On Tuesday March 10, hundreds of migrant construction workers went on a brief illegal strike at the Fountain Views construction site in Dubai. This strike shows how the explosive contradictions of worsening life and working conditions facing migrant workers in the Gulf are reaching a point where repression and blackmail are not enough to hold workers down.

As a new spree of terrorist attacks unravels with increasing frequency, the menace of Islamic fundamentalist terror seems to be beyond the control of the ruling elite, their state and their system. The haughty claims of the moneyed political elite, of uniting against “terrorism” and for “national unity” have proved to be boastful absurdities and hypocritical deceptions.

Hossein Shariatmadari, the powerful editor of the Iranian right-wing daily Keyhan, was disrupted time and time again as he tried to speak at Tehran University on 13 December. The hundreds of students gathered in the call would interrupt him with slogans such as "Leave, interrogator!", "Keyhan, Israel congratulations on your unity", "Death to reaction" "Shame on you, liar, leave the university". This open defiance of the students clearly shook Shariatmadari, who as a close confidant of Ayatollah Khamenei is one of the most reactionary voices of the regime.

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