Red Youth, standing shoulder to shoulder with our comrades in the Syrian Communist Youth Union reproduce the statement of the revolutionary Syrian youth who stand with the legitimate government of the Syrian people and the President Bashar al-Assad against the imperialist-backed forces of reaction and obscurantism.
Dear comrades and friends:
Nowadays, Syria is facing one of the most serious position in its modern history, when the world imperialist attack is increased using most reactionary forces with full support and funding of the Arab reactionary regimes who they are Imperialist agents.
Today the Syrian people and youth are facing the terrorist operations, massacres and incitement on the various components of the Syrian people, where the terrorist operations targeting civilians, soldiers, academics and active youth. These operations are carried out by terrorist groups and extremist reactionary forces especially its obscurantist Muslim Brotherhood organization with direct support by weapons and through media campaigns which are led, funded and fabricated by treason and reactionary Arab regimes especially oil Arab Gulf countries in addition to NATO interference in the region by Turkey.
The treason forces who are called themselves ″The Syrian opposition″ are asking for external intervention on Syria by NATO, which means to invade our country depending upon the criminal imperialist model that we witnessed in Libya and Iraq, which means to allow NATO to invade and occupy Syria, this what the Syrian people and youth are against it and will fight it by all means and forms. In this occasion, the Syrian Communist Party and Syrian Communist Youth Union – Khaled Bagdash Youth have organized many demonstrations and sit-ins in various parts of Syria rejecting the imperialist interventions in the country affairs and supporting the Syrian national steadfastness, and our comrades is working in many region to relief and help the refugees.
Despite everything that is happening, the Syrian national steadfastness continues to face the Zionist and imperialist pressures and blackmails and still insists to restore the occupied Syrian Golan and rejecting imperialist domination plans such as the imperialist plan that so called “the new greater middle east”. This national steadfastness is the cornerstone in the victories which achieved by the national resistance in the East Mediterranean region. Syria is the stronghold facing the imperialist plans and projects in the region, and it is the main supporter to national resistance in the region, this caused it to won the hostility of imperialists, Zionists, reactionaries and their traitors.
But the neoliberal economic policies that have been applied in recent years led to impoverish the masses of people and led to increasing the unemployment status among young people and gave a strong blow to the national production, which create a breeding ground for the work and activities of reactionary forces, and established for the unfortunate events that taking place in the country. This is what Syrian communists have warned and struggled against everywhere and with various shapes.
Community, faith and labor organizations mobilized this afternoon for a rally and civil disobedience action in support of thirty-eight workers on strike at a Walmart warehouse in Elwood, Illinois. They marched down to this distribution center, and, at least thirteen clergy and community leaders sat down and blocked an entrance to the center to prevent goods from arriving or leaving the warehouse. After the leaders sat down in the road, a security force believed to be the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Mobile Field Force, clad in riot gear, marched out and surrounded the leaders.
The security force arrested all of the people committing civil disobedience. They had an officer with a camera taking video of the action. They also drove a Humvee with an Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) out into the street and parked fifty to one hundred feet away from where people were being arrested. The warehouse was, according to Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ), completely shut down.
Live streamer “MoccupyChi” was on hand and captured the entire action, including the paramilitary force that greeted those engaged in nonviolent action.
Walmart had a private security force on hand to arrest clergy and community leaders there to support workers because the distribution center is located in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). The distribution center, as WWJ’s website details, is also “one of the most important transportation and distribution hubs in the world.”
-The only location in the hemisphere where all six Class I railroads meet, Chicago transports half the nation’s rail freight.
-Seven interstate highways crisscross the Chicago region. Only two states have more interstate highway miles than Illinois. Chicago is a two-day truck haul from 219 million people, or 42% of the continent.
-Chicago is now, by some estimates, the third-largest container port in the world, after Hong Kong and Singapore.
-As a result, almost a trillion dollars worth of goods pass through the Chicago region every year.
The multinational corporation was prepared with the kind of police force one would expect at a national special security event, like a political convention, because the warehouse entrance the leaders were blocking with their bodies is possibly the “largest intermodal” distribution center in the country. [The riot police squad may have been a force tasked with policing the entire center, which other corporations in addition to Walmart use, and may not solely be a militarized force there to protect Walmart from—in this case—peaceful protesters.]
