April 14, 2018 - No. 14
No to Airstrikes
Against Syria in the Name of High Ideals!
Hands Off Syria!
Western Threats to Attack Syria Will
Dissuade It from
Confronting Any Aggression Regardless of Its
• Oppose Murderous Israeli
Attack Against Syria
- Yi Nicholls -
• Cold War Provocations to Justify
- Workers' Weekly -
• Call for Emergency Anti-War
Actions Across U.S.
- ANSWER Coalition -
• Coming Events
Arrest of High Level
Member of People's Alternative
Revolutionary Force in Colombia
• Darkest U.S. Reaction Acts with Impunity
- Margaret Villamizar -
• Communiqué on Arrest of Jesús
Fighting for Democracy in Brazil
• The Democratic Route Closes
- Atilio A. Borón -
to U.S. Provocations at
Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru
• Bombs in Syria and Provocations in Peru:
The United States Abandons Diplomacy
- Sergio Alejandro Gómez, Granma -
Resistance Movement in
the United States
• No Troops on the Border! Fight for
the Fraternal Unity of the Peoples
- Voice of Revolution -
• Federal Government to Demand Social Media
70th Anniversary of
Massacre Commemorated in Korea
• Remembering the April 3 Jeju
- Zoom in Korea -
75th Anniversary of
Heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
• Defiance and Organized Resistance
Nazism During the Darkest Hour
• Zog Nit Keynmol, Yiddish Song of the Jewish
No Airstrikes Against Syria in the Name
Hands Off Syria!
On April 13 at approximately 8:30 pm the U.S.
imperialists, in coordination with Britain and France, launched a
criminal attack by firing missiles on Syria. News agencies
reported loud explosions and smoke in the Syrian capital Damascus
in the aftermath. The Syrian government reported April 14 that
its air defences shot down 73 of 103 missiles.
The U.S. claims this attack is in response to the
of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own
people on April 7, something the Syrian government adamantly
denies. This U.S.-led attack was launched the day before chemical
weapons inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons were set to begin their work, as
requested and facilitated by the Syrian government, to determine
if chemical weapons were in fact used.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
denounces this attack and reiterates its stand with the people of
Syria, who for seven long years, have been subjected to foreign-backed
aggression and terrorism disguised as a civil war. The aim is to impose
regime change on a country that
seeks to exercise its right to a peaceful and independent
existence, a right that belongs to all countries big or small and
forms the foundation of international law.
The attack on Syria is also an explicit
Iran and Russia, two countries that the U.S. sees as undermining
its aims in Syria and the region.
The so-called evidence cited by the U.S. to isolate the
Syrian government and justify war and aggression follows the
shopworn methods of disinformation that are meant to cause people
to doubt their anti-war convictions, forget the long
history of U.S. aggression against the peoples of the world and
discard the principles of international law that oppose the
dictate of "Might Makes Right."
It should be remembered that
just over a year ago, in April
2017, U.S. airstrikes in Syria released toxic chemicals that by
all indications were stored in facilities used by terrorists. The U.S.
and its monopoly media mouthpieces tried to spin
this as a chemical attack carried out by the Syrian government and used
it to justify a missile strike on a Syrian air
For its part, the Canadian government has expressed its
support for the criminal act
against Syria. "Canada supports the decision by the United
States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade
the Assad regime's ability to launch chemical weapons attacks
against its own people," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a
statement on April 13,
adding, "Those responsible must be brought to justice."
CPC(M-L) urges everyone to oppose this disinformation
organizing actions to oppose war and aggression and discussing
with their co-workers, families and friends the urgent need to
oppose U.S.-led aggression, Canada's support for this aggression
and any possibility that Canada could become further embroiled in
these crimes. Already around the world, emergency anti-war
actions have been called, with one at the White House on April 14
followed by a teach-in at George Washington University and
another in Britain at Parliament Square in London on April 16.
Canada must be a Zone for Peace, and this can only happen if the
people organize to make it so.
1. In remarks on the alleged April 7
chemical weapons attack, U.S. State Department Spokesperson
Heather Nauert sought to isolate Russia:
"The Assad regime and its backers must be held
and any further attacks prevented immediately. Russia, with its
unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears
responsibility for these brutal attacks, targeting of countless
civilians, and the suffocation of Syria's most vulnerable
communities with chemical weapons. By shielding its ally Syria,
Russia has breached its commitments to the United Nations as a
framework guarantor. It has betrayed the Chemical Weapons
Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118. Russia's
protection of the Assad regime and failure to stop the use of
chemical weapons in Syria calls into question its commitment to
resolving the overall crisis and to larger non-proliferation
"The United States calls on Russia to end this
support immediately and work with the international community to
prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks."
2. On March 13 at the UN Security
Council, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened that
"any nation that is determined to impose its will through
chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, most especially the
outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act
if we must." She then reminded the Security Council of the deadly
U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian airbase in April 2017.
The U.S. Ambassador's threats were made in the context
of a so-called
proposal by the U.S. This proposal sought to halt Syrian and
Russian military operations in eastern Ghouta, which the Syrian
government was liberating from armed groups, setting
the stage for a negotiated settlement whereby armed fighters were
permitted to leave the city in transportation provided by the
Syrian government so that civilians could return to the city.
3. On April 7, Canada's Foreign
Minister Chrystia Freeland issued a statement in which she fell
in line behind the U.S. imperialists asserting, without
evidence, that the Syrian government was to blame for the use of
chemical weapons. Taken in the context of the April 13
airstrike, this can be considered spreading propaganda for war,
itself a war crime:
"The repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical
weapons by the Assad regime in the past has been confirmed by
independent international investigators. It is part of a
deliberate strategy to terrorize local populations and force them
into submission. Canada condemns the Assad regime -- and its
backers, Russia and Iran -- for its repeated, gross violations of
human rights and continued, deliberate targeting of
"Canada expresses its admiration for the medical
other organizations, including the White Helmets, who have been
working tirelessly to save the lives of those affected. Our most
sincere condolences go to the families of the deceased.
"Chemical weapons attacks are a war crime. Canada,
its international partners, will pursue accountability for these
atrocities by all available means. Those responsible must be
brought to justice, and the massacre of innocent civilians must
Western Threats to Attack Syria Will
Dissuade It from Confronting Any
Aggression Regardless of Its
Permanent Representative to the UN of the Syrian Arab
Republic, Dr Bashar
Al-Jaafari, during a Security Council session April 10 on
the situation in Syria, stressed that threats of aggression on Syria by
Western states and their
manoeuvres, misdirection, lies, and terrorism will not dissuade
Syria from preserving its sovereignty and territorial integrity
and from confronting any aggression regardless of its source. He
added that Syria will not allow any of the permanent or
non-permanent member states to do in Syria what they have done in
Iraq or Libya.
