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Burma: Asian left parties condemn attacks on workers' rights

Statement initiated by Working People Association (Indonesia) and Network of Progressive Youth Burma

[If your organisation would like to sign, please email:international@prp-indonesia.org.]

September 16, 2010 -- We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the military junta of Burma for its new decree to curb workers’ right to form trade unions and its harsh punishments against any industrial action.

The military junta of Burma -- the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) -- decreed a new regulation on August 20, 2010, at a meeting in Rangoon attended by industry employers, government ministers and Burmese military officials, including Lt-Gen Myint Swe of the ministry of defence. It stated that, whoever launches or participates in industrial protests demanding better rights or conditions will be fired and blacklisted. The reason for the decree, labour activists in Burma believe, is that the junta wants to prevent further industrial action and employers don’t want their workers taking action to demand better wages, so now they can fire those who protest and stop them from getting jobs elsewhere.

Declaración Conjunta de Solidaridad Detener la amenaza contra Venezuela ahora!

03 de agosto 2010

Nosotros, las organizaciones abajo firmantes, vemos con gran preocupación la posibilidad de una agresión militar contra el pueblo de Venezuela por el Gobierno colombiano, que podría ser apoyada por los EE.UU. desde sus siete bases militares instaladas recientemente en Colombia.

El 22 de julio de 2010 la República Bolivariana de Venezuela fue acusada en una Sessión Extraordinaria de la Organización de Estados Americanos en Washington por el Gobierno colombiano, de promover, apoyar y mantener relaciónes con las organizaciones armadas de Colombia, como por ejemplo las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) y el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Las acusaciones se basaron sólo en imágenes que nunca han sido comprobadas o sometidas a verificación.

Estas maniobras actuales por el Gobierno colombiano de derecha son un claro intento respaldado por los EE.UU. para justificar un ataque preventivo contra Venezuela y su pueblo. Ha habido una series de denuncias falsas contra el gobierno de Hugo Chávez en los últimos recientes años como parte de la campaña respaldada por EE.UU. para desmantelar el proceso revolucionario que tiene lugar en Venezuela.

Asian socialists: `Stop the threats against Venezuela now!'

Joint statement initiated by Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Working People’s Association (PRP), Indonesia, and Socialist Alliance, Australia. See below for latest signatures.

[If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email int.psm@gmail.com.]

August 1, 2010 -- We, the undersigned organisations, view with serious concern the possibility of military aggression towards the people of Venezuela by the Colombian government, which could be supported by the United State of America using its seven military bases recently installed in Colombia.

This matter has arisen from the recent events when the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was accused on July 22, 2010, at the extraordinary session of the Organization of American States in Washington by the Colombian government of promoting, supporting and maintaining a relationship with armed organisations from Colombia, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). The accusations were only based on images which have never been substantiated or subjected to verification.

Malaysian socialists: Solidarity with the people of Venezuela against threat of military aggression

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

July 28, 2010 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is deeply concerned with the possibility of military aggression towards the people of Venezuela by the Colombian government, which could be supported by the United States of America and its seven military bases recently installed in Colombia.

This matter has arisen from the recent events when the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was accused on July 22, 2010, at the Extraordinary Session of the Organization of American States in Washington by the Colombian government of promoting, supporting and maintaining a relationship with armed organisations from Colombia, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). The accusations were only based on images which have never been substantiated or subjected to verification.

The current moves by right-wing Colombian government is clearly an attempt backed by the US to justify a pre-emptive attack on Venezuela and its people. There has been a pattern of false allegations against Hugo Chavez’s government as part of a US-backed campaign to dismantle the revolutionary process taking place in Venezuela.

Asian left: `Lift the siege on Gaza! Support boycott, divestment and sanctions on apartheid Israel'

Statement by Asian left organisations

[To add your organisation’s endorsement, please email: international@socialist-alliance.org.]

June 25, 2010 -- As Israel stands increasingly isolated following its manufactured confrontation on May 31, 2010, with the peace flotilla in which nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara were murdered, now is the time to increase the pressure on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza.

