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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
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.
741. December 8, 2012 Javier Biardeau Venezuelan Opposition Fails to Make Counterproposal
The Plan of the Nation for the 2013-19 period, proposed by President Hugo Chavez last June in the context of his socialist platform for the 2012 presidential election, stopped being an electoral platform when it was opened up for debate and improvement by the Venezuelan people. In short, the national program is to be strengthened by the contributions of the national collective, by the experiences and needs of the people.
740. December 7, 2012 Asbjørn Wahl The Left in Government -- A Strategic Project
The experiences from having had left political parties in government in Europe in the era of neoliberalism have not been very exciting, to put it mildly. The most recent experiences from such governments in France, Italy and - to a certain degree - also Norway have proved anything from negative to disastrous.
739. December 5, 2012 Hugo Radice Why Carney's Appointment as Bank of England Governor Should be Challenged
The appointment of Mark Carney as next Governor of the Bank of England has been greeted with universal acclaim. In the House of Commons Ed Balls was quick to congratulate Chancellor George Osborne on his choice, and on the evening TV news both former Chancellor Alistair Darling and self-styled monetary maverick David Blanchflower were of the same opinion.
738. December 3, 2012 Stefan Kipfer Free Transit and Beyond
Epochal crises allow us to see clearly the irrationalities of capitalism, notably its systematic inability to develop to the fullest human capacities and provide the basis for sustainable and respectful relationships to the rest of nature. The current world economic crisis has thrown to the dustbin of history the aspirations and capacities of millions of human beings -- those laid off, driven off the land or relegated to permanent precariousness.
737. November 29, 2012 Ingo Schmidt Obama's Second Term: Following Angela Merkel in the Oval Office?
A debt crisis in Europe, an electoral campaign in the United States, and Canada watching from the sidelines; this is how the trans-Atlantic world was depicted in the media over the past months. Though the votes had not yet been counted, warnings suddenly emerged about a fiscal cliff. In order to keep discussions of budget policy out of the campaign, the Republicans and the Democrats agreed on a pact earlier this year, which increased the debt ceiling of the federal government to the point that drastic spending cuts or tax increases could be postponed until after the election.
736. November 28, 2012 Evert Hoogers, Donald Swartz and Rosemary Warskett The Campaign Against the Rand Formula
It has been widely reported that Pierre Poilievre, the Federal Conservative MP for Nepean-Carleton, has launched a campaign to change the rules regarding the payment of union dues. The object of Mr. Poilievre's ire is the 'Rand Formula' -- the union security clause found in most collective agreements and labour relations legislation in Canada.
735. November 27, 2012 David Camfield Solidarity or Exclusion? British Columbia Unions and Chinese Mineworkers
It's obvious why HD Mining is hiring workers in China to work at the Murray River Coal Project in Northern British Columbia. Because they are admitted to Canada on work visas under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the company can pay them a lot less than it would have to pay Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
734. November 25, 2012 Justin Podur Goma Falls to Rwanda
Rebels, called the M23, have taken Goma, the main city of North Kivu, one of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s eastern provinces. Their plan is to march to Bukavu, the main city of South Kivu, and from there, they say, across the massive country to Kinshasa, the Congo's capital. A geographical note is in order. The DRC's principal cities are part of greater urban areas that cross international borders.
733. November 23, 2012 Brenda Thompson Toronto's $8.4-Billion Light Rapid Transit Sell Out
It seemed all our transit woes in Toronto were finally behind us. Mayor Rob Ford's cancellation of Transit City had galvanized the mushy middle. In February, Toronto Council ignored his call for subways to vote in favour of four Light Rapid Transit lines (LRTs). At long last, the residents of Malvern and Jane and Finch in Toronto's northern suburbs were going to get some much needed public transit. In retrospect this was only the lull before the storm.
732. November 22, 2012 Alan Maass, Elizabeth Clinton and Natalie Johnson A Show of Determination on Black Friday
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year as retailers kick off the holiday season. But this year could begin a new tradition - of Black Friday being the biggest labour protest day of the year. Workers at the giant retailer Wal-Mart are preparing for walkouts and rallies at as many as 1,000 stores across the country.
