Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle https://www.fightbacknews.org/es This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. es Latinos and Asian Americans hit hardest by early COVID-19 job losses https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7970 <p>San José, CA - The headline news that the unemployment rate for March jumped by almost a full percentage point, to 4.4%, was bad enough. The actual unemployment rate was much higher by the end of March, given that the more 10 million people who lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance benefits in the last two weeks of March were not counted. Adding in these workers would have increased the unemployment rate by more than 6%, raising the total rate at the end of March to about 10.5%.</p> <p>The official government unemployment rate also understates the number of jobless workers, as you have to be out of work and looking for work. With so many businesses shutting down and schools closing, many workers who were laid off didn’t look for work. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment report released on Friday, April 3, more than 1.5 million people stopped looking for work. If these workers were counted, the actual unemployment rate at the end of the month would have been another percentage point higher, at 11.5%.</p> <p>The employment report also showed a big jump in workers who are working part time because they can’t find a full-time job. This group of workers increased by almost 1.5 million just in the first half of the month. The rise in part-time workers also dragged down the average number of weeks worked in March. While they are still counted as employed by the Labor Department, they and their families are feeling the economic stress of the economic crisis.</p> <p>Latinos and Asian Americans saw their unemployment rates jump by 1.6%, more than twice the increase of white Americans. This reflected the high concentration of these oppressed nationality workers in food services, the hardest hit industry in the beginning of the month. Latino workers have the highest percentage going without health insurance, putting them at greater risk during a pandemic. Latinos and Asian Americans also have the highest percentages of immigrants and undocumented - many of whom are restricted from getting any aid from the federal relief money going out to individuals starting next week.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7970#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Capitalismo y Economía Asiaticos Chican@s y Latin@s COVID-19 Donald Trump Healthcare stock market Unemployment Nacionalidades Oprimidas Poor People's Movements U.S. Sun, 05 Apr 2020 21:01:49 +0000 Fight Back 7970 at https://www.fightbacknews.org China mourns loss of life in pandemic, sends aid to NYC https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7969 <p>April 4 was a day of national mourning in the People’s Republic of China as millions paused to mark the lives lost in the pandemic.</p> <p>According to a report from New China News Agency (Xinhua), “President Xi Jinping led the national mourning, which paid tribute to martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting the outbreak and fellow Chinese who died.” Xi also serves as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. </p> <p>In addition to public mourning ceremonies, the report stated “Subway trains in big cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, briefly suspended operations. Passengers stood up in subway cars. Station staff observed a moment of silence on the train platforms.”</p> <p>Xinghua noted, “As domestic transmission has basically been curbed, China is putting more efforts to guard against imported cases, get people back to work and provide humanitarian aid to other countries and international organizations battling the pandemic.”</p> <p>Socialist China is sending 1000 ventilators to New York City to help people struck by COVID 19.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7969#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Socialism Asia China COVID-19 Donald Trump Healthcare Internacional International Solidarity People's Republic of China U.S. Sun, 05 Apr 2020 20:50:52 +0000 Fight Back 7969 at https://www.fightbacknews.org AFSCME Local 2822 tells Hennepin County to halt dangerous work or debt mandate to clerical workers https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7968 <p>Minneapolis, MN - The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2822, representing 1300 clerical workers in Hennepin County, is calling on Hennepin County to immediately halt Hennepin County administrator David Hough’s dangerous work or debt mandate to library and service center workers. </p> <p>AFCME Local 2822 is demanding Hennepin County immediately stop or delay the move requiring 311 county workers to either agree to be reassigned to high-risk public-facing work or to use their earned leave balances and/or go into debt with the county to pay themselves. They also call on the county to provide safe remote work, or paid administrative leave, for library and service center workers; and to provide hazard pay for workers putting their lives on the line at hotels and other places housing the homeless.</p> <p>On Tuesday, March 31, 311 Hennepin County workers, including about 220 library support staff and around 80 licensing service center representatives, were notified that they would no longer be allowed to work from home beginning Sunday, April 5. </p> <p>These workers are being forced to use up personal leave balances, take unpaid leave and apply for unemployment, or consent to go into a negative leave balance, which would be required to be paid back to the county in full if workers are subsequently laid off. Workers received the notice by email with less than four days to respond, although some workers got missed and had fewer than 24 hours to respond. On the morning of April 3, county administration was still unable to answer basic human resources questions around unemployment eligibility, continuation of benefits, or what would happen when the allowable leave balances ran out.