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SYRIZA activist Yiannis Bournous on historic responsibility of the left in Greece; Alexis Tsipras interview

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

December 14, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sibylle Kaczorek and Jody Betzien, from the Australian Socialist Alliance, interviewed Yiannis Bournous in Athens. Yiannis is a leading activst in the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), Greek's rapidly growing left party.

Syriza came close to winning elections in June 2012 on the basis of rejecting the brutal austerity being enforced on the people of Greece. Instead, a coalition of three parties (Greece's tradition conservative party New Democracy, its social-democratic rival PASOK and a right-wing split from Syriza, the Democratic Left) was formed, committed to greater austerity measures.

Yiannis is also a member of the central political committee of Synaspismos, one of Syriza's affiliate groups, and a member of the executive board of the European Left party. He spoke on the situation in Greece and Syriza's perspectives.

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Why socialists need feminism

Audio of the talk, "Marxism and Women's Liberation", presented by US International Socialist Organization leader Sharon Smith at Socialism 2012, on June 28, 2012.

See "Left debate: Organising women against sexist violence". For more discussion of feminism, click HERE.

By Rosa Louverture

Left debate: Organising women against sexist violence

Socialist Alliance member Margarita Windisch addresses the 2012 Melbourne Reclaim the Night rally. Transcript HERE.

See also "Why socialists need feminism". For more discussion of feminism, click HERE.

December 9, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- An article that appeared on the website of the magazine of the Socialist Alternative organisation on November 22, 2012, has sparked an interesting debate across the Australian left on merits of socialists organising against violence against women.

Venezuela's Doha climate talks delegate: 'Rich countries profit from pollution'

December 7, 2012 -- Democracy Now! -- Claudia Salerno, top negotiator for Venezuela at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, famous for her dramatic action at the conference three years ago in Copenhagen when she bloodied her fist while banging it on the table, demanding to be heard, says "this is not an environmental process. This is a process that is going to have impact in economics, so that is why it is so difficult for developed countries to make the necessary changes in their economics."

December 7, 2012 -- Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: Claudia Salerno, you are the chief climate negotiator for Venezuela here. You are famous for, three years ago in Copenhagen, hitting your fists against the table to get attention, to be recognized, and bloodying your hand. Talk about what’s happening today, and take it back to three years ago in Copenhagen, why you were so distressed.

Small farmers, Indigenous peoples condemn Doha climate talks: 'Governments produce blank pages for planet’s future'

Trade unionists joined a march in Doha for action on climate change to demand improved human rights for migrant workers. Photograph: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images.

Statement by the international peasant movement La Via Campesina,

December 7, 2012 – As the climate negotiations come to a close, the industrialised countries insist on inaction for the next decade, finding even more ways to escape their historical responsibility, create more carbon markets including one on agriculture and to keep business as usual of burning the planet.

While governments continue to prioritise the interests of industry and agribusiness, peasant farmers continue producing to feed the world’s people and the planet.

'The Greek people are at the epicentre of the capitalism crisis'

Speech given by Eric Toussaint at the SYRIZA youth festival in Athens on October 6, 2012 (transcript below). More than 3000 people were present to listen to four speakers: Marisa Matias, EU deputy, member of the Left Bloc (Portugal); Lisaro Fernandez, miners’ union leader (Asturias, Spain); Alexis Tsipras, president of SYRIZA (Greece); Eric Toussaint, president of Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM, Belgium).

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By Eric Toussaint, translated by “Snake” Arbusto and Judith Harris

October 6, 2012 -- We are now experiencing one of the worst crises of the worldwide capitalist system. But capitalism will not die a peaceful, natural death. Crises are part of the metabolism of capitalism. Only conscious action by the people can destroy and supersede capitalism in order to open the way to democratic socialism.

The Greek people are currently at the epicentre of the capitalism crisis. The way in which the Greek people mobilise to confront and respond to this capitalism crisis will be a crucial factor for finding a solution at the international level. You are at the epicenter of both the crisis and the solution to this crisis.

