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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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Assad government forces enter a section of Homs after the government destroyed it with artillery and air attacks.
By Michael Karadjis
February 24, 2015 -- Syrian Revolution Analysis and Commentary, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- In recent months, Israeli occupation forces in Syria’s Golan Heights have launched a number of attacks on either Syrian regime or allied Hezbollah military forces in the region, adding to a more sporadic stream of attacks since mid-2013.
Given that countless Israeli politicians, military leaders, intelligence officials and other strategists and spokespeople have continually stressed, since the onset of the Syrian conflict, that they saw the maintenance of the regime of Bashar Assad as preferable to any of the alternatives on offer – as I have documented in great detail at https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/israel-and-the-syrian-war/ – the recent spate of Israeli attacks raises the question of whether Israel has changed its position and now favours the defeat of Assad.
By Socialist Party of Malaysia/Parti Sosialis Malaysia(PSM)
UPDATE March 26, 2015 -- All the Malaysian anti-GST protesters who were detained on March 23 have now been released on RM3000 bail. They are to appear in court again on May 14. Thanks for all the protest letters!
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March 24, 2015 -- PSM, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Police used excessive force in the recent crackdown on protesters against the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is scheduled to be implemented on 1 April 2015.
On March 23, 2015, the Coalition Against GST, which is led by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), the Oppressed People’s Network (JERIT) and a number of civil society groups, staged a sit-in protest at the Customs Office in Kelana Jaya, to demand answers to more than 100 questions raised by many Malaysians regarding the GST. The director of the Customs Office refused to answer these questions and the police reacted violently against the peaceful sit-in.
Eighty people were arrested during the police violence at the Customs Office. More than 50 protesters were later released but another 31 anti-GST protesters and those arrested for protesting against the clampdown are still being detained by the police. The police have even applied for a further remand of these 31 anti-GST protesters.
The 31 detainees are:
By Dave Holmes
March 24, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Melbourne-based Australians for Kurdistan committee has launched a campaign calling for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the Australian government’s list of terrorist organisations.
March 20, 2015 --The Bullet, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The expulsion of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in November 2014 was a watershed moment in the post-apartheid labour movement. The expulsion was a product of, and has deepened further, the crisis in the Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), as well as the internal crises of each of the three component parts of the Alliance.
By John Riddell
March 17, 2015 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Efforts by working people to gain governmental power in our new century, most recently in Greece, have drawn attention to the Communist International’s historic discussion on this issue at its Fourth World Congress in Moscow in 1922.
Here are links to all significant comments on this issue from the congress record, plus the segment of its Theses on Tactics taking up this question, and my commentary setting the historical context. Delegates’ comments on this point were spread over many congress sessions and are made available in one place for the first time in any language.
Demonstration by opponents of the calls for a coup.
March 14, 2015 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Government supporters say the opposition is inventing a crisis in order to undemocratically remove President Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party of Brazil, from power. The political forces organising marches on March 15, 2015, against the democratically elected government of Dilma Rousseff began conspiring immediately after it became known that she had won the run-off election in October 2014 against the candidate of the Brazilian elites, Aecio Neves.
The right-wing political opposition in Brazil has been reluctant to accept the results of that election, seeking to implement their neoliberal agenda by whatever means they can. The opposition, like their right-wing contemporaries in the rest of Latin America, have become frustrated at their repeated electoral defeats. The left-wing Workers Party (PT) has been in power since Rousseff’s predecessor, Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, was elected president in 2002.
Who is behind the impeachment campaign?
March 17, 2015 -- Michael Roberts Blog, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced a new bailout package for Ukraine. It will disburse up to $17.5 billion over the next three years, subject to all the usual conditions for fiscal austerity and neoliberal reforms conducted by the Ukraine government (see https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/ukraine-a-grim- winter-ahead/).
The bailout package is a joke. As a former IMF economist Robert Kahn, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, put it, “The odds of this program surviving intact for four years, or even through the end of 2015, are not much higher than for the original 2014 program."
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
By Naomi Klein
Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
By Jodi Dean
March 17, 2015 -- I Cite, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- How do we imagine the climate changing? Some scenarios involve techno-fixes like cloud-seeding or new kinds of carbon sinks. Cool tech, usually backed by even cooler entrepreneurs, saves the day -- Iron Man plus Al Gore plus Steve Jobs. In green.
Other scenarios are apocalyptic: blizzards, floods, tsunamis and droughts; crashing planes; millions of migrants moving from south to north only to be shot at armed borders. The poor fight and starve; the rich enclave themselves in shining domed cities as they document the extinction of charismatic species and convince themselves they aren't next.
Mario Masuku, jailed president of the People's United Democratic Movement.
For more on Swaziland, click HERE.
By Patrick Craven
March 17, 2015 -- Congress of South African Trade Unions, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns recent violent attacks by Swaziland police on trade union meetings and sends a message of solidarity and support to the Swazi workers struggling for democracy and the right to organise in free and independent trade unions.
On March 14, 2015, King Mswati’s police broke up a meeting of the executive board of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), and injured a union leader who was taking part. According to TUCOSWA leaders and the Swazi Observer, more than 300 plainclothed police forced participants to end the meeting in the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Centre and blocked the gates to the building. TUCOSWA has reported that Muzi Mhlanga, SNAT secretary general, was assaulted and had to seek medical care.
Click HERE for more on Kshama Sawant and other socialist municipal election campaigns.
By Ben Norton
March 17, 2015 -- Socialist Worker (USA), posted at Links International of Socialist Renewal -- The Urban League is going after the only leftist and the only woman of colour on the Seattle City Council. Rather than challenging the pro-corporate advocates of neoliberalism, whether Democrat or Republican, who increasingly dominate US politics, this well-known liberal organisation is expending its energy on defeating the left.
