|Dan La Botz January 22, 2016|
2015 was another in a series of very bad years for Mexico. Mexican working people continued to experience in 2015 the difficulties of a stagnant economy, the violence of the drug war, repression of the labor and social movements, and the rule of corrupt political parties. Few workers had legitimate labor unions with which to resist employer and government policies, and fewer had the desire to engage in strikes. Yet some workers—teachers in southern Mexico, farm workers in Baja California, and maquiladora workers in Juarez—did courageously attempt to fight for their rights and for greater power. We begin this report with the drug wars that have so dominated Mexican life for the last decade.
|Dan La Botz January 12, 2016|
Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps. Radicals in America: The U.S. Left Since the Second World War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 355 pp. Photos. Bibliography. Index.
Howard Brick’s and Christopher Phelps’ Radicals in America, covering the period from 1939 to 2014, is a masterful narrative history of the left of our time, an account that integrates the experience of the post-war left into American political, economic, and social history, with an eye to the cultural context as well.
|Riad Azar December 9, 2015|
In this statement, socialist organizations from the Middle East to Europe to North America speak out against war, racism and repression.
WE FIGHT dictatorships, imperialist aggression and Daesh [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS]. We reject the politics of "national security," racism and austerity. It's time to mobilize!
|Dan La Botz November 20, 2015|
November 20 marks the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution of 1910‐1920. The party created by that event, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is in power today. Yet, over the last nine years 60,000 people have been killed and 25,000 forcibly disappeared in the drug wars, while more than half the population lives in poverty. Foreign investment pours into Mexico to take advantage of wages lower than China’s, while the country is controlled by a handful of billionaires. One has to wonder: What happened to the Mexican Revolution?
|Dan La Botz November 19, 2015|
Immanuel Ness. Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class. London: Pluto Press, 2016. 226 pages. Tables. Notes. Index. Paper $28.
Immanuel Ness, professor of Political Science at City University of New York and a prolific writer on labor, has written an important new book whose title, Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class, should, I think, have ended in a question mark. Manny, a friend and a colleague—who, when I have seen him lately, has been in a state of jetlag from his travels to centers of worker activism around the globe—argues that those interested in labor should direct their attention from the stagnant and declining labor movement of the Global North to the migrant and contract laborers in places like South Africa, India, and China who are building democratic, militant, rank-and-file movements from below—struggles that, Ness suggests, are laying the foundations of a new global labor movement.
|Jason Schulman September 11, 2015|
A development which no one expected now appears inevitable. Barring either otherwordly intervention or old-fashioned political dirty tricks, Jeremy Corbyn, long on the left wing of the British Labour Party, is slated to become that party's new leader.
And the rabidly pro-capitalist heirs of long-gone "New Labour" leader Tony Blair, as well as the traditional right wing of the Labour Party, are absolutely apoplectic.
|Lois Weiner September 9, 2015|
Members of the Washington Education Association (WEA), an NEA affiliate in Seattle, are on strike this morning. Picketing has begun outside schools though bargaining has resumed. The demands in this strike show the power of a teachers' union to use the contract to make schools what they should be for all kids. The ones that I think are most significant:
|Lois Weiner September 7, 2015|
This Labor Day, which sides are you on?
|Lois Weiner September 2, 2015|
The Education International (EI), the international confederation of teachers unions, held its seventh World Congress in Ottawa over the summer. Though most teachers don’t know this organization exists, and few people write about its activity, what it do
|Dan La Botz August 25, 2015|
Thousands of teachers in Mexico have gone on strike against the national government’s Education Reform Law, doing so in the face of the militarization and arrest of teacher activists in Oaxaca and firings of teachers who have missed work in other states. The Mexican government and state governments are clearly attempting to break the dissident teachers movement that has for forty years led the fight for union democracy and teacher power.
|Lois Weiner August 23, 2015|
Mary Compton, who edits the informative and unique website www.teachersolidarity.com, tracking struggles globally to defend public education, teaching, and teachers unions, gives us a strikingly different - and more hopeful - take on Oaxaca and teacher unionism in Mexico than a recent New Politics blog. Compton’s analysis is in
|Dan La Botz August 21, 2015|
Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary, was murdered seventy-five years ago today—on August 21, 1940--by Ramón Mercader, an agent of Joseph Stalin, Trotsky’s former comrade in the Communist Party and then the ruler of the Soviet Union. Stalin feared that Trotsky might organize a movement to overthrow the new ruling elite in the Soviet Union and that Trotsky’s followers might challenge the leading role of the parties of the Communist International active in working-class movements around the world. So Stalin had Trotsky murdered. The occasion of the anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination provides a moment to reflect on his significance both during his lifetime and for today.
|Dan La Botz August 20, 2015|
Mexican teachers are mobilizing once again —demonstrating by the tens of thousands—this time against anti-union reforms and the militarization of the state of Oaxaca by its governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo from the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Nine years after the 2006 teachers’ rebellion, Oaxaca is bracing for another potentially violent conflict.
|Dan La Botz August 13, 2015|
For the first time in decades a great debate about the priorities and the program of the American people is taking place not among small groups of leftists but in society at large. The debate between Sanders and Black Lives Matter—on social media, on TV and radio, in the newspapers, and on the street—is one of the most important discussions of our time and could if it is deepened help us all to find a way forward against both capitalism and racism. What appears to some only as conflict could lead to the construction of a new analysis and lay the basis for a new and broader social movement. We should all become involved in this debate and help to further it toward the common goal of a society of equality, democracy, and solidarity.
|Dan La Botz July 30, 2015|
Last night more than 100,000 people attended 3,500 meetings in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to watch a video-cast of Bernie Sanders and to begin to organize his on-the-ground campaign. Some of the meetings in various parts of the country had as many as 200 people in attendance. The meeting I attended in Crown Heights, Brooklyn was attended by 25 people, most in their 20s, with background working for social justice NGOs, in media, and in the arts, as well as a few graduate students.