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latest news

Greece
International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”

16/04/2014: Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

  Greece

South Africa
Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections

15/04/2014: WASP campaigning material available on pdf

  South Africa

India
Massive election process could end in turmoil

14/04/2014: New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

  India

Cyprus
Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years

11/04/2014: One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

  Cyprus

 Iranian nuclear talks
Hypocrisy abounds

10/04/2014: Paul Murphy MEP

  Video

Britain
Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies

10/04/2014: Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

  Britain

Taiwan
Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days

10/04/2014: What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

  Taiwan

Hungary
Election highlights lack of Left challenge

09/04/2014: Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

  Hungary

Environment
Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby

09/04/2014: Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

  Environment, Ukraine

Belgium
50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration

08/04/2014: Protesters’ radical mood

  Belgium

Britain
One in ten council seats will have TUSC candidate

07/04/2014: No-cuts election challenge grows

  Britain

Review
Net political impact

06/04/2014: To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

  Review

Belgium
The rise of the PTB/PvdA

05/04/2014: Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

  Belgium

Ivory Coast
First victory for students at University of Cocody

04/04/2014: An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

  Ivory Coast

Canada
Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains

03/04/2014: After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

  Canada

France
Government punished in local elections

02/04/2014: Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

  France

Nepal
Turning back the wheel of history

01/04/2014: Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

  Nepal

South Africa
WASP manifesto launch success!

01/04/2014: On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

  Africa, South Africa

Taiwan
Half a million on the streets against President Ma

31/03/2014: Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

  Taiwan

US
Winning $15 an hour in Seattle

31/03/2014: A socialist strategy

  US

Netherlands
Socialist Party local election gains

31/03/2014: Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

  Netherlands

 Video
Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine

29/03/2014: Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

  Ukraine, Video

 Sweden
New political winds affect CWI Congress

28/03/2014: Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

  CWI, Sweden

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

28/03/2014: Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

Portugal
Thousands of police and military march in Lisbon

27/03/2014: Reflection of the government’s intrinsic weakness

  Portugal

Spain
A million march for dignity in Madrid

26/03/2014: 22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

  Spain

Taiwan
Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament

26/03/2014: Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

  Taiwan

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Mass protests - The first flowers of spring

26/03/2014: What programme should the Left advocate?

  Bosnia

Sudan
Has al-Bashir survived mass protests?

25/03/2014: Removal of hated regime not enough; crises of poverty and oppression due to grip of capitalism

  Sudan

Britain
After Bob Crow and Tony Benn

24/03/2014: Mourn the loss, fight for the future

  Britain

Italy
New Prime Minister Renzi

24/03/2014: His decline has already begun

  Italy

Kazakhstan

Bloody attack has not defeated striking workers

www.socialistworld.net, 17/12/2011
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

UPDATE @ 22:30 GMT - Only united and extensive workers’ action can end this dictatorial regime

CWI reporters, Russia and Kazakhstan

The most recent update as of 18/12 22:30 GMT from CWI Reporters in Russia & Kazakhstan can be found here on Socialistworld.net

Update 17/12 22:30 GMT:Demonstration in Aktau, shooting again heard in Zhanaozen and a battle rages in Shtepe

Zhanaozen is completely blockaded

The government commission has spent all day on its investigations throughout Zhanaozen. Mass arrests of participants in yesterday’s protests are taking place and there are attempts to identify those who organized the disorder. Many leaders and well known activists are in hiding, young workers are continuing to resist. The police forces are lodging criminal charges en-masse, people are being stopped on the streets and taken to "filtration centres". According to the workers, unarmed striking oil workers, up to 1500 have gathered again in the city centre but towards evening have been once again forced out to the edges of the city. The town is full of internal troops, armored cars and police.

Despite this, apart from the oil workers, relatives and supporters are also out on the streets looking for their nearest and dearest, many of whom are missing. The authorities are refusing to hand over the bodies of the dead, and the hospitals in Zhanaozen and Aktau are overflowing with those wounded in the shootings. There are plenty of videos clips showing this. Hospital staff are using whatever excuse they can to kick out the walking wounded, but there are still not enough beds and people are lying in the corridors.

