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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
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.
799. April 8, 2013 Eric Ruder The Remote Control War
Antiwar activists are planning actions in April to focus attention on a dark and deadly corner of U.S. military operations: The Pentagon's and the CIA's massively scaled-up use of drone aircraft around the world. In 2000, the Pentagon had less than 50 drones. Ten years later, that number is 7,500 -- an increase of 15,000 per cent. In 2003, the U.S. Air Force was flying a handful of round-the-clock drone patrols every day.
798. April 5, 2013 Brenda Thompson Fare Increases to Pay for New Transit in Toronto
Metrolinx, the Greater Toronto Area's regional transit authority, has released a short list of revenue tools that they will consider using to help pay for new public transit in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. Projects like the Eglinton, Scarborough, Sheppard and Finch light rapid transit lines (LRTs) will need $2-billion a year from sources other than existing government revenue.
797. April 4, 2013 Christoph Hermann European Trade Unions and the Struggle for Public Services
The public sector is a key battleground for a progressive trade union strategy and for an alternative to neoliberalism in Europe. On the one hand the existence of a public sector is a continuing example that a not for profit driven production of goods and services is not only possible in the 21st century -- it is also preferable.
796. April 3, 2013 James Brophy, Robert DeMatteo, Margaret Keith and Michael Gilbertson New Occupational Breast Cancer Study Challenges the Cancer Establishment
As part of a team of international researchers, we have produced a new epidemiological study on the causes of breast cancer. This study adds considerable weight to a growing body of evidence that challenges the prevailing beliefs of the cancer establishment that has minimized the risk of breast cancer posed by occupational and environmental exposures to chemicals.
795. April 2, 2013 Jean-Claude Parrot My Response to Three MPs' Statements on CUPW
Federal Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Adler has said in a statement that a CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) newsletter was "radical" propaganda. He was supported by two other MPs, Steven Fletcher and Bob Rae. The statement also claims that CUPW used public funds for the trip of Ruth Breen of the Atlantic Region to Palestine.
794. April 1, 2013 Chris Nineham It's Time to Decide: The Left, Austerity, and the People's Assembly
The Peoples' Assembly will meet in London on June 22, where thousands of those opposing the Coalition's cuts will gather to work out a strategy to defeat austerity, and by implication, the government. Waiting till a 2015 election is hardly an option. It would be to allow more irreparable damage to be done.
793. March 31, 2013 Esther Vivas From the World Social Forum to the Arab Revolts
Tunisia, cradle of the revolts in the Arab world, hosts the World Social Forum, the most important international meeting of social movements and organizations. And this is not by chance. The promoters of the WSF chose this country in reference to the 'Arab Spring.' The latter has not only given rise to new movements of opposition in North Africa and the Middle East, but has also 'contaminated' the south of Europe, in particular with the movement of the indignant in the Spanish State, as well as the Occupy movement in the United States.
792. March 29, 2013 Esther Vivas Land For Those Who Work It
The land is a source of wealth for a few, here and on the other side of the planet. In the Spanish State, the housing boom has left a legacy of ruinous urban development, airports (almost) without airplanes, ghost towns, huge, obsolete infrastructure projects... And in the global South, the desire to profit from the land has driven off peasants and indigenous peoples, and imposed monocultures for export, large infrastructures for the exclusive benefit of capital and the plundering of their natural resources.
791. March 28, 2013 Ingo Schmidt The World's Debts Shall Not Be Repaid
When bankers, industrialists and their lobbyists talk about debt, they have state debt in mind. When politicians of powerful states talk about debt, they have the debt of less powerful states in mind. This is how the concentrated power of money and politics push countries like Ireland, Greece, Italy, and now Cyprus, toward the precipice of collapse, force changes of government and the sale of public assets to foreign creditors.
