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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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Inquiries to LinksDue to illness affecting Links editor, Terry Townsend, publishing of pieces and communcation may be slower than usual, although we will endenvour to keep a stready flow new pieces and respond to queries as rapidly as possible. Please send queries or submissions to contact (AT) links (DOT) org (DOT) au.
June 8, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The June 7, 2015, general election in Turkey saw the radical left People's Democratic Party (HDP) win almost 13% of the vote and around 80 parliamentary seats.
It passed the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation for the first time, with a total of almost 6 million votes. The HDP won all the seats in the following Kurdish cities: Batman four, Agri four, Dersim two, Hakari three, Sirnak four, Igdir two. The party won 1 million votes and 11 seats in Istanbul -– a city with a huge Kurdish population although the party also won significant non-Kurdish support there. Thirty-one of the HDP’s 80 new MPs are women, the highest proportion of any party. HDP candidates included Armenians, Yezidis and Assyrians alongside Kurds. The HDP had the only openly gay candidate.
On the other hand, the ruling AKP has lost its parliamentary majority and recieved 3 million fewer votes than in 2010. The AKP lost many votes to the HDP in areas where it has had a big Kurdish following. Turkey's parliament consists of 550 seats; 276 seats are required for a single-party majority government. The ruling AKP has only secured 258 with which to try and form a coalition.
The HDP’s historic gains make the success of the peace process with the Kurds within Turkey more likely, and will restrict Turkey’s dubious relations with ISIS.
The speech below from HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş' 2014 presidential bid outlines the HDP's vision for a new Turkey.
June 6, 2015 -- LeftEast, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections fast approaching, all eyes are on the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) contesting its first ever election as a party, rather than a coalition of nominally independent candidates: a momentous decision on the part of the party leadership, which stands to gain clout in parliament and solidify its position as the electoral standard-bearer of the radical Left—or fall below the constitutionally mandated 10% barrier and be excluded from parliament entirely.
The oligarchs have joined forces to railroad a new labour code that strips Ukrainian workers of their already modest rights.
For more on the political situation in Ukraine.
By Vitaly Dudin
June 4, 2015 -- Open Democracy via The New Cold War, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Neoliberal modernisation in Ukraine is nothing new. The processes and forces pushing it forward long predate the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych last February. But since the events of 2014, this process has been expedited and has arrived at a key issue: the laws governing the way people work.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Click for more on left politics in Scotland
By Murray Smith
June 4, 2015 – International Viewpoint, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The day after the May 7 Westminster [British] general election, George Kerevan, newly elected Scottish National Party MP for East Lothian, was walking through his constituency. He was approached by a group of young working-class women who recognised him, proudly declared that they had all voted SNP and wanted to take “selfies” with him. When Kerevan asked why, they replied “because this is history”.
They were of course right. The day before the SNP had taken 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland, leaving the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties with one each.
US Secretary of State John Kerry with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, May 15, 2015.
By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke
June 4, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On May 23, 2015, Aleksey Mozgovoy, the most popular, authoritative and independent of the Novorossiya militia commanders, was assassinated. Together with the “Spectre” Brigade which he led, Mozgovoy a few days earlier had taken part in an Antifascist Forum with left organisations from a number of European countries.
Mozgovoy was killed by an unknown group of assassins, but it is obvious that his removal from the scene differs little from the revenge meted out recently to another Novorossiya field commander, who went under the nom-de-guerre of Batman. In this earlier case, responsibility for the killing was openly assumed by the official Lugansk authorities.
SSP national co-spokesperson Colin Fox.
May 25, 2015 -- Scottish Left Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Scottish Left Project welcomes the motion passed at the Scottish Socialist Party annual conference calling for a new left electoral alliance in time for the 2016 Holyrood [Scottish] elections.
Colin Fox, SSP national co-spokesperson said:
The Scottish Socialist Party believes the Scottish Left Project electoral alliance has great potential and we want to help harvest that potential. We bring our experience and expertise as a party, one that has fought all four previous Holyrood elections, with us. And we look forward to meeting our partners in the Left Project in the next few days to see what progress can now be made towards advancing our shared political goals.
By Patrick Bond, Durban
June 3, 2015 -- originally published at TeleSUR English, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The last week has provided extraordinary examples of how corruption erodes the resources and morals of an entire continent – Africa – in part because villains in South Africa made alliances with wicked brothers in Switzerland, Latin America, the Caribbean and, especially, the United States. We now know more about offshore centres of both reactionary finance and corrupt-corporate soccer. It’s long overdue they are exposed to a spotlight, even if those pointing that light want to leave certain features in the shadows.
