On 7 October Brazilians vote in local, municipal elections that will be an important barometer of the political balance in the country. In spite of the popularity of President Dilma Rousseff, her governing Workers Party (PT) is not set to do well. Mostly it is expected to lose ground to other parties of the centre and right, several of which take part in the governing coalition alongside the PT. But the main party of the left that opposes the Brazilian government’s social liberal policies, the PSOL (Party of Socialism and Liberty), could see a notable improvement in its position, especially in a few important cities.
After years of strategic dialogue and an arduous process of electoral inscription, Puerto Rico can now count on an organised alternative, a political party that is committed to defending the interests of the working class and marginalised sectors of the island’s population. On 6 November 2012, the new Working People’s Party (Partido del Pueblo Trabajador-PPT) will run 71 candidates, from Governor to members of the municipal legislative assembly. “Breaking the electoral barrier” and “Puerto Rico should be governed by those who sweat for it” are the slogans that the PPT brings to the 2012 elections.
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Madrid on Tuesday September 25, 2012 to protest against the sequestration of popular sovereignty by the banks and “markets”. Repression was once again brutal, leaving dozens of people wounded, and there were numerous arrests. In this article, Esther Vivas reviews the motivations for this mobilisation and the causes of an ever more brutal police repression.
The resistance of the Syrian people has continued to grow since the beginning of the revolutionary process in March 2011. Its struggle is taking place in the context of the popular struggles in Tunisia and Egypt and has extended to other countries in the region.
An interview with Marco Alvarez Vergara, an activist in Chile’s “Libres del Sur” movement, conducted by Franck Gaudichaud of France’s Nouveau Parti Anti-capitaliste.
In early September, the Federal Judiciary Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) validated the Mexican presidential election of July 1, 2012. Faced with the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to government, the organisation of a workers’ political force is more urgent than ever.
Muslims should ‘simply ignore the crazy provocations,’ Gilbert Achcar says. He thinks that those who engaged in violent protests against the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video did exactly what the video’s production team were hoping for as a result of their provocation. While Achcar strongly condemns Islamophobic hate material, he rejects any curtailment of free speech in the name of preventing blasphemy. ‘Freedom to criticize religion is a major touchstone of the right to free expression,’ he says in an interview with Farooq Sulehria for Pakistan’s Viewpoint Online.
And they sawed the branches on which they were sitting, all the while shouting their experiences to one another so as to saw more effectively. And they fell into the depths. And those who watched them nodded their heads and continued sawing vigorously. (Bertolt Brecht, 1954)
The right-wing, neoliberal VVD of prime-minister Mark Rutte won the parliamentary elections of 12 September. His party won 41 of 150 seats, beating the social democractic PvdA that won 38 seats. Among the losers is the christian democratic CDA – for decades the dominant party in Dutch politics, now reduced to 13 seats. The Greens lost 6 seats, falling to 4, and Geert Wilders right-wing, anti-Muslim, anti-European Union party retained only 15 of its 24 seats. The Socialist Party (SP) gained a disappointing 15 seats, the same number it already had.