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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.

Please explore Links and subscribe (click on "Subscribe to Links" or "Follow Links on Twitter" in the left menu). Links welcomes readers' constructive comments (but please read the "Comments policy" above).

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Give Israel the South African treatment

“I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, the description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would be a description of what is happening in South Africa” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, New York 1989.

By Antony Loewenstein & Moammar Mashni

March 6, 2011-- Green Left Weekly -- When Desmond Tutu made this comment, the South African apartheid regime was still in power. In 1994, after 45 years of racial segregation, the apartheid era was officially over. When watershed moments like this occur, multiple factors can be attributed. But history is clear that one of the many reasons this tyranny finally succumbed was an international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS).

Ireland: Sinn Fein calls for a republic of freedom, sovereignty and the empowerment of citizens across all 32 counties

[Below is the transcript of Sinn Féin president and newly elected member of parliament Gerry Adam's first speech to Ireland's parliament (video above), on March 9, 2011.]

By Gerry Adams

March 9, 2011 -- I am very proud to stand here as an Ulsterman, as an Irish republican from County Antrim. It is a great honour to represent Sinn Féin in any capacity but it is especially gratifying to receive a mandate from one’s peers.

Ireland: United Left Alliance pledges to be radical opposition in the Dáil, and build a mass left alternative on the ground


The United Left Alliance's Joe Higgins' first speech in the Dáil on March 9, 2011. Transcript here.

March 9, 2011 -- United Left Alliance -- At the March 8 press conference convened by the United Left Alliance in response to the program for government agreed by Fine Gael and Labour Joe Higgins, Socialist Party/United Left Alliance TD [MP] for Dublin West said:

As we predicted, despite the media palaver about Fine Gael and [the] Labour [party] being incompatible they rapidly split the minute differences in their respective manifestos and have presented the public with essentially a continuation of the Fianna Fáíl/Green Party/IMF cuts program.

Tied in the straightjacket of cuts and austerity, the policies of this government mean more unemployment, more emigration, more stealth taxes and more transferring of wealth from taxpayers to failed banks and greedy bondholders. Scarcely any demands are being asked off the wealthy to pay for the crisis they created.

Zimbabwe: International solidarity still urgent for six jailed activists; 39 released due to protests

STOP PRESS March 11, 2011: Munyaradzi Gwisai, Tafadzwa Antonater Choto, Hopewell Gumbo, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson Chakuma and Welcome Zimuto had their application for refusal of remand thrown out and remanded to March 21 to face trial for treason which carries a death sentence in Zimbabwe. For the latest news, visit the new solidarity web site at http://www.freethemnow.com/.

* * *

By Ashley Fataar 

Support the Libyan people! No imperialist intervention in Libya! Left solidarity with the Libyan people's uprising

March 9, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- International left organisations continue to express their solidarity with the Libyan people as they struggle to throw off the Western-backed dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. At the same time, they are rejecting moves by Western imperialism for military intervention to hypocritically take adavantage of the situation and try to reestablish a bridgehead in the oil-rich region. Below are statements by the Labour Party Pakistan, the US-based Kasama Project, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Municipal Workers Union. See also the statements by the Socialist Party of Malaysia and the Socialist Alliance in Australia. More will be posted as they come to hand.

* * *

Support the Libyan people! No imperialist intervention in Libya!

Labour Party Pakistan statement on Libya

Climate change: Rupert Murdoch’s 'Australian' peddles damaging bad science

By Renfrey Clarke

March 6, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Readers of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship, the Australian, will have noticed a flurry of self-justifying articles and editorials in recent months, as the editors try to deflect criticism of the newspaper’s global warming coverage. What has the Australian been saying on the topic, and does this measure up to the responsibilities of a major news outlet?

In Britain in 1998, the medical science journal The Lancet published a study that claimed to identify a link between the mental disorder autism and the administering to children of the widely used measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Libya: Gaddafi kills his own people, but Western military intervention is no solution

[See also "Libya: How Gaddafi became a Western-backed dictator". For more coverage of Libya, click HERE.]

By Peter Boyle

March 7, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- The dictatorial regime of Muammar Gaddafi has escalated its violence against rebel forces seeking to bring it down. On March 6, opponents of the regime were reported to be in control of a number of cities, especially in Libya’s east. Al Jazeera said on March 4 that anti-government protests in the capital Tripoli had been met with tear gas by security forces. Opponents said Az Zawiyah, a town just 40 kilometres from Tripoli that is home to an oil refinery, was mostly under rebel control.

Thailand: Why the lese majeste law is an abomination

Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul (`Da Torpedo').

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

March 3, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The lese majeste law (which forbids "insulting" the monarchy) in Thailand represents a gross attack on the freedom of speech, freedom of expression and academic freedom. It is a fundamental attack on democracy carried out by the military, the palace and the elites. The practical impact is that Thailand has struggled for years to achieve a fully developed democracy, a free press and internationally accepted academic standards in our universities.

