Week #6, July 2020
1. Henry Reeve Cuban brigade:
Greek Initiative to support the Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Cuban doctors presented in Athens.
2. Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE):
Strongly Rejects the Agreement Reached in the European Council.
3. Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF):
In support of P. Grudinin.
4. Free Simon Trinidad:
Campaign for the release of the Colombian peace negotiator.
5. Trade Union Association of Bohemia, Moravia & Silesia (OSČMS):
Statement on Critical Situation on the Railways in Czech Republic.
6. Cyprus Peace Council:
Denounces the US-Cyprus military cooperation.
7. Israel Protests:
Thousands protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities.
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GREEK INITIATIVE FOR CUBAN DOCTORS
Greek Initiative to support the Nobel Peace Prize nomination for the Henry Reeve brigade of Cuban doctors
On July 20th, an event was held for the presentation of the Greek Initiative to apply for the Nobel Peace Prize for the Henry Reeve brigade of Cuban doctors, at the Michalis Kakogiannis Foundation, organized by Velissarios Kossivakis of Newstar Art Cinema.
The Honorary Committee of 100 personalities supporting the initiative was presented within the more than 30 thousand signatories.
The event was an important milestone in the campaign Cuba Yes, Blockade No, carried out by Greek solidarity friends.
The floor was taken by Velisarios Kossivakis; Zelmys Maria Dominguez Cortina, Cuba’s ambassador to Greece; Dr. John Milios, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy and History of Economic Thinking at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA); Dimitrios Patelis Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Technical University of Crete; Babis Voreas Greek shipping entrepreneur residing in Cuba; Danai Chelmi, 2nd Vice President of the Cuban Hellenic Friendship Association; George Mehrabian, of the Jose Marti Cultural Association of Solidarity with Cuba and Aristomenis Syngelakis, physician.
In addition, Anna Rezan, famous actress and director read a fragment of Che’s speech to medical students in 1960, and another supportive friend read a poem to Che. In the end patriotic songs were performed, including "Hasta Siempre Comandante" by Greek singer Nikos Theodorakis and resident Cuban singer Marlen Olano.
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COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE WORKERS OF SPAIN (PCTE)
PCTE Strongly Rejects the Agreement Reached in the European Council
Our Party has been warning for months that capital would try to offload the whole weight of the economic crisis on the shoulders of the working class. We warned that the socialization of company losses through tax reductions, temporary layoffs and direct support to specific sectors of the economy was a bill. Eventually, they want us –the same people who always do it- to pay that bill.
The fallacies of the Government are being shown: dismissals are possible during the crisis, the labor reform is not going to be repealed, taxes will not be increased for rich people and there are going to be many people who will be left behind. In short, this crisis is not being managed in a different way from the previous one or to the other capitalist governments, whether they are liberal or social democratic.
We will not see men in black nor talk about memorandums, but it is essentially the same. We are going to pay for the socialization of company losses with pension reforms, cuts in public services and labor reforms. This is the agreement reached by the European Council. All the capitalist governments agree in this roadmap, and the only thing they have had to dispute was the share of the booty.
The bourgeois class is getting ready for this crisis by declaring war to the working class at all levels. The PCTE calls the working class and the working people to answer back in a consistent and unified way, gathering their forces and placing their program of maximum goals to fight the battle in the forthcoming years.
Press Office, Central Committee of the PCTE
July 21, 2020.
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COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (CPRF)
In support of P. Grudinin
Dear comrades and friends!
We once again call for your support of Pavel Grudinin, the Head of “Lenin Sovkhoz”, People’s Enterprise located in the Moscow region which is considered as one of the best agricultural enterprises in Russia and bears the name of “an island of socialism” amid a sea of capitalist lawlessness. Due to the socialist system of management he could provide his employees with the full set of social guarantees, including bonuses, medical care and education.
Thanks to his skilful efforts Sovkhoz, which remains the last survived among 15 similar ones in the Moscow Region, became a territory of “social optimism”, an example to be followed.
We have already published a number of statements and articles with full details of the situation in the enterprise which affects the destiny of thousand workers and veterans, their family members and relatives.
Pavel Grudinin, the candidate of the CPRF and the National Patriotic forces of Russia in the last presidential campaign became the second with support of about 9 million voters.
