What started as a small demonstration against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park has turned into a big political turmoil that Turkey has not witnessed for decades. The planned demolition of one of the rare green spaces in the middle of Istanbul and replacement of it with a shopping mall and residential complex led people to start a peaceful sit-in to express their opposition. On May 31, riot police moved in, assailing the demonstrators with pressurized water and tear gas, arresting hundreds of them, and injuring many. Following that and Prime Minister Erdogan’s disapproval of any reconciliation, the protests have started to spread to many other cities across the country, and the world. The protestors cut across ideological, religious and class lines, many of whom are strikingly young.
The script could have been from any Martin Scorsese "gangster" film or something that Mario Puzo must have approved of. To say that the Italians' refusal to release their two naval guards, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre- who are facing the Indian justice system for (alleged) crimes in the seas murdering two innocent Indian fishermen - is outrageous would be a terrible understatement. It is a case of the Italian diplomatic setup wittingly staying true to the popular culture reputation of Italian justice and its public system - one characterised by mob culture, rule of the "mafia" and thoroughly criminalised.
Hugo Chavez synonomised the possibility of impossibilty and resurgence of the left and people. To a generation dismayed by disintegration of USSR and a uni-polarisation of opinion, constructed by market and endorsed by conformists, churnings in the Latin America brought a fresh lease of life. Vivid ‘nouns’ and ‘phrases’ like ‘Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela’ (The United Socialist Party of Venezuela), Chavismo (welfare through nationalisation), resurrection of ‘Bolivarianism’ (synonymizing national independence since Simon Bolivar) made the return of struggle in many parts of world forceful.
Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, and inspiration to millions of left supporters and poor people in the world died of cancer today. This is my personal tribute to a great revolutionary.
A thorough obituary is in order to salute the legacy of one of the most celebrated socialist revolutionaries of our contemporary times, as President Hugo Chavez succumbs to an untimely death at the relatively young age of 58. For now, though, we shall quickly place some links (with abstracts) that discuss his legacy in some detail apart from reactions from world leaders to Chavez's death.
Pragoti has received a message from Women Resource Centre (WRC), Armenia. WRC had organised a candle light vigil in front of Indian Embassy in Armenia earlier, to express their solidarity with the Indian activists, who are demanding justice after Delhi gang rape. We are uploading the message sent by the WRC activists.
What role does SAARC have to play in lessening tensions between India and Pakistan? Established in 1985, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is still struggling to establish its identity in the region. SAARC represents eight South Asian countries, which includes India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan.
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar is a renowned left intellectual and currently the general secretary of the Punjab section of the newly formed Awami Workers Party (AWP). The new party was formed last month after a merger of three progressive and left forces, the Awami Party Pakistan, the Labour Party and the Workers Party and vowed to "build a new programme of socialism for 21st century Pakistan". Com. Sajjad speaks about the challenges before the AWP, it's goals and its immediate aims to Pragoti Edit Group Convenor, Srinivasan Ramani in this interview (via email).
The Palestinian question is the Auschwitz Question.
President Hugo Chavez's recent victory in Venezuela's presidential elections is another step in making the path to socialism irreversible in that country. Whether Chavez will manage to heed some of his leftist critics and allies and evolve further reforms that broaden the scope of the socialist project remains to be seen, but the signs are promising.