[Marxism] What's new at Links: Australia, Afghanistan, Hugo Blanco, Obama, Iran, Tom Keneally's latest, Greece, W.Sahara, India, Pacific

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Mon Oct 19 00:33:35 MDT 2009

What's new at Links: Australia, Afghanistan, Hugo Blanco, Obama, Iran, 
Tom Keneally, Greece, W.Sahara, India, Pacific

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    Australia: Socialist Alliance celebrates its first electoral victory

October 18, 2009 -- Newly elected local municipal councillor *Sam 
Wainwright* summarised what he saw as the significance of his election 
to the Fremantle Council, in the state of Western Australia (WA): "It's 
a victory for all those like me who believe that the council can and 
should play an active role in involving people in decision making, 
protecting the environment, campaigning for workers' rights and making a 
place in the community for people who are too often left out, such as 
Indigenous Australians and people with disabilities."

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1307>

    Malalai Joya: The Afghan people are `squashed between two powerful
    enemies <http://links.org.au/node/1306>

/Film by *Nomad Collective*/
October 18, 2009 -- *Malalai Joya:* ``Now, my people are squashed 
between two powerful enemies. From the sky, the occupation forces are 
dropping bombs, even using cluster bombs and white phosphorus and 
killing innocent civilians in the name of combatting the Taliban. On the 
ground, the Taliban and also the Northern Alliance fundamentalists 
continue their fascism against men and women of my country.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1306>

    Hugo Blanco: Indigenous people are the vanguard of the fight to save
    the Earth <http://links.org.au/node/1304>

October 13, 2009 -- Peruvian peasant leader *Hugo Blanco*, who edits the 
newspaper /La Lucha Indigena/, was interviewed in Arequipa, in southern 
Peru. The previous day he gave a presentation at a conference entitled 
"40 Años de la Reforma Agraria" at the city's Universidad Nacional de 
San Agustín.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1304>

    Iran: English edition of underground opposition newspaper, `Khiaban'
    (`The Street') <http://links.org.au/node/1305>

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1305>

    Tom Keneally's `The People's Train': Steaming along the tracks of
    revolution <http://links.org.au/node/1302>

/*The People's Train*
/By Tom Keneally,
Vintage Books, 2009

Review by *Phil Shannon*
October 10, 2009 -- When Artem Samsurov first came to Brisbane in 1911, 
the Russian exile noted that the poor did not eat horse meat like they 
did in his native country and he wondered whether this did indeed make 
it true that Australia was a "working man's paradise"? A diet that was 
no stranger, however, to rabbit, and bread and lard, suggested 
otherwise. Tom Keneally's latest novel, /The People's Train/, follows 
the political and romantic adventures of Samsurov, a fictional character 
closely based on Fedor (``Artem'') Sergeyev, a Bolshevik who escaped 
from exile in Siberia after the crushing of the 1905 revolution in 
Russia and who was a political activist in Brisbane for six years. [See 
the /Australian Dictionary of Biography'/s entry for Fedor``Artem'' 
Sergeyev below this review.]

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1302>

    Greece: Right-wing government defeated, deeper radical left unity
    needed <http://links.org.au/node/1301>

/ /

By *Antonis Davenellos*
October 14, 2009 -- The results of the October 4 elections in Greece 
were a political earthquake that have created a new situation in the 
country. The crushing defeat of the ruling party has opened up a period 
of deep political crisis for the right, a crisis that by all indicators 
will be long lasting.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1301>

    Polisario Front briefing paper on the question of Western Sahara

By the *Polisario Front*
October 2009
Western Sahara (the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic) is located in 
northwest Africa and covers an area of 266,000 square kilometres. It is 
bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast and 
Mauritania to the East and southeast and has a 1,200-kilometre-long 
Atlantic Ocean coastline. The Saharawi Republic was proclaimed on 27 
February 1976; its capital is El Aaiún.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1300>

    India: Statement condemns government military offensive against the
    Indigenous people <http://links.org.au/node/1299>

October 14, 2009 -- *Sanhati* is a collective of activists/academics who 
have been working in solidarity with peoples' movements in India by 
providing information and analysis. We have been profoundly disturbed by 
the Indian government's reported plans to launch an unprecedented 
military offensive in the huge forested regions of central India, 
populated by millions of Indigenous tribes (/adivasis/), for stamping 
out an alleged Maoist insurgency.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1299>

    Review of `Renegade: The Making of Barack Obama'

/*Renegade: The Making of Barack Obama*/
By Richard Wolfe, Virgin Books, London 2009
Review by *Jeff Richards*
Whatever your views are about Barack Obama, there is no doubt that his 
campaign for the US presidency was a major milestone in the history of 
electoral politics in the United States. How did a senatorial rookie who 
was black, with an alien name and a background in community organising 
get to the centre of the system of power? It was both a matter of 
circumstance (the crises and failure of neoconservative project) and the 
remarkable political skills of Obama and the campaign team led by David 

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1298>

    United States: `Birthers', `deathers' and haters -- Right-wing
    populism and liberal retreat <http://links.org.au/node/1297>

By *Malik Miah, *San Francisco
October 11, 2009 --- The heat is on the administration of US President 
Barack Obama. The energised conservative base has taken over town hall 
meetings on health care. There are "birthers" (those who claim Obama is 
not a US citizen and ineligible to be president), "deathers" (those who 
claim Obama's health care reform is a plan to kill old people) and just 
pure haters. Obama has been personally attacked as a racist, socialist, 
communist, Stalinist, fascist, Nazi, Pol Potist, foreigner and every 
other name the right finds in its vocabulary.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1297>

    Science and empire in the Pacific <http://links.org.au/node/1296>

By *Barry Healy*
More than 240 years ago, on April 13, 1769, the peace of Tahiti was 
interrupted by the visit of Captain James Cook, supposedly observing the 
transit of Venus across the Sun, but really following secret orders to 
investigate the Pacific Ocean and its islands for the benefit of British 
colonialism. Mainstream Australian history raises James Cook to a 
pinnacle because he established a white, British dominion on the 
Australian continent. However, at the time his fame was eclipsed because 
on board his ship was gentleman scientist Joseph Banks with a posse of 
staff. Banks' star outshone Cook's because his work acquired the 
botanical treasures of Oceania for the British Empire, paving the way 
for Britain to dominate vital areas of science for its own benefit.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1296>

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Links seeks to promote the international exchange of information, 
experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political 
strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for 
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different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the 
international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social 
policies. It aims to promote the renewal of the socialist movement in 
the wake of the collapse of the bureaucratic model of "actually existing 
socialism" in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

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