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New Zealand
Victory over zero-contract hours

24/05/2015: ‘Cotton On’ clothes retailer workers defeat attempt to remove rest and meal breaks

  New Zealand

Iraq/Syria
ISIS rout national armies at Ramadi and Palmyra

23/05/2015: United working class movement needed to sweep away sectarian militias and reactionary politicians

  Iraq, Syria

Britain
Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business

22/05/2015: The Labour leadership contest begs the question: what is the point of the Labour Party?

  Britain

Ireland North
Election marks growing rejection of sectarian status quo

21/05/2015: Opportunities to build new anti-sectarian political voice for working class and youth

  Ireland Republic

Spain
Is Podemos in crisis?

20/05/2015: Left and social movements in a state of flux, as key elections loom

  Spain

Britain
Build a movement to defeat Tories’ cuts savagery

20/05/2015: For massive union demonstrations, linked to a 24-hour general strike

  Britain

Ireland South
Vote ‘Yes’ to marriage equality!

19/05/2015: Referendum a product of long-waged campaign of struggle from below

  Ireland Republic

Greece
Subordination to Troika or rupture with austerity?

18/05/2015: The choices before the Greek working class

  Greece

North Cyprus
‘Moderate leftist’ wins presidential election on peace ticket

16/05/2015: Workers’ common front, north and south, can find solution to island’s division

  Cyprus

Chile
Huge demonstrations call for free education

15/05/2015: New chapter opens in country’s political and ‘moral’ crisis

  Chile

Australia
East-West toll road dispute concluded

15/05/2015: Local community direct action secures victory

  Australia

Ireland
Parliament suspended after PM tells Socialist MPs “where to go”

14/05/2015: Contemptuous remarks reflect government concerns over non-payment of water charges

  Ireland Republic

Britain
Organising against Tory austerity starts now

14/05/2015: Potential for industrial response to cuts but needs determined leadership and campaigning

  Britain

 Video
Joe Higgins TD questions former ECB president Jean Claude Trichet

13/05/2015: "When bankers and bondholders’ gambles crashed, their massive burden of private debt was placed onto the shoulders of the Irish people"

  Ireland Republic, Video

Sudan
Mass apathy towards elections

12/05/2015: Renewed struggle from below needed to put an end to Bashir’s rule

  Sudan

USA
Presidential candidate declares "political revolution" against billionaires

12/05/2015: Campaign needs to build independent political power

  US

Britain
Fight against "five more damned years" of Tory rule

12/05/2015: Labour leader’s ’responsible capitalism’ shows its bankruptcy

  Britain

China
“In a hard landing now”

11/05/2015: Stock market frenzy and fabricated GDP figures cannot hide the reality of an economy in deep trouble

  China

Scotland
Labour annihilated

11/05/2015: SNP sweeps to victory by posing as an anti-austerity alternative

  Scotland

Britain
With the votes of 24% of the electorate, Tories have no mandate for more savage cuts

11/05/2015: Labour’s failure puts centre stage the need for new mass anti-austerity force

  Britain

Poland
65,000 workers demonstrate against governments’ policies

07/05/2015: Plan of action for a general strike needed

  Poland

Ireland North
Socialist Party replies to leading Sinn Fein councillor’s attacks

06/05/2015: How to fight cuts, sectarianism and to build workers’ unity

  Ireland North

Britain
Russell Brand mistaken to sow illusions in Labour

06/05/2015: Russell Brand calls on people to elect a Labour government, saying Ed Miliband will ’listen’ and wants pressure from below

  Britain

May Day 2015
International workers’ day marked by marches and rallies

05/05/2015: Photo gallery of the CWI taking part in May Day event across the world

  May Day

Iceland
Fighting for better wages

05/05/2015: General strike called for 26 May

  Iceland

May Day 2015
Socialist plan or capitalist chaos

01/05/2015: What sort of new society are we struggling for?

