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- The Netherlands – Dutch elections: a further shift to the right
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January 28th, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) -- On Tuesday, January 26th, 2016, a broad majority in the Folketing (Danish parliament) passed bill L 87 which introduces a long series of restrictive measures aimed at making it less attractive to seek asylum in Denmark.
Internationally the focus has been directed mainly at the part of the bill that authorizes the police to take jewellery, cash and other valuables from asylum seekers in order to finance the cost of their stay in Denmark during asylum procedures.
The Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), which holds 14 of the 179 seats in the Folketing, is against this part of the bill but does not consider it the most problematic part. In practice it will hardly have any affect, as most asylum seekers arrive without significant valuables. Furthermore the new law excludes jewellery with an emotional value to the asylum seeker. And each asylum seeker (including children) gets to keep the equivalent of DKK 10.000 (EUR 1.340) in cash in those rare cases when asylum seekers arrive with appreciable amounts of money.
For more on Denmark's Red-Green Alliance, click HERE.
By Liam Flenady
May 24, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- Denmark's Red-Green Alliance (RGA) marked 25 years since its founding at a national conference on May 16 to 18, 2014. A radical left unity project marking 25 years in existence is itself a cause for celebration, but this conference was able to celebrate much more. After about 20 years as a fringe party in Danish politics, the RGA has recently emerged as a significant force.
In elections in 2011, the party tripled its presence in parliament from four seats to 12, jumping from 2.2% to 6.7% of the vote. In last year’s municipal elections, the RGA hugely expanded its presence, winning representatives in almost all municipality and regional councils.
And the RGA is set to expand further in parliamentary elections in September. It is polling at about 11%, making it potentially the fourth-largest force in Danish politics.
With the growth in influence, scope and members, this year’s congress was largely focused on making steps to become a mass party of the left.
Map of elected representatives of the Red-Green Alliance.
By Anne Rehder, international secretary, Enhedslisten (Red-Green Alliance, Denmark)
November 20, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Denmark's municipal and regional elections on November 19 were a historic success for the Red-Green Alliance (RGA or Enhedslisten). We are now a nationwide party with representatives in all regions and corners of Denmark. With an increase in votes from the previous election in 2009 from 2.3% to 6.9%. The RGA now has seats in 79 municipalities and all regions of Denmark, up from only a presence in 10 municipalities and one representative in the capital region around Copenhagen. The total number of city councillors has gone from 14 to 119 and from one regional elected to 15.
Furthermore the results grants the RGA a seat in the National Organisation of Municipalities, which negotiates the economy of the municipalities with the government and has been tolerating one austerity budget after the other even though it previously had a majority consisting of the Social Democrats (SD) and the Socialist People's Party (SPP). This gives the RGA a change to break the austerity consensus.
By Jody Betzien, Copenhagen
May 27, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Red carpet and champagne marked the start of the first Red-Green Alliance (RGA) congress since the party tripled its mandate at a poll in September last year.
The 385 delegates representing the 8000 members packed a basketball stadium in the migrant and working-class Copenhagen suburb of Norrebro to grapple with the party's new increased influence on Danish politics.
Party membership has more than doubled in the past two years, with the party welcoming into its ranks many ex-members of the Social Democratic and Socialist People's parties.
Danes voted in droves in last year's elections to punish the right-wing parties. The poll resulted in the Social Democrats heading a coalition government — and Denmark's first woman prime minister. But this took place on the back of the lowest vote for the Social Democrats since 1906.
There was also a collapse in support for the country's most right-wing parties, including the overtly racist Danish People's Party (DPP). The vote for left parties rose.
The Social Liberals are the most conservative of the four left-of-centre parties supporting the government and the RGA the most radical.
By Ron Ridenour, Copenhagen
April 1, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Ruling authorities confront the continuing crisis of capitalism by 1) aiding the very firms that bankrupt the general economy by transferring workers’ taxes to the capitalist class, 2) decreasing the welfare state, throwing huge numbers out of jobs and onto the streets and 3) increasing state repression against those who resist, and by allowing the growth of racist and fascist civilian groups.
State repression is used most clearly against the peaceful Arab Spring protesters; the use of police force in US cities where Occupy Wall Street has taken root; against the workers’ resistance and the indignados in Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, France …; against students struggling for democracy and against gays in Chile.
