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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Red Review # 86 -- International Left and Labour News

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

With news from Turkey, Syria, Tunisia, Peru, France, South Africa, the USA, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Sudan, Greece and elsewhere. There is also news related to Keir Starmer's latest attack on Corbyn and a letter signed by 40 international Communist and workers' parties in solidarity with the Communist Party of Venezuela.

Hundreds of thousands of French workers take to the streets again February 16 to protest President Macron's reactionary, anti-worker pension "reforms" -- image via Twitter


February 13:



Our pain is great. We lost our relatives, peoples, lives, neighborhoods, villages, cities. The difficulties experienced by those affected by the earthquake continue to increase.


Solidarity in a multifaceted manner should and will continue, we will continue it.


We will certainly lift this heavy burden that has fallen on us. Turkey’s human and material resources are sufficient to overcome these difficulties. As long as we have a good grasp of what we are faced with.


The last earthquake we experienced once again and devastatingly demonstrated a clear truth:


Turkey is being destroyed by market and private sector-oriented policies and religious sects or organizations.


To this should be added the consecutive operations of the imperialist countries, which see Turkey as a profitable playground.


For years, we said that this country needed collective ownership, secularism and patriotism. Now we are very clearly saying:


Turkey needs to get rid of the current order as soon as possible and switch to a statist-planned economy, re-establish secularism and become an independent-sovereign country.


Yes, this is a matter of changing the social order, this is a matter of revolution. However, we are talking about an actual and cannot-be-delayed need.



Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, has confirmed that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has agreed to convene a summit of progressive Latin American countries, together with Cuban president Miguel Diaz Canel.


“President López Obrador suggested that communication and contact be established, and work be done to be able to meet the presidents of the progressive states of Latin America, to discuss food security issues, welfare issues, and other issues that are important for the community of our countries. We have to talk about this with other foreign ministers and move forward in the coming months, the coming weeks,” said Ebrard.


Ebrard also stated that the countries likely to be invited are; Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, and Honduras.



On the occasion of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s visit recently to Mexico, that country’s leader, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, (AMLO) raised the possibility of many nations cooperating to oppose the U.S. blockade of Cuba.


AMLO has become Cuba’s champion in the international arena, and perhaps not accidentally: The governments of the two nations each originated from social and political revolutions.


The two leaders have also built a tight personal relationship. Díaz-Canal visited Mexico in September 2021. AMLO was in Cuba in May 2022. And AMLO refused to attend a U.S.-organized Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June 2022 because Cuba had been excluded.



Elections in the country’s largest regional trade union, the Athens Labour Centre (EKA), which includes hundreds of trade unions of the private sector in the Greek capital, were held on 11–12 February, following the works of its 32nd Congress.


The lists supported by the KKE (DAS), and in which trade unionists who support the action of the All Workers’ Militant Front (PAME) rally, emerged stronger in votes and percentages, getting 371 votes accounting for 31.39%, gaining 9 seats in the new executive board (from 345 votes and 28.7% in the 2020 Congress).


The strengthening of the list formed by trade unionists rallying in PAME was yet another militant response to the anti-popular policies implemented by the current right-wing government of New Democracy, taking the baton of anti-labour and anti-union measures from the previous “left-wing” government of SYRIZA.


This further strengthening of DAS provides a continuation to its upward course in the last few years, as its list has been supported by more and more workers in each Congress. It is telling that it is the only force recording an increase, since all other lists supported by the bourgeois parties (ND, SYRIZA, PASOK) are recording further losses.


Recall that in the EKA elections DAS got 27.99% in 2013, 26.92% in 2017, 28.7% in 2020 and now it has reached 31.39%.



The National Office Bearers of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) held a bilateral session on Monday 13 February 2023, in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The meeting took place at a difficult time when our democratic transition is facing serious challenges, not least the multiple capitalist system crises and its results. Inequality, unemployment and poverty are persistently high, and the productive capacity of the state, among others in major State-Owned Enterprises, has deteriorated.



