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Global Left Midweek – April 24, 2024

Focus on Europe

National strike, Athens, April 17. Writing on banner with red line across the face of Greece’s Prime Minister, reads in Greek: “Killer Government / We Will Overturn It." Credit, AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis
  1. Anti-Fascist Meeting of Left Parties in Lisbon
  2. Greek National Strike
  3. Spanish Elections
  4. UK
  5. Germany
  6. Italy
  7. France: First Priorities for the Left
  8. Hungary: Fighting Orban
  9. Portugal’s Carnation Revolution of 1974
  10. Anna Rozenshtein: A Revolutionary Life at the End of the 19th Century


Anti-Fascist Meeting of Left Parties in Lisbon

European Left (Brussels)

“Across Europe, the far-right propagates the ideas of authoritarianism, against feminism and LGTB rights, negation of the climate threat, and militarism. The role of the left, as it has historically been, is to create social majorities to change the present and the future”, Mariana Mortágua, national coordinator of the Bloco de Esquerda, told the No Pasaran! conference.

Greek National Strike

PAME (Athens)

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With massive and militant rallies all over Greece, thousands of workers demanded collective contracts with wage increases, measures against inflation, and disengagement from the imperialist wars and crimes. The strike brought the message of solidarity with the heroic people of Palestine.

Spanish Elections

  • Left Parties Divided   / Europa Press (Madrid)
    Translated from Spanish by Portside. Read the original here.

IU [United Left, a coalition of left parties] maintains that the result for the non-nationalist left in Euskadi [Basque Country] is “bad” and requires self-criticism, given that Sumar [a broad left electoral platform led by former labor minister Yolanda Díaz], with only one seat won in this election, is not succeeding as a “unifying” space, and its division from [left party] Podemos brought the electoral punishment.

“We have had an opinion for quite some time and we have expressed it clearly. We must join all the organizations and people and when they get lost along the way, then the processes that divide the left do not help to obtain good results,” said Ismael González, IU organization secretary. 

Thus, González insists, in Euskadi, Galicia or in other electoral races, “it could have been better” if Sumar's campaign had been broader and included more participants, while IU’s DNA is based on creating electoral processes that unite the left.

This, as he related, must lead to a process of self-criticism in Sumar, in the IU itself and in the group of organizations linked to Yolanda Díaz, and also in Podemos, since the responsibility should not be placed on only one party.

In this sense, González has insisted that we can’t be satisfied with the result of the non-nationalist left, although it is legitimate that Sumar should have a positive assessment of entering the Basque parliament.

Therefore, he insisted that the evolution of parliament is not good and that IU has been warning about it for some time, after the electoral fragmentation brought a loss of votes in 2020 and that the left has gone from six seats to only one deputy.

“The result for the transformative left has not been the best in the world, parliamentary representation is reduced (...) Sumar is not creating that space for bringing together all the left or all the people. We must take note in this sense and be self-critical,” González warned.

He therefore demanded that left parties stop giving “shows” (in reference to the internal disputes in the alternative left to the PSOE), and called on them to come to terms on programmatic aspects to achieve greater unity.

He also remarked that “there is not a brand problem”, and that the challenge is to make the parties “stronger”, given that if all the political actors are strengthened, the performance will be better.

However, he is confident that in the European elections the alternative left can recover, given that there is room for improvement to enhance results.

  • Basque Country   Alfons Luna / Caledonian Record (St. Johnsbury VT)

  • Catalonia   Joan Faus / Reuters (London) 




France: First Priorities for the Left  

Olly Haynes / New Left Review (London)

The only way for La France insoumise to prevail in this unfavourable conjuncture and preserve its fragile hegemony over the other progressive parties is to expand its electoral base ahead of the 2027 presidential elections. But there are competing theories of how to achieve this, and deep uncertainties over the most viable strategic direction.

Hungary: Fighting Orban

Aram Shakkour and Bruno Magalhães / Revista Movimento (São Paulo)

Present in youth struggles, the housing movement and the defense of democratic agendas, Szikra elected its first parliamentarian in the last parliamentary elections. The party is also part of the Green Left Alliance of Central and Eastern Europe, a coalition of organizations founded around solidarity with Ukraine and criticism of the positions of the bureaucratic left in the region. 

Portugal’s Carnation Revolution of 1974

Vasco Esteves / Pressenza (Quito)

The 25th of April had this general theme of the three D’s: “Decolonize, Democratize, and Develop”. Decolonization is fundamental and linked to the general concept of freedom. Freedom was essential for the people of the colonies to be able to choose their destiny, and it was also essential for the Portuguese to be able to choose a model of society in which to live better than before.

Anna Rozenshtein: A Revolutionary Life at the End of the 19th Century

Anatolii Dubovyk / Commons (Kyiv)

It went largely unnoticed that this year marked the 170th anniversary of a woman whose name was once known to many: revolutionaries and police officers in various European countries, medical specialists and labor lawyers, labor movement activists and parliamentary politicians, anarchists and Marxists, feminists and anti-fascists.