The YCL extends solidarity and red greetings to all the delegates attending the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in Quito, Ecuador 7th-13th of December 2013.
We hope the British delegates have arrived safely and wish them the very best of luck. The festival will draw in over 15’000 progressive young people from over 100 countries who are engaged in various ways in the struggle against imperialism and for peace in our lifetime.
The festival will see an interchange of not only solidarity but of ideas and tactics between international comrades. This will aid and inform our struggle here in Britain immeasurably and we hope that some of the experiences of the British working class movement will be passed on to sister organisations of WFDY.
The festival shows us that a world based on peace and solidarity is possible. It is of undoubted value in the struggle for peace, jobs and socialism in our lifetime.
We call echo the call to strengthen the anti-imperialist struggle, for a world of peace solidarity and revolutionary social transformation!
The YCL in Britain expresses great sadness at the death of Nelson Mandela. Below are statements from our sister young communist league in South Africa and our fraternal party the South African Communist Party.
Hamba kahle Mkhonto; It is now our turn to Fight
6 December 2013
The YCLSA (uFasimba) learned with great sadness last night of the passing away of a revolutionary freedom fighter, Commander in Chief of Umkhonto Wesizwe, leader of the ANC and of South Africans and Isithwalandwe, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Tata Mandela`s peaceful passing, although after a long illness, remains a wound in the hearts and minds of South Africans of all race, class and gender as he played a crucial role in the defeat of apartheid and became the first democratically elected President in 1994.
Tata`s death also come a few months before the 20th Anniversary of our democratic dispensation and on the eve of the 5th national general elections next year.
Although Tata dedicated most of his life after his release to the unity of our country, and the building of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society, the social ills imposed on our society by apartheid still remains prevalent.
These challenges, and those of unemployment, poverty and inequality, do not represent a defeat on the legacy and struggle of Tata Mandela, but a clarion call to the current generation that “It is our time to Fight” to ensure that his ideals lives on.
In the name and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the mantle of struggle falls on the current generation of youth to take forth the struggle to build the type of society that Nelson Mandela said he was prepared to die for.
As others proclaim that in his death the spear has fallen, we should be the first as the youth of this country to ensure that we pick it up and continue with the struggle.
As others say that the candle has been blown by the strong winds of death, we the youth, know that the source of light of our candle comes from that of Tata Mandela and with it, irrespective of our race, class and gender; shall use it to brighten a better South Africa.
A South Africa of Tata Mandela, even in his death, shall be that of common prosperity, peace, democracy and national unity.
We are aware that there are those who have been spreading a “swaart gevaar” suggesting that when Tata Mandela dies, there will be an attack by blacks on their fellow white South Africans.
This is misplaced and naïve. Irrespective of the inequalities, poverty and want that we find ourselves as a society, we also shared in the vision of Tata Mandela, that of resolving our racial, class and gender contradictions in the most peaceful of avenues available.
We shall not allow his legacy to be ruined in exchange for temporary political fortunes.
On behalf of the YCLSA, I extend my profound condolences to his family and those dearest to him, the ordinary South African.
Robala ka Khotso.
The Struggle Continues
Issued on behalf of Young Communists by Buti Manamela
National Secretary of the YCLSA.”
“…The True Revolutionary Is Guided By Great Feelings Of Love”:
Last night the millions of the people of South Africa, majority of whom the working class and poor, and the billions of the rest of the people the world over, lost a true revolutionary, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) joins the people of South Africa and the world in expressing its most sincere condolences to Ms Graca Machel and the entire Mandela family on the loss of what President Zuma correctly described as South Africa’s greatest son, Comrade Mandela. We also wish to use this opportunity to express our solidarity with the African National Congress, an organisation that produced him and that he also served with distinction, as well as all his colleagues and comrades in our broader liberation movement. As Tata Madiba said: “It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people, the workers, the peasants…”
The passing away of Cde Mandela marks an end to the life of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century, who fought for freedom and against all forms of oppression in both their countries and globally. As part of the masses that make history, Cde Mandela’s contribution in the struggle for freedom was located and steeled in the collective membership and leadership of our revolutionary national liberation movement as led by the ANC – for he was not an island. In Cde Mandela we had a brave and courageous soldier, patriot and internationalist who, to borrow from Che Guevara, was a true revolutionary guided by great feelings of love for his people, an outstanding feature of all genuine people’s revolutionaries.
At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our Party’s Central Committee. To us as South African communists, Cde Mandela shall forever symbolise the monumental contribution of the SACP in our liberation struggle. The contribution of communists in the struggle to achieve the South African freedom has very few parallels in the history of our country. After his release from prison in 1990, Cde Madiba became a great and close friend of the communists till his last days.
