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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
972. April 22, 2014 Mehmet Erman Erol (Re)Radicalization of the Working Class in Turkey?
Autonomy, occupation, self-management... these long-forgotten terms are back in Turkey since late 2012-early 2013. There have been several factory occupations since last year. The most prominent ones are, among others, Kazova, Greif, Zentiva, Feni?, Moda Socks Factory, Renault, and ?i?ecam Topkap? workplace occupations.
971. April 21, 2014 Kirsten Francescone Coeur Mines Treading in Dangerous Water at San Bartolome Mine in Bolivia
Recent protests surrounding the New Mining Law by the cooperative sector in Bolivia climaxed to dangerous levels this past week. The approval of the law was stalled when legislators modified the project in the Legislative Assembly. They claimed that an article allowing cooperatives to sign third-party contracts with private or foreign capital was unconstitutional and removed it.
970. April 20, 2014 Sam Gindin Raising Our Expectations
Looking back to the defeat of the labour movement since the early 1980s, three lessons seem especially important. First, any gains made under capitalism are temporary; they can be reversed. Second, the kind of unionism we developed in that earlier period of gains was inherently limited; it left us in a poor position to respond to the subsequent attacks. Third, absent new forms of working-class organization and practices, fatalism takes over and worker expectations fall.
969. April 18, 2014 Michael Laxer Free Transit: Three Reasons It Is an Idea Whose Time Has Come
On January 1, 2013, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, became the largest city in the world to make mass transit free for its residents. While the effects of having done this are, of course, specific to the context of the city itself, it has shown that a major city can do it and that it has been widely popular with its residents.
968. April 16, 2014 Campaign Against Drones in Pakistan Imperialism in South Asia and the War Against the People of Pakistan
On March 12, 2014, Canada's troops formally withdrew from Afghanistan after twelve years of participation in Western military occupation under the banners of NATO and ISAF. Nearly two weeks later the minister for citizenship and immigration, Chris Alexander, appeared on CBC to explain why, although Canada had supposedly succeeded in ensuring Afghanistan is no longer a base for terrorism, the main mission to "create a secure and stable environment" in Afghanistan had been a failure.
967. April 14, 2014 John Clarke Austerity and the Attack on Disability Benefits
At the beginning of this month, Ted McMeekin, the Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services, informed the provincial Legislature that his government will not be merging Ontario Works (OW) with the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Given that the Liberal's own 2012 Report of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario calls for such a merger, this belated statement of intentions is quite significant.
966. April 9, 2014 Herman Rosenfeld The New Struggle for Public Transit
As we in Canada (and especially Toronto) face the painful and seemingly never-ending process of developing actual projects for public transit expansion, the drumbeat of calls for privatization in its various forms is inescapably present. Indeed, there is a failure even to fund properly the existing public transit network in Toronto and other Canadian cities.
965. April 7, 2014 Panagiotis Sotiris The Left and the European Union
What has been happening in Greece, since the beginning of the austerity packages in 2010 can only be described in terms of a giant experiment in neoliberal social engineering. In terms of magnitude and scope it well surpasses the effects of the notorious IMF 'structural adjustment programs.'
964. April 4, 2014 Gal Kirn The Emergence of the New Left Party in Slovenia
Only a few years ago anyone advocating socialism in the Slovenian public media was seen either as an old nostalgic decrying 'good old times' and Josip Broz Tito, or as a leftist extremist, who in the political spectrum does not sit far away from the extreme right-wingers.
963. April 2, 2014 Austerity, the Hard Right and the French Election: Two Views
Barely two years after assuming office François Hollande finds himself to be the most unpopular French president in history. This past Sunday his Parti socialiste suffered serious defeats in local and municipal elections as French voters either abstained or supported parties of the Right.
962. April 1, 2014 Fabio Amato The Tsipras List
The Italian left seems hopelessly divided and has practically disappeared as a parliamentary left in recent years -- with the exception of Sinistra ecologia e libertà (Left-Ecology-Freedom), which, as a coalition partner of the centre-left government, has assumed responsibility for the neoliberal budget-cutting policies in the wake of the crisis.
961. March 31, 2014 Dan Freeman-Maloy Some Basic Thoughts on Québec and Anti-Imperialist Strategy
The Harper government has dragged Canadian politics to a point where intelligent criticism is difficult. Things are almost too obviously bad. On an international stage, it was enough to see the smug chuckles that Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman exchanged as Harper delivered his speech to Israeli parliament, urging Israel's leadership to stay the course toward regional wars.
960. March 29, 2014 Steve Ellner The Deceptive Use of the Phrase "Peaceful Protests" in Venezuela
The Venezuelan opposition and much of the media use the term 'peaceful protests' to distinguish gatherings of protesting students and other young people from the more violent actions including vandalism and shootings carried out by those outside of the university community.
959. March 28, 2014 Cindy McCallum Miller Hassan Husseini's CLC Challenge
This year's Canadian Labour Congress convention might be worth attending after all. With a presidential challenge in the air, labour leaders will have to trade in their silk shirts for a pair of overalls to show they still are connected to the working-class in order to seek the support of delegates.
958. March 27, 2014 John Weeks Neoliberalism and the Decline of Democracy
In one of his last books Eric Hobsbawm argued that the conflict between capitalism and communism determined the course of the twentieth century (thus the title, The Age of Extremes: the Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991). This confrontation of socioeconomic ideologies without doubt dominated European and global history, especially after 1945.
957. March 25, 2014 Steve Ellner The Strategy of the Venezuelan Opposition and How it Works
The strategy and tactics of the Venezuelan opposition is a replay of events that took place leading up to the coup against Hugo Chávez on April 11, 2002 and is similar (although in some ways quite different) from the script that has been used in the Ukraine and elsewhere. The blatant distortions and in some cases lies of the media (CNN in Spanish playing a lead role) represent an essential element in the strategy.
956. March 24, 2014 Sungur Savran Turkish PM Erdogan Playing with Fire
Three events that occurred in the space of three days create sufficient ground for suspecting that [Turkish Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan is playing with the Syrian fire in order to extricate himself out of the situation he faces. First, a commando of three foreign fundamentalist militants engage in a shootout with the gendarmes and the police on a motorway in Central Anatolia, leaving one policeman, one gendarme and one passer-by dead.
955. March 24, 2014 Jeffery R. Webber Contra the Blasé Wisdom of Sober Old Men
"When great hopes have lead in their wings," writes the French revolutionary Daniel Bensaïd, "little ones spring up like mushrooms on the ground, in everyday resistance and miniscule conspiracies." Bensaïd died in January 2010, at the age of 63, from cancer. The cancer was brought on by drugs he had been taking to combat Aids, which he had contracted 16 years prior.
954. March 23, 2014 Sungur Savran Turkey at the Crossroads
So it has come to this! As the whole world is aware, the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken the step of banning Twitter! The government is probably sounding the reaction of the public and planning to ban YouTube as well, since that has been the site where all the wiretapped conversations have been posted.
953. March 21, 2014 Sam Gindin Underestimating Capital, Overestimating Labour
There could not be a sharper analytical difference between Andrew Kliman and I on how we understand the trajectory of U.S. capital and U.S. labour over the quarter century leading to the Great Financial Crisis. He sees it as a period of "secular stagnation" -- i.e. protracted low growth -- while I argue, along with my co-author Leo Panitch, that it has been one of the most dynamic eras for capital in American history.
952. March 20, 2014 Carol-Anne Hudson Pink Wages and the Colour of Economic Exclusion
The current debate in Ontario over raising the minimum wage offers insights into the politics of wage-setting in the neoliberal era, which is based on the notion that labour markets are gender neutral, colour blind, and that workers and employers meet each other on equal ground.
951. March 19, 2014 Gregor Gysi Ukraine -- Diplomacy Is the Only Way
The following is the text from a speech delivered on March 13th by Gregor Gysi, a prominent member of the German Left Party (Die Linke). In his address to the Bundestag, Gysi sharply criticizes Germany and other Western countries, as well as Russia, for their intervention in Ukraine. He points to a new power struggle between the United States and Russia and to violations of international law by all sides.
