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Hope in Bosnia-Herzegovina revolt; Graphic new doco on wave of people's power

Documentary: Bosnia and Herzegovina in Spring, March 2014.

By Charles Reeve

April 2, 2014 -- Brooklyn Rail -- The perspective of yet one more nationalist clash at the gates of Europe, in Ukraine, doesn’t seem to displease the world’s masters and those who write for them.

Things are going differently, at least until now, with the revolt gripping Bosnia-Herzegovina. This movement began in the first week of February with workers’ demonstrations against the consequences of privatisation and an increase in unemployment. These demonstrations took place in Mostar and especially in Tuzla, an industrial city with a long tradition of struggle dating from the “socialist” era. Tuzla was also one of the rare places where the nationalist madness had little following, even in the worst moments of the war of the 1990s.

United States: Kshama Sawant -- 'Not enough to boo Democrats, we have to pose a real challenge'

Click HERE for more on Kshama Sawant's election campaign and those of other socialists around the world at the municipal level.

April 9, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal --  Kshama Sawant spoke on labour and independent politics at the 2014 Labor Notes convention, April 4-6, in Chicago. Sawant was elected as a socialist to the Seattle City Council in November 2013. She is an adjunct professor of Seattle Community College and a member of American Federation of Teachers 1789.

Production by the Labor Video Project http://www.laborvideo.org.

Michael Lebowitz: Venezuela's economic problems; Trans-Pacific Partnership an imperialist assault

[For more articles by or about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE. For more on Venezuela, click HERE.] 

April 4, 2014 -- Newsclick -- Michael Lebowitz, a Canadian economist who has written extensively on Latin America and is a former resident in Venezuela, talks to Newsclick on the economic problems facing Venezuela and the recent protests there.

He says these protests have been orchestrated by right-wing forces that want to get rid of the left-wing government. They are happening in rich neighbourhoods; the poor are not participating.

Saying that these protests will not go very far and will fizzle out, Lebowitz points out that there is an underlying serious economic problem that did not originate with President Nicholas Maduro and have been building for quite a while.

Lebowitz says the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement is an international assault on the people and it can be countered only by an international response.

South Africa: Irvin Jim (NUMSA) on new working-class leadership and prospects for socialist politics

In three parts.

[For more on NUMSA, click HERE. For more on South Africa, click HERE.]

Presentation by Irvin Jim, general secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa; chaired by John S. Saul.

March 6, 2014 -- Left Streamed, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The dramatic upsurge of popular grass-roots protest in South Africa's townships and rural areas in recent years has marked a “rebellion of the poor” in that country. The working-class itself has also been assertive, prompting the African National Congress administered state's horrific massacre of dissident mineworkers at Marikana in 2012.

Until recently, leading trade unions have confined been within the tripartite governing coalition of the ANC, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the country's largest trade union federation.

El Salvador: (Video) On the spot report on election day, March 9; FMLN wins

See "El Salvador: FMLN wins presidency; right wing trying to steal election" for more detail.

March 22, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the first round of El Salvador's 2014 presidential election the FMLN candidate Salvador Ceren had a clear win over the runner-up, Norman Quiroga of the right-wing ARENA party. However he fell just short of the 50%+ required to be declared president. With the smaller parties dropping out there was a run-off between Ceren and Quijano on Sunday, March 9. Here is video of the voting process and an interview by Warwick Fry with Juan Campos, who travelled from Australia as an official observer. The FMLN's Salvador Ceren was victorious, much to the great delight of tens of thousands of Salvadoreans (below).

Scotland: Tariq Ali on independence

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On March 14, 2014, renowned Marxist author Tariq Ali presented, as part of Edinburgh University Sociology Department's Independence Lectures series, "Dismantling the British State: Strategy, Tactics and Ideology". It was held in association with Pluto Press and Wordpower Books.

(With video) Australia's premier socialist newspaper, 'Green Left Weekly', produces 1000th issue

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By Mel Barnes, Green Left Weekly editor

March 8, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly --  You can tell how good a newspaper is from the enemies it keeps. Rupert Murdoch's Australian wrote a sneering dismissal of the new Saturday Paper, launched last weekend, and used its ultimate insult by comparing the new paper to Green Left Weekly, calling GLW “ignorant, moralistic and simplistic”.