The Framework Agreement signed in December to reach a power-sharing arrangement between Sudan’s military junta and a right-wing coalition of parties has no constitutional legitimacy, warned Saleh Mahmoud, Foreign Relations Secretary of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP).


The political parties of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition do not have a popular mandate to negotiate with the coup leaders, he told African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki at a meeting in capital Khartoum on February 13.


This meeting between delegates from the SCP and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council was convened on Faki’s invitation, in the backdrop of increasing international intervention to conclude a power-sharing arrangement between the army and the FFC.


However, at the mass-demonstrations against the junta which have been unrelenting since the army seized all power with the coup on October 25, 2021, the slogan – “No Negotiations, No Compromise, No Partnership” with the military – continues to resound on the streets of Sudan.


February 14:




The Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemns the searches conducted by the Income Tax department of the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai. This is a blatant attempt to intimidate and harass the television channel for having telecast the documentary, `The Modi Question'.


It is a standard tactic of the Modi government to intimidate the Indian media through raids conducted by the Income Tax department and other agencies. This has now been extended to a foreign media enterprise operating in India.


This coercive action will further reinforce internationally the image of the Modi government as an authoritarian regime which seeks to suppress media criticism.



The last factor in the total decommunization was the statement of Deputy Prime Minister Altai Kulginov, made on February 13 in Astana, that by 2025 the names of three thousand settlements and streets will be removed in Kazakhstan as part of the execution of the decree of Nursultan Nazarbayev of 2018 on the elimination of "ideologically outdated names".


We are talking about the complete cleansing of Soviet and Russian names from the toponymy of the republic through the lists of verified "historical figures" from above, including feudal lords, bais who oppressed the people, Alash-Horde, figures of the Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht, such as Mustafa Shokai, after whom many streets, libraries and shopping centers have already been named, as well as others figures who fought against the Soviet government.


Such activities, through political and legal justification of traitors to the motherland and enemies, recognition of the "Holodomor" and renaming of all historical names of cities and streets, are aimed at erasing in the minds of young generations the memory of another social and political structure, as well as creating from the USSR the image of a state that carried out continuous repression and genocide of Kazakhs.


This cannot be ignored by Communists and all supporters of socialism. It is necessary to actively counteract these renaming on the ground, even participating in the so-called inspired "public hearings", exposing this destructive activity of rewriting history and denigrating the past everywhere.


In the near future, the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan intends to initiate an international information campaign among communist parties and left-wing organizations against total decommunization in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, initiated by local governments with the participation of Western instructors.



On Tuesday, February 14, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk issued a statement expressing his concerns over the “deepening crackdown against perceived political opponents and civil society in Tunisia” and continued attempts to undermine the independence of the judiciary.


He also expressed concern about the harsh charges leveled against some of those arrested, such as “conspiracy against state security” and “causing offense against the head of the state,” as well as the fact that some of the trials are being conducted by military courts. The UN called on the Tunisian state to desist from such practices and uphold the rule of law.


Tunisia’s security forces have unleashed a wave of political arrests in the country since Saturday. More than a dozen people—activists, judges, and journalists, among others—have been arrested so far.



Workers at Amazon’s Coventry fulfilment centre in the United Kingdom have announced a week-long strike on 28 February, 2 March and from 13 to 17 March.


More than 350 employees, organizing with UNI affiliate GMB, are planning to walk off the job. These GMB members made history on 25 January when they became the first Amazon workers in the country to strike. Workers want Amazon management to recognize their union and negotiate a fair wage, which they say is at least £15 per hour.


“This unprecedented week-long strike shows the anger among Amazon workers in Coventry. They work for one of the richest companies in the world, yet they have to work round the clock to keep themselves afloat,” said Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organizer. “It’s sickening that Amazon workers in Coventry will earn just 8 pence above the [national minimum wage] in April 2023. Amazon bosses can stop this industrial action by doing the right thing and negotiating a proper pay rise with workers.”


February 15:




LABOUR “does not belong to one man but to its members,” campaigners declared today after Sir Keir Starmer vowed Jeremy Corbyn would never again be a Labour MP and told critics of his leadership to quit the party.


