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latest news

Hong Kong
Massive anti-government protests after attempted police crackdown

30/09/2014: Anger over police violence fuels spontaneous “umbrella revolution” and growing strike movement

  Hong Kong

Britain
Labour to continue austerity offensive

26/09/2014: Labour conference a carefully stage-managed affair

  Britain

Ireland South
Is Sinn Féin a genuine left alternative?

25/09/2014: Seeking alliances with austerity parties

  Ireland Republic

Scotland
Independence referendum - A working-class revolt

24/09/2014: The referendum has turned British politics upside down – even though the No vote won

  Scotland

Britain
Capitalist parties in crisis after Scotland revolt

24/09/2014: Build a working class alternative

  Britain, Scotland

Greece
"This destruction of workers’ lives serves the bankers"

23/09/2014: “We must all keep going…we have no other way to survive than to fight-back”

  Greece

Iran
Petrochemical workers sentenced to jail and flogging

22/09/2014: Protest against Iranian government’s brutal sentences!

  Iran

 Environment
Video of Climate Summit meeting with Kshama Sawant

22/09/2014: Video of New York City Climate Summit meeting with Bernie Sanders, Kshama Sawant, Bill KcKibben, Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges

  Environment, US, Video

Scotland
1.6 million vote Yes in a working class revolt against austerity

19/09/2014: Urgent to build new mass party for the working class

  Scotland

Belgium
Right wing coalition aims for structural attack on workers

19/09/2014: Massive social resistance is looming

  Belgium

Northern Ireland
Ian Paisley - peace-maker or war-monger?

18/09/2014: A right-wing, sectarian demagogue who courted paramilitary violence

  Ireland Republic

Scotland
Independence referendum

18/09/2014: "Britain will never be the same again"

  Britain

Spain
Millions take to streets calling for Catalonia’s independence

18/09/2014: Only working class struggle can guarantee the right to decide and resist austerity

  Spain

Sweden
Conservative collapse, extreme-right gains

17/09/2014: CWI success, defended four council seats

  Sweden

Scotland
Thousands mobilise to oppose Project Terror in Scotland

17/09/2014: "You will not take this opportunity away from us"

  Scotland

US
Inequality and fight-back in the world’s richest country

16/09/2014: Socialist Alternative articulates political strategy to break from Democratic Party and capitalism

  US

 Video
John McInally on Scottish Independence

16/09/2014: John McInally, PCS national vice-president (personal capacity), adresses the issue of Scottish independence at a meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

  Video

Brazil
Will elections mark the end of the PT government?

15/09/2014: Space for Left alternative to win support

  Brazil

Asia-Pacific
Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan

13/09/2014: Warmongering governments ratchet-up national tensions in struggle for regional dominance

  Asia, Japan

Scotland
Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies

12/09/2014: Big business, politicians and media attack independence

  Scotland

US
building a movement to end poverty pay!

12/09/2014: Spreading and organising the movement for decent wages

  US

South Africa
Community protest over corruption widens

11/09/2014: Authorities deploy heavily armed response

  Africa, South Africa

Chile
The other ‘9/11’

11/09/2014: 1973 bloody coup against Popular Unity government

  Chile

Ukraine
Fragile ceasefire holds but country remains “a tinder box”

10/09/2014: Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

  Ukraine

Bosnia
Privatise to colonise

08/09/2014: How looting of the economy led to mass social protests

  Bosnia

West Africa
Ebola outbreak - a crisis of capitalism

08/09/2014: Profit drive obstructs treatment and prevention

  Africa

Scotland
10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations

08/09/2014: “In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

  Scotland

Britain
Crisis brewing on all fronts

05/09/2014: The 2015 general election is a mere eight months away yet impossible to call. But what is clear is that none of the capitalist parties hold any real attraction for working class voters.

