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China
New US President’s approach to China

21/01/2017: Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

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Russian Revolution Centenary
New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution

20/01/2017: 1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

  History

Kazakhstan
Regime increases repression

20/01/2017: Citizens forced to register with police at all times

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US
Global resistance against Trump’s inauguration

20/01/2017: CWI organizes protests as millions prepare to fight Trump’s agenda

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Portugal
Purge in the Left Bloc

20/01/2017: 6 CWI members expelled in undemocratic attack

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Ireland North
Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly

17/01/2017: Build a socialist alternative to the ‘Orange’ versus ‘Green’ headcount

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Spain
What kind of Podemos do workers and youth need?

17/01/2017: Debate within leadership touches on fundamental issues for future of party

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India
Struggle against land grab in Pune

16/01/2017: Socialists and villagers wage tireless battle

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Book Reviews
Trotsky and February 1917

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US
Seattle activists win $29 million for house building

13/01/2017: Important precedent for using city bonding authority to build homes

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Palestine/Israel
Everyday life under occupation

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  Israel / Palestine

Mexico
Mass movement against “gasolinazo”

10/01/2017: Towards a general strike against the Nieto government!

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US
Growing calls to “take back” Democratic Party

10/01/2017: Workers need for own party, independent of corporate cash

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Ireland South
Apollo House occupation taps into mood of anger over homelessness

09/01/2017: Far-reaching radical measures necessary to resolve housing crisis

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Book Review
‘A Very British Ending’

07/01/2017: Novelisation of attempts to undermine and overthrow Wilson’s Labour government

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Ireland North
'Cash for ash' scandal rocks power-sharing Executive

06/01/2017: Need for non-sectarian, socialist politics

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Chile
The state is murdering Machi Francisca Linconao

05/01/2017: Solidarity appeal for messages of protest

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US
Trump prepares vicious attacks

05/01/2017: Mass resistance needed!

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Hong Kong
CY Leung forced out!

04/01/2017: Now let’s change the whole corrupt system!

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Sri Lanka
Island Nation - hell in 'paradise'

03/01/2017: Review of play called 'The Island Nation'

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Russian Revolution centenary

02/01/2017: Defending the legacy in a new era

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2017
Upheaval and fightback will continue

01/01/2017: Everything to play for in 2017

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30/12/2016: Crisis continues; infighting escalates

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The Iron Heel

26/12/2016: Jack London’s timeless classic

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Britain
Labour's nuclear conflict

24/12/2016: During the second leadership campaign, Jeremy Corbyn spoke of his ambition to have ministers for peace and disarmament in a future Labour government...

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Berlin Christmas market tragedy

23/12/2016: Commiserations must not be exploited for racism

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Inaugurate the resistance

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23/12/2016: Presidential elections

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Three employees found killed, as workers demand unpaid wages

22/12/2016: Solidarity with workers and their families! Justice for the slain employees!

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Britain's shifting political contours

22/12/2016: Capitalist establishment in disarray

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Romania
New government, old policies

20/12/2016: The need for a socialist alternative

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Fifth anniversary of Zhanaozen massacre

19/12/2016: Letters to embassies worldwide demanding end to dictatorshi

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Establishment EU crisis deepens

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Northern Ireland

Parades disputes triggers serious rioting in north Belfast

www.socialistworld.net, 12/09/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

A new sectarian front line opens

Ciaran Mulholland and Gary Mulcahy, from Socialist Party website (Northern Ireland)

The eruption of sectarian rioting and attacks over several weeks in Belfast has demonstrated that the so-called ‘peace process’ and the establishment of a power-sharing government have failed to end sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland.

Fierce rioting, such as that which took place over three days from 2 September to 5 September, in the Carlisle Circus area of North Belfast, points to a new flashpoints and conflicts over territory. If not countered by the working class movement, this can threaten to develop into major conflicts, which could potentially dwarf recent events.

12th July parades and dissident republicans

Every year, Orange Order parades culminate on 12th July. Ahead of this year’s 12 July, the Parades Commission restricted the Orange Order [a Protestant organisation] to only three of its lodges marching past shops in the Catholic Ardoyne area of north Belfast, and by no later than 4pm. This led to tension and anger, particularly in Protestant areas. An hour after the Orange Order passed Ardoyne, approximately 1,500 Catholics, led by Greater Ardoyne Residents Association (GARC - a dissident republican-controlled resident group) marched along the Crumlin Road, which was intended to confront the Orange Order march. However, the Orange Order was only permitted to march the route in advance of the GARC protest. Some minor altercations took place as the GARC march was only separated by a thin line of police (PSNI) from a gathering counter-protest of 300 loyalists. But intense rioting later ensued between dissidents and the PSNI, which saw gunfire from both sides.

