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Democratic Socialist Perspective
May 5, 2009 -- All supporters of democracy and social justice have reason to be concerned by the recent events in the republic of Nepal. The military high command, backed by right-wing parties tied to the country’s elite, has openly defied the authority of the elected civilian government, led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M).
In response, the government sought to remove army chief of staff General Katawal, via legal and constitutional means. Katawal refused to accept his removal and the government’s decision was illegally overturned by President Ram Baran Yadav from the conservative Nepalese Congress party, whose position under the interim constitution is largely ceremonial.
With their coalition partners in government refusing to support the UCPN-M, Nepal’s prime minister and UCPN-M leader Prachanda announced on May 3 that the Maoists had no choice but to resign and leave government.
The removal of the Maoists from government is nothing less than a coup. It reveals the real situation in Nepal — that despite its democratic mandate for change, the Maoist-led government is being prevented by the old elite from implementing such change.
The Maoists are working to mobilise their large base of support among the poor majority for street demonstrations against this coup.
By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation
Liberation -- The 15th Lok Sabha [April-May 2009] elections have been announced. As the country gets ready to vote for the constitution of a new Lok Sabha, dark clouds of deepening crisis overshadow our entire economy. While the rural economy had long been reeling under an acute agrarian crisis, and soaring prices had been reducing the already limited purchasing power of the masses, now jobs have started vanishing even in the so-called growth sectors and wages are going down to make survival a challenge for ever larger sections of the poor and working people. The government’s pompous rhetoric of rapid economic growth and massive investment inflow has melted into thin air, and the people have been asked to get ready for a long period of recession.
(Updated April 23) `Capitalism is putting an end to humanity and the planet' -- ALBA on the 5th Summit of the Americas
Translated by Federico Fuentes
Cumaná, April 17, 2009
The heads of state and governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela -- member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) -- consider that the proposed Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:
By Daniel Tanuro
Below is a reworked version of the report on climate change and climate campaigns, drafted by Daniel Tanuro and presented at February 2009 meeting of the International Committee (IC) of the Fourth International. This report has been adopted as the basis of a resolution to be written for the coming Fourth International world congress. This first appeared on the International Viewpoint website.
I. THE CLIMATIC THREAT: CAUSES, RESPONSIBILITIES, SOCIAL AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS
1. Climate change is a fact without precedent
Climate change is a fact. In the 20th century, the average temperature of the surface of the Earth increased by 0.6°C, the sea level went up from between 10 and 20 cm, glaciers retreated almost everywhere in significant proportions, the violence of cyclones increased in the North Atlantic, and more extreme weather phenomena, such as storms, floods and droughts, were recorded.
The following document was produced by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) national leadership. It has been translated from the Spanish-language original by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.
On March 21, all PSUV battalions met to discuss the document, together with an article written by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (read it HERE). The day after, Chavez announced his government’s anti-crisis measures (see http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4314).
The document is significant not only for what it says, but also because it is the beginning of a mass discussion on how to confront the crisis in Venezuela in the lead-up to the PSUV’s August congress (for more see http://www.escambray.cu/Eng/news/Wvenezuela090320434.htm).
By Kerry Fitzpatrick
Belfast, March 13, 2009 -- Green Left Weekly -- The killing of two British soldiers and a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer by Irish republicans opposed to the peace process have threatened to destabilise the political situation in the six counties in the north of Ireland still claimed by Britain.
British soldiers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar were shot dead on March 7 in an attack on Massereene Barracks in county Antrim, with responsibility claimed by the Real Irish Republican Army, which split from the IRA in 1997 in opposition to the peace process that sought the end the decades-long armed conflict.
This was the first political killing of a British soldier or security force member in the six counties since 1998.
The soldiers, hours away from being deployed to Afghanistan, were collecting a pizza delivery at the barracks gate when they were shot. Two other soldiers and the two pizza delivery men were also shot and injured.
[Click HERE for more coverage of the referendum campaign.]
