Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around East Asia during February 2014 and related resources. The most important stories appear on my Twitter feed as soon as I find them: http://twitter.com/spartacusnews.
This month there has been news from Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
The most important stories:
On Tuesday, March 4, Central American port workers from the labor union Sindicato Gremial de Trabajadores del Muelle (SGTM) from Puerto Cortés in Honduras established a picket line in front of ICTSI’s Oregon’s operation at Terminal 6 in Portland.
SGTM workers held picket signs that read, “S.G.T.M. LOCKED OUT ICTSI” and stated that they are facing murder, military repression, death threats, and anti-union attacks. ILWU workers honored the picket line in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement.
An update on on changes to higher education and student protests in Italy as well as the government's legal repression of them.
At the end of 2010, there was widespread protest by students and university precarious workers against the reform of the university system in Italy. This reform took place during Silvio Berlusconi’s government, and was drafted by minister Mariastella Gelmini.
A short critical article on CBT and mindfulness proposing that we understand how the other side of responsibilisation is a kind of meditative detachment on the part of public institutions. This text is a brief look at what Institutional Mindfulness does.
These specialists seek to persuade us that our troubles stem, not from the world in which we live, but from our lack of insight into ourselves and from our failure to take responsibility for what we think, feel, and do.
- Paul Moloney, The Therapy Industry (2013, p.1),
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Here is a brief look at the Portland Solidarity Network and their Don't Shop Fubonn campaign.
Rush hour is being colored with the fury of workers scorned. The Portland Solidarity Network and the Portland IWW have now announced the Fridays of Fury at Fubonn, a weekly picket and rally to target the abuses and repressions taking place at the Fubonn Shopping Center.
On 5 February 2014 Ancona’s centre-left city council evicted refugees and homeless people from the Casa de Nialtri housing occupation. The Casa was a former infant school (disused for three years) which had been occupied on 22 December by people from a large network of grassroots groups and associations, together with a number of Italian and migrant homeless people.
The Casa – the first housing occupation in Ancona for more than two decades – provided a home to around 60 people.
An analysis of the contemporary situation in the United States, the conditions of the left, and a critique of promotion of activity unifying the left. It ends looking to another form of political action in today's environment.
The absence of any organized popular force acting on the political landscape is the defining feature of the previous decades in the United States.
Does digital propaganda produced by Western LGBT communities in solidarity with Russian queers expose an exploitative relationship?
“FORGED BY PRIDE” reads the slogan, embazoned in a mock-Cyrillic typeface across the foot of the poster, produced by Western activists to raise awareness of anti-gay laws in Russia . A URL directs the viewer to a website, pridepropaganda.com, and a readymade hashtag for social network use, #pridepropaganda.
A short of account of a low-level direct action - a collective refusal to undertake a certain aspect of work - that occurred at a small language school.
Like every child of the Reagan era, my teachers taught me how to steer clear of drugs: “Just Say No”.
Having spent all my working life in an economy largely defined by Reagan's neoliberal restructuring, I've come to appreciate the power of “Just Say No” - although perhaps not in the way old Ronnie intended.
This piece was written in 2004-2005 in the wake of a strike at a behavioral health facility. Through the immediate eyes of those experiences it grapples with a number of forces in working life we find ourselves up against today.
[i]This piece was written in 2004-2005 in the wake of a strike at a behavioral health facility. Through the immediate eyes of those experiences it grapples with a number of forces in working life we find ourselves up against today.
Exploration of emergence as a tool for revolutionaries, it's use by capitalist management theory, and the tensions within that create opportunities for counterpower.
A theme keeps popping up in the news of technologies, ideas, and predictions all based around theories of complex adaptive systems. We hear about things like self-organizing and self-learning computer programs, hive models of military organization, cloud networks, and decentralized intelligence.
This is a draft of some ideas I’m working through critiquing the role of identification with existing social divisions within capitalism as a transition to the abolition of such divisions. It’s in a rough state, and I’d appreciate constructive contributions.
The transformative potential of conflicts forms the basis for the beginning of any politics today. This point, fundamental and too often missed, gives us ground to stand on and take steps towards collective emancipation beyond the individual liberties and transgressions of mere enlightened thinking.
Liguria, with its beautiful coastline and wonderful mountainous hinterland, has been a place for people from Northern Europe and the north of Italy to take holidays since the 19th century. After the Second World War the region saw a boom in tourism and in industrial development with all the attendant consequences: illegal building activity, destruction of the environment, very large numbers of migrants and urbanisation of the rural population.
Today the region is being hit by de-industrialization and a difficult rebuilding of the economy. Local government is focusing on mass tourism (particularly cruise ships) and port development, seemingly ignoring the increasingly impoverished population which pays the environmental costs of the associated pollution.
As late as 2010, Thailand was the biggest exporter of rice, but in 2008 an attempt to corner the world rice market (much like the Hunt Brothers had tried to do with silver in the 1970s) failed miserably. Part of the current crisis in Thailand is due to Yingluck Shinawatra's role in this scheme.
Thai Effort to Control Rice Market Backfires
Payment Delays by Government Leave Farmers Deep in Debt
Wall Street Journal | Feb. 5, 2014
BAN NON SON, Thailand—Attempts to steer markets seldom end well.
Outsourced porters, cleaners and canteen staff at Ealing hospital are on 48 hour strike for higher wages.
We had a short visit at the Compass Medirest workers picket at Ealing Hospital. It's their second 48 hour strike, they plan further action in early March. They are 150 workers (GMB members), most of them working as porters, cleaners, housekeeping and in the canteen.
An extremely moving and heartfelt appeal from the families of four No Tav protesters, charged with terrorism and held in maximum security detention for allegedly damaging equipment on construction sites for the high speed rail link.
You’ve heard them talked about over the past few weeks. They are the people arrested on 9 December and charged (still to be proven) with attacking the TAV construction site in Chiomonte. A compressor was damaged in this attack and not a single person was injured.