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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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France: Movement debates next steps in resistance to government attacks

By Chris Latham

November 14, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- President Nicolas Sarkozy enacted a new law on November 10 that increases the retirement age of French workers. The move came just days after more than a million workers and students mobilised across France against the law.

The November 6 protests were the eighth national strike and protests since September 7 against the bill — although it was the easily the smallest of the mobilisations.

The protest highlighted the depth of ongoing popular anger over the changes, which were pushed through parliament on October 27. However, the decline in the size of the protests reflects growing divisions in the movement over its direction now the law has been passed.

Sarkozy enacted the law just hours after it had been approved by the Constitutional Council. There had been hopes among some union leaders and left groups that the council would reject the bill.

Thailand: Red Shirts flood centre of Bangkok again

Ratchaprasong is a sea of Red Shirts again. Photos by Khun Kamberg CBN Press.

[Read more articles about Thailand HERE.]

By Peter Boyle, photos by CBN Press

November 19, 2010 – Thousands of supporters of the Thailand’s Red Shirt (the popular name for supporters of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship) movement once again turned Bangkok’s busy Ratchaprasong Intersection into a sea of red.

They turned out in their thousands (see video of the crowd posted by Richard Barrow to Twitter here) to mark six months since the Thai military bloodily attacked and dispersed a mass protest camp that occupied the area in April and May this year. More than 90 people were killed, thousands injured and hundreds or protesters are still imprisoned.

Haiti: Sham `selection' serves interests of wealthy elite and foreign powers

November 18, 2010 -- Democracy Now! -- "Protests against UN continue over cholera outbreak". Protests are continuing in Haiti over the cholera outbreak that has now killed more than 1100 people and infected some 17,000. For the full transcript of the report, click here.

By the Canada Haiti Action Network

November 12, 2010 -- The Canada Haiti Action Network (CHAN) is once again expressing its grave concerns about exclusionary elections in Haiti.[1] It joins with the many Haitians as well as human rights organisations in Haiti and abroad in condemning these elections as serving the interests of Haiti's wealthy elite and the foreign powers that have dominated Haiti's past and present.

Malaysia: `No one is indispensable we often hear, but for the PSM ... Bala is indispensable'

G. Balasundram.

By Rani Rasiah, Socialist Party of Malaysia deputy secretary general

November 17, 2010 -- Comrade G. Balasundram was stabbed to death on November 16, 2010. He is really, truly no more, but the mind refuses to register this unacceptable reality. That’s because he was so alive, bubbling with life, loud, boisterous. So many of us have seen him, or had a meal with him or got a call or a witty sms from him just in the 24 hours before his sudden and tragic death.

Just a day earlier, he had turned up at the Ipoh High Court as co-counsel with Vengkat, his soul buddy, to appeal the conviction of four activists, including Segar of Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), who had gathered with hundreds of others to demand the relocation of a rubber factory that was polluting the Kuala Kuang New Village in Chemor.

Thailand: Red Shirts plan another major rally

November 14 commemoration of the assassination of rebel general Khattiya Sawatdipho (popularly known as Seh Daeng) at Lumpini Park, Bangkok. Photo by "Klaus Crimson" (reprinted with permission).

By Peter Boyle

November 18, 2010 -- Supporters of Thailand’s opposition Red Shirt movement are preparing another major mobilisation, on November 19, 2010, to commemorate six months since the military repression of their mass protest camp in Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong Intersection.

The Red Shirts have being holding several build-up actions around the country including mass bike rides of red-shirted supporters in several cities and towns. And on Sunday November 14 some 1500 Red Shirt supporters rallied in front of the Rama VI statue Bangkok’s Lumpini Park to mark the assassination of rebel general Khattiya Sawatdipho (popularly known as Seh Daeng) six months ago as he gave an interview to a New York Times journalist in the Red Shirts protest camp at Ratchaprasong.

New Zealand: The battle for Mana -- a new left votes


November 11, 2010 -- Matt McCarten’s Mana by-election campaign has taken up the issue of housing, identifying many empty state houses in the electorate, while families are homeless. Four campaigners were arrested after they took over an empty house.

By Joe Carolan

South Africa: Workers' factory takeover to defend jobs enters second month

November 17 video made by Workers' World Media, Cape Town.

November 17, 2010 -- A militant factory occupation by South African metalworkers is about to enter its second month. On October 20, 2010, workers at the Mine Line/TAP Engineering factory in Krugersdorp, just outside Soweto, began the occupation to prevent the removal of machinery and other assets and to fight to save their jobs. The workers are demanding the state take over the factory, so that it can be reopened as a democratically run workers' cooperative.

The workers are organised by the Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa (MEWUSA), in which the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM, the affiliate of the Committee for a Workers' International in South Africa) plays a leading role.

Malalai Joya interviewed: US occupation making Afghan lives worse

More than 50 people listened to Afghan democracy activist, Malalai Joya (pictured second from left) call on the Australian government to withdraw its troops at a November 12 anti-war vigil in Melbourne. The protest included a spontaneous "die-in" and was also addressed by Chip Henriss from Stand Fast and Dr Richard Tanter at the RMIT Nautilus Institute. Photo: Chip Henriss.

Sunday, November 14, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Malalai Joya is an Afghan feminist and anti-war activist who opposes the US-led occupation of her country. An opponent of both the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban and the equally fundamentalist and corrupt warlords in the US-backed regime of President Hamid Karzai, Joya was the youngest member elected to Afghan parliament in 2005. She was suspended after she said the parliament was full of warlords. Joya is touring Australia.

