Many labour unions are either in the process of negotiating with their respective employers (mostly municipal, state, or federal governments) in Brazil, while others are actively on strike. These include federal workers from the government bureaucracy, school teachers, city staff, and university staff and faculty. In this piece, I would like to highlight how unions in the transportation sector are highly represented in these labour struggles.
Much media attention has been given to the recent passing of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, as is to be expected. However, it was largely and erroneously reported that he "stepped down as leader of the Zapatistas". Anyone with a basic knowledge of the Zapatista movement will know that he has never been its "leader" but rather a spokesperson for the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army). What happened in La Realidad, Chiapas, on May 24th was much more profound and poetic, as is typical of the Zapatistas.
LASC is working with the Workers Beer Company (http://www.workersbeer.co.uk/) to raise funds to carry out our activities.
We are now recruiting volunteers for the following events:
- Sunday 29th June ARCADE FIRE Marley Park
- Wednesday 2nd July KAYNE WEST & PHARRELL WILLIAMS Marley Park
- Friday 4th July KINGS OF LEON Marley Park
- Thursday 10th July MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS Marley Park
- Saturday 12th July ARTIC MONKEYS Marley Park
Christian Aid Ireland, Grupo Raíces (Grúpa Fréamhacha), Justice for Colombia Ireland, LASC and Trócaire are calling the Irish Parliament not to ratify an EU-Colombia Free Trade Agreement which could probably be voted in June this year.
Oaxaca: Hunger strike over murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola concludes upon conclusion of agreement with authorities
Omar Esparza, former husband of Bety Cariño, together with other persons in solidarity who had engaged in a hunger strike in front of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) in Mexico City have ended their protest after 16 days upon reaching an agreement with the Secretary of Governance (SEGOB), the PGR, and the Oaxacan State Attorney General’s Office in which the latter institutions agree to arrest the 12 presumed perpetrators of the murders of Betty and Jyri Jaakkola and to provide protection to witnesses of the murders.
Jose Luis Solís López, a teacher in the Zapatista’s “Little School” (La Escuelita) was targeted and murdered, and at least 15 Zapatistas seriously injured, in an ambush in which the leaderships of the paramilitary group called CIOAC-Histórica, the Green Ecological Party, the National Action Party [PAN] and the Revolutionary Institutional Party [PRI] are all implicated in directing on Friday, May 2, 2014. The same attackers damaged or destroyed both the autonomous Mayan school and the local health clinic at the Zapatista caracol of La Realidad.
Four things you can do to respond to this deadly attack on the Zapatistas
1. Get the facts. Almost all of the mainstream media are grossly distorting the facts about this violent ambush; however the Zapatistas have published a detailed description in Spanish of the attack (click here to see the document) and Sub Commander Insurgent Marcos has written en emotionally charged description of the events. In addition, mediators from the independent human rights organization Fray Bartolome de las Casas AC have published an eye-witness account (click here to read) which supports the Zapatista version of events. There’s also a detailed Spanish language article in the Mexican daily La Jornada…and here’s an English translation of that same article. We will share additional information as it becomes available.
Article by Gearoid O'Loingsigh
The former senator Piedad Córboda raised a storm when she asked that the Agrarian Strike be suspended. According to her declarations it was inconvenient and that the government had shown its goodwill by setting up the roundtable on negotiations. She surprised a lot of people, amongst them her friends (are they now ex friends?) on the left, but what she said was logical and coherent with her efforts in the framework of the peace process and her political career.
Firstly, we must ask, for whom is it inconvenient? Well, certainly it was for the Santos government and represents a threat to his re-election. Here we see Piedad trying to bind the struggles of the people to the needs of the government and the State. The peace agreement will tie all struggles to the content of the texts and, of course, the needs of the State. It will never be convenient to struggle, because it will place in doubt what was agreed upon, and the stability of the State will be more important than a victorious struggle by peasants. It is strange though, that the FARC and the State can negotiate in the midst of an armed conflict, but Piedad wants the peasants to surrender first.
Piedad deliberately ignores the history of the peasants in Colombia. She talks of the goodwill of the State as if the peasants' history or that of the current strike started yesterday. This has been going on for decades, decades of agreements signed and reneged upon. The current strike is the result of the agreements signed last year not being implemented. They were very poor agreements, but be that as it may, the State did not fulfil them and Piedad wants us to trust in the goodness of the State. This is coherent with what she asks of us in relation to the negotiations in La Habana. We have to trust the State and not do anything inconvenient.
In June 2014 the Irish parliament is to vote on a Colombia-EU Free Trade Agreement.
All of the development and human rights organisations in Ireland working in relation to Colombia have raised their objections on the grounds that such an Agreement will be detrimental to the living conditions of the vast majority of the excluded in Colombia and therefore is quite likely to exacerbate violence, at a time when we should be supporting efforts towards peace.
This is a briefing written by Christian Aid, Justice for Colombia Ireland, Grupo Raices, ICTU, Trocaire and LASC where we outline a reason why this Agreement should not go ahead. It is possible to find a better deal for people both in Colombia and Europe!