International Weekly Monitor 09 September 2022

Contents

  1. SACP stands in solidarity with the Cuban people, condemns the imperialist regime of the United States for maintaining and extending its imperialist repression
  2. Churches ask to remove Cuba from list of sponsorship of terror
  3. UNESCO, ECLAC, UNICEF to acknowledge Cuba’s educational breakthroughs
  4. Venezuela: Solidarity With Russia After Embassy Attack
  5. The State Does Not Exist to Please Big Businessmen: Lula
  6. Bolsonaro Sentenced for Genocide by Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal
  7. Suppression of students’ voices continues in Swaziland as police crush peaceful protest
  8. East and Horn of Africa Epicenter of Forced Migration - IOM
  9. Africa: WMO - Climate Change in Africa Can Destabilize 'Countries and Entire Regions'
  10. Mozambique: The Many Roots of Mozambique's Deadly Insurgency
  11. Russia does not object to Algeria joining BRICS
  12. Iran calls on Arab League to focus on Israel's crimes not on Tehran
  13. Palestinian official slams 'daily' Israeli incursions into West Bank
  14. Queen Elizabeth II dies, Buckingham Palace announces
  15. Israel army to hold international conference with participation of Arab army chiefs
  16. Cyprus: Massive mobilization for the minimum wage decided the Extraordinary Congress of PEO
  17. Workers Speak Out as UPS Continues Retaliation against Union Activists
  18. Workers Speak Out as UPS Continues Retaliation against Union Activists

SACP stands in solidarity with the Cuban people, condemns the imperialist regime of the United States for maintaining and extending its imperialist repression

6 September 2022

The South African Communist Party (SACP) reiterates its solidarity with the people of Cuba and their government in defence of their national sovereignty and freedom against imperialist aggression by the United States. As part of building a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor, the SACP will continue to campaign against imperialist aggression and strengthen international solidarity with the Cuban people, and the Venezuelan people, as they continue decisively to assert their sovereignty and in the fight against imperialism.

The SACP strongly condemns the latest acts of imperialist aggression by the United States president, Joe Biden, against the people of Cuba. Biden has extended the application of the so-called “Trading with the Enemy Act” against Cuba. Through this draconian “law”, the imperialist regime of the United States aims to deepen its illegal economic and financial blockade against Cuba. This criminal blockade has overwhelmingly been condemned by the United Nations for decades, year in, year out.

The draconian law gives the United States president unfettered powers to restrict trade with countries that he considers “hostile” and opens the possibility of applying economic sanctions. It gives the president of that regime the power to employ economic aggression against those nations brave enough to assert their sovereignty and freedom.

By this latest act, Biden has once exposed himself as a hypocrite and a big liar. He campaigned to be the president of the United States with a promise that he will normalise relations with Cuba. Biden’s actions against Cuba are a complete volteface, the absolute opposite, more imperialist oppression of the Cuban people.

Despite the over six-decades-old blockade of Cuba by the United States regime, the people of Cuba have continuously defended their country and created human development systems such as its healthcare and education systems that are the envy of the world. Cuba has shown to the world that socialism pushes back capitalist barbarity, putting people before profits.

The SACP is calling on the South African government, as well as on the BRICS cooperation and other governments, to deepen trade and investment ties with Cuba, and to reject the draconian measures imposed on Cuba by the United States. The imperialist regime of the United States is against the people of Cuba exercising their sovereignty through their government, especially the development of their chosen path of socialism. This oppression of one state, Cuba, by another, the United States, is not only against Cuba. It has a far-reaching extraterritorial impact, against other countries deciding their own development path outside the dog-eat-dog system of capitalist barbarity that the United States imposes through its policy of imperialism, including but not limited to economic blockades, sanctions and militarism—with military bases in other countries and continents.

ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY

Cuba: America is immoral to keep it on its black list

8 September 2022

UNITED NATIONS ( Associated Press) – Cuba’s deputy secretary of state has accused US President Joe Biden’s administration of acting immoral, illegitimate and unjust by placing Cuba on a list of countries that promote terrorism The state has been a victim of terrorism. Washington for more than 60 years.

Carlos Fernández de Cosio said in an interview with the Associated Press that placing Cuba on the State Department’s blacklist along with North Korea, Iran and Syria “is an act of punishing Cuba with the common objective of trying not to make Cuba the same.” The easy way out: make Cuba a failed state”.

“Unfortunately, the United States pays no price for doing something that is illegitimate, unstable, and immoral,” he said. “Even after talking to government officials, they see no reason why Cuba should be on the list. They claim that it is politically difficult for them,” the official said in English.

The United States imposed economic sanctions on Cuba in 1960, following a revolution led by Fidel Castro and the nationalization of assets belonging to American corporations and citizens.

Removing Cuba from the blacklist was one of the major foreign policy achievements of then-President Barack Obama in his quest to improve relations with the Caribbean island, an effort supported by Biden as his vice president.

Days before Biden took office, then-President Donald Trump’s administration imposed new sanctions on Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” During his campaign, Biden promised to renew ties with the communist-ruled island, but made no move in that direction.

