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Jean-Luc Mélenchon addresses the May 5, 2013, mobilisation in Paris. Part 2 below.
By Dick Nichols
May 11, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On May 5, the largest left protest ever against the policies of a French Socialist Party (PS) government took place in Paris. To the stirring sounds of the protest anthem “On Lâché Rien
They were demanding an end to economic austerity and for a democratic Sixth Republic that would overturn the present Fifth Republic, which is dominated by corrupt and entrenched financial and political elites. The symbol of the march was the kitchen broom, for the “clean sweep of this insufferable political atmosphere”, called for by Front de Gauche (Left Front) leader and 2012 presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
On the day tens of thousands marched with brooms or brushes in hand.
By Michael A. Lebowitz
May 3, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The above talk was presented in Zagreb, Croatia, at a conference organised by the Centre of Workers' Studies.(More videos are available at http://www.youtube.com/user/SkriptaTV?feature=watch.)
A spectre is haunting the working class of Europe (both east and west) and the working class of developed capitalism in general. That spectre is the spectre of communism. For the working class, that frightful hobgoblin is a society of little freedom, a society of workers without power (in the workplace or community) and a society where decisions are made at the top by a vanguard party which views itself as the sole repository of truth. Of course, this was not what communism meant for Karl Marx and Frederick Engels nor, indeed, for Lenin.
By Michael A. Lebowitz, Ljubljana
May 4, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- If we don't understand a system as it is fully developed [its "being"] and thus its critical characteristics, we cannot investigate the "becoming" of those characteristics.
This is why Marx discussed primitive (or original) accumulation of capital only at the end of volume 1 of Capital. Exclusive focus upon the emergence of the new elements, however, is not real history. "Becoming" is two sided: it is both a coming into being and a passing away. The concept of primitive accumulation explores only the former; it considers the new being born but not the old struggling to remain alive. It is, in short, one-sided. Not only does it fail to explore on its own the struggle of the old for its reproduction but it also does not consider the interaction, the morbid symptoms and dysfunction when two sets of productive relations are engaged in contested reproduction with respect to their control of the elements of production.
Ken Loach discusses The Spirit of '45.
Left-wing film director Ken Loach is at the centre of a movement for a new left party in Britain that is committed to defending and extending the welfare state and uncompromisingly fighting austerity. More than 8000 people have signed his appeal for such a party. A vital component of this campaign has been the success of his new documentary, The Spirit of '45.
* * *
April 2013 -- Red Pepper -- Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 is not just an exercise in nostalgia but a compelling intervention into the politics of the present, writes Alex Nunns.
It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Britain responded to crippling debts and chronic daily hardship with a decisive move to the left: nationalising industry, building council houses and creating brand new public services from scratch.
[Adam Hanieh is a lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011) and a member of the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism. For more by Adam Hanieh, click HERE.]
April 17, 2013 -- Labor Notes -- A new video shows Hong Kong dock workers walking off the job March 29 and describing apalling working conditions at the world’s third-busiest port, where their dramatic strike has brought transport to a virtual halt.
Their energy is palpable. “It’s like—the things we’ve suppressed for 10, 20 years, it’s all blowing up now”, one worker says (at 3:59 in video above). He points to a co-worker seriously. “Look at his face. He’s done 24. That’s what a 24 looks like.” Then he cracks a smile. “Actually, you know, he used to be pretty [bleep] good-looking—at least if you shave that beard!”
The workers are appealing for protest letters to be send to support their strike. Please visit Dock workers defy Hong Kong's richest person, seek solidarity, attract huge support for sample letters and more background the struggle.
The video was produced by students from Left 21, a left organisation in Hong Kong. Richard Chen, who translated it, writes:
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Merida
April 16, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- The room erupted into cheers when the election result was announced. For hours, the city of Merida's most ardent supporters of socialist presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro had gathered in the local offices of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). However, after a few moments, the closeness of the numbers sank in.
At the time of writing, the National Electoral Council (CNE) had announced that with 99% of votes counted, the PSUV's Maduro won with 50.6%. His closest rival, Henrique Capriles, received 49.1%; giving Maduro a slim 1.5% victory.
