With this document we, the Revolutionary Internationalist Organization (RIO), want to present general theses about the state of trade unions today and the work of revolutionaries within them. We are aware that these theses are very abstract – they must be, since they are based more on theoretical and historical considerations than on concrete experience (and they are focused on the trade unions in Germany in particular). Accordingly, this document represents the stand of the discussion within our organization, even though we believe that many of the insights can be generalized. »»»»
For an internationalist May Day under the banner of the Arab spring!
After more than 120 years, May Day has lost neither its meaning nor its necessity as the international day of struggle of the working class. The world economic crisis that came to light with the collapse of the bank “Lehman Brothers” in September 2008 is now in its third year. While the capitalists are again making record profits, austerity packages are smashing the wages, pensions and jobs of the working class worldwide. »»»»
Open discussion meetings in Berlin and Prague about the struggles of women in the Arab world
In the last few months, millions of people in the Arab world have gone out onto the streets. Again and again, it was women in the front line of the protests. While discussions about Arab women tend to revolve around catchwords like “the veil” and “forced marriage”, the struggles of women in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries present a very different picture. »»»»
We are publishing a solidarity call we received from Greece. The case of Aris Seirinidis shows that the capitalist courts are a weapon against the workers’ movement and revolutionary organizations, particularly in times of social upheaval. Only mass action can stop this kind of class justice. Therefore we call on all workers’ and left-wing organizations to support the call.
For the last 10 months, the revolutionary activist Aris Seirinidis has been imprisoned in Athens. The charges against him have been ridiculous from the beginning. And now the trial, which has finally started, is turning into a legal farce. »»»»
For the revolutionary downfall of Gadhafi’s dictatorship!
On March 19, a coalition of Western powers, headed by the United States, France and Great Britain, with the support of the pro-imperialist governments of the Arab League and cover from the UN, began the military attack against Libya announced in Resolution 1973, approved by the UN Security Council. A barrage of bombs and missiles launched from the sky and from warships and submarines stationed on the Mediterranean coast, has already fallen on Gadhafi’s military targets on the outskirts of Tripoli, Benghazi, and other cities, although the civilian victims of these bombings are still not known. »»»»
Only the Libyan people have the right to overthrow Gadhafi!
On Saturday, March 19, after several weeks of discussions in which big differences among the various imperialist powers emerged, the imperialist powers of France, the USA, and Great Britain, among others with the logistical support of Germany, began with air attacks on Libya, including several targets near the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Norway, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Denmark and Italy also participate operation called “Odyssey Dawn”. It is the biggest international military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq by US troops in 2003. »»»»
Second general strike of the year on March 2
Trade unions in Northern Cyprus declared 2011 as the “year of social existence.” The world economic crisis has forced the government in Ankara to carry out neoliberal attacks against the rights of the working class in Northern Cyprus. The first general strike of this year was on January 28. The general strike took on an anti-colonial character: At the strike rally, banners against the Turkish occupation forces were held up. Then the verbal attacks against the people of Northern Cyprus began, both by the Turkish government and by Turkish fascists in Cyprus. On March 2, a second general strike will take place, and we want to analyze this movement from a Marxist point of view in order to develop perspectives. »»»»
A balance sheet of the congress of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) of France
The first congress of the New Anticapitalist Party of France (NPA), held last weekend in Montreuil just outside Paris, ended in a dismal failure. None of the platforms presented was able to win a majority. The outgoing leadership – including the spokesman Olivier Besancenot and historical leaders such as Alain Krivine – barely got 41.8% of the votes for their orientation document. It was not even possible to produce a joint declaration by the congress due to strong disagreements between the main platforms: Platform 3 (PF3) or the ‘unitary platform’, which is in favour of an agreement with the reformists at any cost, that is with the Parti de Gauche (Left Party) of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, former minister in Lionel Jospin’s social democratic government, and the French Communist Party (PCF); Platform 2 (PF2), called the ‘identity platform’ by the bourgeois press, which wants a candidacy of Olivier Besancenot for the 2012 presidential elections and proposes to return to ‘the NPA of its origins’ and to orient towards the workplaces; Platform 1 (PF1), which vacillates between PF3 and PF2 on the electoral issue and defines itself as ‘anticapitalist’ and ‘unitary’. As a result of this lack of definition, seven members of the outgoing leadership decided to join the Parti de Gauche. This occurs in the context of a loss of adherents, who went from about 9,000 at the founding congress two years ago to about 3,550 who voted in the electoral assemblies prior to this congress . »»»»
Interview with Vincent Duse and Danièle Cobet
In the National Congress of the NPA last weekend, Platform 4, in which the militants of the FT-CI in France participate, got 3.7% of the delegates’ votes, and from now on, will have 6 members in the national leadership (CPN) of this party. We interviewed two of them: Vincent Duse, a worker and union activist of the CGT at the Peugeot Mulhouse factory, and Danièle Cobet, a student and worker with an precarious job situation, a militant of the FT-CI. »»»»
What are the Perspectives for the Revolution in the Arab Countries?
In the past two months, millions of people in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Algeria and other Arab countries have gone out onto the streets against dictatorial regimes. These regimes, in power for decades (23 years in the case of Tunisia, 29 years in the case of Egypt), have been shaken. Massive police forces and secret services (180,000 police and spies in the case of Tunisia, 1.8 million in the case of Egypt) were unable to contain the revolt. The Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country on January 14, while the Egyptian president Mubarak had to resign on February 11. »»»»
As we go to press, the revolutionary process that has opened in Egypt appears to be entering a decisive phase. This is the most important of a series of uprisings that are sweeping through different countries in the Arab world: in Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, Morocco and Algeria, where the opposition has called for a general strike and demonstrations. »»»»