In the course of the presidential campaign of 2018, due to his political preferences, Pavel Grudinin has experienced all possible means of pressure and outright harassment in the Media. Now he is about of loosing his most cherished life's work – the “Lenin Sovkhoz”, what inevitably strikes destinies of thousands of people leaving them jobless and destitute.
After series of courts characterized by flagrant procedural violations the real threat of destruction of one of the best Russian agrarian enterprises has really appeared.
The stage is being set for a hostile takeover of the enterprise which owns 2,000 hectares of land outside Moscow. If the enterprise is destroyed, hundreds of employees will inevitably lose their jobs for the sake of rental houses to be built on fertile land.
We have every reason to believe that the persecution of Pavel Grudinin primarily has a political context. In a recent opinion poll conducted by a reputable Agency, Grudinin was ranked seventh in the list of the most popular politicians in Russia. It is clear that the ruling party of Russia, the United Russia, is seriously concerned about the possibility of another popular leader appearing in the opposition.
Obviously, the recent situation around the “Lenin Sovkhoz”, including the trials looks like a well-organized raider attack aimed at getting access to so much desirable land on one hand and on the other – to eliminate a really dangerous political opponent.
If this happens the land ownership transfers to Vladimir Palikhata a well-known raider and his business partner Dmitry Sablin, United Russia parliamentarian. Both are operating with approval of Andrey Vorob’yov, Moscow region Governor and very much interested in getting almost two thousand hectares of land near Moscow with estimated value of at least 80 billion rubles for consequent redevelopment.
So, that is the back ground of "necessary" court decisions taken for the benefit of entrepreneurs from the Ruling party.
The CPRF strongly condemns the state and judicial arbitrariness towards Pavel Grudinin and demands an immediate stop of raider’s attack on the enterprise.
Dear Comrades, we ask for your assessment of actions of the authorities as well as the legitimacy and validity of Court decisions being taken with regard to Pavel Grudinin and send by e-mail to http://letters.kremlin.ru/ and to the CPRF, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPRF CC Presidium.
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FREE SIMON TRINIDAD CAMPAIGN
On Simon Trinidad’s 70th birthday the solidarity movement around the world comes together to demand his release from prison in Colorado, United States and repatriation to his homeland in Colombia.
The Colombian political prisoner and former FARC commander has spent sixteen long and unjust years in prison, many of them in solitary confinement.
His arrest in Ecuador in 2004 while trying to make international contact with a UN representative for the humanitarian exchange of prisoners of war made news around the world. He was deported to Colombia where the authorities entreated the United States to extradite him to the US on trumped up charges. Initially the US refused extradition as there were no charges against him in that country, however, at the insistence of the Colombian government, Simon Trinidad was taken from his homeland on 31st December 2004 and taken to the United States.
His defence went through a number of trials which found no case to answer. However, with the helped of paid witnesses he was tried on conspiracy charges to hold three American hostages and sentenced on 28th January 2008 to sixty years in a US prison. He remains at the super-max prison in Florence, Colorado.
During the peace process in Havana between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), he was denied his right to participate in the negotiation talks as part of the FARC Peace delegation.
Today the people of Colombia and supporters around the world demand his release and repatriation to Colombia to contribute to the implementation of the Peace Accords signed by the former guerilla group and the Colombian government.
On humanitarian grounds the solidarity movement rally on his 70th birthday to ask for his freedom.
For more information on the international campaign for freedom of Simon Trinidad contact:
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TRADE UNION ASSOCIATION OF BOHEMIA, MORAVIA AND SILESIA
Trade Union Association of Bohemia, Moravia & Silesia (OSČMS): Statement on Critical Situation on the Railways in Czech Republic
Trade Union Association of Bohemia, Moravia & Silesia (OSČMS), Czech Republic, the WFTU affiliate, expresses its full support and solidarity to the TU Association of Railway Workers, the Federation of Engine Drivers and other TUs working within today’s liberalized railway transport.
We express our sympathy with anybody to be injured during the railway accidents, wishing those people quick recovery. We offer, too, our sympathy over the loss of their nearest and dearest to the families of the dead victims of the railway accidents.
