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Global Left Midweek – August 30, 2023

News and analysis about and from movements and parties around the world

From Idlib, Syria: Druze, Assyrian and Kurdish flags signaling revolutionary unity, 25 August 2023. Credit, Omar Albam
  1. Ecuadorians Drive Out Drillers
  2. Can the Spanish Left Beat the Odds?
  3. Syrian Revolution Reborn
  4. Guyana: Activist Women Targeted
  5. Clashing Anniversaries in South Africa
  6. Video: Black Unity in Brazil
  7. Guatemala President-Elect in the Crosshairs
  8. State and Feminism in China
  9. More on Degrowth and Ecosocialism
  10. The Changing Climate of Class Struggle


Ecuadorians Drive Out Drillers

Dan Collyns / The Guardian (London)

Ecuadorians have voted in a historic referendum to halt the development of all new oilwells in the Yasuní national park in the Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. The move will keep about 726m barrels of oil underground in the Yasuní national park, which is also home to the Tagaeri and Taromenane people.

Can the Spanish Left Beat the Odds?

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Steven Forti / Jacobin (New York)

The incumbent prime minister Pedro Sánchez (leader of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español, PSOE) may consider himself the effective political winner of July’s snap vote. Yet the 121 MPs elected for his party and the 31 for Sumar, the left-wing coalition led by Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz, remain just as far from the “magic” number of 176 seats.

Syrian Revolution Reborn

Leila Al Shami / Links (Sydney)

On 25 August, the revolution flag flew high in villages, towns and cities across Syria. Thousands were on the streets reviving the chants of the 2011 revolution. Protests erupted in the south of the country a few days ago, in regime-held Sweida and Dera’a. They were triggered by the cost-of-living crisis, especially the recent increase in fuel prices as subsidies were cut. 

Guyana: Activist Women Targeted

Janine Mendes-Franco / Global Voices (Amsterdam)

Activists in Guyana are currently experiencing death threats and other forms of intimidation for speaking out against mining, fossil fuel extraction and sexual violence. Red Thread, a women’s development organization, has been specifically targeted.

Clashing Anniversaries in South Africa

Richard Pithouse / CounterPunch (Petrolia CA)

In August 1983, the United Democratic Front (UDF) was launched in Cape Town following a proposal from the charismatic radical cleric Allan Boesak for a united front of “churches, civic associations, trade unions, student organisations, and sports bodies.” The new movement was committed in principle and often in practice to radical democracy and what it termed ‘people’s power’. 

Video: Black Unity in Brazil

Africanews (Lyon)

Brazilian Black movements organized a national act to demand the end of what they call a racist violence in the country, after a  series of police violence cases and massacres in several states. Called “National Day of Fight for Black Lives”, they also claimed for justice on the killing of a quilombola leader in Bahia, and a 13 year old boy shot dead in a police operation in Rio de Janeiro.

Guatemala President-Elect in the Crosshairs

Roman Gressier / El Faro (San José, Costa Rica)

On Monday the Supreme Electoral Tribunal both certified the victory of President-Elect Bernardo Arévalo and temporarily suspended his Semilla party, the latest in a chain of protracted legal battles leading up to inauguration on January 14. The party says it will follow every route of appeal including, if necessary, to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

State and Feminism in China

Yige Dong / Current History (Oakland)

A form of made-in-China feminism has emerged, characterized by everyday resistance to prevailing gender expectations. Now, the state is suppressing feminist activists while adopting some of their proposals into law and policy.

More on Degrowth and Ecosocialism

Michael Löwy / Monthly Review (New York)

In nine theses, Michael Löwy elaborates on the central themes of ecosocialist degrowth. “The ecological crisis,” he begins, “is already the most important social and political question of the twenty-first century.… The future of the planet, and thus of humanity, will be decided in the coming decades.”

The Changing Climate of Class 

John Clarke / Canadian Dimension (Winnipeg)

The social and economic consequences of the massive disruption will play out along deeply entrenched fault lines of inequality within and between nations. This forces us to consider what forms of social resistance and organization will have to be taken up. Firstly and critically, we will have to do all we can to prevent the destructive hand of capitalist interests from compounding the problem.