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- Kobane: the struggle of Kurdish women against Islamic State
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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.
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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September 24, 2014 -- Kafila.org, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- One of the slogans churned out of the womb of turbulent Paris in the May days of 1968 was "Don’t trust anyone over 30". The student uprising of May ‘68 with its audacity and exaggeration might have failed. But the mahamichhil (grand rally) called by students which took command over the heart and pulse of Kolkata on September 20 was a literal, vivid, living embodiment of this slogan.
We Move Tonight: The Making of the Grenada Revolution
By Joseph Ewart Layne
St. George’s, Grenada: Grenada Revolution Memorial Foundation, 2014
Paperback 203 pp.
Review by Laurence Goodchild
October 3, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- “A big revolution in a small country” is allegedly how Fidel Castro described the overthrow of Grenada’s authoritarian government when being questioned on the matter back in 1979[i]. Grenada, a country which has a population of no more than 110,000 and a land mass of only 133 square miles, certainly is small. Yet the revolutionary transformation of the island between the years of 1979 and 1983 sent profound shockwaves throughout the Caribbean and beyond; well into the metropolitan centres of imperial power.
The economic and social progress made in those years is well documented and can largely be attributed to a state-led development strategy, expansion of participatory welfare programs and an independent foreign policy[ii]. These features of the revolution, which made it a beacon for all those struggling against colonial and neo-colonial practices, are what made it “big”. Furthermore, it is these features, rather than any illusionary threat, which undoubtedly led the USA to invade Grenada in 1983.
By Tithi Bhattacharya
October 1, 2014 -- ZNet, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- On September 20, 100,000 people marched in Kolkata [formerly Calcutta], India, against police violence and for gender justice. I have known the city all my life and have not known of a demonstration of that size since the 1960s.
The march was against a massive police crack-down on a peaceful student protest on Jadavpur University campus, one of the leading universities in the state. The students were sitting-in at their vice-chancellor’s office, refusing to let him go, until he promised an independent enquiry commission into a case of sexual assault on campus. Their rallying cry was hok kolorob, or let there be uproar.
The sheer size of the march, 100,000 people, ought to force us to remember that the people of Kolkata, the capital city of the state of West Bengal, had just voted in a shiny new government after 34 years of entrenched Stalinist rule steeped in corruption and violence.
GERB leader Boyko Borissov and his political role model Angela Merkel.
By Raya Apostolova
September 30, 2014 -- Left Perspectives/Left East -- The election in Bulgaria scheduled to take place on October 5, 2014, comes in the midst of a deep political crisis and social disarray. Bulgaria’s right-oriented vote in the past two decades has resulted in non-existent public services and social destabilisation. Thousands of Bulgarian workers journey to Germany’s slaughter houses or Poland’s agricultural fields as they cannot secure employment in Bulgaria. The unfolding enmity towards the working poor on a European scale, as expressed in the openly declared battle against migrant labour from eastern Europe, may cost Bulgaria's shaky social peace. Bulgaria needs to immediately address social inequalities.
By Sean Starrs
October 1, 2014 -- The Bullet (Socialist Project, Canada), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The largest student demonstrations and occupations in Hong Kong's history are unfurling in what is increasingly being called the “Umbrella Revolution”, in reference to the sea of umbrellas being used as cover against both pepper-spraying riot police and the rays of the sun.
It began as a Hong Kong-wide class boycott on September 22, with around 10,000 university and college students congregating on the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus for speeches and lectures on civil disobedience. Moving across town to a sit-in on September 24 in front of the main Hong Kong government buildings in the district of Admiralty, by the night of September 29 it had morphed into an unprecedented occupation of four major districts in Hong Kong involving at least 80,000 people, predominantly students.
Par Murray Smith
Après une campagne qui aura duré deux ans, l’Écosse a voté le 18 septembre pour ou contre l’indépendance – oui ou non. Et c’est le non qui l’a emporté. C’était donc une victoire pour l’establishment politique britannique et une défaite pour les forces de l’indépendance. Et en bons démocrates, les vaincus ont accepté le verdict des urnes.
The first of a three-part video (other parts below) features the address of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, former spokesperson for the French Left Party and initiator of the Movement for a Sixth Republic, at the 2014 year's Humanity Fair, which is hosted every year by the daily newspaper L'Humanité, of the French Communist Party.
