Anti-capitalism

Brazil in revolt

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Brazil, held up as an economic success story over the last decade, has been shaken by a massive revolt triggered by transport fare rises. Henrique Sanchez and Sean Purdy examine the roots of the rebellion and assess the political challenges ahead

Until quite recently, Brazil was experiencing a climate of euphoria. This was partially because of improvements in the conditions of workers and the poor with low unemployment, a moderate increase in salaries and a popular government income supplement program for the very poorest families.

Strikes, independence and indignados

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Rafel Sanchis and Estelle Cooch spoke to David Fernández, an MP for the Catalan parliament, about the origins and politics of the anti-capitalist coalition, CUP, and its relationship to the wider movement

An important feature of the crisis in Europe has been the rise of radical left political formations in Greece, France and elsewhere. In last November's elections to the Catalan parliament, an anti-capitalist and pro-independence coalition, the CUP (Candidatura d'Unitat Popular, or Popular Unity Candidates), got three MPs elected.

The 2012 elections were the first time that the CUP has decided to run for Catalan parliamentary elections. Why was this?

Revolt reigns in Spain

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On Friday 20 May there were at least 160 camps in cities and towns all over Spain following demonstrations the previous Sunday "against bankers and politicians" and for "real democracy". In solidarity there have also been pickets outside Spanish embassies all over Europe.

The "15 May Movement", as it has become known, was organised principally through social networks and by non-aligned collectives, some already active over housing or against the banks. Although the camps involve mainly young people, they have received widespread support from people of all ages. The movement coincided with local elections and when the camps were declared illegal by the Central Electoral Board - they were deemed as interfering with the voting process - tens of thousands flocked to their defence and the authorities were forced to retreat.

One, two, a thousand Seattles

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On the tenth anniversary of the Seattle protests the temptations and opportunities to misremember them were legion.

The New York Times led a revisionist charge by retelling the protest as a moment of collective vandalism, brutally memorable but politically forgettable. Fortunately, this didn't go unchallenged. David Solnit, one of the best US organisers in 1999, recently published a chronicle of the skirmishes between memory and forgetting entitled The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle.

Greek expectations for the left

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It is not very often that governments decide to commit political suicide, but that is exactly what the ruling conservative party of New Democracy did when they called a snap election in Greece last month only to lose by a margin of 10 percent.

New Democracy was plunged into a massive crisis. Nineteen of their 23 original cabinet members were wiped out. Kostas Karamanlis, the leader and former prime minister, is retiring and the four contenders for his succession cannot agree on the way a new leader will be chosen.

Karamanlis called the election because, in his own words, the economy needed a package of "tough and unpopular measures" but the political climate did not permit it. What he meant by "political climate" was the fear of a new uprising like the one that shook Greece last December.

The Shock Doctrine

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Naomi Klein talks about her new book with Chris Nineham and discusses some of the controversies it has raised.

The Shock Doctrine shows in chilling detail how the free market has been backed up with violence over the last 30 years. I suspect it has stirred up a debate already.

It would have been silly of me to spend four years writing a book the thesis of which is, "This is a war, this is a very real battle and there are very real casualties" and then think that the book would be greeted with applause and pats on the head.

Alternatives to Neo-liberalism

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Advocates of the free market constantly repeat the refrain that 'there is no alternative'. Alex Callinicos believes that for the movement to be able to answer this claim, it needs to reassert the viability of democratic planning.

The tide of revolt against neo-liberalism continues to rise. In Europe this is most evident in France. Within the space of barely a year the neo-liberal pensée unique (sole ideology) suffered two stunning defeats - first the victory of the left No in the referendum on the European Constitution, then the social insurrection against the CPE law aimed at limiting the rights of young workers.

Rifondazione in Naples

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Round table discussion: a strong movement from below is needed

Chris Bambery and Phil Rushton talked to four activists from Naples just hours after it was confirmed that the centre left had won a majority in both houses of the Italian parliament. Chiara Siani is a member of the national committee of Rifondazione's youth wing. Francesco Locantore is active in Attac Italia. Antonello Zecca is a member of the Naples 18 March Committee for Peace. Fabio Ruggiero is a Rifondazione activist and a supporter of the Sinistra Critica current within the party.

The No's Have It

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Alex Callinicos examines the problems facing Europe's ruling class.

Europe In Crisis' has been a regular fallback for headline writers over the decades. But now, after the referendums in France and the Netherlands, the European Union really is in crisis. Various factors have gone into the making of this crisis, some of which have been in the foreground of the debate on the proposed European Constitution - for example, the implications for the EU of enlargement to incorporate East and Central Europe.

Revolt against the elites

Fight the Power

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Noam Chomsky speaks to Ian Rappel about resisting the G8.

The G8 are coming to Scotland in July, and they've put forward what appears to be a progressive agenda on Africa, Third World debt and global warming. But what in your opinion is the US, under George W Bush, looking to get out of the G8 summit?

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