Archive for the ‘Political & economic power’ Category
Irish revolutionary legend Bernadette (Devlin) McAliskey on 80th anniversary of Gernika (Guernica) bombingPosted: April 26, 2017 by Admin in 'Counter-insurgency', At the coalface, Democracy movements, Europe, Human rights, Imperialism and anti-imperialism, Internationalism, Ireland, Mass resistance, Political & economic power, Public Meeting, Revolutionary figures, Spain, State repression, State terrorism, Uprisings/insurrections/rebellions, Victimisation, Workers history
by Phil Duncan
The poppies are out again. We’re all expected to give to the RSA and to wear one of their poppies to show our respect for NZ combatants who died in wars abroad. But it doesn’t really take more than a second or two of reflection about Gallipoli, the centrepiece around which war is recalled in NZ and poppies worn, before a couple of questions present themselves.
Why was New Zealand invading Turkey?
What was World War One about?
And there’s the rub.
Was Turkey an imminent threat? Did it have weapons of mass destruction pointed at little ole New Zealand?
The truth, which seems unpalatable for far too many people in this country, is that NZ was the aggressor. We were invading them in a war that was about (more…)
by Marisela Trevin
April 10, 2017
It was as if an unspoken, mutually protective code of silence had been established among the candidates leading the polls in this year’s French presidential debates. Despite their scandal-ridden campaigns, against the backdrop of the collapse of the traditional French party system, neither Fillon, of the right-wing party The Republicans, nor Le Pen, of the far-right National Front, had been asked to answer to the multiple accusations against them regarding the misappropriation of public funds.
Piercing the bubble
Unlike the first debate, in which only five of the eleven presidential candidates had participated, the second debate on April 4 featured all of the candidates, including the New Anti-Capitalist Party’s Philippe Poutou, who made it a point to pierce the French political establishment’s bubble before millions of viewers, while expressing the need for a radical change in French politics and society.
Fillon smiled rigidly, then affected outrage and threatened to sue as Poutou exposed his hypocrisy. “Fillon says he’s worried about the debt, but he thinks less about the matter when he’s dipping into the public treasury,” he quipped. “These guys tell us that we need austerity and then they misappropriate public funds.”
Marine Le Pen was rendered speechless when Poutou addressed her own scandals, which had been widely covered by the media, like those of Fillon, but for which she had not been held accountable in the debates until then. “Then we have Le Pen. (…) She takes money from the public treasury as well. Not here, but in Europe. She’s anti-European, so she doesn’t mind taking money from Europe. And what’s worse, the National Front, which claims to be against the system, doesn’t mind seeking protection from the system’s laws. So she’s refused to appear before the court when she was summoned by the police.” When Le Pen replied “So in this case, you’re in favor of the police,” Poutou retorted “When we get summoned by the police, we don’t have workers’ immunity.” The audience burst into applause.
The contrast could not be starker. On one hand, the political establishment’s rigid, highly-groomed candidates, stuck to their tired playbooks. On the other, a factory worker dressed in a (more…)
Last month, the Spanish parliament vote against a Royal Decree Law that sought to scrap the country’s port labour system. The decree put forward by the conservative Partido Popular (PP – People’s Party) government was voted down – 175 votes against, 142 in favor and 33 abstentions. Crucially, 32 of these abstentions came from the center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens) party that helps to prop up the minority Partido Popular government. This vote is the first time in nearly four decades that a royal decree has been rejected by the Spanish parliament. This victory shows that workers can win, even in situations of high unemployment, right-wing governments and economic crises. In fact, these are the very situations in which workers most need to win. In NZ, meanwhile, the working class continues to fail to defend itself.
by Santiago Lupe
The simple threat of a strike was enough to ensure the overturning of the anti-worker Royal Decree Law drawn up by conservative leader Mariano Rajoy. The “no” vote was not just a blow for the current Partido Popular government but also for the EU Court of Justice and its threat of sanctions.
One of the most concentrated, unionized and coordinated sectors of the labor movement has flexed its “muscle”, which this time round was enough to stop the parties of the post-Franco regime from voting for the “national interest” as they have done in the past. The threat of a strike was not only to have economical consequences – an estimated potential loss of 50 million Euros a day – but also political consequences. The flexing of this political “muscle” raised the specter of a big labor dispute taking center stage in Spain, one that could potentially recreate the solidarity and militancy of the Spanish coal miners’ dispute of 2012 and direct this at all those who voted “yes”. This is a scenario that the social-democratic Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE – Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) fears as it enters its worst crisis in recent history.
Class struggle is way to win
If anything, what this demonstrates is that – despite all the skepticism about social mobilization and all the illusions in “storming heaven” through institutional means – determined class struggle is (more…)