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’Defenders of democracy’ mourn despot’s death

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Greece
Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?

29/01/2015: For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

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Greece
Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten

29/01/2015: An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

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Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse

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Water service workers win important victory

23/01/2015: A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

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Mobilise now to defend our demands

22/01/2015: Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

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Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address

21/01/2015: "Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

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Facing a turbulent 2015

21/01/2015: As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

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Greece
Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes

20/01/2015: Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

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Nigeria
The Massacre in Baga

19/01/2015: Socialism or Barbarism

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‘Eleanor Marx - a life’

17/01/2015: Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

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Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor

16/01/2015: Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

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Nigeria
2015 general elections and the working masses

16/01/2015: Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

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Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland

15/01/2015: "You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

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A year of struggle in Brazil

14/01/2015: LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

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New but uncertain period opens up

14/01/2015: President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

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Iran
Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years

13/01/2015: International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

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Germany
What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?

13/01/2015: Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

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France
Millions march for solidarity

12/01/2015: Unity against racism and capitalism!

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Extreme poverty worsens

12/01/2015: Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

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Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity

10/01/2015: The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

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Norway
General strike called for 28 January

10/01/2015: Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

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Sri Lanka
Rajapaksa defeated

09/01/2015: Period of uncertainty opens

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Sweden
New elections cancelled

09/01/2015: “Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

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Greece
Towards a Syriza government?

08/01/2015: General elections on 25 January

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Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo

08/01/2015: Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

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Hong Kong
Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’

07/01/2015: A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

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A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide

06/01/2015: Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

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05/01/2015: Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

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Market forces hold back renewable energy

01/01/2015: Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

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Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015

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In defence of TUSC

30/12/2014: As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

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Obituary

Peter Hadden - an inspiring life for socialism

www.socialistworld.net, 20/05/2010
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

PETER HADDEN, Northern secretary of the Irish section of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI), the Socialist Party, sadly died at the age of 60, in Belfast, on 5 May after a three year battle with cancer.

Niall Mulholland, first published in The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales)

Peter was a representative at the founding congress of the CWI, in 1974, and then elected to the CWI’s International Executive Committee. Many comrades in Britain will recall the socialist analysis and alternative Peter advanced at public meetings in Britain on the conflict in Northern Ireland. In doing so, he often demolished the arguments of the Labour right wing, the reformist left and the ultra-lefts.

Even in a few hundred words, it is only possible to give an outline of Peter’s full life of socialist activities. During the long years of the ‘Troubles’, Peter and the comrades in Northern Ireland campaigned courageously in very difficult and often dangerous circumstances for workers’ unity and for the building of a mass socialist alternative.

They campaigned against state repression, sectarianism and sectarian killings, poverty and unemployment. Peter actively assisted many workers’ struggles over decades, including workers involved in the Chelsea Girl, Montupet, firefighters, Belfast airport and Visteon disputes. A highly talented speaker and writer, Peter made major contributions on political issues and theory, in particular his analysis of the national question in Ireland and internationally.

Born in 1950, near Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Peter came from a Protestant background. He went to Sussex University, in 1968, where he joined the ‘Militant’, the Marxist tendency in the British Labour Party. The late 1960s was a period of growing youth and working class radicalisation internationally and Sussex was already an important base of support for Trotskyism.

Peter Hadden, 1950 - 2010, photo Paul Mattsson

Peter Hadden collaborated and discussed with leading members of Militant, including with Peter Taaffe, who visited the North in 1969, to discuss with members of the Derry Labour Party Young Socialists. During the explosion of the mass civil rights movement in the North, the beginnings of a base of support for Militant were established. In 1971, Peter Hadden moved back to Northern Ireland, committed to building the forces of Marxism.

As well as attracting mass support from Catholics in the North, the civil rights movement initially attracted layers of Protestant youth. But as sectarian bigots and capitalist nationalist and unionist parties attempted to sow divisions amongst workers and to derail the movement, the labour and trade union leaders failed to present a class alternative.

The forces of Marxism were too weak to decisively influence events and the situation across the North descended into sectarian conflict. The Labour government sent British troops to the streets of Derry and Belfast in 1969. On the left, only Militant clearly opposed the troops being sent, warning that they would be used against the Catholic population and working class.

Class position

When many working class Catholic youth turned to the Official and Provisional IRA in the early 1970s, Militant alone on the left argued a clear class position, opposing the ‘armed struggle’. The armed campaign would prove counter-productive, dividing the working class further. Events have proved Militant/Socialist Party correct but at the time those arguments went against the mood in many working class areas.

Over four decades, in the pages of Militant Irish Monthly (later Militant, Socialist Voice and The Socialist), Peter Hadden and the Northern comrades defended this socialist analysis and called for workers’ unity and a socialist alternative. Peter’s many articles, pamphlets and books, such as Common Misery, Common Struggle (1980), Divide and Rule (1980), Beyond the Troubles? (1994), Troubled Times: The National Question in Ireland (1995) and Towards Division, Not Peace (2002), developed a Marxist analysis of the conflict and the national question and elaborated socialist demands, policies and programme.

