North America

Casualties of “herd immunity”: Three new teacher deaths in one week as US schools reopen

By Genevieve Leigh, 19 September 2020

The deaths are a direct result of the criminal actions by Democratic and Republican governors, as well as the Trump administration.

Colorado police conduct militarized arrests of Party for Socialism and Liberation members

By Jacob Crosse, 19 September 2020

The manner of the arrests and the overwhelming charges against the six protesters are a clear act of intimidation against all those determined to put an end to police violence and racism.

Biden in Minnesota: A phony “pro-worker” spin on a right-wing campaign

By Barry Grey, 19 September 2020

On the basis of economic nationalism, Biden is doubling down on his ludicrous self-promotion as a “working stiff” from “hard-scrabble” Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Wall Street demands still more Fed money

By Nick Beams, 19 September 2020

The US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates at virtually zero, for as far as the eye can see, has been deemed insufficient.

As American Federation of Teachers shuts down UM graduate student strike

Campuses across Michigan see dramatic spike in cases

By Joseph Lorenz, 19 September 2020

The decision to open campuses is part of the drive by governments everywhere in line with so-called "herd immunity" policies.

Wildfires threaten drinking water and further desertification of US West Coast

By Linda Rios, 19 September 2020

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 21 major fires are still burning in California, 12 in Oregon and 8 in Washington state.

SUNY-Oswego forced into temporary shutdown of in-person instruction after spike in COVID-19 cases

By Alex Findijs, 19 September 2020

The campus in upstate New York is the second state university to be forced into a temporary shutdown this month due to the spread of COVID-19 cases.

Ford Kansas City Assembly workers launch Rank-and-File Safety Committee to save lives

By the Ford Kansas City Assembly Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 19 September 2020

Neither the UAW nor Ford has addressed any of the safety issues inside the Kansas City Assembly plant since production restarted in May.

“This district is not ready at all”

Teacher in Vancouver, Washington speaks out on school reopenings amid wildfires

By Evan Winters, 19 September 2020

Despite weeks of unhealthy wildfire-fueled air quality, the Evergreen School District is preparing to reopen elementary schools for partial in-person learning.

Union shuts down nurses strike at University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago

By George Gallanis and Fabian Salgado, 19 September 2020

The Illinois Nurses Association ended the strike without a new contract and isolating 4,000 staffers on the picket line.

New York yellow cab drivers block bridges to demand debt relief

By Shuvu Batta, 19 September 2020

Battered by crippling debt and collapsing demand for taxis, drivers staged a protest Thursday calling for relief from their enormous debt burden.

Dominion grocery workers in Newfoundland in fourth week of strike for higher pay

By Carl Bronski, 19 September 2020

The 1,400 low-paid workers remain on strike against the Newfoundland subsidiary of Loblaws, Canada’s largest supermarket chain.

White House bans TikTok and WeChat: A major intensification of internet censorship

By Kevin Reed, 19 September 2020

The move is an assault on freedom of expression and an effort to consolidate control of the internet by a handful of massive corporations working in partnership with the American government.

Toots Hibbert, ska and reggae giant: “Right now, someone else has that number”

By Paul Bond, 19 September 2020

Hibbert was widely respected and liked as a person, as well as admired for his work. That he was one of the most important international ambassadors for reggae owed much to his personal integrity.

New York City Democratic mayor delays school opening a second time

By our reporters, 18 September 2020

Bill de Blasio, the “progressive” mayor of New York City, announced a new date for a ‘’phased reopening” of the city’s public schools.

New York yellow cab drivers block bridges to demand debt relief

By Shuvu Batta, 18 September 2020

Battered by crippling debt and collapsing demand for taxis, drivers staged a protest Thursday calling for relief from their enormous debt burden

Trump repeats threats of post-election military repression as Barr calls for charging protesters with “sedition”

By Patrick Martin, 17 September 2020

While Trump and his political aides and advisers openly speak of civil war and martial law, the Democrats are largely ignoring and covering up the moves toward dictatorial forms of rule.

