This 14 July 2019 video says about itself:
Israelis call to sack education minister over gay therapy comments | AFP
Israelis hold protest against Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz who has spoken of his belief in therapy to convert gays to heterosexuality and claimed he has engaged in the practice, leading to calls for him to be sacked.
From Associated Press, 15 July 2019:
Israel’s Education Minister Defends Gay‘ Conversion’ Therapy
Hundreds called for Rafi Peretz’s resignation after he made the controversial remarks in a weekend interview
By Shahar Golan
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s new education minister’s remarks in favor of “conversion therapy”, a controversial technique that seeks to turn gays into heterosexuals, came under widespread criticism and led hundreds to protest Sunday.
Rafi Peretz, who leads a small religious nationalist party, said in a televised interview over the weekend that he supports
conversion therapy and has performed it. …
It was Peretz’s second major controversy in just a month on the job. Last week, he elicited uproar, particularly from overseas Jews, when he compared intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews to a second “Holocaust”. …
Health officials have said that conversion therapy is scientifically dubious and possibly even dangerous.
Cynically, one might say that Mr Peretz is not even the worst homophobe in Israel. While this government minister advocates subjecting LGBTQ people to quackery which may kill them (but which they also may survive), Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar advocates killing them.
Peretz, a former chief rabbi in the Israeli military, “shouldn’t be holding this position any longer, or relevant position in the future,” he said.
Hundreds protested in Tel-Aviv on Sunday, calling on Peretz to resign. …
While [Prime Minister] Netanyahu likes to boast about Israel’s broad acceptance of gays, he has been attacked by LGBT activists for homophobic comments by members of his coalition, which is dominated by religious and conservative politicians. Last year he was also criticized for voting against surrogacy for gay fathers, presumably under pressure from his Ultra-orthodox coalition partners.
This 14 July 2019 video says about itself:
Check out these GIANT Extinct Versions Of Modern-Day Creatures! From the biggest deep-sea creatures to other gigantic prehistoric animals that roamed the earth millions of years ago, this top 10 list of largest creatures that ever lived will amaze you!
This 15 July 2019 British Channel 4 TV video says about itself:
Trump says his racist tweets are “not at all” racist
Four outspoken Democratic politicians – all women of colour, all US citizens, all but one born in the United States, yet,
according to President Trump, they should all go home and fix the problems in their own countries. …
Far from apologising, the President insisted his tweets had not been racist, declaring that “if you hate our country, if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave right now”.
By Patrick Martin in the USA:
16 July 2019
The tirades by President Donald Trump over the past three days have no precedent in the history of the US presidency. Trump, backed by a cabal of advisors in the White House, speaks openly as a fascist, demonizing people of different races and national origins, vilifying socialism, and declaring that those who oppose his administration’s policies are disloyal to the country and should leave it.
Trump has directed his vitriol at Democratic congresswomen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. On Sunday evening, he initiated an attack on Twitter, denouncing them as “radical Left Congresswomen” who “speak so badly of our Country” and “hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion.” Trump cited the comments of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham that “AOC [Ocasio-Cortez] and this crowd are a bunch of Communists” who are “Anti-Semitic” and “Anti-America.”
The president added his own comment along this theme Monday afternoon: “We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country”, he tweeted. “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!”
Perhaps most ominously, during a ten-minute diatribe at the end of a White House media event Monday afternoon to promote American manufacturing, Trump falsely accused Omar of declaring her love for Al Qaeda, which he said was killing American soldiers. The statement was nothing short of an incitement to violence against the representative from Minneapolis, a Somali-American who came to this country as a child and is one of two newly elected Muslim-American congresswomen.
Trump is playing with fire. He is placing the authority of the White House behind violent attacks on the model of the South Carolina church murders, the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, and the attacks on mosques in Southern California. This is under conditions where one Trump supporter sent mail bombs last year to leading Democrats and media figures, and a Coast Guard officer, arrested on weapons charges, was found to have drawn up a death list that includes Ocasio-Cortez, one of Trump’s latest targets.
It is more than a matter of inciting violence against individual opponents. Trump’s campaign of vilification against the Democratic congresswomen has a clear political goal, which goes well beyond his 2020 reelection campaign or these four individuals. He is making an appeal to the most reactionary forces in American society, seeking to build a fascist movement in the United States.
The president of the United States, speaking for significant sections of the ruling class, has declared that anyone opposing the foreign and domestic policy of the ruling class should be subject to prosecution, deportation or physical violence.
