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South Africa

Marikana massacre ignites the mass movement

www.socialistworld.net, 21/09/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

ANC leadership has shown since the massacre that the gulf between it and the masses is now unbridgeable

Weizmann Hamilton, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI in South Africa), from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales)

The six-week Marikana strike ended on 18 September. The miners accepted a 22% pay rise and a 2,000 rand payment for loss of earnings during the strike. This is less than the miners’ original demand, but was celebrated as a victory after the ANC government tried to crush the strike with lethal repression.

It is a victory, not just for the Lonmin workers but for the general strike, without which the employer would not have come to the table. The Lonmin bosses had to recognise the power of the workers to organise themselves independently of them or their stooges.

Cosatu leader Zwelinzima Vavi warned against the spread of ‘chaos’, and president Jacob Zuma insisted that the ANC is “the only force that has the interests of our people at heart”. But the Marikana strike – and the massacre – has sparked a much wider movement that will send shockwaves through the ANC and Cosatu.

Strikes have spread to other mines, and Zuma claims the industry has lost $548 million (£337 million). Around 15,000 miners are still on strike at Gold Fields, while Anglo American Platinum was forced to close its mines last week following huge protests by Amplats miners.

The day after the mine bosses were forced to concede to the Marikana miners, the ANC-directed repression continued: police used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets against workers protesting at the Sondela squatter camp near an Anglo American mine. The battle lines are being drawn for colossal struggles to come. And the political reverberations will continue to rock the country like the aftershocks of an earthquake, and will alter the political landscape forever.

Postscript 19 Sept

The scenes of armed South African police gunning down striking miners brought back memories of the brutality of the old apartheid regime. Today, however, big business is sheltering behind the state run by the African National Congress. But the repression has unleashed a massive movement. WEIZMANN HAMILTON reports on the significance of this new upturn in workers’ struggle.

AT THE END of July the signing of a three-year salary agreement between the government and the public-sector unions was greeted with relief and hailed as historic. The possibility of a repeat of the massive public-sector strikes of 2007 and 2010 had been averted for the next three years and labour stability would be the order of the day, in one of the most combative sectors of the working class in recent years. The effectiveness of the labour-relations system of South Africa’s 18-year old democracy had been proven, it was claimed.

Two weeks later, an earthquake erupted at Marikana that has dealt a shattering blow to the credibility of that labour-relations system, to the institutions for the resolution of disputes, and also to the very foundation of the negotiated settlement that ended apartheid and ushered in black majority rule in 1994. Like the brilliant lightning that accompanies a Highveld thunderstorm, the irreconcilable antagonisms between the working class and the capitalists, the unbridgeable gulf between the exploiters and the exploited, have been laid bare at Marikana. As has the role of the state, the armed bodies which protect the wealth of the ruling capitalist class, and the role of the government as the facilitator of the exploitation and oppression of the working class.

Starting in Rustenburg in the North West Province, the molten lava of workers’ rage is flowing across the platinum mines. The province is home to 80% of the world’s platinum reserves, exploited by some of the biggest mining companies in the world. The anger, detonated by the bloody massacre of 34 workers by the police on Wonderkop hill, Marikana, is threatening to engulf the gold mines in Gauteng, the industrial heartland of the country.

The considerable political impact of the 2007 public-sector strike, which prepared the way for the recall of the African National Congress’s then-president, Thabo Mbeki, opened up the biggest divisions in the ANC since its foundation one hundred years ago. But that pales in comparison with the impact of the rebellion of the mineworkers triggered by the Marikana uprising. Strewn among the rubble left by these earth-shattering events lie the credibility of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), its parent federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and, above all, the ruling ANC itself.

It was the 2010 public-sector strike that first revealed sharply that the shotgun marriage between the organised working class and the Jacob Zuma faction of the ANC had been a completely false union between the political elite in the service of capital and the victims of the ruthless exploitation of the capitalist class. It was in that strike that the Zuma administration first demonstrated its real anti-working class character, with a venomous torrent of abuse by ministers, denouncing the strikers as thugs, criminals and murderers. Mass dismissals of health workers (later rescinded) accompanied threats to ban the right to strike in whole swathes of the public sector, including health, education, the police and army. If the ANC government sheathed its sword in the battle with the public-sector workers in 2010, it wielded it with a vengeance this year against the Marikana miners.