On May 21, Africa’s "illicit financial flows" (IFF) looting was partially dissected by Nelson Mandela’s successor, Thabo Mbeki, in his urgent-sounding report to the African Union, Track it! Stop it! Get it! Mbeki’s bottom line:
Lars Lih: The ironic triumph of ‘old Bolshevism’ -- the ‘April debates’ and their impact on Bolshevik strategy
June 1, 2015 --Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Lars T. Lih challenges a commonly held view of the Russian Bolshevik party's conduct during the Russian Revolution of 1917, stressing the continuity between the Bolsheviks’ positions before World War I and those advanced during the revolutionary upheaval.
The text is based on a talk Lih gave in 2010 and recently revised. Following the text is a note on other places where Lih’s views on this topic are available – John Riddell.
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By Lars T. Lih
For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE
By Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece
May 31, 2015 -- Helenic Republic, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On 25th of last January, the Greek people made a courageous decision. They dared to challenge the one-way street of the Memorandum’s tough austerity, and to seek a new agreement. A new agreement that will keep the country in the euro, with a viable economic program, without the mistakes of the past.
A Juventud Anticapitalista canta mientras espera la llegada de la Caravana yaqui.
[English at http://links.org.au/node/4444.]
Nevin Siders Vogt
Mayo 30, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- El pueblo autóctono yaqui organizó una caravana que atravesó el país con el propósito de defender del agua, tierra, trabajo y vida. Culminó en México, D.F., el jueves 21 de mayo.
El autor de este artículo participó en una de las ceremonias de bienvenida ese día: la que celebró la llegada a la Delegación Tlalpan en el sur de la Ciudad; él tomó las fotos.
Al pueblo yaqui se les despojaron en incrementos a lo largo de los siglos desde la conquista española, hecho que aumenta con la dominación norteamericana. Organizaron la Caravana como una aportación en aumentar la unidad entre los que resistan el neoliberalismo depredador.
Como se aprecia en las fotos, la solidaridad expresada por la ceremonia en Tlalpan emprendió la Organización Política del Pueblo y los Trabajadores, la Juventud Anticapitalista y el Sindicato Mexicana de Electricistas. De igual forma el Sindicato de Trabajadores de Transporte de Pasajeros del Distrito Federal prestó su camión para la carvana.
By Dave Holmes
May 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The June 7 elections to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly are shaping up to be the most important in a long time. The bold decision of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to run as a party and strive to exceed the grossly undemocratic 10% threshold needed to win representation in parliament has put the group at the political centre stage.
Although its key support base lies in the oppressed Kurdish community, the HDP is reaching out to all those oppressed, exploited and discriminated against across the country. This includes women, workers, the Alevi religious community, Armenians, Assyrians and LGBTI people.
Support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has clearly slipped since the 2011 elections. The AKP will almost certainly gain the most seats, but the HDP's rise will deny it any chance of the super-majority needed to unilaterally amend the constitution through parliament.
AKP leader Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s supposedly impartial president, wants to establish a dictatorial executive presidency. This ambition appears to be doomed.
Poll shows AKP woes
Antonio Gramsci – A Great and Terrible World: The Pre-Prison Letters, 1908-1926
Edited and translated by Derek Boothman
Lawrence & Wishart
For more discussion on the ideas of Antonio Gramsci, click HERE
By Bill Bonnar
April 30, 2015 -- Scottish Socialist Voice, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The recently published book on Gramsci’s early political writings, A Great and Terrible World, is a timely reminder of the tremendous contribution Antonio Gramsci made to socialist ideas in the 20th century.
Born in Sardinia in 1891, he was one of the founders and leaders of the Italian Communist Party until his untimely death in 1937. Despite crippling ill health and eight years spent in a fascist prison, his contribution to the theory and practice of socialism marked him out as one of the great Marxist thinkers of his time.
For more coverage of the Philippines, click HERE
By Partido Lakas ng Masa international desk
Philippines must open bilateral talks with China to ease tensions, now!
US butt out, stop intervening in the dispute!
May 28, 2015 -- Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Laboring Masses), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Given the renewed sabre rattling and war cries between the US and China, over the West Philippine Sea and disputed territories, we call on the Philippine government to immediately open bilateral talks with China in order to ease tensions. While we condemn China's aggressive bullying tactics, we firmly believe that the government must take immediate steps towards a negotiated political settlement to this long-running dispute.
