The conflict in the Western Sahara is an important question for revolutionaries in the Maghreb not only from the theoretical point of view (taking into consideration the importance Marxism gives to the right of self-determination), but also from the political and practical side of the issue (as it is impossible to carry out the tasks of the socialist revolution in the region without putting forward a clear Marxist and internationalist understanding of the national question).
Mass protests of university and school students shook the Tunisian regime in April. Some
sections of the workers, protesting against privatisation, also joined in. We have
received the following article about the situation in Tunisia toghether with an interview
with a Tunisian student activist.
Last month the dictator of Tunisia, Ben Ali, sent Sharon an invitation
to visit the country. This has provoked massive opposition from the
youth. Throughout the whole of last week, one school after another, one
campus after another, came out in protest. Many have been arrested and
badly beaten by the police. Thus Tunisia joins the long list of
unstable countries throughout the region, but because the protests are
against a regime that is a friend of US imperialism these have not made
the headlines like the events in Lebanon.
Tunisian student youth remain very defiant despite the repression
against them. The immediate reason for the spontaneous student protest
two weeks ago was dictator-president Ben Ali’s invitation to Ariel
Sharon, the butcher of the Palestinian Intifada, to visit Tunisia in
November. This invitation is becoming a focal point through which all
the social frustrations of the youth in particular are erupting.
On top of all its other anti-working class policies, the Obasanjo
regime in Nigeria
has recently introduced a new pension scheme, which is nothing other than a
privatisation of pensions, with investment funds taking over the running of
workers' pensions, funds which could collapse easily, and with no government
guarantees, leaving future pensioners destitute.
Back in February two Lagos students were killed by police as they protested against the recent hike in school fees. In some cases fees have been increased a hundred times over. This is making it practically impossible for poor and working class Nigerian children to get an education.
In March millions of Nigerian were forced to stay at home for the day
as government officials carried out a head and property count. The regime
claimed this would allow for a serious calculation of the level of unemployment
and thus allow for “job-creation” to go ahead. The operation was inefficient
and plagued by corruption. In the real world Nigerians continue to lose their
jobs, pensions, education…
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the first edition of the Workers' Alternative,
the Nigerian Marxist journal. It has not been easy keeping the banner
of genuine Marxism flying in the conditions that prevail in Nigeria but
the comrades have kept going thanks to the support and encouragement
from their numerous supporters and readers, inside and outside Nigeria.
Now to mark the anniversary they are making an appeal for more support.
The OAU University authorities are trying to stalemate negotiations
with the student union, further enraging the mass of students. Keep
sending in your protest messages. Today we received important protest
message from Greek trade unionists and youth and from the Spanish
School Students' Union. By Isiaka Adegbile, one of the victimised
The need for clarification on what has been happening at the OAU (Ife, Nigeria)
is very urgent considering the level of propaganda and outright lies and
distortions that the authorities have been churning out to the international
community. Here we are publishing a reply from the students involved in the