Category Archives: DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

The Inter-Malian Dialogue for Peace and National Reconciliation

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

A survey by CPNN based on multiple sources as shown (translation by CPNN)

Last month, we published on CPNN the proposal from Mali’s military leaders, led by Colonel Assimi Goïta, for an Inter-Malian Dialogue for Peace and National Reconciliation. Since the dialogue concluded on May 10 and presented its recommendations, we searched the results online and found contradictions, depending on the country providing the narrative.


Photo by Maliweb

The official version, published by the presidency of Mali, included the following:

“Several recommendations and resolutions emerged from this national process. Boubacar SOW, General Rapporteur of the Steering Committee of the Inter-Malian Dialogue for Peace and National Reconciliation, summarized the recommendations resulting from the deliberations, including the creation of a framework of permanent dialogue, the dissolution of self-defense militias, and the use of local traditions for conflict management.

“Certain recommendations also aim to reduce public spending, create industrial units and promote entrepreneurship. Securing borders and creating a memorial site for the nation’s martyrs have also been suggested.

“Ousmane Issoufi MAIGA, President of the Steering Committee, affirmed that the dialogue had been a democratic and inclusive process, meeting the expectations of Malians for a new peace architecture based on endogenous values.

“President GOÏTA’s speech and the recommendations resulting from the dialogue mark a decisive turning point for Mali, promising profound transformations in the political, social, security, diplomatic and economic landscape of the country.”

An article in Maliweb added more details:

“On another note, it must be a priority to know Mali first through its history and geography in order to serve it. To do this, the delegates recommended the “compulsory” teaching of the history and geography of Mali in schools up to the university They also recommended “engaging in dialogue with all Malian armed movements.” They recommended the creation of “deradicalization structures” to promote education in the Mali culture of peace. In addition to all this, for the project of peace and reconciliation, the participants wished for the “Repatriation of the deplaced” who wish to return to their country.

“Regarding political and institutional issues, the participants asked to “harden” the conditions for the creation and to reduce the number and financing of political parties. Also to prohibit religious and village leaders from engaging in the political activism, to extend the transition from 2 to 5 years and to encourage the candidacy of Colonel Assimi Goïta in the next presidential election. They also expressed their wish to see Colonels Goïta, Diaw, Camara, Wagué , Koné and Maïga “elevated to the rank of general”. “Consensus” around the transition was desired by the delegates for its recovery and stability, they did not joke about “Control of the editorial line of preaching by religious people”. Independence of justice and the transparency of the judicial chain and the acceleration of “ongoing legal procedures” were also strong recommendations.”

The preceding articles were supported by articles published or republished in Niger, in Morocco, in Chad and in Turkey.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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The article published in Niger, a neighboring country that recently experienced a similar military coup against French rule, was particularly positive:

“In addition, the start of the operational phase was given on April 2, 2024, marking the start of a series of meetings orchestrated by the Steering Committee. These brought together a mosaic of national actors: republican institutions , customary authorities, religious leaders, political groups and representatives of civil society, with particular attention paid to women and youth.

“Similarly, the consultative meetings, held from April 13 to 15 in 763 communes and from April 20 to 22 in Bamako as well as in the 19 administrative regions, were distinguished by their participatory and inclusive character. The national mobilization was strong, each component of society having had the opportunity to contribute to the discussions.

“Moreover, the national phase of the Dialogue stood out for its exceptional participation, testifying to the representativeness of delegates from various horizons of Malian society. The regions, the district of Bamako, the diaspora, refugees, universities, the unions and the business community have all responded.

“Finally, this dialogue process illustrates the determination of the Malian people to forge, from within, solutions to the multiple challenges that are hampering their momentum towards progress and development. By adopting an inclusive and participatory approach, Mali is committed firmly on the path to consolidating peace and working for the advent of a stable and prosperous future, a promise of harmony for all of its citizens.”

The articles published in France are negative.

Le Monde republished a press release from a collective of Malian civil society parties and organizations which denounced the process as a “masquerade”, saying that the military “wants to persist in power by taking Mali hostage and the Malians.” They added that “the authorities ignore the daily difficulties of Malians, faced with insecurity, the high cost of living, unemployment and power cuts, and “have demonstrated their notorious incapacity to provide the slightest beginning of a solution.”

Radio France Internationale wrote that “the political parties of the Declaration of March 31, a coalition which brings together almost all Malian parties, all tendencies combined, reject the conclusions of this dialogue described as a “grotesque political trap”. In their eyes, the Malians “have been duped.” For the Malian political parties, whose activities were suspended last month, the objective of the colonels who have ruled the country for almost four years is clear: “They want to stay in power. by taking Mali and the Malians hostage.”

The article in Radio France Internationale was republished by Yahoo News and by All Africa.

The critique by the coalition of political parties of the March 31 Declaration was published in detail by Seneplus, based in Senegal.

Some other sources based in Africa were also critical, but to a lesser extent than those based in France.

An article from Bamada.net, based in Mali, says that “On reading certain recommendations, one easily understands that the Steering Committee was, at a given moment, carried away by the facts. This is why in the final document, no recommendations concern the guarantee of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, as well as the accountability of the authorities towards taxpayers And yet these elements are essential for lasting peace.”

An article by LePays, based in Burkina Faso, says that “a good number of Malians did not take part in the talks and therefore do not feel committed to the conclusions that emerged. This is the case of a significant segment of the political class, civil society and armed groups in the North. These excluded from dialogue do not intend to watch, idly, the confiscation of power in Mali and are preparing to use all means at their disposal to be heard. . . . We cannot help but say that the discordant voices which are heard at the end of this dialogue process prove, once again, that the Malians have placed the emphasis on what divides them more than on what unites them.”
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May 1, workers’ day, around the world

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

As usual for more than a century now, May 1 was celebrated by workers around the world. Here are photos from some of their events.


