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Hong Kong dockers claim victory after 40-day strike; Interview with dockers' leader

Workers and protesters holding a defaced portrait of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing march on May Day, May 1, 2013. Thousands of workers, local labour rights groups, socialists and striking dockworkers joined in. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions said a record 5000 people took part in its march from Victoria Park to government headquarters before ending near tycoon Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Center.

By Ellen David Friedman

May 7, 2013 -- Labor Notes -- The 40-day strike of more than 500 dockworkers at the Port of Hong Kong ended on May 6 with a settlement that included a 9.8 per cent wage increase, non-retaliation against strikers and a written agreement, all of which had been fiercely resisted by the four contractors targeted in the strike.

Strikers accepted the offer by a 90 per cent vote.

Hugo Chávez: Tribune of world’s dispossessed/Tribuna de los desposeídos del mundo

By John Riddell

April 15, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/America XXI -- Hugo Chávez was not only a great Bolivarian patriot; he was a tribune of the world’s dispossessed.

At an anti-imperialist conference in Cairo in 2007, I heard Chávez hailed for his solidarity with Palestinians as “a better Arab than the Arabs”; “closer to us than the Arabs that impose injustice”.

Chávez, the first Latin American president to declare himself of African descent, proclaimed in 2005, “Every day we are much more aware of the roots we have in Africa.”

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network: The Venezuelan people have spoken! Respect the democratic process!

 PSUV election rally. Photo by Tamara Pearson/Venezuelanalysis.

The Venezuelan people have spoken: Nicolas Maduro is president

End the opposition violence! Respect the democratic process!

No US-backed intervention in Venezuela!

April 17, 2013 -- The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network joins with all those voices for democracy and peace to call for an immediate end to the opposition-initiated violence now occurring in Venezuela.

On April 14, a majority of Venezuelans voted for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s (PSUV) presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro. In doing so, they voted to continue the Bolivarian revolution previously led by Hugo Chávez.

Venezuela has one of the most transparent and secure voting systems in the world and the presidential elections were, according to all independent observers, free, fair and constitutional. The election result must be respected.

Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum, Tunisia 2013

 

 

By the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum, Tunisia, 2013

March 29, 2013 -- We are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilisation. We affirm that decolonisation for oppressed peoples remains for us, the social movements of the world, a challenge of the greatest importance.

Through the WSF process, the Social Movements Assembly is the place where we come together through our diversity, in order to forge common struggles and a collective agenda to fight against capitalism, patriarchy, racism and all forms of discrimination and oppression. We have built a common history of work which led to some progress, particularly in Latin America, where we have been able to intervene in neoliberal alliances and to create several alternatives for just development that truly honors nature.

Philippines: Socialist party supports Australian workers' blockade

February 12, 2013 -- Radio Australia -- A Philippine socialist party has thrown its support behind the Australian workers blockading the Werribee Water Treatment plant south-west of Melbourne.

Unemployed local tradespeople have been blockading the Werribee Water Treatment plant for the past week to protest against the employment of Filipino workers on special 457 visas [for guest workers].

Earlier this week, the Federal Court reserved decision on the Fair Work Building and Construction Inspectorate's bid to end the eight-day blockade.

On Monday, a group of 12 men, including Filipino workers, were helicoptered into the water treatment plant to avoid the blockade.

The chairperson of the Party of the Laboring Masses (PLM), Sonny Melencio, has told Radio Australia's Asia Pacific program he's concerned Filipino workers are being used to break picket lines.

Indonesia: Solidarity needed for trade unionists

January 30, 20133 -- Solidarity -- Trade union activist Sulthoni Farras, a leader of the Indonesian union federation Progresip, union alliance Sekber Buruh, and member of Indonesian political organisation KPO PRP, is in danger of arrest for leading a strike in 2012. Another activist, Bona Ventura, may also face charges.

The Indonesian government and bosses are using these kinds of tactics against a growing workers’ movement in Indonesia. Solidarity is asking for messages of support and for signatures to a letter we will give at the Indonesian Consulate this Friday 1 February, 2013. More details below.

* * *

Dear Comrade/Friend,

We are writing to ask your solidarity for a number of unionists in Indonesia presently in danger of being arrested and charged for taking part in lawful industrial action.

Below is some background to their situation in Indonesia. We would ask you to sign the letter (text below) that we intend to hand to the Indonesian consulate this Friday, 1 February following a solidarity protest at the consulate.

Socialist Alliance: Free Somyot and all political prisoners! Democracy for Thailand!

[Please continue to send protest notes to the addresses contained in this link. For more on Thailand and the Red Shirt movement, click HERE.]

Socialist Alliance (Australia) statement

  • Free Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and all political prisoners in Thailand!
  • Abolish the anti-democratic lese majeste law!
  • Democracy for Thailand!

January 24, 2013 – The Socialist Alliance of Australia condemns in the strongest possible terms the January 23 sentencing of workers’ rights and free speech advocate Somyot Prueksakasemsuk to a total of 11 years’ jail under Thailand’s draconian anti-democratic “lese majeste” law (Article 112 of the Criminal Code). Somyot and all political prisoners in Thailand should be released immediately and unconditionally.

