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latest news

Brazil
Devastating outbreak of Zika virus

04/02/2016: Another healthcare system failure

  Brazil

Pakistan
PIA strike continues despite state repression

04/02/2016: Four workers killed, eight injured as security forces open fire on protesting workers

  Pakistan

US
Iowa results reveal crisis of establishment politics - Sanders and Clinton tie

03/02/2016: “It’s too late for establishment politics, establishment economics!”

  US

Japan
Social and political unease after “twenty lost years”

03/02/2016: Weakness of opposition is Prime Minister Abe’s only strength

  Japan

 Greece
Workers strike at Contitech-IMAS factory

02/02/2016: Solidarity campaign needed!

  Greece, Solidarity

World Economy
Capitalism buffeted by choppy waters

02/02/2016: Bosses strive to offload cost of crisis on working class - a struggle for system change is needed

  World Economy

Egypt
Fifth anniversary of heroic revolutionary uprising

01/02/2016: Workers’ struggles continue despite repression

  Egypt

India
Justice for Rohit Vemula

31/01/2016: Solidarity message from the Committee for a Workers’ International

  India, US

Britain
Fractured politics

29/01/2016: A volatile mix

  Britain

Tunisia
Suicide of unemployed youth sparks new wave of protests

22/01/2016: Five years after the fall of Ben Ali, demands of the revolution remain unsatisfied

  Tunisia

China
Kidnapping and TV show-trials

21/01/2016: “China is entering a dark night of repression and detentions under Xi Jinping”

  China

Venezuela
Right-wing landslide

20/01/2016: First electoral defeat suffered by the Chavistas since Hugo Chávez was first elected president in 1998

  Venezuela

Leningrad
‘Hero City’

19/01/2016: 900 days of siege in World War Two

  History, Russia

Britain
Police infiltration of Socialist Party exposed

19/01/2016: Untold distress caused to women in relationships with undercover police officers

  Britain

US
Socialist response to State of the Union 2016

15/01/2016: Kshama Sawant replies to Obama’s "State of the Union" speech

  US

 South Africa
Campus workers strike against outsourcing

14/01/2016: For the mobilisation and support of all students, permanent workers and communities across Tshwane

  Africa, Solidarity, South Africa

Britain
Steps towards setting up Trade Union Momentum

12/01/2016: Potential for inclusive, anti-austerity trade union based movement with effective alliances in workplaces and communities

  Britain

Scotland
Politicians have a choice

11/01/2016: Implement Tory austerity or set no-cuts budgets

  Scotland

Sweden/Denmark
Closing borders

07/01/2016: The EU’s nightmare continues

  Denmark, Sweden

 Pakistan
Nestle workers solidarity campaign update

06/01/2016: Union leader, Muhammad Hussain Bhatti, released on bail

  Pakistan, Solidarity

 Taiwan
Solidarity urged for insurance workers’ strike

05/01/2016: Determined battle for pension rights and an end to contract labour

  Solidarity, Taiwan

China 2015
A year of unnatural disasters

04/01/2016: Corruption, poor oversight and chase for profits, maim thousands

  China

Britain
Corbyn’s supporters want resistance against the right

01/01/2016: Edited extracts from an article by Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, that will be published in the first 2016 issue of the Socialist (7 January).

  Britain

 Review
Alexandra Kollontai

29/12/2015: A life of socialist struggle

  Review, Women

Review
Revisiting Animal Farm

27/12/2015: Allegory of the terrible betrayal of the Russian revolution

  Review

Review
Charlie Chaplin

25/12/2015: Playing the underdog

  Review

Spain
Elections mark shift to the Left

23/12/2015: No government majority as Podemos partially recovers

  Spain

Environment
A world of change

23/12/2015: Human beings have radically altered the Earth, adapting nature in the struggle to survive and thrive…

  Environment

Pakistan
Hundreds protest against religious extremism and increased intolerance

21/12/2015: Rally organised by Socialist Movement Sindh in Mir Pur Khas

  Pakistan

China
Regime cracks down on labour activists

19/12/2015: Arrests in Guangdong province as workers’ struggles multiply

  China

Kazakhstan
Fourth Anniversary of Zhanaozen oil workers massacre.

