Against the Current, No. 223, March/April 2023

Women's Rights, Human Rights

— The Editors

AFGHANISTAN. IRAN. POLAND. El Salvador and Nicaragua. Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi…

These are among the countries and states where ruling authorities take it upon themselves — in a variety of ways along a broad repressive spectrum — to curtail, suppress or outright nullify women’s rights if not their basic personhood. The ways and means of these attacks of course vary widely....

Nicaraguan Political Prisoners Freed, Deported

— Dianne Feeley and David Finkel

Dora María Téllez, legendary FSLN guerilla and Minister of Health in the first Sandinista government. Expelled and deported from Nicaragua on February 9.

ON FEBRUARY 9 the unexpected happened! The Ortega-Murillo regime released 222 political prisoners, stripped them of their Nicaraguan citizenship and put them on a plane bound for Washington, D.C. They had no idea where they were going.

Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who had been under house arrest, refused to board the plane. Tried the following day, he was sentenced to 26 years in prison for being a “traitor to the homeland.” He, the first Nicaraguan bishop to be imprisoned in history,...

From ATC authors and friends

Victory Is Possible vs. Macron, His Reform & His 49.3!

— Nouveau Parti Anticpitalist Executive Committee (NPA)

THE USE OF the 49.3 by the government is a democratic scandal. [1] It shows the weakness of the government’s social base and of its authoritarian approach. Under the pressure of the movement, despite an agreement with the LR (Republicans: mainstream conservatives) leadership, their members of parliament did not dare vote for the reform. It reinforces the illegitimacy of the government....

Anti-Trans Legislation, a Form of Reproductive Injustice

— Shui-yin Sharon Yam

Photo of Native American two-spirit from Human Rights Campaign.

ON MARCH 4 at the Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing commentator Michael Knowles called for transgenderism to be “eradicated from public life entirely.” His violent remark dehumanizes trans people and promotes gendercide. Knowles’ deeply transphobic speech....

Behind "100% Preventable” Rail Disaster: Anti-worker Deregulation, Corporate greed

— Malik Miah

IN THE SMALL town of East Palestine, Ohio, the catastrophic February 3 rail derailment highlights failures of safety regulations, indifference to residents, and anti-labor bias against those who do the work.

Initially the media reported it as an accidental derailment, which happens on average every other day, and was not a health risk. But townspeople....

Statement by Turkish Ecology Movements -- Demands for Immediate Action

Immediately after the February 6 earthquake, one of the biggest in the history of Turkey, a broad meeting of Ecology Organizations in Turkey, initiated by Iklim adaleti Koalisyonu (Climate Justice Coalition) and Ekoloji Birligi (Ecology union/unity, published this statement:

Frank Hamilton, the People's Musician

— David McCullough

Left to right on guitar, banjo and guitar the three vagabonds who hitchhiked through the South collecting songs in the 50s: Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Frank Hamilton, and Guy Carawan. Taken at the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, TN. Coal miner Lee Tom plays fiddle. Perry Horton, father of the founder of Highlander, Myles Horton, listens in.

“DON’T THINK,” Frank Hamilton said when asked how to improvise a jazz solo.

How did a man who co-founded the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago 65 years ago, which remains today the largest folk music school in the country with 13,000 students a year; a man who knows as much music theory as any Juilliard graduate; a man who likes to rearrange and reharmonize both folk and jazz tunes come up with the advice “Don’t think?”...

Davos 2023 Showed Us A Ruling Class Incapable of Resolving Global Crises

— William I. Robinson

World Economic Forum -- masters of the globe, but not in control.

THE TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATE and political elite were back in Davos, Switzerland, from January 16-20 for their annual conclave amid the most severe crisis of global capitalism since the founding of the World Economic Forum half a century ago. In earlier years, participants in the exclusive gathering jet-setted into the Swiss resort town exuding confidence in the hegemony of global capitalism. But this time around, uncertainty over their ability to manage the crisis, maintain control, restabilize global capitalism and rebuild fractured....

Michigan Appellate Courts Curb Death in Prison Sentences for Minors

— Efrén Paredes, Jr.

Michigan State Capitol, Lansing, Michigan.

A DECADE AFTER the U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole (LWOP) sentences for justice-involved children under age 18 ("juvenile lifers"), Michigan appellate courts are course-correcting years of arbitrary sentencing outcomes which have been an affront to the rule of law.

LWOP sentences are often referred to as a "death in prison" or "death by incarceration" sentences because a person who receives the extreme punishment is condemned to die in prison unless her/his sentence is commuted by the Governor, which is unlikely to occur in most cases.

Solidarity with Ukraine!

THE UKRAINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK (U.S.) reaches out to unions, communities and individuals from diverse backgrounds to build moral, political and material support for the people of Ukraine in their resistance to Russia’s criminal invasion and their struggle for an independent, egalitarian and democratic country....

Against Multipolar Imperialism: Toward Socialist Multipolarity

— Promise Li

Multipolar Imperialism

AS THE LATE Samir Amin wrote in 2006, “the challenges with which the construction of a real multipolar world is confronted are more serious than many ‘alterglobalists’ think.” Sixteen years later, Amin’s call for nations to “delink” from the Western-led economic order appears more ignored by state elites in the global South now than ever before....

Ukraine: Free Market Will Not Win the War

— Šuliokas Justinas

Warring countries usually centralise their economies, as the countries that fought World War II did. In this way, investment, labour and all the country’s economic resources are devoted to the ultimate goal of winning the war. Ukraine is doing the opposite, which could undermine its war effort and even risk fragmenting the state and society, says political scientist Luke Cooper.

In a recent report, A Market Economy in a Global War?” A researcher at the London School of Economics (LSE)....

Student Days in Iran

— Yassamine Mather

Women's strike at Al-Zahra University.

THE THREE DAYS of protests announced by Iranian university students early in December to mark Student Day was a clever choice. They knew it was not going to be supported by royalists. Student Day commemorates three leftwing students, Ahmad Ghandchi, Shariat-Razavi and Bozorg-Nia,...

Clean Energy or Weapons? What the “Breakthrough” in Nuclear Fusion Really Means

— M.V. Ramana

ON DECEMBER 13, THE US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had reached a “milestone”: the achievement of “ignition” in nuclear fusion earlier in the month. That announcement was hailed by many as a step into a fossil fuel-free energy future. US Senate majority leader Charles Schumer, for example, claimed that we were “on the precipice of a future no longer reliant on fossil fuels but instead...

International Food Crisis & Proposals to Overcome It

— Eric Toussaint & Omar Aziki

Sengalese woman in her field

CONTRARY TO A notion that spread in 2022, the global food crisis started before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rise in the cereal prices due to speculation. On a global scale, from 2014 to 2021, the number of people affected by serious food insecurity increased by over 350 million, from 565 to 924 million. The rate of increase was particularly sharp from 2019 to 2021, and affected more than 200 million people. In 2021, some 2.3 billion peoples (29.3% of the world population) experienced moderate or serious food insecurity.(1)....

See all the articles by ATC authors and friends not printed in ATC.