Monthly Archives: May 2011

Northern elections: historic low turnout – a rejection of Assembly parties

The recent elections took place as the North faces into the deepest cuts to public spending in its history. The Executive parties have agreed to slash £4 billion from the budget over the next four years. Peter Robinson said this would be Northern Ireland’s first “bread and butter” election. However, the only significant reflection of this was in the historically low turnout.

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Repression Overcome in Barcelona

Events yesterday in Barcelona gave a powerful indication that the 15-M revolt (in reference to the 15th of May when it began) has much life left in it. The capitalist establishment hoped that following the elections last Sunday, the mass youth movement which castigates all the main parties and their pro-rich policies, would somehow fizzle out. The tremendous response of the movement in Barcelona to the state’s attempt to liquidate the protest seems to have dashed any such hopes for the time being.

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Youth revolt shakes political elite

The movement of May 15 in Spain has shaken the political elite to its core. Leaders and candidates of the main capitalist parties, PSOE and the PP are at a loss as to what to say. The media at first patronised the young people who occupied Puerta de Sol last week, labelling them the usual anti-capitalist suspects. Even as late as last Wednesday the Spanish press was in denial about the unfolding situation.

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This is what democracy looks like!

Members of  Socialismo Revolucionario (sister section of the Socialist Party in Spain) have intervened in the Spanish youth movement in 8 different cities and produced a special leaflet for this movement calling for unity with the working class and a general strike, for elected democratic committees of workers and young people to prepare such a movement and for a revolutionary socialist policy. A fuller analysis of this movement and the recent elections will be published soon.

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Obama’s Record in Power

On this day of Obama's visit we repost an article written by American Socialists in Socialist Alternative (sister group of the Socialist Party) which analyses his real record in power. The article was part of a pamphlet written in advance of the mid term elections in 2010 on challenging the two-party system, the entirety of which is available here. As we have explained elsewhere, the Socialist Party opposes the costly state visits of war leaders such as Obama and Queen Elizabeth to Ireland. Readers may also be interested to review this article written one year into his presidential term.

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Spanish youth movement spreading

During the evening of Thursday 16 May, the opposition youth movement that is developing in Spain brought out 150,000 protesters to occupy squares in 57 towns and cities.

The youth movement - ‘Real Democracy Now’ - is continuing and spreading. Despite the attempts of the PSOE government to ban the protests, this coming weekend is expected to see a further growth of this youth rebellion.

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Youth protesters’ ‘Tahrir Square’ occupation

After a tremendous demonstration against cuts last Saturday, 14 May, in Barcelona, with 250,000 participants, this week saw the development of the “May 15 movement”. Unemployed and students took to the streets. Inspired by the demonstrations in Portugal and the revolutions in the Maghreb and Middle East, especially Egypt, young people occupied Puerta del Sol, one of the main squares of Madrid. Police repeatedly tried to break up the protest but the youth defended their “Tahir Square”.

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Building New Workers’ Parties: The example of Portugal

Portugal, just like Ireland, is facing a colossal failure of capitalism, IMF rule and a unbearable state debt resulting from bailing out of the bankers and speculators. Just like here, this failure of right wing policies is providing huge opportunies, but also huge challenges, for the left. Very important debates are taking place within the Portugese left, which socialists and working class activists in Ireland should pay attention to.

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