950. March 17, 2014 Simon Kiss Ontario NDP Waging War on Public Investment
Public transit remains a crucial policy issue for the province of Ontario, but it is not clear that citizens will get good solutions any time soon. Investment in public transit is expensive, often requires raising taxes and can get bogged down in the nitty-gritty politics of neighbourhood planning, not to mention partisan competition.
949. March 14, 2014 Alex Wilson The Blossoming of Idle No More
The First Nations-led movement Idle No More emerged in Canada in December 2012 to protest legislation that threatened both the rights of First Nations and environmental protections. The movement has since spread into the U.S. and beyond -- and has become one of the central voices in the struggle for Indigenous and ecological justice.
948. March 12, 2014 David Mandel Ukraine Between Popular Uprising for Democracy and Fascist Putsch
Let's begin with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's version. One can think what one likes about deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, but his election in 2012 was recognized as legitimate by international observers and, after a certain hesitation, by the defeated candidate, Yulia Timoshenko.
947. March 10, 2014 Steve Ellner Violence in Venezuela Caused by Opposition, Not Government
The slant of Venezuela's private media and the international media on what is happening in Venezuela is clear: the government is responsible for the violence. In the first place, it is said, government-ordered gunmen are shooting at peaceful demonstrators and the violence generated by the opposition is just a response to the brutality of police and military forces.
946. March 6, 2014 NUMSA The State of Class Struggle in South Africa
It is impossible to deny that the world has seen the most severe crisis of the global capitalist system. And, there is no end in sight, to this crisis. More than anything else, what makes the current systemic and structural global crisis of capitalism more dangerous and frightening than in the past is the total intellectual, ideological, political and moral bankruptcy of the world capitalist leaders and their capitalist theorists.
945. March 5, 2014 Faculty for Palestine The Academic Boycott of Israel Demands Freedom for All
Monday March 3rd marked the start of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) 2014 on campuses across Canada. 2014 is an especially important year for IAW in Canada because it is an opportunity to hear a narrative that runs counter to the one that Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented during his recent visit to Israel, an understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict that was then amplified by an uncritical mainstream media.
944. March 4, 2014 Judith Marshall Building a United Front Against Neoliberalism
Watching the events to commemorate Nelson Mandela's death was to watch history being re-written. Mandela the terrorist was forgotten. International leaders of every stripe struggled to bask in his aura of courage and forgiveness as if they'd always been at his side.
943. March 3, 2014 Richard Greeman Ukraine, Coup or Revolution?
The Ukraine is no longer 'in flames.' With the hurried flight of the detested Viktor Yanukovych, peace and order have descended on Kiev (except for some fistfights in the Parliament!) There is no looting. Self-organized popular militias protect the luxurious Presidential Palace as crowds of citizen file through to gape at his collections of antique and modern automobiles.
942. February 28, 2014 Jeffery R. Webber and Susan Spronk February Traumas
"Today the counter-revolutionary Right is reactivating itself," according to long-time Venezuelan revolutionary Roland Denis, "taking advantage of the profound deterioration that this slow revolutionary process is suffering. Its reappearance and interlacing with 'democratic civil society' is a clear signal to the popular movement that we either convert this moment into a creative and reactivating crisis of the collective revolutionary will, or we bid farewell to this beautiful and traumatic history that we have built over the last 25 years."
941. February 26, 2014 Esther Kuperman Time for Changes
Brazil is not an easy country to understand. Over the past 20 years, despite the apparent changes in the relationship between state and society, there has not been in fact a substantial disruption in economic, social, and policy structures. The rise of the Workers' Party and its election in 2002 have created an expectation of great changes in the political direction of Brazil.
940. February 25, 2014 Mate Kapovic A Revolution on the Periphery of Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina on Fire
On 7 February, government buildings were on fire all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, silent for a long time, finally decided to speak their minds. And when they did, those were not words -- it was a roar. It was fire, stones and heavy fighting with the police.
939. February 23, 2014 Sam Gindin The UAW at Volkswagen: Workers, Unions and the Left
For those of us who continue to believe in the potential and importance of the working-class to the eventual transformation of capitalism, it is easy enough to explain away the majority vote against unionization of the VW plant in Chattanooga as a failure of the UAW bureaucracy. But that is too easy.
938. February 20, 2014 Sabrina Fernandes Brazil and Coercion
If 2013 put popular protests back into the historical map of Brazil, 2014 is certainly prone to be even more essential for asserting the lasting power of contestation by the radical Left. It was already a special year because of major elections for legislative and executive positions, including the presidential office, and due to the international attention expected during the FIFA World Cup.
937. February 17, 2014 Greg Sharzer The Contradictions of Localism
First I'd like to quickly define some terms. 'Local' is a space distinct from larger regional, national and international spaces. But it's also relational, a moment in the global capital circuit. It's amorphous, changing depending on what you're measuring: political, social, economic, and so on.
936. February 14, 2014 Irvin Jim "Manifestos and Reality"
I speak to you today with a powerful and united mandate from 341,150 metalworkers. They made their views extremely clear in our workers' parliament in December last year -- the parliament we called the NUMSA Special National Congress. In that parliament there was vigorous debate.
935. February 12, 2014 Sam Ashman and Nicolas Pons-Vignon NUMSA Rupture Could Mark New Start for Socialist Politics in South Africa
The resolutions adopted at the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's congress in December mark an important rupture in South African politics. NUMSA, the Congress of South African Trade Unions' largest affiliate, has refused to endorse the African National Congress ahead of this year's elections and is to explore the establishment of a new movement for socialism.
934. February 7, 2014 Esther Vivas Spain: Popular Resistance Delivers Results
"Resisting is pointless," we hear endlessly repeated. "So many years of protest but the crisis continues, why bother?" insist others, inoculating us with apathy and resignation. "Protests could lead to something that's even worse," whispers the machinery of fear.
933. February 5, 2014 Leonard Gentle Forging a New Movement: NUMSA and the Shift in South Africa's Politics
The decision of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to cut ties with the African National Congress has received poor analysis. Comment has tended to focus on the possibility of a new political party in 2019 or whether all this means that suspended general secretary of COSATU Zwelinzima Vavi will get his job back.
932. January 29, 2014 Alan Sears and James Cairns Austerity U: Preparing Students for Precarious Lives
Almost everywhere you look around the world, policy-makers are introducing big changes to university systems and pondering deeper transformation. It isn't surprising that these changes take different forms on campuses in countries as different as Canada, Britain, the United States, Chile, Greece, and India, but there are also important common themes in the change agenda globally.
931. January 27, 2014 Michal Rozworski Ideology and Central Banking in the Crisis: The Canadian Experience
'Privatizing gains and socializing losses' could be the motto for the neoliberal era. Alongside this and 'there is no alternative,' few slogans better capture the ideology that has been so successfully diffused throughout the world over the past several decades.
930. January 23, 2014 Adam Hanieh Lineages of Revolt
The book was written over the course of 2011 and 2012 and was intended as a contribution to some of the debates that emerged in these first years of the Arab uprisings. I did not want to write another narrative account of the uprisings themselves.
929. January 20, 2014 Ronnie Flores What Drives Gentrification?
The gentrification of a neighborhood often produces conflicting impressions on residents and non-residents. On the one hand, the area seems safer than in the past, houses are increasingly renovated, and new cultural and commercial resources are established.
928. January 15, 2014 Roger Annis Mass Protests Grow as Military Drags Egypt Back to Dictatorship
The military-dominated regime that seized power in Egypt in July 2013 has escalated its attacks on freedom and democracy in the country. A series of pronouncements were issued in late December, including the banning of the country's largest political movement -- the Muslim Brotherhood.
927. January 13, 2014 Alfredo Saad Filho Two Transitions in Brazil: Dilemmas of a Neoliberal Democracy
This article reviews the background and the implications of two transitions in Brazil: the political transition from a military regime (1964-85) to democracy (1985-present), and the economic transition from import-substituting industrialization (ISI, 1930-80) to neoliberalism (1990-present).
