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 ..
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 ..
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 ..
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 ..
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 ..
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 ..
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 ..
The Slovak national anthem begins with this dramatic stanza: “That Slovakia of ours / has been asleep so far / but the thunder’s lightning / is rousing it / to come to.” And it continues in a similar spirit: “Slovakia already arises / tears off its shackles.” While the author Janko Matuška, a member of the insurgent mid-nineteenth-century Romantic movement, referred to the then incipient “awakening” of the Slovak nation, the image conjured by the opening lines is even today reflected in one of the Slovaks’ favourite autostereotypes: that they are “sleepy” i ..
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 ..
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 ..