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latest news

Kurdistan
Democratic autonomy or socialism?

29/08/2015: Articles on Öcalan’s ideas and Rojava, originally published in sozialismus.info, the quaterly magazine of SAV (German section of the CWI)

  Kurdistan, Syria, Turkey

Greece
What does “Popular Unity” stand for?

28/08/2015: New Left force launched following Tsipras’ betrayal

  Greece

Sri Lanka
Identifying the challenges after defeat of Rajapaksa

27/08/2015: Working class struggle top priority for socialists

  Sri Lanka

Britain
The Corbyn insurgency

27/08/2015: Whatever the outcome of the contest, Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has already transformed the political situation in Britain

  Britain

Lebanon
‘Garbage protests’ shake the ruling class

25/08/2015: Interview with Tamer Mahdi, CWI member in Lebanon

  Lebanon

World economy
China crisis triggers panic on global markets

25/08/2015: More than $5 trillion wiped off global stock markets in two weeks since Chinese devaluation

  China, World Economy

Sri Lanka
Election sees Rajapaksa fail to make a come-back

23/08/2015: Neo-liberal policies of UNP-led government will not satisfy demands of workers and poor.

  Sri Lanka

Gulf War
25 years since invasion of Kuwait

22/08/2015: ’Unfinished business’ remains today

  Iraq

History
Anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination

21/08/2015: Coming mass revolts will see workers and youth look to Trotsky’s ideas

  History, Trotsky

Scotland and the Jeremy Corbyn campaign

20/08/2015: The response to Corbyn’s campaign has parallels with the outpouring of class anger that was seen during the independence referendum

  Scotland

Thailand
Bomb in Bangkok kills 20

19/08/2015: Country plagued by military junta and economic downturn

  Thailand

Socialism
Past or future?

18/08/2015: Review of ‘PostCapitalism: a guide to our future’ by Paul Mason

  Science, Theory

Greece and the latest phase of the EU crisis

18/08/2015: Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza leadership have pushed through parliament the third bailout – and further deep cuts – although only with the help of right-wing parties. However, the crises in Greece, the eurozone and wider EU are far from over…

  Greece

Britain
Corbyn challenge - a very welcome political upheaval

17/08/2015: The Labour Party’s right-wing leaders have been astonished and horrified at the over-flowing rallies for Jeremy Corbyn around the UK over the last few weeks

  Britain

Northern Ireland
Left Challenge for Largest Union’s Leadership

15/08/2015: CWI member, Patrick Mulholland, leads Left campaign for leadership of NIPSA union

  Ireland North

Ireland
Paul Murphy and 22 activists to be charged over peaceful protest

14/08/2015: Socialist MP to be charged with false imprisonment for protesting against water charges

  Ireland Republic

Technology
Will robots end capitalism?

14/08/2015: Technological developments, the threat to jobs, and perspectives for the struggle against capitalism and for the future of humanity

  Science

 CWI School 2015
New Left formations

13/08/2015: Report of discussion on New Workers’ Parties, Left Populism and the ideas and programme of PODEMOS, SYRIZA

  CWI

China
Devaluation of yuan jolts global markets

12/08/2015: Sudden reversal of Beijing’s exchange rate policy underlines seriousness of China’s economic woes

  China

France/Britain
Human tragedy of Calais crisis

07/08/2015: Tories have no solutions

  Britain, France

Kurdistan
PYD leaders call for partnership with Bashar al-Assad’s regime

06/08/2015: No faith in authoritarian rulers and Western powers!

  Kurdistan, Syria, Turkey

Japan
70th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bomb

06/08/2015: Can a future nuclear conflict be avoided?

  Japan, Nuclear Power

 CWI School
Building the CWI

06/08/2015: Introductory video to the plenary session on ‘Building the CWI’ shown at the 2015 CWI Summer School, featuring the work of our International across the world

  Video

Britain
Jeremy Corbyn – thousands rally to anti-austerity appeal

05/08/2015: Large attendances at Corbyn rallies across country

  Britain

US
Kshama Sawant leads primary elections count on 50%

05/08/2015: Seattle socialist primary election success

  US

Greece
‘The working class showed it will return to struggle’

04/08/2015: After Syriza capitulates, taking first steps towards building a new mass Left alternative to austerity and capitalism

  Greece

 CWI School 2015
World crisis continues amid horrific consequences

03/08/2015: Report of World Perspectives discussion at the 2015 CWI Summer School

  CWI

 CWI School
Drawing the lessons from the revolutions in North Africa

03/08/2015: Life and death struggle with the process of counter-revolution.

