The ORGANIZER Weekly Newsletter
Issue No. 57 (Part 1) – March 25, 2022
Formatted @ http://www.socialistorganizer.org
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IN THIS DOSSIER
• Emergency International Meeting Against War (April 3, 2022)
• “Why We Are Participating in the Emergency International Meeting”: Statements from some of the U.S. participants
• One Month After Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine, Where Are We Headed? – by Dominique Ferré
• Yemen: The War that Nobody Talks About – by Jean Alain
• Ilan Pappé Denounces Ukraine-Palestine Double Standard
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Emergency International Meeting Against War
Sunday, April 3, 2022
601 activists from 57 countries are calling for a “World Conference Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International” to be held in Paris in October 2022: “It is not inevitable that barbarism will prevail. The resources for a positive outcome lie with the workers’ movement.”
In the interim, we invite you to prepare an emergency meeting.
The war in Ukraine confirms once again what Jean Jaurès said more than a century ago: “Capitalism carries war like the cloud carries the storm.”
It is up to the working class throughout the world to take up the fight for peace.
• Russian troops out of Ukraine!
• US and NATO troops out of Europe!
• Dismantle NATO!
• No so-called “national unity”/sacred union with war-mongering governments!
• Down with war! Down with exploitation!
The emergency meeting will be held around these slogans.
We will launch a joint appeal to workers, young people and workers’ organizations throughout the world for an effective struggle against war, against so-called “national unity”/sacred union, for peace.
Daniel Gluckstein and Nambiath Vasudevan
Coordinators, International Workers Committee against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International
Paris and Mumbai, March 14, 2022
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“Why We Will Be Participating in the April 3 Emergency Meeting”
Statement from Michael Carano
With the United States ramping up its interference in the self-determination and internal affairs of nations across the globe, and in particular pushing us to the brink of nuclear winter in regard to its bellicose stance toward Russia and China, the call for working people to unite and stave off disaster could not be more pressing.
As the U.S.’s dream of unipolar hegemony collapses across the globe, we are now faced with a time more dangerous than at any time in history. Its unquenchable capitalist drive to extract profit from “over the entire surface of the globe,” and its intentional ignoring of impending climate disaster demands that the working class of the world unite to preempt destruction and turn to socialism and cooperation to secure humanity’s future. Unless we act now, there will be no now tomorrow.
Tallmadge, Ohio, USA
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Statement from Donna Dewitt
The necessity of the International Emergency Meeting Against the War of April 3rd captures the urgency of workers to address the current and ongoing atrocities that war creates. The wealthy nations continue to find ways to consolidate and expand their power and create more wealth without regard to the cost of lives and displacement of civilians from their native lands. Workers must join together and create a powerful network to use their collective powers to speak for the workers, seniors and youth across the world.
Donna S. Dewitt,
South Carolina AFL-CIO
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Statement from David Walters
I chose to participate in the April 3 Emergency International Meetings primarily because of its opposition to NATO/US provocations in Ukraine and the reactionary response by Russia in invading this country. The statements published in various organs of those affiliated with this upcoming meeting strike the main points that need to be elucidated internationally by any movement against war: NATO out of Europe/All Russian Troops to go home! The recent doubling of the German defense budget will directly affect the lives of working people there, and this is true throughout the region as countries go on a permanent war footing. This needs to end – and end now.
IBEW 1245 (retired)
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Statement from Rodger Scott
I advocate the following humane and rational demands:
• Withdraw Russian troops immediately from Ukraine.
• Remove U.S. and NATO troops from Europe.
• Recognize that NATO obstructs peace and international unity
and should be abolished.
• U.S. bases throughout the world also obstruct peace.
The world can achieve peace through good-will negotiation and mutual respect – not war and occupation.
Working people throughout the world are the true allies of progress, peace, environmental sanity, social and economic justice.
Past President, AFT Local 2121 (id only)
San Francisco, CA
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Statement from Desirée Rojas
I look forward to the April 3 International meeting and to draft collectively a Manifesto against war.
We are faced with an imperialist war that doesn’t benefit working people. Lives are lost on both sides, millions are displaced from their homes (a new column of Ukrainian refugees, joining those from Africa, the Middle East, Haiti, Mexico, and Central America), and working people the world over are impacted severely as prices of basic goods soar mile-high. The only ones who benefit are the CEOs of the military-industrial complex. When capitalism fails, war becomes the capitalist reset button. Meanwhile Mother Earth is poisoned with more and more bombs. Humanity deserves a better alternative.
