In Southern Spain, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, mayor of the small town of Marinaleda, is helping organize a growing protest movement against the austerity measures imposed by the Spanish government. Sánchez Gordillo and the landless peasants that follow him are at the forefront of demonstrations seeking a radical change in the country’s economic policies in response to the country’s worsening crisis.
Adrienne Pine: 40 Honduran scholars, supported by 300 academics from 29 countries, sent a letter to President Obama demanding the end of U.S. support for Honduran military and police training—and that the war on drugs is not a rationale for supporting a regime that is violently suppressing its own people.
Thirty million American workers arise, you have nothing to lose but some of your debt!
Wednesday morning, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) introduced the “Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012” (H.R. 5901) – legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour. The present minimum wage is $7.25, way below the unrealistically low federal poverty definition of $18,123 per year for a family of three. Adjusted for inflation, the 1968 minimum wage today would be a little above $10 per hour.
I gave a talk last week at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or “squarely in the red,” referring to those crushed by debt.
“You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to skip out for beer during commercials. Because the revolution will not be televised. . . . The revolution will be live.”
–From the 1970 hit song by Gil Scott-Heron
Last week, the city of Philadelphia’s school system announced that it expects to close 40 public schools next year, and 64 schools by 2017. The school district expects to lose 40% of its current enrollment, and thousands of experienced, qualified teachers.
Army soldiers violently crushed a week-long sit-in outside the Ministry of Defense, the headquarters of the ruling military junta. Clashes broke out after army soldiers beat protesters at the security barricades. The latest violence in Cairo comes at the end of a bloody week, where a dozen Egyptians were killed and hundreds injured. Nearly 20 foreign and Egyptian journalists were beaten and arrested during the raid on the sit-in. The Military Council blamed thugs and hooligans for causing the violence after it warned demonstrators against marching on military buildings. The latest street battle overshadows the upcoming presidential elections, which military generals claim is the last phase of the so-called transition to civilian rule.
Since the sit-in was destroyed, hundreds of people of been arrested or have disappeared. The Military Council imposed a 7 am to 11 pm curfew in the Abbassya district where the clashes took place. The pro-government neighborhood has been militarized by army tanks and checkpoints.
Have you heard much lately about the 1.5 million Palestinians illegally imprisoned by the Israeli government in the world’s largest open-air Gulag? Their dire living conditions, worsened by a selective Israeli siege limiting the importation of necessities of life – medical items, food, water, building materials, and fuel to list a few – has resulted in an 80 percent unemployment rate and widespread suffering from unlawful punishment, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment in Israeli jails.