790. March 26, 2013 Nicos Trimikliniotis The Cyprus Eurocrisis: The Beginning of the End of the Eurozone?
The Cyprus crisis is essentially a Eurozone crisis which threatens the very foundations of the European Union. This small island economy, only 0.2 per cent of the Eurozone, is proving to be 'systemic' at the political, social and economic level. The Cyprus crisis is a manifestation of a deep crisis of democracy and equality in EU institutions, which subordinates the democratic will of the people to finance interests.
789. March 25, 2013 Asbjorn Wahl The Crisis of the European Welfare State
At the global level it was the threat of socialism which made capitalists in Western Europe go for a class compromise (as a lesser evil in their view). We should also have in mind that the welfare state was never the demand of the working-class before it was established. What the working-class fought for was socialism.
788. March 22, 2013 Dietmar Dath Ten Seldom Posed Progressive Demands for the Propertyless
In the following lively ten-point 'rant-ifesto' that draws on lessons offered by, among other things, Game of Thrones, Scarface, and Bertold Brecht, the German novelist and critic Dietmar Dath offers some unconventional insights and advice on what is, and what is not to be done.
787. March 20, 2013 Manuel Larrabure Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution: Legacy and Challenges
The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has prompted the international left to acknowledge two key features about him and Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. The first is Chavez's commitment to fighting for the poor and oppressed. Plenty of statistics demonstrate this. Literally millions have been lifted out of poverty and given new opportunities to improve their lives. Examples from daily life abound.
786. March 19, 2013 Ingo Schmidt Greece, Syriza and the Struggle Against Austerity
The economic and political crises in Greece were headline news for a couple of years. An explosion of sovereign debt, caused by an uncompetitive private economy and a bloated public sector, was presented as cause of the recession; spending cuts, privatizations, and labour market deregulation as its fix. More recently, Eurocrats and international financiers are saying that these measures put Greece on the way to sustainable deficit levels and rising competitiveness.
785. March 18, 2013 Sam Gindin Ending the Dues Check-Off: Forcing Union Renewal?
The spread of the notoriously misnamed 'right-to-work' legislation in the U.S. -- most notably in Michigan, the home of the iconic sit-down strikes and effective birth of modern American-Canadian trade unionism -- has given confidence to union-bashers in Canada to follow suit. 'Right-to-work' has of course nothing to do with guaranteeing anyone a job and everything to do with trying to undermine unions.
784. March 15, 2013 Noaman G. Ali Nepal's Unfinished Revolution
"I just want to help children," a voice called out in English from a clothing store in Thamel, a tourist area of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital city. I saw a young white woman walking out of the store, and my curiosity got the better of me. "You want to help children?" I called out. It was a dark, cold January evening and the narrow streets were lit largely from stores which had no front walls and the signs that hung over them. The woman stopped and turned around.
783. March 14, 2013 Mark Bergfeld Portugal: "I Prefer the Horses in My Lasagne to the Donkeys in the Government"
On Saturday, 2 March 2013, "Que Se Lixe a Troika" (Fuck the Troika) demonstrations represented a qualitative as well as quantitative shift for the anti-austerity movement in Portugal. In more than 40 towns and cities across Portugal, 1.5 million people (800,000 in Lisbon) took to the streets against the government's slavish submission to the dictates of the Troika of IMF, ECB, and EU.
782. March 13, 2013 Roger Annis Manitoba Métis Win Historic Ruling
Monday, March 11, 2013 -- "Louis Riel must be smiling." That's the front-page headline in the Winnipeg Free Press two days ago. It's taken from the response of the head of the Manitoba Métis Federation to the ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada last Friday that the Canadian and Manitoba governments abrogated their responsibilities to respect land rights won by the Métis people when the province was established in 1870.
781. March 12, 2013 David Bush and Doug Nesbitt Dissent Brews in the OSSTF
Over a month has passed since Bill 115 was repealed by the Ontario Liberals, but the contracts imposed on the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) remain intact and effectively unchallenged. This has led to several incidents of open dissent from the ranks of OSSTF in particular.