</p> <p>With less than four days-notice, workers also had to decide whether to sign up for limited temporary reassignment spots. According to management, as of April 1, the approximately 50 available positions were high-risk jobs providing face-to-face public service at the hotels serving community members who are experiencing homelessness, including quarantine sites for homeless residents who are symptomatic for coronavirus. The county had made a call for county employees to volunteer for redeployment at these sites on March 23 but has been having difficulty keeping the sites staffed.</p> <p>All Hennepin County libraries and licensing service centers have been closed to the public since March 17 as a public safety measure to limit community transmission of COVID-19. Library support staff and service center representatives had been working from home by providing direct online resident services, helping plan modified remote services, and completing necessary trainings. However, in an email to union representatives on March 31, Hennepin County Labor Relations Director Kathy Megarry explained that impacted workers had “been identified by their departments as not having meaningful work” to do from home. Neither workers nor supervisors had been told by county administration what would constitute “meaningful work.”</p> <p>The workers being required to stop working are also some of the lowest-paid in the county. The largest group of impacted workers, library specialists, have a starting hourly rate of $16.82. The library specialist job is also touted by the county as a pathway to bring more diverse workers into the county workforce. </p> <p>James Nicholson, an administrative assistant at Hosmer Community Library in South Minneapolis and an Executive Board Member of AFSCME Local 2864, which represents librarians, said, “this action of forcing our colleagues to accept potentially harmful public-facing jobs or be saddled with huge negative leave balances shows a disregard for their value as human beings and employees.” Other public-facing workers in the library, like librarians and associate librarians, are still being allowed to work remotely. </p> <p>Service center and library workers fought hard to get public-facing buildings closed when it became apparent, they could not provide services to residents without putting the public and county workers at unnecessary risk.</p> <p>Ali Fuhrman, AFSCME Local 2822 president and library specialist at Minneapolis Central Library in downtown Minneapolis said, “Before they closed the buildings, we had instances of over 100 people waiting in small service center lobbies for hours to renew their drivers’ licenses. We had hundreds of people, including many at-risk and homeless individuals coming to our libraries, specifically at our downtown public library, with no disinfecting of public computers. The workers spoke out and successfully closed the buildings. Now we are being punished for our advocacy for the public good and being told the work we continue to do remotely isn’t good enough.”</p> <p>Local 2822 and Hennepin County workers also continue to speak out against ongoing safety concerns and a lack of proper protective equipment throughout the county, especially as the county has been hinting at plans to restart public services at some non-essential county facilities sooner rather than later. </p> <p>2822 Co-Chief Steward Shane Clune said, “Workers already lack proper safety equipment. Correctional workers and detained youth at the Juvenile Detention Center and County Home School continue to work at facilities with limited or no supplies of masks, sanitizer or disinfectant wipes. This is unacceptable. How can we encourage our workers to redeploy when the county can’t provide for the staff currently deployed? And why would we divert equipment needed to save lives in hospitals to re-open non-essential buildings?” </p> <p>AFSCME Local 2822 and the five other AFSCME locals of Hennepin County, totaling nearly 5000 Hennepin County workers, continue to demand:</p> <p>-- Full paid pandemic leave for the entirety of the COVID 19 Pandemic period for: those who are ill, at high risk, living with or caring for others who are high-risk, parents and caregivers with children out of school/and or daycare, and those displaced from work due to building closures; </p> <p>-- 2X hazard pay for all workers who are essential and cannot work from home;</p> <p>-- Effective PPE for all workers engaging face-to-face with the public;</p> <p>-- Keep non-essential buildings closed until it is clear they can be made safe for our communities and workers.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7968#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo AFSCME AFSCME Local 2822 COVID-19 Healthcare Hennepin county public workers Public Sector Unions Obreros Sat, 04 Apr 2020 19:22:23 +0000 Fight Back 7968 at https://www.fightbacknews.org National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression relaunch a success https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7967 <p>Frank Chapman, a long-time leader in the Black liberation movement, talks about the November 22- 24 Chicago conference to refound the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. The interview was prepared for the print edition of Fight Back! which is now on hold due to the pandemic.</p> <p><em><strong>Fight Back!</strong></em>: In November, you helped organize the re-founding conference of the National Alliance in Chicago. What conditions are there in the country that led up to the conference?