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Opposition to Philippines-Australia military deal; No to 'visiting forces' military pacts with US/Australia/NZ!

June 12, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Australian mining companies are already ravaging the traditional land of Indigenous peoples in the Philippines and now they are hoping to get ratified a military agreement that will allow Australian troops to enter the Philippines for "combined training, exercises, or other activities mutually approved by the Parties".

Protests broke out in Manila on June 6, 2012, as the Philippines Senate was deliberating on the ratification of the controversial "visiting forces" military pact with the Australian government, signed by the disgraced former president Gloria Arroyo in 2007. Anti-war groups in the Philippines are seeking Australian solidarity for their campaign to block the ratification. Green Left TV spoke to Reihana Mohideen, an anti-war and socialist activist in Manila.

Tariq Ali: The rotten heart of Europe (video)

May 15, 2012 -- Tariq Ali's keynote lecture on the state of Europe presented at the annual Subversive Forum, the theme of which this year was "The future of Europe", held in Zagreb, Croatia, May 13-19, 2012. He explains the evolution of the European Union and its role, and touches on the crisis in Greece.

Lessons of the Comintern experience, by Helen Scott, John Riddell and Lars Lih

May 12, 2012 -- LeftStreamed, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Three presentations from the Historical Materialism conference in Toronto on May 11–13.

Presentations by:

  • Helen Scott, University of Vermont – "Rebuilding the International: Rosa Luxemburg and the Comintern";
  • John Riddell, "The Workers' Government: Fiction, Pseudonym or Transition";
  • Lars T. Lih, "From 'Party of an Old Type' to 'Party of a New Type'".

The socialist case for Scottish independence; Galloway wrong to oppose independence

May 31, 2012 -- Socialist Resistance -- The campaign for a yes vote in the referendum on Scottish independence is underway. Britain's Socialist Resistance, which strongly supports Scottish independence, invited Gregor Gall to make the socialist case for an independent Scotland at a public meeting in London. This video is his contribution. Gregor is a member of the Scottish Socialist Party, a member of the editorial board of the Scottish Left Review and author of Tommy Sheridan – From Hero To Zero.

‘Closing the doors of learning’ to the Israeli state opens the doors of freedom

By Patrick Bond and Muhammed Desai

May 24, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One of South Africa’s largest tertiary institutions, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban, is a site of multiple controversy but a near-disaster on May 21 deserves more reflection because it points us in a positive direction: away from allying with the Israeli state and its apartheid policies during a time of heightened racism. A representative of Israel had been invited to speak but was then disinvited, after the university was called on by staff and students to respect the “academic boycott” of Israel.

From South Africa, the African continent and everywhere else, it is a critical time to step up pressure against the rogue regime in Tel Aviv. Israel’s hard-right leader, Benyamin Netanyahu, is in a dangerous career phase, preparing to bomb Iran; illegitimately holding thousands of Palestinian prisoners in worsening conditions; expanding settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank; terrorising Gaza; and tightening his militaristic hold over the region.

Quebec: Up to 400,000 defy anti-protest law; protests spread


For more analysis of the Quebec students' struggle, click HERE.

May 22, 2012 -- Real News Network -- Today marked one of the largest protests ever to be recorded in Quebec's history. We are joined with Jérémie Bédard-Wien, who is a student organiser and who was on the ground today in Montreal.

Jérémie, would you please describe for us what events have unfolded?

Afghanistan: Amnesty International lauds war and occupation as 'progress' for women


The bitter reality for Afghan women: an address by Malalai Joya.

By Tim Anderson

May 20, 2012 -- Stop the War Coalition, Sydney -- Amnesty International has muddied the waters over the occupation of Afghanistan with its latest campaign urging NATO to “keep the progress going” on women’s rights. The campaign was aimed at a NATO summit in Chicago and drew on one of the few remaining arguments for continued military occupation of that war-ravaged country.

The idea that a military occupation would somehow help Afghan women was promoted by Laura Bush, wife of the former US president who ordered the October 2001 invasion. It is an argument that been rejected by the Afghan women’s group, Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and by activist and former Afghan MP Malalai Joya (see video above). They say that the NATO occupation has simply added a third enemy, on top of the Taliban and the NATO-backed warlords.

Message from SYRIZA to Chicago anti-NATO protests + photos, videos: massive, conscious, determined

Demonstrators defy Chicago police during anti-NATO protest march in Chicago, May 19, 2012.

