Jan. 13, 2021—In a culminating step to a series of developments unprecedented in U.S. politics in more than a century, outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump and his supporters engaged in a riot aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election. While Congress certified the outcome of the November vote next day, on Jan. 7, it is notable that more than 25% of members of the House and Senate, all Republicans, joined Trump’s challenge to his defeat at the polls, even after the rightist mob attack on the U.S. Capitol had been dispersed.
Congressional hearings on the January 6, 2021, right-wing mob attack on the U.S. Capitol are ongoing. The public debate around these hearings has made one fact clear: The number of Republican office holders and nominees for the upcoming midterm elections who embrace the outlandish lie of a “stolen election” in 2020 has grown in the last 18 months. As recently as last month, the Republican Party of Texas — the second largest state — declared at its convention that President Joe Biden “was not legitimately elected.” Republican office holders across the country echo this falsehood. A week after the 2021 attack on the Capitol, World Outlook noted in its inaugural article that “a not insignificant minority of the privileged classes” backed Trump’s big lie aimed at subverting the popular vote and installing an anti-democratic regime. A few weeks later, we documented the extent of financial support among a number of wealthy ruling families for that fateful assault in an article we are republishing here in two parts, the first of which follows.
June Caravans: ‘End U.S. Blockade of Cuba!’ Thugs Attack Miami Event; Join Campaign to Defend Free Speech!
During the June 25-26 weekend, local coalitions organized car caravans and other actions demanding an end to Washington’s economic war on Cuba. The actions took place in a number of U.S. cities, as well as other countries. Organizers of the monthly Cuba solidarity activities in two cities, Miami and New York, sent World-Outlook the two reports that follow. Pete Seidman writes from Miami that “pent-up frustration with their growing isolation and political impotence boiled over on June 26 when about 30 ultrarightist thugs attacked the Miami Caravan Against the U.S. Blockade of Cuba. Caravanistas made a disciplined and dignified, if hasty, retreat to their vehicles and left. None of them were injured or arrested in the fray. Join the Miami caravan in its campaign to defend free speech!
Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a Marxist scholar and a decades-long leader of the Socialist Workers Party. At the time of her death, an extensive article documenting her life appeared in the April 6, 1979, issue of The Militant newspaper: “Evelyn Reed: Marxist and feminist fighter.” Reed was “one of the foremost exponents of the Marxist analysis of the origins of women’s oppression,” the article explained. “She was a historical materialist who made a substantial contribution to Marxism on this subject.” In 1951, Reed began the anthropological research that would eventually produce her pioneering work, “Woman’s Evolution: From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family.” She completed the book more than 20 years later; Pathfinder Press published it in 1975. Prior to the book’s publication, Reed wrote many articles on the origins of women’s oppression and the Marxist perspective on how to fight and end it. World-Outlook is republishing below one of those articles — “Is Biology Women’s Destiny?” Today women’s right to choose abortion is under the fiercest attack since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade recognized this right under federal law. The June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe left no doubt. In this context, Reed’s writings remain of the utmost importance, especially for younger generations of women’s rights supporters to whom these works may be unfamiliar. This is the last of a three-part series.
Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a Marxist scholar and a decades-long leader of the Socialist Workers Party. At the time of her death, an extensive article documenting her life appeared in the April 6, 1979, issue of The Militant newspaper: “Evelyn Reed: Marxist and feminist fighter.” Reed was “one of the foremost exponents of the Marxist analysis of the origins of women’s oppression,” the article explained. “She was a historical materialist who made a substantial contribution to Marxism on this subject.” In 1951, Reed began the anthropological research that would eventually produce her pioneering work, “Woman’s Evolution: From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family.” She completed the book more than 20 years later; Pathfinder Press published it in 1975. Prior to the book’s publication, Reed wrote many articles on the origins of women’s oppression and the Marxist perspective on how to fight and end it. World-Outlook is republishing below one of those articles — “Is Biology Women’s Destiny?” Today women’s right to choose abortion is under the fiercest attack since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade recognized this right under federal law. The June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe left no doubt. In this context, Reed’s writings remain of the utmost importance, especially for younger generations of women’s rights supporters to whom these works may be unfamiliar. This is the second of a three-part series.
Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a Marxist scholar and a decades-long leader of the Socialist Workers Party. At the time of her death, an extensive article documenting her life appeared in the April 6, 1979, issue of The Militant newspaper: “Evelyn Reed: Marxist and feminist fighter.” Reed was “one of the foremost exponents of the Marxist analysis of the origins of women’s oppression,” the article explained. “She was a historical materialist who made a substantial contribution to Marxism on this subject.” In 1951, Reed began the anthropological research that would eventually produce her pioneering work, “Woman’s Evolution: From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family.” She completed the book more than 20 years later; Pathfinder Press published it in 1975. Prior to the book’s publication, Reed wrote many articles on the origins of women’s oppression and the Marxist perspective on how to fight and end it. World-Outlook is republishing below one of those articles — “Is Biology Women’s Destiny?” Today women’s right to choose abortion is under the fiercest attack since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade recognized this right under federal law. The June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe left no doubt. In this context, Reed’s writings remain of the utmost importance, especially for younger generations of women’s rights supporters to whom these works may be unfamiliar. This is the first of a three-part series.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is an enormous setback to women’s rights. It is the biggest step to restrict democratic rights in at least half a century. It marks a sharp shift to the right in bourgeois politics, one that has accelerated in recent years. There is no reason to believe the assault on a woman’s right to choose abortion will end with the 6-3 ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. To the contrary, within hours of the decision abortion became virtually illegal in nine states. More will follow quickly. Where do we go from here? As World-Outlook wrote on May 10, “We should begin with an understanding that was more widespread when the fight for women’s liberation shook U.S. politics over 50 years ago. If women and those who support women’s rights do not fight in a consistent and uncompromising way, and independent of the capitalist parties, no one else will…. We must debate and answer the opponents of women’s rights. We need to take the fight into the trade unions and among the thousands of workers at Amazon, Starbucks, and elsewhere fighting to organize unions. Women’s equality on the job, as in all areas of social life, is impossible without the right to control one’s own body.”
June 21, 2022 — Three days ago, World-Outlook published “Amazon Seeks to Prevent Certification of Union at NY Warehouse.” The article reported on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing considering Amazon’s objections to certifying the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) as the choice of workers at JFK8, the company’s 8,000-strong warehouse in Staten Island, New York. The ALU won a landmark victory in a union representation election there on April 1. Amazon’s goal is to overturn the election results. If that is not possible, the corporate giant hopes to delay the NLRB’s final certification of the ALU as the bargaining agent for JFK8 workers, thus weakening ALU’s efforts to win a decent contract there. The NLRB’s Region 29 Brooklyn office, which oversaw the election, ruled the ALU the winner. The federal labor board, however, and the entire process of “mediation” it supervises, has been no friend of labor since the U.S. government established the agency over 85 years ago.
PHOENIX, Arizona, June 13, 2022 — The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) opened a hearing here today on Amazon’s objections to the landmark victory of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) at JFK8, the company’s giant fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York. The ALU — a newly formed union led by young workers at the 8,000-employee facility — won a representation election on April 1. Amazon has challenged the outcome of the vote. Amazon’s lawyers said they plan to call “dozens and dozens” of witnesses and expect the hearing to go on for “the next several weeks.” In doing so, Amazon’s attorneys revealed the company’s strategy of trying to prolong the proceeding’s duration as long as possible. At this point, it is up in the air when the hearing may end.
Public hearings on the January 6, 2021, ultra-rightist mob attack on the U.S. Congress are now underway. The facts presented at these hearings offer a reminder that the effort Donald Trump led to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election was far outside the previous norms of U.S. bourgeois politics. For this reason, World-Outlook is republishing the second part of its inaugural article posted that fateful January. That analysis largely stands up to the test of time. It outlines the stakes for working people in those events. The issues involved go well beyond establishing historical accuracy. It is still likely that Trump will run again for president in 2024. His unfounded and conspiracy-laden claim that the 2020 election was “stolen” still holds sway among the base of the Republican Party and Republican office holders at the federal, state, and local levels. Trump remains the most authoritative leader of the GOP. What is important to working people is what unfolded after the 2020 election. It begins with recognizing the “big lie” of the “stolen election” and the lengths to which its proponents were willing to go to enforce it.
