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Samir Amin: a lifelong critic of capitalism

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Samir Amin, who died in August, was a leading Marxist thinker in the Global South. Unlike many of his contemporaries he did not retreat from radicalism with the collapse of the “communist” east. In the period since the millennium he threw himself into the World Social Forum.

Amin was born in Egypt in 1931, to an Egyptian father and a French mother. His parents were both doctors. He went to university in Paris in the 1950s. He returned to Egypt as a member of the Communist Party during the excitement and ferment of radical nationalist Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule.

Labour must hold the line against pro-remain centre

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Pressure is building on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party leadership to agree to backing a second referendum on Britain leaving the EU. Several trade unions, including the GMB, are either balloting members over the issue or preparing to take motions to this month’s TUC conference in Manchester calling for Labour to adopt the policy.

In an email sent to GMB members, the general secretary, Tim Roache, wrote: “GMB wants to hear from members about your views on Brexit, and whether you think there should be a public vote when we know what the deal looks like.”

Gay Palestinians protest at Israel’s Pride

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The streets of Tel Aviv were adorned with rainbow flags alongside Israeli ones on 8 June as thousands of Israelis took to the streets for their 20th annual pride march.

To those unaware of the ethnic cleansing and genocide carried out by Israel on a daily basis for the past 70 years, the self-proclaimed “gay capital of the Middle East” would have appeared to represent a very tolerant and open society.

Italian politics moves to the right

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Soumali Sacko was a member of USB (Unione Sindacale di Base), a grass roots trade union that fights to improve the outrageous working conditions of the farm labourers deployed in the lemon fields in Calabria, Italy.

On 2 June Sacko, a migrant agricultural worker from Mali, was shot in the back while trying to collect metal to rebuild accommodation in the shantytown located on the outskirts of San Ferdinando, where more than 4,000 seasonal workers live in miserable conditions during the harvest season.

Nazis outnumbered

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A demonstration of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), the far-right anti-immigrant party, in Berlin, Germany on 27 May was dramatically outnumbered by anti-fascist protesters.

Overall around 70,000 anti-fascists confronted 5,000 supporters of the party that won a worrying 13 percent of the vote in the federal election in 2017.

Chants identified the party with its core Nazi support, its antisemitism and its anti-immigrant poison.

In a boost for the anti-fascists the AfD’s Berlin leader complained that his party’s supporters were being stigmatised.

Editorial: take heart and resist

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Many around the world are celebrating the vote for abortion rights in Ireland. It has been a long time coming. The result is as exciting as the movement that has been built on and leapt forward during this whole process.

It raises question for women around the world. On top of the #metoo movement, this is a huge achievement and it happened in a one time bastion of reactionary control over women’s lives.

News in brief

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Lecturers run amok
The UCU union congress erupted in an argument when delegates dared to challenge their leadership using such weapons as democracy. General secretary Sally Hunt and others in the bureacracy walked out and halted the conference over calls for her to resign. Members are unhappy that she tried to push a dodgy deal during the pensions dispute.

Technocrats will make it worse

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The political crisis in Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, intensified with the president Sergio Mattarella blocking the nominee of the alliance between the populist parties Five Star and League for finance minister.

Paolo Savona was regarded as being too critical of Italy’s membership of the eurozone and a threat to its future involvement.

The president said he would install a former IMF official, Carlo Cottarelli, as a technocratic interim prime minister.

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