Julian Assange døyr i fengsel – Verda ser på – Pressa sviktar!

– Julian Assange dør i Belmarsh-fengselet. Og vår ære dør med ham.

Eva Joly (foto: Wikemedia Matthieu Riegler, CC) Bakgrunnsbilde: Shutterstock.

Assange er i ferd med å dø i fengsel fordi han gjorde det mulig for oss å vite. Dette skriver politikeren og juristen Eva Joly i en kronikk som blant annet er publisert i Aftenposten. Joly skriver:

«Året var 2010. Noen av de mest prestisjetunge avisene i Europa og resten av verden samarbeidet med det den gang ukjente nettstedet Wikileaks, grunnlagt av Julian Assange. Sammen offentliggjorde de verdifull informasjon om krigene som USA og dets allierte førte i Irak og Afghanistan.

Alle ledende aviser fra New York Times til Der Spiegel, fra El Pais til Le Monde, benyttet seg av de hemmelige dokumentene fra den amerikanske hæren som Wikileaks hadde skaffet seg tilgang til.

De sorterte og analyserte dokumentene, og de publiserte dem fordi de mente det var nødvendig å gjøre verden kjent med overgrepene og utpressingen som ble begått i demokratiets navn etter angrepet på World Trade Center.»

I slutten av 2010 tildelte Le Monde Julian Assange prisen som «årets person». Mange journalister og aviser fikk utmerkelser. Avisa Aftenposten var en av dem. Aftenposten ble i 2011 belønnet med prisen for beste avsløring da de europeiske medieprisene Schibsted Journalism Awards på grunn av sine artikler basert på avsløringene til Wikileaks. Nyhetsredaktør Ole Erik Almlid tok imot prisen og sa:

– Det ble en stor verdensnyhet at Aftenposten fikk tak i disse dokumentene. Men det viktigste har vært de over 200 eksklusive nyhetssakene til leserne.

Nå holder Assange på å dø i fengsel og hvor er Aftenposten da?

Eva Joly er, med rette nådeløs når hun skriver:

«Nesten ti år har gått, og i dag er Julian Assange i fengsel, i isolasjon i Belmarsh høysikkerhetsfengsel i Storbritannia. Belmarsh-fengselet er kjent for hovedsakelig å huse høyprofilerte terrorister og blir kalt «den britiske versjonen av Guantanamo Bay».

Over 60 leger fra hele verden har forsøkt å varsle myndighetene og offentligheten om Assanges fysiske og mentale helse. De frykter at han kan komme til å dø i fengselet.

Og hva har reaksjonene vært? De samme journalister som ivrig gjorde bruk av informasjonen som ble gitt dem av Assange og teamet hans, som publiserte utallige artikler om overgrep og krigsforbrytelser begått av de allierte i Irak og Afghanistan, har i det store og hele ignorert prøvelsene til mannen som skaffet dem informasjonen til disse nyhetsreportasjene.»

De kunne sole seg i glansen da de brukte det stoffet Julian Assange og Wikileaks hadde publisert. Men nå som Storbritannia på vegne av USA langsomt tar livet av ham, ser de en annen vei og begår forræderi mot den kollegaen som serverte dem prisene på et fat.

Assange er utsatt for en serie juridiske og andre overgrep helt fra den såkalte «voldtektssaka» i Sverige, som det aldri ble noe hold i og som bare fungerte som påskudd til å jage ham i asyl i Ecuadors ambassade i London der han ble overvåket av CIA 24 timer i døgnet. Og til også Ecuador forrådte ham og overleverte ham til britisk politi og han ble satt i britenes versjon av Guantanamo. Alle legerapporter sier at han kan komme til å dø der, hvis han da ikke, uten juridisk bistand blir utlevert til USA hvor han risikerer 175 års fengsel.

Eva Joly avslutter:

«Mediene og alle vi andre kan ikke lenger bare se vekk. En mann er i ferd med å dø i Belmarsh-fengselet. Og vår ære dør med ham.»

Det gjelder også ikke minst Aftenposten, som daglig svikter mannen som ga dem prisene de var så stolte av. Dør Assange i fengselet, dør også Aftenpostens ære med ham.

