deutsch |  english |  español  |  français  |  italiano  |  nederlands  |  polski  |  português  |  svenska  |  türkçe  |  中文  |  عربي  |  русский

latest news

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

 Yemen
International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers

20/02/2017: Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

  Solidarity, Yemen

Netherlands
Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections

18/02/2017: Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

  Netherlands

Britain
Council cuts can be fought - and they must be

16/02/2017: Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

  Aceh

Spain
Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress

15/02/2017: Time to build the class struggle on the streets

  Spain

US
A socialist strategy to defeat Trump

14/02/2017: Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

  US

Scotland
Greens back SNP government austerity budget

13/02/2017: TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

  Scotland

India
Upheaval in Tamil Nadu

09/02/2017: Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

  India

Britain
Universal basic income demand gains ground

08/02/2017: What approach should socialists take?

  Britain

Yemen
Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S

07/02/2017: Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

  Yemen

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification

06/02/2017: Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

  Spain

France
After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out

06/02/2017: Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

  France

Romania
Biggest street protests since 1989

04/02/2017: What position should the left take?

  Romania

Syria
Is an end to the war in sight?

03/02/2017: New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

  Syria

Quebec
Terrorist Attack in Québec City

01/02/2017: Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

  Quebec

 CWI
9th Latin American school a success

31/01/2017: Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

  CWI

Sri Lanka
The year 2017

31/01/2017: Between oppression and struggle

  Sri Lanka

Canada
Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?

31/01/2017: Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

  Canada

US
Airport protests help block Trump travel ban

30/01/2017: Defend immigrant communities

  US

Russian Revolution Centenary
January 1917 - On the eve of revolution

29/01/2017: War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

  Russian Revolution

China
CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee

28/01/2017: Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

  China

Afghanistan
The limits of US power

28/01/2017: Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

  Afghanistan

US
Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!

27/01/2017: Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

  US

Russia
Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence

26/01/2017: For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

  Russia

Tamil Nadu
Mass protests against state repression

26/01/2017: Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

  India

Millions on women's marches around the world

25/01/2017: Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

  US

Bangladesh
Hartal protest against power plant

25/01/2017: Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

  Bangladesh

Côte d’Ivoire
Social revolts shake Ouattara regime

24/01/2017: Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

  Ivory Coast

Taiwan
US foreign policy under Trump

24/01/2017: Island risks being pawn in his game

  Taiwan

US
CWI joins protests around the world against Trump

23/01/2017: Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

  US

US
Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech

23/01/2017: Socialist council member speaks

  US

Côte d’Ivoire

Social revolts shake Ouattara regime

www.socialistworld.net, 24/01/2017
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

Militant Côte d’Ivoire (CWI group in Côte d’Ivoire)

Côte d’Ivoire is currently going through a period of heavy social turmoil. The year had started well for the ruling regime, with the anouncement of an expected 8 % GDP growth for 2017 (the highest in Africa this year), and the formation of a new government. This was the first government under the brand new “Third Republic” after the adoption of a new Constitution in November 2016.

However, as usual, the regime took its “successes” for granted while under the surface, unrest was boiling. A sudden mutiny among the army and a public sector general strike are but the latest signs of how explosive the situation has become.

Rebellion by a fraction of the army

When Ouattara gathered an army based on Northern poor farmers and craftsmen led by newly risen warlords to help him kick the then President, Gbagbo, out of power, he allegedly promised them $10.000  each, though no written word exists of that agreement. In 2014 already, a surprise mutiny spread to every barracks in the country and soldiers were seen marching in the streets in Bouaké and Abidjan.

This year again, ex-rebel soldiers have risen to demand the payment of their war money, as well as better living conditions. What is surprising is the speed at which the movement, starting in Bouaké on 6 January at 7 am, has spread throughout the whole country that very same morning.

Even though backstage deals are not excluded, it appears that this movement is essentially an uprising of the poorest and most downtrodden layers of a ragtag army, angry at being forgotten by their leaders who have enriched themselves. Even though the mutineers have stolen property, they have mostly targeted signs of wealth and privilege such as expensive cars, etc. While civilians were left unhurt, the army chiefs and the Defense Minister were taken hostages. This was essentially a class revolt inside the army.

Despite the war crimes committed by some of those ex-rebels during the Ivorian civil war, we have to understand that those young people are essentially victims of the system and of false promises of happiness once the war would be over and their masters in power. Many were fighting for the “dignity of the North”, but realise now that they have been fooled : indeed, the Northern bourgeois, just like their Southern brethren, still do not see any interest in investing outside of the capital Abidjan. Moreover, the regime’s antisocial policies have hit the Northern people hard, such as the bulldozing of small, informal shops from the market areas, etc.

