Interview

Playing for the Moment

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The Bays are one of the most exciting bands in Britain, with an innovative and unique sound. Yet you won't find their music in record shops. Band member Simon Richmond talks to Hannah Dee and Martin Smith.

You have made a choice not to make records. Is that because of a musical ideology?

There are two ways of looking at it, and we kind of like to have it both ways. On the one level it isn't really an ideology. It's what musicians have always done, which is perform and entertain. The recorded music industry is about 100 years old whereas performed music is as old as humanity. The choice to perform and not record is more in tune with what the spirit and essence of making music is all about.

Stories of Black Britain in Pictures

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Author Paul Gilroy tells Brian Richardson why he hopes images of past moments of everyday life and struggle will inspire a new generation

Your new book, Black Britain: a photographic history, is a very different type of book from those that have made your name. What persuaded you to curate and write a book based around photographs?

Tony Benn on life on the outside

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Gordon Brown, the Left outside the Labour Party and the power of popular protest - Tony Benn speaks to Lindsey German and Judith Orr

How different is your political life today, recorded in the latest instalment of your diaries, from your time in parliament?

Before my wife Caroline died she said that if I ever left parliament I should say that I left to devote more time to politics. People laugh, but I've never done so many meetings and broadcasts, and I've written four books, so I have fulfilled that objective.

Picket lines and songs of protest

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Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello talks to Martin Smith about playing at stadiums, demonstrations and coffee shops.

Tom Morello strolls into the hotel lobby wearing an IWW baseball cap - the International Workers of the World or Wobblies as they are more commonly known were advocates of militant industrial trade unionism in the early part of the last century. He also carries an acoustic guitar, with the slogan "Whatever It Takes" painted on the front. By any definition Tom Morello is not your average rock star.

Howard Zinn on Making History

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Pathbreaking historian and political activist Howard Zinn talks to Judith Orr about his life, war, class politics and taking sides.

Can I take you back to your memories of childhood in Brooklyn?

This was the 1930s during the depression. My father and mother were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. My father was from the Austro-Hungarian empire, my mother from Siberia. They came to the US and worked in factories, met one another and got married.

Blair in the dock

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Theatre director Nicolas Kent and Guardian journalist Richard Norton-Taylor are well known for their powerful plays based on tribunal hearings. They talked to Mark Brown about their new drama, Called to Account, which puts Tony Blair in the dock over Iraq

An interesting process has taken place since the movement against the Iraq war exploded onto the British political scene. A legal term, which ordinarily would be a topic of discussion for only a small minority of the population, has become part of mainstream public consciousness - possibly millions of people in Britain believe that their own prime minister is a "war criminal".

How the working class went global

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John Rees talks to author Paul Mason about his book Live Working
or Die Fighting
and the importance of writing about workers' history

Q. You start off each chapter with a contemporary piece of reportage about the international labour movement and move on to historical comparisons. How did you come to that structure?

Defeat: Why Bush Cannot Win the War in Iraq

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For George Bush "staying the course" remains the order of the day but for most people the war is already lost. Anne Ashford spoke to award winning Iraq correspondent, Patrick Cockburn, and Iraqi exile Sami Ramadani about the resistance, the roots of sectarian violence and about "exit strategies" for the occupiers.

On Christmas Day 2006 around 1,000 British troops reduced the Al-Jamiat police station in Basra to rubble. Their intended targets, members of the city's Serious Crime Unit, had already fled but the soldiers of the 19 Light Brigade blew up the building anyway. According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) verbose press release, the police station "erupted in a tower of debris and dust, removing a powerful symbol of oppression and corruption from the Basra skyline". The Serious Crime Unit, British commanders claimed, ran death squads and kidnapping gangs.

'Workers' control in Venezuela cannot be implemented by decree. It has to be built and it advances as a process.'

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Steve Mather talks to Venezuelan workers and activists who are attempting to shape the unfolding revolutionary process and looks at those who are determined to stop them.

It is only a matter of days until the presidential elections, and Venezuelan society is in a state of suspended animation with all other political battles on hold. The ruptures within President Hugo Chavez's camp have been bandaged up for now. The energies of those who are against Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution" have been channelled into the campaign of Chavez's opponent, Manuel Rosales. Rosales, who supported the defeated coup against Chavez in 2002, is the only opposition candidate with significant popular support.

Interview: Tariq Ali

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'The history of the development of Islamic civilisation is one of adaption and intermingling. It is one of both influencing the non-Islamic world and being influenced by it.' Tariq Ali challenges the myth that Islam is incompatible with the West in his four novels about the Muslim world and Europe. He discussed them with Talat Ahmed.

Since Jack Straw made his comments on the veil, politicians have been falling over themselves to demonise Muslims in Britain. Now university lecturers are expected to spy on "Asian-looking" students in order to spot potential terrorists, while parents are warned to be on the look out for "fundamentalist" tendencies among their children. Britain seems to be in the grip of an anti-Muslim hysteria that has been gathering pace for some time. Tariq Ali's four novels on Islam and its relationship to Europe provide not only welcome relief but also an antidote.

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