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Latin America
A new turn?

25/04/2015: Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

  Latin America

Finland
Worst ever election result for traditional Left

24/04/2015: Finns Party second biggest in parliament

  Finland

Iran
Proposed nuclear deal reflects transformed Middle East

24/04/2015: In aftermath of disastrous Iraq occupation, Obama administration balancing between region’s forces

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Scotland
Labour face annihilation as millions seek an answer to austerity

23/04/2015: The SNP, according to the polls, will win 53 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster MPs

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 Video
Paul Murphy speaking at anti-water charges demo in Dublin

23/04/2015: Socialist Partty (CWI) and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD speaks at march of tens of thosuands against water charges on April 18

  Ireland Republic, Video

 Video
Interview with Jawad Ahmed, famous Pakistani singer and activist

22/04/2015: Jawad Ahmed, Singer and central committee member of International Youth and Workers Movement (IYWM) from Pakistan spoke to CWI about the work of IYWM.

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South Africa
Organise against xenophobia – a programme for our communities

21/04/2015: Build a country-wide socialist civic movement. Fight for jobs, houses and services for all

  Africa, South Africa

 Video
TUSC 100% anti-austerity election broadcast

20/04/2015: Broadcast goes out on all 5 national terrestrial channels

  Britain, Video

Britain
Labour - party of cuts

19/04/2015: Oppose the ’logic of capitalism’

  Britain

Tunisia
After the Bardo terrorist attack

18/04/2015: New class battles loom

  Tunisia

 Video
Paul Murphy attacks bosses’ victimisation of strikers

17/04/2015: Socialist Partty (CWI) and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD speaks in Irish Parliament

  Ireland Republic, Video

US
National day of strikes and protests for $15

17/04/2015: Snapshot of the movement – the fight for $15 in 7 major cities

  US

 Video
Kshama Sawant on Democracy Now

16/04/2015: Socialist Seattle councillor debates Hillary Clinton run for President

  US, Video

Ireland North
Hundreds protest against racist arson attack

15/04/2015: Build a united mass movement to challenge racism, sectarianism and all forms of bigotry

  Ireland North

Yemen
Brutal onslaught on country’s poor

15/04/2015: For unity of workers and poor against imperialism and sectarianism

  Yemen

Québec
A hot spring in the making?

14/04/2015: Students take strike action against austerity

  Quebec

China’s feminists
A victory for protests in China and worldwide

14/04/2015: Five women activists released in rare climb down by Beijing regime

  China

France
First one-day strike against austerity gets big response

13/04/2015: 300, 000 people marched on demonstrations across France on Thursday 9 April

  France

Australia
Budget - Who should pay for the economic crisis?

13/04/2015: Federal government preparing the ground for their second budget

  Australia

Britain
UKIP blame immigration for problems facing working class

12/04/2015: Workers’ unity to defend pay jobs and services

  Britain

Panama 2015 Trade Union and Social Alternative Summit

11/04/2015: For an end to imperialism and capitalism, long live socialist and revolutionary united solidarity in our Americas!

  Latin America

Kenya
The Garissa massacre, Al-Shabaab and US imperialism

10/04/2015: Growing regional destabilisation

  Kenya, US

US
40,000 Seattle workers get pay rise

08/04/2015: Coalition of students and workers demand $15 minimum wage at University of Washington

  US

Australia
Anti-racist protesters vastly outnumber ‘Reclaim Australia’ Melbourne rally

07/04/2015: Only ‘minority’ to blame for society’s problems is ultra-rich 1%

  Australia

Climate change
Looking for a cheap fix

06/04/2015: The cyclone that devastated the Pacific island of Vanuatu in March, the most severe ever recorded in the region, highlighted again the very likely connection between extreme weather events and global warming.

  Environment

Nigeria
Ruling party crumbles in historic election

05/04/2015: But only mass struggle can guarantee the interests of workers and poor masses under buhari’s presidency

  Nigeria

Scotland
Is the SNP: a threat to the political establishment?

