What do you do when you need a pair of superfly trainers but you aren’t a fan of sweatshop economics, nor do you have 100 squid to spend? Well a one-off investment in a pair of Nikes with air-bubble soles can provide you years of sweatshop produce. Wear the shoes for a couple months, then take a needle and pop the air bubble, making sure the hole isn’t noticeable. Once the air bubble becomes flat, take your shoes back to the shop and complain that the sole blew out, and that you want a replacement. (This really only works if you go to a large sports shop, such as Foot Locker or Nike Town. And, of course, go to different shops each time.) We’ve been doing this for years, and our feet have never been happier.
Beer (microbreweries do not apply)
If you”re a beer monster and you buy your beer by the crate, then here’s a sure-fire way to boozer heaven. Next time you pick up a crate of beer look on the box for the customer service hotline. Call the number and tell customer services that your beer tastes sour. After reading off several serial numbers, chances are they will send you a complimentary voucher for a new crate. Just don’t try the same company more than once in a year as they might just twig.
Free camera hire
Need electronic equipment for a short time, but don’t want to pay for it? No problem; just take advantage of the generosity of your high-street retailer. Most big chains have returns or, at worst, exchange policies that let you return items within a month if you’re dissatisfied or you just plain changed your mind. Essentially, this means free hire for most electronic goods for a couple of weeks. Just make sure you keep the product packaging in good shape and your receipt. Then once you’ve used that ridiculously expensive camera on holiday, just return it in its original packaging and Bob’s your uncle.
Retail shops in general
Forget about paying for a warranty when you buy a product. We all know that corporate boffins, chained to their desks in some windowless office, time product warranties to end the day before your gizmos give up the ghost. Get your own back on them by getting the shop to replace your widget for free. Let’s say you want to return your broken personal stereo but you’ve lost the receipt. Now most shops won’t do diddly squat without a recent receipt, and, anyway, you’ve had the thing for a few months. You need to buy another of the exact same model, and replace the new model in the box with the old broken one. Then go to the shop within a half-hour of buying the new personal stereo, and simply ask for a refund. If they ask why, tell them you changed your mind or bought the wrong model. Works with just about anything.
Getting the best seats in the house
Buy the cheapest seat up in the gods, and then turn up with a mate in a wheelchair and complain about accessibility. The front rows of many events are often reserved for disabled access. One serious caveat: do not under any circumstances get up and dance, unless you’re attending a Billy Graham event and want to claim to have been miraculously touched by the hand of God. But that’s another blag altogether.
Hilary Wainwright argues against reclaiming populism for the left and for a leadership that supports people’s capacity for self-government
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It's over 100 years ago that domestic workers began to organise to demand the same rights as other workers. Yet with LSE cleaners on strike this week, historian Laura Schwartz asks: how much has really changed?
Omar Barghouti asks whether Donald Trump, in his recent break with America’s long-standing support for the two-state solution, has unwittingly revived the debate about the plausibility, indeed the necessity, of a single, democratic state in historic Palestine?
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In 1972 David Widgery wrote about the bitter intensity of love in capitalism
Andrew Dolan on how the left must match the anti-establishment rhetoric of the right, but with a different politics
Emma Snaith speaks with directors Emer Mary Morris and Nina Scott about the power of theatre to encourage community resistance to estate demolitions.
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Photos from The World Transformed festival in Liverpool, by David Walters
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#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
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How progressive is the ‘progressive alliance’?
We need an anti-austerity alliance, not a vaguely progressive alliance, argues Michael Calderbank
The YPJ: Fighting Isis on the frontline
Rahila Gupta talks to Kimmie Taylor about life on the frontline in Rojava
Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
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Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond
On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network
Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter
#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement
Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.
Social Workers Without Borders
Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees
Growing up married
Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides
The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari
Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next
Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace
Pass the domestic violence bill
Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill
Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
Sol Trumbo Vila says the mandate from the Podemos Assembly is to go forwards in unity and with humility
Protect our public lands
Last summer Indigenous people travelled thousands of miles around the USA to tell their stories and build a movement. Julie Maldonado reports
From the frontlines
Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices
How can we make the left sexy?
Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed
In pictures: designing for change
Sana Iqbal, the designer behind the identity of The World Transformed festival and the accompanying cover of Red Pepper, talks about the importance of good design
Angry about the #MuslimBan? Here are 5 things to do
As well as protesting against Trump we have a lot of work to get on with here in the UK. Here's a list started by Platform
Who owns our land?
Guy Shrubsole gives some tips for finding out
Don’t delay – ditch coal
Take action this month with the Coal Action Network. By Anne Harris
Utopia: Work less play more
A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen
Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant
Bike courier Maggie Dewhurst takes on the gig economy… and wins
We spoke to Mags about why she’s ‘biting the hand that feeds her’
Utopia: Daring to dream
Imagining a better world is the first step towards creating one. Ruth Potts introduces our special utopian issue
A better Brexit
The left should not tail-end the establishment Bremoaners, argues Michael Calderbank