Mike Gonzalez

The Language of Resistance

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The vocabulary of anti-capitalism is more than a passing fad.

There is a new language developing in the streets that our growing movement passes through. At the European Social Forum demonstration in Paris, there was a man distributing leaflets recommending Esperanto. The Esperantists are at most demonstrations - as they have always been since their great idea was first mooted by a Pole called Zamenhof in 1887. Their theory was that humanity was divided by language, and that a common tongue - coined out of all the other languages - would create understanding and unity.

Response Units

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Review of 'A World at War', Millinery Works Gallery, London

The visitor who will expect an exhibition called 'A World at War' to be full of military images will be disappointed. Frances Newman's art works are at least as much to do with how the war resonates at home. 'Another Bloody Sunday', for example, takes the eye across a breakfast tray with a remnant of toast still on the plate to the newspaper behind it. The image - of the father protecting his son moments before the boy is killed by Israeli gunfire - is immediately familiar. Here it is an invasion, an interruption of the everyday rituals - and it is inescapable.

Living to Tell the Tale

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Márquez's magical world offers hope for the real one.

Gabriel García Márquez's memoirs, or at the least the first volume of them, will be published in early November. It's a strange piece of autobiography, because Márquez has already become a kind of legend. His status as a writer must be unique - he has become almost indistinguishable from the world he has created and the people in it. The Gabriel he writes about, and the Colombia in which he grows up, both seem very familiar and very immediate.

Brazilian Wave

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Review of 'Reclaim The State', Hilary Wainwright, Verso £15 and 'Radicals in Power', Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Zed Books £14.95

The leaders of the anti-capitalist movement seem to have fallen in love with Brazil. For years it was impossible to find a single news item about the country from one month to the next. Now every debate about the future of the movement, and the kind of world we want to build, seems to refer to Porto Alegre. Partly that is because the first three World Social Forums were held there. More importantly, though, it is because Porto Alegre has operated for more than ten years a 'participatory budget'.

A Right Royal Con Trick

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Whether it's the monarchy or the new celebrity aristocrats, we should sharpen our guillotines.

The queen's latest state visit was to Legoland. Meanwhile the other princelets visited sites of national significance. William attended the Toytown annual parade, Edward visited the Bassett's liquorice allsorts museum annual open day and Anne opened the International Velvet pony retirement home.

Cuba on My Mind

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Socialism without freedom is not worthy of the name.

My e-mail has been full to overflowing recently as the grandees of the international and Latin American intelligentsia lined up to defend Cuba. Some weeks ago, the Cuban government tried and summarily executed three hijackers who had seized a Cuban ferry. In the same period, 70 people were arrested and tried for opposition to the Cuban state and sentenced to jail terms of up to 20 years.

Electing to Fight

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Carlo Morelli, Joe Hartney and Mike Gonzalez examine the success of the Scottish socialists, while Michael Lavalette explains how he won in Preston.

The political landscape of Scotland was transformed on 1 May, with the election of six Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) MSPs to the Scottish Parliament. In the face of Blair and New Labour across Britain, we cannot overestimate how important it is that a party that openly talks about socialism and is consistently anti-war has won mass support. Even the most reticent bourgeois commentators agree on that.

Memories Were Made of This

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If we can explain and understand the past, we will then be able to shape the future.

In the last few weeks the Spanish government has begun to excavate graves where civilian prisoners were buried during, or immediately after, the Spanish Civil War. It might seem an odd thing to do, so long after the event, when even the relatives will barely remember their lost husbands or wives, or cousins, or parents. Yet the families of those murdered by paramilitary gangs or off-duty soldiers in country after country have fought relentlessly for the right to know where and when their dead were buried, and by whom.

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