A lot of my mates tell me that they're just not that into politics. However, I think what they really mean is that they're not into politicians. And too right, almost all of our politicians are decidedly uninspiring. But these uninspiring politicians also are condemning, imprisoning and killing innocent people. And they are doing it in our name. This makes politics something we can't afford not to be interested in.
Venezuela marked the 12th anniversary of President Hugo Chavez’s first oath of office in February 1999 on February 2. Chavez won presidential elections in December 1998 on a pro-poor program that pledged to break the corrupt, two-party system that had dominated Venezuela since 1958. To commemorate the occasion, Chavez and supporters held four televised site visits in Caracas. The visits highlighted gains in education, food, health and people’s power that have occurred as part of the “Bolivarian revolution” the Chavez government is leading.
More than 1000 members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) met with President Hugo Chavez on January 19 and decided on five key strategic lines for the next two years. The discussion included recognition of important weaknesses in the party. Chavez, who is also president of the governing PSUV, presented the document, Strategic Lines of Political Action of the PSUV for 2011-2012, to the “National Assembly of Socialists” in Vargas state. About 1440 party leaders were present.
Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has passed a series of laws to help people affected by floods, including big investment in new housing. Venezuelanalysis.com said on January 20: “Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez issued a law-decree on Tuesday to address ‘rights and justice’ of the roughly 125,000 Venezuelans made homeless during last year’s record-setting rains and floods.” Chavez said the “Law for Dignified Refuge” would serve to “institutionalise” the concept of a “dignified and human refuge” and establish the responsibilities of the government.
Resistance is proud to announce that its 2011 national conference will be held over May 6 to 8 at Redfern Community Centre, Sydney. All socialists and left activists are welcome to attend. The initial conference agenda will soon be posted at Resistance.org.au. It will include panel presentations and workshop discussions on a wide range of the urgent issues confronting humanity today, including: - Ecosocialism and the climate emergency; - Justice for Indigenous people; - Refugees and racism; - The Latin American revolutions and socialism of the 21st century;
Ecology & Socialism
By Chris Williams
United States activist Chris William’s new book, published by Haymarket Press, is an excellent introduction to ecology and socialism. It is well written and, despite being a long-time ecosocialist activist, I learnt a lot from it.
Williams is a professor of physics and chemistry at Pace University, and chair of the science department at Packer Collegiate Institute. He is a green activist and a member of the International Socialist Organization.
Socialist Party member Anthony Main on January 11 became the second socialist elected to the City of Yarra council. The Labor mayor for Yarra, Jane Garrett, resigned after she was elected to state parliament in November. This left a vacancy on the council, which Main has filled. He was elected after a count back of votes tallied at the last council election. Main told Green Left Weekly that of the nine councillors, three are Greens, two are Labor, two are right-wing independents and, now, two are socialists.
The Cuban Communist Party has called its Sixth Congress for April. It has presented a document for discussion that proposes economic and political reforms to be implement over the next five years. The proposals are outlined in the “The Economic and Social Policy Development Project”, a 32-page pamphlet that establishes 291 “lines of action”. The document covers: the economic management model; macroeconomic and foreign economic policies; investment, agro-industrial and energy plans; and initiatives in the tourism, transport, construction and trade sectors.
See also: Philippines workers protest contract labour A successful 2010 Southeast Asia Socialism and Feminism conference was held at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Metro Manila over November 27 and 28. The conference, organised on the theme of “Capitalist Crisis, Socialist Alternatives”, was organised by the Party of the Labouring Masses and the feminist group Transform Asia. It was attended by 100 PLM delegates from Metro Manila, as well as representatives from other organisations.
In the lead-up to the March NSW elections, the Socialist Alliance will campaign under the slogan: “NSW — not for sale! Community need not corporate greed.” It sums up the radical shift in priorities needed in the interest of environmental sustainability and social justice. Labor will get trashed in these elections. The Victorian election result confirms that. The Keneally Labor government is much more on the nose than the Victorian Brumby government was.