By Frances Davis
One of the most inspiring moments in the days of tribute following the death of Nelson Mandela has been the way in which it has highlighted the connections between the leaderships of national liberation struggles spanning continents – from South African to Cuba and to Ireland. The critical role of the Cuban leadership and people in helping defeat apartheid was given significant prominence in South Africa at the memorial service with the speech and presence of President Raul Castro.
In addition, and of particular note for the left here, was the prominence given to the connection between the Sinn Fein leadership and the ANC, where decades-long links with the struggle against apartheid and Irish republicans came to the fore.
Stand up to racism and fascism rally and demo 22 March 2014 marking UN Anti-Racism Day
■ No to scapegoating of immigrants■ No to Islamophobia■ Yes to diversityRally and Demo marking UN Anti-Racism Day11am, Saturday 22nd March 2014Central London • Demonstration assembly point tbc
By Martine Dwyer
Last Sunday’s Venezuela elections resulted in a convincing win for the Maduro-led Chavista party the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) confounding the hopes of the right and their US backers and vastly strengthening the position of Maduro after his narrow win by 1.5 per cent in April.
By Jane West
The decision by Yingluck Shinawatra to call a snap election in Thailand in response to a determined attempt by the right to overturn her democratically elected government is a high risk strategy, despite the fact that her party would almost certainly win in any fair election. The right-wing monarchical elites and the army in Thailand know they cannot win in a free election and so are looking for an opportunity to delegitimise or distort the electoral process and impose an army or so-called technocratic ‘people’s council’ government instead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East by Socialist_Action
Colour leaflet, PDF 350KB
Investment not cuts, colour leaflet, PDF 1.75MB
Drop cuts not bombs, colour leaflet, PDF 1.32MB