On September 27, Indian farmers’ organizations and trade unions are holding a country-wide shutdown demanding the withdrawal of the three agricultural laws and other anti-farmer and anti-worker measures. We take a look at the key milestones of the past 10 months of the farmers’ struggle.
New Delhi: Farmers’ organisations are holding a nationwide Bharat Bandh today (September 27) as part of their ongoing agitation against the Union government’s contentious farm laws.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ organisations, said the day;s protest would last from 6 am to 4 pm. The SKM had also asked political parties to stand with farmers in their quest to defend principles of democracy and federalism.
“As this historic struggle completes 10 months, SKM has called Monday (September 27) to be observed as Bharat Bandh against the anti-farmer Modi government,” the SKM had said in a statement. “The SKM appeals to every Indian to join this nationwide movement and make Bharat Bandh a resounding success. In particular, we appeal to all organisations of workers, traders, transporters, businessmen, students, youth and women and all social movements to extend solidarity with the farmers that day.”
Born in 1946 in Shahidanwali village in Punjab (now in Pakistan), Kamla Bhasin grew up in Rajasthan. After completing her post-graduation from Rajasthan University, she studied sociology in Germany and on her return in 1972 joined the Udaipur-based voluntary organisation Seva Mandir, which worked with the rural and urban poor – men and women – with the goal of “mobilising them for their own development”. From that point till September 25, 2021, when Kamla Bhasin, suffering from cancer, breathed her last, her life was a seamless journey of, in her own words, “being deeply engaged with issues related to gender, development, peace, identity politics, militarisation, human rights and democracy”; of exploring and articulating “connections between different issues and to promote synergies between different movements.” It was a journey during which the indefatigable feminist touched countless hearts. One of them was Kalpana Viswanath whose tribute to Kamla Bhasin looks back at three decades of association with her.
Capitalist health care systems do not do well in epidemics compared to health care systems not organized around capitalist principles, and COVID-19 is no exception. As Paul Sweezy once pointed out (as relayed by Barbara Ehrenreich), if health care is the purpose of the U.S. system, it fails miserably. But, in reality, the system is successful, because the goal is something else: profit making and the accumulation of capital.1 With its corporate dominance, horrendous problems of access, high costs, lack of overall coordination, and deprioritization of public health services, the United States has confronted the pandemic with chaos. In general, government agencies and corporations have struggled to protect the previous profitable, though ineffective, arrangements, with deadly consequences.
As Nicaragua’s presidential and legislative elections next November 7th draw nearer, so the attacks demonizing the country’s Sandinista FSLN government led by President Daniel Ortega become progressively more intense. Lately, Western propaganda outlets have focused on the recent arrests of various figures from Nicaragua’s political opposition, claiming that they are abitrary detentions aimed at preventing any challenge to Daniel Ortega’s presidential candidacy. A recent Guardian interview with highly regarded novelist, Sergio Ramirez, a long standing, fierce critic of President Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, his former comrades, offers a litany of the falsehoods and distortions currently being deployed to discredit their government.
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro expressed today that it is urgent for the world to consolidate the construction of a new order of peace, cooperation, dialogue, political, religious, as well as cultural diversity, multilateral and pluricentric, during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“We have to achieve a world without hegemonic empires, freed from the attempt of economic, financial, military and geopolitical domination of any empire, those which for centuries exploited the world with the old colonialism”, added the Venezuelan president.
In an open letter to Australia’s minister for foreign affairs, Marise Payne, a group of campaigners representing the Chilean exile community and victims of the Augusto Pinochet regime have condemned Australia’s role in Chile’s violent military coup, which overthrew democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973.
Newly declassified files, released to Canberra academic and intelligence analyst Clinton Fernandes, detail how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) requested assistance from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) during the Allende administration in undermining the president’s authority and sabotaging Chile’s socialist project.
The systematic assassination of social leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia continues unceasingly at a horrifying rate. On average, everyday, at least one violent incident and more than one death is recorded in the South American country. On September 20, the Institute of Development and Peace Studies (INDEPAZ) reported that five social leaders were murdered in different parts of the country on that same day.
María Nancy Ramírez, a teacher and member of the Antioquia Teachers Association, was shot dead by two assassins in Santa Rosa de Osos city in the Antioquia department. Jose Luis Pai and Jovanny Javier García, Indigenous leaders of the Awa Quejuambi Feliciana and Hojal La Turbia communities respectively, disappeared on September 19 and were found dead with several signs of violence in Tumaco city, in the Nariño department. Dilio Bailarin, Indigenous leader and member of the Alto Guayabalito Community, was killed in Carmen del Darién town, in the Chocó department. He had recently received threats from illegal armed groups operating in the municipality. David Aricapa Viscue, a member of the Lopez Adentro Indigenous Community, was also shot dead in Caloto town, in the Cauca department.