  Britain

Hong Kong
Occupy Central leader’s comments cast doubt over occupation plan

04/09/2014: After NPC ruling democracy activists are perplexed by Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s comments that the strategic part of struggle “should end”

  Hong Kong

 Iran
Support Behnam Ebrahimzadeh

04/09/2014: Support jailed labour activist’s demands against critical dentention conditions

  Iran, Solidarity

Scotland
Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge

04/09/2014: Over 18,000 people have attended Hope Over Fear public meetings to hear socialist Tommy Sheridan.

  Scotland

Ukraine
Rebel forces gain territory

03/09/2014: International tensions escalate

  Ukraine

Beijing slams door shut on Hong Kong democracy

02/09/2014: Mass resistance against one-party dictatorship is the only way forward!

  Hong Kong

Greece

New elections due as pro-austerity coalition talks fail

www.socialistworld.net, 15/05/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

For a Left government! For anti-austerity, pro-worker, socialist policies!

Nikos Anastasiades, Xekinima (CWI in Greece ) and Niall Mulholland, CWI

Following the 6 May election earthquake in Greece, which saw a hammering of the pro-austerity parties and a huge rejection of the ‘Troika’ (IMF, ECB and EU), the main parties failed to form a coalition government. Attempts by the Greek president to oversee a ‘national unity’ government or to form a “government of technocrats” also failed. Crucial new elections will be held no later than 17 June.

The supporters of Xekinima (CWI in Greece) strongly supported the decision by the left-wing party Syriza to refuse to join any government with pro-austerity parties, such as Pasok, the traditional social democratic party, and the right wing New Democracy.

Syriza

Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) leapt from 4.6% to 16.78% (52 seats), to become the second largest party in the last elections, largely on the basis of its anti-cuts policies and call for a united left government.

Over the last week, the main political parties desperately tried to find a way to avoid new elections. The Greek ruling class is disorientated. Their traditional political tools of support, New Democracy and Pasok, saw their vote dramatically fall.

This was the result of years of their austerity measures that led to mass poverty and homelessness, a steep fall in living standards and rising suicides. By the end of 2012, GDP (total output) is predicted to contract by 20% (since 2008) and unemployment to rise by 25%.

Leaders of New Democracy and Pasok, and most of the media, hypocritically blame Syriza for making the country return to elections. But Syriza’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, correctly rejected their arguments, saying the political establishment wanted Syriza to become their “partner in crime” in making new cuts.

The aversion of the main party leaders to democratic elections is mainly because Syriza is tipped to become the largest party, according to opinion polls, winning anywhere between 20.5% to 28%. Syriza is the only party growing in the polls, while others are falling. New Democracy is projected to win 18.1% of a new vote and Pasok 12.2%, their lowest ratings in nearly 40 years. This reflects the huge popularity of Syriza’s public opposition to yet more austerity cuts.

Far-right threat

The neo-fascist Golden Dawn scored big successes in last week’s elections and entered parliament for the first time. But many of those who voted for Golden Dawn to “punish the politicians” now see the real far right, anti-working class character of the party. Golden Dawn has subsequently dropped in polls, to just above 3% in some cases, which would see the party fail to win any MPs in new elections.

Nevertheless, the working class cannot be complacent about the threat of the far right and reaction. Since winning parliamentary seats, Golden Dawn supporters have viciously attacked immigrants.

Xekhinima calls for the creation of local anti-fascist committees to include democratically-organised defence, and extended to communities, schools, universities and workplaces. If the left fails to offer a viable socialist alternative, the far right can make new gains and the Greek ruling class, which previously resorted to military rule, will also seek to deploy more authoritarian measures against the workers’ movement.

Eurozone exit?

The bosses’ parties threaten that Greece will be forced to leave the eurozone if new elections are called and Syriza comes to power with its anti-austerity policies. Syriza leaders say they want to take measures to end cuts and to improve living standards and that Greece should stay in the eurozone.

While the vast majority of Greeks vociferously oppose the austerity programme they also want to remain in the eurozone. They understandably fear the aftermath of exiting the common currency.

