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latest news

France
Fight against Valls/Hollande government intensifies

31/05/2016: Gauche Revolutionnaire statement underlines vital need for political alternative

  France

Spain
Left government on the horizon in June elections

31/05/2016: Establishment parties panic as Podemos and United Left agree joint election challenge

  Spain

Greece
Bus cleaners renew strike after management’s broken promises

29/05/2016: "Triple-oppressed workers - immigrants, women and low-paid – show way forward"

  Greece

Congo
Day of Protest 26 May

28/05/2016: New massacres in mineral-rich region

  Congo

 Kazakhstan
Embassy protests in solidarity with struggle against land privatisation and for democratic rights

27/05/2016: Soldarity actions take place internationally against Nazarbayev regime

  Kazakhstan, Solidarity

Brazil
Mass protests against new government begin

27/05/2016: LSR (CWI) forces participation highlighted

  Brazil

 Solidarity
Brutal bosses attack striking Lisbon Dockers

25/05/2016: Protest and solidarity messages needed

  Solidarity

Austria
Only 31,026 votes prevent far right’s Hofer becoming president

24/05/2016: ‘Breathing space’ offers chance to build a fighting, democratic left alternative

  Austria

Britain
EU referendum exposes gaping political fault-lines

24/05/2016: New road can open up for labour movement if working class relies on its own forces

  Britain

Kazakhstan
Massive police operation confronts demonstrators

23/05/2016: Nazarbayev regime faces mounting opposition

  Kazakhstan

Australia
Federal election looming

21/05/2016: How should the labour and social movements respond?

  Australia

Kazakhstan
 Anger against Nazarbayev expressed on the streets

20/05/2016: ‘Illegal’ protests planned for Saturday 21 May

  Kazakhstan

Brazil
Fall of President Dilma Rousseff unleashes offensive against working class

19/05/2016: The impeachment process and historic crisis of the PT (Workers’ Party)

  Brazil

Britain
Brexit, the EU and the economy

19/05/2016: Remain or Leave, workers must fight for socialist change

  Britain

Nigeria
General strike begins

18/05/2016: Determined leadership and clear strategy needed to succeed

  Nigeria

Ireland
‘Jobstown trials’ to go ahead

18/05/2016: Government loses battle on water charges but wages war on Left

  Ireland Republic

Greece
Striking Athens bus cleaners continue their struggle

17/05/2016: Court declares strike ‘lawful’

  Greece

Canada
Fire devastates Fort McMurray

16/05/2016: Capitalism equals environmental destruction

  Canada

Saudi Arabia
Gathering storms over the House of Saud

13/05/2016: Collapse of oil prices expose fragile foundations of oil Gulf monarchies

  Middle East, Qatar, Saudi Arabia

France
New stage in battle over labour law

12/05/2016: Hollande’s decision to over-rule parliament provokes another round of struggle

  France

Kazakhstan
Protests erupt

12/05/2016: Phoney elections have not brought stability

  Kazakhstan

Sweden
Successful Congress for CWI forces

12/05/2016: Political foundations laid for new branches and growth in other Nordic countries

  Sweden

Ireland
100th anniversary of the execution of James Connolly

12/05/2016: Revolutionary socialist, militant workers' leader and internationalist

  Ireland Republic

Northern Ireland
Main parties win Assembly elections…

11/05/2016: But positive moves against sectarian politics

  Ireland North

Belgium
Trade unions announce new plan of action

11/05/2016: Call for two national demonstrations, building towards general strikes

  Belgium

Quebec
The fight for $15 shows true colors of Parti Québecois

10/05/2016: No to an all-class pro-independence alliance

  Quebec

Britain
Elections show anger and fragmentation

10/05/2016: Mobilise the anti-austerity mood into a mass, democratic movement to defeat the right

  Britain

Scotland
SNP win elections

09/05/2016: New openings for a socialist left alternative emerge

  Scotland

Ireland
How long can Kenny’s government last?

07/05/2016: Minority government supported by two main parties and “Independents” formed

  Ireland Republic

 Video
Paul Murphy sets record straight on "legal aid"

06/05/2016: Socialist MP threatened with jail for protesting against water charges responds to attacks in Irish parliament

  Video

South Africa
Zuma must go!