926. January 10, 2014 Andreas Bieler Crucible of Resistance
Many commentators make Greece and other peripheral EU members responsible for the sovereign debt crisis. People in these countries would have lived above their means and it was only right that they should tighten their belts now, the argument goes.
925. January 8, 2014 Prabhat Patnaik The Elusive Recovery
The world capitalist crisis which began in 2008 not only persists but is worsening. The second half of 2013 was supposed to be the period when growth in the major advanced countries would gather momentum. The IMF had predicted in spring that activity would "gradually accelerate."
924. January 6, 2014 Brian Ward First Nations Fight Against the Frackers
After facing months of protest led by the Mi'kmaq people of the Elsipogtog Nation in New Brunswick, the frackers of Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) have left the province and announced they won't be back before 2015.
923. January 3, 2014 The Geopolitical Ecology of Empire's Ally
Jordy Cummings interviews Greg Albo and Jerome Klassen, co-editors of Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan.
922. January 2, 2014 Mario Candeias Which Way to the Winter Palace, Please?
Tiggered by the Arab Spring, a series of transnational movements, such as the Indignants and Occupy Wall Street, began gathering pace in 2011 in Europe, Turkey, the U.S., Chile and Brazil. The events are being driven by an urban precariat that is better educated than ever before. Time and again, spaces open up for protests and organizing.
921. January 1, 2014 Christoph Hermann Fifteen Years of Postal Service Liberalization in Europe
In 2013, a fifteen year process of the liberalization of postal services in the European Union came to a preliminary end as the last member states abolished the remaining sections of the national post monopolies. In theory, any private company that obtains a license from the market regulator can now provide postal services in Europe.
920. December 31, 2013 Sam Gindin Puzzle or Misreading? Stagnation, Austerity and Left Politics
That the many attempts to theorize the crisis of 2008, the deepest crisis since the Depression, have at best been inconclusive should not be all that surprising. After all, as Michael Bernstein noted in the late 1980s, a half-century after the Great Depression there was not yet any general agreement on the causes of that economic collapse. Another quarter century later, such a consensus over that long passed crisis has still not emerged.
919. December 30, 2013 Priscillia Lefebvre Young Workers and Union Organizing: CUPE and Unionizing at Carleton University
It is no secret that the conditions for young workers are deteriorating. Many are not only struggling to keep up with rent increases and the cost of living but are also lumbered with overwhelming student debt. CUPE states that it recognizes young workers as especially vulnerable to exploitation.
918. December 27, 2013 Mario Pianta An Industrial Policy for Europe
A new departure for industrial policy in Europe is needed for five major reasons. The first is rooted in macroeconomics; exiting the current depression requires a substantial increase in demand, which could come from a Europe-wide public investment plan.
917. December 26, 2013 Mike Treen Migrant Workers Fight Exploitation in New Zealand
In the course of this past week, Unite Union has dealt with several cases of extreme exploitation of migrant workers. It seems that some of the liquor shops around Auckland have been employing students from India and paying a pittance -- four or five dollars an hour, well below the legal minimum of $13.75 an hour. The students were working well in excess of the legal 20 hours a week allowed under their student visas.
916. December 25, 2013 Paul Bowles and Henry Veltmeyer Voices of Resistance to the Northern Gateway Pipeline
At the time of writing, the National Energy Board's Joint Review Panel has just published its recommendation that the Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway to transport Alberta's tar sands oil to the northwest coast of British Columbia should be approved subject to 209 conditions.
915. December 23, 2013 Roger Annis The Fossil Fuel Wars in British Columbia and Canada
The fossil fuel industry offensive in British Columbia and across Canada is proceeding relentlessly. This is a report from some of the key fronts of the fossil fuel wars.
914. December 20, 2013 Chris Williams Warsaw Climate Talks Go Up in Smoke
"The smell of inaction" is how Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth Mozambique's international program director for climate justice and energy, summed up the atmosphere inside the giant Narodowy Stadium after the first week of the latest round of international climate negotiations, Conference of the Parties, otherwise known as COP 19, taking place November 11-22, 2013, in Warsaw, Poland.
913. December 19, 2013 Doug Nesbitt and David Bush We Can Beat The Right And Win The Fight At Canada Post
The decision by Canada Post to end home-delivery, increase postage and eliminate approximately 10,000 jobs is, in our opinion, an egregious assault on public services in Canada. If this plan goes through it will weaken the union movement, put a key federal public service on the path to privatization, and land another neoliberal blow against social solidarity.
912. December 18, 2013 Michal Rozworski Canada's Profitability and Stagnation Puzzle
Most developed economies continue to experience fall-out from the financial crisis of 2007-08. The Eurozone has been most ravaged, but the U.S. and UK have not fared much better. After the initial rebound from the most severe crisis, growth in many economies has been decelerating to the point that some are once again contracting in real terms. At the same time, unemployment remains high, real incomes are flat for the vast majority, inequality is on the rise and austerity programs targeted at social services are eating further into living standards.
911. December 16, 2013 Roger Annis Time for Protest Against the Degradation of Postal and Other Public Services
As Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper was mixing it up with world leaders at the funeral service for Nelson Mandela, his government at home dropped a bombshell, a shocker. Harper's government wants Canada to become the first advanced capitalist country to eliminate door-to-door postal delivery. The stealth announcement by Canada Post was also timed to follow the Christmas adjournment of Parliament.
910. December 15, 2013 Noaman G. Ali Elections in Nepal and Questions for People's Struggles
As a result of the constitutional impasse, November elections were called with some 120 parties contesting for 601 seats in a new Assembly. Nepal has been one of the few political openings for the Left anywhere in the world, and these results in South Asia merit considerable scrutiny and debate. The Bullet presents two contributions to that discussion.
909. December 13, 2013 John S. Saul A Flawed Freedom
Has the time come when it might be possible to move past the well-deserved praise-song phase of the marking of Nelson Mandela's death in order to strike a more careful balance-sheet on the meaning for present-day South Africa of his storied career? Of course, it remains extremely difficult to speak dispassionately on such matters this close to his impressive funeral.
908. December 11, 2013 Dan Freeman-Maloy Palestine in Canadian Politics
Early this month, the Canadian section of Israel's quasi-governmental Jewish National Fund (JNF) made a big show of honouring Stephen Harper at its annual "Negev Dinner." It was the first time a sitting Canadian prime minister served as the gala's honouree -- and a grating reminder of how bad Canadian politics on Palestine have gotten.
907. December 10, 2013 Mike Treen Climate Change and Socialism
By embracing the fight against climate change, we need to explain that this is a fight for a new world that restores the balance between Mother Earth and our needs as a species. The continuing pretense that the world governments will do anything about climate change was exposed once more at the latest round of climate negotiations held in Poland November 11-22. This was the 19th round of annual negotiations.
906. December 9, 2013 Carlo Fanelli Climate Change: 'The Greatest Challenge of Our Time'
The 2014 issue of Alternate Routes came together as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its fifth report in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 1988 by the United Nations (UN) and the World Meteorological Organization, the most recent IPCC report brings together over 600 climate scientists from over 130 countries. Because every last word of the IPCC reports must be signed off by all UN members, the reports are among the world's most comprehensively vetted and exhaustively reviewed scientific publications.
905. December 4, 2013 Suzanne Weiss Solidarity Saved Me from Hitler: Now it Must Save Palestine
We hear disturbing reports this year from southern Israel. The government proposes to relocate some 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their present homes to government-approved townships. This is called the Prawer Plan, and Israel's parliament approved it by a three-vote majority in June. The Prawer Plan would destroy 35 Bedouin villages in the Negev region and extinguish Bedouin claims to land seized from them after the foundation of Israel.
904. December 2, 2013 Ben Campbell System Change or Climate Change?
Amid disputes between developed and developing countries, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP19) in Warsaw, Poland are set to conclude November 23rd with little in the way of progress. Environmental groups and trade unions walked out of the conference last Thursday, just after developing nations had staged a dramatic exit of Wednesday morning's session.
