If I Fall in the Struggle, Take My Place: The Nineteenth Newsletter (2021)

13 May 2021 — Tricontinental

Dang Xuan Hoa Vietnam The Red Family 2008 en 950 1Tiger Tateishi (Japan), Samurai, the Watcher (Koya no Yojinbo), 1965.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Ugliness defines the mood of state violence from Cali (Colombia) to Durban (South Africa), each context different and the depth of the violence particular to the location. Images of security forces cracking down on people trying to express their political rights have become commonplace. It is impossible to keep track of the events, which move swiftly from public manifestations to courtroom scenes, from the dissipation of tear gas to the invisible frustration of the prison cell. Yet, underlying these events and amidst the range of feelings that shape them lies a sense of refusal, the Great Refusal, the refusal to accept the terms dictated from those in power and the refusal to express this dissent in polite terms.

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In Kerala, the Present Is Dominated by the Future: The Eighteenth Newsletter (2021)

6 May 2021 — Tricontinental

E Meera Red Dawn 2021 2E. Meera (Kerala), Red Dawn, 2021.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Kerala, a state in the Indian union with a population of 35 million, has re-elected the Left Democratic Front (LDF) to lead the government for another five years. Since 1980, the people of Kerala have voted out the incumbent, seeking to alternate between the Left and the Right. This year, the people decided to stay with the Left and give the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Pinarayi Vijayan, a second term in office as the Chief Minister. Health Minister K. K. Shailaja, popularly known as Shailaja Teacher, won her re-election with a record-breaking tally of over 60,000 votes, far exceeding her closest contender.

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I’m Still Here, Though My Country’s Gone West: The Seventeenth Newsletter (2021)

29 April 2021 — Tricontinental

3 Fackelzug zur Gründung der DDRA mass rally with the Free German Youth that marked the founding of the German Democratic Republic in the Soviet Occupation Zone, October 1949.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

A full generation has elapsed since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed in late 1991. Two years earlier, in 1989, the communist states of Eastern Europe dissolved, with the first salvo fired when Hungary opened its border. On 3 March 1989, Hungary’s last communist prime minister Miklós Németh asked the USSR’s last President Mikhail Gorbachev whether the border to Western Europe could be opened. ‘We have a strict regime on our borders’, Gorbachev told Németh, ‘but we are also becoming more open’. Three months later, on 15 June, Gorbachev told the press in Bonn (West Germany) that the Berlin Wall ‘could disappear when the preconditions, which brought it about, cease to exist’. He did not list the preconditions, but he said, ‘Nothing is permanent under the Moon’. On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall was knocked down. By October 1990, the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) was absorbed into a unified Germany dominated by West Germany.

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A Bit of Hope That Doesn’t Come from Miami: The Sixteenth Newsletter (2021)

22 April 2021 — Tricontinental

Mohsen Taasha Wahidi Afghanistan Rebirth of the Red 2017 3Mohsen Taasha Wahidi (Afghanistan), Rebirth of the Red, 2017.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

After twenty years, the United States government – and the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) – will depart from Afghanistan. They said that they came to do two things: to destroy al-Qaeda, which had launched an attack on the United States on 11 September 2001, and to destroy the Taliban, which had given al-Qaeda a base. After great loss of life and the further destruction of Afghan society, the US departs – as it did from Vietnam in 1975 – in defeat: al-Qaeda has regrouped in different parts of the world, and the Taliban is set to return to the capital, Kabul.

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I Entered My Country’s House of Justice and Found a Snake Charmer’s Temple: The Fifteenth Newsletter (2021)

15 April 2021 — Tricontinental

25032021 Colectivo Culturas Vivas Senderos Latinos HondurasColectivo Culturas Vivas, Senderos latinos / Latino paths, Honduras, 2019

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On a Sunday night on 21 March 2021, gunmen stopped Juan Carlos Cerros Escalante (age 41) as he walked from this mother’s home to his own in the village of Nueva Granada near San Antonio de Cortés (Honduras). The gunmen opened fire in front of a catholic church, killing this leader of United Communities in front of his children. Forty bullets were found at the scene.

