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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
1053. November 10, 2014 Drawing a Line in the Tar Sands
Of all possible futures, the least likely is one in which business as usual continues unabated. Peoples' movements will either succeed in transforming our economic and political systems to build a new world, or we will burn with the old one.
1052. November 6, 2014 Pedro Marlez The 'Consultation' in Catalonia
The Spanish political crisis is advancing slowly but inexorably. In the last five or six months we have witnessed a series of events that have exacerbated the process of decomposition: the turbulence produced by the European elections, the succession to the throne, the most serious corruption scandals to surface for generations, and the conflict between the central government and Catalonia.
1051. November 4, 2014 SOS Alternatives to Capitalism
SOS: Alternatives to Capitalism is a handy, slim compendium of vital, essential thoughts and discussions on the concept of an alternative economy and society by Richard Swift. His new book has been brought out by Between the Lines and New Internationalist Publications and has been excellently received in various circles, both academic and activist. He was interviewed by Rana Bose, co-editor of Montreal Serai.
1050. October 29, 2014 Kevin Skerrett Can We Defend Our Pensions Without Challenging Financialized Capitalism?
Unrelenting employer attacks on workplace based pension plans are intensifying, and the struggle to defend them is becoming more challenging right across the country. One recent development appears to be an important partial victory. Some 900 workers at Bombardier's Thunder Bay production facility, represented by Unifor, launched an eight-week strike on July 14, and the dispute centred on an employer demand to eliminate the secure, 'defined benefit' type pension plan with an individualized 'defined contribution' savings scheme for all new hires.
1049. October 27, 2014 J. F. Conway The War Against the Islamic State
Stephen Harper finally got his war in Iraq, something he demanded while in opposition when Bush's ill-fated "coalition of the willing" was inveigled by the U.S. to bomb, invade and occupy Iraq, all contrary to international law. Harper's war in Iraq will be a rather sad and inglorious affair, hardly up to the excesses of his war-mongering rhetoric.
1048. October 17, 2014 Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois Cacouna, Couillard and the Ties that Bind
It's an evening like any other. The first item on the Téléjournal is about the controversial Cacouna oil port project. The journalist speaks to citizens in favour of and opposed to the project. Then the spokesperson for TransCanada, the project's sponsor, appears onscreen. His talking points aren't particularly noteworthy, but his face is strangely familiar.
1047. October 12, 2014 Richard Fidler How Bolivia is Leading the Global Fight Against Climate Disaster
We are "ecosocialists" because the climate crisis now bearing down on us is the major issue facing the world's peoples. It threatens the very survival of human life. It is directly caused by capitalism as a system. The alternative to capitalism is socialism, and our socialism must reflect the centrality of climate crisis in our thinking and actions.
1046. October 9, 2014 Kamran Nayeri Moving Forward After the People's Climate March
The September 21 People's Climate March in New York City was a huge success. Over 310,000 people consisting of hundreds of contingents of various origins and interests marched in New York (some have put the number of marchers as high as 400,000). The organizers report that 2,807 similar actions took place in 166 countries during that weekend.
1045. October 8, 2014 Liz Fekete Protecting European Democracy or Reviving the Cold War?
A new report by Human Rights First on fascism in Hungary and Greece raises important questions. But its orientation toward U.S. national interests smacks of Cold War thinking.
1044. October 7, 2014 Patrick Bond Climate Justice Resurfaces Amidst New York's Corporate Sharks
The world's largest ever march against climate change on Sunday (Sept 21) brought 400,000 people to the streets of New York, starting a lively parade at Central Park. On Tuesday, 120 of the world's political leaders -- notably not including the Chinese and Indians -- gathered 25 blocks away at the United Nations.
1043. October 3, 2014 Richard Fidler Scotland's Referendum: Some lessons for Quebec... and Canada
Superficially, the 55-45 victory of the No forces in Scotland's referendum September 18 was a clear rejection of independence. The Yes forces won a majority only in the four poorest and most deprived of the nation's 32 local divisions, although a class breakdown of the vote would show a majority of the working-class voted for independence.
1042. October 1, 2014 Sean Starrs Students Unfurl the 'Umbrella Revolution' in Hong Kong
The largest student demonstrations and occupations in Hong Kong's history is currently unfurling -- what is increasingly being called the 'Umbrella Revolution' in reference to the sea of umbrellas being used as cover against both pepper-spraying riot police and the rays of the sun (the latter a common practice in Northeast Asia).
