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Drawing the lessons from the revolutions in North Africa

03/08/2015: Life and death struggle with the process of counter-revolution.

  Africa, CWI, Tunisia

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Over 1,000 attend housing debate hosted by Socialist councillor Kshama Sawant

31/07/2015: Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s socialist councillor defending seat in primary elections on 4 August

  US

 CWI School
Social and political turmoil in Ireland

30/07/2015: Socialists play key role in rapidly changing situation

  CWI, Ireland Republic

Britain
Corbyn’s Labour leadership bid shows anti-austerity message popular

29/07/2015: Militant Tendency held up as bogeyman by Labour right and media - What’s the real history?

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Turkey
Horrific Suruc massacre

28/07/2015: Only workers’ unity can end terrorism and division

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Europe’s euro-crisis and prospects for class struggle

28/07/2015: Ground prepared everywhere for new battles and rise of left formations

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Britain
Labour Left leadership candidate under fire from right wing

27/07/2015: Blairites’ terror at popularity of left-wing ideas in Corbyn campaign

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CWI brings solidarity with Suruç victims

22/07/2015: Message of support from the CWI and its sections

  Solidarity, Turkey

Turkey
Massacre in Suruç

20/07/2015: Kurdish and Turkish people pay price for Erdoğan’s support for ISIS

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 Venezuela
Solidarity with workers and unions at FOGADE

20/07/2015: No to union discrimination and repression!

  Solidarity, Venezuela

Ireland
57% boycott water charges

18/07/2015: Mass non-payment campaign gets results

  Ireland Republic

 Video
Reject sectarianism in Northern Ireland

17/07/2015: Paul Murphy addresses Irish parliament

  Ireland North, Ireland Republic, Video

Germany
Capitalists strangling Greece

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  Germany, Greece

Migration
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Greece
Tsipras crosses the Rubicon

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  Greece

Britain
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09/07/2015: National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference

  Britain

China
Stock market crash can turn into a political crisis

08/07/2015: Regime adopts panic measures as market crash threatens wider economic recession

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Greece
Mighty class-based ‘NO’ shakes bosses’ EU

06/07/2015: Referendum earthquake sees working class boldly defy Troika and Greece’s servile ruling class!

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Scotland
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06/07/2015: After 13 weeks of all-out strike action the 117 Dundee hospital porters have won an inspiring victory

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Harris Sideris on Greek referendum and Vodafone battle

05/07/2015: Sacked Greek Vodafone trade unionist speaks in London on eve of historic referendum

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Austria
Social? Democratic? Party!

04/07/2015: The Fragmentation of the Social Democracy in Austria

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Britain
Socialists and the EU referendum

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Real nature of EU is being laid bare

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 Video
Socialist MP condemns Troika/Irish government’s bullying of Greek voters

01/07/2015: Paul Murphy TD (Irish MP) attacks Irish prime minister’s collusion with Brussels big business agenda and voices solidarity with Greek workers

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Is China’s stock market bubble bursting?

01/07/2015: Billions wiped off share values in June – only the Greek stock market is more volatile

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Greece
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  Greece

South Africa
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Tunisia
Terrorist atrocity in Sousse

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Greece
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Egypt
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25/06/2015: Recent strikes show workers will resist

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Greece
Tsipras retreats before Troika threats

24/06/2015: What should the SYRIZA Left do next?

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Scotland

Solidarity conference agrees to build a socialist party

www.socialistworld.net, 07/11/2006
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Urgent campaigning needed in working class communities

Philip Stott, Dundee Solidarity and International Socialists (CWI)

7 November 2006

Scotland

Solidarity conference agrees to build a socialist party

Last Saturday, 250 members of ‘Solidarity - Scotland’s Socialist Movement’, attended the first national conference of the new party.

Solidarity - SSM was launched at the beginning of September, by MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament), Tommy Sheridan, Rosemary Byrne, and by hundreds of socialists who broke with the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), in disgust at the actions of the SSP leadership who sided with the (News of the World - NoW) against Tommy Sheridan during his defamation court case, last summer. The International Socialists (the Scottish section of the CWI) were founding members of Solidarity - SSM. 