903. November 30, 2013 Doug Nesbitt Heinz Leamington: Ripe for a Cooperative
The closure of the Leamington, Ontario Heinz factory by mid-2014 will result in 740 job losses in the industrial and agricultural region of southwestern Ontario between London and Windsor, Ontario. Over thirty tomato farms are losing contracts with Heinz which will also put 350 migrant worker jobs at risk.
902. November 28, 2013 Charles Smith Privacy and the Right to Strike in Canada
The neoliberal assault on labour has now entered its fourth decade. While Canada's labour union density continues to hover around thirty percent, that number hides declining density rates in the private sector. Equally concerning for the labour movement has been the long assault on the post-war labour freedoms to organize, bargain, and strike.
901. November 26, 2013 Herman Rosenfeld No Transit Fare Increase!
The entire Canadian urban public transit system is in serious crisis after years of neglect and underfunding from the neoliberal policies adopted by all levels of government in Canada. This is compounded by Canada's singular lack of a national transit strategy -- a stunning example of the utter backwardness of the Canadian state system and the stifling political hegemony of the capitalist classes.
900. November 22, 2013 Herman Rosenfeld Stop Line 9 Should Be Labour's Demand
One would have hoped that Canada's newest and largest private sector union UNIFOR, would have been out front in the growing movement against Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline reversal. This key new organization of Canada's working-class needs to join First Nations, environmental activists, young people, Occupy veterans, other unionists and working people in communities across Ontario in organizing to demand that Line 9 be stopped.
899. November 17, 2013 Greg Albo Challenging Harper's Imperialist Agenda
It has become commonplace to observe that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has been re-making the symbols and practices of the Canadian state. Canada, in this view, was once the social democratic heartland of North America. But under Harper, Canada has been transformed into a hyper-regime of neoliberal market fundamentalism.
898. November 14, 2013 Nicole Colson Pouring Fuel on the Climate Change Fire
The earth is on fire. If that statement sounds alarmist, it's because you should be alarmed. Each month seems to bring new and more frightening proof of the effects of man-made climate change. But a new generation of activists is equipping itself with the cold, hard facts -- and confronting the corporate arsonists who set the blaze.
897. November 13, 2013 The Philippines Typhoon: Climate Change and Political Disaster
The Philippines is a country long wracked by political corruption, colonialism, military occupation and dependence and millions living in poverty. When natural disasters hit, such as Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 storm battering the Philippines on November 8, these social faultlines are exposed. The majority of the population are little prepared for the storm, and even less able to cope with the humanitarian disaster in the aftermath.
896. November 11, 2013 Stefan Kipfer The Scandalization of Politics: On FordLisi, HarperDuffy, and a Few Others
We are gripped by scandal. In Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is implicated in a top-level cover up of illegal expense claims by one his own foot soldiers: now-suspended Senator Mike Duffy. In Toronto, police surveillance data reveal that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Alessandro Lisi (his "occasional driver and friend" !?!) move effortlessly between drug deals, football fields and the mayor's office.
895. November 6, 2013 Robert Ogman After the Evictions: The U.S. Occupy Movement Struggling at the Front Lines of the Crisis
Three years after the financial meltdown of 2008, the U.S. Occupy movement opened the possibility for a left regroupment against resurgent neoliberalism. Yet the forceful eviction from the squares just two months after the movement emerged, cut short the development of such a constituting power, of a historic bloc of the 99%. Suddenly dispossessed of the "spatial centers of its hegemonic apparatus," it was robbed of its basis for "(counter)hegemonic practices and functions."
894. November 5, 2013 Roger Annis The Canadian Appointed Senate and the Drift to Authoritarian Rule
Stephen Harper and his governing, Conservative Party hierarchy were hoping that the brawl they have picked with Canada's appointed Senate would be wrapped up in time for the party's two-day national convention in Calgary this past weekend. That would allow them to more easily play up the great news of yet another destructive, globalization/investment treaty as well as their ambitious plans to expand fossil fuel extraction and burning in this era of global warming.
893. November 1, 2013 Daniel Tanuro Belgium: Class Trade Unionism Seeks Political Expression
In the social and political history of Belgium, May 1, 2012, could mark a milestone. On that day the leaders of the Charleroi regional branch of the socialist trade union General Federation of Belgian Labour -- the second biggest in the country, with 102,000 members -- publicly broke with the social-democratic party and called for a rallying of the left to the perspective of a new broad, anti-capitalist force to the left of the Parti Socialiste and the Greens.
892. October 30, 2013 Roger Annis Damage Control: Oil Train Derailment in Alberta and Gas Fracking Protest in New Brunswick
Another oil train derailment and explosion in Canada has sent nearby residents fleeing from their homes in the middle of the night. It happened at 1 a.m. on October 19 on a CN Rail line outside the hamlet of Gainford, Alberta, 85 km west of Edmonton. The accident coincides with new steps by the Canadian government to extend oil and other resource extraction into the Arctic.
891. October 28, 2013 Ali Abunimah Toronto Transit Bans 'Disappearing Palestine' Ad Claiming Risk of Anti-Jewish Violence
The Toronto Transit Commission has rejected a group's bus ad showing Israel's expropriation of Palestinian land over time, claiming the ad could incite anti-Jewish discrimination and violence. The ad, sponsored by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), is similar to others that have appeared in cities all over North America -- including Vancouver. CJPME has said it is ready to appeal the censorship of the ad all the way to Canada's Supreme Court.
890. October 25, 2013 Leo Panitch The U.S. Shutdown is the Latest in this 'Dysfunctional' Relationship Saga
Now that the latest standoff between the U.S. treasury and Congress is over, it may be helpful to put it in some historical perspective. Indeed, the outcome brings to mind the former treasury secretary Robert Rubin's understanding, when he faced a similar harrowing experience with Congress two decades ago, that the standoff was meant "to oppose us without stopping us."
889. October 19, 2013 Derrick O'Keefe Seize the Moment, Stand with Elsipogtog
Canada's colonial past is present, however much Prime Minister Stephen Harper seeks to obfuscate the reality of the history of this land. This week has served as a prime example of how denial of past colonialism helps to perpetuate ongoing colonial relationships. The current flashpoint is the small town of Rexton, New Brunswick, where the Elsipogtog First Nation and their supporters are facing down massive RCMP repression.
888. October 18, 2013 Richard Fidler; Alfredo Rada Bolivian Government Authorizes Workers to Take Over Closed or Abandoned Firms
On October 7, President Evo Morales issued a government decree that allows workers to establish "social enterprises" in businesses that are bankrupt, winding up, or unjustifiably closed or abandoned. These enterprises, while private, will be operated by the workers and qualify for government assistance.
887. October 11, 2013 Andreas Bieler What Future for Social Democracy?
On 9 September 2013, a red-green alliance led by the social democratic Labour Party lost the Norwegian general elections. Only two weeks later, the German Social Democrats (SPD) only came a poor second with just over 25 per cent of the votes in their country's general elections. Even if it ends up as the junior partner in a grand coalition, the clear winner was the centre-right Christian Democratic Party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, which missed only narrowly an absolute majority in parliament.
886. October 2, 2013 Andreas Bieler Forget the Welfare State?
The welfare state has been under pressure since the mid-1980s and the onset of neoliberal economic policies across Europe. Capital has used the current crisis to intensify this pressure further. In Southern Europe, this is often directly enforced through the Troika in exchange for bailout packages, but in other countries such as the UK too, drastic cuts are justified by reference to increasing national debt and the global financial crisis.
885. September 27, 2013 Prospects for a Continental Workers' Movement: A Friendly Debate
The two articles that follow are part of a debate on the prospects and problems of building international working-class solidarity and struggle. They focus on these issues for the case of North America, a continent bound together through NAFTA, continental economic integration, overlapping labour markets, and U.S.-Canadian unions. Dan La Botz' article presents a very positive but critical commentary on Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui's book Continental Crucible.
