Peace in Syria: not with Assad

A barricade in Aleppo: Reuters.

LeftEast editor Ilya Budraitskis conducted this interview with Swiss/Syrian revolutionary activist Joseph Daher, first published in Russian on Open Left on October 17. The attempt at an agreement between Russia and the USA failed dramatically. What were the reasons? Is there any chance that this type of peace talks on the level of «great powers» can bring real peace to Syria? Do you think that any sustainable ceasefire or even peace process is possible with the participation of Assad? First, the ceasefire was poorly respected on the ground even when implemented, especially by the Assad regime and its allies, bu ..

Hungary 1956: a Socialist Revolution


Published on 7th October 2016 by International Socialism: Issue: 152. Republished with permission by LeftEast. We tend to forget the importance of the experience of people participating in historical events. The mainstream political literature presents 1945 in Eastern Europe as a Russian occupation that gradually forced a rootless system on a reluctant and recalcitrant population who obeyed out of fear. But almost nobody seems to have taken the pain to explain why even conservative or monarchist contemporaries called 1945 not only “liberation” but “revolution”. The new system—at the beginning plurali ..

VIDEO: #TalkReal in Cluj-Napoca: Combating environmental racism in Eastern Europe


This video and accompanying abstract is part of our ongoing collaboration with Talk Real. In this episode, held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Talk Real discusses the implications of environmental degradation for the local Roma community, and the intersection of systemic racism with environmental neglect. In its post published on October 4, Talk Real writes: Pata Rât is located at the periphery of the city of Cluj Napoca, and serves as the space for living of three distinct groups of Roma people. In Pata Rât there is no electricity, drinking water nor sanitary conditions. While authorities maintain that people came v ..

“The Solution Must Hurt Capital”: an Interview with Tamás Krausz

Tamas Krausz. Source: Waijiao blog.

Eastern Europe’s left is in a lamentable condition, according to Hungarian historian Tamás Krausz; however, critical thinking isn’t. Q: In an interview with nd in autumn 1997, you gave a critical analysis of the situation of the left in Hungary and Eastern Europe. How do you perceive the situation today, more than 25 years after the political changes in Eastern Europe. A: Since the change of political systems in 1989/1991, the political regimes in Hungary and other Eastern European countries have undergone several metamorphoses. As we predicted, the overall tendency has been the emergence of authorit ..

Turkey’s Attack on Rojava – A Threat to Radical Democracy in Mesopotamia


Note from the LeftEast editors: we publish this statement by Rojava Solidarity NYC, a solidarity committee dedicated to supporting the revolution in Rojava, written in response to the recent Turkish operation in Syria, Euphrates Shield.  RS-NYC seeks to publicize Rojava’s ongoing struggle in the English-speaking world, to promote the revolution’s radical communalist politics, and to provide direct, humanitarian aid to the people of Rojava.  Past aid campaigns have included the provision of vital medical supplies and the collection of books for the Mesopotamian Academy. The committee has also published one ..

Hungary: the Népszabadság Affair

G.M.Tamás at the rally in front of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest on Saturday 8th of October. Photo credit: B. Molnár Béla

Note from the LeftEast editors: Last Saturday employees of  Népszabadság  newspaper, the widest circulated daily in Hungary, found themselves locked out of their workplace and told they were no longer needed. On the  Népszabadság  editorial team facebook page the team team wrote: “Our first thought is that this is a coup. We will soon come back with more” after the newspaper’s website , stopped working , and invited the public to join them to demonstrate at Parliament later that day. They were joined by some 2,000 people. This article is translated into English for LeftEast by Lolo f ..

Morgane Merteuil: Sex work can be emancipatory only as a collective process

source: la voix du nord

Note of the LeftEast editors: On April 13, 2016, the French government promulgated a law that makes it illegal to pay for sex after MPs finally approved new legislation on prostitution following more than two years of rows and opposition by senators. Under the new law, anyone caught purchasing an act from a sex worker will be fined and required to attend classes on the harms of prostitution. Six months on, according to the French union of sex workers STRASS, the law has made the nearly 30,000 sex workers in France more vulnerable. The union has further accused Maud Olivier, Socialist MP who is behind the bill, of ..

#CzarnyProtest: the battle is won, but the struggle for abortion rights continues

source: DiEM Hungary

On Monday October 3rd the eyes of the world were for a moment set on Poland. Deemed “Black Monday” it was the day when pro-choice rallies took place in 87 Polish cities and small towns with more than 30 thousand black-clad protesters spilling over the streets and squares despite a heavy rain. That day was declared a nationwide strike of women and supporters in response to the looming project of a law drastically restricting, or practically cancelling reproductive rights of women and trans persons in Poland. This atrocious proposal would totally ban all abortions and further criminalize women seeking pregnancy ..

The Putsch in Turkey: A Tangled Situation Full of Ironies


The rise and fall of the coup d’état in Turkey has disclosed a number of situational ironies, each of which indicates a difference between appearance and reality. A brief analysis of the two separate and contrasting levels of meaning embedded in at least six situations reveals some uncomfortable truths about Turkish politics and may also give a couple of hints about the prospects of democracy in Turkey. To begin with, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the leading figures of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), who declared their distrust in social media and blocked Twitter and Facebook several times, had ..