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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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Kurdistan: Why Kobanî did not fall

[For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]

By Dilar Dirik

January 27, 2015 -- Kurdish Question, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One year ago, today, Kobanî declared itself as an autonomous canton.

Today, after 135 days of fearless resistance, the people of Kobanî have liberated the city from the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Since September 2014, the YPG and YPJ (People's and Women's Defence Units) have been leading – there are no other words to describe it -- an epic and unbelievable resistance against the latest wave of attacks by ISIS.

The women and men, who lead the most glorious resistance of our time, hoisted their flags on the last hills that were occupied by ISIS and immediately began their line dances, accompanied by old Kurdish revolutionary songs and slogans. Ever since, people around the world rushed to the streets to celebrate. After the countless tragedies, massacres and traumas that this region has had to suffer recently, the pains that have preceded this moment make victory even sweeter. One eye sheds tears for the dead, while the other cries out of much deserved joy.

Scotland: A new world for Scottish politics after the referendum

The Radical Independence Campaign conference after the referendum, on November 22, 2014, drew 3000 and demonstrated that spirits had not dimmed since the vote.

For more on Scotland and independence, click HERE.

By Alister Black

January 25, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As Scots gathered together at Christmas and Hogmanay last year conversations turned inevitably to politics. Most were agreed that the year ahead would be a very interesting one. The impact of the independence referendum vote on September 18, 2014, is still being felt throughout Scottish society, and that impact is reverberating across the UK state as well.

Greece: SYRIZA, the first Green government in Europe?

January 28, 2015 -- Bright Green via Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- SYRIZA’s colours are red and purple and green, identifying it as socialist, feminist and environmentalist. The party platform includes all the key demands of the Green Party (UK).

Thailand: Yingluck’s impeachment -- a fraudulent 'legal' attack by an illegal junta

Yingluck Shinawatra leaves the final impeachment hearing at parliament in Bangkok. Photograph: Vichan Poti/Demotix/Corbis.

For more on Thailand, click HERE.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

January 28, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Let us be clear. The impeachment motion passed by the puppet parliament on January 23 against former Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, submitted to the military junta’s appointed Assembly by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, over her role in the rice price support scheme for farmers, is a total farce and a red herring. It is a deliberate part of the anti-reforms designed to destroy democracy. It has nothing to do with the rice scheme.

Yingluck is accused of “allowing corruption to take place” in this rice scheme and of presiding over financial losses to the government.

(Updated Jan. 28) Greece: Venezuela welcomes SYRIZA victory; International left celebrates

[Please return regularly for updates.]

January 28, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Venezuela's government has congratulated Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing SYRIZA party, who won a huge victory in Greece's parliamentary elections on January 25, 2015, reports TeleSur English. Tsipras has been inaugurated as the country's prime minister.

A Venezuelan government statement said: “Venezuela warmly congratulates the Syriza coalition party and Alexis Tsipras for their historic victory, wishing them success and complete solidarity and support.”

Venezuela's foreign minister Elias Jaua tweeted: “The Greek people, after a long and historic battle against neoliberalism, has crowned itself a wonderful victory. Syriza is fresh air for Europe!”

Greece: SYRIZA’s win -- the numbers behind the victory

SYRIZA: 149 seats, 36.5%; New Democracy: 76 seats, 27.8%; Golden Dawn: 17 seats, 6.3%; To Potami: 17 seats, 6.1%; KKE: 15 seats, 5.5%; Independent Greeks (ANEL): 13 seats, 4.7%; PASOK: 13 seats, 4.7%; others not elected: 8.6%.

By Dick Nichols, Athens

January 27, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The victory of SYRIZA, Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left, in the January 25, 2015, general election caused enormous outpouring of joy on the streets of Athens and confirmed general expectations.The final result was 36.49% and 149 seats. SYRIZA will now form government in alliance with the socially conservative, but anti-Brussels, Independent Greeks.

The “poll of polls” done just the day before the election had SYRIZA winning 37.5% and 146 seats. Exit polls taken after voting closed had SYRIZA at between 36.5% and 38.5% (146-158 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament). In the end, the radical coalition fell two seats short of an absolute majority.

Greece: SYRIZA wins! SYRIZA's 40-point program

 Emotional celebrations as SYRIZA wins the January 25, 2015, general election.

See SYRIZA's 2014 governmental program: "Greece: What a SYRIZA government will do"

For more discussion and analysis of SYRIZA's victory, click HERE.

January 26, 2015 -- SYRIZA has won a great victory in the Greek general election.
It became clear in the final days of the campaign that SYRIZA was headed for such a momentous victory. Their rallies across Greece – in town squares, factories and universities – were thoughtful and inspirational. The working class was making its mind up about SYRIZA. Now it has decided and the results are clear – this is nothing short of an overwhelming expression of the people’s will for change, by and for the people.