Israel’s criminal blockade of Gaza is aimed to collectively punish 1.5 million Gazans for their choice of government.

The attack on the flotilla was aimed at demoralising Palestinians and their supporters. But, as we've seen from the global protests – particularly in Turkey and the Arab world – it has backfired on the Netanyahu government. Turkey, once a close political and military ally, has now distanced itself from Israel and supports attempts to break the Gaza blockade.

United States: Victory as protesters and union block Israeli ship unloading at Oakland Port


Video by Tom Vee TV. More video below.

[For more information about trade union solidarity with Palestine, click HERE.]

June 20, 2010 -- ANSWER -- In a historic action and unprecedented action today, more 800 worker and community activists blocked the gates of the Oakland docks in the early morning hours, prompting longshore workers to refuse to cross the picketlines where they were scheduled to unload an Israeli ship.

Appeal against repression in Thailand; จดหมายประท้วงการปราบปรามในประเทศไทย

Introduction by Danielle Sabai and Pierre Rousset

June 20, 2010 -- The crackdown on the opposition in Thailand and the abuses of the regime have not been met with the solidarity response and the international condemnation that the situation requires. The regime can thus freely operate and stifle the democratic movement.

News from Thailand is alarming: hundreds of people detained for violations of the emergency decree, including children; injured people chained to their hospital beds; several assassinations of local  leaders of the Red Shirts have taken place. The country is moving deeper into an authoritarian and military regime. The elite are even considering postponing the elections for six years, thus giving Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva the possibility of leading the country for ten years against the will of the majority of Thai citizens.

Thai society is deeply unequal in every respect. The Red Shirts have expressed loud and clear their determination to fight the injustices they suffer: they express a class movement as well as one defending regional diversity, against the establishment in Bangkok.

Support Tamils not Sri Lanka’s war-criminal government -- Eva Golinger misinterprets solidarity

By Ron Ridenour

June 1, 2010 -- Eva Golinger is known for her analysis in the service of Venezuela’s peaceful revolution against the local oligarchy and the United States empire. She is a noted author (The Chavez Code: Cracking US intervention in Venezuela). A dual citizen of the US and Venezuela, she is an attorney, and a personal friend of President Hugo Chavez. She is a frequent contributor to left-wing media around the world, and is the English-language editor of the Venezuelan newspaper, Correo del Orinoco.

Hugo Chávez and Cuba condemn Israel's brutal massacre of aid activists

Chavez is a hero in the Middle East.

Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs, Caracas

May 31, 2010 -- The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Commander Hugo Chávez, emphatically condemns the brutal massacre perpetrated by the State of Israel against the members of the Liberty Flotilla, as a result of the war action started by the Israeli Army against defenceless civilians, who tried to carry humanitarian aid supplies to the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip, who are victims of the criminal blockade imposed by the State of Israel.

President Hugo Chávez, on behalf of his government and the Venezuelan people, expresses his deepest regret and sends his deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the heroes who have been victims of this state crime, and commit to honour their memory and to give the necessary help so that the responsible of this murderers  are severely punished.

The revolutionary government of Venezuela will continue denouncing the terrorist and criminal nature of Israel, and it reaffirms, today more than ever, its unbreakable commitment with the fight of the Palestinian people for freedom, the sovereignty and the dignity.

Europe: Solidarity with the resistance of the Greek workers (updated May 9)

Greek workers stage general strike, March 2010.

April 30, 2010

1. The global economic crisis continues. Massive amounts of money have been injected into the financial system – US$14 trillion in bailouts in the United States, Britain and the eurozone, $1.4 trillion in new bank loans in China last year – in an effort to restabilise the world economy. But it remains an open question whether or not these efforts will be enough to produce a sustainable recovery. Growth remains very sluggish in the advanced economies, while unemployment continues to rise. There are fears that a new financial bubble centred this time on China is developing. The protracted character of the crisis – which is the most severe since the Great Depression – reflects its roots in the very nature of capitalism as a system.

