News

War on Kurds resumes in Turkey

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Writing one week before the Turkish general election, I pretty much know what the results will be. I should not take the risk of putting them on paper here, as the elections will have taken place by the time Socialist Review reaches its readers. But nothing has happened in the five months since the last election to cause any significant change in the results.

Free Shaker Aamer

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Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee in the world’s most notorious prison camp, Guantanamo Bay, has seen his release delayed once again as Socialist Review went to press.

President Obama gave the statutory 30-day notice to Congress of Shaker’s release on 25 September, so he should have returned around 25 October — his 5,000th day in captivity.

Of the 16 detainees previously released to the UK several others also had their returns delayed. Serious questions must now be asked.

Syriza wins election

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Syriza held onto office in the snap elections on 20 September. Here we publish excerpts from the post-election statement of the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK).

The new coalition government begins from a worse starting point than before. On the opposite side the workers’ resistance can count on the support of a stronger left opposition. The possibilities to stem the tide of attacks on the working class stand before us stronger than they were till now.

Syriza lost about 300,000 voters, at least half of whom moved leftwards. A large part chose to abstain, such as unemployed and poor voters, who were asked to travel for the third time within a year.

Beating back fascists in Rotherham

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A fantastic show of strength and unity in Rotherham against the fascist Britain First last month showed how things are changing in the fight against racism as the refugee crisis intensifies.

More than 400 people joined the Rotherham Unite Against Fascism (UAF) protest under the slogan, “Enough is Enough — Muslim Lives Matter” following the shocking murder of Muslim man Mushin Ahmed as he walked to morning prayers in August.

Ireland: a new alliance on the left

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The radical left in Ireland has formed an alliance to field 40 candidates for the general election set for April 2016.

The two main forces on the socialist left, the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) and People Before Profit (PBP), are putting together a unified parliamentary group to maximise the left vote in the upcoming April 2016 general election.

This alliance illustrates the space that has opened up in Irish politics.

Scotland: can RISE rise?

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August saw the launch in Scotland of RISE (Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism), a new left alliance initiated by activists from the Radical Independence Campaign, the Scottish Socialist Party, and socialists and activists.

Around 600 people attended the launch event in Glasgow.

RISE aims to bring the Scottish left together under one umbrella which can pose an electoral alternative to the Labour Party and the nationalist SNP, with the first test being the Scottish parliament elections next May.

Stock crash shows up sham recovery

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The world’s stock markets were once more in turmoil as Socialist Review went to press.

The immediate trigger appears to have been the sharp downturn in Chinese share prices since July.

This, in and of itself, is a big problem for the Chinese authorities. As well as seeking to contain growing struggles by workers, they have encouraged so-called “middle class” Chinese to invest their savings in the stock market.

Discontent rises in Arab world

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A crisis caused by uncollected rubbish has triggered the biggest popular protest in Lebanon for a generation. And in Iraq, discontent over electricity shortages has galvanised a movement for an end to corruption and the sectarian wars.

The fast pace of neoliberal reforms in Egypt has pushed workers in the civil service to call for a million-man protest march in September, while low-ranking police officers have staged a series of strikes despite the threat of harsh penalties.

Extremism Bill is threat to all of us

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Barely a year after the passing of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Tories are introducing a new “Counter Extremism Bill”.

It is landmark legislation and we will need a united opposition from the left, anti-racists, trade unions, student unions and the Muslim community to stop it.

With the planned introduction of the bill this autumn, state Islamophobia in Britain is being racked up to a new level.

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