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Spirited Scottish Socialist Party conference tackles post-referendum challenges

The Scottish Socialist Party played an important role in the Yes campaign. This video explores the aftermath for the party and the future of Scotland.

For more on the Scottish Socialist Party, click HERE.

By Dick Nichols

October 29, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Edinburgh’s Augustine United Church is a cold place when the wind is howling, as it was when the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) held its 2014 annual conference there on October 25.

However, any feeling of chill disappeared when the 200-plus SSP members present got down to tackling the challenges of an inspiring new period in Scottish politics, marked by unprecedented popular engagement in activism and debate over Scotland’s future.

Communist resistance in Nazi Germany

Historian Doug Enaa Greene, as part of the Center for Marxist Education's Red History Lecture Series, speaks on "Communist Resistance in Nazi Germany".

For more by Doug Enaa Greene, click HERE.

By Doug Enaa Greene

October 29, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In 1943, a member of the Communist Party, sentenced to die for resistance activities as a member of the Red Orchestra, wrote these final words to his father:

The will to act: The life and thought of Louis-Auguste Blanqui

Doug Enaa Greene presented a talk on the life and thought of Louis-Auguste Blanqui to the Center for Marxist Education in February 2014.

By Doug Enaa Greene

Dedicated to my father

October 24, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- “I am accused of having said to thirty million French people, proletarians like me, that they had the right to live”.[1] These words are the opening remarks of then 27-year-old revolutionary, Louis-Auguste Blanqui's defence speech when he was tried for treason by the French state in 1832. Blanqui's words were nothing less than a declaration of war upon the rule of the bourgeoisie on behalf of a mercilessly exploited proletariat.

What kind of Kurdistan for women? (+ video)

By Dilar Dirik

October 20, 2014 -- Kurdish Question, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "Azadî", freedom. A notion that has captured the collective imagination of the Kurdish people for a long time. "Free Kurdistan", the seemingly unattainable ideal, has many shapes, depending on where one situates oneself in the broad spectrum of Kurdish politics. The increasing independence of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in South Kurdistan (Bashur) from the central Iraqi government, as well as the immense gains of the Kurdish people in West Kurdistan (Rojava) in spite of the Syrian civil war over the last year, have revived the dream of a free life as Kurds in Kurdistan.

Marta Harnecker talks about 21st century socialism to TeleSUR English

For more by or about Marta Harnecker and her ideas, click HERE.

October 17, 2014 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Greg Wilpert interviews the well-known theoretician of the Latin American left Marta Harnecker. The Chilean-born author and activist is known worldwide for her writings on Marxist philosophy, Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, and the challenges facing the Latin American left in the 21st century.

Her latest book A World to Build-New Paths to 21st Century Socialism will soon be out in English. In the interview Harnecker discusses the differences between 20th and 21st century socialism and key strategic issues posed for left-wing movements today.

Catalan national struggle enters critical stage

On the day after the Constitutional Court decision, the squares of Catalonia’s towns were full to the brim with protesters.

Click for more on political developments in Catalonia and the Spanish state.

By Dick Nichols

October 12, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On September 29, the normally sluggish Spanish legal system had an attack of extreme speed. Its Usain Bolt-like behaviour was sparked by the regional government of Catalonia formally decreeing the long-awaited November 9 non-binding consultation of Catalan opinion [referendum] on the future political status of the region.

War in eastern Ukraine and the new Cold War

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published various left viewpoints on the political situation in Ukraine.

October 9, 2014 -- A Socialist in Canada, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- On September 29, 2014, the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University hosted a talk by Roger Annis on the war in eastern Ukraine and the accompanying political and military threats by NATO and the Kyiv government against Russia. Roger Annis is a Vancouver-based writer and antiwar activist who has written extensively on Ukraine.

The themes covered in the one-hour talk included:

Why does Russia continue to hang on to Assad?

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published various left viewpoints on the political situation in Ukraine.

October 5, 2014 -- Real News Network -- Political economist Aleksandr Buzgalin says the Russian state is pursuing geopolitical interests in Syria and Ukraine for its elite -- to the detriment of ordinary citizens.

More by Aleksandr Buzgalin.

