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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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Behind Malaysia's biggest May Day rally since independence

S. Arutchelvan (Arul), secretary general the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

By Peter Boyle

May 14, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The 2014 May Day rally in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, was the biggest in the country since 1947 when the British colonial authorities violently repressed the labour movement, which had become one of the most strongly organised in Asia, having organised the majority of the workforce.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal spoke to S. Arutchelvan (Arul), secretary general the Socialist Party of Malaysia. He was also spokesperson for the May 1 Committee. Arul will be one of the international guest speaker in the People's Power in the “Asian Century” seminar to be held in conjunction with the 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance, in Sydney June 7-9, 2014.

For more details of the Socialist Alliance conference and to register see HERE.

For more on the Socialist Party of Malaysia, click HERE.

* * *

The May Day protest in Kuala Lumpur looked very big? What is your estimate of the size and was this the biggest ever May day?

Ukraine: Popular rebellion deepens in the east and south

Voters cast ballots in eastern Ukraine's autonomy referendum on May 11, 2014.

For more on developments in Ukraine, click HERE

By Roger Annis

May 13, 2014 – Truthout, via A Socialist in Canada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author’s permission -- A political crisis over the future of Ukraine has exploded in the past two months. It's being driven by the longstanding efforts of the big imperialist countries to assert economic and military domination over the republics of the former Soviet Union and to weaken and marginalise rival Russia.

European election: Jean-Luc Mélenchon campaigns for the left (video)

To improve the resolution of the subtitles, please 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 also best watched in full-screen view (click on the square on the far right-hand bottom corner).

May 13, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Excerpts from Jean-Luc Mélenchon's speech to Front de Gauche (Left Front) supporters at a 500-strong meeting in the town of Alès (Gard department, Languedoc-Rousillon region) during the May 2014 European election campaign.

Ucrania: Las cenizas de Odessa

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3841. Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Por Boris Kagarlitsky

11/05/14 -- Sinpermiso.info -- En la Casa de los sindicatos en Odessa murieron el 2 de mayo más personas que durante varios días de combates en el Donbass, aunque en Kramatorsk ese mismo día las fuerzas del gobierno ucraniano se lucieron matando a 10 residentes locales desarmados que habían tratado de bloquear la ruta de acceso de varios vehículos blindados.

Es evidente para todos que la catástrofe en Odessa se ha convertido en un punto de inflexión en la historia de la guerra civil que comenzó cuando las fuerzas del gobierno ucraniano atacaron Slavyansk y otras ciudades que habían izado la bandera de la república de Donetsk.

Inevitablemente, la ferocidad en ambos lados se incrementará; la escalada de violencia y la división del país son inevitables. Pero no sólo en Ucrania los acontecimientos del 2 de mayo han representado un punto de inflexión para la opinión pública. También es aplicable a Rusia.

El golpe judicial en Tailandia, un porrazo a la democracia

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3839. Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Por Giles Ji Ungpakorn

11/05/14 -- Sinpermiso.info -- El Tribunal Constitucional no electo, antidemocrático e ilegítimo, orquestó un golpe de Estado, derrocando a la primera ministra Yingluck Shinawatra[1], por un mero tecnicismo. Afirman que la primera ministra electa no tenía facultades para trasladar a un funcionario del gobierno[2].

Esto es un mero tecnicismo ya que ella está acusada por "abuso de poder" al haber designado a un pariente en un puesto vacante. Mientras que Yingluck ha sido acusada de esta ridícula "mala práctica", los militares golpistas y los políticos del partido Demócrata, que mataron a decenas de manifestantes  a favor de la democracia, quedan impunes.

Paul Le Blanc reviews Daniel Bensaïd's memoir, 'An Impatient Life'

An Impatient Life: A Memoir
by Daniel Bensaïd, translated by David Fernbach, with an introduction by Tariq Ali,
Verso Books, 2014.

Readers of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal are urged to order a copy HERE. You can download an excerpt HERE (PDF).

Review by Paul Le Blanc

May 11, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Daniel Bensaïd (1946-2010) was one of the most respected theorists to emerge from the 1960s radicals of Western Europe. Always inclined to think “outside the box”, waving aside venerable dogmas and shrugging off standard formulations, he found fresh ways, energised with the aura of unorthodoxy, to express and apply truths from the revolutionary Marxist tradition.

Eyewitness Greece: 'They are stealing everything, even our homes'

Protest against Sunday trading.

By Afrodity Giannakis, Thessaloniki

May 12, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- “I wish I could leave Greece. I can’t go on living here. I work very long hours and live more frugally than ever, but I still can’t pay the bills, the income tax or the other taxes like the property poll tax. My tax debt keeps building up. I’ll end up losing my home. They are stealing our homes and they are not communists. And people are getting sadder and madder every day. I can’t go on like this.”

The real story of South Africa's national election

For more on South African politics, click HERE.

