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latest news

Germany
20,000 people give ECB “the finger”

28/03/2015: Big demo and blockade against the reopening of the Central Bank

  Germany

 Video
Interview with a Greek socialist

28/03/2015: The Syriza government and the Troika and building the Greek Left

  Greece, Video

South Africa
NUMSA & WASP discuss international experiences of new workers’ parties

27/03/2015: South Africa’s metalworkers union in discussion with WASP and CWI

  Africa, South Africa

Obituary
Harald Mahrer (1974-2015)

27/03/2015: An active, critical and inspiring comrade

  Obituary

 Video
Dave Nellist on Russia Today TV

26/03/2015: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing throughout Britain in May elections

  Britain, Video

Norway
Lessons of the pilots’ strike

25/03/2015: A struggle against outsourcing

  Norway

Israel
Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election

25/03/2015: New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

  Israel / Palestine

China
Demand release of arrested women activists

24/03/2015: Has the commemoration of International Women’s Day also now been outlawed in China?

  China

Italy
The instability of domestic capitalism

24/03/2015: Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

  Italy

Sweden
Central bank rates cut "panic measure"

23/03/2015: Eurozone’s QE intensifies currency wars

  Sweden

Greece
Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer

23/03/2015: Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

  Greece

Tunisia
Twenty three killed in terrorist attack

20/03/2015: Down with terror! Down with capitalism!

  Tunisia

Belgium
No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity

20/03/2015: New action plan against right wing government takes off

  Belgium

Ukraine
Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement

18/03/2015: Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

  Ukraine

Ireland North
Public sector workers strike against austerity

18/03/2015: For a second day of strike action in the run-up to the May general election!

  Ireland North

 North Cyprus
New strike wave against cuts

17/03/2015: Workers determined to stop austerity

  Cyprus, Solidarity

 Brazil
Urgent solidarity protests needed

17/03/2015: Faced with lack of water for the people, Sao Paulo water company SABESP cuts costs, sacks more than 500 workers and victimises trade union activists

  Brazil, Solidarity

 Scotland
Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) leaves Solidarity

16/03/2015: Tommy Sheridan departs from principled socialist position with call for “lending vote" to cuts-making SNP

  CWI, Scotland

Britain
What lies behind UKIP?

14/03/2015: Its Tory-oriented anti-immigration, anti-EU rhetoric has been adapted to a right-wing populism aimed at winning voters fed up with the political establishment

  Britain

Ireland North
Massive public sector strike against austerity

13/03/2015: Socialist MPs in Southern Ireland Parliament send message of support to strikers

  Ireland North, Ireland Republic

Ireland South
Marriage equality referendum set for May

12/03/2015: Poisonous bigotry must be challenged

  Ireland Republic

Ireland North
Stormont government crisis on eve of public sector strike

11/03/2015: Struggle can force politicians back from austerity measures

  Ireland North, Ireland Republic

Iran
Independent workers’ organizations statement about minimum wage

11/03/2015: Increasing demands for a living wage

  Iran

Ireland North
13 March public sector strike against austerity

10/03/2015: Dead-end of rightwing, sectarian politics - new anti-sectarian party which fights for working class needed

  Ireland North

  Video
Dublin ROSA demonstration on International Women’s Day

10/03/2015: Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) speaks along with other activists

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

 International Women’s Day 2015

09/03/2015: Articles from CWI sections celebrating IWD

  Women

Greece
Syriza’s first months in power

07/03/2015: The working class and social movements must enter the struggle for their rights

  Greece

Netherlands
Wave of student protests

05/03/2015: For democratic reforms and end to budget cuts

  Netherlands

Austria
The year starts with antifascism

05/03/2015: Right-wing Ball events, PEGIDA, and neo-nazi Violence: A Month of Intense and Successful anti-fascism in Austria

  Austria, Venezuela

 Greece
Vodafone strike declared “illegal”

04/03/2015: “None of this will intimidate us - we will struggle until we win collective bargaining”

  Greece, Solidarity

Russia
50,000 march in Moscow after shooting of Boris Nemtsov

03/03/2015: As economic crisis deepens, social explosions loom

  Russia

Quebec
Towards a hot spring

02/03/2015: Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

  Quebec

Greece
“Yes there was a different choice!”

02/03/2015: Socialist policies needed, not deals with the Troika

  Germany, Greece

Scotland
Why Tommy is wrong to call for a vote for the SNP in May

27/02/2015: Philip Stott Socialist Party Scotland

  Scotland

Greece showdown

26/02/2015: Niall Mulholland interviewed NICOS ANASTASIADES, of Xekinima (CWI Greece), just as Syriza leaders agreed a four-month bail-out extension with the EU.

  Greece

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.



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NEWS

Germany: 20,000 people give ECB “the finger”
28/03/2015, by Michael Koschitzki, SAV – Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
Big demo and blockade against the reopening of the Central Bank

Video: Interview with a Greek socialist
28/03/2015, Nicos Anastasiades of Xekinima (CWI Greece):
The Syriza government and the Troika and building the Greek Left

South Africa: NUMSA & WASP discuss international experiences of new workers’ parties
27/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
South Africa’s metalworkers union in discussion with WASP and CWI

Obituary: Harald Mahrer (1974-2015)
27/03/2015, Sozialistische LinksPartei (CWI Austria) Reporters:
An active, critical and inspiring comrade

Video: Dave Nellist on Russia Today TV
26/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing throughout Britain in May elections

Norway: Lessons of the pilots’ strike
25/03/2015, Elin Gauffin, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
A struggle against outsourcing

China: Demand release of arrested women activists
24/03/2015, Sally Tang Mei-Ching, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong):
Has the commemoration of International Women’s Day also now been outlawed in China?