Union workers’ shadows are cast on the street as they march with flags on International Workers’ Day in Asuncion, Paraguay, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)


Protesters look at balloons in the colors of the Palestinian flag flying in the sky during a rally commemorating May Day, in Athens, Greece, May 1. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi


Supporters of the Iraqi Communist Party chant slogans during International Worker’s Day or Labour Day rally in Baghdad, Iraq, May 1. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad


Supporters of the Lebanese Communist party take a selfie, as they march during a demonstration to mark International Labor Day or May Day, in Beirut, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Despite the tense situation and ongoing clashes on Lebanon‘s border with Israel over the past seven months, hundreds of protesters marched through Beirut’s streets to mark International Workers’ Day. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)


Participants gather with banners and flags for the “Revolutionary” May Day demonstration in Berlin, Germany, on Labour Day, May 1, 2024. © Tobias Schwarz, AFP (France24)


Facebook: Supporters of Colombia’s Petro march on May Day in Bogota, Colombia


An artist unpacks a giant puppet head depicting President Javier Milei to take to the International Workers’ Day march in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)


Pro-Palestinian supporters take part in a May Day protest march at a rally in Cape Town, South Africa, May, 1, 2024 (Morning Star Online)


Government supporters rally marking International Workers Day, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Jesus Vargas)


May Day march in Chicago (USA). | Fight Back! News/Rich Varnes


Members of National People’s Power, a political alliance, carry placards at a Labour Day rally in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)


People walk with flags at the 1st of May event organized by the Main Organization of Trade Unions in Faelledparken in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 1. REUTERS: Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen


Dans le cadre de la célébration de la journée internationale des Travailleurs ce mercredi 1er mai 2024, le Parti de l’Indépendance et du Travail (PIT – Sénégal) célèbre avec les travailleuses et travailleurs du Dakar, Sénégal, la Fête internationale du Travail.(Dakactu)


Al Jazeera: Garment workers shout slogans as they mark May Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh. [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]


YouTube: Il corteo per la Festa del Lavoro, Firenze, Italia


Pressenza: 1st May 2024 – Ghent Belgium (Image by D.K.)


A man shouts slogans as he holds an image of late revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara during the International Workers’ Day celebration in Havana, Cuba, May 1. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini


Fireworks light up over Victoria Harbour for the Chinese Labour Day ‘Golden Week’ holiday, in Hong Kong, China, May 1. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu


Voice of America: Union members march during Labor Day celebrations in Istanbul, Turkey, May 1, 2024. Police in Istanbul detained dozens of people who tried to reach the city’s main square, Taksim, in defiance of a government ban on celebrating May 1 Labor Day at the landmark location.

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Question related to this article:
 
What is the contribution of trade unions to the culture of peace?

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Al Jazeera: Workers attend a protest during a May Day rally in Jakarta, Indonesia. [Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters]


Al Jazeera: Workers take part in a rally marking International Labour Day in Lahore, Pakistan. Participants demanded implementation of labour laws and wage increases. [K.M. Chaudary/AP Photo]


Anti-government protesters try to get past riot police blocking their path to the Palace of Justice during a demonstration marking International Workers’ Day, in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)


Al Jazeera: Hundreds of workers from various labour groups took to the streets of Manila, Philippines, to mark Labour Day and demand wage increases and job security amid soaring food and oil prices. [Basilio Sepe/AP Photo]


Demonstrators attend a May Day rally in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)


Workers march for the International Workers’ Day in Montreal, Canada, on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Matt Gilmour/CTV News)


Deutche Welle: Thousands of workers took the streets of Munich, Germany, in support of European solidarity and workers’ rights.


NBC News: Protesters hold a banner reading “International revolution” at a May Day rally Sunday in Nantes, France.Sebastien Salom-Gomis / AFP – Getty Images.


“Workers Have Power”: Thousands Rally in New York City for May Day, Call for Solidarity with Palestine. A report from Democracy Now.


Mercury News: Pro-Palestinian protesters march down Broadway as they head to a May Day rally at City Hall in downtown Oakland, California (USA), on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Multiple protests took place throughout the Bay Area as part of May Day action in support of workers and Palestinian people. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)


People hold a banner as they attend the traditional May Day labour union march in Paris, France, May 1. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq


USA Today: A protester shouts slogans during a May Day (Labour Day) rally, marking International Workers’ Day, in Pristina, Kosovo, on May 1, 2024.


Frame from youtube video of May Day demonstration in Santiago, Chile.


My Northwest: People take part in a May Day march in Seattle (USA) on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)


Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions gather to attend a rally on May Day in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)


Cinemata: Jumaana Abdu speaks out on International Workers Day at the annual May Day March held in Sydney, Australia.


Al Jazeera: Workers hold placards reading ‘The regime has no honeymoon’ during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan. [Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo]


Al Jazeera: Participants prepare to march in a May Day rally in Tokyo, Japan. [Hiro Komae/AP Photo]


USA Today: Protesters lift placards bearing labour rights demands during a rally marking International Workers Day in Tunis, Tunisia, on May 1, 2024.


Deutsche Welle: Protestors in Turin, Italy, paraded a puppet of Italy’s prime minister doing a fascist salute.

United Nations in Ghana and key partners set to roll out “I Pledge for Peace Campaign” in Ghana ahead of 2024 elections.

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from the United Nations Office in Ghana

As Ghana prepares for the upcoming 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, the United Nations in Ghana, in collaboration with the National Peace Council, is set to roll out the “I Pledge for Peace Campaign”. This initiative aims to reinforce the principles of peace among all Ghanaians before, during and after the forth coming elections.

The campaign, initially launched to coincide with the 2023 International Day of Peace, will actively engage a diverse range of stakeholders, including individuals, communities, civil society organizations, government entities, religious leaders, and youth groups. The overarching goal is to foster a culture of peace, advocate for peaceful elections, and promote tolerance and peaceful co-existence before, during, and after the electoral process.
 

“Elections represent a key moment for citizens to use their voting power to reflect, choose, and select leaders to act for their country and the future. This can only be possible when there is peace and stability, freedom, tolerance, and respect for one another. Elections are not a period of combat and the unhealthy exchange of views or for divisive language” says the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Mr. Charles Abani. “We want to use this campaign to urge stakeholders to publicly commit to peace, and by extension, a peaceful election. We believe that the positive actions of stakeholders, through social media and other channels, will encourage tolerance and discourage misinformation.” He further notes.

