Solidarity 176, 24 June 2010

Thirty five years after America's war


Ira Berkovic

America’s war in Vietnam, and the international movements that sprung up in opposition to it, are central events in the history of 20th century radical politics. The events of that conflict continue to cast a long shadow over the contemporary left’s understanding of imperialist war. Looking back over a distance of 35 years, Vietnam still has a huge amount to teach us in terms of the nature of capitalist imperialism, the nature of Stalinism, and what kind of anti-war politics and movement socialists should aspire to fight for and build.


Debating the crisis and socialist answers


Vasilis Grollios

Vasilis Grollios reports on the Toronto conference of the academic journal Historical Materialism, held on 13-16 May.

Some of the most well known socialist researchers participated in this conference, just like the other conferences the journal organises in New York and in London. Here are the lectures that aroused my interest most.

Engineered identities


Tom Unterrainer

“It hurts to be misrepresented, but there is no representation without misrepresentation… Bangladeshi Britons would be better off not reading — or, when it comes out, seeing the film of — Brick Lane.” Germaine Greer, ‘Reality Bites’, the Guardian, 24 July 2006

The furore that accompanied plans to film Monica Ali’s novel Brick Lane in the eponymous east London neighborhood were just the latest in a long-running series of incidents that have come to signify — if not define — the deterioration of the left, its understanding of race and identity.

The crisis and the lies they tell


Ed Maltby

The Tories don’t just intend to hammer workers and the poor with cuts — they want to make us believe in their austerity programme as well. The Tories and the Tory press have been relentlessly “on message” since the election, pumping out pro-cuts, class-war propaganda. Let’s take a look at some choice bits of doublethink from the Liberal-Tory press:

1. As he announced the budget in the Commons on Tuesday, to boos from Labour MPs, George Osborne screeched above the racket, “The years of debt and overspending have made this unavoidable”.

French cuts will hit women workers hardest

The first part of the austerity measures that the French government plans to introduce will be a major attack on pension rights for both public and private sector workers. French unions have called for strikes and demonstrations on Thursday 24 June. Olivier Delbeke from Le Militant spoke to Solidarity about the issues.

Government deports children


Jade Baker

In a double blow for some of Britain’s most vulnerable, it’s been revealed that almost two thousand Afghan immigrants, including 150 unaccompanied children and adolescents, face unwarranted deportation in the coming year.

Meanwhile the government is standing aside while the Refugee and Migrant Justice legal charity is set to close this month due to cuts and unsustainable methods of funding.

Anti-fascism in East London: under whose banner?


Todd Hamer & Darren Bedford

Several weeks ago, the English Defence League announced they were organising a protest against an Islamist conference in the Troxy conference centre in Limehouse, East London, which was backed by the Islamic Forum of Euope (IFE) and the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS).

Predictably for this sort of religious fundamentalist event, the speakers at the conference included all sorts of reactionary bigots.

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