Syria: Operation Red Line

By J L Samboma

The latest instalment of "Letting Off Steam," our occasional documentary series, this episode maintains that the chemical attack in Syria, on 21 August, was a ploy by Western imperialism to pave the way for  intervention to effect regime change in that country.

Fighting Mothers and Friends

By JL Samboma

A short documentary film on the inspiring rebellion by a group of single mothers and their friends and supporters against the British state and its ideologically-driven agenda of austerity cuts aimed at the poor and disadvantaged in society.

Please watch and share.

The Bolivarian Revolution - film review

By JL Samboma

Originally published in January 2014, his is a review of the acclaimed documentary film "Viva Venezuela: Fighting for Socialism." Produced by the British-based Revolutionary Communist Group, the RCG, the film recounts the practice and experiences of the Bolivarian revolutionaries and how they are transforming the socio-economic and political landscape of this Latin American nation.

Denis Macshane, corruption and the hubris of the British political class

By J L Samboma

Former Labour MP Denis MacshaneThe resignation of British politician Denis Macshane from the House of Commons, and his expulsion from the Labour party after being found guilty of corruption, may not rank as high on the scale of tragic ironies as the story of Oedipus Rex, but it sure brings that ancient tale to mind.

Scripted by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex is about a man who slays a traveller he does not know is his father and then goes on to inherit the latter’s throne and wife – who just happens to be his own mother.  One of the many tragic ironies of the tale is that Oedipus then vows to find and punish the man who killed the king – none other than he himself!

The Hijacking of Libya, an eBeefs documentary

By J L Samboma

The following is a trailer for a documentary on last year's imperialist assault on Libya, during which a sovereign nation was hijacked by the West and their local henchmen, under the guise of bringing "freedom and democracy" to the country. The project is now in post-production, although a few interviews are pending. The aim of this trailer is to provide a taster and to help solicit funds for production costs.

Bang Bang in Da Manor screening leads to debate on gun and knife crime

By J L Samboma

Britain’s black community must look inward rather than to the wider society for solutions to the increasing black-on-black gun and knife culture and its growing toll on young lives, according to parents, young people and community activists at the recent screening of Bang Bang in Da Manor, a film on the subject.

The screening was organised by A Just Movement for African Unity (AJAMU) and the OMEGA Foundation Society.  Speaking after the documentary show, which took place at the Park View Learning Centre in north London, one concerned parent* said: “We have to take a hard look within ourselves.  We are catastrophically failing our young people.” 

Lumumba film screened for 51st anniversary of killing

By J L Samboma

Patrice LumumbaA documentary film on the death of Patrice Lumumba was screened at London’s Human Rights Action Centre Saturday 21 January to mark the 51st anniversary of the slaying of the Congo’s first post-colonial leader. The event was organised by the Save the Congo group and was well-attended.

Arguably the most important political assassination of the twentieth century, the Pan-Africanist leader was killed on January 1961 in a plot involving the USA, Belgium – the former colonial overlord in the Congo, the United Nations and local, African pawns such as Colonel Joseph Mobutu.  According to Vava Tampa of the Save the Congo group, the consequences of that plot haunt the country to this day.

Prepare to seize the moment for revolution

By J L Samboma

Our present epoch, the era of neo-colonialism and imperialism, will come to an end but it will only do so when we – the downtrodden in society, Fanon's wretched of the earth – tip it into the dustbin of history.  It is difficult for many to accept that this can happen, especially given the recent victory of imperialism in toppling and murdering Muammar Gadaffi and returning Libya back into its deadly embrace.

Surely, goes this school of thought, the forces of imperialism are too strong for us to defeat. A trawl through history shows that international capitalism has been able, eventually, to ride roughshod over previous attempts by progressive forces to counter its attacks.  It has always been able to reassert its will. At best, we are led to believe, the current dominance of imperialism over Africa and the Third World as a whole, is but a stage we must go through and, eventually, through step-by-step hacking at its foundations, we will overcome one day.

