Delia Hutchings

Martyred for Irish liberation

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There is a long history of Irish workers organising alongside their English comrades and of anti-Irish feeling dividing the working class. One hundred and fifty years ago three Irish men were hanged by the British state on trumped up murder charges. Delia Hutchings tells the story of these Manchester Martyrs.

On 23 November 1867 Michael O’Brien, Michael Larkin and William Allen were hanged. They had been found guilty of murdering British police officer Sergeant Charles Brett while taking part in an audacious plan to free two leading Irish Nationalists from a police van. They are known as the Manchester Martyrs.

On 11 September 1867 Thomas Kelly and Timothy Deasy were arrested for loitering in Manchester. It was several days before the Manchester police realised that they were holding the leadership of the International Republican Brotherhood — the Fenians.

1917: Stories and Poems

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When the revolutionary workers of Russia seized state power in 1917, 70 percent of the population were illiterate. Yet the revolution revealed a hunger for knowledge and art, and a cultural debate raged over the soul of the revolution.

Translator Boris Drayluk says the aim of this collection of poetry and prose from 1917 to 1919 is not to describe the revolution, but to “steep the reader in its tumult”, and I think he is successful.

My Turn

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Doug Henwood sets out to challenge the idea that Hillary Clinton represents anything to do with progress or real change. “The case for Hillary boils down to this: she has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn.” Now Bernie Sanders’ challenge has forced her to tack left. Even her feminist claims have been undermined by polls showing women prefer Sanders. Rejecting misogynist attacks on Clinton, Henwood explains he’s not interested in analysing her policies as she’s unlikely to stick to them. It’s her political record that counts, and it’s “not inspiring”.

Marxism and Women's Liberation

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Working class women are hit hardest by austerity. On campuses gross sexism has become a routine part of life. No wonder many women identify as feminists. It’s time to take on women’s oppression. The question is how.

In Marxism and Women’s Liberation Judith Orr makes the case for a Marxist analysis of women’s oppression. She shows why understanding the class nature of capitalism is vital in the fight against oppression, and how this is part of the struggle for socialism.

Women and the family

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Susan Rosanthal’s article “Capitalism, Alienation and the Family” (February SR) is useful in lifting the lid on the reality of abuse within the family. Many will welcome recognition of their experience of violent and abusive relationships.

However, I don’t think she does justice here to women’s experience of oppression in her analysis of domestic violence. She tells us more women than men experience severe violence from an intimate partner, but also quotes a study which found that men and women face the same risk of violence from an intimate partner.

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