Solidarity 088, 23 February 2006

The shame of the invertebrate liberals

The liberal Establishment, including the liberal newspapers, have responded to the still-burning political explosion ignited by the Danish cartoons showing Muhammad in a downright disgraceful way. They have turned tail on the traditions of freedom of religion and freedom to have no religion, of free speech and a free press, which in less demanding times they claim as their own and are ever ready to denounce Marxists for allegedly not accepting or defending.

Real and invented differences on Political Islam 1: the Sharia Socialists


Sean Matgamna

“But [against the state] socialists cannot give support to the Islamists either. That would be to call for the swapping of one form of oppression for another, to react to the violence of the state by abandoning the defence of ethnic and religious minorities, women and gays, to collude in scapegoating that makes it possible for capitalist exploitation to continue unchecked providing it takes 'Islamic' forms.

A factory without bosses

The Zanon factory in Neuquén province in Argentina has operated under workers’ control for four years. It is a great example of the creativity of working class people. Julian Pununuri from Zanon spoke to Paul Hampton during his recent UK tour, organised by No Sweat and the Argentina Solidarity Campaign.

PH: Zanon is an inspiration to socialists and activists across the globe. What’s going on there now?

How students organise in the USA

By Laura Schwartz, convenor students against sweatshops

Between 8 and 14 February I happily accepted an invitation from United Students Against Sweatshops to attend their winter conference in San Francisco as a representative of Students Against Sweatshops and No Sweat.

after a week, a year of action!

By Sacha ismail

Between February 11 and 18, activists across the country organised meetings, protests, film-showings, petitioning and benefit gigs as part of the first student Anti-Sweatshop Week of Action. The week of action, which we hope to make an annual event, was called by No Sweat and Students Against Sweatshops, with (in the event, largely passive) support from the National Union of Students.

A variety of left-wing activists on campus, from People & Planet groups to left-wing campaigning societies and even one Labour Club, organised events.

Freedom for the peoples of Iraq! Against the US/UK, against the “resistance”

By colin foster

According to detailed research by the International Crisis Group, the Iraqi “resistance” is becoming much more organised and confident. The USA’s reported repeated attempts to get into negotiations with a “nationalist” wing of the “resistance” and split it off from a “jihadi” wing have little grip.

The ICG report is based on analysis of the websites, DVDs, and videos produced by the “resistance”, now quite numerous and professionally-done, plus a few interviews.

Not unfair to Ridley

If Terry Liddle wants to maintain that FA Ridley was personally a good sort (see Solidarity 3/87), I’ll take his word for it. I never met him. I know him only for his writings, including his pamphlet on Spartacus, which, decades ago, I read and thought very good.

the state and atheism

Mark Sandell’s letter (Solidarity 3/87) attacking my article on secularism in France did make a sustained effort at picking holes in my argument, but did little to justify his own position.

Not the same as the Pope

By Alan Thomas

At the present time, Muslim populations across Europe are under-privileged and oppressed. Within the UK as well, Muslim populations suffer all the usual social indicators of racism, as well as being at the sharp end of the recent “antiterror” laws, as well as a wider post-9/11 backlash. The image of Muslim as savage, terrorist “other” is thus at the fore in a way that it has not been in many years.

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