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latest news

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

Climate Conference
Empty cheers after Paris agreement

18/12/2015: "It’s really a fraud, a fudge without action"

  Environment

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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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

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

China: Regime cracks down on labour activists
19/12/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Arrests in Guangdong province as workers’ struggles multiply

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’