[OPE] The Pirates Point of View: the political economy of modern piracy

From: Gerald Levy <jerry_levy@verizon.net>
Date: Wed Apr 15 2009 - 08:56:01 EDT

One-sided, perhaps, but since it's the side that isn't being reported on in
capitalist press, I thought I'd pass this on.
In solidarity, Jerry

The Pirates Point of View
Who are the real pirates?
By Thomas Riggins
First we destroy their way of life, then we shoot them.
Who are the real pirates anyway? The poor fishermen who live along the
Somali coast could make a living my taking their small wooden boats out to
sea and catching enough fish to feed their families and make some money
selling fish in the markets along the coast.

In the 1990s the Somali government fell apart and could no longer protect
its territorial waters. The big commercialized fishing fleets moved in and
began illegal fishing in Somali waters--fleets from Europe (France, Greece,
Spain, Norway. etc.,) from the East (Thailand, China, etc.). They came
because they had already decimated the fishing stocks of the Atlantic and
the Mediterranean-- driving Tuna almost to extinction-- as well as other

Now they decimated the fishing stocks off the coast of Somalia, taking
advantage of the Somalis and understanding that there was no one to stop
their illegal poaching. Other ships from the developed world found they
could dump their waste and pollutants in Somali waters as well-- killing
large numbers of the remaining fish that native fishermen were trying to eke
out a living from by catching.

Their way of life virtually destroyed by the connivance of the big
commercial firms and their governments the Somali fishermen were forced into
"piracy" to survive. If you crush people and push them down, starve their
families and destroy their environment they will fight back. They will throw
your tea in the harbor, spin their own cotton or collect their own salt from
sea, steal a loaf of bread from the market, or even highjack your ships and
crews to get the money their communities need to survive.

As usual our only response is to shoot them-- even if they were not harming
hostages (they were after money not blood). First we destroy their way of
life, their ability to feed themselves, their culture, then we shoot them.
It's been going on since Columbus. Metals all around-- for our heroes,

Thomas Riggins is the associate editor of Political Affairs online.
By Thomas Riggins pabooks@politicalaffairs.net
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rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere, for non-commercial use, unless
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