Raleigh-Durham Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)

Revolutionary socialist youth in the US South

FIST Youth group says: ‘U.S. hands off Somalia’

Posted by raleighfist on May 4, 2009

Fight Imperialism, Stand Together calls for the release of Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse—the young teen from Somalia who was brought to New York and arraigned in a federal court—and that he be allowed to return to his family in Somalia.

Muse, who according to his parents is only 16, has been charged with five counts, the most serious of which, piracy, carries a life sentence if convicted. The charges stem from the April 8 seizure of the Danish-owned Maersk Alabama, which was flying a U.S. flag. The ship had passed through the Gulf of Aden and was in the Indian Ocean, 350 miles off the coast of Somalia.

From April 8 to 12, the captain of the Maersk was allegedly detained by Muse and three of his companions. The incident was ended after Navy Seals shot to death three young Somali men aboard a tugboat anchored to their destroyer, the USS Bainbridge. Muse was aboard the destroyer trying to negotiate the release of the captain of the Maersk, as was agreed to, when the three youths were killed.

What jurisdiction does the U.S. have over events that occurred off the coast of the Horn of Africa? Moreover, the so-called pirates have not killed anyone they have captured. The only people killed so far have been the three young Somali men, killed by U.S. Seals, and a French national killed by French commandoes who stormed a yacht that had been seized.

The popular media can show sympathy for the crews of ships being seized and their family members. But, rarely do the media that have played up this human drama delve into the daily existence of the people of Somalia, Iraq or any place around the world that has been under siege from imperialist war and intervention.

Events in history give justification to the seizing of ships by so-called pirates from Somalia.

Barrels of toxic materials have been dumped off the coast of Somalia. This waste—nuclear waste in some cases—washed ashore after a tsunami in late 2004. Thousands have become sick with strange rashes, respiratory infections, stomach illnesses and hundreds have died. The toxic materials are coming from European companies that pay others to dispose of nuclear and other types of waste. Instead of responsibly paying to have the waste disposed of in Europe, they pay smaller fees to have it dumped off the Somali coast, ignoring the resulting suffering of the people there.

Additionally, more than $300 million a year in seafood is stolen from the waters near Somalia by ships from other nations that employ trawling, a fishing method that involves the dragging of huge nets across the ocean floor. Trawling not only damages the natural environment, but is illegal off the coast of many nations. It robs the many villages and towns on the Somali coast that have relied on fishing for centuries.

Added to these charges are colonial and imperialist occupation and subterfuge. The U.S. undermined progressive developments in East Africa in the 1970s, caused a war between Somalia and Ethiopia, tied Somalia to foreign aid and occupied the country in the early 1990s, killing thousands of Somali people.

Currently there are more than two dozen military vessels patrolling waters off the coast of Somalia. Somalia is occupied by foreign troops propping up a weak regime beholden to the West.

The EU, the U.S. and other countries discuss how to deal with piracy coming from Somalia, yet reparations to Somalia for years of imperialist intervention, theft of sea life and the dumping of toxic waste are not being discussed. The only option being put on the table is military action.

FIST demands there be no further imperialist intervention; that reparations be paid; that the foreign troops in service of Western world imperialism be removed from Somalia; that all ships off the coast return to their nations; and that Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse be set free and returned to his family in Somalia.

U.S. Hands off Somalia!

U.S. Hands off Africa!

Fight Imperialism, Stand Together

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