[Note: To improve the resolution of the subtitles, press play, then click on the small "cog" in the right-hand bottom corner and change quality to 240p or higher. You may need to restart the video from the beginning. It is best watched in full-screen view (click on the square on the far right-hand bottom corner).]
Mélenchon discusses how to build a movement against austerity that goes beyond the traditional left, an important issue in a country where the racist National Front is leading in the polls. Also appearing is Hamma Mammami, leader of the Communist Party of Tunisian Workers and the candidate of the Popular Front in 2014's presidential election. At the end there is a short interview with Jérôme Kerviel, a "rogue trader" who cost the Société Générale bank €4.9 billion, but who maintains that his superiors knew about and condoned his activities. Mélenchon and the Parti de Gauche (Left party) have been active in building solidarity with Kerviel.
* * *
[Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal urges its readers to consider taking out a subscription to Monthly Review, where this article first appeared. Click HERE for more on Marxism and ecology.]
By Fred Magdoff
September 2014 -- Monthly Review, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Two weeks ago I returned from my fiftieth class reunion at Oberlin College in Ohio. The brief discussions I had there with environmental faculty and students left me feeling a bit dazed. So many good and intelligent people, so concerned, and doing what they think and hope will help heal the environment—this college has one of the best environmental education programs in the country.
By Dave Holmes
September 27, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Besieged since September 15, the northern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Kobanê (Arabic name: Ayn al-Arab) has mounted an heroic, all-out resistance to the murderous 'Islamic State' (IS, formerly referred to as "ISIS") gangs.
As of September 25, despite all the superior heavy weaponry deployed by the IS, it appears that fierce resistance and determined counterattacks have halted or slowed the assault. Nonetheless, the IS thugs have pushed closer to the city centre than ever before and the situation remains perilous.
For more on Scotland and independence, click HERE.
By Murray Smith
September 25, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist
Renewal -- After a campaign that lasted two years, Scotland voted on
September 18, for or against independence, yes or no. And it was the No that
carried the day, by a majority of 55 per cent to 45 per cent. So it was a
victory for the British political establishment and a defeat for the forces of
independence. And as good democrats, the losers have accepted the verdict.
Yet those who were expecting to see the supporters of independence dispirited and those who hoped that the issue of independence was settled for at least a generation were quickly disappointed.
By Leon Trotsky
CERTAIN PROFESSIONAL ultra-left phrase-mongers are attempting at all cost to “correct” the thesis of the Secretariat of the Fourth International on war in accordance with their own ossified prejudices. They especially attack that part of the thesis which states that in all imperialist countries the revolutionary party, while remaining in irreconcilable opposition to its own government in time of war, should, nevertheless, mold its practical politics in each country to the internal situation and to the international groupings, sharply differentiating a workers’ state from a bourgeois state, a colonial country from an imperialist country.
September 25, 2014 -- International Viewpoint, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- Sweden went to elections on September 14 to elect a new government for the next four years. As expected, an informal red-green coalition gained outpolled (43.7% votes) its rival "bourgeois alliance" (39.3%). The red-green alliance includes the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party (the reformed Communist Party) and Greens. It has represented the ideological polarisation in Swedish electoral politics since the 1990s. It represents the mainstream Swedish left.
In contrast, the right-wing alliance, consisting of the Moderate Party (conservatives), Liberals, the Centre Party and Christian Democrats, was a formal block. It won the last two elections and during eight years of misrule, it managed to aggressively dismantle the famous Swedish welfare state. It will be news only for casual observers of Swedish developments that the country is now top among OECD lands where the class gulf has widened.
By Mike Treen, Unite Union national director
September 28, 2014 -- Daily Blog -- Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the September 20 general election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour Party, the Greens and Internet-Mana that contributed to the defeat. Each party needs to have a discussion on what those were.
However, the defeat was the product of objective conditions in the first instance.
Aftermath of the latest US airstrikes on Syria.
By Michael Karadjis
September 25, 2014 -- Syrian Revolution Commentary and Analysis, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- In extraordinary developments, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan have launched a joint air war, on Syrian territory, with the full support of the Syrian tyranny of Bashar al-Assad, on the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS, now also referred to as Islamic State, IS).
