Tehran is repeating the Shah’s mistakes

The Iranian province of Khuzestan is oil-rich but water-poor. At the best of times, the southwestern region is a problem for Tehran. On the border with Iraq, it’s home to an Arab minority that has long been targeted. The province has separatist inclinations, which led to a failed uprising in 1979 and sees the occasional attack continue to this day. Unsurprisingly, it is not favoured by central government. It’s impoverished and lacks many basic services; quality of life is poor. Khuzestan is now in its sixth straight day of protests after water shortages in its major cities. Video footage filmed from protests reportedly shows tanks on fire after protestors set

Spain’s anarchists are rioting

Michael Bakunin, the 19th century revolutionary Russian anarchist, identified Spain as the place where his creed was most likely to take root. In 1868, to get the ball rolling, Bakunin dispatched his disciple, Giuseppi Fanelli, to Spain. After some difficulty in raising the money for his train fare, Fanelli finally arrived in Madrid where he was introduced to a small group of printers who attended a working-class educational institute. Although Fanelli spoke only Italian and French and most of the print workers spoke only Spanish, his address made a dramatic impact. A shortage of money meant Fanelli could not stay long but he left behind copies of Bakunin’s speeches. These

Germany’s far-right and the rise of the anti-corona protests

Germany has been in uproar over the events that unfolded this Saturday, when 38,000 protesters gathered in Berlin and clashed with the police. The organisers of the gathering, entitled Umdenken (Rethinking), claimed they wanted to show their frustration at government measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Among the 38,000 were at least 3,000 far-right sympathisers and extremists, according to Berlin’s interior minister. The run-up to Saturday’s protests was already marked by controversy, as Berlin’s local government had initially banned the gathering due to concerns that the event could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus. As is often the case in Germany when governments ban political protests, a

How a serious issue with racism was reduced to a tick-boxing exercise

Who needs statue topplers when the state will do it for you? Some bright spark in authority has decided the way to defend the statues on Parliament Square is to board them up. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has taken his lead from protesters and started a national trend, with councils setting up posses of the unelected to assess whose statues might survive the great 2020 cull. Meanwhile, the BBC, so terrified of bad PR, has pre-emptively removed from its i-player an iconic episode of Fawlty Towers, written as a satire on Little Englander mentality. Own goals all round. What started out as a genuine, furious, international reaction to the