This is a report from a Workers’ Alternative activist who visited Maiduguri twice some weeks ago and stayed there for two weeks cumulatively in collaboration with a working class activist on the ground in Maiduguri . The report gives a true insight into state of things in this hot zone.
After a rather long rough journey; journey full of resistance and high determination from those privatizing and the workers who are to bear the brunt, power sector in Nigeria finally got privatized on the 1st of November, 2013. Decades of suffering by Nigerians, who cannot understand why this country still finds it so difficult to generate enough power to power its economy and make life meaningful for its citizens has actually made Nigerians become so desperate to get out of this anomaly.
On Monday, 21/10/13, the academic staff of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, AOCOED, Ijanikin, Lagos, organized around Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, organized a congress of their union at the college’s main auditorium. The union is the equivalent of ASUU in universities.
The congress of the Nigerian section of the IMT was held on October 19-20, with a total of 20 comrades participating from different parts of the country. The presence of comrades from the north was a source of excitement and enthusiasm for all those present.
“that tendency which is growing up together with the revolution, which is able to foresee its own tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, which is setting itself clear goals and knows how to achieve them.” (Trotsky, On the Policy of the KAPD, Speech Delivered at the Session of the ECCI, November 24, 1920)
[Original title: IMT Resolution on the current situation]
Perspective is not an oracular statement, and nobody has a crystal ball to predict exactly the direction of event. However, perspectives give an idea of the way events are likely to move in the future. In Drawing up perspectives for the Nigerian Trade Union Movement, it is highly imperative to critically look at the present state of the Trade Unions and also study the objective conditions that led to this present state. Trotsky said seventy three years ago, “there is one common feature in the degeneration of modern trade union organizations in the entire world: it is their drawing together closely to and growing together with the state power”. This assertion is much more correct today than seventy three years ago when it was written. The situation in the ex-colonial countries like Nigeria is even much more terrible. This is because the ex-colonial countries are under the sway not only of native capitalism but of foreign imperialism.
What are the origins of Boko Haram? Poverty and lack of education? Absolutely not. Because some parts of the South are not any better off and yet there is nothing like Boko Haram in those areas.
There are militants and ethnic militias everywhere in the country but nothing close to the dramatic violence and barbarism of Boko Haram; from suicide bombings, to assassinations of clergy, bombings of churches full of worshipers, motor parks, media houses and the burning of schools and other infrastructure.
State of Emergency: intensification of an attack on already terrorized masses
Conspicuously missing in President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech of Tuesday 14th May, 2013 where he declared an indefinite state of emergency in three Northeast States of Nigeria, is the fact that he had earlier already declared states of emergency in two of the present three states since December 31 2011. The states of emergency in these states, Borno, Yobe, Plateau and Niger are yet to be called off.
The most important question is if the earlier declared emergency rule had not worked, what will make this one work, as the conditions remain the same.
The TV is full of the sycophantic outpourings of right-wing commentators and politicians about the sudden death of Margaret Thatcher. The Establishment has rallied to praise her. The Queen has sent a personal message of condolence to the Thatcher family. The news is full of tributes, portraying Thatcher as some kind of champion of freedom and liberty. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. She was a champion – a champion of capitalism, the ruling class, and all it represents.
The situation in both Pakistan and Nigeria are quite similar. They are both underdeveloped neo-colonial capitalist countries in crisis. This article is from a Pakistani Marxist, Lai Khan,and the experience which he document is quite similar to that in Nigeria. In Nigeria, there has been a qualitative raise in bloody sectarian violence.
The arson and burning down of 178 houses in the night of 8th and 9th March in Joseph Colony, a Christian neighbourhood near Badami Bagh, in the heart of Lahore is yet another fanatical incident that reflects the malaise afflicting the Pakistani society. A vigilante mob carried out this act of savagery on the pretext of allegedly blasphemous remarks made by a Christian youth in a drunken fracas with a Muslim friend.
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, once said that it was not rational to start a bank run but rational to participate in one once it started. These words of wisdom have once again become reality.
