democracy

The self-immolation of Tunisian Mohamed Buazizi in December triggered off protests that brought down a 24-year-old dictatorship in that country and inspired similar protests in neighbouring countries. Buazizi, a 26-year-old computer science graduate and unemployed street vendor, carried out his drastic act in protest at having his only source of income — his produce — confiscated by police. This embodies just how much the combination of unemployment, spiralling food prices and brutal repression has become a potent cocktail of discontent that has exploded across the Arab world.
To win socialism — a society democratically owned and run by and for the majority of people — we have to get rid of the capitalist system that stands in our way. But who is going to do this? The capitalists aren’t going to give up their privileges. It's those who are exploited and oppressed by the system that have an interest in changing it. Capitalism can't permanently satisfy the needs of the majority — the working class, farmers, women, ethnic and racial minorities and so on.
Stop the massacre in Libya! Power to the people A February 26 statement by the Socialist Alliance in solidarity with the people's uprisings in Libya and the Arab world * * * The Socialist Alliance extends its full solidarity to the people of Libya now being brutally repressed for demanding an end to the corrupt and unjust regime of dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
As the wave of popular uprisings has spread across the Arab world, a flurry of articles have appeared suggesting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be the next “dictator” to be overthrown. Such arguments follow a pattern in the corporate media of slandering the Chavez government and the revolutionary process it leads. They aim to conceal the real threat that haunts imperialism: that the Arab world may follow the example of Venezuela and other countries in Latin America — and break away from Western hegemony.
Iraq: Protesters met with bullets “Soldiers and riot police fired on citizens rallying for jobs, public services and clean government across occupied Iraq,” the British Morning Star said on February 25. The article said at least 13 civilians were killed and many more wounded. Thousands of workers took to the streets in Baghdad, Mosul, Ramadi, Basra, Fallujah and Tikrit despite a curfew.
Full Quarter Storms By Sonny Melencio 2010, Transform Asia Inc. transform.asia1@gmail.com Veteran Filipino socialist activist Sonny Melencio’s political autobiography, Full Quarter Storms, covers a lot of history. The book tells the story of the “First Quarter Storm”, the student uprising in 1970 (from which the book draws its title), and the driving of this powerful movement underground by the declaration of martial law by then-president Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.
Popular uprisings in the Arab world have challenged a political landscape dominated by undemocratic regimes and fronted by dictators, a panel of academics and journalists said at a Sydney University forum on February 15. Speakers discussed the regional and international ramifications of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt as part of the forum on people's power and change in the Arab world.
About 200 people rallied in Brisbane's King George Square on February 25 to show solidarity with the people of Libya resisting the oppressive regime of Muammar Gaddafi. A banner proclaiming "Free Libya" was fixed to a wall, together with photos of victims of the Libyan military and police. Placards carried by members of the Libyan community, many of them students, read "Stop using mercenaries to kill our people" and "Please help our country".
WikiLeaks has announced it will pursue legal action against disgruntled former employee Daniel Domscheit-Berg, whose recently released book, Inside WikiLeaks, slams Julian Assange's leadership and character in a series of allegations. Some of the allegations appear serious. Others are hopelessly trivial.
Ahlem Belhadj is a Tunisian revolutionary socialist and member of the Ligue de la Gauche Ouvriers (Left Workers’ League). It is a part of the January 14 Front, which unites left-wing groups seeking to push Tunisia’s revolution forward by creating a new government free from members of the former ruling party, and supports policies reversing neoliberalism. Belhadj spoke with Green Left Weekly’s Tony Iltis on February 12 about the Tunisian revolution. * * *

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