Socialist Worker

Revolution


Portugal’s 1974-5 revolution — ‘Everything was possible’

25 June 2005
ON 25 April 1974 army officers overthrew the 50 year old fascist dictatorship in Portugal. They were disgusted at the wasteful and brutal colonial wars being waged by the Portuguese state in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau.

Timeline of the Portuguese revolution

25 June 2005
25 April 1974Officers overthrow the Caetano dictatorship. General Spinola appointed president.1 May 1974100,000 people march through Lisbon to celebrate May Day.27-28 September 1974Right plans coup. Spinola calls for demonstration of the "silent majority". Workers build barricades and block bridges. Right wingers arrested. Spinola resigns.11 March 1975Right wing, led by Spinola, attempt coup by attacking left wing soldiers in Lisbon. Workers besiege police barracks and surround the paratroopers attacking the soldiers, arguing with them. Coup peters out and Spinola flees to Brazil.</l

The myth of Mao

18 June 2005
Many people on the left once saw the Chinese leader Mao Zedong as a great revolutionary — in the same league as Marx, Engels and Lenin. They carried Mao’s portrait on many of the demonstrations across the world in the late 1960s.

Good sense versus common sense in the Bolivan uprising

18 June 2005
Bolivia was in the grip of a classic revolutionary situation last week. Popular assemblies spread across working class areas. Mass strikes combined with peasant rebellions. Insurrection was in the air and sections of the police fraternised with the insurgents.

Priests on the barricades

30 April 2005
In a series of meditations the Nicaraguan poet and priest Ernesto Cardenal described the "kingdom of god" as a socialist society. Twenty years later, in 1979, Cardenal and three other Catholic priests became ministers in a Sandinista government which came to power through revolution.

Bury the Chains — the end of slavery

09 April 2005
IN 1794 a huge public meeting gathered in Sheffield, swelled by thousands of local metal workers. The words "liberty, brotherhood and equality" — touchstones of the recent French Revolution — hung in the air. The purpose of the mass meeting was to link two causes that burned deeply in the souls of the English working class — for the reform of the corrupt and undemocratic parliamentary system, and for the "total and unqualified abolition of Negro slavery".

Kyrgyzstan: Akayev’s unexpected departure rattles US

02 April 2005
On paper the events in Kyrgyzstan seem to be another of the "democratic revolutions" that the US has been calling for across the world. But Washington has been less than enthusiastic about events in this former Soviet republic.

It was all set in motion by Isaac Newton

26 March 2005
One hundred years ago Albert Einstein published four papers that began a revolution in science. There are many reasons why socialists might be interested in Einstein. He was a lifelong opponent of militarism and oppression, and he became a committed socialist.

Ukraine’s oranges turn bad

19 March 2005
The revolution has been privatised. Although the upheaval in Ukraine was driven by disgust at the authoritarianism and corruption of Leonid Kuchma’s regime, those who assumed leadership have very quietly, but very rapidly, embarked on an agenda of International Monetary Fund (IMF) restructuring and privatisation.

Lebanon protest backed by rich

05 March 2005
The US has hailed the resignation of the Lebanese government as part of a democratic wave sweeping the world. What they are calling the "cedar revolution"—modelled on the "orange revolution" in the Ukraine and the "rose revolution" in Georgia — is less a revolution and more a medium sized demonstration of the supporters of the opposition, which is mainly made up of right wing parties.

Malcolm X: ‘We are living in an era of revolution’

25 February 2005
Malcolm X was assassinated 40 years ago this week. His ideas can continue to inspire us in the struggle for liberation today, says Cheryl Garvey

Malcolm X: an inspiration to Muslims struggling for justice

25 February 2005
George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ has made Malcolm X’s vision of universal liberation uniquely relevant to Muslims today, writes civil rights activist Dr Adnan Siddiqui

1798: When Irish ‘men of no property’ rebelled

12 February 2005
In the first part a new series on National Liberation, Simon Basketter looks at Wolfe Tone and the United Irish rebellion

Hugo Chavez and Venezuela’s ‘slow revolution’

12 February 2005
What kind of policies has Hugo Chavez implemented in Venezuela since becoming president of the country?

Is alcohol the demon drink?

05 February 2005
THE FOLK singers Alex Glasgow and Henry Livings’ song, As Soon as this Pub Closes, the Revolution Starts, accurately summed up the attitude of one section of the left to drink. It was something to be enjoyed over bar-room chats about socialism, but often the enjoyment led to a serious incapacity to do anything practical as a result of the discussions.

Esfir Shub: a new message from old film footage

05 February 2005
Necessity is the mother of invention, goes the cliche. Necessity drove Esfir Shub to become a brilliant film editor in the years immediately after the 1917 Russian Revolution. In the early 1920s filmmaking resources were scarce, but film was a key modern art form and a crucial means of conveying information to people across the newly formed Soviet Republic.

Scottish poet whose lips could not be sealed

29 January 2005
Robert Burns lived in the last third of the 18th century, a time of the most rapid change in Scottish history. The agrarian revolution was squeezing the peasantry, the class into which he had been born, out of existence. The industrial revolution was underway.

Bookmarks

22 January 2005
Bookmarks has just published a new edition of Rosa Luxemburg’s superb pamphlet The Mass Strike (£4), which draws out the lessons for socialists from the titanic strikes that repeatedly shook the Russian empire in the revolution of 1905.

Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution: culture is part of the struggle for socialism

15 January 2005
It might seem strange that, in 1922 and 1923, when the Russian Revolution was still fighting for its life, Leon Trotsky, having refused to accept the office of vice-premier in the new government, devoted an entire book, Literature and Revolution, to artistic questions.

Mass strike revealed strength of working class

08 January 2005
What can we learn from a revolution in Russia a century ago? It seems a world removed from our lives in 2005. But 1905 was about a new working class coming of age.

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