May 2004


Ten tumultuous years

1 May 2004 "Red Pepper, breaking a decade; New Labour, broken and decayed,' suggested a wit in the office. But now is not the moment for narrow triumphalism (beyond celebrating the larger font size and the monthly miracle performed in getting the magazine out at all).

Scotland’s brave new world

1 May 2004 Roz Paterson celebrates the plurality and electoral success of the Scottish Socialist Party

Background to Rwanda

1 May 2004 Ten years ago, beginning on 6 April 1994, more than one million Rwandans were massacred in a three-month bloodbath. The dead were mainly Tutsis, the minority ethnic group in Rwanda who made up about 14 percent of the then eight million population. All were unarmed civilians. Their killers, extremists from Rwanda's ruling Hutu majority, had embarked on a premeditated mission: to exterminate an entire people. But it was not only Tutsis who suffered. Tens of thousands of moderate Hutus were also slaughtered because they were political opponents of the one-party Hutu state and natural obstacles to the genocide.

The Sadr revolt

1 May 2004 On the surface, it is a battle of two political wills: the US-led occupation forces ranged against a seditious young cleric, whose brand of political Islam, historical grievance and thwarted nationalism runs deeps among the young, urban, overwhelmingly Shia poor of Iraq's central and southern cities.

Senegalese workers bet against lottery privatisation

1 May 2004 Up to 1000 protestors coursed through the streets of Dakar in April 2004 to protest against a plan aimed at privatising the Senegalese national lottery, LONASE. The protest took place on the same day that the World Bank announced the cancellation of $850m dollars of Senegal's debt.

Campaigners hold supermarkets to account

1 May 2004 Some of the UK's leading supermarkets face an uncomfortable summer as campaign groups aim to hold corporate retailers to account for their impact on people and the environment.

Why I joined the Greens

1 May 2004 Peter Tatchell says the Greens are now the radical left party.

The end of the oil age

1 May 2004 Fossil fuel companies are about to become industrial dinosaurs. Efforts to postpone their extinction would only accelerate the overheating of the planet.

Uncovering the financiers of the genocide

1 May 2004 Ten years ago, beginning on 6 April 1994, more than one million Rwandans were massacred in a three-month bloodbath. The dead were mainly Tutsis, the minority ethnic group in Rwanda who made up about 14 percent of the then eight million population.

Interview: Iraq’s Union of the Unemployed

1 May 2004 The sensation caused by the fights of the past weeks and the rhetoric about the deaths and kidnapping of Western guards and journalists are taking our minds away from the economic colonisation of Iraq and the increasingly dramatic life conditions of millions of Iraqis. While contracts for reconstruction proliferate, nothing has been done for those without a job or any subsidy, pension or health care. Even those with a job haven't received a salary for months.

The medium is the message

1 May 2004 The alternative media are more than a source of news; they help keep the democratic process alive.

Notes from the West Bank: 1 April 2004

1 May 2004 Adah Kay has been keeping a diary on the Palestine/Israel frontline. Over the coming months in our print magazine, she will be offering a personal insight into life in the West Bank. Here is the first entry.

South Africa’s faded rainbow

1 May 2004 Despite the ANC's record landslide in April's South African general elections, there is growing domestic resistance to the party's lurch to the right.

Son of Sam

1 May 2004 The British left devotes a lot of energy to castigating US foreign policy but, says Mark Curtis, Downing Street is as much of an international serial killer as Washington

The Devil’s tears

1 May 2004 In Azerbaijan, oil is known as the Devil's tears - a curse for the desperately poor Azeris and a blessing for their autocratic rulers. Satan cried a lot in this former Soviet satellite state on the west coast of the Caspian Sea. His tears were mostly shed offshore.

The ministry of fear

1 May 2004 The exploitation of terrorism as a pretext for suspending democratic rights needs to be resisted - not only for the protection of civil liberties and demonised ethnic groups, but also to defend political participation itself.