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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

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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

China
New US President’s approach to China

21/01/2017: Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

  China

Russian Revolution Centenary
New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution

20/01/2017: 1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

  History

Spain

Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress

www.socialistworld.net, 15/02/2017
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Time to build the class struggle on the streets

Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spain

The attempt to remove Pablo Iglesias from the leadership of Podemos (the left party formed out of the 2011 Indignados movement) has been a complete and utter failure. This was despite all of the resources poured into it, and the open support of the media for Errejon - leader of the “moderate” opposition to Iglesias.

There was a historic turnout of 155,000 members. Iglesias received almost 90% of the votes for the position of general secretary, more than 60% for his list of candidates for the ‘citizens’ council’ (main leading body of Podemos) and more than 50% for the documents which his team put forward.

To understand what this victory means, it is enough to read the capitalist press or listen to the establishment TV media following the congress. Their anger at this victory comes across in every sentence. This is no accident. The ruling class made an attempt to control Podemos, to assimilate it as a ‘classic’ social-democratic formation to strengthen social peace.

However, they came up against the will of tens of thousands of fighters. The defeat of Errejon is good news for all those who have been part of the huge social revolt of the last few years - in the Indignados’ movement, the general strikes, the education and health movements, student strikes, etc. These movements have laid the basis for the crisis of the ‘regime of 1978’ (post-Transition capitalist system following Francoism).

The motor of this political change has been the class struggle and the mass mobilisation of workers and youth. This is the key factor which those like Errejon, and his followers like Rita Maestre and Tania Sánchez, have been so quick to dismiss and denigrate in their attempt to derail Podemos towards parliamentary cretinism and class collaboration.

The struggle within Podemos is of great importance. The traditional capitalist party PP, the new illegitimate leadership of the ex-social democratic party PSOE, the right-wing, populist party Ciudadanos, and big business all know this very well.

Errejon is no mere ‘innocent’. He is very conscious of what he says and does. He and his followers want a Podemos which is outside of the alliance with Izquierda Unida (United Left), outside of the militant struggle of the Coca Cola and Movistar workers, and outside of the mass movements in defence of health, education and the right for national self-determination.

They want a Podemos which is closer to PSOE and to the programme of social democracy in crisis. They defend a process which in reality would make Podemos a mere clone of the establishment parties, happy with comfortable positions in parliamentary offices and well-paid committees and the ‘respectability’ of the institutions and the system.

Errejon had a lot of backing in his struggle. We cannot forget how El Pais, the main capitalist paper, repeated ad nauseum how Errejon defended “a more modern, democratic and open Podemos, different from the confusion generated by Iglesias around a strategy of ideological radicalisation and street mobilisation, the effect of which is to dilute the power and negotiating ability of the party in Parliament…”

The same could be said about PSOE’s illegitimate leadership, imposed by an internal coup last year, which described Iglesias’ victory as a defeat for democracy and a victory for “Pabloism-Leninism”. Could it be any clearer? These PSOE leaders - servants of the bourgeoisie who removed PSOE’s Pedro Sanchez and handed the government over to PP prime minister Rajoy on a plate - now consider themselves the “only opposition”. This despite their grand coalition with the right!

Marxists are not neutral.

In Izquierda Revolucionaria we have supported Pablo Iglesias in this struggle against Errejon and his social democratic model. We distributed 6,000 leaflets explaining our position and sold hundreds of papers at the Podemos congress, where we got a lot of support and congratulations from many Podemos members.

As well as supporting Iglesias, we also put forward some criticisms which we see as just and worthy of consideration. We sincerely believe that Pablo Iglesias’ mistakes and vacillations have also allowed Errejon to get as far as he has. The vision of political “change” as a mere electoral exercise in which the mass movement of the masses had already fulfilled its role was also defended by Iglesias, especially after the success of the local elections in May 2015 and the general elections in December 2015.

His public declarations justifying the betrayal of Tsipras in Greece; and distancing himself from the Venezuelan revolution, echoing the position of reactionary forces; his emphasis on ‘responsibility’ and governability; and his express desire to occupy the “social democratic space” were mistaken.

They also contradicted the real reasons for the powerful eruption of Podemos, and reinforced the right wing of the party. Even after losing more than one million votes in June 2016, Iglesias continued to insist that parliamentary and institutional work was the priority. Of course, this gave succour to his internal enemies who then decided to struggle to weaken and then finally remove him.

It is important to remember this when Errejon and others, who supposedly represent ‘anti-capitalism’ speak of the need to be “generous” and “integrate everybody”. Would Errejon have “integrated” all currents if he had won? What would El Pais and PSOE have said then? The answer is more than obvious.

In the last months, Iglesias has reacted to defend his leadership, and did so on the basis that his survival, and that of Podemos, depended on returning to his original position and basing himself on the sections of society which, through their struggle, had brought Podemos into being.

In the last few months, Iglesias has made fairly accurate reflections. He questioned publicly whether it had in fact been the image of ‘moderation’ which was behind the unexpected electoral defeat in June.

He said that trying to occupy the space of social democracy so as to not “frighten” a sector of voters was a mistake, and more recently insisted on the need to reclaim the streets and for the unions to call a general strike against the anti-social policies of the PP. “Transversality does not mean looking like our enemies, but looking like the anti-evictions movement”, he correctly stated. It is not an accident how Iglesias has constantly appeared in mobilisations of the Coca Cola workers, or the support that Irene Montero and other leaders close to Iglesias have given to the mobilisations organised by the Sindicato de Estudiantes (Students’ Union).

