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On tactics in the French municipal elections

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How fragile the Left Front (Front de Gauche) still is has been shown by the municipal elections and the tactical disagreements between the two main participating organisations. We know that the Communist Party (PCF) has advocated – and arranged – local electoral alliances with the Socialist Party (PS) wherever some basis for an agreement made that possible. So they are going for an electoral bloc with the SP, not general and national, but arranged case-by-case as local opportunities permit. The Left Party (Parti de Gauche) on the other hand rejected even a local alliance with the PS from the outset on the basis that it was incompatible with the very justified criticisms the Left Front as a whole has made of the policies of the PS government.

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Nine South African unions don’t have unconditional support for the ANC

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www.bdlive.co.za/national/politics/2014/01/30/cosatu-affiliates-speak-out-against-unconditional-support-for-anc;jsessionid=9C0FAB3112D042B0EECD04019A2D9E89.present2.bdfm

“NINE affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) on Wednesday accused the federation’s leadership of going against policy by giving the African National Congress (ANC) their unconditional support in the upcoming election.

“They also demanded the reinstatement of suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi . .. ”

“The nine affiliates wrote to Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini last year, asking him to convene a special congress to iron out the divisions in the federation. They have accused him of delaying.

“Workers have never agreed that Cosatu should give the ANC a blank cheque,” South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) general secretary Walter Theledi said at a joint media briefing with the leaders of the eight other unions.

“Mr Dlamini and the Cosatu leadership have repeatedly said the federation’s support for the ANC was unconditional, and it would throw its weight behind the party in the upcoming election.

“But Mr Theledi said Cosatu had resolved at its 2012 national congress that its support for the ANC should not be unconditional, but be based on “advancing” the demands of its members and the broader working class.

The nine unions include Samwu, the Food and Allied Workers Union, the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, nurses union Denosa, the Communication Workers Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), football union Safpu, the Public and Allied Workers Union and the South African State and Allied Workers Union.”

See the joint statement herehttp://www.numsa.org.za/article/press-statement-of-the-nine-cosatu-affiliates-calling-for-the-reinstatement-of-comrade-zwelinzima-vavi-and-for-a-special-national-delegate-congress-as-a-matter-of-urgency/

An end to apartheid or a new form of slavery?

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This article examines the background to the talks between leaders of the African National Congress and the South African government. Based on discussions at the executive of Workers International, it was written by J.T.Barney. It was first published in The International no. 2, July 1990

South Africa is the leading capitalist country in Africa and a major ally of world imperialism. A successful proletarian revolution here will be a turning-point for Africa, and its effects will be felt throughout the whole world. Continue reading

A Marxist reflects on the death of Nelson Mandela

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What a pilgrimage, as the world bourgeoisie’s political chiefs rushed off to South Africa to show their respects at Nelson Mandela’s funeral! Bush, Obama, Clinton, Sarkozy, Hollande, Cameron et.al.: the whole lot – friends and enemies, old and new – all reverently joined together to canonise him. Even their enemies (declared or nominally non-aligned), from the Chinese delegate to Castro from Cuba, or Lula from Brazil, not to mention “socialists” like Tony Blair, would not have missed this pious communion for the world; attendance was a point of honour! Which raises the question: How on earth can you explain this planet-wide assembly to celebrate a dead man? Continue reading

The Workers Charter

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Workers’ Charter 
adopted by National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA)  1987

Preamble
We, the working people of South Africa, the main producers of our country’s wealth, declare:

That, as workers, we are daily robbed of a rightful share of the fruits of our labour.

That, as black workers, we are subjected to even more intense exploitation by a system of capitalism which uses national domination to keep wages low and profits high.

That, as part of the black oppressed whose forebears were conquered by force of arms, we continue to suffer all the social, political, economic and cultural deprivations of a colonised people. Continue reading

The Way Forward in North Africa and the Middle East

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Theses towards a revolutionary programme
by Balazs Nagy, Workers International To Rebuild the Fourth International, 20 February 2011
Biased, fragmentary and very incomplete as the media reports are, some things are clear:
1. These movements are desperately short of revolutionary leadership. The long years of ruthess dictatorship have strangled even the more or less petty-bourgeois parties. There is no sign even of any bourgeois leadership independent of the ruling authorities, apart from groups and individuals tied to the dictators whom the workers have thrown out. Continue reading

Stop the destruction of social gains! March separately, strike together!

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 In defence of the workers and people of Greece – first victims of capital’s offensive

European march on Brussels!Response to the “Common Appeal for the Rescue of the People of Europe” launched by Mikis Theodorakis and Manolis Glezos,

by Balazs Nagy, Workers’ International (20 February 2012) Continue reading

Solidarity between workers of Serbia and Croatia

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A simple solidarity motion will make big waves. More than 20 years after the Vukovar war, where in 1991 the Milosevic regime razed to its very foundations a peaceful working class Slavonian town where Serbs and Croats lived together, Serbian and Croatian workers are stretching a hand out to each other as workers across the frontier. Continue reading

The ‘future’ the bourgeoisie wants: Back to Mass Poverty

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by Balazs Nagy
Another day, another worrying news item. One minute a sudden squall blows away the Dutch government’s oddly cherished triple-A credit rating; the next, the UK officially announces it is mired in – “double dip” – recession. That most distinguished of French dailies, Le Monde, carries a pre-May Day editorial headed “Spanish crisis rocks Europe”. Then the Greek people resoundingly toss out Papademos, the banker “democratically” inflicted on them as chief puppet in a government of marionettes. The first round of the Greek elections was certainly a powerful rejection of the austerity imposed by the bourgeoisie’s puny, misbegotten Europe. Continue reading