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Kanaky: Interview with jailed pro-independence trade union leader Gérard Jodar

Gérard Jodar (right).

This interview with Gérard Jodar, president of the pro-independence trade union federation USTKE (Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers), was published in Libération, issue #14790, on August 17 2009. He was interviewed by Matthieu Ecoiffier. Translated into English for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Annolies Truman.

Sentenced at the end of June 2009 to a year in prison for ``hindering the circulation of an aircraft'' [click HERE for background information to the struggle], Gérard Jodar is one of very few trade unionists to be imprisoned in France –- and his lawyers’ application for a lesser sentence has just been rejected by the appeals judge of the Noumea Supreme Court.

Gérard Jodar explains the conditions of his detention as well as the situation on the ``Pebble’’ [the nickname for New Caledonia, the colonial name for the South Pacific territory of Kanaky, which remains a colonial possession of France -- translator].

Petition: Appeal for the immediate release of USTKE trade unionists in Kanaky

By Collectif Solidarité Kanaky, translation and introduction for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Annolies Truman

* * *

August 12, 2009 -- On August 6, a general strike in Kanaky (or the French overseas territory of New Caledonia) was called off after an accord between the trade union confederation USTKE (Federation of Unions of Kanak Workers and the Exploited) and Air Caledonia was finally signed by the airline.

The signing of the accord, which had been negotiated on June 11, put an end to 10 days of demonstrations, roadblocks and violent confrontations with police, motivated as much by a desire for independence and decolonisation, as by the issue of industrial justice.

The conflict originated with the unfair dismissal of an Air Caledonia employee in March for “betraying commercial confidentiality” for telling her mother that her father had taken a flight with his mistress.

New Anti-Capitalist Party of France: `With the people and workers of Iran!'

Statement by the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA, New Anti-Capitalist Party of France), translated by Carmel McGlinchey, Luke Weyland and Annolies Truman for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Since June 13, the day after the rigged presidential election, millions of Iranians have gone into the streets with cries of "Down with the dictatorship!". The ferocious repression has already caused tens if not hundreds of deaths. Young people, women and the residents of the poorer areas who comprise the majority of the demonstrators have now been joined by the trade union movement.

The union of bus workers declared its solidarity, in asserting: "As long as the principle of free organisation and elections is not applied, all talk of social liberation and the rights of the workers is only a joke". The workers of Iran Khodro, the first car manufacturer in the country (with 60,000 employees), engaged in a strike while adding their demands for salary increases and the right to strike to the demands raised in the streets. 

CONFÉRENCE INTERNATIONALE D'ÉCONOMIE POLITIQUE: RÉPONSES DU SUD À LA CRISE ÉCONOMIQUE MONDIALE DÉCLARATION FINALE

Caracas 11 octobre 2008

Tenue au Venezuela, à Caracas, du 8 au 11 octobre 2008 en présence d’experts et de chercheurs en provenance d'Argentine, d'Australie, de Belgique, du Canada, du Chili, de Chine, de Corée du Sud, de Cuba, d’Egypte, d'Équateur, d'Espagne, des États-Unis, des Philippines, de France, d'Angleterre, du Mexique, du Pérou, d'Uruguay et du Vénézuéla, la Conférence Internationale d'Économie Politique « Réponses du Sud à la Crise Économique Mondiale » a ouvert un large débat sur l'actualité économique et financière de l'économie mondiale, les nouvelles perspectives et les défis que doivent relever les gouvernements et les peuples du Sud.

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