imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

U.S., French, & UK Imperialist Hands off Niger!

by Steven Argue Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at 7:21 PM

In Niger human rights organizations, trade unions, and opposition parties (including the Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism) are all supporting the coup. 10,000 people rallied in support on February 20th. Meanwhile the US, France, UK, UN, and African Union all have been quick to condemn the coup. Tandja did the bidding of U.S. imperialism. Meanwhile, according to the UN Development Program’s 2006 Human Development Index, Niger is the poorest country in the world. Sixty percent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, life expectancy is only to 45-years old, and adult illiteracy is 71%.

U.S., French, & UK I...
ap_niger_protest_niamey_20feb10_eng_480.jpg, image/jpeg, 480x320

(Photo: AP 10,000 Supporters of military coup demonstrate in front of the National Assembly in Niamey, 20 Feb 2010)

Mamadou Tandja Dictatorship Overthrown,

U.S., French, & UK Imperialist Hands off Niger!

By Steven Argue

On February 18th the dictatorship of Mamadou Tandja was overthrown in Niger in a military coup. The new government is calling itself the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) and is headed by Salou Djibocalls. He has promised to "make Niger an example of democracy and good governance". In addition, he has said, "We call on national and international opinions to support us in our patriotic action to save Niger and its population from poverty, deception and corruption..."

On February 20th 10,000 people came out to rally in support of the coup in Niger’s capital city of Niamey. Human rights organizations, trade unions, and opposition parties, including the Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism, are all supporting the coup.

Meanwhile, as the people in Niger celebrate the overthrow of the dictatorship, the US, France, UK, UN, and African Union have all been quick to condemn the coup. The corporate media has made statements like this one found in an AP article, “The ease with which Niger's democratic institutions have been swept aside has marked a setback for a region struggling to shake off autocratic rulers.”

Yet, the overthrow Mamadou Tandja certainly is nothing to mourn, nor was there anything democratic about it. Tandja had dropped all pretenses of even bourgeois democratic rule. In addition, Tandja's pro-capitalist privatization policies have caused starvation and extreme poverty.

Tandja’s moves towards dictatorial rule started in 2009 when he declared an emergency and rule by decree. Tandja assumed the power to jail reporters deemed a "threat to the country". He also attempted to create a new Senate where one third of the members were to be appointed by him. The Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism called these moves a coup d'etat. In response, Mamadou Tandja dissolved the National Assembly in May 2009. In July, Tandja dissolved the courts for not following his dictates. With the courts, National Assembly, and press out of his way, Tandja held a referendum in August that extended his term by three years. The referendum was boycotted by the opposition. While there has been a lot more seething under the surface than just the question of term limits, there is no doubt that the people of Niger wanted Mamadou Tandja out of power.

Like the February 20th rally of 10,000 supporting the overthrow of Tandja, the moves towards capitalist dictatorship under Tandja’s rule brought 10,000 people out in the streets to protest against him. All seven of Niger's labor federations participated in these actions as part of the Co-ordination of Democratic Forces for the Republic (CFDR). In contrast, this writer hasn't seen any reports of pro-Tandja demonstrations.

Besides the moves towards direct capitalist dictatorship, also simmering under the surface is the fact that foreign companies are enriching themselves from Niger's rich uranium mines, yet according to the UN Development Program’s 2006 Human Development Index, Niger is the poorest country in the world. Sixty percent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, life expectancy is only to 45-years old, and adult illiteracy is 71%.

The pro-imperialist government of Mamadou Tandja followed the dictates of the IMF and World Bank to the point of even privatizing food distribution, causing massive starvation. Likewise, he allowed foreign mining interests to profit from Niger’s rich uranium mines at the expense of the environment and at the expense of harsh exploitation of workers, while giving very little in return to Niger. Workers in these mines are not informed of the risks, not given basic protections, and not given treatment as they develop lung cancer. Primary ownership and operation of uranium mines in Niger is by Areva, a global giant in mining that controls the SOMAÏR and COMINAK operations in Niger.

Mamadou Tandja did the bidding of imperialism and foreign capitalism. Now that he is overthrown, foreign imperialist governments are quick to condemn his overthrow. And, if the new government appears to be ready to follow through on its promise of economic justice, imperialism is likely, as has been the pattern in Africa, to intervene against the new government. The promises of the new government, of course, could all be lies, but it could also indicate possible changes for the better coming as a result of the coup. If the Council is serious about making these promises a reality the coup could mark the opening of a social revolution in Niger and, under those conditions, it is very important that the international working class and anti-imperialist movements oppose any potential intervention by the US, France, UK, UN, or the African Union.

Presently, the whole country of Niger is an example of the failure of capitalism. The only way the new government can follow through on their promise of economic justice will be through overthrowing the capitalist system and pursuing socialist policies. If they even begin to take any moves in this direction they will face the wrath of imperialist blockade and other imperialist intervention. Niger does not have the needed economic and military strength to make it on its own. To succeed, they will need to pursue a revolutionary socialist and anti-imperialist program for all of Africa that sees the need for the formation of a united socialist federation of republics in Africa.

