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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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The following article is the Foreward to the July-August 2010 issue of the US socialist magazine Monthly Review, which features Marta Harnecker's “Latin America and Twenty-First Century Socialism: Inventing to Avoid Mistakes". Bellamy Foster will be a feature speaker at the Climate Change Social Change conference, to be held in Melbourne, November 5-7, 2010.
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I’m certain that this process is irreversible. This movement of change, of restructuring, of revolution, will not be stopped.
By John Bellamy Foster
By Dale T. McKinley, Johannesburg
July 7, 2010 -- The sun has almost set on the soccer World Cup and its seeming suspension of our South African "normalcy". No doubt, many will try their best to continue to bask in its positively proclaimed "developmental legacy"; but, as sure as the sun will rise on the morning after, so too will the reality of that "normalcy" bite us like an unhappy dog. Nowhere will this be more apparent than in the world of South African soccer itself.
Drawing on the American Labor movement -- Fred Wright (1907-1984) was one of the United States’s most renowned labour movement cartoonists. His career lasted from 1939 until his death in 1984. He is best known for his work as a staff cartoonist for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). In addition to his cartoons illustrating the union’s newspaper, the UE News, he designed leaflets, strike placards and animated organising cartoons to contribute to the US labour movement.
Wright sold his first cartoon to the National Maritime Union (NMU) publication, The Pilot, in 1939. He continued to draw cartoons for the US Army during World War II and was ultimately hired as a staff cartoonist for the UE in 1949. Throughout this time, his work was reprinted in labour and radical publications worldwide. In the spirit of the labour movement, his cartoons criticised the Taft-Hartley Act, McCarthyism, and other government post-war attacks on trade unions.
Frelimo poster for its third congress in 1977.
[The following article first appeared in AfricaFile's At Issue Ezine, vol. 12 (May-October 2010), edited by John S. Saul, which examines the development of the southern African liberation movement-led countries. It has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]
By John S. Saul
North Star – A Memoir
By Peter Camejo
Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2010
Review by Barry Sheppard
[Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]
July 8, 2010 -- North Star – A Memoir by Peter Camejo, who was an important figure in the radicalisation of “the Sixties” and beyond, up to his untimely death in 2008, should be read by veterans of the socialist movement and wider social causes. It also should be read by new activists thirsty for understanding of previous struggles in order to better equip themselves for present and future battles.
Also, the book is a good read. The first chapter is set in 1979, out of chronological order from the rest of the book. It explains how the CIA attempted to get Peter arrested in Colombia, on a leg of a speaking tour in South America. If he had been imprisoned there it is possible that he would have been “disappeared”. Without giving away the story, Peter escaped this fate through an unlikely intervention, quite a tale in itself.
Statement by Luta Hamutuk, Timor-Leste Institute for Research, Advocacy and CampaignsDili, July 7, 2010 -- According to Australian foreign affairs policy announced by the Australian prime minister in Sydney recently and published by a range of media, including the Indonesian newspaper the Java Post, “Prime Minister (PM) Julia Gillard has tightened Australia immigration law. Not wanting to be bothered by the economic and social problems caused by asylum seekers, the Australian leader plans to build a detention center for asylum seekers in Timor-Leste” As quoted by Associated Press (Java Post, 07/07/2010).
The above statement shows how Australian foreign policy contains “racist characteristics” toward Timor Leste and the region.
Luta Hamutuk's position
Luta Hamutuk, as a member of civil society in Timor Leste, would like to declare our position on this statement as follows:
Oleh: Data Brainanta
8 Juli 2010 -- Berdikari -- Aktivis partai Aliansi Sosialis (Socialist Alliance – SA) di Australia menolak rencana PM Julia Gillard untuk membangun pusat pemrosesan suaka regional di Timor Leste.
Kandidat SA dari Perth, Alex Bainbridge, menggambarkan bahwa rencana menampung pencari suaka Australia di Timor Leste bukan didasarkan atas belas kasihan dan keadilan, sebagaimana dikatakan oleh PM tersebut, melainkan untuk mendorong pemenjaraan lebih banyak lagi.
