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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.

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Due to illness affecting Links editor, Terry Townsend, publishing of pieces and communcation may be slower than usual, although we will endenvour to keep a stready flow new pieces and respond to queries as rapidly as possible. Please send queries or submissions to contact (AT) links (DOT) org (DOT) au.

Nepal’s streets ahead of May 1: `We make the power'

[The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has called for workers and villagers to converge on Kathmandu for a “final conflict” to win a new constitution. The Maoists are calling for a sustained mobilisation, with the hope that an overwhelming showing can push the government out with a minimum of bloodshed and stay the hand of the Nepal army. For more background, see "Nepal: Bracing for `high noon' after May 1". The UCPN (M) on April 27 called for an indefinite general strike starting May 2, should the current prime minister not step aside in the face of the May 1 mass mobilisation.]

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Story and photos by Jed Brandt, Kathmandu

Thailand: It's about democracy

Red Shirt barricade, Bangkok.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

April 29, 2010 -- In a democratic society, when there is a deep crisis, it is customary for the government to dissolve parliament and call elections in order for the people to decide. This happened in Britain and France after mass strikes and demonstrations in the 1960s and 1970s.

After mass right-wing Yellow Shirt protests against the government in Bangkok in 2006, Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai government dissolved parliament and called elections. Yet the Democrat Party and others refused to take part in these elections because they knew they would lose. This led to a military coup. The military wrote their own undemocratic constitution. Fresh elections were held under the control of the military, yet Thaksin’s party won an overall majority again. Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government is only in power by using two judiciary coups, Yellow Shirt violence at Government House and the airports, and the actions of the army. It has never been elected.

`That's capitalism!' Scottish Socialist Party election broadcast: `No cuts, no wars, for an end to corruption'

April 29, 2010 -- The Scottish Socialist Party is standing in 10 seats across Scotland in the UK general election on May 6.The video above was broadcast on BBC TV on April 23.

SSP election manifesto: `For an independent socialist Scotland'

No cuts, no wars, for an end to corruption

May Day 2010: `Workers will win!'

Graphic by Ashley Cecil.

Statements from left organisations around the world to mark international workers' day.

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Joint May Day 2010 statement from Asia

Click here to endorse the joint May Day statement 

All over the world workers are organising ...

We are organising to demand a living wage. For health and safety at work. For compensation and  rehabilitation. For the  rights of migrant workers and refugees, for citizenship rights for migrant workers and their families. For the right to employment on equal terms. Workers are organising against deportations, against racism, against discrimination. Workers are organising against wars that are a disaster to millions of workers.

Greece: Driven into crisis

Workers in Greece protest government attacks on wages and benefits.

By Ingo Schmidt

April 27, 2010 -- The Bullet -- Neoliberal order reigns in the world. Stock markets are recovering from the crash in the fall of 2008. Private banks are no longer weighed down by bad loans that were added to public deficits. The latter were rising anyway because the economic crisis had sent tax revenues on a downward slide. Add further bailout money for financial companies and fiscal stimulus and you get a veritable fiscal crisis of the state.

Meanwhile, rating agencies like Moody's and Standard and Poor's cast judgement on the viability of fiscal deficits and public sector cuts, as if their assessments of the financial sector had nothing to do with the "manias, panics and crashes" that pushed a cyclical recession near depression in the first place. Public deficits between 12% and 13% of GDP in Britain and the US are bad, they say, but not so bad that the austerity measures they consider appropriate can't be left to Number 10 Downing Street and the White House.

Distorted account of Morales speech distracts from fundamental issue of climate change


April 23, 2010 -- CMPCC -- A few national and international media outlets, instead of carrying out analysis and reports on the fundamental challenge of climate change, decided to distract the public with a distorted and inaccurate account of a speech by President Morales.

Various media reports are misinforming the public, saying that Morales has linked eating chicken with homosexuality. In his exact words, Morales said that “chicken that we are eating is full of feminine hormones, which is why men who eat this chicken have changes in their being as men. I have read some information that isn’t from me, asking about a daughter of one and a half years who already had breasts..”

(Updated May 12) Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and texts from the People's Conference on Climate Change

The following documents were also adopted by the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on April 22, 2010, in Bolivia. The Bolivian government will submit them to the United Nations for consideration. The main document, the People's Agreement, is available HERE.

For more coverage of the historic conference, click HERE.

They are: 1. The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth; 2. Shared Visions document; 3. Structural causes; 4. Referendum on climate change; 5. Document of the Working Group on Agriculture and Food Sovereignty; 6. Document of the Working Group on Climate Debt; 7. Document of the Working Group on Climate Finance; 8. Indigenous Peoples' Declaration; 9. International Tribunal of Climate and Environmental Justice working group; 10. Dangers of the carbon market; 11. Working Group No. 10 on the Kyoto Protocol and greenhouse gas emissions reduction; 12. Working Group 13: Intercultural dialogue knowledge sharing, knowledge and technology; 13. Final conclusions of Working Group 2: Harmony with Nature to Live Well; 14. Working Group 6: Climate Change and Migration; 15. Working Group 14: Forests; 16. Working Group 11: Adaptation -- Confronting Climate Change; 17. Strategies of Action; NEW: 18. Declaration of the "unofficial" "Working Group 18. [More will be posted as they become available.]

The `First Socialist International of the 21st Century'

Evo Morales: `Combating climate change -- lessons from the world’s Indigenous peoples'

Bolivia's President Evo Morales interviewed on Democracy Now!, April 23, 2010. Full transcript below.

By Evo Morales, president of the Plurinational Republic of Bolivia.