Brutal company

THE FIRST CASUALTY of war, whether of the military or the civil kind (for that is what the tumultuous conflict in the mines represent in outline), is the truth. The propaganda machine staffed by the media, government, bosses, SACP and, most scandalously, the NUM, went into overdrive to claim that the police acted in self-defence. Not only has that been exposed as utterly false but it has been shown to have been consciously calculated to conceal the now undeniable truth: that the Marikana massacre was premeditated.

The Lonmin company which runs the mine has a strong pedigree of brutality in the virtual police state it has established on its mines. Private security forces and the police serve the mining bosses and act with impunity. The deaths that occurred before the massacre, which claimed the lives of six workers, two policemen and two security guards, were the direct result of the culture of violence that the company has cultivated over the years.

Lonmin itself is a descendant of the notorious London-based Lonrho, which even Britain’s former Tory prime minister, Ted Heath, described as “an unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism” in the House of Commons in 1973. Mmegionline pointed out (24 August), that Lonrho’s chief executive, Tiny Rowland, spread corruption throughout Africa as it exploited the continent’s workforce.

The strike was triggered by the bosses’ decision to grant wage increases to selected groups of workers to prevent them, rumour has it, from defecting to other companies offering higher rates of pay in a sector with no centralised bargaining or uniform remuneration. These increases breached a two-year agreement signed with the NUM and due to end in 2013. Seeing this as an attempt to create divisions, and with the two-year agreement effectively set aside by management with the apparent acquiescence of the NUM, the workers, acting independently, put forward a single pay demand to unite the workforce against the bosses. The NUM’s impotence in the face of these developments had infuriated the workers, and reopened the wounds of the NUM’s betrayal of the Lonmin workers last year. A committee was formed independently of the NUM.

During the NUM’s 2011 shop stewards elections, the workers had voted out the majority of the old committee, and replaced them with their preferred candidates. The NUM regional office rejected the elections as ‘unconstitutional’ and refused to recognise the new committee. Instead of attempting to resolve the matter with their members, NUM regional leaders informed management that the structure had not been recognised.

When management refused to deal with the committee, the workers rejected this attempt to interfere with their democratic will and, in effect, to dictate to them who they may or may not elect. They, then, went on strike. The NUM distanced itself from the strike, and 9,000 workers were dismissed for striking illegally. Such was the anger of the workers that NUM leaders addressed their own members from inside an armoured police vehicle, ignoring demands to step out and face them.

Preparing for a showdown

CONTRARY TO THE parallel myth that this summer’s dispute was the fallout from rivalry between the NUM and the breakaway Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the strike committee was established independently of both unions. In fact, the first pre-massacre killings took place when the independent strike committee approached the NUM office to discuss unity in action. Two of the delegates were shot and killed from the direction of the NUM office. Police and private security were sent in to suppress the independent workers’ committee and prevent the strike from taking off. Precisely what the circumstances were of the killings of the police and security guards remains unclear. Despite this, the killings were used as a pretext to demonise the workers as bloodthirsty and intent on sowing mindless mayhem.

Recognising that they were vulnerable in the mineshafts, the workers decided to move off the mine premises and to occupy Wonderkop hill. It was, in other words, an act of self-defence not aggression. Workers, however, had had a sense of foreboding for days before the massacre. It was their vulnerability, their determination to maintain unity that led to them resorting to superstitious rituals and the use of muti (traditional medicine). It was intended to convey a message of determination, that they would stand their ground in the face of management and police threats, rather than a genuine belief among the majority that the muti could render them invisible.

Management’s arrogant hard-line attitude and contemptuous dismissal of the workers’ demands, together with the aggressive deployment of mine security and the previous killings, indicated that a bloody showdown was being prepared. Workers armed themselves with the only things they had at their disposal, traditional weapons which are wielded by virtually all workers during strikes, and which are hardly weapons of war. They had one simple demand: that management meet them and respond to their grievances.

By 15 August, public pressure had reached the point where management, the NUM and Amcu were obliged to appear on national radio and publicly agree to start negotiations the following day, even announcing that they had an offer to table. On the fateful day, management arrived 90 minutes after the appointed time, only to announce, according to Amcu, that there would be no negotiations and, chillingly, “that the matter was now in the hands of the generals”. (There has been an apartheid-style re-militarisation of the police, and shoot-to-kill philosophy popularised by former police commissioner, Bheki Cele, who has been sacked for corruption.)

