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Africa

Zimbabwe: Treason charges dropped, but trial to go on

June 7, 2011 -- The Zimbabwean state has dropped the most serious charges against six activists who faced the death penalty for treason. (Click here for background articles.) They now face the lesser charge of “subverting a constitutional government”—but this still carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Their trial begins on 18 July.

Their bail conditions have also been relaxed—they have to report to the police once a month instead of three times a week.

The six, including former MP Munyaradzi Gwisai, were among more than 40 people arrested on February 19 for watching a video about the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

Keep up the international pressure and solidarity to get all of the charges dropped.

South Africa: 35 years since the Soweto uprising -- `Past struggles must not be misused to silence the struggles of today'

Hector Petersen was one of the first victims of the apartheid regime's attempts to crush the 1976 Soweto youth uprising.

By Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League

June 14, 2011 -- Abahlali baseMjondolo -- On Youth Day, June 16, this year the nation will be celebrating 35 years since the struggle of the youth for freedom, democracy, justice and equality in 1976. We as Abahlali youth agree that the courage of the youth of 1976 must be celebrated. But we also wish to bring back the truth and the dignity of those youth who sacrificed with their lives in 1976. We need to make that truth and dignity a living force now. The struggles of the past must not be misused to silence the struggles of the present. The struggles of the past must be used to support the struggles of the present. Every generation must be free to take their own struggle forward.

Stand up for Africa! Stand up for climate justice!

June 4, 2011 -- From May 24 to 26, 2011, representatives of African trade unions, farmers, women and faith-based groups, as well as key African non-governmental organisations and networks concerned with the climate change crisis met in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss shared strategies to confront this crisis and its root causes.

Under the joint sponsorship of the Africa Trade Network (ATN), the International Trade Union Confederation-Africa (ITUC-Africa) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the meeting deliberated on the threats posed to the peoples of Africa and the world over by climate change, as well as the continuing inaction by governments in the face of these threats. The meeting reached shared understandings and adopted the conclusions that follow.

Western economic attacks against Arab democracy

By Patrick Bond

June 1, 2011-- Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Palestine office, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In their latest documents and meetings, the G8, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reacted to the democratic movements in the Arab world: The recipe calls – as it did before the popular ousting of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents – for privatisation, austerity measures and “market liberation”. Patrick Bond, economic advisor to the new South African government from 1994-2002, analyses the ramifications of the economic campaign on Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Palestine.

Washington’s seeding of the Arab democratic revolution

Egypt's 'orderly transition'? International aid and the rush to structural adjustment

[Source Unknown]

By Adam Hanieh

May 29, 2011 -- Jadaliyya, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Although press coverage of events in Egypt may have dropped off the front pages, discussion of the post-Mubarak period continues to dominate the financial news. Over the past few weeks, the economic direction of the interim Egyptian government has been the object of intense debate in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). US President Obama’s 19 May speech on the Middle East and North Africa devoted much space to the question of Egypt’s economic future – indeed, the sole concrete policy advanced in his talk concerned US economic relationships with Egypt.

Egypt: Solidarity needed as military judges summon journalists critical of martial law


Dozens of activists gather at the military prosecutor's headquarters in Cairo on May 31, 2011, after Hossam el Hamalawy and Reem Maged are summoned after criticising the army on live TV. Filmed and edited by Simon Hanna.

STOP PRESS: May 31, 2001 -- "Hamalawy and Maged not questioned but asked to provide evidence of military police violations".

May 31, 2011 -- menasolidaritynetwork -- Journalists Hossam el-Hamalawy, Reem Maged and Nabil Sharaf al-Din have been summoned to appear before military judges on May 31. Mostafa Sheshtawy has a useful post here, which provides a translation of Hossam’s comments which have upset the military so much (he called for an end to the practice of military trials for civilians and said he held the head of the military police, Hamdy Badeen, responsible for the torture and mistreatment of detainees).

World Bank’s neoliberal Africa strategy signals worsening uneven development

By Patrick Bond

May 30, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A renewed wave of development babble began flowing soon after the February launch of the World Bank’s 10-year strategy document, Africa's Future and the World Bank‘s Support to it. Within three months, a mini-tsunami of Afro-optimism swept in: the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Economic Outlook for SubSaharan Africa, the Economic Commission on Africa’s upbeat study, the African World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Report and the African Development Bank’s discovery of a vast new “middle class” (creatively defined to include the 20% of Africans whose expenditures are US$2-4 a day).

Egyptian Socialist Party: Political perspectives for Egyptian socialism

May 27, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below is the political perspectives document of the newly formed Egyptian Socialist Party -- one of a number of new pro-democracy parties formed in Egypt since the January 25, 2011, revolution that overthrew the dictator Hosni Mubarak. The party will be officially inaugurated on June 18, in Cairo.

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By the Egyptian Socialist Party

Swaziland: Urgent action needed: Trade unionists arrested; COSATU condemns arrests

Urgent action needed: Trade unionists arrested in Swaziland: Repression continues!

May 14, 2011 -- The Swaziland Democracy Campaign has just received urgent news that a group of leading trade unionists have been arrested by the security police in the Lubombo Region of Swaziland. The comrades were attending a meeting to discuss the establishment of a regional division of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) the new democratic trade union federation that was launched on May Day this year, and which brings together all the trade unions in Swaziland into a historic single organisation.

Those arrested include the following:

Sudanese Communist Party leader: Solutions ignored, crisis deepens in Darfur

Salih Mahmoud is close to the leadership of the armed movements in Darfur.

