Opinion

The spirit of 68: Chris Harman at the LSE

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Wenda Clenaghen was a student at the LSE during the radical period of 1968. Here she recalls the involvement of the young Chris Harman in events, from the anti-war movement to the streets of Paris.

Chris was a familiar figure, along with Richard Kuper, Steve Jefferys and David Adelstein, on the London School of Economics Old Theatre stage. He was the most shambolic of the four. With wild curly black hair and a strange stuttering style of speaking, that often matched his movements, he was convincing to the uninitiated of which I was one.

His speeches had a combination of intellectual depth, a call to action and sincerity. The International Socialists’ (IS) slogan of “Neither Washington nor Moscow” was particularly attractive.

Jamaica’s labour rebellion

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Anger at low wages, unemployment and colonial racism provoked a series of strikes across the British Caribbean 80 years ago. Christian Høgsbjerg describes the events which solidified the working class.

Amid the great depression of the 1930s the British Empire was rocked by a series of mass strikes and anti-colonial revolts across the Caribbean colonies. These events were central in the making of the Caribbean working class and reached their climax in Jamaica from late April to June 1938.

Donald Trump and the evangelicals

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The Christian right played a crucial strategic role in the election of Donald Trump and continues, despite everything, to provide him with the hard core of his support. According to one poll, not only did evangelical Christians constitute nearly a third of votes in the 2016 presidential election, but 81 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump.

From #MeToo to #WhatAboutUs

Issue section: 
Issue: 

What began as a discussion of sexual harassment has broadened out to other aspects of the fight for women’s liberation. But working class women must be at the centre of debate, writes Sally Campbell.

The #MeToo movement, which took off in reaction to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault revelations, has continued to reshape discussions around women’s equality.

Who makes the Nazis?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

A new book examines how Hitler’s early regime in the 1930s looked to US laws on immigration, citizenship and mixed marriage to legitimise itself. It is a crucial history in the era of Trump, writes Roddy Slorach.

“In the early 1930s, the Jews of Germany were hounded, beaten and sometimes murdered by mobs and the state alike. In the same years the blacks of the American South were hounded, beaten and sometimes murdered as well.” So reads the introduction to a revealing new book by James Q Whitman.

Today’s debates on the nature of Trump’s presidency and the way it has boosted far-right parties across the globe lends urgency to this story: how Hitler’s new Nazi state drew on US state racism to help consolidate and legitimise its new regime.

Say it loud: hands off the hijab

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The government and its allies in the media are once again fuelling anti-Muslim attitudes, this time with their attack on the right of young Muslim girls to wear the hijab at school.

Following the chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman’s call for primary schools to consider banning the hijab, Neena Lall, the head of St Stephens School in Newham, east London, imposed such a ruling. But after a meeting of more than 150 parents, she scrapped it, and apologised for her huge error of judgement.

Ambalavaner Sivanandan, 1923-2018

Issue section: 
Author: 

Ambalavaner Sivanandan, who died on 3 January, was the director of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) and one of the most important anti-racist activists and intellectuals in Britain.

Sivanandan talked and wrote on all aspects of racism in an anti-imperialist, Marxist framework. He spoke out strongly against the idea of celebrating fixed ethnic or racial communities as the basis for fighting racism. He said that the fight must come out of “communities of resistance” — people who came together and thus defined themselves as a community in the fight against racism.

The art of resistance

Issue section: 
Author: 

Gay activists played an important role in anti-fascist resistance. Noel Halifax tells the little-known story of the artist and writer turned freedom fighter Willem Arondeus, who was executed by the Nazis in the Netherlands 75 years ago.

Willem Arondeus was born in 1895, the son of theatre designers, and grew up in Amsterdam one of six children. At an early age he showed an interest in art and writing, which his parents encouraged, and in homosexuality, which his parents did not.

At the age of 17 he came out fully and refused to hide his sexuality. At the time homosexuality was legal in the Netherlands; nonetheless when he was 18 his parents kicked him out to fend for himself. He survived, but in impoverished conditions, continuing his interest in painting and writing.

Pages

Subscribe to Opinion