House report on Boeing 737 Max crashes: Corporate criminality, FAA complicity, but no accountability

By Barry Grey, 17 September 2020

Despite the incriminating evidence, the Democrats propose no actions to hold either Boeing or the FAA accountable for the deaths of 346 men, women and children.

No charges in Missouri police murder of 25-year-old Hannah Fizer

By Jacob Crosse, 17 September 2020

As another killer cop goes free, protesters against the police killing of Ricardo Munoz in Lancaster, Pennsylvania remain in jail, with bail set at $1 million.

Reject the AFT’s rush to vote on sellout contract at University of Michigan!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at UM, 17 September 2020

Now is not the time to back down! The struggle must be broadened to include undergraduates, staff, faculty and workers in a common struggle.

American Federation of Teachers shuts down University of Michigan graduate student strike

By our reporters, 17 September 2020

The end of the strike occurred less than 24 hours after the American Federation of Teachers assumed control of negotiations and produced an agreement that was virtually identical to the one overwhelmingly rejected just a week ago.

Big Ten universities announce football will resume

By Andy Thompson, 17 September 2020

After an earlier decision to postpone the season, the Big Ten football conference has announced games will begin October 24.

“We’re going to keep fighting”

Opposition mounts as thousands of University of Illinois at Chicago nurses and workers continue strike

By Kylie Rose, 17 September 2020

The university administration and the Democratic Party are increasingly nervous over the support striking workers have elicited.

Slow-moving Hurricane Sally makes landfall along Alabama-Florida border

By J. L’Heureau, 17 September 2020

With close to 20 million people in its path, Sally brought coastal flooding, record rainfall, high winds and mass power outages to a large swath of the northern Gulf Coast, stretching from southeast Louisiana to the west central coast of Florida.

Fed toes the line on Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2020

The most commonly used phrase by Fed chair Jerome Powell at his press conference was “very strong forward guidance” in a message to Wall Street that the central bank was giving the commitments it has demanded.

Trump’s China tariffs ruled illegal by World Trade Organisation

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2020

The WTO decision will not see any relaxation of the US trade war against China but rather its intensification.

Strikes mount as COVID-19 breaks out in hundreds of Spanish schools

By Alice Summers, 17 September 2020

Spanish unions have refused to call out education workers in a unified struggle against the reopening of schools, limiting action to sporadic, short-term protests.

Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls for plantwide shutdown to guarantee safety during pandemic

By Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 17 September 2020

The Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee has issued a statement calling for equal treatment to protect against COVID-19.

Surge in COVID-19 infections as in-person classes resume at many Illinois college campuses

By Fabian Salgado, 17 September 2020

Illinois State University is experiencing a horrifying explosion in the rate of COVID-19 infection as in person classes resume at many of the state’s campuses.

University of Wisconsin-Madison and La Crosse quarantine students after infections

By Brian Green, 17 September 2020

The affected students were given the choice of returning to their families or remaining on campus in the crowded and COVID-infested residence halls.

COVID-19 outbreaks force switch to online learning at New Jersey schools

By Erik Schreiber and Robert Milkowski, 17 September 2020

At least eight districts have switched their entire district or individual schools to fully remote instruction after confirmed infections.

New York City ruling elite warns Mayor de Blasio of “widespread anxiety”

By Fred Mazelis, 17 September 2020

The corporate elite is demanding an intensified back-to-work drive, and is fearful that the “progressive” mayor may not be able to keep the lid on growing social discontent.

As US death toll hits 200,000, Trump calls for herd immunity

By Andre Damon, 17 September 2020

“Herd immunity” has been the guiding principle of Trump’s response to the pandemic, underlying his efforts to downplay the virus, handicap testing and get workers back on the job as quickly as possible.

Book Review

Wilmington’s Lie: The 1898 white supremacist coup in North Carolina

David Zucchino, Atlantic Monthly Press, 336 pages

By Fred Mazelis, 17 September 2020

The racist massacre in Wilmington was a major turning point in the entrenchment of Jim Crow segregation throughout the South.

