World News

As American Federation of Teachers shuts down UM graduate student strike

Campuses across Michigan see dramatic spike in cases

By Joseph Lorenz, 19 September 2020

The decision to open campuses is part of the drive by governments everywhere in line with so-called "herd immunity" policies.

Johnson government opposes national lockdown despite exponential rise in UK coronavirus cases

By Robert Stevens, 19 September 2020

It is just 77 days since the Johnson government recklessly reopened the economy on July 1, in the middle of a pandemic. By next Tuesday at least 13 million people will be in lockdown.

US, Colombia stage war games as Pompeo threatens Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 19 September 2020

Pompeo’s Latin American tour is aimed both at escalating aggression against Venezuela and countering China’s influence in the region.

Political crisis in the Philippines intensifies

By John Malvar, 19 September 2020

With the support of the Stalinists, sections of the military and business elite are coalescing around Vice-President Leni Robredo, as a possible replacement for President Rodrigo Duterte.

Wildfires threaten drinking water and further desertification of US West Coast

By Linda Rios, 19 September 2020

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 21 major fires are still burning in California, 12 in Oregon and 8 in Washington state.

SUNY-Oswego forced into temporary shutdown of in-person instruction after spike in COVID-19 cases

By Alex Findijs, 19 September 2020

The campus in upstate New York is the second state university to be forced into a temporary shutdown this month due to the spread of COVID-19 cases.

Ford Kansas City Assembly workers launch Rank-and-File Safety Committee to save lives

By the Ford Kansas City Assembly Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 19 September 2020

Neither the UAW nor Ford has addressed any of the safety issues inside the Kansas City Assembly plant since production restarted in May.

“This district is not ready at all”

Teacher in Vancouver, Washington speaks out on school reopenings amid wildfires

By Evan Winters, 19 September 2020

Despite weeks of unhealthy wildfire-fueled air quality, the Evergreen School District is preparing to reopen elementary schools for partial in-person learning.

Union shuts down nurses strike at University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago

By George Gallanis and Fabian Salgado, 19 September 2020

The Illinois Nurses Association ended the strike without a new contract and isolating 4,000 staffers on the picket line.

New York yellow cab drivers block bridges to demand debt relief

By Shuvu Batta, 19 September 2020

Battered by crippling debt and collapsing demand for taxis, drivers staged a protest Thursday calling for relief from their enormous debt burden.

Germany: Right-wing extremist network in police pays homage to Hitler and the Nazis

By Jan Ritter, 19 September 2020

A photo montage shared online by police officers shows a grinning SS soldier pressing a button marked “Gas.” In the background, refugees are screaming in fear in a gas chamber.

Neo-Nazis in German police issue new threats

By Gregor Link, 19 September 2020

The extreme-right continues its work because it is being protected by senior authorities in the state apparatus.

Build an independent action committee to defend jobs and wages!

Union suppresses criticism of job cuts at German steel producer ThyssenKrupp

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 19 September 2020

Major corporations, banks and hedge funds are using the pandemic to launch attacks on wages and jobs worked out long before the crisis.

Dominion grocery workers in Newfoundland in fourth week of strike for higher pay

By Carl Bronski, 19 September 2020

The 1,400 low-paid workers remain on strike against the Newfoundland subsidiary of Loblaws, Canada’s largest supermarket chain.

Russia’s opposition parties fail to win broad support in regional elections

By Andrea Peters, 19 September 2020

Kremlin-backed candidates held onto governorships and control of local parliamentary bodies in the 83 regions of the country where voting occurred.

Peace negotiations stall as ceasefire begins to fall apart in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 19 September 2020

Ukraine’s far-right continues to oppose any negotiated settlement that could lead to the end of the six-year long civil war that has needlessly killed over 13,000.

Australian jobs figures show acceleration of “gig economy”

By Mike Head, 19 September 2020

Governments and employers are exploiting the mass unemployment triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic to bludgeon workers onto reduced wages and conditions.