During the 1970s, Peter worked for NIPSA, the main public sector union in Northern Ireland, before becoming a full time political activist for the Militant/Socialist Party. Peter’s many years of collaboration with NIPSA comrades led to the party’s important support in that union. Militant/Socialist Party supporters have acted as the main left opposition to the right in the union, as well as initiating action, including strikes, by NIPSA members against cuts and poor conditions, and also against sectarian attacks against workers.

In the early 1970s, Peter was active in the Northern Ireland Labour Party, campaigning for it to take an independent class position as the conflict engulfed society. But the policies and inaction of the right wing NILP leaders saw the party disintegrate. Peter and other comrades initiated the Labour and Trade Union Group and the Young Socialists, which called for the unions to resist sectarianism and repression and to build a workers’ political alternative. In conditions of daily bombings and shootings, heavy state repression and sectarian polarisation, the party sought to win the ear of the most politically advanced sections of the working class and youth.

While opposing the republican and loyalist paramilitary campaigns, Militant/Socialist Party always opposed state repression, including the brutal conditions in the prisons, which led to the ‘dirty protest’ and then the 1981 Hunger Strikes. With Peter working closely with comrades in the British Labour Party, such as then NEC member Tony Saunois, Militant was able to open up dialogue with some of the prisoners in the Maze.

Peter played a central role in the rapid growth of the party in the North in the 1980s, reflecting the rise in class struggles and youth radicalisation in Britain, Ireland and internationally. Party-led campaigns, such as the anti-National Front demonstration in Coleraine and school students’ strikes against Tory youth policies, brought new youth recruits. The party organised solidarity work for the striking British miners and held successful rallies supporting Liverpool City Council and anti-Poll Tax struggles, with Peter Hadden speaking on platforms alongside leaders of these Militant-led mass struggles.

However, the intensification of sectarian polarisation following the Hunger Strikes and the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement cut across class movements, to some degree. As during the North’s other tumultuous events, such as the Loyalist ‘work stoppages’ and the events around the Gibraltar Three killings, Peter Hadden anchored the party with a clear Marxist analysis of events and a principled class position. At the same time, he was always soberly optimistic about the possibilities for the party to grow in influence and numbers.

New situation

The split in the Militant in Britain, and in the CWI, in 1991/92, saw Peter, along with the majority, face up to the new world situation and firmly oppose the dogmatic, conservative views of Alan Woods and Ted Grant. It was in no small part due to Peter that not one member of the Northern organisation joined the Woods/Grant split. During this vital debate, Peter visited Italy, on behalf of the majority, to discuss with comrades.

The 1990s proved difficult for socialists everywhere, due to the consequences of the collapse of Stalinism. Many on the left were also disorientated by the developing ‘peace process’ in Ireland and the role of Sinn Fein.

Peter’s role in the formulation of the party’s analysis during this period proved invaluable. The ‘peace process’ would not bring about lasting peace and prosperity, as many claimed, but power sharing between the main sectarian-based, pro-market parties and growing divisions on the ground. Nevertheless, socialists and the working class needed to seize the window of opportunity to develop class politics.

It was Peter who coined the slogan, ‘No Going Back!’ which in the 1990s caught the imagination of the many thousands of Catholic and Protestant workers who went on marches and protests – often initiated by Militant/Socialist Party supporters in trades councils and unions – against a slide back to sectarian conflict. The party’s Youth Against Sectarianism campaign attracted thousands of school students across the North.

For many years, in the absence of a mass political alternative for workers, Militant/Socialist Party members stood in elections. In 1992, Peter stood in the Westminster elections and got widespread media coverage when he and his family narrowly escaped a bombing intended for a nearby target. In 1996, Peter played a crucial role in the creation of the Labour Coalition. Although it did not hold together, largely due to right wing elements, the Coalition did win seats to N Ireland Forum elections, indicating the potential for class politics to break the sectarian mould.

The last decade saw Peter energetically continue to play a leading role in party initiated campaigns, including the very successful ‘We Won’t Pay Campaign’ against water charges. Socialist Youth campaigning on, for example, anti-racism, brought new youth to the party, including those now playing a leading role.

Working closely with the Southern Irish comrades, Peter played a crucial role in helping the development of the party across the border, which bore fruit in many fields, not least in electoral gains. Socialist Party TD and now MEP, Joe Higgins said that he would often seek Peter’s advice on issues set for debate in the Dáil or in Brussels.

Video: Peter Hadden speaking at Socialism 2006 at the Teachers’ Club in Dublin, Ireland. Peter is addressing the St. Andrew’s Agreement.

International

Comrades from around the world will remember Peter’s many incisive, valuable contributions at international meetings of the CWI. Peter also made overseas visits on behalf of the CWI, giving important political and tactical help and advice to CWI comrades. Amongst other places, Peter visited Italy, Nigeria, Israel/Palestine, Czech Republic, Greece, Australia, Scotland, Belgium and the USA.

