Asia

The ebb of the Myanmar revolution has not led the military regime under General Min Aung Hliang to relent in its brutality against the people. The military is determined to drown the mass movement in blood, in part through weaponising the COVID-19 pandemic against the masses. This despicable cruelty will not be forgotten, and will only pave way for new struggles down the road. The following report was shared to us by a Burmese Marxist in order to illustrate the reality of the situation on the ground to the world.

On Thursday 8 July 2021, around 16:30, the five-storey Hashem Foods factory in Narayanganj, Bangladesh went up in flames. Fire Service officials reported that they were not informed about the fire until around 17:50.

Afghanistan is hurtling towards yet another civil war as US and allied forces withdraw after two decades of bloody occupation. The withdrawal of imperialist troops, announced by Joe Biden, is set to be completed by 31 August this year, although most US forces have already left or are in the process of hurriedly abandoning the country while the Taliban is advancing in many areas.

The revolution in Myanmar, after months of heroic struggles by the masses, has ebbed. The regime has clamped down brutally, while the protest movement has shifted from mass strikes and demonstrations to small-scale armed skirmishes. The question has to be posed, why have we reached such a situation, and what lessons need to be learned?

Amidst a global microchip shortage, the Taiwanese chipmakers are doing everything in their power to keep up production and meet demand, despite a new outbreak of COVID-19 cases on the island. To make the maximum profit out of this surge in sales, they are plunging their workforces – which largely consist of migrants from Southeast Asia – into utterly inhumane conditions.

In the past few months, discontent among Chinese youth is increasingly bursting to the surface, both online and on campuses, in defiance of state censorship and repression. A widespread proliferation of anti-capitalist memes and open dissent against the regime online speak to a general undercurrent of rage and resentment, which has also seen university students launching struggles across two provinces.

June 4th marks the 32nd anniversary of the brutal crushing of the Tiananmen Square movement in China in 1989. This year, like every year, we will no doubt see many bourgeois commentators producing articles that use the tragic events of 1989, not to explain what the movement was actually about, but to denounce “communism/socialism” as a failure. They will paint it as a system that cannot work, and present capitalism as the only viable system available to humanity. The media in the west present it as a movement for bourgeois parliamentary democracy and for capitalist restoration in China.

Serious protests are ongoing in Georgia against the building of a dam in Namakhvani, which poses the risk of massive job losses, energy price hikes and environmental destruction. This protest grew from a handful of people in Lechkhumi in the West into a national demonstration, which culminated on 14 March in a 22,000-strong protest in Kutaisi. This was the largest environmental demonstration in recent memory. Daily protests and encampments continue to this day.

As the second wave of COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the country, the plight of the working class in Bangladesh is worsening. The situation has not yet reached the proportions seen in India just yet, it could soon get to such levels as the ruling class hasn’t taken any measures to provide basic health facilities and vaccines to the millions of workers who live in poverty.

Nepal is no exception as the world faces a new surge of COVID-19. With new cases increasing daily, Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population claims that the total number of infections stands at 343,418, while reporting 3,362 deaths. For the last several days, 8,000 cases have been reported daily.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has plummeted. Yet while the rest of the world seems to be on fire, China appears to have remained safe from the extreme economic decline, being the one of the few economies to grow in 2020. China registered a 1% increase in GDP due to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strict lockdown measures and the endeavour of frontline workers. To the outside world, the Chinese state continues to appear strong, proudly brandishing the slogan of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’.

Talk of a potential military confrontation between China, the United States, and Japan over the question of Taiwan have escalated recently. The Biden administration is continuing the Trump administration’s policy of confrontation with China over the issue, with Japan following in tow. Meanwhile, China is rapidly expanding its military activity across the Taiwan Strait. The lives of people in Taiwan and the entire region are relegated to the chess pieces of the feuding powers. Why is this happening now? Where will it lead? And what is the way out?

A number of activists, including members of Perhimpunan Sosialis Revolusioner (PSR), the Indonesian section of IMT, were arrested as they gathered to protest the arrival of Myanmar coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing in Jakarta for the ASEAN summit this Saturday. While Indonesian President Jokowi preached democracy to the Myanmar General, he ordered his own police forces to silence protesters.