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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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Gilgit Baltistan (Pakistan): AWP launch mass campaign against Baba Jan and other activists’ prison sentence
June 22, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Awami Workers' Party -- Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court’s decision to overturn Chief Court’s acquittal of Baba Jan and 11 other Awami Workers Party activists is politically motivated. It does not meet the standards of impartiality and fairness. “If highlighting this shortcoming of the short order is tantamount to contempt of court, I am in contempt of court,” Awami Workers' Party (AWP) Pakistan president Abid Hassan Minto said on June 15.
He was addressing a press conference to announce launching of a mass campaign for Baba Jan and other activists’ immediate release and cancellation of all politically-motivated cases registered against them on trumped up charges of terrorism.
By Dick Nichols
June 21, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article was published in Green Left Weekly — The Spanish and European establishments have, at the time of writing, less than a week to lock the door against the advance of the progressive alliance United We Can (Unidos Podemos) in the June 26 general elections in the Spanish state.
How are they doing? As matters stand, not very well.
June 20, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Speaking at the "Socialism in the 21st Century" conference held in Sydney in May 2016, leading Marxist author Michael Lebowitz, who writes and researches the problems and possibilities of building a socialist alternative, presents a paper on what socialism might look like in this century and the differences with 20th century socialism as represented by the developments in the Soviet Union.
The conference was organised by the Socialist Alliance and sponsored by Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.
By Tim Goulet
June 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Why has the use of the strike in the US become so scarce? While subjective factors are more difficult to quantify, certain basic reasons seem more readily evident. Union membership, particularly in the private sector, is at an all-time low. Most of the unions are heavily bureaucratized, and central labor councils ossified. “Sympathy strikes,” long ago outlawed by Taft-Hartley, militate against the sort of broad-based solidarity so essential to an industrial victory. Moreover, many unions have accepted no-strike clauses for the duration of their contracts, effectively tying one hand behind their backs.
Despite it all, the recent victory of 39,000 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Communications Workers of America (CWA) workers at Verizon furnishes a stark reminder of what kind of power resides in the organized section of the working class when it is in motion.
It also shows the power of the strike weapon, and how it can be an effective tool -- in not only realizing demands and raising working class living standards -- but also rebuilding our unions.
By Kavita Krishnan
June 17, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Liberation -- India worships mothers; political leaders are fond of equating the nation with Mother, and politics and popular culture both make a huge deal of ‘respect for mothers’. But in spite of this hyper-visible, in-your-face celebration of motherhood, there seems to be a deliberate obscuring of the labour of mothering and care work that women perform. ‘Put her on a pedestal and forget her’ seems to be the approach of Governments. Worship of mothers and slogans of ‘Bharat Mata’ and praise for mothers’ supposed capacity for ‘sacrifice’ and ‘silent suffering’ help us to reinforce the myth that motherhood is a responsibility that women must bear cheerfully and single-handedly, expecting nothing from the State, from employers, from society.
And yet, if we would bother to listen to the voices of real live women, we would find it difficult to keep celebrating domestic drudgery as happy self-sacrificing motherhood.
June 16, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This high-definition documentary explores the far-reaching effects of international food injustice, from world hunger to the consumption of industrial food. Focusing on issues such as GMOs, farmer suicides, diabetes, migrant farm workers and hunger, the film turns to look at the resistance to harmful economic policies, amazing sustainable alternatives and organic agriculture practiced by brilliant small farmers, and the overall courage and hope found in the hearts of people refusing to accept a food system based on profits over human dignity.
Filmed in India, Kenya, Zambia, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti and the United States, in "Greening the Revolution" features interviews with small farmers and revolutionaries from the Landless Workers Movement (Brazil), Zambia Womens Alliance, Coalition of Immokalee Workers (US), Zapatista communities in Chiapas Mexico and political intellectuals such as Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Vandana Shiva.
For more information or to support the film, visit http://www.greeningtherevolution.org
June 15, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Worker -- Massive strikes and protests are rocking France, with the threat of greater shocks to come as a hated labor law "counterreform" comes to the French Senate for discussion.
By Dick Nichols
June 14, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article was first published at Green Left Weekly — United We Can — the joint ticket made up of Podemos, the United Left (IU), the green party Equo and three broader alliances in Catalonia (Together We Can), Galicia (In Tide) and the Valencian Country (A la Valenciana) — is campaigning in the June 26 Spanish general election on a plan to reverse economic austerity.
