1. May 1st is an international day of struggle of the working class, not a holiday. To have 200 million unemployed around the world cannot be celebrated. According to the ILO,[…]
APRIL 7TH, 2017 By IWL-FI International Secretariat. Donald Trump ordered yesterday the airstrike to a military base of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Shayrat, Homs. He sent 59 cruise missiles from[…]
APRIL 18TH, 2017 By International Secretariat – IWL-FI. A few days after the airstrike to a base of the Syrian Regime in Homs, Donald Trump gave the order to drop[…]
An Invisible Hand in Education? Schools, Vouchers, and Distortions
by Felipe González and Pablo Muñoz
We are going through a very rich and complex situation in Latin America. As always, the left is tested in moments like this. By Eduardo Almeida. In Brazil, March[…]
Fissures within the bourgeoisie caused by Trump with his policy reflect on the international arena as well, by attacking two of the central policies driven by imperialist powers over the past decades. The first one is what we have called the democratic reaction – which means to confront tough situations regarding the relationship of forces with the masses through pacts, negotiations and elections (because of impossibility or limits to use military action). And the second, as we have said in previous articles, is the policy of international Free Trade agreements.
However, Trump in himself expresses a sector of the bourgeoisie that supports his government. In the first place, the oil sector. His Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, former president of the main oil company in the country, Exxon. Possibly, Trump also has the support of important construction sectors (the main branch of his companies), of agrarian production and of a middle industrial bourgeoisie, harmed with the relocation of industries to China and other countries.
Feb 16th’s ADWI was a good first step to rebuild a mass immigrant rights movement in this country, and moving forward, March 8th’s Women’s Strike is being seen as the next movement build action, with May 1st’s International Worker’s Day being the next big Day Without Immigrants. The immigrant rights movement and its allies should use the momentum for May day being built by the general anti-Trump national sentiment.
There are already organizations that have issued a call for a national Day without Immigrants on May 1, so far these include Voces in Milwaukee, SEIU-United Service Workers West and the Women’s March in California, and the national Cosecha network1 and we can build on these to get more endorsements and commitments. National public opinion polls are showing that majority of people in the U.S. support the rights of the undocumented to remain2.
It can learn from the strengths and limitations of Feb 16th’s demonstrations and organize things more centrally and continue the grassroots elements. It’s important to continue to keep organizational and programmatic independence from the Democratic Party (DP) politicians and organizations. We should contest base and rank and file DP members and we don’t need to work inside the DP to do that.
It’s crucial that the movement put pressure on unions and hold the labor leadership accountable since there are many undocumented workers in unions and in the wider labor force. While the AFL-CIO and labor unions keep silent during Trump’s offensive to immigrants and workers, rank and file workers in their unions should put forward resolutions and build caucuses to push for their unions to come out in full force to support May day’s activities.
At the community, school, and neighborhood level, the undocumented community can build on the the resistance networks being built across many major cities3 by workers centers and community groups against the deportations and attacks to immigrants. There are also organizations and communities pushing for sanctuary (cities that follow certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants),4 campuses, cities and states that should be supported and expanded.
Written by Aldous Reno A good education is the foundation of a just and democratic society. But for the working class people of our society, the promise of a decent[…]
The call for a women’s strike has been attacked in the mainstream media with vicious arguments. As socialists, we defend this call for action and recognize that much more is needed to have a real strike of all working women, but the limitations of our present capacities are by no means ground to dismiss our end goals.
What is appalling is that an editorialist of the corporate press wants to preach the “privilege” and “working class” line to its readers. Their end goal is to discourage women who were thinking of taking action by guilt-tricking them and demoralize the majority of working class women that indeed will not be able to go on strike. And for that reason alone, this reactionary line of argument needs to be called out.
It may be a fact that most women will not be able to strike. However, it is also a fact that in order to organize a real strike of all working class women, we need to develop a strategy to appeal to local unions, and put national pressure on the AFL-CIO leadership to step-up its game and organize the 10.7% of the workforce that it represents. There is no doubt about that.Yet, all general strikes are the result of an accumulation of small strikes from the most militant and organized sectors (not necessarily the most privileged) that give increasing confidence to the rest of the class that it is possible and necessary to fight back. A general strike, that is to say a strike of a significant sector of the working class that stops the whole country, has never occurred out of a first call, but is actually the result of a series of mobilizations (including small strikes) that build for it. The deep ignorance of the meaning of a strike in the first place, and labor history in the second, should be truly embarrassing for those righteous Democratic Party columnists.
