New Socialist continues its series on the historical significance of
By Stephen D’Arcy
Strikes are only one form of struggle, and perhaps less and less important as the years pass. But the disappearance of strikes — documented in the accompanying graph — is not an anomaly. It reflects a pattern of diminishing overall levels of oppositional social mobilization. Although there aren’t (as far as I know) statistics on it, it is obvious that levels of social struggle generally, in the Canadian state, are lower now than at any time since written records have been kept.
By Sabrina Fernandes
Rally held in June 2013, Brazil. Source: MidiaNinja media collective
The general commentary regarding Brazilian politics is that the “politicians are all the same” or “there is no political alternative” and that even the good ones get corrupted once they reach power. It is no wonder then, that the massive protests of June 2013 throughout Brazil, which were filled with diffuse voices and eclipsed by broad demands, revealed what many termed a crisis of representation.
By Brian S. Roper
Review of David Graeber, The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement (Allen Lane, 2013)
Was the Occupy movement an anarchist movement? David Graeber certainly thinks so and dedicates much of The Democracy Project depicting it in these terms.
In reality the influence of Anarchism as a diverse political current was highly uneven across the hundreds of occupations that took place globally in September, October and November of 2011. The relative influence of anarchists, socialists, feminists, Indigenous activists, greens, social democrats, left nationalists, and others varied largely according to the relative strengths of these currents prior to the emergence of the Occupy movement, and how they conducted themselves during the course of the encampments.
By Dru Oja Jay
Across Canada, movement organizations are preparing for the People’s Social Forum, coming up in August. There’s a buzz of excitement and anticipation in the air as committees elect delegates, and strategies are debated. When hundreds of activists gather in Ottawa in a few months, we will be drawing from a rich, long-simmering cauldron of theoretical discussion and insight issuing from astute on-the-ground observations.
By Joseph Daher
The recent death of Canadian photo journalist and New Socialist Editorial Associate Ali Mustafa in a Syrian military bomb blast was a grim reminder of the brutal war that’s ongoing in Syria. Joseph Daher wrote a series of six articles in 2012 that analysed the Syrian rebellion. These articles can be found here. In this article Joseph Daher analyses the many forces of reaction within Syria, and celebrates three years of courageous struggle for democracy and social change.
By Gal Kirn
Year 1995, Dayton, Ohio. The end of three year war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is announced, the end of the war that in the most brutal ways materialized the idea of “end of history” with the global triumph of liberal democracy and transition to capitalism. Many “ordinary” citizens thought everything was going to be better.
Two decades later, BiH seemed to be one of the last places where any kind of political uprisings or emancipatory politics could take place. A collective sense of despair, passivity and helplessness prevailed. But this month, nineteen years after Dayton, the biggest protests in recent decades have taken place in the region.
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.
The popular movement against the Assad regime continues. We are publishing a translation of a statement from the Syrian Revolutionary Left, a group of Marxists inside and outside Syria that in January published the first issue of a monthly newspaper. We hope that this will allow more people who read English to become aware of the revolutionary socialist presence in the struggle in Syria.
By Farooq Sulehria
Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf states, have been key protagonists in the counter-revolutionary wave unleashed against the uprisings. Indeed, 2011 has clearly demonstrated that imperialism in the region is articulated with – and largely works through – the Gulf Arab states.
‘Overall, it is important for the Left to support the ongoing struggles in the revolutions as the contradictions of the new regimes continue to sharpen,’ says Adam Hanieh.
Adam Hanieh is a Lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011) and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Historical Materialism.
By Khalil Habash
The Syrian popular movement has witnessed an increasing mobilization in recent weeks — the most important since last summer in spite of violent repression, as can see with attack on Homs of Friday, February 3, with 300 martyrs in one night.
By Alan Sears
The Occupy Wall Street movement and the mobilizations of the “indignant” in Europe have sparked solidarity actions in many places around the world. October 15, 2011 was a massive day of action that included over 60 marches in Spain, a huge demonstration of over 100 000 in Rome and Occupy actions in cities and towns across North America and in many other places.
By Tessa Echeverria and Andrew Sernatinger
On a cold January day in Wisconsin, the two of us sat over a couple of cups of coffee and started talking, like many others, about what was happening in the world and remarked on the chain of revolts across Europe and North Africa. We got up to leave and passed a copy of January’s Economist magazine, the cover reading “The Battle Ahead, Confronting the Public Sector Unions.” We crossed East Washington Avenue, a long stretch of vacant manufacturing buildings in Madison, and asked each other, “When is it going to be our turn?”
The current popular uprising against Colonel Qadafi in Libya is part of a wider revolutionary wave occurring all across the Middle East and North Africa that deserves our unconditional support. A victory for the Qadafi regime over the rebellion would no doubt represent a devastating blow not only to Libya’s own future but to the revolutionary process in the region as a whole. As NATO’s no-fly zone over Libya increasingly looks to transform into a long and protracted military operation, it is important now for social justice advocates across Canada to reflect critically upon why the decision to intervene was made, who exactly stands to benefit, and what the likely consequences will be.