trade-unionist

4

The revolution here in Rojava is a women’s revolution. From the front lines of the fight against ISIS, to running the cantons to trade unions that ensure all working women have their voices heard.

International women’s day has special significance here, with events and demonstrations taking place all over the region. We stand with women worldwide in the struggle against patriarchy, and today we stand with the women of Ireland. We call on the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment and allow women rights over their own bodies! Today news reporters, trade unionists, HPC (civilian self-defence units) heard about the strike and stood in solidarity.

Today women across Qamishlo support.

Strike 4 Repeal

anonymous asked:

If you're a US citizen and not a Muslim, you'll be fine. Social media has a way of blowing things way out of proportion, when the truth is, what Trump does will have almost no impact on your day to day life. Just relax, man.

How disconnected from reality do you have to be to not only write this but actually believe it? First of all I’m not a US citizen, but even if I was, I’m a compassionate human being that is reading stories from reputable sources of what is happening to a group of people simply because of the religion they were born into or choose to practice. There are people fucking trapped in airports being barred from entering the country they lawfully reside in or the country whose troops they helped in time of war. There are families that went through months of vetting to get refugee status who woke up and suddenly see their future was ripped away from them. It is affecting their day to day life and just because it isn’t my life doesn’t mean I can’t be empathetic. Simply because it isn’t your turn now, doesn’t mean the next executive order by fiat won’t apply to you. This is a very selfish way of looking at the world and what’s happening right now and I sincerely hope for all our sakes that more people don’t think like you. 

I’m a woman, I’m a POC, I’m queer, I’m Latino, and I’m an immigrant. Social media doesn’t need to tell me I need to be afraid. Common sense does. 

As cliche as it is, I think you need to read the famous words Martin Niemoller wrote about the pure cowardice of Germans regarding the Nazis:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Fucking step it the fuck up and start caring even if you’re a US citizen and not a Muslim because before long it might be your “day to day life” that is affected.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

—  Martin Niemöller

Not to be that paranoid left bitch but I smell feds all over this shooting, and that’s all I’m gonna say about it tbh. Spongebob this shit don’t add up.jpg. Dozens of shots, none lethal, articles on it not even posting counts of the wounded, regular hyped up Democrat white dude trade unionist?

5

Great set of pictures from the SYPG institution in Qamishlo, part of TEV-DEM here. Statement below. Strike 4 Repeal! The HPC woman with the gun is the best, these are the people that keep us safe when we go about our work. Such amazing people!

“The revolution here in Rojava is a women’s revolution. From the front lines of the fight against ISIS, to running the cantons to trade unions that ensure all working women have their voices heard. International women’s day has special significance here, with events and demonstrations taking place all over the region. We stand with women worldwide in the struggle against patriarchy, and today we stand with the women of Ireland. We call on the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment and allow women rights over their own bodies! Today news reporters, trade unionists, HPC (civilian self-defence units) heard about the strike and stood in solidarity. Today women across Qamishlo support #strike4repeal”

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

                                         -  Pastor Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

—  Martin Niemöller
insurrectionarycompassion replied to your post “Last year we mobilised 300 people to shut down our Pride Parade when…”

But does any of that actually require theory though? How many people involved have even read Marx? I’m a theorist and have been my entire college career so I can’t really dismiss theory but I do think the more important thing here is the activity which does not require everyone to have a certain theoretical understanding to do. In fact, that activity probably pushed them into the leftist theory and not the other way around.

in my experience, yeah, having a strong theoretical argument for our position has been vital to bringing people on board. I remember helping to write press releases from my hospital bed (and through a morphine haze which, let me tell you, makes things difficult) and seeing the public discourse starting to take things which we argued for in that press release into account. When we explained our research into incarceration rates for Māori, pointed out that the police are responsible for these figures, and argue that queer celebration of police and prisons was racist, people understood it. Having public speakers and letters sent to use by prisoners themselves explaining in theoretical terms the way that prisons are part of a system of domination and violation has been vital to engaging people in the organisation and building their political consciousness. 

At our march this weekend, people were chanting ‘Prisons are violent, we won’t be silent’ but they were screaming when our research coordinator started explaining the specific effects which bail amendment laws have had on Māori, women and especially Māori women’s prison population growth. Drawing the theoretical connection between these social problems and our programme for overcoming them has been vital to people teaching themselves about the issues, understanding how capitalism, racism and incarceration (to use my specific raruraru as an example) are interconnected, and dedicating themselves to overcoming these problems. 

