TNI News: 2 November 2006

13 November 2006

TNI News: 2 November 2006.

In this edition of TNI News you will find:

  • Lula’s last chance
  • South-south alternatives to neoliberalism, by Dot Keet
  • Alternatives to water privatisation
  • The 30 year struggle for justice: Letelier-Moffitt awards
  • New from our network:
    - Walden Bello on the China-US chain-gang economy
    - Praful Bidwai on India’s new consumerism
    - Saul Landau on the US mid-term elections
    - Boris Kagarlitsky on Putin’s corporate utopia
    - Boris Kagarlitsky on Russia’s bureaucratic pluralism
    - Boris Kagarlitsky on a Russian electoral landmark
    - Larry Lohmann on the forthcoming UN climate talks
    - Phyllis Bennis calls for withdrawal from Iraq
    - Praful Bidwai on the challenges of the North Korea’s nuclear test
    - Praful Bidwai on the need to debate India’s death penalty
    - Hilary Wainwright on the marketisaiton of public services
    - Saul Landau on Bush’s anti-terrorist record
    - Fred Halliday on Nothingam’s history
    - John Gittings on the funeral of a Chinese democrat
    - Corporate Europe Observatory on EU lobbying
    - Achin Vanaik on political terrorism

Lula's last chance

Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT), which pioneered participatory budgeting, was an example to the left worldwide. There were high expectations when its leader, Lula, became President. Many were disillusioned, however, by the compromises his government made to big capital and by the recent corruption crisis. Will Lula’s second term provide greater opportunities for progressive change?

Lula without illusions
By Hilary Wainwright
Lula’s first term as President of Brazil was a disappointment, which saw economic “constraints” loom larger than the potential to remake the country’s institutions by harnessing popular power. Hilary Wainwright sees few signs that the new administration will achieve radical changes, but finds some cause for hope in the resurgence of grassroots organising among the country’s social movements.

Lula's Presidential Victory in Brazil Opens up Challenge From Below
By Roger Burbach
Many on the left criticise the limited reforms of Lula’s first term, but his victory has consolidated the possibility of deeper social transformations in Brazil, argues Burbach.

Introduction to the Brazilian edition of
“In the Eye of the Storm: Left-wing activists discuss the political crisis in Brazil”
By Marcos Arruda
The recent corruption scandal that engulfed the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) was only one manifestation of the party’s transformation during the last decade. Hilary Wainwright’s edited volume sheds light on why the PT has turned from a popular, people-oriented party aiming for social transformation into a traditional electoral party.

In the Eye of the Storm:
Left-wing activists discuss the political crisis in Brazil

Edited by Hilary Wainwright and Sue Branford

South-South alternatives to neoliberalism

South-South Strategic Alternatives to the Global Economic System and Power Regime
By Dot Keet
Southern governments, reacting to a biased international trade and investment regime, are forging new inter-governmental alliances that have the potential to make the international distribution of power more equitable. Dot Keet looks at the conditions under which these varied alliances (including the G-22, G-33, G-77+China, G-90 and IBSA) have emerged, and explores the potential for critical engagement with them.

Alternatives to water privatisation

The Spanish edition of Reclaiming Public Water: Achievements, Struggles and Visions from Around the World
is now available online:

Por un modelo público de agua: Triunfos, luchas y sueños
Editores: Belén Balanyá, Brid Brennan, Olivier Hoedeman, Satoko Kishimoto and Philipp Terhorst
Traducción de Beatriz Martinez Ruiz
Transnational Institute / Corporate Europe Observatory / El viejo topo
Noviembre 2005

The challenges of “Blue October”
By Carlos Santos
Carlos Santos reviews a year of solid progress for the global movement “in defence of water and life.”

Cartoon in defence of water
This downloadable cartoon explains the dangers of water privatisation. It is an English translation of an original work by FENTAP (National Federation of Potable Water Workers of Peru).