The Amcu leaders made one last, futile effort to persuade the workers to come down from the hill, warning them that blood was going to be spilled. In fact, by the time the Amcu leaders were meeting with the workers the clock for the massacre was already ticking. Amcu leaders report that they were allowed to leave the hill only after lengthy negotiations with senior police officials. The plotters of the massacre had been prepared to include the Amcu leaders in the slaughter. Not long after the Amcu leaders had vacated the hill, the massacre began.

Executing the massacre

CLEARLY, A DECISION had been made to drown the strike in blood. It could not have been taken by Lonmin management or the police alone. The government must have been consulted at the highest level. In this single act is laid bare the essence of the class basis of capitalist rule: the police as protectors of the wealth and power of the capitalists; the government as the political attorneys and facilitators of the exploitation of the workers by the bosses; the union leaders as the collaborators of the bosses and the government in keeping the workers bound hand-and-foot on their behalf. In that act, too, the umbilical cord of the masses’ illusions in the ANC government was severed.

What has since emerged is that the main massacre occurred 300 metres from the site television cameras were trained on, at a smaller hill to which workers had fled. There is evidence that they were shot execution-style, as they raised their hands in surrender, or in the back as they fled.

At most, the workers were in possession of one pistol, possibly from disarming a police officer or security guard at the mine in the days before. Beyond that, the workers had nothing more than panga knives, knobkerries, sjambok whips and other traditional paraphernalia that posed no threat to police with automatic weapons. Armed police, with armoured vehicles and helicopters, tear gas and razor-wire deploying machines, mounted an operation that was designed to clear the hill, force the workers back to work, and break the strike.

It did not occur on the spur of the moment. It was planned. The razor wire was deployed deliberately to allow for a small gap, tempting the workers to rush towards it. Those who did so were mowed down in a murderous hail of bullets. Subsequent accounts presented the attempt to escape from the hill as an attempted assault on the police.

Declaring class war

THE LONMIN STRIKE occurred against the background of a mounting crisis in the industry. The global economic slowdown has caused a crisis in the motor industry, with levels of overcapacity that would require a market the size of the US to bring all idle plant into operation. Platinum extraction, completely dependent on the motor industry’s need for catalytic converters, was an inevitable casualty. Supply rapidly outstripped demand, aggravated by the greed of speculators who worsened oversupply to the point that platinum plunged to just 50% of its historic price. Lonmin’s share price has taken a serious knock and the company will miss its production targets for this year.

Nonetheless, the reality is that the halt in production has changed the balance between supply and demand, resulting in an increase in the price of platinum. In that sense, the company is not threatened by the loss of production. Why then did management, the police and the government feel the need to crush the strike? The reason is that, by embarking on a strike, the workers were challenging more than their exploitation. They were rising up against the entire establishment, and the carefully engineered system of collective bargaining designed to trap workers in endless procedural technicalities to avoid going on an ‘unprotected’, that is, illegal strike.

The strike was illegal in that it did not follow procedure. The existing two-year agreement signed by the NUM and management was ignored by both the signatories and the workers. The NUM leaders were being rejected and denounced as management stooges. Worse still from the NUM’s point of view, in self-defence workers armed themselves with traditional weapons – useful, at best, in close combat – as a symbol of unity, determination and combativity. The entire system of oppression, on which the continued exploitation of the workers depended, was at risk. The bosses were outraged at the ingratitude of workers no longer prepared to walk around in chains, to live in squalor, and to be treated like slaves.

This was no mere wage strike. It was an unarmed insurrection. That certainly was the view taken by the Lonmin bosses and the entire capitalist class in the mining industry and beyond. In an extraordinary editorial on 17 August, Business Day issued what amounted to a declaration of class war against the Marikana workers. It spelt out in clear language the political implications of the workers’ action and why it was intolerable. It appealed for class unity across the entire capitalist class. In language breath-taking for its forthrightness, shorn of the normal euphemisms about the common interest of all South Africans united across classes in the common endeavour to achieve prosperity, the editorial condemned the inaction of the Lonmin management:

“Lonmin needs to be a part of the solution to an intractable problem at the mine. It isn’t new. The new Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is slowly taking apart the venerable National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the platinum industry, mine after mine. That fact, on its own, should be enough to raise alarm bells throughout the South African body politic. The NUM is the thoughtful, considered heart of the union movement here. Cyril Ramaphosa [former NUM leader, now big-businessman] and Kgalema Motlanthe [South African deputy president], for instance, come out of it. As a union it is a powerful voice of reason in an often loud and rash movement.

