Friday, January 29, 2010

Vale - Alistair Hulett

Alistair Hulett – arguably one of the more impressive socialist folk musicians of our time – died on Thursday evening, January 28, 2010 (approximately 5:30am on Friday morning, 29 January 2010, Sydney time), in Ward 26a of Southern General Hospital, Glasgow.
Alistair had been critically ill and in hospital since the New Year, but it was largely kept quiet from friends and fans alike as he waited for a liver transplant for what was mistakenly diagnosed to be liver failure.  

It eventually became clear he was actually suffering from an aggressive metastic cancer that had already spread to his lungs and stomach. Unfortunately for Alistair, and all of us, he didn’t make it, dying only days after the cancer was discovered.

Friday, January 22, 2010

From Tortuga to Somalia - Piracy and Anti-Imperialism

There is a delicious irony in the recent news - reported by - that the Somali "pirates" have offered to donate a significant proportion of their booty to the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Claiming to have connections all over the world, the Somalis promise to deliver the money undetected by Western "enemy" governments.

But why have they made this offer? The first connection that springs to mind is, perhaps, the piracy itself.

While the Somali youth based out of Eyl and other small towns in coastal Somalia are the modern face of seafaring piracy, Haiti is the traditional stomping ground of the swaggering buccaneers of legend (if we ignore, of course, the tame pets of the major capitalist powers such as Sir Francis Drake).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Political police raid German anti-Nazis

On January 19, German political police raided the Berlin and Dresden offices of several anti-Nazi groups, including the Dresden Nazi-Free Alliance, "No Pasaran", "Red Stuff", and the left-wing party Die Linke.
Thousands of posters, stickers and leaflets for an anti-Nazi protest on February 13 were confiscated, and a number of computers were seized.

The raids provoked immediate protest from the Die Linke, the Greens, the Social Democratic Party, the anti-globalisation group ATTAC and several trade unions.

The protest – organised by the Dresden Nazi-Free Alliance, a broad alliance of over 230 organisations and 800 high profile individuals – plans a peaceful blockade to prevent a fascist parade on February 13, the 65th anniversary of the WWII Allied fire-bombing of Dresden.