Massachusetts Peace Action, a venerable part of the US Peace Movement, has been around since the 1980s and its predecessors date back to the 1950s. Its voice is heeded and it represents most of the shared opinions of the liberal and progressive US peace movement. A recent piece by its Assistant Director, Brian Garvey, provides an astute analysis of the ideological differences in the progressive part of the US peace movement and properly criticizes its inability to unite around a common program. He asks the two crucial questions: “What do we do now? and “How do we make a difference?” “Making a difference” to end the war is crucial. We in the US peace effort want to be effective.
Havana -After gaining access to their private Facebook group, MintPress can reveal that the people who sparked the July 11 protests in Cuba are planning similar actions for October and November. The group, La Villa del Humor, is widely credited with providing the initial spark that ignited nationwide protests on the Caribbean island in the summer, the most significant demonstrations since the 1990s. On July 10, one of the group’s administrators posted this message: Tired of not having electricity? Stubborn because they didn’t let you sleep for 3 days? Tired of putting up with the impudence of a government that doesn’t care about you? It is time to go out and demand. Do not criticize from home, let’s make ourselves heard. If we’re not going to do it, we’d better shut our mouths and not talk shit from home that doesn’t solve anything. Are we more afraid to go out than to put up with all this cheek? How is it possible? We demand that [Presidents Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raúl Castro] also have blackouts. We demand that, since we have no food, at least they let us sleep. Hit the streets. Down with the opportunistic communist government now. This Sunday at 11am, Parque de la Iglesia. See you there. If you don’t go, stop complaining so much.
In Washington, D.C., President Trump is trying his best to reopen closed meatpacking plants, as packinghouse workers catch the COVID-19 virus and die. In Tijuana, Mexico, where workers are dying in mostly U.S.-owned factories (known as maquiladoras) that produce and export goods to the U.S., the Baja California state governor, a former California Republican Party stalwart, is doing the same thing. Jaime Bonilla Valdez rode into the governorship in 2018 on the coattails of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. And at first, as a leading member of López Obrador’s MORENA Party, he was a strong voice calling for the factories on the border to suspend production. López Obrador himself was criticized for not acting rapidly enough against the pandemic. But in late March, in the face of Mexico’s rising COVID-19 death toll, he finally declared a State of Health Emergency.