Pakistan: Politics dictates justice in Gilgit Baltistan as socialists sentenced to jail on trumped up terrorism charges
By Farooq Tariq
June 13, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Awami Workers Party -- On 9th June 2016, the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit Baltistan sentenced Baba Jan and 11 other political activists to 40-year prison terms in a case based on trumped up charges of terrorism, rioting and assault.
The court was hearing the state’s appeal against the GB Chief Court’s decision to acquit Baba Jan and others of these charges. The Chief Court had set aside Baba Jan and others’ conviction in the matter by an anti-terrorism court in September, 2014.
Their ‘crime’ was that they had raised their voices for the thousands of families affected by the massive landslides of 2010. The landslides had caused an artificial lake in the Attabadarea of Hunza in 2010, rendering homeless thousands of families. Baba Jan and other activists had mobilised the people of the region, holding scores of demonstrations, to seek fair compensation and social support for these families.
Socialism as an alternative: Reflections on ‘Socialism for the 21st Century’ international conference
By Tony Mckenna
June 13, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The EU debate is perhaps one of the more difficult to make sense of. For you are bombarded with a vast amount of articles, from every colour on the political spectrum. How does one go about making an informed decision? It’s said you can tell a lot about a person by who their friends are. When translated into political thought the axiom has a simplistic but not unuseful purpose: take the time to look at the groups and social forces that are gathering around a particular position. These might give you some hint as to which political interests the position truly serves and hint at its real essence. However, in the case of the EU referendum – the vote that is to be held later this year in Britain on whether we should remain or leave the European Union – there is a remarkably odd admixture of people who have aligned themselves with both sides.
By Steve Ellner
June 11, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project -- The Leap Manifesto is, in a way, Canada's version of the burst of Left and socialist energies that have come with the Bernie Sanders campaign in the Democratic Party in the U.S. and the Jeremy Corbyn leadership win in the Labour Party in Britain.
By Doug Enaa Greene
Dedicated to my friend Destiney Linker.
June 10, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- If we were to look at most people who have existed throughout history – we can say that they lived in obscurity, dire poverty, possessing no titles or pretensions to greatness. They lived and died in toil. The vast majority of humanity has passed through these conditions. Yet what did these people think about their circumstances and what to do about them?
By Declan Kearney
June 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anphoblacht -- On BBC’s Question Time with David Dimbleby, I asked British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers directly whether she believed a Brexit was in the interests of people in the North – she didn't answer the question.
I then asked her whether the British Government, in the event of a Brexit, would replace the European funding which would be lost to the North of Ireland as a consequence of withdrawal from the EU – she didn't answer that question either.
The fact is that a Brexit is opposite to the interests of people in the Six Counties.
June 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With the referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the EU fast approaching, the debate over what position the left should take continues. Links is reposting a vidoe debate between Marina Prentoulis (Syriza UK) and Luke Cooper (Another Europe is Possible) (for in), and Hannah Sell (deputy general secretary, Socialist Party) and Michael Calderbank (Red Pepper) (for out), in a special episode of The Wedge, produced in collaboration with and published on Red Pepper.
Below we also have an article by Terry Conway from Socialist Resistance outlining the different positions on the left, and an editorial from Morning Star on what the EU represents.
By Rupen Savoulian
June 8, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Antipodean Atheist -- Tributes to the late great boxer Muhammad Ali have been overflowing since the announcement of his passing earlier this month.
By Ryne Tipton
June 6, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The North Star -- If we want to understand a Marxist analysis of capitalism, we have to go back to the beginning of human society and civilization.
By Don Fitz
June 5, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review with the author’s permission -- Stories of Cuban medical accomplishments often note that half of the country’s 6,000 doctors had left by 1963. But just as professionals were forsaking their homeland en masse for the comforts of Miami, 3,000 doctors chose to stay. Why did they remain? More important, the number of patients per doctor now doubled, how did they face the daunting task of transforming medicine? In addition to treating patients, their goals included expanding medical care to rural regions; increasing medical education to replace doctors who had left; making care preventive, community-oriented, and focused on tropical diseases; and redesigning a fractured and non-cohesive health system. Exploring changes during this transformative period in Cuban health care requires examining sources available in Cuba, as well as studying oral histories of Cuban physicians who lived during the revolution.