There are endless warnings from the media and cuts-making politicians about what leaving would entail: a dramatic fall in living standards, financial bankruptcy and hyperinflation. Not surprisingly, one recent opinion poll recorded 78% of respondents said they wanted a new government to do whatever it took to keep the euro. At the same time, however, to stay in the euro straitjacket promises only endless austerity for Greeks and an increasing number of them are demanding to leave.

Notwithstanding the aim of Syriza leaders to stay in the eurozone, even if they follow their current policies in a new government, limited as they are to a ‘radical’ renegotiation of the bail-out terms, they will face stiff opposition from the EU and Greek capitalists, most likely leading to Greece’s exit from the euro.

The Troika has indicated that it is prepared to reconsider aspects of the bail-out terms but not the ‘core’ issues, which means new assaults on the living conditions of Greek people.

Yet Syriza is not preparing its own supporters and the working class generally for the consequences of confrontation with the Troika, the markets and the Greek ruling class or taking account of a likely ferocious media and bosses’ parties scare campaign that will be unleashed against Syriza during the new election campaign.

Some Syriza leaders argue that when they form a new government, the Troika’s bluff will be called and they forced to back down and make big concessions. They point out that the EU leaders are terrified of a Greek default and exit from the euro. This would cause a new financial crisis and deep recession throughout the EU, with countries like Spain, Portugal and Ireland also possibly forced out of the euro.

While this is true, events have their own momentum. Some EU leaders and markets fear Greece is on an irresistible slide towards exit from the euro and financial markets are making preparations for this eventuality.

Angela Merkel and EU president Jose Manuel Barroso openly stated that if Athens cannot abide by the bailout rules, Greece will have to leave. This may partly be a threat to force Greece to form a coalition government to continue with cuts, as well as an attempt to show what will happen to any eurozone country that dares to stand up to the Troika.

Left government

In this situation, what should the Greek Left do? Xekinima welcomes Syriza’s public call for left unity. Syriza should open up and develop its structures as a broad left alliance, so that fresh layers of workers and youth can join and decide party policy democratically. Xekinima supports united action of the left parties ahead of the next elections and for working people to vote for Syriza.

Syriza should make a call for a resurgence of mass action in the workplaces, colleges and communities and for combative, democratic union organisation. This should be done concretely, with the convening of mass assemblies at local, regional and national levels to discuss and agree programme, demands and electoral tactics, to campaign for a left government and to strive to ensure that such a government pursues anti-austerity and pro-worker policies.

The communist party (KKE) and Antarsya (the Anti-capitalist Left Cooperation) both took a sectarian attitude before the last elections and rejected Syriza’s ‘left unity’ proposal, with the result that their votes remain stagnant. To the amazement of many millions of workers, the KKE leadership still continues to refuse to form a block with Syriza.

But under growing pressure from their rank and file, and the working class, in general, a section of Antarsya has indicated that it is prepared to have joint collaboration with Syriza.

Many KKE members also speak of the need to “make unity with Syriza”. Xekinima urges Syriza to make a bold call to the rank and file of the KKE and other left forces to join in an electoral bloc on an anti-austerity platform and to fight for a majority left government with a socialist programme.

Xekinima will campaign for a government of the Left and call for it to carry out anti-austerity, pro-worker policies and to adopt a socialist programme to transform society.

A programme for united action by Syriza and the KKE around opposition to all austerity measures, for cancellation of the debt, public ownership of the main banks and industries and for socialist change, would win widespread support from the working class, youth and middle class.

Pro-worker policies would predictably cause screams of outrage from the bosses in Greece and the EU. They would probably quickly kick Greece out of the eurozone.

Ejected from the euro, a workers’ government would need to carry out an emergency programme, including state control over imports and exports and capital controls to stop the “flight of capital” by profit-hungry property-holders and multinationals. Democratic committees should oversee the supply of foodstuffs, medicine, oil and other vital goods to working people.

