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The real History; Juana Azurduy de Padilla; Bolivian guerrilla fighter who fought against the Spanish rule in South America. International day of women’s rights

5 Mar

 

Juana Azurduy de Padilla was a Bolivian guerilla fighter who fought against the Spanish rule in South America. It was this day in 1816 that she along with 200 Indian women on horseback, defeated the Spanish troops in Bolivia.

Juana Azurduy Llanos (July 12, 1780 or 1781 – May 25, 1862) was a South American guerrilla military leader.

She was born on July 12, 1780 or 1781 in the town of Chuquisaca, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (now Sucre, Bolivia). She was Mestizo by ethnicity, meaning she was half Spanish and half indigenous. “Her mother married into a family of property” meaning she married into a more wealthy family. Her father, however, was killed by Spaniards, and the killer apparently got away without any repercussions. She grew up in Chuquisaca and at the age of 12 joined a convent to become a nun. She was then expelled at the age of 17 because she rebelled too often. She married Manuel Ascencio Padilla in 1805, a man who shared her love of the indigenous populations in Bolivia. She spoke Spanish and two South American languages: Quechua and Aymara. Juana Azurduy was born in Toroca, a town located in the Municipality of Potosí in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (present-day town of Ravelo, Potosí Department, Bolivia) on July 12, 1780. Her parents were Don Matías Azurduy, a rich white owner of many properties and Doña Eulalia Bermudes, a chola from Chuquisaca.

Upon their return they raised an army and joined in the fighting in the area. She fought a guerrilla style war against the Spanish from 1809 to 1825. On March 8, 1816, her forces temporarily captured the Cerro Rico of Potosí, the main source of Spanish silver, also leading a cavalry charge that resulted in the capture of the enemy standard. For these actions she was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on August 16, 1816, by Juan Martín de Pueyrredón, the Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata at Buenos Aires. However, Shortly after Juana, who was expecting her fifth child, during a battle in November 1816, she was injured and her husband was killed while trying to save her, The body of her husband was hanged by the realists in the village of Laguna, and Juana found herself in a desperate situation: single, pregnant and with realistic armies effectively controlling the territory. After giving birth to a girl, she joined the guerrillas Martin Miguel de Guemes , which operated in northern Alto Peru. On the death of this leader guerrillas north dissolved, and Juana she was forced to malvivir in the region of Salta. at which she led a counterattack to recover the body of her husband. When the Spanish eventually counter-attacked in 1818, she fled with some of her soldiers to Northern Argentina where she continued to fight under the command of the Argentinean governor/guerrilla leader, General Martín Miguel de Güemes. She was appointed to the position of commander of patriotic Northern Army of the Revolutionary Government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. With this army she was able to establish an insurrection zone, until the Spanish forces withdrew from the area. She was so determined to the cause that she actually fought while she was pregnant, at one point, giving birth to her daughter, then returned to the fight soon after. At the highest point of her control, she commanded an army with an estimated strength of 6,000 men. After her military career was over she returned to Sucre (Chuquisaca), where she died on May 25, 1862. Throughout all the conflicts she lost her four sons and her husband, yet she continued to perform her duties until she retired and later died.

 

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At the time of her death, she was forgotten and in poverty, but was remembered as a hero only a century later. She was awarded the rank of general of the Argentine Army in 2009. She also has “The National Programme for Women’s Rights and Participation” of Argentina is also named after her.

A 25-ton, 52-foot-high statue of Azurduy was created in Buenos Aires and unveiled July 15, 2015. It was commissioned by Bolivian president Evo Morales, and placed in the space where a statue of Columbus has stood. As of December 2015, months after its inauguration, it shows weathering damage.

A bas relief sculpture of Juana Azurduy was on display as part of an outdoor exhibition of famous Latin Americans on the grounds of the Pan American Union Building in Washington, DC in Spring 2014. Juana Azurduy is also the subject of a children’s cartoon designed to promote knowledge of Argentine history.

 

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It’s not just racial tension; It’s White Supremacist Capitalist Imperialist Patriarchy! #BecomeUngovernable.

The System is Rigged. Solution? Blow up the System!

17 May

 

It is rigged by Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Ag, the military-industrial complex, etc, which own most everyone who runs for president in the two major parties.

