Featured

On 28 May, dockers working the port at the Gulf of Fos in Marseille refused to load the Saudi cargo ship, Bahri Tabük, which was intended to carry French arms to Saudi Arabia, whose regime is waging a barbaric war in Yemen.

The Sudanese Revolution entered a new stage after carrying out a powerful general strike, which paralysed the whole country on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The organisers are demanding that the Transitional Military Council (TMC), which usurped power in April, cede power to a civilian-led government, which is to be installed.

In France, only one-out-of-two voters went to the polls for the European elections. This is 8 percent more than in 2014 (42 percent), but it still marks a massive rejection of the EU and the political system in general.

The municipal, regional and European elections of 26 May (26M) in Spain have once again confirmed the victory of the left in the general elections of 28 April (28A). In the municipal elections, the most relevant of the three, the left (both the Spanish as well as Basque and Catalan nationalists) got 48.7 percent, while the right (again, the Spanish as well as Basque and Catalan nationalists) received 42 percent.

"A week is a long time in politics”, or so the saying goes. 10 years in the political wilderness must have seemed a lifetime to the Green Party, those lackeys of Irish capitalism who so faithfully served Fianna Fáil as coalition “partners” in the Dáil of 2007-2011. There still exists intense, bitter feeling across much of Ireland toward that government for its criminal decadence and corruption, despite the suffering of ordinary Irish workers in the wake of the financial crash.

From May to August of 1934, Minneapolis was rocked by a strike that would forever change the course of U.S. labour history. This was the strike of Teamsters Local 574, a union led by Trotskyists. Many of the best techniques used by organised labour today find their origins in the Minneapolis Strike, in particular the flying picket. However, the strike's greatest conquest was in laying the foundations for industrial unionism in North America, leading to the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the following years. Above all, the Minneapolis Strike demonstrated the role played by the young forces of American Trotskyism in obtaining gains for workers.

As expected, the European elections saw a huge victory for the Brexit Party, which took 32 percent of the vote in Britain. This clearly reflects the frustrations of many people about the paralysis in Parliament and the failure of politicians to agree on a path for Britain’s departure from the EU.

This article, first published in Socialist Revolution (US magazine of the IMT), argues that the historical pendulum is swinging towards an eventual resurgence of the labour movement. What needs to be in place for a future revolution to succeed? What kind of organisation and programme can lead the working class to victory?

Algerian Workers' Party (PT) President, Louisa Hanoune, was arrested by a military court charged with conspiracy against the state and military authorities. Louisa appeared in court as a "witness" to a lawsuit concerning the former president's brother and, after giving her testimony, was jailed. The accusation of "conspiracy" or "rebellion" is fanciful, as millions of Algerians, every week, protest against the continuation of the military regime. In addition to Louisa, who has been imprisoned since 9 May, Hadj Ghermoud, a human rights activist, has also been in custody since January. Dozens of activists are being threatened and arrested in Algeria.

After three years of can kicking, Theresa May has finally run out of road. Giving a teary-eyed speech in front of Number 10 this morning, the Prime Minister announced that she would step down on 7 June. The race to succeed her will begin the following week. Then the fireworks will really begin.

More than 160 revolutionaries gathered in Toronto, May 18-20 for the 19th congress of Fightback and La Riposte Socialiste, the supporters of the International Marxist Tendency in Canada. The three-day congress brought attendees from Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Victoria, Waterloo, Hamilton, Ottawa, Oshawa, as well as international guests from Britain, Sweden and the United States.

Negotiations between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and representatives of the revolutionary movement in Sudan have been suspended. They should never have happened in the first place. Now is the time for the Sudanese workers to go on the offensive.

The following editorial from Issue 15 of Socialist Revolution, the US magazine of the International Marxist Tendency, was published on 8 May 2019. The stage is clearly set for another convulsive economic disruption. The coming crisis will bring to the surface all the accumulated doubts and frustrations of the so-called boom years.

The Saudi ship Bahri Yanbu, which was docked at the port of Genoa to load military equipment to be used in the Yemen conflict, has left Italy without its intended cargo. This represents a great victory for the Genoese dockers, who refused to load the ship, which will now head to Alexandria, Egypt. At the Genoa port, a banner is still waving: "Stop arms trafficking, war on war."

The Liberal-National Coalition, after being behind in the polls for years, has won the Australian general election. With 78, seats the Coalition have a majority in the lower house to pass legislation, but will have to rely on cross-bench support in the Senate (upper house) to get their legislation through.

Three political activists who had fled Thailand for their safety have disappeared. Chucheep Chivasut, Siam Theerawut and Kritsana Thapthai were wanted for the crime of insulting the monarchy. In Thailand, under Article 112 of the country’s criminal code, anyone who is deemed to have committed this crime faces up to 15 years in prison.

