Int’l Working Women’s Day shows nothing stays the same

first_imgInternational Working Women’s Day, March 8, is celebrated in many countries to acknowledge past and present struggles for women’s equality and liberation in all spheres of life. These struggles can take many forms — marches, rallies, teach-ins, strikes, direct action, walkouts.   Millions of women, including gender-nonconforming people — in oppressed countries and even in rich capitalist centers — are aware that the origins of IWWD are pro-socialist, anti-patriarchal and overall anti-capitalist.  These same women have also been inspired by the current #MeToo movement, initiated by Tarana Burke, a Black woman in 2007, to show solidarity with women of color victimized by sexual and racist misconduct.  Before the present White House regime came to power in 2016, IWWD had been marginalized inside the U.S., especially compared to its politically conservative counterpart, Mother’s Day, widely celebrated on the second Sunday in May.  Even when Congress declared Women’s History Month in 1975, little was known about the role played by the women’s mass movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s in winning this proclamation.  But as Bob Dylan’s classic lyrics state, “The times they are a-changin.” Nothing stays the same, including in the belly of the beast, the United States.  The ushering in of the misogynist, white supremacist Trump government, coupled with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, have helped elevate much-needed class consciousness about the significance of IWWD among sectors of U.S. society, especially women of all ages, nationalities and gender expression.  Due to these movements, Barry Jenkins, an award-winning Black director, expressed his support for more women directors during the Feb. 23 Spirit Independent Awards ceremony.  And on March 8, NBA TV, a channel dedicated to games and news for the male-dominated National Basketball Association, paid tribute to the role that women play in front of and behind the camera in helping to make the NBA the second most popular U.S. pro sport, behind the National Football League.  Even the sports conglomerate, Nike, created an inspiring TV ad for Women’s History Month, voiced by the great Serena Williams, showing women and girl athletes, including those who are trans, Muslim and with disabilities, using sports as a powerful platform for change. Notwithstanding this progress, mainstream media have fallen short in explaining the real class origins of IWWD, just as with the founding of International Workers Day or May Day, which brought about the eight-hour workday in the U.S. through militant struggle. Corporations will always try to co-opt progressive historical events and leaders in an attempt to increase their insatiable profit line.  It is the responsibility of revolutionaries and activists to resist and to push consciousness to the left within the U.S. population. We must show that unorganized women workers, including immigrants, were in the forefront of organizing for a livable wage and better working conditions in the factories, in the offices and in the fields in the early 1900s. Theirs were the battles that paved the way for IWWD.   Today, that tradition continues globally — with women workers going on strike against the attacks on public education or organizing one-day stoppages against transnationals such as McDonald’s, Burger King or Google for better wages, health care benefits and against sexual abuse. The real goal of IWWD is to build solidarity for revolutionary change that includes women and gender-nonconforming people — 365 days a year, regardless of borders.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Happy pills no laughing matter

first_imgLinkedin NewsLocal NewsHappy pills no laughing matterBy admin – October 15, 2009 864 13 year-old hospitalised after taking ‘Jokers’LAWS governing the sale of hallucinogenic and other stimulants from head shops have been questioned by the mother of a young teenage girl, who was hospitalised after purchasing and consuming party pills – otherwise known as happy pills – that she was told would “make her laugh”.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up This newspaper was contacted by the mother of the 13-year-old girl who lost feeling in both her legs and collapsed before being rushed to the Regional Hospital, where she was placed on a heart monitor.Now she warns parents of the dangers of some products available for sale in head shops.The girl was twice refused in separate head shops before finally purchasing a packet of ‘Jokers’ (party pills containing a mixture of ketones, herbal extracts and glucose).After taking the pills with her friend, both felt immediately ill. One claimed to have lost feeling in her hands, while the other collapsed and had to be taken to hospital.Both parents contacted the Gardai, but were alerted that no legislation exists to prohibit the sale of these products to anyone under 18.It is alleged when they bought the pills, they enquired as to what the effects they would have, and were reportedly informed that it would make them laugh.Robert Gardiner, proprietor of the city centre head shop Dark Side, stated: “Consumption of those pills for girls of that age would have the same effect as drinking 10 cans of red bull because of the high caffeine content.“The effects would vary from person to person. However, a child consuming those pills would be a lot more at risk than a person over the age of 18”.Although it is legal for shops to sell party pills and herbal incenses to all ages, local head shop owners are adamant that they refuse to sell their products to people under 18.The parents concerned fear that children might be at risk from taking party pills.They are calling for legislation to be brought in to ban the sale of these products to people under the age of 18.A legal source informed this newspaper of the grey area which these products fall into: “There seems to be no legislative powers in place as these products do not fall under the Misuse of Drugs Act, which would make them illegal. They are not regulated by the Pharmacies Act, where a prescription would be required; however any of the tobacco products would not available for sale to anyone under 18”.Local Labour TD, Jan O’ Sullivan, who has voiced her concerns about head shops in the past, said: “We clearly have a big problem that is directly affecting younger people”.After learning of the incident involving the girl being hospitalised, Deputy O’Sullivan is to put a Parliamentary question to the Dáil this week regarding the legal grey area which exists.A Limerick doctor, who preferred not to be identified, agreed with Deputy O’Sullivan’s concerns.“I have seen similar cases in the past”, he said.Robert Gardiner said, “A child consuming these pills would be a lot more at risk than a person over the age of 18” Email WhatsApp Advertisementcenter_img Print Facebook Twitter Previous articleReported crime down in city and countyNext articleUnusual position for Munster adminlast_img read more