President, Sacramento LCLAA (AFL-CIO and Change to Win)
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Statement from Mya Shone
Permanent war is as inherent to capitalism as is the exploitation of workers. Less than six months after the last U.S. troops left Afghanistan, as did other NATO forces, U.S. President Joe Biden deployed 12,000 troops to Europe to supplement the 80,000 U.S. forces already stationed there. Our meeting April 3 is essential to mobilize and organize against the war upon the working class that is devastating Ukraine.
Editorial Board, The Organizer
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One Month After Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine, Where Are We Headed?
“Uniting the forces loyal to the banner of workers’ internationalism is the meaning of the International Emergency Meeting Against War of April 3.”
By Dominique Ferré
It has been a month since Putin’s army invaded Ukraine, after the escalation provoked by Biden and NATO. Putin thought it would be a walk in the park. The opposite is true: His army, composed of young, unmotivated soldiers, is bogged down by the resistance of the Ukrainian people, including in the Russian-speaking regions of the east. But this is war, with its thousands of deaths, its cities reduced to rubble, and its millions of refugees (as occurred yesterday in Afghanistan or in Syria).
The U.S. and European governments are delivering thousands of tons of arms to the Ukrainian army, increasing the shares of the multinational arms companies. Tens of thousands of soldiers from NATO countries, including France, are massed on Russia’s borders. Joe Biden, who is mainly responsible, along with Putin, for this disaster, declared on March 11 that a “direct confrontation” with Russia “would provoke World War III.” Even if, for the moment, Biden dismisses this possibility, it does not change the fact that, in the summits of U.S. imperialism, such an outcome is being considered.
World war is already a reality; just look at its appalling consequences against the peoples. It’s a war against the Ukrainian people, under the barrage of bombs, who have been subjected to centuries of national oppression from which only the October Revolution of 1917 could free them. It’s a war against the workers of Russia, strangled by the sanctions and the unleashing of repression against all those who oppose the war. It’s a war against the peoples of the whole world who see prices soar and the specter of famine continue to spread.
Everywhere, the war-mongering governments, supported by the leaders of workers’ organizations and “left” parties, are taking advantage of the war to deal blows to workers. Biden, engaged for a year in an all-out offensive against China, is now threatening it with “reprisals” because its leaders, not without hesitation, support Putin. Behind the offensive against China is Wall Street’s objective of bringing down the main obstacle to plundering the Chinese market.
In Ukraine …
Russian bombing has intensified. Mariupol, under siege, is largely destroyed, as is Kharkov; the suburbs of Kiev have been hit, as has Odessa. Despite the use of new hypersonic missiles, the Russian army is getting bogged down. In the occupied cities, popular demonstrations against the occupation are taking place daily. In Energodar, they are marching by the hundreds chanting, “Free and United Ukraine!” In Kherson, Russian troops opened fire on the demonstrators, but the people continued to chant, “Damoi! Damoi!” (Go home!) to the Russian soldiers.
President Zelensky declared on March 15 that, finally, “Ukraine may never enter NATO”… although joining NATO has been his leitmotif since his election in May 2019. On the same day, he ratified law 7160 “on the organization of labor relations under martial law,” which facilitates dismissals, including of union delegates, and restores night work for women, including pregnant women. This is a stab in the back to Ukrainian workers, many of whom volunteered to fight against the invasion.
In Russia …
On March 21, the NGO OVD-Info counted 15,000 arrests of anti-war demonstrators since February 24. The repression and the “patriotic” hysteria of Putin’s regime, with the unfailing support of the patriarch of the Orthodox Church, are no longer enough to stifle the growing refusal of the war. U.S. and European sanctions are hitting the working population (much more than the oligarchs).
In many supermarkets, the shelves are empty, and prices are rising so fast that customers are warned: “Prices are not necessarily those on the labels.” Avtovaz, the main car manufacturer (owned by Renault), has stopped production and plans to put its 32,000 workers on compulsory leave in April. Moscow’s largest airport has just put 40% of its staff on short-time work schedules. One of Moscow’s main construction companies, PIK, is taking advantage of the war and no longer pays the salaries of its 30,000 workers: “We’ll pay you later,” some are told, while others are put on unpaid leave…
As a worker activist said: “For the time being, the majority of the population is going along with the ‘patriotic’ discourse. But as history has shown, it only lasts for so long. The coffins that return from the front, the increase in prices, the arrests … will make the regime lose the support it still has.”
Around the world …
What we are experiencing in our country is the French translation of the worldwide consequences of this war. The “financial markets” that set the price of a barrel of oil or a ton of wheat are having a field day: speculating on possible future shortages, the “markets” are driving up prices and making juicy profits … for which workers have to pay a high price. Entire regions of the world, dependent on grain imports, are threatened.
