If “Labor Party” makes you think of right-wing parties like the ALP or the British Labour Party, the Labor Party in the Philippines (PM from its name in Tagalog) will be a refreshing surprise. Unlike those parties, the PM is a home for revolutionaries and trade union leaders who put up a fight against their bosses. It is one of a number of socialist parties in the Philippines, the largest of which is the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The fires of the Arab uprising have spread to US-occupied Iraq. Sectarian divisions fostered by the US and its puppet Iraqi government, through death squads, sermons and propaganda, have been swept aside as Iraq’s working class unites to demand jobs, basic services and an end to corruption. From the southern city of Basra to the northern cities of Kurdistan, tens of thousands have come out in protest despite a brutal crackdown on demonstrations by the puppet government.
International Women’s Day is still much less known among Indonesian women than May Day is among Indonesian workers. This is not surprising because the struggle for the liberation of women developed only several years after reformasi - the movement that toppled the Suharto dictatorship in 1998. Then there was a mushrooming of different kinds of women’s organisations, communities, non-government organisations (NGOs), research institutions and legal aid that openly advocated women’s social and political rights.
The gruesome murder of three members of the Ahmadiyah religious sect by an Islamist mob has left Indonesia’s image of pluralism and religious tolerance in tatters. On February 6, a mob of 1500 people attacked 21 Ahmadiyah members in Cikeusik, a village in Banten province in Java, killing three and seriously wounding five others. Around 30 police officers were present but did little to stop the attack. An amateur video posted on YouTube shows the gruesome beating of the men with wooden sticks, hoes and machetes.
The largest demonstration against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s drive to smash public workers’ unions happened soon after he and Republican legislators illegally pushed through legislation that virtually outlaws collective bargaining by these unions.
US lawyer Leonard Weinglass, who represented Antonio Guerrero (one of the five Cubans incarcerated in US jails) died Wednesday, March 23, in New York after he did not recover from a cancer surgery, cubadebate reported.
The events of the last weeks are one of those historical moments when the lessons of many decades can be telescoped into a few brief moments and seemingly minor occurrences can take on immense significance. The entry of millions of Egyptians onto the political stage has graphically illuminated the real processes that underlie the politics of the Middle East. It has laid bare the long-standing complicity of the US and other world powers with the worst possible regimes, revealed the empty and hypocritical rhetoric of United States President Barack Obama and other leaders, exposed the craven capitulation of all the Arab regimes, and demonstrated the real alliances between these regimes, Israel and the USA. These are political lessons that will long be remembered.
The story of women in Indonesia is inseparable from the development of the Indonesian nation itself. Indonesia was swept up in the global wave of anti-colonial national liberation movements in the mid-20th century, declaring its independence in 1945 after almost 350 years of Dutch colonial rule. The key leader of Indonesia’s national liberation struggle, Sukarno, went on to became the country’s first president.
The Arab upsurge has left Washington reeling, scrambling to maintain its control of the region as best it can. The contradictory statements coming out of the White House, State Department and the US military as the events in Egypt unfolded illustrate the imperialists’ dilemma.
As Colonel Muammar Gaddafi desperately clung to power and the people of Libya faced the most brutal battle yet in the wave of uprisings spreading through the Arab world, there were suddenly calls from the West for some form of intervention to “protect” the Libyan people - who had already demonstrated their ability to protect themselves.