Dan La Botz's blog
|Dan La Botz May 11, 2016|
Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) will very likely be impeached today, leading to her immediate, temporary removal from office and to a trial that could remove her permanently. Waldir Maranhao, the acting speaker of the lower house, had annulled the impeachment process just a couple of days ago, but then Renan Calheiros, the head of the Senate, said that he would proceed with the impeachment anyway, and it is going forward. This impeachment, which the left calls a kind of golpe de estado or coup d’état could be the end of Dilma’s presidency and the beginning of a new rightwing government that will impose greater austerity and do so by repressing the social movements.
|Dan La Botz May 10, 2016|
What can we in the United States learn from the left in Europe and Brazil?
During the last two weeks of April I visited three European countries speaking about Bernie Sanders and the American elections. I spoke in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and in French-speaking Switzerland, while in May I spoke in four Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro, the Rio suburb of Niteroi, Vitoria, and Fortaleza. In Paris I spoke to Ensemble, part of the Front de Gauche, in the suburb of Bagnolet. In Madrid and Barcelona, I spoke at meetings organized by the journal Viento Sur which is linked to Anticapitalistas, the leftwing of Podemos. In Switzerland, I spoke at the Spring University of solidaritiéS Suisse, an independent, multi-tendency left wing group.
|Dan La Botz May 9, 2016|
Teachers in the city of Rio de Janeiro, and in the state of the same name, have been on strike for more than two months now. More than a month ago students at one high school occupied their school in support. The student occupation spread to other schools and are there are now 76 schools occupied throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro and as many as twenty in other states to which the movement has spread. Students have been joined by parents and teachers and by volunteers from left political parties and individuals.
|Dan La Botz May 3, 2016|
I was invited to speak here in Rio de Janeiro by the Socialism and Freedom Party (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade, PSOL) and spoke last night to an enthusiastic and very well informed crowd of about 200 students at the university (UFRJ). I also sat down to talk with PSOL leaders and activists here about the local political situation and the social movements. So here are my impression, though they are just impressions of the political situation, of the teachers' strike, and of the school occupations.
|Dan La Botz April 22, 2016|
I am in Switzerland to attend the Spring University of Swiss Solidarity, a radical socialist group most active in the French speaking region, for whose newspaper solidarities I write regularly. I’ve been talking to some of the group’s activists about the situation here, and they have given me some impressions of the situation of the left here. So these are my impressions, just impressions.
|Dan La Botz April 21, 2016|
In Madrid to give a talk on American politics and the Bernie Sanders campaign at , I took time to meet and converse with some young organizers of Anticapitalistas and one longtime leader of the left who had to go into exile toward the end of the years of the Franco dictatorship.
|Dan La Botz April 20, 2016|
I spent a few days in Barcelona, meeting with older and younger activists, some of them former members of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), others younger activists in the group Anticapitalistas or in Procés Constituent. I also joined two protest demonstrations and gave a talk at the Ateneu Rebel for the journal Viento Sur for which I write. Here are my impressions, just impressions.
|Dan La Botz April 18, 2016|
While in Paris in mid-April, I had conversations with a number of mostly older, leftist intellectuals: professors, publishers, editors and writers. These are men and women who historically have had close ties and involvement in the labor and social movements. I also went to political protests and attended a socialist meeting. Here are my impressions, just impressions of a few days in Paris.
|Dan La Botz April 6, 2016|
This is the third and last of three book reviews that look at what Mexican intellectuals on the left have written in an attempt to understand Ayotzinapa and what it symbolizes and signifies for their country and its future. The first review appeared here and the second here.
Adolfo Gilly and Rhina Roux. El tiempo del despojo: Siete ensayos sobre un cambio de época. Mexico: Editoria Ithaca, 2015. 191pp. Bibliography. Available only in Spanish.
|Dan La Botz April 3, 2016|
“We’re going all the way to the convention,” said Larry Cohen, former President of the Communications Workers of America and Senior Advisor to the Sanders campaign. “We’re working to see that Sanders wins the Democratic Party nomination, but that’s not all we’re doing. We’re going beyond to build a democracy movement in this country.”
Cohen was speaking, just before the opening of the Labor Notes Conference, to some 125 union activists and local leaders who gathered for four hours at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago on Friday, April 1 at the Labor for Bernie and Beyond meeting. They met to discuss the next stages and of the Sanders campaign as well as the future prospects for the movement of union activists who support him. The meeting was convened by Cohen and 23 other national or local union offices.
|Dan La Botz March 30, 2016|
This is the second of three book reviews that will look at what Mexican intellectuals on the left have written in an attempt to understand Ayotzinapa and what it symbolizes and signifies for their country and its future. The first review appeared here. - DL
Manuel Aguilar Mora and Claudio Albertani, eds., La noche de Iguala y el despertar de México. Mexico: Juan Pablos Editor, 2015. Pp. 382. Photographs. Illustrations. Maps. Tables. (Available only in Spanish at this time.)
The Night of Iguala and the Awakening of Mexico (as we translate the title of this book), like Sergio Aguayo’s From Tlatelolco to Ayotzinapa, deals with the horrifying killing of six people and forced disappearance of 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in the town of Iguala, Guerrero on September 26, 2014.
|Dan La Botz March 28, 2016|
This is the first of three book reviews that will look at what Mexican intellectuals on the left have written in an attempt to understand Ayotzinapa and what it symbolizes and signifies for their country and its future. - DL
Sergio Aguayo. De Tlatelolco a Ayotzinapa: Las violencias del Estado. Editorial Ink, 2015. (This book in Spanish is available in several formats including Kindle, which is how the reviewer read it.)
The horrifying killing of six people and forced disappearance of 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in the town of Iguala, Guerrero on September 26, 2014 had a dramatic impact on Mexico.
|Dan La Botz March 25, 2016|
Part 9 of A New Politics in America. This concludes the series. All nine parts can be fond on the New Politics website, newpol.org
So what does this era of a new politics in America mean? How significant are new right and new left in America today? Where do we go from here? What are we in the left to do? Should we be building progressive Democratic Party campaigns? Should we just go back to building the movements? Or is there another option? To figure this out, we have to understand that though we are in a new political era, many of the old problems still remain.
|Dan La Botz March 22, 2016|
This is part 8 of A New Politics in America. Find previous parts on newpol.org.
Hillary—Establishment and Dynasty
The tremendous success of the Bernie Sanders campaign—in turning out tens of thousands to his rallies, getting millions to contribute to his campaign, and winning an impressive number of states and delegates—is primarily due to his clear message: his call for a progressive economic program to provide jobs, universal health care, and free higher education, as well as an end to the role of money in politics, and an insistence on an end to structural racism, in particular racist police violence. Yet there is also no doubt that many have turned to Sanders because they do not want the Democrats’ presidential candidate to be Hillary Clinton, whom they see as embodying all that they despise about the American political system.
|Dan La Botz March 21, 2016|
This is party 7 of A New Politics in America. Part 6 and links to earlier parts can be found here.
Occupy, though it had eschewed politics, had important political ramifications. A few liberal Democrats soon appeared to give expression to the new movements within their rightward moving party.