This week, The People’s Dispatch (formerly the Dawn News) has relaunched, an important project that will be both a news wire as well as a home for the most thorough movement-driven analysis of the news. In an era dominated by media corporations that replicate in full measure the ideology of the powerful, projects such as these are critical. In Iran, for example, the reality on the ground is portrayed in a way that flattens its own complexities. The flatter the picture of Iran, the easier it is for the United States to sell the view that a homeopathic sanctions regime or a bombing raid can somehow usher in emancipation. Meanwhile in Brazil, Lula has become the object of a deep political divide (one that, for the left represents the hopes for democracy). For more, read our newsletter here. 

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The women beedi (thin cigarette) workers of Solapur, a city in the Indian State of Maharashtra, used to live in tiny shanties on rent in slums. The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) organised them and led a prolonged struggle to construct houses for them. The result: the government was forced to allocate funds for the purpose and 15,000 houses have been constructed for the workers. Another 30,000 houses are being built for informal sector workers from various industries. With their united struggle and sustained movement, the workers of Solapur are building a city of their own.

A ‘soft coup’ is underway in Brazil. The United States has become increasingly emboldened in tightening their grip on protecting their interests in the region at the expense of democracy and the people’s sovereignty to choose their own governments. Accusations of corruption with no evidence and the imprisonment of the leading candidate, Lula of the Workers’ Party, have cast a somber cloud over the upcoming October elections. Through a variety of tactics, Brazil’s democracy is under siege.

In the Ruins of the Present traces the challenges posed by globalization and what these challenges produce for our society. The first attempt to address the problems of globalization was neo-liberalism. It failed. Next came cruel populism, which expresses itself in narrow, hateful terms. It will also fail. The Left is weak – decomposed by globalization. The need of the hour is for the Left to recompose itself, to become a vital force for a fragile humanity.