Public hearings on the January 6, 2021, ultra-rightist mob attack on the U.S. Congress are now underway. The facts presented at the hearings offer a reminder that the effort Donald Trump led to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election was far outside the previous norms of U.S. politics.For this reason, we are republishing World-Outlook‘s inaugural article we ran that fateful January. It offers an analysis that largely stands up to the test of time. It outlines the stakes for working people in those events. The issue goes way beyond establishing historic accuracy. It is still likely that Trump will run again for president in 2024. His unfounded and conspiracy-laden claim that the 2020 election was “stolen” still holds a large sway in the base of the Republican Party and among Republican office holders at the federal, state, and local levels. Trump remains the most authoritative leader of the GOP. Over the last year and a half, this much has become clear: Trump has made effective use of the technique of the “big lie” in continuing to insist the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. Many conservative politicians and business executives have accepted and promoted it. Many others are unwilling to challenge it publicly. This suggests that such politicians and pundits may be open to Trump’s course — using cunning and force to change an election outcome, tossing the “rule of law” by the wayside — as a possible solution to late capitalism’s crises that are getting worse under the Biden administration.
The Supreme Court appears on the verge of overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established the federal right of women to choose abortion. Many states are poised to join Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in criminalizing virtually all abortions. Millions see that these dangerous attacks are aimed at a woman’s right to control her own body. Yet some leading organizations that defend the right to choose abortion now explicitly decline to defend women’s rights. “From Planned Parenthood to NARAL Pro-Choice America to the American Medical Association to city and state health departments and younger activists, the word ‘women’ has in a matter of a few years appeared far less in talk of abortion and pregnancy,” wrote Michael Powell in the New York Times. “Progressive groups and medical organizations have adopted inclusive language, which has led to terms like ‘pregnant people’ and ‘chestfeeding’.” This approach undermines and weakens the fight for the right to choose abortion and all women’s rights. It is a political choice that should be soundly rejected.
We are pleased to announce that World-Outlook is now on Facebook (@World-Outlook) and on Twitter (@WorldOutlook3). You can find the links to W-O’s Facebook page and Twitter account on every page on World-Outlook’s website by clicking on widgets on the left-hand side of each page, underneath the thematic Categories listings (see the relevant icons pictured below) as they appear on each page). We want to thank the nearly 50 readers who have already liked W-O’s Facebook page. We encourage all our readers to like our Facebook page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We further urge you to ask all your friends to do the same. Doing so will help World-Outlook expand its reach and increase its circulation.
June 3, 2022 — One hundred days since Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbor, Russia’s war on Ukraine shows no sign of abating. Stiff resistance aimed at defending Ukraine’s sovereignty has pushed Russian forces back in parts of the country — particularly around the capital Kiyv and most of Ukraine’s north.In the eastern region, however, the Russian military continues to conquer territory. The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. “think tank,” estimates that 95% of the Luhansk region is presently under Russian control. News reports on June 1 stated Russia was close to capturing the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk. This would give Putin control of the last major city in the Luhansk province still in Ukrainian hands. Meanwhile, the consequences of Moscow’s war continue to spread around the globe. Vladimir Putin’s ongoing aggression has handed Washington a pretext to consolidate its military hegemony in Europe by further expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Russian assault, and the U.S.-European sanctions imposed in response, pose increasingly deadly dangers to working people around the world.
MIAMI, May 29, 2022 — The 23rd consecutive monthly caravan to oppose Washington’s economic war against Cuba took place today. What a victory for the fight against the U.S. blockade of Cuba! What a victory for the right to free speech in this city! About 130 people in 75 vehicles assembled along Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables to start the event. As one woman who had missed the last few caravans put it, “This is one I had to be at!” Supporters of the right to protest and speak out for ending the U.S. blockade came to show their support from all over: Vancouver, Canada; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York City; Las Vegas, Nevada; Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida. Prominent activists came to stand with us in defiance of threats by rightist YouTube personality Alex Otaola.
This is the second part of a recent interview the People’s Forum in New York City did with with Cuban revolutionary Esteban Morales Domínguez. Morales died from a heart attack on May 18, 2022. Born in Cárdenas, Matanzas, Cuba, in 1942, he became one of the most prominent Afro-Cuban scholars. He was a member of Cuba’s Communist Party, the National Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC), and of UNEAC’s José Antonio Aponte Commission. The responsibilities of this commission included U.S.-Cuba relations and the fight against racism in Cuba. Morales was a member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and held numerous academic posts — including professor at the University of Havana. He is the principal author, or co-author, of 15 books and has published many articles. His 2007 book, Desafios de la problemática racial en Cuba (Challenges of the Racial Question in Cuba) was the first book-length publication on this subject by a scholar in Cuba since the 1959 revolution. A collection of his essays in English can be found in Race In Cuba: Essays on the Revolution and Racial Inequality (Monthly Review Press, 2012).
