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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
1123. May 28, 2015 Sam Gindin Record Profits, Record Stock Buybacks: Another Looming Crisis?
Has the economy recovered or is it about to sink into another crisis? Do the shenanigans in finance that we regularly read about play a role in developing a stronger capitalism or do they cover up failures that will soon blow up in their faces? These can be mind-numbing questions, but they're questions that activists, in particular, can't ignore.
1122. May 25, 2015 Thomas Marois and Lucia Pradella Polarizing Development: Introducing Alternatives to Neoliberalism and the Crisis
Neoliberal economic policies, with their emphasis on market-led development and individual rationality, have been exposed as bankrupt not only by the global economic crisis but also by increasing social opposition and resistance. Social movements and critical scholars in Latin America, East Asia, Europe and the United States, alongside the Arab uprisings, have triggered renewed debate on possible different futures.
1121. May 24, 2015 Asbjørn Wahl From FAILURE20 to COP21
Climate change is going on. Extreme weather conditions, storms, floodings, landslides, droughts and ice melting are reported ever more regularly from many parts of the world. Millions of people are losing their livelihood, their homes, their jobs -- and many also their lives. The successive reports of the United Nation-IPCC have increasingly called for urgent action in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
1120. May 22, 2015 Mike Treen How UNITE Took on the Fast Food Companies Over Zero Hour Contracts and Won!
Workers in the fast food industry in New Zealand scored a spectacular victory over what has been dubbed 'zero hour contracts' during a collective agreement bargaining round over the course of March and April this year. The campaign played out over the national media as well as on picket lines. The victory was seen by many observers as the product of a determined fight by a valiant group of workers and their union, Unite.
1119. May 20, 2015 Gregory Shupak A Disaster Waiting to Happen: Expanding the U.S.-led ISIS War to Other Countries
According to a 29 April report in The New York Times, leaders from the U.S.-led coalition at war with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will meet in the coming weeks to consider broadening the mission to other countries. At present, the Obama administration is attempting to secure congressional support for a measure that would authorize expanding the war to such nations as Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen.
1118. May 19, 2015 John Riddell Dissecting the Failure of Soviet 'Socialism'
In current discussions of twenty-first century socialism, the work of Michael Lebowitz has a unique merit: it is rooted in the experience of Cuba and Venezuela, where efforts in recent decades to move toward socialism have been the most vigorous. Quotations from Che Guevara and Hugo Chávez set the tone.
1117. May 18, 2015 Tracy MacMaster Shaking Off the Part-Time Blues
We've all followed the news that part-time, insecure employment is growing. I work at an Ontario college as a full-time library technician. Every day I work side by side with part-time employees whose jobs are the same as mine, but whose working conditions are dramatically different. Part-time workers in Ontario colleges do many different jobs -- some are long-time support staff, teachers or student workers -- but all have one thing in common -- they work without many of the standard protections Ontarians enjoy.
1116. May 15, 2015 David Moore South Africa's Xenophobia of a Special Type
In the past weeks a few South Africans -- possibly inspired by an artificially resuscitated Zulu 'king' who mused that it might be a good idea for foreigners to go home to till their fields -- murdered seven migrants, pillaged hundreds more and scared thousands into temporary refuge camps. The vast majority of their compatriots responded in shock and sympathy with the victims.
1115. May 13, 2015 J. F. Conway Alberta: A Perfect Political Storm
Election outcomes like Alberta's do not come often: the total collapse of a four decade conservative dynasty and majority power for a party considered on the 'left' in Canada. The reactions were typical: shock, elation, fear, uncertainty. No one saw it coming. Well, that's not quite true. If you followed the polls you knew a significant event was unfolding.
1114. May 11, 2015 Rainer Rilling Hegemony in the Making: Germany on the Way to Becoming a Political Giant
Germany is an economic giant but a political dwarf. Ever since the run-up to the First World War, this thesis has been firmly established in the conservative camp and it remains the basic assumption of a century of German foreign and security policy. In the end, it has come up against one problem in the tradition of the so-called realistic school of international politics: In the present world of states how does my state actually achieve more security and power?
1113. May 7, 2015 Raul Zelik Theses on Podemos and the 'Democratic Revolution' in Spain
Even if one almost always goes wrong with such prognoses, the fact is that the Spanish state is facing the biggest rupture since the end of the Franco dictatorship. In several large cities, the left radical-democratic lists of the Guanyem / Ganemos Initiatives have real chances of winning the mayoral elections in May.
1112. May 4, 2015 Volodymyr Ishchenko Ukraine's European Discourse Does Not Correspond to Reality
Attitudes toward the Maidan are determined by a variety of factors. You can have one attitude toward the protests, another one toward Yanukovych's removal from power, another one toward the current government and its policies... so it is quite complex. My own personal perception is that people are very much dissatisfied with the economic crisis and with government policies.
