Category Archives: Interviews

“Unless we detach ourselves from the fascists, there can be no left alternative”: Jock Palfreeman on the way forward for the Left in Bulgaria

This is the second part of Polina Manolova’s interview with Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association leader Jock Palfreeman, first published in Bulgarian by Dversia. Street and institutional fascism in Bulgaria At the moment, there is a typical fascist government [in Bulgaria]. The fascists in Bulgaria say that the biggest problem are the Gypsies. And what about the fact that ethnic Bulgarians have control over prisons, police, the army, education, the health system and the whole country? Oftentimes prisoners are singled out as the problem: authorities say that the biggest issue in Bulgarian prisons is the BP ..

Let Jock Palfreeman Speak! Part I of a Two-Part Interview

In this interview originally published in Bulgarian on dversia.net, the leader of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association speaks with Polina Manolova on the loss of justice, his activism, and left alternatives. Polina Manolova: On 19th of September 2019 Jock Palfreeman was granted parole after serving almost 12 years in Bulgarian prison for fatally stabbing a neo-Nazi on the streets of Sofia in December 2007. His early release has instigated a chain reaction of state repression, far-right mobilisation and media sensationalism. Immediately after his release Jock was taken to an immigration detention centre in S ..

So long, Exarcheia: in conversation with Athenian essayist George Souvlis

Note from LeftEast editors: We repost this interview, which was originally published on the alternative Canadian online magazine Rabble.ca on September, 3rd 2019. Political graffiti plastered on almost every wall. Three naked mannequins carelessly placed in a large garbage bin on Kallidromiou Street. Trees full of oranges on Ioustinianou. Strefi Hill. The view of Acropolis a few steps down from Exostrefis. The run down Villa Aiolos. The 2019 Antifa Football League playoffs. Messages against ‘”drug mafias, social cannibalism and state repression” and for “resistance, self-organization and ..

Searching for Alternatives in Eastern Europe

"...History, rather, is an alternative process in which socialism has a great chance because there are no other real alternatives to capitalism. This is the reason why Marx is so reviled in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, in the absence of a socialist perspective, humankind might face total self-destruction. This is also a realistic alternative." Continue reading →

May Day in the Making

Click on the triangular “play” button above to hear this segment. In this audeo clip, first broadcast by Public Radio International/WNYC in New York, historian Peter Linebaugh discusses the history and future of International Workers Day–or, to use the title of his latest book, “the incomplete, true, authentic and wonderful history of May Day.” Many Americans, familiar only with the holiday called “May Day” that has been celebrated in North America since colonial times, are not aware that the International Workers’ Day celebrated by the labor movement around the wor ..

Quarrying the stones of Palestine

Interview with Andrew Ross Andrew Ross is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, whose work combines scholarly inquiry, investigative reporting and activist perspectives. Much of his research concerns the built environment in sites as far afield as Phoenix, Arizona and Abu Dhabi. His latest book, Stone Men (Verso, 2019) looks at the stone industry in the West Bank and the complex role of this material in the Israeli colonization drive and Palestinian resistance. Matan Kaminer, a member of LeftEast’s editorial board and also a student of ..

Outsourcing Exploitation to Europe’s Periphery

This interview exploring Madlen Nikolova, Jana Tsoneva and Georgi Medarov’s recent research on subcontracting, inequality and worker resistance in Bulgaria was originally published on the website of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Most people probably associate outsourcing and subcontracting, whereby a company pays another company (usually in a country where wages and labour standards are significantly lower) to produce its goods which it then resells for a profit, with the clothing and electronics factories of China and Southeast Asia. While “Made in Korea” and even “Made in Japan” were once synonymou ..

[PODCAST] Can’t Buy Me Solidarity: Retail Workers in Czechia

The next installment in the series, “Europe is Working,” this podcast focuses on the poor working conditions of supermarkets and hypermarkets in Czechia, and the possibilities for collective action by workers both “native” and “migrant.” This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the project “Towards Shared Interests between Migrant and Local Workers” supported by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union. The project consortium involved Multicultural Center Prague (lead), University of Padua, “Our choice” foundation, Red House Ce ..

The World Today Attila Melegh With Tariq Ali – EU Eyesores #3: Hungary

Hungary is a landlocked country positioned on the EU’s eastern border. Today, it is also a major route for migrants and refugees travelling to Western Europe. The Hungarian government has responded by building a large border fence, and by scapegoating and persecuting the migrants passing through. This week, Tariq is speaking to sociologist Attila Melegh, who has also been a victim of government scapegoating for defending the rights of migrants and asylum seekers.

Protests in Hungary: “The slave labor law was clearly written to appeal to German industrial interests!”

Protests against what is being called Viktor Orban’s “slave [labour] law” in Hungary are turning into a questioning of his entire regime. For nearly 2 weeks now, Hungarians have been taking to the streets in Budapest and in other cities across the country, protesting labour law reforms that will allow bosses to force workers to work up to 400 extra hours a year. For many observers, this movement is unlike others the country has experienced. We interviewed Gergő Varga, editor of Tett, hosted by Mérce.hu. Demonstrators have denounced Orban’s “slave [labour] law” as completely favorable to the bosses. ..