This is a recent interview the People’s Forum in New York City did with with Cuban revolutionary leader Esteban Morales Domínguez. Morales died from a heart attack on May 18, 2022. Born in Cárdenas, Matanzas, Cuba, in 1942, he became one of the most prominent Afro-Cuban scholars. He was a member of Cuba’s Communist Party, the National Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC), and of UNEAC’s José Antonio Aponte Commission. The responsibilities of this commission include U.S.-Cuba relations and the fight against racism in Cuba. Morales was a member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and held numerous academic posts — including professor at the University of Havana. He is the principal author, or co-author, of 15 books and has published many articles. His 2007 book, Desafios de la problemática racial en Cuba (Challenges of the Racial Question in Cuba) was the first book-length publication on this subject by a scholar in Cuba since the 1959 revolution. A collection of his essays in English can be found in Race In Cuba: Essays on the Revolution and Racial Inequality (Monthly Review Press, 2012).
Tens of thousands of angry, defiant women and their supporters took to the streets in at least 380 U.S. cities and towns on Saturday, May 14, demanding that legal abortion remain the law of the land. Chants and signs insisted: “We won’t go back,” “Abortion is a human right,” and “Bans off my body.” Inspired by recent gains women and their supporters have made in decriminalizing abortion in Latin America — Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico — protesters in some cities wore green to identify with the Marea Verde (Green Wave) movement for women’s rights in those countries. The May 14 actions were large and spirited, but fell short of the truly massive actions that would reflect the broad majority support that still exists for a woman’s right to choose abortion. As a recent World-Outlook editorial argued, mobilizing such a response will require a change in course for the fight to defend and extend women’s rights. “A new strategy and a new leadership are necessary,” it said. “The balance sheet on the strategy of organizations that are tied to the Democratic Party machine is in: It has failed.”
On May 4, 2022, Amazon fired Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer Mat Cusick, who worked at DYY6, the company’s delivery station in its Staten Island, New York, complex. This is an interview Cusick gave to World-Outlook reported Mark Satinoff on May 12.
This is a statement by Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer Tristan “Lion” Dutchin, who was fired by Amazon on May 7, 2022. Dutchin worked at JFK8, the company’s giant fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York, where the ALU won a landmark union representation election on April 1. As part of his efforts to help secure this historic victory, Dutchin, who is also an artist, has written and performed a number of pro-union songs. Three days earlier, on May 4, Amazon fired another ALU organizer, Mat Cusick, who worked at DYY6, the company’s delivery station in its Staten Island complex. We also publish here the link to a May 11 Democracy Now interview with both workers, who explain the retaliatory character of Amazon’s actions.
World-Outlook needs your help to report on the May 14, 2022, protests scheduled for this Saturday in defense of women’s right to choose abortion and to oppose the US Supreme Court’s plan to scrap Roe v. Wade. We know many of you plan to join these actions. We welcome both photos and brief reports.
The leak of the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade confirms what has been clear since September 2021 when the court refused to enjoin Texas law SB8. That measure largely made abortion illegal in the second largest state of the union. The court majority now plans to scrap the 1973 Roe decision and open the door to making most if not all abortions illegal in many other states. This is the most serious attack on women’s rights and all democratic rights in decades. The Republican Party has championed the assault. But the Democratic Party has been complicit in eroding women’s right to choose abortion virtually since the moment Roe became law.
HAVANA, Cuba, May 1, 2022 — The entire city of Havana felt on the move by 3 a.m. today. The excitement was palpable. The Covid-19 pandemic had prevented the Cuban people from celebrating International Workers Day for two years, and, despite the suffocating US-imposed blockade, the working people of Cuba have much to celebrate. Over 700,000 people from all over Havana converged in a spirited, disciplined way on Revolution Square to show the world that “Cuba lives and works for its present, its future, and its continuity” — the theme of the May Day mobilizations. Estimates by the Cuban daily Granma and other Cuban media put total participation throughout the island above 5 million people. That exceeds 43% of the country’s population of 11.4 million!
BROOKLYN, New York, May 2, 2022 — “We lost this battle, but we’ll win the war,” Michael Aguilar told fellow Amazon Labor Union (ALU) members, union supporters, and the media this grey, rainy afternoon. An Amazon worker at LDJ5, the company’s sorting facility in Staten Island, New York, Aguilar was speaking to those gathered outside the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) office here today. The labor board had just announced the ALU lost the union representation election at LDJ5.The final tally was 380 votes in favor to 618 against the union, and 2 voided ballots. Of the 1,633 workers eligible to vote, 1,000 cast ballots. This means 38% of the LDJ5 workers backed the ALU, compared to 55% at JFK8.
