Tag Archives: protests

Gender Studies in Hungary are now being linked to broader struggles: Interview with Anikó Gregor 

LeftEast editor Agnes Gagyi spoke to Anikó Gregor, one of the faculty in charge of the Gender Studies masters program at Budapest-based Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), shut down by the governments de-accreditation of Gender Studies programs in November. Gregor’s analysis places the ban in the context of Fidesz’s strategy of emphasizing liberal democracy’s failures, economic repositioning away from the EU and the privatization of higher education. It provides insight into the emerging links with Anti-Slave Law protests happening in the country for the past two weeks.   In international news, current pr ..

With 10,000 People on the Streets, The Slave Law Means a New Phase

The Hungarian Parliament  accepted a bill referred to as “slave law” on December 12th in a scandalous session.. The governing party endorsed the proposition with no social dialogue beforehand. Setting new standards for maximum overtime and its payment the bill sparked outrage and militant protests unseen for over a decade. The parallel privatisation of a university and attacks on academic freedom put students next to workers in the line. The opposition also found its voice while the government blames on George Soros. Newly emerged possibilities place great stress on the trade union movement, opposition parti ..

The gilets jaunes have shattered the false opposition between “reasonable politicians” and “populists”

Originally published in Croatian at Bilten. Translated by James Robertson. One of the key characteristics of populism, if we are to believe concerned Europeans, is a certain fiscal nonchalance. Populists, that is, are not worried about the “social physics” which stand behind a balanced budget. They throw money around as if there is no tomorrow. And thus they threaten both economic and political stability. Such are the fears raised among the European establishment by the current Italian government, a coalition of the League and the Five Star Movement. For a month now, the Italian government has been in ..

Student protests in Albania: “What we are witnessing is the direct effect of the neoliberal reform in education”

Note from LeftEast editors: This interview originally appeared on the Revolution Permanente website. Albanian students are protesting en masse against a new hike in tuition fees in one of the poorest countries of the continent. While the medium wage in Albania is 350 euros per month, the tuition fees can go up to 2000 euros per year. Government wanted to make students pay for retake exams but it was forced to retreat to try to calm down the movement. But it seems not enough. We interviewed Redi Muçi, lecturer at the Faculty of Geology and Mining and member of Movement For University (Levizja Për Universitetin), ..

What is fueling the fuel price protests in Bulgaria?

The price of fuel has become the focal point of anti-austerity protests and not only in France. On November 11 2018, or one day after the 29th anniversary of the mythical November 10th  1989, celebrated as the day when the Bulgarian Communist Party GenSec Todor Zhivkov filed his resignation and ushered in the disparate panoply of changes known as the “Transition”, a protest called on the people of Sofia to rise up against the prices of fuel, of the mandatory car insurance and the proposed new taxes to be levied on old cars. The protests quickly spread engulfing more than 30 cities and towns, blocking highway ..

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 ..