USA/Canada

The problem with Bernie Sanders

Author: 

Eric Lee

The Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is probably the most exciting development in US politics since the 1930s.  And it's not a coincidence that both the resurgent left of that decade and the Sanders phenomenon have followed the spectacular economic crashes of 1929 and 2008.
 

Sanders campaign for the presidential nomination is an inspiration. But it needs a strategy for building a left political organisation.

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The flag of white supremacy

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Anyone shocked that the Confederate flag still flies from public buildings in many parts of the US South is right to be.

The murder on 17 June of nine black church-goers in South Carolina by a white supremacist who had posed with the flag has pushed some right-wing Southern politicians to express sympathy for its removal. Before that, however, many of the same people were defending it as a symbol of Southern heritage.

The Confederate flag still flies from public buildings in many parts of the US South.

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US Court rules against state bans on same-sex marriage

Author: 

Ann Coleman, Alan Maass and Nicole Colson

US socialists Ann Coleman, Alan Maass and Nicole Colson report on the US Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage. This article was taken from the International Socialist Organization publication website socialistworker.org (no connection to British SWP). The authors welcome the ruling, seeing it as a culmination of many struggles for equality. Some socialists and LGBT activists in US, as in the UK, question the institution of marriage. We invite debate on this question.

US socialists report on US Supreme Court ruling.

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464 shot by US cops this year

Author: 

Gemma Short

Thirty-six year old African-American man Kevin Allen was shot dead by police in Lyndhurst, New Jersey on Friday 29 May.

Kevin was shot in a public library after apparently resisting arrest for violating his probation and pulling out a knife. Police have released a report claiming that officers had “no choice” but to shoot Kevin after “pepper spray and officers' batons had failed to subdue him”. But nobody is likely to lie still and calm after being pepper sprayed!

464 people have been killed by police in America so far this year. 102 of those were unarmed. 31.9% were black and 25.4% were Hispanic/Latino.

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US docks: automation versus union power

Author: 

Barry Docherty

Members of the American International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have just agreed a five-year deal with the employers federation, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The deal covers 20,000 dockworkers at twenty-nine US west coast ports.

The nine-month-long war of attrition by the PMA which preceded the deal was the latest stage in an employers’ offensive against US dockers stretching back to the early 1960s. Before then, working conditions on the docks had been dictated by the ILWU’s victory in the 1934 US West Coast dockers strike.

Members of the American International Longshore and Warehouse Union have agreed a five-year deal with the employers federation, the Pacific Maritime Association. The deal covers 20,000 dockworkers at twenty-nine US West Coast ports.

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Bernie Sanders and fighting austerity in the US

Author: 

Barry Finger

A discussion piece on the campaign by Bernie Sanders, to get the Democratic Party nomination for President. Sanders calls himself a social-democrat and supports reforms on a range of issues including the introduction of universal health care. Barry Finger is a member of the editorial board of US socialist journal New Politics.

Will the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination help strengthen working-class campaigns?

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Baltimore: the violence of capitalism

“This city has looked like it had a riot since I was born,” Baltimore resident Vashti Presco said. “It wasn’t rebuilt after 1968, even though other cities had worse riots. That drugstore is probably never going to get rebuilt.”

Protests in Baltimore since the killing by police of Freddie Gray have been labelled as riots in the media. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has condemned those involved as “criminals” and “thugs”. President Obama condemned the protesters’ violence.

Protests in Baltimore since the killing by police of Freddie Gray have been labelled as riots, ignoring the many peaceful protests and erasing the brutal violence inflicted on the black community in Baltimore by a crushing combination of police brutality and grinding poverty.

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Killed for “failing to obey”

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

The US National Guard was called into Baltimore on Monday 27 April to put down riots which followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died last week of injuries sustained during a violent arrest by police.

Freddie suffered a broken neck which left his spine “80% severed” and his voicebox crushed. He lapsed into a coma and died a week later.

The US National Guard was called into Baltimore on Monday 27 April to put down riots which followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died last week of injuries sustained during a violent arrest by police.

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Killer cops are charged

Author: 

Gemma Short

­Michael Slager, the cop who killed unarmed black man, Walter Scott, on 5 April in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder.

The murder charge was brought only after an eye witness handed over to police mobile phone footage of the event showing Walter being shot eight times in the back as he ran away from Slager. The witness also said there was a struggle in which Slager used his taser on Walter before Walter got away and ran.

­Michael Slager, the cop who killed unarmed black man, Walter Scott, on 5 April in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder.

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A union which belongs to its members

Author: 

Gemma Short

Uetricht begins his account of the transformation of the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) and their 2012 strike by counterposing two incidents representing the opposite faces of teacher trade unionism.

A review of Strike for America: Chicago teachers against austerity by Micah Uetricht.

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