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Question related to this article:

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

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The campaign encourages individuals and organizations to make public pledges for peace, amplifying the message through various communication channels, including social media. The aim is to create a collective commitment to a peaceful electoral environment. These pledges will be shared on all the UN in Ghana and National Peace Council social media platforms.



The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, underscores the importance of individual contributions to achieving peace. “Until every life is respected, and properties protected, achieving peaceful co-existence remains a distant goal. We all, as individuals, need to spread messages that encourage peace because its very existence begins with us, for all we have is one Ghana. The National Peace Council will do everything in its power to support this campaign and ensure a peaceful election come December 2024.”



The “I Pledge for Peace Campaign” reflects a collaborative effort between the United Nations, the National Peace Council, and various stakeholders to create a peaceful and inclusive electoral process in Ghana.

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Ghana’s democracy remains a beacon of hope for the continent. The UN continues to support the country to foster its development agenda in a peaceful atmosphere and uphold its reputation as a regional pacesetter for democratic governance. Join the UN Team in Ghana and key stakeholders and PLEDGE FOR PEACE.



For media inquiries, please contact:
Faith Junko Edison, Head of Public Relations, National Peace Council – Junkogawa.isd@gmail.com


Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) – prah@un.org

On the road to lasting peace in Mali: “A mother hen must reunite her chicks”

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article by Ansoumane Karamoko Cissé in Maliweb (translation by CPNN)

The Inter-Malien Dialogue for Peace and National Reconciliation meetings are underway at the CICB. These meetings take place after the various initiatives which had sought to set up this consultation framework.through the Steering Committee of the Inter-Malien Dialogue for Peace and National Reconciliation, headed by Mr. Ousmane Issoufou Maïga. We can say that Mali is a mother hen which is in the process of bringing together and uniting its children to achieve what has not always been possible: to achieve peace and stability.


After the National Accord Conference (CEN) in 2017; the Inclusive National Dialogue (IND) in 2019; the National Refoundation Conference (ANRS), in 2021; the Consultation Days for intercommunity, ethnic peace, here is yet another “National Meeting” around the Sacred Union.

Following the announcement of the New Year, His Excellency Colonel Assimi Goïta, President of the Transition, Head of State, who is constantly attached to peace and the spirit of committed patriotism, through a Presidential Decree No. 2024-0061/PT-RM of 01/31/2024, has appointed members of the Steering Committee of the Inter-Malian Dialogue for Peace and National Reconciliation.

This Steering Committee was set up with a list of 140 people (one hundred and forty) made up of men and women including historians, sociologists, etc. The desired objective is to find possible solutions to the multiple problems that prevent peace, reconciliation, national unity and to address them at their roots, without referring to any ethnic, political, social affiliation… Since it is quite simply the unification of Malians, “Mali first,” no Malien should compromise this Union.

Mali is a great hospitable country, which has known great peoples of various ethnic groups, who have lived together for a very long time; from the medieval periods and the end of the Neolithic (– 3000 years BC), to the great Empires and Kingdoms, including the very powerful Empire of Ghana which governed three worlds: the black African, Arab-Berber world and that of the Moors of Armankour .

These people have forged a sacred bond – joking cousinage or Sanakounya – the very first judicial organization in West Africa. The famous and mysterious Charter of Wagadou is the core of the Empire of Ghana, proclaimed by the Ighoh Ancestor, Mama Dinka Cissé, the ancestor of the Bozos and the Soninkés, with the Kakoro. Hohana, Mama Dinka is the founder, the pioneer of the Kingdom of Wagadou in the year -295 BC. This social movement played a very big role in Mali, in Guinea… in the resolution of social crises between peoples and demarcated all the emerging conflictual relationships.

No matter if it burns, heats up or explodes, we are all condemned to get along to live better in good coexistence. It would be good to see the culture of peace established in Mali, in the West African sub-region, and even throughout the world. If the peoples understand each other, listen to each other and forgive each other all the evils committed to each other. and others, and may hearts be ready to grant each other forgiveness, with sincere tolerance.

A real concertation is necessary

For the wound to properly heal, it is necessary to first remove the sores, sanitize the surface against parasites and germs… It seems to me that our authorities have not organized real consultation with all levels of society. Since 1914, humanity has not known universal peace, shaken as it is by conflicts of economic, religious, territorial order and interest, etc. This is why Maliens must now bring lasting peace, stability, prosperity, for the defense of Mali: the Motherland of the entire West African sub-region!

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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The conflicts are multidimensional: among others, religious, ethnic, legal, identity, regionalist, economic, territorial… Above all because of poor governance, sown seeds of favoritism in the workings of the administration, and large-scale corruption which allows certain clans of personalities to be in all the “sauces”, even if they had already shown their limits because they are not specialists in their subject. The culture of mediocrity must be banished in favor of proven competence. This is what will bear fruit…

Calling on all Maliens, without exception…

For the success of the steering committee, and after several unsuccessful attempts in the search for peace, “we need peace, peace everywhere in the world”, according to the late Tamacheck singer, Mahmoud Cissé. It would also be necessary to appeal to all Maliens, without exception, from leaders to Maliens from inside and outside, under all ethnic and regional entities; historians, sociologists, political actors, religious authorities, umbrella organizations, groups of discontented people, opponents… Examine with them all their problems, in a careful, consensual and peaceful form of communication. For full implementation of its recommendations.

However, some gray areas still remain a reality: the noted absence of some major figures forgotten on the nominative list, while other names are retained without having been consulted, and who “are not ready to get on board “. This indicates a need to review certain proposals… To do this, the commissions set up must gauge the skills acquired necessary for the success of the objective, set up listening sessions and list all grievances such as proposals and suggestions coming from other forgotten people.