Fernandez de Cosio said the “excuse” given by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the presence of representatives of Colombia’s last guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army, in Cuba. He said Cuba did not invite him, but responded to a request by the Colombian government to hold peace talks with the group in Havana.

Reference


Churches ask to remove Cuba from list of sponsorship of terror

8 September 2022

“We ask that Cuba be removed from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism and that the churches be accompanied as prophetic voices of peace, hope, cooperation and mutual respect,” says the initiative presented by the Presbyterian Church of Cuba, supported by the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and the United States and Canada.

The resolution includes requests for the elimination of international sanctions imposed on Cuba -such as the economic, commercial and financial blockade by the United States-, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, and demands support for the implementation, design and financing of projects in favor of peace in Colombia.

The document presented at the 11th Assembly of this grouping of churches, the largest in the world, which speaks with moral and ethical authority in solidarity for peace and justice, emphasizes that such international sanctions affect human rights and the dignity of peoples, said Ferguson.

From Germany where the meeting is taking place, in statements via whatsapp to Prensa Latina, the reverend explained that the resolution presented was supported by all and was part of a larger movement against international sanctions.

In other aspects, through this initiative, the member churches of the World Council community are invited to reflect and debate in their institutions and among themselves on Christian principles and perspectives regarding the doctrine of nuclear deterrence.

It also urges all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, especially those states under the protection of a nuclear umbrella and the nuclear weapon states that are the source of this global threat.

The resolution calls for full compliance with commitments under other disarmament conventions and advocates world peace.

Reference


UNESCO, ECLAC, UNICEF to acknowledge Cuba’s educational breakthroughs

8 September 2022

The document entitled ¨The Crossroads of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean¨ addresses the region’s successes and challenges in meeting the fourth sustainable development goal of the 2030 Agenda, which seeks to ensure inclusion, equity and quality.

According to the report, Cuba is the only country that exceeds 90% in gross enrollment rate in early childhood education development programs.

In this regard, it stressed Cuba is recognized worldwide for its universal family-oriented program Educate Your Child.

It also highlighted Cuba´s high professionalism rating and also the launching of a national assessment of the impact of job training for pre-primary educators.

Regarding the professional development, it reflected the access to advanced master’s and doctoral training programs, “which allows professors to assume coordinating functions of continuous teaching training or pedagogical research”.

The report reflected the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in the educational sector, and devoted room to the vaccination, as Chile and Cuba are the only two nations with over 85% of their population fully vaccinated.

Reference


Venezuela: Solidarity With Russia After Embassy Attack

5 September 2022

The Government of Venezuela expressed solidarity with Russia for the attack registered on Monday near its embassy in Afghanistan, where two diplomatic mission employees were killed.

"The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expresses to the Government of the Russian Federation its most sincere condolences for the numerous dead and wounded following the terrorist attack perpetrated on September 5, 2022, employing a suicide attack with explosives near the embassy of the Russian Federation in the city of Kabul, in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," says a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

The administration of Nicolás Maduro rejected this act of "terrorism" and the acts of violence.

"Venezuela expresses its deepest solidarity to the families of the victims of this regrettable event and wishes a prompt and full recovery to the injured, while categorically rejecting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and strongly condemns this and any other act of violence whose purpose is to cause terror among the population," the text highlights.

An explosion occurred on September 5 near the consular section of the Russian embassy in Kabul.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, two employees of the Moscow diplomatic mission were killed.

The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, said that measures have already been taken to strengthen the security of the embassy, in particular with the assistance of the de facto Afghan authorities.

Reference


The State Does Not Exist to Please Big Businessmen: Lula

4 September 2022

“The government exists to give people a chance because no one chooses to be poor," the Brazilian Workers' Party presidential candidate said.

At a meeting in Sao Luis in the state of Maranhao, Brazilian presidential candidate Lula da Silva told women working in coconut crafts that "no one chooses to be poor."

“The government does not exist to please big bankers, businessmen, or landowners. It exists to give people a chance because no one chooses to be poor. I don't want to take anything away from anyone, but I want everyone to have the right to the minimum,” he said.

"They don't know how the poor in this country live. They only remember the poor at elections," the Workers' Party leader said, making an implicit allusion to Brazilian right-wing candidates

Lula da Silva ratified that if he is elected as president, he will set institutions to protect Indigenous peoples, women, and fishermen, pointing out that his administration will be focused on favoring gender equity and environmental protection.

"We want to involve all social movements to create something serious and show the world that we are going to take care of our Indigenous peoples and forests," he stressed.

On Saturday night, Lula participated in an open-air meeting, where thousands of people gathered to listen to him. "It was beautiful to see Sao Luis full of hope! Thank you very much, people of Maranhao. Until next time!," he said.

According to the latest survey published by Datafolha on Thursday, Lula continues to lead preferences with 45 percent of the voting intentions, while the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro fails to exceed 32 percent.

