LIBYA 360°



An End to the Yazidi Tragedy Only Comes with Kurdish Freedom

Nican Tlaca Communism, Part 1: Towards a Synthesis

Gerald A. Perreira : Defending Anti-imperialist Morality Against Racism

Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism in Africa

Libya, Racism and Anti-imperialism : Discussion with Gerald A. Perreira

Empire in Crisis Uniting the Struggles to Defeat Racist State Terror, Austerity and Endless War

Claims of economic growth and a decline in imperialist interventions are false and require challenging

Author’s Comment: This paper was presented at the Left Forum held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY). The conference took place May 29-31, 2015.

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Libya 360°

Since 2007-2008, the world capitalist system has remained in grave crisis. This is the reality of the social situation despite the claims made daily by the United States corporate media.

Most periodicals and broadcast networks here in the U.S. suggest that the problems of joblessness, home foreclosures, cut backs on educational and public services (austerity) have largely been corrected. Every month the public is presented with an unemployment rate that does not take into consideration key factors in analyzing the strength of the economy.

Even though it is said that the official rate of joblessness is 5.4 percent, what is not said is that the labor participation rate within the U.S. is the lowest in forty years. This index determines the number of people eligible or desirous of being employed in the formal sector of the labor market but have been systematically excluded.

There are many ways of judging the impact of this figure. It is true that many others work in the informal sectors of the U.S. economy which involves small business transactions, employment that is not reported to the federal government and contract labor that is not necessarily recorded with the Department of Labor.

Nonetheless, the pundits who promote the notion of inevitable advancement under U.S. capitalism heavily rely on faith that the economy will eventually experience growth. Despite the virtual zero rates of growth reported by the government, these statistics are ignored or dismissed as a temporary aberration within the broader framework of expansion.

One of the leading financial analysts wrote recently that “Having come through 2015’s first quarter with virtually no growth, the U.S. economy is generally expected to pick up during the rest of this year. Indeed, as we move into a new quarter and shake off the effects of a significant West Coast dock strike and severe winter weather, forward indicators have pointed toward better growth.” (Franklin Templeton Investments, May 26)

This same report continues saying “The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM’s) purchasing managers’ index for nonmanufacturing rose to 57.8 in April, well above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction, suggesting that activity in the U.S. services sector—which accounts for the lion’s share of the American economy—has continued to march higher.”

Whether these figures represent an actual “march higher” cannot overshadow that the so-called “service sector” is where wages for workers are the lowest. It is also the sector where job security and potential for promotion and pay increases is the most remote.

Contradictorily, this projection notes that “At the same time, the ISM reading for the manufacturing sector has weakened somewhat, perhaps reflecting the adverse effects of a strong U.S. dollar, which has also cut into exports and the first-quarter corporate earnings of big American multinationals. Meanwhile, global growth has continued to disappoint, U.S. inflation has remained well below the Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) medium-term target, and US productivity growth has stagnated, leaving the country’s growth potential in question.”

Looking at the situation from the perspective of political activism we have seen an upsurge in demonstrations and other legislative initiatives carried out by service sector workers aimed at raising the minimum wage up to $15 per hour. What these workers are saying who have been organized by the service industry unions is that the current national wage base of between $7-9 per hour is not nearly enough to survive in today’s cities and suburbs.

Poverty is on the increase in the U.S. and the gap between workers, especially those among the oppressed nations, and the ruling class is expanding rapidly. These hard facts are further aggravated and reflected in the crisis surrounding access to a decent standard of life and prospects for sustainability in the immediate future.

The Crises in Housing, Water and Education

In the city of Detroit the massive job losses through the restructuring of the world system after 1975 to the present has been represented by the large-scale capital flight and outright theft of social wealth by the corporations, banks and their agents in government. It is important to recount how this crisis of deindustrialization began in Detroit during the late 1950s when the population began to decline due to both changes within the employment market as well as the deliberate suburbanization of the region through policies facilitated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Since the 1950 Census, the city of Detroit has consistently lost population. A large drop occurred during the period of 2000-2010, approximately 25 percent, which was related to the continued job losses, rising utility costs and predatory lending engineered by the banks.

The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), founded in 2002, and the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, formed in 2008, has been demanding a long-term halt to all foreclosures, evictions and utility shut-offs. The imposition of such a moratorium could be done through the declaration of a “state of emergency” recognizing the failures of the capitalist market along with the federal government to create jobs and economic opportunities that would guarantee the people’s rights to employment and a minimum income.

