by the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York.
An Occupy Denver community organizer leads the bizarre chanting ritual. Never have I seen anything that comes as close to a mind-control exercise in a free society.
The orange tape insignia on this woman’s arm indicates that she is a leader. I was told that any questions I had could be addressed to someone with this type of insignia. When I first saw this militant-looking marking, it reminded me of the Order of the Double-Cross, made famous in the Charlie Chaplin movie, The Great Dictator.
Charlie Chaplin, complete with fist pumping, comically portrays a famous mid-20th century socialist dictator speaking out against Jewish bankers and capitalists in general.
Continue reading Neo-Cannibals, Deadbeats, Dopers and Democrats Occupy Denver
September 11, 2011, is the tenth anniversary of that morning in 2001 when a 7th century Arabian warriors’ creed attacked the very heart of the modern world at the dawn of the 21st century.
Ten years later we find America in a state of confusion and disunity concerning the meaning and lessons to be drawn from the Islamist terror attacks of 9/11. This article is offered both as a remembrance of those who were killed by an act of war, and a plea for understanding the nature of the ideology that motivated the terrorists. The decision by a Sharia promoting imam to build a triumphalist mosque adjacent to the 9/11 site has highlighted a great schism in America. There are those who understand the threat posed by fundamentalist Islam and those among us who are unable to. Understanding the threat and confronting it effectively at home and abroad is one the of great challenges America faces today.
This is the scene as I first saw it as a young photographer visiting New York City in 1975. I had no inkling then, that I would be drawn back repeatedly to the towers as a favoured subject over the next 3 decades. This photo was taken from the observation deck of the Empire State Building,
In the center left foreground is the wedge-shaped, 21 story, Flatiron Building completed in 1902. It is one the first skyscrapers ever built, and for years was famous (incorrectly) as the tallest building in the world. The Empire State Building itself held the world’s-tallest record for 41 years until 1972. The most famous symbol of freedom in the world can be seen in the harbor, (distant background right). The Statue of Liberty Illuminating the World is the full name given by the French to their colossal gift, seen between the southern tip of Manhattan and New Jersey.
Each structure in its time inspired the world, with beauty, size, and above all the message of hope that liberty, and man’s creativity thereby unleashed, might lift humankind out of poverty and above tyranny. The World Trade Center (WTC) took its rightful place among them as a symbol of freedom and modernity in 1972.
This is the scene that greeted workers if they looked up as they ascended from subway train to street level on a long spiral stairway. Simplicity of design combined with sheer magnitude produced pure Op Art moire patterns that constantly changed and attracted the human eye.
The photos above show the two towers on the right and the Marriot Hotel on the left. Many escaped from the towers through the hotel before it was shorn in half by the first collapse and later the second.
On an ordinary work day this is how they appeared, serene, magnificently modern and beckoning all to come in and take a trip to the top.
Looking way up one might catch a glimpse of Jan Demczur, the Polish immigrant window washer, and his amazing scaffold machine. He spent each year going up and down, cleaning with a bucket, water, some rags, and a squeegee in all but the most severe weather. On 9/11 he used his metal squeegee to pry open an elevator door, gouge through drywall and create a hole large enough to save five men. They were able to exit the area minutes before the building collapsed.
The Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges through a 100mm telephoto lens from atop the World Trade Center.
Brooklyn Bridge through 300mm lens.
I photographed the World Trade Center over the decades for the beauty, in my eyes, of art icons that played with light and sky. Symbolically, in my mind, they stood for international freedom of commerce and the hope that free markets could draw the world together and help foster peace and security in the world. The Islamists who destroyed them also understood their meaning and attacked them for that reason.
When first I heard, my thoughts were not of the structures at all, but of the thousands of workers who perished so violently and Islam’s obvious hand in it. As news of the devastation unfolded, what I had instantly concluded was confirmed: that bin Laden and Wahabi Islam had struck a blow against western civilization and the very promise that modernity and liberty holds out to the world.