1041. September 30, 2014 Dan La Botz Climate Convergence Moves Us Forward, But Challenges Us to Create a Strategy
The Global Climate Convergence with its more than one hundred workshops, its large plenary sessions, and its miles-long mass march of more than 300,000 people, the largest climate protest in American history, represents a turning point for the environmental movement.
1040. September 28, 2014 Benjamin Selwyn Beyond 2015: Is Another Development Possible?
As we near 2015, the United Nations will probably set new objectives on behalf of the global community to supersede the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are held largely by the UN, the World Bank and many anti-poverty campaigners, which I label here the anti-poverty consensus, to have been a success. According to the UN, The First MDG -- the objective of halving world poverty between 1990 and 2015 -- was achieved already in 2010.
1039. September 24, 2014 Asbjørn Wahl Ten Points for a Trade Union Strategy Against Climate Change
Firstly, I will establish some of the important factual basis on which we have to build our strategies and policies. Climate change is not a threat of the future, it is already happening here and now, it is man-made, and the consequences can be catastrophic.
1038. September 23, 2014 Ben Neal The Russian Far Right
The current crisis in Ukraine has, among other things, highlighted the issue of nationalism in the former Soviet republics, and in particular extreme right nationalism. The politics of the Euromaidan movement, which toppled President Viktor Yanukovych are overwhelmingly those of Ukrainian nationalism in various forms, and far right organizations such as the Right Sector and the Svoboda Party played significant roles in the movement.
1037. September 18, 2014 Chris Williams We Need System Change to Stop Climate Change
Viking I landed on Mars, the Ramones released their first album, the Soweto Uprising began in South Africa, North and South Vietnam reunified to become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Gerald Ford was in the White House. 1976: The same year scientists discovered that refrigerant chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, better known as CFCs, were responsible for creating a hole in the ozone layer.
1036. September 14, 2014 Eric Blanc National Liberation and Bolshevism Reexamined
A view from the Czarist empire's borderlands obliges us to rethink many long-held assumptions about the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, as well as the development of Marxist approaches to national liberation, peasant struggle, permanent revolution, and the emancipation of women.
1035. September 12, 2014 Ezgi Yildiz Shifting Centres and Dead-Ends
Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the first publicly elected President of Turkey in the history of the Republic, winning 52 per cent of the votes at the presidential elections of August 10. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, joint candidate of the CHP and the MHP, finished second with 38 per cent of the vote. Selahattin Demirtas of HDP came in third with 9.6 per cent of the votes.
1034. September 10, 2014 Roger Annis Ukraine Ceasefire: Underlying Political Conflicts Unresolved
A ceasefire in the war in eastern Ukraine was announced in Minsk, Belarus on September 5. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko made a simultaneous announcement in Wales where he was a special guest at the summit meeting of the NATO military alliance. A 12-point agreement was signed in Minsk by representatives of the Kyiv government and the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
1033. September 9, 2014 Dimitris Fasfalis Past and Present: Malcolm X in Ferguson
Protests, riots and police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, last August have laid bare "America's racial rift" says The Guardian Weekly. Mainstream opinion-makers have tended to interpret the Michael Brown case and the protests that followed his death in terms of police brutality, racial tensions, and legal responsibility (of the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old African American, Michael Brown), showing these events as specific to American society.
1032. September 5, 2014 J. F. Conway Déjà Vu in Edinburgh
It was hard not to remember the 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum as one walked the streets of Edinburgh in August. The Yes (Yes Scotland) and No (Better Together) sides campaigned relentlessly everywhere: tables in the streets; posters; TV ads; constant references during many Fringe performances. The city and the country were polarized.
1031. September 3, 2014 Mario Candeias Real Democracy and the Capture of Institutions
It is no longer enough to win over civil society, occupy public spaces, take to the streets, carry out symbolic actions, prevent evictions, or to win plebiscites. In Spain movements for 'real democracy' are setting a course to capture institutions -- albeit with the aim to recreate these institutions in a constitutive process in the interests of 'real democracy'.
1030. September 1, 2014 Sam Gindin and Michael Hurley Working Class Politics After the NDP
The issue that we can't ignore this Labour Day is the disorientation in our movement's politics. List the issues working people are most concerned about today -- whether deindustrialization, unemployment and underemployment; access to healthcare, childcare and pensions; poverty, racism, conditions of foreign workers and appalling levels of overall inequality; the environment, transit costs and transit services; another corporate-friendly trade agreement that is insensitive to workers and communities.
