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How 7000 Quebec workers went on strike against climate change

 

 

By Alain Savard

 

November 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Labor Notes — With a crowd of 500,000, Montreal’s march for the climate was the largest in the world during the September 20-27 week of climate action. Yet it was also noteworthy for another reason.

 

Despite provincial labor laws preventing unions from striking over political issues, 11 locals representing 7,500 workers formally voted to go on strike for a day.

 

Extinction Rebellion: A socialist perspective

 

 

By John Molyneux 

 

November 4, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rebel News — Extinction Rebellion (XR) burst into international radical celebrity and global protest history in April 2019 when it occupied five prime sites in central London—Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square—holding them for a week, and withstanding over 1000 arrests in the process.

 

To describe this as spectacular is an understatement. It was quite literally unprecedented in modern English history and very unusual anywhere in Europe outside of revolutionary uprisings like the Paris Commune or Barcelona in 1936, and in a different way in May 1968 and Free Derry in 1969. That it should have captured the imagination of huge numbers of people both in Britain and internationally is hardly surprising.

 

Flying above the clouds: the US military and climate change

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

November 2, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Climate change is occurring, highlighted by dramatically shifting weather patterns and ever more deadly storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires.  And the evidence is overwhelming that it is driven by the steady increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide and methane, produced by our fossil fuel-based economic system.

 

Aware of global warming’s deadly human consequences, millions of people have taken to the streets to demand that governments take action to end our use of fossil fuels as part of a massive system-wide economic transformation that would also be designed to ensure a just transition for all communities and workers.

 

Cable Street remembered

 

 

By Sam Gordon

 

November 2, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In October 1936, events occurred in the East End of London that captured the attention of Left political activists for a generation.

 

World War I had laid waste to much of the industrial world and rejigged the colonial boundaries of Africa and the Middle East. The cold fog of the 1930s Great Depression had reinforced the Dickensian perception to east London. It was a place full of foreigners and poverty.  It was seen by many as a place to be avoided.

 

Thoughts on the left in Canada

 

 

By Jason Devine

 

November 2, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — I have recently turned 39 and I have been a communist since I was 14. At that time I did not rush to join any self-declared radical left-wing organisation because I felt I did not know enough to make a reasoned judgement. It was only later, when I was twenty, that I joined the Communist Party of Canada (CPC). The reasons why I joined were because I wanted to learn, to actively promote revolution, and there was very little choice in Calgary. Most other groups only had a presence in Ontario or BC, but here things were sparse.

 

Danish Red-Green Alliance congress: organising for climate and social justice

 

 


By Dick Nichols

 

October 28, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This year’s Annual Meeting (congress) of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance (RGA), its 30th, took place in Copenhagen on October 5-6 in a political context that contrasted strongly with that of its predecessor, held in April 2018.

 

Eighteen months ago the 300-plus delegates of the RGA (known in Denmark as the Unity List—the Red-Greens) were preparing for a general election they hoped would lift the RGA into the role of main challenger to the Social Democrats for hegemony over what in Danish politics is called the "red bloc". Composed of the Social Democrats, the Socialist People’s Party (SF), the Social Liberals and the RGA, the red bloc has historically competed against its "blue" rival—the Liberals, Danish People’s Party (DF), Conservatives and Liberal Alliance—for the majority support that decides whether Social Democrats or Liberals will head the Danish government.

 

Catalonia after the sentence: the tsunami of protest driving Spanish politics

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

October 28, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The emotional gap between the 75%-80% of Catalans who uphold their country’s right to self-determination and the Spanish elites and parts of Spanish society that just want to see it wiped out was already enormous before October 14. But on that day, when the Spanish Supreme Court condemned nine Catalan political and social movement leaders to a total of 99.5 years jail, it probably became unbridgeable.

 

Since October 14, in bars, restaurants and public transport across Catalonia, there has been practically no other topic of conversation than the Spanish court’s vindictive sentences against the twelve leaders of the October 1, 2017 independence referendum and the torrents of protest that the verdict has provoked.

 

An immediate indicator of the profound indignation the verdict caused was that every last social, recreational, scientific, artistic and sporting organisation— from the most to the least political, from Barcelona Football Club to the Catalan Association for the Defence and Study of Nature— immediately issued statements condemning the sentences.

