Europe

It seemed as if everything had been decided in advance. Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, was going to go to the Catalan Parliament and announce the formation of an independent republic, as he was bound to do by the results of the 1 Oct referendum.

#BenvingudaRepública (Welcome Republic): this is the hashtag being used to organise mobilisations today, Oct 10 in Barcelona, when the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, will address Catalan Parliament about the results of the independence referendum on Oct 1. Those organising the mobilisations have two aims: to push Puigdemont to actually declare the Catalan Republic and also to defend and protect the session of the Catalan Parliament (the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal already ruled on Friday that a session which was to take place on Monday had to be cancelled).

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Daniel Morley discusses the bold measures needed to ensure that the policies outlined in Corbyn's recent speech to Labour conference are realised in practice.

El proceso independentista catalán se encuentra en un momento crítico. La disyuntiva es avanzar o retroceder. El Tribunal Constitucional ha prohibido la celebración del pleno del Parlament de Catalunya del lunes, que debía ratificar el resultado del Referéndum del 1-O y proclamar la República catalana. Desairando el discurso Real, han surgido iniciativas de diálogo por todas partes, con escasa probabilidad de salir adelante. Por su parte, la burguesía catalana se ha alineado abiertamente con el régimen español, y ha iniciado una guerra mediática de amenazas económicas contra su propio pueblo.

This year is the 97th anniversary of the 1920 Kiev Offensive by the Polish Army and the decisive defeat of the Soviet troops at the Battle of Warsaw: an event of great historic importance that marked a turning point in the course of the European revolution. This front of the Russian Civil War was a grave and important test for the Bolshevik Party, sparking daily and intense debate throughout its ranks.

Catalonia’s Independence Referendum on October 1 has opened up a major regime crisis in Spain. Braving brutal police repression, hundreds of thousands occupied and defended polling stations so that 2.2 million people could vote on the day. There were images of police officers using hammers to break through the doors of polling stations and then snatching polling boxes from the hands of the people, of police officers using batons against unarmed civilians, including elderly ladies, of police officers throwing people downstairs.

Ayer 3 de octubre, Catalunya vivió una protesta gigantesca contra la represión del Estado, en un clima insurreccional en algunas partes de la comunidad. El gobierno del PP quemó en apenas 15 días todo su arsenal represivo en su intento vano de abortar el Referéndum sobre la independencia del 1-O, y lo hizo arrojando gasolina sobre el fuego en un pastizal seco, provocando un incendio de dimensiones colosales. La acción directa de las masas en la calle ha maniatado todo intento del Estado de aplastar el movimiento por la autodeterminación. Desairado por todo un pueblo, y suspendido en el aire sin apoyos parlamentarios sólidos, el Rey ha acudido en ayuda del gobierno del PP y de

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On 23 September, Mélenchon’s France Insoumise (Rebellious France) organised a massive rally of over 100,000 in Paris against the austerity programme of the Emmanuel Macron government. Jérôme Métellus, editor of Révolution (the journal of the IMT in France), outlines what the Left and the Trade Unions in France should do next in the struggle to bring down Macron.

The Catalan masses are gearing up for a massive strike movement today, as key unions commit to a nationwide ‘stoppage’ after facing brutal repression by the Spanish state during the referendum on Sunday. The referendum movement is developing a radical, working-class character under pressure from below, putting a Catalan Republic on the agenda. This is opening up a crisis with the potential to topple the Spanish regime.

Brutal police repression failed to stop the Catalan independence referendum faced with the determination of hundreds of thousands to overcome all obstacles to participate. What we saw yesterday in Catalonia was on the one hand the real ugly face of the Spanish regime created during the so-called “Transition” at the end of the Franco regime, and on the other the mass mobilisation and self-organisation of the Catalan people to exercise their right of self-determination.

The moment that hundreds of uniformed Barcelona firefighters joined the 90,000 -strong student demonstration in Barcelona is an indication of the level of class conflict developing in Catalonia. These scenes are reminiscent of other periods in history, such as May 1968 when the workers and students came together.

Yesterday, (Wednesday, 27 September) students in Catalonia were out on strike and on the streets in many towns and cities. High school students blocked dozens of roads and highways. Most polling centres for Sunday are schools, so the students are called on to play a decisive role in the ongoing events in the build up to the referendum on Sunday.