Australia: Ovato printing company demands more cuts to jobs and conditions

By Noel Holt, 19 September 2020

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has “bent over backwards” to assist Ovato restructure its operations.

White House bans TikTok and WeChat: A major intensification of internet censorship

By Kevin Reed, 19 September 2020

The move is an assault on freedom of expression and an effort to consolidate control of the internet by a handful of massive corporations working in partnership with the American government.

Witnesses recall Collateral Murder attack: “Look at those dead bastards,” shooters said

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2020

“The publication of that video and those words was the equivalent of the death of George Floyd and his words ‘I can’t breathe’. They had a profound effect on public opinion in the world.”

Toots Hibbert, ska and reggae giant: “Right now, someone else has that number”

By Paul Bond, 19 September 2020

Hibbert was widely respected and liked as a person, as well as admired for his work. That he was one of the most important international ambassadors for reggae owed much to his personal integrity.

Trump administration continues assault on endangered species

By Adria French, 19 September 2020

Recent changes to the Endangered Species Act “to lower regulatory burdens” are driving several species toward extinction.

India: Chennai garbage workers strike; Sri Lankan bank workers protest over contracts; Australian waterfront workers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 September 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

New York City Democratic mayor delays school opening a second time

By our reporters, 18 September 2020

Bill de Blasio, the “progressive” mayor of New York City, announced a new date for a ‘’phased reopening” of the city’s public schools.

Announcing the Relaunch of the World Socialist Web Site on October 2, 2020

A statement by David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board

David North, 18 September 2020

On Friday, October 2, 2020, the World Socialist Web Site will be relaunched with an entirely new design and with vastly enhanced functionality.

Trump repeats threats of post-election military repression as Barr calls for charging protesters with “sedition”

By Patrick Martin, 17 September 2020

While Trump and his political aides and advisers openly speak of civil war and martial law, the Democrats are largely ignoring and covering up the moves toward dictatorial forms of rule.

House report on Boeing 737 Max crashes: Corporate criminality, FAA complicity, but no accountability

By Barry Grey, 17 September 2020

Despite the incriminating evidence, the Democrats propose no actions to hold either Boeing or the FAA accountable for the deaths of 346 men, women and children.

No charges in Missouri police murder of 25-year-old Hannah Fizer

By Jacob Crosse, 17 September 2020

As another killer cop goes free, protesters against the police killing of Ricardo Munoz in Lancaster, Pennsylvania remain in jail, with bail set at $1 million.

Reject the AFT’s rush to vote on sellout contract at University of Michigan!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at UM, 17 September 2020

Now is not the time to back down! The struggle must be broadened to include undergraduates, staff, faculty and workers in a common struggle.

American Federation of Teachers shuts down University of Michigan graduate student strike

By our reporters, 17 September 2020

The end of the strike occurred less than 24 hours after the American Federation of Teachers assumed control of negotiations and produced an agreement that was virtually identical to the one overwhelmingly rejected just a week ago.

Big Ten universities announce football will resume

By Andy Thompson, 17 September 2020

After an earlier decision to postpone the season, the Big Ten football conference has announced games will begin October 24.

“We’re going to keep fighting”

Opposition mounts as thousands of University of Illinois at Chicago nurses and workers continue strike

By Kylie Rose, 17 September 2020

The university administration and the Democratic Party are increasingly nervous over the support striking workers have elicited.

Slow-moving Hurricane Sally makes landfall along Alabama-Florida border

By J. L’Heureau, 17 September 2020

With close to 20 million people in its path, Sally brought coastal flooding, record rainfall, high winds and mass power outages to a large swath of the northern Gulf Coast, stretching from southeast Louisiana to the west central coast of Florida.

Fed toes the line on Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2020

The most commonly used phrase by Fed chair Jerome Powell at his press conference was “very strong forward guidance” in a message to Wall Street that the central bank was giving the commitments it has demanded.

