International News

GLW Issue 1108

Basque independence activist Arnaldo Otegi has been banned from running as a candidate in an upcoming regional election in the Spanish-controlled Basque Country. An electoral authority ruled on October 24 that Otegi, who was released from jail in March, could not run as a candidate for left-wing Basque party EH Bildu due to a conviction of alleged links to terrorism.
On the surface, it seems the war against ISIS in Syria is going well. On August 12, the town of Manbij was taken by forces of the Manbij Military Council (MMC) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Then on August 24, the nearby border town of Jarablus was occupied by Turkish tanks and troops. Turkish forces were joined by Syrian fighters claiming allegiance to Islamist and other groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). In both instances, the US provided air cover. However, there the similarities end.
Aftermath of ISIS attack on HDP members' wedding. Gaziantep, August 20. The bombing of the wedding of two members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) in the southern city of Gaziantep on August 20 killed 54 people, including 29 children. ISIS appears to be responsible, although like other attacks by ISIS in Turkey over the past year and a half, the targets have been opponents of the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In largely Kurdish Rojava in Syria's north, a profoundly democratic and revolutionary experiment is underway. A multi-ethnic, feminist and socialist-oriented society is being built from the ground up, organised around communes and other bodies of participatory democracy.

GLW Issue 1107

The exoneration of a man accused of the worst of crimes, genocide, made no headlines. Neither the BBC nor CNN covered it. The Guardian allowed a brief commentary. Such a rare official admission was buried or suppressed, understandably. It would explain too much about how the rulers of the world rule. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has quietly cleared the late Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, of war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the massacre at Srebrenica.
Members of the Media Workers Union of Swaziland (MWUS) protested low wages, management intimidation and poor working conditions at the Swazi Observer. Negotiations between the paper, in effect owned and controlled by absolute monarch King Mswati III, and MWUS had started in April. But no real progress has been made since they became deadlocked in June.
United States President Barack Obama has carried out classically colonial, imperialistic policies towards Africa during his time in office. John Feffer, from the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, said in a Common Dreams article: “Strip away all the modern PR and prettified palaver and it’s an ugly scramble for oil, minerals, and markets for U.S. goods.”
Economic Freedom Fighters' members. After the August 3 local government elections, it is not just the ruling ANC that is licking its wounds. The left also has very little to celebrate, outside of the consolidation of the anti-neoliberal Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as the third biggest party in the country.
In 2000, renewable energy made up just 6.3% of Germany's electricity. By last year, it had risen to 31%. Cloudy Germany became a leading innovator in solar energy. It did so not by subsidising large power utility companies, but by mobilising hundreds of thousands into energy cooperatives. The two legs of this democratic energy transition are Germany's commitment to phase out nuclear power and its feed-in tariffs, which allowed small renewable energy producers to sell their electricity.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC commander Timoleon Jimenez at a signing ceremony in Havana, Cuba for a historic ceasefire in June.
Colombia has just emerged from 50 years of civil war, but its future is still uncertain. Amid the optimism prompted by the peace deal between the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, it is easy to assume the slaughter of trade unionists and other activists is a thing of the past. However, 534 people were murdered from 2011 to last year — 134 of those trade unionists — according to Justice for Colombia, the British trade union-based campaign against paramilitary violence against the Colombian labour movement.
Palestinians gather in the Gaza Strip for a rally against Israeli attacks on August 21. People in the Palestinian Gaza Strip said at least 30 Israeli airstrikes took place in the territory on August 21. The air strikes came after a rocket was fired earlier in the day from the territory into Israel, landing in an open area and injuring no one.
Jeremy Corbyn addresses supporters. Despite a range of undemocratic measures by the Labour Party establishment in the face of hundreds of thousands of new members enthused by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing politics, Corby n looks set to win Labour leadership elections that finish on September 21.
Striking Deliveroo drivers. Striking couriers for online food delivery company Deliveroo won a “major victory” in getting bosses to promise that they will not be forced to work under a piece-rate system, their union announced on August 17. Workers of the restaurant food delivery firm will not be made to sign a new contract that would downgrade wages from £7 per hour plus £1 for each delivery, to just £3.75 per drop-off.
Hawzhin Azeez is member of Kobane Reconstruction Board in the largely Kurdish area of northern Syria and a former politics lecturer at Newcastle university. In Rojava, a profoundly democratic and revolutionary experiment is underway. A multi-ethnic, feminist and socialist-oriented society is being built from the ground up, organised around communes and other bodies of participatory democracy.
The death of yet another Black man at the hands of police — this time in Milwaukee on August 13 — touched off nights of rebellious protests as crowds of people confronted officers and demanded justice. The bitter discontent was years in the making. It is the result of systematic racism and discrimination that has left Black residents in Wisconsin's largest city as second-class citizens.
Protesters target the Bakken pipeline. Despite ongoing resistance by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a North Dakota federal court has ordered the indigenous group to stop their blockade protests against a US$3.8 billion oil pipeline.
The US’s first Black swimmer to win a gold medal, Simone Manuel, dedicated her win to ending police brutality on August 11. Manuel tied with Penny Oleksiak from Canada at 52:70 to win gold in the 100 metre freestyle race at the Rio games that day.
HDP MPs hold copies of Özgür Gündem in parliament, August 17. [This statement was released on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) on August 17.]
"And, no, it's not going to end today. I can't tell you it's going to end tomorrow. I don't know when it's going to end. But it's for y'all to start." This is what Sedan Smith, the brother of Sylville Smith, the 23-year-old African American man shot dead by police, told Democracy Now! on August 15. "This is what you get! We're not the ones killing us! You're killing us! We can't make a change if you all don't change."

