International Weekly Monitor 12 January 2023


  2. World Leaders Condemn Attempted Coup in Brazil
  3. Pro-Bolsonaro Supporters Invade Congress and Supreme Court
  4. Cuba to Assume the Pro Tempore Presidency of the G77 + China
  5. Trump-Era Policy Towards Venezuela Has Failed: President Maduro
  6. This Week In Palestine: New Israeli Government Sets the Tone for Its Administration
  7. The Water is Surrounding Us’: Gaza Grieves as Israel Opens Floodgates
  8. Palestinians call on countries, institutions to boycott new Israel gov't
  9. Nebenzia: West 'Real Source' of Ukraine Crisis, Its Narrative Against Russia Hypocritical
  10. Ukraine Rejects Ceasefire With Russia and Carries Out Attacks
  12. Zimbabwe: Some Zimbabweans Fear Violence Will Taint Upcoming Elections
  13. Africa: Will Africa's 2023 Elections Strengthen Democracy?
  14. CPS condemns the murder of Felix Musili by Kenyan police
  15. Preparing to Strike: An Interview with a Bronx Nurse


22 Dec 2022


Dear colleague’s,

The year that is coming to its end has been another year of important struggles in the long history of the WFTU. The 18th World Trade Union Congress that took place in Rome, Italy on 6-8 May 2022 under the slogan “United we continue for the satisfaction of our contemporary needs – Against Imperialist-Capitalist barbarity”, undoubtedly constitutes a great milestone for the international class-oriented trade union movement. This historic 18th congress has reiterated the aneti-imperialist and antifascist character of the WFTU and its commitment to the struggle for the liberation of the working class from the capitalist shackles.

The year 2022 marked by the sharpening of imperialists’ competition to control global resources and markets. The Russia invasion and the war in Ukraine undermines the inalienable right of the peoples to live in peace, triggering at the same time serious repercussions and affecting the working-class living conditions globally.

The USA, the EU and NATO, attempt to present the situation as a war between liberalism and authoritarianism, hopping that this way, their own criminal role can be hushed up. But this dirty role is clearly visible in so many imperialist wars and interventions: Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, and so many other places as well as in the embargos in Cuba and Venezuela and so many sanctions and economic wars. Peace is not being protected by even more militarism or patronage of all kinds of far-right nationalists and fascists. Peace cannot be based on blockades, sanctions, and economic wars.

The WFTU fights for permanent and stable peace, for the dissolution of NATO and all military coalitions and for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

As the imperialist wars continue, workers all over the globe, exhausted after the Covid-19 pandemic, are facing once again the consequences of a new capitalist crisis. The uncontrollable increase of the prices; especially the prices rise of the necessary goods for daily life, as well the “energy poverty”, is another way to cut salaries and to protect and increase profits. In this way, not only the bill of the pandemic and the economic crisis but also the war of NATO with Russia in Ukraine, they want to be paid by the working class, the pensioners, the farmers, and the poorer part of the self-employed people.

The working class all over the world with its relentless struggles refuses to pay for the capitalist crisis and the imperialist wars. The WFTU affiliates are at the forefront of these struggles demanding the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the workers at all levels: salary, employment, social security, culture.

During the last months, it was the struggles and mobilizations of trade unions that stood in the way of anti-people policies that wanted workers voiceless, and submissive. On uncounted occasions, thousands of workers took to the streets giving strength and optimism to all to break that climate of fear, intimidation, and repression. Fighting for free and inclusive healthcare for all, respect and implementation of the democratic and trade union freedoms, an immediate increase of wages and pensions, protection of workers’ purchasing power and living standards, and for the satisfaction of the popular strata interests.

The arrest of the recently elected Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Luca Visentini, for scandal linked with the cover-up of terrible crimes committed against thousands of workers, brings to the surface one more time the necessity to intensify the struggles to protect the autonomy and the class orientation of the Trade Unions, away from bureaucracy, corruption, and manipulation by the capital and employers. The incorporation to the neoliberal, anti-labour policies, the absence of a substantial reaction, clearly coexists with the corruption.

The World Federation of Trade Unions and its hundred affiliates from 133 countries of the 5 continents, representing more than 105 million workers, will remain the pioneers of the working-class, at the forefront of struggles, armed with the decisions of its 18th World Trade Union Congress and with its militant history as a beacon.

It will intensify the coordination and struggle for:
The continuation of massification and the upward course recorded by the class-oriented trade union movement in recent years.
The coordination of the action and struggles of the organized class-oriented Trade Union movement throughout the world and supplying it with the necessary information and tools that will make the struggles even more prepared and effective.
The further development of internationalist solidarity, cooperation and joint coordinated action of the peoples and the workers with the class unions in each country as a front.
The deepening of the intervention in the International Organizations in which the WFTU participates with the aim of more effectively projecting the demands and interests of the working class.
In the struggle against discrimination of all forms and the highlighting of the particular issues concerning working women and young workers.
In the preparation of the health and safety of workers and the working environment, as well as sustainable human development with climate change at the forefront.

As we get ready to welcome the year 2023, we are confident that the international class-oriented trade union movement is ready and well-prepared to pave the way for future struggles, for the defense of workers’ interests and the satisfaction of their contemporary needs. For a world without imperialistic wars and interventions, without any kind of discrimination and man-by-man exploitation.

Happy and militant New Year,

United We Continue.

The Secretariat


World Leaders Condemn Attempted Coup in Brazil

9 January 2023

So far, Russia, China, the United States, Germany, Italy, Greece, Algeria, among other countries have harshly rejected the attempt to destabilize Brazilian democracy.

On Sunday morning, thousands of supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro attacked, invaded, and destroyed the headquarters of Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court in Brasilia.

For about four hours, they tried to cause chaos to pressure the Armed Forces to join a coup to overthrow the President Lula da Silva, who took power on January 1.

In Latin America, progressive leaders immediately rejected this attack on Brazilian democracy. Condemnations of the attempted coup made by other world leaders are summarized below.

GREECE: On Monday, the Greek government condemned this Monday "strongly" the attacks against Brazilian democratic institutions and fully supported President Lula da Silva.

"We express our deep concern and disgust over yesterday's attacks on democratic institutions in Brasilia," the Foreign Ministry said, stressing that Greece supports "the democratically elected president, his government, and the legislative and judicial branches."

The leftist Alexis Tsipras, who last week attended Lula's inauguration, expressed his total solidarity with the Brazilian president and his support for democracy, which "is once again threatened by organized forces of the extreme right".

"The international community must immediately condemn the attempt to overthrow the president-elect and undermine democratic institutions in Brazil," Tsipras tweeted.

ARAB LEAGUE: The 22 countries of the Arab League regretted the acts of violence and destruction carried out by supporters of former President Bolsonaro.

"I was deeply saddened by the scenes of the takeover of the Brazilian constitutional institutions by undisciplined masses... In a way, that reminded us of events in other countries," Arab League Secretary Ahmed Abulgheit said.