Having the theoretical knowledge to connect seemingly-disparate forms of social violence - connecting the violence against prisoners under mass incarceration to the violence against Māori under colonialism to the violence against the working class under capitalism - makes it possible to link together organisations and struggles which otherwise might not be working together. So in the 1970s, when Ngāti Whātua were occupying land confiscated by New Zealand under the public works act, they were able to connect their struggle against land theft to the overall system of capitalism which oppresses the working class. Building solidarity with trade unionists and engaging in a Marxist political project meant their occupation site was designated a green zone - no unionised workers would help the pigs dismantle the occupation site and evict the occupiers. it was a huge success and it only worked because there was an underlying theoretical understanding of how struggles are interconnected: one which, imo, wouldn’t have happened if a political and theoretical framework did not underlie their actions. 

definitely not everyone needs a theoretical understanding of an issue to participate in direct action, and I’ve seen a lot of people who indeed don’t have a theoretical understanding of prison abolition and its connection to capitalism, white supremacy take part in some of the direct actions we’ve organised. And that’s okay. But in my experience, the people who have dedicated their lives to this, who are going through the courts right now for their extralegal actions defending the wellbeing of my whānaunga who was locked in solitary confinement, who are working for hours every day to build an organisation which can topple the prison system - that level of commitment to the cause, i think, only comes when we can demonstrate in theoretical terms the absolute righteousness of our cause. 

I hope this makes sense and doesn’t seem like I’m being condescending or anything like that, it’s absolutely not my intention to do that. I just really want to share what i’ve learned from the couple years i’ve spent working on this with everyone, so that others can learn from the mistakes and missteps i’ve made in my organising and struggle even more effectively towards complete human liberation. 

On This Day: June 5

World Environment Day

  • 1832: The June Rebellion, an unsuccessful uprising by Republicans begins in Paris in an attempt to overthrow Louis-Philippe.
  • 1868: Socialist James Connolly born in Edinburgh. He was an Irish revolutionary and a key figure in the Easter Rising.
  • 1870: Mikhail Bakunin breaks relations with Sergey Nechayev.
  • 1871: Anarchist Michele Angiolillo born in Foggia, Italy. He was a typographer and a proponent of propaganda of the deed.
  • 1873: Proclamation of the First Spanish Republic. Francisco Pi y Margall assumes Presidency. Advocates Federalist program inspired by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, becoming popular among Spanish anarchists. Andalusia and several cities in the southeast establish a libertarian federalism. Pi y Margall is promptly overthrown by Monarchist forces. The town of Carthagène resists a government takeover for several months.
  • 1878: Pancho Villa born in La Coyotada, Mexico. He was a Mexican Revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.
  • 1906: Leaders of Cananea copper strike in Sonora, Mexico, arrested.
  • 1915: Denmark amends its constitution to allow women’s suffrage.
  • 1919: 67 anarchists are arrested and face deportation in the wake of a bomb explosion marking the beginning of the Palmer raids in the USA.
  • 1919: Winnipeg General Strike: Winnipeg mayor disallows parades.
  • 1919: Merchants and workers strike in Shanghai in support of students in May the Fourth movement.
  • 1925: Mine owners attack striking workers in nitrate mine encampment in La Coruna, Chile. Over 500 workers tortured in Iquique.
  • 1945: John Carlos born in Harlem. He and Tommie Smith made the Black Power salute while on the medals podium at the 1968 Olympics.
  • 1951: The Japanese Anarchist Federation reconstituted this month. Simultaneously, the anarchist communists set up the Japan Anarchist Club (Nihon Anakisuto Kurabu).
  • 1956: The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) is founded at a mass meeting in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • 1963: Protests against the arrest of Ayatollah Khomeini by the Shah of Iran. In several cities protesters confronted by tanks and paratroopers.
  • 1966: James Meredith begins a solitary March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. Shortly after starting, he is shot with birdshot and injured. Civil rights leaders and organizations rally and continue the march leading to, on June 16, Stokely Carmichael first using the slogan Black power in a speech. Twenty-five thousand marchers entered the capital.
  • 1966: Mass demonstration in London in support of national seafarers strike.
  • 1967: Israel attacks Egypt and Syria leading to illegal occupation of Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.
  • 1969: 250 imprisoned US soldiers, arredted for going AWOL during the Vietnam War, riot at stockade in Fort Dix over barbarous conditions and torture.
  • 1998: GM workers strike in Flint, Michigan over fears of job losses. Leads to 7 week strike at plants across US.
  • 2005: Spanish militant trade unionist and anarchist. Pepita Carpeña dies in Marseille.
  • 2013: Anti-fascist activist Clement Meric murdered by fascists in Paris.

anonymous asked:

Why do you think JK never made Snape care about Harry? I always expected thats where the story would go at one point but then it didnt at all... like at least a moment of effection or something

Several reasons, I think.