Og mangelen på ære gjelder også Aftenpostens kolleger Dagbladet og Bergens Tidende. Under Holbergdebatten i 2018 var WikiLeaks-grunnlegger Julian Assange invitert som en av talerne. Eirik Vold skrev etterpå:

«De eneste store dagsavisene som dekket Holberg-debatten var Bergens Tidende (BT) og Dagbladet. Deres artikler hadde det til felles at de ikke refererte mer enn en setning om gangen av innholdet i innleggende og at de fokuserte på at Assange ikke burde fått snakke eller burde fått snakke mindre. BTs Eirin Eikefjord kalte hele debatten en «fabrikk for falske nyheter» og prioriterte personsjikane – som å kalle Assange en «paranoid narsissistisk klovn» – og konspirasjonsteorier om at han står i ledtog med Russland. Dagbladets Inger Merete Hobbelstad påstod at Assange fikk snakke «uimotsagt» og skrev selv at bare det å se Assange og journalist og dokumentarfilmskaper John Pilger på talelisten, var grunn nok til «å ane uråd» om hele debatten.»

Vold minner også om at Washington Times publiserte en kronikk med tittelen «Assassinate Assange?» og Fox News hadde sending med Bob Beckel som krevde at «horesønnen Assange» måtte skytes. Etter dette fikk Bob Beckel jobb som liberal kommentarer på CNN under valgkamprn i 2016 i USA.

Store deler av den såkalte «seriøse» og «liberale» pressa står allerede æreløse igjen. Og prisvinnerne fra den gangen kan kose seg i sine trygge karrierer mens deres kollega som ga dem prisene dør uten at de legger to pinner i kors for å hjelpe ham.

Les om Julian Assange på steigan.no her.

Nyblogga frå steigan.no

Eva Joly sin kronikk på fransk, lemonde.fr

Sjå også om Julian Assange på ivarjordre:

No Extradition of Julian Assange!

 

Julian Assange Arrested in London – Shame on Ecuador President!

Posta under Europa, Politikk, samfunn, Vår globale verd | Merkt , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

The Rich World Elite at Davos and THEIR MONEY-BRAIN DAMAGE!

Politicians and billionaires strike dodgy deals at Davos

by Gabby Thorpe – Mon 20 Jan 2020, socialistworker.co.uk


sdg

Delegates are ready to cook up deals (Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr)


Billionaire bosses, politicians and celebrities descended on Davos in Switzerland this week for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF was set up to “improve the state of the world”. But in reality, it’s just a chance for politicians and billionaires to make deals.

Among guests will be climate activist Greta Thunberg and US president Donald Trump. Trump is set to give a speech on Tuesday, as his impeachment trial begins in the senate.

Oxfam has published its annual report on inequality ahead of the conference. The report showed that the 2,153 billionaires in the world have more wealth than 4.6 billion people.

And the 22 richest men have more wealth than the 326 million women over 20 years old living in Africa.

Oxfam says that the number of billionaires has doubled over the last year, at the cost of ordinary people.

The report focusses on how wealth inequality disproportionately affects women. Women and girls carry out more than 75 percent of unpaid care work globally.

Some 42 per cent of women across the world can’t go into paid employment because they are responsible for taking care of someone else. Those who have paid jobs in care have to put up with irregular hours and poor pay.

Contributes

Calculations carried out by Oxfam revealed that the care work carried out by women contributes over £8.3 trillion to the global economy.

According to the report, a rise of just 0.5 percent in taxes on the richest one percent over ten years would equal enough investment to create 117 million jobs in care sectors.

This job creation would help to ease the immense burden put on women around the world.

Amitabh Behar, the CEO of Oxfam India, is attending WEF to represent the charity. He said, “Governments created the inequality crisis—they must act now to end it.

“They must ensure corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share of tax and increase investment in public services and infrastructure.”

Climate change is also set to be on the agenda in Davos. The International Monetary Fund has warned that the economy is vulnerable to the climate emergency. But it’s the ruling classes that are causing the crisis.

