My note on the anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Mon, 11/07/2016 - 16:53

Nov. 7, 1917 Russian Government Overthrown in Bolshevik Revolution

<99 years> Almost a hundred years ago, the Tsarist Russian regime collapsed in the face of mass demonstrations. War and privations broke the iron cage of the Tsarist regime and opened the door first to a bourgeois government, and then to the Soviets. The second revolution of 1917 took place on November 7 (October in the Julian or Old Style calendar). The demonstrations began on International Women's Day on March 8 and culminated with the seizure of power by the Soviets on November 7. The actuality of revolution, as Lukacs put it, became imminent.

To commemorate the Revolution of 1917, LeftW

Farmers on the March & Palestine

Submitted by admin on Thu, 11/03/2016 - 01:17

Kisan Sabha

 

Dear Friends,

As you read this, across India, hundreds of thousand of kisans (farmers) are on the march - walking from the ends of the country to converge on 24 November in Delhi. They have many grievances, but one purpose: to get their voices heard towards a shift in policy. At our LeftWord Books blog, I have a short post that tries to lay out the farmers' agenda. You can read it here. In time, we at LeftWord Books, hope to publish a Kisan Reader - with essays on the struggles of Indian farmers from the 1940s to the present. Keep an eye out for it. The picture above is from the start of

Syria, Libya and the US Presidential Election

Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 00:52
Trump-Clinton
Photo Lesley Clark

 

Dear Friends,

The US presidential season is almost over - it is like the end of a mini-series, a television show that has run out of steam. November 8 is the final episode. What comes next is anyone's guess? Wikileaks' surprises from John Podesta's emails about Hillary Clinton come at a furious pace, but so too do erratic things from Donald Trump. It is a mess. My most recent Frontline report is out this week, and it is on the death knell of this campaign. The report ends, like all such bluster, with a whimper, saying that Hillary Clinton 'is a reliable candidate. There i

Yemen and Libya

Submitted by admin on Wed, 10/19/2016 - 20:39
Mural on Al Saidi Street in Tripoli
Aimen Ajhani a.k.a. El Bohly

 

Dear Friends,

The focus of attention in West Asia is on the Iraqi (and allied) assault on Mosul (Iraq) as well as the Syrian (and allied) assault on East Aleppo. Here are focused the eyes of the world, as it were. An 11 hour ceasefire is in effect in Aleppo, to allow aid and relief to get through the frontlines. The assault on Mosul is ongoing. It appears that ISIS has either formed a citadel in sections of the interior of Mosul or has done what it did in other major fights - disappeared into rural areas to regroup again elsewhere.

Less attention is on Yemen, wh

Refugees, Portugal's Left & Death of the Nation

Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/14/2016 - 05:47
Chika Aniakor, The Elders, 1967
Chika Aniakor, The Elders, 1967

 

Dear Friends,

On October 13, the UN General Assembly - by acclamation - elected the former Portuguese Prime Minister and former head of the UN Refugees Agency António Guterres as the next Secretary General. Guterres has a difficult job ahead of him. The refugee crisis, which he knows a great deal about, shows no sign of abating. The core issues that drive this crisis - war and poverty - are not really on the agenda. Keep in mind that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom - are t

Colombia, Afghanistan

Submitted by admin on Wed, 10/05/2016 - 22:25
Street art in Bogota
Street art in Bogota

 

Dear Friends,

The referendum in Colombia on the peace deal failed by a very narrow margin. My report - derivative of the mood in the country - appeared yesterday in The Hindu. The takeaway is in the last paragraph,

  • Gloom prevails across the country. If the vote had gone the other way, Colombia might have shown the world that even intractable civil wars can come to an end. It would have been a message to Syria and to the Congo, a message of the power of negotiation towards a new civic compact. But this did not come to pass. Even as President Santos and the FARC leadersh