Friday, August 17, 2018

Abolish ICE! No Wall! Free the children!

The immigration crisis in the United States has two essential forces at play. One is the struggle of immigrant workers to find a better life, away from the horrors created by U.S. imperialism in their home countries. The other deals with the forces of capitalist class rule within the United States, who act to divide workers by means of racist myths, while super-exploiting vulnerable immigrant workers and controlling their movements.

Why are people coming to the United States? Why do they enter illegally? The reality is human: immigrant workers and families want to escape the danger of gangs, war, poverty, or domestic abuse. The immigrants, many of them women, want to find a home that is stable enough so they can get a job, put food on their children’s plates, and send them to school. This is the motivation of the vast majority of all who enter the country at the southern border, legally or illegally.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sioux Falls AFL-CIO Bans White Supremacists

In May of 2018 the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO passed several amendments to thier Constitution. Among those changes were the words," No individual shall be eligible to serve as an Officer, member of The Executive Board or Committee, or other governing body, or any committee of, or as a delegate from, or as a representative, agent, or employee of this body who is a member of any Fascist or White Supremacist organization. Or who consistently pursues policies and/or activites directed toward the purposes of any Fascist or otherwise White Supremacist Ideology." 

The following is a message from Sioux Falls AFL-CIO President Kooper Caraway.

As we approach the 1 year anniversary of the atrocity in Charlottesville, Virginia, it seems to be an appropriate time to reflect on the historical role of the Labor Movement as an inherently Anti-Fascist Movement and on the future role of Labor in combating the growing threat of Fascism, Bigotry, and White Nationalism. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Day Trotskyists Shut Down Sri Lanka

Within the single decade of the 1950s in Sri Lanka, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP)—South Asia’s largest and most successful Trotskyist party—successively rose to a crescendo while leading a mass action shutdown of the island, and then made multiple political missteps that exhausted the immediate possibility of building a working-class revolutionary party. The lessons of this rise and fall ought to be noted by serious revolutionaries striving to build working-class power.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Antoinette Konikow: Feminist and Socialist Hero

Antoinette Konikow was born Antoinette Bucholz in Orenburg, Russia, on the Volga River, near Kazakhstan, of ethnic Jewish parents, both of whom were socialists. She went to secondary school in Odessa. At 19, she went to university in Zurich, Switzerland, and studied medicine. She joined George Plekhanov’s Emancipation of Labor Group, the first Russian Marxist group and the predecessor of the organization that later split into the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions. Bryan Palmer, in his book James Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928, mentions that Konikow abruptly left Zurich after an incident involving explosives at a boarding house that she was staying at with fellow radicals. Konikow immigrated to the U.S. with her husband in 1893 and completed her medical education at Tufts University, then Tufts College, near Boston, graduating with honors.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Reactionary 'Right to Work' Law Killed in Missouri

After a string of victories across the country in recent years—including this summer’s Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court ruling—the anti-union “right-to-work” movement has met its match in Missouri. 

In Tuesday’s primary election, Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition A, a ballot measure that would have made the state the 28th in the nation to adopt a “right-to-work” (RTW) law. Designed to bankrupt organized labor, the deceptively named legislation would have prohibited private sector unions from collecting fair share fees from workers they are legally required to represent. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

What’s Behind the Protests Rocking Nicaragua?

Since April, hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans have taken to the streets in protest of the policies of the government led by FSLN President Daniel Ortega. The protests at one point escalated to road blocks and occupations and have been fiercely resisted by the government. Undoubtedly, Nicaraguan society is in crisis. Here, we present some important background information as to its origins.]

It is clear the working class is not in the leadership of the opposition forces currently carrying out a “national dialogue” with the government. A mis-leadership composed of the business group COSEP and the Catholic Church seems to be in the driver’s seat in these meetings. Additionally, the United States and other imperialist powers are intervening via the Organization of American States and wooing student groups to demand new elections without any regard for Nicaragua’s sovereignty.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Tech Workers and Flight Attendants Resist Immigrant Family Separation

The brutal and wildly unpopular Trump administration policy that separated thousands of children from their immigrant parents triggered widespread protests.

It also provoked resistance from workers whose jobs are crucial to carrying it out.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) don’t operate in a vacuum. They depend on a host of products and services—including technology produced by software engineers and travel assisted by flight attendants.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Stormé DeLarverie: The Lesbian Spark in the Stonewall Uprising

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. In the early morning hours, gay men and lesbians fought back against the police raid of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. After that event, which began in the early morning of June 28,1969, Gay Liberation had joined the lexicon of Women’s Liberation, Black Liberation, and Chicano Liberation.

