Socialist Worker


Walter Benjamin and commodity capitalism

08 July 2006
On 15 July 1892, Walter Benjamin was born into a well heeled assimilated Jewish family in Berlin. On 26 September 1940, he was interrupted in his escape to the US from Nazi Germany. Prevented from crossing from Occupied France into Spain, weakened by illness and threatened with being handed over to the Gestapo, he chose suicide.

Reviews round-up

01 July 2006
Hidden (Caché)Directed by Michael HanekeDVD out now George and Anne, a middle class French couple, receive a videotape which has two hours of surveillance of their home.

Attac divisions reflect a shift

01 July 2006
During the dark years of the 1990s, there were a few signs that new movements of resistance were about to emerge. One of the most important was the formation in France in 1998 of Attac.

French left debate need for alternative

01 July 2006
The Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire (LCR) held its national conference last weekend. The main item discussed was the policy of the organisation towards the 2007 presidential election.

Slaughter at the Somme

01 July 2006
On 1 July 1916, 150,000 British soldiers went "over the top" on the Western Front to attack the German trenches in the Somme region. The front, along which British and French armies confronted the German army, stretched from Switzerland to the Channel.

Mutiny by French troops during the Algerian war

23 May 2006
In April 1956 the 22 year old Georges Mattéi received his call up papers to go and fight in Algeria, just like thousands of young men across France. Corsican in origin, and on holiday in Italy, Mattéi agonised about what to do.

Italy – can the party last?

13 May 2006
Read our monthly supplement, with a lead article by Chris Bambery on Italy, an interview with French novelist Faïza Guène, Third World Reports on Nepal, Nicaragua and Lebanon, and much more

Athens ESF: movements debate and plan for action

13 May 2006
The fourth European Social Forum (ESF) met in Athens at a crucial point following the victory of the French movement against new labour laws and as the US threat of military attack against Iran gathers pace.

The 1926 general strike: nine days of hope

06 May 2006
Over recent weeks Socialist Worker has discussed the contrast between the victorious campaign against the CPE labour law in France and the capitulation by the trade union leaders over pensions rights in Britain.

Workers’ rights in France and Britain

29 April 2006
Why are Britain and France so different? This question is back in the air. Trade union officials have been complaining that Britain’s flexible labour laws made it easier for Peugeot bosses to shut down their car plant at Ryton rather than any of its French counterparts.

Bubble bursts for European business elite

22 April 2006
It will soon be a year since the defeat of the European Union (EU) constitution in the French referendum. That marked the beginning of a series of defeats for the neo-liberal agenda in Europe that has sent a paroxysm of rage through the global business establishment.

Movement in France set for new battles

22 April 2006
Activists in France involved in the mass movement against the CPE youth employment laws say their victory is only the first step in a wider campaign against neo-liberalism.

France’s mass movement beats back neo-liberalism

15 April 2006
After two and a half months of struggle the mass movement of students, high school students and workers has forced the French government to abandon its youth employment scheme (CPE).

A message from the French strike movement: 'We have won and so can you'

15 April 2006
The neo-liberal attack on wages and working conditions across Europe was dealt a great blow this week when a mass movement of young people and workers in France forced the country’s right wing government to scrap its CPE employment law.

French workers and students speak out

08 April 2006
Danièle Obono is a student activist at the Sorbonne university in Paris, which has been shut down by the authorities since riot police attacked a student occupation on 11 March. She spoke to Socialist Worker about how students built for this Tuesday’s strike

François Chesnais: The tide is turning against neo-liberalism

08 April 2006
Many people have noted that the movement in France today is in the vanguard of a growing consensus that neo-liberal capitalism cannot be left to dominate the world. This is related to the fact that France has a particular history of struggle which has never been wiped out.

1956: Imperialism and resistance in Egypt

08 April 2006
In our school history books it is called "the Suez crisis". This was the moment when the sun went down on the British Empire. Egyptians call the events of October and November 1956 "the triple aggression". They remember with pride how they defeated an invasion by Israel, Britain and France.

Learning lessons from France’s past

08 April 2006
The present movement against the CPE labour laws contains elements of all the struggles in France against neo-liberalism of the past decade—and is in some ways a culmination of each of them.

A crucial week for the French movement

08 April 2006
Huge numbers of young people and workers took to the streets of France on Tuesday in continuing protests against the right wing government’s CPE youth labour laws.

French protests reach new peak

01 April 2006
Three million young people and workers demonstrated and struck across France on Tuesday of this week. It was a historic day of action and a magnificent display of solidarity against the government’s CPE labour laws.

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