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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.
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By Mike Treen, Unite national director
[All four parts of this series can be downloaded as a single PDF file here.]
June 27, 2014 -- Unite News, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The following history was prepared as part of the contribution by Unite Union to the international fast food workers' meeting in New York in early May. Union officials and workers were fascinated by the story we were able to tell which in many ways was a prequel to the international campaign today.
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June 25, 2014 -- Real News Network -- Patrick Bond provides an update on platinum miners' strike in South Africa is Patrick Bond. Patrick Bond is the director of the Centre for Civil Society and a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Bond is also the author of the book, South Africa: The Present as History and Elite Transition.
By Gillian Schutte and Sipho Singiswa
June 25, 2014 -- SACIS -- The stadium in Phokeng outside Rustenberg exploded in jubilation when the end of the longest strike in South African history was announced on June 23. Men and women waved their arms victoriously in the air and resounding ululations and cheering reverberated as a great burden of domestic hardship lifted. Workers had changed history.
They had valiantly resisted the dogged state and corporate attempt to smash their strike despite the personal hardships that they had to endure to reach this point. It was they who dealt a blow to capital because it was they who held out determinedly and who accumulated five months of unpaid accounts, became black listed, kept their kids out of schools through necessity and went without food. They are indeed, the central heroes in this story.
[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3910.]
Por Sonny Melencio
22-06-2014 -- Sinpermiso -- Cuando viaje desde Manila hasta Australia, me compré en el aeropuerto un libro de bolsillo para leer en el avión. Fue la novela de Dan Brown titulada Infierno. Cuando la edición de tapa dura de este libro llegó a las librerías, en las Filipinas la gente se volvió loca con una pequeña parte de la novela que se refería a Manila como la "puerta del infierno".
Después de leer el libro, pensé que lo que la novela dice sobre Manila es verdad. Es la ciudad más densamente poblada de la tierra, con enormes atascos de tráfico, una contaminación sofocante, casas hechas de metal corrugado y cartones, comunidades que apestan y un horrible comercio sexual y tráfico de mujeres, jóvenes y niños.
Me acordé de la novela de Dan Brown hoy porque, a pesar del infierno que es actualmente Manila, nuestro gobierno habla de un paraíso que se construirá en las Filipinas durante este "siglo de Asia".
El siglo de Asia
By Dale McKinley
June 26, 2014 -- Municipal Service Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- This paper critically analyses the context and practical experience of labour-community alliances to oppose privatisation and promote public services, as they have evolved in South Africa since 1994.
While 1980s South Africa was rich in such broad and politically independent alliances against the oppressive apartheid system and the ravages of neoliberal capitalism, following the 1994 democratic transition the labour movement largely embraced the neoliberal corporatism promoted by the African National Congress-run state, which increased the social distance between employed workers and poor communities.
Consistent attempts to repress community-led dissent in response to the political and socio-economic failures of the "new" democracy, and the resulting delegitimisation of community struggles related to the nature of public institutions and delivery of public services, undermined further the bases for unity.
Introduction by Greg Albo and moderated by Carolyn Egan.
June 26, 2014 -- Left Streamed -- Ernest Tate's two-volume Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s was launched in Toronto on June 11, 2014. Presentations by:
- Chris Schenk teaches labour studies at University of Toronto
- Richard Fidler blogs at Life on the Left
- Bryan Palmer is the Canada Research Chair at Trent University, and editor of Labour/Le Travail
- Ernie Tate, author of Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s
June 23, 2014 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Indian revolutionary socialist and feminist Kavita Krishnan presented this talk to participants of the Socialist Alliance's 10th National conference, held in Sydney June 7, 2014. Kavita Krishnan is secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA), a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation and editor of the magazine, Liberation.
Mass rally for Greece’s opposition Syriza party in Athens in May 2014.
By Murray Smith
June 23, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Mick Armstrong of Socialist Alternative, Australia, has written an article which sets out to criticise what I have written over the last 15 or so years on broad left parties ("A critique of the writings of Murray Smith on broad left partes" (PDF), Marxist Left Review, Summer 2014). I would like to reply to some of the points that he makes.