It is a week now since the death of Hugo Chávez and there are still kilometer long queues of people coming from all over the country to pay their last respects. Presidential elections have been called for April 14 and the mood is turning angry at the provocations of the oligarchy.
It is very difficult to convey even a fraction of the outpouring of grief and emotion which Venezuela has witnessed in the last week. According to some accounts, as many as two million people came out to accompany the coffin, as it was being transported from the Military Hospital to the Próceres where it was to be displayed. The route is around 8 km long and it took the funeral procession over 7 hours to cover it.
Hugo Chavez is dead, he is no more! The cruel hand of death has finally snatched him away from us. He battled for two years to see if he could complete what he had started, but the dark laws that govern the workings of human systems have destroyed his life. Medicine and series of operations have proved powerless to accomplish what was passionately hoped for, what millions of human hearts demanded.
With the last few comrades registering on Sunday morning (March 10th) the total number taking part in the congress went over 2800. The main discussions of the day were on the coming election campaign, an organisational discussion and a report on the work of the IMT internationally.
Hugo Chávez is no more. The cause of freedom, socialism and humanity has lost a courageous champion. He died on Tuesday, March 5, at 4.25 pm local time. The news was announced by Vice President Maduro. The President was just 58, and had been 14 years in power. He has been battling cancer for the last two years, but when news of his death was announced, it came as a shock.
In a period of crisis and decline of capitalism, to many people religion is the one certainty to cling on to. But if the Pope himself is no longer convinced he can keep his position until his death, this illusion of solidity begins to break down. The effect of the surprise announcement of his retirement by Pope Benedict XVI on the consciousness of over a billion Roman Catholics is going to be that of a spiritual earthquake, and it is surely going to have political consequences too.
The last time a Pope abdicated his position before Benedict XVI was in 1415, when Gregory XII retired with the purpose of recomposing the Western Schism, a forty-year long split between the Church of Rome and the Church of Avignon. The papal spokesman himself has ruled out serious health issues behind the 2013 abdication. It seems that this pontiff’s resignation is also based on a profound split within the Catholic Church and particularly within the Roman Curia, i.e. the government of the Church and the administrative apparatus of its miniature theocracy.
A crisis of the system is what emerges from the Italian elections of February 24/25. The Wall Street Journal reveals the concerns of the international bourgeoisie when it says that, "So far as the market is concerned, the Italian elections have produced the worst possible outcome." Rather alarmed is also the Financial Times which published an editorial statement on February 26 with the title, "Italy takes a step into the unknown."
In recent years, the long drawn out struggle of the FIAT workers in Pomigliano, Italy, has gained an international echo. The attacks on trade union activists and the banning of the only militant trade union with large support amongst the workers, the FIOM-CGIL, by FIAT management reveal the ruthlessness of the bosses in removing the most elementary trade union rights of the workers. We publish here an appeal for solidarity launched by the International Marxist Tendency, IMT ,International Executive Committee two weeks ago, with a first list of signatures from many countries. Workers' Alternative is part of the IMT. This resolution has been translated and published in the factory paper RadioFabbrica produced by workers and shop stewards in the metal industry and all FIAT plants all over Italy, for distribution at the factories gates. We call on our readers and supporters to add their signatures to the appeal.
The answer to this question once seemed like a no-brainer. During the years of the postwar boom, college was sold as a kind of normal stage of life for young Americans, and attaining a degree from a public university was a sure way toward a higher salary. It was often quite affordable as well, thanks to things like Pell Grants and a greater amount of public funding. Those days seem far away now.
This was the pointed question posed in a recent article on the website of Forbes, the proud and unapologetic mouthpiece of capitalism. In the words of the article’s author, Igor Greenwald: “Capitalism has been the dominant economic system in the Western world for, give or take, 400 years. And in that virtual eye blink in the grander scheme of things it has produced more wealth than all the prior economic systems put together ... But nothing—not even the bestest thing ever—lasts forever. Stuff happens. Things change. Systems work until they don’t. How close is capitalism to the end of its useful life? What comes next?”
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