Contemporary Trends

This page is largely made up of links to reports and analysis covering contemporary trends in left parties and protest movements. More recent links are higher up the page.

A large collection of social movements articles

Recent protests in France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain, United States,

More recent updates on Contemporary trends in Left Parties and Protest Movements

state of social democratic left

discussion of crisis of European social democracy (Dec 2014) and discussion of termincal crisis (Jan 2015) – debate: is there a future for social democracy?

Policy Network:

May 2016

Jan 2016

July 2015

May 2015

March 2015

Jan/Feb 2015

Dec 2014

Nov 2014

state of radical left 

Paul Mason on rise of populist left

FT argues radical left is right about Europe’s debt (Nov 2014)

discussion of EP election results 2014

on Left Unity: here

on Podemos: here, here, here , here; Podemos leader (Pablo Iglesias) on the Left Can Win; interview and discussion in Red Pepper here

on Syriza: here on the decision to exclude women from central cabinethere and here; here Tsipras outlines Syriza position on Europe (Nov 2014)

on French Front de Gauche: here  

good academic article here: Giorgos Charalambous and Iasonas Lamprianou (early online – 2014)  ‘Societal Responses to the Post-2008 Economic Crisis among South European and Irish Radical Left Parties: Continuity or Change and Why?’ Government and Opposition.

South Korea 2015

anti-government protests turn violent (Nov 2015)

European anti-austerity protests

Frankfurt, blockupy and anti-austerity protests (March 2015)

here, here, here, and 4 lessons learned


Water protests (2014) – Andrew Flood discussion, and FT here

FT here

more here – and here: Protest works if it breaks rules


updated here – a discussion of 2015 protests

story here and more analysis here

and here on Romanian peasants’ struggle (not directly anti-austerity) (June 2014)


Spanish general strike – 29 March 2012


Discussion of Greek austerity and working class responses

France: Remi Fraisse protests (2014) 


Hong Kong pro-democracy/Occupy protests (2014)

more coverage from Sep 2014: here, some details on process of organising Occupy Central, NYT on difficulties faced by Beijing in controlling situation, here, pictures, social media reaction, on how crackdown by police drew more to streets and more  and again  and Economist slideshow; background discussion on alliance between pro-democracy groups and students; on their leaderless nature; discussion of how this relates to universal suffrage promise; students vow to escalate; and more pictures; video on winding down of protest (6 Oct 2014) and some reflections after the winding down; and how Beijing avoided any contagion, via hardline; and HK backs down over threat of force; Leung issues statement on “zero chance” for protesters (Oct 2014); barriers removed; critique of western media’s coverage of the protests; violent clashes as authorities attempt to disband remaining protesters and allegations of police beating; protest camp (‘umbrella square’) remains despite attempts to clear (17 Oct 2014); HK sets date for talks with protesters – which make little progress (20.10.14);  camp finally cleared (Nov 2014) and here  and ongoing fallout including hunger strike; analysis arguing that the protesters overplayed their hand; post-defeat reflections; vow to go on; protesters prosecuted

earlier coverage of the counter/pro-China protests: here and more here and again here

Coverage of Ferguson and St. Louis protests (August – Oct 2014) and later Baltimore/Freddie Gray protests (Apr 2015)

Baltimore/Freddie Gray

police officers charged (1.5.15)

Guardian coverage – Baltimore mayor’s response – Clinton’s response – discussion of how the riots relate to govenrment policy – FT coverage – discussion of curfew (and here)

initial riots begin (28.4.15) – covered here, here


backlash after 2 police killed (Dec 2014) – NYT video

New York/Eric Garner protests

NYT here

St. Louis

overview from NYT (Oct 2014); activists reject religious platitudes


video and NYT overview and newspaper reports: Governor blames police and on failure of national guard to prevent unrest and again; arrests ahead of grand jury evidenceevidence of police abuse of authority , and again with the video of officer go fuck yourself, who was eventually forced to resign and extended discussion here as well as claims that Church which was being used to shelter protesters raided by police;  Obama calls for calm and better race relations but his response is not received well by African-Americans and similar criticisms here; in photos; context: earlier bizarre charges – “did transfer blood to the uniform”; discussion of social media’s role; local anarchists interviewed on Ferguson; demonstrations continue amid calls for greater disruption; discussion of context/poor relations with militarised police; some concessions in the form of changes to the Ferguson legal system; backlash from Justice Department; police chief apology; 2 months later – tensions remain; response to Grand Jury verdict – here; context of protests in terms of judicial trends; racial misconduct exposed in Ferguson police department (March 2015)

