Pakistan: Eyewitness report -- `the power of the state was helpless in front of the power of the street'

[Ammar Ali Jan, youth secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan in Lahore (LPP), 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.]

By Ammar Ali Jan

Lahore, March 16, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- We all are ecstatic about what happened in Lahore on the March 15, 2009. This day will be remembered as one where the power of the state seemed helpless in front of the power of the street. The most crucial moment during the day was the battle at the GPO that galvanised the entire city into action. The scene of almost 150 people battling a repressive police and forcing it to retreat will remain in the collective memory of our nation for a very long time to come.

South Africa: A critique of the ANC and COPE election manifestos

Neither the ANC or COPE offer answers for South Africa's poor.

On April 22, 2009, South African voters go to the polls to elect a new national government. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) government will be opposed by a new split-away group, the Congress of the People (COPE), led by former ANC leaders opposed to the current ANC leader Jacob Zuma. Below, the Anti-Privatisation Forum's Dale McKinley assesses their policies.

(Updated March 17) Irish left responses to recent armed attacks in northern Ireland

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.

First-hand report from Pakistan on the political showdown

By Ammar Jan Ali in Lahore

[Ammar Ali Jan is youth secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan in Lahore. He will be one of several international guests featured at the 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 15, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- I have been active in the lawyers' movement since it started in March 2007 against the illegal sacking of the Chief Justice. I have been participating in the movement from Lahore. I am a member of the Progressive Youth Front (PYF) as well as Student Action Committee (SAC). Through these platforms, we have been convincing young people to take part in this epic journey that can change the destination of Pakistan. Many have registered with us and we will be bringing many youngsters to the Long March on Monday, March 16.

Malaysia: Socialist Party MPs bare all

MCPX

psm declare asset 120309 jeyakumar

[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 12, 2009 -- Prior to the March 8, 2008, polls, nobody could have predicted that the then unregistered Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) would see two of its leaders elected to the national parliament and the Selangor state assembly respectively.

Not only were they elected, but its candidate for the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat Dr D Jeyakumar (right) had also defeated the formidable incumbent of three decades, Malaysian Indian Congress president S Samy Vellu.

The doublespeak of the discredited IMF

By Eric Toussaint and Damien Millet, translated by Christine Pagnoulle and Judith Harris

March 12, 2009 -- The international crisis that erupted in the summer of 2008 demolished all the neoliberal dogmas and exposed the deception behind them. Unable to deny their failure, the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claim they no longer uphold the set of neoliberal policies known as the ``Washington Consensus’’. Yet, discredited though they may be, these two institutions are using the international crisis to return to the limelight.

For decades they have enforced the deregulation measures and structural adjustment programs that have led to the current impasse. After this total fiasco the WB and the IMF must now account for their decisions before world opinion.

Pakistan: Victory for Pakistan's Long March!

Farooq Tariq

[Farooq Tariq is a leader of the Labour Party Pakistan. A representative of the LPP will be attending the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12. For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org. Below are a collection of some of Farooq's regular reports on the situation in Pakistan over the past week. Thanks to Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific for making the reports available (more are available there) to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.]

By Peter Boyle and Farooq Tariq

March 16, 2009 -- Mass resistance to the Peoples Party of Pakistan (PPP) government's attempt to suppress a massive people's movement for the restoration of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry appears to have triumphed after a massive showdown in the streets of Lahore yesterday.

The Flame, March 2009 -- Green Left Weekly's Arabic-language supplement

With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly -- Australia's leading socialist newspaper -- is publish

Bolivia: `More of the same’? Or a break with `traditions’? The MAS: a paradoxical case of democratisation

By Hervé Do Alto, translated for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Gonzalo Villanueva with Do Alto’s permission.

Available for download: Barry Sheppard's The Party: The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988: A Political Memoir -- The Sixties

Barry Sheppard, 1964, editor of the Militant newspaper. Photo by Ed Shaw.

http://www.barrysheppardbook.com/ -- Barry Sheppard was a member of the US Socialist Workers Party for 28 years, and a central leader for most of that time. This is the first of two volumes recounting his life in the party. It is a case study in the inspiration and difficulties involved in building the nucleus of a revolutionary socialist party.

This book covers from 1960 to 1973, the period of radicalisation known as "The Sixties". Walking picket lines for Black civil rights, helping to organise the anti-Vietnam War movement, interviewing Malcolm X, meeting with US soldiers in Vietnam, defending the Cuban Revolution, collaborating with socialists worldwide including in Australia, India, France and Japan -- Barry Sheppard has lived a life enriched by contact with and involvement in popular struggles around the world.