US presidents, particularly in the period of Cold War struggle between American imperialism and the Soviet Union, once sought to posture as leaders of the “Free World”, representing a country which long identified itself as being “a nation of immigrants”. Trump discards that pretense. His ideal America would be a brutal police state in which working people are deprived of all rights and the symbols of national “greatness” are a massive wall along the US-Mexico border and the Dow Jones Industrial Average—which he boasted Monday had hit a record 27,000.
Trump’s boasting and bullying are not signs of strength, however, but of weakness and deepening crisis. While he can rely on the leadership of the Democratic Party to collaborate, compromise and prop up his government, there is mounting opposition among working people that threatens a social and political explosion in America. This is expressed in a growing strike movement and in the protests that erupted over the weekend against the impending deportation raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in ten major cities.
Millions oppose this government and everything it stands for, but they are trapped in the framework of the corporate-controlled two-party system, in which the supposed alternative to Trump is a Democratic Party completely identified with Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus.
The four congresswomen who were the targets of Trump’s Twitter vitriol held a press conference Monday afternoon. Each of the four denounced Trump’s brutal treatment of immigrants in border detention camps and called for his impeachment.
… The four congresswomen declared that Trump’s declaration of war against them was a “distraction”, something to be ignored in favor of issues like health care, gun violence, and immigration.
In response to questions from the press, it was notable that none of the four chose to respond to Trump’s denunciations of them as socialists, communists and sympathizers of Al Qaeda. Nor did the four Democrats use the word “fascist” to characterize Trump’s statements of the previous three days, or his actions against immigrant families.
A similar silence on the political character of Trump’s latest rantings prevails in the Democratic congressional leadership, among the Democratic presidential candidates, and in the newspapers and television networks aligned with the Democratic Party, such as the New York Times, CNN and MSNBC.
The only concrete action proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a resolution of disapproval that would condemn Trump’s language while citing President Ronald Reagan—whose right-wing government initiated the ongoing campaign of social counterrevolution and attacks on the working class in America—as a model of civility and tolerance.
The context of Trump’s diatribe is significant. It follows an increasingly public denunciation of the four congresswomen by the Democratic leadership for their failure to endorse a bill granting over $4 billion in funding for Trump to implement his fascistic border policies, which passed with overwhelming Democratic support.
“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world”. Pelosi told the New York Times. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
The media response has bolstered the Democrats by criticizing Trump’s remarks as “racist” and “xenophobic”, while avoiding terms like “fascist” and “Nazi-like”, which would more accurately describe the political significance of his statements and would call into question the complacent and utterly passive response of the Democratic Party.
The ongoing wave of strikes in the United States was touched off by thousands of teachers in West Virginia—a state which Trump carried overwhelmingly in 2016—who defied state law, a Republican legislature, and a Democrat-turned-Republican governor to fight for higher pay and secure benefits and against school privatization and charterization. …
Trump is not the president of “white people”. He is the president who seeks to use racism and anti-immigrant prejudice to divide the working class and maintain the supremacy of Wall Street and the giant corporations.
TRUMP CONTINUES TO SHOW HE’S A RACIST Throughout President Donald Trump’s campaign and beyond, HuffPost has kept a running list of examples of Trump’s racism, dating back to the 1970s. He’s added much to the list since he’s been in the White House. Here are some choice examples. [HuffPost]
TRUMP PUSH TO GUT ASYLUM PROTECTIONS The Trump administration moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants in a major escalation of the president’s battle to throttle the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. [AP]
NANCY PELOSI HAS LOST CONTROL Two days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called a meeting admonishing her caucus to stop publicly criticizing each other on Twitter, the official House Democrats Twitter account launched a public broadside against a staffer for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). [HuffPost]
This 16 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:
Some Amazon Workers Go On Strike As Prime Day Begins | NBC Nightly News
As Amazon rolls out hundreds of deals, warehouse workers walked off the job, calling for safer workplace conditions and less strenuous standards to meet the huge demand for free two-day shipping.
By Kayla Costa in the USA:
16 July 2019
Thousands of warehouse and tech workers in the United States, the UK, Germany, Poland and Spain are engaged in strikes and demonstrations on Amazon “Prime Day”, a shopping holiday created by the online retail giant to promote sales through discounts to subscribers of its Amazon Prime membership.
This year, Amazon extended Prime Day from 36 to 48 hours. The one-trillion-dollar corporation headed by CEO Jeff Bezos expects to rake in more than $5 billion in sales over the two days, a new record for the company’s annual promotion.
The sales bonanza is carried out on the backs of the workers, who are forced to move faster and process higher volumes of orders with no increase in their poverty-level compensation.
