The Indian government has just decided to disenfranchise 4 million people who live in the state of Assam. What will befall them is unclear. Our friends from Abahlali baseMjondolo – the shack dwellers’ movement in South Africa – report several incidents of attacks on their leaders and threats of executions. These are not idle. Violence is integral to the way in which property defends itself against humanity. The picture above by Mohannad Darabee is of the young Palestinian militant – Ahed Tamimi – who was just released, with her mother, after serving an eight-month sentence in an Israeli prison. Read more here. 

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One cannot look at Trump and his policies in isolation from the crisis of ‘trade wars’. Trump promised to ‘make America great again’. He wants to resolve the crisis for America caused by neo-liberalism without violating its core characteristic, which is free global mobility of finance.  At Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, we have wondered about the essential nature of these ‘trade wars’ that have broken out between key allies. We turned to Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi (India), for assistance.

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.

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.

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One cannot look at Trump and his policies in isolation from the crisis of ‘trade wars’. Trump promised to ‘make America great again’. He wants to resolve the crisis for America caused by neo-liberalism without violating its core characteristic, which is free global mobility of finance.  At Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, we have wondered about the essential nature of these ‘trade wars’ that have broken out between key allies. We turned to Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi (India), for assistance.

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The Indian government has just decided to disenfranchise 4 million people who live in the state of Assam. What will befall them is unclear. Our friends from Abahlali baseMjondolo – the shack dwellers’ movement in South Africa – report several incidents of attacks on their leaders and threats of executions. These are not idle. Violence is integral to the way in which property defends itself against humanity. The picture above by Mohannad Darabee is of the young Palestinian militant – Ahed Tamimi – who was just released, with her mother, after serving an eight-month sentence in an Israeli prison. Read more here. 


In Ecuador, corporate lobby groups push for infant formula as a replacement for breastmilk, despite devastating health consequences. In areas with scarce access to clean water, an infant who is fed formula is between 6 and 25 times more likely to die of diarrhoea and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child. Nevertheless, the US has backed this corporate agenda with sanctions against Ecuador, protecting the interest of water companies such as Nestlé and infant formula companies over the survival of infants. The corporate agenda to put profits before people, with violence as a commodity, continues across the world. It is met by resistance from people who dare to imagine a better future that places the wellbeing of people over the profits of capitalists, from Argentina to Pakistan to India. To read more, click here.


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.