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latest news

US
Inequality and fight-back in the world’s richest country

16/09/2014: Socialist Alternative articulates political strategy to break from Democratic Party and capitalism

  US

 Video
John McInally on Scottish Independence

16/09/2014: John McInally, PCS national vice-president (personal capacity), adresses the issue of Scottish independence at a meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

  Video

Brazil
Will elections mark the end of the PT government?

15/09/2014: Space for Left alternative to win support

  Brazil

Asia-Pacific
Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan

13/09/2014: Warmongering governments ratchet-up national tensions in struggle for regional dominance

  Asia, Japan

Scotland
Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies

12/09/2014: Big business, politicians and media attack independence

  Scotland

US
building a movement to end poverty pay!

12/09/2014: Spreading and organising the movement for decent wages

  US

South Africa
Community protest over corruption widens

11/09/2014: Authorities deploy heavily armed response

  Africa, South Africa

Chile
The other ‘9/11’

11/09/2014: 1973 bloody coup against Popular Unity government

  Chile

Ukraine
Fragile ceasefire holds but country remains “a tinder box”

10/09/2014: Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

  Ukraine

Bosnia
Privatise to colonise

08/09/2014: How looting of the economy led to mass social protests

  Bosnia

West Africa
Ebola outbreak - a crisis of capitalism

08/09/2014: Profit drive obstructs treatment and prevention

  Africa

Scotland
10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations

08/09/2014: “In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

  Scotland

Britain
Crisis brewing on all fronts

05/09/2014: The 2015 general election is a mere eight months away yet impossible to call. But what is clear is that none of the capitalist parties hold any real attraction for working class voters.

  Britain

Hong Kong
Occupy Central leader’s comments cast doubt over occupation plan

04/09/2014: After NPC ruling democracy activists are perplexed by Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s comments that the strategic part of struggle “should end”

  Hong Kong

 Iran
Support Behnam Ebrahimzadeh

04/09/2014: Support jailed labour activist’s demands against critical dentention conditions

  Iran, Solidarity

Scotland
Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge

04/09/2014: Over 18,000 people have attended Hope Over Fear public meetings to hear socialist Tommy Sheridan.

  Scotland

Ukraine
Rebel forces gain territory

03/09/2014: International tensions escalate

  Ukraine

Beijing slams door shut on Hong Kong democracy

02/09/2014: Mass resistance against one-party dictatorship is the only way forward!

  Hong Kong

 Video
Revolution and counter-revolution in the world today

01/09/2014: Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) speaking at recent summer camp

  Video

France
Economic stagnation and political instability

29/08/2014: Hollande removes ‘lefts’ from government

  France

Turkey
Erdoğan sworn in as country’s President

29/08/2014: Significant poll gains for the left coalition HDP

  Turkey

 Solidarity
Iranian mine workers on strike

26/08/2014: Demand the release of the arrested workers!

  Iran, Solidarity

Nigeria
Fees victory at Lagos State University!

26/08/2014: Vigilance required from LASU students and workers to ensure that victory is permanent

  Nigeria

ISIS
Capitalist slaughter in Iraq and Syria

25/08/2014: As ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Shams) crossed the border between Syria and Iraq, it proclaimed this to be the “annihilation of the disgrace of Sykes-Picot” and the formation of an ‘Islamic state’ (IS).

  Iraq, Syria

US
Indict Michael Brown’s killer and spread the protests! The whole system is guilty!

