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FARC announces unilateral cease

This initiative from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) was announced from Havana, Cuba, where peace talks have been taking place between representatives of the revolutionary forces and the government of Colombia.The FARC-EP communicate to all our Blocks, Fronts, Columns, Companies and other political military structures, as well as the Bolivarian and popular militias and subordinate structures, that starting at 00:00 a.m. on July 20, the order is to cease all offensive actions against the armed forces of the State and of public and private infrastructure.The said order follows the call of the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, and accompanying countries Venezuela and Chile, of the peace talks underway in Havana, and of the avalanche of public petitions, letters and messages through social networks addressed to our Peace Delegation by countless personalities and social and political organizations, churches, community action boards and popular movements in general; therefore it constitutes a serious commitment of our organization, for whose strict fulfillment are responsible each of the leaders and members of the FARC-EP.This practical measure, of a humanitarian character, constitutes a new gesture on our part with the intention of reaching a pact with the national government on more and more effective formulae of de-escalation of the conflict. We trust therefore that it is regarded and valued in all its dimensions, so that there is no unfortunate repetition of events that only harm the peace and reconciliation purposes.No unit of the FARC-EP is forced to let itself be struck by enemy forces and has every right to exercise self-defense in case of attack.We call on all the personalities, institutions, political movements, popular and social forces that have raised this truly national outcry, to present themselves in an active away in the defense of this new hope that we initiate today in Colombia. No one can steal [from] Colombians their right to live in peace, so it is urgent to close the path to sectors clamoring for war, for bloody solutions, for repression and persecution of the popular movement and its leadership.The Broad Front for Peace, the Constituent Process, churches and other organizations and interested forces in the oversight of the ceasefire have our trust and collaboration. We believe that the national Government must surround with full guarantees the exercise of this patriotic function, and at the same time advance with greater conviction toward genuine national harmony, based both in the definitive prohibition of violence as in social justice, democracy and sovereignty.National Secretariat Of FARC-EPHavana, July 19, 2015FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this read more

On the picket line

first_imgEnd AFL-CIO affiliation with ‘police unions’“We, UAW Local 2865, call on the [AFL-CIO] to end their affiliation with the International Union of Police Associations.” So begins a stirring, long-overdue resolution passed July 25 by the union representing some 13,000 University of California student workers. Titled “Denouncing Police Unions,” the resolution asks, “How can there ever be solidarity between law enforcement and the working class when elites call upon police and their organizations to quell mass resistance to poverty and inequality?” It specifically mentions the needs of Black workers and communities and cites the death of Freddie Grey in Baltimore and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.The resolution exposes the role of police unions in lobbying against police accountability legislation, shielding killer cops from prosecution and defending officers’ crimes of racist brutality in court. The resolution takes aim at the institution of policing itself: “Policing in the U.S. has always served the needs of colonialism, racism, and capitalism by protecting the property of those who would steal land and exploit the labor of others.” The full text is at last time UAW 2865 made headlines was in 2014 when it became the first major trade union to endorse the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” campaign against Israeli apartheid, reported in Workers World’s Dec. 28, 2014 edition. (, July 27)Verizon negotiations continueDespite $18 billion in profits in the last 18 months, Verizon still insists on slashing job and retirement security, while hiking health care costs by the thousands. Ed Mooney, vice president for Communications Workers District 2-13, representing workers from Pennsylvania to Virginia, said, “We’re not going to walk into a trap set by Verizon. We’ll strike when we think it is the right time to strike, and that is not tonight. The ball is in their court — we are waiting for them to get serious.” (, Aug. 1) Stay tuned.Postal workers show union strengthContract negotiations between the United States Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union broke down May 27 as the USPS’ latest “offer” revealed an enormous gulf between management’s interests and those of the workers. Whereas workers and supporters continue to fight for career-quality jobs with living wages and benefits, management’s insistence on cutting wages, eliminating cost-of-living adjustments and outsourcing union jobs forced a stalemate. Federal law requires at least 60 days of mediation to resolve a bargaining impasse.On June 3, APWU President Mark Dimondstein called on postal workers to wear union gear to work every Thursday during the mediation process to show the union’s militancy in the fight for a fair contract: “Postal management pays attention to how many of our members are wearing union buttons, stickers and T-shirts, as well as how many union members are taking part in rallies and other events. They take it as a measure of the union’s strength.” (, June 6 and June 12)Stopping wage theftThe New York City Council passed the Car Wash Accountability Act in late June, a law that requires the 200 car washes in the city to be licensed and regulated to prevent wage theft and environmental abuses. Facilities must post a surety bond to ensure workers’ wages. Since “Wash New York” was launched over three years ago, nine facilities in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx have won contracts that improved wages; won overtime, benefits and protections; and helped over 1,000 workers win over $4.5 million in back wages and other damages. Wash New York is a collaboration of “Make the Road NY” and “NY Communities for Change,” with support from the Department Store Union (RWDSU). (, June 30)Meanwhile, wage theft continues in New York City. Bronx Papa John’s pizza franchise owner Abdul Jamil Khokhar pleaded guilty on July 15 to charges of failure to pay minimum wage and overtime to about 300 current and former employees — amounting to $230,000 in lost wages. This is the first criminal case in the U.S. by a state attorney against a fast food franchise for cheating workers. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said this “sends a loud and clear message to every fast food franchise: if you steal wages you will be held accountable and you can go to jail.” Khokhar was sentenced to 60 days. (, July 16)FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Chrysler workers vote ‘yes’ on new contract

