The worldwide spread of Covid-19 created major challenges for workers and their unions throughout the globe. Very similar pandemic disruptions provided a timely reminder of the inter-connectedness of the global economy—and the need for cross-border links that enable workers to share information about their own struggles and learn from organized labor in other countries. What are some of the “best practices” abroad that might be reproducible in the U.S. to help strengthen workplace protections here? Two labor-oriented academics, Kim Scipes and Robert Ovetz, have recently published collections of case studies that answer that question in great detail. Their new books will be useful to both union organizers and campus-based observers of comparative labor movements.
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) joins statements concerning the upcoming presidential elections in Colombia. We implore the current government and its functionaries to abide by the will of the people and ensure the safety of members of El Pacto Histórico regardless of the election outcome. We also reaffirm our solidarity with progressive organizations and individuals doing accompaniment and electoral observation work in Colombia. This historic election will take place on May 29, 2022 and is part of a highly contested race in which el Pacto Histórico presidential candidate Senator Gustavo Petro, and his vice-presidential running mate, Afro-Colombian Goldman Prize winner Francia Márquez Mina, have emerged as the front-runner in the polls.
Dr. Cornel West is the most important standard bearer for the Black prophetic tradition, the most important intellectual and spiritual movement in our history. Rooted in the experience of American racism, capitalist exploitation, and imperialism, this tradition has provided an ongoing critique of our economic, social, and political institutions and beliefs, as well as calling out the country’s spiritual bankruptcy. In this premiere episode of The Chris Hedges Report, Dr. West joins Chris Hedges to discuss the decay of the American empire, the struggle to show international solidarity in the face of escalating militarism, and what it means to examine this historical moment through a moral and spiritual lens.
I just returned from eight days in Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, where the capital, Manila, is located. For many years, the movement for national democracy in the Philippines has asked for international solidarity, including human rights defenders to aid them in their struggle for economic and political rights. The presence of people from other countries can help diminish the violence of the Philippine military and national police against the movement. In addition, as national elections approach on May 9 there has been a rise in human rights abuses, and so the need for international solidarity is more pressing.
The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) declares its support for garment workers in Haiti and stands with the Haitian people who, migrating from the country for economic or political reasons, have faced racism, hostility, and terror abroad. We also condemn the neo-colonial political economic policies of the U.S. government, its international allies, and the multinational corporations who have created Haiti’s imperial crisis by continuing to undermine the sovereignty and independence of the Haitian people. Early in the year, garment workers launched protests at the Caracol Industrial Park in Haiti’s northeast region. These protests have since spread to Port-au-Prince. The workers—mostly women—have demanded wage increases and decried the dehumanizing and demeaning sweatshops in which they are employed.
This Sunday, January 30, on the streets of Cuba and other parts of the world, the demand for lifting the illegal US blockade against Cuba prevailed. This came just days after the 60th anniversary of the officialization of this hostile policy against the Caribbean island. According to the Twitter profile of the Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry, from the cities of Santa Clara in the center of the country, and Bayamo in the east, the family of the Antillean nation joined a caravan that demanded the end of the economic, commercial and financial siege. “Compatriots residing in Italy and friends of #Cuba build #PuentesDeAmor and demand the end of the blockade that hit this Island 60 years ago,” published the Twitter account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since the initiative is also engaged with other cities around the world.
West Bank - The U.S. police in Washington D.C. arrested on Monday seven pro-Palestine protestors from organizations and associations supporting the Palestinian right during a peaceful demonstration in front of the Israeli occupation’s embassy in Washington rejecting Israeli ethnic cleansing in occupied Jerusalem and Anaqab “Negev”. During the demonstration, a sit-in was held at the entrance to the embassy, with the participation of dozens of activists and people in solidarity with Palestine, as well as members of the U.S. Palestinian community. The protestors gathered peacefully outside the Israeli Embassy to denounce the forced expulsion of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem and Anaqab.
