The decades after World War Two were marked by increasing politicisation around the world. Greece was no different. While the left was defeated in the Greek civil war, which ended in 1949, socialists, through the leadership of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), continued to organise. This led to arrests, repression and even executions of anyone associated with the KKE.
The issue of Catalonian independence has returned to the forefront of Spanish politics in recent weeks. At least 170,000 people protested in Madrid on 18 November against an amnesty deal for 400 people who were arrested for their involvement in a 2017 independence referendum. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) signed the deal with two Catalonian political parties and the Basque Nationalist Party in return for support to form government.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, the response from Western leaders was immediate and unequivocal. Condemnation was heaped upon Russian President Vladimir Putin for his brutal military advance, which, as tanks rolled along the highways in a first thrust towards Kyiv, was already imposing a devastating toll on the Ukrainian people.
As survivors gathered in the southern Italian island of Lampedusa in October to commemorate the tenth anniversary of one of the most deadly drownings of refugees in the Mediterranean, European leaders met to discuss further plans to deport refugees and prevent asylum seekers gaining entry to Europe.
The political establishment in many imperialist Western countries is worried that young people are not buying into the narrative that Israel is the victim in the current wave of Middle East violence. Students are often on the frontlines of protest in many cities around the world. In recent days, they have taken to the streets and campuses to protest in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. This has been met with repression—from banning marches or campus meetings, disciplinary action against students who speak out, and moving to outlaw pro-Palestine groups.
On July 25, Russian intellectual and socialist activist Boris Kagarlitsky was detained and accused of “justifying terrorism” by the Federal Security Service (FSB) before being transported to the city of Syktyvkar, 1300 kilometres from Moscow. There, in a closed hearing and without his lawyer present, a court ordered that he be detained until his trial in late September, where he faces the possibility of up to seven years in prison.