This statement was produced by the Marxist Left, Brazilian section of the International Marxist Tendency, after the mass demonstrations against cuts to education and the pension counter-reform in Brazil last week. It analyses the meaning of that outburst of anger, the splits within the government and the way forward for the movement.

The following is the perspectives document approved by the national congress of Revolutionære Socialister ("Revolutionary Socialists") in March 2019. It lays out the comrades’ analysis of the political situation in Denmark, and offers their predictions about where the class struggle in the country is heading.

Last Saturday, the Austrian government, made up of the main bourgeois party, ÖVP and right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), stepped down and announced re-elections. In a spontaneous demonstration, 10,000 people gathered in Vienna to celebrate. This is a setback for the bourgeois bloc, who have been diligently working on attacking the working class to prepare the capitalists for the next crisis.

On 1 May 2019, IMT comrades in El Salvador were very proud to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Militante - BPJ, the paper of the revolutionaries of the BPJ (Popular Youth Bloc). The enormous amount of work that has maintained our publication on a more-or-less regular basis over these past 10 years would not have been possible without the invaluable collaboration of sellers, writers, designers, correspondents, but above all, the help of all our readers. We can say proudly, and without exaggeration, that they are spread all over the country.

The Salvadoran section of the International Marxist Tendency, Bloque Popular Juvenil, has marked 10 years of publication of its paper BPJ – Militante. From a modest first issue in February 2009, when it was a quarterly three-page tabloid, the paper has improved into a regular monthly paper with a print run of 600 copies, which doubles for the May Day edition.

Numerous land grabbings have taken place in Burma. More than 50 percent of these have been carried out by the military and governmental departments. The rest have been committed by their lackeys and the foreign capitalists. Numerous peasant struggles have been taking place in Burma for their farmland, communal land and roads, and communal forests. Among those cases, the recent peasant protest in Aung Thbyae village in the Patheingyi township, Mandalay Region, deserves special mention.

Things are getting desperate, even excruciating. The Tory agony seems to have no end. Theresa May is clinging to office by her finger tips, hoping to last out until the end of October, or maybe even longer. However, the longer she bunkers down, the greater the disaster for the Tory Party.

Recently, a debate has opened up regarding the denunciation by the former Minister Elías Jaua of the arrest of 10 communards, who had occupied and reclaimed the social ownership of the state company, Arroz del Alba, in the Portuguesa state in west Venezuela. Arroz del Alba's assets had been turned over to be managed by the private company Agroinlaca.

Today, In Defence of Marxism is proud to publish for the first time a number of articles in the Burmese language. They have been sent to us by the Social Democratic United Front (SDUF) in Myanmar (formerly Burma), an organisation that took an active part in the student protests against the military dictatorship, together with the Burma Federation of Student Unions.

The massive, marvellous and militant demonstrations on 15 May all over Brazil struck a blow against the already unstable Bolsonaro government. Protests took place in over 200 cities across the country and more than 1.5 million young people and workers took to the streets.

15 May saw a tsunami of demonstrators come out against education cuts and counter-reforms to pensions in Brazil. More than 1.5 million hit the streets of over 200 cities across the country during the national education strike against the latest measures of the Bolsonaro government, which include a 30 percent cut to university budgets. Despite its bravado, the government is weak and divided. The slogan “Fora Bolsonaro” (Bolsonaro Out) resonated widely. Certainly, Brazil is not in the throes of fascism. Far from it. It is now time to prepare a general strike to bring this government down.

After Donald Trump came into office, Washington’s position on the Cuban Revolution has become ever-more belligerent, in a radical change of policy from that followed by President Obama. Although the ultimate objective of both administrations was the same – the destruction of the Cuban Revolution – Obama recognised that the politics of direct aggression had failed, and so pursued the same goal in the economic sphere instead. The objective was to restore capitalism through the penetration of the market into the Cuban economy. Trump, it

...

Despite a great many difficulties, an international seminar on Leon Trotsky was held in Cuba on 6-8 May. The event was convened by the Institute of Philosophy and with the participation of the Leon Trotsky House Museum in Mexico. The International Marxist Tendency’s presence was felt through the Carlos Marx Socialist Studies Centre and a message from Alan Woods.

Election results can provide an important barometer of the mood in society. The results of the Sixth National and Provincial elections on 8 May confirm that there is a deep ferment in South African society. The sharp drop in voter turnout, together with the high abstention from the election process, especially by the youth, meant that, for the first time ever, a minority of the voting-age population voted in the elections. This is highly significant in a country where the working class conquered the right to vote from the ruling class only 25 years ago.

At the recent meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the rich and powerful gathered to discuss a strategy for the defence of their system. In the past, the mood of this gathering has been one of confidence and determination. This year, however, it reeked of desperation. The ruling class has gone from victory celebrations to staring into the abyss within the space of just 25 years.