Today, Da Torpedo, Red Eagle, Surachai Darnwattanan-nusorn (Sa-Darn) and many others are in prison in Thailand for merely expressing their beliefs in a peaceful way. In recent days arrest warrants have been issued for five more people and the police have a list of 30 more people who face arrest.

South Africa: The history and character of `black economic empowerment'

One of South Africa's new breed of capitalist tycoons, multimillionaire Kenny Kunene. Others include former mineworkers' union leader Cyril Ramaphosa and former ANC Gauteng leader Tokyo Sexwale.

By Dale McKinley

January 10/February 9, 2011 -- South African Civil Society Information Service -- Amid all the usual political propaganda and grandstanding at the African National Congress (ANC)’s 99th anniversary rally in Polokwane on January 8, 2011, it was none other than ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema who came up with the most honest statement of the day. Defending himself against charges that he and his ANC Youth League cronies were continuing to economically benefit from associated businesses awarded government tenders; he argued that business is intrinsically elitist. As such, Malema claimed, “BEE will never be broad” – and in this rare case, he got it right. 

Sudan: Urgent call for action on behalf of detained and tortured protesters

The following is a letter template that human rights and democracy activists in Sudan are asking people around the world to use as a basis of a protest letter to be send to the government of Sudan and to Sudanese embassies in their countries. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal urges its readers to do so. For more information, see also "Sudan: Northern regime tightens grip as protests flare".

* * * 

Dear honourable sir/madam

Re: Sudanese students, youths and journalists beaten, abducted, imprisoned and tortured in Sudan for participating in political activities and responding to a call for demonstrations across Sudan on January 30, 2011.

United States: New workers' movement at the crossroads

By Dan La Botz

March 4, 2011 -- Solidarity Webzine -- The new US workers' movement, which has developed so rapidly in the last couple of months in the struggle against rightwing legislative proposals to abolish public employee unions, suddenly finds itself at a crossroads. Madison, Wisconsin, where rank-and-file workers, community members and social movement activists converged to create the new movement, remains the centre of the struggle. In Ohio, which faces similar legislation, unions have also gone into motion, while working people around the country have been drawn into the fight.

In both states, things are coming to a head. In Wisconsin the courts have ordered the capitol building closed and the governor is threatening layoffs to begin next week. In both Wisconsin and Ohio the legislators are threatening to push the bills through one way or another. And now, in the fight to win, the movement has come to a fork in the road.

Two different tendencies in the labour movement point in two quite different directions. The top leaders of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have thrown their weight into the struggle in the only way that they know how. Following the model they use in political campaigns, they have reached out to established organisations to build coalitions. They have sent organisers into take charge and to reach out to communities. Their goal is to rebuild their institutional power and their relationship with the Democratic Party, hoping to turn the upsurge in support for public employees into a political victory.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams: 'We can bring about a democratic revolution'

Follow Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD as he casts his vote for the first time in an Irish Dail election to topping the poll with 15,072 first preference votes and becoming a Sinn Fein TD for Louth/East Meath.

By Gerry Adams

March 1, 2011 -- The [Irish] election is now finally and positively and definitively over! The last counts in Wicklow and Laois Offaly and Galway West have been completed and the shape of the next Dáil is now known.

Acres of newsprint have been used to analyse the results and hours of television and radio, of tweets and blogs have reported on every twist and turn of what was a hugely important election.

Fianna Fáil and the Green Party have been punished for the bad decisions they took in government. Fine Gael and Labour benefited from the public anger. They did so despite having said they will implement Fianna Fail’s policy of adding private banking debt to the sovereign debt, and of implementing a succession of punitive austerity budgets over the next three years at least.

There are a plethora of independents from the left to the right and many in between.

Philippines: Veteran revolutionary reflects on stormy times and prospects for the left

Sonny Melencio.

Full Quarter Storms
By Sonny Melencio
2010, Transform Asia Inc.
Order from transform.asia1@gmail.com

Review by Tony Iltis

February 27, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Veteran Filipino socialist activist Sonny Melencio’s political autobiography, Full Quarter Storms, covers a lot of history. The book tells the story of the “First Quarter Storm”, the student uprising in 1970 (from which the book draws its title) and the driving of this powerful movement underground by the declaration of martial law by then-president Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.

The book gives a first-hand view of the mass popular struggles followed by the difficult and dangerous experience of operating underground — one step away from Marcos’ brutal thugs.

In fact, the book opens with the story of Melencio’s detention and torture by the military in 1977 — and his dramatic escape, a tale worthy of any Hollywood thriller.

Melencio describes the guerrilla war waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) against the Marcos regime through to the 1986 “people’s power” uprising that brought down the dictator — scenes anyone watching the current Arab revolts will find familiar.

