Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
| October 19, 2014 | 2:33 pm | Analysis, International, National | No comments

Sen. Sanders Joins nurses protesting unpreparedness against infectious diseases
| October 18, 2014 | 10:39 pm | Action, National | No comments
by A. Shaw
Nurses demanding Ebola safety and training were joined by US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a rally in Oakland, California, on Thursday, Oct. 16. He supported their call for every hospital in the country to be prepared in the case of an outbreak. “You deserve protection,” Sanders said, “not only for yourself, of course, but so that you can do your job.”
Sanders chairs the US Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging and is considered by both bourgeois liberals and bourgeois reactionaries to be expert on health issues.
Sanders fought budget cuts demanded by Pres. Obama and Tea Party reactionaries that reduced the Center for Disease Control’s budget by $1.3 billion. Sanders strongly opposed cuts to CDC’s funding related to the fight against infectious diseases like Ebola, MRSA, etc.
Sanders argued that the US people are entitled to health.
In defense of the budget cuts, Obama and the Tea Bags argued that health is not an “entitlement,” but only a policy, even in the midst of the spread of infectious diseases.
A Texas Militiaman Reconsiders the Mission
| October 17, 2014 | 9:26 pm | Local/State | No comments

Charles Gilbert joined the Texas Border Volunteers to “kick some ass,” but the group’s tactics forced him to do some soul-searching.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/texas-border-volunteers-reconsider-the-mission/

Ebola vaccines and Bernie Sanders
| October 17, 2014 | 9:12 pm | International, National | No comments

by A. Shaw

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that two vaccines — which many observers think are improbably chosen as a system of immunization against the Ebola virus — will be ready by the end of March 2015.
The first of the two vaccines, cAd3-ZEBOV, was developed by GlaxoSmithKline in collaboration with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The second, rVSV-ZEBOV, was developed by the Canadian Agency for Public Health.
WHO doesn’t say whether cAd3-ZEBOV and rVSV-ZEBOV have proven in experimental research to be the least or most successful vaccines in treating Ebola.
In the USA, a number of US citizens who are health care workers have been given a vaccine for Ebola and the condition of these infected US workers improved. Thomas Eric Duncan, an Ebola-infected Liberian citizen who travelled to Dallas, TX, was given a different “vaccine” and he died.
 Why was there such a dramatic difference in the results? Why did the US citizens improve and Duncan die?
US drug companies own patents on drugs that are most successful in fighting Ebola.
Neither cAd3-ZEBOV nor  rVSV-ZEBOV is subject to patents own by US drug companies. So,  cAd3-ZEBOV and  rVSV-ZEBOV can be administered to Ebola patients in West Africa without permission from US drug companies.
[By the way, a patent is an exclusive right to produce or sell an invention or new product -- like an Ebola drug -- for a certain time.]
But will  cAd3-ZEBOV and  rVSV-ZEBOV do any good in West Africa? Are they the least successful of a dozen possible vaccines?
WHO will not oppose US drug companies withholding the best drugs.
As one possibility for a score, the political implications and opportunities of what has been said above should be clear to Sanders.
What may not be clear is Sanders blew a big opportunity to score when Sanders was silent while Obama was dilatory in March-April 2014, about the US response to Ebola, Obama allowed Ebola to get out of control. Sanders announced his preparedness to run for the White House in the March 6, 2014 edition of The Nation magazine. So, Sanders could have scored if he were disposed.
This is now water under the bridge.
Now, the important thing is not to blow any additional opportunities to score on Ebola or on numerous other issues.
A Socialist Campaign for Chicago’s 99%
| October 16, 2014 | 8:39 pm | National | No comments

Posted by

Posted on March 01, 2014

We live in a working class city. Our labor, skills, ingenuity and pride built this city. We keep Chicago running, yet we have no voice in how it is run. The mayor and city council redistribute the wealth we create to the rich and corporations instead of making our city better for working people. Every year they take hundreds of millions that were collected to pay for our streets, schools, public transit and infrastructure and spend it on prestige projects that benefit the super-rich.

We face a real crisis, but it is a crisis of priorities, not resources. The rich get tax cuts while we face cuts in city services. In a time of record profits for the financial and corporate elite, working people face outsourced and privatized jobs, low pay or no pay, increased workloads, reduced benefits and stolen pensions. This crisis is worse for Black, Latino and young people.

These issues require urgent action. Neither Republicans nor Democrats offer solutions because both parties represent the 1% – from the billionaires who are pushing charter schools to real estate charlatans to poverty-wage employers. Until we create our own political voice, working people will continue to be locked out of the corridors of power.

We are declaring our independence by creating a real alternative to the Democrats and Republicans: a Socialist one. Our movement strives to represent the interests of all working class people, whether employed or unemployed; women, people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, both documented and undocumented, and people who are differently abled. Real change is never handed down by politicians. Real change is won by people standing together and building movements.

As Socialists, we will fight to put our city’s enormous wealth at the service of human need instead of corporate greed. We will fight for a $15/hour minimum wage because too many of us cannot make ends meet. We will fight to reclaim our neighborhoods by stopping foreclosures and evictions, and by turning vacant homes and apartments in our city into quality, affordable housing. Many of us are union activists; we will fight to defend our unions, and call on our union sisters and brothers to help build this campaign.

We will fight against police brutality and the treatment of our young people as criminals.We will fight against mass incarceration and racism, segregation and discrimination in all of its forms. We will fight to enforce the ban against the Chicago Police Department cooperating with ICE and to stop the deportations that are destroying our families and communities. We will fight for access to the vote for all Chicago residents.

