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Early Friday morning (3 Jan 2020), in an act of supreme arrogance the Trump administration carried out the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, as well as top Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes in Baghdad airport. Yet again, US imperialism is adding to the instability in the Middle East.

Note: this dramatic development means we have postponed Alan Woods’ new year article, which will be published tomorrow.

The Modi government has unleashed a brutal attack on the student leaders of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi through its goons, allegedly linked to ABVP and RSS. The thugs of the ABVP, student wing of BJP, assembled in large numbers along with security personnel in civilian clothes, and entered the premises of the university on the evening of 5 January. They severely beat and injured many student leaders, including the president of the student’s union, Aishe Ghosh. She has now been admitted to hospital and is in critical condition with a fractured skull.

On 11 January 2020, the Taiwanese voters will decide who will be in charge of the Presidential Palace and the Legislative Yuan for the next four years. These are two key ruling class institutions under Taiwan’s “Republic of China (ROC)” bourgeois-democratic system. After witnessing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s catastrophic defeat in the 2018 municipal elections and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-backed repression against the Hong Kong democratic movement, many Taiwanese workers and youth dread a future where the CCP begins to take away Taiwan’s hard-earned democratic rights by way of its local comprador, the KMT, returning to power.

The November protest movement in Iran was drowned in blood, but the fight isn’t over. Anger is ripe on the streets, and for the first time ever, a serious, organised attempt at protest is being led by nine organisations representing workers and the poor. We publish their joint statement and call to protest on 23 December (tomorrow). We do not know what will transpire, but this is an important development and a sign of where things are headed.

The IMT has spent the past year commemorating the March 1919 centennial of the Third (Communist) International's founding. In particular, we celebrate the extraordinary promise and lessons of its first four congresses. But just a few years after it entered the scene of history, the Comintern suffered a sudden, dramatic, and irreversible decline. What happened? How was all that potential squandered and turned into its opposite?

The focus of coverage of the 12 December general election has naturally been on the gains made by the Tories, particularly in the Midlands and the North of England. Less attention has been given to the seismic shift that took place in the North of Ireland. In an election marked by sectarianism, electoral alliances, Brexit and the border, the DUP received a hammering. Their fall from the position of kingmakers at Westminster two years ago has been dramatic.

The "sardines" took to the squares of Emilia in big numbers, and in the wake of their success, became a national movement in a matter of days. The first mobilisation was triggered in the capital of Bologna on 14 November, due to the presence of Salvini, who is doing a rally tour of the region with an eye on the 26 January elections.

Alan Woods, (editor of marxist.com) analyses last week's UK election results, answering the lies of the establishment media and the Blairites, who have falsely attempted to place all the blame for Labour's election loss on Jeremy Corbyn.

For the third consecutive week, French workers from dozens of professions (train drivers, teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, factory workers – even opera singers!) downed tools and hit the streets, alongside hundreds of thousands of supporters, to oppose the reactionary Macron regime. While the government has been downplaying the turnout, claiming only 600,000 took part, the protests were at least as big as on 5 December. The CGT union federation claims they were even bigger, citing a figure of 1,800,000 demonstrators, which would be hands down the biggest mobilisation since 1995.

The dust has barely settled on last week’s shock election result, but already the Blairites are carrying out a ferocious attack on the Labour left.

On 4 December, the chamber of deputies approved the "anti-crime bill", presented by Justice Minister Sergio Moro. Overall, 408 congressmen voted "yes", including almost all of the PT (Workers’ Party) and three congressmen from the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party). This positioning from supposedly left-wing parliamentarians exposes the extent to which one can go while working within the system, demonstrating the wrong policy, ignoring the global class struggle, and showing a lack of confidence in the working class.

All the reactionaries are crowing. Donald Trump expressed particular delight at the result. “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN!” the US President wrote on Twitter. “Johnson secures crushing UK election victory,” exuded the Financial Times, as the pound rose on foreign exchange markets.

Yesterday’s presidential election in Algeria was marked by a massive boycott campaign called for by the Hirak movement, which is now 43 weeks old. The boycott had been preceded by a four-day general strike and was particularly strong in the Kabylie region. Tens of thousands came onto the streets across the country defying a police ban on demonstrations. Whoever the generals decide will be the country’s president, they will not have any real legitimacy.

Today is the day. British workers and youth have one last opportunity to mobilise for a Labour win. The Tories are in a panic. The wind is in our sails. We have every chance of success. Let's get out there and fight! All out for a Corbyn victory!

The British general election has entered its denouement. The following article was published by the British Marxists at Socialist Appeal on the eve of polling day, reflecting on the last stretch of Labour's hard-fought campaign, in which thousands of activists have been pitted against the smears and lies of the Tory Party electoral machine. 

