December 2009

31 December

31 December 2009 Happy new year's eve. On this day in 1967, the Youth International Party, the Yippies, was formed at Abbie Hoffman's New York home.

29 December

29 December 2009 'I think I may fairly make two postulata. First, that food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, that the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state. These two laws, ever since we have had any knowledge of mankind, appear to have been fixed laws of our nature.'

28 December

28 December 2009 'For years I have with reluctant heart withheld from publication this already completed book. My obligation to those who are still alive outweighed my obligation to those who are dead. But now that State Security has seized the book anyway I have no alternative but to publish it immediately.'

27 December

27 December 2009 It's 1861 and Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin, having escaped from exile in Siberia, has just arrived at the house of A I Herzen in London.

26 December

26 December 2009 Habari gani? Umoja.

25 December

25 December 2009 'You will no doubt be surprised to hear that we spent our Christmas in the trenches after all and that Christmas Day was a very happy one.'

24 December

24 December 2009 'At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge,' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, 'it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

Mikhail Gorbachev

24 December 2009 ‘Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.’ Mikhail Gorbachev

23 December

23 December 2009 James Davis of Livingston, Tennessee, was killed by the Viet Cong, the insurgents in South Vietnam, and became the first of some 58,000 U.S. soldiers killed during the Vietnam War.

22 December

22 December 2009 I heard a bird sing _ In the dark of December _ A magical thing _ And sweet to remember

An ability to persuade

21 December 2009 From the Birmingham Six to the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, radical barrister Michael Mansfield has represented them all. Jon Robins interviews him as he takes a break from his high-profile legal career

A friend in court

21 December 2009 Liz Davies reviews Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer by Michael Mansfield QC (Bloomsbury, 2009)

Reinventing democracy

21 December 2009 Marianne Maeckelbergh argues that one of the global justice movement's key innovations has been its approach to democratic decision-making

21 December

21 December 2009 It was, simultaneously, the end to both a dream and a nightmare. The hope of a new society and the horror of the 'evil empire' were both over.

20 December

20 December 2009 'They had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.' Well, not for a while yet, but George Orwell's nightmarish vision from Animal Farm was on its way.

Transitional demands

19 December 2009 As a global deal on climate change recedes into the future, perhaps the local level is our only hope of preventing climate catastrophe. Sarah Irving investigates the Transition movement, which aims to move us 'from oil dependency to local resilience,' using the power of community

19 December

19 December 2009 'You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours. Yet even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.'

Climate Justice protesters reclaim power as UN talks dither

18 December 2009 With ministers and heads of states arriving in Copenhagen, protests surrounded the climate change conference venue, writes Oscar Reyes

18 December

18 December 2009 A week before Christmas, on 18 December 1999, Julia 'Butterfly' Hill climbed down from a thousand-year-old redwood tree that she had made her home for the previous 738 days to protect it from loggers.

17 December

17 December 2009 On 17 December 1981, the UN general assembly proclaimed 1982 the International Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions against South Africa. Just two countries stood against the tide of international opinion.

Confronting the climate circus

16 December 2009 Over the weekend, activists and social movements took to the streets in several large demonstrations around the world to confront the climate circus. Tamra Gilbertson and Ricardo Santos report back on some of the actions

Divide and rule: paving the way to an unjust deal

16 December 2009 As climate talks enter their final phase, Oscar Reyes outlines the hardball negotiating tactics being used to force a weak deal that favours industrialised nations

16 December

16 December 2009 Margaret Mead, born on 16 December 1901, 'taught generations of Americans about the value of looking carefully and openly at other cultures to better understand the complexities of being human', in the words of the American Museum of Natural History, where she worked from 1926 until her death in 1978.

15 December

15 December 2009 'Doctors rule homosexuality not abnormal,' declared the headline in the New York Times.

The critical struggle of our time

14 December 2009 Maddy Power reviews (People First Economics) by David Ransom and Vanessa Baird (eds) New Internationalist, 2009

The inner Other

14 December 2009 Michael Calderbank reviews Angels of Anarchy, a major exhibition of women surrealists at Manchester City Art Gallery

Climate indebted

14 December 2009 While climate change is an environmental problem, the way we deal with it will have a massive impact on economic development and inequality on a global scale. Tim Jones argues that a transfer of wealth and power from the global North to South is essential to averting climate catastrophe

14 December

14 December 2009 On 14 December 1930, Albert Einstein urged a meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York to support 'uncompromising war resistance and refusal to do military service under any circumstances'. He changed his mind when Hitler came to power.