For many in the Protestant community, and not just those in the Orange Order or Loyalist groups, the Parades Commission is seen as one-sided and they believe they have their “backs against the wall”.

The Socialist Party opposed the establishment of the Parades Commission, which was is appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and which is responsible for placing restrictions on or banning outright any parades in Northern Ireland it deems contentious or offensive. As the Socialist Party warned, the Parades Commission would invariably come down on one side’s favour, resulting in grievances on the other side, instead of reaching agreement via negotiations between residents and the Orange Order.

On the same day as the Ardoyne disturbances, a Loyalist marching band from the Upper Shankill, called the Young Conway Volunteers, was captured on video by local Catholic residents stalling outside St Patricks Catholic Church, close to Carlisle Circus, playing an anti-Catholic sectarian song. Minor scuffles broke out at the scene. Dissident republicans, in particular, used this sectarian display to mobilise Catholics from the nearby Carrick Hill estate on 25 August against a march by the Black Receptory [Royal Black Institution, which was formed out of the Orange Order]. The Black Receptory marched past St Patricks Church, playing music in a blatant sectarian gesture after the Parades Commission ruled that no music be played by passing bands.

Dissident republicans have added to the sectarian atmosphere and conflict by organising more confrontational and provocative marches. Without a hint of irony, Republican Network for Unity, a broad dissident formation, called a march on 2 September through Catholic North Belfast to commemorate the anti-sectarian, 18th century United Irishmen leader, Henry Joy McCracken. As the march approached Carlise Circus, which separates the lower Shankill from the Catholic Antrim Rd, approximately 300 loyalists attacked the march leading to three nights of intense rioting. Over sixty police officers were injured. Water cannon were used by police and six baton rounds (plastic bullets) were fired.

Sectarian parties stoke the flames

For several days the radio airwaves were filled by accusation and counter-accusation, with sectarian elements from each side blaming the other. Leading members of the Democratic Unionist Party, including ministers in the Assembly Executive, have played a central role in stoking-up this conflict. Sinn Fein has also contributed to increasing tensions. In fact, this latest conflict has shown, in outline, the inherent contradictions in the Assembly [local parliament], i.e. members of the same power-sharing government are on different sides of the sectarian battle lines.

It is inevitable that calls from the DUP to scrap the Parades Commission will be strongly objected to by Sinn Fein and the ‘moderate nationalist’ SDLP.

The conflict over parades has the potential to create political paralysis in the Assembly.

Over the last fifteen years, conflict has erupted frequently over contentious parades. Sometimes conflict around certain parades has been short-lived. This new dispute in north Belfast is much more likely to rumble on and perhaps even become a new flashpoint, like the dispute around parades in the Drumcree area, near Portadown town, did for several years in the 1990s/2000s. Whether it does depends, in large part, on the actions of sectarian forces on both sides over the coming days, weeks, months and years, but also from widespread opposition to sectarianism from the working class.

Why is this contentious route in north Belfast fundamentally different from most others? It is on the edge of the Belfast city centre and conflict there has the potential to explode the carefully cultivated myth of ‘normality’. The Lower Shankill is a Loyalist heartland - perhaps the Loyalist heartland. The leadership of the UVF [Ulster Volunteer Force – a Loyalist paramilitary organisation] are based in the Shankill area and are reportedly under pressure from their rank and file to counter the actions of dissident republicans. Also, the headquarters of the Orange Order is located just yards from Carlisle Circus in north Belfast. It is not one or two parades, or even one or two dozen, which start here every year but over 120. There is the potential for conflict not annually or twice a year but at least weekly.

Potential for rising conflict

These events have taken on a further and immediate importance because while the marching season would now normally now be coming to an end, this year it is different. On 29 September, tens of thousands are due to march down the same route to mark the 100th anniversary of the Ulster Covenant [The Ulster Covenant was signed by just under half a million men and women on and before 28 September 1912, in protest against the Third Home Rule Bill, introduced by the British government].

On 6 September the Royal Black Preceptory issued an apology for the incident on 25 August and talks with the aim of calming the situation have begun. There are some indications that a deal may be done, which will ensure peace on 29 September. However it will not be easy to cap this particular volcano.

These events are yet another demonstration that sectarianism has not been overcome by the ‘peace process’. The rioting also reflects the social conditions which exist in many working class communities, where has been no ‘peace dividend’. No politician from the main parties can solve these problems. All the Assembly parties depend upon sectarian division to maintain their political power.