By Osman Shinger

May 9, 2011 -- Sudan Votes, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Continued armed conflict, a failure to implement UN decisions, and a lack of security despite the presence of international troops are just a few of the factors contributing to the Darfur crisis. Saleh Mahmoud, a lawyer and member of the central committee of the Communist Party of Sudan, discussed these complex issues.

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Are ‘African lions’ really roaring? Latest fibs from world financiers

Africans who spend between US$2-$20 a day are now "middle class", says the African Development Bank chief economist Mthuli Ncube.

By Patrick Bond

May 10, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Apparently, “one in three Africans is middle class” and as a result Africa is ready for “take off”, according to African Development Bank chief economist Mthuli Ncube speaking last week at the World Economic Forum-Africa summit in Cape Town. “Hey you know what, the world please wake up, this is a phenomenon in Africa that we've not spent a lot of time thinking about.”

South Africa: As Durban climate summit approaches, industrial policy hits green wall

South Africa’s trade and industry minister Rob Davies.

By Patrick Bond

April 18, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Hosting the Durban COP17 – let’s rename it the “Conference of Polluters” – starting in late November puts quite a burden on the African National Congress government in Pretoria: to pretend to be pro-green.

Embarrassingly, last week’s US Export-Import Bank loan of US$805 million to South Africa will feed huge profits to the notorious US corporations Black & Veatch so that a vast coal-fired power plant, “Kusile”, can be constructed, mainly on behalf of huge smelters run by BHP Billiton and Anglo American Corporation – whose profits soar away to Melbourne and London.

Left debates Libya: Juan Cole/Gilbert Achcar controversy; The anti-anti-Qaddafi left

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

Two articles by Louis Proyect, moderator of the MarxMail list. They first appeared at Proyect's website, The Unrepentant Marxist, and are posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission.

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By Louis Proyect

April 3, 2011 -- Perhaps the reason people on the left are so upset with Juan Cole and Gilbert Achcar’s “humanitarian intervention” arguments is that they are widely considered “one of us”. In Achcar’s case, the pain is even more acute for the Marxist wing of the left since his credentials are so well established.

Communist Party of Swaziland launched

For an end to poverty and oppression

Kick out the monarchy, kick out capitalism

For working class power and socialism in Swaziland

Statement of the central committee of the Communist Party of Swaziland on the occasion of its inaugural conference, KaMhlushwa, South Africa, April 9-10, 2011

April 10, 2011 -- Swazi men and women from inside Swaziland and in exile convened in Kamhlushwa, close to the Swazi border, over the weekend of April 9-10 for the inaugural conference of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS).

The formation of the CPS comes at a decisive point in the freedom struggle in Swaziland. Time is running out for the Mswati regime, which is directly responsible for the impoverishment, low life expectancy and heavy exploitation of the majority of Swazi people.

Swaziland: (Updated April 15) Monarchy cracks down on pro-democracy protests

Swazi regime’s 'victory' is a pyrrhic one

By Peter Kenworthy

(Earlier reports and statements below.)

April 14, 2011 -- Pambazuka News -- Swaziland’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Lutfo Dlamini, called the brutally crushed peaceful protest or uprising against Swaziland’s absolute monarchy, that lets a small elite live in luxury while two thirds of the population live below the poverty line, a “failure” yesterday.

I beg to differ. In fact, the so-called “victory” of the regime against the demonstrators, whose call for democracy and rule of law in the absolute monarchy that is Swaziland, may turn out to be a pyrrhic one,  making Swazi’s less likely to accept reformist measures once the inevitable change that most people want comes.

Because while the demonstrators didn’t manage to amass the numbers they had hoped for, this was mainly due to the intimidation, blocking tactics and violence of the police and security forces that did everything they could to stop people from assembling in Manzini.

Egypt’s revolutionaries fight the army, and win: eyewitness report and photo essay

[The following eyewitness report from Cairo's Tahrir Square was provided by Australian journalist Austin Mackell and first appeared at his website, Moon Under Water. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with his permission.]

* * *

Story, video and photos by Austin G. Mackell, Cairo

April 9, 2011 -- Moon Under Water -- The ongoing revolution in Egypt has taken a dramatic turn, with protesters successfully resisting an assault by the army on Tahrir Square.

Tunisia: Communist Workers' Party warns, `Great dangers threaten the revolution; power is not in the hands of the people'

Mass protests in Tunisia, January 2011.

By the Communist Workers' Party of Tunisia/Parti communiste des ouvriers de Tunisie (PCOT)

 حزب العمّال الشّيوعي التونسي

Translated by John Catalinotto for Tlaxcala

Two and a half months have passed since the glorious revolution of January 14. During this period, the people have made significant progress through their struggle and sacrifice.

The two wars in Libya

Libyan rebels.

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

By Art Young

April 4, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Two wars are being waged simultaneously in Libya. One has grown out of a revolutionary struggle for democracy; the other is an attempt by imperialism to strengthen its domination of the country. Both wars appear to share the goal of “regime change” but they stand at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Left debates Libya: `This is Washington's war' -- Richard Seymour, 'Angry Arab' & Vijay Prashad on the rebel leadership

French president Nicholas Sarkozy greets rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril. Leaked US cables describe Jibril as being keen on a close relationship with the US and eager “to create a strategic partnership between private companies and the government”.

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

Springtime for NATO in Libya

By Richard Seymour

April 4, 2011 -- Lenin's Tomb -- We now know what Washington's model is for the Middle East, in its most attractive guise. In answer to Egypt's Tahrir Square uprising, they have smoking craters filled with the charred remains of rebels, and conscript soldiers, and civilians and other blameless people who must have seen the joy in Egypt and Tunisia and wished it for themselves.

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