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latest news

Catalonia
9 November “consultation” on independence

22/11/2014: Another show of strength for independence - fight for a Socialist Catalonia

  Spain

Greece
Workers’ victory at Diamant telesales company

21/11/2014: Xekinima (CWI) member wins key union position in Athens Municipality sector

  Greece

Israel-Palestine
Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks

19/11/2014: New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

  Israel / Palestine

US
Mid-term elections do not mean a turn to the right in society

19/11/2014: Big Gains for Republicans while Voters Support Progressive Ballot Measures

  US

 Video
Socialist TD defends anti-water charges protests

18/11/2014: Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) appears on ‘Prime Time’

  Ireland Republic, Video

Vital lessons of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’

18/11/2014: Mass struggle needs genuine internal democracy and fighting working class programme to defeat dictatorship

  Hong Kong

 Video
Water tax revolt continues in Ireland

17/11/2014: Tanaiste (Deputy PM) trapped by protestors; AAA TD (MP) and Socialist Party member, Paul Murphy, assaulted

  Ireland Republic, Video

Indonesia
"New Hope" president faces intense pressures

16/11/2014: Initiative to build mass party of working class and rural poor urgently needed

  Indonesia

Ukraine
Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions

15/11/2014: Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

  Ukraine

Scotland
SNP government announces £500 million cuts

14/11/2014: Majority of ‘Yes’ voters want end to austerity - anti-cuts candidates needed!

  Scotland

Afghanistan
British combat troops pull out

13/11/2014: A legacy of death and destruction

  Afghanistan, Britain, US

 Germany
Highly politicised train drivers’ strike

12/11/2014: Last week German train drivers and on-board staff went on strike for four days, shaking and polarising the country

  Germany, Solidarity

Greece
Mayors refuse to make job cuts

12/11/2014: Lefts, local authority workers and communities’ united can resist Troika’s policies

  Greece

Britain
Over 1,000 attend largest ever ‘Socialism’ event

11/11/2014: Socialism 2014 - infused with contagious confidence

  Britain

Belgium
Massive demonstration in Brussels

10/11/2014: Shows anger against austerity

  Belgium

Northern Ireland
20 years after the ceasefires

10/11/2014: 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’…

  Ireland Republic

Review
Environmental disaster and the need to change everything

09/11/2014: “This Changes Everything: capitalism vs the climate”, by Naomi Klein

  Environment, Review

Germany
25 years since November 9

09/11/2014: Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

  Germany

Canada
Right wing wins Toronto Mayoral election

08/11/2014: NDP increasingly irrelevant to needs of workers, immigrants and youth

  Canada

Elections in Brazil

07/11/2014: Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

  Brazil

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution

07/11/2014: November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

  Russia

Europe
Anti-fascist demonstrations set for 8-9 November

06/11/2014: Movement of workers and youth needed against racism and fascism

  Europe, Greece, Sweden

Canada
Ottawa ‘locked-down’ after Parliament gun attack

05/11/2014: Tory government whips-up terrorist fears to boost Canada’s imperialist role

  Canada

Ireland
Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance

04/11/2014: How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

  Ireland Republic

Book review
The Jihadis Return

04/11/2014: Isis and the new Sunni uprising, by Patrick Cockburn

  Middle East, Review

South Africa
Metal workers’ union clashes with Congress of South African Trade Unions

03/11/2014: For political and class independence - Struggle, solidarity and socialism!

  South Africa

Britain
Come to Socialism 2014

03/11/2014: Weekend of discussion & debate hosted by the Socialist Party – London 8-9 November

  Britain

  Ireland
’Abortion Pill Train’ video

02/11/2014: Pro-choice ROSA campaigners swallow abortion pills after rail journey

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

Italy
Renzi government faces mounting opposition

01/11/2014: A one-day strike of all workers is needed

  Italy

Burkina Faso
Mass uprising ousts dictator

31/10/2014: No to military rule! Continue mass struggle – the whole rotten system must go!

