15 July 2020

International Viewpoint

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International Viewpoint, the monthly English-language magazine of the Fourth International, is a window to radical alternatives world-wide, carrying reports, analysis and debates from all corners of the globe. Correspondents in over 50 countries report on popular struggles, and the debates that are shaping the left of tomorrow.
Updated: 28 min 38 sec ago

The struggle against authoritarian liberalism is more urgent than ever.

10 hours 6 min ago

Rarely given any space in international media, Slovenia has recently been filling the (web)pages of newspapers like Le Monde, The Guardian, Courrier International and the BBC. Reports were about thousands of people protesting on bicycles against the new right-wing government, led by Janez Janša and his Slovenska demokratska stranka (SDS - Slovenian Democratic Party). They are known internationally for their ideological, political and financial links to Viktor Orbán's Fidesz. Under the guise of fighting the coronavirus, the Slovenian government combined strict public health measures (broadly supported by the public) with a vicious attack on public institutions, journalists, NGOs and practices of formal democracy.

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

Elections see emergence of first left pole since country's independence from Yugoslavia

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 08:24

On Sunday 5 July, Croatia held early parliamentary elections. Turnout was only 46 percent, reflecting low levels of engagement with official politics.

- IV546 - July 2020 /

Palestinian members of Israeli parliament call on Democrats to oppose annexation

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 07:44

All 15 members of the Israeli Knesset's Joint List have sent a letter to congressional Democrats, calling on them to oppose annexation. The Joint List faction is a coalition of Arab-majority political parties in the country.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , ,

Clinic Defense and Abolition

Sun, 07/12/2020 - 08:23

On Saturday 20 June, at Manhattan's Planned Parenthood clinic in Soho, New York City for Abortion Rights organized a clinic defense against aggressive groups of far-right anti-abortion evangelicals. These well-funded and organized groups, which included At the Well Ministries, Love Life, and Operation Save America (a rebrand of the notorious Operation Rescue of the 1990s) have mobilized across the country, making New York City their next target for enforcing their hateful, reactionary agenda: forced birth, forced gestation, Islamophobic and anti-LGBTQ persecution. Operation Save America was previously headed by Flip Benham, who remains strongly associated with them, and seemed to be the headliner of this action. A misogynist and bigot, Benham has made a career of stalking abortion doctors, destroying Qurans in public, following teenage trans girls into bathrooms, and, as has recently come to light, paying off Norma McCorvey (the “Jane Roe” of Roe V. Wade”) to publically convert to Christianity and “repent” her abortion. His sons, the “Benham Brothers”, who were not at the action, are closely involved with Love Life, an extremely well-funded non-profit organization dedicated to stripping bodily autonomy from all those who can become pregnant. Calling their action “#JesusMatters”, the antis appropriated the language of the Black Lives Matter movement, denouncing abortion as a racist campaign of black genocide and comparing their actions to the nationwide protests against racist police brutality.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , ,

Abolish the police?

Sat, 07/11/2020 - 05:57

The French “mainstream media” has not exactly relayed this, but a demand has made its way from across the Atlantic, thanks to historic mobilizations against racism and police violence: that of the abolition of the police. This slogan, which was the prerogative of some small groups who in general also advocated the abolition of prisons, is today discussed in increasingly broad circles and is now the subject of a national campaign: #8to-Abolition. This obviously remains a minority phenomenon, but it has taken on a scale that no one could have suspected a few weeks ago, and raises for public debate a question whose radicalism is only matched by its simplicity: should we abolish the police?

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

White Supremacy Symbols Falling

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 15:18

WITHIN A FEW days in early June, Confederate monuments began to tumble. Ostensibly memorials honoring southern Civil War fighters, these statues were erected decades later, to announce that white supremacy remained alive and well.

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U.S. Erupts with Mass Protests

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 06:17

“THAT'S NOT A Chip On My Shoulder. That's Your Foot On My Neck.” — Malcolm X, speaking in response to police brutality and national oppression

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

“We want to live”

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 13:52

Syria faces many socio-economic problems. The global Covid-19 pandemic has intensified them and provoked new demonstrations. Before the pandemic broke out in mid-March 2020, the poverty rate of the population in Syria was estimated at more than 85%. It has certainly increased since then. In addition, the value of the Syrian pound has fallen steadily, down by around 105% since the beginning of May against the US dollar and by almost 360% since June 2019. The living conditions of the great majority of the Syrian population are increasingly miserable. This is without forgetting the consequences of the massive destruction caused by the war, estimated at around US$500 billion, and the continuing authoritarian and neoliberal policies of the despotic Assad regime.