In Denmark, some unionists, traditional left organisations and young anti-racists remind us how German Nazis and Italian fascists used the race card against Jews to divide and conquer the world. These groups and individuals see history repeating itself in much of Europe with anti-Islamism and are determined to check its growth.
Prime Minister-elect Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
By Inger V. Johansen and Line Barfod
September 20, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal --The result of the September 15 parliamentary elections in Denmark means that the right-wing government of the last 10 years has finally been ousted. A new government will be formed under the leadership of Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the leader of the Social Democrats. The core parties of this government will be the Social Democrats and the Socialist People's Party (SPP), who for some years have formed a close partnership with the aim of strengthening the possibilities for an alternative government.
For the first time a woman will be the prime minister of a Danish government. For the first time SPP will be in government.
June 25, 2011 -- http://rupensavoulian.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Since the September 11, 2001, twin tower attacks, there has been renewed interest in the questions of Islam, political Islamism and jihadism. Books have been published by the truckload, seminars bringing together various political scientists and experts have been held, reams of paper analysing the origins and trajectory of political Islam have been published, and the airwaves resonate with talkback from pundits about the impact of Islam and Islamism in the world. How can one make sense of all this? Where does one begin?
Delegates at the Red-Green Alliance annual congress.
By Dick Nichols, Copenhagen
May 29, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- The debate over the Western military intervention into Libya that has swept sections of the world’s left since it began in March were concentrated into one passionate session at the annual congress of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance (RGA, Enhedslisten), held in Copenhagen over May 20-22.
The 300 delegates, representing 5900 members, were asked by a majority of the RGA’s National Board to endorse the March 18 vote of its four MPs in support of the “no-fly zone” imposed on Libya by NATO powers including Denmark ― acting in the name of United Nations resolution 1973.
The alternative was a National Board minority counter-motion, which stated that “the decision was the most wide-ranging in the history of the RGA, and it was the wrong one”.
[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]
Resolution by the national leadership of SAP, Danish section of the Fourth International
No to imperialist war in Libya
April 9, 2011 -- The SAP welcomes the decision of the Red-Green Alliance (RGA) leadership and parliamentary group on March 30 to withdraw its support for the Danish government’s participation in the war in Libya. This has created the possibility that the RGA finally can participate in the fight to stop the imperialist war in Libya. The positive element of the new decision unfortunately is hampered by the related statement by the RGA: “The RGA will work to get the operation back on the UN track as soon as possible.” Thus the parliamentary group focuses on a change in goals and methods of the Danish war effort instead of getting it stopped. This uncertainty has already had as result that the RGA did not co-organise or mobilise for the demonstration against the war in Libya today.
By Kieran Adair
March 23, 2010 -- In Copenhagen, Sydney-based climate justice advocate Natasha Verco, as well as US activist Noah Weiss, faces charges under Denmark’s “terrorism” laws. Verco faces up to 12-and-a-half years' jail for her role in organising protests against the United Nations Copemnhagen climate summit in December.
The two activists appeared in court on March 18 (see report below).
Verco was arrested while riding her bike on December the 13 ahead of a national day of action she was helping organise the following day. She said: “A plainclothed police women jumped out at me and ... took me to an unmarked police van. I asked them, ‘Are you randomly picking me up?’ and they said ‘No, we hunted you’.”
By Ray Bell
December 1, 2008 -- Bella Caledonia -- One of Scotland’s largest neighbours has just voted for independence. I don’t mean England, or Ireland, or Scandinavia, but a country which is bigger than all of these combined. And I use the term “neighbour” loosely, because it is a good few hundred miles across the Atlantic from us, and very few readers will have ever been there.
Greenlanders voted by 3-1 for almost total independence in late November 2008. I say “almost”, because while they don’t get control of defence or foreign policy, they get control of just about everything else. 32 areas of government will be handed over to them. Every political party, but one, in Greenland backed the “yes” vote. Who couldn’t sympathise with this statement that senior politician Hans Jakob Helms made?
“Home rule was a compromise, it’s a simple fact that home rule has reached its limit and there’s a need for more room for self-government.”
Applied to Scotland, it appears that even the majority of Unionists support this position. The result makes Greenlandic independence pretty much inevitable.