“I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp”

Nurse alleges forced sterilizations, medical malpractice at Georgia immigrant detention center

By Niles Niemuth, 16 September 2020

The chilling report provides further evidence of the sadistic abuse meted out by the Trump administration in its fascistic war on immigrants.

Acting US Homeland Security secretary refuses to appear before congressional committee

By Jacob Crosse, 16 September 2020

In defiance of Congress and the Constitution, Chad Wolf said he would not testify before a House committee on September 17.

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks Green Party presidential campaign from 2020 ballot

By Kevin Reed, 16 September 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to reject a lawsuit by the Green Party candidates seeking an injunction against the distribution of ballots to voters without their names on them.

University of Michigan graduate student workers’ strike at critical turning point

By Matthew Brennan, 16 September 2020

With threats of a court injunction and the taking over negotiations by the American Federation of Teachers, the strike by more than 1,200 graduate students is in danger.

Defying injunction threats, striking University of Michigan grad students call for “larger mobilization of working people”

By our reporters, 16 September 2020

Striking graduate students at the University of Michigan are continuing their walkout in defiance of the strikebreaking threats by top administrators.

Who is on the University of Michigan Board of Regents?

By Matthew Brennan, 16 September 2020

The governing body of the University of Michigan is a nexus of powerful political, military and corporate interests

Strike by University of Illinois at Chicago nurses and workers continues, as Illinois Democratic governor threatens to decimate state budget

By James Martin and Kristina Betinis, 16 September 2020

A virtual blackout of the strikes at UIC and its hospital in the national press indicates the growing fear in ruling circles over the development of working class opposition.

West Coast fires and evacuations expected to fuel the spread of COVID-19

By Kevin Martinez, 16 September 2020

Tens of thousands of people fleeing fires have been forced to live in makeshift shelters, making effective social distancing measures nearly impossible.

Trump stages sham Mideast “peace” ceremony on White House lawn

By Bill Van Auken, 16 September 2020

The overriding significance of the Israel-UAE-Bahrain accords is the further consolidation of a US-led anti-Iran axis in the Middle East.

COVID-19 cases escalate with school re-openings: Build educators rank-and-file safety committees!

By Tom Pearce and Julie Hyland, 16 September 2020

With Labour Party support, the National Education Union is complicit in abandoning its 450,000 members and those they teach to the government’s policy of “herd immunity”.

“It’s immoral and irresponsible to bring students to campus and to conduct in-person classes”

NYU faculty and students denounce unsafe reopening of campus

By IYSSE at New York University, 16 September 2020

The reopening of NYU, the largest private university in the US, is utterly reckless and places the lives of students, workers and residents in the area in immense danger.

San Diego State University seeks to shift blame to students for coronavirus outbreaks following reopening

By Melody Isley and Norissa Santa Cruz, 16 September 2020

As the virus spreads on campus, students have watched in horror as peers are taken away to isolation dorms by staff dressed in hazmat gear.

“It is really up to the teachers to take their safety into their own hands.”

One-third of schools in Knox County, Tennessee have at least one positive COVID-19 case

By Isaac Finn, 16 September 2020

The growing spread of the deadly virus is the direct outcome of the “herd immunity” policies that have been pursued by every level of government in the US.

Reactionary Massachusetts ruling paves way for Andover public schools to open in-person

By Mike Ingram, 16 September 2020

The state Department of Labor Relations board ruled that Andover teachers had engaged in an illegal strike by refusing to enter school buildings

US defence secretary phones Sri Lankan president about increased military cooperation

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 16 September 2020

Washington wants enhanced military relations with the strategically-located island in order to intensify its war drive against China.

Woodward revelations: Canada’s political elite implicated in Trump’s suppression of COVID-19 threat

By Omar Ali and Roger Jordan, 16 September 2020

Given Canada’s intimate military-strategic partnership with Washington, it is inconceivable that the Trudeau government was not privy to the intelligence Trump and the top Democrats received about the pandemic.

Trump incites fascistic violence as US election approaches

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 16 September 2020

The great issues confronting workers in this election cannot be resolved on the basis of an electoral strategy. They can be resolved only through the revolutionary movement of the working class and the conquest of state power.

