Tidbits & Announcements
July 2, 2011
1) Labour Unions Protest on Eve of Polish EU Presidency
2) Take Action: U.S. Boat to Gaza Stopped From Sailing
3) CC-DS on the Audacity of Hope Flotilla
4) "A Negro Hero Dies"
5) Portland:"Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change
and the New Geography of Violence"
Labour Unions Protest on Eve of Polish EU Presidency
Deutsche Presse Agentur Jun 30, 2011
Thousands of labour unionists protested in Warsaw on
Thursday, calling for a higher minimum wage and better
welfare benefits during demonstrations on the eve of
Poland's European Union presidency.
Officials from the labour union Solidarity said they
want to show Europe that Poland is not a 'green island'
- a reference to the fact that Poland outperformed most
of Europe during the recent financial crisis - but a
nation that faces serious problems like low wages and
high unemployment among young people.
Poland takes over the EU's six-month presidency on
'We want in this way to show the government, but also
the whole of Europe, that Poland is a country with many
social inequality problems, high prices, low wages,
unemployment among young people,' the union said on its
Union members called on the government of Prime
Minister Donald Tusk to raise the minimum monthly wage
from the current 1,380 zloty (501 dollars) to some
1,650 zloty. They also called for lowering the excise
duty on fuel and increasing the number of people
eligible for welfare benefits.
The protesters waved flags bearing the red Solidarity
logo, and signs with pictures of Tusk with a long
Pinocchio nose saying, 'stop lying.'
They were set to march past the parliamentary building
on their way to Tusk's chancellery, where they were to
deliver their petition on raising the minimum wage.
Poland's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.4 per cent
year-on-year in the first quarter of 2011. Tusk has
boasted that the country was the sole EU nation that
avoided recession in 2009.
But demonstrators said that GDP growth should be
reflected in rising wages.
20,000 in Warsaw protest
Irish Times July 1, 2011
At least 20,000 Polish protesters marched through
Warsaw yesterday demanding higher wages and social
benefits, a day before Poland assumes the rotating
presidency of the European Union.
The demonstrators carried banners and shouted "thieves,
thieves" among other slogans as they passed by the
parliament building, where they set fire to a pile of
plastic chairs, and in front of the offices of prime
minister Donald Tusk.
Like other European nations, Poland, which faces an
election in October, is fighting increased unemployment
and a large budget deficit, even though it was the only
EU country to avoid recession during the global
"We came here for higher wages, for better work
conditions in our factory and to be treated better than
we have been treated so far," said one of the
protesters, who declined to be named.
Union officials put the turnout at about 80,000 people,
although local media estimated the figure at about
20,000. A Warsaw police spokesman said it did not have
its own estimate. - (Reuters)
c 2011 The Irish Times
U.S. Boat to Gaza Stopped From Sailing
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation July 1, 2011
A few hours ago, we found out from activists in our
member group U.S. Boat to Gaza that the Greek coast
guard has prevented the U.S.-flagged ship The Audacity
of Hope from sailing to the Israeli-occupied and -
blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip as part of the Gaza
Freedom Flotilla II--"Stay Human."
Currently, the ship is returning to port and we need
your help today and throughout this holiday weekend to
put pressure on Greece and the United States to allow
the U.S. Boat to Gaza to sail and fulfill its mission
of delivering thousands of letters of solidarity from
the United States to the people of Gaza.
Here's how you can help:
1. We urge you to immediately contact the Greek Embassy
in Washington, DC, by phone at 202-939-1300 and by fax
at 202-939-1324. You can find contact information for
your nearest Greek consulate here. Tell them to let The
Audacity of Hope leave Athens safely and sail to Gaza.
2. Call the State Department at 202-647-6575 and demand
that it retract its June 24 statement that the flotilla
and the U.S. Boat to Gaza are "irresponsible and
Demand that the United States stop threatening U.S.
citizens acting peacefully to break Israel's illegal
and immoral blockade of Gaza that their actions "could
violate U.S. civil and criminal statutes and could lead
to fines and incarceration."
Demand that the United States ensures safe passage for
the flotilla and that it ends U.S. support for Israel?s
illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Click to download our flyer
3. Take to the streets this holiday weekend to be
visible and to educate our fellow citizens that as we
celebrate our freedom, the United States is supporting
Israel in denying freedom to Palestinians. We've just
prepared this downloadable flyer about the Gaza Freedom
Flotilla II and U.S. support for Israel's illegal
blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Download, copy, and distribute the flyer at your
community's 4th of July celebrations and throughout the
4. Find emergency actions or events near you on the
website of the U.S. Boat to Gaza. Add your action or
event to the calendar by sending it to
[log in to unmask]
Thank you for taking action to change U.S. policy to
support Palestinian freedom this 4th of July holiday
weekend, and stay tuned for updates by visiting
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
PS: Your generous support provides us with the
resources we need to respond quickly to crises like
these. Please make a tax-deductible donation to help us
continue our work to change U.S. policy to support
freedom for Palestinians!