Al-Jaafari said, "The U.S.
representative said that there is
a single monster today which stands in the face of the whole
world, and it is a monster which has armed and financed
terrorists for more than seven years in Syria, and I say that
this monster is the U.S., Britain, and France who sponsored
terrorism in Syria and before it in Iraq, Afghanistan, and
He clarified that Syria's Foreign and Expatriates
in response to the campaign launched by some
Western states against Syria regarding the
alleged chemical attack in Douma city -- sent a formal invitation
to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on
April 10 for a team from the fact-finding mission to visit
Douma to investigate.
Al-Jaafari added that Syria welcomes the visit. He
asserted Syria's commitment to cooperate
fully and its readiness to provide all the required help to allow
this mission to do its work and to guarantee the safety of its
members. He stressed that Syria hopes the mission will perform its
work with transparency and professionalism based on credible
The mandate of
the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN
Joint Investigative Mechanism expired in November 2017. At the April 10
Security Council meeting, two draft
resolutions were presented ostensibly to establish a mechanism to
investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Both resolutions were defeated, neither receiving a unanimous
vote from the council's five permanent members.
Al-Jaafari reiterated that those who backed the U.S.
at the Security Council on April 10 are not seeking to uncover
the truth, because the truth will prove their guilt and that of their
terrorist pawns on the ground.
"I affirm the reality that the U.S., Britain, and
are the ones who caused the failure of what was called the Joint
Investigative Mechanism due to their insistence on politicizing
its work and exerting pressure on its leaders," Al-Jaafari said. He
pointed out that what is happening in the Council during this
session is similar to what happened a year ago when the U.S. used
false and fabricated excuses about the use of chemical weapons in
Khan Sheikhoun to attack al-Shairat Airbase.
He called on the Security
Council's member states to shoulder
their responsibilities in supporting international legitimacy and
in protecting international peace and security from the terrorism
which is being used by the aforementioned three permanent member
states who seek to undermine the stability of other states and to
decide the fate of their peoples.
Al-Jaafari reiterated that the Syrian Arab Republic
condemns any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any
circumstances, and that it is fully committed to co-operating
with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to
uncover the reality of the allegations.
In a phone call with Syrian TV, Al-Jaafari described
the Security Council session as "being similar to a play." He indicated
that the West has suffered successive failures at the
Security Council and it can neither achieve progress there
nor in exploiting terrorism.
The prejudicial nature of the proceedings to isolate
were underscored by UN Secretary-General António
Guterres' remarks prior to the meeting. Without evidence of a chemical
weapons attack having occurred, Guterres called for the "norms
against chemical weapons [to] be upheld." He appealed to the
Security Council to "fulfil its responsibility and find unity on
this issue." In this way, all the serious breaches of
international law known to have been committed against Syria by the
Britain, France and other countries are covered
up and the U.S. imperialists set the agenda based on their own
geo-politics, trampling international law in the mud. The
Security Council becomes an instrument through which to use the United
Nations not to defend the international rule of law and
peace, but coalitions of countries who violate the peace, which was
identified following World War II as the
supreme crime against humanity.
Oppose Murderous Israeli Attack Against Syria
On April 9, fourteen people in Syria were killed by an
Israeli missile strike that targeted the T-4 airbase in the
central province of Homs. Syria's Foreign and Expatriates
Ministry asserted that Israeli F-15 jets launched their missiles from
Lebanese airspace. The Syrian Air Force is reported
to have shot down some of these missiles. Those killed included
four Iranian citizens, the Iranian news agency FARS reported.
Click to enlarge
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied it carried out
attack. However U.S. officials told NBC news that the U.S. was
informed by Israel of its plans to attack Syria. A statement from
the Lebanese army corroborated that four Israeli planes violated
Lebanon's airspace, flying from the Mediterranean Sea over the
coastal town of Jounieh and then heading east, toward the city of
Baalbek near the Syrian border.
At an April 9 emergency meeting of the UN Security
the situation in Syria, Syria's representative condemned in the
strongest terms the ruthless Israeli aggression on the T-4
airbase, which left several civilians dead and others injured. He said
attack would not have occurred without United States' support for
Israel, and the latter has never been held accountable for its
state-organized terrorism and its threat to regional and global
peace and security. By failing to refer to Israeli aggression in
their statements, Western countries are complicit in such
action, he said. He added that the April 9 Israeli aggression
was alluded to by the Prime Minister of Israel as an indirect
response to the Syrian military's success against armed terrorist
groups. However, this would not divert Syria's attention from
a decisive military victory over terrorism, said Syria's
None of the other Security Council members
attack on Syria as a matter of serious concern which the Security
Council was duty bound to deal with. Emphasis instead was placed
on how to investigate whether or not chemical weapons had been
used in Syria and the mandate for any investigation.
The situation underscores that far from the Security
upholding the rule of law and defending international peace, its
functioning has become totally politicized and an arena for
contention between the big powers and their proxies like Israel,
while smaller countries are permitted to be singled out for
military aggression -- i.e., the breaching of international peace,
considered the greatest war crime under international law.
Cold War Provocations to Justify Aggression
Many commentators have torn to shreds the assertions of
the British government that Sergei Skripal
and his daughter Yulia were
poisoned by a nerve agent called Novichok, and that the Russian
government was directly involved.
Added to this are the recent allegations that the
government has launched chemical warfare attacks on its citizens
in the city of Douma, an area about six miles to the north-east
of Damascus, which the Syrian army has just liberated from
"rebel" factions. Although the imperialists are targeting Syrian
President Bashar Al Assad,
as they have done for several years under their program of
"regime change" and destruction of nations, here again Russian
backing of Assad is what is being portrayed as the main
This is of course not the
first time that the pretext of chemical weapons has been used to
justify missile strikes and
military intervention. In April last year, Trump used the alleged
targeting of Syrian civilians with chemical weapons, which he blamed
on Assad, to launch Tomahawk missiles
from U.S. destroyers in the Mediterranean against Syria,
following the deployment of thousands of U.S. ground troops. In
December 2015, RAF Tornado jets also carried out their first air
When the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc countries
1989-1991, after the period of the 1980s when the world
entered a profound turning point, there was much talk of the end
of the Cold War and the "peace dividend" this was going to bring.
Of course, this "peace dividend" failed to materialize, and from
the 1990s onward, the forces of reaction have held the
Nevertheless, the people's forces themselves have
stepped up their resistance to neo-liberalism and the anti-social
offensive. In particular, the people have constantly mobilized
against the warmongering and militarization of the imperialist
system of states.
has pointed the way forward to the necessity to establish an
anti-war government, and in Britain for the working class and
people to settle scores with their pro-war governments.
what faces them now, as Theresa May and her Cabinet declare that
they are ready, in tandem with France, to take their lead from
the U.S. regime in committing aggression against Syria.