“It appreciates and values private capital and strong companies. Business everywhere should be hoping the union finds a way to defend itself effectively from Amcu’s attacks… For a start, the strike is ostensibly about pay, an issue neither the police nor the unions can solve. Second, business, just for the sake of it, needs to be seen to stand up at a moment of crisis like this in South Africa and be damned well counted.

“The strike and the tragedy of Thursday will be with us for a very long time. It represented a failure of our new society on many levels, most strikingly the inability of the majority black establishment (of which the NUM and the ruling African National Congress and union umbrella Cosatu are leaders) to come to terms with the majority of black, marginalised, poor and desperate people.

“Amcu was bred around beer and fires in deepest rural Pondoland in the Transkei… There is not going to be any stopping Amcu. That means a solution to the violence has to be found at a high level, and that it has to recognise, for the NUM and for Cosatu and the ANC itself, the extremely uncomfortable truth that there is a power building in the land over which they have little or no influence, and which itself has little or no respect for the powers that be”.

Fault-lines in the power structure

HERE IN UNDILUTED language, without even a crocodile tear to blot the paper on which it was written for the deaths of 34 human beings, is how the bourgeois view the situation. As far as they are concerned, the Marikana workers are a threat to the entire edifice constructed at Codesa (the Convention for a Democratic South Africa: the negotiations to dismantle the apartheid regime). That brought in an arrangement by which the economic dictatorship of the capitalist class and exploitation of the working class would be perpetuated under a democratic mask held in place by the Tripartite Alliance of the ANC, SACP and Cosatu. In 300 bloody seconds, that mask had been ripped away with pointless savagery by the ‘democratic’ police.

In its paranoid, panicky reaction to the spread of the strikes, the government, Cosatu and the SACP has sought to blame Julius Malema, expelled ANC Youth League president, for instigating workers and destabilising the country. They have also attacked him for meeting with disgruntled soldiers, accusing him of threatening the security of the country. As a result, all military bases were placed on high alert. But, as Malema himself pointed out, he is out to save the ANC not destroy it. If he had not stepped in, he argues, the vacuum would have been filled by others with a different agenda.

Malema has his eye on the ANC’s Mangaung conference in December, preparations for which have already polarised the ANC over the succession to the presidency. It has been plunged into a virtual civil war and a factional strife far worse than the one that preceded the ousting of Mbeki. Malema hopes to be reinstated by the floor of the conference. So deep are the divisions in the ANC that another split along the lines of 2007, which led to the emergence of Cope (Congress of the People), cannot be excluded. Whatever the outcome of the December conference, however, it will make no difference to the working class.

As the entire conduct of the ANC leadership has shown since the massacre, the gulf between it and the masses is now unbridgeable. The Business Day editorial may have attacked Amcu. The real target, however, was not Amcu, which is a mere accidental phenomenon with no real alternative to offer the workers. As Lenin would have put it, Business Day was striking the bag to hit the donkey. Its target was the working class. The ANC has demonstrated that it shares with the capitalist class the same fear and loathing for the working class.

The Democratic Socialist Movement (the CWI section in South Africa) has played an important role in the struggle of the Marikana miners, helping to set up the Rustenburg Workers and Communities Forum. The struggle for justice for the Marikana miners and the families of those killed and injured by the security forces is the top priority. The pressure has to be increased on the Lonmin company, the police and the political establishment. DSM members are proposing a Rustenburg general strike, to be followed by a national strike and march. International pressure by workers and activists must also be maximised. The enthusiastic response to the ideas of the DSM among workers indicates the great potential for the development of a mass workers’ party on a socialist programme, to defend the interests of working-class people in South Africa.



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NEWS

Belgium: Government’s Thatcherite attacks provoke class confrontation
30/10/2014, Els Deschoemacker, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
The right wing coalition must go, and all austerity policies!

Mexico: Wave of protests follow student "disappearances"
29/10/2014, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto:
Latest US-backed ‘drugs war’ horror sends shock waves throughout Mexico

Nigeria: Vast social and class extremes
27/10/2014, Sophie Simcox, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
The unreported Nigeria - mass struggles by the working class

Africa: Ebola outbreak a deadly face of austerity
25/10/2014, Jon Dale, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Pharmaceutical industry/big corporations need to be brought into public ownership and resources used to provide urgent aid

Tunisia: Widespread scepticism over Parliamentary elections
24/10/2014, Election statement by the CWI Tunisia:
Pro-capitalist parties teaming up for more of the same - urgent need to rebuild a political voice for the working class and youth

