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Brazil
Devastating outbreak of Zika virus

04/02/2016: Another healthcare system failure

  Brazil

Pakistan
PIA strike continues despite state repression

04/02/2016: Four workers killed, eight injured as security forces open fire on protesting workers

  Pakistan

US
Iowa results reveal crisis of establishment politics - Sanders and Clinton tie

03/02/2016: “It’s too late for establishment politics, establishment economics!”

  US

Japan
Social and political unease after “twenty lost years”

03/02/2016: Weakness of opposition is Prime Minister Abe’s only strength

  Japan

 Greece
Workers strike at Contitech-IMAS factory

02/02/2016: Solidarity campaign needed!

  Greece, Solidarity

World Economy
Capitalism buffeted by choppy waters

02/02/2016: Bosses strive to offload cost of crisis on working class - a struggle for system change is needed

  World Economy

Egypt
Fifth anniversary of heroic revolutionary uprising

01/02/2016: Workers’ struggles continue despite repression

  Egypt

India
Justice for Rohit Vemula

31/01/2016: Solidarity message from the Committee for a Workers’ International

  India, US

Britain
Fractured politics

29/01/2016: A volatile mix

  Britain

Tunisia
Suicide of unemployed youth sparks new wave of protests

22/01/2016: Five years after the fall of Ben Ali, demands of the revolution remain unsatisfied

  Tunisia

China
Kidnapping and TV show-trials

21/01/2016: “China is entering a dark night of repression and detentions under Xi Jinping”

  China

Venezuela
Right-wing landslide

20/01/2016: First electoral defeat suffered by the Chavistas since Hugo Chávez was first elected president in 1998

  Venezuela

Leningrad
‘Hero City’

19/01/2016: 900 days of siege in World War Two

  History, Russia

Britain
Police infiltration of Socialist Party exposed

19/01/2016: Untold distress caused to women in relationships with undercover police officers

  Britain

US
Socialist response to State of the Union 2016

15/01/2016: Kshama Sawant replies to Obama’s "State of the Union" speech

  US

 South Africa
Campus workers strike against outsourcing

14/01/2016: For the mobilisation and support of all students, permanent workers and communities across Tshwane

  Africa, Solidarity, South Africa

Britain
Steps towards setting up Trade Union Momentum

12/01/2016: Potential for inclusive, anti-austerity trade union based movement with effective alliances in workplaces and communities

  Britain

Scotland
Politicians have a choice

11/01/2016: Implement Tory austerity or set no-cuts budgets

  Scotland

Sweden/Denmark
Closing borders

07/01/2016: The EU’s nightmare continues

  Denmark, Sweden

 Pakistan
Nestle workers solidarity campaign update

06/01/2016: Union leader, Muhammad Hussain Bhatti, released on bail

  Pakistan, Solidarity

 Taiwan
Solidarity urged for insurance workers’ strike

05/01/2016: Determined battle for pension rights and an end to contract labour

  Solidarity, Taiwan

China 2015
A year of unnatural disasters

04/01/2016: Corruption, poor oversight and chase for profits, maim thousands

  China

Britain
Corbyn’s supporters want resistance against the right

01/01/2016: Edited extracts from an article by Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, that will be published in the first 2016 issue of the Socialist (7 January).

  Britain

 Review
Alexandra Kollontai

29/12/2015: A life of socialist struggle

  Review, Women

Review
Revisiting Animal Farm

27/12/2015: Allegory of the terrible betrayal of the Russian revolution

  Review

Review
Charlie Chaplin

25/12/2015: Playing the underdog

  Review

Spain
Elections mark shift to the Left

23/12/2015: No government majority as Podemos partially recovers

  Spain

Environment
A world of change

23/12/2015: Human beings have radically altered the Earth, adapting nature in the struggle to survive and thrive…

  Environment

Pakistan
Hundreds protest against religious extremism and increased intolerance

21/12/2015: Rally organised by Socialist Movement Sindh in Mir Pur Khas

  Pakistan

China
Regime cracks down on labour activists

19/12/2015: Arrests in Guangdong province as workers’ struggles multiply

  China

Kazakhstan
Fourth Anniversary of Zhanaozen oil workers massacre.

18/12/2015: Book launch in London remembers the dead and injured and all political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

  Kazakhstan

Climate Conference
Empty cheers after Paris agreement

18/12/2015: "It’s really a fraud, a fudge without action"

  Environment

Women

Brazil - Violence towards women - a public issue at last!

www.socialistworld.net, 02/03/2007
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

It is quite common to hear authorities, public figures, or even some less conscious activists say that sexist violence, the violence suffered by women, “is a private issue”.

