United Steel Workers (US) and Mineros (Mexico) Explore Merger

[The world-wide economic crisis continues to bring into conflict all the relations of the imperialist system.  Class struggles in every country and the building of genuine international solidarity and joint actions on a regional or global scale are critical challenges of our time.  Many activists and revolutionaries are struggling to address this challenge and to bring new forces of struggle, from reformist to revolutionary, into being.  This article from a trade union activist describes new developments in the unity of workers in North America.  The article traces an important, and generally unknown, history.-ed]

Dan La Botz

July, 2010

http://www.ueinternational.org/Mexico_info/mlna_articles.php?id=172#1146

The merger would create an international union of one million metal workers and miners. The United Steelworkers (USW), which represents 850,000 workers in Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States, and the National Union of Miners and Metal Workers (SNTMMSRM), known as the Mineros, which represents 180,000 workers in Mexico, have announced plans to explore uniting into one international union. The agreement to begin exploration of a merger was signed on June 21.

This new step in the creation of a global union — as opposed to a global federation of unions — represents a significant new development for labor in the Americas with implications for workers around the world.

Continue reading

Puente Movement: We Are All Arizona. We Will Not Comply

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a turning point in the international movement for human rights in Arizona. People carried out civil disobedience, protests, and rallies in cities across the country and the globe.

New Yorkers shut down the Brooklyn Bridge. In Los Angeles, they locked down Wilshire Blvd. In Tucson, they blocked the highways. They protested in Milwaukee, Chicago, Louisville, Ecuador, Spain, and Mexico.

In Phoenix, Sheriff Arpaio’s office and his jail were shut down the morning SB 1070 went into effect. More than 80 people including Unitarian Universalist President, Peter Morales, and Salvador Reza, a leader of the Puente Movement, were arrested in acts of non-compliance.

Beginning with a banner that was unfurled from a 230 ft. tall construction crane in Phoenix on the 28th, organizers linked the Arizona racial profiling law to the root cause of the humanitarian crisis, the federal ICE access programs that empower local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws.

If there was any doubt about whether the world accepted a partial injunction of 1070 as a victory, one can listen to today’s chants, “Arrest Arpaio, Not the People” and “SB 1070, We Will Not Comply,” and know that there is no partial solution to a human rights crisis.

“Solving this crisis means not just stopping SB 1070 and Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona but stopping all the Arpaios that the president’s ICE access program is creating all across the country,” explains Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “For a world without hate, for our children, for our future. We will not comply.”

Please donate for the bail fund / legal fees / organizing costs at http://bit.ly/azdonate. You can also donate $5 by texting “Arizona” to 50555.

Today we showed the world that we will not comply. Tomorrow we will demonstrate this movement is on the rise. Continue reading

Israel Gets Brutal With Media

A journalist is assisted by a colleague after he was injured during clashes between Israeli soldiers and demonstrators protesting against a nearby Israeli settlement near the West Bank village of Beit Umar July 17, 2010. (REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini)

July 23, 2010

Inter Press Service

by Mel Frykberg

NABI SALAH, Occupied West Bank – Palestinian activists are being jailed, Israeli activists are under surveillance, and the Israeli military is increasingly targeting journalists who cover West Bank protests.

The Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Israel issued a statement recently condemning what it sees as a change in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) policy in their treatment of journalists covering the growing number of West Bank protests against Israel’s separation barrier, illegal settlements and land expropriation.

“We would appreciate it were the authorities to remind the various forces involved, that open, unhindered coverage of news events is a widely acknowledged part of the essence of democracy.

“Generally speaking this would not include smashing the face of a clearly marked photographer working for a known and accredited news organization with a stick, or for that matter aiming a stun grenade at the head of a clearly marked news photographer or summarily arresting cameramen, photographers and/or journalists,” said the FPA. Continue reading

Struck Off the Travel Posters

Bharati Chaturvedi

Environmentalist and founder of the green non-profit, Chintan

July 29, 2010

Where are you currently holidaying? Chances are, if you are on a trip to India, you would have seen the many dramatic images they put out for tourists.

In the 1980s, Indian government offices were lined with colourful posters with a breathtaking image that said ‘India’ in both English and Hindi. Sometimes, it would be a photograph of the Taj Mahal, and sometimes, one of India’s many indigenous people. I would stare at these posters with fascination — that was the closest I had ever come to these brightly dressed fellow Indians.

But you would have seen the newer ones, from the mid 2000s. The Incredible India campaign. The photographs this time showed another, slicker India. A skinny woman in silver leotards doing yoga on a mountainous ledge, for example. I’m struck by how the rural and the indigenous folk are no longer extravagantly advertised. But I also know there is a reason for this: they are now engaged in numerous David versus Goliath kind of battles against the government and giant private companies over their land and natural resources. The country is not officially proud to show them off. Continue reading

India’s Embedded Journalists

embedded journalism

Express Buzz, July 29, 2010

Is media a mouthpiece?