First, as I said in the other post, it was too late for Snape. He is the antihero, much more than Voldemort ever was, and he was set up to fail from the start. He would die with his unresolved issues deep in his soul - the guilt, the rage, the inability to trust and love another person (perhaps for fear of what that love would do to them, because look at what it had done to Lily). By the time Harry crashes into his life, Snape has find a modus vivendi - it’s dark and unpleasant and it keeps him in a lot of pain, but it’s all he knows, and we’re all afraid to let go of things that have kept us safe for years - even if those things are chains and cages. So, even at this moment when Snape would have the chance to start over and teach Lily’s child in the way he wishes he himself had been taught (the fact he was disagreeing with old textbooks at the age of sixteen shows quite clearly what he thought of the whole system) - well, that’s not something he considers. Consciously or subconsciously, he must have worried about what would happen if Harry refused him and mocked him, like James had done. What is colleagues would say if he suddenly changed his demeanour. What Harry himself would know about him - Snape doesn’t know how Harry grew up - what if Petunia had told him everything about ‘the Snape boy’, the weirdo who stalked her younger sister, the kid with the drunk father who was never quite clean and never quite tidy? I sort of believe that’s why Snape was so harsh on Harry during that first lesson - not only he saw James on his face and that hurt him deeply, but he was probably terrified Harry would know things about him - things only Lily could know, and what if she’d told Petunia, or if Harry had found her letters? So no, Snape never tried a different way, because the one he was walking - that was painful, but he already knew that pain he could bear. What if a new path brought him a pain he couldn’t bear?

(Which would have been the case, because if Snape had allowed himself to care about Harry, to love Harry, even, in this clumsy, childish, unfinished way that seems the only way he knows how to love people, how could he have let Harry die? He would have turned against Dumbledore, would have done anything to keep Harry safe like he’d done for Lily, and Dumbledore’s plans would have failed, and Voldemort would have won.)

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"When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out"

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When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
… Reverend Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984)

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY 2017
Do not say it can never happen again. It can.
Do not say it can never happen here. It can.
Do not say nobody cares any more. We do.


Please share this to remind others: we must never let this happen again.

On This Day: June 6
  • 1829: Shanawdithit, last known survivor of Beothuk people, dies from tuberculosis after her capture by Newfoundland traders in 1823.
  • 1832: The “June Rebellion” against the French Monarchy is put down by the National Guard, depicted in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.
  • 1897: Anarcho-syndicalist militant Arnaldo Simões Januário born in Portugal. He was arrested and sent to various concentration camps (Angola, the Azores, Cap Verde and Timor).
  • 1903: Luigi Galleani’s journal Cronaca Sovversiva founded, in Vermont.
  • 1905: Dr Nanayakkarapathirage Perera born in Columbo. He was leader of the Sri Lankan Lanka Sama Samaja Party & first Trotskyist to be a cabinet minister.
  • 1909: Emilie Lamotte dies in Alès, France. She was a lecturer and anarchist pedagogue.
  • 1911: The Mexican government requests and receives US permission to send troops from Chihuahua to Baja California through US territory to invade autonomous communities founded by Mexican anarchist insurgents.
  • 1937: General strike in Lansing, Michigan by 12,000 autoworkers and others shuts down city for a month. Now known locally as the city’s “Labor Holiday”.
  • 1943: Pandelis Pouliopoulos and 105 other political prisoners are shot dead by Italian fascists in occupied Larisa, Greece.
  • 1949: George Orwell’s 1984 published.
  • 1961: Military junta takes over South Korea.
  • 1973: CUPE 3902 is formed at the University of Toronto. It was the first graduate employee union to receive certification by a Labour Relations Board in North America.
  • 1982: Anarchist Kenneth Rexroth dies in Montecito, California. He was a Poet, Buddhist, semi-Beatnik, and translator.
  • 1982: A anti-nuclear rally at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena draws 85,000 to listen to Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and more.
  • 1988: Maria Alyokhina born in Moscow. She is a musician in anti-Putin group Pussy Riot, and Russian political activist.
  • 1988: 2 million workers launch general strike in South Africa over measures taken by the state to quell anti-apartheid opposition.
  • 1989: Funeral of Hortensia Torres, Spanish militant anarchist, in Toulouse.
  • 1989: Citizens vote to shut down Rancho Seco nuclear plant in Sacramento after near-meltdown in 1985.
  • 1995: End of blockade by First Nation members of Douglas Lake Ranch after British Columbia government agrees to discuss native fishing rights.
  • 2000: Brazilian rancher Jeronimo Alves Amorim gets19 years for ordering murder of union leader Expedito Ribeiro de Souza.
  • 2003: British trade unionist Thomas Jackson dies. He was General-Secretary of the Postal Union, and led 200,000 in first national postal strike in 1971.
  • 2013: Hundreds of local people join vigil against racism after far-right burn down north London mosque.

