Socialist Worker

Africa


Why Mugabe is brutal

19 January 2002
POOR ZIMBABWE. One of the richest countries in Africa, it is now in economic freefall. Closely interwoven with this is the political crisis pitting the government of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

US threatens new targets

12 January 2002
PEOPLE IN the poor African country of Somalia feared this week that they were to become the latest targets in the US "war on terror". The US, and key allies Britain and France, have increased surveillance flights to four or five a day over Somalia in the last week.

Stop the War protest

15 December 2001
A thousand people marched in Birmingham last Saturday against the war. The march was organised by Birmingham Trades Council and supported by the Stop the War Coalition. A rally heard speakers from a range of organisations and campaigns. Later Artists Against the War held an inspiring social with African drummers and visual projections.

Against the war

08 December 2001
Over 150 people packed out the debate on the war in Afghanistan organised by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Stop the War group last week. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and writer on the Independent David Aaronovitch presented their pro-war position.

AIDS: two World Trade Centre disasters in Africa every day

01 December 2001
We saw the pictures of the victims of the 11 September suicide attacks. We heard the stories of their lives and glimpsed the pain of their relatives.

Trevor Ngwane: Leading South African activist speaks out

17 November 2001
In 1995, in the first wave of local elections after the end of apartheid, he was elected as an African National Congress (ANC) councillor for Pimville in the giant township of Soweto near Johannesburg. He served for four years, and was then suspended for speaking out against privatisation.

Growing anti-war movement: From the teach-ins to street protests

27 October 2001
Thousands of students in universities and colleges across Britain are mobilising against the war. The war is producing some of the biggest meetings on campuses that have been seen in years. "We reckon nearly 500 students took part in the teach-in at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London throughout the day," says Sandy Nicoll, a member of the university's staff, about the day-long event last Saturday.

The US won't even talk about racism

08 September 2001
Toxic Texan President George W Bush ordered the US delegates to leave the United Nations conference on racism this week. The US delegation marched out of the conference in South Africa because representatives of many countries had dared to condemn Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinian people.

Photos expose capitalism

11 August 2001
MANY OF the great political events of the past 40 years are almost inseparable from powerful documentary photographs of them. Think of the massacre by South African forces of black children in Soweto in 1976, and the picture of the lifeless body of Hector Petersen cradled by a fellow school student.

'Their profits mean death'

10 March 2001
A global day of action hit multinational drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline on Monday to coincide with the beginning of a court case in South Africa. GSK is just one of the big companies which this week began the court case to try to stop their drugs, or copies of their drugs, being sold cheaply to desperate people in South Africa, many of who are victims of AIDS. Demonstrators protested outside the company's headquarters in Brentford on Monday morning, and around 70 people joined a protest in Manchester on Monday evening.

Nigeria: Protests planned as bankers visit Africa

17 February 2001
When the leaders of the IMF and World Bank arrive in Nigeria, West Africa, next Wednesday they might find up to two million protesters on the streets across the country. One of the biggest demonstrations will be against job losses and workers being forced to pay for the country's crisis. Nigeria is in turmoil.

Multinationals fight to stop cheap drugs - Dying for more profits

17 February 2001
On 5 March the world's biggest pharmaceutical firms are going to court to stop South Africans receiving cheaper AIDS drugs. If they succeed they will pass a death sentence on millions of the poorest people suffering from AIDS.

Plunder in the Congo

27 January 2001
Africa over the past generation has proved to be a tragic continent, plagued by war, famine and the AIDS epidemic. Perhaps no country sums up this tragedy more starkly than the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), whose president, Laurent Kabila, was assassinated last week.

Drug firms sentence millions to death

20 January 2001
Multinational pharmaceutical companies are going to court to stop South Africans receiving cheaper AIDS treatment. It is the starkest form of profit being put before people's lives. Around 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have the HIV virus which leads to AIDS.

Does globalisation help Third World?

13 January 2001
Labour development secretary Clare Short delivered a stinging attack just before Christmas on the people who had protested in Seattle and Prague. She suggested they were "self indulgent" and "intolerable", comfortable Westerners who have enjoyed the benefits of capitalism but are now trying to deny them to the Third World.

The global opposition

13 January 2001
There is a growing sense that different struggles around the world are closely connected. The Palestinian intellectual Edward Said recently wrote that the new intifada against Israel "is another example of the general discontent with the post Cold War order (economic and political) displayed in the events of Seattle and Prague".

Student fees fight gains pace

05 February 2000
Hundreds of students at the School of Oriental and African Studies, central London, took control of the college's finance and admin department for most of last week. They were fighting for students who have not paid their tuition fees. In doing so they highlighted a battle that is taking place inside every college in Britain. Students who cannot afford to pay their tuition fees, or who are refusing to pay on principle, face expulsion from college. "If we put up with this, we can say goodbye to working class students coming to this college," said Tam, one of the SOAS occupiers. "I'm a third year. I don't even pay fees. But I will leave college with £8,000 to £9,000 of debt. I get a m

Students do a Mark Thomas

20 November 1999
RESISTANCE TO the ravages of the global market hit Warwick University on Tuesday of last week. The university had invited Nestlé executives to a graduate recruitment fair. Socialist Worker Student Society, People and Planet and others united to demonstrate against the multinational. Nestlé has been exposed by The Mark Thomas Product for its mislabelling of baby milk to African mothers. The United Nations believes this has resulted in over a million unnecessary deaths.

Zimbabwe's unions prepare to fight

13 November 1999
Doctors in Zimbabwe, southern Africa, have won big concessions from the government after a strike lasting over a month. They fought not only for better pay, but also for better patient care. Zimbabwe's health service is in crisis. The government's pro-market policies and its attempts to cut back on welfare mean the most basic equipment is in short supply.

A serious question

06 November 1999
THE NOVELS of J M Coetzee, who won the prestigious Booker Prize for the second time last week, are well worth reading. Coetzee, a white South African, was an opponent of apartheid. Disgrace, his latest work, tells the story of lecturer David Lurie, who has an affair with one of his students. Accused of harassment, he leaves the university and goes to live with his lesbian daughter.

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