Europe

The electoral defeat of the right in Spain on April 28 is a cause for celebration for all progressive people, writes Dick Nichols.

Two very different demonstrations within less than a week of each other neatly illustrated just how polarised British politics is.

While the political establishment in Ireland is determined to downplay the need for an Irish unity referendum, it is plainly obvious that the appetite for such a poll is growing by the day.

On the northern outskirts of Barcelona, on La Rambla de Carmel, stands one of the most visually striking and symbolic monuments to the volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade of the International Brigades.

“David and Goliath”, designed by US sculptor Roy Shifrin and first unveiled in 1988, was the most prominent gathering point for the 80th anniversary of the departure of the International Brigades — anti-fascists who had come from around the world to fight against Francisco Franco’s forces — from Barcelona on October 28.

Demonstrations on successive weekends in London last month shone a spotlight on major political rifts — in the major parties and in the political left.

On October 13, an extreme right-wing Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) march was out-mobilised and disrupted by anti-fascist demonstrators. One week later, about 670,000 people turned out for a “People’s Vote” demonstration.

“La Manada” (The Wolf Pack) is the name of a WhatsApp group chosen by five men to organise a trip to los sanfermines — the running of the bulls — in Pamplona, Navarra. During the festival, in the early hours of July 7, 2016, they gang raped an 18-year-old woman in a small room under the stairwell of a block of flats.

Three hours later, one of them shared a video of the attack in another male-only WhatsApp group with 28 members, called “Danger”. One of the five was an off-duty National Guard officer, another a soldier. During the trial, evidence of another attack committed by four of the five several months earlier was uncovered.

Despite this, although the trial found the men guilty of sexual abuse, it cleared them of rape.

The results of Italy’s March 4 general elections paint an alarming picture. No one holds the numbers to form a new government alone and the situation is very puzzling and uncertain.

More than 1600 delegates gathered for the third annual conference of La France Insoumise, the radical left political project that has stormed onto the stage of French politics, over November 25-26 in the city of Clermont-Ferrand.

The group’s name defies a neat translation, often rendered as France Unbowed, Unsubmissive or Untamed. Only launched in February last year, the group is widely seen as the only real and effective opposition to President Emmanuel Macron. Founding spokesperson and former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is recognised in opinion polls as the effective leader of the opposition.

Jacobin Founder and Editor Bhaskar Sunkara speaks in Sydney sponsored by the SEARCH Foundation and Jacobin magazine. Bhaskar Sunkara is the Editor and Publisher of Jacobin magazine, editor of The ABCs of Socialism, and co-editor of The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century. Bhaskar will speak about future directions for the Left in an era of anti-politics, where the world stands at an economic, environmental and social crossroads. 

Growing numbers of environmental and social activists are recognising the need for profound system change in order to ensure a safe and fair future for everyone. Particularly in the US and Britain, transitional demands are being framed into the so-called 'Green New Deal'. What exactly does it envisage, and what potential would such a plan have in Australia? Join us for this important discussion!

Saturday November 23 @ 2pm

The Boorloo (Perth) Activist Centre, 15/5 Aberdeen St East Perth

Hosted by Socialist Alliance WA

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