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Ireland North
Martin McGuinness - from IRA leader to Stormont minister

29/03/2017: The IRA campaign, the ‘peace process’ and the working class

  Ireland North

Greece
H&M workers score victory against management plans

28/03/2017: Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

  Greece

 Solidarity
#JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success

28/03/2017: Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

  Solidarity

Russia/Belarus
A week-end of mass protests

27/03/2017: New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

  Russia

Hong Kong
Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship

27/03/2017: Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

  Hong Kong

Britain
Terror attack at Westminster

24/03/2017: Unite against terror, racism and war

  Britain

Italy
Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis

22/03/2017: Class struggle can build real left force

  Italy

Spain
Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

21/03/2017: Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

  Spain

Scotland
Second referendum on independence?

18/03/2017: SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

  Scotland

Brazil
National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten

17/03/2017: For a one-day general strike as the next step

  Brazil

South Africa
Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

17/03/2017: Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

  South Africa

Netherlands
Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government

16/03/2017: Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

  Netherlands

Yemen
Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies

16/03/2017: International campaign needed to force companies to pay

  Yemen

Hong Kong
Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman

14/03/2017: Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

  Hong Kong

Ireland North
Snap election raises sectarian temperature    

14/03/2017: Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

  Ireland North

Quebec
Counter protest against far-right

13/03/2017: Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

  Quebec

 International Women's Day
Speech by Kshama Sawant

12/03/2017: Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

  Women

 International Women’s Day
Millions join marches and take action

10/03/2017: Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

  Women

 Hong Kong
Women’s march against sexism and racism

09/03/2017: International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

  Women

 Spain
Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike

08/03/2017: ‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

  Women

Pakistan
Political spectacle of the ruling class

08/03/2017: Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

  Pakistan

 International Women’s Day 2017
A century on from the Russian Revolution

06/03/2017: Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

  Women

Britain
Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won

06/03/2017: Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

  Britain

Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

04/03/2017: Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

  Egypt

Hong Kong’s sham election

03/03/2017: Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

  Hong Kong

US
Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress

02/03/2017: Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

  US

Sweden
“Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017: What is behind Trump's attack?

  Sweden

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

23/02/2017: Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

  Ireland Republic

Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

22/02/2017: Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

  Ireland Republic

February revolution 1917
What lessons for today?

21/02/2017: 23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

  Russian Revolution

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

Greece: H&M workers score victory against management plans
28/03/2017, Statement (slightly edited) by Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

Solidarity: #JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success
28/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

Russia/Belarus: A week-end of mass protests
27/03/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) Reporters:
New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

Hong Kong: Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship
27/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

Britain: Terror attack at Westminster
24/03/2017, Judy Beishon, from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website :
Unite against terror, racism and war

Belarus: Protesters flood onto streets demanding scrapping of “law against parasites”
21/03/2017, Daniil Raskolnikov (translation of article from the Russian CWI site www.socialist.news):
President Lukashenko must go!

Spain: Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March
21/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE), Spanish Students' Union :
Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

Scotland: Second referendum on independence?
18/03/2017, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) :
SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia
17/03/2017, Shaun Arendse, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI South Africa):
Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

International Women’s Day: March in Malaysia and week of activity in Belgium
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Reports from Kuala Lumpur and Brussels

Netherlands: Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government
16/03/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

Russian Revolution: March 1917 - After the fall of Czarism, what next for the revolution?
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
New article on 1917revolution.org

Hong Kong: Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman
14/03/2017, Sally Tang Mei-ching, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

Quebec: Counter protest against far-right
13/03/2017, Michele Hehn, Alternative Socialiste (CWI in Quebec) :
Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

International Women's Day: Speech by Kshama Sawant
12/03/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

International Women’s Day: Millions join marches and take action
10/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

Hong Kong: Women’s march against sexism and racism
09/03/2017, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) reporters:
International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

Spain: Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike
08/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes, students’ union in the Spanish state :
‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

Pakistan: Political spectacle of the ruling class
08/03/2017, Tariq Shahzad, National Organiser of IYWM (International Youth and Workers Movement) :
Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

Britain: Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won
06/03/2017, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) deputy general secretary :
Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

Egypt: Price hikes hit workers and middle classes
04/03/2017, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) :
Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

Hong Kong’s sham election
03/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action:
Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

US: Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress
02/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

Catalonia: Historic demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees
25/02/2017, Esquerra Revolucionària :
'Volem acollir'

Sweden: “Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
What is behind Trump's attack?

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Ireland North: Martin McGuinness - from IRA leader to Stormont minister
29/03/2017, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
The IRA campaign, the ‘peace process’ and the working class

Italy: Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis
22/03/2017, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrrente, (CWI in Italy) :
Class struggle can build real left force

Brazil: National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten


17/03/2017, André Ferrari LSR (CWI in Brazil) :
For a one-day general strike as the next step

Yemen: Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies
16/03/2017, Cedric Gerome, CWI :
International campaign needed to force companies to pay

Ireland North: Snap election raises sectarian temperature    
14/03/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

International Women’s Day 2017: A century on from the Russian Revolution
06/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI :
Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

February revolution 1917: What lessons for today?
21/02/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), printed in the Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party):
23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

India: Upheaval in Tamil Nadu
09/02/2017, Sajith Attepuram, New Socialist Alternative (NSA) (CWI India) :
Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

Britain: Universal basic income demand gains ground
08/02/2017, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales) :
What approach should socialists take?

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification
06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

France: After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out
06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

Syria: Is an end to the war in sight?
03/02/2017, Serge Jordan (CWI) :
New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

Sri Lanka: The year 2017
31/01/2017, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) :
Between oppression and struggle

Canada: Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?
31/01/2017, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto

:
Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

Russian Revolution Centenary: January 1917 - On the eve of revolution
29/01/2017, Niall Mulholland, from 1917revolution.org :
War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

Afghanistan: The limits of US power
28/01/2017, Judy Beishon, from Socialism Today (February 2017 issue), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales)<br />
<br />
:
Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

US: Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!
27/01/2017, Bryan Koulouris, Socialist Alternative, US :
Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

Millions on women's marches around the world
25/01/2017, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and reports from US marches :
Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

China: New US President’s approach to China
21/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info :
Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

Ireland North: Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly
17/01/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Build a socialist alternative to the ‘Orange’ versus ‘Green’ headcount

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
05/01/2017, Philip Locker and Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative (US):
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
01/01/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary :
Everything to play for in 2017

Britain's shifting political contours
22/12/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) from Socialism Today Dec/Jan 2017 edition :
Capitalist establishment in disarray