For a brief period after 9/11 the NY Times suspended wielding its pen as a partisan left-wing dagger and did some excellent reporting and should be applauded for that. The “life sketches” done in the days and months after 9/11 offer a unique and inspiring look into what these towers really were: a great combination of free individuals, working and struggling and fulfilling their hearts’ desires. The lives of the victims are clearly described and collectively tell the much greater story of America.
The fabled teeming masses of Manhattans streets are no longer faceless. These life sketches revealed a cross section of American life frozen, researched, and clearly reported. The stories emerged slowly of a group of almost 3,000 American lives halted at the same time and place. Their families and friends live on and gave details to numerous reporters, of the lives lost, that combined, read like nothing else ever written.
Continue reading Remembering and Understanding 9/11
Union Thugs and Teachers Lash Out at Taxpayers
Denver, February 22, 2011 by El Marco
White House political arm, Organizing for America, teamed up with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), for their latest astroturfing effort in Denver. Teamsters and other workers were bussed in to the Colorado State Capitol in an increasing effort by the White House to interfere in relations between states and local public sector unions.
Union protestors seemed to have taken to heart President Obama’s admonition to “get in people’s faces”. Thankfully, they did not act on Rep. Michael Capuano’s (D-Mass.) words to union members today, when he told them “Every once and a while you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.” If not for the presence of state troopers who controlled the howling union goons, this protest could have had a violent outcome.
Nonetheless, Obama’s supporters put on a disgraceful display of incivility and paranoia-fueled administration propaganda, which is exactly what Obama and Organizing for America have been encouraging.
These people are holding astroturf signs, that is signs that are produced by organizers and handed out to individuals rounded up by Organizing for America (OFA) in conjunction with the unions. Note that OFA used to be called Obama for America, and is his campaign organization.
Continue reading Racism and Incivility Aimed at Tea Party in Denver
What NPR will never tell you about Tancredo … or Obama
October 25, 2010, DENVER – by El Marco
Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo is an extraordinary man with no shortage of friends, and detractors. Tancredo has been branded a racist by the political left for being a leading critic of illegal immigration, and yet he earned a standing ovation from the NAACP. Recently I was in New York to photograph the start of the Sudan Freedom Walk, and learned things about Tom Tancredo (and Obama) that few Americans know anything about. I discovered that while many in the Sudanese refugee community feel betrayed by President Obama, they reserve a special place in their hearts for Tom Tancredo.
It was in front of the United Nations Building in Manhattan that I first heard a Sudanese human rights activist mention Tancredo’s name in connection to U.S. foreign policy. When I asked for details, I was intrigued by the depth of feeling for Tancredo in the comments I heard. I learned that in 2001, then Congressman Tancredo was the primary sponsor and author of the Sudan Peace Act, which was later signed into law by President George W. Bush. That act focused on stopping a decades-long genocide as well as Sudan’s slave trade and the Sudanese government’s use of force to support slaving.
I met with escaped slaves and refugees from Sudan who are now community leaders and human rights activists in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. They offered me rare insight into a man who now stands poised to be the next Governor of Colorado. During the time I spent with the Sudanese (Sept. 15-27) Tancredo was not on anyone’s radar as a real contender. Now that Mr. Tancredo has surged in the polls and rearranged the political landscape, I thought it a good idea to ask my new Sudanese friends what thoughts they had about his candidacy and his detractors.
First I called a young man named Francis Bok at his home in Boston. He was taken during a massacre by arab slavers at age seven and miraculously escaped slavery when he was 17 years old. I photographed candidate Tancredo holding Bok’s autobiography after a campaign stop outside Tony Rigatoni’s Restaurant in Golden, Colorado on Oct. 22.
Here is what Francis Bok had to say about Tancredo and Sudan:
He should be considered for governor because he’s someone that has a vision, he’s someone that is always looking years in front of him, he’s someone that is visioning for others. And those others are us. I have met him myself. I have seen him speaking clearly and loudly on behalf of my people. I have no doubt in my mind that he will do something positive for the people of Colorado. He is a leader. He has already shown, and demonstrated that leadership during his time in Congress. And I’m sure If we had someone like him in the leadership in Washington, my people would not have to worry about what will happen on January 9, 2011 (separation referendum thanks to Congressman Tancredo’s efforts), because he would have already begun to start speaking out.
