Archive for the ‘At the coalface’ Category

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by The Spark

Forty-five years ago, prisoners rebelled in Attica, a New York state prison. The rebellion lasted five days until it was savagely repressed, leaving 31 prisoners and nine guards dead, all shot by the police.

There had been previous revolts in the prisons. From 1950 until Attica, there were some 50 other prison uprisings. But that didn’t prevent a prison official from declaring in 1966, they were “proud, satisfied and happy” with their system.

In fact, as events were to show, the prisons were becoming a breeding ground for revolt.

By 1970, many prisoners had begun to call themselves “revolutionaries.” The black movement and the U.S. war in Vietnam led to political radicalization for many. These attitudes had spread throughout the population, including among prisoners.

A new type of prisoner appeared: those condemned in ordinary criminal cases whose political consciousness (more…)

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TVNZ/Colmar Brunton poll, Sept 3-7

by Phil Duncan

The latest Colmar Brunton poll, taken in the first week of this month and issued earlier this week, shows yet another fall in support for Labour, now down to just 26%, with National steady on 48% and the Greens and NZ First rising to 13% and 11% respectively.  Given that National is now almost two-thirds of the way through its third term, one might expect the shine to have gone off the Key-led government and Labour to be ahead in the polls instead of so far behind.  Moreover, Andrew Little is the fourth Labour leader since the party, then led by Helen Clark, lost the 2008 election.  Plus, it’s not as if there aren’t some serious issues which National has been very clearly unable to get sorted – in particular rising house prices, especially in Auckland.

So why can’t Labour get traction?  Is the Labour Party in terminal decline? Should serious leftists be at all concerned?

At the heart of Labour’s electoral woes is the fact that the NZ ruling class likes to have two large parties to do its bidding.  Around them are clustered lesser parties that will enable moderate multi-party governments to be formed, thus guaranteeing political stability.  These are the best political conditions for the capitalist class – they can go about the business of exploiting the working class without having to worry about social, economic and political conflict disturbing the peace.

The two main parties of the capitalist class are, of course, (more…)

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for Irish citizens and/or Irish passport holders: https://www.gofundme.com/socialistrepublic

 

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for non-Irish: you can’t actually donate to the party, but you can shop at the éirígí online store: http://www.siopaeirigi.org/
Further reading:

Building the Irish revolutionary movement

Ireland: the class struggle is the source of the national struggle

Building an alternative movement in Ireland: interview with eirigi national chairperson Brian Leeson

And check out éirígí TV: https://www.youtube.com/user/eirigi

Yesterday, September 11, marked the 41st anniversary of the coup in Chile.  On September 11, 1973 the democratically-elected left-wing government led by Salvador Allende was overthrown by a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet.  Several thousand people were murdered during the coup and tens of thousands imprisoned and/or tortured in its aftermath.  Pinochet remained in power until 1990, but held on as head of the Chilean Army until 1998.  Even after that he was a senator for life.  He was subsequently charged, however, with 300 offences relating to human rights abuses, tax evasion and embezzlement.  He died in 2006, before going on trial.  During his time in power he amassed a fortune estimated at $US28 million (about 40 million NZ dollars) and carried out a set of ruthless ‘new right’ economic reforms, a number of which were mimicked by the fourth Labour government in NZ in the 1980s.

The 1973 coup came as the Chilean ruling class and its supporters, especially in the United States, worried about the growing class conflict in the country and the rise of new forms of workers’ power.

Read about the forms of popular power that were emerging here.

On the coup, see Remembering the September 11 terrorist bloodbath.

This talk was delivered to the Communist University, August 6-13 (2016), London.

Support from the Palestinian people and international solidarity were key to this victory

Support from the Palestinian people and international solidarity were key to this victory

The following statement was released by the PFLP on Wednesday:

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced the suspension of the hunger strike of Comrade Bilal Kayed after reaching an agreement to set the end date of his detention without renewal, end his isolation and allow him family visits.

The Front states that this is a victory for Comrade Bilal and his comrades and the prisoners’ movement and a significant achievement for the Palestinian people and a defeat for the Zionist jailer, and the failure of their attempts to (more…)

downloadTaken from The Electronic Intifada (see our links section):

Glasgow Celtic fans have launched a fundraiser to match any fine that Europe’s ruling football body, UEFA, will give the Scottish club for an expression of Palestine solidarity at a recent game against the Israeli team Hapoel Beer Sheva.

UEFA has announced that it has opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic for display of an “illicit banner.” The “illicit banner” is a reference to Palestinian flags waved by Celtic supporters last week.

The fundraising campaign has been set up by the Green Brigade, a Celtic fan group, which has pledged to put part of the money towards setting up and sustaining a (more…)