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Belgium
Massive general strike makes the government wobble

19/12/2014: Towards a second plan of action to get rid of this government and austerity!

  Belgium

 Portugal
Government attempts to forcefully break TAP strike

19/12/2014: Solidarity messages needed with “requisitioned” airline workers

  Portugal, Solidarity

Kazakhstan
Third anniversary of Zhanaozen massacre marked

18/12/2014: Struggle to free political prisoners continues

  Kazakhstan

Latin America
The end of one cycle and the beginning of another

17/12/2014: Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

  Latin America

Taiwan
Kuomintang’s landslide election defeat redraws the political map

17/12/2014: Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’ and democracy protests in Hong Kong fuel massive rejection of ruling party

  Taiwan

 World Perspectives
A turbulent period in history

15/12/2014: Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

  CWI

Ireland
Mass water charges protest on 10 December

15/12/2014: Dublin City centre came to a standstill as different marches made their way to the Dáil

  Ireland Republic

Sweden
Political crisis and new elections

15/12/2014: Right-wing alliance relied on racist party to defeat budget

  Sweden

Greece
Government brings forward presidential election

12/12/2014: Kick out the austerity government and Troika! For a Syriza government with bold socialist policies!

  Greece

Sri Lanka
Presidential Election January 8, 2015

11/12/2014: Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

  Sri Lanka

 Video
Paul Murphy speaks at mass Dublin water charges protest

11/12/2014: For a new political movement to bring the "mob" to power

  Ireland Republic, Video

Greece
Violent clashes over prisoner hunger strike

09/12/2014: Cruel and vengeful actions by the State and ruling elite

  Greece

 Video
All out on 10 December against water charges!

09/12/2014: Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger speak in Irish parliament

  Ireland Republic, Video

Australia
Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road

08/12/2014: Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

  Australia

US
An Uprising Against Police Violence

08/12/2014: From Ferguson to Staten Island

  US

Philippines
‘Economic miracle’ – a neo-liberal nightmare for the masses

30/11/2014: Forced evictions, poverty wages and repression is the reality for millions

  Philippines

 World Perspectives
A turbulent period in history

27/11/2014: Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

  CWI

Britain
Right wing, populist UKIP wins second Parliament seat

26/11/2014: Labour’s pro-austerity ‘opposition’ no alternative

  Britain

South Africa
Metalworkers’ union expelled from COSATU

25/11/2014: Rebuild the trade union movement on socialist principles!

  Africa, South Africa

Catalonia
9 November “consultation” on independence

22/11/2014: Another show of strength for independence - fight for a Socialist Catalonia

  Spain

Greece
Workers’ victory at Diamant telesales company

21/11/2014: Xekinima (CWI) member wins key union position in Athens Municipality sector

  Greece

Israel-Palestine
Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks

19/11/2014: New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

  Israel / Palestine

US
Mid-term elections do not mean a turn to the right in society

19/11/2014: Big Gains for Republicans while Voters Support Progressive Ballot Measures

  US

 Video
Socialist TD defends anti-water charges protests

18/11/2014: Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) appears on ‘Prime Time’

  Ireland Republic, Video

Vital lessons of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’

18/11/2014: Mass struggle needs genuine internal democracy and fighting working class programme to defeat dictatorship

  Hong Kong

 Video
Water tax revolt continues in Ireland

17/11/2014: Tanaiste (Deputy PM) trapped by protestors; AAA TD (MP) and Socialist Party member, Paul Murphy, assaulted

  Ireland Republic, Video

Indonesia
"New Hope" president faces intense pressures

16/11/2014: Initiative to build mass party of working class and rural poor urgently needed

  Indonesia

Ukraine
Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions

15/11/2014: Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

  Ukraine

Scotland
SNP government announces £500 million cuts

14/11/2014: Majority of ‘Yes’ voters want end to austerity - anti-cuts candidates needed!