GLW Issue 1106

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro warned his country’s right-wing opposition leaders on August 9 not to stir up violent unrest as the threat of a recall vote against him waned, the Morning Star said on August 11.
Venezuela's newly nationalised Kimberly-Clark factory has produced 2,068,800 sanitary towels its the first month since reopening following a worker takeover in July, Venezuelanalysis.com said on August 10. Last month, the Texas-based consumer products giant shut down its operations in the country without warning, firing nearly 1000 workers.
Venezuelan labour minister Oswaldo Vera announced on August 10 that the government had taken over another shut-down manufacturing firm, the Morning Star said on August 12. Vera said the Guardian de Venezuela laminated glass plant in Monagas state would be occupied and re-opened by its workers.
Israel is intensifying its efforts to crack down on activists working for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians. On August 7, interior minister Aryeh Deri and public security minister Gilad Erdan formed a new inter-ministerial task force that will, as the The Times of Israel reported, “target supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement”. The task force aims to prevent the entry of foreign activists allegedly affiliated with groups that support BDS. It also aims to expel those who have already entered territories under Israeli control.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa: “Anybody can come here to the Ecuadorean Amazon and dip their own hands in the lagoons of oil left by Texaco more than 20 years ago and their hands will come out full of oil.”
Local communities organise against Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine. Canadian mining giant Tahoe Resources came under fire on August 11 for bulldozing human rights in Guatemala. Two groups have filed a complaint in the United States calling for a probe into whether Tahoe executives lied to investors.
Fans at Rio Olympics hold “Fora Temer” (“Temer out”) signs. August 10. As Brazil’s media focuses its attention on the Rio Olympics, new revelations continue to shine a light on the glaring contradictions in the unelected government's efforts to impeach suspended President Dilma Rousseff for allegations of fraud.
As socialist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses enthusiastic mass meetings across the country it appears clear — despite attempts by Labour right to sabotage the vote and deny as many Corbyn backers the right to vote as possible — the anti-austerity leader will easily be returned as leader.
Ottawa, Canada. July 2014. Members of the Green Party of Canada made history at their August 5–7 convention in Ottawa, passing a resolution to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting economic activities in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel. The BDS campaign was first launched in 2005 with a call from more than 170 Palestinian non-government organisations. It has generated growing support across the world.
Pakistani lawyers take to the streets to condemn the Quetta bombing. The left-wing Awami Workers Party (AWP) has condemned the deadly bombing of the Civil Hospital in Quetta on August 8, in which more than 97 people lost their lives. Most victims were lawyers gathered for the funeral of recently-assassinated Balochistan Bar Association President Anwar Kasi.