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latest news

 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

 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

South Africa

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer

www.socialistworld.net, 09/07/2003
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

In 1996, hardly 2 years after the ANC was elected, the leadership, having long since buried the Freedom Charter, abandoned the Reconstruction and Development Programme, replacing it with the neo-liberal capitalist Growth, Employment and Redistribution Programme. Adopted with extravagant promises of high economic growth and a million jobs in 3 years, Gear has, after 7 years thrown the lives of the working class majority into reverse. The capitalist Gear policy has created an “Irish Coffee” society -- black at the bottom, white on top, with a sprinkling of black chocolate on the cream. Socially, we are worse off than under Apartheid. Our conditions resemble the social landscape after the Bible’s 7 Lean Years in the Old Testament. There is more unemployment, poverty and hunger. The weed of crime is thriving in this soil of misery. But as our poverty has worsened, the wealthy have never had it so good. The income gap between the rich and poor has widened into a chasm.

First published in the April-May edition of Izwi La Basebenzi (Voice of the workers), the newspaper of the Democratic Socialist Movement, affiliated section of the CWI in South Africa.

Women and children suffer the worst. At the start of Child Protection Week the University of Cape Town’s Children Institute released a study based on the work by Human Sciences Research Council economist Ingrid Woolard. It revealed “that an estimated 11 million children younger than 14 were living in ‘severe poverty’ last year. Severe poverty is defined as less than R245 a month. The Child’s Rights Programme Manager at the Institute, Paula Proudlock points out that “children living in poverty means families living in poverty. You realise that just half of the R15.9 billion of tax rebates given to middle income earners (which in fact benefited the rich mostly – editor) last year would have been enough to extend the child support grant to all children up to age 14”. (Terry Bell – Star 30/5/03).

Research carried out by the University of the Western Cape and published by Research Service id21 found “incomes in South African black households fell by 19% between 1995 and 2000 while white household incomes rose by 15%. Last year, 2 out of 3 black households in Cape Town did not have enough to eat.

The research surveyed black townships around Cape Town where it found 76% of households lived below the poverty line of R352 per month. Over half these households had no waged income, and almost one third reported that the main bread winner had lost a job in the previous year.”(Mail & Guardian 13/5/03)

Retrenchments on farms and mines, mechanisation, privatisation, downsizing and outsourcing have led to the loss of over a 1m jobs and the doubling of unemployment to over 30% in the government’s figures. Cosatu says the real unemployment level is nearer 45%. Professor Sampie Terblanch’s research published in his book “A History of Inequality in South Africa 1652 – 2002” supports this. “Formal sector unemployment has risen from 20.2% in 1970 and 36.1% in 1995 to an estimated 45.8% in 2001”.

“A study by Cape Town health officials shows that within 6 years, life expectancy of black people in Cape Town is expected to plunge by 15 years to an average 40 years because of the Aids epidemic. Dr Ivan Toms, head of the city’s health department said the implication of this Cape Town study for the rest of the country is that life expectancy would fall to that level 3 years faster.” (Mail & Guardian 13/5/03)

A social war is being waged on the working class on two fronts – in the workplace by the bosses and in our communities by the government. As unions prepare for wage negotiations, the bosses are complaining that the strong rand is cutting into their profits. They are threatening mass retrenchments. The capitalists, like vampires thirsty for more blood, do not believe the working class is poor enough. Wits University Economics Professor Johannes Fedderke (sponsored by mining giant Gencor) argues that workers are earning too much and has appealed for cuts in pay! He claims that lower wages would create more jobs.

Yet, the latest survey by the Cape Town-based Labour Research Service, indicates that “the average real wages of workers on the minimum scale fell by nearly 10% last year. At the same time company executive directors of awarded themselves, on average, fee increases nearly 42% more than the rate of inflation. “This meant that the average executive director pocketed R2.8 million a year against the average wage earner’s R67 000 a year. This was last year when average pre-tax profits rose by more than 52%. (Terry Bell – Star 23/5/03). The average executive director earns nearly 42 times more than the average worker. It takes a worker nearly 31/2 years to earn what an executive director gets in just a month!

In 1995, 35% of workers earned under R1000 a month. By 2002, 39% earned under R1000 a month – and in real terms, their incomes had fallen by a third. Workers’ share of the national income dropped from 58% in 1992 to 51% last year. (Cosatu President Willie Madisha- speech to NUM Congress 8/5/03)

Government policies have led to electricity and water cut-offs for 10 million people and over 2 million evictions. “Cost recovery” for basic services has caused a cholera epidemic that has so far claimed over 300 lives. 600 die every day from Aids as the government continues to resist and delay the provision of anti-retrovirals in public hospitals. Children are excluded from education through school fees. University student debt amount to millions.

The result is the gap between rich and poor has placed SA second only behind Brazil as the most unequal society on earth. According to Prof Terblanch, “In 1975 the poorest 40% of households received 5.2% of the country’s (total annual) income. By 2001 this had decreased to 3.3%.” The fastest growing gap is now amongst blacks -- between the aspirant capitalists and the working class. Through Black Economic Empowerment, the government puts as much effort providing the black elite with self-enrichment opportunities as it does disguising its programme of impoverishing the black majority that elected it.

Unlike in the Old Testament, there will not be 7 fat years to follow the lean ones. The latest Reserve Bank report suggests the economy is going into a recession just as the big powers in the world economy are themselves slowing down. Things are going to get worse.

No wonder as many as 40% of voters indicate they will withhold their vote in protest in next year’s elections. The only way, however, to combat the government’s capitalist policies is by the working class building its own party. The ANC is the party of the Oppenheimers, Rajbansis and the Ramaphosas. Even if the ANC’s claims that it represents all classes (not just the black elite) were true, it would not be possible to serve the working class and their exploiters, the capitalist class, equally. In a capitalist society, the government serves the interests of Capital. Economist Nico Czypionka said in 1998 “If the ANC came out and said: ‘Our first obligation is to our people’ there would be some heavy choking by capital.” (Ian Taylor (23/5/03). To serve the interests of the working class requires the abolition of capitalism.

Capitalism has exhausted its historical role as a progressive force and has been rotten ripe for overthrow for nearly a century. The black capitalists whose interests the ANC represents have entered the scene of history too late to play a progressive role. This is why they cannot even displace the predominantly white capitalist class, which benefited so much from Apartheid, nor eradicate its legacy of racial inequalities. Instead they are reduced to relying on handouts for loans from big business, seats on their boards of directors to prettify capitalism, and privatisation of state assets to enrich themselves.

The ANC government’s approach to service delivery is to ask the question: can a profit be made from it? Nothing is sacred anymore. Housing, education, health, water, electricity, refuse removal and even the delivery of pensions to the elderly – all are only worth delivering if someone can be enriched by it. The corruption so widespread in government is the inevitable result – corruption is a by-product of capitalism.

We need a mass workers party on a socialist programme to abolish capitalism in SA and internationally. Only on the basis of a democratic socialist economy planned and managed by the working class, can poverty be permanently eradicated and a prosperous life for all be created



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

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?

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!

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