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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).
This site is best viewed with the Firefox internet browser.
By Dan La Botz
July 2014 -- New Politics -- The US political system, so highly polarised between conservative Republicans and moderate Democrats, has experienced in the last year some interesting changes on the left-hand margin of the national political scene.
From Bill de Blasio’s victory in the mayoral election in New York City, to Kshama Sawant’s winning of a city council seat in Seattle, from the late Chokwe Lumumba’s popularly based campaign in Jackson, Mississippi, to self-described socialist Bernie Sanders’ talk of a run for the presidency, something new appears to be happening.
Independent politics and socialist party campaigns, so long marginal to US political life and from discussion in the media, seem to be back on the radar again. This is all the more remarkable given our terrible election laws that make it so difficult in so many states to get parties and candidates on the ballot.
By Iñigo Errejón, head of Podemos' European election campaign
July 15, 2014 -- Le Monde Diplomatique, translated by Revolting Europe -- In Spain, the surge of discontent caused by structural adjustment policies and hostage taking of popular sovereignty by the oligarchic powers gave rise to a series of protests and created spaces for social cooperation. However, it had no effect on the political system and its internal balance.
For more on Venezuela, click HERE.
By Federico Fuentes
July 21, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The publication of a document highly critical of the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, authored by one of the longest-serving ministers in former president Hugo Chavez’s government, has triggered an unprecedented debate among Venezuelan revolutionaries.
Jorge Giordani dropped the bombshell on June 18, a day after he was replaced as planning minister. This was preceded by his dismissal from the boards of Venezuela's Central Bank and state oil company PDVSA, the state oil company. He had held the post almost uninterruptedly since Chavez first came to power in 1999. .
Many view Giordani as a principal architect of the Chavez government’s economic policy and representative of a more orthodox Marxist strand within cabinet. His removal has been portrayed as evidence of a widening rift between “pragmatists” and “radicals” in the government.
There needs to be a ceasefire and negotiated solution to the conflict.
Read more on the situation in Ukraine HERE.
Green Left Weekly editorial
July 19, 2014 -- The apparent shooting down of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17 is an unspeakable tragedy and a criminal act that has sent shock waves around the world. Green Left Weekly offers our condolences to the families of all its victims.
Nobody yet knows who was responsible for this crime, despite Western media and governments pointing the finger at either the rebel forces in Ukraine's east, which the West accuses Russia of arming, or the Russian military itself.
Amid claims and counter claims by all sides, each force denies responsibility and there is no obvious motive for any force to deliberately carry out such an atrocity.
The United Nations Security Council has called for “a full, thorough and independent international investigation”. But, whether this has any hope of leading to clarity on the incident remains to be seen.
Yet many Western governments, with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott joining in, are exploiting this tragedy and using it to escalate rhetoric and tensions with Russia, raising the prospect of the war expanding.
Salvador Sanchez Ceren.
Marta Harnecker interviewed by José P. Guerrero[i], translated for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Federico Fuentes
July 22, 2014 -- The new El Salvador government faces the challenge of deepening the pro-majority changes that have occurred, while updating the historic experiences of a fighting and conscious people seeking social transformation, said contemporary critical thinker Marta Harnecker, in an interview with weekly newspaper El Siglo XXI.
A villager surveys his home wrecked by shelling in Semyonovka, in Luhansk district. Image from BBC.
Read more on the situation in Ukraine HERE.
By Roger Annis
July 19, 2014 -- Rabble.ca, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- I learned of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 when my plane landed in Montreal the same day, July 17, on my way home from Moscow. The Moscow-Munich leg of my flight departed one hour before the (delayed) departure of Flight MH17 from Amsterdam at 12:30 pm local time. I reckon the respective flight paths crossed each other somewhere just west of Ukraine.
To activate subtitles, press play and click on the bottom right icon, next to the clock. Then choose English.
July 2, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Pablo Iglesias is one of the five members of the European Parliament elected from the lists of Podemos, a barely 100-day-old political party that in the May 2014 European elections won more than 1 million votes in Spain.
