WAR, RECESSION, resistance. The three notes which marked last year will ring through the coming 12 months too. In Britain, 2001 began with job cuts and resistance, as 10,000 people marched in defence of Vauxhall workers' jobs, threatened by multinational General Motors.
Solidarity strikes took place at General Motors plants across Europe. But, in a scene that was to become depressingly familiar, trade union leaders refused to build on that spirit of resistance. The same month there were signs of the great global movement that was to reach a crescendo in the summer.
January saw the World Social Forum of the anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movement in Porto Alegre in Brazil. At the same time protests greeted our rulers' World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.
The protests against global capitalism spread and deepened, from Quebec in April to Gothenburg and Barcelona in June and then the magnificent mass protests at the G8 summit in Genoa in Italy in July. Such protests contradicted claims that disillusionment with official politics, reflected in Britain in the lowest general election turnout since 1918, meant people aren't interested in politics.
Economic recession also developed and speeded up as the year drew on, with employers using the excuse of the 11 September attacks to push through even more job cuts. The attack on the World Trade Centre was a turning point in the year, as it became the pretext for George W Bush and Tony Blair to unleash brutal war on Afghanistan and openly talk of extending the war to other countries.
The horror of the war fuelled more resistance, with some of the biggest anti-war protests seen since the 1960s in cities from London to Rome. All the horrors that marked last year will scar people's lives in the coming year too.
Bush is threatening far wider war. Recession will see millions more condemned to poverty, and more lives and communities wrecked by unemployment. The hope for the coming year is that the resistance which also marked last year will grow and deepen.
Labour lost support as attacks deepened
'I JOINED the Labour Party in 1996 to get rid of the Tories. In 1997 I grafted for the Labour Party. I was up and down ladders putting up posters, handing out leaflets. I believed there would be redistribution of wealth, although I knew it wouldn't be overnight. But then Blair invited Thatcher into Downing Street and cut corporation tax. Now the Private Finance Initiative is coming into the fire service too. The defining moment for me came when I was getting something for my wife from the shop. A group of asylum seekers were at the till buying basics using vouchers. I just couldn't stay any longer in a party propagating such racism. New Labour is constantly in slavish obedience to big business. Someone's got to tear that script up. I have seen the film about the protests in Seattle. You can feel something in the air. This isn't a protest vote. The Socialist Alliance is a new force in town. It's about the future.'
Steve Godward, chair of the West Midlands FBU firefighters' union, explained why he decided to stand as the Socialist Alliance candidate in Birmingham Erdington at the general election. The coming year sees new challenges for the Socialist Alliance and Scottish Socialist Party in establishing a left wing alternative to Labour. Many areas of England will see council elections in May, and everywhere will see European elections in June.
Palestinians killed for demanding justice
'MOHAMED AL ASTAL, 14, awoke around dawn yesterday morning, pulled on his school uniform of jeans and a blue shirt, and set out to walk his little brother, Akram, aged six, to school. The boys met up with three of their cousins, aged 11 and 12. Within an instant, all five were dead, blown to pieces in a single explosion that spewed body parts and shards of metal for 30 yards through the sand dunes, greenhouses, and sycamore trees. ''Both of my boys were good boys,' said the boys' father, Naim Al Astal. 'The older used to take Akram's hand and keep and eye on him. That is why we had them at the same school, so that Mohammed could look out for Akram. We blame the Israeli government. They are the ones who plant bombs for schoolchildren. It could only be Israel. The tanks are all over the dunes'.'
The Guardian reporting from Khan Yunis, Gaza, on 23 November. Israel, backed by the US, murdered over 900 Palestinians during the year of the intifada, but Palestinians continue their resistance.
Racism: a threat we must beat
'I WAS face to face with one of the officers and said, 'It's OK. There are no problems here.' Then he lifted his riot shield with the edge up and smashed it straight into my face. I said, 'What are you doing? I'm not trying to cause trouble. I'm trying to stop it.' He repeatedly hit me again. I was unconscious for a few seconds, then came to. I could see the blood coming the left hand side of my face.'
Shahid Malik, member of the Labour Party national executive and son of the deputy mayor of Burnley, on the police behaviour in the town. The combination of Nazi activity, police racism and poverty saw Asian youth and white allies fight back in Burnley, Bradford and Oldham last summer. The coming year sees challenges for anti-racists in ensuring the Nazis are beaten back in Oldham and Burnley. The TUC has called for an anti-racist march this spring in the north west of England.
1,200 million lived on less than $1 per day
'AFGHANISTAN IS just the start.'
George W Bush
'THE ELEMENTARY truth that seems to elude the experts again and again-Gulf War, Afghan War, next war-is that power is its own reward. Victory changes everything, psychology above all. The psychology of the region is now one of fear and deep respect for American power. Now is the time to use it.'
US cheerleader for war and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer
THE REALITY of globalisation hit home last year-the gap between the rich and poor countries continued to widen. The richest 20 percent of the world's population increased their share of global income to over 82 percent, while the income of the world's poorest people dropped to 1.4 percent. Within countries income inequality also widened. One in three children in Britain remained in poverty.
In the US, the richest country in the world, 23.3 million people were forced to rely on charities for food. In developing countries 149 million children were malnourished each day. Around 1,200 million people lived on less than $1 a day.
The terrible suffering fuelled anti-capitalist protests, strikes and uprisings in many poor countries. That confounded the likes of New Labour's international development secretary Clare Short, who claimed it was only middle class people in industrialised countries who were taking to the streets.
'CARLO WAS a boy of great generosity who was opposed to injustice. He read, he studied, he discussed and he protested for his ideas. He always cared about others. Carlo didn't accept the notion that eight leaders of the world should decide the life and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Here in Genoa you do not need to go far to see the victims of their policies.'
Father of Carlo Giuliani, 23 year old shot dead by Italian police on the Genoa protests
Events of the year