The commissions must go to all communes, circles, regions; identify grievances, as was the case with the ANRS in all its phases:

° Committee for the prevention and management of inter-community conflicts between farmers and herders and on other conflict risk activities;

° Case of displaced and refugee populations, to satisfy their needs and resolve their problems, because they are in refugee camps without means for their return;

° Strategies for the participation of resource persons

° Monitoring and evaluation of conclusions and recommendations on proposals…

For political and institutional reforms, this will involve:

° Review the sources of conflicts and correct them, non-compliance with commitments, texts, non-compliance with the presidential mandate or any other activities;

° Review the role, place and responsibility of the republican opposition and the political class;

° Ensure equal treatment and consideration for all levels of society

° Avoid supremacist feelings and superiority complexes between black, mixed-race or white populations;

° Strengthen joking cousinship between ethnic groups where they live;

° Turn away from the spirit of revenge, which belongs to the past;

° Avoid frustrations, and promote acceptance of others, forgiving them for the faults committed;

° Challenge the critics who have no proof of abuses…

Malien people! Unite for lasting peace! Together we can!

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Mary Robinson key note at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 148th Assembly (April 6)

. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION .

Text transcribed from video on You Tube

Excellencies, distinguished delegates to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, it’s an honour to address the general debate of your 148th Assembly. I’m speaking to you  as Chair of The Elders, a group of independent global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela who work for peace, human rights and a sustainable planet. I’m also speaking as a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former President of my own country, Ireland and a former Senator.


Video of speech

I served for 20 years in the Upper House of the Irish Parliament and in all these roles  and all throughout my career, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to engage with the IPU. Parliaments play an indispensable role in building bridges for peace and understanding and consensus  on how to tackle shared challenges. This role is particularly valuable today  in an era of increasing social polarisation and geopolitical tensions.

The IPU plays a critical role as a forum where parliamentarians can come together,  exchange experiences and discuss the challenges of the hour, something I learned from attending  IPU events during my time in the Irish Senate in the 1970s and 80s and it has been a privilege  to be invited to address the Assembly on a number of occasions since. Today I’m happy to hear that the Assembly will also focus on multilateralism in this year when the world is gathering at the upcoming Summit of the Future convened by the UN Secretary-General to chart a new  pathway forward for international cooperation. It’s no exaggeration to say today that we are at  a moment of crisis in multilateralism.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

How can parliamentarians promote a culture of peace?

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Our world faces existential threats that can only be tackled collectively from the climate and nature crisis and pandemics to nuclear weapons and the risks  of unregulated artificial intelligence. But at precisely the moment when cooperation is critical,  geopolitical tensions and confrontations are rising and too much decision-making is governed  by short-term self-interested calculations. While the COP28 summit in Dubai last December  did make some progress producing the first text that directly recognized the need to move away  from fossil fuels, we remain in a climate and nature emergency.

Each month since June  last year has seen a new temperature high and the pathway we are on is unsustainable. Yet leaders are still not acting at the pace and scale required. We’re four years on from the  onset of COVID-19, a global pandemic that cost the lives of millions and exacerbated inequality  between and within nations.

But we are struggling to form consensus on a pandemic accord that would  help prevent and better prepare the world for future pandemics. 55 years after the treaty onthe non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, nuclear powers have not met their commitment to reduce  their arsenals. Instead, the few remaining nuclear agreements mitigating catastrophic risk are  expiring and we face a renewed nuclear arms race with some leaders openly threatening to use  nuclear weapons in current conflicts.

We see a proliferation of conflicts including Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine and Israel’s disproportionate response to the horrific  October attacks by Hamas. The multilateral international peace and security architecture, most notably the UN Security Council, appears completely ill-equipped to deal with these crises. While conflicts elsewhere, from Myanmar to Sudan, are not getting the attention that they need.

It’s against this backdrop that The Elders are calling for long-view leadership to tackle existential threats and to build a more resilient and equal society. Long-view leadership means showing the determination to resolve intractable problems, not just manage them. The wisdom to make decisions based on scientific evidence and reason and the humility to listen to all of those affected.

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United States: Cornel West on His 2024 Presidential Bid

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

Excerpts from video interview by C-Span on April 2

2024 Independent presidential candidate Cornel West talked about his candidacy, platform, and views on U.S. politics today.

Pedro Echevarria

If you had to boil down your candidacy to a few sentences what would you tell people?

Cornel West

It would be based on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr and Fannie Lou Hamer, which is trying to get beyond all the lies, all the revenge. I try to talk about truth, justice and love in a context where it seems it is very, very difficult to have any moment of substantive morality, where politics has become legalized corruption and normalized bribery, where they will say anything to stay in office and where there is no genuine concern for people, let alone poor people, working people, people who have been subjugated and degraded.  This is not just empty moral rhetoric. If we give up on serious commitment to public life and citizens being human beings, as opposed to being objects to be manipulated. then the country is over, the American project as we have understood it will be over. I want to raise my voice to mobilize people and get people to see that Trump is leading us toward second civil war and Biden is leading us to a third world war. We’ve got to do better than those two as an option at this particular moment of history.

Video of interview

Pedro Echevarria

Do you have a political background? And what do you think about electing someone to office without a political background?

Cornel West

Well, I think what we need, Brother, is we need new persons, new characters and new visions injected into our system.  My political background is that I have been fighting for poor and working people for 55 years. I’ve worked with a number of different candidates. Sometimes they were within the Democratic party, sometimes they have been outside. More and more they have been outside, because the Democratic party, itself, has succumbed to capture by Wall Street and the Pentagon, by the war profiteers, on the one hand, and the money-makers, on the other. The Republican party has given up for a long time, captured by big money.  It’s true that people look at me and say, “Well, you have never been an elected official.” That’s exactly right. I have been an active citizen trying to ensure that truth and justice can procure a place in American politics and that is very much what i would do as president. i would set a completely different tone, a completely different vibe coming from the White House. And that would be “working people you are at the center of public policy. not Wall Street, not looking at the stock market but rather Main Street and looking at access to health care, access to quality education, access to safe communities, access to housing as a human right just like health care is a human right. we have to push back these predators that have been pushing out so many poor and working people when it comes to housing a whole host of other rights.

