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Greece
H&M workers score victory against management plans

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

  Greece

 Solidarity
#JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success

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

  Solidarity

Russia/Belarus
A week-end of mass protests

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

  Russia

Hong Kong
Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship

27/03/2017: Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

  Hong Kong

Britain
Terror attack at Westminster

24/03/2017: Unite against terror, racism and war

  Britain

Italy
Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis

22/03/2017: Class struggle can build real left force

  Italy

Spain
Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

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

  Spain

Scotland
Second referendum on independence?

18/03/2017: SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

  Scotland

Brazil
National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten

17/03/2017: For a one-day general strike as the next step

  Brazil

South Africa
Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

17/03/2017: Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

  South Africa

Netherlands
Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government

16/03/2017: Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

  Netherlands

Yemen
Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies

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

  Yemen

Hong Kong
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

  Women

 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

  Women

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

  Women

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

  Britain

Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

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

  Egypt

Hong Kong’s sham election

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

  Hong Kong

US
Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress

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

  US

Sweden
“Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017: What is behind Trump's attack?

  Sweden

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

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

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Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

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

 Yemen
International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers

20/02/2017: Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

  Solidarity, Yemen

South Africa

Assembly for working class unity held in Johannesburg

www.socialistworld.net, 11/11/2011
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

“A journey of a thousand miles begins”

Liv Shange, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI South Africa)

The two-week-long August/September ‘uprising’ in South Africa to demand electricity and housing focused country-wide attention on the Thembelihle community even more than it did in February when a similar protest produced no response from the government. In the face of similar intransigence by the authrorities, this time the Thembelihle community resolved to reach out to other communities, organisations and activists, to call for unity in struggle.

Accordingly, on Saturday 22 October, the “Themebelihle Crisis Committee” hosted an “Assembly for working class unity” to chart the way forward together with other struggling working class communities, workers and socialists. The meeting, at Wits University, Johannesburg, in a very determined and serious spirit, resolved to organise a national “service delivery general strike” at the end of November. It also decided to work for the formation of a new socialist mass workers’ party.

Representatives from the Thembelihle Crisis Committee (TCC) – Thembelihle, Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC), Operation Khanyisa Movement (OKM), Golden Triangle Community Crisis Committee (Golccom) – Freedom Park, Solidarity Economy Education and Communication Cooperative - Ivory Park, Commercial Services and Allied Workers Union (Cosawu), the Mine Line Workers Committee, the Democratic Socialist Movement, the Socialist Group and the Landless People’s Movement – Protea South, participated in the Assembly.

The hopelessness of capitalism - United struggle the answer!

The meeting began with a slide show reflecting the backdrop of intensifying working class struggles worldwide. Seeing, for example, the series of massive general strikes in Greece, militant workers’ protests such as the occupation of the Suzuki-Maruti plant in India, the road to revolution in Tunisia and Egypt, the explosive protests in other African countries such as Burkina Faso and Malawi, and the joint mass protests which were held across the world – even in the ‘bellies of the beasts’, the United States and Britain – was a huge inspiration for comrades.

As comrades from different communities and workplaces told of their experiences and their perspectives on how to take their struggles further, it was clear that there is an iron determination to fight across working class communities and workplaces but also great concern over how to steer struggles towards victory. The discussions were dominated by a burning sense of the need for unity in action and for a new kind of leadership capable of forging this unity.

Outlining how the struggles of his community had been mislead, confused and died down again and again, a representative from Freedom Park, explained how he believed that “this committee will not just be like any other of the various formations that have come and gone without working – with this committee we will win this war!”

Many comrades pointed out how the isolation of community struggles from workplace struggles and those of students and youth, as well as remaining confined to one community at a time, was holding back and demoralising struggles. As a comrade from Ivory Park put it, “in the 1980s, we brought together all the struggles of the working class to topple apartheid. Now I see us in pockets, pockets, pockets…”

In the communities, many struggles have reached the limits of this local isolation and of the lack of clear perspectives on the causes of the various problems fought, leading them to points of crisis. Comrades told of how they are often seen as useful helping hands whenever there is a problem of, say, water cut-offs, but not as a political alternative. The same people who were desperate for assistance in fighting the African National Congress (ANC) government’s policies and actions yesterday will go and vote the same oppressors back into office tommorow. Without a backbone of strong theoretical and ideological understanding, organisations have often lost control of their leaders. This was the case with the Landless People’s Movement in Protea South where the organisation collapsed after key leaders crossed the floor to the neo-liberal Democratic Alliance (the LPM in the area has now been re-launched).

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa and of the ANC

The hopelessness of capitalism – a future that promises only continued unemployment and degradation – has led many young people in working class communities to try and escape through abusing alcohol and other drugs. Several participants mentioned the devastating effects this is having on their communities and how they are trying to fight it. Beyond the immediate steps reported on, such as campaigning for access to rehab facilities and guarding against and capturing the dealers, there was also recognition that the creation of mass organisations that can take the fight to end capitalism forward will also bring hope to working class youth.