Family, friends and comrades accompany Peter’s coffin to Belfast crematorium on the 10th May 2010. Photo: Kevin Cooper

Peter’s passing is a great loss for his family and friends, the Socialist Party in Ireland and for the whole CWI. As the Westminster and Stormont governments prepare for savage cuts, Peter will sadly not be here to play his part in the huge class struggles that impend.

But the inspiring example of Peter’s decades of socialist activity in the most trying circumstances, and his writings, particularly on the national question, will undoubtedly serve as an educator and guide to the new generations entering struggle. The greatest tribute we can make to Peter’s memory is to build a mass socialist movement to finally sweep away the inequalities and poverty of capitalism.

Hundreds paid their respects at Peter’s funeral including many from the trade union movement and from the wider left. Photo: Kevin Cooper

For examples of the tremendous contribution of Peter Hadden to Marxism follow the links below

Troubled Times - the national question in Ireland, first published in 1995.

August 1969 – When British troops went into Northern Ireland - A turning point in history, published in 2009

Northern Ireland - 1907 Dockers and Carters’ strike - Belfast workers in revolt, published in 2007



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US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address, 21/01/2015

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NEWS

Greece: Syriza-led government announces anti-austerity policies
30/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Markets and EU leaders react against Athens

Saudi Arabia: ’Defenders of democracy’ mourn despot’s death
30/01/2015, Simon Carter, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Atrocious human rights records no concern for Western powers

Greece: Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten
29/01/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

China: Slowest growth rate since 1990
25/01/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

Northern Ireland: Water service workers win important victory
23/01/2015, Donal O’Cofaigh, Socialist Party, Fermanagh:
A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

Sri Lanka: Mobilise now to defend our demands
22/01/2015, Tu Senan, International Coordinator of the Tamil Solidarity campaign:
Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address
21/01/2015, Socialistworld.net, via socialistalternative.org:
"Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

Review: ‘Eleanor Marx - a life’
17/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI. Article published in the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

Video: Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor
16/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

Nigeria: 2015 general elections and the working masses
16/01/2015, Aj. Dagga Tolar and Kola Ibrahim, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

Video: Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland
15/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
"You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

Video: A year of struggle in Brazil
14/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

Sri Lanka: New but uncertain period opens up
14/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI:
President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

Iran: Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years
13/01/2015, Campaign in Support Workers of Iran:
International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

France: Millions march for solidarity
12/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Unity against racism and capitalism!

New Zealand: Extreme poverty worsens
12/01/2015, CWI Reporters, NZ/Aotearoa:
Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

France: Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity
10/01/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) website editorial:
The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

Norway: General strike called for 28 January
10/01/2015, Trond Sverre and Elise Kollveit (CWI, Oslo):
Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa defeated
09/01/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Period of uncertainty opens

Sweden: New elections cancelled
09/01/2015, Questions answered by Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
“Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

France: Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo
08/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

Hong Kong: Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’
07/01/2015, Editorial from Socialist magazine《社會主義者, of CWI in China and Hong Kong:
A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

Israel-Palestine: A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide
06/01/2015, Or Dar, Socialist Struggle Movement, CWI in Israel-Palestine:
Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

Environment: Market forces hold back renewable energy
01/01/2015, Pete Dickinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

Britain: In defence of TUSC
30/12/2014, Clive Heemskerk, from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

CWI: National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism
28/12/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
A socialist solution to national oppression

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Greece: Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?
29/01/2015, Article from Xekhinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 26 January 2015] translated and slightly edited:
For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
27/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, socialistworld.net, interviews Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
21/01/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
20/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

Nigeria: The Massacre in Baga
19/01/2015, H.T Soweto, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Socialism or Barbarism

Germany: What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?
13/01/2015, Wolfram Klein, Socialist Alternative (SAV- CWI Germany):
Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
08/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
General elections on 25 January

Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement
05/01/2015, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

New Year: Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015
31/12/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

Latin America: The end of one cycle and the beginning of another
17/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
15/12/2014, CWI International Executive Committee:
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Sri Lanka: Presidential Election January 8, 2015
11/12/2014, Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka):
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

Australia: Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road
08/12/2014, By Socialist Party (CWI Australia) reporters, Melbourne:
Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
27/11/2014, International Secretariat of the CWI :
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Ireland: Lies and distortions against community protests, the AAA and the Socialist Party
21/11/2014, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
Government and Water Charges completely undermined

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks
19/11/2014, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM):
New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

Ukraine: Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions
15/11/2014, Rob Jones, CWI Moscow:
Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

Northern Ireland: 20 years after the ceasefires
10/11/2014, Ciaran Mulholland, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
In 1994, the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries called ceasefires. Four years later the Good Friday agreement was declared to mark the end of the ‘Troubles’…

Germany: 25 years since November 9
09/11/2014, By Robert Bechert, CWI, who was living in Berlin in 1989:
Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

Elections in Brazil
07/11/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution
07/11/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI:
November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

Ireland: Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance
04/11/2014, Kevin McLoughlin, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

Kurdistan: Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads
31/10/2014, Serge Jordan, CWI:
What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

A ‘third industrial revolution’
28/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
New technological innovations are having a huge impact on the capitalist system, a subject explored in a new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society.