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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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Socialist Alliance: Solidarity with US socialists and anti-war activists raided by FBI

October 1, 2010 -- The Socialist Alliance (Australia) reaches out in comradely solidarity to the socialist and anti-war activists in the US who were subjected to early-morning raids on their homes and offices by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina on September 24.

We understand that the FBI seized computers, passports, books, documents, cell phones, photos, financial records, diaries, maps and other materials using warrants were issued under a 1996 statute which made it a crime for US citizens to provide “material assistance” to any organisation designated by the government as “terrorist".

We condemn these raids and demand that the property seized be immediately returned and the victims of the raids be fully compensated. We also call for the revocation of the anti-democratic grand jury subpoenas against some of the raided activists.

We will also approach other organisations and activists to discuss and plan solidarity with the activists now being victimised under US "terrorism" laws.

(Updated Oct. 2) Coup attempt in Ecuador defeated; Chavez led condemnation; Correa: 'I'm not going to give up'

October 1, 2010 -- Democracy Now! report. Visit HERE for full transcript.

* * * STOP PRESS* * *

UPDATED September 30, 10pm (Ecuador time): Troops loyal to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa have freed him from the military hospital where he was previously held hostage by right-wing coup police. He is now addressing a large number of triumphant supporters gathered at the Plaza of Independence in Quito who are chanting: "El pueblo unido jamás... será vencido!"

Triumphant Correa addresses the nation

Quito, September 30 -- Prensa Latina --  After being rescued by elite soldiers from the Metropolitan Police Hospital, where he had been sequestered, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa triumphantly addressed the nation from the balcony of the Presidential Palace.

The Mondragon diaries: `If labour has the power, then capital ... becomes our tool'

Carl Davidson, national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, recently spent five days learning about the renowned Mondragon workers' cooperatives in the Basque Country. Here is his diary of the tour, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with his permission.

Day 1 -- Why humanity comes first at work: learning about bridges to 21st century socialism

“This is not paradise and we are not angels”. --  Mikel Lezamiz, director of cooperative dissemination, Mondragon Cooperative Corporation

After a short bus ride through the stone cobbled streets of Arrasate-Mondragon and up the winding roads of this humanly scaled industrial town in Spain's Basque Country on a sunny autumn morning, taking in the birch- and pine-covered mountains, and the higher ones with magnificent stony peaks, I raised an eyebrow at the first part of Mikel's statement.

The area was breathtakingly beautiful, and if it wasn't paradise, it came close enough.

South Africa's development goals won't be met

While South Africa's pollies and "BEE" elite party, there is little for poor to celebrate.

By Patrick Bond

September 28, 2010 -- Last week’s meeting of global leaders at the United Nations was predictable: more posturing about unmet global needs in relation to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set a decade ago. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma was too busy to attend, staying in Durban to restore order at a major African National Congress (ANC) leadership conference.

Since coming to power after a palace coup against Thabo Mbeki exactly two years ago, the new government’s performance has been miserable. For example, roughly 1.5 million jobs have been lost, in spite of a major economic burst before and during the mid-2010 World Cup.

The country’s elites congratulated themselves on their management of the soccer games, but honest observers would concede a destructive political-economic logic, with a tendency to:

Cuba: Economic changes and the future of socialism -- interview with Cuban professor José Bell Lara

Urban organic food garden in Cuba.

Dr José Bell Lara, professor at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Havana (FLACSO-Cuba), interviewed by Johannes Wilm. Bell Lara has written essays such as "Globalisation and Cuban Revolution" (2002) and "Cuban socialism within Globalisation" (2007), and is part of the international advisory board of the journal Critical Sociology. This interview was conducted in Havana in September 2010.

[For more analysis and discussion on the economic changes in Cuba, click HERE.]

* * *

Johannes Wilm: The Cuban government recently announced some changes. Among other things, it will be possible for more people to work independently. What is it that Cubans expect from these changes?

Third World health: Video -- Universal access by 20-when? Global leaders renege on promised aid

By the Treatment Action Campaign (South Africa)

September 28, 2010 -- The communities delegation on the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV (APN+) released a video (watch above) on September 28, 2010, as part of the global day of action activities, highlighting the potential effectiveness and achievements of the Global Fund, and pointing out how miniscule the needed US$20 billion dollars is when compared to the amounts of money that has been spent on war and Wall Street banking bail outs.

The self-employment sector in Cuba

[For more analysis and discussion on the economic changes in Cuba, click HERE.]

By Leticia Martínez Hernández

September 24, 2010 -- Granma International -- On August 1 Cuba's President Raúl Castro Ruz announced to the National Assembly the decision to extend the self-employment sector and use it as an another option for workers seeking alternative jobs after the necessary reduction of the country’s inflated employment registers in the public sector. Various restrictions will be eliminated to allow the authorisation of new licences and the marketing of certain products, and greater flexibility to hire a workforce for certain activities.

Many people have been waiting a solution that, far from being improvised or ephemeral, makes it possible to increase the availability of goods and services, while assuring an income to those who decide to do this work. It will contribute to the state being relieved of the burden of excessive subsidies, while placing in non-state hands the production of goods and services which it has provided for years in spite of the difficult economic context.

(Updated Sept. 30) Venezuela: PSUV wins clear majority in National Assembly, but capitalist parties return

Click HERE for official results.

[September 28, 2010 -- According to the United Socialist Party (PSUV) and opposition sources the PSUV and its allies, the Communist Party of Venezuela and Peoples' Electoral Movement (MEP) have won 98 seats, while the parties in the MUD opposition alliance won 65 seats, the pro-oppositom PPT 2 seats and 2 seats went to Indigenous independents. However, official results still give 95 to the PSUV and 62 to the opposition.]
* * *

By Gonzalo Gomez, Caracas

Cuba: The drive for efficiency within socialism

Cuba's president, Raul Castro.

