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China
Labour disputes soar

17/04/2014: 40,000 workers paralyse world’s largest sports shoe maker

  China

Greece
International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”

16/04/2014: Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

  Greece

South Africa
Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections

15/04/2014: WASP campaigning material available on pdf

  South Africa

India
Massive election process could end in turmoil

14/04/2014: New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

  India

Cyprus
Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years

11/04/2014: One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

  Cyprus

 Iranian nuclear talks
Hypocrisy abounds

10/04/2014: Paul Murphy MEP

  Video

Britain
Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies

10/04/2014: Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

  Britain

Taiwan
Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days

10/04/2014: What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

  Taiwan

Hungary
Election highlights lack of Left challenge

09/04/2014: Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

  Hungary

Environment
Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby

09/04/2014: Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

  Environment, Ukraine

Belgium
50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration

08/04/2014: Protesters’ radical mood

  Belgium

Britain
One in ten council seats will have TUSC candidate

07/04/2014: No-cuts election challenge grows

  Britain

Review
Net political impact

06/04/2014: To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

  Review

Belgium
The rise of the PTB/PvdA

05/04/2014: Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

  Belgium

Ivory Coast
First victory for students at University of Cocody

04/04/2014: An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

  Ivory Coast

Canada
Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains

03/04/2014: After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

  Canada

France
Government punished in local elections

02/04/2014: Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

  France

Nepal
Turning back the wheel of history

01/04/2014: Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

  Nepal

South Africa
WASP manifesto launch success!

01/04/2014: On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

  Africa, South Africa

Taiwan
Half a million on the streets against President Ma

31/03/2014: Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

  Taiwan

US
Winning $15 an hour in Seattle

31/03/2014: A socialist strategy

  US

Netherlands
Socialist Party local election gains

31/03/2014: Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

  Netherlands

 Video
Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine

29/03/2014: Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

  Ukraine, Video

 Sweden
New political winds affect CWI Congress

28/03/2014: Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

  CWI, Sweden

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

28/03/2014: Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

Portugal
Thousands of police and military march in Lisbon

27/03/2014: Reflection of the government’s intrinsic weakness

  Portugal

Spain
A million march for dignity in Madrid

26/03/2014: 22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

  Spain

Taiwan
Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament

26/03/2014: Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

  Taiwan

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Mass protests - The first flowers of spring

26/03/2014: What programme should the Left advocate?

  Bosnia

Sudan
Has al-Bashir survived mass protests?

25/03/2014: Removal of hated regime not enough; crises of poverty and oppression due to grip of capitalism

  Sudan

Britain
After Bob Crow and Tony Benn

24/03/2014: Mourn the loss, fight for the future

  Britain

Portugal

1 million shout: out with the Troika and the government!

www.socialistworld.net, 18/09/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

The government must fall! For a government of the workers and youth!

Goncalo Romeiro, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal)

15 September was an historic day in the Portuguese class struggle. Almost 1 million people took to the streets in over 40 cities to say, we have had enough! Out with the Troika and the government! The demo, although supported by the trade unions and left parties, was organised by a broad “platform”, and popularised through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, on the basis of the slogan “Screw the Troika! We want our lives back!”. The same evening, tens of thousands surrounded parliament demanding the fall of the government. This sudden explosion of revolt, just when the Portuguese ruling class thought it had the situation under control, sets the stage for a rapid escalation of the class struggle in the next days and weeks.

Just over one year ago, the ruling PDS (traditional right-wing conservative party)/CDS (right-wing Christian Democrats) government came to power and with the support of the PS (“Socialist” Party) imposed on the workers, youth and pensioners the neo-liberal policies of the Troika. It has since been made clear that we and others on the left were telling the truth about their pretensions. Policies of austerity, privatisation, deregulation and the massive transfer of wealth from its producers to its grotesque accumulators were always going to carry Portugal down the same path as Greece and other countries which the IMF had previously “helped out” in the past. All of these policies, in the name of paying the debt and reducing the deficit have not resolved the problem of the deficit, and worsened that of the debt!

