80th Anniversary of Soviet Red Army breaking siege of Leningrad

Harsh Thakor

Countercurrents | January 20, 2023

80 years ago, Soviet troops battled to open up a narrow corridor to the besieged city of Leningrad. A railroad was constructed through it in literally two weeks and supplies started reaching a city that had been bled dry.

The Red Army only had to traverse a distance of 15 km. Stillt this short distance was at the cost of the lives of thirty thousand Soviet soldiers.

This turn of events played major role in shaping the destiny or determining the path of the Great Patriotic War.

Courage and endurance scaled heights almost unparalleled in history in withstanding and overpowering an oppressor.

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Massive Strikes Hit France: More Than One Million People Join 200 Protest Marches

Countercurrents | January 20, 2023

A massive strike has hit France on Thursday. Workers and other earners joined hands in protesting pension reform. Trade union sources said the number of people joining more than 200 protest marches was 2 million. Police had to use tear gas to contain the protesters in Paris.

Teachers, railway workers and public sector employees abandoned joined the protest marches to oppose a planned increase in the retirement age

Citing France’s interior ministry, media reports said:

About 1.12 million people took part in protests across France.

Of the about 1.12 million people who joined the protests, 80,000 were in Paris alone, BFMTV said.

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Tens of thousands on the streets of Peru in national strike

The pro-democracy protests have received the support of several celebrities, universities and progressive political parties

Peoples Dispatch | January 19, 2023

National strike in Cusco. Photo: Wilson Chilo / Wayka

Tens of thousands of Peruvians from across the country arrived in the capital Lima to take part in a national strike called for today, January 19, to reject the legislative coup against former president Pedro Castillo and demand the immediate resignation of the de-facto president Dina Boluarte.

Peasant and Indigenous communities together with members of numerous social organizations and trade unions from all regions of Peru traveled in caravans to reach Lima. The caravans were organized as a part of the second ‘Marcha de los Cuatro Suyos’ or ‘March from the Four Corners’ to bring the voices of the excluded masses of deep Peru to the seat of power.

The organizations have called to hold marches from different parts of Lima to the center of the city against the Boluarte government under the banner of ‘Toma de Lima’ or ‘Taking of Lima.’ The marches are especially organized to condemn the brutal police and military repression the de-facto government has unleashed against peaceful protests as well as to demand justice for the victims.

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Union Organizing Surged in 2022: Let’s Push for a Radical Labor Movement in 2023

More workers are forming independent unions, untethered from the AFL-CIO and other established labor groups.

Michael D. Yates

Truthout | December 29, 2022

Chris Smalls, a leader of the Amazon Labor Union, leads a march of Starbucks and Amazon workers and their allies to the homes of their CEOs to protest union busting on Labor Day, September 5, 2022, in New York City, New York.

The year 2022 saw a significant increase in working-class unrest in the United States. Millions of workers quit their jobs in 2021, and this trend has continued in 2022. Most moved on to different employment, while others continued their education or retired. Recently, many Twitter employees quit in response to the severe force reduction and intensification of work effort engineered by new owner Elon Musk. For those working, there has been a wave of what the media has dubbed “quiet quitting,” but which is really an old-fashioned labor strategy known as “working to rule,” or doing no more than what you have been ordered or contractually required to do. Those working from home have shown a reluctance to return to the office, an indication that, despite the problems of laboring where you live, offices are seen as worse.

Union organizing is on the rise, reflecting both the widespread disgust with workplace conditions and the now evidently positive public view of labor unions. The purchasing power of wages has stagnated for decades in the United States, while labor’s productivity has risen considerably. Unfortunately, the latter is partly the result of employer-initiated speed-ups, meaning that fewer workers must take up the slack created by a smaller workforce — again, management-created. According to Gallup, 71 percent of Americans now approve of unions, the highest favorable rating since 1965. This may help explain the surge in union recognition efforts. Between October 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 (fiscal year 2022), union certification petitions at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were up 58 percent over the previous year. No doubt there were other such efforts, those that simply petitioned employers to bargain with a union or where workers struck to win bargaining rights. Because employers regularly violate the law by committing unfair labor practices (ULPs) such as firing union supporters, the NLRB has faced a heavy caseload of ULPs, which rose 16 percent over the same period.