A political earthquake is the best way we can describe the federal elections that took place in Germany on Sunday, September 24. For the first time ever in post-war history an extreme right-wing party has been elected to the Bundestag (federal parliament). At the same time the parties that formed the “Grand Coalition” lead by Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2003 have suffered historic defeats.

This morning (Sunday, 24th September), there were mass rallies all over Catalonia. The one in Barcelona was attended by thousands of people. This is significant, because this weekend is the Mercè festivity, which is a very important holiday and one would not expect big demonstrations.

We publish here a statement of the International Marxist Tendency on the crisis in Spain. The Catalan independence referendum challenges Spanish 1978 regime. It has been met with heavy state repression on the part of the Spanish state. The IMT supports the Catalan people's right to self-determination. For a Catalan Socialist Republic as a spark for the Iberian revolution!

Yesterday morning  (Friday, 22nd September) thousands of students from the University of Barcelona, whose staff and students are staging an indefinite general strike, occupied the institution's historic building in the city centre in opposition to repression and in defence of the referendum.

Italy in the 1970s had two traditional mass parties of the working class, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party, but to their left were several sizeable ultra-left groups, with tens of thousands of members and a group of MPs. The question has to be asked: why did these groups fail to offer an alternative when the PCI leaders entered into a pact with the Christian Democracy in 1976 and supported an austerity programme? And why did they subsequently collapse?

Marxist Students kicked off the autumn in more areas than ever before. For the first time we held meetings in Lund and Helsingborg, amongst others, but also at Södertörn University in Stockholm. There is an enormous and growing interest for revolutionary ideas among an important section of the youth which will be obvious from the following reports from all over Sweden.

Neighborhood defence committee

The situation in Catalonia keeps accelerating. This morning [yesterday, Thursday, September 21st], students and staff at the universities walked out and staged a rally attended by 5,000, and at many schools classes have been cancelled. University staff and student unions have declared for an indefinite general strike.

On 11 September, Norway held a parliamentary elections. These were the first elections since the collapse of the oil prices, which led to Norway’s first austerity programme since the 2007 crisis. But in spite of the attacks that it had carried out against the working class, the right-wing government was re-elected after the main party of the left failed to provide a credible political alternative.

The decision of the Catalan Parliament to convene an independence referendum on October 1st has been received with repressive measures by the Spanish state. These measures are increasing in intensity as the days go by, and reveal the profoundly undemocratic nature of the 1978 Constitution which was imposed in an agreement between the old Franco regime and the leaders of the workers’ parties in order to bring to an end the revolutionary crisis engulfing the country.

11 September, the national holiday of Catalonia, saw a round of mass protests and rallies for the right to self-determination of Catalonia and against the banning of the referendum by the central government. In the morning, there were several gatherings by various political parties. In the afternoon, there was a huge pro-independence demonstration, which according to the police, was attended by one million people. In the evening, a mass rally was held by the radical left, pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), under the slogan of “self-determination: independence, socialism, feminism”.

Despite Labour riding high in the polls, Corbyn’s critics are desperate to appease big business and the banks by remaining in the European Union and maintaining the status quo. As a result of vocal outrage from the right-wing of the party, Labour have made a U-turn on the question of Brexit. Corbyn and the Left should be fighting for a socialist alternative.

Since being elected Macron - the poster-boy of European liberalism and the self-described Jupiterian president - has seen his popularity steadily decline as his electoral facade crumbles away. A majority of French voters (57%) are now “dissatisfied” with the President's performance, making these approval ratings the lowest for any incoming president, after four months, since 1995.

20 years ago today, on 31st August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash in Paris. In the following weeks, a spontaneous mass outburst of grief and emotion swept across the country, catching the Royal Family and the whole Establishment by surprise.

Rob Sewell, editor of Socialist Appeal, replies to sectarian slanders and points the way forward for the unions in the fight to reclaim the Labour Party, defend Jeremy Corbyn, and fight for socialist policies.

Spain never saw a genuine bourgeois revolution, and today important democratic tasks are still pending: the abolition of the monarchy, the separation between church and state, the cleansing of the state apparatus of Francoist residues… But undoubtedly the most pressing issue is the national question.

