Storming the Capitol

Lego Capitol

Trump set their touchpaper alight They marched there tooled up for a fight They’re so convinced that they are right And most still live – because they’re white

Black culture and resistance: the Harlem Renaissance

Augusta Savage

Published in Solidarity 569:     One hundred years ago, an arts movement was forming in a mainly-black district of New York City. Later known as the Harlem Renaissance, it was primarily cultural but also inescapably political. Literature, poetry, jazz, … Read more

Clerihew: Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes Wrote poems in the rhythm of the blues He gave folk the shivers With ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers’

Poems of the Harlem Renaissance


I have contributed this short article to Black History Month activities where I work. Poems of the Harlem Renaissance – recommended by Janine Booth Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Claude McKay were all black American poets who were part of … Read more

Uproot, Depart

Riots in Minneapolis following police murder of George Floyd

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” But when did the executing start? When did the racist recruiting start? And when will the prosecuting start? That will be when the suits will start elocuting and refuting parts, disputing and diluting … Read more

Coronavirus Has Caught Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro

He was socially close, untamed, unmasked His magic medicine uncasked He didn’t care so he never asked He’ll brush it off, he’s so athletic The tough guy, leading man aesthetic No chance it makes him empathetic He’ll rise above like … Read more

One And All


When my team lost to a goal in the last five minutes of the match from a free kick that should never have been given and got relegated and my face went down with them, you didn’t tell me that … Read more

Bearing Down

George Floyd memorial

The white power cap on the top of the head of the cop with his knee on the neck of the man on the floor by the pass- enger door Who said please I can’t breathe and who called for … Read more

Da Capa al Coda

Riots in Minneapolis following police murder of George Floyd

They held a peaceful protest People didn’t notice Nothing changed Then they rioted and burned The world watched and learned, views exchanged The respectable people said Their cause is just, but why must they riot? Why don’t they hold a … Read more

Stonewall Was a Riot

Stonewall Was a Riot

Stonewall Was a Riot It wasn’t the Stonewall focus group or the Stonewall business case It wasn’t the Stonewall let’s-present- our-most-acceptable-face Long years of asking nicely had not got us anywhere Our rulers did not hear us when we whispered: … Read more

Stonewall Was A Riot


From the pamphlet, Radical Chains: sexuality and class politics, 1999: “The rallying point of the gay liberation movement … the bar riot that ushered in the gay rights movement” … “Stonewall is the emblematic event in lesbian and gay history … Read more

1919 – Throwing off the shackles of Empire


Also published on the Workers’ Liberty website here.   After Britain and its Allies had won the war, proclaiming themselves champions of freedom and democracy, the people of its imperial possessions stepped up their democratic demand for some of that … Read more

1919 – Divided by Racism


While workers were angry and willing to fight, too often their anger was aimed at fellow workers of a different colour rather than at the employers and authorities responsible for their exploitation and poverty. Sometimes this occurred in the absence … Read more

The Joker and the Trump


Boris Johnson nominates the President of the United States He says the Nobel Prize for Peace should go to Donald Trump But that joker has been played before No satire in it any more Irony died, doesn’t he see? when … Read more

Video: Hallelujah President Trump


The marvellous Modern Minstrels sing Janine’s lyrics to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, with a fabulous selection of appropriate images.

On Shitholes


A place becomes a shithole when someone digs a hole and shits in it Someone like you, Donald Trump, and all the rulers and raiders and tin-pot dictators the speculators and devastators the extractors and the malefactors Shitholes, however unpleasant, … Read more

Off Your Knees


Keep politics out of sport Black lives may matter but all that matters here is the score Keep politics out of football because standing up for the national anthem  is not political but kneeling for it is Keep politics off … Read more

The Price of Progress: Capitalism and Cancer


After my breast cancer surgery, the factors which indicate whether I would benefit from chemotherapy were inconclusive. There was one further test available. The Oncotype DX test examines the activity of 21 genes in the tumour tissue of patients with … Read more

How Leonard Learned


The true story of how Leonard Cohen learned his guitar style … Leonard walked in Murray Hill Park  And heard a young man play Circled by listeners and courting them In some mysterious way With black hair and acoustic guitar … Read more

Hallelujah President Trump


Once more with apologies to Leonard Cohen … It never was a secret plan The rise to power of Macho Man He never used a subtle schmooze to woo you Behold the hero of the hour The billionaire who fought the … Read more