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Greece
H&M workers score victory against management plans

28/03/2017: Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

  Greece

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#JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success

28/03/2017: Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

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Russia/Belarus
A week-end of mass protests

27/03/2017: New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

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Hong Kong
Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship

27/03/2017: Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

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Britain
Terror attack at Westminster

24/03/2017: Unite against terror, racism and war

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Italy
Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis

22/03/2017: Class struggle can build real left force

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Spain
Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

21/03/2017: Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

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Scotland
Second referendum on independence?

18/03/2017: SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

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Brazil
National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten

17/03/2017: For a one-day general strike as the next step

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South Africa
Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

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Netherlands
Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government

16/03/2017: Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

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Yemen
Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies

16/03/2017: International campaign needed to force companies to pay

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Hong Kong
Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman

14/03/2017: Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

  Hong Kong

Ireland North
Snap election raises sectarian temperature    

14/03/2017: Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

  Ireland North

Quebec
Counter protest against far-right

13/03/2017: Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

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 International Women's Day
Speech by Kshama Sawant

12/03/2017: Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

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 International Women’s Day
Millions join marches and take action

10/03/2017: Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

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 Hong Kong
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 Spain
Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike

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Pakistan
Political spectacle of the ruling class

08/03/2017: Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

  Pakistan

 International Women’s Day 2017
A century on from the Russian Revolution

06/03/2017: Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

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Britain
Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won

06/03/2017: Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

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Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

04/03/2017: Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

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Hong Kong’s sham election

03/03/2017: Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

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US
Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress

02/03/2017: Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

  US

Sweden
“Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017: What is behind Trump's attack?

  Sweden

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

23/02/2017: Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

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Ireland
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22/02/2017: Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

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February revolution 1917
What lessons for today?

21/02/2017: 23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

  Russian Revolution

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International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers

20/02/2017: Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

  Solidarity, Yemen

South Africa

Student protests erupt at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg

www.socialistworld.net, 30/04/2004
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

While South Africa is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the end of the Apartheid regime, students at Wits University in Johannesburg are protesting against cuts in university funding and cuts in student bursaries.

Weizmann Hamilton, South Africa

Students at Wits University received letters on April 19 which announced that their bursaries will be cut by 50%. This would subsequently lead to a situation where 35% of the 25,000 students would be forced to leave university.

Enraged by the proposals, students gathered spontaneously to discuss how to organise protests against those proposals.

Students disrupted classes to explain the proposals to their fellow students and thousands of students at Wits joined in a continuous toyi-toyi (a traditional protest dance rooted in the Anti-Apartheid movement).

The initial reaction of the management of Wits University was to condemn the protests and to consider calling in the police and bouncers from night clubs in order to maintain what they called “law and order”.

The vice-chancellor, Loyiso Nongxa, whose car was damaged during the protests, and the outgoing minister of education, Kader Asmal, condemned the students’ actions.

The vice chancellor earning R700,000 a year commented that students needed to learn that they have got to pay for services.

Wits University, which is reported to have R7 billions in investments in stocks and bonds, claims that government cut backs have forced them to cut down the student financial aid budget by R80 million.

In order to save and defend their own privileges, the university authorities chose to make the poor students pay. This is another step to make education the privilege of the rich who can afford to pay for their studies while students from a working class or poor background will be confronted with a grim future. They are confronted with the prospect of either not being able to finish their studies or having to pay off a huge amount of debt, which will make a lot of working class children stay away from universities.

This is not only the case for Wits University but affects other universities, such as the University of KwaZulu Natal as well.

Socialist Student Movement (SSM), a campaigning organisation which was set up by Democratic Socialist Movement, the South African affiliate of the CWI, was active in the protests and explained that it is necessary to lead a campaign that demands the full reinstatement of the student bursaries. SSM argues the need for a campaign that rejects the idea that students become the victims of the neo-liberal agenda that is conducted by the ANC (African National Congress) government.

Unfortunately, the students’ struggle was hijacked by the unrepresentative Student Representative Council (SRC), and the ANC-aligned South African Student Congress and the ANC Youth League. The latter clearly came under pressure from the ANC leadership to restore order and to ensure that all the protests will be called off as soon as possible.

