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latest news

New Zealand
Victory over zero-contract hours

24/05/2015: ‘Cotton On’ clothes retailer workers defeat attempt to remove rest and meal breaks

  New Zealand

Iraq/Syria
ISIS rout national armies at Ramadi and Palmyra

23/05/2015: United working class movement needed to sweep away sectarian militias and reactionary politicians

  Iraq, Syria

Britain
Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business

22/05/2015: The Labour leadership contest begs the question: what is the point of the Labour Party?

  Britain

Ireland North
Election marks growing rejection of sectarian status quo

21/05/2015: Opportunities to build new anti-sectarian political voice for working class and youth

  Ireland Republic

Spain
Is Podemos in crisis?

20/05/2015: Left and social movements in a state of flux, as key elections loom

  Spain

Britain
Build a movement to defeat Tories’ cuts savagery

20/05/2015: For massive union demonstrations, linked to a 24-hour general strike

  Britain

Ireland South
Vote ‘Yes’ to marriage equality!

19/05/2015: Referendum a product of long-waged campaign of struggle from below

  Ireland Republic

Greece
Subordination to Troika or rupture with austerity?

18/05/2015: The choices before the Greek working class

  Greece

North Cyprus
‘Moderate leftist’ wins presidential election on peace ticket

16/05/2015: Workers’ common front, north and south, can find solution to island’s division

  Cyprus

Chile
Huge demonstrations call for free education

15/05/2015: New chapter opens in country’s political and ‘moral’ crisis

  Chile

Australia
East-West toll road dispute concluded

15/05/2015: Local community direct action secures victory

  Australia

Ireland
Parliament suspended after PM tells Socialist MPs “where to go”

14/05/2015: Contemptuous remarks reflect government concerns over non-payment of water charges

  Ireland Republic

Britain
Organising against Tory austerity starts now

14/05/2015: Potential for industrial response to cuts but needs determined leadership and campaigning

  Britain

 Video
Joe Higgins TD questions former ECB president Jean Claude Trichet

13/05/2015: "When bankers and bondholders’ gambles crashed, their massive burden of private debt was placed onto the shoulders of the Irish people"

  Ireland Republic, Video

Sudan
Mass apathy towards elections

12/05/2015: Renewed struggle from below needed to put an end to Bashir’s rule

  Sudan

USA
Presidential candidate declares "political revolution" against billionaires

12/05/2015: Campaign needs to build independent political power

  US

Britain
Fight against "five more damned years" of Tory rule

12/05/2015: Labour leader’s ’responsible capitalism’ shows its bankruptcy

  Britain

China
“In a hard landing now”

11/05/2015: Stock market frenzy and fabricated GDP figures cannot hide the reality of an economy in deep trouble

  China

Scotland
Labour annihilated

11/05/2015: SNP sweeps to victory by posing as an anti-austerity alternative

  Scotland

Britain
With the votes of 24% of the electorate, Tories have no mandate for more savage cuts

11/05/2015: Labour’s failure puts centre stage the need for new mass anti-austerity force

  Britain

Poland
65,000 workers demonstrate against governments’ policies

07/05/2015: Plan of action for a general strike needed

  Poland

Ireland North
Socialist Party replies to leading Sinn Fein councillor’s attacks

06/05/2015: How to fight cuts, sectarianism and to build workers’ unity

  Ireland North

Britain
Russell Brand mistaken to sow illusions in Labour

06/05/2015: Russell Brand calls on people to elect a Labour government, saying Ed Miliband will ’listen’ and wants pressure from below

  Britain

May Day 2015
International workers’ day marked by marches and rallies

05/05/2015: Photo gallery of the CWI taking part in May Day event across the world

  May Day

Iceland
Fighting for better wages

05/05/2015: General strike called for 26 May

  Iceland

May Day 2015
Socialist plan or capitalist chaos

01/05/2015: What sort of new society are we struggling for?

  May Day

Nepal
Disaster in Nepal –amplified by capitalism

30/04/2015: Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the south Asian region has been further devastated by the recent earthquake.

  Nepal

US
Rage in Baltimore

29/04/2015: The aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death

  US

Book review
’No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance state’

29/04/2015: What the 1% will do to defend their class interests

  Review, US

 May Day 2015
Resisting austerity, exploitation, wars and oppression

28/04/2015: 125 years since first May Day – Build a united workers’ movement for socialism!

  CWI, May Day

Italy
Migrant disasters - the human cost of budget cuts

27/04/2015: From Mare Nostrum to Triton

  Italy

Latin America
A new turn?