Our campaign draws its strength from existing struggles for better pay, better schools, and better housing. Our campaign promise is to join these struggles, help build them, and amplify their voices. We work within our communities to shape the answers to the crises we face. We draw on our experiences as grassroots leaders, community organizers, union members and activists. We invite our brothers and sisters in these struggles to help shape this campaign.

The Chicago Socialist Campaign is about changing the system. We are building a people-centered and people-led movement in order to make real, lasting change in all of our lives. We are fighting for a society that puts people before profit. The needs and aspirations of working people, the poor, the homeless, the incarcerated, the undocumented, victims of discrimination, and all exploited people must set our course. Our campaign is inspired by this vision and is one step towards that goal. That’s what makes it a Socialist campaign.

Ebola virus deaths facilitated by imperialism
| October 16, 2014 | 8:19 pm | International | No comments

Athens, Greece – 15 October 2014

 

STATEMENT

 

Ebola virus deaths facilitated by imperialism

Only free and public healthcare systems with a focus on prevention can provide an adequate response

 

The Ebola epidemic that has struck mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea of West Africa and threatens the entire world has killed thousands of people and caused panic to millions of others.

As high level officials of the World Health Organization confess, the epidemic has severely expanded over the last weeks and 70% of the people affected die because of the lack of proper healthcare facilities.

 

This epidemic brings in the forefront in the most tragic way the chronic and deep wounds in the African Continent by colonialism, by the continuous plundering of the wealth-producing resources and by the high public debts that keep African states and their economies enslaved to the IMF, the World Bank and monopolies cartels.

 

Crucial problems that in extraordinary conditions such as the one today can create an explosive atmosphere are: The poverty, the malnutrition, the lack of basic healthcare infrastructure and social welfare, the limited access to a system of Public and Free Education capable to eradicate illiteracy and the effect of prejudices and superstitions, the slums that continue to exist being a disgrace for humanity and a danger to public health, the militarization and the state violence that are the answer of the panicked state mechanism.

 

The World Federation of Trade Unions expresses its indignation at the current situation in the existing healthcare facilities in the abovementioned countries which result in medical personnel offering their services while risking their own lives without any safety measures (gloves, masks). As a result, deaths amongst medical personnel have risen to extreme levels.

 

The World Federation of Trade Unions and its members worldwide have in the past, with two International Action Days, denounced the role of the Pharmaceutical Multinational Companies which profit from the people’s suffering.

State budget cuts in the funding of public institutions in the field of research, pharmaceutical production and healthcare in the USA and the European Union are aggravating the problems while working in favor of the privatization of those fields, the expansion of the control of the monopolies over the industry and against the satisfaction of the people’s needs.

It is very clear in the case of Ebola as well that as long as the research, the production and the healthcare are ruled by the laws of the monopoly competition and the profit, the people will be suffering from diseases that should have long been extinct or adequately controlled.

 

Furthermore, in complete contrast to the imperialist policy of the USA and Britain which in the midst of the crisis have ceased the opportunity to send new troops in Africa, the World Federation of Trade Unions feels the need to congratulate the heroic decision of the Cuban Government and the Cuban people to show in the most humanitarian way their solidarity to the people of Africa by sending in Liberia and Guinea a large group of doctors and medical personnel in order to assist in the efforts for the relief of the Ebola patients. As More than 50,000 Cuban doctors and medical personnel working in 66 countries around the world and specifically 4,000 in 32 African countries, are offering high level Health services as a form of practical solidarity.

 

We congratulate our affiliate the CTC Cuba and its members in the Health Sector who heroically prove their international solidarity.

 

The World Federation of Trade Unions representing 90 million workers in 126 countries reaffirms its consistent position that preventive healthcare on a framework of a public, free and adequate healthcare system is the best solution in all Health issues.

The WFTU struggles for:

  • The creation of contemporary, adequate and fully equipped institutions of healthcare in all countries that will be part of a broad Public, Free and centrally designed healthcare system to offer to all the population proper healthcare services at all stages of their lives. The sufficient number of medical personnel, the satisfaction of the labour rights and the proper conditions of hygiene and safety are important factors.
  • The formation of public institutions of research, production and distribution of free or cheap pharmaceutical supplies, medicine and vaccination to all the people.
  • The eradication of illiteracy by securing the access for all people to a public and free Education.
  • For state policy that will solve the housing problems in many countries.
  • The elimination of poverty and hunger. The African Continent is rich in natural resources and agricultural capabilities. If those are put in the control and the service of the people would offer greatly in the rapid improvement of the living standards of the ordinary people and to the drastic elimination of the diseases and poverty. 
  • THE SECRETARIAT
  •  
Bernie Sanders and the DP
| October 16, 2014 | 8:13 pm | National | No comments
by A. Shaw
US Sen. Bernie  Sanders (I-VT) runs for office as an independent but caucuses with the Democratic Party (DP)  and is counted as a DP member for purposes of committee assignments. He was the only independent member of the congress during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history.
In an interview with The Nation on March 6, 2014, Sanders stated that he is “prepared to run for President of the United States” in 2016. Bernie didn’t say whether he’ll run as a DP or as an independent.
Why does Bernie even caucus with the DP?
Bernie caucuses with the DP because, in the US Senate, a simple majority — at least — of votes is required to do something. So, Bernie needs at least 50 votes to do something.
About 35% of the DP senators are hard-core bourgeois reactionaries and the remaining 65% are more or less bourgeois liberals.
Bernie caucuses with so-called bourgeois liberals and shuns the reactionaries of the DP.
The DP depends a lot on Bernie’s one vote.