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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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Industrial Workers of the World poster against WWI.
By Doug Enaa Greene
February 2, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It has been a hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War. The centennial of the “war to end all wars” has seen countless commemorations of the millions of heroic soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for king and country.
Yet missing from all of the observances of the war are the deeper questions of its causes – to divide colonies among predatory ruling classes – and the heroism of those who opposed the mass slaughter. And for the left, that is how we should remember this 100th anniversary – but honoring those socialists and communists who fought against all the odds to end the slaughter.
Eleanor Marx: A Life
By Rachel Holmes
Bloomsbury 2014, £25
Review by Alex Miller
February 2, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This new and very well-written biography tells the story of the life of Eleanor Marx (known to her family and friends as “Tussy”). Tussy was the third and youngest daughter of Karl and Jenny Marx.
The first part of the book deals with her childhood in London, and recounts her growing up in the the financially insecure and often poverty-stricken Marx family home, where she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Friedrich Engels and William Liebknecht. That part of the story is relatively well known through the many biographies of Karl Marx that have been published over the years.
The story of Tussy’s adult life is less well known, and Rachel Holmes seeks to right this, with the first full-length biography of Tussy since the 1970s.
Alexis Tsipras and Pablo Iglesias.
February 2, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The victory of SYRIZA in the January 25, 2015, general election in Greece has led to widespread discussions across the Europe on the way forward for the left. In Spain, the rapid rise in the polls of the Podemos party has excited many. The following is one viewpoint on the meaning of the SYRIZA win for the Spansih left.
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By Manel García Biel
Ireland: Sinn Féin leader calls for discussions on building left alternative; Anti-austerity campaign boosted
By John Hedges
January 29, 2015 -- An Phoblacht, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sinn Féin national chairperson Declan Kearney calls in the February issue of An Phoblacht for formal discussions on building an Irish left alternative in the wake of the success of SYRIZA in Greece.
Writing in An Phoblacht, Declan Kearney says:
“This is the time for serious political discussion among progressive Irish political, community and trade union activists on ideas and strategies to ensure the future election of a Left coalition in the South ...
“Those on the progressive and republican Left need to make that change irreversible by altering the current balance of forces to create a new political realignment. That will only come about through popular support for a credible political alternative that can effectively challenge the conservative power blocs and their policies ...
January 28-30, 2015 -- Real News Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In this three-part interview, Irvin Jim, leader of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) -- the largest trade union in South Africa with 340,000 members that is calling for a return to the principles of the Freedom Charter -- describes his early life and radicalisation and explains why his union withdrew its support for the governing African National Congress (ANC).
Workers must build a united front to implement the Freedom Charter, which includes participating in electoral politics, and fight for socialism. The workers movement can't just be about marching, he says.
The full rough transcript continues below the videos.
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras makes his victory speech, January 25, 2015. Photo by Vivian Messimeris/GLW.
By Dick Nichols, Athens
January 30, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It was the French Catholic daily La Croix that last week best described the size of the challenges facing Greece’s incoming SYRIZA government—they are “labours of Hercules”, a reference to the mythical Greek hero whose 12 feats against impossible odds made him immortal in the ancient world.
[For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]
By Dilar Dirik
Today, after 135 days of fearless resistance, the people of Kobanî have liberated the city from the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Since September 2014, the YPG and YPJ (People's and Women's Defence Units) have been leading – there are no other words to describe it -- an epic and unbelievable resistance against the latest wave of attacks by ISIS.
The women and men, who lead the most glorious resistance of our time, hoisted their flags on the last hills that were occupied by ISIS and immediately began their line dances, accompanied by old Kurdish revolutionary songs and slogans. Ever since, people around the world rushed to the streets to celebrate. After the countless tragedies, massacres and traumas that this region has had to suffer recently, the pains that have preceded this moment make victory even sweeter. One eye sheds tears for the dead, while the other cries out of much deserved joy.
The Radical Independence Campaign conference after the referendum, on November 22, 2014, drew 3000 and demonstrated that spirits had not dimmed since the vote.
