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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

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



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