The OSČMS considers those disasters alarming and calls upon Czech government as well as the responsible officials to take the most quickly the measures to prevent the disaster like those to repeat. In the official reports, there is spoken overwhelmingly about human failures; however, it has always its own reasons. Trade Union organizations, nevertheless, must always defend the interests of the employees, those of both the engine drivers and the other employees of the Rail & Transport Road Administration (SŽDC), ČD CARGO and other subsidiary companies.
It’s necessary to ask the question if the time has come for the employees of various liberalized railway companies bringing the condition to declare the strike emergency and then to come into negotiation with the Czech Republic’s government, with the Ministry of Transport respectively.
The experts keep discussion about possible engine drivers’ fatigue or their lack of experience. Well, the overtax, the rest deficit, the stress, it can be the reasons of those tragedies. It is necessary, however, to take into account, too, the size of share of the electronic safety systems and their real functioning. Moreover, in the case of the railways without the electronic safety appliances, the demands put on the engine drivers are too high. There is plenty of such railways remaining in our country. The current government as well as the previous ones bear the responsibility for the rail politics, the rail liberalisation included.
The OSČMS has never supported the privatization of railway transport under the pretext of the EU dictate of its so-called necessity. We reject it as to be both non-conceptual and anti-employees one. Our approach in this issue is in accordance with the WFTU’s one.
The railways as the public transport’s backbone must remain in the hands of the state, in the hands of the national carrier respectively. Therefore, the OSČMS calls upon the trade unions acting within the sector of railways and attendant services to act in unity. Thus, THE OSČMS calls upon the government to start immediately and speedily solve this joyless, difficult situation, in technology respect as well as with regard to the engine drivers’ heavy workload. It’s impossible to ignore the human factor; it is necessary to examine, however, what’s the level of the staff’s workload, and, too, if their resting time between their two particular shifts is adequate towards their responsibility for the passengers’ lives. Tens of the injured and several dead people, the engine driver included, it is too high a price to pay for the railway liberalization. The current tragedy as well as series of consecutive train crashes, it is an enough conclusive argument why the OSČMS stands so vigorously against liberalization of railway transport.
We call upon friendly Trade Unions to express their solidarity with fair struggles of Czech both engine drivers and other railways workers. Within the last period, the situation around railway accidents is critical, with some people dead and tens people injured, and (during last weeks especially) there is no day with no railway accidents, the two-trains-crashes included.
Unity is strength!
The working people’s solidarity is strength!
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CYPRUS PEACE COUNCIL
Cyprus Peace Council denounces the US-Cyprus military cooperation
The announcement of the US Embassy in Cyprus, which states the intention of the US to offer military education and training to the Republic of Cyprus, represents a huge provocation against the Cypriot people. It also stressed that this cooperation acts as an effective means of defending US national security!
The Anastasiades government must explain to the Cypriot people how it serves the Cypriot people and how the defence of US national security contributes to the solution of the Cyprus problem. The government must also explain its intentions regarding the implementation of the notorious US Menendez-Rubio bill to lift the embargo on the sale of American weapons.
Is the breaking off of Cyprus' relations with Russia in the interest of the Cypriot people, as this bill demands?
Is it in the interest of Cyprus and our people to tie themselves to the US-NATO war machine and to get involved in imperialist interventions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East?
Is the implementation of the Menendez-Rubio bill perhaps an attempt to wash away the US-NATO criminal role in the twin crime committed in 1974?
They are offering the same generous "education" and "training" today as they offered in 1974 to their then collaborators, the junta of Greece, EOKA B and the Turkish army, to execute the coup d’état and subsequent invasion of 1974.