 

Punishment without crime: the judgment against the Catalan leaders analysed

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

October 22, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The unanimous verdict of the seven Supreme Court judges that set off the still expanding wave of protest that has engulfed Catalonia was calculatedly vindictive. The nine Catalan leaders—seven former ministers and social movement leaders Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart—were found guilty of “sedition” for preparing the October 1, 2017 Catalan referendum of self-determination. For this eighteenth-century crime, long deleted from the penal codes of many other European states, they were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 9 to 13 years.

 

The harshest sentence was handed out to former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras as “leader of the sedition”. Former ministers Raül Romeva (foreign affairs), Dolors Bassa (social welfare) and Jordi Turull (minister of state) came next with 12 years: along with Junqueras they were also found guilty of “embezzlement”.

 

Former Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell incurred 11.5 years jail for allowing the chamber to vote on the referendum’s enabling law after being instructed by the Spanish Constitutional Court not to do so.

 

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part V—summing up the New Deal experience

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

October 20, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Growing awareness of our ever-worsening climate crisis has boosted the popularity of movements calling for a Green New Deal.  At present, the Green New Deal is a big tent idea, grounded to some extent by its identification with the original New Deal and emphasis on the need for strong state action to initiate social-system change on a massive scale.  Challenges abound for Green New Deal activists.  Among the many, how to:

 

  • create supportive working relationships between the different movements currently pushing for a Green New Deal
  • develop a sharper, shared vision of the aims of a Green New Deal
  • increase popular support for those aims as well as participation in those movements
  • build sufficient political power to force a change in state policy along lines favorable to the Green New Deal
  • ensure that the resulting trajectory of change strengthens the broader struggle to achieve a socially just and ecologically sustainable political-economy

 

Revolutionary theory, academia and Marxist political parties

 

 

By Raju J Das

 

October 20, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — If revolution is necessary, what is necessary for revolution? Many things are necessary. There has to be a numerically large mass of workers who are suffering, who are class conscious and who are engaged in trade union and political struggle. Revolution also needs “a correct revolutionary theory” (Lenin, 1968). And theory — or more broadly, revolutionary intellectual work — has to be consciously produced. Then the question is: what is the role of the academic world in this production, in relation to the world of political revolutionaries (e.g. party-based intellectuals), and what is the connection between intellectual work and political program. This short article provides some basic reflections on this question in a schematic form.

 

Denmark’s Red-Greens: what answers when the climate crisis shakes up politics?

 

 

Interview with Red-Green Alliance MP Søren Søndergaard

 

October 14, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Former metal worker Søren Søndergaard, who presently represents the outer Copenhagen electorate of Gladsaxe in the Danish parliament, has a long history in radical left politics. In the 1980s, he was part of the daily leadership of the Socialist Workers Party, one of the three founding organisations of the Red-Green Alliance (RGA), known in Denmark as the Unity List—the Red-Greens.

 

Søndergaard was a member of the Danish Parliament from 1994 to 2005 and Gladsaxe Town Council from 2006 to 2007, He also served as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

 

In 2007, Søndergaard was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the People’s Movement against the European Union (EU). After resigning this position in 2014, he won election to the Danish parliament in 2015 as an RGA MP for Gladsaxe: he was re-elected in the June 5 general election this year.

 

Syria: Turkey launches genocidal invasion to crush Rojava Revolution

 

 

By Tony Iltis

 

October 14, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The horrific violence that has been devastating Syria for the past eight years is intensifying.

 

On October 9, NATO’s second largest army, that of Turkey, launched a full-scale invasion of the territory under the control of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA), three days after US President Donald Trump gave the green light in a phone conversation with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The invasion began with shelling and aerial bombardment of civilian populations.

 

The aim of the invasion is to annihilate the AA’s revolutionary, democratic and feminist experiment. Solidarity between different ethnic and religious communities has been at the forefront of this experiment.

 

United States: Green Party debates Green New Deal

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

October 11, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Despite the furor over the Green New Deal (GND), many of its supporters have no idea of the wide variety of views on it, especially within the Green Party (GP), where it originated in the United States. From June through August, Missouri Greens held public discussions contrasting at least three distinct GP views to those from the Democratic Party (DP).