04/04/2015: The SNP (Scottish National Party) looks set to win the majority of Scottish seats in the general election

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Economy
What low oil prices cost the world economy

03/04/2015: The sudden plunge of oil and gas prices has underlined the volatility in the world capitalist economy

  World Economy

 Video
Paul Murphy speaks in support of striking workers

02/04/2015: Socialist MP challenges Labour Deputy Prime Minister in parliament

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Scotland
Indefinite strike by Glasgow Council Homeless workers

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South Africa
Cosatu splits as ‘Vavi’ expelled

01/04/2015: Expulsion opens new chapter in working class struggle

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Singapore
Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew dies

31/03/2015: Apologist for neo-liberalism and autocracy

  Singapore

France
Elections punish Valls and Hollande

31/03/2015: Department results show need for fightback against austerity and racism

  France

Greece

‘Initiative 1000’ – An ambitious move on the Greek Left

www.socialistworld.net, 31/12/2012
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Build a united front of Left forces on a programme to end capitalist crisis!

Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI Greece)

Xekinima (CWI Greece) plays a central role in an initiative to bring together different forces from the Greek Left to fight for a united front, based primarily around SYRIZA, (radical left coalition party) the highest polling opposition Left party, on a programme that decisively breaks with capitalism.

The initiative is known as ‘Initiative 1000’ due to the number of individuals who signed the original ‘Declaration of the initiative’.

The ‘Initiative’ had its first public meeting on 29 November 2012 in Athens. Despite heavy rain, 600 people attended the very successful launch. Meetings have taken place in many other areas in Greece to set up local committees of the Initiative.

What follows is an edited translation of an article by Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece), published soon after a press conference at which the Initiative 1000 was formally launched in November.

Socialistworld.net

On Monday 5 November 2012, members of different Greek Left organisations and independent activists launched ‘Initiative 1000’ which takes its name from the 1000 or so individuals signed an initial declaration.

This ambitious launch comes at a time of unprecedented attacks on the standard of living and rights and lives of millions of Greeks, who are driven to despair by the policies of the ruling elite and the Troika [EU, IMF and IMF]. With society in a state of flux, rapid turns and changes, the Left is confronted with huge tasks and challenges.

Workers and youth openly public about the extent to which the Greek Left provides adequate answers to the crisis. The Initiative 1000 is set to intervene in this debate, not like “another party” just trying to recruit members in competition with the rest of the Left (SYRIZA, KKE, ANTARSYA, etc) and leading to further fragmentation of the Left. The Initiative calls for cooperation on the basis of a programme that provides a way out of the catastrophic crisis, a programme based on the need to defend the interests of the working class and the oppressed.

Initiative 1000 - The fundamental points

As the Declaration of the Initiative 1000 states, the fundamental points of agreement are summed up as follows:

All the undersigned:

·         Believe that any solution to the social and economic implosion taking place in Greece in this period can only be found on the basis of breaking with the present capitalist system.

·         Such a solution can only be found on the basis of a united front of Left forces and on the basis of a programme that calls for the ending of crisis engulfing the working masses and for the overthrow of the present capitalist regime.

·         The crisis is international and European-wide. We fight for a revolutionary change in Greece that can act as a trigger to similar /processes internationally.  Thus we strive for the widest possible coordination and common struggle of the mass movements that develop internationally.

·          We support the greatest possible cooperation and unity in action of all the Greek Left, on the basis of such a radical political programme, but also in the common daily struggle for the people’s survival and for solidarity actions for those most severely hit by the crisis.

·         We support the prospect of a government of the Left (in the present conditions identified mainly with SYRIZA) knowing however that such a development is not the “end of the road”, but the beginning of mass struggles.

·         The Left must seek the widest possible cooperation of its forces in the fight against the Memoranda, the Troika and the Greek ruling class, starting from the demand of ‘No Sacrifices for the Euro!’

·         We appeal to all Left forces and fighters (including non-party individuals) who agree with the ideas represented by this Initiative, independently of which party (or political trend) they may belong, to support and widely campaign for the above aims and tasks.

Unity

A central feature of the Initiative 1000 is that it aims for unity, transcending the divisive ‘Chinese Wall’ of the various political parties that historically have become, particularly in Greece, an almost insurmountable obstacle for the different forces of the Left to effectively communicate. 