Reifgraber/Union Automatic Pistol developed by anarchist and trade unionist Joseph Joachim Reifgraber who not only designed firearms, but also published and edited an anarchist newspaper out of St. Louis, Missouri called “Die Parole”.

regarding this comment. here’s a public service announcement:
**IF YOU COME ACROSS AN AMERICAN ARTIST, WRITER, JOURNALIST OR MUSICIAN RIGHT NOW WHO HAS NO POLITICAL OPINIONS AND/OR IS AFRAID OF TALKING POLITICS, BE VERY CONCERNED.**

go back to germany in 1935 and tell paul klee, bertolt brecht and the other poets, musicians, painters and novelists that “politics” had nothing to do with their “real lives”.

“life stories…”?
“things about my child….”?

these ARE the stories of my life.

if i thought that donald trump was going to have no effect on my life story…the story of my child…the story of my 300 million american brothers and sisters…i’d shut up. really i would.

it’s a good time to drag this evergreen quote out:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

-from Martin Niemöller, 1892–1984, who was a prominent Protestant pastor / outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

are you ready to speak?
are you ready to listen?

because it’s about to get very, VERY loud.

and it must, because if we don’t speak now, we will regret it.

love,
amanda

(and to drive the point home….this was typed and cut and pasted while literally breastfeeding a baby.)

Today in labor history, October 4, 1936: An estimated crowd of more than 100,000 trade unionists, anti-fascist activists, and local residents barricade streets leading into London’s East End to stop a march by British fascists. The 6,000 police officers who attempted to clear a route for the fascists were met with fierce resistance in what became known as the Battle of Cable Street and the march was re-routed.

On This Day: June 14
  • 1381: Peasant’s Revolt: Wat Tyler and insurgent peasants meet King Richard II.
  • 1381: Peasant’s Revolt: Archbishop Simon of Sudbury has his head cut off in London.
  • 1845: Antonio Maceo Grajales born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He was a revolutionary & guerrilla leader who helped defeat the Spanish & win Cuban independence.
  • 1872: Labour unions legalised in Canada as Trade Unions Act passes in Canadian Parliament after Toronto printers’ strike.
  • 1900: French intelligence notes the presence of Hippolyte Havel and Emma Goldman at a women’s congress in Paris.
  • 1911: Los Angeles police arrest the anarchists Ricardo Flores Magon and his brother Enrique for violation of the US neutrality law.
  • 1913: Trade Unionist Joe Morris born in Lancashire, England. He was President of the Canadian Labour Congress and member of the International Woodworkers of America (IWA).
  • 1914: Emma Goldman lectures in San Francisco, California. She speaks on “The Intellectual Proletarians,” “The Superman in Relation to the Social Revolution,” “The Mothers’ Strike,” and “Anti-Militarism: The Reply to War.”
  • 1914: A General Strike is broken by the treason of the Socialists and their trade union, bringing an ignominious end to “The Red Week of Ancône.” Errico Malatesta, escaping the police, is forced again to flee into exile, to London.
  • 1914: First session of the anarchist conference in São Paulo. Five sessions were convened in total, preparing for an anarchist Congress in London, which was cancelled due to World War I.
  • 1919: Leon Trotsky, chief of the Red Army, drafts an order banning the Makhnovist Congress, organized by Nestor Makhno, accusing them of opposing Soviet power in the Ukraine. Trotsky calls for the arrest of the delegates.
  • 1921: State police & vigilantes raid Lick Creek miners’ tent colony in West Virginia. Forty-seven strikers arrested.
  • 1928: Emmeline Pankhurst dies in Hampstead, United kingdom. She was a suffragette activist.
  • 1928: Ernesto “Che” Guevara born in Rosario, Argentina. Marxist revolutionary and was a key figure in the struggle to overthrow Cuba’s Batista regime.
  • 1968: Pediatrician Dr Benjamin Spock found guilty of aiding draft resisters during the Vietnam War.
  • 1986: 60,000 march to Central Park in New York City demanding economic sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid regime.
  • 2002: Anarcho-syndicalist Jacky Toublet dies in Bobigny, France. He was a militant CGT member, son of Julien Toublet, director of the weekly Le Monde Libertaire.
  • 2006: Militant anarchist Vicente Marti dies in Le Pontet, France. He was a member of the CNT, the anarchist federation the FAI and anarchist youth organization the FIJL.
  • 2006: Militant anarchist Vicente Marti dies in France.
  • 2006: Police attack 50,000 teachers striking over low funding for teachers & rural schools who were occupying Oaxaca.
Defiant rallies for worker rights mark May Day around world

ISTANBUL (AP) – Workers and activists marked May Day around the world Monday with defiant rallies and marches for better pay and working conditions.