"Brazil is a country that is friendly and dear to all. We are sorry to witness such events... We wish kind President Lula all the best in managing the affairs of this important country."

ALGERIA: On Monday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement ratifying that "Algeria expresses its severe condemnation of the attack on institutions and rejects all actions that generate chaos and destabilization of this friendly country."

It also signaled Algeria's support for the democratic path that the election of President Lula da Silva opened in Brazil.

TÜRKIYE: "We condemn the acts of violence against the government headed by President Lula da Silva, the Congress, and the Constitutional Court," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said.

"It is important to respect the results of the elections and the democratic process that reflects the will of the people of the country. We show our solidarity with the administration of Lula da Silva and with the Brazilian people in the face of these acts of violence," it added.

RUSSIA: "Moscow strongly condemns the actions of the instigators of the disorders in Brazil", Russian Presidency spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said.

Russia supports "actions to restore order and legality" in this Latin American country, he added, stressing that "we fully support Brazilian President Lula da Silva."

CHINA: On Monday, Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that "China supports the measures taken by the Brazilian government to restore order and stability. We believe that under the leadership of President Lula, Brazil will maintain national stability and social harmony."

UNITED STATES: "I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil's democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined. I look forward to continuing to work with Lula da Silva ," President Joe Biden tweeted on Sunday.

NETHERLANDS: "I have watched with horror the images of the seizure of government buildings in Brasilia. It is unacceptable violence against institutions that together make up the heart of the democratic constitutional State," Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted.

GERMANY: On Monday, Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz strongly criticized the assault on the Brazilian Congress carried out by Bolsonaro's far-right supporters.

"Terrible images reach us from Brasilia. Violent attacks against democratic institutions are an intolerable attack on democracy. We strongly support President Lula and the Brazilian people," Scholz tweeted in a message written in both German and Portuguese.

SPAIN: President Pedro Sanchez showed Spain's full support for Lula da Silva in light of the events caused by extremist movements, which Sanchez described as "repulsive."

He stressed that the events in Brazil remind us that the resurgence of extremist movements "ready to overwhelm everything" represents the greatest contemporary threat that democracy, peace and prosperity face around the world.

"We know the methods and they are repeated to the millimeter in each and every one of the countries that suffer from them," he said.

First, they systematically use lies to attract followers. Then they use insults and verbal violence "to poison coexistence in society and exalt their followers." Finally, extremists attack institutions and laws.

ITALY: "What is happening in Brazil cannot leave us indifferent. The images of the irruption in the institutions are unacceptable and incompatible with any form of democratic dissidence", Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said.


Pro-Bolsonaro Supporters Invade Congress and Supreme Court

8 January 2023

The Brazilian Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, affirmed this Sunday that "the will of the radical Bolsonaristas who have invaded the National Congress "will not prevail".

Supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro took this Sunday by force the National Congress, breaking the blockade carried out by the Military Police and the National Security Force at the Esplanade of the Ministries in Brasilia.

Brazil's Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, affirmed this Sunday that "the will of the radical Bolsonaristas who have invaded the National Congress "will not prevail".

Bolsonarista demonstrators do not accept the electoral result and invaded an area of the Congress and when they were heading towards the Government Palace they were dispersed with tear gas bombs by the police in Brasília.

Minister Dino authorized the use of the National Force in the security of the capital in the face of the threat of violent actions.

The extremists, mostly wearing yellow and green T-shirts and Brazilian flags, also attacked some vehicles of the Legislative Police, which provides security to the Congress.

They also destroyed protection barriers and armed with sticks confronted the agents who tried to contain, without success, the entrance of the demonstrators.

Hundreds of radical Bolsonaristas have been camped in front of the Army Headquarters, in Brasília, since the day after the elections of last October 30, in which Lula defeated Bolsonaro.

The camps of radical Bolsonaristas, which have multiplied in cities across the country, began to be dismantled on Friday in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, where some disturbances occurred.

On Saturday, the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, authorized the deployment of the National Security Force, an elite group of police forces from all over the country, which is mobilized for special missions.

Bolsonaro protesters who do not accept the electoral result invaded an area of Congress and when they were heading towards the government palace, they were dispersed with tear gas canisters by the police in Brasília.

Since Lula's victory in the October 30 runoff election with 50.9% of the valid votes against Bolsonaro's 49.1%, Bolsonaro's supporters have gathered outside the Army barracks.

Before the invasion of Congress, Dino made a statement on social networks and said that opponents will have to wait until 2026, when the next presidential elections will be held, just as the current government waited between 2018 and 2022.

In a statement, Dino said that the Ministry of Justice convened an emergency meeting with security agencies to deal with the demonstrations.


Cuba to Assume the Pro Tempore Presidency of the G77 + China

12 January 2023

The Cuban diplomacy will bet on the consolidation of a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, and open multilateral trade system.

On Thursday, Cuba will assume the pro tempore Presidency of the Group of 77 + China, which is a coalition of 134 developing countries, designed to create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.

The delivery of the presidency will take place in a virtual ceremony in which Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres, UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi, and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be present.

Cuba's Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez pointed out that his country will promote international cooperation through the G77 presidency to accelerate the post-pandemic economic recovery of developing countries.

He also mentioned that Cuban foreign policy will seek to make South-South cooperation more effective and will promote North-South cooperation so that industrialized countries assume their historical responsibilities.

Within the G77, Cuba will encourage the consolidation of common positions, the strengthening of the group's unity and participation in the most important multilateral processes in progress.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry will also bet on the consolidation of a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trade system. The Cuban agenda also includes the defense of universal access to quality education and health.

Founded by the Non-Aligned Movement in 1964, the G77 currently includes 134 countries, a figure that represents 75 percent of the United Nations membership and 80 percent of the world's population.


Trump-Era Policy Towards Venezuela Has Failed: President Maduro

10 January 2023

"Assaulting and replacing public authorities has been a failure. It crashed into the powerful reality of republican functioning of Venezuela’s democratic institutions,” he said.

On Monday, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said that the traditional U.S. policy towards his country, which was fueled by former President Donald Trump since 2017, has failed.

"Assaulting and replacing national authorities, as well as appointing us an interim President, a National Assembly and Judicial Power from abroad, has been a failure. These Trump-era policies crashed into the powerful reality of republican functioning of Venezuela’s democratic institutions,” Maduro said.

He also rejected the stance assumed by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols, who recognized the right-wing opposition's symbolic parliament as legitimate.

"This position implies ignorance of the functioning of the Bolivarian government and how the powers of the nation integrate," Maduro insisted, arguing that the far-right opposition aims to maintain false institutions to continue stealing State resources abroad.

Venezuela’s General Attorney Tarek William Saab estimated that these politicians have blocked, retained or confiscated State assets worth about US$30 billion.

