Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The 1969 Weatherman Statement Revisited: Excerpts from Part 2

It’s not likely that the New York Times will mark the 40th anniversary of the June 1969 Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] National Convention in Chicago by reprinting excerpts from the position paper of the Weatherman faction of SDS. So following are some excerpts from Part 2 of this historic position paper (that originally appeared in the June 18, 1969 issue of New Left Notes) which might interest U.S. anti-war activists in 2009—during the current U.S. historical era of “endless permanent war abroad and economic depression at home”:

Not every colony of people oppressed by imperialism lies outside the boundaries of the U.S.. Black people within North America, brought here 400 years ago as slaves and whose labor, as slaves built this country, are an internal colony within the confines of the oppressor nation. What this means is that black people are oppressed as a whole people, in the institutions and social relations of the country, apart from simply the consideration of their class position, income, skill, etc., as individuals. What does this colony look like? What is the basis for its common oppression and why is it important?

“One historically important position has been that the black colony only consists of the black belt nation in the South, whose fight for national liberation is based on a common land, culture, history and economic life…

“This position is wrong; in reality, the black colony does not exist simply as the `black belt nation,’ but exists in the country as a whole. The common oppression of black people and the common culture growing out of that history are not based historically or currently on their relation to the territory of the black belt, even though that has been a place of population concentration and has some very different characteristics than the north, particularly around the land question.

“Rather, the common features of oppression, history and culture which unify black people as a colony (although originating historically in a common territory apart from the colonizers, i.e., Africa, not the South) have been based historically on their common position as slaves, which since the nominal abolition of slavery has taken the form of caste oppression, and oppression of black people as a people everywhere that they exist. A new black nation, different from the nations of Africa from which it came, has been forged by the common historical experience of importation and slavery and caste oppression…

“What is specifically meant by the term caste is that all black people, on the basis of their common slave history, common culture and skin color are systematically denied access to particular job categories (or positions within job categories), social position, etc., regardless of individual skills, talents, money or education. Within the working class, they are the most oppressed section…Token exceptions aside, the specific content of this caste oppression is to maintain black people in the most exploitative and oppressive jobs and conditions…

“Thus, northern blacks…have a single class interest, along with all other black people in the US, as members of the Black Proletarian Colony.” (end of part 2 excerpts)

(New Left Notes 6/18/69)

Supreme Court Justice-Designate Sotomayor's Pavia & Harcourt Connection

Neither the special interests of French and Italian government agencies and Italian, German, Spanish and other European clients nor the special interests of Israeli government agencies and Israeli clients are supposed to be represented on the U.S. Supreme Court Bench.

Yet, ironically, the former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney that Democratic President Obama recently appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, worked between 1984 and 1991 as an associate and partner in the corporate law firm of Pavia & Harcourt—which apparently represented the special interests of French and Italian government agencies and Italian, German, Spanish and other European clients.

As the Business Wire news service revealed in a May 12, 2000 article:

“Pavia & Harcourt, a 52-year old firm founded by international lawyer Enrico Pavia, has entered into an affiliation with Studio Legale Tonucci, one of the largest and fastest growing law firms in Italy …

“Pavia & Harcourt and Studio Legale Tonucci represent American, Italian, French, German, Spanish and other European clients primarily in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, banking, finance, real estate, litigation, arbitration, licensing, franchising, media and intellectual property….Pavia & Harcourt's clients include Unicredito Italiano, Banco di Sicilia, INVESCO Private Capital, Edelson Technology Partners, Olivetti, Fendi, Villeroy & Boch, Lavazza, Media Planning, S.A., Screenvision Cinema Network, Stagebill, Sommer Allibert, Laboratoires Arkopharma, SNPE Group, and various governmental entities of the Republics of France and Italy.

"`The alliance is a direct response to the expanding needs of our clients in the U.S. and Italy ,’ said George Pavia, managing partner of 34-lawyer Pavia & Harcourt. `We are pleased to be associated with a firm of Studio Tonucci's caliber.’…

“Pavia & Harcourt has terminated its 40-year relationship with Pavia e Ansaldo, the Italian firm that it founded in 1960. Pavia & Harcourt is located at 600 Madison Avenue .”

Besides apparently working as a prosecutor of African-American defendants when she was an Assistant D.A. in the early 1980s, former Pavia & Harcourt law firm partner Sotomayor also, coincidentally, was a member of the State of New York Mortgage Agency [Sonny Mae] board of directors--which apparently encouraged low-income tenants in New York City to saddle themselves with "low-interest" mortgages and become "first-time homebuyers" instead of just fighting for stronger federal rent control laws.