Articles by lefteast

First Reactions to the Constitutional Referendum in Turkey: No, It’s Not Over Yet

Last Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan finally got the main item that has been driving his political agenda for the last several years: a majority (51.4%) in a popular referendum to legitimate his de facto executive presidency. Or did he? LeftEast asked Zeynep Serinkaya, Onur Bakiner, and Işık Sarıhan about how this victory was “achieved,” what its consequences will be, and what lies ahead for the Turkey and the forces that opposed it. Işık Sarıhan: On winning and losing I come across news articles saying that Erdoğan is the winner of the constitutional referendum of April 16. One ..

Petition to Return the Lukács Statue and Reopen the Lukács Archives in Budapest

The recent attacks waged by the Hungarian Fidesz government on independent media outlets, NGOs, or academic institutions, has been accompanied by a violent attempt to erase the memory of socialist alternatives. The removal of George Lukács’ statue, and the closure of its archives are just part of this conservative revolution and its new kulturkampf … The editorial board of Lefteast urges you to sign this petition. On 28 March, the statue of renowned Marxist philosopher George Lukács (1890-1971) was removed from Saint Stephen’s park in the 13th district of Budapest. The sculpture, commissioned by the Hunga ..

Solidarity with #AcademicsForPeace in Turkey

We publish here a call for solidarity with the #AcademicsForPeace initiative in Turkey. Violent attacks on university employees around Turkey have made your support more necessary than ever. “We ask the state to put an end to violence inflicted against citizens right now, we as academics and researchers of this country declare that we won’t be a party to this crime and that promise that we will sustain our stance in the presence of political parties, parliament and international public”. Over 1,400 academics and researchers from Turkey and abroad have signed the statement titled “We will not be a party to ..

What happened on March 26th? Russia’s movement against corruption and perspectives for the Left

This text was originally published in Russian in OpenLeft.ru. We would like to thank Eliza Ivanova for the translation. Introduction On March 26th, people in many Russian cities participated in rallies connected to the recent anti-corruption investigation by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation. One could say that these were the most numerous street protests of the past few years.  In contrast to the Bolotnaya protests of 2012, which focused on demanding fair and open elections, the main issues these rallies addressed were the unjust distribution of resources and the Russian oligarchical system. Many of ..

Belarusian activists: Freedom or Prison – It’s All the Same

How ‘Freedom Day’ went in Belarus, and what to expect next: comments from Belarusian activists On 25 May 2017, demonstrations marking Freedom Day took place in cities across Belarus (Freedom Day is the anniversary of the announcement of the self-proclaimed Belarusian People’s Republic on 25 March 1918; it is celebrated mainly by Belarusian nationalists). The government’s reaction to the demonstrations was quite brutal: in Minsk the unauthorized rally, attended by several thousand people, was dispersed by the police and about seven hundred participants were detained. Similar rallies were held in Gomel, Bre ..

DEMOS: Social Europe, Our Europe. Priorities for Romania’s European policies

Note from the LeftEast editors: As a part of a broader series of comments and analyses from different actors and groups in the Romania Left about the recent protest wave in the country, we are now publishing the policy statement/manifesto of the new left formation DEMOS. DEMOS is a leftist and environmentalist political platform from Romania established in 2016. Its members, previously active in various social movements and campaigns, decided to form it as a response to the growing inequality, severe poverty, destruction of the public goods and services and environmental degradation in the country, issues which ..

“Scratch a Russian liberal and you’ll find an educated conservative”: an interview with sociologist Greg Yudin

Note from the LeftEast editors: In this interview conducted by Gleb Napreenko, published in Russian in the Colta.ru-hosted Discordance: a Journal of Social and Art Criticism and generously translated for LeftEast by Kristina Mayman, sociologist Greg Yudin speaks about the deceitfulness of opinion polling, the fear of the elites for the people, and the political suicide of the intelligentsia. Gleb Napreenko: There is a widespread idea in today’s Russia about a certain conservative majority that supports Putin and his politics. This idea is based on opinion polls – it is they that demonstrate to us t ..

Trotsky: The Prickly Lion of the Revolution (an interview with Alexander Reznik)

This interview was conducted on Radio Svoboda and published in Russian on Jan. 27, 2017. It was translated in English for LeftEast by Evgeni V. Pavlov. “Insurrection of the masses does not require a justification. And what took place was indeed an insurrection and not a conspiracy. We openly forged the will of the masses for an insurrection… To those who left from here and who are proposing other courses of action, we have only this to say: You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on — into the dustbin of history!” Thus spoke Leon ..

Svjetlana Nedimović: “We have been commanded to take care of our souls while the authorities will take care of the real estate”

The following interview was conducted by Amer Bahtijar and was originally published in Bosnian at the online portal, Tačno. It was translated by Alja Gudzevich and edited by Natalie Gravenor and Marina Antić. In February 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced its first workers uprising since the anti-war protests of 1992. Unexpected and spreading like wildfire, the protests did eventually die out in April of the same year, but not before several government buildings burned and a number of resignations at the cantonal levels were secured. However, few things seem to have changed in Bosnia since: the national ..

The Russian Revolution in Eastern Europe: ‘Resolutions of the Balkan Communist Conference’ Sofia, January 1920

The following document, ‘Resolutions of the Balkan Communist Conference’ (1920), is part of a year-long series LeftEast will run exploring the impact of the Russian Revolution in Eastern Europe. Over the course of this anniversary year we will publish historical documents, interviews and articles reflecting on the role of 1917 in reshaping the political horizons of the region. ‘Introduction: The Russian Revolution and the Balkan Communist Federation’ Modern plans for the unification of the Balkans stretch back to the late eighteenth century with the Modern Greek Enlightenment and proliferated as t ..