25/04/2015: Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

  Latin America

US

Global capitalism fueling poverty and immigration

www.socialistworld.net, 01/05/2006
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

System change needed

Greg Beiter, Socialist Alternative, US

Recent years have seen a massive wave of immigration to the United States from the “Third world,” especially Latin America. Politicians and corporate media personalities like CNN’s Lou Dobbs continually attack these undocumented workers as “illegal aliens” and “criminals.”

The real criminals, however, are not immigrant workers, but the corporate chieftains and politicians who, in their insatiable lust for profits, plunder the natural resources of poor countries, set up sweatshops, and wage wars for oil and empire. It is their policies that create the grinding poverty and social breakdown throughout the neo-colonial world which forces millions to flee their home countries in search of work here.

While U.S. corporations earn record profits, 128 million people in Latin America live on less than $2 per day (USAID.org). More than 130 million have no access to safe drinking water, and only one in six persons enjoy adequate sanitation service (NACLA.org).

Big business sets up shop in all corners of the world, searching for the cheapest labor and slackest environmental regulations. They argue that in a globalised world we need “free trade” and capital should be free to pick up and move to any country with the best market conditions - yet they oppose the rights of workers to move to countries with more favorable labor markets.

The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, under Democratic President Bill Clinton, allowed U.S. companies to massively step up their assault on working people by laying-off unionized workers in the U.S. and setting up sweatshops across the Mexican border.

NAFTA has spelled a complete disaster for workers in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. U.S. workers have lost around 395,000 jobs, while their new jobs pay on average 23% less. Simultaneously, poverty has exploded in Mexico, with two-thirds of the population now living on less than $3 per day.

Millions of poor Mexican farmers have been driven into bankruptcy after being forced to compete with subsidized U.S. agribusiness (which relies on the cheap labor of Mexican immigrants, who are often paid less than minimum wage).

Most immigrant workers don’t want to leave their country of origin. They would prefer to stay with their families, where they know the language and culture. The risks they face coming to the U.S. are many: death in the desert, suffocation and starvation in shipping containers, or kidnapping and exploitation by smugglers.

Immigrants only come to the U.S. out of dire economic necessity. They come hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families – a goal they share in common with U.S. workers. However, this goal comes in direct conflict with the logic of capitalism and the desire of big business to maximize profits.

We can’t allow borders and nationality to divide us. In reality, workers of all countries have more in common with each other than we do with the bosses in our own countries. Although a U.S. worker and Bill Gates are both U.S. citizens, their lives are worlds apart. A U.S. worker and an immigrant worker are both likely living paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to get by, while Mr. Gates has billions of dollars to live in luxury.

Our struggle is international, a struggle against corporations that seek to increase profits by pitting workers in different countries against one another in a race to the bottom. If corporations can push down wages in Mexico and China - or among immigrant workers in the U.S. - they are in a stronger position to demand U.S. workers make similar concessions in order to “compete.” We see this playing out daily, from the auto industry to software development.

On the other hand, if workers in Mexico or China win higher wages and benefits, U.S. workers will be in a stronger economic position to demand better wages and benefits here.

Build the Latin American Labor Movement

As long as massive poverty is the norm in the “Third world,” no matter how many fences are built and laws are passed, millions of desperate workers will find a way into the U.S. and other industrialized countries in search of a better life, and multinational corporations will want to outsource as many jobs as possible to take advantage of cheap labor in poor countries.

The only viable answer to this situation is building the labor movement in Mexico and throughout Latin America to fight for decent jobs and living conditions. The U.S. labor movement needs an internationalist outlook, with a policy of mobilizing its massive resources – financial, human, and political – to help build the strongest possible workers’ movement in Mexico and Latin America.

A fighting workers’ movement in Latin America will very quickly come up against the narrow limits of capitalism in the neo-colonial world and the resistance of U.S. imperialism, as has happened again and again.

That is why the workers’ movement needs to be armed with a clear programme and strategy for overthrowing capitalism and replacing it with socialism, where working people have democratic control of their workplaces and the resources of their society.

Rather than U.S. corporations exploiting their labor and resources to make mega-profits for their owners, the workers of Latin America could use this wealth to create jobs, schools, hospitals, public services, and infrastructure.

The potential impact of such policies can be seen now in Venezuela, where the left-wing government of Hugo Chavez has used Venezuela’s oil revenue to benefit ordinary workers and peasants instead of enriching the elite, as was the tradition. However, the Venezuelan revolution has unfortunately not yet gone all the way in decisively toppling capitalism and instituting democratic socialism, which means these reforms are limited and precarious, as the Venezuelan capitalists and U.S. imperialism prepare for a counter-revolution.

International Socialism is the Solution

While some claim that globalization is rendering the nation-state obsolete, the reality is that capitalism needs national borders and nation-states. Corporate America uses the U.S. government to assert its interests - that’s why they spend so much money on lobbying and funding corporate politicians!

