Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS)’ Category

South Africa trades profitably in weapons with two major capitalist powers, Russia and Germany – “Our identity since Nelson Mandela has been as a moral power – that’s gone now”

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Bob Myers examines the decision of South Africa’s African National Congress Congress (ANC) government to conduct joint naval exercises with Russia and China.

Article Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article65451

An extract from a Financial Times report (January 28) shows that Pretoria is using Russia’s genocidal invasion of Ukraine to trade profitably with both Moscow and European Union powerhouse Germany.

South African Capitalists play the game of “splendid isolation” – imitating the British imperialist 19th Century policy of playing one European power against the other – London had no permanent friends, only permanent interests.

The full Financial Times report is below, complete with a picture of smiling politicians, the Foreign Ministers of Russia and South Africa, Sergei Lavrov and Naledi Pandor.

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Ukrainian Action on Ireland; Free Russians Ireland; Women Life Freedom (Iran) – Dublin City Protests January 22 2023 – Russian Troops out of Ukraine Now

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Irish Left With Ukraine activists attended two well-supported Dublin city protests on January 22 2023 connected to the genocidal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Free Russians Ireland event at Stephens Green/Grafton St. was supported by over 80 citizens, including Women-Life-Freedom, an Iranian-led solidarity organization. Similar numbers supported the Ukrainian Action Ireland protest on the Halfpenny Bridge.

 Free Russians Ireland, which regularly works with Women-Life-Freedom, is a striking instance of woman led protests and solidarity.

Gregor Kerr photographed the Ukrainian Action Ireland Protest at the Halfpenny Bridge https://m.facebook.com/FreeRussiansIreland?eav=AfblU6Xlq_0_WZroeEfTwK93iOqoLz-1S7oKFbmqNucT4NYMrng6ZvHGuI90JO1sjgA&paipv=0

Irish Left With Ukraine supports calls for mass action against the Imperialist Genocidal Russian invasion of Ukraine on dates around the first anniversary of the invasion, February 24 2023.

Towards a global week of action for solidarity with Ukraine

Stop the Russian war of aggression! Peace for Ukraine!

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Razem: Building a left alternative in Poland – Federico Fuentes interviews Zofia Malisz

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Polish left-wing party Razem (Together) International Office member Zofia Malisz speaks to Green Left’s Federico Fuentes about the party’s history, Polish politics and Razem’s views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The source is an Australian website, Greemn Left Weekly https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/razem-building-left-alternative-poland

Razem supports the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

January 10, 2023

razem zofia malisz

Members of Razem at May Day in Warsaw in 2022. The banner reads: ‘Housing! Jobs! Decent Pay!’. Inset: Zofia Malesz. Photo: @RazemWM/Twitter

Could you tell us about Razem’s history and politics?

Razem was formed in 2015 by a group of leftist activists with years of experience in the Polish green and feminist movements, along with members of the Young Socialists.

The impetus for creating a new party was two-fold.

One was the frustration that emerged under the liberal Donald Tusk government (2007‒14). Whenever voices started to demand the government focus on social spending instead of cuts and privatisations, Tusk’s response was to say Poland was still in its transformation stage [towards a market economy] and that now was not the time to build up a welfare state.

See also

Poland sets up ‘terrifying’ pregnancy register after banning abortion

Poland: Caught between Western and Russian imperialism

Frustration grew as neoliberal policies were implemented at breakneck speed to indulge business elites, while people were denied even modest social benefits and public services were being dismantled.

All this occurred as anti-austerity protests were taking place in Greece, something we supported and that inspired Razem.

The other major factor was the protests against the Iraq war and against Poland’s participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. Several activists who went on to build Razem came from these protest movements.

The revelations of alleged illegal US prisons in Poland used to torture al-Qaeda members created huge outrage. Seeing the Polish government bow down to US imperialism unchallenged — and in fact encouraged by the mainstream, including former Solidarność activists — fuelled frustration on the left.

Razem was formed as an expression of this anger and frustration that had built up during the transformation process.

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Stop the bombing! Russian troops out! Solidarity with the Ukrainian resistance! – Global Week of Action Against the Russian Invasion of Ukraine and for Solidarity with Ukraine – February 20-26 2023

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The European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) and its Irish supporters (Irish Left With Ukraine) are working with other organisations and individuals for a full Russian withdrawal, and social Justice for Ukraine.

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Russia’s Road Toward Fascism

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Sunday 1 January 2023, by POPOVYCH Zakhar

Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article65239

WAR IN UKRAINE is plunging more and more into massacre but possibly the worst is about to come. Mass killings of prisoners and civilians, numerous and systematic rape in Russian-occupied territories are now “normal” news from Ukraine. Millions could be killed this winter by freezing alive in their apartments without heat, water and electricity.

The daily count of dead is far higher than at any moment of the Donbas wars of 2014-2021. According to reports from both sides, the death toll probably exceeds 100,000 from the beginning of the war, and may now be higher than a thousand combatants and civilians daily. [1]

Not just the scale but the cruelty of violence is steadily rising and Russian state propaganda is systematically pushing for escalation. If it is not genocide yet, the ideology for eliminating Ukrainians in the millions is already announced on Russian state TV, and by high-ranking officials.

