Americas

Today marks the tenth consecutive day of protests calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Rosselló. Hundreds of thousands have filled the streets of San Juan and surrounded La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion. The spark for the protests was a leaked Telegram chat that revealed large-scale government corruption as well as the most abhorrent language and disgusting jokes, revealing the complete disdain of the government towards the people of Puerto Rico.

In recent months, we have witnessed a noticeable deceleration of inflation. In February and March, we saw the prices of many goods and services remaining relatively stagnant, or even falling briefly. The behaviour of prices in June has been similar, coinciding with a seasonal period where several items (such as cheese, various vegetables, and some fruits) tend to be produced in greater quantity than during the rest of the year.

Sheltered in the darkness of the night, in the early hours of 28 June 2009, hundreds of soldiers entered the presidential residence and captured José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, the legitimately elected president of Honduras. While still in his pyjamas, he was forcibly exiled to Costa Rica. A letter by Zelaya was issued, in which he resigned the presidency in order to avoid further bloodshed. The ousted president denied the letter was his.

On the weekend of June 29-30, Fightback held its first-ever Marxist Summer School in Edmonton, Alberta. Mirroring our annual Marxist Winter School in Montreal, close to 60 people attended the school, making this the largest Marxist gathering in Alberta in recent memory. People attended not just from Alberta, but many came all the way from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and the United States. The resounding success of this inaugural Marxist school proves that there’s a genuine thirst for revolutionary ideas in Alberta.

On Monday, the Chilean teacher's strike entered its fifth week. More than 70 percent of the teachers voted to reject the latest government offer and want to continue the national strike indefinitely. The strike has involved hundreds of thousands throughout the country, with particularly active participation in the regions. For her part, the education minister Marcela Cubillos has shown great arrogance, and only last week agreed to dialogue amidst controversy over police brutality. After large marches of tens of thousands in the past weeks marked a milestone in the teacher’s movement, the high point was the cacerolazo (banging on pots and pans as a political protest) of the patipelados

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The military has entered the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) to brutally repress students who protested against the illegitimate government of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH). At least eight students have been injured. This attack comes a few days after a group of US Marines entered the Central American country, evidencing the support of US imperialism for this coup government. The authorities of the university, similarly, have been accomplices of the coup government, but the repression has taken shape in such a brutal way that even the University Council has had to condemn it.

The class struggle is intensifying in Honduras as the dictatorship increases the level of repression. Just yesterday, our comrades on the ground were witnesses to an attack on the main university campus of UNAH (National Autonomous University of Honduras) in the capital of Tegucigalpa. Since the armed police have refused to repress the people, the military was sent into the university and fired live rounds on unarmed students, injuring four. As the comrades state, this is a clear violation of “the university’s autonomy and an attempt against the lives of the

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In Honduras, a mass movement is reaching insurrectionary proportions and threatens to bring down the illegitimate government of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH). Protests against planned privatisation of public healthcare and education, which began at the end of May, have recently been escalating. The past week in Honduras has seen a significant broadening of the protest movement out from the health professionals’ and teachers’ trade unions to the wider public.

In a video recorded yesterday (20 June), Hamid Alizadeh, writer for In Defence of Marxism, discusses the rising tensions between the USA and Iran, with Washington accusing the Tehran regime (amongst other things) of attacking two oil tankers. It is clear that the bellicose Trump administration, along with their reactionary allies in the Middle East, are looking to thwart the power and influence of Iran in the region, in order to assert their own imperialist interests.

The general strike of 14 June saw the participation of important sectors of the working class that have a tradition of organisation, such as metallurgical workers, chemical workers, oil workers, bank employees, public servants, etc. But the strike could have been stronger, with even larger demonstrations, if the union leadership had actually mobilised their base.

Millions participated in the general strike in Brazil on 14 June, with demonstrations in 380 cities across the country. The strike had been called to reject the proposed counter-reform of the pension system by the Bolsonaro government, but also reflected opposition to education cuts, which had already brought millions onto the streets on 15 and 30 May.

On 12 June, the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid certified the request from the US to extradite Julian Assange for allegations of hacking and sharing classified American government documents. We wholeheartedly oppose his extradition and defend Assange’s freedom of speech.

Yesterday, The Intercept Brazil news site published a number of correspondences between former judge Sergio Moro, and the Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) prosecutors, led by Federal Public Ministry of Brazil attorney, Deltan Dallagnol. The Operation Car Wash corruption case led to the arrest and imprisonment of (among others) former PT president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (“Lula”), who was convicted without evidence. These correspondences reveal the political objectives behind this operation, which included action to organise fraud in the 2018 elections.

The vast expanse of the United States makes it difficult for any group to organise national events. But long drives and expensive flights could not deter nearly 100 comrades and contacts from attending this year’s National School, the US IMT’s largest event to date. Comrades from 18 US states, a delegation from Edmonton, Canada, and Fred Weston from the UK met in Pittsburgh to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Third (Communist) International, the most impressive revolutionary organisation humanity has ever known.

Alan Woods, editor of In Defence of Marxism, comments on President Trump's recent state visit to Britain. With Theresa May stepping down, Tory leadership contenders have made a lot of noise about how Britain will 'reclaim sovereignty' and 'take back control' after Brexit. But the events surrounding Trump's visit expose this as a complete charade. Far from achieving a favourable trade deal with the USA, the Tory government is preparing the ground for American big business to sweep in and pick at whatever scraps are left of the British economy after Brexit.

We have now reached and exceeded the $1,300 target of our campaign to raise money for the El Salvadoran comrades. In total, we raised $2,700. This, together with the fundraising effort the comrades have made themselves, will mean that they will be able to purchase the duplicator they need. It will be an important step forward for the work of spreading Marxism in El Salvador in the coming years.

From May to August of 1934, Minneapolis was rocked by a strike that would forever change the course of U.S. labour history. This was the strike of Teamsters Local 574, a union led by Trotskyists. Many of the best techniques used by organised labour today find their origins in the Minneapolis Strike, in particular the flying picket. However, the strike's greatest conquest was in laying the foundations for industrial unionism in North America, leading to the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the following years. Above all, the Minneapolis Strike demonstrated the role played by the young forces of American Trotskyism in obtaining gains for workers.

This article, first published in Socialist Revolution (US magazine of the IMT), argues that the historical pendulum is swinging towards an eventual resurgence of the labour movement. What needs to be in place for a future revolution to succeed? What kind of organisation and programme can lead the working class to victory?

More than 160 revolutionaries gathered in Toronto, May 18-20 for the 19th congress of Fightback and La Riposte Socialiste, the supporters of the International Marxist Tendency in Canada. The three-day congress brought attendees from Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Victoria, Waterloo, Hamilton, Ottawa, Oshawa, as well as international guests from Britain, Sweden and the United States.