By Antonis Davanellos and Sotiris Martalis, members of the coordinating secretariat of SYRIZA

May 20, 2012

Dear comrades, dear brothers and sisters of the anti-war movement

We salute your mobilisations against the NATO Summit [in Chicago] and we send you our solidarity from Greece.

We don’t need to say much about the reasons to raise our voices against NATO. Millions of people are familiar with its record or crimes over the last years in the Balkans, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya to name just a few.

And if we look further back, NATO has provided nothing but wars, dictatorships and terror around the globe, from the day it was founded, and during all the years of its existence.

Greece: A meeting with SYRIZA's Alexis Tsipras: 'It's a European crisis, a capitalist crisis, not a Greek crisis ...'

May 14, 2012 -- Coalition of Resistance -- Britain's Greece Solidarity Campaign's recent delegation to Athens met with Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left and president of Synaspismos. The delegation meeting him included national representatives from several trade unions UNITE, the Communication Workers Union, the Fire Brigades Union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association.

Tsipras described as "catastrophic" the impact of austerity on Greek society, describing public hospitals on the brink of collapse with a shortage of medical supplies, and there were no new books at the start of the school year, so parents were forced to photocopy old ones. He said "it’s only a matter of time before the next social explosion".

Tsipras told the delegation that if austerity is the "prescription" to cure the economic crisis, it is "the medicine of disaster" and that the policies being imposed by the International Monetary Fund/European Union and World Bank are destroying social cohesion, destroying the political system and destroying the economy.

Bahrain: Democracy activists call for trade union solidarity

May 15, 2012 -- GreenLeftTV -- Bahrain democracy activist Zainab Abdulnabi, representing the Australia Bahraini Youth Movement, delivered an impassioned speech at the end of Sydney's May Day march on May 6, 2012. She reported that the heads of the nurses' and teachers' trade unions in Bahrain have been jailed for 15 years simply for supporting democracy protests. Three thousand workers have been dismissed from their jobs for participating in protests. She urged trade unions, especially education and health unions, to extend solidarity to the movement for democracy in Bahrain, and called on the Australian government to apply political pressure on the US and UK to stop arming the repressive Bahrain regime.

Aleksandr Buzgalin on Russia’s 'Jurassic capitalism'


Buzgalin: bureaucrats and oligarchs rule a caricature of Western capitalism, amassing fabulous wealth.

May 6-7, 2012 -- Real News Network -- Aleksandr Buzgalin, professor of political economy at Moscow State University, editor of the independent democratic left magazine Alternatives, contributor to Links Interantional Journal of Socialist Renewal and coordinator of the Russian social movement Alternatives, spoke to the Real News Network about the nature of the regime of Vladimir Putin and the Russian state and economy today.

Full transcripts are available HERE.

Britain: Coalition government parties battered in local elections

Respect's Alyas Karmani defeated the Labour Party leader on the Bradford council. Respect won five seats.

May 6, 2012 -- Socialist Resistance -- The British Labour Party was clearly the big winner in the May 3 local council elections. Although in London celebrity politics, along with a nasty personalised campaign by the Evening Standard, and divisions within the Labour Party, created a win for Conservative Party's Boris Johnson, both the Conservative (Tory) and the Liberal Democrat (Lib Dems) parties took a drubbing across the country giving the Lib Dems the worst result in its history. This is clearly a part of shift to the left and towards an anti-austerity stance, which is evident elsewhere in Europe. This is the case in Greece, France and Spain in particular – though in Greece there is also the rise of the far right.

One million climate jobs now! The video

May 4, 2012 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group  is organising a Climate Jobs Caravan in England and Scotland in May 2012.

Based on the Million Climate Jobs report, produced with the assistance of Public and Commercial Services Union, the University and College Union, the Communication Workers Union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, the caravan will highlight how creating climate jobs can help tackle the twin crises of the ecomony and climate change.

This inspiring video sets out the caravan’s message. The full 33-minute version, along with eight other videos about the struggle for justice, can be purchased on a DVD from Reel News.

You can read the One Million Climate Jobs pamphlet HERE.

Malaysia: Hundreds of thousands demand democratic elections at Bersih 3.0; police attack peaceful protest


Video by Green Left TV.

April 30, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Coalition of Free and Fair Elections (Bersih – meaning “clean” in Malay), the movement for free and fair elections in Malaysia, said that the April 28 rally was a great success, claiming that 300,000 Malaysians had joined the Bersih 3.0 rally in the capital Kuala Lumpur. Bersih called for a mass sit in on April 28 because it suspects that the country’s entrenched Barisan Nasional (BN) government is about to call a general election without addressing widespread electoral irregularities. Rallies were also held in around 85 cities around Malaysia and across the world (click HERE for reports).

