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latest news

US
#Movement4Bernie Takes Off Around the Country

06/02/2016: Bernie Sanders’ call for a political revolution against the billionaire class has enthused millions of people throughout the US looking for a political alternative to Wall Street.

  US

Brazil
Devastating outbreak of Zika virus

04/02/2016: Another healthcare system failure

  Brazil

Pakistan
PIA strike continues despite state repression

04/02/2016: Four workers killed, eight injured as security forces open fire on protesting workers

  Pakistan

US
Iowa results reveal crisis of establishment politics - Sanders and Clinton tie

03/02/2016: “It’s too late for establishment politics, establishment economics!”

  US

Japan
Social and political unease after “twenty lost years”

03/02/2016: Weakness of opposition is Prime Minister Abe’s only strength

  Japan

 Greece
Workers strike at Contitech-IMAS factory

02/02/2016: Solidarity campaign needed!

  Greece, Solidarity

World Economy
Capitalism buffeted by choppy waters

02/02/2016: Bosses strive to offload cost of crisis on working class - a struggle for system change is needed

  World Economy

Egypt
Fifth anniversary of heroic revolutionary uprising

01/02/2016: Workers’ struggles continue despite repression

  Egypt

India
Justice for Rohit Vemula

31/01/2016: Solidarity message from the Committee for a Workers’ International

  India, US

Britain
Fractured politics

29/01/2016: A volatile mix

  Britain

Tunisia
Suicide of unemployed youth sparks new wave of protests

22/01/2016: Five years after the fall of Ben Ali, demands of the revolution remain unsatisfied

  Tunisia

China
Kidnapping and TV show-trials

21/01/2016: “China is entering a dark night of repression and detentions under Xi Jinping”

  China

Venezuela
Right-wing landslide

20/01/2016: First electoral defeat suffered by the Chavistas since Hugo Chávez was first elected president in 1998

  Venezuela

Leningrad
‘Hero City’

19/01/2016: 900 days of siege in World War Two

  History, Russia

Britain
Police infiltration of Socialist Party exposed

19/01/2016: Untold distress caused to women in relationships with undercover police officers

  Britain

US
Socialist response to State of the Union 2016

15/01/2016: Kshama Sawant replies to Obama’s "State of the Union" speech

  US

 South Africa
Campus workers strike against outsourcing

14/01/2016: For the mobilisation and support of all students, permanent workers and communities across Tshwane

  Africa, Solidarity, South Africa

Britain
Steps towards setting up Trade Union Momentum

12/01/2016: Potential for inclusive, anti-austerity trade union based movement with effective alliances in workplaces and communities

  Britain

Scotland
Politicians have a choice

11/01/2016: Implement Tory austerity or set no-cuts budgets

  Scotland

Sweden/Denmark
Closing borders

07/01/2016: The EU’s nightmare continues

  Denmark, Sweden

 Pakistan
Nestle workers solidarity campaign update

06/01/2016: Union leader, Muhammad Hussain Bhatti, released on bail

  Pakistan, Solidarity

 Taiwan
Solidarity urged for insurance workers’ strike

05/01/2016: Determined battle for pension rights and an end to contract labour

  Solidarity, Taiwan

China 2015
A year of unnatural disasters

04/01/2016: Corruption, poor oversight and chase for profits, maim thousands

  China

Britain
Corbyn’s supporters want resistance against the right

01/01/2016: Edited extracts from an article by Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, that will be published in the first 2016 issue of the Socialist (7 January).

  Britain

 Review
Alexandra Kollontai

29/12/2015: A life of socialist struggle

  Review, Women

Review
Revisiting Animal Farm

27/12/2015: Allegory of the terrible betrayal of the Russian revolution

  Review

Review
Charlie Chaplin

25/12/2015: Playing the underdog

  Review

Spain
Elections mark shift to the Left

23/12/2015: No government majority as Podemos partially recovers

  Spain

Environment
A world of change

23/12/2015: Human beings have radically altered the Earth, adapting nature in the struggle to survive and thrive…

  Environment

Pakistan
Hundreds protest against religious extremism and increased intolerance

21/12/2015: Rally organised by Socialist Movement Sindh in Mir Pur Khas

  Pakistan

China
Regime cracks down on labour activists

19/12/2015: Arrests in Guangdong province as workers’ struggles multiply

  China

Kazakhstan
Fourth Anniversary of Zhanaozen oil workers massacre.