Hundreds of climate protesters embarked on a three day march to Davos on Sunday. Rosalina Mueller from co-organisers Young Socialists said, “They say they want to make the world better, but for 50 years they haven’t done anything.”

Those attending WEF won’t make plans to end inequality or deal with climate change. The only way to put a stop to these issues is by ending the capitalist system that profits from them.


Billionaires gather at Davos – the rich gloat as planet burns

Tue 21 Jan 2020 – socialistworker.co.uk


Mass movements for radical change are the way to save the planet - not relying on the rich and politicians

Mass movements for radical change are the way to save the planet – not relying on the rich and politicians (Pic: Andrew McGowan)


“Without treating this as a real crisis we cannot solve it,” was the rallying cry from school climate strike leader Greta Thunberg to world leaders this week.

Unfortunately for her—and for us—they won’t listen.

Speaking at the Davos conference, hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Thunberg joined climate activists Autumn Peltier, Salvador Gomez-Colon and Natasha Wang Mwansa.

Billionaires and politicians gathered at the ski resort in Switzerland to discuss its key theme—“stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world”.

Also due to speak on the climate crisis was Bank of England governor Mark Carney and former US vice president Al Gore.

Ahead of Davos, Thunberg and other strike leaders demanded that governments and companies halt investment, extraction and subsidies for fossil fuels.

But for the fossil fuel magnates and banking fat cats crammed into the conference halls in Davos, nothing of the sort is planned.

The tiny minority who fill the world’s boardrooms and sign off on new fossil fuels explorations plan to expand operations, not cut back.

Super-rich

Davos doesn’t challenge rule by the handful of super-rich—it entrenches it.

It allows the scum at the top of society to hobnob with each other, all while pretending to care about the fact that the planet is on fire.

It’s not just that they represent a rotten system. Davos delegates lack the power or the will to challenge the system as a whole.

The answer isn’t more conferences of the rich and powerful to shore up their capitalist system—it’s to build a force powerful enough to take them on.

The fight for our lives—and our world—is on.

It will mean building a society that can take on the causes of extreme weather, rising sea levels, soaring temperatures, floods and species extinction.

Everyone who cares about the future of the planet should throw themselves into building a force powerful enough to take on the power and resources of the Trumps or Carneys of this world.

The bosses at Davos pay lip service to the climate emergency—but they don’t have the same interests as us.

Their priority is clinging on to their wealth and power, whatever the environmental cost. Our battle is to fight for a sustainable world built on the interests of the planet and ordinary people.

Posta under Capitalism, Environment, Our global world | Merkt , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Bergen kommune har datatryggleiks- og personvernproblem

Bergen kommune må ta datasikkerhet og personvern på større alvor

I lys av Vigilo-skandalen mener bystyregruppen til Rødt at Bergen kommune har all grunn til å skjerpe rutiner for bruk og innkjøp av systemer som benyttes til å håndtere data. Denne kritikken gjelder særlig byrådsavdeling for barnehage, skole og idrett.

De siste årene har vi vært vitne til flere kritikkverdige forhold i denne avdelingen. Ved siden av Vigilo-saken, vil vi peke på to andre forhold:

1. I fjor ble det kjent at en (den gang) 12 år gammel gutt hadde oppdaget feil og mangler i kommunens datasystem for bergensskolene. Da reagerte byrådsavdelingen med å anmelde gutten, eller «forholdet» som de kalte det. Anmeldelsen ble siden trukket tilbake og kommunen beklaget overfor gutten og hans familie. Saken viser likevel at Bergen kommune hadde for dårlige rutiner for å håndtere varsler, og at det personvernet ikke ble ivaretatt i skolenes datasystem. Datatilsynet konkluderte med å gi Bergen kommune pålegg, mens komité for barnehage, skole og idrett gjennomførte en høring om saken. Den gangen ble det ikke konkludert med mistillit.

