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Global Left Midweek – January 31, 2024

Left takes on tech, and developments in Asia's Communist parties

Seymour Chwast
  1. South Africa Takes Solidarity to a New Level
  2. Tech and the Left
  3. Communist Parties in Asia
  4. Lessons from Brazil’s MST
  5. Video: Thousands March Against Femicide in Kenya
  6. Quebec’s Victorious Common Front
  7. Mexico’s LGBTQ+ Movement Confronts Anti-Trans Violence
  8. Syria’s Mandela, Riad al-Turk 1930-2024
  9. Transport Workers and the Belt and Road Initiative
  10. Perspectives on Lenin 100 Years On


South Africa Takes Solidarity to a New Level

Peter Vale and Vineet Thakur / The Conversation (Waltham MA)

During the Cold War, the apartheid South African and Israeli states collaborated on military, diplomatic and nuclear issues. The liberation movements of these two countries – namely the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the African National Congress (ANC) – practised an alternative form of internationalism. This was subversive and inspired by people’s solidarity in the Third World.

Tech and the Left

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Communist Parties in Asia

  • Vietnam   Carl Thayer / The Diplomat (Arlington VA)
  • China   William Zheng / South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
  • DPR Korea   Won Youngsu and Federico Fuentes / Green Left (Sydney)
  • Japan   / The Japan News (Tokyo)
  • India   Atri Mitra / The Indian Express (Noida)

Lessons from Brazil’s MST

Liam Crisan / (Washington)

What began as a group of displaced farmers has evolved over decades into a mass movement — with as many as two million members and a presence in 24 of Brazil’s 26 states. While Brazil remains one of the world’s most unequal nations, the MST has made incredible progress during their 40 years of existence.

Video: Thousands March Against Femicide in Kenya

Brian Inganga / Africanews (Lyon)

Protesters in Kenya rallied against femicide, emphasizing equal rights for women, particularly those more vulnerable due to disability. The protests, spurred by recent murders of over a dozen women, were the largest anti-femicide demonstrations in Kenya, with protesters wearing T-shirts bearing the names of victims. 

Quebec’s Victorious Common Front

Adam D. K. King / Jacobin (New York)

Quebec’s public sector witnessed an unprecedented winter of discontent as the Common Front coalition, uniting four major unions, took to the streets. Separate unions brought the total number of workers involved in these historic strikes to well over a million.

Mexico’s LGBTQ+ Movement Confronts Anti-Trans Violence

William Savinar / Courthouse News Service (Pasadena CA)

Protests calling for the dignity of transgender women closed off Reforma Avenue this week following the murder of activist Samantha Gómez Fonseca. She was shot to death outside of Mexico City’s South Men’s Preventive Prison in the district of Xochimilco after visiting her romantic partner in the prison.

s Mandela, Riad al-Turk 1930-2024

Rateb Shabo / Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (Paris)

The story of the struggle of Riad Al Turk, leader of the Communist Party “Political Bureau”, against tyranny before and under the Assad regime, deserves the tributes it has received. His audacity, his activity, and the simplicity of his speech and his lifestyle must be saluted. He faced the deep dilemma that the left which opposed Syria's regime has experienced without interruption, particularly after 1970.

Transport Workers and the Belt and Road Initiative

Sean Sayer / Global Labour Column (Johannesburg)

The Belt & Road Initiative – China’s US$1 trillion overseas infrastructure development project – is one of the latest attempts to change how the world trades. What does this mean for transport workers? In 2022, trade unions affiliated with the International Transport Workers’ Federation from thirty-eight countries and from every continent met in Manila to try to answer this question.

Perspectives on Lenin 100 Years On