One year later, we are poorer, the economy remains on its knees and companies close on a daily basis due to declining purchasing power and lack of available credit. Investment is frozen, while billions of euros lie idle in the bank accounts of the rich and big companies. We have the highest unemployment rate ever – over 35% among the youth – and over half a million people emigrated in the last year. Health, education are being destroyed as public services. These are all the results of the policies of the Troika and its supporters in Portugal.

This reality is now becoming clear to the majority. And Saturday showed magnificently how when confronted with this situation, and the intransigence of the ruling class in continuing down this path, the people take to the streets and demand the fall of the government and expulsion of the Troika!

The ruling class is divided, and although it is beginning to realise that its policies are destroying the economy, it sees no alternative to making the working class pay for the crisis while millionaires continue to speculate while repeating the mantra that there is no alternative. The capitalists use basic blackmail arguments and appeal for “national salvation”, speaking of “national interests”, when in reality in Portugal and in the rest of Europe and the world, what are in question are not “national interests” of this type, but of a conflict of interests between producers and parasites: workers and capitalists.

When the people begin to realise this, the ruling class trembles and political crises open up. The Portuguese government has suffered a death wound, with the coalition split over support for the latest austerity measures attacking wages for workers – through a hike in social security contributions – parallel to new tax breaks for the rich and business owners. Following the clamour for the government to fall on Saturday, the country’s biggest union, the CGTP, has openly come out for its resignation. As it becomes clearer that the current government does not have long left, the question becomes posed of what will replace it?

The “solutions” of the ruling class

The ruling elite is afraid more than anything of the possible scenarios following new elections. Observing what took place in Greece at the beginning of the summer, when Syriza, a left anti-Troika party almost won elections, one can understand their fears. The current conjuncture could be described as one in which democracy has become too dangerous for those who govern against the people. The ruling class speak of a government of national salvation, of an enlarged coalition (to include the Socialist Party), of a “re-modelling” of the government, but not at all of new elections! Who knows whether or not the Troika will come and under the threat of cutting off funds, name our next Prime Minister, as they have done in Greece and Italy!

It is clear to us that none of these scenarios would serve the interests of the workers, young people and unemployed of Portugal. These paths would all mean a continuation and intensification of the misery we are currently experiencing: new faces, but the same policies.

For a government of the workers, young people and the unemployed!

This executive has lost all legitimacy to govern, if it ever had any in the first place. The people have clearly demanded its removal. We must push ahead, and fight to bring about new elections. And neither should we forget the other decisive demand of the multitude on Saturday: the kicking out of the Troika! It falls to us to struggle to bring this government down, win the calling of new elections and then in these elections support and anti-Troika, anti-austerity alternative which defends working class and poor interests. We call on the forces of the left to unite and build such a challenge. The forces of the Left Bloc, together withe the Communist Party and the power of the trade union and social movements united could provide the necessary strength to achieve such an alternative.

We must immediately begin to build the necessary bridges. In joint united assemblies of activists, a programme should be drawn up: one which attacks the root cause of the crisis – capitalism – and puts firmly on the table the need for an alternative of democratic socialism.

However, this must be achieved on the basis of a non-sectarian approach, and the building of bridges for an united struggle, of different left organisations, of all generations and sectors of the workers and oppressed. We should build solidarity between all struggles of the workers and poor against the destruction of our lives. A united front, of the left parties, trade union movement and social movements to fight for a government to implement alternative socialist policies is the need of the hour.

The next steps in the struggle

The momentum built up on Saturday must now not be lost. We cannot allow the struggle to be de-mobilised, or to hope that it will have been enough. The struggle of the workers and poor must follow a plan of action which steadily escalates until the government (or any alternative un-elected government) is brought down, and the Troika is kicked out. It must become a struggle for a working people’s government. Those who took to the streets on Saturday must be prepared to continue the struggle, in their workplace, school, university, community etc.

We must build now for a new general strike, supported by both union federations (including the UGT, which abstaied from the 22 March general strike) which would shut down the country. The organisers of Saturday’s demonstration have already come out in favour of a general strike. Such a stoppage would show who really controls the functioning of the economy, and intesnify the pressure on the government to fall and for new elections. We think that this strike should be democratically organised from below through assemblies in workplaces amd communities and be open to all workers, from all unions and no union, as well as the unemployed and students. In this way, all of society could participate in building for the strike, and make it Portugal’s biggest and most powerful yet.

