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Global Left Midweek – February 14, 2024

Left views on elections abroad, the one-state solution, and more

Amigos de Villa, Villa El Salvador, Peru
  1. Southern Border Migrant Caravans: It’s a Movement
  2. The One-State Solution
  3. Remembering María Elena Moyano
  4. Russian Protest: Bring the Troops Home Now
  5. Self-Determination Crisis in the Pacific
  6. Left Views on Elections Abroad  
  7. Uganda: Stop That Pipeline
  8. News From Myanmar
  9. Italy: Metal Workers Talking Strike
  10. Union Support for Palestine - Report From Croatia


Southern Border Migrant Caravans: It’s a Movement

Timor Landherr / Jacobin (Brooklyn)

Central American migrants taking part in caravans that cross Mexico’s territory are often presented as pawns manipulated by NGOs or smuggling gangs. In fact, they’re making an active choice to challenge a violent border system that extends far beyond US soil.

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The One-State Solution

Samer Elchahabi / Arab Center Washington DC

A one-state solution will necessitate a radical restructuring of the current political, social, and economic frameworks to accommodate the needs and identities of two peoples with a long history of conflict. It will require robust mechanisms for power sharing, protecting minority rights, and ensuring social justice. 

Remembering Mar
ía Elena Moyano

Mery Jimenez / Infobae (Buenos Aires)

[This article is excerpted and translated by Portside. Read the original in Spanish here.]

During the last century, Peru witnessed dramatic economic, political and social events. In those days, wherever one looked, it was easy to find uncertainty and hopelessness was the panorama for the future.

Despite the crisis, some had a desire to bravely make a difference, to give a face to the terrorist violence that was one of the most painful burdens in those years.

There are many examples, but every November the birth of one of the most iconic women is remembered, María Elena Moyano, also known as Mother Courage – and for a good reason. Her memory lives on, and both her life and her tragic death inspired thousands to continue the fight for a country free of violence.

Her interest in society emerged from a very early age and, along with it, questions about class differences and poverty. María Elena would meet with a group of young people in the communal premises of her district to discuss various issues, and to support the communal board in her home town of Villa El Salvador.

Her vision of the world was completed thanks to her sociology studies at Garcilaso de la Vega University. María Elena was also involved in the Maoist political training schools that began to appear in South Lima. The speeches, in her opinion, were boring and did not connect with the interests of young people. This led her to participate in the seizure of public schools as part of the Partido Unificado Mariateguista.

Returning to Villa El Salvador, she helped to set up a school for young children. She was a leader of the Pachacutec School and directed the  Micaela Bastidas mothers’ club. Subsequently, she was undersecretary of organization of the Popular Federation of Women of Villa El Salvador.

In the 1980s, the terrorist violence of Sendero Luminoso hit hard not only in the interior of the country, where peasant patrols and self-defense committees bravely faced it, but also in Lima, where they had begun their peoples war.

Sendero Luminoso sought to take control of the popular movement in areas such as Villa El Salvador. María Elena was already a visible face of the district. She had become deputy mayor in the management of Michel Azcueta, managing to promote the growth and organization of citizenship. From being a near desert, the town now had racing tracks, mothers clubs, and popular canteens.

As a participant in the reformist Socialist Affirmation Movement in Cajamarca, she was marked by Sendero Luminoso. She accused Sendero of attacks that occurred in the district. They considered her a class enemy. She also participated in the March for Peace, which was a direct response to an armed strike called by the subversive organization. Moyano had already received threats on more than one occasion.

On February 15, 1992, María Elena and her family attended a fundraiser in the district of Villa El Salvador. At around 6:30 p.m., a group of Senderistas showed up, injuring the policeman who was guarding Moyano.

Those were her last moments of life, shot in cold blood in front of her two children. The shots in the chest and head were not enough for the terrorists, who exploded her body with five kilos of dynamite, to wipe out any trace of her life and legacy. María Elena was only 33 years old at the time she was murdered.

The death of the social leader raised the indignation and pain of all those who were inspired by her struggle. She was one of the faces of the resistance to the terrorist advance and was an important obstacle to Sendero, which would end up falling after the capture of its leader, Abimael Guzmán.

Her passage through this life leaves a legacy that is still recognized.

Russian Protest: Bring the Troops Home Now

Al Jazeera (Doha)

About two dozen people, mostly journalists, were briefly detained at a protest in central Moscow, as wives and other relatives of Russian servicemen mobilised to fight in Ukraine called for their return, according to media reports. The soldiers’ relatives gathered to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, just outside the Kremlin walls. 

Self-Determination Crisis in the Pacific

Tess Newton Cain / East Asia Forum (Canberra)

Issues of sovereignty and self-determination continue to loom large in strategic imaginations across the Pacific. In 2023, numerous developments added to an already complex environment, in Bougainville, New Caledonia, West Papua, Tuvalu, Fiji and Vanuatu.  

Left Views on Elections Abroad 

  • Pakistan     Farooq Tariq / Links (Sydney)
  • Taiwan   James Lin / Jacobin
  • Indonesia   Johannes Nugroho / South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
  • Senegal   Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh / Democracy Now! (New York)
  • Finland   / Yleisradio Oy (Helsinki)

Uganda: Stop That Pipeline

Nina Lakhani / The Guardian (London)

Eleven Ugandan climate activists who were allegedly beaten and held arbitrarily in a notorious maximum security prison will appear in court on Wednesday charged with a colonial era anti-dissident offense, as reprisals continue against opponents of an internationally bankrolled oil pipeline.

News From Myanmar

Italy: Metal Workers Talking Strike

Massimo Franchi / il manifesto Global (Rome)

The anger of workers at Stellantis is growing every day, not only at the company but directly at the Meloni government. And the idea of a historic united strike across the group is no longer unthinkable. As of Friday, the FIM, FIOM and UILM metalworkers’ unions were still waiting for a response to their joint request for “a meeting at the Palazzo Chigi with [Stellantis CEO] Tavares and Meloni.”

Union Support for Palestine - Report From Croatia

Ivana Perić / LeftEast

Around the world, trade unions and workers are refusing to participate in the production and transportation of arms intended for Israel. Particularly notable are the actions of port workers’ unions, who have demonstrated in line with their tradition that the struggle for workers’ rights is inseparable from the fight for human rights, equality, and freedom.