780. March 11, 2013 Sean Smith Porter Airlines: The Little Strike that Could
On Saturday, 26 January 2013 tens of thousands of teachers and supporters rallied outside the Liberal leadership convention at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in opposition to their Bill 115 which stripped Ontario teachers' collective bargaining rights. Every corporate media outlet covered this story. By all accounts the rally was a huge, peaceful success. In spite of all the fury of the speeches, word is now coming out that the Teacher Unions' leadership quietly gave tens of thousands of dollars of Union funds to several of the same candidates the workers outside were protesting.
779. March 9, 2013 Jeffery R. Webber Chronicle of a Death Foretold: The Post-Chávez Venezuelan Conjuncture
On live television, Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro choked on his words. Hugo Chávez, the improbable President, born in the rural poverty of Sabaneta, in the state of Barinas, in 1954 had died of cancer. To his wealthy and light-skinned enemies he was evil incarnate. To many impoverished Venezuelans, his contradictory and eclectic ideology -- a labyrinthine blend drawing on the thought of nineteenth century Simon Bolivar and Ezequiel Zamora, twentieth century left-military nationalism and anti-imperialism.
778. March 7, 2013 Marta Harnecker A Posthumous Message to Hugo Chávez
Dear Hugo, who would think that the man, full of vitality, who I met nearly 11 years ago in an airplane that flew us toward El Vigia, and who was a marvellous combination of humanity and political sense, one day would too soon pass away. A man with so much, so much energy and with so many, so many projects to carry out!
777. March 7, 2013 Jeffery R. Webber interviews Maia Pal Occupation at the University of Sussex
After three weeks, an impressive student occupation at the University of Sussex against the privatization of services on campus is still in full-swing, even expanding, with flash occupations and disruptions of different buildings and events on campus last Friday. On February 28, Jeffery Webber sat down with Maia Pal, a leading organizer of the campaign, to discuss its origins and dynamics to date.
776. March 6, 2013 Roger Annis No Sign of Peace or Reconciliation in France-Controlled Mali
France perpetrated two large deceptions in conducting its military intervention into Mali more than seven weeks ago. These have been universally accepted in mainstream media reporting. The first is that the unilateral decision to invade Mali on January 11, 2013 was hastily made, prompted by imminent military threats by Islamic fundamentalist forces against the south of the country where the large majority of Malians live.
775. February 25, 2013 Gal Kirn A Ghost is Haunting Slovenia, the Ghost of Revolution!
At the moment that I am writing this text, the massive social uprising in Slovenia continues and enters, with even fiercer political determination, into a new stage of political maturity. What began as an isolated sparkle in late November 2012 in Maribor, the second biggest city of Slovenia, spread to other cities and weeks later culminated in an all-Slovenian uprising composed of unprecedented masses across the country.
774. February 19, 2013 Brenda Thompson Privatization and Public Transit in Toronto
Metrolinx, a Government of Ontario agency, has a mandate to "co-ordinate and integrate all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area." Its blueprint for regional transportation expansion, The Big Move, was released in 2008. Initially, all debt to support transit projects in this plan was to be arranged through the Ontario Financing Authority using public procurement.
773. February 15, 2013 Michael A. Lebowitz Working-Class Response to Devaluation Measures in Venezuela
We agree that the government decision to devalue the Bolivar can be an important step toward providing greater funds for social programs and the state budget at all levels, reducing the unacceptable current level of imports, encouraging the development of exports other than oil and helping to create the conditions for new national production.
772. February 13, 2013 Hugo Radice Reshaping Fiscal Policies In Europe
On December 9th 2011 the European Council announced a new Fiscal Compact, as part of the series of measures undertaken in order to resolve the Eurozone sovereign debt and banking crises. It was incorporated into the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance, signed by 25 EU governments in March 2012, subsequently ratified by the signatory national governments, and in force from January 2013.
771. February 9, 2013 Xavier Lafrance and Alan Sears Campus Fightbacks in the Age of Austerity
The 2012 Quebec student strikes delivered one of the few victories we have seen in anti-austerity struggles in the Canadian state. The mobilization, which at its high point saw over 300,000 students on limited or unlimited strike, and demonstrations of hundreds of thousands, was a crucial highpoint that has a great deal to teach radicals. The attempted clampdown by the Jean Charest government through Bill 78 that attempted to outlaw the movement, unleashed a new and innovative round of resistance including the casseroles night marches.