Pedro Echevarria

On your website one of the things you advocate for is a wealth tax on all billionaire holdings and transactions, a $27 minimum wage and establish a federal universal basic income commission.  As far as the wealth tax is concerned, I know that President Biden has called for increased taxes on the wealthy, but what is your definition of a wealth tax? How would that work?

(Article continued in the column on the right)

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

Cornel West

Well, a wealth tax, really, is something that is very difficult to enforce. as much as i would put it on paper, we know that the wealthy are so clever with their lawyers and create loopholes. I am much more concerned about disinvesting from the military. 62 cents for every one dollar in the discretionary budget in Washington goes to the military.  We have 800 military units around the world and special operations in 130 countries. We have to cut back massively on military spending and put it directly into universal basic income.  Alaska was the first state to endorse me and the Aurora Party, in part because we agreed there should be a basic universal income, a social net below which people cannot fall. It’s so much easier to disinvest from the military and reinvest directly into satisfying basic social needs than to follow through on a wealth tax, because we can have some of the most marvelous wealth taxes on paper and you can’t execute it because these loopholes are still there and the lawyers are hired, and there’s tax evasion in the Cayman Islands.  You know the story, how difficult it is to follow through. Yes, I do support that on paper, but in terms of actually gaining resources for poor and working people we need to support a strong minimum wage and strong wing of the trade union movement as well as the fight for benefits and contribute to a robust public life in the country, we have to engage in a significant disinvestment of the military into satisfying basic social needs of our citizens. 

I go to schools all the time and I see more policemen in elementary schools than nurses and counselors.  Can you imagine if that was the case when we went to school? Good God Almighty, these are precious students, in the hood, in the barrios, the reservations, poor whites.  What kind of future are we talking about with that militarized context? I was just at Atlanta, where we see the militarization, not just of the police, but any security officer. Why? Because as the society begins to decay we appeal to the military and we end up with more and more mass shootings and militaristic ways of dealing with conflict. That is the sign of a country going under.  We’ve got to fight back as countervailing forces against organized greed and institutionalized hatred and routinized indifference to the most vulnerable. The 25th chapter of Matthew is a fundamental lens of which to view the world. What you do to prisoners, poor, the elderfly, the children, the widow, the orphan, the fatherless, the motherless. that is the criteria. . . .

Pedro Echevarria

Dr. West, I want to address a couple of things on your platform, making news even as we are talking today: one step to codify abortion rights as a constitutional mandate and to nationalize the health care industry, including the pharmaceutical industry.  Why do you think that is necessary?

Cornel West

We have to have a fundamental commitment to women having control over their bodies. We know that if there were a debate and a conversation over abortion in men and men were the only ones who gave birth there would be a very different conversation. Let’s be honest about the patriarchal context of the discussion over abortion. Abortion is in many ways a difficult and delicate issue but we have to have a sensitivity to the woman and the child. I am firmly committed to women having control over the reproductive rights, and I am firmly committed to taking the greed out of our health system. I don’t know why we can’t have the same kind of health care system that the congress has, that the military has. They call that single payer because those are the offices tied to national security. i believe that health care like poverty and the human right to housing those are issues of national security too.  The pharmaceutical companies and medical systems have been obsessed with profits and makes it difficult to satisfy the fundamental basic needs of the most vulnerable, and that is why i am committed to ensuring that every citizen has access to quality health care, quality education, safe neighborhoods with communities having oversight over the police . . .

Pedro Echevarria

How much ballot access do you have?

Cornel West

We began with Alaska with the Aurora Party, and then we moved to the United Citizens Party in South Carolina. Very interesting because that was the party that brother Cliburn helped to found in the 60’s and 70’s. I always applaud his early years, and that is the party that endosed me. I’m on the ballot in Utah. on the ballot in Oregon with the Progressive Party. We are on the move. We have low hanging fruits in terms of states where we’re able to get on the ballot once I make the announcement of a Vice-President candidate and they open up their particular dates to get on the ballot.  We are very much on the move and trying to make sure that truth, justice and love has a place in a moment of overwhelming barbarity.

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United States: Exclusive interview: Jill Stein discusses Green Party goals and local issues on Racine visit

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An article by Denise Lockwood from the Racine Country Eye

Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, spoke at the Dekoven Center in Racine (Wiscosin) on Tuesday (March 12) as part of her third bid for the White House, bringing attention to various national and local issues.

Stein’s campaign focuses on the Green Party’s core principles, which include environmental sustainability, social justice and a commitment to nonviolence. The party positions itself as an alternative to the two dominant political parties in the United States.

The Green Party, known for its advocacy for environmental issues, emphasizes the need for sustainable energy, strong social programs and a reduced military budget. It champions grassroots democracy and aims to counter corporate political influence, offering voters an alternative that stresses ecological wisdom, social justice and nonviolent solutions.

During her visit, Stein spoke with Racine County Eye reporter Denise Lockwood about the heightened engagement in the current election cycle, indicating a shift in public sentiment.

“People are like, shall we say, are much more engaged in this election than I’ve seen before,” Stein said.

In her previous presidential bids in 2012 and 2016, Stein, originally from Lexington, Mass., has consistently advocated for the Green Party’s ideals. Trained as a physician at Harvard Medical School, Stein’s political transition was driven by her growing concern for the connection between public health and environmental issues.

She also addressed the financial struggles of many Americans, highlighting the burdens of debt.

“What we’re hearing now is like what we’ve learned over the last decade, but the volume is way turned up,” she stated, drawing attention to the pressing issues of college and medical debt and their broader implications for ordinary citizens’ financial stability.

Stein discusses local issues

In discussing local issues, Stein focused on concerns specific to Racine and similar communities, such as housing challenges, gang violence, and childhood lead poisoning. As a physician, she expressed particular concern about Wisconsin’s high rates of lead poisoning and the broader public health implications. Stein linked these issues to larger systemic problems, including racial disparities and inadequate federal housing policies.

(Article continued in the column on the right)

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

A central component of Stein’s platform is the Green New Deal, which proposes an ambitious plan to address economic, environmental, and social challenges simultaneously.

