Thursday, May 06, 2021

Quote of the Day

"My approach to Africa is in some ways like the Japanese approach to Asia, and my approach is not necessarily humanitarian. It is in the long range interest of access to resources and the creation of markets for American goods and services." - United Nations US Ambassador Andrew Young  in 1977 

Nothing changes.

Uganda's New Anti-Gay Laws

 Uganda's parliament passed a controversial sexual offences bill which further criminalises same-sex relationships and sex work.

They condemn same-sex couples who perform acts deemed against the “order of nature” to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Monicah Amoding, the MP who proposed the bill, said, “We are not yet ready for those [homosexual] rights. Maybe in future, as of now our society still views relationships, sex and marriage … as between a man and woman.”

 Frank Mugisha, director at Sexual Minorities Uganda said: “It is unfortunate that the parliament of Uganda is obsessed with legislating around people’s private lives. Such legislation is very hard to enforce. This will only increase the vulnerability of LGBT persons,” he said. “This is yet another law that will be used by law enforcers to harass, blackmail and arrest LGBT persons. I also do not see the need, since same-sex relations are already criminalised in our penal code.”

Uganda passes bill criminalising same-sex relationships and sex work | Global development | The Guardian

Monday, May 03, 2021

Gay in Africa


South Africa’s constitution prohibits unfair discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and guarantees equality for gay and lesbian people. Same-sex marriages are legal and transgender people can change their sex description and gender marker in the national birth register. Nevertheless, the LGBTQ community has long been subjected to hate speech, discrimination, and grotesque violence in the country.

Moreover, many South Africans still perceive LGBTQ individuals as inherently immoral and “un-African”, and thus pay little attention to the abuse they endure on a daily basis in the country. It is time for South Africa to respond decisively to this growing problem by adopting preventive measures against homophobic hate speech and hate crimes.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of South Africa has urged the parliament to pass a proposed hate crimes law. The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill 2018 aims to outlaw hate crimes and hate speech on grounds of race, gender identity and sexual orientation, among others. The bill’s ratification has been delayed due to concerns that it may inhibit freedom of speech.

In South Africa, for instance, the monthly earnings of gender nonconforming, gay or bisexual men are, on average, 30 percent lower than that of gender conforming heterosexual men. Worse still, LGBTQ people also suffer from higher rates of suicide, rape and violence.

In many African countries, colonial anti-LGBTQ laws and attitudes are still in full force, and LGBTQ individuals continue to be routinely targeted by government authorities, religious groups and those who claim to be fighting to preserve “traditional values”.

In Uganda, where LGBTQ people face widespread persecution, President Yoweri Museveni claimed that the protests against his 35-year rule were funded by “foreign homosexuals” in January.

In Cameroon, security forces have arbitrarily arrested, beaten, or threatened at least 24 people for alleged consensual same-sex conduct or gender nonconformity since February 2021.

In Ghana, church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights organisations held demonstrations against the opening of Ghana’s first LGBTQ community centre in February. Predictably the protests and condemnation led to the abrupt closure of the community centre founded by LGBT+ Rights Ghana.

The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the persecution of LGBTQ communities. The Ghana Muslim Mission, for example, attributed the COVID-19 pandemic to “homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism” in a communique it issued in March 2020.

The endless stigmatisation of homosexuals and the presentation of unfounded links between LGBTQ communities and public health or socioeconomic crises are deplorable and inhumane.

LGBTQ people, especially HIV-positive men, struggle to access adequate healthcare in, among others, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Cameroon and Uganda. This unfair and unethical restriction not only puts LGBTQ lives at risk, but also hinders the global fight against HIV.

Moreover, the continent-wide discrimination prevents most LGBTQ individuals from obtaining gainful employment, leaving them struggling to make ends meet.

Africa’s LGBTQ communities need more protection and support | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Madagascar - Nothing like the movie

Madagascar is one of Africa’s poorest countries. A lack of basic services – from health and education to employment opportunities – as well as poverty and climate change have exposed many of its 26 million people to natural disasters.

 People in southern Madagascar have been reduced to eating wild leaves and locusts to stave off starvation after consecutive drought and sandstorms ruined harvests, leaving hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The harvest was expected to be nearly 40 percent below the five-year average.

Amer Daoudi, senior director of global WFP operations, warned on Friday the lives of Malagasy children are in danger, especially those under five years old whose malnutrition rates have reached “alarming levels”.

