After France: Tories play the Islamophobia card
Tory Communities’ Secretary Eric Pickles' recent letter urging Muslims to explain how Islam 'can be part of British identity' has fanned the flames of bigotry and has nothing remotely to do with combating terrorism.
The following article by Matt Willgress, on the US decision to impose sanctions against Venezuela, was originally published by the Morning Star.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has led a chorus of the Global South in angrily rejecting new sanctions against his nation signed into law by US President Barack Obama in December.
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.
This interview with a member of Borotba, a Ukrainian left-wing organisation, analyses the situation of the left in the east of Ukraine in the 'Peoples Republics'. It points up the role of Russia in holding back any developments to the left, including blocking the recently refounded Communist Party in east Ukraine from standing in the elections held in October precisely because it has mass support and would probably have won. However, it should also be noted that it is only the pressure from Russia that forced Kiev to agree the ceasefire that significantly reduced the bombardment of eastern cities. The article was previously published on the website of Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine.
By Jude Woodward
In the wake of the grotesque and vile attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 innocents dead, there has been an understandable rush to not only condemn the attack but to gather under the principle of the "defence of freedom of speech".
Large demonstrations in Paris have taken up the slogan "Je suis Charlie” to express their defiance at attempts to intimidate journalists into silence.
The following article by Jude Woodward, assessing the US 'Pacific pivot' strategy following Obama's recent visit to Asia, originally appeared on her New Cold War blog.
Obama’s November week-long, whistle stop tour of Asia – attending the Beijing APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) summit, the ASEAN meeting in Myanmar and the G20 in Australia – was intended to re-launch America’s crucial Asia-Pacific (aka China) strategy, in the doldrums since Obama’s aborted 2013 trip cancelled in the context of the ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis. Instead the trip merely underlined how much ground the USA has to make up in order to trump China’s growing influence in the region.
By Tom O’Donnell
In stagnant waters all sorts of virulent organisms can grow. As Britain’s economy continues to stagnate racism is spreading and becoming more poisonous.
Cameron now says that the British economy is likely to deteriorate once more, prolonging the crisis, but none of the mainstream political parties offers any policy which would resolve it. The economic stagnation will continue and so too will the unrelenting racist propaganda campaign.
By Nicky Dempsey
The broad movement against austerity is warming up. A host of unions have either organised national strike action or are about to strike in the near future. These include firefighters, post workers, teachers, lecturers and others. The continued fall in living standards takes place while the government and its supporters complacently talk about recovery. As a result workers are increasingly angry and confident that they can win concessions.
Sinn Féin is hosting a conference in London on October 19 on the theme of Irish unity. It is a tremendous opportunity to hear and learn from the party leadership as it engages with a wide array of forces in the continued struggle against austerity, in defence of the Good Friday Agreement and for a united Ireland.
By Tom Castle
The massacre of shoppers at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi has been followed by a series of bloody attacks against both the immigrant Somali community in Kenya and targeted assassination of Muslim clerics by the security forces in Kenya. In the international sphere the US has also launched a number of raids against alleged architects of a series of terrorist attacks.
The Egyptian army’s July coup was met with widespread confusion on the left. Within Egypt and internationally some socialists actually supported the coup, others were explicitly neutral in the struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood government and the army.
The article by John Riddell that appears below considers these issues from the point of view of the experience of the international communist movement from 1917 to the 1930s, drawing out why these positions are dangerously wrong.
By Paul Roberts and Jane West
As expected Labour conference fired the starting gun for the 2015 election. What was not so anticipated was the Miliband leadership’s announcement of a series of popular policies that are widely perceived as constituting a shift to the left.
The strategy rolled out was for Labour to position itself as the party that defends the living standards of ordinary people. This was a shift in strategy and a welcome one. It is based on a correct understanding that the mass of the population is now more animated by contracting real incomes – the ‘cost of living crisis’ – than the ideology of ‘deficit reduction’.
By Nicky Dempsey and Jane West
It is little more than a year and a half until the next general election and already the main issues in each party’s campaign are being delineated.
Labour is still virtually certain to be the largest party after the next election as the long-term decline in the Tory vote will be further depressed by five years of austerity. Electorally the main question is whether Labour wins a majority – and of what size – or whether it is forced into coalition with the Lib Dems.
Talk of economic recovery and even boom is entirely misplaced, but it may have a very positive effect on the movement against austerity.
Patrice Lumumba was murdered in 1961. The leader of Congo’s first post-colonial government lasted just weeks in office and was dead within months of his election. A Season in the Congo, playing an extended season at the Young Vic, is a joyous celebration of his life and a poignant record of his death.
By Paul Roberts
Whilst President Obama tries to tie down support this week in advance of forthcoming Congressional votes, the US military is preparing an immense assault on Syria. US imperialism does not make idle threats, so it intends that the attack will proceed. Members of Congress are being told that a ‘no-vote’ next week, against air-strikes, would catastrophically weaken the US for years to come.
Countdown toEnd of Cameron's political career
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Fight austerity and racist scapegoating
Previous publications (PDF):
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East, pamphlet
Unite to fight the Tory attacks, leaflet
Investment not cuts, leaflet
Drop cuts not bombs, leaflet