Solidarity with Gaza & Palestine! Red Review #116 -- International Left and Labour Report
Updated: Oct 23
With reports from Greece, Canada, the USA, Australia, the IMCWP and with a very large section of news and solidarity statements from around the world related to the ongoing horrific attacks on Gaza and the Palestinian people by Israel.
Palestinian solidarity rally in front of the US consulate in Toronto, Canada October 21 -- image via The Left Chapter
Indigenous groups in Australia on Sunday called for a "Week of Silence" beginning Saturday night to protest what one campaigner called the "gut-wrenching" outcome of a referendum that would have formally recognized Indigenous Australians in the country's Constitution and created a body to advise the government on policies that affect them.
Communities with large populations of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders voted overwhelmingly for the referendum, but nationwide, 60.4% of voters sided with a "No" campaign that relied on misleading the public about how the new policies would be implemented.
"It's very sad and it's grieving," Hannah McGlade, a member of the United Nations permanent forum on Indigenous issues, told The Guardian. "The majority of Australian people could not see the sense in finally recognizing Aboriginal people."
Following a legislative session where he vetoed a multitude of bills that would have improved worker’s rights, occupational safety, and financial security for the middle class, the Teamsters are condemning California Gov. Gavin Newsom for making life harder for working families in the nation’s most populous state.
“The way Gavin Newsom reacted to a vast majority of the pro-labor bills that came before him this year is something that we would expect to see from a governor who got elected with support from the Koch brothers – not someone who received support from organized labor,” said Jason Rabinowitz, President of Teamsters Joint Council 7. “Being a pro-union governor doesn’t mean you stand with us when it’s convenient. It means you stand with organized labor when it counts, which is when it’s time to sign pro-union legislation.”
UNISON has today (Wednesday) served notice of further strikes in its dispute over local government pay at Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde councils.
Staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools, within the four local authorities will walk out on Wednesday 1 November.
This is the first part of a rolling programme of action that will take place over the forthcoming weeks, with further strike dates and other councils being announced in due course, says UNISON.
App-based cab drivers and delivery workers in Pune observed a 24-hour strike on October 18, 2023 to demand the passage of the ‘Gig Workers Registration and Welfare Act,’ reported Punekar News. This strike comes a day before a demonstration by Mumbai gig workers and taxi-drivers outside the city’s international airport.
Along with the Welfare Act, autorickshaw drivers working for Ola and Uber also pushed for the enactment of the ‘Cab Aggregators Act.’ As per the report, such e-services had become an everyday part of life in Pune, leading to possible challenges due to the strike.
Prashant Sawardekar, President of the Maharashtra App -Based Transport Workers Union (MAT), told MediaNama that the Pune-strike was part of the state-wide initiative by a Joint Action Committee of various app-based and regular drivers and workers to demand basic rights from the government.
Union leaders and hundreds of metro Detroit autoworkers, casino workers, insurance workers and nursing home workers who are out on strike marched and rallied in downtown Detroit late Thursday, vowing they will continue holding out for better contracts.
The crowd converged on Hart Plaza, where amid chants of "strike city" and "no contract, no peace," union leaders said they are engaged in a fight with greedy corporations with the livelihood of the middle class at stake.
They were joined by several Democratic elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, who was the first speaker in the roughly hourlong program.
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain on Friday warned of more walkouts at U.S. truck and SUV factories unless the Detroit Three automakers improved wage and benefit offers, insisting companies could afford more than the record packages on the table.
"We're striking the Big Three like we've never struck before," Fain said. "These extremely profitable companies have more to give."
After five weeks of strikes, Fain said the UAW had received fresh contract offers from General Motors (GM.N) and Chrysler-parent Stellantis (STLAM.MI) in the past 24 hours. Ford (F.N) made its newest offer over two weeks ago.
After a four-month campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of forming a union, Unifor has started signing cards at multiple Amazon facilities in Metro Vancouver.
“Help is on the way,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Amazon workers in Metro Vancouver can sign a union card as the next step on their journey to forming a strong union to negotiate wages, schedules, and benefits.”
Unifor began its awareness campaign on June 21. During this time Unifor activists have had conversations with hundreds of workers at Amazon and help field questions about the myriad of benefits that come with being a member of a union.
“The union at Amazon in New York City has been an inspiration for warehouse workers across the continent,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Here in Vancouver, we’re going to continue the trend. Workers everywhere are eager to take greater control over their working conditions.”
The 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP) begins today in Izmir, Turkey, hosted by the country's Communist Party (TKP).