884. September 23, 2013 A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi Agrarian Sovereignty and the Agrarian Question
As activists and scholar-practitioners from around the world gathered in New Haven, Connecticut last weekend at the Food Sovereignty conference to debate the future of the world food system, it is obvious that the planet faces a systemic global subsistence crisis: almost a billion people chronically malnourished, another billion people always unsure from where their next meal will come, 500 million that are clinically obese, and 1.5 billion people that are overweight.
883. September 22, 2013 Asbjørn Wahl and Roy Pedersen The Norwegian National Election
The red-green coalition government in Norway, whose political platform when it took power in 2005 was called the most progressive in Europe, experienced a bitter defeat in the country's parliamentary election on 9 September. A coalition of four centre-right and right-wing parties, including a right-wing populist party, gained a solid majority and are now negotiating the political platform for a new government.
882. September 20, 2013 Katja Kipping The German Election, 2013
We're having really good experiences. It starts with our placards. You see a big difference between us, and the colourful mishmash of the other parties. The placards are striking and clear, but they also present very concrete demands, which you can pin us down on: a solidaristic minimum pension of 1050 euros; a 10 euro minimum wage; a guaranteed minimum income instead of Hartz-IV.
881. September 19, 2013 Ali Abunimah How Occupation Was Dressed Up as Peace
The 'peace process' between Israel and the Palestinians that began with the signing of accords in Oslo, Norway, 20 years ago this month was widely celebrated at the time as an important step toward establishing a 'viable Palestinian state.' But in the two decades since, the Palestinian economy has been further decimated, Israel has expanded its Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank, and the other Occupied Territory of Gaza has been subjected to a suffocating siege and regular military strikes.
880. September 18, 2013 Steve Early AFL-CIO Convention: Leaving Existing Members Behind?
As American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations leaders packed up to leave Los Angeles last Wednesday, they basked in the glow of favourable media coverage of their five-day convention. The meeting concluded, per usual, with fulsome delegate praise for President Rich Trumka's carefully scripted chairing and bold personal leadership.
879. September 17, 2013 Leonard Gentle A Week in August in South Africa
It is reported that Lenin once observed that there are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. British Labour Party Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, was to similarly explore the vicissitudes of political time when he remarked that: "A week is a long time in politics." August is a strange month in South Africa. We can either see it as the worst of a long winter or as the beginning of spring.
878. September 16, 2013 Sam Gindin Beyond the Economic Crisis: The Crisis In Trade Unionism
Discussions on the left about the economy might be summarized as warning that things are going to get a lot worse before they get...worse. This is not just a matter of the sustained attacks on the labour movement but as much a reflection of the crisis within labour. For some three decades now, labour has been stumbling on, unable to organizationally or ideologically rebut the attacks summarized as 'neoliberalism.'
877. September 13, 2013 Michael A. Lebowitz Contested Reproduction and the Contradictions of Socialism
Why did 'real socialism' and, in particular the Soviet Union, fall? Let me note a few explanations that have been offered. With respect to the Soviet Union, one very interesting explanation that has been suggested is that it's all the fault of Mikhail Gorbachev. And not simply the errors of Gorbachev but the treachery. Those who offer this explanation rely in particular upon a document which is sometimes described as his confession.
876. September 11, 2013 Rolando Vergara and Miguel Sanchez Allende and 21st Century Socialism
September 11, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the military coup in Chile, the 40th anniversary of the heroic death of Salvador Allende in La Moneda palace, and it will also mark the 40th year of the Chilean diaspora spread around the world. It is, undoubtedly, a relevant historical date for Chileans, Latin Americans, and for progressive people around the world.
875. September 11, 2013 Carlos Torres September 11: Forty Years Later
On September 11, millions of Chileans commemorate 40 years since the coup d'état in which the Palace of La Moneda in Santiago was attacked by warplanes and President Salvador Allende died fighting the conspirators. This event marked years of state terrorism and bloodshed in our country and the fortieth anniversary of the assault has been a political and emotional recollection for our friends and comrades from around the world.
874. September 10, 2013 Jeffrey Noonan Win This Strike!
Following his election as President of Unifor, Jerry Dias, rallying the troops, argued: "Unifor is here because it's time to stop playing defence and start playing offence. It's time to stop reacting and time to start acting. It's time to set the agenda . . . We have to show our collective power." Let us hope the troops have been rallied, because the time for offence has arrived. On September 8th, CUPE Local 1393 representing 282 technical staff at the University of Windsor was forced to take strike action.
873. September 9, 2013 David Bush Blowing Up The CFS?
I would first off like to say that until very recently I have never been in a student union that was part of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). I had spent my undergraduate years at Dalhousie University where I was represented by the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU), a part of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA).
872. September 8, 2013 Gavin Fridell Coffee Crisis in Central America
A major coffee crisis is brewing in Central America. Its impact has already been felt by the poorest workers and farmers, and things could get a whole lot worse. In 2012 an outbreak of "coffee leaf rust" hit Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The outbreak is the worst in over thirty years, affecting over 50 per cent of the total coffee growing area in the region, causing a nearly 20 per cent drop in production and costing the industry around $500-million.
871. September 6, 2013 Yasin Kaya Turkey: Crisis at Home, Crisis in the World
Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey are encountering significant economic turbulence. Since late 2008, the U.S. Federal Reserve has been pumping liquidity into financial markets, amounting to $85-billion a month since last December. The cheap money enabled by low short and long term interest rates flooded into "emerging markets" with the expectations for higher returns by financial capital from this 'carry trade.'
870. September 4, 2013 Dimitris Psarras The Greek Neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn - No Pasaran?
Ever since the founding of Golden Dawn at the beginning of the 1980s, the same group of people have continued to make up its leadership, with Nikolaos Michaloliakos as undisputed leader. At the time of the dictatorship of the colonels, Michaloliakos was a member of the neo-Nazi organization called Party of the Fourth of August, the party of Nationalist Socialist Constantin Plevris. After the fall of the dictatorship, there were numerous attempts by people nostalgic for the junta in collaboration with the Italian neo-fascists of Ordine Nuovo.
869. September 3, 2013 Roger Annis Climate Change and Social Change
As the toxic oil from the July 6 oil train disaster in Lac Mégantic, Quebec seeps deeper into the town center's soil and disperses into waterways, and as town residents slowly reestablish their shattered lives, the corporate interests that caused the disaster and have been keeping a low profile are beginning to assert themselves anew.
868. August 22, 2013 Mimmo Porcaro A New Type of Art: From Connective to Strategic Party
My short essay on Lenin is mainly a polemic against the practice -- very widespread in the Italian left -- of using the justified criticism of 'state socialism' and the necessary idea of social self-organization as an alibi in order never to confront the question of state power and control of the means of production.
867. August 20, 2013 Roger Annis "Silence is complacency": Against the Coup in Egypt
Friends, I am here today to express our shock, anger and outrage at the violence of the military regime that took power in Egypt last month in an illegal and unconstitutional coup d'état. We express our solidarity with the brave and courageous people across Egypt who are standing up to this regime and its bullets. We join them in calling for a return to constitutional rule.
866. August 19, 2013 John Milios and Haris Triandafilidou Taking Power In and Beyond the State
The near election victory of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in June 2012 has made the debate over the conditions for a left to take power of burning contemporary significance. With nearly 27 per cent of the popular vote, the formation of a government clearly to the left of social democracy has moved from being a far-off wish for the future to a real, tangible possibility of the present in Greece.
865. August 16, 2013 Jan Rehmann Connective Party or Return to a "War of Maneuver"?
Mimmo Porcaro's project of a "connective mass party" was a response to two opposite experiences: on the one hand to the failure of the traditional communist model of a vanguard party, and on the other hand, to the limits of "horizontal" social movement networks loosely assembled under the umbrella of the World Social Forum. Compared to both, Porcaro's proposal has significant strengths.
864. August 15, 2013 Mario Candeias Creating a Situation that Does Not Yet Exist
Whether these are pre-revolutionary times is hard to say. What is clear is that we are experiencing an interregnum, a period of transformation during which an increasingly authoritarian and post-democratic neoliberal power bloc defends its interest, even obstructing inner-capitalistic solutions to the crisis (like green capitalist initiatives).