Trump’s China tariffs ruled illegal by World Trade Organisation

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2020

The WTO decision will not see any relaxation of the US trade war against China but rather its intensification.

Students return to UK universities: Build campus safety committees!

By Danny Knightley, 17 September 2020

Campus safety committees must ensure safety procedures are put in place to protect the health of students and staff alike, and fight for increased testing on campuses.

Manchester Go North West bus drivers vote overwhelmingly to strike

By Dennis Moore and Robert Stevens, 17 September 2020

Workers in Manchester should emulate the move by London bus drivers at a number of garages, who this week set up the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee.

Strikes mount as COVID-19 breaks out in hundreds of Spanish schools

By Alice Summers, 17 September 2020

Spanish unions have refused to call out education workers in a unified struggle against the reopening of schools, limiting action to sporadic, short-term protests.

Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls for plantwide shutdown to guarantee safety during pandemic

By Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 17 September 2020

The Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee has issued a statement calling for equal treatment to protect against COVID-19.

Surge in COVID-19 infections as in-person classes resume at many Illinois college campuses

By Fabian Salgado, 17 September 2020

Illinois State University is experiencing a horrifying explosion in the rate of COVID-19 infection as in person classes resume at many of the state’s campuses.

University of Wisconsin-Madison and La Crosse quarantine students after infections

By Brian Green, 17 September 2020

The affected students were given the choice of returning to their families or remaining on campus in the crowded and COVID-infested residence halls.

COVID-19 outbreaks force switch to online learning at New Jersey schools

By Erik Schreiber and Robert Milkowski, 17 September 2020

At least eight districts have switched their entire district or individual schools to fully remote instruction after confirmed infections.

New York City ruling elite warns Mayor de Blasio of “widespread anxiety”

By Fred Mazelis, 17 September 2020

The corporate elite is demanding an intensified back-to-work drive, and is fearful that the “progressive” mayor may not be able to keep the lid on growing social discontent.

As US death toll hits 200,000, Trump calls for herd immunity

By Andre Damon, 17 September 2020

“Herd immunity” has been the guiding principle of Trump’s response to the pandemic, underlying his efforts to downplay the virus, handicap testing and get workers back on the job as quickly as possible.

Former Der Spiegel journalist exposes US government lies that Assange “failed to redact” and “put lives at risk”

By Laura Tiernan, 17 September 2020

Testimony from John Goetz established that the only “harm to life” came from US war crimes which Assange and WikiLeaks were trying to expose.

Assange exposed “a very serious pattern of actual war crimes,” Daniel Ellsberg tells extradition hearing

By Thomas Scripps, 17 September 2020

Ellsberg said that “with the Manning and Assange papers, I found my name being mentioned all the time as a very good person … to use me as a foil against these new revelations which were supposedly very different from mine.”

Journalist Andrew Fowler: If Assange is extradited, the same can happen to any of us

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 September 2020

“The attempt by the State to control information is at the heart of the charges against Assange. Its physical manifestation is there every day in the court.”

Australian ruling elite moves to junk coronavirus safety measures—the working class must intervene to answer the pandemic threat!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 17 September 2020

Sections of the ruling class have concluded that any further safety restrictions can no longer be tolerated, regardless of the danger to working class lives.

Book Review

Wilmington’s Lie: The 1898 white supremacist coup in North Carolina

David Zucchino, Atlantic Monthly Press, 336 pages

By Fred Mazelis, 17 September 2020

The racist massacre in Wilmington was a major turning point in the entrenchment of Jim Crow segregation throughout the South.

British actress Diana Rigg (1938-2020)

By Paul Bond, 17 September 2020

Rigg was a fine classical actress who ended up successfully negotiating the transition back and forth between stage and television.