At the moment, it seems to be the case that they have succeeded in doing so. Following a long meeting with the Minister of Education and the university management last night, the SRC has agreed to call off the protests and has compromised on the issue of the 50% cuts in bursaries. The 50% cuts in financial aid have not been withdrawn but for the time being, no student will be forced to leave university.

It speaks for itself that that the SRC has agreed to join the university in a fundraising campaign and has agreed to give R400,000 of its own funds.

The protest at Wits University erupted as the 10th anniversary celebrations of the end of the Apartheid regime were taking place. They continued during the inauguration of the president on April 27. Mbeki acknowledged that “endemic and widespread poverty continue to disfigure the face of (the) country” and pledged that “the struggle to eradicate poverty has been and will continue to be a central part of the effort to build the new South Africa”.

However, the main reason why endemic and widespread poverty continues is because the ANC government has adopted a neo-liberal policy and programme which stands for privatisation and deregulation. The gap between rich and poor becomes bigger and the government is increasingly attacking the poor and the working class.

In effect, tuition fees deny the overwhelming majority of black working class students the possibility to go to university. Those who do manage to get into university and even finish their studies will leave university with huge debts. Their degrees are going to be withheld until the fees are paid.

So far, Mbeki has refused to accept an invitation to visit Wits University until the composition of the management team and staff reflects the demographics of the country. Mbeki complains that that the university is still controlled by a white “old guard”. The irony is however, that the proposed cuts will be implemented under the university’s first black vice-chancellor. The overwhelming majority of students affected by the cuts will be black working-class students.

While President Mbeki demands a “transformation” at the top of society and, subsequently, also at Wits University, his neo-liberal policy is the best guarantee that Wits University will once again turn into a predominantly white university as was the case under Apartheid.

The SRC’s compromise will not be a solution. It will only postpone the crisis. Even if it looks likely at the moment that those students who are threatened with immediate expulsions, will be allowed back into classes, the problem itself is not solved.

SSM says that education is a right and not a privilege of a minority. We believe that it is vital to campaign for the right for free and decent education for all. As long as politics are conducted in the interests of the rich, it is going to be the working class who will have to suffer.

SSM also explained that Wits is not an exception, similar developments are taking place in different universities across the country.

At the newly merged University of KwaZulu Natal, students are threatened with not being allowed to re-register for the next academic year if they are in debt. Students who are not registered don’t get their scripts marked.

The government’s cut backs have effectively ensured that so-called Historically Black Universities (created by the apartheid regime to keep education racially segregated), are starved of funds.

Fort Hare University, where many of the leaders of the South African liberation movement studied, has one photocopying machine for 7000 students.

The government boasts of producing the cheapest electricity in the world and the parasitical Eskom generates most of the continent’s electricity, but Fort Hare students have to cook their weekend meals on a Friday because the electricity cuts off on a Friday afternoon and only returns on Sunday afternoon.

Political student societies are not allowed to participate in SRC elections and students who enter the vice-chancellor’s office must have their shirts tucked in and remove their hats!

After the SSM was hosted on Fort Hare radio last month, it was shut down. The tertiary education merger process has reduced the number of universities from 36 to 21. It has led to an increase in tuition fees because the fees are adapted to the higher level of the merging institutions. It means that more and more black working class students will be excluded, aggravating a crisis that is forcing more than 1 million students to drop out of school every year from grade 1 -- 11.



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NEWS

Greece: H&M workers score victory against management plans
28/03/2017, Statement (slightly edited) by Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

Solidarity: #JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success
28/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

Russia/Belarus: A week-end of mass protests
27/03/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) Reporters:
New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

Hong Kong: Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship
27/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

Britain: Terror attack at Westminster
24/03/2017, Judy Beishon, from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website :
Unite against terror, racism and war

Belarus: Protesters flood onto streets demanding scrapping of “law against parasites”
21/03/2017, Daniil Raskolnikov (translation of article from the Russian CWI site www.socialist.news):
President Lukashenko must go!

