The Green Party soared in popularity in many nations in the European parliamentary elections, placing second in Germany and making gains in Finland, France and Ireland. The next president of the European Commission will likely be Bas Eickhout of the Dutch Green Party. We speak with Luisa Neubauer, a youth climate activist and member of the German Green Party, about the party’s next steps.
You are here
Stories about Thinking Politically.
In 2014 I found myself travelling along the West Bank on a coach with about 30 young Palestinians. This journey was full of music and dance. Darbukas and dabkes. And I was involved. It was impossible not to be. That is what empathy is. Feeling with others and not for them. But along this journey, that empathy turned quite suddenly to sympathy. Our bus had to pass a roadblock guarded by Israel Defence Forces soldiers. Guns were pointed at our driver and he was forced to halt the bus, throwing the younger members of the group 10 feet down the aisle. As we all scrambled to our seats, I immediately sat next to a young Palestinian boy of 13.
Green parties made stunning gains in the European Elections, due to the strength of many younger voters, the grass roots insurgency of ecological school strikes and marches, and the tenacity of Green Party activists.
In November 2013, then-Secretary of State John Kerry declared: “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.”1 The reality of Obama administration policy did not entirely support this assertion; there was the executive order against Venezuela in 2015, support for the coup in Honduras in 2009, and ominously close ties with right-wing governments across the region. But with other more encouraging steps such as the normalization of relations with Cuba and the (belated) show of support for the Colombian Peace Process, there were at least some modest steps towards greater mutual respect for national sovereignty in the Hemisphere. Then came the unexpected election of Donald Trump.
Dear Friends, Colleagues, Comrades,
I am writing you from France, where I am a participant-observer in the Yellow Vest movement, which is still going strong after six months, despite a dearth of information in the international media. My report follows.
This unique, original social movement has enormous international significance. It has already succeeded in shattering the capitalist myth of “representative democracy” by unmasking the lies and violence of government and media, as well as the duplicity of representative institutions like political parties, bureaucratic unions and the mainstream media.
Moreover, the Yellow Vests represent the first time in history that a spontaneous, self-organized social movement has ever held out for half a year in spite of repression while retaining its autonomy, resisting cooptation, bureaucratization and sectarian splits. All the while, standing up to full-scale government repression and targeted propaganda.
Many of the so-called spiritual people--who are into meditation, exploring higher states of consciousness or nondualism, psychic phenomena, and other spiritually transformative experiences--have the belief that if a sufficient number of people are transformed by these experiences, then that alone will dramatically improve the world. Many have expressed the sentiment that we d
We have a crisis of climate leadership among all South Africa’s political parties and none are committed to ensuring South Africa, the region and the continent is on a climate emergency footing. Being on a climate emergency footing means advancing a deep just transition/s to ensure regulated, purposive, ambitions and planned reductions in carbon emissions to prevent a 1.5°C overshoot and the necessary adaptive systems are in place that transform energy, production, consumption, finance and public systems through democratic systemic reforms to ensure workers, the poor and the vulnerable do not pay the price of the transition and climate shocks. Such a deep just transition is led by the working class and mass social forces, rooted in a red-green alliance seeking climate justice.
While the Green New Deal calls for net-zero emissions by 2050 and supports labor unions, worker cooperatives and community projects; it does not specifically call for reducing and eliminating the use of fossil fuels, its already “radical” emissions targets are not radical enough, and it does not challenge the economic growth paradigm. Yet, its public and political support indicates it could represent a gateway to more radical change.
The strategies of these climate change movements are creating conditions that are increasingly ripe for transformation. Wright predicted that climate change would necessitate the end of neoliberalism and would “open up more space for broader, socially directed state interventions.”
Then, also on television, I watched as a small bulldozer hopelessly clawed through the rubble of my neighbourhood mosque. I grew up around that mosque. I spent many hours there with my grandfather, Mohammed, a refugee from historic Palestine. Before grandpa became a refugee, he was a young Imam in a small mosque in his long-destroyed village of Beit Daras.
Direct democracy works like a charm. Check out Venezuela’s Communes….
Venezuela’s ubiquitous Communes are proof that direct democracy works. And, interestingly enough, those same Communes are powerful buffers to attempted coups, protecting the sanctity of direct democracy in their country.