Millions across the world watch the Eurovision every year. This year’s competition, however, will see a significant boycott of what the popular rock band Wolf Alice has called the “most controversial Eurovision Song Contest that’s ever happened.” Artists from across the world have joined trade unionists and Palestinian solidarity activists in calling for a boycott of the event being held in Israel, including the Musicians’ Union of Ireland and the actors’ union, Irish Equity.
On 23 January 2019, Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela. Shortly afterwards, he was recognised as such by the USA and Canada. A few days later, Britain, France, Germany and many others followed suit. Ann Orr looks at the ongoing attempts by imperialist forces to crush the government of Nicolás Maduro and argues that Venezuela does not represent a failure of socialism, but a stark warning about why a fundamental break with capitalism and real socialist transformation of society is required.
The Spanish state faced a regional revolt in 2017, with an unsanctioned referendum on Catalan independence called by the local administration against the wishes of the Madrid government. Following on from the referendum, senior officials in the Catalan government are now on trial for “rebellion” and “misuse of public funds”.
Swedish school student Greta Thunberg, on 20 August 2018, decided not to attend school until the general election on 9 September, after heatwaves and wildfires in the country. Every Friday since, she has protested outside the parliament against the government’s inaction on climate change.
Mass movements against sexism and oppression will inevitably come up against the logic of the capitalist system we live under, where 6 men own more wealth than 50% of the world’s population.
Climate change poses a real and current threat to human existence. In recent years we have seen rising sea levels and a rise in the number of extreme weather events.
On 8 and 9 January, 200 million workers went on strike in India, disrupting key industries, blocking train-tracks and highways and rallying in their masses against the anti-labour policies of the right-wing, sectarian BJP government.
New Year’s Day this year marked the 60th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, the overthrow of corrupt, US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista by the July 26th Movement, a guerrilla army led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. This began a process which would see capitalism and landlordism abolished on the island.