4 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: 14 min 16 sec ago

“Black Lives Matter” and police killings

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 05:26

“In Belgium too, the police have killed many times. The most significant recent cases are those of Mawda , Mehdi and Adil. Here too, the justice system tried to minimize the facts, or worse, to place responsibility on the victims. Here also legitimate anger was expressed through riots (which were strongly criticized in the media and by political leaders). Here too, justice regularly clears violent police officers. Here too the situation is getting worse and social insecurity is worsening.”

- IV545 - June 2020 / ,

Minneapolis sparks BLM protest in Amsterdam

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 17:10

On Monday June 1, a large crowd rallied in the Dutch capital to express solidarity with the protests in the US and take a stand against racism in the Netherlands. The size of the crowd surprised many. With only a few days of mobilizing, the rally drew over 5000 people to a protest that felt very different from many previous ones.

- IV545 - June 2020 / ,

The urgency of international solidarity with refugees

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 13:50

The pre-electoral bluster of Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last year, that with him there would be no more “immigrant problem”, was certainly intended to attract the Nazi electorate and also reflected the alignment of the right with the far right current, very present now in power. But in reality, there has been a headlong rush for a year that has made the Greek government an emulator of the Orbán and Salvini, and it is imperative that the terrible fate inflicted on refugees in Greece be subjected to broad international denunciation .

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Brazil's darkest hour requires anti-fascist unity

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 05:43

As of May 28, Brazil reported 411,821 confirmed coronavirus infections, and 25,598 Covid-19 deaths, figures which are believed to undercount deaths by at least 50 percent. Meanwhile, the political crisis is escalating by the day as President Trump has banned all travel from Brazil to the United States and the Brazilian Supreme Court released a video of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's cabinet meeting in which he threatens his opponents repeatedly in an obscenity-ridden tirade. As Bolsonaro attempts to sure up his right flank, Brazil's left-wing parties and social movements have united to file an impeachment petition in the national congress. [NBN]

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Crisis and the Global Factory at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 18:45

Since its inception, the U.S.-Mexico border has assumed a life outside of itself, taking shape in an assemblage of fictions that inhabit the gringo imaginary. Contemporary references to “the border” evoke a wide spectrum of fantasies. On one end, there are the standard apocalyptic visions; the masculine tales of Western violence, the invading Central American child armies, desert streets running red with the blood of endless cartel wars. Other times, we encounter the more palatable, Beto O'Rourke-type tropes, invoking hard-working, bilingual communities, “Hispanic heritage,” and a smiling cast of multicultural characters who eat elote together in the sun, and generally feel very safe. Both visions have an entangled genealogy of course, as the sprawl of settler-colonialism and monopoly capital has always rested upon a contradictory set of rationales, juggling the racial subjugation of an unruly borderlands with a promising vision of progressive, and even inclusive, colonial governance. Yet, in their divergent efforts to conjure the U.S.-Mexico border into a comprehensible periphery, standard narratives miss the place of border communities in producing the world we live in.

- IV544 - May 2020 / , ,

“Undisciplined people” face eternal lockdown

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 08:34

Lockdown is not eternal, just as Covid-19 is not inevitable! The modes of governance and the profits of the pharmaceutical lobbies have blurred all visibility for the population and have combined confusion (with a multiplication of contradictory information), conspiracy (the search for a culprit such as China) and authoritarian management by the political powers (repression, sanctions, opacity of decisions and manipulation of statistics).

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

For lessons in protest during the pandemic, look to Latin America

Sun, 05/31/2020 - 04:32

Socially-distanced street protests, moves to impeach a president – Latin America has begun to lead the way, not only in the gravity of the Coronavirus crisis, but in the scale and character of the resistance that social movements are mounting.

- IV544 - May 2020 / , , , ,

We Can't Breathe: Rebellion against Racist Police Violence

Sat, 05/30/2020 - 15:34

The uprisings and demonstrations in Minneapolis and other cities including in front of the White House that followed the brutal May 25th killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man by white Minneapolis police officers and the hesitation of local and federal prosecutors to immediately arrest the cops who had been videoed in the act comes on the heels of several other recent and widely reported cases of racist violence. These continue a string of cop killings of Black men dating back to at least the killing of Michael Johnson in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 and even further back to the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police in 1991, one of the first such police beatings captured on film.

- IV544 - May 2020 /

Big Protest in Hong Kong Greeted the News about Tabling National Security Law

Sat, 05/30/2020 - 05:53

Thousands of protesters gathered in Causeway Bay at 1pm today. Again, it was called by online anonymous people. There was no proper organiser. What was more was that this was an illegal march. But thousands arrived at the streets nevertheless.

- IV544 - May 2020 /

Nearly there for 10 000 target!

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 19:57

On 6 May we launched an appeal for 10 000 euros to strengthen and extend our online presence - something that has been and continues to be particularly necessary in this lockdown period.

