[Marxism] 7 highlights from 7 Oaks
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Sun Dec 31 15:15:11 MST 2006
December 31, 2006
The Year in Review: 7 Highlights from 2006
- By the Editors of SevenOaksMag.com
Here, in completely arbitrary order, are 7 of our
favourite silver linings to the past year in world politics.
7) May Day returns for real. In Bolivia, the
government of Evo Morales marked the
international workers day by nationalizing the
countrys natural gas resources. In the United
States, millions of Latino immigrants hit the
streets across the country in a show of strength
by the new civil rights movement.
6) Augusto Pinochet and Milton Friedman croak
within weeks of each other. Twin heads of the
neo-liberal monster, they left this world at the
ages of 91 and 94 respectively, proving
conclusively that only the good die young.
Friedman and his Chicago School of corporate
fundamentalism wreaked havoc on the lives of
millions over the last decades of the twentieth
century. Pinochets dictatorship in Chile
provided a testing ground for Friedmans economic
prescriptions, implemented over the blood and
bones of the thousands tortured or killed
following the Setpember 11, 1973 coup against the
democratically-elected government of Salvador
Allende. The pink tide sweeping Latin America,
and especially the strident anti-imperialism of
the Cuban-Venezuelan-Bolivian axis of good,
should keep Pinochet and Friedman spinning in their graves.
5) Six Nations resist at Caledonia. Once again,
one of the most inspiring acts of resistance
within the Canadian state this year came from
indigenous people fighting for their land and
their rights. Evoking memories of past
confrontations at Gustafen Lake and Oka and of
the police repression that took the life of
Dudley George at Ipperwash in 1995 the Six
Nations set an example with a courageous struggle
that brought solidarity from far and wide.
4) Donald Rumsfeld quits, at long last.
Vice-President Dick Cheney provided the perfect
epitaph to the career of his long-time partner in
war crimes, outgoing Secretary of State Donald
Rumsfeld. At Rummys departure ceremony, Cheney
absurdly and straight-facedly declared that
Rumsfeld was the finest Defense Secretary this
nation has ever had. Such rhetoric
notwithstanding, the ditching of Rumsfeld was a
result of the utter failure of the U.S. in its occupation of Iraq.
3) Stephen Colbert roasts George Bush. In a
once-in-a-lifetime twenty minute gig at the White
House Press Correspondents dinner, Stephen
Colbert became one of the worlds most famous
comedians and a history-making satirist.
Propelled by the new medium of YouTube and Google
Video, Colberts skewering of Bush became the roast heard round the world.
2) Michael Ignatieff goes down to ignominious
defeat. With arrogance that would have made his
czarist forbearers blush, Ignatieff returned to
Canada following a twenty-five year absence,
convinced that he would be the countrys next
Prime Minister and that we should all be grateful
for it. In the end, however, Ignatieff could not
outrun his infamous support for the Iraq war and
his various other apologetics for the U.S.
empire. Too pompous even to lead the Liberals,
Ignatieff, despite leading after the first
ballot, was bypassed by delegates for the
long-shot Stephane Dion. After watching Ignatieff
squirm for the camera, forced to pretend for half
an hour (of extreme close-up time) that he didn't
know he'd lost, we wonder if now he feels a
little more empathy for the victims of torture.
1) Malalai Joya speaks truth to power. At the
absolute other end of the spectrum of politicians
from the venal Ignatieff and Stephen Harper,
Malalai Joya stands as an absolute inspiration.
The 28 year-old elected member of Afghanistans
parliament traveled to Canada this year, speaking
at the NDP convention in Quebec and urging
delegates to condemn Canadas role in her country
in propping up a pack of warlords in power. For
her outspokenness, Joya has been threatened with
rape and death in the Afghan parliament itself,
and has survived several assassination attempts.
Her courage is an inspiration to anti-war efforts
here in Canada, not to mention to women and all
those fighting for liberation the world over.
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