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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Red Review #105 -- International Left and Labour News

With news from India, Greece, Ghana, Cuba, China, the USA, France, Turkey, Brazil, Peru and elsewhere.


There is also a special section of solidarity statements with the Palestinian people after the attacks in Jenin.

Incredible photo from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) campaign in West Bengal released June 30


June 27:



Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV)'s Central Committee and head of its Organisation Commission Truong Thi Mai hosted a reception in Hanoi on June 27 for a delegation of the Central Union of Cuban Workers (CTC) led by its Secretary General Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, who is also Vice President of the World Federation of Trade Unions.


Mai highlighted the special, exemplary, faithful and pure friendship between the two Parties, States and peoples of Vietnam and Cuba, which was founded by President Ho Chi Minh and Cuban leader Fidel Castro and has been nurtured by generations of leaders of the two sides over the past more than 60 years, becoming a shared treasure of both sides.


She thanked Cuba for providing Vietnam with priceless support during Vietnam’s struggle for independence, and affirmed that Vietnamese people always stand by, accompany and maintain solidarity with, and support the Party, State and people of Cuba.


June 29:



Greece’s firebrand opposition leader, Alexis Tsipras, announced his decision Thursday to step down as leader of the left-wing Syriza party, days after a crushing general election defeat.


Tsipras, 48, served as Greece's prime minister from 2015 to 2019 during politically tumultuous years as the country struggled to remain in the euro zone and end a series of international bailouts.


“I have therefore decided to propose the election of a new leadership by the members of the party ... Of course I will not be a candidate,” Tsipras said in a televised address.




June 30:




Massive protests continue in France denouncing the killing of 17-year-old French Algerian teenager Nael M, who was shot to death by the police in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre on the morning of Tuesday, June 27. A massive vigil march was held in Nanterre in memory of Nael on June 29 where his mother was also present.


Protests turned violent at several places including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, and Lille. According to reports, 40,000 security personnel were deployed in various cities across France to curb the protests. Around 667 protesters were arrested by Friday, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.



Employees at the Encinitas Starbucks store, the first in San Diego County to join the Starbucks Workers United union, shut down the store for the entire day on June 30. The workers brought a dual message to the media, customers and passersby: They were out to protest Starbucks’ national ban on Pride Month decorations at its stores, and to demand that management start negotiating with the union.


“We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ partners across the nation who have been prohibited from expressing their pride. We hope to put pressure on the company to bargain with their partners in good faith as is their responsibility” said striker Denika Brown.



The sky was overcast early Friday morning, but spirits were high on the picket-line outside the downtown Iowa City Starbucks. The store’s workers were joining unionized workers at 150 other Starbucks across the nation as part of Starbucks Workers United’s Strike with Pride.


The national union for Starbucks workers called for the labor action to protest in response to reports that the coffee chain banned Pride Month decorations in stores located in conservative areas.



Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, called for more achievements in the Party's theoretical innovation while presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Friday, a day ahead of CPC's 102nd founding anniversary, which falls on Saturday.


Xi said the understanding of the Party's theoretical innovation must be continuously deepened. It is the solemn historical responsibility of today's Chinese Communists to open new frontiers in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times, Xi said.


Chinese analysts said the remarks show that the CPC understands that in the next stage of its journey toward the goal of the Chinese modernization and the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation, there is no precedent from which the Party can learn, meaning the CPC needs to forge its path and renew or update its theories through its own innovation and practices.



Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has recently given important instructions on Party building and organizational work. He stressed that the CPC and the people play pivotal roles in comprehensively building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts.


Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has upheld and strengthened the Party's overall leadership, adhered to the principle that the Party must exercise full and rigorous self-governance, and put forward and implemented a series of new ideas, thoughts and strategies, pioneering new frontiers in the self-reform of the Party of more than 100 years old, he said. Party committees at all levels and their organization departments have thoroughly implemented the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, closely centered around the main guideline for enforcing full and strict self-governance, taken strengthening the Party politically as the overarching principle to do a good job in consolidating the role of theories, talent selection and appointment, solidifying foundations, and the nurturing and rallying of talent. By doing all these, they have made contributions to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and starting a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects, Xi said.



The Communist Party of China (CPC) had 98.04 million members at the end of 2022, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee announced Friday.


The number increased by nearly 1.33 million, or 1.4 percent, from 2021, according to figures released by the department ahead of the 102nd founding anniversary of the CPC on July 1.


The CPC had about 5.07 million primary-level organizations at the end of 2022, up 129,000 from the previous year.


