What is happening in Lebanon is truly special. It is special in terms of local and regional politics and it is special as a more specific instance of the struggle against the rule of neo-liberal capitalism in the world. Lebanon’s capitalism has always been extreme and reactionary. When people talked about laissez-faire capitalism, Lebanon’s capitalism was described as laissez-tout-faire so bereft it was of any governmental control on capital accumulation. This is still the case, and in the neo-liberal age, Lebanese capitalism remains extreme and reactionary in its complete obliviousness to anything th ..
On the 26th of July, Alexandra Măceșanu, aged 15, was declared missing. The teenage girl had been kidnapped 3 days prior from nearby the city of Caracal, in the south of Romania, held against her will and raped by 65-year-old Gheorghe Dincă. Dincă confessed not only to her murder, but also to that of Luiza Melencu, who had been declared missing in April. The shock caused in society by these events continued in the days that followed, when we learnt that Alexandra had struggled and managed to call the police three times during the days of her abduction, before being murdered. Police agents did not just fail to ..
For the past few weeks, protests for fair elections in upcoming municipal polls have become weekly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as thousands have defied authorities to attend unsanctioned rallies. The police crackdown has been particularly harsh in Moscow. Protests on July 27 and August 3 resulted in over 2000 detentions. Images of police in riot gear wrestling citizens to the ground and beating peaceful protesters were reminiscent of the mass protests against election fraud in 2011-2012. LeftEast is happy to share this interview Sean Guillory (of Sean’s Russia Blog fame) conducted with members of the Russi ..
In the Russian capital, administrative wrangling by the Moscow authorities has provoked mobilisation from below – capitalising on long-held discontent by city residents. Thanks to Open Democracy-Russia, LeftEast is able to share the following interview with Alexander Zamyatin, municipal deputy in Zyuzino, Moscow. He is chief editor of Mirror. In defiance of expectations, this year’s elections to the Moscow City Council have turned into a chain of political scandals and street protests. And in response, large-scale protest actions have been held in the city centre since mid-July. Public meetings with indep ..
What PD and LSI leaders hope is that by withdrawing momentously from political privileges, such as the MP salary, they will be accepted by the popular classes as their genuine political representatives. In addition, they have tried to imitate some of the slogans, the gestures, and ideas of the student movement. They promise an uncompromising war against the oligarchs, and organized crime, tuition-free universities, the implementation of other important social rights, while maintaining, in a characteristic right-populist agenda, neoliberal economic policies like a 9% flat tax, and other pro-business mantra. Secret ..
In this article originally written for OpenDemocracy-Russia, you will learn of the warning strikes taking place this summer at Estonian universities. Recent academic strikes in Tartu and Tallinn show that staff in Estonian universities have the determination to fight for a long overdue increase in funding. Thestrikesat Estonia’s two centres of higher education and research were a direct response to a state budget announcement in which the higher education sector was once again sidelined. This kind of display of collective unity is remarkable in the highly individualistic Estonian academy. Given that grassroots ..
What would happen if Russia’s healthcare system went on strike? Read this OpenDemocracy-Russia interview with healthcare union leader Andrey Konoval to find out. Russia’s public healthcare system is facing significant problems, and staff are coming out as a result. Ambulance teams in Penza region, central Russia, recently called a work-to-rule action, bringing out more than 100 people in support of better wages and conditions, on the heels of asimilar action by Novgorod region ambulance teams. This wave of mobilisation is connected to serious overwork, staff cutbacks and shortages – which have arisen as ..
The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 was marked by a wave of mass anti-government protests in Belgrade. The direct cause for the first protest held on December 8th was the attack on the leader of the Serbian Left, Borko Stefanović, ahead of a forum of the newly formed coalition of the opposition parties, Alliance for Serbia, in the City of Kruševac. The first protest was organized by the Alliance under the banner “Stop to Bloody Shirts”. After the crowd expressed its dissatisfaction with the proposals to continue protests after the New Year break, the organization of the protest was taken over by an al ..
This post is published with the permission of FocaalBlog, the blog of Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. In recent weeks, Hungary has again made international headlines. This time, it was a popular movement born out of resistance to the latest rewriting of the labor code—which the ruling Fidesz party had already modified in 2011 to the benefit of employers—that made the news. On 12 December, amid chaotic scenes in the National Assembly (where opposition MPs sought to obstruct the voting procedure), Fidesz passed a law that raises the maximum amount of overtime employees can wor ..
Note from LeftEast editors: We repost this article in collaboration with Counterfire where it was originally published on 29th of December 2018. ‘No Christmas for the bourgeoisie!’ declared graffiti on a wall in Paris as the Gilets Jaunes protests electrified Europe since their first protest on 17 November. Even before the series of French protests had begun, and hardly mentioned in Western media outlets, demonstrations had spread across thirty cities and towns against similar fuel-related measures in Bulgaria starting on 11 November. But they too started wearing yellow vests which had become the visual cha ..