Police brutality and political violence in Sierra Leone

By J L Samboma

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Musa Tarawallie (left), has effectively voided a nationwide ban on rallies and other party political activities announced by the Inspector General of Police last week.  While many see this as a slap in the face for Francis Munu, the whole incident stinks to high heaven of political corruption and, once again, raises serious doubts about the judgement of the country’s top cop and the probity of the force he heads.

The Inspector General – handpicked by President Ernest Bai Koroma and seen as being very close to him – shocked many when, in the run-up to next year’s general elections, he issued a press release proscribing overt political activity. He declared “a blanket ban on all political rallies, processions and public meetings until further notice,” adding that, during this “cooling off period,” all political meetings should be confined to respective party offices.

The role of independent journalism – my take

By J L Samboma

The following piece is the outcome of a recent encounter I had on an internet forum.  It began after I commented on the role of independent journalism in society.  It was the first time I had been forced to define what independent journalism means to me. 

I say "forced" because it made me dig deep.  Ducking out of a response was not an option.  I have reproduced it here because I believe it is relevant.  Secondly, because I hope to open up the debate to anyone who has a contrary view, so that the dialectic can continue on in a wider sphere.  This is what I wrote:

As political violence continues, is Sierra Leone on the road to hell?

By J L Samboma

The man chosen by Sierra Leone’s main opposition party to challenge President Ernest Bai Koroma in elections next year has been whisked to Ghana for treatment after he was injured a fortnight ago by government supporters ahead of an opposition rally in the southern city of Bo.

Sources say Julius Maada Bio (left), a former military officer, left the country for Accra earlier this week.  The head injury he sustained during the incident became worse and he opted for further treatment in Ghana, bringing an abrupt end to his “Meet the People” tour of the country in preparation for the elections.

The suspicious death of Murdoch whistleblower Sean Hoare

By J L Samboma

The suspicious death of Sean Hoare, the former showbiz reporter for the News of the World, who blew the whistle about senior Murdoch executives being complicit in phone-hacking at the now-defunct paper, has understandably raised questions about whether he was “silenced” in a bid to pre-empt further revelations into the scandal, which threatens Murdoch’s media empire and Britain’s political establishment.

On Terrorism

An ocassional series on The Struggle, by J L Samboma

As a dialectical materialist, I am opposed to individual acts of terrorism, no matter how "revolutionary" or "romantic" they may appear at the subjective level. I believe that the liberation of the oppressed must be achieved by the oppressed themselves, through their self-activity in the training ground of class struggle.

“Communism” is not a swear word in my lexicon

A retort, by J L Samboma

My "admission" in a previous article that, as a Marxist, I could also be described as a communist, aroused some forthright comments on my Facebook page.  That was not surprising in the least.  It seemed that my crime, according to my correspondents, was to have the gall to call myself a communist – especially at a time when that word is viewed with derision and outright hostility by all and sundry.

Is editor of The Independent too close to Rupert Murdoch?

By J L Samboma

With the various branches of the British establishment united in heaping ordure on media magnate Rupert Murdoch and his “corrupting influence” on public life in the aftermath of the phone-hacking scandal, it is not surprising that many of Big Rupe’s spivs, cheerleaders and assorted fixers have gone to ground.  One of these is the former business editor of the London Evening Standard, who was recently appointed as editor of Britain’s Independent newspaper.

What's in a name?

By J L Samboma

It is a phenomenon of enduring wonderment to me that to be called a Marxist these days is almost the equivalent of someone saying you're a wife-beater; whereas to be called a communist - which is but the same thing - is to be reserved the same esteem as befits a pederast.

On America's Wars

An occasional series on The Struggle, by J L Samboma 

The wars and conflicts America has initiated and surreptitiously started in recent years - not to mention those of yonder years - never fail to invoke in my mind one of my favourite quotes from Marx, the validity of which endures to this very day. He was not writing eternal truths or dogma, as he himself said.  He was making profound observations.