This is from a paper whose editorial line doubts the existence of climate change, claims locking up refugees in offshore detention centres indefinitely is the more humane option and promotes a “user-pays” system in health care, education and welfare.

It attacks GLW, which it has previously named the “best known radical left newspaper in Australia”, because it campaigns for the opposite position on almost every issue. But if GLW was as irrelevant as the Australian tries to make out, why would it bother attacking it so often?

Video: Tariq Ali presents the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture

Tariq Ali presents the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture in London (part 1).

March 10, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in Britain on February 20, 2014, sponsored the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture in London. The speaker was internationally renowned Marxist author Tariq Ali. Parts 2-4 below.

Die Linke and the fight against European austerity

March 4, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Speech by Florian Wilde, of Germany's radical left party Die Linke, at the March 1 "Fight the Troika" meeting in Bilbao. It was held the day before a meeting of the European Commission summit on the Spanish economy.

Eva Golinger: 'Don't be fooled by what most media outlets are telling you about protests in Venezuela'

February 22, 2014 -- The Real News -- Gregory Wilpert discusses the right-wing protests and their goal overthrowing the progressive gains of the Bolivarian Revolution.

For more on Venezuela, click HERE.

By Eva Golinger

February 21, 2014 -- Postcard from the Revolution via Venezuelanalysis.com -- For those of you unfamiliar with Venezuelan issues, don’t let the title of this article fool you. The revolution referred to is not what most media outlets are showing taking place today in Caracas, with protesters calling for the ouster of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. The revolution that is here to stay is the Bolivarian Revolution, which began in 1998 when Hugo Chavez was first elected president and has subsequently transformed the mega oil-producing country into a socially focused, progressive country with a grassroots government.

The demonstrations taking place over the past few days in Venezuela are attempts to undermine and destroy that transformation in order to return power to the hands of the elite who ruled previously for more than 40 years.

The life of African-American socialist Hubert Harrison: a discussion with Jeffrey B. Perry

Doug Enaa Greene in discussion with historian Jeffrey B. Perry (above).

February 20, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Hubert Harrison (1883-1927) was an immensely skilled writer, orator, educator, critic and political activist who, more than any other political leader of his era, combined class consciousness and anti-white-supremacist race consciousness into a coherent political radicalism.

The St. Croix, Virgin Islands-born and Harlem-based Harrison profoundly influenced "New Negro" militants, including A. Philip Randolph and Marcus Garvey, and his synthesis of class and race issues is a key unifying link between the two great trends of the African American liberation movement: the labour and civil rights-based work of Martin Luther King Jr. and the race and nationalist work associated with Malcolm X.

Harrison played unique, signal roles in the largest class radical movement (socialism) and the largest race radical movement (the New Negro/Garvey) movement of his era. He was the foremost Black organiser, agitator and theoretician of the Socialist Party of New York, the founder of the "New Negro" movement, the editor of the Negro World and the principal radical influence on the Garvey movement.

Alexis Tsipras: End austerity to regain democracy! For a democratic, social and ecological Europe!

Left.gr -- Alexis Tsipras, president of SYRIZA and candidate of the European Left party for the precidency of the European Commission, spoke on January 18, 2014, in a debate organised by the Dutch Socialist Party in Amersfoort. Here's the full text of his speech.

* * *

Your invitation, which I appreciate a lot, came at the right moment. Not because, as you might know, I am candidate of the European Left for the presidency of the European Commission. But because, yes indeed, democracy in Europe is in retreat. And this is the reason, the purpose and the real meaning of my candidacy: to end austerity to regain democracy.

Democracy is in retreat. And the reason is neoliberalism.

1. It is neoliberal austerity that causes recession, zero or low and jobless growth. With the Netherlands expected to reach in 2017 the real economic output level of 2008. Austerity brought youth unemployment in the Eurozone to the unprecedented 25%.

2. It is, also, the lack of transparency, lack of legitimacy and lack of accountability and credibility of the European institutions. The European Union is distant from the peoples of Europe in all respects. It has alienated its citizens. That’s why the people react with apathy, distrust and euroscepticism.