</p> <p><strong>Frank Chapman</strong>: Our call for the re-founding of the National Alliance was a direct response and a conscious intervention into a mass youth uprising that we can trace back to the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012. Our young people became very agitated by how they were being ruthlessly and recklessly murdered by the system. The police said it was OK for Zimmerman to stalk and murder this teenager. That sparked a very powerful response and agitated into being organizations of young people such as Black Lives Matter, Dream Defenders, and Black Youth Project 100. This was the dawn of a new youth-led stage in the Black liberation movement.</p> <p>Coming into the present, police repression has continued to grow and intensify, bringing tens of thousands of people in the streets... We had a new stirring in the Black community that had to be reckoned with, and from the point of view of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, had to be organized.</p> <p><em><strong>Fight Back!</strong></em>: How did you lay the basis for launching a national organization to oppose police crimes and fight for community control of the police?</p> <p><strong>Chapman</strong>: The Chicago Alliance was the branch of the National Alliance that refused to die, that continued to organize even though the national organization had withered and no longer existed. The reason for that are the special conditions that exist here in Chicago. In the words of Kim Foxx, our recently-elected states attorney, Chicago is the false-confession capital of the U.S. We would take that a step further, something new that was happening in the United States of North America with regard to Black people, Chicago became the capital of torture-acquired confessions: deliberate, militaristic type torture, mostly perpetrated against teenagers.</p> <p>Those are the objective conditions that the Alliance had to face and struggle with, that would not permit us to fold up our tents and go home. I will always say this: thanks to Josephine Wyatt, Clarice Durham, and Ted Pearson - they kept this fire burning. When I first came to Chicago ten years ago to help the Chicago Alliance organize a campaign against police crimes, Josephine said to me, “How did we let this happen?” She held our movement responsible for the level of mass incarceration, and for the torture cases in Chicago.</p> <p>So it became our duty to organize a massive campaign for community control of the police. We started that campaign in 2012, one month after the murder of Rekia Boyd, a 21-year-old Black woman murdered by a police officer, for making too much noise in the park.</p> <p>By consistently working in the community - tabling, street canvassing, door to door campaigning for an all elected, all civilian police accountability council, CPAC - we built to 60,000 supporters in a seven-year period.</p> <p>We raised the slogan, “Community Control of the Police,” and activists in other cities came to the conference because they saw in Chicago it wasn’t just a slogan, but backed up by a program, and there was nothing else like it in the country.</p> <p>Black and Brown people understand that the slogan means we have a democratic right as a people to say who polices our communities and how they are policed. That right is being, and has been, trampled on historically. They felt the time to change this is now. The call to re-found the National Alliance could not fall on deaf ears, because the historical conditions were already there.</p> <p>The national conference was held at the Chicago Teachers Union hall because the Alliance has always seen that the fight for democracy in the U.S. has to be the united struggle of two major components, and that is labor and Black liberation. In Chicago, we have proven that is not just a theory. When labor and the Black community unite in the struggle for community control, it is the foundation of an undefeatable coalition.</p> <p><em><strong>Fight Back!</strong></em>: What were the accomplishments of the conference?</p> <p><strong>Chapman</strong>: The accomplishments of the conference were beyond our expectations. We figured we would have over 500 participants, and that it would be concentrated in the Midwest, and in those areas of the country where Freedom Road had been engaged in mass struggles around police crimes, and those areas where the Alliance had some influence, like Saint Louis.</p> <p>When we looked at who the registrants were, we saw that they were from 28 states, 101 different cities, and 255 different organizations. Then on the opening night of the conference, we saw 1200 people who came to the opening night of the conference. We saw mostly youth, and most of them were Black and Brown, but a significant number were also white working class, both students but also people involved in the organized labor movement.</p> <p>We saw in the room that night the foundation of a united front: Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Palestinian and Arab, Filipino, working class, and the LGBTQ community. Based on my 50 years of experience, I have never seen the breadth and depth of what we had on November 22 - 24. That is the greatest indicator to us that we are at a significant crossroads in the development of our movement.</p> <p><em><strong>Fight Back!</strong></em>: Can you address the importance of the campaign for the release of political prisoners and the wrongfully convicted?</p> <p><strong>Chapman</strong>: We’ve always seen that the cutting edge of mass incarceration is the police. Before you see the judge, before you see the prosecutor, you see the police. This history of this is deep and overwhelming. When our movement was under attack in the 1960s, who was shooting down our movement, particularly the Black Panthers? Who was arresting people, framing them up, and trying to send them off to jail, just because they were demanding social change, and engaged in revolutionary struggle? It was the police at every level of government: local police, the FBI and the CIA.