Ireland: Electoral revolt against austerity, left makes big gains

Election night report of the count in Dun Laoghaire. United Left Alliance's Richard Boyd Barrett TD interviewed on RTE by Brian Dobson after being elected.

By Harry Browne, Dublin

March 3, 2011 -- Something changed in Ireland on February 25 when we cast our votes in parliamentary (Dáil) elections to replace the government that has overseen the utter collapse of the economy and Ireland’s debt enslavement to fund bankrupt banks and their bondholders.
The traditional centre-right ruling party, Fianna Fáil, lost nearly three-quarters of its seats, and will be replaced as the main party of the next government by Fine Gael, the centre-right party that is accustomed to spending most of its time in opposition. This has its own drama, to be sure, albeit rather predictable in outcome.

But in opening up a new space for the left, putting Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams in the Dáil, along with community activists like Joan Collins and Seamus Healy, and old Trots like Joe Higgins, Richard Boyd Barrett and Clare Daly, this election has provided a new platform for a resistance movement that could extend far beyond the polite precincts of parliament.

Canada: How can we aid Libya’s freedom movement?

Libyan Canadian shouts down with Gaddafi slogans outside Calgary City Hall, February 22, 2011. Photo by Ted Rhodes, Calgary Herald.

By John Riddell

February 28, 2011 -- Socialist Voice -- The brutal massacres of civilians in Libya at the order of the country’s dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, have shocked the world. His air force has carried out air strikes against unarmed civilians. On February 25, Qaddafi followers aimed murderous fire on anti-government protests in his last stronghold, Tripoli. The government declares its intention of reconquering the country in civil war.

What can those in Canada do to end the killings?

On February 26, the United Nations Security Council voted for sanctions against the Libyan regime, including an arms embargo and  the freezing of assets of Qaddafi and his family. These measures are hardly more than cosmetic, serving to polish up great-power credentials.

United States: The new American workers' movement and the confrontation to come

Protesters fill the Rotunda at the state capitol building on February 16, 2010, in Madison, Wisconsin.

By Dan La Botz

February 28, 2011 -- Solidarity Webzine -- The new US workers' movement—born in the last few weeks in the giant protests in Wisconsin and Ohio—faces a fateful confrontation. In Madison and Columbus, Republican legislators are pushing to abolish public employee labour unions and tens of thousands of workers are protesting and resisting. We have seen nothing like this face-off between workers and bosses in the United States since the labour upheaval of the early 1970s, though the issues in the balance are more like those of the 1930s. The very existence of the US labour movement is at stake. The question is: What will it take to win?

The ‘mubaraking’ of Gaddafi, Maliki, Mugabe and others

By Patrick Bond

February 27, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The late South African anti-apartheid poet-activist Dennis Brutus occasionally used “Seattle”, the name of a city in the northwestern United States, as a verb. We should “seattle Copenhagen”, he said in late 2009, to prevent the global North from doing a climate deal in their interests, against Africa’s.

Tunisia: ‘It is a real revolutionary process’ -- interview with 14th January Front militant

Alhem Belhadj (right) speaking at a session of the French New Anti-Capitalist Party congress, February 11.

February 27, 2011 -- Alhem Belhadj is a Tunisian revolutionary socialist and member of the Ligue de la Gauche Ouvriers (Left Workers’ League). It is a part of the 14th January Front, which unites left-wing groups seeking to push Tunisia’s revolution forward by creating a new government free from members of the former ruling party, and supporters policies reversing neoliberalism.

Belhadj spoke with Green Left Weeklys Tony Iltis on February 12, at the congress of the New Anti-Capitalist Party in France, about the Tunisian revolution.

* * *

I think there is a real revolutionary process. Things are going very quickly.

There is a lot of change. Every day, there is some change and there is a big popular resistance.

Tunisia: `Revolution until victory!' Mass protests force prime minister to resign

By Andy Worthington

February 27, 2011 -- http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/ -- Six weeks after Tunisia’s long-serving dictator, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, was forced to flee the country after the popular uprising that has inspired similar movements throughout the Middle East, Mohamed Ghannouchi, who was the head of the transitional government that took over from Ben Ali, has responded to the largest protests since the dictator’s fall — a weekend of violent protests that left five people dead — by tendering his resignation.

Ghannouchi, who was the prime minister under Ben Ali for 10 years, had struggled to convince a significant number of the Tunisian people that he represented a break with the old regime — hence the protests at the weekend.

First Egypt, next Venezuela? The real threat to democracy in Venezuela comes from Washington

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is a hero in the Arab world. Lebanese and Palestinian students carry a picture of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez as they protest Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, January 12, 2009.

"The Arab revolt represents both an 'economic revolt' and a 'democratic, nationalist and anti-colonial revolution', Santiago Alba Rico and Alma Allende said, that 'provides the socialist left and pan-Arabists in the region with an unexpected opportunity'. They said: 'the Arab people, who have returned to the world stage, need the support of their Latin American brothers'."

By Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes

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