18/12/2015: Book launch in London remembers the dead and injured and all political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

  Kazakhstan

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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Northern Ireland: New agreement bad news for working class, 02/12/2015

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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

US: #Movement4Bernie Takes Off Around the Country
06/02/2016, Socialist Alternative, CWI in the USA:
Bernie Sanders’ call for a political revolution against the billionaire class has enthused millions of people throughout the US looking for a political alternative to Wall Street.

Brazil: Devastating outbreak of Zika virus
04/02/2016, Isabel Keppler, LSR (CWI Brazil):
Another healthcare system failure

Pakistan: PIA strike continues despite state repression
04/02/2016, Fazal Abbas Shah and Rukhsana Manzoor, Socialist Movement Pakistan, Lahore:
Four workers killed, eight injured as security forces open fire on protesting workers

US: Iowa results reveal crisis of establishment politics - Sanders and Clinton tie
03/02/2016, Joshua Koritz, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
“It’s too late for establishment politics, establishment economics!”

Greece: Workers strike at Contitech-IMAS factory
02/02/2016, Xekinima (CWI Greece) Reporters:
Solidarity campaign needed!

Egypt: Fifth anniversary of heroic revolutionary uprising
01/02/2016, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Workers’ struggles continue despite repression

India: Justice for Rohit Vemula
31/01/2016, socialistworld.net:
Solidarity message from the Committee for a Workers’ International

Britain: Fractured politics
29/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, general secretary, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
A volatile mix

Tunisia: Suicide of unemployed youth sparks new wave of protests
22/01/2016, Al-Badil al-Ishtiraki, CWI in Tunisia:
Five years after the fall of Ben Ali, demands of the revolution remain unsatisfied

China: Kidnapping and TV show-trials
21/01/2016, chinaworker.info:
“China is entering a dark night of repression and detentions under Xi Jinping”

Britain: Police infiltration of Socialist Party exposed
19/01/2016, Press statement from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Untold distress caused to women in relationships with undercover police officers

US: Socialist response to State of the Union 2016
15/01/2016, Socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant replies to Obama’s "State of the Union" speech

South Africa: Campus workers strike against outsourcing
14/01/2016, Workers & Socialist Party (WASP), Reporters:
For the mobilisation and support of all students, permanent workers and communities across Tshwane

Britain: Steps towards setting up Trade Union Momentum
12/01/2016, John McInally Public and Commercial Services Union Vice-President (personal capacity), from The Socialist newspaper:
Potential for inclusive, anti-austerity trade union based movement with effective alliances in workplaces and communities

Scotland: Politicians have a choice
11/01/2016, By Brian Smith and Jim McFarlane, Glasgow City Unison and Dundee City Unison branch secretaries (in a personal capacity) and Socialist Party Scotland:
Implement Tory austerity or set no-cuts budgets

Sweden/Denmark: Closing borders
07/01/2016, Per-Ãke Westerlund, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
The EU’s nightmare continues

Pakistan: Nestle workers solidarity campaign update
06/01/2016, Fazal Abbas Shah SMP (CWI in Pakistan), Lahore:
Union leader, Muhammad Hussain Bhatti, released on bail

Taiwan: Solidarity urged for insurance workers’ strike
05/01/2016, CWI Taiwan Reporters (translated from The Socialist, journal of the CWI Taiwan):
Determined battle for pension rights and an end to contract labour

China 2015: A year of unnatural disasters
04/01/2016, chinaworker.info reporters:
Corruption, poor oversight and chase for profits, maim thousands

Britain: Corbyn’s supporters want resistance against the right
01/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Edited extracts from an article by Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, that will be published in the first 2016 issue of the Socialist (7 January).