Suppression of wages in US at centre of widening social inequality

By Nick Beams, 16 September 2020

The reduction in labour’s share of the national income by eight percentage points over five decades means that workers would be receiving $1.12 trillion more had the previous distribution between wages and profits applied.

New cases of COVID-19 reach a one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide

By Benjamin Mateus and Patrick Martin, 15 September 2020

The number of new cases of COVID-19 hit a new one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide, bringing the global total to almost 30 million cases and 930,000 deaths. The United States alone will reach 200,000 deaths by mid-week.

As Bloomberg pledges $100 million, Wall Street boosts Biden campaign

By Patrick Martin, 15 September 2020

Bloomberg’s announcement is only the largest pledge of support from the financial oligarchy for the Democratic campaign.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania police assault protesters after killing mentally ill man

By Douglas Lyons, 15 September 2020

The killing of Ricardo Munoz, who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, sparked protests by hundreds of residents Sunday in the city of 80,000.

Four thousand University of Illinois at Chicago staff join striking nurses

By Kristina Betinis and Marcus Day, 15 September 2020

The now nearly 5,000 university health and staff workers are locked in a battle against the Democratic state leadership and must expand their struggle for health and safety.

Los Angeles Sheriff threatens violence, reporter arrested after shooting of deputies

By John Andrews, 15 September 2020

After the shooting of two deputy sheriffs by an unknown gunman in Compton, California, Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva threatened anti-police violence protesters and deputies roughed up and arrested a local reporter.

US farmworkers labor under unsafe conditions as West Coast fires continue to rage

By Rafael Azul, 15 September 2020

Nearly 500,000 field workers have been severely affected by the ongoing wildfires as they continue to labor in California’s Central Valley and in the wine region, picking lettuce, strawberries, citrus, grapes, and other crops.

The University of Iowa and Iowa State University students and staff unite to oppose in-person learning

By Andy Thompson, 15 September 2020

The demands of those involved in the protest are to end all in-person classes and have all learning be done online until the pandemic is under control.

Mounting opposition to school reopenings as 55 New York City teachers test positive for COVID-19

By Alberto Escalera, 15 September 2020

Public school educators in New York City have conducted protests and written petitions in the last several days to oppose the reckless reopening of schools by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Dangers mount as Detroit implements a “hybrid” return to school

By the Detroit Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 15 September 2020

The re-opening of schools in Detroit is threatening the lives of teachers, support staff, children and parents.

Washington, DC mayor calls for reopening of public schools amid pandemic

By Nick Barrickman, 15 September 2020

The announcement comes despite a late-July decision banning in-person teaching throughout the fall.

White House announces Oracle Corporation as “trusted tech partner” of TikTok

By Kevin Reed, 15 September 2020

The announcement of a “technology partnership” between Oracle Corporation and TikTok is part of an attempt to whip up anti-Chinese sentiments in advance of the US elections.

Hospital merger between Beaumont and Advocate-Aurora Health faces internal opposition

By Kevin Reed, 15 September 2020

The merger plans have been slowed down by opposition from Beaumont staff and a group of donors who are calling on the Board of Directors to fire the management team.

Working-class resistance mounts to back-to-work campaign

By Jerry White, 15 September 2020

On Monday, nearly 4,000 service workers at the University of Illinois walked out, joining strikes by 800 nurses at a UI hospital in Chicago and nearly 2,000 grad student instructors at the University of Michigan.

Bernie Sanders offers left gloss to Biden’s right-wing campaign

By Jacob Crosse and Barry Grey, 15 September 2020

With polls tightening, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders urged the Biden campaign to do a better job of selling its right-wing program to workers and youth.

The precedents for disease eradication through international cooperation

Part one

By Frank Gaglioti, 15 September 2020

An examination of the historical record demonstrates that infectious diseases like COVID-19 can be eliminated.