This Initiative has been made by:

· Aristeri Paremvasi, ARAN (a tendency inside ARAN – Left Renewal and ANTARSYA, the Anti-capitalist Alliance)

· Kommunistiki Ananeosi (Communist Refoundation – one of the constituent organisations making up ANTARSYA)

· Paremvasi (a new Left organisation set up by those expelled from KOE, a Maoist organisation working inside SYRIZA, in the beginning of 2012 and who participate in MAA, the formation created by the ex-leader of SYRIZA, Alekos Alavanos)

· and Xekinima (CWI section in Greece)

Very soon after its initiation, a large number of ‘independents’ (I.e. not belonging to any Left party) expressed their support for the Initiative and signed its Declaration.

The agreement of so many comrades from different Left political trajectories on the basis of such an advanced common framework – both political and tactical – is something that we have never seen before!

This certainly creates some difficulties, as well as doubts about its prospects. But the dominant issue for all those who are involved in the Initiative 1000 is the common understanding of the historical tasks confronting the Left in Greece

The programme

Some of the key points of the political programme that Initiative 1000 is fighting for are the following (excerpts from the founding text of the Initiative).

. Non-recognition of the debt and immediate cessation of its payment

·         Abolition of all Memoranda and all implementation legislation

·         Abrogation of all neo-colonial loan contracts/agreements

·         Nationalisation of the banking system

·         Drastic debt relief for all working class households, small businesses, small to medium-sized working farmers and for all those who have been hit by the crisis

·         Heavy taxation on capital, the end of bank secrecy for big depositors and a massive reduction of arms expenditures

·         Nationalisation of all the strategic economic sectors and strategic enterprises

·         Real democracy, with the institutionalisation of social and workers’ control and management, across the entire spectrum of economic activity

·         The creation, on the above basis, of a progressive plan to reconstruct the economy for the benefit and in the interest of the working masses and the people

Only through such a programme can Greek society avert the economic and social disaster in which we are lead by the Greek ruling class, the EU and the IMF.  Only in this way can workers’ salaries, pensions, and social welfare gains, like free Health and Education, and industrial relations and basic democratic rights, be rescued.

Initiative 1000 and the rest of the Left

The advanced political programme, defended by Initiative 1000 and referred to in brief above, distinguishes the Initiative from the policies expressed by the majority inside the leadership of SYRIZA(radical left coalition party).

Raising the need of co-operation of the Left and for a ‘United Front’ distinguishes the Initiative from the sectarianism and isolationism of the KKE (the Greek communist party ) and ANTARSYA (the Anti-capitalist Alliance).  

The Initiative 1000 does not raise its programme in competition with the existing forces of the Left in the sense of trying to recruit members away from the present parties, but attempts to intervene and influence the intense political debates that are already taking place in the ranks of the Left and throughout the whole of the Left.

It wants to assist and join forces with individuals and currents of ideas, inside the present parties and formations of the Left, who are fighting for ideas similar to those of the Initiative.

The Initiative 1000 has already gained many supporters but, also, quite a number of ‘enemies‘. The ideas of the Initiative are already being attacked inside SYRIZA, inside ANTARSYA (where expulsions have already been threatened to scare people away from signing the Initiative’s Declaration) and elsewhere.

We are asking all those comrades who are have rushed to attack the Initiative to try to keep an open mind and to allow the free expression and exchange of ideas among party members so that they can make up their own mind about the issues. They must show trust and confidence to the ability of ordinary members and cadres of organizations and parties of the Left to be able to judge for themselves. Even more, they should show confidence to the ability of ordinary workers to judge what is right and what is wrong, particularly as the “common people” are what the Left is supposed to be fighting for.  The Left must have confidence in the class instincts of the oppressed and their freedom to choose what they think is the right course. This should be a core value for the Left. Without this, the Left has already lost the war before the first battle.  Viewed from this perspective, Initiative 1000 should be welcomed by all the forces of the Left.

Need for co-ordination and action

The Initiative 1000 does not seek to limit itself only at the level of ideas and debate. Discussions through blogs, websites and other social media are necessary and important but also have serious limitations:  they do not engage large sections of the oppressed and are restricted to (cadre and leaders) on the Left who have the ability, time, etc, to participate. 

