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Ireland North
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29/03/2017: The IRA campaign, the ‘peace process’ and the working class

  Ireland North

Greece
H&M workers score victory against management plans

28/03/2017: Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

  Greece

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#JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success

28/03/2017: Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

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A week-end of mass protests

27/03/2017: New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

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Hong Kong
Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship

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Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

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

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Second referendum on independence?

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South Africa
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Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government

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

  Yemen

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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

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 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

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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

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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

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Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

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

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Hong Kong’s sham election

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

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US
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02/03/2017: Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

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Britain/Ireland
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23/02/2017: Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

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

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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

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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NEWS

Greece: H&M workers score victory against management plans
28/03/2017, Statement (slightly edited) by Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

Solidarity: #JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success
28/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

Russia/Belarus: A week-end of mass protests
27/03/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) Reporters:
New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

Hong Kong: Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship
27/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

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
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Sweden: “Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
What is behind Trump's attack?

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Ireland North: Martin McGuinness - from IRA leader to Stormont minister
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The IRA campaign, the ‘peace process’ and the working class

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

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08/02/2017, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales) :
What approach should socialists take?

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06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
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06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

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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
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Between oppression and struggle

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:
Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

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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