International Notes: December 6, 2017

International Notes: December 6, 2017


Bangladesh:  Communists in action against electric  price hikes

The Communist Party of Bangladesh is joining with several other left-of-center parties to protest a planned electrical rate hike.  The protests will include a half-day general strike on Thursday November 30.

The Bangladeshi government says that the price hike is necessary so as to reduce the subsidy burden on the state’s electricity distribution companies. But the Communists and other leftists say that such a price hike will burden the working class with increased inflation.

Argentina:  Communists protest anti-labor legislation

Mario Alderete, the Labor Secretary of the Communist Party of Argentina, has denounced what he calls a toxic plan to reform labor, taxation and social security law. “This nasty plan attacks the vast majority of the people, the workers and the Argentine nation, and guarantees maximum profits for transnational and local urban and rural bosses”  Alderete said.  “The inflation count and the fiscal deficit are used to justify the greatest external indebtedness in the history of the world and of Argentina”.  This indebtedness submerges the working class of Argentina in a situation of cuts in wages and social benefits plus loss of employment, and inflation of the price of food and other necessities.  Further “to impose discipline and impose such an adjustment, repression is the order of the day”.

Alderete pointed out that some elements of the left-center opposition and labor leadership are going along with this, but the only solution is to achieve unity at the base for a struggle for real reforms.

Turkey   EMEP  opposes Turkish intervention in Ildib, Syria

The Turkish Labor Party EMEP, one of two communist parties in that country, has spoken out strongly against Turkish military involvement in the province of Ildib in neighboring Syria.  EMEP strongly suspects that the military intervention by the government of Turkish president Recep Tayipp Erdogan is not motivated by a desire for peace in Syria, but rather for ulterior motives, including a desire to prevent Kurds in Ildib from uniting with other Kurdish populations on both sides of the border, a wish to profit off money that will be flowing in for the reconstruction of Ildib, and to get control of the oil transport networks in the area.  “Turkey should not get involved in this war.  Instead, it should lead the peace efforts in this region”.  However, EMEP adds, this is not possible given the attitude of the Erdogan government.

United Kingdom:  Communists remember Derek Robinson

The Communist Party expresses its grateful remembrance of former party leader Derek Robinson, who passed away on October 31.   Robinson was born in Cradley Heath, Staffordshire, England in 1927, and found work in the British automobile industry where his abilities as an organizer and leader contributed greatly to the auto workers’ struggles in the Austin and British Leyland car manufacturing companies.

He was a leading activist in the Amalgamated Engineering Union, where he led many industrial actions and became hated by the British and international ruling class.  He joined the Communist Party in 1951, and in 1988 became the Party’s national chair.

Rob Griffin, the current party General Secretary Rob Griffin “Derek Robinson led those [automobile industry] workers because he had earned their loyalty. He had inspired them to fight for decent pay and working conditions.”  When Robinson was fired by British Leyland for opposing a bogus restructuring plan proposed by management, one that would have eliminated 25,000 auto industry jobs.  30,000 British Leyland workers downed tools and barricaded themselves in the factories.

India:  Communist Party of India condemns Cow Vigilantism

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) had condemned a recent case of violent “cow vigilantism”, and is demanding that authorities in Rajasthan State crack down on the practice, which is being encouraged by extreme Hindu nationalists.

In the latest case, a farmer, Ummar Khan, was killed by extremists after he and two others purchased a cow in Alwar, Rajasthan.  One of the other two farmers, Javed Khan, is missing.  The perpetrators are described as ultra conservative Hindu “cow protectors” called gau rakshaks.  Rather than prosecuting the attackers, Rajasthan authorities, say the communists, prosecuted the victims of the attack.

The Supreme Court of India had ruled recently that state authorities, including police chiefs, have the responsibility of preventing and prosecuting such violent incidents. “The Polit Buro [of the CPI-M) demands that the government abides [sic] by the decisions of the Supreme Court and ensures that the culprits are brought to book and that the families of the victims are compensated…it also demands that the Central government bans all such gangs indulging in cow vigilantism and moral policing”.





    Emile Schepers is a veteran civil and immigrant rights activist. Emile Schepers was born in South Africa and has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. He has worked as a researcher and activist in urban, working-class communities in Chicago since 1966. He is active in the struggle for immigrant rights, in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and a number of other issues. He now writes from Northern Virginia.


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