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.
Ferguson - the 'American dream' is revealed as a nightmare
America's post-crisis weak recovery has not led to any improvement in living standards particularly in its most impoverished and disenfranchised African American communities. On the contrary inequality has risen and in the most powerful country in the world its inner cities are riven with poverty and its communities criminalised. Facing growing disaffection the police have attempted to maintain control through increased use of violence and repression. After the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Fergusson, Missouri the response of the black community and progressives was that enough is enough. The grand jury decision not to charge the St Louis police officer who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, will unleash another round of protest and struggle as the state is thrown back on violence alone and oppressed communities refuse to accept it and the deep-rooted racism that lies at its core.
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.
Thousand of students are expected to join the demonstration on Wednesday 19 November.
The Free Education protest is organised by a coalition, including: the Student Assembly Against Austerity, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the Young Greens.
The demo's Facebook event is here and it can be followed on twitter via the hashtags #Nov19 and #FreeEducation.
By Jane West
The storm that has swirled around Ed Miliband's head over recent days has been entirely the result of hostile media manufactures and the machinations of backbench uber-Blairites. But they have exploited the mistakes and terrible weaknesses of Labour's campaign for the general election.
By Bob Clarke
The political impact of the economic crisis in Europe has entered a new phase. When the economy was contracting virtually all parties implementing austerity policies were thrown out of office or at least experienced a large drop in their support. In the more recent period of economic stagnation, the same economic policies have the effect of shifting the burden of the crisis onto workers and the poor while capital benefits, boosting the incomes of the very rich and allied layers.
By Paul Roberts
Last Thursday's (17 July) air disaster, in which a Malaysian Airlines jetliner crashed near Ukraine's border with Russia, killing all 298 people on board, is likely to be the result of a missile fired from the ground - a commercial plane tragically caught up in the war Kiev and its imperialist backers are waging against Ukraine's eastern regions.
The horrific bombardment and invasion of Gaza have sparked a growing global solidarity movement with the beleaguered Palestinian struggle. The scale of the movement internationally can become a new factor in the situation. At the very least it is likely to increase the political price paid by Israel and its imperialist backers for their continued efforts to destroy all Palestinian resistance.
Nearest tube: High St Ken. For travel check here
Details here and Facebook
March and rally in central London
Join the demonstration the BBC can’t miss – on their own doorstep. The BBC’s reporting of Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza fails to explain the years of occupation and siege Palestinians have endured. We say, give the full picture – report the truth on Gaza.
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, CND
By Nicky Dempsey
The US is marshalling its key forces in the offensive against the population of eastern and southern Ukraine. On the ground, the Kiev-controlled armed forces have been reconstituted so that shock troop are supplemented by fighters from the far-right Right Sector. Their aim is to crush any opposition to the pro-Western government installed by coup in Kiev.
Details here and Facebook
This Thursday (10 July) the government is facing the largest public sector strike since 2010.
Pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises have reduced public sector workers' pay by 20% since the coalition came to power in 2010, public sector pensions have been attacked and public services have been slashed across the country. So members of the NUT, Unite, GMB, Unison, FBU and PCS will be striking and taking part in demonstrations and rallies. (Details can be found here and here)
Nearest tube: High St Ken. For travel check here
The conflict in Iraq that has unfolded this past month, like the war in neighbouring Syria, is unlikely to be settled fast given the significant alliances assembled behind each side.
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