1111. April 29, 2015 Pierre Beaudet The 'Longue durée' of the Québec Spring
As has been the case for several years, great mobilizations take place around the globe. We notice them when they are covered by mainstream media; although the coverage only occurs when these mobilizations reach their apex. Generally speaking, we fairly quickly jump to some other concerns, as if the Tahir square protests, the Madrid Indignados, or the street confrontations in Athens, Istanbul or Bangkok were merely sudden and short-lasting eruptions.
1110. April 27, 2015 Araz Bağban Iran's Nuclear Deal: Escape from Crisis
Iran reached a preliminary agreement with the P5+1 or E3+3 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany) group on its nuclear program in Switzerland after long negotiations.
1109. April 24, 2015 Sungur Savran The Armenian Genocide: An Open Wound
On April 24, 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals, politicians and community leaders were rounded in Istanbul by the Ottoman state, to be subsequently sent to exile from which most never returned. This was the signal that set off a chain of events that ended in a tragedy the like of which has rarely been witnessed in the annals of modern history.
1108. April 22, 2015 Cinzia Arruzza Fortress Europe and a Mediterranean Cemetery for Migrants
In the night between April 18th and April 19th a boat filled with up to 950 migrants sank in the Mediterranean Sea, 70 miles north of Libya, while trying to reach the southern European border. This was not only the greatest tragedy to date involving migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, it is also the latest in a long series of deaths.
1107. April 21, 2015 Arun Gupta Low-Wage Workers' Struggles Are About Much More than Wages
When fast-food workers first took the streets in New York City in November 2012 to protest for higher wages and a union, no one could have imagined how successful the campaign would be. Since then the low-wage workers movement, known as Fight for 15, has helped spur eleven states and numerous cities to raise the minimum hourly wage.
1106. April 16, 2015 David Camfield The Politics of Human Rights
There has never been more talk about human rights than there is today. Social media is full of calls to sign petitions or send e-mails about human rights causes. Almost no one says they're not supporters of human rights, from radicals on the left to people on the hard right like Stephen Harper. Governments of Western countries justify war in the name of defending human rights. We now have a Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.
1105. April 14, 2015 Richard Fidler Bolivia's Voters Reaffirm 'Process of Change'
Up to 90 per cent of the electorate voted in Bolivia's 'subnational' elections March 29 for governors, mayors and departmental assembly and municipal council members throughout the country. These were the second such elections to be held since the new Constitution came into force in 2009, the first being in 2010.
1104. April 10, 2015 Sabrina Fernandes The Ultra-Political Game: Depoliticization and False Polarization in Brazil
In a recent essay, Alfredo Saad-Filho writes of the dilemmas the Workers' Party now faces in Brazil. His analysis helps decipher some of the dynamics that have led to the current crisis of the PT regime and President Dilma Rousseff. This essay complements Saad-Filho's contribution by further contextualizing the radical Left in relation to the PT; and by identifying where the right-wing opposition stands (beyond its relation to the failure of the PT to maintain hegemony through neoliberal conciliation).
1103. April 8, 2015 Ingo Schmidt There is no Alternative Unless We Build One
The varied left histories dating back to the long 19th century gained momentum during the tumultuous first decades of the 20th century and for some time after. They came to an end, at one point or another, between the military coup in Chile (1973), the elections of Margaret Thatcher (1979) and Ronald Reagan (1981), the political u-turns by Francois Mitterand (1986) and Deng Xiaoping and the collapse of Soviet communism (1991).
1102. April 6, 2015 Jeffery R. Webber Bolivia: Burdens of a State Manager
In the opening salvos of Latin America's uneven lurch to the Left in the early twenty-first century, Bolivia distinguished itself as the region's most radical socio-political terrain. Left-indigenous movements in the countryside and cityscapes alike threw the state into crisis and brought two successive neoliberal presidents to their knees -- Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in 2003, and Carlos Mesa in 2005.
1101. April 3, 2015 Josep Maria Antentas; Richard Fidler Podemos and the Catalan Independence Process
The rise of Podemos ("We Can") in the Spanish state -- and of its counterpart Podem in Catalonia -- has presented a new challenge to both the Catalan independence movement and to the traditional left in that subordinated national component of the Spanish state. Pablo Iglesias and other Podemos leaders, while indicating sympathy for self-determination of Catalonia, do not support its independence.
1100. April 2, 2015 Dan La Botz Important Strike in Mexico: Farm Workers Paralyze Baja Farms
Thousands of farmworkers in the San Quintin Valley of Baja California, just 185 miles south of the U.S. border, struck some 230 farms, including the twelve largest that dominate production in the region, on March 17 interrupting the picking, packing, and shipping of zucchini, tomatoes, berries and other products to stores and restaurants in the United States.
