People Centered Human Rights And The Black Radical Tradition

International Human Rights Day is December 10. On that day in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was promulgated as the first in a series of covenants, treaties, and legal interpretations that would make up the post-war human rights framework. However, the history of struggle that produced the UDHR, beginning with the 1945 convention in San Francisco that created the United Nations, is one that can only be characterized as contentious. It is not possible to cover all of that history here. However, it is important that the historiography of Black activism that saw Black activists as central players in UN processes and debates between 1945 and 1951 is well known . Suffice to say that the contentious ideological character around the concept of human rights is still being played out today.

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How To Counter The Growing Threat Of Agent Provocateurs

As awareness of racial injustice, climate crises and sexist violence grow in multiple countries, activists are responding in greater and greater numbers. We have this in common with earlier periods in history that birthed large social movements: activists “upping the ante,” increasing the power of their action. One-off protests become sustained campaigns, short actions like parades become long marches, a union’s token stay-at-home becomes a prolonged strike, law-abiding demonstrators turn to civil disobedience. It’s easy, however, to overlook a key activist vulnerability that accompanies these moments of increased passion and determination — namely, the increased chance that our opponents will try to lure us into violence by secretly using “agent provocateurs.” Such individuals are planted among us to masquerade as activists, but are actually paid to coax us into using violence. This is a good time to be wary of that possibility.

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How To Picket Stores That Sell Your Employer’s Products

Picketing stores that sell an employer’s products can publicize a strike and hurt earnings. It is also a good way to generate community support. Although the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) usually bars unions from picketing secondary (i.e., “neutral”) employers, a narrow legal exception applies to retail stores and distributors—provided the union does not interfere with operations, only asks the public not to buy struck products, does not ask customers to stop doing all business with the retailer (unless the store only sells struck products), and does not demand that the store stop buying products from the struck employer.

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COP26: On The Outside, Always Looking In

As the first-ever person from my city to attend the biggest summit in the world about climate change, the hype was real. My friends and family were very much eager to see what would happen in the most anticipated COP since COP21, and the local government gave me their full support to report back the important things that could be echoed back to my community. Unfortunately, my disappointment was even bigger than I thought imaginable, and this COP turned out to be quite uneventful on my part.

Coming into the Blue Zone (the area where the official negotiations took place) for the first time and seeing the giant globe suspended from the ceiling, I was full of excitement.

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Black Radical Internationalist Traditions

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, it became a juxtaposition of highly educated workers for the most advanced productive forces on the planet, but developed within the unresolved, deeply violent, four hundred year-long colonial and racist architecture of the US. It was externally influenced by the period of the explosion of national liberation socialism that began with the Chinese revolution and was punctuated by the defeat of the US empire by the Korean and Chinese revolutions and at great costs to their peoples. The 1950s were capped off by the historic 1959 victory in Cuba, whose significance reverberates to this day in all of our lives.

Many of the most significant and radical intellectual and revolutionary formations of the US were born between the years 1959 to 1967.

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‘Terror’ Designation Should Not Deter US-Based Activism

It was a move quite aptly characterized as “authoritarian and repressive” by Palestinian poet and writer Mohammed El-Kurd in The Nation. On 19 October, the Israeli settler-colonial state designated six Palestinian human rights groups as “terror organizations.” At the time, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees are tied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP.)

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Let’s Find Alternatives To Striking

While the LO, TCO and Saco top officials suffer from consensus fundamentalism, opposition among the grassroots often suffers from a fixation on strikes. Among the grassroots labor movement in Sweden, a call for big strikes or even a general strike is often heard. Strikes were called in response to the current attack on the Swedish Employment Protection Act, low wages, and attacks on the right to strike. In 2019, an attempt was made to stage a symbolic strike to highlight the climate crisis. As far as we are aware, no workplace was shut down. It should be acknowledged that sometimes we SAC members also have gotten lost in strike fixation and have tried to rush strikes into existence. An example is a strike in defense of the Unemployment Insurance Funds in 2006, which were being attacked by the Swedish government. It ended in a painful defeat.

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How To Fight For A Better World When Hope Feels Scarce

This question of what we do doesn’t exactly feel like it gets at the heaviness that’s in me, that’s in us. I’ve spent the last three years asking, in the face of enormous difficulty, “What do we do now?” and I’ve learned that coming up with a smart answer to that question may offer some high for a period of time, but it’s pretty clear it can’t sustain us.

I think that’s because the significance of what we’re staring down doesn’t just beg questions about potential shifts in strategic emphasis, it also raises much deeper questions about what we do when hope is scarce. What do we do when it’s quite reasonable to believe that things will get harder? When we assume that more of our campaigns will fail? When the suffering around us keeps increasing?

