revolution

At least a dozen anti-government protesters were shot dead by Egyptian security forces on the fourth anniversary of the uprising that ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak.

More than 15 people were killed in Egypt on January 25 in anti-government protests marking the fourth anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The slaughter marks the bloodiest day of protests since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was elected president in June, with security forces and plain-clothed police officers reportedly firing at demonstrators.

After a fierce struggle lasting 134 days, mainly Kurdish fighters belonging to the Peoples Defence Units (YPG) and Womens Defence Units (YPJ) finally freed the town of Kobane on January 26 from attackers belonging to the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS). Kobane remains intact — although, only just.

Thousands took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on January 23 to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the toppling of the Perez Jimenez dictatorship. Marchers also voiced their support for the government of President Nicolas Maduro in the face of economic war and political destabilisation.

Ozgur Amed is a journalist, columnist, teacher, and activist from Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey. He spoke to Dylan Murphy, in conjunction with Rojava Report, about the democratic revolution underway in predominantly Kurdish Rojava in the Syrian state ― opposing both the Assad regime and fanatical Islamic State (IS).

Despite sustained attacks by IS on Kobane in Rojava, resistance fighters liberated most of the city ― and Rojava's fascinating and inspiring experiments in direct democracy live on.

Cuban President Raul Castro gave a speech on December 17 in which he said relations between Cuba and the United States would be reset.

“We have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations, but this does not mean that the main issue has been resolved, the blockade that generates economic losses and humanitarian problems in our country must stop,” Castro said.

Latin America 2014 conference, in solidarity with the continent's progressive struggles, was held in London on November 29 and attracted hundreds of participants.

Held in the Trade Union Congress building, it was jointly organised by several trade unions, Latin America solitary groups and other supporters of the progressive and revolutionary struggles in the region.

The participants took part in more than 30 workshops across a broad range of topics surrounding the achievements and challenges of the various governments, social and political movements across the continent.

Revolution
By Russel Brand
Random House
$26, 340 pages

Russell Brand is on a mission to save the world.

Since his impassioned advocacy for revolution in an interview with journalist Jeremy Paxman in October last year, Brand has waged, in his own inimitable style, a battle against the ruling class in the name of a peaceful, loving and ― above all ― a “fun” revolution.

His YouTube program “The Trews” has excited and engaged people across the globe. His work is as unique as the man himself. He can be sensitive, funny, open, honest, warm and courageous.

Nearly four months in and the new US-led war in the Middle East is enjoying patchy progress at best.

At an official briefing at defence headquarters in Canberra on November 25, Australian Defence Force Chief of Joint Operations Vice-Admiral David Johnston said Australian-led air strikes Iraq the previous week had killed about 100 fighters from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

On the world map, Kobane falls in the north of Syria, right on the border with Turkey. According to the Kurds, however, it is the west of Kurdistan or “Rojava” in Kurdish.

There is a train line right by the town. This line determined the border between Syria and Turkey. The division of the Kurdish homeland in 1923 not only ensured a political loss for the Kurds, but also paved they way for many human tragedies.

From Kobane to Qamislo, many families were divided into two. One brother remained on one side of the train tracks, the other fell to the other side.

How does capitalism survive? This was the question that greeted the 11th annual Historical Materialism conference in London. Held from November 6 to 9 at the Vernon Square Campus, it was a four-day long broad marriage of global leftist activists and academics run by the Marxist journal of the same name.

Posed as a simple question, it quickly developed into as many answers and narratives as there are positions within the left.

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