With deep sorrow and on behalf of her family, we announce that our dear colleague, sister and friend Alicia Jrapko passed away last evening after fighting a cruel illness for more than two years. In spite of the hard treatment, she never stopped working as much as she could. Alicia regretted not being able to continue contributing, loving and living with the energy that always characterized her. Alicia was a great Argentine revolutionary, the daughter of workers who at a very young age took up the struggles of a generation that dreamed of building an Argentina with social justice for the people. Alicia once said in an interview…”in Latin America a great admiration was forged for Cuba, for Fidel, Raul, Che and so many other revolutionaries. In Argentina we wanted the same thing, but it was not achieved and a great part of my generation lost their best children”.
34 current and former legislators from NATO countries sent a joint letter yesterday to United States President Biden encouraging him to adopt a policy of no-first-use (or sole purpose) of nuclear weapons in the current U.S. nuclear posture review, and to use the occasion of the 10th Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference in January 2022 to universalise this policy. The call by the legislators contradicts recent reports that United States allies want the US government to retain the option of initiating nuclear war (first-use options). “Let us state clearly that we do not believe that a first-use option is in the security interests of our countries or in the interests of NATO as a whole,” say the endorsers of the letter. “We encourage you to take leadership on this issue and we pledge our support.”
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, it became a juxtaposition of highly educated workers for the most advanced productive forces on the planet, but developed within the unresolved, deeply violent, four hundred year-long colonial and racist architecture of the US. It was externally influenced by the period of the explosion of national liberation socialism that began with the Chinese revolution and was punctuated by the defeat of the US empire by the Korean and Chinese revolutions and at great costs to their peoples. The 1950s were capped off by the historic 1959 victory in Cuba, whose significance reverberates to this day in all of our lives. Many of the most significant and radical intellectual and revolutionary formations of the US were born between the years 1959 to 1967.
The US-backed counter-revolutionary protests planned for November 15 in Cuba fell flat as the Caribbean country reopened its borders to tourists and its schools on the same day. The Cuban people blatantly rejected being a part of the US destabilization attempt and proved that they are more concerned about the reopening of the economy and the return to normalcy after a year and a half of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A small number of people in a few cities took to the streets as a part of the “Civic March for Change”, called for by an NGO called Archipiélago in 10 cities across Cuba. Videos shared on social media showed that these “organized protests” were quickly overshadowed by pro-revolutionary supporters.
Solidarity movements with Cuba, political parties, social groups, and Cuban emigrants in other countries celebrated on Monday the restart of the school year on the island, its economic-productive revival, and the Cuban people's determination to defend their Revolution against destabilizing attempts plotted from the United States. Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, said through Twitter that "solidarity actions in more than 80 cities support the will of the Cuban people to build their own future." In an act in front of the headquarters of the Cuban diplomatic representation in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, political parties and social movements supported the reopening of activities and rejected the recent acts of interference by the White House.
In 1815, Spain’s defeat of Simón Bolívar’s revolutionary army in Venezuela nearly extinguished the dream of independence in South America. After the loss, Bolívar sought political asylum in the only free republic in Latin America: Haiti. At the time, Haiti was a safe harbor for revolutionaries and formerly enslaved Africans. Although the republic made promises to colonial powers that it would not intervene in freedom and independence struggles, Haiti continued to support rebellions, intercepted ships carrying enslaved people, and freed its human cargo. For Haiti, colonialism and slavery anywhere posed a threat to the republic’s own independence and humanity. Thus, when a defeated Bolívar landed in Port-au-Prince, President Alexandre Pétion understood the significance of the man who led the liberation movement.
On 1 October, the International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA), a network of over 200 social and political movements, had its public launch. The IPA owes its origin to a meeting held in Brazil in 2015 where movement leaders gathered to talk about the perilous situation facing the world. At this meeting – called the Dilemmas of Humanity – the idea was born to create the IPA and three partner processes: a media network ( Peoples Dispatch ), a network of political schools (the International Collective of Political Education), and a research institute ( Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research ). Over the course of the next few months, I will be writing more about the history of the IPA and its general orientation. For now, we welcome its launch.