1099. April 1, 2015 Reuven Kaminer Israel: Fortress Racism
Israel sinks deeper and deeper into an abyss of strident chauvinism and endemic racism. Among its Jewish population there is an almost complete consensus that since Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood it must be always ready on the draw. This consensus is frayed at its edges when social and economic issues are addressed but holds up when security policy is on the table. The war on Gaza last summer was hardly mentioned during the election campaign.
1098. March 31, 2015 Elena Papadopoulou and Michalis Spourdalakis SYRIZA's Two Months in Government: Difficulties and Challenges
Almost a month after the agreement of the 20th of February between the new Greek government, the European Institutions and the IMF, we need to know where we stand. "We" in this case is not the government. It is not even Syriza's members and voters. "We" includes all those who understand the necessity of a strong democratic reply to aggressive neoliberalism and the austerity it imposes on the people of Europe, and who perceive the victory of Syriza as a gleam of hope against a conservative and reactionary turn of Europe.
1097. March 30, 2015 Alfredo Saad-Filho Brazil: The Débâcle of the PT
Hundreds of thousands of chiefly white middle class protesters took to the streets in Brazil on 15 March in an organized upsurge of hatred against the federal administration led by President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party. These protests are far more cohesive and better organized than the previous wave of anti-government demonstrations, in 2013; their demands are unambiguously reactionary, and they include primarily the country's elite.
1096. March 27, 2015 Brad Hornick A View from Burnaby Mountain: Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything
The recent Vancouver panel discussion on Naomi Klein's new book, This Changes Everything, from which this article took form, was organized weeks before a local Blockadia event took place. By the time the five panelists came together, two had been arrested for defying a court injunction
1095. March 25, 2015 Jeff Noonan The Public Value of Public Sector Strikes
The essence of an unjust society is to continually demand and take from those with the least the little that they have to support their lives and life-goals and add it to the money-value hoards of those who have the power to restructure public life to serve their limitless appetites. So we see a recurrent pattern of struggle across history: those with the least power are forced to fight the hardest just to maintain what little they have.
1094. March 24, 2015 John Clarke Toronto's Plan to Push Out the Homeless
The Mayor's Office in Toronto is today occupied by a much slicker operation than it was during the years of dysfunctional, bigoted buffoonery that unfolded under Rob Ford. Mayor John Tory has resumed the drive toward a fully fledged neoliberal city but has the basic political skills to frame his twin agendas of austerity and upscale redevelopment in the language of inclusiveness. He has been sufficiently proficient at this to rapidly create what Michael Laxer has termed an 'austerity consensus' supported by the overwhelming majority of the Council, including its left wing.
1093. March 23, 2015 Gavin Fridell Wynne Gives Big Retail the Gift of Beer
The heads of big retail might be walking with a spring in their step this week due to a potentially generous gift from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. After months of wrangling over what to do with The Beer Store (TBS) semi-monopoly, granted by the Ontario government to some of the world's largest beer companies, Wynne has decided to open things up - to a select group of giant retail chains.
1092. March 20, 2015 An Interview with Karl Cloete South Africa's Troubled Alliance and the Road Ahead
The expulsion of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) from COSATU in November 2014 was a watershed moment in the post-apartheid labour movement. The expulsion is a product of, and has deepened further, the crisis in the Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), as well as the internal crises of each of the three component parts of the Alliance.
1091. March 19, 2015 StrikeTown: Why Are Toronto University Workers On Strike?
CUPE 3903 represents contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants at York University in Toronto, Canada. In August 2014, their collective agreement expired. Since then, teaching assistants and graduate assistants went out on legal strike, which is in its third week as of March 16, 2015.
1090. March 16, 2015 Adam Hanieh Fundamental Rifts: Power, Wealth and Inequality in the Arab world
Over four years since mass uprisings ousted sclerotic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, it can seem that the initial hopes represented by these movements lie in tatters. Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq remain mired in bloody armed conflicts that have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more within and across borders. In the pivotal case of Egypt, military rule has returned through the violent crushing of protests, the arrests of an estimated 40,000 people and the rebuilding of the repressive structures of the Hosni Mubarak era.
1089. March 11, 2015 Spyros Lapatsioras, John Milios and Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos Syriza's Only Choice: A Radical Step Forward
The transitional "bridge Agreement" of the 20th of February is a truce intended by the Greek government and welcomed by the other side (the European 'institutions'). Within the truce period (the next four months), the conditions for negotiating the next agreement will be shaped. This could mean that everything is still open. However, that is not true for two reasons. First, the very transitional agreement changes the balance of power.
1088. March 6, 2015 David Bush and Doug Nesbitt Austerity Strangles Ontario: the TA strikes in Context
Austerity for working people and the accumulation of wealth in the corporate sector was sold as short-term pain for long-term gain. What we got of course was pain now, pain later, and never-ending pain if we don't organize to end it.
1087. March 4, 2015 Gabriel Levy The Paris Climate Talks and the Failure of States
The officials in charge of the United Nations climate talks say that no deal will be done in Paris in December (COP21) to avoid dangerous global warming. After preparatory negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, this month, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, confirmed that the target set previously, of limiting warming to 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, would be missed.