Especial atención hay que poner al llamado que está haciendo SEIU-USWW, un sindicato clave que representa a 40,000 trabajadores de limpieza, mantenimiento y seguridad en la industria privada en California. SEIU – USWW ha llamado a hacer un paro de la producción el próximo 1 de Mayo. La gran mayoría de sus miembros son mujeres trabajadoras indocumentados que se desempeñan como janitors y que han sido una vanguardia en la lucha contra las políticas sobre-explotadoras y discriminatorias de los patrones y del gobierno americano.
This March 8, women around the world will write another important page in the history of struggle for their rights. In an unprecedented action, in more than 20 countries this international day of working women is calling for a strike, and we will take the streets.
By International Women’s Secretariat – IWL-FI.
Over the last years, we have seen how women are at the front line of resistance. Working and poor women are teaching us us how to confront imperialist plans, how to resist invasions (Syria, Palestine, Kurdish women), how to fight for education (Mexico), how to defend what is already conquered (Poland), how to claim for equal pay (Iceland), how to fight for our lives (India, Argentina), and a long etcetera.
A year and a half ago, on June 3, under the slogan #NiUnaMenos, a group of Argentine journalists called to mobilize against femicides and violence against women. On that J3, the streets of Buenos Aires were small before the largest mobilization the country has seen so far in defense of women’s rights. This demonstration had great impact around the world and the slogan became international: while facing repression, Mexican women shouted the same slogan and added ¡Vivas nos queremos! [we wants us alive]. And so began women’s fight all over the planet, accompanied by thousands of workers.
Setting aside Trump’s playing around with “alternative truths” and things of the kind used to distract workers, something is objectively and empirically very clear: Trump has constituted the wealthiest cabinet ever to run the United States. His cabinet’s worth is estimated around $4.5 billion (at the top are Ross Wilbur and Betsy DeVoss) a sum which “is 60% higher than the aggregate wealth of Barack Obama’s (…) Cabinet, which Forbes estimates to be $2.75 billion” This is without taking into account Trump’s own personal wealth: $3.7 billion.
This government is in fact a pure expression of the American corporate power, which is not afraid to hide its obscene wealth anymore. Obama was the austerity president: austerity for workers and encouraged public restraint for bosses while profits were being recovered on the backs of working people. Trump is the braggy billionaires’ president, where, in his view, workers are supposed to admire and love those who got richer in the aftermath of a traumatic crisis while they got poorer.
“I want people that made a fortune!” Trump stated during his campaign. The billionaire campaigned on the very “simple” idea that making money means being “successful”, capable, smart, etc. Yet, beneath the apparently simple formula of Trump lies hidden the universal mechanism of exploitation of millions of workers. In fact, our society is based on the concealment of the origin of value: money does not come from great minds, actions or decisions. It comes from profits created by the appropriation of a significant portion of the labor of millions of workers, what Marx called surplus-value.
For us workers, who do not belong to the “owning” class, our destiny in this system is to work for wagers to make ends meet. Yet at the same time, if we do not work, they do not get rich. So the problem is that as long as the corporate powers rule, even if we work harder than ever, we never make enough to have a decent life. To celebrate the millionaires and billionaires as national heroes, as Trump pretends, is to celebrate the wheel of capitalist production and exploitation that keeps us chained to our current social condition – it is to toast to our own enslavement.
Given the current situation, we need to rebuild our movement from below, with the thousands of committed union activists, progressive locals and grassroots organizers that will stop any collaboration with Trump and organize a fight back against all of these attacks. The AFL-CIO leadership’s collaboration with the most anti-worker president, Trump, has crossed a line.
We cannot allow more jobs to be lost without putting up a fight and mobilizing solidarity across sectors. We cannot allow more privatization of schools, services and two-tier systems for the workforce. We cannot wait until right-to-work legislation has passed to lament the “sorry state of U.S. labor” and see the historic low of 10% unionization turn into zero. We need to mobilize for a national strike against Trump, to defend our unions, to defend our jobs and demand more jobs, to fight for a massive increase of the cost of living wage, to implement $15 an hour now everywhere, to demand full benefits for all with no contributions and universal healthcare, maternity leave, and paid vacations.
…even if it is early to close any definition, it seems that the hypothesis of the aggravation of both processes (elements of crisis of the regime and inter-bourgeois friction) is confirming, together with a possible upsurge of workers and masses. As we said, this is a non-precedent situation in the United States. Along a series of articles, we will try to further develop the different aspects of this situation.