18/12/2015: Book launch in London remembers the dead and injured and all political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

  Kazakhstan

Climate Conference
Empty cheers after Paris agreement

18/12/2015: "It’s really a fraud, a fudge without action"

  Environment

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)



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NEWS

Brazil: Devastating outbreak of Zika virus
04/02/2016, Isabel Keppler, LSR (CWI Brazil):
Another healthcare system failure

Pakistan: PIA strike continues despite state repression
04/02/2016, Fazal Abbas Shah and Rukhsana Manzoor, Socialist Movement Pakistan, Lahore:
Four workers killed, eight injured as security forces open fire on protesting workers

US: Iowa results reveal crisis of establishment politics - Sanders and Clinton tie
03/02/2016, Joshua Koritz, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
“It’s too late for establishment politics, establishment economics!”

Greece: Workers strike at Contitech-IMAS factory
02/02/2016, Xekinima (CWI Greece) Reporters:
Solidarity campaign needed!

Egypt: Fifth anniversary of heroic revolutionary uprising
01/02/2016, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Workers’ struggles continue despite repression

India: Justice for Rohit Vemula
31/01/2016, socialistworld.net:
Solidarity message from the Committee for a Workers’ International

Britain: Fractured politics
29/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, general secretary, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
A volatile mix

Tunisia: Suicide of unemployed youth sparks new wave of protests
22/01/2016, Al-Badil al-Ishtiraki, CWI in Tunisia:
Five years after the fall of Ben Ali, demands of the revolution remain unsatisfied

China: Kidnapping and TV show-trials
21/01/2016, chinaworker.info:
“China is entering a dark night of repression and detentions under Xi Jinping”

Britain: Police infiltration of Socialist Party exposed
19/01/2016, Press statement from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Untold distress caused to women in relationships with undercover police officers

US: Socialist response to State of the Union 2016
15/01/2016, Socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant replies to Obama’s "State of the Union" speech

South Africa: Campus workers strike against outsourcing
14/01/2016, Workers & Socialist Party (WASP), Reporters:
For the mobilisation and support of all students, permanent workers and communities across Tshwane

Britain: Steps towards setting up Trade Union Momentum
12/01/2016, John McInally Public and Commercial Services Union Vice-President (personal capacity), from The Socialist newspaper:
Potential for inclusive, anti-austerity trade union based movement with effective alliances in workplaces and communities

Scotland: Politicians have a choice
11/01/2016, By Brian Smith and Jim McFarlane, Glasgow City Unison and Dundee City Unison branch secretaries (in a personal capacity) and Socialist Party Scotland:
Implement Tory austerity or set no-cuts budgets

Sweden/Denmark: Closing borders
07/01/2016, Per-Ãke Westerlund, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
The EU’s nightmare continues

Pakistan: Nestle workers solidarity campaign update
06/01/2016, Fazal Abbas Shah SMP (CWI in Pakistan), Lahore:
Union leader, Muhammad Hussain Bhatti, released on bail

Taiwan: Solidarity urged for insurance workers’ strike
05/01/2016, CWI Taiwan Reporters (translated from The Socialist, journal of the CWI Taiwan):
Determined battle for pension rights and an end to contract labour

China 2015: A year of unnatural disasters
04/01/2016, chinaworker.info reporters:
Corruption, poor oversight and chase for profits, maim thousands

Britain: Corbyn’s supporters want resistance against the right
01/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Edited extracts from an article by Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, that will be published in the first 2016 issue of the Socialist (7 January).

Review: Alexandra Kollontai
29/12/2015, Heather Rawling, from Socialism Today:
A life of socialist struggle

Review: Revisiting Animal Farm
27/12/2015, Andy Ford, from Socialism Today (Issue 192 October 2015):
Allegory of the terrible betrayal of the Russian revolution

Review: Charlie Chaplin
25/12/2015, Niall Mulholland, from Socialism Today (Issue 191 September 2015):
Playing the underdog

Spain: Elections mark shift to the Left
23/12/2015, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain):
No government majority as Podemos partially recovers

Pakistan: Hundreds protest against religious extremism and increased intolerance
21/12/2015, Hameed Channa Socialist Movement Pakistan (CWI in Pakistan) organiser in Sindh:
Rally organised by Socialist Movement Sindh in Mir Pur Khas