John Oliver’s take:

Labour Party campaign (and post campaign leadership contest) for general election 2015

Lots of further relevant links here on debates within the Labour Party

Corbyn speaking in Birmingham

Corbyn interview

VIDEO – Marr interviews Corbyn (Jul 2015)

good overview of 4 candidates (June 2015)

good discussion of the labour-trade union link in the context of post-election leadership contest (June 2015)

Discussion of Labour leadership race after Umunna leaves (May 2015)

discussion of European press responses to GE2015 results

on EU

on public sector pay

experts discuss manifesto – and coverage here on all main Labour Party policies 

Miliband distances Labour from proligacy

Labour’s position on business (and more)- and promises to clamp down on zero-hour contracts

Miliband promises 5% cap on profits for NHS private providers (Mar 2015)

Labour’s 5 pledges (March 2015)

should Labour fear PASOKification? (Tim Bale, March 2015) – and similar article here (Doreen Massey and Michael Rustin)

on prospects of a Labour win in May 2015

Guardian: How Red is Red Ed?

Miliband suggests austerity-continuity position (Dec 2014)

Miliband sets out a number of policies – incl. buffer zones outside abortion clinics, votes for 16 year-olds (Dec 2014)

problems facing Labour Party (Nov 2014)

on why Labour don’t oust Ed Miliband and opinion poll data which suggests things aren’t too bad for Miliband (Nov 2014)

on Conference 2014: discussion of Balls’ attempts to re-position Labour as the party of (better) cuts;

article analysing Miliband’s One Nation Labour Party

One Nation Labour – Labour Party policy statement/review (July 2014)

‘Dead hand’ of Miliband? (June 2014) and more discussion of dead hands (June 2014)

Miliband adopts tough line on immigration (Oct 2014) and again in November – analysis here

Online and social media-related protests

protests against Orban’s “internet tax” (Oct 2014) – EU Commission also opposed – and Orban backs down

Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off in cyberspace


Impressions of Rojava (Dec 2014)

Spain anti-monarchy protest (June 2014)

overview (June 2014)

Surveys of contemporary protests

World Protests 2006-13: Cause is lack of ‘real democracy’

community groups becoming the new trade unions?

Recent trends in environmentalism

Good overview of current anti-Heathrow expansion groups

court ruling orders Netherlands to do more for the environment (June 2015)

Protest groups oppose Heathrow & Gatwick expansion (May 2015)

good discussion of interaction between green parties and centre-left parties (March 2015)

police violence at anti-fracking protest (May 2014)

Update on Latin American left

Latin America goes bottom-up – good discussion piece on attempts at grassroots/worker-led development strategies in Latin America (March 2015)

on crisis in Fernandez government (Jan/Feb 2015)discussion of Fernandez government (1.4.14) and on the rise of Marina Silva in Brazil (Sep 2014), and more on Silva and last-minute decline of Silva’s campaign (Oct 2014) and the FT’s take on Silva’s collapse here; Rouseff’s victory (oct 2014) and here and then faces massive anti-govt demonstrations (March 2015) (see also here and here) (further details of scandal here, March 2015, and discussion of poor turning back on Rouseff) and on polls blow following austerity agenda (Apr 2015)

Morales on verge of winning third election in Bolivia (Oct 2014) and some discusssion here and here on how he is set to be world’s most successful socialist; more detailed article here; and post-election FT interview with Morales here – “Evo for ever’ not an option’; and left critique here and another critique of Morales turning back on indigenous 

Ukraine protests 2014

on fragile deal aiming to end clashes (22 Feb 2014)

Autonomous Workers Union statement on situation in Ukraine (Feb 2014)

large collection of links/resources on Ukraine crisis

Venezuela protests 2014

another discussion on Venezuela (Feb 2014) and here on Venezuela at a crossroads and here from another anarchist perspective (protest is neither right coup nor working class) and here NYT on class basis to protests and discussion in the FT here and more here and discussion of violence suffered  by protesters in NYT

on right-wing nature of Venezuela’s 2014 protests (Feb 2014) and more discussion on the political content of the protests (right or left?) and here from an anarchist perspective

NYT on clampdown of public space to protest (Feb 2014)

Thai protests 2013-14

new book that might be of interest: MacGregor Marshall (2014) A Kingdom in Crisis: Thailand’s Struggle for Democracy in the Twenty-First Century (Zed).

declaration of martial law (May 2014) and military crackdown on anti-coup protests

disruption of vote (Jan 2014)

Conversation discussion (Dec 2013)

Brazil protests 2013

overview of Brazil protest (2013-4)

World Cup protests continue (May 2014) and clashes with police (June 2014)

Brazilian protests: Anatomy of a crisis

A Brazilian autumn?

