John Sinha

Occupy's bells still ring

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Protesters on steps at St Paul's cathedral

Five years ago a global movement propelled a new generation of people into activity. John Sinha salutes them, but stresses the key debate remains over the type of political organisation that we need to win.

On 15 October 2011 thousands of people assembled on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of the City of London. It was part of a wave of occupations in hundreds of cities around the globe. Millions were railing against the injustices of an economic system which favoured a tiny elite at the expense of the majority. As one of the placards at St Pauls read, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out”.

Trojan treaty

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International big business aims to smash barriers to higher profits. John Sinha explains what is actually at stake if TTIP passes.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a bilateral trade deal between the EU and the US. Its claimed purpose is to boost trade by removing non-tariff “barriers”. These so-called barriers are the regulations which protect workers’ rights, health and safety, and the environment.

Briefing: Fuel poverty

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The end of November saw the release of the government's statistics on winter deaths. Cold weather is a killer in the UK. An estimated 31,100 "excess winter" deaths occurred over the winter of 2012-13, up from 24,000 the previous winter.

Most of these deaths occurred among those aged 75 or older. Excess winter deaths are strongly correlated with the coldest weather months; and the coldest winters have the highest number of winter deaths.

Promised Land

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Director Gus Van Sant,

Release date: 19 April

Steve Butler is an up and coming leasing agent for Global Crosspower Solutions. In the opening scene in an opulent restaurant Crosspower's chief financial officer boasts that the company is worth $9 billion. Steve has been selected for a special assignment: he is to purchase all the leases for gas drilling in a strategically important part of rural Pennsylvania - and get the town's assembly to approve it.

The spirit of Occupy

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John Sinha and Amy Leather are socialists who have been part of the occupation of St Paul's since it began. They spoke to Jack Farmer about the Occupy movement

What has been the ideological impact of the Occupy movement?

John: It's had a huge impact, which can be summed up in the slogan "We are the 99%". What people meant by that is that we are fighting for the interests of the 99% of people who have lost out as a result of neoliberalism.

Amy: The slogan is also the beginning of an argument about class. It's made people think that it is possible to take on those at the top and do something to change the world.

What were the differences between Occupy in Britain and elsewhere?

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