Such is the fragility of the political system in Britain that it only takes a few words in the shape of an indicative ruling by the Speaker of the House of Commons to spark off what the government’s Solicitor General has described as a “major constitutional crisis”.
The story of bio-fuels is a moral tale of how marketised, profit-driven responses to climate change will both fail to solve the problem and cause unconsidered damaging outcomes. Penny Cole reviews The Bio-fuel Deception: Going Hungry on the Green Carbon Diet by Okbazghi Yohannes
Tens of thousands of school students around the world walked out on strike on March 15 to demand that politicians take decisive action against climate breakdown. In the second of the co-ordinated actions organised by Schools Strike 4 Climate Action, there were protests in an estimated 100 countries, and in about 60 towns in the UK. Thousands skipped school to march through Brighton, and thousands more turned out in Scotland. In London, pupils, some with their parents, streamed into Parliament Square before marching up Whitehall and past Downing Street, many carrying home-made banners demanding system change and an end to the apathy of governments. Photo report of the London action by Peter Arkell
It was International Women’s Day and Liines were doing themselves proud to a big crowd, who quickly warm to this 3 piece from Manchester and for good reason. There’s a non pretentious style & substance to this band, all in black, cool light blue Telecaster and 2 tone bass, but it’s in their sound that the band impress. Dylan Strain reviews a gig at Middlesbrough Town Hall
A hugely successful ‘Make 2019 the year Corbyn becomes PM’ meeting in South Shields agreed a programme of action to take the fight against neoliberalism and for real democracy into other parts of the North East. Jointly organised by Momentum South Tyneside and the Real Democracy Movement, the event at the South Shields Museum and Art Gallery on February 23 was warmly supported by local activists. A range of speakers made contributions alongside workshops discussing how to meet the attacks a Corbyn-led government would face from the state, big business and finance, the media and from within the Parliamentary Labour Party. These were based on the scenarios in What if? published by the RDM.
A Presentation to South Shields meeting “Make 2019 the year Corbyn becomes PM” jointly organised by Real Democracy Movement – Penny Cole, on line from Lochwinnoch
The IPCC report that came out at the end of last year stated there are 12 years left to act before catastrophic climate change becomes unavoidable. News of the report mobilised hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to go on strike and brought the start of the Extinction Rebellion movement.
The resignation of eight Labour MPs and three Tories from their parties in order to form a reactionary “Independent” Group in the House of Commons is a clear indication that the present Parliamentary system is in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Holding the fractured system together looks like mission impossible. A strategy to renew and extend democracy is essential, especially for the Labour Party if it is to succeed in ousting the Tories and coming to power. Read more
I am large, I contain multitudes. Walt Whitman’s words in Song of Myself capture the generous and expansive spirit of one of America’s best-known poets. They also perfectly describe the outcome of months and years of labour by fellow poet and editor al-Sayegh who has just published two books by poets Stephen Watts and Jenny Lewis in Arabic & English.
The photographs are stunning, of war and poverty and suffering mainly, all in black and white and accompanied in each of the ten display rooms by a revealing quote from the photographer who took them – Don McCullin. McCullin who is 83 now but still working, grew up in a deprived part of north London and got his break with a picture of a gang, all mates of his, posing and looking cool inside an old house that had lost its frontage. Read more
Events around the country are celebrating the bi-centenary of John Ruskin’s birth on 8 February – #Ruskin200. Thinker, campaigner, artist, scientist, educator and social critic John Ruskin was one of the most contradictory of all the famous Victorians.
He was both a man of his time and a man looking to the future – even while distraught about the world around him. Read more
RDM supporters from around the UK came together in November at Wigan’s Sunshine House. Getting to grips with neoliberalism teach/learn-in discussed four presentations – on climate change, precarity, democracy and culture and identity. Read the report: Mapping out the road from Wigan Pier.
A new slump is certain, sooner rather than later. What is the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, and why should you care? Mostly because the global capitalist attempt to restart the world economy after the slump is unravelling fast. Can we take a fresh round of deeper austerity? Read more
The RDM and its supporters condemn the criminal actions of the Israeli government with regards to the violent, unprovoked response to peaceful Palestinian protesters taking part in the Great March of Return on the Gaza/Israel border.
We also condemn the complicity of the UK government in failing to acknowledge the Israeli government’s persistent violations of international law and the export of arms to the Israeli armed forces.
We affirm our support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and ask RDM supporters to find ways to support it. The Palestinian people, who on May 15 mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba – when 700,000 had to flee or were expelled from their lands – cannot win their rights and a future on their own. They need global solidarity.
We also send our support to the six Israeli human rights organisations currently taking court action challenging the shoot-to-kill policy of the Israeli Defence Force. A small but growing number of Israeli teenagers are refusing to join the IDF for their national service and their stand gives hope for the future.
We salute the heroism of those Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return. It is clear that a fresh approach is needed, for the two-state policy has collapsed. President Donald Trump has put the final nail in its coffin with his illegitimate recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
We support the courageous one-state campaigners inside Israel – and others who campaign for this policy – as the only route to a peaceful solution where Palestinian and Israeli people of all ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations can live together.
Democracy Unchained discusses what is wrong with the existing system, what real democracy would look like and how it can be achieved.
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“The book provides a good digest of problems and possible solutions and emphasises the gravity and urgency of the situation.” Tim Hart