Although they agreed to replace Guaido as the "legitimate President" in December 2022, they recently appointed former lawmaker Dinorah Figuera, currently exiled in Spain, as speaker of their symbolic parliament.

In addition, they created a special commission to administer the Venezuelan State’s assets abroad, especially those owned by the National Central Bank and the state-owned Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA).

"Venezuelans know that the institution that exercises the legislative power in Venezuela is the National Assembly... We invite anyone who doubts the legitimacy of this institution to meet its members and realize how well they represent the interests of our people,” Maduro insisted.


This Week In Palestine: New Israeli Government Sets the Tone for Its Administration

7 January 2023

Following the 13-minute storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday, by the Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Israeli government doubled down on the provocation at the UN security council.

Gilad Erdan, Tel Aviv’s ambassador to the UN, said that the Holy Site is “the holiest Jewish site, under the sovereignty of the liberal democracy of Israel”, during his speech at the UN’s security council meeting that was hosted on Thursday night.

Instead of affirming the position that the status quo should remain, Erdan attacked the status quo and framed it as anti-Jewish, making every excuse available to justify the actions of the national security minister. Israeli Minister Ben-Gvir advocates for changing the status quo and has been charged with inciting racism, along with supporting a terrorist group.

Sunday: Hamas Leader Arrested

On Sunday, illegal Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, whilst another group of settlers established a settler outpost on the lands of Al-Jabaa village, south of Bethlehem.

Israeli occupation forces arrested Jawad al-Ja’bari, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, from his home in Al-Khalil, and reports surfaced confirming that 7,000 Palestinians had been arrested by the Israeli military in 2022, including around 1,000 children (under the age of 18).

Israeli occupation forces stormed Kafr Ein in Ramallah, clashes also erupted between stone-throwing youths and the Israeli military in Nabi Saleh, Bethlehem, Nablus, al-Khalil, and Ramallah.

Israel’s extremist National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, declared his intention of storming the Al-Aqsa mosque, in violation of the status quo at the site. Netanyahu also announced his planned visit to the UAE, it would be his first foreign visit whilst back in office as Prime Minister.

Netanyahu also declared the construction of new settlements the answer to the Israeli housing crisis. The Jenin Brigades armed movement, in Jenin, opened fire on raiding forces.

Monday: Two Palestinians Killed in Jenin

On Monday, in the earlier hours of the morning, Israel launched yet another round of unprovoked airstrikes against Damascus, in Syria. The strikes badly damaged the runway at Damascus international and killed 2 Syrian soldiers.

Israeli forces also stormed Kafr Dan, in Jenin, with the intention of blowing up the home of Abdul Rahman Abed, which they would eventually carry out after hours of armed confrontation. Israeli raiding forces killed 2 Palestinians; Fouad Mahmoud Ahmed Abed (18 years old), who was a resistance fighter from the town of Kafr Dan, and Muhammad Samer Hoshieh (22 years old), from the town of Al-Yamoun.

Israel also upped the pressure on Gaza’s civilian population, who enter their third year under unliveable conditions, according to the United Nations. Occupation soldiers shot tear gas at shepherds east of Jabalia, as Israeli forces, stationed at the Netif Haasra site, shot tear gas at farmers in Beit Lahia, also entering the territory to burn their poison, burn and bulldozed their crops near the separation fence. Drone and war-plane activity also increased in Gaza, harassing citizens.

Occupation forces stormed the home of Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, a preacher at al-Aqsa mosque, he was taken to the infamous al-Moskobiyeh detention center, where he was interrogated and threatened.

Settlers again stormed al-Aqsa mosque and establish a new settlement outpost on the lands of Al-Jabaa village, southwest of Bethlehem.

Ramallah clashes, after the Israeli military stormed Beit Rima, left 11 Palestinians injured, 7 with live bullets, 4 with rubber bullets. Itamar Ben-Gvir then decided to cancel his decision to storm al-Aqsa publicly, after threats from Hamas, leading to widespread criticism from his religious extremist supporters. To end the day, the occupation forces stormed the town of Kifl Haris, north of Salfit, to ensure that settlers could storm Islamic shrines to perform Talmudic rituals inside.

Tuesday: Ben-Gvir Storms Al-Aqsa, Israeli Forces Kill 15-Year-Old Palestinian Boy

On Tuesday, Israeli occupation forces killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, Adam Ayad, whilst storming Dheisheh camp, in Bethlehem. The teen had carried around a note with him, after the murder of his friend Omar Manna, a month earlier, reading that

“I am very happy that our Lord has fulfilled one of my dreams, which is martyrdom.. Martyrdom is not death. Martyrdom is victory and pride for the whole world. Set your compass and direct it to the occupation.”

Itamar Ben-Gvir then stormed al-Aqsa Mosque, guarded by tens of security force members and visited unannounced, walking around as to complete the task but in a weak fashion, this came after consultation with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Condemnations flooded in from Jordan, Hezbollah and light condemnations from Egypt, Turkey and the West. Netanyahu announced that there will be a delay to his UAE trip, as Abu Dhabi and Beijing requested a UN Security Council meeting to discuss Ben-Gvir’s storming of Al-Aqsa.

Armed clashes also took place between the Palestinian resistance and Israeli forces in Jenin, leading to the failure of Israel to arrest targeted individuals.

Israel announced the death of a soldier, allegedly from a stray bullet at a training camp, however, it is well-known and proven that Israel hides the deaths of its forces on the battlefield.

44 Israeli soldiers died of non-combat-related incidents last year, many of which are expected to have been coverups. The Israeli military also announces the injury of one of its soldiers in Jenin, during clashes with the resistance. Occupation soldiers then bulldozed a home in the Ma’in area of Masafer Yatta, located in the southern hills of al-Khalil.

Israeli occupation forces later entered the Harm al-Sharif masjid at al-Aqsa, in yet another provocation. Tensions erupted, in response to Itamar Ben-Gvir’s invasion of Al-Aqsa, in the Naqab military prison. A Ramon prison political detainee threw a chair at prison guards, whilst prisoners banged on their cell doors.

Intense drone activity continued over Gaza, as Israeli air defenses were deployed fearing rocket fire from the besieged coastal enclave. Settlers added to tensions by marching provocatively in Jerusalem’s old city, as Palestinians were attacked by occupation police. Young Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at an Israeli occupation police station in Sur Bahr, as an act of rebellion against the threats posed to al-Aqsa’s status quo.

Palestinian resistance forces also open fire on the Gush Etzion settlement and Qalandia checkpoint, whilst Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces were busy arresting members of the Qawasmi family in al-Khalil; dispersing a peaceful sit-in that demanded the release of Saeed Qawasmi.

