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latest news

CWI
History of the Committee for a Workers’ International

21/04/2014: 40th anniversary of the founding of the CWI

  History

Sri Lanka
Provincial elections spike president’s plans

20/04/2014: Repression can provoke opposition

  Sri Lanka

China
Labour disputes soar

17/04/2014: 40,000 workers paralyse world’s largest sports shoe maker

  China

Greece
International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”

16/04/2014: Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

  Greece

South Africa
Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections

15/04/2014: WASP campaigning material available on pdf

  South Africa

India
Massive election process could end in turmoil

14/04/2014: New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

  India

Cyprus
Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years

11/04/2014: One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

  Cyprus

 Iranian nuclear talks
Hypocrisy abounds

10/04/2014: Paul Murphy MEP

  Video

Britain
Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies

10/04/2014: Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

  Britain

Taiwan
Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days

10/04/2014: What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

  Taiwan

Hungary
Election highlights lack of Left challenge

09/04/2014: Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

  Hungary

Environment
Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby

09/04/2014: Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

  Environment, Ukraine

Belgium
50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration

08/04/2014: Protesters’ radical mood

  Belgium

Britain
One in ten council seats will have TUSC candidate

07/04/2014: No-cuts election challenge grows

  Britain

Review
Net political impact

06/04/2014: To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

  Review

Belgium
The rise of the PTB/PvdA

05/04/2014: Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

  Belgium

Ivory Coast
First victory for students at University of Cocody

04/04/2014: An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

  Ivory Coast

Canada
Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains

03/04/2014: After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

  Canada

France
Government punished in local elections

02/04/2014: Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

  France

Nepal
Turning back the wheel of history

01/04/2014: Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

  Nepal

South Africa
WASP manifesto launch success!

01/04/2014: On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

  Africa, South Africa

Taiwan
Half a million on the streets against President Ma

31/03/2014: Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

  Taiwan

US
Winning $15 an hour in Seattle

31/03/2014: A socialist strategy

  US

Netherlands
Socialist Party local election gains

31/03/2014: Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

  Netherlands

 Video
Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine

29/03/2014: Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

  Ukraine, Video

 Sweden
New political winds affect CWI Congress

28/03/2014: Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

  CWI, Sweden

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

28/03/2014: Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

Portugal
Thousands of police and military march in Lisbon

27/03/2014: Reflection of the government’s intrinsic weakness

  Portugal

Spain
A million march for dignity in Madrid

26/03/2014: 22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

  Spain

Taiwan
Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament

26/03/2014: Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

  Taiwan

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Mass protests - The first flowers of spring

26/03/2014: What programme should the Left advocate?

  Bosnia

South Africa

Striking miners take an important step forward

www.socialistworld.net, 16/10/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

National Strike Coordinating Committee launched on 13 October

Democratic Socialist Movement, DSM (CWI South Africa)

On Saturday 13 October, over 120 mineworkers representing strike committees from across the mining industry met to assess the state of the strike and to map a way forward. With delegations for the first time from outside the North West province, a significant step forward was taken when the Rustenburg Strike Coordinating Committee expanded into a National Strike Coordinating Committee, with representation from the gold mines in Gauteng province and platinum mines in Limpopo. The Coordinating Committee has received calls from the coal mines in the province of Mpumalanga, gold mines in the Free State province and even the diamond mines in the Northern Cape. Significantly, there was a delegation from the Lonmin mine which attended in solidarity despite the settlement of the strike in that mine. DSM member and Gauteng provincial secretary of the Pan African Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) Elmond Maredi brought greetings from the student movement and pledged support for the strike.

Against a background of continued state repression, arbitrary dispersal of meetings and marches and killings by police in what continues to be an unofficial state of emergency in Rustenburg, news of the meeting had generated enormous interest not only amongst mineworkers but from workers in other sectors as well as the media with a large contingent of journalists and photographers present and the proceedings aired on national television networks and radio that evening. On Monday, the pro-ANC New Age daily (www.thenewage.co.za) , in an article headlined “New movement threatens mines” and which gave a brief history of the DSM, reported that the DSM was not affiliated to and had distanced itself from Julius Malema and his “Economic Freedom Fighters” Whereas, New Age continued quoting Mametlwe Sebei, Malema’s call for nationalisation was aimed at enriching the aspirant black capitalist class, the DSM favoured nationalisation under workers’ control and management to achieve greater equality.

