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latest news

US
#Movement4Bernie Takes Off Around the Country

06/02/2016: Bernie Sanders’ call for a political revolution against the billionaire class has enthused millions of people throughout the US looking for a political alternative to Wall Street.

  US

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

Egypt

Two years on from the revolution

www.socialistworld.net, 08/03/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

What is the way forward for women’s struggle for liberation?

Aysha Zaki, CWI

Women in Egypt came out into struggle even before the revolution broke out and were present and active in it at every stage, fighting like men, for a change in their social and economic conditions. Among the Mahalla Textile workers who led the way in the struggle for better pay, and among the more advanced struggles of workers demanding workers’ management of production, women were in the leadership.

Masses of women came out in the revolution and showed heroic courage in the face of militias, thugs, repressive security and other reactionary forces. Revolutionary women in Egypt have been tortured and killed in the fight against repression and for emancipation. Egyptian women have been among the hundreds of martyrs of the revolution with their pictures being proudly put up by activists all over the internet and the press.

But today, Tahrir Square the focal point of the revolution, is no longer the safe and collectively owned and space for organizing the revolution or for discussing issues related to liberation of the masses, not least for women. Sexual violence and sex attacks on women demonstrators in Egypt have been increasingly reported in the last few weeks and months. During the week of the second anniversary of 25th January, over 20 reports were made about women being sexually harassed and raped in Tahrir Square in the middle of mass protests.

Two years on from the revolution women in Egypt are four times more likely to be unemployed than men. While girls in Egypt are only slightly less likely to go to primary school than boys, literacy levels are at 77% and much lower among women than men. This is an illustration of the reality facing women in society as a whole and not just in one sector, with most women working in the home, taking care of children and elderly family members, and increasingly doing this alongside informal low-paid work.

Sexual attacks

Many sex attacks on women protestors have had common features such as groups of dozens of men, and up to 100 in some cases, systematically targeting and attacking female protestors sometimes so brutally that women have been hospitalized. Horrific pictures and films on Youtube and Facebook have triggered huge anger and mass condemnations by activists around the world, not the least in Arab countries.

Sex attacks on protestors in Egypt are not new methods but have been previously used by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) which ordered soldiers to conduct virginity tests and attack women at the protests. Male protestors were then assaulted too, with incidents during riots in which men were physically and sexually assaulted in public by riot police, the military or civilian men infiltrating the protests

Today, under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and increased tensions between right-wing Islamists and the opposition, women are coming increasingly under attack and this is being used to derail the revolution and allow its take-over by the reactionary forces and far-right Islamists

Journalists and reporters who went out to speak to protestors about the recent attacks have reported that a high number of young men, hanging around on the squares, were making sexist comments such as “what do you expect?” and “if a woman dresses in tight clothes she can only blame herself”. But these are not ideas dropping from the sky. Sexism has been reinforced and enhanced by continuous speeches made by Islamist clerics and leaders who are on the one hand diverting attention from the real bread and butter issues facing the masses of workers in Egypt, and on the other hand trying to persecute female and male opponents of their rule.

The fear of rapes and sexual attacks on demonstrators has not only spread among women but even men who have been helpless in the face of these attacks taking place even in the presence of male co-protestors. There have been reports of men and women forming a line around their protests in order to ensure that no attacks can succeed in singling out women from the crowd. But there have also been reports of both men and women choosing not to go on protests anymore as a result of the general chaos in the movement, not the least the attacks on women which created a tipping point for a layer of activists already turned off by the chaotic developments and increased violence on protests.

Fighting back

But a number of women from across the Arab world, many of whom have been inspired by and played leading roles in the uprisings and protests of the “Arab Spring”, have expressed a willingness to build a movement for women’s liberation. One of those groups called “Uprising of Women in the Arab World”, although established on Facebook long before these reports, has grown enormously as a result of the latest attacks as it has become a platform for women speaking out against sexism, gender-based violence, sexual harassment, rape and forced marriage and the general oppression of women.

As many women activists and socialists have pointed out, and need to keep explaining, sexism, although on the rise, has always been one of the features of class society. The increase in reports today, as well as the brutality of such attacks in public, is a result of many factors coming together, including right-wing political Islam coming to power and giving a green light to reactionary and sexist ideas to be expressed openly, and the use of sexism to split the movement along gender lines to intimidate protestors.

Another important factor behind these attacks is the lack of security in the strong-holds of the revolution and in the areas where security forces have been out of sight, in the midst of chaos created by MB members to try to disperse opposition gatherings. These areas and this conscious measure have created a breeding ground for sexist comments and attacks, with women becoming more exposed to such intimidation.

In some cases they have turned to individual anarchistic methods for protection and revenge. But this is a limited way of fighting back. Today, sexism is allowed to grow among a layer of workers and youth turning to reactionary ideas as a result of unemployment and/or being reliant on reactionary leaders and forces to make a living. The militias, often a breeding ground for sexist ideas, need to be fought with a class programme where women can show by example that their struggle for liberation is a struggle against unemployment and exploitation too.

A collective fight against sexism in society is needed. There is an urgent need for an organized mass workers’ alternative where women workers and female activists can collectively, alongside male workers and activists, organize defense committees, and fight on a programme to end sexism and all types of oppression and exploitation. This should include a fight for decent education, health care, housing, well paid jobs, safe public transport and services - well-lit streets and public places, accountable security forces and trained staff to deal with victims of rape and discrimination, family planning and protection from forced marriages, laws against rape and sexism, shelter and alternative jobs for women forced into prostitution, the right to custody, etc. Such a programme would attract and appeal to the poor and unemployed and act as a pole of attraction away from the reactionary leaders who use sexism as another tool of class oppression.

A mass workers’ movement and a mass workers’ party needs to be built from below, in the workplaces as well as in the communities, where independent unions, workers’ committees and popular committees are built, with women workers and revolutionary women at the forefront putting forward a strategy capable of winning over the masses of workers, youth, the poor and all the oppressed to the fight for liberation from all types of oppression, including sexism, for social justice and for democratic socialism.



Europe

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NEWS

US: #Movement4Bernie Takes Off Around the Country
06/02/2016, Socialist Alternative, CWI in the USA:
Bernie Sanders’ call for a political revolution against the billionaire class has enthused millions of people throughout the US looking for a political alternative to Wall Street.

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

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’