22/08/2014: Text of a leaflet handed out by Socialist Alternative members in Ferguson and St. Louis

  US

 Women in World War One

20/08/2014: Protests, strikes and equality

  Women, World War 1

Pakistan
Not a “revolution” but an effort by power-hungry politicians to grab power

19/08/2014: Working class will bring the real revolution and change

  Pakistan

USA
Ferguson erupts in rage after police kill Michael Brown

18/08/2014: Spread the protests – unite against racism and inequality

  US

Iraq
Only united action can stop sectarian war

16/08/2014: Iraqis and Kurds must not trust imperialist ‘helpers’

  Iraq

Socialism and national rights

15/08/2014: Ukraine, Israel/Palestine and other countries

  Israel / Palestine, Ukraine

US
Jess Spear Primary result

14/08/2014: “We’ve only just gotten started”

  US

Scotland
Socialist policies are needed to answer Project Fear

13/08/2014: September 18 will see an unprecedented mobilisation to the polls for the referendum on Scottish independence

  Scotland

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

Video: John McInally on Scottish Independence
16/09/2014, Socialistworld.net:
John McInally, PCS national vice-president (personal capacity), adresses the issue of Scottish independence at a meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Belgium: First school student protest against cuts in education
15/09/2014, Jeroen Demuynck, PSL-LSP (CWI in Belgium):
Anger against austerity growing

Asia-Pacific: Majority of Chinese expect war with Japan
13/09/2014, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Warmongering governments ratchet-up national tensions in struggle for regional dominance

Scotland: Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies
12/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Big business, politicians and media attack independence

US: building a movement to end poverty pay!
12/09/2014, Geoff Jones, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
Spreading and organising the movement for decent wages

South Africa: Community protest over corruption widens
11/09/2014, WASP reporters:
Authorities deploy heavily armed response

Chile: The other ‘9/11’
11/09/2014, Tony Saunois, CWI (first published on socialistworld.net, September 2011):
1973 bloody coup against Popular Unity government

Sri Lanka:Veteran trade union leader dies
09/09/2014, United Socialist Party:

Bosnia: Privatise to colonise
08/09/2014, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI Austria):
How looting of the economy led to mass social protests

West Africa: Ebola outbreak - a crisis of capitalism
08/09/2014, Peluola Adewale, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI Nigeria):
Profit drive obstructs treatment and prevention

Hong Kong: Occupy Central leader’s comments cast doubt over occupation plan
04/09/2014, Reporters of Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
After NPC ruling democracy activists are perplexed by Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s comments that the strategic part of struggle “should end”

Iran: Support Behnam Ebrahimzadeh
04/09/2014, Campaign in Support of Workers of Iran:
Support jailed labour activist’s demands against critical dentention conditions

Scotland: Big swing to Yes leaves referendum vote on a knife edge
04/09/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
Over 18,000 people have attended Hope Over Fear public meetings to hear socialist Tommy Sheridan.

Ukraine: Rebel forces gain territory
03/09/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
International tensions escalate

Video: Revolution and counter-revolution in the world today
01/09/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) speaking at recent summer camp

France: Economic stagnation and political instability
29/08/2014, Leila Massaoudi, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Hollande removes ‘lefts’ from government

Turkey: Erdoğan sworn in as country’s President
29/08/2014, Coşku Mıhcı:
Significant poll gains for the left coalition HDP

Ireland: Greyhound lockout enters ninth week
28/08/2014, Paul Murphy, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Dublin:
A fight for all workers!

Solidarity: Iranian mine workers on strike
26/08/2014, Campaign in support of workers of Iran:
Demand the release of the arrested workers!

Nigeria: Fees victory at Lagos State University!
26/08/2014, Education Rights Campaign, Nigeria statement:
Vigilance required from LASU students and workers to ensure that victory is permanent

ISIS: Capitalist slaughter in Iraq and Syria
25/08/2014, Georg Maier, SLP (CWI in Austria):
As ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Shams) crossed the border between Syria and Iraq, it proclaimed this to be the “annihilation of the disgrace of Sykes-Picot” and the formation of an ‘Islamic state’ (IS).

