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latest news

New Zealand
Victory over zero-contract hours

24/05/2015: ‘Cotton On’ clothes retailer workers defeat attempt to remove rest and meal breaks

  New Zealand

Iraq/Syria
ISIS rout national armies at Ramadi and Palmyra

23/05/2015: United working class movement needed to sweep away sectarian militias and reactionary politicians

  Iraq, Syria

Britain
Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business

22/05/2015: The Labour leadership contest begs the question: what is the point of the Labour Party?

  Britain

Ireland North
Election marks growing rejection of sectarian status quo

21/05/2015: Opportunities to build new anti-sectarian political voice for working class and youth

  Ireland Republic

Spain
Is Podemos in crisis?

20/05/2015: Left and social movements in a state of flux, as key elections loom

  Spain

Britain
Build a movement to defeat Tories’ cuts savagery

20/05/2015: For massive union demonstrations, linked to a 24-hour general strike

  Britain

Ireland South
Vote ‘Yes’ to marriage equality!

19/05/2015: Referendum a product of long-waged campaign of struggle from below

  Ireland Republic

Greece
Subordination to Troika or rupture with austerity?

18/05/2015: The choices before the Greek working class

  Greece

North Cyprus
‘Moderate leftist’ wins presidential election on peace ticket

16/05/2015: Workers’ common front, north and south, can find solution to island’s division

  Cyprus

Chile
Huge demonstrations call for free education

15/05/2015: New chapter opens in country’s political and ‘moral’ crisis

  Chile

Australia
East-West toll road dispute concluded

15/05/2015: Local community direct action secures victory

  Australia

Ireland
Parliament suspended after PM tells Socialist MPs “where to go”

14/05/2015: Contemptuous remarks reflect government concerns over non-payment of water charges

  Ireland Republic

Britain
Organising against Tory austerity starts now

14/05/2015: Potential for industrial response to cuts but needs determined leadership and campaigning

  Britain

 Video
Joe Higgins TD questions former ECB president Jean Claude Trichet

13/05/2015: "When bankers and bondholders’ gambles crashed, their massive burden of private debt was placed onto the shoulders of the Irish people"

  Ireland Republic, Video

Sudan
Mass apathy towards elections

12/05/2015: Renewed struggle from below needed to put an end to Bashir’s rule

  Sudan

USA
Presidential candidate declares "political revolution" against billionaires

12/05/2015: Campaign needs to build independent political power

  US

Britain
Fight against "five more damned years" of Tory rule

12/05/2015: Labour leader’s ’responsible capitalism’ shows its bankruptcy

  Britain

China
“In a hard landing now”

11/05/2015: Stock market frenzy and fabricated GDP figures cannot hide the reality of an economy in deep trouble

  China

Scotland
Labour annihilated

11/05/2015: SNP sweeps to victory by posing as an anti-austerity alternative

  Scotland

Britain
With the votes of 24% of the electorate, Tories have no mandate for more savage cuts

11/05/2015: Labour’s failure puts centre stage the need for new mass anti-austerity force

  Britain

Poland
65,000 workers demonstrate against governments’ policies

07/05/2015: Plan of action for a general strike needed

  Poland

Ireland North
Socialist Party replies to leading Sinn Fein councillor’s attacks

06/05/2015: How to fight cuts, sectarianism and to build workers’ unity

  Ireland North

Britain
Russell Brand mistaken to sow illusions in Labour

06/05/2015: Russell Brand calls on people to elect a Labour government, saying Ed Miliband will ’listen’ and wants pressure from below

  Britain

May Day 2015
International workers’ day marked by marches and rallies

05/05/2015: Photo gallery of the CWI taking part in May Day event across the world

  May Day

Iceland
Fighting for better wages

05/05/2015: General strike called for 26 May

  Iceland

May Day 2015
Socialist plan or capitalist chaos

01/05/2015: What sort of new society are we struggling for?

  May Day

Nepal
Disaster in Nepal –amplified by capitalism

30/04/2015: Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the south Asian region has been further devastated by the recent earthquake.