Since last year’s Prime Day, when workers carried out strikes in the US and Europe, conditions have only worsened. Amazon representatives boasted to the media yesterday that “our wages are at the upper end of what is paid in comparable jobs.” They claimed that the protesting workers were “misinformed”, since the company had raised its minimum US wage to $15 an hour. They were silent on the fact that Bezos had at the same time eliminated bonus payments, actually reducing take-home pay for some workers.
Workers continue to report health and safety violations, speedup, increased quotas, harassment and injuries. This is the reality that has propelled Amazon workers in many parts of the world to protest against dangerous working conditions, inadequate compensation and grotesque inequality between employees and corporate executives. Amazon workers are also solidarizing themselves with immigrants being scapegoated and persecuted by the Trump administration and governments across Europe. They are denouncing Amazon’s ties to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the midst of immigrant raidsDonald Trump’s massive anti-immigrant raids starting launched Sunday and Trump’s latest attack on the right to asylum.
Two thousand German workers participated in strikes at warehouses in Werne, Rheinberg, Leipzig, Graben, Koblenz and Bad Hersfeld. The strikes, organized by the Verdi union, were held under the slogan “No more discount on our incomes”, though rank-and-file workers raised a number of issues beyond pay.
In the United Kingdom, hundreds of workers will join protests across the country throughout the week to voice their opposition. …
Workers in Spain and Poland will also participate in demonstrations throughout the week.
In the United States, some 1,500 full-time workers at a fulfillment center near Minneapolis, Minnesota are holding a six-hour strike between the day and night shifts. This is the second major action workers have carried out at the facility since a group of East African Muslim workers began speaking out 18 months ago, and it is the first major strike by Amazon workers in North America.
On top of the usual harassment, speedup and on-the-job injuries that all warehouse workers face, immigrant workers were initially denied adequate time for prayer breaks. Even after the company agreed to the breaks, workers were still required to meet the quota of 230 items per hour, heightening the risk of being arbitrarily fired or injured. Immigrant workers began organizing themselves alongside native-born workers, with the support of a local immigrant rights organization, the Awood Center.
Amazon workers and supporters are also protesting the ties of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to ICE, as well as the poor conditions facing AWS workers. Demonstrations were attended by hundreds in San Francisco, Portland and New York, in addition to a protest at the headquarters building in Seattle, Washington. Activists associated with Jobs with Justice plan to turn in a petition at Bezos’s Manhattan mansion and the company’s San Francisco office demanding an end to the use of AWS facial recognition technology by ICE. The petition has 270,000 signatures.
Tech workers published an open letter to Bezos in June of 2018 opposing the contract between AWS and ICE after Google and Microsoft employees drafted similar letters in opposition to their companies’ ties to US militarism. More recently in Boston, hundreds of Wayfair workers walked off their jobs at the online furniture retailer to protest the company’s decision to profit from sales to immigrant detention centers.
The protests this week are an indication of the power that can be unleashed by Amazon workers internationally. Within the global logistics and technology supply chain, the workers constitute an international force at the heart of the world economy. It is especially significant that American workers are protesting not just poor compensation and working conditions, but also the role of the company in aiding the US government in its savage crackdown on immigrants.
The World Socialist Web Site spoke with several Amazon workers about the Prime Day events. Michelle, an injured warehouse worker from Texas, sent a message via the WSWS to the striking Amazon workers. She wrote: “Don’t give in, because what Jeff Bezos doesn’t understand is that the people hold the power, not the company. There is strength in numbers… the workers don’t need Amazon; Amazon needs its workers.”
She pointed to “a small problem” in the current strikes—that they were too short and isolated to “make a dent” in such a giant corporation. But, she continued, “If they lasted longer and there were even delivery drivers and pilots refusing to work a few days…now that would be something.”
Michelle reflected on the common interests of different sections of the working class—for example, Amazon workers and autoworkers, where “the employees are struggling and sacrificing so much while the company is making so much profit off of their suffering.”
Beyond the initial steps taken to protest on Prime Day, Amazon workers must develop their struggle on the basis of their international strength. Company leaders boasted that isolated, short-term strikes in a few scattered hubs would barely impact the massive profits made during the online frenzy, but this must only stir workers to counter the global strategy of Amazon to maximize the exploitation of workers with a globally coordinated strategy for workers to fight back and assert their interests in opposition to the profit drive of the company. …
A number of unions issued statements of support for the striking workers. “Amazon workers are sending a powerful message to Jeff Bezos this Prime Day: It’s time to stop putting profits ahead of people,” United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Marc Perrone said in a statement. “With the recent move to one-day Prime shipping, Amazon workers are being forced to meet impossible demands at increasingly unsafe speeds”, he added. …
Workers need to establish rank-and-file committees to link up every tech center and fulfillment center and develop a program of demands that bases itself on the workers’ interests, not what the company says it can afford: for decent and safe full-time jobs, adequate break time, steep increases to wages and benefits, workers’ control over line speed and production, among other demands.