This is a joint call to action by the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) and Starbucks Workers United regarding protests taking place on May 1, 2022, the international workers’ day.Workers at these two companies have scored some of the most important union organizing victories in the United States in decades. Starbucks workers have unionized 17 stores across the country; workers at the ubiquitous coffee retailer in another 170 locations in 30 states are slated to cast ballots in union elections in coming months. On April 1, the ALU won a landmark representation vote at JFK8, Amazon’s giant fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York, employing 8,000 workers; round two for the ALU is taking place April 25-29 at the adjacent LDJ5, Amazon’s sorting facility employing 1,600 people, with results to be announced in early May.
STATEN ISLAND, New York — “Be a part of something truly great,” said Amazon Labor Union (ALU) treasurer Maddie Wesley. “Be part of a movement,” she added, urging her 1,600 coworkers at LDJ5, Amazon’s sort facility here, to vote for the ALU in the representation election taking place April 25-29. “This is just the beginning. This is a call for all of you to join our brothers and sisters… at JFK8 and join ALU Local #1!” Speaking at a spirited pre-election rally here on Sunday, April 24, Wesley was referring to Amazon’s giant fulfillment center, employing about 8,000 people, where the ALU won a landmark vote on April 1. The victory of the ALU, an independent worker-led union, has inspired many in the labor movement and beyond. The atmosphere here on Sunday afternoon was electric. ALU president Chris Smalls chaired the rally of about 300 people who came together to urge a “Yes” vote the day before the election began. Four workers at LDJ5 addressed those gathered and expressed cautious optimism about the ALU’s chances of unionizing a second Amazon facility.
Like any revolution, the one led by Thomas Sankara aroused strong opposition. Just as its example inspired activists elsewhere, it stirred animosity among established rulers who feared that their own citizens might want to emulate the Burkinabè. The US, France, and other European powers did not hide their alarm at the National Council of the Revolution’s (CNR) radical foreign policy and its solidarity with liberation struggles in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Their African client states, especially in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Togo, attempted to destabilize the Sankara government by helping dissident military officers conduct bombings. In 1986 Mali even waged a brief war against Burkina Faso. Within the country, those political and social circles that saw their interests threatened resisted the CNR’s programs and policies. They included: merchants linked to illicit commercial networks or smuggling rings, senior officers and bureaucrats removed from powerful positions, corrupt personnel no longer able to pilfer state resources, and traditional chiefs who lost some of their control over land or other prerogatives to young activists in the Committees in Defense of the Revolution (CDRs).
The moment the presiding judge of a military tribunal read out guilty verdicts against eleven accused killers of Burkina Faso’s revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, the courtroom audience burst into applause. As news spread across the capital, Ouagadougou, drivers honked horns and youths danced in the streets. Some chanted: “La patrie ou la mort, nous vaincrons!” (Homeland or death, we will win), the slogan of Sankara’s revolutionary government. A procession of activists and youth groups laid flowers at a memorial site dedicated to Sankara and the twelve aides slain with him in the 1987 military coup.Many thought the day would never come. Not least because the chief accused was Blaise Compaoré, who crushed Sankara’s revolution and then ruled the country with an iron hand—and with complete impunity—for the next 27 years. But Compaoré’s own overthrow in a popular insurrection in 2014 left him exposed to the possibility that he might one day have to answer for his crimes. So he fled to neighboring Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), beyond the reach of Burkina Faso’s judicial system, which thus had to try him in absentia. Still, the life sentence for Compaoré and sentences from three years to life for the others convicted, brought some satisfaction to the many, many Burkinabè who revere Sankara.
This interview first appeared in the on-line journal Spectre on April 11, 2022. World-Outlook is publishing it because it provides information that will be of interest to our readers. Yuliya Yurchenko is the author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketization to Armed Conflict. She is also a Senior Lecturer on Political Economy at the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom and Vice-Chair of the Critical Political Economy Research Network. At the time of the interview, Yurchenko was in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. The interview offers valuable insight into the struggle to defend Ukraine’s right to self-determination after centuries of Russian domination. It includes information on the establishment of the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk with Russian government support following Putin’s seizure of the Crimea in 2014. Yurchenko also discusses the role of far-right forces in Ukraine. Her description of the way capitalism was re-established in Ukraine following the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991 is persuasive.
