Labor - Global

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The workers’ dream of unity, assassinated: A eulogy to Cosatu

The workers’ dream of unity, assassinated: A eulogy to Cosatu
Jay Naidoo, Daily Maverick, March 30, 2015

The current schism that is tearing the federation apart has been the biggest betrayal of the workers’ struggle in the history of South Africa. History will judge the current bunch of leaders of Cosatu harshly. I occupy no position in Cosatu, I write on behalf of no one but myself; still, as the founding General Secretary of Cosatu in 1985, I have some views I would like to share with members.

G20 told voters want banks to put something back into the global economy

Global poll shows 63% support Financial Transactions Tax. ITUC, June 18, 2012 Support for a financial transactions tax - often called the Robin Hood Tax - to make banks and financial institutions pay back to society is at 63 % according to a new 13- country global poll commissioned by the International Trade Union Confederation. Strongest support found in France 88 %, Germany 82%, UK 76 %, USA 63%. Unions will deliver the polling to world leaders at the G20 summit in Los Cabos. In a bid to push the FTT back on to the G20 agenda, French President Francois Hollande plans to raise the issue with fellow world leaders at the first G20 since his election. ... G20

The Threat of Québec's Good Example

Peter Hallward, Socialist Project, June 6, 2012 The extraordinary student mobilization in Québec has already sustained the longest and largest student strike in the history of North America, and it has already organized the single biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. It is now rapidly growing into one of the most powerful and inventive anti-austerity campaigns anywhere in the world. Every situation is different, of course, and Québec's students draw on a distinctive history of social and political struggle, one rooted in the 1960s ‘Quiet Revolution’ and several subsequent and eye-opening campaigns for free or low-cost higher education. ... The

An in-depth look at Germany’s Left Party congress

Victor Grossman, People’s World, June 5 2012 Berlin - When the Left Party ('Die Linke,' in German) held its election congress this past weekend in Göttingen; the media were keen for a real wide split in the party. In truth, a lot of the members feared the same. The long-standing quarrel between the two wings - often called "the reformers versus the fundamentalists" - had crippled activities in the party for far too long. It seemed very possible that all the hopes of past years might be buried. The Left Party's victory in 2009, with nearly 12 percent of the national vote and 76 deputies in the Bundestag, had been frittered away ... An

For a Democratic Europe - Together with the Greek Radical Left!

By a strange irony of history, the Greeks, stigmatised and impoverished, are in the front line of our struggle for a common future. Greek Left, June 5, 2012
 Following on the chain of events that, in just three years have plunged Greece into the abyss, everyone knows that the responsibility of the parties in office ever since 1974 is overwhelming. New Democracy (the Right) and PASOK (the Socialists) have not only maintained the system of corruption and privilege - they have benefitted from it and enabled Greece’s suppliers and creditors to profit considerably from it, while the European Community institutions looked the other way. ... For

Alexis Tsipras: “Find European Solution to End Austerity Policies”

Gaël De Santis, l’Humanité, June 4, 2012 An interview with the leader of Syriza, the Greek radical left coalition that obtained 16.8% of the vote in the May 6 legislative election, whereas an informal European summit is being held in Brussels on the evening of May 23, to address the themes of economic growth and Greece. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Syriza parliamentary group, was in Paris on May 21 as the guest of the European Party of the Left, whose president is Pierre Laurent. If the opinion polls are to be believed, Tsipras may be asked to form the next Greek government after the June 17 legislative elections. ... Alexis

The Exit from the Crisis is Left: Main Points of Greece's Syriza Leftist Coalition

Jadaliyya Reports, May 31, 2012 The following is the platform put forth by the Greek political coalition Syriza (an abbreviation for Coalition of the Radical Left) on 9 May 2012. The leftist coalition is currently polling at approximately thirty percent and is expected by some analysts to win in the next elections in Greece. The Exit from the Crisis is on the Left. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis. Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing, and access to all services of public utilities. Protection of and relief measures for indebted households. ... The

Québec's Student Revolt Goes Viral

Mark Engler, Dissent, May 29, 2012 Quick: name the Canadian Prime Minister. If you got it, congratulations. Otherwise, don’t worry. Those of you who drew a blank, or who took an uncomfortably long time to come up with an answer, are within a safe majority in the United States. It is a testament to American insularity that people in the United States feel no obligation to pay any attention to the country that shares thousands of miles of our northern border. About a decade ago, one of the more popular comedy bits on Canadian television was a segment called “Talking to Americans,” in which the host convinced ordinary people stateside ... Québec

