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US
Inequality and fight-back in the world’s richest country

16/09/2014: Socialist Alternative articulates political strategy to break from Democratic Party and capitalism

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 Video
John McInally on Scottish Independence

16/09/2014: John McInally, PCS national vice-president (personal capacity), adresses the issue of Scottish independence at a meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

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Brazil
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Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan

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Scotland
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US
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12/09/2014: Spreading and organising the movement for decent wages

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South Africa
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11/09/2014: Authorities deploy heavily armed response

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Chile
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Ukraine
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10/09/2014: Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

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Bosnia
Privatise to colonise

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West Africa
Ebola outbreak - a crisis of capitalism

08/09/2014: Profit drive obstructs treatment and prevention

  Africa

Scotland
10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations

08/09/2014: “In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

  Scotland

Britain
Crisis brewing on all fronts

05/09/2014: The 2015 general election is a mere eight months away yet impossible to call. But what is clear is that none of the capitalist parties hold any real attraction for working class voters.

  Britain

Hong Kong
Occupy Central leader’s comments cast doubt over occupation plan

04/09/2014: After NPC ruling democracy activists are perplexed by Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s comments that the strategic part of struggle “should end”

  Hong Kong

 Iran
Support Behnam Ebrahimzadeh

04/09/2014: Support jailed labour activist’s demands against critical dentention conditions

  Iran, Solidarity

Scotland
Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge

04/09/2014: Over 18,000 people have attended Hope Over Fear public meetings to hear socialist Tommy Sheridan.

  Scotland

Ukraine
Rebel forces gain territory

03/09/2014: International tensions escalate

  Ukraine

Beijing slams door shut on Hong Kong democracy

02/09/2014: Mass resistance against one-party dictatorship is the only way forward!

  Hong Kong

 Video
Revolution and counter-revolution in the world today

01/09/2014: Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) speaking at recent summer camp

  Video

France
Economic stagnation and political instability

29/08/2014: Hollande removes ‘lefts’ from government

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Turkey
Erdoğan sworn in as country’s President

29/08/2014: Significant poll gains for the left coalition HDP

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Nigeria
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ISIS
Capitalist slaughter in Iraq and Syria

25/08/2014: As ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Shams) crossed the border between Syria and Iraq, it proclaimed this to be the “annihilation of the disgrace of Sykes-Picot” and the formation of an ‘Islamic state’ (IS).

  Iraq, Syria

US
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22/08/2014: Text of a leaflet handed out by Socialist Alternative members in Ferguson and St. Louis

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Pakistan
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USA
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Iraq
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Scotland
Socialist policies are needed to answer Project Fear

13/08/2014: September 18 will see an unprecedented mobilisation to the polls for the referendum on Scottish independence

  Scotland

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

Video: John McInally on Scottish Independence
16/09/2014, Socialistworld.net:
John McInally, PCS national vice-president (personal capacity), adresses the issue of Scottish independence at a meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Belgium: First school student protest against cuts in education
15/09/2014, Jeroen Demuynck, PSL-LSP (CWI in Belgium):
Anger against austerity growing

Asia-Pacific: Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan
13/09/2014, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Warmongering governments ratchet-up national tensions in struggle for regional dominance

Scotland: Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies
12/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Big business, politicians and media attack independence

US: building a movement to end poverty pay!
12/09/2014, Geoff Jones, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
Spreading and organising the movement for decent wages

South Africa: Community protest over corruption widens
11/09/2014, WASP reporters:
Authorities deploy heavily armed response

Chile: The other ‘9/11’
11/09/2014, Tony Saunois, CWI (first published on socialistworld.net, September 2011):
1973 bloody coup against Popular Unity government

Sri Lanka:Veteran trade union leader dies
09/09/2014, United Socialist Party:

Bosnia: Privatise to colonise
08/09/2014, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI Austria):
How looting of the economy led to mass social protests

West Africa: Ebola outbreak - a crisis of capitalism
08/09/2014, Peluola Adewale, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI Nigeria):
Profit drive obstructs treatment and prevention

Hong Kong: Occupy Central leader’s comments cast doubt over occupation plan
04/09/2014, Reporters of Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
After NPC ruling democracy activists are perplexed by Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s comments that the strategic part of struggle “should end”

Iran: Support Behnam Ebrahimzadeh
04/09/2014, Campaign in Support of Workers of Iran:
Support jailed labour activist’s demands against critical dentention conditions

Scotland: Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge
04/09/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
Over 18,000 people have attended Hope Over Fear public meetings to hear socialist Tommy Sheridan.