1029. August 31, 2014 Leo Panitch The U.S. Still Decides the Future of Capitalism
International attention has been diverted away from this year's G20 meetings in Australia by the declaration from the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, at their meeting in Fortaleza Brazil this July, that they would launch a new "BRICS bank."
1028. August 29, 2014 Leonard Gentle (part 2) South Africa and the Changing Politics of Labour
NUMSA has always been the left critic within COSATU. Its roots lay in the traditions of independent socialism of FOSATU and MAWU, which precede the formation of COSATU -- a tradition to the left of the SACP and long castigated as 'workerism' by the SACP and the ANC in the 1980s.
1027. August 27, 2014 Leonard Gentle South Africa and the Changing Politics of Labour
The two biggest signifiers of the state of the labour movement in South Africa in 2014 are, on the one hand, a terminal crisis within what is still, formally, the biggest trade union centre -- the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), aligned to the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), and, on the other, the emergence of new workplace militancies by workers, notably the national strike wave in the second half of 2013.
1026. August 26, 2014 Marta Harnecker New Paths Require a New Culture on the Left
I completed this book one month after the physical disappearance of President Hugo Chávez, without whose intervention in Latin America this book could not have been written. Many of the ideas I raise in it are related in one way or another to the Bolivarian leader, to his ideas and actions, within Venezuela and at the regional and global level.
1025. August 24, 2014 David Mandel Understanding the Civil War in Ukraine
The Ukrainian conflict, like most political phenomena, is multi-dimensional and highly complex. As such, it calls for a holistic -- dialectical, if you wish -- approach. But to judge by American and NATO spokespersons and by their mass media, there is only one really decisive factor that explains everything: Russia's imperialism, Vladimir Putin's determination to dominate and further dismember the Ukraine as part of his plan to restore the Soviet empire.
1024. August 22, 2014 John Riddell Responding to Capitalist Global Disaster: 1914 and Today
On June 28th, one hundred years ago, a Bosnian nationalist assassinated the crown prince of Austria-Hungary, setting in motion a chain of events that led a month later to the outbreak of the First World War. The war shattered the world socialist movement and unleashed an overwhelming social catastrophe in Europe, killing seventeen million soldiers and civilians.
1023. August 20, 2014 Reflections on the Maidan Protests and the Pro-Autonomy Political Movement in Eastern Ukraine
The following interview was conducted by Roger Annis for Truthout with Daniel Grigor'ev, a social researcher at the Moscow-based Institute for the Study of Globalization and Social Movements and a graduate of Moscow State University.
1022. August 16, 2014 Suzanne Weiss Not In My Name
I am proud to join more than 250 Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors in condemning "the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza" and "the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people." Our statement of solidarity calls for "an immediate end to the siege against and the blockade of Gaza" and a "full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel."
1021. August 15, 2014 David Camfield Colonialism and the Working Class in Canada
It's good news that in a number of cities people "are meeting together in growing numbers to explore what it means -- and doesn't mean -- to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples within Canada," as journalist Meg Mittelstedt wrote recently.
1020. August 13, 2014 Leo Panitch 'Responsible Capitalism' is Nonsense
Ed Miliband's challenge to "the manufactured, the polished, the presentational" practice of politics, where democracy is reduced to "showbiz, a game, who is up and who is down," deserves to be discussed in terms that go beyond the effect this may have on his own electoral prospects. It should open up a larger debate on what's wrong with the practice of democracy today.
1019. August 6, 2014 Shourideh C. Molavi If Palestinians Were Human Beings
Today the struggle for people of conscience appears to be less about convincing people that Israel is committing war crimes against Palestinians or grossly violating international law. Instead the struggle has become about convincing the world that Palestinians are human beings too.
1018. August 3, 2014 Ana Garcia Building BRICS from Below?
The Sixth Summit of the BRICS Heads of States, in Fortaleza, was accompanied by three others: the Business Meeting of BRICS, the Third Trade Union Summit and NGO's and movement's "Dialogues on Development: the BRICS from the perspective of peoples." They are composed of actors from very different fields.
1017. July 31, 2014 Greg Shupak The Logic of Israeli Violence
One could be forgiven for understanding Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip as butchery for its own sake. That's a plausible interpretation of the killing of 1,284 Palestinians, at least 75 per cent of whom are civilians, and injuring another 7,100.