To guarantee that only acceptable, bought-and-paid-for candidates survive the primary process, the political party operatives throw up huge roadblocks, ones which require astronomical amounts of money to surmount, assuring that only candidates who have establishment money at their disposal are able to proceed toward the nomination.

Additional safety checks are superdelegates, made of up elected officials, lobbyists, and establishment political hacks, plotting a primary schedule that works to run up victories by well known candidates versus unknown ones, setting convention rules that almost guarantee insurgent candidates can neither win a nomination or control the party platform

The result is that the ultimate winner is always someone they have a hook in.

Their worst nightmares are Trump and Sanders, as they have hooks in neither.

Normally, the electorate cannot be won over by a gadfly leftist or a populist demagogue. This year, however, the electorate is very pissed off, affording traction where such was a political unlikelihood,

A socialist insurgent is close to toppling Hillary and a populist demagogue defeated all the establishment candidates on the Republican side.

The establishment is now in full panic mode, and throwing the kitchen sink at Trump, while praying Sanders stops attacking Hillary.

Charles Koch endorsed Hillary over Trump, signaling the establishment to start circling the wagons around her.

Nearly every candidate who has sucked at the teat of Wall Street is now being yanked into the denunciation of Trump, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. Wall Street is collecting its favors.

Yes the system is rigged. And the only way to unrig it is to blow it up, which simply means defeating the system’s candidate.

We must defeat Hillary Clinton.

 

Source: The System is Rigged. Solution? Blow up the System!

 

 

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Author’s Notes:

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If you are not already subscribed to the Armory, please do so before you leave.

There’s a button to Follow us in the upper right sidebar.

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Feel free to comment. I encourage open discussion and welcome other opinions. I moderate comments because this blog has been attacked by hunters and right wing trolls. I approve comments that are critical as well as those which agree with me. Comments that I will not tolerate are those that are spam, threatening, disrespectful, or which promote animal abuse and cruelty.

MOVING A GENERATION TO THE LEFT! The Afterbern: what’s next for the American left? 

16 May

 

Only an autonomous, radical organization can make sure that the encounter of struggles in the Sanders campaign develops in a revolutionary direction.

One of the most significant political stories of the year is the meteoric rise of a little-known, 74-year-old, self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” senator from the small state of Vermont. Although he may win many of the remaining contests, it seems extremely unlikely that Bernie Sanders will clinch the Democratic nomination. Nevertheless, his bid for the presidency has dramatically, perhaps irreversibly, changed the political landscape in this country.

At this point, the question for socialists is not whether or not to support Bernie’s campaign, but rather: what do we do now? What, if any political possibilities have emerged, and how can we seize these opportunities to advance revolutionary politics? To answer that, we first need to determine exactly how Bernie has changed the political situation in the United States.

Source: ROAR Magazine by Salar Mohandesi an editor of Viewpoint and a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Sanders campaign did not emerge from nowhere. All movements exist within wider micro-systems of struggle, and the complex entanglement and overlapping of recent social movements made his campaign possible. Without Occupy, Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, the mobilization of teachers and nurses, immigrant movements, and many other struggles, there would never have been a Sanders campaign. Sanders has benefited enormously from the hard work of these earlier struggles. He has tapped into existing networks to raise an army of volunteers. He has, for better or worse, adopted much of the political language of these other movements. No one in these movements foresaw Bernie’s spectacular rise, but they all prepared it.

While Sanders has in some ways channeled these movements, he has not facilitated their “recuperation,” as many socialists originally feared. Instead of defusing and containing radical ideas, his campaign has helped proliferate them. Radical activists, many of whom often appeared antagonistic to both his campaign and the entire electoral process, not only pushed Sanders to the left, but forced him to use his candidacy as a tribune to popularize and combine many pre-existing, seemingly separate demands: a $15 minimum wage, an end to mass incarceration, universal healthcare, free education, de-criminalizing marijuana, legalizing thousands of immigrants, and banning fracking, to name only a few.

These pressures also led Sanders to issue a whole spate of political statements that no presidential candidate would dare to utter in the United States. He publicly denounced the history of American imperialism on national television. He advocated for the rights of Palestinians in a country where almost no one in public office would even use the word “Palestine.” Like the Black Panthers, he has called the police an “occupying army.”

