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- Electoral fraud: The view from Sungai Siput
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- 'Left to rescue capitalism'?
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- Mao Zedong’s granddaughter among China’s super-rich
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- US arms to Syria? an exchange
1 week 15 hours ago
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- World War I will be fought again, starting next year
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- Great comrades of Malaysia
2 weeks 5 days ago
- Australian Unity
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Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation activists have played a central role in the the campaign against rape culture.
For more on the CPI-ML Liberation, click HERE.
By Sue Bolton, Ranchi
May 4, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Politicians often describe India as “the world’s biggest democracy”. When I attended the 9th congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation (CPI-ML) on April 2-7, 2013, I found that the reality was somewhat different.
Australian socialists: `Take back the wealth! Put mines, banks and energy in the hands of the people!'
Election broadsheet of the Socialist Alliance, Australia
May 1, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Bring the mining industry, the big banks and the energy companies under public/community ownership and control, so that they can be run in a way that respects Aboriginal rights, the environment and social justice. The urgent need to address climate change alone demands that these industries be immediately taken out of the hands of the billionaires and their global corporations and operated as not-for-profit public services under the democratic control of the majority.
From Greece to Australia, the whole world has witnessed the moral bankruptcy of capitalism as it has destroyed the lives of billions of people through the wholesale privatisation of our collective wealth and socialisation of their losses.
We cannot afford to leave our future to the likes of Australian mining billionaires Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer, and the faceless bankers. If we do so, we won’t have a future worth leaving to future generations.
May Day message from the Socialist Alliance, Australia
May 1, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As workers around the world take to the streets to celebrate May Day, we are sharply aware that the capitalist system has reached a point of development where it threatens the habitability of the planet on which we all live.
Last month, for the first time in 3 million years, the carbon concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere reached 399.7 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. In several other parts of the world that day, the reading exceeded 400 ppm.
When CO2 concentrations were last above 400 ppm it was the Pliocene era, when temperatures were 3-4 degrees Celsius and sea levels were 5-40 metres higher than they are today. Capitalism is throwing our planet into dangerous climate change.
Sadly this is no surprise. Capitalism has already devastated the lives of billions of people through exploitation, war and poverty.
By Simon Butler
March 23, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- Do oil spills make good economic sense? A witness called by Canadian firm Enbridge Inc.— which wants approval to build a $6.5 billion pipeline linking Alberta’s tar sands with the Pacific coast — told a recent hearing in British Columbia (BC) that the answer is yes.
He said oil spills could benefit the economy, giving business new opportunities to make money cleaning it up. He told Fishers Union representatives that an oil spill in BC might indeed kill the local fishing industry, but their lost income would be replaced by compensation payouts and new career prospects, such as working for oil cleanup crews.
Upon reading this, some readers might protest: “That’s just not fair! How come British Columbian communities reap all the economic gains of a potential oil spill disaster, when we have to live in relative safety?”
It’s easy to laugh at this kind of thinking, to write it off as a desperate ploy by a greedy oil company.
"Waterside worker', by Noel Counihan, 1963.
By Chris Slee
March 18, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In his article entitled “Is there a labour aristocracy in Australia?” (published in the Socialist Alternative magazine, Marxist Left Review) Tom Bramble criticises the concept of the “labour aristocracy” on a number of grounds.
International Women's Day 2013 statement by Socialist Alliance
March 8, 2013 -- Socialist Alliance/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The demands of the first-ever International Women's Day Rally in Australia, in 1928, were: equal pay for equal work, an 8-hour day for shop assistants, the basic wage for the unemployed and annual holidays on full pay.
A lot has been won through struggle since 1928 yet women in Australia today still have to struggle some of these issues:
[Below are statements issued by socialist and progressive organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. More will be posted as they come to hand.]
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Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia)
March 6, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance in Australia expresses its deepest sympathies with the people and government of Venezuela on the death of Companero Hugo Chavez Frias on March 5. His passing is a huge loss for all peoples, across Latin America and the globe, struggling for a world free of inequality, exploitation and oppression.
It is testament to Hugo Chavez’s great leadership that, while mourning his death, we are also confident that the Bolivarian Revolution and the new movement for socialism of the 21st century that Chavez inspired will be continued by the mass of people, to whom he worked so hard to give power.
March 2, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Providing facts and analysis, and publicising and organising Latin America solidarity activities in Australia, Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has sought to promote greater understanding and solidarity between the people of Australia and Latin America.
We are therefore delighted to publish Latin America Social Forum (Foro Social Latinamericano), a Spanish-language supplement produced regularly by the Latin America Social Forum in Sydney.
We hope the supplement will help build stronger links and solidarity between the Spanish-speaking communities in Australia and all those involved in the urgent struggles for the people and the planet. In the words of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez: “Time is short. If we don’t change the world now, there may be no 22nd century.”
GLW and Links congratulates the Latin America Social Forum for this important publication, and looks forward to continuing to help build solidarity in Australia, and around the world, with Latin America’s movements for freedom, democracy, sustainability and justice.
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Australia: 'School of Rebellion: social justice education for children and young people' (March 29-31, 2013)
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
February 22, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following document was adopted by the Australian Socialist Alliance at its 9th national conference, held January 18-20, 2013. It first appeared in Alliance Voices, the public discussion bulletin of the Socialist Alliance..
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1. The international capitalist economic crisis is creating a wave of austerity across Europe and the advanced capitalist economies. Austerity measures, dictated by the international financial institutions (the IMF and World Bank) or carried out by governments on behalf of corporate interests, are driving millions into poverty, cutting welfare, slashing public spending on health and education, and slashing jobs and wages. So great is the crisis that millions of young people see no future in this inhuman system.