1016. July 29, 2014 Herman Rosenfeld Low Income Transit Passes: Consolidate and Struggle to Make it Free
The passing of a resolution to "develop a Policy Framework for Toronto Transit Fare Equity for consideration by the end of 2015" by Toronto City Council on July 8th, 2014 is a step forward. It reflects a series of struggles by low income people, social activists working in community movements, social agencies, transit activists and allies.
1015. July 27, 2014 J. F. Conway Fatal Advice for the NDP
Murray Mandryk, the political columnist for Saskatchewan's capitalist press, once again gives the NDP free political advice regarding the dangers of toying with left-wing ideas. He represents a long tradition in Canadian political commentary -- the capitalist media have repeatedly warned the CCF and the NDP about the electoral folly of being too left-leaning.
1014. July 25, 2014 Salimah Valiani Mobilizing Temporary Migrant Workers
While labour migration has been a recurring phenomenon in human history, what is new in the post-1970 period of restructuring in the world capitalist economy is the increased use of temporary migrant labour by employers around the world.
1013. July 22, 2014 From Bolivia, a Trade-Union Appeal for International Anti-Capitalist Solidarity
As a follow-up to the June summit meeting of the G77 + China leaders, held in Santa Cruz, the Bolivian government and the Bolivian Workers Central sponsored an "Anti-Imperialist International Trade Union Conference" in Cochabamba, June 30-July 2. The conference was attended by representatives of unions in 22 countries, affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).
1012. July 20, 2014 Michal Rozworski The Outsize (un)Importance of the Tar Sands
It's easy to overestimate the importance of the tar sands to the Canadian economy. Tar sands and their pipelines are, after all, hailed by the ruling Conservatives, sections of the business press and the ever-present oil lobby as this young century's 'nation-building' project.
1011. July 18, 2014 Dan La Botz The Working Class and Left Politics: Back on the American Radar
The American political system, so highly polarized between conservative Republicans and moderate Democrats, has experienced in the last year some interesting changes on the left-hand margin of the national political scene. From Bill de Blasio's victory in the mayoral election in New York City, to Kshama Sawant's winning of a city council seat in Seattle.
1010. July 15, 2014 Martin Hart-Landsberg Africa And Globalization
Economists continue to celebrate the free movement of goods, services, and capital. However, faced with slowing economic conditions in core countries, it is now third world growth that is highlighted as proof of the gains from unregulated globalization.
1009. July 13, 2014 Statements of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
We, Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip, call on conscientious people all over the world, to act, protest, and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.
1008. July 12, 2014 Faculty for Palestine Breaking the Canadian University Links with Israeli Institutions
On June 12, Israel launched a massive military operation called "Operation Brother's Keeper." Since then, the Israeli state has bombed the Gaza Strip, killed a rapidly rising number of Palestinians, arrested more than 500 others, and violently invaded 1,300 Palestinian sites, including three university campuses.
1007. July 10, 2014 Time for Canada to Honor its UN Obligations Toward Palestine
July 9th, 2014 marked a critical landmark for the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Apartheid as it marks the International Court of Justice opinion on the Apartheid wall in the West Bank as being illegal under international law. One year after the decision on July 9th 2005 the united Palestinian call for a movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was issued.
1006. July 9, 2014 Richard Swift The Commons As a Fount of Hope
The commons is not just a battlefield between corporate predators and those who resist them -- it is also a source of hope for those willing to imagine a world beyond capitalism. It represents a space between the private market and the political state in which humanity can control and democratically root our common wealth.
1005. July 6, 2014 Brad Hornick; Sam Gindin False Hopes or Political Strategy?
There are two points of common agreement amongst almost all sections of the Left. We are in the midst of a fundamental turning point in the earth's environment from climate change, with many catastrophic consequences unfolding, from species extinction to habitat loss to enormous obstacles and costs for human adaptation; and the Left remains, in almost all zones of the world, but especially in North America, on the margins as a social force in the face of a reconstructed and more authoritarian neoliberalism. How to respond in such a situation?
1004. July 2, 2014 Roger Annis NDP Lurch to the Right Underscores Need for A New, Left-Wing Party in Canada
Voters in Canada's largest and most industrialized province went to the polls on June 5 to choose a provincial government. The choices were limited lesser evils, 'bad,' or 'worse,' constrained by a lurch to the political right by the union-based Ontario New Democratic Party.
1003. June 30, 2014 A New World Order for Living Well
The Summit of the Group of 77 plus China, marking the alliance's 50th anniversary, closed in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on June 15 with the adoption of a Declaration containing 242 articles, entitled "For a New World Order for Living Well." The Summit set a record for high-level participation, with the presence of 13 presidents, 4 prime ministers, 5 vice-presidents and 8 foreign ministers among the delegates of the 104 countries in attendance.