A statement from the Australia–Venezuela Solidarity Network
February 17, 2009 -- On Sunday, February 15, Venezuelans voted in a referendum to change the country’s constitution to allow elected officials to re-stand for election without restriction. Previously, Venezuela’s constitution allowed elected officials, including the president, to stand for only two terms.
With 94.2% of the votes counted, the National Electoral Council announced that the “Yes” vote had won with 6,003,584 votes (54.36%). The “No” vote received 5,040,082 votes (45.63%). Dozens of election observers from international bodies such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States verified that the referendum was free and fair.
Socialist Alliance statement
Melbourne, February 11, 2009 -- Like all people across Australia Socialist Alliance members have been devastated by the Victorian bushfire tragedy, the greatest disaster in peace-time Australian history.
We express our condolences to and solidarity with all who have lost family, friends and homes in this shocking holocaust, made worse by the possibility that some of these fires were deliberately lit.
We salute the efforts of Victorian Country Fire Authority workers and all volunteers who have sacrificed time, effort and security and done everything in their power to halt the ravages of the fires. Emergency service workers battled for up to 30 hours without sleep trying to control the infernos, help the injured, and attend to the thousands left homeless.
World Social Forum: `We won't pay for the crisis. The rich must pay!' & Belem Climate Assembly declaration
Declaration of the Assembly of Social Movements at the World Social Forum, January 27-February 1, 2009, Belem, Brazil.
February 1, 2009 -- We the social movements from all over the world came together on the occasion of the 8th World Social Forum in Belem, Amazonia, where the peoples have been resisting attempts to usurp nature, their lands and their cultures. We are here in Latin America, where over the last decade the social movements and the indigenous movements have joined forces and radically question the capitalist system from their cosmovision. Over the last few years, in Latin America highly radical social struggles have resulted in the overthrow of neoliberal governments and the empowerment of governments that have carried out many positive reforms such as the nationalisation of core sectors of the economy and democratic constitutional reforms.
The following Declaration was prepared by a committee elected for this purpose at the Paris Ecosocialist Conference of 2007 (Ian Angus, Joel Kovel, Michael Löwy), with the help of Danielle Follett. It will be distributed at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil, in January 2009.
To add your name to the list of signatories who
support the analysis and political perspectives set forth in this
statement, email your name and country of residence to
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.ecosocialistnetwork.org/.
The Belem Ecosocialist Declaration
and the disease is the capitalist development model.”
— Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, September 2007
Poznan, Poland, December 12, 2008 – Members of the Climate Justice Now! Network – representing more than 160 organisations fighting for climate justice – issued today a joint statement calling for a radical change in direction to put climate justice and people's rights at the centre of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.
The statement asserts (see below) that: "Solutions to the climate crisis will not come from industrialised countries and big business. Effective and enduring solutions will come from those who have protected the environment – Indigenous Peoples, women, peasant and family farmers, fisherfolk, forest dependent communities, youth and marginalised and affected communities in the global South and North."
Alicia Munoz from Via Campesina in Chile stated, "We are shocked by the level of corruption that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has reached in allowing corporations to take over the political space and process of climate negotiations."
By Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation
November 27, 2008 -- The terror strike last night on Mumbai's most prominent landmark locations including luxury hotels and the biggest and busiest railway station in the city has already claimed more than 100 lives. Those killed in the terror strikes include as many as 16 policemen including ATS Chief Hemant Karkare who was heading the probe into Malegaon blasts and several foreign citizens. The CPI (ML) strongly condemns the attacks and offers deep condolences to the families of all those killed. We hope the hostages are rescued without any further loss.
Real News Network report, November 28, 2008: The media and the Venezuelan elections -- US media covers Chavez victory and calls it a defeat
November 28, 2008
Of the 192 UN member states, 185 voted in favour of the resolution, while three voted against (the United States, Israel and Palau) and two abstained (Marshall Islands and Micronesia). With this result, Cuba gained another vote this year compared to 2007, when 184 voted in favour, four against (the United States, Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands) and Micronesia abstained.
