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Social Movements

From Crisis To Transformation: What Is Just Transition? A Primer

We Are Living Through An Age Of Profound Transition. Political Upheaval Is The Order Of The Day. Economic Inequality Is Rising. People Around The Globe Are Being Displaced By Conflict And Climate Emergencies. Racism, Xenophobia, And Religious Intolerance Are On The Rise. The COVID-19 Pandemic Cast New Light On The Injustices And Irrationality Of Our Current Economic And Social Systems. The Crises We Face Today Are Social And Political, But They Go Deeper. The Life Gi- Ving Systems Of The Earth Are Under Threat As A Result Of The System Of Production Which Has Been Foisted Upon The World Over The Last 250 Years. Fuelled By Petrochemicals, Driven By Profit, And Based On The Hyper-Exploitation Of Both Workers And Natural Systems, This Mode Of Production Has Overtaxed And Disrupted Many Of The Cycles That Kept The Global Ecosystem In Balance — Including Carbon Cycles.

A People’s Analysis Of A World On Fire

As several popular movements, together with many organic intellectuals, have been warning, we are undergoing a crisis of the capitalist system globally. The results of this crisis are unpredictable. Contrary to what liberals and even some heterodoxy argue, this crisis is a product of neoliberalism. That is to say, the crisis is a product of the intrinsic development of capital itself and not a problem alien to the “normal functioning of the system”. It is the very development of capital itself that creates all the contradictions which, when they become more acute, lead to crisis. This crisis does not affect the entire population equally. It is poor and working people who are subjected to the disastrous economic, social and political consequences of the crisis. Never in human history has the degree of inequality been as acute as it is today.

What Killed America’s Peace Movement?

The feminist anti-war group CODEPINK, with its mission to “educate, inspire, and activate” Americans about the need for peace and how it intersects with crises such as climate change, stands out as one of the few effective peace movements in the U.S. today. Its co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans join Scheer to offer their perspectives on the war in Ukraine and the reasons they still have hope for a peaceful future. Benjamin has reported from conflict zones and written a dozen books, with the most recent, “War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict,” forthcoming from OR Books in October.

Over One Million Bolivians Mobilize To Support President Arce’s Government

On Thursday, August 25, under the banner of ‘March in Defense of Democracy and Economic Reconstruction’, over one million Bolivians mobilized in support of the government of President Luis Arce and Vice President David Choquehuanca and its socialist economic policies. Workers from diverse sectors, peasants, students, and members of various Indigenous organizations and social movements from all nine departments of the country arrived in capital La Paz to ratify their support for the national government of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party. The call for the march was given by the Pact of Unity (PU), a national alliance of grassroots organizations, and the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), the country’s trade union center, in the face of attempts by far-right opposition sectors and capitalists to destabilize the national government and the country’s economy.

There’s No Place For Burnout In A Burning World

By the age of 10, I was terrified about the state of the world. I wanted to quit school and volunteer for environmental and human rights groups. Instead, I distributed leaflets in my neighborhood and attended rallies with my dad. At 14, I watched “An Inconvenient Truth.” At 15, I read a National Geographic article about coal — how it planted cancer in people’s lungs, stole their breath, and polluted their water. This broke my heart and, in the midst of that brokenness, I devoted my life to stopping climate change. Fast forward a decade, and I’d had the privilege of working in several nonprofits, including co-founding one. Together, we have achieved a lot — mobilizing record numbers of people to the streets, pushing dozens of institutions to defund coal and gas, building hundreds of local groups, and empowering countless people to take action.

Greater Peril, Greater Reward? A New Risk Assessment Tool For Activists

In March 2019, following numerous community pleas to curb graft among local police that had fallen upon deaf ears, residents of Kyere, Uganda tricked a notoriously corrupt police officer into a bribery arrangement. They caught him red-handed. Emerging from their hiding places in a community market, they seized the officer and arrested him—a man who had often used the same power of arrest to extort from them! This effective sting operation occurred without any of the usual police brutality toward activists. As democracy erodes at an Increasing Pace, slipping our species toward the normalization of authoritarianism, protesters are understandably exploring how they can stay safe. But reducing the risks of our nonviolent actions can also come at a cost—the cost of our power.

From Resistance To Governing Power In Honduras

A month after the coup d’état I was delegated by the new Front Against the Coup d’état to go to the U.S. to make known what had happened in Honduras. I had been working around international representation and communications in two formations, the National Coordinator of Popular Resistance and the Bloque Popular (Popular Block). These were spaces for coordination amongst the social movements that were confronting the impacts of neoliberalism, specifically the struggle against the Free Trade Agreement, which was impacting everything related to our agricultural capacity. Small and mid-sized Honduran producers had no possibility of competing against the big North American companies who were subsidized by the U.S. government and who generated a completely asymmetrical and unjust competition amongst producers.