Nonetheless, the local, county, state and federal government administrations have failed to take decisive action to protect the fundamental human rights of the majority of people who live in Detroit and throughout the U.S. The much championed recovery and revitalization of Detroit and other cities has not taken place amid weaknesses even cited by the capitalist theorists and analysts themselves.

Two other areas of concern for those who live in Detroit and other cities are the threats to public ownership and access to both water services and quality education. In the case of water, the city of Detroit gained global attention during 2014 when local organizations publicized and demonstrated against the massive water shut-offs that impacted tens of thousands of households.

Moratorium NOW! Coalition organized weekly demonstrations in the financial district downtown in Detroit during last summer. The organization also brought the plight of city residents into the federal bankruptcy hearing which were taking place in July 2014.

The Detroit Water & Sewage Dept. (DWSD) was prompted to impose a series of temporary moratoriums in the shut-offs, although Judge Steven Rhodes who proceeded over the bankruptcy claimed he had no jurisdiction to halt the terminations and impose an indefinite moratorium in the interests of the public. This decision was rendered despite the fact that documentation was presented to the courts that water bills were inaccurate in part due to the fact that untold amounts of water is wasted every months through abandoned industrial, commercial and residential properties where pipes are damaged and water has been running for months and even years.

Rhodes declaration of lack of authority to protect not only water services for working people, the aged, disabled and poor, but also the hard-earned pensions of the City of Detroit retirees who had $6.5 billion stolen in monetary and healthcare benefits through the bankruptcy. At present the water shut-offs have proceeded again representing the failure of corporate-oriented Duggan administration to fix the problem through an indefinite halt and the adoption of a sustainable program of stabilizing the water department.

The corporate solution has been geared toward paying bogus interest-rate swaps which ripped $537 million out of the system during 2012. The holders of these swaps are some of the largest banks in the world including Chase and Bank of America.

In the field of education, the onerous policies of the right-wing legislators backed by the corporations have left the system in Detroit and other districts in ruin. The promotion of charter schools and school authorities absent of any objective evaluations of successes and failures has caused tremendous damage.

Moreover, so-called tax captures from funds slated for educational improvements and public libraries are turned over to private interests through groups such as the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Downtown Development Authority which provides no plans to employ the hundreds of thousands of jobless and underemployed in the city. The building of stadia and casino hotels during the late 1990s did not prevent the city from being declared bankrupt by the emergency manager and the millionaire Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

The Pentagon Budget and Militarization of Police

MECAWI in its earliest phase raised the slogan: “Money for Our Cities Not for War!” This summed up the crisis of war abroad and the consequent class struggle waged by the rich against the workers, poor and oppressed inside the U.S.

Even under Obama when there is much rhetoric about the “drawing down” of forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, other military adventures are being intensified in Africa as well as in the Arab states. The U.S. military preoccupation with growing Chinese influence in the South Seas and the Pacific threatens another war in Asia.

In both Iraq and Syria, the destruction and dislocation of millions of people is the direct result of both U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Libya, once the most prosperous state in Africa, was destroyed by imperialism with the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and NATO at the helm. Today the refugee crisis of migration in North Africa and the Mediterranean has been described by the Italian prime minister as tantamount to the Atlantic Slave Trade which ended during the 19th century.

This militarization of Africa, the Asia-Pacific and Latin America, is mirrored inside the U.S. The rebellions in Ferguson and Baltimore illustrate clearly that the capitalist state is not only in conflict with the oppressed and working poor but are preparing for an even larger war in the not to distance future. Hence the total disregard of fundamental bourgeois democratic rights to housing, water, education and environmental integrity under the guise of fostering development and urban revitalization.

Ideological Framework and the Building of a Revolutionary Movement

What the current period shows us is that the bi-polar two-party political system is being further exposed for its incapacity to address the conditions of an ever growing poor and disenfranchised population in the U.S. The capitalist parties themselves are even having difficulties in generating candidates that can articulate the rationales for chronic decline and false notions of economic growth.

The subjective factor of revolutionary mass organization is the missing link in the current crises. Uniting these struggles for the redistribution of wealth inside the U.S. and the elimination of the Pentagon war machine requires an organization which seeks to seize state power in the interests of the majority of workers, youth and oppressed nationalities. Consequently, an ideological struggle must be waged against liberalism, social democracy as well as conservatism.