Pamela Banks, president of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, announced this month that she will run in the next municipal election against City Council member Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative candidate who won national attention for her successful 2013 campaign.
Click for more by Patrick Bond.
March 14, 2015 -- Despite making powerful criticisms of multinational mining corporations, an NGO-organised conference in Cape Town ignored essential links with related struggles.
In southern Africa, the Zulu and Xhosa word Indaba is used for important gatherings or conferences. February’s Alternative Mining Indaba, challenging a pro-corporate conference held at the same time, was organised by the Economic Justice Network of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa, in assocation with Norwegian Church Aid, Oxfam, Benchmarks Foundation, Diakonia and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa.
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Intersectionality missing-in-action at Cape Town’s Alternative Mining Indaba
By Patrick Bond
By Mike Shaughnessy
March 12, 2015 -- London Green Left Blog, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Green Left grouping was formed in 2006 when a small number of members of the Green Party of England and Wales met at spring conference and drafted the Headcorn Declaration. Later in the year, in June, 37 members met in London to formally adopt the name Green Left (the original prototype grouping was called Green Revolution) and amended and adopted the Headcorn Declaration. I was one of those members.
The thinking behind the need for such a grouping within the Green Party was that the party should "raise Green Party politics to meet the demands of its radical policies" and to "act as an outreach body that will communicate the party’s radical policies to socialists and other anti-capitalists outside the party". Green Left would also promote ecosocialism as a solution to our social and ecological ills.
Woman installing solar panel in Bangladesh.
By Reihana Mohideen
March 16, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We are told that women may soon bid farewell to existing methods of birth control and welcome a new type of contraception in the form of microchip implants. An MIT start-up backed by the Bill Gates Foundation plans to start pre-clinical testing for the birth control chip this year and pave the way for a possible market debut in 2018.
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) observers present preliminary observations to the Salvadoran media.
March 9, 2015 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) has won 86 of the 262 mayorships of El Salvador in March 1 elections, including the capital San Salvador, according to preliminary reports, TeleSUR English said on March 4.
The ruling FMLN also announced it won a legislative majority in the National Assembly and the Central American Parliament.
The FMLN said it would now govern areas covering more than 65% of the population, compared to 45% in the past.
FMLN Secretary-General Medardo Gonzalez told the Salvadoran people his party would continue efforts in favour of the more vulnerable sectors of society.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) is yet to release the official electoral results, but Gonzalez said the preliminary results were accepted by “practically all the parties”.
The TSE said it might take at least a week to finalise the election results. TSE president Julio Olivo said on March 4 that unidentified persons or groups had sabotaged the transmission of results.
Grecia: 'el gobierno y Syriza sólo tienen una manera de deshacerse del yugo de la Europa neoliberal: una ofensiva'
[English at http://links.org.au/node/4323.]
Por Spyros Lapatsioras, John Milios & Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos
08/03/15 -- Sinpermiso, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Una evaluación del Acuerdo de "transición" del 20 de febrero [hasta junio a más tardar, con los plazos de pago de la deuda en julio y agosto] muestra que se trata de una tregua conseguida a iniciativa del gobierno griego y aceptada por la otra parte (las "instituciones", es decir, la UE, el FMI y el BCE). En el próximo período hasta el final del trimestre, se van a crear las condiciones para la negociación del próximo acuerdo.
Click for more on SYRIZA
By Dick Nichols
The following talk -- “The Greek elections -- what next? SYRIZA and the fight against austerity” – was presented to the Department of Political Economy and the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign, March 10, 2015, at the University of Sydney’s New Law School. Dick Nichols is Green Left Weekly’s and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal’s European correspondent, based in Barcelona, and a member of the Australian Socialist Alliance. Nichols is currently touring Australia presenting an eyewitness account of the SYRIZA election victory.
March 12, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- What does SYRIZA’s victory means for politics in Europe, at both all-European and national levels? Both are closely intertwined, and since SYRIZA’s January 25, 2015, electoral victory there have been having increasingly rapid feedback effects.
Review by Paul Le Blanc
March 10, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This edition of Tamás Krausz’s study of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is compelling and imposing in more than one way. It is not, strictly speaking, an intellectual biography. So much is offered in this remarkable volume, however, that many readers will not complain that they are not actually treated to a chronological narrative tracing the evolution of Lenin’s thought.
For a democracy from below, let's fight austerity everywhere.
Statement by the Alter Summit network of unions and social movements
Brussels, March 6, 2015 -- Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. The SYRIZA government coming into office has a double significance:
In Greece, it is a matter of responding to humanitarian emergencies, restoring social rights and starting to rebuild a destroyed and/or privatised production apparatus.
In Europe, it concerns breaking with the pro-austerity unanimity and the hegemony of the German government´s ordoliberalism over the euro zone.
2. Those two challenges are not to be confused, however each one constitutes a necessary condition for the other, even if not sufficient: a defeat of one of the two plans would almost necessarily imply a powerlessness over the other. On the contrary, a victory in national issues would boost social movements across Europe.
Reconstructing Lenin: An Intellectual Biography
By Tamás Krausz
New York: Monthly Review Books, 2015
Review by Doug Enaa Greene
Venezuela's foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez (right) and Greece's foreign minister Nikos Kotzias. Photo: MPPRE.
For more discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE
March 7, 2015 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Venezuela has proposed trade and economic agreements that would make Athens one of Caracas' main trading partners. Venezuela and Greece solidified their bilateral partnership this week, when Venezuelan officials visited the Mediterranean country to meet the new SYRIZA government.
Venezuela's minister of foreign relations Delcy Rodriguez met with the new Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras on March 6, who said that solidifying the relationship between the two countries would mutually benefit the Greek and Venezuelan people.