By Dale McKinley

May 11, 2014 -- South African Civil Society Information Service, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- No sooner had the final results of the just concluded 2014 national elections been announced than President Jacob Zuma gave a predictably self-congratulatory speech lauding the result as “the will of all the people”. The reality however is that the African National Congress’ victory came from a distinct minority of “the people”. The real "winner", as has been the case since the 2004 elections, was the stay-away "vote".

Since South Africa’s first-ever democratic election in 1994, the hard facts are that there has been a directly proportionate relationship between the overall decline in support for the ANC and the rise of the stay-away "vote". A quick look at the relevant percentages/numbers from each election confirms the reality.

1994: Of the 23,063,910 eligible voters, 85.53 per cent (19,726,610) voted while the remaining 14.47 per cent (3,337,300) stayed away. The ANC received support from 53,01 per cent (12,237,655) of the eligible voting population.

Nigeria: Hypocritical West exploits Boko Haram's crimes

Members of Boko Haram, taken one the group's videos.

For more on Nigeria, click HERE.

By Tony Iltis

May 11, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- More than 270 female secondary students were kidnapped on April 14 as they sat matriculation exams in the north-east Nigerian town of Chibok. The kidnappers were members of a religious cult that calls itself Jama‘at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da‘wa wal-Jihad — Arabic for Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad. The group is more commonly known by its Hausa nickname, Boko Haram, which translates — very loosely — as “Western education is filthy”, although this is not a name that the group itself uses.

New strike wave hits China

The most recent strike, one of the largest in China in many years, is taking place at a Taiwanese-owned factory complex, Yue Yuen, in the city of Dongguan.

For more on China, click HERE.

May 3, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- Peter Boyle spoke to Kevin Lin, who is doing research for his PhD at the University of Technology Sydney on the labour movement in China, about the background to a new wave of strikes in the country.

Lin will be speaking at the “People's Power in the 'Asian Century'” conference, a one-day public event organised by the Socialist Alliance in conjunction with its 10th national conference in Sydney, June 7-9. Find out more about the conference and register (“early bird” discounts if you register before May 18) HERE .

* * *

There seems to be a new labour upsurge in China. What can you tell us about the recent strikes and their causes?

Tracking strikes in China is difficult because of censorship, but there does appear to be an upsurge in strikes in recent months based on reports collected by labour groups.

Boris Kagarlitsky: The ashes of Odessa

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE. For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated for Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal by Renfrey Clarke

May 7, 2014 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the House of Trade Unions in Odessa on May 2 more people died than over several days of fighting in the Donbass, though in Kramatorsk the same day government forces also excelled themselves, killing 10 unarmed local residents who had tried to block the path of armoured vehicles.

India: Modi's BJP a 'grave danger' to women and minorities, says Kavita Krishnan

Kavita Krishnan.

May 8, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Kavita Krishnan is a central leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and editor of Liberation, the party's central publication. A former leader of the All India Students Association (AISA), Krishnan is joint secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), which is active among women workers and agricultural labourers, and has led struggles for the dignity and rights of Dalit women, and against state repression. The AISA and AIPWA played a significant role in the struggle against sexual violence that followed an internationally publicised gang rape of a student in Delhi and Krishnan has become a well-known international spokesperson for the movement.

Krishnan will be on of the international guest speakers at the 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance to be held in Sydney, June 7-9. She will also be doing a speaking tour of Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide and Perth.

Mila Gisbert, a conference organiser, interviewed Krishnan in the midst of campaigning for India's April 7-May 12, 2014, general election. The CPI-ML is fielding in 83 constituencies spread over 15 states and three union states.

Thailand: Judicial coup a blow to democracy

For more on Thailand, click HERE.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

May 8, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The unelected, anti-democratic and illegitimate Constitutional Court has staged a coup d'état, overthrowing Prime Minister Yingluk Shinawatra on a mere technicality. It claims that the elected prime minister did not have the right to move a government official.

It is a mere technicality because she is accused of “abusing her power” to appoint an in-law to the vacant position. While Yingluk has been accused of this ridiculous “wrong doing”, the military coup makers and the Democrat Party politicians who killed scores of pro-democracy demonstrators enjoy impunity.

The actions of this court would be laughable if they were not so serious. The court has previously ruled against the right of an elected parliament to amend the military constitution so that all senators would be elected. It also ruled that the government cannot build a much-needed high-speed rail link. In that case the old fogies stated that “it would be better to build roads”. Apparently they have illusions that they are experts in all matters and have the right to run the country instead of the government.

Boris Kagarlitsky on eastern Ukraine: The logic of a revolt

Major anti-Kiev protests in eastern Ukraine, according to Wikipedia.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE. For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

May 1, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Russian bureaucrats have been honestly surprised at the reaction by the official West—they did not expect such anger or unanimous condemnation. European politicians are beside themselves with fury. The mainstream press is relating appalling stories to its readers of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The television shows interviews with Kiev ministers and deputies who tearfully implore Europe to save their country from the enraged bear.