On February 25, 2022, a top official in Joe Biden’s administration said US sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine were also intended to hit Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. That month marked the sixtieth anniversary of the US blockade of Cuba, introduced in February 1962 by President John F. Kennedy’s Embargo on All Trade with Cuba. The embargo of Cuba constitutes the longest and most comprehensive set of sanctions in modern history. It is not merely a legal or a bilateral issue, as proponents claim. It is a key instrument in the US toolkit to pursue regime change on the island. It is an act of war, a violation of human rights designed to obstruct Cuban development, to undermine its example as a revolutionary alternative, and to intentionally cause suffering among the Cuban people.
STATEN ISLAND, New York — At an April 8 press conference — more like a workers’ rally — here, Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizers called on union members and supporters to focus their efforts over the next two weeks on winning the upcoming union vote at LDJ5. This is Amazon’s sort facility across the street from JFK8, the company’s giant fulfillment center employing 8,000 workers, where the ALU just won a landmark union election. The ALU urged everyone to join an April 24 rally in front of LD5. While describing the key lessons of how a team of rank-and-file workers organized Amazon’s first warehouse in the U.S., ALU members also drew attention to the main tasks ahead: the election campaign at LDJ5, beating Amazon’s challenge to the JFK8 victory, unifying the workforce to fight for a contract, and a nationwide organizing campaign.
These are the lyrics of three union songs written by Tristan “Lion” Dutchin, and videos of their performances. The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer sung the first two with fellow organizer Justine Medina at an April 8, 2022, ALU press conference outside LDJ5, Amazon’s sort center on Staten Island, New York, where a union vote is set to take place April 25-29. Tristan performed the third song, “Election Time,” at a February 22, 2022, ALU fundraiser held at the People’s Forum in New York City. The artist sent the lyrics and the “Election Time” video clip to World-Outlook. We are publishing them because of their artistic value and the inspiration they continue to provide to ALU’s magnificent organizing campaigns.
This is a Reporters’ Notebook. It is based on conversations World-Outlook reporter Mark Satinoff held with Amazon Labor Union (ALU) members on April 1, 2022, outside the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Brooklyn, New York. Satinoff interviewed the Amazon workers in the hours leading up to the announcement of ALU’s monumental victory in the union election at JFK8 — the company’s giant fulfillment center in the New York City area, a key market for Amazon. The interviews point to how Amazon workers organized themselves to make this victory possible. They also outline the union’s next steps ahead, detailing how these workers plan to carry out the ALU pledge in the union’s recent newsletter, which says: “With this first historic victory in the record books, we now turn our attention to the election campaign at LDJ5, the bargaining process for the unionized workers at JFK8, and our nationwide organizing and training campaign launching soon. If you work at Amazon, anywhere in the country, and you want to unionize your workplace, get in touch. We are here to support and empower our coworkers everywhere. When we unite together, we win. Hasta la victoria siempre.” — ALU Newsletter #16
This is a resolution adopted by the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in November 1919. Russian revolutionary leader V.I. Lenin drafted the original text. The resolution can be found in Vol. 30 of Lenin’s Collected Works under the title “On Soviet Rule in Ukraine.” World-Outlook is publishing it because it is relevant to the world-wide discussion and debate on Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Moscow’s brutal attack on a sovereign neighboring republic smacks of the Great Russian chauvinism prevalent under the czars, the barbaric monarchy that ruled the Russian empire for centuries before it was overthrown by workers and peasants in 1917. That same chauvinism animated the reactionary policies re-established by the late 1920s in the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) during the counterrevolution led by Joseph Stalin—a regime Russian president Vladimir Putin faithfully served decades later as an officer of the KGB, the secret police. The resolution illuminates the stark contrast between the position of Putin and Russia’s capitalists today, with that of the workers and peasants’ government Lenin led after the Russian revolution.
This is a statement by Russian freediving champion Olga Davydova opposing Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The athlete posted the statement on her Facebook page on March 2, 2022. Sonja Franeta, a writer who has frequently traveled to Russia, translated Davydova’s statement from the original text in Russian and introduces it to World-Outlook readers.
BROOKLYN, NY, April 1, 2022—Workers at JFK8, Amazon’s giant warehouse on Staten Island, voted by a large margin for representation by the Amazon Labor Union. It is the most significant union organizing victory in the United States in decades—a milestone for the labor movement. According to the NLRB, 2,654 workers voted for representation by the ALU and 2,131 against. This means that nearly 55% of the 4,785 workers who cast ballots voted yes, and 45% no—a 10 percent margin of victory. “Today the people have spoken, and the people wanted a union,” ALU president Chris Smalls told supporters. Smalls uncorked a bottle of champagne outside the NLRB offices when the final tally came through.