- IV546 - July 2020 /

Sisi government the most repressive in Egyptian history

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 08:14

Reporters Without Borders' latest ranking places Egypt in 166th place out of 180 countries, down three places from last year. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECFR) recorded, from 20 September to 21 October, 2019, 4,321 imprisonments, 2,932 people remanded in custody, 55 disappearances. Journalists are paying a heavy price: between October and December 2019, 25 of them were arrested.

- IV546 - July 2020 /

Protests Against Racism; LBGTQ Pride; Continuing Crisis; Trump's Decline

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 12:46

Throughout June hundreds of thousands of Americans in hundreds of cities and towns protested the killing of George Floyd who had been murdered by police in Minneapolis. But there were also LGBTQ Pride Marches in support of the protests against racism. There were large Black Pride marches in New York and Los Angeles and in other cities, some for Black trans people who are often victims of police violence. Many in the LBGTQ movement pointed out the common origins of both civil rights movements—of Black and LGBTQ people—in resistance to discrimination and police violence.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , ,

July 4 speech signals new stage in Trump's race war

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 06:51

“America in crisis” is a reality.

The US is experiencing twin pandemics: a health and economic crisis due to COVID-19; and a race crisis due to state violence against Black and Brown lives. There is no national governmental leadership to fight both.

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

Retail, aviation, pork, viruses and profits

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 08:17

Everything is in everything. Two districts in the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia (Gütersloh and Warendorf), or 600,000 people, were again locked down from 18 June, under threat of Covid-19: restrictions on movement in public space and frequenting bars and restaurants, sports establishments, nurseries and schools.

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

After the Deluge

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 06:40

When the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for central Michigan, residents weren't worried because they had been through a similar warning two years before. But this time two of the four dams on the Tittabawassee River burst, causing 10,000 residents to flee from their homes in the middle of the governor's “stay at home” order necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , ,

Undocumented Farmworkers Are Refusing COVID Tests for Fear of Losing Their Jobs

Sun, 07/05/2020 - 07:21

As states reopen for business, the coronavirus is exploding among America's 2.5 million farmworkers, imperiling efforts to contain the spread of the disease and keep food on the shelves just as peak harvest gets underway.

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

Class, Race, and Radicalism in the 20th Century US South

Sat, 07/04/2020 - 07:32

Mainstream commentators in the US, both liberal and conservative, tend to portray the South as a region whose culture makes it a permanent bastion of reactionary, racist, and anti-labor politics. Michael Goldfield's new book, The Southern Key: Class, Race, and Radicalism in the 1930s and 1940s (Oxford University Press, 2020), challenges these truisms, revealing the possibilities for a racially egalitarian industrial unionism in the South during and after the Great Depression and how the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) squandered those opportunities. Spectre's Charlie Post interviews Mike Goldfield about his provocative contribution to discussions of race and class in the US.

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

After the epidemic in China: crises and changes?

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 07:34

Nearly half a million businesses were declared bankrupt in April. For the first time since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, the economy is shrinking because exports, after having been in demand for the US and European markets, ended up not being able to find customers once the world had been confined.

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Statement on upcoming elections in Sri Lanka

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 22:46

This statement was made by the Fourth International Bureau on 30 June 2020.

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Reactionary school law passed in Greece, but the fight continues

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 08:33

There was little suspense: the right-wing majority of the Greek parliament voted on Thursday, 11 June for the reactionary law on schools, confirming if it was necessary the dangerous nature of a government whose sole intent is to break up the public services to better offer them to the private sector, preferably to cronies, as evidenced in recent times by a series of scandals of which one alone would have been enough to bring down such a government in other times!

- IV546 - July 2020 /

Defend the Hong Kong Democracy Movement!

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 07:06

In an act of retribution to the Hong Kong movement beginning last year, which has seen prolonged street clashes between the police and protestors, China has decided to unilaterally impose new national security laws to Hong Kong.

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Glasgow killing raises major questions about treatment of asylum seekers

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 06:26

In a major event in Scotland, one person was killed by armed police in a Glasgow hotel used to accommodate asylum seekers. The call ‘not to politicise' the incident from SNP and Labour politicians is completely misplaced.

- IV545 - June 2020 / ,