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Britain: UKIP leads race to the gutter

By Liam Mac Uaid

May 24, 2014 -- Socialist Resistance -- From the coverage of the English local election results and the relentless Nigel Farage mania you would think that the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) had romped to first place with the Conservative Party (Tories) a close second. You’d also be forgiven for thinking that the Labour Party had received a hammering and the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) don’t exist. The main story in most of the press, from the BBC to the Daily Telegraph, is that Labour is in crisis as a result of the election.

Yet what actually happened was that it was the two parties of Britain's coalition government -- the Tories and the Liberal Democrats -- that have been hammered. Labour’s result reflects the party’s polling figures over the last few months. It would have made them the largest party in parliament if repeated in a general election, though just short on an overall majority.

Ucrania: Las cenizas de Odessa

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3841. Haga clic aquí para más artículos en español.]

Por Boris Kagarlitsky

11/05/14 -- Sinpermiso.info -- En la Casa de los sindicatos en Odessa murieron el 2 de mayo más personas que durante varios días de combates en el Donbass, aunque en Kramatorsk ese mismo día las fuerzas del gobierno ucraniano se lucieron matando a 10 residentes locales desarmados que habían tratado de bloquear la ruta de acceso de varios vehículos blindados.

Es evidente para todos que la catástrofe en Odessa se ha convertido en un punto de inflexión en la historia de la guerra civil que comenzó cuando las fuerzas del gobierno ucraniano atacaron Slavyansk y otras ciudades que habían izado la bandera de la república de Donetsk.

Inevitablemente, la ferocidad en ambos lados se incrementará; la escalada de violencia y la división del país son inevitables. Pero no sólo en Ucrania los acontecimientos del 2 de mayo han representado un punto de inflexión para la opinión pública. También es aplicable a Rusia.

Eyewitness Greece: 'They are stealing everything, even our homes'

Protest against Sunday trading.

By Afrodity Giannakis, Thessaloniki

May 12, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- “I wish I could leave Greece. I can’t go on living here. I work very long hours and live more frugally than ever, but I still can’t pay the bills, the income tax or the other taxes like the property poll tax. My tax debt keeps building up. I’ll end up losing my home. They are stealing our homes and they are not communists. And people are getting sadder and madder every day. I can’t go on like this.”

Boris Kagarlitsky: The ashes of Odessa

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE. For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated for Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal by Renfrey Clarke

May 7, 2014 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the House of Trade Unions in Odessa on May 2 more people died than over several days of fighting in the Donbass, though in Kramatorsk the same day government forces also excelled themselves, killing 10 unarmed local residents who had tried to block the path of armoured vehicles.

Ukraine: A call for solidarity against the neo-fascist violence of 'Black Friday'

House of Trade Unions under attack in Odessa on May 2, 2014.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This appeal and article are from Borotba ("Struggle"), an important organisation of the Ukrainian left. For a range of views from the left on developments in Ukraine, click HERE.

* * *

May 5, 2014 -- May 8 is celebrated all over the world as a day of victory over Nazism that caused millions of losses and much suffering to many people of the world. However, now we see that neo-Nazism raises its head again. Far-right groups and parties are striving to take power in many countries. Their members unleash real terror against the dissenters, migrants, the "others", leftwing and anti-fascist activists.

We have to stop the rise fascism again – that’s our duty to stop it before it is not too late.

Volodymyr Ishchenko: 'For Ukrainians, the main threat is capitalism'

Volodymyr Ishchenko.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE.

April 30, 2014 -- LeftEast -- Note from the editors: We publish the transcript of Volodymyr Ishchenko’s interview on This is Hell! radio station with Chuck Mertz from April 19 and 20, 2014, organised in cooperation between the Chicago-based radio station, AntidoteZine.Com, and LeftEast. It includes two questions that Volodymyr answered in writing after the show.

* * *

Chuck Mertz: On the line with us right now is Volodymyr Ishchenko. He is a sociologist studying social protests in Ukraine. Volodymyr’s most recent writing includes the April 15 Guardian post "Maidan or Anti-Maidan: the Ukraine situation requires more nuance". Good evening, Volodymyr.

Boris Kagarlitsky on Ukraine: From the Maidan to the revolution?

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published a range of views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke, for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

April 13, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In Ukraine, a genuine revolution is unfolding. This may seem strange, but it is something very characteristic of the history of that country.