Venezuela: `For every April 11th, may there be an April 13th' -- solidarity messages on anniversary of defeated coup

Celebrating the 8th anniversary of the Venezuelan people’s defeat of the April 11, 2002, coup against Hugo Chavez, and solidarity with the Venezuelan Revolution

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

April 13, 2010 -- This year April 13 marks the 8th anniversary of people’s victory over the US-backed coup d’état against President Hugo Chavez in 2002. The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) would like to pay tribute to the revolutionary masses of Venezuela who defended the revolution eight years ago with tremendous courage and now are still fighting to shape Socialism of the 21st Century.

Eight years ago, on April 11, 2002, the right-wing oligarchy of Venezuela backed by the US imperialists, with the help of the corporate media, staged a coup against popularly elected president Hugo Chavez, in an attempt to derail the revolutionary process in Venezuela which has been seen as a threat to the vested interests of the filthy rich oligarchy in Venezuela and US imperialists. The coup failed after over a million people took the streets and called for the return of Hugo Chavez. The defeat of the coup demonstrated how the power of the people from below can make substantial changes, and defend the revolutionary process that in turn empowers the people further.

Fourth International's response to Chavez’s call to found a Fifth Socialist International

[The following is an excerpt from the "Role and tasks of the Fourth International", a report adopted by the Fourth International at its 16th World Congress held in Belgium in February 2010. Click here for the full report.]

Chavez’s call to found a Fifth International poses other questions about its origins, its framework, that is to say, its viability. The Fourth International declares that it is willing to participate in the debates and preparatory meetings that may be organised. We will contribute our historic gains and our vision about what a new international and its programatic foundations could be. A genuine new international can only be born if its members share a program, an ability to intervene in society, a democratic, pluralist form of functioning, as well as clear independence from governments in order to break with capitalism.

Statement by the African Movement of Solidarity with the Saharawi People

March 11, 2010 -- A meeting of the Popular African Movement of Solidarity with the Saharawi People was held on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the proclamation of SADR (Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic), in Algiers, on the 26thSouth Africa, Algeria and Nigeria. An important delegation from the SADR was present at this meeting. of February 2010. It grouped civil and political movements from

The delegates included representatives of Movements of National Liberation, parliamentarians and political figures, Trade Unionists, representatives from different associations dealing with Women, Peasants, Youth and Students, Lawyers, Sports and Culture. In keeping with their commitment and convictions, and faithfulness to their history, they resolved to support the Sahrawi people, and their sole legitimate representative, the POLISARIO Front and its state, the SADR, a founder member of the African Union.

On this joyous occasion, the gathering formed a single, common delegation to take part in the official celebration of the 34th anniversary of the proclamation of the RASD on the 27th February 2010 in Bir Lehlu (a Liberated Territory of the SADR).

Looking to new international structures in a new era of socialist feminist activism

``... By including the worldwide celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day among its recommendations, the international conference in Caracas discussing the proposal [this past November by Hugo Chavez for the formation of a Fifth International] gave socialist feminists extra momentum for sharing ideas for coordinating our IWD 2010 actions and events.''

By Susan Dorazio

March 8, 2010 -- One hundred years ago, German revolutionary socialist Clara Zetkin proposed, and the women of the Socialist International approved, a call for an International Women’s Day. This annual event would be an explicitly socialist response to the major issues facing women in the opening decades of the 20th century. These issues, in particular the rights of women workers and the right of women to vote, centred on conflicts in the workplace and community brought to the fore by rapid industrialisation in the US and Europe.

Has the World Social Forum been co-opted by capitalism? Does it have a future?

March 3, 2010 -- Olivier Bonford and Eric Toussaint are members of the International Council of the World Social Forum (WSF) and of the the Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM). In this interview with Marga Tojo Gonzales, they discuss the future and role of the World Social Forum as it enters its second decade. They also examine the relationship between the WSF and the call for a Fifth Socialist International by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Translated by Vicki Briault and Christine Pagnoulle.