To be sure, most of these ideas are commonplace for most on the far left, and they do not on their own constitute socialism in any recognizable sense of the term. Indeed, Sanders himself is not a socialist. He never refers to the vibrant history of socialist struggles in this country, even though he once made a documentary about Eugene V. Debs. When he does speak of socialism, he points to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal or modern Denmark. Like all social democrats, he wants a more equitable and robust social welfare state, not the abolition of the capitalist mode of production.

 

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All that said, in proliferating the messages of radical movements, even if articulating them in a social-democratic framework, his campaign has had an undeniable impact on millions of Americans, above all young Americans, who were unfamiliar with such ideas, too afraid to embrace them, or had dismissed them as impossible. A recent Harvard poll showed that young people’s political attitudes have already changed considerably just over the past year, and the polling director, John Della Volpe, has pinpointed Sanders as one of the primary causes. “He’s not moving a party to the left,” he concluded, he’s “moving a generation to the left.”

In addition, Sanders has helped draw lines of demarcation. Although most of his usual targets, such as “billionaires” or “Wall Street,” remain either terribly obvious or hopelessly vague, he has publicly named the “capitalists” as an enemy class, identified “capitalism” as the problem, and advocated “political revolution” as the solution. He has argued, before millions who are only now beginning to seriously think about things like “capitalism,” that problems in this society are not personal or isolated, but systemic, and that the only way forward is to radically and collectively overhaul that system.

On its own, this argument is banal, but the fact that it’s resonating with millions is remarkable. The same Harvard University poll revealed, for example, that 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. Of course, it’s not clear what respondents understand by the word “capitalism,” but it’s a very good start, especially in a country like the United States.

 

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TRIGGERING MASS MOBILIZATION

At the same time, the completely unexpected success of the Sanders campaign has forced many people, organizations and institutions to drop their veneer of neutrality to savagely attack him. But their assaults, increasingly wild and extreme, have in turn allowed millions of Americans to see them for what they really are.

Although most Americans have not trusted the mainstream media for some time — a recent poll revealed that only 6 percent of Americans have confidence in the press — the media’s overt bias has prompted many people, above all the youth, to politicize their distrust, with many now regarding much of the mainstream media, especially seemingly objective newspapers like theWashington Post or the New York Times, as little more than the propaganda arm of the ruling class. Seemingly progressive and reliable political figures and pundits have now outed themselves as reactionaries. At the same time, the Democratic Party has revealed itself to be one of the most significant impediments to meaningful social change in this country.

Even more important than circulating radical ideas, calling for systematic transformation and revealing enemies, the Sanders campaign has triggered a kind of mass mobilization. Millions of Americans, many of whom have never voted before, are now attending rallies, joining marches, donating to the campaign, making telephone calls, knocking on doors, leading grassroots teams. While commitment to a bourgeois election is in itself no sign of radicalism, it does have the potential to create future opportunities for socialist politics. In mobilizing people, especially younger people, in this way, the campaign has helped connect activists from different movements, draw newcomers into existing political networks, and train a new generation of potential organizers.

Compositionally, these radicalized Sanders supporters are a very diverse group. In many contests, especially open ones, Sanders has split or won the female vote. In fact, although the mainstream media would never make mention of this, Bernie’s strongest support seems to come from young women. In Iowa, for example, 84 percent of women under 30 voted for Sanders. In terms of racial diversity, he remains the favored candidate among Native, Arab and Asian Americans. Nationally, some polls indicate he splits the support of Latin@ voters with Hillary. He won Hawaii, the most diverse state in the country, by a landslide.

The major exception, of course, is older African Americans, and especially older black women. Even if Sanders is favored by many blacks, especially black youth, he consistently wins far fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. The reasons are very complex, and I can only indicate a few elements of an answer here: the destruction of autonomous radical black organizations since the 1970s, the subsequent absorption of blacks into the Democratic Party, the rise of a black bourgeoisie whose quarrel is not with the system but with access to the system, the close connection between the black leadership class and the Democratic Party, the role of the black church, the legacy of Bill Clinton and the power of the Clinton brand, high abstention rates among poor blacks, the fact that in some places one out of four black men are disenfranchised, and the justified fear of racist terror, especially in the South, which led many to vote for the most “electable” candidate.