13 December

13 December 2009 A 'song of the soul at having arrived at the height of perfection' was how Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde's 'Bosie', described the poetry he wrote while serving six months hard labour after losing his own brush with the libel laws, against Winston Churchill.

12 December

12 December 2009 'I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation . . . I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - I WILL BE HEARD.'

Booktopia: Louise Christian

11 December 2009 The Bridge of San Luis Rey Thornton Wilder, Penguin Classics (first published 1927) This novel is about the collapse of a bridge in Peru in the 17th century and the deaths of five people. A Jesuit priest sets out to prove that they deserved to die and ends up proving the opposite. The family of […]

Beating Burma’s blackout

11 December 2009 The film Burma VJ brings Burma's struggle for freedom into close proximity to its audience and is generating new solidarity efforts as a result. Siobhan McGuirk investigates

Equality of life

11 December 2009 While it is commonplace for the left to argue that greater equality is desirable, it is less common to see a huge evidence base used to make the case. Matt Sellwood spoke to Richard Wilkinson, who has done just that in his book The Spirit Level

Climate technologies: a leap into the unknown

11 December 2009 A new 'technology mechanism' could reward untested techniques that damage the climate, warns Oscar Reyes

11 December

11 December 2009 'Never Born, Never Died. Only Visited this Planet Earth between Dec 11 1931 - Jan 19 1990.'

10 December

10 December 2009 The baptism of Adolf Hitler took place on this day in London in 1994.

Copenhagen Plan B: ‘protect the rich’

9 December 2009 A leaked text of the political declaration that could conclude the Copenhagen conference reveals backroom dealings that offer little to the Majority World, writes Oscar Reyes

9 December

9 December 2009 Masturbation makes you lose your job.

8 December

8 December 2009 8 December 1980: John Lennon is shot dead in New York.

Everyone does everything

7 December 2009 James O'Nions meets two members of the Italian novel-writing collective Wu Ming as they publish Manituana, their 'story from the wrong side of history'

Wonderful Wonderful Carbon Haven!

7 December 2009 With the activists gearing up outside and developing countries in no mood for compromise - climate justice is definitely on the agenda this time round, reports Kim Bryan in Copenhagen

What’s at stake in Copenhagen

7 December 2009 Tamra Gilbertson and Oscar Reyes set out the crucial debates at Copenhagen

The spectre of ‘overpopulation’

7 December 2009 Whenever global environmental crises, poverty or world hunger is at issue, the overpopulation argument is raised. It is now occurring in debates on the worsening climate situation, warns Sarah Sexton

Change trade, not our climate

7 December 2009 Global trade rules are stacked in favour of a poor deal for the climate, argues Ronnie Hall

Climate headed for crash landing

7 December 2009 Imagine sending your own daughter on a plane that has only 50 per cent chance of landing. You would never do it. Yet sadly as we gear up for the biggest climate meeting in Copenhagen, this is what many developed countries seem prepared to do with our planet, argues Pablo Solón

7 December

7 December 2009 Forget about the Spice Girls reunion, how about the Teletubbies, eh-oh?

Home-grown in Lebanon

6 December 2009 Responding to the discussion on political Islam begun in the previous issue of Red Pepper, Bilal El-Amine considers the experience of Hizbullah in Lebanon

There is no environmental crisis: the crisis is democracy

6 December 2009 A global climate change deal for the planet at Copenhagen needs to be about equality and freedom. Otherwise it's not a planet worth saving, says Paul Chatterton

Being Tamsin

6 December 2009 Kevin Blowe reviews Rush! The Making of a Climate Activist by Tamsin Omond (Marion Boyars, 2009)

6 December

6 December 2009 Two days after the Mississippi state legislature voted against ratifying the 13th amendment to the US constitution abolishing slavery, Georgia voted in favour to provide the necessary two-thirds majority.

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