What might a socialist world look like?

November 29, 2012 -- Socialist Aotearoa -- Mike Treen, life-long socialist and national director of the Unite Union, describes what a socialist society might look like. 

Former Israeli soldiers break the silence on the criminal occupation of Palestine

October 24, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- Former Israeli paratrooper Avner Gvaryahu, now an activist with Breaking The Silence, explains to Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle how 850 former Israeli soldiers have given testimony about the gross injustices against the Palestinian people they have witnessed and made to participate in as part of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. He was visiting Australia to promote the book Our Harsh Logic (Scribe Publications).

Tariq Ali: Israel wants Gaza colonised, peace killed with Hamas leader


November 16, 2012 -- Russia Today -- Tariq Ali analyses Israel's latest attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza.

For more coverage of Israel's assault on Gaza, click HERE.

(Updated Nov. 16) Palestine: Gaza left activist, 'Israel has declared war', solidarity needed now! Ali Abunimah on Israel's goal


November 14, 2012 -- Al Jazeera's Shakuntala Santhrian interviews Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada. More from Ali Abunimah below the interview with Shamikh Badra.

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Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle & Patrick Harrison interview Shamikh Badra, Gaza-based activist with the Palestine People's Party

November 15, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Israel has launched a fresh full-scale war on the besieged people of Gaza. As well as assassinating a Hamas spokesperson (and publicly threatening all Hamas representatives), more than 10 people had been killed by November 15. The dead reportedly includes Omar, an 11-month-old baby whose father works for BBC Arabic.

Venezuela: Eyewitness impressions of the Bolivarian revolution

October 25, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- Several European activists participated in the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) brigade to Venezuela in September-October 2012, which witnessed the presidential election won convincingly by socialist President Hugo Chavez.

Brigade participant Pip Hinman spoke in Caracas to Christian, a writer and activist with the German solidarity online publication Amerika21.de, about his impressions of the Bolivarian revolution. Film footage of the 3 million-strong October 4, 2012, Chavista election rally provided by Poul-Erik Jørgensen, a Danish participant in the brigade.

Basque Country: Behind the rise of the EH Bildu left coalition

EH Bildu's main election rally.

By Dick Nichols

October 22, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On October 21, in probably the most powerful performance in the history of Basque politics, the left nationalist coalition Euskal Herria Bildu (EH Bildu, Basque Country Assembly) won 25% of the vote and 21 seats in the elections for 75-seat parliament of the Basque Autonomous Community (Euskadi) in the Spanish state. The rise of the EH Bildu came at the expense of all other parties.

(The seven regions of the Basque Country lie between Spain and France. The three provinces of Euskadi — Biskaia, Gipuskoa and Araba — plus the autonomous community of Navarra form its southern zone, Hegoalde, while three regions within the French department of Pyrenées Atlantiques form its northern zone, Iparralde.)

Over the years since the end of the Franco dictatorship the Basque left nationalist vote has varied greatly, depending whether the party representing it was legal or outlawed, or whether the movement was advocating an election boycott. Its highest previous vote for the Euskadi parliament was the 17.9% (14 seats) won by Eusko Herritarrok (EH, Basque Citizens) in 1998. In the October 21 election an extra 50,000 people voted for EH Bildu.

Gregory Wilpert on Venezuela: 'Major challenges face Chavez in new term'

Click HERE for more coverage and analysis of the Venezuelan revolutionary process.

October 9, 2012 -- Real News Network -- Gregory Wilpert, a German-American sociologist, earned a PhD in sociology from Brandeis University in 1994. Between 2000 and 2008 he lived in Venezuela, where he taught at the Central University of Venezuela and then worked as a freelance journalist, writing on Venezuelan politics for a wide range of publications. He founded Venezuelanalysis.com, an English-langugage website. In 2007, he published the book Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government (Verso Books). He moved back to the US in 2008 because his wife was named consul general of Venezuela in New York. Since returning to the US he has been working as an adjunct professor of political science at Brooklyn College.