 

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Another factor might be lack of exposure, or more precisely, differential access to information. A 2014 study found that only 45 percent of senior blacks are internet users and just 30 percent have broadband at home, significantly less than whites with a similar demographic profile. In failing to win the support of many African Americans, especially black workers, the Sanders campaign has highlighted probably the greatest strategic question for all radicals today: determining the political class composition of African Americans at a time when the first black president prepares to leave office.

Bernie’s base is the working class and youth. With a few notable exceptions, most importantly the above-mentioned older black workers, Sanders has successfully pulled together a number of distinct sectors of the US working class: those with college degrees and those without, rural and urban, unionized and non-unionized, white and nonwhite. While many workers — from coal miners to computer programmers, nurses to transportation workers, teachers to fast food workers — have temporarily lined up behind the democratic socialist from Vermont, those under 35 have offered the deepest support, not only casting ballots, but throwing themselves headlong into campaign organizing.

In fact, youth support extends even beyond the working class. Indeed, it seems that age, more than any other factor, determines one’s political proclivities today. In a number of states, for example, over 80 percent of voters under the age of 30 support Sanders. By the same token, the majority distrusts Hillary Clinton. In fact, Clinton’s single most reliable base of support comes from voters over 50. There are a number of reasons why seniors, both black and white, dislike Sanders, even though he’s promised to dramatically expand social security, but I wonder again if lack of connectivity, an inability to navigate the internet, and an over-reliance on mass media — which is strongly biased against Sanders — may play a greater role than is often acknowledged.

This kind of mass political polarization along sharp generational lines has not existed since the 1960s and 1970s. But while the youth mobilization of the 1960s was in part made possible by a self-conscious “youth movement” mediated by music, sex, drugs, consumerism and a belief in the allegedly inherent emancipatory potential of youth, if young people today have banded together around radical ideas, it’s not because of some “youth culture.” It’s because young people lived through an era of fictitious economic growth, then a devastating crisis that dispelled all illusions, leaving them nothing but staggeringly high debt, unemployment, and no future. For them, politics is no fad; it’s become a question of life and death — especially when one recognizes that we are dealing with the first generation to fully recognize the immediacy of ecological disaster, which many are increasingly, and correctly, linking to capitalism.

What we have emerging, then, is a new, diverse cohort of predominantly young people, the majority of whom belong to the working class or a collapsing “middle class,” now open to socialist ideas, clamoring for systematic change, and who are increasingly networked, trained and experienced in organizing. The vast majority of these people are, like Bernie, not socialists in any specific historical sense, but they are willing to fight for major changes. The potential here is enormous, and for this, we have to thank the Sanders campaign — whether or not we like Bernie’s social-democratic politics.

 

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WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The major question, of course, is what happens next. It’s very possible that these young, politicized Sanders supporters will be incorporated into the Democratic Party. If Bernie wins the nomination, the risks are enormous. But even if he doesn’t, which seems far more likely now, he may produce the same effect if he throws his weight behind Clinton at the Convention in July. Or possibly, if Hillary emerges victorious, she may tap someone like Elizabeth Warren to serve as Vice-President as part of some calculated strategy to win over Bernie’s supporters.

It is also safe to assume that the Democratic Party will itself try to make the most of this opportunity by organizing many of these young people into its ranks. All this highlights the great contradiction of Bernie’s campaign: he would not have reached — and radicalized — such a vast audience if he did not run as a Democrat, but in working within the Democratic Party, he has potentially wedded this new audience to perhaps the greatest counter-revolutionary force in the United States.

It is also possible that this energy will dissipate in the following few months. A Clinton victory — or more accurately a vote against Donald Trump — may demoralize a generation already deeply suspicious of the “rigged” political process. And if by some chance Bernie wins but then fails to realize crucial aspects of his vision, that, too, will result in disillusionment, just as Obama disappointed his supporters (though it should be noted that this did not lead them to drop out of politics, but to rally around Bernie). Instead of empowering young people to overthrow the system, the campaign may ultimately lead many to resign themselves to its inevitability.