France: Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the Movement for the 6th Republic

The first of a three-part video (other parts below) features the address of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, former spokesperson for the French Left Party and initiator of the Movement for a Sixth Republic, at the 2014 year's Humanity Fair, which is hosted every year by the daily newspaper L'Humanité, of the French Communist Party.

[Note: To improve the resolution of the subtitles, press play, then click on the small "cog" in the right-hand bottom corner and change quality to 240p or higher. You may need to restart the video from the beginning. It is best watched in full-screen view (click on the square on the far right-hand bottom corner).]

Mélenchon discusses how to build a movement against austerity that goes beyond the traditional left, an important issue in a country where the racist National Front is leading in the polls. Also appearing is Hamma Mammami, leader of the Communist Party of Tunisian Workers and the candidate of the Popular Front in 2014's presidential election. At the end there is a short interview with Jérôme Kerviel, a "rogue trader" who cost the Société Générale bank €4.9 billion, but who maintains that his superiors knew about and condoned his activities. Mélenchon and the Parti de Gauche (Left party) have been active in building solidarity with Kerviel.

* * *

Scotland: Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams comments on referendum result

September 19, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, commenting on the result of the Scottish independence referendum, said, "all of us now need to focus on getting the Westminster elites, the British prime minister and the leaders of the two other main political parties to honour the commitments made -- not least about the north [of Ireland] -- where PM David Cameron said there needed to be extra powers given."

He went on to say, "London was notorious for making and breaking commitments but we will try and keep them to that."

France: Front de Gauche debates ‘uniting the people’ vs ‘uniting the left’

"We want to federate the people" -- Front de Gauche leader Jean-Luc Melenchon.

By Liam Flenady, Brussels

September 14, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- About 200 activists from France’s Front de Gauche (Left Front) gathered in Paris on September 6 to discuss the group’s future. The front has been in limbo over the past few months after disagreements about strategy led to a weak performance in the European and local council elections in May.

The meeting took place at a time of controversy in French politics. The once social-democratic Socialist Party (PS) President Fancois Hollande had sacked the cabinet and appointed a new one — the second time since the start of the year — and the far-right National Front (FN) topped the presidential opinion polls for the first time.

On top of this, Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the Parti de Gauche (Left Party) that is one of main groups in the Left Front, stood down as Left Front co-president. Melenchon announced he would soon launch a new Movement for a Sixth Republic.

This political instability is an outgrowth of a deeper economic malaise. Since Hollande’s election in 2012, the economy has stood on shaky ground. The economy has stagnated for the first two quarters of the year.

France: Jean-Luc Melenchon's closing speech to Parti de Gauche's Summer University

September 13, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In August, the Parti De Gauche (Left Party) held it's annual "Summer University" in Grenoble, France. On August 22, 2014, the party's leader Jean-Luc Melenchon held an impromptu press conference (subtitled at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE4oo... ) and at the end of the program of meetings, round-tables and presentations summed up the highlights of the four-day event, describing strategic changes at the party and its program for the next year.

Bernadette McAliskey: ‘Yes’ to Scotland ending the ‘United Kingdom’

For more on Scotland and independence, click HERE.

A fine talk by Bernadette McAliskey on the September 18, 2014, referendum on independence for Scotland. The veteran freedom fighter for a free Ireland presented this talk at the "Scottish Independence -- London Says 'Yes'" meeting on September 6, 2014. Thanks to Rustbelt Radical.

Ireland: Gerry Adams reflects on 20th anniversary of IRA cessation

August 31, 2014 -- Sinn Féin -- Sinn Féin president and TD for Louth Gerry Adams reflects on the 20th anniversary of the IRA cessation of military operations on August 31, 1994. Adams highlights the urgent need for the British and Irish governments to tackle outstanding issues bedevilling the political process in the north and which threaten the progress that has been made.

Sinn Féin and its newspaper An Phoblacht have launched a special section on the Sinn Féin website on the 20th anniversary of the IRA cessation. The section includes an interactive timeline, historic statements and this video by Gerry Adams.

Click HERE for more discussion of Irish politics.

Interview: Tariq Ali on Gaza, BDS, ISIS and Iraq

On August 11, 2014, the British left organisation Counterfire sponsored a public forum on Palestine featuring Tariq Ali.

