Chris Nineham

The Cost of Living

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The collapse of the recent WTO summit is a blow against neoliberalism, but the struggle for trade justice goes beyond the issue of subsidies.

At 3.30pm on the last day of the Cancun WTO summit a Kenyan representative walked out and announced, ’The meeting is over. This is another Seattle.‘ When the Mexican chair of the meeting declared the talks formally closed there were whoops of delight from the African delegates.

An international coalition of small farmers, NGOs, trade unions and anti-capitalist activists had helped foment a rebellion of the less developed countries that has thrown the neoliberal project into confusion.

No Big Ideas Need Apply

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Review of 'One No, Many Yeses', Paul Kingsnorth, The Free Press £10

This is an exploration and a celebration of the anti-capitalist movement or, as Kingsnorth prefers to call it, simply 'the movement'. It is based on a tour through some of the iconic locations and events, from the Chiapas heartland of the Zapatistas to the smoke-filled streets of Genoa in July 2001.

G8 Protests: Streaming into Evian

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On 1 June George Bush flies to 'old Europe' to meet the other seven 'great powers' at Evian in the French Alps at the G8 summit meeting.

In his mind's eye no doubt he comes as conqueror--in reality he will be flying into a few problems. Hundreds of anti-war activists and campaigners met at the end of April to ensure that Bush and the other warmongers will get a 'warm' reception.

Winning the Obstacle Race

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Review of 'Fences and Windows', Naomi Klein, Flamingo £8.99

Naomi Klein is a brilliant witness to the rise of the anti-capitalist movement. Her style is spare but atmospheric and thought-provoking at the same time. She remembers significant detail to convey the potency of the protests. 'These protests,' she writes, 'are like stepping into a parallel universe... Corporate logos need armed guards, people usurp cars, art is everywhere, strangers talk to each other, and the prospect of a radical change in political course does not seem like an odd and anachronistic idea but the most logical thought in the world.'

A Europe against Capital and War

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The European Social Forum in Florence from 6 to 10 November will be a crucial staging point for the anti-war movement.

Organisers have called a huge demonstration against the war and neoliberalism on the evening of Saturday 9 November. This will be the first pan- European anti-war action, and the Italian organisers are expecting at least 200,000 to march. On top of that, Florence is an opportunity to discuss the experience of the anti-war movements and to organise more cross-European action. This is important because the experience up to now across Europe has been so patchy.

Anti-capitalism - Out of the Bars and Onto the Streets

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One minute past midnight, 20 June in Seville, and we were witnessing something strange. Some 200 young activists were marching round the packed old town waving red and black flags, chanting that the general strike had started, and demanding the bars close. Many landlords obeyed, shutters slammed down, and drinkers went out onto the streets with a smile.

In the morning almost everything was shut. Most had stickers or posters proudly displayed in the window saying 'Closed for the general strike'. At 5am there were 50 pickets at our local bus garage, barricading the entrance. By 7am there were 300 pickets outside the main Seville hospital. The streets were littered with strike leaflets. By midday strikers and supporters were gathering for the strike demonstation.

An Artful Business

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Review of 'Privatising Culture', Chin-tao Wu, Verso £20.00

The immediate appeal of this book is that it has the nerve to look behind the glossy facades of modern high culture and see what's going on in the murky backrooms. Better still, Chin-tao Wu tries to use the insights she gets to work out what high culture is for in modern capitalist society.

War without End?

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Bush and Blair are preparing to launch war on Iraq, but this could unleash opposition which they might find hard to contain.

US threats to unilaterally escalate the war have sent shockwaves around the world. Members of the French, German, Canadian and Japanese governments, all part of the western coalition, have expressed alarm and warned against precipitate US action. In Britain the normally pro New Labour 'Guardian' has come out against an attack on Iraq, and within two weeks of Bush's 'axis of evil' speech protests against war had been reported in Japan, Iran and South Korea.

All Power to the Imagination

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Review of exhibition 'Paris, Capital of the Arts 1900-1968' at the Royal Academy of Arts, London

Art in the 20th century is too often made to seem obscure and difficult, but this exhibition is about as accessible and exciting as it gets. Partly that's because it is linked to the development of a great city, so there's an inbuilt stress on history in the exhibition. But it also seems that the art industry has sensed growing interest in radical, even anti-capitalist, ideas. Paris is presented as a centre of subversion as well as culture.

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