Join the May Day 2011 solidarity brigade to Venezuela! April 25–May 4, 2011

Photo taken by AVSN brigadista Raul Burbano during the September 2010 solidarity brigade to Venezuela. 

Join the May Day 2011 solidarity brigade to Venezuela! April 25–May 4, 2011

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network invites you to observe first-hand the inspiring Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. The sweeping social changes being carried out by Venezuela’s “people’s power” movements are radically transforming life for the majority in that country - workers, women, Indigenous people, young people and all those who have suffered the injustices of poverty, exploitation and exclusion that accompany corporate globalisation.

Along the way, this remarkable revolution is showing the rest of the world that a more rational, socially just and sustainable future is possible.     

Australia -- burqa ban debate: If I can't wear a burqa it's not my revolution?

Kiraz Janicke's "Burqa Revolution".

Green Left Weekly -- On September 23, the Daily Telegraph reported on a wall mural in the Sydney inner-west suburb of Newtown by artist Sergio Redegalli with the slogan “Say no to burqas”. Redegalli’s mural has sparked protests by local residents who have condemned it as racist. Sydney Socialist Alliance activist Kiraz Janicke says Redegalli’s piece “has no other value than to promote racism”. She has responded with an artwork of her own — a submission to the Live Red Art Awards, titled “Burqa revolution”.

Below, Janicke argues that banning the burqa (a veil covering the entire body, with a mesh over the eyes), or other forms of Islamic dress worn by some Muslim women that cover the face, will hinder true women’s liberation.

* * *

Scotland: Respect votes to split left vote, Galloway opposes independence

On November 13, 2010, the English left-wing organisation Respect’s annual conference voted, 59 to 15, to begin organising in Scotland. The decision was preceded by the most prominent Respect leader and former MP George Galloway floating the idea that he stand for the Scottish Parliament, either as part of a Respect campaign or an independent "George 4 Glasgow" campaign. Below are a number of articles from the Scottish and English left on Respect's move into Scotland.

* * *

Don't do it, George

Writing on Liam MacUaid's blog on November 10, 2010, Raphie de Santos of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) makes a case against George Galloway standing for Respect in Scotland.

Stephen Hawking Ο «Grand Design»: «εκδίωξη από την επιστήμη του Θεού»

The Grand Design
Stephen Hawking (& Leonard Mlodinow)
Random House, 2010

του Χρήστου Κεφαλή

[Αγγλική εκδοχή σε http://links.org.au/node/1978]

South Korea: Epic Ssangyong workers' strike remembered

Will Zimbabwe again regress?

A mid-2011 election announced by Mugabe promises a return to outright violence and poll thievery.

[You can listen to talks presented to the "Progress in Zimbabwe" conference, and read summaries of the presentations, at the conference website here.]

By Patrick Bond, Bulawayo

November 12, 2010 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – If leaders of a small African country stand up with confidence to imperialist aggression, especially from the US and Britain, it would ordinarily strike any fair observer as extremely compelling. Especially when the nightmare of racist colonialism in that country is still be to exorcised, whites hold a disproportionate share of economic power and state’s rulers appear serious about changing those factors.

Britain: Understanding the Green Party

November 2, 2010 -- New Left Project -- Derek Wall is an economics lecturer and writer. He has been a member of the Green Party since 1980 and was Green Party principal speaker from 2006 to 2007. He is a founder of the Ecosocialist International and Green Left [an organised ecosocialist group within the Green Party] and has written widely on green politics. His latest books are The Rise of the Green Left and The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics. In this interview, he and Edward Lewis examine the nature and politics of the Green Party from a left perspective.

* * *

What are the origins of the Green Party? What are the circumstances that brought it about?

Indonesia: Activists set up Merapi disaster relief centres

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal readers can make donations to those affected by the Mt Merapi eruption to the following account:

Bank: (Bank Central Asia) BCA
Branch: KCP BCA Tebet Barat
Account holder: Tejo Priyono
Account Number: 436 149 72 14

Transfer confirmation can be obtained from A J Susmana at +62 817 654 6427.

* * *

Translated by Rismi

November 9, 2010 -- Berdikari -- According to the Data Communications Center of the health ministry, the death toll of the Mount Merapi eruption on October 26, 2010, has increased to 168, while 1105 others were injured and still hospitalised and 279,779 evacuated.

Therefore, in solidarity with the victims of the Merapi eruption, since November 1, the Indonesian Poor People’s Union (SRMI) has set up disaster relief centres (posko) in eight districts, namely Mungkid, Salam, Ngluwar, Salaman, Muntilan, Mertoyu, Srumbung and Borobudur districts.

Cuba: Reversing the medical `brain drain’ – the many faces of ELAM

ELAM students.

By Don Fitz, Havana

November 7, 2010 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Cuba is doing more than any other country in the world to reverse the “brain drain” of doctors abandoning impoverished areas. A physician who leaves Sierra Leone for South Africa can earn 20 times as much. Higher pay in English-speaking countries lures medical graduates from India (10.6% of doctors), Pakistan (11.7%), Sri Lanka (27.5%), and Jamaica (41.7%). Only 50 of 600 doctors trained in Zambia remained there after independence. There are more Ethiopian doctors in Chicago than in Ethiopia.[1]

The Cuban alternative is the 11year old Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM, Latin American School of Medicine). With their educational costs covered by the Cuban government, students focus on returning as doctors to under-served communities in their countries.

The more than 20,000 medical students in Cuba receive much, much more than a free education — they are participating in a project to build a new model of medicine for the world’s poor. Students are well aware that they represent 1 of 100 countries, each of which has a unique relationship to the yoke of imperialism.

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