Feature

Fighting racism in Germany

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Left wing German group Marx21 interviewed Nora Berneis, spokeperson for Stand Up against Racism, about the campaign which is taking on the country’s far-right party Alternative for Germany.

Is it possible to describe Alternative for Germany (AfD) as a fascist party?
I wouldn’t say that the AfD as a whole is a fascist party. However, it is possible to say, the AfD is the party of the fascists. Not because everybody in the AfD is a fascist but because for neo-fascists the AfD is the way to infiltrate state institutions, to build racist protest movements and to gain allies for this strategy.

Trump upholds a dreadful tradition

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Donald Trump is by no means the first US president to racially attack migrants. Phil Marfleet reflects on a complex history which has continually split the establishment between those politicians backing business’s need for cheap labour and those who want to exploit the issue in order to whip up racism.

Events at the US-Mexico border mark another low for Donald Trump. They also remind us of the long record of exploitation and persecution of migrants to the US from Central America. For over 100 years employers north of the border have relied on migrants from the south, drawing in workers indispensable to American capitalism. At the same time US governments have periodically targeted the migrants as aliens, “invaders” and enemies of the wider society, launching campaigns of exclusion like that enacted by Trump and cheered on by the racist Right.

Women and China: what has changed?

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China’s economic success has improved the lives of some workers but also widened the gender and wealth gap. Sally Kincaid looks at what life has been like for women over the past 70 years since the Revolution.

‘No matter how good a woman, she will circle the kitchen stove. No matter how inferior a man, he will travel the world.’ This was a common saying in pre-revolutionary China, as was the answer to someone knocking at the door of a household: “There is no-one home” — there are no men at home.

After the local elections: can the stalemate be broken?

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Mark L Thomas assesses the state of the Labour party after the council ballots in early May which failed to deliver a decisive result for either side

The results of the local elections in England last month were decried as a failure for Corbyn and Labour by the Tories, with much of the media coverage taking this as their cue. The usual suspects among Corbyn’s opponents on the Labour right were quick to add their voices suggesting that “peak Corbyn” had been reached.

In reply, the Labour left robustly defended the results as an untrammelled success for Labour and another step towards Downing Street for Corbyn.

But neither of these interpretations really capture what the local elections actually point to.

Trotskyism under the Spotlight

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A new book analyses the history of the British groups that have based their political strategies on the works of Leon Trotsky. Joseph Choonara looks at its strengths and contests its weaknesses.

There is something quite peculiar about the first history of contemporary British Trotskyism being written by someone who was, during the 1980s, a member of the Communist Party — rather like a version of the Acts of the Apostles penned by Pontius Pilate.

Israeli massacre in Palestine

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Protesters demanding a right to return to their homes were attacked last month by snipers. Socialist Review spoke to Palestinian author and activist Ghada Karmi.

Can you explain why the protests had the focus around the border?

Firstly stop calling it a border, there is no border. This is all part of the land of Palestine. If you want you can call it an Israeli-imposed barrier because that’s what it is. The protest called itself a great march of return.

The idea was that 70 years of displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people must come to an end and they be able to go home, and since about 80 percent of Gaza’s people are descendants of 1948 refugees the idea of return is very relevant to them.

Repeal: a victory for women everywhere

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The impact of the historic vote for abortion rights in Ireland last month was felt worldwide and is a real blow to the religious right. Socialist Review spoke to Sinéad Kennedy, Co-founder of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment about the campaign that inspired and involved so many.

It was a stunning vote, why was it so successful?

Well, it’s difficult to say. At the moment we are still trying to assess it. Certainly it was a larger Yes vote than we had ever imagined. The information that’s beginning to come out suggests people had been making up their minds not just over the last weeks but over the last few years.

Knife crime on the rise: what’s behind the violence?

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A recent spate of knife killings in London, often involving young black males, has led to much anguish and debate about solutions. Weyman Bennett argues that more stop-and-search or “bobbies on the beat” are definitely not the answer. Instead we must look to underlying causes in the way that austerity and racism have ravaged communities in cities like London.

In the first few months of this year there has been a series of murders, particularly in London and particularly involving knives and young black people. The heartbreak and pain experienced by the families and friends of those who have lost their lives will be enduring. And the consequences will be felt far beyond them into the communities affected, who will feel fear and anger at the loss of life.

1968: a year that's still burning

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Fifty years ago students and workers took to the streets of Paris. Chris Harman was both a participant in the events and analysed the movement that nearly turned the world upside down. Here we print extracts from his classic book about the period, The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After, which has been reissued for the anniversary.

Every so often there is a year which casts a spell on a generation. Afterwards simply to mention it brings innumerable images to the minds of many people who lived through it—1968 was such a year.

There are millions of people throughout the world who still feel their lives were changed decisively by what happened in those 12 months. And they are not, as the media presentation today would suggest, just those who were students or hippies.

Antisemitism, the witch hunt and the left

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The accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party have continued unabated. Rob Ferguson unpicks the relationship between real instances of antisemitism and politically motivated attacks.

On 24 April, as Socialist Review went to press, Jeremy Corbyn and the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) held a much publicised “crunch” meeting. A Labour spokesperson described it as “positive and constructive, serious and good humoured”. The BoD had a different take, describing the meeting as “a disappointing missed opportunity” and demanded “strong actions in order to bring about a deep cultural change in [Corbyn’s] supporters’ attitudes to Jews.”

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