Workers' struggles in China (October 2009)

A round-up of links to reports about struggles in China.

Tropical waterfight: the struggle for basic services in Caracas, Venezuela

A combination of climate change and an incompetent, inefficient state bureaucracy has left basic services such as water and electricity as something of a luxury for many caraqueños, and contrary to the rhetoric of the chavista propaganda machine, it's a situation that is worsening.

Film Fictions of the Iraq War

Tom Jennings examines television and cinema stories about the US/UK ‘war on terror’ in terms of the notion that ‘war is the health of the state’.

Another Life, by Andrew Vachss

Tom Jennings salutes the eyepatched crusader’s superhero child abuse revengers on their final outing.

Shirking 9 to 5: diary of a reluctant temp

An agency worker recalls several years' temping in London, trying to help his co-workers and do as little work as possible.

Pragmatism as ideology

Whenever I get into a political discussion these days I find myself accused of ‘dogma’, ‘ideological blinkers’, ‘detached ultra-left purism’ and so on. Now maybe that’s true.

The anarchist International

This thread got me thinking yesterday about how little decent information exists on the IWA — the biggest anarchist project of all time.

The Street, series 3, by Jimmy McGovern, BBC 1

The final series of The Street demonstrates the possibilities and limitations of its form – both of which may now disappear from television drama

Workers' struggles in China (September 2009)

A round-up of links to reports about struggles in China.

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.