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The anti-colonial struggle for the self-determination of the Haitian people has reached the United Nations

By staff - La Via Campesina, April 10, 2024

Fully intertwined with current geopolitical dynamics, the anti-(neo)colonial struggle in Haiti is central. Confronting existential challenges, the Haitian people engage in a protracted struggle for emancipation and self-determination. This endeavor necessitates a robust and mobilized internationalist solidarity movement. Dominant imperialist forces persist in asserting control over the small Caribbean island to gain strategic advantages, thwarting Haiti’s path to true independence and national sovereignty.

The current situation in the country is marked by unprecedented violence and systematic human rights violations, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations, particularly those from lower classes and rural communities. With half of the nation now under the sway of criminal gangs, manipulated by the national oligarchy aligned with imperialist interests, dissent is confined and social unrest quelled. In response, Haiti’s social movement, comprising peasant organizations, progressive political entities, unions, and feminist groups, collectively organizes to carve out autonomous spaces for self-centered development. These alternative models to the prevailing racist and neo-colonial paradigm are perceived as disruptive, prompting the targeting of the social movement by imperialist and neo-colonial forces, hence the exploitation of criminal gangs.

In Haiti’s context, the United Nations has historically played a deleterious role. Under its auspices, interventions spanning three decades have exacerbated rather than alleviated the nation’s plight. These so-called “peacekeeping missions,” ostensibly aimed at restoring political stability and combating corruption, have only further destabilized the situation. The UN Security Council’s recent proposal for a foreign military intervention to tackle the country’s gang problem underscores this point.

Unions Must Go Beyond Calling for a Cease-Fire in Gaza

By Jeff Schuhrke - Jacobin, February 13, 2024

Four months into Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza that has killed over twenty-eight thousand Palestinians, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) — the US labor federation whose member unions represent 12.5 million workers — issued a statement on February 8 urging a negotiated cease-fire to end the violence.

The move came after over two hundred US unions and labor bodies — including national unions like the United Electrical Workers (UE), American Postal Workers Union (APWU), United Auto Workers (UAW), International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), National Nurses United (NNU), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), National Education Association (NEA), Communications Workers of America (CWA), and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — had already made cease-fire calls of their own. Many unions, especially at the local level, have also expressed solidarity with the Palestinian liberation movement.

With the backing of the AFL-CIO and the nation’s two largest unions (NEA and SEIU), support for a cease-fire is now the mainstream position of the American labor movement. Given US labor officialdom’s history of providing substantial political and material aid to the state of Israel — along with its frequent partnering with US empire (which I examine in my forthcoming book, Blue Collar Empire) — this is a remarkable development highlighting the power of rank-and-file organizing to push union leaders on critical issues, and signaling the possibility of building a more internationalist labor movement.

Now, the task for rank-and-file members who successfully organized to get their unions to issue cease-fire statements increasingly is to translate that commitment into concrete action to stop what the International Court of Justice considers Israel’s plausible acts of genocide. Across the US labor movement, networks of pro-Palestine workers are continuing to organize to get their unions to cut economic ties with Israel, put pressure on political candidates and elected officials, and interrupt the flow of union-made weapons and research to the Israeli military.

That Time When Radical Black and White Southern Farmers Fought the KKK & Government Together

Elon Musk Tries to DESTROY NLRB, END FREE SPEECH

By Union Jake and Adam Keller - Valley Labor Report, January 9, 2024

8th International Conference of La Via Campesina: An overview of the Global Political Context

By staff - La Via Campesina, December 4, 2023

On the afternoon of Sunday, December 3rd, La Via Campesina representatives from every continent and Palestine offered critical analyses of their regional contexts, drawing connections between the climate crisis, migration, and political instability. This is a critical component of building and advancing a global movement for food sovereignty to foster critical consciousness of disparate geographic realities, struggles and victories.

César Villanova, a LVC representative from El Salvador, shared that Latin America is one of the final critical battlegrounds in the struggle against neoimperialism. A war is being fought over the blood—that is the resources—of Latin America, and that war is not simply symbolic but very real, and felt in territories from Mexico and El Salvador, through Colombia, and to the south in Chile.

Building upon Villanova’s discussion of territorial conflict, Albert Bahana Manzambi (COPACO, Democratic Republic of Congo), next offered insights into the African experience, emphasizing that a number of multinational corporations are pushing to destabilize Africa. “We see the lack of security increasing,” Bahana Manzambi suggested, “taking the form of increasing coup d’états and contestation governments.” Importantly, this lack of security is deeply rooted in questions of food sovereignty, and its interconnections with the political context. Bahana Manzambi drove home the point that “there is no security, and no one is protecting peasants”. The question of political instability is driving an increasingly grave migration crisis. “People are fleeing to Europe, and are trying desperately to get there in whatever way possible, and are dying on the way, and when they die, whole families are lost, children, partners; everyone is losing.”

