Song of hope and solidarity

The organisers of the John McDonnell rally on Saturday March 31 were pleased with the turnout of those supporting the leftwing Labour MP's bid for the leadership of the party. Mark Fischer reports

After a little bit of slow start, well over 400 people eventually packed into the Shaw Theatre as attendance reached its peak. Unless, however, they had their 'things can only get better' specs on, the organisers were probably less thrilled by the age demographic on show. Despite the frequent references to the way the John for Leader campaign had mobilised youth to its banner (and there are certainly a number of young people centrally involved) the audience featured the usual preponderance of grey heads.

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Letters

Growing pains; Missing; Red sub; Youthful activity; Timid; Internationalism; Iraqi terror; 9/11 truth; Slurred words; Can’t believe it; The whole truth; Ideal soldier

Communist Students

New scramble for Africa?

Fifty years after African colonies began to win formal independence from the imperialists Nick Rogers looks at the continent's political and economic significance today

Party and programme

The Campaign for a Marxist Party held its first meeting in Sheffield in the form of a day school on March 31. Phil Walden reports

Right tightens grip

International from the start

Mike Macnair continues his polemic against the 'national democratic revolution' schema of the Revolutionary Democratic Group's Dave Craig

Fight slavery in all its forms

Eddie Ford on the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery in Britain - and the distorted pictures painted of William Wilberforce

My enemy's enemy

While the establishment celebrates the 25th anniversary of the British victory in the Falklands war, Jim Moody looks back at the role of the left

Whatever happened to student radicalism?

The National Union of Students annual conference was held from March 27-29. Ben Lewis and Dave Isaacson report on the consolidation of rightwing control

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