first_imgA new contract between the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles went into effect Oct. 26. It was ratified by an overwhelming majority of workers, after they rejected a previous agreement by a 2-to-1 margin. The first deal faced mass, organized opposition on the shop floor, with rank-and-file workers making T-shirts, distributing leaflets and holding demonstrations attacking CEO Sergio Marchionne’s advocacy of a “culture of poverty.”What made the first contract so ­unpopular?In 2007 the Big Three auto companies had leveraged their negative financial position to get the UAW to accept a two-tier pay structure. This meant that while the existing workers did not have to take a pay cut, future employees would receive substantially less pay and fewer benefits.Many workers at General Motors, Ford and especially Chrysler — now FCA — had voted against that contract; two members of the Chrysler negotiating committee had campaigned against it, opposing two-tier.Eight years later, the divisions and inequalities have led a majority to now conclude that two-tier must go. Yet UAW International President Dennis Williams and Vice President Norwood Jewell brought a contract before the members that would have kept the system in place.Also, thousands of second-tier workers were promised four years ago they would be brought to top pay when the last contract expired — a broken promise. That contract created even lower pay scales for workers in the axle plant and the Mopar parts division.There were other worker complaints about the first contract they rejected, such as an overly strict attendance and tardiness procedure, no relief from unpopular “alternative work schedules,” a questionable plan to create a health care co-op and projected product moves that threatened to eliminate jobs.What changed in the new contract is that nearly all current second-tier workers, including Mopar workers, have a path to earn the same top wages as first-tier workers. Many will reach the top before the end of this contract, which will mean substantial pay raises. That is a huge victory and a setback for Marchionne, who was determined to create a permanent lower tier, as higher seniority workers retired.A Fiat Chrysler plant in Warren, Mich.The solidarity behind the shop floor vote forced Williams to push for equal pay, which had never been his intention. At the UAW Special Bargaining Convention in March, a resolution was presented on two-tier that called for changing a demand on “bridging the gap” to “eliminating the gap.” Williams opposed it. A delegate to the Chrysler subcouncil, which reviewed the contract before it was voted on, heard him argue that “ending two-tier is bullshit.”Yet when the second contract was pitched, with the aid of a high-priced New York public relations firm, the main selling point was that two-tier was history. In addition, the health care co-op was dropped, the attendance procedure was liberalized and vague language was added on revisiting alternative work schedules.This time 77 percent of production workers and 72 percent of skilled trades voted in favor of the agreement.Some votes were driven by fear, not enthusiasm. With no strike preparation meetings conducted by the union leadership, many workers were afraid of the consequences of rejecting the second deal. International representatives, rather than explaining that workers’ only real leverage is the ability to withhold their labor power, instead cynically instilled fear that workers could legally be permanently replaced if they went on strike.Many problems remain in new contractThere are many problems with the new contract. Thousands of UAW members did vote “no” again. The claim that it puts two-tier to rest is a false one, but it takes a close reading to find all the hidden tiers.For example, it will take a worker eight years to make top pay. Those who don’t hit the top under this contract could see their pay raises cancelled in the next. Benefits are still unequal. Second-tier workers at the axle plant have an even lower pay rate under the second contract.Up to now temporary workers worked part time but eventually made the same hourly wage as full-time permanent workers. Now they work full time but will make less than a permanent worker. The negotiators followed the same shameful strategy of 2007 by creating new, lower pay rates for future workers. Future temporary workers make the least of all. The only purpose to these multiple tiers is to offset the added costs to the company under the second agreement.The biggest additional problem is a $5.3 billion investment plan, which is pitched as guaranteeing job security. Actually, investing in the latest robotic technology does not create jobs; it eliminates them. Even without a downturn, Metro Detroit could lose over 700 FCA jobs, according to the contract’s product commitments.Workers at Toledo Jeep are not convinced they won’t lose jobs when some of their work is moved. The second contract passed there with barely more than 50 percent of the votes; the first was voted down by 87 percent.FCA workers still have a fight on their hands, but this recent struggle has taught the value of solidarity. Now the fight moves to General Motors, where a tentative agreement was reached Oct. 25 just minutes before a midnight strike ­deadline.Grevatt is a 28-year UAW Chrysler worker.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

‘La elección de Trump está radicalizando a las masas’