Seema Mustafa

The Americans coined a phrase during their invasion of Iraq: embedded journalism, which basically underlined the use and misuse of the media by governments. Journalists embedded in the US tanks that rolled into Iraq gave glowing accounts of the war, the massacre of innocent Iraqis, and the terrible adversity of violence.

Since then sections of the media around the world have struggled to keep up with the phrase, working around the clock to please governments and pass on disinformation as the truth. Unfortunately, the same holds true of the Indian media where reporters and publications and news channels have deserted the people, to work for and on behalf of governments. Those who follow the government line well in Delhi are rewarded with trips with the prime minister, with select briefings denied to others, with access to the corridors of power, with planted information, with awards and seats of power at some point in time.

All that they have to do in return is to kill their conscience, report the wrong for the right, ask only those questions that their ‘masters’ and ‘benefactors’ want them to, and make sure that the voice of the people never becomes the news. Continue reading

Bay Area billboards ‘thank’ the US for Israel’s blank check

[We applaud such creative works appearing in California, and recommend that the consumers of our advertising culture take this with a pinch of salt.--ed.]

by Adam Horowitz on July 29, 2010

CDC Billboard Correction

From a “California Department of Corrections” press release:

New Billboard Alterations Salute Israel Following Raid on Gaza Flotilla

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has unveiled a new campaign of billboard alterations on behalf of the State of Israel.

On July 28, 2010 a total of nine billboards were apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged throughout San Francisco, including the intersection of Guerrero and 18th Street (see attached photo). Additional billboards were discharged into Polk Gulch, the Tenderloin, South of Market, the Mission, the Haight, Potrero Hill and Bay View/Hunters Point. The nine billboards represent the number of civilian fatalities incurred during Israel’s May 31st raid on a flotilla carrying supplies to Gaza. Continue reading

Villagers Rebuild Razed Bedouin Village

By Providence Knolls & Tania Kepler

29 July, 2010|

Alternativenews.org

One day after Israeli authorities razed the Bedouin village of el Araqib, village residents joined with Palestinian, Israeli and international volunteers to rebuild the village.

“We successfully rebuilt all the structures and tents destroyed, noted Dr. Awad Abu Freih, spokesperson of the el Araqib village and member of the el Araqib Popular Committee and the Arab Education Forum in the Negev. In a conversation with the AIC, Dr. Abu Freih stated that the residents of el Araqib “plan on building more than what was destroyed, in an attempt to prevent future demolitions.”

Over 300 Bedouins, mainly children, were forcefully removed from their village Tuesday morning (27 July) as they watched the Israeli police destroy their homes and property. The raid began at about 4:30 in the morning and residents woke up surrounded by a huge force of 1,500 police with guns, stun grenades, helmets and shields, including hundreds of Special Riot Police as well as mounted police, helicopters and bulldozers.

Despite being unrecognized by Israel, the village of el Araqib has existed since before the creation of Israel in 1948. Bedouin residents were evicted by the newly declared Israeli state in 1951, but returned to the land on which they live and where they cultivate. Ownership of the land is now the subject of proceedings in the Be’er Sheva District Court. Continue reading

The Significance of the ‘Support Bradley Manning’ Campaign

[Several months ago, WikiLeaks came to be recognised as the leading whistleblower organization of our time.  They released a videotape which exposed serious war crimes being committed by US forces in Iraq which involved deaths of civilians and newspeople.  Someone who had access to this tape (which was taken by crewmen of an Apache attack helicopter) had been so troubled by these events that they chose to reveal it to the public.  This revelation was an act of moral outrage.  The tape made its way to WikiLeaks, then to the media.  And the White House and Pentagon, untroubled by the crimes, went after the perpetrator(s) of ....the exposure.   A soldier named Bradley Manning was held as a suspect in....the exposure.   All those who are outraged at the war crimes committed against the Iraqi people should join the defense of those who are attacked for bringing these crimes to light.  WikiLeaks is in the proud tradition of those who brought the My Lai Masscre (Vietnam) to public view, and those, like Philip Agee and Daniel Ellsberg, who shared the information that led to broad struggles against imperialism.-ed.]

Bradley Manning

By Katharine Dawn

29 July, 2010,   Bradleymanning.org

Background

Bradley Manning is the young man charged with leaking classified US military information – including the video of a US Army helicopter gunning down Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists in Iraq in 2007 that was released to the world via the whistleblower website WikiLeaks as “Collateral Murder”. Bradley is now held in isolation from the outside world, in military detention in Kuwait. Bradley, who reportedly felt un-supported in life, faces – for his alleged actions – up to 52 years imprisonment.