A workers’ government in Greece would link up with the workers’ movement in other crisis ridden euro-zone countries, like Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy, to break the diktat of the Troika, the bosses’ EU and capitalism.

These countries could form a confederation on a socialist basis and begin the international democratic planning and co-ordination of the economy, as part of a fight for a full socialist confederation of Europe, on a free and equal basis. This would win massive support quickly across the working class of Europe.



Europe

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NEWS

Britain: Labour to continue austerity offensive
26/09/2014, Matt Gordon, from the Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party - CWI England & Wales):
Labour conference a carefully stage-managed affair

Ireland South: Is Sinn Féin a genuine left alternative?
25/09/2014, Conor Payne, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Cork:
Seeking alliances with austerity parties

Britain: Capitalist parties in crisis after Scotland revolt
24/09/2014, Editorial from the Socialist (issue 826), weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Build a working class alternative

Iran: Petrochemical workers sentenced to jail and flogging
22/09/2014, Appeal from Campaign in Support of Iranian Workers’:
Protest against Iranian government’s brutal sentences!

Environment: Video of Climate Summit meeting with Kshama Sawant
22/09/2014, Video from The Real News:
Video of New York City Climate Summit meeting with Bernie Sanders, Kshama Sawant, Bill KcKibben, Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges

Scotland: 1.6 million vote Yes in a working class revolt against austerity
19/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
Urgent to build new mass party for the working class

Northern Ireland: Ian Paisley - peace-maker or war-monger?
18/09/2014, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
A right-wing, sectarian demagogue who courted paramilitary violence

Scotland: Independence referendum
18/09/2014, Editorial of the Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
"Britain will never be the same again"

Spain: Millions take to streets calling for Catalonia’s independence
18/09/2014, Rob MacDonald, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain) Barcelona:
Only working class struggle can guarantee the right to decide and resist austerity

Scotland: Thousands mobilise to oppose Project Terror in Scotland
17/09/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
"You will not take this opportunity away from us"

Video: John McInally on Scottish Independence
16/09/2014, Socialistworld.net:
John McInally, PCS national vice-president (personal capacity), adresses the issue of Scottish independence at a meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Belgium: First school student protest against cuts in education
15/09/2014, Jeroen Demuynck, PSL-LSP (CWI in Belgium):
Anger against austerity growing

Asia-Pacific: Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan
13/09/2014, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Warmongering governments ratchet-up national tensions in struggle for regional dominance

Scotland: Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies
12/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Big business, politicians and media attack independence

US: building a movement to end poverty pay!
12/09/2014, Geoff Jones, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
Spreading and organising the movement for decent wages

South Africa: Community protest over corruption widens
11/09/2014, WASP reporters:
Authorities deploy heavily armed response

Chile: The other ‘9/11’
11/09/2014, Tony Saunois, CWI (first published on socialistworld.net, September 2011):
1973 bloody coup against Popular Unity government

Sri Lanka:Veteran trade union leader dies
09/09/2014, United Socialist Party:

Bosnia: Privatise to colonise
08/09/2014, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI Austria):
How looting of the economy led to mass social protests

West Africa: Ebola outbreak - a crisis of capitalism
08/09/2014, Peluola Adewale, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI Nigeria):
Profit drive obstructs treatment and prevention

Hong Kong: Occupy Central leader’s comments cast doubt over occupation plan
04/09/2014, Reporters of Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
After NPC ruling democracy activists are perplexed by Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s comments that the strategic part of struggle “should end”

Iran: Support Behnam Ebrahimzadeh
04/09/2014, Campaign in Support of Workers of Iran:
Support jailed labour activist’s demands against critical dentention conditions

Scotland: Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge
04/09/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
Over 18,000 people have attended Hope Over Fear public meetings to hear socialist Tommy Sheridan.