first_imgLarry HolmesQuiero hablar sobre el panorama general en términos de lo que sucedió el martes 8 de noviembre, con la elección de Trump. Ese evento es importante para un partido como el nuestro, un partido revolucionario comunista en el centro del imperialismo mundial. Sí, el imperialismo estadounidense se está debilitando, pero sigue siendo el centro del imperialismo mundial.Las/os socialistas, comunistas y revolucionarios que or­gani­zan aquí tienen una responsabilidad extra-especial de entender el carácter global de los acontecimientos.Esta elección no fue sólo un evento nacional. Fue un evento global. Trump es ahora la nueva cara global del capitalismo.La subida de Trump es parte de la implosión del establecimiento político capitalista, incluso en los grandes países imperialistas de Europa. Ese colapso está siendo impulsado por la nueva tecnología y la globalización que destruye empleos, salud y las vidas de más y más trabajadoras/es.El problema político es con el Partido Demócrata y sus contrapartes en otros países – los partidos que se han llamado socialdemócratas. Se suponía que estos partidos representaban a las/os trabajadores, pero realmente nunca lo hicieron. Durante algún tiempo, han estado haciendo lo contrario, desechando cualquier pretensión de actuar en pro de las/os trabajadores.Se han convertido en agentes de lo que algunas personas llaman neoliberalismo, cumpliendo con lo que el capitalismo necesita: imponer austeridad, llevar puestos de trabajo de un lugar a otro buscando mano de obra más barata, reducir empleos con la tecnología, atacando más y más a la clase trabajadora. Quitando viviendas, cuidado médico, todo.Debido a esto, sectores de la clase trabajadora están abandonando a demócratas y socialdemócratas, y se convierten en alimento para demagogos derechistas, racistas y neofascistas en todo el mundo.Las/os trabajadores están siendo literalmente entregados a neofascistas como Donald Trump. Pero no tiene por qué ser así, y tenemos pruebas de eso a principios de este año.Durante las elecciones primarias de marzo, las/os trabajadores en Michigan y Wisconsin votaron por Bernie Sanders, quien estaba tratando de salvar al Partido Demócrata. En los Estados Unidos no se suele ver a un candidato presidencial que se llame socialista. El hecho es que muchas/os de las/os trabajadores que votaron por Trump hace unos días, votaron por Bernie Sanders hace unos meses.Muchas/os trabajadores, blancos y negros, no salieron para salvar al Partido Demócrata. Dijeron que las cosas están muy mal. Dijeron: “Aquí en Flint, ni siquiera tenemos agua potable. ¿Por qué debería votar por los demócratas? Obama vino aquí y tomó un vaso de agua, y le dijo a todo el mundo que estaba bien”.Ellas/os miraron a su alrededor y dijeron: ¿Qué? ¿No hay más problemas?¡No vamos a tener a nuestra clase dividida!Camaradas y amigos, quiero hablarles como comunista, porque se supone que los comunistas conozcamos los problemas de la clase obrera. Se supone que tengamos una comprensión profunda – la comprensión más profunda de cualquier persona. Sólo de esta manera podemos tener algunas respuestas y proporcionar algún liderazgo.No debemos permitir que racistas y fascistas se lleven a ningún sector de nuestra clase. Debemos luchar contra esto y detenerlo. ¡No vamos a tener nuestra clase dividida!Primero y ante todo, este desarrollo es un tema de clase. Para mantener a nuestra clase unida, tenemos que revisar quién está en nuestra clase. No sólo son trabajadores blancos retrógrados quienes rechazan personas que sabemos son parte de la clase obrera. Incluso sindicalistas progresistas también pueden tener ideas obsoletas sobre quién es parte de la clase obrera. Pueden no darse cuenta que la clase obrera está cambiando, creciendo, y tiene nuevos sectores.Monica Moorhead dijo que el movimiento Las Vidas Negras Importan es un movimiento de la clase obrera. Los patronos declaran la guerra contra la gente negra y marrón de todas los edades, especialmente contra las/os jóvenes, porque en esta fase de decadencia capitalista, el capitalismo no tiene trabajos para ellas/os. Son prescindibles. Así que los patronos los mandan al complejo industrial penitenciario y a veces hasta hacen que la policía les mate.Las Vidas Negras Importan es un tema de clase. Todas/os los que luchan por la clase obrera deben integrarse a las demostraciones contra el terror policial.Standing Rock es un tema de clase obrera. Estas/os son hermanas y hermanos indígenas oprimidos que luchan por su tierra. Este es un asunto de la clase obrera antiimperialista. Luchar por los derechos de las/os prisioneros es un tema de clase. ¿Porque? Porque las/os prisioneros son trabajadores. Debería haber más apoyo para sus huelgas.Nuestros hermanas y hermanos migrantes, ya sea de México o Paquistán, África o de algún lugar del Medio Oriente, no importa el idioma que hablen, son parte de nuestra clase. No son enemigos, ni competidores. No están tomando puestos de trabajo. Ya estén en París o Londres, Carolina del Norte, Tejas o Nueva York, no hay fronteras en la lucha de la clase obrera.Nuestro partido necesita explicar que las mujeres, lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transgénero, y las personas de género no conformes, son parte de la clase obrera.Aquellos izquierdistas que descartan esto como “política de identidad” – yo los cuestiono como Marxistas y revolucionarios. La lucha LGBTQ es una lucha histórica de vida o muerte. Las filas de quienes están en la vanguardia están creciendo de manera que ninguna/o de nosotros ha visto jamás. Aquellas/os de nosotros de cierta edad estamos contentos de haber vivido tiempo suficiente para ver gente de la comunidad LGBTQ emergiendo de las sombras y avanzando.¿En que se basa la lucha LGBTQ? Es parte de la lucha contra el patriarcado. ¿Qué es patriarcado? Un pilar de la dominación de clase. ¿De cual clase? La clase capitalista. Romper ese pilar en un acto para las/os trabajadores, para la revolución.Nuestra clase es una clase global.Quizás más importante es que tenemos que profundizar el entendimiento de que somos una clase global. No tenemos fronteras. La elección de Trump ha envalentonado a racistas y neofascistas en toda Europa. La elección de Trump es un desarrollo global contra las/os trabajadores.Tenemos que desarrollar la comprensión de que nuestra clase es una clase global. Quizás el Partido Workers World –Mundo Obrero— con un nombre perfecto para nuestra clase global — podría lanzar un campaña “Trabajadoras/es del mundo uníos”.Podíamos tener eventos y protestas para resaltar diferentes secciones de nuestra clase – quizás, a veces trabajadoras/es migrantes, otras para trabajadoras/es LBGTQ, o trabajadoras/es de comida