Letter from

Ireland

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Brian O'Boyle considers the growing militant anti-austerity movement in Ireland

The Irish economic crash has been almost without parallel in Western Europe. Having previously been held up as a poster boy for neoliberalism Irish capitalism went into freefall in late 2008, as hundreds of thousands lost their jobs and the banking system rapidly disintegrated. The Celtic Tiger "miracle" turned out to be a mirage and it was the particular rhythm of Irish neoliberalism that can best account for the boom, the bubble and the disastrous bust.

Letter from Pakistan

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Rizwan Atta looks at the growing tensions between the US and Pakistan and the outbreak of struggles from below

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton met Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in London on the sidelines of the Somalia conference in late February to discuss the damaged relations between the two countries. Clinton said Pakistan was too important for her country to turn its back on. This eagerness is not without cause and has a history.

Letter from Nigeria

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Baba Aye reports on the millions who took to the streets in the largest and most intense strikes that Nigeria has ever seen

Eight days of a general strike and street protests in January awakened a new belief across Nigeria that ordinary people could bring about change in society.

The strike paralysed Nigeria for eight days. Across the country workers downed tools in the public and private sectors as well as in the informal economy.

It was not just the strike that was a resounding success. Millions of people took over the streets in at least 47 cities and towns.

Letter from Bolivia

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The Bolivian government is launching a counter-offensive against the very successful and popular campaign of the indigenous peoples from Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park (Tipnis). This is a massive rainforest in which a number of indigenous nations either live or depend on.

With money from the Brazilian government a road is being built connecting Brazil to the Pacific Ocean. The route of the road goes through this important environment. It is estimated that a million trees will be destroyed.

Letter from Brazil

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Henrique Sanchez reports on the growing strike wave and ecological movements in Brazil

The Brazilian economy is yet to be affected as deeply by the economic recession as much of the surrounding region. The fact that Brazil is set to host two major international events the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 reflects its relative containment of the crisis. However, both events have been used as a justification for privatisation and the launching of ecologically unsustainable projects in the name of "national interest".

Letter from Japan

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Six months on from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Dave Handley assesses the mood in Japan.

On 11 March the biggest earthquake in Japan's recorded history struck off the coast of north eastern Honshu and the resulting tsunami wreaked havoc for millions of people. More than 25,000 have been reported dead or missing and many more are coming to terms with the human and economic cost, and the reality that they'll never be able to return to their former homes. The sheer scale of the damage and the resulting debris is mind-boggling.

Letter From Canada

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When Canada's federal election was called in late March, no one expected such a dramatic outcome.

On 2 May the incumbent Conservatives managed to transform their minority government into a majority, but the real story was the surprise second-place finish of Canada's social democrats. For the first time ever the New Democratic Party (NDP) will form the official opposition, ending the domination of parliament by pro-corporate parties.

Letter From Croatia

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For first time in the country's history Croatia has been rocked by demonstrations with anti-capitalist slogans, reports
Drago Markisa

In March 2011 Croatia was a country of protests. Demonstrations occurred in almost every larger city in a two or three day rhythm. The largest protests were in the capital, Zagreb, where some demos were over 10,000 strong. The main demand of the protest was for the immediate stepping down of the current right of centre government of the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union). But the real motive for the uprising was a general dissatisfaction with the current political and economic state of Croatia.

Letter from United States

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Attacks on state employees in Wisconsin by Republican governor Scott Walker has reignited the class struggle, reports Phil Gasper

When I moved to Madison, Wisconsin four years ago, I didn't dream that it would become the site of a rebirth of the US labour movement. But since February that is what has happened.

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