Fighting global capitalism

Link-ups on 29 November climate strike

Climate strikes on 29 November saw large number of school students and older people turn out, all across the country. In many places there were smaller turn-outs than previous strikes: partly because of the election; partly because — unlike the 20 September — there was no central emphasis on trade unionists and workers joining; and maybe partly because of a slight loss of steam. There were still fairly good and energetic turnouts, even if smaller, in most places that I got reports from. It coincided with the UCU strikes. Some places seized the opportunity presented by that, others failed to...

More needed than carbon trading

The opening of COP25, this year’s major international climate conference, in Madrid (2-13 December), has been marked by strong words by UN secretary general António Guterres. However, action to live up to these words is unlikely to be forthcoming from the conference. Guterres said “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon… It is in sight and hurtling toward us”. He noted that the world has the scientific knowledge and the technical means to limit global warming, but “what is lacking is political will”. “Political will to put a price on carbon. Political will to stop subsidies on...

A mess on antisemitism

On ITV’s This Morning, 3 December, Jeremy Corbyn finally apologised for antisemitism in the Labour Party, after a week in which he had resisted calls to do so following Orthodox chief rabbi’s Ephraim Mirvis’s statements. Politically, the delay signals uncertainty at best. Worse, in the 26 November interview with Andrew Neil where he first refused to apologise, Corbyn was asked repeatedly whether the phrase “Rothschild Zionists run Israel and world governments”, tweeted by a Labour council candidate in Liverpool, is antisemitic. (Apparently the tweeter remains a candidate, for now, after his...

XR condemns Hallam on Holocaust

Extinction Rebellion bigwig Roger Hallam has been widely condemned, including by much of XR, for comments belittling the significance of the Holocaust. Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit. Hallam said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history… [The Holocaust was] almost a normal event... just another fuckery in human history”. We don’t know Hallam’s motivation or underlying political prejudice here. But to put the Holocaust in the context of other mass killings in history does not require talking about it...

Liz Truss and antisemitism

In remarks of 27 November, Trade Secretary Liz Truss described the well-evidenced plans to discuss selling the National Health Service to US health firms as a “conspiracy theory”, which she linked to antisemitism. Her remarks harm the struggle against that bigotry, and show a callous disregard for the real threats faced by Jewish people, including from genuine antisemitic conspiracy theories. Leaked government documents, which the government had tried to keep secret, confirm what Donald Trump and Woody Johnson said publicly in June – that the NHS and drug pricing are on the table in post...

Black Friday and the folly of anti-consumerism

In the US, Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). The day revolves around large discounts in shops. Black Friday sales are notorious for the levels of chaos or even violence that occur as crowds pour into the shops and scramble for the discounted goods. To take an extreme example, in 2008 a stampede of shoppers on Long Island, New York, trampled a Walmart employee to death. Although Black Friday as a long-running annual tradition is specific to the United States because of its relationship to the holiday of Thanksgiving, retailers in other...

Candlelit solidarity with the Chilean uprising

Photos: RocĂ­o Almuna Morales On Wednesday October 30, "Chilean students, academics and workers in Bristol" held a "Candelight gathering" in support of the general strike in Chile, on the same day. Around fifty people, mostly left-wingers of Chilean origin, gathered and chanted to show support for the strike's demands. This followed a similar sized demo a week prior. Three demands that the Bristol demo was raising of the Chilean government were: 1. Against the military on the streets, the "state of constitutional exception" (martial law) and the restriction of civil, political and social...

Socialism is more than public funding

Socialism: where has it actually worked? Momentum and their hot new video are here to explain. You Are A SocialistWhere has socialism ever worked? ?Posted by Momentum on Thursday, 9 May 2019 And where has socialism worked? Everywhere! Everywhere? Yes, that’s right everywhere! Doesn’t it seem a bit weird that socialism has worked everywhere and everything is still so shit? And what are fighting for now? I’m pretty sure the video has got some details wrong here. We probably should have been warned when socialism as “pooling our resources” and “working together” was illustrated by Momentum with a...

Rebellion and politics

Extinction Rebellion (XR) started their “International Rebellion” on Monday 15 April, with thousands of people participating in road blocks across central London: Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, and Parliament Square. There were hundreds in each location, with festival-like atmospheres, and people staying overnight in some. At the time of writing, Tuesday lunchtime 16 April, there are still some active blockades with hundreds of people. Participants are mostly a mixture of pensioners and people in their early 20s or younger. The police have reported over 100...

Aaron Bastani’s Capitalist Realism

Mark Fischer in his book Capitalist Realism outlines the titular concept, summed up in the phrase “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”. In a recent Twitter outburst, this is the concept Novara co-founder Aaron Bastani reached for in retort to people reacting to his tweet about trade under a Corbyn-led Labour government: “Bilateral trade deals under a Corbyn government: Brazilian food & coffee; Cuban healthcare workers; Venezuelan gas. All while helping them in value-added areas like pharma, hi-tech manufacturing & aviation. Cheap mojitos, a well staffed NHS...

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