San Francisco youth are holding a fast for 5 days to call our attention to the crisis of the children trapped at the U.S. Mexico border. Youth from ages 16 to 20 held a press conference at City Hall on August 12 and announced their plan to set up a tent across from City Hall Tuesday and Wednesday for donations. They will then return to ICE headquarters Friday at noon to end their five-day fast. Youth are taking this action to get the word out about the inhumane treatment of children languishing at the border. They asked us, “Put yourself in the kids shoes; they are just children!” One youth spoke of being inspired after learning that Cesar Chavez often fasted for causes for the farm workers. Another youth’s inspiration came from students in LA holding similar actions.
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.
The main slogan for this year's May Day mobilization was, “the unity of the workers is the guarantee of the revolution.” Another prominent slogan urged the building of a more efficient and prosperous socialism. The march was organized by the government, but had a largely informal character. Most of the signs, banners, and numerous giant puppets appeared to be homemade. The march began in the early morning, no doubt to avoid the midday heat. It was basically completed by noon. Cuban President Raul Castro presided over the event, waiving to the marchers from the reviewing stand.
International supporters of the revolution who came from many countries were quite visible. Latin American international contingents were the most prominent, particularly from Colombia, Venezuela and Honduras. Images of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and, of course, that of Ché Guevara, were emblazoned on the t-shirts of many of the marchers.
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.
Jonathan Nack writes:
Sensational reporting on opposition protests in Venezuela has been featured by the corporate mainstream media over the past three weeks. There are accounts of repression of protesters who are calling for the “exit” of President Nicholas Maduro because of rising inflation, rampant crime, shortages of consumer goods, and mismanagement of the economy to the point of collapse. Eighteen people have been reported to have been killed in connection with the protests. The government, and government aligned “colectivo” thugs are blamed. The mainstream media's narrative is that the Venezuelan government has caused this crisis, because it is a dictatorship that has ruined Venezuela's economy in a failed attempt to impose Cuban style socialism. Slowly, alternative narratives which challenge the mainstream media's accounts of current events and their context, are emerging from the internet, some journalists, and grassroots solidarity activists.
A small group of such activists gathered for an emergency street rally in the heart of San Francisco's Latino community, the 24th Street and Mission Street BART Plaza, on February, 17, 2014. The rally was called to protest the one-sided media coverage of events unfolding in Venezuela; to denounce plots to destabilize the Venezuelan government and economy in an attempt to precipitate a U.S. backed coup; and to express solidarity with the Venezuelan based international Bolivarian revolutionary movement.
The Center for Political Education organized a report back by Carolina Morales about her recent visit. The March 6 event also commemorated the one year anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez.
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S.F. Rally in Solidarity with Venezuela and the Bolivarian Process |
March 6 Event Announcement
The Obama administration’s push to modernize U.S. ports to accommodate huge new ships that can pass through the widened Panama Canal worries environmentalists who believe U.S. coastlines will be subjected to enormous damage and coastal residents will face increased health risks. For marine life already threatened by shipping traffic, like the majestic right whale, the odds are even tougher.