Venezuela crisis intensifies with default

By WAYNE DELUCA Credit agency Standard & Poor has ruled Venezuela in default after the country missed $237 million in scheduled bond payments. This comes amidst an economic crisis with official inflation around 4000% and price increases well over 1000%. President Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to restructure is hindered by sanctions that stop U.S. banks from…

UConn students respond to alt-right speech on campus

By UCONN YOUTH FOR SOCIALIST ACTION On Dec. 1, University of Connecticut (UConn) students organized a march and rally in response to their perception of the university administration’s inadequate action in relation to a white nationalist speaker on campus four days earlier. That night, Nov. 28, the UConn College Republicans hosted alt-right spokesperson Lucian Wintrich.…

Mugabe resigns after military takeover in Zimbabwe

By WAYNE DELUCA On Nov. 14, the Zimbabwe Defense Forces took control of the capital city, Harare. A week later, Robert Mugabe—the only leader Zimbabwe has had since independence in 1980—resigned. On the 24th, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former right-hand man and until Nov. 6 the vice president, became the new president. The coup was brewing…

Educational conferences reflect growing interest in socialist ideas

Connecticut: ‘Solution is Socialism’ By KEITH LESLIE — NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — On Nov. 4, Socialist Action Connecticut and the Central Connecticut State University Youth for Socialist Action held their second annual conference, entitled “The Solution is Socialism.” More than 100 workers, students, and activists from as far away as Alabama turned out for a…

Drexel professor suspended following right-wing attack

By WAYNE DELUCA — PHILADELPHIA — George Ciccariello-Maher, a controversial left-wing professor at Drexel University in this city, was placed on administrative leave in October after a string of death threats from far-right internet trolls. All of his classes were cancelled for the quarter without a replacement. The university has stated that this is a…

Why Hilton housekeepers need a union

By ERNIE GOTTA In the coming weeks Hilton Hotel workers in Stamford, Conn., will likely face a serious attempt by the bosses to bust their campaign for union recognition. In past union drives the bosses have paid millions of dollars to law firms that specialize in union busting. The owners of the hotel would rather…

Bonn talks underway; scientists see grim future for climate

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER At the same time that Donald Trump was gallivanting around Asia, with objectives that included arming Japan with U.S. missiles and cajoling China into the plan to isolate North Korea, other heads of state were in Bonn, Germany, for the 23rd annual “Conference of the Parties” (COP23) UN-sponsored climate talks. The two…

British Labour Party seeks ‘democratization’

By ANN MONTAGUE The annual British Labour Party Conference was held in Brighton on Sept. 24-27. It is the party’s main decision-making body. Going into the conference, infused with young Labour Party members and a visible union presence, the word on many members’ lips was “democratization” of the party. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s so-called…

Labor Briefing, Nov. 2017

By BILL ONASCH No VIPs in St Louis—The AFL-CIO quadrennial convention to elect officers and pass policy resolutions was held in St. Louis, Oct. 22-25. While many of the biggest unions—the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union, Teamsters, and Carpenters—are not affiliated, the federation still represents 12.5 million workers. In response to police killings…

Canada: A big opportunity for the Socialist Left

Jagmeet Singh’s election as federal party leader is, at least in part, the revenge of the NDP top brass and the liberal media establishment. They never forgave the party and labour union ranks for forcing the leadership review that ultimately deposed Tom Mulcair following his disastrous 2015 election campaign. Enormous resources were marshaled to portray…

Disaster capitalism rages in Puerto Rico

By KEITH LESLIE “The only thing we need now is a hurricane.” These were the words of a financial advisor in Puerto Rico this summer, anticipating the business opportunities the devastation of a hurricane would produce. This framework—which understands disaster as an opportunity for profit—is not unusual. As Naomi Klein showed in her famous book,…

The relevance of the Russian Revolution today

By JEFF MACKLER Leon Trotsky, co-leader with Vladimir Lenin of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, famously argued that the “Russian Question” was key to the standing of every party on earth that claimed allegiance to the heritage of revolutionary socialist politics. To this day, 100 years after Lenin’s Bolshevik Party led the world’s first…

Tragic construction site murder was avoidable

By a WORKING CARPENTER On Oct. 5, a recently fired carpenter, Samuel Perry, 42, arrived at a Midtown Manhattan job site to pick up his last paycheck. He shot his foreman, 37-year-old Christopher Sayers, twice, killing him. He then turned the gun on himself. Both men were members of Carpenters’ Local 212, a concrete construction…