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Davos 23: going pear-shaped

Michael Roberts Blog | January 17, 2023

This week, the jamboree of the rich global elite of the World Economic Forum (WEF) has started again after the COVID interregnum.  Top political and business leaders have flown in on their private jets to discuss climate change and global warming, as well as the impending global economic slump, the cost of living crisis and the Ukraine war.

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Protests In Peru Persist

Countercurrents | January 12, 2023

People are protesting Rightist government moves ousting President Pedro Castillo.

Tweeting from jail on Tuesday, Castillo said history will remember Peruvians “murdered for defending the country from the coup dictatorship,” and that “terror is the last bullet of a regime cornered by the people.”

At least 47 people have died in connection with the protests, according to official government figures published on Tuesday. This includes 39 protesters, as well as seven civilians who perished in “traffic accidents linked to protest roadblocks,” and a police officer.

Media reports said:

Protesters in the southern city of Juliaca ambushed a patrol car after 17 local civilians were killed the day prior, in a confrontation with police.

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UK Strikes:

Meetings with ministers to resolve NHS, rail and civil service strikes ends ‘in total farce’

Morning Star | January 12, 2023

Mick Lynch, (left) general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) arrives at the offices of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) for a Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) meeting

ASTRIKE by 100,000 civil servants is set to go ahead next month after unions branded today’s crisis talks with Tory ministers a “total farce.”

Cabinet Office Minister Jeremy Quin met with the leaders of the PCS, FDA and Prospect unions after they said December’s Border Force walkouts would be followed by massive industrial action across 124 government departments and other bodies on February 1.

But despite discussions over pay, jobs, working conditions and pensions being “well-trailed by the government as a chance to resolve the crisis, it was nothing of the sort because the minister had nothing to offer,” PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka charged.

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Thierry Meyssan: The world order already changed in 2022

Thierry Meyssan

VOLTAIRENET.ORG | January 12, 2023

After long months of pulling her punches, Russia is finally letting Ukraine get a taste of what it has sown through fanaticism, nonstop lies and indecent, often brutal acts against civilians and Russian personnel.

It is a constant of History: changes are rare, but sudden. Those who bear the brunt of them are generally the last to see them coming. They perceive them only too late. Contrary to the static image that prevails in the West, international relations have been turned upside down in 2022, mainly to the detriment of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, often to the benefit of China and Russia. With their eyes riveted on Ukraine, Westerners do not perceive the redistribution of the cards.

T. MEYSSAN


IT is rare for international relations to be shaken as they were in 2022. And it is not over. The process that has begun will not stop, even if events disrupt it and possibly interrupt it for a few years. The domination of the West, both the United States and the former colonial powers of Europe (mainly the United Kingdom, France and Spain) and Asia (Japan), is coming to an end. No one obeys a leader anymore, including the states that remain vassals of Washington. Everyone is now beginning to think for themselves. We are not yet in the multipolar world that Russia and China are trying to bring about, but we are seeing it being built.

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‘Let them die?’ Life expectancy collapses in the US

Zoltan Zigedy

Morning Star | January 13, 2023

IN the spirit of Jonathan Swift’s satirical tract A Modest Proposal, we might facetiously attribute the recent decline in US life expectancy to a concerted effort to strengthen the social safety net.

Politicians have been maintaining for decades that it would be necessary to reduce social security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits to keep the systems solvent.

Leaders of both political parties have urged cutting benefits, changing eligibility requirements or raising the already high age thresholds to preserve the reserves for future recipients.

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Rising Food, Rents, Energy Prices Threatened Rights Of People In UK, Says Human Rights Watch

Countercurrents | January 13, 2023

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said: Rising food, rents, and energy prices, and inadequate social protections threatened the rights of people on the lowest incomes, including to food and housing.

The HRW has warned: The UK could become known as a “human rights abuser,” if it does not reverse a series of controversial laws.

The NGO criticized Britain’s treatment of illegal immigrants, protesters, welfare recipients, and ethnic minorities, among others.

The NGO’s World Report 2023 (https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2023/country-chapters/united-kingdom) said:

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