I told Bok that the left have labeled Tancredo a racist:
It doesn’t make sense that people call Tom a racist. After all we have witnessed since 9/11 2001, I don’t think anyone should actually be allowed to come in without being screened, without being asked where are you from, and what are they about. I came here as a refugee myself to this country, I came here legally. I’m on record, I have documents that allow me to live here.
He is someone that we appreciate his work on foreign policy during his time in Congress about Sudan. I think he is very well known. The government knows him, the people of South Sudan, the people of Darfur, and all the other marginalized groups of Sudanese people know who he is, and what he stands for. And I think he deserves a chance to be of benefit to Colorado. I do support him. If I had power, I would endorse him.
Francis Bok speaking about Sudan in New York.
Asked about the Obama administration’s commitment to peace, Bok said:
We are so worried now about how the U.S. is going to protect us on this. Because we don’t see them speaking that much. I am not willing to be once again forced into slavery by the northern Sudanese oppressors. For over 50 years my people have been oppressed and marginalized by these people who reached power in 1956. My people want to be a free nation, and rule ourselves like other societies. Three million southern Sudanese people have been slaughtered by the radicalist, extremist fundamentalist regime in Khartoum.
We know very, very well that we are not being supported like the previous administration has done concerning the issue of Sudan. Both slavery and genocide are in Darfur and southern Sudan, and with this referendum, we’re just afraid. A miracle has to happen to help the people of Sudan. I’m praying every day because I do not want to see my people continue to be kept under apartheid by the radicalist regime.
Continue reading African Immigrant Leaders Support Tancredo, Angry at Obama
Unmotivated, Lethargic Astroturfers Trash the Nation’s Capital
Washington D.C. Oct. 3, 2010 – By El Marco
The lines between the Democratic Party, labor unions, socialist and communist organizations, were blurred at the One Nation Working Together rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. Organized by One Nation Working Together, which is headed by the cream of the Democratic National Committee, the rally was a sort of coming out moment for the radical leftist base of the Democratic Party.
National Campaign Manager of One Nation Working Together, Leah Daughtry, was CEO and top organizer of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, where Barack Obama was nominated to be candidate for President. Many of the rally’s top organizers work for Obama for America, which changed to Organizing For America after Obama was elected to the presidency. Organizing For America is the president’s personal, all purpose “grassroots” political campaign agitation corps. They coordinate closely with labor union and radical communist groups.
The page on the National Education Association’s website (NEA) inviting its members to travel to the rally quotes its president: “NEA is proud to be standing with our brothers and sisters in the labor and social justice movement …” The term social justice movement is a catch-all phrase for everyone to the left of Santa Claus including Marxist and Stalinist “anti-war” umbrella groups. This rally had been touted as “a collection of over 400 liberal groups“, but a glance at the official list shows that it includes the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and other fanatical revolutionary groups that have struggled for decades to destroy the “capitalist system” and topple western democratic governments.
The majority of rally participants were union members who came on free buses. They were given T-shirts, and handed signs when they arrived. Many carried free lunch boxes to what was, for all intents and purposes, an anti-capitalism, pro-Obama rally.
According to the AFL-CIO web site, unions sponsored some 1,400 buses to get the grassroots out to the rally. At an average of 50 passengers per almost full bus, that’s 70,000 free rides.
“Social justice” organizations involved include the Communist Party of America, National Council of La Raza, Green Party, Progressive Democrats of America whose goal is to extend the 2008 victory into a “permanent progressive victory”, International Socialist Organization, Ramsey Clarke’s communist and anti-American umbrella group ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, and myriad organizations for Obama, who promoted showing up at the march as “community service”.