In his maiden speech in the European Parliament, Iglesias praised the memory of the European peoples who fought for justice and freedom, and attacked the hijacking of democracy by financial markets, lobbies and big corporations.
Podemos website (in Spanish)is at http://podemos.info/
'Do unto apartheid Israel what you did to apartheid South Africa': trade unions protest attack on Gaza
July 18, 2014 -- Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organisations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid.
Unite Union will work to
1. Demand the Israeli Government immediately withdraw from the occupied territories and abide by UN resolution 242 which requires Israel to withdraw to 1967 borders.
2. Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel until it meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
[Editorial note: This essay was the winner of the Daniel Singer Prize for 2013. Kilgore lived in South Africa from 1991-2002. During that time he was a fugitive from US justice -- arising from activities as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army -- living under the pseudonym “John Pape”. He worked as an educator and researcher for trade unions and social movements. In 2002 he was arrested in Cape Town, then extradited to the United States where he served six and a half years in prison. Following his release he has campaigned for prison reform and has written a number of novels. In July 2012 he returned to South Africa for the first time since his arrest. Here he presents his reflections on the journey.]
By James Kilgore
Ukraine army in Kramatorsk. Photo Ukraine government.
Read more on the situation in Ukraine HERE.
Declaration of the assembly of citizens of Ukraine and representatives of international solidarity networks, issued in Yalta, Crimea, July 7, 2014
A major human rights and humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine. The government that took power in Kyiv in February 2014 is conducting a brutal military assault in the southeast of the country.
Anti-privatisation protest during United Left Coalition's campaign.
[Click HERE for more on Slovenia.]
By Gal Kirn
July 14, 2014 -- Transform! Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We have broken the vicious circle of anti-communism in the post-Yugoslav context. As you imagine we are more than happy to present you with such an amazing election result! As all the commentators say, the United Left Coalition (ULC) was the biggest surprise. But the path was difficult, the ULC was from early on marginalised by the mainstream.
[The ULC was formed for the May 25, 2014, European elections. It is composed of the Party for Sustainable Development (TRS), the Democratic Labor Party (DSD) and the Initiative for Democratic Socialism (IDS).]
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3954.]
以色列政府利用三名以色列少年被杀害的事件，煽动针对巴勒斯坦人及加沙哈马斯政府的种族主义憎恨情绪。这是在没有提出任何证据证明凶手的情况下作出 的举动，挑起了肆意暴力对待巴勒斯坦人的运动，并导致一名巴勒斯坦少年被酷刑折磨及活活烧死。现在以色列当局还对加沙的平民展开更加肆意妄为的复仇行动。 集体惩罚是违反国际人道法的行为。
To add your group's name to the list of signatories please email PSM International Bureau.
Joint statement by Asia-Pacific left organisations
July 14, 2014 -- Socialist Alliance, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the past week, Israeli military forces have escalated their offensive on the Gaza Strip. Israeli warplanes have increasingly targeted houses, civilian-populated areas and civilian facilities in the Gaza strip. Israeli warplanes have destroyed a number of houses while their residents were inside, without any prior warnings, killing and wounding many Palestinian civilians.
The Israeli government has cynically exploited the killing of three Israeli youth and used this to whip up a racist hysteria against Palestinians and the Hamas government in Gaza. It has done this without producing any evidence about who was responsible for those killings. A campaign of indiscriminate violence against Palestinians has been incited and one Palestinian boy has been tortured and burnt to death. Now even more indiscriminate retribution has been inflicted on the civilian residents of Gaza. Collective punishment is a violation of international humanitarian law.
There were 1450 registered participants at the Socialism 2014 conference. Photo by Peter Boyle.
By Peter Boyle, Chicago
July 15, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, an earlier, shorter version of this article appeared in Green Left Weekly -- New red-green electoral alliances, a turn to ecosocialism and a deepening of the US International Socialist Organization's rethink on feminism were key features of its well-attended Socialism 2014 conference held June 26-29 in Chicago.
The gap between rich and poor in the US is large and growing. It has sparked a popular campaign for a minimum wage of US$15 an hour for low-paid workers, and in defence of jobs of teachers and other social service providers.