Police detained 70 people in Istanbul as they tried to march. Garment workers in Cambodia defied a government ban to demand higher wages, and businesses in Puerto Rico were boarded up as the U.S. territory braced for a huge strike over austerity measures. In Paris, police fired tear gas and used clubs on rowdy protesters at a march that included calls to defeat far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Some May Day events around the world:

FRANCE

A May Day march in Paris turned violent less than a week before the runoff French presidential election as police clashed with a small group of protesters who threw Molotov cocktails at officers.

A few hundred protesters started throwing gasoline bombs and other objects at police at the front end of what started as a peaceful union march in the French capital on Monday.

Police responded with tear gas and truncheons. Riot police clubbed some protesters who were pushed up against a wall on a tree-lined avenue. One police officer was seen spraying a troublemaker in the face.

Four police officers were injured, one seriously burned in the face, Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said, denouncing the “intolerable violence.”

His statement said all would be done to identify and arrest those responsible.

The annual march to celebrate workers’ rights this year included calls to block far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen from winning the presidency during a runoff election on Sunday.

Some of the violent protesters at the May Day event had signs referring to the presidential election and expressing dissatisfaction with both candidates in Sunday’s runoff election.

“Not one or the other; instead it’s the people’s self-defense” read one sign. “Macron=Louis XVI, Le Pen=Le Pen,” read another.

Video showed riot police surrounding the protesters disrupting the march after isolating most of them from the rest of the crowd near the Place de la Bastille. However, some continued to lob firebombs that exploded into flames in the street.

The union activists continued to march separately, although police are interrupting to check bags for gasoline bombs.

___

PUERTO RICO

Protesters blocked roads and marched in Puerto Rico’s capital to vent their anger over a decade-long economic crisis and looming austerity measures.

Demonstrators denounced the leaders of the U.S. Caribbean territory, blamed their economic troubles on a federal control board overseeing the Puerto Rican government’s finances and demanded an audit to identify those responsible for running up a $70 billion public debt.

The protests affected services at Puerto Rico’s largest public hospital, paralyzed the bus system and forced many businesses to close. Demonstrators also briefly blocked traffic near San Juan’s international airport, prompting some travelers to walk along the highway dragging suitcases.

While the protests began peacefully, toward the end police fired tear gas and smoke bombs and used pepper spray against a small group of protesters who broke several windows of a bank using a pipe and a skateboard. Some in the crowd burned U.S. flags.

A measure that has protected the territory’s public agencies from creditor lawsuits was expiring at midnight as the government struggled to reach a deal with bondholders to restructure part of the debt.

___

TURKEY

Police in Istanbul detained 165 people during May Day events around the city, most of them demonstrators trying to march to a symbolic square in defiance of a ban.

A security department statement said 18 other people suspected of planning illegal demonstrations and possible acts of violence Monday were detained in separate police operations.

Turkey declared Taksim Square off-limits to May Day demonstrations for the third year in a row. Police blocked points of entry, allowing only small groups of labor union representatives to lay wreaths at a monument there.

Major trade unions marked the day with rallies at government-designated areas in Istanbul and Ankara. Still, small groups tried to reach the square, leading to scuffles with police.

Taksim holds a symbolic value for Turkey’s labor movement. In 1977, 34 people were killed there during a May Day event when shots were fired into the crowd from a nearby building.

___

CUBA

A protester briefly disrupted the start of Cuba’s largest annual political event, sprinting in front of May Day marchers with a U.S. flag before being tackled and dragged away.

President Raul Castro watched along with other military and civilian leaders and foreign dignitaries as the man broke through security and ran ahead of the tens of thousands in the pro-government march.

Plainclothes officers struggled to control the man but eventually lifted him off the ground and hauled him away in front of foreign and Cuban journalists covering the parade.

The protest was a surprising breach of security at a government-organized event where agents line the route.

Castro has said he will step down as president in February, making this his last May Day parade as head of state.

___

RUSSIA

Two May Day marches were held in Moscow, both drawing from nostalgia for Soviet times.

First, a crowd that police estimated at about 130,000 people paraded across the cobblestones of Red Square, the site of Soviet-era May Day celebrations. The tradition was revived in 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and is seen as part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to stoke patriotic feelings.

Marchers, organized by official trade unions, waved the Russian tricolor flag and carried white, blue and red balloons.

The second march was led by the Communists, who over the years have tried to keep the May Day tradition alive. Their march, which skirted Red Square, drew several thousand people.

