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Michael A. Lebowitz: May Day -- The capitalist workday, the socialist workday

By Michael A. Lebowitz

April 24, 2008 -- As May Day approaches, there are four things that are worth remembering:

1. For workers, May Day does not celebrate a state holiday or gifts from the state but commemorates the struggle of workers from below.

2. The initial focus of May Day was a struggle for the shorter workday.

3. The struggle for the shorter workday is not an isolated struggle but is the struggle against capitalist exploitation.

John Pilger on South Africa: Honouring the 'unbreakable promise'

March 28, 2008 -- Fourteen years after South Africa's first democratic elections and the fall of racial apartheid, John Pilger describes, in an address at Rhodes University, the dream and reality of the new South Africa and the responsibility of its new elite. (See video clips of John Pilger's visit here.)

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By John Pilger

On my wall in London is a photograph I have never grown tired of looking at. Indeed, I always find it thrilling to behold. You might even say it helps keep me going. It is a picture of a lone woman standing between two armoured vehicles, the notorious ‘hippos’, as they rolled into Soweto. Her arms are raised. Her fists are clenched. Her thin body is both beckoning and defiant of the enemy. It was May Day 1985 and the uprising against apartheid had begun.

Video: John Bellamy Foster on Capitalism and Climate Change

John Bellamy Foster, Marxist ecologist and editor of Monthly Review, addressed the Climate Change I Social Change Conference on ``Capitalism and Climate Change'', Sydney, April 11, 2008. Foster's talk was part of a panel discussing ``Climate change and its social roots''. The conference was organised by Green Left Weekly. Below is Foster's talk in five parts. Click here for an audio recording of all the speakers on the panel, which included Patrick Bond from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and editor of Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society. John Bellamy Foster discusses Marxism and the environment further here.

 

Speech & video: Martin Luther King: Beyond Vietnam -- A time to break the silence

On April 4, 1967, African-American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King addressed a gathering of religious antiwar activists at Riverside Church in New York City. On April 4, 1968, he was assassinated.

``I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a `thing-oriented' society to a `person-oriented' society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.'' -- MLK.

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1968 year of revolt

Joel Geier, associate editor of the International Socialist Review, spoke on ``1968: Year of Revolt'' at the University of Illinois, Champaign, IL on March 26, 2008. He was a leading member of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960s and witnessed the 1968 protests in Paris. He discussed a vital yet hidden history of struggle and its relevance to today.

The International Socialist Review is sponsoring a national meeting tour to mark the 40th anniversary of the remarkable year 1968. It was a year of conflict, class struggle and revolutionary upheaval around the world. 1968 saw the Vietnam Tet Offensive; the May general strike in France; the Black Power salute at the Olympics; the student struggle in Mexico and the massacre in Tlatelolco Plaza; the Prague Spring and Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia; the police riot at the Democratic Party convention; the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and urban rebellions; the birth of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement in Detroit. 1968 offers lessons to a new generation of activists and radicals organising for a better world.

Video: Boris Kagarlitsky on the left and labour in Russia under Putin

With Boris Kagarlitsky, Institute For Globalization and Social Movements, Moscow.

Since the collapse of the old Soviet Union in the 1990s and the end of the politically bankrupt regime of Boris Yeltsin in 2000, Vladimir Putin has consolidated power in Russia. He has ruled over an economy growing at about 7% per year, and, in Kagarlitsky's view, establishing Russia as an 'empire of the periphery'. The left and workers have faced enormous challenges in the new (and not so new) Russia in the face of massive economic restructuring and major political obstacles. This discussion will address how the left, workers and unions are attempting to re-group and respond to these challenges.

Video and audio: Cuban permaculturist -- `Climate change means we must change'

Cuban permaculturist Roberto Perez spoke at the Climate Change | Social Change conference, April 11-13, Sydney. Click here for more videos and text.


Video: A new European socialist movement? The rise of the the Left party in Germany

The emergence of the Left party (Linkspartei) in Germany is the most significant development of a new political party to the left of social democracy in decades in Europe. The formation of the Left party coincided with the anti-G8 mobilisation in Germany a year ago. It was followed by a startling rise in the opinion polls, and political break-throughs in West Germany, building on its political base in East Germany and the old Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS).

A forum sponsored by Socialist Project (www.socialistproject.ca) and Socialist Voice (www.socialistvoice.ca).


Part 1: Introduction by Greg Albo.

Video: Patrick Bond on the global fight for climate justice

On March 4, Patrick Bond addressed a meeting organised by Climate and Capitalism blog in Toronto, Canada, and supported by Socialist Project in Canada and Socialist Voice, among others. Bond will also be a featured speaker at the Climate Change l Social Change conference in Sydney, Australia, April 11-13. Watch Patrick Bond's presentation below.

Video: Evo Morales on the Emergence of Bolivia's Indigenous Movement

Click here to watch Bolivia's President Evo Morales on the emergence of Bolivia's Indigenous movement.

Thanks to http://boliviarising.blogspot.com

Pakistan's struggle for democracy: The lawyers' movement one year on (+ video)

By Farooq Tariq, Lahore

March 7, 2008 -- 2008 will be a year of decisive struggle in Pakistan. Over the past year an advocates' (lawyers') movement rose to confront the dictatorship of President Pervez Musharraf. Its aim is to create an atmosphere where the judiciary can work independently, without being under the influence of any regime, whether military or civil.

Only a year old, it has achieved impressive results.

The movement began on March 9, 2007, when the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chaudhry, responded negatively to the request from five generals -- including Musharraf -- that he voluntarily resign. Offered several other lucrative posts, he responded with a firm ``No'', resulting his immediate arrest and termination from the Supreme Court.

Video: interview with Farooq Tariq

Video: Venezuela April 13 - How youth of the barrios fought to restore democracy

Venezuela suffered a US-backed coup d'etat on April 11, 2002. This is the story of the youth of the barrios who fought to restore democracy and president Hugo Chávez.With Hip Hop group Área 23. Produced by
Ávila TV. Directed by David Segarra and Ángela Mimiaga. Click here to watch: http://links.org.au/node/276 

Video: Chavez on food sovereignty

Click here to see and hear Venezela's President Hugo Chavez discuss food sovereignty in Latin America, Africa and the world.

http://www.links.org.au/node/262

The US and Israel

By Michael Karadjis

The unconditional and mostly uncritical support that the United States has provided Israel over many decades has been more pronounced than us attitudes even to some of its most favoured Third World puppets. While the us may from time to time give half-hearted official support to criticisms by human rights bodies of other pro-us governments, in virtually every case it has used its veto in the United Nations to block even the mildest criticism of blatant violations of human rights or international law by Israel.

Israel, although a First World economy, is the largest recipient of us aid in the world, currently averaging some $3 billion a year. Since 1949, the us has provided Israel some $84 billion; when the interest costs borne by us taxpayers on behalf of Israel, another $49 billion, are added, the total is more than $134 billion.1

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