On the barricades

Afghanis struggle against U.S. occupation

Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

Despite the Pentagon’s lies and the virtual media blackout, the people of Afghanistan continue to defy the U.S. occupation forces. Two thousand people protested July 26 at the main U. S. military base in Bagram. The demonstration was against the extra-judicial U.S. military arrest of six people. After forcing their way to the main gate, military police chased the demonstrators away with beatings and gunshots.

At the same time, Afghani insurgents were battling occupying forces close to Kandahar in Uruzgan province. The battle was one of the largest in an upsurge in activity by insurgent forces.

India’s workers strike, protest

IN July, two major labor strikes in India led to better benefits for workers in the tea and auto industries. In the fields of West Bengal, tea laborers won their most important concession to date after their strike crippled India’s tea industry in the region. They won a wage increase of 17 percent in a three-year contract.

Photo: Epa/Jayanta Dey

Workers at a Honda plant in the city of Gurgaon had a massive labor protest on July 25. The state police beat the workers, who were protesting a one-month lockout and arbitrary firing of over 50 employees. One hundred workers were sent to the hospital on account of the beatings. The union, which is led by the Communist Party of India, won back the jobs of their fellow workers and is negotiating a wage increase. They are currently seeking the release of their imprisoned comrades and gearing up for a nationwide strike against neo-liberal policies on September 29.

South African municipal, mine workers strike

Photo: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

At least 80,000 members of the South African Municipal Workers Union walked off the job for an “indefinite strike” on August 7. The action follows a three-day strike that started on July 27 and an earlier one-day strike. The July labor action faced severe repression when police with rubber bullets and tear gas fired on 2,000 protesters who had gathered for a demonstration on July 28.

The South African gold miners union began their first nationwide strike in over 18 years on Sunday, August 7. The National Union of Mineworkers announced that between 80,000 and 100,000 workers honored the picket lines, out of a total of 130,000 gold miners. South Africa is the single largest producer of gold bullion in the world. On Aug. 11, the NUM declared victory, with the miners winning 6 to 7 percent wage hikes.

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