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Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal seeks to promote the exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of "socialism" that arose in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

Inspired by the unfolding socialist revolution in Venezuela, as well as the continuing example of socialist Cuba, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is a journal for "Socialism of the 21st century", and the discussions and debates flowing from that powerful example of socialist renewal.

Links is also proud to be the sister publication of Green Left Weekly, the world's leading red-green newspaper, and we urge readers to visit that site regularly.

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Due to illness affecting Links editor, Terry Townsend, publishing of pieces and communcation may be slower than usual, although we will endenvour to keep a stready flow new pieces and respond to queries as rapidly as possible. Please send queries or submissions to contact (AT) links (DOT) org (DOT) au.

Memories of a participant: Kent & Jackson State, 1970 -- A firestorm they could not contain

By Mike Ely

May 4, 2010 -- Kasama Project -- May 4, 1970. Forty years have passed. It is history now in the eyes of the world. But for me, and many others, it is raw and alive. It always will be.

I won’t tell the well-known details – if you don’t know them, look them up. But I will tell you what it felt like, and looked like to a teenage boy who wanted desperately to see the liberation of the Vietnamese and Black people in America.

May Day for Bobby Seale — New Haven, 1970

On May 1 1970, I was in New Haven, Connecticut. Bobby Seale, the chairman of the Black Panther Party was facing a murder trial in New Haven. They had first bound and gagged him in the  courtroom of the Chicago 8, then shipped him to Connecticut to lock him up for life. We were determined to free him.

Students came from all over the US east coast to turn the city upside down. On my campus, we had worked day and night to explain the attack on the Black Panther Party – and to mobilise busloads to go New Haven.

Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther Party.

Thailand: Land of smoke and mirrors

By Justin Alick, Bangkok, photos by Nick Nostitz/New Mandala

May 5, 2010 -- FM4 -- Thailand is many things, but a bastion of transparency it is not.

On the night of April 10, 2010, a distraught group of red-shirted, pro-democracy activists stormed into a Bangkok hospital and demanded that it hand over the bodies of fellow protesters they had witnessed being shot to death by the Royal Thai Army in a bloody military crackdown, which was still in progress. At first they were turned away by the hospital director, citing medical procedures as well as specific regulations that had been handed down by the military regime -- but as more angry protesters arrived, he had no choice but to relent.

Eyewitness report: Nepal, May 1-4 -- The people besiege a government

[For more coverage of the struggle in Nepal, please click HERE.]

Story and photos by Jed Brandt

May 3, 2010 -- -- From here in Kathmandu the monarchy ruled this diverse mountain nation for 200 years. This is where the national elite live, with its political parties, banks and walled compounds. But the streets now belong to the people, and it is this "people's power" movement that they fear.

Kathmandu is chaotic on a normal day, but for May 1 the Maoists mobilised at least 500,000 people to the steets with both discipline and revelry. The Janandolan III, or popular uprising, they promised is here.

The Kalinki gathering

We positioned ourselves by one of the 18 gathering points for the May 1 events. Each of the gathered marches then moved through the streets to Martyrs' Field in the Kathmandu city centre.

Thailand: What Abhisit has really offered; UDD's response

Solidarity in Australia with the Thai people's struggle for democracy. Photos by Thai Red Australia, Peter Boyle and Mat Ward.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

May 4, 2010 -- Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva trumpeted today that he was taking an important initiative to “solve” the political crisis. He offered to dissolve parliament in September and hold elections on November 14, 2010. Previously he had said that he would not dissolve parliament until December. Yet even this offer was conditional on there being “peace in society”. That means that he and his military-backed government can go back on this proposal and claim that conditions were “not yet right” for elections nearer the time.

Venezuela: 100,000 celebrate May Day

By Tamara Pearson

May 2, 2010 -- -- Venezuelans marched on May 1 to celebrate International Worker's Day. President Hugo Chavez also implemented a 15% wage increase, and the government broadened social security entitlements.

The main national march was in the capital Caracas, where people chanted, danced, waved placards and banners and played music as they marched towards the presidential palace Miraflores. While there were no official or police estimates, various participants in the march told Venezuelanalysis they estimated that "hundreds of thousands" turned out, celebrating the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution and its promotion of wage increases, better working conditions and better life conditions for the poor majority. [However, more sober accounts told Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal that participation was around 100,000.]

A range of union and workers' representatives addressed the crowd from the main stage and 7000 police and guards looked after the march.

