The end of The Underground – Signing off…

Dear readers,

ACA’s The Underground is closing down.

After 1 year of the online format we’re calling it a day. Finding support and contributors for TU has not been successful and rather than continue with 1 post a month it’s better we finish here and now after 1 year.

Thank you to all those who contributed to the blog.

Anton will continue to write over at MarxsRazor

Leon will continue to write over at Leon J Williams

Many thanks,

Leon

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

The Universality of Marx

The Universality of Marx By Loren Goldner

Shiraz Socialist

A comrade has drawn my attention to the following piece, which is an excellent critique of ‘identity’ politics – a problem, even in the 1980’s, when this piece (in part, a review of ‘Eurocentrism ‘, book by the Egyptian Marxist Samir Amin) was written. Matters are, of course, much worse now

(The following article originally appeared in New Politics , 1989)

The Universality of Marx
By Loren Goldner

A strange anomaly dominates the current social, political and cultural climate. World capitalism has for over fifteen years been sinking into its worst systemic crisis since the 1930’s, and one which in its biospheric dimensions is much worse than the 1930’s. At the same time, the social stratum which calls itself the left in Europe and the U.S. is in full retreat. In many advanced capitalist countries, and particularly in the U.S., that stratum increasingly suspects the world outlook of Karl…

View original post 3,557 more words

2010 Prison Population Totals

List of countries with more than 100,000 prisoners as a percentage of their population (from Prison Studies)

Rank Country Prisoners & of Population
1 United States of America 2,239,751 0.72%
2 Russian Federation 681,600 0.48%
3 Thailand 279,854 0.44%
4 South Africa 156,370 0.31%
5 Ukraine 137,965 0.30%
6 Iran 217,000 0.29%
7 Brazil 548,003 0.28%
8 Colombia 118,201 0.26%
9 Mexico 246,226 0.22%
10 Turkey 137,133 0.19%
11 Vietnam 130,180 0.15%
12 Ethiopia 112,361 0.13%
13 China 1,640,000 0.12%
14 Philippines 108,305 0.12%
15 Indonesia 144,332 0.06%
16 India 385,135 0.03%

UK; Student activists condemn police spying on protest groups

Socialist Students, one of the organisations at the heart of the 2010 student movement against tuition fees, has strongly condemned recent revelations about police surveillance of political campaigns and student activists. Students from the group, who are involved in organising against cuts, fees and privatisation on campuses, have said it ‘makes a mockery’ of the democratic right to protest in Britain.  This comes a day following a student demonstration against the closure of the University of London Union, which saw a large and heavy handed police presence prevent students from entering their own campus and, following which, the president of the students’ union has been arrested.

Edmund Schluessel, Socialist Students member and NUS National Executive Councillor said:

“The videos released give categorical evidence that the police targeted groups on a political basis, including those involved in peaceful protest. This follows several revelations of police surveillance of activists, which included systematic infiltration of groups like Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE) during the 1990s.The huge student movement of 2010 broke the consensus and in many ways humiliated the police. These are outrageous attacks on basic democratic freedoms and the right to protest. These surveillance techniques, coupled with heavy handed and often violent policing, are designed to limit the effectiveness of protests and intimidate demonstrators. Protest is increasingly becoming a criminalised act. Alongside this, anti-trade union laws are making strike action increasingly difficult to organise legally. Clearly, there is a deep seated fear at the heart of the establishment about the potential momentum that campaigns like these could gain. As brutal austerity intensifies and Cameron declares its permanency, it is vital that we defend the right to protest.”

Socialist Students is campaigning defend the right to protest. They plan to link up with other groups, such as YRE, to build the fight for democratic rights.

Significant drop in road accidents under Green transport policies

From the Green Party of England & Wales

Green Party of England and WalesAccidents on Brighton & Hove’s roads have fallen by a substantial 12.5% since the Greens took office, according to a major survey by the Department for Transport. At the same time, accidents across the South East fell by just 1% and in England as a whole by only 5%. And this is despite the fact that Brighton & Hove’s population is rising rapidly, with more people than ever before using the city’s streets.

At a time when the Greens’ flagship road policies are coming under fire from motorists’ and taxi drivers’ campaigns such as Unchain the Motorist, the survey provides substantial government evidence that Green transport policies are working: there are now one in eight fewer accidents than before the Green administration launched its transport initiative and a much higher drop in accidents than seen nationally or across the region.

Lead member for transport, Councillor Ian Davey, who has championed the Greens’ initiatives since day one, said: “This survey proves in black and white what we have been saying since we took office: we are introducing policies that make the roads of Brighton & Hove healthier and safer.

“Opposition councillors and pro-motorist campaigners want us to roll back time and return to the transport policies of the last administration. But do they also want more accidents on our roads each year? Because that’s what a roll-back would mean.

“Our streets are now safer. Sometimes people claim that Greens are anti-car. We are not anti-car but we are for safer streets for everyone. And that’s what this survey demonstrates we are achieving”

The survey result comes four months after it was revealed that the city’s roadside air quality had also improved markedly over two years.