Video: Positive Leftist News from December (and late November), 2022

Obviously I’m a bit behind in posting this, but better late than never. The December edition of Positive Leftist News covers “massive” turnout for late November’s National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, MA to honor the Native people whose genocide was whitewashed by the Thanksgiving myth. On the other side of the continent, a similar demonstration drew 400 people to call for the protection of California’s shell mounds, burial sites from a number of Indigenous nations that are threatened by capitalist developers.

In labor news, PLN highlights the international organization and solidarity shown by the “Make Amazon Pay” demonstrations that took place on November 25th in over 30 countries across five continents. I very much hope to see this kind of international action more in the future. A few days  before, a new cross-sector service union was formed in the United States, called the Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW), and they are demanding, of course, better pay and working conditions. There had been a niggling worry in my mind about how well people would be able to organize in the atomized modern workplace, but it seems like the answer to that is “pretty well”. This union represents people in retail, gas station, fast food, and care work across the Southern U.S., and frankly I find it uplifting to see all of these people finding solidarity in their fight for their rights.

In South Korea, truckers defied their government’s order to end their strike. In Zimbabwe food industry workers are fighting for better treatment as well. Specifically, it’s brewery and sugar workers. It seems that among other things, they’re dealing with wage theft like workers in the U.S. Small-scale farmers in the socialist republic of Tanzania have been working together for decades to fight back against the economic forces that have been pushing them down, and the plans they put together this year focus on acroecology, food sovereignty, fighting against evictions by developers – sometimes whole villages have been evicted – and economic justice. Apparently they’ve been working to build up something that sounds like credit unions. It’s encouraging to see that work continue, and I fully support their work for not just Pan-African solidarity, but a recognition of the need for global solidarity.

In Montreal, London, and Dublin, demonstrators marched for tenants rights and housing for all. I’m ashamed to admit that I did hear about the Dublin demonstration, but couldn’t muster the energy to go. I intend to be more active in that regard in 2023.

Greece saw great turnout for their annual demonstrations to honor the 1973 Athens Polytechnic uprising against a U.S.-backed military junta.

Columbia announced the release of prisoners from its 2021 national strike, and Columbia’s new president declared them to be “guardians of peace”.

Elon Musk’s incompetent flailing at Twitter led to a bunch of big corporations, including Lockheed Martin and Eli Lilly, collectively losing billions on the stock market. I doubt it did them any real harm, because consequences are only for the peasantry, but it was fun to watch them freak out a little because an impersonator pretended they could be anything other than evil.

A Dutch court ordered compensation for victims of an illegal Dutch military airstrike in Afghanistan. Don’t hold your breath for the U.S. to follow that example.

Barbados seems to be having a winning streak. They ditched the British Monarchy, demanded reparations from British aristocrats involved in colonialism, and now their courts have struck down two laws that discriminated against LGBTQ+ people.

France seems to be on track to make abortion a constitutional right.

The governor of Oregon, US, commuted the sentences of all 17 death row inmates in that state, calling the death penalty immoral.

The students of the University of Stirling, in Scotland, have voted to make the university’s menu 100% plant-based, as part of their commitment to reduce carbon emissions, calling out all the universities that produce research pointing to emissions from animal agriculture, while doing little to nothing in response to that research.

  And last but very much not least, a new museum and clinic is to be opened in Montgomery, Alabama, to honor the “Mothers of Gynecology – enslaved women whose torture at the hands of white doctors built the foundations of modern gynecology. I’m not a fan of the way the article describes this as “sacrifice”, which seems to minimize the horror of what happened, but I think that this museum, clinic, and training facility seem like a good way to honor their memories, provide for people in need of care, and help work to prevent such atrocities from being committed in the future. Amidst everything that’s been happening in the U.S., I find it uplifting to see this kind of work continuing.

The video and linked articles have quite a few more details, but I figured I’d try to give a summary for those who won’t be watching the video for whatever reason.

As ever, all we have is us, and it’s when we work together for the good of all, that we are at our strongest.

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