Mainstream media have presented Boris Nemtsov as an anti-Putin “liberal” oppositionist. In reality he was part of the oligarchy that began to emerge after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but had fallen out of grace with the main clique that took over. Here Artem Kirpichenok in St. Petersburg gives a very different point of view from within Russia.
The crisis in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has now reached its very peak, with a feud erupting between long-time friends and close allies, former minister Zulfiqar Mirza and the party’s Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. This struggle marks a bitter fight for the leadership involving Zardari’s and Benazir Bhutto’s own son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who has recently entered the political scene as PPP chairman. The party’s mass roots and support among the working class have been severely undermined by the extreme corruption of the leadership and many years spent in office carrying out pro-imperialist and neo-liberal policies. Here is Lal Khan’s take on these events.
A huge anti-privatisation rally was organised by the All-Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Union of the Water and Power Development Authority in Islamabad on 18th February, 2015. Workers from all over Pakistan gathered in front of the Islamabad Press Club with red flags and banners against privatisation. This was the largest protest WAPDA has organised in recent times and the workers were determined to fight against this latest attack of the state against workers.
Newly released figures show that the Chinese economy in 2014 experienced its lowest economic growth since 1990. Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2015 growth projection for China from 7.1% to 6.8%. According to the Financial Times, 30 out of China’s 31 provinces had missed their growth targets for 2014 – the only one which didn’t was Tibet, by far the country’s smallest regional economy.
At the beginning of January 500,000 miners in the nationalised coal industry in India went on strike against governmental plans to privatise coal mining. This monumental show of strength in defiance of the Coal Ordnance law is indicative both of the tensions within Indian society and the pressure that is being brought to bear on the leadership of the working class to put up a fight.
Some of the most deceitful forms of elections and ‘democracy’ are to be found these days in countries that are suffering direct or indirect military aggression and occupation by world and regional imperialist powers. The elections and governments in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries under imperialist occupation are, in the last analysis, a tragic farce. Indian-controlled Kashmir is no different because it is directly under the boot of the imperialist Indian military – an occupation enforced by the so-called ‘largest democracy’ in the world using one of the largest military deployments on earth and draconian laws like The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA) to infringe the basic rights of the Kashmiri oppressed masses.
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