1002. June 24, 2014 Gavin Fridell Alternative Trade
Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously declared on many occasions that "there is no alternative" to economic liberalism and free trade. This popular slogan, referred to by the acronym TINA, has persisted beyond Thatcher's own time in office, which ended in 1990, and has become a widely accepted wisdom.
1001. June 19, 2014 Sungur Savran Turkey After Soma
May 31 was the anniversary of the eruption of the popular rebellion in Turkey that has gone under the name of Gezi Park around the world. On that anniversary, a virtual state of emergency was established in Istanbul, with 25,000 police officers deployed around Taksim Square.
1000. June 18, 2014 Sam Gindin Unmaking Global Capitalism
When Karl Marx famously declared that while the "philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it," he was asserting that it was not enough to dream of another world nor to understand the dynamics of the present. It was critical above all to address the question of agency in carrying out transformative change.
999. June 17, 2014 Doug Nesbitt Boycott IKEA: Some Assembly Required
Locked out for thirteen months, over three hundred IKEA workers in Richmond, BC are still holding out. While setting record profits in 2013, IKEA is trying to impose a two-tier wage system and seriously weaken benefits. The stakes are high as IKEA Richmond sets workplace standards for non-union IKEA stores.
998. June 16, 2014 Stop the War in the Ukraine!
On June 7-8 a conference of antiwar left forces from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus was held in Minsk. Its purpose was to strengthen the unity of internationalists of the three countries in the fight against the rampant violence, nationalist hysteria and repressions on both sides of the Ukrainian-Russian border.
997. June 12, 2014 Sabrina Fernandes Brazil on Strike: Class Struggle in the Wake of the World Cup
Many labour unions are either in the process of negotiating with their respective employers (mostly municipal, state, or federal governments) in Brazil, while others are actively on strike. These include federal workers from the government bureaucracy, school teachers, city staff, and university staff and faculty.
996. June 11, 2014 Robert Chernomas, Robin Chang Healthcare in Canada and the U.S. in an 'Age of Permanent Austerity'
In North American debates over healthcare, Canada's universal public 'single-payer' system of health insurance is often celebrated compared to the private employer-delivered system for being lower cost, more accessible, and producing superior health outcomes. But recently, the Canada Health Accord has ended, and 'Obamacare' has been installed, which are major developments in the political economy of healthcare financing in both countries.
995. June 10, 2014 Derrick O'Keefe Revolutionary Activism in the 20th Century and Beyond
Not long ago, I overheard a prominent social democratic politician in British Columbia repeating an old saw sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill, "Any man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart. Any man who is still a socialist at age 40 has no head." He was offering this line to the editor of the Vancouver Sun -- a joking way to put a right-wing journalist at ease.
994. June 9, 2014 Evert Hoogers Aeration and the CLC Convention of 2014
When you are slowly suffocating due to oxygen deprivation, it's a bit of a priority to breathe fresh air again. It helps if someone finally opens a window so air circulation can start. In the case of the Canadian Labour Congress of 2014, this invaluable service fell to Hassan Husseini, a union organizer and negotiator with deep roots in the Ontario social justice, international solidarity, left and labour community.
993. June 6, 2014 Esther Vivas Spanish State: After the Abdication of the King, It's Time to Checkmate the Regime
The regime is collapsing, it is dying and in its last-ditch struggle to survive, the king has abdicated. Never has the regime resulting from the Transition been as widely challenged as it is today. The pillars on which it rests, the monarchy, the judiciary, bipartisanship, have been greatly delegitimized for some time now.
992. June 4, 2014 Roger Annis Ukraine: New President Escalates Austerity, Civil War
The newly elected president of western Ukraine is deepening the disastrous course to civil war of his interim predecessor. Within hours of his election on May 25, Petro Poroshenko ordered jet fighters, helicopter gunships, artillery and snipers to back fascist stormtroopers from western Ukraine in attacking the airport and surrounding neighbourhoods in Donetsk in the east, the country's fifth-largest city.
991. June 3, 2014 Chris Schenk Continental Crucible: Workers and Unions in the Transformation of North America
Continental Crucible examines the clash between what the authors term the 'corporate offensive' and the movements of resistance on a continental level. The conflict of these forces can be seen through the prism of free trade agreements, the restrictions on social spending resulting in severe cuts to needed social services and the continuing attacks on public sector unions in all three countries (Canada, Mexico and the United States).
