Socialist Review

Editorial: A hostile environment for May

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The scandal over Windrush — the deportation of some of the generation of migrants encouraged to come here in the days of the post-war boom — exposed the Tories’ racist agenda.

For years this government has been blaming people from elsewhere for the effects of their policies on people here.

The anger has been so vociferous and focused on prime minister Theresa May and home secretary Amber Rudd, that they have been forced onto the back foot.

The Hard Stop

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In August 2011 the taxi 29 year old Mark Duggan was travelling in was forced to stop by police on Ferry Lane, Tottenham, in north London. Four seconds later he lay dying on the pavement, shot in his arm and chest by a firearms officer.

This killing of a black man lit a tinderbox which saw mostly young people riot around the country. Fighting pitched battles with police, they were condemned by Tory prime minister David Cameron as “thugs”.


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Combining sculpture, painting, collage and film, this is the first major exhibition of London-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare.

Presented in the indoor galleries and open air of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Shonibare's work here follows pieces on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth and at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. His work, at once vibrant and varied, fits well into these differing spaces.

As well as producing beautiful and dramatic pieces, Shonibare references themes from environmental destruction to the Arab Spring. Stand out works include the playful collage Climate Shit and intricate sculpture Alien Man on Flying Machine.

Saying no to Zimbabwe's constitution

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Socialist Review spoke to Tafadzwa Choto of the International Socialist Organisation in Zimbabwe about the significance of the recent referendum on a new constitution

Can you explain the background to the constitutional referendum? How far back does it go?

The constitutional question dates back to 15 years ago as Zimbabweans have been demanding a new democratic constitution to replace the 1979 Lancaster House constitution that was negotiated and ushered in at Zimbabwe's independence. Social, economic and political demonstrations by workers, students, peasants, women, war veterans and even by the middle classes, forced the Zanu PF government to accept the need for a new constitution.

Dancing with Duchamps

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Marcel Duchamp was one of the most influential artists of the last century. Associated with the Dadaist movement, Duchamps managed to playfully and provocatively affect the course of modernism by challenging received wisdom about what art should be.

At the Barbican, London, until 9 June

Producing works like Bicycle Wheel and Fountain (which was a signed urinal) he blurred the boundaries between art and life, embracing humour and experimenting with apparently random methods for producing art.

The Barbican in east London is currently running a major celebration of Duchamps's work, along with theatre, dance, music, film and lectures that encapsulates the various modernist trends upon which Duchamp had such an effect.

Strike for your rights!

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Jack Farmer spoke to University of London cleaners about how they won the London Living Wage and union recognition by staging an unofficial strike

Cleaners are among the most badly treated and poorly paid workers in London. Many are immigrants from South America and a lack of fluent English often makes it all the more difficult to organise.

This is why the struggle of cleaners, porters and security guards at Senate House - part of the University of London - has been so remarkable. Over a number of years they've built a Unison union branch which includes over 100 outsourced workers, organised noisy public protests and a successful unofficial strike, winning the London Living Wage and union recognition.

Banksy "Out of Context"

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Kezler Gallery, the Hamptons, US

Above is a picture of street artist Banksy's "Stop and Search", a mural in Bethlehem, Palestine. Except that it is no longer in Palestine - it's been removed to be exhibited and sold on at a gallery in the Hamptons, an upmarket area near New York in the US. The current asking price is $450,000.

It is not the only work by Banksy that has been stolen from Palestine.


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