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latest news

 Solidarity
#JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success

28/03/2017: Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

  Solidarity

Russia/Belarus
A week-end of mass protests

27/03/2017: New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

  Russia

Hong Kong
Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship

27/03/2017: Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

  Hong Kong

Britain
Terror attack at Westminster

24/03/2017: Unite against terror, racism and war

  Britain

Italy
Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis

22/03/2017: Class struggle can build real left force

  Italy

Spain
Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

21/03/2017: Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

  Spain

Scotland
Second referendum on independence?

18/03/2017: SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

  Scotland

Brazil
National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten

17/03/2017: For a one-day general strike as the next step

  Brazil

South Africa
Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

17/03/2017: Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

  South Africa

Netherlands
Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government

16/03/2017: Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

  Netherlands

Yemen
Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies

16/03/2017: International campaign needed to force companies to pay

  Yemen

Hong Kong
Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman

14/03/2017: Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

  Hong Kong

Ireland North
Snap election raises sectarian temperature    

14/03/2017: Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

  Ireland North

Quebec
Counter protest against far-right

13/03/2017: Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

  Quebec

 International Women's Day
Speech by Kshama Sawant

12/03/2017: Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

  Women

 International Women’s Day
Millions join marches and take action

10/03/2017: Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

  Women

 Hong Kong
Women’s march against sexism and racism

09/03/2017: International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

  Women

 Spain
Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike

08/03/2017: ‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

  Women

Pakistan
Political spectacle of the ruling class

08/03/2017: Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

  Pakistan

 International Women’s Day 2017
A century on from the Russian Revolution

06/03/2017: Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

  Women

Britain
Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won

06/03/2017: Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

  Britain

Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

04/03/2017: Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

  Egypt

Hong Kong’s sham election

03/03/2017: Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

  Hong Kong

US
Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress

02/03/2017: Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

  US

Sweden
“Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017: What is behind Trump's attack?

  Sweden

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

23/02/2017: Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

  Ireland Republic

Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

22/02/2017: Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

  Ireland Republic

February revolution 1917
What lessons for today?

21/02/2017: 23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

  Russian Revolution

 Yemen
International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers

20/02/2017: Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

  Solidarity, Yemen

Netherlands
Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections

18/02/2017: Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

  Netherlands

Obituary

Comrade Kemelo Ernest Mokgalagadi

www.socialistworld.net, 11/06/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

A genuine working class fighter and a revolutionary socialist

Mametlwe Sebei, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI South Africa)

It is with sadness and a sense of great loss that we mourn the untimely death of Comrade Kemelo Ernest Mokgalagadi, the branch secretary of the Democratic Socialist Movement at Kroondal, Rustenburg, South Africa. Comrade Ernest, as he was simply and affectionately called by friends and comrades, passed away at Job Shimankane Tabane hospital in Rustenburg after a short illness and operation on the 2 June 2013. His death has certainly robbed the mineworkers and the struggle for socialism of a tireless organiser and uncompromising fighter in Rustenburg, the main theatre of working class resistance today in South Africa.

When I first met Comrade Ernest, he had just been released from jail, together with about 30 other workers. They had been charged with attempted murder, amongst other serious charges, after they had occupied the mine underground for days and wired the mine with explosives in response to police threats to shoot them underground. I did not realise he was one of the comrades who had just been released because I did not expect that someone who had so narrowly escaped death in the stand-off with the police and mine security during their underground mine occupation, who had been subjected to police brutality, had been severely assaulted during his incarceration, and who, in addition, faced serious charges, could be all smiles and laughing as he was. But that was Comrade Ernest. It was his eternal smile – his most remarkable feature – which, as well as his undying sense of humour, for which comrades came to like him so much over the years.

Comrade Ernest was amongst the first wave of mineworkers to join what was then still a Marxist propaganda group, the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), the South African section of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) in 2009. He was the leader of the 4,500 Murray and Roberts workers who had been on strike and had been dismissed by the company for participating in an unprotected strike. The Murray and Roberts strike was undoubtedly the first turning point in process of the disintegration of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)--the beginning of the end to its unchallenged domination in the platinum mining industry of Rustenburg.

