Monday, February 19, 2018

100 years after the Swiss General Strike of 1918




In the occasion of the anniversary of the event that had established workers protagonism in our national history, the Communist Party (Switzerland) decided to dedicate its 2018 member card to the General Strike which happened 100 years ago.

In November 1918 modern Switzerland, born on the Federal Constitution of 1848, has been shocked by the biggest political and social crisis of its history: the tensions which divided the bourgeois class from the working class exploded in the General Strike (Landesstreik) summoned by the «Olten Committee» - in the representation of trade unions and left-wing associations and parties - which mobilized for a week 250’000 workers.

Originally there were the sufferings the Great War also caused in Switzerland: terrible labor conditions, unsustainable work schedule, lack of democracy, and food inflation are only some of the problems that loaded the majority of the Swiss population, which is in the same time forced to observe the park of profit coming from the business world, weighted up by the war economy. In the "arm wrestling" swiss bourgeois didn’t hesitate to use violence to repress the strikers. In Grenchen three of them died by the swiss (leverage) army, which was lined up to defend the established order, and other three thousands people - in which there were the movement leaders - were subjected to the martial court judgement. 

The Swiss General Strike of 1918 reaches this year his hundredth anniversary in a Country that still struggle to recognize the importance of this event in the national history. On the side of the strong repression and communist which-hunt that caused the strike, many reform processes were born because of this event, which brang Switzerland to conquer lots of right still useful today, as a major involvement of the worker world in the decision process, a relevant reduction of the working time, the introduction of the "AVS" (retirement insurance) and "AI" (invalidity insurance), the sign of collective labor agreements and the adoption of the proportional system in the parliament elections.

The emblematic photography chosen for the Communist Party's Member Card 2018 was taken in novembre 1918 in Zurich: in the Paradeplatz (the swiss "Wall Street") the strikers faced the swiss army (composed by made up of leveraged recruits) and cavalry, which were lined up with the employers in order to defend their interests, symbolized by Swiss Bank Society building forerunner of the actual UBS.

If 2017 had been the year that permitted the communists of all the world to elaborate the fundamental role of the leninist-type Party able to accomplish a revolution, 2018 will be for us a moment to reflect on the hostile role of the swiss army to the social conflict, and also the system integration process of the social democratic forces, but above them all, on the need to renew our trade union praxis to give back the Unions to the workers and not to the corporate leaders.

Friday, February 16, 2018

NGO Action News- 16 February 2018



This week's NGO Action News has just been published. The newsletter summarizes activities undertaken or planned by civil society organisations across the globe as well as UN action on the question of Palestine over the week. Please feel free to inform us about your activities and publications by emailing us at palestinianrights@un.org and to forward this newsletter to your supporters. We welcome your organization's contributions, questions or comments.
Best wishes,

Division for Palestinian Rights
Department of Political Affairs
United Nations

Like us on Facebook: @UN.palestinianrights
Follow us on Twitter: @UNISPAL
UNISPAL website: unispal.un.org

Global
·         On 13 February, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI), Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)-Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights released a joint press release, expressing great concern about negative trends regarding access to vital medical services for patients from Gaza.

·         On 12 February, the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), a coalition of over 70 international NGOs working in the OPT, published its new report “50 Years of Occupation: Dispossession, Deprivation and De-Development”.

·         On 12 February, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor drew attention to the humanitarian situation of Palestinian travellers stranded on both sides of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

·         Citing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which provides that children shall only be detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time, Human Rights Watch expressed on 12 February concern at the pre-trial detention of 17-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi.

Middle East
·         On 15 February, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights released a briefing paper highlighting the impact of aerial spraying by Israeli forces on farmlands and livelihoods in the Gaza Strip.

·         On 14 February, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported on Israeli plans to build a new religious settlement in East Jerusalem and called on the international community to ensure respect for the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the OPT including East Jerusalem.

·         On 13 February, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association informed that in the context of campaigns to defend their human rights, Palestinian administrative detainees had decided to boycott proceedings in Israeli military courts.

·         On 12 February, Peace Now criticized plans approved the same day by the Higher Planning Committee of the Israeli Civil Administration in the occupied West Bank as effectively leading to the establishment of new Israeli settlements, further undermining prospects for peace through a two-State solution.