  Nepal

US
Rage in Baltimore

29/04/2015: The aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death

  US

Book review
’No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance state’

29/04/2015: What the 1% will do to defend their class interests

  Review, US

 May Day 2015
Resisting austerity, exploitation, wars and oppression

28/04/2015: 125 years since first May Day – Build a united workers’ movement for socialism!

  CWI, May Day

Italy
Migrant disasters - the human cost of budget cuts

27/04/2015: From Mare Nostrum to Triton

  Italy

Latin America
A new turn?

25/04/2015: Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

  Latin America

Brazil

Mass struggles resurface as weight of crisis is felt

www.socialistworld.net, 16/06/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Mass demonstrations against the increase of bus fares in all major cities

André Ferrari LSR (CWI in Brazil)

In São Paulo, on the night of 13 June, the military police cowardly attacked a peaceful demonstration of about 15 thousand people in the city centre. Police arrested in a totally arbitrary way 235 people, many just for being near the site of the demonstration. Some were arrested just for appearing to be a student or for carrying vinegar in their backpacks to mitigate the effects of tear gas. Riot police fired rubber bullets and bombs indiscriminately. In addition to protesters, many journalists, photographers and cameramen were injured. Even those who tried to medically assist the injured were arrested and their first aid kits were confiscated.

The police crackdown comes amid a spate of attacks on social movements and the poor in general.

Brazil is experiencing a new era marked by the more evident signs of crisis and the resurgence of struggles by workers and youth. The year 2012 had the highest number of strikes for the previous 16 years. Public sector workers are resisting cuts and withdrawal of rights. Also private sector workers are demanding their share in the vaunted economic growth.

The political effects of these struggles were limited by the fragmentation of the movement, the character of the ruling bureaucratic union leaders as well as the weaknesses of the left opposition to the government of Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT).

However, 2013, has shown ongoing erosion of the political support for the government and the emergence of a new consciousness among broad sectors of youth and workers.

The image of Brazil as a country moving towards the “1st world” is heavily eroded by a situation of very low growth (less than 1% in 2012) along with high inflation, which mainly affects the poor.

At the same moment that the federal government has taken a shift to the right in economic policy (increase in interest rates, privatization of ports, airports, oil fields, etc.) its support in the polls dropped 8% since March (65% to 57%).

Transport fare increase triggers struggles in big cities

In recent weeks, we have been seeing an explosion of popular struggles, led by the youth ignited by increases in public transport fares. In many state capitals and major cities, the demonstrations have assumed a qualitatively and quantitatively higher dimension than in previous movements. In many of them, such as Porto Alegre, Goiânia, Teresina and Natal, the increase in fares was reversed following protests.

At this time, the main stage of the struggle is the city of São Paulo. With four different demonstrations since June 6, the movement is growing every day. The immediate demand is to reduce the bus and subway fares from 3.20 to 3,00 reals, but the movement also questions the logic of the transport system in the city, dedicated exclusively to the profits of a handful of employers. Expensive fares, overcrowding and poor conditions represent a daily nightmare for workers and students who have to travel every day in a giant metropolis.

In Brazil, it is estimated that 37 million people are excluded from public transport because of high prices. Tens of millions more spend much of their income to travel to work and study amid a chaotic transport of poor quality.

One of the demands raised by the movement is a zero-tariff for transport in São Paulo. The idea is that companies and the richer layers of the population should pay the biggest share the costs of transport and not the workers and students.

The PT defended the zero-rate project in the 1980s, when the party was still on the left and was based on social movements. The current PT government in the city, headed by mayor, Fernando Haddad, rejects this project today, refuses to reverse the privatizations in the transport system and operates with a canine fidelity towards transport businessmen.

The state government of São Paulo, headed by Geraldo Alckmin of the PSDB, the main right wing opposition party to the federal government of the PT, and responsible for the São Paulo subway, also refuses to discuss these demands. Alckmin promotes a process of privatization of new subway lines and is responsible for the brutal repressive response by the Military Police of São Paulo during the demonstrations.