Reference


Bolsonaro Sentenced for Genocide by Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal

1 September 2022

Brazil's Permanent Peoples' Tribunal sentenced Jair Bolsonaro for crimes against humanity concerning his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is an instance of symbolic justice that reveals the president's responsibility for the deaths caused in the country by COVID-19, particularly those of health professionals and indigenous and Afro-descendant populations.

Argentina's former Supreme Court of Justice member, Eugenio Zaffaroni, exposed the correlation between Jair Bolsonaro's speech and the crimes against Human Rights in Brazil, the core of the accusation.

On the excessive mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zaffaroni said, "it cannot be considered that this malice was eventual." There was intentionality on the part of Jair Bolsonaro behind the deaths during the pandemic, Zaffaroni said.

The official said that Bolsonaro's decision to reject prevention, isolation, and vaccination constitutes a crime against humanity, besides having urged violence.

According to Zaffaroni, there was evidence of genocide for the "drop by drop" massacres against the native peoples. The Argentine judge recommended that the International Criminal Court analyze the complaints in The Hague.

The legal advisor of the Association of Indigenous Peoples, Mauricio Terena, said: "We leave here and go to The Hague; we are already in The Hague," supporting the proposal for an international accusation.

For his part, Douglas Belchior of the Black Coalition said that in addition to being judged by the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, Bolsonaro should also be considered at the ballot box in October, referring to the presidential elections.

"This court is trying Bolsonaro, but he must also be tried at the polls in October," Douglas Belchior in the Permanent Court of Peoples held the Brazilian president responsible for crimes against humanity.

Brazil has reported 34 429 853 infections and 683 365 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. It is the fourth country in the world after U.S., India, and France in terms of infections, and the second in terms of deaths, after the U.S.

Reference


Suppression of students’ voices continues in Swaziland as police crush peaceful protest

8 September 2022

On Wednesday 7 September 2022, an armed police battalion violently crushed a peaceful protest action by students from the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) in the capital city, Mbabane.

The police had camped at the university premises following the students’ resolution to protest over various demands, including the demands for face-to-face learning and disbursement of students’ allowances as part of the right to free education campaign.

Mswati, who rules Swaziland as an absolute monarch, in his desperation to cling to power, has vowed to violently crush all protests in the country.

A student at LUCT, Buhle Dlamini, said, "We found armed police officers around the university as early as around 8am. The private security guards, together with the armed police officers, closed the university’s main gate. They locked out those who wanted to enter, while locking in those who wanted to leave the university premises.”

Students on both sides of the gate demanded that the police open the gate.

“We waited impatiently by the gate until one police officer started issuing threats and arrogantly commanded that we leave the school gate immediately," continued Buhle.

After a few minutes, another group of armed police officers arrived to back up the first group who were already shivering in fear of the students’ anger.

Police then started firing teargas towards students at the gate and those inside campus.

The police then targeted six members of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) who were on their way back to their respective houses, accusing them of instigating the students’ protest.

The police thereafter apprehended two CPS members and detained them at the Mbabane Police Station, releasing them at around 4:30 pm after intense interrogation.

CPS Member Mhlojobe Mtsetfwa who was part of the detained comrades said, "The police held us, assaulted us with batons and with the buts of their guns. We thus sustained injuries due to the police brutality.”

The police later released them without charge.

Among the students’ demands was the call for the lifting of suspension for students who had been dragged through the university’s one-sided disciplinary process.

The students also demanded the appointment of a new director for the university. On this demand, one student who preferred to remain anonymous said, “Tfobile Gumedze, the current Director, has failed dismally, and she does not place the interests of the students as her top priority.”

Students have also complained about the inadequate security in the university campus. They thus demand the change of the private security company that is enjoying the tender to secure their campus.

Despite the attack by the police, the students remain upbeat about the struggle for freedom in Swaziland and have vowed to continue organising themselves and inspiring the nation in that regard.

The “Democracy Now” campaign, first launched by the CPS in 2019, continues to gain ground across the country as the people have become resolute in the demand for total freedom.

CPS PRESS SERVICES


East and Horn of Africa Epicenter of Forced Migration - IOM

8 September 2022

13.2 million people were forcibly displaced in the East and Horn of Africa last year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa Muhammed Abdiker said there is a need to invest "in climate resilience, conflict resolution and rebuilding economies to restore the livelihoods of vulnerable civilians."

Abdiker's remarks came on the occasion of the virtual launch of IOM's "A Region on the Move 2021" report in Kenya's capital Nairobi.

The report says 13.2 million people were forcibly displaced in East and Horn of Africa last year, of whom 9.6 million were internally displaced and 3.6 million were refugees and asylum seekers.

It also warns about vulnerable demographic groups: women, children and youth, noting that conflict, insecurity, climate stress, poverty, unemployment and pandemic-related shocks fuel their forced migration.

According to the report, human trafficking has increased in the Horn of Africa region. Poor policing at border points and weak mitigation measures are factors driving this issue.

The IOM Regional Director said that this forced migration crisis requires actions by governments in the region aimed at grassroots cohesion promotion and investment in climate adaptation and sustainable livelihoods for subsistence farmers and nomads.

