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latest news

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

Finland
Worst ever election result for traditional Left

24/04/2015: Finns Party second biggest in parliament

  Finland

Iran
Proposed nuclear deal reflects transformed Middle East

24/04/2015: In aftermath of disastrous Iraq occupation, Obama administration balancing between region’s forces

  Iran, Middle East

Scotland
Labour face annihilation as millions seek an answer to austerity

23/04/2015: The SNP, according to the polls, will win 53 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster MPs

  Scotland

 Video
Paul Murphy speaking at anti-water charges demo in Dublin

23/04/2015: Socialist Partty (CWI) and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD speaks at march of tens of thosuands against water charges on April 18

  Ireland Republic, Video

 Video
Interview with Jawad Ahmed, famous Pakistani singer and activist

22/04/2015: Jawad Ahmed, Singer and central committee member of International Youth and Workers Movement (IYWM) from Pakistan spoke to CWI about the work of IYWM.

  Pakistan, Video

South Africa
Organise against xenophobia – a programme for our communities

21/04/2015: Build a country-wide socialist civic movement. Fight for jobs, houses and services for all

  Africa, South Africa

 Video
TUSC 100% anti-austerity election broadcast

20/04/2015: Broadcast goes out on all 5 national terrestrial channels

  Britain, Video

Britain
Labour - party of cuts

19/04/2015: Oppose the ’logic of capitalism’

  Britain

Tunisia
After the Bardo terrorist attack

18/04/2015: New class battles loom

  Tunisia

 Video
Paul Murphy attacks bosses’ victimisation of strikers

17/04/2015: Socialist Partty (CWI) and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD speaks in Irish Parliament

  Ireland Republic, Video

US
National day of strikes and protests for $15

17/04/2015: Snapshot of the movement – the fight for $15 in 7 major cities

  US

 Video
Kshama Sawant on Democracy Now

16/04/2015: Socialist Seattle councillor debates Hillary Clinton run for President

  US, Video

Ireland North
Hundreds protest against racist arson attack

15/04/2015: Build a united mass movement to challenge racism, sectarianism and all forms of bigotry

  Ireland North

Yemen
Brutal onslaught on country’s poor

15/04/2015: For unity of workers and poor against imperialism and sectarianism

  Yemen

Québec
A hot spring in the making?

14/04/2015: Students take strike action against austerity

  Quebec

China’s feminists
A victory for protests in China and worldwide

14/04/2015: Five women activists released in rare climb down by Beijing regime

  China

France
First one-day strike against austerity gets big response

13/04/2015: 300, 000 people marched on demonstrations across France on Thursday 9 April

  France

Australia
Budget - Who should pay for the economic crisis?

13/04/2015: Federal government preparing the ground for their second budget

  Australia

Britain
UKIP blame immigration for problems facing working class

12/04/2015: Workers’ unity to defend pay jobs and services

  Britain

Panama 2015 Trade Union and Social Alternative Summit

11/04/2015: For an end to imperialism and capitalism, long live socialist and revolutionary united solidarity in our Americas!

  Latin America

Kenya
The Garissa massacre, Al-Shabaab and US imperialism

10/04/2015: Growing regional destabilisation

  Kenya, US

US
40,000 Seattle workers get pay rise

08/04/2015: Coalition of students and workers demand $15 minimum wage at University of Washington

  US

Australia
Anti-racist protesters vastly outnumber ‘Reclaim Australia’ Melbourne rally

07/04/2015: Only ‘minority’ to blame for society’s problems is ultra-rich 1%

  Australia

Climate change
Looking for a cheap fix

06/04/2015: The cyclone that devastated the Pacific island of Vanuatu in March, the most severe ever recorded in the region, highlighted again the very likely connection between extreme weather events and global warming.

  Environment

Nigeria
Ruling party crumbles in historic election

05/04/2015: But only mass struggle can guarantee the interests of workers and poor masses under buhari’s presidency

  Nigeria

Scotland
Is the SNP: a threat to the political establishment?

