After more than two weeks of mobilization, people’s movements in Ecuador reached an agreement with the government, bringing the national strike to halt. On Thursday, June 30, representatives of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), the Council of Indigenous Evangelical Peoples and Organizations of Ecuador (FEINE) and the National Confederation of Peasant, Indigenous and Afro-descendant Organizations (FENOCIN) formally recognized a list of measures announced by the government, including a 15-cent reduction of the price of diesel fuel per gallon and a continuation of the discussion on the inclusion of Indigenous communities in debates that impact their livelihoods, like exploitation of land and water sources.
Monday, June 27 marked 15 days since the beginning of the national strike in Ecuador against the right-wing government of President Guillermo Lasso and his neoliberal economic policies. Since June 13, hundreds of thousands of people have been organizing protests and roadblocks across the country with a set of 10 demands that support the working class in the face of rising inflation and cost of living. On Monday, under the banner of “There are 10 demands, not 10 cents”, members of various peasant, Indigenous and Afro-descendant organizations held a massive march in capital Quito to mark 15 days of the national strike and reinforce their social demands. The demands include: reduction and freeze of fuel prices; employment opportunities and labor guarantees...
The Ecuadorian people, with the indigenous and peasant movement at the forefront, have taken to the streets to express their resistance to the adverse impacts of the extreme neoliberal policies implemented by the government of banker Guillermo Lasso. The peaceful nationwide mobilization is demanding from the government response to critical aspects that affect the people in their daily lives, such as the lack of employment and labor rights, a moratorium and renegotiation of personal and family debts, fair prices for peasant production, control of basic prices and an end to speculation, fuel prices, respect for collective rights, no privatization of strategic sectors and public patrimony, funds for healthcare, limits to mining and oil extraction, education for all and effective security and protection policies.
On the 10th day of the national strike in Ecuador, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Leonidas Iza, presented four conditions to the government of Guillermo Lasso before entering negotiations. The most significant condition was the end of police repression and cancellation of the nationwide state of exception. The indigenous leader also requested assurances that the government would not impose new decrees during the national strike, an end to attacks on demonstrators, respect for the humanitarian protection zones. Government response to requests In response, Ecuador’s Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, said that the government would not give in to the requests made by the Indigenous movements as conditions to end the national strike, which began on June 13. In addition, Carrillo announced the administration’s decision to implement a night curfew in an attempt to reduce demonstrations.
On Friday, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) President Leonidas Iza ratified that his organization will maintain the national strike as long as President Guillermo Lasso does not repeal his neoliberal policies and measures. He also announced that more Indigenous communities will undertake a march from the province of Cotopaxi to Quito City in the next 48 hours, for which his organization is making arrangements to guarantee some food for the thousands of protesters. In response to what Lasso said during a national television channel on Thursday night, Iza recalled that Ecuadorian social organizations have expressed their demands on several occasions and tried to find solutions to them through dialogue processes. The government, however, has not listened to the citizens.
The government’s attempt to quell protests by sweeping up alleged leaders not only failed, it backfired. News of the arrest of Leonidas Iza, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), mobilized thousands of people to the Latacunga prison where he was taken and prompted a sea of condemnation of the government from a broad range of organizations, human rights groups and prominent figures. Lawmakers of the **left-wing Revolución Ciudadana were among those who denounced Lasso’s politically-motivated arrest and persecution of the indigenous leader. Iza’s 24 hours in custody ended when a judge accepted his request for alternative measures while the prosecutor initiates an investigation into the ‘paralysis of public services’ due to the national strike.
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in over 450 protests across the country Saturday demanding lawmakers take action on gun control laws in the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. March for Our Lives, the youth-led organization created by students who survived the mass shooting at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, organized Saturday's rallies. Patricia and Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was among those killed in Parkland, addressed the Washington, DC crowd announcing a new campaign called I Will Avoid. “Our elected officials have betrayed us and avoid the responsibility to end gun violence…Today we announce a new call to action, because I think it's time to bring a consequence to their inaction."
