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.
The People’s Assembly took a step forward in Birmingham last night with a launch rally attended by 250 people. The rally heard from trades unionists and a wide range of anti-austerity campaigners, all of whom strongly supported the formation of a People’s Assembly to bring together all our struggles in a united movement.
Postal workers in Royal Mail will be striking on Monday 4 November, having voted by 4 to 1 (78%) in favour of strike action.
They are fighting to protect their jobs, terms and conditions and secure a pay rise.
They are also fighting to defend the national postal service from being further broken up.
VENUE: University College London, Christopher Ingold Building, Chemistry Auditorium 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ Map to location here.
10am - 5pm Saturday 26 October 2013
Haringey Cypriot Community Centre, Earlham Grove, Wood Green, London, N22 5HJ
Speakers include:Tony BennKen LivingstoneOwen JonesRoger Lloyd-Pack, actorJeremy Corbyn MP
7pm Thursday 24th October
Second City Suite, at the bottom of Hurst Street – 100 Sherlock St, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 6LT
Speakers include:Len McCluskey, general secretary UNITEPaul Nowak, assistant general secretary TUCSalma Yaqoob
The following interview with President Nicolás Maduro, outlines his involvement in Venezuela's revolutionary process.
It touches on his involvement in student politics, the significance of the 1989 Caracazo massacre, meeting Chávez in prison in 1993 and his involvement in the national leadership of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement.After Chávez was first elected President in 1998, Maduro headed up the Chávista parliamentary group, later taking on the role of Foreign Minister and then Vice President.
By Nicky Dempsey
The broad movement against austerity is warming up. A host of unions have either organised national strike action or are about to strike in the near future. These include firefighters, post workers, teachers, lecturers and others. The continued fall in living standards takes place while the government and its supporters complacently talk about recovery. As a result workers are increasingly angry and confident that they can win concessions.
Sinn Féin is hosting a conference in London on October 19 on the theme of Irish unity. It is a tremendous opportunity to hear and learn from the party leadership as it engages with a wide array of forces in the continued struggle against austerity, in defence of the Good Friday Agreement and for a united Ireland.
By Tom Castle
The massacre of shoppers at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi has been followed by a series of bloody attacks against both the immigrant Somali community in Kenya and targeted assassination of Muslim clerics by the security forces in Kenya. In the international sphere the US has also launched a number of raids against alleged architects of a series of terrorist attacks.
The Egyptian army’s July coup was met with widespread confusion on the left. Within Egypt and internationally some socialists actually supported the coup, others were explicitly neutral in the struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood government and the army.
The article by John Riddell that appears below considers these issues from the point of view of the experience of the international communist movement from 1917 to the 1930s, drawing out why these positions are dangerously wrong.
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