China: Striking crane drivers demand better pay and conditions
Chinaworker.info reporters 4 May 2018
Crane drivers in China’s construction industry have taken strike action in dozens of cities across the country. That the strikes are coordinated is a stunning achievement for these workers.
On May 1, Labour Day, the workers’ called for a nationwide strike after a week filled with rolling strikes in different regions. Although May Day is a legal holiday in China, large numbers of workers are required to work often without extra pay.
This is China where strikes are illegal, organising is illegal, and protests are illegal. It is unclear how effective the May Day strike action was, given that this was in the face of mounting police repression and attacks against the strikes by state propaganda, in some cases accusing the workers of collusion with “foreign forces”. But that takes nothing away from the incredible nature of a strike wave embracing perhaps 20 of China’s provinces, organised mainly through online messaging, in the face of the world’s most powerful dictatorial state.
From media reports chinaworker.info has seen the strikes which began on 25 April have been reported from Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Shanxi and Sichuan provinces. At the time of writing there are reports of arrests, beatings, and police repression from several areas. The Epoch Times reported ten workers arrested in a protest march in Chongqing. Radio Free Asia report 20 arrests in Zhengzhou, Henan province.
Hong Kong: New international protest day for democratic rights
Vincent Kolo (China Worker) 4 April 2018
Noam Chomsky among signatories of worldwide petition launched by Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign The Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign is planning a day of worldwide protests on Friday 4 May. chinaworker.info urges readers around the world to participate in the protests against increasing political repression in Hong Kong and China. More information and campaign material can be found on the campaign’s website stophkrepression.net. The Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign was launched last October with protests in 22 cities around the world. It explicitly targets support from left activists and workers’ organisations, explaining that capitalist politicians and the right are too enamoured by economic links with the Chinese regime and conflicted by their own undemocratic policies to offer real support for democratic rights in Hong Kong or China. Donald Trump’s response when China’s leader Xi Jinping changed the rules allowing him to rule for life, was to praise Xi and tell a public rally, “Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday!”
The Murder of Marielle Franco and the Birth of a Movement
The Real News Network 3 April 2018
Massive protests against the killing of Marielle Franco blanketed Brazil in recent weeks. An anti-police violence activist from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro was killed to silence her, it appears her assassination has done just the opposite
Lula Leads in Polls as Court Upholds Conviction
The Real News Network 29 March 2018
Former president of Brazil Lula da Silva's corruption conviction was upheld by an appeals court, which, according to Brazilian law, mean's he's not allowed to hold office for 8 years. But that hasn't stopped Lula from campaigning for the upcoming presidential election in October. Journalist Mike Fox explains
The Kisan Long March and the living hell of Indian farmers
Liza Roy and Hamid Alizadeh 20 March 2018
On 6 March, some 35,000 farmers from across Maharashtra marched to Mumbai, demanding of the state government land rights, loan waivers, fair compensation for their produce, respect and dignity for farmers from indigenous tribes (adivasis) and improvements in the agriculture sector, which makes up half of India's workforce and 14 percent of the economy. The march was led by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and lasted six days, during which the farmers marched to the main area of Mumbai and then surrounded the state legislature building (Vidya Bhavan). On 12 March, the protest came to an end after the state government agreed to address the farmers' demands. Inspired by the events in Maharashtra, farmers in Uttar Pradesh organized a similar march to Lucknow on 15 March, demanding the state government address their dire situation. Some of the farmers’ demands included loan waivers and removing private companies from their lands
Brazil: PSOL councillor Marielle Franco murdered in Rio de Janeiro
CWI 16 March 2018
On 14 March, Marielle Franco, a veteran member of PSOL in Rio de Janeiro, was barbarically executed in the city centre. Anderson Pedro Gomes, the driver of her car, was also killed in the attack. Police investigation identified 9 gun shots in the back window of the car, showing that the murderers targeted Marielle, and knew where in the car she was sitting despite the blacked-out windows of the car. Marielle was 39 years old and has a 18 year-old daughter. A black, lesbian women, she lived in the Favela of Mare, in Rio, where she worked in defence of black women and human rights. She was a long-time militant activist for just causes in the interests of the poor in the city.
