Trans women arrested in Aceh

Published on: Wed, 14/02/2018 - 08:49

Peggy Carter

On 27 January, 12 trans women were arrested in Aceh province in Indonesia and made to undergo a “re-education programme”. They were subjected to beatings, had their hair forcibly cut, were stripped and forced to wear men′s clothes, and otherwise humiliated.

Trans women are reportedly fleeing the province, an area with an autonomous status meaning it can have some of its own laws, including on homosexuality. Many run beauty salons which have been shut fearing a wave of attacks after far-right and Islamist organisations put out calls for regular Friday protests to ″cleanse the province″.


Daesh resurgence in Libya

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 09:06

Simon Nelson and Charlotte Zalens

The fact that the perpetrator of the Manchester bombing, Salman Abedi, may have been part of a Daesh network in Libya has focused attention on the group outside of its main territories in Iraq and Syria. Daesh is known to have groups allied to it across the Middle East, Africa and Asia but in recent years their strength has grown in Libya.

The fall of Gaddafi lead to a series of fractured and splintered militias and rival governments fighting for control. The roots of Daesh in Libya lie with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, formed in the 1990s from remnants of the mujahideen who fought the

“Anti-imperialist”? Or just right-wing?

Published on: Thu, 10/11/2016 - 11:11

Colin Foster

The Philippines’ new president, Rodrigo Duterte, announced in Beijing on 21 October: “I announce my separation from the United States, both in military but economics also”.

“America has lost it... I realigned myself in your [China’s] ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world: China, Philippines and Russia”.

The Philippines, constituted as a political unit by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, were ceded to the USA as a colony after the Spanish-American war of 1898, and then won independence in 1946. The

Welfare or jail?

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 11:54

Wealthy Japan is suffering an wave of shoplifting by elderly people. They do it so in order to get themselves sent to jail so that they can get food and shelter.

Over the last 20-odd years, the number of elderly inmates in jail for repeating the same offence six times has risen 460 per cent.

Basic living costs for a single Japanese retiree are estimated at 25% higher than the basic state pension, about £5000 a year. Japan has long had a thinner welfare system than Europe. It relied on family networks instead. But now about 40% of the elderly live alone, and often have no family support.

Capitalism vs human life

Published on: Wed, 27/01/2016 - 11:34

Martin Thomas

Capitalism has created life-enhancing possibilities. It has even realised some of them. My older daughter has epilepsy. In pre-capitalist times, if she’d had medication at all, it would have had no, or harmful, effects, and the seizures would probably have become more severe until they disabled and killed her. Today, she has been able to end the seizures with just a few pills, without side-effects.

Not only in Britain, but in many poorer countries too, almost everyone learns to read and write, almost everyone has easy access to music and visual arts, a sizeable proportion can study at

New centres of capital

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 15:30

Rhodri Evans

As of 2014, “developing Asia” — China, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and other countries — became a bigger exporter of foreign direct investment than North America (the US and Canada) or the whole of Europe.

The United Nations agency which monitors such things, UNCTAD, reports that “developing economies” produced 36% of all foreign direct investment in 2014, up from less than 10% as recently as 2003 (UNCTAD World Investment Report 2015).

The shift is not a blip, or a sudden and temporary development due to economic difficulties in the USA and Europe. It is the latest step in a

Support the solidarity appeal by trade unions in Nepal!

Published on: Mon, 04/05/2015 - 12:25

The GEFONT trade union federation in Nepal has issued an appeal for solidarity. Please donate and spread the word!



30 Apr 2015

Unions in Nepal are appealing for solidarity support following Saturday’s devastating earthquake in the country, which has claimed the lives of nearly 5,500 people and injured thousands more.

The General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) has set up a relief fund to help people on the ground. It is the worst earthquake to hit the country for 80 years.

GEFONT has spent the week mobilizing people to rescue victims

Poverty multiplies Nepal earthquake toll

Published on: Wed, 29/04/2015 - 07:25

Gerry Bates

Shaheen Chughtai, an official with the charity Oxfam, has written that Nepal’s “ability to cope with a major disaster”, like the 25 April earthquake, is “crippled by the lack of the kind of economic and social infrastructure that people in richer nations take for granted”.

“I first arrived in Kathmandu in 2007 to begin a new job with Oxfam. I remember looking at the thousands of flimsy shacks and hovels lining Kathmandu’s dusty slums and the sturdier but still precarious multi-tiered family homes, the cheaply-built apartment blocks and ornate temples that collectively give the city its

Philippines: why the typhoon killed

Published on: Wed, 13/11/2013 - 13:02

One of the deadliest storms since records began hit the Philippines on 8 November. Over 10,000 people have died. Extracts from a declaration by the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM, a Filipino socialist party), on 10 November.

The people are still reeling from the impact of possibly the biggest typhoon to strike the country. Death toll numbers are rising rapidly. There is huge devastation.

Firstly, we have to support and take whatever measures are necessary to protect the people.

In the hardest hit city of Tacloban, in south eastern Visayas, the people are already taking what food and relief

The class struggle in Nepal

Published on: Mon, 18/02/2013 - 10:11

Class struggle in Nepal is in a period of “democratic reaction”. The masses feel betrayed. After the 2006 revolution, there has been no change in land and production relations. The revolutionary fervour has receded, and the revolution has been held back both by the opportunist leadership of the Maoists and the reactionary forces.

Nepal is a country where almost 75-80% of the population are engaged in agriculture, mainly subsistence farming. Most of them own only small pieces of land, or no land at all. Over the years, the question of revolutionary land reform has been raised during every

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