What happened at Millbank? By Laurie Penny

15 November, 2010 — SocialistWorker.orgNewStatesman.com

A huge demonstration of students and their supporters in London last week–twice as large as organizers had hoped for–rocked British politics as the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government faced the strongest act of defiance yet against its program of austerity.

The protest was called by the National Union of Students and the University and College Union against the government’s plan to nearly triple student fees to $14,500 a year, while slashing university teaching budgets by 40 percent. But protesters were raising their voices on many other issues as well.

During a march through central London, hundreds of students spontaneously forced their way into the Conservative Party headquarters and occupied it for several hours. Predictably, the media portrayed the demonstrators as a small handful ‘bent on violence,’ but those who participated saw the occupation as a form of direct action against the much greater economic and social violence being planned by the government.

Journalist Laurie Penny, who writes a blog for the New Statesman, was on the scene of the protest and wrote this description of what took place.

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The Cruelty and Stupidity of the Government’s Welfare Reforms By Andy Worthington

12 November, 2010 — Andy Worthington

Journalists like to portray Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, as a caring, decent man, but while this may be true in his personal life, politically he is a ruthless ideologue, whose white paper on welfare reform, unveiled yesterday, reveals that he is, to be blunt, monstrously cruel and stupid. In the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, Mary Riddell provided a cautionary warning about how this would-be reformer’s mind works, which harks back uncomfortably to the Social Darwinism of the Victorian age. Duncan Smith, she wrote, “believes that dysfunctional lives are the root cause of poverty, while the centre Left thinks, correctly, that the reverse is true.”

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Seumas Milne: The Palestinians of Israel are poised to take centre stage

10 November, 2010 — The Guardian

With the peace process going nowhere, common experience on both sides of the Green Line is creating a new reality


A Jewish settler throws wine at a Palestinian woman

In a quiet street in the Sheikh Jarrah district of occupied East Jerusalem 88-year-old Rifka al-Kurd is explaining how she came to live in the house she and her husband built as Palestinian refugees in the 1950s. As she speaks, three young ultra-orthodox Jewish settlers swagger in to stake their claim to the front part of the building, shouting abuse in Hebrew and broken Arabic: ‘Arab animals’, ‘shut up, whore’.

There is a brief physical confrontation with Rifka’s daughter as the settlers barricade themselves in to the rooms they have occupied since last winter. That was when they finally won a court order to take over the Kurd family’s extension on the grounds that it was built without permission – which Palestinians in Jerusalem are almost never granted. It is an ugly scene, the settlers’ chilling arrogance underpinned by the certain knowledge that they can call in the police and army at will.

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Conversations with Fidel Castro: The Dangers of a Nuclear War By Fidel Castro Ruz and Michel Chossudovsky

13 November, 2010 — Global Research

Introductory Note

From October 12 to 15, 2010, I had extensive and detailed discussions with Fidel Castro in Havana, pertaining to the dangers of nuclear war, the global economic crisis and the nature of the New World Order. These meetings resulted in a wide-ranging and fruitful interview.

The first part of this interview published by Global Research and Cuba Debate focuses on the dangers of nuclear war.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. We have reached a critical turning point in our history.

This interview with Fidel Castro provides an understanding of the nature of modern warfare: Were a military operation to be launched against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US and its allies would be unable to win a conventional war, with the possibility that this war could evolve towards a nuclear war.

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