Week in Struggle: April 24-30

Brazil

On April 25, workers and students founded the Sanitary Committee for Popular Defense of Recife, in the state of Pernambuco. The Committee distributed print copies of revolutionary newspaper A Nova Democracia, and met with poor residents without access to the internet, to assist them in applying for “emergency aid.” Throughout the process the Committee denounced the reactionary state for its total neglect of the healthcare system as well as the economic conditions which keep the masses in a perpetual state of poverty.

Ecuador

Healthcare workers at the San Vicente de Paul Hospital in Ibarra staged a protest outside of the hospital with the aid of revolutionaries. The workers issued a list of demands including more funding for healthcare system, the reinstatement of thousands of fired workers, and personal protective equipment for staff. The health workers not only won concessions from both the federal and provincial government, but also inspired workers across the country to take similar actions in defense of workers’ rights in the healthcare system.

Germany

Posters were seen in several cities promoting International Workers Day with slogans like “May 1st Cannot be Forbidden!” and “May 1st on the Street!”

Hamburg: May 1st Demo, 12 o’clock
Freiburg: May 1st Cannot be Forbidden!
Bremen: Contact blocking (enforced social distancing) for young people? May 1st on the Street! It is Right to Rebel!

United States

Austin. Revolutionaries made headlines in the ruling class media after City Hall was painted with a hammer and sickle as well as slogans like “US Imperialism is the Virus, Socialist Revolution is the Cure!” and “May 1 International Workers Day.” Red paint was also splashed across the front doors of the building. Elsewhere around the city there were numerous examples of graffiti promoting International Workers Day and the Rent Strike, as well as denouncing US imperialism and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with slogans like “the Courts won’t Protect Us! Women will Defend Abortion Rights!” painted outside the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. At Springdale Gardens, one of several apartment complexes where tenants have joined in the rent strike, graffiti was seen reading, “Slumlord Out!” around the complex, especially on the leasing office where paint was also splashed across the front door.

Pittsburgh. Community members and activists once again gathered at the home of Allegheny Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (AHRCO) CEO Lara Washington, standing on her front steps and giving speeches while four masked activists pounded on her door and windows, demanding that she come out and face her tenants. Two tenants spoke about conditions across all AHRCO properties, with one saying, “It’s bad on the North Side, it’s bad on the Hill, it’s bad in Whitaker, it’s bad in New Kensington!”

Many displays of graffiti with hammer and sickle’s and revolutionary slogans were also seen in Pittsburgh, promoting May 1st with slogans like “Workers of the World Unite!” and denouncing the Mayor Bill Peduto for his failure to protect workers in the COVID-19 pandemic. Graffiti actions also targeted the food service, facilities, and uniform company Aramark for their firing of Angela and Kendall Smith, with the slogan “Rehire the Smiths!” The Smiths were Aramark employees and union stewards who self-quarantined after a family member started showing coronavirus symptoms; they were subsequently fired in an act of labor repression.

Orlando. Graffiti and posters promoting the rent strike was also seen in Orlando, reading, “Rent Strike! No Work, No Rent!” and “Combat and Resist Slumlords!” According to reports, the tenants at the complex have suffered poor living conditions including roaches and rats as well as broken appliances and an abundance of trash due to neglectful management. The posters echoed demands seen in other cities including an immediate stoppage on rent and utilities as well as full wages for unemployed workers.

Los Angeles. Posters promoting a May Day BBQ were seen around the city as well as a Spanish language poster reading, “Imperialism is the Real Virus, the Socialist Revolution is the Cure.”

St. Louis. Anti-imperialist graffiti as well as posters reading “Give Us Work or Give Us Wages!” were seen around the city.

Charlotte. The driveway of a local rapist named Brian Williams was tagged with the words, “Brian Williams is a rapist & abuser.” Williams has raped at least two women and abused more of his partners, while also using the bourgeois legal system to attack a victim of his abuse.