Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza.
by Anu Muhammad
We have witnessed the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh, one beyond any wild calculation and more horrifying than we could even imagine. On April 24, 2013 another garment factory, Rana Plaza in Savar near the capital city of Bangladesh, Dhaka, suddenly turned into a mass grave. The death toll continues to climb and, rising quickly after a few hundred, has already passed 1000, many are still missing. I don’t think anybody has the capacity to capture the extent of grief, heartache, discontent, and anger this horror has created.
The collapse of this eight-storey garment factory took place only 5 months after another garment fire disaster, Tazreen Fashions that killed 124. Rana Plaza, the multi-storied building, was built on low land and housed at least five garment factories. This land was grabbed by a ruling party thug from a religious minority family, was quickly built upon without proper design, permission, or many of the necessary materials. In every phase of construction, this building grew with deviance and corruption. Sohel Rana, the owner of the building, a local leader of the ruling party, has been known as drug smuggler and accused of many crimes including murder (for more on him, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22366454).
Come to our monthly progressive open mic at Undergrounds Coffeehaus (3020 North Federal Highway, 5A, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306) tomorrow. There will be comedy, music, poetry and more!
Click here for the link to the event page.
[UPDATE: We received this from a reader on 5/15: "Found out recently, Babu has died. Actually 'murdered' would be the right word. I am trying to find out what happened, but in vain. Still trying...probably he did, saw, and knew too much! His body was found in a room of a hospital, there were signs of strangling. They had to shut him up! Just like that. So easy, so easy, so easy."]
The following was translated and shared with One Struggle, with the intent to show the heroism of the masses, of the working class.
“Why is it that our greatest freedom fighters listed are always from the army or the trained soldiers? Why the names of regular freedom fighters are not there? … [T]heir name will not be written in history. They are going to keep digging and digging holes by risking their lives, in the hope of finding someone alive, all the way at the bottom of the collapsed building.”
by Arif Jebtik
translated by Nurun Nahar Zerin
Last Thursday night, 2 am. 3 men were coming back to Savar from Sripur, which is near to Maona, after collecting machines to cut building. The van also carried 500 bottles of water from Dhaka. Right before Bypass road the van stopped to fill gas in a CNG station. Van was being filled while two men asked with unassumingly “are you all going to Savar?” They seemed to be poor (floating workers).
Back at the start, the surplus value has to be reinvested. Only through expansion can each company gain a competitive edge over all the others. For capitalism as a whole to function in a reasonably stable way, and for everyone to stay ahead of their interest payments, it must grow about 3% annually. So the cycle goes around again, but bigger. In the next turn, they must extract more raw materials, exploit more labor, manufacture more products, generate more waste, make more profits. Growth is not just linear, because each turn of the cycle is on top of a greater quantity than the time before. Continue reading
They must continuously force open and seize control of more markets. This is one of the driving forces for imperialism. When more than one country does this, major inter-imperialist conflicts ensue. This rivalry—not any sort of moral issue—was the cause of the two major inter-imperialist wars of the 20th Century. So war both captures markets and destroys excess product – it’s capitalist multitasking. Continue reading
A portion is siphoned off for personal use by capitalists, to furnish extravagant lifestyles with excessive salaries and bonuses. Continue reading
The surplus value created in production is locked inside the commodity until the moment of consumption, when it’s released as profit.
When you plunk your dollars down to buy the hair dryer or the box of frozen waffles, the capitalist’s goal is realized. Continue reading
Coverage on Bangladeshi websites of the Rapid Response Network solidarity rally at Walmart (South Florida) on May 4:
Competition drives technological development as each capitalist pursues ever-increasing efficiency and speed. They automate their factories to minimize the number of workers and to stay ahead of one another. Continue reading
After a short hiatus, the “Capitalism Must Die!” series is back.
Other capitalists are running this same cycle at the same time. All their commodities flow into the marketplace. Competition is the major economic driving force of capitalism. Continue reading