04/04/2015: The SNP (Scottish National Party) looks set to win the majority of Scottish seats in the general election

  Scotland

Economy
What low oil prices cost the world economy

03/04/2015: The sudden plunge of oil and gas prices has underlined the volatility in the world capitalist economy

  World Economy

 Video
Paul Murphy speaks in support of striking workers

02/04/2015: Socialist MP challenges Labour Deputy Prime Minister in parliament

  Ireland Republic, Video

Scotland
Indefinite strike by Glasgow Council Homeless workers

01/04/2015: Workers treated unfairly by council for years

  Scotland

South Africa
Cosatu splits as ‘Vavi’ expelled

01/04/2015: Expulsion opens new chapter in working class struggle

  Africa, South Africa

Singapore
Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew dies

31/03/2015: Apologist for neo-liberalism and autocracy

  Singapore

France
Elections punish Valls and Hollande

31/03/2015: Department results show need for fightback against austerity and racism

  France

Greece

90% turn-out for teachers’ strike; 10,000s join marches

www.socialistworld.net, 19/09/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Teachers show the way! Build for all-out general strike action to defeat new austerity attacks!

Xekinima (CWI Greece) Reporters, Athens

Participation in the first day of a five-day teachers’ strike (Monday 16 September) was massive, on average over 90% nationally. The teachers’ marches were massive too, with 30,000 demonstrators on the march in Athens and 10,000 in Thessaloniki! Although mainly made up of secondary and high school teachers, contingents of workers from the public sector (Social Security, Pension Funds, Public Insurance Funds, Social Welfare and University Administration) were very big, as well.

Four union federations co-ordinated their action with OLME (the secondary school teachers’ union) and announced they would take repeated strike action against ‘staff suspensions’ (which in the end will mean layoffs), in their sections. Student Union contingents were equally massive on the demonstrations, as were those of primary and private school teachers. Unions representing social housing workers and the Department of Development were also present with banners. Together with teachers in Athens, hundreds of school students joined the march and created a very vibrant mood with their chants.

The size of the march went beyond teachers’ expectations and showed the courage and enthusiasm all the workers on strike.

The first battle has been won! However, there is a long way ahead and the only thing we know for certain is that the government, together with the help of the main TV channel owners and newspapers, and the forces of repression, will intensify their attacks against these workers.

The response of the teachers can only be - as the banner of the teachers’ union from Kallithea, N. Smyrni and Moshato stated – “Brothers and sisters, stand up!” The same strength and resilience must be shown by workers from other union federations that have entered the fight.

The most important and immediate steps necessary in the struggle, at this stage, are as follows:

  • All schools and other work places participating in the strike need to be defended through mass pickets outside every school
  • The strike should expand to a ‘pan-education front’ that actively and massively involves parents, school and university students
  • Big efforts must be made to force the leadership of the primary school teachers (DOE) to listen to the voice of the rank and file and the general assemblies of primary school teachers that demand by a vast majority repeated 5-day strikes, on the lines of the secondary school teachers
  • Steps to build a strike fund to support the most vulnerable among the workers needs to continue
  • Also, we need to ensure – through mass campaigning - that the 48-hour strike by ADEDY is a success!

Finally, the most essential thing is that the front of trade union federations which is proceeding to five-day repeated strikes becomes as wide as possible, as soon as possible, with the involvement of more sections of the working class. The teachers and all other workers on strike have shown that the movement, i.e. the rank and file, not only wants to fight but can actually fight! Co-ordination and escalation are the way to build a force that can kick out the Troika and their lackeys ruling us!

Greece: Teachers strike for 5 day against huge attacks on jobs, conditions and education

Indefinite united strike front demanded, until the government is out!