  May Day

Nepal
Disaster in Nepal –amplified by capitalism

30/04/2015: Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the south Asian region has been further devastated by the recent earthquake.

  Nepal

US
Rage in Baltimore

29/04/2015: The aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death

  US

Book review
’No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance state’

29/04/2015: What the 1% will do to defend their class interests

  Review, US

 May Day 2015
Resisting austerity, exploitation, wars and oppression

28/04/2015: 125 years since first May Day – Build a united workers’ movement for socialism!

  CWI, May Day

Italy
Migrant disasters - the human cost of budget cuts

27/04/2015: From Mare Nostrum to Triton

  Italy

Latin America
A new turn?

25/04/2015: Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

  Latin America

Italy

New round of social and political battles in store

www.socialistworld.net, 01/10/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

CWI holds enthusiastic week-end of discussion and planning

Giuliano Brunetti, ControCorrente (CWI Italy) Bologna

A very useful national seminar of ControCorrente was held over the third week-end in September in Genoa.

Workers, activists and union leaders from many of the areas where ControCorrente is active were present - from Turin, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Treviso, Udine and of course the largest contingent was from Genoa. Also present were youth attending their first national meeting of the Association.

Marco Veruggio, main spokesperson for ControCorrente, gave a picture of how the crisis in Europe is felt in Italy. The euro was an attempt by sections of the European bourgeoisie to go beyond the limits of the nation state and to create a common market in competition with the US and China. The current economic crisis has brought out all the contradictions and the single currency has never been as weak as it is today.

In many countries, maintaining the euro is now associated with the policies of austerity and recession that the Troika is imposing on the southern European ’PIIGS’ countries. In some cases this has led to a growth in the support for left-wing organizations, though not unfortunately, as yet, in Italy. Even in the most affected countries such as Greece, the majority of the population fears that returning to the old national currency would be a leap into the unknown. However, for Greece or Italy, it would not be a catastrophe on the scale described in the media but nor would it solve the crisis. It is the level of struggle between the classes which will determine the fate of the euro. A country that says ’no’ to austerity, privatisation and cuts, would be expelled. For Germany, the exit from the Euro would be at a high cost and according to the newspaper Der Spiegel, Germany’s exit from the euro zone could lead to a decrease of 10% in the country’s GDP.

The world after the crisis will be very different

Prospects for the trade unions was an important part of the week-end’s discussion. Piero Acquilino, from the ship-yard, Fincantieri, emphasised the unprecedented character of this crisis. "The world we will know after the crisis will be very different from what we know today".

Many present spoke on tactics and a strategy for continuing the battles within the unions. Maurizio Rimassa, who is on the national leadership of the Union of the Trade unions of the Base (USB), felt that the rank-and-file unions outside the main federations had not taken advantage of the failure of the Cgil to overcome its internal difficulties and lead a fight back. Public sector workers pointed to the urgent need for a battle against the cuts and a worker at the Carlo Felice Theatre in Genoa, described how a fight against the liquidation of the pension fund had been victorious

Fiom Secretary in Genoa, Bruno Manganaro explained the vital role that Marxist militants could play in the union. The struggle carried out by Fiom against the privatisation of Fincantieri, has shown the most determined resistance to the bosses’ offensive in Italy. Antongiulio Mannoni, Secretary of the Labour Council of Genoa, demonstrated how moving risky production towards so-called developing countries in no way solves the problems of environmental degradation or of safety at work, giving the example of the recent terrible fire at a textile factory in Karachi, Pakistan which killed 289 workers. This underlined the need for an internationalist policy and international coordination of workers’ struggles.

Piero Acquilino stressed the need for Marxists to create social and political blocks around the struggles and disputes that develop in the country as was successfully done in the case of Fincantieri and is being done around the struggle to save the jobs of the ALCOA aluminium plant in the south of the Sardinia.

