Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Nagasaki August 9, 1945Shomi Yoon gave this talk to the Wellington branch of the International Socialists on the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.

 

Seventy years ago this month the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The bomb, a “destroyer of worlds” burnt hotter than the sun. The largely civilian victims were instantly vaporised, and the fires that burnt afterwards incinerated thousands more. The death toll for the two cities rests conservatively at 250,000 people.

The after effects of radiation killed even more people through a long and torturous process. [Read more…]

Migrant workers’ victory in Korea

Opening ImageBy Sam MacDonald in Seoul

Over the past 50 years, few countries have experienced such a dramatic economic rise as South Korea. A country once known for sweatshops and cheap manufactured goods; now produces some of the world’s most advanced ships, cars and electronics. An important part of this process was the state-led export of Korean labour. From 1975-85 over one million young Koreans moved to the Middle-East in search of construction jobs and money to remit home. However, as Korean capitalism has grown and workers have fought for higher wages, this process has reversed as small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have sought to fill labour shortages with over 500,000 foreign migrant workers. Concentrated in so-called 3D jobs (dirty, dangerous and demeaning), these new migrants have become one of the most marginalised groups in this society, facing constant discrimination, abuse and mistreatment.

[Read more…]

Dairy Millionaires and the “Monster that hit Vanuatu”

 

Dairy has been the fastest growing sector of the NZ economy in the last 20 years, making millions for a handful of farmers but also methane – a climate change gas. Vanuatu has just been smashed by Cyclone Pam. These things are connected.

Vanuatu president Baldwin Lonsdale has described Cyclone Pam as “the monster that has hit Vanuatu”, and has said the worsening cyclone seasons that hit the island nation are directly related to climate change. “We see the level of sea rise … The cyclone seasons, the warm, the rain, all this is affected ,” he said. “This year we have more than in any year … Yes, climate change is contributing to this.”

[Read more…]

After the Elections: Political Perspectives in Japan

No Nukes

In-depth post-election perspectives from Japanese socialist Tsutomu Teramoto. Teramoto is a member of the Japan Revolutionary Communist League. 

As expected, the general election of December 14, 2014 gave an absolute majority of the seats again to the ruling coalition of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komei Party. LDP got 291 seats and Komei Party got 35 seats out of the total of 475 seats. The biggest opposition, Democratic Party (DP) got only 73 seats. [Read more…]