The following is the text of a Xekinima leaflet distributed during teachers’ demonstrations last Monday and on ADEDY marches, both of which were very big, on Wednesday 18 September.

socialistworld.net

Since 16 September OLME (the secondary school teachers’ union) have been on a five day strike, which is intended to be repeated at the weekly general meetings of the teachers, aiming at an indefinite strike by the teachers’ union. This decision was taken by the teachers’ general assemblies by huge majorities, as they have no other way of defending themselves against the attack on public education by the government and the Troika.

Teachers are fighting against (amongst other things):

  • School closures (since 2011, 2500 schools have been closed or merged in primary and secondary education).
  • The abolition of Health Studies and Applied Arts - where tens of thousands of students were studying in public vocational schools - making them available exclusively in private Institutes of Vocational Training etc.
  • Teachers’ “suspensions”, many if not all of which will become dismissals.
  • Compulsory transfers that completely overturn the planning and finances of thousands of families.
  • A new law that turns Lyceums (upper secondary schools) into an examination marathon and which will lead to the increase of students leaving school without a Lyceum certificate.
  • The decrease, by 60%, of functional expenses for schools
  • The teachers must not be on their own in this struggle; the defence of public education concerns all of us. If the example of OLME is followed by other unions and sections of workers, a powerful strike front can be created that will overthrow these policies and the government that is implementing them. If the opposite happens, and the teachers remain alone in this struggle, nobody can be optimistic for its result. History, so far, has proved that one sector alone cannot beat the government and the Troika if it goes into the struggle on its own!

Teachers must not be left to fight on their own!

The administrative staff in the universities are also on repeated strike action (10 days to start with) , while a number of university authorities enhance this struggle by closing down universities, initially for a week.

However DOE (the primary school teachers’ union), which is a very important union as it is one of the biggest unions, called only for participation in the 48-hour strike that was called by ADEDY (the public sector union confederation – public sector TUC) and a three hour work stoppage. This is a decision that objectively weakens the struggle’s front and creates disappointment among secondary school teachers.

DOE’s National Executive (NEC) decided in favour of the 48-hour strike despite the fact that 21 out of 36 primary school teachers’ locals had decided at their general assemblies in favour of the repeated 5 day strikes (i.e. amounting to an all-out strike by the sector). It is not a coincidence that on DOE’s NEC, the dominant forces are the union factions of New Democracy [the main party in government] and PASOK [the second party of government] … Nevertheless, depending on the extent to which the secondary school teachers’ strike “holds out”, there is the possibility that the primary school teachers - pressure from “below” – force the NEC to call for more militant strike action, on the lines of the secondary school teachers and the university administrative staff.

The struggle is not only for public education!

Along with OLME, three more unions are on five days continuous strikes; the workers in OAED (Manpower Employment Organisation) in IKA (Social Security Service) and the staff of organisations of government social policy.

Apart from the above, four more unions of workers from EOPYY (National Organisation of Health Services), the Ministry of Labour, the National Insurance Fund (for the self employed) and from tax services decided during the summer to call on ADEDY to coordinate and organise an indefinite general strike.

But as long as ADEDY is controlled by the PASOK and ND union factions, it is naïve to expect that it would ever be possible that they will organise any king of struggle that would end up with an indefinite general strike movement with the aim of the overthrowing the ND/PASOK government’s current policies and the government itself.

Therefore it is necessary that the unions that are now in the forefront of the struggle ‘by-pass’ ADEDY, and immediately move in the direction of repeated five day strikes, along with OLME, expand the strike to more sectors and move to the creation of a ‘common centre’ of struggle which will take on the tasks that ADEDY should carry out: coordination, planning and expansion of the mobilisations in other sectors.

The basic precondition for all the above is for the secondary teachers to ‘hold out’, and therefore to give time to more sectors to join the struggle. It is not easy, but there is no other way.

It is of high importance that this struggle is connected with the struggle of ERT [national broadcaster, closed down last summer,] workers. ERT, which is still under workers’ occupation and management, can become the voice of the strike movement.

Workers in the Municipalities, Public Health, Hellenic Vehicle Industry, in the water supply services, the railways etc – Now is the time!