In Ukraine in 1918, workers’ protests by the “Reds” took place solely in response to actions by the nationalist authorities that had installed themselves in Kiev. The question of how progressive the regime established by the supporters of the Donetsk Peoples Republic and other movements in Ukraine’s south-east will prove remains unanswered for the present simply for the reason that the very survival of these movements is far from guaranteed. But it can already be said with assurance that there is no road back. The point of no return has been passed, not only in in the political but above all in the social sense.

Australia: 'Zoe's law' prepares ground for US-style attacks on women's right to choose

By Pat Brewer

April 8, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The New South Wales (NSW) parliament is due to debate the final passage of the anti-woman legislation known as “Zoe’s law” [Crimes Amendment (Zoe's Law) Bill 2013]. Originally introduced by the far-right Christian Democratic Party’s Fred Nile in the upper house (Legislative Council) and later taken up by Liberal Party MP Chris Spence in the lower house (Legislative Assembly), where it has already passed, it has yet to be voted on by the Legislative Council. As yet it has not been scheduled for a vote but it is likely to pass given the support it has among many members from both major parties, the Liberal Party and the Australian Labor Party.

Ukrainian leftist: 'The enemy is within – whether in Russia, Ukraine or the West'

Masked and armed, the individuals who attacked the police nearly all had armbands with the neo-Nazi wolf's hook symbol, linking them to the far-right Social-National Assembly. Photo via Drugoi

Far-right militia in Ukraine. Photo via Drugoi

Kolesnik Dmitry is editor of a left-wing Ukrainian website. The following inteview was published at Counterfire on March 26, 2014 and first appeared on the In Defence of Marxism website. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published a range of views from the left on developments in Ukraine and Crimea HERE.

* * *

Can you introduce yourself and the website?

Against infantile realpolitik: Richard Seymour on some left reactions to Ukraine

Click HERE for more on Ukraine.

By Richard Seymour

March 5, 2014 -- Lenin's Tomb, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- The enemy of your enemy might still be your enemy. Because, complexity. Because, nuance. Because, concrete analysis of concrete situations. How much do I really need to underline this?

I raise the point because the tendency to try to distil the situation in Ukraine into one or at most two relatively simple contradictions is apparent in abundance. Lindsey German's article for Stop the War Coalition (UK) is a classic instance of this. It attempts a "clarification" of the political stakes, largely by way of clearing away complicating clutter and allowing people to see the interests of US imperialism and its allies at work. But in so doing, German's article resorts to utter nonsense and embarrassingly crude reductions.

Ukraine: 'If the left movements don’t unite, only the far right will benefit from social anger'

Volodymyr Ishchenko.

Click HERE for more on Ukraine.

Volodymyr Ishchenko, deputy director of the Center for Society Research in Kiev, interviewed by Maxime Benatouil

March 4, 2014 -- Transform! Network

Maxime Benatouil: What root causes explain such large parts of the population joining the protests, on Maidan Square and elsewhere?

Volodymyr Ishchenko: First, let me tell you that the protests weren’t exclusively initiated by the students. It is a quite widespread misperception. The first protests were launched by various groups: journalists, civic activists, and students. All these groups share a common European dream, a very deep-rooted idea that Europe has the solution to Ukraine’s problems. To them, it means: more democracy, more justice, less corruption and a better welfare. This is a very old idea, well-anchored in Eastern European societies. Ever since the 19th century, there has been a will to catch up with Western Europe. Many Ukrainians still think that way.

Ukraine: The left and the movement to overthrow Yanukovich: two interviews

Mass protest in Maidan Square.

March 2, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is publishing excerpts from two recent interviews (published mid-February) with members of the revolutionary left in Ukraine that shed light on the nature of the movement that overthrew the Viktor Yanukovich regime, and the attitude of the small Ukrainian left towards it.

The first is with Denis from a Kiev branch of a revolutionary syndicalist group, the Autonomous Workers Union; it is reposted from Pratele Komunizace. The second is with Ilya Budraitskis, a Moscow-based socialist in Kiev; it first appeared in Marx21.de (translated by RS21). Click on the links for the full interviews.

Boris Kagarlitsky on Ukraine: ‘A quadrille of monsters’ and ‘Smashing the feed trough’

Protesters occupy Independence Square, December 2013.