Russians claim it is “denazification,” but it turns closer and closer to the ideology of fascism and Nazi state practices. [2] It is hard to say how deep Ukraine will dive into this abyss of terror, but it is clear that withdrawal of Russian troops is the best way to “denazify” Ukraine — and possibly Russia.

In October, Russian armed forces began systematic attacks against the Ukrainian electricity grid and civilian infrastructure including water supply facilities of the major cities. These activities don’t have immediate military significance and don’t influence Ukrainian armed forces’ ability to fight. But these attacks are affecting the chances of the civil population to survive this winter.

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Social Movement (Ukraine): Looking back at 2022

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Social Movement (Ukraine) [Sotsialniy Rukh] is a left-wing organisation. These comrades have published a review of 2022, which is full of interesting news. The organisation participates in the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine (ENSU).

Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) was honoured to hold a public meeting about Ukraine in November 2022 – the main speaker was Sotsialniy Rukh comrade Yuliya Yurchenko, who was joined on the platform by spokespersons affiliated to the Irish Trade Union movement.

Summing up :

2022 was a difficult year for all of us. We hope that 2023 will be better. We will work just as hard for a social, independent and just Ukraine, and we wish everyone security, victory and social progress in the new year.

January 1, 2023 Source : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/to-read/social-movement-ukraine-looking-back-at-2022?fbclid=IwAR2pxU3Kl5MegBhKSoDgz37CUalhQJ24sR2izZrMOo8fvO7yjC3eOsNqrTg
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Can Ukraine Achieve National Liberation, and Defeat the Russian Imperialist Invasion in 2023?

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Can Ukraine Achieve National Liberation, and Defeat the Russian Imperialist Invasion in 2023?

1. The short answer is : Let’s Hope So!

What is the role of the the left, the labour movement, and social movements outside Ukraine and Russia?

The short answer is : Back the Ukrainian Left approach on these issues and try to build the best international conditions for them, whatever they decide.

In this context a growing international solidarity movement, including the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) promotes effective action. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

There are no meaningful negotiations I am aware of.

How can meaningful negotiations occur without realistic pre-conditions – the obvious ones being an end to the Russian war-crime bombardments and immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine?

In short, activists should differentiate between 1) Talks 2) Negotiations.

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Your Man Over There Thinks the Anti-Franco Republican Forces Should Not Have Sought Weapons from the Brits, Yanks and French Imperialist Hypocrites during the 1930’s Spanish Civil War – A Proxy War if Ever I saw One!

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In this respect the British writer Paul Mason is correct :

Imagine an alt-history of the Spanish Civil War where, after some initial reversals, the anti-fascist side starts winning. They drive back Franco’s armies largely because France, Britain and the USA reject “non-intervention” and send in heavy weapons, offsetting the support coming from Hitler and Mussolini. In this scenario, does anyone seriously think the global left would have pulled its support for the Republican side because of “imperialist aggression”? Would they have denounced the Spanish conflict as a “proxy war”. Would they have convened an international conference calling for the end of all arms supplies to the anti-fascists in the name of “Peace”? Would they have called for negotiations with Franco, advocating a settlement “acceptable to all”?

https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/2022/12/20/ukraine-which-side-are-you-on/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

The same point is made here, drawing on an example from the actions of Irish revolutionaries during World War 1 – the Easter 1916 Rebels launched an uprising against British Imperialism using weapons supplied by the German Kaiser.

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Excellent statement from French trade unionists, left MPs and others on the issue of negotiations and a just and lasting peace for Ukraine – The French Began, We must join them

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Our comrade Federico Fuentes alerted us to this statement. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Very good statement from French trade unionists, left MPs and others on the issue of negotiations and a just and lasting peace for Ukraine:

An unprecedented humanitarian crisis is threatening the population of Ukraine this winter. The conflict situation that has prevailed in eastern Ukraine since 2014 has become an all-out, “high intensity” war since Putin’s troops invaded Ukrainian territory on 24 February 2022.

The explicit aim of this ‘special operation’ was to overthrow the Ukrainian government and destroy the Republic of Ukraine as an independent entity. The failure of this first objective led the government of the Russian Federation to modify its objectives and to prolong a brutal war of conquest with the proclamation of the annexation of a large part of Ukrainian territory.

The victims are counted in tens of thousands, the displaced in millions, the damage in tens of billions of euros. The invading forces are committing war crimes, and systematically committing crimes against humanity – such as the destruction of vital infrastructure, forced displacement and deportation of people – including children. Not to mention the mass rapes.

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Photo Album – Paris Demonstration December 10 2022 – Russian Troops Out of All Ukraine – “Union banner calls for the withdrawal of troops and the welcoming of any and all refugees”

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We present a photo album of the demonstration in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and for the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine that took place in Paris – Saturday December 10 2022.
The protest was supported by several French trade unions (CGT, FSU, SUD/Solidaires) the Ukrainian organizations in France, several movements of Russian and Belarusian anti-war activists, a whole host of left-wing organizations and parties, and quite a lot of individual left-wing politicians and intellectuals.

The initiative for the demonstration was taken by our French friends from the comité français du réseau européen de solidarité avec l’ Ukraine. (European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine).

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