Wednesday: Gaza Fishermen under Attack

On Wednesday, Israeli gunboats attack Palestinian fishermen in Gaza, whilst illegal settlers stormed al-Aqsa again. Gaza’s population climbs to 2,375,000, according to official statistics. Israeli forces stormed Jenin and another soldier was injured. Video footage was then released revealing that Israeli settlers broke into a Protestant Christian graveyard in Jerusalem on Sunday, destroying 30 graves and smashing tombstones in the shape of the cross. Nearby in East Jerusalem, Israeli occupation authorities began to demolish the house of Muhammad Al-Awar, in the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli demolition forces stormed the village of Tel Arad, in al-Naqab, and demolished a number of homes belonging to the Abu Ayesh family. A young Palestinian boy was also shot with live ammunition in Al-Aroub refugee camp, whilst settlers attack vehicles on the Ramallah-Nablus road.

Thursday: Israeli Forces Kill 16-Year-Old Palestinian Boy

On Thursday, Israeli occupation forces raided the Balata refugee camp, located near the city of Nablus, where the Lions’ Den armed group opened fire on them, along with the Balata brigades group. A 16-year-old Palestinian boy, Amer Abu Zeitoun, was shot dead by Israeli forces in the Balata camp during that raid.

Karim Younes, the longest-serving political prisoner in history, was released from Israeli military prison after serving over 40 years. Karim visited the cemetery where his mother was buried and cried in front of her grave, she had died only 8 months prior to his release. He also visited his father’s grave, who was denied seeing him for 10 years, and also died whilst he was incarcerated.

Settlers again stormed al-Aqsa all morning, as the occupation army destroyed Palestinian land and fencing surrounding it, in Jabal al-Sendas, located south of al-Khalil. Israeli forces also bulldozed a Bedouin village in Douma, East of Nablus.

A UN security council meeting is convened, where Jordan and Israel clash over the illegal storming of Al-Aqsa mosque. Israel’s representative calls claimed Israeli sovereignty over the site, indicating that Tel Aviv does not support the status quo. Changing that status quo, could have massive implications regionally and spark a large-scale conflict.

The ‘Lions Den’ group announced that night on Telegram that they were claiming responsibility for six resistance shooting attacks towards checkpoints and settlements, the occupation forces were then prompted to close down Nablus.

Friday: Israel to Punish the PA

On Friday, Israel announced that it would be introducing sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, for taking the issue of Israeli war crimes to the International Court of Justice and the UN. The following is the statement that they issued:

“Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office The Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs (the Security Cabinet) convened for its first meeting yesterday (Thursday, 5 January 2023), to decide on the response to the Palestinian Authority’s decision to wage political and legal war against the State of Israel.

“The current government will not sit idly by in the face of this war and will respond as necessary. The Cabinet approved a number of steps to be taken vis-à-vis the PA in response to its appeal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week. The following is a list of these steps:
1. Transferring approximately NIS 139 million from PA funds to victims of terrorism, implementing the Litvak verdict, which compensates the families of victims murdered in Palestinian terrorist attacks.
2. Immediately offsetting the payments made by the PA to terrorists and their families in 2022, according to the report of the defense establishment.
3. Placing a moratorium on Palestinian construction plans in Area C, following illegal take-over attempts by the PA, in opposition to international agreements.
4. Denying benefits to VIPs who are leading the political and legal war against Israel.
5. Action will be taken against organizations in Judea and Samaria that promote terrorist activity or any hostile activity, including political and legal action against Israel under the guise of humanitarian work.”

What this will likely mean is that PA employees will receive cuts in their salaries, due to budgetary restrictions, what Israel refers to as “terrorists” are either innocent Palestinians murdered by Israeli forces, stone-throwers or resistance fighters. Tel Aviv is now beginning to take a strong line against the PA, which is actually their closest ally in fighting the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank, but is being framed as a supporter of “terrorism” and “anti-semitism”.

Israel’s UN Ambassador openly condemned the convening of a security council session, making light of their actions that could lead to a religious war, stating that the UN “legitimizes the poison and lies of the Palestinians”, a statement that is clearly racist.

Later on Friday, illegal settlers, from the settlement of Elon Moreh, attacked Palestinian homes in the village of Salem, east of Nablus, beating up innocent people. Occupation forces stormed the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in Jericho, shooting a young man in the head, whilst settlers stormed Palestinian village areas in order to attack innocent civilians.

Despite restrictions on Muslim worshippers entering, over 60,000 Palestinians attended Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque, as Israel increased its state of alert in anticipation of possible violence. Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian youths who threw stones in Silwan and other areas in East Jerusalem.

This week’s events have served as telling when it comes to the trajectory of the new Israeli regime. A hardline extremist policy is clearly on the agenda and will likely lead to a wild escalation if things continue to develop in such an escalatory measure.


The Water is Surrounding Us’: Gaza Grieves as Israel Opens Floodgates

10 January 2023

Without warning, on Saturday, December 24, Israeli Authorities opened the floodgates below Deir al-Balah, inundating the Al-Selqa Valley’s agricultural lands and flooding dozens of homes.

‘The Valley is Flooded’

Ibrahim Abuqutaifan’s straw house perches on the edge of the valley, in a rural area called Al-Mashala. I spoke with Asma Abu Qutaifan, 41, about what happened.

“It was nighttime, and there was heavy rainfall,” she told me. “We went to bed early because it was a cold and wet winter. While we were sleeping, the phone rang.’’

“The caller was my neighbor, saying: ‘You must flee your house now! The valley is flooded!’ It’s hard to express how scared I felt. This was the worst nightmare I ever had,’’ she added.

“As I woke up my six children, dirty water filled the house. We were swimming in that unclean water, trying to get out,’’ she continued.

“Then we couldn’t even flee; the water surrounded us. Municipal crews got stuck in the mud and couldn’t reach us.”

Holding back tears, the mother went on, telling me that a neighbor heard her daughters crying and he rushed to help them get to a safe area.

Had the neighbor not heard them, they would have all drowned. As it was, everything in their house was ruined.

Meanwhile, her husband Ibrahim, 48, had hurried to look after his sheep. “The first thing I have to do is save the livestock. I had to move them to another place. We totally depend on livestock breeding. It is our only source of income,” he said.

Since that night, Asma and her children have lived in fear of the floodgates suddenly reopening with no one nearby to help them. Although they survived, the ordeal for their family was not over.

Killing Abdullah

In a sodden house in another part of Al-Mashala, Waaed Mesmeh, 25, is still mourning the death of her husband, Abdullah Qutaifan, 29, nephew of Ibrahim.

Abdullah had called his wife at 5:59 pm as he was coming from prayer at the mosque close to his uncle’s house, in the valley area called Berka. He could see the severity of the flooding. “Waeed! Take care, close all the windows tightly!” he warned.

“I never thought that would be the last time I would hear his voice,” Mesmeh said.

Qutaifan was known as a kind and considerate neighbor, always there to lend others a hand in times of need. This time was no different.

“When he realized that the valley where his uncle lived was rapidly flooding,” Mesmeh said, “he just rushed to help them.”

