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Theory & History

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‘Better to rust out than to wear out’: The radical legacy of Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866)

The inscription, ‘Wept by her brother’s scaffold’, was the sole memorial on the previously unmarked grave of one of Ireland’s greatest revolutionary women.  Throughout her 96 years, Mary Ann McCracken worked tirelessly as an abolitionist and led successful prison reform schemes. She ensured the eradication of the practice of using climbing boys to sweep chimneys and made substantial contributions to the women’s suffrage movement, as well as implementing transformative ideas on the education and care of children within workhouses.
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“Derry – This was murder” – 50 years since Bloody Sunday

Sunday, 30 January 1972 saw one of the bloodiest and most callous atrocities committed during the Troubles. In an event that would become known as Bloody Sunday, British paratroopers (paras) fired indiscriminate live rounds into a crowd of unarmed civil rights protesters in Derry. This was state-sanctioned and premeditated murder, resulting in the deaths of 14 innocent people.
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World Economy: Where is the Recovery Going?

There is much to say about the so-called “post-pandemic” economic rebound. The figures look impressive, but warnings are manifold. New heights in inequality between rich and poor are pouring petrol on existing social tensions, and producing new ones. Spiraling food prices are provoking further social explosions. Capitalism’s disastrously slow, uneven and inefficient vaccine rollout leads to more contagious and vaccine-resistant brands of the virus. Inflationary pressures could force central banks to tighten monetary policy and plunge the economy back into recession. Moreover, there are the many challenges which already existed before the pandemic and have become bigger, more imminent, and more urgent: ecological tipping points, the new Cold War, the accumulation of debt, lack of investment in productive capacity etc.
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50 years since internment – what did Marxists say?

This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of Operation Demetrius and the start of internment without trial, introduced by the reactionary Unionist government at Stormont and the British state. This brutal repressive action saw hundreds of innocent, working-class people rounded up across Northern Ireland by the British army and jailed in a matter of days. 
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Shrewsbury pickets: at last found innocent

The recent Court of Appeals judgement that all of the Shrewsbury pickets’ criminal convictions of 1974 was based on inadequate evidence and should be overturned must be welcome. After 47 years, it is a stunning exoneration of trade unionists who suffered imprisonment and criminal convictions as a result of a vindictive and systematic campaign by the state.