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latest news

Ireland North
Martin McGuinness - from IRA leader to Stormont minister

29/03/2017: The IRA campaign, the ‘peace process’ and the working class

  Ireland North

Greece
H&M workers score victory against management plans

28/03/2017: Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

  Greece

 Solidarity
#JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success

28/03/2017: Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

  Solidarity

Russia/Belarus
A week-end of mass protests

27/03/2017: New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

  Russia

Hong Kong
Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship

27/03/2017: Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

  Hong Kong

Britain
Terror attack at Westminster

24/03/2017: Unite against terror, racism and war

  Britain

Italy
Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis

22/03/2017: Class struggle can build real left force

  Italy

Spain
Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

21/03/2017: Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

  Spain

Scotland
Second referendum on independence?

18/03/2017: SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

  Scotland

Brazil
National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten

17/03/2017: For a one-day general strike as the next step

  Brazil

South Africa
Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

17/03/2017: Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

  South Africa

Netherlands
Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government

16/03/2017: Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

  Netherlands

Yemen
Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies

16/03/2017: International campaign needed to force companies to pay

  Yemen

Hong Kong
Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman

14/03/2017: Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

  Hong Kong

Ireland North
Snap election raises sectarian temperature    

14/03/2017: Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

  Ireland North

Quebec
Counter protest against far-right

13/03/2017: Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

  Quebec

 International Women's Day
Speech by Kshama Sawant

12/03/2017: Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

  Women

 International Women’s Day
Millions join marches and take action

10/03/2017: Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

  Women

 Hong Kong
Women’s march against sexism and racism

09/03/2017: International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

  Women

 Spain
Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike

08/03/2017: ‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

  Women

Pakistan
Political spectacle of the ruling class

08/03/2017: Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

  Pakistan

 International Women’s Day 2017
A century on from the Russian Revolution

06/03/2017: Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

  Women

Britain
Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won

06/03/2017: Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

  Britain

Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

04/03/2017: Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

  Egypt

Hong Kong’s sham election

03/03/2017: Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

  Hong Kong

US
Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress

02/03/2017: Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

  US

Sweden
“Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017: What is behind Trump's attack?

  Sweden

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

23/02/2017: Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

  Ireland Republic

Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

22/02/2017: Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

  Ireland Republic

February revolution 1917
What lessons for today?

21/02/2017: 23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

  Russian Revolution

Middle East

ISIS under pressure on several fronts

www.socialistworld.net, 15/06/2016
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Working classes, through bitterest of experiences, will take to road of mass struggle again

Niall Mulholland, CWI

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is under attack in and around the last big three cities it holds in Iraq and Syria – Fallujah, Mosul and Raqqa – and is also struggling to hold on to Sirte, its main base in Libya.

Fallujah is the scene of the most intense fighting, as the Iraqi army and Shia militias, backed up by US airstrikes, attempt to drive Isis out. The Iraqi city has been under siege for a year by these forces and an estimated 300,000 civilians are trapped, threatening a humanitarian catastrophe. The Iraqi army’s so-called ‘humanitarian corridors’ for civilians to escape has seen males detained as potential ISIS fighters. The Sunni residents of Fallujah have good reason to be fearful over their fate. After Ramadi and Tikrit were recently captured from ISIS by pro-Baghdad and largely Shia forces, hundreds of thousands were driven from the towns and vicious reprisals were carried out against the Sunni populations.

The battle for Fallujah is a useful diversion for the Shia-dominated regime in Baghdad. The Green Zone – the seat of central government – was stormed twice by poor Shias in recent months, protesting against corruption and the failure to provide electricity and other essential services. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s regime is also under pressure to prevent more bloody ISIS suicide bomber attacks in poor Shia areas, which allegedly emanate from Fallujah.

It is two years since ISIS hit world headlines by capturing Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, having already conquered Fallujah 40 miles west of Baghdad. Using columns of fast moving vehicles and with fighters hardened in the years of warfare that followed the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, ISIS stunned the West with its lightening gains.

Fallujah has long been a focus of resistance to the Bagdad regime. In 2004, the city was stormed twice by US forces, killing thousands and reducing much of it to rouble. The conditions for the stunning success of ISIS in capturing Fallujah in 2014 were a revolt of the city’s Sunni population. Sunnis’ deep hatred of the Shia-dominated Baghdad regime meant some of them initially welcomed ISIS rule or tolerated it, to a degree. They desperately hoped it could mean an end to Shia persecution and would bring a measure of ‘stability’ and ‘law and order’.