990. May 29, 2014 Prasenjit Bose Left's Debacle in 2014 Elections in India: Who's Responsible?
The debacle faced by the CPI(M)-led Left Front in the 2014 general elections, especially in its erstwhile stronghold of West Bengal, has stunned supporters and opponents alike, and caused stirrings within the ranks of the Left activists. Out of the 98 seats it contested this time, the CPI(M) has won only 9 seats.
989. May 27, 2014 Gavin Rae Rather the Useful Idiot: Ukraine in Turmoil
The images from Odessa were truly horrific. Burnt corpses, a strangled pregnant woman, people jumping out of windows to their deaths. Yet perhaps the most disturbing of them all was the scene where a group of young educated looking teenage girls, draped in the Ukrainian flag, were happily making the Molotov Cocktails that would later help cause the deaths of over 40 people.
988. May 26, 2014 Panagiotis Sotiris From Resistance to Hegemony
Austerity has been the main battle cry on the part of the forces of capital. New cuts in public spending, new cuts in pensions, new cuts in social expenditure, mass lay-offs of public sector workers, all in the name of dealing with increased budget deficits and increased debt-burden.
987. May 23, 2014 Donatella Della Porta Anti-Austerity Movements and the European Union
The current European Union elections are the first to take place in the midst of the Great Recession. Opinion polls -- including those conducted by Eurobarometer on behalf of the European Commission -- demonstrate clearly the effects the financial crisis has had on the confidence of European citizens in European institutions.
986. May 22, 2014 Steve Ellner Terrorism in Venezuela and Its Accomplices
The private media and important actors both at home and abroad including Washington have downplayed, and in some cases completely ignored, the terrorist actions perpetrated against the Venezuelan government over the past three months.
985. May 19, 2014 NUMSA South Africa: There's No Turning Back
The Central Committee of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) met from May 12 until May 15, 2014. The CC was attended by the National Office Bearers, elected regional representatives, key members of staff, and in this instance was extended to include a number of shopstewards who serve as Local Deputy Chairpersons on the 52 locals of the union. This was indeed a meeting of NUMSA's workers parliament.
984. May 16, 2014 Eren Buglalilar Low-Cost Mass Graves for the Working Class
A mine explosion has just claimed the lives, as of the latest count, of almost 300 workers in Turkey. This event added another link to the long chain of massacres that has taken place during the rule of the AKP government. Leaving hundreds of workers dead and injured, the massacre has brought grief to the rest of the population, whose sharp anger was already directed toward the government.
983. May 15, 2014 Richard Fidler Quebec Election: A Seismic Shift Within the Independence Movement?
The defeat of the Parti Québécois (PQ) and the election of a federalist Liberal party government in the Quebec general election of April 7 raises important questions about the future of the Quebec movement for sovereignty and political independence.
982. May 14, 2014 Roger Annis Popular Rebellion Deepens in Eastern and Southern Ukraine
A political crisis over the future of Ukraine has exploded in the past two months. It's being driven by the longstanding efforts of the big imperialist countries to assert economic and military domination over the republics of the former Soviet Union and to weaken and marginalize rival Russia.
981. May 11, 2014 Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Mexican Workers in the Continental Crucible
The central purpose of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which celebrated its twentieth anniversary on January 1, was the consolidation of the neoliberal domestic agendas of the three member countries (Canada, United States and Mexico). Private corporate interests and the governing bodies of the three countries systematically sought to decrease labour costs and militancy...
980. May 7, 2014 Alexandre Costa Climate Change: Engine of Inequality
Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change started the publication of its 5th Assessment Report (AR5), initially showing the work by the Working Group I, which deals with the physical basis of climate change. Now, the AR5 process continued with the publication of the "Summary for Policy Makers" by the Working Group II, concerning "impacts, adaptation and vulnerability."
979. May 5, 2014 G. M. Tamás Hungary: A Black Hole on Europe's Map
The whole nature of European politics has changed after 1989: the two hegemonic blocs had disintegrated, after the Soviet threat which forced the internal compromise in the West resulting in the welfare state and the toleration of large West European communist parties and communist-influenced trade unions, ceased to exist.
978. May 4, 2014 Susan Spronk Hands Off Venezuela!
The recent destabilization campaign waged by the right-wing opposition has yet again made Venezuela a darling of the international media. While there is always a deafening media silence when the Bolivarian government wins an electoral mandate, throughout the month of February, viewers were assailed with images of 'innocent' student protesters...