On the 1 May demonstration in Warsaw, the presence of the Czerwony Front (Red Front) was marked by our banner, slogans and red flags. On that same day, we also released our first booklet, Marxism and Anarchism by Alan Woods. The reception was enthusiastic, as proven by the sale of our whole stock during the first hour of the demonstration. This confirms that, in Poland as in the rest of the world, there is a thirst for the only ideas that are able to guide the working class to victory: the ideas of Marxism.

We publish here a second round of May Day reports, from Pakistan, Indonesia, El Salvador and Nigeria. In all these countries, the on-going capitalist crisis has led to great exploitation and injustice, and workers are engaged in struggles on several fronts for decent wages and living conditions. Many are drawing radical conclusions, and responded very well to our comrades’ message of revolutionary class struggle!

It has been a shaky start for Change UK – the Independent Group, in Britain. Impressive early polling figures for the new "centre ground" party suggested it would take 15 percentage points and a few seats off Labour, thereby robbing Corbyn of a general election victory. But despite this strong initial push, it all seems to have gone horribly wrong. This should come as no surprise. Change UK represents the failed politics of the past.

“The most critical moment for bad governments is the one which witnesses their first steps toward reform” – Alexis de Tocqueville.

On Sunday 21 April, and in the following week, Kazakhstani society observed with anger and indignation the shameful trial of a group of young activists who unfurled a banner along the route of the Almaty marathon with the words: “You can’t run away from the truth”, “#ihaveachoice” [in Russian] and “#ADILSAILAYUSHIN” [meaning “for free elections” in Kazakh].

On 17 April 2019, Taiwanese working people received a memo, signed by folklore sea goddess Mazu herself, that Foxconn’s CEO Terry Guo Tai-ming (郭台銘) should be their president. As any self-respecting bourgeois understands, an anointment should not go without a fancy feast. Thus, Mr. Guo officiated his heaven-endorsed bid for presidency at a KMT award ceremony where he was the recipient of an “award of honour.”

On Thursday 25 April, celebrations took place all over Portugal to mark the 45th anniversary of the day the hated Estado Novo dictatorship was felled. In Lisbon, around 20,000 people marched in the annual parade of workers’ and youth organisations, while thousands more lined the pavements of Avenida da Liberdade to join in the festivities. We publish here a report of the event by our Portuguese comrades, along with the text of pamphlet they produced for the occasion. You can find more detailed analyses of the revolution here and ...

Local elections took place in Britain on 2 May, in which nearly 9,000 seats across over 250 councils were being contested. They told a story of anger, apathy, and disillusionment. The Tories are clearly in crisis. The unholy alliance of the media and the Blairites have used the opportunity to further their campaign to sabotage the chances of Labour coming to power. Corbyn has tried to bring the focus away from Brexit and towards class issues. This is the best way forward.

On 6-8 May, Cuba will host for the first time an international event on the life and ideas of Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky. The academic event reflects the growing interest in the ideas of Trotsky on the island since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The general elections in India are ongoing and the results will be announced on 23 May. Across India, 900 million voters will elect the National Assembly (or the lower house of the parliament, called the Lok Sabha) for a five-year term. The tragedy is that, at a moment when Modi is losing popular support, the left remains weak because of its past – and present – policies.

All over the world, socialists, trade unionists and progressive youth came out on 1 May in a show of force for solidarity and radical politics. We publish here a series of reports from comrades and supporters of the IMT, who intervened in May Day demonstrations and marches around the globe, proudly raising the banner of Marxism!

Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching the UK Bail Act. One year is the maximum sentence permitted for bail evasions. He will serve out his time in Belmarsh maximum security prison.

The disastrous presidency of Petro Poroshenko has resulted in him losing the presidential election to comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, by 73 percent to 24 percent. The almost-50 percent margin of victory was the most-lopsided second round in Ukrainian history. The only Ukrainian province where Poroshenko won was the nationalist bastion of Lviv.

Alan Woods discusses the battle in the Labour Party over the question of a second referendum on Britain's EU membership. The Tories are torn apart over Brexit, yet rather than uniting behind their party leader, right-wing Labour MPs are putting their energies into attacking Jeremy Corbyn. Sooner or later, judgement day will come for Theresa May, and the opportunity for Corbyn’s Labour to form a government will present itself. But how will Corbyn deal with the wreckers in his ranks, and the question of the EU?

Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago today in 1519. Da Vinci was an absolute giant in the history of human thought and culture. Alan Woods pays tribute to the great artist, scientist and philosopher, whose life and ideas were revolutionary in so many fields.

Just before dawn on 30 April, the Venezuelan opposition launched yet another attempt at a military coup. By the end of the day, the botched coup attempt seemed to have failed, with one of its leaders seeking refuge in the Spanish embassy, 25 of the soldiers involved requesting asylum at the Brazilian embassy and Juan Guaidó in hiding or on the run.

Join us