731. November 17, 2012 Panagiotis Sotiris The Greek Left and the Rise of the Neo-Fascist Golden Dawn
For the past months there has been an intense debate both in Greece but also in international media regarding the rise of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn in Greece. The reason is obvious: for the first time in a European Union country a political party that in contrast to most of the varieties of the European far Right does little to hide its openly neo-nazi ideology and the culture of the nazi street gang that has been its trademark since the 1990s, has been one of the rising political forces.
730. November 16, 2012 Dan Freeman-Maloy For Israel, Imperialism Isn't Enough
Things in Palestine have developed far beyond the point where any given "flare-up" in the constant violence that defines Israeli rule can be addressed in isolation. The significance of the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza has absolutely nothing to do with the tired, dull hasbara talking points being peddled by Israeli diplomats -- less still with their enterprising "twitter offensive."
729. November 13, 2012 Pham Binh U.S. Election: Sawant, Stein, and Post-2012 Left Strategy
With more than 16,000 votes (a whopping 28 per cent of the vote), the campaign of Socialist Alternative's Kshama Sawant in Washington's 43rd legislative district is a bright beacon of hope on the otherwise bleak horizon of the 2012 election for the American left, although you wouldn't know it by reading the party-line and left-liberal news outlets.
728. November 12, 2012 Sahra Wagenknecht The Strike in Southern Europe
A storm is brewing in Southern Europe. In Greece on November 6 and 7 another general strike will take place. On November 14 Portuguese, Cypriot, Spanish and Italian trade unions intend to go on strike in opposition to the austerity policies of the European Union. Belgian and British trade unions, as well as the European and German trade union confederations, are also calling for action.
727. November 11, 2012 Fawwaz Traboulsi The Left in Time of Revolution
The Arab revolutions are presenting the Left with a mixture of existential challenges and historical opportunities. The decisive factor will be the Left's ability to learn from the rich lessons of its own past experiences and vast revolutionary legacy, in order to develop its own project and role in the coming period, and to work out a coherent plan for tackling challenges ahead.
726. November 9, 2012 Final Declaration: 9th Asia-Europe People's Forum
We, over 1,000 women and men, representing people's organizations and citizens from Asia and Europe joined together from the 16th to 19th October 2012 in Vientiane, Laos at the 9th Asia-Europe People's Forum under the title "People's Solidarity against Poverty and for Sustainable Development: Challenging Unjust and Unequal Development, Building States of Citizens for Citizens."
725. November 8, 2012 Ahmet Devrim The Tremor in the Communist Party of China
The Chinese Communist Party is holding a new congress, the 18th, due to start on November 8. The CCP is at the helm of the single-party system of the People's Republic. The nine-member Politbureau Standing Committee acts as the supreme body that rules over this vast country with a population of 1.3 billion souls.
724. November 7, 2012 Steven Tufts The Particular Politics of Casino Development in Toronto
On November 5, 2012 the Executive Committee of Toronto's City Council voted to move ahead with public consultations on the benefits and location of a casino in the city. The marathon session included over 52 listed deputations from unions, social service professionals, boosters, and anti-casino residents.
723. November 6, 2012 Antonio Carmona Puerto Rico Elections: New Partido del Pueblo Trabajador to Challege Neoliberal Parties
After years of strategic dialogue and an arduous process of electoral inscription, Puerto Rico can now count on an organized alternative, a political party that is committed to defending the interests of the working-class and marginalized sectors of the island's population.
722. November 5, 2012 Richard Fidler Quebec Student Leader Convicted in Outrageous Political Trial
Quebec student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was convicted November 1 of contempt of court for publicly criticizing a court injunction issued during last spring's student strike. The injunction ordered the strikers to allow dissident students who opposed the strike to attend classes.
721. November 4, 2012 OCAP Brighter Prospects -- For Cheap Labour
Over the last eighteen years, people on social assistance in Ontario have seen their real income levels fall by 56 per cent. For the last nine years, the Liberal Government of Dalton McGunity, while actually pushing people deeper into poverty, has continued a sham consultation process around "poverty reduction."
