16 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.
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Notes on the Black Lives Matter Uprising in Historical and Global Context

19/06/2020 - 09:02

This spring, as some countries began to reopen after months of COVID-19 lockdowns, youthful rebellions broke out inside the two most powerful states in the world, the USA and China. The Black youth of Minneapolis, their allies, and countless others across the USA expressed their anger on the streets over yet another police murder, which was one too many. During the same days, the youth of Hong Kong renewed their protests against new anti-democratic moves by the Chinese government. The US protests, which grew into a massive nationwide Black Lives Matter uprising, also had a major international impact. In both cases, the USA and China, the youth did not flinch in the face of brutal police repression, inspiring their elders and many others around the world. These youth face a world of mass unemployment, precipitous economic inequality, and growing racial oppression fueled by right-wing populism, all of it worsened by COVID-19 and the economic meltdown.

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The Jewish left is recognizing that apartheid is here

18/06/2020 - 09:08

Israel's Jewish left is abandoning the term 'occupation' and adopting the word 'apartheid' to describe the reality on the ground.

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Covid-19 changes everything

17/06/2020 - 08:48

Covid-19 is a huge and many-sided issue. There is the disastrous governmental response leading to thousands of deaths, there is the approaching mass unemployment pandemic, and there is the prospect of the deepest recession for 300 years. These aspects are all hugely important.

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Racial Oppression and the Police in Italy

16/06/2020 - 06:17

In the last few years, we have seen an increase in discrimination and racial oppression in Italy. In particular, there has been an increase in physically and verbally violent acts that have lead to terrible crimes: Muhammad Shazad Kan, a 28 year-old Pakistani citizen, beaten to death in Rome in 2014; Roberto Pantic, Roma, killed in 2015 by a gun while sleeping in his trailer; Sare Mamadou, killed by a shotgun in the chest because he dared to steal a rotten melon from a field; Emmanuel Chidi Namdi, a 36 year-old recent Nigerian asylum seeker, killed in 2016 because he dared to respond to an insult to his partner; and Soumala Sacko, killed by a gunshot in 2018 while looking for sheet metal to build a makeshift shelter for other workers.

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In the name of the communist ideal

15/06/2020 - 16:40

One of the received ideas that became a ‘truth' after the fall of the Berlin Wall was that the Soviet bloc's populations cursed communism, yet obeyed it slavishly. In fact, many social movements within the Eastern bloc had long aspired to genuine socialism.

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The Forgotten Socialists of Tiananmen Square

15/06/2020 - 08:35

What the world remembers about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were the students. But above all, it was a mass workers' uprising for socialist democracy.

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A precarious equilibrium: The balance between lives and livelihoods

14/06/2020 - 17:52

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (AMCU) struggle for worker safety during the scourge of Covid-19 in the South African mining sector.

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“Normal” No More – "The root of the interlocking crises is systemic"

14/06/2020 - 07:11

A nationwide uprising against murderous racialized police brutality has broken out in the streets of U.S. cities — even amidst the considerable risks of mass protests during the coronavirus pandemic, let alone threats from rampant militarized police violence. An enormously positive development is the fact that it is both Black-led and multiracial in its actions and demands, relative to historic urban rebellions from the 1960s onward. The central demands to “Defund the Police” and “De-militarize the Police” stand out for their clarity and radical character — and their necessity.

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Popular protest is back in the Middle East

13/06/2020 - 20:51

The Covid-19 pandemic was only a temporary truce in popular protest movements for freedom and social justice in the region. The pandemic deepened socio-economic problems, while regimes often took advantage of containment measures to strengthen the crackdown on activists.

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Anticapitalistas leave Podemos

13/06/2020 - 07:51

On 14 May 2020, Anticapitalistas, a founding component of Podemos and historical current of the radical left in the Spanish state linked to the Fourth International, announced its departure from Podemos. In reality, this decision was taken on 28 March when, in an internal consultation process in which 79% of activists participated, 89% voted in favour of leaving Podemos (3% against and 7.5% abstentions). The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the Spanish state hard and in particular the most vulnerable sectors of the popular classes, led to the public announcement of this decision being postponed.

