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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.
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Exclusive excerpt from `Debt, the IMF and the World Bank: Sixty questions, sixty answers', by Éric Toussaint and Damien Millet
September 12, 2010 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Review, with the permission of Monthly Review Press, is delighted to make available an excerpt from Éric Toussaint and Damien Millet's new book, Debt, the IMF and the World Bank: Sixty questions, sixty answer. You can download the excerpt in PDF format HERE, or read it on screen below.
Links readers are urged to purchase a copy of the book. To order your copy, please click HERE.
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September 11, 2010 -- Ten years ago, thousands of Australian activists joined forces to blockade a meeting of the powerful World Economic Forum in Melbourne for three days, beginning September 11, 2000. Despite a massive show of police force and violence, the unity of the protesters prevailed. The atmosphere of the protest was one of of determination and festivity. There were puppets, humour, banners and placards, songs, wandering drummers and minstrels. The crowd was diverse with trade unionists, socialists, anarchists, environmentalists, social justice activists, high school students, children, pensioners: a strong diversity of people united in opposition to an undemocratic and powerful elite.
By John Riddell and Art Young
September 2, 2010 -- Socialist Voice -- Two months after the protests against the G20 summit in Toronto and the accompanying police rampage, it is time for an initial balance sheet of what was gained and lost.
Some on the left view the experience as entirely positive. In particular, the Toronto Community Mobilization Network (TCMN) declares flatly that “the people won”, citing participation by “nearly 40,000 people”, the success of the June 24 march for Indigenous sovereignty, and the involvement of a wide spectrum of social movements and “over 100 grassroots organizations”. The July 26 TCMN statement also highlights protesters’ capacity to carry on in the face of arrests and intimidation, including deployment of almost 20,000 cops and a formidable array of weaponry, at a cost of more than C$1.2 billion.
Rabu, 8 September 2010
Oleh Peter Boyle
Berdikari Online -- Pada 4 September lalu, sekitar 20.000 pendukung Kaos Merah berkumpul dalam sebuah konser di Pattaya, kota pariwisata Thailand yang terletak di tepi laut. Mobilisasi ini salah satu yang terbesar sejak militer dengan berdarah membubarkan perkemahan protes mereka di Bangkok pada 19 Mei 2010, menewaskan 91 orang dan melukai ribuan lainnya.
Pemimpin Kaos Merah dan Anggota Parlemen dari Partai Puea Thai, Jatuporn Prompan, menyerukan kepada rakyat untuk meletakkan mawar merah di depan seluruh penjara di negeri itu pada 17 September nanti. Ratusan pimpinan dan aktivis Kaos Merah masih ditahan. Pada 18-19 September, akan digelar aksi-aksi massa di penjuru negeri dan di luar negeri untuk menandai empat bulan sejak pembantaian berdarah.
“Hari ini adalah awal kampanye kita untuk membuka pintu penjara dan membebaskan saudara-saudara Kaos Merah kita”, seru Jutaporn dalam konser tersebut.
Sombat Boonngamanong (centre) at Pattaya beach action. Photo by Gunn Redguy.
By Peter Boyle
September 8, 2010 -- Up to 20,000 Red Shirt supporters rallied at a concert in the Thailand seaside resort city of Pattaya on September 4, in what was one the biggest mobilisations since the military bloodily dispersed their mass protest camp in Bangkok on May 19, 2010, killing 91 and injuring thousands more.
Red Shirt leader and Puea Thai party MP Jatuporn Prompan called on people to place red roses outside prisons around the country on September 17. Hundreds of Red Shirt leaders and activists continue to be detained. On September 18-19, actions marking four months since the massacre will be held all over the country as well as overseas.
“Today is the beginning of our campaign to open the prison doors to let our Red Shirts brothers and sisters free”, Jutaporn told the concert.
By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
September 6, 2010 -- Despite the fact that millions of Thais believe that the centre of power among the conservative elites today is the monarchy or the Privy Council, the real centre of power, lurking behind the throne, is the military. The military has intervened in politics and society ever since the 1932 revolution against the absolute monarchy. This is because the Peoples Party led by Pridi Panomyong relied too much on the military rather than building a mass party to stage the revolution. Yet it is also a cliché to just state the number of military coups that have taken place. The power of the military is not unlimited.
By Lucky Lukhele and Norm Dixon
September 8, 2010 -- The deputy president of Swaziland's People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) Sikhumbuzo Phakathi was arrested on September 6 at the Phongola border post as the Swazi police and army were deporting a delegation of South African activists from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC). PUDEMO president Mario Masuku was detained before the start a protest march on September 7 to mark the global day for democracy in Swaziland. He was "escorted home" by police to prevent his participation.
South Africa: Communist youth leader -- `Black economic empowerment becomes Zuma economic empowerment'
By David Masondo, Young Communist League chairperson
September 5, 2010 -- City Press -- There was cautious optimism among many leftists in the African National Congress (ANC) that the ousting of Thabo Mbeki in Polokwane [the ANC's 2007 national conference] might mark a shift towards a much more egalitarian economic policy, including "Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).
Instead, BEE is increasingly becoming too narrow, amounting to ZEE – that is, Zuma Economic Empowerment.
The recent multibillion-rand Arcelor-Mittal BEE deal involving Duduzane, President Jacob Zuma’s son, is another example of how BEE has become too narrow.
To crown it all, the president’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, seems to have suddenly become an African imperialist, amassing oil resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
* * * STOP PRESS* * *
On September 6, the major trade unions representing South Africa's 1.3 million public servants and teachers announced that the 20-day strike for higher wages and allowances had been "suspended". See union statements below. Union leaders said the move would allow members to consider the latest government offer. Public servants went on strike demanding an 8.6% pay rise, while the government has offered 7.5%. According to the BBC, workers who came to hear union officials shouted in protest when they
announced that the strike was being suspended. Meanwhile, workers in many other industries are taking or threatening industrial action.
