Transport Workers Solidarity Committee’s Response to ILWU International’s Statements on ZIM Protests
Recent ILWU press releases and public statements are misleading and conflict with well-established ILWU policies and positions on Palestine and Israel. The editor of the ILWU newspaper, The Dispatcher, at the direction of the ILWU President, can not overturn those policies and positions without a vote by Convention delegates.
The Israeli Consulate’s statement that the ZIM Pireaus sailed from the port of Oakland on August 20 after completing cargo operations is untrue. But for the ILWU Communications Director, Craig Merrilees, to make that same statement, reaffirming the Zionist’s self-serving distortion places the ILWU on the side of those responsible for the recent slaughter of over 2,100 Palestinians, most of them innocent Gazan civilians. The false statement implies that the 5-days of picketing by thousands of protesters had no impact on cargo operations. The original call for a mass protest on August 16 and 17, mobilizing a few thousand was made by a coalition, Block the Boat, initiated by the Arab Research and Organizing Committee. However, subsequent picketing on August 18, 19 and 20 that stopped the ship’s cargo operations was done spontaneously by a smaller group of Bay Area activists, including the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee.
The truth is that after failing to gets its cargo worked at the SSA terminal, ZIM Lines tried to fool protesters that the ship was sailing to Russia, but longshoremen knew otherwise. The ship departed August 19, headed out the Golden Gate at night then abruptly reversed course, made a Williamson turn and headed back to the Port of Oakland, this time to Berth 22. Ports America, the employer, tried to shift longshore workers from another ship to work the ZIM Pireaus but there already was a picket line at the terminal gate. Some ILWU Local 10 members refused to work the ship. Those that reluctantly worked it, despite pressure from the employer and union officials, rebelled by slowing down cargo ops to a crawl. One crane operator boasted that barely 1% of containers was actually moved before the ZIM ship was forced to sail. Continue reading →
The city of São Paulo has been at the centre of repeated protests against the government’s R114bn spending, writes Lizzie Dearden
Paulo Ito, a street artist, painted the mural of a starving child with only a football to eat on a school in São Paulo on May 10 and a photo of the artwork has since been shared more than 50 000 times on Facebook alone.
The city has been at the centre of repeated and sometimes violent protests against the government’s R114 billion spending on the World Cup when the money is so badly needed elsewhere.
“People already have the feeling and that image condensed this feeling,” Paulo Ito told slate.com.
“The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start,” he said.
Professor Akinyele Umoja, chair, African American Studies at Georgia State University discusses his new book: We Will Shoot Back: Armed Self-defense in the Mississippi Freedom Movement. This program was sponsored by the Stone Center and the Bull’s Head Bookstore of UNC at Chapel Hill. This is part of the presentation Professor Umoja made at Chapel Hill, length: 30:38
Caribbean nations which ignore the human and civil rights of the citizenry will never be able to access reparations.Visiting Barbados economic historian Hilary Beckles, campus principal of Cave Hill and Pro Vice Chancellor of UWI, made this comment at a public lecture and launch of his book Britain’s Black Debtat Daaga Auditorium, St Augustine Campus, on May 23. Among those present were St Augustine campus principal Prof Clement Sankat, Prof Funso Aiyejina, dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, literary icon Earl Lovelace and head of the department of history Dr Heather Cateau.
Beckles dedicated his book to the late eminent historian and T&T’s first prime minister Dr Eric Williams, author of the seminal work Capitalism and Slavery. Beckles said his book should be seen as a sequel to Williams’ work and dedicated it to him. His narrative revolved around a cover photograph of a young queen Elizabeth of England taking a stroll with her cousin, the 7th Earl of Harewood on his sugar plantation (the Belle) in Barbados in 1966. It was bought by the earl’s ancestor in 1780 and there were 232 slaves. Before delving into the post pan-African conversation, Beckles said he had to “purge himself” by writing this book which he deemed to be a case study of the need for reparations for the descendants of enslaved peoples. He felt Britain had a case to answer, which the Caribbean should litigate. Beckles said he believed there would be no social justice until the matter of reparations was addressed. Continue reading →
On Thursday, August 16, police officers fired into the crowd with automatic weapons. When it was over, 34 miners lay dead. Here, police check the bodies of dead mineworkers.