Nobody knows what is happening

RT story

NYT on rapid escalation of protests


More updates on China labour unrest here

Good discussion of impact of increasingly militant China workers (June 2015) – and coverage of Shenzhen strikes

Massive protest in Linshui (May 2015) – and account in FT here

Stella strike over benefits in Dongguan (March 2015)

teacher strike represents unusual move towards public sector disruption (Nov 2014)

Paul Mason – details of migrant labour mobilisation and role of social media 

Guangzhou taxi driver strike (OCt 2014)

strikes after ban on mooncake gifts for workers (Sep 2014)

massive (and successful) port truckers’ strike (Aug 2014)

problems facing environmentalism in China (July 2014)

pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong (June 2014) and more

40,000 strike in Guangdong (April 2014) and 5 reasons this is terrifying (to transnational capitalism)

thousands in Maoming protest against environmental pollution (31.3.14) and spreads to Guangzhou and police crackdown and court case marks crackdown on labour unrest (15.4.14) and Government backs down over charges against labour activist Wu Guijin (9.6.14)

interesting discussion of protest/dissent in China, and weakness of China’s “contentious-authoritarianism” model and its potential breakdown/replacement

official China union takes on Walmart (March 2014) and profile of strike leader

on the rising power of China’s labour activists (Feb 2014)

FT op-ed on trade unions in China

environmental protests in China

Chinese workers foxconned and more here on the move away from factories in Chinese labour market

bargaining power grows for striking Chinese workers (2010)

Turkey protests 2013-14

on new book: challenging neoliberalism at Turkey’s Gezi Park

discussion of AKP’s working class base (and how it retained support despite protests) (June 2014)

Turkey protests as indication of support for democracy (June 2014)

discussion of Gezi Park protests, from citizenship perspective

Detailed overview of developments in Gezi Park – from anarchist perspective

implications of Turkey protest for debates on democracy and unchecked power of governments

Amnesty International statement

Human Rights Watch statement

conservative backlash creates prospect for a ‘Turkish winter’

Vice News: the battle of Taksim Square

repression of protesters/medics

Guardian blog updating on Turkey demonstrations

Analysis: The limits of Turkey’s neoliberal success

Red Pepper: Erdogan and the ‘looters’

Photos from Taksim square and occupy Gezi

report: protesters take control of Taksim Square (2 June 2013)

more photos (ROAR)

some background analysis

report on Saturday 1 June

why we should care about #OccupyGezi

Quebec student strike

Theory and Event (2012) – special issue on the Quebec Student Strike

evaluation of achievements of Quebec Student Strike

The history of the Quebec student movement and combative unionism (tour notes)

and Quebec/Montreal 2015

here and on represssion here

Academic updates

special issue on the role of new media and social unrest

book on contemporary revolutionary movements

Wallerstein on 2011 and strategic debates facing the left

conference report on trade unions and transnational solidarity

social democratic party initiatives

Predistribution: proposal for reinvigorating the British Labour Party

Left Party Updates

state of centre-left (Nov 2014)

France: discussions of recent divisions (Sep 2014)

Spain: rising electoral support for  United Left (IU) and discussion of Podemos

Left Unity – a new party of the Left?

Obama and left parties

Discussion of the rise of the Dutch Socialist Party

Update on German Left Party (Die Linke) – leadership crisis

Breakthrough of the ‘Left Front’ in France – Red Pepper article on Melenchon etc.

Nigerian protests against removal of fuel subsidies

update on Nigerian strikes

list of protests/links

more mainstream coverage here

Occupy Protests

Where are the Occupy protesters now (June 2014) – Todd Gitlin

on US state monitoring of Occupy participants (May 2014)

critique: 5 liberal tendencies that plagued Occupy and reflections on Occupy: Post-Occupied

McMilan verdict (Guardian and NYT) – and a response on implications for police violence and letter from jurors requesting no prison sentence (8 May 2014)

occupy theorists launch militant research

on links between Occupy and Istanbul/Brazil protests of 2013

Excellent survey of OWS participants

Privatization and Protest: Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Toronto, and the Occupation of Public Space in a Democracy