- News from around the world /

The Necropolitics of Heroism

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 08:45

Several weeks ago, the British and international media reported that “Eastern European” workers are being flown into the UK, and other European countries such as Germany, to perform “vital” work such as picking fruit and vegetables on large industrial farms. This news, however, has fallen on death ears. So far, there has been no wide public recognition of the vitality of their labor. Unlike other essential frontline workers—particularly healthcare staff who have been publicly and politically praised as heroes of our time—there will be no claps for these farm workers. With some media not even mentioning the specific countries of their origin, such as Romania and Bulgaria, in the public discourse, these workers are not even people with nationalities—just bodies flown on charter planes from the poor regions of “Eastern Europe”.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Jair Bolsonaro is a threat to Brazil and global health

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 12:18

This letter is addressed to all who defend humanity across borders. The Covid-19 pandemic attacks all human beings without regards for nationality, ethnicity, or social class. But the vast majority of the population, those who are not part of the privileged 1 percent, are infinitely more vulnerable. Almost every government in the world has taken health, economic, and political measures to confront this tragedy, but in the absence of a vaccine, social distancing is the most important method for saving lives.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Gripezinha – the little flu: neofascist Bolsonaro in the face of the pandemic

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 05:32

One of the most disturbing phenomena of recent years is the spectacular rise, worldwide, of far right-wing, authoritarian and reactionary governments, in some cases with neo-fascist traits: Shinzo Abe (Japan), Modi (India), Trump (USA), Orban (Hungary) and Bolsonaro (Brazil) are the best known examples. It is not surprising that several of them reacted absurdly to the coronavirus pandemic, dramatically denying or underestimating the danger. This was the case of Trump in the first weeks, and of his English disciple, Boris Johnson, who even proposed to let the whole population become infected with the virus, in order for “herd immunity” to take effect in the entire nation – of course, at the cost of a few hundred thousand deaths. But in the face of the crisis, both had to retreat and in the case of Boris Johnson, he became seriously ill himself.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

The “extremely risky gamble” of reopening schools in Switzerland

Wed, 05/27/2020 - 06:56

The Swiss Federal Council reopened the country's schools on 11 May 2020, in a context of great uncertainty about health and educational conditions. SolidaritéS spoke to Raphaël Ramuz, head of the education sector of the Public Services Union (SSP) in the canton of Vaud.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Don't despair, organise!

Tue, 05/26/2020 - 07:20

It's not been an easy time for anyone on the left in Britain,

The pandemic and the appalling way the #ToxicTories have responded to it are obviously dominating most of our waking – and often sleeping – lives.

- IV544 - May 2020 /

The coronavirus and the coming crises in Morocco

Mon, 05/25/2020 - 08:15

A 2018 World Health Organisation (WHO) report noted, with regard to the health system in Morocco, that “the public sector includes 2,689 primary health care centres and 144 hospitals at different levels: local, provincial, regional and tertiary. The total number of hospital beds is 22,146. The private sector is made up of 6,763 private practices and 439 clinics, concentrated in urban areas and in the north on the Atlantic coast… The density is 0.68 doctors and 0.84 nurses and midwives per thousand inhabitants. In addition… investment in the health sector remains low (less than 6% of GDP) and direct household spending high (around 54%)”. We are far from the standard established by the WHO, which stipulates that one doctor is needed for 650 inhabitants and that health should account for 10-12% of the state budget.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Women's labour and C-19

Sun, 05/24/2020 - 08:07

Sometimes a significant crisis enables us to see things that often remain hidden or ignored in our everyday lives. Not that women needed to be reminded as they have lived with the situation for all of their lives; however, we are witnessing how essential are the traditional roles of women in the societies in which we live and this is the case irrespective of how developed the capitalist economic system is, or isn't. The separation between paid and unpaid labour in the home has been laid bare and even more so the societal (and ruling class) perception of the value of that labour has been revealed.

- IV544 - May 2020 / , ,

Carlos Ferra, Historic Pillar of the Socialist, Anti-capitalist Struggle, Has Died

Sat, 05/23/2020 - 16:55

We are very sad to announce the death on May 19 of our comrade Carlos Rubén Ferra Martínez (Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, 1942 – Mexico City, 2020), a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Coordinating Group, member organization of the Fourth International.

- In Memoriam - Obituaries and appreciations / , ,

“Holocaust to Resistance: My Journey”

Sat, 05/23/2020 - 16:54

“Holocaust to Resistance: My Journey” by Suzanne Berliner Weiss, Roseway Publishing 2019.

- Reviews section / , ,

1985: The Actuality of Socialism

Sat, 05/23/2020 - 16:20

This paper first appeared in a collection of essays from the Cavtat Conference in Yugoslavia, Socialism on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century, Milos Nicolic, ed., London 1985.

- Ernest Mandel Archive / ,