US protests: The critique on the ground is systemic

Peoples DispatchJune 08, 2020

Eugene Puryear of BreakThrough News talks about the sentiment on the ground in the United States where voices that have been marginalized are coming to the fore. He explains the nature and demands of the #DefundThePolice campaign and also talks about the possibilities in the coming weeks and months when it comes to organizing.

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Black Lives Matter movement sweeps the world

People’s World | June 08, 2020

Black Lives Matter movement sweeps the world
Thousands demonstrate in Cologne, Germany, Saturday June 6, 2020, to protest against racism and the recent killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, USA. Just like the coronavirus, racism has no borders. Across the world, angry people, representing a broad spectrum of society, marched this weekend as one to protest against racial injustices at home and abroad. | Martin Meissner / AP

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered this weekend in cities far from the United States to express anger over the death of George Floyd, a sign that the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality is resonating with wider calls to address racism from Australia to Asia to Europe.

In Berlin, where police said 15,000 people rallied on the German capital’s Alexander Square, protesters chanted Floyd’s name and held up placards with slogans, such as “Stop police brutality” and “I can’t breathe.”

Floyd, a Black man, died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck even after he pleaded for air while handcuffed and stopped moving.

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Colston’s toppled statue links the anti-racist and anti-imperialist causes

A Morning Star editorial| June 08, 2020

The empty plinth where the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol once stood after it was taken down during a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday

KEIR STARMER’S description of the toppling of slave trader Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol as “completely wrong,” like Priti Patel’s claim that it was “utterly disgraceful,” show their distance from what has become an international movement against racism.

Despite Patel’s nod to “the cause people are actually protesting about” (which she says is undermined by “acts of public disorder”) the position of her government is clear. Internationally it is aligned with Donald Trump and domestically it seeks to intensify the “hostile environment” for immigrants built up by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition from 2010-15. It is opposed to anti-racist movements.

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Public sculpture expert: why I welcome the decision to throw Bristol’s Edward Colston statue in the river


For years now, Bristol Council in south-west England had been failing to find a resolution for the question of what to do with a prominent public statue of Edward Colston, a Bristolian who had given much to the city but whose wealth was built upon the slave trade. A resolution was, ultimately, forced on June 7 when a crowd of protesters tore down Colston’s statue and threw it into the harbour.

Priti Patel, the home secretary, has called for a police investigation in response to what she has termed the “utterly disgraceful” toppling of Colston’s statue, seeing it as an act of “sheer vandalism and disorder”. But Patel is no expert in the history of public sculpture. She doesn’t understand what has actually taken place.Read More »

From Superpredators to Black Lives Matter: Hillary Clinton’s Opportunistic Career Arc

by Alan Macleod

MintPress News | June 09, 2020

Hillary Clinton Feature photo

After the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago, a spontaneous nationwide movement of millions of people protesting racist policing has gripped the country. Politicians of all stripes have staked out their positions, condemning, endorsing, or trying to co-opt the radical movement. The latest of these is failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The former New York senator published her thoughts on her on Medium blogwhere she appeared to endorse the Black Lives Matter movement, something she has previously stayed well clear of doing. “George Floyd’s life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s lives mattered. Black lives matter,” she began by stating.Read More »

New Zealand hits zero active coronavirus cases. Here are 5 measures to keep it that way

by and

The Conversation | June 08, 2020

Editor’s update: New Zealand has “eliminated” COVID-19 “for now”, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared, announcing the nation will move to alert level 1 from midnight on June 8, lifting all requirements for social distancing and restrictions on businesses.

We are confident we have eliminated transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now, but elimination is not a point in time – it is a sustained effort.

Below, two of the key epidemiologists who worked on New Zealand’s elimination strategy explain today’s news – and the challenges ahead.

Today, for the first time since February 28, New Zealand has no active cases of COVID-19.

According to our modelling, it is now very likely (well above a 95% chance) New Zealand has completely eliminated the virus. This is in line with our Te Pūnaha Matatini colleagues’ modelling.Read More »

How Che Guevara Taught Cuba to Confront COVID-19

by Don Fitz

Beginning in December 1951, Ernesto “Che” Guevara took a nine-month break from medical school to travel by motorcycle through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. One of his goals was gaining practical experience with leprosy. On the night of his twenty-fourth birthday, Che was at La Colonia de San Pablo in Peru swimming across the river to join the lepers. He walked among six hundred lepers in jungle huts looking after themselves in their own way.

Che would not have been satisfied to just study and sympathize with them – he wanted to be with them and understand their existence. Being in contact with people who were poor and hungry while they were sick transformed Che. He envisioned a new medicine, with doctors who would serve the greatest number people with preventive care and public awareness of hygiene. A few years later, Che joined Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement as a doctor and was among the eighty-one men aboard the Granma as it landed in Cuba on December 2, 1956.Read More »

India: COVID-19 lockdown: Why some workers lost patience

by Richard Mahapatra

Down To Earth | June 06, 2020

Returning migrant workers queue up for bus. Photo: Vikas Chaudhury

On June 8 India will enter its first phase of ‘unlockdown’ — after four phases of lockdown to curb the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — the Union government has announced. For more than two months the country has been overwhelmed with the biggest-ever exodus of workers to their respective states from business and manufacturing hubs after the ongoing national lockdown was declared to fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The urban India engrossed within its limited but privileged world realised the scale of India’s informal workforce. They also realised how fragile a life these millions of workers have been pursuing and a critical part of their formal economy. In absence of any transport facilities, thousands of workers just walked hundreds of kilometres along with families to reach home. And their experiences — torturous and contrasting to the image of an emerging economy — shook everybody, everywhere.Read More »