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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South Korea: Ssangyong trade unionist's appeal

Han Sang Kyun.

By Australia Asia Workers Links

August 3, 2010 -- On February 13, 2010, Han Sang Kyun, the chairman of the Ssangyong Motor Company Union, was sentenced to four years in prison. Australia Asia Workers Links is campaigning for his release.

`Water is life' -- General Assembly supports Bolivia's call for `the human right to water and sanitation'

Speech delivered by Ambassador Pablo Solón of the Plurinational State of Bolivia before the General Assembly of the United Nations on July 28, 2010.

[The historic resolution passed with 122 countries voting for it and 41 abstaining, but with no negative votes. See below for the 41 governments that abstained.]

* * *

Allow me to begin the presentation of this resolution by recalling that human beings are essentially water. Around two-thirds of our organism is comprised of water. Some 75% of our brain is made up of water, and water is the principal vehicle for the electrochemical transmissions of our body.

Our blood flows like a network of rivers in our body. Blood helps transport nutrients and energy to our organism. Water also carries from our cells waste products for excretion. Water helps to regulate the temperature of our body.

Asian socialists: `Stop the threats against Venezuela now!'

Joint statement initiated by Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Working People’s Association (PRP), Indonesia, and Socialist Alliance, Australia. See below for latest signatures.

[If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email int.psm@gmail.com.]

August 1, 2010 -- We, the undersigned organisations, view with serious concern the possibility of military aggression towards the people of Venezuela by the Colombian government, which could be supported by the United State of America using its seven military bases recently installed in Colombia.

This matter has arisen from the recent events when the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was accused on July 22, 2010, at the extraordinary session of the Organization of American States in Washington by the Colombian government of promoting, supporting and maintaining a relationship with armed organisations from Colombia, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). The accusations were only based on images which have never been substantiated or subjected to verification.

`South of the Border': An Interview with Oliver Stone & Tariq Ali

Oliver Stone with Hugo Chavez.

July 28, 2010 -- www.alborada.net -- Oliver Stone’s new documentary South of the Border chronicles the emergence of progressive governments in Latin America, their quest for social and political transformation and their growing independence from Washington. Roberto Navarrete interviews Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali (one of the film’s scriptwriters) to find out some background.

Thailand: No justice for Red Shirt detainees

News footage. Thai regime crushed democracy protest with brute force.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

July 30, 2010 -- Pro-democracy movement Red Shirt political prisoners, detained by the Abhisit Vejjajiva military junta after the bloody crackdown against unarmed demonstrators in May are facing a total lack of justice with internationally recognised legal standards being blatantly ignored. This is more evidence of the total destruction of democracy, justice and the rule of law in Thailand since the 2006 military coup.

Prachatai, the web-based newspaper, which the junta repeatedly tries to close down, reports that Red Shirt detainees in the north-east provinces of Ubon Rajatanee, Kon Kaen, Mahasarakarm, Mukdaharn and Udon Tanee are facing the following problems and there is no reason to believe that other Red Shirt detainees are any better off elsewhere.

1. Police evidence used for warrants of arrest is unclear and lacking in legal standards. So people have been arrested and detained under conditions where there is a lack of clear evidence.

A Chinese alternative? Interpreting the politics of China's `New Left'

By Lance Carter

June 2010 -- Insurgent Notes -- In a country where the Communist Party (CCP) has dominated “left-wing” politics for over sixty years, dissent has often been deemed a “right-wing” or “counterrevolutionary” affair. Subsequently, many dissidents and parts of the general population have embraced the term “right wing” as implying something anti-authoritarian or progressive. To make things more confusing, since 1978 the CCP itself has moved farther and farther to the right while still claiming to be socialist. All this has contributed to a very strange political environment in mainland China.

Venezuela: The labour movement and socialist struggle today

Pedro Eusse, national secretary of the Communist Party of Venezuela.

Pedro Eusse interviewed by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber

July 22, 2010 -- The Bullet -- In mid-June, 2010, we met with Pedro Eusse, national secretary of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) and part of the provisional executive committee of the labour confederation, Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (National Union of Workers, UNT). Revolutionary figures from times past stared down at us from the paintings hung on the walls in the office of the PCV in central Caracas. Refusing to be interrupted by the constantly ringing phone, Pedro spoke passionately for two hours about the centrality of organised workers in the revolutionary struggle and the need to unite the labour movement. He expressed his hopes for rebuilding the UNT at its third congress planned for fall 2010.