Many carried red flags with the Soviet hammer and sickle, but there was little honoring of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin compared to previous years.

The Communist Party still has a faction in the Russian parliament but rarely poses any opposition to the Kremlin.

___

SOUTH AFRICA

South African President Jacob Zuma was jeered by labor unionists and his May Day speech was cancelled after scuffles broke out between his supporters and workers chanting for him to step down.

Zuma, who is facing calls to resign after a string of scandals, was expected to call for unity between his ruling party, the African National Congress, and labor unions at the rally in Bloemfontein.

Groups in the crowd booed the president and clashed with his supporters before he could speak.

All speeches scheduled for the event then were cancelled by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s largest body of unions.

The organization has called for the 75-year-old Zuma to resign.

Zuma once a popular figure among South Africa’s workers, was eventually ushered away by his bodyguards.

___

CYPRUS

Greek and Turkish Cypriots marked May Day with a “Rock for Peace” concert in support of talks aimed at reunifying their ethnically divided island.

Monday’s celebrations kicked off with a gathering of hundreds of Greek Cypriot left-wing trade unionists in front of Cyprus’ Finance Ministry to affirm their support for a peace deal that would bring about a united country.

The ambassadors of Palestine and Cuba, as well as the charge d'affaires of the Venezuelan Embassy, were also in attendance.

To the beat of marching bands, union members then marched to the capital’s Ledra Palace checkpoint, where they joined Turkish Cypriot counterparts. The checkpoint connects the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north and the island’s internationally recognized south.

In unison, they entered a soccer field inside the United Nations-controlled buffer zone where Greek and Turkish Cypriot rock acts took to the stage.

___

SPAIN

Spain’s two major unions called marches in over 70 cities under the slogan “No More Excuses.” The UGT and CC.OO unions demanded that Spain’s conservative government roll back its labor reforms that made it cheaper to fire workers and increase wages and pensions.

CC.OO general secretary Ignacio Fernandez Toxo said that “Spain has been growing for two years and now it is time for the economy to align itself with the needs of the people.”

He spoke at a march of several thousand people in Madrid, which he led alongside UGT leader Josep Maria Alvarez. Thousands more marched in Barcelona, while other rallies were held in Seville, Valencia and other cities.

Under conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s economy has rebounded and unemployment has dropped from 27 percent in 2013 to 19 percent, but that is still the second-highest unemployment rate in the 28-nation European Union behind Greece.

Rajoy thanked Spain’s workers on Twitter: “I appreciate your contribution to the economic recovery. The government is working to create more and better jobs.”

___

POLAND

Labor union and left-wing activists appealed for unity in order to oppose Poland’s current conservative government as they marked May Day with a parade in Warsaw.

The rally and a march was by the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions and by the Democratic Left Alliance, which lost all parliament seats in the 2015 election that brought the conservative populist Law and Justice party to power.

Sebastian Wierzbicki of the SLD said the left wing needs to protect workers’ rights but also focus on civic rights and human dignity.

___

CAMBODIA

Riot police watched carefully as more than 1,000 garment workers defied a government ban on marching to deliver a petition to the National Assembly in Phnom Penh, demanding a higher minimum wage and more freedom of assembly.

The marchers, holding a forest of banners, filled a street a short distance from the parliament complex and advanced noisily until they were stopped by a barricade and lines of police, holding batons, shields and guns capable of firing gas canisters. A standoff of several hours was resolved when a representative from the Assembly came out and accepted the petition.

The workers were from the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union. Among their demands was increasing the minimum wage from $153 to $208 per month. The clothing and footwear industry is Cambodia’s biggest export earner.

The major Cambodian labor unions traditionally have been loosely allied with opposition parties, posing a potential political threat to longtime authoritarian leader Hun Sen.

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GREECE

Several thousand protesters gathered outside Greece’s parliament as unions braced for more austerity measures imposed by bailout lenders.

Two large union-organized rallies were called in Athens on the holiday, with employees at many public services nominally on strike.

As the marches began, government officials prepared for more talks at a central Athens hotel with representatives of bailout creditors as the two sides were near an agreement to maintain draconian spending controls beyond the current rescue program.

The talks had been expected to end Sunday. Future spending cuts will include additional pension cuts and tax increases for Greeks, already hit by seven years of harsh cuts.

Greece’s largest labor union, the GSEE, has called a general strike for May 17 to protest the latest austerity package.

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PHILIPPINES

A few thousand left-wing activists and laborers marched and held noisy rallies to press for higher wages and an end to temporary contractual jobs that deprive workers of many benefits. In sweltering summer heat, the crowds in Manila also protested alleged extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug crackdown.