The Meeting is held between 20-22 October, under the following subject: "The political and ideological battles to confront capitalists and imperialism. The tasks of communists to inform and mobilize the working class, youth, women, and intellectuals in the struggle against exploitation, oppression, imperialist lies and historical revisionism; for the social and democratic rights of workers and peoples; against militarism and war, for peace and socialism."
Four years later, we are once again in Izmir. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey and its members, I would like to welcome you all. I hope that the 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties, which we inaugurated today, will be fruitful, sincere and productive, building upon the success of the 22nd meeting we held in Havana last year, with the great contributions of our Cuban comrades.
The 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP) began on Friday, October 20 in Izmir, Turkey. It is being hosted by the Communist Party of Turkey. (TKP).
On the opening day of the meeting Emilio Lozada García, head of the Department of International Relations of the Communist Party of Cuba gave an important speech touching on the international and Latin American situation, the challenges faced by Cuba, the war in Ukraine, the Israeli attacks on Gaza and Palestinians, the examples of countries like China and Vietnam in building socialism and other issues.
We have translated it from the Spanish in full.
In a year that has been defined by labor unrest, thousands of metro Detroiters have decided it's worth walking off the job to push for improved wages and benefits.
The latest workers to walk are those at three downtown Detroit casinos.
They join auto workers and UAW-represented employees of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and employees at three nursing homes in metro Detroit.
Those are just ongoing strikes. Earlier this year, some 2,000 graduate student workers at the University of Michigan went on strike in the spring and reached a contract just before classes started, and workers last week at General Dynamics who have voted to authorize a strike last week.
This week, 1400 striking workers in the Victorian dairy industry have set a powerful example of what workers can achieve when they stand together and take action.
Workers from four dairy processing companies – Saputo, Fonterra, Peters and Lactalis – have undertaken a successful 48-hour strike action, which just ended on Friday morning.
The workers – organising through the United Workers Union – have come together across multiple work sites to ask for a fair and reasonable wage increase of 5% per year to help keep up with inflation in the cost-of-living crisis.
It’s a modest ask considering Australia’s inflation rate is currently sitting at 6%.
Workers at two long-term care facilities in British Columbia walked off the job on Friday, the Hospital Employees' Union (HEU) said.
Staff at Delta View Care Centre in Delta and at Pioneer Lodge in Salmon Arm who walked off the job for six hours are among the nearly 1,100 HEU members at seven facilities in B.C. run by the non-profit Good Samaritan Canada, who have been without a contract since March 31, 2020, the union said.
The non-profit has delayed and cancelled bargaining meetings, the union said. The health-care workers are demanding improvements to benefits, sick leave and other working conditions.
"Members are tired," said Meena Brisard, HEU's secretary-business manager. "We just got through COVID. They're exhausted, they work long hours. They are short-staffed and they want to be respected and have a reasonable deal."
On Saturday night just before midnight, St. Lawrence Seaway workers made the difficult decision to go on strike after negotiations failed to reach a satisfactory agreement.
Unifor National President Lana Payne expressed her disappointment in the failure of the employer to make serious movement in the past two days, saying: “This impasse is extremely unfortunate but our members remain committed to getting a fair agreement.”
A 72-hour strike notice was officially filed on October 18, and despite sustained negotiating efforts, no resolution was reached by the Saturday, October 21 at 11:59 p.m. deadline.
A compilation of excerpts from discourses on community-level governance by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has been published by the Central Party Literature Press.
Xi's discourses in this regard are of great significance to improving the Party organization-led urban and rural community governance model which combines self-governance, the rule of law and the rule of virtue.
They are also crucial to modernizing the country's system and capacity for community-level governance, and fostering a community of social governance in which everyone fulfills their responsibilities and shares in the benefits.
Compiled by the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, the book combines 216 relevant passages from 130 significant spoken and written works Xi made between November 2012 and September 2023. Some have been made public for the first time.
Palestine/Gaza news and Solidarity:
As the relentless slaughter in Gaza continues, thousands rallied in Toronto in solidarity with Palestine on Saturday afternoon at an action that began in front of the US consulate on University Ave. and then made its way through the streets of the city.
Chanting slogans like "Stop the US War Machine", "Palestine Will Be Free", "Israel is a Terrorist State", "Justin Trudeau You Can't Hide, You Are Causing Genocide" and "End the Siege of Gaza Now" the protestors marched down University Ave. and then took over parts of Lake Shore Blvd. as police scrambled to stop them from gaining access to the Gardiner Expressway.
As the marchers made their attempt to take control of the expressway one of the organizers spoke to the crowd noting that they had no reason not to try or to worry about the media response as the media has always lied about Palestinian protests and rallies anyway no matter what they did.