720. November 2, 2012 Roger Annis A Movement Against Tar Sands Oil, Pipelines and Tankers is on the Rise in Canada
A popular movement against tar sands oil production and pipeline transport is on the rise and gathering steam in Canada. Its biggest expression to date was in Victoria, BC on October 22 when 4,000 to 5,000 people rallied in front of the British Columbia Legislature to send a forceful message to the tar sands industry and its political representatives.
719. November 1, 2012 Esther Vivas La Via Campesina: Food Sovereignty and the Global Feminist Struggle
Via Campesina is the world's foremost international movement of small farmers. It promotes the right of all peoples to food sovereignty. Via Campesina was established in 1993 at the dawn of the anti-globalization movement, and gradually became one of the major organizations in the critique of neoliberal globalization.
718. October 30, 2012 Michael Barker Paramilitarism in the Age of Democracy
On August 20, 2012, retired Colombian military general Mauricio Santoyo, former security chief for ex-president Alvaro Uribe, pled guilty to working with the right-wing paramilitary organization, the United Self Defence Forces of Colombia. In his plea agreement, Santoyo acknowledged accepting at least $5-million in bribes from the murderous, drug-running United Self Defence Forces between 2001 to 2008, that is, during the time he served as Uribe's anti-terror security tzar.
717. October 29, 2012 Anita Ogurlu Turkey's Unions in a Time of Imperialist War
On October 4th Turkish unions across all sectors rallied in Ankara. Their message to the ruling party Ministry of Labour was loud and clear: Reform draconian labour laws and release jailed KESK union members. Reforms include: rights to collective bargaining; scrapping a law stating 51% of employees must favour unionization to become a unionized workplace.
716. October 27, 2012 Jiri Malek Czech Elections: 'No' to Austerity and 'Yes' to Strengthening the Left
On 12 - 13 October 2012, elections took place in the Czech Republic. The elections were for regional assemblies and one-third of the Senate. Their political impact could have far-reaching results for the whole of society. They signalled a resounding 'no' to cost cutting and complete submission to the demands of the world financial sector for a quick restart of neoliberal capitalism.
715. October 24, 2012 Shaun Harkin Turning Despair Into Hate
Greece is in a grueling downward economic spiral with massive political and social ramifications. Aspects of Greek society are literally falling apart at the seams. Across the whole eurozone -- the countries that use the euro as a common currency -- unemployment is at a record high of 18.2 million people without work in August.
714. October 22, 2012 Roger Annis Austerity and Counter-Austerity in Britain
Britain is in the throes of a deepening class struggle prompted by attacks on social and democratic rights by the capitalist class. The economic elite is pressing forward with an austerity program of ever-deepening cuts to jobs and social services. A coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats has been in power for the past two years and has cut billions of dollars from public services. With the country mired in economic stagnation, the two parties are aiming to cut billions more in government spending, most notably in the social sphere.
713. October 15, 2012 Esther Vivas When Will We See Tanks in Barcelona?
"Independent Catalonia? Over my dead body and those of many other soldiers." It was with these words that on August 31, retired infantry lieutenant-colonel Francisco Alaman Castro referred to the possibility of an independent Catalonia.
712. October 12, 2012 Jeffery R. Webber Latest Step in a Long Road: The Venezuelan Elections
That Hugo Chavez had to win last Sunday's elections in order for the Bolivarian process to continue -- in whatever form -- was recognized by close to the entirety of the Venezuelan Left over the last several months, including those sectors especially critical of the limits to the political economic program of the government, and the lingering influence of an important conservative bureaucratic layer within the ruling party.
711. October 10, 2012 Matthew Brett and Rushdia Mehreen Just the Beginning: Beyond the Quebec Student Strike
While it is difficult to predict the lasting consequences of the 2012 student strike in Quebec, a few things are certain. The strike has fostered a climate of dissent and a respect for direct democracy and direct action for a whole generation. The effectiveness and appeal of combative syndicalist organizing is not likely to fade from our memories anytime soon, and the broader implications of the strike are also significant.