For the first time, the NUM was publicly and openly challenged by their own members for the criminal and treacherous role they played. Behind the backs of the workers, the NUM leaders had reached an agreement with the Murray and Roberts’s management, accepting an offer of an 8% wage increase, ignoring the mandate for the modest demand of 10, 5% and disregarding the overwhelming opposition of the workers to the offer. This effectively terminated a protected strike rendering it illegal, clearing the way for the bosses to call upon the stat e and private mine security to brutally crush the strike.

Comrade Ernest was elected onto the strike committee which led the strike that ensued in spite of the bitter opposition from the NUM leadership. The strike became one of the first in the series of the bloody battles waged against workers by the mine bosses and the government, that culminated, ultimately, in the Marikana massacre of 16 August, 2012.

Disdain for conservative union bureaucrats

It was this experience from the early struggles against the trade union bureaucracy in the NUM, whose complete degeneration many have only begun to recognise now after the Marikana massacre, which bred in Comrade Ernest a permanent hatred for working class traitors. He had an absolute disdain for conservative trade union bureaucrats which often came across as stubborn rigidity on matters of tactics in relation to trade union struggle.

The Murray and Roberts Workers Committee, in which Comrade Ernest played a central role, became the basis for the political intervention of the DSM amongst the mineworkers in Rustenburg and beyond. It was this Committee which, together with the Samancor and Anglo-Platinum strike committees, became the founding components of the Rustenburg Joint Strike Committee which subsequently fanned out beyond Rustenburg, developing into the National Strike Committee that played such a pivotal role in the co-ordination of the mineworkers’ strikes last year. The founding meeting of the joint Rustenburg-wide committee, which was attended by more than 50 delegates at Ikemeleng Primary School in Kroondal, was testimony to the tireless work and organising efforts of Comrade Ernest.

Key organiser

At the time of his death, Comrade Ernest was a key organiser for the Democratic Socialist Movement in Rustenburg and a member of the re-named National Workers Committee of the mineworkers. In these capacities, he was also the main organiser of the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) in Rustenburg. Having worked with him intimately, I can attest that what set him apart in these roles was the appreciation of the fact that the struggles of the mineworkers can no longer be limited to the daily and immediate demands of the workers, but has to be linked to the broader, international working class struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the socialist transformation of society.

Having understood that the building of a revolutionary socialist party holds the key to liberation from the daily suffering that is life in the hostels and shafts of Rustenburg, Comrade Ernest dedicated himself to this task with a rock-hard determination which was an inspiration to all his comrades. He approached all issues, tactical and theoretical, with the utmost seriousness in this way, taking care to understand the precise details of each point – and once he did, he would argue and work for it with a sense of absolute dedication. We will sorely miss this seriousness combined with his ever-present smile and jokes.

He had taken to heart the need to raise his theoretical and political understanding and had nothing but absolute contempt for those worker leaders ‘who thought they knew it all’ and were not willing to learn. Though his energetic reading of Marxist literature was only in its beginning, his dedication and insistence on it convinced us all he was destined to be an even greater asset to the DSM and WASP, not only as an organiser, but a cadre capable of playing an independent political role in the further development of the party.

Comrade Ernest was born on the 26 June 1974 at Taung in the Northwest Province. Like many young working class people in the rural areas of this country, he migrated to the city for work in the mines. Soon after completing his matric, he found employment first in the Free State mines and later in Rustenburg where he worked at the Murray and Roberts-run Aquarius Platinum mine until 2009 when he was dismissed together with 4500 fellow workers. At the time of his death, he was still leading the struggle for the reinstatement of the dismissed workers. He leaves behind a daughter and son, his parents and three sisters.

The emergence of the independent strike committees, their knitting together into the National Strike Committee, the mass defection from the NUM and the establishment of WASP, represent the most significant political developments in the post-apartheid era – the first steps taken by the working class to reclaim their class and political independence from the pro-capitalist ANC and its class collaborators in the Tripartite Alliance. This is the legacy that this pioneer has left behind. His dedication, discipline and ever shining smile will be missed by all his comrades and friends in the DSM and CWI. We send our condolences to his family and friends and pledge to continue the march to the emancipation of the working class and the socialist transformation of society that he dedicated his life to.



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NEWS

Solidarity: #JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success
28/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

Russia/Belarus: A week-end of mass protests
27/03/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) Reporters:
New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

Hong Kong: Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship
27/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

Britain: Terror attack at Westminster
24/03/2017, Judy Beishon, from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website :
Unite against terror, racism and war

Belarus: Protesters flood onto streets demanding scrapping of “law against parasites”
21/03/2017, Daniil Raskolnikov (translation of article from the Russian CWI site www.socialist.news):
President Lukashenko must go!