The massacre of the Marikana/Lonmin workers has inserted itself within South Africa’s national consciousness, not so much through the analysis, commentary and reporting in its wake. Instead, it has been the power of the visual images of police armed with awesome fire power gunning down these workers, together with images of bodies lying defeated and lifeless, that has aroused a national outcry and wave of condemnation. These images have also engendered international protest actions outside South African embassies. In themselves these images communicate a politics about ‘official state power’. It is bereft of moral concern, de-humanised, brutal and at odds with international human rights standards; in these ways it is no different from apartheid era state sponsored violence and technologies of oppressive rule. Moreover, the images of police officers walking through the Marikana/Lonmin killing field, with a sense of professional accomplishment in its aftermath, starkly portrays a scary reality: the triumph of South Africa’s state in its brutal conquest of its enemies, its citizens.
At the same time, the pain and suffering of the gunned down workers has became the pain of a nation and the world; this has happened even without the ANC government declaring we must not apportion blame but mourn the dead. In a world steeped in possessive individualism and greed, the brutal Marikana/Lonmin massacre reminds us of a universal connection; our common humanity. However, while this modern human connection and sense of empathy is important, it is also superficial. This is brought home by a simple truth: the pain of the Marikana/Lonmin workers is only our pain in their martyrdom. They had to perish for all of us to realise how deep social injustice has become inscribed in the everyday lives of post-apartheid South Africa’s workers and the poor. The low wage, super exploitation model of South African mining, socially engineered during apartheid, is alive and well, and thriving. It is condoned by the post-apartheid state. This is the tragic irony of what we have become as the much vaunted ‘Rainbow nation’. Continue reading →
“The Political organization has the Central Role in Raising the Consciousness of People”
by Buta Singh, Sanhati
In America, and especially in Europe, the class consciousness of people has taken a downturn and this is the cause for domination of bourgeois ideology and in organizing public opinion for unjust imperialist wars. That is why there is no strong opposition to these wars and aggressions among the people of imperialist countries.”
This was stated by Jan Myrdal, a famous Marxist thinker and literary figure, in a heavily attended program in Punjabi Bhavan in Ludhiana which was held under the chairmanship of Prof. AK Maleri, Prof. Jagmohan Singh, Satnam, Prof. Ajmer Aulakh and Gautam Navlakha. He was introduced by Prof. Jagmohan Singh to the audience as an anti-imperialist activist and literary authority known throughout the world. In his key-note address Myrdal said that the imperialist wars have assumed an important role in the world due to weakened working class movement. He stressed that the people do not gain political consciousness spontaneously rather it is imparted by the political organization of the working class. He said that the Nazis had achieved success in elections by corrupting the consciousness of their people promising them gains in the loot of Europe. The genocides being carried out by the imperialist USA is not a new thing and one should remember that it is built on the mass scale extermination of the Red Indians. It attacks other countries to control them but is careful to not destroy their oil resources and installations and instead destroys their cultural heritages, history and civilizations. Quoting Mao Zedong he said that though the US imperialism is a paper tiger but it has a great capability of inflicting heavy casualties and destruction to maintain its imperialist grip on the people of the world. In spite of great changes in the world system the plunder of wage labour still holds the key to imperialist exploitation though the mental labour has assumed huge proportions. The developing of the war machine has always been an important aspect of imperialism. The struggles like “occupy Wall Street” are important but the they lack the required political perspective and direction as the political organization which can lead the people to victory is not present. He said that the imperialists have succeeded in splitting up the people of Syria, Iraq and other Arab countries on religious and sectarian lines thus sidetracking the struggles of the people and pitching them one against the other. While answering the questions of the audience he stressed that it is duty of the movements in various countries to enact change in the system in accordance with the objective situation prevailing in respective countries and no single center can lead the movements in various countries. While briefing on his meetings with Mao Zedong he said that he was a genius who could creatively apply Marxist theory according to the social conditions and history of China. Gautam Navlakha translated his speech and his answers to the questions raised by the listeners. Continue reading →