At the recent annual general meeting of the RMT, the rail union, the question of affiliation to the Labour Party was discussed, after being rejected last year. At a packed conference fringe meeting John McDonnell, the shadow Labour chancellor, made a personal appeal for the union to “come home” to Labour.

Nigh on ten years from the initial announcement of the building of two aircraft carriers, the first behemoth, HMS Queen Elizabeth, inched towards the sea under the Forth Bridge on its way to its first sea trials.

Protest for trade union rights at AELIA

In today's episode from the "One rule for the rich, another rule for the workers" series, a well-known journalist, trade union activist and socialist, Piotr Nowak, was faced with a choice of either spending 20 days in prison or paying a 1000 Zloty fine. The “crime” stated was the organisation of a small protest outside of the Fryderyk Chopin airport in Warsaw back in 2014.

As the election results came in after the polls closed in June, expressions of shock were to be seen not only on the faces of the Tories and press commentators (who had all expected a large Tory win), but also on the faces of the Labour right wing. They had spent months arguing that Jeremy Corbyn and the ideas he stood for were huge vote losers and that a thrashing for Labour was on the cards come a general election. How wrong they all were.

Photo: Socialist Appeal

The mood was jubilant and euphoric in central London on Saturday 1st July, as chants of “Oh Jer-e-my Cor-byn!” rang out through the streets of Whitehall and Westminster.

Federica Montseny speaks at the historical meeting of the CNT in Barcelona on 1977, the first one after 36 years of dictatorship in Spain. Manel Armengol

Este año se cumple el 40º aniversario del que fue, sin duda, el año decisivo de la llamada Transición. En el año 1977 tuvieron lugar los asesinatos de Atocha, que elevaron la temperatura revolucionaria de la sociedad a su grado máximo, la legalización de los sindicatos y de los partidos de izquierda, entre ellos el PCE; la celebración de las elecciones semidemocráticas del 15 de junio, así como la firma de los infames Pactos de la Moncloa, que sellarían la traición a las expectativas populares despertadas a la muerte del dictador.

Kragujevac workers walk out

The Kragujevac FIAT-Chrysler's strike in Serbia continues, having entered its seventh day. Of the more than 2,400 workers, at least two thousand have downed tools since June 26th. Only 250 "white collar" workers have decided for now not to take part in the strike.

TDs and Senators support #JobstownNotGuilty

Shortly after midday on 29th June, an eleven person jury delivered 6 unanimous verdicts of “not guilty” to spontaneous cheers in the courtroom at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. The verdict brings to its conclusion a trial by means of which the Irish ruling class sought to bring an end to the fundamental democratic right to peaceful protest.

Tory-DUP coalition

After a thin Queen’s Speech and long negotiations, Theresa May and DUP leader Arlene Foster finally appeared outside Downing Street earlier this week to shake hands on the deal that will keep May in power - for now.

57,4 % des inscrits ne se sont pas rendus aux urnes, hier, pour le deuxième tour des élections législatives (contre 51,3 % au premier tour). Ce n'est pas surprenant : dans bon nombre de circonscriptions, les électeurs n'avaient plus le choix qu'entre « bonnet blanc » et « blanc bonnet », sous diverses étiquettes (LREM, LR ou même PS).

“In developments of such magnitude twenty years are more than a day - though later on days may come again in which twenty years are embedded.” (Karl Marx, 9 April 1863)

With the rise of Corbyn, the SNP government needed to move to the left. Given the actual rise of a Frankenstein Tory right in Scotland, we were hardly risking anything. Besides, this morning we might have been celebrating a Corbyn government backed by the votes of nearly 59 SNP MPs.” - SNP MP, George Kerevan

The criminal disaster of the Grenfell Tower fire has brought to the surface all the horror, injustice, and inequality of Tory Britain. All the anger and discontent within working class communities has now exploded into plain view, with a series of militant protests taking place in the last week.

Britain’s political turmoil has become entrenched. Ever since the general election – a mere week ago - Theresa May has been desperately fighting for her political survival. With each passing day, her political authority is being relentlessly drained away. In the last throw of the dice, she has turned to the sectarian DUP, a reactionary outfit, to haggle for support and a parliamentary lifeline.

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