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latest news

Greece
Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?

29/01/2015: For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

  Greece

Greece
Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten

29/01/2015: An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

  Britain, Greece

Greece
Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse

27/01/2015: Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

  Europe, Greece

China
Slowest growth rate since 1990

25/01/2015: Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

  China

Cuba
Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased

24/01/2015: Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

  Cuba, US

Northern Ireland
Water service workers win important victory

23/01/2015: A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

  Ireland North

Sri Lanka
Mobilise now to defend our demands

22/01/2015: Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

  Sri Lanka

 US
Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address

21/01/2015: "Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

  US, Video

Russia/Ukraine
Facing a turbulent 2015

21/01/2015: As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

  Russia, Ukraine

Greece
Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes

20/01/2015: Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

  Greece

Nigeria
The Massacre in Baga

19/01/2015: Socialism or Barbarism

  Nigeria

Review
‘Eleanor Marx - a life’

17/01/2015: Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

  Review

 Video
Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor

16/01/2015: Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

  Video

Nigeria
2015 general elections and the working masses

16/01/2015: Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

  Nigeria

  Video
Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland

15/01/2015: "You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

 Video
A year of struggle in Brazil

14/01/2015: LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

  Brazil, Video

Sri Lanka
New but uncertain period opens up

14/01/2015: President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

  Sri Lanka

Iran
Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years

13/01/2015: International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

  Iran

Germany
What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?

13/01/2015: Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

  Germany

France
Millions march for solidarity

12/01/2015: Unity against racism and capitalism!

  France

New Zealand
Extreme poverty worsens

12/01/2015: Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

  New Zealand

France
Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity

10/01/2015: The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

  France

Norway
General strike called for 28 January

10/01/2015: Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

  Norway

Sri Lanka
Rajapaksa defeated

09/01/2015: Period of uncertainty opens

  Sri Lanka

Sweden
New elections cancelled

09/01/2015: “Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

  Sweden

Greece
Towards a Syriza government?

08/01/2015: General elections on 25 January

  Greece

France
Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo

08/01/2015: Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

  France

Hong Kong
Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’

07/01/2015: A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

  Hong Kong

Israel-Palestine
A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide

06/01/2015: Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

  Israel / Palestine

Northern Ireland
The Stormont House Agreement

05/01/2015: Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

  Ireland Republic

Environment
Market forces hold back renewable energy

01/01/2015: Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

  Environment

New Year
Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015

31/12/2014: As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

  Britain, Europe, World Economy

Britain
In defence of TUSC

30/12/2014: As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

  Britain, US

 CWI
National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism

28/12/2014: A socialist solution to national oppression

  CWI

Scotland
Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader

27/12/2014: Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

  Scotland

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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US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address, 21/01/2015

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NEWS

Greece: Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten
29/01/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

China: Slowest growth rate since 1990
25/01/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

Northern Ireland: Water service workers win important victory
23/01/2015, Donal O’Cofaigh, Socialist Party, Fermanagh:
A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

Sri Lanka: Mobilise now to defend our demands
22/01/2015, Tu Senan, International Coordinator of the Tamil Solidarity campaign:
Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address
21/01/2015, Socialistworld.net, via socialistalternative.org:
"Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

Review: ‘Eleanor Marx - a life’
17/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI. Article published in the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

Video: Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor
16/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

Nigeria: 2015 general elections and the working masses
16/01/2015, Aj. Dagga Tolar and Kola Ibrahim, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

Video: Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland
15/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
"You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

Video: A year of struggle in Brazil
14/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

Sri Lanka: New but uncertain period opens up
14/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI:
President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

Iran: Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years
13/01/2015, Campaign in Support Workers of Iran:
International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

France: Millions march for solidarity
12/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Unity against racism and capitalism!

New Zealand: Extreme poverty worsens
12/01/2015, CWI Reporters, NZ/Aotearoa:
Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

France: Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity
10/01/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) website editorial:
The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

Norway: General strike called for 28 January
10/01/2015, Trond Sverre and Elise Kollveit (CWI, Oslo):
Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa defeated
09/01/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Period of uncertainty opens

Sweden: New elections cancelled
09/01/2015, Questions answered by Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
“Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

France: Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo
08/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

Hong Kong: Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’
07/01/2015, Editorial from Socialist magazine《社會主義者, of CWI in China and Hong Kong:
A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

Israel-Palestine: A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide
06/01/2015, Or Dar, Socialist Struggle Movement, CWI in Israel-Palestine:
Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

Environment: Market forces hold back renewable energy
01/01/2015, Pete Dickinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

Britain: In defence of TUSC
30/12/2014, Clive Heemskerk, from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

CWI: National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism
28/12/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
A socialist solution to national oppression

Scotland:Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader
27/12/2014, Philip Stott, SPS (CWI Scotland):
Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

Obituary: Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014
26/12/2014, Conor Flynn, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia):
Former Australian Labour Party (ALP) prime minister

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Greece: Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?
29/01/2015, Article from Xekhinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 26 January 2015] translated and slightly edited:
For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
27/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, socialistworld.net, interviews Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
21/01/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
20/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

Nigeria: The Massacre in Baga
19/01/2015, H.T Soweto, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Socialism or Barbarism

Germany: What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?
13/01/2015, Wolfram Klein, Socialist Alternative (SAV- CWI Germany):
Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
08/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
General elections on 25 January

Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement
05/01/2015, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

New Year: Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015
31/12/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

Latin America: The end of one cycle and the beginning of another
17/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
15/12/2014, CWI International Executive Committee:
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Sri Lanka: Presidential Election January 8, 2015
11/12/2014, Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka):
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

Australia: Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road
08/12/2014, By Socialist Party (CWI Australia) reporters, Melbourne:
Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
27/11/2014, International Secretariat of the CWI :
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Ireland: Lies and distortions against community protests, the AAA and the Socialist Party
21/11/2014, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
Government and Water Charges completely undermined

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks
19/11/2014, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM):
New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

Ukraine: Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions
15/11/2014, Rob Jones, CWI Moscow:
Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

Northern Ireland: 20 years after the ceasefires
10/11/2014, Ciaran Mulholland, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
In 1994, the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries called ceasefires. Four years later the Good Friday agreement was declared to mark the end of the ‘Troubles’…

Germany: 25 years since November 9
09/11/2014, By Robert Bechert, CWI, who was living in Berlin in 1989:
Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

Elections in Brazil
07/11/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution
07/11/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI:
November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

Ireland: Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance
04/11/2014, Kevin McLoughlin, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

Kurdistan: Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads
31/10/2014, Serge Jordan, CWI:
What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

A ‘third industrial revolution’
28/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
New technological innovations are having a huge impact on the capitalist system, a subject explored in a new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society.