‘Surfing rabbi’ wheeled out

Published in Weekly Worker, 28th October 2011

The October 24 English Defence League march to the Israeli embassy “in solidarity with Israel” was virtually ignored by Unite Against Fascism. “Palestinians stink,” I heard a female voice shout, as I made my way from the October 23 anti-cuts march in central London to Covent Garden, the day before the English Defence League’s pro-Israel demonstration. Why, it was Roberta Moore, the lovely lady of the EDL’s ‘Jewish Division’, who had decided to brighten up our Saturday afternoon with a bit of racism. Continue reading

Uncritical Stalinists?

This poster was plastered on the walls of Manchester University by a group called Communist Students last week, inviting to a “debate and discussion on Stalinism, what it is, and why we oppose it”. What does it say in huge letters? “Stalinism is anti-communism”. A clear enough statement, right? -Read more>

Black power jazz and the cultural shifts of the 70s

A review of ‘Freedom Rhythm & Sound – Revolutionary Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement 1963-82′, 2 CDs on Soul Jazz Records.

“No America, no jazz”, said jazz legend Art Blakey, “I’ve seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Africa.” His statement would not have raised an eyebrow in 1950s America. Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie played the odd benefit gig for the emerging civil rights movement, but by and large race was not an issue in culturally liberal jazz circles. Continue reading