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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Lula Wins!: Red Review #79 -- International Left and Labour News

With news from the USA, Sudan, China, India, Russia and elsewhere. There are also sections related to the victory of Lula in Brazil and statements from the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties in Havana, Cuba.

October 25:

Hundreds of thousands took to streets calling for the overthrow of the military junta, in at least 19 cities and towns across Sudan on October 25, marking one year since the military coup. With the internet shut down from 9 am to 6 pm, the army, police, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – the notorious militia accused of genocide in Darfur – attacked the protesters with live fire, tear gas, and batons, and even ran over some people with armored vehicles.

185 injuries were recorded in hospitals in Khartoum State alone, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD). Many others injured are not counted in this figure because the security forces took several measures to stop the wounded from reaching hospitals.

CHINA is planning to build the world’s largest wind farm in the Taiwan Strait.

The plans for the huge 43.3 gigawatt facility, announced by the city of Chaozhou on Tuesday, will see a 10km-long wind farm featuring thousands of powerful turbines.

The blustery conditions in the area will mean the turbines will be able to run up to 49 per cent of the time.

Construction work will begin before 2025 and, once completed, will outstrip the current largest wind farm, also in China, at Jiuquan.

Leftist parties in Europe have slammed the rampant attempts at decommunization and attacks on communists and their symbols in several Eastern European countries. On Tuesday, October 25, the European Left party in Hungary denounced the motion submitted in the parliament by the far-right Jobbik party which calls for the removal of the Soviet Red Army Monument from the Liberty Square in Budapest. On October 23, communist sections in Serbia, including the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia (NKPJ) and the Union of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ), protested the repeated vandalization of the Tomb of People’s Heroes by right-wing fringe groups as well as the attack on the NKPJ office in Belgrade last week.

Over 5,000 sanitary workers on contract in the city Corporation on Tuesday began an indefinite strike in front of their office. They demanded regularisation of their jobs and increase in the wages, sources in the union of the workers said. Over 1,000 tonnes of garbage, particularly remnants of fire- crackers which were burst on Monday during Deepavali, piled up on due to the strike, the sources said.

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint accusing Amazon CEO Andy Jassy of violating labor law during media interviews this year where he said workers are better off without a union.

The complaint, dated Tuesday, focuses on two sit-down interviews Jassy conducted with CNBC and Bloomberg in April and June - some of the few times he has spoken publicly since the historic labor win at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island, New York earlier this year.

October 27:

In what may be a record for the nation’s shortest-ever opening bargaining session, Starbucks bosses, led by their union-busting lawyer “adviser,” listened to Starbucks Workers United workers and reps for six minutes—and then walked out.

As a result, the Oct. 27 session of the talks, which included workers from at least five unionized Starbucks stores, never got off the ground.

Staff at the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) in Ohio on October 27 voted overwhelmingly to unionize as the Columbus Museum of Art Workers United (CMAWU) under the aegis of AFSCME Ohio Council 8, the local branch of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The vote comes less than two months after employees announced their intention to form a union. The staff at CMA join their compatriots at museums across the United States who have moved to unionize in recent years, among them Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum, Dia Art Foundation, New Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, all in New York; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

October 28:

Workers at the Starbucks and Amazon Go store in midtown Manhattan filed a petition for a union election on Friday.

It’s the first Starbucks cafe that uses Amazon’s cashierless technology to try to unionize under Workers United and just the second of its kind. The store, which is located next to Port Authority and on the ground floor of the New York Times building, generates high volume but also has high employee turnover, according to Starbucks Workers United.

October 29:

Germany’s largest union IG Metall on Friday called on workers in the metal and electronics industry to strike as pay talks stalled amid high inflation.

“Warning strikes” in the vast sector, numbering some 3.8 million employees, began yesterday.

Workers in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous region and its industrial heartland, were among the latest to announce strike action over the weekend.

October 30:

The week-long 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded in Beijing on October 22.

Reflecting on the congress, Fred M'membe, president of the Socialist Party in Zambia, said China is taking a path no other country has ever taken and is building a society that no one has ever built.

October 31:

A union representing approximately 55,000 Ontario education workers said Monday its members will walk off the job on Friday despite the government tabling legislation to impose contracts and ban a strike.

Laura Walton, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employee’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, said whether workers continue to protest after Friday “will be left up to what happens.”

“I am so proud because our members have said, ‘Enough is enough,”’ Walton said.

