The autumn issue of the MENA Solidarity Campaign’s quarterly magazine, Middle East Solidarity features reports from Anne Alexander and Tom Kay on the workers in Mahalla al-Kubra in Egypt who took strike action in August last year, and from Gianni del Panta on walkouts in Algeria. As Alexander and Kay put it, the Mahalla strike “is a clear sign of the regime’s difficulties in containing rising anger at the intense economic pressure on Egyptian workers following the imposition of a raft of austerity measures by the regime…in order to meet the conditions for a loan from the International Monetary Fund”. This issue also includes a piece by trade union activist Souad Jellal on women in Morocco and a useful article by Richard Donnelly on the civil war in Libya, which provides context to the recent reports of slave auctions across the country.
The Irish Marxist Review (issue 19) includes a timely critique, by Owen McCormack, of efforts to create a green capitalism and articles by Kim Young-ik from Workers’ Solidarity in South Korea and by Bangladeshi scholar Md. Mahmudul Hasan on the Rohingya crisis. Brian O’Boyle reminds us that corruption has long been a feature of party politics in Ireland, while Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin outlines a Marxist approach to mental distress.
In his article “Sinn Féin in 2017” Seamus O’Kane updates the IMR’s coverage of the shifting fortunes of the party, now the third largest party in the South and the second party in the North of Ireland in terms of seats held. As O’Kane explains, Sinn Féin is undertaking efforts to renew its image and bring in a new leadership. Several individual members have expressed their support for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment preventing abortion in the South, although the party as a whole remains divided over the issue. In the North they have found themselves administering privatisation and austerity. “Unable to break out of this neoliberal consensus, Sinn Féin is only able to pursue identity politics as it seeks to balance the North’s Unionist ‘identity’ with an Irish nationalist one”.