With unemployment rising, cuts to just about everything and the Arctic ice rapidly disappearing while business continues as usual, it’s easy to feel powerless. But it was people power on the streets that stopped the poll tax, blocked new coal power stations, stalled plans for a third runway at Heathrow, ignited the Arab Spring and made bankers’ greed and tax avoidance toxic. It’s time to fight back – and plans are coming together for a UK summer of mass resistance linking the struggles against cuts, climate and corporate capitalism.
This summer will see some significant decisions being made by government leaders that will dictate our economic and environmental future. 2013 marks the year for the UK to host the annual jamboree of the G8. Cunningly, or cowardly, Cameron has chosen a luxury golf course in Northern Ireland to host the meeting. But for people in England, capitalism and its dirty secrets are to be found closer to home.
The Stop G8 Network has called a week of action and events between between 8-15 June in London, including talks, films, workshops, discussions and mass action. Tuesday 11 June will see a Carnival Against Capitalism take over the streets in London’s West End – the hiding place of power – ‘to celebrate our resistance and our dreams, to bring music and colour to the streets, and to show our strength and our anger.’
At the end of the week – Friday 14 June – a gathering in the private corporate zone that is Canary Wharf will bring beauty and hope to the dark, beating heart of capitalism. Themed around re-framing debt, rejecting the idea that individuals or countries are in debt to financial institutions and that austerity and privatisation is needed to remedy it, They Owe Us aims to bring together those angry about cuts and climate crises in one space to resist, create and imagine.
Though Canary Wharf is an overt icon of modern capitalism, the damage it causes is displaced and often unseen. It resides in the final demand letter landing on the doorstep, the early morning queue at the job centre, the silent tears shed behind closed doors. This is an action to make them visible.
Later on in the summer, there will be another opportunity for those fighting the cuts and the climate to come together for mass action. Last October, 21 environmental activists shut down EDF’s West Burton power station for a week in protest at the government’s new ‘dash for gas’. West Burton is the first of up to 40 new gas fired power stations being planned. With mass public support, including a solidarity petition signed by 64,000 people, they fought off energy firm EDF’s attempt to sue them for £5 million. This summer, inspired by their action, a wide coalition of groups and individuals will be coming together to Reclaim the Power at a four-day camp and protest at West Burton power station from 17-20 August.
All these events consciously reassert the need for mass protest, assembly and direct action on the streets and in our public spaces. The interlocking series of crises facing us today have meant that social movements have become more dispersed. While the internet and social media has created the communication networks and the resonance for popular protest to ignite and spread in new ways, the biggest threat to the status quo is when we all take to the streets. We cannot afford to give up on public assemblies and demonstrations as political levers. These are the moments when we feel our power, courage, strength and unity; when we are transformed and when change is possible. This year the summer won’t be a disappointment.
Hilary Wainwright argues against reclaiming populism for the left and for a leadership that supports people’s capacity for self-government
It may seem as though these apps are working for us, but we are also working for the apps, writes Kurt Iveson
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?
Glenn Greenwald was interviewed by Amandla Thomas-Johnson over the phone from Brazil. Here is what he had to say on the War on Terror, Trump, and the 'special relationship'
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.
In the first of a series of interviews with migrants' rights and racial justice activists from the US, Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Peter Pedemonti, co-founder and director of the New Sanctuary Movement in Philadelphia
Photos from The World Transformed festival in Liverpool, by David Walters
Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change
Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself
Secrets and spies of Scotland Yard
A new Espionage Act threatens whistleblowers and journalists, writes Sarah Kavanagh
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces
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
'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'
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’