Feature

From direct action to mass civil disobedience

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The Extinction Rebellion actions over Easter were a remarkable success. Climate activist John Sinha places the tactics of the movement in historical context and XR member Simon Assaf reports from inside the protests.

With its colourful and creative protests and the political background of its founders, Extinction Rebellion (XR) would appear to have a lot in common with previous movements such as Occupy, the Climate Camp and other direct action protest movements.

Certainly the organisers have learned a lot from what went before, but to leave it at that would be to overlook major differences in organisation, objectives, strategy and tactics.

Algeria on fire

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In getting rid of their dictator of 20 years, Algerians showed the power they have. Chinedu Chukwudinma looks at the history of workers’ struggles and assesses the possibilities for the future.

Revolution has again struck North Africa as the mass protests in Algeria forced dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign on 2 April. Despite this victory, Algerians have continued to demonstrate and are now demanding the removal of the entire regime.

A design for life: the Bauhaus at 100

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The Bauhaus school of design was founded in Weimar Germany a century ago. Born of the spirit of transformation that followed the horror of the First World War, it has arguably not been surpassed in its breadth and radicalism. Siobhan Brown explains the movement’s context.

This month marks the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus. It was the most celebrated art, design and architecture movement of the 20th century. It is still hugely influential: from big things, like the buildings we inhabit, to the small things, such as the chairs we sit on. Even the success of Ikea can be put down to its influence.

What kind of climate movement do we need?

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Camilla Royle looks at the new climate activism

Last month cyclone Idai struck land near the coastal city of Beira in Mozambique. One of the worst cyclones ever to hit the southern hemisphere, the storm has been devasting. At the time of writing the death toll stands at around 700 across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, but the full extent of the killing will only be known when the flood waters recede. Survivors were still waiting to be rescued from trees and rooftops a week later and many were left without enough food and drinking water.

Scaremongering over child abuse fails the victims

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The media focus on high profile cases of child sexual exploitation has often done little to illuminate the reality of child abuse in Britain today, instead focusing on a perceived “Muslim cultural problem”. Bea Kay untangles the facts from the scaremongering so we can better understand the situation.

The exposure of high profile child abuse cases over the last few years has been horrifying. Hundreds of children and young people have been harmed, often inside institutions that are supposed to protect them. And the impact on the victims has been devastating, leaving lasting trauma and exposing the under-resourcing of support services in local authorities, the NHS and the voluntary sector.

Capitalism takes our breath away

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John Sinha investigates how the motor industry continues to poison us.

On describing the environmental conditions facing the working class in the newly industrialised cities of the Lancashire mill towns in the 1840s, Friedrich Engels noted, “And if life in large cities is, in itself, injurious to health, how great must be the harmful influence of an abnormal atmosphere in the working-people’s quarters, where, as we have seen, everything combines to poison the air.” Air pollution has been a fact of working class urban life since the industrial revolution. What was true for the Lancashire mill towns is true of New Delhi in India or Xingtai in China today.

Home care workers have shown the way to fight

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In the second part of her series on women workers, Jane Hardy celebrates the Birmingham home care workers’ inspiring fight.

Women have been at the frontline of austerity since the 2008 financial crisis. A TUC report showed that cuts in the public sector have meant falling wages, underemployment and casualisation. But care workers in Birmingham, mainly women, have taken on their bosses who have bullied them, tried to impose atrocious working practices, slash their wages and dismantle their service.

The landscape of the far right

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Weyman Bennett looks back at the past decade of crisis and renewal on the far right, and assesses the threat facing anti-racists and anti-fascists in contemporary Britain.

The growth of fascism and the far right is a consequence in large part of the economic crisis of 2008. The neoliberal centre ground has eroded, leading to polarisation and the rise of figures like Jeremy Corbyn on the left — but also, increasingly, the rise of a new right, building on the state racism that targets migrants and Muslims in particular.

How fascism has been reinvented

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How important is the concept of fascism in the 21st century? And how should we define it? French author Ugo Palheta spoke to Socialist Review about how these questions play out in France today.

Many people argue that fascism is a historical phenomenon connected to the interwar period and has no relevance in the 21st century. Why do you insist on the continuity of the fascist project, as you have put it?

The new climate change rebels

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Socialist Review spoke to Jess Lichtenstern of Extinction Rebellion about the aims and intentions of the movement and school student Cyrus Jarvis after the magnificent schools strike last month.

Jess Lichtenstern, Extinction Rebellion

SR: What does rebellion mean to you, and where do you think power lies?

JL: Rebellion in itself, to me, is about doing things that you believe are right regardless of if they are in alignment with the law. It’s about questioning everything you do and making decisions accordingly, and this rebellion is doing that in a very specific way. Extinction Rebellion (XR) is saying we’re in a state of emergency and we’re not acting like it. We’re going about our daily lives, continuing business as usual.

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