Feature

Bombs Away

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Andy Newman explains the strategic importance of Britain to the US war machine.

In 1999 I was working in a small engineering factory about six miles east of RAF Fairford, and we used to watch the American B-52s flying overhead on their way to Serbia. It was chilling to know that three hours later they would be raining death from the skies. I later spoke to a Serbian refugee whose district had been bombed by these same planes. I wrote down at the time what she said: 'There were no shelters. When the bombing started I used to get my child to go to the cellar, but it would have given no protection.

Assembling Our Forces

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Mike Gonzalez got a taste of people when he visited Argentina recently.

The wonderful thing about 15 February was that it felt like an exercise of power. But people's power is about much more than great gatherings in the streets. The demonstrations and meetings are enormously important. But our ambitions as socialists are much bigger than that. We are talking about a world where working people run their own lives directly--shape how wealth is distributed, what priorities govern what society produces, and how to develop new and freer lives.

State of Discontent

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A mass movement's strategy towards the state is vital to its success.

The huge wave of anti-war protests on 15 February were an astonishing demonstration of just how formidable a movement of resistance to imperialism is now developing around the world. But we should have no illusions about the power of our enemies. Politically, Tony Blair has never been weaker. But he still presides over a state that has formidable coercive power.

'Fighting for Tomorrow': George Gomez

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George Gomez has been a Trotskyist since 1948. He recently attended the Asian Social Forum at Hyderabad and spoke to Joseph Choonara about his life.

I was born in 1927 in the state of Tamil Nadu. I come from a Roman Catholic family in a fishing community. I was born and brought up among fishing workers. My parents were socialists and progressive. Through them I got interested in the problems of the people and started looking for solutions. After I had finished studying I had to go to Sri Lanka to find work. My father had died and I was the only member of my family earning money. I wanted to get involved in progressive groups in Sri Lanka, and I contacted Indian socialists to get magazines.

Let My Brothers Go

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Three Irish Republicans are facing a show trial in Colombia.

On 11 August 2001 my brother Niall Connolly was arrested at Bogota airport along with Jim Monaghan and Martin McCauley. Having visited an area ceded to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) by the then Colombian president Andreas Pastrana as part of the now stalled Colombian peace process, the men were initially detained on suspicion of carrying false documentation. The three were then transferred to a military compound near the US embassy, where a number of forensic tests were carried out on their clothing and belongings.

War: The Global Opposition

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Lindsey German introduces statements from activists in Egypt and Europe who are part of a growing international movement determined to stop Bush and Blair's war in Iraq.

The central question facing us this new year is war. Daily, the US war machine grinds into place, with weapons of mass destruction shipped into the Middle East in preparation for a massive bombardment against the people of Iraq. Tony Blair used his holiday in Egypt to meet with Hosni Mubarak, a man who presides over one of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East but whose loyalty to the west ensures he is not threatened with sanctions or war.

Bloody Streets of New York

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Martin Scorsese's new film tells of American Civil War race riots. But this is only half the story.

One icy night in 1855, the celebrated street brawler John Morrissey walked into a Broadway saloon and spat in the face of Bill 'The Butcher' Poole, the even more renowned goliath of the New York streets. Poole, who led a murderous mob of anti-Catholic 'know nothings', was the arch-foe of Morrissey and other Irish gang leaders in the pay of Tammany Hall. Morrissey tried to blow Poole's brains out with his pistol but it misfired and Butcher Bill was preparing to 'bone the Irishman's cutlet' when the police intervened.

Oil and the Intifada

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An attack on Iraq will lead to more instability in the Middle East.

The assertion of US power explains in general the attack on Iraq, but there is a more specific reason which helps to explain its timing and gives it added urgency. This is the US rulers' fear of the spread of the spirit of the Palestinian intifada to other Arab states, beginning with Saudi Arabia.

Capital and Conquest

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Chris Bambery recalls the brutal history of the British empire.

On 2 September 1898 at a place called Omdurman, outside the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, 20,000 British and Egyptian troops under the command of Lord Kitchener faced 52,000 lightly armed cavalry and infantry. The latter proceeded to charge Kitchener's lines. The new machine-gun created by the American Hiram Maxim opened fire and some 10,000 Sudanese were left dead on the battlefield. There were fewer than 400 casualties on the imperial side, with just 48 British soldiers being killed.

Bush's Ultimate Thule?

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US imperialism has received a cold reception in Greenland.

In the early summer of 1951 a group of Inuit hunters, guiding a French anthropologist, returned to their homes in Thule in the north west of Greenland after a daring expedition to Canada's Ellesmere Island. When they had left the year before, Thule was one of the most remote communities on earth--20 igloos and a trading post established in 1910 by Greenland's national hero, Knud Rasmussen, to provide a base for his famed ethnographic explorations.

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