hillary-clinton-what-difference-does-it-make-benghazi-dead-americans-9111-450x265 (1)by Kevin Young and Diana C. Sierra Becerra

Assuming Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, much of her popular support will be based on her image as an advocate of women’s rights. During her 2008 candidacy, the National Organization of Women (NOW) endorsed Clinton based on her “long history of support for women’s empowerment.” A group of 250 academics and activists calling themselves “Feminists for Clinton” praised her “powerful, inspiring advocacy of the human rights of women” and her “enormous contributions” as a policymaker. Since then, NOW and other mainstream women’s organizations have been eagerly anticipating her 2016 candidacy. Clinton and supporters have recently stepped up efforts to portray her as a champion of both women’s and LGBT rights.

Such depictions have little basis in Clinton’s past performance. While she has indeed spoken about gender and sexual rights with considerable frequency, and while she may not share the overtly misogynistic and anti-LGBT views of most Republican politicians, as a policymaker she has consistently favored policies devastating to women and LGBT persons.

Why, then, does she continue to enjoy such support from self-identified feminists? Part of the answer surely lies in the barrage of sexist attacks that have targeted her and the understandable desire of many feminists to see a woman president. But that’s not the whole story. We suggest that feminist enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is reflective of a profound crisis of U.S. liberal feminism, which has long embraced or accepted corporate capitalism, racism, empire, and even heterosexism and transphobia.

Making Profit and War

All issues of wealth, power, and violence are also women’s and LGBT rights issues. For instance, neoliberal economic policies of austerity and privatization disproportionately hurt women and LGBT individuals, who are often the lowest paid and the first workers to be fired, the most likely to bear the burdens of family maintenance, and the most affected by the involuntary migration, domestic violence, homelessness, and mental illness that are intensified by poverty.

Hillary Clinton’s record on such issues is hardly encouraging. Her decades of service on corporate boards and in major policy roles as First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State give a clear indication of where she stands. One of Clinton’s first high-profile public positions was at  Read the rest of this entry »

womday-247x350On March 8, International Women’s Day, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees extend our solidarity and commitment to joint struggle to all activists and campaigners for freedom around the world who are confronting the forces of colonialism, exploitation, occupation, discrimination and racism and struggling for freedom, equality, justice and dignity; to those who defend self-determination of peoples, sovereignty over their resources and capabilities, and liberation from all forms of oppression; and to those who seek true peace with justice.

On this International Women’s Day, the rights of women around the world are violated in numerous ways: through wars and armed conflicts, through the power and oppression of racism; through reactionary forces in many regions, including in the Arab world, where such forces carry the support of imperalism to benefit its clear colonial objectives for control of peoples and their resources. Imperialism in our region has resulted in an increasing number of victims of its policies and ever more risk to the lives of people, especially women and children.

In Palestine, which is still under the yoke of Zionist settler colonialism, the Zionist movement seeks to proclaim its “democracy” and “progressiveness,” but in reality is committed to a mission of racism, murder, destruction and criminality. Palestinian women are struggling for the freedom of their people, and their message is one of insistence on freedom and refusal to compromise our rights, whether national or social, and thus continue their legitimate struggle for the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, the right of self-determination, of full sovereignty, and the right to Jerusalem as capital of an independent Palestinian state. At the same time, Palestinian women struggle for full equality in all economic and social fields, ending all forms of discrimination against them in the legal and social fields and the development of laws Read the rest of this entry »

images2015 is turning out to be another 12 months of bloody Western intervention in the Middle East, with all the death and destruction that entails, and a kind of perverse ‘payback’ on Western civilians by fundamentalist Islamists, as evidenced in the killings at Charlie Hebdo.

Below are some of the main feature pieces we’ve run on how imperialism has plundered and oppressed the Middle East and how this has, among other things, created the kind of Islamic fundamentalism espoused by Al Qaeda and ISIS and others.

imagesFrom the Crusades to 2000: western powers plunder and strangle the Middle East (article from 2000, but still highly relevant)

The never-ending ever-expanding war

The war for the Middle East

Iraq-Syria: the making of a catastrophe

Syria: background to the conflict

The Syrian dilemma

Iraq – a powder keg stoked and primed by imperialist power games

A Middle East countriesIraq: a disaster waiting to happen

What’s tearing Iraq apart?

The origins, economics and politics of the Islamic State

How Washington created Osama bin Laden

Fear of fundamentalism

Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in Iraq before 2003 

Explaining Wahhabism and Salafism

Cyril+Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa, living it up on the backs of the black masses

by Phil Duncan

The latest Oxfam report on global inequality (October 2014) shows that, 20 years after ‘liberation’, South Africa is the most unequal society on earth. So unequal, in fact, that the two richest people are as wealthy as the poorest 50% of the population! Today in South Africa, reports Oxfam, a platinum miner would have to work for 93 years just to earn the average CEO’s annual bonus.

Among the super-rich is Cyril Ramaphosa, once-upon-a-time the leader of the militant black miners union. Ramaphosa was able to leverage his union experience into a profitable career as a business adviser and then expand his own businesses thanks to his long involvement in the ANC (African National Congress) and the connections that provided him with when the ANC took power in townships-11994.

The black working class, economically worse off than ever, are supposed to forget about their own interests and poverty, let alone fight for something better.  Instead they’re supposed to Read the rest of this entry »

But only if the masses choose to use that potential power. . .