The conflict between Iglesias and Errejon reflects the pressure of opposing classes. Not taking this into account leads to confusion and unfortunate positions. Other tendencies, such as “Anticapitalistas” (USFI) adopted an opportunist and short-sighted position. Its most important leaders, such as Miguel Urban and Teresa Rodriguez, gave a false impression as to what was at stake and what the real causes of the crisis were. They emphasised the need to end so-called “personal confrontations” and “fights between macho alphas”, calling for “unity” and insisting that “we are all comrades” which instead of raising the level of discussion, lowered it. Their attitude of “equidistance” before this congress, refusing to join a united front with Pablo Iglesias, undermined their support in a very polarised vote. They won only 3.2% of the vote for the Citizen’s Council where they will have 2 members out of 60. However, the worst thing is not having received a low vote, but having been incapable of using the platforms at their disposal, which are many, to differentiate themselves politically and present themselves as a revolutionary and genuinely “anticapitalist” alternative.

Urban recognised in a number of interviews that they are not Marxists or Trotskyists. When they call for a “Podemos of struggle”, there is a big contradiction between their word and their deed. They control the position of mayor of Cadiz, hold the leadership of Podemos in Andalucia, and have MPs and councillors. How are they promoting social mobilisation, or implementing concrete measures in favour of the working class or disobeying capitalist laws – as they like to talk about – in the areas they lead or govern?

There is wide sympathy with the idea of “unity” but these leaders are experienced and know that “unity” is often a rhetorical trick of the right wing of the movement to tie the hands of the left. One thing is clear: for a considerable part of the leadership of Anticapitalistas the priority is still to win space in the apparatus of Podemos and win better positions in the lists for parliament and councils, renouncing serious and systematic work to transform Podemos into a Left alternative for social transformation.

Pablo Iglesias should now move into action: Enough social peace, mobilisation now!

The atmosphere at the Podemos congress among the thousands of members there was very significant. On the one hand, shouts in favour of unity reflected a very understandable sentiment, but in all the debates and discussions in the corridors the same idea was stressed again and again: it is time to return to the streets, to go back to what made Podemos strong!

This is a key strategic question. Even the capitalist media underline the importance of this idea. In its editorial on 13 February El Pais warned: “the more radical Podemos has won, which considers itself a populist movement basing itself on social mobilisation and the streets and aspires to challenge the established order”. It is difficult to be clearer.

All the capitalist media reacted with extreme disgust to Pablo Iglesias victory. What is the reason for this burning hatred? The internal clash in Podemos, openly encouraged by the bourgeoisie, was set to have an immediate impact, depending on the result. A victory for the Errejon followers would have strengthened social peace, which is very necessary to impose an agenda of cuts and austerity which has already been designed by the Rajoy government and agreed with PSOE. The possibility of a return to social mobilisation in such a scenario is the worst possible news for the right wing and the social democracy, as well as the trade union bureaucracy.

Errejon was very careful to reject the idea that there is a grand coalition (PP, PSOE, Ciudadanos) and instead of explaining that the leadership of PSOE is part of the problem insisted repeatedly that Podemos should join up with PSOE’s “initiatives”. How is it possible to argue that collaborating with the current leadership of PSOE will bring us closer to bringing down the Rajoy government? Is PSOE not a key part of the precarious majority which allows the PP to govern?

Right wing policies cannot be fought by embracing the social democracy, firmly under the control of the capitalists. To defeat the cuts there is only one option: fill the streets with massive and sustained mobilisation. The example of the strikes led by the Sindicato de Estudiantes, which brought down the Francoist “revalidation” exams, is useful. Precisely because we are under a weak government with a reduced social base, any strategy which leads to demobilisation is a marvellous gift to the right. Now is the time to put Rajoy on the ropes. This is not possible – as Errejon claimed – via a united front with the coup-plotting leadership of PSOE which has already chosen the PP and Ciudadanos as its allies.

The victory of Iglesias should not be understood in personal terms, even though the personality of leaders can be an important factor in the class struggle. To paraphrase Lenin, it has been the whip of the counter revolution which has motivated tens of thousands of workers and youth to put their feet down by voting for Iglesias. This blow, which has left Errejon and his followers very depressed, also leaves a clear implicit message: we must return to struggle and take the fight to the PP with mobilisation and a programme to break with capitalism.

Pablo Iglesias and his collaborators have a great responsibility. They must listen to the rank and file of Podemos. Unity cannot be built at the cost of abandoning principles and turning ones back on millions who are suffering the dramatic effects of a devastating crisis. Unity must be built with those who struggle, those who suffer, those who can make real change possible. That means calling immediately for mobilisation, to prepare now for a general strike against the increase in energy prices, the cuts to pensions, cuts to health and education and the antidemocratic laws against protesting, for decent housing, and for democratic rights including the right to national self-determination.

Nods towards the Left now and then are not enough. Reflections which have no practical consequences are not enough. The only way to be solidly linked with the masses, the real power of Podemos as a Left force for social transformation, is to defend a socialist alternative to the capitalist crisis, and be directly implicated in the day to day struggles of the workers’ and youth movement.  

Now Pablo Iglesias must live up to his word.

 



Europe

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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

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

Portugal: Purge in the Left Bloc
20/01/2017, Ysmail, Socialismo Revolucionário (CWI in Portugal):
6 CWI members expelled in undemocratic attack

India: Struggle against land grab in Pune
16/01/2017, Venkatesh Harale, New Socialist Alternative (CWI in India):
Socialists and villagers wage tireless battle

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