The Party has tempered itself through revolution and grown stronger with even greater vitality over the course of a century of endeavor, particularly the past decade of the new era, the department said.


The Party's organizational system has been further strengthened, and the foundation of the Party's governance has been constantly reinforced, the department added.


Nearly 2.45 million people joined the CPC in 2022, official data showed. The Party convened its 20th national congress last year.




July 1:





On Saturday, July 1, around 250,000 people gathered at Zócalo square in Mexico City to celebrate five years since the presidential victory of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The citizens called AMLO’s victory as “the triumph of the people,” hailed the good work done by the AMLO government, and expressed their support for the Fourth Transformation of the country, led by AMLO’s ruling Morena party. This rally comes as the Morena Party is picking a new candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.


Since assuming office, AMLO has taken significant steps in strengthening Mexico’s sovereignty and challenging the hegemony of the United States. The president nationalized the country’s lithium and has promised energy self-sufficiency by 2024. AMLO also led the charge in boycotting US President Joe Biden’s Summit of the Americas over the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Mexico under AMLO has also been a fierce opponent of the US blockade of Cuba, and has materially supported the socialist island nation in times of disaster.



The Communist Party of Serbia has expressed admiration for the great achievements of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in building socialism, KCNA reported on Saturday.


Secretary General Miroslav Jovanovic stated that the organization underlined the Korean people’s courage in fighting for its national independence and later in confronting the aggression and threats from the United States and its allies.


July 2:





The XXVI Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum was held in the city of Brasilia from June 29 to July 2, 2023. The leftist and anti-imperialist Forum kicked off with 270 representatives from 57 social organizations advocating for Latin American integration and sovereignty.


Among its many achievements was a firm Resolution of Solidarity with Cuba.


Its Final Declaration has been released and covers such topics as the surge in Left and progressive victories in the region, the ongoing repression after the coup in Peru, the need to end criminal and unilateral sanctions by the US against countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, Indigenous rights, environmentalism and the fight against neo-liberalism.


We have translated it and republish it here in full.



The XXVI Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum was held in the city of Brasilia from June 29 to July 2, 2023. The leftist and anti-imperialist Forum kicked off with 270 representatives from 57 social organizations advocating for Latin American integration and sovereignty.


Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attended the opening ceremony of the forum. Created in the 1990s from a call by Lula and the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, the forum had as its first objective to reflect on the fall of the Berlin Wall and Socialist Bloc and the alternative and autonomous paths to follow by the left in Latin America and the Caribbean.


A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) paid a working visit to the forum.


According to Vietnam+ addressing "the forum’s plenary session, the delegation's head Le Hong Quang, who is a member of the CPV Central Committee and Secretary of the Party Committee of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, thanked communist parties, left-wing and workers' parties, and progressive forces for their valuable support for Vietnam during its struggles for national independence and reunification in the past, as well as in the cause of national construction and defence at present.


He spoke highly of the development and contributions of left-wing forces in Latin America in promoting regional integration and connectivity, as well as cooperation, development, and peace in the world, expressing his belief that discussions within the framework of the forum will further contribute to promoting integration and strengthening the capacity of nations, thus turning Latin America into a peaceful, united, stable, prosperous, and sustainable region."


Head of the Department of International Relations of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Emilio Lozada Grarcía made a statement at the start of the forum that included: "In just a few hours we will commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the historic founding of the Forum, an idea born of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and comrade Lula Da Silva, at the time of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the fall of the socialist camp, the deepening of the unilateral hegemony of the United States and the growing neoliberal economic wave in our continent.


The Sao Paulo Forum has been during all these years an essential space for consultation and the construction of the unity of the Latin American and Caribbean left to contribute to the definitive independence, sovereignty and integration of our region."



On July 1 and 2, various social organizations and trade unions from the 25 regions of Peru held the First National Meeting of Regions and Organized People in the capital Lima to unite forces against the de facto government led by Dina Boluarte. During the two-day meeting, the Indigenous, peasant, social and union leaders agreed to organize 10 days of continuous social protests to demand Boluarte’s immediate resignation, closure of right-wing dominated Congress, new general elections, a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution, freedom of those arrested during protests and justice for those killed by the Army and the Police in the mobilizations.


Jorge Pizarro, representative of the National Assembly of the Peoples (ANP), explained that the new round of protests would be called the “National Day of Permanent Popular Mobilization” and that the capital Lima would be its epicenter. Pizarro informed that the protests would begin on July 19, the day for which ‘Toma de Lima’ or ‘Takeover of Lima’ march had been called, and conclude on July 28, on the Peruvian Independence Day.