Abayomi Azikiwe has written extensively on African affairs with specific reference to historical studies and political economy. He has done research on the origins and political ideology of the African National Congress, its leaders as well as other national liberation movements and regional organizations  in Southern Africa.

The Darren Wilson Non-indictment: Resistance to Oppression is a Human Right!

Food Forests Could Bring Healthy Organic Food to Everyone for Free

By Andrew Martin

Image 5Food forests or Forest gardening have been around for a long time with many of the native cultures practicing this form of sustainable agriculture. It is a form of low-maintenance plant-based food production which replicates natural ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, running vines and perennial vegetables. Beneficial plants and companion planting is a big part of the food forest system.

Unlike much of the modern industrial agricultural system which relies heavily of inputs such as fossil fuels and artificial herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, a food forest once established is self-regulating and highly abundant in yield.

Why Food Forests?

  • Forests are home to approximately 50-90% of all the world’s terrestrial (land-living) biodiversity — including the pollinators and wild relatives of many agricultural crops.
  • Tropical forests alone are estimated to contain between 10-50 million species – over 50% of species on the planet.
  • Rainforests cover 2% of the Earth’s surface and 6% of its land mass, yet they are home to over half of the world’s plant and animal species.

It is evident that forests themselves are synonymous with life, biodiversity and fertility. Where life gathers, complex and mutually beneficial relationships are created between organisms; natural harmonious communities form, and life forms multiply and proliferate. If forests are where most of the life on the planet is, then anything less than a forest is most likely less suited to supporting life. Life supports life, yet we have forgotten that we are in fact part of the web of life itself, and depend on other life to sustain ours.


Unfortunately society has been conditioned to clear the land and create unsustainable fields which need high inputs to be maintained. Food forests are abundant and can yield significantly more than the conventional farming and mono cropping that dominates much of the industrial landscape today. As well as being high yielding food forests are high in biodiversity and life. Food forests can be developed and grown in most climate zones and because they involve vertical stacking are great for suburban and urban areas. Check out this clip to see how a couple have transformed a traditional suburban landscape into a highly productive forest garden.

The Layers Of A Food Forest

1. Canopy or Tall Tree Layer
Typically over 30 feet (~9 meters) high. This layer is for larger Forest Gardens. Timber trees, large nut trees and nitrogen-fixing trees are the typical trees in this category. There are a number of larger fruiting trees that can be used here as well depending on the species, varieties and rootstocks used.

2. Sub-Canopy/Large Shrub Layer
Typically 10-30 feet (3-9 meters) high. In most Forest Gardens, or at least those with limited space, these plants often make up the acting Canopy layer. The majority of fruit trees fall into this layer.

3. Shrub Layer
Typically up to 10 feet (3 meters) high. The majority of fruiting bushes fall into this layer. Includes many nut, flowering, medicinal and other beneficial plants as well.

4. Herbaceous Layer
Plants in this layer die back to the ground every winter… if winters are cold enough, that is. They do not produce woody stems as the Shrub layer does. Many cullinary and medicinal herbs are in this layer. A large variety of other beneficial plants fall into this layer.

5. Groundcover/Creeper Layer
There is some overlap with the Herbaceous layer and the Groundcover layer; however plants in this layer are often shade tolerant, grow much closer to the ground, grow densely to fill bare patches of soil, and often can tolerate some foot traffic.

6. Underground Layer
These are root crops. There are an amazing variety of edible roots that most people have never heard of. Many of these plants can be utilized in the Herbaceous Layer, the Vining/Climbing Layer, and the Groundcover/Creeper Layer.

7. Vertical/Climber Layer
These vining and climbing plants span multiple layers depending on how they are trained or what they climb all on their own. They are a great way to add more productivity to a small space, but be warned. Trying to pick grapes that have climbed up a 60 foot Walnut Tree can be interesting to say the least.

8. Aquatic/Wetland Layer
This is my first new layer to the Forest Garden. Some will say that a forest doesn’t grow in the water, so this layer is inappropriate for the Forest Garden. I disagree. Many forests have streams flowing through or ponds in the center. There are a whole host of plants that thrive in wetlands or at the water’s edge. There are many plants that grow only in water. To ignore this large list of plants is to leave out many useful species that provide food, fiber, medicinals, animal feed, wildlife food and habitat, compost, biomass, and maybe most important, water filtration through bioremediation (or phytoremediation). We are intentionally designing Forest Gardens which incorporate water features, and it is time we add the Aquatic/Wetland Layer to the lexicon.

