Overcrowded classrooms, privatization schemes force LA teachers to strike

by Mark Gruenberg

Peoples World | January 14, 2019

Overcrowded classrooms, privatization schemes force LA teachers to strike

Joe Brusky, neaToday

LOS ANGELES—Overcrowded classrooms and the schools’ superintendent’s push for charters and privatization were among the top reasons at least 31,000 unionized teachers and staffers in the nation’s second largest school district, Los Angeles, had to strike on Jan. 14.

The L.A. strike is the first there since 1989 and affects a district with 660,000 students. A similar situation may push teachers and staff in another notable California district, in Oakland, to walk, too, adds that city’s union, the National Education Association (NEA).Read More »

The murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

Peoples World | January 14, 2019

The murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

Carnations are placed in front of a memorial stone with names of socialists at a cemetery in Berlin, Jan. 13. Prominent figures from the country’s left have paid tribute to the founders of the German Communist Party and other socialist heroes. With the event, they are marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, who were killed Jan. 15, 1919, by right-wing militiamen. | Markus Schreiber / AP

This week marks the centennial of the Jan. 15, 1919, murders of German communists Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. They were both born in the same year, 1871, and died on the same day, their names necessarily linked in history.

As members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), they were outraged that their party supported German involvement in World War I. In 1915 they broke from the SPD and co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League (Spartakusbund). Both were imprisoned for their anti-war agitation.

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Bhagat Singh in Prison

by Chaman Lal

Frontier | Vol. 51, No. 28, Jan 13-19, 2019

THE earliest record of Bhagat Singh’s writings dates back to 1918 when he was 11 years old, and they were postcards he had written in Urdu and Punjabi to his grandfather and an aunt, Hukam Kaur. Collections of Bhagat Singh’s writings began to appear only in the 1970s, and the latest collections in Urdu and Marathi comprise 125 writings of Bhagat Singh, including 53 letters. With the addition of five more letters discovered in 2017-18 to the collections, Bhagat Singh’s writings number 130, apart from his Jail Notebook.

In this process of searching for Bhagat Singh’s writings, this writer located five letters of his in his trial proceedings edited by MJS Waraich, which were then published in The Tribune in 2007. Following this, he found 10 more letters from the exhibition titled “The Trial of Bhagat Singh” held in 2008 in the newly built Supreme Court museum complex. The Supreme Court gave him a digital copy of the exhibition and the permission to use the contents with acknowledgements. The 10 letters were published in The Hindu of August 15, 2011, along with the rare photograph of Bhagat Singh and B K Dutt, first published on April 12, 1929, in Bande Matram from Lahore.Read More »

The Birch in Winter


Countercurrents.org | January 13, 2019

Birch in Winter photo
Photo by wolfgangfoto 

In this, the season of wanting,
The eyes are not allowed a choice.
There is neither color nor pure white,
But only the monochromatic monarchy,
The rule of gray over all.

Against the matte mercury sky
The branches of the chestnuts and oaks,
Run like tributaries
From their gruff charcoal bodies,
And the snow that lays on them
Is dusted daily with Moscow’s soot.Read More »

India: Woman Who Entered Sabarimala Injured in Attack by Mother-In-Law

The Wire | January 15, 2019

New Delhi: Kanakurga, one of the two women of menstrual age who made history by entering the Sabarimala temple after the Supreme Court’s historic judgment, was attacked by relatives after she returned home on Monday.

Kanakadurga, a 39-year-old civil servant, entered the temple on January 2 and was forced to go into hiding after facing threats from right-wing protestors. According to The News Minute, she was attacked by her mother in law and sustained a head injury. She has been admitted to a hospital in Malappuram district.

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India: Kerala’s Women Workers Have Won the ‘Right to Sit’, But Their Struggle Is Far From Over

by Muhammed Sabith

The WireThe Wire | January 14, 2019

Kannur: “We now have more stools in the shop than we really need,” a saleswoman at a prominent textile shop in Kannur said in response to how the new labour law passed by the Kerala assembly has changed her workplace environment.

The Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2018, which was passed in December, guarantees improved working conditions in commercial shops.

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‘For Abba With Love’ – Shabana Azmi’s Tribute to Kaifi Azmi

by Shabana Azmi

The Wire | January 14, 2019

He was always different, a fact that didn’t sit too easily on my young shoulders. He didn’t go to ‘office’ or wear the normal trousers and shirt like other ‘respectable’ fathers but chose to wear a white cotton kurta-pyjama twenty-four hours of the day. He did not speak English and, worse still, I didn’t call him ‘Daddy’ like other children, but some strange-sounding ‘Abba’! I learned very quickly to avoid referring to him in front of my classmates and lied that he did some vague ‘business’! Imagine letting my school friends know that he was a poet. What on earth did that mean—a euphemism for someone who did no work?

Read More »

Africa in Review 2018, part III: Imperialist militarism and the quest for reconstruction

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Pambazuka News | January 07, 2019

Ethiopia and Eritrea leaders embrace in Asmara during historic 8-9 July  2018 state visit

Efforts of Africa’s unity and regional integration are obstructed by continuing outside interference and destabilisation of the continent. 


Bombing operations by the United States military against the Horn of Africa state of Somalia have escalated during the course of 2018.

Once the administration of President Donald Trump came into office nearly two years ago, purported “restrictions” placed on Pentagon operations through the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) were lifted.

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