Police repression has deepened anger within the community. The NUM claims that 13 of its shop stewards have been killed and that they have had to move some of them to safe houses. But even the NUM has had to retreat from accusations that the killings were being carried out by Amcu. The feeling within the Rustenburg community is that the new spate of killings is being deliberately orchestrated to provide the state with the pretext for intensified repression. Dozens have been arrested and as the meeting ended, reports came through that one of 22 arrested during the week following the torching of a mini-bus, had died after being been tortured by the police.

Chaired by the DSM’s comrade Mametlwe Sebei, the opening address was given by comrade Alec Thraves of the Socialist Party of England and Wales who brought greetings from the 45 sections of the Committee for a Workers’ International. His call for the formation of a mass workers’ party on a socialist programme was greeted with enthusiasm and his speech, which included references to the 1985 British miners’ strike and the pressure the National Shop Stewards Network had exerted on the TUC to agree to consider calling the first general strike in Britain since 1926, punctuated with repeated applause afterwards.

As a demonstration of their fighting spirit and defiance, the 12,000 sacked Anglo Platinum workers rejected management’s 3-day ultimatum to appeal their dismissals, the last day of which expired on the very day of the meeting itself. Comrade Alec’s speech was then followed by discussion and questions after which all regions gave reports of the situation in the different regions. In reaction to threats to close mines, workers made the point that on the wages they were earning, it made no difference whether they worked or not and whether the mines were operating; they might as well shut them down if they do not meet workers’ demands.

In response to concerns that the grievances of the contract workers were not receiving proper attention, it was agreed that the coordinating committee which will now be constituted on the basis of regional representation, with provision to be made for one of the three to be a contract worker, as well as representation for women. The Coordinating Committee will also elect a smaller body - an executive committee.

The Coordinating Committee issued a call for a general strike and a march, to take place on 3rd November, on Union Buildings - the seat of government in Pretoria. The demand of the general strike will be for a R12,500 a month minimum wage – the amount the Lonmin workers went on strike for. Comrade Sebei appealed to workers across all sectors of industry including agriculture, to form strike committees in their workplaces in preparation. Comrade Sebei’s call for nationalisation of the mines under workers’ control and management as well as his support for Comrade Alec’s call for a mass workers party on a socialist programme was greeted with applause. Gaddafi Mdoda, a coordinating committee member, reserved special praise for the DSM. He explained that without the DSM, this strike would long have been over and concluded by shouting “Viva DSM! Viva!”

The NUM, whose t—shirts were burned and buried in a coffin, and to whose regional office in Rustenburg hundreds of workers marched – dispersed by police - to demand the immediate cancellation of their subscriptions, was repeatedly condemned, as were Cosatu and the ANC government. To Cosatu ‘s eternal disgrace, despite the widespread anger, there has been no action proposed to condemn the Marikana massacre, nor, given the strike wave sweeping the country, any plans for solidarity action with the mineworkers. The Cosatu leadership has instead attempted to regain control of the mineworkers’ action by hypocritically supporting the demand for R12,500, criticising the NUM for attempting to persuade workers to end a strike it did not call, and putting pressure on the Chamber of Mines (CoM) to re-open negotiations.

The Cosatu leadership’s strategy is to restore the credibility of the NUM and the existing collective bargaining process in order to bring the strike to an end. Not only has this failed, with the CoM negotiations ending in deadlock after management made the derisory offer to abolish salary level one, the lowest, but offering nothing on the main demand.

With workers remaining defiant in the face of threats of mass dismissals and the closure of mines, through the expansion of the coordinating committee into a national body, the basis has now been laid to unite the action of over 100,000 mine workers currently out on strike. Workers in other sectors, including the coal mines, are contemplating action. Beyond the mines, despite the settlement of the truck drivers strike, workers in other sectors are preparing to join the wave of workers militancy sweeping through the country with 1.6million days lost through strike action so far. These include the police as well as the municipal workers who are balloting over the duration of the action they are committed to – a one day or an indefinite national strike.

