Bits from elsewhere

The East African Railway Strike, 1959-60: labour’s challenge of inter-territorialism

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David Hyde examines a pivotal working-class struggle which erupted within East Africa’s transport system near the end of the colonial period. Though this was arguably the most important working-class struggle to occur during the decolonisation process within Britain’s African colonies, it has been rarely acknowledged and barely attended to.

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Elephant and Castle redevelopment shelved as residents storm Southwark Council

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Southwark Council has been forced to bow to community pressure, temporarily shelving the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle shopping centre on a night which saw anti-gentrification protesters storm the council's offices.

We will need to stay active in our communities and keep a close eye on Southwark to stop the continuing destruction of Elephant & Castle HASL

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Rock for beginners – Miguel Amorós

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A condensed social and political history of rock music, from its historical roots in Afro-American rhythm and blues, to its appropriation by white artists during the 50s, its commercialization during the late 50s, its rebirth as a dissident cultural phenomenon during the 60s, its relation to youth counterculture, folk music and political dissent during the Vietnam War era, the role played by the big festivals and drugs, its decline as a creative movement during the early 70s as it was totally commercialized and turned into a commodity serving the escapist and conformist imperatives of the dominant system, and its final eclipse by monotonous “dance music” and vapid “entertainment”.

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Iran: Bread. Jobs. Freedom.

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We are publishing this dispatch direct from an activist in Iran, trying to make some sense of the current wave of protests. The situation is moving so quickly, and the protests sufficiently diffuse, that anyone claiming to know what will happen can be disregarded. The contribution we can make is to ask questions, to look at what has happened, is happening; and only from that speculate about what might happen in the future. We hope that more will contribute to this effort in the coming days and weeks.

The catastrophe of the earthquake was not just a natural phenomenon, but it pulled down the curtain hiding the poverty of the western region of the country. The people were healing from the trauma, when the economic earthquake came. Armin Sadeghi

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The Standard Telephones and Cables strike, 1973

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The Standard Telephones and Cables strike in 1973 was one of a wave of strikes by black and asian workers confronting both the racism of their white colleagues and management, and sabotage from their own trade unions in the 1970s. It was preceded by the Mansfield Hosiery strike in 1972, and followed by the Imperial Typewriters strike in 1974.

I told the personnel manager that the woodpile he referred to was likely to become the funeral pyre of this factory if they don’t get the situation under control. Ted Corbett

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