Rosa Luxemburg wrote the booklet Social Reform or Revolution in response to the writings of Eduard Bernstein. Bernstein was advocating an “evolutionary” path to socialism, counter-posed to revolution. “Reform or revolution?” became a fundamental question for the socialist and labour movements at the beginning of the 20th century.
Issue 41 - February-March 2013
Issue 40 - November-December 2012
In June and July in the Netherlands, almost all polls were showing a strong surge in support for the Socialist Party (SP). The polls predicted that the SP would increase its seats from 15 to 35 in the 150-seat parliament.The SP was polling as the largest party with about 20% support, ahead of the historical party of social democracy, the Labor Party (PvdA).
In a press statement on October 3, the Indonesian Workers and Labourers Assembly (MPBI) said that 2 million workers mobilised for the national strike it called for that date, in industrial areas or outside government offices in 21 cities and towns.Press and blog reports separately estimate that hundreds of thousands of workers mobilised in Jakarta’s industrial estates, gathering at
Under the Hammer, a new activist space, has been operating in Coburg, on the edges of inner Melbourne, since July.The centre was established on the initiative of activists James Crafti and Melanie Mayze, both members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, which produces the newspaper and website Direct Action. While Direct Action holds activities in the space, it has b
It has been almost five years since I was expelled in 2008 with 35 others from the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) or “Perspective”, as it had become by then.(And I think there were another dozen or so who had to leave in other ways.) It was a sad, angry and frustrating moment. I joined the DSP in 1981.
Timor Leste’s third parliamentary election since the restoration of independence in 2002 was held on July 7.
Issue 39 - May-July 2012
Between March 24 and 30, a wave of quite militant demonstrations against the coalition government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono spread throughout Indonesia. For the first time, some of the major trade union confederations joined the actions.
Issue 38 - February-April 2012
It has been more than two months since the Occupy Wall Street actions began in New York. The occupation in Zuccotti Park ended after the New York City government mobilised the police for a middle of the night raid. However, the political activity that it set in motion in the United States has not stopped.
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
The simmering discontent throughout Indonesia regularly overflowed throughout October and November. There were student protests against the Yudhoyono government, attacking corruption, economic injustice and political manipulation of local government, in cities including Jakarta, Jogjakarta, Cirebon, Samarinda (in Borneo), Makassar, Surabaya and Kediri.
“Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.” “You speak of – ” said
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
On September 5, the Cuban Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Libya affirming, among other things, that “the Republic of Cuba does not recognize the National Transition Council or any other provisional authority and will only give its recognition to a government legitimately constituted in that country without foreign intervention and through the free, sovereign and sole will of
On September 20, the State Electricity Company Trade Union of Indonesia issued a call for support for a campaign against the privatisation of the state-owned company, and against the liberalisation of the electricity market in general.
It is very possible that in late September or early October, the United Nations Security Council will vote on whether to recognise Palestine as a state and accept it as a member of the United Nations. The president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mohammed Abbas, will address the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 23.
Issue 35 - September 2011
It is 13 years since the Indonesian dictator Suharto was forced to resign by a student-led mass protest movement. The current president, Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono, will complete his second five-year term in 2014. At the level of the state and government, Indonesia has experienced another extended period of “stability”.
I was very active between 1991 and 1999 in the international solidarity movement for Timorese independence. During that time, I worked with a variety of Timorese individuals and political groups.
Issue 34 - August 2011
On July 29, six leaders of the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) were released from prison, 34 days after their arrest on June 25. Their release was a result of the tremendous sustained and energetic campaign that received broad support, especially in Malaysia.
Issue 29 - February 2011
After assessing 2010’s political activities, members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party at its December congress adopted an outlook for this year emphasising consolidation and building across the range of those activities.
In hindsight, there was a great deal of beauty in the scene. There was a kaleidoscope of colours: dark blues and greens, the red and white of the national soccer team, as well as fading browns and greys and dirty whites. T-shirts and dresses, trousers and singlets, chequered green and brown sarongs, black pecis on black hair, all coloured the scene.
Issue 27 - October 2010
In the Indonesia News Digest 31, August 16-23 there are more than 70 news items covering a wide range of issues relating to struggles for social justice and full democracy in Indonesia.
The Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD) recently revamped its English language website, making it more possible for people outside Indonesia to follow developments on the Indonesian left. There are already almost 100 items posted on the site, including both party statements and reports and articles on different developments.
Issue 25 - August 2010
The current federal election campaign is proceeding and will proceed until August 21 without the issue of climate change being seriously discussed. Neither the Labor Party nor the Liberal-National Coalition wants a serious discussion of the issue. Julia Gillard announced a “new” policy of doing nothing, except for a Rudd-style talk-fest to be called a “Citizens’ Assembly”.