The last question that remains is if SYRIZA will achieve a majority 151 seats out of Greek parliament’s 300 seats. So far they are just short on 149, but final results will take some time.

* * *

Eyewitness Greece: Solidarity in action -- a visit to a Solidarity4All clinic

Volunteers at Solidarity Clinic in Peristeri.

By Vivian Messimeris, Athens

January 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Vivian Messimeris is part of the Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal team covering the January 25 election in Greece. You can read more of team's eyewitness coverage of Greece HERE and HERE.

* * *

 

Today we visited one of the solidarity clinics that operates in the suburb of Peristeri. We met with some of the volunteers that work in the clinic that included two doctors as well as other activists. The clinic is staffed by 60 volunteers, including 20 doctors, and offers free medical consultations and pharmaceuticals.

Peristeri is largely a working class suburb of 400,000 people and is located in west Athens, which has a population of 1 million. Before the economic crisis most residents worked in blue-collar industry or were self-employed in small businesses.

Eyewitness Greece: Interview with Hara Petsiou, cleaner fired from Ministry of Finance

By Vivian Messimeris, Athens

January 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Vivian Messimeris is part of the Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal team covering the January 25 election in Greece. She spoke to Hara Petsiou (pictured), a cleaner sacked from her job at the finance ministry. The sacked cleaners are fighting for their jobs. You can read more of team's eyewitness coverage of Greece HERE and HERE.

* * *

Can you explain what you are protesting about?

We are cleaners from the Finance Ministry who work throughout Greece, we are not only located in Athens, but in all of Greece. We work in a range of different government buildings and offices. On September 17 (2013) we arrived to work and we were told that we would no longer be employed. Because of the Troika, I’m not sure why, but they had to retrench a certain number of public employees.

Greece: Is SYRIZA radical enough?

SYRIZA's closing election rally, Athens, January 22.

By Ed Rooksby

January 22, 2015 -- New Left Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but a party of the radical left is on the cusp of power in an EU country. The latest opinion polls indicate that SYRIZA will triumph in the Greek national elections to be held on January 25 and although it may not win an absolute majority in parliament it would (assuming it can find coalition partners) certainly be the dominant force in any coalition government that emerged.

Eyewitness Greece: Looming SYRIZA win alarms elite; Big rally: 'Hope is on its way'

Click HERE for more on SYRIZA and the election in Greece.

By Dick Nichols, Athens

January 23, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the days ahead of Greece's January 25 general election, all signs point to victory for the Alexis Tsipras-led Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). The big unknown is whether the party will win an absolute majority in the 300-seat Greek parliament, freeing it from the need to negotiate with minority parties and ending the chance of a further national poll in case negotiations fail.

All Greek political actors are behaving as if SYRIZA will win. The campaign of the ruling New Democracy (ND) of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been lackluster, with almost no ND propaganda to be seen on the streets.

On January 16, Ta Nea, the daily paper closest to the government, finally conceded a two-page interview to Tsipras, an admission that SYRIZA might actually have an important role to play in Greek politics.

Pablo Iglesias: 'It is called SYRIZA in Greece, in Spain it is Podemos'

Click HERE for more on SYRIZA and the election in Greece.

January 23, 2015 -- Stokokkino.gr, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Alexis Tsipras was joined on stage by Pablo Iglesias, leader of Spanish leftist party Podemos. Supporters waved Greek flags and placards reading "Change Greece, change Europe!", while loudspeakers blared lyrics from the Leonard Cohen song, "First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin".

"The wind of democratic change is blowing, a change in Europe, of a change in Greece", Iglesias told the rally. "It is called SYRIZA in Greece, and in Spain it is called Podemos."

Earlier Iglesias gave an interview to the radio station StoKokkino, in which he underlined that the forthcoming electoral win of SYRIZA will be a promise to the majority of Europe's people, because "SYRIZA, like Podemos in Spain and Sinn Fein in Ireland, is fighting first of all for democracy.”

Gerry Adams wishes SYRIZA leader ‘good luck’ in Greek election; Ireland's stake in a SYRIZA win

Click HERE for more on SYRIZA and the election in Greece.

January 22, 2015 -- Cairde SinnFéin Australia, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has spoken by phone with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the SYRIZA party in Greece. Speaking after their conversation, Adams said he had wished Tsipras and SYRIZA well in the Greek general election on January 25.

Adams said: “I spoke this morning with Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA. I expressed Sinn Fein’s solidarity with the Greek people as they struggle against the disastrous consequences of the austerity policies of the Greek government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

“On my own behalf and that of Sinn Féin I extended good luck and best wishes to SYRIZA in Sunday’s general election in Greece and expressed our full support for a European debt conference.

“The austerity policies of Ireland's Fine Gael/Labour Party government and its predecessors have inflicted widespread damage on Irish society and hardship on our citizens.

Colin Fox: 'SYRIZA’s victory will be loudly cheered by working people in Scotland'

Click HERE for more on SYRIZA and the election in Greece.