Suicide bombers

Initially the use of indiscriminate atrocities by ISIS terrified and demoralised the much greater forces of the Iraqi army, which often fled the battle field. But these terror tactics no longer are as effective. As all the armies fighting ISIS are now better trained to deal with ISIS suicide bombers, ISIS turns to slaughtering more innocent civilians. ISIS still displays the ability to reorganise and launch offensives but its losing more fighters than previous. However the self-styled ISIS ‘caliphate’ is still a large area and it faces divided enemy forces – a cockpit of rivalries.

The Turkish regime is involved in an incipient civil war with the Kurdish PKK militia, in the south of the country and refuses to close off ISIS’s access to the wider world. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – led by the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), backed by US air strikes – recently launched an offensive against the town of Manbij west of the Euphrates, close to the Turkish border, in an attempt to stop ISIS moving weapons and fighters across the border. The ultimate aim is to dislodge ISIS from Raqqa. At the same time, from the southwest, the Iraqi army, with Russian airpower backing, is also advancing on the Islamic group’s self-styled caliphate capital.

All of these military manoeuvres indicate the deep antagonisms between outside powers and their regional allies. Just as important as territorial gains are for all those battling ISISI - the Kurdish Peshmerga, YPG, Iraqi army, Shia militias and the US - is who will succeed in ruling in its place. The US is determined to stop the Shia militias, with their Iranian military advisors on the ground, from capturing Fallujah, which would represent a significant gain for Iran, the region’s Shia super-power and the main opponent of the US in the Middle East.

Fallujah is regarded by all sides as a dress rehearsal for a potentially much greater battle to capture Mosul, Iraq’s second city. US bombers and their allied Kurdish Peshmerga ground forces are conducting an anti-ISIS offensive in the north of Iraq, in preparation for taking Iraq’s second city.

Even if ISIS is routed, it does not necessarily mean the end of the organisation or it can evolve into another terror movement. Other Salafist groups, like Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian wing of al-Qaeda, are growing in popularity amongst Sunni Arabs in Syria. Such groups will find fertile conditions to grow amongst the Sunni Arabs, who view operations like the assault on Fallujah as ethnic cleansing that is intended to drive Sunnis from Iraq. According to a US diplomat, Sunnis exist in “islands of fear” in Iraq.

ISIS terror rule

Yet ISIS has proven to be no solution to the desperate situation facing Sunnis. In the cities and towns it takes over, ISIS’s medieval, obscurantist rule cannot answer even the most basic problems facing working class and poor Sunnis and its barbaric treatment of minorities repulses all others. Over 80,000 people fled Sirte, ISIS’s main base in Libya, since the Islamist group’s take-over, where in February 2015 it beheaded 21 Christians.

ISIS is now struggling to hold Sirte as militias aligned with the UN-backed ‘unity government’ advance from Misrata, in western Libya, and a militia from the east. But even if these forces drive ISIS out of Sirte, many Libyans fear it will only mean a return to the country’s previous hostilities. The ‘parliament’ in Tobruk refused to cooperate with the UN-backed government in Tripoli and militias could return to fighting one another for control of Libya’s oil ports.

The current round of anti-ISIS military advances is yet another bloody carnage resulting from the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Faced with general opposition in Iraq, the US occupiers whipped up sectarian differences in order to ‘divide and rule’ and later adopted a policy of fanning and supporting armed sectarian opposition to the dictator Assad in Syria. Similarly, the NATO powers decisively aided the armed overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, to further the interests of western imperialism, throwing the country into bloody chaos.

One source of the growth of ISIS that the West will not train its guns on is the reactionary Gulf States and other Sunni Islam regimes that help fund and nurture jihadist movements. As the veteran Middle East correspondent, Patrick Cockburn, recently noted: “The US and EU states have not wanted to acknowledge the link between the terrorism and their strategic Sunni allies such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan”.

On the basis of capitalism and the rule of reactionary elites and sectarian forces, more conflicts and humanitarian disasters are assured in the Middle East. Only the working people of the region, allied to workers everywhere, can find a way out.

The potential for this was clearly seen during the ‘Arab Spring’, when dictators were overthrown by mass movements of workers and the poor in Tunisia and Egypt. But these movements, emerging from decades of dictatorships, lacked a pro-working class leadership that could successfully mobilise the masses in a struggle against local tyrants and the capitalist system. Counter-revolution, with the support of the western powers, was able to gain the upper hand.

Yet the working classes of the region, through these bitterest experiences, will take to the road of mass struggle once more, in opposition to dictators and all sectarian forces. An independent, united working class movement is needed to organise self-defence of all communities and minorities and to offer a socialist programme to overthrow rotten regimes, expel imperialism, and for the democratic socialist reorganisation of society.