2. According to
reports, the World Bank's Food Price Index, which tracks the price of
internationally traded food commodities, was 6% higher in July 2012,
compared to the same time in 2011, and 1% over the previous peak of
'Transitional Program': 'a program of action from today until the beginning of the socialist revolution'
The demand for shorter working hours with no loss in pay has been a key transitional demand.
By Doug Lorimer
[This is the introduction to Resistance Books' The
Transitional Program and the Struggle for Socialism. For discussion on the left about the significance of the transitional method for socialists, see "In defence of the transitional method" by Dave Holmes.]
Sue Bolton speaking at a rally for refugee rights in September. Photo by Aneleh Bulle.
By Dave Holmes
[This talk was presented on January 18, 2013 at the Socialist Alliance (Australia) national conference, held in Geelong.]
January 18, 2013 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialist Alliance is currently engaged in a process of discussion and clarification with Socialist Alternative, with a view to exploring the possibilities of greater cooperation and unity. How this will ultimately develop is an open question. But I think it is fair to say that on both sides today there is a much greater interest in the political positions and approach of the other.
[Please continue to send protest notes to the addresses contained in this link. For more on Thailand and the Red Shirt movement, click HERE.]
Socialist Alliance (Australia) statement
- Free Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and all political prisoners in Thailand!
- Abolish the anti-democratic lese majeste law!
- Democracy for Thailand!
January 24, 2013 – The Socialist Alliance of Australia condemns in the strongest possible terms the January 23 sentencing of workers’ rights and free speech advocate Somyot Prueksakasemsuk to a total of 11 years’ jail under Thailand’s draconian anti-democratic “lese majeste” law (Article 112 of the Criminal Code). Somyot and all political prisoners in Thailand should be released immediately and unconditionally.
No to sexual assault! Socialist Alliance statement in solidarity with the international movement against violence against women
Mass protest against violence against women, India Gate, Delhi, December 23, 2012. Photo by Rakesh Kumar Meena.
January 5, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance (Australia) stands in solidarity with the growing movement in India fighting violence against women. Progressive forces in that country have braved police brutality and repression, mobilising massive turnouts at protests against gender violence.
The wave of protests was sparked by the horrific rape on December 15, and the consequent death, of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.
Indian activists report that a significant new movement against sexual violence has risen up and is putting serious pressure on the government to eliminate the institutionalised gender bias in laws and investigation mechanisms. Young and old people, women and men, who have never before participated in public protests are taking to the streets to demand gender justice.
The ninth national conference of the Socialist Alliance will be held in Geelong (Victoria), from January 18-20, 2013. It is open to all Socialist Alliance members and invited guests.
The national conference is our highest decision-making body, and delegates are elected from each branch to participate and vote at the conference on a number of resolutions on international and Australian politics and campaigns, party building and the plans of the Socialist Alliance for the coming year. The conference also considers any proposed changes to the Constitution and elects the incoming national executive and national office bearers.
Special international guest from Pakistan
Alia Amirali, the general secretary of Pakistan's National Student Federation (Punjab) and a member of the newly formed Awami Workers' Party (the product of the biggest left regroupment in that country), will be the special international guest speaker at the conference. She has some very important experiences to share, as this interview shows.
December 13, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance -- The National Executives of the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative agreed on December 13 to terms under which Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly will endorse and participate in the Marxism 2013 conference to be held in Melbourne, March 28-April 1, 2013.
This first significant national co-operation between our two organisations is a product of discussions that began between the two organisations on November 4, 2012, to explore the possibility of closer collaboration and unity.
Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly will be promoting Marxism 2013 as an important opportunity for all socialists and other progressive activists and thinkers to discuss how we can advance our common cause.
By Sam Wainwright
[Sam Wainwright is an elected municipal councillor in Fremantle, Western Australia, and a member of the Socialist Alliance. This is a talk he gave on the topic of how to achieve social change in Australia.]
December 9, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance (Australia) -- It's pretty obvious for anyone that cares to look that capitalism is a socially destructive and ecologically unsustainable system.
Based on the unequal distribution of wealth, it condemns billions to living in poverty worldwide.
In more wealthy places like Australia, where workers have much higher incomes, capitalism invents products for us to spend money on just as quickly as we win a wage increase. That we have one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world is but one proof that it doesn't provide people with a meaningful existence.
Now the worsening climate crisis -- caused by capitalism’s endless accumulation of profit and wealth -- threatens the very basis of life on Earth.
"If we are going to get anywhere with left unity today we are going to have to find a way to get beyond a false argument within the left about who is really 'revolutionary' and who is not, and start discussing, in a constructive way, how best a united left can engage in the struggles against the ills of capitalism."
By Peter Boyle, national co-convenor, Socialist Alliance
December 8, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance -- Once again the question of left unity is on the agenda in Australia. There have been exploratory talks between the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative and also between the Socialist Alliance and the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). The Socialist Alliance and the CPA worked together in a Housing Action election ticket in the Sydney City Council elections earlier this year.
SYRIZA activist Yiannis Bournous on historic responsibility of the left in Greece; Alexis Tsipras interview
December 14, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sibylle Kaczorek and Jody Betzien, from the Australian Socialist Alliance, interviewed Yiannis Bournous in Athens. Yiannis is a leading activst in the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), Greek's rapidly growing left party.
Syriza came close to winning elections in June 2012 on the basis of rejecting the brutal austerity being enforced on the people of Greece. Instead, a coalition of three parties (Greece's tradition conservative party New Democracy, its social-democratic rival PASOK and a right-wing split from Syriza, the Democratic Left) was formed, committed to greater austerity measures.
Yiannis is also a member of the central political committee of Synaspismos, one of Syriza's affiliate groups, and a member of the executive board of the European Left party. He spoke on the situation in Greece and Syriza's perspectives.
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