Revolution

Rebellious Daughters: Mother Jones & Bhikaiji Rustom Cama

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In the second of our monthly series we celebrate the lives of union organiser Mother Jones and India independence leader Bhikaiji Rustom Cama

Mary "Mother" Jones (1837-1933) was born Mary Harris in 1837 in County Cork, Ireland. Her father Robert fled to Canada after taking part in a revolt against the landowners.

Mary became a schoolteacher but was barred from most schools because she was a Catholic. She later moved to Chicago and worked as a dressmaker.

She met George Jones, an iron worker and union organiser, in 1861 and they married and had four children. Sadly George and the four children died in a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis in Autumn 1867.

The mainstream left face defeat and dilemmas

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It is beggars belief that Piers Morgan and The Sunday Times have been much more effective in calling out the government than the opposition

The defeat of Jeremy Corbyn in December’s General Election and his subsequent replacement as Labour leader by Keir Starmer raises serious questions for the mainstream left. These are underlined by the suspension of Bernie Sander’s bid to become the Democratic Party candidate in the US presidential election and his endorsement of Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Sojourner Truth & Elisabeth Dmitrieff - Rebellious Daughters #1

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We begin a monthly celebration of some of the most dynamic, fighting women from history.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born a slave in New York and named Isabella Baumfree. She was bought and sold four times and subjected to harsh physical labour and violent punishments. In her teens, she was united with another slave with whom she had five children.

Between 1826-27 Truth ran away with her infant Sophia to a nearby abolitionist family. The family bought her freedom for $20 and helped Truth successfully sue for the return of her five-year-old-son Peter, who was illegally sold into slavery in Alabama. She was the first black woman to sue a white man.

China's revolution at 70: reality trumps myths

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Mao's revolution was not socialist

As China launches its official celebrations marking 70 years since the revolution of 1949, Adrian Budd looks at the longer context of what was a national revolution, far from any vision of communism.

On 1 October China was set to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Massive parades are organised, children will sing patriotic songs whose lyrics they have learned by heart but do not understand, military hardware has been polished. The multi-millionaires who run China will admire themselves in their new hand-made suits and dresses.

Algeria on fire

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In getting rid of their dictator of 20 years, Algerians showed the power they have. Chinedu Chukwudinma looks at the history of workers’ struggles and assesses the possibilities for the future.

Revolution has again struck North Africa as the mass protests in Algeria forced dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign on 2 April. Despite this victory, Algerians have continued to demonstrate and are now demanding the removal of the entire regime.

Iran 1979: an opportunity squandered

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Forty years ago protests in Iran rolled over into a revolution. John Rose tells a tale of huge potential brutally suppressed.

The Iranian Revolution of February 1979 was one of the most startling events of the 20th century. This is true not just because of the almost total participation of the entire population in the active overthrow of the Shah, the dictatorial self-proclaimed monarch, but also because of the determination of the new regime to install what it described as an “Islamic Republic”.

Malcolm X: The road to revolution

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This month marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of Malcolm X. Antony Hamilton looks at his life and politics.

Malcolm X is one of the great icons of the Black Power movement. He inspired a generation to resist racism “by any means necessary”. His life was a battle of ideas in which he responded to institutional racism and segregation with tactics that evolved alongside the struggle for civil rights. Speaking in January 1965, a month before his murder, Malcolm X warned of impending social upheaval and global revolution:

Bread, Freedom, Social Justice

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This much-anticipated and authoritative book by Anne Alexander and Mostafa Bassiouny tracks the role of the Egyptian working class movements in the 2011 Revolution. It is a closely argued, detailed and thorough examination of the dynamics of the revolution and the potential for workers to make a profound change in Egyptian society.

Alexander and Bassiouny begin with the definition of the Egyptian military — not a neutral body standing above society mediating between different interests, nor is it simply a charmed circle of personalities, but a brutal agent of class rule.

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