“I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp”

Nurse alleges forced sterilizations, medical malpractice at Georgia immigrant detention center

By Niles Niemuth, 16 September 2020

The chilling report provides further evidence of the sadistic abuse meted out by the Trump administration in its fascistic war on immigrants.

Acting US Homeland Security secretary refuses to appear before congressional committee

By Jacob Crosse, 16 September 2020

In defiance of Congress and the Constitution, Chad Wolf said he would not testify before a House committee on September 17.

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks Green Party presidential campaign from 2020 ballot

By Kevin Reed, 16 September 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to reject a lawsuit by the Green Party candidates seeking an injunction against the distribution of ballots to voters without their names on them.

University of Michigan graduate student workers’ strike at critical turning point

By Matthew Brennan, 16 September 2020

With threats of a court injunction and the taking over negotiations by the American Federation of Teachers, the strike by more than 1,200 graduate students is in danger.

Defying injunction threats, striking University of Michigan grad students call for “larger mobilization of working people”

By our reporters, 16 September 2020

Striking graduate students at the University of Michigan are continuing their walkout in defiance of the strikebreaking threats by top administrators.

Who is on the University of Michigan Board of Regents?

By Matthew Brennan, 16 September 2020

The governing body of the University of Michigan is a nexus of powerful political, military and corporate interests

Strike by University of Illinois at Chicago nurses and workers continues, as Illinois Democratic governor threatens to decimate state budget

By James Martin and Kristina Betinis, 16 September 2020

A virtual blackout of the strikes at UIC and its hospital in the national press indicates the growing fear in ruling circles over the development of working class opposition.

West Coast fires and evacuations expected to fuel the spread of COVID-19

By Kevin Martinez, 16 September 2020

Tens of thousands of people fleeing fires have been forced to live in makeshift shelters, making effective social distancing measures nearly impossible.

Trump stages sham Mideast “peace” ceremony on White House lawn

By Bill Van Auken, 16 September 2020

The overriding significance of the Israel-UAE-Bahrain accords is the further consolidation of a US-led anti-Iran axis in the Middle East.

The Moria catastrophe and the European Union’s war on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 16 September 2020

The inhumane treatment of the desperate people on Lesbos is the product of deliberate policies being pursued by the European Union and its member states.

Schools at epicentre of UK’s coronavirus explosion

By Robert Stevens, 16 September 2020

The virus is resurgent in workplaces, schools, and communities, with the R (reproduction) value rising above 1 across the UK.

COVID-19 cases escalate with school re-openings: Build educators rank-and-file safety committees!

By Tom Pearce and Julie Hyland, 16 September 2020

With Labour Party support, the National Education Union is complicit in abandoning its 450,000 members and those they teach to the government’s policy of “herd immunity”.

France imposes return to school without protections against COVID-19

By Jacques Valentin, 16 September 2020

With over 1,200 schools and universities affected, France faces a resurgent pandemic provoked by the reopening drive by the highest state authorities.

The political significance of the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee: “Change is coming in the working class”

By our reporters, 16 September 2020

The formation of the committee shows that bus workers are starting to draw a balance sheet from their experiences over the past six months and are ready to fight back.

London bus drivers launch rank-and-file safety committee to fight renewed threat from COVID-19

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 September 2020

“We are not cattle and will not be sacrificed to protect the profits of the corporations and banks who have made a financial killing during the pandemic,” states the resolution passed by the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee.

London bus drivers resolve to fight for Assange’s freedom

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 September 2020

The first action of the newly formed London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee was to pass a resolution calling for the defence of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

“It’s immoral and irresponsible to bring students to campus and to conduct in-person classes”

NYU faculty and students denounce unsafe reopening of campus

By IYSSE at New York University, 16 September 2020

The reopening of NYU, the largest private university in the US, is utterly reckless and places the lives of students, workers and residents in the area in immense danger.

San Diego State University seeks to shift blame to students for coronavirus outbreaks following reopening

By Melody Isley and Norissa Santa Cruz, 16 September 2020

As the virus spreads on campus, students have watched in horror as peers are taken away to isolation dorms by staff dressed in hazmat gear.

“It is really up to the teachers to take their safety into their own hands.”

One-third of schools in Knox County, Tennessee have at least one positive COVID-19 case

By Isaac Finn, 16 September 2020

The growing spread of the deadly virus is the direct outcome of the “herd immunity” policies that have been pursued by every level of government in the US.

Reactionary Massachusetts ruling paves way for Andover public schools to open in-person

By Mike Ingram, 16 September 2020

The state Department of Labor Relations board ruled that Andover teachers had engaged in an illegal strike by refusing to enter school buildings

Yoshihide Suga replaces Abe as Japanese prime minister

By Ben McGrath, 16 September 2020

LDP support for Suga indicates that the Japanese ruling class views him as the most capable of carrying out its agenda, in the face of a growing economic and social crisis.

Indian police and BJP government extend witch-hunt against anti-CAA protesters to filmmaker Rahul Roy

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 16 September 2020

Monday’s interrogation of Roy and his wife comes after the Delhi police spuriously implicated prominent cultural and political figures in the BJP-fomented communal violence.

US defence secretary phones Sri Lankan president about increased military cooperation

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 16 September 2020

Washington wants enhanced military relations with the strategically-located island in order to intensify its war drive against China.

Woodward revelations: Canada’s political elite implicated in Trump’s suppression of COVID-19 threat

By Omar Ali and Roger Jordan, 16 September 2020

Given Canada’s intimate military-strategic partnership with Washington, it is inconceivable that the Trudeau government was not privy to the intelligence Trump and the top Democrats received about the pandemic.

Australian CEO pay hits record high, boosted by JobKeeper subsidies

By Jason Quill, 16 September 2020

Large companies have exploited government COVID-19 bailout schemes to increase executive rewards.

Trump incites fascistic violence as US election approaches

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 16 September 2020

The great issues confronting workers in this election cannot be resolved on the basis of an electoral strategy. They can be resolved only through the revolutionary movement of the working class and the conquest of state power.

Assange faces life imprisonment in politically motivated trial, witnesses argue

By Thomas Scripps, 16 September 2020

Both expert witnesses shared the view that the prosecution of Assange is politically motivated—which, if found to be true, would bar his extradition.

Suppression of wages in US at centre of widening social inequality

By Nick Beams, 16 September 2020

The reduction in labour’s share of the national income by eight percentage points over five decades means that workers would be receiving $1.12 trillion more had the previous distribution between wages and profits applied.

An interview with Michael Fitzgerald, producer of Waiting for the Barbarians

By David Walsh, 16 September 2020

Fitzgerald has a history in movies extending back to the late 1970s. He first produced two films with John Huston, Wise Blood (1979) and Under the Volcano (1984).

The precedents for disease eradication through international cooperation

Part two

By Frank Gaglioti, 16 September 2020

Vaccines have been successfully developed for both polio and the measles, but global elimination of the diseases lags.

999 Faurecia Gladstone coronavirus outbreak

16 September 2020

Stalinist leader Joma Sison doubles down on Big Lie that the CPP never supported Philippine President Duterte

By Tom Peters, 15 September 2020

Jose Maria Sison has not even attempted to refute the evidence presented by Dr. Joseph Scalice that the Communist Party of the Philippines supported the fascistic president Rodrigo Duterte in 2015-2016.

Trump, Roger Stone call for violence and repression after Election Day

By Patrick Martin, 14 September 2020

The US president and his oldest political crony called for a police-military crackdown to back his continued rule.

University of Michigan graduate students vote to extend strike as opposition erupts at campuses throughout the US

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 September 2020

The reopening of campuses is driving an expansion of the coronavirus pandemic, with 19 of the 25 largest outbreaks in communities with colleges that have started in-person learning.

