Ballots & Bullets

By David Hoskins


Ballots & Bullets is a regular column that provides field reports on workers movements and the fight for socialism around the world at the ballot box, on the streets, and in armed struggle.

Argentina: More than 200 factories have been occupied in recent years by workers resisting the shutdown of their workplace by the owners. Twenty new factories have been occupied since 2008. Workers at Latin America’s largest ceramics factory won a victory in mid-August when a provincial legislature was forced to recognize worker control.

Colombia: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia killed five police officers in separate attacks on Aug. 7 and Aug. 9. The United States is increasing its military presence in Colombia, including plans to allow U.S. soldiers greater access to Colombian military bases.

India: The Communist Party of India-Maoist concluded a successful two-day strike on Aug. 25. The strike was observed in parts of five Indian states and was called to protest the arrest of two senior leaders. The day before the strike was launched, CPI-M guerillas killed five Indian police officers and injured two others when the rebels ambushed a patrol in Bihar.

Nepal: The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist has launched massive street protests in capital Kathmandu and in districts around the country to protest the government’s refusal to take action against the Nepal Army chief responsible for coup plots against the Maoist party. The UCPN-M is the largest party in the legislature since it placed first in the 2008 constituent assembly elections. Maoist lawmakers have regularly disrupted parliamentary proceedings and shut down the legislature since launching the protest program in early August.

Peru: Fifty Shining Path guerillas launched an attack on a special forces police base in the southern Peru region of Ayacucho. Three police officers were killed in the August attack.

Philippines: The New People’s Army raided an army post in Davao del Norte on Aug. 10. Rifles and hand-held radios were seized by the communist guerillas, who have been fighting a revolutionary armed struggle since 1969.


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