</p> <p>The program they perpetrated against our movement was called COINTELPRO. From that experience there was created in this country an enormous body of political prisoners, mostly Black, but also Latino and indigenous people. We are left with that today because the U.S. government and local police still have a political vendetta against those people who participated in the Black liberation movement, Chicano, and Puerto Rican liberation movements, and the struggle of indigenous people for their sovereignty and liberation. These people are the longest-held political prisoners in world history.</p> <p>We have to make our people aware of this and make the demand for this so loud and so clear until the walls of Jericho will come tumbling down. That’s why we have linked up with the Jericho movement.</p> <p>In this struggle to free all political prisoners, let me just say that all of those tortured and wrongfully convicted are also political prisoners. They were tortured in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and in violation of international covenants in the United Nations. None of their torturers have been punished, and prisoners remain in jail 20 and 30 years later. It’s also time to get them out.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7967#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial African-American Chican@s y Latin@s Conference to Refound the National Alliance Frank Chapman National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Presos Políticos Political Repression Puertoriqueños La Carcel y el Racismo Sistema de injusticia Nacionalidades Oprimidas Sat, 04 Apr 2020 19:14:43 +0000 Fight Back 7967 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Democratic National Convention changes date, so does planned march on the DNC https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7966 <p>Milwaukee, WI - A new date is being announced for the March on the Democratic National Convention: Monday, August 17. Organizers are going ahead with the march by discussing ways to make the protest safe and taking into account health guidelines. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the Democratic Party recently changed their dates, as they continue to discuss limiting participation at the convention.</p> <p>“We are predicting even more people will protest outside the Democratic National Convention, given the health crisis. There is a complete failure of leadership in this country, and the Trump administration’s response is criminal. I don’t know how they can so generously bail out Wall Street as they watch people die by the thousands,” said Ryan Hamann, spokesperson for the Coalition.</p> <p>Hamann continued, “The coronavirus crisis makes the Coalition’s nine progressive demands even more immediate. For example, we need ‘Medicare for All’ instead of profiteering for the few on Wall Street. We need a nationwide moratorium on rents and mortgages because millions are out of work, and millions more are working part time.”</p> <p>One of the Coalition’s nine demands, “Fight to expand union and worker’s rights,” is especially pertinent as we are seeing a rise in workplace protests. At hospitals there are sign-holding protests for personal protective equipment (PPE), especially in states hit hard by the coronavirus. Similar actions are taking place at some union warehouses like UPS, but also at unorganized Amazon warehouses, and Amazon-owned businesses like Whole Foods.</p> <p>Hamann says, “It is beyond belief that essential workers cannot get protective gear at work right now! Workers also deserve hazard pay for putting their lives at risk while saving others. In our state, Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, is doing so little to enforce the meaning of ‘essential businesses’; that it is undermining protective stay-at-home orders.”</p> <p>Hamann sums up, “On a global scale, we need to end U.S. sanctions that harm people in other countries. We could actually work together and help one another fight the virus and save lives. The whole world is going to remember China for sending masks and ventilators, Cuba for sending doctors, and the U.S. for sending U.S. Navy warships to the coast of Venezuela. Unbelievable!”</p> <p>Organizers are planning to start with dozens of speakers at a 10 a.m. rally on Monday, August 17, and then to march within sight and sound of the DNC at the Fiserv Forum. The Coalition to March on the DNC is still demanding a permit from democrat Mayor Tom Barrett, who is stubbornly refusing. The Coalition intends to file a lawsuit against Mayor Barrett and the city of Milwaukee to win their right to a permit.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7966#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Antiwar Movement COVID-19 Democratic National Convention (DNC) Elections Environmental Justice Healthcare March on the DNC Women's Movement Inmigrantes Sistema de injusticia Obreros Nacionalidades Oprimidas Poor People's Movements Movimiento Estudiantil U.S. Sat, 04 Apr 2020 18:55:36 +0000 Fight Back 7966 at https://www.fightbacknews.org The recession has begun - will this be a depression? https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7965 <p>San José, CA - On Friday, April 3, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that businesses cut more than 700,000 jobs last month. This report was based on surveys from the first half of March, before the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This ended the longest streak of job gains - almost nine and a half years - and almost certainly marked the beginning of a recession. </p> <p>The official word on when recessions start, and end, comes from the National Bureau of Economic Research or NBER. The NBER uses four factors: employment, personal income, business sales and industrial production. While the monthly reports on income, sales and industrial production won’t be released until later in the month, with the job losses and cuts in wages and hours, business closing, and factories shutting down, they will all be down for the month. And of the four, the NBER considers the job numbers as most important.