MINNEAPOLIS, March 29, 2022— After a 14-day strike that was the first in Minneapolis in 50 years, teachers and education support professionals (ESPs) returned to the classroom on Monday, March 28. They had just approved a contract that their union leadership touted as achieving significant gains. The district’s 28,500 students returned the next day. The contract includes significant raises for ESPs, bringing them close to the union’s demand for a $35,000 starting salary, with wages increasing from about $20 to nearly $24 per hour. ESPs will also get $6,000 bonuses, with those serving more than 10 years getting another $1,000. The union won its demand for mental health support teams in elementary schools and the placement of a social worker in every building. In addition, for the first time, class size caps are now in contract language, instead of a memorandum of agreement that has no teeth.
This is a statement the Vienna State Opera issued on March 21, 2022. World-Outlook is publishing it because it addresses an important issue in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as U.S. and NATO sanctions against Russia. We agree with the Vienna opera’s call to reject demands to exclude Russian artists from performing “as well as a world view that classifies people as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ only on the basis of their origin.” We should note that during the long U.S. war against Vietnam 50 years ago, and during many other acts of aggression by Washington since, such a policy against artists from the U.S. would have been wrong for the same reason. It would also have deprived the world of many outstanding voices opposing that aggression. Any denial of the stage to Russian artists today only makes it more difficult for Russian artists to emulate that example now.
March 28, 2022—In the face of fierce and effective resistance by Ukrainian forces, signs are appearing that the Russian military may be adjusting the goals of its brutal invasion. “Russia says its main goal is Donbass, suggesting scaled-back ambitions in Ukraine,” Reuters reported March 25. Russian president Vladimir Putin originally aimed a substantial military convoy at Ukraine’s capital city with the goal of capturing it and, if possible, installing a compliant regime that would accept his false assertion that there is no Ukrainian nation; that Ukraine is nothing other than a “creation” of Russia. Achieving that goal has proven impossible, for now. Frustrated by the inability to score a quick, decisive military victory, Putin intensified a brutal air and artillery assault on the Ukraine, one that is intended to terrorize the civilian population. That offensive has created an enormous humanitarian crisis, but it has not broken the will of the Ukrainian people despite the fact that one in every four Ukrainians have been forced from their homes.
NEW YORK CITY, March 20, 2022 — About 150 people from across the United States and Canada gathered at the People’s Forum here March 19-20 for the International US-Cuba Normalization Conference. It was the first such in-person event in two years. Previous conferences were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting’s focus was coordinating efforts to end Washington’s economic war against the Caribbean nation, launched six decades ago after a popular revolution overthrew a U.S.-backed dictatorship on the island and opened the socialist revolution in the Americas. Co-sponsoring organizations included the Canadian Network on Cuba, Cuba Solidarity Committee in Puerto Rico, National Network on Cuba (NNOC), New York-New Jersey Cuba Sí Coalition, and Saving Lives Campaign US. A large delegation from Cuba — including several leaders of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) — participated in the event.
STATEN ISLAND, New York, March 20, 2022 — “We will win! We will win!” reverberated across the main entrance to Amazon’s JFK8 giant fulfillment center this afternoon. About 300 Amazon warehouse workers and their supporters rallied here to boost the efforts by the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) to win representation for more than 7,000 workers employed at JFK8. Workers will vote in person March 25-30 in a large tent set up in front of the facility.
This is a selection of writings by Russian revolutionary leader V.I. Lenin on internationalism, fighting national oppression, and the need for a voluntary union of soviet socialist republics. In recent posts, World-Outlook has referred to the fight Lenin carried out at the end of his life for a genuinely internationalist approach to ensuring such a voluntary union in the early years after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine this year, and Vladimir Putin’s distortions of Russia’s and Ukraine’s revolutionary history, give renewed importance to these issues.
March 16, 2022—Moscow is escalating its savage assault on Ukraine in the face of worldwide opposition to the invasion ordered by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Any idea that Russia’s military could score a quick victory and rapidly impose a successful occupation of the country has proven false. Ukrainian resistance has been stiff and determined. Inside Russia, demonstrations against Putin’s war have occurred in over 150 cities leading to more than 13,000 arrests by Putin’s cops. The population of Ukraine is engaged in a war for national independence against a regime in Moscow that aims to restore in Ukraine the situation that existed under the Russian Tsar, when the Russian empire was a prison house of nations. This explains the fierce resistance that has clearly come as a surprise to Putin, as well as others. Ukrainians will not easily become the subjects of efforts to establish a new Russian empire.