Likewise, the Head of IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Center, Marina Manke, called on governments in the region on developing policy and regulatory frameworks aimed at transforming human mobility in a way that promotes peace, cohesion, and economic sustainability.

Reference


Africa: WMO - Climate Change in Africa Can Destabilize 'Countries and Entire Regions'

8 September 2022

The State of the Climate in Africa 2021 reveals that rainfall patterns are disrupted, glaciers are disappearing and key lakes are shrinking.

And rising water demand, combined with limited and unpredictable supplies, threatens to aggravate conflict and displacement.

“The worsening crisis and looming famine in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa shows how climate change can exacerbate water shocks, threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and destabiliizing communities, countries and entire regions,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

Temperature trends

The report shows how extreme weather and climate change are undermining human health and safety, food and water security, and socio-economic development.

While Africa accounts for only about two to three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it suffers disproportionately from it.

With a special focus on water, The State of the Climate reveals that high water stress is estimated to affect about 250 million people on the continent and displace up to 700 million individuals by 2030.

Four out of five African countries are unlikely to have sustainably managed water resources by 2030.

“Africa’s climate has warmed more than the global average since pre-industrial time,” warned Mr. Taalas, noting that the sea level rise along African coastlines is faster than the global mean.

He observed that that this is contributing to increases in the frequency and severity of coastal flooding and erosion, and salinity in low-lying cities.

“Changes in continental water bodies have major impacts on the agriculture sector, ecosystems, biodiversity,” said the WMO chief.

Making changes

Currently only 40 per cent of the African population has access to early warning systems against extreme weather and climate change impacts.

At the request of Secretary-General António Guterres, WMO is spearheading a campaign to ensure universal access to early warnings in the next five years.

Meanwhile, climate action is gaining momentum.

More than 40 African States have revised their national climate plans to make them more ambitious and add greater commitments to climate adaptation and mitigation.

The State of the Climate report makes a number of recommendations, including to strengthen early warning systems, increase transboundary cooperation, data exchange and knowledge sharing.

It underscores that the need for more investment in adaptation is crucial, as is a concerted drive towards more integrated water resource management.

The report was launched with an accompanying digital story map at a Ministerial Meeting on Integrated Early Warning and Early Action System initiative in Maputo, Mozambique.

Concerning observations

  • The year 2021 was either the third or fourth warmest years on record for Africa.
  • By 2030, 108-116 million people in Africa are expected to be exposed to sea level rise risk.
  • Drought in East Africa has worsened following consecutive failed rainy seasons combined with heightened conflict, related population displacement, and COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Many parts of Northern Africa experienced extreme heat, which was accompanied by wildfires.
  • Over the past 50 years, drought-related hazards have claimed the lives of over half a million people and triggered $70 billion in regional economic losses.
  • Increased temperature contributed to a 34 per cent reduction in agricultural productivity growth in Africa since 1961 – more than any other region in the world.
  • Climate-related hazards continued to be a major driver of new displacement in Africa.
  • In Africa, only four out of 10 people are covered by Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems.

Reference


Mozambique: The Many Roots of Mozambique's Deadly Insurgency

8 September 2022

Conflict erupted in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province just a few years after some of Africa’s biggest gas reserves were discovered in the Rovuma Basin off the coast. Mozambicans see this as no coincidence.

A new study by the Institute for Security Studies and the Judicial Training Institute of Mozambique conducted extensive field research in Cabo Delgado. It shows that citizens blame the discovery and bad governance of resources, notably natural gas and rubies, for the escalation of terrorism in the province. Over 4 000 people have been killed and 800 000 displaced due to the insurgency that broke out at the end of 2017.

In a survey of 309 people and 28 key informants, nearly half of the respondents said natural resources escalated the crisis. The announcements of US$60 billion investments in liquid natural gas came with promises of huge wealth and opportunity for the country. But locals feel marginalised by corrupt elites. Some have lost their land and livelihoods to the gas infrastructure built onshore. They are doubtful that these projects will reduce poverty and improve services.

Meanwhile, the discovery of some of the world’s largest ruby deposits in Cabo Delgado attracted fortune seekers and informal miners from across East Africa. They were chased away when multinationals took over the mine, leading to protests in 2019.

Asked to choose between a range of options, 45% of respondents said the main root cause of the insurgency was the discovery of rubies and natural gas. Another 4% mentioned the bad governance of natural resources. Far fewer people thought the availability of illicit arms (13%), economic marginalisation (6%) and elite greed (5%) were the primary causes.

This confirms that recruitment drives by the militant group Ahlu-Sunnah wal Jama’a (ASWJ), supported by Islamic State in Mozambique, were facilitated by the so-called natural resource curse. It not only increased inequality but raised the stakes in the province. What was initially a small radical group grew to become a major menace that drove away big multinationals like TotalEnergies.

Citizens blame the discovery of natural resources for the escalation of terrorism in Cabo Delgado

Before the insurgency, Cabo Delgado was already notorious for illicit activities such as trafficking in drugs, timber and people, as well as ruby smuggling. The study however showed no significant links between the terror group and organised crime. So far, there is no indication that ASWJ’s main aim is to get its hands on this lucrative illicit business.

