Letter to citizens of the EU from the “periphery”: Politics of the closed borders are bringing us closer to fascist rules

Note from LeftEast editors: This article has been reprinted from the Medium account of Are You Syrious. We, the human rights defenders and citizens from the countries relegated to the “periphery” of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen space, want to express our deepest concern for the current situation in which we can see the rise of fascism and a deterioration in basic human rights, such as freedom of movement and the right to seek asylum. The leniency towards and acceptance of the rise of the far-right in European countries is worsening living conditions for people on the move and increasingly endanger ..

Justice for David and a future beyond nationalism in Bosnia?

 Protest movements Pravda za Davida and Pravda za Dženana may help change Bosnia’s dysfunctional system of governance. While they probably will not make the country’s system of corruption disappear anytime soon, they are likely to become a long-term threat to the country’s political establishment. “We have the potential to change something, to do something against nationalism”, Suzana Radanović, mother of young David Dragičević whose death at the hands of the police in March 2018 led to mass protests in Banja Luka and spread across Bosnia and Herzegovina, told me in an interview. We spoke after a ..

“Keep upright!”: The Cypress Park Protests in Montenegro

Note from LeftEast editors: After three months of peaceful protests against a controversial construction project and in defense of preserving a nearly century-old cypress park in the center of Bar, a port city on Montenegro’s coast, it looks like the battle has been lost. However, Sonja Dragović tells us with this article, activists are not giving up: by responding to the government’s oppressive and deceitful tactics with hopeful, creative, and sustained acts of resistance, they keep trying to reclaim their right to the city. The Montenegrin city of Bar, an Adriatic Sea port, suffered a major loss last Thu ..

The Protests against Russia’s Pension Reform and the Reasons for Their Defeat

Note from LeftEast editors: The main political event of 2018 on Russia’s domestic scene was probably the pension reform and the unsuccessful resistance against it. In this piece published in Russian in Sotsiologia vlasti 30(4)2018 co-translated for LeftEast by Kate Seidel, Ana Gurau, and Dasha Vodchic, Ilya Budraitskis takes this episode as a lens on the government modus operandi and on the logic driving the different segments of the opposition. The Russian authorities’ actions in as they were preparing to raise the retirement age in summer 2018 involved both a thought-out strategy and a relatively weak propa ..

[VIDEO] Trailer of Georg, a documentary about György Lukács

Note from LeftEast editors: We are happy to share the trailer of Georg, a documentary about Marxist philosopher György Lukács which will be released in April 2019. Beyond the merits of the philosopher’s work, the movie’s appearance also bears witness on two different levels. On the one hand, it comes in the year when the Left in Hungary celebrates the anniversary of the 1919 revolution and the rise of the short-lived but immensely inspiring Hungarian Soviet Republic, during which Lukács was a People’s Commissar for Education and Culture. On the other hand, it is a powerful if sad reminder, ..

The Living Front of Stanislav Markelov

This article by Kirill Medvedev, a Moscow-based poet, translator, and activist of the Russian Socialist Movement, originally appeared in an English translation by Tom Rowley and Guiliano Vivaldi in Open Democracy–Russia and Beyond. Ten years ago, Stanislav Markelov was murdered in Moscow. He defended anti-fascists and ecologists, mothers trying to defend their sons serving in the army and citizens of Blagoveshchensk brutalised at the hands of the riot police, the relatives of Elza Kungayeva (murdered by a Russian soldier in Chechnya) and journalist Mikhail Beketov, who was brutally assaulted for coveri ..

[PODCAST] Seasons in the Sun: Ukrainian and Bulgarian Workers in Bulgarian All-Inclusive Tourism

We are introducing the second episode of the podcast series “Europe is Working”. While the first installment delved into the political struggles of domestic workers in Spain, this second part proposes a journey to an all-inclusive resort on the Bulgarian coast where Bulgarians and Ukrainians find seasonal work. You will get a glimpse of the workers’ perceptions of their own work, their everyday life, and the impact of tourism on the Bulgarian labor market and society at large. This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the project “Towards Shared Interests between Mi ..

“Why I don’t recognize North Macedonia as my home country”

Note from LeftEast editors: Last week, Macedonia’s Parliament approved a constitutional amendment to change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia. Under the agreement, the country’s language will be called Macedonian and its people known as Macedonians/citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia. The new name will be used both internationally and bilaterally, so that even the 140 or more countries that recognise the name Macedonia will also have to adopt North Macedonia. In Macedonian, the name is Severna Makedonija. While mainstream media have described this vote as “histori ..

Statement by LevFem Regarding the Latest Demolition of Roma Houses in Bulgaria: please circulate widely

Anti-Roma racism, ethnophobia, and prejudice have reached intolerable proportions in Bulgarian government, the Bulgarian public sphere, and Bulgarian society at large. LevFem stands in solidarity with our Roma sisters and brothers who are subjected to incessant daily racist abuse, harassment, violence, and dehumanization, and navigate countless forms of prejudice while surviving an increasingly hostile racist, ethnophobic, and xenophobic social environment. On January 9, Vice Prime Minister of Bulgaria Krasimir Karakachanov called bulldozers and began the demolition of informally-built Roma homes in the village o ..

[PODCAST] Taking Care of Solidarity: Domestic Workers Fighting for Their Rights in Spain

The series “Europe is Working” is in an inquiry into EU workers’ everyday workplace experiences, as well as into the possibility of solidarity and collective action across and despite different citizenship status. These podcasts are results of interviews with local and migrant workers as well as other relevant stakeholders (such as trade unionists or academics) across various economic sectors and European countries (Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Poland). This first episode explores how the organized migrant domestic and care workers find mutual ground with the feminist movement in Spain. Yo ..