Socialist Worker


More than just people's opium

A CLASSIC Marxist account of religion, The Meek and the Militant by Paul N Siegel, has been reprinted in a special deal for London's socialist bookshop, Bookmarks. It takes as its starting point Marx's famous description of religion as "the sigh of the oppressed, the heart in the heartless world, the opium of the people".

The poet of Harlem

LANGSTON HUGHES was one of the greatest and most popular black US writers of the 20th century. He was one of the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. This was a movement that celebrated black culture and was associated with very left wing politics.

Blair wants TV run by Murdoch

JUST HOW far will Tony Blair go in his pursuit of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch? Blair is set to rip up the findings of a parliamentary committee that discussed his government's draft Communications Bill. The committee advised New Labour to scrap its plans to loosen controls on British TV that would allow Rupert Murdoch's Fox TV to gobble up Channel 5.

African socialists write on struggle

THE NEWS of famine across much of southern Africa has underlined the suffering of that continent-a suffering which is the result of slavery, colonialism and capitalism. But there is another side of African experience-the fightback against capitalism and imperialism.

When British judges sent angry to jail

A NEW radio play this week marks the thirtieth anniversary of the trial of the Angry Brigade. The Angry Brigade were a group of young British men and women who launched a campaign of bombing against the government in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They were inspired by the huge waves of international protests against war in Vietnam, repression in Ireland and attacks on workers' rights in Britain.

Sunshine State: the darker side of the American Dream

Sunshine State is the new film from the radical film director John Sayles. The "sunshine state" of the title is Florida, and the film tells us much about the realities underlying the American Dream. The "Buccaneer Days" are a marketing ploy dreamt up by the local Chamber of Commerce to exploit the pirate history of Florida.

Calypso in London: bittersweet sounds of rebellion

IN 1948 a young black man from Trinidad, Alwyn Roberts, was sitting on the deck of an old troop carrier which had been converted to civilian use. The ship was four days from England. Alwyn started to compose a tune. Although unknown in Britain, he was well known in the calypso tents of Trinidad as Lord Kitchener.

Woomera anti-detention protests: a great escape

OVER 1,000 protesters converged on the Woomera detention centre for refugees in the south Australian desert last Easter. This video is an inspiring account of what happened. Woomera is one of six privately run camps used by the Australian government to detain all "illegal entrants".

Many reasons for confession

AMEN, the new film from radical director Costas-Gavras, provoked a furious reaction in France even before it was screened.

Press button for uprising

ACTIVIST film-makers including Indymedia Argentina and the makers of This is What Democracy Looks Like and Genova Libera! have teamed up to make a new video, Argentina in Revolt. It uses footage of protests, and interviews of working and unemployed activists to show the turmoil that exploded in Argentina in December last year. Over a million people took to the streets when the economy collapsed under $150 billion of debt to the International Monetary Fund.

Sound to blast out this summer

MS DYNAMITE released her debut album A Little Deeper six weeks ago. This came after the single "It Takes More", which featured some of the best lyrics I'd heard from a chart hit in a long time. The artist behind this is 20 year old Naomi Daley from north London. She recently said her music is "a way for my message to be heard for and by everybody". And what a message.

A settling of accounts

APOLOGISTS for Western capitalism have long sought to discredit the idea of socialism by pointing to the terror of Stalin's regime in Russia. It is now just over ten years since that system collapsed, but the message is the same-any attempt to build an alternative to capitalism is doomed to follow the path of the Soviet Union.

A thriller for the majority

THE NEW film Minority Report is a provocative thriller about the authorities overstepping their boundaries to prosecute people simply for thinking about a crime. It is based on a short story by science fiction writer Philip K Dick and directed by Steven Spielberg.

Poet's revolt

THE POET Shelley has inspired hundreds of books throughout the 180 or so years since he died. But Paul O'Brien's new book, Shelley and Revolutionary Ireland, finds a lot of new and very interesting things to say about Shelley and his fight against oppression. The book is about Shelley's two visits to Ireland in 1812.

Memoirs give a real flavour of Genoa days

THE HUGE protests against the G8 in Genoa last July were a major step forward for the anti-capitalist movement. Jonathan Neale's new book, You Are G8, We Are 6 Billion, captures the joy and the fear that the 300,000 people involved in the protests in Genoa felt.


THIS IS a moving photo of Carlo Giuliani, murdered by Italian police during last year's G8 Genoa protests. It was taken by socialist photographer Jess Hurd. It forms part of the new "Crisis" exhibition.

Tackling the myths and lies on racism

ARE YOU sick of the media and New Labour politicians poisoning the issue of race with claims of "swamping" and "isolationist" Muslims? Then read "Racism: Myths and Realities" by Hassan Mahamdallie, in the latest International Socialism. Racism is a very real problem today. The recent election successes of far right parties across Europe have worried millions of people. In Britain we have seen the election of three Nazi BNP councillors in Burnley.

A Socialist Worker you can dance to

SWEDISH BAND The (International) Noise Conspiracy say that "the sounds from the streets of Seattle, Prague, Quebec, Gothenburg and Genoa" are their main musical influences. In June 2001, during the recording of their new album A New Morning, Changing Weather, the band went to Gothenburg in Sweden.

Class struggle in your video store

HARLAN COUNTY War is a brilliant new film just out on video. It is drama based on the year-long strike of 180 miners in Kentucky in the US in 1973. The miners work long hours in dangerous conditions. The miners and their families live in small houses without running water.

Get caught in this web

FILMS BASED on comics are not always successful. But this summer's blockbuster, Spider-Man, is not at all bad. The original comic superheroes were Superman and Batman. Their adventures in the 1940s laid down rules that dominated the industry for the next 20 years.

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