"It is the Henri Weber who sang the Internationale with Higelin that we mourn, not the one at the service of the political apparatus of the PS"
Henri Weber was born in Leninabad (now Khujand), Tajikistan, Soviet Union on 23 June 1944. His Polish-Jewish parents had left Poland at the time of the German-Soviet pact but, refusing to become Soviet citizens, were sent to labour camp where he was born. They returned to Poland after the war but four years later left because of prevailing anti-semitism and moved to France. As a student in Paris Weber was recruited by Alain Krivine and became a leading member of the Jeunesse Communiste Révolutionnaire (JCR) and of the Ligue Communiste (subsequently Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire LCR), French section of the Fourth International. In the early 1980s he ceased political activity and in 1986 joined the Socialist Party. A member of the leadership of the Socialist Party, he held elected positions as a senator (1995-2004) and then as a member of the European Parliament (2004-2014). He died in Avignon on 26 April 2020 from coronavirus.[IVP]- In Memoriam - Obituaries and appreciations / France, Obituary
1918 flu pandemic killed 12 million Indians, and British overlords' indifference strengthened the anti-colonial movement
In India, during the 1918 influenza pandemic, a staggering 12 to 13 million people died, the vast majority between the months of September and December. According to an eyewitness, “There was none to remove the dead bodies and the jackals made a feast.”- Features / Historical events, India, Pandemics
Wuhan is known colloquially as one of the “four furnaces” (四大火炉) of China for its oppressively hot humid summer, shared with Chongqing, Nanjing and alternately Nanchang or Changsha, all bustling cities with long histories along or near the Yangtze river valley. Of the four, Wuhan, however, is also sprinkled with literal furnaces: the massive urban complex acts as a sort of nucleus for the steel, concrete and other construction-related industries of China, its landscape dotted with the slowly-cooling blast furnaces of the remnant state-owned iron and steel foundries, now plagued by overproduction and forced into a contentious new round of downsizing, privatization and general restructuring—itself resulting in several large strikes and protests in the last five years. The city is essentially the construction capital of China, which means it has played a particularly important role in the period after the global economic crisis, since these were the years in which Chinese growth was buoyed by the funneling of investment funds into infrastructure and real estate projects. Wuhan not only fed this bubble with its oversupply of building materials and civil engineers but also, in so doing, became a real estate boomtown of its own. According to our own calculations, in 2018-2019 the total area dedicated to construction sites in Wuhan was equivalent to the size of Hong Kong island as a whole.- Features / Pandemics, China
The Chilean uprising began in October 2019 and spread like wildfire in the student movement after the Piñera government's decision to raise the price of subway tickets. The repression of Chile's youth ended up mobilizing all of society, no longer against the increase in transportation prices, but against the whole neoliberal system inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship.
On October 22, when a dozen people had already been killed and more than 80 injured–some of them shot by the Carabineros (Chilean national police) –while acts of torture and sexual aggression were being committed by the military patrolling in Santiago, President Sebastián Piñera publicly apologized to the Chilean people. And he announced social measures aimed at “calming” the anger of the insurgents: an increase in the minimum wage, a 20% increase in the lowest retirement pensions, the cancellation of the recent 9.2% increase in electricity rates, the creation of a new tax bracket for those with incomes over 8 million pesos per month ($9,600 USD), a reduction in the salaries of parliamentarians, etc.
In addition, on October 24, the Chamber of Deputies voted (88 votes in favor, 24 against, and 27 abstentions) on a bill to shorten the working week from a maximum of 45 hours to 40 hours. The proposal will have to go through a committee and then through the Senate.- IV544 - May 2020 / Chile
Last October, Chile's neoliberal order was shaken by a popular revolt. Pushed into a corner, the mainstream parties agreed a national referendum, scheduled for April 26, 2020 and since postponed, to rewrite the Constitution, a holdover from the Pinochet dictatorship. On March 8 and 9, millions of women and gender non-conforming people struck and took to the streets on International Women's Day in the largest protests in the world on that day. Now the coronavirus has forced this struggle into quarantine, making May Day mobilizations impossible. But Chilean workers, and especially its powerful feminist movement, continue to organize.- IV544 - May 2020 / Chile, Pandemics, Women
Two years after the assassination of Marielle Franco and with the approach of the Brazilian municipal elections, we learn with great sadness of the execution of Raimundo Gonçalves de Lima Neto in the city of Jundaís (RN). A small entrepreneur in the field of urban cleaning, he was a pre-candidate for the prefecture of the city for the PSOL and dreamed of improving the quality of life of the population.- News from around the world / Brazil
More than 9 years after the beginning of the Syrian uprising, the situation is more than catastrophic for the popular classes in the country. It is facing a deep humanitarian crisis with 11.7 million persons in need of humanitarian assistance, while more than 5.6 million Syrians are living as refugees across the Middle East. Overall poverty rates are over 80 percent, while the cost of reconstruction has been estimated at around $400 billion.- IV544 - May 2020 / Arab Revolutions, Syria
Although the governments of the region have had different postures and policies in relation to the epidemic, they have the same relationship with the press. Beyond the viral images of social media, information is lacking. It is particularly complicated to apprehend the scale of hunger riots that have already been witnessed in major Pakistani cities.- IV543 - April 2020 / Pakistan, India, Pandemics
In mid-March China Labor Bulletin reported “After a month in which there were virtually no worker protests in China because much of the country was on lockdown, workers are beginning to take collective action again. Many protests have been related to the economic distress caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic.” One of the the most mobilized sectors is that of taxi-drivers. We republish CLB's report below.- News from around the world / China, Pandemics
As of April 14, 2020, Brazil has had 23,955 cases of COVID-19, including 1,361 deaths and rising daily mortality rates. And that is with only around 11 percent of total cases diagnosed, estimates the Center for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases of the London School of Tropical Medicine.- IV543 - April 2020 / Indigenous struggles, Pandemics, Brazil
Since Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign, there has been a steady stream of articles assessing it. They range from more mainstream progressive political analysis citing his inability to compromise and soften his message, problems within the staff, etc. to some on the socialist left decrying Bernie's contesting in the Democratic Party as a breach of principle and misleadership of the working class.- IV543 - April 2020 / USA
In France, Amazon continues to operate as if nothing had happened, despite the mobilization of the staff and warnings from trade unions, the inspectorate and the occupational health authorities, as well as criticism from the Ministers of the Economy and Labour.- News from around the world / France, Pandemics
Philippe Poutou, spokesperson of the NP, led a broad list of trade-unionist and local activists in the local election campaign in Bordeaux to a striking 11.7% score on 15 March. This means it can stand in the second round which, originally scheduled one week later for 22 March, will now be held in June at a date to be announced.
The Macron government decided to maintain the first round of the local elections on 15 March although school closures had already been announced and full lockdown was to come just a day later. This much-criticized decision led to a number of cases of Covid-19 infection and deaths among those who staffed polling stations, including at least three local mayors. [IVP]- IV543 - April 2020 / France
1. This pandemic is a real Event (with a capital E!), a historic event: there will be a before and an after on a global scale, not so much in relation to the number of victims, even though this number is significant. It will, however, undoubtedly be much lower than that of the “Spanish” flu after the First World War, which caused more than 20 million deaths. Fortunately, we are far from that today.- IV543 - April 2020 / Pandemics, Ecology and the Environment, Economy