revolution

Russia followed the lead of Western powers on September 30 and began direct military intervention in Syria – using the same form (air strikes) and the same declared enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Russia's campaign, aimed to shore up the beleaguered regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, will also target the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and other armed groups fighting the dictatorship.

Russia's entry into the fray has dramatically heightened tensions between Russia and the West and further complicated the already confused, multi-sided conflict in Syria.

On September 21 the federal government released a Radicalisation Awareness Kit. The kit consists of a 32-page booklet that links environmental activism, “alternative music” and terrorism. Most prominently the case study of a young woman named Karen has been shared widely on social media. While Karen’s story starts off excitingly enough with university politics, direct action to protect the environment and alternative music, sadly in the end Karen sells out her activist ideals and joins an NGO.

Land reforms are essential to achieving a long-standing peace after half a century of conflict, said Colombian academic Alejandro Reyes on September 10 during a forum on agrarian issues in Bogota.

Recent statements by Bolivian Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera regarding non-government organisations (NGOs) in Bolivia have triggered a heated debate on the left.

On August 11, Garcia Linera accused NGOs of acting like political parties seeking to interfere in Bolivia’s domestic affairs. While respecting their right to criticise government policies, Garcia Linera said foreign-funded NGOs need to understand their place within Bolivian society.

A World to Build: New Paths Toward Twenty-First Century Socialism
Marta Harnecker
Monthly Review Press, 2015
US$19, paperback

The emergence of diverse, complex and popular social projects in Latin America — several of which have involved winning governmental power —- is arguably the most important phenomenon shaping radical politics in the 21st century.

The political practices of popular movements and political parties engaged in these revolutionary projects can inspire and educate radicals and activists all over the world.


Ecuadorian chapter of the The Latin American Coordination of Rural Organisations, which is calling for the creation of a Agrarian Council. Photo via TeleSUR Eglish.

More than 6000 people and 500 group have participated in public meetings on a proposed land law with the government of President Rafael Correa.

Since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's new wave of attacks on North Kurdistan within the Turkish state in the wake of Turkey's June election, people of all ages have joined the effort to defend and govern themselves in the area.

Since the 1990s, the Turkish state has used tactics of denial, assimilation and annihilation in the North Kurdistan. Although the promises of peace that the Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) made when it first came to power awakened hope for many, 13 years later the promises remain unfulfilled.


Marines join protesting German workers in Berlin during the November 1918 revolution.

The German Left & the Weimar Republic
By Ben Fowkes
Haymarket Books, 2015
399 pages, US$28.

Socialist historian Ben Fowkes has given us a unique and vivid text documentary of the German workers’ movement during the tumultuous years of its greatest influence — from November 1918 to its defeat by Nazism 15 years later.

Fidel Castro, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, used the occasion of his 89th birthday on August 13 to pen a statement demanding US compensation for damages caused to the Caribbean island for its decades-long blockade.

Reflecting on history, Castro wrote: “We will never stop fighting for peace and the wellbeing of all human beings.

Ecuador: Correa says Latin American left faces 'new Cold War'

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on August 5 that left-wing governments in Latin America are facing “a new Cold War” that seeks to “annihilate them” through strategies of political destabilisation.

The statements of the socialist leader come as opposition groups, including many from the far right, are planning a new series of protests against his government.

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