Ukraine: A call for solidarity against the neo-fascist violence of 'Black Friday'

House of Trade Unions under attack in Odessa on May 2, 2014.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This appeal and article are from Borotba ("Struggle"), an important organisation of the Ukrainian left. For a range of views from the left on developments in Ukraine, click HERE.

* * *

May 5, 2014 -- May 8 is celebrated all over the world as a day of victory over Nazism that caused millions of losses and much suffering to many people of the world. However, now we see that neo-Nazism raises its head again. Far-right groups and parties are striving to take power in many countries. Their members unleash real terror against the dissenters, migrants, the "others", leftwing and anti-fascist activists.

We have to stop the rise fascism again – that’s our duty to stop it before it is not too late.

Climate change: Evidence of capitalism's death-wish

By Renfrey Clarke

April 26, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- If modern industrial capitalism were a person, he or she would be on suicide watch. The system that has brought us quantum physics and reality television, modern medicine and the columns of Andrew Bolt is set on a course which, by all the best reckoning, points directly to its doing itself in.

If capitalism goes on — everything goes. Climate, coastlines, most living species, food supplies, the great bulk of humanity. And certainly, the preconditions for advanced civilisation, perhaps forever.

Moreover, we’re not just talking risk, in the sense of an off-chance. These are the most likely outcomes for capitalism’s current policies and performance in the area of climate change.

As far back as 2010 the famed US paleoclimatologist Lonnie Thompson told a gathering of scientists in Phoenix, Arizona: “Climatologists, like other scientists, tend to be a stolid group … Why then are climatologists speaking out about the dangers of global warming? The answer is that virtually all of us are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization.”

Volodymyr Ishchenko: 'For Ukrainians, the main threat is capitalism'

Volodymyr Ishchenko.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE.

April 30, 2014 -- LeftEast -- Note from the editors: We publish the transcript of Volodymyr Ishchenko’s interview on This is Hell! radio station with Chuck Mertz from April 19 and 20, 2014, organised in cooperation between the Chicago-based radio station, AntidoteZine.Com, and LeftEast. It includes two questions that Volodymyr answered in writing after the show.

* * *

Chuck Mertz: On the line with us right now is Volodymyr Ishchenko. He is a sociologist studying social protests in Ukraine. Volodymyr’s most recent writing includes the April 15 Guardian post "Maidan or Anti-Maidan: the Ukraine situation requires more nuance". Good evening, Volodymyr.

Swaziland: (Updated May 6) More arrests as monarchy targets democracy activists

For more on Swaziland, click HERE.

Update, May 6, 2014: The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) is pleased to hear that the seven PUDEMO members who were arrested for wearing PUDEMO t-shirts have been released on E15,000 bail each. It is unfortunate, however that the president of the organisation, Mario Masuku and student activist and secretary general of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), Maxwell Dlamini, were denied bail.

Maxwell and Masuku have both been charged with four counts of terrorism. On the first count, they are charged with contravening Section 11 (1)(a) of the Suppression of Terrorism Act No.3 of 2008. On the second charge they contravened Section 11 (1)(b) of the same Act. It is alleged that they unlawfully solicited support for and or gave support to a terrorist entity, PUDEMO. The state, as usual, is opposing their bail application on the grounds that they are a flight risks, this despite the fact that they have been admitted to bail in two other trials and never fled the country.

This indicates that the state simply wishes to see them behind bars for as long as possible, knowing that this will be punishment enough as it would take the case years before it comes before a judge who will most likely dismiss it. We wish to condemn this behavior by the Swazi authorities and demand the immediate release of the two political figures all political prisoner.

Entrevista con Steve Ellner: 'La estructura capitalista es tan poderosa que el Estado no puede desligarse de ella por ahora'

Steve Ellner.

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3817. Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Steve Ellner entrevistado por Evaristo Marcano Marín

11 de abril de 2014 -- Aporrea -- Steve Ellner es un destacado investigador venezolano, Profesor Jubilado de la Universidad de Oriente (UDO), tiene varios libros publicados y una gran cantidad de artículos escritos en revistas venezolanas (CENDES) y de otros países. Recientemente regresó de Australia, donde desarrolló un seminario sobre el acontecer político de América Latina.

* * *

En varios momentos de esta entrevista, pensé y me ubiqué del lado de las explicaciones que nos ofreció Steve en cada una de sus respuestas. Me sentí comprometido con esa idea sobre el Estado que rescata de Nicos Poulantzas, en la cual, deja atrás esa especie de objeto secuestrado por una determinada clase y se concibe como una especie de espejo que recoge y refleja toda la dinámica social. 

Boris Kagarlitsky: Fate of Donetsk is being decided in Kharkov

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE. For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

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