The one major lesson we need to learn from Mandela and his generation of leaders was their commitment to principled unity within each of our Alliance formations as well as the unity of our Alliance as a whole and that of the entire mass democratic movement. Their generation struggled to build and cement the unity of our Alliance, and we therefore owe it to the memory of Cde Madiba to preserve the unity of our Alliance. Let those who do not understand the extent to which blood was spilt in pursuance of Alliance unity be reminded not to throw mud at the legacy and memory of the likes of Madiba by being reckless and gambling with the unity of our Alliance.
The SACP supported Madiba’s championing of national reconciliation. But national reconciliation for him never meant avoiding tackling the class and other social inequalities in our society, as some would like to make us believe today. For Madiba, national reconciliation was a platform to pursue the objective of building a more egalitarian South African society free of the scourge of racism, patriarchy and gross inequalities. And true national reconciliation shall never be achieved in a society still characterized by the yawning gap of inequalities and capitalist exploitation.
In honour of this gallant fighter the SACP will intensify the struggle against all forms of inequality, including intensifying the struggle for socialism, as the only political and economic solution to the problems facing humanity.
For the SACP the passing away of Madiba must give all those South Africans who had not fully embraced a democratic South Africa, and who still in one way or the other hanker to the era of white domination, a second chance to come to terms with a democratic South Africa founded on the principle of majority rule.
We call upon all South Africans to emulate his example of selflessness, sacrifice, commitment and service to his people.
The SACP says Hamba kahle Mkhonto!
Communist Party of Britain general secretary Robert Griffiths responded as follows to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today 05/12/2013
The latest Chinese reforms might seem to herald a shift to the right. BEN CHACKO digs below the surface to uncover a more complex picture. This article first appeared as a feature in the Morning Star 03/12/2013
Concern over the direction of China’s economy has risen on the left since the Communist Party’s central committee plenum last month.
In my previous piece on the reforms announced at the meeting, I focused on changes to the hukou registration system and how it relates to social security, but many have questioned the concessions made to private capital in the broader economy.
There were certainly some alarm-bell moments for socialists. Party general secretary Xi Jinping referred to the “decisive” role of the market in allocating resources, while only last week the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it was “relaxing the level of enterprise investment that requires [Beijing's] approval” – surely indicating a reduction in state planning as a cornerstone of the economy.
How does that square with Xi’s declaration that “only socialism can save China, while only reform and opening up can develop China, socialism and Marxism”? Are these empty words?
Dig deeper and we find that things are a little more complex. It’s true that the plenum increased the number of state-owned enterprises in which private capital can invest, while also creating leeway for workers to be allocated shares in the businesses they work in to boost the co-operative economy.
But it also expressed a commitment to “maintain the dominant role of public ownership, with the state-owned economy playing a leading role” while improving management of state-owned companies to ensure they serve “national strategic goals and invest in the lifelines of the national economy.”
Cut through the jargon that seems a trademark of politicians in almost all societies, capitalist or socialist, and this would appear to mean an increase in planning.
A lack of accountability among huge state enterprises is a major problem in China. It has led to serious corruption scandals in the Railways Ministry (now part of the Transport Ministry) and PetroChina, among others.
But the anti-corruption drive is not the point in this document. The state sector controls the commanding heights of the Chinese economy, but if its various parts are not working together in accordance with national policy then it can lead to deadlock or worse.
To take one example, in 2003 the State Council set up the National Co-ordination Committee on Climate Change, tasked with ensuring economic growth was sustainable and reducing the impact of industrialisation on the environment.
To emphasise how important Beijing considered this it appointed Ma Kai, then chairman of the NDRC which is responsible for economic planning, to chair the new climate change body.
But the committee still found that the mighty state enterprises controlling coal, oil and transport were not interested in submitting their plans and records for environmental impact assessments.
Used to being judged purely on their contribution to growth, some officials decided that complying with the new climate change goals wasn’t important.
In the end then prime minister Wen Jiabao had to step in and start chairing the climate change meetings himself to make sure the department heads took them seriously, and since then we have seen progress in reducing emissions per unit of GDP and in developing green technology.
So part of the changes in management are simply to ensure that the state sector starts to work coherently for national development rather than pursuing narrower departmental goals.
It’s tempting for the coal industry, for example, to measure its success by how much coal it produces – but with air pollution a serious problem in many cities it’s important that fuel production and use is better regulated.
It’s connected to the decision to double the proportion of state firm profits that have to be transferred to the government for investment in welfare – the overall logic is to make state firms work for the public, so their successes benefit everyone rather than simply their sector.
Similarly if we look at the NDRC’s latest comments on reducing the state’s role in approving enterprises, hailed by the Western business press as reducing regulation, we find that that isn’t quite the case.
For one thing, it’s explicit that industries relating to “national security, eco-safety, exploitation of strategic resources or of vital public interest” will still need the nod from Beijing.
