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Global Left Midweek - February 24, 2021

Street rage and strikes in South Africa, Myanmar, Thailand, and more news from four continents

South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) gets the word out,via Twitter
  1. Red Books Day 2021
  2. South Africa
  3. Chile
  4. Honduras
  5. Myanmar
  6. Thailand
  7. South Korea
  8. India
  9. Belarus
  10. Legacies

Red Books Day 2021

Peoples Dispatch (New Delhi)

Thousands of people across the globe took part in celebrations of the second annual ‘Red Books Day,’ commemorating the publication of ‘The Communist Manifesto’ on February 21, 1848. 

South Africa: News Briefs on Strike and Protests

BusinessTech (Johannesburg)

News24 (Cape Town)

Chiles New Electoral Alliance

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Pierre Cappanera / Les 2 Rives (Paris)

[Translation by Portside. Read the French original here]

The social explosion [in the recent constitutional crisis] made it clear that there was not one opposition but two. There are the Concertation parties (from the Christian Democracy to the Socialist Party) which have come to terms with the ultra-neoliberal system and the Pinochet Constitution. And there is the left around the Communist Party and the Frente Amplio, which really wants to tackle the causes of inequality and poverty.

In October, negotiations took place between the entire opposition for the organization of primaries for local elections. The aim of the Concertation was to attract the Frente Amplio and to isolate the Communist Party of Chile. The maneuver failed. The majority of Frente parties and activists refused to unite with the ex-Concertation without the Communist Party.

On November 27 a first agreement was signed between the Communist Party and the Frente Amplio for the local elections. Another will be made public in the coming days: the two parties will present unitary lists for the Constituent. This rapprochement is strategic.

This rapprochement of the Frente Amplio and the Communist Party caused the right of the Frente to leave the ship. Several deputies and one of the parties making up the Frente Amplio split.

Why has the Christian Democracy been so ardent in trying to isolate the Communist Party today and why does the Socialist Party remain silent? The answer has a name: Daniel Jadue, the Communist presidential candidate. Christian Democracy does not want presidential primaries with the Communist Party because all the polls show Daniel Jadue would win.

Christian Democracy wants ex-Concertation primaries only. The Socialist Party is divided between a majority attached to the liberal system and a strong minority which is ready to support Jadue if not in the first round, in the second without hesitation. The Socialist Party risks experiencing strong internal turbulence as we get closer to the presidential election and we will have to choose between ultra-neoliberalism and anti-neoliberalism.

The right of Frente Amplio, when leaving Frente at the beginning of December, made it clear: they do not want to support Jadue, unlike the left majority of Frente Amplio. In an internal vote last Sunday, two-thirds of Frente Amplio activists voted for the alliance with the Communist Party, less than 30% with the ex-Concertation.

Chile, 50 years after Allende’s victory in the 1970 presidential election, is rediscovering its traditional division into three blocks: the right, the center-left and the left. The only fundamentally different element in this recomposition is that before 1970 the PS was part of the left and not of the center left as it is today.

Honduras: Continuing the Fight For Abortion Rights

Natalie Alcoba / Al Jazeera (Doha)

The new recruits to the women’s rights group, Somos Muchas, are mostly young women  who have been moved into action by recent events. It is a sign that change is still possible in a country with some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the world.

Myanmar: Millions Strike Against Coup

Kyaw Phya Tha / The Irrawaddy (Bangkok)

Myanmar woke up on Monday to a nation in which many businesses, from markets to restaurants to roadside vendors, were shut down—and would remain so for the whole day—as people went out to join the strike.

Renewed Protest in Thailand

South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

Thailand’s pro-democracy protesters took to the streets anew on Tuesday, massing around police headquarters in Bangkok after seizing on revelations of a pay-to-play promotion culture within the Thai police force.

South Korea: One Workers Long March

Nikita Kaufmann / Verso Books (London)

Kim Jin-suk, a former welder at Busan’s Hanjin Shipyard who is in the midst of battling breast cancer, is walking more than 400 kilometers to Seoul in order to force reparations for her unjust firing decades ago.

Video: Women Lead India Farmers

Mohd Irshad Alam / The Quint (Mumbai)

As many thousands of farmers continue their protest against new farm legislations from the Modi government, a remarkable number of women are not only braving the rough weather by participating in these demonstrations but are also leading from the front.

Belarus: Anatomy of a Failed Uprising

Alexey Sakhnin and Katya Kazbek / Jacobin (New York)

The collapse of Lukashenko’s statist model of capitalism has fed mass discontent with his rule — but the liberal opposition's own promises of change also drew skepticism among working-class Belarusians.


Sister Dianna Ortiz  Dan Stockman / Global Sisters Report (Kansas City MO)

Raymond Lévesque, Quebec  Mario Gilbert / Montreal Gazette

Rebecca Kotane, South Africa  / TimesLIVE (Johannesburg)

Ernie Tate, UK  James Clark and Pam Frache / Spring

José Carlos Ruy, Brazil  Urariano Mota / People’s World (New York)