The speech delivered by Edouard Philippe (the Prime Minister) yesterday concluded over 18 months of “talks” and “consultations” with the leaders of the trade unions. Hundreds of hours of negotiation meetings culminated in this enlightening result: the government presented exactly the same reform that they would have put forward if none of the “talks” and “consultations” had taken place.

Speaking on the eve of the most important general election of a generation, Alan Woods (editor of marxist.com) discusses how the Tories and the capitalist establishment are resorting to a torrent of lies and smears in order to prevent a Labour victory. But an unprecendented mass political movement of workers and youth has mobilised to combat the attacks and carry Corbyn into Number 10. Vote for Corbyn! Fight for socialism!

Yesterday’s interprofessional strike against Macron’s pension reform brought between 800,000 and 1,000,000 workers and youth onto the streets of France, according to the CGT. While this is a drop from the mobilisation last Thursday (which was possibly the biggest since 1995), the turnout was still high, with strong participation by transport workers, teachers, health workers and students.

On 17 November, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared the new president of Sri Lanka. Winning 52.5 percent of the total votes, Gotabaya’s pro-nationalist party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), promised greater national security against “terrorism” and to lead the country to greater economic prosperity.

The most important election of a generation is almost upon us. Boris Johnson, the Tories, and their friends in the capitalist press are doing their best to thwart Corbyn’s chances of making it into Number 10. But with a mass movement taking to the streets and onto social media, everything is up for grabs.

With under a week to go, Labour is taking its campaign up a gear. Activists are being bussed into marginals to bolster local doorknocking efforts. Money is being raised from grassroots donations in order to reach young voters in key seats. And the party’s mass membership is being mobilised to flood the streets over the next few days.

On 1 December, a feature article about the IMT made the main headline on the front page of one of Japan’s top daily newspapers. The Mainichi Shimbun (“The Daily Paper”) is Japan’s oldest major newspaper, founded in 1872 and published twice daily, with a circulation of 4 million. We publish below for our readers the English translation of the article, entitled The Internationale Resounds in NYC—Socialism Resonating with the Youth.

On Monday 25 November, all ships stayed in port, the buses stood still and the airplanes were grounded at Helsinki-Vantaa International airport. Finnish trade unions went on strike in support of the postal workers, who had decided to fight back against an attempt to force them to accept a worse collective bargaining agreement. After two and a half weeks of strikes, the postal workers won a crucial victory for the entire Finnish workers’ movement – but more battles lie ahead.

The 5 December strike mobilised a number of demonstrators not seen in France since the struggles of autumn 2010 (against the Sarkozy government’s pension reform). While we do not know the exact number of striking workers, it is likely that no interprofessional strike has had such a big impact on France’s economy since December 1995.

The recent “release” and immediate brutal re-arrest of Sowore raises the question of the nature of the present regime in Nigeria. The justified anger of many workers and youth poses the problem of “what is to be done?” Here comrade Rashy in Nigeria explains that this event brings into sharp focus the need to radically transform Nigerian society along socialist lines.

Yesterday’s general strike against Macron’s pension reform saw a “convergence of struggles” from across French society. According to the CGT (the trade union federation at the head of the strike), 1.5 million people took part in the demonstrations, which would make this the biggest movement since the battle against Alain Juppé’s package of attacks in 1995. The spirit of the gilets jaunes can be felt on the streets, where (despite the limitations of their leadership) the workers are directing their fury, not just against the pension reform, but the government as a whole.

Lenin once said that “politics is a concentrated expression of economics.” For over a decade, we have been subjected to a deep and systemic crisis of capitalism. The only way out for the ruling class is to ramp up austerity and to intensify our exploitation even further. With inequality already at historic levels and relative standards of living in free fall for billions, this is a finished recipe for explosions of the class struggle. This explains why, just a quarter-century since the “end of history” was declared, the masses are again moving might and main to change their destinies.

Last weekend, the congress of Der Funke, the IMT in Austria, saw 100 people gather to discuss the current world situation and the perspectives of class struggle in Austria – the biggest congress in the history of Der Funke. With guests from the Czech Republic, Yugoslavia, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland and Britain, who shared their experiences with the congress, the international spirit was clearly visible.

The protest movement of Jawaharlal Nehru University students against indiscriminate fee hikes and reactionary discipline policies for hostels have entered a new stage. The university administration has astronomically increased the fees by 999 percent, meaning hostel room rent has increased from INR10 ($0.14) to INR600 ($8.35). In addition to this, there are newly implemented service charges of INR1700 ($23.67), and the mess fee has increased from INR5000 ($69.61) to INR12000 ($167.07).

As the temperature rises in this general election, the battle lines have become ever clearer. On one side is the mass Corbyn movement of workers and youth. And on the other, the rich and powerful have assembled firmly behind their party, the Conservatives.

