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 Venezuela
Alcedo Mora must be found alive!

30/03/2015: Urgent need for international solidarity

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Netherlands
Election setback for Labour Party

30/03/2015: Main parties guarantee austerity - A mass party of the Left with a socialist programme needed

  Netherlands

Germany
20,000 people give ECB “the finger”

28/03/2015: Big demo and blockade against the reopening of the Central Bank

  Germany

 Video
Interview with a Greek socialist

28/03/2015: The Syriza government and the Troika and building the Greek Left

  Greece, Video

South Africa
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27/03/2015: South Africa’s metalworkers union in discussion with WASP and CWI

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Harald Mahrer (1974-2015)

27/03/2015: An active, critical and inspiring comrade

  Obituary

 Video
Dave Nellist on Russia Today TV

26/03/2015: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing throughout Britain in May elections

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Norway
Lessons of the pilots’ strike

25/03/2015: A struggle against outsourcing

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Israel
Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election

25/03/2015: New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

  Israel / Palestine

China
Demand release of arrested women activists

24/03/2015: Has the commemoration of International Women’s Day also now been outlawed in China?

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Italy
The instability of domestic capitalism

24/03/2015: Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

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Sweden
Central bank rates cut "panic measure"

23/03/2015: Eurozone’s QE intensifies currency wars

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Greece
Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer

23/03/2015: Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

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Tunisia
Twenty three killed in terrorist attack

20/03/2015: Down with terror! Down with capitalism!

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Belgium
No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity

20/03/2015: New action plan against right wing government takes off

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Ukraine
Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement

18/03/2015: Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

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Ireland North
Public sector workers strike against austerity

18/03/2015: For a second day of strike action in the run-up to the May general election!

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New strike wave against cuts

17/03/2015: Workers determined to stop austerity

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 Brazil
Urgent solidarity protests needed

17/03/2015: Faced with lack of water for the people, Sao Paulo water company SABESP cuts costs, sacks more than 500 workers and victimises trade union activists

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Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) leaves Solidarity

16/03/2015: Tommy Sheridan departs from principled socialist position with call for “lending vote" to cuts-making SNP

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Britain
What lies behind UKIP?

14/03/2015: Its Tory-oriented anti-immigration, anti-EU rhetoric has been adapted to a right-wing populism aimed at winning voters fed up with the political establishment

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Ireland North
Massive public sector strike against austerity

13/03/2015: Socialist MPs in Southern Ireland Parliament send message of support to strikers

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Marriage equality referendum set for May

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Iran
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11/03/2015: Increasing demands for a living wage

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Ireland North
13 March public sector strike against austerity

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Dublin ROSA demonstration on International Women’s Day

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Greece
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Austria
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Russia
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Quebec
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Greece
“Yes there was a different choice!”

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Kazakhstan

Union and social movement leader, Esenbek Ukteshbaev, sees in New Year behind prison walls

www.socialistworld.net, 30/12/2010
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

‘Appeal’ hearing a travesty of justice

CWI Reporters, Alma-Aty, Kazakhstan

In the end-of-year holiday period, the self-styled ‘Leader of the Nation’ in Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, announced a ‘referendum’ to approve the extension of his presidency. He hopes by the end of the holiday to experience no resistance to this measure.

At the same time, in a total travesty of ‘justice’, the workers’ leader, Esenbek Ukteshbaev, appears in court to appeal against a prison sentence that even the judge recognises as unjust!

Dozens of workers’ representatives and socialists, as well as trade union and political organisations from around the world, protested at the sentencing of Esen to 15 days detention for presenting a petition to the Mayor of Almaty (see previous report on socialistworld.net). More protests are needed now that Esen’s appeal has been refused (Please follow the same procedure to complain about Esen’s treatment as recommended before).

In the New Year, a renewed international campaign of solidarity will be conducted, including pickets and protests. Meanwhile we send solidarity to Esen’s family and comrades as the year 2011 begins.

Below is a translation of a report on the Socialist Resistance (CWI Kazakhstan) website, concerning the farcical process of Esen’s appeal, held last Tuesday.

We also carry below a protest letter sent by the CWI International Secretariat to the Kazakhstan authorities and to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, headed by Kazakhstan this year.

