May 2009

Gloria Steinem

31 May 2009 ‘In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: either she’s a feminist or a masochist.’ Gloria Steinem

Apathy of the discontented

30 May 2009 Almost 500 million people were entitled to vote in this year's European elections. Yet between the lobbyists and the bureaucrats, it's hard to claim the EU is a continental-scale democracy. Leigh Phillips asks who pulls the strings in Europe, and what we can do about it

Breaking Europe’s left-right ‘grand coalition’

30 May 2009 Carl Schlyter, a Green MEP from Sweden, has battled in the European Parliament over nanotechnology, internet freedoms and unfair trade agreements with developing countries. Unlike many Greens, however, he is a firm opponent of the Lisbon Treaty and backer of EU democratic reform

Mathilde Franziska Giesler Anneke

30 May 2009 ‘Reason, which we recognise as our highest and only law-giver, commands us to be free.’ Mathilde Franziska Giesler Anneke

John le Carre

29 May 2009 ‘History keeps her secrets longer than most of us. But she has one secret that I will reveal to you tonight in the greatest confidence. Sometimes there are no winners at all. And sometimes nobody needs to lose.’ John le Carre

Henry Miller

28 May 2009 ‘The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.’ Henry Miller

Mikhail Bakunin

28 May 2009 ‘To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt.’ Mikhail Bakunin

Far right prospects in the European elections

27 May 2009 Graeme Atkinson on the far right parties and candidates standing in the upcoming European Parliament elections

Anais Nin

27 May 2009 ‘When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.’ Anais Nin

Mikhail Bakunin

26 May 2009 ‘To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt.’ Mikhail Bakunin

Mrs Kinsey

25 May 2009 ‘I don’t see much of Alfred since he got so interested in sex.’ Mrs Kinsey

Occupations against the Occupation

24 May 2009 Siobahn McGuirk reports from the student occupation at the University of Manchester, the longest in the wave of student militancy over Gaza

Divide and torture

24 May 2009 The military onslaught on Gaza may have halted but the economic and political onslaught continues. Ewa Jasiewicz reports on a people under siege

Now to complete the democratic revolution

24 May 2009 Hilary Wainwright's editorial in our upcoming June/July issue argues that the issue of public control over public money could be the basis of a movement to complete the unfinished struggle for popular sovereignty

Steve Cohen 1945-2009

24 May 2009 Steve Cohen, who has died aged 63, was one of Manchester's leading human rights lawyers and political radicals. A fierce opponent of racism and chauvinism in all its forms, he initiated some of Britain's biggest anti-deportation campaigns and was a pioneer of the No Borders movement. Through his polemics and pamphlets Steve skewered authoritarianism and blind spots on the left. A champion of disability rights, women's liberation and social justice, he continued fighting on all fronts through years of painful long-term illness

The party isn’t over

24 May 2009 'When the bad combine, the good must associate,' wrote the arch-individualist Edmund Burke. David Beetham considers the continuing need for a political party of the left

Give it arrest

24 May 2009 Tariq Mehmood tells how he suffered at the hands of police stop and search

Watching the watchers

24 May 2009 How does the argument go again - it's only those with something to hide who object to increasing surveillance? So the same applies to 'sousveillance', doesn't it, and turning the came ras on those who normally do the surveillance? By Clare Coatman

A fair cop: the police and the public

24 May 2009 Our special feature, to be continued in future issues and on our website, looks at policing - and policing the police - in modern Britain

Afghanistan: a brief history

24 May 2009 Understanding Afghanistan today is only possible by looking at it in the context of the part played by the competing imperial powers in its past. Jane Shallice offers a guide

Beyond the Taliban: the roots of Pashtun resistance

24 May 2009 Mohammad Asif looks at the real background to the resistance groups

Brian Eno

24 May 2009 ‘The philosophical idea that there are no more distances, that we are all just one world, that we are all brothers, is such a drag! I like differences.’ Brian Eno