Many young workers who voted for Haddad and the PT in municipal elections in October last year to avoid a new victory of the traditional right, at that time headed by PSDB candidate José Serra, today are deeply disappointed with the PT. The unity of PT with the PSDB against the demands of the movement and the policy of repression of demonstrations is alienating large sectors of their social and electoral base.

World Cup Crimes

The big events to be held in the country in the coming years (World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in Rio 2016) are serving as a pretext for a real urban counter-reform in the big cities. The construction projects related to the World Cup are causing the removal of thousands of families from their homes to make way for real estate speculation.

Instead of serving the people, cities are increasingly shaped to serve capital. The space of the city is for sale and any obstacle in the way of profit must be eliminated. All this is under a façade of modernization and social peace.

Stadiums are privatized, corruption runs rampant in the construction projects of the Cup, overexploitation of construction workers have caused accidents and deaths, contractors in collusion with governments are profiting exorbitantly while the rights of residents of big cities are trampled on.

Today, June 14, begins a campaign of national struggles of popular movements for housing, the Urban Resistance Front, along with the World Cup Popular Committees, to denounce the World Cup crimes.

Repression and criminalization of social movements

Faced with the rise of struggles and the need to block the demonstrations on the eve of the Confederations Cup (which starts on June 15), the police crackdown on the protests has intensified dramatically.

Occupying the streets, a basic democratic right, is prohibited. In many cities, the police crackdown on demonstrations reminds us of the military dictatorship. Judicial decisions prohibiting demonstrations, along with police bullets and bombs against demonstrators, shows that we live in a moment of serious attacks on the basic democratic rights of the people.

After a strong media campaign saying that the protesters against the increase in transport fares were vandals and hooligans and thus justifying and supporting police repression, the intense repression of the demonstration on June 13 caused a great commotion and even media itself had to change its tone.

In São Paulo, on the night of June 13, the military police cowardly attacked a peaceful and organized demonstration of about 15 thousand people in the city centre. Police arrested in a totally arbitrary way 235 people. Riot police fired rubber bullets and bombs indiscriminately. In addition to protesters, many journalists, photographers and cameramen were injured.

The police crackdown comes amid a spate of attacks on social movements and the poor in general. In big cities like Sao Paulo and Rio, black youth in the suburbs live a real situation of slaughter. Rapesin Rio de Janeiro have greatly increased in the last period. The racist police violence, impunity of action by death squads, violence against women, the criminalization of poverty and repression on the right of popular organizations, are a reality in the suburbs.

Landless rural leaders have been murdered in a systematic way and recently two indigenous leaders (the ethnic Terena and Guarani-Kaiwoas) fighting against agro-business and the government for the demarcation of their land were also killed.

The struggle in defence of democratic rights acquires a central importance in the context of the World Cup, with the attempt to create a real state of emergency in the country, banning demonstrations and free expression.

The city for the workers, the youth and people!

These struggles for public transport, housing and the democratic right to occupy the streets should be unified into a great national movement for the right of the workers, youth and people to own and control their own cities.

As a result of this fight it would be possible to reconstruct the basis for unification and reorganization of fighting workers’, popular and student movements, independent of governments and employers. A national meeting of workers and youth to carry out a plan of struggle could be built and advanced in the direction of building new united tool of struggle.

That’s what LSR (CWI in Brazil) advocates in the social movements we take part in and inside PSOL (Party of Socialism and Freedom).

We stand for :

  • Immediate reduction of transport fares! Fight for zero tariffs – make the employers pay for public transport! Nationalization of public transport under democratic workers’ and users’ control! Non-payment of the debt to the bankers and speculators and massive investment in public transport!
  • End the removals of residents! No to sexual exploitation! Fight against rape and violence against women!
  • Ensure the rights of construction workers on World Cup projects! No to privatization of Maracanã and corruption in the building sites of the World Cup! Demarcation of indigenous lands! No to emergency laws imposed by FIFA - the right to organization, expression and manifestation!
  • No to the repression of demonstrations of youth and workers! No to criminalization and increased use of the judicial system against social struggle. Immediate freedom for all political prisoners in the fight against rising public transport fares and other movements. No to the slaughter of black youth in the suburbs!
  • For a national day of united struggle around the demands for public transport, affordable housing, against the crimes of the World Cup and in defence of the right to protest and against the criminalization and repression of the social movements.
  • For a national meeting of workers and youth to build a plan of action and a united nation forum of struggles.