Nepal: Bracing for `high noon' after May 1

The New Power

By Jed Brandt, Kathmandu

April 21, 2010 — — There are moments when Kathmandu does not feel like a city on the edge of revolution. People go about all the normal business of life. Venders sell vegetables, nail clippers and bootleg Bollywood films from the dirt, cramping the already crowded streets. Uniformed kids tumble out of schools with neat ties in the hot weather. Municipal police loiter at the intersections while traffic ignores them, their armed counterparts patrol in platoons through the city with wood-stocked rifles and dust masks as they have for years. New slogans are painted over the old, almost all in Maoist red. Daily blackouts and dry-season water shortages are normal for Nepal’s primitive infrastructure, not the sign of crisis. Revolutions don’t happen outside of life, like an asteroid from space – but from right up the middle, out of the people themselves.

Bolivia: Australian participants report on World People's Conference on Climate Change

April 23, 2010 -- Several representatives from Australia's climate justice movement attended the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth held in Bolivia, April 19-22, 2010. They included activists from Beyond Zero Emissions, Rising Tide, Socialist Alliance, Climate Emergency Action Network of South Australia and inner city climate action groups Yarra Climate Action Now (Melbourne) and Climate Action Newtown (Sydney). Below Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal collects some of their accounts.

Bolivia people's climate summit: An S.O.S. from Tiquipaya

Cochabamba people's conference. Photo by Reuben McCreanor, Upside Down World.

By Nidia Diaz, translated by Granma International

It would not be exaggerated to state that Tiquipaya, a small locality in unredeemed Cochabamba, is making history. More than 20,000 people, clinging to the final hope of saving the planet, or Mother Earth, are meeting there.

Five heads of state and two Nobel Peace laureates are accompanying them on this noble crusade in which the very existence of today’s world is at stake.

(Updated April 24) Bolivia: Historic people's climate conference winds up -- first reports on outcomes

Democracy Now! -- April 22, 2010. Cormac Cullinan, South African environmental lawyer and an anti-apartheid activist, is co-president of the people's conference Rights of Mother Earth Working Group. He reports on its findings (full transcript of interview below).

[For more coverage of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, click HERE.]

People’s summit adopts ‘Cochabamba Protocols’

By Brenda Norrell, Cochabamba

(See the end of this article for a link to the People’s Agreement text in Spanish.)

April 23, 2010 — Censored News via Capitalism and Climate — The World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth culminated Thursday and released the final declaration, the Agreement of the Peoples, calling for the establishment of an International Climate Court to prosecute polluters, condemning REDD and holding polluters responsible for their climate debt.

Venezuela: `This what democracy looks like'; Alan Woods: The people in arms

Venezuelan students organised in the Bolivarian militia.

Introduction to Alan Woods' article (below) by Stuart Munckton, photos by Kiraz Janicke 

April 22, 2010 -- The Future on Fire -- A common chant around the world when people take to the streets against the crimes of the global capitalist system is: "This is what democracy looks like!"

It is a statement that real democracy is on the streets, in the united action of ordinary people. It is a statement that democracy is more than passive voting once every few years, it is popular power and direct participation.

Voices from Bolivia people's conference: The `most important event in the struggle against climate change'

Nnimmo Bassey interviewed by Democracy Now! (Transcript below).

April 21, 2010 -- Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: Among those who spoke at the opening ceremony for the World Peoples’ Climate Conference was Nnimmo Bassey. He’s the prominent Nigerian environmentalist and chair of Friends of the Earth International. By contrast, at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December, his group, along with several other mainstream environmental organisations, was barred from the talks.

Democracy Now! producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous spoke with Nnimmo Bassey outside the conference gates here in Tiquipaya. He began by asking to talk about the significance of the Bolivian summit.

Raúl Castro at Venezuela's bicentenary of independence: `We have only one alternative: unite, fight and overcome'

Bicentenary of Venezuela independence celebrations. Photo from Correo del Orinoco.

Speech by Raúl Castro Ruz, president of Cuba's Councils of State and Ministers, delivered at the 9th ALBA-TCP Summit, Venezuela

April 19, 2010 -- It is very moving for us to be in Venezuelan today, April 19, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the independence struggle, which represented the battles for independence in the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

It was the embryo of a first integration process in Latin America, as Simón Bolívar understood the destiny of the peoples of our region very early on. Everything that we do now for the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean began precisely here, on a day like today, two centuries ago.

NZ socialists endorse Bolivia's call for a world referendum on climate change

Socialist Worker-New Zealand statement to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, in Bolivia April 19-22, 2010

April 19, 2010 -- Socialist Worker-New Zealand agrees with the statement made by Bolivia's President Evo Morales in his invitation to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth that “climate change is a product of the capitalist system”.

The pursuit of growth and profit is hard-wired into capitalism. Corporations and politicians wedded to capitalism cannot bring about the urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions we need to avert catastrophic climate change.

Therefore the transition to societies living in harmony with nature requires fundamental system change. The way we use resources, the way we produce things, the way we live has to change. This is the challenge that climate change, peak oil and other looming global crises place on the shoulders of all of us living today. Yet too many of our leaders are shirking their responsibilities, not only to those they claim to represent, but to future generations.

(Updated April 22) Bolivia: `Capitalism is the main enemy of the Earth', Evo Morales tells people's climate conference

Video report from Democracy Now! (Full transcript of report below)
[For more coverage of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, click HERE.]

Prensa Latina

April 20, 2010 -- Cochabamba, Bolivia -- Bolivia's President Evo Morales Ayma condemned the capitalist system in the opening session of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth today.

Morales, speaking at the April 20 conference inauguration, started his speech with a slogan, "Planet or death, we shall overcome". He said that harmony with nature could not exist while 1 per cent of the world's population concentrates more than 50 per cent of the world's riches. Capitalism is the main enemy of the Earth, only looking for profits, to the detriment of nature, and capitalism is a bridge for social  inequality.

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