For more on Scotland and independence, click HERE.
By Alister Black
January 25, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As Scots gathered together at Christmas and Hogmanay last year conversations turned inevitably to politics. Most were agreed that the year ahead would be a very interesting one. The impact of the independence referendum vote on September 18, 2014, is still being felt throughout Scottish society, and that impact is reverberating across the UK state as well.
January 28, 2015 -- Bright Green via Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- SYRIZA’s colours are red and purple and green, identifying it as socialist, feminist and environmentalist. The party platform includes all the key demands of the Green Party (UK).
Yingluck Shinawatra leaves the final impeachment hearing at parliament in Bangkok. Photograph: Vichan Poti/Demotix/Corbis.
By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
January 28, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Let us be clear. The impeachment motion passed by the puppet parliament on January 23 against former Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, submitted to the military junta’s appointed Assembly by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, over her role in the rice price support scheme for farmers, is a total farce and a red herring. It is a deliberate part of the anti-reforms designed to destroy democracy. It has nothing to do with the rice scheme.
Yingluck is accused of “allowing corruption to take place” in this rice scheme and of presiding over financial losses to the government.
[Please return regularly for updates.]
January 28, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Venezuela's government has congratulated Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing SYRIZA party, who won a huge victory in Greece's parliamentary elections on January 25, 2015, reports TeleSur English. Tsipras has been inaugurated as the country's prime minister.
A Venezuelan government statement said: “Venezuela warmly congratulates the Syriza coalition party and Alexis Tsipras for their historic victory, wishing them success and complete solidarity and support.”
Venezuela's foreign minister Elias Jaua tweeted: “The Greek people, after a long and historic battle against neoliberalism, has crowned itself a wonderful victory. Syriza is fresh air for Europe!”
SYRIZA: 149 seats, 36.5%; New Democracy: 76 seats, 27.8%; Golden Dawn: 17 seats, 6.3%; To Potami: 17 seats, 6.1%; KKE: 15 seats, 5.5%; Independent Greeks (ANEL): 13 seats, 4.7%; PASOK: 13 seats, 4.7%; others not elected: 8.6%.
By Dick Nichols, Athens
January 27, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The victory of SYRIZA, Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left, in the January 25, 2015, general election caused enormous outpouring of joy on the streets of Athens and confirmed general expectations.The final result was 36.49% and 149 seats. SYRIZA will now form government in alliance with the socially conservative, but anti-Brussels, Independent Greeks.
The “poll of polls” done just the day before the election had SYRIZA winning 37.5% and 146 seats. Exit polls taken after voting closed had SYRIZA at between 36.5% and 38.5% (146-158 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament). In the end, the radical coalition fell two seats short of an absolute majority.
Emotional celebrations as SYRIZA wins the January 25, 2015, general election.See SYRIZA's 2014 governmental program: "Greece: What a SYRIZA government will do"
January 26, 2015 -- SYRIZA has won a great victory in the Greek general election.
It became clear in the final days of the campaign that SYRIZA was headed for such a momentous victory. Their rallies across Greece – in town squares, factories and universities – were thoughtful and inspirational. The working class was making its mind up about SYRIZA. Now it has decided and the results are clear – this is nothing short of an overwhelming expression of the people’s will for change, by and for the people.
The last question that remains is if SYRIZA will achieve a majority 151 seats out of Greek parliament’s 300 seats. So far they are just short on 149, but final results will take some time.
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Volunteers at Solidarity Clinic in Peristeri.
By Vivian Messimeris, Athens
January 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Vivian Messimeris is part of the Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal team covering the January 25 election in Greece. You can read more of team's eyewitness coverage of Greece HERE and HERE.
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Today we visited one of the solidarity clinics that operates in the suburb of Peristeri. We met with some of the volunteers that work in the clinic that included two doctors as well as other activists. The clinic is staffed by 60 volunteers, including 20 doctors, and offers free medical consultations and pharmaceuticals.
Peristeri is largely a working class suburb of 400,000 people and is located in west Athens, which has a population of 1 million. Before the economic crisis most residents worked in blue-collar industry or were self-employed in small businesses.