Tariq Ali interviewed by Al McKay, an editor-at-large of E-International Relations.

August 18, 2014 -- E-International Relations -- Tariq Ali is a longstanding editor of the New Left Review. He has written seven novels and a number of screenplays, in addition to many works on history and world politics. His latest books are On History: Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone in Coversation and The Obama Syndrome.

In this interview, Tariq Ali discusses the recent Israel-Palestine conflict, the BDS movment, the rise of ISIS, and Obama’s commitment to long-term US involvement in Iraq.

* * *

Ukraine: Proposed Communist Party ban threatens democratic rights

August 14, 2014 -- Real News Network -- Ukrainian sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko discusses the attempt by the Kiev regime to outlaw the Communist Party and crackdown on opposition to the war in the east.

* * *

Click HERE for more coverage of Ukraine.

By Dick Nichols

August 9, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- “This political force should be liquidated”, said Pavlo Petrenko, Ukraine’s justice minister, quoted in the July 9 edition of Capital (Kiev’s equivalent of the Australian Financial Review). Petrenko was referring to the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU). For a time in the 1990s, it was the most supported party in Ukraine and it still won 13% of the vote at the 2012 parliamentary poll.

Maybe Petrenko, a member of a government desperate to get Ukraine into the European Union and which has just signed an Agreement of Association with Brussels, has not yet had time to read Article 12 of the EU’s “Charter of Fundamental Rights”, which says: “Political parties at Union level contribute to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union.”

Tariq Ali: The US global empire (video)

July 29, 2014 -- TeleSUR -- Tariq Ali examines the United States' drive to create and maintain its global empire.

Venezuela: Tariq Ali interviews Nicolas Maduro on the launch of teleSUR English

July 24, 2014 -- TeleSUR, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The renowned scholar Tariq Ali conducted an interview today with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, marking the launch of teleSUR English.

During the interview, which took place in Simon Bolivar's birth home as celebrations marked 231 years since his birth, Ali and Maduro spoke about the legacy of former President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan opposition, the economy, and the most recent world developments.

Regarding the Venezuelan opposition's stance against his government, Maduro underscored the importance of recognizing democratic rule. “In 15 years of revolution, we have won 18 out of 19 elections, we have built a solid majority based on our projects and on national and international values. The oligarchy...has a superiority complex and has not been able to respect this new majority that was built by Commander Hugo Chavez” he said.

President Maduro highlighted the importance of the recent changes in world affairs, assuring that the new mechanisms – such as the SUCRE monetary mechanism – and the New Development Bank announced by the BRICS countries would reshape the world economy.

Spain: Podemos MEP Pablo Iglesias condemns 'hijacking of democracy' by big business

To activate subtitles, press play and click on the bottom right icon, next to the clock. Then choose English.

Click for more on Podemos

July 2, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal --  Pablo Iglesias is one of the five members of the European Parliament elected from the lists of Podemos, a barely 100-day-old political party that in the May 2014 European elections won more than 1 million votes in Spain.

In his maiden speech in the European Parliament, Iglesias praised the memory of the European peoples who fought for justice and freedom, and attacked the hijacking of democracy by financial markets, lobbies and big corporations.

Podemos website (in Spanish)is at http://podemos.info/

Mariela Castro's Toronto speech on LGBTI rights in Cuba

Click HERE for more on Cuba and LGBTI rights

July 9, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Cuban political leader and advocate of gay and lesbian liberation, Mariela Castro, was an invited foreign guest and participant in the festivities and discussions during the WorldPride celebration in Toronto in late June 2014.

Mariela Castro is the director of the National Center for Sexual Education in Cuba (CENESEX). Castro and CENESEX have greatly helped to sustain and lead the fight against homophobia in Cuba. She is also an elected member of Cuba's parliament, the National Assembly.

She spoke at several events that were part of the WorldPride program and she attended the huge World Pride Parade.

During the WorldPride events in Toronto, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Syd Ryan, awarded Mariela Castro the OFL's International Workplace Rights Award. Ryan motivated the award to Castro, citing, in part, the major gains registered by Cuba's new labour code. It bans discrimination and violence in the workplace based on sexual orientation.

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