Barry Sheppard


Film director Quentin Tarantino at #BlackLivesMatter protest in New York City on October 24.

Ever since the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement emerged on the streets to protest repeated police killings of African Americans, there has been a backlash, spearheaded by the police mutual benefit societies mislabelled labour unions.

Reversing earlier promises to end US military involvement in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has announced that US troops will remain indefinitely. He said they will not be ground combat forces, but trainers and advisers to the forces of the US-imposed warlord-dominated regime.

US air strikes in support of the regime, by both piloted aircraft and drones, will continue. One such strike was the deliberate bombing of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz.

The spreading scandal of Volkswagen's falsifying of emission tests to evade regulations has begun to expose the cozy connections between the German government and the company.

A recent article in the New York Times said: “There exists a revolving-door climate in which leaders glide between tops posts in government and auto firms.”

But a recent settlement between the US government and General Motors reveals similar corruption.


Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace Albuquerque Chapter.

For most of its existence since 1948, Israel has had the support of most Jews in the US. There have always, however, been some dissident voices, especially among Jewish members of socialist and communist groups.


#BlackLivesMatter activists Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford stormed the stage as Sanders began speaking and demanded an opportunity to address racial injustice. Seattle, August 8.

There is a lull in the large mass mobilisations associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, but the campaign targetting racism and police brutality remains central to politics in the US.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign to become the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for next year's race has broken into the mainstream.

Pitching left, Sanders consistently draws far larger crowds to hear him speak than any other aspirant in either the Democratic or Republican parties. Polls show his support is climbing, and in one state, New Hampshire, he has moved ahead of the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton. He may win some states in the Democratic primaries.

Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman, has joined the growing list of Black people killed by police whose case has become a national issue.

Bland was active in the Black Lives Matter movement, posting a series of videos in defence of the movement.

The world has been focused on the spectacle of the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the European Central Bank crushing the Greek people, but it is far from the only example of strong nations using a “debt crisis” to extract more wealth from those that are weaker.

A case in point is the US colony of Puerto Rico. In a June 28 New York Times interview, the governor of the Caribbean archipelago nation declared its debt of US$73 billion “is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”

In the wake of the political assassination of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17 by a white supremacist, racial tensions remain high.

Since that incident, seven Black churches in the South have suffered fires, recalling many such incidents in the past.


The original African Methodist Episcopal church, Charleston, which was burned down by a white mob after Denmark Vesey's planned slave uprising in 1822.

The mass murder of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white racist on June 17 has been widely denounced. But to understand this hate crime — a terrorist attack — it has to be put into the broader political context.

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