Andy Bowden

Almost a year after the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) landslide victory we have a date ― Autumn 2014 ― for the most important referendum in Scottish history. Scotland will vote on whether it stays in a union [the “United Kingdom”] dominated by the right wing ― a state that invaded Iraq, imposed nuclear weapons on the Clyde and destroyed Scotland’s industrial base ― or become an independent nation. As such, it would have the power to fundamentally change Scotland for the better and reflect the left of centre political terrain instead of being dominated by the Tory home counties.
Amid the worldwide media coverage of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s death, a historic development in another conflict went largely unnoticed. After more than 40 years of a military campaign against the Spanish state, the Basque armed group ETA announced a permanent end to its use of violence in the struggle for an independent and socialist Basque state. This follows previous announcements from the group, declaring a desire to pursue independence for the Basque Country through peaceful measures.
You may have read about the prison riot in England on New Year’s Day, with prisoners staging an uprising over searches for contraband booze. What received less coverage was the much bigger and more important protest by prisoners in the United States in December. Prisoners in a number of Georgian prisons began a strike on December 9, the December 20 Huffington Post said. The strike was called off after six days, “following reports of violent crackdowns and rising fears that the situation would escalate”, the article said.
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