Socialistworld.net

Although the judge, Zhangazin Erbol, leading the trial of Esenbek Ukteshbaev, said several times that the law should not be enforced without question, practice has shown otherwise. After the appeal session on 28 December had started (late), and some discussion had taken place, the "court arbitrator" left the courtroom together with the prosecutor. They returned, again together, to announce the decision. As they say, comment here is superfluous.

To support their colleague and comrade, fellow activists from organisations participating in the opposition movement ‘Kazakhstan 2012’, began gathering as early as 10 am at the court house. Despite such an early hour, awaiting them were police and a special bus "for the particularly violent"! An employee of the Department of the Interior, Bakhyt Zhetibaev, warned Esen’s supporters that if there was a single ball or stone in anyone’s hand, "all possible measures" would be applied and that person would be convicted according to the strictest application of the law!

After keeping people more than an hour in the freezing cold, the "guardians of the law" deigned to announce that the court hearing was postponed to 17:00, expecting that, with the delay, the people who had gathered and journalists would not stay around and it would be possible to carry out their business in peace. But the sense of solidarity was higher than hunger, fatigue and cold, and, at the appointed time, even more people were there!

Just as they were bringing Esenbek to the court, his supporters began their solidarity action. They stood in a line and pulled out a balloon with the words "Freedom for Esen" written on it. They began chanting: "Freedom for Esenbek Ukteshbaev!”. As soon as the police pulled the protesters to one side, the activists released the balloon into the sky. “This balloon symbolises our wish that the judge changes his mind and releases from custody Esenbek Ukteshbaev, just as we released the balloon into the sky, so he can spend the New Year at home with his family”, commented Sulubike Dzhaksylykova, the co-chair of the campaign, ‘Leave the people their homes’.

After the ‘flash mobbing’, people formed a column, and went in an organised way to the courthouse, chanting along the way: "Freedom for Esen!”.

The trial itself took place "without a hitch, without any complication". After hearing all the arguments of the "accused", the judge conferred in a "secret room" with the prosecutor and the arbiter and decided to leave the verdict of the first hearing unchanged.

The process can be regarded as setting a precedent. It was demonstrated by the judge that, “The law under which Esenbek Ukteshbaev was convicted is imperfect, and this was officially confirmed by the president’s administration and the bill in question will be reviewed.

“Esen was wrongfully convicted because he was tried for holding an unsanctioned picket and a picket, as such, was not held, he simply handed in a petition to the Mayor of Almaty, after letting reporters know about it.

“A ban on picketing was unlawful because the person concerned had no right to refuse to authorise the action, and the response to an official request for permission to picket was made by the deputy Mayor, Seidumanov, against whom it was planned to picket.

“Esenbek was illegally detained and taken to court.”

The appeal court judge went on to say:

“The judge, who conducted the first trial was emotionally upset and negatively disposed towards the ‘accused’, as she was called to work during an official day off and, hence, doubts can be raised about her impartiality in the trial.”

Just to be even more convincing, Esenbek pleaded guilty "to a crime not committed"! He asked for the period of his detention to be reconsidered - to be for 10 days rather than 15 because the previous illegal detention amounted to 5 days. Therefore, logically he should have been given 10 days and not just the maximum term. But the court, agreeing with all the arguments, did not even trouble themselves to understand what was going on in the trial.

“We defend interests of the common people”

The question arises: if the court does not fulfill its functional responsibilities, then why is it needed? Would it not be correct to dissolve it? While this travesty of justice goes on, across Kazakhstan 15% budget reductions are being carried out.

Esenbek Ukteshbaev spoke to his friends and journalists before being returned to jail: “It was not worth expecting any different sentence; we just wanted to show the public who all these courts are serving. It is not worth the common man hoping for the truth in this system. This system only works for one person and the groups closest to him. But we cannot break these show judgements and arbitrariness. We defend not only our interests but those of the common people, and for that, I think we can suffer and put up with much greater persecution. They cannot break us with this; our comrades will continue the work. When I come out, I will similarly get back into carrying out my responsibilities. I want to say thank you to all who supported me and continue to support me, within Kazakhstan, as well as our comrades around the world”,

Since the appeal hearing, we are led to understand that a ‘nark’ or police informer has been put in the cell with Esenbek, to relay to the management everything he says. It is not excluded that a provocation will be carried out against Esen – some kind of frame-up - as has happened with other leaders in the opposition movement.

