A good while back, I wrote a blog post about contract issues at the English language school I work at and the attempts of us teachers to organise ourselves. Now that everything has died down and I've had time to think about it, I thought I’d try and write up what happened.
A prisoner at Pontiac Correctional Centre, Mark Neiweem, has been sent into solitary confinement for possessing literature from the Anarchist Black Cross, and for writing essays on the prison industrial complex. Following a disciplinary hearing – at which he was denied a lawyer – he was given six months in solitary for possessing ‘gang related material’ (anarchist symbols), and for possessing ‘written materials material that presents a serious threat to the safety and security of persons or the facility.’
Last week Leonarda Dibrani, a 15 year old school girl, was dragged off a bus during a school trip and deported back to Kosovo by French authorities. The incident has brought fresh attention on the issue of immigration in France and has led around 12,000 students on to the streets to protest in support of Leonarda Dibrani, disrupting or closing over 170 schools across Paris, Marseille, Angers, and Grenoble. Many scuffles have broken out with the police as they have tried to dismantle makeshift barricades.
A protest against fracking in Eastern New Brunswick has turned violent after Canadian mounted police with assault rifles and camouflage uniforms turned up to enforce a court order to remove a barricade set up by the Elsipogtog and Mi'kmaq First Nations tribes (indigenous Canadians).They pepper sprayed dozens of people, used rubber bullets, sets dogs on people, and fired high powered hoses The protesters responded by throwing petrol bombs and setting fire to five police vehicles.
More than 2,000 longshore members of the International Longshoremen's Association walked off the job at the Port of Baltimore, the 12th largest in the U.S. by container volume. This crippled the import of high value commodities like BMW, Fiat and Mazda automobiles. The dispute is based on workers at the port refusing a coastwide contract -- covering ports from Maine to Texas.
The funeral of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who died last week aged 100, has been called-off due to violent clashes outside the church between anti-fascists and Nazi sympathisers. Priebke was serving a life sentence under house arrest at the time of his death for his role in the murder of 300 Italian boys in 1944. Despite local opposition to holding the funeral the government insisted that it be held. A strange Holocaust denying sect of the Catholic Church agreed to facilitate the funeral on the 70th anniversary of the round-up of Jews in Rome. The bastard is now likely to be cremated behind closed doors.
Following the murder last week of a young Russian by someone who may have been an immigrant, Moscow has been rocked by riots that escalated following a massive ‘anti-immigration’ protest. Nationalists attacked a food warehouse, destroying and stealing stock, and chanting ‘white power’ & ‘Russia for Russians’. After standing by and watching the attacks, the police moved in and arrested 1200 immigrants who had been attacked in and around the warehouse. Eye witnesses claim that the police did nothing and just watched the violence, appearing to be colluding with the attackers. By the end of the night 1600 people had been arrested so the police could ‘check their papers’.
On Tuesday morning over 600 school bus drivers in Boston took wildcat action. They are angry at the complete ineffectiveness of their trade union (USW) and at the union-busting city administration, and the management style of Veolia, the private company now running the buses. Following an unsuccessful attempt at gaining an injunction, the mayor arranged a city wide scabbing operation by the police. The predictable purge and victimisation by bosses and union bureaucrats has now begun.
Tommy Robinson has decided to ‘step down’ from his leadership of the EDL due to ‘extreme far-right elements’ (the membership to you and me). The several thousand boneheads who regularly turn out for EDL events are not about to change their views, so what lies ahead for the ‘street’ elements of the far-right, Robinson himself, and far-right in general?
Part two of what's turned into a very lengthy look at the US Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and its history of homophobia. This part focuses on the parties actions in regards to its own members who failed to toe the line.
Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around East Asia during September 2013 and related resources.