Occupy Wall Street & Occupy London & Occupy Birmingham

Occupy London sets out demands & Occupy Demands: Let’s radicalise out analysis

special issue of Theory and Event on Occupy and Berkeley journal of sociology articles & another special issue and a special issue of Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies

David Graeber – Occupy’s anarchist roots

A Deleuzian analysis of the Occupy movement

Occupy Homes

academic groups: #OccupyIRTheory & OccupyIRtheoryFBpage & OccupyPoliticalScience

Economists statement on OWS

Full list of Occupy Protests

3 thoughts on Occupy & Reflections & the next steps

Guardian Occupy stories & Naomi Wolf controversy & police crackdown and more on repression

Occupy Rome 15 October 2011

Pictures from Occupy Wall Street and more here and poll here showing broad support for Occupy Wall Street and interviews with participants here

Interviews from Occupy London Stock Exchange

Interesting Leninist take on #OccupyLSX

Account of Occupy Oakland and another one here, including response to call for General Strike

Discussion on impact of OWS

Left Parties responding to Crisis

The Left in Europe, by Pierre Moscovici (Parti Socialiste)

Policy Network – A Centre-Left Project for New Times

Latin American pink tide

Two views on Evo Morales and Bolivia

UK Riots

Reading (on) the Riot Act: list of media reports and comments from The Free Association


London Insurrection roundup

Society and Space – Environment and Plannning D – relevant articles

Reading the Riots – Guardian analysis


Three months of struggle: an overview of the #SpanishRevolution

The #spanishrevolution – a view from the frontline

video of life in Puerta del Sol

anarchists reflect on the May 15 movement in Spain

Anti-cuts movements (international)

Greek Left Review blog

Some interesting reflections on the interconnectedness of contemporary protest movements.

Attempts at a ‘Jasmine revolution’ in China

USuncut – and discussion here

Discussion on Wisconsin protests and update here and report on police support for sit-in – and victory for Wisconsin movement (via a referendum) here and a critical evaluation of the Wisconsin campaign

More on Wisconsin here, here and here – and also here and here – and video here

North African/Middle East uprisings 2010-11

More recent updates here

Updated discussion of fallout of Arab Spring in Egypt (May 2015)

impact on women (April 2014) and no freedom of religion (April 2014) and on Blair’s views

repression in Egypt following military coup and on mass death sentences issued against supporters of Morsi (March 2014)

Wildcat reflections on Egypt uprising, coup, and ensuing class struggle

Discussion on 3-year anniversary of Mubarak’s removal from power (2014)

Brutal repression of Muslim Brotherhood sit-in protests 14.8.13

New book on Egyptian revolution – Soldiers, Spies and Statesmen

Workers’ movement in Egypt

Class Struggle and This Thing Named ‘the Middle East’, by Melancholic Troglodytes – interesting style of prose… – although, for those easily shocked, there’s a picture of a penis on the front page.

Three powerfully wrong – and wrongly powerful – American narratives about the Arab Spring

Understanding the Revolutions of 2011, Jack Goldstone (Foreign Affairs)

Marxist discussion of Arab revolutions

Updates on Libyan uprising and discussion on international reaction in The Commune


women and the Egyptian revolution

Trotskyite analysis of Egyptian revolution

anarchist blog on Egyptian revolution

Zizek and Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan on Egyptian revolution

Occupied London reports on Cairo

StratFOR report on the Egypt Crisis

A New Independent Labour Union in Egypt

Tunisia – timeline

UK Anti-Cuts Campaign 2010-11

Discussion: whatever happened to the anti-austerity movement? (August 2014)

Time to cut the anti-cuts campaigns? – interesting critique

Block the Bridge, Block the Bill

sparks’ dispute

Update on charges against Fortnum and Mason UK Uncut arrestees

UK Uncut – good discussion here on its development

UK Uncut video

Impact on corporations targetted

Discussion in Liberal Conspiracy

Police repression tactics – CS spray

Trade Union threats of joint action

Strike threat in Higher Education

Reflections on student protests

Anti-fees student movement

update on internaitonal student fees movement (March 2015)

Australia 2015

2014 protest

Times Higher piece on the “bloody-minded determination of the state to prosecute anti-fees demonstrators”

Fight Back! A Reader on the Winter of Protest

UoB anti-fees student movement – and petition in support of those being disciplined and first occupation of academic year 2011-12

December Tuition Fee protest

video clips

Comparison between student protests and civil rights movement


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