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Paul Jay, senior editor, Real News Network: On Sunday night, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela was reelected. Now joining us from New York City to talk about his views on the election is Gregory Wilpert. Thanks very much for joining us, Greg.

Venezuela: Chavez re-elected on platform to deepen revolution; 3 million people mobilise in support

Green Left TV -- Coral Wynter, an organiser of the 2012 Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade, gives her impression of the massive October 4 final rally in support of Hugo Chavez in the October 7 presidential elections. For more eyewitness accounts from AVSN members, join the AVSN Facebook page.

Click HERE for more coverage and analysis of the Venezuelan revolutionary process. 

October 9, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Venezuelanalysis.com -- Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez has won the October 7 Venezuelan elections with over 54% of the vote against 45% of the vote for right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. The National Electoral Council's Tibisay Lucena announced more than 80% of the 19,119,809 registered voters in Venezuela participated in the election.

Venezuelanalysis' Ewen Robertson reports from Merida:

Venezuela's election: Participatory, passionate democracy vs. Western democratic decline; Eyewitness reports

October 3, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) "brigadista" Ryan Mallett-Outrim reports on a Chavista rally which the brigade members attended in Maracay, Aragua, on October 3, just four days before the 2012 Venezuelan presidential election. The Australian solidarity activists were warmly welcomed in the massive crowd. For more eyewitness reports, photos and videos from the AVSN brigade visit the AVSN Facebook page and the AVSN website.

Click HERE for more coverage and analysis of the Venezuelan revolutionary process. 

By Ewan Robertson, Venezuela

September 28, 2012 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- I’ve witnessed the self-assured superiority of Paris, the imperial arrogance of Washington, the capitalist decadence of New York’s Manhattan, parliamentary elections in Germany and my fair share of elections in Britain. In none of them have I encountered a democratic political culture as profound as Venezuela’s.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on political and social situation facing Greece and Europe

September 27, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's left party SYRIZA, visited the European Parliament as a guest of the United Left Group/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), the coalition of radical left parliamentarians in the European Parliament to which SYRIZA is affiliated. At a press conference, Tsipras discussed the current economic, political and social situation facing Greece and the European Union. Chaired by Gabi Zimmer, GUE/NGL president, from Germany's Die Linke party.

Video: Ilan Pappe on 'The forgotten Palestinians'

September 16, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Celebrated Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, whose landmark publication The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine documented the removal of 700,000 Palestinians from their lands in 1948, has written a new book, The Forgotten Palestinians.

In the book and at his September 16, 2012, community meeting at Sydney University above, Pappe reveals the situation for Palestinians who still live within Israel's borders.

The meeting was the first event of Pappe's 2012 Australian lecture tour. It was hosted by the Sydney Peace Foundation with the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Leichhardt Friends of Hebron. Pappe was in Australia to deliver the annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture at the University of Adelaide.

Film by Green Left TV.

Brian Senewiratne: Deterioration of human rights in Sri Lanka

September 10, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- A 56-minute presentation by Brian Senewiratne at the Fremantle Town Hall, Western Australia, on September 1, 2012. Senewiratne is a veteran campaigner for the rights of the Ilankai (Sri Lankan) Tamils, and staunch advocate for the right of Tamil self-determination. He is a Socialist Alliance member in Queensland. The forum was organised by a new network called "Human Rights in Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam".

There has been a surge of refugess fleeing repression in Sri Lanka, some attempting to make the entire crossing of the Indian Ocean to Australia without stopping. The genocidal violence of the government of Sri Lanka and the determination of the ruling Labor and opposition Liberal parties in Australia to "turn back the boats" go hand in glove.

Green Left Report: Christine Assange, Federico Fuentes on Ecuador and WikiLeaks, Tariq Ali on Latin America

September 3, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- Special guests Christine Assange, Federico Fuentes on Ecuador and WikiLeaks, plus satire with Carlo Sands. Activist news features Tariq Ali on Latin America and Julian Assange from Ecuador's London embassy.

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