Statement by Socialist Alliance (Australia)
June 19, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The US, Australia and other partners-in-crime in the war on Iraq must not be allowed to use the latest developments in that country to increase their military intervention in the region. The Socialist Alliance adds its voice to others in Australia rejecting Prime Minister Tony Abbott's all-the-way-with-the-USA commitment made to US President Barack Obama over Iraq.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a monstrous war crime. Millions of people have died or been displaced as a consequence of that invasion and the subsequent occupation. The leaders of governments that ordered that invasion and occupation – chief among them former US President George W. Bush, former British PM Tony Blair and former Australian PM John Howard – need to be brought to account as war criminals.
The invasion of Iraq did not bring democracy but simply replaced one brutal regime with another more pliant to Western imperial interests. The invaders cared nothing for the people of Iraq and region and acted to advance the selfish interests of the powerful corporations they serve.
Group of 77 Summit — Plurinational State of Bolivia, 14 and 15 June 2014. “For a New World Order for Living Well.”
"Only we can save the source of life and society: Mother Earth. Our planet is under a death threat from predatory and insane capitalism. Another world is not only possible, it is indispensable, because otherwise, no world will be possible." -- Evo Morales
Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, gave this remarkable opening talk at the summit of the Group of 77 plus China, meeting in Santa Clara, Bolivia, on June 14, 2014.
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Introduction by Richard Fidler
June 24, 2014 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The Summit of the Group of 77 plus China, marking the alliance’s 50th anniversary, closed in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on June 15 with the adoption of a declaration containing 242 articles, entitled “For a New World Order for Living Well.”
See also Chris Slee's "Discussion: Are Russia and China imperialist powers?"
By Roger Annis
June 18, 2014 -- Truthout, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- The violent coming to power of a rightist regime in Kyiv, Ukraine in late February 2014 has opened an exceptionally dangerous political period in Europe. For the first time since World War II, a European government has representatives of fascist parties as ministers. These are the ministers of the armed forces, prosecution service and agriculture, and deputy ministers of national security (police), education and anti-corruption.
“Mainstream” parties alongside the fascists in government, including the elected president, are committed to an austerity project of economic association with Europe that will see much of the manufacturing base of the country further degraded or dismantled. The consequences for agricultural production are also likely to be dire.
June 17, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) ended its June 13-15, 2014, 16th national congress at Port Dickson on a high note, pledging to continue to play a dominant role in Malaysian politics as well as working towards a transition program to enable new leaders to take over and continue the task of building a strong party rooted in socialist ideology.
Yes, the atmosphere was already set. The red flag leading the way to the venue was greeted by left leaders like Samsiah Fakeh, Lim Chin Siong and Veerasenan. The PSM continues to remain relevant in a country that at one point had a very strong left presence. Today the PSM continues to shoulder this enormous task.
"We have a multiplicity of left parties [in Ireland] of the traditional types... All have maxed out their potential in their present form. Some are still vital, while others have been in decline for some time."
Click HERE for more on Ireland.
By Helena Sheehan
June 16, 2014 -- Irish Left Review, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Does Ireland need a new left party? Yes. Why? We are involved in a colossal class struggle and we are not winning.
We need to confront the very system that is demanding ever more drastic redistribution of wealth from below to above, accelerated accumulation by dispossession, continuing dismantling of the public sphere in favour of private property and commodified culture.
It is not enough to go issue to issue, to oppose cuts, to denounce austerity.
We need to win consent to a counter-narrative to the dominant view of the crisis. We need to break the grip of the belief that there is no alternative.
Click HERE for more on Ireland.
June 15, 2014 -- Sinn Féin -- Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams delivered the annual address at the Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown, County Kildare today (pictured above). In the course of a wide ranging speech Gerry Adams said that Sinn Féin wants to be in government to change Ireland for the better:
We want to tackle disadvantage, unemployment and inequality and improve the quality of life and standards of living for people across Ireland – particularly those people who are today struggling under the burden of austerity. We want to deliver on issues such as housing, health and jobs. Sinn Féin is deeply committed to the peaceful and democratic ending of Partition to a new agreed Ireland.