According to the United Nations, in Yemen, which has been at war for seven years, 17.4 million people need food aid. To avoid famine, the UN is looking for 4.3 billion dollars… barely half of the 7 billion euros (US$7.7 billion) that the Macron government has just offered to French capitalists!
The UN continues: 22 million people in Afghanistan are threatened by hunger, as well as in “the Sahel, South Sudan, part of Ethiopia. … There is a long list of countries threatened by famine. Not only do conflicts create food insecurity but, in the case of the war in Ukraine, jeopardize the entire balance of markets and supply.” This situation, according to the UN, can lead to a “collapse of the global food system” and a “hunger hurricane.”
The capitalist system at the end of its rope
Once again, the capitalist system is showing that it can only bring war, barbarism and suffering to humanity. So, from the demonstrations against soaring prices and the corrupt government of Albania, to India where the central trade unions are calling for a general strike on March 28 and 29, workers are developing their own actions to obtain a price freeze, wage increases, and emergency measures that the situation calls for. These are vital demands that are incompatible with any form of support for the capitalist governments that wage war and exploitation. The only alternative to this old world which is collapsing is the international unity of workers of all countries.
Uniting the forces loyal to the banner of workers’ internationalism is the meaning of the International Emergency Meeting Against War of April 3.
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Yemen: The War that Nobody Talks About
By Jean Alain
Since 2015 in Yemen, the United States, Britain and France have been delivering massive amounts of weapons to the Saudi and Emirati regimes that have already killed 377,000 people, including thousands upon thousands of children.
The toll is overwhelming: More than 10,000 children killed or wounded since the beginning of the war (377,000 dead in total), 17.4 million dependent on food aid, five million of whom are on the verge of starvation, skeletal newborns, desolate landscapes after bombardments have reduced towns, villages and infrastructures to rubble. …
But you won’t hear about it on the front page of the news, nor will you see politicians and show-business stars being moved by it. And for good reason: the bombs are not Russian, but French and American, and the victims are not Ukrainians, but Yemenis.
Since 2015, an “Arab coalition” consisting of the ultra-reactionary regimes of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, heavily armed by the United States, France and Britain, has been waging a war of extermination in Yemen, the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula. The “Arab coalition” is fighting the Houthi militias, allied with Iran, and is sending the country back to the stone age.
To add insult to injury, according to a humanitarian organization working on the ground, quoted by the BBC (March 18): “With the war in Ukraine, prices have doubled here in Yemen, especially the cost of flour. A bag used to cost about US $21-25, now it’s $50.”
Long hidden from the general public, the massive deliveries of French weapons to Saudi and Emirati mass murderers were revealed to the general public by journalists, who were summoned for this purpose, in April 2019, by the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI). Caught “hand in the cookie jar,” the Macron government now openly claims responsibility for these deliveries. His Minister of the Armed Forces shamelessly declared before the Senate on September 9, 2021: “In the case of the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is forced to defend its territory against territorial aggression and against its civilian population. … It therefore appears entirely legitimate to authorize certain exports.”
The horror of the Russian bombing in Mariupol and Kharkov against Ukrainian civilians and children cannot make us forget the horror of the bombing “Made in France” against Yemeni civilians and children.
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Ilan Pappé Denounces Ukraine-Palestine Double Standard
(excerpted from The Palestine Chronicle, March 13, 2022)
“It is not only the hypocrisy about Palestine that emerges when we consider the Ukraine crisis in a wider context,” writes Palestinian rights activist and author Ilan Pappé, “it is the overall Western double standards that should be scrutinized, without, for one moment, being indifferent to news and images coming to us from the war zone in the Ukraine: traumatized children, streams of refugees, sights of buildings ruined by bombing and the looming danger that this is only the beginning of a human catastrophe at the heart of Europe.”
The Russian bombing of Ukraine, Pappé continues, “must be condemned, of course, but it seems that those leading the condemnation among world leaders were silent when Israel flattened the town of Jenin in 2000, the Al-Dahaya neighborhood in Beirut in 2006, and the city of Gaza in one brutal wave after the other, over the past fifteen years. No sanctions, whatsoever, were even discussed, let alone imposed, on Israel for its war crimes in 1948 and ever since. In fact, in most of the Western countries which are leading the sanctions against Russia today, even mentioning the possibility of imposing sanctions against Israel is illegal and framed as anti-Semitic.” …
“Legitimizing internationally the invasion of sovereign countries and licensing the continued colonization and oppression of others, such as Palestine and its people,” Pappé concludes, will lead to more tragedies, such as the Ukrainian one, in the future, and everywhere on our planet.”
These are simple facts that cannot be contested. — J.S.