BTS 3/27/06: Israeil Elections; Youth Revolt in France; Belarus Election

Listen: Yoav Peled - Patrick Silberstein - Mike Urban

First, a big congrats and kudos to all who demonstrated on Saturday against the Sensenbrenner anti-immigration bill. More than half a million filled LA’s streets to protest.

In our program tonight, we focus on elections and protests. We begin with the Israeli elections to be held tomorrow and look at the long shadow of Ariel Sharon. Yoav Peled joins us from Tel Aviv.

We then turn to the ongoing revolts in Paris, where over a million students and workers have demonstrated continuously for the last two plus weeks to say no to a new measure that would allow French employers to hire young workers on a conditional two-year basis during which they could be fired without cause. We’ll talk to Patrick Silberstein in Paris for an update and some analysis.

Finally we look at the continuing election saga in post-Soviet Belarus where Lukashenko won by way too many votes, has arrested his opposition, got rid of opposition press, but held on to a Soviet style economy. The US is fashioning a critical response. Mike Urban fills us in.

Read More for info on tonight's guests.

1. Yoav Peled teaches political science at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of Class and Ethnicity in the Pale: The Political Economy of Jewish Workers' Nationalism in Late Imperial Russia, and co-author, with Gershon Shafir, of Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

2. Patrick Silberstein was born in Paris in 1949. He studied medicine, and has been a long time activist in the French left, and was arrested by military police in 1977. He is active in soldiers’ committees, and founded the European Council of Conscripts Organisations (ECCO) in 1979. He is founder and editor of the alternative publishing house Éditions Syllepse and also a founder of Ras l’front, a network fighting fascism.

3. Mike Urban's research has dealt principally with Russia (USSR), focusing on questions of political language and ideology, the circulation of elites, the dynamics of the mass movement that overthrew the communist regime, and the problems of state and society in the post-communist period. He has also explored the appearance and development of blues music and culture in Russia, focusing on social identity and community formation under conditions of stress and uncertainty. He has authored the following books: Russia gets the Blues: Music, Culture, and Community in Unsettled Times (Cornell University Press, 2004), The Rebirth of Politics in Russia (Cambridge University Press, 1997), More Power to the Soviets: The Democratic Revolution in the USSR (Edward Elgar, 1990), and An Algebra of Soviet Power: Elite Circulation in the Belorussian Republic, 1966-86 (Cambridge University Press, 1989).