The increasingly right-wing Labour leader, who expelled his predecessor from the parliamentary party in 2020, claimed the party he took over nearly three years ago is “unrecognisable and we are not going back.”


In a speech in east London, Sir Keir hailed a decision by watchdog the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to lift Labour out of two years of special measures over its “past failings” on anti-semitism.


But Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) slammed the “alarming news,” stressing: “Jews like us do not feel safe in Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.”


The socialist group said its research shows that Jews have been “at least 37 times more likely to be investigated for anti-semitism than an average Labour Party member” since the former shadow Brexit secretary took the reins in April 2020.


Sir Keir, who previously only hinted that Mr Corbyn would continue to be forced to sit as an independent MP, said: “Let me be very clear, Jeremy Corbyn will not stand at the next general election as a Labour Party candidate.


Dianne Abbott:



FIGHTING Jeremy Corbyn is a complete distraction from the fight against the Tories and Tory policies. Yet this is the path the current Labour leadership has chosen.


It may be no surprise that I think Corbyn and basic Labour Party democracy should be defended. Yet it is something of a surprise — to me at least — that there is not a mass chorus in his defence. Perhaps that will form in time.


The context for this latest attack is an important factor in understanding it, and in understanding how damaging it is. This country is facing the longest crisis of living standards since records began — and the government’s answer to the failure of austerity is to double down on it. This is after their catastrophic response to the pandemic which has left well over a quarter of a million people dead and many more living with serious long-term conditions.


We are also now at war, engaged in a lethal conflict where both sides have nuclear weapons. There are multiple social crises in this country, increasing poverty, rising crime, a massive strike wave consciously provoked by government ministers as well as collapsing public services. We also face a climate catastrophe which is only deepening.


Yet the current Labour leader has made headlines not by attacking the Tories and their policies on any of these, but by attacking his predecessor, who remains a Labour member.



On February 15, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer banned long-time Parliament member and leftist Jeremy Corbyn from ever running again as a Labour Party candidate. Corbyn argued that Starmer’s move is an attack on democracy, stating, “it is up to [voters]—not party leaders—to decide who their candidate should be.”


In a speech announcing Corbyn’s ban from the party, Starmer said, “the Labour Party is unrecognizable from 2019 and it will never go back.” Starmer is referring to the year that Corbyn ran for Prime Minister as a Labour Party candidate. “If you don’t like that, if you don’t like the changes we’ve made, I say the door is open and you can leave,” Starmer told anyone who would be critical of the move.


“Any attempt to block my candidacy is a denial of due process, and should be opposed by anybody who believes in the value of democracy,” Corbyn responded in his statement.



Florida faith leaders, Democratic lawmakers, and Black community activists from across the state rallied at the State Capitol in opposition to the state’s rejection of an AP African American Studies course.


The Northside Coalition and other local civil rights groups hit the road to Tallahassee early Wednesday morning to amplify the message they hope to send to the Governor and Florida Legislature.


“Stop the attack on Blacks,” chanted the crowd.



The ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Ma Chol Su, assured Wednesday that Cuba will always count on his country's solidarity in confronting the U.S. blockade.


During an activity for the 81st anniversary of Kim Jong Il's birthday, the Korean diplomat expressed his confidence in the victory of the Caribbean nation in the face of Washington's economic war and the triumph of the island in the defense of its socialism with the strength of unity and creative resistance.


He specified that the relations between the two countries are assets and patrimonies that are developed through their parties and governments.


He said it is the firm will of DPRK State Affairs Chairman Kim Jong Un to boost the bilateral ties and thanked the Communist Party of Cuba and the government and people of the island for their support of the DPRK cause.



Tesla has fired more than 30 people at a factory in Buffalo just one day after workers there started a union drive.


A group of employees at the electric car and solar energy company’s Gigafactory announced their intention to form a union on 14 Feburary, saying in an open letter they aimed to “further the mission of sustainability and foster a progressive environment for us all."


The notice of dismissals came the day after and included staff members involved in the union campaign.