</p> <p>The first wave of layoffs hit the service industries, with restaurants and bars cutting more than 400,000 jobs in the first half of the month. Healthcare also lost more than 60,000 jobs. Despite the frantic scenes of hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, the country’s dentists, smaller doctors’ offices and other health providers were closing. Not surprisingly, temporary workers and retail workers also has job losses close to 50,000 each. But even during the first half the month, the job losses had spread to other sectors, including construction and manufacturing. </p> <p>From the new applications for unemployment insurance, we know that at least 10 million more workers lost their jobs in the last two weeks of March, and job losses are continuing in April. Even many workers whose businesses did not have to close because employees could work from home are now laying off workers and cutting hours as their sales decline along with the economy. After a surge of buying, grocers and drug stores are reporting that sales are falling back.</p> <p>The federal government’s new guaranteed loan program for small businesses got off to a rocky start today, with at least one major bank not ready to offer loans and another only taking applications from existing customers. Banks are also tightening up on their lending in general, which will limit credit and make the downturn worse.</p> <p>Rent and mortgage payments came due on April 1, and there is no telling how many households won’t be able to come up with payments. Even in places where the local government has put a moratorium on evictions, the past due rent will be piling up into massive debts. Despite the new law paying for COVID-19 testing, treatment is not covered, and medical bills are piling up, putting both patients and hospitals at financial risk.</p> <p>Most economists believe that the economy will bounce back quickly and rule out the possibility of a long recession or even a depression. But the last time the economy went into free fall, during the financial crisis in 2008, it took years for the lost jobs to come back. The 10 million jobs lost in the second half of March is just the beginning, not the end, of the job plunge. With more jobs lost in just two weeks than in the two years of the last recession, there is little reason to believe that the economy will recover quickly. While there is no official definition of a depression, an economic crisis worse than 2008 and lasting even longer will certainly feel like one to working people.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7965#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Capitalismo y Economía COVID-19 Donald Trump economic depression Healthcare stock market U.S. Sat, 04 Apr 2020 18:48:55 +0000 Fight Back 7965 at https://www.fightbacknews.org NYC: Trump’s floating hospital brings disappointment https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7964 <p>New York, NY – On, April 2, the <em>New York Times</em> reported that the U.S. Naval Ship Comfort, the 1000-bed navy hospital, had 3 patients. The USNS Mercy - the West Coast counterpart - had 15. Both crews of 1200 each were largely idle and some reported that they were bored. While beds remain empty and crews remain idle, the New York City system is overrun with patients.</p> <p>Nurses and doctors are taking social media to ask anyone who is listening to donate PPE equipment. There are pictures of nurses wearing trash bags as methods to protect themselves being infected, and in turn infecting their other patients. Cases in New York State have soared to 83,948 — which is higher than China during its peak. New York City has over half of those and stands alarmingly at 49,707. As of April 2, Cuomo said that another 432 New Yorkers died overnight from complications of COVID-19.</p> <p>The city is in dire need of help and the help promised by the federal government has turned out to be a farce.</p> <p>The procedure to get admitted to the U.S.N.S Comfort is long and takes a further toll on the overworked New York hospital staff. First, an ambulance can’t take you directly to the naval ship sitting pretty on Pier 90, but must drop you off at a local hospital. Once you arrive at a local hospital, patients have to go through extensive tests to ensure that they don’t have COVID-19. Once that’s confirmed, another ambulance can then take that patient to the ship where they can get care.</p> <p>Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system, told the <em>New York Times</em> the ship is “a joke.”</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7964#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo COVID-19 Donald Trump Donald Trump Healthcare USNS Comfort U.S. Fri, 03 Apr 2020 22:52:46 +0000 Fight Back 7964 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Anti-war leaders condemn Trump’s war moves against Venezuela https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7963 <p>Minneapolis, MN – Anti-war leaders are condemning U.S. war moves against Venezuela. The Trump administration has indicted Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, and a U.S. naval deployment is underway. </p> <p>Cassia Laham, of the Florida anti-war group People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR), states, “The indictment against Maduro is an absolutely transparent move by the U.S. imperialists to try, yet again, to take down the two-time democratically-elected government of Venezuela.”