During October, more than 1,000 people attended 10 Solidarity public meetings across Scotland, the largest in Dundee, where 250 came to hear Tommy Sheridan speak. This enthusiastic response to the idea of building a principled socialist movement showed the potential to build Solidarity in the months ahead, in the run-up to the Scottish parliament elections, next May.

Saturday’s conference was called to primarily agree a constitution and finalise the name of the new party. However, it was clear in the run-up to conference there was going to be a very important debate on the character and type of organisation that Solidarity should be.

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) used the conference to strongly argue against Solidarity being a socialist party. Instead, they advocated that Solidarity should be a "movement of the movements", a home for those fighting Islamophobia, for the anti-war movement and for those opposing climate change. During the debate on the name of the party, one SWP member said, "Socialism should not be in the name; if we remove it people will join us". The SWP voted for the name to be ‘Solidarity’, dropping the reference to ‘Scotland’s Socialist Movement’.

One SWP speaker, after another, emphasised that if Solidarity was socialist it would put off people joining. They argued that Islamophobia was the "main political issue" in society, today, and that Solidarity has to prioritise winning more Muslims into its ranks. It is correct to oppose racism and division and to appeal to Muslims to join Solidarity - SSM, but this can be done most effectively by explaining the link between the attacks on Muslims by the political establishment, to New Labour’s anti-working class and pro-capitalist polices. The SWP falsely argued that a socialist party would inevitably be narrow and isolated, whereas a movement that was "broad" and which concentrated on Islamophobia and the Iraq war would be far more appealing.  They essentially called for an electoral coalition rather than a campaigning socialist party. 

SWP arguments not supported

The SWP’s arguments found no support outside their ranks. Speaker after speaker at Saturday’s conference opposed the SWP’s ideas and defended the importance of building a socialist party. Members of the International Socialists (CWI) spoke in the debate. Ronnie Stevenson, who is a Unison convenor for 4,000 workers in Glasgow City Council, explained that he knew local government workers who would only join Solidarity if it was a socialist party. It is precisely by explaining ideas in the language of the working class, reflecting their concerns, and linking that to the need for socialism as a solution, that a thriving party can be built.

The contradictions in the SWP’s position were highlighted during the conference debate. Many SWP members commented, "I’m a socialist but…." As an International Socialist (CWI) speaker pointed out, if it is good enough for the SWP members to have drawn socialist conclusions, why should the working class not have the same opportunity?   

The SWP’s prescription for how Solidarity should develop would inevitably leave it as an isolated and largely irrelevant force, as far as the majority of the working class is concerned. But if Solidarity - SSM turns to the working class, as a whole, taking up issues of immediate concern, like the NHS, low pay, housing, unemployment, and workers rights, as well as campaigning against the war and against racism, Solidarity can be built into a significant force.

It is this strategy, of fighting on the day-to-day issues facing the working class, and linking that to the need for socialism, which the International Socialists support. It was clear from last weekend’s conference the majority of the Solidarity membership also wants to build a socialist party.

The conference voted for the name Solidarity - Scotland’s Socialist Movement and agreed to adopt an interim constitution, with a national policy conference in February 2007.   

Tommy Sheridan MSP made a very effective speech to open the conference, which made clear his view that Solidarity was the "Scottish wing of the international socialist movement." International Socialists members, Brian Smith (Glasgow Unison secretary for social work) and Alan Manley (nurse and Unison steward), spoke from the platform in the opening session on the trade unions and the NHS.

The urgent tasks facing Solidarity - SSM is to rapidly establish campaigning socialist branches in every area and to build its forces in preparation for the elections next year. During last weekend’s conference, 50 copies of the ‘International Socialist’, the paper of the CWI in Scotland, were sold and many Solidarity members expressed thanks to International Socialists members for their contributions during the afternoon debate.



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NEWS

CWI School: Drawing the lessons from the revolutions in North Africa
03/08/2015, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
Life and death struggle with the process of counter-revolution.