9. Mycelial/Fungal Layer
This is my second new layer to the Forest Garden. Fungal networks live in healthy soils. They will live on, and even within, the roots of plants in the Forest Garden. This underground fungal network transports nutrients and moisture from one area of the forest to another depending on the needs of the plants. It is an amazing system which we are only just beginning to comprehend. As more and more research is being conducted on how mycelium help build and maintain forests, it is shocking that this layer has not yet been added to the list. In addition to the vital work this layer contributes to developing and maintaining the forest, it will even provide mushrooms from time to time that we can utilize for food and medicine. If we are more proactive, we can cultivate this layer intentionally and dramatically increase our harvest.



By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation. This icon for this design principle represents a person ‘becoming’ a tree. In observing nature it is important to take different perspectives to help understand what is going on with the various elements in the system. The proverb “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” reminds us that we place our own values on what we observe, yet in nature, there is no right or wrong, only different.


By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need. This icon for this design principle represents energy being stored in a container for use later on, while the proverb “make hay while the sun shines” reminds us that we have a limited time to catch and store energy.


Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing. The icon of this design principle, a vegetable with a bite out of it, shows us that there is an element of competition in obtaining a yield, whilst the proverb “You can’t work on an empty stomach” reminds us that we must get immediate rewards to sustain us.


We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. The icon of the whole earth is the largest scale example we have of a self regulating ‘organism’ which is subject to feedback controls. The proverb “the sins of the fathers are visited unto the children of the seventh generation” reminds us that negative feedback is often slow to emerge.


Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behaviour and dependence on non-renewable resources. The horse icon represents both a renewable service and renewable resource. It can be used to pull a cart, plough or log and it can even be eaten – a non consuming use is preferred over a consuming one. The proverb “let nature take it’s course” reminds us that control over nature through excessive resource use and high technology is not only expensive, but can have a negative effect on our environment.


By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste. The icon of the worm represents one of the most effective recyclers of organic materials, consuming plant and animal ‘waste’ into valuable plant food. The proverb “a stitch in time saves nine” reminds us that timely maintenance prevents waste, while “waste not, want not” reminds us that it’s easy to be wasteful in times of abundance, but this waste can be a cause of hardship later.


By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go. Every spider’s web is unique to its situation, yet the general pattern of radial spokes and spiral rings is universal. The proverb “can’t see the forest for the trees” reminds us that the closer we get to something, the more we are distracted from the big picture.


By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between them and they support each other. This icon represents a group of people from a bird’s-eye view, holding hands in a circle together. The space in the centre could represent “the whole being greater than the sum of the parts”. The proverb “many hands make light work” suggests that when we work together the job becomes easier.


Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.  The snail is both small and slow, it carries its home on its back and can withdraw to defend itself when threatened. The proverb “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” reminds us of the disadvantages of excessive size and growth while “slow and steady wins the race” encourages patience while reflecting on a common truth in nature and society.


Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides. The remarkable adaptation of the spinebill and hummingbird to hover and sip nectar from long, narrow flowers with their spine-like beak symbolises the specialisation of form and function in nature. The proverb “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” reminds us that diversity offers insurance against the variations of our environment.

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system. The icon of the sun coming over the horizon with a river in the foreground shows us a world composed of edges. The proverb “don’t think you are on the right track just because its a well-beaten path” reminds us that the most popular is not necessarily the best approach.
We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time. The butterfly is a positive symbol of transformative change in nature, from its previous life as a caterpillar. The proverb “vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be” reminds us that understanding change is much more than a linear projection. Permaculture design systems can be used anywhere from rural communities to high density urban environments. The beauty of permaculture is that is about being creative through observing the landscape and adapting and designing around any constraints that may exist. It is about creating a more integrated system that takes into account the natural synergies and  connections between components that produce abundance.

7 Food Forests in 7 Minutes with Geoff Lawton

Self sufficiency is the most dangerous revolutionary act

South-South Collaboration for a Post-Capitalist Paradigm

Towards a Common Ideology in the Struggle Against Imperialism

Anti-Imperialism and the “Left”

Africa and the Struggle Against Imperialism

The Field Negroes’ Agenda: Reclamation, Reparations and Repatriation

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