The strongest evidence linking insurgents to drug smuggling dates back to the 2021 seizure of 250 kg of heroin in a building formerly occupied by ASJW militants. No one was arrested, and no other evidence links the insurgency to the heroin trade, which has long been rife along this coastline.

While the study’s respondents anecdotally referred to the insurgents as being involved in arms, drug and human trafficking, they didn’t believe this was the group’s source of income. Only 8% said the insurgents fund their activities from organised crime. A much larger proportion (38%) mentioned foreign sources, and 13% said the group used its own funds.

This confirms reports that the illicit economy, donations and raids on local sources such as banks are the major sources of financing. In the March 2021 Palma attack, US$1 million was robbed from banks and businesses.

The study confirms that the illicit economy, donations and raids are the insurgents’ major funding sources

Cabo Delgado residents believe regional disparities between privileged elites based in the capital Maputo in Mozambique’s far south, and the marginalised northerners, play a more significant role in driving the conflict than ethnic considerations.

Tensions between the mostly Muslim coastal communities of the Mwani and Makua groups, and the Christian Makonde are mentioned as a backdrop to the crisis. However, these communities have lived together peacefully for centuries. Ethnicity was seen by only 2% of respondents as the primary driver of the insurgency.

The role of an extremist ideology and the recruitment and radicalisation of ASWJ shouldn’t be overlooked. Just over 60% of people said religion plays some role in the violence, although many believed that Islam is being instrumentalised. The group’s messaging and modus operandi when recruiting youths were described by victims and eyewitnesses as resembling those of violent extremists elsewhere in the world.

Mozambicans, notably those in the country’s three northernmost provinces where over 60% of people claim to be Muslims, have historically belonged to Sufi orders. However, in the early 2000s, more radical anti-Sufi groups emerged. ASWJ’s emergence is seen as part of a global wave of Islamic revivalism. The teachings of Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed played a particularly significant role in radicalisation in Mozambique.

Reconciliation between Muslims and Christians in Cabo Delgado is needed, but also among Muslims

The Cabo Delgado study found that radicalisation occurs predominantly in mosques and to a lesser extent market places. This is contrary to the global trend where radicalisation increasingly happens online and through other illicit networks.

There is a need for dialogue and reconciliation between Muslims and Christians in Cabo Delgado, also among Muslims. Other government action needed includes partnering with local organisations to address legitimate grievances, setting up a commission of inquiry into the drivers of violent extremism, and developing a national strategy to deal with all aspects of the crisis.

Military interventions alone won’t end the insurgency. However, more effective strategies by Mozambican security forces and the country’s international partners play a key role. Tightening border security and improving intelligence sharing is also vital.

There should also be greater cooperation between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and the Rwandan forces on the ground. Forces should consider scenario six of the SADC counter-terrorism strategy, focusing on peacekeeping, as an exit strategy. And the African Union should regularly discuss the situation and help SAMIM.

The ASWJ threat in Mozambique has proven to be one of Africa's least understood and most nebulous insurgencies. Little is known about the group’s identity, aims and ideology, and the militants have no clear communication strategy. This makes solving the crisis even harder. However, acknowledging and tackling the root causes of the crisis is essential for long-term peace in Cabo Delgado.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran, Senior Researcher, ISS Pretoria

Reference


Russia does not object to Algeria joining BRICS

9 September 2022

The new Russian Ambassador to Algeria, Valerian Shuvaev, revealed the possibility that Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune will visit the Russian capital, Moscow, before the end of the year.

In his first media appearance at the headquarters of his country's embassy in Algeria, the Russian ambassador revealed that Tebboune may visit Russia before the end of the year. He pointed out that some developments are expected to occur regarding the relations between Algiers and Moscow in the coming months, however he gave no more details regarding what these are.

He added that Moscow does not object to Algeria's desire to join the BRICS group, adding that Tebboune had sent a letter to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the issue of Algiers' accession.

Algeria is eager to join the BRICS group, which includes the world's largest economies outside the Western system, with Tabboune announcing his intention to do so at the end of July. Tebboune said that it is possible to join the BRICS group given that it is an "economic and political power".

Last May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his visit to Algeria that the two countries intend to sign an agreement that reflects the new quality of bilateral relations between the two countries, noting that this agreement responds to the rapid development of friendly relations between the two countries.

Reference


Iran calls on Arab League to focus on Israel's crimes not on Tehran

9 September 2022

The Arab League states have a "lack of understanding" of regional developments and "what is going on in the region", the spokesperson of Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Nasser Kanaani was responding to a statement released by the Arab League foreign ministers following their meeting earlier this week in which they criticised the Islamic Republic for interfering in the internal affairs of Arab states.

"The issuance of such statements reflects the lack of understanding, by the signatory countries, on the developments of regional events and the reality of what is going on in the region," Kanaani said.

He advised that the Arab League states to "focus on the crimes of the Zionist entity against the Palestinian people, instead of repeating these accusations that lack any value," noting that the Arab League's statement "contradicts the attempts by some signatory countries to improve their relations with Iran."