US: Indict Michael Brown’s killer and spread the protests! The whole system is guilty!
22/08/2014, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
Text of a leaflet handed out by Socialist Alternative members in Ferguson and St. Louis

Women in World War One
20/08/2014, Jane James and Jim Horton, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Protests, strikes and equality

Pakistan: Not a “revolution” but an effort by power-hungry politicians to grab power
19/08/2014, Socialist Movement Pakistan (CWI) statement:
Working class will bring the real revolution and change

USA: Ferguson erupts in rage after police kill Michael Brown
18/08/2014, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative, Harlem, New York:
Spread the protests – unite against racism and inequality

US: Jess Spear Primary result
14/08/2014, Socialist Alternative reporters, USA:
“We’ve only just gotten started”

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

US: Inequality and fight-back in the world’s richest country
16/09/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Socialist Alternative articulates political strategy to break from Democratic Party and capitalism

Brazil: Will elections mark the end of the PT government?
15/09/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Space for Left alternative to win support

Ukraine: Fragile ceasefire holds but country remains “a tinder box”
10/09/2014, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only united working class action can secure lasting peace

Scotland: 10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations
08/09/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI in Scotland):
“In the past four weeks support for the union has drained away at an astonishing rate. The Yes campaign has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

Britain: Crisis brewing on all fronts
05/09/2014, Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
The 2015 general election is a mere eight months away yet impossible to call. But what is clear is that none of the capitalist parties hold any real attraction for working class voters.

Beijing slams door shut on Hong Kong democracy
02/09/2014, Statement by Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong):
Mass resistance against one-party dictatorship is the only way forward!

Iraq: Only united action can stop sectarian war
16/08/2014, Robert Bechert, CWI:
Iraqis and Kurds must not trust imperialist ‘helpers’

Socialism and national rights
15/08/2014, From Socialism Today No.181, September 2014 by Peter Taaffe, General Secretary of Socialist Party (England and Wales), CWI Secretariat:
Ukraine, Israel/Palestine and other countries

Ukraine: Crisis deepens
09/08/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI Secretariat:
Military conflict escalates

CWI School: World capitalism fails working people
07/08/2014, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
System offers economic crisis, insecurity, poverty and wars

Israel/Palestine: After weeks of mass slaughter in Gaza, IDF forces ‘withdraw’
06/08/2014, Niall Mulholland, from articles in this week’s Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
What is the role of imperialism in the conflict?

CWI Summer School: European capitalism fails to recover
02/08/2014, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Working class must organise for future struggles

Gaza in crisis
29/07/2014, Shahar Benhorin, Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI in Israel-Palestine):
Mass action needed to stop bloodshed

Trotsky: The first year of war
23/07/2014, Originally published in in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Article by LEON TROTSKY translated into English for first time

WW1: The Bolsheviks and the war
21/07/2014, Peter Taaffe, article originally published in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The horrors of the first world war, and the economic and social turmoil it created, led to mass upheaval. In Russia alone did this lead to a successful revolution…

1914: The capitulation of the Second International
19/07/2014, Robert Bechert (a longer version of an article published in the July/August 2014 issue of Socialism Today):
Before 1914, the Second International resolved to act to prevent war…

World War One: 100 years since the great slaughter
16/07/2014, Tony Saunois, article originally published in special WWI edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Ten million killed and more than ten million seriously injured

Israel-Palestine:World outraged by Israeli State’s ferocious bombing of Gaza
15/07/2014, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
Mass action needed to end the slaughter and blockade!

Can capitalism put all of us first?
05/07/2014, By Philip Stott:
A response to the “practical idealism” of the Common Weal

Argentina: Return to turmoil
01/07/2014, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Debt crisis is back – the class struggle and tasks for the Left

Review: ’Capital in the Twenty-First Century’
28/06/2014, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales):
Thomas Piketty: The new Marx?

Iraq: Isis jihadists capture more territory
24/06/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Only organised, united working class can end war and social misery

Nigeria: 200 school girls abducted
18/06/2014, By Segun Sango, National Chairperson, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), a party initiated by the DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Why has Boko Haram insurgency grown?

Iraq: Oil war’s bloody legacy
17/06/2014, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Escalating sectarian conflict threatens to draw in surrounding countries

Ukraine: Hundreds killed in military clashes
13/06/2014, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Working people fearing all-out war