Ukraine: Rebel forces gain territory
03/09/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
International tensions escalate

Video: Revolution and counter-revolution in the world today
01/09/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) speaking at recent summer camp

France: Economic stagnation and political instability
29/08/2014, Leila Massaoudi, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Hollande removes ‘lefts’ from government

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Hong Kong: Massive anti-government protests after attempted police crackdown
30/09/2014, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Anger over police violence fuels spontaneous “umbrella revolution” and growing strike movement

Scotland: Independence referendum - A working-class revolt
24/09/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
The referendum has turned British politics upside down – even though the No vote won

Greece: "This destruction of workers’ lives serves the bankers"
23/09/2014, Speech by Apostolis Kasimeriss, an Athens bus driver, to Italian socialists:
“We must all keep going…we have no other way to survive than to fight-back”

Belgium: Right wing coalition aims for structural attack on workers
19/09/2014, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
Massive social resistance is looming

Sweden: Conservative collapse, extreme-right gains
17/09/2014, Per Olsson, from Offensiv (newspaper of the Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna - CWI Sweden):
CWI success, defended four council seats

US: Inequality and fight-back in the world’s richest country
16/09/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Socialist Alternative articulates political strategy to break from Democratic Party and capitalism

Brazil: Will elections mark the end of the PT government?
15/09/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Space for Left alternative to win support

Ukraine: Fragile ceasefire holds but country remains “a tinder box”
10/09/2014, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

Scotland: 10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations
08/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
“In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

Britain: Crisis brewing on all fronts
05/09/2014, Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
The 2015 general election is a mere eight months away yet impossible to call. But what is clear is that none of the capitalist parties hold any real attraction for working class voters.

Beijing slams door shut on Hong Kong democracy
02/09/2014, Statement by Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
Mass resistance against one-party dictatorship is the only way forward!

Iraq: Only united action can stop sectarian war
16/08/2014, Robert Bechert, CWI:
Iraqis and Kurds must not trust imperialist ‘helpers’

Socialism and national rights
15/08/2014, From Socialism Today No.181, September 2014 by Peter Taaffe, General Secretary of Socialist Party (England and Wales), CWI Secretariat:
Ukraine, Israel/Palestine and other countries

Ukraine: Crisis deepens
09/08/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI Secretariat:
Military conflict escalates

CWI School: World capitalism fails working people
07/08/2014, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
System offers economic crisis, insecurity, poverty and wars

Israel/Palestine: After weeks of mass slaughter in Gaza, IDF forces ‘withdraw’
06/08/2014, Niall Mulholland, from articles in this week’s Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
What is the role of imperialism in the conflict?

CWI Summer School: European capitalism fails to recover
02/08/2014, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Working class must organise for future struggles

Gaza in crisis
29/07/2014, Shahar Benhorin, Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI in Israel-Palestine):
Mass action needed to stop bloodshed

Trotsky: The first year of war
23/07/2014, Originally published in in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Article by LEON TROTSKY translated into English for first time

WW1: The Bolsheviks and the war
21/07/2014, Peter Taaffe, article originally published in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The horrors of the first world war, and the economic and social turmoil it created, led to mass upheaval. In Russia alone did this lead to a successful revolution…

1914: The capitulation of the Second International
19/07/2014, Robert Bechert (a longer version of an article published in the July/August 2014 issue of Socialism Today):
Before 1914, the Second International resolved to act to prevent war…

World War One: 100 years since the great slaughter
16/07/2014, Tony Saunois, article originally published in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Ten million killed and more than ten million seriously injured

Israel-Palestine:World outraged by Israeli State’s ferocious bombing of Gaza
15/07/2014, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
Mass action needed to end the slaughter and blockade!

Can capitalism put all of us first?
05/07/2014, By Philip Stott:
A response to the “practical idealism” of the Common Weal

Argentina: Return to turmoil
01/07/2014, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Debt crisis is back – the class struggle and tasks for the Left