1086. February 27, 2015 Greg Shupak The Disaster in Libya
The title of Horace Campbell's book on NATO's 2011 Libyan intervention, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, is an allusion to a Guardian article by Seumas Milne entitled, "If the Libyan war was about saving lives, it was a catastrophic failure." Echoing Milne's use of "catastrophic" is apt. Claudia Gazzini of the liberal NGO International Crisis Group points out that, if the casualty figures provided by Libya's National Transitional Council are accurate, "the death toll subsequent to the seven-month NATO intervention was at least ten times greater than the tally of those killed in the first few weeks of the conflict" before NATO intervened.
1085. February 25, 2015 John McMurtry Breaking Out of the Invisible Prison
As we enter 2015, the global corporate system deepens and spreads in its eco-genocidal effects. But the dots are not joined in their common cause across domains. Money-value coordinates like gross domestic product (GDP), commodity productivity and stock market indexes are still adopted as the measures of "economic performance" rather than life capital development which is systemically depredated.
1084. February 24, 2015 Ezequiel Adamovsky; Atilio Boron Alberto Nisman's Death and AMIA: Who Cares About the Truth?
On 18 January the Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires. A few days before he had returned from his vacations in Europe and presented a shocking and unexpected accusation. He claimed he had proof that President Cristina Kirchner and the Foreign Minister Hector Timerman were in the process of orchestrating a cover-up in the investigation of Iran over the 1994 bombing of AMIA.
1083. February 20, 2015 Sean Sweeney Syriza Can Show 'Another Energy is Possible'
During its first days in office, Syriza has taken actions that suggest it is willing to confront the EU's neoliberal approach to energy and to embark on a new course. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also stated his government will restore collective bargaining agreements and stop 300,000 planned layoffs.
1082. February 18, 2015 Sakis Gekas Hard Talk
On January 25th, Syriza formed a government in Greece with the help of the ANEL (Independent Greeks). Within 24 hours direct attacks, threats and provocations aimed at the Greek government, about to begin negotiations with EU and Eurozone leaders, began.
1081. February 12, 2015 J. F. Conway How About a Memorial to the Victims of Harperism?
Roy MacGregor was commenting on Harper's latest ideological propaganda foray into keeping us safe by reminding us of all the bogeymen out there on the very big, broad left. Harper is building a big ugly memorial to the victims of communism on a million dollar piece of public land right beside the Supreme Court.
1080. February 11, 2015 Donatella della Porta Another Europe With Syriza
There is no doubt that the near majority obtained by Syriza in the elections last month represent a point-of-no-return for Europe. This is the result most feared by the rulers of several countries and, above all, by the financial powers that have undertaken an intense campaign of threats, based on the idea of an increasingly liberal Europe.
1079. February 10, 2015 Disinformation and Repression Against BDS
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition of Palestinian civil society organizations that leads the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, has condemned the Canadian government's ramped up disinformation campaign and repressive measures against the BDS movement for Palestinian rights.
1078. February 9, 2015 Ernest Tate Thomas Sankara and Burkina Faso's 'Black Spring'
A press report in 1983 that a popular uprising in Upper Volta, a small and poor land-locked country in Western Africa had led to an obscure, but charismatic army officer becoming head of state was truly inspiring news for all those looking for some kind of breakthrough against imperialism in that part of the world.
1077. February 6, 2015 John Clarke The Fight Against Street Deaths in Toronto
The twin agendas of urban redevelopment and austerity have increased the scale of the homeless crisis in Toronto. Over 4,000 people cram into the emergency shelters every night and many more try to survive out on the streets. This situation raises the question of what lengths the agenda of austerity can be taken to. If people are allowed to freeze to death for lack of basic shelter then we have moved beyond reduced entitlement and arrived at a situation of reckless and lethal social abandonment.
1076. February 3, 2015 An Interview with Alexis Tsipras Seizing the Opportunity to Fight Austerity
The effects of the crisis on Greek society have been truly devastating. It comes as no surprise that there have been major changes in the political scene. Syriza has always offered a detailed analysis of the crisis and the underlying causes. While the mainstream parties led people on -- rather brazenly, I might add -- we were vehement that austerity would have severe negative consequences and lead to recession; these policies simply weren't sustainable.
1075. February 1, 2015 Sungur Savran The Monster of Soma Rears Its Head
The AKP government in Turkey and, in particular, its undisputed leader, Tayyip Erdogan, president of the republic since last August, are usually remembered by the international public for their brazen violation of political and civil rights, their brutality in dealing with the Gezi revolt of June-September 2013, their unabashed support for the sectarian war waged against the Syrian regime by the various offshoots of the Al Qaeda movement and their growing tendency to impose Islamic rules on public life in Turkey, safely the most secular country in the Muslim world.
