Stunning victory for Podemos
The local and regional elections held in the Spanish state were a victory for the anti-austerity political insurgents of Podemos and its allies and a defeat for the ruling Partido Popular (PP). This is an important breakthrough ahead of national elections to be held later this year and is a significant boost to the anti-austerity forces across Europe, especially Syriza in Greece.
The outcome of the British election produced a collapse of the classic ‘centrist vote’ represented by the Liberal Democrats and a polarisation to both the right and the left of the mainstream political parties. This is a new situation as the new formations on the right and on the left are substantial and are a significant factor on the changed political scene.
By Frances Davis
In the north of Ireland the election was dominated by two factors: the economic situation and austerity; and the political and peace process. Sinn Fein have been at the sharp end of the fight against austerity and in resisting Tory welfare `reform’ cuts from being implemented in the six counties. They have also been in an on-going struggle to defend the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement against an anti-agreement offensive of unionism and the Tory-led government, which has attempted to stall and roll back progress.
By Ian Richardson
The People's Assembly Against Austerity is organising a major national demonstration on June 20 under the headline title End Austerity Now. For the left both inside and outside the Labour Party, and all those who wish to resist the massive attacks to come from the newly elected Conservative Government in the years ahead, building this demonstration must be our immediate priority.
By Michael Burke
The outcome of the 2015 general election was a tactical triumph for David Cameron but it was achieved by destroying his own political allies the LibDems. For Labour this was a huge missed opportunity. There is now a Tory Prime Minister with a majority in Parliament with the lowest share of the popular vote ever, who presided over the longest decline in living standards, yet Labour lost seats. The rise of the SNP, the other big winner from the election, being due to the greater distance it places between itself and Tory policies.
By Neil Keenan
In the closing weeks of 2014 the US saw the beginnings of a nationwide movement against police repression of the black communities. A series of local struggles in the United States against a number of high profile cases of cop killings of black youths and men exploded into a national black struggle on a level not seen since the civil rights movement.
By Jane West
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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