Albany, New York nurses set to strike; walkout continues at Cerrejón mining complex in Colombia

Workers Struggles: The Americas

15 September 2020

Some 2,500 nurses at Albany Med are set to strike over contract issues while workers at Colombia’s Cerrejón mining complex in the La Guajira department are in the third week of a strike against threatened layoffs.

Trump, Roger Stone call for violence and repression after Election Day

By Patrick Martin, 14 September 2020

The US president and his oldest political crony called for a police-military crackdown to back his continued rule.

University of Michigan graduate students vote to extend strike as opposition erupts at campuses throughout the US

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 September 2020

The reopening of campuses is driving an expansion of the coronavirus pandemic, with 19 of the 25 largest outbreaks in communities with colleges that have started in-person learning.

“A general strike is a must to stop this back-to-work and back-to-school madness”

Autoworkers support University of Michigan strikers

By our reporters, 14 September 2020

Like the herding of workers into the auto factories, the drive to reopen schools and colleges even as the pandemic continues to rage is entirely driven by profit interests.

“In the end, it is all about profit"

University of Illinois Hospital nurses strike over staff shortages, unsafe conditions

By Benjamin Mateus and George Gallanis, 14 September 2020

UIH nurses in Chicago walked out Saturday to demand patient limits and safe work environments.

University of Illinois at Chicago workers go on strike against low wages and unsafe conditions

By Kylie Rose and Andy Thompson, 14 September 2020

Workers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have gone on strike against low wages and unsafe conditions as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads rapidly through college campuses.

More than 15,000 attend University of Texas football game amidst coronavirus pandemic

By Chase Lawrence, 14 September 2020

A UT Austin spokesperson confirmed that only 1,198 attendees were tested before the game. Out of these, 95 tested positive, or nearly 8 percent.

Millions in the US choke on hazardous air as West Coast fires continue to rage

By Kayla Costa, 14 September 2020

With 33 dead and over 4.6 million acres burned, the unprecedented fires in California, Oregon and Washington have quickly spiraled into a catastrophe affecting the lives of millions.

Wildcat strike over COVID-19 at Lear auto parts plant in Indiana

By Marcus Day, 14 September 2020

Lear workers refused to work for several hours Friday night after learning of potential COVID-19 cases in the facility, halting production also at the nearby Ford Chicago Assembly Plant.

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks mailing out of absentee ballots pending ruling on Green Party ballot access

By Jacob Crosse, 14 September 2020

The Democratic party has led the charge in purging third-party candidates, including the Greens, from the November ballot.

COVID-19 outbreak at Virginia migrant detention center caused by repression of anti-police brutality protesters

By Joe Williams, 14 September 2020

The outbreak at the Farmville detention center demonstrates the capitalist class’s disdain for democratic rights and the lives of the entire population.

Tens of thousands in southwest Louisiana remain without power two weeks after Hurricane Laura

By J. L’Heureau, 14 September 2020

With Tropical Storm Sally on track to hit Louisiana early this week the social and ecological crisis wrought in the wake of the last major storm is still coming into focus.

Congressional investigation opened into deaths of 27 soldiers this year at Fort Hood, Texas

By Chase Lawrence, 14 September 2020

The military newspaper Stars and Stripes has dubbed the base the US Army’s “most crime ridden post.”

The California wildfires, climate change and capitalism

By Bryan Dyne, 14 September 2020

The wildfires ripping through California and Oregon have exposed yet again the dangers posed by climate change and the inability of capitalist governments to deal with it.

Wildfires devastate US West Coast

By Linda Rios, 12 September 2020

As with the criminal mishandling of COVID-19, the mass devastation wrought by the wildfires exposes the complete inability of capitalism to address any social problem.

University of Michigan grad students set to extend strike as opposition grows to the US back-to-school drive

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 September 2020

Nineteen of the 25 hottest outbreaks in the US are in communities with colleges that have reopened for in-person learning, sparking growing anger over the homicidal back-to-school campaign.

University of Michigan strikers speak out: “We need to resist going back to normal. Normal no longer exists”

By our reporters, 12 September 2020

The strike is quickly turning into a focal point of a much broader opposition to the reckless reopening of both K-12 schools and college campuses everywhere.