863. August 13, 2013 Maité Llanos The Future We Don't Want
The "green economy' was one of the central issues debated during this year's International Labour (ILO) Conference in Geneva. Business, workers and governments discussed "sustainable development, decent jobs and green jobs." It is doubtless an achievement to have sustainable development on the ILO agenda, but the framing of the discussion was out of step with the aspirations of many unions and social movements.
862. August 12, 2013 Ingo Schmidt German Economists Rehearse a Rebellion
The fear of losing one's social and economic status and the distrust of EU institutions and international financial markets, which have greatly increased since the outbreak of the euro crisis, are the raw material for the construction of the electoral bases of right-wing populists such as Nigel Farage in Great Britain and Frank Stronach in Austria, but also for far-right figures like Marine Le Pen.
861. August 8, 2013 Ingo Schmidt German Politicians Take Aim at the Euro
German voters are heading to the ballot box on September 22. The re-election of incumbent chancellor Angela Merkel seems certain. The latest polls saw her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at 42 per cent, a 16 per cent lead over the social democrats. What is less certain, however, is with which party the conservatives will form a coalition government.
860. August 7, 2013 SYRIZA: The Great Social and Political Movement of Subversion
The Conference of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) is a continuity and a breakthrough in its course, which started in 2000, continued with its official founding in 2004, and was sealed when it took on the historic responsibility to deliver the Greek people from the catastrophic neoliberal memoranda policies that have turned our country into a debt colony and led its creative, social, and productive forces to marginalization.
859. August 6, 2013 Carlos Vainer Mega-Events, Mega-Businesses, Mega-Protests in Brazil
There is no need to argue about the importance of Brazilian struggles and manifestations in recent days. They express an extraordinary willingness to change not only transportation, education and health policies, as some analysts have put it -- reducing their significance -- but to radically transform Brazilian society and its ways of exercising political power.
858. August 3, 2013 Harry Glasbeek The Presumed Innocence of Capitalism and Lac-Megantic
It is always the same. First the shock and horror, then the anger. A terrible environmental disaster inflicted by Beyond Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico; a horrendous explosion at Union Carbide's Bhopal plant; a mine disaster, burying people at Westray in Nova Scotia; a factory building collapsing in Bangladesh; a train's cargo exploding and incinerating people and the city of Lac-Mégantic.
857. August 1, 2013 Yalcin Burkev The Gezi Park Resistance and Social Class: A Revolt of the 'Middle Class'?
The following interview is part of the sendika.org website continuing conversations on the class character, appearances, causes, and probable results of the revolt in Turkey. As well, there are considerations on the 'institutionalizations' of the resistance and conclusions that should be considered by socialists and the Kurdish movement.
856. July 29, 2013 The Ecosocialist Network Lac-Mégantic: A Social and Ecological Tragedy
Québec has just experienced the most brutal ecological catastrophe of its history. On July 6, 2013, a train loaded with 72 cars carrying crude oil derailed during the night. It exploded in downtown Lac-Mégantic, a small municipality (pop. 6000) in the Eastern Townships. A series of explosions and a fire completely destroyed more than 30 buildings including the municipal library.
855. July 25, 2013 Esther Vivas Spanish State: They Want Us Poor, Silenced and Straight
The governing Popular Party (PP) is on a crusade -- not only against fundamental rights such as health, education, housing, work, but also against sexual and reproductive freedoms. The PP wants to impose a model of society, not only at the service of capital, but sexist and homophobic to boot. It wants us poor, silenced and straight.
854. July 22, 2013 Michael D. Yates The War on Public School Teachers
The U.S. working-class was slow to respond to the hard times it faced during and after the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Finally, however, in February, 2011, workers in Wisconsin began the famous uprising that electrified the country, revolting in large numbers against Governor Scott Walker's efforts to destroy the state's public employee labour unions.
853. July 18, 2013 Manuel Larrabure "Não Nos Representam!" -- A Left Beyond the Workers Party?
It started as a good idea. Rather than taking the path of the old Latin American left, in the form of the guerrilla movement, or the Stalinist party, Brazil's Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores), aided by strong union and social movements, decided to try something new. The challenge was to somehow combine the institutions of liberal democracy with popular participation by communities and movements. The answer eventually became participatory budgeting.
852. July 16, 2013 Leo Panitch Why are Canada's Trains Vulnerable?
The fireball in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, flashed around the world last week as a very hot news item. Thirty-five people are now confirmed to have been killed, with 15 more still missing and presumed dead, as a result of the explosions of crude oil carried by the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway's runaway freight train. When Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper quickly showed up to offer his condolences, this also made international news.
851. July 15, 2013 Alfredo Saad Filho The Mass Protests in Brazil in June-July 2013
The mass movements starting in June 2013 were the largest and most significant protests in Brazil in a generation, and they have shaken up the country's political system. Their explosive growth, size and extraordinary reach caught everyone -- the left, the right, and the government -- by surprise. This article examines these movements in light of the achievements and shortcomings of the democratic transition.
850. July 10, 2013 John F. Conway Whither Brad Wall? Conservative Dilemmas
Arguably Brad Wall, leader of the Saskatchewan Party, has reached the pinnacle of his career as premier of Saskatchewan. In 2011, he made history with the largest popular vote victory in the province's history (64%). His approval rating remains at that level, unprecedented for a premier in the mid-point of a second term. He gives the term Teflon Man a whole new meaning -- none of the bad news, missteps, or foul-ups of his government sticks to him.
849. July 8, 2013 Dan Gallin Fighting Austerity
Comrades, I want to open a discussion on our crisis, the crisis of the labour movement, because I believe that the multiple crises we are facing in society are ultimately the result of the failures of our movement, and that we cannot effectively deal with those economic, social and political crises unless we overcome our own crisis first.
848. July 4, 2013 Sungur Savran Bonapartist Coup in Egypt!
The near equality in strength of the two camps contending for power in Egypt led the army to stage a Bonapartist coup. It is not only the recent episode of unprecedented crowds in the millions coming out on 30 June that has made the army move. This struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood government of now deposed President Mohamed Morsi, on the one hand, and the opposition, represented by the National Salvation Front, and more recently by the Tamerod (Rebel) movement, on the other, has been going on since last November.
847. July 4, 2013 Student Debt and the American Dream
Álvaro Guzmán Bastida, a New York based journalist from Spain, and a recent graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, interviews Sam Gindin about student debt.
846. July 3, 2013 Baris Karaagac and Gaye Yilmaz Organized Labour in the Gezi Process
The recent wave of resistance that spread from a park in one of the historic neighbourhoods of Istanbul, Turkey has evoked significant enthusiasm in and support from various movements and segments of populations in several countries. Although the park, which had been a temporary home for thousands of protestors for a couple of weeks, was forcibly and violently evacuated by the police on June 16th, the resistance continues.
845. July 1, 2013 Robert Chernomas and Ian Hudson Labour in the Time of Cholera and Cancer
A recent book, The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, makes the reasonable point that, "the price of austerity can be measured in human lives." Austerity programs have obvious negative impacts on well being when public health programs are cut but it also creates poor health in less obvious ways through the stress of a labour market involving high unemployment and a decimated safety net.
844. June 29, 2013 Chris Williams How Much Change on Climate Change?
The vast majority of people own no significant amount of stocks or other financial assets. Every single person breathes air. Every single person depends on the growing of food and the nutrition it provides to stay alive. We can't live underwater. From these axioms, we should be able to divine a sense of what rational societal priorities reflect and emphasize.
843. June 28, 2013 Kivanç Özvardar Gezi Protests in Turkey: A Historic Milestone
The Gezi Park protests in Istanbul have been the center of attention not only in Turkey but the whole world during the last few weeks. This has been a revolt unforeseeable in terms of its scale, influence, the intensity of its resentment, and the courage, determination, and self-confidence of masses of people, many with no previous political affiliation and experience.