Ukraine: Rebel forces gain territory
03/09/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
International tensions escalate

Video: Revolution and counter-revolution in the world today
01/09/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) speaking at recent summer camp

France: Economic stagnation and political instability
29/08/2014, Leila Massaoudi, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Hollande removes ‘lefts’ from government

Turkey: Erdoğan sworn in as country’s President
29/08/2014, Coşku Mıhcı:
Significant poll gains for the left coalition HDP

Ireland: Greyhound lockout enters ninth week
28/08/2014, Paul Murphy, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Dublin:
A fight for all workers!

Solidarity: Iranian mine workers on strike
26/08/2014, Campaign in support of workers of Iran:
Demand the release of the arrested workers!

Nigeria: Fees victory at Lagos State University!
26/08/2014, Education Rights Campaign, Nigeria statement:
Vigilance required from LASU students and workers to ensure that victory is permanent

ISIS: Capitalist slaughter in Iraq and Syria
25/08/2014, Georg Maier, SLP (CWI in Austria):
As ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Shams) crossed the border between Syria and Iraq, it proclaimed this to be the “annihilation of the disgrace of Sykes-Picot” and the formation of an ‘Islamic state’ (IS).

US: Indict Michael Brown’s killer and spread the protests! The whole system is guilty!
22/08/2014, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
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Women in World War One
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Pakistan: Not a “revolution” but an effort by power-hungry politicians to grab power
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Working class will bring the real revolution and change

USA: Ferguson erupts in rage after police kill Michael Brown
18/08/2014, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative, Harlem, New York:
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US: Jess Spear Primary result
14/08/2014, Socialist Alternative reporters, USA:
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CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

US: Inequality and fight-back in the world’s richest country
16/09/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Socialist Alternative articulates political strategy to break from Democratic Party and capitalism

Brazil: Will elections mark the end of the PT government?
15/09/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Space for Left alternative to win support

Ukraine: Fragile ceasefire holds but country remains “a tinder box”
10/09/2014, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

Scotland: 10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations
08/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
“In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

Britain: Crisis brewing on all fronts
05/09/2014, Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
The 2015 general election is a mere eight months away yet impossible to call. But what is clear is that none of the capitalist parties hold any real attraction for working class voters.

Beijing slams door shut on Hong Kong democracy
02/09/2014, Statement by Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
Mass resistance against one-party dictatorship is the only way forward!

Iraq: Only united action can stop sectarian war
16/08/2014, Robert Bechert, CWI:
Iraqis and Kurds must not trust imperialist ‘helpers’

Socialism and national rights
15/08/2014, From Socialism Today No.181, September 2014 by Peter Taaffe, General Secretary of Socialist Party (England and Wales), CWI Secretariat:
Ukraine, Israel/Palestine and other countries

Ukraine: Crisis deepens
09/08/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI Secretariat:
Military conflict escalates

CWI School: World capitalism fails working people
07/08/2014, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
System offers economic crisis, insecurity, poverty and wars

Israel/Palestine: After weeks of mass slaughter in Gaza, IDF forces ‘withdraw’
06/08/2014, Niall Mulholland, from articles in this week’s Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
What is the role of imperialism in the conflict?

CWI Summer School: European capitalism fails to recover
02/08/2014, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Working class must organise for future struggles

Gaza in crisis
29/07/2014, Shahar Benhorin, Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI in Israel-Palestine):
Mass action needed to stop bloodshed

Trotsky: The first year of war
23/07/2014, Originally published in in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Article by LEON TROTSKY translated into English for first time

WW1: The Bolsheviks and the war
21/07/2014, Peter Taaffe, article originally published in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The horrors of the first world war, and the economic and social turmoil it created, led to mass upheaval. In Russia alone did this lead to a successful revolution…

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Before 1914, the Second International resolved to act to prevent war…

World War One: 100 years since the great slaughter
16/07/2014, Tony Saunois, article originally published in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Ten million killed and more than ten million seriously injured

Israel-Palestine:World outraged by Israeli State’s ferocious bombing of Gaza
15/07/2014, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
Mass action needed to end the slaughter and blockade!

Can capitalism put all of us first?
05/07/2014, By Philip Stott:
A response to the “practical idealism” of the Common Weal

Argentina: Return to turmoil
01/07/2014, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Debt crisis is back – the class struggle and tasks for the Left

Review: ’Capital in the Twenty-First Century’
28/06/2014, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales):
Thomas Piketty: The new Marx?

Iraq: Isis jihadists capture more territory
24/06/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Only organised, united working class can end war and social misery

Nigeria: 200 school girls abducted
18/06/2014, By Segun Sango, National Chairperson, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), a party initiated by the DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Why has Boko Haram insurgency grown?

Iraq: Oil war’s bloody legacy
17/06/2014, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Escalating sectarian conflict threatens to draw in surrounding countries

Ukraine: Hundreds killed in military clashes
13/06/2014, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Working people fearing all-out war