The Council of the League of Arab States held its 158th session at the foreign ministers level on Tuesday at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League. They discussed issues of joint Arab action such as political, security, economic, legal and social.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah Al Saud chaired the meeting of the Arab Ministerial Quartet Committee on the crisis with Iran, which "discussed the course of the Arab relations with Iran and the ways to confront its interferences in the internal affairs of Arab states."

Iraq has been hosting talks between Riyadh and Tehran since 2021 in an effort to end their diplomatic rift and reach an understanding on the conflict in Yemen and Iran's nuclear file.

Iran and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations in January 2016, following an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran after Shia cleric Nimr Al-Nimr was executed by Saudi authorities.

Reference


Palestinian official slams 'daily' Israeli incursions into West Bank

9 September 2022

Israel weakens the Palestinian Authority by storming the Occupied Palestinian Territories everyday then alleging that the Palestinian Authority is weak and incapable of exercising its control over its territories, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh told Israeli website Walla News yesterday.

The official stressed that the PA cannot accept a reality in which "Israeli occupation forces storm the Palestinian territories every night and then ask the Palestinian Authority to work during the day against militants."

He revealed that, in an effort to calm the situation, he proposed to the Israeli authorities that they would stop storming the Occupied Palestinian Territories for four months as a test period, but the Israelis rejected the offer.

Overnight raids by the Israeli army are a near-daily practice in the occupied West Bank. Israel claims that they are essential for intelligence purposes, but rights groups have slammed the practice, insisting that the goal is to oppress and intimidate the Palestinian population and increase state control.

Like military checkpoints and the illegal Separation Wall, insist critics, the raids are part of the DNA of the apartheid state.

Reference


Queen Elizabeth II dies, Buckingham Palace announces

8 September 2022

Britain's longest-serving monarch Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96, the Buckingham Palace said Thursday, Anadolu reports.

"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," said the palace.

"The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow," it added.

The queen had mobility and health issues for the past 12 months due to old age.

She had to cancel many engagements due to issues and on doctor advise.

Her final public appearance was during the Platinum Jubilee celebration in June as the monarch had left behind 70 years on the British throne.

A statement on Thursday lunchtime had said the queen was under "medical supervision" at Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Reference


Israel army to hold international conference with participation of Arab army chiefs

8 September 2022

The Israeli army announced, Thursday, it will hold an international conference with the participation of dozens of army chiefs, including from Arab countries, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Israel, however, did not reveal the names of Arab countries' army chiefs that will participate in the Military Modernisation and Renovation conference.

Israeli army deputy spokeswoman, Ella Waweya, said the conference will be headed by Israeli army chief, Aviv Kochavi, and it will extend for four days, from 12 – 15 September.

She also said the conference is important to enhance the partnership between countries and exchange military knowledge.

Reference


Cyprus: Massive mobilization for the minimum wage decided the Extraordinary Congress of PEO

8 September 2022

The extraordinary Pancyprian Congress of PEO was held on Wednesday 7/09/2022 with the participation of hundreds of workers-members from all sectors.

The work of the Congress which discussed the issues that arise for workers after the government’s decision to issue the decree on the minimum wage started with a speech by the Secretary General of PEO Sotiroula Charalambous, which was adopted by the Congress and then a discussion followed.

In their speeches, the participants criticized the government which has once again chosen sides with its decision to issue the decree on the minimum wage and to serve the interests of employers, ignoring the need to tackle deregulation of labor by establishing a basic framework of minimum rights for non-unionized unprotected workers.

The Congress decided to hold a mass mobilization as well as to organize an information campaign for workers in the workplace with the aim of claiming the demands and defending collective agreements.

In addition, the Congress, after evaluating the conditions as they have been formed with the tremendous pressure on workers from the ongoing and intensifying wave of increase in basic consumer goods, electricity and fuel, reaffirmed the demands of PEO for the implementation of protection measures for the workers and the full reintroduction of Automatic Cost of Living Indexation for all workers.

Reference


Workers Speak Out as UPS Continues Retaliation against Union Activists

5 September 2022

Around 100 UPS Teamsters, activists from other unions, and community supporters rallied Thursday morning outside UPS’s Metro Queens facility to demand the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Ben Douglass and Rob Becker, both drivers and alternate shop stewards in New York State.

Starting at 8:00 a.m. on September 1, workers and allies began to congregate at the steps of the Metro Queens UPS facility. The rally built on two-days of tabling, where dozens of coworkers posed for solidarity photos and encouraged coworkers to sign a petition defending “all fired activists.” Veterans of the 2014 ‘Maspeth 250’ wildcat strike, a struggle against the unjust firing of union militant Jairo Reyes, were quick to show their solidarity. So far, approximately 150 workers from the two Maspeth UPS buildings signed the petition, with plans in place to get many more signatures.