Local municipality workers were among the first to find themselves in the centre of the government’s and Troika’s attacks (and they still are!).

If there is no stop to this storm of ‘Memoranda’ [cuts] school care takers and municipal guards will be followed by thousands more workers, including the key section of the refuse collectors, which due to be handed over to big private capital (the impact of waste management run by ‘national’ mega-contractors will be disastrous for both our pockets, as well as for the environment).

The leaderships of the Union of Local Council Workers do not seem, so far, to be willing to move into a common front with other unions in an attempt to organise aand coordinate more , indefinite strike action of many sectors, in the direction of an indefinite general strike.

Pressure from the rank and file needs to be increased and all the union branches that can, must immediately decide to strike along with OLME – this is the most essential form of pressure.

Public health workers must immediately go into this common strike, fighting against the Memoranda that require that out of 140 hospitals, only 80 should remain open, and that the current 80,000 workforce must be cut to 40,000 by 2015.

The government is scared of the possibility of having to face a broad indefinite strike front and is therefore making various promises and reassuring words to the “endangered” sectors. Up until now, the government ‘promised’ via various members of the Cabinet, that no primary or secondary school teacher, tax worker or public health worker will be sacked. But these are obvious lies, with the aim of breaking the movement and gaining time for the coalition government.

Greek Vehicle Industry, Water Supply, railway and all the utility company workers - who are about to be privatised or closed down - also need to join strike action.

And of course this struggle needs to be supported by the workers in the private sector, the unemployed and the pensioners, by the whole of society, to turn it into an all-out general strike – the only means that we have left to avert the disaster facing working people and to overthrow those that are causing it.

All-out general strike!

Indefinite strike is the strongest weapon that the workers’ movement has against its tyrants.

If this weapon is used “lightly”, without plan and adequate preparation and campaign in the various work places it can fire-back in the hands of those that are holding it. If it used correctly, i.e. if the indefinite strike has massive participation, determination, expands into many sectors and especially is it escalates to an indefinite general strike it can overthrow not only the policies applied but also the government itself.

The leaderships of the GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (public sector TUC) will not take up the initiative for an indefinite general strike. But, an indefinite general strike can be imposed from below, with the full knowledge that even if the central trade union leaderships are pushed into adopting this proposal, they will do so in order to sabotage it and to lead it to a dead-end and to its defeat. This is why control of the struggle needs to be passed to the hands of the mass movement; with regular general assemblies in every workplace; with democratically elected (and recallable) strike committees (which will control and where needed, replace union NECs); with stewarding teams, with “communication” teams that will answer the mud-slinging of the big TV channel owners and big press publishers that support the government and the Troika, and with a central ‘Coordinating Body of Struggle’, that will not allow the trade union leaderships to abrogate the interests of the movement.

(Translations by Amalia Loizidou and Eleni Vetsika)



Europe

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NEWS

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

Video: Paul Murphy speaking at anti-water charges demo in Dublin
23/04/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Socialist Partty (CWI) and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD speaks at march of tens of thosuands against water charges on April 18

Video: Interview with Jawad Ahmed, famous Pakistani singer and activist
22/04/2015, socialistworld.net:
Jawad Ahmed, Singer and central committee member of International Youth and Workers Movement (IYWM) from Pakistan spoke to CWI about the work of IYWM.

