Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Teachers’ rebellion spreads as tens of thousands strike in Oklahoma and Kentucky – SEP Newsletter

From WSWS:

Teachers’ rebellion spreads as tens of thousands strike in Oklahoma and Kentucky

By Joseph Kishore
The teachers’ revolt in the United States entered a new stage on Monday as tens of thousands of teachers, students and working-class supporters took part in massive protests in Oklahoma and Kentucky. The growing wave of unrest among educators requires not only the attention and support of all workers, but their active participation.
The strike by 30,000 teachers in Oklahoma follows their rejection of a one-time pay increase of $6,000 and a miserly increase in school funding, financed largely through regressive taxes, passed by the state legislature on Thursday. The thousands of teachers protesting in Kentucky denounced the passage of a bill last week slashing pensions.
The walkout in Oklahoma, which the unions hoped to limit to a one-day strike, will continue today. School districts throughout the state have announced that they will remain closed, with many reporting that the closures will continue at least through Wednesday. While the unions are doing everything they can to get teachers back to work, there is a powerful sentiment for the extension and expansion of the strike. Read more »

Build rank-and-file committees to unite with teachers in Arizona and Kentucky!

Mobilize the working class behind striking Oklahoma educators!
By the Socialist Equality Party
Tens of thousands of striking Oklahoma teachers and school employees are converging in the state capital Monday to demand higher wages and increased school funding. They have rejected the bipartisan bill passed Thursday night that includes an insulting $6,000 one-off pay increase and a small increase in school funding that will not make a dent in the billions of dollars that have been cut from education over the past decade.
The statewide strike in Oklahoma is part of an expanding wave of struggles by educators across the United States and internationally. On Friday, teachers in Kentucky rejected the union’s proposal that they do nothing in the face of severe cuts to pensions, organizing wildcat sickouts and closing schools in 29 counties. Thousands will demonstrate in Frankfort today, and demands are growing for a strike.
Educators in Arizona, where median pay is last in the nation, are calling for a statewide strike following a demonstration last Wednesday for wage and school funding increases. The movement of teachers, which erupted with the nine-day walkout in West Virginia last month, has also spread to Colorado, New Jersey and other states, plus the US territory of Puerto Rico.
It is critical that teachers review and consider the vital political and strategic issues raised by the experiences of the past two months. Read more »
US media’s silent complicity in Israeli massacre in Gaza
By Jean Shaoul and Barry Grey
Major American media outlets, led by the New York Times, are treating the Israeli military’s mass killing and wounding of unarmed, peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza as a non-event.
On Friday, as tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered near the militarized border with Israel to protest Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land and demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, Israeli troops and sharpshooters opened fire, killing at least 16 people and wounding some 1,400 more.
Millions around the world reacted with shock and horror at the scenes of deliberate murder, using live ammunition. One video showed a young man running away from the border fence who was shot in the back and killed by Israeli troops. Another showed that at least two of those killed were unarmed as they walked slowly towards the Israel border. Read more »

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party

Socialist Equality Party announces California candidates in midterm elections
The Socialist Equality Party is running candidates in California for the US midterm congressional elections. The SEP has selected David Moore as its candidate for the US Senate and Kevin Mitchell as its candidate for the US House of Representatives from the 51st Congressional District. Moore and Mitchell will run on a socialist, anti-war and anti-capitalist program in the interests of the working class in California and around the world.
Both Moore and Mitchell have obtained ballot status and will be listed as non-party candidates in the June 5 statewide direct primary election. Read more »
Why has Ecuador silenced Julian Assange?
By Bill Van Auken
The draconian measures taken by the government of Ecuador to cut off all access to the outside world by Julian Assange represent a reactionary attack on basic democratic rights that must be vigorously opposed by workers and youth in every country.
Ecuadorian authorities have blocked the WikiLeaks founder’s access to the Internet as well as all other means of communication from Quito’s embassy in London, where Assange has been confined for nearly six years. In addition, it is barring visitors from seeing him, leaving him with fewer rights than a prisoner behind bars.
Assange continues to face coordinated conspiracies by the British and US governments to have him arrested and extradited to face US charges of treason and espionage, which carry potential death penalties. Read more »
Major strikes in France challenge Macron’s right-wing reforms
By Peter Schwarz and Eric London
Many different sectors of the working class in France began massive strikes this morning, after railroad workers stopped work last night. Rail workers opposed to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to privatize the state-owned rail company SNCF are leading what has been called the biggest test of strength to date between Macron and the French working class.
Le Figaro labelled the strike “the railroad battle,” while Le Monde wrote in worried tones that “Train, airplane, and garbage workers once again have energy.” It continued: “A number of sectors have been affected by a strike movement launched Tuesday, April 3. Their grievances are numerous within each category: Reform of the SNCF for railroad workers, demands for wage increases for Air France workers.”
The SNCF expects the strike call to be followed widely. It anticipates that only one in eight high-speed TGV trains will run across France and only one in five regional trains. Initial reports indicate that eight in ten conductors are following the strike. Up to a third of flights will be cancelled today and electricity maintenance and garbage pickup will be limited as sanitation workers, electricians and gas workers halt work. Read more »
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