According to the representatives of the Independent trade unions, the number of dead is between 50 and 70 people, and the figure will be clarified tomorrow, when it is intended to organize a meeting for all those whose relatives were killed or are missing.

President Nazarbayev has imposed a State of Emergency in the city until 5th January. The city of Zhanaozen s completely blockaded. But on the outskirts and in the outlying villages as dark settles you can hear the sound of gun fights and grenade explosions. The young workers are not prepared to give up their resistance. Witnesses are trying to film these "Special operations" on their mobile cameras. In the city, as before, the lights are off, mobile communications are constantly interrupted, the internet is blocked. Despite the fact that the centre is in control of the troops, all the oil pumping stations of "OzenMunaiGaz" are not working.

The village of Shetpe in flames

Fighting has been raging in Shepte for hours, even though they have sent another five buses of special troops! The locals have completely torn up the railway tracks, stopped two passenger trains, completely blocking rail communications and have set fire to the wagons. There are no more links with the village, nor with Zhetybai, where there was also a battle earlier today. Representatives of the independent trade union from Aktau are trying to get there to find out the situation.

According to sympathisers from within the army/police force, in addition to the 7 aircraft full of riot troops already in Aktau, another 3 are on their way. It has just been announced that Belarus is sending some of its special troops. The riot police have been given freedom of action, that is to shoot at whoever they think necessary, including pregnant women and children. They also report that in a couple of weeks, they will start executing some of the more dangerous activists for the Almaty regime - under the guise of shooting terrorists.

A number of foreign and Russian journalists have now flown to Aktau and it is hoped they will be able to get hold of the necessary photos, videos and pass on the evidence. We will continue to follow events and keep in contact with the worker activists and independent trade union in the region.

Police can be heard opening fire on crowds at 3:40

Kazakhstan: Brutal and bloody attack has not defeated striking workers

Only united and extensive workers’ action can end this dictatorial regime

CWI reporters, Russia and Kazakhstan

Following yesterday’s violent attacks on a peaceful demonstration in support of striking oil-workers in Zhanaozen, West Kazakhstan, the authorities are facing problems preventing the spread of the protest.

According to reports from worker activists, 4,000 workers from the neighbouring Kalamkas oil field have downed tools and have started a march to their company headquarters demanding the withdrawal of troops from the region.

Reports are also coming in of planned protests in other cities. 150 oilworkers in the city of Aktau, also a centre of the strike were rounded up by police using dogs and detained “for preventative discussions”, although later freed.

In Kazakhstan’s capital, Almaty, in an attempt to prevent this morning’s protest in support of the oil workers, police tried to detain four activists from the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan – Larissa Boyar, Dmitrii Tikhonov, Arman Ozhaubayev and Zhanna Baitelova. They were supposed to be taken in for questioning over charges first lodged earlier this year. The first three, who were detained, were later released.

What happened yesterday?

In order to prevent the distribution of the truth about yesterday’s massacre in Zhenaozen, internet and social network resources and mobile phone networks have been blocked by the state. Opposition websites including www.socialismkz.info (CWI Kazakhstan), www.respublikas.info (Respublika newspaper) and guljan.org have been blocked to readers in Kazakhstan. But the truth will inevitably come out.

According to eye witnesses in the Regional capital Aktau, ambulances have been travelling along the single road from Zhenaozen in convoy. Hospitals in the city have been flooded with casualties.

The regime puts the figure of dead at eleven, with no police among them, but it is trying to put the blame on the workers. It claims that they tried to break up a children’s celebration (even though no pictures show any children present) and to set fire to the New Year tree in the square. The events however developed in a completely different way.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan

At eleven o’clock, workers, their families and other residents from the city had gathered in the main square for a peaceful demonstration demanding negotiations and the release of the strikers’ lawyer Natalia Sokolova. Whilst the y were preparing for a peaceful demonstration (during the eight months of the dispute, they have always insisted that there should be no violence), the state was preparing for a conflict. They drafted in police and riot troops. Suddenly a police car drove into the crowd at high speed. This naturally provoked a reaction from the protesters, who attacked the car.