How is it imagined that bombing Syria as revenge or
punishment will sort out any problem whatsoever? How is it that
Syria is selectively chosen for air strikes? The U.S. and its
allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside
Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the
Damascus government or a UN mandate. The strikes have on many
occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to fulfil
their declared aim of countering terrorism. In fact undeclared
warfare is taking place, particularly throughout the Middle East,
and the U.S., Britain and other big powers are colluding and
contending for influence and domination. This risks an escalation
into a very dangerous conflict between the big powers and Russia
in particular. The European Union is also being urged to
establish a "military Schengen Area," at the behest of NATO, to
counter "Russian aggression." Is this the ultimate aim of this
warmongering? How is this of benefit to humanity?
This is what is meant by a Cold War mentality: pose
that threaten your domination as the enemy, declare that only
those that share your values are worthy human beings, stage
provocations that others are aggressive, allege that extremist
ideology is the threat to humanity.
This poses the necessity for
the people to constitute themselves as a power in their own
right. The apocalypse of war is not a necessity if the people
constitute themselves as the power for peace. The issue is not
one of taking sides for or against Russia, for example.
In the present situation,
the resistance of the people,
fighting against war, is characterized by doing everything
possible now to stop a further attack on Syria by the U.S.-led
big powers. Of crucial importance is to build the anti-war
movement, to activate the human factor. There is an important
campaign spearheaded by the Stop the War Coalition for everyone
to lobby their local MPs to demand that a vote be taken on any
proposal to use military arms to force a regime change in Syria.
Demonstrations are taking place outside Downing Street, which we
call on anyone who can to participate in. On April 13, a letter
is being handed in at Downing Street signed by MPs, trade
unionists, celebrities and academics to urge Theresa May to
refrain from joining Donald Trump in escalating the war in Syria.
Protests taking place over the weekend include those in Norwich,
Nottingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Cardiff, as well as street
stalls in many other places.
These are important actions, since although the U.S.,
and other powers have been intervening in Syria for many years
without authorization from the Syrian government and with no
legal authorization from the United Nations, the recent hysteria
has reached a high pitch in a short period of time. This
contrasts with the events of 2003, when war criminal Tony Blair
attempted to prepare the ground with fraudulent dossiers and
other means to win public opinion behind armed intervention in
Iraq. This has been farcically echoed by the Theresa May
government with the anti-Russian accusations in the far-fetched
Skripal poisoning case. Russia and chemical weapons are supposed
to connect this and Syria in the public mind.
Tony Blair joined the "coalition of the willing" in
invading and creating chaos and bloodshed in Iraq for which the
people have been paying ever since. And this was despite the
millions that took to the streets to stop the war. The lesson for
the people is that these rotten scenarios of warmongering by such
as Blair and May who claim to be representatives of the people in
a representative democracy, but actually represent private
interests in the name of the state, must be consigned to the
past. As was so prominent 15 years ago, it is fundamental that in
their warmongering they do not act in our name! In fighting for
peace, the people must get organized with a view to the necessity
of political power to bring about an anti-war government that
acts for peace, eschews the use of force in international
relations, and transforms society in establishing relations that
favour the people.
The Stop the War Coalition has been organizing a tour
on the necessity for an anti-war government. This is an important
initiative. Local Stop the War committees based on the need for
an anti-war government must be built. Demands must also be
raised to end the militarization of the economy.
No to Air Strikes Against Syria!
Oppose All British
Not In Our Name!
All Out for an Anti-War
1. Sergei Viktorovich Skripal is a
former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a
double agent for the UK's intelligence services during the 1990s
and early 2000s. In December 2004, he was arrested by Russia's
Federal Security Service (FSB) and later tried, convicted of high
treason, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He settled in
Britain in 2010 following the Illegals Programme spy swap. On
March 4, 2018, he and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting him
from Moscow, were found "slipping in and out of consciousness on
a public bench" near a shopping centre in Salisbury by a doctor
and nurse, who were passing by.
2. Special forces from Britain have
been operating in Syria since June 2016, according to a BBC
report from the time. They were equipped with long range patrol
vehicles, sniper rifles, heavy machine guns and anti-tank
3. Summary findings given on
airwars.org of Coalition air and artillery strikes: August 8,
2014 to February 28, 2018, an overall total of
25,800 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been locally alleged
from 2,475 separate reported Coalition incidents, in both Iraq
and Syria. Of these, Airwars presently estimates that a minimum
of 6,238 to 9,582 civilians are likely to have died in Coalition
actions. However, some caution is needed given the significant
challenges of casualty verification at present.
Workers' Weekly is a publication of the Revolutionary
Communist Party of Britain
Call for Emergency Anti-War Actions Across U.S.
Picket outside White House, April 7, 2017.
For the third time in 15 years, the United States
government has started a criminal war of aggression against a
country and the peoples of the Middle East. Each imperial war is
conducted under the pretext of a noble cause. The destruction of
Iraq and Libya were conducted on the basis of false, lying
propaganda. The illegal aggression against Syria likewise borrows
from the George W. Bush playbook by insisting that this is all
about chemical weapons.
Just as George W. Bush raced to go to war in Iraq in
2003 to prevent weapons inspectors from verifying that Iraq did
not possess weapons of mass destruction, Trump and the Pentagon
raced to bomb Damascus before independent investigators could
assess the facts about the alleged chemical attack. Just
yesterday, Secretary of Defense Mattis said the United States has
"no evidence" regarding the alleged chemical weapons attack.
As cruise missiles and bombs crashed into the Syrian
of Damascus under the order of U.S. Commander in Chief Donald
Trump, his critics in Congress and the corporate-owned media
became his supporters. The great brotherhood of imperialism
overcame domestic squabbles. Trump appears "presidential" once
We, the people of the United States, reject the notion
endless war, imperialism and militarism. We condemn Donald Trump
and his rubber-stamp congress (including both parties) for
conducting a criminal assault against the people of Syria.
us in the streets as we demonstrate in cities
the United States on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15.
Canada, U.S., UK, France: Hands Off Syria!
Saturday, April 14 -- 4:00 pm
U.S. Embassy, Sussex Drive at the corner of York St.
Nowar-Paix, Solidarity Ottawa, Syrian Arab Association of Ottawa,
and the Ottawa Peace Council
Oppose the U.S.-led Military Attack on Syria!
No to U.S.-led Wars of Terror!
Anti-War picket every Saturday -- 11:00 am -
Corner of Tecumseh and Ouellette
Windsor Peace Coalition: firstname.lastname@example.org
No to US, France and Great-Britain Aggression Against Syria!
Sunday, April 15 -- 3:00 pm
Norman Bethune Square, Guy-Concordia Metro Station
Syrian House in Canada, Coalition of Syrian-Montrealers
Hands Off Syria!
