Americas

The brutal repression of the teachers' protest in Ecudaor in December highlights the fact that the period of waiting on the part of the Ecuadorian masses is over. The movement of 2000 brought Lucio Gutierrez to power, but he has merely continued with IMF policies. Now Ecuador is poised for a new movement on a higher level, comparable to that of Bolivia.

The election of Carole James as leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party represents a victory for the status quo. James ran a campaign that concentrated on one thing and one thing only… Carole James. What we did not see were any commitments to actually do anything—no commitment to renationalize the Liberals’ sell-off of public assets, no commitment to reverse the Liberals’ regressive tax hikes (sales tax, medical plan fee, etc.) or negate the $2 billion tax cut to the rich, and definitely no commitment to do anything that would go beyond the position of the previous NDP government. This is of course intentional; the view of the party bureaucracy is that the BC NDP was

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Since 1993, more than 4,000 women - workers and students - have disappeared in Ciudad Juarez. According to Amnesty International, 327 of them have been found tortured, raped, mutilated and murdered, after having been kidnapped in the centre of the city at the end of their workday in the maquilas [assembly plants in the US border region], or leaving their computing academies, their bodies abandoned on vacant land.

"This government is not at all different from the government of Sanchez de Lozada. Carlos Mesa has not listened to the message of the El Alto Indian rebellion against the sale of gas" These are the words of one of the leaders of the Bolivian October insurrection, Roberto de la Cruz.  They sum up very clearly the real meaning of the bourgeois government of Carlos Mesa and the conclusions sections of the masses and most of the revolutionary vanguard are already drawing.

So far over 400 US soldiers have died in Iraq (during and after the "end" of the war). This is having a big impact on US public opinion. A further 1500 US soldiers have been injured in armed conflicts, and a staggering 9,341 have been flown out for various other health reasons, most importantly for mental stress. Fred Weston reports on the growing dissatisfaction in the US Army

There have been increasing rumours in the last few days of a fresh coup attempt in Venezuela. According to pro-government members of parliament, there is strong evidence that the CIA and the leaders of the counterrevolutionary opposition are preparing plans to try and overthrow President Chavez once again. In response, the government has put the army on full alert, however, in our opinion, the best way to counter any further coup attempts is by mobilising the workers and masses of Venezuela, the very people who defeated the first coup attempt back in April 2002.

The crisis of unemployment and poverty in America continues to worsen. Despite a nominal increase in jobs in recent weeks, what is not reported is what kind of jobs are being created. Manufacturing jobs, the backbone of any economy, continued to be lost for the 37th month in a row in October. For the vast majority of Americans, the days of high quality jobs with decent wages, security, and full health and retirement benefits are a thing of the past.  By John Peterson, from the US Socialist Appeal

In New York many firefighters did not receive protective gear during the first two weeks of the clean-up, which involved prolonged exposure to asbestos and the handling of thousands of body parts. 40 percent of the workers who cleaned up Ground Zero had no health insurance, and 75 percent have reported ongoing respiratory difficulties. By M.C. Perez, from the US Socialist Appeal

Many skeptics say that a socialist society could never exist in America. They say that Americans are greedy and unwilling to join together in common struggle. But US labour history is rich with examples of the heroism of the working class in their struggle for a better world. 

Just a few weeks ago, Bush, Rumsfeld, and co. seemed incapable of doing any wrong. The lightning charge across Iraq led to one of the quickest and most decisive military victories in the history of warfare. Here at home, things were looking up as well. A broad range of economic indicators seemed to indicate that this time for sure, the recovery the markets had been predicting for the past two years had arrived. How quickly things change!

A revolution is a situation where the masses take their destiny into their own hands. That is precisely what we are witnessing before our very eyes in Bolivia. On Friday 17, Sánchez de Lozada was driven from power. The demonstrators blockaded La Paz and other cities. Soviets were formed in El Alto. Bolivia, South America's poorest and most unstable country, had been paralysed since mid-September by anti-government protests.

Finally the mass uprising which has shaken Bolivia for nearly a month has managed to overthrow the gringo Goni as he is known. Faced with a mass mobilisation, which was growing stronger despite the brutal repression which caused more than 80 deaths, finally the US embassy withdrew support from their puppet. The masses must not fall for these manoeuvres. No support for the Mesa government. For a workers and peasants government.

After a day of mourning and of relative calm on Tuesday October 14, the revolutionary movement in Bolivia has continued to grow in strength, boldness, organisation and also to spread further. It is a classic revolutionary situation where elements of dual power now exist, with the masses controlling the streets and the President prisoner in his own residence.

The mass workers' and peasants' mobilisations against the selling off of the gas industry that has shaken Bolivia over the past period took on a clear insurrectionary character on Monday, October 13. The balance sheet of the clashes between the masses and the army is more than 50 dead and hundreds of wounded, and a government which is increasingly isolated and on the verge of being overthrown.

After the invasion of Iraq seemed to have run according to plan and without meeting any great resistance, the anti-war movement declined. Now it is beginning to pick up again. Among those actively campaigning in the USA for an end to the occupation of Iraq are the "Military Families Speak Out" (in which people who have relatives in the army are organized), and "Veterans For Peace". The mood in the USA is changing.

After 12 days the General Strike in Bolivia is still going on. the country is close to a standstill thanks to the road blockades organised by the peasant organisations. All the roads to the capital, La Paz, are under the control of the strikers. One of the most militant sections of the working class, the miners, have taken a leading role, keeping the level of militancy very high. Aníbal Montoya (El Militante-Argentina) analyses the situation.

Between August 9 and 11 in Oventic, Chiapas, the history of "Aguascalientes" as a rebel territory of the EZLN ended. This has made way for the establishment of civil administration in the areas where the EZLN has set up autonomous municipalities. It is a clear sign of the open intention of the EZLN leadership to go from being a military organization to being a local or regional political organization.