As Congress rejects renewal of unemployment benefits

US jobless claims top 884,000 for second week in a row

By Jacob Crosse, 12 September 2020

With no congressional relief in sight, millions of workers are seeing meager unemployment benefits expire while layoffs continue to mount.

As Trump incites police, fascist attacks on social protests

Biden pledges to keep troops in the Middle East and maintain record military spending

By Barry Grey, 12 September 2020

Since Labor Day, Biden has focused on appeals for support from the military and national security establishment, along with economic nationalist demagogy and pledges to prosecute “violent” left-wing protesters.

“I don’t want to be a typhoid Mary!”

Jacksonville, Florida teacher speaks out against deadly school reopenings

By Nancy Hanover and Matthew MacEgan, 12 September 2020

A teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, reached out to the WSWS to speak about the spread of the coronavirus across the state just two weeks into the new school year.

Why did so many poor New Yorkers die of COVID-19?

By Josh Varlin, 12 September 2020

Inequality, including in-hospital care, determined whether thousands of people in New York City would die of COVID-19.

Mexico runs out of death certificates with 122,765 “excess deaths” reported during pandemic

By Norissa Santa Cruz and Carlos Reed, 12 September 2020

The Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has done nothing to prevent the virus from claiming the lives of tens of thousands, most of them poor workers.

Infected students denounce administration guidelines, amidst rising COVID-19 cases at Southern California universities

By Melody Isley and Emiri Ochiai, 12 September 2020

Infected students report callous treatment from school administration, being thrown into isolation rooms without bed sheets, food or sanitizing equipment.

State University of New York scapegoats students for COVID outbreaks, prepares repressive measures

By Alex Findijs, 12 September 2020

Refusing to take any responsibility for this catastrophe, the SUNY system is punishing groups of students for gathering and laying the ground for further police repression on campuses.

Trade unions confer with big business Liberals on how to revive Canadian capitalism

By Roger Jordan, 12 September 2020

The government’s real agenda is for a rapid return to work, higher corporate profitability and “competitiveness,” and to advance Canadian imperialism’s predatory interests internationally.

Amazon uses former government agents to spy on workers

By Shuvu Batta, 12 September 2020

A number of recent exposures confirm that Amazon has established its own secret internal intelligence agency to spy on its workforce.

As pandemic death toll approaches 200,000, American oligarchs celebrate their wealth

By Niles Niemuth, 12 September 2020

According to Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, the super-rich now possess $3.2 trillion, enough to pay for an entire year of public education, health care, nutrition and disaster relief for millions of people.

US attempting to block Spanish investigation into CIA spying on Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 September 2020

The US authorities are seeking to prevent judicial confirmation that their pursuit of Assange has included illegal spying, and gross violations of attorney-client privilege.

NYU’s Center for Social Media & Politics: A think tank for a frightened ruling class

By Elliott Murtagh, 12 September 2020

The establishment of the center at NYU, a university with close ties to the state, reflects the ruling class’s increasing concerns over the political effects of social media.

State University of New York scapegoats students for COVID outbreaks, prepares repressive measures

By Alex Findijs, 11 September 2020

Refusing to take any responsibility for this catastrophe, the SUNY system is on a crusade to punish groups of students for gathering and lay the ground for further police repression on campuses.

University of Michigan graduate students take a stand for life against profit

By Joseph Kishore - Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 11 September 2020

Opposition to the resumption of classes at the University of Michigan is part of a broader struggle of workers against the homicidal policy of the ruling class related to the pandemic.

Speaking before auto union bureaucrats in Michigan, Biden makes nationalist appeal

By Patrick Martin, 10 September 2020

The Democratic nominee sought to maintain one of the most pernicious fictions of capitalist politics—that the union executives represent the working class, rather than serving as a corporate police force.

Democrats and media silent on execution of Michael Reinoehl by US Marshals

By Kevin Reed, 10 September 2020

New details on the September 3 killing of Michael Reinoehl by a task force led by federal Marshals confirm that the Portland protester was executed in a hail of police bullets.