The activists carried murals of Duterte and President Donald Trump, asking the Philippine leader to stay away from the U.S. president, who has invited Duterte for a U.S. visit. Protest leader Venzer Crisostomo fears an “America First” policy would be disadvantageous to poorer countries like the Philippines. “We would not want Duterte to be in cahoots with Donald Trump in oppressing the country and in implementing policies.”

___

TAIWAN

In Taipei, thousands of Taiwanese workers hoisted cardboard signs and banners in a march protesting what they said were unfairly low wages and deteriorating work conditions. A number of them staged a fake funeral procession, carrying a coffin with the words “basic annual pension” written on it, while others waved black flags.

Huang Yu-kai, president of the labor union of the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp. and a train conductor, said low wages in Taiwan are “the root of all problems.”

“This is why we take part in this march every year,” Huang said.

President Tsai Ing-wen said in a post on her Facebook page that improvements are being made even if major changes would take time. “Although reform would not be completed in one step, the progress we have made is not small.”

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BANGLADESH

Thousands of garment industry workers in the impoverished South Asian nation gathered to demand better wages and legal protection.

About 4 million people are employed in the country’s garment industry, the second largest in the world. The industry, with about 4,000 factories, earns $25 billion a year from exports, mainly to the United States and Europe, but working conditions often are grim.

Lovely Yesmin, president of the Readymade Garments Workers Federation, one of several unions representing factory workers, said just increasing salaries is not enough.

She said workers must be provided better living quarters and health benefits, and factories must make provisions so the children of factory workers can be educated.

“These are our demands on the great May Day of 2017,” she said.

___

GERMANY

Thousands of people celebrated May Day peacefully in Germany’s capital, but police clashed with far-right demonstrators in the eastern town of Apolda, taking 100 people into custody before declaring the situation under control.

Police told the dpa news agency that about 150 demonstrators who had attended a protest elsewhere started causing problems in Apolda’s town center after getting off a train. Authorities said they ignored police warnings and started throwing stones and firecrackers at officers.

Meanwhile, several thousand far-left demonstrators marched through Berlin, setting off smoke bombs and firecrackers along their route. The “Revolutionary May 1 Demonstration” was not registered with authorities as required, but police decided to tolerate the evening march.

Primarily dressed in black, the demonstrators chanted slogans like “flood the G20” — referring to the summit of the Group of 20 major economic powers being held in Hamburg this summer.

Some 5,400 police officers, called in from across the country, were on hand.

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PORTUGAL

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Lisbon under the slogan “Value Work and Workers.”

The CGTP-IN union that helped organize the May Day march said in a manifesto that workers must push for “a renegotiation of the (national) debt,” the second-highest in the European Union after Greece despite an improving economy.

Portugal’s national statistics agency reported Friday that the unemployment rate had hit an 8-year low of 9.9 percent under the current center-left government. That’s down from the high of 16.2 in 2013.

“I wish Portugal could serve as example,” government worker Jose Goncalves, 42, said while marching in Lisbon. “I have my doubts, but yes, there may be an alternative to the rise of the far right in France, to a state of almost dictatorship in Turkey, or such a dubious situation in Brazil. Workers are still here and willing to fight.”

___

VENEZUELA

Venezuelan police and anti-government demonstrators clashed in the streets of the capital as an intensifying protest movement opposing socialist President Nicolas Maduro entered its second month.

Opposition supporters sought to march on government buildings in downtown Caracas, but police blocked their path, as they have done more than a dozen times in four weeks of near-daily protests. Officers launched tear gas and chased people away from main thoroughfares as the peaceful march turned into chaos.

Some demonstrators threw stones and gasoline bombs and dragged trash into the streets to make barricades.

A separate government-sponsored march celebrating May Day went off without incident.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

“First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.”

Martin Niemoller


They also came for the Romani, the gays, the disabled, the incurably sick, the blacks, the dissidents. Anyone who didn’t fit their ‘perfect Aryan ideal’.

The world was silent then. The world outside turned away boatloads of refugees, desperate to escape the slaughter. The world knew of the horrors, but did not, would not, act.

The camps were liberated, yes, but that was not the aim of the war. It was a sideline.

Nobody cared.


I can see a horrific mirror of those days beginning to appear now. Refugees turned away, the President of the United States proposing a Muslim Register, and a list of crimes committed by immigrants. The repeal of the ACA in the US, and the actions of the DWP in the UK, taken against the disabled and chronically ill.

Hate crimes against Jewish people and businesses, and anti semitism in general, on the rise. Honest to goodness Neo-Nazis on the streets and on the TV.

WE CANNOT REMAIN SILENT.

We cannot let this happen again. We must not let them divide us.

