Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

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Ireland should welcome Russians who don’t want to kill Ukrainians – North and South

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The article below comes from Sweden via the USA based Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/groups/307530784861174/?ref=share

The same issue arises in the Irish state – like Sweden, a member of the European Union, which is under pressure to draw down a new Iron Curtain partitioning the European continent.

See Also, from the European Network for Dolidarity With Ukraine :

Open the borders for Russians refusing military service!

https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Latest news from the anti-conscription movement in Russia : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/9c8950df16724719b875eece066b3912?v=3bc1cb6bcdb84da2b0a88fdb3783cfdc

OPINION: Sweden should welcome Russians who don’t want to kill Ukrainians

In a situation already tragic beyond the imagination, banning Russian draft dodgers would only add to the tragedy in Europe.

An iron curtain is descending across Europe. But in contrast to the beginning of the Cold War, the curtain is being drawn down by EU countries – not Russia.

Any day now, Finland is poised to ban Russians from entering the country on tourist visas, to keep out men who want to avoid being drafted to fight in Ukraine. Announcing the policy, the country’s foreign minister said Finland was becoming “a transit country for Russians who want to leave their homeland for fear of being forced into war, and this traffic could harm Finland’s international position”. Opinion polls put 70 percent of the public in favour of a ban.

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Germany’s Die Linke on verge of split over sanctions on Russia

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Russia’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine is re-shaping the left across Europe and other parts of the globe. In Germany, the die Linke party (the Left) seems on the verge of a damaging split.

For continuous coverage of these events see this and other articles on the ESSF site : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article64000

Leftwing party’s future in balance after series of resignations, as former co-leader calls coalition ‘stupidest government in Europe’

Germany’s Die Linke could split into two parties over the Ukraine war, as the ailing leftwing party’s indecisive stance over economic sanctions against Russia triggered a series of high-profile resignations this week.

The German Left party’s future has hung in a precarious balance since it snuck into the national parliament last autumn under a special provision for parties that win three or more constituency seats. Should three of its 39 delegates resign from the party, Die Linke would lose its status as a parliamentary group and attached privileges over speaking times and committee memberships.

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Support Ukrainian Resistance and Disempower Fossil Capital

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Several left-wing authors co-operate here arguing for support to Ukrainian Resistance against the Russian imperialist invasion. The authors come from several different parts of Europe.

This is the source : http://europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article63931

Thursday 18 August 2022, by BUDRAITSKIS Ilya, DUTCHAK Oksana, ETZBACH Harald, GEHRKE Bernd, GELINSKY Eva, HÜRTGEN Renate, KOWALEWSKI Zbigniew Marcin , LOMONOSOVA Nataliia, PEREKHODA Hanna, PILASH Denis, POPOVYCH Zakhar, SCHMID Philipp, WÄLZ Christoph, WIELGOSZ Przemysław, ZELLER Christian

Similar debates are occurring on the left in Ireland : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/08/22/a-strange-policy-is-reviewed-support-ukraines-resistance-against-an-imperialist-russian-invasion-politically-but-oppose-giving-arms-to-the-resisters-a-critique-of-iri/

On June 9, Heino Berg, Thies Gleiss, Jakob Schäfer, Matthias Schindler, Winfried Wolf published a detailed statement in Junge Welt in which they advocated an “anti-militarist defeatism” and the abandonment of Ukraine’s military resistance to the Russian war of occupation. [1] We take her article as an opportunity for a fundamental response about a necessary anti-imperialist ecosocialist perspective committed to global solidarity. We are appalled at the way they bend the reality of war in this article and ultimately argue in favor of Putin’s oligarch regime. Paternalistically, they recommend that the Ukrainian population submit to Russian occupation in order to end the war. The authors make not the slightest reference to socialist, feminist, and anarchist forces in Ukraine and Russia. They argue from a distinctly German perspective. They are not alone in this. Many statements of the old peace movement turn against the “escalation of the West” and “forget” that Russia has already escalated long ago and wants to systematically destroy Ukrainian society. The statement of the five authors ignores anti-imperialist solidarity to such an extent that we consider it appropriate to set our arguments against it.

Reversal of Responsibility

The statement of the authors reads like many contributions from the old peace movement and a one-sided sham anti-imperialist left. Of course, at the beginning of the text they condemn the invasion of Ukraine “without any reservation or relativization.” But afterwards they do exactly that: they relativize the aggression of the Putin oligarchy. Under the title “No Interest in Ceasefire,” they explain in detail why NATO is much worse than Russia and that the West, first and foremost the U.S., does not want an early ceasefire but is primarily using the Ukrainian battlefield to weaken Russia.