The Initiative 1000 needs the life-blood of the real movements. That is why it is important to set the goal of establishing local committees of groups of friends or supporters of the Initiative 1000, and to take initiatives, whether at a local level, in workplaces or within the Left party they belong to.

Xekinima (CWI Greece) participates actively in this initiative precisely because we believe that only a Left policy can provide a way out of the crisis and challenge the power of capital (national and multinational) on the basis of the socialist reconstruction of the economy and a socialist society.

The present economic crisis is an international crisis which begun in the US, in 2007, and will not end anytime soon.  Imploding capitalism now leads entire societies into barbarism, including societies that thought they belonged in the “developed” world.  The socialist perspective is the only practical and realistic solution to the crisis for Greek society, the European South, Europe, and the entire world.

All parts of the Left that agree with these views have to get together, communicate and coordinate their activities, beyond organisational and party divisions. This is the only way that the workers’ movement and the oppressed can face the future with optimism, confident we can win the battles ahead.

Members of Xekinima have already signed the Declaration of the Initiative 1000 and we are discussing what it the best way forward, how to reach a wider audience, etc. We are asking all our friends and readers of our website to do the same.



Europe

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NEWS

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24/04/2015, Jonas Brännberg and Juha Tapio for CWI in Finland:
Finns Party second biggest in parliament

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23/04/2015, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
The SNP, according to the polls, will win 53 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster MPs

Video: Paul Murphy speaking at anti-water charges demo in Dublin
23/04/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Socialist Partty (CWI) and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD speaks at march of tens of thosuands against water charges on April 18

Video: Interview with Jawad Ahmed, famous Pakistani singer and activist
22/04/2015, socialistworld.net:
Jawad Ahmed, Singer and central committee member of International Youth and Workers Movement (IYWM) from Pakistan spoke to CWI about the work of IYWM.

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21/04/2015, Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) leaflet text:
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Video: TUSC 100% anti-austerity election broadcast
20/04/2015, socialistworld.net:
Broadcast goes out on all 5 national terrestrial channels

Britain: Labour - party of cuts
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Video: Paul Murphy attacks bosses’ victimisation of strikers
17/04/2015, Socialistworld.net:
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17/04/2015, Socialist Alternative (CWI in US) reporters:
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Video: Kshama Sawant on Democracy Now
16/04/2015, socialistworld.net:
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Australia: Counter-protests set for ’Reclaim Australia’ rallies
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CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Latin America: A new turn?
25/04/2015, Tony Saunois, article from May issue of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

Iran: Proposed nuclear deal reflects transformed Middle East
24/04/2015, Robert Bechert, CWI:
In aftermath of disastrous Iraq occupation, Obama administration balancing between region’s forces

Tunisia: After the Bardo terrorist attack
18/04/2015, Serge Jordan:
New class battles loom

Yemen: Brutal onslaught on country’s poor
15/04/2015, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the CWI England & Wales):
For unity of workers and poor against imperialism and sectarianism

Economy: What low oil prices cost the world economy
03/04/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The sudden plunge of oil and gas prices has underlined the volatility in the world capitalist economy

Israel: Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election
25/03/2015, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement, Israel-Palestine:
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Italy: The instability of domestic capitalism
24/03/2015, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
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Greece: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer
23/03/2015, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
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Greece: Syriza’s first months in power
07/03/2015, Andreas Payiatsos, from Xekinima (newspaper of the CWI Greece):
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Quebec: Towards a hot spring
02/03/2015, Deirdre and Bruno, Socialist Alternative (CWI Quebec):
Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

Greece showdown
26/02/2015, Article to be published in the March issue of Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI in England and Wales):
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Libya: War-torn country becoming new hub for IS activities
25/02/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
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Europe: Eurozone time-bomb
25/02/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party of England and Wales):
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Greece: Syriza retreats under Troika threats
24/02/2015, Nicos Anastasiades, Xekinima (CWI Greece), Thessaloniki:
Popular mood shows anti-austerity, socialist policies would win huge support

History: The political legacy of Malcolm X
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50 years after his assassination

Spain: Is ‘Podemos’ the Spanish Syriza?
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Kurdistan: ‘Islamic State’ driven out of Kobanê
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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:
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Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
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Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates