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Fighting racism today

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The rise of Donald Trump is symbolic of a growing confidence on the populist right. With elections approaching in Europe and Theresa May heading into the Brexit negotiations with the aim of restricting migration, Michael Bradley lays out a plan for the kind of anti-racist movement we need.

The election of Donald Trump has sent shockwaves across the world. For many, Trump’s victory is part of a seamless growth in support for the populist right. His demagogic rants about “building a wall” and protecting US workers by “putting America first” have been reflected by similar figures in country after country.

'From the slow river into a rapid'

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In February 1917 Russian workers toppled the hated emperor, beginning a process of mass revolt that would lead just eight months later to the overthrow of the entire state machinery. Esme Choonara explains how discontent turned into revolution.

Thousands of workers in the streets, soldiers in mutiny, police stations burned, the prisons opened. These were the incredible events of February 1917 that sparked the Russian Revolution.

The author and journalist Arthur Ransome wrote of these events, “Revolution turns the slow river of political development into a rapid in which the slightest action has an immediate effect.”

Defend free movement

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Theresa May is putting the end of free movement of labour at the heart of her plan for Brexit. Carlo Morelli explains why socialists and anti-racists must make defence of EU workers a priority.

The free movement of labour has taken centre stage in debates over the UK’s exit from the European Union. Theresa May’s Tory government has promoted racism in order to garner support electorally, especially in traditional Labour supporting working class communities, and identified control over immigration as the overriding factor in the Brexit referendum.

Ending the free movement of labour, without providing rights to remain for existing migrants in the EU, could affect around 3 million EU nationals in the UK and more than a million UK nationals in the EU.

Harsh realities of trans health

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Trans people face many barriers to accessing healthcare, from medics’ lack of training to funding cuts. Pat Clinton argues that access is a class issue intertwined with oppression.

Four years ago a trans person posted the following: “We need a hash tag for crap trans medical treatment. How about #TransDocFail?” The hashtag has yet to fall silent. Reading through people’s accounts on Twitter of problems they’ve faced trying to access healthcare, two things become apparent. First, this isn’t just about transition-related healthcare — many of the tweets are about run of the mill doctor and nurse appointments.

'A vivid warning about dangers to the planet posed by capitalism'

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The author Richard Adams died last Christmas, prompting Christian Høgsbjerg to re-examine Adams's well-loved work about a band of rabbits on the run, Watership Down. Here Christian analyses the politics of the novel, using the tools provided by Marx, Engels and Gramsci.

The novelist Richard Adams, author of the classic Watership Down, died at the end of last year aged 96. Watership Down, first published in 1972, originated in stories about the adventures of a band of rabbits that Adams — a civil servant at the time — told to his two daughters to pass the time on long car journeys. It quickly became a bestseller and was made into an animated film in 1978.

John Berger opened up new ways of seeing

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When John Berger died on the second day of the new year Marxism lost one of its finest thinkers and the left lost one of its most eloquent writers.

Many of Berger’s obituaries have referred to him as an “art critic”, but Berger himself hated that description, and it is far too narrow a description of the scale and fecundity of Berger’s work. He is probably best described as a “cultural freedom fighter” — a brilliant and innovative writer across the genres of the novel, film and TV, criticism, theory, photo journalism and poetry.

Democracy for the people, not for the money-bags

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The centenary of the Russian Revolution provides an opportunity to re-examine important questions. Sally Campbell argues that a deeply democratic impulse was at the heart of the revolution.

According to David Remnick, author of a book called Lenin’s Tomb and editor of the New Yorker magazine, Lenin, the foremost figure in the Russian Revolution of 1917, held a “view of man as modelling clay and sought to create a new model of human nature and behaviour through social engineering”. He quotes Richard Pipes, a right wing historian and critic of the Russian Revolution, who sees it as an attempt “to subject the entire life of a country to a master plan”.

An attack on the right to express your gender as you wish is an attack on us all

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Transphobia and homophobia are still rife in workplaces, yet a new generation is growing up with more open attitudes to non-binary gender identities. TKS recounts their experience of challenging discrimination in a college — and how austerity threatens the gains won through solidarity.

Last April Bruce Springsteen cancelled his show in North Carolina, in an act of solidarity with trans activists who were campaigning against the state’s law banning trans people from using the public toilet of their choice. April also saw veteran feminist Germaine Greer restate her view that transgender women are a fiction, which saw further accusations of transphobia. These two responses to the issue of trans oppression illustrate how complex the debates are, making a pressing need for socialists to have a clear understanding.

Richard Linsert and the first sexual liberation movement

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The histories of socialism and sexual liberation are entwined, most clearly in revolutionary Germany a century ago, writes Noel Halifax.

The factory system tore apart the working class family. As workers were driven off the land and sucked into the new factories and cities of the industrial age, their ways of living fell apart. Many commentators from both the left and the right noticed this with varying degrees of horror and dismay, from Friedrich Engels in Manchester to the reactionary writer Robert Carlyle in London.

Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism today

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Claims about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party have corrupted the need to not only confront the real anti-Semitism initiated by Donald Trump’s administration but, as John Rose argues, the need to campaign for national dialogue between Palestinians and Israeli Jews.

‘Everything is allowed to him [the member of the gang], he is capable of anything, he is the master of property and honour…if he wants to, he can throw an old woman out of a third floor window together with a grand piano, he can smash a chair against a baby’s head, rape a little girl while the entire crowd looks on… He exterminates whole families, he pours petrol over a house, transforms it into a mass of flames… There exists no tortures, figments of a feverish brain maddened by alcohol and fury, at which he need ever stop… The victims…kiss the soldiers’ boots…[only to hear] drunken laughte

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