When he arrived, the power was out, and the house was already full of water. Qutaifan and his cousin ran to cut the three electrical cables that ran from the street to the house, as they were not grounded, and the men wanted to avoid any electrical short circuits before the power was restored. But it was too late.

“The electricity suddenly came on and killed Abdullah immediately,’’ said the bereaved widow.

Qutaifan’s mother and sister had been killed in 2014 when their house was bombed in the Israeli assault on Gaza in which 2251 Palestinians, including 551 children and 299 women, died.

“He was always saying how deeply he missed them,” Mesmeh said. “He passed away, and now he has gone to join them.”

The mayor of Deir Al-Balah, Diab Al-Jarro, talked about the tragedy.

“Israel opened three floodgates feeding Wadi al-Salqa‎ in the middle of the Strip last Sunday at almost 7 PM, which allowed enormous and unusual amounts of water to gush into the valley stream,” he said.

He pointed out that the fragile sewage network in the rural area had only been operational for three years. During rainy days in Gaza, floods often occur, making life in the Strip even harder than usual. But the huge influx of water that inundated the rural areas when the floodgates were opened was disastrous.

The Israeli Siege

According to Yahya al-Sarraj, the head of the Union of the Gaza Strip Municipalities responsible for street maintenance, “the most important reason for the weakness of the infrastructure is the continuous Israeli assaults, particularly in 2021, when the infrastructure was deliberately targeted with missiles that reached 10 to 15 meters underground.”

Al-Sarraj cited additional factors contributing to the worsening conditions.

“The ongoing Israeli siege and the inability of municipalities to self-finance infrastructure projects, along with rapid population growth, intensify the problems,” he said.

“Israel sometimes prevents the entry of necessary materials, including sewage pipes and bulldozers needed for waste transportation,” Al-Sarraj noted that some people have resorted to throwing garbage into the streets.

“Sewage pipes in service for more than 20 years should be replaced.”

It is winter in Al-Mashala. The season can be beautiful, filled with warm fires and joyful family gatherings, with time for contemplation.

But in rural Gaza, things are unpredictable: suddenly, people’s homes and farms can be flooded, drowning their crops; the power cuts off, and people can be killed.

Residents of this area constantly live on a precarious edge, and these events have overshadowed the season’s happiness. But the people of Al-Mashala keep helping each other: they grieve together, and they resist.


Palestinians call on countries, institutions to boycott new Israel gov't

13 January 2023

Palestinians are urging all countries and institutions across the world to boycott the new Israeli government and stand-up to the unilateral steps being taken which could undermine the two-state solution.

The Permanent Representative of Palestine to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ibrahim Khreisheh, told the official Voice of Palestine radio that meetings were held with the concerned authorities in Switzerland to brief them on the Israeli government's extreme actions.

Khreisheh added that other meetings will take place this month with the Arab ambassadors in Geneva, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to give them details on the new Israeli violations, especially the freezing of Palestinian funds.

He added that these steps aim primarily to urge countries and concerned parties to take clear practical steps to boycott the new Israeli government and its members, as they are a group of extremists and murderers.


Nebenzia: West 'Real Source' of Ukraine Crisis, Its Narrative Against Russia Hypocritical

12 January 2023

The collective West is the real source behind the crisis in Ukraine and its narrative blaming Russia for creating threats to international peace is hypocritical because it ignores the West's egregious violations of international law, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

"International law was repeatedly floated and harmed, well before that, and not by Russia," Nebenzia said during an UN Security Council open debate on the rule of law.

The collective West has been pushing the narrative that Russia is responsible for threats to international peace and security while ignoring its own egregious violations of international law, Nebenzia said.

The Russian ambassador pointed out that the current crisis goes back to the United States' desire to play the role of a global policeman, which Washington unilaterally took upon itself.

Russia believes that international law was dealt a "fatal blow" when European countries trampled on the guarantees made to the democratically-elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was stripped of his post in violation of the then constitution, he said.

Nebenzia also listed various instances where the collective West failed to uphold international law and was never held accountable for violating the rule of law such as in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Ukraine.

Nebenzia earlier blasted calls to launch a tribunal to investigate Russia's alleged aggression against Ukraine, underscoring the such an initiative would be "ridiculous" and a complete waste of time.


Ukraine Rejects Ceasefire With Russia and Carries Out Attacks

6 January 2023

To justify breaking the ceasefire, Ukraine's President Zelenski accused Russia of "using Christmas" as a cover to regroup its forces.

On Thursday, Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said that his country will agree on a ceasefire with Russia only after Russian troops are withdrawn from Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a temporary ceasefire along the frontline. This truce was expected to last for 36 hours, starting at noon local time on Jan. 6., when Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas.

Putin also called on Kyev to declare a ceasefire based on the fact that a large number of Orthodox citizens live in the combat areas.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Kyev did not comply with the ceasefire and its troops carried out artillery attacks against the Russian army and the population under its protection.

To justify breaking the proposed ceasefire, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenski accused Russia of "using Christmas" as a cover to regroup its forces and move equipment and troops closer to Ukrainian positions.

On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov indicated that his country's soldiers are responding to Ukrainian attacks, which were carried out from a location near the town of Novopavlivka in the Zaporizhia region.

He specified that the Ukrainian forces carried out 11 attacks with artillery fire, three of which were aimed at the Lugansk region.



13 January 2023

Namibian head of state and chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security regarding the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) HE Dr Hage Geingob said that the he does not not condone acts of extremist violence in Mozambique.

This comes after a recent video was circulating on social media depicting members of the defence forces throwing bodies of dead people in burning rubble.

“I wish to inform the general public that the SAMIM leadership has instituted investigations to establish the circumstances on the matter, a result of which will be shared once completed,” he said.

“Once the investigations are complete, SADC will take appropriate measures, in line with international Law of Armed Conflict,” according to a statement issued by the Namibian Presidency on Wednesday.

The SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) was deployed on 15 July 2021 in Cabo Delgado Province as a regional response to support the Mozambican Government to prevent terrorism and acts of violence.

Since the deployment of SAMIM, there has been significant improvement in the humanitarian and security situation, resulting in the return of Internally Displaced Persons to their areas of origin.

Geingob reiterated SADC’s commitment to peace and security in the region by supporting Mozambique to maintain peace.

The presidency said the SAMIM Force has always conducted itself in a professional, efficient and responsible manner in line with applicable laws and the Rules of Engagement that govern SAMIM operations.

“SADC will continue to support Mozambique through SAMIM in combatting terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado Province by neutralising the terrorist threat and restoring security to create a secure environment and pave the way for the sustainable development of Mozambique and the SADC region.”

By Adolf Kaure.

Namibian head of state and chairperson of the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security regarding the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) HE Dr Hage Geingob said that the he does not not condone acts acts of extreme violence in Mozambique.

This comes after a recent video was circulating on social media depicting members of the defence forces throwing bodies of dead people in burning rubble.

“I wish to inform the general public that the SAMIM leadership has instituted investigations to establish the circumstances on the matter, a result of which will be shared once completed,” he said.

