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latest news

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

US
A socialist strategy to defeat Trump

14/02/2017: Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

  US

Scotland
Greens back SNP government austerity budget

13/02/2017: TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

  Scotland

India
Upheaval in Tamil Nadu

09/02/2017: Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

  India

Britain
Universal basic income demand gains ground

08/02/2017: What approach should socialists take?

  Britain

Yemen
Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S

07/02/2017: Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

  Yemen

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification

06/02/2017: Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

  Spain

France
After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out

06/02/2017: Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

  France

Romania
Biggest street protests since 1989

04/02/2017: What position should the left take?

  Romania

Syria
Is an end to the war in sight?

03/02/2017: New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

  Syria

Quebec
Terrorist Attack in Québec City

01/02/2017: Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

  Quebec

 CWI
9th Latin American school a success

31/01/2017: Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

  CWI

Sri Lanka
The year 2017

31/01/2017: Between oppression and struggle

  Sri Lanka

Canada
Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?

31/01/2017: Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

  Canada

US
Airport protests help block Trump travel ban

30/01/2017: Defend immigrant communities

  US

Russian Revolution Centenary
January 1917 - On the eve of revolution

29/01/2017: War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

  Russian Revolution

China
CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee

28/01/2017: Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

  China

Afghanistan
The limits of US power

28/01/2017: Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

  Afghanistan

US
Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!

27/01/2017: Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

  US

Russia
Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence

26/01/2017: For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

  Russia

Tamil Nadu
Mass protests against state repression

26/01/2017: Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

  India

Millions on women's marches around the world

25/01/2017: Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

  US

Bangladesh
Hartal protest against power plant

25/01/2017: Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

  Bangladesh

Côte d’Ivoire
Social revolts shake Ouattara regime

24/01/2017: Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

  Ivory Coast

Taiwan
US foreign policy under Trump

24/01/2017: Island risks being pawn in his game

  Taiwan

US
CWI joins protests around the world against Trump

23/01/2017: Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

  US

US
Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech

23/01/2017: Socialist council member speaks

  US

South Africa

Working class masses give president Zuma baptism of fire

www.socialistworld.net, 03/08/2009
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

New government comes up against militant action

Weizmann Hamilton, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI in South Africa)

No honeymoon for Zuma government

No honeymoon for Zuma government

Barely 100 days into Jacob Zuma’s presidency, the class contradictions that have produced political polarisation and then a split in the ANC, have sharpened with a vengeance. The working class – both organised in the workplace as well as the marginalised poor in squatter camps and townships – has challenged the head of SA’s fourth post apartheid government to make good on the promises that propelled him first into the presidency of the ANC and then that of the country.

With discontent that matched the chill of one of the coldest winters in decades, protests against poor service delivery and corruption spread across over two dozen townships in five of the country’s nine provinces, with Gauteng the main flashpoint throughout the month of July. A number of protestors were shot dead, as police fired rubber bullets and allegedly, in some instances, used live ammunition. Scores of protestors were arrested on charges of public violence, intimidation and malicious damage to property.

In scenes reminiscent of the struggle against apartheid, local authorities, municipal offices and other facilities were torched and local councilors and mayors driven out of their homes which were then set alight. Although on a significantly lower scale than in May 2008, the outbreak of protests were marred by incidents of xenophobia, with foreign nationals coming under attack, their small businesses looted and destroyed, and almost all driven from their residences.

The common theme and predominant issue at the heart of the protests, which were marked by violent confrontations with the police, was local government incompetence, cronyism, corruption, lack of water, sanitation, electricity, housing, health and social services. The number of service delivery protests so far this year has surpassed all the service delivery protests of 2008.

The protests exploded against the background of an economic crisis deteriorating more rapidly and with greater devastation on the lives of working class people than experts had predicted and government had expected. After contracting for two consecutive quarters, SA’s economy is now officially in recession. The 6.4% decline in the first quarter follows the 1.8% drop in the last quarter of 2008. In 2009 alone, the number of job losses have so far totaled a conservatively estimated 475,000. If the 302,000 job seekers who became “discouraged” in 2009 are added, the real figure for the first half of 2009 exceeds three quarters of a million coming on top of so-called official unemployment of 23%. The real figure is closer to 40%.