710. October 9, 2012 Chris Webb What is the ANC and Where is the Left in South Africa?
About a month ago I stood with some 200 striking farm workers in South Africa's Hex River Valley, a rich agricultural region that produces table grapes for export. The workers were on strike against severe pay cuts and outsourcing, which came about when a major fruit export company took over the farm from its previous owner.
709. October 8, 2012 Doug Nesbitt and Andrew Stevens Waiting For a Walkout: The End of McGuinty?
For the first time since the late 1990s, a provincial labour-related education bill has angered a substantial number of Ontarians, from students to parents and, of course, teachers. Bill 115, with the Orwellian title of "Putting Students First Act", passed into law on September 11. To no surprise, the law received unanimous support from the opposition Tories.
708. October 7, 2012 Shadi Chaleshtoori A Game of Smoke and Mirrors: Canada's Decision to Cut Ties with Iran
On September 7, 2012, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced the suspension of all diplomatic relations between Canada and the Islamic Republic of Iran. This measure, Baird summarized briefly, entailed closure of the Canadian embassy in Iran, recall of all Canadian diplomats stationed in Iran, and a federal mandate that all Iranian diplomats, newly declared personae non gratae, leave Canada within five days.
707. October 6, 2012 Tommaso Fattori Joining Forces for Another Europe
In Europe we are living in particularly dramatic times. Democracy is in death-agony and we are witnessing post-democratic processes taking over at the national and supranational level. EU leaders have further concentrated decision-making power on public and fiscal policies in the hands of an oligarchy of governments, technocrats and the European Central Bank, which are subject to the dictates of the financial markets.
706. October 3, 2012 Esther Vivas Spanish State 25S: The Salvaging of Democracy
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Madrid on Tuesday September 25, 2012 to protest against the sequestration of popular sovereignty by the banks and 'markets.' Repression was once again brutal, leaving dozens of people wounded, and there were numerous arrests. In this article, Esther Vivas reviews the motivations for this mobilization and the causes of an ever more brutal police repression.
705. October 2, 2012 Ingar Solty The U.S. Democratic Party and the Left
A conversation with Ingar Solty and Max Bohnel on the labour movement, the Occupy movement and its crisis, and the challenges of history.
704. September 29, 2012 Ali Mustafa The 2012 Toronto Palestine Film Festival: A Preview
The 2012 Toronto Palestine Film Festival is finally set to hit theatres this weekend. Launched in 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of al nakba, TPFF aims to showcase the vibrant cultural heritage, resilience, and collective identity of the Palestinian people through film, art, and other events. In five short years, against all the odds, TPFF has quickly emerged as one of the city's premier film festival experiences.
703. September 28, 2012 Feyzi Ismail Nepal: New Demands Require a New Strategy
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has been in power for just over a year. In leading government again they were hopeful they could complete a constitution-writing process that has consumed Nepal since 2008. They still talk about a socialist future, but the year in power has seen the Maoists disband their People's Liberation Army (PLA), initiate trade deals with India and consolidate alliances with the mainstream parties.
702. September 27, 2012 Sam Gindin Culture of Concessions Has Gutted Organized Labour
At the end of the 1970s, just before the era of concessions began, the U.S. section of the United Auto Workers included some 700,000 members at the Big Three. In each subsequent round of bargaining, the union accepted concessions in exchange for the promise of 'job security.' Today, after three decades of this charade, there are 110,000 UAW members left at these companies, a stunning loss of almost 85 per cent of the jobs.
701. September 26, 2012 Herman Rosenfeld The CAW-CEP Merger: New Union in a Difficult World
Just about everyone in and around the union movement in Canada is talking about the upcoming merger between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers. The new union being formed will be the largest private sector union in Canada. While bigger is not necessarily better -- as numerous other examples of larger mergers have shown -- in this era of general unions, the new union should become a positive force on the Canadian labour scene.
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