1074. January 30, 2015 Patricia Perkins Ecological Economics and Changing Everything
I would like to thank and acknowledge the First Nations of the territories where we live and are meeting, the Anishinaabe Mississauga, Seneca, Huron-Wendat, 'Neutrals,' and other peoples whose ancestors lived here. The land claim of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, relating to the Crown's 1805 acquisition of land running from Ashbridge's Bay westward to the mouth of the Credit River, and extending 28 miles northward, is still under negotiation.
1073. January 28, 2015 Brenda Thompson Rapid Transit Rip-Off
Campaigning for re-election in April 2014, Liberal leader and Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario would invest $29-billion in roads and transit. She did not make this announcement from the Office of the Premier at Queen's Park or at Metrolinx headquarters on Bay Street. She spoke at the Toronto Regional Board of Trade, at an event sponsored by global, mostly foreign, multinational corporations.
1072. January 27, 2015 Sid Shniad 68 Years of Struggle and Resistance for Peace, Justice and Freedom
When I was invited to speak at today's forum, the attacks in Paris against the magazine Charlie Hebdo and the kosher super market had not taken place. In light of the media coverage of what happened in Paris, I feel the need to situate my comments against the backdrop of those events. I hope you will indulge me.
1071. January 23, 2015 Leo Panitch The Greek Election
As we enter the eighth year of the long-lingering global economic crisis, it is sobering indeed that it is only in Greece that a political party putting forward a clear, radical democratic alternative to the perverse policies of neoliberal austerity stands on the doorstep of entering the state.
1070. January 22, 2015 Lee Sustar Why the Whole World is Watching Greece
Syriza is favoured to win parliamentary elections on January 25, giving it a strong chance to form a new government that could confront the catastrophic austerity agenda that has plunged Greece into severe economic and social crisis. Lee Sustar answers questions about the rise of Syriza and what a victory for it on January 25 would mean.
1069. January 19, 2015 Hassan N. Gardezi The United States of America in the AfPak Region and Beyond
It may sound rather odd in the face of the open war on terror that has been raging in Afghanistan and the Middle East to speak of United States' alliance with Islamic terrorists, but that is the messy reality of our times. The United States, it seems, has decided to live with the contradiction of courting Islamic terrorists at the same time as it is waging a war on Terror.
1068. January 15, 2015 Sungur Savran Nous Sommes Tous Charlie... de Gaulle!
In politics there is a golden rule: beware agreements that cut across all political currents! The tragedy of Charlie Hebdo has been turned into a farce by the mammoth march in Paris, along with similar ones in cities across France, large and small. It is an insult on human intelligence to tie, in whatever combination, the names of Wolinski, Charb, Cabu and company with people of the ilk of the Camerons, Merkels, Rajoys, Renzis and Junckers of the world!
1067. January 14, 2015 IUF Breakthrough in Greece? Austerity and Solidarity
Greece will hold parliamentary elections on January 25 and Syriza, the left-wing party which has consistently called for debt restructuring and an end to austerity, is leading the polls. The Troika are warning of the 'threat' of Syriza coming to power and have forcefully indicated their support for Greece's ruling coalition by conditioning further financial support on the re-election of a pliable government.
1066. January 9, 2015 Sam Gindin When History Knocks
To raise the environmental crisis in Canada is to simultaneously highlight the notorious Alberta Tar Sands, the fastest growing polluter in Canada. But the Tar Sands are more than an environmental issue. This crisis-in-motion is inseparable from other fundamental issues at the core of Canadian society: indigenous land claims, Canada's integration to the American empire and its oil-hungry military leviathan, a focus on resource extraction as a core of Canada's economic development and a set of contested values about 'the good life.'
1065. January 6, 2015 Ursula Huws An Unconditional Citizen's Income
In these straitened times, the idea of a basic income, granted unconditionally to every citizen, from cradle to grave, feels utopian. How on earth could it be paid for, we wonder. Wouldn't everyone just stop working? Where would we be then?
1064. January 4, 2015 Richard Fidler; Claudio Katz Release of Cuban Five Opens New Chapter in Cuba-U.S. Relations
The release December 17 of the remaining three of five Cubans held for 15 years in U.S. prisons is an historic victory for the Cuban people, their government and supporters around the world. Ramón Labañino, Geraldo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero joined Fernando González and René González, released earlier, in an emotional reception in Havana with President Raúl Castro.
1063. December 30, 2014 Steve Ellner After Chavez: The Maduro Government And The 'Economic War' in Venezuela
Nearly two years after the death of Hugo Chávez, the key question that many on the left are debating, in Venezuela and elsewhere, is whether his successors have been true to his legacy, or whether the 'revolutionary process' initiated more than a decade ago has now stalled or even been thrown into reverse.