Jane Barros, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI)

It is because that opinion in Brazilian society that only in 2006 (506 years after the ‘discovery’ of Brazil!) was a law passed characterising aggression against women as a crime that leads to public trial and prison: the ‘Maria da Penha Law’.

This law was approved in the second half of 2006 and was the fruit of years of feminist battles and struggles. But the necessary funding to carry out the law is not there! The Lula government, after the endorsement of the law, cut 30% of the funding designated to the fight against violence against women for 2007. This is a situation that, at the very least, should have provoked huge resentment, but, unfortunately, it was widely expected.

From the outset of Lula’s first mandate, the money that should have been used to implement public projects was re-allocated to assure a "primary budget surplus", that is the payments of the public debt. All this is done through fiscal adjustments. For those who still had any doubts about the priorities of the second Workers’ Party (PT) government, this measure makes it completely clear the Lula government will maintain neo-liberal policies through cuts in social expenditure.

The number of indictments for violence against women in Brazil is frightening. According to United Nations statistics, domestic violence is the main cause of injuries suffered among women from 15 to 44 years. In Brazil, one out of four women have suffered domestic violence (if we include all kinds of violence this figure is even higher). According to the non-government organisation, Pagu, out of every 100 killings of Brazilian women, 70 are happening within domestic relationships, carried out by fathers, husbands, uncles etc.

According to studies, only 10% of victims make a report to the police. Women who are subjected to this kind of violence feel uneasy about having to prove in a police station that they were assaulted. In addition to the suffering they have already undergone, it means having to go through the distressing experience of giving the details to prove they have been victims of violence. There is no assistance for women in that situation. Few police stations have special facilities for women, and in the few that have, because of a lack of funding, there are no resources for qualified staff to deal with this kind of situation.

In the first half of 2006, the number of cases registered in police stations of non-lethal violence against women, was 24,176 (the numbers registered are much smaller than the actual occurrences). In the second half of the year, there were several cases that were carried on the national media.

There were two cases in the city of Rio de Janeiro of women assaulted by ex-partners. One of them was Cristina Ribeiro who was kidnapped and assaulted by her ex-husband on a bus. The ex-husband held 55 passengers hostage in the vehicle while he beat her. She had made several complaints to the special police station for women but no action was taken. Some of those complaints she withdrew, as she was afraid to return home and suffer new aggression. When the police finally managed to negotiate an end to the kidnapping, Cristina Ribeiro was taken to hospital by ambulance, seriously wounded. The aggressor is at liberty during the juridical process.

No refuges

One aggravating factor in these cases is the financial dependence of women, as they do not have anywhere to go after they suffer attacks and aggression. There is no coherent public policy, not even some palliative measures which are capable of assuring shelter - "safe houses" for the victims and their children. Many cases illustrate this depressing and gruesome situation involving women victims of violence.

In the beginning of 2007, another case got national attention. A prisoner in São Paulo, on Christmas leave, held his ex-wife in captivity in her house for 48 hours. Not very far away, in Brasília, two other prisoners, also on Christmas leave, raped two adult women and two children. We must make clear that we are not against the possibility of having leave from prison. But it is important that we differentiate between the thousands of prisoners who are simply victims of the capitalist system from those who are heads of criminal gangs, and violent aggressors and rapists.

Apart from these recent cases, there was the infamous case of an ex-editor of the newspaper, ‘Estado de São Paulo’, Pimenta Neves, who killed his ex-girl friend, the journalist, Sandra Gomide, in 2000. Neves is still at liberty, even after getting a prison sentence of 19 years. This is an example of how people in the upper layers of society manage to escape the punitive system. The legal system in Brazil only applies fully to poor people.

The negligence of the state towards the barbarities suffered by the women victims of violence is absurd. During election campaigns, politicians make high-sounding promises, declaring their opposition to violence against women. In the general election, last year, the majority of the candidates spoke in favour of women’s rights. Such are the levels of social barbarity in society, and the fact that women suffer most, all election candidates felt compelled to speak in favour of women’s rights. The right wing and the false ‘left’ used the same opportunistic speeches, while thousands of women continue to be assaulted, beaten and killed daily.

It is important that we consider the situation facing women. Violence against women is neither unusual nor a novelty in Brazil and the rest of the world. Capitalism foments this situation. We are familiar with and angry about the way capitalism exploits female labour, pays ever lower wages, and the way the female body is exploited as if it is merchandise. However, the situation of economic and social crisis, unemployment and misery has reached such levels that human degradation becomes widespread.

