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For workers’ democracy and free discussion in the labour movement, against falsifications

2019-03-29

The international labour movement can live and achieve its tasks only if it recognises the legitimacy of free discussion, workers’ democracy, and the right of all activists, currents and organisations within its framework to freely defend their point of view. The International Workers’ Committee Against War and Exploitation, For the Workers’ International (IWC), which was formed in November 2016 by the Mumbai World Conference in India, is based on these principles. And that is why the IWC considers it its duty to alert working class activists all over the world – in this issue of its weekly Newsletter – about the campaign of falsification being perpetrated by someone called Benoît Lahouze, who is attacking one of the two coordinators of the IWC. So that everyone can form their own opinion, our Newsletter publishes below: (a) Excerpts of the email sent by Benoît Lahouze (1) to dozens of activists in Great Britain attacking comrade Daniel Gluckstein, editor of the French weekly newspaper La Tribune des Travailleurs (Workers’ Tribune); (b) the letter by Daniel Gluckstein that was sent to the British activists who received the email; (c) a first list of British working-class activists who, independently of their various political positions, express [...]

CHINA Document Non-stop repression against Chinese labour activists since 2015

2019-03-28

The International Workers Committee has been informed of a document being circulated by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), informing the international labour movement that “since 2015, the labour movement in China has entered a harsh winter. After a series of crackdowns, it is evident that the Chinese government’s suppression of the labour movement is increasingly relentless. This article summarizes the suppressions on labour struggles since December 2015 for a better understanding of the situation on China’s labour movement in recent years.” The HKCTU is calling for a week of mobilisation from 25 to 30 March. Labour rights activists criminally detained in 2015 On 3 December, 2015, the Guangdong Provincial Government criminally detained a total of more than 25 labour rights activists. Many NGOs staff members were affected. In the incident, Meng Han, Zhu Xiaomei, Tang Huanxing and Zeng Feiyang were charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb social order”, because of their involvement in organizing workers during the Cuiheng Bag Factory and Lide Shoes Factory strikes in 2014; He Xiaobo was charged with “embezzlement”. Other two labour NGO staff, Deng Xiaoming and Peng Jiayong, were subsequently released and escorted back to their home towns under the surveillance [...]

BRAZIL Against the « Reform » of Retirement Pensions

2019-03-18

In Curitiba, the call from the CUT (Central Unica dos Trabalhodores the Unified Workers’ Central) to form committees of resistance against the « reform » of retirement pensions has been taken seriously.  The far-right Bolsonaro government has announced publicly its plan for the counter-reform of the “Previdencia” (retirement pensions and healthcare). In Curitiba (in the state of Paraná), activists representing the Workers Party (PT), the Movement of Landless Peasants (MST), and unions — including a former federal MP from the PT — gathered on February 22 and decided, as our correspondent reports below, to create a Committee Against the Reform of the Previdencia.  The “United Plenary Assembly to Defeat the Reform of Retirement Pensions” was called following several earlier initiatives that had opened the perspective for united class struggle against Bolsonaro (a motion by the PT committee of North Curitiba for a general strike, a petition supporting the strike of Sao Paulo municipal workers, and participation in the Committee for the Defence of Venezuela). All those attending were in a fighting spirit.  Two days before our meeting, the trade union confederations in Sao Paulo, including the CUT, had gathered in a “National Assembly of the Working Class”. Before the thousands of people [...]

ALGERIA March 10 : The working class enters the scene

2019-03-18

Our correspondents in Algeria report on a new, eventful week — from March 6 to 10 — in the revolutionary process that began in Algeria on February 22.  Algiers, March 10, 2019 Wednesday, March 6. While the higher-up officials of the regime seem not to want to back down, there are increasing calls to demonstrate on Friday, March 8, with explicit reference to International Women’s Day. But this time, important organised sectors of society are calling to mobilise, as is the case, for example of the National Organisation of Mujahideen (which brings together former combatants of the Algerian Revolution). Reacting to the statements of the Trump administration, which the day before claimed to « support the peaceful demonstrations », the students in Algiers came up with a new slogan, in Arabic: « Trump, leave us alone! This is a family affair that can be settled within the family! »  In the organised sectors of the working class, mobilisations are continuing in the effort to reclaim the UGTA, the historic trade union federation. Thus, in the workers’ bastion of Rouiba, the eastern suburb of Algiers where the largest industrial zone in the country is located, the local UGTA union affiliate met « at the insistence of [...]