842. June 27, 2013 Yorgos Mitralias For A European Antifascist Movement
The deepening and generalization of the crisis to nearly all European countries makes it now possible to comprehend not only the crisis's dynamic and characteristics, but also the priority tasks which a Left that does not surrender and keeps resisting ought to take on.
841. June 26, 2013 Euan Gibb Brazil: Private Transit, Public Protests
Sao Paulo has some of the worst traffic in the world. Workers' daily commutes can be over two hours -- one way -- without ever leaving the city. Rain or traffic accidents can easily increase a commute to over four hours. Streets become so congested during peak hours of traffic that the local news stations report on the length of kilometers of stopped cars and trucks on the highways entering the city.
840. June 25, 2013 Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones Political Lessons From Greece: Summits, Refugees and Protest
Between June 7th and June 9th we had three contrasting experiences in Athens. One was attending the European Alter Summit over two days; another was marching with Gay Pride on the evening of June 8th and the third was meeting with a group of Somalian refugees in their apartment of three rooms where 11 of them lived.
839. June 20, 2013 Saeed Rahnema Illusions and Realities Surrounding Iran's Presidential Elections
A salient message from among numerous satirical dispatches from Iran resonated well with last week's presidential elections. It said, "in other countries people go to the poll booths to elect their favourite candidate, in Iran we line up to vote in order to prevent a particular candidate from winning." This indeed reflects Iranians' attitude and reaction to an 'engineered' electoral process.
838. June 18, 2013 Catarina Principe and Anton Thun What's Next After Blockupy Frankfurt?
Thousands of German activists converged on Frankfurt, one of Europe's most important financial centers on May 31 and June 1. Their slogan "Blockupy Frankfurt!" was the rallying cry for a protest of the German and European Union (EU) governments' ongoing austerity policies.
837. June 16, 2013 Sungur Savran Gezi Park Evacuated, Istanbul and Turkey Explode
After days of hesitation and negotiation, the government has finally decided to evacuate the Taksim Commune, where thousands camped in Gezi Park and which tens of thousands visited every night. Police attacked Gezi Park yesterday evening and after evacuating it using tear gas and, as a novelty, water cannon apparently supplemented with a special kind of chemical since it burnt the skin of everyone it touched, razed the tents, the infirmary, the kitchens and the library established there to the ground.
836. June 12, 2013 T. Sabri Oncu Chapuling in Turkey
When the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called the protesters in the streets of Istanbul plunderers (capulcu) on June 2, he contributed a new verb to the English language. A video clip of the resistance -- entitled "Everyday I'm Chapuling" -- hit the internet on June 4 with new lyrics written on the pop song "Everyday I'm Shufflin."
835. June 9, 2013 Alter Summit: A People's Manifesto
Europe stands on the edge of a precipice, looking into the abyss. Austerity policies drive the people of Europe into poverty, undercut democracy and dismantle social policies. Rising inequalities endanger social cohesion. Ecological destruction is worsening while acute humanitarian crises devastate the most affected countries. Women and young people are hardest hit.
834. June 5, 2013 Sungur Savran C'est Une Revolte, Pas (Encore) Une Revolution!
On May Day 2013, the police poured tonnes of tear gas on tens of thousands of workers and youth in different quarters of Istanbul, Turkey in order to stop them from approaching Taksim Square. The government had decided that this square, the traditional venue for May Day celebrations and home to daily political actions big and small, was to be shut to demonstrations this year because development work was being done on a massive scale involving huge excavated pits making it dangerous for crowds.
833. June 4, 2013 Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones Greek Lessons From Below
Axmed, a Somalian refugee, has been stuck in Athens for over six years. This is common for most of his friends, as without papers they are stuck. Getting out by themselves requires money for false papers and travel that is beyond them. Axmed told us that he had a brother in Italy waiting for him. Most of his friends had families and friends waiting for them. But not in Greece. They were stuck.
832. June 3, 2013 Adam Hanieh The Oslo Illusion
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords between the PLO and the Israeli government. The Oslo Accords were firmly ensconced in the framework of the two-state solution, heralding "an end to decades of confrontation and conflict," the recognition of "mutual legitimate and political rights," and the aim of achieving "peaceful coexistence."
831. June 1, 2013 Sungur Savran Report from Turkey: A Taste of Tahrir at Taksim
Istanbul has become a battlefield covered by tear gas. The police, no doubt at the behest of the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP government, have been attacking protestors in the centre of the city, near Taksim Square, for five consecutive days. This would have been no news at all: Turkish police are famous for their brutality in dealing with demonstrations unwelcome to the government.
830. May 30, 2013 Ragina Johnson The New Plunder of Native Lands
Though you wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, the U.S. economy continues to suffer the aftershocks of the Great Recession of 2008. California is a special case in point, where the unemployment rate hovers at 10 per cent. To resolve this crisis, money-grubbing corporations and the politicians that serve them are working together to restructure the economy and restore stronger growth by turning to resource extraction.
829. May 28, 2013 Panagiotis Sotiris The Greek Crisis and the Left Response
For the past three years Greece has been at the same time an experiment in neoliberal social engineering and a laboratory of movements and collective struggles. For the first time in many decades we have the case of a country entering a phase of profound social and political crisis that has the potential to turn into a crisis of hegemony opening up the social and political space for a sequence of social transformation.
828. May 27, 2013 Marty Hart-Landsberg The Need to Work for Peace on the Korean Peninsula
While the details of U.S.-North Korean relations are complex, the story is relatively simple. In brief, the U.S. government continues to reject possibilities for normalizing relations with North Korea and promoting peace on the Korean peninsula in favour of a dangerous policy of regime change. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the U.S. media supports this policy choice with a deliberately one sided presentation of events designed to make North Korea appear to be an unwilling and untrustworthy negotiating partner.
827. May 24, 2013 Roger Annis BC Election Frustrates Labour, Environmental and Indigenous Activists
The May 14 general election in British Columbia was a setback to progressive political forces in the province and throughout Canada. The incumbent BC Liberals won a fourth straight term, winning 50 seats with 44 per cent of the vote, compared to 33 seats and 40 per cent for the opposition New Democratic Party.
826. May 23, 2013 Doug Allan Health Care Spending In Ontario Continues to Decline
Contrary to the hysteria from conservatives, health care spending continues to decline as a percentage of the provincial budget. Last year, health care accounted for 38.5 per cent of total expenditures, this year the government plans to bring it down to 38.3 per cent. This continues the trend downward since 2003/04 when health care accounted for 40 per cent of total expenditures.
825. May 20, 2013 Michael A. Lebowitz Socialism for the 21st Century
Firstly, we need to recognize that not all Marxists accept that capitalism as a whole is in crisis -- as opposed to particular capitals in particular localities. Secondly, if capital is in crisis -- in general or in particular, then what was its source? I begin from Marx's stress on overaccumulation. Capital has a tendency to accumulate and expand without regard for the antagonistic conditions in which it must function.
824. May 18, 2013 Roger Annis All Signs Point to Deepening Opposition to the Fossil Fuel Industry Assault
There was a dearth of substantive policy debate and alternatives offered during British Columbia's election campaign. Transit, education, health care, social welfare, housing -- these and other burning issues received too little attention. A partial exception was the attention devoted to fossil fuel extraction, transport and export from the province.
823. May 17, 2013 Mark Bergfeld Portugal's Left Bloc Confronts Austerity
The recession was caused by austerity and the transfer of resources for the payments. As a consequence unemployment has reached unprecedented levels. Declining wages and pensions have created a downward spiral in the economy. This is anything but acting like a good pupil. It certainly is the price you pay for accepting Merkel and Schäuble's rule.
822. May 16, 2013 Slovenia: Manifesto of the Initiative for Democratic Socialism
The ideological dominance of capitalism as the only feasible mode of production is coming to an end. In the second half of the 1970s, when rapid and stable economic growth came to a halt in the 'developed' world, the forces of capital intensified their attack on workers' rights that has not ceased to this day.