For a long time, UPS has encouraged management to harass and retaliate against worker-activists. Many who play a role in organizing among coworkers share stories of long disciplinary records that have followed them as management targets and hopes to make an example of them. In the lead-up to the 2023 contract negotiations between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, UPS has only redoubled its efforts to intimidate and harass workers who speak up, or anyone who dares to assert their basic contractual guarantees. Douglass and Becker were fired on wholly illegitimate, bad faith grounds. Becker was accused of stopping for two minutes for an iced tea during a heat wave, while Douglass faces an array of flimsy accusations.

In defiance of the patently ridiculous charges levied against them, Douglass, along with many coworkers, have been putting forward a campaign to unconditionally reinstate unjustly fired workers and to challenge UPS harassment. The Thursday speak-out was energetic and militant with workers loudly booing district manager Andre Doorn and chanting, “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” Workers associated with Amazon Labor Union, Starbucks Workers United, Teamster Locals 404 of Massachusetts and 1150 of Connecticut, New York State Nurses Association, Professional Staff Congress, and Fordham Faculty United were amongst those present. Several speakers took the megaphone to demand UPS unconditionally reinstate the discharged workers and to denounce the company for its poor working conditions. The diverse group also issued generalized calls for a more united, fighting working class; an end to ALL union busting; and the rehiring of all unjustly fired activists.

Dan Arlin, a UPS worker and shop steward of Teamsters Local 404 who was also discharged due to retaliation, put matters succinctly: “They know they can’t win this case, but they don’t care […]. They’re using that as a fear tactic to tell all these young guys that are afraid to say something that if you stand up for yourself, that [sic] this is what’s going to happen.”

Jillian, a nurse at Wyckoff Hospital, empathetically relayed her experiences with treating workers who’ve suffered heat-related illnesses and shamed the self-absorbed managers standing watch above the rally for their condescending attitude in the face of workers’ suffering and anger. She encouraged workers to fight for themselves and stand up for each other in capacities outside of merely following a bureaucratic process, just awaiting one’s fate.

Towards the end of the rally, Douglass spoke on the power of workers standing united, and the conflicting interests of the bosses and workers: while management sits in air conditioned offices, workers like Estaban Chavez, Jr., who don’t have air conditioning or fans are dying and suffering from heat-related illnesses. Douglass also announced that the most egregious charges against him were dropped, and he is back to work with full back pay for the six days he was out. Although this is a small victory, he’s still facing a litany of other charges and remains on “notice of discharge”, the outcome of which will be decided by a judge during arbitration unless the company withdraws the charges.

Thursday’s rally is part of UPS Teamsters’ larger fight for better conditions. Decades of neoliberalism and concessions to the bosses have deteriorated the working conditions of UPS workers, as UPS has been able to deepen the exploitation of workers to extract more profits. Indeed, over the last years, UPS has made tens of billions in profits off the backs of the labor of workers like Douglass, Becker, and Arlin. From having drivers deliver excessive amounts of packages, surveilling workers, having longer routes instead of hiring more workers and dividing the work, to orchestrating more direct attacks on working conditions like creating a two-tier system that pays some drivers significantly less than others for the same work, UPS’s growth is predicated on the exploitation of workers. In the case of part-time package handlers, workers are often paid at or only barely above minimum wage and are constantly rushed. Part-timers in Local 804 are only guaranteed 3.5 hours of pay per working day, causing these workers to lead ever more financially precarious lives. They work under grueling conditions, damaging their bodies, and are constantly being replaced by new workers due to high turnover.

But UPS Teamsters are mounting a fight back. Considering their current contract expires in 2023, they have launched the campaign for a new, greatly improved contract, demanding the elimination of the two-tier system, a living wage for part-time workers, and air-conditioning in trucks, among other demands. As this contract fight heats up, UPS will continue to harass and retaliate against workers who dare to speak up, all with the goal of creating an atmosphere of fear in the workplace and weakening the power of the union. UPS is not unique in their greed and retaliation against organizers, either. Amazon, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, and capitalists of all stripes have historically repressed worker organizing and made as few concessions as possible.

Whether UPS workers are in a contract fight or not, it is wholly unacceptable that management targets and harasses those who dare to speak up for better conditions. That management uses the smallest mistakes as a technicality to retaliate against workers should be denounced. Every worker should be able to work safely and have security in their work.

The capitalist class is united in its attack against the working class. It is essential workers unite as a class and fight back. We as workers have the power to bring the economy to a grinding halt until we get what we want. To do so, we as a class must overcome our divisions — e.g., racial, gender, national, sexual orientation, physical ability, and trade — so we can have greater say in the expenditure of our created value, enjoy a larger proportion of the fruits of our labor, and fight for control over our own lives.

Reference


Workers Speak Out as UPS Continues Retaliation against Union Activists

5 September 2022

Around 100 UPS Teamsters, activists from other unions, and community supporters rallied Thursday morning outside UPS’s Metro Queens facility to demand the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Ben Douglass and Rob Becker, both drivers and alternate shop stewards in New York State.