VENEZUELA — A statement of US activists : Stop Trump’s « Humanitarian » Intervention! U.S. Hands Off Venezuela! Respect the Sovereignty and Right to Self-Determination of the Venezuelan People

2019-03-09

The Trump administration, with the complicity of governments and political leaders of all stripes, is stepping up its intervention in Venezuela, trampling upon this nation’s sovereignty and self-determination in the guise of so-called « humanitarian aid. » Who can accept such hypocrisy! The U.S. government — under George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump — promoted a failed coup attempt against Hugo Chávez (2002), imposed sanctions that deny Venezuela access to hard currency with which to purchase basic foods and medicines, prevented medicines from reaching Venezuela[1], demanded strict foreign debt repayment (under threat of even stiffer sanctions), and funded economic destabilization and sabotage of the economy by the private sector … all with the aim of starving a proud nation into submission to impose « regime change. » UN Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas, in a March 3, 2018 report to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, exposed this hypocrisy. « Countries that continue to wage economic war on Venezuela have no right to scream ‘humanitarian crisis’ because they themselves are part of the problem. … The U.S.-European Union sanctions have caused untold numbers of deaths, mainly of children and the elderly, and must be condemned as a crime against humanity. » Trump has [...]

CATALONIA Release all the political prisoners immediately !

2018-02-10

For the last four months, repression has been unleashed in Catalonia. Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, officials of democratic associations, were thrown in jail more than three months ago; Oriol Junqueras, who was nevertheless elected as a member of the autonomous Parliament on 21 December, is still being detained. The deposed President and three other ministerial advisers of his government are still in exile in Brussels, under threat of being thrown in jail if they set foot on Spanish soil; hundreds of mayors, teachers, other workers and activists have been summoned to court and charged with rebellion and sedition, in other words charged with organising a violent uprising against the Spanish State. Catalan autonomy has been suspended under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, and it is Rajoy who is governing, from Madrid with his ministers. What is their “crime”? The Spanish monarchy and its government are punishing them for organising the vote through which the Catalan people freely declared themselves in favour of the Catalan Republic on 1 October 2017. This brutal repression by the Rajoy government and the monarchy, which began with the huge police violence against people who were voting on 1 October, has the unconditional support [...]

Hands off Venezuela! No to foreign interference!

2017-08-15

The International Workers Committee has made the call for peace from Brazilian organizations known throughout the world. In Paris, France, on Wednesday 9 August, a picket was organized in front of the Venezuelan Embassy, at the initiative of the POID (the Independent and Democratic Workers Party). In the United States, a campaign of signatures of support has been undertaken. Messages have poured in, from the USPT (the Progressive Trade Union of Workers) of Niger, from Ecuador, from Mexico (with a special supplement of the news bulletin Transicion) and, as you will read on this page, from the LRA (the Radical Left) of Afghanistan. Afghanistan : A Message to the Brazilian Committee For Peace In Venezuela Dear friends, Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA) strongly support your call and campaign for defense of peace and people rights for determining their fate in Venezuela. We strongly condemn the shamelessly intervention and plotting of US and other mercenaries regimes in Venezuela. Thanks to the workers and the oppressed in Venezuela and other Latin America such as Brazil who stood against the attacks and intervention of the US imperialism and its allies in Venezuela. The mistakes of Maduro for giving concessions to the capitalists must [...]

Manifesto for peace in Venezuela

2017-08-15

Dear friends,  In Venezuela, elections to a constituent assembly has taken place, marked by a significant mobilisation of workers and peasants.  It is not the right of Trump or of any other imperialist leaders or institutions to interfere with the right of the Venezuelan people to sovereignly settle their own matters. Therefore, we support and circulate the Manifesto for Peace in Venezuela endorsed by the main working class and popular organisations of Brazil, which states that « Well-meaning men and women throughout the world should celebrate this historical gesture of self-determination of Venezuela, repudiating the interventionist threats and joining a great chain of solidarity. » We suggest to all organisations and activists that are linked to the IWC to express — under the form they find the most suitable — their solidarity with the venezuelan people, and their opposition to any imperialist interference. Nambiath Vasudevan Daniel Gluckstein Manifesto for peace in Venezuela The Venezuelan people, free and sovereign, took back the original powers into their hands, electing massively representatives to the National Constituent Assembly. More than 8 million came to the polls, despite the boycott and the sabotage of undemocratic groups, in a process witnessed by international legal and political personalities who [...]