Tag Archives: social movements

Radicalizing the Sanctuary Movement

In December of 2016, students organized several “sanctuary campuses” across the City University of New York (CUNY) system, one of the largest university systems in the U.S. Reeling from the victory of Donald Trump, activists organized sanctuary “safe spaces,” working with university administrators to ensure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigators would have limited access to background information, and to set up a system that reported harassment and intimidation of “undocumented” students. Disgust with the explicit racism of the current political regime is the basis for the sanctu ..

The times they are a changing: Rebuilding collective action in Albania

Following a wave of protests in Zharrez, Albania, Griselda Qosja spoke with activists affiliated with two of the leading leftist organizations in Albania, Organizata Politike and Thurje. From Aristotle to Hegel, the distinction between state and market has been the basis of understanding the role of civil society. In Albania, however, since the 1990s, unfortunately the role of civic activism has been often marginalized in public opinion, and perceived as an agent linked to the Open Society Foundation (OSF)[1] or backed by foreign embassies. Probably, an atavism of the communist regime, where the fight against fo ..

New hope for the Balkans, New Formations on the Left

This is the text of a speech by Pavle Ilić – a sociology student at the University of Belgrade, a member of Marks21 in Serbia, and a contributor to LeftEast – that was delivered at the Marx is Muss conference in Berlin earlier this year. Pavle was on the panel entitled New Hope on the Balkan Left, which took place on Saturday, 7 May 2016. We re-publish the speech kindly produced by Pavle as a contribution to discussions on how to build the left in the region. Dear comrades, I would like to begin my talk by thanking the organizers of Marx Is Muss 2016 for inviting me to speak at this event. I w ..

VIDEO: TalkReal in Madrid: Beyond the Ballot Box

Note from the LeftEast editors: following the first show of TalkReal on the Greek Crisis, European Aleternatives’ Lorenzo Marsili and the team of TalkReal explore the situation with the upcoming Spanish general elections. Together with ROARmag and OpenDemocracy, LeftEast publishes the talk as a kindred web portal to the TalkReal initiative. From the indignados and 15M to housing struggles and municipalismo, Spain has been at the forefront of some of the most inspiring and effective social movements of recent years. With citizen-led coalitions now governing in Madrid and Barcelona, many people see the Span ..

Scalable Communities

By James Neimeister Words, like any signs, mean something. Not only do they allow us to string together thoughts, but they make an impact on the world. They structure what we see, as well as what we don’t. Searchable online words, went the commonly held view, would usher in a new era wherein each person could be free to discover their “tribe” and form new communities of like-minded individuals. Signs, after all, are markers of identity, a way of waving “Hey!” to other people, to recognize tribes. But, bounding unpredictably across the planet, signs take on new meanings as they move from contex ..

Anti-militarisation protests in Japan. An interview with Chie Matsumoto.

On August 30, tens of thousands of people (120,000, according to organizers), protested outside the Japanese parliament against new military legislation that would allow the military to fight abroad. This would happen for the first time since World War II to Japanese troops. According to its constitution, Japan is barred from using force to resolve conflicts except in cases of legitimate defense. But a re-interpretation of the law will now allow ”collective self-defense”- using force to defend allies under attack. The demonstrators protested in front of the Japanese Diet to the cry of “Save Japa ..

Mapping the Hungarian Left: parties and movements

By 2010, after eight years in government the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) had eroded the popularity to such an extent that MSZP lost 60% of its former voters (1.4 million people) and its traditional coalition partner, the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) disappeared from the political map of Hungary. In parallel with the weakening of MSZP and the disappearance of SZDSZ new parties and movements have started to rise in an effort to become inevitable political actors at the time of the parliamentary elections in 2014. Along with the Hungarian party system, a new election law was passed by the ruling r ..

Post-colonial film club in Budapest. An interview with Tamás Gerőcs and Tibor Meszmann, Helyzet Group of Public Sociology.

Mariya Ivancheva interviewed Tamás Gerőcs and Tibor Meszmann about the post-colonialism film club of the Public Sociology Working Group ‘Helyzet’ on 18 February 2014, in Budapest. We are now at the Gólya Community Centre in Budapest. I would start with a question about how these three things, namely the Gólya (Stork) centre, the Helyzet (Position and situation) working group, and the post-colonialism film club are interrelated? Tibor T. Meszmann: Gólya is a community centre, and operates as a cooperative. Their idea is to attract leftist groups and offer them a location for their various activities. They ..

Ukraine’s protest movement: the far-right in focus. An interview with Tetiana Bezryk

An interview of James Robertson with Tetiana Bezryk. 1.In the past few weeks we’ve seen the government make significant concessions to the protests – the repeal of the anti-protest laws and the resignation of Prime Minister Azarov. Why has the government decided to make these compromises? Does this have anything to do with the recent radicalization of the protests (the confrontation with the police on Hrushevky street, the occupation of the Ministry of Justice)? First of all, it is worth mentioning that these new-old laws, which were adopted on January 16, the so-called ‘Black Thursday laws̵ ..

VIDEO: A talk with Sandro Mezzadra in Budapest

Interviewers: Raia Apostolova and Mathias Fiedler On June 22 a group of migrants declared a hunger strike in Munich, Germany. The strike struck at the heart of the European Empire which in the last decades has been the source of the migration policies responsible for the production and further reinforcement of the European Apartheid and flexibilization of labor and class hierarchies. Stripped of all political rights, migrants throughout Europe often resort to hunger striking as their only weapon against the imposition of violence through practices such as deportations and detentions. After more than a year of fie ..