There was a unanimous urge for the organizations to join together to arrange their own political education programme in order to deepen the understanding of what socialism means and how it can be won, as well as drawing the lessons of the many current struggles internationally and in South Africa, including the attempts to contest local government elections.

Just like protesters across the world have recognised that they are part of the “99%” working class majority who lose out for the benefit of the “1%” of capitalists, the comrades participating in the Assembly saw that the global capitalist system is the root of the poverty, hardship and repression they suffer. Frustrated with endless “talkshops”, the Assembly was determined to take the first steps to create a new working class leadership which could take on capitalism and end it.

Towards a new party

Comrades present unanimously recognised the need to unite in a mass political party; one that will be different from all the existing parties ranging from the ANC to the DA, including the South African “Communist” Party. Unlike those parties it will base itself on a clear socialist programme, a fighting strategy to end capitalism in which standing for elections is just one of many tactics, and functioning on the basis of no privileges and the right of recall. It was also recognised that such a party will not “fall from heaven like manna” or be “declared” here and now, but will have to be painstakingly built with the comrades present at the Assembly laying the foundation stones.

The Assembly therefore resolved to work for the formation of a new mass workers’ party on a socialist programme – a party that could break the fragmentation and demoralisation of working class struggles by uniting and inspiring fighters from communities, workplaces, schools and campuses in fighting for a socialist alternative.

It was also agreed that the starting point of this campaign to arm the working class politically will be a call for a nation-wide one-day general strike for service delivery, for a living wage, for jobs and for free education. Although this is still a work in progress it was agreed preliminarily to call this day of action at the end of November, after a follow-up assembly has been held to which all communities in struggle should be mobilised along with the grassroots of the trade unions, youth and student organisations.

The comrades gathered also set the targets of organising a conference for the formation of a new mass workers party on a socialist programme before the end of 2012 with the aim of contesting the 2014 elections on a joint platform.

It was agreed that one of the most urgent priorities in this process will be to embark on a mass education programme reaching out to all struggling working class communities and engaging them on the way forward.

A joint declaration, in English and Zulu, committing to the development of a joint, coordinated programme of action, a common platform and the aim of forming a new mass workers party was adopted. It was decided that each organisation present would forward one comrade (and one alternate) to represent them on a coordinating committee, which would start its work within two weeks, including developing the common programme of action and the common platform. The invitation to join the process and this committee remains wide open to those organisations who were unable to attend the Assembly and to those who had not yet been reached by the first invitations. The first meeting of the committee was held on Saturday November 5 at the House of Movements, Johannesburg.

One organisation, the LPM, was unable to sign on to the resolutions of the Assembly as it is bound by its resolution as part of the Poor People’s Alliance to stick by the policy of “no land, no house – no vote” until there is “a mass, socialist party that can be trusted”. The Assembly respectfully accepted this position and invited the LPM to continue participating in meetings and joint action while continuing to discuss these issues. It was also reported that the PPA was meeting in Durban on the same day, discussing similar challenges, and it was agreed that solidarity greeting and a special appeal for discussions on the way forward would be sent to the PPA organisations (which also include Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Anti-Eviction Campaign amongst others).

This is an initiative driven by grass roots working class fighters, called in response to their own experiences of struggle and its challenges. Battling on different fronts – in communities and workplaces – people have come to recognise the limits of the isolation of their struggles from those of other areas, from other spheres of the class struggle (i.e. service delivery protests unlinked to the struggles of organised workers). Striving to overcome this division clearly was a key driving force for the organisations which participated in this first Assembly. But beyond this strive for unity, there was also a clear urge to break out of the confines of protest towards a struggle for victory by coming up with a clear common platform and a strategy for a victorious struggle for socialism. Comrades participated in the recognition that other initiatives aimed at forging greater unity (eg the Anti-Privatisation Forum and the Democratic Left Front) by not addressing this critical issue openly, have disappointed the expectations of those activists looking towards it. The DLF and APF are therefore at risk of being overtaken by events and reduced to mere observers of a mass movement determined to arm itself with a programme to overthrow capitalism and a leadership and organisation capable of leading the struggle for the socialist transformation of society.

The world has entered a new period of revolutionary upheaval. With South Africa already having the world’s highest number of service delivery protests per capita and a rising tide of strikes, it is self-evident that the South Africa’s class struggles will be decisive in this period. This is why there is no more urgent task than for the working class to create the tools for its own liberation. A first step was taken on October 22.



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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
25/02/2017, Esquerra Revolucionària :
'Volem acollir'

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

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

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

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification
06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

France: After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out
06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

Syria: Is an end to the war in sight?
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
31/01/2017, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) :
Between oppression and struggle

Canada: Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?
31/01/2017, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto

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

Russian Revolution Centenary: January 1917 - On the eve of revolution
29/01/2017, Niall Mulholland, from 1917revolution.org :
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

CWI International Executive Committee: European capitalism “battered by events”
16/12/2016, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Report of discussion on Europe at CWI IEC meeting in November