There are phenomenal lives and stories connected to that night that should not be forgotten or erased. One is that of Stormé DeLarverie—who had been fighting back all her life and fought back that night.

Stormé had a tough Southern upbringing. She was born in Louisiana in 1920; since she had no birth certificate, she chose Dec. 24 as her birthday. Her mother was a Black servant in the house of her father, who was white. They made sure she got an education, but growing up biracial in the South was a continual fight.

You Can't Eat GDP

As President Donald Trump and corporate media outlets on Friday enthusiastically touted new GDP figures showing that the U.S. economy grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, many economists and progressive commentators were quick to counter the glowing headlines by pointing out that corporations and the rich are feasting on most of the growth while most workers see their wages fall.

"What the president won't talk about is that there is slow—and even negative—growth in real wages adjusted for inflation. So if GDP is rising, but wages [are] falling, the money is going to the top," Timothy McBride, a health economist at Washington University in St. Louis, noted in response to Trump's celebratory speech on the White House lawn on Friday.

"You can't eat GDP," writer Dante Atkins added on Twitter. "GDP doesn't pay the bills."

Stop Inhumane Policies Against Migrants!

Children separated from their families and caged in Trump’s USA, thousands drowning as they cross the Mediterranean, boats transporting migrants refused the right to dock by Salvini’s Italy, Orban’s Hungary declaring that helping refugees is a crime, 370 thousand Rohingya fleeing from to Bangladesh after another military raid and massacres by Myanmar government, tens of thousands of economic refugees from Haiti and Venezuela spreading throughout South American countries, more than five million Syrian refugees outside the country and even more internally displaced .… Those who hold power in Old Europe and the Americas are joined in a holy witch hunt against the spectre of “migrants”: a wide ranging alliance embracing the populists of the right and what remains of the traditional Social Democrats. Salvini and Macron, Putin and Trump – chauvinists from the east and the west, French liberals and German police…

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump Uses Kids as Bargaining Chips as Immigration Fightback Grows

On June 30, protesters defied dangerously hot temperatures and took to the streets in over 750 cities in the United States and abroad to protest Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies. The marches and rallies focused on his administration’s practice of separating immigrant families and imprisoning their children.

Over 30,000 participated in the Families Belong Together march in Washington, D.C., and tens of thousands more came out in other cities. Common demands included “Abolish ICE,” “No human being is illegal,” and “End deportations.”

America’s Dairy Farmers are Struggling and Unsupported

When Lorraine Lewandrowski drives from her Herkimer County dairy farm to her law office each day, she notices the changes happening across rural upstate New York. “When I grew up here, we had 30 or 40 farms in our neighborhood,” she says. “We had a local hardware store, machinery dealers, two dentists, two doctors. We had a vibrant rural town. Now we don’t have that.”

Today, she says, roadsides are dotted with “for sale” signs. Farms sit vacant, their owners having relocated to urban areas in search of work. Once-pristine barns have become dilapidated after years of low prices left farmers without money for infrastructure upkeep. The closest city, Utica, is the sixth-most distressed city in the country, with about half of the adults unemployed and more than a quarter of the population living in poverty.

Where is Mexico Heading with Lopez Obrador?

Two days after the elections in which he had tied a sweeping victory with more than 50 percent of the total vote, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced that he will back the government of Enrique Peña Nieto during the transition period prior to the rise of the new government. This declaration culminated months of negotiations and agreements that allowed election day, July 1, to unfold relatively free of any upsets.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Janus v. AFSCME and the Future of Unions

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. That decision said that making non-union members pay for the union’s political activities violated the First Amendment, but that it was constitutional to require non-members to help pay for a union’s collective bargaining and contract administration costs. The ruling added that this would ensure “labor peace.”

Now, in the Janus v. AFSCME case, the Supreme Court has ruled by a 5 to 4 margin that non-members should not be required to pay “agency fees” or “fair share.” Doing so, the Court majority agreed, would violate those workers’ rights to free speech and free association.

What's Behind the Anti-Vaccine Movement?

Routine childhood vaccination is one of the cornerstones of modern public health. Evidence points to its major role in improving health by a dramatic reduction in the incidence of infectious diseases that formerly caused significant illness and death.

Yet, as any nurse or physician delivering primary care can tell you, there is a small but significant number of parents who refuse vaccines for their children. Vaccines are suspect because they are not “natural.” Scientific and medical authority have been eroded. There is widespread criticism of the pharmaceutical industry that produces the vaccines. The claim of a link between the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism has frightened many people even if the claim has been de-bunked.