* * *
By Terry Bell, Cape Town
By Taimur Rahman
September 5, 2010 -- I am the main performer in this song. Laal (Red) is a communist band. My name is Taimur Rahman and I am also the general secretary of the Communist Mazdoor Kisan Party (Communist Workers and Peasants Party). This song is not produced for a particular organisation but just to raise awareness about the issue.
* * *STOP PRESS: Price rises reversed* * *
September 7, 2010 -- MOZAMBIQUE News reports & clippings mailing list -- Price rises which triggered the riots last week have been reversed, the government announced September 7 after an emergency cabinet meeting.
Problems and challenges face Bolivia's radical government -- led by President Evo Morales (above), the country’s first Indigenous head of state -- and the process of change it leads. Australia's Green Left Weekly has published two articles on the question, by Eduardo Paz Rada, editor of Bolivia-based magazine Patria Grande, and Pablo Stefanoni, editor of the Bolivian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique. Both were translated by Federico Fuentes. See also Fuente's "Bolivia: Warning signs as social tensions erupt" and the related comments.
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By Eduardo Paz Rada
September 5, 2010 -- Following the political and social transformations undertaken over the past five years by the Evo Morales government with the huge, active support of Bolivia’s popular sectors that have mobilised around their demands since 2000, the political map has radically changed.
By Mike Marqusee
September 3, 2010 -- MikeMarqusee.com -- On top of floods, war, bombs, a corrupt and incompetent government with a much feared military in the wings, the long-suffering people of Pakistan have now been betrayed, once again, by their cricketers. Most will not be shocked or will profess not to be shocked: over the last 15 years there has been a steady erosion of faith in Pakistan cricket, which has come to be held in the same low esteem as many of the country’s other institutions. It’s one of the reasons cited, along with exorbitant ticket prices, for the low turn-out from the Pakistani diaspora at this summer’s test matches in England.
But while people in and from Pakistan may not be shocked they are bitterly aggrieved. And rightly so. The antics of the three players accused of spot-fixing in the Lord’s test have destroyed the little portion of relief cricket affords for millions coping with trying conditions.
Adam Bandt interviewed by Jody Betzien
September 2, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Adam Bandt, the Australian Greens' MP elect for the seat of Melbourne (long considered a “safe Labor seat”), and the Greens' first House of Representatives member to be elected in a general election has been very busy since the August 21 election. He says he left the triumphant Greens' election night party at 11pm thinking that he would have to do some media the next day so should get a good night's sleep. He woke up the next morning and after a couple of hours having coffee and reading the paper, the situation sunk in. “And that was the last two hours I've had to myself since”, he told Green Left Weekly in a wide-ranging interview conducted on September 2.
By Dipankar Bhattacharya, CPI (ML) Liberation general secretary
September 2010 -- Liberation -- Four fighting organisations of the left -– the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation [CPI (ML) Liberation], the Communist Party Marxist (Punjab) [CPM (Punjab)], Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) [LNP (L)] of Maharashtra and the Left Coordination Committee (Kerala) [LCC] -– formed the All India Left Coordination (AILC) at a joint convention held in New Delhi on August 11, 2010.
By Billy Wharton
August 31, 2010 -- A recent study featured in the Los Angeles Times suggests that daydreaming or other such unstructured mental activities might play a key role in mental well being. Unknowingly, this study promotes a prime potential of a democratic socialist society – the right to free time. While capitalism, especially in its current neoliberal incarnation, stresses never-ending productivity, a human-centred socialist system would allow for more free time.
Studies have apparently demonstrated that unstructured thought allows the human brain to develop its default mode network. Daydreaming, for instance, is not an escape from brain activity, but a productive working out of society’s complex social rules that allows the brain to function more efficiently in normal mode. Conversely, tasks that require strict attention tend to use one part of the brain at the expense of the default mode.
September 2, 2010 -- Democracy Now! -- In Pakistan, torrential rains a month ago that triggered unprecedented floods have moved steadily from north to south, engulfing a fifth of the country. Seventeen million people have been affected, and some five million have lost their homes. Meanwhile, a movement to cancel Pakistan’s external debt is now underway as campaigners plan a protest in front of Pakistan’s parliament house today to call on international institutions like the IMF to cancel the country’s debt.
The recovered remains of the sunken ROKS Cheonan warship.
By Roddy Quines
September 1, 2010 -- It has often been said that "the first casualty when war comes is truth". The latest string of lies and half truths on the Korean peninsula have set the stage for the reheating of old tensions between North Korea and South Korea. The two Koreas have been at war for the last 60 years, with only a ceasefire and a 250-kilometre “no man’s land” known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) holding the fragile peace.
[This is the slightly edited text of a talk presented to the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance educational conference in Sydney in January 2002. Dave Holmes is now a leader of the Socialist Alliance in Melbourne. This and other writings are also available at Dave Holmes' blog, Arguing for Socialism.]
By Dave Holmes
I'd like to begin with a juxtaposition of two events — one which took place relatively recently and the other a long time before.
The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.
Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly is strongly committed to supporting the growing “people’s power” movement in Latin America. We are proud of the fact that GLW is the only Australian newspaper to have a permanent bureau in Latin America, based in Caracas, Venezuela. Through our weekly articles on developments in the region, GLW strives to counter the corporate media’s many lies about Latin America’s revolutions, and to give a voice in English to the people’s movements for change.