Decentralisation is as key a part of these reforms as any loosening of restrictions on private capital.
This ties in with the pledges to reform government finances to allow province and city-level governments to meet their social security obligations.
There is, though, the encouragement being given to the private sector to invest in state firms.
But then there’s the whole question of “market socialism” in the first place. The role of the market as China builds the “primary stage of socialism” has been part and parcel of policy for decades.
In fact the “bird-cage” model where the “bird” of the market is free to move within the “cage” of state planning was first announced by Chen Yun in 1956, when Mao was still in charge, though it’s fair to say the chairman wasn’t too keen on it.
The idea is to develop China’s productive forces, and in these terms it has been a great success.
The overwhelmingly rural and localised economy of the Mao years was not a suitable base from which to build an advanced socialist society. Modern China looks increasingly adapted to do so.
This “primary stage of socialism,” Chinese planners say, could last for 50 years or more.
We could see such a timescale as an attempt to kick any deviation from current policy into the long grass.
Perhaps it is – but we ought to remember that such timescales are not unusual in Chinese planning.
There is a 75-year plan in progress to reforest the country, the famous “green wall of China,” while proposals for a tunnel between the Yangtze and Yellow rivers are billed as a 50-year plan.
Chinese officials think long-term, and huge swathes of the country remain backward and underdeveloped.
Western visitors wowed by the glittering skyscrapers of Shanghai or Nanjing may believe China is as advanced as the West – and in some areas it is – but it still has a lot of catching up to do.
There are serious problems with seeing China’s reforms as a shift towards capitalism.
Why, if a capitalist class is pulling the strings, is the party massively increasing investment in health care, pensions and benefits, when capitalist classes elsewhere are doing the opposite?
Why did the plenum commit to a widespread redistribution of wealth, both through “increasing work remuneration in primary distribution” – code for raising wages as a share of economic output – and through higher taxes?
What of the new comprehensive care systems announced this autumn for the elderly, for children whose parents both work, for people with disabilities?
None of these are capitalist policies. It would be foolhardy to claim to know exactly where China’s strategy will lead it over coming decades.
But only a highly selective view of its reform programme could bill it as a lurch to the right.
The stakes are high in Netanyahu’s bid to force a change in US foreign policy after the nuclear deal with Iran. Can he succeed, asks URI AVNERY. This article first appeared as a feature in the Morning Star 30/11/2013
Angry noises from Israel this week over the deal on Iranian nuclear power are not just about a fight between Israel and the US.
Nor are we talking merely of a fight between the White House and Congress. This is also a battle between intellectual titans.
On one side the two renowned professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. On the other, the towering international figure of Noam Chomsky.
Does the dog wag the tail, or does the tail wag the dog?
Six years ago the two professors shocked the US and Israel with a book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, in which they asserted that US foreign policy is – at least in the Middle East – controlled by Israel.
This is diametrically opposed to the view of Noam Chomsky that Israel is a US pawn, used by US imperialism as an instrument to promote its interests.
I said at the time that both were right – this is a unique dog-tail relationship.
Theories like these can seldom be put to a laboratory test. But this one can.
It’s happening now. Between Israel and the US a crisis has developed.
It’s about the putative Iranian nuclear bomb. US President Barack Obama is determined to avert a military showdown. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to prevent a compromise.
For Netanyahu, the Iranians’ alleged nuclear designs have become a defining issue, even an obsession.
He talks about it incessantly. He has even declared that it is an “existential” threat to Israel and poses the possibility of a second Holocaust. Last year he made an exhibition of himself at the UN general assembly with his childish drawing of a bomb.
Cynics say this is only a trick, a successful gimmick to divert the world’s attention away from Palestine. And indeed, for years now the Israeli policy of occupation and settlements has been advancing quietly, away from the limelight.
But in politics a gimmick can serve several purposes at once. Netanyahu is serious about the Iranian bomb.
The proof is that on this issue he’s ready to do something no Israeli prime minister has done before – endanger Israeli-US relations.
This is a momentous decision. Israel is dependent on the US in almost every respect. Washington pays Israel a yearly tribute of at least $3 billion (£1.8bn), and in fact much more.
It gives us state-of-the-art military equipment. Its veto protects us from UN security council censure whatever we do.
We have no other unconditional friend in the world, except perhaps the Fiji islands.
If there’s one thing on which practically all Israelis agree it is this. A break with the US is unthinkable. To use a Hebrew expression much loved by Netanyahu, it is “the rock of our existence.”
So what does he think he’s doing?
Netanyahu was brought up in the US. He went to school and university there. It’s where he started his career.
He doesn’t need advisers on US affairs. He considers himself the smartest expert of all.