The workers at the Walmart warehouse have been on strike since September 15 of this year. They are employed by Roadlink, a Walmart contractor that handles the multinational corporation’s logistics. They went on strike to protest unfair labor practices that include retaliation against workers, who brought concerns to management and demanded regular hours and a living wage.
The workers were temporarily suspended when they went to management with these demands. Several of them were immediately fired.
WWJ reported a wage theft lawsuit had been filed for “non-payment for all hours worked, paying less than the minimum wage and non-payment of overtime worked” just days before. One of the plaintiffs was a worker immediately fired on the spot on September 15.
Workers striking in Elwood also aimed to show solidarity with warehouse workers in southern California, who went on strike to protest workplace retaliation by their employers, NFI and Warestaff. The California workers also move Walmart goods for these contractors.
Most of the leaders who were arrested were released immediately from jail.
Today we shut down a warehouse in the largest distribution hub in the country. Hundreds marched on our workplace where we are on strike for a ULP, and they were forced to close all operations, costing Walmart and its subsidiaries millions of dollars. About a dozen clergy persons and union leaders were arrested for blockading the road to the trucking entrance. Walmart had armed strike breaking thug riot cops INSIDE THE WAREHOUSE, who marched out and made the arrests, backed by an L-RAD, and a Hummer.
Donate to our strike fund HERE!
“Korean trade unions protest against Walmart in Seoul in solidarity with striking Walmart Warehouse Workers in California and Illinois!
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Korean Public and Transportation Union, The Private Service Union, and the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Division protested at Walmart’s Seoul Procurement office in solidarity with striking warehouse workers”
Thank you friends! Your support means a lot to us. Much love from the frontlines in Illinois!
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Warehouse workers went on strike to protest unfair labor practices they have faced on the job Wednesday morning, following months of working in hot temperatures under extreme pressure in a major Walmart-contracted warehouse in Southern California.
Workers—who do not have a recognized union—walked off the job during the first shift at an NFI warehouse in Mira Loma, California to call for an end to retaliation and unfair labor practices. Workers have been fighting for more than a year for safe working conditions and for Walmart to take responsibility for conditions in the warehouse.
“When we spoke out to change terrible working conditions, workers were suspended, demoted and even fired. They spied on us and bullied us, all because we are fighting for dignity” said Limber Herrera, a warehouse worker for four years.
The strike comes one day before workers and their supporters begin a 50-mile, six-day pilgrimage from the warehouses to Downtown Los Angeles.
Workers face inadequate access to clean water, work under scorching heat that reaches well over 100 degrees, and have little access to basic healthcare, regular breaks, and properly functioning equipment. Their wages are low –$8 per hour and $250 a week, or $12,000 per year. Workplace injury is common.
But when workers tried to offer solutions to fix these abuses, they have been met with illegal threats and intimidation by management. Workers are employed by NFI and a temporary labor agency, Warestaff. Both companies are Walmart subcontractors, but the retail giant has ignored repeated attempts by workers to meet and address the inhumane and illegal conditions in its contracted warehouses.
As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart dictates the standards of operation in the logistics and distribution industry.
“These workers have exhausted all options,” said Guadalupe Palma, a director of Warehouse Workers United, an organization committed to improving warehousing jobs in Southern California’s Inland Empire. “Walmart must stop ignoring warehouse workers and intervene to uphold its own stated “Standards for Suppliers,” eliminate inhumane and illegal working conditions and sit down directly with warehouse workers to hear about their experiences in the warehouses and figure out how to improve working conditions.”
More than 85,000 workers labor in warehouses in Southern California, unloading merchandise from shipping containers that enter through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and loading it onto trucks destined for retail stores like Walmart. The National Labor Relations Board is currently investigating numerous federal charges filed by the warehouse workers.
WHAT: Press Conference to Launch Warehouse Worker Pilgrimage
WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 13
WHERE: 601 S. Milliken Ave., Suite A, Ontario, California 91761
WHO: Warehouse Workers
Assemblymember Norma Torres
Rev. Eric Lee, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Art Rodriguez, President of United Farm Workers of America
Members of the clergy
VISUALS: Warehouse workers and their supporters will hold a short press conference in front of a warehouse and then commence marching up Milliken Ave. with signs and a backdrop of some of the world’s largest warehouses.