Sweden: Central bank rates cut "panic measure"
23/03/2015, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
Eurozone’s QE intensifies currency wars

Tunisia: Twenty three killed in terrorist attack
20/03/2015, Statement by CWI-Tunisia:
Down with terror! Down with capitalism!

Ireland North: Public sector workers strike against austerity
18/03/2015, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
For a second day of strike action in the run-up to the May general election!

North Cyprus: New strike wave against cuts
17/03/2015, Özgür İnsanoğlu and Bahtiyar Girne, North Cyprus:
Workers determined to stop austerity

Brazil: Urgent solidarity protests needed
17/03/2015, Translation of a solidarity appeal from the LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Faced with lack of water for the people, Sao Paulo water company SABESP cuts costs, sacks more than 500 workers and victimises trade union activists

Scotland: Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) leaves Solidarity
16/03/2015, Statement from Socialist Party Scotland Executive Committee:
Tommy Sheridan departs from principled socialist position with call for “lending vote" to cuts-making SNP

Britain: What lies behind UKIP?
14/03/2015, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Its Tory-oriented anti-immigration, anti-EU rhetoric has been adapted to a right-wing populism aimed at winning voters fed up with the political establishment

Ireland North: Massive public sector strike against austerity
13/03/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Socialist MPs in Southern Ireland Parliament send message of support to strikers

Ireland South: Marriage equality referendum set for May
12/03/2015, Helen Redwood, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
Poisonous bigotry must be challenged

Ireland North: Stormont government crisis on eve of public sector strike
11/03/2015, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
Struggle can force politicians back from austerity measures

Iran: Independent workers’ organizations statement about minimum wage
11/03/2015, Statement by six Iranian workers’ organizations:
Increasing demands for a living wage

Ireland North: 13 March public sector strike against austerity
10/03/2015, Text of Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) leaflet, Belfast:
Dead-end of rightwing, sectarian politics - new anti-sectarian party which fights for working class needed

Video: Dublin ROSA demonstration on International Women’s Day
10/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) speaks along with other activists

International Women’s Day 2015
09/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Articles from CWI sections celebrating IWD

Netherlands: Wave of student protests
05/03/2015, Bas de Ruiter, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands):
For democratic reforms and end to budget cuts

Austria: The year starts with antifascism
05/03/2015, Stefan Gredler, SLP (CWI in Austria):
Right-wing Ball events, PEGIDA, and neo-nazi Violence: A Month of Intense and Successful anti-fascism in Austria

Greece: Vodafone strike declared “illegal”
04/03/2015, Jacqueline Gorou, President, Panhellenic Trade Union Vodafone-Panafone:
“None of this will intimidate us - we will struggle until we win collective bargaining”

Russia: 50,000 march in Moscow after shooting of Boris Nemtsov
03/03/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As economic crisis deepens, social explosions loom

Greece: “Yes there was a different choice!”
02/03/2015, Interview with Nikos Kanellis, Volos City Councilor (Xekinima/ CWI Greece) by Sascha Stanicic (SAV’/CWI Germany):
Socialist policies needed, not deals with the Troika

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Israel: Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election
25/03/2015, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement, Israel-Palestine:
New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

Italy: The instability of domestic capitalism
24/03/2015, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

Greece: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer
23/03/2015, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

Belgium: No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity
20/03/2015, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
New action plan against right wing government takes off

Ukraine: Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement
18/03/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

Greece: Syriza’s first months in power
07/03/2015, Andreas Payiatsos, from Xekinima (newspaper of the CWI Greece):
The working class and social movements must enter the struggle for their rights

Quebec: Towards a hot spring
02/03/2015, Deirdre and Bruno, Socialist Alternative (CWI Quebec):
Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

Greece showdown
26/02/2015, Article to be published in the March issue of Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI in England and Wales):
Niall Mulholland interviewed NICOS ANASTASIADES, of Xekinima (CWI Greece), just as Syriza leaders agreed a four-month bail-out extension with the EU.

Libya: War-torn country becoming new hub for IS activities
25/02/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
Libyan people bearing the brunt of NATO’s fiasco

Europe: Eurozone time-bomb
25/02/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party of England and Wales):
Mired in recession, the eurozone is haunted by the spectre of stagnation

Greece: Syriza retreats under Troika threats
24/02/2015, Nicos Anastasiades, Xekinima (CWI Greece), Thessaloniki:
Popular mood shows anti-austerity, socialist policies would win huge support

History: The political legacy of Malcolm X
21/02/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative:
50 years after his assassination

Spain: Is ‘Podemos’ the Spanish Syriza?
16/02/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Dangers of “moderation” and domestication

Egypt: Regime brutality on fourth anniversary of revolution
10/02/2015, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Masses will regain confidence and willingness to fight

Greece: Not a single step back!
08/02/2015, Statement by the Editorial Board of Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Conflict between SYRIZA government and EU escalates

Kurdistan: ‘Islamic State’ driven out of Kobanê
02/02/2015, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Will the end of Kobanê’s siege turn the tide against IS?

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