A Mexican Spring begins to blossom

Marta Molina, Waging Nonviolence, May 28, 2012 In Mexico City’s daily life - in the shops, taxicabs, cafes and lines waiting for the bus - one could hear conversations between people of all ages saying that Enrique Peña Nieto would, without a doubt, win the presidential elections. “Either something huge will happen,” a taxi driver told me, “or he will win.” And when people referred to “something huge happening,” they were referring to violence, or some unbearable crisis. But it hasn’t happened like that. Far from anything originally expected, it is the Mexican youth and university students who are doing “something huge.” ... A

Two Faces of the Old Order

Adam Shatz, London Review of Books, May 26, 2012 They called him the ‘spare tyre’, but he may become the next president of Egypt – the first president of the post-Mubarak order. Mohamed Morsi, the candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, is a charmless man, doctrinaire in disposition and impatient with the reform-minded currents in his party. He became its candidate only after its more appealing first choice, Khairat El-Shater, was disqualified from running by the Presidential Election Commission; hence the nickname. ... Yet Morsi had behind him the electoral machine of the Muslim Brotherhood, still the country’s most significant political movement. ... Two

Montréal Pots And Pans Video Of Protest Against Bill 78 Goes Viral

Michael Bolen, Huffington Post Canada, May 25, 2012 A video of protesters banging pots and pans on Québec streets is going viral on social networks. Posted on Friday afternoon, the beautiful black and white film shows protesters of all ages taking to the streets to protest the emergency law Bill 78. The Vimeo video quickly began showing up all over Twitter and Facebook. Bill 78 is being called a draconian attempt to quell massive student protests that have taken over Québec streets for more than 100 days. The bill limits the ability to protest by requiring groups to get police approval for demonstrations and restricting where they can take place ... Montréal

Is Alexis Tsirpas a danger for Europe?

Jan Pfaff, Der Freitag, May 25, 2012 Berlin - The leader of Greece’s leftist alliance SYRIZA is the new bright hope of Greek politics. Steering a course between pragmatism and the rhetoric of class warfare, he has unsettled Berlin, and not just those who back Angela Merkel's austerity policies. Alexis Tsirpas’s visit to Berlin this Tuesday, fresh from Paris, can be seen as a show of his new self-confidence. Invited by the Left Party, he is out to recruit followers for his ideas in the country that has been by far the most unswerving on the austerity policy. The CDU hastily signalled in advance that there was no need to meet the rising star of the left. The SPD wavered. ... Is

Egypt's labor movement finds its own strength

The impetus for Mubarak's fall, workers are now crafting a new network to secure their rights. Mai Shams El-Din, Global Post, May 24, 2012 Cairo - In many respects, the popular revolt against Hosni Mubarak began on April 6, 2008 in Mahalla, Egypt. Security forces unleashed a torrent of violence against 30,000 striking textile workers and thousands of their supporters, killing several demonstrators and injuring hundreds. The April 6 Youth Movement  emerged from that mass action when engineer Ahmed Maher co-founded the group that would slowly galvanize millions of workers and ultimately help touch off the revolution. ... Egypt

Québec's 'truncheon law' rebounds as student strike spreads

A draconian law to quell demonstrations has only galvanised public support for young Québecois protesting tuition fee hikes. Martin Lukacs, Guardian, May 24, 2012 At a tiny church tucked away in a working-class neighbourhood in Montréal's east end, Québec's new outlaws gathered on Sunday for a day of deliberations. Aged mostly between 18 and 22, their membership in a progressive student union has made them a target of government scorn and scrutiny. And they have been branded a menace to society because of their weapons: ideas of social justice and equal opportunity in education, alongside the ability to persuade hundreds of thousands to join them ... Québec

Red River of Protest Runs Through Montréal as Students Continue Fight

Massive demonstration in defiance of new anti-protest law. Common Dreams, May 22, 2012 A red river of Canadians, mostly students, flowed through the streets of Montréal this afternoon marking the 100th day of protest against austerity cuts to education and a draconian attempt by the Québec government to squelch growing dissent. Early estimates put the number of people in the hundreds of thousands and images show kilometers of red-clad people filling Montréal's wide boulevards. An emergency law passed on Friday by the Québec government - Bill 78 - intended to restrict growing student protests in the eastern Canadian province has done little ... Red

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