Interviews and articles

Analysis
On Sunday 5 December, Raoul Hedebouw was elected president of the PTB-PVDA at the closing session of our Unity Congress. Here is his speech at the closing session.
Interview
Set to win 18 seats in parliament, the Workers’ Party of Belgium is the fastest-growing force on the European left. Newly elected leader Raoul Hedebouw tells Jacobin how his comrades built an explicitly Marxist party with mass appeal.
Analysis
An extraordinary story lies behind the emergence of the PTB from a small party to a major political player. The announcement that Peter Mertens is will not run again for president is an opportunity to look back at the renewal movement that began in 2004. We have traced this history through quotes from the mainstream press.
Interview
Perhaps the division of Belgium by the nationalists by 2024 can be stopped? In what way is the solidarity movement for the flood victims a huge sign of hope? Why is the PTB flying Belgium’s black-yellow-red flag? We met David Pestieau, vice-president of the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA), on the occasion of the release of his manifesto for the unity of Belgium. David Pestieau starts his book on the unity of the country with his feet in the mud of Liège: "On July 20, the national day of mourning, I am in Pepinster, one of the places most affected by the tragedy. Many people come from Ath, Ostend, Antwerp... with the SolidariTeams. Many of the people affected by the disaster could not believe the outpour of solidarity. That same evening, Bart De Wever said on a television channel that he would like a union between Flanders and the Netherlands and that he would rather die a "southern Dutchman" than a Belgian. The gap between the people and some of those in the Rue de la Loi (seat of the Belgian government, editor's note) could not be better illustrated."
Analysis
Dear friends, dear comrades, A friend in need is a friend indeed. That's what the popular wisdom says. This summer, there was a lot of need. And there were many friends. After the floods, there was an unprecedented wave of solidarity. From the very first day, thousands and thousands of volunteers went to Wallonia to help the people there. To empty the cellars. To distribute soup. To clean schools and shops.
Interview
Pensions remain a sensitive issue: the government wants to raise the pensionable age even further, while a majority of the population is calling for exactly the opposite. In order not to provoke resistance, the Minister for Pensions, Karine Lalieux (French-speaking Socialist Party), is quietly working on a new reform. Her plan is expected to be on the government's table in September. Kim De Witte, pension specialist of the PTB, explains the stakes of the new battle to come.
Analysis
Some of the parties on Rue de la Loi* intend to split up our country even further in 2024 and set the people of Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders against each other. However, the vast majority of Belgians are more than fed up with the division of our country and instead want more cooperation, more solidarity and more unity. That which unites us makes us stronger; that which divides us weakens us. The working class in our country has known this for a long time. Together, those of Liege, Ghent, Brussels, Charleroi, Antwerp and all the other regions have built the workers' movement of our small country. And they have built the wealth of our society and made a strong social security system possible. Together we are building a movement for the unity of our country, against the threat of a split. The split in our country is anti-social, costly, absurd and brutal. More unity is social, cheaper, efficient and humane. That is why we want the federal state to become the centre of gravity of our country again. We are one. Nous sommes un.
Analysis
A jar of chocolate spread. That's what the garbage collectors in Bruges get as a reward for their hard work. A jar of chocolate spread.
Analysis
A survey of 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries conducted byThe People's Vaccine Alliance* indicates that two out of three of these suspect that we have a maximum of one year before the coronavirus mutates to the point where most first generation vaccines will lose their efficacy and new vaccines will be needed. So, we will need more vaccines soon. Not only in Europe, but also worldwide. Variants know no borders, after all.
Analysis
Foreword to the English edition of ‘They Have Forgotten Us’. With this English edition, ‘They Have Forgotten Us’ is being published in its fifth language (after Dutch, French, German, and Spanish). For that, I am extremely grateful to Vijay Prashad and LeftWord Books.
Analysis
What does the shortage of nurses has in common with the increase in our electricity bills? These are the perverse effects of privatization. In recent decades, public companies have been sold to the private sector by our governments, with disastrous consequences. All over the world, citizens are mobilizing to take these companies back in hand. With victories in hand.
Analysis
Lumumba is a symbol of the Congolese people's struggle for independence. In Africa, he is put on an equal footing as all the major leaders in the fight against colonialism. But who was Patrice Lumumba and why is it so important to keep his memory alive?