Denying the Right to Simply Live: The Devastating Explosion in Beirut’s Port Brings Tragedy to Already Strained Conditions

The August 4th explosion in Beirut’s port is an unprecedented disaster. The explosion of 2700 tonnes of ammonium nitrite confiscated from a vessel in 2013 and stored in the Port, has killed over 135 people, injured over 5000, and left more than 300 000 homeless in a city of rubble and shattered glass. What caused the material to catch fire and explode is still unclear. This text takes a closer look at the Port and the neighbourhoods affected, and the socio-economic moment in which the explosion happened. Continue reading →

Rainbow Resistance: The Fight of LGBTQ Activists in Poland against Post-Election Repressions

Only one day after the Polish National Electoral Commission announced the incumbent president Andrzej Duda as the winner of the close runoff elections, a queer activist was arrested in Warsaw. According to witnesses, Margot’s arrest looked more like a kidnapping because ununiformed police officers handcuffed her with the use of force and dragged her out of her friend’s flat. (...) Queers have become public enemy number one in Poland. Continue reading →

Normality or Solidarity – The Worrying Undertones of Eastern European (Post)pandemic Governance

It is no surprise that this region was one of the first to discuss travel corridors in otherwise unstable global conditions. Unthinkable in this moment is the notion of solidarity and resource-sharing. In short, there are multiple realities we have to reckon with: one is that these countries who are pioneering certain politics of exclusion and normalcy are loaded with emergency health infrastructure; and the second, is the fact that there are other countries who have been inflicted with the unfortunate scenario of high infection rates and extremely low emergency infrastructures. Continue reading →

Fighting Back against Hungary’s Ban on Legal Gender Recognition: An Interview with Tina Kolos Orban (Transvanilla Transgender Association)

Hungary's new law "seems to be part of the broader war of the government on gender. Defining sex at birth as an unchangeable characteristic is part of that discourse and is an obvious attack on the right of trans and intersex people in Hungary. The situation for trans people was getting worse in the past years but we did not experienced targeted attacks before this law proposal." Continue reading →

Whiteness: “Race,” Capitalism, US, Eastern Europe

Interview excerpt: "For us, in our part of the world, one of the most breathtaking aspects of the history of the Haitian Revolution is that the Polish battalion sent there by the French switched sides and supported the uprising. Mind you, some of the Polish survivors ended up settling there, and there are even today proud Haitians who claim, partly, Polish family heritage. There are many intricacies to this story. My point is that, in the late-18th, early-19th century, it was still possible for east European subjects to experience a political, moral and emotional identification with Black people and the objecti ..

“Your Security Terrorizes”: An Interview with Ana Ivasiuc

That is an alternative political project worth thinking about: how to replace security with solidarity? In this light, I am profoundly against using the word ‘security’ in progressive political activism. To claim that the security of the subaltern is important, too, is to be blind to the fact that the powerful and propertied can never take that claim seriously in a system built on the primacy of property and of capital. Continue reading →

Mass protest in Serbia and an attempt of state-led demobilisation

Note from LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared in Dversia on 07.10.2020. “Tear gas, rubber bullets, and batons against bare-handed youth! Dad, this is for you who died and there was no respirator! (..) This is for you and for my newborn son! There were no respirators in the Zemun hospital while they (the National Crises Team) were talking about giving away respirators as presents to others. Dad this is for you! I know you would be proud. ” This is a statement uttered by one of the protestors to a N1 TV journalist during the first night of the mass mobilizations that took place in Belgrade on Jul ..

Elections in Croatia see the emergence of the first left pole since the country’s independence from Yugoslavia

Note from LeftEast editors: We post this article in cooperation with Counterfire. Despite left gains, early elections paid off for the ruling centre-right party, writes Vladimir Unkovski-Korica On Sunday 5 July, Croatia held early parliamentary elections. Turnout was only 46 percent, reflecting low levels of engagement with official politics. Despite this, the ruling conservative party won handsomely. That was unexpected. Polls had been tight in the run-up to the election. But, with almost 97 percent of the vote counted, the ruling centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won 66 seats out of 151. This contras ..