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Zambia Is the Tip of the Tail of the Global Dog: The Fourteenth Newsletter (2021)

8 April 2021 — Tricontinental

302289b0 6974 441a b7ff 7a98f4d1cd35From left to right: Vijay Prashad, Fred M’membe, Diego Sequera, and Erika Farías in Caracas, 2019. Photograph taken by Yeimi Salinas.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On 12 August 2021, the people of Zambia will vote to elect a new president, who will be the seventh person elected to the office since Zambia won its independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 if the incumbent loses. The incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, is facing a strong challenge from Fred M’membe, the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party Zambia.

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What You Call Love Is Unpaid Work: The Twelfth Newsletter (2021)

25 March 2021 — Tricontinental

Dossier38 Image 4Ailén Possamay, Domestic disobedience / What they call love is unpaid labour, Concepción, Chile, 2019

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Women around the world spend an average of four hours and twenty-five minutes per day on unpaid care work, while men spend an average of one hour and twenty-three minutes per day on the same kind of work. This was the finding of an International Labour Organisation (ILO) study from 2018. What is care work? The ILO study defines care work as ‘consisting of activities and relations involved in meeting the physical, psychological, and emotional needs of adults and children, old and young, frail and able-bodied’.

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There Are So Many Lessons to Learn from Kerala: The Eleventh Newsletter (2021)

18 March 2021 — Tricontinental

GenderBudgetCover Ajunath 1Anujath Sindhu Vinaylal (India), My mother and the mothers in the neighborhood, 2017.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Indian farmers and agricultural workers have crossed the hundred-day mark of their protest against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They will not withdraw until the government repeals laws that deliver the advantages of agriculture to large corporate houses. This, the farmers and agricultural workers say, is an existential struggle. Surrender is equivalent to death: even before these laws were passed, more than 315,000 Indian farmers had committed suicide since 1995 because of the debt burden placed on them.

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The Right to Live in Peace: The Ninth Newsletter (2021)

4 March 2021 — Tricontinental

20210301 Victor Jara3

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On a warm late February day in Santiago, I went to the grave of Victor Jara to pay homage to the man who was brutally killed on 16 September 1973. A theatre director, songwriter, and communist, Jara was arrested after the coup d’état against the socialist government of Salvador Allende. He was tortured and then murdered. At the rear of the Cementerio General in Recoleta, Jara was buried with other victims of the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. In 2009, Jara’s body was exhumed as part of the investigation into this murder and he was reburied a short distance away. On the original tomb in simple paint are the words el derecho de vivir en paz (‘the right to live in peace’).

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Your Privileges Are Not Universal: The Eighth Newsletter (2021)

25 February 2021 — Tricontinental

José Balmes Chile Lota el Silencio 2007José Balmes (Chile), Lota el Silencio, 2007.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Stencilled in red on the walls of Santiago, Chile is a statement of fact: ‘your privileges are not universal’ (tus privilegios no son universales). This is a factual declaration because the privileges of power and property are not shared across the gaping class divide. Consider the fact that before the pandemic struck last year, over 3 billion people – or half the world’s population – had no access to health care. This data appears in a 2017 World Health Organisation (WHO) report that tracks important matters such as access to basic household sanitation (lacked by 2.3 billion people) and medical care for uncontrolled hypertension (suffered by 1 billion people).

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Sometimes Marx’s Capital Is a Pillow, Sometimes It Obliges Us to Deepen Our Struggles: The Seventh Newsletter (2021)

18 February 2021 — Tricontinental

20210204 Dossier 37 Social Media EN Web 1

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

In 1911, a young Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) arrived in France, which had colonised his homeland of Vietnam. Though he had been raised with a patriotic spirit committed to anti-colonialism, Ho Chi Minh’s temperament did not allow him to retreat into a backward-looking romanticism. He understood that the people of Vietnam needed to draw from their own history and traditions as well as from the democratic currents set loose by the revolutionary movements around the world. In France, he became involved in the socialist movement, which taught him about working-class struggles in Europe, although the French socialists could not bring themselves to break with the colonial policies of their country. This frustrated Ho Chi Minh. When the socialist Jean Longuet told him to read Karl Marx’s Capital, Ho Chi Minh found it hard going and later said that he mainly used it as a pillow.

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