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latest news

Greece
Syriza-led government announces anti-austerity policies

30/01/2015: Markets and EU leaders react against Athens

  Greece

Saudi Arabia
’Defenders of democracy’ mourn despot’s death

30/01/2015: Atrocious human rights records no concern for Western powers

  Saudi Arabia

Greece
Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?

29/01/2015: For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

  Greece

Greece
Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten

29/01/2015: An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

  Britain, Greece

Greece
Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse

27/01/2015: Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

  Europe, Greece

China
Slowest growth rate since 1990

25/01/2015: Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

  China

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

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

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NEWS

Greece: Syriza-led government announces anti-austerity policies
30/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Markets and EU leaders react against Athens

Saudi Arabia: ’Defenders of democracy’ mourn despot’s death
30/01/2015, Simon Carter, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Atrocious human rights records no concern for Western powers

Greece: Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten
29/01/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

China: Slowest growth rate since 1990
25/01/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

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

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Greece: Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?
29/01/2015, Article from Xekhinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 26 January 2015] translated and slightly edited:
For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
27/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, socialistworld.net, interviews Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

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.