Daoudi told a UN briefing in Geneva he had visited villages where “people have had to resort to desperate survival measures, such as eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits or wild leaves”.

“Famine looms in southern Madagascar as communities witness an almost total disappearance of food sources which has created a full-blown nutrition emergency,” Daoudi said. “I witnessed … horrific images of starving children, malnourished, and not only the children – mothers, parents and the population in villages we visited,” said Daoudi, a veteran aid worker. They are on the periphery of famine; these are images I haven’t seen for quite some time across the globe.”

Malnutrition among children under five has almost doubled to 16 percent from nine percent in the four months to March 2021 following five consecutive years of drought, exacerbated this year by sandstorms and late rains. A rate of 15 percent is deemed emergency level and some districts are reporting 27 percent – or one in four children under five – are suffering from acute malnutrition that causes wasting.

At least 1.35 million people need food assistance in the region, but the WFP is only reaching 750,000 with “half-rations” due to financial constraints, according to WFP, which seeks $75m to cover emergency needs through September.

“We need resources, yesterday; we need to turn resources into food,” Shelley Thakral, spokesperson for the WFP, told Al Jazeera. “We have seen images of skin-to-bone, protruding ribs of small children – children who, if you looked at them you’d think that they were perhaps two, three years old and not perhaps 10 years old … It’s really worrying,” Thakral said, warning that “people are on the edge”.

“They’re foraging, eating … just whatever they can find,” she added. “The situation is incredibly desperate.”

Starving Malagasy forced to eat leaves, locusts for survival | Food News | Al Jazeera

May Day's Spirit of Revolution


Everywhere the working class is confronted by hostile attacks from the ruling class. But this is the day when workers all over the world celebrate. This is the day when we show our strength. This is the day when we demonstrate our global solidarity with fellow-workers. This is the day when workers line up in one body and challenge the ruling class.

Workers of all countries have shed rivers of blood for a better life and real freedom. Those who fight for the workers’ cause are subjected by the governments to untold persecution. But in spite of repression, the solidarity of the workers of the world is growing and gaining in strength. Gone are the days when our fellow-workers slaved submissively, seeing no escape from the state of bondage, no glimmer of light. Socialism has shown the way out. There is no force on Earth that could break the strength of millions of workers united. When the workers' socialist organizations attract an ever greater part of the working class, it will become an even stronger force and will go from victory to victory, ever closer to the great goal — the emancipation of mankind from the present economic and political oppression. 

There cannot be a true socialist movement without the presence of sound political principles, completely absent today on the Left.

The control over the population the ruling class has is first of all a psychological one, built on the Orwellian-style hijacking of language which has corrupted the meaning of socialism or communism or anarchism.

On May Day we have to reflect on mental chains around our minds that enslave us and makes us accept the capitalist system's brutality, pillaging and theft.

The ruling class is incapable of dealing with our unalienable rights to live in social peace and harmony via self-governance without classes and we should celebrate together with fellow-workers all over the world.

May Day is the day of awaking against small or big, local or global ruling elites, not matter where the class war battle front-lines are located, in your neighborhood, at school or college, at work, the office or the store.

Let May Day be a day of conscientious objection, resistance, and rejection of a mental and physical wage-slavery and acquiescence to the exploitation we endure under capitalism.
Let May Day be a day of rejection of a political deceit of the fake opposition.
Let May Day be a day of declaration of our most sacred values of family, community, and hard work; unalienable rights to life and subsistence of all humanity as well as our unwavering commitment to political action against systemic institutions of the Establishment.
Let May Day be a day of unity of all humanity and rejection of hatred and all divisions that ruling elites incessantly continue to instil within human society in order to enslave and destroy it.
Let May Day be a day of warning to all those who sold their souls to the master class for 30 pieces of silver and some creature comforts that the day of reckoning is approaching.
Let May Day be a day of the beginning of an honest debate about the completely new system of societal organization devoid of class or caste or coercion and conspiracy of the ruling class against the people.
Let May Day be OUR day

The World Socialist Movement celebrates May Day in the spirit of international fraternity. We know that the more the workers are organized politically and industrially on a revolutionary basis, the faster and the thicker will the evolution of society will proceed. 

The bosses are united and the government stands with the bosses against the workers. Let them know that the workers are united; that the workers will stand by one another; that the workers’ solidarity is international solidarity and that the working class will fight for its emancipation!

We are confident of tomorrow because we trust that the workers throughout the world, will prove wholly capable of building a revolutionary movement. 

May Day is the symbol of a new era.