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Greece
Syriza-led government announces anti-austerity policies

30/01/2015: Markets and EU leaders react against Athens

  Greece

Saudi Arabia
’Defenders of democracy’ mourn despot’s death

30/01/2015: Atrocious human rights records no concern for Western powers

  Saudi Arabia

Greece
Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?

29/01/2015: For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

  Greece

Greece
Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten

29/01/2015: An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

  Britain, Greece

Greece
Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse

27/01/2015: Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

  Europe, Greece

China
Slowest growth rate since 1990

25/01/2015: Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

  China

Cuba
Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased

24/01/2015: Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

  Cuba, US

Northern Ireland
Water service workers win important victory

23/01/2015: A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

  Ireland North

Sri Lanka
Mobilise now to defend our demands

22/01/2015: Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

  Sri Lanka

 US
Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address

21/01/2015: "Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

  US, Video

Russia/Ukraine
Facing a turbulent 2015

21/01/2015: As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

  Russia, Ukraine

Greece
Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes

20/01/2015: Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

  Greece

Nigeria
The Massacre in Baga

19/01/2015: Socialism or Barbarism

  Nigeria

Review
‘Eleanor Marx - a life’

17/01/2015: Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

  Review

 Video
Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor

16/01/2015: Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

  Video

Nigeria
2015 general elections and the working masses

16/01/2015: Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

  Nigeria

  Video
Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland

15/01/2015: "You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

 Video
A year of struggle in Brazil

14/01/2015: LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

  Brazil, Video

Sri Lanka
New but uncertain period opens up

14/01/2015: President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

  Sri Lanka

Iran
Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years

13/01/2015: International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

  Iran

Germany
What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?

13/01/2015: Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

  Germany

France
Millions march for solidarity

12/01/2015: Unity against racism and capitalism!

  France

New Zealand
Extreme poverty worsens

12/01/2015: Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

  New Zealand

France
Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity

10/01/2015: The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

  France

Norway
General strike called for 28 January

10/01/2015: Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

  Norway

Sri Lanka
Rajapaksa defeated

09/01/2015: Period of uncertainty opens

  Sri Lanka

Sweden
New elections cancelled

09/01/2015: “Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

  Sweden

Greece
Towards a Syriza government?

08/01/2015: General elections on 25 January

  Greece

France
Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo

08/01/2015: Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

  France

Hong Kong
Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’

07/01/2015: A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

  Hong Kong

Israel-Palestine
A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide

06/01/2015: Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

  Israel / Palestine

Northern Ireland
The Stormont House Agreement

05/01/2015: Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

  Ireland Republic

Environment
Market forces hold back renewable energy

01/01/2015: Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

  Environment

New Year
Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015

31/12/2014: As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

  Britain, Europe, World Economy

Britain
In defence of TUSC

30/12/2014: As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

  Britain, US

Spain

1.5 million march as workers gear up for general strike

www.socialistworld.net, 13/03/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Struggle from below for a sustained programme of mobilisations to fight labour ‘reforms’!

Danny Byrne, CWI

Less than 100 days since the formation of the PP (People’s Party) government, which was to bring “stability” to crisis-ridden Spain, we see the country convulsed in an intense period of protests and mobilisations. On Sunday 11 March, up to 1.5 million marched in 60 cities, with unions claiming attendances of 500,000 in Madrid and 450,000 in Barcelona. In smaller towns and cities, tens of thousands took the streets. In the region of Andalucia alone, over 220,000 are said to have turned out. These marches followed a massive day of protest on 19 February which was similar numbers take to the streets, and the spontaneous explosion of solidarity with the Valencian spring, which saw tens of thousands protest around the country. And far from representing the culmination of the process, these mobilisations represent only the build up to a general strike on 29 March.

The focal point in this upturn in struggle is the recently announced labour reform, which represents an historic attack on the gains of the Spanish working class, without precedents in the three decades since the fall of the Franco regime. This reform, which massively cheapens and facilitates sackings and seriously erodes the collective bargaining rights of workers, is predicted to usher in 630,000 job losses in 2012. At a time when over 5 million people are unemployed already, this has provoked massive disgust and outrage. It has crystallised the anger at the austerity offensive, which has become more brutal and accelerated since the PP’s victory. And this response comes even before the announcement of the bulk of their anti-worker measures which will come in the budget at the end of March.

Anti-union campaign reflects bosses’ fear of general strike

Since the announcement of the strike, a concerted anti-union campaign has been launched, spearheaded by PP leaders and their cronies in the pro-capitalist press. The general strike has been labelled a “strike against Spain” with an appeal to “patriotism” (i.e. the acceptance of decades of misery and mass unemployment to pay for the debts and “solve” the crisis of the international and Spanish market system). Duran Lleida, leader of the governing Catalan CiU party (which backed up the PP in voting through the labour reform bill in parliament) even called for the strengthening of anti-union legislation to further impede the right to strike. This has been supplemented with a media and government offensive to undermine the impact of the general strike, and the mobilising power of the trade union movement. These demonstrations are a fitting initial answer to this campaign, as will be the general strike which is sure to be of massive proportions. In reality, this campaign reflects weakness more than strength, and a fear of the entry of the organised working class into battle. In the context of such a rabid anti-union campaign, a correct approach on behalf of the anti-capitalist left and social movements, to clearly distinguish the necessary opposition to the right-wing leadership from opposition to the trade union movement generally, is of special importance.