This is a letter signed as of March 5, 2022, by 7,500 students, graduates, and teachers and other staff of the prestigious Moscow State University, Russia’s oldest university, stating they “categorically condemn the war that our country unleashed in Ukraine.”
This exchange includes a slightly edited version of a letter Pete Seidman, a leader of the U.S. Hands Off Cuba and Venezuela coalition in Miami, sent to Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and Codepink: Women for Peace, and Nicolas (Sandy) Davies, a journalist and researcher for Codepink. Seidman is responding to the article by Benjamin and Davies “How the US Started a New Cold War with Russia and Left Ukraine to Fight It.” The latter appeared on February 28, 2022, in CommonDreams and is republished after Seidman’s letter. Cassia Laham, a leader of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), published an article on March 1, headlined “No To NATO,” which expresses views similar to those in the CommonDreams piece. It is also republished at the end of this exchange for the information of our readers. World-Outlook is publishing this exchange of views because of the importance of the issues involved for antiwar fighters and others. The editors of World-Outlook share Seidman’s views.
MINNEAPOLIS, March 12, 2022—For the first time since 1970, more than 4,500 members of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Educational Support Professionals Local 59 walked off the job on Tuesday, March 8. Teachers are demanding from the district to limit class sizes, pay for additional mental health support for students, and increase wages for classroom teachers and the 1,600 education support professionals (ESPs). The strike is getting widespread support from parents, students, and the broader community.
CHICAGO, March 8, 2022—“Now is the time to get back out into the streets and stay in the streets,” said Linda Loew, a leader of Chicago for Abortion Rights, at the kick-off rally on March 5 to honor International Women’s Day and demand that the Supreme Court uphold Roe v. Wade. Chicago for Abortion Rights initiated the march and rally that was co-hosted by thirteen other organizations. What all supporters of the right to choose abortion need to do now is to organize in the coming months to defend Roe and oppose these attacks. We need to mobilize our power in the streets. We are at a critical juncture. The response to this attack on women’s rights has so far been inadequate. Right-wing forces emboldened by the government are moving full steam ahead to roll back the basic right of women to control their own bodies. These moves must be met by action that mobilizes the majority sentiment that continues to support a woman’s right to choose abortion.
NEW YORK CITY, March 7, 2022—The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has certified that the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has collected enough signatures to get an election at LDJ5. This is the second fulfillment center of the retail giant in this area where workers have secured the right to a union vote. An upcoming NLRB hearing on March 14 will hash out the logistics of the LDJ5 election, according to ALU president Christian Smalls.
The last weekend of February, car caravans and other actions demanding an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba took place in several cities across the United States, as well as other countries. This roundup consists of reports from four of these actions in the U.S., written by organizers and participants.
We are pleased to report that World-Outlook’s fall fund appeal was a success. Readers contributed nearly $1,300, exceeding our expectations and making it possible to continue to cover our expenses. We are grateful to every contributor for helping us expand the site’s reach. You gave invaluable aid to the World-Outlook volunteers working to provide the clarity in political analysis and interpretation of events many young people, working-class fighters, and others around the world are searching for.
March 2, 2022—As locomotive engineer Marilee Taylor explained in the February 11 post on World-Outlook “BNSF Railroad Workers Resist Cruel Attendance Policy,” workers at the largest freight railroad (RR) in the U.S. are under fierce attack by the company owned by billionaire Warren Buffett. Workers who move the freight—engineers, conductors, brakemen and switchmen—frequently face work weeks of 60 hours or more, producing enormous profits for Buffett and the other wealthy RR owners. Many are on call to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with little or no predictability about when they will be called to work. Shifts are routinely 12 hours and perhaps longer before workers arrive at a destination where they can obtain some rest, often a hotel far from home. Trains are longer and heavier than ever, often carrying hazardous material, as the RRs seek to squeeze the maximum profit out of every trip. This poses serious safety risks for RR workers and the communities these trains pass through. Now Buffett’s BNSF wants more. It has imposed a new policy, called “Hi-Viz,” that demands employees to work even more hours. This cruel and dangerous policy has been upheld by a federal court judge who has ruled that the unions’ challenge to this policy is a “minor dispute,” and has denied the right to strike to oppose it.