“Once the investigations are complete, SADC will take appropriate measures, in line with international Law of Armed Conflict,” according to a statement issued by the Namibian Presidency on Wednesday.

The SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) was deployed on 15 July 2021 in Cabo Delgado Province as a regional response to support the Mozambican Government to prevent terrorism and acts of violence.

Since the deployment of SAMIM, there has been significant improvement in the humanitarian and security situation, resulting in the return of Internally Displaced Persons to their areas of origin.

Geingob reiterated SADC’s commitment to peace and security in the region by supporting Mozambique to maintain peace.

The presidency said the SAMIM Force has always conducted itself in a professional, efficient and responsible manner in line with applicable laws and the Rules of Engagement that govern SAMIM operations.

“SADC will continue to support Mozambique through SAMIM in combatting terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado Province by neutralising the terrorist threat and restoring security to create a secure environment and pave the way for the sustainable development of Mozambique and the SADC region.”


Zimbabwe: Some Zimbabweans Fear Violence Will Taint Upcoming Elections

10 January 2023

Rights groups say a brutal attack on Zimbabwe opposition supporters was clearly intended to harass and intimidate them ahead of elections expected later this year.

Amnesty International called on Zimbabwe to fully investigate a video showing ruling-party youth beating and kicking older supporters of the Citizens Coalition for Change (Triple C).

The video, which has gone viral on social media, showed some elderly members of the Triple C being assaulted over the weekend in Murehwa about 100 kilometers east of Harare.

Fadzayi Mahere, Triple C spokeswoman, has accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of masterminding the violence and blamed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the police for failing to stop it.

"This violence does not augur well for a free and fair election," she said. "In fact, political violence of this nature is criminal. We call upon Zanu-PF to stop inciting violence. We saw the deputy leader of Zanu-PF saying: the Triple C must be crushed like lice, saying Nelson Chamisa should be killed. It's that conduct which leads these terror gangs to do what they are doing."

Chamisa, a former parliament member and cabinet minister, is the 44-year-old leader of the Triple C.

In response to an interview request, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, director of information for Zanu-PF, sent VOA an audio clip disputing it was his party which caused the violence, which injured seven people from the opposition.

"On its part, Zanu-PF does not tolerate any violence or this barbaric conduct whatsoever," he said. President [Emmerson] Mnangagwa has clearly and unequivocally set the record clear on peaceful and mobilization for free and violence free elections. Whoever commits violence in the name of the party, shall carry his or her own cross and account. Let the police do what they know best: investigation."

After the video circulated, Zimbabwe police released a statement saying they are investigating the incident.

Rights group Amnesty International says it wants Zimbabwean authorities to "urgently launch a thorough, independent and impartial investigation" into the assaults and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Amnesty's spokesman in southern Africa, Robert Shivambu, said the attack would intimidate members of the political opposition ahead of Zimbabwe's elections, and could have a chilling effect throughout the country.

"This callous, politically motivated attack against older people who had simply attended a gathering for a political opposition party is outrageous," he said. "Such cruel acts of violence, which have repeatedly marred Zimbabwe's political landscape in the past, gravely threaten the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The Zimbabwean authorities must take all necessary steps to prevent acts of politically motivated violence and refrain from issuing inflammatory statements that could incite similar attacks or deter people from expressing support to political parties of their choice."

Several of Zimbabwe's elections have been marred by violence, most of which targeted the opposition.

That is why the Zimbabwe Peace Project has set up an app for citizens to report cases of violence or intimidation ahead of the 2023 general election.

Thandolwenkosi Mahaja, the program's coordinator explained how her organization's "Reject, Resist and Report Violence" app works.

"[It] gives citizens the ability to report human rights violations from across Zimbabwe," she said. "To report those violations, and name and tell us what is happening in their communities. We urge citizens to use this app particularly as we are coming to the elections this year in 2023."

The Zimbabwe Peace Project hopes the app will reduce cases of violence and intimidation as the country prepares for polls whose exact date is yet to be announced.


Africa: Will Africa's 2023 Elections Strengthen Democracy?

December 2022

Over a dozen African countries are scheduled to hold elections in 2023. Those polls will show whether democracy is flourishing or not amid the continent's various crises, experts say.

Africa will hold state or parliamentary elections in 17 countries in 2023. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), these elections will significantly impact the continent.

The EIU also warned that the election period could bring volatility in Africa and that there is a high risk of political protests, mass demonstrations and strikes in several countries.

"First of all, it remains to be seen whether the coup drama we saw on the continent in 2022 will continue or whether 2023 will mark a break with this phenomenon, especially in light of the recent coup attempt in Sao Tomeand Principe," Fonteh Akum, executive director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), told DW.

According to authorities, the island nation in the Gulf of Guinea had a failed coup attempt on November 25, 2022.

One of the critical questions in 2023 will be whether democracy is consolidated or pushed back further.

"The key elections to watch are in Nigeria, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, with violence likely in some of these countries," Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at London-based think tank Chatham House, told DW.

All eyes on Nigeria's 2023 election

Nigeria has seen a wave of civic and political engagement by young people ahead of the upcoming presidential election in late February 2023. However, the lead-up to the polls in Africa's most populous nation has been marred by political violence and unrest.

"The Nigerian elections are really important because it's one of the largest economies on the continent and Nigeria is struggling with security issues," Akum pointed out.

It's also important because of the youth in Nigeria, who could shift the balance of power between the major political parties one way or the other.

The political atmosphere in the country of 217 million people is tense ahead of the February election. Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is not running again after two terms in office. So it is an election of change, Akum said.

The ruling APC (All Progressives Congress) and the largest opposition party, the PDP (People's Democratic Party), face each other.

However, Akum noted that a third candidate could significantly impact the contest. Peter Obi, a businessman and presidential candidate for the Labor Party, enjoys massive support from young Nigerians.

Crises persist

West Africa is marked by increasing instability and the spread of violent extremism, Akum said. In the Sahel countries of Burkina Faso and Mali, the military recently staged coups -- in Mali for the second time in a short period. It will be important to see how their transition unfolds, Akum added.

The continent's crises will persist in 2023, according to Alex Vines. "Especially in the Sahel, particularly in Mali and Burkina Faso, but also in Niger," Vines said.

In Cameroon and Nigeria, the situation remains worrisome, as there is great insecurity in parts of those countries.

For Vines, it remains to be seen whether the peace agreement signed in November 2022 between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) will hold. In addition, northern Mozambique remains a cause for concern, where jihadist terror is driving people to flee.

The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is also considered a trouble spot. The conflict there puts the spotlight on the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for December 20, 2023, in the DRC.

According to Akum, the decisions of incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi on violence by rebel militias in the east could impact the conduct of the elections. But he added that what matters in all elections is how the electoral commissions effectively manage the processes and handle challenges to elections.

