Walking across the River towards the streets where the events of 4 May 1886 took place - the fabled Haymarket. I had last been there years ago, when in graduate school. It was for a May Day rally. Before the River, I pass Daley Plaza, where many an afternoon was spent in demonstration against the first Iraq War, many a club taken from the Chicago policemen on their well-fed black horses. I remember a woman from amongst the protestors being dragged by her hair for half a block by a mounted policeman. The edge of that brutality was of course reserved for the South Side of Chicago, where commande
Today, in Washington, DC, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived to protests outside the Turkish embassy. This is to be expected. There is a great deal to voice outrage about - the purges that are ongoing and the suppression of the Turkish southeast. The size of the protest was modest - two dozen people. Erdoğan's supporters - and perhaps Turkish security guards - attacked these protestors. A Facebook video showed them bloodied.
In today's Alternet, I have a report to coincide with Erdoğan's arrival in Washington. The report covers the Turkish purges and the war in Tu
May 15th is Nakba Day, the Day of Catastrophe for the Palestinians. In 1948, that was the date when the Israeli State began to emerge and three quarters of a million Palestinians were ejected from their land. The term Nakba was coined by the Syrian historian Constantine Zurayk, who was the Acting President of the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) in 1952.
Part of the expelled Palestinian nation had fled to Gaza, where - from the first - they lived in refugee camps under the care of the fledgling United Nations. War between Israel and Egypt across Gaza drew a UN response in 1956, when
Each year, Sudhanva Deshpande, Suvendu Mallick and I go on our LeftWord Tour. Last year we went to Mumbai, where we visited IIT, TIIS and St. Xavier's College. We also organised a walk through Girangaon, led by the veteran trade unionist Datta Iswalkar.
One of the evenings, we held a panel discussion to release our volume - Communist Histories, vol. 1 - with contributions from Comrade Ashok Dhawale and Comrade L. B. Dhangar. It was a remarkable experience to have Comrade Dhangar give his first-hand account of the Warli Uprising of 1945-47 and its aftermath. In Archana Prasad's essay for th
I wrote a little blog post on the delightful picture - from 1947 - of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo with Nayantara Sahgal and Rita Dar, the daughters of Vijayalakshmi Pandit, thanks to Nayantara, which you can read here.
Nayantara has an important essay in Githa Hariharan's LeftWord Books collection From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity (2015). I had that book nearby when I was putting together my report on the hunger strike in Palestine, now entering its 24th day. It is a strike that has received almost no serious coverage, little concern for the strikers and even
The Instagram account of Border & Fall carried a picture of Frida Kahlo in a sari flanked by two women. There was no comment there. The general reaction was: wow!
One of the women seemed familiar to me - she is to Frida Kahlo's left. It looked like a young Nayantara Sahgal, the writer who now lives in Dehra Dun. The other woman, on Kahlo's right, looked like Nayantara's sister Rita Dar.
Nayantara Sahgal and Rita Dar are the younger daughters of Vijayalakshmi Pandit - India's first ambassador to the USSR, the US and Mexico and then the United Nations (she was the sister of Jawaharlal Nehru).
Marx - impoverished - relied on handouts from his family and from his best friend Engels. But even that rankled him. In 1862, when the New York Tribune decided to concentrate on the US Civil War and not on European news, Marx - the journalist - found his income dry up. He wrote to Engels on 20 August 1862,
Say what you will, dear boy. It is really embarrassing to have to bother you as I do with my miseries! If only I knew how to start some sort of business! All theory, dear friend, is grey, and only business green. Unfortunately, I have come to realise this too late.
It is common in the
"In the Ruins of the Present: Trump, Joblessness and Anger"
The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture's Annual Public Lecture features distinguished public intellectuals whose work promotes engaged thought and scholarship around the topics of race and ethnicity within the public sphere.
Go take a visit to the LeftWord Books blog, where you can find videos and pictures about the fifth anniversary of our May Day gatherings at this Shadipur haven.
There is also a lovely short arts segment on NDTV about this May Day fiesta, which you should, should watch.
Lenin's statement about May Day stays with us: 'The mass participation of the workers in the strike, the huge mass meetings in the streets, the unfurling of Red flags, the presentation of demands indicated in leaflets and the revolutionary character of these demands - Eight-Hour Day and Political Liberty'.
Although, in our ti