1062. December 17, 2014 Richard Fidler; Evo Morales Bolivia to Host 2015 Meeting of Social Movements to Fight Climate Change
Meeting in Havana December 14, the 13th summit of ALBA leaders endorsed a Bolivian proposal to host an international assembly of social movements in 2015 to discuss and adopt a united strategy for fighting climate change. The decision by the ALBA-TCP coincided with release of the final agreement adopted by the United Nations COP20 climate talks at Lima, Peru.
1061. December 5, 2014 Lilian Yap From the TarSands to 'Green Jobs'? Work and Ecological Justice
From deforestation, toxic pollution, to greenhouse gas emissions, there is no doubt that tar sands development has been and will be an immensely destructive force, first for the communities who are already living within its reach, but ultimately, through its impacts on global climate, for the planet as a whole.
1060. November 28, 2014 The 10th Asia-Europe People's Forum Call to Action
The 10th Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF), representing citizens, people and social movements from Asia and Europe (which met on 10th to 12th of October 2014 in Milan, Italy), urges the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and its member Governments to recognize the following issues and priorities and to take forward our recommendations.
1059. November 26, 2014 Justin Paulson 43 Students and the Future of Mexico
Nearly two months ago, on September 26, a group of students from the Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos -- a boarding school for student teachers in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero -- was soliciting funds in nearby Iguala when they were attacked by local police, acting under orders. Six people were killed; the remaining 43 students were arrested and were not heard from again. They have, for now, joined the ranks of Mexico's disappeared.
1058. November 21, 2014 Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui Partners in Crime: The Continental Capitalist Offensive and the Killing Fields of Mexico
The Mexican government, welcomed as a partner of the Canadian and U.S. governments in continental economic development (NAFTA) and continental security also happens to partner in crime and the slaughter of its own people. The murders and disappearances of the students from Ayotzinapa on September 26, 2014, was a crime of the State.
1057. November 19, 2014 Bryan D. Palmer Dining Out in Dinkytown
If you are in Minneapolis, after a hard day's night, the place to go for a morning pick-me-up is Al's Breakfast. Or so I was informed. Being in the Twin Cities in mid-July, I made my way to the legendary AM eatery, located in the heart of Dinkytown, the neighborhood adjacent to the University of Minnesota where Al's is located.
1056. November 16, 2014 Panagiotis Sotiris How Can We Change the World, If We Can't Change Ourselves?
The anti-capitalist Left in Europe is in crisis. From the crisis of the International Socialist Tendency, to the political implosion of the New Anticapitalist Party in France, and from the fragmentation of the left-tendencies of Rifondazione Comunista in Italy to the inability of ANTARSYA in Greece to broaden its appeal despite the immense political shifts in Greek society.
1055. November 14, 2014 Jasa Lategano Crisis and Class-Struggle in Slovenia
For many liberal spectators, Slovenia was for a long time considered a success story of transition from a 'socialist dictatorship' into a 'parliamentary democracy' based on a market economy. In the winter of 2012, however, mass popular uprisings swept through the larger cities and eventually brought down the far-right neoliberal government of the Slovenian Democratic Party.
1054. November 11, 2014 Gregory Shupak Harper's Iraq War Plan: Save People by Killing Them?
The Harper government's plan to send Canadian air power to help combat the Islamic State in Iraq, and possibly Syria, and for Canadian special forces to continue operating there is homicidal, won't achieve its supposed goals and needs to be opposed. Legislation tabled by the federal government on October 3 says that "unless confronted with strong and direct force, the threat ISIL poses to international peace and security, including to Canadian communities, will continue to grow." There is plenty of evidence to suggest that exactly the opposite is true.
1053. November 10, 2014 Drawing a Line in the Tar Sands
Of all possible futures, the least likely is one in which business as usual continues unabated. Peoples' movements will either succeed in transforming our economic and political systems to build a new world, or we will burn with the old one.
1052. November 6, 2014 Pedro Marlez The 'Consultation' in Catalonia
The Spanish political crisis is advancing slowly but inexorably. In the last five or six months we have witnessed a series of events that have exacerbated the process of decomposition: the turbulence produced by the European elections, the succession to the throne, the most serious corruption scandals to surface for generations, and the conflict between the central government and Catalonia.
1051. November 4, 2014 SOS Alternatives to Capitalism
SOS: Alternatives to Capitalism is a handy, slim compendium of vital, essential thoughts and discussions on the concept of an alternative economy and society by Richard Swift. His new book has been brought out by Between the Lines and New Internationalist Publications and has been excellently received in various circles, both academic and activist. He was interviewed by Rana Bose, co-editor of Montreal Serai.
1050. October 29, 2014 Kevin Skerrett Can We Defend Our Pensions Without Challenging Financialized Capitalism?
Unrelenting employer attacks on workplace based pension plans are intensifying, and the struggle to defend them is becoming more challenging right across the country. One recent development appears to be an important partial victory. Some 900 workers at Bombardier's Thunder Bay production facility, represented by Unifor, launched an eight-week strike on July 14, and the dispute centred on an employer demand to eliminate the secure, 'defined benefit' type pension plan with an individualized 'defined contribution' savings scheme for all new hires.