What was your political formation?

Malaysian socialists: Solidarity with the people of Venezuela against threat of military aggression

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

July 28, 2010 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is deeply concerned with the possibility of military aggression towards the people of Venezuela by the Colombian government, which could be supported by the United States of America and its seven military bases recently installed in Colombia.

This matter has arisen from the recent events when the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was accused on July 22, 2010, at the Extraordinary Session of the Organization of American States in Washington by the Colombian government of promoting, supporting and maintaining a relationship with armed organisations from Colombia, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). The accusations were only based on images which have never been substantiated or subjected to verification.

The current moves by right-wing Colombian government is clearly an attempt backed by the US to justify a pre-emptive attack on Venezuela and its people. There has been a pattern of false allegations against Hugo Chavez’s government as part of a US-backed campaign to dismantle the revolutionary process taking place in Venezuela.

¡Viva la Revolución!: The 1910 Mexican Revolution (part 1)

Emiliano Zapata.

[This article first appeared in Against the Current, the publication of Solidarity, a revolutionary socialist, feminist magazine in the United States. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission. Dan La Botz is the Socialist Party (USA)'s Ohio candidate for the US Senate. He also is the editor of Mexican Labor News and Analysis. The second part appears HERE.]

By Dan La Botz

2010 marks 100 years since the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. The revolution, which began in 1910 and ended in 1940, transformed Mexico. During the course of those 30 years, tens of thousands of men and women fought in battles in many regions of the country to end the Porfirian Díaz dictatorship and to determine the course and goals of the revolution that had overthrown it. In a nation of 15 million, a shocking 1 million were killed while 2 million migrated to the United States to escape the violence (many of them subsequently returning), a movement which established the paths of future migrations.(1)

Socialist Resistance statement on the banning of the veil

By Socialist Resistance (Britain)

July 26, 2010 -- Throughout Europe there is a growing movement that seeks to ban Muslim women who chose to do so from wearing the veil. In Britain today this demand comes mainly from the far-right British National Party (BNP), UK Independence Party (UKIP) and some individuals on the Conservative Party (Tory) right. Things though may change for the worse, already the Tory tabloids are stirring on this question.

This is but one part of a growing Islamophobic trend which has seen Muslim minorities become even more marginalised and demonised in Western Europe than they were previously. Though this demand originated on the far right it is now increasingly taken up by the mainstream bourgeois parties culminating in the recent decision of the French parliament to make wearing the veil a criminal offence. In France what is equally shameful is the failure of most of the French left to oppose it in any meaningful way, members of the Greens, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party having abstained on this law in the French parliament.

`Overpopulation' — a political weapon for conservatives

By Simon Butler

July 24, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Forget about the climate science and the record high temperatures. Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard has decided she doesn’t need a serious climate change policy to win the August 21 federal election. In its place, she kicked off her election campaign on July 18 with a “sustainable Australia” policy. It promised a future of low population growth, which “preserves our quality of life and respects our environment”.

Opposition leader and climate denier Tony Abbott was quick to say he fully agreed with this vision, but was even more committed to it than Gillard.

From a conservative point of view it makes sense to raise the spectre of overpopulation in this election campaign. Population control is the mother of all political diversion tactics. Population levels explain nothing about social problems. But they can be scapegoated for just about everything, from traffic jams and home prices to grocery bills and climate change.

Australia: `Sustainable population?' -- Scapegoating migrants and refugees for the capitalist system's ills

To read more on the discussion around population, click HERE.

By Graham Matthews

July 24, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- In one of her first policy changes after replacing Kevin Rudd as leader of the Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister Julia Gillard dumped Rudd’s idea of a “big Australia”. On June 26, Gillard said “Australia should not hurtle down the track towards a big population”. Instead, she called for a “sustainable population”.

Almost four weeks on, however, Labor’s policy has no details — just lots of rhetoric designed to pander to fears that immigration (particularly asylum seekers) is causing a raft of social problems.

United States: The railroading of Leonard Peltier

Wounded Knee occupation, 1973.

