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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

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



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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

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