national liberation

Gaza: Tens of thousands remain homeless

One week after an August 26 ceasefire halting an Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of Palestinians remained displaced, sheltered in United Nations schools and other facilities.

On September 1, 58,071 people still lived in 36 UN schools across the coastal enclave, according to Chris Gunness, spokesperson for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.

Israel’s 51-day onslaught damaged 15,670 houses, including 2276 completely destroyed, and up to 500,000 Palestinians were displaced.

Time to end the ban on the LTTE

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka.

The group was formed in response to discrimination against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan government, after peaceful protests had been repeatedly met with violent repression. It waged an armed struggle for nearly three decades.

The LTTE was militarily defeated in 2009, and no longer exists. Yet people are still being penalised for alleged links with the group. This is happening in Sri Lanka, in Australia, and in other countries.

Ecuador: WikiLeaks cables show how US used 'democracy promotion' to push corporate interests

Ecuador's pro-US neoliberal president Lucio Gutierrez was ousted in 2005. Since then, relations between Ecuador and the United States have deteriorated, with the Andean nation’s increasing rejection of US hegemony.

The government of Rafael Correa, first elected in 2006, has broken from the neoliberal doctrines Washington has imposed on Latin America. It has embraced regional integration, moving closer to its neighbours and further away from the US.

Diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show how hard the US fought to control Ecuador's future post-Gutierrez.

Scottish socialists push democratic republic

The Scottish Socialist Party is pushing a “yes” vote in Scotland’s September 18 referendum on independence.

SSP national spokesperson Colin Fox is part of the Advisory Board of Yes Scotland, the cross-party campaign for Scottish independence. He wrote a pamphlet with a vision for what an independent Scotland could look like, called “For a Modern, Democratic Republic”.

WikiLeaks' Quito cables lay US interference bare

Since Ecuador's president Lucio Gutierrez was ousted from power in 2005, relations between Ecuador and the United States have deteriorated with the Andean nation’s increasing rejection of US hegemony.

The government of Rafael Correa, first elected president in 2006, has embraced regional integration, moving closer to its neighbours ― in particular Venezuela and Bolivia ― and further away from the US.

Economically, the Correa administration has pursued policies that break with the neoliberal doctrines Washington had imposed on Latin America.

A left-wing, but flawed, vision for an independent Scotland

In Place of Fear II: A Socialist Programme for an Independent Scotland
By Jim Sillars
Vagabond Voices Publishing, 2014
www.inplaceoffear.com

Jim Sillars is a well-known and well-respected figure on the Scottish political scene.

Elected a Labour Party MP for South Ayrshire in 1970, he shifted away from mainstream Labour Party politics due to his commitment to setting up a Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Palestinians farewell poet Samih al-Qasim

The summer sun beat down on August 21 as thousands of Palestinians set out on a silent march in al-Rama, a Palestinian town in the northern Galilee region of present-day Israel, honouring the recently deceased poet and activist Samih al-Qasim.

The 76-year-old al-Qasim, who battled cancer for three years, died late on August 19.

Placards bearing verses of al-Qasim’s poetry and Palestinian flags bobbed above the marching crowd, which eventually arrived at the town’s main amphitheater. Al-Qasim’s relatives, prominent religious figures and politicians all spoke.

Palestine thanks Latin America for its solidarity

Palestinian officials have recognised that Latin American countries were the first to condemn the Israeli onslaught against Gaza.

The Palestinian National Council (PNC), the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, thanked Latin America on August 27 for its solidarity with the people of Gaza and its condemnation of the seven-week Israeli massacre in the enclave.

During a PNC meeting, the Palestinian leaders said the solidarity of Latin America with Palestinians “is an inheritance of patriots like Jose Marti and Simon Bolivar”.

Israel fails to crush Gazan resistance

Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets on August 26 in celebration. After 51 days of merciless bombardment by the Israeli military, an open-ended ceasefire between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel was announced that appears likely to last for at least the immediate future.

During the assault, homes, hospitals, shops, agricultural infrastructure and schools were pulverised. About 2100 Gazans were killed. An estimated 80% of these were civilians, including more than 500 children.

Gazans celebrate ceasefire

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets as celebration broke over a long-term truce agreement was reached on August 26.

As news spread that the seven-week Israeli assault on Gaza may have ended with a long term cease-fire agreement, the population of the battered strip flooded to the streets to celebrate.

The deal calls for an indefinite halt to hostilities, immediately opening Gaza’s blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt and extending the fishing zone for Gaza's fisherfolk.

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