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latest news

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

 CWI
National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism

28/12/2014: A socialist solution to national oppression

  CWI

Scotland
Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader

27/12/2014: Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

  Scotland

Obituary
Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014

26/12/2014: Former Australian Labour Party (ALP) prime minister

  Australia, Obituary

China
Hard landing in 2015?

24/12/2014: China’s economic slowdown already being felt throughout world economy

  China

Russia

New attacks on the LGBT community

www.socialistworld.net, 02/01/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Solidarity against homophobia - rights of LGBT community and rights of working class under threat

Igor Yashin, CWI Moscow

CWI member and LGBT rights activist, Igor Yashin, was arrested and jailed along with others protesting against anti-LGBT laws passed by the Russian parliament last November. Below, Igor describes what happened to him and other protesters on 19 November and the wider issues surrounding the new repressive legislation.

Socialistworld.net

Around 15 people were arrested outside the State Duma (Russian Parliament) in Moscow on 19 December 2012. This was the day when the parliament was due to have the first reading of a law to ban so-called “homosexual propaganda amongst the under-aged”. The law, in reality, will restrict the rights and freedoms of the LGBT community, create a threat of the growth of homophobic prejudices and will create real difficulties for LGBT teenagers.

Russia has one of the highest levels of domestic violence and teenage suicides in the world. It is known that in the West that the suicide rate amongst LGBT teenagers is 3-4 times higher than for other youth, but in Russia such information is not even collected. Covering themselves in concerns for “morality”, the fraudulently elected Duma is trying to exploit the widespread prejudices in society for its own political gain and, in doing so, is completely ignoring the welfare of children and teenagers.

At the same time as passing this new law, the Duma are passing another that bans the adoption of Russian orphans by American families. Orphans in Russia suffer an unenviable fate, but the law-makers feel it necessary to take “revenge” against the US for passing the “Magnitskii law”, which takes action against Russian bureaucrats involved in corrupt activities. These orphan children are being used as pawns in the conflict between Putin and the West. The “patriots” from the Russian Communist Party voted almost completely for these new laws!

The new homophobic law is being pushed through by the Putin regime at the same time as a number of other anti-democratic and anti-social laws. The ruling elite are attempting to maintain their position in power in the face of mass protests.

At a regional level such laws have been passed even before December 2011’s parliamentary election and before the mass opposition protests started. Feeling its position weakened in society, the ruling United Russia party decided to exploit these prejudices for its own political aims.

Noticeably the homophobic law was passed by the regional legislature in St Petersburg, along with five other acts directed at the “protection” of children. But after the election, the Regional Governor rejected all of these laws, except for the one restricting LGBT rights.

Reactionary attacks

Reactionary attacks by the authorities continue. Members of the rock group Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for a peaceful protest in a cathedral; the government is considering a new law to protect “the rights of believers”; censorship is being introduced to cover the internet and all the while corruption scandals in the government and at the top of the church hierarchy continue.

The negative effects of these new laws are already being felt in a number of regions. The laws themselves have been so badly written that they are practically unenforceable, but their very existence creates huge difficulties for LGBT organisations. People are simply afraid to support LGBT acts or speak openly about rights for LGBT for fear of punishment. There have also been open physical attacks on LGBT activists and on various cultural and social events on LGBT themes.

Even in Moscow, where, to date, no actual anti-LGBT law has yet been passed, the authorities refuse permission to LGBT activists to hold protests against the proposed new law. In their justification for refusing permission, they claim that the protests will “provoke a negative reaction in society” and are “provocative, causing moral harm to children and teenagers, offending religious and moral feelings and harming the human feelings of citizens”.

On Wednesday19 December 2012, CWI activists joined LGBT activists in an “individual picket” outside the State Duma (An individual picket is the only form of protest that does not need permission from the state and consists of one person holding a placard). Our placards read, “We don’t need homophobic laws, but free kinder-gardens, schools and hospitals” and “Homophobia is the enemy of workers – unite together against division, for democratic and social rights”. We stood for an hour and a half in the freezing cold taking it in turns to protest.