The government was forced to agree to a deal after only two days. Soon it was announced that the mutinous soldiers would get their due bonuses, and that the country was “back to safety”. But this was only the beginning. Soon, other sections of the army started demanding money themselves. The lesson of the mutiny was clear for all to see : the governement has money, but won’t share it unless it is forced to do so.

The Ivorian army is deeply divided between diverse factions of ex-fighters. In 2011, the national army under Gbagbo was fused with the “Forces nouvelles” rebel army, despite the fact these forces had fought each other for 8 years. The Gbagbo loyalists in the army feel that they too deserve something for having fought for the defense of the State at that time. Hence, soon the gendarmes (military police) and policemen blocked Abidjan harbour and other cities for a day with their own demands, and the ex-rebels who had already got their share were used to repel them.

Last week also saw movements from the prison guards. Customs officers have also threatened strike action, and most recently, on Monday, 600 firefighters marched through the streets of Abidjan chanting “Président, voleur! Ministres, voleurs!” (the President and Ministers are thieves !).

The strike in the public sector

The movement which is hitting the public sector also shows a new determination from the workers to fight and get organized for their demands. It also reflects the general thirst for more democracy.

Public sector workers have been demanding the payment of unpaid wages due since at least 2009, worth a total of €380 million. A movement had already been initiated in 2013, but it was very disorganized and did not bring much. Also, the workers were divided and easily fooled by promises of “talks” with the government which were only used to delay and tire the strikers.

But now, a new movement has been sparked by the implementation of a new pension law that aims to increase the retirement age by 5 years, cut retirement benefits by half, and increase the taxes taken from workers’ wages in order to pay for their pension. The reform also states that if a worker dies, then his spouse won’t get access to his/her retirement benefits before the actual age of retirement (that is, until the corpse itself turns 65).

In a country that purportedly has the highest growth rate in Africa, public sector workers cannot understand why they cannot get their share of this new prosperity. What is the economic growth for if the people don’t see any improvement in their living conditions?

Teachers are also enraged at a decision by the Minister of Education that classes shoud be given on Wednesdays in primary schools. Until now, Wednesdays had been a day off, although many teachers use this to give paid “reinforcement” classes to students. The reform was announced through the newspapers barely two days before the end of the holidays, so no time was given at all for the teachers to prepare for new courses’ program. Teachers are also losing money, since the paid “reinforcement” classes are replaced by official public work, but without any pay rise.

This time, the strike has been united across the public sector: teachers, nurses, and public administration workers are all together in one movement. All decisions are taken during general assemblies of workers’ representatives, held in university lecture halls. The government has done everything to force the union leaders to call off the strike (including promises of opening “talks” once the strike ceases, or organizing a “social forum” at the end of February), but this time it has not worked: the leaders are bound by the decisions of the assembly. The workers have also set up successful platforms on social media which they use to publish pictures, reports and opinions about the strike and debate amongst each other.

When the mutinying soldiers received millions which were owed to them by the regime for years, this had the effect of increasing the workers’ resolve to get their own demands satisfied.

Since then, the regime has resorted to dirty tactics to artificially put an end to the strike, including, incredibly, the abduction of union leaders, who were physically threatened by government forces on Sunday with the aim of forcing them to publicly call off the strike on the national television. This only made public workers even more furious.

This shows that the government is desperate to get back a semblance of control over the situation. It knows that conceding anything to public sector workers will only encourage further other sections of society to step forward and demand their share in turn. This is why the situation is very volatile at the moment and could lead to virtually anything in the coming days, including a possible intervention by French troops which are permanently stationed in Abidjan.

At the same time, public school students have launched their own strike to protest against the fact that schools have been closed for three weeks, asking the government to meet the teachers’ demands. In several towns and cities, fights are taking place between school students and policemen, and groups of students have also been occupying main roads and bridges. The student union, LIGES, has issued a statement this weekend to support the public sector and the army strike.

Rumours of unrest are also coming from the countryside. Peasants complain that they haven’t managed to sell their cocoa since November, and that their produce has started to rot. Indeed, Côte d’Ivoire ceased exporting cocoa several months ago, in a context where the price to be paid to peasants, itself based on very complex calculations implemented by the government, is higher today than the decreasing prices on the world market. Peasants have been mostly passive these last years, as prices were increasing every year, but they could well too decide that they want their share of the billions that are now being demanded by various sections of society.

