Feature

How a slave uprising in Haiti changed the course of history

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When the masses of Paris overthrew the French aristocracy the ideals of their revolution were adopted by
the slaves of France’s wealthiest colony. Raj Perera tells the story of the successful Haitian Revolution.

A revolutionary uprising forged enslaved Africans on a small Caribbean island into an army of self-emancipation to create the world’s first black republic, in what is known as the Haitian Revolution. The successful insurrection of 1791 was a crack in the arc of history, one painted over by historians of capitalism. Previous slave revolts in the colonies had been put down, but events would propel literate coachman Toussaint L’Ouverture — who had been freed 15 years previously — into the leadership of the revolution.

Refugees Under Siege

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In the first of a two-part series, written before the tragic death of four refugees who drown crossing the English Channel in October, a Calais-based refugee activist writes about the conditions in the camps in northern France, and the plight of those attempting to come to Britain.

For months, refugees in Calais and Dunkirk have been a community under siege. Their existence has always been precarious, with appalling living conditions, constant harassment from the police and unrelenting hostility from the French authorities. Recently these attacks have been stepped up to levels not seen since the destruction of the original Calais jungle in 2016. There has been a long series of assaults on the squalid settlements where the refugees live. The area available to them on waste ground and in industrial estates on the edge of Calais has been systematically reduced.

Global economy: Neoliberal Meltdown?

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Beset by endless political and social crisis, market crashes, banking disasters and ultimately a failure to reverse the falling rate of profit, has neoliberalism come to the end of the road? asks Rob Hoveman

In June 2016 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a paper from its economics research department entitled ‘Neoliberalism oversold’. The very fact it used the word neoliberal was remarkable enough, for this was a word hitherto only used by neoliberalism’s critics and banned completely by its advocates, of which the IMF had been the leading international proponent. More importantly, the report was a devastating indictment of the neoliberal policies that the IMF had been promoting and imposing on weaker economies for many years.

Conspiracy Theories: Feeding off the social malaise

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What lies behind the surge in groups such as QAnon? Social media has played its role in amplifying their dangerous theories, but they are feeding on real and growing social tensions, writes Richard Donnelly.

What lies behind the surge in groups such as QAnon? Social media has played its role in amplifying their dangerous theories, but they are feeding on real and growing social tensions, writes Richard Donnelly.
Conspiracy Theories: Feeding off the social malaise

It’s now or never for action on the climate

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While the Covid lockdown raised hopes that we could rein in global warming and cut pollution, it wasn’t enough, warns Martin Empson

This year ought to have been very different for the environmental movement. 2019 had seen an explosion of environmental activism. Global climate strikes had brought hundreds of thousands of young people onto the streets, inspiring a new generation to radical action over the environment. In the UK, Extinction Rebellion involved tens of thousands in protest occupations around its three demands and created a broad and extensive network of activists around the country.

Antisemitism and the attack on the left: What do socialists say?

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The forthcoming report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will unleash a new wave of attacks on the left in the Labour Party, it also sets a trap for our movement, writes Rob Ferguson

As Socialist Review goes to press, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is due to publish its inquiry into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party. It is very unlikely to find in favour of Corbyn and his team, the most consistent anti-racist leadership in Labour’s history. It is astonishing that Labour is the first party to be subject to a full statutory investigation by the EHRC since the 2006 Equality Act became law.

The fight for our health

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Social inequality is reflected most harshly in our chances to lead a healthy life, argues Esme Choonara. But the fight for better healthcare rests in the fundamental way our society is organised

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the devastating health inequalities faced by working class people and in particular those from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds. It has also revealed how decades of underfunding, understaffing and privatisation have undermined our NHS. So although our health, or lack of it, may sometimes feel very personal, it is clearly shaped by social and economic factors including housing, income, working conditions, discrimination and pollution levels.

The horror and the unthinkable

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Could the unbelievable happen and Trump win a second term in the White House? The game changer will be the radicalisation of the protest movements, not the campaign for Biden, writes Lewis Nielsen

After four years of his bigotry, racism, climate change denial and attacks on working-class people, is it really possible that Donald Trump could be reelected in November? To answer these questions, we have to understand the extent of political polarisation taking place in the US. In 2020 alone we have seen both the hope and horror that has defined the country at the heart of neoliberal capitalism. Let’s start with the horror. In California and Oregon wildfires have destroyed an area equivalent to the size of Wales.

Decolonise education, enrich learning

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An African proverb says, ‘until the lion learns how to write, the story will always glorify the hunter’. Thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, BAME people have a chance to realise its truth, writes Julie Mukajee

The version of the British Empire I was taught in schools was totally different to what my parents taught me. My dad always said, “we don’t have to be taught our history by the British. Let me teach you.” He told me of the atrocity of the Bengal Famine, Partition, Subhas Chandra Bose, my parents’ family who took part and lost their lives in the struggle for Indian Independence, the Indian soldiers who fought for the British during WW2. It was neither pretty nor forgiving. It was not about how charming Lord Mountbatten and the British rulers were.

Reconstructing further education for a post-Coronavirus world

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Sean Vernell on why its time to ditch the old education model

There is a growing awareness that a post-coronavirus and post-George Floyd world cannot be the same as the one that preceded it. However, there is little agreement about what that world will look like. In the Further and Adult education sector (FE), during the lockdown staff have launched themselves into supporting their students and their communities. From creating imaginative online teaching resources and providing one-to-one support to setting up foodbanks and making PPE for their local hospitals — FE staff have been on the frontline.

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