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Russia: Why Putin won the presidential election


On March 6, 2012, the Real News Network interviewed Aleksandr Buzgalin, who explained that
Putin promised social democratic reforms but will more likely continue neoliberal policies.

By Aleksandr Buzgalin, translated by Renfrey Clarke

March 8, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The winter of 2011-2012 saw the rise of a new – and powerful – wave of political activism in Russia, a development which understandably has drawn the attention of most Russians, and of wide circles abroad, to the country’s political processes. What has happened?

Formally at least, the results of the elections are well known. Vladimir Putin received 63.6 per cent of the votes, and became president of the Russian Federation.

His losing rivals achieved the following results:

Austerity in Europe: Susan George on the rise of neoliberal and undemocratic Europe

Susan George interviewed for the Transnational Institute (TNI). Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

March 1, 2012

What is the continuity you see between the Maastricht Treaty, through the Lisbon Agenda and the Lisbon Treaty, to the "six pack" and now this new fiscal treaty?

The Maastricht Treaty was a treaty that presented two completely arbitrary figures: 3 per cent budget deficit with regard to the GNP and 60 per cent for the debt.  Why not 4 per cent or 2 per cent? Why not 55 or 65 per cent? Nobody knows. They came out of the sky, those numbers, doubtless from the Bundesbank. But they have become sort of religious symbols, the holy numbers of Maastricht. That was the first effort to get government policy under control, but countries did not respect that, including Germany

Arab Spring, Syria and the left: 'No support for authoritarian regimes, no support for imperialism'

Tariq Ali spoke to Russia Today on March 3, 2012, on the situation in the besieged town of Homs, bombarded by the Syrian military. “The Assad regime carries on as if it doesn’t realise how hated it is by some sections of the population; the opposition, which is armed now increasingly by the West via its conduits in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are turning nasty.”

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Tariq Ali on Syria: 'Western intervention would be disastrous; Assad must go'; Western hypocrisy condemned

Tariq Ali interviewed on Russia Today, February 15, 2012. Ali warns that the consequences of Western military intervention would be "worse than in Libya". “The fact is that the overwhelming majority of people in Syria want the Assad family out – and that is the key thing that we have to

Dan La Botz on Occupy: 'The biggest social movement in 40 years'

For more on Occupy Wall Street, click HERE.

Dan La Botz speaking about what theUS  Occupy movement has accomplished, the Democrats and the role of the left. He was addressing the Open University of the Left on January 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.

[Dan La Botz is a teacher, writer and activist involved in Occupy Cincinnati. In 2010, Dan La Botz stood as the Socialist Party (USA) candidate for the US Senate in Ohio.]

Boris Kagarlitsky on the Russian left; Lull before the storm

January 10, 2012 -- Real News Network -- As the Russian protests rocked the plans of President Putin, who, as Boris Kargalitsky wrote, wanted the elections to legitimise decisions that had already been made, these protests, as he said, essentially were led by segments that were more or less neoliberal or nationalist, but not much by what I guess Boris would call the left. And why is that? So now joining us to talk about the state of the left in Russia is Boris Kagarlitsky. He's a sociologist. He was a deputy to the Moscow city soviet between 1990 and '93. And he's currently the director of the Institute of Globalisation and Social Movements in Moscow. 

Tariq Ali: Western intervention in Syria would be a disaster

Above: December 28, 2011 -- Tariq Ali interviewed on Russia Today.
Below: Tariq Ali interviewed on Russia Today on January 6, 2012: "It has to be said that the Syrian regime has brought this upon itself".

United States: 'With Babies & Banners' -- 75 years since the 44-day Flint sit-down strike

To view With Babies & Banners go to http://links.org.au/node/2681.

December 30, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Flint-based filmmaker Michael Moore has described the 1936 Flint sit-down strike as the "first Occupy" movement. Whether this is strictly accurate or not, the 1936-37 occupation/strike was a ground-breaking development in the US labour movement. To mark this anniversary, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  is making available the classic 1977 documentary on the strike and the role of women in it, With Babies & Banners (via the link at the top of this article, or click here).

As Moore recounts, "On this day, December 30th, in 1936 -- 75 years ago today -- hundreds of workers at the General Motors (GM) factories in Flint, Michigan, took over the facilities and occupied them for 44 days. My uncle was one of them. The workers couldn't take the abuse from the corporation any longer. Their working conditions, the slave wages, no vacation, no health care, no overtime -- it was do as you're told or get tossed onto the curb.

East Timor celebrates medical milestone, with Cuba's assistance

By Lisa Zilberpriver 

December 27, 2011 -- SBS (Special Broadcasting Service, Australia) -- Cuba is widely regarded as a world leader in medical outreach programs for developing nations. It began by sending doctors to support Algerian revolutionaries in 1963, and has since extended its programme to encompass more than 100 different countries.

There are more than 30,000 Cuban health workers stationed worldwide. The Cuban government also pays for the education of thousands of students from developing nations at the Latin American School of Medicine.

Tim Anderson is a senior lecturer in political economy at the Univeristy of Sydney. He has closely followed Cuba's medical outreach programs for several years. He hosted an East Timorese graduate of Cuba's program on a visit to Sydney health institutions in October that was organised by the Australia Cuba Friendship Society.

China: Misery in Santa's workshop -- inside China's toy factories

A 2004 film shows that little has changed.

[For more discussion on China's economic and political development, click HERE.]

December 23, 2011 -- A new report by Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) reveals the terrible working conditions endured by workers who produce many of the toys that will be enjoyed by children in the Western world this Christmas.