1049. October 27, 2014 J. F. Conway The War Against the Islamic State
Stephen Harper finally got his war in Iraq, something he demanded while in opposition when Bush's ill-fated "coalition of the willing" was inveigled by the U.S. to bomb, invade and occupy Iraq, all contrary to international law. Harper's war in Iraq will be a rather sad and inglorious affair, hardly up to the excesses of his war-mongering rhetoric.
1048. October 17, 2014 Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois Cacouna, Couillard and the Ties that Bind
It's an evening like any other. The first item on the Téléjournal is about the controversial Cacouna oil port project. The journalist speaks to citizens in favour of and opposed to the project. Then the spokesperson for TransCanada, the project's sponsor, appears onscreen. His talking points aren't particularly noteworthy, but his face is strangely familiar.
1047. October 12, 2014 Richard Fidler How Bolivia is Leading the Global Fight Against Climate Disaster
We are "ecosocialists" because the climate crisis now bearing down on us is the major issue facing the world's peoples. It threatens the very survival of human life. It is directly caused by capitalism as a system. The alternative to capitalism is socialism, and our socialism must reflect the centrality of climate crisis in our thinking and actions.
1046. October 9, 2014 Kamran Nayeri Moving Forward After the People's Climate March
The September 21 People's Climate March in New York City was a huge success. Over 310,000 people consisting of hundreds of contingents of various origins and interests marched in New York (some have put the number of marchers as high as 400,000). The organizers report that 2,807 similar actions took place in 166 countries during that weekend.
1045. October 8, 2014 Liz Fekete Protecting European Democracy or Reviving the Cold War?
A new report by Human Rights First on fascism in Hungary and Greece raises important questions. But its orientation toward U.S. national interests smacks of Cold War thinking.
1044. October 7, 2014 Patrick Bond Climate Justice Resurfaces Amidst New York's Corporate Sharks
The world's largest ever march against climate change on Sunday (Sept 21) brought 400,000 people to the streets of New York, starting a lively parade at Central Park. On Tuesday, 120 of the world's political leaders -- notably not including the Chinese and Indians -- gathered 25 blocks away at the United Nations.
1043. October 3, 2014 Richard Fidler Scotland's Referendum: Some lessons for Quebec... and Canada
Superficially, the 55-45 victory of the No forces in Scotland's referendum September 18 was a clear rejection of independence. The Yes forces won a majority only in the four poorest and most deprived of the nation's 32 local divisions, although a class breakdown of the vote would show a majority of the working-class voted for independence.
1042. October 1, 2014 Sean Starrs Students Unfurl the 'Umbrella Revolution' in Hong Kong
The largest student demonstrations and occupations in Hong Kong's history is currently unfurling -- what is increasingly being called the 'Umbrella Revolution' in reference to the sea of umbrellas being used as cover against both pepper-spraying riot police and the rays of the sun (the latter a common practice in Northeast Asia).
1041. September 30, 2014 Dan La Botz Climate Convergence Moves Us Forward, But Challenges Us to Create a Strategy
The Global Climate Convergence with its more than one hundred workshops, its large plenary sessions, and its miles-long mass march of more than 300,000 people, the largest climate protest in American history, represents a turning point for the environmental movement.
1040. September 28, 2014 Benjamin Selwyn Beyond 2015: Is Another Development Possible?
As we near 2015, the United Nations will probably set new objectives on behalf of the global community to supersede the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are held largely by the UN, the World Bank and many anti-poverty campaigners, which I label here the anti-poverty consensus, to have been a success. According to the UN, The First MDG -- the objective of halving world poverty between 1990 and 2015 -- was achieved already in 2010.
1039. September 24, 2014 Asbjørn Wahl Ten Points for a Trade Union Strategy Against Climate Change
Firstly, I will establish some of the important factual basis on which we have to build our strategies and policies. Climate change is not a threat of the future, it is already happening here and now, it is man-made, and the consequences can be catastrophic.
1038. September 23, 2014 Ben Neal The Russian Far Right
The current crisis in Ukraine has, among other things, highlighted the issue of nationalism in the former Soviet republics, and in particular extreme right nationalism. The politics of the Euromaidan movement, which toppled President Viktor Yanukovych are overwhelmingly those of Ukrainian nationalism in various forms, and far right organizations such as the Right Sector and the Svoboda Party played significant roles in the movement.
1037. September 18, 2014 Chris Williams We Need System Change to Stop Climate Change
Viking I landed on Mars, the Ramones released their first album, the Soweto Uprising began in South Africa, North and South Vietnam reunified to become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Gerald Ford was in the White House. 1976: The same year scientists discovered that refrigerant chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, better known as CFCs, were responsible for creating a hole in the ozone layer.