2. I 2018 hadde Bergen kommune gått til innkjøp av Google Chromebook til bergenske elever. Kommunen hadde fått kjøpe maskinene svært billig (nærmest til kostpris) og med gratis programvare. Denne saken kan ikke sammenlignes med Vigilo eller den 12 år gamle varsleren i alvorlighetsgrad, samt direkte, umiddelbare konsekvenser for enkeltpersoner, men den vitner om at den samme byrådsavdelingen har et naivt forhold til innkjøp av datautstyr. Google har all interesse av at elevene skal tilpasses deres verktøy, i tillegg til at spørsmålet om datasikkerhet melder seg.

Befolkningen i Bergen skal føle seg trygge på at kommunen ivaretar det grunnleggende personvernet.

På denne bakgrunn er det særlig to forhold Rødts bystyregruppe vil understreke:

1. Det første er det mest åpenbare, og kanskje viktigste tiltaket for at vi kan unngå skandaler som Vigilo-skandalen: Kommunen, og særlig byrådsavdeling for barnehage, skole og idrett må ta personvern og datasikkerhet på større alvor. Byråden må sørge for gode rutiner, og at datasikkerhet og personvern er lengst fremme i bevisstheten i alle ledd av organisasjonen. Ansatte må bevisstgjøres, og bruk av datautstyr må vurderes ut fra personvernhensyn. I tillegg må varslere tas vare på, og rutiner for varsling må fungere optimalt. Hvis noen melder ifra om at noe er galt, må dette tydelig verdsettes og tas på det største alvor.

2. Bergen kommune må få en langt mer kritisk innkjøpspolitikk, der personvernhensyn og datasikkerhet alltid kommer i første rekke. Pris skal aldri trumfe disse hensynene. Dersom kommunen ikke finner systemer som ivaretar disse hensynene, mener vi det er bedre å la være å kjøpe inn nytt utstyr.

Bystyregruppen mener Vigilo-skandalen er svært alvorlig, og har vært pådriver for å få denne saken og dens konsekvenser fram i lyset i full bredde. Vi mener kommunen må ta grep (særlig den aktuelle byrådsavdelingen), samtidig som vi synes det er vanskelig å se hvordan et mistillitsforslag mot byråden vil være det verktøyet som bidrar til dette. Her har det skjedd feil i flere ledd, og selv om byråden har det øverste ansvaret, oppfatter vi det ikke slik at skandalen først og fremst skyldes at byråden ikke har gjort det som kunne forventes i denne situasjonen.

Ansvaret vi mener byråden nå må ta, er å sørge for at dette aldri skjer igjen, og at Bergen kommune tar et større ansvar for at vi bruker varer og tjenester som ikke setter menneskers trygghet i fare. Befolkningen i Bergen skal føle seg trygge på at kommunen ivaretar Det grunnleggende personvernet. Flere kommuner har brukt Vigilo-appen, og vi oppfatter at problemet kommunen står overfor også handler om hva slags krav vi stiller til leverandører. Med stor sannsynlighet er det flere kommuner som tar for lett på datasikkerhet. Det er ingen unnskyldning for Bergen, men en desto viktigere grunn til å gjøre noe med dette problemet. Det er nå det gjelder.

Rødt vil følge kommunen nøye på dette punktet i tiden fremover og stille strenge krav til byrådet. Vi er ikke fornøyde, og vi krever en ny praksis i Bergen kommune.

Bystyregruppa til Raudt Bergen – rødt.no/bergen

Posta under Noreg - Norway, Politikk, samfunn | Merkt , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Ei utruleg merkeleg regjering – Og «MORNA JENSEN»!

Roar Hagen, teikning, VG

Er dette ei svart natt for Solberg-regjeringa? Eller er dei ein svart politisk komedie? Kanskje begge delar. I alle fall er det sjeldan me har parti, Framstegspartiet, i ein koalisjon som er så arrogante at dei set ultimatum på sin eigen fallitt som styringsparti. At dei vil ha endå meir gjennom av sin nyliberale agenda av privatiseringar, sal av statlege føretak, mindre stat og meir marknad, er ikkje å undrast. Men, dei har jammen fenge gjennom nok av øydeleggingar av velferdstaten. Takka vera ei velvillig og makthungrig borgarleg regjering.