Warehouse workers will embark on their 50-mile march Sept. 13. They will sleep on church floors and rely on community organizations for support and meals. Marchers will be joined daily by supporters and elected officials. Workers will hold daily media events and will be available for interviews in English and Spanish throughout the entire march.
Follow the march on social media using the hashtag #WalMarch
— Fredrick Engels
The mentality perpetuated by anarchists and liberals creates a peculiar line between the “good” and “bad” socialists. It seems that anarchists and liberals vehemently support communists/socialists who didn’t win their revolution (yet), or were swiftly defeated, such as: The Black Panthers, Communists who suffered under the Pinochet regime in Chile, American Communists black-listed under McCarthy, Malcolm x, academics like Walter Benjamin, and the occasional exception being support for Che, who they absurdly distance from communism and the Cuban revolution. Granted there are some people reactionary enough to distance themselves from all of these fighters.
The “Bad” communists are those who made their revolutions and held on, Castro, Lenin, Kim Il-Sung, Mao, and of course Marx and Engels themselves…
Liberals tend to rely on paying lip-service to radical figures, while distancing their legacy from the actual ideas they represented. They repackage revolutionary figures into “democracy safe” distortions. Radical histories become legitimate expressions of anger, but locked in their particular time period: the illusion being that legal methods have developed to address all of the ailments radicals have historically confronted.
Anarchists pretend to take the historical moral high ground by distancing themselves from all notable instances where the character of a revolution would be tested; or else they rewrite events like Makhno’s military dictatorship to be the epitome of anti-hierarchical egalitarian perfection. This way the difficult questions are never asked, and their politics are never put to the test— Questions like “Do we dare to win?” , and “How are we going to suppress the bourgeoisie counter-revolution?” (you know, that thing that has happened after every working-class revolution EVER?) Purity in intention subsumes all practical demands, and history is cherry-picked to present a story of the courageous martyrs with an uncompromising vision of liberty, and the tyrants who played the role of opportunist.
By taking authority out of the equation instead of seeing it as a problem to be solved, the difficult tasks of serious revolutionary activity are sidestepped. The stage is set for future coup attempts, and self-righteous anger when the legitimate revolutionary forces don’t cave to the minority vanguard of moral champions. This is not paranoid, this is already happening, and whereas many of us may not be totally sympathetic to “Stalinists”, and probably nearly none of us are sympathetic to the cultish RCP, the attitudes reflected in this attack are not isolated, but represent a historical continuity. When the weak and diffused anarchists outlets find themselves burnt out time and time again, and are sick of making grungier versions of Church style charity institutions, they get violent at other leftists groups, because it gives them the illusion that they are not utterly powerless. Let me be clear: this is not true of all anarchists by any means. Many anarchists supported the Bolsheviks, and fought alongside them. Many anarchists today are legitimately interested in left solidarity and wouldn’t dream of attacking other left groups; but in history and in modern practice we have to be aware and prepared of such profoundly counter-revolutionary sentiments from anarchists, and wingnut left-communist groups.
I am proud to stand in the legacy of revolutionary fighters from nearly every country on earth who were informed by Marxism-Leninism; I accept our historical faults and problems, and confront them directly. Struggle doesn’t mean having the right belief system, and it doesn’t mean not making mistakes, it means analyzing historical trends, adapting and evolving. To throw the baby out with the bathwater is to erase the most profound and successful tools the working class has developed to fight bourgeoisie class oppression. It is to distance yourself from global anti-colonial struggle, and resistance against imperialism. A-historical categories like “State” and “Power” say nothing about the current character of a revolutionary struggle: sometimes it is progressive to support people, places, or things, that you don’t agree with, or are doing something you think is “fucked up”, because there are larger conditions at work. Sometimes revolution isn’t about your desires.