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The Labor Upsurge Of The 1930s And ’40s In The US

Union growth tends to take place in huge waves. As the most astute analysts have noted, during normal times very little seems to happen. Then, often unexpectedly, enormous gains are made. To be sure, there is plenty that organizers can do during the quieter times, not only to make important, if seemingly small gains, but also to prepare for the massive gains that will come with the next upsurge. It is our belief that most workers want and all workers need and benefit from unions. But what holds back union growth during normal times?

Two interrelated factors hold back the growth of unions. First, the initial development of unions is often thwarted by strong resistance from employers and the government.

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Is Sabotage Needed To Save The Earth?

Imagine you are a climate-change campaigner. You’ve studied research findings and know that unless greenhouse gas emissions are greatly reduced very soon, future generations will likely suffer catastrophic impacts. You’ve protested for years, yet governments and companies continue to invest in fossil fuels, and emissions keep going up. You are especially annoyed at those who are rich and privileged and who seem not to care that with their SUVs and international flights they are causing more damage to the climate than thousands of ordinary people in Bangladesh or Burundi. You don’t want to give in to desperation. You want to do something to bring a halt to a crime in the making.

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2.4 Degrees Is A Disaster – But COP Won’t Stop It

Regardless of the outcome of COP26, one inevitability is that the rich and powerful celebrate whatever the conference produces as vital progress. Only a disaster on the level of COP15 in Copenhagen might put a stop to the self-congratulatory triumphalism. Already, though, most observing the negotiations with a critical eye are highlighting how inadequate their product will be. Ed Miliband has said we’re ‘miles from where we need to be’ and Greta Thunberg declared COP26 to be a ‘failure’.

These condemnations are backed up by analysis from Climate Action Tracker (CAT), assessing governments’ short-term commitments for the next decade. Its study reveals that our trajectory coming out of COP26 would take us to a devastating 2.4oC warming by the end of this century.

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Farmers In Solidarity With Striking Workers

It’s going to be a very good year for the top dogs and shareholders at Deere & Co. The Iowa-based equipment manufacturer says it earned more in the first nine months of its fiscal year than during its best year in 2013. The corporation’s third-quarter results are nearly $4.7 billion. John May, the company’s CEO, made over $14.7 million in total compensation in 2020. Reports are that his salary increased 160 percent during the pandemic while laid-off manufacturing workers saw ​“incentive” pay cut. 

On October 14, 10,000 unionized skilled manufacturing employees at Deere & Co. initiated their right to bargain by rejecting the contract put forth by management and going on strike. Does it surprise anyone that skilled workers went on strike after the company agreed to bump pay by little more than $1 per hour over the next 6 years?

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COVID Hit The Working Class Hardest, But The Traditional Left Is Deaf To Them

The ruling class across Europe and in the US would rather see people divided than united against oligarchy, that’s why Left populism coupled with the working-class outlook represents a greater threat to the establishment.

In the aftermath of the recent German Federal election many people were wondering how Die Linke (The Left) had become so relegated to the sidelines as to lose 30 seats and become the smallest party in Germany’s parliament.

Many liberal publications were quick to place blame on Sahra Wagenknecht, one of Die Linke’s most prolific politicians, for the release of her book “The Self Righteous.” In the book, Wagenknecht attacks “lifestyle leftists” for whom being on the Left has become more about labels, identity, and lifestyles rather than the working-class roots that made leftist politics such a threat to the political establishment in the first place.

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Why Defending Nicaragua Is Important

Since at least the start of the 21st century, if not earlier, two global trends have emerged very clearly. Firstly, increased North American and European aggression overseas has been accompanied by increased economic and political domestic repression in the US itself and its allied countries. This domestic repression has reached unprecedented levels over the last two years,

Secondly, despite the apparent demise of Western led economic globalization, North American and European corporate influence under various guises has co-opted international policy making and governance, as writers from Cory Morningstar  to Iain Davis  have reported in detail for many years.

In the context of these and other trends, Nicaragua’s resolute defence of its national sovereignty and its very successful economic, social and environmental policies have made this tiny country of around 7 million people the target of US and allied country aggression.

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Who Will Pay For The Damage From Climate Change?

To people in developing countries, it seems clear, the wealthy countries that caused most of the problem of climate change should pay the most to adapt to it and to solve the problem.  But instead, countries like the United States lecture low low-emitting countries to do more while they extract their resources and destroy their forests.

For example, Nicaragua was an outspoken critic of the Paris climate talks because they did not go far enough. It is one of the countries most impacted by climate change, yet its own greenhouse gas footprint is one of the smallest.  Nicaragua initially insisted that the Paris Accord did not reduce emissions enough (a position that was later adopted by a majority of countries and the IPCC).  Dr. Paul Oquist, Nicaraguan Minister and envoy to the talks, insisted in Paris that developing countries should receive the billions of dollars promised by the big greenhouse gas emitters to pay for greenhouse gas mitigation programs. 

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