Conviction of Thai labour activist Somyot Prueksakasemsuk condemned

Please continue to send protest notes to the addresses contained in this link.

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

January 23, 2012 -- Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is deeply concerned and disappointed over the verdict of Thai court today that sentenceed labour activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk to 10 years of imprisonment for charges under the Article 112 of the Criminal Code (the lèse-majesté law) and another year of imprisonment for a violation of printing act in 2009, totaling 11 years of jail terms.

The PSM is of the view that those charges and convictions of Somyot are politically motivated, with the aim to suppress the right to freedom of expression and activism of political dissidents who not adhere to the will of ruling elite in Thailand.

The prosecution and conviction of Somyot are regressive and push the country back to the Middle Ages. Such persecution against a political activist is devastating to the democratic process in Thailand.

Thailand: Protest letter demands: 'Free Somyot'!

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk.

January 17, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following protest letter, signed by 381 organisations and individuals inside and outside Thailand, was submitted to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and other Thai authorities on January 17. The letter was organised by the Thai Labour Campaign. Many more individual letters are due to be delivered on and before January 23, organised by Amnesty International, Australia Asia Workers Links and Clean Clothes Campaign. Readers of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal are urged to send their own letters to the addresses below. Please cc a copy to freesomyot@gmail.com

Salvador Allende, Cuba and internationalism, 1970–73

Fidel Castro with Chile's President Salvador Allende upon his arrival at Pudahuel Airport in Santiago on November 10, 1971.

[For more articles by John Riddell, click HERE.]

By John Riddell

January 6, 2013 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the US-inspired rightist coup in Chile that overthrew the leftist government of Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. The coup was a historic disaster for working people in Latin America and globally. Socialists worldwide saw it coming. How did they attempt to counter this danger?

Nigeria: Condemn continued attacks on comrade Femi Aborisade

[For more on Nigeria, click HERE.]

By Baba Aye, SWL national chairperson

January 3, 2013 -- International Socialist Tendency -- The Socialist Workers League (SWL Nigeria) is bothered by the continued attacks against Comrade Femi Aborisade (pictured), a leading member of the SWL and the editor of Socialist Worker, the League’s newspaper, who is a senior principal lecturer at the Polytechnic Ibadan. Eight armed men stormed his house on December 29, 2012. This was the second of such attacks within five weeks.

the SWL promptly wrote to the commissioner of police demanding that action be taken to safeguard Comrade Aborisade and indeed all residents within the premises of the institution. At that time, we were rather reticent and refrained from categorically declaring the attack as being political. But for similar attacks to take place barely a month after, with the armed hoodlums calling out his name and demanding that he comes out, shows that there is much more to this matter than one of armed robbery.

How workers rallied to aid the early Soviet republic: International Workers’ Aid for Soviet Russia (+ study guide)

Munzenberg

Willi Münzenberg.

December 29, 2012 -- The following talk on work by the Communist International to gather material aid for the Soviet Republic was given by Suzanne Weiss at the fourth Toronto study session on Toward the United Front, a 1300-page edition the fourth Communist International Congress (1922).

The study session, entitled “The Comintern’s Struggle for Social Hegemony”, surveyed the Comintern's work in unions, cooperatives, education, youth organisations and on material assistance to Soviet Russia. The presentation, taking up a speech by Willi Münzenberg, is followed by a brief biography and a description of the study session. More information on Toward the United Front is available HERE. – John Riddell

This article first appeared at Johnriddell.wordpress.com and is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

Malaysian socialists condemn Israel's Gaza massacre

Released by Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia)

November 21, 2012 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns Israel for its latest brutal assault on the Palestinian people.

Israel has once again intensified its aggression against the Palestinian people of Gaza, by launching airstrikes since November 14, 2012. Israel has amassed troops on the border and threatened a ground invasion on the Gaza Strip. More than 100 Palestinians including at least 23 children have been killed since the new massacre called “Operation Pillar of Defense” began.

Israel escalated the assault on Gaza on the eve of its upcoming legislative election as its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to gain votes with Palestinian bodies.

The Zionist regime of Israel has attempted numerous times to destroy Hamas, the organisation that leads the struggle of the Palestinian people against oppression by Israel, since Hamas won the Palestinian election in January 2006. Such savage attempts include blockade of the Gaza Strip from 2007 until 2011, which turned Gaza into the largest concentration camp in the world imprisoning 1.5 million Palestinians living in dire conditions. The massacre by Israeli armed force in December 2008 to January 2009 killed more than 1400 people and wounded over 5300 people in a period of three weeks.

Palestine: Hugo Chavez condemns Israel's “savage” assault on Gaza Strip

Hugo Chavez criticised Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip as “savage” (Telesur).

By Ewan Robertson

November 16, 2012 -- Venezuelanalysis.com – Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has condemned Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip as “savage”, and called for an end to “aggression” against the Palestinian people. “Another aggression against the Gaza Strip has begun. Savage, savage: the state of Israel bombing the Gaza Strip again”, said Chavez to ministers yesterday in reference to Israel’s ”Pillar of Cloud” airstrike campaign against the Palestinian territory.