770. February 7, 2013 Samir Amin Is the World Social Forum of Use for Popular Struggles?
The undeniable success of the World Social Forums (and of the national and regional forums), from their first edition (Porto Allegre 2001) to their seventh (Nairobi 2007) shows that the formula met a real objective need, felt by many militants and movements engaged in their struggles against neoliberalism and aggression (including military aggression) of imperialism. In these struggles, movements and militants have much renewed their forms of organization and active intervention in society.
769. February 4, 2013 Elisabeth Gauthier Europe: Existential Danger: New Political Challenges
In Europe we are at a new stage of class confrontation. Despite the systemic crisis not only of finance but of the whole of the mode of accumulation and reproduction of 'financial market capitalism,' this system has been able to maintain itself. Its transnational power -- largely sustained by the nature of European integration and policies -- has not been seriously cracked, despite the massive destruction of public and private goods, which is constantly becoming more extreme, deepening the great crisis.
768. January 31, 2013 Monique Woroniak and David Camfield Choosing Not to Look Away: Confronting Colonialism in Canada
Canada has "no history of colonialism." So said Stephen Harper in 2009. Today the Idle No More movement is shouting down this lie through actions both creative and courageous. In its place, it is telling Canadians at large what some of us have always known: that the country we live in was founded as -- and continues to be -- a colonial-settler state.
767. January 29, 2013 Geneviève Beaudet and Pierre Beaudet The High Stakes of Native Resistance
The blossoming of the Idle No More movement signals the return of native resistance to the political and social landscape of Canada and Quebec. With its origins in Saskatchewan in October 2012, this mass movement has taken on the federal government and more specifically the adoption of Bill C-45.
766. January 28, 2013 Jenny Brown In Walmart and Fast Food, Unions Scaling Up a Strike-First Strategy
Small but highly publicized strikes by Walmart retail and warehouse workers last fall set the labour movement abuzz and gained new respect for organizing methods once regarded skeptically. "The labour movement is all about results," says Dan Schlademan, who directs the Making Change at Walmart project of the Food and Commercial Workers. "The results are creating the energy."
765. January 24, 2013 Mario Candeias What is 'Socialist' about 'Green Socialism'?
It is surely right to build bridges between diverging approaches to social change, but in the process, contradictions are often covered up, and a debate on contentious issues like property and the state is avoided. In this article, we are experimenting with the concept of 'green socialism.' We want to discuss whether it could fill the void of a left-wing, ecological, feminist imagination.
764. January 22, 2013 Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin Subsidies and Concessions: The Never-Ending Corporate Shake-Down
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's first economic policy initiative of 2013, which took him to Oakville in early January to trumpet yet another $250-million in auto subsidies, ought to raise some very fundamental questions. The heady free market rhetoric of recent decades was often cast in terms of the economic benefits associated with multinational corporations escaping the confines of nation states by being able to go global.
763. January 21, 2013 Mick Sweetman The Greatest Swindle in Toronto's History
Toronto exists because of one of the biggest swindles you can think of. In 1787, the British Crown first made what was known as the Toronto Purchase from the Mississaugas who were the Indigenous Peoples in the region. However, this was no tidy real estate transaction, the deed for the original purchase was left blank, the exact size of land was unclear and the names of Mississauga chiefs were attached to it by separate pieces of paper.
762. January 19, 2013 Roger Annis France Launches War in Mali in Bid to Secure Resources
France, the former slave power of west Africa, has poured into Mali with a vengeance in a military attack launched on January 11. French warplanes are bombing towns and cities across the vast swath of northern Mali, a territory measuring some one thousand kilometers from south to north and east to west. French soldiers in armoured columns have launched a ground offensive, beginning with towns in the south of the northern territory, some 300 km north and east of the Malian capital of Bamako.
