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E-NEWS BULLETIN 9 June 2017 A week’s links to the making of the world



Land, law and decades of devastating douchebaggery

freedom parkOn corruption, ‘violent’ protest and the probably quite unexceptional case of Freedom Park. On the evening of Saturday 6 May – two days before the neighbouring communities of Eldorado Park and Freedom Park made news headlines for the so-called violent protests that had broken out there over lack of housing, service delivery and employment – people living in backyards in Freedom Park camped out on a vacant plot of municipal land standing idle adjacent to the township.

Constitutional Court issues ground-breaking housing judgment (8 June 2017)

The Constitutional Court today set aside the eviction of 184 residents of Kiribilly, a block of flats in Berea in Johannesburg’s inner city. The judgment held that evictions that lead to homelessness are unlawful, even if they are agreed to by all of the residents who stand to be evicted. Further, judges must make sure that people under threat of eviction are properly informed of their rights to contest eviction proceedings and claim alternative accommodation. In addition, judges must proactively investigate the circumstances of all residents in order to properly assess the impact that an eviction will have on their lives and living circumstances. Read the full press statement from the Socio-Economic Rights Institute here[.pdf]


Protesting Austerity, Brazil’s Workers to Shut Down Cities in General Strike June 30th

PT protests BrazilThe headquarters of Brazil’s trade unions have issued a call for a new general strike to shut down Brazil’s largest cities on June 30, to protest neoliberal labor and retirement pension reforms, as well as demand the resignation of unelected president Michel Temer who is currently embroiled in corruption controversies.

Will Qatar-Saudi Arabia-UAE diplomatic crisis reconfigure Gulf politics?

qatarThe 5 June decision by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and their allies and proxies – Egypt, Bahrain, the Maldives, Mauritania and rival governments in Libya and Yemen – to sever diplomatic and other links with Qatar is payback for Qatar’s support of the wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa in 2010-2011. It represents for Saudi Arabia and the UAE an attempt to reverse the changes brought about by the uprisings. The sanctions on Qatar aim to force the government of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to alter its warming relations with Iran, and to end its financial and political support for Islamist dissidents in the region such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Greece under the Troika

An interview with Professor Wolfgang Däubler, Professor of German and European Labour Law, Civil Law and Economic Law, on the Greek subordination to the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank.

The Communist Party U.S.A., founded in 1919, was closely tied to what emerged as the Soviet Union after the 1917 October Revolution, but the American party also drew on decades of local radical organizing. Many of its members came out of the Socialist Party, the labor movement and even anarchist activism, but the party also found a base among African-Americans when Communists proved willing to take on their struggles for self-determination.

WHO Public Health Prize goes to Cuba

cuba at the UNAt its 70th World Assembly in Geneva on May 26, the World Health Organization unanimously bestowed its Public Health award on Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade. The brigade won wide recognition in 2014 for providing West Africa with 250 frontline fighters against the Ebola epidemic.

From war protestors to labour activism: India’s first IT workers union is being formed in Tamil Nadu

chennai IT prosIn 2008, as Tamil Nadu erupted in angry protests against the killings of Sri Lankan Tamils during that country’s civil war, a group of young software professionals in Chennai’s Tidel Park banded together to form a human chain. “Stop the War, Save Tamils” was their demand – a slogan that featured on posters, T-shirts and Orkut posts. Nine years later, their agitation has led to the formation of India’s first independent union for information technology employees.

Solidarity with the Tora Cement Workers

The verdict issued by Maadi felonies court imprisoning 32 of the Tora Cement workers for 3 years hard labour is the latest beacon of the deteriorating conditions that Egyptian workers are suffering. Economic measures aiming at reforming the Egyptian economy are an attack on the poor.

The leftwing movement of criticism of Israel is getting more and more mainstream by the second. Everyone is walking the path; they’re just getting there a little later. The Washington Post, a hotbed of neoconservative ideas for the last 15 years, has another article harshly critical of Israel today, written by an Israeli. And guess what: that article along with yesterday’s article by the two prestige Jewish academics calling for boycott of Israel are the two “most-read” articles on the Post list this morning! – See more at:
‘Most-read’ article at Washington Post calls Israel ‘savage, unrepairable society’ – See more at:
The Washington Post, a hotbed of neoconservative ideas for the last 15 years, has another article harshly critical of Israel today, written by an Israeli. And guess what: that article along with yesterday’s article by the two prestige Jewish academics calling for boycott of Israel are the two “most-read” articles on the Post list this morning! – See more at:

Germany Is Repaying Its post-Holocaust Debts to Israel – but Not to the Palestinians

israelEurope, whose anti-Semitism led to the Holocaust, also has moral and historical obligations towards the Palestinians, who still suffer its consequences.


The Gig Economy at Its Worst

When getting by is only ever precariously, what is there for a college graduate to do but accept employment in a new Uber-esque school? This Uber-schooling model turns teachers into on-demand contractors for the children of the wealthy.

Zuckerberg gatesGates, Zuckerberg Philanthropies Team Up on Personalized Learning

Two of the biggest names in technology and education philanthropy are jointly funding a $12 million initiative to support new ways of tailoring classroom instruction to individual students.

Strength in Unity

afm ray hair“Let’s look at Google, YouTube, and Facebook. Last month, CNBC reported that Google and Facebook together will earn $106 billion from advertising this year. Analysts expect Google-owned YouTube to top $10 billion in ad revenue in 2017. How many of you in this room today work with orchestras that have clips on YouTube?” American Federation of Musicians President, Ray Hair.

Oakland coalition fears Uber will displace working class

Uber announced in March that it was scaling back its expansion plans for Oakland. Instead of moving 2,000 to 3,000 workers into the former Sears building on Broadway, Uber said it would move in only a few hundred workers and the rest would be placed into other offices in San Francisco.


WATCH “Who Pays the Price”: Apple and Samsung poison workers

The documentary follows the intimate journey of migrant worker Yi Yeting, a benzene-poisoned victim-turned-activist who takes on the global electronic manufacturing industry. While struggling to survive his own work induced leukemia, he brings his fight against benzene from his hospital room where he helps other workers, to Silicon Valley and the international stage.

On Being ‘White’ and Other Lies

james baldwinThe crisis of leadership in the white community is remarkable—and terrifying—because there is, in fact, no white community. My frame of reference is, of course, America, or that portion of the North American continent that calls itself America. And this means I am speaking, essentially, of the European vision of the world—or more precisely; perhaps, the European vision of the universe.…PDF