Rob Ferguson

A new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe

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Fascist parties are once again proclaiming the anti-Semitic filth they have kept hidden for years. Rob Ferguson explains why they feel confident to do this now, how their ideolgy works, and how anti-racists and the left must respond to this growing threat.

On 26 January 20,000 right wingers marched through the streets of Paris in a protest against the Socialist Party government of Francois Hollande. Their "Day of Anger" included attacks on defence cuts, rising crime, high taxes and "destruction of the family".

However, besides the manifesto demands, the march was marked by an chillingly organised parade of anti-Semitism. The "Day of Anger" took place on the eve of International Holocaust Memorial Day, referred to in France as Shoah (Hebrew for "the catastrophe").

The nature of Islamophobia

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Talat Ahmed's article, Islamophobia, Repression and Resistance (Feature, Socialist Review, September 2013), was an incisive analysis of the rise of Islamophobia while asserting the importance of class.

However, there is one line of Talat's argument I feel compelled to disagree with. This may prove to be a matter of emphasis; however, if so, I think it is a significant one.

Class barriers

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As half a million students begin university this month Rob Ferguson looks at the consequences of cuts and fees on applications

This September around half a million students will begin a university education - 36 percent of all school leavers. In 1962 a mere 20,000 school leavers entered university. The landscape of higher education has been transformed over past decades. In east London, where I now work, thousands of young people, male and female, many from Asian backgrounds, enter university who could not have dreamt of doing so 20 years ago. Vocational and Access qualifications now provide an important route to university for many working class students and mature workers.

Georgia: Tipped by the Velvet

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In scenes not seen in the former Soviet states for a decade, tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets to topple a corrupt regime.

On live television Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, favoured by the west but detested by his people, was interrupted mid-speech addressing parliament. Thousands poured into the building as he looked on helplessly. Within hours he was gone.

A New Left is Emerging

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The coverage on Palestine and the Middle East (May SR) was excellent. Palestine is now a key fault line in US imperialism's effort to establish 'full spectrum dominance' around the world.

This is especially true of the Middle East, but in Europe support for the Palestinians is running high. So in the run-up to Bush's recent visit his supporters were casting criticism of Israel as a direct attack on US interests. They accuse Europe of being both 'anti-American' and 'anti-Semitic', pointing to the success of Le Pen and other fascists in recent European elections.

Courage of our Convictions

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The discussion between Luca Casarini and Alex Callinicos was fascinating both for the wide areas where Luca and Alex agreed as well as where they disagreed.

As Luca points out, however, Genoa raised the issue of how the movement was to develop, and the question has been sharpened by the 'war on terrorism'. We are now fighting not only the giant corporations and the global institutions of capital but also their armed wing.

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