New Socialist has invited a number of activists and writers
India recently concluded its 2014 federal elections in which a record 550 million people cast their votes, electing Narendra Modi of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as Prime Minister and securing his party’s position with a majority 282 out of 543 seats in Parliament. New Socialist editor Salmaan Khan had the opportunity to discuss the election results with Bengali-Canadian writer, scholar and activist Himani Bannerji. What follows is Part 1 of a three part interview series. In this first piece Dr. Bannerji lays the context for what India looked like going into these elections and outlines the conditions that helped pave the way for the appeal of religious nationalism.
Image source: Press Information Bureau India
By Alan Sears
These are challenging times for the anti-capitalist left. Despite the enormous attacks being waged in the name of austerity, there is little in the way of sustained resistance in the streets, workplaces, neighbourhoods or schools. The Left’s limited resources are being strained to the limits in struggles to organize against the tide.
By Mike Gonzalez
In every revolutionary crisis the state will slip off the velvet glove to reveal the iron fist underneath; that is the nature of the beast, as Lenin reminded us. Armies are there to serve the capitalist order, whether their activity is described as “peacekeeping,” “national security” or simply the maintenance of public order.
By Darryl Leroux
Since the details of the PQ’s proposed Charter of Québec Values were first leaked to the media a few weeks ago, there has been a firestorm of condemnation across the Rest of Canada (ROC). The corporate media’s universal denunciations on the matter are matched only by the many petitions circulating on social media calling for an end to this display of racism in Québec. It’s an auspicious moment indeed when stories in the National Post and the Globe & Mail sound very much like the ones penned by activists on social media.
By Murray Cooke
Like the federal Liberal Party leadership race, the NDP policy convention this past weekend proved to be rather anti-climactic.
Review of Judy Rebick, Occupy This! (Penguin, 2012).
By Donya Ziaee
Reading long-time activist Judy Rebick’s new e-book Occupy This! re-awakened memories of my experience at the Occupy Toronto encampment in its very early days. The optimism, excitement and hope with which Rebick pens her latest book is quite reminiscent of the sentiments that drew me, and perhaps many others, to the camp in the initial period.
This article is Part 2 of a 2-part series, and is the basis of a presentation at the Historical Materialism 2012 conference in Toronto [http://www.yorku.ca/hmyork/]. Part 1 can be found here. The authors are both based in the United States, and thus use the term “tribal nations” and American Indians (Indigenous peoples in Canada refer to themselves as “First Nations”). – NSW
The gains by the NDP in the 2011 federal election have made the questions of what the NDP is today and how people opposed to the austerity agenda should relate to it even more important. The editors of New Socialist Webzine are glad to publish this contribution by Murray Cooke on the NDP past and present.
As always, we welcome constructive comments and other submissions that address these questions. Readers may also want to read the article, “After the Election 2011: Building our Movements on Shifting Ground.”
By Alan Sears
On February 5, 1981 150 Toronto cops busted into four gay bathhouses and arrested 306 people on charges of being found-ins or keepers of common bawdyhouses. These arrests were deliberately conducted so as to humiliate and terrify the men who were charged. Doors were kicked in and men were dragged out naked, verbally abused and beaten up.