Labor Headlines–Monday, June 10
I am going to concentrate on an international story for today’s Labor Headlines.
As workers in this country, we get so little information about huge struggles taking place around the world, particularly in Africa.
A continent of enormous wealth, with civilizations that advanced science and art, creating thriving economies hundreds of years before Europeans so-called discovered them.
Modern day Africa is similarly as unknown despite all the multiple forms of communication available today.
Northern Africa is undergoing tremendous civil unrest with hundreds of thousands of people occupying the streets of major cities, demanding change.
Yesterday, the struggle in Sudan opened another stage of resistance against the ruling military council that seized power after months of mass demonstrations forced the ouster of the long-time president, Omar al-Bashir in April.
A general strike is taking place across the country and a strategy of continuous civil disobedience is projected until civilian rule is established, a demand the military has so far refused.
Instead the generals has ordered a crackdown on the demonstrators beginning with a particularly deadly assault on a large camp outside the military headquarters in the caotal city of Khartoum on June 3. Over 60 people were killed, scores more inured and some 2500 arrested.
In the following days, dozens of workers, professional like doctors and engineers and political leaders of opposition groups have been arrested and taken to unknown locations.
At least 4 more people were killed yesterday by security forces.
Protests began in December 2018 against the rising prices of basic goods, including bread.
Further measures by the al-Bashir government removed subsidies for wheat and electricity, driving millions into greater destitution.
Earlier in 2018, the ruling National Congress Party backed al-Bashir’s declaration to run again for president even though he had earlier stated he would not.The current Constitution bars him from such an attempt.
The early demonstrations were met by tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, causing numerous deaths and injuries.
On Ap. 6 , in neighboring Algeria where similar protests were taking place against another long-time president, Abdelazi Bouteflika, he stepped down.
Encouraged by the victory in Algeria, hundreds of thousands took to the streets across Sudan and on Ap. 11, the military council acted and placed the president under house arrest.
The workers and the poor, long abused by these corrupt generals, demanded civilian rule now.
Negotiations began between the Transitional Military Council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change, an umbrella organization of the resistance groups.
The deadly assault on the camp made clear the country’s elite were not going to negotiate away their power.
The Alliance forces say they will continue their strike until the generals step down and a civilian government is recognized.