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Fortunes from the Triangular Trade

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Among the events Karl Marx identified as signalling the “rosey dawn of the era of capitalist production” was “the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins.” From the day John Hawkins sailed in October 1562 from Sierra Leone with some 400 procured slaves bound for Hispaniola, British traders made huge fortunes from such hunting.
Even greater profits were to be made from the Triangular Trade that developed between the west coast of Africa, the Caribbean and major British ports.

Grenfell: Will we ever get justice?

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anti-racism

Three years after the devastating fire in the West London tower block, the public inquiry is being sabotaged by those who are most responsible for the disaster, writes Moyra Samuels

“Find out what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Fredrick Douglass, 1857

Protests for justice sweeps Belgium, and the statues fall

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In solidarity with the BLM movement in the US, at the beginning of June in Belgium 1,200 people gathered in Antwerp, 750 in Ghent and 200 in Hasselt. In Brussels, between 10,000 and 12,000 people gathered at Place Poelaert, in front of the Palace of Justice. They were addressed by undocumented migrants demanding regularisation; families of the victims of police killings; anti-racist activists and others. Several highlighted the past crimes of Belgian colonialism and the fact that Belgian governments refuse to acknowledge and address them.

Death by police…it could be France

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Widespread police violence has ensured demonstrations over the murder of George Floyd have brought victims together with tens of thousands of protesters. Selma Oumari reports from Paris

When George Floyd died at the hands of the police, many people in France felt this was happening in their own country. So many Black, Arab and Asian people are being killed in France as in the US. The latest deaths came in a context of already existing anger towards the brutality of police forces. Tensions have been rising during the lockdown, as the police have been harassing people in non-white areas. Fourteen people have been killed, and others wounded over the recent months.

The Birth of a Great Rebellion

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anti-racism

From the US to Africa, Korea, Europe and beyond, millions have marched against racism and police violence. Harold Wilson begins our global round-up with the explosion of anger in Britain

George Floyd’s racist murder was as public as it was graphic, but others have been just as brutal, casual and naked. Breonna Taylor was shot dead in March as she slept in her Louisville apartment by three police officers serving a ‘no-knock warrant’. On 1 June, police in northern California fatally shot unarmed 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa, who was on his knees with his hands raised outside a Walgreens store as they responded to a call of ‘alleged looting’. “When confronted by the police, he dropped to his knees and surrendered, and they fired at him,” said a lawyer representing the family.

Letter from Greece

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Petros Constantinou reports on how EU moves to isolate and confine migrants in buffer zones along the Greek/Turkey border are being resisted

Black lives matter, refugee lives matter! This is the cry from thousands in Greece, outraged by the escalation of racism by the neoliberal government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with mass evictions of 11,000 recognised refugees, among them pregnant women and babies. Government measures have also taken away food allowances previously provided.

Tory attacks on trans rights must be stopped

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Without awaiting the findings of a public consultation on the issue, the Tories have rejected self-identification for trans people. Laura Miles argues we need bold action to reverse the decision

Amid rising transphobic hate crimes and toxic transphobia elsewhere, such as Donald Trump’s exclusion of trans people from medical support and Hungary’s restrictions on trans people’s ID documents to their birth sex, the Tories’ blatant transphobia has been starkly revealed. In mid-June, the Tories signalled their intention to reject updating the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. Self-identification to obtain a gender recognition certificate, a key reform to allow trans people to change their birth certificate more easily, is now off the cards.

Scotland: business versus working class interests

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Demonstrations involving thousands of people from different parts of Scotland, organised by All Under One Banner (AUOB) calling for Scottish Independence, culminated in an Edinburgh march of 100,000 in October.

There is a growing impatience among the rank and file of the independence movement at the lack of headway by first minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party (SNP) leadership to announce a date for a second referendum, even though the Scottish government has a mandate from the Scottish parliament to do so.

Korean War: ‘Systematic and ruthless destruction’

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It is important that we remember the war that created the belligerent North Korean regime, writes John Newsinger, and that Britain's Labour government supported it at the time, though the public didn't.

The threat that Donald Trump made at the United Nations to “totally destroy” North Korea should not be dismissed, not least because in the early 1950s another US president, Harry Truman, actually did destroy North Korea. Moreover, the destruction of the country was carried out with the full support of the UN, indeed on behalf of the UN.

US aerial bombardment literally laid the country waste. This crime was perpetrated when there was a sensible moderate Democrat in the White House rather than a pathological right wing narcissist.

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