These figures have shaken the complacency of SA analysts, who until recently were providing the chorus to the praise songs of their international counterparts in the World Bank, IMF and rating agencies about SA’s alleged immunity from the global recession. With the economy expected to remain mired in recession for the rest of the year at least, job losses are expected to exceed 700,000 (excluding those to discouraged to look for a job) and more likely a million –a “bloodbath” in the words of T-Sec economist Mike Schussler (Business Day 29.07.09).

Zuma’s misfortune has been for his accession to the presidency to take place on the eve of the traditional wage negotiations season which this year are taking place against the background of the worst economic crisis since 1984. With the average worker supporting an average of eight dependants, the pressure to provide for more in the face of an avalanche of job losses was enormous. The situation facing workers was made worse by the fact that whereas inflation and interest rates had declined, to 8% by May 2009, inflation in food, health and transport on which workers spend the bulk of their income, remained at 11.9%, 11.7% and 14% respectively. In addition the electricity parastatal, Eskom, had been granted a 31% traffic increase. To add to the burden on workers shoulders, despite the successive lowering of interest rates that began in December 2008, the effect of the previous cycle has still not receded. More than 2000 houses and 6 000 cars are being repossessed monthly by banks. The average level of household debt remains at 75% of annual income. Civil summonses and garnishee orders (compulsory deductions from salaries for debts) had soared.

Militant workers’ action

The militancy of the trade union mass action was intended to ensure that especially the Congress of SA Trade Union (Cosatu) leadership did not compromise their members’ interests now that Cosatu’s allies, the triumphant Zuma faction of the ANC, had taken office and a number of SA Communist Party and trade union leaders had been appointed to key ministries (SACP members now hold 40% of ministerial positions). With short-time and lay-offs especially in the car industry undermining workers’ power, those workers who still had leverage were determined not to be made to pay for crisis of the capitalist system. As a National Union of Mineworkers spokesperson, referring to the bosses’ stance in the gold mining industry pointed out, every time during wage negotiations one excuse after the other is put forward as to why workers should not demand a decent wage increase. During the boom the excuse was the negative impact of the strong rand on the price of gold, now the problem is the recession it is. “We will not take responsibility for their recession.”

The tone for the wage negotiations season and the mood of workers were, however, not set by the traditional blue collar battalions, but by the white coated brigades – the doctors in the public sector. Reflecting the accumulated anger of their counterparts in the rest of provincial and national government over the failure of the government to comply with aspects of the agreement that ended the 2007 public sector strike, they demanded the immediate implementation of the so-called occupation specific occupation dispensation – in effect a new remuneration system that would set new higher salaries for identified categories of skilled workers. Despite public acknowledgement by government over the legitimacy of their grievances, doctors were not prepared to wait for promises to be fulfilled. They took action in defiance of the essential services legislation barring them from striking, eventually forcing government into a humiliating retreat after over 200 hundred doctors had been served with dismissal letters.

Before the start of 4-day 150,000-strong municipal workers’ strike, SA had already lost 500,000 working days through strike action -- more than double that for the same period in 2008. This wave of worker militancy has led to above-inflation increases in every sector, with the overwhelming majority of trade unions settling for 10% or more. Construction workers, taking advantage both of the enormous profits made by the bosses from the lucrative government tenders for the construction of stadiums for the 2010 World Cup, and the pressure to complete them in time, forced the bosses to settle at 12%, and won allowances for days when weather prevented work, as well as permanent contracts for the significant number of casual workers whose exploitation had become a permanent feature of employment practices in the construction industry.