Fleirtalsregjering for Erna Solberg er så viktig at kompromissa flyt over. Men, fleire saker er «varme poteter» for Frp. Tida for urolegheiter og usemje i regjeringa er over, sa Solberg nyleg. Slik virkar det ikkje i realiteten: Før valet i fjor var det bompengekrise i regjeringa. No er det ei attkomen kvinne frå Syria med to ungar, ein sjuk gut, som kjem heim att til Noreg, som er krisa. Frp ville ikkje ha denne «IS-kvinna» og kallar dette ikkje moralsk feil å ikkje hjelpa henne. Denne no 29 år gamle kvinna er frå Oslo og kom inn i det ekstreme islamistmiljøet og hamna seinare i dei IS-kontrollerte områda i Syria.
I 2015 ba ho UD om å få hjelp ut, men fekk det ikkje. Trusselbiletet til Frp er overdrive, ingen kjem heim att til Noreg utan oppfølging og rettsforfylging. Det er det eine. Det andre er at det å hevda at denne eine kvinne er ein risiko for landet si sikkerheit, er ein ganske sterk påstand. Med dette som grunnlag truga Frp å gå ut av regjeringa.

      Roar Hagen, teikning, VG

Kva med å sjå litt på andre risikofaktorar i Noreg, som t.d. høgreekstreme med bombeplanar. Tenk litt på det, Siv Jensen. I staden sette ho og partileiinga opp ei liste med krav dei skulle pressa Solberg med. Men, den lista fekk aldri Solberg. Ikkje før ho var skreven, trekte Frp seg frå regjeringa.  Så mykje for den saka!
Men, kva med dei andre partia, Venstre og Kristeleg Folkeparti, oppi desse krava.
Skulle Frp ikkje ha dei med i drøftingane? Dei var i alle fall ikkje særleg nøgde med Frp si framferd og eventuelle nydrøftingar av Granavoll-plattforma frå eitt år sidan. Det politiske sirkuset i regjeringa er dermed komplett. Og, no er det tre parti attende. Versågod, neste episode: Kva neste episode i denne bisarre følgjetongen inneheld er ikkje godt å seia. Ein ting er truleg sikker i alle fall, at underlegare regjeringskoalisjon har Noreg ikkje hatt på lang tid. Og, farleg er denne konstellasjonen også for privatiseringa og demonteringa av velferdsstaten, uansett tre eller fire parti. Difor må me få eit regjeringsskifte ved neste val om nærare to år. Verre enn den me har no kan det knappast verta, eller?

Av Ivar Jørdre

Posta under Noreg - Norway, Politikk, samfunn | Merkt , , | Kommenter innlegget

Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water

Blue Gold: World Water Wars

2008 film by Sam Bozzo

Blue Gold: World Water Wars is a 2008 documentary film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Sam Bozzo, based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke.It was produced by Mark Achbar and Si Litvinoff and was narrated by Malcolm McDowell. The film was first screened on October 9, 2008, at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Wikipedia

See also this new documentary (English speaking, Norwegian subtitles): This film shows how corporate greed, big bankers and hedgefonds are trying to take control over water supplies in Australia, USA, Britain. These cynical capitalists believe «The blue gold» will give them big profit in years to come, due to scarcity of water and population growth. The film also shows the growing fight and organized protests against this serious danger.

Urix spesial: Vann på børs (Urix special: Water on the stock exchange)

Vannmangel har blitt et internasjonalt problem. Det har gitt et helt nytt marked – kjøp og salg av vann. Men hva skjer egentlig når finansmarkedene tar kontroll over det dyrebare vannet?

Capitalism as Robbery – Solidarity

Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth: Six Theses on saving the humans

Capitalism used to promise a better future. Can it still do that …

If capitalism must end, what should replace it? – Climate & Capitalism – 1 Mar 2019 … His most recent book is Can the Working Class Change the World? … access to everything from schooling to drinking water; the spread of …

How do we stop capitalism from killing the planet?

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff review – we …

Posta under Capitalism, Climate Change, Environment, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , | Éin kommentar

Rosa Luxemburg in Memory – 101 Years Since the Murder

The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg review – tragedy and farce – Book Review

Klaus Gietinger’s investigation into the socialist revolutionary’s death, 100 years on, captures the absurdity of the trials that followed. But why is she significant?