Sunday, April 15 -- 12:00 noon
Vancouver Art Gallery
Organized by Stop
the War --Vancouver Coalition for Peace and Justice
Arrest of High Level Member of People's
Revolutionary Force in Colombia
Darkest U.S. Reaction Acts with Impunity
Celebrations in Bogota marking the founding congress of the People's
Alternative Revolutionary Force, September 1, 2017.
imperialism increasingly acts to destroy what it cannot control. With
the prospects for a stable peace in Colombia at a critical point and
concerns mounting over the failure of the Colombian government to
implement commitments it agreed to in the Peace Agreement it signed to
end the war with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP),
the dirty hand of U.S. imperialism is seen intervening to try to derail
In a direct blow to the peace process, a member of the
National Political Council of the new political party formed as
an outcome of the peace accords, the People's Alternative
Revolutionary Force (FARC) was arrested in Bogota on April 9 on
the order of Colombia's Prosecutor General. The arrest and
detention came in response to an Interpol warrant and request by
the U.S. government that the FARC leader in question, Jesús
Santrich, be extradited to stand trial in a U.S. court based on a
New York Grand Jury indictment for allegedly conspiring to export
cocaine to the United States.
In the Prosecutor General's haste to accede to the U.S.
request for a high level FARC member's extradition, he reportedly did
not even bother to consult with the Colombian president, much less the
president of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the alternative
justice system tied to the Peace Agreement, which is the first
jurisdiction that is supposed to review any allegations against former
FARC-EP guerrilla fighters.
Santrich was a member of FARC-EP's peace negotiating
one of the signatories to the Final Peace Agreement signed in
November 2016. He is also one of ten members of the new political
party who as of July 20 will occupy a seat in the National
Congress as provided for in the section of the agreement dealing
with political participation.
Reporting of the arrest by the monopoly-owned media has
done in a sensational manner, using bits and pieces of what is
called "evidence" that was leaked to them to carry out a media
lynching -- not just of the person arrested but of the entire
leadership of the new political party and the peace process
The Peace Agreement has long been the target of the most
reactionary, warmongering sections of the Colombian oligarchy
that were behind the dirty "No" campaign of lies and
disinformation used to manipulate voters into rejecting it in the
October 2016 national plebiscite.
Candidates of these reactionary forces in next month's
presidential election are campaigning on a platform of further
mutilating the Peace Agreement. They have already forced changes
to it using Congress and other organs of State power, notably the
Office of the Prosecutor General who has made it his mission to
weaken and limit the scope of the Special Jurisdiction of Peace.
The arrest, extradition request and leaking of
allegedly obtained by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement
came just days before the opening of the Summit of the Americas
in Lima, Peru and Donald Trump's first official visit to
Colombia. A last minute change in plans resulted in Trump
deciding to remain in the U.S. so he could give priority to
destroying the possibility of peace in Syria instead.
The arrest also came as pressure was mounting on the
Colombian government and President Juan Manuel Santos in
particular, who has barely three months left in office, to put in
place the long overdue resources and guarantees required for FARC
members' security and reincorporation into civilian life.
Santrich's arrest came when Norway, as one of the two
guarantor countries of the Peace Agreement along with Cuba, had
sent its Prime Minister Erna Solberg to Colombia. She was
visiting the Territorial Spaces for Training and Reincorporation
around the country, where FARC members currently reside under
difficult conditions, to evaluate the progress in implementation
of the terms of the Peace Agreement. The day before, an important
conference had concluded, where the Norwegian Prime Minister as
well as representatives of Cuba, the UN and the Colombian
government heard reports from FARC members about the problems
they are experiencing as a result of the government's
non-fulfilment of many of its commitments to them.
It is important to condemn this latest act of perfidy
by U.S. imperialism against the Colombian people's efforts to find a
political solution to end over 50 years of armed conflict in their
country -- a conflict instigated and maintained by the U.S.
It is also important to call on the Colombian
government to live up to
commitments it made to the FARC, the war's victims and the
Colombian people in the Peace Agreement it signed that was
ratified in its Congress and by the country's Constitutional
Court. It must fully implement everything it committed to without
further delay or concessions to pro-war sectors inside and
outside the country attempting to obstruct the agreement's
implementation and smash the prospects for peace that it will
Canadians stand with the people of Colombia in their
ongoing fight for peace with social justice. Even under difficult
conditions, when U.S.-orchestrated media lynchings and judicial
frame-ups have become the order of the day to attack the people's
forces and their projects, the organized Colombian people will foil the
attempts by pro-war forces to smash their growing unity and divide the
public opinion that has been created for the building of a lasting
peace with social justice and a new Colombia.
1. Since the signing of the Peace Agreement between the
Government of Colombia and the FARC in November 2016, over 50 members
of FARC or their relatives and some 200 other social and political
activists have been assassinated. Six hundred FARC members and several
hundred other political prisoners who were supposed to be released more
than a year ago under the Amnesty Law remain imprisoned. FARC members
report that land and other resources promised to former guerrilla
fighters and communities affected by the war to set up agricultural and
other productive projects so they can become economically
self-sufficient have not been provided; few serious training programs
are being delivered as promised; there is a lack of adequate housing,
basic sanitation and health services as well as food supplies in areas
leased on a temporary basis for FARC members to stay with their
families to receive training and develop projects that will allow for
them to sustain themselves financially; security guarantees are lacking
even as FARC members, who have long since turned over all their
weapons, are killed with impunity by known or suspected paramilitary
groups while state officials deny the existence of a systematic
campaign against their lives and those of other social leaders and take
no action to stop it.
Communiqué on Arrest of Jesús Santrich
1. With the arrest of our comrade Jesús
peace process is at its most critical point and threatens to
become a true failure. We must now add to the clear breaches by
the State a new situation, one that we had considered as a
possibility ever since Congress, because of the perverse actions
of the Prosecutor General, started to dismantle the Special
Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
2. Santrich's detention is part of
a plan orchestrated by the
Government of the United States and supported by the Colombian
Prosecutor's Office, whose latest declarations were arranged
during the recent visit to the USA of the director of this
accusing body. This plan threatens to extend to all the former
command structure of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP), with the aim of decapitating
the political leadership of the People's Alternative
Revolutionary Force and burying the Colombian people's desire for
peace. While this is a humiliating subordination of the Colombian
justice system, it is also clear that we are facing another hoax
of the corrupt U.S. justice system, just like the trials against
Simón Trinidad. They intend to extradite and try Santrich for an
alleged attempt to commit a drug-related crime.
3. Faced with the evidence that the transnational
cocaine business, because of its very nature, could not disappear
with the Peace Agreement, since the FARC-EP was not the cause of
it, and that it has not only continued but acquired renewed
impetus, it was necessary to find a pretext that justified the
new version of the failed "war on drugs." This was none other
than our alleged continuation of criminal activities, so as to
further impede our right to political participation, including
representation in Congress.
4. This sends a terrible message of non-compliance to
ex-guerrilla fighters who are now in the Territorial Areas for
Training and Reincorporation, with whom we had a successful
meeting this past weekend, during which the unwavering will to
build peace was reaffirmed in spite of so much adversity. We
invite all of them to remain calm, not to respond to the
provocation and not allow the honour and dignity of the FARC to
be further sullied. It is indisputable that the governments of
the U.S. and Colombia are trying to force the collapse of the
peace process to justify the continuation of violence.