The 30 year struggle for justice: Letelier-Moffitt awards

On 21 September 1976, agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet detonated a car bomb that killed former Chilean diplomat and TNI director, Orlando Letelier, and Institute for Policy Studies' Development Associate, Ronni Karpen Moffitt, in Washington DC.

30 Years: Families Struggle for Justice, A short video tribute to the families of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt.

Maher Arar's acceptance speech for the 2006 Letelier-Moffitt human rights award
In this video, Arar describes his extradition and torture in Syria at the discretion of the US government, which barred his entry to the US to collect the Letelier-Moffitt award.

The 2006 Letelier-Moffitt awards

New from our network

Chain-Gang Economics: China, the US, and the Global Economy
By Walden Bello
China's integration into the global economy is emerging as a central cause of global capitalism'’ crisis of overproduction. The chain-gang relationship between Chinese factories and American consumers is unsustainable and will only exacerbate the crisis, writes Bello.

Consumerism’s victims
By Praful Bidwai
The consumerism now engulfing India’s middle class also has its dark side, writes Bidwai. With large supermarket chains entering the market, millions of local shops will be ruined and the local food producers will be further impoverished.

Get the elephant out of the living room
By Saul Landau
Can the US Democrats free themselves from the “imperial axiom” or will they continue to accept the Republican Party’s framing of events? asks Saul Landau.

Putin’s Corporate Utopia
Boris Kagarlitsky
Growing profits and rising share prices have done little to improve Russia’s efficiency, writes Boris Kagarlitsky. Liberalisation means free-market monopolies, while Putin’s vision of capitalism, Russian-style is to combine a bureaucratic, strongly centralised power with heavy corporate influence.

Bureaucracy Doing Its Part for Pluralism
By Boris Kagarlitsky
Russia’s new opposition party, A Just Russia, is an ideal vehicle for bureaucratic intrigues and careerists’ struggles, writes Boris Kagarlitsky.


Nobody’s mayor in Samara
By Boris Kagarlitsky
Boris Kagarlitsky reports from the city of Samara, on the banks of the Volga, where the mayor’s political enemies ran his re-election campaign, and the disillusioned local population have learnt that “all bosses are the same”.

Kyoto: a false consensus?
Larry Lohmann interviewed by Heidi Bachram
At the UN climate talks in Nairobi, Kenya from 6-17 November, many participants are likely to concentrate on defending and extending the Kyoto Protocol against the Bush administration's opposition. However, a new book critiques the embattled Kyoto agreement and other carbon trading schemes from a different, social justice perspective. Heidi Bachram talks to the editor, Larry Lohmann.

Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power
Edited by Larry Lohmann
Development & Dialogue No. 48, September 2006

Call for withdrawal from Iraq
By Phyllis Bennis
Iraq has been thrown into chaos by this invasion and the occupation is provoking more violence. Phyllis Bennis advocates the immediate pullout of the occupation troops in Iraq.

Wake-up call
By Praful Bidwai
The nuclear powers would be committing a colossal blunder if they do not respond to North Korea’s test by reforming the global nuclear order, writes Bidwai.

N. Korea nuclear test should shake double standards
By Praful Bidwai

Death Penalty Debate Revived
By Praful Bidwai
Mohammad Afzal’s execution was postponed after his family filed a clemency petition, but the debate about abolishing the death penalty still has to take place before conservatives yield ground to liberal opinion, says Bidwai.

Halting the descent into medieval barbarity
by Praful Bidwai

OurSpace: the new frontier
By Hilary Wainwright
The left needs to do much more than simply oppose the marketisation of public services - it must promote a positive alternative, writes Hilary Wainwright.

Bush’s anti terrorist record – don’t look too hard!
By Saul Landau
Bush’s tough rhetoric on terrorism is a long way from the reality of his government’s practice, writes Landau. It gives kid glove treatment to anti-Castro terrorists, while sending innocent civilians like Maher Arar to be tortured.