Starting at 8:00 a.m. on September 1, workers and allies began to congregate at the steps of the Metro Queens UPS facility. The rally built on two-days of tabling, where dozens of coworkers posed for solidarity photos and encouraged coworkers to sign a petition defending “all fired activists.” Veterans of the 2014 ‘Maspeth 250’ wildcat strike, a struggle against the unjust firing of union militant Jairo Reyes, were quick to show their solidarity. So far, approximately 150 workers from the two Maspeth UPS buildings signed the petition, with plans in place to get many more signatures.

For a long time, UPS has encouraged management to harass and retaliate against worker-activists. Many who play a role in organizing among coworkers share stories of long disciplinary records that have followed them as management targets and hopes to make an example of them. In the lead-up to the 2023 contract negotiations between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, UPS has only redoubled its efforts to intimidate and harass workers who speak up, or anyone who dares to assert their basic contractual guarantees. Douglass and Becker were fired on wholly illegitimate, bad faith grounds. Becker was accused of stopping for two minutes for an iced tea during a heat wave, while Douglass faces an array of flimsy accusations.

In defiance of the patently ridiculous charges levied against them, Douglass, along with many coworkers, have been putting forward a campaign to unconditionally reinstate unjustly fired workers and to challenge UPS harassment. The Thursday speak-out was energetic and militant with workers loudly booing district manager Andre Doorn and chanting, “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” Workers associated with Amazon Labor Union, Starbucks Workers United, Teamster Locals 404 of Massachusetts and 1150 of Connecticut, New York State Nurses Association, Professional Staff Congress, and Fordham Faculty United were amongst those present. Several speakers took the megaphone to demand UPS unconditionally reinstate the discharged workers and to denounce the company for its poor working conditions. The diverse group also issued generalized calls for a more united, fighting working class; an end to ALL union busting; and the rehiring of all unjustly fired activists.

Dan Arlin, a UPS worker and shop steward of Teamsters Local 404 who was also discharged due to retaliation, put matters succinctly: “They know they can’t win this case, but they don’t care […]. They’re using that as a fear tactic to tell all these young guys that are afraid to say something that if you stand up for yourself, that [sic] this is what’s going to happen.”

Jillian, a nurse at Wyckoff Hospital, empathetically relayed her experiences with treating workers who’ve suffered heat-related illnesses and shamed the self-absorbed managers standing watch above the rally for their condescending attitude in the face of workers’ suffering and anger. She encouraged workers to fight for themselves and stand up for each other in capacities outside of merely following a bureaucratic process, just awaiting one’s fate.

Towards the end of the rally, Douglass spoke on the power of workers standing united, and the conflicting interests of the bosses and workers: while management sits in air conditioned offices, workers like Estaban Chavez, Jr., who don’t have air conditioning or fans are dying and suffering from heat-related illnesses. Douglass also announced that the most egregious charges against him were dropped, and he is back to work with full back pay for the six days he was out. Although this is a small victory, he’s still facing a litany of other charges and remains on “notice of discharge”, the outcome of which will be decided by a judge during arbitration unless the company withdraws the charges.

Thursday’s rally is part of UPS Teamsters’ larger fight for better conditions. Decades of neoliberalism and concessions to the bosses have deteriorated the working conditions of UPS workers, as UPS has been able to deepen the exploitation of workers to extract more profits. Indeed, over the last years, UPS has made tens of billions in profits off the backs of the labor of workers like Douglass, Becker, and Arlin. From having drivers deliver excessive amounts of packages, surveilling workers, having longer routes instead of hiring more workers and dividing the work, to orchestrating more direct attacks on working conditions like creating a two-tier system that pays some drivers significantly less than others for the same work, UPS’s growth is predicated on the exploitation of workers. In the case of part-time package handlers, workers are often paid at or only barely above minimum wage and are constantly rushed. Part-timers in Local 804 are only guaranteed 3.5 hours of pay per working day, causing these workers to lead ever more financially precarious lives. They work under grueling conditions, damaging their bodies, and are constantly being replaced by new workers due to high turnover.

But UPS Teamsters are mounting a fight back. Considering their current contract expires in 2023, they have launched the campaign for a new, greatly improved contract, demanding the elimination of the two-tier system, a living wage for part-time workers, and air-conditioning in trucks, among other demands. As this contract fight heats up, UPS will continue to harass and retaliate against workers who dare to speak up, all with the goal of creating an atmosphere of fear in the workplace and weakening the power of the union. UPS is not unique in their greed and retaliation against organizers, either. Amazon, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, and capitalists of all stripes have historically repressed worker organizing and made as few concessions as possible.

Whether UPS workers are in a contract fight or not, it is wholly unacceptable that management targets and harasses those who dare to speak up for better conditions. That management uses the smallest mistakes as a technicality to retaliate against workers should be denounced. Every worker should be able to work safely and have security in their work.

The capitalist class is united in its attack against the working class. It is essential workers unite as a class and fight back. We as workers have the power to bring the economy to a grinding halt until we get what we want. To do so, we as a class must overcome our divisions — e.g., racial, gender, national, sexual orientation, physical ability, and trade — so we can have greater say in the expenditure of our created value, enjoy a larger proportion of the fruits of our labor, and fight for control over our own lives.

Reference


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