  Scotland

Afghanistan
British combat troops pull out

13/11/2014: A legacy of death and destruction

  Afghanistan, Britain, US

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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Video: Paul Murphy speaks at mass Dublin water charges protest, 11/12/2014

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NEWS

Belgium: Massive general strike makes the government wobble
19/12/2014, PSL/LSP (CWI in Belgium) reporter:
Towards a second plan of action to get rid of this government and austerity!

Portugal: Government attempts to forcefully break TAP strike
19/12/2014, Socialsmo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal):
Solidarity messages needed with “requisitioned” airline workers

Kazakhstan: Third anniversary of Zhanaozen massacre marked
18/12/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Struggle to free political prisoners continues

Taiwan : Kuomintang’s landslide election defeat redraws the political map
17/12/2014, Vincent Kolo and CWI Taiwan reporters:
Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’ and democracy protests in Hong Kong fuel massive rejection of ruling party

Italy: Mass support for general strike expresses anger at PD government
15/12/2014, Chris Thomas, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
New political voice vitally needed

Ireland: Mass water charges protest on 10 December
15/12/2014, Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Dublin City centre came to a standstill as different marches made their way to the Dáil

Sweden: Political crisis and new elections
15/12/2014, From articles in Offensiv, weekly paper of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
Right-wing alliance relied on racist party to defeat budget

Greece: Government brings forward presidential election
12/12/2014, Slightly edited article from the current issue of Xekinima newspaper (CWI in Greece):
Kick out the austerity government and Troika! For a Syriza government with bold socialist policies!

Video: Paul Murphy speaks at mass Dublin water charges protest
11/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
For a new political movement to bring the "mob" to power

Greece: Violent clashes over prisoner hunger strike
09/12/2014, Xekinima Reporters:
Cruel and vengeful actions by the State and ruling elite

Video: All out on 10 December against water charges!
09/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger speak in Irish parliament

US: An Uprising Against Police Violence
08/12/2014, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative:
From Ferguson to Staten Island

Mexico: Anger grows over missing Mexican students
04/12/2014, Led by the families of the 43 students who disappeared two months ago, thousands of protesters marched through Mexico City on 20 November to demand answers and action from the government.:
Dave Carr

Philippines: ‘Economic miracle’ – a neo-liberal nightmare for the masses
30/11/2014, By a CWI correspondent in Philippines:
Forced evictions, poverty wages and repression is the reality for millions

Britain: Right wing, populist UKIP wins second Parliament seat
26/11/2014, Editorial from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (England & Wales):
Labour’s pro-austerity ‘opposition’ no alternative

South Africa: Metalworkers’ union expelled from COSATU
25/11/2014, WASP Reporters:
Rebuild the trade union movement on socialist principles!

Catalonia: 9 November “consultation” on independence
22/11/2014, Rob MacDonald Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain) Barcelona:
Another show of strength for independence - fight for a Socialist Catalonia

Greece: Workers’ victory at Diamant telesales company
21/11/2014, Xekinima Reporters:
Xekinima (CWI) member wins key union position in Athens Municipality sector

Video: Joe Higgins denounces Irish government’s water charge trickery
20/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Mass boycott will defeat water charges

US: Mid-term elections do not mean a turn to the right in society
19/11/2014, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative:
Big Gains for Republicans while Voters Support Progressive Ballot Measures

Video: Socialist TD defends anti-water charges protests
18/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) appears on ‘Prime Time’

Venezuela: Scarcity and speculation - whose fault is it?
18/11/2014, Gabriela Sánchez. Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela):
Who is sabotaging who?

Vital lessons of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’
18/11/2014, chinaworker.info:
Mass struggle needs genuine internal democracy and fighting working class programme to defeat dictatorship

Video: Water tax revolt continues in Ireland
17/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Tanaiste (Deputy PM) trapped by protestors; AAA TD (MP) and Socialist Party member, Paul Murphy, assaulted

Indonesia: "New Hope" president faces intense pressures
16/11/2014, Iyan, CWI Malaysia:
Initiative to build mass party of working class and rural poor urgently needed

Scotland: SNP government announces £500 million cuts
14/11/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Majority of ‘Yes’ voters want end to austerity - anti-cuts candidates needed!

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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

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!