18 May

'Whether I am or not a communist is irrelevant. The question is whether American citizens, regardless of their political beliefs or sympathies, may enjoy their constitutional rights.' Paul Robeson to the House Un-American Activities Committee

May 18, 2009 · 1 min read

American singer, athlete, writer, civil rights activist, socialist and oh so much more Paul Robeson today in 1952 stood on the back of a flat bed truck on the US side of the US-Canadian border and sang of solidarity to an estimated 40,000 Canadians. His act was in defiance of a passport ban prohibiting him from leaving the US because of his left-wing political views and civil rights activities.

In his book, Here I Stand, Robeson ends with the poem Rail-Splitter Awake by Pablo Neruda, saying this ‘speaks for me’

Let us think of the entire earth

and pound the table with love.

I don’t want blood again

to saturate bread, beans, music:

I wish they would come with me:

the miner, the little girl,

the lawyer, the seaman,

the doll-maker,

to go into a movie and come out

to drink the reddest wine . . .

I came here to sing

And for you to sing with me



Photo of Boris with his hand on his head

The crisis of Conservatism

The Conservative Party is in a process of ideological decline or even disintegration, argue James Butler and Richard Seymour.

photo showing posters for twt on colourful wall

Take part in building a people’s manifesto for the movement

Winning elections is not enough. To transform society we need to involve the people in policy making, argue Kerem Dikerdem and Annie Quick

photo of empty school desks and large window in classroom

This is how we build a National Education Service in the UK

Chloe Tomlinson lays out the battle lines for a more egalitarian, democratic and holistic education system. Essential reading ahead of The World Transformed education sessions


photo of people marching with placards

Nurses say: Patients’ rights have no borders

As a US-friendly no-deal Brexit inches closer, Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United explains why US nurses have joined the fight against NHS privatisation. Recommended reading ahead of The World Transformed health sessions

A still from the film Bait

Film review: Bait and switch

Alex McDonald reviews new British film Bait, a socially engaged drama that uses lyricism to devastating effect.

Photo of the the Houses of Parliament over the river

It’s time the UK had real democracy

Under the UK’s constitutional monarchy, we are subjects not citizens. Rewriting the constitution should be an urgent priority for a Labour government, argues Hilary Wainwright