The municipal workers, whose strike was characterised by violent clashes with police and trashing of the streets in a traditional “cleaning of the rubbish bins” protest and counter-productive acts of gratuitous vandalism by some elements, ended in victory with the unions settling for 13% after striking for 15% and the employer initially offering 6.5%. Despite condemnation of the violence, and the denunciation of lawlessness, it is clear that both in respect of the service delivery protests and the trade unions mass action, the Zuma-government was on the back foot and, mindful of the need to avoid alienating its trade union allies, elected to ride out the storm this time. It is likely therefore that the public sector trade unions will be made an offer that will result in a settlement without a strike.

However, the economic crisis is not going away. Government tax revenue projections are already R19 billion below target. The World Cup may soften the class contradictions for a short period. After that there will be reckoning. Both the bosses and the government will demanding more sacrifices from the workers. The scene will then be set for a renewed sharpening of the class contradictions forcing the polarisation to proceed apace and placing the need to bring the forces of the masses in the townships and the workers on the workplace together in a common struggle firmly on the agenda. A new mass workers’ party, equipped with a socialist programme could play a decisive role in the development of such a struggle.



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A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

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?

Solidarity: French presidential candidate Mélenchon backs #JobstownNotGuilty campaign
17/02/2017, socialistworld.net :
Support the international solidarity campaign

Britain: Council cuts can be fought - and they must be
16/02/2017, Editorial comments from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) :
Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

Spain: Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress
15/02/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spain:
Time to build the class struggle on the streets

US: A socialist strategy to defeat Trump
14/02/2017, Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Woman and member of Socialist Alternative :
Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

Greece: Athens’ bus cleaners win bulk of wages owed
14/02/2017, Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) and Apostolis Cassimere’s (Board Member of OASA - Athens Bus Workers’ Union):
The struggle continues!

Scotland: Greens back SNP government austerity budget
13/02/2017, Matt Dobson, Socialist Paty Scotland (CWI), Glasgow:
TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

Yemen: Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S
07/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

Romania: Biggest street protests since 1989
04/02/2017, Mâna de Lucru (CWI supporters in Romania):
What position should the left take?

Quebec: Terrorist Attack in Québec City
01/02/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Canada) :
Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

CWI: 9th Latin American school a success
31/01/2017, socialistworld.net:
Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

US: Airport protests help block Trump travel ban
30/01/2017, Socialist Alternative reporters, US :
Defend immigrant communities

China: CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee
28/01/2017, chinaworker.info reporters :
Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

Russia: Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence
26/01/2017, From Socialist Alternative (Russian CWI) website (socialist.news) :
For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

Tamil Nadu: Mass protests against state repression
26/01/2017, Isai Priya, from Tamil Solidarity website :
Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

Bangladesh: Hartal protest against power plant
25/01/2017, Pete Mason, Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) :
Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

Côte d’Ivoire: Social revolts shake Ouattara regime
24/01/2017, Militant Côte d’Ivoire (CWI group in Côte d’Ivoire) :
Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

Taiwan: US foreign policy under Trump
24/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Island risks being pawn in his game

US: CWI joins protests around the world against Trump
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

US: Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Socialist council member speaks

Russian Revolution Centenary: New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

Kazakhstan: Regime increases repression
20/01/2017, Andrei Prigor from Campaign Kazakhstan:
Citizens forced to register with police at all times

US: Global resistance against Trump’s inauguration
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
CWI organizes protests as millions prepare to fight Trump’s agenda

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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

CWI International Executive Committee: World shaken by seismic political events
14/12/2016, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Report of first session of the CWI International Executive Committee, discussing World Relations

World capitalism in deep crisis
08/12/2016, CWI :
Perspectives documents agreed by November CWI international meeting

Sudan: Three day nationwide strike shuts down the country, in unique defiance of Al-Bashir’s rule
30/11/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Escalation of the struggle needed to overthrow repressive regime

US: Trump prepares attacks on working people,immigrants and women
27/11/2016, Tom Crean and Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative (USA):
We must prepare massive resistance!

Cuba: Fidel Castro, leader of 1959 revolution, dies at 90
26/11/2016, Tony Saunois, CWI :
Castro's life and the Cuban Revolution