( This is the Document by Comrade Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran,” tabled on ongoing CC Meeting. We all know, The Central Committee Meeting of UCPN( Maoist ) is going on. There is no need of comment on this document. But it is the matter to note that Comrade Kiran is still looking for the ”revolutionary transformation ” of Prachada ! Thanks to Comrade Lamsal for this excellent translation. )
Kiran : On problems of the party and their resolution
1. Need for a new report:
Now, the class struggle is at a serious juncture and this class struggle has been reflected on our party’s two-line struggle. The history of Nepal’s new people’s democratic revolution and communist movement is at a new turning point. We are in the grave type of labor pain. While, on the one hand, the conspiracy to liquidate the process of great people’s war initiated in 1996 into parliamentary quagmire is being consolidated; the revolutionary line, on the other, has emerged more effectively against this trend with a new commitment to give continuity to the Nepali new people’s democratic revolution.
In the history of Nepali people’s revolution and communist movement, a chapter has come to an end and a new chapter has begun. And this process is moving ahead. In order for us to carry forward and complete the task of Nepali revolution, a new historic necessity has emerged in the class struggle and two-line struggle of the party that requires us to face newer and more serious challenges. History has sought a clear-cut and straight answer from us whether to resolutely march forward facing and overcoming these challenges or to surrender before the reactionaries.
But our revolution continues. In this crucial period, the sacrifice and contribution and the stories of unprecedented courage and bravery of our great martyrs, disappeared and injured warriors and the people demonstrated in the entire Nepal’s revolution and great People’s War must be remembered with especial significance and due respect. The great ideals and dreams of people’s liberation and revolution are linked together as integral part of the fierce class struggle and two-line struggle in the party. And we can never forget these ideals and dreams.
The political report entitled “Brief Political Report on Emerging Crisis: Their solution and Future Programmes” presented by Chairman comrade Prachanda on December 24, 2011 in the central committee meeting has not recognized and acknowledged this complexity and reality of the class struggle and the two-line struggle. This has, hence, necessitated a separate political report. Continue reading →
The barb between the hardliners and the party establishment within the UCPN (Maoist) saw a new level of intensity on Wednesday as hardliners hurled personal broadside against party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, calling him a “comprador” and a “sell-out”. During the ongoing Central Committee (CC) meeting of the party on Wednesday, not even Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai was spared from personal attacks. According to some leaders, the attack was one of fiercest in the party’s internal deliberation since the party entered peaceful politics in 2006.
“Dahal and PM Bhattarai are working under the guidance of expansionist and imperialistic forces, the signing of BIPPA is a classic example of it,” said Ram Bahadur Thapa, party general secretary and leader of the hard-line camp, in the meeting. He also accused Dahal of compromising with other parties on the core issues of constitution drafting in the dispute resolution subcommittee formed under the Constitutional Committee.
The group of four in the hard-line camp—Thapa, CP Gajurel, Dev Gurung and Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’—used words such as “comprador”, “rightist”, “reformist”, “individualistic” and “feudal” to describe Dahal and Bhattarai during the deliberation. The leaders threatened to split the party, arguing that there was no point in staying together if the party leadership didn’t change itself. They said ideology and people were more worthy for them than the party. Continue reading →
Interview with Basanta, Politburo Member, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Q. You said there is class struggle in the making of the new constitution. Can you elaborate which classes are aligned in to Nepal to backwards from the marching forward and how it is reflected in the expression of the new constitution. How they are placed in different parties? Which are the parties totally retrograde?
