Features

Covid-19: The Vietnamese Offensive

Trade unionist and member of the Communist Party of Ireland, Kerry Fleck, argues that Vietnam’s socialist model has been key to its world leading response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Why Latin America’s oldest insurgent communist army is growing

Embedded researcher Oliver Dodd who lived among the armed guerrilla forces of the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – National Liberation Army) of Colombia, explains their origins, theory and practice.

When founded in 1964, the ELN was, strategically and tactically speaking, inspired by the Cuban Revolution, which proved that a determined and well-organised political-military movement, could bring a solidly US-backed dictatorship to its knees.

Poetry Corner: A Man’s a Man for a’ That by Robert Burns

A Man’s a Man for a’ That by Robert Burns, 1795.

Robert (or Rabbie) burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, on 25 January 1759. Burns was born to tenant farming parents, initially had very little formal education and worked as a farm labourer from a young age.

Burns drew much from what little patchy education he did receive but continued to work a variety of manual jobs. Burns’s father was unfortunate in farming and the family moved often, compelled by poverty and hardship.

Liberation: the bedrock of anti-colonial struggles in Britain

Robin Talbot talks about the historic anti-imperialist campaign Liberation (formerly the Movement for Colonial Freedom) – and how YCLers can fulfil their own historic role.

Today, Liberation is a small campaign that runs from an office in the ASLEF trade union building not far from the Marx Memorial Library in London. But Liberation, which was known as the Movement for Colonial Freedom until the seventies, has been the bedrock of anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggles in Britain since its founding conference in 1954. Even before then, its predecessor COPAI organised ruthlessly against British meddling abroad, including its bribery and intimidation of the founder of modern-day Botswana noted in the 2016 film “A United Kingdom”.

Poetry Corner: Masses by César Vallejo

César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza was a Peruvian poet, writer, playwright, and journalist. Born the 11th child to parents who were both of mixed Spanish and Quechua Native origins, Vallejo as a child witnessed at first hand hunger and poverty and the injustices done to the indigenous peoples of the region.

Vallejo attended the University of Trujillo, where he studied both law and literature, writing a thesis entitled El romanticismo en la poesía castellana (“Romanticism in Castilian Poetry”; published 1954).

Although he published only three books of poetry during his lifetime, he is considered one of the great poetic innovators of the 20th century in any language. He was always a step ahead of literary currents, and each of his books was distinct from the others, and, in its own sense, revolutionary.

2020 NEU Left and Chicago Teachers Union bilateral discussion

On Wednesday 26 February, members of the NEU Left – the broad left-wing alliance within the National Education Union (NEU) – met in the Marx Memorial Library in London with Debby Pope, representative of the Executive Board of the Chicago Teachers Union.

The aim of this meeting was simple: to discuss common challenges, possibilities, and most importantly, how the rank and file members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) had managed to successfully build a broad left-wing alliance that achieved power in the union structures and made a difference, including many successful grassroots campaigns.

The Gendered Impact of COVID-19

The ongoing Covid-19 crisis taking place across the world is producing some of the most significant upheavals the world has seen since the Second World War. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was first admitted to hospital with the Virus on the 5thof April. His battle with the illness prompted a wave of sympathy, with commentators sending niceties, positing that this highlighted that the Coronavirus can and does affect us all. “We are all in this together”, as Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, argued, and while it is clear that the Coronavirus is affecting us all, it is important to highlight that it is not affecting us all equally. There are obvious class differences in how people are able to cope amid the government lockdown. However, there are also key gender differences, and as usual women are bearing the brunt of both the economic repercussions of the lockdown, and are put at greater risk of infection.

The Other Bloody Sunday – Russia 1905

This article will rightfully be dominated by the commemoration of fourteen innocent civilians who lost their lives amidst the terror inflicted by colonial troops in Derry. The incidents of January 1972 remain etched in the memory of the city and the island, serving a fatal reminder of just how far a colonial order in London will go to maintain hegemonic order over the indigenous Irish in their homes and communities.

The Irish Bloody Sunday is propped up by endless comparable accounts throughout republican history, but it is important to note that imperialists throughout the world maintain similar strategies to subjugate populations to the whims of a ruling class, even within their own domestic boundaries.

Organising in Social Care during COVID-19

I work as a lifeguard. I sit at the side of the pool and watch people swim up and down. Occasionally, I’ll tell some kids that ‘no’, they can’t dive headfirst into other swimmers, then I go back to watching the pool. When the COVID-19 outbreak began I thought I was going to be out of a job due to being on a zero hours contract. Every casual worker for South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture was in the same boat.

Coronavirus in the developing world and the flaws of pandemic bonds

The worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have so far been limited to developed or relatively developed nations. But as the spread of the disease continues at breakneck speed, questions have begun to emerge about the capacity of healthcare systems to cope with the outbreaks. The numbers are staggering and medical equipment to deal with the respiratory effects caused by the virus are in short supply even in the most advanced countries.

VE Day 75: a living legacy and an unfinished struggle

It is easy for young people in Britain today to overlook the importance of the outcome of the Second World War for world history and the current political situation we face today. It is difficult to comprehend the scale of the sacrifice and the bravery of previous generations in the struggle to defeat Nazi Fascism.

Poetry Corner: VE Day 75 – Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too?

As part of the celebrations around the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, Challenge’s Poetry Corner will be featuring a selection of poems from across the world, inspired by the war and its events.

Here we feature Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too? written by Langston Hughes. The poem is written from the perspective of a black US serviceman. It is a profound comment on the profound and structural racism on which the USA is and was based and the sad fact that black servicemen were abroad fighting to defeat the same racist and oppressive ideologies they were forced to endure at home.