A growing number of trade union leaders are running as part of left and independent election tickets, just as many endorsed the successful Seattle's council campaign of socialist Kshama Sawant.
International assessments and rethinks
By La Gauche
July 11, 2014 -- International Viewpoint -- Before May 25, there were no elected representatives of what is called the "radical" left in Belgium, unlike in other countries in Europe. This anomaly has now been corrected.
The PTB-GO! lists are in fact sending two members to the Belgian federal Chamber of Deputies (Raoul Hedebouw in Liège and Marco Van Hees in Hainaut), two to the Walloon parliament (including the steelworker Frédéric Gillot) and four to the parliament of the Brussels-Capital region. Apart from Vincent Decroly and Bernard Wesphael, who were elected for the Ecolo party but who continued to sit after resigning from their party (one on the federal level and the other in the Walloon region), there had been no member of parliament to the left of the Socialist Party (PS) and the Greens since the early 1980s.
Liège and Hainaut
By Ian Angus
July 14, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Last year in Monthly Review, I debated Eddie Yuen, an anarchist who believes it is a mistake for radicals to focus on telling the truth about the global environmental crisis, because “awareness of climate crisis does not necessarily lead to increased political engagement.” Not only can such awareness lead to apathy, he wrote, but “environmental catastrophism is very likely to be mobilized by economic and national elites to reinforce existing inequalities and expand enclosures, commodification, and militarization”.
I never expected to hear similar arguments from a Marxist, much less one I respect as much as Sam Gindin, a long-time leader of the labour movement in Canada, who is now an adjunct professor at York University and co-author of the Deutscher-prize winning book The Making of Global Capitalism.
By Terry Bell
July 13, 2014 -- Terry Bell Writes, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- “The misery of people here is very great, with beggars innumerable and increasing every day ... pigs and calves live better than they.” That rhyming comment could apply to the legions of the poor in many parts of the world today. And South Africa is no exception.
But that statement was made nearly 300 years ago by the Archbishop of Dublin, writing about conditions in England’s first colony, Ireland. Land seizures and a system of gross exploitation had reduced most of the Irish population to destitution.
What has this to do with South Africa today? Actually a lot. Because one of the arguments by the powers that be — and their supporters — at that time in Ireland was that the misery of the mass of Irish people was a consequence of them breeding too much. There were simply too many poor, too many children “in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers”, as the great Irish satirist Jonathan Swift noted.
July 12, 2014 -- Electronic Intifada editorial -- We Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip call on conscientious people all over the world to act, protest and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.
With the world turning their backs on us once again, for the last four days we in Gaza have been left to face massacre after massacre. As you read these words, over 120 Palestinians are dead now, including 25 children. Over 1,000 have been injured including countless horrifying injuries that will limit lives forever –- more than two thirds of the injured are women and children.
We know for a fact that many more will not make it through the next day. Which of us will be next, as we lie awake from the sound of the carnage in our beds tonight? Will we be the next photo left in an unrecognizable state from Israel’s state-of-the-art flesh-tearing, limb-stripping machinery of destruction?
Indonesia: 'Prabowo’s defeat will keep open democratic space'; Jokowi's 'unprecedented' presidential bid
Presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo speaks to a crowd of tens of thousands.
Dr Vannessa Hearman will be the guest speaker at a Green Left Weekly forum in Sydney on August 5, which will discuss what the election means for the struggle for democracy in Australia's largest neighbour. More details here.
By Peter Boyle
July 11, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- The official results of the July 9 Indonesian presidential elections are not expected till at least July 22, but many private “quick count” surveys and exit polls have proclaimed a winner.
Most of these unofficial polls have declared that former Jakarta governor Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) has defeated his sole challenger — sacked Suharto dictatorship general Prabowo Subianto by a margin of up to 4%.
According to the CSIS-Cyrus quick count, Jokowi and his vice-presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla won 52% of votes compared to 48% for Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Hatta Rajasa.
The school hall in which the launch of "Let's Win Barcelona" took place was packed, with over a thousand forced to watch proceedings from outside and 5000 more looking on via video link.
By Dick Nichols