By Mike Ely

Join in demanding freedom for Leonard Peltier, so that at long last simple justice be done for him and the Indigenous peoples of North America. Sign this petition urging his release. Petitions are also being circulated urging clemency and urging US Congress to investigate FBI misconduct on Pine Ridge and the “reign of terror” that existed between 1973 and 1976. This article was first written in 1998.

Colombia & United States threaten attack -- Stop the lies and aggression against Venezuela!

A statement from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

July 24, 2010 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network -- On July 22, Venezuela broke off all diplomatic relations with Colombia and placed its national borders on high alert. This follows accusations made by the Colombian government that Venezuela is harbouring “terrorists” from the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and hosting several “terrorist training camps” near the border region that divides the two countries.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington on July 22, called for by Colombia, Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented television and video images allegedly taken from computers confiscated during the Colombian military’s illegal invasion of Ecuadorian territory in March 2008, as well as some computer-generated maps and photographs of alleged members of the FARC, which he said were taken inside Venezuela. Hoyos called for “international intervention” in Venezuela, and gave a “30-day ultimatum”.

Venezuela's process of struggle

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network solidarity brigade in Caracas, May 1, 2008.

Jason Netek looks at the political situation in Venezuela -- and why international solidarity is key to furthering the process of workers' power.

July 22, 2010 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the focal point of a political shift to the left that has affected most of the Latin American continent for just over a decade. For years now, we have heard denunciations of the nation and its president, Hugo Chávez, from TV personalities like Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson to establishment figures like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all of whom liken the nation to a military dictatorship.

It's no good pointing out to these types that the US actually has propped up real military dictators in efforts to stave off leftist movements all across the continent. They are fully aware. They are hypocrites.

Is `de-growth' compatible with capitalism?

Photo by Twaize/Flickr.

By Alejandro Nadal

July 15, 2010 -- TripleCrisis -- A serious campaign in favour of “de-growth” has been going on for some time and has made important contributions. This movement has opened new avenues for debate and analysis on technology, credit, education and other important areas. It’s an effort that needs support and attention, and we must applaud their initiators and promoters for their boldness and dedication.

False food choices under capitalism

Below is the editorial of the Socialist WebZine, online magazine of the Socialist Party of the United States. Following that is an article by Dan La Botz, SPUSA's Ohio candidate forthe US Senate. Both appear in Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

* * *

July 17, 2010 -- Socialist WebZine -- How can we change the world? This is the question that socialists face in the 21st century. It certainly offers more possibilities than the one presented in the mid-1990s that asked whether we had reached the end of history. However, capitalism is also attempting to provide an answer to this question by offering individualised ways to change the world. Food is an important arena for this project – corporations insist that eating the right food or drinking the right coffee can really make a difference in the world.

Banning the veil: Rights of women or anti-Islamic racism and communalism?

July 21, 2010 -- On July 13, the parliament of France, on the eve of Bastille Day, voted 335 to one in favour of preventing Muslim women wearing a full face-covering veil in public. The July 13 Le Monde said the new law was strongly supported by the right. The Socialist Party, Communist Party (PCF) and Green Party abstained. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering on religious grounds now faces a fine of 150 euros or a “citizenship course”. The law does not come into effect until spring 2011 to allow a period of “education”. There is also a year in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros for anyone found guilty of forcing a woman to wear a veil, a penalty which is doubled if the “victim is a minor”.

Earlier this year, the Indian organisation Radical Socialist issued a statement taking up this wave of Islamophobic legislation in Europe.

* * *

Statement by the Radical Socialist organisation, India

Tackling climate change: Is putting `a price on carbon' enough?

An absract `price on carbon' is the favoured solution of supporters of business-as-usual. Photo by Lauren Carroll Harris.

By Simon Butler

July 18, 2010 -- Pressure is now bearing down on the Australian climate movement because there has been so little forward progress in the federal government’s climate policy. The pressure is for the movement to accept, support and campaign for weak or inadequate climate policies on the grounds that something is better than nothing.

This is plain from looking at the new, media-driven “consensus” about the need for a “price on carbon”.

Putting a price on carbon is not the best way to deal with climate change, but a growing chorus of media commentators, NGOs and politicians are nonetheless plugging it as the key solution.

Many who advocate a price on carbon would agree that we face a dire climate emergency. The problem is that they are willing to let the emergency response be privatised.

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