This clear provocation against the workers was followed within a short space of time by attacks on the City Akimat (Mayor’s office) and the head office of “Ozenmunaigaz”. These were destroyed in flames either by protesters angry at the attacks or, as many workers believe, by provocateurs trying to implicate that the workers were involved in a senseless rampage.

By 12.45 the city was in turmoil as the riot police and internal troops, which had been massed on the edge of the city in preceding days, entered the fray using live bullets to fire into the crowd, further increasing the anger as workers saw their comrades fall, either dead or wounded.

One women interviewed on the TV Channel K+ explained that she saw how people were running up to the police, thinking they had weapons with rubber bullets just for dramatic reasons. The police started shooting, hitting people in the arms and legs, before she saw how one man was hit in the head. She saw three killed outright, three more wounded died on the way to the hospital. She saw a mother and a little girl shot in the head. It is clear that the official version of 11 killed is a real underestimate. Reports from the city bear witness that hospitals cannot cope with the numbers of wounded. Emergency blood transfusion centres have been set up. Estimates of the number killed range from 50 to 150.

Despite such brutality, with the riot police using tear gas and light grenades against them, the workers held their own in the square, at one stage moving to disarm the police and troops. Within a short time, they had taken control of the city, at which stage the police were joined by 1,500 marines and armoured equipment. As the troops began to take back the city, work at all the oil drilling stations around the city ceased, with a strike spreading through the region. Pockets of fighting continued through the night.

Opposition activist being arrested in the city Almaty

Present situation

At the time of writing this report, the authorities claim they have taken the situation back under control. The road (there is only one) to Zhanaozen has been blocked off and the city is surrounded by troops. Helicopters are circling the sky.

Nazarbayev has now announced a state of emergency in the city to last at least until 5thJanuary with a daily curfew lasting from 8 in the evening till 7 in the morning. The town will be under the command of the head of the Internal Affairs Dept (MIA) of Mangistau region. Transport movements will be limited. Demonstrations, public assembly and strikes are forbidden and there is a ban on the use of copy machines, TV, radio, video, audio equipment and loudspeakers.

However reporters for the K+ TV say that there is still significant resistance. They report that there is still a large group of strikers and youth concentrated in the Central Square of Zhanaozen, surrounded by riot police and holding white flags on which they have written “peace”. In telephone conversations recorded within the last hour from Zhanaozen, automatic gunfire can be clearly heard (although no shooting can be seen as the city is blacked out).

What follows?

Oil production has ceased at the oil companies Kalamkac and Karazhanbas and the workers have marched from the bus station into the Central Square “Yntymak” of Aktau where there are over a thousand gathered, surrounded by 3,000 riot police. It is also reported that production has ceased at the company “Severnii Buzachi”. In the town of Zhetybai, protesters have gathered outside the mayor’s office while the residents of Shepte have blocked the main railway route to the capital. Five busloads of riot police are said to be approaching. Shooting has also now been reported from there.

Other reports say that a further three aircraft full of riot police have been dispatched to Aktau with “full freedom to act”.

During the last eight months, despite the peaceful and remarkably disciplined nature of their dispute, the strikers have faced violence, repression and now massacre. It is reported that electricity supplies to the city have been cut off and all social networks and mobile telephones remain blocked. All the sites (International, Russian, Kazakh) of the CWI have been blocked over the territory of the republic.

It is still too early to predict the final outcome of this conflict. One thing is clear – President Nazarbayev’s plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the country’s independence on 16th December have been spoilt. In Astana, Nazarbayev gave a long-winded and unconvincing speech about the need for “free, fair and transparent elections, like those in April“. But even opponents from his own circle are now beginning to worry about the situation.

