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Gilets Jaunes: A Pioneering Study of the ‘Low Earners’ Revolt

Le Monde, Verso Blog
The scale of the movement and the speed with which it was formed are striking, outside trade-union organizations and political parties. Who are the gilets jaunes? What do they want? Are we witnessing a renewal of the forms of protest and politics?

Spain: Podemos at the Crossroads

Denis Rogatyuk Green Left Weekly
The structure of Vistalegre II (citizens' assembly) is mainly focused on three major votes that will decide the party’s political makeup — the election of its 62-member, country-wide Citizens Assembly, the election of the General Secretary and adoption of four main documents that relate to party’s organisation, political orientation, ethics and gender equality.

Democracy, Trade, Globalization and Trump

Thomas Piketty; Naomi Klein The Guardian (UK)
Rising inequality is largely to blame for this electoral upset. Continuing with business as usual is not an option. People have lost their sense of security, status and even identity. This result is the scream of an America desperate for radical change. People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs. Thomas Piketty and Naomi Klein offer up interesting analysis.

Mexico's Classroom Wars

A.S. Dillingham and René González Pizarro Jacobin
Striking Mexican teachers are fighting for justice in the classroom - and against Mexico's violent neoliberal order. The violent repression of striking teachers in 2006, ordered by the state governor, launched a social movement - called the "Oaxaca Commune" by supporters - that grew to encompass much more than the local teachers' union. The teacher's movement is also more widespread than in 2006.

Upstart Parties Crash the Ball in Spain

Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy in Focus
A new progressive coalition seeks to end Spain's punishing austerity regime and confront the country's staggering unemployment. The new kid on the block has raised the pressure on the center-left Socialists to make a choice: follow the lead of Portugal, where the Socialist Party formed a united front with the Left Bloc and the Communist/Green alliance, or imitate the Social Democrats in Germany and join a "grand coalition" and make common cause with the right?

Half-Million on Strike Across France

teleSUR English; Jonah Birch Jacobin
The revolt in France is growing! Up to 500,000 people went on strike and took to the streets across the country to protest unpopular pro-business labor reforms that would leave many people unemployed and would be an attack on worker's rights. France's largest cities saw a new wave of street demonstrations and strikes as student groups and unions tried to maintain pressure on the government just days before the bill is brought to Parliament.(teleSUR English)

Right and Left in Germany

Victor Grossman Portside
With Bernie in the USA, Corbyn in Britain and various kinds of leftist opposition in Ireland, Spain and Portugal, resistance to billionaire-led governments has been growing, most dramatically last year in Greece until German "austerity" smashed it (though perhaps not permanently). Germany already has the LINKE party, with 64 seats in the Bundestag (out of 630). But it has failed to fill that gap of anger, worry and distrust among working people...

An End To Right's Reign In Spain?

Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy in Focus
Whatever party ends on top in the Spanish election, it will have to form a coalition, thus ending the reign of the two-party system that has dominated the country since Franco. Late polls show the right-wing PP taking a beating, dropping from 44 percent that it won four years ago to 28%, but it will still win the largest number of votes of any one party. Followed by the Socialists, at 21%, the center-right Ciudadanos Party at 19%, and the left-wing Podemos Party at 15.7%

250,000 Germans Rally Against European TTIP

Victor Grossman Portside
The organizers counted 250,000, a quarter of a million. Of course the police scaled that down - to 150,000. But who's counting - it was definitely the biggest since 2003 against the Iraq War. It was a protest against the "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership", TTIP, and its equally spurned Canadian sister, CETA. Some speakers, and some signs proclaimed: Take TTIP and shove it - and Capitalism with it!

How Austerity Economics Is Fraying Europe's Social Contract

Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy in Focus
The EU's belt-tightening measures are cutting holes in Europe's social-safety net. Austerity as an economic strategy is more than just throwing a scare into countries that, exhausted by years of cutbacks and high unemployment, are thinking of changing course. It's laying the groundwork for the triumph of multinational corporate capitalism - undermining the social contract between labor and capital that's characterized much of Europe for the past two generations.
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