Thousands of people from across the country are expected to arrive in Lima in the coming days. Pizarro reported that the leadership of the protest was considering the possibility of requesting international observers, in order to avoid deaths and injuries such as those registered during the demonstrations between December 2022 and February 2023. According to reports from local media and human rights organizations, an estimated 70 people were killed in violent repression by state security forces in the three months of social protests.



On July 2, thousands of Los Angeles hotel workers, including cooks, housekeepers, bellmen, and front desk agents walked off the job to demand higher wages, affordable housing, better benefits, and safer workloads. Striking hotel workers are organized by UNITE HERE Local 11. This work stoppage is the “largest multi-hotel strike in the local’s history,” according to the union.


This strike follows a massive civil disobedience action, organized by the union, in which over 200 workers, activists, and elected officials were arrested on June 22. Hotel workers are largely unable to afford to live where they work due to low wages and high housing costs. And despite the fact that hotel profits in 2023 are now exceeding pre-pandemic levels, hotel bosses were unwilling to deliver on fair wage increase demands, according to Local 11.


July 3:





The Turkish Communist Party (TKP) organized a protest rally in Izmir on Monday, July 3, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the massacre of leftist intellectuals and activists by right-wing mobs in Sivas in central Turkey.


Scores of participants shouted slogans saying “down with religious fanaticism, fascism and darkness.” They waved flags of the communist party and carried a banner reading “We are marching for a bright Turkey.” In various speeches during the rally, leaders expressed the TKP’s resolve to establish a secular, just, and bright Turkey.


37 people, including 33 left activists and intellectuals, were killed and over 65 others wounded when a mob led by religious fanatics and right-wing leaders burnt a hotel in Sivas on July 2, 1993. Left activists from across the country had come to Sivas to celebrate the festival of Pir Sultan Abdal, a 15-16th century poet of Anatolia in Turkey who presented progressive and unorthodox ideas. He is celebrated as a saint among religious and ethnic minorities in the region, such as the Alevists and the Kurdish Alevists.



SIR KEIR STARMER is facing a rebellion by Labour members and trade unions in north-east England following the banning of North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll from standing for re-election.


The party has instead imposed two potential candidates on members of the 22 constituency parties in North Tyneside.


Only half of them have now selected one of the candidates.


Some voted not to make a selection, while some did not even meet.


Individual party members wore masks of Mr Driscoll’s face at an online selection meeting.


Five Labour-affiliated trade unions did not vote. Nor did two affiliated socialist organisations.


Eight unions who are not even affiliated to Labour voiced “outrage” at Mr Driscoll’s exclusion, saying it was undemocratic.



The New South Wales Teachers Federation (NSWTF) decided at its annual conference on July 3 to deepen its stand against AUKUS, the military pact between Australia, Britain and the United States.


The pact allows Australia to purchase eight nuclear submarines for at least $368 billion and makes it the first non-nuclear weapon state to manipulate a loophole in the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection system.


July 4:



A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam, headed by Politburo member Phan Dinh Trac, paid a visit to the headquarters of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in Athens, 902 portal reported today.


Phan Dinh Trac, accompanied by the Ambassador of Vietnam in Greece, Le Hong Truong, was welcomed by the General Secretary of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas and Giorgos Marinos, member of the KKE's Political Bureau.

Secretary Koutsoumbas referred to the long-standing fraternal relations between the two parties, in the KKE's solidarity towards the heroic struggles of the Vietnamese people against imperialism and for the country's independence and progress. The KKE leader informed the visitors about the political developments in Greece and the activities of the KKE, including the positive result achieved by the Party in the recent parliamentary elections.



The Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, a federation to which 23 unions are affiliated is calling for a national strike on 10 July to protest union bashing after three union leaders were unfairly dismissed at Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited in March.


July 5:





Jenin:



Palestinians in the occupied West Bank observed a day of general strike on Tuesday, July 4, against the ongoing military attacks and seizures being carried out by the Israeli occupation forces in Jenin’s refugee camp. At least 10 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured and displaced since the Israeli forces started a full-fledged military invasion on Monday.


The Israeli forces attacked the Jenin refugee camp with air and drone strikes and indiscriminately used missiles, snipers, and armored vehicles inside the densely populated area.


According to a Wafa report, Israeli forces also fired teargas inside a Palestinian hospital in Jenin on Tuesday, deliberately suffocating several patients and their family members. On Monday, Israeli forces were recorded deliberately shooting at journalists.