  Burkina Faso

Ireland
Anti-water tax protest in Limerick

31/10/2014: Video of one of the city’s biggest protests

  Ireland Republic

Kurdistan
Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads

31/10/2014: What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

  Kurdistan, Middle East

Belgium
Government’s Thatcherite attacks provoke class confrontation

30/10/2014: The right wing coalition must go, and all austerity policies!

  Belgium

Egypt

50,000 protest ruling military junta’s new sweeping powers

www.socialistworld.net, 20/06/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Escalation in struggle for power between old regime and Muslim Brotherhood

Niall Mulholland and David Johnson, edited article from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales)

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood stated the revolution is facing ‘a life and death moment’ after it claimed victory in presidential elections but now faces an attempt by the ruling military junta to impose a ‘constitutional coup’.

The official results of the second round presidential elections will not be known until Thursday 21 June. However, on a low turnout, unofficial tallies suggested that Mohammed Mursi, the presidential candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), won with 52% of the vote. It is likely that no matter who the election commission names as winner, his rival will claim it is a fraud, opening the way to further confrontation.

Just as polls closed the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) gave itself new sweeping powers in a ‘constitutional declaration’. This effectively binds the hands of the incoming president and increases military dictatorship in the post-Mubarak era.

It gives the generals powers to initiate legislation, control the budget, appoint a panel to draft a new constitution, postpone new parliamentary elections until the constitution is approved and strips the president of any authority over the army.

It also formalised the army’s ability to detain civilians and to bring troops onto the streets during “internal unrest”.

This follows a ruling by the High Constitutional Court on 14 June - stacked with Mubarak-era supporters - that decreed parliamentary elections held earlier this year were unconstitutional, leading to the dissolution of the Islamist-led parliament.

On Monday morning, 18 June, soldiers prevented MPs from entering parliament. The court also supported the right of Mubarak’s last prime minister to run for president.

The concerted moves by the High Court and generals mark a serious escalation in the struggle for power between the old regime and the rising power of the Muslim Brotherhood.

More importantly, it is another assault by the Mubarak-era forces against the working masses and revolutionary opposition.

Since the ‘25 January revolution’, last year, over 1,200 protesters have been murdered by the regime, 8,000 maimed and 16,000 court-martialled. Thousand are in military jails, with many of them on hunger strike.

In a leaflet distributed in Tahrir Square last year, published on the day of Murbarak’s forced resignation, CWI supporters warned: “However the battle is not over yet, dangers still remain. The unelected vice-president Suleiman, the Mubarak police state’s former head of intelligence, announced that the former president handed over power to the ‘High Council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country’. The new head of state, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, has been defence minister and the armed forces Commander-in Chief since 1991, nearly two-thirds of the time that Mubarak was in power. A BBC correspondent commented that ‘The army takeover looks very much like a military coup … because officially it should be the speaker of parliament who takes over, not the army leadership’.”

( http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/4844)

Reports that ousted president Hosni Mubarak was transferred from Torah prison hospital to a military hospital, late last night, where he is on a life support machine, will raise tensions in society. It will further infuriate many youth and workers who regard the revolution under attack. Although sentenced to a life prison sentence, Mubarak is given preferential treatment by the ruling military regime and security and military officials.

‘Nasserist’ candidate

The two presidential candidates, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi and Ahmad Shafiq, a former minister in Mubarak’s regime, each gained only about 25% of the votes in the first round.

Hamdeen Sabbahi

Despite the strong show of support for Hamdeen Sabbahi, the radical ‘Nasserist’ candidate whose vote was just 3% behind Mursi and 2% behind Shafiq in the first round, there was no candidate for president to represent the interests of the working class and the poor.

Shafiq was backed by Scaf which has ruled Egypt since Mubarak’s downfall. This is the same regime that ruled before the 25 January 2011 revolution, minus Mubarak, his sons and a few other henchmen. Shafiq stands for the continuation of rule by this pro-big business regime, with Scaf retaining power behind the scenes.

Shafiq made the need for security and ‘law and order’ his main campaign issue. He tried to exploit the “chaos” of recent months, which was due to the machinations of the ruling military, including their ‘divide and rule’ policies, but also because the revolution has no clear direction or socialist leadership.