Nazarbayev’s former son-in-law, now in Austrian exile, has warned: “Don’t follow the tragic destiny of Ceausescu and Gaddafi… as long as you remain in power, in charge of the police actions, stop the mass killing of the Kazakh people. Today you have crossed a line beyond which you cannot stay president: you gave the order to shoot Kazakh people. Don’t follow Gaddafi’s path, stop spilling innocent blood”.

A four day celebratory holiday is continuing. Whether protests continue to develop and become widespread will only be clear at the end of the long weekend. But even if, for now, the regime manages to regain control of the situation, these events have dealt it a huge blow.

Like the events of “Bloody Sunday” in 1905 in Russia and the shooting of the workers on the Lena River in 1912, this brutal massacre marks a turning point in the development of the working class and its political consciousness. While the regime has demonstrated it is prepared to drown the struggle of the oilworkers in blood without making any compromises, it has also demonstrated its real nature as a government, only defending the interests of the employers and oligarchs.

Clearly, whatever the outcome of these current events, the need for establishing a unified and independent fighting trade union and workers’ party has never been posed more sharply. We call for the setting up of joint action committees of workers and local residents for the organisation of street protests and action leading to a general strike demanding:

An end to the massacre and withdrawal of all troops and riot police from the Mangystau region;

An immediate inquiry under the full control of the workers and local residents to identify those responsible for giving the order to fire on the peaceful protesters;

The implementation of all the demands of the striking workers;

Freedom for all political prisoners, including Natalia Sokolova;

That there should be no splits or provocations to divide the movement on national or ethnic lines, for the unity of workers of all nationalities in common struggle;

The immediate resignation of the president and government;

A boycott of the parliamentary elections, with full rights to form social, political and trade union organisations;

That all the natural resources, major companies and banks of Kazakhstan are brought into state ownership under the control and management of democratic workers’ committees;

The formation of a mass workers‘ party;

A constituent assembly representing all workers and the poor in society to establish new, democratic organs of power.

A workers’ government with a socialist programme.



Europe

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Exposing the economic blackmail of the IMF in Ukraine, 14/04/2014

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NEWS

Nigeria: Bomb explosions in Abuja - more evidence of the failure of capitalist government
16/04/2014, Segun Sango, Socialist Party Nigeria National Chairperson:
For democratic self-defence committees

Greece: International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”
16/04/2014, Sebastian Forster (CWI Germany) and Elin Gauffin (CWI Sweden):
Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

South Africa: Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections
15/04/2014, Socialistworld.net:
WASP campaigning material available on pdf

India: Massive election process could end in turmoil
14/04/2014, Clare Doyle (CWI international Secretariat):
New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

Cyprus: Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years
11/04/2014, Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus):
One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

Iranian nuclear talks: Hypocrisy abounds
10/04/2014, :
Paul Murphy MEP

Britain: Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies
10/04/2014, :
Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

Hungary: Election highlights lack of Left challenge
09/04/2014, Sonja Grusch and Tilman M. Ruster:
Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

Environment: Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby
09/04/2014, Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP, and Tanja Niemeier:
Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

Belgium: 50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration
08/04/2014, Eric Byl, General Secretary, Linkse Socialistiche Partij / Parti Socialiste de Lutte (PSL/LSP):
Protesters’ radical mood

Review: Net political impact
06/04/2014, Ben Robinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) published in Socialism Today:
To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

Ivory Coast: First victory for students at University of Cocody
04/04/2014, CWI in Ivory Coast:
An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

Canada: Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains
03/04/2014, Socialist Alternative Reporter, Vancouver:
After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

France: Government punished in local elections
02/04/2014, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France) reporters:
Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

South Africa: WASP manifesto launch success!
01/04/2014, Workers’ and Socialist Party (WASP):
On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

Taiwan: Half a million on the streets against President Ma
31/03/2014, CWI reporters in Taipei:
Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

Netherlands: Socialist Party local election gains
31/03/2014, Pieter Brans, Amsterdam:
Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

Video: Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine
29/03/2014, socialistworld.net:
Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

Sweden: New political winds affect CWI Congress
28/03/2014, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna Reporters:
Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!
28/03/2014, Vladimir Bortun, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