But only if the masses choose to use that potential power. . .

One of our biggest concerns at Redline is that, while workers’ rights, living standards and general conditions of life have been made worse over the past 30 years, workers’ resistance has declined to negligible levels.  Moreover, the rare tussle that does take place is a defensive one.  Workers in this country, with the possible exception of the early days of Unite union when it was organising new workplaces and fighting to get contracts for new union members, haven’t been going on the offensive for several decades now.

imagesSometimes it seems that two generations of workers got defeated – through the 1980s and 1990s – and the next generation therefore hasn’t had a fighting spirit and class consciousness passed on to it nor developed these through its own experiences.

But if workers here have forgotten or, in the case of the new generation, not yet learned what resistance is let alone what going on the offensive is, there is no shortage of examples of powerful workers’ upsurges and of workers’ workers_power_lets_organize_against_capitalismresistance pointing to, or at least offering a glimpse of the potential for, alternative ways of organising economic, social and political life.

The really big stuff: dress rehearsals for workers’ emancipation
France, May-June 1968: the glimmer of revolution
Forms of popular power in Chile, 1970-1973
The grandeur of workers’ revolution: Portugal, 1974

History’s biggest general strike (2013)
History’s biggest strike: Indian workers show us how

Recent Workplace Occupations (and one from 1989)
Workers occupy Paris Bakery, Moore St, Dublin
When workers occupied – the Cockatoo Island occupation of 1989

Portugal 1974

Portugal 1974

Factory takeover in Argentina sees discussions on workers power, women’s liberation
Greek lessons: workers occupy factory, continue production
Video on the Vio.me struggle
Greek factory: “the machines of self-management have been turned on”
Workers’ self-management only solution: interview with spokesperson for the Vio.me occupation

Resisting austerity and taking on the state in Ireland
Working class resists water tax in south of Ireland

Working class community organising against Class A drug pushers
Standing up for ourselves: a brief history of the IWCA’s campaign against Class A drug dealers in Blackbird Leys

What about New Zealand?
When workers had class
Which way forward for workers and unions?

Further reading:
Whatever happened to workers’ resistance?

Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) Polish-born German revolutionary and political agitator, addressing a meeting after the Second International Social Democrativ Congress, Stuttgart, 1907. Founder member with Karl Liebknecht of the KPD, the German Communist Part

by Rosa Luxemburg (1912)

‘Why are there no organisations of women workers in Germany? Why is so little heard of the women workers’ movement?’ – These were the words with which Emma Ihrer, one of the founders of the proletarian women’s movement in Germany, in 1898 introduced her book on Women Workers in the Class Struggle [Die Arbeiterinnen im Klassenkampf]. Hardly fourteen years have passed since then, and today the proletarian women’s movement in Germany has developed mightily. More than 150,000 women workers organised in trade unions help to form the shock troops of the militant proletariat on the economic field. Many tens of thousands of politically organised women are assembled under the banner of the Social-Democracy.(1) The Social-Democratic women’s magazine has over a hundred thousand subscribers. The demand for women’s suffrage is on the order of the day in the political life of the Social-Democracy.

Importance of fight for women’s suffrage

There are many who, precisely on the basis of these facts, may underestimate the significance of the struggle for women’s suffrage. They may reason: even without political equality for the female sex, we have achieved brilliant advances in the enlightenment and organisation of women, so it appears that women’s suffrage is not a pressing necessity from here on in. But anyone who thinks so is suffering from a delusion. The splendid political and trade-union ferment among the masses of the female proletariat in the last decade and a half has been possible only because the women of the working people, despite their disenfranchisement, have taken a most lively part in political life and in the parliamentary struggle of their class. Proletarian women have up to now benefited from men’s suffrage – in which they actually participated, if only indirectly. For large masses of women, the struggle for the suffrage is now a common struggle together with the men of the working class. In all Read the rest of this entry »

Header of The Woman Worker

by Louise O’Shea

Elite champagne breakfasts, corporate lunches and flashy business leadership summits are the events that typically characterise International Women’s Day (IWD) in Australia. So respectable has the day become that a troglodyte like Tony Abbott is able to address a UN breakfast without being howled down.

This is a world away from what the women of the Militant Women’s Movement (MWM) envisioned when they organised the first ever IWD event in Australia in 1928. The aim of their activities, as expressed in their publication Woman Worker, was to bring about the “overthrow of capitalism, the shattering of the whole foundation on which it rests”.

Emancipation of working class and emancipation of women

Formed in 1926 by women members of the Communist Party of Australia, the purpose of the MWM was to organise and provide political education to working class women. The inaugural edition of the Woman Worker urged women: “Join the Militant Women’s Movement. . . to take your part in the bigger fight for the emancipation of the working class.”

Reading the Woman Worker, it is difficult to see the MWM women being welcome guests at most IWD functions today. It ruthlessly mocked the snobbish and condescending attitudes of wealthy women – “rich ‘ladies’, parasites of society with nothing to do” – and shone a light on the daily indignities and humiliations of working class life.

The bitterness was expressed by one reader who in 1929 wrote of the basic wage case: “They ask whether two ties a year are sufficient for a working man, whether a woman of the working class should wear lace on her underclothing. . . but those living in wealth and idleness flaunt their wealth in our faces.”

The challenges and struggles facing working women, both in Australia and beyond, were the starting point for the MWM. Their pamphlet Read the rest of this entry »


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