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US Health Care Debate

The limits of reform from above – the need for struggle from below

He has been called a “socialist” and “Nazi.” They say there will be “death panels” where government bureaucrats will make decisions on whether or not to let grandma live. These are just some of the attacks raised against US President Obama and his plans for health care reform by enraged Fox News-sponsored right wingers who are disrupting recent 'town hall' meetings around the US. Of course none of them are true.

Jesse Lessinger, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the USA)

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Thomas Cook workers arrested by Irish police

PROTESTS IN SCOTLAND AND IRELAND  

25 people including 16 workers sacked by Thomas Cook at their Grafton Street store in Dublin were arrested this morning (Tuesday 4th August)  after defying an court order which was granted when they occupied the shop on Saturday. Dozens of Gardai broke into the store by smashing the window and arrested the occupiers. Those arrested included Socialist Party Councillor, Matthew Waine and an eight and a half month pregnant woman who gave birth to her daughter after being taken to hospital following her arrest.

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Joe Higgins first speech to European parliament

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Video Socialist MEP launches attack on capitalist representatives http://socialistworld.net/eng/2009/07/2102.html Here in Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) MEP Joe Higgins´ first speech in the European Parliament he talks about the grand coalition between the right wing EPP and supposed ’social democrats’ ...

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Withdraw the troops from Afghanistan

Afghanistan

End UK and US led occupation of Afghanistan 

In this month alone, eighteen British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. Eight were killed in just 24 hours, three of them just 18 years old. In total 187 British troops have lost their lives since the invasion of Iraq in 2001. This senseless waste of young lives has aroused a new anger and questioning about the war in Afghanistan. People demand answers about the lack of equipment which has led to so many soldiers' deaths, and about why they are still there fighting an unwinnable war.

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Korean Peninsula: Only Working Class Action Can End War Threat

North Korea

The underground explosion of a massive nuclear bomb on 25 May and the accompanying war-like declarations of the North Korean regime brought it suddenly to the centre of world attention.

It aroused grave fears in the region and internationally of a major confrontation - a war that could include nuclear exchanges.  Clare Doyle considers the motives of North Korea's ossified Stalinist regime and what likelihood there is of a regional conflagration.

EVEN THE well-informed capitalist press with its behind-the-scenes sources, is at a loss to understand the motives and the perspectives for the behaviour of what they call this 'rogue state' - shrouded in mystery and, according to them, one of the last bastions of 'communism'.

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Where Now for the Iranian Revolution?

Iranian Revolution 2009

Working class must decisively enter the struggle

THIRTY YEARS after the 1979 revolution, Iran has again erupted in revolutionary convulsions. Millions have taken to the streets to protest against the undoubted rigging of the presidential election, in which president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his cohorts in the theocratic dictatorship claimed a sweeping victory.

Tony Saunois, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI)

However this revolutionary crisis unfolds in the coming weeks, it is clear that Iran will never be the same again. This massive movement for change marks the beginning of the end of the existing dictatorship.

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Iran – Mass Protests Erupt

Iran Mass Protests

Mass protests and demonstration have erupted in Iran in protest at the apparent rigging of the Presidential elections by the Mahmoud Ahmedinejad regime. According to reports, the largest anti-government demonstration of over one million people took place in the capital Tehran. Reports coming out of Iran claim that over a dozen have been killed in clashes with the police and hated Basij militia. With heavy press censorship, much of the movement has been co-ordinated through the use of ‘Twitter’ – Iran has the highest number of internet ‘bloggers’ per head of population.

By Tony Saunois, CWI

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CWI councillor re-elected in Germany

SAV consolidates roots in the community and defends seat

SAV reporters (CWI in Germany)

“I was really impressed that you put up election posters yourself, Ms Lehnert”, said an employee of the city during the official election party in the city hall to the newly re-elected SAV (CWI in Germany) member of the City Council and congratulated her. This shows the difference between Christine Lehnert and all the other representatives. She still works as a travel agent, is a representative for the working class and decides her policies with and for the working class – without being bribed or garnering privileges.

This re-election is a vindication of five years of Christine’s consistent socialist opposition and policies in the city council and on the streets and her participation in social protests and movements. Five years ago, SAV stood for election to the city council for the first time, winning 4,222 votes, 2.5% (in Rostock, you can cast three votes) and was elected to the city council. This time, our vote dropped to 3,408, 1.6%, which seems, on the surface, to represent a weakening of SAV. But a more precise look shows that it is just a loss of few hundred votes, as voter participation was higher than last time, when it was 35.7% compared to 43.6% now.

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Europe on the Edge

Euro elections 2009

Little or no confidence in governments, but no genuine socialist alternative

Robert Bechert, CWI

Last week’s European elections gave a snapshot, albeit often distorted by low turnouts, of the continent’s anxious mood and the distrust, if not hostility, to most governments. In a number of countries, like Britain, Greece, Ireland and Hungary, the ruling parties suffered dramatic reverses. But generally, with a few exceptions, this did not lead to a growth in support for the left or even green forces, instead it was expressed in a further drop in voter turnout and increases for right nationalist or far-right parties.

Europe is sinking into a deep recession, the worst since the 1930s. Just before the election the European Central Bank worsened its forecast drop in the 16 country eurozone’s GDP to a fall of 5.1% this year.

This was the background to the general rebuff to most ruling parties and the search, amongst those who voted, for an alternative. Even the record low turnout in these elections showed, alongside alienation from the EU and the correct understanding that the so-called European Parliament was powerless, a rejection of many of the established parties.

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Joe Higgins Wins European Seat

Joe Higgins, the Socialist Party candidate in Ireland, has rocked the political establishment in Ireland by being elected to the Dublin Constituency for the European Parliament.

Joe, who is a member of the sister party of the International Socialists, got 82,366 votes, with 50,510 first preference votes. In winning the seat Joe defeated sitting MEP's of Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail. Joe said: “European countries are dominated by right-wing governments which are trotting out the same capitalist policies as here in Ireland and making working people pay for their mistakes.”

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