Issue 20 - March 2010
From March 23 until May 3, Zely Ariane will be touring Australia, speaking at Direct Action forums, at universities, to trade union meetings and at other venues. Ariane is the National Spokesperson of the Committee for the Politics of the Poor-Peoples Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD), one of Indonesia’s left-wing political parties.
Issue 19 - February 2010
Abdurrahman Wahid, the president of Indonesia between 1999 and 2001, died on December 30, aged 69. His death was met by a wave of commentary and discussion praising his contribution to Indonesian society, especially from the humanitarian and liberal democratic sectors: intellectuals, NGOS and human rights advocates.
Written & directed by James Cameron
Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana & Stephen Lang
Runtime: 162 minutes
In cinemas now
On December 23, the Indonesian Attorney General’s Department announced the banning of five books. Soon afterwards, it became known that the attorney general is looking at possibly banning another 20 titles. This follows the banning of the film Balibo, which tells the story of Suharto’s invasion of East Timor and the suppression of history textbooks in 2007.
Issue 18 - December 2009
Refugees and Rebels: Indonesian Exiles in Wartime Australia
By Jan Lingard
Australian Scholarly Publishing (2008), 312 pages, $39.95 (pb)
Issue 16 - October 2009
Jakarta – In the immediate aftermath of the July 8 Indonesian presidential election, the two losing sets of candidates alleged that there was widespread ballot fraud.
Issue 15 - September 2009
Jakarta – Watching Jusuf Isak’s body wrapped in white linen being passed down to his sons, standing deep in the grave dug in Java’s rich, red muddy soil, was like watching life itself being buried, for Jusuf was somebody who never stopped living life to the full, to the very last moment. He died on August 15, aged 81.
On August 6, Wahyu Sulaiman Rendra, Indonesia’s greatest dramatist and most influential poet, died in Jakarta, aged 74. More than a thousand people, mostly villagers but also intellectuals, attended his funeral on August 7 at his home and theatre group centre, Bengkel Teater, outside Jakarta.
Issue 14 - August 2009
The first major political incident after the July 8 Indonesian presidential election were two co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks on Jakarta’s Marriot and Ritz Carlton luxury hotels on July 17, which killed seven people, including six foreigners. These were the first suicide bomb attacks in almost five years.
For 17 years, from 1990 through to 2007, I regularly contributed articles on Indonesian politics to Green Left Weekly, a newspaper published by the Democratic Socialist Party (Democratic Socialist Perspective since 2005).
Issue 13 - July 2009
Rallies and other public shows of support have remained weak for the three candidates and their running mates in the weeks leading up to the July 8 Indonesian presidential election. Two of the rival candidates head the current government – incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his vice-president, Jusuf Kalla.
Issue 12 - June 2009
Three tickets have been nominated for the Indonesian presidential elections on July 9. The official campaign period for the presidential elections starts in the first week of June.
Issue 11 - May 2009
The Indonesian General Elections Commission has not yet completed counting all the votes in the April 9 elections to the national parliament and scores of local assemblies. However, some things have become clear. There was a very high level of voter abstention, a phenomenon already evident in many elections for provincial governors during 2007-08.
Issue 10 - April 2009
The official election campaigning period for the Indonesian national, provincial and district legislatures started on March 1 and will last until April 5. There is supposed to be a three-day period of non-campaigning immediately before the April 9 elections. Some 100,000 candidates from 44 parties are standing for seats in national, provincial and district legislatures.
Issue 9 - March 2009
Elections for the two houses of Indonesia’s national parliament and the provincial parliaments will take place on April 9, at a time of growing dissatisfaction with the parliamentary parties. These elections will be followed in July by what will likely be the first of two rounds to elect a president and vice-president.
Issue 2 - July 2008
The Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM), which won a seat in the country’s federal as well as in one state parliament, in the March 8 elections, made another advance on June 18 when home affairs minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar gave the PSM the green light to be registered as a legal party, subject to it showing that it has a national base.
Protest demonstrations in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities in recent weeks marked the appearance of a new progressive alliance, the National Liberation Front (FPN). The FPN was formed in May at the initiative of the Workers Challenge Alliance (ABM), a coalition of progressive union federations.
Issue 1 - June 2008
During the 1998 struggle against the Suharto dictatorship, there were threats that a deeper radicalisation might begin, as the most radical groups called for the establishment of “people’s councils” wherever mass protest was strong. More and more of Suharto’s elite supporters deserted him, forcing him to resign.