National Sections of the L5I:

History

James P Cannon and the fight for communism in the USA

Bryan D Palmer, a Canadian based professor and writer on the history of the North American labour movement, has published the first volume of his James Cannon biography, James P Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left (1890-1974) Illinois, 2007. Simon Hardy reviews its lessons for today Read more...

Ireland 1968: Anti-Unionist revolt begins

On October 5 1968, a peaceful civil rights march, consciously modelled on the tactics of Martin Luther King's movement in the USA, was savagely attacked by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The marchers were baton-charged and mercilessly beaten by the forces of "law and order". Amongst the injured was the West Belfast MP Gerry Fitt. The brutal attack  including pictures of the bloodied MP  was shown on television. 96 people were in need of hospital treatment. This profoundly shocked people in Britain, Ireland and around the world. Read more...

رحيل جورج حبش

تعرفت أولاً كصبيّ صغير إلى جورج حبش. ومع أنني أنا نفسي لست فلسطينيًا فقد نشأت – وبطريقة ملتوية – على اعتباره واحدًا من "قادتنا". فهنا لدينا شخص – عربي وطني علماني من خلفية مسيحية، رجل مثقف ومتعلم، ويعرّف نفسه ماركسيًا ونصيرًا للمضطهدين، معاديًا للصهيونية والإمبريالية Read more...

George Habash: 1916-2008

This article is also available in Arabic here

I first became aware of the Doctor as a small child. Although not Palestinian myself, I grew up regarding him, in a roundabout way, as one of "our" leaders. Here was someone  an Arab patriot and secularist from a Christian background, a highly-educated man, and a self-declared Marxist and supporter of the oppressed, an opponent of Zionism and Western imperialism, and a modernist opponent of the Arab regimes  to whom I could point without any embarrassment and say: "he is one of ours". Read more...

How Mugabe betrayed the national liberation struggle in Zimbabwe

The ruling party in Zimbabwe argue that the current election is a fight against the British and colonialism. For that they have some backing from other African leaders and support from people in Zimbabwe who see him as a national liberation leader against western imperialism. Recently Mugabe condemned the MDC as being a creature of the British and said: "We fought for this country, and a lot of blood was shed - We are not going to give up our country because of a mere X [on the ballot paper]. How can a ballpoint fight with a gun?" Read more...

Che Guevara and the Cuban Trotskyists

Trotskyism in Cuba had a long tradition stretching back to the early 1930s. The Oposicion Comunista de Cuba had been formed in 1932 in opposition to the sectarian line of the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC). With a record of fierce revolutionary struggle during the revolution of 1932-33 and a membership peaking at around 500, Trotskyism established roots in the Cuban labour movement. Read more...

Youth against militarism: The legacy of Karl Liebnecht

The life of Karl Liebknecht spanned the period between two European wars. Born August 13th 1871 in the aftermath of the Franco Prussian War, he was murdered by the hirelings of the German military and capitalists on January 15th 1919. His life was dedicated to, end ultimately sacrificed for, three inseparably linked causes the organization of working siege youth Into a conscious movement, the struggle against militarism and imperialist war end the fight for proletarian revolution. Read more...

Maoism and the Chinese Revolution

Exert from the Degenerated Revolution

The history of the CCP as the leadership of a peasant based and largely guerrilla army began with the historic defeats of the Chinese proletariat in the years 1926-30. The CCP had entered the Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang (KMT) in a subordinate role in 1923-24 having been under pressure to do so from representatives of the Communist International (CI) since 1922. On 20 March 1926 Chiang Kai-shek led a coup d'Ètat in Canton, at that time the centre of CCP influence. Through the coup Chiang, with communist compliance, disarmed the workers' militia controlled by the CCP-led Hong Kong-Canton General Strike Committee. Read more...

Vietnam: where the US lost its first war

This is the first in a series of articles about 1968. This year has gone down in history as one of the "mad years"  like 1848, 1919, 1936. In such years, conservatives of all political colours believe that some terrible infection takes hold, as a result of which unconnected issues and grievances spark off one another, producing a series of explosions. A second feature of such "mad years" is that they seem to fail to achieve what they promised  they are not years of successful revolutions, like 1789 or 1917. As such they are jeered and mocked by relieved reactionaries and patronising liberals. 1968 is no exception. Read more...

Introduction: a revolution of our time

The Russian Revolution in 1917 shook the world and opened up a new period in world history. The overthrow of capitalism became an immediate question in states across the world. Read more...