Lula Wins:

Thousands took to the streets of Brazil to celebrate as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party (PT) was elected president on Sunday, October 30. With almost 50.9% of the votes, Lula, a trade unionist who was also president from 2003-2010, defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro of the Liberal Party who got around 49.1% in the run-off election. Lula is set to be in office from 2023-2027.

The second round of the presidential election was held after neither candidate managed to obtain the necessary 50% plus one vote in the first round held on October 2. Elections were also held for the post of Governor in 12 States. Around 156 million Brazilians were eligible to vote.

The results mark a remarkable comeback for Lula who just a few years ago was in jail on corruption charges which were later overturned. His campaign for this election was driven by the left, people’s movements, trade unions, and radical and progressive forces across the country.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, who was just defeated in the elections, isolated himself after the confirmation of the victory of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on October 30. The former captain canceled a press statement at the Alvorada Palace, in the capital of Brasília, right at the beginning of the vote count.

According to Globo, “Bolsonaro does not want to receive anyone.” The report continues, “ministers and deputies who tried to visit him this Sunday after the results of the polls were informed that the president does not want to see anyone at this time, not even his closest allies.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday congratulated Luis Inacio Lula da Silva for his win in Brazil's presidential election, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

"I attach great importance to the development of China-Brazil relations," said Xi.

"I am willing to work with President-elect Lula, from a strategic and long-term perspective, to jointly plan and promote to a new level the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Brazil, for the benefit of the two countries and its peoples."

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was among the first to congratulate Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva following his victory in Sunday’s second-round presidential election.

“We celebrate the victory of the Brazilian people [...] Long live the peoples determined to be free, sovereign and independent! Today democracy triumphed in Brazil. Congratulations Lula!” tweeted the Venezuelan head of state shortly after the results were announced.

22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties:

The 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties began on October 27 in Havana, Cuba.

According to the Communist Party of Cuba's official website 142 delegates of 73 delegations of communist and workers' parties from 57 countries are attending the event.

They are meeting under the slogan:

Solidarity with Cuba and all the struggling peoples. United we are stronger in the anti-imperialist struggle, together with social and popular movements, in the face of capitalism and its policies, the threat of fascism and war; in defence of peace, the environment, workers' rights, solidarity and socialism.

Revolutionary and socialist Cuba, the homeland of José Martí and Fidel Castro, receives with affection and a unitary spirit the 142 delegates from 73 parties from 57 countries from all regions of the world who are meeting at this XXII International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties.

This meeting takes place in the midst of a turbulent international context, nuanced, moreover, by the complexities of each nation. This presents us with a challenge: to establish a framework of collective action that strengthens unity, to face the challenges that arise in our struggles.

What unites us all: communists, socialists, revolutionaries and workers?

We are united by anti-imperialism, which summarizes the common commitment to conquer a world of peace and greater social justice; in promoting the development and prosperity of all nations; in achieving well-being and happiness; and in achieving respect for the conservation of the environment.

Dear comrades,

We are holding the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in the face of the difficulties caused by the pandemic. We are meeting here, in Havana, to continue the effort that began in 1998 in Athens and in the years that followed travelled to many regions across the world.

The Communist Party of Greece salutes the Communist Parties and thanks the Communist Party of Cuba for organizing the 22nd IMCWP and for its hospitality.

It expresses its long-standing internationalist solidarity with the CP of Cuba and the Cuban people who are currently facing serious economic difficulties.

We express the fraternal greetings of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Mexico to the Communist and Workers' Parties gathered in this XXII EIPCO. We thank the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba for the efforts to develop this meeting in Havana, for the third time in Latin America after the EIPCO in Sao Paulo in 2008 and in Guayaquil in 2014.

A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) led by member of the Party Central Committee and deputy head of its Commission for Internal Affairs Tran Quoc Cuong attended the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties (IMWCP) in Havana from October 27-29.

At the meeting hosted by the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), participants discussed and gave assessments of international and regional issues, current challenges to peace, stability and development in the world, the environment and the interests of the working class and people.

Dear: - Esteemed Presidium,

Distinguished Delegates,

Comrades and Friends,

At the outset, I am very pleased and honored to lead the delegation of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party to attend the22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties which is being held in this beautiful city of Havana. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Communist Party of Cuba forinviting the delegation of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party to attend this International Meetingand congratulate the host on the excellent arrangements made for this important gathering as well as the generous hospitality extended to our delegation.

This meeting marks a vitalpolitical event of the Communist and Workers’ Parties and progressive movements worldwide as a significant mechanism of gathering solidarity, enhancing cooperation and exchanges in theories and practices, coordinating for unity and having a common measureto strengthen ideological and organizational works and activities of Communists and Workers’ Parties for the cause of peace and balanced development of nations, and for socialism.