Europe: Solidarity with the resistance of the Greek workers (updated May 9)

Greek workers stage general strike, March 2010.

April 30, 2010

1. The global economic crisis continues. Massive amounts of money have been injected into the financial system – US$14 trillion in bailouts in the United States, Britain and the eurozone, $1.4 trillion in new bank loans in China last year – in an effort to restabilise the world economy. But it remains an open question whether or not these efforts will be enough to produce a sustainable recovery. Growth remains very sluggish in the advanced economies, while unemployment continues to rise. There are fears that a new financial bubble centred this time on China is developing. The protracted character of the crisis – which is the most severe since the Great Depression – reflects its roots in the very nature of capitalism as a system.

From the civil rights movement to Barack Obama

Manning Marable.

Beyond Black & White
By Manning Marable,
Verso Press, 2009, 319 pages

Review by Malik Miah

Manning Marable’s latest book, Beyond Black & White, is an update of a valuable critique of Black and US politics first issued in 1995. He revised it last year, adding new chapters covering the period from 1995 to 2008, including an analysis of the meaning of the election of the first African-American president of the United States, Barack Obama, in November 2008.

The closing chapter, “Barack Obama, the 2008 Presidential Election and the Prospects for a ‘Post Racial Politics”, is a good place to begin reading the collection of articles and essays. Marable’s two prefaces —for the first and new edition — outline his views on “Black and white” and the evolution of how race impacts US political conversations and the failure of leadership in the Black community.

May Day 2010: For workers' rights and the environment, oppose racism, defend revolutions

Havana, May 1, 2010.

May 1, 2010 -- May Day -- saw millions of people mobilising around globe to oppose attacks on workers' rights, reverse the degradation of the environment, defend the rights of oppressed peoples and migrants and -- as in Nepal, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia -- to make, extend or defend unfolding revolutions.

In Nepal, Jed Brandt reports that between 500,000 and 1 million people flooded the streets on Kathmandu to demand the resignation of the government. The massive mobilisation -- called by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Young Communist League -- is the prelude to a general strike that begins May 2.

Eyewitness report: Nepal, May 1 -- 500,000+ mobilise, talks fail, general strike is on

Photo by Jed Brandt.

By Jed Brandt, Kathmandu

May 1, 2010 -- Late into the night, after a long May 1 in Kathmandu: I just left the Radisson Hotel where negotiations had been going on. Dr Baburam Bhattarai, a top leader of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and its negotiating team, came out the doors to say that the three negotiating parties have not reached an agreement. The general strike is on.

Others in attendance at the negotiations included the Congress party and the [pro-capitalist] Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist). The hated, isolated current prime minister M.K. Nepal will not resign.

Bhattarai was sharp and direct. Since they will not make way for a national unity government, the agitation will increase tomorrow with a national general strike to topple the unpopular and unelected government.

A city filled for May 1 and for struggle

The May 1 rally today was well over 500,000.

How African-American communists fought for racial equality to the US south

Februarry 16, 2010 -- NPR -- Tell Me More continues its Black History Month series of conversations with a discussion about the role of the Communist Party. It was prominent in the fight for racial equality in the south, specifically Alabama, where segregation was most oppressive. Many courageous activists were communists. Host Michel Martin speaks with historian Robin G. Kelley about his book Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression about how the communist party tried to secure racial, economic, and political reforms. The transcript is available from NPR.

Nepal’s streets ahead of May 1: `We make the power'

[The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has called for workers and villagers to converge on Kathmandu for a “final conflict” to win a new constitution. The Maoists are calling for a sustained mobilisation, with the hope that an overwhelming showing can push the government out with a minimum of bloodshed and stay the hand of the Nepal army. For more background, see "Nepal: Bracing for `high noon' after May 1". The UCPN (M) on April 27 called for an indefinite general strike starting May 2, should the current prime minister not step aside in the face of the May 1 mass mobilisation.]

* * *

Story and photos by Jed Brandt, Kathmandu

Thailand: It's about democracy

Red Shirt barricade, Bangkok.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

April 29, 2010 -- In a democratic society, when there is a deep crisis, it is customary for the government to dissolve parliament and call elections in order for the people to decide. This happened in Britain and France after mass strikes and demonstrations in the 1960s and 1970s.