Tshisekedi is widely expected to run again and could face a challenge from opposition politician Martin Fayulu.

Zimbabwe: Instability and hyperinflation

In neighboring Zimbabwe, the newly formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), the largest opposition party, led by opposition veteran Nelson Chamisa, is likely to run against President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidential election slated for 2023.

But the brutality with which Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front) has responded to challenges to its rule in the past raises fears of unrest. The southern African country has been plagued by instability for over two decades. In addition, hyperinflation has impoverished the once-thriving country.

Rising inflation increases debt

"Africa's economic recovery from the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis in 2022 has been disrupted by a series of shocks," Vines said. These include supply shortages and rapidly rising inflation, also fueled by the global impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

As a result, he says, debt repayment remains a problem for many countries. Added to this, he said, are high borrowing costs under the worst conditions ever. "This trend will continue in 2023, but there will still be African economic growth."

The major economies of Nigeria and South Africa are likely to grow more slowly, according to Vines, but commodity prices, particularly for energy products, metals and minerals, will continue to rise.

Investors and buyers are also trying to diversify their supply chains away from Russia. Vines said that several countries, including Angola, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia, will benefit.


CPS condemns the murder of Felix Musili by Kenyan police

13 January 2023

The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) condemns in the strongest terms the brutal murder of Felix Musili, a member of the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK).

The CPS conveys its heartfelt condolences to Musili’s family, his party the CPK as well as the working-class in Kenya and across the world.

As reported by the CPK, three uniformed police officers shot and killed Musili on Wednesday 11 January 2023 at around 05:00 am in front of his parents and siblings in a clear case of extra-judicial killing. This is not the first time that working-class activists have been murdered in cold blood in Kenya. Many of these killings often do not attract investigations and prosecutions. It is as if the Kenyan government and the autocracy in Swaziland read from the same hymn book as the blatant murder of political activists by the respective security forces of the two countries have gone unabated without any form of accountability.

The CPS supports the calls for justice for Musili as well as all victims of extra-judicial killings by members of the security forces in Kenya. The CPS reiterates its solidarity with the working-class in Kenya and the rest of the African continent and the world in defence of their right to life.

Make 2023 a year of Building the Offensive Capacity of the Movement of the Oppressed People for Democracy Now!

Wednesday 4 January 2023: - Year 2023 will be a time of hard and persistent struggle by the CPS and the democracy movement in our country to advance the gains of the recent period, where we have seen the Mswati dictatorship increasingly on the back foot. The regime is resorting to more desperate tactics to hold on to power in the face of a more confident and determined opposition by our people. Increasingly, our calls for Democracy Now and a national democratic revolution to put an end to the autocracy of royal dictatorship are seen within the country and outside as the only viable way forward for Swaziland. Increasingly, the dictatorship is finding the country harder to govern as the people, not least the youth, see the reality of oppression before them and the ways to end it.

This ungovernability needs to be stepped up and this needs strong organisation of the oppressed people with resistance capacity. Organisation building owes to the hard work of patiently and tenaciously recruiting, educating and motivating people from the ranks of the workers and poor but also from all walks of life to develop a mass movement for democratic revolutionary change. While more and more of our people see that the situation of dictatorship and its thin veils of pretend democracy are both hopelessly inept at running a country but are viciously oppressive and draining Swaziland of a wealth that should be available to the benefit of all, it is only through sustained, organised opposition by a politically and class-conscious majority of citizens that will tip the ideological battle in favour of radical change.

The CPS aims to devote itself to work on the ground in our communities to further develop this unity in action. We must work harder in all our communities to deepen the call for Democracy Now, and this entails what we call 'political consciousness’ – the awareness that feudal royal autocratic rule is not a matter of cultural legacy and value, but a subversion and denial of freedom, progress and nation building.

This year, the dictatorship will celebrate 50 years of the rolling state of emergency (augmented with ‘anti-terrorism’ laws that ban anti-dictatorship activity) that it has used to try to stamp out all opposition to its looting of the state for the enrichment of the elite and to the deliberate degradation and impoverishment of the majority. Our work on building a strong movement of the oppressed people to achieve Democracy Now are the key ways of weakening the dictatorship and moving the country towards a democratic dispensation. The Mswati regime must be made unworkable, its organs ungovernable.

The regime is on the defensive, resorting to increased armed confrontation against our people. This is a desperate measure that exposes the fragility of the regime, despite its backing by vested imperialist interests. The countries of the SADC region need to wake up to the reality of the situation in Swaziland – courtesy calls to Mswati that nervously urge “dialogue” to end the violent oppression of our people are a dead end. SADC and others, if they are serious about peace and freedom in our country, must start listening to the calls for democratic change. And those calls must be reinforced by our hard work on Building the Resistance Movement and fight to achieve Democracy Now.

Our approach is to continue building the strength of the oppressed people by continuing with our resolve to fight for democracy through mobilisation of the entire oppressed people to rise and resist the oppression, build unity amongst the oppressed people, and win the support of the progressive people of the world to our side. We will keep the world informed about the daily struggles with an aim of exposing the atrocities of the regime and the daily sacrifices made by our people and why we must fight using new tactics.

The regime wants to regain and expand its influence in our people by penetrating our communities using puppet administrative and legislative institutions whose criteria is to divide the oppressed people and crack the growing resistance of the movement and whose intention is to exploit in peace.

We must increase and sustain the defiant street protests and expand them in all the towns, and other sites of conflicts and make them effective. We must mobilise from all sections of our society, workplaces, schools, institutions of higher education, rural and urban poor communities. We must mobilise to stop the political and offensive of the regime and deny tinkhundla regime any new space and capacity to survive by applying counter offensive campaigns.

The principal aims of ungovernability is to weaken and demobilise the military offensive of the regime, target the political and economic life of the Mswati dictatorship, disrupt all operations of the puppet government and its instructions, deny the regime any space to exploit the people with ease. Boycotts should be skilfully organised to support daily activism. We must mobilise the people to wage an armed struggle against the regime to oppose tinkhundla clean up policies. We must continue to expose tendencies of compromise and defeatism in the ranks of the pro-democracy movement in all manifestations.

The CPS will continue to strengthen the forces in struggle, train more cadres and mobilise the necessary resources and means of struggle, develop and consolidate the movement’s organisational strength in all sites of human activity in our country and in the diaspora. Working-class organisations and communities are central pillars of this movement. The process of preparing the conditions for the seizure of power by the people must begin this year. Ungovernability must make it difficult for the regime and its ruling class to sleep and enjoy the fruits of oppression.

