Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal - International Journal of Socialist Renewal - 12 new articles
By John Bachtell
March 17, 2010 -- People's World -- In a potentially important development, exiled members of the former People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan are returning to the country to re-found the organisation. They plan to hold a congress in Kabul later this year and rename the organisation the Democratic Party of Afghanistan.
The PDPA was the ruling party that led the country on a path of socialism before being ousted from power in 1992 by the US government-backed Taliban. Thousands of PDPA members were slaughtered or driven into exile where they have functioned over the years as scattered groups.
Exiled members met recently in Germany to unite their ranks and agree on an approach to reestablishing a legal political party on Afghanistan soil.
"The main goal is to return to Afghanistan and bring a situation of peace and stability in the region", said Dr. Zalmay Gulzad, professor of social sciences at Harold Washington Community College in Chicago. Gulzad was born in Afghanistan and came to the US as a student in 1971 and stayed. "Once peace is achieved the movement will evolve into different stages."
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[See "The Peoples Democratic Party and Indonesia's poor majority" for background to this story.]
By Peter Boyle, photos by Ulfa Ilyas
March 19, 2010 -- Hundreds residents of the urban slum village of Kampung Guji Baru in West Jakarta besieged office of Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo from early in the morning on March 18 to reject the planned their eviction of their settlement. The residents demanded that the governor immediately stop the eviction plans which would rob the poor residents of their rights of occupancy and ownership.
Vickramabahu Karunaratne, the presidential candidate for the NSSP.
By Chris Slee
March 20, 2010 -- The Left Liberation Front (LFF) is contesting 19 seats in the April 8 parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka. The LLF, an electoral coalition comprising the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP, New Socialist Party), the Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA) and the Socialist Party, stands for the right of self-determination for the oppressed Tamil people of Sri Lanka, freedom for political prisoners and an end to the state of emergency.
The NSSP and the Socialist Party are Marxist parties based in the predominantly Sinhalese south of the island of Sri Lanka. The TNLA is a Tamil nationalist party based amongst the Tamil people of the north and east of the island.
Fatima Meer, 1928-2010: `Regardless of how many years we have spent in this life, we must get up and shout'
In January 2000 Fatima Meer enraged ANC leaders by opposing the eviction of destitute families from council flats in Chatsworth, Durban. The ANC’s objective was to sell off the council housing. Meer helped to establish the Concerned Citizens’ Group to organise protests against the ANC’s anti-poor policies like privatisation and cost-recovery, which had led to violent evictions and water cutoffs. The ANC deputy mayor of Durban Trevor Bonhomme called Meer a counter-revolutionary. Watch the video above to hear her response.
Kampung Guji Baru is just one of the many shanty settlements in the megacity of Jakarta, where an estimated 3 million poor people try to survive. Now its residents face forced eviction after greedy developers, corrupt government officials and the "land mafia" conspired to get the courts to do their bidding through fraudulent claims and documents. The developers want to build multistorey luxury apartments and more shopping malls for the rich. The residents and the Poor People's Union (Serikat Rakyat Miskin Indonesia, SRMI) are resisting and they ask for your solidarity.
By Peter Boyle
By John Riddell
March 15, 2010 -- Socialist Voice -- Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke concluded their 10-day tour of Canada on March 7, with a rally in Vancouver entitled “Change the system, not the climate”. Fuentes shared the platform with Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s UN ambassador and chief spokesperson on climate change.
By Patrick Bond, Durban
March 16, 2010 -- In an indication that the climate justice movement is broadening, deepening and going local, there is now intense opposition to a climate-destroying energy loan for South Africa. The campaign is led by community activists in black townships allied with environmentalists, trade unionists and international climate activists.
The World Bank is trying to lend nearly US$4 billion to the Johannesburg-based state-owned electricity utility Eskom, the world’s fourth-largest power company and Africa’s largest carbon emitter (with 40% of South Africa's total emissions). The loan is mainly for constructing the world-s fourth most CO2-intensive coal-fired power plant, Medupi, in the ecologically sensitive Waterberg area north of the capital of Pretoria.
The World Bank also aims to finance privatised power generation, notwithstanding the abject failure of public-private partnerships in South African infrastructure, including in electricity and water. More than 200 organisations have signed up in protest.
[*Note: Check chart on right for latest figures.]
By the executive committee of the New Anti-Capitalist Party
March 14, 2010 -- Paris -- Two major lessons emerge from the first round of the regional elections.
By Billy Wharton, co-chair Socialist Party USA
March 16, 2010 -- Today marks the anniversary of the tragic death of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist Rachel Corrie. On March 16, 2003, Corrie was killed by an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) bulldozer while non-violently resisting the destruction of a Palestinian home. Her death came to symbolise the daily violence faced by Palestinians in the occupied territories as well as the spirit of international solidarity that democratic socialists throughout the world draw political strength from.
Bangkok, March 14, 2010
By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
March 15, 2010 -- Hundreds of thousands of Thai Red Shirt pro-democracy demonstrators took to the streets of Bangkok and other cities over the weekend of March 13-14. This was a show of force to prove the strength of the movement and to dispel any lies by the royalist government and the media that the Red Shirts are not representative of the majority.
By Suzanne Weiss
This speech was given by Suzanne Weiss on March 2, 2010, to a meeting of students at the University of Waterloo in Canada, held as part of the Israeli Apartheid Week. Suzanne Weiss, a holocaust survivor, is a member of Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Against Zionism and of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in Toronto.
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A year after a murderous Israel’s assault, the war on the people of Gaza continues. Gaza is still under siege – still surrounded by walls and checkpoints. Its people are denied the necessities of life and the right to rebuild and shape their future.
For me, as a survivor of the holocaust, the tragic situation in Gaza awakens memories of what I and my family experienced under Hitlerism – the ghetto walls, the killings, the systematic starvation and deprivation, the daily humiliations.
"Random events, those happenings that nobody could foresee, always have a huge impact on historical outcomes."
March 15, 2010 -- This is an excerpt from an essay that forms the entire contents of the March 2010 edition of UNITY, Socialist Worker New Zealand's quarterly Marxist journal for grassroots activists. Following editions of the journal will expand on the crises which are converging to tip global capitalism towards collapse. To subscribe to UNITY journal, email Len Parker at email@example.com. UNITY is posted to your letterbox four times a year. Price: $25 for NZ subscribers, NZ$40 offshore fastpost. This excerpt has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.
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By Grant Morgan
Part 1: History lessons
The fable behind the stereotype
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