Immigration and anti-fascism

Another discussion at the seminar covered the phenomenon of the advance of the far right and fascism. Giuliano Brunetti explained how the crisis affects the working class but also sectors of the middle class oppressed by big capital. They can be attracted by the ’anti-capitalist’ demagogy of the right. ControCorrente wants to develop a programme to reach some of the petty bourgeois who are crushed by big business and have been temporarily seduced by the far right.

A number of participants in the discussion, including Clare Doyle from the International Secretariat of the CWI, dealt with the way in which immigration is used as a tool by capitalism for the depression of wages and workers’ rights. Socialists fight for political parties and trade unions to organise immigrant workers and uphold the principle of the same rights and wages being applied for all workers who do the same work, whatever their nationality. On the other hand, in the context of scarcity and crisis, a slogan of ’open borders’ will arouse the fears of many workers and Marxists have to devise a programme that is principled and involves workers’ representatives in all major decisions.

Laura Guidetti, a feminist activist, explained that Islamic fundamentalism is politically reactionary. Often the far left erroneously gives support to Islamist regimes in the name of ’anti-imperialism’. Others spoke of the class character of fascism - past and present, of the growth in support on the electoral fields for the National Front in France and Golden Dawn in Greece. The English Defence League is a small but ugly force in Britain; it has been defeated on the streets but will not disappear.

The far right grows either on the political vacuum created by the absence of major left forces, or on disappointment with left forces who have failed to adopt policies to really change things. ControCorrente believes it is wrong, to refuse, as some lefts do, to cooperate with anti-fascists who are not convinced of the need to get rid of capitalism; when students in Italy have mobilised against the neo-fascist ’Casa Pound’ and against the ’Student Block’, ControCcorrente has participated precisely in order to discuss with the best young anti-fascists on those mobilisations and bring forward a socialist programme.

Public transport

A further discussion at the seminar was on the struggle to defend local public transport services. Simone Solari spoke about the battle in Genoa against the privatisation of his company and for the defence of working conditions and the quality of service offered to users. He described how the workers have been forced to build a committee of mobilisation and coordination independent of the union officials.

An assembly had been organised which saw a strong participation of Turin transport workers. It is vital to build links in the fight against the privatisation of local public transport, not only between Genoa and Turin and more generally between public transport workers of the main Italian cities - a coordination which the main trade unions are not promoting.

Donato di Taranto, a worker in Turin GTT, explained the practical implications of privatisation, the increase in the cost of the tickets, the degradation of the service, the reduction of the number of lines and kilometres covered. There is not a single example of privatisation that has led to an improvement of the service. In Turin comrades of ControCorrente have participated in the establishment of a committee ’No to the privatization of the GTT’, and the coordination of workers from all the companies of the municipality.

Stefano Radaelli from Bologna spoke of the campaign against the costly and useless ’People Mover’ and the need to strengthen the already existing metropolitan rail service. There was great uncertainty and hardship facing workers in ATC public transport company in Bologna. Linking these workers with transport workers in other cities is an important task.

As Marco Veruggio emphasised at the end of an extremely useful day’s discussion: "From Fincantieri, to Val di Susa, from the fight against the third tunnel (in Genoa) to that against the ’People Mover’ in Bologna, ControCorrente struggles against privatisation, against the sell-off of public assets and against useless and harmful projects of big business, for free and quality public transport under the control of the workers and the users. Our task is to tie together the struggles of workers in the same sector and, in the course of our work explain to thousands of workers the type of society we are fighting for.

National Assembly on ControCorrente members

The next day - Sunday 16 September - the National Assembly of the members of ControCorrente discussed perspectives and tasks. The extent and seriousness of the economic crisis was highlighted by Marco Veruggio and the inability of the Monti government to fulfil the targets that his own ’technicians’ had indicated. Fabrizio Nigro, pointed out that the opportunity for ControCorrente to ’weigh’ on the discussions in the left around a new workers’ political force is conditioned by its ability to grow. Clare Doyle described the rise and fall a number of left forces in Europe and the struggle to build a new mass workers’ party in Britain.