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy 7 Socialism
on the Audacity of Hope Flotilla
CCDS expresses its solidarity and support for the
international freedom flotilla to Gaza, including the
US vessel Audacity of Hope. The purpose of the
flotilla is to publicize and dramatize the horrific
suffering of the people of Gaza resulting from the
illegal Israeli blockade. The blockade has caused
grievous shortages in basic necessities such as food
and medical supplies, and has prevented the
Palestinians in Gaza from rebuilding their homes and
infrastructure destroyed in the brutal Israeli invasion
of Jan. 2009. The Palestinian economy has been largely
wrecked and unemployment stands at 45.2% according to
UN statistics. The brave internationals on the
flotilla affirm their commitment to nonviolence and
humanitarian aid regardless of the Israeli assault on
the first flotilla one year ago, which killed nine
people including one American.
CCDS calls upon the US State Department to do
everything in its power to ensure the safety of the US
citizens who are peacefully sailing in international
waters. We applaud the six members of the US House of
representatives who have written the Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton calling for such protection but the
response has been that the activists on the flotilla
are entering dangerous waters on their own volition and
their safety cannot be guaranteed. This is part of the
US policy of supporting Israel's occupation and
repression of the Palestinian people; the US goal is to
maintain its strategic interests in the Middle East
including access to oil and it finds Israel a useful
partner to that end. AIPAC, the military armaments
industry and Christian Zionists combine for massive
lobbying and pressure of Congress to continue to
billions of aid sent to Israel every year, money
desperately needed for urgent US domestic needs.
Israel should accept the new reality of Arab Spring and
changing political conditions in the Middle East, and
move towards a just settlement based on equality and
mutual respect. CCDS calls for an end to US aid to
Israel and an immediate end to the siege of Gaza.
Ciommittees of Crrespondence for Democracy & Socialism
National Executive Committee July 1, 2011
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and
Socialism PO Box 437 New York, NY 10018-0008 Phone:
(212) 868-3733 Fax: (212) 868-3334 Email: national@cc-
ds.org Website: www.cc-ds.org
Interesting documentary whose intro unfortunately calls
the Franco fascists "conservatives," although the
voices in the doc are more accurate. Toward the end, we
finally learn the hero Douglas Roach was a Communist
like many of his comrades.-MM
History Detectives: A Father's Forgotten Tribute in a
Spanish Civil War Eulogy
Among the late Sol Fellman's mementos of the Spanish
Civil War is a four-page eulogy titled, "A Negro Hero
Dies" written for a man named Douglas Roach. Sol fought
in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade with his brother Harry,
but they were separated in Spain and Harry went
missing. Who was Douglas Roach and what happened to
Sol's brother Harry? Tukufu Zuberi unravels this tale
of brotherly love.
visit my website www.michaelmunk.com
Tropic of Chaos Reading and Q & A at Powell's in
Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New
Geography of Violence by Christian Parenti (Nation
Books, July 2011)
Nation Books author and Institute Fellow Christian
Parenti will read from his new book, Tropic of Chaos:
Climate Wars and the New Geography of Violence (Nation
Books), and answer questions at Powell's Bookstore in
Portland, Oregon on Monday, July 11! Book signing to
Powell's Books July 11, 2011 7:30 pm 1005 W Burnside
St. Portland, OR 97209
The new era of climate war is upon us. Extreme weather
brought on by global warming is unleashing cascades of
unrest and violence across the globe, from Africa to
Asia to the Americas. In Tropic of Chaos, award-winning
writer Christian Parenti reports from the front lines
of this gathering social and environmental catastrophe.
Combining historical insight with on-the-ground
reporting, Parenti shows how environmental crisis is
colliding with the twin legacies of Cold War militarism
and unbridled free market economics to cause fragile
nations to disintegrate into failed states. Tropic of
Chaos is a survey of a world in peril and an urgent
call to action: Those living in the privileged Global
North must recognize that our own future security is
inextricably linked to the fate of the struggling
nations of the Global South.
Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.
Submit via email: [log in to unmask]
Submit via the Web: http://portside.org/submittous3
Frequently asked questions: http://portside.org/faq
Search Portside archives: http://portside.org/archive
Contribute to Portside: https://portside.org/donate