|Dan La Botz June 24, 2016|
There are 500 delegates from more than 100 political organizations in the Americas here at the São Paolo Forum being held this year in San Salvador. Yesterday at the opening session I found myself seated next to Julio Molina, a delegate from the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) of the host country, El Salvdor. We introduced ourselves and when the session ended went out to talk about our mutual interest in history.
|Lois Weiner June 24, 2016|
To show support for Mexico's teachers, demonstrations are being held internationally, as they are in the U.S. In today's blog about the situation in Mexico, Mary Compton provides background to the current repression and information about how readers can support the teachers.
|Dan La Botz June 23, 2016|
There were demonstrations yesterday at Mexican Consuls in several American cities protesting the Mexican government’s violent repression of teacher protests in Oaxaca. Many of the protests also criticized the U.S. government for supply the Mexican government with military equipment being used in military and police actions against the teachers.
There were protests in New York, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles among other cities. The one pictured here, which grew to a couple of hundred people, took place in Manhattan at the Mexican Consul.
|Dan La Botz June 21, 2016|
The mood among the 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters meeting in Chicago McCormick Place was improbably optimistic this past weekend, with many of the speakers proclaiming to cheering crowds that the movement has been victorious—even though Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party has received a majority of the popular votes and a majority of elected delegates and super-delegates, as well as the endorsements of President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
That disjuncture—between the Sanders’ movement’s belief that we have achieved something quite important and Clinton’s clear victory in the primary—provides the contradictory context for this conference of progressives, radicals, and socialists searching for the way to the future, I among them.
|Dan La Botz June 15, 2016|
Elliott Liu. Maoism and the Chinese Revolution: A Critical Introduction. Oakland: PM Press, 2016. 148 pages. Bibliography. Notes. Photos. Tables.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, Maoism became the dominant political tendency not only in China but also in Western Europe and the United States, while it also influenced developments in Asia, Latin America and Africa. In the United States thousands of young activists rallied to Maoism, a political theory and practice that appeared at the time to be a democratic alternative to the bureaucratic Communism of the Soviet Union.
|Dan La Botz June 15, 2016|
For a year now presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been the hope of millions in the United States, people who were disgusted with the role of the banks and corporations in politics, angered by the increasing inequality in society, appalled by our country’s racial injustice, and opposed to a foreign policy based on military intervention. Throughout the nation millions rallied to Sanders’ slogans calling or a fight against the “billionaire class” and for a political revolution. Taking up the demands and embracing the spirit of Occupy Wall Street first and then of Black Lives Matter, the Sanders campaign has been an unprecedented radical, populist movement, rejecting Wall Street and Washington and suggesting a more democratic, egalitarian, and peaceful future.
|Dan La Botz June 5, 2016|
After Muhammad Ali refused induction--we had the champ in our corner.
When in June of 1963 I graduated from Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, just south of San Diego, California, I went to my local Selective Service Board—the draft board—and registered as a conscientious objector. My paternal grandfather, a Dutch immigrant and baker, was a socialist pacifist and his four sons had registered as conscientious objectors (C.O.s) in World War II and two of them—my father Herb and my uncle Bert—had been drafted and had done what was called alternative service (the alternative to serving in the military) at a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Big Flats, near Elmira, New York.
|Dan La Botz June 3, 2016|
Douglas Schoen, a former advistor to Bill Clinton, predicts in a column in the Wall Street Journal that Hillary Clinton may not be her party’s nominee. He suggests that if Sanders wins California, which he may well do, Clinton, with her legal problems and negative ratings in the polls, may be dumped and the convention could choose Vice-President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Schoen says in a Fox News interview that Biden is “chomping at the bit.”
This scenario may be unikely, in a year when politics has brought us many unlikely developents, but it's worth thinking through. Certainly Sanders' supporters should think about how they would react to such a development.
|Dan La Botz May 31, 2016|
The National Coordinating Committee (la CNTE) and allied dissident groups in the Mexican Teachers Union (el SNTE) declared a general, indefinite strike on May 16. Tens of thousands of teachers left their classrooms, shutting down many schools in four states: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán. There have also been protests in the State of Morelos and the State of Mexico.
|Dan La Botz May 15, 2016|
Luiz Bernardo Pericás, Caio Prado Júnior uma biografia política. Sao Paulo, 2016. 484 pp. Photos. Illustrations. Acronyms. Chonology. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Available only in Portuguese at this time.
Pericás’ Caio Prado is a well researched, well documented biography of Caio Prado, the renowned and important Brazilian historian. This biography is distinguished by the author’s concern to present Prado not only as a Marxist intellectual but also as a member of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) and a committed political activist--and to show the relationship between the two. The author argues that Prado’s politics were integral to his work as a historian.
|Dan La Botz May 11, 2016|
Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) will very likely be impeached today, leading to her immediate, temporary removal from office and to a trial that could remove her permanently. Waldir Maranhao, the acting speaker of the lower house, had annulled the impeachment process just a couple of days ago, but then Renan Calheiros, the head of the Senate, said that he would proceed with the impeachment anyway, and it is going forward. This impeachment, which the left calls a kind of golpe de estado or coup d’état could be the end of Dilma’s presidency and the beginning of a new rightwing government that will impose greater austerity and do so by repressing the social movements.
|Dan La Botz May 10, 2016|
What can we in the United States learn from the left in Europe and Brazil?
During the last two weeks of April I visited three European countries speaking about Bernie Sanders and the American elections. I spoke in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and in French-speaking Switzerland, while in May I spoke in four Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro, the Rio suburb of Niteroi, Vitoria, and Fortaleza. In Paris I spoke to Ensemble, part of the Front de Gauche, in the suburb of Bagnolet. In Madrid and Barcelona, I spoke at meetings organized by the journal Viento Sur which is linked to Anticapitalistas, the leftwing of Podemos. In Switzerland, I spoke at the Spring University of solidaritiéS Suisse, an independent, multi-tendency left wing group.
|Dan La Botz May 9, 2016|
Teachers in the city of Rio de Janeiro, and in the state of the same name, have been on strike for more than two months now. More than a month ago students at one high school occupied their school in support. The student occupation spread to other schools and are there are now 76 schools occupied throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro and as many as twenty in other states to which the movement has spread. Students have been joined by parents and teachers and by volunteers from left political parties and individuals.
|Dan La Botz May 3, 2016|
I was invited to speak here in Rio de Janeiro by the Socialism and Freedom Party (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade, PSOL) and spoke last night to an enthusiastic and very well informed crowd of about 200 students at the university (UFRJ). I also sat down to talk with PSOL leaders and activists here about the local political situation and the social movements. So here are my impression, though they are just impressions of the political situation, of the teachers' strike, and of the school occupations.
|Lois Weiner May 1, 2016|
(These are my remarks at an evening panel of what its organizers referred to as a "non-conference" so as to convey the need for participants to interact with one another's ideas, rather than present papers. Sessions spanned two full days. The two evening sessions were videotaped. When they are made available I will post them on New Politics.)