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International Solidarity

Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition Escalates Solidarity With Palestine

As the Israeli State intensifies its violence against and displacement of Palestinians from their homes, international Palestinian solidarity organizations are making new plans to challenge the illegal Israeli occupation. Clearing the FOG speaks with retired Colonel Ann Wright who recently represented the US Boats to Gaza campaign at a meeting of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition in the United Kingdom. Ann Wright has participated in five trips to confront the blockade of Gaza and deliver desperately-needed supplies, including when Israeli Occupying Forces attacked the ships and killed ten civilians. Wright talks about the new plans for 2023, the dire conditions that Palestinians experience in Gaza and what people in the United States can do considering that the US provides financial support and political cover for Israel's atrocities.

The People Of The World Reject Foreign Intervention In Haiti

The people of Haiti have been on the streets for weeks to protest rampant inflation and currency devaluation as well as the political-institutional crisis facing the country. These protests intensified this week following the declaration by de-facto President and Prime Minister Ariel Henry that he had officially requested foreign military support to curb gang violence. Haitian movements have alleged that the move furthers the already alarming criminalization of social movements demanding change in the country, and paves the way for another foreign military occupation of the country. Their protests against the call for military intervention have been met with brutal violence and repression. In response to Henry’s demand for foreign intervention and the Haitian people’s determined protests, people’s movements and organizations from across the globe have expressed their solidarity with the Haitian people and rejected any violations of their territorial and political sovereignty.

The Call Heard Around The World

On Saturday, October 8, thousands of people in the UK gathered for a massive act of solidarity with political prisoner and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Protestors formed a human chain around the Parliament in London to demand that the government cancel Assange’s looming extradition to the US, and for him to finally be freed. Stella Morris, Assange’s partner, told The Independent that the action had been organized because Parliament was the “seat of democracy” and that Assange represented “democracy at its strongest— government accountability and democratic movement…It is to remind people that this is a political case, and his imprisonment is politically motivated.” Morris added that it had been “energizing” for Assange to know that he had support.

A Radical Internationalist Perspective Is Not A Luxury

Many eyebrows have been raised as a result of the surge to power of neo-fascists in Italy.  Unfortunately, our community seemingly has the eyebrows of Whoopy Goldberg (meaning none) and thus far, the response has been radio silence.  This is nothing new; since the Compromise of 1954 (not unlike the companion Compromise of 1850, which actually strengthened enslavers—contrary to advertisement—and instigated war) where in return for anti-Jim Crow concessions, tossed overboard were the internationalists among us-- Paul Robeson in the first place-- many of our leading organizations and intellectuals have steered clear of consistent global engagement.  This approach was debilitated from its inception but now it borders on doom for to ignore global events in today’s world is veritably suicidal.

ManiFiesta 2022 Ends With A Call To Change The World As We Want It

The ManiFiesta 2022 festival, organized at the Wellington racetrack in the Belgian city of Ostend from September 17-18, concluded with a resolve to mobilize for alternatives for the future. The 12th edition of ManiFiesta was organized by the Solidarity magazine and Medicine For the People (MPLP). Over 14,000 people participated. Around 160 events including political discussions, speeches, debates, book fairs, exhibitions, a food festival, and 35 concerts were organized as part of the festival. Raoul Hedebouw, president of the Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA), Bolivian Vice-President David Choquehuanca, Chris Mitchell from the Enough is Enough movement in the UK, Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, Holocaust survivor Simon Gronowski, British economist Grace Blakeley, author and PTB leader Peter Mertens...

Protests Throughout The Global South Signal Opposition To Austerity

It has now been two months since tens of thousands of Sri Lankans stormed the presidential palace and toppled the country’s president in a powerful rejection of price hikes on food and fuel. As shocking and inspiring as the news was, many economists and geopolitical experts were quick to point out that Sri Lanka would not be the last country to experience a mass-uprising. Around the world, the policies of the neoliberal era are straining economies as the neoliberal system is pitched into crisis after crisis. In the last several years, these crises have been fueled by supply chain disruptions from the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and rapidly worsening climate change.

Disaster In Cuba Highlights Biden’s Disastrous (And Illegal) Foreign Policy

On August 5, lightning caused a fire at an oil supertanker base in Matanzas, Cuba. The fire caused the collapse of three large oil tanks, killed 16 people and wounded 146 people. Immediately, friendly nations sent aid, including $70 million in oil from Russia, but the United States only provided technical advice to the neighboring Caribbean nation that has been crippled by six decades of the US' economic blockade. Clearing the FOG speaks with Arturo Lopez-Levy of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs about the fire, the Biden administration's continuation of Trump's policies in Cuba and the campaign to change that, as well as the shifting politics in Latin America as more nations defy the illegal blockade and work to create a zone of peace.

While Cuba Deals With Blazing Fire, The US Heartlessly Watches And Waits

By now, the images of the oil explosion that erupted in the Cuban province of Matanzas on Friday, August 5 and continues blazing have become international news. When lightning struck an oil tank in Cuba's largest oil storage facility, it quickly exploded and began to spread to nearby tanks. As of now, four of the eight tanks have caught fire. Dozens of people have been hospitalized, over 120 have been reported injured, at least 16 firefighters are still reported missing and one firefighter has died. This latest disaster—the largest oil fire in Cuba's history—comes at a time when Cuba is currently undergoing an energy crisis due to soaring global fuel costs, as well as over-exploited and obsolete infrastructure. The raging fire will undoubtedly further exacerbate the electricity outages that Cubans are suffering from as a result of the on-going energy crisis that is occurring in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record globally.

China, CELAC To Deepen Cooperation On Poverty Reduction

China and Latin American and Caribbean countries have agreed on deeper cooperation in poverty reduction, with joint efforts in areas such as post-pandemic economic recovery, infrastructure construction and digital technology, officials and experts said at the second Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)-China Forum on Poverty Reduction and Development, held virtually on Wednesday. At the forum, officials and experts from CELAC also praised China’s efforts to eradicate absolute poverty, especially through rural-urban integration and digital technology support, which are seen as valuable for Latin American countries to alleviate poverty and promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. CELAC estimates that the number of people living in extreme poverty rose by about 5 million between 2020 and 2021 due to the deepening of the social and health troubles prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, official data showed in January.

Can Workers Overseas Provide Tips For US Labor Organizers?

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.

A Tale Of Two Summits

There is growing criticism of US presumptions of supremacy and US foreign policy promoting division and conflict. This was expressed by leaders who stayed away from the Summit of Americas and also many leaders who attended. The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, said frankly, “It’s wrong that Cuba and Venezuela and Nicaragua are not here, because as you heard from Bahamas, we need to speak with those with whom we disagree….There’s too much narrow-casting instead of broadcasting. There’s too much talking at, instead of talking with…. And the simple priority must be people, not ideology.” US exceptionalism and the exclusion of countries is increasingly being challenged. This matches the global criticisms of US unilateral sanctions. At the last UN General Assembly, the vote was 184-2 in denouncing US embargo on Cuba.  Seventy percent of world nations believes US sanctions violate international law.  

National Lawyers Guild Calls For Solidarity With Colombia

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.

The Chris Hedges Report With Dr. Cornel West

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.

2022 Election In The Philippines: Repression And Resistance

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.

In Solidarity With Haitian Workers And Migrants

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.
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