Could the fate of one young man have any bearing upon the fate of the world?

Standing back from the tremendous onrush of these pivotal times, is it possible to realistically gauge the significance of the Support Bradley Manning campaign to the future outcome of the world? That is the objective of this article, exploring divergent scenarios ; I’ll let my esteemed readers and the course of history be the judge. So,

What if the world abandons Bradley Manning and the cause of open, informed public debate he stands for? Continue reading

Legal Fund Established To Fight Imprisonment of Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower

By Bradley Manning Support Network

29 July, 2010

Bradleymanning.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Jeff Paterson, Media Relations (press [at] bradleymanning [dot] org), +1 (202) 640-4388

Washington D.C., July 27, 2010 – At 4PM EST on July 27, the Bradley Manning Support Network (www.bradleymanning.org) will begin accepting online donations for the legal defense of Private First Class Bradley Manning.

The Network, a grassroots initiative formed to defend and support accused whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning, has partnered with Courage to Resist, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting military objectors.

Manning, a 22 year old intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq, stands accused of disclosing a classified video depicting American troops shooting civilians from an Apache helicopter in 2007. Eleven adults are killed in the video, including two Reuters employees, and two children critically injured. The video, available at http://www.collateralmurder.com, was published by WikiLeaks on April 5, 2010. No charges have been filed against the soldiers in the video. Continue reading

Petition Campaign: Justice for Bradley Manning!

28 July, 2010

http://www.petitiononline.com/manning1/petition.html

To: US Department of Defense; US Department of Justice

We, the Undersigned, call for justice for US Army PFC Bradley Manning, incarcerated without charge (as of 18 June 2010) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Media accounts state that Mr. Manning was arrested in late May for leaking the video of US Apache helicopter pilots killing innocent people and seriously wounding two children in Baghdad, including those who arrived to help the wounded, as well as potentially other material. The video was released by WikiLeaks under the name “Collateral Murder”.

If these allegations are untrue, we call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

If these allegations ARE true, we ALSO call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately. Continue reading

NY Times: An Arizona Morgue Grows Crowded

Bodies are stored in a refrigerated area of the Pima County morgue, which is running out of space as the number of immigrants found dead in deserts around Tucson has soared.

July 28, 2010

By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.

TUCSON — Dr. Bruce Parks unzips a white body bag on a steel gurney and gingerly lifts out a human skull and mandible, turning them over in his hands and examining the few teeth still in their sockets.

The body bag, coated with dust, also contains a broken pelvis, a femur and a few smaller bones found in the desert in June, along with a pair of white sneakers.

“These are people who are probably not going to be identified,” said Dr. Parks, the chief medical examiner for Pima County. There are eight other body bags crowded on the gurney.

The Pima County morgue is running out of space as the number of Latin American immigrants found dead in the deserts around Tucson has soared this year during a heat wave. Continue reading

Bangladesh: Garment workers’ deaths spark riot

July 27th, 2010

The second death in a week of a Bangladeshi Vertex factory employee led to a rampage by garment workers that was broken up by police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers went on  the rampage, ransacking a factory after a worker died on duty Monday, allegedly due to negligence on the part of the factory owner, police said.

The protesting workers claim that a 28-year-old quality inspector collapsed and died at a Vertex Group factory in northwest Dhaka after the owners refused to give him leave for hospital treatment, police Insp. Haris Shikder said.

“They ransacked the factory, broke windows, sewing machines and blocked a key highway, bringing traffic to a halt, which forced us to take action,” he said.  Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells to disperse more than 3,000 rampaging workers, Shikder said. Continue reading

Ethnic Cleansing in the Israeli Negev

“]By Neve Gordon

28 July 2010

Guardian.co.uk

The razing of a Bedouin village by Israeli police shows how far the state will go to achieve its aim of Judaising the Negev region.  Israeli police razed the Bedouin village of al-Arakib, destroying around 45 homes, in just three hours

A menacing convoy of bulldozers was heading back to Be’er Sheva as I drove towards al-Arakib, a Bedouin village located not more than 10 minutes from the city. Once I entered the dirt road leading to the village I saw scores of vans with heavily armed policemen getting ready to leave. Their mission, it seems, had been accomplished.

The signs of destruction were immediately evident. I first noticed the chickens and geese running loose near a bulldozed house, and then saw another house and then another one, all of them in rubble. A few children were trying to find a shaded spot to hide from the scorching desert sun, while behind them a stream of black smoke rose from the burning hay. The sheep, goats and the cattle were nowhere to be seen – perhaps because the police had confiscated them. Continue reading