06/05/2016: Build a socialist mass workers’ party for a government of the working class

  South Africa

 Solidarity
Portuguese dock workers’ indefinite strike

05/05/2016: What we cannot do: leave the dockers alone

  Solidarity

Britain
90th anniversary of epochal general strike

05/05/2016: When workers tasted power

  Britain

Hong Kong
Racist smear campaign against refugees

05/05/2016: Socialist Action (CWI) initiates successful anti-racist march

  Aceh

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

Spain: Left government on the horizon in June elections
31/05/2016, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Establishment parties panic as Podemos and United Left agree joint election challenge

Greece: Bus cleaners renew strike after management’s broken promises
29/05/2016, Interview with Apostolis Kassimeris, member of Xekinima and of Executive of OASA Workers’ Union (Athens bus drivers' union) :
"Triple-oppressed workers - immigrants, women and low-paid – show way forward"

Congo: Day of Protest 26 May
28/05/2016, Per-Åke Westerlund, Jose Nsimba-Lobela and Congo Moko, Offensiv, weekly paper of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
New massacres in mineral-rich region

Kazakhstan: Embassy protests in solidarity with struggle against land privatisation and for democratic rights
27/05/2016, Campaign Kazakhstan:
Soldarity actions take place internationally against Nazarbayev regime

Brazil: Mass protests against new government begin
27/05/2016, socialistworld.net:
LSR (CWI) forces participation highlighted

Solidarity: Brutal bosses attack striking Lisbon Dockers
25/05/2016, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal) reporters:
Protest and solidarity messages needed

Britain: EU referendum exposes gaping political fault-lines
24/05/2016, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party England & Wales):
New road can open up for labour movement if working class relies on its own forces

Kazakhstan: Massive police operation confronts demonstrators
23/05/2016, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Nazarbayev regime faces mounting opposition

Australia: Federal election looming
21/05/2016, Editorial from May 2016 edition of ‘The Socialist’ (paper of the Socialist Party – CWI Australia) :
How should the labour and social movements respond?

Kazakhstan: Anger against Nazarbayev expressed on the streets
20/05/2016, socialistworld.net :
‘Illegal’ protests planned for Saturday 21 May

Britain: Brexit, the EU and the economy
19/05/2016, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party England & Wales) :
Remain or Leave, workers must fight for socialist change

Nigeria: General strike begins
18/05/2016, HT Soweto, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI Nigeria):
Determined leadership and clear strategy needed to succeed

Greece: Striking Athens bus cleaners continue their struggle
17/05/2016, Articles from Xekinima (CWI Greece) website :
Court declares strike ‘lawful’

Canada: Fire devastates Fort McMurray
16/05/2016, Bill Hopwood, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada) Vancouver :
Capitalism equals environmental destruction

Kazakhstan: Protests erupt
12/05/2016, Sergei Skobelev, CWI Russia:
Phoney elections have not brought stability

Sweden: Successful Congress for CWI forces
12/05/2016, Kristofer Lundberg, Rättvisepartiet Socialistern:
Political foundations laid for new branches and growth in other Nordic countries

Northern Ireland: Main parties win Assembly elections…
11/05/2016, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
But positive moves against sectarian politics

Quebec: The fight for $15 shows true colors of Parti Québecois
10/05/2016, Bruno, Alternative Socialiste (CWI in Quebec):
No to an all-class pro-independence alliance

Britain: Elections show anger and fragmentation
10/05/2016, Hannah Sell, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Mobilise the anti-austerity mood into a mass, democratic movement to defeat the right

Scotland: SNP win elections
09/05/2016, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
New openings for a socialist left alternative emerge

Ireland: How long can Kenny’s government last?
07/05/2016, By Kevin McLoughlin, Socialist Party (CWI in Irelnd):
Minority government supported by two main parties and “Independents” formed

Video: Paul Murphy sets record straight on "legal aid"
06/05/2016, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP threatened with jail for protesting against water charges responds to attacks in Irish parliament

South Africa: Zuma must go!
06/05/2016, Editorial from Izwi Labasebenzi (WASP - CWI South Africa) :
Build a socialist mass workers’ party for a government of the working class

Solidarity: Portuguese dock workers’ indefinite strike
05/05/2016, Socialismo Revolucionário (CWI in Portugal) Statement:
What we cannot do: leave the dockers alone

Hong Kong: Racist smear campaign against refugees
05/05/2016, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong):
Socialist Action (CWI) initiates successful anti-racist march

France: Striking workers join students and youth in mass demonstrations
04/05/2016, Naomi Byron, Paris (first published in The Socialist):
Build a general strike movement!