We must speak up, we must fight, we must resist!

On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, of all days, we must remember:

NEVER AGAIN

Okay let's get this straight right now, real quick

And I know you are all going say something about white guilt or cop hating, but the lack of logic in these arguments is driving me nuts.

When we look at deaths by police shooting, race IS a factor. You can cite this article or that which says that MORE whites are killed by police, or even cite articles that the MAJORITY of black deaths are from black on black crime.

But this isn’t about numbers. It has never been about numbers and will never be about numbers.

This is about Treyvon Martin who was walking home, unarmed, in a hoodie and was shot by a neighborhood watch BECAUSE HE LOOKED SUSPICIOUS. Not even carrying a weapon. Last I checked, I can’t kill a fly with an iced tea and skittles let alone another human being.

This is about Eric Garner that was committing a petty crime of selling cigarettes without paying tax. The NYPD felt the need to PUT HIM IN AN UNAUTHORIZED “sleeper hold”, then call the FDNY that put him, handcuffed, FACE DOWN, on the stretcher when he clearly needed albuterol.

This is about Michael Brown who was shot at TWELVE TIMES even though he was unarmed. But it’s acceptable to shoot first and ask later simply because HE WAS BLACK.

This is about Freddie Gray who was put in the back of a police van, UNRESTRAINED and HANDCUFFED, while the police felt the need to give him a “rough ride” because he was carrying a switchblade. He didn’t go home because he was BLACK, not because he was carrying an illegal knife.

This is about Alton Sterling who was legally selling CDs in front of a store, the owner of which allowed him to do so. He was TACKLED to the ground AND THEN SHOT MULTIPLE TIMES, not because he pulled his weapon later removed FROM HIS POCKET POST-MORTEM, but because HE WAS BLACK.

This is about Philando Castile who was the passenger in a car with his girlfriend and daughter and was shot FOUR TIMES while reaching FOR HIS WALLET AFTER VERBALIZING HE WAS DOING SO AND VERBALIZING THAT HE WAS LEGALLY CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON. He was slain at a traffic stop, not because of his actions, but because HE WAS BLACK!

I could write about so many other instances, but let me describe what would happen if I, a privileged white man, were to be in those situations:

  • If I were Treyvon Martin, I would have made it home because some racist vigilante would not have looked twice at a white man with skittles
  • If I were Eric Garner, I would have gotten albuterol and be treated with respect by EMTs and Paramedics
  • If I were Michael Brown, there wouldn’t be one bullet in my body
  • If I were Freddie Gray, I wouldn’t have been arrested
  • If I were Alton Sterling, I’d still be standing there selling my CDs and trying to make an honest living
  • If I were Philandro Castile, I would have been asked what gun it was and complimented on my responsible carry, if I was even stopped at all

No, this isn’t some numbers game, it’s about shoot first ask later. It’s about the mentality that police can do what they want BEFORE asking a question just because of someone’s skin. It’s because videos, photos, and stories are seen every day where a black man or woman or child is victim to police overreach; subject to illegal search and illegal arrest.

So if you want to say all lives matter, you aren’t wrong, but you don’t realize you are continuing to oppress a voice that has yearned for equality for centuries. You are disregarding the idea of justice because of your blindness to your own privilege.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

”Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

”Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

”Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

-Pastor Martin Niemöller

Then they came for the black Americans, shooting first and asking later

Then they came for the Gays and Latinos with their homophobic and xenophobic banter, protecting that terrorist’s AR-15 over 49 deaths

Then they ban the Muslims because “they are all terrorists”

Then they want to build a wall because Mexicans are “rapists and murders” even though they were once strangers in a strange land

Then they scream “GUN” and post criminal records when they are black, but post swim times and plea “affluenza” when they are white

And I will gladly speak out for these people, these Americans and pursuers of the American dream so they do not have to suffer the same fate as my people

For our silence speaks for those that wish to continue an oppression that allows the privileged to thrive

So I will speak out, and I will scream and yell

And I will not stop until my brothers and sisters can walk beside me without fear

And I will not stop until my friends will no longer fear a man in uniform just because they were born with more melinin than I

And I will not stop until a system that benefits from racism so deep its citizens are blind to it is a high school history text book and not my reality

And I will not stop, until there is justice

-Jonathan Ross

The BBC reported that two witnesses had claimed one or more attackers said “this is for Allah” as they rampaged.

This isn’t for Allah if they stand for Islam as they stamp their acts, they wouldn’t comment such offences let alone during Ramadan, manor a Muslim but to see the way in which a whole religion is being placed as the scapegoat for such acts is beyond belief and we can not stay silent.
For a poem once said;
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

There will be no one left