Speaker: Diane Abbott MP
Introduction: Ken Livingstone
Chair: Kate Hudson
7pm Thursday 5 March, at Conway Hall
Following the recent exposure of a coup plot in Venezuela, RT conducted an interview (linked to below) with Eva Golinger, the author of the Chavez Code.
Greece: EU still trying to impose austerity
The new Greek government’s struggle with the EU has started to unfold with the outcome of the first round of negotiations with the EU institutions. This has seen Syriza forced to make a number of concessions on their anti-austerity programme.
The Syriza government is in a fight with hugely powerful forces – Germany, the IMF, European capital – which made it clear to Greece they were prepared to unleash a whirlwind if its government does not comply. The clearest threat was of an engineered run on the Greek banks which would have brought the tills to a standstill and led to an immediate chaotic social and economic crisis. The consequences would have made the 2013 Cyprus crisis look like a walk in the park.
By Jane West
There are only two possible outcomes to the General Election in May this year. Either Cameron will be returned to Number 10 or he will be replaced by Ed Miliband as Labour Prime Minister.
For the left and all progressive people the choice is unequivocal: kick out the Tories and put Ed Miliband and Labour in Number 10.
The following article by Matt Willgress was originally published by the Morning Star. It sets out some of Correa’s achievements since he was first elected President, including poverty reduction, low unemployment and an economy growing at four per cent a year - all underpinned by a huge increase in state investment, whose proportion of GDP has trebled in eight years.
Eight years ago President Rafael Correa was elected in Ecuador and, as in many Latin American countries in recent years, there’s been a tremendous shift in the country.
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.
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.
SYRIZA retains poll lead despite co-ordinated opposition campaign
SYRIZA has remained at the head of Greek opinion polls as the 25 January election moves closer, despite a concerted campaign by domestic and international representatives of big business to drive down its support. SYRIZA’s opinion poll lead has varied from 3 per cent to 8 per cent throughout this calendar year with no sign so far of it falling. Domestically within Greece the main tactic of the anti-SYRIZA campaign is to attack SYRIZA for 'extremism', while attempting to pretend that they are also anti-austerity but more ‘realistic’ and moderate than the leftist poll leader. This includes former Prime Minster Samaras and his right-wing New Democracy Party which now tries to pose as anti-austerity, as well as various centrist parties who claim the same mantle. This is failing miserably.
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.
Victory to SYRIZA – Strike a blow against austerity
The snap Greek general election on 25th January poses the possibility that an explicitly anti-austerity political party may top the polls in a European election for the first time since the imposition of austerity across Europe in the wake of the 2007-8 financial crisis.
“Whilst we celebrate the return of all of the Miami Five to Cuba, and the changes foreshadowed in President Obama’s speech are to be welcomed, we have to emphasise that the blockade has not ended.”
Abe’s fake ‘landslide’
The result of the snap election called by Japan's premier Abe has been hailed as a thumping victory for his combination of right-wing nationalism and competitive devaluation of the yen, which has fallen 20 per cent against the US dollar since July and depreciated by nearly two-thirds since the beginning of 2012.
Jim Crow alive and well in the US
Tens of thousands took to the streets nationwide across the US in response to the exposure of the depth of the structural racism embedded in US society through the impunity with which the US state kills black people.
The movement on the streets, triggered by the grand jury decision in St Louis not to prosecute the police killer of Michael Brown, took on a new dynamic following a similar decision in the New York case of Eric Garner. In New York the guilty were let off despite video evidence that this unarmed black man was choked to death by a police officer.
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.
US and Saudi Arabia collude to use oil price fall against Russia
The dramatic fall in world oil prices – down to around $70 a barrel from $95 earlier this year – is already having a profound economic effect, particularly on countries that are reliant on oil and gas exports. Venezuela’s budget deficit is accelerating, Iran is under increased pressure, but the most dramatic impact so far has been in Russia.
Russia is the world's second largest oil exporter with oil and gas accounting for 70 per cent of all exports and half of government revenues. The combined impact of the oil price fall and Western sanctions in response to developments in Ukraine have led to a huge tumble in the value of the rouble, which has fallen by 36 per cent so far, falling 6 per cent in one day on Monday 1st December.
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