September 23, 2015 -- Stokokkino.gr, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Scotland is also in the grip of austerity today says Colin Fox, leader of the Scottish Socialist Party (pictured).

"Scotland is also in the grip of austerity today. The right-wing Conservative Party/Liberal Democrat coalition government in London have attacked the standard of living of working-class people. They have cut public spending on our health, education and social services by many billions of pounds. Britain also has unprecedented levels of debt as a result of bailing out greedy, reckless private banks with huge sums of public money.

"While our economic and social conditions have not declined as badly as Greece, working-class people are nonetheless struggling to maintain their living standards. The average family is £50 per week [or 70 euros/week] worse off today compared to 2008. And this despite our economy returning to growth, albeit weak growth. People in Scotland are angry at the London government for making workers families pay for a financial and economic crisis the bankers in the City of London caused.

Eyewitness Greece: Solidarity from Australia; SYRIZA pushes plan to help jobless

By Socialist Alliance (Australia)

January 23, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal and Green Left Weekly -- A SYRIZA win will not only be a victory for the people of Greece, but a victory for all people around the world. Over the last four years we have seen the poor pay for the crisis created by the rich, a crisis created by their determination to defend profit and privilege no matter what the suffering inflicted on ordinary people. We have watched as Greece has been used a neoliberal laboratory. Global capital is not restricted by borders and the policies of austerity affect all working people. The struggle against austerity is therefore not just a Greek struggle but an international struggle.

Why the whole world is watching Greece

SYRIZA supporters rally.

January 20, 2015 -- Socialist Worker (USA), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, is favoured to win parliamentary elections on January 25, giving it a strong chance to form a new government that could confront the catastrophic austerity agenda that has plunged Greece into severe economic and social crisis. Here, Lee Sustar answers your questions about the rise of SYRIZA and what a victory for it on January 25 would mean.

* * *

Why is so much attention focused on the Greek elections?

South Africa: NUMSA's Irvin Jim builds solidarity in USA for a socialist South Africa

[For more on NUMSA, click HERE. For more on South Africa, click HERE.]

January 11, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Irvin Jim, general secretary of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), South Africa's largest trade union, has toured the United States to report on the fight for socialism in South Africa. He delivered this presentation on January 11, 2015, at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 offices in New York City.

Irvin Jim's message to Americans can be read in full HERE. For more information on NUMSA, go to http://www.numsa.org.za.

This was video recorded by Ken Nash of WBAI Pacific Building Bridges radio show, a production of the Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org.

Cuba: The 'solarisation' of Granma province

By Laurie Guevara-​Stone

January 14, 2015 -- Rocky Mountain Institute, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- US President Barack Obama’s recent announcement that he wants to begin normalising relations with Cuba generated news around the world. But the Cuban province of Granma may soon be making headlines for another reason: its embrace of renewable energy.

While Cuba is an island full of sun, rivers and windy coasts, only 4 per cent of the island’s electricity is generated from renewable energy. The island hopes to soon change that, with a goal of generating 24 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030, and Granma is leading the way.

Alexis Tsipras in 'El Pais': 'SYRIZA win will be a compass for Europe'

By Alexis Tsipras, translation by TheTOC.gr

January 16, 2015 --- El Pais, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On January 25 Greece will shut the door on the past. SYRIZA’s victory is the hope of the worlds of labour and of culture in all of Europe for change. To make the necessary step forward. From the darkness of austerity and of authoritarianism, into the light of democracy, of solidarity and of sustainable development.

For this reason, Greece is only the beginning. Within this year, Spain's turn is coming. The change begins from the South. The defeat of the political sponsors of austerity, foreclosures, of insecurity and fear, of corruption and the scandals has its launching point in our countries. Our people will take the future in their hands and open the door of tomorrow for young and uncorrupted individuals. For their own people who have a clear gaze. For this reason, the victory of the Greek people and of SYRIZA carries the message of a new and hopeful course for Spain. A course which, as is shown by public opinion polls, the Spanish people are steadily turning towards. This is how the South will move forward, to change Europe.

Unfolding revolution in Rojava: Interview with Özgür Amed, journalist and researcher

"We can say that Kurdish women led the Rojava revolution. Women have a part in every decision taken in Rojava. The colour of the Rojava revolution is the colour of women."

[For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]

Özgür Amed interviewed by Dylan Murphy

January 17, 2015 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following interview was conducted in partnership between the Rojava Report. Özgür Amed is a journalist, columnist, teacher and activist from Diyarbakir, where he gives courses on cinema and works with local civil society organisations as a project coordinator.

He writes regular editorials for the newspapers Ozgur Gundem and Ozgur Politika, contributes to various journals, assists foreign journalists working in Kurdistan and provides analysis of the region to foreign media outlets. He also conducts research on the Kurdish movement and its author of a book of humour, Works of Kurdology (Kürdocul İşler). He can be reached at ozguramed@live.com

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