* * *

Marga Tojo Gonzales: Ten year after the first use of the slogan, "Another world is possible", a majority of humankind still lives in subhuman conditions, and with the international financial crisis, the situation has become even worse. Does this mean that the alternative globalisation movement has failed?

Canada's Socialist Project on the call for a Fifth Socialist International

The call by Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez for discussion of the formation of a "Fifth International" has generated a lot of debate amongst the left around the world. As an addendum to the "Caracas Commitment" of November 2009, a resolution was passed to form a preparatory committee to convene a global conference of left parties in Caracas in April 2010 to discuss the formation of a new international.

Burma: Regional left support for workers’ struggle

February 13, 2010 -- The statement below has been signed by the Working People’s Association (Indonesia); Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance; the Singapore Democratic Party; the Socialist Party of Malaysia; Socialist Alternative (Australia); Socialist Alliance (Australia); Socialist Worker New Zealand; Young Democrats (Singapore); Partido ng Manggangawa (Philippines); Congress of South African Trade Unions; Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippines); World Federation of Trade Unions (Asia Pacific Region); Movement for the Advancement of Student Power (Philippines); Canadian HART; Free Burma Campaign (South Africa).

If your organisation would like to sign this statement, email international@prp-indonesia.org.

* * *

Workers at Burma’s Taiyi shoe factory and Opal 2 garment factory began a strike on February 8, 2010. They are demanding a salary increase, a reduction of working hours and the provision of a clean space for meals.

The strike started in the Mya Fashion garment factory in the No. 3 Factory Zone of Yangon’s Hlaing Thrayar Township.

Beyond the World Social Forum ... the Fifth International

Eric Toussaint interviewed by Igor Ojeda for the Brazilian weekly paper Brasil de Fato. Translated from French by Judith Harris and Christine Pagnoulle.

February 2010 -- According to Eric Toussaint, a doctor in political science and one of the ideologists of the World Social Forum, now in its tenth edition, effective political action calls for the creation of a permanent national front of parties, social movements and international networks.

Eric Toussaint, a doctor in political science and a member of the International Council of the World Social Forum (WSF), is in favour of the WSF becoming a platform of greater political influence in social struggles throughout the world. He is not particularly worried about the resistance of certain sectors within the forum who would prefer this event to retain its original form. For him, the solution is simple. “If the World Social Forum cannot accommodate it, we must build another instrument, without leaving or scrapping the forum”.

Fifth Socialist International -- Time for definitions; Hora de definiciones


By Luis Bilbao, translated by Janet Duckworth for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

February 2, 2010 -- The first step has been taken. It has extraordinary strategic implications. It will shake up the left and right, the West and the East. It will blow in like a whirlwind through every political organisation, trade union or social, in every corner of the planet. On the evening of November 20, 2009, the day before the opening of the first extraordinary PSUV [United Socialist Party of Venezuela] congress, a feeling of vertigo swept over tens of thousands of people who heard Hugo Chávez, either on TV or on the internet, speak before delegates of parties from 30 or so countries, and launch a proposal that was as long desired as it was unexpected: to set to work to build the Fifth Socialist International.

Cuba and the South African anti-apartheid struggle

Twenty years ago, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl, South Africa, on February 11, 1990. That historic victory was the product of the long and courageous struggle of the oppressed people of South Africa. It was also a victory for the international movement against apartheid. Revolutionary Cuba played a vital role in the international movement against white minority rule in South Africa, as the following article describes. (See also "Cuito Cuanavale: How Cuba fought for Africa’s freedom".)

* * *

By Nicole Sarmiento

January 21, 2010 -- Pambazuka News -- Cuba's relations with African liberation movements began as early as the 1960s, and shortly after the triumph of the struggle against the Batista dictatorship in Cuba. Members of the Cuban leadership travelled to Algiers to build formal relations with the Algerian National Liberation Front (Gleijeses, 1996a). Che Guevara's trip around the African continent in 1963 was a significant turning point in strengthening Cuba's relationship with liberation movements around the continent.

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