5. In this difficult moment in which a summary media
conviction is being carried out by the majority of the political
leadership and the Presidency of the Republic itself, we call for
the solidarity of all sectors of Colombian society that have
supported the agreements not to cease in the effort to prevent
the peace process from being taken to the abyss. We urge the
Presidency of the JEP to exercise its autonomy to carry out the
procedures indicated in transitory Article 19 of Legislative
Act 01 of 2017, and the President of the Republic to comply
with the agreement and his pledge, which he recently reaffirmed;
we request an emergency meeting.
6. To the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, to the
Mission of the United Nations, to the European Union and in
general to the entire international community, we ask for their
accompaniment and contributions to ensure that the procedures of
the JEP are being applied with rigour; we also request an urgent
7. To Jesús Santrich, we send all our
solidarity. We know he
has a will of steel. We express our support for the hunger strike
he initiated and his call to be accompanied by the prisoners of
war who are still in the prisons of the regime. Santrich cannot
be the trophy to be delivered to Trump during his visit to
We Have Fulfilled Our Commitments and
We Will Continue to Do So!
Freedom for Jesús Santrich Now! We Are All Santrich!
Fighting for Democracy in Brazil
The Democratic Route Closes
One of many actions accross Brazil condemning criminalization of former
Inácio de Silva, April 6, 2018.
The decision of the Federal Supreme Court rejecting the
writ of habeas
corpus presented by the lawyers for former President Luis
Inácio Lula da Silva shuts him out of the
presidential race and ends with him being thrown into jail, as Judge
Sergio Mora ordered yesterday [April 5].
What in the past required intervention by armed forces
today being carried out by new actors, suitably indoctrinated and
trained by various agencies of the United States government with
their "best practices" programs.
They select judges, prosecutors, legislators and
and offer them specialized courses on the subject of their
interests. One such judge is Sergio Moro, who without any trial
condemned Lula to nine years and six months in prison, having
learned well the lessons he received in the country up north.
This Brazilian is perhaps the most famous of the many
American judges and prosecutors who have participated in these
"best practices" courses. In his case, he attended the program of
instruction for lawyers offered by the Harvard Law School and a
workshop on money laundering organized by the U.S. State
Department, although there are four U.S. states -- Delaware,
Nevada, Wyoming and South Dakota -- where money is laundered
openly and shamelessly. Moro has learned that it is "best
practice" to condemn a defendant, even if there is no evidence of
The same thing happened when the gang of villains and
who seized the Brazilian Congress and, without any evidence,
condemned Dilma Rousseff for corruption and then impeached her in
a scandalous process that plunged the legislators of that country
into the most foul-smelling sewer in international politics.
But judges and prosecutors are not enough to concretize
plans of the empire. Journalists are also needed to learn and
apply the evil arts of systematic lying, misinformation, the
rigged fabrication of consensus, to arrange and manipulate public
opinion with colourful "post-truths" and to protect the rulers
and their political friends and lynch the undesirables through
It is no coincidence that the opinions expressed by the
oligarchies are commonly taken as "evidence" by those judges or
prosecutors whose brains were neatly washed in the United States.
There is a reason why the ex-president of Ecuador Rafael Correa
indicated that the main obstacle that interfered with all his
government plans was the mass media, controlled at will by the
financial oligarchy and its allies.
In the case of Argentina, the defence of rulers and
political friends is impressive. For example, the issue of the
Panama Papers has completely disappeared, as has the Iron
Mountain arson, where ten firefighters lost their lives and
documents and testimonies of great importance went up in
In Brazil, the main actor in the condemnation of Lula
dismissal of Dilma was O Globo Network which, like almost all its
cohorts throughout Latin America, has violated the rules of a
most noble profession. Instead of journalism, what we have, with
some honourable exceptions, are propaganda machines, interested
only in promoting certain economic and political interests and
covering up the crimes of their allies.
But corrupt judges and journalists are not enough: it
necessary to have unscrupulous legislators ready to do whatever
"if the price is right." These social strata have been trained
for decades by the government of the United States in what is the
functional substitute for the ominous School of the Americas.
Imperialism has incorporated into its mechanisms of
domination the so-called soft coup, which in fact is a strategy
for the removal of progressive governments -- including those
that are only somewhat resistant to the White House's orders --
which soon provokes a real blood bath.
For those who doubt this, look at what happened in
or what has been happening in Paraguay or in Brazil, where Rio de
Janeiro is completely militarized, with victims like Marielle
Franco -- a scandalous crime that could not be covered up, as was
tried a week later with the murder of Paulo Henrique Dourado,
councillor of the overcrowded Rio neighbourhood of Baixada
Picket in Montreal, April 14, 2018, demands justice for Rio de Janeiro
councillor Marielle Franco
on the one month anniversary of her assassination.
By trampling constitutional precepts, the Superior
Court delegitimizes democracy and throws Brazil into the arms of
violence. It shows that from now on our peoples will have to
devise other strategies for the conquest of power, because the
route of democracy seems to end fatally in reactionary revenge
with the blessing of the empire. There are not many willing to
tolerate this result.
Stern Opposition to U.S. Provocations at
Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru
Bombs in Syria and Provocations in Peru:
The United States
The bombing ordered by the United States against Syria
the provocations of the OAS in Lima targeting the VIII Summit of
the Americas, remotely controlled by Washington, confirm that the
current Republican administration does not have the slightest
interest in diplomacy.
As the bombs began to fall on the other side of the
the Secretary General of the Organization of American States
(OAS) delivered a cynical speech in Lima about the "disease of
corruption," without naming specific countries, but notably
intended for progressive governments of the region.
The Cuban delegation in attendance at the opening
left the room before the start of Almagro's speech.
"We were paying attention and listening very seriously
speech of the president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra," Cuba's Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra, told reporters. "But
when it was announced that the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis
Almagro, was about to take the floor, we decided to leave the
The Deputy Minister explained that on Thursday [April
Almagro spoke "very offensively about Cuba and its authorities,"
which "the Cuban delegation is under no obligation to put up
Almagro met Thursday with mercenary groups present in
including the misnamed Latin American Youth Network for Democracy
(Redlac), and used that space to ask the countries in the area to
increase the "pressure" against Cuba and Venezuela.
"Almagro and the discredited OAS have no moral or any
authority to pass judgment on countries in the region or Cuba,"
The Cuban diplomat specified that the walkout only
the opening ceremony and does not relate to the rest of the
proceedings of the Summit.
At noon on Friday, Foreign Minister Bruno
arrived in Lima to head the Cuban delegation to the event. The
delegation is composed of Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign
Trade and Foreign Investment, and deputy ministers of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ana Teresita González and Rogelio
Sierra, as well as the Ambassador of Cuba in Peru, Sergio
The VIII Summit of the Americas is the least attended
the meetings began in Miami in 1994. Only about twenty Heads of
State and Government are at the event.
