Jonathan Nack reports from Havana:
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans demonstrated unmistakeable enthusiasm while marching in the Cuban capitol on May Day – International Workers Day. Marchers chanted, danced, sang songs, and blew horns throughout the festive march. It was a clear statement of support for the Cuban government. CBS News reported an estimated 600,000 participated. Trade unionists, community groups, members of cooperatives, and even unions of small businesses demonstrated their support for the Cuban Revolution.
On April 17, International Day of Peasant Resistance, and to mark the 30th anniversary of the Movimento Sem Terra (Landless Workers Movement) in Brazil, Bay Area delegates from the 6th MST Congress presented a report on what they had experienced and learned during their trip. The presentation at La Peña in Berkeley took a look at many aspects of the MST and the difficult and sometimes deadly struggle for poverty reduction and agrarian reform in Brazil.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report on March 31 highlights the increasing threat from rising global meat and dairy consumption to limiting global warming, especially as the world population continues to grow. By 2050, estimates indicate, beef and lamb will account for half of all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Cheese and other dairy products will account for about one quarter of total agricultural climate pollution.
The corporate media's narrative on the opposition protests in Venezuela is that the Venezuelan government caused this crisis, because it is a dictatorship that has ruined the economy in a failed attempt to impose Cuban style socialism. In San Francisco, activists gathered for a rally at the 24th and Mission BART Plaza on February 17, to protest the one-sided media coverage. Another event on March 6 featured a reportback from Venezuela and commemorated the one-year anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez.
As sports commentators and news reporters from all over the world endlessly discuss Sochi's not-so-cold weather and Olympian efforts to improve snow conditions, they often fail to mention that balmy winters may become the new normal in many long-established ski destinations, thanks to our changing global climate. The Olympics have repeatedly placed the world's most pressing concerns and crises in front of a world audience. This year, 105 winter Olympians have called for climate action.
On February 14, protesters gathered outside the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco to protest the brutal slaughter of dolphins. Approximately 30 people held signs and handed out literature to people in the financial district to raise awareness of the Japanese practice of slaughtering dolphins. Activists from Sea Shepherd and In Defense of Animals organized World Love for Dolphins Day
demonstrations on Valentine's Day at Japanese consulates in major cities across the United States.
Workers and activists in support of the Korean Railway Workers Union and its jailed leaders rallied on January 17 at the San Francisco Korean Consulate. The government mobilized a counter-demonstration of retired Korean military veterans and elderly pro-government women to harass and attack the solidarity rally. They failed and the rally took place. Another solidarity action was held at the consulate on February 25.