Chris Nineham

Neither the United States nor Iran really wants war, we are told, because the reality of such a conflict is too horrific to contemplate. But the Gulf tanker crisis and the US response shows that we are alarmingly close to open hostilities.

It is true that there are voices in the US defence establishment calling for restraint. It appears to be the case, too, that the Iranian government is operating on the assumption that the US does not want a war. But there are several reasons why such assumptions are not a sound basis for judgement.

The People's Assembly is electrifying the movement against austerity in Britain. Hundreds of new people are flocking to People's Assembly meetings around the country to hear speakers like author Owen Jones, comic Mark Steel, anti-war activist Lindsey German, trade unionists and local campaigners outline the need for coordinated national resistance to the government's plans.
Rebellion runs through pop music, but no performer has ever fused music and radical politics like Gil Scott-Heron, who died on May 27. In a series of early 1970s albums, Scott-Heron, collaborating with composer/arranger Brian Jackson, made militant funk and soul that remains unmatched. It exploded any idea that art and politics don’t mix, and has been hugely influential. Scott-Heron has become known as the godfather of rap not just because his spoken word over drumbeats prefigured the genre, but because he used the style to tell of ghetto life and urge resistance.
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