The protestors eventually made their way past the Rogers Centre and continued to march through the downtown.
50 Canadian organizations that include labour, faith, community, peace and social justice groups issued a joint statement on Saturday, October 21 entitled "Ceasefire now, end the siege, for a just and lasting peace". Among the signatories are Black Lives Matter - Canada, CUPE, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, the Iranian Canadian Congress, the Coalition of Canadian Palestinian Organizations, the United Jewish People’s Order and others.
More than 800 scholars of international law and genocide have signed a public statement arguing that the Israeli military may be committing genocidal acts against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as the total siege and relentless airstrikes continue to inflict devastation on the occupied territory.
"As scholars and practitioners of international law, conflict studies, and genocide studies, we are compelled to sound the alarm about the possibility of the crime of genocide being perpetrated by Israeli forces against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," reads the statement. "We do not do so lightly, recognizing the weight of this crime, but the gravity of the current situation demands it."
The scholars noted that Israel's yearslong blockade on Gaza—which has left much of the territory's population impoverished and without access to basic necessities—had previously been described as "slow-motion genocide" and cited a United Nations warning about Israelis' use of dehumanizing language, which is often a prelude to mass atrocities.
But the new statement contends that Israel's current assault on Gaza, launched in the wake of a deadly Hamas attack on October 7, is "unprecedented in scale and severity."
The Rhode Island Party for Socialism and Liberation held a rally on the state house steps on Saturday, demanding an immediate end of U.S. aid to Israel.
Hundreds of Jewish Americans and allies were arrested at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday during a protest demanding members of Congress push Israel for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, where nearly 3,500 Palestinians have been killed over 12 days of relentless Israeli bombardment.
Thousands of protesters led by members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), IfNotNow, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), and other groups rallied on the Capitol grounds and inside the building, where hundreds of people took part in a sit-in.
Their chanted slogans—including "not in our name" and "cease-fire now"—resounded thunderously under the Capitol Rotunda, while at other times they clapped their hands and sang with solemn determination in Hebrew.
Organizers and participants said hundreds of thousands of people were in the streets of central London on Saturday to demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza as the Israeli military continued its bombardment of the besieged enclave a full two weeks after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack.
Organized by a coalition that includes the Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the march also called for Israel to "end its occupation of Palestinian land and apartheid rule over the Palestinian people."
The demonstration began at Marble Arch, weaving its way through central parts of the city before ending at Downing Street, where a mass rally was held.
The Communist Party of Cuba reports that the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, held a press conference on Thursday morning to condemn the "barbaric acts that are taking place today in the Gaza Strip and that shock the international community."
In the presence of journalists from the Cuban press and 57 correspondents from 32 foreign media accredited in Cuba, the Cuban foreign minister reiterated Cuba's solidarity of Cuba the Palestinian and Arab cause, while delving into other issues related to the impunity of the Israeli government, the complicity of the United States in the current situation, as well as the need for a profound reform of the actions of the Security Council of the United Nations General Assembly.
"Cuba strongly condemns the indiscriminate bombing of the people of Gaza, the destruction of homes, hospitals and the country's infrastructure. No one can justify these actions, which constitute punishment and a serious violation of international humanitarian law," Rodríguez Parrilla said.
Dayan Gonzalez of the Communist Party of Cuba released a statement regarding a rally in Havana in solidarity with Palestine. We have translated it from the Spanish:
With emotions running high, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in a Tribune in Solidarity with Palestine. The first intervention was that of the Hero of the Republic and president of ICAP, Fernando González Llort, who emphasized the flagrant violation of human rights represented by the recent bombing of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza.
Rogelio Polanco, a member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee and head of its Ideological Department, presided over the event, which was attended by leaders and officials of the Party's Central Committee, representatives and members of student, mass and non-governmental organizations, and Palestinian students.
Immediately Lift the Embargo on the Supply of Essential Items!
Stop the War on Gaza and Palestine Immediately!
Indian Government Must Use All Diplomatic Means to Ensure Immediate Cease Fire!
Force Israel to Initiate a Dialogue for a Sovereign Independent Palestine!
All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) conveys its complete solidarity with the people of Palestine, and calls on the working class of the world to stand against the horrifying war crimes being committed by the Israel including stopping all food supplies, water, electricity and fuel alongside a bombing campaign targeting hospitals, schools, homes, and people. Hundreds of Palestinians, including several children have been detained in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli government has warned millions of Palestinians living in the northern half of Gaza to leave even as it continues with constant bombardment. This clearly is an attempt by the Israel to re-enact another Nakba - ethnic cleansing of Palestinians- that in 1948 saw millions of Palestinians becoming refugees in their own land.
