Feature

The Politics of Terror: Spanish Shockwaves

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The Spanish demonstrators ensured that the events in Madrid resulted in a political defeat for their pro-war government, providing a warning for warmongering governments everywhere.

Yet again rumours of the 'end of history' have proved to be exaggerated. Within the space of a few days the divided reactions to a terrorist atrocity brought down the government of a leading European state, one of the main partners in Donald Rumsfeld's 'coalition of the willing'.

Miners' Strike: Class of 1984

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The Great Miners‘ Strike mobilised whole communities and transformed lives. Sally Campbell speaks to some of the many fighters about what they did at the time.

Bridget Bell
North Staffordshire Miners‘ Wives Action Group

The strike was a year-long struggle in which a community was attacked on all fronts - not only in the way the state was acting at the picket line level. In Staffordshire women were on the picket line because the area was subject to a lot of scabs. So women were absolutely critical to the strike. We had to be on the picket line as well as building support at all the other levels. Throughout the whole of the strike women got involved with speaking tours, organising major events, collections and so on.

Education: Dear Michael Rosen...

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Diane Abbott on race and classes.

Politics is a rough old game. So you are quite entitled to use my decision to send my son James to City of London School as the excuse for a withering attack on New Labour (December SR). As it happens, most of what you say about New Labour I agree with. And my voting record in parliament reflects this. It is also inevitable that a political polemic about New Labour quickly turns into a personal attack on me. On this, you and the Tory media are singing from the same song sheet.

Iraq: Their Word is Not Enough

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Ex-MI5 whistleblower David Shayler exposes the abuse of intelligence to justify war.

I was the Libyan desk officer - the expert on Libya - when I was in the intelligence services. For many years Libya made diplomatic overtures to Britain and the US to try and get rid of the sanctions regime. Tony Blair has recently claimed that Colonel Gadaffi has renounced his weapons of mass destruction because of the war in Iraq. But that is simply not true. For ten years he‘s been trying to come back into the fold. What we have in Libya now, of course, is someone on our side, a country that is under control - an ally.

Iraq: The BBC at War

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The resignations at the BBC following the Hutton report caused a storm. Colin Sparks looks at the role of public broadcasting in a time of crisis.

The struggle between the BBC and the government is evidence of the deep divisions inside the ruling class over the war in Iraq and the wider issues of strategy that lie behind it. The publication of the Hutton report and the subsequent resignations of the chairman of the board of governors, Gavyn Davies, and the director general, Greg Dyke, should have been a victory for the government.

Iraq: Casualties of War

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The costs of the occupation keep rising - and the ’blood price‘ is being paid by Iraqi civilians.

General Tommy Franks, the first US proconsul of occupied Iraq, famously stated that ’we don‘t do body counts‘ of Iraqi casualties of war. This is a logical response - who would expect a criminal to supply the evidence for the prosecution? Fortunately the court of public opinion - unlike government inquiries - doesn‘t allow the criminal to appoint the judge.

Iraq: A Year to Remember

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A year since the invasion of Iraq and the government is still in a state of crisis. Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, analyses why.

Time to draw a line. Time to move on. So the government exhorts us as it tries to turn its back on the monumental failure which is the war and occupation of Iraq. Yet the line persistently refuses to be drawn. The government lies crushed under the nightmare of the war, desperately trying to move on to any other issue. It is now nearly a year since the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down in Baghdad to proclamations of Iraqi liberation.

Freedom Music

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Martin Smith talks to Denys Baptiste about his new album, the civil rights movement and the struggle for freedom and justice today.

Denys Baptiste is a saxophone player from west London. His first album, Be Where You Are, was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize and won a Music of Black Origin (Mobo) award. His wonderful new album Let Freedom Ring! is a tribute to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement.

What were your musical influences when you were growing up?

Haiti: The Meek and the Militant

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Haiti's current crisis is rooted in its history of colonialism.

Two hundred years ago a rag-tag army of slaves led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, himself a slave, defeated Europe's finest colonial armies and won independence for Haiti. This remarkable revolution is barely known outside Haiti, but the world's ruling powers have never forgiven the country and its people for their victory.

In the 1700s Haiti (then called San Domingo) was the richest colony in the world. The source of the wealth was the island's lush plantations and the brutal exploitation of half a million slaves captured from Africa.

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