 

Climate action: Only the most radical approach will work

 

 

By Dave Holmes

 

October 11, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The current climate crisis — global warming — is the greatest threat ever faced by humanity. The survival of the human race is at stake. The reality of the heating of the planet can’t rationally be denied.

 

CO2 emissions continue to rise. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 is now north of 410 ppm. This is the highest level in 800,000 years. The planet is clearly getting hotter. There are now more extreme weather events — more devastating floods, more debilitating droughts, more catastrophic hurricanes and tornadoes, more searing heatwaves, more destructive storm water surges in coastal areas. We can expect to cross some key tipping points very soon, ushering in a world very different to anything we have ever known.

 

The burden of these events falls most heavily on poor people and especially on Third World countries where the infrastructure is much weaker.

 

Rojava: Millions of civilians in northern Syria threatened as US green-lights Turkey’s invasion

 

  

By Bulent Gokay and Lily Hamourtziadou

 

October 11, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On October 6, the White House declared US troops would be withdrawn from northern Syria and no longer be in the immediate area ahead of a Turkish military operation. It also added the US would not support or be involved in the operations, and that Turkey would now be responsible for the fate of all Islamic State (IS) fighters captured during the last two years (totalling 12,000 men and 70,000 women and children) and currently held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Defence Forces (SDF), a group of Kurdish and Arab militias. 

 

Spanish general election: can a divided left keep out the right?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

September 30, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On September 17, Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and winner of the April 28 general election, informed King Philip that he didn’t have enough support to form government. If nothing changed by the September 23 deadline for a proposal for government, new elections would be held on November 10.

 

Talks with the radical force Unidas Podemos (UP), a coalition of the United Left (IU) and Podemos, had collapsed and consequently the other two sources of support promised the PSOE—the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV)—also withdrew their backing for Sánchez’s investiture. In over four months of languid negotiations, the acting prime minister had managed to add only one vote to the PSOE’s 124 in the 350-seat Spanish Congress—that of the Regionalist Party of Cantabria (PRC). 

 

Terrorism in our own backyards: Calling for justice in deaths in custody

 

 

By Rachel B. Haubi

 

September 30, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — No one ever wishes to witness a 17-year-old boy impaled on an iron fence – a Christic figure against the Waterloo skyscrapers. “A freak accident,” the coroner declared, exempting NSW police who denied chasing the teenager. But civilians had seen the back of the bicycle being clipped by the police paddy. Against all protocols, the officers had even removed the body from the spikes and sent the rescue vehicle away.

 

Politicians agree: “Any white cop can kill a Black man”

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 30, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In 2017 my Links article, “Any White Cop Can Kill a Black Man at Any Time,” told how St. Louis cop Jason Stockley killed a 24-year-old black man, Anthony Lamar Smith.  Though Stockley claimed he had fired in self defense when Smith pulled a gun on him, evidence showed that he had planted the gun after the killing.  When Stockley was found “not guilty” protests by thousands in St. Louis lasted for months, just as in 2014 when another white cop Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in neighboring Ferguson.

 

Crises of cops indiscriminately killing black men keep intensifying throughout the area.  In 2018, Stockley sued the City of St. Louis for putting him on trial in a case that could have created a precedent for cops being able to kill without ever being held accountable.  Then, on September 20, 2019, news broke that in 2012, soon after the killing, the Missouri Attorney General’s office had suppressed evidence regarding Stockley’s DNA being found on the gun he claimed belonged to his victim.  This is after months of the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) harassing the City’s first black female Circuit Attorney for attempting to defend citizens from racist attacks.

 

Catalan sovereignty movement: disoriented or preparing to fight back?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

September 22, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Below is a fragment of a conversation I had the day after 600,000 came out in Barcelona on September 11 to celebrate this year’s Catalan National Day (the Diada).

 

Occupying the Plaça d’Espanya and the surrounding streets, the vast crowd demanded the acquittal of the 12 Catalan social movement and political leaders presently awaiting a Spanish Supreme Court verdict on charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement, the release of the nine of them who have been in preventive detention for up to nearly two years, and an independence referendum.

 

Most of all, however, it called for a united strategy from the leaderships of the tension-ridden Catalan sovereignty and independence movement. Let the political parties—Together for Catalonia (JxCat), the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the People’s Unity List (CUP)—and the mass organisations—the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural—get their act together and show a way forward.

 

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