821. May 15, 2013 John Clarke Austerity Agenda Targets the Disabled
The recent Ontario provincial budget did not do very much to uphold Kathleen Wynne's claim to the title of 'Social Justice Premier.' Most of those on social assistance received an increase in their benefits that was below the rate of inflation while no increase whatsoever was provided to those subsisting on the minimum wage. Modest improvements in the amount of part time earnings and assets that can be kept without having them clawed back will not come close to preventing those on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) from falling even deeper into poverty this year.
820. May 14, 2013 James Cairns Why are the Harper Conservatives So Pro-Israel?
The Canadian government has been a strong supporter of Israel since the country was founded in 1948 through the expulsion of most of the indigenous Palestinian population from their homes. In its friendly treatment of Israel, Canada has long played an important international role in covering up the violent dispossession of Palestinians and the apartheid system that maintains and normalizes their oppression.
819. May 10, 2013 Foundations for the Consolidation and Action of an Ecosocialist Network
After 25 years, capitalism in its neoliberal version is experiencing a far-reaching breakdown that began with the great recession of 2008. It is a triple crisis: economic, environmental, but also a crisis of democracy.
818. May 9, 2013 Mark Bergfeld Alienation: An Introduction to Marx's Theory
An interview with Dan Swain about his book Alienation: An Introduction to Marx's Theory. Marx used the philosophic theme of alienation throughout the 1840s. His later works such as Capital (1867) tend to focus on political economy and social science. Books on Capital pop-up like wild flowers these days. Books on alienation are a rarity.
817. May 7, 2013 Roger Annis Mali Under Occupation
France's National Assembly and Senate have voted to extend the country's military intervention in Mali. A resolution passed both houses of parliament on April 22. Not a single vote was cast in opposition. Three days later, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 2100, creating a policing mission beginning July 1, 2013.
816. May 6, 2013 World Social Forum Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly
As the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum of Tunisia, 2013, we are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilization.
815. May 3, 2013 The Manifesto of the Mediterranean Meeting in Tunisia
We, the representatives of progressive political parties from the Mediterranean region, gathered in Tunis from March 23 to 24, 2013, at the call of the Popular Front, and adopted the following resolution.
814. May 2, 2013 Dave Bush, Kaley Kennedy Building Strategically: An Introduction to Solidarity Halifax
How can the left fight back in the age of austerity? This is a clear and constant question being posed by and to people on the left. When the worldwide economic crisis hit in 2008, it was clear there would not be an immediate shift toward radical alternatives to capitalism. Still, five years into the crisis there has been little growth or development in the position of the anti-capitalist left.
813. May 1, 2013 Ingo Schmidt May Day 2013: Fragile Economies, Aggressive Bosses and Struggling Workers
Stock markets around the world have made up the losses they incurred during the 2008-09 financial crisis and the workers of the world are paying the price for this recovery. Fiscal stimulus packages and bank bailouts that helped to contain the crisis left governments with deficits that are now being used as a pretext for spending cuts and layoffs in the public sector.
812. April 29, 2013 Andrew Stevens Saskatchewan: A Beachhead of Labour Law Reform?
Sweeping changes to Saskatchewan's labour relations and employment standards legislation are on the verge of being passed. Bill 85, the Saskatchewan Employment Act, will dramatically transform the laws governing trade unions and industrial relations in the province.
811. April 26, 2013 Vivek Chibber How Does the Subaltern Speak?
In recent decades, postcolonial theory has largely displaced Marxism as the dominant perspective among intellectuals engaged in the project of critically examining the relationship between the Western and non-Western worlds. Originating in the humanities, postcolonial theory has subsequently become increasingly influential in history, anthropology, and the social sciences. Its rejection of the universalisms and meta-narratives associated with Enlightenment thought dovetailed with the broader turn of the intellectual left during the 1980s and 1990s.
810. April 25, 2013 Climate Space WSF2013 Change the System, Not the Climate
The capitalist system has exploited and abused nature, pushing the planet to its limits, so much so that the system has accelerated dangerous and fundamental changes in the climate. Today, the severity and multiplicity of weather changes indicate that the planet is burning.
809. April 23, 2013 Roger Annis Protests Erupt in Nova Scotia Following Institutional Failure to Protect Female Teen Assault Victim
There is anguish and anger across the province of Nova Scotia following the death by suicide of teenager Rehtaeh Parsons on April 7. The 17-year old hanged herself in the family home on April 4. Three days later, her parents consented to removing her from life support. Rehtaeh Parsons death was provoked by institutional failure to deal with an alleged gang sexual assault she suffered in November 2011 at the hands of four teenage boys who were schoolmates at Cole Harbour District High School, in the Halifax region.
808. April 22, 2013 Justin Podur The Bastar Land Grab in India
Sudha Bharadwaj is a lawyer and a member of the People's Union for Civil Liberties and the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha. CMM was founded in 1982 by legendary union leader Shankar Guha Niyogi (assassinated in 1991), to organize beyond union issues alone. Sudha is also part of a legal collective, called Janhit, that works with movement organizations. Justin Podur interviewed her in Raipur on March 5, 2013.
807. April 18, 2013 Murray Cooke The NDP Convention
Like the federal Liberal Party leadership race, the NDP policy convention this past weekend proved to be rather anti-climactic. Any expectations (or hopes) for a divisive, soul-searching, battle royale over the identity of the NDP fell flat.
806. April 16, 2013 Marc Bonhomme Quebec Solidaire: In Search of a Second Wind
Local and regional bodies of Québec solidaire are in the process of discussing and taking a first vote on the proposals from the party's national bodies for its convention to take place at the beginning of May 2013. Political strategy, including the issue of alliances with other parties, as well as the choice of the male spokesperson for the party will undoubtedly be the central points of discussion at the convention.
805. April 15, 2013 Roger Annis Death of Margaret Thatcher Reopens the Debate Over Her Cruel Legacy
The death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on April 8 has renewed an intense political debate in Britain and internationally over her legacy. For her ruling class sycophants, Thatcher was a heroine, "one of the greatest" prime ministers Britain ever had.
804. April 13, 2013 Jason Kunin Why I'm Voting No: OSSTF and Ontario Teachers
Teachers in Ontario may not know it, but their actions in this coming week will have huge ramifications for unionized workers across Ontario and across the country. We stand poised either to hold the line against the austerity agenda and mounting attacks on workers, or pave the way for escalating attacks on the labour movement.
803. April 12, 2013 Jeff Noonan The Weakness Unto Death
On March 30th, Peter Kormos, as close to a socialist as the NDP had left in its ranks of former elected members, died. His death was perhaps an omen foretelling the extinction of the NDP as a party defined by principled commitment to building an alternative to a failed capitalist society. One week after Kormos' death Thomas Walkom reported that the NDP is debating a constitutional amendment to replace the party's historic goal with a new aim: championing "a rules-based economy."
802. April 11, 2013 Dan Freeman-Maloy 70 Years After Warsaw
This month marks 70 years since the Jewish uprising at Warsaw. By early 1943, Europe's main Jewish population centre -- concentrated by Nazi decree in 1940 into a ghetto whose inhabitants soon numbered more than half a million -- had in successive waves of liquidation been reduced to well under one hundred thousand (about 35,000 registered with the Nazis, but possibly double that number in total).
801. April 10, 2013 Simon Butler A Return to Marx's Ecological Critique
Do oil spills make good economic sense? A witness called by Canadian firm Enbridge Inc. -- which wants approval to build a $6.5-billion pipeline linking Alberta's tar sands with the Pacific coast -- told a recent hearing in British Columbia that the answer is yes. He said oil spills could benefit the economy, giving business new opportunities to make money cleaning it up.
800. April 9, 2013 Oskar Lafontaine Germany's One-Party System
On September 22, 2013, Germany will hold general elections. These elections will be observed with special attention given what it will mean for the austerity policies of the Merkel government and the 'Euro crisis.' From an anti-austerity and socialist perspective, the elections are also important with regard to the situation for the new German Left Party Die LINKE.
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