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latest news

Britain
Terror attack at Westminster

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

  Britain

Italy
Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis

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

  Italy

Spain
Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

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

  Spain

Scotland
Second referendum on independence?

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

  Scotland

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

  Brazil

South Africa
Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

17/03/2017: Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

  South Africa

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

  Netherlands

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

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

  Yemen

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

  Quebec

 International Women's Day
Speech by Kshama Sawant

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

  Women

 International Women’s Day
Millions join marches and take action

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

  Women

 Hong Kong
Women’s march against sexism and racism

09/03/2017: International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

  Women

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

08/03/2017: ‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

  Women

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

  Women

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

  Britain

Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

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

  Egypt

Hong Kong’s sham election

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

  Hong Kong

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!

  Ireland Republic

Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

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

  Ireland Republic

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

 Yemen
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

Netherlands
Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections

18/02/2017: Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

  Netherlands

Britain
Council cuts can be fought - and they must be

16/02/2017: Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

  Aceh

Spain
Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress

15/02/2017: Time to build the class struggle on the streets

  Spain

Europe

No to the bosses EU, for a Socialist Europe!

www.socialistworld.net, 01/01/1998
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Over the last few months, all over Europe, from France to Greece, Belgium to Italy, Germany to Spain, there have been mass protests against unemployment and cuts, and struggles for improved living standards.

 

Unemployment continues to rise in most of Europe. Even where the economy is currently growing, as in Britain, the attacks on public services continue and pay is held down. While the rich get richer we are told that working people’s living standards must fall.

It is clearer and clearer that the EMU preparations are a cover for a concerted attack on living standards. In an increasing number of countries the Maastricht Treaty and EMU have come to symbolise attacks on living standards. As European Union leaders’ plans become clearer there is growing popular hostility to the EU itself. Whether or not EMU actually starts, the drive to cut living standards will continue.

Today hardly any European government is offering its population a better future. We are told that if we work harder and make sacrifices today improvement will one day come. Which day and how much of an improvement are always left vague!

During the 1980s many governments tried to use ’divide and rule’ tactics, mainly attacking the poorer sectors. The one attempt to attack almost an entire population, Thatcher’s Poll Tax in Britain, was decisively beaten by a mass movement which forced Thatcher herself to resign. But now each government is trying to widen the net of those caught in the vicious circle of "de-regulation", casualisation, temporary contract work, enforced part-time work, cuts in spending, lower benefits, raising retirement ages and cutting pensions.

The result is that today there is growing anger and frustration among the working and middle classes. There is a growing feeling that the established politicians and structures have nothing to do with ordinary working people.

Added to this is the deepening understanding that the EU is run by and for big business. This is reinforced by the fact that EMU would hand even greater power to unelected and increasingly unaccountable central bankers. The Maastricht Treaty’s "Social Chapter" is little more than the sugar coating for the bitter pill of formally putting economic policy into the hands of unelected central bankers and top bureaucrats.

Active, angry resistance is growing and is starting to win some victories. Up to now the most striking example is France. The 1995 movement forced the Juppé government to back off from some of its attacks. Last year’s determined struggle of the French lorry drivers was supported by a clear majority in the country. Against the trend in the rest of Europe they won a lowering of the retirement age to 55. This has inspired a wave of similar struggles in France.

But while French workers have shown that determined struggle can win gains, experience has also shown that the capitalists will return to the attack to try to reverse their defeats.

The attack on living standards which started during the 1980s was not accidental. It was a result of a slowdown in the world economy and falling profit rates. Clear signs of this were the reappearance of permanent mass unemployment in every European country and the demands for spending cuts.

However working-class resistance meant that governments could not go all the way in taking back gains of the last 50 years. So, despite the cuts, there was a continuing rise in the EU countries’ public sector debt as unemployment and other benefits continued to be paid while the economy was in crisis. Because these debts posed a threat to the financial system this increased the pressure for more cuts.