China: Xi Jinping plans to extend his rule
Chinaworker.info reporters 3 March 2018
The news from Beijing is historic – nothing less than a political earthquake with repercussions around the world. At its upcoming “parliamentary session” (the National People’s Congress, NPC, which starts next week), China will remove the two-term limit for the presidency and vice presidency. This confirms what was widely expected; that Xi Jinping plans to extend his rule after his current second term finishes in 2023. Xi has cemented his grip over the Chinese regime through a ruthless power struggle and anti-corruption purge, forcing factional opponents and recalcitrant regions to “bend the knee”. This was further confirmed by his “coronation” at the so-called Communist Party’s (CCP) 19th Congress in October, at which Xi imposed his own choice of leaders, eliminating or demoting possible challengers, and inserted his “thought” into the constitution. Despite being widely expected, the latest move to allow Xi to indefinitely extend his reign as president (there is no limit on Xi’s other and actually more powerful position as CCP general secretary), has elicited shock and alarm from international commentators and Chinese dissidents alike.
Movements of Millions Say No to Gene Drives as Brazil Attempts to Legalize Genetic Extinction Technology
ETC 22 February 2018
The largest rural movements in Brazil, representing well over a million farmers, are protesting a new Brazilian regulation that would allow release of gene drives, the controversial genetic extinction technology, into Brazil’s ecosystems and farms. On February 3rd and 4th, the National Coalition of Farmworkers and Rural, Water and Forest Peoples met near São Paulo, Brazil and sounded the alarm about new Brazilian regulatory changes – a resolution passed on January 15th by Brazil’s National Technical Commission on Biosafety that would allow the release of gene drive organisms into the environment. The effect of this change is that Brazil becomes the first country in the world to establish a legal channel for the release of gene drives into the environment. The new rule could potentially make it even easier to release a living gene drive organism than a GMO seed. The largest rural movements in Brazil, representing well over a million farmers, are protesting a new Brazilian regulation that would allow release of gene drives, the controversial genetic extinction technology, into Brazil’s ecosystems and farms. On February 3rd and 4th, the National Coalition of Farmworkers and Rural, Water and Forest Peoples met near São Paulo, Brazil and sounded the alarm about new Brazilian regulatory changes – a resolution passed on January 15th by Brazil’s National Technical Commission on Biosafety that would allow the release of gene drive organisms into the environment. The effect of this change is that Brazil becomes the first country in the world to establish a legal channel for the release of gene drives into the environment. The new rule could potentially make it even easier to release a living gene drive organism than a GMO seed.
Zuma's Catastrophic Presidency Ends in Forced Resignation
The Real News Network 16 February 2018
South African President Jacob Zuma resigned under intense pressure from his political party, the ANC, which ordered him to step down or face a no-confidence vote. Zuma has had a disastrous effect on South Africa's nascent democracy, but a surging countermovement gives reason for hope, says Vishwas Satgar of Wits University
Youth protests take place ahead of Russia’s 'no-choice' presidential election
Rob Jones, Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) Moscow 14 February 2018
Once again, a presidential election in Russia looms and for the fifth time since 2000 there is a simple choice; either Putin or one of the other candidates, none of whom has a chance of winning. The only exception to this was in 2008, when Medvedev stepped in to hold the presidential chair warm for four years before Putin could not stand for technical reasons. After the last election in 2012, protests against voter manipulation broke out. This time protests are taking place in advance. A few weeks ago saw another wave of youth protests sweep Russia, affecting over 100 cities – from the several thousand who turned out in Moscow’s balmy minus six to the thirty people who managed to brave Yakutsk’s minus 45! Police carried out widespread raids on dozens of offices of Alexei Navalnii, who called these protests in the days before Sunday. They stopped passengers at airports and stations and searched student hostels to confiscate any agitational leaflets. But on Sunday itself, “only” 300 protesters, including Navalnii himself, were detained by police. Undoubtedly, the regime is concerned that a crackdown before the election could provoke wider discontent. The Ministry of Defence, according to some soldiers, has been surveying the rank and file asking them who they think is the most popular pro-western politician, calling for a “coloured revolution”, and whether they would be “prepared to obey an order to use force against people calling for the forcible overthrow of the constitution in Russia”.