The movement that began on July 26th 1953 would grow to become one of the most inspiring and powerful revolutionary movements in history. The victory of the Cuban revolution has provided the international working class with a living example of the possibility of victory, despite having the most powerful and murderous imperialist force in the world against it. Today I spoke with two sisters who survived living under the despotic western puppet Batista, and to this day they are proud to stand in solidarity with Cuba, and the legacy of the revolution. To speak to people with first hand experience of the situation gives one a completely different perspective than the right wing slander spewed out by Western media outlets.
Forty or so people gathered to celebrate, and we watched a documentary on the Cuban 5. It was sickening to hear about Washington’s war against Cuba, including defending, training, and financing right wing terrorists who have bombed airplanes full of civilians, department stores, and contributed to the murder of over 3500 Cubans since the revolution. These cowards hire mercenaries to do their dirty work, whereas the Cuban people must defend themselves with the only strength they have: the strength of the people. Everyone should read up on the Cuban 5, and understand that defending them is one of the best ways to support vanguard fighters in the global struggle against imperialism.
The working class has a lot more defeats than victories on the slaughterbench of history, and so it is important to celebrate on occasions like this, which commemorate such a vast leap forward in the struggle for socialism and liberation from the dictatorship of Capital. The internationalist policies of Cuba have aided in the liberation struggles of people from Latin America to Africa, including the historic victory against the US backed apartheid regime in South Africa. Their sense of democracy is far deeper in the US where democracy means you put a ballot in a box. The Cuban people are more free in their ability to receive adequate healthcare, to live in a country where women can walk the streets at night without the pervasive fears that grip women in the US, and where literacy and education are not a privilege, but a guarantee.
Congratulations to the resilient and unwavering struggle of the Cuban people. Congratulations to comrade Fidel for surviving the wrath of the imperialist capitalist dictatorship of the US, and for providing unparallelled leadership ability in and after the revolution. Long live Cuba, long live socialism!
Workers stacking heavy boxes and driving forklifts in the dark.
Thick black dust that causes nosebleeds and vomiting.
Broken hand carts that give workers the choice between carrying heavy boxes by hand or struggling with carts so slow that they could be fired for not meeting strict piecework quotas.
Emergency exits blocked by stacks of boxes and pallets.
Workers stuck in stifling trailers for up to 30 minutes after heavy loaded pallets are stacked in front of the doors.
Filthy bathrooms and water fountains, and no time to fill up water bottles while working in 95-degree temperatures.
These are among the conditions documented at an Eastvale, California Walmart warehouse and outlined in a formal complaint filed with the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health on July 18 by the groupWarehouse Workers United (WWU).
The complaint demands a “wall-to-wall on-site inspection” of the warehouse, which is run by the same company—National Distribution Centers of Delaware, Inc.—that operates the four California warehouses charged with scores of serious health and safety violations andfined$256,000 by the state in January 2012.
The violations and workplace policies described at the Eastvale warehouse are very similar toproblemsdescribed at the other Walmart warehouses.
“We’ve talked to hundreds of workers and inevitably the Walmart warehouses have the same types of working conditions—problems around wage and hour, health and safety violations and ongoing pressure to lower costs,” WWU organizer Guadalupe Palma told Working In These Times. “Inevitably that gets pushed down onto the workers. These warehouses are trying to keep up with what Walmart is asking for just to compete in the industry.”
The complaint notes a July 12 incident involving worker Apolniar Rojas, who was seriously injured as he was backing a forklift out of a shipping container and the ramp he was backing onto slipped away. A passing manager told him not to go to the office until he had finished his job, according to the complaint, and then he was told to go to a Concentra Urgent Care Clinic affiliated with the warehouse 2.5 miles away. He had no car and could not find a ride on his own, so he walked in pain to the clinic, where he was diagnosed with a lumbar sprain, strained neck and shoulder sprain.
The complaint notes that workers are regularly sent home after injuries without being told of their rights to be examined and covered under workers compensation laws. It says workers are told they will be laid off if “they cannot be counted on” to work with an injury. It also says workers are forced to drive forklifts and trucks without the proper training, and cites one worker—Miguel Gonzalez—who was seriously injured and then suspended for three days after a supervisor ordered him to drive a forklift without training. The complaint also notes that speed limits on forklifts are not enforced, and workers are forced to drive them dangerously at top speed or risk demotion.
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if you ever want to know why some communists get along with republicans better than democrats just watch king of the hill