Ten dead and dozens injured, some of them seriously, are the result, unfortunately not definitive, of the air attack launched by the Israeli army tonight on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.


As we have come to expect from Israel whenever the Zionist state is in political trouble, either internally or in its international relations, this time too it is using aggression against the Palestinian people to try to rebuild the country.


The internal protests after the judicial reform, the increasing isolation in the Middle East after the return of Syria to the Arab League and the beginning of the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, under the political patronage of China, are creating enormous difficulties for Israel’s plans to continue its systematic policy of aggression and violence against the Palestinian people until its total annihilation.


Eurof, the European regional office of the World Federation of Trade Unions, strongly condemns the umpteenth attack on the Palestinian people in Jenin and expresses its full solidarity and support to the Palestinian resistance. it calls on the European governments to condemn Israel’s expansionist policy without hesitation and to recall their ambassadors, thus showing absolute distance from the murderous strategy of the Zionist state of Israel.



The Israeli army has been carrying out an intensive attack on the Jenin refugee camp in Palestine for some time. At the time of this writing, the death toll in this attack had risen to 12. Dozens were also injured and many Palestinians were forced to flee their homes. The attack was accompanied by construction equipment and many Palestinian homes were demolished.


The Israeli army’s attack was of an intensity not seen for many years; the ground operation was accompanied by air strikes. The Jenin camp was subjected to aerial bombardment.


The attack on Jenin was followed by air strikes on Gaza.


In recent years, Israel has intensified its policy of expanding Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories. It is becoming clear that the reactionary Israeli government, which came to power a while ago, will accelerate this policy and will stage all kinds of attempts to massacre the Palestinian people for this purpose.


Israel’s attacks must be stopped immediately. The oppression of the Palestinians, who have been subjected to Israeli persecution for decades, must end. The Israeli army and Israeli settlers must withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories and the occupation must end.


The Communist Party of Turkey declares its solidarity with the Palestinian people once again on this occasion.



The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India issued the following statement today (on July 5, 2023):


CPI condemns the military and air strikes by Israel on the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin, part of occupied West Bank for the last few days in the name of fighting terrorism. Already 12 Palestinians was killed, more than 200 are injured and thousands are displaced.


CPI demands immediate end to air strikes and other repressive measures by the IDF on the Palestinian people in Jenin refugee camp.


CPI calls upon the international community to take necessary measures to stop Israel to continue its aggressions and illegal occupation of Palestinian land.


CPI expresses its concern when even US, UK and EU have condemned the Israeli actions, the government of India remains ‘silent’ which goes against our long standing support to the Palestinian cause.


CPI calls upon Indian people to redouble its solidarity with the Palestinian people so that they can achieve an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.



Statement of the World Peace Council about the Israeli assault on the Palestinian city Jenin


The World Peace Council (WPC) expresses in the strongest way the condemnation of the

assault of the Israeli army against the Palestinian people at the refugee camp of Jenin. The new and ongoing massacre of the occupation forces with more than 8 Palestinians killed and dozens of injured, constitutes the policy of ethnic cleansing and of a slow genocide of the heavily armed state against the Palestinian people who are for decades under occupation.


The brutality of air attacks by drones and combat jets against the refugee camp in Jenin is

causing terror, death and displacement. The Israeli occupation regime is increasing the violence and its military force against Palestinian civilians, never before such large scale assault has taken place in the area.


The WPC expresses its solidarity to the suffering Palestinian people in Jenin and in all

Palestinian lands and calls upon all its members and friends to denounce the criminal murderous attack of the occupation forces. At the same time we condemn the hypocritical and cynical statement of the US administration and its allies which speak about the “right of Israel to self-defense”


End the massacre and the aggression of the Israeli army now! End the occupation!



The KKE condemns the ongoing operation by Israeli forces in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, which has so far resulted in the death of 10 Palestinians and the injury of 103.


The KKE expresses its solidarity with the just struggle of the Palestinian people and rejects the pretexts about “terrorism” used by the occupying Israeli authorities, because all peoples, including the Palestinian people, have the right to defend their country against foreign occupation by all necessary means. The peoples who struggle for their just cause are not terrorists!


We demand:


- An end to the military operation in Jenin as well as the Israeli occupation.


- The creation of a single independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, with the people masters in their own land.


- The right of all Palestinian refugees to return home, based on the relevant UN resolutions.


- The immediate release of all Palestinian and other political prisoners held in Israeli prisons.


Freedom for Palestine!

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