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“Don’t exaggerate the influence of Russian propaganda” Ukrainian socialist Taras Bilous serves in the military – and right from there he fights the stereotypes of the Western left about Ukraine (and Russia). We spoke to him

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Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESSF) http://www.europe-solidaire.org/ has published and translated an exceptionally good interview about Ukraine :

Taras Bilous is a Ukrainian socialist, editor of the left-wing intellectual magazine Spilne and an activist in the Social Movement. Bilous has been serving in Ukraine’s territorial defence forces since early March. And in his spare time, he engages in lively polemics with Western left-wing activists, intellectuals and politicians on Twitter and in the most authoritative left-wing publications about the need for solidarity with Ukraine. “Meduza spoke with Taras Bilous about where foreign stereotypes about Russia and Ukraine come from and what can be done about them.

Source : http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article63762&fbclid=IwAR3aCeR6YPuBIZBTWwUkxBZe9RMegOD1pYePv2CQ_IPm5nt4nVMF_clzobQ

See also : https://commons.com.ua/en/


In Russia there is rather little knowledge about the inner workings of Ukrainian politics, it is usually discussed only in the context of “pro-Russian – pro-Western”. Please explain what place you and Social Movement have in it.

We should start with the fact that in Ukraine, as in Russia, there are systemic and non-systemic politics.

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Ukraine: To undermine NATO retrenchment, the left must fight to win the peace – Ali Khan writes from Berlin

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Ali Khan offers a provocation for supporting Ukraine’s military effort

Sources : https://www.theleftberlin.com/provocation-reflections-on-ukraine-and-nato/. and http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article63745

Today’s radical left has long recognised only one foe, that which Ayatollah Khomeini aptly titled “The Great Satan” – namely the USA. Little attention was paid lately to about “The Lesser Satan” – or Russia. For over 30 years after the fall of the USSR, we only imagined a single imperialist actor on the world stage. But 179 days ago we were reminded of the presence of another imperialist contender with full force. For too many, memories of the World War I collaboration of Social Democratic parties and the labour movement linger. The depressing jingoism of Western Europe and the USA prevents us from assessing a moral and rational response to the situation. As useful as historical parallels are, when we face a situation with almost no convenient parallel, at least none that are readily accessible and understandable to a population at large, we face a most difficult intellectual challenge. Let us not be fazed.

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Delegation from the European Network of Solidarity with Ukraine Visits Lviv

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A Ukrainian Correspondent Yuliya Yurchenko – https://www.facebook.com/yuli.yu2010 – reports on a delegation of left wing parties that is visiting Ukraine.

May 5 and 6 2022 : A conference dedicated to the construction of the European Network of Solidarity with Ukraine was held in Lviv.

Words of support were expressed by representatives from Denmark (Red-Green Alliance), Poland (Lewica Razem), Finland (Left Union), France (New Anticapitalist Party, Ensemble), Switzerland (Ensemble à Gauche) and Argentina (Left Front Workers – Unity FIT-U ), as well as an activists from the UK, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Belgium.

Reports from the Ukrainian side were presented by representatives of leading trade unions (medical, railway, mining, energy and other sectors), as well as public initiatives (including feminist, ecological, human rights). Attention was given to the threats of neoliberal reforms and the war of humanitarian problems.

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War against Ukraine: Intervention on the political orientation of the Party DIE LINKE (Germany) – Bernd Riexinger

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Introduction :

The content of this article is tremendously important. It strikes to the heart of significant dilemmas many activists have never before imagined, but which they cannot walk away from.

Can we be in favour of arming the popular resistance fighters in Ukraine without playing into the hands of NATO? Do we favour a Ukrainian victory over the Russian invaders? A strongly recommended article. Source : http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article61396

The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military is an act of aggression that causes untold suffering for the Ukrainian population and cannot be justified by anything. The bloodshed also affects Russian soldiers and the population in Russia will have to pay bitterly for the war costs. Both the resistance among the Ukrainian population and the first signs of Russian protests against the war therefore deserve our full solidarity.