The speakers included numerous pastors, rabbis and imams. Various holy texts were cited calling for social justice. “When the Gulf of Mexico was poisoned by the greed of big oil, the fish were denied justice” said Rabbi Arthur Waskow. Imam Khalid Griggs (above) claimed that Mohammed set an example of always treating the oppressed with compassion, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. The fact that Mohammed was a leading supplier to the slave markets of his day was not mentioned.
Union members made themselves comfortable or napped during speeches. Each union had a designated area which divided them with steel barricades. Most unions supplied their members with colorful shirts. The National Education Association (NEA) had the largest presence along with the United Auto Workers (UAW). The NEA was given the best location at the front with the most shade (above right.) NEA members were provided free buses and food allowance to travel from their home states. I spoke with NEA members (above right) from Detroit and Chicago who were bussed in for the day. The weather was cool and fresh, and as the day progressed more people snoozed.
Continue reading Democrats, Union Workers, and Communists Rally Together in Washington
Sudanese refugees say Obama broke his promise to them.
Sept. 24, 2010 – by El Marco
A small group of Sudanese former slaves and refugees, both Christians and Muslims, are walking from New York City to Washington, D.C. The walk began on Sept. 15 in front of the United Nations, and will culminate on Capitol Hill, Oct. 7th. They want to call the attention of the American people, and the Obama administration, to the increasingly explosive crisis of genocide and slavery in Sudan.
Sudan is less than 100 days from a referendum that is the culmination of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was a welcome example of what the United States can do when it uses its influence effectively. That agreement, a major focus for the Bush administration, is seen by experts as endangered by a lack of resolve on the part of Obama and his team at the State Department.
Human rights activist and former slave Simon Deng is leading the fourth Sudan Freedom Walk to call attention to the impending disaster his people face in South Sudan. Deng, now a U.S. citizen, sees the upcoming referendum as a stark choice for the people of South Sudan:
… whether they’re going to remain under the islamization and arabization, under enslavement, or they’re going to choose freedom for the first time. I, for one, don’t want to go back to being a slave again. I’ve tasted freedom. I’m proud today to stand in this country, as a free man, speaking to free people.
Of course they’re going to chose freedom. Because freedom is a God given right to all human beings. That being said, we, the people of South Sudan, for sixty years we went through a lot at the hands of the sitting governments in Khartoum. They slaughtered three and a half million South Sudanese. They enslaved thousands. They turned their arms and guns on the people in the Nuba Mountains. They turned their arms and guns on the people in the Blue Nile. And the world came to their senses by saying what happened in western Sudan in Darfur region is genocide.
Simon Deng addressed his remarks to Obama on Sept. 15, before the start of the Sudan Freedom Walk in New York.
The Secretary of State, a month ago, Hillary Clinton, said that the problem in South Sudan is a “ticking time bomb”. We don’t want to go back. We don’t want to go back to Islam. We don’t want to go back to enslavement. We don’t want to go back to arabization. We are proud as Africans in that continent. Sudan is the land of the blacks.
And that is why we don’t want to turn our backs to our brothers in Darfur. … after southern Sudan becomes independent next year we’re still going to be their voice because they’re being victimized the way we’re being victimized in that country. We’re going to Washington to ask our (United States) government that CPA that we talk about it is the legacy of the American government and, I’m speaking directly to President Obama, he was there with me when we talked about the issue in the South Sudan as a senator, shoulder to shoulder, when we talked about the Southern Sudan. I’m asking you, why are you distancing yourself from me, why are you distancing yourself from the issue of Sudan? Why are you putting heavyweights to be envoys here and envoys there, and you’re sending someone who has to learn on the job to be the envoy, knowing the magnitude of the problem in the Sudan? Why not Colin Powell? Why don’t you call him? Colin Powell even said it himself: “If the President calls on me, I will pick up the phone.” Call on him tomorrow, Mr. President. I’m walking to Washington, and I’m looking forward to discuss this matter with you.