·         On 11 February, the Geneva Initiative published its annual report, featuring educational activities implemented in 2017 by its two offices: the Palestinian Peace Coalition in Palestine and H.L. Education for Peace in Israel.

North America
·         On 10 March, the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights is hosting in Cambridge, MA, Ilan Pappe, Professor of History and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at Exeter University, for a talk on his 2017 book “The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories”.

·         On 1 March, American Friends of the Parents Circle – Families Forum is organizing a webinar on “Radicalization in Israel; Anti-normalization in Palestine – What’s a Peacemaker to Do?” Online registration is open.

·         On 23 February, the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University (NYU) is hosting a screening of the film “Take my Pictures for Me”, directed by Mohammed Al-Azza and Amahl Bishara. A discussion with Amahl Bishara and Zachary Lockman, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU, is planned after the screening.

·         On 21 February, the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and the OneVoice Movement, is inviting to a discussion with Maya Berry, Arab American Institute; Khaled Elgindy, the Brookings Institution; Abdallah Hamarsheh, Zimam; and Obada Shtaya, OneVoice Movement, on “Envisioning Palestine: Strategies for Palestinian Self-Determination”.

·         On 20 February, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University is hosting Palestinian researcher Toufic Haddad for a talk on his book “Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and Nationalism in the Occupied Territory”.

·         Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) has launched the campaign “Lent 2018: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”, calling for a shared city for two peoples and the three Abrahamic faith traditions. The campaign has already featured several webinars with Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann, legal expert Moien Odeh and Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP).

·         On 12 February, Dream Defenders released a statement in support of Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, signed by actors, athletes, artists and activists.

·         On 7 February, CMEP welcomed reports that over one hundred Members of the US Congress had added their names to a letter urging President Trump to reinstate funding to UNRWA.

Europe
·         On 21 February, the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Essex University is hosting Akanksha Mehta, lecturer in International Relations and Gender at the University of Sussex, for a talk on “Negotiating Space on the Right: Everyday Politics of Israeli Zionist Settler Women in the Southern West Bank”.

·         On 2 February, Norwegian Member of Parliament Bjørnar Moxnes officially nominated the Palestinian-led global BDS movement for a Nobel Peace Prize. The UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) have launched a petition seeking signatures to urge the Nobel Committee to grant the prize to the BDS movement.

United Nations
·         On 22 February, the Permanent Missions of Bolivia, France, Kuwait and Sweden to the United Nations are hosting at UNHQ in New York (CR 1, 10 a.m.) an Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council on “Prospects for the Two-State Solution for Peace”. Statements by former US President Jimmy Carter, former UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, former UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd, and the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Jan Egeland will be delivered at the meeting.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February 16: Day of the Shining Star




Pyongyang, Febuaary 14, 2018


TOAll National and International Trade Unions Organizations

Dear comrades and friends,
February 16 is the Day of Shining Star, birthday(February 16, 1942) of our great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il. On this occasion we look back with warm hearts to his sacred revolutionary life and immortal achievements for powerful prosperity of the country and happiness of people.
Great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il is outstanding ideotheoretician who has created the guiding idea of the era of independence and made it glorious. With his ideological activities, he has systemized the Juche Idea comprehensively, developed and enriched the Juche idea, the Songun (Army-First) idea and thus, made it shine brightly as perfect guiding idea of the era of independence.
Great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il is a prominent politician, a genius of creation and construction, who, with his enormous revolutionary practice, has made ever-lasting achievements for the country, the revolution, the era and the history.
In the end of the 20th century where was the grimmest struggle the human history has ever recorded, Comrade Kim Jong Il clarified the scientific accuracy and truth of socialism and the inevitability of its victory through his energetic ideological and theoretical activities, dealing a resolute counterattack to the imperialists manoeuvres against socialism. He published a series of works including The Historical Lesson in Building Socialism and the General Line of Our Party, Abuses of Socialism Are Intolerable and Socialism Is a Science so as to lay bare the absurdity of the slanders and abuses of the imperialists.
Comrade Kim Jong Il has wisely led the Workers Party of Korea of a long time to develop it into a powerful, invincible political party.
Comrade Kim Jong Il has turned our country into a strong socialist state where the leader, the party and the masses of people are united single-mindedly and which boasts of its unrivaled defence capabilities with the nuclear forces as their core and of its solid national economy.
Great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il is a brilliant military strategist and an iron-willed commander who has led the Korean revolution along an ever-victorious course.
Comrade Kim Jong Il is the salvation star for national reunification and an outstanding leader of the world revolution who has devoted all his life for the cause of national reunification and independence of mankind.
Great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il is alive in the hearts of our people and the world progressive people as a peerless patriot, a great revolutionary and a benevolent father of people who has devoted his all just for the country, the revolution and the people.
The revolutionary cause of great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il has been inherited and pushed forward by Comrade Kim Jong Un, respected Supreme Leader of our party, state and army. On the occasion of the Day of Shining Star, a lot of political and cultural events are on stage worldwide, which include organizing of preparation committee for celebrating the day, loading of praises on the internet homepages, congratulatory meetings, symposiums, film shows, etc.
We hope that your trade unions will join our people and Korean workers in celebrating the Day of Shining Star by arranging various political and cultural events in your country.
With greetings of solidarity,