School teachers and their unions in Greece have intensified their protest against the neo-liberal reforms and other anti-worker policies targeting schools and teachers across the country pushed by the conservative New Democracy (ND)-led government. Massive mobilizations took place across Greece on February 15, in response to the call of teachers’ unions, such as the Teaching Federation of Greece (IOC) and the Federation of Secondary Education Officers (OLME), as well as students’ groups, and parents’ associations. Teachers demanded that the legislation be repealed which pave the way for the commercialization and standardization of school education in Greece as per the orientations of the European Union.


Teachers also demanded an increase in their wages at par with inflation, better work contracts, regularization of casual contracts with full benefits, the repeal of faulty evaluation criteria set for teachers, and the relaxation of cut-offs in qualifying exams for students.


According to 902.gr, major mobilizations took place in the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Zakynthos, Heraklion, Corfu, Kefalonia, Lemnos, Messolonghi, Pyrgos, Samos, and Chios. In Athens, the protesting teachers chanted slogans such as “their plan is shopping schools, with parent-clients and uneducated children” and “school-business and parent-client, your new school is a nightmare.”


February 16:




Against the backdrop of the environmentally catastrophic, fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the US railway workers' alliance Railroad Workers United (RWU) has reiterated their call for the nationalization of the American railroad system and is calling on other unions and organizations to do the same.



Dear comrades,


We have received plenty of solidarity messages from you so far since the first moment of the catastrophic earthquake disaster.


First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for all your letters as well as your various solidarity efforts on behalf of our party. Your outstanding solidarity with TKP and with our people has strengthened our efforts inside during that difficult period.


On the eleventh day of the earthquake, we may identify that we are in a new phase of the crisis now. I would like to briefly share with you the recent situation and how TKP is planning to adopt its solidarity work to the updated needs in the field.


As the search and rescue efforts gradually ends, debris removal work has started. But given the dimensions of the destruction, it is quite apparent that we have thousands of people yet under the rubble. Although according to the recent official data, 36.187 citizens have lost their lives whereas 108.068 citizens have been injured, these numbers seem far from reflecting the reality, unfortunately.


Survivors are being resettled in some cities determined by the government. Some dormitories and hotels are applied for this resettlement process. Universities are shifted to the distance education for that reason until the end of this school year. And the need for keeping the universities open is one of the recent debate topics in Turkey for that reason. Communist Youth of Turkey (TKG) is struggling against that decision which would result with isolation of the youth of our country and blocking the right to education.


In addition to the official resettlement process, some citizens who are affected by the earthquake are leaving the region with their own opportunities and settling in cities where they do have kinship or friendship ties. However, we know that the majority of the population still in the region, waiting for the bodies of their family members under the rubble or trying to find some temporary solutions to hold on their cities.


Under the given conditions, we are planning to continue both our political struggle and solidarity work with these priorities:



The International Mission of Solidarity and Human Rights has released its preliminary report on Peru. Anti-coup demonstrations have continued since the coup against President Pedro Castillo on December 7, 2022. Faced with repeated denouncements of human rights violations, and in response to a request for observation and verification by numerous Peruvian civil society organizations and human rights groups, the mission traveled to Peru, carrying out its work from February 7 to 13, 2023.





French workers are intensifying their protests against the unpopular pension reforms being pushed by Emmanuel Macron’s government. Responding to a joint call issued by major French trade unions, on Thursday, February 16, for the fifth time since January this year, workers—in the hundreds of thousands—hit the streets across the country denouncing the new pension reforms that seek to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64. The protesters have reiterated their demand that the proposed reforms be withdrawn and called for increases in the minimum wage and pensions in the country. Activists from left-wing parties and student-youth groups affiliated with the New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES) coalition also joined the protest mobilizations.


According to estimates by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), around 1.3 million people took part in the mobilizations on Thursday, including 300,000 in Paris, 55,000 in Albi, and 15,000 in Grenoble. The unions have called for a total shutdown of the country on March 7 by national strike and massive mobilizations.



