Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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Belgian Worker’s Benefits Shredded by Capitalist Rulers

100k Protest Austerity in Brussels, Police Repression Sparks Riot

11/06/2014 —  Brussels, Belgium

Belgian riot police fired tear gas and water cannon’s repressing the demonstrators on Thursday, at the first of what’s to be a series of anti-austerity demonstrations and strikes planned for the coming weeks. More than 100,000 people were on the streets of Brussels where they marched peacefully for almost two hours before violence broke out.

Car windows were smashed, other vehicles were overturned or set alight, and protsetors threw paving stones and fireworks. There were also reports of serious injuries among police as well as demonstrators. 14 demonstrators were reportedly taken to area hospitals, Brussels newspaper De Morgen reports.

B1ww7eCIYAAedFSFor two hours, the demonstrators peacefully marched down the main thoroughfares of central Brussels to protest government policies that will raise the pension age, contain wages and cut into public services.
“They are hitting the workers, the unemployed. They are not looking for money where it is, I mean, people with a lot of money,” said Philippe Dubois, who came from the industrial rust belt of Liege.
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Belgium has a long postwar tradition of collective bargaining between employers and workers, and successive coalition governments representing a full scale of public opinion often have been able to contain social disagreements. But the current coalition, made up of three pro-business parties and the centrist Christian Democrats, is the first in decades that has been able to set such a clear free-market agenda.

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May Day fury: Angry workers rally worldwide

Workers hold a banner that reads "If you want to have a future, resist and fight at the present time" during a May Day workers demonstration in Porto, Portugal Wednesday May 1, 2013. In Portugal, with unemployment at 17.5 percent in March, the government is seeking to agree new austerity measures after its Constitutional Court rejected as discriminatory cuts to civil servant salaries and pensions decided in response to demands by EU-IMF lenders. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte) ( Paulo Duarte )

Workers hold a banner that reads “If you want to have a future, resist and fight at the present time” during a May Day workers demonstration in Porto, Portugal Wednesday May 1, 2013. In Portugal, with unemployment at 17.5 percent in March, the government is seeking to agree new austerity measures after its Constitutional Court rejected as discriminatory cuts to civil servant salaries and pensions decided in response to demands by EU-IMF lenders. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte) ( Paulo Duarte )

ISTANBUL — Workers around the world united in anger during May Day rallies Wednesday — from fury in Europe over austerity measures that have cut wages, reduced benefits and eliminated many jobs altogether, to rage in Asia over relentlessly low pay, the rising cost of living and hideous working conditions that have left hundreds dead in recent months.

In protests, strikes and other demonstrations held in cities across the planet, activists lashed out at political and business leaders they allege have ignored workers’ voices or enriched themselves at the expense of laborers. In some places, the demonstrations turned violent, with activists clashing with police.

Many nations have been struggling with economic downturns for several years now, and workplace disasters in developing countries are nothing new, but the intensity of some of Wednesday’s gatherings suggested workers’ frustrations have grown especially acute, with many demanding immediate action to address their concerns.

The anger was painfully evident in Bangladesh, where the collapse last week of an illegally built eight-story facility housing multiple garment factories killed more than 400 in a Dhaka suburb. The building collapse followed a garment factory fire in November that killed 112 people in the country, and it has increased the pressure on the global garment industry to improve working conditions.

A loud procession of thousands of workers wound through central Dhaka on Wednesday. Many waved the national flag and demanded the death penalty for the now-detained owner of the doomed building. From a loudspeaker on the back of a truck, a participant spoke for the throngs gathered: “My brother has died. My sister has died. Their blood will not be valueless.” Continue reading

The global rush to grab land and other resources

[The basic law of capitalism is “expand or die” — and quickly so, as the threat of being crushed or swallowed by competing exploiters also grows without a break.  Maximizing profits through ruthless exploitation of labor, manipulation of trade, and wholesale plunder of resources, all drive at immediate returns, and threaten and cause the destruction of the long-term survival of peoples across the planet. The article below details how the inherent malevolence of the capitalist-imperialist system, is driving billions of people in despair and into struggle against it.  — Frontlines ed.]

25 February 2013. A World to Win News Service. The planet is facing a serious food crisis. The unsustainable use of resources, from the land to the sea, due to the violent rush for profit, poses a great threat to humanity and the planet. But rivalry for control of food production and distribution under the profit-driven capitalist system is still sharpening, taking new forms and causing greater misery for the world’s people. The land-grab going on in Africa and other parts of the world is part of this trend.

Africa, whose people were kidnapped by the millions for the slave trade and ground down and bled under colonialism and since, a continent whose resources has been sacked for centuries and which has suffered so much from wars spurred by big-power rivalry, faces a new form of looting today. Corporations, private banks, pension funds and many multinational companies have grabbed fertile land all over the continent. With the connivance of corrupt and client governments dependent on foreign investment, they have secured long leases by paying as little as half a U.S. dollar per hectare per year.

Although this kind of land acquisition is far from new, there has been a spectacular jump since 2008. In the following year, investors bought or leased more than 56 million hectares in Asia, Latin America and especially Africa, roughly 15 times more land that the yearly average in the preceding half century. (Farah Stockman, Boston Globe, 24 February 2013) Continue reading

Arundhati Roy: “Indian capitalism fully monopolistic”

HYDERABAD, August 13, 2012

Staff Reporter, The Hindu

Dr P.M. Bhargava, Former Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) releasing the Telugu translation of Arundhati Roy book Capitalism: A Ghost Story, also seen are are Prof. Haragopal, in Hyderabad on Sunday . Photo: M.Subhash
[The Hindu Dr P.M. Bhargava, Former Director of Centre for Cellular
and Molecular Biology (CCMB) releasing the Telugu translation
of Arundhati Roy’s book Capitalism: A Ghost Story, also
seen are are Prof. Haragopal, in Hyderabad on Sunday .
Photo: M.Subhash]

‘Nelson Mandela was not allowed to implement land reforms’

Noted writer Arundhati Roy has said capitalism in India is most unique as it tries to control the society in every possible manner by establishing monopoly on all key sectors connected to life, which is not seen even in most capitalistic western countries.

“Capitalism encourages everything that does not threaten its interests including the recent anti-corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hazare and his team. By encouraging social groups to take up different issues separately, capitalism will fragment social energy in a way that will deny a holistic struggle for justice”, the Booker prize winner said here on Sunday.

Speaking at a function organised to release the Telugu translation of her essay, Capitalism – A Ghost Story, the social activist said capitalism in the country would make people depend on them from commodities like salt to costly cars, communication to media and minerals to power. It would undermine everything to further its interests, she noted.

By employing perception management, capitalism would control public policy, resources and businesses as it would innovate itself continuously, Ms. Arundhati Roy stated. “It will criminalise the tribals and make them squatters on their own land. They fund human rights organisations but will never allow them to speak about pure justice,” she said.

Stating how foresighted and influential the capitalism would be, the writer explained how the capitalist forces made Nelson Mandela the President of South Africa in the name of ending apartheid and did not allow him to implement land reforms and nationalisation of natural resources. She also explained how the corporate philosophy would mould public policies to suit their interests.

Human rights activist Prof. G. Haragopal said the book was most relevant to the society at a time when the social conflict was on the rise. Former Director of CCMB P.M. Bhargava, Prof. Ghanta Chakrapani and others spoke. The original essay was translated into Telugu by one K. Suresh.