Over 90 comrades from nine different countries on the American continent participated in the 4th Marxist Panamerican Cadre School of the International Marxist Tendency, held in Mexico on 28 November to 1 December. The meeting, taking place at a time of turbulence and mass uprisings in Latin America, was a success, being the largest Panamerican school we have ever held: revealing the advances of the IMT across the continent. For additional detail about the first day, click here.

On 28 November, the opening rally of the 4th Panamerican School of the IMT was held at the Trotsky House Museum in Mexico City (click here for a full report on the three-day event). Gabriela Pérez, director of the museum, spoke in front of an international audience and welcomed the school. Following this, Ubaldo Oropeza, leader of Izquierda Socialista (the IMT in Mexico), opened the school in front of an auditorium of around 80 attendees from different countries in North, Central, and South America, as well as some from Europe. The opening theme was The Communist International, 100 years

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This article was first published in German by the comrades of Der Funke, the IMT in Austria. Here we provide an English translation on this important question of Queer Theory. Is it compatible with Marxism? Can there be such a thing as “Queer Marxism”? Yola Kipcak in Vienna replies in the negative, and explains why.

Suddenly, and without any warning, a rap song appeared on social media, produced by three young men – who were unheard of up to that moment – and racked up millions of views in record time. The track was entitled "Long Live the People", based on the slogan of the revolutionary youth (especially notable in the 20F’s manifestations) directed against the monarchist slogan: “long live the king”. The track topped the list of most-watched Moroccan videos on YouTube. This is unprecedented for an agitational song, as the top spot has typically been occupied by pop trifles.

Two weeks have passed since the eruption of protests all over Iran after the regime introduced a surprise cut to fuel subsidies. Despite a heroic struggle by the people on the streets, the movement was crushed by the regime within five days. But this was far from a triumphant victory for a regime that is now weaker than ever before.

In an explosive move, Corbyn and the Labour Party revealed over 400 pages of previously redacted documents lifting the lid on the UK–US trade talks. The content of these documents cuts right through Boris Johnson’s neverending web of lies.

The situation in Colombia is advancing very rapidly after the national strike on 21 November. What was a one-day strike became a permanent and daily protest that is already a week old. The protest did not stop, despite the curfew and militarisation decreed in the capital Bogotá (and in Cali) by the reactionary Duque government. The death of the young Dilan Cruz, who was shot by a tear gas canister directly in the head by ESMAD (Mobile Anti-Riot Squadron) has shocked the country. In response, the National Strike Committee decided to call for a new national strike on 27 November and to include among its demands the dismantling of ESMAD.

Last weekend, amidst a wave of protests that has raged on for over half a year following the Extradition Bill introduced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong held its regularly scheduled district council election. This typically low-interest, low-turnout affair was turned into an effective referendum on the Hong Kong masses’ opinion towards Beijing in light of recent events. It concluded with a landslide victory for the anti-Beijing bloc of politicians, with the highest turnout since Hong Kong’s return to China. But what is needed is a clear way forward based on class struggle politics.

The Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ephraim Mirvis, has launched a vicious attack against Labour, claiming the party is not doing enough to root out alleged anti-Jewish racism. In an article in the Times newspaper, the Chief Rabbi claims "the overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety" at the prospect of a Labour victory in the general election.

Chile is experiencing another general strike, as part of the uprising against the regime that has been going on for almost 40 days already. The government continues to intensify the repression (denounced by international organisations) and even modifies legislation by granting itself more powers to use the army “in the protection of public buildings”, without decreeing the state of emergency, while trying to bamboozle the movement through “agreements” and promises of negotiation. The conditions for bringing Piñera down are present, but what is missing?

The first congress of the Marxist Organisation Crveni (Reds), the Yugoslav IMT, took place on 16-17 November. At the congress, we discussed, amended and voted on our organisational and financial documents, as well as on the Yugoslav Perspectives (with a particular focus on the situation in Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Macedonia), and we expanded our Programmatic Foundations. The congress also voted to apply for full membership in the IMT. The 21 delegates present at the Congress, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Macedonia, also elected a new Central Committee of the organisation. A representative of the IMT was present, along with several guest contacts and friends of the

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In his latest podcast (recorded 25 November), Jorge Martin provides an update on the recent strike in Colombia, the month-long uprising in Chile, and the struggle against the coup in Bolivia.

On 21 November, a powerful general strike paralysed Colombia. Originally called to reject a package of measures by the right-wing government of Ivan Duque, including a counter reform of the labour laws, a counter reform of pensions and massive cuts in education, it became the focal point for accumulated anger. The strike was the largest the country has seen since 1977 and there were mass demonstrations in every town and city. The government responded with repression and threats. This only served to escalate the situation.

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