Stand up to racism and fascism rally and demo 22 March 2014 marking UN Anti-Racism Day
■ No to scapegoating of immigrants■ No to Islamophobia■ Yes to diversityRally and Demo marking UN Anti-Racism Day11am, Saturday 22nd March 2014Central London • Demonstration assembly point tbc
By Martine Dwyer
Last Sunday’s Venezuela elections resulted in a convincing win for the Maduro-led Chavista party the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) confounding the hopes of the right and their US backers and vastly strengthening the position of Maduro after his narrow win by 1.5 per cent in April.
By Jane West
The decision by Yingluck Shinawatra to call a snap election in Thailand in response to a determined attempt by the right to overturn her democratically elected government is a high risk strategy, despite the fact that her party would almost certainly win in any fair election. The right-wing monarchical elites and the army in Thailand know they cannot win in a free election and so are looking for an opportunity to delegitimise or distort the electoral process and impose an army or so-called technocratic ‘people’s council’ government instead.
By Tom Castle
Nelson Mandela is a hero to all those who have struggled for freedom, for black liberation and for revolutionaries the world over. He was hounded and imprisoned for almost half a lifetime by the apartheid regime, in close collaboration with the imperialist powers led by the US and Britain. In death he is rightly receive tributes from across the world, even including entirely hypocritical ones from the likes of Obama and Cameron.
Every socialist and progressive person will mourn today for the loss of Nelson Mandela.
The struggle he waged was against the greatest inhumanity to afflict the post-war world: the existence of a state where black people were treated as little more than cattle, racially segregated in every aspect of life, confined by pass laws, forcibly removed from traditional homelands, imprisoned, beaten and often killed, denied any democratic voice, banned from protest, forbidden to marry as they chose, under-educated through the ‘Bantu education’ system, subject to discriminatory taxes and denied South African citizenship including the right to a passport.
By Bridget Robertson
Rising energy bills mean that a quarter of the population of Britain now has to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy, at the same time as energy company profits have increased by 77 per cent in one year alone.
This has meant thousands of households are being forced to choose between heating and eating as the Tory assault on living standards takes its toll. However, for the vulnerable the consequences are even more serious. Last winter 31 000 people died prematurely, with around a third of those deaths attributable to living in a cold home.
By Nicky Dempsey
The battle over austerity is moving into a new phase. Encouraged by talk of recovery a number of disputes have broken out across a wide variety of sectors, on pay, jobs, pensions and against privatisation.
The decision of the United States to fly two B-52 bombers unannounced through Chinese strategic airspace was nothing less than a calculated, and extremely dangerous, act of aggression against China, further whipping up tensions in the East China Sea.
The B-52 fly-through was directly aimed at toughening up Japan’s stance vis-a-vis China. Two Japanese airlines that had previously agreed to inform China of flights over the disputed Diaoyu islands withdrew this agreement following the US action.
The remarks by former Labour Home Secretary, David Blunkett, alleging that the ‘behaviour’ of incoming Roma migrants in Sheffield could lead to violent inter-community clashes and even riots have been seized on to whip up a further round of racism and anti-immigrant scape-goating.
By Jennifer Nash
On Saturday 150 students from more than 50 campuses attended the Student Assembly Against Austerity to discuss ideas and actions to take forward the struggle against austerity nationally and on campuses. Upbeat, energetic, optimistic – students are ready for action against austerity and to play our part in the upturn of struggle.
The event was one of the biggest gatherings of the student anti-austerity movement since the height of the student fight back against tripling tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA in 2010.
The re-election of Obama as US President rather than a right-wing creationist Republican in hock to the Tea Party movement has naturally pleased progressive opinion in the West.
But the truth is, whichever candidate had won there would be little change, and the indifference to the result reported on the streets of Islamabad, and the coolness of response in China, are a far more accurate response.
1.30pm – 4pm
Saturday 31 March
Outside the US EmbassyGrosvenor SquareLondon W1A 1AE
On Facebook here
By Jane West
Following the mass protest on the weekend of 1st/2nd October, hundreds of primarily young people remain camped out in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park under the slogan of ‘Occupy Wall Street’, and calling for action against the banks to alleviate poverty and unemployment.
While the precise demands of the protests are vague and varied, there is no doubt about the overall character of the mobilisations – they reject that the American people should be forced to pay for an economic crisis made on Wall Street.
The mobilisations in Wisconsin in response to Republican proposals to strip public sector workers of collective negotiating rights indicate that the US working class may just be beginning to stir from the slumber that has gripped it through three decades of assault on its living standards.
A demonstration held on Saturday 12th March after the Republicans found a way to force their legislation through despite the Democrats’ blocking tactics saw a demonstration up to 100,000. Initial large protests were further galvanised by the decision of the Democrat members of the state legislature to render the body inquorate and absent themselves. In order not to be subject to subpoena they had to go outside the borders of the state.
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