Charisma and logic … Rosa Luxemburg.
Charisma and logic … Rosa Luxemburg. Photograph: World History Archive/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy

“Here is a world in disorder,” the chorus chant in an unfinished play that Bertolt Brecht started in 1926, “Who is then ready / To put it in order?” The answer was Rosa Luxemburg, but she wasn’t given a chance to do so. She and fellow Spartacist leader Karl Liebknecht were brutally murdered in January 1919, just when their moment seemed to have come.

Germany had surrendered, 40,000 German sailors had mutinied in Kiel and the kaiser had fled, leaving the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to take control in what they branded a revolution. But for the Spartacist League (breakaway communist members of the SPD) this wasn’t enough. Germany needed to follow Russia in a full-scale transformation. The SPD had betrayed the workers by voting for war in 1914 (Liebknecht was the only Reichstag member to vote against it) and remained hamstrung by combinations of conservatism, indecision and outright panic. On 4 January the government dismissed the communist-sympathising chief of police, sparking a widespread general strike. This became violent when the government instructed the GKSD (an elite paramilitary unit) to suppress the communists, prompting the Spartacists to urge armed revolt. On 15 January the GKSD captured Luxemburg and Liebknecht in Berlin; they were dead within a few hours.

Who killed them? At the time, the GKSD claimed that it was an angry throng. It quickly became clear that it was the GKSD who had carried out the murders, but the identity of the killers remained uncertain. In 1993 Klaus Gietinger published a book in Germany identifying the particular soldiers responsible for giving the orders and pressing the trigger. Now it has been published in English to coincide with the centenary of the murders, translated by Loren Balhorn.

Luxemberg’s killer is identified as Hermann Souchon, a GKSD officer. As Luxemburg was getting into the car transporting her to prison, Otto Runge struck her on the head with his rifle butt and Souchon then leapt on to the left footboard, placed a pistol against her left temple and shot her. She died instantly and her body was thrown into the canal by the transport officer Kurt Vogel. The murder had been ordered by Waldemar Pabst, first general staff officer of the GKSD, who claimed responsibility for the killings in a series of notorious 1960s interviews, stating that “times of civil war have their own laws” and that the Germans should thank both him and Gustav Noske, the SPD defence minister, “on their knees for it, build monuments to us and name streets and public squares after us!”

History repeats itself “first as tragedy and then as farce”, as Marx said, and Gietinger is good at bringing out the absurdity of the farce that followed the murder. There was a series of trials in which the SPD leaders colluded with the killers, appointing their collaborators as judges. In May 1919, the court decided that Runge had attempted to kill Luxemburg and Vogel had shot her, but only gave them two-year sentences as they couldn’t know who’d caused the death. When Vogel escaped to the Netherlands, the authorities failed to extradite him, frightened he’d expose the identity of his accomplices. Shockingly, even in 1960s West Germany when Pabst revealed that he’d ordered the killing, the government issued a communique labelling the double homicide a “legitimate execution”. At this point, Pabst outed Souchon as the killer, but Souchon took the audacious step of suing for libel. The court assigned to judge the case relied on the wholly inaccurate records from the 1919 trial, so he won. This book therefore provides an important coda to these years in proving, with the aid of diagrams and documents, that Souchon was the culprit.

Gietinger is less adept at exploring the significance of the murders, which he seems to think we can take as read. Although there’s a new preface, Verso haven’t thought through how to make the book relevant to British readers or to 2019, sidestepping the important question of what her death might mean to us now. Gietinger tells us that these killings were “one of the great tragedies of the twentieth century”. But why? What could Luxemburg and Liebknecht have achieved had they been allowed to live?

