By Lisa-Jane Green
In Britain we are seeing the increasing ‘Americanisation’ of anti-choice tactics, with groups such as Abort67 (named after the year the Abortion Act was introduced and women in Britain were able to access safe, legal abortions) and 40 Days for Life are picketing and praying outside abortion clinics displaying provocative images and boasting about the women they turned away on their blogs. They are choosing to focus on women – often extremely vulnerable women – at clinics rather than involve themselves in evidence-based discussions in the media or in Parliament.
By Nicky Dempsey and Jane West
The announcement by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls that the Tories’ spending plans would be the ‘starting point’ for Labour’s own budget post-2015, and Ed Miliband’s endorsement of a continuing ‘benefit cap’, clarify the nature of the coming Labour government.
By Bridget Robertson
This week the British Parliament will vote on the shape of our energy system for the next 40 years. The vote will lay bare the deep divisions in the British bourgeoisie between those who accept that urgent and transformational change is needed in order to keep the planet inhabitable for humanity, and those prepared in the face of overwhelming evidence of climate change to further bolster vested interests of carbon industries.
By Jane West
This coming Saturday the racist English Defence League are calling demonstrations up and down the country - they are aiming to hold 70 separate events - exploiting the horror at the murder of soldier Lee Rigby to mobilise support for racism and Islamophobia.
by Nicky Dempsey
The DGB German trade union confederation has produced a manifesto which offers an internationalist answer to the crisis. It stands in sharp contrast to the bitter diet of xenophobia and racism which is being promoted across Europe.
By Paul Taylor
The launch of the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity in Sheffield on Wednesday 23 May saw nearly 400 people crammed in to the city centre venue. The meeting brought together the broadest spectrum of opponents to austerity yet seen in the city.
No one should underestimate the depth of the crisis now confronting the Tory Party, which has snow-balled from the moment in January that Cameron conceded to the Eurosceptic wing of his party and made a pledge for an in-out referendum on Europe if the Tories won in 2015.
This was an enormous miscalculation, undoing all the work that Cameron had done in turning the Tory Party towards the centreground in British politics with his mantra that ‘banging on’ about Europe had alienated the voters.
The murderous attack on a soldier in Woolwich yesterday was horrifying, and nothing justifies such a vile act. The only response that is appropriate – apart from expressing sympathy for the victim’s family and friends – is to isolate the approach of the perpetrators and for communities to stand together in condemnation of this attack, as Ken Livingstone spells out in the article we reproduce below.
By Paul Roberts
Syrian government forces are currently fighting in an important battle to retake control of Qusair, a town between Homs and the Lebanese border.
The government has over recent weeks broken the stalemate and developed impetus behind a series of military and political advances. If this momentum persists imperialism’s offensive will be significantly weakened. Hence it is determined to halt Syria’s current progress, so Israel has increased its direct attacks on Syria and there is a renewed drive for stepped up support to the opposition guerrilla forces.
Thousands marched in London yesterday (Saturday May 18) in defence of the NHS.
By Nicky Dempsey
The outcome of the Greek elections represents a decisive popular break with the politics of austerity. Persistent mass mobilisations over several years since the crisis began have resulted in a crushing defeat for the traditionally dominant parties in Greek politics. Parties who in different ways claimed to be opposed to the terms of the Greek bailout won a majority. After a prolonged period in Europe in which ruling parties carrying out cuts have been dumped at the first electoral opportunity, this is the first time since the crisis began that any country has registered a majority vote for parties against austerity.
by Alex Taylor
The aim of Ken Livingstone’s campaign in London was straightforward. It was to try to win the ability to use the resources of a powerful institution, that of the Mayor, to defend the living standards of ordinary people in London. As such it was inevitably going to face the most ferocious attack by capital.
The project of capitalism in Europe and this country at present is totally clear. Having led the continent into the deepest economic crisis for eighty years its aim is to try to overcome its own crisis through a huge transfer of wealth from the poorest members of society to the richest. That is the sole objective of the ‘austerity’ policies throughout Europe, as it is of those of the Tory led coalition here.
Saturday 12 May1–3pm opposite Downing St, London
Tomás Borge Martínez, the historic Nicaraguan revolutionary leader, died on 30 April aged 81. Borge had been a consistent and leading fighter at the centre of Nicaraguans’ struggles against dictatorship and imperialism for decades. He was an intellectual driving force of the revolutionary socialist movement and was revered by the left in Nicaragua.
by Marie Dupont
The campaign for the 1st round of the presidential elections in France were marked by an unusually high level of volatility and instability as regards voting intentions. Polls showed trends which kept crossing and recrossing each other between Sarkozy and Hollande, as well as ‘third’ candidates. They also showed a high percentage of people not knowing how they would vote several days before the elections. Also 25% of peopled changed their minds on who to vote during the course of the campaign. Polls also indicated a high a level of expected abstention (30%) but in the end this was 20%.
The Front de Gauche (Left Front), an electoral coalition on the left, made a strong showing in the French Presidential election first round on Sunday 22 April. It secured 11.1 per cent of the vote, with more than 3.9 million votes. Its candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, led a dynamic campaign which drew large enthusiastic crowds to its rallies. He issued the following statement (on 23 April) following the announcement of the results.
This excellent - and enjoyable - article in the Economist sets out how the demographics of who got a place in the Titanic lifeboats and reveals how the rich trample over children, women and the poor to ensure the survival of the wealthiest.
The article can be read here:
Paul Hodgkinson 1958-2012
Socialist Action expresses its great sorrow at the loss of Paul Hodgkinson, who died on Monday 2 April after fighting cancer.We wish to extend our condolences to Paul’s family.Paul was a long time supporter of Socialist Action. His commitment to the liberation of humanity lay at the core of his socialism.
Diskus Suite, Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN(Underground: Holborn)Organised by the Liaison Committee for the Defence of Trade Unions
6.30pm Wednesday 4th AprilOrganised by Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Speakers: George GallowaySami RamadaniJohn Rees Stop the War CoalitionSabah Jawad (chair)
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Colour leaflet, PDF 1.75MB
Drop cuts not bombs, colour leaflet, PDF 1.32MB