The next mobilisations, starting with the protest at the Presidential palace on Friday for the government’s resignation, the CGTP protest on 29 September and the march of the unemployed between 5 and 13 October, should be also used to spread the idea of a general strike, to explain its importance and how it should be organised. This strike, initially of 24 hours, should not be the ending point, but rather the first step in calendar of continuous action, escalating until a victory has been won.

Saturday’s demostration took place at the same time as up to 1 million workers occupied the streets of Madrid in Spain against the brutal cuts of the Rajoy government. These events pose extremely sharply the obvious need to link these struggles up accross borders. If trade union leaders were serious about international action, a mighty Iberian strike would be easily achieved. Such a strike must be fought for by workers in the unions and outside, as well as wider co-ordinated strike and protest action throughout Europe against the international austerity offensive of capitalism, which the European trade union movement (which is meeting in Madrid next week) has the power to organise. This would show in action an international power on which to base an alternative socialist workers’ Europe, as an alternative to the capitalist EU and Euro.

Democratic Socialist Policies

What policies would a workers’ government implement to steer a country out of such a capitalist death-spiral? In the first place, an uncompromising position on the illegitimate debt racked up by Portuguese and international capitalism – a refusal to pay – must be adopted. This requires a change in approach from the leaders of the left parties, such as the Left Bloc, which confines itself to demanding a “re-negotiation” of the debt. Wealth taxes on the millionaires and billionaires (whose annual tax evasion is currently greater than the state’s entire education budget!) could then put billions at the service of society to invest in public works and job creation. The nationalisation of the banks and key sectors of the economy, under the democratic control and management of the working class, could then create instruments through which the economy could be democratically re-structured in order to put in place a plan to regenerate the country, its economy and the living standards of working people. Linking up with the workers of Europe and beyond, and international socialist plan along these lines could bring an end to misery of the European and world crisis of capitalism. Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal) fights for these policies to be placed at the heart (and at the head) of the struggle to bring down the government and dictatorship of the markets.



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NEWS

China: Labour disputes soar
17/04/2014, chinaworker.info reporters:
40,000 workers paralyse world’s largest sports shoe maker

Nigeria: Bomb explosions in Abuja - more evidence of the failure of capitalist government
16/04/2014, Segun Sango, Socialist Party Nigeria National Chairperson:
For democratic self-defence committees

Greece: International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”
16/04/2014, Sebastian Forster (CWI Germany) and Elin Gauffin (CWI Sweden):
Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

South Africa: Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections
15/04/2014, Socialistworld.net:
WASP campaigning material available on pdf

India: Massive election process could end in turmoil
14/04/2014, Clare Doyle (CWI international Secretariat):
New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

Cyprus: Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years
11/04/2014, Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus):
One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

Iranian nuclear talks: Hypocrisy abounds
10/04/2014, :
Paul Murphy MEP

Britain: Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies
10/04/2014, :
Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

Hungary: Election highlights lack of Left challenge
09/04/2014, Sonja Grusch and Tilman M. Ruster:
Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

Environment: Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby
09/04/2014, Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP, and Tanja Niemeier:
Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

Belgium: 50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration
08/04/2014, Eric Byl, General Secretary, Linkse Socialistiche Partij / Parti Socialiste de Lutte (PSL/LSP):
Protesters’ radical mood

Review: Net political impact
06/04/2014, Ben Robinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) published in Socialism Today:
To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

Ivory Coast: First victory for students at University of Cocody
04/04/2014, CWI in Ivory Coast:
An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

Canada: Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains
03/04/2014, Socialist Alternative Reporter, Vancouver:
After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

France: Government punished in local elections
02/04/2014, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France) reporters:
Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

South Africa: WASP manifesto launch success!
01/04/2014, Workers’ and Socialist Party (WASP):
On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

Taiwan: Half a million on the streets against President Ma
31/03/2014, CWI reporters in Taipei:
Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