In 1919, the revolution they dreamed of doesn’t appear to have been as imminent as the SPD feared. For one thing, the Spartacist leaders were divided on how to bring it about. Luxemburg still favoured parliamentary democracy, wanting to participate in elections and win majority support, while Liebknecht favoured direct action, wishing to take to the streets. They didn’t have a clear model to follow. She thought that the revolution in Russia was flawed by Lenin’s centralising of power and suppression of the opposition. “Freedom for supporters of the government only, for members of one party only … is no freedom at all,” she wrote in The Russian Revolution in 1918. She saw Lenin and Trotsky as mistaken in thinking that socialist transformation could follow a “ready-made formula” when in fact the formula for economic, social and juridical change lay “hidden in the mists of the future”. If Germany was going to emulate Russia, if communism was going to be the international phenomenon she believed it had to be, it was going to take time, and the general strike in Germany could only be a tentative first step.

Would the Spartacists have given her this time, even if the SPD had been prepared to do so? It seems unlikely. Nonetheless, Gietinger is right to call their deaths a tragedy. This was a moment when the “Sozial” in the SPD name meant something, in a way that the “sozialismus” in National Socialism did not. Many of the key players in the Luxemburg murder went on to become allies of Hitler, who described Noske as “an oak among these Social Democrat plants”. But in a more mixed political setting, their nationalist and authoritarian tendencies might have been restrained and their socialist tendencies given greater ascendancy. What if Germany had splintered apart into its former states, allowing a selection of political systems to jostle against each other? What if the allies had been less harsh in their peace terms? What if the vision of an internationalist world ushered into being by the League of Nations had been more compelling? What if Luxemburg had returned to Russia, the land of her birth, and tried to influence events there?

It’s easy still to feel Luxemburg’s presence as a spectre haunting Europe. There are many alternative worlds where she could have made a difference, with her combination of charisma, articulacy and logic, her willingness to learn from the past and remain optimistic about the future, her dual commitment to the local and the international. Gietinger writes that when the SPD sank Luxemburg’s body in the Landwehr Canal, they were “sinking the Weimar Republic along with it”. He doesn’t explain why this is the case, but this is one of several moments of mourning in this book – welcome intrusions in the forensic scrupulousness. And certainly, alongside Luxemburg, we can mourn a world in which the radical left had a role to play in democratic government and in which internationalist, pacifist principles remained more important than national self-determination.

Lara Feigel’s Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing is published by Bloomsbury.

See Also:

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung – Homepage

Who Was Rosa Luxemburg? – YouTube

http://www.europas-historie.net/rosaluxemburg-c.htm

https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1900/reform-revolution/

https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1900/reform-revolution/intro.htm

Rosa Luxemburg

Polish Marxist theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary

Rosa Luxemburg (German: [ˈʁoːza ˈlʊksəmbʊʁk] (listen); Polish: Róża Luksemburg; also Rozalia Luxenburg; 5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a Polish Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist, and revolutionary socialist who became a naturalized German citizen at the age of 28. She was, successively, a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

In 1915, after the SPD supported German involvement in World War I, she and Karl Liebknecht co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League (Spartakusbund), which eventually became the KPD.
Wikipedia

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Fight the Rich and the World Economic Elite, to Save Climate!

How the rich and powerful let Australia burn

The Australian wildfires show the terrifying reality of catastrophic climate change. Sarah Bates says hope lies with the tens of thousands protesting to demand radical action.

Sun 12 Jan 2020 – socialistworker.co.uk


A protest in Melbourne in 2019 demanding the Australian government takes action on climate change

A protest in Melbourne in 2019 demanding the Australian government takes action on climate change (Pic: John Englart/Flickr creative commons)


After months of ­wildfires ripping through Australia, fury burst onto the streets across the country last week.

Tens of thousands joined rallies to demand action on climate change. In Sydney more than 30,000 people protested and chanted, “Get rid of ScoMo”—a reference to Tory prime minister and coal industry shill Scott Morrison.

Organised by the Uni Students for Climate Justice, the group blasted the government’s “criminal negligence about the bushfire crisis”.

In Melbourne 5,000 people blocked off parts of the city centre.

And in Brisbane traffic was brought to a halt as 3,000 took to the streets chanting, “Scomo has got to go.”

The terrifying fires in Australia have highlighted how climate change could make whole swathes of territory uninhabitable. And the Australian government’s response has shown how, even in the face of disaster, politicians, bosses and the rich will put profits ahead of the planet and people.

