Source: Assata Shakur Speaks!
Assata Shakur: The government’s terrorist is our community’s heroine
by Mos Def
Early in May, the federal government issued a statement in which they labeled Joanne Chesimard, known to most in the Black community as Assata Shakur, as a domestic terrorist. In so doing, they also increased the bounty on her head from $150,000 to an unprecedented $1,000,000.
Viewed through the lens of U.S. law enforcement, Shakur is an escaped cop-killer. Viewed through the lens of many Black people, including me, she is a wrongly convicted woman and a hero of epic proportions.
Assata (“she who struggles”) Olugbala ( “for the people” ) Shakur (“the thankful one”), and I am a 20th century escaped slave.
I had always doubted that the word, slave, was the root of the ethnic origin, slavic. It seemed unlikely to me that even a conquered people would refer to their culture with the word.
Turns out I was looking at it backwards. The whites used the word slavic in reference to their slaves. Actually, the similarity in the 2 words just underscores the ancient practice of domination, explotation, and manipulation that the dominant use effectively against external groups, often based on ethnic designations.
late 13c., “person who is the property of another,” from Old French esclave (13c.), from Medieval Latin Sclavus “slave” (cf. Italian schiavo, French esclave, Spanish esclavo), originally “Slav” (see Slav), so called because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples. This sense development arose in the consequence of the wars waged by Otto the Great and his successors against the Slavs, a great number of whom they took captive and sold into slavery. [Klein] Old English Wealh “Briton” also began to be used in the sense of “serf, slave” c.850….
I have been struggling with the idea of “partisans” ever since I first heard the term used to dismiss the Makhnovshchina. Calling the insurgents of Ukraine simply partisans is so imprecise. What kind of army tries to comfort and reconcile with enemy combatants as soon as the shooting stops?
The Soviet authorities and their agents often depicted the Makhnovists as pitiless assassins, giving long lists of soldiers of the Red Army and members of the Communist Party put to death by them. But the authorities were always silent about the essential fact, namely about the circumstances in which these soldiers or Party members had been killed. They were always victims of combats started or provoked by the Communists themselves, combats which were forced on the Makhnovists when they were cornered by the Bolsheviks. War is war; there are always victims on both sides. But the Makhnovists understood perfectly that they were making war, not against the soldiers of the Red Army as a group or against any of them individually, but against the handful of rulers who directed this mass, who disposed of them, and who valued the life of a Red soldier only to the extent that it was useful for the preservation of their power. This is why, although they often struggled bitterly against the Red Army units, once the battle was over the Makhnovists related to the soldiers of the Red Army with the same spirit of brotherhood and friendship which characterized relations among themselves.
via History of the Makhnovist Movement (1918-1921): Chapter 8. (P. Arshinov, 1922)
The Holodomor caused an extremely high mortality rate; in some regions it reached 20 to 25 percent of the population. Some villages in Poltava oblast, Kharkiv oblast, and Kyiv oblast were completely deserted by the spring of 1933. Most of their inhabitants perished, but some did manage to escape. In the fall of 1933 the Soviet regime began resettling those villages with Russian peasants, mainly from Orel oblast. Throughout the Soviet Ukrainian countryside agricultural work was barely noticeable. During the spring of 1933 armed detachments protected the state-assigned seed for sowing, and those peasants who were well enough to work the land received minimal rations. Only the first fruits and vegetables of the summer saved those who had managed to survive. But the mass effects of starvation, disease and accelerated mortality, and a falling birthrate became apparent for many years.
The fact that the 1937 Soviet census was officially declared invalid and not released suggests that its results indicated a catastrophic population decline as a consequence of the Holodomor.
The estimates of the number of how many peasants died during the Holodomor vary widely. At the high end the figure of ten million deaths has been cited, mostly by President Viktor Yushchenko. For many years seven million deaths was the number commonly used in the West. In the 1950s and 1960s some Western scholars (Dmytro Solovei, Mykola Prykhodko, William H. Chamberlin, and Vasyl I. Hryshko) estimated that there were three million to four million deaths, while Volodymyr Kubijovyč and Clarence Augustus Manning suggest the losses were two million to three million. In the late 1970s the dissident Ukrainian Helsinki Group suggested a maximum figure of six million victims. In 1981 the demographer Sergei Maksudov (pseud of Alexander Babyonyshev) determined that the population loss in Soviet Ukraine was 4.5 million. Subsequently Jacques Vallin et al essentially confirmed Maksudov’s figures with their estimate of 4.6 million deaths. Further refinements to their work have established a figure of 2.6 million deaths caused by ‘exceptional mortality.’ In 2008 the Institute of Demography and Social Research of the NANU established a figure of 4.5 million deaths: 3.4 million victims of exceptional mortality and 1.1 million non-births.
The only thing of any interest is a fund to neutralise the legacy of ex-Soviet radioactive sites – which pales in significants to the highly toxic environmental and ecological legacy of ex-Soviet industry still to be dealt with.
The Ukrainian Austrian internment was part of the confinement of enemy aliens in Austria during World War I. Central Camp Talerhof (German: Thalerhof) was a concentration camp operated by the Austro-Hungarian imperial government between 1914 and 1917 in the Austrian state of Styria.
Central Camp Talerhof 1914-1917
Over twenty thousand Ukrainian Moscophiles were arrested and imprisoned in the camp and in the fortress of Terezín, Bohemia. The camp housed primarily Russophile individuals and families from Galicia. All were suspected of collaboration with the advancing Imperial Russian Army that had invaded and occupied Galicia at the outset of World War I.
The first group of prisoners was transported to Talerhof by soldiers of Austrian regiment of Graz on September 4, 1914. Until the winter of 1915, there were no barracks in Talerhof; prisoners slept in the open air on the ground.
On November 9, 1914, according to the official report of Field Marshal Schleer, there were 5,700 Ukrainians, Carpatho-Rusyns and Lemkos in Talerhof. In total, 20,000 people were prisoners from September 4, 1914 to May 10, 1917.
In the first year and a half, three thousand prisoners died. In addition, tens of thousands of Ukrainians and Lemkos were victims of reprisals carried out by Austro-Hungarian authorities in the Western Ukraine during World War I. In May 1917, the camp was closed by order of Emperor Karl I of Austria (r. 1916-1918).
Many of these internees were used for forced labour in internment camps. Conditions at the camps varied, and the Castle Mountain Internment Camp – where labour contributed to the creation of Banff National Park – was considered exceptionally harsh and abusive. The internment continued for two more years after the war had ended, although most Ukrainians were paroled into jobs for private companies by 1917