John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

Urgent action needed! Abdul Ghafar Rajabali

Urgent action needed! Campaign for Abdul Ghafar Rajabali to be released immediately from detention and his deportation halted.

Abdul Ghafar Rajabali is 23 years old, lives in Leicester and is from Afghanistan. He has made many friends in Leicester, helps out with Leicester City of Sanctuary based at the Cathedral and participates in a local anti-racist/anti-fascist football team, FC Kolektivo Victoria who have called a solidarity demonstration 'ALL OUT FOR ABDUL' - this Sunday morning, 10 am Victoria Park Football fields. Bring your banners!

As part of his asylum requirement, Abdul regularly reported to the UK Border Agency reporting station in Loughborough. However, while reporting to UKBA on Friday 10th May 2013, he was detained and held at Loughborough police station. From there, he was to be transferred to Morton Hall Detention Centre in Lincolnshire to await his removal back to Afghanistan.

On Wednesday 22nd May at ten past midnight, he is scheduled to be “removed” from the UK to Afghanistan.

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Richard Trigg: Kitcat won’t give Brighton workers a break

Hundreds of Brighton bin workers, members of the GMB, are occupying their canteen in protest at a £4,000 pay cut proposed by the city's Green-led Council.

Yesterday, after months of negotiations, Brighton and Hove City Council revealed its plans for how it would make changes to its system of allowances and expenses to staff. This morning, bin men and street sweepers gave their response by occupying their canteen and refusing to work after the details of a pay review were revealed.

Refuse and recycling staff at Hollingdean depot are to lose up to £4,000 a year. So at 7am this morning, no vehicles left the Hollingdean depot. After workers were told how the council's offer would affect them, they said that they wanted to discuss the issue with the council's chief executive Penny Thompson and council leader Jason Kitcat before "even considering working".

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Kieran Crowe: The fight against austerity and the People's Assembly

People's AssemblyWe have always been adamant that despite the terrible state of the left, we would not simply give up on trying to organise. This means we need to have a vision of what organising means in practice right now, and I think that necessitates a discussion about a socialist strategy on the question of the anti-austerity movement. In particular, I think we need to talk about how we are going to deal with the People's Assembly.

Anti-austerity politics have been with us since 2007/8 with the credit crunch – the government funnelled cash into reckless banks to keep them in business and the entire political establishment began the language of the cuts agenda. For the public, it meant that the relatively lenient borrowing they'd been resorting to was impossible while New Labour's privatisation agenda was suddenly ramped up into cuts and commercialisation of services that drove people to need credit more than ever.

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Hannah Elsisi and Rich Trigg: Sussex staff and students fight back against privatisation

Sussex Uni DemonstrationSince May 2012 there has been a fight raging through Sussex University after the announcement that managers planned to 235 jobs, including porters, residential services, catering, security and many more. This is over 10% of all campus jobs and nearly 100% of all jobs in campus services. Since this Sussex Against Privatisation announcement, Sussex workers have been coming together to resist privatisation, with open meetings and regular demonstrations.

On 3 February 2013, following a demonstration of over 300 staff and students in opposition to the privatisation of services at Sussex University; a large group of students occupied the conference centre on the top floor of Bramber House. The campaign soon picked up widespread national press coverage and messages of support from Students’ Unions, organisations and influential individuals including Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach and Owen Jones. Seven weeks later, after a host of guest lectures, further support and an Early Day Motion being tabled at parliament by Brighton MP and former leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas, the Sussex occupation were ready for their first national demonstration.

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Kieran C: The Social Project strategy

Black Panther PartyI am making this post to try and kick off a discussion about something I have become interested in, but am not sure if it is a good or bad idea. Even if it is a bad idea, as a friend said to me, we ought to at least be clear why we don't agree with it.

I attended one of the early Left Unity meetings called by Andrew Burgin and Kate Hudson in Central London in February and was interested by the mix of people who'd come. It is not true that it was all people who had been around the Left for over a decade and had been through the experience of RESPECT or previous attempts at Left realignment. There was a layer of younger people, some of whom were yet to be convinced that elections are the way to fight capitalism and it was from some of these people that I started thinking about what I will call, for shorthand, the Social Project Strategy.

One guy expressed frustration about something I hadn't previously considered: involvement in a food bank. Food banks were, of course, a rare thing in Britain until the ConDems came to power and the explosion in their numbers is one of the most damning facts about what sort of government they are. The young man lives in South London and the one most local to him is run by evangelical Christians. Not being a Christian, he felt that this was something he could not easily join, but he also questioned whether or not there was something in the fact that people who go to the food bank – inevitably – end up in a discussion about God (note: no-one is suggesting that these Christians were refusing to help anyone who was not of their religion). He put a question – if we, as socialists/communists/anarchists/whatever believe that the solution to the problems of working class people today lie in transforming society and not the great hereafter, do we not want these people to hear about that instead?

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