Spain: Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March
21/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE), Spanish Students' Union :
Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

Scotland: Second referendum on independence?
18/03/2017, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) :
SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia
17/03/2017, Shaun Arendse, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI South Africa):
Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

International Women’s Day: March in Malaysia and week of activity in Belgium
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Reports from Kuala Lumpur and Brussels

Netherlands: Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government
16/03/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

Russian Revolution: March 1917 - After the fall of Czarism, what next for the revolution?
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
New article on 1917revolution.org

Hong Kong: Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman
14/03/2017, Sally Tang Mei-ching, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

Quebec: Counter protest against far-right
13/03/2017, Michele Hehn, Alternative Socialiste (CWI in Quebec) :
Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

International Women's Day: Speech by Kshama Sawant
12/03/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

International Women’s Day: Millions join marches and take action
10/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

Hong Kong: Women’s march against sexism and racism
09/03/2017, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) reporters:
International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

Spain: Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike
08/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes, students’ union in the Spanish state :
‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

Pakistan: Political spectacle of the ruling class
08/03/2017, Tariq Shahzad, National Organiser of IYWM (International Youth and Workers Movement) :
Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

Britain: Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won
06/03/2017, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) deputy general secretary :
Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

Egypt: Price hikes hit workers and middle classes
04/03/2017, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) :
Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

Hong Kong’s sham election
03/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action:
Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

US: Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress
02/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

Catalonia: Historic demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees
25/02/2017, Esquerra Revolucionària :
'Volem acollir'

Sweden: “Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
What is behind Trump's attack?

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Italy: Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis
22/03/2017, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrrente, (CWI in Italy) :
Class struggle can build real left force

Brazil: National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten


17/03/2017, André Ferrari LSR (CWI in Brazil) :
For a one-day general strike as the next step

Yemen: Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies
16/03/2017, Cedric Gerome, CWI :
International campaign needed to force companies to pay

Ireland North: Snap election raises sectarian temperature    
14/03/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

International Women’s Day 2017: A century on from the Russian Revolution
06/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI :
Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

February revolution 1917: What lessons for today?
21/02/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), printed in the Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party):
23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

India: Upheaval in Tamil Nadu
09/02/2017, Sajith Attepuram, New Socialist Alternative (NSA) (CWI India) :
Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

Britain: Universal basic income demand gains ground
08/02/2017, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales) :
What approach should socialists take?

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification
06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

France: After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out
06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

Syria: Is an end to the war in sight?
03/02/2017, Serge Jordan (CWI) :
New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

Sri Lanka: The year 2017
31/01/2017, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) :
Between oppression and struggle

Canada: Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?
31/01/2017, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto

:
Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

Russian Revolution Centenary: January 1917 - On the eve of revolution
29/01/2017, Niall Mulholland, from 1917revolution.org :
War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

Afghanistan: The limits of US power
28/01/2017, Judy Beishon, from Socialism Today (February 2017 issue), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales)<br />
<br />
:
Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

US: Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!
27/01/2017, Bryan Koulouris, Socialist Alternative, US :
Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

Millions on women's marches around the world
25/01/2017, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and reports from US marches :
Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

China: New US President’s approach to China
21/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info :
Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

Ireland North: Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly
17/01/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Build a socialist alternative to the ‘Orange’ versus ‘Green’ headcount

Spain: What kind of Podemos do workers and youth need?
17/01/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spanish state, editorial :
Debate within leadership touches on fundamental issues for future of party

US: Trump prepares vicious attacks
05/01/2017, Philip Locker and Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative (US):
Mass resistance needed!

Russian Revolution centenary
02/01/2017, Editorial from Socialism Today, Dec/Jan 2017 edition:
Defending the legacy in a new era

2017:Upheaval and fightback will continue
01/01/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary :
Everything to play for in 2017

Britain's shifting political contours
22/12/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) from Socialism Today Dec/Jan 2017 edition :
Capitalist establishment in disarray

CWI International Executive Committee: European capitalism “battered by events”
16/12/2016, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Report of discussion on Europe at CWI IEC meeting in November