Big business needs its own nation-state and military to pursue its interests internationally against competitors, because it is in direct competition for the world’s markets and resources.

For example, U.S. capitalists engaged in a bitter dispute with their competitors in France, Germany, Russia, and China over the invasion of Iraq. U.S. imperialism out-muscled these countries, and used its military might to topple Saddam’s regime in an attempt to grab Iraq’s oil and assert its power over the Middle East. Today we see sharpening trade tensions between the U.S. and China and Europe.

Simultaneously, big business needs a state apparatus – police, military, courts, jails, etc. - to prevent the working class and oppressed at home from rising up. Just look at the racist “war on drugs” that has criminalized a generation of black and Latino youth, or the brutal state repression of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

The nation-state, which at one point in history played a progressive role in developing the economy and society, has now become a tremendous obstacle to the further development of society. With the development of global capitalism, our society and economy are increasingly globally integrated. Problems such as poverty, war, and global warming are international and cannot be solved on a narrow national basis. International coordination and planning is desperately needed.

However, with capitalist nations constantly divided by ruthless competition, genuine global cooperation is not possible. But there is a social force whose material interests compel it to organize together on an international plane - the working class. The working class is economically and socially bound together globally by capitalism. It is an international class that is united by common interests and faces a common enemy.

In taking power, the working class would be able to free the economy and society from the artificial confines of the national boundaries capitalism has established. Instead, a democratic socialist plan would link together the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with the rest of Latin America in a voluntary socialist confederation of the Americas to share our resources, knowledge, and technology.

A socialist confederation of the Americas would lay the foundation for decent living standards for working people across both continents, while protecting our environment. People would no longer be forced to leave their homeland for economic reasons, and free movement across borders would no longer be something to fear.

Only through fighting for a socialist world can we end this brutal capitalist system that pits workers against each other, seeks to take away our rights, and drives our living standards into the ground. When the workers of the world unite, the only thing we have to lose is our chains.



Europe

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Pakistan: Jawad Ahmad speaking at May Day rally held by International Youth and Workers Movement, 18/05/2015

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NEWS

New Zealand: Victory over zero-contract hours
24/05/2015, Joe Kelly, CWI NZ/Aotearoa:
‘Cotton On’ clothes retailer workers defeat attempt to remove rest and meal breaks

Britain: Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business
22/05/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The Labour leadership contest begs the question: what is the point of the Labour Party?

Britain: Build a movement to defeat Tories’ cuts savagery
20/05/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
For massive union demonstrations, linked to a 24-hour general strike

Ireland South: Vote ‘Yes’ to marriage equality!
19/05/2015, From the Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) website:
Referendum a product of long-waged campaign of struggle from below

Greece: Subordination to Troika or rupture with austerity?
18/05/2015, Editorial from Xekinima (no. 410, 6-20 May 2015), fortnightly newspaper of CWI Greece:
The choices before the Greek working class

Pakistan: Jawad Ahmad speaking at May Day rally held by International Youth and Workers Movement
18/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Video of May Day Rally and concert in Lahore

North Cyprus: ‘Moderate leftist’ wins presidential election on peace ticket
16/05/2015, Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus):
Workers’ common front, north and south, can find solution to island’s division

Chile: Huge demonstrations call for free education
15/05/2015, Patricio Guzman, Socialismo Revolcuionario (CWI in Chile):
New chapter opens in country’s political and ‘moral’ crisis

Australia: East-West toll road dispute concluded
15/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Australia) Reporters:
Local community direct action secures victory

Ireland: Parliament suspended after PM tells Socialist MPs “where to go”
14/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Contemptuous remarks reflect government concerns over non-payment of water charges

Britain: Organising against Tory austerity starts now
14/05/2015, John McInally, Public and Commercial Services Union national Vice-President (personal capacity), from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website:
Potential for industrial response to cuts but needs determined leadership and campaigning

Video: Joe Higgins TD questions former ECB president Jean Claude Trichet
13/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
"When bankers and bondholders’ gambles crashed, their massive burden of private debt was placed onto the shoulders of the Irish people"

Sudan: Mass apathy towards elections
12/05/2015, Sudanese CWI supporter:
Renewed struggle from below needed to put an end to Bashir’s rule

Scotland: Labour annihilated
11/05/2015, :
SNP sweeps to victory by posing as an anti-austerity alternative

Britain: With the votes of 24% of the electorate, Tories have no mandate for more savage cuts
11/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Labour’s failure puts centre stage the need for new mass anti-austerity force

Poland: 65,000 workers demonstrate against governments’ policies
07/05/2015, Alternatywa Socjalistyczna (CWI Poland) Reporters:
Plan of action for a general strike needed