Europe

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Pakistan: Jawad Ahmad speaking at May Day rally held by International Youth and Workers Movement, 18/05/2015

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NEWS

New Zealand: Victory over zero-contract hours
24/05/2015, Joe Kelly, CWI NZ/Aotearoa:
‘Cotton On’ clothes retailer workers defeat attempt to remove rest and meal breaks

Britain: Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business
22/05/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The Labour leadership contest begs the question: what is the point of the Labour Party?

Britain: Build a movement to defeat Tories’ cuts savagery
20/05/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
For massive union demonstrations, linked to a 24-hour general strike

Ireland South: Vote ‘Yes’ to marriage equality!
19/05/2015, From the Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) website:
Referendum a product of long-waged campaign of struggle from below

Greece: Subordination to Troika or rupture with austerity?
18/05/2015, Editorial from Xekinima (no. 410, 6-20 May 2015), fortnightly newspaper of CWI Greece:
The choices before the Greek working class

Pakistan: Jawad Ahmad speaking at May Day rally held by International Youth and Workers Movement
18/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Video of May Day Rally and concert in Lahore

North Cyprus: ‘Moderate leftist’ wins presidential election on peace ticket
16/05/2015, Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus):
Workers’ common front, north and south, can find solution to island’s division

Chile: Huge demonstrations call for free education
15/05/2015, Patricio Guzman, Socialismo Revolcuionario (CWI in Chile):
New chapter opens in country’s political and ‘moral’ crisis

Australia: East-West toll road dispute concluded
15/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Australia) Reporters:
Local community direct action secures victory

Ireland: Parliament suspended after PM tells Socialist MPs “where to go”
14/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Contemptuous remarks reflect government concerns over non-payment of water charges

Britain: Organising against Tory austerity starts now
14/05/2015, John McInally, Public and Commercial Services Union national Vice-President (personal capacity), from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website:
Potential for industrial response to cuts but needs determined leadership and campaigning

Video: Joe Higgins TD questions former ECB president Jean Claude Trichet
13/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
"When bankers and bondholders’ gambles crashed, their massive burden of private debt was placed onto the shoulders of the Irish people"

Sudan: Mass apathy towards elections
12/05/2015, Sudanese CWI supporter:
Renewed struggle from below needed to put an end to Bashir’s rule

Scotland: Labour annihilated
11/05/2015, :
SNP sweeps to victory by posing as an anti-austerity alternative

Britain: With the votes of 24% of the electorate, Tories have no mandate for more savage cuts
11/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Labour’s failure puts centre stage the need for new mass anti-austerity force

Poland: 65,000 workers demonstrate against governments’ policies
07/05/2015, Alternatywa Socjalistyczna (CWI Poland) Reporters:
Plan of action for a general strike needed

Britain: Russell Brand mistaken to sow illusions in Labour
06/05/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Russell Brand calls on people to elect a Labour government, saying Ed Miliband will ’listen’ and wants pressure from below

May Day 2015: International workers’ day marked by marches and rallies
05/05/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Photo gallery of the CWI taking part in May Day event across the world

Iceland: Fighting for better wages
05/05/2015, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
General strike called for 26 May

US: Rage in Baltimore
29/04/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative, New York:
The aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death

Book review: ’No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance state’
29/04/2015, Reviewed by Tony Saunois, CWI:
What the 1% will do to defend their class interests

Kazakhstan: Presidential ‘election’ - Nazarbayev’s overwhelming victory no surprise
28/04/2015, Elizabeth Clarke, CWI:
Workers need to build mass opposition