From February 16 to March 16, trade unions and people’s movements across the world are organizing a campaign to demand the release of US political prisoner, militant and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been in prison for over 41 years. The global action comes at a time when his defense is mounting a fresh attempt to ensure his release as the evidence against him has been time and again exposed as flawed. Ahead of this action, noted political activist and academic Angela Davis, who was a political prisoner herself, wrote a letter to Irvin Jim, General Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, about the bonds of solidarity that hold together this global campaign. We bring you excerpts from the letter.



The fight of UK workers against the attack on their trade union rights resonates across Europe. Delegates to the 12th Congress of CGIL FP stood up showing their support for the UK workers. They also sent a message of solidarity for all striking workers in Europe by waving their hands to all of you on strike. The General Secretary of CGIL FP Serena Sorrentino reflected on the many challenges facing Italian public service workers. She opened her contribution to the Congress with a strong defence of women and women’s rights under so much pressure abroad like in Iran and Afghanistan, in Europe and at home. The main topic concerned the work of the union to promote and protect the interests of public service workers, and those delivering public services even if done by private operators. She and the General Secretary Maurizio Landini of CGIL, the confederation, reflected on how to deal with the new government which includes a extreme right party with fascist roots. Confronting lies and policies that go against people while building a broad alliance of like-minded organisations for change are part of that.



Postal workers in the Communication Workers Union have voted overwhelmingly to continue industrial action in their ongoing dispute with Royal Mail, with almost 96% of those taking part in the ballot backing further strikes.


The CWU announced this afternoon that its members have voted in favour of more walkouts, by 95.9% on a 77.3% turnout, an increased turnout on its two previous strike ballots. The union said the result was the “biggest mandate for strike action since the implementation of the 2016 Trade Union Act”.


General secretary Dave Ward said: “After two national ballots, 18 days of action, constant management intimidation and scores of unjust disciplinary cases against their colleagues, postal workers have shown their dignity and determination once again.



Tens of thousands of British nurses will intensify their industrial action next month with lengthier strikes involving previously exempt staff, their union said on Thursday, as they remain locked in a dispute with the government over pay.


The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said its next strike would run continuously for 48 hours from 0600 GMT on March 1 and involve nursing staff working in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care and other services who did not take part in earlier walk outs.


A series of two-day strikes held by the RCN in December, January and earlier this month, only ran for 12 hours each day.


February 17:



Joint Statement


WE CONDEMN THE PLAN TO ASSAULT AND INTERVENE


IN THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF VENEZUELA (PCV)


The undersigned Communist and Workers Parties, in accordance with point five (5) of the Plan of Action approved by the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties (EIPCO), held in Havana, Cuba, last October 2022, which summons us to "Express solidarity with the just causes of the peoples, with the communists who face persecution and prohibitions against the free exercise of their political and social rights, and against repression and discrimination in matters of democratic rights and freedoms", express our firm solidarity with the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) and we strongly condemn the plans aimed at assaulting its political leadership by fraudulent means, either through an illegal administrative intervention (via the National Electoral Council) or judicial intervention (via the Supreme Court of Justice), which would constitute a clear, undue and abusive interference in the internal life of the PCV.


We repudiate the public and malicious intention of Mr. Diosdado Cabello, vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), to promote and execute the plan aimed at assaulting the PCV and usurping its symbols and legal-electoral figurehead, through the unacceptable maneuvering of using individuals who are not part of the PCV in order to present them as supposed "party rank and file". We strongly reject this vile maneuver, as well as the systematic attacks of this leader of the PSUV in which he repeatedly accuses the PCV of serving the interests of U.S. imperialism, with the clear objective of criminalizing the struggles of the communists in Venezuela.


These crude actions are a dangerous escalation of anti-communist practices of persecution, repression and violation of democratic freedoms and political rights of the PCV.


The Communist and Workers' Parties of the world, just as we have been consistent in the defense of Venezuela against the imperialist aggression and the illegal unilateral coercive measures, which we continue to denounce and condemn; we will also be firm and forceful in our actions to denounce the anti-communist aggressions against the PCV and the attempts to prevent the exercise of its independent political action as a party of the working class.


