Suffragette who opposed World War One

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Pankhurst under arrest

When the First World War broke out leaders of the suffragette movement, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, supported the slaughter. But as Laura Miles and Sheila Hemingway show, Sylvia Pankhurst not only opposed the war but supported strikes and became a revolutionary socialist.

The experience of the wave of workers’ militancy before the First World War (known as the Great Unrest) and then the war itself transformed women’s rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst from radical suffragette to revolutionary socialist. It was a journey that would transform her politics, and relationships with her mother and sisters.

Why does Capitalism lead to war?

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Death from the sky

The century since the slaughter in the First World War has been littered with endless more bloody wars. Sally Campbell argues the drive to war is not accidental but inherent in the logic of capitalism.

In the 20 years running up to the First World War there were approximately 100 binding agreements between the Great Powers promising peaceful coexistence. The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague was set up in 1899 “with the object of seeking the most objective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments”. This was at the behest of the peace-loving Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (nickname: Bloody Nicholas).

Palestine, Arab Revolutions and Global Solidarity

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Gaza demo London

Israel's punishing war on the Palestinians has left the Gaza Strip in ruins. But the Israeli military failed in its main objective, to break the spirit of resistance and cow the population.

The carnage and scorched earth policy unleashed by the Israeli war machine on the Gaza Strip over the summer marked a grim end to the era of hope that began with the Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions in 2011. Yet despite its brutal military superiority, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government failed to defeat the Palestinian resistance.

Lenin, Luxemburg and the War

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Lenin's critical response to Rosa Luxemburg's Junius pamphlet

Rosa Luxemburg's First World War Junius pamphlet, written in prison and so vividly described by Sally Campbell in February's Socialist Review, was arguably the greatest anti-war statement of the last century.

Its haunting theme, socialism or barbarism, prophetically cast its shadow over the 20th century and continues to do so now.

Why read The Junius Pamphlet

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Right up until July 1914 anti-war activity was rife across Europe, led by the socialist parties of the Second International. In the face of growing nationalism Rosa Luxemburg and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) organised mass rallies and the SPD headquarters put out statements confirming their stance against war: "The class conscious proletariat of Germany, in the name of humanity and civilisation, raises a flaming protest against this criminal activity of the warmongers."

Remembering Dissent

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Debate on Afghanistan is reaching boiling point. I write this on 11 November, Remembrance Day, marking the date of the armistice which ended the First World War.

That was famously the war to end all wars - although it was followed in just over 20 years by an even greater conflagration. Modern warfare has certainly seen comparable death tolls and suffering.

New Friends, Old Enemies

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We should welcome new supporters of the Stop the War Coalition who have learnt that they were wrong through bitter experience.

There are times when what was bearable suddenly becomes unbearable. The war on Lebanon was one of those.

Suddenly Labour MPs, councillors and party members, who accepted and even applauded Tony Blair's dogged devotion to George Bush's foreign policy and the war on terror, could stand no more. The blockade and bombing of Lebanon, the destruction of homes, schools, roads and petrol stations, and most of all the deaths of more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians, led to calls for an immediate ceasefire.

Uniting for Peace

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In the run-up to the International Peace Conference, Socialist Review spoke to Iraqi and US activists about the occupation, the resistance and the international movement. John Rees introduces the interviews by explaining the importance of December's event.

The largest and most representative Iraqi delegation to visit Britain since the invasion will attend the International Peace Conference organised for 10 December in London. Muqtada al-Sadr's foreign representative will join Sheikh al-Khalassi, the general secretary of the largest umbrella organisation of anti-occupation forces, the Iraqi National Foundation Congress, Hassan Juma, leader of the Southern Oil Workers Union, and a representative from the Women's Will Organisation.

Bush's Crisis: A Steady Course to the Rocks

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Alexander Cockburn explains how domestic opposition to Bush's war on Iraq is beginning to bite.

The stench of panic in Washington hangs like a winter fog over Capitol Hill and drifts down Pennsylvania Avenue. The panic stems from the core concern of every politician in the nation's capital-survival. The people sweating are Republicans, and the source of their terror is the deadly message spelled out in every current poll - Bush's war on Iraq spells disaster for the Republican Party in next year's mid-term elections.

The Challenge for the Anti-War Movement

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Recent events make it even more important for anti-war protesters to take to the streets, argues Lindsey German.

July 7 2005 will be remembered for the terrible bombings which killed more than 50 people on the London transport system. The date was not random. For while innocent people going to work were blown to pieces by four separate bombs, 400 miles away in Gleneagles the G8 leaders, led by Bush and Blair, were surrounded and protected by the highest levels of security, including 1,300 Metropolitan police.


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