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

France: Fight against Valls/Hollande government intensifies
31/05/2016, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Gauche Revolutionnaire statement underlines vital need for political alternative

Austria: Only 31,026 votes prevent far right’s Hofer becoming president
24/05/2016, Sonja Grusch, SLP (the Austrian section of the CWI):
‘Breathing space’ offers chance to build a fighting, democratic left alternative

Brazil: Fall of President Dilma Rousseff unleashes offensive against working class
19/05/2016, André Ferrari, LSR (‘Freedom, Socialism and Revolution’ - CWI Brazil):
The impeachment process and historic crisis of the PT (Workers’ Party)

Ireland: ‘Jobstown trials’ to go ahead
18/05/2016, Kieran Mahon, Anti-Austerity Alliance / Socialist Party Councillor, Dublin:
Government loses battle on water charges but wages war on Left

Saudi Arabia: Gathering storms over the House of Saud
13/05/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Collapse of oil prices expose fragile foundations of oil Gulf monarchies

France: New stage in battle over labour law
12/05/2016, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Hollande’s decision to over-rule parliament provokes another round of struggle

Ireland: 100th anniversary of the execution of James Connolly
12/05/2016, Three articles on Connolly’s life and ideas :
Revolutionary socialist, militant workers' leader and internationalist

Belgium: Trade unions announce new plan of action
11/05/2016, LSP/PSL (CWI in Belgium) Reporters:
Call for two national demonstrations, building towards general strikes

Britain: 90th anniversary of epochal general strike
05/05/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) general secretary:
When workers tasted power

Israel/Palestine: The Marxist left, the national conflict and the
Palestinian struggle

29/04/2016, Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI Israel-Palestine):
The necessity of a class approach and a socialist alternative

France: One-day strike set for 28 April
26/04/2016, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
A final stage before indefinite action against Hollande’s government?

US: The un-Democratic Primary
22/04/2016, Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Seattle, originally published on counterpunch.org:
Why we need new party of the 99%

Capitalism: a failing system
18/04/2016, Peter Taaffe, from May edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
A new book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, analyses the downward course of the US economy – and the limits of the whole capitalist system

Review: ’Militant’ by Michael Crick
14/04/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary:
Lessons of Militant vital for anti-austerity struggles today

US election turmoil
01/04/2016, By Tony Saunois (CWI Secretary) who recently visited the US for meetings of Socialist Alternative:
Bernie Sanders campaign - an opportunity to build a new party of the 99%

Britain: A new moment
28/03/2016, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), published in April 2016 issue of Socialism Today:
Extracts from a statement discussed at the Socialist Party’s recent congress

Ireland: 100th anniversary of Easter 1916 Rising
26/03/2016, Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
A revolt against imperial power and war

History: When Khrushchev denounced Stalin
26/03/2016, Niall Mulholland, from Socialism Today (April 2016 issue of the monthly journal of Socialist Party, England & Wales):
1956 ‘secret speech’ a devastating blow to Stalinist regimes

11th CWI World Congress: World Perspectives
22/03/2016, socialistworld.net:
Amended agreed version of the World Perspectives document agreed by the CWI’s 11th World Congress

Germany: Big gains for right-wing, nationalist, AfD in state elections
22/03/2016, Sascha Stanicic, Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
DIE LINKE (Left Party) urgently needs to change course

US: Sanders needs to run as an independent in November
18/03/2016, Calvin Priest, Socialist Alternative (CWI supporters in USA):
Continuing the Political Revolution

European Union: Alliance with Turkey to close borders
09/03/2016, Per-Ãke Westerlund, from Offensiv - the weekly paper of Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
Crises for refugees - and the EU – continues

Germany: Between hatred and solidarity
08/03/2016, By Sascha Stanicic, Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
The situation in Germany

Turkey: No intervention in Syria! Stop the war on the Kurds!
01/03/2016, By Murat Karin, Sosyalist Alternatif (CWI in Turkey) and Paula Mitchell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Two articles on the current situation in Turkey and Kurdistan

US: Nevada Goes to Clinton – Sanders Looks to Super Tuesday
26/02/2016, Calvin Priest, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the USA):
Huge enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders’ call for a political revolution leads to serious challenge to Hillary Clinton