By Tom Castle
Nelson Mandela is a hero to all those who have struggled for freedom, for black liberation and for revolutionaries the world over. He was hounded and imprisoned for almost half a lifetime by the apartheid regime, in close collaboration with the imperialist powers led by the US and Britain. In death he is rightly receive tributes from across the world, even including entirely hypocritical ones from the likes of Obama and Cameron.
Every socialist and progressive person will mourn today for the loss of Nelson Mandela.
The struggle he waged was against the greatest inhumanity to afflict the post-war world: the existence of a state where black people were treated as little more than cattle, racially segregated in every aspect of life, confined by pass laws, forcibly removed from traditional homelands, imprisoned, beaten and often killed, denied any democratic voice, banned from protest, forbidden to marry as they chose, under-educated through the ‘Bantu education’ system, subject to discriminatory taxes and denied South African citizenship including the right to a passport.
By Bridget Robertson
Rising energy bills mean that a quarter of the population of Britain now has to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy, at the same time as energy company profits have increased by 77 per cent in one year alone.
This has meant thousands of households are being forced to choose between heating and eating as the Tory assault on living standards takes its toll. However, for the vulnerable the consequences are even more serious. Last winter 31 000 people died prematurely, with around a third of those deaths attributable to living in a cold home.
By Nicky Dempsey
The battle over austerity is moving into a new phase. Encouraged by talk of recovery a number of disputes have broken out across a wide variety of sectors, on pay, jobs, pensions and against privatisation.
By Jane West
The decision of the United States to fly two B-52 bombers unannounced through Chinese strategic airspace was nothing less than a calculated, and extremely dangerous, act of aggression against China, further whipping up tensions in the East China Sea.
The B-52 fly-through was directly aimed at toughening up Japan’s stance vis-a-vis China. Two Japanese airlines that had previously agreed to inform China of flights over the disputed Diaoyu islands withdrew this agreement following the US action.
The remarks by former Labour Home Secretary, David Blunkett, alleging that the ‘behaviour’ of incoming Roma migrants in Sheffield could lead to violent inter-community clashes and even riots have been seized on to whip up a further round of racism and anti-immigrant scape-goating.
By Jennifer Nash
On Saturday 150 students from more than 50 campuses attended the Student Assembly Against Austerity to discuss ideas and actions to take forward the struggle against austerity nationally and on campuses. Upbeat, energetic, optimistic – students are ready for action against austerity and to play our part in the upturn of struggle.
The event was one of the biggest gatherings of the student anti-austerity movement since the height of the student fight back against tripling tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA in 2010.
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East
By Paul Roberts
Since abducting former President Mohamed Morsi and suspending the constitution on July 3rd, Egypt’s generals have re-established their political rule.
We publish below the comments of Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the French Parti de Gauche, on the coup in Egypt. The original text can be found here.
Socialist Action strongly agrees with his judgement that this was a coup, that it was a rightist coup and that those forces that have welcomed the coup – or failed to recognise it as a coup – are profoundly wrong and store up grave errors of approach for the future.
Repeated claims that the European crisis is over are entirely false. Among the countries whose creditors have been bailed out the Greek economy is expected to contract sharply again in 2013, the Portuguese centre-right coalition government has threatened to fall apart and Ireland, long touted as the model for a bail-out, has officially gone back into recession.
The world economic situation is today chiefly characterised by a prolonged stagnation of the productive forces, which is beginning to lead to mass unrest and political problems throughout the imperialist and semi-colonial world.
Yesterday Egypt’s military, with the full backing of imperialism, carried out a coup d’état.
Former President Mohamed Morsi was deposed and taken into military custody along with his key officials, with arrest warrants issued for hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
By Najete Michell
The by-election on 23rd June in Villeneuve sur Lot was a wake up call for the French political class. The second round run-off posed the question of whether the National Front candidate would win in the election for this Southern France parliamentary seat.
In the event, the NF candidate lost, but he nevertheless got 46 per cent of the vote in the run off against the UMP, apparently getting 7,000 more votes than in the first round, although the exact figures have yet to be released.
By Frances Davis
Last week saw an increased level of sectarian loyalist attacks against Catholic nationalist areas in the north of Ireland, accompanying the summer ‘marching season’ and the yearly determination by a minority of unionists to force sectarian marches through areas where they are clearly not wanted by local communities. Although there have been successful resolutions in some areas over contentious parades through local negotiations, the Orange Order still refuses to engage with local residents.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan is reported as saying that the same forces are at work in the protests in his country as in Brazil. In a very fundamental way this is correct.
The People’s Assembly Against Austerity marked a significant step in creating much needed unity between the various strands of the movement in the fight against this government’s austerity policies.
It gathered 4,000 trade unionists, activists and campaigners from every part of the country, and demonstrated the strength that can be attained if differences are put aside around a common call to resist the attacks on living standards and welfare.
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.
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Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East by Socialist_Action
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