The Speech Biden Won’t Give

By Dan Fischer - Promoting Enduring Peace, November 2023

Nov. 11. President Biden could prevent many further Palestinian and Israeli deaths by giving this speech insisting on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza along with a release of hostages. It would be widely popular among the two-thirds of eligible voters—including 80% of Democrats, 57% of independents, and 56% of Republicans—who favor a ceasefire. It’s unlikely that Biden will give such a speech, since he sees Israel as an enforcer for the U.S. and global elite. Thus, massacres will likely continue and the “genocide” designation could become less and less ambiguous. If there’s anything that might force Biden to stop the bloodshed, it’s the peaceful uprisings worldwide demanding mutual security and a swift transition to a democracy between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.

Good evening. Earlier this month, I was challenged by one Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg: “Mr. President, if you care about Jewish people, as a rabbi, I need you to call for a ceasefire right now.” I have been thinking about these words ever since.

When I ran for vice president in 2008 and for president in 2020, I promised to be a steadfast friend of the Israeli people. Being a good friend sometimes means stepping up to offer criticism. It means not enabling self-destructive behaviors. As true friends of the Israeli people, we Americans must demand an immediate end to the massacres of Palestinians, a mutual release of all Israeli and Palestinian hostages and prisoners, and a policy shift toward respecting universal human rights as guaranteed under international law.

It’s been nearly five weeks since October 7, and it’s estimated that more than 1,200 Israelis and 11,000 Palestinians are dead. The full death toll may be higher, with many Palestinian bodies lying under the rubble of destroyed and damaged homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, and marketplaces. It is clear that the vast majority of fatalities on each side were civilians. In Gaza, more than two-thirds of the dead are estimated to be women and children.

How the Rural New Deal Could Shake up National Politics & Support Strong Rural Communities

Progressive Groups Unveil 'Rural New Deal' to 'Reverse Decades of Economic Decline'

By Jessica Corbett - Common Dreams, September 13, 2023

"A Rural New Deal is urgently needed to build and rebuild local economies across rural America, reverse 40 years of wealth and corporate concentration, restore degraded lands, reclaim land and ownership opportunities for those whose land was taken by force or deceit, and ensure that communities and the nation can and do meet the basic needs of its people."

That's the opening line of a report released Tuesday by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and the Rural Urban Bridge Initiative (RUBI), which recognizes that "for too long, we've neglected, dismissed and underinvested" in rural U.S. communities, and offers "a broad policy blueprint to help steer progressive priorities" in such regions.

"Addressing the problems and concerns of rural America, isn't just the right thing to do, it is essential for the health of our nation. Progressives have ignored rural for too long," said PDA executive director Alan Minsky in a statement. "The Rural New Deal will change that."

A Rural New Deal

By Anthony Flaccavento, Alan Minsky, and Dave Alba - Progressive Democrats of AMerica and Rural Urban Bridge Institute, September 12, 2023

A Rural New Deal is urgently needed to build and rebuild local economies across rural America, reverse forty years of wealth and corporate concentration, restore degraded lands, reclaim land and ownership opportunities for those whose land was taken by force or deceit, and ensure that communities and the nation can and do meet the basic needs of its people. This document proposes ten pillars essential to a Rural New Deal, each with a modest amount of detail about specific policies in order to understand what implementation of the pillar might look like.

At the heart of a RND is the recognition that rural places are fundamentally different from urban and suburban areas, not only culturally and politically, but physically. They are “rural” because they are expansive and land-based. This does not mean that all efforts to rebuild rural economies and communities should revolve around farming or other land-based sectors. However, it does mean that land-based (also including rivers, lakes and oceans) enterprises must still play a central role in rural development, even as internet access, virtual work and the tech sector grow in importance.

While rural and urban places are fundamentally different, they are also deeply intertwined. Many farmers, fishers, foresters and other rural businesses have come to rely on urban markets and in some cases, capital to sustain them. On the other hand, towns and cities need healthy, functioning rural communities for their food, fiber, energy and clean water, indeed for their very survival. Yet for too long, we’ve neglected, dismissed and underinvested in the people that provide these essential goods along with critical ecological services. This has caused great harm to rural communities and it has undermined our collective health and resilience as a nation. Rebuilding and renewing supportive social and economic connections across rural and urban lines, empowering rural people and communities, moving away from extractive relationships of the past, is the course we must chart together.

Download a copy of this publication here (PDF).

Building alliances between Labour and the Climate Justice movements

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