One of the most notable absences is that of President
Trump, whose country founded the hemispheric mechanism as a way
to promote free trade in the Americas. Vice President Mike Pence
took his place, but was forced to change his schedule in
Peruvian media reported that Pence retired to his hotel
did not attend the inauguration of the Summit in view of Trump's
announcement on Twitter that he was about to attack Syria.
The plenary of the VIII Summit of the Americas, where
representatives are to intervene, is planned for [Saturday, April
14]. Given recent events, sticking to the script of a meeting
supposedly dedicated to the fight against corruption has little
1. The Summit of the Americas
brings together the heads of state of the member nations of the
Organization of American States (OAS). While Cuba is not an OAS member,
having been expelled due to U.S. pressure, it sent representatives to
the Seventh Summit in Panama in 2015, and now this year's Summit in
Lima. Cuba has nonetheless made it clear it will never seek membership
in the OAS again.
Resistance Movement in the United States
No Troops on the Border! Fight for the
Fraternal Unity of the
President Trump has ordered the Pentagon and Department
Homeland Security to draw up plans to send National Guards and
"any military personnel" required to "secure the southern
border." The plan is to be submitted within thirty days (May 4)
and as Trump put it, his administration "has no choice but to
The plan for troops is taking place at the same time as
numerous other police measures are being put in place. These
include government demands for five years of social media records
for people, including students, applying for visas; increased
raids and detentions against workers and activists; adding a
citizenship question to the census; numerous illegal searches and
arrests by Border Patrol, such as on Greyhound buses; forcing
immigration judges to meet quotas to qualify for a "satisfactory"
performance rating; and a federal lawsuit against California
opposing her sanctuary laws. All are indications that the rulers
have in place a government of police powers, where rule of law
has been eliminated and violence and impunity to use force and
impose arbitrary actions are imposed.
The plans for troops and further militarization of the
are also taking place at a time when Trump has made changes to
his cabinet and advisors. John Bolton, a notorious warmonger, has
been given the position as National Security Advisor, which requires
no Senate approval. Mike Pompeo, of the CIA, has been nominated
for Secretary of State, which does require Senate approval. He
too has promoted war against Iran and the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Why then the move toward Mexico?
One of the problems the
presidency contends with and needs to solve, as part of
preserving the Union, is uniting the massive military
bureaucracy. So far Trump has not succeeded on this front, a
problem that contributes to heightened conflicts among the
rulers. This is evident in the open conflicts expressed among the
various military forces as to how to proceed internationally. And
it is evident in the need for the police measures against the people
outlined above. Bolton, a civilian, is evidently considered
someone to unite the bureaucracy. But it appears instead he will
be one more block to such unity.
Generally the military now considers China and Russia
greatest threats, as stated in the Pentagon's Defense Strategy
and by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. But
it is also the case that the military is not at all agreed on
launching more wars now if they involve China or Russia.
Attacking the DPRK or Iran would do just that. So while
previously Paul Wolfowitz, a senior Bush advisor, made clear that
the war against Iraq was done not to eliminate weapons of mass
destruction but to unite the military bureaucracy, today plans
for more wars are dividing the bureaucracy.
Trump then, has now turned to targeting Mexico and
threatening war there. The U.S. has long considered Mexico and
all of the Americas as belonging to the U.S. Considerable efforts
have been made to fully integrate Mexico and Canada under U.S.
command, including their military forces. Current negotiations
over the North American Free Trade Agreement are part of
furthering this integration. Clearly, any battle against Mexico
is also one the U.S. thinks it can win.
It should be remembered though that for the U.S., there
relationship between war with Mexico and civil war in the U.S.
The imperialist war against Mexico, 1846-48, occurred at a
time that civil war was brewing in the U.S. The seizing of
Mexican territory, including what are now Texas and California,
were also related to preserving the institution of slavery. Texas
became a slave state, California did not. It is also the case
that war with Mexico did not prevent civil war in the U.S. in
The issue is that there is an interrelationship between
war and imperialist war. The U.S. perhaps thinks that targeting
Mexico is a means to unite the military bureaucracy and prevent
civil war at home. But if history is any indicator, that is not
the case. Present conditions are showing that the intensifying
conflicts among the rulers are getting closer to the outbreak of
open violence. And they show that the people of Mexico, like those in
U.S. are also rejecting the old and demanding change. The
presidential elections now underway in Mexico are no doubt
another source of fear for the rulers as their candidate is
failing. Troops at the border are a means to secure U.S.
interests and repress resistance both sides of the border if
manipulation of the Mexican elections in July fails.
The way out of the situation is not more war. It is by
forging a new direction of political empowerment of the people.
What is needed is an Anti-War Government that brings All U.S.
Troops Home Now and establishes fraternal relations with the
peoples, including uniting the workers of Mexico, Canada and the
U.S. What is needed is a political process that ensures such a
government can be achieved.
The rulers clearly have no solutions and indeed daily
themselves to be unfit to rule. Supporting the growing resistance
by defending the rights of all abroad and at home is needed. Now
is the time to organize for political empowerment of the people,
for Anti-War governments that outlaw aggressive wars and fight
for the fraternal unity of the peoples.
Voice of Revolution is
a publication of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization.
Government to Demand
Social Media Information for Visas
On March 30 the State Department announced plans to
include extra questions about social-media use on visa
applications. It wants applicants for both immigrant and
non-immigrant visas to submit their social-media handles from the
previous five years, according to notices filed by the agency in
the Federal Register. Along with the handles, the State
Department is also asking for a five-year history of email
addresses, telephone numbers, and international trips. The
changes still have to be approved by the Office of Management and
Budget after a 60-day public comment period, but there is little
doubt they will be enforced.
The U.S. has already been requesting social-media
from people the government suspected to represent a "national
security threat." That policy targeted about 65,000 people. The
new measures would cover nearly 15 million people. There is no
information as to what criteria will be used to deny a visa based
on social media content. As with similar measures, such as the
travel ban blocking people from countries like Syria and Yemen,
where the U.S. is at war, and other countries with large numbers
of Muslims, the decisions will be arbitrary.
President Trump and his cabinet have been using
orders and changes to regulations as a means to criminalize
immigrants and non-immigrants, like students and workers seeking
visas. The actions do not require legislation by Congress and can
simply be imposed. The purpose is both to criminalize those
applying for visas while also reducing the number of visas
issued. It also serves to make it normal for the government to
utilize social media as a weapon against any it considers a
"threat." The measures are reflective of the current government
of police powers, where arbitrary actions and the impunity to
enforce them serve to eliminate rule of law.
70th Anniversary of Jeju Massacre
Remembering the April 3 Jeju Uprising
On April 7, organizations seeking justice for the April
Jeju Uprising and Massacre in 1948 held a press conference in
front of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. The Association for the
Bereaved Families of the April 3 Victims, the Memorial Committee
for the 70th Anniversary of the Jeju April 3 Uprising and
Massacre, and the Pan-National Committee for the 70th Anniversary
of Jeju April 3 organized the joint press conference to call on
the U.S. to issue an official apology for the role of the U.S.
Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) in the state
repression and genocide that occurred over a seven-year period
from 1947 to 1954. Two hundred people including the families of
Jeju residents, and peace activists also demanded a full
investigation of the U.S. military to uncover the truth on U.S.
involvement in the massacre.
They attempted to deliver a letter containing their
to the U.S. Embassy but were turned away by the police guarding
the building. They subsequently staged a sit-down protest in
front of the building to demand the U.S. accept their letter.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of
April 3 Jeju Uprising and Massacre. In April 1948, guerrilla
fighters in the southern island of Jeju waged an armed struggle
against the U.S.-backed Korean police and right-wing paramilitary
groups. More than 30,000 Jeju residents -- 10 per cent of the island's
population at the time -- died at the hands of government forces
and right-wing paramilitary groups. At the time, the U.S.
military occupied the southern half of the Korean Peninsula and
controlled all police, military and government forces in the
Banner reads: "Petition to demand U.S. and UN take responsibility for
Seventy years later, the families of the fallen
people of Jeju, and activists for peace are still seeking justice
and demanding the U.S. acknowledge, apologize and take
The root of the April 3 Jeju Uprising can be traced back
Korea's liberation from Japanese colonialism. After decades of
struggle and resistance, the Korean people liberated themselves
from Japanese colonial rule in August of 1945 -- only to be
occupied again by foreign forces. The United States took control
of the southern half. Set on permanently dividing the Korean
Peninsula, it decided to hold a separate election in the southern
half to install its own puppet, Syngman Rhee, as president.
In the name of "democracy," the U.S. decided to install
puppet dictator through whom it could grow its influence in the
region. Not all people, however, approved of the U.S.
intervention. Those who opposed protested, carrying on the spirit
of the liberation movement against colonial Japan. They
challenged the U.S. plan to force the separate election in May
March 1, 1947
On the anniversary of the March 1 Movement to resist
Japanese colonialism, residents of Jeju Island mobilized a rally
to denounce the U.S.-planned election. In an attempt to control
the dissidence, the police force fired indiscriminately into the
crowd and killed six civilians, including a young child, a mother
and her baby.
In response to the violence enacted by the U.S.
military-controlled government, the Jeju Chapter of the South
Korea Labor Party (SKLP) staged armed protests, burning down
polling centers and attacking police stations. Jeju residents
also staged general strikes targeting both private and
state-owned companies. Over the next year, the U.S. military
ordered the arrests of over 2,500 Jeju residents suspected of
U.S. Anti-Communism and Right-Wing Extremism
The U.S. justified the suppression of dissidents in
framing it as a part of the "battle between democracy and
communism." It also enlisted the help of a violent, right-wing
Korean paramilitary group called the Northwest Youth League. U.S.
military advisers provided training and logistical support for
the suppression of rebellions.
In late 1947, at the advice of American
corps, anyone identified as leftist or sympathizing with
communism was targeted as "terrorist" by the governor of Jeju
Island and the Northwest Youth League. One unnamed former U.S.
military adviser was quoted as saying, "My duty was to suppress
the rebellion and wipe out the communists. We conducted several
mop-up operations across Jeju Island."
April 3, 1948 and Beyond
The struggle of Jeju residents culminated in a mass
on April 3, 1948. Guerrilla fighters of SKLP led the uprising
against the police and right-wing paramilitary forces. They
attacked police stations and burned down polling centres to
prevent the election and denounce the U.S.-controlled government
of Syngman Rhee. The SKLP Women's League led residents into the
mountains to keep them from being physically threatened by
government forces to vote in the election.
In the early hours of April 3, three hundred and fifty
fighters attacked 12 out of the 24 police stations
on Jeju Island. In the weeks leading up to the May 10 election,
the guerrillas dismantled election offices and disrupted all
communication about the election by cutting telephone lines and
blocking access to roads and bridges. Due to their resilient
efforts, the election result in Jeju was rendered null and void.
Months later in July of 1948, however, Syngman Rhee was installed
as the president of south Korea.
In response to the guerrilla opposition, the U.S.
declared Jeju as a "red island" and ordered all residents
identified as associated with communists to be hunted down. This
order was referred to as "the red hunt." The struggle against the
so-called red hunt was not a one-day ordeal. It lasted seven
years, during which the police and right-wing paramilitary forces
claimed tens of thousands of lives.
On November 17, just four months after taking office,
declared martial law on Jeju Island. He then ordered the south
Korean military to enact its "scorched earth" strategy against
the guerrilla fighters still resisting the authority of the
newly-formed south Korean government. The Rhee government
deployed the martial law army and made a proclamation to the Jeju
residents that anyone caught within the Chungsangan area would be
identified as a "rioter" and killed immediately. In a five-month
period, 95 per cent of the Chungsangan village was burned down, and the
villagers who were able to survive and escape were forced to take
refuge in the mountains.
The U.S. used anti-communist propaganda to justify its
repression and genocide on Jeju Island. Its media conjured up
baseless stories about Soviet influence behind the Korean
uprising against U.S. military presence. In January 1949, the New York Times
published an article claiming that Soviet
submarines were near Jeju Island to give aid to the so-called
leftist rebellion. On April 9, 1949, U.S. Ambassador to south
Korea John Muccio claimed Soviets infiltrated Jeju to wage
"terrorist attacks." There was no conclusive evidence, however,
to back up such claims.
Breaking Fifty Years of Silence
For decades, the historical record of the Jeju Uprising
Massacre was buried deep along with stories of the thousands of
people killed at the hands of the U.S.-backed right-wing south
Korean police. It was more than 50 years later when south
Korea passed a special law to mandate the government to
investigate the truth behind April 3. In 2003, former President
Roh Moo-hyun issued an official apology to the people of Jeju:
"Due to wrongful decisions of the government, many innocent
people of Jeju suffered many casualties and destruction of their
The apology, however, has yet to be followed up with
substantive action that meets the demands of the families and
supporters of the fallen victims. Organizations like the
Association for the Bereaved Families of the April 3 Victims, the
Pan-National Committee for the 70th Anniversary of Jeju April 3
Uprising and Massacre, and the Jeju Council have been at the
forefront demanding justice and proper reparations from the
parties responsible for the massacre. In October 2017, they
launched a petition campaign to gather 100,000 signatures to call
on the U.S. to take responsibility for its role in the violent
military repression against the people of Jeju.
According to Hankyoreh, the Pan-Korean
the 70th Anniversary of the Jeju April 3 Uprising and Massacre
presented ten demands:
1. A government investigation to uncover the truth
uprising and subsequent U.S.-backed crackdown;
2. Institutionalization of reparations for victims,
families and communities;
3. Passage of a law to uncover the truth behind people
imprisoned through illegal trials and restore their honour;
4. Preservation and maintenance of historical sites;
5. Creation of a permanent system for collecting
victims and surviving families;
6. Excavation of the remains of the missing;
7. Creation of an institution to help survivors and
families to heal from trauma related to the massacre;
8. Passage of a law to prevent defamation and
misrepresentation of the uprising;
9. Investigation of U.S. responsibility; and
10. Officially designating an appropriate name for the
75th Anniversary of Heroic Warsaw Ghetto
Defiance and Organized Resistance Against
Nazism During the
Painting of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, by unknown artist.