The struggle has accumulated the necessary capacity and understanding that the Mswati regime cannot be influenced in any way to democratise. Through direct action against the regime, the determination of the people can lead to victory of our struggle, win international allies who can practically side with our struggle and isolate the dictatorship.
Forward with the Movement of the Oppressed People!
Forward to Ungovernability!
Forward to the People’s Offensive!
Forward to Democracy Now!
Forward to International Solidarity!
Forward to the People’s Democratic Republic of Swaziland!
Victory or Death!
Issued by the Communist Party of Swaziland

Preparing to Strike: An Interview with a Bronx Nurse

8 January 2023

Left Voice spoke with Michelle Gonzalez, an ICU nurse at Montefiore Hospital and NYSNA union Executive Committee member, about the impending nurses’ strike in New York City.

How did you get involved as a union activist? How long have you been organizing at your hospital?

I started advocating for the union about ten years ago, and this is the second time being on the executive committee of my union. I got into organizing because there were all these issues, particularly issues related to understaffing, that affected us in the hospital. We were taking out our frustration on each other instead of coming together and fighting the boss. Many of us are involved now because we want to address the root cause of these problems.

NYC nurses almost struck in 2019. How is the situation different today?

We were in multi-hospital bargaining last time, and those of us who supported a strike were outvoted. We learned that multi-hospital bargaining doesn’t work for us at Montefiore, so we’re bargaining separately, and we’ve made sure the people in our bargaining slate believe in striking, and believe that it’s a tool the working class might need to use.

What are the biggest sticking points?

This is about staffing, specifically staffing enforcement. We already have pretty good ratios on paper in some departments [at Montefiore], but in Labor and Delivery and the Emergency Room, we have nothing. We always knew staffing enforcement would be hard to get in these areas, but that’s what we’re fighting for. Montefiore initially refused to make any movement toward ER/LD ratios. It was only after the strike notice was submitted that they offered a 1-6 nurse-patient ratio for the ER. But they are trying to apply that ratio only to people who will be admitted, meaning patients who get discharged the same day won’t be counted in the ratios.

Another part of this fight is over hallway beds. It’s a really disgusting issue that we’ve tried to address at community board meetings, but it currently looks permanent. People are being changed in public view in the hallways because of the shortage of beds. We are demanding the hospital create more beds and hire more staff so we can end the indignity of treating patients in the hallways. The hallways lack privacy, and they do not have oxygen hookups, so some patients get worse care. We want to change that. One of our other proposals has been to add 62 Nurse Practitioners to our Bronx hospital system. If they can invest in real estate and open new clinics, they can find space for every patient, hire more staff, and improve conditions.

Is it true Montefiore is also closing or trying to close community health programs as well?

There’s an article about Montefiore buying property at the expensive Hudson Yards development and starting an upscale clinic there, while simultaneously trying to close the Family Health Center in the Bronx, which serves a low-income population. Management threatened to close another clinic as well but had to backtrack on their plans because of public pressure. Montefiore management did succeed in closing its mother-baby program.

What are other Montefiore hospital workers saying about the impending nurses’ strike?

This week there’s a lot of dialogue between people from different disciplines in the hospital. The general consensus is that we all deserve better as workers and we’re all being abused in different ways. We’re asking traveling nurses to not cross the picket line; we’re asking other staff to come out on their breaks to support the picket. I think we’ve all realized that the only way we’re going to get better conditions is if we fight for it.

Can you say more about the impact of understaffing?

The most egregious thing happening to patients is in the ER and the hallways. The level of care is substandard. Nurses are struggling to deliver their medicines on time. It’s common that nurses are disciplined for accidents caused by understaffing. For instance, a nurse was reprimanded when the patient, who had been staying in a hallway bed, fell while in the bathroom. Instead of hospital administration taking responsibility for the low quality of care that results from understaffing, management tries to blame nurses for negative patient outcomes.

And that’s part of why we’re kind of losing it, mentally, as nurses. Our mental health has been really affected since COVID-19 happened. At first we were called heroes, but now when we’re asking for better conditions, we’re being called crazy. I’m tired of hearing excuses.

What was your experience working through the COVID-19 pandemic?

I have a lot of sympathy for med-surg [medical surgical] nurses, who had to learn how to act like ICU nurses overnight, because there were so many COVID patients who were gasping for air… we were so short of staff that people were waiting for basic treatment. There was a lot of trauma among nurses and patients. People left our hospital for better pay and for safer jobs… we lost respiratory therapists, we lost nurses… Everyone’s just so tired and burned out. In all of these jobs, we should be able to retire with dignity. That’s not the case at present.

Are nurses being retaliated against because of the strike notice?

The relationship with mid-level management is not as bad as I thought it would be. There’s a level of acceptance by management that there will be a strike. There has been some bullying and intimidation toward newer nurses in particular, though, with management misinforming workers about our rights and saying people could get locked out if there’s a strike.

How can working people support your struggle?

I hope that people watching our fight, our struggle, will come to our picket on Monday. And beyond that, I hope that wherever people live, people start thinking about organizing and fighting back. If we don’t fight back, things are going to get worse. I want working conditions for everyone in this country where we can go home at night and feel adequate with the work we did. I want people to watch this fight and for it to be a catalyst for them to fight in their own lives.


Issued by NEHAWU International Service Centre
For more information, please contact Head Office

Weekly Monitors

  • 11 November 2022: Weekly Monitor 31 Read More
  • 04 November 2022: Weekly Monitor 30 Read More
  • 28 October 2022: Weekly Monitor 29 Read More
  • 21 October 2022: Weekly Monitor 28 Read More
  • 14 October 2022: Weekly Monitor 27 Read More
  • 03 October 2022: Weekly Monitor 26 Read More
  • 23 September 2022: Weekly Monitor 25 Read More
  • 09 September 2022: Weekly Monitor 24 Read More
  • 26 August 2022: Weekly Monitor 23 Read More
  • 12 August 2022: Weekly Monitor 22 Read More
  • 05 August 2022: Weekly Monitor 21 Read More
  • 29 July 2022: Weekly Monitor 20 Read More
  • 22 July 2022: Weekly Monitor 19 Read More
  • 07 July 2022: Weekly Monitor 18 Read More
  • 01 July 2022: Weekly Monitor 17 Read More
  • 28 June 2022: Weekly Monitor 16 Read More
  • 24 June 2022: Weekly Monitor 15 Read More
  • 09 June 2022: Weekly Monitor 14 Read More
  • 03 June 2022: Weekly Monitor 13 Read More
  • 12 May 2022: Weekly Monitor 12 Read More
  • 25 March 2022: Weekly Monitor 11 Read More
  • 18 March 2022: Weekly Monitor 10 Read More
  • 10 March 2022: Weekly Monitor 9 Read More
  • 03 March 2022: Weekly Monitor 8 Read More
  • 24 February 2022: Weekly Monitor 7 Read More
  • 18 February 2022: Weekly Monitor 6 Read More
  • 11 February 2022: Weekly Monitor 5 Read More
  • 4 February 2022: Weekly Monitor 4 Read More
  • 28 January 2022: Weekly Monitor 3 Read More
  • 21 January 2022: Weekly Monitor 2Read More
  • 14 January 2022: Weekly Monitor 1Read More