In the face of Cosatu’s cowardice, it is the Coordinating Committee that has been obliged to give leadership - to channel the widespread anger and determination to unite in battle against the bosses. The bosses’ strategy appears to be incoherent at best, if not in complete disarray. On the very day that the Anglo Platinum bosses announced the dismissal of the 12,000, they suggested a meeting with the strike committee.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s tactic of bending with the gale force winds of workers’ anger has gone beyond supporting the wage demand and criticising the NUM, he has also put out feelers to the Coordinating Committee. But the Committee is clear about his underlying objective, to regain credibility and to secure an end to the strike. Thus whilst it has agreed to a meeting in principle, the Committee will demand that Cosatu supports the general strike and the march to the Union Buildings.

The Coordinating Committee also agreed that whilst it is not a substitute for existing unions, it will to continue to function beyond the strike and help to rebuild a democratic and combative trade union movement. The necessity for this was demonstrated by the angry refusal of workers at Amandel Bult platinum mine near Rustenburg, to be addressed by Vavi, who had turned up at the mine with a media contingent. When Vavi pleaded that he was there to represent Cosatu not the NUM, the workers retorted that they are one and the same thing. Vavi’s further pleading was met with barrage of stones forcing him and his contingent into a rather undignified retreat.

The nightmare for the NUM, Cosatu and the ANC ruling elite which the Business Day editorial of 17th August, 2012 – the day after the Marikana massacre – referred to as it outlined the full implications of the mineworkers uprising is that “there is a power building in the land over which they have little or no influence, and which itself has little or no respect for the powers that be” is now unfolding. The fate has befallen the NUM is an anticipation of what may happen to Cosatu and almost certainly the ANC even in the medium term as its presidential succession battle plunges it into full scale political civil war. The National Strike Coordinating will play a vital role in the formation of a mass workers’ party which the DSM is coming under increasing pressure to call into being.

See also: Appeal of the Strike Committee to support the miners (on website of the British National Shop Stewards’ Network)



Europe

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Exposing the economic blackmail of the IMF in Ukraine, 14/04/2014

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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

Sri Lanka: Provincial elections spike president’s plans
20/04/2014, Siritunga Jayasuriya, Secretary of United Socialist Party (CWI Sri Lanka):
Repression can provoke opposition

China: Labour disputes soar
17/04/2014, chinaworker.info reporters:
40,000 workers paralyse world’s largest sports shoe maker

Nigeria: Bomb explosions in Abuja - more evidence of the failure of capitalist government
16/04/2014, Segun Sango, Socialist Party Nigeria National Chairperson:
For democratic self-defence committees

Greece: International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”
16/04/2014, Sebastian Forster (CWI Germany) and Elin Gauffin (CWI Sweden):
Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

South Africa: Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections
15/04/2014, Socialistworld.net:
WASP campaigning material available on pdf

India: Massive election process could end in turmoil
14/04/2014, Clare Doyle (CWI international Secretariat):
New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

Cyprus: Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years
11/04/2014, Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus):
One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

Iranian nuclear talks: Hypocrisy abounds
10/04/2014, :
Paul Murphy MEP

Britain: Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies
10/04/2014, :
Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

Hungary: Election highlights lack of Left challenge
09/04/2014, Sonja Grusch and Tilman M. Ruster:
Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

Environment: Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby
09/04/2014, Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP, and Tanja Niemeier:
Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

Belgium: 50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration
08/04/2014, Eric Byl, General Secretary, Linkse Socialistiche Partij / Parti Socialiste de Lutte (PSL/LSP):
Protesters’ radical mood

Review: Net political impact
06/04/2014, Ben Robinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) published in Socialism Today:
To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

Ivory Coast: First victory for students at University of Cocody
04/04/2014, CWI in Ivory Coast:
An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

Canada: Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains
03/04/2014, Socialist Alternative Reporter, Vancouver:
After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

France: Government punished in local elections
02/04/2014, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France) reporters:
Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

South Africa: WASP manifesto launch success!
01/04/2014, Workers’ and Socialist Party (WASP):
On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