It is good that the party and parliamentary group strongly condemned the war of aggression by Russia and demanded an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops. Also, the humble admission that our party did not believe the war by Russia was possible was correct and looks credible. Only a few days before the first bombs fell, individual party members had called for a rally under the slogan “Security for Russia means security for Germany,” relegating warnings of an invasion to the realm of storytellers. What a devastating misjudgement. The dispute over relations with Russia has preoccupied the party since its founding. The role of the Red Army in the liberation from fascism, the 27 million deaths caused by the fascist war and terror, hardship and deprivation imposed on the people of the then Soviet Union were not forgotten worldwide in the left. Especially in times of the Cold War, this was not a popular stance. Parts of the party also moved in the line of tradition of Soviet-influenced “real socialism,” which still shapes its attitude toward Russia today. Regardless of the justified criticism of many leftists of the character of this system, a neoliberal-influenced transformation to capitalism has taken place in Russia. The Putin regime embodies an authoritarian oligarch capitalism that goes hand in hand with a strengthened nationalism. This system has nothing to do with leftist ideas; on the contrary, it falls far short of the standards of even bourgeois liberal democracies. Under Putin, Russia has once again taken a more active role in world politics. This involves hard-nosed interests that are also being enforced militarily. Tommaso Di Francesco of il manifesto, who already assessed Putin’s decision to recognize the independence of Lugansk and Donetsk as an “act of violence” and an adventurous harbinger of a new war, describes Russia as “driven by its ideological and military expansion”.

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We Are All Ukrainians Today – Everywhere on this Earth : Left Wing Parties, Progressive Social Movements, Labour Movement Activists Oppose the Barbaric Russian Invasion of Ukraine

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A new mass international anti-war movement is emerging in 2022. There is one test :

Demand : Russian Troops Out of Ukraine Now!

Remain up-to-date by visiting this site :

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/

Michael Taaffe, SIPTU Trade Union Researcher, Dublin : “At times, the debate over the Russian invasion of Ukraine reaches the bottom of the rhetorical barrel. Some commentators portray an informed and intelligent discussion as an apology for one side or the other. If you criticise NATO policy over the last two decades, you are a tool of Putin. If you criticise Putin, you accept the many US-led abuses. It is reminiscent of Albert Camus’ observation: when I criticise Franco, I’m called a communist; when I criticise the invasion of Hungary, I’m called a stooge of Western powers”. https://notesonthefront.typepad.com/politicaleconomy/

In this spirit we continue to reproduce and report on solidarity actions and statements. The first comes from Die Linke (The Left) in Germany, which is represented in that country’s parliament the Bundestag with 39 seats. .https://www.bundestag.de/en/parliament/plenary/distributionofseats This war is producing seismic changes on the international left. Some, like Die Linke, have origins in the old pre-1990 communist parties of Eastern Europe – but have shifted to to the left, confronted with the criminal 2022 Russian imperialist assault on Ukraine.

Die Linke Statement :

DIE LINKE strongly condemns attack on Ukraine, Russia must immediately cease hostilities!

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Afghanistan, the End of the Occupation and the LeftOnline event by ISO and the marx21 network (Germany) with Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale (UK)Wednesday 6 October, 6pm Ireland and Britain 7pm CET

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Afghanistan, the End of the Occupation and the Left
Online event by ISO and the marx21 network (Germany) with Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale (UK)
Wednesday 6 October, 6pm Ireland and Britain 7pm CET


Join Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81981905958, Meeting ID: 819 8190 5958 With translations ‒ Dari, German and English


The Taliban have defeated the United States of America imperialism and its allies in Afghanistan. The eyes of the world witnessed an event which is part of a shift and reordering of international power structures.


Anthropologist Nancy Lindisfarne and activist-author Jonathan Neale published a detailed article on the return of the Taliban a few days after the “fall of Kabul” on 15 August. It has received much attention, some of it controversial. We invited the two experts and comrades, who have known Afghanistan well for more than 40 years, to the debate.
What does the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan mean? Why was Kabul conquered so quickly? What is happening to Afghan women now and why do so many Afghans support the Taliban? How should the left itself in view of this?


The Taliban have defeated the United States of America imperialism and its allies in Afghanistan. The eyes of the world witnessed an event which is part of a shift and reordering of international power structures.


Article “Return of the Taliban: The end of the occupation” in German:
https://www.marx21.de/rueckkehr-taliban-ende-besatzung-afghanistan/ https://intersoz.org/nach-der-afghanistan-besatzung-deshalb-sind-die-taliban-wieder-da/
Article in original: https://annebonnypirate.org/2021/08/17/afghanistan-the-end-of-the-occupation/ Website of Nancy and Jonathan: https://annebonnypirate.org/. Theses from the essay:

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2021 General Election Result in Germany – Preliminary Notes – Will Berlin go Red-Red-Green?