The resolution calling for an end to the blockade has been approved on 16 occasions with backing that has grown from 59 votes in 1992 to the 185 today.
Before the vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque spoke before the General Assembly and noted the special situation in which this resolution is taking place, an economic crisis that is being internationally felt and above all, the imminent US elections which, he observed, will produce a new president who "will have to decide whether the blockade is a failed policy."
"You are alone, isolated," said the foreign minister, addressing President George W. Bush. Pérez’ speech was loudly applauded by the General Assembly.
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation central committee statement on developments in Sri Lanka.
October 27, 2008 -- The Sri Lankan government's ongoing military campaign to corner and crush the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has led to a terrible humanitarian crisis in the country. Reports emanating from the island indicate that the Sri Lankan state is on the verge of wresting military control over large parts of LTTE territory including the administrative headquarters in Killinochi. While the number of people killed so far in the crossfire between the advancing Sri Lankan armed forces is anybody's guess, some 500,000 people are estimated to have been displaced and rendered homeless in their own land. With the Sri Lankan government not allowing any relief to reach the people in refugee camps, international humanitarian organisations have been forced to leave the battle zones and recently even UN food convoys have had to return, leaving a vast population in the battle zones on the brink of starvation.
CONFÉRENCE INTERNATIONALE D'ÉCONOMIE POLITIQUE: RÉPONSES DU SUD À LA CRISE ÉCONOMIQUE MONDIALE DÉCLARATION FINALE
au Venezuela, à Caracas, du 8 au 11 octobre 2008 en présence d’experts et de
chercheurs en provenance d'Argentine, d'Australie, de Belgique, du Canada, du
Chili, de Chine, de Corée du Sud, de Cuba, d’Egypte, d'Équateur, d'Espagne, des
États-Unis, des Philippines, de France, d'Angleterre, du Mexique, du Pérou,
d'Uruguay et du Vénézuéla,
An initial response from individuals, social movements and non-governmental organisations in support of a transitional program for radical economic transformation.
Beijing, October 15, 2008 -- Taking advantage of the opportunity of so many people from movements gathering in Beijing during the Asia-Europe People’s Forum, the Transnational Institute and Focus on the Global South convened informal nightly meetings between October 13 and 15, 2008. We took stock of the meaning of the unfolding global economic crisis and the opportunity it presents for us to put into the public domain some of the inspiring and feasible alternatives many of us have been working on for decades. This statement represents the collective outcome of our Beijing nights. We, the initial signatories, mean this to be a contribution towards efforts to formulate proposals around which our movements can organise as the basis for a radically different kind of political and economic order.
Please sign on to this statement at http://www.casinocrash.org.
Final declaration of the International Political Economy Conference: Responses from the South to the Global Economic Crisis
October 11, 2008 -- Academics and researchers from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Mexico, Peru, Phillipines, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela participated in the International Political Economy Conference: Responses from the South to the Global Economic Crisis, held in Caracas October 8-11, 2008. The conference stimulated a wide-ranging debate on the current economic and financial health of the global economy, the new perspectives and the challenges to the governments and peoples of the South posed by the international financial crisis.
The meeting concluded that the situation has worsened in the last few weeks. It has progressed rapidly from being a series of crises in the financial markets of countries in the centre and has turned into an extremely serious international crisis. This means that countries in the South are in a very difficult situation.
The crisis threatens the real economy and, if energetic and effective actions are not taken immediately, all peoples in the world could be drastically punished; especially the least-protected and most-neglected sectors.
Sydney climate emergency rally, October 3, 2008. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.
Climate action now!
September 25, 2008 -- The Australian federal government’s climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, has released his recommendations for medium-term cuts to Australian greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
He calls for reductions by 2020 of just 5% if there is no comprehensive international agreement on emissions reductions, or reductions of 10% if there is an agreement. At the Bali climate summit in December 2007 many developed countries expressed support for goals of 25-40% reductions.