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South Korea’s historic candle light protests bring down President Park

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On December 9, Parliament voted in favor of a presidential impeachment by 234 votes to 56, with 7 invalid votes and 2 abstentions. Over 30,000 protesters were present to celebrate the impeachment. The votes in favor of impeachment exceeded what was expected, though it was slightly lower than the 81% support for impeachment among public opinion.

 

“No” to Renzi’s referendum in Italy: Democracy Against neoliberalism

 

 

By Cinzia Arruzza

 

December 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Listening to the media, you would think that yesterday’s Italian referendum results were yet another victory of right-wing populism against democracy. The situation, however, is much more complex than this, and the No victory is a victory for democracy and for the defense of social rights worth celebrating.

 

Dakota (USA) – Standing Rock: Battle won, but war continues

 

 

By Barry Sheppard

 

December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Native Americans and their allies won an important battle in their fight to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline going through historic tribal lands of the Sioux, and under part of the Missouri River where the Sanding Rock Sioux reservation gets its drinking water.

 

South Africa’s junk credit rating was avoided, but at the cost of junk analysis

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Standard&Poors (S&P) gave South Africa a fearful few hours of anticipation last Friday, just after dust from the political windstorm of the prior week settled. The agency downgraded the government’s securities that are denominated in the local currency (the rand) although refrained from the feared junk status on international securities. It was a moment for the ruling business and political party elites’ introspection, but in heaving a sigh of relief they are not looking far enough.

 

South Korea's civic revolution: Another mega-protest puts impeachment process back on track

 

 

[For more background on South Korea's çivic revolution, read Youngsu Won's previous article here.]

 

By Youngsu Won

 

December 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — December 3 saw another mega-protest hit President Park Geun-hye’s regime, with more than 2.32 million angry South Koreans participating in the 6th national candlelight protest called in recent weeks. Concerns of a lower turn out were swept aside, with the turnout surpassing the recently set record of 2 million people for the largest mobilisation in the country's history. Protesters demanded Park’s immediate and unconditional resignation. The massive outpour of anger has put back in motion an impeachment process that Park had hoped to derail.

 

South Korea shaken by new civic revolution

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

December 3 — Green Left Weekly / Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — South Korea is currently in a vortex of an unprecedented political crisis.

 

South Korea: Organising to bring down the government and change society

 

 

As hundreds of thousands take to the street in South Korea calling for the downfall of the government, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing below a series of interviews with activists from workers, students, womens, community and artists movements that are taking to the street. The interviews were first published in World Current Report, which is produced by the Seoul-based International Strategy Center.

 

Our Fidel

 

 

By Claudio Katz, translation and notes by Richard Fidler

 

December 6, 2016 — Life on the Left — With Fidel’s death Latin America’s principal revolutionary figure of the last century has left us. Amidst our great sorrow at his passing it is difficult to assess his stature. But while emotion clouds any evaluation, the Comandante’s influence[1] can be appreciated with greater clarity now that he has left.

 

South Korea: As millions take to the street, government teeters on the edge of collapse

 

 

South Korea's parliament is set to vote on whether to impeach President Park Geun-hye after a political scandal triggered off a mass wave of outrage - including a 2-million strong nationwide demonstration, the largest in the country's history. As part of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal coverage of the crisis, we are republishing below, with permission, two articles from the latest World Current Report, published by the Seoul-based International Strategy Center.

 

What if the workers were in control?

 

 

Members of the Lucas Aerospace Combine Committee on the steps of Wortley Hall, 1977

 

By Hilary Wainwright

 

December 3, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper — Back in the 1970s, with unemployment rising and British industry contracting, workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace came up with a pioneering plan to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. The ‘Lucas Plan’ remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers to take the steering wheel and directly drive the direction of change.

 

Behind Europe's banking crisis

 

 

Dick Nichols responds to a comment by Jurriaan Bendien on his
November 1 article " European financial system: next crash just around the corner?"

 

December 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Thanks to Jurriaan Bendien for his comment, and my apologies for not finishing this reply earlier. A lot has been happening in the Spanish state that needs covering and it also took me quite a bit of research to work out what I make of the issues Jurriaan raised.