But Sinn Fein will not do is what the Labour Party has done —go into office to give cover to the agenda of conservative parties, repeating again the failed political history of this State over the past 80 years...
The Sinn Féin Leader concluded his address by saying Sinn Féin is committed to is the radical republican politics of Wolfe Tone:
We are about creating a New Republic, with new politics and a new way of doing things that puts fairness and equality at the heart of how this country is governed.
A statue of Lenin toppled by pro-EU protesters in Kiev.
By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
Video from Green Left TV.
[The following talk was presented by Sonny Melencio, chairperson of Partido Lakas ng Masa-Philippines (Party of the Labouring Masses), during the Socialist Alliance 10th national conference in Sydney, Australia on June 7, 2014.]
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- When I was travelling from Manila, coming here to Australia, I bought a copy of a pocketbook that I could read in the plane. It was Dan Brown’s novel entitled Inferno. Actually, when the hardbound copy of this book first hit the bookshops, the Philippines went crazy about a small part of the novel which referred to Manila as the “gate of hell”.
After reading the book, it occurred to me that what the novel said about Manila was true. It was the most densely populated city on Earth, with huge traffic jams, suffocating pollution, houses made of corrugated metal and cardboards, communities reeking of stench, and horrifying sex trade and trafficking of women, girls and children.
I was reminded of Dan Brown’s novel today because, despite the inferno that is Manila now, our government is talking about a paradise that will be built in the Philippines during this "Asian Century".
The 'Asian Century"
Venezuelan workers of the state-owned oil company PDVSA denounce US sanctions against their firm.
End United States’ interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela!
No sanctions against Venezuelan citizens!
June 17, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We, the undersigned parties and organisations in the Asia region, condemn the moves by the United States government to impose sanctions on Venezuelan citizens it deems to have “abused human rights”.
The US House of Representatives’ May 28m 2014, vote for such sanctions is a violation of the right of all nations to sovereignty and self-determination.
The bill is not motivated by a desire to end supposed human rights abuses in Venezuela. Rather, it seeks to support the openly stated aims of Venezuela's right-wing opposition to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. This is revealed by the bill's authorisation of millions of dollars of increased funding to opposition organisations in Venezuela – the same groups responsible for a wave of violence within Venezuela this year that has left at least 40 dead and hundreds injured.
Partido Socialista protesta contra los tratados de libre comercio europeo.
[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3890.]
Por Will Wroth, Rotterdam
"Despite repeated warnings from the majority of the world's scientists of the urgent need to slash greenhouse gas emission, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed over 400 parts per million for the first time in human history – signalling the globe’s dangerous race to catastrophic and irreversible global warming."
Adopted by the 10th National Conference of the Socialist Alliance, June 7-9, 2014.
1. The 10th national conference of Socialist Alliance is taking place at a time extreme inequality, intensified conflict and ecological crisis on a global scale. The 85 richest individuals in the world now hold as much wealth between them as the 3.5 billion poorest people in the world. A world divided by such extreme inequality will never be at peace and this is fundamentally why wars and uprisings continue to break out in numerous countries. This unprecedented concentration of wealth and power also is an absolute block to the urgently needed transition to an ecologically sustainable future.
Statement by Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda), Portugal; translated by Federico Fuentes.
June 8, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, original source http://www.bloco.org/media/resomesa20140601.pdf -- Following the [September 29, 2013] local elections, the Left Bloc developed its European program via a thorough programmatic debate involving many independent activists. That culminated at our February 2014 national conference.
More than 100,000 people mobilised across Australia for “March in March” 2014, in more than 34 towns and cities, in the largest anti-government protest for nearly a decade.
Adopted by the 10th National Conference of Socialist Alliance, June 7-9, 2014
1. Australia has escaped recession for more than two decades, despite the impact of the Asian and global financial crises on the world's economies. While Australia experienced strong economic growth in the years following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), economic growth has now slowed to 2.8%, and is mainly driven by commodity exports, consumer spending and housing investment. With mining projects shifting from the capital investment stage into production for export, falling commodity prices, as well as increased global competition for commodity exports will likely impact on Australia's export income (and economic stability) in the years to come.