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 Popular Protests Are Spreading Across Central America, and Washington Is Getting Nervous

Source: The Nation

As mass mobilizations sweep Guatemala and Honduras, the US prepares its usual response: Send in the military.

Street protests over “corruption” in Latin America are often expressly reactionary. Very similar to Tea Party mobilization in the United States, middle-class unease with the redistributionist policies of the region’s center-left governments is leveraged by conservative economic and political elites, and cheered on by the monopoly corporate press, both in country and in the United States (and are often funded by “democracy promotion” organizations based in the United States—either that, or the Koch brothers, who seem to be running their own foreign policy in Latin America). Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Marcelo Silva noted that government protesters in Brazil last year were well-heeled and light-skinned. They are also color-coded, with would-be regime topplers agreeing to don some royalist hue, usually white but sometimes blue. read more

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Slavoj Žižek on Greece: This is a chance for Europe to awaken

Source: The New Statesman

The unexpectedly strong No in the Greek referendum was a historical vote, cast in a desperate situation. In my work I often use the well-known joke from the last decade of the Soviet Union about Rabinovitch, a Jew who wants to emigrate. The bureaucrat at the emigration office asks him why, and Rabinovitch answers: “There are two reasons why. The first is that I’m afraid that in the Soviet Union the Communists will lose power, and the new power will put all the blame for the Communist crimes on us, Jews – there will again be anti-Jewish pogroms . . .” read more

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How Migrant Farmworkers Are Cross-Pollinating Strategies and Winning

Source: Labor Notes

It’s been a whirlwind spring of precedent-setting wins for North America’s migrant workers, who are making connections across borders.

After three months of strikes and protests, 30,000 berry pickers in Baja California, Mexico, won raises of up to $4 a day and rights to social security benefits and overtime pay.

These workers, mainly indigenous farmworkers from Oaxaca and Guerrero, allied with U.S. groups including the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and galvanized international support. read more