US: Over 1,000 attend housing debate hosted by Socialist councillor Kshama Sawant
31/07/2015, Kshama Sawant:
Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s socialist councillor defending seat in primary elections on 4 August

CWI School: Social and political turmoil in Ireland
30/07/2015, Eddie McCabe, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Socialists play key role in rapidly changing situation

Britain: Corbyn’s Labour leadership bid shows anti-austerity message popular
29/07/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Militant Tendency held up as bogeyman by Labour right and media - What’s the real history?

Turkey: Horrific Suruc massacre
28/07/2015, Paula Mitchell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Only workers’ unity can end terrorism and division

Britain: Labour Left leadership candidate under fire from right wing
27/07/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales - formerly the Militant Tendency) press statement on Labour leadership contest:
Blairites’ terror at popularity of left-wing ideas in Corbyn campaign

Turkey: CWI brings solidarity with Suruç victims
22/07/2015, :
Message of support from the CWI and its sections

Turkey: Massacre in Suruç
20/07/2015, Sosyalist Alternatif (CWI in Turkey):
Kurdish and Turkish people pay price for Erdoğan’s support for ISIS

Venezuela: Solidarity with workers and unions at FOGADE
20/07/2015, socialistworld.net:
No to union discrimination and repression!

Ireland: 57% boycott water charges
18/07/2015, Michael O’Brien, Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) Councillor and Socialist Party member:
Mass non-payment campaign gets results

Video: Reject sectarianism in Northern Ireland
17/07/2015, socialistworld.net:
Paul Murphy addresses Irish parliament

Germany: Capitalists strangling Greece
15/07/2015, Georg Kümmel, Cologne, Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
No to the dictatorship of banks and big business – For a socialist Europe!

Migration: Fleeing horrors created by capitalism
14/07/2015, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
A socialist view on immigration crisis

Greece: Tsipras crosses the Rubicon
10/07/2015, Editorial Statement by Xekinima(CWI Greece):
Time for a new, mass revolutionary Left to oppose all austerity!

Britain: Union activists say, We could stop austerity in its tracks
09/07/2015, From The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference

Scotland: Dundee porters’ victory proves strike action can deliver
06/07/2015, By Philip Stott:
After 13 weeks of all-out strike action the 117 Dundee hospital porters have won an inspiring victory

Video: Harris Sideris on Greek referendum and Vodafone battle
05/07/2015, socialistworld.net:
Sacked Greek Vodafone trade unionist speaks in London on eve of historic referendum

Austria: Social? Democratic? Party!
04/07/2015, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI in Austria):
The Fragmentation of the Social Democracy in Austria

Video: Real nature of EU is being laid bare
02/07/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist TD (Irish MP), supports Greek ‘NO’ vote, and calls for debt refutation and nationalisations

Video: Socialist MP condemns Troika/Irish government’s bullying of Greek voters
01/07/2015, :
Paul Murphy TD (Irish MP) attacks Irish prime minister’s collusion with Brussels big business agenda and voices solidarity with Greek workers

Is China’s stock market bubble bursting?
01/07/2015, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Billions wiped off share values in June – only the Greek stock market is more volatile

South Africa: The Marikana Report – a whitewash
30/06/2015, Weizmann Hamilton, Workers’ and Socialist Party (WASP):
Not a stone has been left unturned on the political landscape

Tunisia: Terrorist atrocity in Sousse
29/06/2015, Statement by Al-Badil al-Ishtiraki (Socialist Alternative, CWI in Tunisia):
For a renewed mass movement against poverty and terror

Greece: “NO”
27/06/2015, Statement by Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
On Sunday 5 July, we say “no” to the gang of the lenders!

