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latest news

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

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

  Ireland Republic

Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

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

  Ireland Republic

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

Netherlands
Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections

18/02/2017: Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

  Netherlands

Britain
Council cuts can be fought - and they must be

16/02/2017: Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

  Aceh

Spain
Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress

15/02/2017: Time to build the class struggle on the streets

  Spain

US
A socialist strategy to defeat Trump

14/02/2017: Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

  US

Scotland
Greens back SNP government austerity budget

13/02/2017: TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

  Scotland

India
Upheaval in Tamil Nadu

09/02/2017: Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

  India

Britain
Universal basic income demand gains ground

08/02/2017: What approach should socialists take?

  Britain

Yemen
Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S

07/02/2017: Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

  Yemen

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification

06/02/2017: Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

  Spain

France
After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out

06/02/2017: Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

  France

Romania
Biggest street protests since 1989

04/02/2017: What position should the left take?

  Romania

Syria
Is an end to the war in sight?

03/02/2017: New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

  Syria

Quebec
Terrorist Attack in Québec City

01/02/2017: Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

  Quebec

 CWI
9th Latin American school a success

31/01/2017: Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

  CWI

Sri Lanka
The year 2017

31/01/2017: Between oppression and struggle

  Sri Lanka

Canada
Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?

31/01/2017: Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

  Canada

US
Airport protests help block Trump travel ban

30/01/2017: Defend immigrant communities

  US

Russian Revolution Centenary
January 1917 - On the eve of revolution

29/01/2017: War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

  Russian Revolution

China
CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee

28/01/2017: Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

  China

Afghanistan
The limits of US power

28/01/2017: Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

  Afghanistan

US
Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!

27/01/2017: Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

  US

Russia
Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence

26/01/2017: For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

  Russia

Tamil Nadu
Mass protests against state repression

26/01/2017: Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

  India

Millions on women's marches around the world

25/01/2017: Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

  US

Bangladesh
Hartal protest against power plant

25/01/2017: Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

  Bangladesh

Côte d’Ivoire
Social revolts shake Ouattara regime

24/01/2017: Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

  Ivory Coast

Taiwan
US foreign policy under Trump

24/01/2017: Island risks being pawn in his game

  Taiwan

US
CWI joins protests around the world against Trump

23/01/2017: Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

  US

US
Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech

23/01/2017: Socialist council member speaks

  US

South Africa

One-day general strike shows workers’ willingness to fight back

www.socialistworld.net, 14/03/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

200,000 march across South Africa

Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI in South Africa) Reporters

When South Africa’s largest and most militant trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), organised a one-day general strike on March 7, the first such action in over ten years, after avoiding the question for months and calling off several previously announced strikes, it was embraced by the working class as a long-awaited rush of fresh air. Despite what can, at best, be described as half-hearted mobilisation by the trade union leaders, there was a big turn-out for the marches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and marches were also held in 29 other cities and towns. With a total of 200,000 people on the streets across the country, this is said to have been the largest protest since the early 1980s’ anti-apartheid mass movement.

The biggest march, in Johannesburg, drew about 100,000 workers. Around 20 000 marched in Cape Town and another 20,000 in Durban. Many industries, in particular mining, metal and other manufacturing industries and retail stores, were severely constrained.

Workers took the opportunity to express their anger against the super-exploitative practice of labour broking (the outsourcing of employment to manpower companies) and against the effective privatisation of the free-ways through an ‘e-tolling’ system which is to be introduced in Gauteng province next month (these were Cosatu’s two main demands). But marchers also displayed a more generalised anger at the relentless, creeping attacks on workers’ standard of living, and at the shameless indulgence of the ‘politically connected’ in corrupt self-enrichment. South Africa is the officially most unequal country on the planet, with one half of the population receiving 92% of the national income while the other half gets 8%.

