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A ferocious civil war is going on inside the Labour Party – one that will determine its future. The party's right wing, largely confined to the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), have unleashed a torrent of lies, abuse and misinformation. They are backed up to the hilt by the hyenas in the capitalist media, creating a climate of McCarthyite fear and intolerance over allegations of anti-semitism.

8 March (International Working Women's Day) will be a day of struggle and mobilisation in Italy and beyond. Thousands will hit the streets to fight against continuous attacks to women's rights by alternating Italian governments. The economic crisis has worsened economic and social conditions, especially of working women; and social welfare cuts have pushed back the emancipation conquered over decades of struggle.

For International Working Women’s Day on 8 March, the unions have once again obtained legal notice for the general strike called by the feminist movement. For several months, preparations have been underway in all parts of the Spanish State for what is to be an even more successful protest than that in 2018.

A century ago, on 2-6 March 1919, the first congress of the Third International took place in Moscow. This marked the birth of the Communist International, which became a vital school of revolutionary ideas and strategy. Rob Sewell (editor of Socialist Appeal, British journal of the IMT) looks back on this momentous event.

In the aftermath of recent elections in Cameroon, instability has increased, with a factional struggle opening up between different sections of the ruling class. President Paul Biya of the ruling CPDM, who retained power in 2018, has ramped up political repression, arresting opposition leader Maurice Kamto and intensifying his suppression of the country’s Anglophone minority.

Today (6 March), the judge of the Multan High Court granted bail to Rawal Asad after hearing his case. This has proved once again that the decisions of the lower courts were illegal and biased. It also clearly reveals that they were subject to external influence.

The 2020 presidential election has started. The fact that the Democrats won forty additional seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections has many of them smelling Republican blood. A number of candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, and Corey Booker, have already launched their campaigns. Now Bernie Sanders has become the 10th official candidate—with many more yet to come—to announce his run for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

The recent Nigerian elections reveal how discredited the two parties of the establishment have become after 20 years of bourgeois ‘democracy’, laying bare the ruling elite’s inability to solve any of the fundamental problems of society. While the APC has almost exhausted the overwhelming goodwill it enjoyed during its initial entry onto the stage, the PDP has equally proven incapable of overcoming the shock it received when it was booted out of power in 2015.

On 1 March, the Exit Theatre group in Tehran, Iran organised a very successful conference on the relevance of Marxism in the modern era as a part of their “Exit discussion” series. The meeting, which was focused around Alan Woods’ book, The Ideas of Karl Marx, was opened by screening the teledrama “Marx in Soho”, a 2018 production by Exit Theatre, written by American historian Howard Zinn.

The Finnish Revolution is a proud chapter in the history of the international working class. Tragically, despite the tremendous energy expended by the masses, their leaders vacillated and betrayed the revolution. The forces of counterrevolution unleashed a bloodbath, which physically annihilated the flower of the working class, contributing to the encirclement and isolation of the Russian Revolution.

The so-called “February 28th Incident” (228, 二二八事件) is most remembered for the days of indiscriminate killings and repression that the Chinese bourgeois dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his KMT forces unleashed on Taiwan in 1947. Thousands of civilians were murdered in cold blood. It marked the beginning of a long-standing sentiment for Taiwanese national self-determination that permeates a large part of Taiwanese masses to this day.

On the latest episode of Out of Left Fieldpodcast, Elias, a leading comrade of Lucha de Clases (Venezuelan section of the IMT) is interviewed about the ongoing, US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela by Juan Guaidó, self-declared 'President in charge' for the reactionary opposition.

On 30 January, nurses and midwives across Ireland staged their first walkout in 20 years over the question of patient safety and pay. Of more than 40,000 nurses organised in the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 95 percent voted in favour of strike action. They were joined by the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA).

Image: Òmnium

On 12 February, the trial of the 12 Catalan political prisoners began, with the state prosecutor asking for sentences of between 11 and 25 years. The body in charge of passing judgment is the supreme court, which will consider the accusations presented by the prosecutor's office of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement. Their crime: having organised the 1 October 2017 referendum on Catalan independence.

Jeremy Corbyn has promised the possibility of a second referendum in an attempt to pacify the Blairites. But such compromises will only embolden the Labour right wing. These careerists must instead be shown the door.Brexit is beginning to take its toll on Britain’s political parties. Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are desperately attempting to hold their parties together in the face of irreconcilable divisions. But neither leader will be able to appease their rebels. Splits and shocks are the order of the day.

On Saturday, 23 February, HOV secretary Jorge Martin was interviewed about Venezuela by Andrew Castle on the British LBC radio station, setting the record straight about the attempts of US imperialism and its Latin American agents to impose its will on the country under the cover of providing "humanitarian aid".