Mr. Deng and other Sudanese refugees say that then Senator Obama promised them during a meeting in Philadelphia in 2008 to make peace in Sudan his first priority when he became president. Many Sudanese in Philadelphia campaigned door to door for Obama because they believed his promise. They say that the Obama administration has only played lip service to the plight of South Sudan and Darfur. They also say that Obama’s perceived lack of interest has emboldened the Khartoum regime and imperiled the indigenous peoples who are being brutalized by the regime in Khartoum.
President Obama’s appointment of his close personal friend General Scott Gration is seen by many Sudan activists as nothing more than a political appointment for an Obama crony who has no expertise on Sudan. Gration is said to be out of his depth and only biding time until he is rewarded with the ambassador’s post in Kenya. John Prendergast, of the ENOUGH anti-genocide project recently wrote:
“Every administration that comes into office over the last two decades thinks it can convince the Sudanese government to change its behavior through dialogue and constructive engagement alone, … It usually takes a year or two to figure out that this won’t work, that a more forceful approach is required that mixes sticks with carrots. . . . President Obama has been no different, and has deferred to General Gration, who remains convinced that nice guys finish first in diplomacy. [Obama] will slowly become disabused of this misconception, but the cost to Sudanese civilians for this macabrely slow learning curve will likely be excessively high.” - Politics Daily
Prendergast, in a New York Times op-ed published July 12, 2010, referred to the U.S. administrations policy in Sudan as: ”President Obama’s Rwanda moment … unfolding now, in slow motion.” A Sept. 3, Wall Street Journal article titled Obama is Still AWOL on Sudan, was subtitled : The country may soon return to war, and the perception of U.S. indifference isn’t helping. The article went on to say, “if the current U.S. policy gridlock remains, the next round of Sudanese bloodletting could be the worst yet.”
Francis Bok, also a U.S. citizen like Deng, was taken by an islamic militia and made a slave at the age of seven. He was enslaved for ten years, until his miraculous escape about which he has written a book. His plea for action from the Obama administration, in front of the U.N. building, brought tears to the eyes of listeners and to himself.
Since Sudan gained its independence from Great Britain in 1956, the people of South Sudan never had freedom. I was born in 1979. I grew up in war. I was a slave for ten years. I didn’t live with my parents. Every time I think about my childhood, I think about just tomorrow. I’m begging you, I’m begging you: save us. On January 9, to become our own (country) — God wants us to be like you (free).
I ask you also, for our brothers in Nuba Mountain and the Blue Nile — everybody that has been suppressed and oppressed for all this time, for people have suffered greatly. I have been to Sudan nine times since the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) in 2005. Every time I come back home I become very emotional. Because we talk about this, and we never see results.
Imagine 1,000 dying a week in your state: people that you know their names, you know the neighborhoods, innocent kids who do not yet know what this war is about. Why are they dying? While we are sitting watching. This building, the United Nations, where all the leaders from around the world come, talk about peaceful coexistence for all human beings, why are they saying “Never again,” and again and again our people are dying?
Today we are starting the journey of freedom that has been started some years ago by Simon Deng – someone who never forgot where he came from. He’s lived here quite a long time. He has every choice, like me, like any other immigrant who came to this country, to better his life and his family’s, yet again he devoted, he dedicated his whole life, so to speak, on behalf of millions, not just Sudanese. And so did I since I came here. I worked, I tried my best, and I did everything I could. And I’ll continue until my people are free at last.
Continue reading President Obama’s Rwanda Moment
Massive Media Distortion of Massive Rally in New York City
New York, NY September 16, 2010 – by El Marco
This year’s anniversary of the 9/11 islamic terrorist attacks brought thousands of opponents and supporters of the controversial “ground zero mosque” to lower Manhattan in New York City. The American people yet again have been served a false narrative by the dominant liberal establishment mass media. Just as the MSM joined the administration in smearing the Tea Party movement as racist and a hotbed for right-wing terrorism, they now have extended that propaganda theme to those who oppose the mosque at ground zero.