1036. September 14, 2014 Eric Blanc National Liberation and Bolshevism Reexamined
A view from the Czarist empire's borderlands obliges us to rethink many long-held assumptions about the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, as well as the development of Marxist approaches to national liberation, peasant struggle, permanent revolution, and the emancipation of women.
1035. September 12, 2014 Ezgi Yildiz Shifting Centres and Dead-Ends
Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the first publicly elected President of Turkey in the history of the Republic, winning 52 per cent of the votes at the presidential elections of August 10. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, joint candidate of the CHP and the MHP, finished second with 38 per cent of the vote. Selahattin Demirtas of HDP came in third with 9.6 per cent of the votes.
1034. September 10, 2014 Roger Annis Ukraine Ceasefire: Underlying Political Conflicts Unresolved
A ceasefire in the war in eastern Ukraine was announced in Minsk, Belarus on September 5. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko made a simultaneous announcement in Wales where he was a special guest at the summit meeting of the NATO military alliance. A 12-point agreement was signed in Minsk by representatives of the Kyiv government and the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
1033. September 9, 2014 Dimitris Fasfalis Past and Present: Malcolm X in Ferguson
Protests, riots and police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, last August have laid bare "America's racial rift" says The Guardian Weekly. Mainstream opinion-makers have tended to interpret the Michael Brown case and the protests that followed his death in terms of police brutality, racial tensions, and legal responsibility (of the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old African American, Michael Brown), showing these events as specific to American society.
1032. September 5, 2014 J. F. Conway Déjà Vu in Edinburgh
It was hard not to remember the 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum as one walked the streets of Edinburgh in August. The Yes (Yes Scotland) and No (Better Together) sides campaigned relentlessly everywhere: tables in the streets; posters; TV ads; constant references during many Fringe performances. The city and the country were polarized.
1031. September 3, 2014 Mario Candeias Real Democracy and the Capture of Institutions
It is no longer enough to win over civil society, occupy public spaces, take to the streets, carry out symbolic actions, prevent evictions, or to win plebiscites. In Spain movements for 'real democracy' are setting a course to capture institutions -- albeit with the aim to recreate these institutions in a constitutive process in the interests of 'real democracy'.
1030. September 1, 2014 Sam Gindin and Michael Hurley Working Class Politics After the NDP
The issue that we can't ignore this Labour Day is the disorientation in our movement's politics. List the issues working people are most concerned about today -- whether deindustrialization, unemployment and underemployment; access to healthcare, childcare and pensions; poverty, racism, conditions of foreign workers and appalling levels of overall inequality; the environment, transit costs and transit services; another corporate-friendly trade agreement that is insensitive to workers and communities.
1029. August 31, 2014 Leo Panitch The U.S. Still Decides the Future of Capitalism
International attention has been diverted away from this year's G20 meetings in Australia by the declaration from the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, at their meeting in Fortaleza Brazil this July, that they would launch a new "BRICS bank."
1028. August 29, 2014 Leonard Gentle (part 2) South Africa and the Changing Politics of Labour
NUMSA has always been the left critic within COSATU. Its roots lay in the traditions of independent socialism of FOSATU and MAWU, which precede the formation of COSATU -- a tradition to the left of the SACP and long castigated as 'workerism' by the SACP and the ANC in the 1980s.
1027. August 27, 2014 Leonard Gentle South Africa and the Changing Politics of Labour
The two biggest signifiers of the state of the labour movement in South Africa in 2014 are, on the one hand, a terminal crisis within what is still, formally, the biggest trade union centre -- the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), aligned to the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), and, on the other, the emergence of new workplace militancies by workers, notably the national strike wave in the second half of 2013.
1026. August 26, 2014 Marta Harnecker New Paths Require a New Culture on the Left
I completed this book one month after the physical disappearance of President Hugo Chávez, without whose intervention in Latin America this book could not have been written. Many of the ideas I raise in it are related in one way or another to the Bolivarian leader, to his ideas and actions, within Venezuela and at the regional and global level.
1025. August 24, 2014 David Mandel Understanding the Civil War in Ukraine
The Ukrainian conflict, like most political phenomena, is multi-dimensional and highly complex. As such, it calls for a holistic -- dialectical, if you wish -- approach. But to judge by American and NATO spokespersons and by their mass media, there is only one really decisive factor that explains everything: Russia's imperialism, Vladimir Putin's determination to dominate and further dismember the Ukraine as part of his plan to restore the Soviet empire.
1024. August 22, 2014 John Riddell Responding to Capitalist Global Disaster: 1914 and Today
On June 28th, one hundred years ago, a Bosnian nationalist assassinated the crown prince of Austria-Hungary, setting in motion a chain of events that led a month later to the outbreak of the First World War. The war shattered the world socialist movement and unleashed an overwhelming social catastrophe in Europe, killing seventeen million soldiers and civilians.
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