The heartbreaking murder of a young woman activist has exposed the fragility in the rule of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, a well respected member of Egypt’s left wing Socialist Popular Alliance Party, was shot in the chest by riot police as she was preparing to lay a wreath in Tahrir Square on the fourth anniversary of the revolution.
Golden Dawn, the Nazi party in Greece, came third in last month’s general election with 6.3 percent of the vote. It gained this position because of the collapse in support for the other parties. Overall, however, the general picture is of a marked shift to the left.
The autumn of 2014 saw a massive revolt by the Irish working class against the attempt by the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition to impose swingeing water charges. The charges were the latest in innumerable austerity measures imposed at the behest of the Troika — the EU, IMF and European Central Bank — as part of the immense bail-out of the Irish banks.
Hong Kong’s Occupy movement inspired vast numbers of young people to take action in opposition to China’s plans to limit previously promised democratic reforms. While Hong Kong citizens would have the right to elect their Chief Executive for the first time, they would have to choose from a handful of pre-approved candidates. After months of inspiring protests in the face of police repression the organisers called off the street occupations, after which the student leaders have come under heavy criticism from some sections of the movement. In a follow up to his article in November’s Socialist Review, Hong Kong: Spontaneity and the Mass Movement, revolutionary socialist Au Loong Yu defends the student leaders and sets out the lessons of the movement.
The Umbrella Movement has not met its objective to force the government of China to withdraw its resolution on political reform in Hong Kong. Some people have ridiculed the students for imposing limits on the movement and accuse them of deliberately refusing to escalate the actions that could have delivered a victory.
Fifty years ago last month Dr Martin Luther King was being feted in Europe as he travelled to Norway to collect the Nobel Peace Prize. The previous year his legendary speech at the end of the March on Washington had captivated a worldwide audience. In its aftermath the US Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, and a voting rights act would follow in 1965.
In four months time we face a general election amid an unprecedented political crisis. This is set to be the most racist general election campaign any of us has experienced. Tory chancellor George Osborne’s proposed cuts will take total government spending to just 35 percent of GDP — the lowest since the 1930s. The impact will be devastating.
Anyone living in Tower Hamlets is used to the east London borough being at the centre of political storms.
From the fight against the fascist National Front in the 1970s, through the Wapping printers’ strikes and dock strikes in the 1980s, the battle against the Nazi British National Party (BNP) in the 1990s, to the electoral success of the Respect Coalition in the wake of the anti-war movement, it is not a place where you expect a quiet political life.
The sight of militant pensioners and disabled people wearing Freedom Rider T-shirts while noisily protesting is now commonplace across South Yorkshire.
For the last nine months the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders have been fighting to get free train travel reinstated for older and disabled people.
The Labour-dominated South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) decision to axe free travel from 31 March 2014 because of Tory spending cuts, and to do so with extremely limited public consultation, provoked a storm of outrage.