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Online discussion with Gearóid O'Loingsigh

Colombia in revolt

Repression and resistance in Latin America

Women shout slogans during a demonstration against the Colombian government's proposed tax reform, in Bogota, on May 1 [Fernando Vergara/AP Photo]


Speaker: Gearóid O'Loingsigh (socialist author and activist)


22 June 2021

19.00 London/Dublin

Zoom platform (click for details)



Socialist Democracy Bulletin - November 2020

Trump and the decay of US capitalism
The short American century
Many socialists would still hold to the idea of the USA as an overwhelming imperialist power, and indeed it remains the 
dominant economic and military force on the planet, but the Trump era has ripped away the mask of invincibility to display 
a highly corrupt and decaying system.  (read more)

US struggles to renew its supremacy
In the US since the 70s wage rates have remained static as costs soar. Many workers hold multiple low wage jobs. At the 
same time there has been a  reduction in the social wage. Public transport and infrastructure are in decay. Housing, education 
and health are the focus of relentless privatisation and outsourcing of services. Tent cities bloom and many live and 
sleep in their cars. (read more)

The dynamics of Trumpism
Internally the ruling class in the USA has faced a major difficulty - the lack of popular support for the major parties. This is 
especially true  of the Republican party, seen as the party of big capital but is also true of the Democrats, also directed by 
capitalism and seen as betraying promises to defend the poor and people of colour. Large swathes of the working class 
struggle for work, housing and healthcare. Stories of working three jobs and living in your car do not raise an eyebrow.  (read more)

A Socialist call to vote Biden: Are they for real? 
The run up to the US election saw Dan La Botz, one of a small group of socialists in the States seen as aligning with the 
majority in the Fourth International, call for a vote for Joe Biden. He was not alone. He co-signed a letter with many intellectuals 
and writers to the same effect. (read more)

Trump's electoral defeat 
The parties following the defeat of Trump are still going on. The sighs of relief can be heard from all corners of the globe.  But 
after the party comes the hangover. As the author Chris Hedges said before the election, US imperialism is on the slide and the 
election of Joe Biden will do little to reverse it. (read more)

Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic 
Socialist Democracy Statement on Coronavirus pandemic - 28/03/20
The sick and dying economic system that systematically degraded the global environment has taken a life threatening seizure. 
They are trying to manage that collapse in their own interests no matter what the cost to the old, the poor and the oppressed of 
the world. The capitalists, fearing for the security of their inhumane system, cynically attempt to turn this disaster to their own 
advantage so they can ensure that any money spent today can be extracted from the workers when the virus subsides.  (read more)

The promise and reality of vaccination  - 28/03/21 
The roll out of vaccination programmes across the world has raised hopes that the end of the Covid pandemic may be in sight.
There are a number of vaccines currently in use – and more awaiting approval – that have proven to be effective and safe.  (read more)

Unions push back against education workers revolt  - 09/02/21 
At the beginning of February INTO and FÓRSA agreed a phased return to school for Special Needs pupils in special schools, followed
by a return of those in mainstream settings, to be followed by the re-opening of primary schools and secondary schools, this time 
beginning with Leaving Cert classes.   (read more)

School reopening revolt puts the squeeze on union bosses  - 21/01/21 
The Dublin government announced in January that plans to reopen special schools as part of a phased reopening of the school system
had been postponed.  They were postponed due to a revolt by teachers and classroom assistants who believed that no real 
consideration of their own health and safety was involved in the decision.   (read more)

Herd immunity - myth and reality  - 30/11/20 
While many scientific myths have emerged during the course of the global pandemic the most prominent and persistence of these
has undoubtedly been that of “herd immunity”.  Its basic proposition is that by allowing the virus to spread among sections of the 
population that are considered least susceptible to severe illness a level of immunity can be built up that breaks transmission and 
protects the population as a whole.   (read more)

Stormont Executive takes reckless turn on pandemic  - 15/11/20 
For a long time Stormont has stood as a byword for sectarianism, corruption and incompetence. Under the pressure of the coronavirus
crisis these features of the political institutions have been elevated to new levels.  However the goings on within the Stormont Executive 
last week, over whether to extend or relax Covid regulations, have manged to top all of that.  (read more)

Coronavirus surges across Ireland  - 19/10/20 
In the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic Ireland (both north and south) was viewed as having got off relatively lightly in terms 
of infection rates and number of deaths.  The health services within both jurisdictions also continued to work within capacity 
(albeit at the cost of reducing non Covid services).    (read more)

Coronavirus  pandemic - a deepening health and economic crisis  - 28/07/20 
While there may be a perception (one that has certainly been encouraged by political and business leaders) that the worst of the 
pandemic is over the most recent evidence points to a crisis that - in terms of both health and the economy - is actually 
deepening rather than easing.   (read more)

Germany leads the way out of Lockdown with a Coronavirus Riot  - 22/06/20 
You could say that Germany was better prepared to deal with the coronavirus emergency because of its industry and science.  
Being better prepared is one thing staying the course over a length of time is another thing altogether.   (read more)

Correspondence: Right wing governments' and the pandemic  - 05/06/20 
It seems that the more right wing the government the worse they handle the pandemic.The United States and Britain's slow 
response  and lack of action especially at the beginning of the wave of infections are indicative of ideological conflicts between 
their individualist philosophy and that of the collective.   (read more)

