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US-led bombings will worsen divisions

01/10/2014: Stop imperialist slaughter!

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30/09/2014: Anger over police violence fuels spontaneous “umbrella revolution” and growing strike movement

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Labour to continue austerity offensive

26/09/2014: Labour conference a carefully stage-managed affair

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25/09/2014: Seeking alliances with austerity parties

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24/09/2014: The referendum has turned British politics upside down – even though the No vote won

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Scotland
1.6 million vote Yes in a working class revolt against austerity

19/09/2014: Urgent to build new mass party for the working class

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Belgium
Right wing coalition aims for structural attack on workers

19/09/2014: Massive social resistance is looming

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Northern Ireland
Ian Paisley - peace-maker or war-monger?

18/09/2014: A right-wing, sectarian demagogue who courted paramilitary violence

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Scotland
Independence referendum

18/09/2014: "Britain will never be the same again"

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Spain
Millions take to streets calling for Catalonia’s independence

18/09/2014: Only working class struggle can guarantee the right to decide and resist austerity

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Sweden
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17/09/2014: "You will not take this opportunity away from us"

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Will elections mark the end of the PT government?

15/09/2014: Space for Left alternative to win support

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Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan

13/09/2014: Warmongering governments ratchet-up national tensions in struggle for regional dominance

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Scotland
Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies

12/09/2014: Big business, politicians and media attack independence

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US
building a movement to end poverty pay!

12/09/2014: Spreading and organising the movement for decent wages

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South Africa
Community protest over corruption widens

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Ukraine
Fragile ceasefire holds but country remains “a tinder box”

10/09/2014: Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

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Privatise to colonise

08/09/2014: How looting of the economy led to mass social protests

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Britain
Crisis brewing on all fronts

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Hong Kong
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Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge

04/09/2014: Over 18,000 people have attended Hope Over Fear public meetings to hear socialist Tommy Sheridan.

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Rebel forces gain territory

03/09/2014: International tensions escalate

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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.



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NEWS

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Iran: Petrochemical workers sentenced to jail and flogging
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Scotland: Independence referendum
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Spain: Millions take to streets calling for Catalonia’s independence
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Scotland: Thousands mobilise to oppose Project Terror in Scotland
17/09/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
"You will not take this opportunity away from us"

Video: John McInally on Scottish Independence
16/09/2014, Socialistworld.net:
John McInally, PCS national vice-president (personal capacity), adresses the issue of Scottish independence at a meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Belgium: First school student protest against cuts in education
15/09/2014, Jeroen Demuynck, PSL-LSP (CWI in Belgium):
Anger against austerity growing

Asia-Pacific: Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan
13/09/2014, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Warmongering governments ratchet-up national tensions in struggle for regional dominance

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Big business, politicians and media attack independence

US: building a movement to end poverty pay!
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11/09/2014, WASP reporters:
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Scotland: Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge
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CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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”

Belgium: Right wing coalition aims for structural attack on workers
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Massive social resistance is looming

Sweden: Conservative collapse, extreme-right gains
17/09/2014, Per Olsson, from Offensiv (newspaper of the Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna - CWI Sweden):
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16/09/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
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15/09/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
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10/09/2014, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

Scotland: 10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations
08/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
“In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

Britain: Crisis brewing on all fronts
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Iraqis and Kurds must not trust imperialist ‘helpers’

Socialism and national rights
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09/08/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI Secretariat:
Military conflict escalates

CWI School: World capitalism fails working people
07/08/2014, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
System offers economic crisis, insecurity, poverty and wars

Israel/Palestine: After weeks of mass slaughter in Gaza, IDF forces ‘withdraw’
06/08/2014, Niall Mulholland, from articles in this week’s Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
What is the role of imperialism in the conflict?

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Ten million killed and more than ten million seriously injured

Israel-Palestine:World outraged by Israeli State’s ferocious bombing of Gaza
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Mass action needed to end the slaughter and blockade!

Can capitalism put all of us first?
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A response to the “practical idealism” of the Common Weal