“Our program intends to eliminate poverty. And number two, ensure that racial justice is a major dimension of our Green New Deal, a major economic redevelopment program,” Stein explained, illustrating her vision for an integrated approach to these intertwined issues.

On immigration, Stein criticized U.S. foreign policy, suggesting that it has contributed to the current migrant crisis. She advocated for comprehensive reforms, including addressing climate change and stabilizing countries economically and politically to reduce the necessity of forced migration.

Stein also discussed the potential for reallocating resources currently directed toward military expenditures.

“We are spending $12,000 this year maintaining forever wars in the Forever War Machine—$12,000 per household—in our tax base,” she claimed, suggesting that these funds could be more effectively used to address domestic issues.

Campaign strategy

Stein’s campaign’s financial strategy, which focuses on smaller donations, reflects a grassroots approach distinct from her competitors.

“We do have small donations coming in. We can do things for far less,” she shared, highlighting the campaign’s reliance on public support rather than large donors.

Stein’s visit also provided insights into the changing political landscape in Wisconsin, a state known for its fluctuating political allegiances. The potential impact of new political groups and the adoption of ranked-choice voting was discussed, indicating possible significant shifts in future elections.

She concluded her visit by emphasizing the need for broader political choices, suggesting that many Americans seek a system that more effectively serves their needs.

“The American people are clamoring for a fair shot,” she said, summarizing the sentiment that her campaign and the Green Party aim to address.

Following the interview, Stein participated in a community discussion about the Green Party’s platform. We’ll have a story about that discussion later today

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First message to the nation from President Bassirou Diomaye Faye – on the eve of Senegal’s independence day

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A report from The Point, Gambia (translation from the French by CPNN)

My dear compatriots,

Tomorrow, April 4, 2024, we celebrate the 64th anniversary of the independence of our country. To everyone, I extend my warm congratulations. I pay tribute to each and every one of you for your attachment to the cardinal virtues of peace and democracy that underpin our daily experience. The significant peaceful changes that we have just experienced demonstrate, once again, the maturity of our people, the vitality of our democracy and the strength of our institutions. We should all be proud of this great performance. This year again, by divine grace, our national holiday takes place under the sign of spiritual communion, with Easter Holy Week which has just concluded Lent and the month of Ramadan which is drawing to a close.

Given the circumstances, instead of the traditional parade, tomorrow I will preside over a simple and symbolic raising of colors ceremony at the Palais de la République. This evening, as we celebrate our newfound freedom, my thoughts go to our valiant resistance fighters, famous or unknown heroes, who, giving themselves body and soul, defied the odious colonial system and its so-called civilizing mission, to defend the freedom of our people and their values of culture and civilization. I would also like to salute with respect and affection our veterans, who sacrificed their youth far from their families, at the cost of their lives and their freedom.

I pay vibrant tribute to my predecessors, Presidents Senghor, Diouf, Wade and Sall, each of whom made his contribution to the work of national construction. It is on the basis of this legacy that I want to continue with you our collective quest for the Senegal of our dreams.

My dear compatriots,

The national holiday honors our Defense and Security Forces.

To you, officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel, who have chosen the risky profession of arms, I reaffirm the recognition of the Nation. I express to you my pride, my support and my complete confidence in your missions in the service of the homeland, peace in Africa and in the world. I salute the memory of our Jambaars who fell on the field of honor and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. The State will always stand in solidarity with their families, with care and compassion. The theme of this edition, The Armed Forces at the heart of national cohesion, challenges us with its topicality and relevance. It reminds us that beyond the ceremonial, the national holiday is above all an opportunity for individual and collective introspection on our common desire for a common life.

Our Defense and Security Forces, under the Army-Nation concept, symbolizing the diversity and cohesion of their socio-cultural components, offer us a fine example of what Senegalese living together should be like.

As Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces, and guarantor of national unity, I am determined to preserve our living together inherited from our ancestors; because we only have one homeland: Senegal, our common shelter, which we all love, which does not begin with us, and does not end with us.

In this spirit, my role, and I intend to assume it fully, is to reach out to everyone, to bring together, reassure, appease and reconcile, in order to consolidate the peace, security and stability essential to the economic and social development of our dear country. From east to west, from north to south, I hope that our dear Senegal remains united and indivisible, in peace and in harmony with our national motto: One People-One Purpose-One Faith. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our children. We owe it to future generations.

This is why our vibrant youth, the beating heart of the nation, will remain at the center of my concerns.

Dear young people of Senegal, I make your dreams, your aspirations, and your legitimate ambitions to succeed in order to be useful to yourselves, your families, your communities and your country my own. Education, career training, employment and entrepreneurship for young people and women remain major challenges to overcome. I will make it a high public policy priority, in consultation with the private sector. To this end, we must revisit existing mechanisms, improve and rationalize them so that they better meet the needs of employment and other income-generating activities for young people.

To encourage job creation, I plan to rely on a strong private sector because it is supported by the STATE. Based on our priority needs, we will work together to endogenize our economy. Of course, the international private sector will have its full role to play. The Senegalese are brave but they are tired and expect solutions from us to combat the high cost of living. The question of the cost of living particularly concerns me and commands my full attention. In the days to come, strong measures will be taken in this direction, after the consultations that I will undertake with the stakeholders concerned.

My dear compatriots, From independence to the present day, our political, institutional and judicial system has experienced many adventures, some happier than others.

(Article continued in the column on the right)

(Click here for the original version in French)

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

Sixty-four years later, the time seems come to me to learn the lessons of our successes and our failures for a more modern, more republican public governance and more respectful of human rights. This is why, after resigning from my position as secretary general of PASTEF-Les Patriotes, to put myself above the fray, I will convene broad consultations with the political class and civil society for :

– Reform of the system electoral in particular;
– Replacement of the CENA by an Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) with a strengthening of its operating means and its prerogatives;
– Rationalizatio of the number of political parties, as well as their financing;
– Registration of citizens on the electoral register concomitantly with the issuance of the national identity document

“Moreover, to restore the image of justice, give it the value it deserves and reconcile it with the people in whose name it is rendered, I intend to organize meetings bringing together the professions of the profession (magistrates, lawyers, bailiffs , clerks and other justice officials), university professors and citizens to identify possible solutions to justice problems.