 

To begin, I agree that it was misleading to write that “the chief pressure squeezing bank profitability has come directly from the real economic conditions, from the subdued demand for loans” (emphasis added here). Real economic forces such as the level of consumer demand don’t operate directly on the banking sector as they do on firms producing commodities for sale on the market, but indirectly, mainly through changes in interest rates.

 

However, I still hold to the point I was trying to make with that wrongly worded sentence. That is, of the forces shaping bank profitability it is the subdued demand for credit that is most driving actual levels of lending to business and, as a consequence, also compressing banking sector profitability in Europe.

 

1917: The View from the Streets #1 - ‘Down with the war. Long live the revolution!’

 

 

Alexander Shlyapnikov

 

December 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago this month, an organizing committee of Bolshevik-influenced students issued this underground proclamation calling on students in Russia who were opposed to the war to come together with workers and peasants to put a provisional revolutionary government in power. The organizing committee linked revolutionary student circles at higher educational institutions in Petrograd, Russia. Its proclamation reflects the impact of the Zimmerwald movement upon leading student revolutionary activists in Russia. It was originally published by Alexander Shlyapnikov in 1923.

 

International statement in solidarity with the West Papua’s people struggle for self-determination

 

 

December 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We, the undersigned organisations, express our support to the struggle of the people of West Papua for self-determination.

 

Italian constitutional referendum: next win for ‘populism’?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — “The mother of all wars”: that’s how, in the September issue of the left magazine Critica Marxista, constitutional law professor Claudio De Fiores described the campaign around Italy’s referendum on amending the country’s 1948 constitution.

 

It was no exaggeration.

Fidel Castro on the fight to defend Cuba’s socialist revolution

 

 

Introductory note by
Mike Taber

 

November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's website — To honor the contributions of Fidel Castro to the world revolutionary movement, below are three short excerpts by him from 1961, at the time of the U.S.-organized invasion at the Bay of Pigs. The fall of the regime of Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959, opened up a period of sustained popular mobilization throughout Cuba. Led by Fidel Castro and a broad team of July 26 Movement cadres, over the next two years Cuban working people carried out one of the most profound revolutionary transformations in modern history.

 

'We refuse a Europe of permanent austerity' - Statement for a Standing Plan B in Europe

 

 

November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The following statement was adopted at the "Internationalist Summit for a Plan B in Europe" organised by The Red-Green Alliance (Denmark), Left Party (Sweden) and the European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) European Parliamentary Group in Copenhagen, November 19-20. A video of the conference is available here. For more information on the conference visit here.

A Kurdish response to climate change

 

 

By Anna Lau, Erdelan Baran, and Melanie Sirinathsingh

 

November 23, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Open Democracy — For 4000 years since the breakdown of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, almost every major societal collapse has featured five trends: spiralling migration, state collapse, food shortages, epidemic disease and climate change.[1] What makes the present era distinct is that whilst previous collapses have been geographically contained, the globalisation of carbon-intensive industry since the 1800s and particularly over the last four decades means that the relationship between cause and effect has been obscured. Many of the people worst impacted by human-caused climate change today are also the least responsible for it. The Climate Stories project believes that averting further damage and building a different future means being led by those who are the first to hear the earth rise up in protest, have considered the causes and are innovating solutions. In this spirit, this article documents reflections from a series of conversations with members of the Kurdish movement on climate change.

 

Exploring the roots of a 21st century ‘climate crisis’

 

Les socialistes et la guerre au vingt-et-unième siècle – Le cas de la Syrie

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

Par Richard Fidler

 

23 novembre 2016 — Traduction française par Pierre Beaudet, Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières — En Syrie, les villes rebelles qui se sont soulevées à partir de 2011 contre la brutale dictature de Bashar El-Assad, subissent maintenant un siège génocidaire. Chaque jour, elles sont visées par l’aviation syrienne et les bombardiers russes. Leur combat, s’il échoue, brisera pour une longue période les espoirs du Printemps arabe pour une alternative démocratique et anti-impérialiste dans cette région du monde. Dans ce contexte, les socialistes et les militant-es pour la paix partout dans le monde doivent appuyer le peuple syrien et s’opposer à la guerre.

 

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