International Notes: French protests surge as CP elects new leader

 
International Notes: French protests surge as CP elects new leader

 

For the past week, there have been militant “yellow vest” protests in the streets of Paris and other cities over increased fuel taxes and other government policies seen as hurting the working class.  In response to the protests, the French Communist Party has called on the Macron government to resign.  Communist deputies in the French parliament are asking socialist and other progressive legislators to join their call for a no-confidence vote.  The French CP on  November 20, elected journalist and parliamentarian Fabien Roussel  as its new National Secretary.  He succeeds Pierre Laurent, who has been the National Secretary since 2010.

The selection of Roussel came after a proposal for the party’s work and program which he co-authored was adopted by the party over one proposed by the outgoing leadership.

Steel workers, sugar workers strike in Iran

The Tudeh (Iranian communist party) is calling on the public to support two important strikes that are going on in Iran.  The strike of the sugar workers against the Hart Tappah Sugarcane Complex, which began in early November, has involved major street demonstrations in the city of Shush, in Khuzestan Province in the west of the country.  Demands include the release of two people arrested in the strike, and the nationalization of the privately owned company.

The second strike is by workers at the Iran National Steel Industrial group in Ahvaz, in the South of the Country.

The Tudeh, which is heavily repressed in Iran, denounces both the bad conditions for the workers and the use of repression and trickery by the government in trying to break these strikes.

Brazil’s communists work for greater unity

On  December 1, a unity meeting was held between the Communist Party of Brazil (Partido Comunista do Brasil, or PC do B) and the Free Homeland Party (Partido Patria Livre, or PPL) in São Paulo.  The PPL is a smaller Marxist-Leninist party. The unity project had been announced to the press on November 26 by Luciana Santos,President of the PC do B, and by Sérgio Rubens, President of the PPL.  This dynamic is moving in the direction of incorporating the PPL in the PC do B.

Luciana Santos explained the merger as a matter of urgency given the election of fascist Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency of Brazil, the fifth largest country by population and the eleventh largest economy in the world, in the second-round election on October 28.  Bolsonaro will be sworn in on January 1. The threats Bolsonaro and his allies have made against workers, minorities, women and the environment, as well as rhetoric about making “communism” illegal, have effectuated more unity among several groups on the Brazilian left.

Head of Peruvian Communist Party passes away

Flor de María Gonzales Uriola, the General Secretary of the Peruvian Communist Party, died on November 25, at 68 years of age, in the Peruvian capital, Lima.  She had been suffering from respiratory problems for a while. Flor de María Gonzales, who became General Secretary in 2017, was the first woman to head the Communist Party.  She also was a congressional representative for the Frente Amplio (Broad Front), a coalition to which the Peruvian Communist Party and other left-wing parties belong, but her illness prevented her from taking her seat, which will now be held by Katia Gilvonio Condezo of the Socialist Party, a youth and women’s rights activist.

Image: l’Humanitè

 

Author

    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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