Coronavirus Update! Two Important Reveals - 22/05/20 
Two of the nagging questions surrounding the development of the coronavirus have been answered this week in so far as such 
queries can be cleared up. The queries cover the extent of the spread of the viral infection through the general population and the 
extent to which a previously infected person has acquired immunity.   (read more)

Department of Health's Statement on Vitamin D - 21/05/20 
The Department of Health's statements have become a regular feature of the British Government response to the coronavirus 
pandemic, the making of assertions and the dispensing of advice while paying no regard to what others, meaning non-British 
scientists and experts, have been saying and doing.   (read more)

Unionism’s silent shift on the pandemic - 16/05/20 
In the general fog a significant but silent shift has taken place in Ulster Unionism. Arlene Foster, the Democratic Unionist Party’s 
leader, alongside Sinn Fein’s Michelle O'Neill, announced a five-point plan for a gradual emergence from the restrictions imposed 
by Covid-19.  (read more)

Protest, class conflict and Covid 19 - 06/05/20 
The hypocritical mantra that 'we are all in this together' is slowly being replaced by the equally false concern for the working class 
and the small businesses not considered 'essential' who need 'help' to return to work.  (read more)

Ideology and Science - 05/05/20 
It has been reported by the Sunday Times newspaper that Sir David King a former Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government is 
to set up an alternative scientific advisory group to the current one. The alternative advisory group are to go online with their recommendations 
and conduct open access conversations with the best scientists willing to participate in democratic debate  (read more)

Stormont fails on workers safety - 28/04/20 
The publication of an essential workers list by the Stormont Executive has displayed once again its inability to offer any protection 
to the working class in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Such a list had been promised after protests by workers over unsafe conditions 
at a number of food processing plants.  (read more)

Big Pharma in Ireland - 24/04/20 
Capitalism is in crisis but the intensity of that crisis is not evenly spread across all sectors. Some will do well out of it in the medical 
and pharmaceutical industries and as the race for a vaccine heats up the bourgeois press boasts of the power of capitalism to defeat 
the disease. (read more)

Covid-19 pandemic cracks facade of unity at Stormont - 16/04/20 
The declarations of a new found approach and unity of purpose that accompanied the restoration of the Stormomt Executive 
in January have quickly given way to the well worn rhetoric and operating methods that accounted for the demise of its 
predecessor. (read more)

Ireland's rump government plan for survival after Covid 19 lockdown - 15/04/20 
Many of the major issues of Irish society, claimed by the government to be insoluble because of the lack of a money tree, 
disappeared overnight. An army of homeless were ushered into empty hotels. For the first time in its history the Irish state conjured 
up a national health service by renting the large private sector.  (read more)

Correspondence: Coronavirus Testing: Some Facts about Germany - 12/04/20
Many European Governments have been slow to begin testing for the prevalence of the coronavirus. It is common sense to see that 
no rational social policy can be enacted without a good awareness of the extent of the spread of the virus within 
the population.  (read more)

Correspondence: The Trivial Matter of Naming Things! - 08/04/20
When a mysterious disease was reported in Wuhan in late December 2019, the cause of the disease was found to be a novel corona 
virus, on 11th February the World Health Organization announced that the official name of the disease would be Covid -19. This is 
not the formal medical name.  (read more)

Europe and the pandemic - 09/04/20
At first sight the Covid-19 pandemic and the conjoined economic crisis seem to support the picture from classical economics 
of an external shock upsetting an otherwise stable system. The evidence does not support that theory. The global economy did 
not recover from the 2008 credit crunch.  (read more)

Covid-19 walkouts - 08/04/20
The callous self interest of companies determined to carry on without taking even the most basic of precautions against the 
Coronavirus has produced a response by workers worried about infection. The demands that are being raised by these workers 
are in line with the recommendations made by health professionals worldwide on cleaning and hygiene.   (read more)

Correspondence: Corona Virus Testing Flawed but necessary  - 05/04/20
There is still no capacity available in any country in the world to carry out a thorough and accurate mass testing. One thing that 
might be useful is to use the new anti-body test to survey the population.   (read more)

Correspondence: ‘Test Test Test’ should mean Mass Testing! - 28/03/20
As all manner of right-wing Governments take on emergency powers to control the virus pandemic, powers that they may never 
relinquish, the alternative to police State lockdowns is being ignored.  (read more)

Correspondence: The Corona Virus, Not just A Moral Panic - 14/03/20
When social and political commentators first began to take notice of the Covid 19 viral infection the typical response was that it was 
no more than another 'moral panic' brought on by social media and the fake news and rumour that is part and parcel of the internet. 
The typical 'sophisticate' scorned the medical scare mongers.  (read more)


Next edition - TBA


The Truth Commission and the Protests in Colombia - 15/06/21

Colombia: Santos, Whitewashing His Image, Washing His Hands - 12/06/21

The long resistance of the Debenhams workers - 09/06/21

What can be expected of the visit by the IACHR to Colombia? - 06/06/21

Is Israel an apartheid state? (video)- 01/06/21

The European Union and the Protests in Colombia - 03/05/21

Belfast Hovis strike - 01/06/21

Correspondence: Palestine demo in Belfast - 31/05/21

Report on the Palestine solidarity rally in Newry - 30/05/21

DUP split shows sharp decay in unionism - 29/05/21

Colombia: Who mourns the CTI agent in Cali? - 28/05/21

New housing proposals - 24/05/21


















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Corona Virus Pandemic - Socialist Perspective - 25/03/20

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