A. Constitution is a political document that guides the state power of the given country to drive forward. Like the state power, constitution is also relative to a certain class, oppressor or the oppressed. At one point of the people’s war, the Constituent Assembly came into being as a political tactic to drive forward the unfinished task of new democratic revolution in Nepal. The classes, which were fighting militarily during people’s war, are now clashing ideologically and politically in the Constituent Assembly. The front of class struggle has definitely changed but not the objective.
With the demolition of monarchy, feudalism has become weak in Nepal. The comprador bourgeois has acquired upper hand in the state power. However, the characteristic of the state power has not changed yet. The contradiction formed of the entire people of oppressed class, nation, region and sex on the one side and the comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie, which is leading the reactionary state power, on the other, is the principal contradiction. It is manifested now in the Constituent Assembly too. To write a constitution that paves the way forward to resolving the basic contradictions emerged out of semi-feudal and semi-colonial condition of Nepal and restructuring the state power accordingly is the task our party is trying to accomplish from the Constituent Assembly. However, two-line struggle seems to be sharp on the content of the constitution.
It is principally the class not a party, we are confronting with, in the Constituent Assembly. However, the ideological and political line of a party represents the interest of a certain class. In this sense, we have to struggle with the parties too. The Nepali Congress, a section of UML and some parties from Madhesh represent the interest of comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudalism in Nepal. So we have sharp contention with them in the Constituent Assembly. Continue reading →
Around 7,000 workers at a Taiwan-owned shoe factory in Dongguan took to the streets today, 17 November, in protest at salary cuts and the earlier dismissal of 18 managerial staff, according to posts on Tianya and a Southern Daily reporter’s microblog.
Photographs posted online showed large numbers of police on the street and bloodied workers who claimed to have been beaten by the police. Several other workers had reportedly been detained.
The strike at the Yue Cheng factory in Huang Jiang township was triggered by the dismissal of 18 managers in late October. The company claimed they had been dismissed because of the factory’s decreasing orders and sluggish business. But one of the managers told China Business News that the real reason behind their dismissal was that the factory planned to shift production to Jiangxi in a bid to combat rising costs in the Pearl River Delta.
“We’ve been loyal workers for over a decade in this factory. But now the factory decided to fire us on the sole excuse of bad business operations and cost pressures. How can they be so irresponsible?” one dismissed manager wrote on his internet post.
So far, the factory has not commented on the dispute. Yue Cheng is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, which makes sports shoes for New Balance, Nike and Adidas. Its Taiwan-based parent company, Pou Chen Corporation is one of the biggest shoe manufacturers in the world.
Early this month, another Taiwanese shoe maker in Dongguan, Stella, saw more than 2,000 of its workers strike in protest at its relocation plans and issues related to compensation.
Greek TV, however, showed the police violence against the demonstration
Reuters: Greek PM rules out snap polls, protesters are back
By Angeliki Koutantou
ATHENS | Sat Sep 3, 2011 9:31pm BST
(Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Saturday ruled out snap elections and said his government would succeed in bringing Greece out of the crisis by the end of his term in 2013.
Thousands of demonstrators returned to the central Athens for the first time after the summer to protest against unpopular austerity measures in exchange for more EU/IMF funds on the day the ruling socialist party met to mark its 37th anniversary.
“Citizens will judge us in 2013,” Papandreou told a party conference. “By then, we will have achieved bringing Greece out of the crisis and will have completed so many and important reforms.”
But three opinion polls published in Sunday newspapers showed the main conservative opposition New Democracy party had widened its lead by 0.6-5.1 percentage points over the Socialist government, which has seen its popularity wane as austerity bites. Continue reading →
A Chinese court has jailed six people for their involvement in riots last month in a southern industrial area.The court in Guangdong province handed out prison sentences ranging from nine months to three-and-a-half years.
Thousands of migrant workers rioted for several days in a garment manufacturing zone near the city of Guangzhou.
They threw stones at police, burned cars and ransacked government buildings after a confrontation between street vendors and security officials. Continue reading →