Workers' struggles around Asia (September 2009)

A round-up of links to reports about workers' struggles around Asia (excluding China). Updated 1/10/2009.

Trotspotting: Everything you always wanted to know about sects (but were afraid to ask)...

A guide to the mysterious world of the British far left.

Frozen River, directed by Courtney Hunt

This heartfelt debut film about dodgy decisions prompted by force of circumstance is several cuts above standard American independent cinema fare

Update on pollution protests in China

The huge number of cases of lead poisoning and other forms of pollution throughout China continue to trigger protests even as authorities attempt the issues. Here are some updates on what's going on.

Fools and their "gold-plated" pensions

Public sector workers have been fools. No more so than private sector workers, for sure, but it has been a breathtaking level of foolishness across the board which has led to the imminent extinction of the entire concept of final salary pensions*.

Various protests from Cambodia to Malaysia, and Sweden.

Here are some links to articles on various protests that have taken place recently in Cambodia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and a strike by Vietnamese workers in Sweden.

Looking For Eric, directed by Ken Loach

Genre-bending postmodern agitprop, or hamfisted hackneyed magic realism? Tom Jennings reckons responses to Looking For Eric depend on how generous you’re feeling

Speech Therapy, by Speech Debelle (Big Dada Records)

This impressive UK hip-hop album is distinctive in both lyrical and musical humility, but with skills to spare

Indonesian villagers blockade nickel mine, win concessions

Villagers in Sorowako, Sulawesi, blockaded a major road to a mine owned by Inco, Indonesia's largest nickel company, after it announced restructuring plans.

New report on the state of the worker's movement in China

China Labour Bulletin published a report based on a study of 100 different workers' protests, which found that workers there are becoming more effective in organising outside union structures.

Wendy and Lucy, directed by Kelly Reichardt

This beautifully judged rites of passage (non-) shaggy dog story combines searing critique with genuine pathos.

Recent events in China (July)

Taxis strikes, environmental protests, sit-ins and the aftermath of other events previously reported on libcom.

Sources for news on Asia

I'm going to be posting links to news from Asia (mainly China and Taiwan) for me or others to write up later. For reference, here is a list of sources I currently use to find news.

Goldacre: 'Argument is about capitalism, not food '

organic food

Ben Goldacre points to the analogies between the 'organic' food argument and the BigPharma vs homeopathy/'alternative medicine' - mainly that all niches will be filled under capitalism.

I blame the parents!

Popular media coverage often lays the blame for youth problems at the feet of parents. New report shows that contrary to received opinion, parents actually take greater interest in what their kids are up to now and monitor their activities more.

State of Play, directed by Kevin Macdonald

State of Play’s pretensions to contemporary relevance break down into a bungled bog-standard retro-romp, finds Tom Jennings

Impressions on the commute

For the last three months I've been spending a good portion of my time in commute-land, a rattling, faded bastion of middle-class conservatism and low-level lebensraum crammed into the 08.30 from Norwich to London.

Hopefully, this is soon to come to a blessed end and I can start waking up in a London bed, with London traffic and London impoliteness to look forward to as I make the jump from Suffolk buh to City cynic. Which makes this a good time to have a think about exactly what I learned on the trip down.

In the Loop, directed by Armando Iannucci

Venturing out of Westminster reveals the limits of The Thick Of It’s satire, concludes Tom Jennings

Endgame, written by Paula Milne, Channel 4

Fact-based South African television drama? Emphatically not, says Tom Jennings

MMA and straightedge - nazis fuck off

Don't you hate it when you're into stuff and complete pieces of shit are into it too?