Americas

More than 50,000 people marched in Buenos Aires on Thursday, June 27 to the Plaza de Mayo to protest against the brutal police repression meted out to the piqueteros on the previous day, and especially the cold blooded murders of Maximiliano Costequi and Darío Santillán by the forces of the state.

After a week of protests and virtual uprising in the south of Peru, the government has backed down on its plans to privatise the water and electricity in the region.

On May 31, 26 peasants were ambushed and murdered in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. They belonged to the community of Santiago Xochiltepec, and the authorities initially blamed the massacre on intercommunity conflicts. However there have been allegations concerning the role of logging companies that operate illegally in the area and receive protection from state and paramilitary forces.

The anti-war mobilizations in Washington DC, San Francisco, and elsewhere were the first mass protests against government policy since September 11. Many groups were represented, but all of them had one thing in common - opposition to the so-called War on Terrorism. The anti-globalization, anti-war, and labor movements need to unite under a working-class leadership to fight for a socialist solution to the problems facing working people in the US and internationally.

Today marks the anniversary of the defeat of the coup that attempted to remove President Hugo Chavez from power in 2002. Within less than 48 hours, reaction was defeated by a magnificent movemenet of the Venezuelan masses. Here we reproduce the analysis of those events written by Ted Grant and Alan Woods published on April 14, 2002.

David Rey reports from Argentina on the current economic and political situation. The economic plight of the workers has got worse since the events of last December, and the initial euphoria has given way to a more sober attitude. The streets are still in the hands of the masses, whilst the representatives of the capitalist system keep their heads low to avoid retribution. But the movement remains as strong as ever. Duhalde is very weak, trapped between the demands of the IMF and those of the masses. As the situation worsens, Argentina is headed for another upsurge.

On March 30, 1982, in response to Argentina's deepening economic crisis, and the repression of General Galtieri's military-police dictatorship, the workers had taken to the streets of Buenos Aires. The regime was staring overthrow in the face. It responded by starting a war, one of the principal aims of which was to distract the attention of the masses.

"Raise Hell! Raise Hell!" came the repeated shouts of the assembled delegates in response to speeches calling for class action.

On February 23, 2002 an estimated fifty thousand people gathered on the lawn of the British Columbian Legislature to express their opposition to the right-wing BC Liberals. The Liberals have been consistently and systematically attacking the working class of British Columbia ever since their election last spring. They soared to victory on a platform that was a pack of lies and now the people of British Columbia are angry. Betrayed by the government, workers are demanding action.

Since day one of the "Klein Revolution" it seemed obvious that eventually something, someone, somewhere, would break. The unions were caught unawares and stood idly by as welfare and unemployment benefits were slashed. Soon public utilities were sold off and threats were levelled against our sacred healthcare. Teachers and nurses bought into "fiscal responsibility" and took pay cuts to help advance the assault against the institutions their unions and associations had fought hard to establish just 40 years ago. Now after ten, or twelve, or fifteen years of Tory rule (how long has it been anyway?), and continuous cuts to education and health, we can see the results of this fiscal

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The events of last December are a warning of what will happen in one country after another in the coming period. The Argentine revolution is a complete answer to all the faint-hearts, cowards, sceptics and cynics who doubted the ability of the working people to change society. It deserves the most careful study by all workers. As events unfold there will be periods of ebbs and flows, victories and defeats, before a decisive settlement is reached. But sooner or later, the question of power will be posed, and must be solved.

On September 11, 2001, our country - for just a moment - stopped functioning. In the wake of the attacks on lower Manhattan, amid the smoke, fires, stench, and rubble, those who were left breathing staggered to their feet, emerged from the subway, or sank to their knees, depending on their proximity to the World Trade Center. Across the river in New Jersey, everybody watched in disbelief as the city seemed to cave in on itself. The rest of the country was glued to their TV sets in shock and horror. It was in those few seconds after the second tower fell that New York City was silent for the first time.

At the weekend of February 16 and 17, thousands of workers, unemployed, and members of the popular assemblies, met in the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires for the National Assembly of Workers. This meeting is the highest point so far of the movement towards the creation of an alternative power of the workers and the masses in Argentina. The movement, which started with the revolutionary events of December 19 and 20, has advanced very rapidly not only in its organisational forms but also in the political conclusions that it has drawn. By Jordi Martorell, with a footnote by Alan Woods.

Dear comrades,
I am a sociology student and a supporter of Marxism-Leninism. With this very short letter I would like to explain the situation in Argentina to all revolutionary Marxist comrades around the world, to all those who are struggling against the exploitative capitalist system and who are following every turn in the events in my country.

The recent gathering of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre showed clearly how the anti-globalisation movement is becoming more and more dominated by career politicians, and groups and organisations that do not really represent the millions of youth who look to this movement for an alternative to the capitalist system. The capitalist class internationally is using a dual tactic. On the one hand, where they feel it to be necessary (as in Genoa) they use the most repressive and brutal methods to try to crush the movement. On the other hand they try to corrupt the movement and direct it away from radical anti-capitalist ideas.

We consider it our duty to attempt to understand the revolutionary process in Argentina and to learn from it, in order to apply the lessons to the revolutionary process in other countries. The views and experiences of the Argentine comrades are of great importance to us, and we hope that our views may in some way contribute to the clarification of the problems and challenges facing the Argentine revolution. The role of the Partido Obrero (Argentine Workers' Pary) in the process is obviously a significant element in the equation, and we follow it with great interest. On many points of the programme defended by the PO we find ourselves in agreement. However, we

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The revolutionary situation which opened up in Argentina with the insurrection of December 19 and 20, and which led to the overthrow of two governments in just one week, is far from over. All political analysts agree that this as one of the most turbulent periods in the country's history. The fundamental factor, which must be stressed, is the great leap forward in the consciousness of the masses. This has led them to begin a process, which daily grows wider and deeper, of active political participation at all levels, particularly through the formation of Popular Assemblies.

The Ontario Tories marched into office on a wave of popularity after the victory of the "Common Sense Revolution". Today, it is evident that their common sense was rather short sighted. Their solution to Ontario's problems was privatization and cuts in social spending. They've gone after our education, our water, our health care system, and a lot more. Now, they’re going after our power. The common sense of the PC is in line with that of those who deregulated Alberta and California's power. It didn't take that long for the people of these places to realize the true value of this kind of "common sense".