Ireland North:Court rules abortion laws contravene human rights
21/12/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) Reporters, Belfast:
Movement needed for women’s rights

China: Regime cracks down on labour activists
19/12/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Arrests in Guangdong province as workers’ struggles multiply

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Japan: Social and political unease after “twenty lost years”
03/02/2016, Carl Simmons, Kokusai Rentai (CWI in Japan):
Weakness of opposition is Prime Minister Abe’s only strength

World Economy: Capitalism buffeted by choppy waters
02/02/2016, Lynn Walsh, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Bosses strive to offload cost of crisis on working class - a struggle for system change is needed

Venezuela: Right-wing landslide
20/01/2016, Tony Saunois, from February edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
First electoral defeat suffered by the Chavistas since Hugo Chávez was first elected president in 1998

Leningrad: ‘Hero City’
19/01/2016, Clare Doyle (fuller version of a review article to be published in the February 2016 issue of Socialism Today):
900 days of siege in World War Two

China: Financial turmoil spreads fear across global markets
14/01/2016, Per-Åke Westerlund, with additional reporting by Vincent Kolo:
Setting the tone for 2016?

2016: Crisis-ridden capitalism will meet with bitter mood of resistance
05/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary:
Socialist alternative is essential

Environment: A world of change
23/12/2015, Jess Spear, Socialist Alternative (CWI in USA):
Human beings have radically altered the Earth, adapting nature in the struggle to survive and thrive…

Venezuela: Elections – who won and who lost?
16/12/2015, Johan Rivas, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela):
Victory for the right wing reflects popular discontent

Pakistan: Religious extremism, military operations and increased intolerance
15/12/2015, Khalid Bhatti SMP (CWI in Pakistan):
Revolutionary movement of the working class needs to finally defeat religious extremism and intolerance

Côte d’Ivoire : Ouattara reelected in a “frighteningly quiet” atmosphere
14/12/2015, CWI in Ivory Coast:
Dictatorship consolidating while opposition ridicules itself. Time to “turn the page”!

Environment: Socialism or ecological catastrophe
05/12/2015, Articles from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
25 years of hot air from establishment

World relations, economy and the class struggle
05/12/2015, CWI International Secretariat:
There has been a profound change in the world situation and world relations since the CWI’s last World Congress in 2010

Britain: After the vote in parliament to bomb Syria
04/12/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) reporters:
This crisis has revealed that Labour is essentially two parties in one

Britain: Syria vote reveals two Labour parties in one
02/12/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Fight for a party that stands against war and austerity

Scotland: Post-referendum, where is Scotland heading?
29/11/2015, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Mass struggle and socialism will challenge capitalist austerity

Environment: Socialist change not climate change
28/11/2015, Pete Dickenson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The growing threat of climate change and a socialist programme for the environment

Middle East: Bombing Syria won’t stop Isis
25/11/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
For workers’ unity against war, terrorism and racism

Hong Kong: Great result for socialist election campaign
25/11/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Socialist Action’s Sally Tang Mei-ching lifts opposition vote to 33 percent

Turkey: Erdoğan’s Pyrrhic victory
20/11/2015, Nihat Boyraz, Sosyalist Alternatif (CWI in Turkey) - translation from an article originally written in Turkish for Sosyalist Alternatif magazine:
It is time to build a new united left force

Burma: Sweeping victory for Aung San Suu Kyi party
19/11/2015, Keith Dickinson, Socialist Party (England and Wales):
Army holds on to powerful positions

France: Horror in Paris
14/11/2015, Statement from Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France):
We will not be intimidated !

Britain: Socialist ideas back on the agenda
10/11/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialism 2015 organiser:
Best ever ‘Socialism’ weekend of discussion & debate

US: The Bernie Sanders challenge
07/11/2015, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative, USA. Article from Socialism Today:
The established political order in the US has been shaken up by Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination…

Israel/Palestine: Netanyahu government policy claims more victims
28/10/2015, Two articles by Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI in Israel-Palestine) reporters:
The crisis of “management of the conflict”

Women: Identity politics and the struggle against oppression
27/10/2015, Hannah Sell, Socialism Today Issue 192 October 2015 (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Unpacking the ’rucksack’