Middle East

After assassinating popular Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last week, the Israeli state would not even allow her body to reach its final resting place in peace. In a shocking act of sadism, Israeli police attacked Abu Akleh’s funeral procession on Friday, using batons and stun grenades against mourners escorting her coffin from a hospital in East Jerusalem to a cemetery in the nearby Old City.

Palestinian Al Jazeerareporter Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead by the Israeli military early this morning, while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. This cold-blooded murder of a journalist – a war crime under the Geneva Convention – further exposes the brutality of the Israeli state, and lays bare the repulsive hypocrisy of its imperialist allies.

The economic crisis gripping Turkey has pushed the Turkish ruling class into a political crisis. Splits and divisions are opening up in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its electoral partner, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). These events are a harbinger of revolution.

We are proud to announce the publication of the ninth issue of the Arabic magazine of the International Marxist Tendency: Freedom and Communism. We publish here an overview of its contents, and an English translation of the editorial statement. You can read the whole issue in Arabic online here

What is being called “Egypt’s #MeToo movement” has made headlines around the world since 2020, with high-profile sexual predators being called out online. Meanwhile, the country’s regime has been pushed onto the back foot on the question of sexual violence and women’s oppression during recent years. This question is bound up with the fate of the Egyptian Revolution. Those who want to rid Egypt of violence against women must turn towards the working class and raise the call: time’s up for Sisi!

The workers of Turkey are beginning to make the ruling class tremble. A strike wave is rapidly spreading across the country. Beginning among some of the most precariously employed workers, it has spread from factory to factory. From 6 January to 14 February, there have been 65 strikes across Turkey, with new strikes erupting every day. As the strike wave has progressed, it has threatened to draw in the heavy battalions of the working class, and has already brought in workers from Erdoğan’s own heartland.

On 30 to 31 January, tens of thousands of teachers went on strike across Iran in over 300 cities, led by the Teachers’ Coordinating Committee. Slogans at the rallies included: “The teacher would rather die than accept [this] humiliation”, “If there was justice, the teachers would not be here”, and: “We do not have cannons and guns but we have the support of the people”. The strike was met with the arrest of dozens of trade unionists. But this has not discouraged the teachers, who have planned weekly strikes this month and threatened an indefinite strike if their demands are not met.

In the past month, there have been over 230 strikes and protests across Iran. Since their national three-day strike from 10–13 December, teachers’ protests, led by a Teachers’ Coordinating Council, have continued across Iran. Sporadic strikes continue among oil workers in Khuzestan, and on a nearly daily basis, there are reports of workers at major factories spontaneously launching indefinite strike action.

This month has seen a relentless series of over 230 strikes and protests in Iran. The most prominent of these was a two-day teachers’ strike on 11-13 December, involving tens of thousands of teachers in hundreds of cities across the country. The regime responded by arresting over 200 teachers and trade unionists.

After nearly 19 years in power, the strongman image of Turkey’s longest-sitting head of state, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is rapidly deteriorating. The world economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered another, severe blow to his crisis-ridden regime.

Since 8 November, thousands of farmers have been protesting in Isfahan, Iran, over the drying up of the Zayanderud river, the major river in the province. They have been calling for the distribution of water reserves to farmers. Having been ignored by the regime, farmers occupied the dried-up riverbed in front of Khaju bridge. In the early morning of 25 November, riot police set the farmers’ tents ablaze: the beginning of a government crackdown against the increasingly militant protests. Clashes between protesters and the regime continued for three days, with 210 arrested, 20 injured and three deaths confirmed.

In the last month there have been over 150 strikes and protests across Iran. This is only the latest strike wave since 2018. The ongoing struggles include oil workers in Khuzestan, the Haft Tappeh sugar plantation workers, miners in Azerbaijan, Khorasan and Kerman, national protests of teachers, and ongoing farmers’ protests among others. All the while, the social crisis in Iran is continuing to plummet to new depths.

As Lebanon’s economic crisis deepens, the Lebanese ruling class continues to manoeuvre and haggle over debt repayment to its imperialist creditors, ignoring the plight of the people. As talks with the IMF stall, it is the Lebanese masses who pay the price. Between fuel shortages, medicine shortages, and hyperinflation, the Lebanese workers and youth face a scenario of complete societal collapse.

The Turkish working class is beginning to move as a series of strikes and protests spread across the country. Factory workers; textile workers; construction workers; health workers; postal workers; service workers; miners; airline workers; press workers; municipality workers; and more have begun fighting back against union busting, unfair contracts, layoffs, dismissals, and unpaid wages.