In the last presidential elections, Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez defeated Capriles – the candidate of the US-backed right wing hostile to the Chavez-led Boliviaran revolution -- by just over 10%,. Many supporters of the revolution were expecting a similar result.
Last month, a joint Barclays/Datanalisis report gave Maduro a 14.4% lead, while pollster Hinterlaces predicted his victory would be 18%.
Down with austerity!
By Dick Nichols
April 12, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At the third national congress of the Left Party (Parti de Gauche) held in Bordeaux from March 22 to 24, France’s newest and fastest-growing socialist group seemed to come of age.
Only four years old, the Left Party was born after its leading figure, Jean-Luc Melenchon, a long-time leader of left currents in the Socialist Party (PS), abandoned it after the tendencies in the PS opposing neoliberal austerity mustered only 19% support at its 2008 congress.
For more on Thatcher and Thatcherism, click HERE.
April 9, 2013 -- SinnFein.ie -- Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams commenting on the death today of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said:
Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister.
Working-class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies.
Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.
Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering. She embraced censorship, collusion and the killing of citizens by covert operations, including the targeting of solicitors like Pat Finucane, alongside more open military operations and refused to recognise the rights of citizens to vote for parties of their choice.
Above and below, five-part video of Parti de Gauche leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon's seminar on the "Ecosocialist Revolution" presented on February 10, 2013, in Tunisia.
By Mathieu Agostini and Corinne Morel Darleux, Parti de Gauche, France.
March 29, 2013 -- Ecosocialisme -- On December 1, 2012, the Parti de Gauche (PdG, Left Party), organised a roundtable in Paris to discuss the ecosocialist project. This gave the opportunity to debate a new ecosocialist manifesto (Premier manifeste 18 thèses pour l’écosocialisme) around 18 themes. [PdG is a key part of the Front de Gauche, or Left Front (FdG), which is led by the PdeG's Jean-Luc Melenchon.]
March 17, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- The Venezuelan people have made it clear that, despite the tragic death of their revolutionary president Hugo Chavez, they will continue the Bolivarian Revolution, and build "socialism in the 21st century". This episode of the Green Left Report discusses Chavez's legacy in Venezuela, Latin America and globally, why he was despised by Western governments and future prospects for the Bolivarian Revolution.
Panel guests include:
- Arelis Sumabila, a Venezuelan who worked with Chavez and helped establish the indigenous University of Venezuela;
- Federico Fuentes, a member of the Venezuelanalysis.com editorial collective who has helped lead Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network brigades. He reported for Green Left Weekly from Venezuela from 2007 to 2010; and
- Rodrigo Acuna, a PhD candidate in international studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, who writes regularly on Latin American affairs in the Australian press and has been interviewed for ABC and SBS Radio.
Mass protest in Sofia, Bulgaria's capital, February 17, 2013.
March 15, 2013 -- Left Unity, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In the last week of February 2013, after days of protests across the country, the Bulgarian government headed by Boyko Borisov resigned. Mariya Ivancheva looks at how it happened and what comes next.
From the beginning of February, Bulgarians in most big cities have been out in the streets, protesting against increased electricity and heating bills. While the increase has happened gradually throughout 2012, in January 2013 the bills were considerably bigger than they would normally get. The price formation was transparently written down on the bill, but what angered many is that a significant amount of money was charged not for energy per se but for various taxes and tariffs.
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3210]
Por Sharon Smith, traducción para Sinpermiso.info por Lola Rivera
10/3/2013 -- Sinpermiso -- Inessa Armand, la primera dirigente del Departamento de la Mujer en la Revolución Rusa de 1917, hizo la siguiente observación: “Si la liberación de la mujer es impensable sin el comunismo, el comunismo es también impensable sin la liberación de la mujer”. Esta afirmación es un perfecto resumen de la relación entre la lucha por el socialismo y la lucha por la liberación de la mujer: no es posible una sin la otra.
March 11, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Fred Magdoff, a professor emeritus of plant and soil sciences, author of What Every Environmentalist Should Know About Capitalism, contributor to Monthly Review and ecosocialist spoke on the connection between the growing environmental crisis and capitalism. Professor Magdoff spoke at MIT University in Boston MA on March 11, 2013. This event was filmed by Doug Enaa Greene. Second part below.