After mass right-wing Yellow Shirt protests against the government in Bangkok in 2006, Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai government dissolved parliament and called elections. Yet the Democrat Party and others refused to take part in these elections because they knew they would lose. This led to a military coup. The military wrote their own undemocratic constitution. Fresh elections were held under the control of the military, yet Thaksin’s party won an overall majority again. Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government is only in power by using two judiciary coups, Yellow Shirt violence at Government House and the airports, and the actions of the army. It has never been elected.

`That's capitalism!' Scottish Socialist Party election broadcast: `No cuts, no wars, for an end to corruption'

April 29, 2010 -- The Scottish Socialist Party is standing in 10 seats across Scotland in the UK general election on May 6.The video above was broadcast on BBC TV on April 23.

SSP election manifesto: `For an independent socialist Scotland'

No cuts, no wars, for an end to corruption

May Day 2010: `Workers will win!'

Graphic by Ashley Cecil.

Statements from left organisations around the world to mark international workers' day.

* * *

Joint May Day 2010 statement from Asia

Click here to endorse the joint May Day statement 

All over the world workers are organising ...

We are organising to demand a living wage. For health and safety at work. For compensation and  rehabilitation. For the  rights of migrant workers and refugees, for citizenship rights for migrant workers and their families. For the right to employment on equal terms. Workers are organising against deportations, against racism, against discrimination. Workers are organising against wars that are a disaster to millions of workers.

Greece: Driven into crisis

Workers in Greece protest government attacks on wages and benefits.

By Ingo Schmidt

April 27, 2010 -- The Bullet -- Neoliberal order reigns in the world. Stock markets are recovering from the crash in the fall of 2008. Private banks are no longer weighed down by bad loans that were added to public deficits. The latter were rising anyway because the economic crisis had sent tax revenues on a downward slide. Add further bailout money for financial companies and fiscal stimulus and you get a veritable fiscal crisis of the state.

Meanwhile, rating agencies like Moody's and Standard and Poor's cast judgement on the viability of fiscal deficits and public sector cuts, as if their assessments of the financial sector had nothing to do with the "manias, panics and crashes" that pushed a cyclical recession near depression in the first place. Public deficits between 12% and 13% of GDP in Britain and the US are bad, they say, but not so bad that the austerity measures they consider appropriate can't be left to Number 10 Downing Street and the White House.

Distorted account of Morales speech distracts from fundamental issue of climate change


April 23, 2010 -- CMPCC -- A few national and international media outlets, instead of carrying out analysis and reports on the fundamental challenge of climate change, decided to distract the public with a distorted and inaccurate account of a speech by President Morales.

Various media reports are misinforming the public, saying that Morales has linked eating chicken with homosexuality. In his exact words, Morales said that “chicken that we are eating is full of feminine hormones, which is why men who eat this chicken have changes in their being as men. I have read some information that isn’t from me, asking about a daughter of one and a half years who already had breasts..”

(Updated May 12) Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and texts from the People's Conference on Climate Change

The following documents were also adopted by the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on April 22, 2010, in Bolivia. The Bolivian government will submit them to the United Nations for consideration. The main document, the People's Agreement, is available HERE.

For more coverage of the historic conference, click HERE.

They are: 1. The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth; 2. Shared Visions document; 3. Structural causes; 4. Referendum on climate change; 5. Document of the Working Group on Agriculture and Food Sovereignty; 6. Document of the Working Group on Climate Debt; 7. Document of the Working Group on Climate Finance; 8. Indigenous Peoples' Declaration; 9. International Tribunal of Climate and Environmental Justice working group; 10. Dangers of the carbon market; 11. Working Group No. 10 on the Kyoto Protocol and greenhouse gas emissions reduction; 12. Working Group 13: Intercultural dialogue knowledge sharing, knowledge and technology; 13. Final conclusions of Working Group 2: Harmony with Nature to Live Well; 14. Working Group 6: Climate Change and Migration; 15. Working Group 14: Forests; 16. Working Group 11: Adaptation -- Confronting Climate Change; 17. Strategies of Action; NEW: 18. Declaration of the "unofficial" "Working Group 18. [More will be posted as they become available.]

The `First Socialist International of the 21st Century'

Evo Morales: `Combating climate change -- lessons from the world’s Indigenous peoples'

Bolivia's President Evo Morales interviewed on Democracy Now!, April 23, 2010. Full transcript below.

By Evo Morales, president of the Plurinational Republic of Bolivia.

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