There are plenty of good reasons to oppose any US war in any circumstances; and in this case, a war that is targeting only the Sunni-sectarian ISIS, yet sparing the viciously anti-Sunni Assad regime, indeed collaborating with the regimethat is responsible for a hundred times more massacre and destruction than ISIS, with which it has long collaborated in any case, is likely to boost support for ISIS among a large section of the poverty-stricken, dispossessed Sunni majority.
New York City, September 21, 2014.
By Patrick Bond, New York City
September 24, 2014 -- First published at TeleSUR English, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The world’s largest ever march against climate change on Sunday, September 21, brought 400,000 people to the streets of New York, starting a lively parade at Central Park. On Tuesday, September 23, 120 of the world’s political leaders – notably not including China's and India's – gathered 25 blocks away at the United Nations. The message they got from society was symbolised by the march route: instead of heading towards the UN building, the activists headed the other way, west.
This directional choice reveals that hope for action on climate change comes not from the apparently paralysed heads of state and their corporate allies, who again consistently failed on the most powerful challenge society has ever faced: to make the greenhouse gas emissions cuts necessary to halt certain chaos.
Instead, momentum has arisen largely from grassroots activists, even those fighting under the worst conditions possible, amid denialism, apathy, corporate hegemony, widespread political corruption and pervasive consumer materialism.
South Africa: Climate alarm is ringing but ANC government is failing to act! Signs nukes deal with Russia
South Africa's massive new Medupi coal-fired power plant under construction.
By Oliver Meth
September 24, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The climate alarm is ringing and until now the African National Congress (ANC) led government has failed to act.
While scientific evidence and information on climate change gets more and more overpowering every day, the government still ignores its findings – by refusing to act.
Luthuli House and the Pretoria headquarters have not been vocal on the issue.
Now, the announcement of Russia and South Africa’s nuclear deal is no surprise, as the Voice of Russia in November last year was quoted as saying a deal on nuclear power in South Africa had been struck with the government. More recently, minister of energy Tina Joematt-Pettersson said in her budget speech on July 21 that "nuclear expansion option is a central feature in our future energy mix".
Typhoon Yolanda, November 2013.
Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM) statement on the climate crisis
Climate action, not words!
Capitalism has no solutions!
For a socialist alternative!
September 24, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- President Benigno Aquino concluded his United Nations speech in New York on September 23 by posing the question: What more can we do? The question is rhetorical, even hypocritical, as the president very well knows what needs to be done: to address the demands of the mass movements, which he has heard, but not heeded. We have been campaigning for an end to coal-based power generation, for example. How has the president responded? By dramatically increasing coal-power generation. His actions are completely contrary to his statements.
For more on Scotland and independence, click HERE.
September 19, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, commenting on the result of the Scottish independence referendum, said, "all of us now need to focus on getting the Westminster elites, the British prime minister and the leaders of the two other main political parties to honour the commitments made -- not least about the north [of Ireland] -- where PM David Cameron said there needed to be extra powers given."
He went on to say, "London was notorious for making and breaking commitments but we will try and keep them to that."
Doctors from all over the Third World are trained for free at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, which is one of the world’s most advanced medical schools.
By Ségolène Allemandou
September 22, 2014 -- France 24 -- Cuba is joining the fight against Ebola by sending a 165-strong army of doctors and specialists to West Africa. Despite decades of financial hardship, the communist country remains at the forefront of the world’s medical expertise and know-how.
The team, which includes doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and intensive care specialists, is due to touch down in Sierra Leone in the beginning of October.
Hone Harawira (centre) with John Minto (right).
By John Minto
September 22, 2014 -- Daily Blog -- It was always going to be a hard task for MANA party leader Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat in the September 20 general election when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more MPs into parliament.
From the outset Labour Party candidate Kelvin Davis announced he was going hard-out to win the seat despite any sane strategist realising at that stage that Labour would almost certainly need Internet MANA votes in a coalition of the left to change the government. Killing off MANA’s parliamentary representation would be a self-defeating strategy. However Davis was quickly backed up by several more of the party’s right-wing MPs such as Phil Goff and Chris Hipkins and then by Labour leader David Cunliffe.