We exhort the Government of Venezuela and the leadership of the PSUV to immediately cease the attacks against the PCV and the plan aimed at assaulting the leadership of the Communist Party of Venezuela and illegalizing its political action, by means of snatching its legal figurehead to hand it over to false militants.


We demand that the decision and will expressed by the organizations and militancy of the PCV in its 16th National Congress, held last November 2022, be respected. The policy of the PCV is decided by its militants and organizations according to its internal statutes, and not the interests of the governments in office. We demand that the independence of the PCV and its democratic right to autonomously decide its policy be respected.


The Communist and Workers' Parties signatories of this declaration will remain alert to these dangerous anti-communist developments in Venezuela and the consequences they may bring in terms of escalating repression and political persecution against the militants and leaders of the PCV.




The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) denounces before national and international public opinion, the act of persecution against comrade Albert Narváez, member of the Central Committee of the PCV and Political Secretary of the Party in the state of Monagas, who was summoned by the Coordination of Intelligence and Preventive Strategies of the regional police without any justification whatsoever.


This maneuver to prosecute the communist leader is part of the escalation of aggressions by the leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) aimed at taking the PCV by assault and subordinating it to their dark interests.


This police action takes place a few days after the Regional Committee of the PCV in the state of Monagas dismantled the fraud orchestrated by Mr. Diosdado Cabello to make the public opinion believe that the communist militancy supports the neo-liberal turn of the National Government.



ESCALATED NHS strikes will have a “significant impact” on services, health unions warned today, after thousands more ambulance workers voted to down tools over plummeting take-home pay and understaffing.


Announcing re-ballot results, Unison said its members at another four English ambulance services and five NHS organisations, including Great Ormond Street children’s hospital, have backed walkouts for the first time in a significant escalation of the increasingly bitter dispute.

And despite an improved wage offer from devolved Labour ministers in Wales, GMB confirmed that about 1,500 workers west of the Severn Bridge will join a strike by almost 10,000 colleagues in England on Monday after members said the proposal is “too low.”



Public sector unions will serve government with a notice to embark on strike action next week Wednesday ahead of Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s Budget speech.


The unions briefed the media on their next course of action over the longstanding public sector wage impasse.


Public sector unions affiliated with The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and the South African Police Union (SAPU) say they will also not take part in the fresh round of talks for the new financial year due to outstanding issues from last year.



An emergency fund to support transport workers and their unions in Türkiye and Syria in the wake of the devastating earthquakes has been launched by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).


“We must collectively support the incredible emergency response being coordinated by transport unions in the region following these catastrophic earthquakes,” said Paddy Crumlin, President of the ITF. “The ITF Seafarers’ Trust has already coordinated with unions to get emergency relief into some of the hardest hit areas, but as people face the gargantuan task to rebuild their lives – and for many after the loss of loved ones – there is so much more that needs to be done.”


February 18:








On February 18, Saturday, anti-imperialist, leftist groups protested in Munich, Germany against the ongoing 59th annual Munich Security Conference (MSC) which began on Friday February 17. Left-wing groups including the German Communist Party (DKP), Socialist German Workers Youth (SDAJ), and others marched in the city and slammed MSC as the conference of warmongers. The mobilization saw the participation of tens of thousands of people who condemned the conference and called for peace. Anti-fascist groups also denounced the far-right groups who also organized protests in Munich on Saturday.



Thousands of members of Tunisia's powerful UGTT trade union took to the streets of eight cities on Saturday to protest against President Kais Saied's policies, accusing him of trying to stifle basic freedoms including union rights.


The protests in eight cities marked an escalation in the union's confrontation with Saied and followed its criticism of the recent arrests of several anti-government figures including politicians, a journalist, two judges and a senior UGTT official.



Tunisia ordered the expulsion of European trade union chief Esther Lynch on Saturday after she participated in country-wide protests against the government organized by the country’s Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT).


In a statement late Saturday, Tunisian President Kais Saied declared Lynch a “persona non grata,” giving her 24 hours to leave the country. She had “made statements that blatantly interfered with Tunisian internal affairs,” he said.


Protesters took to the streets on Saturday over Saied’s policies, including what they see as an attack on union rights.


February 20:



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