The Farmers Movement in India has inspired millions around the world who are fighting for justice, democracy and solidarity. The farmers held their ground in the face of threats, intimidation and relentless propaganda, and forced the Modi government to repeal the farm bills. This was one of the most spectacular victories of ordinary people against the combined assault of corporate power and the state, showing that determined struggle can defeat the mightiest of forces. On 19 November 2021 the Government of India announced that three highly contentious Farm Bills introduced in June 2020 would be repealed. The Government introduced the laws in the early months of the Covid-19 crisis, when opportunities for public and democratic discussion were extremely limited.
Teachers and government workers carried out a national day of strikes and protests in Puerto Rico Friday. There were marches and rallies across the US territory. A mass demonstration took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city. The marchers demanded just wages and pensions and an end to the privatization of schools and government services. Despite a morning attempt by San Juan police to block a section of marchers, the protests were peaceful and high-spirited. In San Juan, in the early morning hours demonstrators began congregating in the Hiram Bithorn baseball stadium before marching toward the headquarters of the Fiscal Control and Supervision Agency. Among the many demonstrators were teachers, electricity and road workers, university professors and students.
On Wednesday, February 9, teachers across Puerto Rico called for a national strike to protest the government and the Fiscal Control Board’s (FCB) cutting of wages and pensions. Other public sector workers, namely firefighters and police, have also joined them. Teachers are demanding a decent salary, an end to pension cuts, and the resignation of Puerto Rican governor Pedro Pierluisi. Teachers have been protesting since February 4. That same day, the FCB imposed by the US Congress that has been in charge of Puerto Rico since 2016, was boasting because it supposedly already put the end of the bankruptcy process on track by approving a plan negotiated with the big bondholder funds.
On 19 November 2021, a week before the first anniversary of the farmers’ revolt, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi surrendered. He accepted that the three laws on agricultural markets that had been pushed through the parliament in 2020 would be repealed. The farmers of India had won. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the organisers of the protest movement, celebrated the triumph and declared that ‘this victory gives more confidence for future struggles’. Many pressing struggles remain, including the fight for a law to guarantee a minimum support price that is one and a half times the cost of production for all crops of all farmers. The failure to address this, the AIKS notes, ‘aggravated the agrarian crisis and led to the suicide of over [400,000] farmers in the last 25 years’.
Today, South Korea ranks third in highest annual working hours and as of 2015 it was third in workplace deaths among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Over 40 percent of all workers are considered “irregular workers.” As in the U.S., many of these irregular workers labor in the gig economy, beholden to tech giants’ apps. With an economy and society dominated by corporate conglomerates known as chaebol, South Korean people face increasingly bleak prospects. The top 10 percent of earners claimed 45 percent of total income in 2016, real estate speculation has led to a housing crisis, and privatization in education and health care are expanding disparities. As South Korea undergoes blowback from the effects of COVID-19 on the global economy, these crises have only sharpened.
Thousands of Indian farmers blocked traffic on major roads and railway lines in the national capital Delhi on Monday as they marked one year since the passage of the federal government’s contentious agricultural laws. The farmers called for a nationwide strike to renew their protests against the “black laws” that they believe will bring an end to their livelihood, demonstrations that first began 10 months ago. The government says the changes will benefit farmers, but unions fear they could take away the protections provided by state-run markets. “The strike was observed in several parts of the country from Kerala in the south to West Bengal in the east,” Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the All Indian Kisan Sabha, told The Independent. “Farmers in Maharashtra, Telangana, Tripura and Bihar also took part in the strike.”
Since April 28 hundreds of thousands of Colombians have taken to the streets to demand the end to neoliberal reforms, chanting “el pueblo unido jamás será vencido”. Now, a month later their joint call has grown into a generalized rejection of the neoliberal and far-right government of Ivan Duque. His government is polled as the least popular in recent Colombian history, already a low bar for a State that has waged an ongoing war against its people.
Social organizations called new strikes for Tuesday, Colombia’s Independence Day, to demand that Congress passes legislation on economic policy, peace and human rights. The latest strike was called by the National Strike Committee more than 80 days after it’s initial April 28 strike sparked protests throughout Colombia that have continued in the cities. The initial protests successfully sunk a controversial tax reform, but failed to force the far-right government of President Ivan Duque to negotiate demands on economic policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The National Strike Committee has given up on the increasingly tyrannical government and is now trying to pressure Congress, which begins a new legislative year on Tuesday,