Britain: Russell Brand mistaken to sow illusions in Labour
06/05/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Russell Brand calls on people to elect a Labour government, saying Ed Miliband will ’listen’ and wants pressure from below

May Day 2015: International workers’ day marked by marches and rallies
05/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Photo gallery of the CWI taking part in May Day event across the world

Iceland: Fighting for better wages
05/05/2015, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
General strike called for 26 May

US: Rage in Baltimore
29/04/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative, New York:
The aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death

Book review: ’No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance state’
29/04/2015, Reviewed by Tony Saunois, CWI:
What the 1% will do to defend their class interests

Kazakhstan: Presidential ‘election’ - Nazarbayev’s overwhelming victory no surprise
28/04/2015, Elizabeth Clarke, CWI:
Workers need to build mass opposition

Ireland North: Health Minister forced to resign after making homophobic remarks
27/04/2015, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
LGBT and women’s rights campaigners boosted

Italy: Migrant disasters - the human cost of budget cuts
27/04/2015, From web-site of ControCorrente (CWI in Italy):
From Mare Nostrum to Triton

Finland: Worst ever election result for traditional Left
24/04/2015, Jonas Brännberg and Juha Tapio for CWI in Finland:
Finns Party second biggest in parliament

Scotland: Labour face annihilation as millions seek an answer to austerity
23/04/2015, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
The SNP, according to the polls, will win 53 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster MPs

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Iraq/Syria: ISIS rout national armies at Ramadi and Palmyra
23/05/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
United working class movement needed to sweep away sectarian militias and reactionary politicians

Ireland North: Election marks growing rejection of sectarian status quo
21/05/2015, Daniel Waldron and Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
Opportunities to build new anti-sectarian political voice for working class and youth

Spain: Is Podemos in crisis?
20/05/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Left and social movements in a state of flux, as key elections loom

USA: Presidential candidate declares "political revolution" against billionaires
12/05/2015, Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative, Seattle:
Campaign needs to build independent political power

Britain: Fight against "five more damned years" of Tory rule
12/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party )CWI England & Wales) General Secretary:
Labour leader’s ’responsible capitalism’ shows its bankruptcy

China: “In a hard landing now”
11/05/2015, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Stock market frenzy and fabricated GDP figures cannot hide the reality of an economy in deep trouble

Ireland North: Socialist Party replies to leading Sinn Fein councillor’s attacks
06/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) Statement:
How to fight cuts, sectarianism and to build workers’ unity

May Day 2015: Socialist plan or capitalist chaos
01/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party General Secretary, (CWI England & Wales):
What sort of new society are we struggling for?

Nepal: Disaster in Nepal –amplified by capitalism
30/04/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the south Asian region has been further devastated by the recent earthquake.

May Day 2015: Resisting austerity, exploitation, wars and oppression
28/04/2015, CWI:
125 years since first May Day – Build a united workers’ movement for socialism!

Latin America: A new turn?
25/04/2015, Tony Saunois, article from May issue of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

Iran: Proposed nuclear deal reflects transformed Middle East
24/04/2015, Robert Bechert, CWI:
In aftermath of disastrous Iraq occupation, Obama administration balancing between region’s forces

Tunisia: After the Bardo terrorist attack
18/04/2015, Serge Jordan:
New class battles loom

Yemen: Brutal onslaught on country’s poor
15/04/2015, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the CWI England & Wales):
For unity of workers and poor against imperialism and sectarianism

Economy: What low oil prices cost the world economy
03/04/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The sudden plunge of oil and gas prices has underlined the volatility in the world capitalist economy

Israel: Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election
25/03/2015, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement, Israel-Palestine:
New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

Italy: The instability of domestic capitalism
24/03/2015, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

Greece: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer
23/03/2015, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

Belgium: No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity
20/03/2015, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
New action plan against right wing government takes off

Ukraine: Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement
18/03/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

Greece: Syriza’s first months in power
07/03/2015, Andreas Payiatsos, from Xekinima (newspaper of the CWI Greece):
The working class and social movements must enter the struggle for their rights

Quebec: Towards a hot spring
02/03/2015, Deirdre and Bruno, Socialist Alternative (CWI Quebec):
Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

Greece showdown
26/02/2015, Article to be published in the March issue of Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI in England and Wales):
Niall Mulholland interviewed NICOS ANASTASIADES, of Xekinima (CWI Greece), just as Syriza leaders agreed a four-month bail-out extension with the EU.

Libya: War-torn country becoming new hub for IS activities
25/02/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
Libyan people bearing the brunt of NATO’s fiasco

Europe: Eurozone time-bomb
25/02/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party of England and Wales):
Mired in recession, the eurozone is haunted by the spectre of stagnation