Since taking office last month, Javier Milei, the new far-right president of Argentina, has announced a series of economic proposals and attacks on basic democratic rights that, if implemented, will devastate the working class. In response, labor unions and the Left have called for a general strike on January 24. The Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS), the sister organization of Left Voice in Argentina, is calling for the working class to take the general strike into its own hands to defeat these proposals and the entire neolibertarian regime. Among the new proposals are changes to more than 300 laws that would weaken labor unions, limit democratic rights, repress protest through a set of new “security protocols,” and allow for the further modification of legislation without the approval of the Argentinian congress.
In a landmark case, eight Palestine Action activists who used direct action to shut down the Israeli weapons trade have been acquitted of a total 12 charges which included criminal damage, burglary and encouraging criminal damage. The trial, which commenced on 13 November, related to a series of actions taken during the first six months of Palestine Action’s existence from July 2020 to January 2021. Richard Barnard, co-founder of Palestine Action, was convicted by a 10-2 majority of one count of criminal damage, for an action at the now-closed Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham. At least one member of jury later asked if they could change their verdict, but were prohibited from doing so. Lawyers will be considering appealing this conviction.
Arlington, Virginia – Activists from across the country gathered outside of Raytheon’s office at 1100 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA at 12:00 noon on November 8 to confront the war profiteer on its role in producing weapons that are causing extreme suffering and death to innocent children, women, and men around the world. As they gathered on the sidewalk outside of Raytheon, some of the individuals lay on the sidewalk and were covered with sheets representing people around the world who have been killed in US wars using weapons made by the war profiteer. Others mourned over large dolls representing the children who have been killed by Raytheon’s weapons.
State Department staffers offered a blistering critique of the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war in a dissent memo obtained by POLITICO, arguing that, among other things, the U.S. should be willing to publicly criticize the Israelis. The message suggests a growing loss of confidence among U.S. diplomats in President Joe Biden’s approach to the Middle East crisis. It reflects the sentiments of many U.S. diplomats, especially at mid-level and lower ranks, according to conversations with several department staffers as well as other reports. If such internal disagreements intensify, it could make it harder for the Biden administration to craft policy toward the region.
Senior UN Human Rights official Craig Mokhiber recently resigned over the organization's failure to address the brutal genocide in Gaza and Israel's apartheid policies against Palestinians. In this interview with Vijay Prashad, he talks about how the UN failed the people of Palestine over the decades and how the UN moved away from the principled norms-based approach rooted in international law when it came to the question of Palestine. Mokhiber explains the role played by countries such as the United States in this shift. He also says that hope lies in the massive demonstrations that are taking place across the world in solidarity with the people of Palestine and against the Israeli genocide.
Throughout August and September, anti-government protests have rocked Syrian cities. While the crowds are typically small, numbering only a few hundred, they show little sign of abating. Demonstrators are motivated by increasingly unlivable economic conditions spurred by crippling U.S.-led international sanctions against Damascus. These have produced hyperinflation, mass food insecurity, and many daily hardships for the population. They also prevent vital humanitarian aid from entering the country. The media has given the unrest blanket coverage. No reference to Washington’s central role in imposing the misery under which average Syrians suffer today, let alone that several key figures in the protests are former opposition fighters who laid down their arms under a government-approved reconciliation deal in 2018, can be found in the reporting.
At midnight on September 15, the UAW began its strike at three plants of the the Big 3 — GM, Ford, and Stellantis. While limited, this strike immediately sent shockwaves across the nation with every bourgeois news outlet turning to cover the strike. Indeed, the strike is proving very popular: 75 percent of Americans side with the UAW in their fight. This strike is part of what some have dubbed a “Hot Labor Summer,” characterized by an averted strike at UPS and the on-going entertainment industry strikes amongst many smaller strikes and labor actions, like Blue Cross Blue Shield workers also represented by the UAW. It’s placed the working class at the center of the national agenda.
