The unfolding of the crisis can be summarized in a simple way: capitalism reproduced itself during the two decades preceding the crisis by accumulating a mountain of debts. To avoid the collapse of the system, governments took responsibility for the bulk of these debts which, from being private, became public. Their project is now to present the bill to their citizens in the form of budgetary cuts, increases in the most unjust taxes and freezing of wages. In short the majority of the population (workers and pensioners) must ensure the realization of fictitious profits accumulated over long years.
Between June 14 and June 23, 2011, a delegation of 11 scholars, activists, and artists visited occupied Palestine. As indigenous and women of color feminists involved in multiple social justice struggles, we sought to affirm our association with the growing international movement for a free Palestine. We wanted to see for ourselves the conditions under which Palestinian people live and struggle against what we can now confidently name as the Israeli project of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Each and every one of us - including those members of our delegation who grew up in the Jim Crow South, in apartheid South Africa, and on Indian reservations in the U.S. - was shocked by what we saw. In this statement we describe some of our experiences and issue an urgent call to others who share our commitment to racial justice, equality, and freedom.
Racism and xenophobia are not the residues of a “past which does not want to fade away”, archaisms which survive the disappearance of the conditions which generated them. The cataclysms of the 20th century have not vaccinated us against the temptation to stigmatize, the practice of exclusion and sometimes the pleasure of hating diversity. From this point of view, contemporary xenophobia is profoundly linked to the history of racism, substratum of a modernity which has modified its morphology but not its function. So it is necessary to situate the racist fabrication of otherness in its historical context in order to understand how it perpetuates itself today.
As famine returns to East Africa, Norman Traub pins the blame on climate change and imperialist intervention.
"Thirteen years ago Suharto had to be overthrown. This decision was a brilliant move from a generation..." — Nurul Khawari, one of those that took part in the overthrow of Suharto’s New Order regime in May 1998, Solo Post, May 5, 2011.
Jeyakumar Devaraj and 29 members of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia have been detained in Penang, charged with attempting to revive the Communist Party and waging war against the King. These are extremely serious charges although there is no evidence to support them. A worldwide protest is being organised against this harsh detention.
With general elections scheduled for 2013, the Malaysian government is trying desperately to muzzle any form of opposition. The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, created in 2006 and known under the name of Bersih, has launched a new campaign, Bersih 2, with the aim of changing the electoral law before the elections. The coalition is made up of 62 non-governmental organisations of civil society and supported by opposition political parties. Bersih 2 has an eight point program which demands notably a three week electoral campaign, verification of the electoral lists, the prevention of fraud, proportional access to the media, and an end to corruption.
This statement was adopted by the anti-capitalist left organisations meeting together on the call of the SWP (Britain) and the NPA (France) as a follow-up to the previous conferences held in Paris in June 2008, December 2009, and May and December 2010.
In the last few years in Britain there have been major scandals concerning Members of Parliament — on expenses; banks — the buying out of failing banks by the government and yet enormous payments of salaries and bonuses to those responsible; and now in the media. On Thursday July the 7th, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation announced that the 168-year old News of the World (one of the biggest-selling English-language Sunday newspapers in the world) would close down, thus creating over 200 job losses. This followed allegations that journalists and investigators had not only hacked into the mobile telephones of celebrities and Premier League footballers (considered fair game by a large section of the tabloid-reading public) but also of Millie Dowler, a thirteen-year old girl murdered in 2002, and families of British military killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. This swung public opinion firmly against the powerful media company whose top executives have been on close terms with leading British politicians on both sides for years. — IV