Now the propaganda of all governments is that "there is no alternative" but to accept a reduction in living standards and/or a longer working life. Everywhere past reforms are dismantled in order to let the market run free. As the combination of slower growth and increased international competition threatens profits the capitalists are ruthlessly trying to cut their costs.

What should be the labour movement’s alternative? We cannot simply go back to the past. The post-war boom hid the contradiction between the "social" and the "market" in the so-called "social market economy". Now in these harder times government after government is allowing the "market" to attack the "social". All governments are doing this in one form or another, because they all support the market economy. This includes those leaders who still call themselves "Socialists", "Social Democratic" or "Labour". Politically these leaders are not real socialists, they have no intention of doing away with the market.

The result of this is that these parties are tending to lose their roots within the workers movement. The question of the need to create new, genuine workers parties is coming onto the agenda in more and more countries.

Often where labour movement organisations fight back there is still no real alternative to the market being put forward. In this situation the combination of talk of "globalisation" and the attacks being made under the EU’s banner can give rise to right-wing movements using nationalism, racism and demagogic anti-corruption slogans to exploit people’s anger. The workers’ movement must lead the struggle against the Maastricht attacks and not have anything to do with right-wing, nationalist opponents of EMU. Racism must be stamped upon wherever it raises its head.

Competition for jobs is encouraged between cities, EU countries and between EU and workers outside, setting worker against worker. In countries such as France and Germany right wing politicians attack foreign workers, trying to blame them for mass unemployment. The workers movement must resist these divide and rule tactics.

Just as we need solidarity and workers’ unity in a workplace, we need it internationally. Links must be made between workers in the same companies, industries and across all of Europe, not just the EU countries -- real links between the union activists, not token international "works councils" suspended in mid-air.

These links must be built to prevent the use of divide and rule tactics and build the basis for international solidarity action. The long struggle of the Liverpool dockers has shown how this can be done. As a starting point the trade unions should organise a European day of action against falling living standards, unemployment, cuts and privatisation.

Increasingly it is being asked: what is the alternative to the blind play of the market? How can the use of economic resources be planned for the mass of the population and not the profit of the few? Only socialist public ownership and democratic control over the key industries and finance can provide an answer to these questions.

For a time a combination of factors seemed to have undermined the idea of socialism. There was disillusion caused by the sharp right turn by Labour, Social Democratic or "Socialist" parties in government. The collapse of the USSR and the reintroduction of capitalism seemed to show the failure of "real existing socialism".

Though the Stalinist regimes in the East were far from democratic, their overthrow has not opened the way to heaven. Parts of the former Yugoslavia have been destroyed by civil war. Generally a new capitalist elite has become very rich while the masses struggle to survive. As time goes on more and more will ask: who has really gained from the market economy?

In all parts of Europe the effects of capitalism in crisis is preparing the way for an international revival of socialist movements. The experience of struggle, the rejection of illusions in the EU and of nationalism can provide the basis for the idea of the creation of a democratic socialist Europe by the joint action of the working people of Europe.

Activists in the different national affiliates of the Committee for a Workers International are working with other fighters not only to end the market’s grip in their own countries but also for a genuine Socialist Europe extending the hand of solidarity to the rest of the world.

Concretely we propose a Europe-wide campaign around the following demands:

  • For a united struggle of the working people of Europe against the ruling class’s attacks.
  • For a European Day of Action against unemployment, cuts and racism and for jobs for all, a living minimum wage, a shorter working week with no loss in pay, and earlier retirement.
  • Opposition to the whole Maastricht Treaty.
  • Away with the insecurity and chaos of the market economy. Democratically plan the economy in the interest of working people by taking the key sectors of the economy into public ownership.

No to the bosses’ EU ! For a Socialist Europe!

CWI statement



Europe

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NEWS

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?

Britain/Ireland: Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty
23/02/2017, Neil Cafferky, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

Ireland: A web of intrigue sparks government crisis
22/02/2017, By Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

Yemen: International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers
20/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

Netherlands: Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections
18/02/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

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