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France, WSF, Korea ... International left solidarity with the Egyptian people's uprising

Melbourne solidarity celebrations, February 12, 2011. Photos by Sue Bolton, beats from Al Aqsa Intifada by Rootsman and Muslimgauze, edited by Nick Fredman.

Below are a number of statements and reports of solidarity actions around the world following the overthrow of the US-backed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. They include a statement from organisations attending the New Anti-Capitalist Party congress in France, solidarity from the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, a statement by leaders of the Socialist Party USA and a report on trade union organised protests in South Korea. Check back for more.

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Statement from left organisations present at the New Anti-Capitalist Party congress

February 12, 2011 -- The overthrow of Ben Ali and Mubarak change the political situation not only in the Maghreb but on the international scale.

Lessons from Asia: The real 'Egyptian Revolution' is yet to come

Army soldiers remove makeshift shelters and clear Tahrir Square in Cairo February 13, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis.

By George Katsiaficas

February 14, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Around the world, people are enthusiastically greeting the “Egyptian Revolution” — the astonishing victory won by the historic 18-day people’s power uprising. As events move more rapidly than anyone can anticipate, not only has Hosni Mubarak been deposed, his corrupt parliament has been dismissed and new elections are promised within six months. People’s ecstasy in the aftermath of these great victories belies the fact that Mubarak’s authoritarian system remains intact — nay, strengthened — by the ascension of Omar Suleiman and the military to supreme power in Cairo. While the world hails the Egyptian “revolution”, a more sober assessment of recent events would question the accuracy of that label, at least for now.

South Korea’s June Uprising

Thailand, South Korea: Solidarity with Egypt's struggle for democracy


February 1, 2011. In front of the Egyptian embassy, Bangkok. Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

On February 1, 2011, about 100 members of Thailand's mass democracy (Red Shirts) and student movements gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in Bangkok to send solidarity and support to the people of Egypt fighting to rid their country of the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak. The protest was organised and supported by the Student Federation of Thailand (SFT) and member organisations, Thai Youth for Democracy, 24 June Group and other democratic networks.

Egyptians and Koreans stand with one voice to denounce the Mubarak regime

By Roddy Quines, Seoul

[단독]홍익대 투쟁에 대한 국제적 지지가 조직되다

http://left21.com/article/9168

2011-01-22

저 명한 국제적 지식인들과 좌파단체·노동조합 등이 홍익대 미화 노동자 투쟁에 연대 메시지와 서명을 보내 왔다. 1월 22일 현재까지 미국의 저명한 경제학자 마틴 하트-랜즈버그, 세계적으로 저명한 마르크스주의자이자 영국 사회주의노동자당 중앙위원인 알렉스 캘리니코스를 포함해 지식인, 좌파·노동조합 주요 활동가 27명과 2개 단체가 동참했다. 아래 명단은 1차분이고, 이 서명은 앞으로도 계속 진행될 예정이다. 이 서명은 다함께 국제연락팀 박준규가 주도적으로 조직했다.

연대서명과 메시지(1월 22일 현재까지 1차분)

South Korea: Struggles by 'irregular' workers multiply, solidarity needed

January 11, 2011, irregular cleaning staff at Hongik University in Seoul protest their unfair dismissal.

[For more background to the South Korean irregular workers’ struggle, see Chris Kim’s excellent article on the Hyundai irregular workers’ strike in Ulsan: “South Korea: ‘Just the first round’ by ‘irregular workers’ at Hyundai Motors”, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, December 16, 2010.]

By Roddy Quines

US imperialist aggression in the early 21st century

Washington has reactivated the US Navy’s 4th Fleet to ensure US power projection over the Caribbean, Central and South America.

[This talk was presented at the regional “socialism conference” was held in Manila from November 27 to 28, 2010. The conference was organised by the socialist Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses) and the socialist-feminist regional network Transform Asia.]

By Rasti Delizo

Martin Hart-Landsberg: What’s happening on the Korean Peninsula?

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

December 31, 2010 -- Reports from the Economic Front -- What’s happening on the Korean peninsula? If you read the press or listen to the talking heads, your best guess would be that an insane North Korean regime is willing to risk war to manage its own internal political tensions. This conclusion would be hard to avoid because the media rarely provide any historical context or alternative explanations for North Korean actions.

For example, much has been said about the March 2010 (alleged) North Korean torpedo attack on the Cheonan (a South Korean naval vessel) near Baengnyeong Island, and the November 2010 North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island (which houses a South Korean military base).

The conventional wisdom is that both attacks were motivated by North Korean elite efforts to smooth the leadership transition underway in their country. The take away: North Korea is an out-of-control country, definitely not to be trusted or engaged in negotiations.

But is that an adequate explanation for these events? Before examining the facts surrounding them, let’s introduce a bit of history. Take a look at the map below, which includes both Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands.

South Korea: `Just the first round' by `irregular workers' at Hyundai Motors

Hyundai Motors workers' sit-in at Hyundai's plant in Ulsan.

Chris Kim reports on strikes and factory occupations at Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea, which is building solidarity among regular and irregular workers, and among workers internationally.

December 16, 2010 -- Socialist Worker (US) -- "Even a worm will squirm when it is being stepped on" is an old Korean idiom that basically means that even the most powerless creature reacts against an aggressor. However, when such a worm is transformed into a fearful dragon, it will do a lot more than just squirm, to the point that you had better think twice about stepping on it.

That's what happened at one of South Korea's most profitable companies, Hyundai Motors, when the company's irregular workers mobilised with strikes and factory occupations during the middle of November, after decades of being "stepped on". Before we start with that fateful day of November 15, we need to take a look at how it progressed.

South Korea: The story of ROKS Cheonan -- repression, lies and half truths

The recovered remains of the sunken ROKS Cheonan warship.

By Roddy Quines

September 1, 2010 -- It has often been said that "the first casualty when war comes is truth". The latest string of lies and half truths on the Korean peninsula have set the stage for the reheating of old tensions between North Korea and South Korea. The two Koreas have been at war for the last 60 years, with only a ceasefire and a 250-kilometre “no man’s land” known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) holding the fragile peace.

South Korea: Ssangyong trade unionist's appeal

Han Sang Kyun.

By Australia Asia Workers Links

August 3, 2010 -- On February 13, 2010, Han Sang Kyun, the chairman of the Ssangyong Motor Company Union, was sentenced to four years in prison. Australia Asia Workers Links is campaigning for his release.

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