Egypt: Online letter campaign calls for defence of democratic rights

The letter below was published at Egypt Solidarity Campaign, where you can go to add your name.

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TO: President Adly Mansour; Prime Minister Hazem el Beblawi.

We the undersigned, condemn the Egyptian government’s arrest, detention and torture of activists exercising their right to legally and peacefully protest.

Music a potent weapon in the Saharawi struggle

Talking about music might sound strange for people who live in refugee camps and are deeply burdened with many other problems needing to be voiced.

But the huge role music played in the Saharawi people's struggle for independence leaves me with no choice e but to try to talk a little about the magical role revolutionary songs are playing in my people’s daily fight for self-determination.

South Africa: Metal workers lead left break to ANC

The decision of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to cut ties with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has been badly analysed.

Comment has tended to focus on the possibility of a new political party in 2019, or whether suspended general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Zwelinzima Vavi will get his job back.

But the greater significance of the biggest trade union in the country throwing in its lot with a growing movement in opposition to the neoliberal order, and thus to the left of the ANC, is being missed.

Libya: Fresh protests in struggle for democracy

A wave of protests has broken out in recent months against militias in Libya’s cities.

The militias are armed groups originally formed during the 2011 civil war. Most are based in a particular town or region, but they sometimes try to exercise power over a wider area.

There is widespread resentment at their arbitrary exercise of power. One protester told the Libya Herald that the militias “terrorise, steal and kidnap people”.

Western Saharans condemn EU-Morocco fisheries deal

Human rights conditions in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara remain dire according to activists, even though the territory is once again open for business to European fishing companies.

Despite Moroccan pledges to improve conditions for Western Sahara's indigenous Sahrawi, head of the Sahrawi Centre for Media and Communication Mohamed Brahim said the situation is getting worse under Moroccan rule.

“Nothing seems to be improving,” Brahim told Green Left Weekly from Laayoune.

Incitec Pivot blacklisted by Swedish gov't pension fund in win for Western Sahara

In a divestment valued at 256 million euros, the Norwegian government pension fund has blacklisted Australian company Incitec Pivot and the US/Canadian company Potash last year due to their phosphate imports from occupied Western Sahara.

Mandela thanks Cuba for its essential solidarity

While the governments of the United States, Britain and Israel provided support to South Africa's arpatheid regime, the Cuban Revolution helped the anti-apartheid forces, sending thousands of volunteers in the 1970s and '80s to help Angolan forces defeat the apartheid regime's war on their country.

On his release from prison, Cuba was one of the first places Mandela visited to thank the Cuban people for their assistence. The article below is abridged from a piece originally published in Green Left Weekly #23 in 1991.

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Mandela in power: a neoliberal turn

'Mandela led fight against apartheid, but not against extreme inequality.' Patrick Bond spoke to Real News Network on December 5. Read the full transcript.

John Pilger: Mandela's greatness assured, but not legacy

When I reported from South Africa in the 1960s, the Nazi admirer Johannes Vorster occupied the prime minister's residence in Cape Town. Thirty years later, as I waited at the gates, it was as if the guards had not changed.

White Afrikaners checked my ID with the confidence of men in secure work. One carried a copy of Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela's autobiography. “It's very eenspirational,” he said.

The radical legacy of Nelson Mandela

Nearly 50 years ago, in 1964, Nelson Mandela ― along with many other comrades in the struggle for the liberation of South Africa from racist white domination under apartheid ― was sentenced to life in prison.

His statement to the court, made when he was facing the real threat of execution, remains a historic demonstration of defiance and resistance.

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