In 1889, Clara Zetkin wrote: “Wherever busy folk are drudging under the yoke of capitalism, the organised working men and women will demonstrate on May Day for the idea of their social emancipation.” In today’s world, the murderous claws of oppression have dug deeper into the flesh of humanity. The globalization of capital, establishment of post-Fordist economic arrangements of flexible specialization, financialization of the accumulation process and neo-colonial strangulation of the Global South have led to a barbaric situation. Amid this generalized chaos, May 1 acts as a blazing streak, inviting the wretched of the earth to reflect intensively on their own history of joy, tenacious resistance, collective courage and strong solidarity.
On 27 March, 2021, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken released a press statement wherein he said:
“The United States is deeply concerned by growing signs of anti-democratic behavior and the politicization of the legal system in Bolivia in light of the recent arrest and pre-trial imprisonment of former interim government officials.”
by Yanis Iqbal
Writer, Dandelion Salad
February 12, 2021
Since January 4, 2021, student protests have been going on in Turkey. At Bogazici University in Istanbul, rectors are elected through free and fair elections by faculties. The only time in the institution’s history when these democratic processes were suspended was in the aftermath of the 1980 coup d’état. In today’s time, it is again being done.
On 25 December, 2020, Israel bombed Gaza for six continuous hours as much of the world celebrated Christmas. A children’s hospital, a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities, a mosque, as well as private residences, were damaged. A six-year-old girl and a young man were injured, and much of the targeted region lost water and electricity. A fire broke out at the location of the airstrike as the firefighters worked all night to douse the fire in the Israeli assault that took place an hour after midnight.
“Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love in revolution.”
— George Jackson, Blood in My Eye (1990): xvii
Farm workers in various regions of Peru – such as Ica, Viru La Libertad and Piurahad – went on a strike in the first week of December 2020, blocking the strategic Pan-American motorway to demand wage increases, basic social security benefits and the repeal of the decades-old Agrarian Promotion Law, enacted in 2000, as a mechanism to bolster the bourgeoisie’s power in the agro-export sector. The law benefits agro-export corporations in two ways. Firstly, it cuts the corporate tax rate by 30 to 15%, making the government lose out on more than $1 million in tax revenue. Agrokasa, Beta and Miranda are some of the companies benefitting from such hefty income tax cuts.
The situation in Palestine is grim. Unemployment levels are alarmingly high – 121,000 Palestinians lost their jobs in the wake of the first lockdown and employment figures declined by 17% in Gaza. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics issued the findings of its labor force survey for the third quarter of 2020, which show that the unemployment rate rose to 28.5% of 2020, up from 24.6% in the equivalent period of 2019. Some 40% of Palestinian households have lost more than half their income and food insecurity rates have soared.
Joe Biden won the 2020 US Presidential Election after narrowly defeating the sitting president Donald Trump. This victory comes at a tremendous cost: the defeat of an incipient counter-hegemonic movement which embryonically expressed demands for an alternative future to capitalism. Even after the collective utterance of anger against police brutality and the nascent realization of the structural violence of capitalism, the electoral mechanisms of the American bourgeoisie state have been successful in thwarting the full-blown development of a distinctively socialist campaign. Following the ideological mutilation of massive protests against an inherently exploitative system, Americans have been rewarded with Biden – a dyed-in-the-wool bourgeoisie politician who once opposed de-segregation, called on police to shoot Black Lives Matter demonstrators in the leg, rejected the smallest of concessions to the working class, vehemently supported imperialist wars and refused to commit to even the minimal reforms of the Green New Deal.
In Bolivia, the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) – a major leftist political force – has returned to power following a thumping victory in the 2020 elections. The MAS presidential candidate Luis Arce obtained 55.09% of the votes, decisively ahead of the neoliberal candidate Carlos Mesa and the right-wing extremist Luis Fernando Camacho who garnered 28.83% and 14% of the votes, respectively. The triumph of MAS in Bolivia is highly significant since it follows hard on the heels of the 2019 US-backed coup which violently overthrew the MAS president Evo Morales and attempted to re-institute neoliberalism through blood and bullets. Headed by the de facto president Jeanine Áñez (a religious bigot), the fascist coup government genuflected to the American empire, joined the conservative Lima Bloc — a group of 12 Latin American nations determined to subvert the Bolivarian Revolution — exited leftist regional forums, kicked out Cuban doctors and re-established ties with Israel. With the re-election of the MAS, it has been demonstrably shown that Bolivians don’t have any liking for the barbaric blueprint of imperialism and socialism still throbs through the nation’s body.