“Kebijakan yang sesungguhnya kita butuhkan adalah yang berdasarkan belas kasihan dan rasa keadilan – yakni menempatkan mereka di tengah-tengah komunitas [masyarakat] Australia,” kata Bainbridge.
“Fakta sederhananya, pemenjaraan adalah pemenjaraan – apakah pemenjaraan itu di Pulau Christmas atau Leonora, Timor Leste atau Nauru,” tambahnya.
By Patrick Bond
July 7, 2010 -- Acting against our alleged "ambush marketing" and "incitement" (sic), the South African Police Service, newly augmented with 40,000 additional cadre for the World Cup, detained several of us here in Durban last weekend. We were simply exercising freedom of expression at our favourite local venue, the South Beach Fan Fest, whose half-million visitors is a record.
Wearing hidden microphones so as to tape discussions with police leadership, what we learned was chilling, for they have received orders from Durban city manager Mike Sutcliffe that the property rights of the world soccer body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), overrule our foundational constitutional rights.
“We can charge you and detain you until the 11th of July, [when] FIFA is over!”, a top officer shouted at me during my second interrogation, on Saturday, July 3.
Film: `A Place in the City' -- A world class city for whom? World Cup tourists and the rich, or the poor majority?
July 7, 2010 -- Abahlali baseMjondolo -- Sixteen years since apartheid ended, and amid the hoopla and false hopes promoted by the 2010 soccer World Cup, millions of black South Africans still live in self-built shacks – without sanitation, adequate water supplies or electricity. In Durban, almost in the shadow of the massive multibillion-rand Moses Mabhida stadium [paradoxically named after a veteran leader of South Africa's Communist Party], poor people are fighting for their right to live near work, schools and health facilities.
Lidice Navas in Caracas, Venezuela, June 18, 2010.
Lidice Navas interviewed by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber
June 30, 2010 -- The Bullet -- A long-time revolutionary activist, Lidice Navas is an important socialist-feminist leader within the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and a candidate for the Latin American parliament, among her many other responsibilities. We met her at the Women’s Development Bank in Caracas on June 18, 2010, to talk about her vision of socialism, the accomplishments of the Bolivarian process so far, and what remains to be done.
What is your political history?
I am a candidate for the PSUV in Caracas. I am also a member of the Political Bureau of the Region of Caracas and a candidate for the Latin American parliament. I also have some responsibilities in the Women's Development Bank (Banco de Desarrollo de la Mujer, BanMujer) and am also active as a coordinator in the parroquia [parish] El Valle, where we are trying to construct socialism from the level of the community.
On April 26, 2010, Marxist geographer professor David Harvey spoke to the the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) to explain how capitalism came to dominate the world and why it resulted in the current financial crisis. He asks: is it time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order? Above is the animated version of the longer speech he gave. You can view the original speech HERE.
Taking a long view of the current crisis, Harvey exposes the follies of the international financial system, looking closely at the nature of capitalism, how it works and why sometimes it doesn’t.
“There are Arabic newspapers in Australia, but still all reflect the views of their editors and there is a great need to establish a progressive Arabic-language press which can frankly discuss the squalid condition of the Arab world due to submission and subservience to neo-colonialism”, Iskander explains. “At the same time, the Arabic-speaking communities in Australia need to read articles relating to the Australian government policy internally — articles which will unmask the pitfalls of these policies, and will expose the violation and the lies of the capitalist parties. The Flame, we hope, will be a powerful addition to Green Left Weekly.”
By Mark Vorpahl
July 2, 2010 -- Workers' Compass -- The recent wave of strikes in China, most visibly at Honda factories, are testament to a growing movement of labour unrest in the country. This development is of great importance for international working-class struggle.
For the capitalists, China holds a key position in the global system of generating profits. The demands of China's workers for better conditions and a higher standard of living are in direct conflict with the international capitalists' desire to use China as a source of cheap labour. For the world's big business elite, already shaken by an international economic crisis of their own making, the growing militancy of China's workers is a great threat.