Pro and anti-Zuma protesters face off outside the ANC's headquarters
Daily Maverick 5 February 2018
Buoyed by Cyril Ramaphosa's win at the ANC's elective conference, a growing negative perception and a series of damning court judgments against President Jacob Zuma, a group calling themselves Defend Luthuli House gathered at the ANC headquarters in the Johannesburg city centre to stop pro-Zuma supporters from handing over a memorandum at the offices. https://www.msn.com/en-za/news/national/supernumberoccupyluthulihouse-round-2-pro-and-anti-zuma-protesters-face-off-outside-the-ancs-headquarters/ar-BBIJ0Fc?ocid=spartanntp
China: Tibetan activist latest victim of vicious crackdown
Adam N. Lee (chinaworker.info) 17 January 2018
A nine-minute video made by the New York Times may cost Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk fifteen years in prison. He is the latest victim in an unprecedented crackdown in which hundreds of dissidents and rights advocates have been arrested, abducted, ‘disappeared’, tortured, forced to appear in televised ‘confessions’ and in many cases served with harsh prison sentences as a deterrent to others who would challenge Beijing’s policies. 32-year-old Tashi, a shopkeeper from the Tibetan prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai province, was arrested two months after featuring in the Times’ video documentary. He was held for two years in secret detention and then tried on 4 January this year for “inciting separatism”. The video film (see link below) was played at the four-hour trial and, according to Tashi Wangchuk’s defence counsel, was the main “evidence” against him. The court will pronounce sentence at a later date but it is feared he could be handed a fifteen-year prison sentence. China’s courts are under tight control by the regime and have a 99 percent conviction rate, 100 percent in the case of political trials like this one. International observers have condemned the detention and trial of Tashi Wangchuk, with Amnesty International calling it a “sham” based on “blatantly trumped-up charges”.
Campaign for jailed journalist Ali Feruz to join annual Moscow anti-fascist demo
Socialist Alternative in Russia (CWI) Reporters 16 January 2018
Nine years ago, in the centre of Moscow, a lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, and journalist, Anastasia Baburova, were both murdered by fascist thugs. They had been known for their anti-fascist activities and Stanislav was an activist with the Russian ‘Youth against Racism in Europe’. Each year since, there has been an anti-fascist demonstration to mark their murders, with the slogan, “Never again”. The19th January march is never more relevant; everyday hate crimes continue in Russia against immigrants, Muslims, the LGBT community and increasingly the attacks come not just from far right radicals but from the state. Therefore Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) takes part in the demonstration not just in memory of the two murdered anti-fascists, but also to openly speak out and organize against migrantophobia, islamophobia, homophobia and other hatreds. The clearest example of this today is the case of the journalist Ali Feruz (actual name Khudoberdi Nurmatov). The Russian courts took the decision to deport Ali to Uzbekistan, where he was born, and where he faces repression and possible torture for his refusal to cooperate with the authoritarian regime’s police. Working for the Russian paper, ‘Novaya gazeta’, Ali Feruz exposed the death of conscripts in the army and the slave-like conditions in which many immigrants in Russia are forced to work. Ali is a member of a journalists and media workers union. He is an immigrant and openly gay. While Ali’s supporters from the newspaper and his friends have been lobbying in support of Ali, it has been the public and international campaign that has, so far, prevented the Russian courts from forcing Ali back to Uzbekistan.
India's Capital of Delhi has the World's Worst Air Pollution - Why?
The Real News Network 26 December2016 Fossil fuels, especially coal, is the main culprit, but despite the public health emergency, the government is not acting on this issue, says Shouvik Chakraborty, research fellow at PERI On November 8th, the Indian capital city of Delhi gained the dubious distinction of becoming the most polluted city on the planet. The air quality is now so bad that it's equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day. So how did Delhi and India become so polluted, and what can be done about this severe public health problem? Joining us to discuss this is Shouvik Chakraborty. Shouvik is currently a research fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute, UMass Amherst. He received his PhD from the Center for Economic Studies and Planning at JNU in New Delhi. He's published a variety of progressive economic articles, especially in the areas of development banking, international trade, food security, and energy and the environment. Shouvik's current research focus is on the generation of jobs through investment in clean, renewable energy and developing an egalitarian green growth program.
