Welcome to the final issue of Fightback for 2013.
Fightback does not take money from the state or big business, and sustaining a monthly anti-capitalist publication during this period is no easy feat. For these reasons we thank our buyers, subscribers, and everyone who has contributed to Fightback over the last year.
In November, Aotearoa/NZ saw a nationwide day of action against rape culture, which Fightback supported because we see the struggle for gender liberation as essential to the struggle for socialism. Thousands gathered in Auckland and Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Palmerston North and Hamilton to voice their opposition to both sexual violence, and the system that enables it/
In the lead-up to the rape culture rallies, the self-titled ‘Roastbusters,’ teenage boys who carried out a series of sexual assaults and then boasted about it on Facebook, had found mainstream media attention. Crucially, it transpired that not only had the police known about the boys for two years, and received four complaints, they did nothing to investigate the case; one of the boys was an officer’s son.
While the state and other reactionary forces used this opportunity to call for greater surveillance power, feminist, socialist and progressive forces highlighted how this was not an isolated incident. Rather, the police cover-up illuminated the wider problem of ‘rape culture,’ an ingrained system which justifies and denies sexual violence.
Sexual violence exists throughout society, even in nominally progressive organisations. Challenging this violence is necessary to human liberation. Fightback covers perspectives on rape culture, gendered violence and the Roastbusters case from pages 4-11.
Meanwhile in the USA, Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant was the first openly socialist candidate to win a Seattle City Council seat in decades. While this is a modest victory, it shows both a shift in consciousness in an environment historically hostile to socialist politics, and the benefits of sustained work in the community.
In her council position Sawant will have little power to implement her policies such as a $15 minimum wage, however she is using the platform to promote socialist politics. At her election night party, Sawant took the opportunity to call for workers’ control of factories owned by Boeing, which is the biggest employer in the state, currently threatening to move jobs out of the region. Fightback reprints more detailed coverage of Sawant’s campaign from pages 12-14.
We’ll be back next year.