Malaysian socialists' logo deemed ‘violent’, PSM warns of return to Mahathir-style repression

[M. Sarawathy, a representative of the Socialist Party of Malaysia, will be attending the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12, 2009. For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org.]

March 19, 2009 -- Malaysiakini -- Poor PSM (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, Malaysian Socialist Party)! Obstacles after obstacles the Parti Socialis Malaysia has had to face before it could be officially recognised as a political party.

The latest hitch is expected to make its recognition more elusive -- the authorities are now saying that the party’s logo, a white-coloured clenched fist against a red backdrop, has “connotations of violence” and is “morally unsuitable”.

This issue of a ``violent logo'' has never been brought up in the PSM's decade-long tussle for registraion with Registrar of Societies (ROS). Prior to this, the PSM was also denied registration from 1998 to 2008 as it was regarded as a threat to ``national security''.

The economic crisis: Whose fault is it, and how can it be overcome?

By Aleksandr Buzgalin and Andrey Kolganov, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Review: A materialist critique of pseudo-science

Review by Duroyan Fertl

Critique of Intelligent Design: Materialism versus Creationism from Antiquity to the Present
By John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark & Richard York
Monthly Review Press, 2008
240 pages

March 13, 2009 -- In recent decades a form of militant creationism — masquerading as science under the name of “Intelligent Design” — has gone on the offensive, promoting the teaching of biblical creationism in schools, and carrying out a broader “wedge strategy”, aimed at transforming the place and nature of science in society.

Critique of Intelligent Design: Materialism versus Creationism from Antiquity to the Present, is almost overdue in this respect. It traces the rise of the “design” phenomenon, and its relationship to conservative, right-wing politics, and places it in the context of a 2500-year-long debate between materialism and creationism that lies at the heart of Western civilisation.

Venezuela: Confronting capitalism's crisis with more revolution

By Manuel Sanchez

Caracas, March 14, 2009 -- In some countries, the severe crisis of capitalism has resulted in a realignment of respective governments with the imperialist powers — and the adoption of different forms of cut backs that affect the living conditions of the majority.

In the Venezuela, the opposite is occurring.

Before and after the victory for the pro-revolution forces in the referendum on February 15, 2009, to allow elected officials to stand for re-election more than once, the decision to push forward with the transition to socialism was ratified.

The world economic situation has also undoubtedly hit hard in Venezuela. The revolutionary government has already resolved to eliminate “all expenses that are not absolutely indispensable”.

But these austerity measures, far from adversely affecting the course of the revolution that seeks to transform the country, are favouring it. To the average politically trained eye, this has been evident since September 2008. President Hugo Chavez explicitly warned of this in this annual message to the nation on January 13.

Who said nearly 50 years ago that Israel was an apartheid state?

By Ronnie Kasrils

"...a colonial racist mentality which rationalised the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australasia, in Africa from Namibia to the Congo and elsewhere, most clearly has its parallels in Palestine."

March 17, 2009 -- Media Monitors Network -- At the onset of international “Israel Apartheid Week” in solidarity with the embattled Palestinian people, I want to start by quoting a South African who emphatically stated as far back as 1963 that “Israel is an apartheid state”. Those were not the words of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu or Joe Slovo, but were uttered by none other than the architect of apartheid itself, racist Prime Minister Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd.

He was irked by the criticism of apartheid policy and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s “Winds of Change” speech, in contrast to the West’s unconditional support for Zionist Israel.

LPP: 'A new Pakistan is emerging'

Statement issued by Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) at a press conference in Lahore addressed by LPP spokesperson Farooq Tariq, in the company of Ammar Ali Jan, LPP Lahore youth secretary, secretary LPP Punjab Imtiaz Choudry, Lahore LPP committee member Rana Ashraf, secretary Carpet Workers' Union Niaz Khan and Kashif Aslam of the Progressive Youth Front. Thanks to Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific for this article. Ammar Ali Jan will be one of several international guests at the the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12. For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org.

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250,000th visit to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 
At some time just before midnight on March 19, 2009, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal received its 250,000th visit since records began being kept on April 4, 2008. Almost 343,000 articles were read in that period.
Don't YOU miss an article, subscribe at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=343373 .

Who in the world is reading Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?

United States (US)     92,993
Australia (AU)     23,664
Canada (CA)     16,601
United Kingdom (GB)     14,966
India (IN)     5,673
Germany (DE)     4,013
Philippines (PH)     3,794
South Africa (ZA)     2,817
Thailand (TH)     2,140
Malaysia (MY)     2,014
France (FR)     1,987
New Zealand (NZ)     1,982
Sweden (SE)     1,852
Netherlands (NL)     1,850
Pakistan (PK)     1,827
Indonesia (ID)     1,443
Turkey (TR)     1,422

Martinique general strike ends in victory: Mobilisations, victories in overseas colonies set example for French workers

Demonstration in St-Denis, La Réunion, March 11.

By Richard Fidler

March 18, 2009 -- Life on the Left -- A 38-day general strike in the Caribbean colony of Martinique ended March 14 with the signing of a protocol between the government and the February 5 Collective, a coalition of trade unions and other social movements named after the day the strike began. The agreement grants the coalition’s key demands. About 20,000 people celebrated the historic victory in a march through the streets.

AFP reported that “the signing ceremony drew a crowd of thousands who gathered outside the island’s head administrative office. They repeatedly chanted a slogan ‘Matinik leve,’ or ‘Martinique stand up’ in the local Creole language.”

Let Darfurian and Sudanese voices be heard

By Kevin Funk and Steven Fake

March 9, 2009 -- When the Save Darfur Coalition held a rally on April 30, 2006, drawing thousands to Washington DC, it was a watershed for Darfur activism in the US. Save Darfur's advocacy efforts enjoyed a moment in the sun, the culmination of an aggressive and well-funded media campaign.

Yet the rally also symbolised another, less-reported aspect of Darfur activism in the US: the tendency to marginalise Darfurian and Sudanese voices.

As reported, “the original list of speakers [for the April 30 rally] included eight Western Christians, seven Jews, four politicians and assorted celebrities -- but no Muslims and no one from Darfur”; organisers had to hurry “to invite two Darfurians to address the rally after Sudanese immigrants objected” to their previous exclusion from the line-up.