The Cyprus Peace Council (CPC) has a clear position. If the US and the Anastasiades government intend to upgrade their relations and military cooperation, we have no intention whatsoever of accepting cooperation with those who planned the double crime committed in Cyprus at the NATO headquarters in 1974. No soldier and National Guard official has any place in any education and training to defend U.S. national security. The U.S. military and other foreign powers have no place in Cyprus. Neither has Cyprus any position in NATO, nor has NATO any position in Cyprus! The CPC has repeatedly warned that the Anastasiades government is leading us away from the sought goal of the demilitarization Cyprus. Unfortunately, instead of protecting Cyprus, which has suffered so much and is on the verge of partition, the government is turning Cyprus into an unsinkable aircraft carrier of the imperialist powers and an aggressive launching pad
What Cyprus and our people need right now is not the strengthening of military cooperation with foreign powers, but the immediate resumption of the negotiation procedure and the resolution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation. The role of the National Guard must be to defend the interests of our homeland and our people and not of any other foreign forces and military organizations. The CPC condemns the US-Cyprus military cooperation and declares once again that we will not accept any compromise with the occupation and partition. We will continue to struggle against the militarization of Cyprus, for liberation from the occupation and for the reunification of our homeland, turning Cyprus into a bridge of peace for the peoples.
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Secretariat of the Cyprus Peace Council
Cyprus Peace Council.
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ISRAEL ANTI-NETANYAHU PROTESTS
Tens of thousands protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Israel on Saturday evening, July 25, in protests largely demanding the resignation of far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his indictments on graft charges, as well as castigating his neoliberal government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. This was the latest in a series of rallies that have ratcheted pressure on Netanyahu and his governing coalition.
The demonstrations took place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Caesarea and at major intersections, highway overpasses and other locations around the country, in what appeared to be the largest manifestation yet of a growing protest movement seeking Netanyahu’s ouster and the redressing of a laundry list of other ills wracking the country.
Police broke up a several thousand-strong anti-government protest in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem in the early hours of Sunday morning, evacuating hundreds of protesters by truck.
A police spokesperson said around 5,000 protestors took part in the demonstration which began at around 8 pm and continued long past its official ending time of 11 pm. Joint List MKs Ayman Odeh and Ofer Cassif joined the demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s residence together with numerous Hadash, Communist Party of Israel and young Communist activists. “Corona is less dangerous than the tyranny of Bibi-ism,” Cassif told reporters.
“Bibi, go home!” the demonstrators cried while brandishing an assortment of signs calling Netanyahu corrupt, stating that he “doesn’t have the public’s mandate” and crying out against the economic situation, with one poster saying that the average citizen is poor. Protesters roundly denounced “government rule by capitalists.”
Around 1 am, police officers began forcibly evacuating protestors, dragging them off the street one by one and eventually deploying two water cannon against the remaining group that refused to leave. Police reported that 12 persons had been detained or arrested for “various offenses included disturbing public order or attacking other protesters.”
In several other incidents Saturday night, activists taking part in demonstrations against Netanyahu were attacked In the Sha’ar Hanegev region bordering the Gaza Strip, one demonstrator was stabbed when a group of pro-Netanyahu ruffians assaulted protestors rallying against Netanyahu on a highway overpass. In the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan, a man and his son who were protesting near the Aluf Sade Junction were pepper sprayed by a passing driver who slowed down to mace them. In Jerusalem, protesters leaving the rally against Netanyahu outside his official residence reported being harassed or attacked on nearby Lincoln Street by members of “La Familia,” a fascist, pro-Netanyahu group. One member of the group was reportedly detained by police.
Netanyahu, who has vowed to remain in office and has described the protesters as “anarchists” and “left-wing extremists,” lashed out Saturday at Israel’s leading television news for covering the growing demonstrations against him, accusing it of working “to fuel” the protests. He claimed that almost the entire network’s programming “has been mobilized for unrestrained Bolshevik propaganda against the prime minister.”
On Thursday night and early Friday morning, 55 persons sustained various injuries as police deployed multiple water cannon against protesters who were calling for the resignation of Netanyahu outside the PM’s official residence in Jerusalem. Similar anti-Netanyahu demonstrations, which organizers have dubbed the “Siege of Balfour [Street],” took place near his official residence several nights last week.
The Thursday night protest on Balfour Street drew a wide array of demonstrators, from hippy types distributing flowers, to a self-proclaimed Likud voter who opposes Netanyahu, to Hadash activists calling for an end to Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank. However, a single idea appears to unite all protesters who were in Paris Square that night: the current government must not remain in power. On that night too, officers sprayed protesters with high-pressure water cannon in a bid to clear the streets after midnight. Some protesters who were peacefully dispersing were hit in the back by the water cannon, and said police had left them with no avenue of escape.