In the quest for a better Senegal for the benefit of all, I intend to establish virtuous governance, based on the ethics of responsibility and accountability. In addition, I will without delay initiate a bold policy of good economic and financial governance through:

– A relentless fight against corruption;
– Criminal repression of tax evasion and illicit financial flows;
– Protection of whistleblowers;
– Fight against the embezzlement of public funds and money laundering;
– Amnesty of nominees and their profit-sharing under the condition of self-denunciation;
– Publication of reports from the IGE, the Court of Auditors and OFNAC.

Likewise, the exploitation of our natural resources, which, according to the constitution, belong to the people, will receive particular attention from my government. Thus, in addition to the already effective posting of mining, oil and gas contracts online, on the EITI Senegal website, I will carry out the disclosure of the effective ownership of extractive companies, in accordance with the EITI Standard, at audit of the mining, gas and oil sector and more sustained protection of local content for the benefit of the national private sector. Furthermore, I would like to tell all our private partners that they are welcome in Senegal.

In accordance with the laws and regulations in force, the rights of the investor will always be protected, as will the interests of the State and the populations.

To our friendly and partner countries, I would like to assure that Senegal remains an open and welcoming country for all.

We will constantly strive to maintain and strengthen good neighborly relations and active solidarity within our community organizations, notably ECOWAS and UEMOA.

Heirs to the pan-Africanist ideal of Cheikh Anta Diop and Léopold Sédar Senghor, one of the founding fathers of the Organization of African Unity, we remain firmly committed to the construction of African integration and the achievement of the objectives of the Zone. of African continental free trade.

Our foreign partners from all walks of life are of equal dignity to us. We owe everyone respect and consideration. And we ask for respect and consideration from everyone. We will remain committed to fairer and more inclusive global governance, respecting the equal dignity of the values of cultures and civilizations.

My dear compatriots,

The national holiday, symbol of our sovereignty, reminds us that we are alone in the face of our destiny, and that no one will do for us what we are not willing to do for ourselves. We have the historical responsibility to consolidate our sovereignty by breaking the chains of economic dependence through the permanent cult of work and results. In this spirit, the Administration must act at all levels in a more welcoming and more efficient manner for users of the public service. We must ban from our practices undue procedures and formalities which alter the effectiveness of the State.

With this objective, we intend to invest massively in the digitalization of services and administrative procedures. Likewise, there is an urgent need to gain our food sovereignty by investing more and better in agriculture, fishing and breeding, the three nourishing breasts of our country.

I am particularly keen to ensure that the substantial subsidies spent each year in the agricultural campaign benefit real producers and not intermediary players.

Ultimately, my dear compatriots, the independence that we celebrate tomorrow is certainly a festive event, but also and above all a test of resilience and greatness for the nation. Our merit and our honor is to pass the test, displaying resolute confidence in ourselves, to overcome our fears and our doubts, to overcome the obstacles before us, and to continue together our united march towards our common destiny, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. This is what I invite you to do, in the communion of hearts and minds. Long live Senegal, in peace and security, united, free and prosperous! 

Good evening and happy Independence Day.

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Togo: The craftsmen and motorcycle taxi drivers of Bassar are committed to patriotism and peace

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . . .

An article by Alida Akakpo in Lomegraph

In a coordinated approach aimed at encouraging patriotism and fostering an environment of peace, an initiative took place in the commune of Bassar, Togo. Around fifty young people, mainly craftsmen and motorcycle taxi drivers, participated in an awareness session on Monday March 25, 2024.

The session was organized by the Ministry of Human Rights, Citizenship Training and Relations with the Institutions of the Republic. During the meeting, emphasis was placed on the importance of patriotism and the culture of peace for development and national stability.

(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Questions related to this article:

Can a culture of peace be achieved in Africa through local indigenous training and participation?

The culture of patriotism and peace

The theme of awareness raising is “let’s preserve our homeland, let’s build peace and security together”. Its objective is to contribute to strengthening the patriotic fiber among young people, to bring them to love the homeland and to truly commit to peace and the co-production of security.

Tchakpala Alfa Olivier, head of the conferences and seminars division, and Tchandao Piabalo, study manager at the civic training directorate, interacted with the participants, addressing the themes of respect for authority, patriotism and promoting the culture of peace.

The speakers encouraged young people to feel pride in their nation and actively engage in preserving peace and progress of the country. In addition, practical advice was provided to help young people promote peace in their environment. They also stressed the importance of close collaboration with the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) as well as local authorities.

Participants are invited to convey the messages received within the population with a view to improving defense and protecting the interests of the Togolese.

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United States: the Path to Victory for Southern Autoworkers

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from the United Auto Workers (UAW)

Autoworkers at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama have been organizing to win their union. Today they met with UAW President Shawn Fain and Region 8 Director Tim Smith to talk about their path to victory. Here are remarks that President Fain shared with them:

Good afternoon, Union Family.

It’s my honor to be here, to be with so many badass, fed up autoworkers who are ready to stand up.

Today I’m here to talk about the path to victory. It’s a powerful idea. The path to victory. Because first things first — there is a path.


Before we can even talk about what we need to do to get what we deserve, we have to acknowledge one thing. Working class people, like all of you here today, have the power to change the world. You have the power to change your circumstances. You have the power to take back your time. To take back your life. To win real time off the job. A fair wage. Good healthcare you can afford. A better life for your family. For all of Alabama.

The first thing you need to do to win is to believe that you can win. That this job can be better. That your life can be better. And that those things are worth fighting for. That is why we stand up. That’s why you’re here today. Because deep down, you believe it’s possible.

There is a path. But here’s the other thing about the path to victory. It’s only a path. You have to walk it. Nobody can walk it for you. I didn’t come down here to tell you what all I’m going to do for you as the President of the UAW. That’s not what this is about. Everything you win in this fight will be because you won it.