Portugal: Thousands of police and military march in Lisbon
27/03/2014, Jose David Gregorio, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal):
Reflection of the government’s intrinsic weakness

Sudan: Has al-Bashir survived mass protests?
25/03/2014, CWI Sudanese supporters:
Removal of hated regime not enough; crises of poverty and oppression due to grip of capitalism

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Taiwan: Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days
10/04/2014, Interview with Sally Tang Mei-ching, CWI participant in Taipei protests:
What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

Belgium: The rise of the PTB/PvdA
05/04/2014, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (CWI in Belgium):
Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

Nepal: Turning back the wheel of history
01/04/2014, Senan, CWI:
Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

US: Winning $15 an hour in Seattle
31/03/2014, Patrick Ayers, Socialist Alternative, USA:
A socialist strategy

Spain: A million march for dignity in Madrid
26/03/2014, Angel Morano, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain):
22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

Taiwan: Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament
26/03/2014, Sally Tang Mei-ching in Taipei and Vincent Kolo:
Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Mass protests - The first flowers of spring
26/03/2014, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI in Austria):
What programme should the Left advocate?

Britain: After Bob Crow and Tony Benn
24/03/2014, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (No.177, April 2014), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Mourn the loss, fight for the future

Scotland: Unions and the socialist case for independence
23/03/2014, John McInally, national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (personal capacity):
Aruging a independent, working class position

Ukraine: Crimea breaks away to join Russia
18/03/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Tensions between powers worsen

Australia: Socialist Party playing key role in fight against East-West tunnel
13/03/2014, Mel Gregson and Stephen Jolly, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia), Melbourne:
Campaign brings public transport to forefront of political debate

Bosnia Herzegovina: Mass protests of working people and youth show the way forward
13/03/2014, CWI Leaflet text:
Working people stir to end poverty, joblessness, corruption and ethnic divisions!

Socialist perspectives for Aotearoa / New Zealand
09/03/2014, CWI Aotearoa / New Zealand:
The world and New Zealand in crisis

International Women’s Day 2014
07/03/2014, Clare Doyle (Committee for a Workers’ International):
Fighting austerity and oppression world-wide

Venezuela: A year after Chavez’s death
06/03/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez (CWI Venezuela).:
Commemorations in context of new crisis

Ukraine: Russian troops take up positions throughout Crimea
04/03/2014, CWI Reporters:
Tensions deepen between Western powers and Moscow

Greece: Still in the eye of the storm
26/02/2014, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece) published in Socialism Today:
From the outside, it can appear there’s a certain pause in the struggle in Greece. Is this true?

Ukraine: Bloodshed in Kiev
19/02/2014, Rob Jones, from Socialism Today (March edition, No.176):
What lies behind the Ukraine crisis?

Venezuela: An analysis of 12F
19/02/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez- SR Venezuela:
On 12F, three people (two right wing supporters and one government supporter) were killed in Caracas and dozens injured and arrested in the protests and demonstrations that took place around Venezuela to commemorate the annual ’Youth Day’.

Pakistan: Negotiating peace
18/02/2014, Khalid Bhatti, SNP Lahore:
Government/Taliban talks begin - But where will they go?

South Africa: The end of Cosatu?
17/02/2014, WASP (Workers and Socialist Party) Reporters, S Africa:
Time for a new socialist trade union federation

Greece: The fascist threat
08/02/2014, Christina Ziakka, Xekinima (CWI Greece) - translated by Amalia Loizidou. First published in Socialism Today:
Deep economic crisis, savage austerity and social upheaval have polarised Greek society.

South Africa: After NUMSA’s Congress
04/02/2014, Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) statement:
Seize the historic opportunity of the 2014 elections

Tunisia: Three years on since the fall of Ben Ali
30/01/2014, Serge Jordan and CWI supporters in Tunis:
New ‘technocratic’ government no response to workers’ demands

Thailand: Prolonged political crisis
27/01/2014, Ravichandran, CWI Malaysia:
Working class and rural poor need party of their own