2 February 2018

Turkish attacks on Syrian Kurds must be condemned

Under the name 'Operation Olive Branch', Turkish troops, with the support of a range of militias, including Jihadists, have attacked the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria. According to Ankara, the attacks are aimed at the Kurdish YPG militia, which it views as an ally of the PKK, which is fighting in Turkey for a Kurdish state. The attack left as many as hundreds of civilians dead. The United Nations estimates that at least 5,000 people have been forced to flee.

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1 February 2018

Break the power of Big Tech

A self-drive car is at risk of being involved in an accident. The car now has two options: either it can crash into the conventional vehicle in front of it, which might injure the driver, or it swerves on to the pavement, where bystanders are then endangered. The chance of the driver of the conventional vehicle being injured is then greatly reduced, but the consequences for the pedestrians if the self-drive car chooses the second option will be greater. The car will of course do only what it has been programmed to do. But who makes this sort of decision when new technologies are being programmed?

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30 January 2018

SP Congress in militant mood: Not for the few, but for each other!

“The future is not for predatory capitalism, but for the people. The future doesn't belong to the market, but to us. Together we will fight for a world where it isn't the interests of the few which count, but those of us all.” This was the theme of Lilian Marijnissen's speech to the SP Congress, her first since she became the party's leader late last year.

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18 January 2018

No Dutch weapons to belligerent nations in Yemen

Hundreds of children have died in Yemen during the past year as a result of air raids conducted by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, while numerous schools, hospitals and mosques have been damaged. SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut is urging Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra to do all he can in the UN Security Council to bring about a cease-fire by all parties in Yemen. The Netherlands is currently in the second of its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. “The bombing must stop,” says Karabulut. “The blockade must be lifted so that food aid and medicines can reach the Yemeni people. And we need an arms embargo to be imposed on the countries taking part in the bombing.”

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15 January 2018

Stop the European race to the bottom

Years of struggle have gone into this: after Belgium and Germany, we now have in the Netherlands also a ban on truck drivers, most of whom come from eastern Europe, spending entire weekends in their cabs on lorry parks during their compulsory rest periods. So it's to be welcomed that transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of the centre-right VVD actually joined a team of people this weekend distributing flyers informing the drivers about this new ban. This is a big step forwards in two ways: better conditions for drivers and a government minister from a right-wing party willing to go out and distribute flyers.

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12 January 2018

Support the Iranian struggle for bread, jobs and freedom

“Just like everywhere else in the world, the fight must be waged from below.”

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12 January 2018

SP, Labour and Green Left call for halt to investments in nuclear arms

On Thursday the biggest of the Netherlands' pension funds, ABP, which caters for civil servants and teachers, announced that it was ceasing all investment in nuclear weapons. Expressing her delight at the decision, SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut said: “After years of campaigning by peace activists, the ABP has now come around. The campaigners deserve not only our congratulations but also our support in the fight for a world free of nuclear weapons.”

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7 January 2018

For René

René worked for 22 years at Organon in Oss, as did thousands of others in the town. In every street lived someone who worked at the pharmaceutical company, either in the research laboratories or the factory. I was born and grew up in Organon's back yard. For us, Organon was much more than just work: for a hundred years it was the pride of our town. And it was known across the world as the inventor of the contraceptive pill.

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27 December 2017

A Socialist returns to the United States

What happens in the United States becomes to a great degree reality in our own country within ten years. That's why in 1993 we made a study of the condition of the US in regard to such matters as wages and profits, labour laws and working conditions, education, health care, housing and integration. The visit provided the inspiration for a book, Tegenstemmen, published in 1996 and translated into English as Enough! A Socialist Bites Back. Three further trips ensued, in 1997, 2002 and then in October 2017, almost a quarter century after the first visit. During that most recent of visits three questions took centre-stage. 1. What are the similarities and differences between the 1990s and now? 2. How could Donald Trump be the White House's new resident? 3. What explains the success of Bernie Sanders? To prepare for this we spoke to many journalists, columnists and correspondents, analysing the political situation in the US. Once there we met with dozens of people from different interest groups and with different viewpoints.

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