December 2004


Canada greets Bush

1 December 2004 As Canadian prime minister Paul Martin, US president George Bush and other select guests dined inside the heavily guarded Museum of Civilization directly across from Ottawa's Parliament Hill on Tuesday 30 November 2004, hundreds of protesters stood face to face with lines of riot police. The standoff on the banks of the Ottawa River capped a long day of action against Bush on his first official state visit to Canada.

Yasser Arafat, 1929-2004

1 December 2004 To have seen Yasser Arafat's last days in Ramallah is to understand why dozens rather than thousands on 28 October saw off his helicopter from his compound in what turned out to be his last flight from Palestine.

… like a fish needs a bicycle

1 December 2004 Dear Subcomandauntie, I'm a 61-year-old single woman socialist, still fighting the system after all these years. My weeknights are filled with meetings; my weekends spent running a stall for my party. But even old Trots have their needs. I need a man, but not any man: I want someone who shares my hatred of capitalism, but who can have a laugh as well. The men I meet are far too macho and serious - and terribly crusty. I know I'm asking the impossible, but, please Auntie, help me find some lovin' for the holidays. Yours Desperate in Derbyshire

Campesinos take on goliath of globalization

1 December 2004 Will Braun talks to Oscar Olivera about the life and death politics of water, oil and gas in Bolivia.

How the British media covers Latin America

1 December 2004 Gerard Coffey reviews British media coverage of Latin America and finds it lacking.

European Social Forum: debating the challenges for its future

1 December 2004 After three European Social Forums (ESF) we need to step back and ask: what next? The successes and achievements of the European Social Forum (ESF) process stem from the strong desire amongst almost every social justice initiative for a cross border, trans-European way of organising, debating and exchanging ideas. This felt need is being reinforced by accumulated skills at creating new agencies for social change.

Social forums after London: The politics of language

1 December 2004 In the light of the European Social Forum in London, Red Pepper assesses the strengths and weakness of the concept.

When voting is not enough

1 December 2004 Progressive victories in the USA are not won by voting alone. What is needed is an upsurge of popular protest.

Killing democracy in Iraq

1 December 2004 Red Pepper invited Naomi Klein and Haifa Zangana to discuss the current situation in Iraq and its implications for the anti-war movement

Coordination without centralisation

1 December 2004 The 2003 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre left the Brazilian organisers, both in Porto Alegre itself and in Sao Paulo, completely exhausted. 'We knew we couldn't go on like that, just organising bigger and bigger events. Something had to change,' said Ze Correio Leite, a member of the Brazilian secretariat. But a visit to their Sao Paulo offices as they prepare for the 2005 WSF finds Ze and his colleagues full of energy and enthusiasm. 'I so like working here; I'm learning so much. We do a bit of everything,' commented Marcello, computer expert cum member of the outreach team cum all round administrator. What had changed?

Half-baked and irrelevant

1 December 2004 The EU's much heralded Emissions Trading Scheme will do nothing to tackle the problem of climate change.

‘We’ve never had it so bad’

1 December 2004 With the campaign against Gordon Brown's job cuts in the civil service gathering momentum, 2005 is set to be a big year for the PCS trade union. PCS leader Mark Serwotka talks to Chris Leach

Dreams of war: reportage in verse

1 December 2004 Red Pepper shadow poet laureate Adrian Mitchell introduces the winners of the Iraq Occupation Focus poetry competition

European Parliament stands up for asylum seekers

1 December 2004 The European Parliament and Commission are set on a collision course with the Council of Europe, the organisation of Member States, over asylum policy after the Parliament adopted a report that condemned draconian practices by European countries.

Forget about Lula?

1 December 2004 Brazilian president Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva has failed to implement the radical reforms expected in the wake of his 2002 election victory. So what went wrong? Should Lula's Workers' Party no longer be thought of as a left-wing force? And where does Brazil go from here? Alfredo Saad-Filho and Sue Branford discuss

A continent at the crossroads

1 December 2004 In his introduction to Red Pepper's special features on the region, Pablo Navarrete explains why the left around the world is currently looking to Latin America.