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Anticapitalist strategy and the question of organization

12/06/2020 - 23:04

No matter how much times passes, or how often history is declared to have ended, the debate over socialist strategy and organization always returns. This foundational question appeared in embryo at the very start of the workers movement in the nineteenth century and was raised explicitly by Lenin when he described his perspective as “tactics as plan” and when revolutionaries split with social-democracy during World War I.

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Step up the mobilization against racism and police violence

12/06/2020 - 08:37

A tremendous political acceleration. This is how we can describe what we have seen in France for the last ten days around the issue of racism and police violence. You would have to be very perceptive to have anticipated two weeks ago that these themes would occupy a central place in public debate, to the point that Assa Traoré was invited on set on BFM-TV and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner was forced into making announcements which were very badly received by the police unions.

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“The Adama Committee has a clear objective: to force the question of police violence into public debate”

11/06/2020 - 18:11

Adama Traoré was killed on 19 July 2016 in police custody. Contested autopsies have finally revealed that he died of asphyxiation from sustained pressure. The Truth and Justice for Adama Committee, led by Assa Traore his sister, has been campaigning since 2016 for the truth about his death to be revealed and for those responsible to be brought to justice.

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Our Solidarity with the Worldwide Anti-Racist Revolt

11/06/2020 - 12:03

The scope and magnitude of what have become worldwide protests and an emerging mass upsurge against racism and police brutality following the murder of Black worker George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the US, are unprecedented. These mobilizations are marked by the massive multiracial participation of young people in a cross-generational movement. They have also been in many cases the first mobilizations in countries emerging from lockdown and have succeeded in imposing their presence on the streets.

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Black Lives Matter: Huge Popular Success

11/06/2020 - 09:15

On Sunday 7 June several organizations launched a call to rally in different cities of Belgium. The starting point for this momentum was the desire to show international solidarity with the mass anti-racist movement around Black Lives Matter in the United States, which has taken to the streets of the country since the police murder of George Floyd. These spontaneous calls (often from people who had never organized a demonstration or rally before) sometimes aroused fear or tension, for example around the fact that it should be an opportunity to denounce racism, violence and police abuse, police killings, ... in Belgium too.

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Sympathy Won't Win Us Better Conditions

10/06/2020 - 13:50

Anxiety and change: those are the two things that have defined care work in England in recent weeks. Where I work, we have been battling with staff shortages, opaque government advice, and PPE provision based on supply rather than on best practice. But we have also been fighting and winning better conditions for our staff in these unprecedented times.

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The Death of Hong Kong's Autonomy: Beyond the Crackdown

10/06/2020 - 05:48

At the end of May, the Chinese state passed a new national security law that allows it to directly intervene in Hong Kong against the pro-democracy movement that has swept the city for the last year. Spectre's Ashley Smith interviews Au Loong Yu about China's crackdown and what it means for the pro-democracy movement.

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Justice for George Floyd! Solidarity with the struggle of the people of the USA!

09/06/2020 - 16:24

Sosyalist Demokrasi icin Yeniyol (New Course for Socialist Democracy, Fourth International), Isci Demokrasisi Partisi (Workers' Democracy Party, IWU-FI), Sosyalist Emekçiler Partisi (Socialist Laborers Party, ISL) and Baslangic Kolektifi (The Beginning Collective) condemned the assassination of George Floyd:

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The Covid 19 crisis threatens the lives of millions, accelerates geopolitical transformation and kindles the flame of social upheaval

09/06/2020 - 07:07

Pandemic, economic depression, visibility of the structural inequality and oppressions generated by neoliberalism, geopolitical confrontation for hegemony in the world-system, and a close-up vision of impending environmental collapse… All of this has come together in 2020, when the whole of humanity has had an unprecedented, for our generation, global pandemic.

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Black Lives Matter mobilisations in Italy

08/06/2020 - 14:42

The demonstration called in Turin, in solidarity with the African Americans in revolt over the murder of George Floyd, seemed to be one of those routine solidarity actions which we do because we feel we have to, but too often do not really have much of an impact with local people.

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