rápida. Explicaríamos cómo tenemos que dejar de mirarnos sólo como ciudadanos de este o aquel país. Diríamos: “No te quedes tan atrapada/o que olvidas que nuestra clase es una clase global”.Tenemos que organizar en una base global, porque así es como el capitalismo enfrenta a las/os trabajadores entre sí. Tan mal como ha ido hasta ahora, vamos experimentar más de esto. Tenemos que luchar.Tenemos que encontrar nuevas maneras de practicar el internacionalismo. Por ejemplo, en 2014 las/os trabajadores de comida rápida de McDonald’s intentaron una huelga global en más de 30 países. No eran millones de trabajadoras/es, y no cerraron todos los McDonald’s. Pero fue una acción global simultánea. Ahora algunos activistas están pidiendo una huelga general el 20 de enero en los EUA, el día de la inauguración de Trump. Y algunos quieren que sea global.Hoy en día es más práctico tener una huelga general que hace algún tiempo. Sí, la tecnología ha atomizado a la clase obrera porque los patronos necesitan menos trabajadoras/es para producir cosas. Ahora la mayoría de las/os trabajadores no se queda en ningún trabajo por mucho tiempo, sino que están en lo que se llama trabajo precario.Pero debido a las nuevas tecnologías, las/os trabajadores son capaces de comunicarse entre sí de forma instantánea y global. Por lo tanto, son capaces de organizarse a nivel local, nacional, regional y mundial.Necesitamos tener un nuevo modelo para una huelga general. No puede ser simplemente dejar el lugar de trabajo, aunque eso es importante para una huelga. Pero ¿qué pasa con más y más trabajadoras/es de nuestra clase que no tienen trabajo, no están en un sindicato o realizan un trabajo temporal? Tienen que tener una manera de participar.Mientras tanto, miles de personas en su mayoría jóvenes, de diferentes nacionalidades, están sacudiendo las calles y ciudades de todo el país. Han hecho una gran contribución en estos pocos días después del “triunfo de Trump”. La burguesía está preocupada.La clase capitalista tuvo una contra-demostración. ¿Sabe qué fue? Fue Obama reuniéndose con Trump, y Clinton haciendo una declaración agradable. Esa es la unión de los imperialistas. Ayer, Trump era un monstruo, un racista, un misógino. Hoy es “nuestro presidente”, y los imperialistas dicen: “Debemos darle una oportunidad”.¡Pero nosotras/os no le daremos una oportunidad! Vamos a construir esa masiva protesta contra inaugural el 20 de enero. Vamos a encontrar una manera, con aliados, de formar comités de defensa para que nuestros hermanos y hermanas musulmanes, nuestros hermanos y hermanas inmigrantes, nuestras hermanas y hermanos LGBTQ no tengan que vivir con miedo.La elección de Trump es un gran problema. Nuestro principal trabajo ahora es defender a los sectores de nuestra clase y nuestra comunidad que están siendo atacados. Pero a veces podemos convertir una reacción como ésta en una oportunidad para conquistar logros revolucionarios.Que se sepa que el Partido Workers World-Mundo Obrero está dispuesto a trabajar con cualquier fuerza honesta en un frente unido contra el fascismo y por el socialismo. Estamos completamente abiertos a hacer lo que se necesita hacer. No es tiempo para el sectarismo. Este no es el momento para decir “Oh, esta es mi organización”. Lo entendemos. Estamos tratando de construir nuestra organización también.Pero tenemos que pensar más grande y más audazmente. Estamos preparadas/os para hacer lo que sea necesario. Derrotemos esto. Trump ha comenzado algo. Nosotras/os vamos a terminarlo.Queremos convertir este problemático desarrollo político en una revolución por el socialismo.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Misoginia de Trump, pilar del capitalismo

first_imgCuando el presidente Donald Trump criticó la apariencia y la inteligencia de Mika Brzezinski, co-anfitriona del programa de MSNBC “Morning Joe”, señaló los dos tipos de viejas censuras contra las mujeres.Aunque su ataque fue inmediatamente denunciado – por mujeres de ambos lados del Congreso y por grupos de derechos de mujeres – Trump no hubiera alardeado de su repugnante odio a la mujer si el patriarcado no fuera uno de los pilares del capitalismo.Desigualdad de la mujer en EUAEjemplos de desigualdad de la mujer en EUA comienzan con la brecha salarial. Las últimas estadísticas muestran que las mujeres ganan 80 centavos por cada dólar que un hombre blanco gana, aunque las mujeres (y los hombres) de color ganan aún menos. El Instituto de Investigación sobre Políticas para la Mujer estima que no será hasta 2059 que las mujeres blancas alcanzarán paridad salarial, mientras que las negras esperarán hasta 2124 y las latinas hasta 2248. ¡Obsceno robo!Eso significa que todas las empresas, corporaciones y tiendas por igual, roban por lo menos 20 centavos de cada dólar que gana una mujer. Según las últimas estadísticas del Departamento de Trabajo, a partir de 2010, las mujeres representaban el 47 por ciento de la mano de obra total de EUA: 72 millones de trabajadoras, o 58,6 por ciento de las 123 millones de mujeres de 16 años o más.No es de extrañar que la clase dominante no quiera una legislación que garantice una amplia licencia de progenitores, cuidado gratuito de niñas/os y cuidado de salud universal. No es de extrañar que uno de los principales medios que las mujeres tienen para el control de sus vidas – el control de la natalidad – está en las barricadas. No es de extrañar que las transexuales de color sean las víctimas de ataques transfóbicos y asesinatos. No es de extrañar que “cada nueve segundos una mujer en EUA es agredida o golpeada”, informa la Coalición Nacional Contra la Violencia Doméstica, mientras Trump planea recortar sus fondos. No es de extrañar que el capitalismo EUA aplique su poderío militar para intimidar al resto del mundo a que cumpla su mandato, afectando desproporcionadamente a las mujeres y sus hijas/os.El uso y el abuso del poder y el control son parte integrante de la sociedad de clase capitalista, ya sea en la sala de juntas o en el dormitorio, ya sea por medio de leyes fiscales que favorezcan a los ricos o con salarios bajos que mantienen a los pobres en pobreza, ya sea la policía asesina o un puño brutal en la casa. No se puede separar el patriarcado – el privilegio de los hombres sobre el derecho a controlar a la mujer como su propiedad privada – del capitalismo, que mantiene el poder a través de la propiedad privada.La lucha continúaLa nominación de Eric Dreiband por Trump el 29 de junio para dirigir la División de Derechos Civiles del Departamento de Justicia