Netherlands: Socialist Party local election gains
31/03/2014, Pieter Brans, Amsterdam:
Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

Video: Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine
29/03/2014, socialistworld.net:
Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

Sweden: New political winds affect CWI Congress
28/03/2014, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna Reporters:
Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!
28/03/2014, Vladimir Bortun, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

Portugal: Thousands of police and military march in Lisbon
27/03/2014, Jose David Gregorio, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal):
Reflection of the government’s intrinsic weakness

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Taiwan: Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days
10/04/2014, Interview with Sally Tang Mei-ching, CWI participant in Taipei protests:
What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

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Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

Nepal: Turning back the wheel of history
01/04/2014, Senan, CWI:
Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

US: Winning $15 an hour in Seattle
31/03/2014, Patrick Ayers, Socialist Alternative, USA:
A socialist strategy

Spain: A million march for dignity in Madrid
26/03/2014, Angel Morano, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain):
22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

Taiwan: Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament
26/03/2014, Sally Tang Mei-ching in Taipei and Vincent Kolo:
Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Mass protests - The first flowers of spring
26/03/2014, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI in Austria):
What programme should the Left advocate?

Britain: After Bob Crow and Tony Benn
24/03/2014, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (No.177, April 2014), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Mourn the loss, fight for the future

Scotland: Unions and the socialist case for independence
23/03/2014, John McInally, national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (personal capacity):
Aruging a independent, working class position

Ukraine: Crimea breaks away to join Russia
18/03/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Tensions between powers worsen

Australia: Socialist Party playing key role in fight against East-West tunnel
13/03/2014, Mel Gregson and Stephen Jolly, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia), Melbourne:
Campaign brings public transport to forefront of political debate

Bosnia Herzegovina: Mass protests of working people and youth show the way forward
13/03/2014, CWI Leaflet text:
Working people stir to end poverty, joblessness, corruption and ethnic divisions!

Socialist perspectives for Aotearoa / New Zealand
09/03/2014, CWI Aotearoa / New Zealand:
The world and New Zealand in crisis

International Women’s Day 2014
07/03/2014, Clare Doyle (Committee for a Workers’ International):
Fighting austerity and oppression world-wide

Venezuela: A year after Chavez’s death
06/03/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez (CWI Venezuela).:
Commemorations in context of new crisis

Ukraine: Russian troops take up positions throughout Crimea
04/03/2014, CWI Reporters:
Tensions deepen between Western powers and Moscow

Greece: Still in the eye of the storm
26/02/2014, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece) published in Socialism Today:
From the outside, it can appear there’s a certain pause in the struggle in Greece. Is this true?

Ukraine: Bloodshed in Kiev
19/02/2014, Rob Jones, from Socialism Today (March edition, No.176):
What lies behind the Ukraine crisis?

Venezuela: An analysis of 12F
19/02/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez- SR Venezuela:
On 12F, three people (two right wing supporters and one government supporter) were killed in Caracas and dozens injured and arrested in the protests and demonstrations that took place around Venezuela to commemorate the annual ’Youth Day’.

Pakistan: Negotiating peace
18/02/2014, Khalid Bhatti, SNP Lahore:
Government/Taliban talks begin - But where will they go?

South Africa: The end of Cosatu?
17/02/2014, WASP (Workers and Socialist Party) Reporters, S Africa:
Time for a new socialist trade union federation

Greece: The fascist threat
08/02/2014, Christina Ziakka, Xekinima (CWI Greece) - translated by Amalia Loizidou. First published in Socialism Today:
Deep economic crisis, savage austerity and social upheaval have polarised Greek society.

South Africa: After NUMSA’s Congress
04/02/2014, Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) statement:
Seize the historic opportunity of the 2014 elections

Tunisia: Three years on since the fall of Ben Ali
30/01/2014, Serge Jordan and CWI supporters in Tunis:
New ‘technocratic’ government no response to workers’ demands

Thailand: Prolonged political crisis
27/01/2014, Ravichandran, CWI Malaysia:
Working class and rural poor need party of their own