A way forward

The Socialist Party has long argued that competing rights are at stake in the conflict over parades. Despite being a right-wing, reactionary organisation, the Orange Order has the right to parade. The residents of local areas have the right to object to parades through their areas with all the accompanying sectarian ‘coat-trailing’ and intimidation. But, most importantly, the working class, as a whole, has the right to avoid being dragged into serious sectarian conflict over the issue of contentious parades.

A stark assertion from the Orange Order that it can simply march where it chooses is not part of the solution. Nor is a refusal to talk to residents. However, it is not as simple as saying that the solution is no marches, especially when a contentious march takes place along a main arterial route. Any agreement must involve stewarding, organised by the marchers and local residents themselves, and accordingly no police presence in the area.

Agreement must be reached around the frequency and conduct of parades, including who takes part in and accompanies parades. Local residents must allow the possibility of parades when seeking negotiations - there must be something to negotiate. Any solution must take into account the right of all to live in peace from sectarian harassment, all year round.

Anti-sectarian socialist alternative needed!

A growing layer of workers and young people are completely disillusioned with the main parties. A new party of the working class, which actively combats sectarianism, is urgently needed. Such a new party must develop out of the struggles of the working class and young people and must be able to sink roots in both communities, if it is to be viable.

The trade union movement has an essential part in bringing such a party into being and must now begin to take steps in this direction. A new party will only develop a stable mass base if it adopts the socialist policies which are capable of delivering real change for the communities in every working class community in Northern Ireland. Ultimately only a socialist transformation of society is capable of delivering real change and sweeping away the poison of sectarianism forever.



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NEWS

Russian Revolution Centenary: New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution
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1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

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

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

Portugal: Purge in the Left Bloc
20/01/2017, Ysmail, Socialismo Revolucionário (CWI in Portugal):
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India: Struggle against land grab in Pune
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Socialists and villagers wage tireless battle

Book Reviews: Trotsky and February 1917
16/01/2017, Peter Taaffe, from the February 2017 issue of Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
Preparing for revolution

Tunisia: Six years after the fall of Ben Ali, demands of revolution still to be realised
14/01/2017, Al-Badil al-Ishtiraki, CWI in Tunisia:
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US: Seattle activists win $29 million for house building
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US: Growing calls to “take back” Democratic Party
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Hong Kong: CY Leung forced out!
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Now let’s change the whole corrupt system!

Sri Lanka: Island Nation - hell in 'paradise'
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Review of play called 'The Island Nation'

Iranian “election”
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Crisis continues; infighting escalates

Review: The Iron Heel
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Britain: Labour's nuclear conflict
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During the second leadership campaign, Jeremy Corbyn spoke of his ambition to have ministers for peace and disarmament in a future Labour government...

Germany: Berlin Christmas market tragedy
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US: Inaugurate the resistance
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Yemen: Three employees found killed, as workers demand unpaid wages
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Kazakhstan: Fifth anniversary of Zhanaozen massacre
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CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

China: New US President’s approach to China
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Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

Ireland North: Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly
17/01/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
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Spain: What kind of Podemos do workers and youth need?
17/01/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spanish state, editorial :
Debate within leadership touches on fundamental issues for future of party

US: Trump prepares vicious attacks
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Mass resistance needed!

Russian Revolution centenary
02/01/2017, Editorial from Socialism Today, Dec/Jan 2017 edition:
Defending the legacy in a new era

2017:Upheaval and fightback will continue
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Everything to play for in 2017

Britain's shifting political contours
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CWI International Executive Committee: World shaken by seismic political events
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World capitalism in deep crisis
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Sudan: Three day nationwide strike shuts down the country, in unique defiance of Al-Bashir’s rule
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US: Trump prepares attacks on working people,immigrants and women
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We must prepare massive resistance!

Cuba: Fidel Castro, leader of 1959 revolution, dies at 90
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China: New stage in power struggle
24/11/2016, chinaworker.info reporters:
Xi Jinping becomes “core leader”

Hong Kong: Government purges Legislative Council
17/11/2016, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
“Nothing short of a coup”

Ireland: The Jobstown trial and the threat to democratic rights<br />

12/11/2016, Eddie McCabe, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Biggest political trial in decades, as Socialist Party & Anti Austerity Alliance MP and councillors face threat of lengthy prison sentences

History: Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution
07/11/2016, Clare Doyle, CWI :
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Capitalist system “on the edge of the volcano”
03/11/2016, International Secretariat of the CWI:
Draft documents for November CWI international meeting

Spain: PSOE leadership hands power to the PP
03/11/2016, Izquierda Revolucionaria editorial :
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Hungary: The political revolution of sixty years ago
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Britain: The fight for real democracy in the Labour Party
20/10/2016, Editorial of the Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
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Britain: Tories whip up division over Brexit
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