Europe

Sector after sector of workers are joining the growing strike wave. Further coordinated walkouts are in store, following Wednesday’s day of action. To strengthen the movement, these struggles need to be united and organised from top to bottom.

1 February was the biggest day of coordinated strike action in over a decade, with half a million out on strike. We spoke to workers at picket lines and demos up and down the country about their fight against the bosses’ attacks and the Tories’ anti-union bill.

A second ‘day of action’ yesterday (31 January) saw huge crowds hit the streets of France to oppose Macron’s planned attacks on pensions. The CGT union confederation put the attendance figure at 2.8 million, which if accurate would be the biggest single manifestation since 2010.

The New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) in France – formed in 2009 by members of the now-disbanded Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), with the primary intention of uniting France’s far-left – announced at its 5th congress in December it would be undergoing a split, into two roughly similar-sized groups. The following article by Révolution, the French section of the IMT, draws the lessons of this split.

The Tories are once again whipping up another divisive culture war, blocking attempts to introduce gender recognition reforms in Scotland. But this cynical move will fail in its aims – to distract from the rising tide of class struggle.

The horrific case of serial sex offender and serving officer David Carrick is yet another reminder of how the institution of the police is rotten to the core. Workers and youth must fight to sweep the whole system into the dustbin of history.

More than a million people were on the streets of France today at over 200 rallies, as part of a national strike against President Emmanuel Macron’s latest attack on pensions. Workers from the railways, the Paris transport system, oil refineries, and the media; along with teachers, civil servants, truck drivers and bank staff all walked out in opposition to Macron’s plans to increase the age of retirement. The potential for a showdown exists, but will the labour leaders rise to the occasion?

With industrial militancy growing and spreading across Britain, the Tories and bosses are pushing for further restrictions on workers’ right to strike. The trade union leaders must organise a militant fightback to smash these laws to pieces.

Today marks one hundred years since French troops invaded the Ruhr. This occupation, combined with hyperinflation, sparked revolutionary convulsions across Germany. With crisis once again haunting Europe, Rob Sewell examines the lessons of 1923.

The NHS is in the midst of a deep crisis. Chaos is unfolding in A&Es, with record-breaking wait times. This catastrophe has been a long time coming – the result of years of austerity and privatisation. But health workers are fighting back.

This year’s New Year edition of Der Spiegel features an interesting piece titled, “Was Marx right after all?” Full of astute observations about the state of capitalism, it’s a piece symptomatic of the anxiety of the ruling class. But the ‘solutions’ it proposes – reactionary and utopian ideas based on keeping capitalism intact, like ‘degrowth’ and Keynesianism – are really no solutions at all.

On 10 January, the French government will reveal the details of its draft law on pensions. We already know the main measure that has been proposed: the postponement of the retirement age by four months, each year, to reach 64 or 65 years of age (against the retirement age of 62 today) in 2027 or 2031. In addition, the increase in the length of contributions required for a full pension could be raised to 43 years (from 42 today) before the planned deadline of 2035. There is no doubt that these policies will be opposed.

Britain's winter of discontent has begun. With nurses, ambulance staff, and border guards all taking action, the country is set for its biggest month of strikes in decades. And the struggle is set to intensify, as the Tories threaten repression.

On 28 October, German president and member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Frank-Walter Steinmeier addressed an array of distinguished guests at Bellevue Palace, his official residence. In his ‘State of the Nation’ address, he noted that the world was “heading into a period of confrontation” and that the “struggle for dominance” was coming to the fore.