  Africa, CWI, Tunisia

US
Over 1,000 attend housing debate hosted by Socialist councillor Kshama Sawant

31/07/2015: Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s socialist councillor defending seat in primary elections on 4 August

  US

 CWI School
Social and political turmoil in Ireland

30/07/2015: Socialists play key role in rapidly changing situation

  CWI, Ireland Republic

Britain
Corbyn’s Labour leadership bid shows anti-austerity message popular

29/07/2015: Militant Tendency held up as bogeyman by Labour right and media - What’s the real history?

  Britain

Turkey
Horrific Suruc massacre

28/07/2015: Only workers’ unity can end terrorism and division

  Turkey

 CWI School
Europe’s euro-crisis and prospects for class struggle

28/07/2015: Ground prepared everywhere for new battles and rise of left formations

  CWI, Europe

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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NEWS

Greece: What does “Popular Unity” stand for?
28/08/2015, Interview with Andreas Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece), by Lucy Redler, SAV (CWI in Germany):
New Left force launched following Tsipras’ betrayal

Britain: The Corbyn insurgency
27/08/2015, Editorial of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), September 2015:
Whatever the outcome of the contest, Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has already transformed the political situation in Britain

Lebanon: ‘Garbage protests’ shake the ruling class
25/08/2015, socialistworld.net:
Interview with Tamer Mahdi, CWI member in Lebanon

World economy: China crisis triggers panic on global markets
25/08/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
More than $5 trillion wiped off global stock markets in two weeks since Chinese devaluation

Sri Lanka: Election sees Rajapaksa fail to make a come-back
23/08/2015, Srinath Perera, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka):
Neo-liberal policies of UNP-led government will not satisfy demands of workers and poor.

Gulf War: 25 years since invasion of Kuwait
22/08/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
’Unfinished business’ remains today

Scotland and the Jeremy Corbyn campaign
20/08/2015, Editorial taken from the current issue of the Socialist - the paper of Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
The response to Corbyn’s campaign has parallels with the outpouring of class anger that was seen during the independence referendum

Thailand: Bomb in Bangkok kills 20
19/08/2015, Per-Ake Westerlund, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
Country plagued by military junta and economic downturn

Greece and the latest phase of the EU crisis
18/08/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI, from September 2015 issue of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza leadership have pushed through parliament the third bailout – and further deep cuts – although only with the help of right-wing parties. However, the crises in Greece, the eurozone and wider EU are far from over…

Britain: Corbyn challenge - a very welcome political upheaval
17/08/2015, Interview with Judy Beishon in the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The Labour Party’s right-wing leaders have been astonished and horrified at the over-flowing rallies for Jeremy Corbyn around the UK over the last few weeks

Northern Ireland: Left Challenge for Largest Union’s Leadership
15/08/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
CWI member, Patrick Mulholland, leads Left campaign for leadership of NIPSA union

Ireland: Paul Murphy and 22 activists to be charged over peaceful protest
14/08/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
Socialist MP to be charged with false imprisonment for protesting against water charges

CWI School 2015: New Left formations
13/08/2015, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
Report of discussion on New Workers’ Parties, Left Populism and the ideas and programme of PODEMOS, SYRIZA

China: Devaluation of yuan jolts global markets
12/08/2015, Editorial comment by chinaworker.info:
Sudden reversal of Beijing’s exchange rate policy underlines seriousness of China’s economic woes

Malaysia: Prime Minister implicated in financial scandals
11/08/2015, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Malaysia):
Power struggle in UMNO party

France/Britain: Human tragedy of Calais crisis
07/08/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Tories have no solutions

Japan: 70th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bomb
06/08/2015, Geoff Jones and Kate Jones, from The Socialist (newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
Can a future nuclear conflict be avoided?

CWI School: Building the CWI
06/08/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Introductory video to the plenary session on ‘Building the CWI’ shown at the 2015 CWI Summer School, featuring the work of our International across the world

Britain: Jeremy Corbyn – thousands rally to anti-austerity appeal
05/08/2015, Steve Score, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Large attendances at Corbyn rallies across country

US: Kshama Sawant leads primary elections count on 50%
05/08/2015, Socialist Alternative reporters:
Seattle socialist primary election success

CWI School: Drawing the lessons from the revolutions in North Africa
03/08/2015, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
Life and death struggle with the process of counter-revolution.

US: Over 1,000 attend housing debate hosted by Socialist councillor Kshama Sawant
31/07/2015, Kshama Sawant:
Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s socialist councillor defending seat in primary elections on 4 August

CWI School: Social and political turmoil in Ireland
30/07/2015, Eddie McCabe, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Socialists play key role in rapidly changing situation

Britain: Corbyn’s Labour leadership bid shows anti-austerity message popular
29/07/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Militant Tendency held up as bogeyman by Labour right and media - What’s the real history?

