Brian Parkin

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An image of two construction workers on a scaffold. Keywords: Covid coronavirus shut the sites unsafe work safety

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists revisited

Construction workers have been among the hardest-hit by Covid-19, with profit-hungry bosses keeping sites open throughout the pandemic.

Obituary: Mike Cooley, architect and bee

Brian Parkin pays tribue to Mike Cooley, a modest and inspiring trade union leader with a lifelong vision of a liberated technology, redirected to serving human need.
Ravenscraig

Post-war to post-industrial Scotland

Successive British governments have restructured the Scottish economy in damaging ways. Now we need a radical plan for a de-carbonised and independent Scotland.

Review: Who the hell is… Karl Marx?

Manus McGrogan's new introduction to Marx and Marxism combines theory with a vision of a world free of exploitation and oppression.

Not an atom of truth

It is a dangerous fantasy to think that nuclear energy can be part of a ‘green’ recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic or any form of solution to the climate catastrophe.

Naming of parts 2020

Poem by Brian Parkin, based on an original by Harry Reed. Illustration by Mark Winter.

Overdue! A just transition for Scotland

As convergent crises confront the North Sea oil and gas industry with its rapid demise, the need for a just transition for Scottish workers is more urgent than ever.

British Steel: workers’ rights disregarded

The return of a Tory MP from Redcar, whose steel plant closed in 2017, is a symptom of a feeling of abandonment in many former industrial communities. Brian Parkin looks at the prospect for resistance in what remains of the British steel industry
25 April 1983

revolutionary reflections | Portugal’s revolution portrayed

Raquel Varela’s new history of the Portuguese revolution is essential reading for revolutionary socialists, argues Brian Parkin.

revolutionary reflections | Endgames of US petro-imperialism?

Brian Parkin explains some of the contradictions of the energy markets and the process of US imperial decline in an era of climate catastrophe

Latest articles

A ceramic portrait of Jules Vallès

The Paris Commune: the Cry of the People

Over the coming three months rs21 will use articles from the Commune's leading newspaper, Le Cri du peuple (the Cry of the People)
Image shows a blue placard that reads "USS pension strike. We Earned It. We deserve it. We demand it."

The Tories are robbing our pensions by stealth

The Tories have sneaked through an obscure change to the Retail Price Index (RPI) that means big reductions in many pensions and downward pressure on pay. Unite activist Ian Allinson explains.
Image shows picketing workers at Go North West with a anner that reads Our Key Workers Deserve Better.

Ten strikes that need your solidarity

As strike activity ramps up again, rs21 brings together ten strikes you should know about this month. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic there...
A photo of ships in Istanbul taken in 1854

Review | A Brief History of Commercial Capitalism

Nick Evans reviews a new book that calls for a radical rethinking of the history of capitalism.
Photo from an action against Elbit Systems showing two protesters sitting in a doorway in front of the weapons factory's graffitied door, which reads 'Shut Elbit Down'. Fake blood is poured across the steps in front of them, as well as a sign that reads 'Ouch'.

‘That’s the power of direct action’: an interview with Palestine Action

On Feb 1 2021, Palestine Action and XR North shut down the Elbit Systems factory in Oldham. rs21 spoke with Huda and Richard from Palestine Action about Elbit, Palestine and direct action tactics.
Image shows a row of workers in Ritzy Strikes Back shirts holding bright yellow and red flags and banners on the picket line.

Tactics of resistance: what’s the point of pickets?

In part two of a series looking at differing tactics for winning battles in the workplace, Derek Fraser looks at picketing, and how it can be used successfully in the current context.

Highlights

Photo from an action against Elbit Systems showing two protesters sitting in a doorway in front of the weapons factory's graffitied door, which reads 'Shut Elbit Down'. Fake blood is poured across the steps in front of them, as well as a sign that reads 'Ouch'.

‘That’s the power of direct action’: an interview with Palestine Action

On Feb 1 2021, Palestine Action and XR North shut down the Elbit Systems factory in Oldham. rs21 spoke with Huda and Richard from Palestine Action about Elbit, Palestine and direct action tactics.
A pro-independence rally in Glasgow, January 2020.

Scotland, the left and independence

If the British state breaks up, will Scottish independence be a serious progressive change, or just a neoliberal reshuffle?

Poland’s feminist uprising

Women in Poland are making their own cause for hope by taking the streets. rs21 spoke with several feminist activists in Polish union Inicjatywa Pracownicza about the recent wave of feminist strikes and protests.
A squad of riot police march past the National Gallery in London.

What does abolition mean in modern Britain?

The Black Lives Matter movement has sown seeds of hope worldwide for the abolition of police. But policing in the UK goes far beyond the bodies of armed men in uniform.

Fortress Europe after Moria

After Moria burned to the ground, a new camp was quickly built to replace it. We interviewed Chloe Haralambous and Michalis Poulimas about events on the ground and what they mean for the EU border regime.
Wildfires in California in 2015

Global fever

The Covid-19 pandemic is a foretaste of the approaching climate catastrophe. Andreas Malm's electrifying new book looks at both these crises and asks what we'll need to do to face them down.