France: Front de Gauche's Jean-Luc Melenchon shakes up presidential poll

On March 18, the 141st anniversary of the Paris Commune, organisers were expecting 20,000 to 30,000 to show up for a march and rally to “seize the Bastille” in Paris. Up to 120,000 took part.

By Dick Nichols

April 16, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- There’s no election quite like a French presidential contest. It is a six-month-long race in which nearly every political stable usually has a runner and where the handicapping system is less rigged against “outsiders” than in many other countries.

It puts a premium on personality: a candidate who strikes voters as fresh, sincere and “not a politician” has a chance to win more support than in other elections.

Over the years the system has allowed far-left candidates to make their mark. Blunt and passionate working-class battler Arlette Laguiller of Workers Struggle (LO) was a regular star between 1974 and 2002, when she scored 1.6 million votes (5.7%).

At the 2007 poll, the fresh face was the Revolutionary Communist League’s (LCR) Olivier Besancenot. A young postal worker, he increased the 1.2 million votes he received in 2002 to 1.5 million (4.1%). For a while, Besancenot was rated France’s most popular politician.

Video: 'Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre' on the 2002 US-backed coup against Hugo Chavez

Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre (Complete Movie) from Estreito Meio Productions on Vimeo.

April 11, 2012 -- NACLA -- 10 years ago, on April 11, 2002, a group of rebelling military officers, together with opposition leaders and the mainstream media, staged a coup d’état against Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Nineteen protesters were killed in the confusing events of that day. Chávez was jailed. Pedro Carmona, the head of Venezuela’s elite business federation FEDECAMERAS, was sworn in as de facto president, quickly abolishing the country’s 1999 constitution, disbanding the congress and installing a virtual media blackout.

Less than two days later, however, pro-Chávez supporters descended from the poor barrios around Caracas and Venezuela. They surrounded the presidential palace, Miraflores, and demanded that their president be returned. Within a few hours Chávez was back in power.

Due to the myths, lies and media manipulation, the truth about the events of April 11, 2002 is still often overlooked.

Spain: Huge general strike could mark turning of tide

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

April 1, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Since the global economic crisis broke out in 2008, the many-sided protest movement against neoliberal austerity has yet to gain enough strength to force any real retreats from governments doing the bidding of capitalism’s ruling elites.

But the March 29 general strike against the new labour law in Spain — hugely supported and backed by often vast demonstrations in 111 cities and towns — could well point to a turning of the tide.

It lifted social resistance in Europe to a new height and gave millions of people a glimpse of how they might finally make the country’s corrupt and arrogant powers-that-be pay for their crisis.

The right-wing media screamed “flop”, but the behaviour of the finance markets told the real story: on strike day the Madrid stock exchange lost nearly 1% (its eighth straight day of losses) and the premium on Spanish public debt rose further over the Italian debt premium that only recently exceeded it.

Britain: (Updated April 4) Tariq Ali, British left on George Galloway's surprise re-election


George Galloway explains why we won the by-election.

[For more discussion around George Galloway's re-election and the left's response, click HERE.]

On March 29, 2012, the left-wing Respect party's George Galloway was swept into the British parliament in a by-election few expected him to win. He was elected with an absolute majority of the votes cast, in a multiracial working-class seat. Below, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal publishes a number of reactions to this important victory from British left.

* * *

Sudan: Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud's ideas will live on

Procession at funeral of Sudanese Communist Party general secretary Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, March 25, 2012.

By Abohoraira Ali

March 29, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, secretary general of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), died on March 22, 2012, in London, where he was undergoing medical treatment for an inoperable brain tumour. Thousands of people joined the funeral procession to farewell Nugud on March 25, when his body was taken from the airport past his home and the SCP headquarters, before being buried in the Al Farouq cemetery. Leaders of other opposition parties and representatives from South Sudan attended.

International solidarity helps keep the ‘Zimbabwe 6’ out of jail

Johannesburg protest in support of the "Zimbabwe 6", March 20, 2012.

By Lisa Macdonald

March 22, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- Six Zimbabwean activists who were convicted for watching a video of the Arab Spring in February 2011 won a partial victory on March 21 when they were given suspended jail sentences of two years, ordered to each do 420 hours of community service and pay a fine of US$500 each.

The six activists were convicted in the Harare Magistrates Court on March 19 of trumped-up charges of “conspiracy to commit public violence”. They had faced up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a sentence demanded by the state prosecutor, Edmore Nyazamba.

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