Turkey: Horrific Suruc massacre
28/07/2015, Paula Mitchell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Only workers’ unity can end terrorism and division

Britain: Labour Left leadership candidate under fire from right wing
27/07/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales - formerly the Militant Tendency) press statement on Labour leadership contest:
Blairites’ terror at popularity of left-wing ideas in Corbyn campaign

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Kurdistan: Democratic autonomy or socialism?
29/08/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Articles on Öcalan’s ideas and Rojava, originally published in sozialismus.info, the quaterly magazine of SAV (German section of the CWI)

Sri Lanka: Identifying the challenges after defeat of Rajapaksa
27/08/2015, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka):
Working class struggle top priority for socialists

History: Anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination
21/08/2015, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales), article published on 70th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s assassination, in 2010:
Coming mass revolts will see workers and youth look to Trotsky’s ideas

Socialism: Past or future?
18/08/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) General Secretary:
Review of ‘PostCapitalism: a guide to our future’ by Paul Mason

Technology: Will robots end capitalism?
14/08/2015, Interview with Peter Taaffe, conducted by Shahar Ben-Horin from Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI in Israel-Palestine):
Technological developments, the threat to jobs, and perspectives for the struggle against capitalism and for the future of humanity

Ireland: Mass non-payment campaign transforms political landscape
10/08/2015, Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
57% refuse to pay hated water charge

Kurdistan: PYD leaders call for partnership with Bashar al-Assad’s regime
06/08/2015, Serge Jordan, CWI:
No faith in authoritarian rulers and Western powers!

Greece: ‘The working class showed it will return to struggle’
04/08/2015, Interview with a Greek socialist:
After Syriza capitulates, taking first steps towards building a new mass Left alternative to austerity and capitalism

CWI School 2015: World crisis continues amid horrific consequences
03/08/2015, Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Report of World Perspectives discussion at the 2015 CWI Summer School

CWI School: Europe’s euro-crisis and prospects for class struggle
28/07/2015, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Ground prepared everywhere for new battles and rise of left formations

China: Stock market crash can turn into a political crisis
08/07/2015, Interview, with chinaworker.info editor, Vincent Kolo:
Regime adopts panic measures as market crash threatens wider economic recession

Greece: Mighty class-based ‘NO’ shakes bosses’ EU
06/07/2015, Editorial comment by Xekinima (CWI Greece), 6 July 2015:
Referendum earthquake sees working class boldly defy Troika and Greece’s servile ruling class!

Britain: Socialists and the EU referendum
03/07/2015, Clive Heemskerk, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
How should socialists approach the in-or-out EU debate?

Greece: Troika threatens Greeks ahead of referendum
30/06/2015, Andreas Payiatsos and Niall Mulholland:
Vote ‘No’! For a mass working class campaign to oppose Troika and for socialist policies!

Britain’s class battle-lines are drawn
26/06/2015, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) Deputy General Secretary - article from ’Socialism Today’:
A quarter-of-a-million people protested through London and Glasgow raising the need for trade union-led struggle

Greece: Tsipras retreats before Troika threats
24/06/2015, Statement by Xekinima (CWI Greece) [dated 23 June 2015]:
What should the SYRIZA Left do next?

Greece: No surrender to‘Gang of Lenders’
22/06/2015, Editorial article from Xekinima (CWI Greece) [dated 17 June 2015]:
Plan an anti-austerity fight-back, with socialist policies!

Iraq/Syria: US imperialist strategy in tatters
12/06/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
A year after ISIS captured Mosul, the jihadist group controls about half of Syria and a third of Iraq – more territory than ever before

Greece: Syriza voters want austerity ended, not another ’compromise’ Troika deal
04/06/2015, Editorial article from Xekinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 3 June 2015]:
Break with the austerity - adopt a socialist programme!

China: Is China heading for a new Tiananmen?
04/06/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
26th anniversary of the Beijing massacre on June 4, 1989, is also a warning of revolutionary shocks ahead

Hong Kong: Endgame for Beijing’s fake democracy plan
03/06/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Government’s electoral reform proposals meet with mass opposition

Spain: Victories for Left “popular unity” lists in local elections
02/06/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Two-party system dealt a new blow in local and regional elections

Belgium: Momentum to bring down right wing government lost
01/06/2015, Els Deschoemacker and Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
Learn from the struggle, as new opportunities open up

Ireland: Massive ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality referendum
28/05/2015, Conor Payne, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Growing opposition to conservative establishment

Britain: The struggles to come
27/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales) General Secretary:
No fundamental change to be expected from the Labour Party