The unsmiling Irish

Fall 1981

Michael Devine died on August 20, the tenth Irish Republican Army (IRA) hunger striker to lay down his life to repudiate British rule and assert the right to self-determination for Northern Ireland. But the Catholic Church has pressured relatives of the remaining hunger strikers into ordering medical treatment to prevent further deaths. Early in October,… Read more »

Europe on the march: Which way for the peace movement?

Spring 1982

A tidal wave of human indignation swept Western Europe at the close of 1981. Three million protesters jammed the streets of London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Athens, Brussels, Rome, Paris, Bonn, Oslo, and other cities, demanding a halt to NATO’s plans to set up Europe as a nuclear battlefield. The series of massive demonstrations in October and… Read more »

International Roundup — Greece, Ireland, Namibia

Spring 1982

Greece Hot on the heels of the French Socialist Party victory in May 1981, and amid massive anti-NATO demonstrations that swept Western Europe last fall, Greece’s social democratic Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) jolted world imperialism with its October electoral victory over the rightwing New Democracy Party (NDP). Backed by small industrialists, businessmen, farmers, and much… Read more »

Stalin’s iron fist: Martial law in Poland

Spring 1982

The ruling Polish United Workers Party (PUWP) struck a blow against the rising power of workers when Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski declared a state of war on December 13 against the dynamic independent trade union, Solidarity. In a series of swift and ruthless moves, Solidarity leaders were jailed, all electronic communications were blocked, a stringent… Read more »

The Malvinas: comic opera or prelude to World War III?

Summer 1982

Frantically waving the Union Jack, imperialism has just completed a fierce and deadly war over a barren archipelago in the South Atlantic. From the time Argentina reclaimed the Malvinas (Falkland Islands) from British colonialism on April 2 until its defeat on June 15, the English carried on like something out of Gilbert and Sullivan —… Read more »

Malice Aforethought

Summer 1982

From time immemorial, the history and culture of England have revolved around sheep. Sometimes openly, more often disguised, sheep fill the mind of the average British ruler in a way that even general strikes cannot. In ancient times, sheep were central to the cycle of life. Youngsters went out, alone and unarmed, to live among… Read more »

International Roundup

Spring 1981

Ireland Remember Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes, valorous Irish Republican Army martyrs in the cause of Irish self-determination and liberty. Bobby, the Catholic H-Block prisoner and newly-elected Parliament member from Protestant-dominated Belfast, Northern Ireland, died on May 5 in the 66th day of a hunger strike to dramatize the IRA demand that the British overlords… Read more »

Nicky Kelly: Irish socialist framed

Winter 1983

Nicky Kelly, political prisoner: framed by the Southern Irish government for the March 1976 robbery of a Dublin mail train. His case has been called Irish Dreyfus case: no witnesses or evidence has ever linked him to the robbery. Yet the government has spent seven years and $1.5 million to keep him in jail because… Read more »

The Great Soviet Shake-up — New dawn for workers democracy or regression to capitalism? Can Gorbachev eradicate the stubborn legacy of Stalinism? What do perestroika and glasnost portend for world socialism?

September 1988

Whither the USSR? Can Mikhail Gorbachev’s restructuring resuscitate Soviet “socialism”? Or will it restore capitalism, given that perestroika is throwing open Soviet industry to the vagaries and imperatives of market economics? And what of glasnost — perestroika’s battering ram against the lead-rumped bureaucratic conservatives? Will openness engender democratization — socialist democracy — so that the… Read more »

Poland: Capitalism cannot be imposed short of fierce civil war

February 1990

Was it just ten years ago that Solidarity arose in Poland to challenge the Giereck regime? Those angry Gdansk shipyard workers could hardly have imagined that massive waves of humanity would rise by the end of the decade to change the face of Eastern Europe forever. The dramatic toppling of the Berlin Wall was a… Read more »