Photo by Darren Johnson / iDJ Photography (Flickr) Two and a half years since the momentous referendum, we are no closer to knowing the end result. Hard Brexit, customs union, Norway plus, a second referendum; all options have their advocates and staunch opponents, with each side waiting for the others to blink. Unlike two or three years ago, today’s debates are dominated by questions of trade and electoral strategy. Discussion of Britain’s immigration policy, at the forefront of the referendum campaign, has taken a back seat. For many of us, it’s a relief: we remember all too well the sheer nastiness of 2016, with Vote Leave posters mirroring Nazi propaganda and anti-migrant newspaper headlines translating into a wave of hate crime. However, while the rhetoric may have cooled down, the potential consequences of Brexiteer policies haven’t changed. Millions of migrants are holding our breath, still waiting to find out if, and to what extent, Britain will raise … [Read more...] about What does Brexit mean for migrants?
Photo by Steve Jurvetson (Flickr) There’s only one country in the world where the decade long crisis of neoliberal global capitalism swept a radical left party into government: Greece. But in 2019, the capacity of its left to successfully confront the far right’s continuing political ascent will be severely tested. There was a very rapid passage from euphoria to disappointment on the international left when the SYRIZA government, elected in January 2015, was forced by the EU and IMF to succumb less than six months later to a further austerity bailout package, despite a referendum rejecting a similar creditor proposal by over 60%. Despite this, the SYRIZA-led government was re-elected later in 2015 and now approaches the end of its term. Having just this year finally secured the ending of the long sequence of neoliberal austerity memoranda imposed continuously on Greece since 2010, it now faces, in the run up to the forthcoming election, a main opposition party … [Read more...] about The right’s looming challenge to democracy in Greece
Sabrina The Teenage Witch has recently been revived on Netflix, featuring a cute young blonde with magical powers. The sexualisation of witches for commercial purposes enrages Silvia Federici, who notes that the political class and religious institutions that colluded in the witch-hunts of the early modern era have never acknowledged, or indeed apologised for, the mass murder of women that took place. Exact numbers are vague, but it is estimated that tens of thousands of women were killed as a result of accusations of witchcraft in Western Europe and North America. As Federici states, ‘No “Day of Memory” has been introduced in any European calendar to remind us of the massacres of the witches.’ It’s a poignant introduction to the collection of essays in Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women. Divided into two sections, the first part of the collection sees Federici re-visit themes from her 2004 book Caliban and the Witch, in which she addresses the causes and … [Read more...] about Review: Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women
Illustration: Edd Baldry The facts of the Stansted 15 case are well-documented, including by the protestors themselves. On Monday 10th December, 15 peaceful protestors were convicted under a law first introduced in response to the Lockerbie bombing, to prevent terror acts in airports. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and, for some of the defendants, including one of the authors of this article, the judge stated that ‘all possibilities are open’ for sentencing. The opposition to this disproportionate and unique conviction, when others have usually faced aggravated trespass charges for similar protests, has been powerful and heartening. But the interest in this case also gives us a timely opportunity to interrogate state violence and ways to frame our opposition to it, through the politics of abolition. Violent by design The Stansted action, along with statements from defendants throughout the trial, put focus on the violence of borders and the … [Read more...] about From borders to prisons: the politics of abolition
Photo by Eric Allix Rogers (Flickr) Housing cooperatives make economic sense. This benefit of cooperative housing is well documented. The research group Housing Futures, which will publish its recommendations on 8th December at an event in Manchester, emphasise how cooperatives can meet the affordability needs of low-income communities. However, housing cooperatives also make social sense. While the models create economic savings, they play a role in developing cohesive and stable communities. Housing Futures allude to this on their website, referencing the notion of ‘affordability plus.’ Cooperatives enhance wellbeing, social networks and local democracy which improve the overall quality of residents’ lives. It’s clear that privately owned homes individualise people and alienate them from the community around them. Co-housing emphasises and creates community bonds by enhancing interdependence. I have visited some well established coops across the North to get a … [Read more...] about Housing cooperatives are more than an economic no-brainer. They offer our a communities a better future.