Thursday, January 23, 2014

Drive Chevron out of Australia!


(Watch this Mark Fiore cartoon on Chevron's use of the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations legislation to intimidate, bully and harass Ecuadorians complaining about poisonous wastes, and their allies.  This is the same company exploiting Australian and 457-visa workers in its relentless pursuit of global profits.)

The giant US energy corporation Chevron has operations in Australia at Gorgon in WA where it is extracting liquefied natural gas, and at Wheatstone and nearby Barrow Island.

Chevron owns 47 percent of Gorgon, while Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell Plc each hold 25 percent stakes and the rest is shared by Japanese LNG buyers. 

There is no Australian equity in what is an energy source of vital importance to the Australian people.

Initial capital outlay in what is still a pre-production phase is substantial - around $54 billion for Gorgon to date; however, the profit to be made over many years once production does begin (likely to be this year) will dwarf the investment.

These are profits that should accrue to the entire Australian people. 

These are our resources.

The situation spells out clearly the need for a strong anti-imperialist movement, led by the working class, to sweep away the treacherous institutions and personnel of our present parliamentary system and establish the right of the people to nationalise such industries as these without compensation.

None of the parliamentary parties or grouplets has any interest in pushing for genuinely anti-imperialist Australian independence, nor in unleashing the working people who, by virtue of their numbers and their place in the process of production, are the only truly decisive social sector capable of substantially changing the direction Australia is taking.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chinese people demand the right to honour Mao Zedong

In many parts of China, the masses held their own spontaneous celebrations of Mao's 120th birth anniversary (December 26, 1893).  However, these were not welcomed by higher authorities in many cities: venues were denied and police called. 

Whilst the Communist Party of China asserts that Mao Zedong Thought remains its guiding ideology, it has systematically reversed the direction that China was taking under Chairman Mao, namely, the socialist road. The CCP has completely rejected what Comrade Jose Maria Sison of the Communist Party of the Phillipines has identified as the defining characteristic of Mao Zedong Thought: "...what brings Maoism to the level of the third stage in the development of the revolutionary theory and practice of the proletariat is Mao's theory and practice of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in order to combat revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and consolidate socialism." 

It is very instructive to compare the bowdlerised version of Mao Zedong Thought in the Chinese Party's statement (via the link above), with Sison's excellent and highly creditable statement here.

Here are a selection of photos and comments put together from Chinese websites.  They indicate that ownership of the legacy of Mao Zedong remains a highly contested matter, with ordinary people determined to hold on to the revolutionary, working class orientation of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought against the so-called "market socialism" and privatisation carried out by the capitalist-roaders at the highest levels of Party leadership.

1.  Wuhan

Organisers first tried to book the Wuchang Peasant Movement Institute because of its obvious connection as an historical revolutionary site but were denied the venue by the police.

With one day to go, they then arranged to book the Conference Hall of the Wuhan Baofeng Hotel at a cost of 2000 yuan.  However, at 9 o'clock that night the hotel management rang and told them that the private room could not be booked for a public function.  Challenged, the hotel manager stated that he had "been informed of this by the higher authorities".

Participants had no option but to hold an impromptu footpath display of Mao Zedong posters which was kept under scrutiny by security officers.

2.  Shenzhen

Commemorative activities were held in Shenzhen, described by one Chinese netizen as a "window on the revisionists' restoration of capitalism in China".  Others revived memories of the prolonged labour disputes in the city and surrounds, including the tragic suicides of the Foxconn employees who jumped to their deaths from windows in the company's buildings.

On Sunday Dec 22, two groups of people who had come to show their respect for Chairman Mao were arrested in Donghu Park. Later more were arrested as they sang revolutionary songs eulogising Mao Zedong.  People were arrested while singing the national anthem!  When one elderly person was taken away by police he was rescued by the masses.

3.  Zhengzhou

On December 26, some three thousand people converged on Zilingshan in People's Square to pay their respects to Chairman Mao.  Two hundred police were on hand to "maintain order", but it was the plainclothes police who did everything to try and obstruct the singing of songs and recitation of poetry.  Despite this, people bowed towards a statue of Chairman Mao three times and sang songs such as "The East is Red" and "Sailing Seas Depends On The Helmsman".  Speeches were made on the spot. 

At 9:00, an old man came among young people. He said that the Mao era had been fair, there were no privileged cadres and the masses could have opinions without retaliation. Now, the corrupt officials run amok, and people are not allowed to speak out. Many of our people can not afford housing, while officials buy mansions in the United States.Compared with previous years' celebrations, young people accounted for a considerable proportion of those attending.

Earlier, on December 6, Ai Yuejin, founder of the pro-Mao Utopia website and bookshop had arrived at Zhengzhou's Xinzheng Airport to begin a series of lectures about Mao Zedong in the city.  On arrival he was met buy the police and taken to the airport police centre.  He thought at first that this was a very high level reception on the part of the organisers of his lecture tour, but was very quickly told that his talks could not proceed in Zhengzhou. He was asked to show his ID and grilled about his political views before being allowed to leave the airport.

At the Dukang Hotel on Tongbai Road where his first lecture was scheduled to be held, he found that the rented first floor lecture hall doors had been locked and was told by staff that there was a power circuit failure.  He was advised by security officers to find another venue, but 300 people had turned up and they decided to occupy the hotel lobby and use it for the lecture.

(Above: Ai Yuejin prepares to deliver his talk on Mao Zedong from the first floor balcony of the Dukang Hotel while the foyer, below, begins to fill with admirers of Chairman Mao.)

4.  Other places: a small selection of photos from other places where commemorations were held under similar conditions of difficulty:

Above:  Shaanxi Province

Above: Near Mao's birthplace, Changsha

Above: Luohe in Henan Province

Above: Shandong Provincial capital, Jinan

Above: Nanyang

Above: in Yunnan Province

Above: Zhanjiang