With headlines like Angry Protests Mar Solemn Day, Both Sides Desecrate Vigil, and Rallies Rage in Downtown Duel, New York papers painted a scene of divisive struggle between roughly equivalent numbers of protesters at the anti-mosque and pro-mosque rallies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those at the Stop the Mosque Rally were well apart from the radicals and communists who marched and chanted political slogans on the streets of lower Manhattan.
The photo above shows the 9/11 Remembrance/Stop the Ground Zero Mosque Rally hosted by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. According to the New York Times, what is seen here is a crowd of 2,000 persons. The New York Daily News, “reported” that the crowd (above) contained “hundreds,” despite the fact that it stretched 40 abreast for three city blocks. Local NYC News Channel 10 reported live that there were 30,000 people at this rally. Channel 10 should be applauded for doing their job, and the rest of the media stands exposed as corrupt and untrustworthy.
The Stop the Mosque rally hosts, Geller and Spencer, instructed participants not to bring signs, only flags, in order to emphasize the sanctity and solemnity of the occasion. They also emphasized in their promotional blog posts that it was to be a “remembrance rally”. That was very much the tone of the rally I witnessed and photographed just next to 51 Park Place, the site of the proposed Cordoba House mosque/community center.
The second rally in question was near City Hall. It was described by the New York Times as being made up of “supporters of the proposed Islamic center” and “organized by a number of left-wing anti-war and pro-Palestinian groups, including the International Action Center. (IAC)” By describing the organizers as “left-wing anti-war,” the Times obscures the true nature of the organized opposition to the mosque project. The IAC is an umbrella group for Marxist, Stalanist and Castroist groups like the World Workers Party (WWP) which supplied hundreds of professionally printed signs. The communist umbrella organization World Can’t Wait was also a main sponsor of the anti-mosque rally.
This technique of labeling militant Marxist revolutionary operations as “anti-war, pacifist, or left-wing” has been employed for decades by the dominant liberal media to mislead the public about who exactly is organizing domestic opposition to U.S. foreign policy. The “pro-mosque” rally was a highly politicized combination of communists, islamists, and hispanic open border radicals.
I attended the leftist rally up until just before the Stop the Mosque Rally started at 3 p.m. I estimated 1,500 leftist protesters inside the staging area at 2:45, with many more arriving at the time of my departure. The AP reported a total of 1,000 leftists.
Signs like the ones above were available by the hundreds. Note the signs about freeing Lynn Stewart the “People’s Lawyer.” All the major themes of the radical anti-American left were on display, including: Bush/Cheney War Criminals, Jobs not Hate-Say No to Tea Party Bigots, Worker Defense Guards Against Racist Anti-Immigrant Attacks. There were also signs denouncing President Obama for continuing with many of the Bush/Cheney anti-terrorism policies. Note also that the communist-produced signs are perfectly in sync with the liberal media/administration theme branding opponents of the Cordoba initiative mosque as racist bigots.
I saw one group of around 100 protesters chanting “Racists Go Home, Leave Muslims Alone” towards an open top double decker tour bus stopped at a traffic light. It was packed with appalled tourists who looked on in amazement as protesters vented their rage at them.
Three blocks away on the relatively secluded side street where the Stop Islamization of America Remembrance rally was assembled, there was a completely different tone. These were people who share an informed awareness of the challenge America and the west face from both islamist terrorists and their stealth jihad co-religionists like Imam Rauf.
Pamela Geller welcomes the huge anti-mosque crowd.
Geller and her associate Robert Spencer sparked the ground zero mosque debate when they held their first rally on June 6, 2010. The corporate liberal media practically blacked out that rally too. But for the blogging of Geller and Spencer, no one would have known about the opposition movement to the Cordoba House mosque. In suppressing news of the June 6th rally, the liberal media showed their determination to keep the public in the dark.
What unfolded at the anti-mosque/remembrance rally was a heartfelt plea by 9/11 survivors and first responders for Imam Rauf to show sensitivity for the sanctity that ground zero holds for the vast majority of Americans. Speakers included 9/11 family members, first responders, and refugees from violence in muslim countries.
Continue reading Historic 9/11 Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero Rally