Europe

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Video: US Socialist Students build for student walkouts against Trump, 15/12/2016

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A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

Greece: H&M workers score victory against management plans
28/03/2017, Statement (slightly edited) by Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

Solidarity: #JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success
28/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

Russia/Belarus: A week-end of mass protests
27/03/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) Reporters:
New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

Hong Kong: Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship
27/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

Britain: Terror attack at Westminster
24/03/2017, Judy Beishon, from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website :
Unite against terror, racism and war

Belarus: Protesters flood onto streets demanding scrapping of “law against parasites”
21/03/2017, Daniil Raskolnikov (translation of article from the Russian CWI site www.socialist.news):
President Lukashenko must go!

Spain: Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March
21/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE), Spanish Students' Union :
Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

Scotland: Second referendum on independence?
18/03/2017, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) :
SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia
17/03/2017, Shaun Arendse, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI South Africa):
Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

International Women’s Day: March in Malaysia and week of activity in Belgium
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Reports from Kuala Lumpur and Brussels

Netherlands: Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government
16/03/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

Russian Revolution: March 1917 - After the fall of Czarism, what next for the revolution?
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
New article on 1917revolution.org

Hong Kong: Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman
14/03/2017, Sally Tang Mei-ching, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

Quebec: Counter protest against far-right
13/03/2017, Michele Hehn, Alternative Socialiste (CWI in Quebec) :
Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

International Women's Day: Speech by Kshama Sawant
12/03/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

International Women’s Day: Millions join marches and take action
10/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

Hong Kong: Women’s march against sexism and racism
09/03/2017, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) reporters:
International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

Spain: Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike
08/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes, students’ union in the Spanish state :
‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

Pakistan: Political spectacle of the ruling class
08/03/2017, Tariq Shahzad, National Organiser of IYWM (International Youth and Workers Movement) :
Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

Britain: Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won
06/03/2017, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) deputy general secretary :
Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

Egypt: Price hikes hit workers and middle classes
04/03/2017, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) :
Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

Hong Kong’s sham election
03/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action:
Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

US: Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress
02/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

Catalonia: Historic demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees
25/02/2017, Esquerra Revolucionària :
'Volem acollir'

Sweden: “Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
What is behind Trump's attack?

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Ireland North: Martin McGuinness - from IRA leader to Stormont minister
29/03/2017, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
The IRA campaign, the ‘peace process’ and the working class

Italy: Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis
22/03/2017, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrrente, (CWI in Italy) :
Class struggle can build real left force

Brazil: National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten


17/03/2017, André Ferrari LSR (CWI in Brazil) :
For a one-day general strike as the next step

Yemen: Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies
16/03/2017, Cedric Gerome, CWI :
International campaign needed to force companies to pay

Ireland North: Snap election raises sectarian temperature    
14/03/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

International Women’s Day 2017: A century on from the Russian Revolution
06/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI :
Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

February revolution 1917: What lessons for today?
21/02/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), printed in the Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party):
23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

India: Upheaval in Tamil Nadu
09/02/2017, Sajith Attepuram, New Socialist Alternative (NSA) (CWI India) :
Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

Britain: Universal basic income demand gains ground
08/02/2017, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales) :
What approach should socialists take?

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification
06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

France: After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out
06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

Syria: Is an end to the war in sight?
03/02/2017, Serge Jordan (CWI) :
New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

Sri Lanka: The year 2017
31/01/2017, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) :
Between oppression and struggle

Canada: Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?
31/01/2017, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto

:
Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

Russian Revolution Centenary: January 1917 - On the eve of revolution
29/01/2017, Niall Mulholland, from 1917revolution.org :
War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

Afghanistan: The limits of US power
28/01/2017, Judy Beishon, from Socialism Today (February 2017 issue), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales)<br />
<br />
:
Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

US: Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!
27/01/2017, Bryan Koulouris, Socialist Alternative, US :
Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

Millions on women's marches around the world
25/01/2017, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and reports from US marches :
Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

China: New US President’s approach to China
21/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info :
Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

Ireland North: Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly
17/01/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Build a socialist alternative to the ‘Orange’ versus ‘Green’ headcount

Spain: What kind of Podemos do workers and youth need?
17/01/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spanish state, editorial :
Debate within leadership touches on fundamental issues for future of party

US: Trump prepares vicious attacks
05/01/2017, Philip Locker and Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative (US):
Mass resistance needed!

Russian Revolution centenary
02/01/2017, Editorial from Socialism Today, Dec/Jan 2017 edition:
Defending the legacy in a new era

2017:Upheaval and fightback will continue
01/01/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary :
Everything to play for in 2017

Britain's shifting political contours
22/12/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) from Socialism Today Dec/Jan 2017 edition :
Capitalist establishment in disarray