March 2, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- These two commentaries were written in January and February 2014 – before the fall of the Viktor Yanukovich regime and subsequent events -- and have only just been translated into English. They are published at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal as they offer insights into the thinking of an important part of the revolutionary left in Russia.

For more on Ukraine, click HERE.

A quadrille of monsters

Political uprising shakes Ukraine to its foundation (updated March 2)

"In the coming days and weeks there will be a wave of political analysis on the left that will frame the overthrow of the regime of Yanukovych as a pro-imperialist scheme being swallowed by a gullible population. The strong presence of extreme right-wing forces among those protesting the regime will be presented as proof positive. This will resemble the many simplistic analyses describing the course of the 'Arab Spring', particularly in Syria."

By Roger Annis

February 24, 2014 -- A Socialist in Canada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- It is the aftermath in the Ukraine of the remarkable popular uprising Ukraine uprising that has torn down the authoritarian regime of President Viktor Yanukovych. The parliament that supported him has voted to remove him from power and has appointed a temporary replacement. Now it has issued a warrant for his arrest.

Ukraine: Regime fall followed by fresh chaos

Police clash with Maidan protesters, January 19, 2014.

By Tony Iltis

March 1, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- After failing to violently crush mass protests in Kiev’s Independence Square, which have been raging since November 21, the regime of Viktor Yanukovich collapsed on February 22.

The protests began in opposition to Yanukovich’s decision to back out of a Free Trade Agreement and Association Agreement with the European Union. But in the face of police brutality, the protests evolved into a general expression of anti-regime discontent. The movement was initially known as Euromaidan (“Eurosquare”) but later just Maidan, reflecting this evolution.

The movement also has an anti-Russian character, fuelled by the likelihood that in place of the proposed agreements with EU, Yanukovich was planning to take Ukraine into a Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

On February 27, parliament elected a new government of opposition politicians and defectors from Yanukovich’s party. Before the parliamentary vote, acting-president Oleksandr Turchynov presented the new government, headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in the square on February 26. They received a hostile reception.

France: As National Front support grows, strategy struggle erupts in Left Front

Part 1.

By Dick Nichols

November 6, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- October was a month of sharp shifts in French politics. On October 4, a poll in the French weekly Nouvel Observateur showed the xenophobic and racist National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen leading voting intentions for the 2014 European elections with the support of 24% of those interviewed—up 3% in six months.

On October 13, in the second round of the by-election for the canton of Brignoles (in the Mediterranean department of Var), the FN easily defeated the mainstream conservative Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), by 53.9% to 46.1%. Until 2011 Brignoles had had a Communist Party (PCF) mayor, but in this election the main left candidate, with a PCF background and supported by the Socialist Party, could only manage 14.6% in the first round.

Why Norway's 'red-green' government was defeated by the right-wing coalition

Seats won: SV – Socialist Left Party; A – Labour Party; MDG – Green Party; FRP – Progress Party; H – Conservative Party; V – Liberal Party; KRF – Christian Democrats; SP – Centre Party. Source: http://www.valgresultat.no/bs7g.html.

By Asbjørn Wahl and Roy Pedersen

September 20, 2013 -- Transform! -- The red-green coalition government in Norway, whose political platform when it took power in 2005 was called the most progressive in Europe, experienced a bitter defeat in the country’s parliamentary election on September 9. A coalition of four centre-right and right-wing parties, including a right-wing populist party, gained a solid majority and are now negotiating the political platform for a new government.

Venezuela: Imperialism prepares fascist movement to defeat revolution

A PSUV office in Anzoategui torched on March 15, part of a coordinated campaign of violence, murder and arson.

By Luis Bilbao, Caracas

April 22, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With cold calculation, the counter-revolutionary command ordered the murder of nine people and numerous acts of violence and destruction since early April 15. The United States is testing out a new way to defeat the Bolivarian Revolution: the creation of a classic fascist movement.

A week before the election victory of Nicolás Maduro on April 14, referring to the attack on artists committed to the revolution, I pointed out the differences between McCarthyism and Nazism-fascism in an article published in the Correo del Orinoco.

Eyewitness account: SYRIZA and the Greek grassroots challenge to the politics of austerity

SYRIZA leader Alex Tsipras before speaking at a large assembly in the working-class suburb of Peristeri. Photo by Joanne Landy.

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

By Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy, co-directors of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (New York)

Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy recently returned from a trip to Greece, where they met with activists and others to gain a better understanding of the popular upsurge against the Greek government's austerity program.

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