Pecarious conditions

A very large part of the SA workforce – up to 30% – are employed by labour brokers or under similarly precarious conditions; typically working for as little as a third of the wages of permanently employed workers, without any job security, pay progression, benefits or organisational rights, which is enriching an army of parasitic middle-men. In SA, as in the rest of the world, labour broking is a tool to divide the working class, already ravaged by a 40% unemployment rate, and to intensify its exploitation. The Zuma ANC-government promised, in its 2009 election campaign, that labour broking would be banned. Proposed amendments to the labour laws which would ‘regulate’ the labour broking industry to the point that it would be paralyzed – a ‘ban’ in all but name – were announced by government, last year (outlawing temporary employment for more than 3 months and different pay for similar work, defining the company contracting the labour broker as ‘the employer’, etc). While government, under pressure from horrified employers, attempts to bury the amendments, which appears to be regarded as some form of embarrassing ‘mis-draft’, in silence and endless procedure, they have also been rejected by the Cosatu leadership which will accept nothing but an explicit ‘ban’. As negotiations drag on, the employer side has already made inroads with extending the time allowed for temporary contracts to six months. In the view of the Democratic Socialist Movement (the CWI in SA), Cosatu’s position amounts to radical posturing and actually assists the bosses in their objective of having the ‘regulation’ proposals withdrawn altogether. Instead we call for a campaign for the adoption, implementation and enforcement of the amendments relating to labour broking - an effective ban, on paper - and to use it as a platform to fight for a real blow against labour broking. For no matter how clearly a ban is spelled out, the fact is that most of the gains that are already inscribed in the labour laws are not being enforced. Workers are desperate for an effective way to counter the neo-liberal onslaught they face in the form of labour broking and many have bought into Cosatu’s stance.

The introduction of a new road-toll system (for now in Gauteng, but if it goes through there it is likely to be followed in other provinces), which will mean dramatically increased costs of living, not only for motorists but drive up prices generally, is an attack on the working class in the same spirit as the encroachment of labour broking. Anger is widespread against this including amongst the middle class.

Despite the Cosatu leadership…

The outstanding question of a general strike has been hanging as shadow over the struggles of recent years and became increasingly impossible to ignore. The Cosatu leadership shied away from it, despite the obvious stepping up of the massive public sector strike in 2010, and again as the logical conclusion of the strike wave of 2011. When the strike eventually took place, after two still born efforts, the union leaders’ approach was strikingly hesitant. There was practically no public mobilisation or campaigning, with not a single poster of leaflet appearing in Johannesburg, and leaflets distributed only late on the afternoon the before the strike in Durban. Outside of what appears to have been a patchy mobilisation within Cosatu’s affiliates, campaigning was limited to the media and in the newspapers, and even most of this was done at the last minute. The Cosatu leadership, for all its love of radical phrases, even appeared shy to state that this was a general strike, speaking instead of ‘national marches’. Only the day before the march did the leaders clearly communicate the message, through the media, that this was a general strike notice protecting every employee in the country, regardless of union affiliation. As a result, despite the demonstration turnout, the threatened shut-down of the economy was far from complete. The Johannesburg march was joined by people from the street for whom the sight of the march was the first they heard of the strike.

Wetted the thirst of workers

The large turn-out, despite this half-heartedness on part of the leadership, shows the willingness and ability of the SA working class to fight. At the same time, the leadership tried to gain maximal militancy credit from the action. Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, during his speech in Johannesburg, called the strike “a warning shot” and promised follow-up action, including blockading the freeways, to massive cheers. Cosatu’s President S’dumo Dlamini, speaking in Durban, said a second strike could be held in August. The strike has certainly wetted the thirst of workers and youth, who are itching to take action. The Cosatu leadership, which is riddled with divisions that appear to be deepening rapidly – on the surface, relating most directly to the looming leadership battles in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), its political partner – was also joined on the strike action by the ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, who was last week expelled from the ANC by its disciplinary committee. The presence of Malema, who is campaigning against the re-election of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, as head of the ANC at the ANC’s national conference, which will be held in December this year, at the march in Johannesburg, was welcomed by many of the marchers. In Limpopo, Malema’s home province, strikers reportedly refused to be addressed by ANC figures associated with Malema.

