In 1781, the Bolivian indigenous leader Tupac Katari led a rebellion in which La Paz, the Spanish colonial capital of “Upper Peru,” was besieged for 109 days. The siege ended with the arrival of a Spanish army. Katari was captured, he and his wife, Bartolina Sisa, were gruesomely executed, and thousands of indigenous people were massacred. For many years this was treated as a minor event in history books, but in the latter half of the twentieth century Katari and Sisa have been celebrated as symbols of the resistance to oppression by the indigenous majority, and as martyrs in a national revolution whose time has finally come.
Some Members of Congress are speaking out against the strikes. “We cannot stand up for Congressional authorization before military strikes only when there is a Republican President,” Congressman Ro Khanna tweeted, “The Administration should have sought Congressional authorization here. We need to work to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate.” Peace groups around the country are echoing that call. Rep. Barbara Lee and Senators Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine and Chris Murphy also released statements either questioning or condemning the strikes.
India’s farmers have been protesting since the autumn, with a growing intensity that culminated in a violent breaching of barriers in the Red Fort in Delhi during India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26. Although reforms introduced by the Modi government in September are ostensibly about empowering farmers, there is deep concern that they will largely boost private agribusiness to the detriment of the livelihoods of small farmers. The bills propose new market channels that are largely unregulated, potentially leaving farmers at the mercy of powerful private sector players.
Devabai Valvi used to sharpen her sickle every month. That changed when the pandemic swept through India. For the first time, she had to abandon her sickle and watch with dismay as agricultural workers like herself were forced to to be idle. On March 23rd, 2020, when India reported 618 COVID cases, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi hastily declared a lockdown – curbing the movement of 1.3 billion people. Sixty eight days later, when the lockdown was lifted, India had already registered 189,273 COVID cases, and today, nine months later, it has surpassed 10 million cases and reported over 155,000 deaths. India now has the highest number of COVID cases after the United States.
Democracy observers say there are glaring similarities between the attempted coup in the US and the successful coup in Myanmar.
Abortion campaigners in Chile have been heartened by the recent legalization of abortion in neighboring Argentina and are currently presenting a bill for the decriminalization of abortion. But with a pro-life government and Senate inherited from the Pinochet regime (1973-90) any amendments to the existing law will be hard won.