Their day has come: Sinn Féin’s success in the Irish General election

A political earthquake has taken place in Ireland and surprisingly it was almost completely unexpected up until a few weeks ago when all commentators agreed that the election would be a contest between the two centre right parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael who have dominated Irish politics since the foundation of the state in 1923. What happened was radically different, and has caused a great deal of confusion and frustration among the establishment. The left-wing Sinn Fein (GUE NGL) party came first in overall votes with over 24% of the vote and 37 seats, compared to Fianna Fáil’s (Renew Europe) 22% and Fin ..

Don’t Mistake the Finger for the Moon: Bernie Sanders and the Movement

Note from the LeftEast editors: Now, in the aftermath of the defeat of the Corbyn-led Labour party in the United Kingdom, the left’s hopes for an electoral path to power using the vehicle of some pre-existing mass, centre-left party have been reduced to just one name: Bernie Sanders. His populist, common-sense account of the problems plaguing American society (and their root cause, capitalism) as well as his proposed solutions have not only legitimized the hitherto tabooed word “socialism” but have also inspired hope among millions of ordinary Americans. Bernie still has a steep hill to climb: he first has ..

Irish voters reject the Right: a new opportunity for the Left?

Sinn Féin, a nationalist party that sits with the left/far-left group in the European parliament and from the 1970s to ’90s was attached to an armed insurgency in Northern Ireland, won the most first-preference votes in this month’s general election in the Republic of Ireland. It now has about the same number of parliamentary seats as each of the state’s traditional centrist “big parties”, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. This is an extraordinary development by any measure. However, with the party’s vote and seat share sitting just below one quarter, and with “the Left” in total, gener ..

Call for solidarity: Russian antifascists sentenced to 6- 18 years prison

Note from LeftEast editors: we republish this post which initially appeared on Freedom Co-op’s blog and call for solidarity with the unjustly detained, tortured and convicted comrades. See below what actions you can take to support them. The trial of seven Russian antifascists accused of terrorist offences ended today in Penza, western Russia. Dmitry Pchelintsev recieved 18 years, Ilya Shakursky 16 years, Arman Sagynbaev 6 years, Andrei Chernov 14 years, Vasily Kuksov 9 years, Mikhail Kulkov 10 years and Maxim Ivankin 13 years imprisonment. The Network case has begun in October 2017, when the Russian Federa ..

Sinn Féin and the land issue: notes on the 2020 Irish general election

A century ago a change began in Ireland but some radical change can take centuries. An Irish Countess (married to an undocumented polish immigrant) was elected Minister for Labour for Sinn Féin. This was a first as women had yet to gain the right to vote. The US-based Irish Republican Brotherhood had pushed through an unpopular rebellion even after leaks to the Empire’s Intelligence Services. The rebellion failed but the ensuing military punitive overreaction – executing all but two military leaders – ensured further resistance. De Valera, a Spanish-American catholic, and that same indomitable Countess Con ..

[Podcast] Neda Deneva: Being taken care of. The case of medicalizing birth-giving.

Note from LeftEast editors: We share this podcast with the permission of its producers from Contrasens. “Contrasens” is a podcast which explores current themes in the field of the social sciences. The project aims to bring to the forefront and make as accessible as possible research conducted by sociologists, anthropologists and other specialists from related fields. Content hosts and producers are students from the Faculty of Sociologu and Social Assistance, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj: Marina Mironica, Matei Mlinarcic, Karol Pataki, Pati Murg, Vlad Bejinariu and Maria Martelli. Rarely do we take the tim ..

Call for support for workers of the Turkish company “KAYI CONSTRUCTION” in Kaunas, Lithuania

Original here. We are calling for international support for the workers of Turkish company “Kayi Construction” that was building stadium in Kaunas, Lithuania. For three weeks of January 2020 the workers have been on strike because the company has not paid wages for 9 months. May 1st union is representing the workers in Lithuania and gathering financial support for the workers and their families in Turkey. We ask you to contribute and share the information about the grave violations of workers rights by the turkish company. In 2018, a Turkish construction company “Kayi Construction” won the public tender a ..

Sick Leave: the Hidden Class Wars in Bulgaria

Note from LeftEast editors: We republish this from the Croatian portal Bilten, where it originally appeared. Bulgaria has some of the lowest wages and lowest productivity rates in Europe, and, not surprisingly, some of the highest rates of out-migration. Employees and employers agree on that, but on little else. Yet with the country’s economy growing and EU accession in 2007 giving it access to the common market, employment is up and in some industries labour shortages have started to cause problems. Workers and bosses are divided over both the causes of the shortage, as well as the solutions, with Bulgaria ..

A Response to Anne Applebaum’s article “The False Romance of Russia”

NOTE from LeftEast Editors: A historical tool of Liberalism is to conflate the left and right as “extreme” to legitimize itself, while obscuring the differences among the positions and goals of left and right. Complementing arguments about the ideological functions of Liberal Antipopulism and pointing back to cold war era ideological uses of the term totalitarianism, Bryan Gigantino here critiques the Liberal conflation of contemporary Russia with Communism, and of left with the right in the US context. In Anne Applebaum’s recent article in the Atlantic, “The False Romance of Russia”, she add ..

In the Struggle You’ll Earn Your Rights: Russian Socialist Movement’s Statement on the Proposed Constitutional Reforms and the Change of Russian Government

The presidential announcement and the change of government that immediately followed it on January 15th officially inaugurate the much-awaited succession operation, establishing the mechanisms whereby power will be preserved in the hands of the ruling elite. The key element in this operation is the “continuity” within the framework of personal power. That is, in one or another capacity, Putin will preserve the control over decision-making after the expiration of his fourth presidential term. The proposed constitutional amendments offer several possible scenarios of power for him: as the chairman of the State ..