The right-posturing-as-left demagogue Malema’s attempt to join the Cosatu leadership in riding the working class tiger adds some complication to the consciousness of the working class, but none that does not stand to be clarified in the course of the struggles, which will no doubt be unleashed in SA over the next few years.

Further big class struggles will see the organised working class rejecting the policies of class collaborationism and the rank and file campaigning for democratic control of their unions and for the formation of a mass party of the working class. Such a party can unite all the fighting strands of the working class - in communities, workplaces and social movements – and struggle with independent class policies for a government of workers and poor people.

The DSM participated in marches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, with a pamphlet, which was well-received.



Europe

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A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

Britain/Ireland: Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty
23/02/2017, Neil Cafferky, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

Ireland: A web of intrigue sparks government crisis
22/02/2017, By Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

Yemen: International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers
20/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

Netherlands: Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections
18/02/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

Solidarity: French presidential candidate Mélenchon backs #JobstownNotGuilty campaign
17/02/2017, socialistworld.net :
Support the international solidarity campaign

Britain: Council cuts can be fought - and they must be
16/02/2017, Editorial comments from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) :
Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

Spain: Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress
15/02/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spain:
Time to build the class struggle on the streets

US: A socialist strategy to defeat Trump
14/02/2017, Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Woman and member of Socialist Alternative :
Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

Greece: Athens’ bus cleaners win bulk of wages owed
14/02/2017, Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) and Apostolis Cassimere’s (Board Member of OASA - Athens Bus Workers’ Union):
The struggle continues!

Scotland: Greens back SNP government austerity budget
13/02/2017, Matt Dobson, Socialist Paty Scotland (CWI), Glasgow:
TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

Yemen: Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S
07/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

Romania: Biggest street protests since 1989
04/02/2017, Mâna de Lucru (CWI supporters in Romania):
What position should the left take?

Quebec: Terrorist Attack in Québec City
01/02/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Canada) :
Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

CWI: 9th Latin American school a success
31/01/2017, socialistworld.net:
Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

US: Airport protests help block Trump travel ban
30/01/2017, Socialist Alternative reporters, US :
Defend immigrant communities

China: CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee
28/01/2017, chinaworker.info reporters :
Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

Russia: Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence
26/01/2017, From Socialist Alternative (Russian CWI) website (socialist.news) :
For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

Tamil Nadu: Mass protests against state repression
26/01/2017, Isai Priya, from Tamil Solidarity website :
Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

Bangladesh: Hartal protest against power plant
25/01/2017, Pete Mason, Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) :
Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

Côte d’Ivoire: Social revolts shake Ouattara regime
24/01/2017, Militant Côte d’Ivoire (CWI group in Côte d’Ivoire) :
Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

Taiwan: US foreign policy under Trump
24/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Island risks being pawn in his game

US: CWI joins protests around the world against Trump
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

US: Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Socialist council member speaks

Russian Revolution Centenary: New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

Kazakhstan: Regime increases repression
20/01/2017, Andrei Prigor from Campaign Kazakhstan:
Citizens forced to register with police at all times

US: Global resistance against Trump’s inauguration
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
CWI organizes protests as millions prepare to fight Trump’s agenda

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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

CWI International Executive Committee: World shaken by seismic political events
14/12/2016, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Report of first session of the CWI International Executive Committee, discussing World Relations

World capitalism in deep crisis
08/12/2016, CWI :
Perspectives documents agreed by November CWI international meeting

Sudan: Three day nationwide strike shuts down the country, in unique defiance of Al-Bashir’s rule
30/11/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Escalation of the struggle needed to overthrow repressive regime

US: Trump prepares attacks on working people,immigrants and women
27/11/2016, Tom Crean and Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative (USA):
We must prepare massive resistance!

Cuba: Fidel Castro, leader of 1959 revolution, dies at 90
26/11/2016, Tony Saunois, CWI :
Castro's life and the Cuban Revolution