es otro ejemplo de su misoginia. Al igual que todos sus nombramientos al gabinete y varios departamentos – que se oponen a la premisa misma de su cargo – Dreiband ha pasado su carrera corporativa oponiéndose a los derechos civiles. No sólo representó al arzobispo católico de Washington, DC, en el caso 2014 de la iglesia contra el beneficio de control de natalidad de la Ley de Asistencia Asequible, sino que defendió a la Universidad de Carolina del Norte en una demanda relacionada con HB 2, la discriminatoria “ley del baño”.Dreiband “tiene vocación de ir contra las mujeres y los derechos LGBT”, dijo Jesselyn McCurdy, subdirectora de la oficina legislativa de la Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles. Vanita Gupta, ex jefa de la División de Derechos Civiles, dijo: “Quien lidere la joya de la corona” del DOJ debe tener una profunda y perdurable fe en las leyes de derechos civiles de nuestra nación … derechos por los que la gente ha muerto”. Llamado Dreiband “lamentablemente no cualificado” porque no tiene experiencia en “derechos de voto, reforma policial, vivienda, educación y crímenes de odio”. (Rewire, 29 de junio)En todas las escalas internacionales de medición, ya sea la representación de las mujeres en el gobierno, los niveles de vida, la longevidad o la mortalidad infantil, EUA está cerca del final de la lista de 40 naciones industriales.Tome la mortalidad infantil. Un informe de el 21 de marzo señaló que la tasa de muerte por cada 1.000 nacidos vivos en EUA disminuyó de 6,9 en 2005 a 5,8 en 2014 – una disminución del 15 por ciento, según el Centro Nacional de Estadísticas de Salud. Pero es una vergüenza nacional que la tasa en la capital de la nación, una ciudad en gran parte negra, es de 7,9. Compare eso con la tasa de Cuba de 4,3 en 2016. (Ministerio de Salud de Cuba, 1 de enero)¿Por qué la diferencia? Cuba es un país socialista revolucionario que nacionalizó las grandes haciendas y negocios, muchos de propiedad EUA, a partir de 1960, para poder brindar atención médica universal y educación gratuita, luchando por erradicar todas las formas de racismo y chovinismo contra las mujeres y las personas LGBTT. Pone sus recursos donde está su política de principios, a pesar del bloqueo de Washington.Mientras que sólo el socialismo revolucionario puede sentar las bases para acabar con todas las formas de opresión, incluyendo el odio a las mujeres, mucho puede ser y ha sido ganado bajo este sistema a través de la lucha. Cuando esta escritora investigó la brecha salarial en 1970, era de 59 centavos por dólar.Pero es esencial recordar que nuestros reñidos logros pueden ser revertidos por reaccionarios como Trump y su banda de guerreristas y billonarios si no seguimos luchando. Ellos controlan el estado, por lo que la destrucción de éste tiene que ser nuestro objetivo final mientras luchamos por acabar con el sexismo, el racismo, los ataques contra LGBTT y todas las formas de explotación y opresión.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Wanted posters target Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board ‘mercenaries’

first_imgPhiladelphia — Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. But over a year earlier, in June 2016, President Barack Obama unleashed economic devastation in the island/archipelago when he signed into law PROMESA — the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act. The legislation triggered a new phase in class struggle on Puerto Rico, and eliminated any doubt that it is a colony of the U.S.In essence, PROMESA is a collection agency to serve Wall Street bondholders. For that purpose, it created a dictatorial Financial Control Board referred to as the “Junta” by Puerto Ricans. The FCB is headed by insurance broker José Carrion III. Board members include Andrew G. Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington; financier Carlos M. García and banker José R. González, both with connections to Santander Bank; Arthur J. González, retired chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York; and David A. Skeel, Jr., a professor of corporate law at the University of Pennsylvania.Skeel, who teaches bankruptcy law, lives and works in Philadelphia.  Philadelphia native Julia Keleher was hired by the FCB to serve as Puerto Rico’s “Education Secretary” despite her lack of education experience. Both have been targeted by a “wanted poster” campaign in Philadelphia exposing their service to rich Wall Street bondholders.In summer 2018 the wanted posters began to appear on the University of Pennsylvania campus, including one posted on Skeel’s office door.  Demonstrations were held there to call attention to Skeel and Keleher’s roles in the theft of Puerto Rico’s resources.Skeel responded in a Sept. 13 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. He noted the posters claimed he was a “mercenary” who “demands the blood of Puerto Rican people to pay rich Wall Street bondholders.”Skeel’s defense? Simply that “PROMESA instructed the oversight board to help ‘achieve fiscal responsibility and access to the capital markets.’”But the record of Skeel, a legal bankruptcy specialist, shows why the posters describe him as a “mercenary.” In a 2014 Wall Street Journal article, he argued that management of the debt crisis in Puerto Rico could be a test case for attacking workers’ rights. He cited parallels to U.S. states facing similar hardships, such as Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and cities like Philadelphia.In the article Skeel noted that, unlike local officials reluctant to make drastic cuts because they are subject to reelections, a board appointed by congressional mandate could get away with attacking public employee unions and cutting programs, jobs and benefits.He wrote: “There may be a silver lining in these financial clouds.”All-out class war on workers and poorSo who gets to line their pockets with that silver, obtained through the “restructuring” of Puerto Rico’s debt? The members of the FCB, appointed by the U.S. president and chosen by leaders of the House and Senate, were given broad powers to serve the interest of bondholders, with no accountability to the people of Puerto Rico.The FCB’s powers include instituting automatic hiring freezes and reducing the minimum wage of workers under 25 years old from $7.25 to $4.25.Layoffs, cuts in basic services and increases to the cost of living then exacerbated hunger and poverty, worsening after Maria struck. Foreclosures of mortgages on homes and repossessions of automobiles