The year 2019 was marked by popular movements unprecedented for decades in many countries around the world. From Algeria to Sudan via Lebanon, France or Haiti, these movements brought millions of demonstrators into action. This same year, coups d’état and reactionary offensives multiplied, as well as the attempts at instrumentalizing and diverting these great popular movements. The chronological perception of these struggles disseminated by the media prevents us from taking stock of the common issues represented by these mobilizations. Likewise, the pervasiveness of a Euro-centric reading framework masks the beginning of a new historical period of the world imperialist system and the resumption of popular initiatives that accompany it. How can we understand this new cycle of struggle? Can we link these movements to a common material foundation? Are these disconnected from the dominant ideological discourses? Etc.
84-year-old Indian activist, priest and political prisoner Fr. Stan Swamy died at a hospital on Monday, July 5. He died shortly before his plea for medical bail was heard by the Bombay High Court. Swamy, who was arrested on October 8, 2020 in the controversial Elgar Parishad case, had been admitted to the Holy Family Hospital in the city of Mumbai on May 28 after his health deteriorated. Swamy had spent decades working for the welfare of tribal communities in India.
A special court had denied him bail in March 2021. Incidentally, last month, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the case, had filed an affidavit before the High Court opposing Swamy’s bail plea. It had said that there did not exist “conclusive proof” of his medical ailments.
Swamy was arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which renders chances for bail very difficult. During his time in jail, his health deteriorated drastically, a fact which was repeatedly stressed by his lawyers and well-wishers. In November, Swamy, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, had to approach the courts to even access a straw and a sipper. Shortly after being admitted to Holy Family Hospital at the end of May, Swamy reportedly contracted COVID1-19.
The Wall Street Journal headline (5/10/21) presents the Gaza violence as a clear-cut case of aggression and retaliation.
Media coverage of heightened violence in Israel/Palestine has misrepresented events in the Israeli government’s favor by suggesting that Israel is acting defensively, presenting a false equivalency between occupier and occupied, and burying information necessary to understand the scale of Israeli brutality.
Corporate media have presented Israel’s killing spree as defensive, as a reaction to supposed Palestinian aggression. A Financial Times headline (5/10/21) read, “Hamas Rocket Attacks Provoke Israeli Retaliation in Gaza.” The New York Times’ description (5/12/21) was, “Hamas launched long-range rockets at Jerusalem on Monday evening, prompting Israel to respond with airstrikes.” An article in Newsweek (5/12/21) had it that “Hamas rained down rockets on Israeli civilian targets, and the Israeli military responded with surgical air strikes against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza.” A CNN headline (5/12/21) said, “At Least 35 Killed in Gaza as Israel Ramps Up Airstrikes in Response to Rocket Attacks.”Read More »
The election loss is a setback, but it shouldn’t be understood as a failed test of whether or not Amazon can be organized. The history of the union movement in the U.S. is full of losses that came before big wins. Photo: Joe Piette (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
What can union activists across the country take away from the high-profile defeat in the union vote at Amazon in Alabama?
The National Labor Relations Board announced April 9 that workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer, near Birmingham, had voted against joining the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.
The tally was 71 percent no to 29 percent yes—though it’s possible the actual split was closer to 60-40, if you consider the large number of ballots that were cast but never counted because they were challenged by the company.Read More »
Women’s Day or Working Women’s Day is a day of international solidarity, and a day for reviewing the strength and organization of proletarian women.
But this is not a special day for women alone. The 8th of March is a historic and memorable day for the workers and peasants, for all the Russian workers and for the workers of the whole world. In 1917, on this day, the great February revolution broke out. It was the working women of Petersburg who began this revolution; it was they who first decided to raise the banner of opposition to the Tsar and his associates. And so, working women’s day is a double celebration for us.
But if this is a general holiday for all the proletariat, why do we call it “Women’s Day”? Why then do we hold special celebrations and meetings aimed above all at the women workers and the peasant women? Doesn’t this jeopardize the unity and solidarity of the working class? To answer these questions, we have to look back and see how Women’s Day came about and for what purpose it was organized.Read More »
It is five years since the Central Committee of our Party convened in Moscow the All-Russian women workers’ and peasants’ congress. Over a thousand delegates, representing one million working women, gathered for the congress. This congress was a landmark in the work of our Party among working women. The incalculable service rendered by this congress was to lay the foundation for the organisation of the political education of our Republic’s women workers and peasants.
Some may think that there is nothing out of the ordinary in this, since the Party has always carried out political education among the masses, including women, or it may be thought that the political education of women can have no real importance since we shall soon have united worker and peasant cadres. Such opinions are fundamentally incorrect.Read More »
Sylvia Pankhurst, and sister of Adela, above, were born in Manchester, the daughters of Dr. Richard Pankhurst and Emmeline Pankhurst. Both their father, who did political work as an attorney radical lawyer, and mother, were major influences on Sylvia’s commitment to socialism.
Sylvia was a talented artist by training but during her schooling also became involved in the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded by her mother in 1903, and in which her sister, Christabel, was also very active. In 1906 she served her first prison sentence for her political activities–in her life she would endure several brutal prison sentences involving hunger strikes and forced feedings. She also did work for the Labour Party and became and was closely associated with Kier Hardie, the leader of the party in the House of Commons. In 1911 her book The History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement was published. Her writings include 22 books and pamphlets, and numerous articles including the launching of four newspapers.Read More »
“No to war. We defend life”. Photo: Colombia Informa
The humanitarian tragedy in Colombia continues into 2021. In the first four days of this year, two social leaders, two former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and a family member of an ex-combatant have been assassinated in the country.
The Common Alternative Revolutionary Forces (FARC) political party denounced the murder of former guerrilla fighter Duván Arled Galíndez Nadia on January 3. The party was created as part of the peace agreements signed by the insurgent group and the national government in 2016.Read More »
Community health workers in India blockade a road during the historic strike on November 26. Source Newsclick
[Peoples Dispatch brings you a series of articles and videos on 2020, a momentous year that saw humanity face unprecedented challenges. The beacon of hope remained the historic resistance mounted by people’s movements, and the care and solidarity they epitomized, proving yet again that our collective struggles alone can dismantle and end oppression. You can read the full series here]
From the over 1,100 strikes in the US, averaging over three a day, to history’s largest known general strike witnessed in India, labor actions across continents in 2020 demonstrated the firm refusal of the working class to passively accept on to its shoulders the burden of an unprecedented economic that has been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.Read More »