[For more analysis and discussion on the economic changes in Cuba, click HERE.]

By Helen Yaffe

Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society – after deductions have been made – exactly what he gives to it -- Karl Marx, 1875

Wages today are clearly insufficient to satisfy all needs and have thus ceased to play a role in ensuring the socialist principle that each should contribute according to their capacity and receive according to their work…the Party and government have been studying these and other complex and difficult problems in depth, problems which must be addressed comprehensibly and through a differentiated approach in each concrete case. -- Raul Castro, 2007

[We have] the dream of everyone being able to live on their salary or on their adequate pension… -- Fidel Castro, 2005

Basque Country: Armed struggle ends, mass struggle continues

Basque trade unionists protest against the capitalist crisis.

By Jack Ferguson

September 8, 2010 -- Scottish Socialist Youth -- On September 5, 2010, the Basque armed group Euskadi Ta Azkatasuna (Basque Homeland and Freedom, ETA), which has fought an armed struggle for Basque freedom for decades, released a video declaring that several months ago it had decided to stop armed actions, and announced a ceasefire.

In its statement, ETA said:

(updated Sept. 26) United States: Solidarity needed! FBI raids left activists under guise of `anti-terrorism'

Against the Current -- On September 24, the FBI conducted raided the homes of antiwar and left activists in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina. These provocations, under the guise of "anti-terrorism", appear to have targeted leaders of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, which publishes the Fight Back! newspaper and website. The articles below are from Fight Back! News, Twin Cities IndyMedia and War Times

Video interviews with two activists whose homes were raided

Venezuela criticises `market totalitarianism' at UN Millennium Development Goal summit

By Tamara Pearson, Merida

September 22, 2010 – Venezuelanalysis.com – In Venezuela, “social investment has become a national strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals”, said Jorge Valero, Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations, in his September 21 speech at the UN summit in New York analysing progress towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals.

In the year 2000, 189 countries agreed on Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. The current summit, which began on September 20 and closed on September 22, aimed to analyse countries' individual and global progress towards reaching those goals. Government representatives from 140 countries were present.

There are eight Millennium Development Goals, which are:

Venezuela: Opposition and media lies about lack of democracy exposed

By Francisco Dominguez

September 23, 2010 -- Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (UK) -- Venezuelans vote on Sunday, September 26, for the South American country's 165-seat National Assembly – its national parliament. This is the 16th national election or referenda since Hugo Chávez was first elected president in 1998. 

Venezuela’s last election, on February 15, 2009, was a referendum to remove presidential term limits. This was endorsed by 54% of the electorate. Sunday’s election is the first to take place against the backdrop of the world recession, which has been hit Venezuela hard, as it has in many other countries.

`A force which is truly for good' -- John Coltrane and the jazz revolution

The John Coltrane Quartet (John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones) on the 1963 TV program, Jazz Casual, playing "Alabama", written by Coltrane after reading a speech by Martin Luther King eulogising four black children blown up in a racist attack on a church in 1963.

By Terry Townsend

September 23, 2010 -- John William Coltrane (abbreviated as "Trane" by his fans) was born on this day in 1926. Since his untimely death on July 17, 1967, saxophone colossus Coltrane has become an icon of African-American pride, achievement and uncompromising determination. He led a revolution in music that mirrored the turbulent growth of black militancy and revolutionary ideas within the urban black community. Today, Trane continues to inspire.

Coltrane has often been likened to Malcolm X. US jazz writer and socialist Frank Kofsky, in his classic 1970 book Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music (Pathfinder Press, New York), wrote:

Both men perceived the reality about [the USA] -- a reality you could only know if you were Black and had worked your way up and through the tangled jungle of jazz clubs, narcotics, alcohol, mobsters ...

Sweden: Far-right election gains met with spontaneous mass protests

On September 20, 2010 -- the day after the Swedish general election -- 10,000 people in Stockholm protested against the far-right Swedish Democrats party.

By Johann Sommansson

September 23, 2010 -- The counting of votes in the September 19 Swedish parliamentary elections sent out shock waves. The far right made its parliamentary debut, and for the first time in modern Swedish political history an incumbent non-Social Democrats government has been able to win a national election. As such, the process of dismantling the Swedish welfare state is set to continue unabated.

คนนับพันรวมตัวปล่อยตัวนักโทษการเมือง

Pakistan: ‘Cancel the debt to help flood victims’

March to demand debt cancellation, Lahore, September 19, 2010

September 18, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Ammar Ali Jan is a 23-year-old activist in Pakistan who visited Australia earlier this year to speak at the Resistance national conference. He is an organiser of the Progressive Youth Front (PYF), which campaigns for democracy and against corruption. He spoke to Melanie Barnes from Resistance about what’s been happening in Pakistan, especially the devastating impact of the recent floods.

* * *

Thailand: What the September 19 mass Red Shirt rallies mean for Thai politics

Bangkok, September 19, 2010. Photo by Ooi Thai Delphi, CBNpress (published with permission).

[For more on the Thai people's struggle for democracy, click HERE.]

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

September 21, 2010 -- In the afternoon of Sunday, September 19, 2010, tens of thousands of Red Shirts returned to the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok to remember the coup four years previously, and the deliberate murder in April and May this year of around 90 unarmed demonstrators, many of whom were gunned down by army snipers near Ratchaprasong.

Since the brutal killings by the military-backed Abhisit Vejjajiva junta, there has been a climate of fear, with hundreds of political prisoners locked up and evidence of extrajudicial killings of some Red Shirt activists. Censorship has remained tight. Thai mainstream TV failed to report the extent of the demonstration, playing down the numbers, as usual.

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