Committee for a Workers’ International Letter to Kazakhstan authorities/OSCE

Monday, 20 December

The Committee for a Workers’ International, with organisations in 47 countries, protests most strongly over the arrest of Esenbek Ukteshbayev, leader of the Independent Trade Union of Workers and Staff, on 19 December. We understand he has been summarily imprisoned for 15 days.

We understand that Esenbek was arrested for the “crime” of handing in a petition to the Akim (Mayor) of Almaty on Independence Day, with the demand that the Akim’s deputy, Serik Seiduman, should resign after practically calling for the elimination of all rural residents now living in the city. We understand that Esenbek was taken to court without any official papers, that he was held without charge and was refused the right to defence counsel.

Astonished by such a blatant travesty of justice, a supporter of Esenbek in court declared, “Have you lost your mind?” For this completely understandable reaction, she was immediately charged with “lack of respect for the court” and will be tried today, 20 December.

While Kazakhstan acts as the current head the OSCE – an organisation that claims to promote human and democratic rights – the Kazakh regime practices widespread intimidation and terror against opposition activists. It has even been reported that the police are under orders to start the “physical annihilation” of opposition activists.

We condemn this state terror and attempted intimidation of activists. We demand Esenbek Ukteshbayev’s immediate release and that all state repression against opposition activists ceases forthwith.

Until this action is taken, we will continue to organise protests and pickets against the repression of the Kazakhstan regime. We pledge to do our utmost to highlight Esenbek’s case to as many organisations and people as possible in our country and internationally.

Yours, Tony Saunois, Secretary, Committee for a Workers’ International



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NEWS

Venezuela: Alcedo Mora must be found alive!
30/03/2015, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela) reporters:
Urgent need for international solidarity

Netherlands: Election setback for Labour Party
30/03/2015, Pieter Brans, Amsterdam:
Main parties guarantee austerity - A mass party of the Left with a socialist programme needed

Germany: 20,000 people give ECB “the finger”
28/03/2015, by Michael Koschitzki, SAV – Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
Big demo and blockade against the reopening of the Central Bank

Video: Interview with a Greek socialist
28/03/2015, Nicos Anastasiades of Xekinima (CWI Greece):
The Syriza government and the Troika and building the Greek Left

South Africa: NUMSA & WASP discuss international experiences of new workers’ parties
27/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
South Africa’s metalworkers union in discussion with WASP and CWI

Obituary: Harald Mahrer (1974-2015)
27/03/2015, Sozialistische LinksPartei (CWI Austria) Reporters:
An active, critical and inspiring comrade

Video: Dave Nellist on Russia Today TV
26/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing throughout Britain in May elections

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Eurozone’s QE intensifies currency wars

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Ireland North: Public sector workers strike against austerity
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For a second day of strike action in the run-up to the May general election!

North Cyprus: New strike wave against cuts
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Britain: What lies behind UKIP?
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Ireland North: Massive public sector strike against austerity
13/03/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Socialist MPs in Southern Ireland Parliament send message of support to strikers

Ireland South: Marriage equality referendum set for May
12/03/2015, Helen Redwood, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
Poisonous bigotry must be challenged

Ireland North: Stormont government crisis on eve of public sector strike
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Iran: Independent workers’ organizations statement about minimum wage
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Ireland North: 13 March public sector strike against austerity
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Dead-end of rightwing, sectarian politics - new anti-sectarian party which fights for working class needed

Video: Dublin ROSA demonstration on International Women’s Day
10/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) speaks along with other activists

International Women’s Day 2015
09/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Articles from CWI sections celebrating IWD

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Austria: The year starts with antifascism
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Greece: Vodafone strike declared “illegal”
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CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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25/03/2015, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement, Israel-Palestine:
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Italy: The instability of domestic capitalism
24/03/2015, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
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Greece: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer
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Belgium: No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity
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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):
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Mired in recession, the eurozone is haunted by the spectre of stagnation

Greece: Syriza retreats under Troika threats
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History: The political legacy of Malcolm X
21/02/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative:
50 years after his assassination

Spain: Is ‘Podemos’ the Spanish Syriza?
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Conflict between SYRIZA government and EU escalates

Kurdistan: ‘Islamic State’ driven out of Kobanê
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Greece: Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?
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For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
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Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
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As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
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Socialism or Barbarism

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Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
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General elections on 25 January