International Notes: Highlights from the frontlines

 
International Notes: Highlights from the frontlines

 

UK:  British Communists call for Tory government’s ouster

Robert Griffiths, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Britain, reporting to his party’s executive committee, blasted the Conservative Party government of Prime Minister Theresa May, and called for it to be replaced by a left-led government of the Labor Party.  Griffiths singled out government mishandling of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, which killed 71 people, many of them immigrants, on June 14 of 2017.  The high death toll is related to unsafe building methods, specifically the addition in a renovation of an insulation layer that proved to be highly combustible.

Griffiths complained that instead of taking decisive action by enacting strict safety legislation and strong enforcement measures, the Tory government has decided to handle the situation “the British way” by referring the issue to interminable committee discussions and investigations.  Griffiths demanded a program of public sector low-cost housing construction to deal with the overall housing crisis. He also called for an end to Britain’s “institutionally racist” immigration policies, and for the planned exit from the European Union to go forward.  He called on the Labor Party to firmly resist cooked-up anti-Semitism charges against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and to maintain a “principled defense” of the Palestinian people.

 

Belgium:  The Belgian Workers’ Party defends LGBTQ rights

The Belgian Workers’ Party, one of two communist parties in Belgium, has expressed strong support for LGBTQ rights, and has called for more action at the local level to make sure such rights are enforced everywhere.

The Workers Party supported and participated in the annual Gay Pride march on May 19 in Brussels, the nation’s capital, in which thousands took part.  The party noted that there have been decades of struggle to get where the country is in terms of respecting diversity, but there is more to be done.

Specifically, the party called for more focused action at the level of “communes” (local governments), where officialdom faces people on a day-to-day basis.  This requires intensified struggle at this point.

 

Ecuador:  Communist Party of Ecuador responds to government

The Communist Party of Ecuador, taking advantage of an activity celebrating the 92nd anniversary of its founding, has spoken out in criticism of policies of the country’s President, Lenin Moreno.   On May 24, Party General Secretary Winston Alarcón critiqued the annual presidential message.

The Communist Party sees Moreno’s government as moving in a neo-liberal direction, in contrast to the government of Rafael Correa which preceded it.  Among other things, government plans for “labor flexibilization”, meaning in Ecuador, as everywhere, easing up on the rules governing the hiring and firing of workers, will benefit only big business interests and not the working class majority.  Also, the plans of Communications Minister Andrés Michelena will reverse progress made previously in democratizing the communications media by eliminating state mechanisms of media fairness.

The Communist Party of Ecuador called for mass struggle against these tendencies.

 

India: Communists denounce police violence in Tamil  Nadu

Both of India’s major communist parties, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the  Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) have sharply denounced the massacre of twelve protesters and the wounding of more than a hundred others by police in the coastal city of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu state, at the Southern tip of the country, on May 22.

Citizens had been protesting a copper smelter run by Sterlite Copper, belonging to the huge multinational Vedanta Group of extractive industries, which had gone into operation without first getting the required permission of the State Pollution Board.  The demonstrators have a well-founded fear of contamination of air and water in the area.  Police opened fire on the demonstrators, resulting in the casualties.

In a statement, the CPI called for the resignation of the right-wing leaders of the Tamil Nadu state government, which they characterize as having an unhealthy relationship with the Vedanta Group.  For its part the CPI (M) demanded that the plant be shut down immediately  and the people responsible for the May 22 massacre be charged.

 

 

 

 

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.

     

Comments (1)

Kennieth Heard | June 07, 2018 at 8:55 AM

Very nice over views.

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