I’m a 34-year Teamster and package car driver for UPS, and I’ve been a steward for the past seven years. Since I’ve been with UPS for so long, I am very used to the constant harassment and intimidation this company has thrived on. I had the honor to be put on the national negotiating team for the UPS contract by my local union—one of the strongest in the country, Local 25 in Boston. After UPS walked away from the negotiating table in early July, I was at barns helping to run practice picket lines. The UPS center in Westwood, a suburb of Boston, has a new center manager from New Orleans named Brian Newman.
On Wednesday, July 26, scores of Iraqis protested in front of the country’s central bank in the capital Baghdad following a massive fall in the value of the Iraqi dinar that is attributed to the recent US ban on 14 private banks. The market rate of the Iraqi dinar in exchange for one US dollar has climbed up to 1,570 from 1,470 in the last two days. The US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve imposed the bans this month, accusing the banks of money laundering and transferring funds to Iran. The banks insist that they “have nothing to do with political tensions and are independent financial institutions” willing to face an audit to dispel any notion of wrongdoing or criminal activity.
Six thousand Machinists working for Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, ratified a new four-year contract last week, returning to work today. The company had locked workers out on June 22, two days before their strike. Machinists (IAM) Local Lodge 839 accepted the latest offer on June 28 by 63 percent, compared to 79 percent who rejected the first tentative agreement and 85 percent who voted to strike. “The company basically took away some things, gave it back, and added some small wage increases,” said Nathan Jewett, a production worker who has been at the company for 15 years.
On June 22, nearly 200 workers, union leaders, progressive politicians, and other community members were arrested in a mass civil disobedience action. 200 demonstrators sat down in the middle of the road in Los Angeles, subjecting themselves to arrest to demand better wages, pensions, a housing fund, benefits, and safer workloads for UNITE HERE Local 11 workers in Los Angeles. Workers are gearing up to possibly strike after their contract with Hyatt, IHG, Hilton and Marriott hotels in LA expires on June 30. Local 11 workers authorized a strike on June 8 with 96% approval. This strike would involve over 15,000 union hotel workers, the largest hotel strike in modern US history.
The ‘Stop Cop City’ movement’s sixth week of action continued on Wednesday, with two events striking a more tense tone than the relatively calmer days earlier in the week. At around 10:30 a.m., a few dozen protesters held an unannounced noise demonstration outside Cadence Bank, which is providing the Atlanta Police Foundation with a construction loan for building ‘Cop City.’ They reportedly chanted at the bank for about 20 minutes, with some bacon apparently being tossed toward the mass of police guarding the bank, before leaving.
This year’s Armed Forces Day is on Saturday 24 June. The main “public show” (perhaps the most grotesque uses of the phrase imaginable) will be in Cornwall. However, local and national campaigners are not taking this display of militarism lying down. In fact, they’re planning a counter-event to show the public’s resistance. Naturally, the day is less about the public showing support for vets, and more about the state pushing creeping militarism. As the Canary previously wrote, campaign group ForcesWatch published a report in 2019. It detailed how the state uses Armed Forces Day to push the idea that war is normal to the public – and that we should support both it and continued militarisation.
DeKalb County, Georgia - Two defendants arrested in March during a music festival against ‘Cop City’ were again denied bond Wednesday in DeKalb County Magistrate Court, while a third was granted $25,000 bond with conditions. The defendants, all of whom are facing domestic terrorism charges for their alleged participation in the movement against the sprawling police training complex, have been detained since their arrests two months ago. Luke Harper and Victor Puertas were denied bond, while Fredrique Robert-Paul was granted a $25,000 bond with conditions including relinquishing her passport, remaining in Georgia pending trial, severing contact with codefendants, and avoiding discussing the movement against ‘Cop City’ on social media.
This was one out of the nearly 100,000 voices that rose in the Indian capital of Delhi on April 5 as workers, farmers, and daily wage agricultural workers from across the country came together for the landmark Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally (Workers-Farmers Rally). The demonstration was organized by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) in rejection of the neoliberal assault on the lives and livelihoods of the Indian working class, overseen by a ruling party which they accuse of fueling sectarian and caste-based violence, while stamping out all forms of dissent.