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latest news

Cuba
Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased

24/01/2015: Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

  Cuba, US

Northern Ireland
Water service workers win important victory

23/01/2015: A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

  Ireland North

Sri Lanka
Mobilise now to defend our demands

22/01/2015: Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

  Sri Lanka

 US
Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address

21/01/2015: "Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

  US, Video

Russia/Ukraine
Facing a turbulent 2015

21/01/2015: As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

  Russia, Ukraine

Greece
Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes

20/01/2015: Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

  Greece

Nigeria
The Massacre in Baga

19/01/2015: Socialism or Barbarism

  Nigeria

Review
‘Eleanor Marx - a life’

17/01/2015: Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

  Review

 Video
Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor

16/01/2015: Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

  Video

Nigeria
2015 general elections and the working masses

16/01/2015: Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

  Nigeria

  Video
Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland

15/01/2015: "You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

 Video
A year of struggle in Brazil

14/01/2015: LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

  Brazil, Video

Sri Lanka
New but uncertain period opens up

14/01/2015: President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

  Sri Lanka

Iran
Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years

13/01/2015: International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

  Iran

Germany
What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?

13/01/2015: Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

  Germany

France
Millions march for solidarity

12/01/2015: Unity against racism and capitalism!

  France

New Zealand
Extreme poverty worsens

12/01/2015: Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

  New Zealand

France
Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity

10/01/2015: The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

  France

Norway
General strike called for 28 January

10/01/2015: Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

  Norway

Sri Lanka
Rajapaksa defeated

09/01/2015: Period of uncertainty opens

  Sri Lanka

Sweden
New elections cancelled

09/01/2015: “Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

  Sweden

Greece
Towards a Syriza government?

08/01/2015: General elections on 25 January

  Greece

France
Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo

08/01/2015: Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

  France

Hong Kong
Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’

07/01/2015: A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

  Hong Kong

Israel-Palestine
A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide

06/01/2015: Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

  Israel / Palestine

Northern Ireland
The Stormont House Agreement

05/01/2015: Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

  Ireland Republic

Environment
Market forces hold back renewable energy

01/01/2015: Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

  Environment

New Year
Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015

31/12/2014: As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

  Britain, Europe, World Economy

Britain
In defence of TUSC

30/12/2014: As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

  Britain, US

 CWI
National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism

28/12/2014: A socialist solution to national oppression

  CWI

Scotland
Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader

27/12/2014: Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

  Scotland

Obituary
Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014

26/12/2014: Former Australian Labour Party (ALP) prime minister

  Australia, Obituary

China
Hard landing in 2015?

24/12/2014: China’s economic slowdown already being felt throughout world economy

  China

Trotsky
‘The national principle’

24/12/2014: An article written by LEON TROTSKY, exposing the hypocrisy of world powers towards national minorities and oppressed peoples, translated into English for the first time

  History, Trotsky

Europe
New wave of workers’ struggles

23/12/2014: Workers digest first rounds of anti-cuts battles and prepare for next rounds

  Europe

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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US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address, 21/01/2015

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NEWS

Northern Ireland: Water service workers win important victory
23/01/2015, Donal O’Cofaigh, Socialist Party, Fermanagh:
A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

Sri Lanka: Mobilise now to defend our demands
22/01/2015, Tu Senan, International Coordinator of the Tamil Solidarity campaign:
Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address
21/01/2015, Socialistworld.net, via socialistalternative.org:
"Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

Review: ‘Eleanor Marx - a life’
17/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI. Article published in the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

Video: Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor
16/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

Nigeria: 2015 general elections and the working masses
16/01/2015, Aj. Dagga Tolar and Kola Ibrahim, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

Video: Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland
15/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
"You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

Video: A year of struggle in Brazil
14/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

Sri Lanka: New but uncertain period opens up
14/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI:
President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

Iran: Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years
13/01/2015, Campaign in Support Workers of Iran:
International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

France: Millions march for solidarity
12/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Unity against racism and capitalism!

New Zealand: Extreme poverty worsens
12/01/2015, CWI Reporters, NZ/Aotearoa:
Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

France: Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity
10/01/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) website editorial:
The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

Norway: General strike called for 28 January
10/01/2015, Trond Sverre and Elise Kollveit (CWI, Oslo):
Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa defeated
09/01/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Period of uncertainty opens

Sweden: New elections cancelled
09/01/2015, Questions answered by Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
“Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

France: Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo
08/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

Hong Kong: Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’
07/01/2015, Editorial from Socialist magazine《社會主義者, of CWI in China and Hong Kong:
A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

Israel-Palestine: A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide
06/01/2015, Or Dar, Socialist Struggle Movement, CWI in Israel-Palestine:
Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

Environment: Market forces hold back renewable energy
01/01/2015, Pete Dickinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

Britain: In defence of TUSC
30/12/2014, Clive Heemskerk, from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

CWI: National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism
28/12/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
A socialist solution to national oppression

Scotland:Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader
27/12/2014, Philip Stott, SPS (CWI Scotland):
Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

Obituary: Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014
26/12/2014, Conor Flynn, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia):
Former Australian Labour Party (ALP) prime minister

China: Hard landing in 2015?
24/12/2014, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
China’s economic slowdown already being felt throughout world economy

Trotsky: ‘The national principle’
24/12/2014, From Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
An article written by LEON TROTSKY, exposing the hypocrisy of world powers towards national minorities and oppressed peoples, translated into English for the first time

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
21/01/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
20/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

Nigeria: The Massacre in Baga
19/01/2015, H.T Soweto, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Socialism or Barbarism

Germany: What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?
13/01/2015, Wolfram Klein, Socialist Alternative (SAV- CWI Germany):
Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
08/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
General elections on 25 January

Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement
05/01/2015, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

New Year: Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015
31/12/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

Latin America: The end of one cycle and the beginning of another
17/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
15/12/2014, CWI International Executive Committee:
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Sri Lanka: Presidential Election January 8, 2015
11/12/2014, Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka):
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

Australia: Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road
08/12/2014, By Socialist Party (CWI Australia) reporters, Melbourne:
Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
27/11/2014, International Secretariat of the CWI :
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Ireland: Lies and distortions against community protests, the AAA and the Socialist Party
21/11/2014, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
Government and Water Charges completely undermined

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks
19/11/2014, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM):
New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

Ukraine: Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions
15/11/2014, Rob Jones, CWI Moscow:
Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

Northern Ireland: 20 years after the ceasefires
10/11/2014, Ciaran Mulholland, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
In 1994, the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries called ceasefires. Four years later the Good Friday agreement was declared to mark the end of the ‘Troubles’…

Germany: 25 years since November 9
09/11/2014, By Robert Bechert, CWI, who was living in Berlin in 1989:
Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

Elections in Brazil
07/11/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution
07/11/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI:
November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

Ireland: Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance
04/11/2014, Kevin McLoughlin, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

Kurdistan: Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads
31/10/2014, Serge Jordan, CWI:
What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

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