Germany: Indefinite strike for more staff at Charité hospital
26/06/2015, Aron Amm, Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
Berlin industrial dispute of national importance

Greece: Where are mass solidarity protests with Syriza?
26/06/2015, Eleni Mitsou, from Xekinima (CWI Greece) website:
Troika must be defied – No more cuts! Don’t pay the debt! Socialist policies would win huge backing from Greek workers

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

CWI School: Europe’s euro-crisis and prospects for class struggle
28/07/2015, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Ground prepared everywhere for new battles and rise of left formations

China: Stock market crash can turn into a political crisis
08/07/2015, Interview, with chinaworker.info editor, Vincent Kolo:
Regime adopts panic measures as market crash threatens wider economic recession

Greece: Mighty class-based ‘NO’ shakes bosses’ EU
06/07/2015, Editorial comment by Xekinima (CWI Greece), 6 July 2015:
Referendum earthquake sees working class boldly defy Troika and Greece’s servile ruling class!

Britain: Socialists and the EU referendum
03/07/2015, Clive Heemskerk, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
How should socialists approach the in-or-out EU debate?

Greece: Troika threatens Greeks ahead of referendum
30/06/2015, Andreas Payiatsos and Niall Mulholland:
Vote ‘No’! For a mass working class campaign to oppose Troika and for socialist policies!

Britain’s class battle-lines are drawn
26/06/2015, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) Deputy General Secretary - article from ’Socialism Today’:
A quarter-of-a-million people protested through London and Glasgow raising the need for trade union-led struggle

Greece: Tsipras retreats before Troika threats
24/06/2015, Statement by Xekinima (CWI Greece) [dated 23 June 2015]:
What should the SYRIZA Left do next?

Greece: No surrender to‘Gang of Lenders’
22/06/2015, Editorial article from Xekinima (CWI Greece) [dated 17 June 2015]:
Plan an anti-austerity fight-back, with socialist policies!

Iraq/Syria: US imperialist strategy in tatters
12/06/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
A year after ISIS captured Mosul, the jihadist group controls about half of Syria and a third of Iraq – more territory than ever before

Greece: Syriza voters want austerity ended, not another ’compromise’ Troika deal
04/06/2015, Editorial article from Xekinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 3 June 2015]:
Break with the austerity - adopt a socialist programme!

China: Is China heading for a new Tiananmen?
04/06/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
26th anniversary of the Beijing massacre on June 4, 1989, is also a warning of revolutionary shocks ahead

Hong Kong: Endgame for Beijing’s fake democracy plan
03/06/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Government’s electoral reform proposals meet with mass opposition

Spain: Victories for Left “popular unity” lists in local elections
02/06/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Two-party system dealt a new blow in local and regional elections

Belgium: Momentum to bring down right wing government lost
01/06/2015, Els Deschoemacker and Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
Learn from the struggle, as new opportunities open up

Ireland: Massive ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality referendum
28/05/2015, Conor Payne, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Growing opposition to conservative establishment

Britain: The struggles to come
27/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales) General Secretary:
No fundamental change to be expected from the Labour Party

Canada’s ‘carbo-state’
26/05/2015, Bill Hopwood, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada):
Only a socialist alternative can challenge the carbo-capitalists’ grip on Canadian politics

Iraq/Syria: ISIS rout national armies at Ramadi and Palmyra
23/05/2015, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
United working class movement needed to sweep away sectarian militias and reactionary politicians

Ireland North: Election marks growing rejection of sectarian status quo
21/05/2015, Daniel Waldron and Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
Opportunities to build new anti-sectarian political voice for working class and youth

Spain: Is Podemos in crisis?
20/05/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Left and social movements in a state of flux, as key elections loom

USA: Presidential candidate declares "political revolution" against billionaires
12/05/2015, Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative, Seattle:
Campaign needs to build independent political power

Britain: Fight against "five more damned years" of Tory rule
12/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party )CWI England & Wales) General Secretary:
Labour leader’s ’responsible capitalism’ shows its bankruptcy

China: “In a hard landing now”
11/05/2015, Dikang, chinaworker.info:
Stock market frenzy and fabricated GDP figures cannot hide the reality of an economy in deep trouble

Ireland North: Socialist Party replies to leading Sinn Fein councillor’s attacks
06/05/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) Statement:
How to fight cuts, sectarianism and to build workers’ unity

May Day 2015: Socialist plan or capitalist chaos
01/05/2015, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party General Secretary, (CWI England & Wales):
What sort of new society are we struggling for?