Ireland North: Health Minister forced to resign after making homophobic remarks
27/04/2015, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
LGBT and women’s rights campaigners boosted

Italy: Migrant disasters - the human cost of budget cuts
27/04/2015, From web-site of ControCorrente (CWI in Italy):
From Mare Nostrum to Triton

Finland: Worst ever election result for traditional Left
24/04/2015, Jonas Brännberg and Juha Tapio for CWI in Finland:
Finns Party second biggest in parliament

Scotland: Labour face annihilation as millions seek an answer to austerity
23/04/2015, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
The SNP, according to the polls, will win 53 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster MPs

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Iraq/Syria: ISIS rout national armies at Ramadi and Palmyra
23/05/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
United working class movement needed to sweep away sectarian militias and reactionary politicians

Ireland North: Election marks growing rejection of sectarian status quo
21/05/2015, Daniel Waldron and Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
Opportunities to build new anti-sectarian political voice for working class and youth

Spain: Is Podemos in crisis?
20/05/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Left and social movements in a state of flux, as key elections loom

USA: Presidential candidate declares "political revolution" against billionaires
12/05/2015, Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative, Seattle:
Campaign needs to build independent political power

Britain: Fight against "five more damned years" of Tory rule
12/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party )CWI England & Wales) General Secretary:
Labour leader’s ’responsible capitalism’ shows its bankruptcy

China: “In a hard landing now”
11/05/2015, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Stock market frenzy and fabricated GDP figures cannot hide the reality of an economy in deep trouble

Ireland North: Socialist Party replies to leading Sinn Fein councillor’s attacks
06/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) Statement:
How to fight cuts, sectarianism and to build workers’ unity

May Day 2015: Socialist plan or capitalist chaos
01/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party General Secretary, (CWI England & Wales):
What sort of new society are we struggling for?

Nepal: Disaster in Nepal –amplified by capitalism
30/04/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the south Asian region has been further devastated by the recent earthquake.

May Day 2015: Resisting austerity, exploitation, wars and oppression
28/04/2015, CWI:
125 years since first May Day – Build a united workers’ movement for socialism!

Latin America: A new turn?
25/04/2015, Tony Saunois, article from May issue of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, turmoil in Venezuela, and stalled reforms in Bolivia – as well as crises in Brazil – symbolise a new turn in Latin America and the Caribbean

Iran: Proposed nuclear deal reflects transformed Middle East
24/04/2015, Robert Bechert, CWI:
In aftermath of disastrous Iraq occupation, Obama administration balancing between region’s forces

Tunisia: After the Bardo terrorist attack
18/04/2015, Serge Jordan:
New class battles loom

Yemen: Brutal onslaught on country’s poor
15/04/2015, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the CWI England & Wales):
For unity of workers and poor against imperialism and sectarianism

Economy: What low oil prices cost the world economy
03/04/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The sudden plunge of oil and gas prices has underlined the volatility in the world capitalist economy

Israel: Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election
25/03/2015, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement, Israel-Palestine:
New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

Italy: The instability of domestic capitalism
24/03/2015, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

Greece: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer
23/03/2015, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

Belgium: No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity
20/03/2015, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
New action plan against right wing government takes off

Ukraine: Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement
18/03/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

Greece: Syriza’s first months in power
07/03/2015, Andreas Payiatsos, from Xekinima (newspaper of the CWI Greece):
The working class and social movements must enter the struggle for their rights

Quebec: Towards a hot spring
02/03/2015, Deirdre and Bruno, Socialist Alternative (CWI Quebec):
Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

Greece showdown
26/02/2015, Article to be published in the March issue of Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI in England and Wales):
Niall Mulholland interviewed NICOS ANASTASIADES, of Xekinima (CWI Greece), just as Syriza leaders agreed a four-month bail-out extension with the EU.

Libya: War-torn country becoming new hub for IS activities
25/02/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
Libyan people bearing the brunt of NATO’s fiasco

Europe: Eurozone time-bomb
25/02/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party of England and Wales):
Mired in recession, the eurozone is haunted by the spectre of stagnation