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FRANCE After the 26 May European elections Communiqué of the Independent and Democratic Workers Party (POID) « the only kind of unity that makes any sense is unity for the defence of the workers’ interests, 
in their class struggle and through their class struggle »

2019-05-31

On this 26 May, a majority of registered voters (over 52%) either abstained or handed in blank or void votes. This rejection by the majority — though it was indeed a lesser proportion than had been announced in the polls — was higher in the popular and working-class neighbourhoods. It was 60% in the French department of Seine-Saint-Denis, over 70% in the working class cities and towns of the Rhone department, nearly 80% in Val-Fourré in the Yvelines department and 85% in some of the polling places in the Mirail neighbourhood of Toulouse! And this is not counting those who are excluded from voting: the millions of unregistered voters and “non-European” workers who are perfectly acceptable for being exploited, but not enough so for voting. This is a clear and massive “no” to the European Union and to Macron, whose list was rejected by nearly 9 registered voters out of 10 (89.3%). From the point of view of democracy, Macron and his policies — more illegitimate than ever [...]

BRAZIL Massive  Strike  of  Teachers  and   Students

2019-05-25

Hundreds of thousands of strikers in Brazilian K-12 schools and universities answered to the call from trade union organisations on 15 May. They invaded the streets in over 2000 cities and towns across the country (see photo), against the brutal measures that the Bolsonaro government has just announced: a 30% reduction of the public education budget and massive cuts to scholarships for PhD and Masters degrees.  Hundreds of thousands of strikers in Brazilian K-12 schools and universities answered to the call from trade union organisations on 15 May. Five months after his election, Bolsonaro is today facing an unprecedented mobilisation that has tacked itself on to the mobilisation against the reform of the retirement pensios. On the 1st of May, all the trade unions launched a call to general strike for next 14 June, for the withdrawal of the retirement reform.  Bolsonaro’s declarations are full of hate against the strikers; calling the demonstrations “stupid things” and [...]

UNITED STATES war drums are beating louder and louder

2019-05-25

We are reprinting herewith excerpts from the editorial of the May 2019 issue of The Organizer, published in the United States by supporters of the campaigns of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, For the Workers International (IWC). As part of a mounting series of U.S. provocations against Iran, the U.S. State Department has ordered all « non-critical government employees » to leave Iraq on the grounds that, « U.S. intelligence has learned that Iran is planning strikes on U.S. forces in Iraq. »  These statements come shortly after the U.S. government deployed four B-52 bombers and the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier-strike group to the Persian Gulf amid « indications that Iran was transporting short-range ballistic missiles to the region ».  This declaration was accompanied by an announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States is readying to send 120,000 troops to the region to « counter Iran’s terrorist [...]

AZANIA/SOUTH AFRICA Black Voters Punish the ANC

2019-05-25

One of the key lessons from the 8 May General Elections was that the ANC, which has been in power since 1994 in alliance with the Communist Party and the COSATU trade union federation, has lost 1.4 million votes [1]. This was the ANC’s lowest vote share since 1994; it lost votes in every province. The votes that were lost did not go to the main party defending the white capitalist minority, the Democratic Alliance, which itself lost 470,000 votes.  So what happened to the 1.4 million voters who defected from the ANC?  In a country where the Black majority won the right to vote through bloodshed, barely 25 years ago, a large number did not turn out. Almost 10 million voting-age citizens did not register. The number of people who did not vote has also gone up. Those who did not register and did not vote are mostly the youth who live in the townships [the suburban areas earmarked for Black people during Apartheid Ed. Note] and informal settlements  The Economic Freedom [...]

PAKISTAN Repression on workers is increasing in Imran Khan government

2019-05-20

Supporters of Trade Union Federation (APTUF) shout slogans in favor of their demands during protest demonstration in Lahore on Thursday, November 24, 2011. Every day repression on workers are increasing specially APTUF Affiliated unions. Workers at Escort Meter Works Pakistan affiliated with APTUF held a protest in front of the owners house. The illegal lockout factory since one year, 300 workers lost their jobs. After 4 hours agitation management call a meeting with office bearers and General secretary of APTUF Rubins Jamil. This meeting was held in the presence of labour department. TV channels were also there to highlight a suppression by the management and capitalists on workers. After a long discussion it was decided that on Friday we meet management and the owner of the factory. These 300 workers got last salary on june 2018. Workers are facing great hunger and their children are not going to school. APTUF TOOK THIS ISSUE AS CAMPAIGN TO STOP AGGRESSION ON WORKERS AFFILIATED WITH [...]

Successful internationalist rally held in Strasbourg (France) STRASBOURG APPEAL May 11, 2019

2019-05-20

We, 600 workers, labour activists and youth from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and Turkey, meeting in Strasbourg on 11 May 2019 within sight of the European “Parliament” (1) , hereby declare:  This Europe is not our Europe!  As we said at the European Workers Conference (Paris, 12-13 May 2018), this Europe is the Europe of big capital and war. it is the Europe of privatisation, of insecure work, of the witch-hunting of immigrants and of repression! It is a tool for serving the interests of the powerful, of the big multinationals, of the US administration and its military arm, NATO!  Throughout the continent, from north to south and from east to west, all the workers have experienced the same thing: whatever the political colour of the governments – whether they call themselves “left-wing”, right-wing, far-right, “populist” or “grand coalition” – they have been implementing the [...]

May Day 2019: One and Only One Working Class!

2019-05-11

Since the 1889 Congress of the Workers International, the 1st of May has been the international day of the workers’ struggle, in honour of the Chicago martyrs, that is, the U.S. workers who had been executed for having fought for an eight-hour workday. One hundred and thirty years later, throughout the world, workers still mobilise on this day against that same capitalist system of warmongering and exploitation. They mobilise for their demands, with their organisations and under one and the same red flag. We would like to warmly thank the International Workers Committee correspondents in twenty-five countries who have contributed to this report. To read the full international report click [...]

BRAZIL “Lula Is a Political Prisoner”

2019-05-09

The Newsletter of the Paris Comité Lula Livre (Free Lula Committee)* has published an interview with André Machado, president of the PT (Workers Party) committee in the city of Curitiba, State of Paraná, where Lula has been imprisoned for over a year now.  What happened in Curitiba on 7 April , one year after Lula was sent to jail?  On the 7th of April, 10,000 demonstrators from different regions of Brazil took part in a political rally at the site of the permanent “Vigilia Lula Livre” camp, in front of the federal police headquarters where Lula is imprisoned. The leaders of the PT, of the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party), of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) and of the PCO (the Party of the Workers Cause) — in other words, the parties claiming to be of the working class — were there. Leaders of popular and trade union organisations also participated. It was a show of unity and solidarity. Similar gatherings took place in many cities throughout the [...]

HAITI « A Victory Over Trump’s Racist Policies »

2019-05-09

“TPS: Victory Over Trump!” was the headline of the weekly Haïti Liberté on 17 April 2019. Indeed, it is not every day that Trump — the supreme head of U.S. imperialism — is forced to back down. Yet that is what just happened in the United States. On 11 April, a federal court judge ruled in favour of Family Action Network Movement (FANM) and Haïti Liberté, following a lawsuit by Haïti Liberté, FANM and nine Haitian citizens against the Trump administration.  The lawsuit targeted the Department of Homeland Security for putting an end to Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, which had been granted to 60,000 Haitian refugees by the U.S. administration in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that destroyed the island. This status had temporarily allowed those workers and their families to live and work in the United States.  Trump announced in November 2017, in his anti-worker and anti-immigrant rage, that he was putting an end to TPS for the 60,000 Haitians who [...]