</p> <p>Laham continued, “The U.S. cannot stand that Venezuela has rejected American neoliberalism and has been trying since 2002 to undo all of the gains made by the Chavista movement and replace the government of Venezuela with a puppet one that will do whatever the U.S. says. Time and time again, the U.S. has tried to coordinate coups in Venezuela, but time and time again it has failed to gain the support of the Venezuelan people, who largely support their government. It is our hope that this ridiculous narco-terrorism charge and bounty will be yet another failed attempt by the U.S., and that Venezuela will emerge even stronger."</p> <p>Meredith Aby-Keirstead of the Twin Cites-based Anti-War Committee called Trump’s moves disgusting, and states, “U.S. imperialism is always wrong, but it is even more outrageous to be building up to war during a global pandemic!"</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7963#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Socialism Antiwar Movement Américas Donald Trump Donald Trump Hands off Venezuela Internacional Venezuela Venezuela Nacionalidades Oprimidas U.S. Fri, 03 Apr 2020 22:38:48 +0000 Fight Back 7963 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Unemployment Insurance claims double in one week https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7962 <p>San José, CA - New claims for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits doubled from record numbers just a week earlier. On Thursday, April 2, the Department of Labor reported that more than 6.6 million people applied for state unemployment insurance benefits for the week ending March 28. This means that almost 10 MILLION people lost their jobs and applied for UI benefits in just the last two weeks of March. This economic crisis has caused more job losses in two weeks than the entire 2007 to 2009 recession, where 8 million jobs were lost.</p> <p>Like the week before, Wall Street rallied, with the broad S&amp;P 500 Index up 2.28% and the headline Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 450 points. This is just another example of how the interests of the wealthiest 1% of Wall Street, who own half of all stocks, and the working people of America have opposing interests.</p> <p>A week ago, Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury, dismissed the record unemployment insurance benefit applications as “not relevant,” because of the bipartisan pandemic disaster bill that had just been signed into law. The $1200 payments to individuals are supposed to start April 9 for those who have direct deposit for their tax returns. But it will take up to 20 weeks, or almost five months, for checks to be mailed to people who the IRS doesn’t have bank records for.</p> <p>The layoffs are spreading. What began with smaller businesses that had to shut down is spreading to more and more medium and large businesses. A number of major retailers such as Macy’s, Gap and Kohls, who had already shut their stores, announced that they were furloughing most of their workers. Job losses in manufacturing and construction are picking up as sales dry up and public health restrictions expand. Even white collar and technology jobs that can be done at home are being lost as companies cut workers in the face of falling sales. Many of these layoffs won’t show up until next week’s report.</p> <p>With surveys showing that 40% of households could not make the rent or mortgage if they lost their jobs, millions will not be able to pay this month, and even more next month. While a number of state and local governments have banned evictions temporarily, tenants will still owe their back rent. What began as a public health crisis with the lack of preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic is turning into an economic crisis which the United States, with its weak safety net, is also not prepared for.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7962#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Capitalismo y Economía COVID-19 Donald Trump Healthcare stock market unemployment insurance Poor People's Movements U.S. Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:13:26 +0000 Fight Back 7962 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Philippines: New People’s Army orders COVID-19 monitoring in Davao areas https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7961 <p>The communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) command in South Mindanao (SMR) has ordered its units to closely monitor and immediatly report of cases of COVID-19 infection in their respective areas of responsibility. The NPA-SMR command covers Davao City and other Davao regions which are dominated by the Duterte family dynasty. Cases of local transmission have been reported recently in the region.</p> <p>In an April 1 statement, Rigoberto Sanchez, NPA-SMR spokesperson, ordered all NPA units in the region “to assist all organs of political power and revolutionary organizations in addressing the health crisis in their areas of operation.”</p> <p>Sanchez continued, “Red commanders and fighters, especially medical officers, are ordered to launch widespread information dissemination, undertake health and sanitation campaigns, and draw up preventive measures.”</p> <p>The revolutionary movement in SMR is no stranger to coping with natural tragedies. In 2012, it led the reconstruction of communities after the region was hit by super typhoon Pablo. For decades, the NPA in the region has consistently stood for the welfare and interests of the masses, especially during times of calamity and crisis.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/7961#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo New People's Army NPA Filipinas Philippines Thu, 02 Apr 2020 17:57:16 +0000 Fight Back 7961 at https://www.fightbacknews.org