South Africa: Organise against xenophobia – a programme for our communities
21/04/2015, Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) leaflet text:
Build a country-wide socialist civic movement. Fight for jobs, houses and services for all

Video: TUSC 100% anti-austerity election broadcast
20/04/2015, socialistworld.net:
Broadcast goes out on all 5 national terrestrial channels

Britain: Labour - party of cuts
19/04/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Oppose the ’logic of capitalism’

Video: Paul Murphy attacks bosses’ victimisation of strikers
17/04/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Socialist Partty (CWI) and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD speaks in Irish Parliament

US: National day of strikes and protests for $15
17/04/2015, Socialist Alternative (CWI in US) reporters:
Snapshot of the movement – the fight for $15 in 7 major cities

Video: Kshama Sawant on Democracy Now
16/04/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist Seattle councillor debates Hillary Clinton run for President

Ireland North: Hundreds protest against racist arson attack
15/04/2015, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI), Belfast:
Build a united mass movement to challenge racism, sectarianism and all forms of bigotry

Québec: A hot spring in the making?
14/04/2015, Deirdre Grégoire, Alternative Socialiste (CWI in Quebec):
Students take strike action against austerity

China’s feminists: A victory for protests in China and worldwide
14/04/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Five women activists released in rare climb down by Beijing regime

France: First one-day strike against austerity gets big response
13/04/2015, Report from website of Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
300, 000 people marched on demonstrations across France on Thursday 9 April

Australia: Budget - Who should pay for the economic crisis?
13/04/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia) editorial:
Federal government preparing the ground for their second budget

Britain: UKIP blame immigration for problems facing working class
12/04/2015, Editorial of The Socialist (issue 851), weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Workers’ unity to defend pay jobs and services

Panama 2015 Trade Union and Social Alternative Summit
11/04/2015, The Committee for a Worker’s International, via its Venezuelan Section Socialismo Revolucionario, greets the Panama 2015 Trade Union and Social Alternative Summit.:
For an end to imperialism and capitalism, long live socialist and revolutionary united solidarity in our Americas!

Kenya: The Garissa massacre, Al-Shabaab and US imperialism
10/04/2015, Shaun Arendse, CWI South Africa:
Growing regional destabilisation

US: 40,000 Seattle workers get pay rise
08/04/2015, Kailyn Nicholson, republished from 15Now.org:
Coalition of students and workers demand $15 minimum wage at University of Washington

Scotland: Dundee porters and Glasgow council workers on indefinite strike
08/04/2015, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) Reporters:
Build solidarity now!

Australia: Anti-racist protesters vastly outnumber ‘Reclaim Australia’ Melbourne rally
07/04/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Australia) Reporters:
Only ‘minority’ to blame for society’s problems is ultra-rich 1%

Climate change: Looking for a cheap fix
06/04/2015, Pete Dickenson, article from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The cyclone that devastated the Pacific island of Vanuatu in March, the most severe ever recorded in the region, highlighted again the very likely connection between extreme weather events and global warming.

Nigeria: Ruling party crumbles in historic election
05/04/2015, By National Executive Committee Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM – CWI in Nigeria):
But only mass struggle can guarantee the interests of workers and poor masses under buhari’s presidency

Scotland: Is the SNP: a threat to the political establishment?
04/04/2015, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
The SNP (Scottish National Party) looks set to win the majority of Scottish seats in the general election

Video: Paul Murphy speaks in support of striking workers
02/04/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP challenges Labour Deputy Prime Minister in parliament

Australia: Counter-protests set for ’Reclaim Australia’ rallies
02/04/2015, Mel Gregson, from The Socialist (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party - CWI Australia):
Stand against racism & Islamophobia!

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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

Greece: Syriza retreats under Troika threats
24/02/2015, Nicos Anastasiades, Xekinima (CWI Greece), Thessaloniki:
Popular mood shows anti-austerity, socialist policies would win huge support

History: The political legacy of Malcolm X
21/02/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative:
50 years after his assassination

Spain: Is ‘Podemos’ the Spanish Syriza?
16/02/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Dangers of “moderation” and domestication

Egypt: Regime brutality on fourth anniversary of revolution
10/02/2015, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Masses will regain confidence and willingness to fight

Greece: Not a single step back!
08/02/2015, Statement by the Editorial Board of Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Conflict between SYRIZA government and EU escalates

Kurdistan: ‘Islamic State’ driven out of Kobanê
02/02/2015, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Will the end of Kobanê’s siege turn the tide against IS?

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