Central Committee
General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NGO Action News 9 Feb 2018





This week's NGO Action News has just been published. The newsletter summarizes activities undertaken or planned by civil society organisations across the globe as well as UN action on the question of Palestine over the week. Please feel free to inform us about your activities and publications by emailing us at palestinianrights@un.org and to forward this newsletter to your supporters. We welcome your organization's contributions, questions or comments. 
Best wishes,

Division for Palestinian Rights
Department of Political Affairs
United Nations

Like us on Facebook: @UN.palestinianrights
Follow us on Twitter: @UNISPAL
UNISPAL website: unispal.un.org

NGO Action News
 
9 February 2018
 
 
Middle East
 
 
·         Al Mezan Center for Human Rights published on 8 February a paper on the effects of unemployment on human rights in the Gaza Strip by examining samples of unemployed university graduates. The paper warns of continued de-development with serious socioeconomic consequences as well as repercussions on the surrounding political sphere.
 
·         On 8 February, Adalah reported that the Israeli government approved the construction of a new settlement in the occupied West Bank. The organization wrote an urgent letter to the Israeli Government as well as to the Legislative Committee and the Attorney-General concerning the illegality of the decision.
 
·         On 6 February, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights concluded its project on “Promoting Media Freedom” funded by the Canadian Government. The closing ceremony took place in Gaza and was attended by representatives of Canada to the Palestinian Authority as well as civil society organizations, journalists, activists and lawyers.
 
·         On 5 February, Addameer launched a campaign to release French-Palestinian activist Salah Hamouri, who has been held for almost six months in Israeli detention.
 
·         On 4 February, Physicians for Human Rights published a report on the situation of the Gaza Health System. Despite the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas in October the situation has not improved. Low medical supply and medicines, poor infrastructure, power supply, human resources and non-paid wages are among the key issues.
 
·         On 1 February, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights presented its 2017 documentation in a new report that looks at the impact of Israel’s complex movement restrictions on medical patients in the Gaza Strip.
 
·         On 31 January, Al-Haq organized an event and presented its two latest reports on Israel’s policies in the Jordan Valley, on the legal mechanisms used to establish settlements in the area and the gender dimension of human rights violations.
 
 
Europe
 
·         On 5 February, UK-based international humanitarian aid organization Islamic Relief launched the Children of Palestine campaign. The appeal aims at supporting 500 Palestinian orphans in addition to the 8,000 orphans in the West Bank and Gaza the organization already assists.
 
 
North America
 
·         On 13 February, the Columbia University Center for Palestine Studies is organizing a talk on “Israeli law after 70 years of the Nakba”. The speakers include Hassan Jabareen, founder of Adalah, and Katherine Franke, Professor of Law at Columbia.
 
 
United Nations
 
·         UNRWA launched a USD 800 million emergency appeal for Syria, Gaza and the West Bank; approximately USD 400 million each for Syria and the OPT. The appeal also covers some 50,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. UNRWA Commissioner-General stressed that supporting the emergency appeals is not a substitute for an urgently needed political solution to the underlying conflict.
 
·         On 5 February, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held its 388th meeting and the first meeting for the current. In a session presided over by the Secretary-General, the Committee conducted the annual election to its Bureau and approved its 2018 Program of Work.
 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Right to Strike



January 31, 2018

The Communist Party of Australia condemns the pro-NSW government decision of the Fair Work Commission in overturning the rail strike planned for January 29 being led by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU).

