Eastern Europe

The fall of Stalinism in Eastern Europe — Workers' Liberty 3/25

Download as pdf, or read online below. Timeline Introduction 1. The risen people: Eastern Europe after the revolutions 2. What’s in the coffin at the funeral of socialism? 3. Lies against socialism answered 4. Stalin’s system collapses 5. Why socialists should support the banning of the CPSU 6. The triumph of unreason: market madness in the ex-USSR 7. What was the Bolsheviks’ conception of the 1917 revolution? 8. Why the workers want to restore capitalism 9. In the beginning was the critique of capitalism 10. An open letter to Ernest Mandel 11. Trotsky and the collapse of Stalinism 12. And...

Belarus: solidarity and "imperialism"

A few days ago, following up on a suggestion I made to LabourStart’s mailing list that people try out the secure messaging app Telegram, I received an interesting question. I had mentioned that pro-democracy protestors in Belarus and Hong Kong were using the app intensively. The question I received was: “Is Telegram also being used in Bolivia?” When I replied that I didn’t know, my correspondent replied: “It’s just that it’s used in two places where the imperialist states are very much involved against the government.” Leftists who see Belarus and Hong Kong as countries under some kind of...

Not yet general strike, but bigger protests

On 13 October Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya made an ultimatum on behalf of the oppositional Coordinating Council. If Lukashenko didn’t resign, she would call for a peaceful nationwide rejection of his rule and a general strike from 25 October. The strike call gave a boost to the protests against Lukashenko. The weekly Sunday demonstration in Minsk on 25 October was larger than it had been for over a month, probably close to 100,000. It was met at the intersection of Orlovskaya and Novovilenskaya in Minsk with the most brutal attack yet from Lukashenko’s security. Stun...

Pro-Lukashenko effort is complete failure

Plans for a pro-Lukashenko mass rally of “250,000 to 300,000” in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Sunday 25 October ended up as a fiasco. Nominally, the rally had been called by the “official” Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB). But the FPB — which claims a membership of some four million in a country with a population of less than ten million — functions organisationally and politically as an extension of the government. Since the rigged elections of early August it has backed Lukashenko and denounced his opponents at every turn. FPB leader Mikhail Orda says: “ The most important...

Belarus: strike plans from 25 October

On 13 October, following increasing attacks and imprisonments on protestors in Belarus, exiled oppositionist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya gave her “People’s Ultimatum” to president Lukashenko. Tikhanovskaya was the challenger to Lukashenko in the rigged 9 August election. She declared that if political prisoners (now running into thousands, including leaders of the liberal opposition, are not released); if Lukashenko doesn’t stand down; and if the attacks on protesters on the streets don’t stop, then she would call on Belarusians to “paralyse the life of our country” from 25 October. The following...

Belarus: crackdown and gestures

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, opposition candidate in Belarus’s rigged 9 August election, declared on Telegram on 13 October: “The regime has 13 days to fulfill three main requirements: 1. Lukashenko must leave. 2. Street violence must stop completely. 3. All political prisoners must be released. If our demands are not met by 25 October, the whole country will peacefully take to the streets with the People’s Ultimatum.” Evidently the opposition assesses that it is strong enough at least to have a chance of this “ultimatum” having at least some force. Sunday 11 October saw street protests again...

Over 10,000 protesters jailed in Belarus

On 4 October 100,000 people marched through Minsk in the latest mass protest against the rigging of the presidential election of 9 August. It was the 57th day of protests, and the ninth successive Sunday of mass demonstrations in the country’s capital. Despite some two months having passed since the election, the size of the demonstration in Minsk, and smaller demonstrations in other Belarussian cities and towns, shows that the anti-Lukashenko opposition remains as determined as ever to win its demands: a re-run of the presidential election; the release of all political prisoners; and...

Belarus workers press for strikes

Belarusian workers with a banner saying "Strike" in Russian Belarus’s dictator Lukashenko held his inauguration for a new term as president on 23 September, but protests continue. Universities had resumed and many students had joined demonstrations and sit-down protests held throughout the week. The weekend demonstrations were slightly smaller in Minsk on 26-27 September, but they continue to spread and grow outside the capital. The police response gets increasingly violent and threatening. In Grodno, shots were fired over the heads of demonstrators. Sub-machine guns were brandished by police...

The nature of the Lukashenko regime

While Belarusian and Russian troops have been staging joint military exercises ("Slavic Brotherhood 2020"), Belarus President Lukashenko's story about the events reveals the undemocratic nature of his regime. The current wave of protests, claims Lukashenko, is the product of ten years of preparations by the USA and its "satellites" — Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Ukraine — each of which "has had their own role to play". "Just as in Syria and Venezuela" attempts were made to undermine the electoral base of the country's leader. Tactics "borrowed from the Arab, Armenian, Polish and...

Belarus workers fight for democracy

Again on 19-20 September, mass demonstrations across Belarus demanded democracy. The last two Saturdays have seen tens of thousands of women in the capital, Minsk. They have faced police attacks, but the last two Sunday demonstrations have both attracted over 150,000. The women defended each other heroically — stopping state security arresting their comrades and pulling off the balaclavas behind which the security thugs hide their identity. One hero of the women's marches is 74 year old Nina Baginskaya. Escaping arrest on 12 September, she was eventually arrested at the 19 September...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.