General strike is a first victory in the struggle from below for combative trade unionism

The leaders of the main Spanish trade unions, the CCOO and the UGT, far from responding to the announcement of these attacks with a determined resolve to lead the working class into a battle to win, were pushed from below into calling the general strike. Even when the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, told his counterparts at an EU summit that the labour reform would “cost him a general strike”, weeks passed before the union leaders were prepared to even contemplate it! It was the pressure from below, especially that exercised by the massive demonstrations on 19 February, after which even the capitalist press was forced to comment on the extent to which there was a clamour from below for a general strike. This was then reinforced by the students’ revolt and the determined demand for serious action being transmitted from below through the unions’ structures. It was just a few days after ruling out any general strike action until after May, that the top bureaucrats found themselves without any other option but to announce a strike for 29 March.

The experience of the general strike in September 2010, in which over 10 million workers downed tools, only to have the union leaders signing a sell-out pact agreeing to the increase of the retirement age, among other things, has also had an impact on the consciousness of broad sections of workers and trade unionists. The next step must consist in further developing the struggle from below, to ensure that ‘29-M’ is the beginning of a serious struggle, and is not simply a symbolic strike but part of a strategy to win.

Members of Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain) participated in Sunday’s mass demonstrations, emphasising the need for a sustained programme of action, democratically discussed and decided upon by workplace and community assemblies and strike committees and open to members of all unions (and none). The naming of a date for a 48 hour strike to follow 29-M, with the threat of further strikes of even longer duration if necessary, could be the basis to begin a movement capable of facing down the government’s cuts and counter-reforms. The left organisations, social movements and trade union rank and file could organise from below to fight for such a programme linked to a political alternative to the austerity consensus. This could point the way forward to the only viable road out of the current quagmire – the socialist transformation of society through public democratic ownership and control of the economy, on a national and international scale.

For a sustained campaign of strikes and mobilisations to impose an alternative to the labour “reform” and the cuts!

No more ’symbolic’ mobilisations! Name the date for the next general strike, this time of 48 hours!

[The following is a translation of statement by Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain) following the announcement of the general strike on 29 March]

The government’s labour reform is the biggest attack on the conquests of the working class in terms of workers’ rights since the Franco era. It cheapens sackings at a time when over 5 million are unemployed and over half of young people are out of work. It further facilitates collective sackings, and for those still in work worsens the nightmare of precarious jobs.

But this reform only represents the beginning. It is part of an agenda of misery, of the destruction of the welfare state, which the capitalists are very conscious of, both in Spain and internationally. Rajoy (Prime Minister), Rubalcaba (PSOE leader), Merkel and Sarkozy, along with the capitalist media say that this is the only way possible, that the debt must be paid and the markets must be pacified. They have built a consensus around these policies and this approach.

But we know that it is lies. The austerity of Zapatero and now of Rajoy has not in any way succeeded in improving the situation. The debt continues to climb and the markets continue to demand more ’sacrifices’. Like the Aztecs, they demand more and more blood from society, to please their “gods” - the markets, bosses and big business. It is becoming clearer and clearer to more and more working people that there is no alternative but to struggle for a different path.

General strike as the first step to kick off a sustained struggle

The general strike on 29-M will be an important first step. It will show the power of the working class through the paralysis of the economy, and the massive demonstrations. This strike has only been possible due to the pressure from the mass of workers, especially in the base of the major trade unions, CC.OO and UGT, which forced their ’leaders’ into action. These leaders tried all they could to put off a strike, and only a week or so ago, ruled out a general strike until after May, unsurprisingly attempting to walk the line of least resistance and keep ’social peace’ intact.

This general strike is thus a first victory for the workers and fighting trade unionists, a result of their struggles, and of the energy and shining example of the youth and students in the Valencian Spring. But, unfortunately, this first victory will not be enough. We must continue to organise from below, to make sure that that the union leaders do not follow the strike with a sell-out pact, as was the case following the general strike of 29 September 2010.

This strike must be built for by workers, the unemployed and young people, with the formation of assemblies in the workplaces and communities and in schools and universities. Strike committees, open to members of all unions and non-unionised workers, should be established to debate the strategy for the struggle and the way forward after 29M. What we know for sure is that to be able to halt the offensive of the government and the system, one strike will not be enough. We have seen the heroic resistance of the Greek working class, with 18 individual general strikes. Without a sustained plan of struggle, with an escalating series of strikes, we will be incapable of stopping the government from passing its anti-worker measures. It is necessary to name the date for a general strike of 48 hours to follow 29M, with the threat of more strikes, of an even longer duration should they be necessary, to smash this reform. Linked to this is the need to transform the trade union movement into a democratic fighting instrument of struggle.