By 12.00 about 30 LGBT activists and supporters had gathered and to express their protest decided to organise a flash-mob, kissing on the steps of the State Duma. However, by this time, the pro-government ‘Russian orthodox activists’ started throwing rotten eggs at the protesters. To begin with, the police took no action and then they moved against the victims of the attack. I was arrested by the police just because I complained to them that they were taking no action against the attackers. As a result, 10 LGBT activists and 5 attackers were arrested for several hours.

“Hooliganism”

We were kept in the police cells for 30 hours. Despite a powerful campaign of protest against our arrest only a few people were released after a few hours. They told us we were to be charged with “hooliganism” and faced up to 15 days in jail. Only the evening after our arrest were we allowed to see the charge sheet, which claimed we had been shouting and fighting!

Even the police at the station were unhappy and openly admitted that they did not want to keep us detained, but they had been phoned “from above” and that at each call, the authorities changed their minds about what to do with us. Only at the dead of night did they police release one of us, the journalist Elena Kostyuchenko, who is well known amongst other things for her courage and shocking reporting from Zhanaozen in the few days after the massacre there. On the 16th December Lena spoke at the demonstration in Moscow to commemorate the victims of the Zhanaozen massacre.

The day after our arrest they took us to court, by which time we and our lawyers had managed to gather over ten eye-witnesses and video material to back our case. However, Judge Borovkova, renowned for her willingness to sentence oppositionists to prison, simply refused to hear our case, referring to mistakes made by the police in filling out the charge sheets. We were sent back to the police station. Eventually our lawyers were able to reach agreement from the police that we should be released. We were each given a fine of 500 roubles (12 euros) for ‘hooliganism’ and after 30 hours we were set free.

On 22 January, the first reading of the bill will continue. LGBT activists and their supporters will once again be in opposition. For many LGBT activists it has become clear that the homophobic policies of the authorities are tied up completely to the economic and political crisis in the country. Therefore it is necessary to seek solidarity from any other groups that are currently struggling. Now more LGBT activists are turning up on the different social protests and in defence of other democratic rights. On this year’s May Day demonstration dozens of LGBT activists and feminists joined up with the CWI contingent carrying banners with social slogans and demands for equal rights.

Nikolai Kavkazskii - several months in the police cells

Repression against the opposition is hitting LGBT activists. One of the best known campaigners for LGBT rights, Nikolai Kavkazskii, has already spent several months in the police cells following arrests linked to 6 May mass demonstration, which was brutally attacked by the police. He was arrested just after returning from the CWI’s summer camp. Another LGBT activist has been forced to flee to Europe after it became clear his arrest was imminent.

Unfortunately anti-LGBT prejudices are widespread amongst the Russian Left and protest movement and are hampering their development. On 7 November (Revolution day) a number of “lefts” attacked one of the activists who were carrying a rainbow flag, claiming that “the LGBT movement is “bourgeois”. Ironically the activist who was attacked, a sympathiser of the CWI, was a young electrical worker who had just moved from the Russian far-east to Moscow in search of work. While these “lefts” worry about the presence of LGBT supporters, they have no complaints about the presence of large numbers of far-right nationalists on the same marches.

This incident however provoked a wide-scale discussion of homophobic and nationalist prejudices within the Left movement. Representatives of the independent trade unions have approached the LGBT to propose a joint struggle for equal rights.

Today it is not just the rights of the LGBT that are under threat but the rights and freedoms of the majority – of workers, students and pensioners. Today, as never before, we need to overcome the old prejudices so that we can be united in common struggle to gain our rights.

We therefore call on all LGBT organisations, activists and supporters to carry out acts of solidarity on 22 January in support of those struggling in Russia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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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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

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

Scotland:Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader
27/12/2014, Philip Stott, SPS (CWI Scotland):
Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

Obituary: Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014
26/12/2014, Conor Flynn, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia):
Former Australian Labour Party (ALP) prime minister

China: Hard landing in 2015?
24/12/2014, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
China’s economic slowdown already being felt throughout world economy

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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.

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