Rail workers jobs have been shed and rail services cut, placing enormous pressure on the rail system and workers. NSW trains only function on the basis of workers working overtime at a time when job creation is a major issue.
The CPA supports the demands of rail workers and rejects the FWC or any other party having the right to curtail the democratic wishes of the RTBU’s membership in the only possible way that these workers can improve their lives, wages and conditions at work.
This is yet another example of the broken nature of laws for workers in Australia. The FWC, playing its role as an arm of the state, has acted for the bosses and Liberal government in stopping the strike.
The CPA fights to see that workers’ rights are restored in this country through a huge rewrite of industrial laws to give workers the unfettered right to strike and to collectively bargain across industries. The entire Fair Work Act is unfair and must be abolished and replaced with new laws that can actually assist workers against the huge power of their greedy corporate masters.
To achieve these changes a huge struggle will have to ensue and the CPA is committed to working alongside all forces dedicated to genuinely improving the lives of workers in Australia.
Solidarity with the RTBU.
Solidarity with rail workers.
The right to strike for all!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

NGO Action News


This week's NGO Action News has just been published. The newsletter summarizes activities undertaken or planned by civil society organisations across the globe as well as UN action on the question of Palestine over the week. Please feel free to inform us about your activities and publications by emailing us at palestinianrights@un.org and to forward this newsletter to your supporters. We welcome your organization's contributions, questions or comments. 
Best wishes,

Division for Palestinian Rights,Department of Political Affairs, United Nations Like us on Facebook: @UN.palestinianrights

Follow us on Twitter: @UNISPAL

UNISPAL website: unispal.un.org





Global
·         From 30 June to 8 July, the YMCA in East Jerusalem is inviting young people from all over the world to participate in a “Journey for Justice” in Palestine.

·         The International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO), of which the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is a member, has released a report on “Gaining Ground: A Framework for Developing Strategies and Tactics in response to Governmental Attacks on NGOs”.


Middle East
·         On 25 January, Al Haq published its comments on the Draft Amendment to the Palestinian Cybercrimes Decree Law, in a bid to ensure consistency between domestic and international law. 

·         On 19 January, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights called for a more strategic approach to address the current funding crisis facing UNRWA. On
10 January, 
Al Mezan had expressed deep concern about the humanitarian implications of reducing funding for UNRWA.

·         MITVIM-The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies has released a paper with guiding principles for a new Israeli foreign policy paradigm.

·         In a meeting with Director of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)addressed the latest developments in Palestine following the US decision to reduce funding to UNRWA and its serious social, economic and political impact. The Swiss agency expressed its concern and commitment along with European partners to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza and empower civil society.


·         Churches for Middle East Peace is calling for action to ask the US Congress to protect aid delivered by UNRWA to Palestine refugees.

·         On 30 January, the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University in New York will host author and scholar Norman Finkelstein for a talk on his new book “Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom”.

·         On 23 January, Al Shabaka – The Palestinian Policy Network published contributions by different experts related to the theme “Focus On: When Does It Become Apartheid?”


Latin America
·         Under the umbrella of the Confederación Palestina de América Latina y el Caribe (COPLAC), representatives of Palestinian diaspora communities in Brasil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Venezuela travelled to Amman to discuss with the PLO and civil society organizations the role of diaspora in efforts to achieve Palestinian self-determination. Among others, agreements were made to strengthen exchange programmes targeting youth.

Europe
·         On 6 February, the Palestinian Return Center (PRC) in London is inviting to a meeting on Palestine and Ireland, hosted by MP Mickey Brady. 

·         On 30 January, the Institut de Recherche et d’Études Méditerranée Moyen-Orient (iReMMO) is hosting in Paris a discussion with Pascal Boniface, director of the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), and journalist Dominique Vidal on criticism of Israeli policies and anti-Semitism.

United Nations
·         On 5 February, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold its first meeting of the year at UN Headquarters in New York.

·         On 25 January, the UN Security Council held its quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian question. The briefing delivered by Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, is available online.

·         On 23 January, Israel’s human rights record was assessed in Geneva under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council. Reports submitted by Israel, independent experts and human rights NGOs in this context are available on theOHCHR website.

·         The Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), in partnership with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and other NGOs, contributed to Israel’s Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council with a joint submission, focusing on the specific impact of the occupation on Palestinian women. Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) focused in its submission on the right to health and promoting the rights of Palestinians with disabilities.