10TH BRICS SUMMIT MEDIA LINKS
BRICS covered by Chinese state television CGTN
The BRICS Summit 2018 is underway in Johannesburg. As trade battles threaten to blaze across the world, how can BRICS countries band together to embrace free trade? Prof. Patrick Bond, in Johannesburg, from the School of Governance at the University of the Witwatersrand, and in the Beijing studio, Prof. He Wenping, Senior Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences joined The Point. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q69ZPP5r6YI
BRICS covered by Russian state broadcaster Sputnik
Radio Sputnik discusses the BRICS summit with Professor Patrick Bond
Analysis of the BRICS summit so far - Prof. Patrick Bond (SABC NEWS)
Trevor Ngwane on the Break the BRICS Coalition planned protest ...
On Thursday different formations calling themselves "Break the BRICS Coalition" will be marching to the Sandton Convention Centre where the 10th BRICS Summit is currently underway. The march is a protest against what the coalition calls the capitalist nature of the BRICS states, their anti-working class behaviour, and their environmentally destructive policies. Its intention is to put forward their demands for world to see.
Break The BRICS coalition demand arrest of some leaders attending the summit
As heads of states signed agreements and talked multilateralism inside the BRICS summit...Outside, hundreds of civil society members protested in the vicinity of the summit. The Break The BRICS coalition delivered a memorandum demanding the arrest of some leaders who are attending the summit today. And they are demanding a response before the summit wraps up tomorrow.
BusinessDay TV: What the Brics summit has achieved for its members
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) political economy lecturer Patrick Bond spoke to Business Day TV about what the leaders of the Brics countries might have achieved and how their power could affect the world order. https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/world/2018-07-30-watch-what-the-brics-summit-has-achieved-for-its-members/
BRICS Summit report on Al Jazeera (including protest at BRICS New Development Bank)
Leaders from the BRICS bloc - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are meeting for the first time since the Trump administration in the US said it was ready to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports, a move economists say could also hurt smaller countries like South Africa. "A trade war should be rejected because there will be no winner," Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening of the 10th BRICS summit of emerging economies in South Africa's main city, Johannesburg. President Xi is urging the leaders of developing economies to work together, in the face of threats of tariffs by US President Donald Trump.
BRICS MEDIA LINKS
BRICS from below - Home | Facebook
We network activists and scholars in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa addressing inequity that impacts people.
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*BRICS from below (@BricsFromBelow) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from BRICS from below (@BricsFromBelow). Centre for Civil Society • University of Kwa Zulu Natal • Developing Progressive Global Alliances with a focus on Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Durban, South Africa.
Brics-from-below fears exploitation of Africa | Daily News - IOL
Mar 26, 2013 - The first Brics-from-below civil society summit takes place parallel to the fifth Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit that begins ton Tuesday. Hosted by environmental group groundWork, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and the UKZN Centre for Civil Society, the ...
Put people first, urges Brics-from-Below | Daily News - IOL
Mar 28, 2013 - NGOs concluded their Brics-from-Below civil society summit on Wednesday with a march to Durban's International Convention Centre, where the fifth Brics Summit is being held. There they hand over a memorandum which was accepted by a UN Ambassador on behalf of the Minister of International ...
'brics-from-below' – counter summit hosted in Durban – Earth Life
Mar 20, 2013 - In anticipation of the 5th BRICS meeting, peoples' organisations, NGOs and academics from BRICS countries will gather in Durban, South Africa in March 22- 27 to foster 'brics-from-below Rebuilding BRICS, bottom up. At this counter summit, civil society aims to play two major critical roles: firstly, acting as a ...
Interview with Bobby Peek from groundWork, Friends of the Earth
The parallel meeting, BRICS from Below, was hosted by environmental group groundWork, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and the UKZN Centre for Civil Society.
CONTACTS AND OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION