Feature

The day East Enders built barricades

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This October it is eighty years since working class people came together to stop Oswald Mosley's fascists marching along Cable Street in east London. Simon Shaw looks at the heroic actions of that day, their wider context and the traditions of organisation that made victory possible.

The barricades erected in Cable Street in London’s East End 80 years ago have become an iconic symbol of working class resistance on British streets. This victory over fascism, fought on Sunday 4 October 1936, saw crowds of between 30,000 and 200,000 (estimates vary wildly) stop the police from forming a wedge to allow the British Union of Fascists (BUF) to march into the area.

How fishing became a killer issue

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There has long been an argument over the EU's role in the fishing industry, exemplified by Nigel Farage's flotilla down the River Thames. But whose side should socialists take in an industry that has serious environmental consequences? Sarah Ensor explains the real economic dynamics at sea

When Nigel Farage sailed up the River Thames in a flotilla in the run-up to the EU referendum, he was tapping into a deep vein of bitterness in Britain’s fishing industry. The flotilla was part of the Fishing for Leave campaign which demanded “the restoration of our waters to national control”. They wanted to “highlight the indignities and devastation wrought to the UK fishing industry by the fatally flawed Common Fisheries Policy”.

Trade unions and Corbynism

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The low level of industrial struggle is in contrast to the huge political earthquake of Corbynism. How can socialists work within this contradiction, asks Julie Sherry

The events of Saturday 24 September summed up the key contradiction of the current political situation. As celebrations were breaking out at Corbyn’s triumph in the Labour leadership election, you caught a real feel for that huge mood for an alternative to austerity, and of the possibilities and opportunities for socialist politics in this moment. Scrolling down your news feed, that sense of jubilation was palpable.

BLM UK: the beat goes on

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Inspired by the US, the Black Lives Matter movement took off in Britain over the summer. Harold Wilson looks at the issues that sparked the protests and at the activists who found themselves leading the charge.

A summer of street protests called in response to police killings of African-Americans began at the skate park on London’s Southbank in July. What began with 100 people or so gathered momentum, doubling in size. Soon 1,000 were on the move spilling onto Waterloo Bridge. Parliament Square was choked with protesters.

Other cities in the UK followed: Sheffield, Leeds, Huddersfield, Nottingham, Manchester, Leicester.

Civil war in France

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After a summer of burkini bans, Ugo Palheta argues that France's ruling class is waging a strategic offensive against Muslims - with "socialist" prime minister Manuel Valls leading the charge

France’s highest constitutional court has overturned the burkini bans brought in by over 30 mayors in France through the month of August. Most of these mayors belong to the centre-right party Les Republicaines (LR), but also some to the fascist Front National and the governing Labour-type Socialist Party (PS).

Labour, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

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Over the summer human rights lawyer Shami Chakrabarti reported on her investigation into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Sabby Sagall looks at her findings, and at the continuing problem of conflating opposition to the crimes of the state of Israel with anti-Jewish racism.

Last April a row engulfed Ken Livingstone, former Labour mayor of London, and Naz Shah, Labour MP for Bradford West, following remarks they made about Israel and Zionism. They were suspended from the Labour Party, with Naz Shah having the parliamentary whip withdrawn. Shah has been reinstated, and though Livingstone has demanded that he too be reinstated, a decision has yet to be made by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee.

The fight for transgender liberation

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Advances in sexual awareness are welcome, but transgender people still face terrible discrimination - and condemnation by some feminists. Laura Miles argues that unity against all forms of oppression is integral to the fight for sexual liberation.

Despite advances such as same sex marriage in a number of countries, hatred, bigotry and hostility to LGBT+ people continue to motivate some people. The US establishment may have expressed outrage at the Orlando massacre in a gay club in June, but over 30 US states still have no anti-discrimination protection for LGBT+ people.

How do we best back Corbyn?

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For the second summer in a row Jeremy Corbyn has been out on the road battling for the Labour leadership. Mark L Thomas looks at the dynamics of the campaign and the prospects for the Labour Party once the contest is over.

The summer was dominated by the bitter fight over the Labour leadership. The majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) gambled that the Brexit vote could be used to launch an onslaught on Jeremy Corbyn, who they deemed insufficiently enthusiastic for the Remain cause after he refused (rightly) to campaign alongside pro-Remain Tories or drop his entirely justified criticisms of the EU. The aim was to force Corbyn to resign without risking a vote by the Labour membership.

The balance of class forces after the Brexit vote

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The world changed a little after Britain voted to leave the EU. Socialist Review spoke to Charlie Kimber, editor of Socialist Worker, about the new challenges revolutionaries face in the current period.

In the run up to the EU referendum in June we argued that a leave vote would create a crisis for our ruling class, particularly for the Tory party; that it would be a crisis for the EU project itself; and that therefore a Leave vote could provide an opportunity for our side to strengthen the fight against austerity. How much do you think we’ve seen those predictions borne out?

Spain 1936: from war to revolution

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On 17 July 1936 a cabal of army officers staged a military coup against the Spanish government. Workers had to decide how to respond. It was a pivotal moment for the politics of the 1930s and there are important lessons for socialists today.

For revolutionaries the Spanish Civil War resonates through the decades. It provides an inspirational example of the heroism, creativity and self-organisation of workers. Everything was possible. When the English writer George Orwell arrived in Barcelona in December 1936 he wrote, “It was the first time that I had been in a town where the working class was in the saddle.

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