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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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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

Paul Le Blanc: Explorations in plain Marxism: revolutionary theory, practical action

"For many developing intellectually in the English-speaking world during the early 1960s, the radical sociologist C. Wright Mills (on his way to work above) was an incredibly important influence."

For more by Paul Le Blanc, click HERE. For more discussion of Marxist theory, click HERE.

By Paul Le Blanc

January 15, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The ideas of Karl Marx are often put forward as an invaluable resource for those wishing to understand the world in order to change it for the better. Yet various people who speak as Marxists often insist upon divergent ways of understanding even the most basic concepts associated with Marxism – such as capitalism and the working class.

Heroic class leadership: Lars T. Lih's ‘Lenin’

Lenin
By Lars T. Lih. London: Reaktion Books, 2011
235 pages

[Click HERE for more by or about Lars Lih. For more discussion on Lenin, click HERE.]

Review by Doug Enaa Greene

January 19, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Too often, when the name of Lenin is brought up in this day and age, it conjures up certain uncomfortable images in the popular and academic mind. Lenin is seen as the founder of the Bolshevik Party, who was hell-bent on establishing a totalitarian state. It is time that this image of Lenin be discarded. Lenin should be embraced by revolutionaries the world over desiring to build a society free of exploitation.

Scotland: Scottish Greens radicalise after the referendum

For more on Scotland and independence, click HERE.

By Peter McColl

January 2015 -- Scottish Left Review, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The September 18, 2014, independence referendum taught Greens a very important lesson. For the first time, we talked about the full breadth of our politics. And we were rewarded handsomely for this. While the received wisdom has been that Greens always had to talk about the environment to succeed, the referendum showed that there is huge appeal to core Green policies like citizens’ income, participatory democracy and equality.

In England, where Greens have been talking about core Green values like defending public services, renationalising the railways and opposing pro-corporate trade deals, there has been a surge in membership (leading to a doubling in 2014). Greens across the UK are now approaching the UK Indepence Party’s membership, and are beginning to receive some media attention. This is reflected in polling that regularly gives Greens 7%-9% of the vote – the first time such a radical party has scored so highly in the UK.

Nigeria: 'Je Suis Baga'? The world ignores the tragedy of Baga

Nigerian troops patrol Baga after the previous massacre in 2013.

For more on Nigeria, click HERE.

By Baba Aye

January 17, 2015 – Links International Journnal of Socialist Renewal -- The fishing community of Baga, by Lake Chad in Borno state, Nigeria, was under siege by Boko Haram for a week at the beginning of January. Amnesty International described the ensuing bloodbath as Boko Haram’s “deadliest massacre”, estimating that some 2000 persons were killed. Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, who condemned the “dastardly terrorist attack” against Charlie Hebdo cartoonists within hours of the tragic event in Paris, did not say a word about this tragedy.

South Africa's 'freedom journey' stalled by poverty, unemployment and inequality

Photo: WBUR Boston's NPR News Station/flickr.

For more on South Africa, click HERE.

By Dale T. McKinley

January 13, 2015 -- South African Civil Society Information Service, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Evidently, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) thinks that the people of South Africa do not know their own history.

That’s more or less what ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe said the other day when addressing the media in the lead-up to the organisation’s 103rd anniversary celebrations. In his words: “We will be reminding people of their history. They don’t know the journey and the complexity of the journey. Freedom is not a destination. It is a journey.”

Besides their astoundingly arrogant and patronising nature, such utterances surface a much more profound blind spot in the ANC’s understanding and appreciation of the historical and present freedom journey of the South African people.

Dave Zirin on the death of the irreplaceable Mike Marqusee

Mike Marqusee

Mike Marqusee.

Mike Marqusee was always keen to allow his excellent articles to be posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. They are collected at http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/594.

By Dave Zirin

January 13, 2015 -- The Nation -- Radical journalist Mike Marqusee, the greatest professional influence on my life, has died, and I’m wrecked about it. Losing Mike is like losing several pints of blood. I’m left dizzy by the prospect of his absence.

Greece: Yanis Varoufakis on the economic crisis and why he is standing for SYRIZA

Click HERE for more on SYRIZA.

January 13, 2015 -- Yanis Varoufakis, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Beginning at 3.55 minutes, Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economic theory at the University of Athens, discusses the European economic crisis and expalins why he has chosen to be a SYRIZA candidate for parliament in the January 25, 2015, general election.

France: 'Charlie Hebdo' would have run the headline: ‘Satraps who you have escaped’

This drawing (representing Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan) was tweeted by television presenter Sedef Kabas on January 11.

By Thomas Cantaloube and Mathilde Mathieu

January 14, 2015 – French original published in Mediapart, January 11; English translation first posted Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- To govern is to choose. By accepting the participation of dictators, jailers of opponents and enemies of the freedom of the press from all corners of the planet at the January 11 demonstration in memory of the victims of the Paris [Charlie Hebdo] attacks, the François Hollande-Manuel Valls government has once more demonstrated its cowardice.

Discussion: How do we rule? Direct and representative democracy and revolutionary power

A meeting of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies, April 1917.

By Doug Enaa Greene

January 14, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – I want to begin by stating that I am a firm and unapologetic advocate of the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat [to replace the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie we presently suffer under]. To deny the necessity of that dictatorship is to leave power in the hands of those who wield it – the exploiting capitalist class. And without the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, you cannot lay the foundations of a society that provides for human needs and allows for the full development of human potential.

Sri Lanka: Behind Maithripala Sirisena's defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa

For more coverage of Sri Lanka, click HERE.

By Chris Slee

January 12, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- Maithripala Sirisena has taken office as president of Sri Lanka, after winning the election held on January 8. Sirisena obtained 51.28% of the vote, defeating incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who got 47.58%.

Seventeen other candidates got a total of 1.14% of the votes between them. Duminda Nagamuwa, representing the Frontline Socialist Party, got 0.08%; Siritunga Jayasuriya of the United Socialist Party got 0.07%; and Sundaram Mahendran of the NSSP (New Socialist Party) got 0.03%.

Rajapaksa had been elected president in 2005, and re-elected in 2010. In his first term he presided over the most brutal phase of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The LTTE was formed in the 1970s to fight for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka. It was created by Tamil youth in response to discrimination against Tamils and the violent repression of peaceful protests. From small beginnings it grew into a powerful armed force.

Report on 15th Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade to Venezuela

By Paul Dobson, brigade leader, Caracas

January 12, 2015 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Following months of organisation and planning, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 15th solidarity brigade touched down in Maiquetía International Airport in Caracas on December 1, 2014, at a highly important time for the Bolivarian revolution.

With imperialism increasing its efforts to undermine the revolution and exacerbate internal weaknesses, and with the Venezuelan people still reeling from the blow of the premature death of former president Hugo Chavez, international solidarity is needed like never before to maintain the revolutionary advances made by and for the Venezuelan people.

The 2014 brigade, which was made up of activists of Australian, New Zealand and Malaysian nationalities, spent two weeks in Venezuela, during which time it fulfilled all three of its objectives. These were:

Haiti: Promised rebuilding unrealised; authoritarian rule challenged

Important achievements in earthquake rehabilitation were achieved with the public health initiatives taken by Haiti's Ministry of Public Health in cooperation with large international missions and many smaller, vital health care projects. The contributions of Cuba and Partners In Health stood out.

For more on Haiti, click HERE.

By Travis Ross and Roger Annis

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