977. May 2, 2014 Sungur Savran May Day in Istanbul a Battle Ground
After the people's revolt last summer, after the immense crisis of the state caused by the breakup of the Islamic power bloc in December 2013, after the local elections that gave a new lease of life to Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and his AKP government, May Day in Istanbul became a battle ground.
976. May 1, 2014 Justin Panos Eight Years Gone: The Harper Government's Health Record
The Canada Health Accord ceased functioning on March 31, 2014. There was no state funeral. The Accord was negotiated in 2004 under Prime Minister Paul Martin and set-up the last 10-years of funding and healthcare service delivery agreements. Cash transfer increases of 6 per cent annually ensured the provinces a steady cash flow to build public health systems. The 10-year Plan to Strengthen Health Care ruled until the Conservatives captured a majority in 2011.
975. April 29, 2014 Matthew Behrens Canada's Coup-Supporting Corporate Cowboy Diplomacy
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bloviated last fall about officially ending the Monroe Doctrine (the U.S. belief that God grants only Americans the right to interfere with the internal affairs of other western hemisphere countries), one wonders if Stephen Harper and his foreign affairs pitbull John Baird immediately took the concept on for themselves.
974. April 28, 2014 Raju J Das The Hindu Right's Model of Development: A Marxist Critique
In recent times, the Hindu Right appears to be a resurgent political force in India. One of its bastions has been Gujarat, a State in western India. It has been under the political control of the Right under the leadership of Narendra Modi. He is the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP, the main political wing of the Hindu Right movement.
973. April 24, 2014 Steve Ellner Can A Country Have A Revolutionary State and A Capitalist Economy?
At various moments in the interview with Steve Ellner, I welcomed the explanations that he offered in response to my questions. I most identified with the idea of the state as developed by Nicos Poulantzas in which in addition to, and beyond, being an object of a given class, the state is conceived of as a type of mirror that takes in and reflects the nation's social dynamic.
972. April 22, 2014 Mehmet Erman Erol (Re)Radicalization of the Working Class in Turkey?
Autonomy, occupation, self-management... these long-forgotten terms are back in Turkey since late 2012-early 2013. There have been several factory occupations since last year. The most prominent ones are, among others, Kazova, Greif, Zentiva, Feni?, Moda Socks Factory, Renault, and ?i?ecam Topkap? workplace occupations.
971. April 21, 2014 Kirsten Francescone Coeur Mines Treading in Dangerous Water at San Bartolome Mine in Bolivia
Recent protests surrounding the New Mining Law by the cooperative sector in Bolivia climaxed to dangerous levels this past week. The approval of the law was stalled when legislators modified the project in the Legislative Assembly. They claimed that an article allowing cooperatives to sign third-party contracts with private or foreign capital was unconstitutional and removed it.
970. April 20, 2014 Sam Gindin Raising Our Expectations
Looking back to the defeat of the labour movement since the early 1980s, three lessons seem especially important. First, any gains made under capitalism are temporary; they can be reversed. Second, the kind of unionism we developed in that earlier period of gains was inherently limited; it left us in a poor position to respond to the subsequent attacks. Third, absent new forms of working-class organization and practices, fatalism takes over and worker expectations fall.
969. April 18, 2014 Michael Laxer Free Transit: Three Reasons It Is an Idea Whose Time Has Come
On January 1, 2013, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, became the largest city in the world to make mass transit free for its residents. While the effects of having done this are, of course, specific to the context of the city itself, it has shown that a major city can do it and that it has been widely popular with its residents.
968. April 16, 2014 Campaign Against Drones in Pakistan Imperialism in South Asia and the War Against the People of Pakistan
On March 12, 2014, Canada's troops formally withdrew from Afghanistan after twelve years of participation in Western military occupation under the banners of NATO and ISAF. Nearly two weeks later the minister for citizenship and immigration, Chris Alexander, appeared on CBC to explain why, although Canada had supposedly succeeded in ensuring Afghanistan is no longer a base for terrorism, the main mission to "create a secure and stable environment" in Afghanistan had been a failure.
967. April 14, 2014 John Clarke Austerity and the Attack on Disability Benefits
At the beginning of this month, Ted McMeekin, the Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services, informed the provincial Legislature that his government will not be merging Ontario Works (OW) with the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Given that the Liberal's own 2012 Report of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario calls for such a merger, this belated statement of intentions is quite significant.