Israel began its offensive on November 14 by killing the military chief of the Palestinian organisation Hamas. Agencies report that 28 Palestinians and three Israelis have died in the conflict so far, with a further 250 Palestinians wounded.

The Venezuelan president argued that Israel's operation is occurring “because the [Palestinian] president Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that he’s going to request, once again, the entrance of Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations”.

(Updated Nov. 16) Palestine: Gaza left activist, 'Israel has declared war', solidarity needed now! Ali Abunimah on Israel's goal


November 14, 2012 -- Al Jazeera's Shakuntala Santhrian interviews Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada. More from Ali Abunimah below the interview with Shamikh Badra.

* * *

Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle & Patrick Harrison interview Shamikh Badra, Gaza-based activist with the Palestine People's Party

November 15, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Israel has launched a fresh full-scale war on the besieged people of Gaza. As well as assassinating a Hamas spokesperson (and publicly threatening all Hamas representatives), more than 10 people had been killed by November 15. The dead reportedly includes Omar, an 11-month-old baby whose father works for BBC Arabic.

بيتر بويلي، ممثل "التحالف اليساري بأستراليا" :شكرا للشّعب التّونسي الذي أظهر للعالم أنّ الانتفاضة الشعبيّة لا تزال قـوّة مؤثرة

[The following interview with national co-convenor of Australia's Socialist Alliance Peter Boyle appeared in Sawt Chaab (People's Voice), the weekly newspaper of the Tunisian Worker's Party (formerly the Communist Workers’ Party of Tunisia) on November 9, 2012. Tunisian Worker's Party comrades have been jailed for publishing this newspaper, which was produced in clandestinity under both the Bourguiba and Ben Ali regimes. While other papers disappeared because of oppression, Sawt Chaab has survived since 1985 through the determination of many militants. The interview and translation was done by Haithem Mahjoubi (email haithemmahjoubi [at] rocketmail.com) See the unabridged English text below.]

Australia: Cuba's literacy program a success for Aboriginal community (+ photo essay)

Jose Chala Leblanch In Wilcannia, with his local footy jumper. Photo shared by Jose Chala Leblanch.

See also "Los! Hau Bele! -- `Yo! Si Puedo' comes to Timor Leste: Cuba assists the eradication of illiteracy". For more examples of revolutionary Cuba's internationalism, click HERE.

By Fred Fuentes

September 29, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sixteen Aboriginal adults in the remote Australian town of Wilcannia, in outback New South Wales, are the first graduates of a groundbreaking trial literacy program that would not have been possible without the help of a tiny Caribbean country — Cuba.

Pakistan: Baba Jan released from jail

Bab Jan leaves jail, September 17, 2012.

By Farooq Tariq

September 17, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Good news from Gilgit-Baltistan. We just got the confirmed reports that Baba Jan, federal youth secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) and chief organiser for the Progressive Youth Front, Gilgit, has been released after nearly a year in jail. His bail was accepted on September 15 in the last of the charges registered against him.

Baba Jan was warmly welcomed outside the jail gates by the supporters and members of LPP, who raised slogans like "Baba Jan, zinda bad", "Long live the struggle of the people", "Long live international solidarity.

Last week, the Pakistan Senate committee on human rights called the chief secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan to ask for an explanation of why Baba Jan was tortured and kept in jail. The chief secretary was rebuffed by Afrasayab Khatak, chair of the Senate committee, when he termed Baba Jan an "anti-state activist". Afrasayab Khatak told the chief secretary to stop telling bullshit to him. He told the top bureaucrat of Gilgit that he has heard a lot of these allegations and that he was himself at one time had been declared as being anti-state. Afrasayab Khatak asked for documentary proof of the allegations.

Within few days, Baba Jan got the bail.

Cuba's internationalism: 11,000 doctors graduate; 5315 Cuban and 5694 from 59 other countries

By José A. de la Osa, Havana

July 19, 2012 -- Granma.cu -- This July, 11,000 students are to receive their degrees as doctors of medicine; 5315 Cubans and 5694 students from 59 other countries, the highest total in the history of Cuba and an eloquent example of internationalist solidarity. These young graduates completed their studies free of charge in Medical Science Universities recognised for their high scientific level and social commitment to the poorest in the world.

Countries with the largest number of graduates are Bolivia, with more than 2400; Nicaragua, 429; Peru, 453; Ecuador, 308; Guatemala, 170; and Colombia, 175.

According to information given to Granma by the Advanced Medical Studies Department attached to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), the total of this year’s graduates amounts to 32,171 health professionals, both Cuban and from other countries, including the careers of medicine, dentistry, psychology, nursing and health technology, which has 21 units.

Pakistan: International week of action for the release of Baba Jan and his comrades, June 20-27, 2012

Socialist Alliance (Australia) poster demanding the release of Baba Jan and his comrades.

Readers of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal are urged to send protest letters to Pakistan embassies and consulate in their own countries. See an example at the conclusion of this article.

By Pierre Rousset and Danielle Sabai

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