News of struggles and conflicts from Africa, Asia and Latin America is not always easy to find. A general strike in India is not reported in the corporate press, neither is the murder of a human rights activist in Central America nor indeed is news of great humanitarian interest from the multilateral organisations (such as the agencies of the United Nations). As the world’s media gets more and more homogenised by the interests of corporate ideology, more and more news about the world’s peoples vanish. There is so little basic information, for instance, about world hunger and about the fights to feed the hungry. We are not interested merely in the conflicts and the suffering. We are equally interested in the struggles of people to address these broad challenges.

We, at the Tricontinental, will send out a weekly newsletter, a curated note with information from one part of the world, that will offer a window into some of the struggles and conflicts of our time. The newsletter will be available by subscription – and it is free.

To find out more about the newsletter, or to send us stories that you believe we should cover in it, please write to [email protected]. We do not promise to use each and every one of your suggestions, but we do welcome them. If you have objections to anything we run, please let us know. There might be times when we might publish your criticism as part of our mandate to stimulate debate.

 


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. 


On Thursday, at 4pm, a march across Rio took place under the banner – Quanto mais tem que morrer pra essa guerra acabar? (How Many More Have to Die for This War to End?). It referred to the murder of the Brazilian politician Marielle Franco. But it could very well have referred to the Colombian militant Ana María Cortés, the South African shack dwellers’ leader  S’bu Zikode or the hundreds of militants from West Bengal and Tripura who have been attacked over the past few years. Some have been killed, others have been threatened. They are victims of a war on the Left that is gruesome. But these acts of violence, often unpunished, do not deter people from their anti-austerity protests from Haiti to Tunisia. These continue. Protests are a sign of hope, a sign that surrender is not on the cards. Our newsletter this week, the twentieth from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, is on Assassinations – killings and attempted killings, but also the impossibility to assassinate hope. You can read it here.


The United Nations estimates that there are over a hundred million people who are homeless and that about two billion people live in inadequate housing. These are workers and peasants, the indigent and the unemployed – people whose activity helps keep the world moving. And yet, they are without a home. In Solapur (India), the workers – organised into their union – fought to produce their own homes. And they did. They are the Indian cognate of people from Mexico to Japan, people struggling to produce a dignified world. This, the nineteenth newsletter from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, traverses this world of struggle and ends with a picture from West Bengal, of tea garden workers in the rain, fighting for their right to life. For more, go here.


Strongmen across the world – from Modi (India) to Trump (USA) to Erdogan (Turkey)- have been eager to make the case that they will revive their countries by any means necessary, including harsh anti-immigration policies.  In India, Modi (more a  paper tiger than a strongman, in reality), panders to US  foreign interests. Unlike Turkey, the upcoming July 1 elections in Mexico, look more hopeful for the Left.  Meanwhile, the refugee crisis across the world has produced as many refugees as there are people in Thailand. More than half the refugees are children. This is true not just at the US border but also across the world, from Bangladesh. To read our newsletter, click here. 


This week, we discuss the continued ‘unconventional war’ waged in Latin America – most recently in Nicaragua-, as IMF-backed pension cuts have been used to frame the current administration and destabilize the country. Contrary to mainstream news narratives, the pension cuts were not borne from President Ortega’s administration. Meanwhile, in the US, families that are fleeing violence caused by many of the same neoliberal schemes are torn apart, children ripped from their parents’ arms and put in to cages. In the midst of this crisis, the US government has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), a move spurred largely by the Council’s support for the Palestinian people and the BDS movement. In India, agricultural workers continue their fight against the devastation wrought by neoliberal policies. To read our newsletter, click here.


This week, we mourn the assassination of journalists who are targeted precisely because they get beneath the stories that surrounds us, who seek answers to difficult questions, who won’t leave a story because to do so would be to betray both the people who tell us these stories and those who need to hear them. Shujaat Bukhari, who reported on the occupation in Kashmir – where there are 700,000 Indian soldiers compared to 150 identified militants-, was shot dead on Thursday. Meanwhile, international voices speak out against the occupation in Palestine, from All-India Kisan Sabha and Students Federation of India to the famous Argentina soccer player Messi, who is said to have insisted that his team not play Israel as long as the Palestinians are occupied. In Korea, Donald Trump of the United States met with Kim Jong-un of North Korea, which has opened a new historical dynamic. For more, read our newsletter here.


We live in Trump World, where we are seeing the acceleration of a multipolar world and major changes afoot in the international order. Over the past decade, the ability of the United States to set a global agenda and get its subordinate allies to follow along has faded. It can bomb a country to smithereens, but it cannot necessarily force the countries of the world to conform to its policy direction. Other poles have emerged, with other agendas. In this world, where hunger is rampant, it is a system of private property that denies the poor access to food and produces the everyday reality of acute hunger. If you have no money, you cannot eat.  For more, read our newsletter here. 


Truckers and oil workers in Brazil go on strike, while front running presidential candidate Lula remains in prison (you can read our latest dossier for a more in depth analysis). US President Trump throws a tantrum over the dynamic of peace between North and South Korea and  the nuclear deal with Iran as he wages a tariff war against the Europeans, China, Canada, Mexico and…..well, everyone. Meanwhile, childcare workers in Punjab go on strike, as women in Argentina and Ireland fight to legalize abortion. In  Argentina, the people speak out against President Macri’s attempt to plunge the country in to the chains of the IMF, asking for credit in exchange for what will inevitably be unfavorable conditions for the people of Argentina. In Palestine, the liquidation of the Palestinian people continues: on the table is quite literally the survival of the Palestinian people.

To read our newsletter, click here.


Last week, Nicolas Maduro won the Presidential elections in Venezuela, despite attempts to undermine the electoral process and protect US and corporate business interests in the country. The Venezuelan people are now faced with an US-backed attempt to strip Venezuela’s democracy of any legitimacy, seeing it as a long-term threat to their interests in the region. In South Africa, a leader of the Abahlali baseMjondolo shack dwellers’ movements was assassinated. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists releases a full-scale investigation of offshore tax havens, and how sections of the West African elite have hidden billions through these mechanisms. To read the newsletter, click here.


Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem – against international custom – drops the pretence of the United States as a neutral actor. The slaughter of over a hundred Palestinians killed in cold blood followed, while thousands have been injured in a ‘continuous Naqba’ that began in 1948 and persists today. Meanwhile, shackdwellers with the Abahlali baseMjondolo occupy land in Germiston, hungry for land and to meet their basic needs. In Venezuela, we are just days away from the May 20 Presidential election. While Maduros’ victory is likely, it is less likely that the West will recognize the results; democracy is only celebrated when the West’s preferred candidates win. Otherwise, it is denigrated. To read our newsletter, click here.