966. April 9, 2014 Herman Rosenfeld The New Struggle for Public Transit
As we in Canada (and especially Toronto) face the painful and seemingly never-ending process of developing actual projects for public transit expansion, the drumbeat of calls for privatization in its various forms is inescapably present. Indeed, there is a failure even to fund properly the existing public transit network in Toronto and other Canadian cities.
965. April 7, 2014 Panagiotis Sotiris The Left and the European Union
What has been happening in Greece, since the beginning of the austerity packages in 2010 can only be described in terms of a giant experiment in neoliberal social engineering. In terms of magnitude and scope it well surpasses the effects of the notorious IMF 'structural adjustment programs.'
964. April 4, 2014 Gal Kirn The Emergence of the New Left Party in Slovenia
Only a few years ago anyone advocating socialism in the Slovenian public media was seen either as an old nostalgic decrying 'good old times' and Josip Broz Tito, or as a leftist extremist, who in the political spectrum does not sit far away from the extreme right-wingers.
963. April 2, 2014 Austerity, the Hard Right and the French Election: Two Views
Barely two years after assuming office François Hollande finds himself to be the most unpopular French president in history. This past Sunday his Parti socialiste suffered serious defeats in local and municipal elections as French voters either abstained or supported parties of the Right.
962. April 1, 2014 Fabio Amato The Tsipras List
The Italian left seems hopelessly divided and has practically disappeared as a parliamentary left in recent years -- with the exception of Sinistra ecologia e libertà (Left-Ecology-Freedom), which, as a coalition partner of the centre-left government, has assumed responsibility for the neoliberal budget-cutting policies in the wake of the crisis.
961. March 31, 2014 Dan Freeman-Maloy Some Basic Thoughts on Québec and Anti-Imperialist Strategy
The Harper government has dragged Canadian politics to a point where intelligent criticism is difficult. Things are almost too obviously bad. On an international stage, it was enough to see the smug chuckles that Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman exchanged as Harper delivered his speech to Israeli parliament, urging Israel's leadership to stay the course toward regional wars.
960. March 29, 2014 Steve Ellner The Deceptive Use of the Phrase "Peaceful Protests" in Venezuela
The Venezuelan opposition and much of the media use the term 'peaceful protests' to distinguish gatherings of protesting students and other young people from the more violent actions including vandalism and shootings carried out by those outside of the university community.
959. March 28, 2014 Cindy McCallum Miller Hassan Husseini's CLC Challenge
This year's Canadian Labour Congress convention might be worth attending after all. With a presidential challenge in the air, labour leaders will have to trade in their silk shirts for a pair of overalls to show they still are connected to the working-class in order to seek the support of delegates.
958. March 27, 2014 John Weeks Neoliberalism and the Decline of Democracy
In one of his last books Eric Hobsbawm argued that the conflict between capitalism and communism determined the course of the twentieth century (thus the title, The Age of Extremes: the Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991). This confrontation of socioeconomic ideologies without doubt dominated European and global history, especially after 1945.
957. March 25, 2014 Steve Ellner The Strategy of the Venezuelan Opposition and How it Works
The strategy and tactics of the Venezuelan opposition is a replay of events that took place leading up to the coup against Hugo Chávez on April 11, 2002 and is similar (although in some ways quite different) from the script that has been used in the Ukraine and elsewhere. The blatant distortions and in some cases lies of the media (CNN in Spanish playing a lead role) represent an essential element in the strategy.
956. March 24, 2014 Sungur Savran Turkish PM Erdogan Playing with Fire
Three events that occurred in the space of three days create sufficient ground for suspecting that [Turkish Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan is playing with the Syrian fire in order to extricate himself out of the situation he faces. First, a commando of three foreign fundamentalist militants engage in a shootout with the gendarmes and the police on a motorway in Central Anatolia, leaving one policeman, one gendarme and one passer-by dead.
955. March 24, 2014 Jeffery R. Webber Contra the Blasé Wisdom of Sober Old Men
"When great hopes have lead in their wings," writes the French revolutionary Daniel Bensaïd, "little ones spring up like mushrooms on the ground, in everyday resistance and miniscule conspiracies." Bensaïd died in January 2010, at the age of 63, from cancer. The cancer was brought on by drugs he had been taking to combat Aids, which he had contracted 16 years prior.
954. March 23, 2014 Sungur Savran Turkey at the Crossroads
So it has come to this! As the whole world is aware, the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken the step of banning Twitter! The government is probably sounding the reaction of the public and planning to ban YouTube as well, since that has been the site where all the wiretapped conversations have been posted.
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