761. January 18, 2013 Adaner Usmani The Left in Europe: From Social Democracy to the Crisis in the Euro Zone
An Interview with Leo Panitch. "What the welfare state did is increase commodification. Yes, of course, the welfare state provided a certain level of job security, but it didn't free people from the obligation to sell their labour. The way the welfare state was structured was largely designed to facilitate a mass, high-wage proletariat for the consumption of commodities."
760. January 17, 2013 Rebekah Wetmore and Ryan Romard The Crisis and the Myth of Canadian Exceptionalism
An Interview with Michael Lebowitz. Michael Lebowitz is Professor emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and the author of, most recently, The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, and The Contradictions of "Real Socialism": The Conductor and the Conducted. He was the Director of the Program in Transformative Practice and Human Development, in Caracas, Venezuela, from 2006-11.
759. January 16, 2013 Nick Bedell Bus Stewards Win More Routes Through Alliance with Riders
New York City transit workers ran a winning campaign when we turned to community organizing in our fight against cuts in service. The cuts to bus service were severe: 38 routes eliminated and 76 with shorter routes or shorter hours. Transport Workers Union Local 100 fought the Metropolitan Transportation Authority every step of the way, protesting at board meetings and in front of the director's house.
758. January 15, 2013 Murray Cooke Teachers' Strikes and the Fight Against Austerity in Ontario
On January 3, Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten announced that she will be imposing concessionary contracts on the province's teachers. This is a drastic attack on collective bargaining rights that the teachers have said they will fight. It follows on the heals of the Liberal minority government's Bill 115, "An Act to Implement Restraint Measures in the Education System," passed last September with the support of the Conservatives.
757. January 11, 2013 Carlo Fanelli Austerity and Aboriginal Communities: An Interview with David Newhouse
The Tory budget has done little if nothing to address housing issues faced by Indigenous peoples and is subsequently continuing a trend of inequality thereby subtly forcing Indigenous communities to assimilate in attempts to escape impoverished conditions. To what extent would you agree with such a proposition? If so, in what ways is the current budget a continuation of past attempts to assimilate Indigenous communities in Canada?
756. January 10, 2013 Russell Diabo Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan
On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to: 1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada; 2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations.
755. January 9, 2013 Roger Annis Shared Hardships and Concerns Bind the Fates of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and Haitians
A social and political rights movement of Indigenous people is rising across Canada and making international headlines. Protests by the 'Idle No More' movement began last month and continue to grow. The movement has rallied daily across the country in shopping malls, at U.S. border crossings and on major railway lines.
754. January 8, 2013 Dick Nichols United Left National Convention: 'This is the Spanish SYRIZA!'
On the last day of the 10th federal convention of the Spain's United Left (Izquierda Unida), Juan Pena, young IU organization secretary for the Castilian town of Valladolid, summed up his view of the impact of the indignado movement on the IU, one of the oldest broad left formations in Europe: "15M brought IU good news and bad news. The good news was that our programmatic proposals hit the mark, shared by the people who poured into the streets."
753. January 4, 2013 Rebecca McMillan and Calais Caswell Learning to Govern Ourselves: Venezuela's National Network of Commoners
News of the deterioration of Chavez's health has Venezuelans increasingly worried. While top government officials and opposition members were meeting behind closed doors in early December to discuss their next steps, other important discussions were taking place amongst grassroots activists on the future of the Bolivarian Process.
752. December 31, 2012 Ingar Solty Canada's "Maple Spring"
The 2012 student strike in Quebec is a lesson in successful struggle against austerity policies. The strike was sparked by the announcement by the governing Parti Liberal du Quebec of Premier Jean Charest that tuition fees would increase 75 per cent, from $2168 per year to $3793 by 2017. This was not the first time a liberal government decided on such an increase.