A proposal for the consolidation and strengthening of ControCorrente was presented and thoroughly discussed, including contributions from Mara Armellin and Christel Dicembre.

In her concluding remarks, Christine Thomas stressed the important strides made recently by the Association and underlined the importance of strengthening the coordination among the comrades from different areas. A new National Committee and Executive Committee were elected. After this successful weekend of in-depth discussion, the task is to translate the conclusions into practice with renewed energy.



Europe

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Pakistan: Jawad Ahmad speaking at May Day rally held by International Youth and Workers Movement, 18/05/2015

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NEWS

New Zealand: Victory over zero-contract hours
24/05/2015, Joe Kelly, CWI NZ/Aotearoa:
‘Cotton On’ clothes retailer workers defeat attempt to remove rest and meal breaks

Britain: Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business
22/05/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The Labour leadership contest begs the question: what is the point of the Labour Party?

Britain: Build a movement to defeat Tories’ cuts savagery
20/05/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
For massive union demonstrations, linked to a 24-hour general strike

Ireland South: Vote ‘Yes’ to marriage equality!
19/05/2015, From the Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) website:
Referendum a product of long-waged campaign of struggle from below

Greece: Subordination to Troika or rupture with austerity?
18/05/2015, Editorial from Xekinima (no. 410, 6-20 May 2015), fortnightly newspaper of CWI Greece:
The choices before the Greek working class

Pakistan: Jawad Ahmad speaking at May Day rally held by International Youth and Workers Movement
18/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Video of May Day Rally and concert in Lahore

North Cyprus: ‘Moderate leftist’ wins presidential election on peace ticket
16/05/2015, Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus):
Workers’ common front, north and south, can find solution to island’s division

Chile: Huge demonstrations call for free education
15/05/2015, Patricio Guzman, Socialismo Revolcuionario (CWI in Chile):
New chapter opens in country’s political and ‘moral’ crisis

Australia: East-West toll road dispute concluded
15/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Australia) Reporters:
Local community direct action secures victory

Ireland: Parliament suspended after PM tells Socialist MPs “where to go”
14/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Contemptuous remarks reflect government concerns over non-payment of water charges

Britain: Organising against Tory austerity starts now
14/05/2015, John McInally, Public and Commercial Services Union national Vice-President (personal capacity), from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website:
Potential for industrial response to cuts but needs determined leadership and campaigning

Video: Joe Higgins TD questions former ECB president Jean Claude Trichet
13/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
"When bankers and bondholders’ gambles crashed, their massive burden of private debt was placed onto the shoulders of the Irish people"

Sudan: Mass apathy towards elections
12/05/2015, Sudanese CWI supporter:
Renewed struggle from below needed to put an end to Bashir’s rule

Scotland: Labour annihilated
11/05/2015, :
SNP sweeps to victory by posing as an anti-austerity alternative

Britain: With the votes of 24% of the electorate, Tories have no mandate for more savage cuts
11/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Labour’s failure puts centre stage the need for new mass anti-austerity force

Poland: 65,000 workers demonstrate against governments’ policies
07/05/2015, Alternatywa Socjalistyczna (CWI Poland) Reporters:
Plan of action for a general strike needed

Britain: Russell Brand mistaken to sow illusions in Labour
06/05/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Russell Brand calls on people to elect a Labour government, saying Ed Miliband will ’listen’ and wants pressure from below

May Day 2015: International workers’ day marked by marches and rallies
05/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Photo gallery of the CWI taking part in May Day event across the world

Iceland: Fighting for better wages
05/05/2015, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
General strike called for 26 May

US: Rage in Baltimore
29/04/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative, New York:
The aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death

Book review: ’No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance state’
29/04/2015, Reviewed by Tony Saunois, CWI:
What the 1% will do to defend their class interests

Kazakhstan: Presidential ‘election’ - Nazarbayev’s overwhelming victory no surprise
28/04/2015, Elizabeth Clarke, CWI:
Workers need to build mass opposition

