[lbo-talk] repression

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Sun Apr 3 16:44:03 PDT 2011

I am reading a book published in South Africa titled "The Unlikely Secret Agent." The author is Ronnie Kasrils, and it is about his late wife Eleanor, who joined the underground struggle against apartheid after the Sharpsville massacre. The book begins with her arrest and torture by the SA police. Under just passed emergency laws, she can be held for 90 days with no rights whatever.

What the police did to her and countless others was part of a long history of modern police practice. I don't know all the history of this, but the pioneers were probably the British in Ireland. Today, these practices are well known and used throughout the world.

It is difficult to imagine a radical supporting just about any modern state. Surely we know that Libya, Iran, Syria, China, the U.S., Great Britain, etc., etc., etc, use or have others use these techniques and more. The threatening phone calls, the visits to friend's homes, the calls to employers, the late night knock on the door, the attack on the street, the threats against your kids, arrest, interrogation, solitary confinement, torture. Provocateurs, spies, never knowing who to trust, bribes, false testimony in court. There must be millions of scarred victims of all this around the world.

Isn't it our duty to oppose this? And if we do, isn't it a corrolary that we cannot, ever, support an intervention by the master torturers, namely the leaders of the US?

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