Tag Archives: protests

Class and minority struggles in Iran today: Interview with Kamran Matin

Following Donald Trump’s repudiation of the Iran sanctions deal and threats of war and the economic protests that brought thousands of people out to the streets against the country’s government, the Islamic Republic is now increasing its repression in the predominantly Kurdish Northwest. LeftEast’s interview with Dr. Kamran Matin of the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex begins with the Kurdish question, but touches on the relationship between all three phenomena from a leftist perspective. LE: Can you give us a timeline of the general strike in Iranian Kurdistan following ..

Russia’s Electoral Circus

September 9, 2018 saw regional elections on a massive scale in Russia, with 4,000 representative seats, at various levels of government, at stake: special elections for 7 deputies in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma; 26 of the 85 heads of regional governments across Russia; as well as elections to regional parliaments and representative organs of administrative centers. Elections in Russia long ago ceased to generate any hopes of real, practical potential for change. The results, as a rule, are known in advance – and in the unlikely chance of an authentic “struggle,” it’s i ..

The putsch that never was: Romanian PSD in turmoil

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Balkan web-portal Bilten.org. The original publication can be found here. Liviu Dragnea, the head of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), recently survived a small rebellion. A few of his colleagues asked him to resign his positions as head of the party and head of the Lower House in Parliament. However, Dragnea, whose nickname Daddy evokes the patriarchal atmosphere of a famous Tennessee Williams play, managed to win this battle. Or at least this is what is visible publicly: the internal vote went heavily in favor for Dragne ..

“Yerevan Spring”: A New Day For Armenian Democracy?

On Tuesday, April 17, when the Republic of Armenia got its first prime minister as it transitioned from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary system, the new boss looked suspiciously like the old boss. Serge Sargsyan, who served for ten years as the country’s president and spearheaded the constitutional changes as he approached his two-term limit, was named the country’s prime minister without being directly elected to that office by the Armenian people. With no term limits under the new constitution, he was poised to potentially stay in power indefinitely. That is, until the thousands of people peacefully f ..

Armenia: “a mass movement the country never has seen before” (an interview with Hovhannes Gevorkian)

A mass movement in Armenia pushed out the Prime Minister and former president Serj Sargsyan. Even if liberal currents are trying to channel the movement and gain electoral support, this event could also be a positive move for the oppressed youth and the working class in the country. We interviewed Hovhannes Gevorkian, an Armenian student of Law in Berlin and member of the Revolutionären Internationalistischen Organisation (RIO) of Germany. The interview was conducted by Philippe Alcoy (PA). PA: How did the movement start? Is it the first time that people demonstrate against the government? The movement started a ..

Macedonia’s Grassroots Resistance to Mining: A Struggle for the South-Eastern Region’s Survival

Editors’ note: this text has been published in cooperation with Bilten.org, where it first appeared on 28.02.2018. “For fifteen years now my family and I have been investing in organic agriculture, working the land together with my children to build a better life for them in our homeland,” says Dimche Baleski, an organic producer from the municipality of Valandovo, during a public debate on proposed amendments to the Law on Minerals held at the Macedonian Parliament on 1 February 2018. He continues: “And now, without any consultation with us, the affected community, you set up a ticking bomb in our yards ..

On the Macedonian question: Statement from DEA and the Red Network

Concerning the recent developments in the Balkans, DEA and the Red Network state the following: The background to understand recent events is the initiative of USA-NATO and the EU to impose a new “stability” and control to the region, by establishing an immediate connection of all the countries with the major imperialist organizations. The timeframe that has already been announced (the EU Summit in Sofia at the end of May and the NATO Summit at the end of June) highlights that they are moving in a fast pace to address the difficulties that Western imperialism is facing in the Middle East, and the turn of Turk ..

Solidarity undone: the left-green protest that didn’t happen in Bulgaria

The recent protests against the destruction of the national park in Bulgaria’s Pirin mountain reveals the relation of forces in Bulgaria’s green movement. The start of Bulgaria’s EU Council presidency on 11 January 2018 put the country into the focus of European public opinion. As usual, the spotlight was on the progress of Bulgaria’s integration into the EU and, unsurprisingly, on the ‘cloud of corruption’ hanging over the country. While PM Borisov obediently promised to tackle this issues within the next two to three years, people across Bulgaria took to the streets, seizing the opportunity ..

‘’Bread, jobs and freedom”: A conversation with Soheil Asefi about the street protests in Iran, neoliberal policies and Imperialist threats.

Soheil Asefi is an independent leftist journalist and academic. At a very young age, he started writing articles and working for various media and publications, both in cyber and print media. As part of his work, he covered the Majlis [Iranian parliament] and has interviewed numerous high-ranking government officials in Iran. He was arrested in 2007 and spent several months at the Evin prison in Tehran, mostly in solitary confinement at the notorious 209 ward. After being temporary released on bail and barred from continuing his professional work and education in Iran, he left Iran for Germany as “a writer in e ..

We knew, but we could not believe: a short essay about Iranians’ attitude towards the current protests

933 Of course everyone knew! Amidst family photos, selfies, and anecdotes, other types of pictures have surfaced on social media. These images have spread, bit by bit, news of horror across the country: homeless sleeping in empty graves, 3 to 7 million child labourers employed, humans used as border couriers in Kurdistan, an unfolding fresh water crisis in major cities, a soaring number of ghost towns around Mashahd, rows and rows of homeless sleeping on the streets of Tehran, lake Urmia drying up, workers losing their money to banks and depository institutions, the poor selling their organs to the rich, workers ..