Tensions are running high between Venezuela and the US, as the latter is continuing its efforts to topple Venezuela's democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro. We publish here a radio debate between, Jorge Martin, secretary of the Hands off Venezuela campaign and editor of www.marxist.com, and Fernando Cutz. Cutz is a former Director for South America to President Obama and President Trump. In fact he is the only top official to have worked for both the Obama and Trump administrations. He has played a key role in designing the sanctions against Venezuela which started under Obama in 2015.

The dramatic "standoff" between US President Donald Trump and the Democrats over border policy is a cynical charade between two parties that represent one and the same class. Shortly after the Democrats took back the House of Representatives in the midterms, Nancy Pelosi issued a defiant pledge, promising not to give Trump “one dollar” for his wall.

Militias marching

So, 23 February came and went. This was the day that had been billed by the US and its local puppets as D-Day, when "humanitarian aid" was supposed to enter the country against the will of the evil Maduro, something which, as even the BBC correspondent admitted, had little to do with aid and everything to do with defying the authority of President Maduro.

Mass protests and a general strike against growing poverty, corruption, and demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse have shut down Haiti for the past two weeks. This mass movement is a direct continuation of the general strike that erupted last summer against proposed increases to the cost of fuel as well as the mass protests that took place last November in relation to a corruption scandal involving PetroCaribe funds.

Nigerians woke up on Saturday, 16 February 2019, to the shocking news of the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, scheduled for that day. But what class interests lay behind this decision? The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement a few hours before the opening of the polls. This was after he had been repeatedly assuring Nigerians and international observers that the elections were going ahead.

“You are risking your future and your lives,” said Trump to Venezuelan military officers in a war-mongering speech in Miami on 18 February. “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything,” he added, perhaps frustrated that there have been so far no significant cracks in the Venezuelan armed forces, a month after the beginning of the ongoing US coup attempt. 

In the news coverage, public statements, and official explanations surrounding the coup attempt by Donald Trump and Juan Guaido, the liberal hypocrisy of the ruling class is breathtaking. How can a country like Spain, where hundreds of Catalan civilians were physically beaten to suppress the 2017 independence referendum, demand that “fair, free and transparent elections” be held on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean? How can a man like Emmanuel Macron, deeply

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Last weekend, on Saturday 16 Feb, over 110 Marxists from all over Britain met in London to discuss the nature of work under capitalism, the history and role of Marxists in the labour movement, and how students can support the fight for socialism. Just one day after the historic school student climate strike, the energy and militancy amongst the youth was tangible.

On 12 February, over 100 workers and Marxist supporters gathered at the conference hall of the Federal Secretariat of Ibadan, Oyo State, for a symposium organised by the Campaign for a Workers’ Alternative (CWA), the Nigerian Section of the International Marxist Tendency, entitled “Minimum wage and the workers’ struggle for power: beyond 2019”. The symposium invited eight lead speakers, out of which six eventually made it. The Oyo State TUC Chairman and the NLC Chairman could not attend due to an impromptu meeting called by the Governor of the State, which required their presence.

Once again this year, the Montreal Marxist Winter School was a smashing success. We had a record 235 registrations, the largest number ever to attend! Participants came not just from Quebec and Ontario, but also from Western Canada, the United States, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Haiti and Algeria.

Today, the Additional Session judge in Multan rejected the bail application of Rawal Asad, though the written order will be given tomorrow. Rawal’s lawyer, Azhar Bukhari, presented a strong defence in front of the judge and argued that the case is fabricated from start to finish. He also cited precedent in many rulings of various courts in Pakistan over the past several decades, and pointed out that joining a protest is a basic democratic right of every citizen, as guaranteed by the constitution (for now).

At least 10,000 students across the UK walked out of school on Friday 15 February, marking the arrival of the international School Strike 4 Climate movement in Britain. This movement has already mobilised hundreds of thousands of students in over 40 countries, with young people around the world participating in incredibly militant strikes and marches – the aim of which is to force governmental action on climate change.

Good riddance. This will be the sentiment amongst grassroots Labour members towards today’s news that a group of seven Blairites are splitting from the party. Delight at their departure will be mixed with immense anger towards the treacherous role that these right-wingers have been allowed to play over the past few years. The task now is to kick out the rest of the saboteurs who remain at large inside the Parliamentary Labour Party. This is why we need mandatory reselection.

On Saturday, February 16, over 100 students representing Marxist Societies at over 30 universities across Britain met in London for the Marxist Student Federation national conference. One of the points of the agenda was the current ongoing Trump coup in Venezuela.

The ordeal of a Marxist student leader from Multan, Rawal Asad, seems to be unending. He is clearly being victimised through unlawful acts and a delaying of the court procedures. Today, once again it was made clear that no law exists in Pakistan, and the courts and lawyers are all part of a farcical façade, while the real power brokers rule unchallenged. The bail application for the fabricated case of sedition was due to be heard in a court in Multan today. But the judge delayed the hearing until the closing hours of the court. In the end, he said that he couldn't hear this case and that it should be referred to some other judge.

