Sally Campbell

Next steps on climate

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The global climate strike on Friday 20 September surpassed all expectations. Greta Thunberg has estimated there were over 4 million protesting worldwide, from Europe to America, to Kenya, to the Pacific Islands.

In Britain there were perhaps 350,000 on the streets, including 100,000 in London and tens of thousands across Scotland.

This puts the day on a par with the 15 February 2003 protests against the Iraq invasion and the global women’s marches in 2017, with the notable difference that the climate strike was the only one of those to take place on a weekday.

All too believable tale of trauma

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Unbelievable is a quietly devastating drama based on the true story of an 18 year old woman who in 2008 reported to police that she had been raped at knife-point by an intruder, only to be disbelieved and eventually even charged with wasting police time.

Unlike too many other crime dramas, there is no glamorisation of brutal sex crimes and serial predators here. Unbelievable focuses instead on the trauma suffered by the young woman, Marie Adler (played by Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever) and other victims of what turns out to be a serial rapist.

Their outrage and ours

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Boris Johnson’s apparently sudden decision to close down parliament for five weeks as Britain approaches the Brexit deadline provoked outrage from (almost) all quarters.

Primarily interpreted as a manoeuvre to prevent MPs stopping a no deal Brexit, the “proroguing” has also been decried as an affront to democracy. Both are true.

The Financial Times is so dismayed by Johnson’s suspension of democratic processes that it has come as close as it is ever likely to to backing Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister:

Gwen

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Set amid the slate-filled landscape of mid-19th century Snowdonia, this gothic tale of black-hearted capitalism features powerful performances from Eleanor Worthington-Cox and Maxine Peake.

It is a powerful story of grief, adolescence, suspicion and superstition that builds an atmosphere of intense dread, broken only by the realisation that the truth of industrialisation is more brutal than anything young Gwen (Worthington-Cox) can conjure in her imagination.

He always spoke truth to power

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Shortly before Socialist Review went to press we heard of the death of Walter Wolfgang at the age of 95. He was a socialist, a Labour Party activist and an anti-war campaigner — one of the founding members of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

He was perhaps most famous for heckling the then foreign secretary Jack Straw’s speech on Iraq at the Labour Party conference in 2005. We wrote in Socialist Review at the time:

May is going, what next for Corbyn?

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Theresa May has announced she's standing down, yet there is still no end in sight for the Brexit debacle. Sally Campbell analyses the European election results and the pressures coming to bear on Corbyn.

Goodbye Theresa. Socialist Review is happy to file you away in the box marked “Tory detritus”. Private Eye’s new issue following May’s announcement that she would be resigning on 7 June features the headline, “Theresa May Memorial Issue: The Prime Minister’s Legacy in Full”, followed by a blank space. But this is far too kind.

Booksmart

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Molly and Amy are best friends who have spent their high school careers focusing on getting the best possible grades so they can get into the best possible colleges and kickstart their bright futures.

The day before graduation Molly is in a toilet cubicle and overhears some students joking about her nerdy status. She challenges them, boasting that she will be heading off to Yale while they will probably end up in crappy jobs because they’ve spent their time partying.

Rosa Luxemburg

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We first see Rosa Luxemburg in a snowy prison yard, guards patrolling the walls high above her. As she walks a raven hops beside her, the first of many references to Rosa’s affinity with nature. It’s 1906 and Rosa has been locked up in Poland for her involvement in the 1905 Russian Revolution.

Celebrating Rosa Luxemburg

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A remarkable figure amid a revolutionary ferment, Rosa Luxemburg lit the way for generations to come. Sally Campbell recalls her legacy, and we reprint Luxemburg's final article, written the day before she died in January 1919.

Rosa Luxemburg is, without a doubt, one of the most important revolutionaries to emerge from that tumultuous period that ran from the end of the 19th century through to the aftermath of the First World War. This was a time of immense social, political, technological and economic change. It was also the time when socialist revolution became real — and Luxemburg contributed to theorising and partaking in those revolutions, right up until her murder at the hands of the counter-revolutionaries in Berlin on 15 January 1919.

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