South Africa is on a knife edge as xenophobia escalates

10 August 2022 — Peoples Dispatch

With no national force with the vision and power to offer an emancipatory alternative to politics that turns neighbors against each other, the country is on a knife edge.

by Richard Pithouse

Members and supporters of a coalition of organizations under the banner of Kopanang Africa march against xenophobia in Johannesburg in March 2022. Photo: Gopolang Ledwaba

Xenophobia is a global crisis, but in South Africa, it takes a particularly violent form. The day-to-day accumulation of insult and harassment from within the state and society periodically mutates into open-street violence in which people are beaten, hacked and burned to death. If there is a useful point of global comparison, it may be with the communal riots that rip Indian cities apart from time to time.

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UK: Refugee women in the UK: fighting back from behind bars By Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi

24 February 2014 — 50.50

The experience of female asylum seekers is distinct to their gender, particularly when survivors of rape and torture, perpetrated by male state officials, are imprisoned and guarded by men here in the UK. Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi reports on the campaign to set them free. Continue reading

Egyptian revolutionary socialist: ‘We are facing a counterrevolution’

23 December 2013 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Rana Nessim and Rosemary Bechler interviewed Sameh Naguib (pictured below), a leading member of the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt, on October 24, 2013. The interview was published on the openDemocracy website on November 8. Nessim is associate editor for openDemocracy’s Arab Awakening page. Bechler is editor of openDemocracyLinks International Journal of Socialist Renewal has added subheads and abridged the interview for reasons of space. The full text is available at HERE. Continue reading

Groping in the Dark: Jack Straw and the Irrelevance of the Left By Carl Rowlands

2 DEcember 2013 — New Left Project

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. – Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Fans of Victorian melodrama will no doubt be familiar with this famous extended metaphor, used by Dickens to capture how public affairs could be conducted without humanity, insight or clarity. There are few better examples of obfuscated politics than the debate currently being staged on the subject of EU immigration.

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Neither working at a kebab shop, nor intending to blow up a plane By Gunes TAVMEN

22 November 2013 — Our Kingdom

On the routine indignities of a migrant’s life in Britain

“Are you working at a Kebab shop?” the policewoman at Gatwick Airport border control was yelling at a Turkish man who could not speak any English. He was trying to tell her – in Turkish – that he just came to visit his son and the son was actually waiting outside the airport. I understood what he said, and naturally the policewoman could not.

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