Women, due to their social role, which was shaped through history, are the biggest victims of capitalist barbarism. The oppression of women is a part of the foundations of the capitalist system. The bigger the crisis, the bigger the concentration of capital in fewer hands, the bigger the degeneration of society, the worse the situation confronting the exploited class and, above all, oppressed women.

Against this general background, the Brazilian section of the CWI believe it is important we have a vigorous campaign for refuges that provide safe haven for women victims of violence, to escape from the aggression until more long-term solutions can be found.

Such a campaign is a way to put pressure on the authorities to guarantee the funding necessary to implement the new law promulgated last year – the ‘Maria da Penha Law’. We condemn the Lula Government for using this issue to obtain support, while, at the same time, as making cuts which mean the application of the law becomes unviable.

This campaign will allow socialists to discuss, starting from the concrete demand for safe havens, the situation facing women in capitalist society. The only way to end the barbarities of capitalism is to collectively build the struggle for socialism - for a world where this kind of violence is no longer a fundamental part of upholding an inequitable social system.



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NEWS

Brazil: Devastating outbreak of Zika virus
04/02/2016, Isabel Keppler, LSR (CWI Brazil):
Another healthcare system failure

Pakistan: PIA strike continues despite state repression
04/02/2016, Fazal Abbas Shah and Rukhsana Manzoor, Socialist Movement Pakistan, Lahore:
Four workers killed, eight injured as security forces open fire on protesting workers

US: Iowa results reveal crisis of establishment politics - Sanders and Clinton tie
03/02/2016, Joshua Koritz, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
“It’s too late for establishment politics, establishment economics!”

Greece: Workers strike at Contitech-IMAS factory
02/02/2016, Xekinima (CWI Greece) Reporters:
Solidarity campaign needed!

Egypt: Fifth anniversary of heroic revolutionary uprising
01/02/2016, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Workers’ struggles continue despite repression

India: Justice for Rohit Vemula
31/01/2016, socialistworld.net:
Solidarity message from the Committee for a Workers’ International

Britain: Fractured politics
29/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, general secretary, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
A volatile mix

Tunisia: Suicide of unemployed youth sparks new wave of protests
22/01/2016, Al-Badil al-Ishtiraki, CWI in Tunisia:
Five years after the fall of Ben Ali, demands of the revolution remain unsatisfied

China: Kidnapping and TV show-trials
21/01/2016, chinaworker.info:
“China is entering a dark night of repression and detentions under Xi Jinping”

Britain: Police infiltration of Socialist Party exposed
19/01/2016, Press statement from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Untold distress caused to women in relationships with undercover police officers

US: Socialist response to State of the Union 2016
15/01/2016, Socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant replies to Obama’s "State of the Union" speech

South Africa: Campus workers strike against outsourcing
14/01/2016, Workers & Socialist Party (WASP), Reporters:
For the mobilisation and support of all students, permanent workers and communities across Tshwane

Britain: Steps towards setting up Trade Union Momentum
12/01/2016, John McInally Public and Commercial Services Union Vice-President (personal capacity), from The Socialist newspaper:
Potential for inclusive, anti-austerity trade union based movement with effective alliances in workplaces and communities

Scotland: Politicians have a choice
11/01/2016, By Brian Smith and Jim McFarlane, Glasgow City Unison and Dundee City Unison branch secretaries (in a personal capacity) and Socialist Party Scotland:
Implement Tory austerity or set no-cuts budgets

Sweden/Denmark: Closing borders
07/01/2016, Per-Ãke Westerlund, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
The EU’s nightmare continues

Pakistan: Nestle workers solidarity campaign update
06/01/2016, Fazal Abbas Shah SMP (CWI in Pakistan), Lahore:
Union leader, Muhammad Hussain Bhatti, released on bail

Taiwan: Solidarity urged for insurance workers’ strike
05/01/2016, CWI Taiwan Reporters (translated from The Socialist, journal of the CWI Taiwan):
Determined battle for pension rights and an end to contract labour

China 2015: A year of unnatural disasters
04/01/2016, chinaworker.info reporters:
Corruption, poor oversight and chase for profits, maim thousands

Britain: Corbyn’s supporters want resistance against the right
01/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Edited extracts from an article by Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, that will be published in the first 2016 issue of the Socialist (7 January).