Whereas no voice is heard from the “opposition” parties who organize protests only when their own political interests are directly threatened, the CWI’s sympathizers in Côte d’Ivoire have been active in the public sector strike since it started, giving out leaflets which have been very appreciated by the workers, and taking part in talks with the various unions, including student unions. At the moment we are trying to convince trade unionists to stop simply sitting at home but to start an “active” phase of their strike, by organizing public meetings and marches not in the official areas of Abidjan, but in the popular neighbourhoods so as to rally popular support and anger against this government. We also want to spread our own agitation’s material in the streets to raise support for striking workers among the general public.

We also call on public sector workers to support the military strike and vice versa, to understand that they are all victims of the same system of lies and domination. We need the widest front possible against this government, of all those oppressed or cheated by this regime, so as to all get our share of the wealth and growth.



Europe

 video

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

 further videos

CWI - get involved


solidarity

tamil solidarity campaign kazakhstan

featured links

Socialist Party Ireland

cwi links

Marxist.net, CWI marxist archive

cwi comment & analysis

world economic crisis

analysis and commentary


cwi publications

marxism in today's world che

Che Guevara: Símbolo de Lucha

Por Tony Saunois

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

Britain/Ireland: Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty
23/02/2017, Neil Cafferky, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

Ireland: A web of intrigue sparks government crisis
22/02/2017, By Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

Yemen: International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers
20/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

Netherlands: Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections
18/02/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

Solidarity: French presidential candidate Mélenchon backs #JobstownNotGuilty campaign
17/02/2017, socialistworld.net :
Support the international solidarity campaign

Britain: Council cuts can be fought - and they must be
16/02/2017, Editorial comments from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) :
Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

Spain: Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress
15/02/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spain:
Time to build the class struggle on the streets

US: A socialist strategy to defeat Trump
14/02/2017, Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Woman and member of Socialist Alternative :
Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

Greece: Athens’ bus cleaners win bulk of wages owed
14/02/2017, Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) and Apostolis Cassimere’s (Board Member of OASA - Athens Bus Workers’ Union):
The struggle continues!

Scotland: Greens back SNP government austerity budget
13/02/2017, Matt Dobson, Socialist Paty Scotland (CWI), Glasgow:
TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

Yemen: Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S
07/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

Romania: Biggest street protests since 1989
04/02/2017, Mâna de Lucru (CWI supporters in Romania):
What position should the left take?

Quebec: Terrorist Attack in Québec City
01/02/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Canada) :
Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

CWI: 9th Latin American school a success
31/01/2017, socialistworld.net:
Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

US: Airport protests help block Trump travel ban
30/01/2017, Socialist Alternative reporters, US :
Defend immigrant communities

China: CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee
28/01/2017, chinaworker.info reporters :
Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

Russia: Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence
26/01/2017, From Socialist Alternative (Russian CWI) website (socialist.news) :
For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

Tamil Nadu: Mass protests against state repression
26/01/2017, Isai Priya, from Tamil Solidarity website :
Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

Bangladesh: Hartal protest against power plant
25/01/2017, Pete Mason, Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) :
Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

Côte d’Ivoire: Social revolts shake Ouattara regime
24/01/2017, Militant Côte d’Ivoire (CWI group in Côte d’Ivoire) :
Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

Taiwan: US foreign policy under Trump
24/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Island risks being pawn in his game

US: CWI joins protests around the world against Trump
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

US: Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Socialist council member speaks

Russian Revolution Centenary: New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

Kazakhstan: Regime increases repression
20/01/2017, Andrei Prigor from Campaign Kazakhstan:
Citizens forced to register with police at all times

US: Global resistance against Trump’s inauguration
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
CWI organizes protests as millions prepare to fight Trump’s agenda

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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

CWI International Executive Committee: European capitalism “battered by events”
16/12/2016, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Report of discussion on Europe at CWI IEC meeting in November

CWI International Executive Committee: World shaken by seismic political events
14/12/2016, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Report of first session of the CWI International Executive Committee, discussing World Relations

World capitalism in deep crisis
08/12/2016, CWI :
Perspectives documents agreed by November CWI international meeting

Sudan: Three day nationwide strike shuts down the country, in unique defiance of Al-Bashir’s rule
30/11/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Escalation of the struggle needed to overthrow repressive regime

US: Trump prepares attacks on working people,immigrants and women
27/11/2016, Tom Crean and Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative (USA):
We must prepare massive resistance!

Cuba: Fidel Castro, leader of 1959 revolution, dies at 90
26/11/2016, Tony Saunois, CWI :
Castro's life and the Cuban Revolution