October 15, 2020, was Thomas Sankara’s 33rd death anniversary. On this day, he was murdered by imperialist forces at the tender age of 37. A Pan-Africanist, internationalist and Marxist, he was committed to the total liberation of the oppressed masses from the clutches of imperialism. Instead of bourgeoisie nationalism, Sankara believed in radical nationalism: a combination of anti-imperialist courage and unabashed humanism that pushes for revolution instead of neo-colonial settlement. Thus, he belonged to a pantheon of African revolutionaries like Amilcar Cabral, Samora Machel and Patrice Lumumba who understood the necessity of adopting socialism for the fundamental transformation of their respective societies. Looking at the short life of Sankara, one can’t help but be moved by the way in which he emerged through the anguish and aspirations of millions of Burkinabe civilians and commanded a radical project of socialist transformation.
On 9 October, 1967, Che Guevara – one of the greatest revolutionaries ever known – was murdered in Bolivia under the orders of Washington. This death was foreseeable. In 1966, Che Guevara had left Cuba to wage an anti-imperialist struggle in the South American nation of Bolivia. The plan was to establish a mother column led by Che in Bolivia, with further guerrilla columns branching out from the main unit to enter the neighboring countries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, thus creating a continent-wide revolutionary front. This anti-imperialist plan of action was based on the way Vietnam heroically resisted the full-blown onslaught of American hegemony. As Fidel Castro put it, “In the same measure in which Vietnam resists, the revolutionary liberation movement will grow in other parts of the world. Other fronts of the struggle for liberation will open throughout the world in direct proportion to Vietnam’s resistance.”
Updated: October 6, 2020
Palestine is currently facing a quadruple crisis consisting of Covid-19 pandemic, Zionism, imperialism and reactionary Arab regimes. With more than 50,000 Coronavirus cases, Palestine is finding it hard to combat the pandemic with a war-torn and fragmented healthcare system. The ruthlessness of Zionist ideology has invariably prevented the proper development of health infrastructures and what we have now is a severely under-resourced health architecture perforated by the wounds of settler colonialism. As a result of Israel’s 53-year occupation of West Bank and Gaza, the region has been converted into a donor-dependent system that has perennial shortages in equipment, medication and staff due to military raids and import restrictions. While the Palestinian Authority (PA) has tried to effectively operate within this restricted environment, the all-encompassing Israeli chokehold around the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) has greatly curtailed the administration’s ability to secure key supplies to counter the spread of infection. Not contented with the restriction of medical supplies, Israel has further hampered Palestine’s Covid-19 response by comprehensively destroying two Coronavirus testing centres.
Maj. Gen. Andrew Croft, the commander of 12th Air Force, wrote on 22 August: “I have seen an increasingly contested strategic space where Beijing and Moscow are aggressively investing time and resources in Latin America to support their authoritarian models of governance. The Air Force must reinforce the strength of our longstanding commitment to the Western Hemisphere. We lose ground when we are unable to commit to spending the time and resources to fly our aircraft south and train alongside our partners.”
In Mexico, the intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing. With more than 568,600 cases and 61,450 deaths (third largest number of Covid-19 deaths), the country is staggering under the Coronavirus pandemic. While the entire country is experiencing the impact, indigenous communities represent the hardest hit demographic. Data from Coneval, the national government’s social development agency, has shown that the Covid-19 fatality rate in Mexico’s poorest 427 municipalities is 14.1. On the other hand, the fatality rate in the country’s 54 wealthiest municipalities is 8.1, “meaning that people who live in impoverished parts of the country are almost twice as likely to die if they become sick with Covid-19 than those who live in affluent areas.”