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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

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

 video

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

 further videos

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cwi comment & analysis

world economic crisis

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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”