Africa

Yesterday a newly formed Moroccan Marxist group was publicly launched on the website www.marxy.com. The group, called the Communist League of Action, brings together students and young workers from different towns in the country.

While promising to meet the unions, the Nigerchin management is trying to use scan labour to break the strike. On recognising the workers’ right to join any union thy wish they have raised the excuse that they must first consult with the owners back in China! These workers are fighting for basic trade union rights. Please support the solidarity campaign and raise this in your union.

Chemical workers at the Nigerian company, NIGERCHIN, have come out on an indefinite strike simply to defend their right to join the trade union of their choice. Trade union activists and members are being victimised because of this. They need your support! Raise this issue among your workmates and friends and get letters of protest sent off.

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…

Recently Nigeria paid a sum of $12billion to the Paris Club, thus cancelling its foreign debt. The fact that through the servicing of the debt, Nigeria had already paid back more than it has borrowed is conveniently skipped over. Those $12bn could have been used to improve the miserable lives of most Nigerians.

Pensions have been privatised, 92% of Nigerians are living on less than $2 per day, the interest rate stands at 36%, the (official) inflation rate at 15%, millions are either unemployed or not gainfully employed, life expectancy stands at 45 years, annual per capita GDP at $200 and incredible sums of debt hang over the head of the poor. There is no way out on the path of capitalism.

Yesterday attempts to amend the Nigerian Constitution to allow Obasanjo a third term in Office were defeated. Here we publish the latest Editorial of the Workers' Alternative written before the vote.

Beginning on March 8, International Working Women’s Day, the “Rank and File” Tendency of the National Student Union in Morocco organised a week of activities around the question of the emancipation of women. We publish here a report of the week of action. Picture gallery available here.