Whitenoise Sole September 17, 2013 www.soleone.org As US president Barack Obama ramped up his rhetoric about Syria's chemical weapons on September 17, US rapper Sole released his latest album, which reflects on his country's chemical weapons attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to the prolific political emcee, who started releasing records in 1994, when he was just 16. ***
Venezuelans rallied to condemn fascism on September 11, marking the 40th anniversary of the United States-backed coup d’etat in Chile that ousted left-wing president Salvador Allende. The rally began at Plaza Salvador Allende at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and marched through the city centre to Llaguno Bridge. On the bridge is a memorial to those killed during the 2002 US-backed coup that temporarily removed former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez from office. Chavez was restored by an uprising by loyal soldiers and the poor.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on September 10 that a Venezuelan Armed Forces plane would carry humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon. The initiative came out of a resolution from the political council of the anti-imperialist bloc Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) meeting in Caracas. The plane will bring blankets, medicine, and food. Established by Venezuela and Cuba in 2004 as an alternative to US domination, ALBA now involves eight nations from the region
Striking Mexican teachers from a dissident union leading popular resistance to the government’s neoliberal reform agenda in recent weeks. Despite enduring relentless media hostility, the teachers' strike is now starting to broadened out to merge with protests against plans to hand over key national assets, such as Mexico’s state-owned oil industry, to the profit-hungry multinationals.
Thousands of striking teachers seized two of Mexico City's central thoroughfares on a march to the president's residence on September 11 after losing their battle to block new educational reforms less than 24 hours earlier. The teachers disrupted the centre of the city for at least the 14th time in two months, decrying a plan designed to break union control of Mexico's education system and, they say, damage education in Mexico's poor south in the process.
The wife and two daughters of folk singer and 1973 coup victim Victor Jara have filed a lawsuit in a US federal court against a former Chilean army officer who they say killed him, Morning Star. The civil lawsuit, filed on September 4 in Jacksonville, Florida, is a bid by Jara’s family to bring Pedro Barrientos, now a US citizen, to justice under laws that allow US courts to hear allegations of human rights violations committed overseas.
Red or Dead By David Peace Faber & Faber, August 2013 No socialist in 60 years of British life has had more followers than Bill Shankly; no-one on the left has had greater success. Taking over as manager of Liverpool Football Club in 1959, with his team struggling in the second division, by his retirement in 1974 Shankly had guided Liverpool to three league titles, two FA cups and the club’s first European trophy, the UEFA cup.
In a national census held over September 7 and 8, 1150 communes registered in a national census, exceeding expectations. The communes are forms of “popular power” in Venezuela that unite representatives of local communal councils across a regional area. Community councils in Venezuela are grassroots bodies where local residents manage public funds and undertake projects promoting community development. Communes, meanwhile, are formed by groups of community councils, and can take on larger scale projects and public works.
The election showed Most people in our country Still unwilling to take the plunge Towards system overhaul Chosing instead to remain Blind in the face of climate change Deaf to the groans of the earth and its poor Dumb to the call for justice and peace Heads spinning with doublespeak And massive media manipulation Wondering how to cope with this Collective conservatism and the Pettiness of political leaders I wander around the flat A little bewildered and sad To find myself in front of My bedside bookshelves Metamorphosis Why Marx was right Unfinished Animal
New pamphlet by Marta Harnecker Veteran Venezuelan-based left intellectual Marta Harnecker has released a new pamphlet called Instruments For Doing Politics. It is looks at what forms of political organisation (“instruments”) are required for let and popular sectors. See it at here The legacy of Salvador Allende
The secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is about to become even more secret, perhaps seen as a necessity in light of plans to make it easier for tobacco companies to sue while making health care more difficult to obtain.
Representatives of the Colombian rural poor (campesinos) began negotiations with the government on September 12, three-and-a-half weeks into an uprising against “free-trade” policies. By blockading highways and stopping work since August 19, Colombian campesinos made a dramatic statement for a fairer economy and greater independence from the United States. The central demand was and is the abolition of the free-trade agreements (FTAs) with the US and EU, and guaranteed minimum prices for their agricultural products.
The upcoming federal elections in Germany, scheduled for September 22, are unlikely to change the character of German politics regardless of the outcome. The two main parties remain committed continuing to represent the interests of German corporations over its people. Die Linke (The Left Party) provides a left parliamentary alternative, but it has not succeeded in convincing ordinary, working people that a break of the status quo is possible.
New Zealand celebrities have joined protests against proposed law changes that will remove the right of public consultation on applications for deep sea oil and gas drilling. Law changes will also remove the right to protest at sea. Actors Sam Neill, Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcolm, former Supreme Court judge Sir Ted Thomas and many others have joined Maori and environmental groups to condemn the government’s plans.
Trade unions, environmental and Maori groups have united to oppose passage of new laws threatening collective bargaining and basic rights in the workplace. The Employment Relations Amendment Bill, introduced by the government in April, seeks to remove existing requirements for employers to negotiate collective agreements, and rest and meal break provisions.
About 1.6 million Catalans linked arms to form the Via Catalana, a 400 kilometre human chain demanding a referendum on independence for their country, to mark Catalonia’s national day (the Diada) on September 11. The country has been a region of the Spanish state since September 11, 1714, when a besieged Barcelona finally fell to the Borbon coalition of France and Spain. Amazing success