Kurdistan: Defend Kobanê and all those threatened by ISIS, AKP and Imperialism
24/10/2014, Translation of a leaflet by Sosyalist Alternatif (CWI in Turkey):
For democratic working people’s defence and mass struggle against capitalism

Hong Kong: "Movement cannot be limited to ‘universal suffrage’ but must strive for socialism"
23/10/2014, Interview by Offensiv (socialist weekly newspaper in Sweden) with Dikang from Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
Inside the ‘umbrella revolution’

Ireland: TD Paul Murphy tears up Irish Water pack in the Dail
22/10/2014, Socialistworld.net:
1 million refuse to register for water charges

Seattle: “Sawant ...with impressive, favorable rating”
22/10/2014, Stephan Kimmerle, CWI:
61% support for Kshama Sawant in her electoral district...Jess Spear`s campaign against one of the most powerful corporate politicians in Washington State gaining momentum...indications of yearning for representation for working class people

Britain: 100,000 attend TUC’s pay rise demo
21/10/2014, Socialist Party Reporters, London:
Calls for local government strike action to be reinstated

Scotland: 10,000 attend Hope Over Fear rally
16/10/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI), Glasgow:
’Political awakening’ continues after independence referendum

Ireland :’The people have risen, they should not kneel down again’
15/10/2014, :
Paul Murphy TD (MP) makes maiden speech in Parliament

Scotland: SNP budget sees another £500 million cuts
10/10/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
For a ’no-cuts budget’ and mass campaign to win back billions stolen by ConDem government!

Middle East: Repel Islamic State and imperialism
08/10/2014, Paula Mitchell (edited version of an article in this week’s Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
For democratic workers’ defence and Kurdish self-determination

New Zealand: National Party forms third successive government
04/10/2014, Socialist Voice (CWI NZ) Reporters:
Labour Party and the Left in crisis

Africa: Ebola crisis spreads
03/10/2014, Andy Ford, health sector, and Tim Sandle, from Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website:
Consequence of profit before health

Britain: Labour to continue austerity offensive
26/09/2014, Matt Gordon, from the Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party - CWI England & Wales):
Labour conference a carefully stage-managed affair

Ireland South: Is Sinn Féin a genuine left alternative?
25/09/2014, Conor Payne, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Cork:
Seeking alliances with austerity parties

Britain: Capitalist parties in crisis after Scotland revolt
24/09/2014, Editorial from the Socialist (issue 826), weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Build a working class alternative

Iran: Petrochemical workers sentenced to jail and flogging
22/09/2014, Appeal from Campaign in Support of Iranian Workers’:
Protest against Iranian government’s brutal sentences!

Environment: Video of Climate Summit meeting with Kshama Sawant
22/09/2014, Video from The Real News:
Video of New York City Climate Summit meeting with Bernie Sanders, Kshama Sawant, Bill KcKibben, Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges

Scotland: 1.6 million vote Yes in a working class revolt against austerity
19/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
Urgent to build new mass party for the working class

Northern Ireland: Ian Paisley - peace-maker or war-monger?
18/09/2014, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
A right-wing, sectarian demagogue who courted paramilitary violence

Scotland: Independence referendum
18/09/2014, Editorial of the Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
"Britain will never be the same again"

Spain: Millions take to streets calling for Catalonia’s independence
18/09/2014, Rob MacDonald, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain) Barcelona:
Only working class struggle can guarantee the right to decide and resist austerity

Scotland: Thousands mobilise to oppose Project Terror in Scotland
17/09/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
"You will not take this opportunity away from us"

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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”

Belgium: Right wing coalition aims for structural attack on workers
19/09/2014, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
Massive social resistance is looming

Sweden: Conservative collapse, extreme-right gains
17/09/2014, Per Olsson, from Offensiv (newspaper of the Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna - CWI Sweden):
CWI success, defended four council seats

US: Inequality and fight-back in the world’s richest country
16/09/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Socialist Alternative articulates political strategy to break from Democratic Party and capitalism

Brazil: Will elections mark the end of the PT government?
15/09/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Space for Left alternative to win support

Ukraine: Fragile ceasefire holds but country remains “a tinder box”
10/09/2014, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

Scotland: 10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations
08/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
“In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

Britain: Crisis brewing on all fronts
05/09/2014, Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
The 2015 general election is a mere eight months away yet impossible to call. But what is clear is that none of the capitalist parties hold any real attraction for working class voters.

Beijing slams door shut on Hong Kong democracy
02/09/2014, Statement by Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
Mass resistance against one-party dictatorship is the only way forward!