Spain: Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March
21/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE), Spanish Students' Union :
Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

Scotland: Second referendum on independence?
18/03/2017, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) :
SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia
17/03/2017, Shaun Arendse, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI South Africa):
Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

International Women’s Day: March in Malaysia and week of activity in Belgium
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Reports from Kuala Lumpur and Brussels

Netherlands: Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government
16/03/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

Russian Revolution: March 1917 - After the fall of Czarism, what next for the revolution?
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
New article on 1917revolution.org

Hong Kong: Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman
14/03/2017, Sally Tang Mei-ching, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

Quebec: Counter protest against far-right
13/03/2017, Michele Hehn, Alternative Socialiste (CWI in Quebec) :
Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

International Women's Day: Speech by Kshama Sawant
12/03/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

International Women’s Day: Millions join marches and take action
10/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

Hong Kong: Women’s march against sexism and racism
09/03/2017, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) reporters:
International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

Spain: Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike
08/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes, students’ union in the Spanish state :
‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

Pakistan: Political spectacle of the ruling class
08/03/2017, Tariq Shahzad, National Organiser of IYWM (International Youth and Workers Movement) :
Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

Britain: Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won
06/03/2017, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) deputy general secretary :
Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

Egypt: Price hikes hit workers and middle classes
04/03/2017, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) :
Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

Hong Kong’s sham election
03/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action:
Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

US: Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress
02/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

Catalonia: Historic demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees
25/02/2017, Esquerra Revolucionària :
'Volem acollir'

Sweden: “Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
What is behind Trump's attack?

Britain/Ireland: Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty
23/02/2017, Neil Cafferky, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Italy: Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis
22/03/2017, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrrente, (CWI in Italy) :
Class struggle can build real left force

Brazil: National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten


17/03/2017, André Ferrari LSR (CWI in Brazil) :
For a one-day general strike as the next step

Yemen: Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies
16/03/2017, Cedric Gerome, CWI :
International campaign needed to force companies to pay

Ireland North: Snap election raises sectarian temperature    
14/03/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

International Women’s Day 2017: A century on from the Russian Revolution
06/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI :
Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

February revolution 1917: What lessons for today?
21/02/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), printed in the Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party):
23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

India: Upheaval in Tamil Nadu
09/02/2017, Sajith Attepuram, New Socialist Alternative (NSA) (CWI India) :
Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

Britain: Universal basic income demand gains ground
08/02/2017, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales) :
What approach should socialists take?

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification
06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

France: After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out
06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

Syria: Is an end to the war in sight?
03/02/2017, Serge Jordan (CWI) :
New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

Sri Lanka: The year 2017
31/01/2017, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) :
Between oppression and struggle

Canada: Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?
31/01/2017, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto

:
Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

Russian Revolution Centenary: January 1917 - On the eve of revolution
29/01/2017, Niall Mulholland, from 1917revolution.org :
War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

Afghanistan: The limits of US power
28/01/2017, Judy Beishon, from Socialism Today (February 2017 issue), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales)<br />
<br />
:
Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

US: Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!
27/01/2017, Bryan Koulouris, Socialist Alternative, US :
Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

Millions on women's marches around the world
25/01/2017, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and reports from US marches :
Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

China: New US President’s approach to China
21/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info :
Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

Ireland North: Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly
17/01/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Build a socialist alternative to the ‘Orange’ versus ‘Green’ headcount

Spain: What kind of Podemos do workers and youth need?
17/01/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spanish state, editorial :
Debate within leadership touches on fundamental issues for future of party

US: Trump prepares vicious attacks
05/01/2017, Philip Locker and Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative (US):
Mass resistance needed!

Russian Revolution centenary
02/01/2017, Editorial from Socialism Today, Dec/Jan 2017 edition:
Defending the legacy in a new era

2017:Upheaval and fightback will continue
01/01/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary :
Everything to play for in 2017

Britain's shifting political contours
22/12/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) from Socialism Today Dec/Jan 2017 edition :
Capitalist establishment in disarray

CWI International Executive Committee: European capitalism “battered by events”
16/12/2016, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Report of discussion on Europe at CWI IEC meeting in November