Dear comrades,

The Workers Party of Ireland expresses greetings and fraternal best wishes to the communist and workers’ parties assembled at this 22nd International Meeting and we thank the Communist Party of Cuba for hosting this important meeting.

On behalf of all the members of the Communist Party of Belgium and its Central

Committee, I would like to thank the Communist Party of Cuba for the warm and fraternal

welcome to this IMCWP. I would also like to start by reiterating our full solidarity with the

people of Cuba and its socialist government and our support for the struggle against the criminal blockade imposed for more than 60 years by US imperialism. We demand the immediate end of the blockade.

Dear comrades,

On behalf of the Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism, we greet our comrades of the Communist Party of Cuba for organizing this 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties. We thank them for all their efforts to ensure the best possible conditions for the conduct of our work.

We do not forget that the Island of Freedom has just been hit hard by Hurricane Ian while it continues to suffer for more than 60 years the inhumane consequences of the criminal blockade of US imperialism, supported by all the imperialists of the rest of the world. This blockade aims to force it to renounce its sovereignty, to abandon its socialist choice, to submit to its diktat, to restore the privileges and power of the American mafia capitalists driven out by the revolution, to stop showing solidarity with the peoples who fight domination and its interference.

Dear comrades, We welcome the realization of this XXII International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties, and the success of holding it here, in Socialist Cuba, a country that has become the first trench of the peoples of the world fighting for national liberation and socialism, which is why it has also become the epicenter of the most brutal aggressions by Yankee imperialism and its NATO lackeys. For this reason, we consider that another great success has been to lead the theme of the Meeting, highlighting the importance that "solidarity with Cuba and all the peoples in struggle" deserves for the communists of the world, thus, in that order.

Dear comrades,

On behalf of the Communist Party of Turkey, I greet you with the most sincere feelings of comradeship. We all came to Havana, knowing that this meeting has a very special meaning. I would like to thank the Communist Party of Cuba, which has made a great effort to preserve the achievements of the revolution under very difficult conditions and has brought a unique energy and dynamism to the ideal of communism for nearly 70 years.

Comrades and Friends,

At the outset, I express my solidarity with people struggling for a better future world over. The meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties from all over the world is an important, solemn occasion underlining the unity of our struggles transcending borders and continents. Our Marxist roots are firmly established in the soil of internationalism and solidarity with working people all over the world.

I thank the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people for extending their warm welcome for this meeting. It must be emphasized the Cuba is hosting this meeting at a time when imperialism is trying to tighten its grip on Cuba through sanctions but failing to suppress the revolutionary spirit of the Cuban people under the leadership of the Communist Party. Despite the hardships faced by Cubans on an everyday basis, Cuba has upheld the best of international ethos and has extended their helping hand in times of great crises. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the whole became inward looking and self-preservation was the priority, Cuba sent its medical teams in regions worst hit by COVID. I salute the revolutionary internationalism of the Cuban people.

In our opinion, now is indeed the hour of truth, when it is on the question of war and peace that a fundamental ideological demarcation will take place in the international communist movement. In a situation where the United States is losing its positions and trying by all means to maintain its hegemony in the world, the peoples are again faced with the threat of the Third World War.

We are confident that in the absence of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp after the counterrevolutionary processes that have taken place, the current struggle is purely imperialist in nature and is for the redistribution of spheres of influence, markets and for primacy in the world capitalist system. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the current confrontation as a struggle for hegemony between the US and China, and other players, and not as a struggle between capitalism and socialism, as some try to present it.

Dear comrades-in-struggle,

We welcome all participants of this meeting as well as all parties that couldn’t make it to Cuba but are still in the same class ranks as we are. We are especially grateful to Cuban comrades, the hosts of this meeting. An example of your courage and resilience inspires new generations of revolutionaries around the world. And the example of fraternal proletarian assistance to the Cuban Revolution, primarily by the Soviet Union, remains a subject of study for communists today. This is especially true in these October days, exactly 60 years since the peak of confrontation during the Caribbean crisis, when the world was incredibly close to a global nuclear catastrophe. But thanks to the courage of the Cuban comrades and the fraternal solidarity of the world’s first state of workers and peasants, it was possible to both defend the revolution and preserve peace. Today, under the conditions of the temporary defeat of socialism in the USSR, there is no such level of proletarian internationalism. But the tension in the world today is approaching the level that was observed then. We mean, of course, the military confrontation in the Ukraine.


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