The Arab Revolution is a source of inspiration to workers and young people everywhere. It has rocked every country in the Middle East to their foundations and its reverberations are being felt all over the world. The dramatic events in North Africa and Egypt mark a decisive turning point in human history. These events are not isolated accidents apart from the general process of the world revolution.
‘No Choice Options’ for the toiling masses
The chain of violence recorded across the country in the last days of the past year and weeks into the New Year is indicative of what the year holds for the country.
Many times, necessity expresses itself as an accident. It was really necessary in Tunisia, where unemployment is over 20%, and with 7.6% living below the poverty line of 2 dollars per day. The masses were angry and revolted to topple the despotic government of Ben Ali.
Friday, 28 January 2011. The flames of anger are spreading through all Egypt and nothing can stop them. The fate of the Mubarak regime hangs in the balance. Today there were violent clashes on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities as the struggle for power has entered into a new stage. The call went out for mass protests after Friday prayers. The regime warned that any protests will be met with the full force of the state. The stage was set for a dramatic confrontation.
On Wednesday, 15th December 2010, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan presented the 2011 budget for the approval of the National Assembly. The budget has been nicknamed “budget of consolidation”. The nickname, is a source of concern for every thinking Nigerian. For, what are we consolidating?
When watching Comic Relief or any other sort of international aid fundraiser, viewers are often startled with images of starving children, and an attempt is made to portray the African continent as a complete humanitarian disaster, composed of destitute countries that are plagued by famine, drought, disease, corruption, and civil war. Whilst it is true that natural disasters and adverse conditions have hindered the development of many African countries, these media sources do not attempt to address why the continent is prone to civil war and corruption and no effort is made to explain the root cause of the problem: imperialism.
Two months have passed since Venezuela's legislative elections on September 26, which gave a marginal victory to the forces of the revolution in the total vote and a 98-67 majority in terms of seats in the new National Assembly which will be installed in January. What lessons are being learnt from that experience?
As in all other European countries also in Austria the government is trying to make the workers and the youth pay for the capitalist crisis. Austria was severely affected by the crisis. In 2009 it was in deep recession with a sharp decrease in industrial production. And at the beginning of 2009 the government had to intervene with huge sums to prevent the collapse of the shaken bank system.
Events have taken a turn in Britain as the first mass reaction took place this week against the programme of vicious cuts being introduced by the Tory-led coalition. On Wednesday, November 10th, London witnessed an overwhelming response from the students as a demonstration of over 50,000 marched in protest at the attacks taking place in Higher Education.
Nigeria ruling class continues to lose its social base. Rather than this process being reversed, it is accelerating. The main social base upon which this present bourgeois democratic experiment bases itself has almost completely eroded. The ruling class finds itself more and more isolated from the ever-increasing number of Nigerian masses. More and more Nigerians are joining en-masse, the rank of those vanguards of the masses that are correctly
ASUU Southeast Still on Strike
On July 22, 2010, the southeast chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) commenced an indefinite strike action as directed by its National Executive Committee (NEC). It is disheartening to note that almost three months later, this strike is yet to be called off; the crux of the matter is yet to be addressed. These Southeast States’ citadels of learning remained shut down due to the hard-line stance of the state governments and their refusal to meet the demands of the striking lecturers.
The Lagos doctors strike action has lingered through the months of September-October 2010 and has expectedly led to a functionless and dangerous situation in all the government-owned hospitals in the state. The doctors had embarked on the strike action after the Governor Raji Fashola-led government failed to accede to their demands for an improved welfare package via the implementation of the new national CONMESS salary award for doctors, review of the highly excessive income tax – the hallmark of the present Lagos government, and the reinstatement of the former chairman of the Medical Guild, who was sacked last year for agitating for the rights of doctors for better deal. Published below is an extract from a contribution of one of the striking doctors, Dr Olayinka M.A, featured in THISDAY newspapers, Friday 8/10/2010 edition.
Nigeria as a nation is presently at a cross road with virtually all sectors of her economy at the brink of collapse. Education is in shamble, it was estimated that over 10 million Nigerian children are presently out of school, Nigerian Universities, which was among the best in Africa in the 60s, is presently ranked among the least. Over 40 million Nigerians are unemployed, over 70% Nigerians are living below poverty line. Power generation is still less than 3000 MW despite the fact that the installed generating capacity is 6000 MW because most facilities are poorly maintained. This situation has led to epileptic power supply in the country and without steady power supply obviously, there can never be any meaningful economic growth.
No doubt, Fashola government in Lagos state means different things to different people. To the elite, who wishes to drive his car without hindrance through a well flowered road, a road that is devoid of poor children hawking the streets, with beggars completely packed off the visible arena of passage; to him, Fashola is a hero. To a poor woman who had lived all her life selling in one corner of the road, a condition force down her throat by immense poverty, with her children hawking all over Lagos at the risk of being arrested by the police. These children suppose to be in school, but public education has completely collapsed. When she is ill she has to go to native doctor because public health is dead; a small apartment she stays will either soon be pulled down or is already demolished in the interest of Mega city project; to her, Lagos has never been so hellish as it is now. Of the estimated 18 million Lagosians, 11.55 million (64.2%) are living below poverty level, under genuine democracy who really own Lagos?
Recently the world’s central bankers gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for their annual meeting. Having experienced the biggest banking crisis in history, there was a sense of relief at having avoided a complete collapse. The talk now was of the dust settling. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, despite saying a month earlier that the outlook was “unusually uncertain”, said he was now “confident”. But such confidence is very much misplaced. With the world economy facing at best a painful recovery, and slow anaemic growth, the world’s bankers are deeply troubled as to what steps to take next.
The massive and militant demonstration that took place last Saturday, October 16, organised by the FIOM metalworkers’ union represents a clear turning point in the Italian political situation. October 16 shows the way. It is time to call a general strike.
On Saturday, October 16, more than 3 million people took the streets of France in hundreds of demonstrations in cities and towns throughout the country in the latest national day of action against the proposed counter-reform of the pensions system. The number was on a similar scale as October 2, the last time the trade unions called a day of action on a Saturday but the movement has certainly developed further. The demonstrations were another show of strength of this movement which has lasted for months and seen 5 national days of action since the end of the summer holidays.
For the last 10 weeks the capitalist media has been whipped into a frenzy by the story of 33 trapped miners in the San Jose Copiapó copper and gold mine in Chile. Though the event has been widely covered, it has not been much reported on, but rather, it has been turned into a narrative that leaves an increasingly unoriginal Hollywood salivating with eyeball dollar signs. The television reporting, as the miners were being rescued, was nothing less than abysmal.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) recently set up a Commission to investigate the extent of workers’ participation in and desire for the Labour Party. In spite of the Labour leadership’s claims that Nigerian workers do not desire a party of their own, the report of the investigation revealed the contrary.
The result of the elections to Venezuela’s National Assembly elections on Sunday was greeted by jubilation in the bourgeois media internationally. It is too early to make a definitive judgment about the results, and it has not been confirmed the right wing has overtaken the PSUV in votes. However, the deafening chorus of triumph in the international media is premature.
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