Karl Marx

23 May 2009 ‘Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time.’ Karl Marx

It was 40 years ago today, John and Yoko taught the world to play

22 May 2009 John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 'Bed-In' at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969 was only a part of their broad-ranging commitment to peace campaigning. Colin Robinson looks back at one of the most famous - and media-savvy - protests of all time

A tale of three Michaels

22 May 2009 He was a pimp, pusher and political activist, with a penchant for the outlandish and an ability to attract support from the rich and famous. Until his murder conviction and hanging in Trinidad in 1975, Michael X was one of the best-known figures of 1960s radicalism. Michael Horovitz reviews a new account of the life of this self-styled black Muslim revolutionary

Aki Nawaz

22 May 2009 The eight books Aki Nawaz would take to the ends of the earth with him

A new zeitgeist on rights

22 May 2009 The Convention on Modern Liberty inspired a huge surge of energy around civil liberties, says Stuart Weir. Human rights campaigners could be on the verge of a historic breakthrough


22 May 2009 ‘Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting over lost days . . . What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has magic, power and genius in it’. Goethe

Wanted: alternative banking system

21 May 2009 Nationalising the banks is a a good first step - but then what? What would a genuine people's bank be like? Sargon Nissan of the New Economics Foundation looks at local, international and historical experience to find answers

Into the abyss

21 May 2009 Labour says it is planning to 'simplify' immigration legislation. Frances Webber argues that its real agenda is to subvert human rights and give more power to the state

Victor Jara

21 May 2009 ‘To see myself among so much and so many moments of infinity in which silence and screams are the end of my song.’ ‘Chile Stadium’, Victor Jara

Holding back the BNP

20 May 2009 The British National Party (BNP) sees the European Parliament elections as a key opportunity to advance its influence. Andy Bowman reports on the campaign to keep them out of their target seats in the north-west of England

18 May

18 May 2009 '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

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

11 May 2009 ‘Why is it that right-wing bastards always stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, while liberals fall out among themselves?’ Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Martin Luther King

10 May 2009 ‘Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection.’ Martin Luther King


9 May 2009 ‘Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.’ Goethe

Albert Camus

8 May 2009 ‘The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.’ Albert Camus

After the bombing, the boycott

7 May 2009 Israel's assault on Gaza led to unprecedented mobilisations in solidarity with the Palestinian people. But where should the movement go next, asks Yasmin Khan

The message is not the medium

7 May 2009 Radical poetry just sloganises, argues BRIGG57. Good poetry is about much more than its politics

Contending for the living

7 May 2009 In the first of a new regular column for Red Pepper, Mike Marqusee finds hope for a new internationalism in the actions of South African dockworkers and their allies

The crack pipe of peace

7 May 2009 Dear Auntie _ War, famine, economic depression and global warming - the idea that 'another world is possible' seems remoter than ever. Will we ever have a just and peaceful world? _ Desperate for peace, Preston

Germaine Greer

7 May 2009 ‘The tragedy of machismo is that a man is never quite man enough.’ Germaine Greer

Henrik Tikkanen

6 May 2009 ‘Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.’ Henrik Tikkanen

Mahatma Gandhi

5 May 2009 ‘God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west… keeping the world in chains. If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.’ Mahatma Gandhi

Germaine Greer

4 May 2009 ‘Security is when everything is settled. When nothing can happen to you. Security is the denial of life.’ Germaine Greer

George Orwell

3 May 2009 ‘Happiness can exist only in acceptance. George Orwell

Toni Morrison

2 May 2009 ‘I merged those two words, black and feminist, because I was surrounded by black women who were very tough and and who always assumed they had to work and rear children and manage homes.’ Toni Morrison

Alun Rees

1 May 2009 ‘You think my life is worthless. Well, it is. You think my head is empty. Well, it’s not. You’ll find there’s rage and hate in there, enough to fill the gaps between the stars that hang like hope beyond my reach.’ ‘Valley Boy’, Alun Rees