Street-Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties

Published by Verso, 2005

A new edition of Tariq Ali’s memoirs, featuring the John Lennon/Yoko Ono interview ‘Power to the People’ and an important new introduction.

In Street-Fighting Years Tariq Ali revisits his formative years as a young radical. It is a story that takes us from Paris and Prague to Hanoi and Bolivia, meeting such figures as Malcolm X, Bertrand Russell, Marlon Brando, Henry Kissinger, and Mick Jagger along the way. In vivid detail, Ali captures the mood and energy of those years as he tracks the growing significance of the nascent protest movement.

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From the archive

  • ‘Pakistan will not forget’

    October 13, 2005

    ‘Pakistan will not forget’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, October 12, 2005

    Why have US, German and British forces in Afghanistan not been mobilised to save lives?

    The scale of the disaster has traumatised the entire country—or perhaps not quite. Here in Lahore a group of people collecting funds for earthquake relief were apprehended and charged. They were amassing money for themselves. Even in the midst of devastation, life goes on. The global media have descended on the country, their reports repeating the same images and the same banal comments every few minutes. Soon they will move on, so that when they are really needed, to monitor relief efforts and reconstruction or keep watch on the funds, they will no longer be there. The citizens of the west will also forget. But Pakistan will never be able  …

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • LRB Diary

    May 30, 2014

    Conversations in Cairo are punctuated by dates: 11 February (Mubarak’s fall), 24 June (Morsi’s election), 30 June (Sisi’s coup), which takes a bit of getting used to. On the street murals depicting the martyrs are defaced with black ink; barbed wire, state-constructed barricades and gates used to seal off roads remain in place. My publisher, Karem Youssef, talks me through the geography of the uprising, describing how she herself was radicalised as week followed week. It’s too soon to treat the events nostalgically since, according to some, they are not yet over. I’m not sure about that, but what is indisputable is that hope is dead.

    During and after the uprising Mubarak’s name stood for amorality, cynicism, duplicity, corruption, greed and opportunism. A few months after Morsi’s triumph at the polls, the same adjectives were being used to describe his rule,  …

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • The AAP is more confusionist than anarchist

    February 10, 2014

    The following is an interview with Tariq Ali conducted by the Times of India

     

    How do you analyse the AAP phenomenon — is this anarchism entering politics with street protests becoming a popular mode of official expression?

    AAP is one of the many parties on the globe that’s benefited from a widespread distrust of politicians and mainstream politics. People feel disenfranchised — whoever rules, their conditions remain the same. In Italy, the Five Star movement stormed into national parliament on a similar basis.

    These are effectively single-issue parties. AAP is more confusionist than anarchist. As for elected governments mobilising people on the streets, why not? History is shaped by the nameless masses.

    But can AAP, which shifts from leftist resistance against FDI to populist promises of subsidised water and electricity, provide a coherent economic roadmap?

    It is contradictory. All  …