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LINKS INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIALIST RENEWAL – LATEST

What’s new at Links: Thailand, 1 million reads, Neville Alexander on SA, renewables & tax, Besancenot on Greece, William Morris, Philippines, Bolivia, Arabic

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Thailand: Past the point of no return

By Danielle Sabai

[This article was written before the Thai government’s crushing of the Red Shirts’ protest site in Bangkok on May 19, 2010. However, it provides important background to the events.]
May 17, 2010 — The political crisis engulfing Thailand is not a clap of thunder in an otherwise calm sky. The discourse about a country where “everyone lives in harmony and where there is no class struggle but a people united behind its adored sovereign” has nothing to do with reality. For several decades, the Thai people have been subjected to authoritarian regimes or dictatorships and a king in their service. The Thai élites have however not succeeded in preventing regular uprisings against the established order, including those in 1973, 1976 and 1992, all repressed by bloodbaths.

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1,000,000 articles read, 750,000 visits — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

May 21, 2010 — At 11.59pm on May 19, 2010, the 1,000,000th article was read at Links International Journal of Socialist (since records began being kept on April 4, 2008). The article was accessed somebody in Toronto, Canada — the 744,733rd visit to Links — who entered site at the fascinating speech by veteran South African revolutionary socialist Neville Alexander. On May 21, at 5.50pm, Links International Journal of Socialsit Renewal received its 750,000th visitor, who was from Thailand and who read one of Giles Ji Ungpakorn’s essential articles on the struggle for democracy in that country.

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Neville Alexander: South Africa – An unfinished revolution?

[The following address — the fourth Strini Moodley Annual Memorial Lecture, held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on May 13, 2010 – was delivered by renowned South African revolutionary socialist and theorist Neville Alexander. From 1964 to 1974 he was imprisoned on Robben Island. Strinivasa Rajoo “Strini” Moodley (December 22, 1945–April 27, 2006) was a founding member of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa. In 1976, he was convicted of terrorism in a trial involving members of the South African Students’ Organisation and the Black People’s Convention, and imprisoned on Robben Island. The speech is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Neville Alexander’s permission.]

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Australia: Tax billionaire companies to fund rapid transition to renewable energy

By Dick Nichols
May 24, 2010 — Even as the Australian federal Labor government sticks its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme [carbon trading scheme] into the freezer the climate change crisis intensifies, demanding a response adequate to its enormity. The goal dictated by climate science is annual emissions reductions of 5% from now to 2020 — the critical “transition decade”.

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Olivier Besancenot: `We are all Greek workers!

By Olivier Besancenot and Pierre-François Grond, translated by Richard Fidler and Nathan Rao

May 14, 2010 — Le Monde via The Bullet — The events in Greece concern us all. The Greek people are paying for a crisis and a debt not of their making. Today it is the Greeks, tomorrow it will be others, for the same causes will produce the same effects if we allow it.

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Debunking the `Menshevik myth’: William Morris and revolutionary politics

By Graham Milner
With some great revolutionary figures in world history, and in international labour history in particular, it has been found necessary for historians or biographers to dig out their subjects from beneath “a load of calumny and oblivion”, “a mountain of dead dogs”. With others, however, a different problem exists. Lenin pointed to this when he wrote that the ruling classes, following upon the deaths of great revolutionaries, often attempt — after having met the ideas and actions of such men and women during their lifetimes with “furious hatred … and slanders” — to turn them into “harmless saints … by way of `consolation’ to the oppressed … while at the same time emasculating and vulgarising the real essence of their revolutionary theories and blunting their revolutionary edge”.

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Philippines: The May 10 elections and the left

By Sonny Melencio, Manila
May 17, 2010 – The May 10, 2010, election has been bandied about as the cleanest and the most peaceful since the restoration of this exercise after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. This is attributed to the computerised election which ensured the quick counting of votes so that there would not be sufficient time for any of the trapo (traditional politician) to cheat.

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Democracy Now! debate: Is Thailand’s Red Shirt movement a genuine grassroots struggle?

May 18, 2010 — In Thailand, the government has rejected an offer by anti-government protesters to enter talks after a bloody week in Bangkok that has left at least thirty-eight protesters dead. Some fear the standoff could lead to an undeclared civil war. The protesters are mostly rural and urban poor who are part of a group called the UDD, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, more commonly known as the Red Shirts. We host a debate between Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a Thai dissident living in exile in Britain who supports the Red Shirt movement; and Philip Cunningham, a freelance journalist who has covered Asia for over twenty years.

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Thailand: Why Obama is silent on the Bangkok massacres

By Shamus Cooke
May 16, 2010 — When the White House is quiet as protesters are butchered in the streets of Bangkok, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicity. One can only imagine what the US government’s response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the US media and US President Barack Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand’s bloodbath.

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Bolivia’s mining dilemmas: Between Mother Earth and an ‘extraction economy’

By Federico Fuentes, Cochabamba
May 15, 2010 — The tremendous success of the April 19-22 World People’s Summit on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, has confirmed the well-deserved role of its initiator — Bolivia’s President Evo Morales — as one of the world’s leading environmental advocates.

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(Updated May 21) Thailand: International left solidarity with the democracy movement

Statements by the New Anti-Capitalist Party of France, Socialist Alliance of Australia, the Socialist Party of Malaysia, the Fourth International, Focus on Global South, Australia Asia Worker Links. See also Asia-Pacific left statement — `Resolve crisis through democracy, not crackdown!’, by Asian left and progressive organisations.

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The Flame, May 2010 — Green Left Weekly’s Arabic-language supplement

May 2010 — With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly — Australia’s leading socialist newspaper — publishes a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame covers news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. Editor-in-chief is Soubhi Iskander is a comrade who has endured years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the repressive government in Sudan.

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Links seeks to promote the international exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists coming from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies. It aims to promote the renewal of the socialist movement in the wake of the collapse of the bureaucratic model of “actually existing socialism” in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

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