The Nobodies Take Office In Colombia: An In-Depth Analysis

People are crying, embracing, yelling, as the streets fill with joy. Horns honk and people dance in the middle of avenues. They can’t believe that the news traveling by word of mouth, tweet to tweet, news show to news show, is really true. As the minutes and hours pass, they confirm that it is true: This June 19th they—the Nobodies—have won. “I am tingling from head to toes, overcome with emotion because I know that this is an historic accomplishment for all of us to remember. What joy! What happiness! Until dignity becomes customary!” says Ana Yuli Gamboa with a big smile—an Afro-Colombian woman from Cali who has come out to celebrate. Like Ana Yuli, little by little thousands took to the streets and plazas of the country to celebrate the victory of the Pacto Histórico, a victory that tastes like their own.

Colombia: Petro Is Now President; A Call For The Release Of Prisoners

“It is said that no one really knows a nation until he has been in one of its prisons.” Nelson Mandela’s sentence opens a petition addressed to Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez, president and vice-president of Colombia, who officially takes office today. It is signed by the National Penitentiary Movement, accompanied by hundreds of organizations and personalities. The document offers a summary of the structural problems afflicting a country like Colombia, where the spaces for political viability of the opposition were closed with the assassination of Liberal leader Eliécer Gaitán, on April 9, 1948, and where violence has become structural. How much violence the oligarchy in the pay of Washington, which has crushed in blood any attempt to change the power structure by democratic means, has to answer for, is being demonstrated by the Truth Commission, contemplated in the peace accords between the government and the guerrillas, signed in Havana in 2016.

Sri Lanka Democracy Movement At The Crossroads

For several months the nation of Sri Lanka has been imperiled with the looming threat of complete economic collapse as fuel, food and other commodity prices skyrocketed. Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa became the central focus of the youth-led democracy movement as the GotaGoGama encampment was established demanding the immediate resignation of Rajapaksa as president and the removal of his cabinet. At its height the camp’s activism attracted tens of thousands of people demanding an end to the former administration. Eventually the presidential compound was overrun by angry protesters necessitating the removal of Rajapaksa as president. These events have sparked a debate within the democracy movement on a possible shift in tactics and strategy.For several months the nation of Sri Lanka has been imperiled with the looming threat of complete economic collapse as fuel, food and other commodity prices skyrocketed. Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa became the central focus of the youth-led democracy movement as the GotaGoGama encampment was established demanding the immediate resignation of Rajapaksa as president and the removal of his cabinet. At its height the camp’s activism attracted tens of thousands of people demanding an end to the former administration. Eventually the presidential compound was overrun by angry protesters necessitating the removal of Rajapaksa as president. These events have sparked a debate within the democracy movement on a possible shift in tactics and strategy.

We Can’t Build Real Power By Defending Democrats

The United States Constitution is failing: Its anti-democratic structures are creating a crisis of legitimacy and an inability to address a cascade of social crises. This is a problem endemic to liberal democracies, as the contradictions between political democracy on the one hand, and the tyranny of capital and ruling class control of politics on the other become heightened. Part of the crisis we face is the disjuncture between the sense of horror and urgency from the events of the last months and the gross inaction from politicians, particularly Democrats. Less than two weeks after a white supremacist attack on Black shoppers in Buffalo, New York, another gunman murdered children and their teachers in a school in Uvalde, Texas. In the same month as these mass murders, a leaked Supreme Court decision from an abortion case in Mississippi threatened to undo 50 years of legal precedent and end the right to abortion.

Ninth Assembly Of Caribbean People Meets In Cuba

Caribbean social movements and organizations, artists, and intellectuals, among others, gathered in Cuba’s Santiago for the IX Assembly of Caribbean People under the theme: “Culture, resistance, sovereignty, revolution.” Participants honored and paid visits to National Hero José Martí; Carlos M. de Céspedes, the Mother of the Homeland, Mariana Grajales, and to the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro. Welcoming remarks were made by René Berenguer Rivera, secretary general of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC) in Santiago de Cuba. Camille Chalmers, organizing secretary of the Assembly of Caribbean People (APC) made the opening speech on behalf of the delegates, stressing the importance of this assembly being a forceful response to the hybrid wars and the new imperialist offensive.

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.

Colombia’s New Dawn?

Colombians head to the polls this Sunday for a presidential election that will determine the country’s political trajectory for the next four years – and far beyond. With the two candidates offering vastly contrasting visions of the country, the tightly-poised contest carries ramifications likely to be felt long after the 2022-2026 electoral term ends. At the head of the progressive Historic Pact coalition, Gustavo Petro has campaigned on a platform of strengthening human rights and environmental protections, increased social investment and implementation of the 2016 peace agreement between the then-government of Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Petro and the Pact’s vice-presidential candidate, the African-Colombian social activist and feminist organizer Francia Márquez, have drawn strong support from social groups long marginalized under Colombia’s exclusionary political system.

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.  
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