However, we also think that the government has to be sincere about pursuing a political settlement, in order to move towards a peaceful resolution of the conflicting claims. This means that the Philippine government disassociate itself from any actions that makes it a proxy for US interests, that is it must be committed to pursuing a truly independent policy in the region.
For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE
May 28, 2015 -- The following is the resolution of the central committee of SYRIZA, published on May 24 and is binding for the party collectively. The resolution is a product of consensus and has been voted for. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal for the information of the international left.
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From January 25, the government has been giving an unprecedented political struggle. A struggle towards the country’s final exit from the dead-end of the memoranda; a struggle to alleviate the burden of those fighting to survive after the policies implemented during the last 5 years; to restart the economy on a path of viable and socially just development; for the termination of the vicious circle of dept and austerity. A struggle for hope, not only for Greece but for the whole of Europe.
Anticapitalist Youth await Yaqui caravan.
Article and photos by Nevin Siders, Mexico City
May 26, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The indigenous Yaqui people held a caravan that crisscrossed the country to defend of water, land, work and life. It culminated in Mexico City on May 21. I participated in one of the welcoming ceremonies that day, in Tlalpan district in the south of the city.
The Yaqui people have been dispossessed by degrees over the centuries since the Spanish conquest, which has only increased since domination by the United States. They organised the caravan as a step toward increasing unity among those who resist neoliberalism and its predatory practices.
As the photos attest, solidarity in the Tlalpan ceremony was organised by the People’s and Worker’s Political Organization (OPT), the Anticapitalist Youth (JA) and the Mexican Electricians’ Union (SME). Use of the caravan bus was donated by the Union of Passenger Transportation Workers in Mexico City (STTP-DF).
Supporters of the Madrid Now! ticket await the results of the regional and municipal elections in Madrid, May 24, 2015.
May 27, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Once the results of Spain’s May 24 local and regional elections became known the main lesson for the anti-austerity and anti-capitalist left was simply and starkly obvious: the more united and more involving of ordinary people its election campaigns were, the greater its gains and the greater the losses for the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE)—its main rival for the popular and working-class vote—and for the ruling conservative People’s Party (PP).
Where the two main poles of the radical left in the Spanish state—Podemos and the United Left (IU)— managed to merge their forces in projects organised not as alliances between party apparatuses but as participatory citizens’ electoral campaigns, the results were at times little short of astounding.
Ada Colau, who won the May 24 Barcelona mayoral elections, with Podemos leader Pablo Iglasias.
By Stuart Munckton
May 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Popular left-wing activist activist Ada Colau has won Barcelona's May 24 mayoral elections. Running on the ticket of "Barcelona Together", which united several left groups and grassroots activists, Colau came first with 25% of the vote.
May 25, 2015 -- Revolting Europe, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Former anti-eviction activist Ada Colau was elected the new mayor Barcelona in the municipal elections on May 24. Ahead of the victory of the radical campaigner, who was backed by a coalition including Podemos and United Left, she spoke to Il Manifesto newspaper.
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Click HERE for more on Pakistan.
By Farooq Tariq, Lahore
May 25, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Baba Jan, a federal committee member of the Awami Workers Party (AWP), is contesting the election for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly seat (Hunza-6) from behind bars. He is in jail serving a life sentence handed down by an anti-terrorism court last year for raising his voice against police brutality and for the rights of Atabad disaster hit people.
This is the first time in the history of Gilgit-Baltistan, a disputed territory administered by Pakistan, that an election campaign has been run from prison..
Elections for the 34-seat rubber-stamp assembly is going to be held on June 8, 2015. The provincial election commission’s decision to allow him to contest the poll has surprised many and triggered an enthusiasm among the youth, who consider Baba Jan a symbol of resistance.
Baba Jan and his group had boycotted the last general elections in 2009. The Pakistan People’s Party won the seat but has lost most of its credibility during its five years in power, because of corruption.
Over three months in the early part of last year, Venezuela was subjected to a campaign of violence and disruption known as the guarimba, organised by elements of the right-wing, US-backed opposition.
By Steve Ellner
May 22, 2015 -- VenezuelAnalysis, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Leftists in Venezuela put forward a number of different explanations for the pressing economic difficulties and growing discontent that has beset Venezuela and increases the possibility of an opposition takeover of the National Assembly in this year’s elections.