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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

 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

Brazil

National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten

www.socialistworld.net, 17/03/2017
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

For a one-day general strike as the next step

André Ferrari LSR (CWI in Brazil)

15 March was a national day of struggle and paralysis throughout Brazil against anti-worker reforms applied by the illegitimate government of Michel Temer. This was the most important workers’ and popular mobilisation since Dilma Rousseff (PT) was removed from power.

These mobilisations were preceded and stimulated by very important women’s protests on 8 March. The day of struggle on 15 march was called in a united manner by the various trade union confederations  and by the ‘People without fear’ front (which includes the MTST, homeless workers movement, which is its main promotor) and the ‘Brazil Popular Front’ (which is dominated by social movements which are closer to the PT and Lula). 

In practically every state capital there were work stoppages, road blockades and mass demos. Education workers carried out a 24-hour strike and in some states even went on indefinite strike. Transport workers also went on strike in various cities, including metro and bus drivers in Sao Paolo, South America’s biggest city, which affected millions of people.

Public sector workers such as postal workers, as well as metal workers, oil workers, bank workers, and dockers also carried out partial strikes and demonstrations. Social movements in struggle for housing and movements for black people’s rights also filled out the many demonstrations and actions which took place, as well as calling their own actions.

In Sao Paolo, more than 200 activists from various women’s’ struggle movements, in which LSR (CWI in Brazil) played a prominent role, occupied the headquarters of the National Social Security service for some hours. In Brasilia, the movement with the MTST at the head, also occupied the Interior Ministry.

Despite the deplorable role of the big media outlets of the bourgeoisie in defending the measures of the Temer government and attacking the social movements, there was huge popular support for the protests and strikes. Even the media had to show footage in any cities of metro workers explaining their strikes to passengers and being applauded and supported. Many of those interviewed merely complained that the strikes were not more solid and generalised throughout the country!

In total hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of the main cities. The organisers claim that 200,000 marched in Sao Paolo and 100,000 in Rio. Even if they were not that big, they were huge demonstrations which reflect the increase in confidence in relation to the struggle against the counter-reforms of Temer.

Biggest attacks in years

Temer’s illegitimate government exists only to impose deep attacks on the rights of the working class, in the name of profits for the big banks and businesses, in the context of a deep crisis. This was the fundamental reason for the coup manoeuvres which led to the impeachment of Dilma in 2016. Despite all its attempts to help big business, the PT could not approve the measures which the capitalists were demanding.

Temer’s government operates as a government of “state of emergency”. It was voted for by no one and has no legitimacy but it has a big base of support in a congress which is full of corrupt servants of the big bourgeoisie. Threatened by the corruption investigations of the “Lava Jato” operation, Temer and the MPs and Senators who support him want to guarantee their impunity by showing their usefulness to big capital.

Since last year the government has approved tough measures against workers. The main one was the constitutional amendment which in practice freezes all public spending for 20 years. They also passed a reform of secondary education in the interests of producing cheap labour for bug business.

However, the most important counter-reforms are the ones being implemented now. The first one is a pension reform which will eliminate the possibility of a dignified retirement for the majority. With this they hope to promote private pension schemes to prop up the financial markets.

Establishing a minimum age of 65, the reform ignores the fact that life expectancy in many areas is not much greater than this! The majority of workers enter the workforce very young and in terrible conditions.

The reform reduced the value of the pensions, and means that 49 years of contributions (of continuous work, all legally registered) to the pension fund are necessary to get 100% of one’s pension.

It also increases the minimum number of years of contributions from 15 to 25, which will mean that any type of retirement is ruled out for the poorest people. At the moment, 8 out of 10 those who retired due to old age did not contribute this minimum of 25 years and thus could not now retire.

As well as this, the reform will abolish the right which was won by women workers, who now can retire having made less years of contributions than man, as a form of compensation for the double, often triple, working day which they are subjected to including house work, children etc as well as the fact that they work in worse conditions. Teachers and rural workers also lose hard-won rights in this reform.

There are a series of other attacks included in the reform, but one of the more terrible features is that there will be practically no “transition period” for the majority of workers. Women who are not 45 years old and men who are 50 years old will simply lose their rights from one day to the next.

There is growing public rejection of these measures, especially as at the same time the pension privileges of the politicians are maintained and the profits of the banks and big capital grow despite the crisis.

In the case of the labour reform, there is a deep promotion of outsourcing in all sectors. Mainly though, the government wants to abolish the labour rights which were won and registered in the law, as a result of hard fought struggle from the 1930s to the constitution of 1988.

The law permits the suspension of workers’ rights via agreements. In the context of the worst economic crisis in many decades, this means the loss of rights for the most vulnerable sectors of the working class, under pressure by the threat of job losses and closures.

The government can be defeated

15 March showed that the government can be defeated in struggle. If Temer is defeated in the vote on these reforms it will mean that the government will be close to falling in practice. If he does not fulfil his promises to big capital, Temer will be swallowed up by his many corruption allegations.

The government has felt the power of protests and there was an impact in the national congress. Many MPs declared in favour of making some changes to the proposals.

It is probable that in an attempt to contain protests, the government makes small concessions to “improve” the laws. Part of the trade union leadership could be taken in by this, which is a real risk for the struggle.

The PT, which now criticises Temer’s reforms, refuses to go to the end in its opposition. The first measure of the Lula government in 2003 after all was a pension reform which attacked rights, especially in the public sector.

Lula has vacillated in his position on these reforms. He knows that if the PT was in government it would be trying to bring in similar measures, even if they would not be as severe. However, Lula did make speeches against Temer’s measures on 15 March.

Despite this, he said nothing about the need of big business to contribute to pensions, or of taxing the big fortunes, or auditing and repudiating the debt. No radical measures against capital, in other words. He only went as far as saying that economic growth is what would resolve the problems of the fiscal budget and pensions in particular.

He did not explain why this model of economic growth, based on the exploitation of commodities and conciliation with big capital is what opened the door for the radical neoliberals who are now in government.

The social movements linked to the PT put all their hope in Lula returning to power in 2018. This perspective is dangerous for the struggle against Temer today. Firstly, because it is focussed on the parliamentary road which is more and more limited for workers in the context of a government like Temer’s and the attacks on democratic rights. Secondly because many of the PT’s leaders want there to be some kind of fiscal “purge” in order to prepare better conditions for when they are in government and want Temer to do the dirty work.

LSR-CWI, as part of PSOL, of the CSP-Conlutas trade union confederation and the ‘People without fear’ front, participated actively in building for 15 March. We highlight the need for the unity in struggle of all sectors willing to struggle against Temer’s reforms, including the sector which supports Lula and the PT and all unions. At the same time, we point towards a strategy of struggle capable of achieving a real victory. We are against negotiation merely on a point by point basis and in favour of the building of a one-day general strike throughout the country as the next step in the struggle.

In this process of resistance it is possible to forge in the heat of the struggle a political alternative of the socialist Left to overcome Lulaism and present an anticapitalist, socialist programme. Along these lines, we call for a united front of the socialist Left with all parties opposed to the right and the governments of the PT, as well as the most combative working class social movements, such as the MTST and others. 



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NEWS

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?

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?

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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

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