These possible outcomes have been discussed before. But nothing is predetermined. The far left can have a hand in how all of this plays out, which leads to a third possibility: uniting all of these new socialists into an autonomous revolutionary organization.

Unfortunately, while there is much talk on the matter, including a “People’s Summit” in Chicago and preparations for a far more radical socialist convergence in July with representatives from many of the existing far-left currents in the United States, radicals have not yet devised a coherent strategy. As it stands, the de facto approach has been for organizations to “recruit” young Sanders supporters — or more precisely, wait for these supporters to magically fall into their lap. To my mind, this seems doomed to failure. Even if existing socialist organizations succeed in funneling some Bernie supporters into their ranks, we can’t move forward by dividing this new mass of politicized young people into tiny groups that have outlived their historical conditions. While they might try to rebrand themselves for the 21st century, inherited organizations do not, and in fact cannot, speak to the needs of a new cycle of struggle.

We need new forms of organization that are appropriate to our historical conjuncture. While we should certainly foster a diverse constellation of organizations for different situations, it’s becoming clear that we need some kind of binding element to link these distinct initiatives, campaigns, struggles and movements. The symbolic figure of Sanders may have tenuously and unevenly drawn different segments together, but only an autonomous, radical organization tailored to present conditions can make sure their encounter not only takes hold, but continues to develop in potentially revolutionary directions.

 

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DISSOLVE AND REORGANIZE

I therefore suggest that if American radicals really care about making the most of this upsurge, they should consider dissolving their existing formations to create the nucleus of a new kind of organization capable of playing this role. Such a call may seem presumptuous, but let us recall that the most successful organizational forms of the past — that is to say, those organizations most attuned to the needs of their time — themselves emerged from the liquidation, radical recombination and subsequent transformation of the elements of existing groups, networks and collectives.

Normally, I oppose such calls for “Left Unity” since they usually amount to nothing more than purely abstract and rhetorical statements of solidarity between groups with no real connection to mass struggles. But in this case, we are faced with what is in many respects a kind of a mass movement, even if it’s passing under the guise of an election campaign. Most importantly, this movement is intricately intertwined with other vibrant, more militant struggles in which the far-left is in fact closely involved. This radical ecosystem is the condition of possibility for a new organization. Unity will come, therefore, not from any shared ideological platform, but through common struggle.

Our chances for such a qualitative leap are more propitious than they have been in decades. The established political configuration in the United States hasn’t been this vulnerable since the 1970s. The Republican Party is undergoing a profound structural transformation, and Trump’s impending nomination has provoked defections and a potential mutiny. The Democratic Party is being pulled in two directions and may be headed for a contested convention. Record numbers of Americans are leaving both parties — 43 percent now identify as Independents, as opposed to 30 percent as Democrats and only 26 percent as Republican. Across the board tens of millions of Americans are rejecting “establishment politics,” turning to either Trump or Sanders.

We should also be encouraged by the fact that many of these newly radicalized Sanders supporters may already be prepared to break with the logic of the political system — according to one poll, for instance, one third of Sanders supporters say they won’t vote for Clinton in the general election. But without a viable alternative in the form of an organizational presence, we won’t be able to transform this inchoate #BernieOrBust sentiment into revolutionary politics. And if, against all odds, Sanders wins, it is very likely that only a unified, alternative organization embedded in today’s many ongoing struggles can prevent radicalized Sanders supporters from integrating into a fundamentally unreformable Democratic Party. In short, we need an organization to fuse together the millions of enthusiastic people who may otherwise disperse or find themselves subsumed and then disorganized by the state apparatuses.

With such exceptionally high stakes, the far left, usually so minuscule and ineffectual in this country, needs to devise a shared, coherent organizational strategy. Now, more than ever, we need an organization to continue radicalizing newer generations, keep people engaged in contemporary struggles, unite disparate movements, articulate different sectors of the working class, preserve continuity between waves of struggles, fashion a common project, and, above all, seize power — by which I do not mean simply winning a couple seats in Congress as some purely electoral party, but overthrowing capitalism through a mass revolutionary upheaval that unfolds both against and within the state apparatuses.

There hasn’t been this much interest in radical change, nor this much anger against capitalism in the United States since the 1970s. If we, as committed socialists, miss this moment, the future will never forgive us.

 

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