Rawal Asad, a Marxist student from Multan, was presented in court today after two days in police custody. The police reported to the court that they had completed their investigation and that they no longer required his physical custody. The lawyers of Rawal Asad moved a bail application, which will be heard tomorrow in the same court. Until then, he is being kept in jail.

The School Strike 4 Climate movement started in August last year, when one 15-year-old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, walked out of her school to campaign against government inaction on climate change. The demonstrations have rapidly developed into a uniquely militant, global and organised youth movement.

On 25 January 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen from office, and immediately swore in the most senior Supreme Court Justice, Justice Ibrahim Muhammed, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria. According to President Muhammodu Buhari, the act was his way of executing an order ‘ex-parte’ of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which was granted on 23 January 2019.

Rawal Asad is an undergraduate student and political activist of Government Emerson College in Multan. On 5 February, he joined a protest called by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) in Multan. They were protesting the killing of their leader, Arman Luni, who was a college professor and was killed in Balochistan a few days previously by a senior police officer, personally, by torture. The case of this murder has still not been registered. But the Multan Police registered a case against all the protestors, including Rawal Asad, charging them with sedition, among other things.

The International Marxist Tendency rejects the current attempt by US imperialism to carry out a coup in Venezuela. What we are witnessing is a blatant attempt to remove the Venezuelan government of president Maduro by a coalition of countries, led by Trump. This is the latest episode in a 20-year campaign against the Bolivarian Revolution, a campaign that has involved military coups, paramilitary infiltrations, sanctions, diplomatic pressure, violent rioting and assassination attempts.

On 14 November 2018, the British Medical Association (BMA) uncovered a system error by Capita, an outsourcing company responsible for ‘business processes’. Capita’s negligence led to 48,000 women not receiving their letters for cervical cancer screening and follow up, potentially putting many lives at risk.

Trotsky wrote in the Transitional Programme: “The capitalists are tobogganing towards disaster with their eyes closed.” Today in Nigeria, we can make a simple modification to this assertion that the Nigerian ruling elites are tobogganing towards disaster with their eyes wide open. They can see what is happening, they can see what is coming, but they can do absolutely nothing to prevent it.

The fightback against the capitalist crisis in education has now spread from West Virginia and Arizona to California. 30,000 teachers in Los Angeles, represented by UTLA, were recently on strike, and in Oakland, nearly 2,400 teachers represented by Oakland Education Association, who have been without a contract since 1 July 2017, are on the verge of strike action.

Alan Woods, editor of In Defence of Marxism and founding member of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, was interviewed on teleSUR English about the ongoing, US-led coup attempt in Venezuela. Alan condemns the position of the UK government which is supporting the coup and withholding billions in Venezuelan gold. Alan also denounces the threat of military aggression which is being prepared under the guise of 'humanitarian aid'.

The power of the yellow vests movement never ceases to surprise – and intimidate – its adversaries. Of course, the bourgeois and their lackeys (in politics and the media) know that poverty exists. They hear about it, distantly, but they are totally disconnected from the real living conditions of the people, their suffering and their problems. Then, from their lofty position of privilege, with all their power and their fortune, they said to themselves: “a little more or a little less austerity, what difference will that make?” The answer hit them like a ton of bricks.

On 22 November 2018, Bhaskar Sunkara and John Peterson participated in a panel organized at Temple University in Philadelphia by the Temple Marxists, YDSA, and the Utopia Film Club. The editors of Jacobin and Socialist Revolution gave their definitions of socialism, analysed the current state of the socialist movement in the US, and provided their views on the perspectives for a socialist future. The discussion covered a wide range of basic topics of socialist theory and politics, such as the nature of the capitalist state, the role of the Democrats and the two-party system, the state of the US labor movement, and more.

Even though the ongoing imperialist coup in Venezuela has not yet succeeded, the impression one gets is that there is an inexorable march forward in its implementation, which is pushed mainly from forces abroad rather than from within Venezuela itself. The next step in the plan is the use of “humanitarian aid” as a provocation on the border with Colombia.

On Tuesday, 29 January 2019, the MAP (Maghreb Arabe Presse) announced that the Kingdom of Morocco expressed its official support for Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela. By doing so, Morocco became the first country in all of Africa and the second in the Middle East to express its support for the American-backed coup against the democratically elected President Maduro. Israel (headed by the child-murderer Netanyahu) has also recognised Guaido as a "legitimate president", just because he declared himself so.

It is a well-known fact that accident can play a considerable role in both history and the lives of individuals. In the course of my life I have observed many accidents and extraordinary coincidences. But I have never experienced such a unique and unforeseeable concatenation of circumstances as that which I am about to relate here.