Asian markets struggle to digest coronavirus spike

first_imgAsian shares are showing a mixed picture on Tuesday after a volatile day in US equity markets amid persistent concerns over the record number of new coronavirus cases worldwide and signs of an economic rebound.Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures lost 0.76 percent in early trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures added 0.22 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures rose 0.39 percent.E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.21 percent. The US dollar edged lower on Monday as investors looked to US corporate earnings and upcoming retail data to gauge whether guarded optimism on the economic outlook was justified. Spot gold dropped 0.1 percent to US$1,801.30 an ounce.On Monday, the S&P 500 dropped 0.94 percent after touching its highest level since Feb. 24 earlier in the trading day. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.13 percent, driven by declines in some outperforming big names, including Amazon and Microsoft. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.04 percent.MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe briefly touched its highest level since February, before ending down 0.29 percent.Growing concerns over the coronavirus spread and simmering US-China tensions also weighed on oil. Brent futures fell 52 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $42.72 a barrel.In upcoming data, China is set to report Tuesday its trade numbers, with slump in China’s exports likely easing in June while imports contracted less sharply on higher crude oil and commodities purchases, according to a Monday Reuters poll.Topics : After a strong start in the United States, equity markets sold off when California announced it was slowing the state’s reopening, shutting bars and banning indoor restaurant dining statewide in response to a surge in coronavirus cases.But at the same time, US consumers reported being more optimistic that the worst of their economic woes from the pandemic were behind them, complicating the picture for investors about the state of the world’s largest economy.“The US continues to report fresh highs of daily new infections. However, the seriousness of the disease is falling. Hospitalisation rates…has trended down since April,” said Kim Mundy with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney, in an analyst note. “The upshot is the surge in infections does not give the full story.  And it suggests the US is learning to live with the disease.”Tensions also grew between the US and China over disputed claims to offshore resources throughout the South China Sea, with US officials saying China’s claims were “unlawful.”last_img read more

Streets close around campus for summer

first_imgJust days removed from commencement and the end of spring semester, the university has begun work on nearly 50 summer construction projects, many of which will lead to street and building closures already affecting life on campus this summer.The summer construction schedule began Monday and is scattered throughout campus.Street closures, as a result of construction, include McClintock Avenue between Downey and Hellman ways and Childs Way between Trousdale Parkway and Figueroa Street.Graphic by Jovanna Tosello | Summer TrojanDowney will also be inaccessible near the Hedco Neuro Sciences Building.Major renovations, or “capital construction development” projects, are planned at 22 different locations, including Kaprielian Hall and Stoops Hall, as well as starting construction on the new student health center.Reaction to the increased construction and street closure has been mixed from students who will need to access campus during the summer months.Kamron Hakemy, a junior majoring in international relations [global business] who lives at Tuscany Apartments on Figueroa Street, said the street closures would affect the time it takes to get ontocampus.“Even when USC isn’t in session, the campus is very populated,” Hakemy said. “The closures will definitely make the trip to campus longer.”Hakemy also mentioned the reduced traffic pattern on campus would likely cause increased traffic concerns on the streets surrounding USC.Other students were more accepting of the summer construction and closures and welcomed the improvements to campus.“I’ve already been warned that USC means the ‘University of Summer Construction,’ so I’m prepared for it,” said Nakul Joshi, a sophomore majoring in computer science and taking classes this summer. “I’m confident that every effort has been made to keep it safe.”The construction and street closures could also impact tourists and prospective undergraduates, according to students.“Tour guides are not able to show visitors as much of the campus and buildings as they’d like to,” said Preksha Daga, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering who will work at the Office of Admissions this summer.Gate 3 (McCarthy Way) will also be partially inaccessible until June 30, according to an email sent to the university community by USC Transportation.All road closures and traffic restrictions will be lifted by August 15 at the latest, according to the email.last_img read more