Mike Barton

Unworthy Republic

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“The only reason why the negro has not been killed off, as the Indians have been, is that he is so close under your arm, that you cannot get at him.” So said Frederick Douglass, fugitive slave and anti-slavery campaigner.

Unworthy Republic is a timely reminder — following the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement — of the dispossession of Native Americans and how it relates to the enslavement of black Africans.

Jimi Hendrix Soundtrack of Revolt

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Fifty years after his death in1970 at the peak of his fame, Hendrix is still revered as the premium electric guitarist. His music became part of the soundtrack of a generation’s revolt. In the six years of his recorded output, he produced just four albums. But these, the hit singles from them and the new tonal and emotional territories he established with the electric guitar, make him one of the most important musicians of the century. Hendrix began playing on the Chitlin’ Circuit with, amongst others, the Isley Brothers and Little Richard.

Billy's bet

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Billy Hayes, in his article on old fashioned values (Union-made, Socialist Review, September 2007), made a bet - that "some of the best organised workplaces where members are the strongest, would be the place where the modern 'Owens' are making their case for a better future..."

The RMT Metronet dispute involved a group of workers many of us knew nothing about before. When they were on strike last month we visited their picket line.

A worker in his twenties talked to us there and told us this was the first organised shop he had worked in. "It was weird, at first, to be called 'brother' - but not any more. It all makes sense now - we are brothers."

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