Essential Strike Manifesto for the 8th of March

Note from LeftEast Editors: We share the Essential Strike Manifesto by E.A.S.T. (Essential Autonomous Struggles Transnational), a network composed mostly of women, migrants, workers and activists born out of the struggles on social reproduction triggered by the pandemic crisis of Covid-19. E.A.S.T., as the acronym suggests, has Eastern and Central Europe as its main focus but looks at this specific space as a part of a transnational field of struggle. The network wants to ignite new struggles and strikes against exploitation, male violence and institutional racism by connecting existing struggles and building a c ..

Navalny’s Return and Left Strategy

Russia has had an eventful week and it’s not even finished. First, Alexey Navalny flew back to Moscow, then he was immediately arrested upon crossing the border, and the next day his team published a video illustrating Vladimir Putin’s own corruption and calling upon all citizens to come out to the streets against the government on January 23. What is the Russian left to think of all this? Navalny is certainly not its own, but should it stay away from the protests and the brewing political crisis? We asked Ilya Budraitskis, Ilya Matveev, and Kirill Medvedev, for their opinion. Ilya Budraitskis, Moscow-based h ..

Thousands of people support freelancers in Serbia. Negotiations with the Government announced for Monday

Note from LeftEast editors: We reprint this article from the portal Masina where it was originally published on the 18th of January. Online workers held a protest on Saturday in front of the National Assembly of Serbia. The authorities accepted invitation to negotiations, stated Miran Pogačar, president of the Association of Internet Workers (URI). Members of URI added that this is a small victory and that they will continue to fight. I was called by the head of the cabinet of Ana Brnabić. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, will sit at the negotiation table with us. We won one small b ..

Post(pandemic) struggles in social reproduction: Romanian live-in care workers in Austria: exploitation and self-organization

Note from the LeftEast editors:The present text, which we co-publish with TSS is part of a series of publications and webinars on the topics of social reproduction, (women’s) labour and migration in East-Central Europe and beyond. The video from the first webinar Responses to Covid-19 and (post-)pandemic: social reproduction, migrants and women in Central/Eastern Europe and beyond, where this text was first presentedcan be seen here. The aim of the series is to raise awareness about struggles for labour, reproduction and migrant rights, as well as of the condition of women in society and how these have been imp ..

First as tragedy, then as farce? AUR and the long shadow of fascism in Romania

In the current political climate, witnessing an ascendance of far-right parties across Europe, and a more general shift to the right in mainstream politics globally, Romania was often pointed out as an exception in this respect, certainly when it came to the area of Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe. Since 2008, when the Greater Romania Party (Partidul România Mare, PRM) failed to meet the 5% electoral threshold for entering Parliament, there had been no far- or radical-right parties in the Romanian Parliament. As of the 6th of December, the date of the latest legislative elections, the ‘Romanian exce ..

Some Thoughts on the Failure of the National Strike in Belarus

Political protests in Belarus began immediately after the closing of polling stations on the night of August 9, 2020. The initial spontaneous street riots grew in scale owing to the asymmetrically brutal reaction of the authorities. In this piece, Kseniya Zaika offers an account of worker participation in the protest movement and a reflection on the reasons for the failure of the national strike. I would like to start with the fact that, with a certain degree of conditionality, the Belarusian protest movement can be characterised as a modern urban bourgeois protest, since after the first week, after the revolutio ..

(Post)pandemic struggles in social reproduction: “Manage somehow”: notes from Ukraine on care labor at a time of local and global crisis

Note of the LeftEast editors: The present text, which we co-publish with TSS is part of a series of publications and webinars on the topics of social reproduction, (women’s) labour and migration in East-Central Europe and beyond. The video from the first webinar Responses to Covid-19 and (post-)pandemic: social reproduction, migrants and women in Central/Eastern Europe and beyond, where this text was first presented can be seen here. The aim of the series is to raise awareness about struggles for labour, reproduction and migrant rights, as well as of the condition of women in society and how these have been imp ..

Fascists in the House: What Can We Make of Far Right Success and Low Turn Out in Romania’s Latest Elections?

As long as the structural logic of party politics and the ideological taboos of the current ruling political class forbid, render impossible, demonize, restrict, and mock the left-leaning criticism of the system and the left-wing attempts at correction, we can’t be so surprised that only right-wing parties get into parliament (this also applies to PSD’s [the Social Democratic Party’s] religious nationalism with traces of social democracy). It should also come as no surprise that not only the large parties’ ethnicists on duty get more say, but also the increasingly institutionalized far-right. Continue rea ..

Police Brutality in Albania: “The Revolt Seems Like Something That Was Waiting to Happen”

Although the shooting of an unarmed citizen can be considered an isolated event, there has been an increasing escalation of violence by the police in recent years. We, as activists of Organizata Politike, have witnessed it while protesting alongside chromium miners, oil refinery workers, and students. A very violent intervention by the police took place last year against the artists who were defending the National Theatre against demolition. This wave of repression also relates to a decision by the Ministry of Interior to send into early retirement more than 1,000 policemen from the older generation, replacing ..

Jihad, universalism, and the Left: A conversation with Darryl Li

Darryl Li’s recent historical ethnography of jihad fighters in 1990s Bosnia, The Universal Enemy, draws on the author’s legal background and anthropological training to connect the former Yugoslavia with the far-flung homes of the mujahideen and the US’s global carceral archipelago. Matan Kaminer of LeftEast spoke with Dr. Li about internationalism, cosmopolitanism, regionality and lessons for the Left. Continue reading →