became widespread.Under the pretext of “stimulating the economy,” the Law of Transformation and Labor Flexibilization, passed in 2017, stripped workers of hard-won gains, including the eight-hour day, while cutting wages, vacation and sick days, reducing bonuses and extending workers’ probation periods.The passage of the Single Employer’s Law impacted public sector workers by establishing the government as a single employer that could move workers from one agency to another, even to the private sector. Workers who are moved face the loss of protections won under collective bargaining agreements including seniority.In addition to the draconian attacks on workers’ rights, the FCB also imposed more taxes and increases in fines and tolls across the board, while cutting municipal subsidies and allocations for art, culture and sports programs and programs protecting women.PROMESA opened the way for the sale of profitable public properties so private capital could grab windfall profits in the millions. Profitable public possessions were bankrupted and sold “at fire sale prices.”On the environmental front, PROMESA proposed the “transfer” of responsibility for cleanup of massive contamination of Vieques from the U.S. Department of the Interior to the government of Puerto Rico. The pollution on that island municipality came from 60 years of U.S. Navy bombing practice. This plan would limit the Puerto Rican government, the municipality and individuals from claiming damages resulting from contamination from the Navy’s operations.Other FCB cuts included $1 billion from health care, a 10 percent reduction in pensions, a cut of more than $600 million in the budget of the University of Puerto Rico, and the closure of hundreds of schools under the tenure of Keleher, a consultant paid $250,000 to work as education secretary.On her “wanted poster,” Julia Keleher is described as a “ruthless mercenary hired to kill public education; proven to be completely ignorant about the Puerto Rican values, culture, history, literature and language of the children under her mandate.”Using disasters to dismantle public educationHired in January 2017, Keleher introduced an unpopular strategy to close public schools. The local Department of Education budget was cut by half a billion dollars. In 2018 the Junta demanded an additional $200 million in cuts, including $80 million from special education.Following Hurricane Maria, parents and teachers came together to repair schools and juggle classroom lineups due to many families departing to the mainland. Things were slowly moving back toward normal until Keleher struck. Teachers were laid off, hundreds of schools were closed, and children, including those with special needs, were packed tightly into classrooms.  When they protested these “reforms” in street demonstrations, teachers and students were brutally attacked by police.A month after Hurricane Maria, Keleher tweeted a recommendation that “islanders use the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ‘as a point of reference’ and an ‘opportunity to create new, better schools.’ ” Following Katrina, New Orleans fired most teachers, closed almost all public schools and replaced them with charters.In an October 2017 interview with Education Week, Keleher approved of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ proposal that Congress waive funding requirements for adult and special education in districts recovering from natural disasters. DeVos had just released funding reduction guidelines for states and regions, including Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. ( 120 years of U.S. occupation of Puerto Rico will be brought to trial at the International Tribunal on U.S. Colonial Crimes in Puerto Rico on Oct. 27 in New York City. PROMESA will definitely be in the list of criminal activities to be indicted. Testimony will be livestreamed direct from Puerto Rico — from activists fighting against the mercenaries of capitalism like Skeel and Keleher.Community activists, students and workers in the states Skeel cited should take notice of what he and other FCB members have engineered in Puerto Rico and learn from the protests there since June 2016.  When the FCB held its first conference on Aug. 31, 2016, youth, labor and social organizations demonstrated against PROMESA and blocked access to the conference until police had to clear the way.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Activists and refugees protest on both sides of the San Diego-Tijuana border

first_imgOn the morning of Nov. 25, the San Diego Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition held an International Day of Action in Solidarity with the Caravan and Exodus from Central America with the hundreds of migrants who have already reached the border at Tijuana, Baja California. Later in the day U.S. border police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at refugees trying to cross into the U.S. The MRSC, a multiracial collective of grassroots and radical organizations, grew out of a coalition that has been protesting the Otay Mesa migrant detention center for many months. Union del Barrio offers key leadership to the coalition, which includes members of Colectivo Zapatista, Border Angels, American Indian Movement, Workers World Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Committee Against Police Brutality-San Diego, Palestinian Youth Movement and many other groups. Concerned that groups from outside the San Diego area have “parachuted in” with little-to-no regard for local organizers, the MRSC issued a call focused on the needs and demands of people in San Diego and Tijuana. The group’s national call contained six demands: respect the right to asylum; process the asylum claims; acknowledge the role of U.S. intervention in Central America causing this exodus; increase international solidarity, including from the U.N. and Red Cross; release migrants in detention centers; and prosecute anyone who violates the human rights of asylum seekers.Transnational solidarityAbout 500 activists gathered at Larsen Field, a local park near the U.S.-Mexico border. There a multinational group of speakers addressed the crowd. Chicanx activists expressed internationalist solidarity with Central American refugees. Members of the Palestinian Youth Movement expressed their solidarity and declared an end to all borders from Palestine to Mexico.  