El Salvador: FMLN wins first round of presidential election

Salvador Sanchez Ceren, candidate for the leftist FMLN party, gave a rousing speech on February 2 to announce victory in the first-round.

Click HERE for more on El Salvador.

February 3, 2014 -- CISPES -- With over 99% of polling places reporting, the candidate for the governing Farabundo Martí national Liberation Front (FMLN) party, Salvador Sanchez Cerén won handily the first round of El Salvador’s 2014 presidential election, earning nearly 49% of the vote. He holds a ten-point lead over Norman Quijano of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), who placed second with 39%. Former president Tony Saca (1999-2004) garnered just over 11% of the vote. The FMLN and ARENA will head to a run-off on March 9.

According to the CISPES electoral observation mission, which included delegates from the National Lawyers Guild and various US universities, the electoral proceedings were calm and peaceful.

Spain: 'Because it’s my choice', statement on abortion rights to Spain’s House of Commons

Tens of thousands marched on February 1 in Madrid in opposition to restrictions on the right to choose.

February 2, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following declaration of the "Freedom Train" in support of women's right to choose abortion and against the regressive changes to abortion laws by the national government of Spain was released prior to a big march from Atocha to the parliament on February 1, 2014 (picture above).

A draft bill to restrict abortion to cases of rape or severe danger to the mother's health is being considered. Four years ago, Spain came in line with most of the rest of Europe when the then Socialist Party government legalised abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

* * *

English translation by Pilar Cuder-Domínguez

'We shall overcome': Democracy Now! remembers folk icon, activist Pete Seeger

January 28, 2014 -- Democracy Now! -- Legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger died January 27, 2014, at the age of 94. For nearly seven decades, Seeger was a musical and political icon who helped create the modern North American folk music movement.

We air highlights of two appearances by Seeger on Democracy Now!, including one of his last television interviews recorded just four months ago. Interspersed in the interviews, Seeger sings some of his classic songs, "We Shall Overcome," "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

He also talks about what has been described as his “defiant optimism.” "Realize that little things lead to bigger things. That’s what [the album] 'Seeds' is all about," Seeger said. "And there’s a wonderful parable in the New Testament: The sower scatters seeds. Some seeds fall in the pathway and get stamped on, and they don’t grow. Some fall on the rocks, and they don’t grow. But some seeds fall on fallow ground, and they grow and multiply a thousandfold. Who knows where some good little thing that you’ve done may bring results years later that you never dreamed of."

United States: Socialist councillor Kshama Sawant's inauguration speech

Democracy Now! interviewed Kshama Sawant on January 6, 2014, prior to her inauguration.

Click HERE for more on Kshama Sawant's election campaign and those of other socialists at the municipal level.

By Kshama Sawant, Seattle

January 6, 2014 -- Vote Sawant

My brothers and sisters,

Thank you for your presence here today.

This city has made glittering fortunes for the super wealthy and for the major corporations that dominate Seattle’s landscape. At the same time, the lives of working people, the unemployed and the poor grow more difficult by the day. The cost of housing skyrockets, and education and healthcare become inaccessible.

This is not unique to Seattle. Shamefully, in this, the richest country in human history, 50 million of our people – one in six – live in poverty. Around the world, billions do not have access to clean water and basic sanitation and children die every day from malnutrition.

Scottish Socialists respond to government's independence proposals

December 7, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Colin Fox, Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) national co-spokesperson and Yes Scotland advisory board member, presents the SSP's overview of the Scottish government's white paper on independence.

Filmed at the Scottish Socialist Voice forum in Edinburgh. An event bringing the pro-independence left together to respond to the white paper on independence.

Luxemburg, Lenin, Levi: Rethinking revolutionary history

Part 1. John Riddell. Parts 2 and 3 below.

December 14, 2013 -- Left Streamed, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission

Moderated by Jackie Esmonde. Presentations by:

  • John Riddell, editor of Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International.
  • Paul Kellogg, author of “The Only Hope of the Revolution is the Crowd: The Limits of Žižek's Leninism”, International Journal of Žižek Studies.

More by John Riddell. More by Paul Kellogg.

Sponsored by Education Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly.

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