by Nicky Dempsey
Thousands marched in London yesterday (Saturday May 18) in defence of the NHS.
By Paul Lewis
There can be few more compelling pieces of evidence of capitalism's redundancy as a vehicle for human progress than the news that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose above four hundred parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history last week.
By Jane West
It can hardly have escaped even the most committed Wagnerphobe that this year is a centenary celebration.
Alongside concert performances of all his major operas at the Proms, radio and TV broadcasts there are countless assessments of his life, politics, opinions and their relationship to his work.
The near-unanimous support for austerity policies in the ruling classes of the main capitalist powers is showing signs of strain. This is not because there is some recognition of the social and economic damage from the crisis, nor because of the valiant level of social resistance in some countries, or even because of the entry of populist and other unpredictable parties of the right.
The results of the local elections were above all a devastating blow to the Tories.
But while they confirm Labour is on course for a win at the 2015 General Election, this at present is not due to a significant turn to the left in the population.
By Nicky Dempsey
The growing recognition that the 2015 election is Labour’s to lose has led to increasing rightwing pressures on the Labour leadership to maintain the essential thrust of ‘austerity’ policy.
The overwhelmingly Tory press focuses on the demand that Ed Miliband in particular commits to maintaining Tory spending plans.
Recent weeks have seen a clear up-tick in the struggle against austerity in Britain.
The nationwide response to the Bedroom Tax, a number of very significant demonstrations against hospital closures, a jump in size of pickets and protests called against other local cuts and the decisions by NUT/NASUWT to call a series of one day strikes are among the evidence for this. The movement against austerity and the cuts has begun to move up a gear for the first time since the student struggles of late 2010 and the 2011/12 pensions’ actions.
By Hassan Malik
The Book of Mormon opened last month having come to London on the back of nine Tony awards and rapturous New York reviews. Created by the team behind the successful South Park TV series, it features songs written by the composer from the irreverent Muppet musical Avenue Q.
It is marketed as a satire on the Mormon religion, which there is plenty of material about in the show. However, this is not the only target.
By Jennifer Nash
The annual national conference of the National Union of Students (NUS) last week resolved to stand on the sidelines while the Tories’ attacks on education go unchallenged. It threw out all proposals to fight the attacks on students and elected a new NUS leadership that endorsed this programme of selling students out.
By Paul Roberts
Nicolás Maduro, the Chávista candidate, won yesterday’s Presidential election in Venezuela.
However, Venezuela’s right wing, which coordinates with the US, is determined to escalate its destabilisation campaign, so is refusing to accept the result.
By Jane West
While US imperialism has turned its attention from Libya to Iran and Syria, it has not taken its eyes off the threat that it sees in China.
By Andrew Williams
Occupy London Stock Exchange (Occupy LSX), in just three weeks, has demonstrated it is an effective dynamic new movement, driving forward a progressive campaign opposing the current assault on the population’s living standards.
Several hundred people are participating and have set up tents for a continuous vigil at the heart of Britain’s principal financial centre. They are taking inspiration from the global movement that has been occupying public spaces in over 900 cities since the Wall Street protest started seven weeks ago.
Thursday 1 December 2011, 6pm-7.15pm
US EmbassyGrosvenor Square, London (Bond St tube)
with special guests from Cuba – the mothers of the Miami 5:Mirta Rodriguez PerezIrma Sehwerert MilehamMagali Llort Ruiz
We stand for progressive alternatives to making the majority pay for a crisis they did not create. The Rally starts at 2pm and will be followed by a march to ParliamentSpeakers include:John PilgerBruce KentSeumas Milne – GuardianKate Hudson – Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)Josie Long – UK Uncut & award-winning comedianAaron Kiely, NUS Black Students’ CampaignWeyman Bennett, Unite Against FascismLindsey German, Stop the War Coalition
By Stephen MacAvoy
The huge youth student protests that have shaken Chile in recent months have shattered the myth that it is Latin America’s neo-liberal success story and underlined how mass protests are key to forcing concessions from politicians who argue “there is no alternative”.
The students, whose demands are free education and an end to profit-making in education, have organised six months of resolute protests involving prolonged occupations of hundreds of schools some for months at time, regular demonstrations attracting as many as 1m people (as shown in this video report) in a country of just 16 million people and civil disobedience in the form of direct action, such as this occupation of Parliament (seen here).
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign Lobby of Parliament will be on Wednesday 23rd November (from 2pm to 6pm)
The lobby is to advocate Palestinians’ civil, political and human rights, in accordance with international law. The aim of the lobby is to build support amongst MPs for Palestinians, including ending the siege on Gaza and for an end to the arms trade with Israel.
The US ‘Occupy Wall St’ protest – which itself marks the emergence of the first signs of a radicalisation in the US in response to the global economic crisis – inspired a global ‘Day of Rage’ last weekend (15th/16th October) focused on the world’s stock markets and financial systems, which saw protests in most of the advanced capitalist countries.
The Occupy Wall St protest itself began on 17th September under the slogan of ‘We are the 99 per cent’ – referring to the disparity between the 1 per cent that own 40 per cent of the wealth in America and the 99 per cent that share the rest.
On 15th October, the movement went global, with rallies of various sizes reported in 951 cities in 80 countries. The Guardian featured a world map showing the location of the main protests.
By Mushtaq Ahmed
Last weekend (15/16 October) Lowkey released a new album, Soundtrack to the Struggle, which rapidly became propelled to number seven in the iTunes chart. This is a phenomenal achievement for an artist with no major record label backing. Add to that the fact that he has been defined by his strong stance on the injustice suffered by the Palestinians, and his support for the revolutionary developments in Latin America. This makes this achievement all the more impressive, given that BBC 1Xtra earlier this year censored the word ‘Palestine’ from a track by MC Righteous. Lowkey has been at the forefront of The Equality Movement together with MC Logic and journalist Jody McIntyre who reviews the album here.
By David Brown
While governing parties throughout Europe are losing elections, Citizens’ Platform (PO) has been re-elected as the largest party in Poland and will again form a coalition government with the Peasants’ Party (PSL).
The major reason for its victory is that the Polish economy has continued to grow throughout its term in office, with Poland being the only EU country to have avoided a recession since the outbreak of the global economic crisis.
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