An attempt was made at revolutionary Pan-Africanism in the 1960s. Leaders of this movement included Kwame Nkrumah and Patrice Lumumba.

Kwame Nkrumah, the President of Ghana, advocated the need for Africa to unite to bring together Africa’s rich resources and strengths for a strong economy and to be better able to stand up to European and American imperialism. Unfortunately, as declassified documents show, Kwame Nkrumah was murdered as a result of a coup carried out by the CIA with the help of Britain and France.

Like Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba was a Pan Africanist and target of imperialism. He was the democratically elected president of the Congo. Patrice Lumumba was overthrown by CIA and Belgian operations and murdered by the Belgian imperialists after being taken prisoner in a coup. As a result of that coup, the horrible U.S. backed dictatorship of Mobutu was put in power in the Congo for nearly 32 years.

Nkrumah and Lumumba recognized that all African borders are purely artificial. They were drawn up without regard to nationality by the European colonial powers. Niger is a good example of this fact. The ethnic groups of Niger are the Zarma, Hausa, Kanuri, Toubou, Tuareg, and Wodaabe Fula. The land of the Hausa, Kanuri, and Tuareg were split by still existing colonial borders into separate countries. The same is true with other colonies elsewhere, for instance Afghanistan is made up of many nationalities, and one of the primary nationalities, the Pashtun, had their land divided between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Likewise, the imperialist powers divided the Kurdish people between Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

European powers not only ignored the natural national boundaries in Africa, they also purposely created animosities and / or prolonged them, by giving certain national (tribal) groups privileges over others. As the Germans used to say about the tribes in the Balkans, the strategy is "divide and conquer". The domination by the Zarma in Niger, coupled with anger over the destruction and exploitation caused by uranium mining, has been a cause of armed conflict against Tandja’s government. This has been carried out by the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ). The MNJ, fighting since 2007, is made up of the Tuareg, Toubou, and Fulani nationalities. Besides demanding a say in how uranium mining is carried out and a piece of the wealth extracted by these foreign owned countries, they are demanding an independent country they call Azawad in the lands where Tuaregs, Toubou, and Fulani are the majority. The territory claimed for Azawad encompasses portions of present day Niger, Mali, and Algeria.

In response to the MNJ’s demands, Tandja’s government issued a national press ban on reporting on the issue and had a policy of non-negotiation with the rebel forces. A truly revolutionary government will recognize the just demands of the MNJ. It will take the control of the uranium mines away from French capitalists and put them in the hands of the Nigerien working class. Through this new workers democracy a fair distribution of the wealth produced through mining can be achieved and environmental decisions can be made based on human needs rather than corporate profit. As a further step, the right of the people Azawad to national autonomy should be recognized and supported in Niger, Mali, and Algeria and promoted as part of building a federation of socialist republics across Africa that respects and recognizes language rights and other national rights.

This kind of recognition of the right of nations to national self-determination was a key component of Lenin’s national policy in the October 1917 Russian Revolution. Stalin later carried out a political counter-revolution that murdered and overthrew the communists who had led the revolution and with that political counter revolution he also overturned key components of Lenin’s policy of national self-determination. The revival of Lenin and Trotsky’s policies of national self-determination will be an essential component of the African revolution.

Recognition of the right of African countries to national self determination in the US, UK, and France, is also essential. The quick condemnation by the United States government of the overthrew the Tandja dictatorship is in stark contrast to the continued support the U.S. has given to the June 2009 coup in Honduras that overthrew democratically elected President Zelaya. Zelaya was mostly a rightwing president, but he left the confines of what was acceptable to U.S. imperialism by raising the minimum wage (affecting U.S. corporations with maquiladoras in Honduras) and by making the “mistake” of being friendly to U.S. enemy Venezuela. The U.S. supported coup government in Honduras has since brought back the death squads, eliminated all freedoms of press, and held a fraudulent election boycotted by the people, but recognized by the United States. From Africa to Central America and the Middle East, U.S. intervention is for one purpose and one purpose alone, the defense and continuation of U.S. corporate profit.

This support for the death squad Honduran coup leaders and quick opposition to the overthrow of Tandja both come from the supposedly leftist Obama administration. Yet, the pro-war, pro-imperialist, corporate healthcare, pro-death penalty policies of Obama coupled with tax give-aways to the richest financial capitalists place Obama’s administration squarely on the right. The need is clear, a workers party in the United States that seeks full employment, healthcare, workers’ democracy, a healthy environment, and an end to rapacious U.S. imperialism through the building of mass movements, strong unions independent of the Democrats, and ultimately through socialist revolution in the United States.

Article of Liberation News, subscribe free:

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Oops, Wrong Web-site Address Steven Argue Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy