CHICAGO — It’s a May Day story my mother never lets me forget. Both my parents, avid community activists at the time, were lead organizers of a local march and rally for international workers’ day and immigrant rights in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s southwest side.
Celebrations of International Workers Day throughout Latin America testified to working class determination, especially in Cuba where millions marched.
While the rest of Latin America moves left, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is pushing hard in the other direction with a thinly disguised plan to privatize PEMEX, the huge state oil company that provides 40 percent of the Mexican government’s revenues.
DELHI, India — Some evenings you will see a small jeep driving around this city, weaving its way through the impossible traffic. The driver and passengers are amateur actors dedicated to the education and rights of the working class. They are on their way to perform in slums, industrial areas and other sites where workers may be.
The surprise results of Nepal’s elections are now giving way to the next, perhaps more challenging, step of piecing together a coalition to write a new constitution and move toward abolishing the monarchy. In the recent election, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won the most seats — 220 out of 601 — in the Constituent Assembly that is tasked with writing the constitution and deciding on the political framework for the Himalayan nation. Nepal has been ruled by a Hindu king for more than 200 years.
In a blow to the revolutionary Bolivian government of President Evo Morales, overwhelmingly elected in 2005 as the nation’s first indigenous president, a much anticipated autonomy referendum in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz department gained approval by an estimated 80 percent of voters on May 4.
Five weeks after casting their votes on March 29, Zimbabweans learned this month that their liberation leader and president for nearly 30 years, Robert Mugabe, lost the popular vote to opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai.
Colombian troops attacked inside Ecuador on March 1, destroying a camp occupied by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Ecuadorian soldiers later found 23 bodies, including those of five Mexican young people visiting the site. The dead included FARC leader and negotiator Raul Reyes.
After showing its strength with a march of 25,000 teachers and their supporters Feb. 17, the Puerto Rico Federation of Teachers (FMPR) has been able to make progress toward a new labor agreement, averting for the moment a nationwide work stoppage that had been threatened for Feb. 19.
Top labor leaders ended a trip to Colombia Feb. 13 by telling that country’s president, Alvaro Uribe, American unions will not support the U.S.–Colombia Free Trade Agreement until the killing of union members by right-wing death squads there is put to a stop.