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latest news

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

 Germany
Highly politicised train drivers’ strike

12/11/2014: Last week German train drivers and on-board staff went on strike for four days, shaking and polarising the country

  Germany, Solidarity

Greece
Mayors refuse to make job cuts

12/11/2014: Lefts, local authority workers and communities’ united can resist Troika’s policies

  Greece

Britain
Over 1,000 attend largest ever ‘Socialism’ event

11/11/2014: Socialism 2014 - infused with contagious confidence

  Britain

Belgium
Massive demonstration in Brussels

10/11/2014: Shows anger against austerity

  Belgium

Northern Ireland
20 years after the ceasefires

10/11/2014: 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’…

  Ireland Republic

Review
Environmental disaster and the need to change everything

09/11/2014: “This Changes Everything: capitalism vs the climate”, by Naomi Klein

  Environment, Review

Germany
25 years since November 9

09/11/2014: Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

  Germany

Canada
Right wing wins Toronto Mayoral election

08/11/2014: NDP increasingly irrelevant to needs of workers, immigrants and youth

  Canada

Elections in Brazil

07/11/2014: Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

  Brazil

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution

07/11/2014: November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

  Russia

Europe
Anti-fascist demonstrations set for 8-9 November

06/11/2014: Movement of workers and youth needed against racism and fascism

  Europe, Greece, Sweden

Canada
Ottawa ‘locked-down’ after Parliament gun attack

05/11/2014: Tory government whips-up terrorist fears to boost Canada’s imperialist role

  Canada

Ireland
Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance

04/11/2014: How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

  Ireland Republic

Book review
The Jihadis Return

04/11/2014: Isis and the new Sunni uprising, by Patrick Cockburn

  Middle East, Review

South Africa
Metal workers’ union clashes with Congress of South African Trade Unions

03/11/2014: For political and class independence - Struggle, solidarity and socialism!

  South Africa

Britain
Come to Socialism 2014

03/11/2014: Weekend of discussion & debate hosted by the Socialist Party – London 8-9 November

  Britain

  Ireland
’Abortion Pill Train’ video

02/11/2014: Pro-choice ROSA campaigners swallow abortion pills after rail journey

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

Italy
Renzi government faces mounting opposition

01/11/2014: A one-day strike of all workers is needed

  Italy

Burkina Faso
Mass uprising ousts dictator

31/10/2014: No to military rule! Continue mass struggle – the whole rotten system must go!

  Burkina Faso

Ireland
Anti-water tax protest in Limerick

31/10/2014: Video of one of the city’s biggest protests

  Ireland Republic

Kurdistan
Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads

31/10/2014: What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

  Kurdistan, Middle East

Belgium
Government’s Thatcherite attacks provoke class confrontation

30/10/2014: The right wing coalition must go, and all austerity policies!

  Belgium

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

 video

Video: Joe Higgins denounces Irish government’s water charge trickery, 20/11/2014

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cwi comment & analysis

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Che Guevara: Símbolo de Lucha

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A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

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!

Afghanistan: British combat troops pull out
13/11/2014, Niall Mulholland, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
A legacy of death and destruction

Germany: Highly politicised train drivers’ strike
12/11/2014, Sascha Stanicic, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Germany):
Last week German train drivers and on-board staff went on strike for four days, shaking and polarising the country

Greece: Mayors refuse to make job cuts
12/11/2014, Eleni Mitsou, Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Lefts, local authority workers and communities’ united can resist Troika’s policies

Britain: Over 1,000 attend largest ever ‘Socialism’ event
11/11/2014, Sarah Sachs Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Socialism 2014 - infused with contagious confidence

Belgium: Massive demonstration in Brussels
10/11/2014, Geert Cool, LSP/PSL (CWI in Belgium):
Shows anger against austerity

Review: Environmental disaster and the need to change everything
09/11/2014, Bill Hopwood, from the November 2014 edition of Socialism Today:
“This Changes Everything: capitalism vs the climate”, by Naomi Klein

Canada: Right wing wins Toronto Mayoral election
08/11/2014, Socialist Alternative Toronto:
NDP increasingly irrelevant to needs of workers, immigrants and youth

Europe: Anti-fascist demonstrations set for 8-9 November
06/11/2014, Anti-fascist organiser, Stockholm:
Movement of workers and youth needed against racism and fascism

Canada: Ottawa ‘locked-down’ after Parliament gun attack
05/11/2014, Socialist Alternative Reporters, Canada:
Tory government whips-up terrorist fears to boost Canada’s imperialist role

Book review: The Jihadis Return
04/11/2014, Reviewed by Paul Gerrard, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Isis and the new Sunni uprising, by Patrick Cockburn

South Africa: Metal workers’ union clashes with Congress of South African Trade Unions
03/11/2014, Moses Mayekiso, WASP President and Numsa founding general secretary (elected while on trail for treason in 1987):
For political and class independence - Struggle, solidarity and socialism!

Britain: Come to Socialism 2014
03/11/2014, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialism 2014 organising team:
Weekend of discussion & debate hosted by the Socialist Party – London 8-9 November

Ireland: ’Abortion Pill Train’ video
02/11/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Pro-choice ROSA campaigners swallow abortion pills after rail journey

Italy: Renzi government faces mounting opposition
01/11/2014, Giuliano Brunetti, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
A one-day strike of all workers is needed

Burkina Faso: Mass uprising ousts dictator
31/10/2014, CWI Reporters, Ivory Coast:
No to military rule! Continue mass struggle – the whole rotten system must go!

Ireland: Anti-water tax protest in Limerick
31/10/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Video of one of the city’s biggest protests

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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!

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”