A moving appeal came from Mexican activists who have helped the migrants in their trek through Mexico. These leaders expressed their gratitude to the crowd for their support and dispelled myths that the people of Mexico opposed the migrants.Following the Larsen Field rally, the crowd marched three-quarters of a mile east to the U.S.-Mexico border crossing. As hundreds of protesters walked down the Camino de la Plaza, the crowd grew and traffic stopped.  Despite the solidarity march disrupting traffic headed to the Las Americas Premium Outlets, a popular destination for tourists, San Diegans and Mexican nationals, pedestrians and drivers greeted it with curiosity and support. Once the marchers reached the border crossing, speeches and chants resumed. In a volume surely loud enough to be heard across the wall in Tijuana, protestors chanted, “Let them in! Let them in!” “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! This borderwall has got to go!” and other messages of solidarity.  It became evident that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol intended to ramp up their maneuvers even before skirmishes occurred on the Mexican side of the border. Twin CBP Blackhawk helicopters circulated above, and CBP agents patrolled Camino de la Plaza in Chevy Tahoe SUVs and even all-terrain vehicles.  The MRSC march was held in concert with an even larger action across the border in Tijuana. As many as 1,000 refugees and supporters marched there, demanding their asylum claims be respected.  Over the past month, the refugees had begun to arrive. Many of the earliest arrivals consisted of people of oppressed genders and sexualities who had faced state-sponsored repression and sexual assault in their home countries and later by Mexican authorities.  By many accounts, the Tijuana working class has been gracious in its reception of the Central American asylum seekers — just as many had earlier been for Haitian migrants to the city. However, reactionary forces have also mobilized in opposition.  Highly unpopular Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum, of the far-right National Action Party, has instigated local hysteria and even begun to wear a red baseball cap inscribed “Make Tijuana Great Again” — taking his cues from Trump’s bombastics.CBP fires upon asylum seekersSome have wondered whether the U.S. president’s approval of the use of force against the asylum seekers was mere hyperbole. Reports have noted that many of the troops deployed are unarmed and their numbers seemed to be decreasing. However, the CBP’s use of force this past Sunday underscores the seriousness of Trump’s words.As a group of about 500 refugees and activists began to run toward the border crossing, in hopes of gaining entry and having their cases heard, the CBP fired tear gas and rubber bullets from the United States into Mexico at the asylum seekers, including children. There are reports that a young girl was seriously injured.  In their eagerness to repress, CBP agents were witnessed speeding down Camino de la Plaza so fast that they almost broadsided a car leaving the shopping center. The Mexican Interior Ministry has said it would deport the people detained for rushing the border. The refugee conflict presents the incoming government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador with a crisis, since most of Lopez’s voters are sympathetic with the refugees, while Washington will demand that he repress them.The protests on both sides closed the border for five hours to pedestrians and autos, disrupting the regular flow of business. Las Americas Premium Outlets were also forced to shut down. While people on social media and at the border expressed concern over the delays, the general consensus was in support of the refugees, once people understood why.  Sunday, Nov. 25, signals a long struggle ahead for the migrants and their allies.last_img read more

Who are the missing people? The role of racism

first_imgIn the case of missing people across the United States, one thing is clear — missing people of color are not granted as much attention by the media or police as missing white people, despite people of color going missing at disproportionately high rates.Although this fact may seem obvious because of systemic racism, statistics — or the lack of — detail a much grimmer situation.The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimated in 2017 that, of 613,000 people who went missing, people of color made up about 60 percent.Although Black children make up around 14 percent of all children in the U.S., 37 percent of missing children — more than one-third of missing children in the country — are Black, according to CNN. ( people as a whole make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population. But in 2018, more than 30 percent of missing people in the country were Black. ( the FBI groups white and Latinx children together, it is difficult to know how many Latinx children are currently missing — one estimate says about 20 percent of missing children are Latinx.For Indigenous women in the U.S., the federal government (nor any state or local government) does not even collect statistics for those who are missing or murdered, reports Pacific Standard magazine. No national database exists for Indigenous nations to report women who are missing. ( the FBI claiming in 2016 that around 5,712 Indigenous women were missing around the country, the federal missing persons’ database at the Department of Justice has only 116 of those 5,712 women listed.According to Ms. Magazine (Dec. 2), the very few statistics that do exist around Indigenous women show that 97 percent of Indigenous women who had faced physical and/or sexual violence were victimized by non-Indigenous perpetrators. ( federal law limits Indigenous tribes from criminally prosecuting non-Indigenous offenders on tribal lands, Indigenous women rarely receive justice for the crimes committed against them.It is also important to note that all these numbers of missing people are only estimates, and the actual number of missing people of color is likely much higher.Racism of police; media intensifies anguishAnother concern for the loved ones of missing people of color is the lack of care by police departments.Some people of color are hesitant to call the police after a loved one goes missing, for fear of unintended consequences because of the long history of racism by police departments.For example, some im/migrant families hesitate to call the police because they fear being reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.Police departments are also quick to label missing people