Review: Alexandra Kollontai
29/12/2015, Heather Rawling, from Socialism Today:
A life of socialist struggle

Review: Revisiting Animal Farm
27/12/2015, Andy Ford, from Socialism Today (Issue 192 October 2015):
Allegory of the terrible betrayal of the Russian revolution

Review: Charlie Chaplin
25/12/2015, Niall Mulholland, from Socialism Today (Issue 191 September 2015):
Playing the underdog

Spain: Elections mark shift to the Left
23/12/2015, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain):
No government majority as Podemos partially recovers

Pakistan: Hundreds protest against religious extremism and increased intolerance
21/12/2015, Hameed Channa Socialist Movement Pakistan (CWI in Pakistan) organiser in Sindh:
Rally organised by Socialist Movement Sindh in Mir Pur Khas

Ireland North:Court rules abortion laws contravene human rights
21/12/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) Reporters, Belfast:
Movement needed for women’s rights

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Japan: Social and political unease after “twenty lost years”
03/02/2016, Carl Simmons, Kokusai Rentai (CWI in Japan):
Weakness of opposition is Prime Minister Abe’s only strength

World Economy: Capitalism buffeted by choppy waters
02/02/2016, Lynn Walsh, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Bosses strive to offload cost of crisis on working class - a struggle for system change is needed

Venezuela: Right-wing landslide
20/01/2016, Tony Saunois, from February edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
First electoral defeat suffered by the Chavistas since Hugo Chávez was first elected president in 1998

Leningrad: ‘Hero City’
19/01/2016, Clare Doyle (fuller version of a review article to be published in the February 2016 issue of Socialism Today):
900 days of siege in World War Two

China: Financial turmoil spreads fear across global markets
14/01/2016, Per-Åke Westerlund, with additional reporting by Vincent Kolo:
Setting the tone for 2016?

2016: Crisis-ridden capitalism will meet with bitter mood of resistance
05/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary:
Socialist alternative is essential

Environment: A world of change
23/12/2015, Jess Spear, Socialist Alternative (CWI in USA):
Human beings have radically altered the Earth, adapting nature in the struggle to survive and thrive…

Venezuela: Elections – who won and who lost?
16/12/2015, Johan Rivas, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela):
Victory for the right wing reflects popular discontent

Pakistan: Religious extremism, military operations and increased intolerance
15/12/2015, Khalid Bhatti SMP (CWI in Pakistan):
Revolutionary movement of the working class needs to finally defeat religious extremism and intolerance

Côte d’Ivoire : Ouattara reelected in a “frighteningly quiet” atmosphere
14/12/2015, CWI in Ivory Coast:
Dictatorship consolidating while opposition ridicules itself. Time to “turn the page”!

Environment: Socialism or ecological catastrophe
05/12/2015, Articles from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
25 years of hot air from establishment

World relations, economy and the class struggle
05/12/2015, CWI International Secretariat:
There has been a profound change in the world situation and world relations since the CWI’s last World Congress in 2010

Britain: After the vote in parliament to bomb Syria
04/12/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) reporters:
This crisis has revealed that Labour is essentially two parties in one

Britain: Syria vote reveals two Labour parties in one
02/12/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Fight for a party that stands against war and austerity

Scotland: Post-referendum, where is Scotland heading?
29/11/2015, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Mass struggle and socialism will challenge capitalist austerity

Environment: Socialist change not climate change
28/11/2015, Pete Dickenson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The growing threat of climate change and a socialist programme for the environment

Middle East: Bombing Syria won’t stop Isis
25/11/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
For workers’ unity against war, terrorism and racism

Hong Kong: Great result for socialist election campaign
25/11/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Socialist Action’s Sally Tang Mei-ching lifts opposition vote to 33 percent

Turkey: Erdoğan’s Pyrrhic victory
20/11/2015, Nihat Boyraz, Sosyalist Alternatif (CWI in Turkey) - translation from an article originally written in Turkish for Sosyalist Alternatif magazine:
It is time to build a new united left force

Burma: Sweeping victory for Aung San Suu Kyi party
19/11/2015, Keith Dickinson, Socialist Party (England and Wales):
Army holds on to powerful positions

France: Horror in Paris
14/11/2015, Statement from Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France):
We will not be intimidated !

Britain: Socialist ideas back on the agenda
10/11/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialism 2015 organiser:
Best ever ‘Socialism’ weekend of discussion & debate

US: The Bernie Sanders challenge
07/11/2015, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative, USA. Article from Socialism Today:
The established political order in the US has been shaken up by Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination…

Israel/Palestine: Netanyahu government policy claims more victims
28/10/2015, Two articles by Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI in Israel-Palestine) reporters:
The crisis of “management of the conflict”

Women: Identity politics and the struggle against oppression
27/10/2015, Hannah Sell, Socialism Today Issue 192 October 2015 (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Unpacking the ’rucksack’