751. December 28, 2012 Bruce Allen Camaro Blues
GM's mid-December announcement that the next generation Camaro will be produced in Lansing, Michigan not in Oshawa is cause for serious reflection among Canadian autoworkers. This relocation of production is simply a corporate restructuring event where GM is consolidating its rear wheel car production in one location with the exception of the Corvette.
750. December 26, 2012 Free and Accessible Transit Campaign, GTWA Free and Accessible Transit Now!
Transit is a critical issue for people in Toronto, as in all major urban areas. More is at stake than reducing traffic congestion and gridlock. Transit and general mobility are intimately related to larger issues in capitalist society: how goods and services are produced and delivered; the location of and nature of jobs; where and how we live and travel; issues of class, inequality and oppression related to race, age, gender, and sexuality; climate justice; and the very shape and nature of our democratic institutions.
749. December 24, 2012 Susan Spronk and Rebecca McMillan 21st Century Eco-Socialism? Struggles over Nature in Venezuela
Santiago Arconada was the first Community Coordinator for the Caracas metropolitan region of HIDROCAPITAL, the city's water utility, and subsequently held several prominent positions in HIDROVEN, the national water company. In this interview, Santiago discusses the peaks and valleys experienced by the mesas técnicas de agua and the differences between 21st century socialism and eco-socialism.
748. December 22, 2012 Araz Bagban Egypt in Light of the Iranian Revolution: The restoration of a dictatorship?
The new constitution submitted to referendum by Mohamed Morsi, the president of Egypt elected with the support of the Freedom and Justice party, i.e. the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, in addition to its properties of attacking working-class achievements as well as women's and minorities' rights, is preparing the legal ground for the Brotherhood to seize the whole political power in the country.
747. December 19, 2012 Justin Podur Haiti's New Dictatorship
What constitutes a dictatorship? Haiti had an election in 2006, which the popular candidate won. It had an election in 2011, which had one of the lowest turnouts in recent history and which was subject to all kinds of external manipulation. Given these elections, is it unfair to call Haiti, a country that suffered 30 years of classic dictatorship under the Duvaliers from the 1950s to the 1980s, a dictatorship today?
746. December 17, 2012 Hassan N. Gardezi United States and al-Qaeda: Strange Bedfellows?
There is a war raging in our times between a coalition of states led by the United States of America and al-Qaeda which has entered its second decade. One of the parties in this war, the United States, needs no introduction. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it became the sole superpower and is known in all corners of the world as the most powerful nation on all accounts, political, military, economic and socio-cultural. However, al-Qaeda as a global force is not understood so well and needs some introduction and defining.
745. December 14, 2012 Mark Bergfeld Crisis and Resistance in Portugal
A day before the right wing coalition government in Portugal was to vote through its 2013 budget, the German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble met his Portuguese counterpart Vitor Gaspar and proclaimed, "Portugal is on the right path and is, for all of us in the Eurozone, a brilliant example that the approach we have been following to stabilize the Euro is correct."
744. December 13, 2012 Lawrence J. Hanley and Bill McKibben Think About the Transportation Sector
Superstorm Sandy has made it clear that no matter how hard some politicians try to ignore climate change, climate change will not ignore them -- or any of us. More carbon means higher seas, the kind that inundate subways. The U.S. can also thank carbon emissions for contributing to the hottest summers on record.
743. December 11, 2012 Richard Fidler Pipeline Politics: Can Popular Protest Stop the Tar Sands Leviathan?
Petroleum giant Enbridge Inc. has taken huge strides in recent weeks to complete its plan to transport tar sands oil to eastern Canada and from there to foreign markets. Already assured of support from the Harper government, the company is rapidly lining up further backing from provincial politicians and industry players, including a key trade union. And it is fast-tracking the regulatory approval process.
742. December 10, 2012 Doug Nesbitt Kill Bill 115: Where is the Ontario Labour Movement Going?
This week, Ontario's teachers, education workers and students will be turning up the heat on the Liberal minority government and Bill 115, which imposes a concessionary bargaining agenda on teachers unions and the school boards, and allows the cabinet to change tentative agreements and stop strikes without even legislative oversight.
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