Review: Alexandra Kollontai
29/12/2015, Heather Rawling, from Socialism Today:
A life of socialist struggle

Review: Revisiting Animal Farm
27/12/2015, Andy Ford, from Socialism Today (Issue 192 October 2015):
Allegory of the terrible betrayal of the Russian revolution

Review: Charlie Chaplin
25/12/2015, Niall Mulholland, from Socialism Today (Issue 191 September 2015):
Playing the underdog

Spain: Elections mark shift to the Left
23/12/2015, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain):
No government majority as Podemos partially recovers

Pakistan: Hundreds protest against religious extremism and increased intolerance
21/12/2015, Hameed Channa Socialist Movement Pakistan (CWI in Pakistan) organiser in Sindh:
Rally organised by Socialist Movement Sindh in Mir Pur Khas

Ireland North:Court rules abortion laws contravene human rights
21/12/2015, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) Reporters, Belfast:
Movement needed for women’s rights

China: Regime cracks down on labour activists
19/12/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Arrests in Guangdong province as workers’ struggles multiply

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Japan: Social and political unease after “twenty lost years”
03/02/2016, Carl Simmons, Kokusai Rentai (CWI in Japan):
Weakness of opposition is Prime Minister Abe’s only strength

World Economy: Capitalism buffeted by choppy waters
02/02/2016, Lynn Walsh, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Bosses strive to offload cost of crisis on working class - a struggle for system change is needed

Venezuela: Right-wing landslide
20/01/2016, Tony Saunois, from February edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
First electoral defeat suffered by the Chavistas since Hugo Chávez was first elected president in 1998

Leningrad: ‘Hero City’
19/01/2016, Clare Doyle (fuller version of a review article to be published in the February 2016 issue of Socialism Today):
900 days of siege in World War Two

China: Financial turmoil spreads fear across global markets
14/01/2016, Per-Åke Westerlund, with additional reporting by Vincent Kolo:
Setting the tone for 2016?

2016: Crisis-ridden capitalism will meet with bitter mood of resistance
05/01/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary:
Socialist alternative is essential

Environment: A world of change
23/12/2015, Jess Spear, Socialist Alternative (CWI in USA):
Human beings have radically altered the Earth, adapting nature in the struggle to survive and thrive…

Venezuela: Elections – who won and who lost?
16/12/2015, Johan Rivas, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela):
Victory for the right wing reflects popular discontent

Pakistan: Religious extremism, military operations and increased intolerance
15/12/2015, Khalid Bhatti SMP (CWI in Pakistan):
Revolutionary movement of the working class needs to finally defeat religious extremism and intolerance

Côte d’Ivoire : Ouattara reelected in a “frighteningly quiet” atmosphere
14/12/2015, CWI in Ivory Coast:
Dictatorship consolidating while opposition ridicules itself. Time to “turn the page”!

Environment: Socialism or ecological catastrophe
05/12/2015, Articles from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
25 years of hot air from establishment

World relations, economy and the class struggle
05/12/2015, CWI International Secretariat:
There has been a profound change in the world situation and world relations since the CWI’s last World Congress in 2010

Britain: After the vote in parliament to bomb Syria
04/12/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) reporters:
This crisis has revealed that Labour is essentially two parties in one

Britain: Syria vote reveals two Labour parties in one
02/12/2015, Editorial from The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Fight for a party that stands against war and austerity

Scotland: Post-referendum, where is Scotland heading?
29/11/2015, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Mass struggle and socialism will challenge capitalist austerity

Environment: Socialist change not climate change
28/11/2015, Pete Dickenson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The growing threat of climate change and a socialist programme for the environment

Middle East: Bombing Syria won’t stop Isis
25/11/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
For workers’ unity against war, terrorism and racism

Hong Kong: Great result for socialist election campaign
25/11/2015, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Socialist Action’s Sally Tang Mei-ching lifts opposition vote to 33 percent

Turkey: Erdoğan’s Pyrrhic victory
20/11/2015, Nihat Boyraz, Sosyalist Alternatif (CWI in Turkey) - translation from an article originally written in Turkish for Sosyalist Alternatif magazine:
It is time to build a new united left force

Burma: Sweeping victory for Aung San Suu Kyi party
19/11/2015, Keith Dickinson, Socialist Party (England and Wales):
Army holds on to powerful positions

France: Horror in Paris
14/11/2015, Statement from Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France):
We will not be intimidated !

Britain: Socialist ideas back on the agenda
10/11/2015, Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialism 2015 organiser:
Best ever ‘Socialism’ weekend of discussion & debate

US: The Bernie Sanders challenge
07/11/2015, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative, USA. Article from Socialism Today:
The established political order in the US has been shaken up by Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination…

Israel/Palestine: Netanyahu government policy claims more victims
28/10/2015, Two articles by Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI in Israel-Palestine) reporters:
The crisis of “management of the conflict”

Women: Identity politics and the struggle against oppression
27/10/2015, Hannah Sell, Socialism Today Issue 192 October 2015 (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI England & Wales):
Unpacking the ’rucksack’