In Guangdong province, from where 70% of China’s toys are exported, migrant workers’ official basic salary is around 850-1320 yuan a month (US$134-208), the statutory local minimum wage. The minimum wage is barely enough for self-subsistence.

Congolese community calls for solidarity; Mineral profits fuel Congo violence


Sydney, December 10, 2011 -- Leaders of the Congolese community in Australia, at a meeting organised by the Latin American Social Forum, explained the crisis the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing after more than 50 years of exploitation by the Western countries and their local allies, and appealed for solidarity from the international socialist movement. Above community elder Mbuyi Tshielantende speaks (translated by Fralis Kolanga).

Liliane Lukoki discusses the situation of women in Congo; Fralis Kolanga calls for solidarity.

South Africa: Second attack on climate campaigners by ANC goons; Zuma looks on

DON'T LET AFRICA FRY: ZUMA'S GOONS ATTACK from Jadis on Vimeo.

South Africa's president Zuma watched as ANC supporters assaulted peaceful demonstrators.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

December 8, 2011 -- Earthlife Africa issued a statement describing the events. It describes how during a meeting between South Africa' President Jacob Zuma and communities and civil society groups, violence broke out. After peaceful demonstrators silently held up signs asking “Zuma to stand with Africa”, pro-ANC goons, many wearing the official green uniforms of the COP17 "volunteers", violently attacked the demonstrators. Demonstrators were roughed up and some had to flee the hall.

While all of this went on, Zuma sat on the podium and remained quiet. It took nearly 10 minutes before police entered the hall to restore order.

Siziwe Khanyile of groundWork states, “This was our event, organised to communicate with President Zuma. We were then abused, kicked out, robbed and manhandled by Zuma supporters disguised as COP17 volunteers.”

Climate talks: No to a 'Durban mandate'!; Pablo Solon, Patrick Bond: 'US should face climate sanctions'

Photo by Orin Langelle/GJEP.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

By the Civil Society Committee for COP 17

December 8, 2011 -- Civil Society Committee for COP 17 (C17) -- As African civil society, global South movements and international allies, we reject the call of many developed countries for a so-called “Durban mandate” to launch new negotiations for a future climate framework.

A new mandate for a new treaty in place of the Kyoto Protocol should be understood for what it really is – rich countries backtracking and reneging on “inconvenient” obligations, at the expense of the poor and the planet. While developed countries may appear progressive by asking for a mandate to negotiate a new legally binding treaty, the truth is that this is nothing but a veiled attempt to kill the Kyoto Protocol and escape from their further mitigation obligations under the already existing mandate in the protocol itself, and the agreement in 2005 for negotiating further emission cuts. A political declaration to continue the Kyoto Protocol or anything less than a full amendment and ratification process is, in practice, another nail in its coffin.

Durban climate talks: 'Rich-country negotiators are comitting ecocide' -- Pablo Solon; Voices from the streets of Durban

December 3, 2011 -- OneWorldTV -- Pablo Solon, former Bolivian ambassador to the UN climate talks, speaks during the December 3 day of action in Durban, during the COP17 talks.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

 

December 5, 2011 -- Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting live from Durban, South Africa, where critical talks on fighting climate change have entered their second week. Key issues here at the United Nations Climate Change Conference remain unresolved, including the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty with enforceable provisions designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Delegates are also debating how to form a Green Climate Fund to support developing nations most affected by climate change.

Welcome to Durban (excerpt from new book, 'Durban’s Climate Gamble')

Above: Durban’s Climate Gamble editor Patrick Bond (right) and contributor Ashwin Desai provide a background to the Durban climate talks.

[The following is an excerpt from a new book, Durban’s Climate Gamble: Playing the Carbon Markets, Betting the Earth, launched on November 23, 2011, ahead of the November 28–December 9 COP17 climate change talks by UNISA Press. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

* * *

By Patrick Bond, Durban

(Updated Nov. 24) Egyptian revolution enters new phase: Thousands protest military rule (Democracy Now! reports)

November 23, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Egyptian protesters continue to fill Cairo’s central Tahrir Square over the ruling military council’s refusal to immediately transfer power to a civilian government.

In a televised address on Tuesday, the head of Egypt’s military council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, said he has accepted the prime minister’s resignation and that the military is ready to relinquish power if Egyptians call for that in a referendum. But protests only intensified after Tantawi’s speech and security forces unleashed a barrage of tear gas. Over the past five days at least 38 people have been killed, thousands injured, and at least 15 journalists attacked as Egypt has witnessed the largest protests since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Paul Le Blanc addresses #Occupy Boston: History, power, demands and the Occupy movement


Paul Le Blanc at Occupy Boston, November 21, 2011, and the resulting discussion. Le Blanc was one of the many speakers as part of the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series at Occupy Boston. Le Blanc is a long-time political activist who also teaches at the La Roche College and the author of many books including, Lenin and the Revolutionary Party. To learn more about Paul Le Blanc see http://paulleblanc.laroche.edu/. To learn more about the lecture series see http://zinnlectures.wordpress.com/ and http://www.occupyboston.org/.

For more by Paul Le Blanc, click here. For more on the #Occupy movement, click here.

David Harvey addresses #OccupyLSX: The best system money can buy

November 12, 2011 -- Professor David Harvey addresses Occupy London Stock Exchange (#OccupyLSX) Tent City University about the global capitalist crisis and the Occupy movement. For more videos of talks at the Tent City University visit http://tentcityuniversity.occupylsx.org.

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