By Duroyan Fertl
June 27, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa began its final round of 16 on June 26. It came amid the unrelenting drone of vuvuzela horns, the knockout of big teams such as Italy and France, and street protests by local residents angry at the 40 billion rand the government has spent on the corporatised event. Meanwhile, South Africa’s poor suffer substandard housing and access to basic services.
Football, or “soccer”, is the “world game”, played by millions of people around the world and watched by hundreds of millions more. But is it truly the “people’s game”?
On its own terms, football is an often thrilling exhibition of human skill. A high-quality football match commands comparisons with art. Little wonder, then, that it is so popular worldwide.
Trailer for South of the Border.
By Oliver Stone, Mark Weisbrot and Tariq Ali
[The following letter was sent to The New York Times.]
June 27, 2010 -- South of the Border -- The New York Times' Larry Rohter attacks our film, South of the Border, for “mistakes, misstatements and missing details”. But a close examination of the details reveals that the mistakes, misstatements and missing details are his own, and that the film is factually accurate.
By Maqsood Mujahid
June 30, 2010 -- Three months' notice has been given to Punjab government to decide the fate of the 68,000 acres of agriculture land owned by Punjab government and cultivated by tenants for more than 100 years. The tenants have been demanding land ownership rights. Despite promises to do so by former prime ministers Benazhir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif, the land in question has not been allotted to the tenants.
By Leo Zeilig
June 28, 2010 – Zimbabwe’s economy has been in free fall. Between 2000 and 2005, the economy contracted by more than 40 per cent. Today GDP per capita is estimated to be the same as it was in 1953. Before the replacement of the Zimbabwe dollar with the US dollar and the South African rand in 2009, the country had the highest inflation rate in the world, soaring to 165,000 per cent in February 2008.
Pablo Solon interviewed by Derrick O'Keefe
June 29, 2010 -- Rabble.ca -- While G20 leaders barely made mention of the climate crisis, Pablo Solon, Bolivia's UN ambassador, was in Toronto to encourage action on the Cochabamba protocols.
It is no surprise that Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s chief climate negotiator and ambassador to the United Nations, was not on the list of special invitees to the G8/G20 meetings in Ontario this weekend. After all, in April Solon and the Bolivian government he represents organised the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, an international convergence of as many as 30,000 people determined to challenge the Copenhagen Accord being pushed by the world’s richest countries.
By Kavita Krishnan
July 2010 -- Liberation -- More than 25 years after the infamous Bhopal gas disaster, the verdict of a trial court in Bhopal is nothing but a cruel mockery of justice. With charges already diluted by the Supreme Court of India, the June 7 trial court verdict could only be a formal burial of justice. Not only does the verdict insult the victims of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters by letting off, either scot-free or with a ridiculously light sentence, the mighty CEOs who were the chief perpetrators, it amounts to an assurance to multinational corporations that they will enjoy total impunity in India even when their negligence and violations of regulations leads to the loss of thousands of Indian lives and injury to several thousand more.
On December 2-3, 1984, 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) leaked out of the Union Carbide Corporation’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, exposing more that 5,000,000 people to the toxic fumes. As many as 25,000 people have died as a result, and hundreds of thousands suffered irreversible damage to their health. The poison in the soil and water continues to affect future generations.
[For more information about, documents from and discussion of the World People's Conference on Climate Change, click HERE.]
By Ben Courtice
June 28, 2010 -- In their article "World People's Conference on Climate Change: Some critical comments on the People's Agreement", the Fourth International's Daniel Tanuro and Sandra Invernizzi have missed the main usefulness of this document.
They note, “The words `coal' and `natural gas' are simply not mentioned. The expression `renewable energies' is also absent” and that the document “overlooks the struggle against the capitalist energy lobbies and the sectors linked to it (cars, petrochemicals, shipbuilding, the aeronautics industry, transport …), whereas this is obviously the key question in the framework of an anti-capitalist strategy of stabilisation of the climate.”
It is true the conference did not target the hydrocarbon industries. The Bolivian hydrocarbon ministry in fact had a stall at the conference.