Ireland North: Health Minister forced to resign after making homophobic remarks
27/04/2015, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
LGBT and women’s rights campaigners boosted

Italy: Migrant disasters - the human cost of budget cuts
27/04/2015, From web-site of ControCorrente (CWI in Italy):
From Mare Nostrum to Triton

Finland: Worst ever election result for traditional Left
24/04/2015, Jonas Brännberg and Juha Tapio for CWI in Finland:
Finns Party second biggest in parliament

Scotland: Labour face annihilation as millions seek an answer to austerity
23/04/2015, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
The SNP, according to the polls, will win 53 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster MPs

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Iraq/Syria: ISIS rout national armies at Ramadi and Palmyra
23/05/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
United working class movement needed to sweep away sectarian militias and reactionary politicians

Ireland North: Election marks growing rejection of sectarian status quo
21/05/2015, Daniel Waldron and Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
Opportunities to build new anti-sectarian political voice for working class and youth

Spain: Is Podemos in crisis?
20/05/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Left and social movements in a state of flux, as key elections loom

USA: Presidential candidate declares "political revolution" against billionaires
12/05/2015, Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative, Seattle:
Campaign needs to build independent political power

Britain: Fight against "five more damned years" of Tory rule
12/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party )CWI England & Wales) General Secretary:
Labour leader’s ’responsible capitalism’ shows its bankruptcy

China: “In a hard landing now”
11/05/2015, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Stock market frenzy and fabricated GDP figures cannot hide the reality of an economy in deep trouble

Ireland North: Socialist Party replies to leading Sinn Fein councillor’s attacks
06/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) Statement:
How to fight cuts, sectarianism and to build workers’ unity

May Day 2015: Socialist plan or capitalist chaos
01/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party General Secretary, (CWI England & Wales):
What sort of new society are we struggling for?

Nepal: Disaster in Nepal –amplified by capitalism
30/04/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the south Asian region has been further devastated by the recent earthquake.

May Day 2015: Resisting austerity, exploitation, wars and oppression
28/04/2015, CWI:
125 years since first May Day – Build a united workers’ movement for socialism!

Latin America: A new turn?
25/04/2015, Tony Saunois, article from May issue of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

Iran: Proposed nuclear deal reflects transformed Middle East
24/04/2015, Robert Bechert, CWI:
In aftermath of disastrous Iraq occupation, Obama administration balancing between region’s forces

Tunisia: After the Bardo terrorist attack
18/04/2015, Serge Jordan:
New class battles loom

Yemen: Brutal onslaught on country’s poor
15/04/2015, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the CWI England & Wales):
For unity of workers and poor against imperialism and sectarianism

Economy: What low oil prices cost the world economy
03/04/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The sudden plunge of oil and gas prices has underlined the volatility in the world capitalist economy

Israel: Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election
25/03/2015, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement, Israel-Palestine:
New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

Italy: The instability of domestic capitalism
24/03/2015, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

Greece: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer
23/03/2015, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

Belgium: No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity
20/03/2015, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
New action plan against right wing government takes off

Ukraine: Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement
18/03/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

Greece: Syriza’s first months in power
07/03/2015, Andreas Payiatsos, from Xekinima (newspaper of the CWI Greece):
The working class and social movements must enter the struggle for their rights

Quebec: Towards a hot spring
02/03/2015, Deirdre and Bruno, Socialist Alternative (CWI Quebec):
Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

Greece showdown
26/02/2015, Article to be published in the March issue of Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI in England and Wales):
Niall Mulholland interviewed NICOS ANASTASIADES, of Xekinima (CWI Greece), just as Syriza leaders agreed a four-month bail-out extension with the EU.

Libya: War-torn country becoming new hub for IS activities
25/02/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
Libyan people bearing the brunt of NATO’s fiasco

Europe: Eurozone time-bomb
25/02/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party of England and Wales):
Mired in recession, the eurozone is haunted by the spectre of stagnation