Taiwan: Half a million on the streets against President Ma
31/03/2014, CWI reporters in Taipei:
Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

Netherlands: Socialist Party local election gains
31/03/2014, Pieter Brans, Amsterdam:
Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

Video: Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine
29/03/2014, socialistworld.net:
Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

Sweden: New political winds affect CWI Congress
28/03/2014, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna Reporters:
Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!
28/03/2014, Vladimir Bortun, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

CWI: History of the Committee for a Workers’ International
21/04/2014, Socialistworld.net:
40th anniversary of the founding of the CWI

Taiwan: Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days
10/04/2014, Interview with Sally Tang Mei-ching, CWI participant in Taipei protests:
What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

Belgium: The rise of the PTB/PvdA
05/04/2014, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (CWI in Belgium):
Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

Nepal: Turning back the wheel of history
01/04/2014, Senan, CWI:
Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

US: Winning $15 an hour in Seattle
31/03/2014, Patrick Ayers, Socialist Alternative, USA:
A socialist strategy

Spain: A million march for dignity in Madrid
26/03/2014, Angel Morano, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain):
22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

Taiwan: Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament
26/03/2014, Sally Tang Mei-ching in Taipei and Vincent Kolo:
Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Mass protests - The first flowers of spring
26/03/2014, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI in Austria):
What programme should the Left advocate?

Britain: After Bob Crow and Tony Benn
24/03/2014, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (No.177, April 2014), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Mourn the loss, fight for the future

Scotland: Unions and the socialist case for independence
23/03/2014, John McInally, national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (personal capacity):
Aruging a independent, working class position

Ukraine: Crimea breaks away to join Russia
18/03/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Tensions between powers worsen

Australia: Socialist Party playing key role in fight against East-West tunnel
13/03/2014, Mel Gregson and Stephen Jolly, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia), Melbourne:
Campaign brings public transport to forefront of political debate

Bosnia Herzegovina: Mass protests of working people and youth show the way forward
13/03/2014, CWI Leaflet text:
Working people stir to end poverty, joblessness, corruption and ethnic divisions!

Socialist perspectives for Aotearoa / New Zealand
09/03/2014, CWI Aotearoa / New Zealand:
The world and New Zealand in crisis

International Women’s Day 2014
07/03/2014, Clare Doyle (Committee for a Workers’ International):
Fighting austerity and oppression world-wide

Venezuela: A year after Chavez’s death
06/03/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez (CWI Venezuela).:
Commemorations in context of new crisis

Ukraine: Russian troops take up positions throughout Crimea
04/03/2014, CWI Reporters:
Tensions deepen between Western powers and Moscow

Greece: Still in the eye of the storm
26/02/2014, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece) published in Socialism Today:
From the outside, it can appear there’s a certain pause in the struggle in Greece. Is this true?

Ukraine: Bloodshed in Kiev
19/02/2014, Rob Jones, from Socialism Today (March edition, No.176):
What lies behind the Ukraine crisis?

Venezuela: An analysis of 12F
19/02/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez- SR Venezuela:
On 12F, three people (two right wing supporters and one government supporter) were killed in Caracas and dozens injured and arrested in the protests and demonstrations that took place around Venezuela to commemorate the annual ’Youth Day’.

Pakistan: Negotiating peace
18/02/2014, Khalid Bhatti, SNP Lahore:
Government/Taliban talks begin - But where will they go?

South Africa: The end of Cosatu?
17/02/2014, WASP (Workers and Socialist Party) Reporters, S Africa:
Time for a new socialist trade union federation

Greece: The fascist threat
08/02/2014, Christina Ziakka, Xekinima (CWI Greece) - translated by Amalia Loizidou. First published in Socialism Today:
Deep economic crisis, savage austerity and social upheaval have polarised Greek society.

South Africa: After NUMSA’s Congress
04/02/2014, Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) statement:
Seize the historic opportunity of the 2014 elections

Tunisia: Three years on since the fall of Ben Ali
30/01/2014, Serge Jordan and CWI supporters in Tunis:
New ‘technocratic’ government no response to workers’ demands