The international crisis of capitalism also poses the need for coordinated international struggle. The need for a general strike is posed in a whole number of countries, with one taking place in Portugal on 22 March. But, unfortunately, there is no strategy or plan to link these mobilisations together. The next general strikes in the Iberian Peninsula, and beyond in the ’peripheral’ countries of Europe, should be coordinated and simultaneous.

We must also arm ourselves with political alternatives, which DO exist. In this respect, the left now has an historic responsibility, to demand and popularise genuine alternative policies to the crisis and austerity. These include a rejection of the payment of the debt, which is not ours but that of bankers and speculators, and the nationalisation of the banks and strategic sectors of the economy under democratic workers’ control. This would allow for the implementation of an offensive policy of massive public investment in jobs, production and public services. Based on such policies we could fight for a genuinely democratic system which gives participation to the mass of working people, as an alternative to the dictatorship of the markets and capital. Only on this basis can the movements of workers and youth advance towards the transformation of society and the economy to resolve the fundamental problems facing the majority of people.



Europe

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NEWS

Greece: Syriza-led government announces anti-austerity policies
30/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Markets and EU leaders react against Athens

Saudi Arabia: ’Defenders of democracy’ mourn despot’s death
30/01/2015, Simon Carter, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Atrocious human rights records no concern for Western powers

Greece: Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten
29/01/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

China: Slowest growth rate since 1990
25/01/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

Northern Ireland: Water service workers win important victory
23/01/2015, Donal O’Cofaigh, Socialist Party, Fermanagh:
A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

Sri Lanka: Mobilise now to defend our demands
22/01/2015, Tu Senan, International Coordinator of the Tamil Solidarity campaign:
Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address
21/01/2015, Socialistworld.net, via socialistalternative.org:
"Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

Review: ‘Eleanor Marx - a life’
17/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI. Article published in the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

Video: Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor
16/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

Nigeria: 2015 general elections and the working masses
16/01/2015, Aj. Dagga Tolar and Kola Ibrahim, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

Video: Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland
15/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
"You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

Video: A year of struggle in Brazil
14/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

Sri Lanka: New but uncertain period opens up
14/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI:
President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

Iran: Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years
13/01/2015, Campaign in Support Workers of Iran:
International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

France: Millions march for solidarity
12/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Unity against racism and capitalism!

New Zealand: Extreme poverty worsens
12/01/2015, CWI Reporters, NZ/Aotearoa:
Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

France: Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity
10/01/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) website editorial:
The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

Norway: General strike called for 28 January
10/01/2015, Trond Sverre and Elise Kollveit (CWI, Oslo):
Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa defeated
09/01/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Period of uncertainty opens

Sweden: New elections cancelled
09/01/2015, Questions answered by Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
“Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

France: Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo
08/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

Hong Kong: Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’
07/01/2015, Editorial from Socialist magazine《社會主義者, of CWI in China and Hong Kong:
A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

Israel-Palestine: A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide
06/01/2015, Or Dar, Socialist Struggle Movement, CWI in Israel-Palestine:
Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

Environment: Market forces hold back renewable energy
01/01/2015, Pete Dickinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

Britain: In defence of TUSC
30/12/2014, Clive Heemskerk, from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

CWI: National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism
28/12/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
A socialist solution to national oppression

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Greece: Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?
29/01/2015, Article from Xekhinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 26 January 2015] translated and slightly edited:
For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
27/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, socialistworld.net, interviews Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
21/01/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
20/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

Nigeria: The Massacre in Baga
19/01/2015, H.T Soweto, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Socialism or Barbarism

Germany: What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?
13/01/2015, Wolfram Klein, Socialist Alternative (SAV- CWI Germany):
Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
08/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
General elections on 25 January

Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement
05/01/2015, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

New Year: Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015
31/12/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

Latin America: The end of one cycle and the beginning of another
17/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
15/12/2014, CWI International Executive Committee:
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Sri Lanka: Presidential Election January 8, 2015
11/12/2014, Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka):
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

Australia: Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road
08/12/2014, By Socialist Party (CWI Australia) reporters, Melbourne:
Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
27/11/2014, International Secretariat of the CWI :
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Ireland: Lies and distortions against community protests, the AAA and the Socialist Party
21/11/2014, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
Government and Water Charges completely undermined

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks
19/11/2014, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM):
New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

Ukraine: Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions
15/11/2014, Rob Jones, CWI Moscow:
Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

Northern Ireland: 20 years after the ceasefires
10/11/2014, Ciaran Mulholland, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
In 1994, the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries called ceasefires. Four years later the Good Friday agreement was declared to mark the end of the ‘Troubles’…

Germany: 25 years since November 9
09/11/2014, By Robert Bechert, CWI, who was living in Berlin in 1989:
Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

Elections in Brazil
07/11/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution
07/11/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI:
November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

Ireland: Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance
04/11/2014, Kevin McLoughlin, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

Kurdistan: Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads
31/10/2014, Serge Jordan, CWI:
What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

A ‘third industrial revolution’
28/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
New technological innovations are having a huge impact on the capitalist system, a subject explored in a new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society.