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Introduction to Issue 12

May 10, 2009

Issue 12: Spring 2009

Women in the Struggle * Palestine * The Economic Crisis * Global Resistance * Poetry and More

rashid - assata collage sm.jpg

Depending on whom you ask, we are either in an era of hope and change, or one of hardship and collapse. The historic event of an afrikan being elected to the highest office in America came about largely due to the huge concerted effort of grassroots voter mobilization, on a scale not seen in recent memory. With that, a sense of having acheived something monumental swept through most sectors of the working class and oppressed communities. Internationally, many of us outside the u.s. stood witness to something of a watershed moment for people held in the belly of the beast and around the world.

And yet, we still stand witness to the largest theft of wealth to hit black America in over a century. What little remains of a domestic manufacturing sector sinks into non-existence, unattended while finance capital is showered with public monies. Thousands of evictions, foreclosures, firings, layoffs, and incarcerations play out hourly in working and poor communities. It seems as though the dream so touted as being realized is being deferred once again.

This ship we’re all on is sinking. The captains and first class passengers are securing their lifeboats. Those of us who have been riding in servants’ quarters and steerage are offered two options: Pray toward the heavens or swim toward the shore. When the promise of a new dawn rings hollow, we need words and deeds of strategy, guidance, and encouragement from hard lessons borne of struggle and study. The voices of POWs, PPs, and PPOCs can give that to us. And this magazine is one venue that will continue to make sure that voice is heard.

Welcome to issue 12 of 4strugglemag. In this issue, we see that continuing the oppression of women within revolutionary movements is not only politically indefensible but marries those movements to failure. We see the successes and continued struggle of people as far removed from each other as Greece, El Salvador and Vancouver. From inside the empire, solidarity can be built with Palestine, even as death rains down on its people. As with the article on historical and dialectical materialism in the previous issue, #12 underscores the importance of understanding the larger economic conditions at play all around us.

We have completed this issue without the usual level of input from our editor, anti-imperialist political prisoner Jaan Laaman. He was being transferred from Massachusetts to Arizona, where he has begun serving a federal sentence. While we’re sorry not to be able to bring you his usual warm and inspirational greeting, we’re glad to have this opportunity to ask you to help us make 4struggle better than ever.

At 4stuggle we continue to get great feedback and contributions from behind the razor wire and cinderblock. We want to build on that. This is the space where hard questions should be asked. Analysis should be developed in these pages. In other words… Speak up! What have you been talking about with others? What have others been talking about with you? What have you studied and read? What do you think? What do you want? What should be done!?

Put it down and send it in!

From here on out, let’s step up our game. It isn’t just right that this modest project grow larger and stronger – it is necessary. The struggle is obviously not yet won but surely not lost. This is our fight to win.

Bryan, karen emily and Sara
Toronto Anarchist Black Cross Federation

P.S. Thanks to the National Jericho Movement in NYC, some articles in this issue give us a sneak peek of their upcoming Freedom Times newspaper, highlighting the 10/10 Jericho anniversary, and renewing a call to “Pick up the work!” Thanks to former PP (and Jericho co-chair) Kazi Toure for his help.

Stay tuned for issue 13 for a special feature: An updated History of the New Afrikan Prison Struggle by Sundiata Acoli

Thanks to Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, for agreeing to be our resident artist. His art appears on our cover, as well as below.

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