The scale of the ecological disaster is unprecedented—and it’s far from over.

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More than 12.3 million hectares of Australia has burned since October, killing 26 people and razing thousands of buildings.

It’s estimated that over a billion animals have perished, with some native Australian species thought to be extinct as a result.

Chris Dickman from the University of Sydney estimates that so far more than 800 million animals have been killed in the state of New South Wales. “I think there’s nothing quite to compare with the devastation that’s going on over such a large area so quickly,” he said.

Although the blazes have been raging for over two months, Australia is only about halfway through its hot dry summer.

Tim Flannery, a climate scientist and former Australian federal climate commissioner, said there is direct link between the bushfire crisis and ­climate change. “The science is telling us these extreme heat conditions we’ve seen this year might occur naturally once every 350 years,” he said.

“But once you add in the influence of the human-emitted ­greenhouse gases, we’re likely to see those conditions once every eight years.”

It’s not as though the Australian government didn’t know what was coming. The Garnaut Climate Change Review—a government-sponsored body—predicted a devastating bushfire season for 2020. In 2008 it had warned, “Fire seasons will start earlier, end later and be more intense. This effect increases over time but should be directly observable by 2020.”

Anger at the government—and Morrison in particular—is feeding into the movement on the streets.

Firefighters have spent the best part of three months risking their lives and battling the blazes. Filling their ranks are thousands of volunteer firefighters, often operating in the Rural Fire Service.

They are battling temperatures of over 40 degrees, sometimes for up to 20 hours a day.

The fires are taking place against a backdrop of job cuts and lack of investment in the fire service. The United Firefighters’ Union of South Australia is calling for a national inquiry after its members were forced to work on ageing fire trucks.

While the rich won’t be able to go unscathed in gated communities, they will never deliver the action that’s needed

The union’s state secretary Max Adlam said, “Our people work very hard on the smell of what’s frankly an oily rag.

“These people are passionate about what they do.”

The wildfires crisis in Australia shows how capitalism offers no solution to climate change.

While the country burns, Australian politicians and bosses are still determined to keep hold of the profitable coal industry. And some of the elite still toast ­champagne at plush parties.

While the rich won’t be able to go unscathed in gated communities, they will never deliver the action that’s needed. Competition among rival corporations and states means they are locked into a system based on maximising profit at the expense of all else.

This logic underpins Morrison and the Australian government’s energy and ­climate policies.

Morrison has said there wasn’t “a single policy, whether it be climate or otherwise” that could stop the threat of bushfires. He’s right that it would take more than one law—but stopping the extraction and burning of fossil fuels would be a good place to start.

In 2017, Morrison—then treasury minister—brought a lump of coal into parliament to signal his support for the fossil fuel industry. “This is coal,” he said. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared.

“It’s coal that has ensured for over 100 years that Australia has enjoyed an energy-competitive advantage that has delivered prosperity to Australian businesses.”

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Since then a mass climate movement and an unfolding ecological crisis have forced him to accept some connection between climate change and extreme weather.

But the actual commitment of the Australian government falls far short of tackling climate crisis.

The most important step would be an immediate end to carbon emissions. But instead of cutting back on oil and gas production, it’s agreed that the Adani fossil fuel company can build a new mine in Queensland.

And there are plans to construct six more. Internationally Australia held back any hope of getting new, higher carbon emissions targets at the Cop25 talks in December 2019.

Australia’s rulers had pledged to cut emissions to 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. They claim to be able to meet 90 percent of that reduction.

But Australia plans to do this by using “carryover credits”—a trick where it gets bonus points for adhering to an earlier agreement, the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol was a deal where Australia was actually allowed to increase its emissions for a time.

So Morrison can claim he will hit an emissions reduction agreed in Paris in 2015, but in reality fall far short of it.

The protests have shown an alternative to this horror show.

Demands include an immediate transition toward renewable energy, a “just transition” for fossil fuel ­workers, and land and water sovereignty for indigenous communities.

The hope lies with the mass ­movements for climate action and breaking with the profit system ­that is burning the planet.

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