If you are yet to fall for Rosa Luxemburg, your time has come: Scott McLemee's review of The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg for Bookforum is nothing less than a love letter, sure to pull at the heartstrings of readers—both experts and those less acquainted with her life and work.
"Dear Rosa," McLemee begins,
You will not, I trust, take this mode of address as disrespectful, least of all coming, as it does, from a comrade. Familiarity with you makes contempt impossible ...
The affection with which we speak your name is not, let me explain, a sentimental response to your political writings. They are as hard-edged as those of any polemicist. You did not suffer renegades gladly. Someone once asked what the epitaph should be for you and your friend Clara Zetkin, and you said, "Here lie the last two men of German social democracy." The quip was not appreciated by party leaders, and our feminists would give you a stern lecture. But then, you wouldn't have much use for the contemporary American left, where mutual policing of verbal behavior often counts as activism.
In a recent interview with the Guardian's Aida Edemariam, Clare Solomon, former President of the University of London Union and co-editor of Springtime: The New Student Rebellions, discusses her vision for the upcoming March for the Alternative on this Saturday 26 March.
Following her defeat for "re-election as president of the University of London Union to Vratislav "Vraj" Domalip, a young man whose manifesto is a clear echo of the stance of Porter and the NUS," Solomon attests that the future of the student movement presents both a challenge and an opportunity:
"[T]his is the just the beginning - it is not the end. The movement isn't about me - it's about all those students who have protested about the government's plans. It is all about 26 March now. It's not just about education - it's about what sort of society do we want?"
In the lead-up to the what is anticipated as the largest protest yet, Solomon
has spent the past few weeks planning big demo breakfasts, organising rooms for briefings by stewards and for rehearsals by musicians, she has been talking to Scotland Yard about the route, and suggesting non-violent direct actions. On Thursday morning she put her name to a bid to turn Trafalgar Square into Tahrir Square - that is to occupy it for as long as it takes to get the required response from the government.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide has returned to Haiti after seven years of exile in South Africa. Aristide and the remarkable Lavalas movement twice won landslide victories in democratic elections, and twice were ousted in US-backed coups.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (along with actor Danny Glover) travelled on the plane with Aristide and is blogging live updates on the Democracy Now site.
However, Aristide's return does not mean that US intervention in Haiti has come to an end—according to the Press Association:
US President Barack Obama had tried to keep the controversial figure away from his country until it holds a presidential election on Sunday, fearing he could destabilise the process.
In an article for Counterfire, Kim Moody writes that the recent waves of worker demonstrations across the Midwest are ‘putting new ideas about class politics and power on the trade union agenda.’ Charting the emergence of a revitalised union movement in reaction to fresh union-busting legislation being put forward by newly-elected Republican governors, Moody argues that:
The laws were put forth by recently elected Republican governors in those and other states designed to destroy the power of public worker unions. The attack on public sector workers, often focused on teachers, is long standing, sponsored by big business and embraced by many Democrats as well as Republicans, from the Whitehouse to state legislatures and town halls across the country. The recent Great Recession provided a further opportunity for state governments facing growing deficits to propose the final coup de grace to public worker rights. The first sign of worker resistance came on Monday, 14th February when some 400 Minnesota union members filled the hearing rooms of the state legislature to oppose a bill that would undermine union security and cut wages by 15 percent.