During World War II, resistance against the Nazis was
organized in many ghettos across eastern Europe as the people
armed themselves with smuggled and homemade weapons and fought to
the death for freedom. Reports indicate that between 1941 and
1943, underground resistance movements were formed by about 100
Jewish groups, with the most famous attempt by Jews to resist the
Nazis in armed fighting being the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This
uprising took place from April 19 to May 16, 1943, when residents
of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw in Nazi-occupied Poland staged an
armed revolt against deportations to extermination camps.
A commemorative memorial dedicated after the war which stands upon the
remains of the bunker at 18 Mila Street in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The Nazis established ghettos in cities throughout
Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. The Warsaw ghetto was the largest
in Poland, established shortly after the Germans invaded in
September 1939. More than 400,000 Jews in Warsaw, the capital of
Poland, were confined to an area of the city that was little more
than 2.5 square kilometres. In November 1940, this ghetto was
enclosed by a wall that was more than three metres high, topped
with barbed wire, and closely guarded to prevent movement between
the ghetto and the rest of Warsaw. The Nazis controlled the
amount of food that was brought into the ghetto, and disease and
starvation killed thousands each month.
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, more than 250,000
from the Warsaw ghetto alone were deported or killed.
In July 1942, Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi
corps known as the Schutzstaffel (SS), ordered that Jews be
"resettled" to extermination camps. The Jews were told they were
being transported to work camps; however, word soon reached the
ghetto that deportation to the camps meant death. Two months
later, some 265,000 Jews had been deported from the Warsaw ghetto
to the Treblinka extermination camp, while more than 20,000
others were sent to a forced-labour camp or killed during the
An estimated 55,000 to 60,000 Jews remained in the
ghetto. When reports of mass murder in the Treblinka killing
centre leaked back to them, a surviving group of mostly young
people formed an organization known in Polish as the Zydowska
Organizacja Bojowa (ZOB), which means Jewish Fighting
Organization. The ZOB issued a proclamation calling for the
Jewish people to resist going to the railroad cars. On January
18, 1943, when the Nazis entered the ghetto to prepare a group
for transfer to a camp, with a small number of weapons smuggled
in by the anti-Nazi Polish Resistance, a ZOB unit ambushed them.
After a few days, the troops retreated and the Nazis suspended
deportations from the Warsaw ghetto for the next few months. This
small victory inspired the ghetto fighters to prepare for future
resistance. The ZOB expanded to incorporate members of
underground political organizations. The Polish resistance forces
provided training, armaments and explosives. Mordecai Anielewicz,
23 years old, was appointed commander. The fighting organization
was unified, strategies were planned, underground bunkers and
tunnels were built, and roof-top passages were constructed. The
Jews of the Warsaw ghetto prepared to fight to the death.
On April 19, 1943, Himmler sent in SS forces under the
command of SS General Juergen Stroop to continue the
deportations. The ghetto population, however, did not report for
deportations. Instead, the ghetto fighting organizations had
barricaded themselves inside buildings and bunkers, ready to
resist the Germans while the rest of the population, targeted
deportees, refused to present themselves for deportation. Seven hundred
and fifty fighters, far
outnumbered in terms of manpower and weapons, fought the heavily
armed and well-trained Nazis. After three days, German forces
began burning the ghetto, building by building, to force Jews out
of hiding. Resistance continued as the Germans, with
their collaborators, tanks and heavy artillery, reduced the
ghetto to rubble, block by block, destroying the bunkers where
many residents had hidden. Not until May 16 was the revolt
crushed and the ghetto brought firmly under Nazi control. On that
day, as an ultimate act of revenge, the Germans blew up Warsaw's
The Great Synagogue
on Tłomackie Street in Warsaw, built between 1872 and
was destroyed by the Nazis on May 16, 1943.
General Stroop reported after the destruction of the
that 56,065 Jews had been captured; of those, 7,000 were deported to
the Treblinka killing centre, and the remainder sent to
forced-labour camps and the Majdanek camp. It is believed that
the Germans lost several hundred men in the uprising. Some of the
resistance fighters succeed in escaping from the ghetto and
joined partisan groups in the forests around Warsaw.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising inspired revolts in
camps and ghettos throughout Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. On
August 2, 1943, some 1,000 Jewish prisoners at Treblinka seized
weapons from the camp's armoury and staged a revolt. Even though
many were recaptured and executed, several hundred inmates
Group portrait of members of the Kalinin Detachment (part of Tuvia
Jewish partisan group) on guard duty at an
airstrip in the Naliboki forest in Poland.
Yitzhak Zuckerman, one of the leaders of the uprising
in the Warsaw Ghetto,
said of its significance, "I don't think there's any real need to
analyze the Uprising in military terms. This was a war of less
than a thousand people against a mighty army and no one doubted
how it was likely to turn out. This isn't a subject for study in
a military school. Not the weapons, not the operations, not the
tactics. If there's a school to study the human spirit, there it
should be a major subject. The really important things were
inherent in the force shown by Jewish youth, after years of
degradation, to rise up against their destroyers, and determine
what death they would choose: Treblinka or Uprising. I don't know
if there's a standard to measure that."
1. Barbara Harshav, ed., trans., A
Surplus of Memory: Chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,
(Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: University of California Press,
1993), p. xiii.
Zog Nit Keynmol, Yiddish Song of
the Jewish Partisan Movement
Jewish Partisan unit near Krasnik, Poland, circa 1943.
Hirsh Glick, a young poet and partisan, inmate of the
Vilnius Ghetto, composed this song in 1943, inspired by news of
the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It was written to the music of "Those
Aren't Clouds but Thunderclouds"
by Soviet composers
Dmitri and Daniel Pokrass. It became an iconic song of the
To view a video of the song sung by Paul Robeson
at the 1949 Moscow Concert (live) in Yiddish and historical pictures of
the burning of the Ghetto by the Germans, click here.
Zog Nit Keynmol
Though leaden skies obscure blue days;
The hour we have been longing for will still come,
Our steps will drum -- we are here!
From green palm-land to distant land of snow,
We arrive with our pain, with our sorrow,
And where a spurt of our blood has fallen,
There will sprout our strength, our courage.
The morning sun will tinge our today with gold,
And yesterday will vanish with the enemy,
But if the sun and the dawn are delayed --
Like a watchword this song will go from generation to generation.
This song is written with blood and not with lead,
It's not a song about a bird that is free,
A people, between falling walls,
Sang this song with pistols in their hands.
So never say that you are walking the final road
Though leaden skies obscure blue days.
The hour we have been longing for will still come --
Our steps will drum -- we are here!
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