By Vivian Messimeris, Athens
January 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Vivian Messimeris is part of the Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal team covering the January 25 election in Greece. She spoke to Hara Petsiou (pictured), a cleaner sacked from her job at the finance ministry. The sacked cleaners are fighting for their jobs. You can read more of team's eyewitness coverage of Greece HERE and HERE.
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Can you explain what you are protesting about?
We are cleaners from the Finance Ministry who work throughout Greece, we are not only located in Athens, but in all of Greece. We work in a range of different government buildings and offices. On September 17 (2013) we arrived to work and we were told that we would no longer be employed. Because of the Troika, I’m not sure why, but they had to retrench a certain number of public employees.
SYRIZA's closing election rally, Athens, January 22.
By Ed Rooksby
January 22, 2015 -- New Left Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but a party of the radical left is on the cusp of power in an EU country. The latest opinion polls indicate that SYRIZA will triumph in the Greek national elections to be held on January 25 and although it may not win an absolute majority in parliament it would (assuming it can find coalition partners) certainly be the dominant force in any coalition government that emerged.
By Dick Nichols, Athens
January 23, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the days ahead of Greece's January 25 general election, all signs point to victory for the Alexis Tsipras-led Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). The big unknown is whether the party will win an absolute majority in the 300-seat Greek parliament, freeing it from the need to negotiate with minority parties and ending the chance of a further national poll in case negotiations fail.
All Greek political actors are behaving as if SYRIZA will win. The campaign of the ruling New Democracy (ND) of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been lackluster, with almost no ND propaganda to be seen on the streets.
On January 16, Ta Nea, the daily paper closest to the government, finally conceded a two-page interview to Tsipras, an admission that SYRIZA might actually have an important role to play in Greek politics.
January 23, 2015 -- Stokokkino.gr, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Alexis Tsipras was joined on stage by Pablo Iglesias, leader of Spanish leftist party Podemos. Supporters waved Greek flags and placards reading "Change Greece, change Europe!", while loudspeakers blared lyrics from the Leonard Cohen song, "First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin".
"The wind of democratic change is blowing, a change in Europe, of a change in Greece", Iglesias told the rally. "It is called SYRIZA in Greece, and in Spain it is called Podemos."
Earlier Iglesias gave an interview to the radio station StoKokkino, in which he underlined that the forthcoming electoral win of SYRIZA will be a promise to the majority of Europe's people, because "SYRIZA, like Podemos in Spain and Sinn Fein in Ireland, is fighting first of all for democracy.”
January 22, 2015 -- Cairde SinnFéin Australia, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has spoken by phone with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the SYRIZA party in Greece. Speaking after their conversation, Adams said he had wished Tsipras and SYRIZA well in the Greek general election on January 25.
Adams said: “I spoke this morning with Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA. I expressed Sinn Fein’s solidarity with the Greek people as they struggle against the disastrous consequences of the austerity policies of the Greek government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
“On my own behalf and that of Sinn Féin I extended good luck and best wishes to SYRIZA in Sunday’s general election in Greece and expressed our full support for a European debt conference.
“The austerity policies of Ireland's Fine Gael/Labour Party government and its predecessors have inflicted widespread damage on Irish society and hardship on our citizens.
September 23, 2015 -- Stokokkino.gr, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Scotland is also in the grip of austerity today says Colin Fox, leader of the Scottish Socialist Party (pictured).
"Scotland is also in the grip of austerity today. The right-wing Conservative Party/Liberal Democrat coalition government in London have attacked the standard of living of working-class people. They have cut public spending on our health, education and social services by many billions of pounds. Britain also has unprecedented levels of debt as a result of bailing out greedy, reckless private banks with huge sums of public money.
"While our economic and social conditions have not declined as badly as Greece, working-class people are nonetheless struggling to maintain their living standards. The average family is £50 per week [or 70 euros/week] worse off today compared to 2008. And this despite our economy returning to growth, albeit weak growth. People in Scotland are angry at the London government for making workers families pay for a financial and economic crisis the bankers in the City of London caused.