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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
From Podemos to Syriza

Change is in the Air Across Southern Europe

by PABLO IGLESIAS TURRION

Last night (Thursday, January 22, 2015), Pablo Iglesias of Podemos spoke at a massive Syriza rally in Athens, just three days before the Greek elections that Syriza is expected to win. The fates of Syriza and Podemos are increasingly seen as linked – both by their own leaders and the European establishment. In late December, a headline in Bloomberg Businessweek asked, “Is This the Dawn of the #Tsiglesias Era in the Euro Zone?” (12/30/2014). Both parties have surged into the lead in their respective countries on the basis of their rejection of years of austerity imposed by Brussels, and on a pledge to recuperate national sovereignty and democracy. Their programs call for a renegotiation of their national debts, higher taxes on the rich, major jobs programs, and the restoration of rights and benefits taken away during the economic crisis.

Below is the text of a speech given by Iglesias at a Syriza event in October. The video of the speech can be seen here. — Dan DiMaggio.

Good evening. Change is in the air in Greece. Change is in the air in Southern Europe. Brothers and sisters, it’s an honor to speak in front of you today. It’s an honor to be in Athens just a few months before this country will finally have a popular government headed by Alexis Tsipras. This government will be the first in a series of governments through which we will have to regain the sovereignty and dignity of the peoples of Southern Europe.

Brothers and sisters, we are called upon to reconstruct democracy—European democracy—against the totalitarianism of the market. Some will want to call us “Euro-skeptics.” To all those hypocrites, I want to remind them today, from Greece, from a country that was a model of anti-Nazi resistance, that the best of the European democratic tradition is anti-fascism. And that our program to regain our social rights and our sovereignty is inspired by the example of our grandparents, who confronted this horror and fought for a democratic Europe which could only be based on social justice and liberty.

Many things are bringing the Greek and Spanish people together to lead a new European project. But today I want to highlight the historic example of our populations in the anti-fascist resistance and the struggle for liberty and democracy. They’ve tried to look down on us as “Mediterraneans.” They’ve called us “PIGS.” They’ve tried to turn us into a periphery. They want us to be countries of cheap labor forces. They want our young people to be the servants of rich tourists. To all those jackals on the payrolls of the financial powers, today we say that we are proud to be from the South, and that from the...

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