But behind talk of the need to cut crime is the clear threat to clamp down on the rights to protest, to organise independent trade unions and to strike. After 18 months of revolutionary turmoil, Shafiq stood for counter-revolution to end the challenge to the ruling classes’ right to exploit the rest of society.

Mursi’s share of the vote was almost half what his FJP had won in the parliamentary elections earlier this year, falling from ten million to 5.8 million.

He tried to portray himself as the candidate to defend the revolution against the restoration of the old regime. That is not easy for him given the MB’s role before, during and since the revolution.

For years, the MB leadership avoided direct confrontation with the Mubarak regime, despite frequent arrests and imprisonment of its leading members.

At first, the MB opposed the 25 January uprising. It was only after large numbers of MB youth ignored these ‘leaders’, joining other youth in Tahrir and other city squares, that the MB leadership was forced to change its tune and declare its support for the revolution.

After the downfall of Mubarak, the MB leaders cooperated with Scaf until November. Coming under massive pressure from below, they then supported a demonstration called for 18 November but continued to avoid outright confrontation with the generals.

MB leaders have continued to swing between cooperation with Scaf and opposition, depending on whether they have felt under greater pressure from the generals or the masses. The MB leaders opposed independent working class action and, in particular, strike action.

They represent the interests of a section of the capitalist class who were excluded from political power under Mubarak’s regime. They use right-wing, political Islam to build a base of support among the most conservative layers in society. Since their election to parliament, MB MPs have been trying to remove women’s and children’s rights.

In the second round presidential elections, many of the exploited in society, for want of a class alternative, voted for the MB as a ‘lesser evil’, in opposition to the Mubarak-era forces and the rule of the generals. Others voted for Shafiq, not because they want to see the rule of the generals, but because they feared political Islamists imposing their will on society.

Most tellingly, however, were the millions who decided not to vote at all, in effect boycotting the election. Some areas reported voter turnout as low as 15%.

The Scaf is relying on repression and intimidation, as well as widespread exhaustion and a craving for stability among big parts of Egyptian society, in order to maintain their rule. The so-called months of “democratic transition”, under the control of Scaf and with imperialist backing, is clearly revealed to the Egyptian masses as a complete fraud.

Following the outcome of the presidential elections and the military’s coup there may be a feeling of demoralisation among some workers and youth.

It is also possible that the crude intervention of the pro-Mubarak Courts and Scaf’s new repressive legislation, can act as the ‘whip of counter-revolution’, provoking new mass protests and an upsurge in revolutionary struggles. Some 50,000 protesters, reportedly mostly Islamists, massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, on 19 June, chanting slogans in support of Morsi and denouncing the Scaf entrenchment of its power. Other protests were reported in Alexandria, the port city.

Whatever the timing and course of new mass resistance, the MB cannot be relied upon to lead it in the interests of working people.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood called this week for mass protests across Egypt to demonstrate against sweeping new powers taken by the ruling military council, it remains to be seen how far the leadership is prepared to lead a real struggle.

While coming under pressure from below to fight for more democratic rights, the MB, in or out of power, will primarily act on behalf of the ruling class, or at least that faction they represent. As the MB has shown before, despite its rhetoric against military rule, it can end up making a rotten compromise with the generals.

Independent working class alternative

As the revolution last year showed, to win democratic and social gains, the working class can only rely on its own collective power and methods of mass struggle, including general strikes, and by building a strong, independent political alternative to all pro-capitalist parties.

A working class alternative can draw behind it those rank and file MB supporters who are opposed to the military and want to see real democracy and social justice.

If Mursi takes office in the current circumstances, he will be without any real powers. However, as the Guardian points out (19 June), it may be in the interests of Scaf to see “a weak civilian president who can be blamed when the economy deteriorates further”.

As well as the political and ‘constitutional crisis’, Egypt’s economic crisis takes centre stage. Currency reserves are falling by about $600 million a month, as the rich take their money out of the country and income from tourism remains low.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a loan on condition that there is ‘broad political support’, meaning that politicians of all governing parties sign up to their programme of tax rises and public spending cuts, especially on food and fuel subsidies.