Such committees established at Amazon facilities around the world will make possible an internationally coordinated struggle to unite the workers against the transnational company and link up with the struggles of other logistics workers, autoworkers, service workers, nurses, teachers and other sections of the international working class.
This video from Minnesota, USA says about itself:
Fulfillment Workers Strike On ‘Prime Day’
Here in the Twin Cities, labor leaders are using Prime Day to call attention to conditions in the Amazon warehouses, Kate Raddatz reports. WCCO 4 News At 6 – July 15, 2019.
From daily News Line in Britain, 16 July 2019:
WORKERS at the online retail giant Amazon warehouse in Minnesota were out on a six hours-long strike yesterday called to coincide with the company’s largest sales event of the year in the first major US strike the company has faced.
July 15 was the start of a two-day Amazon ‘Prime Day’ where consumers are offered large discounts – discounts that workers in their warehouses pay for through a brutal regime of exploitation.
This regime includes the constant monitoring of workers by electronic devices that measure to the second their work rate, toilet and meal breaks.
The speed demanded by Amazon from its workers in fulfilling orders pushes them to the absolute limit with workers complaining that they are forced to work a 10 hour day with only two half-hour breaks and having to walk up to 10 miles a day through the vast warehouse picking and packaging goods.
Failure to meet these productivity quotas results in automatic dismissal, last year 300 workers were fired by Amazon at its Baltimore warehouse for not meeting ‘efficiency standards’.
Compounding the already punishing work conditions at what Amazon calls ‘fulfilment centres’ is the recent decision by the company to offer one-day delivery to its Prime customers, a massive increase on the unrealistic pressure it already applies.
The significance of this Minnesota strike is that it is the first organised stoppage in the US during Amazon’s major promotional event, and it is being taken by workers who are denied union recognition, it reflects the rapidly growing campaign to organise Amazon workers across the US.
In Europe more than 2,000 workers at seven Amazon sites across Germany, the second-biggest market for the company after the US, have gone on strike over pay under the slogan ‘No more discount on our incomes’. In a statement the Verdi union said: ‘While Amazon fuels bargain hunting on Prime Day with hefty discounts, employees are being deprived of a living wage.’ Unions in Germany have been battling Amazon over better pay and conditions for workers since 2013.
In the UK yesterday, the GMB union (which is not recognised by the company) demonstrated outside Amazon warehouses around the demand ‘bosses treat your workers with respect’.
The ‘respect’ Amazon treats its workers with can be seen in the ‘brutal’ working conditions the GMB revealed earlier this year at the warehouse in Rugely in the Midlands where they discovered that ambulances were called 115 times, including three for women due to pregnancy/maternity and three for major trauma. While workers across the US and Europe are taking and demanding action, the call for Amazon to treat them with ‘respect’ is an insult.
Amazon bases its huge profits not on, as it likes to boast, great technological innovations but on the capitalist formula of exploiting its workers mercilessly, making them work till they drop and then sacking and replacing them with another stream of young workers desperate for a job.
The technology they have embraced is the technology designed to screw every last drop of blood from the working class for the lowest possible wages.
Amazon are not alone in this, and indeed are set to join up in the US with gig economy delivery service Deliveroo in a move to introduce new machinery that can pack boxes four to five times as fast as human workers.
Instead of treating workers with respect and stopping treating them as robots, Amazon is stating if you can’t work like a robot then you will be replaced by machines that can, and you can starve for all we care.
Under capitalism the vast scientific and technological developments are not used to advance the living standard of workers but as a cudgel to beat them in the pursuit of even greater profit.
The response of workers in the US and Europe to this is to rise up against this exploitation – as can be seen in the strikes against Amazon – led by a new generation of young workers internationally who are determined to fight.
They are rapidly reaching the conclusion that the fight against exploitation and for their rights as workers must be won though a struggle to remove capitalism through socialist revolution.
This is the only way forward.
JEWISH LEADER DENOUNCES PRO-NAZI GOODS ON AMAZON Germany’s largest umbrella organization for Jews is criticizing Amazon for allowing third-party vendors to sell pro-Nazi products on its site. [HuffPost]