The radical history of International Women’s Day

Janey Stone International Women’s Day has become mainstream in recent years. But historically it was a socialist event. Clara Zetkin, a leading member of the German Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the early 1900s, argued that the working class would never win its battles without women and raised the...CONTINUE READING

The history of Australia’s student radicalism

Mick Armstrong Union House, Melbourne University’s student union building, currently looks like a tenth rate shopping mall or food court. And that’s the way the powers that be would like it to stay. But in September 1971, Union House took on a dramatically different appearance. Hundreds of students were...CONTINUE READING

The man who broke the law fighting for women’s rights

Kim Doyle In the 1960s and ’70s, the illegal abortion industry was the basis for one of the most lucrative and enduring criminal rackets in Australian history. A million dollar police protection racket extorted money from doctors – some of whom mixed in prestigious social circles – who secretly perf...CONTINUE READING

Fighting women’s oppression today

Louise O’Shea, whose article ‘Marxism and Women’s Liberation’ appears in the latest Marxist Left Review , argues that Marxist analysis is central to the struggle for women’s liberation. When Canadian tennis player Genie Bouchard was asked who she would like to date, in a post-match intervi...CONTINUE READING

A response to Shane Bentley on Portugal

Tom O’Lincoln Shane Bentley ( Red Flag , Issue 16) raises three important issues about the 1974-75 Portuguese revolution. The first is that I called the PRP the “most promising” far left group. Shane rightly identifies the PRP’s lack of a clear Leninist perspective as a serious weakness. But he still us...CONTINUE READING

Women in the Russian Revolution

Louise O’Shea The Russian Revolution transformed the lives of women and struck a blow against sexism in a way no event before or after has done. The advances for women in the months following October 1917 – free abortion on demand, civil marriage, no-fault divorce, guaranteed state support for women wit...CONTINUE READING

Operation Coldstore in Singapore

Josh Kamil In the 1950s and 1960s, the British colony of Singapore was ablaze with radicalism. An insurgent workers’ and students’ movement gripped the Island. The demands were independence from Britain, better conditions for the masses, greater political freedom and unity with Malaya. But on 2 Febru...CONTINUE READING

Daniel Bensaïd’s Slow Impatience

Dougal McNeill Daniel Bensaïd, An Impatient Life , trans. David Fernbach (Verso, 2013) This absorbing, affecting memoir is a beautiful testament to a richly productive and dignified life. Daniel Bensaïd spent over forty years as a partisan of the revolutionary left in France, writing, campaigning, organi...CONTINUE READING

The Zapatistas’ legacy of rebellion

Patrick Weiniger Magdalena García Durán is an indigenous Mazahua woman from San Antonio Pueblo Nuevo in central Mexico. Commenting in the run-up to 20th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising in the distant southern state of Chiapas, she tells an interviewer: “Living as an indigenous woman in a big city is...CONTINUE READING