Barry Sheppard

Capitalist party politics in the United States remains in turmoil. Republicans and Democrats are at each other’s throats. Factionalism exists in both parties. Despite this situation, Democrats and Republicans have common cause in support of the Washington-organised attempt to overthrow the government led by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, writes Barry Sheppard.

US President, Donald Trump is testing the waters with his national emergency. If it is upheld by the Supreme Court, he could invoke more powers than those related to the wall.

After six days of strikes and mass mobilisations in the streets, Los Angeles teachers, joined on the picket lines and demonstrations by parents and students, won an important victory, Barry Sheppard writes from San Francisco, as they  held the line against further privatisation of the public schools.

When Donald Trump first announced he was running in the Republican primaries for the 2016 election, he signaled that his campaign would rely heavily on anti-Mexican racism, racism against all non-whites, anti-immigrant xenophobia and Islamophobia.

Part of this was his oft-repeated pledge to “build a wall” between the US and Mexico to keep out immigrants from Central America and Mexico. He slandered these migrants as rapists, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, sex traffickers and more.

Looking at elections in the United States, deeper trends in the population can be difficult to discern as the choices are between two capitalist parties that are both staunch defenders of capitalist rule and US imperialism.

There are no mass workers’ parties of any stripe. If there were, we may be in a better position to understand the relation of class forces.

A white man in Jefferson, Kentucky, shot and killed two African Americans at a grocery store on October 24. Gregory Bush was seen trying unsuccessfully to break down the doors to a predominantly Black church before he turned his attention to the store and opened fire.

Two big hurricanes hit southeastern United States in September-October. The first, Florence, devastated North and South Carolina with torrential rain, up to 40 inches in some locations over a few days. It caused huge flooding as rivers overflowed for weeks.

The second, Michael, hit Florida with very high winds. Near the coast, on the east side of the eye, sustained winds were 155 miles per hour when the storm made landfall. Together with the ocean storm surge, it made the coast look like it had been devastated in a bombing raid.

United States President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are trying to ram through a coup, writes Barry Sheppard. Running roughshod over multiple allegations of sexual assault and insulting the women involved, they seek to solidify a far-right majority of five out of nine members on the Supreme Court for the next several decades.

As the plight of child asylum seekers separated from their parents fades from the news, hundreds of children remain incarcerated and separated from their families, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

Of these, about 400 are children of parents who have been deported. There is little chance these families can be reunited soon, and probably never will be.

As the plight of child asylum seekers separated from their parents fades from the news, hundreds of children remain incarcerated and separated from their families, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

Prisoners in many states in the US began a coordinated national strike on August 21, the anniversary of the 1971 killing of Black Panther member and prison activist George Jackson by guards in an escape attempt at San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the context a mass radicalisation led by Blacks and youth, the incident became a cause célèbre in its day.

With overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the new 2019 budget for the military is 13% larger than in 2017. It is even bigger than what Donald Trump had proposed, writes Barry Sheppard.

The US spends more on its armed forces than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Britain, France and Japan combined, according to the United Nations. About 17% of the nation’s entire US$4 trillion budget goes to the military.

It is now abundantly clear that the Donald Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy towards parents with children seeking asylum in the US involves separating children from their parents, keeping the children in the US and deporting the parents, writes Barry Sheppard in San Francisco.

Democratic Party politicians and media outlets that reflect their positions have attacked President Donald Trump on certain issues with arguments to the right of him.

One example is United States policy on North Korea. Trump has been taken to task for meeting with Kim Jong-un and initiating discussions with North Korea over its possession of nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them.

The charge is that even meeting with Kim was wrong because it allegedly legitimises and “prettifies” him.

More than 100,000 people took to the streets on June 30, in about 750 cities and towns in every state across the country, to protest the separation of immigrant children from their parents seeking asylum and denounce President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that made this cruel practice possible, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

In response to huge public outcry against his policy of forcibly separating children from immigrant parents seeking asylum, United States President Donald Trump issued an executive order on July 20 to halt the separations.

A victory? Not so fast, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

Pages

Subscribe to Barry Sheppard