“A general strike is a must to stop this back-to-work and back-to-school madness”

Autoworkers support University of Michigan strikers

By our reporters, 14 September 2020

Like the herding of workers into the auto factories, the drive to reopen schools and colleges even as the pandemic continues to rage is entirely driven by profit interests.

Greece buys billions in French arms amid war tensions with Turkey

By Alex Lantier, 14 September 2020

The purchase of a squadron of fighter jets and four warships marks a major escalation in the military standoff between Greece, backed by France, and Turkey.

“In the end, it is all about profit"

University of Illinois Hospital nurses strike over staff shortages, unsafe conditions

By Benjamin Mateus and George Gallanis, 14 September 2020

UIH nurses in Chicago walked out Saturday to demand patient limits and safe work environments.

University of Illinois at Chicago workers go on strike against low wages and unsafe conditions

By Kylie Rose and Andy Thompson, 14 September 2020

Workers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have gone on strike against low wages and unsafe conditions as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads rapidly through college campuses.

More than 15,000 attend University of Texas football game amidst coronavirus pandemic

By Chase Lawrence, 14 September 2020

A UT Austin spokesperson confirmed that only 1,198 attendees were tested before the game. Out of these, 95 tested positive, or nearly 8 percent.

Millions in the US choke on hazardous air as West Coast fires continue to rage

By Kayla Costa, 14 September 2020

With 33 dead and over 4.6 million acres burned, the unprecedented fires in California, Oregon and Washington have quickly spiraled into a catastrophe affecting the lives of millions.

Wildcat strike over COVID-19 at Lear auto parts plant in Indiana

By Marcus Day, 14 September 2020

Lear workers refused to work for several hours Friday night after learning of potential COVID-19 cases in the facility, halting production also at the nearby Ford Chicago Assembly Plant.

Floods inundate Sudan amid escalating economic crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 14 September 2020

The hardest hit has been the capital Khartoum, where the Blue and White Nile Rivers meet, as the Nile burst its banks, demolishing everything in its way.

Australia: Unions silent as dozens of New South Wales schools are affected by COVID-19

By Martin Scott, 14 September 2020

Even teachers over the age of 70, or with serious health conditions, have been forced back to front-line teaching since late May.

Australian government exploits family funeral to push for end to coronavirus border restrictions

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 September 2020

The government aims to shift public opinion against border restrictions, which corporate Australia now wants scrapped.

Three postal workers test positive at UK Royal Mail’s Medway Mail Centre

By Paul Lee, 14 September 2020

The outbreak at the “state-of-the-art” delivery office demonstrates that workers’ health is being imperilled in an ongoing scramble for profit.

In fascistic Independence Day speech, Brazil’s Bolsonaro condemns “strikes, social disorder”

By Miguel Andrade, 14 September 2020

Bolsonaro’s rant rooted Brazil’s national identity in “fear of god, respect for the family” and the struggle for “liberty” against “communism.”

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks mailing out of absentee ballots pending ruling on Green Party ballot access

By Jacob Crosse, 14 September 2020

The Democratic party has led the charge in purging third-party candidates, including the Greens, from the November ballot.

COVID-19 outbreak at Virginia migrant detention center caused by repression of anti-police brutality protesters

By Joe Williams, 14 September 2020

The outbreak at the Farmville detention center demonstrates the capitalist class’s disdain for democratic rights and the lives of the entire population.

Tens of thousands in southwest Louisiana remain without power two weeks after Hurricane Laura

By J. L’Heureau, 14 September 2020

With Tropical Storm Sally on track to hit Louisiana early this week the social and ecological crisis wrought in the wake of the last major storm is still coming into focus.

Congressional investigation opened into deaths of 27 soldiers this year at Fort Hood, Texas

By Chase Lawrence, 14 September 2020

The military newspaper Stars and Stripes has dubbed the base the US Army’s “most crime ridden post.”