You are in spitting distance of a life-changing victory. That’s because all of you are coming together with your coworkers to do the work of organizing your workplace. And the company knows it too. That’s why Mercedes is pulling out every trick in the book to instill fear, uncertainty, and division. To scare people off of standing up for a better life.

I’ve been meeting with UAW staff and with some of you. And what’s clear to me is we are doing things differently this time. This time, we are going to make sure we have leaders on each line, on each shift, talking to each other about building their union. That is the path to victory.

And it’s not just about the vote. True victory is not just winning a vote. We want to win big on the day of the election – but we also need to build that organizing muscle, that unity, and that determination to win big in a union contract. That’s what changes lives. That’s what this is all about.

But you have to walk that path to victory. You have to say – I’m ready to talk to my coworkers. I’m ready to have my name be public on a vote yes petition. I’m ready to go to work every day and proudly wear my UAW hat for everyone to see. I’m ready to stand up, strong and loud, and proud about this fight. I can’t win that for you. Our staff can’t win that for you. Only you can walk that path to victory.

Let me be clear, that doesn’t mean you’re walking alone. Our staff, our union, and hundreds of thousands of UAW members are behind you. Across this country, there are working-class people looking to you. For inspiration. For hope. And we’ve all got your back.

I opened these remarks with “union family,” because we are a family. But here in Alabama, it hits close to home. Many of you may not know this but my family’s roots are in the South. I have family from Alabama. And three of my grandparents were from Tennessee, one from Kentucky, and after the Great Depression, all of my grandparents had to move north. And they were blessed to hire in at GM and Chrysler in the early days of the UAW. They stood up for themselves and went and got a better life.

But the real meaning of union is not having to leave for greener pastures. Not having to leave your family and your life behind just to be able to live. The real meaning of union is fighting for a better life where you are. Because it’s your job. It’s your body. It’s your time. It’s your family. It’s your community.

I look around here and I see a lot of people who remind me of myself and my roots. I know struggle. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. I’ve been on unemployment. I’ve received government aid to get formula and diapers for my firstborn child.

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Question related to this article:
 
What is the contribution of trade unions to the culture of peace?

(article continued from left column)

Joining the union, the UAW, changed my life. It gave me a wage I could raise a family on. It gave me a job I could rely on. And it gave me hope for the future. So, I put everything I had into building this union. I walked that path. I know what it’s like to be out there at the gates, trying to get your coworkers organized. I know what it’s like to have to fight the company tooth and nail just to have a little dignity on the job. And I know if I didn’t do it, if regular autoworkers like me and you don’t stand up, nothing’s going to change. So, do it for yourself. Do it for your family. And we’ll have your back every step of the way.

You’re so close to the finish line. Some people get within inches of their goal and quit before they realize that if they’d have given one more push they would have reached it.

My running for president of the UAW was very similar. If I hadn’t relied on faith and faced fear and doubt and took on the insurmountable odds of running for president of the UAW, nothing would have changed.


People said I was crazy for running for President. Some who were previously in power tried to make the members afraid to vote for change. But the members took a leap of faith and voted for new leaders and look what we are accomplishing.

Our Big Three contract campaign was the same. People said we were crazy for going for the things we did. Companies said they couldn’t afford it. Companies made threats. The media said we were crazy.

But guess what? We focused on facts in our Big 3 campaign and strike. The fact that the companies made a quarter of a trillion dollars in a decade. The fact that CEO pay went up 40% over the previous 4 years. And the fact that workers were being left behind, although the workers generate those massive profits through their labor. 75% of Americans sided with us in that fight. Using the power of facts and a unified membership.

We won a record contract and the companies still paid out massive stock dividends to investors. CEOs are still giving themselves massive raises, and business is fine.

It’s the same here in Alabama.



Facts: The German three made double what the Big Three made in the last decade. A half a trillion. $460 billion. Mercedes’s CEO got an 80% raise last year. The eight managers on the Mercedes management board got a collective $27 million raise last year. The average Mercedes executive makes $3,600 an hour. It would take a Mercedes production worker at the top rate two years to make what a Mercedes executive earns in one week.

The company, the Governor, and the Business Council are trying to make you afraid to stand up, because you are so close to realizing a life many thought wasn’t possible. Mercedes is using fear, uncertainty, and division because they are afraid.

Mercedes is afraid of you having a voice in your work life. Mercedes is afraid of sharing any control over your work lives. Mercedes is afraid of paying you the wages and benefits you deserve for the massive profits your work, your sacrifice, your blood, and your sweat create. You are an at-will employee, you have no rights, and management has all the control. It’s time to change that.

Years ago, my grandparents had to leave Tennessee to live the American Dream. You don’t have to leave. You can achieve it right here in Alabama.

The first thing I do when I get up every day, daily reading and pray. Recently, I thought of you when I read my daily reading, Hebrews 11:1, “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”
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The only people who can organize the South are the workers in the South. And those workers who stand up are forever going to go down in history for doing what so many people said was impossible. Why not you? Why not here?

I said during our campaign at the Big Three that this is our generation’s defining moment. That faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, and we moved mountains.

Now, here in Alabama, we have another mountain to move. This is your defining moment to change your lives. To change America. And to change the world for the better. So, let’s walk down that path to victory together in Solidarity and let’s finish the job.

So, I came here not to win this thing for you. Not to tell you what to do. I came here to find out for myself the answer to one question. Are you ready to Stand Up? I believe you are, and I believe in you.

If you’re ready, the time is now. This is your defining moment. If we have public supporters in every department, on every line, on every shift, Mercedes workers will be guaranteed to win your election. Raise your hand if you can commit to being that person for your line.

Before you leave today, put your name on the public petition and join your coworkers on the path to victory. We will not let the company divide us. That’s how they win. Solidarity is our strength. That’s how we win.

This isn’t about power, It’s about control. Without a Union contract, they have all the control. You have the power. You just have to recognize it and use it. Let’s finish the job that started so long ago. Let’s walk a new path for working-class people together in solidarity.

Thank you.