We condemn the US and the western allies of Israel for extending support and providing massive military aid and weapons that will only further the Israel's genocidal war on Palestinians. The US and western allies are complicit in the war crimes being committed against the people of occupied Gaza and West Bank
We all extend our support to the call by Palestinian trade unions to all workers of the world and their unions to unite and boycott manufacturing or loading of weapons and military equipment destined to Israel and its brutal war.
We salute the hundreds of thousands of people across the world standing in support with the people of Palestine through huge rallies in country after country, from France to the UK to Egypt to India. Numerous cities in the US have witnessed mammoth rallies questioning the complicity of the US. In Washington DC, thousands are protesting outside the Capitol while 500 Jews, Rabbis and descendants of holocaust survivors chant “Let Gaza Live!”. In Israel too, the people are raising their voice unequivocally holding Netanyahu responsible for this conflict.
AICCTU calls upon the Indian government to urge the Israeli government to initiate direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign and independent state of Palestine.
AICCTU also demands immediate lifting of the embargo on essential supplies and an immediate end to the war on Gaza and Palestine.
AICCTU appeals to the working class of the globe, to stand up with the people of Palestine, against the pro-war, pro-Israel attitude of their own military industrial complexes and the governments!
Tens of thousands mobilized in the southern port city of Karachi, Pakistan, on October 15 in solidarity with Palestine. While denouncing the Israeli bombardment on Gaza that has killed over 3,000 people including at least 1,030 children, the protesters carried the banners of “Free Palestine” and expressed their unwavering solidarity.
Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist political party, organized the march but the solidarity march subsequently gained widespread support across civil society and from trade unions. The demonstration was supported by trade associations, including Sindh Farmers Front, Pakistan Steel Labor Organization, and National Labor Federation, along with other religious and political groups. The protesters chanted slogans such as “Labbaik ya Gaza, Labaik ya Aqsa (here I am Gaza, here I am Aqsa)” in unison.
On Wednesday, 18 October, a massive rally was organized by Trade Unions, Federations, Labour Centres, Students'and Women's Associations etc., expressing their solidarity with the people of Palestine, condemning the new crimes of Israel and its allies, USA-EU-NATO, in the Gaza Strip and demanding the recognition of the Palestinian state.
The participants fiercely denounced the attitude of the Greek government and of the bourgeois parties of SYRIZA and PASOK, who support the Israeli occupation and reproduce the false pretexts of the State of Israel for the massacre of the people of Gaza.
The solidarity rally began with a speech by the Palestinian Ambassador to Greece, Yussef Dorkhom, followed by the ones of representatives of trade unions of Athens.
The whole world is watching with anxiety, horror and disgust the escalation of attacks in the Gaza Strip. The State of Israel has now committed unprecedented atrocities, culminating in yesterday’s bombing of the Al-Ahly Hospital.
The attack on the hospital, which caused the deaths of hundreds of civilian patients and workers, the majority of whom were women and children, is an unprecedented criminal act in the history of the world!
Israel and its allies, and those whose silence and inaction support the attacks, claim that Israel’s unprecedented aggression stems from the ‘right to defence’.
Bombing hospitals is not “self-defence”. It is a war crime. It is a crime against humanity.
Yesterday’s attack proves that Israel and its allies have no intention of de-escalating the situation, which heightens our concerns about the expansion of the war in the region.
Representing 105 million workers, the WFTU calls on the international community to cease its silence in support of Israeli atrocities, and to intervene meaningfully to end the attacks in Palestine.
The WFTU calls on its affiliates and friends, every worker who wants peace, to strengthen the anti-war movement that demands the immediate end to the war and the immediate end to the occupation of Palestine, by participating in the solidarity mobilizations that are being organized these days in every corner of the world.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!
NO TO IMPERIALIST HYPOCRISY!
A JUST AND PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE!
South Africa: Govt told to cut ties with Israel
THE National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) is calling on the South African government to remove companies from what they call the “apartheid” state of Israel.
This was made known on Thursday, 19 October during their protest in solidarity with Palestinians currently being killed in Gaza and allegedly forced to evacuate their homes by Israeli troops. The protest took place in front of the United States (US) Consulate in Sandton, north of Joburg.
Gauteng provincial deputy secretary Thulisile Msimang read the memorandum outside the consulate and said Israel's "murderous campaign" must end.
The Workers' Party of Ireland issued a statement following their participation in mass demonstrations across the country opposing the Israeli attacks on Gaza and the Palestinian people.