On Friday 28 May 2010, in the late afternoon, Denise died suddenly following a heart attack in a Brussels street as she walked to the railway station to catch a train back to Liège after participating in a Forum on the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo. During this activity in support of the Congolese people, she had again been outstanding for her impassioned speeches and infectious good humour.
THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT didn’t fall in February over involvement in Afghanistan, the unstable governing coalition stumbled over it. But the Islamophobic right wing might be the beneficiary.
While I have written about this in previous issues of Against the Current, the debate among Black intellectuals and leaders of all stripes is getting more intense. The Obama presidency —more so than previous Democratic administrations — has effectively taken Black protest politics off the streets.
The increasing conversion of agriculture into a commodity industry is an undeniable reality today. The privatisation of natural resources, the policies of structural adjustment, the gradual disappearance of the peasantry and the industrialisation of the food systems have driven us to the current food crisis situation.
On Wednesday May 19th, the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva finally launched an assault on the Red Shirt camp in the neighbourhood of Rachaprasong. Television stations from around the world broadcast brutal images of assault tanks destroying the bamboo and tyre barricades and soldiers armed with rifles firing live ammunition at demonstrators. The disproportion between the images of war and the faces of the demonstrators, mostly peasants and urban works, is striking.
In the course of a two-week stay in Pakistan, I was able to take part, on January 27-28, 2010 in the Fifth Congress of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP). This organization, founded in 1997, has developed remarkably over the last few years: in terms of numerical growth (today it has more than 7,000 members), geographical spread (it is now present in all the provinces of the country) and social roots (among peasants, workers, women…). This development is all the more significant as not so long ago, the principal historical core of the LPPP was still only a small political small group (“Struggle”) of Trotskyist origin, present above all in Punjab, which was joined, for the foundation of a new organization, by a handful of cadres of the Communist Party, especially in Sind.
The by-election which took place in Hong Kong on the 16th May saw the return of all five pan-democrat councillors who had resigned earlier this year.
The political crisis engulfing Thailand is not a clap of thunder in an otherwise calm sky. The discourse about a country where “everyone lives in harmony and where there is no class struggle but a people united behind its adored sovereign” has nothing to do with reality. For several decades, the Thai people have been subjected to authoritarian regimes or dictatorships and a king in their service. The Thai élites have however not succeeded in preventing regular uprisings against the established order, including those in 1973, 1976 and 1992, all repressed by bloodbaths.
The Fourth International salutes the courage of the Redshirts who have been waging an exemplary fight for several weeks and are now suffering the attacks of the army. It stands resolutely at their side.
Other than a Tory majority this Conservative-Liberal coalition is the worst possible outcome of the general election, since it is the most effective platform available for cuts, austerity and unemployment. Cameron and Clegg tell us that the coalition has been formed ‘in the national interest’. That’s the code phrase for their own class.
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