of color as runaways, despite no evidence pointing toward disproportionate numbers of people of color “running away.” A significant number of missing children of color are homeless or in foster care and may end up in sex-trafficking rings, according to Natalie Wilson, a founder of the Black and Missing Foundation.Media coverage of missing people of color is also a reflection of the entrenched racist system that police adhere to. Only about one-fifth of the 30 percent of Black people missing nationwide is covered by the news, according to CNN.In a 2015 study exposing the coverage of missing children, media only made reference to missing Black kids about 7 percent of the time. A similar study centered around Indigenous women shows that very few cases of missing Indigenous women are covered on the news.Economic factors play a role in the lack of attention as well. Some families of color may not have the resources to hire a private investigator to search for their loved one after police do a poor, or no, search. The economic necessity of having to go to work to keep a job also allows for less time that a working-class family member could be searching.Institutionalized racism in the U.S. rears its ugly head again when it comes to Black and Brown people who have disappeared. Racism prevents Black and Brown people from receiving the justice and attention they need. One response to this alarming situation would be for concerned communities to make the issue of missing people of color a key part of their plan to combat racism at a local level. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Study Sheds Light on Antibiotic Use

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News Study Sheds Light on Antibiotic Use By Gary Truitt – Apr 19, 2012 Previous articleRFA Submits Testimony in Favor of Domestic Fuels Protection ActNext articleASA Applauds Senate Ag Committee on Farm Bill Draft Gary Truitt SHARE Facebook Twitter A well-organized, well-funded, and vocal coalition of groups is putting pressure on the government to ban the use of antibiotic in livestock production. They claim farmers are pumping masses of drugs into animals and that this puts human health at risk. A new study by Kansas State indicates that is not the case. Dr. Mike Apley, Kansas State University Professor of Veterinary Medicine, recently led a study using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a survey of swine veterinarians, “We were able to identify which drugs were used for growth promotion, disease control and prevention, and treatment by producers.” He said they were able to classify which drugs were not important in human therapy and which ones were important in human use.Apley says the main purpose of the study was to get an actual estimate that reflects true use of antibiotics, not just estimating doses but surveying veterinarians on which doses might be used. KSU found that annually about 1.6 million pounds of antibiotics are used in pork production for growth promotion/nutritional efficiency and for disease prevention. A 2001 report, “Hogging It,” from the Union of Concerned Scientists claimed that 10.3 million pounds a year are used. “Pork producers use antibiotics carefully and judiciously to protect public health and the health of their animals and to produce safe food,” NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, NC said. “To denigrate America’s hog farmers by deliberately peddling misinformation about how they care for their animals is despicable.”Apley says this gives a good baseline use estimate for specific antibiotics for specific classes of pigs for specific purposes. The KSU study, which was published in the March issue of Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, found that 2.8 million pounds of antibiotics were used for growth promotion/nutritional efficiency, disease prevention and disease treatment. That amount is 368 percent less than the amount asserted by UCS for just growth promotion/nutritional efficiency and disease prevention. Numerous peer-reviewed risk assessments have shown a “negligible” risk to human health from antibiotic use in livestock production.This study is important for the ag industry, Apley says, because establishing a way to estimate true use of antibiotics in swine will help other livestock producers do the same in the future. But in the end, he does not think the results of the study will change current FDA plans to limit antibiotic use.Study Sheds Light on Antibiotic Use SHARE Facebook Twitter Study Sheds Light on Antibiotic Uselast_img read more

Stutzman Renews Efforts to Split Farm Bill from SNAP

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News Stutzman Renews Efforts to Split Farm Bill from SNAP Facebook Twitter Marlin StutzmanAhead of the 4th of July recess – there was talk amongst House Republicans about splitting the farm bill into two measures. Several Congressmen who voted against the measure would like to split farm programs from nutrition programs. Indiana Representative Marlin Stutzman actually offered an amendment to the Rules Committee to split the FARRM Act apart – but it was ruled out of order. He said last week (week of June 24) what has worked in the past didn’t work. He said during a House Republican Conference meeting that members could moan and groan and blame each other or admit times have changed, things are different and a different strategy is needed. Stutzman argued the best way forward is to separate the agriculture language of the bill from the nutrition program and work on them individually. Facebook Twitter Stutzman Renews Efforts to Split Farm Bill from SNAP By Gary Truitt – Jun 29, 2013 According to Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina – a group of members told leadership they would vote for the agriculture portion with no problems if the bill were split. But according to House Ag Chair Frank Lucas – splitting the bill is unacceptable. Splitting the bill – he said – simply means not having a bill. Lucas said that is the least acceptable option – but everything else is on the table and he’s working through the scenarios with his friends. Lucas had said earlier in the week that leaders have to decide if they need to try for more Republican support or seek to bring on new Democrats. Previous articleLegislation to Restrict Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals Introduced in SenateNext articleWhat are Satellite Manure Storage Lagoons? Gary Truitt SHARE Source: NAFB News Service SHARElast_img read more