Whether it is tax rises and spending cuts, or rising inflation and growing unemployment, the price for workers and the poor is the same – a massive attack on already desperately low living standards.

A Mursi presidency, even if largely toothless, can end up being blamed when workers’ living standards and their newly-won democratic rights come under renewed attack. This will lead to disillusionment among Muslim Brotherhood supporters and splits among its base. But unless the Left offers a clear socialist alternative, the more right-wing political Islam of the Salafist Nour party can gain.

Even the limited reforms promised by the Nasserist candidate Sabbahi - including raising the minimum wage and unemployment benefit for youth and opposing austerity measures - will require a major struggle.

They must be part of more far-reaching measures, including nationalising all the big corporations and banks, under democratic workers’ control. This would enable the economy to be democratically planned in the interests of the vast majority of society.

New revolution

The 25 January revolution marked the entry of the masses onto the stage of history and led to the overthrow of Mubarak. But the rule of the capitalist class and their army generals continues.

A second revolution is needed to change society – a socialist revolution in which the working class leads the poor, the small farmers, middle classes and youth to take power from the bankers, big business and Scaf. A mass movement with a socialist programme could win the ranks of the armed forces away from the generals.

The most important task facing revolutionary workers and youth in Egypt is to organise and build independent trade unions and a mass workers’ party that can unite workers, youth and the poor together to fight for their interests.

Increasing attacks on living standards and attempts to withdraw newly-won democratic rights by whatever regime is in power will inevitably result in new waves of struggle, sooner or later.

There will be many opportunities to build workers’ organisations and for workers to learn the need for a second, socialist revolution. Part of this struggle entails workers fighting for real, lasting democratic rights and social change, including the convening of a genuine constituent assembly and for a workers’ government to fundamentally change society.



Europe

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Video: Joe Higgins denounces Irish government’s water charge trickery, 20/11/2014

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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

Catalonia: 9 November “consultation” on independence
22/11/2014, Rob MacDonald Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain) Barcelona:
Another show of strength for independence - fight for a Socialist Catalonia

Greece: Workers’ victory at Diamant telesales company
21/11/2014, Xekinima Reporters:
Xekinima (CWI) member wins key union position in Athens Municipality sector

Video: Joe Higgins denounces Irish government’s water charge trickery
20/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Mass boycott will defeat water charges

US: Mid-term elections do not mean a turn to the right in society
19/11/2014, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative:
Big Gains for Republicans while Voters Support Progressive Ballot Measures

Video: Socialist TD defends anti-water charges protests
18/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) appears on ‘Prime Time’

Venezuela: Scarcity and speculation - whose fault is it?
18/11/2014, Gabriela Sánchez. Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela):
Who is sabotaging who?

Vital lessons of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’
18/11/2014, chinaworker.info:
Mass struggle needs genuine internal democracy and fighting working class programme to defeat dictatorship

Video: Water tax revolt continues in Ireland
17/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Tanaiste (Deputy PM) trapped by protestors; AAA TD (MP) and Socialist Party member, Paul Murphy, assaulted

Indonesia: "New Hope" president faces intense pressures
16/11/2014, Iyan, CWI Malaysia:
Initiative to build mass party of working class and rural poor urgently needed

Scotland: SNP government announces £500 million cuts
14/11/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Majority of ‘Yes’ voters want end to austerity - anti-cuts candidates needed!

Afghanistan: British combat troops pull out
13/11/2014, Niall Mulholland, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
A legacy of death and destruction

Germany: Highly politicised train drivers’ strike
12/11/2014, Sascha Stanicic, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Germany):
Last week German train drivers and on-board staff went on strike for four days, shaking and polarising the country

Greece: Mayors refuse to make job cuts
12/11/2014, Eleni Mitsou, Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Lefts, local authority workers and communities’ united can resist Troika’s policies

Britain: Over 1,000 attend largest ever ‘Socialism’ event
11/11/2014, Sarah Sachs Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Socialism 2014 - infused with contagious confidence

