International Notes: Indigenous people’s struggle against pipelines

March 15, 2020
International Notes: Indigenous people’s struggle against pipelines


Canada: Communists support indigenous struggle against pipelines

The dramatic struggle of the Wet’suwet’en indigenous community against the Coastal Gaslink and Transmountain pipelines in Western Canada is receiving the full support of the Communist Party of Canada, as well as of many other indigenous communities, the environmental movement, and others.

On February 8 and 9 the Central Committee of the Communist Party met in Toronto and affirmed its full support of the indigenous protestors:

The Communist Party stands with the indigenous land defenders and water protectors and their environmentalist allies to block these dangerous projects. We demand policies that put the needs of the people and the environment first, and an end to the insatiable greed of the big energy monopolies which endanger the future of our planet.

The Communist Party also decried the heavy-handed repressive response of the government to the protests, pointing out that such policies violate international law, specifically, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Ireland: Praise for election results

The Communist Party of Ireland expresses guarded satisfaction about that country’s February 8 general election. The election results revealed a marked move to the left by the electorate, with the traditional Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Labour parties which have governed the country for decades losing heavily to the left-leaning Sinn Fein, in the number of seats it won in the Dáil, the Irish parliament. In the words of the Communist Party, the elections “have confirmed the growing frustrations within the working class and the need for alternative social and economic policies.” The communists see this development as a working-class rejection of the neo-liberal policies such as austerity imposed on Ireland by the leading structures of the European Union in the service of monopoly capital.

However, the Communist Party warns of limitations which may undermine the results of this election in the future. First of all, the continued partition of Ireland means that a reversal of extreme neo-liberal policies would not help workers in the London-controlled North. They also warn of backroom deals which could undermine the gains.


Chile: Indigenous rights struggles supported

The Communist Party of Chile, including members of the Party who belong to the country’s nine major indigenous communities, participated in a major meeting of indigenous Chileans. The Communists have expressed their full support for the demands of the indigenous groups, noting their vital participation in the massive demonstrations against the right-wing government of President Sebastián Piñera, which have been going on full blast since October of last year.

Indigenous Chileans are about 13% of the country’s population and have for most of their country’s history been faced with land theft, exploitation, discrimination, and repression. During the government of Socialist Party President Salvador Allende Gossens, 1970–1973, significant advances were made by indigenous Chileans, but these were all reversed after the bloody right-wing coup d’état of September 11, 1973.

One of the positions agreed to at the meeting and fully supported by the Communist Party is that the rights of the indigenous communities be explicitly and strongly spelled out in the new constitution that the protesters and the left are demanding.


South Africa: SACP calls for swift action to combat Coronavirus pandemic

The SACP said the party “is calling upon all South Africans and people within the territory of South Africa to co-operate to ensure that the measures announced by the President become successful in the interest of all.

The SACP is further calling upon the private health care sector, especially but not exclusively hospitals, to not place greed or demand for payment for profit and self-enrichment ahead of human life, but to make available facilities and selflessly take part in the national effort to contain the spread of Covid-19 and provide testing and treatment purely on humanitarian grounds.

The global public health emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic and measures required to contain it and provide treatment underline the absolute necessity for successful introduction of the National Health Insurance, the NHI, to ensure access to the constitutional right of quality health care for all.

The situation also calls for the strengthening of development planning and targets to move faster with systemic elimination of uneven development.”


Image: Jason Hargrove, Creative Commons (BY-NC 2.0).


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