Above: March 6 press conference by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Front de Gauche, Left Front) on the death of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez Frias.
l’Humanité interview with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, spokesperson Front de Gauche (Left Front), France, translated by Dick Nichols
March 7, 2013 -- You have always supported the revolutionary process in the Venezuela, why?
We need to place the Bolivarian Revolution in its continental and historical context. The collapse of state communism was presented to the whole world as the end of history for communist and socialist sentiment and aspiration. But the flame flared up again in South America because the new age of capitalism had made that continent its proving ground. Neoliberalism was tried out there by military dictatorships on the one hand and by Operation Condor and CIA acts of violence on the other. The policies which then got applied were the same everywhere: free and unbridled competition, monetarism and deregulation, leading the whole continent to disaster. It is in this context that the revolutionary flame flared up again. Bolivarian Venezuela has occupied a special place: not only has been it been built on democratic foundations, but it has outmaneuvered the criminal plans of the opponent by peaceful and popular action.
Eyewitness Venezuela: 'The people will become Chavez'; Millions farewell Chavez, declare 'the revolution is not dead'
March 9, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- VenezuelAnalysis journalist and Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network activist Tamara Pearson's passionate and insightful report on the feeling among the Venezuelan people after the passing of President Hugo Chavez, the antics of the right-wing opposition, the determination to continue the revolution, and the importance of solidarity. Plus pictures from the outpouring of grief and solidarity in the wake of Chavez's death. [More video coverage below.]
Jim McIlroy, an activist from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, interviewed by ABC TV News, on March 8, 2013, on the significance of Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez. He successfully refutes the misinformation of the hostile "interviewer".
March 10, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Following the tragic death of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez from cancer after 14 years in office, the world's big-business media has gone into overdrive to dishonestly describe Chavez's record as being "authoritarian", "dictatorial" and having made the Venezuelan economy a "basket case", as was rudely interjected by an Australian Broadcasting Corporation "journalist" in the video above. Such media lies have been refuted by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and VenezuelAnalysis.
'So let the corporate media lie about Chavez in their cynical way. Ignore them, and watch (or rewatch) the inspiring story of the People Power that defeated the 2002 coup, as told in the powerful Irish documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.'
By Derrick O'Keefe
March 6, 2013 -- Rabble.ca, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Hugo Chavez has died -- undefeated. Yes, undefeated. Chavez, no matter how many times the corporate media and the cheerleaders of the status quo call him a dictator, was elected repeatedly with overwhelming majorities.
No matter how many times this slur is moronically or mendaciously repeated, people know the truth. No less than former US president Jimmy Carter certified Venezuela's elections as amongst the most fair and transparent his organisation has ever observed. And the voter turnouts that elected Chavez were far, far higher than those in the US.
February 22, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- The Green Left Report hosts a roundtable discussion and debate on the millions-strong protests prior to the US war on Iraq, held around the world on February 15, 2003. The roundtable includes some key activists at the time who reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the protests in Australia and lessons for progressive struggles today.
Pip Hinman was a leader of the anti-war movement in Sydney at the time; Nick Deane convened a local peace group; and Jim McIlroy, who has been an anti-war activist since the Vietnam war, was part of the Brisbane protests. Also featured is an interview with Simon Butler, who led Books Not Bombs protests of high school and other young people opposed to the war. Hosts are Mel Barnes and Peter Boyle. Footage of the 2003 anti-war marches in Sydney by John Reynolds and Jill Hickson of Actively Radical TV. The episode ends with Carlo Sands critiquing the notion of the "lesser evil".
Produced by Green Left TV -- media for the 99%. Watch it, share it, film it, support it
Part 1: The liberation war years.
Part 2: The Mugabe years.
Produced by Afropop Worldwide and Banning Eyre
Aired January 24 and February 7, 2013 --There above radio documentaries, produced by the US world music station Afropop Worldwide, explore the legendary career of Thomas Mapfumo, a singer, composer and bandleader whose 1970s music set the stage for the birth of a new nation, Zimbabwe. Using rare, unreleased recordings and recollections by Mapfumo, key band members and prominent Zimbabweans who lived through the liberation struggle against the racist white regime of Ian Smith, this program traces the development of “chimurenga” (liberation) music.