Simon Guy

News in brief

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Chile heats up

There were huge demonstrations in Chile last month against the privatised pensions system. According to organisers 2 million people marched in cities across the country. Pension contributions are set to rise. Protesters want them replaced with a public social security system.

Landlord is untenable

Trump's key policy promise falls

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A flagship promise of the Trump campaign was thrown into chaos last month. The American Health Care Act, known as “Trumpcare”, was pulled from the floor of the US House of Representatives at the end of March, having failed to win enough support from Republicans to pass.

Throughout the presidential election Trump had made attacks on the rising costs of Obamacare a central strand of his campaign, promising to repeal and replace it.

News shorts

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UKIP unsure exactly how racist to be
A row erupted among Britain’s premier bigots after their defeat in the Stoke by election last month. Former leader Nigel Farage wanted current leader Paul Nuttall to boot out sole MP Douglas Carswell before he rejoins the Tories. Also, having been so anti-establishment for so long, Nigel was upset that he didn’t receive a knighthood. This is no time to stop organising against them, though. Farage has complained that UKIP wasn’t hardline enough over immigration.

Occupation in Seoul

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Students at Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea, have taken control of a campus building for more than 100 days so far against a plan to build a campus extension.

The plans are part of a speculative property development project. The students oppose it because the process has been undemocratic and the plans put making profits before the needs of students and staff.

The action takes place in a broader context of neoliberal restructuring driven by a president who is on the verge of impeachment.

Esther Brunstein: we must never forget

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Anti-fascist campaigner Esther Brunstein died last month. She was a survivor of the Holocaust.

She played an active role in the struggle against the far right, speaking at meetings, assemblies, trade unions and workplaces.

Esther was born in Lodz, Poland. She starts her chapter in a book of survivor accounts saying she came from “a very close-knit and enlightened working class family”.

Her parents were active members of the Bund, a socialist political organisation

New movement counters Trump

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The world was rocked by a monumental event in January. Not the initiation of the most right wing US government in decades, but the inauguration of the resistance to the sexism, racism and homophobia that Trump represents.

Around the globe 5 million people marched in 670 towns and cities, including 100,000 in London.

The last time the world saw such a scale and breadth of coordinated demonstrations was in February 2003 against the Iraq war.

In the US itself the numbers were even higher this time than they were during the anti-war movement.

In brief

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1984 hits top spot
George Orwell’s classic book about a dystopian tyranny topped Amazon’s best-sellers chart shortly after members of the Trump administration started saying things like “Alternative facts” and, “Sometimes we disagree with the facts”.

Tories don't care

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The government, having created a crisis in social care, is now calling for increases in council taxes to make up the shortfall in cash. An investigation in the Observer in December found “that in England 58 percent of targets for improving care in people’s homes and local communities were missed”. This has also affected the NHS as people who should be cared for earlier end up at hospital instead.

News shorts

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Planet on the rocks

A report in December said sea ice levels have fallen to the lowest level since satellite records began in 1979. The scientists behind the annual Arctic Report Card have said the temperature is changing faster than their ability to understand and explain it! The report said: “Accustomed to advancing our scientific disciplines at what is often called a ‘glacial’ pace, we recognise that glaciers are not so slow anymore.”


National inaction

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