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  • These are the official numbers :
  • Preliminary official result
  • Distribution of votes
  • 24.1% CDU/CSU (Christian Democrats)
  • 25.7%. SPD (Social Democrats)
  • 10.3% AfD (Far-Right)
  • 11.5% FDP (Liberals)
  • 4.9% Die Linke (Left)
  • 14.8% Greens
  • 0.1% SSW (Danish Minority)
  • 8.6% Others


Distribution of seats
Total seats
735

  • 196 CDU/CSU
  • 206 SPD
  • 83 AfD
  • 92 FDP
  • 39 Left
  • 118 Greens
  • 1 SSW

A Red-Red-Green coalition is just short of a majority 206 +118+39 = 363

https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097

Do any readers know the politics of the single SSW member?

“Do minorities have their own parties?
In Germany there are four state-recognized minorities: Sorbs, Danes, Frisians and the German Sinti and Roma. There is only a special party for the Danes and Frisians in Schleswig-Holstein, the South Schleswig Voters Union (SSW). It is standing for election to the Bundestag for the first time in 2021. The SSW has a good chance of gaining a seat, because it is exempted from the 5 per cent clause as a protected minority. This means that the calculated average number of votes needed for a single mandate is sufficient for the party to be represented.”


https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/politics/the-german-federal-election-facts-about-the-bundestag-and-electoral-law

The far-right party, the AfD, are shunned by all other parties (including the Christian Democrats and the Liberals).

German voters made very positive decisions about housing in Berlin elections


Voters in the German capital, Berlin, alongside casting ballots for the makeup of the new German parliament and for their local legislature, also took part in a referendum on whether to force large real estate companies to sell off most of their housing units.

With Berliners casting more votes in a day than the city ever had, there was chaos and delays at several polling stations. About 34,000 helpers were working at more than 2,250 polling stations across the city.

Therefore, final results on the nonbinding referendum are not expected until Monday.

After counting 27% of the ballots, a clear margin was already emerging: 56.9% had voted in favor and only 39% against the proposal.

“This is just an extrapolation, we won’t get the final results until tomorrow! But even this number shows that Berliners have had enough of speculation and mad rents,” the movement to expropriate Berlin housing corporations said on Twitter.

The measure required a simple majority to pass as well as a “yes” vote from at least a quarter of all eligible voters, but, even if it does pass, that would only force the incoming Berlin city-state government to debate the proposal.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-berlin-locals-vote-to-expropriate-real-estate-giants/a-59315431

Die Linke (Left) suffered a significant electoral reverse. It gained 4.9% of the National vote, losing 4.3% compared with 2017. By comparison the SPD and the Greens gained 5.2% and 5.8% respectively. The big losers were the Christian Democrats (down 8.8%). The AfD Nazis also lost ground (down 2.3%). The free-market Liberals, the FDP, held their ground (up 0.7%).

Here is a Die Linke pre-election statement :

Janine Wissler, Chairperson of DIE LINKE party, declares on the occasion of the Global Climate Strike on 24 September 2021:

A supporter of die Linke chairperson Janine Wissler

“On Sunday, we are facing a General Election. The coming federal government will be the last one that still has a chance to prevent the worst in climate protection and still achieve the 1.5 degree target. As the Left, we say: stop the politics of lost time. In the last three years, the many committed people at Fridays for Future have ensured that society, politics and business can no longer ignore the climate issue. Their fight for climate justice is making history.
DIE LINKE stands in solidarity with the climate movement. We call on our members to participate in the climate strike! We have requested the recognition of the climate emergency in the German Bundestag and are on the ground with MPs as parliamentary observers at climate protests.
With an “Immediate Programme for Climate Justice”, we want to set the course for a change in climate policy after the Bundestag elections. Our goal is climate neutrality by 2035. The Left Party is the guarantor of consistent and socially just climate protection:
We want to complete the coal phase-out by 2030 at the latest and introduce compulsory solar on roofs. In addition, we want to expand wind power, for 100% renewable energies by 2035 at the latest.
For us, a socially just mobility transition means: We want to expand public transport and make it free of charge. Making Germany a rail country: Railways must become a real, low-cost alternative to cars and air travel. No more fossil combustion engines from 2030. A moratorium on new motorway construction and finally enforce a speed limit.
We want to push ahead with the ecological refurbishment of buildings by investing billions and protect tenants from burdens by abolishing the modernisation levy.”

on behalf of Antje Dieterich

Press Office DIE LINKE Party Executive Committee
Press spokesperson Matthias Hinze – office 030 24009-543 matthias.hinze@die-linke.de
Deputy Press Spokesperson Götz Lange – Office 030 24009-674 goetz.lange@die-linke.de
Deputy Press Spokesperson Antje Dieterich – Office 030 24009-544 antje.dieterich@die-linke.de

German comrades will have to deal politically with this interesting electoral result. John Meehan September 27 2021