Belgium: Massive demonstration in Brussels
10/11/2014, Geert Cool, LSP/PSL (CWI in Belgium):
Shows anger against austerity

Review: Environmental disaster and the need to change everything
09/11/2014, Bill Hopwood, from the November 2014 edition of Socialism Today:
“This Changes Everything: capitalism vs the climate”, by Naomi Klein

Canada: Right wing wins Toronto Mayoral election
08/11/2014, Socialist Alternative Toronto:
NDP increasingly irrelevant to needs of workers, immigrants and youth

Europe: Anti-fascist demonstrations set for 8-9 November
06/11/2014, Anti-fascist organiser, Stockholm:
Movement of workers and youth needed against racism and fascism

Canada: Ottawa ‘locked-down’ after Parliament gun attack
05/11/2014, Socialist Alternative Reporters, Canada:
Tory government whips-up terrorist fears to boost Canada’s imperialist role

Book review: The Jihadis Return
04/11/2014, Reviewed by Paul Gerrard, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Isis and the new Sunni uprising, by Patrick Cockburn

South Africa: Metal workers’ union clashes with Congress of South African Trade Unions
03/11/2014, Moses Mayekiso, WASP President and Numsa founding general secretary (elected while on trail for treason in 1987):
For political and class independence - Struggle, solidarity and socialism!

Britain: Come to Socialism 2014
03/11/2014, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialism 2014 organising team:
Weekend of discussion & debate hosted by the Socialist Party – London 8-9 November

Ireland: ’Abortion Pill Train’ video
02/11/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Pro-choice ROSA campaigners swallow abortion pills after rail journey

Italy: Renzi government faces mounting opposition
01/11/2014, Giuliano Brunetti, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
A one-day strike of all workers is needed

Burkina Faso: Mass uprising ousts dictator
31/10/2014, CWI Reporters, Ivory Coast:
No to military rule! Continue mass struggle – the whole rotten system must go!

Ireland: Anti-water tax protest in Limerick
31/10/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Video of one of the city’s biggest protests

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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.

Britain: Anniversary of first issue of Militant newspaper
24/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, from this week’s Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
50 years of socialist ideas and workers’ struggle

Spain: Death knells of "Transition" regime
23/10/2014, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Catalonia; ’Podemos’, and the left

Kazakhstan: Brutal repression in imperialism’s interests
20/10/2014, Mike Whale, Secretary of Campaign Kazakhstan (first published in October 2014 issue of Socialism Today):
Workers pay the price for crony capitalism

Is the US promoting a “colour revolution” in Hong Kong?
18/10/2014, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong):
Beijing’s scare propaganda doesn’t stand up to examination

Britain: Workers need a pay rise - how can we pay for it?
17/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
End poverty, inequality and capitalism

Ireland: Byelection triumph marks turning point in anti-austerity struggle
14/10/2014, Eddie McCabe, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Paul Murphy wins parliamentary seat as 100,000 march against water charges

Middle East: US-led policy of air attacks on Islamic State lies in ruins
13/10/2014, Tony Saunois, CWI:
As battle for Kobane rages, IS forces make major gains in Iraq

Ireland: Paul Murphy elected to Irish parliament in stunning byelection victory
12/10/2014, socialistworld.net:
Anti-Austerity Alliance victory shocks political establishment, reflects mass revolt against water charges and austerity

South Africa: "A workers’ party must emerge"
11/10/2014, John Malanga, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI South Africa):
Dire position of South African capitalism and inequality adds momentum towards creation of workers’ party

Israel/Palestine: After the Gaza war
07/10/2014, Shahar Benhorin, Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI Israel-Palestine):
No justice for Palestinians and no peace for the region - For a socialist solution!

Hong Kong: Pro-regime thugs attack protesters
06/10/2014, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
Organise democratic defence committees to repel attacks and kick out CY Leung’s government!

Kurdistan: The battle for Kobanê
02/10/2014, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Regional war poses new challenges for struggle for Kurdish self-determination

Iraq /Syria: US-led bombings will worsen divisions
01/10/2014, Judy Beishon, from the Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
Stop imperialist slaughter!

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”