He’s no fool or adventurer. He bases himself on solid assessments. He believes he is able to win this fight.
You could say he’s an adherent of the Walt-Mearsheimer doctrine.
His present moves are based on the judgement that in a straight confrontation between Congress and the White House, Congress will win. Obama, already bloodied by other issues, will be beaten – maybe even destroyed.
Netanyahu was wrong the last time he tried something like this. During the last presidential elections he openly supported Mitt Romney. The Republicans, he felt, were bound to win.
Casino baron Sheldon Adelson poured money into their campaign while maintaining an Israeli mass-circulation daily for the sole purpose of supporting Netanyahu.
Romney couldn’t lose. But he did.
This should have been a lesson for Netanyahu, but he didn’t absorb it. He is now playing the same game but for vastly higher stakes.
The pro-Israel lobby Aipac is marshalling its forces on Capitol Hill. It’s an impressive show.
Senator after senator, representative after representative comes forward to support the Israeli government against their own president.
The same people who jumped up and down like string-puppets when Netanyahu made his last speech before Congress try to outdo each other in assertions of undying loyalty to Israel.
This is an exhibition of shamelessness. Several senators declare publicly that they have been briefed by the Israeli intelligence services.
This would be unthinkable with any other country. Say Ireland or Italy, where many US citizens trace their roots.
Some Israeli commentators have even joked that Netanyahu believes in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous tract fabricated by Russia’s tsarist secret police. It purported to expose a sinister Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. A century later Netanyahu seems to think he controls the US.
The senators and representatives involved are no fools – not all of them, in any case. They have a clear purpose – to get re-elected.
Aipac has demonstrated, in several test cases, that it can unseat any senator or rep who does not toe the Israeli line.
Politicians prefer humiliating themselves to political suicide. No kamikaze pilots in Congress.
It is difficult to know how far the White House is cowed by this development.
Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry know that US public opinion is dead set against any new war in the Middle East.
Compromise with Iran is in the air. This is supported by almost all world powers. Even France’s tantrums had no clear purpose except to throw its supposed weight around.
President Francois Hollande was received in Israel this week like the harbinger of the messiah, incidentally. You could close your eyes and be back in the good old pre-de Gaulle days when France armed Israel, supplied it with its military atomic reactor and the two countries went on jolly escapades together like the disastrous Suez invasion of 1956.
But if Obama and Kerry hold fast, can Congress impose an opposite policy on Iran? Could this turn into the most serious constitutional crisis in US history?
Alongside it all Kerry is still trying to impose on Netanyahu a peace with Palestine that he doesn’t want. He did succeed in pushing the premier into “final status negotiations” – the word “peace” is taboo – but nobody in Israel or Palestine believes anything will come of it.
Unless the White House puts the whole might of the US behind it, and that seems more than unlikely.
Kerry allots nine months to the endeavour, as if it were a normal pregnancy. The chance of a baby at the end is, however, practically nil. In the first three months the sides have not progressed one step.
So, who will win? Obama or Netanyahu? Chomsky or Walt/Mearsheimer?
Time will tell. In the meantime, place your bets.
Uri Avnery is a former member of the Knesset and a founder of Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom. He blogs at http://www.avnery-news.co.il.
The YCL once again calls on all students across the UK to support the strike action called by UCU, UNISON, EIS and Unite for today 3rd of December. The YCL welcomed the good turnout for striking workers and was particularly heartened by the broad and widespread support from students for the strike action on the 31/10/2013. As with the Halloween strike students should not attend lectures, tutorials or seminars etc. or use university library, or any other facilities, while the strike action is taking place.
The YCL supports the many student occupations and sits ins occurring across Britain in support of the striking staff. Where possible attend the local joint union rallies taking place in support of the strike. Unity and cooperation between workers and students is essential to prevent these attacks on workers, which are paving the way for privatisation. Furthermore if we are to reverse the assault on further education by boards and managements zealously imposing the Condem educational doctrine -education being the privilege of the paying few- there must be a combined struggle between students and workers.
Once again Young Communists and all students place themselves firmly on the side of the workers striking for fair pay in higher and further education today.
Unite Press release 29/10/2013
“Hardline bosses at cash rich universities are blamed by Unite, the country’s largest union, for failing to reach a fair settlement before a second day of strike action at UK universities on Tuesday (3 December).
Despite talks under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) refused to budge, so Unite’s members in higher education will be joining Unison, the University and College Union (UCU) and the Scottish education union, the EIS for a one day strike on Tuesday.
Unite contrasts the five year pay drought which its members have endured, resulting in a 13 per cut in pay in real terms since 2008, with the lavish remuneration packages – averaging just under £250,000 a year – that the UK’s vice chancellors enjoy.
Unite national officer for education Mike McCartney said that the one per cent pay offer on the table for 2013/14 was “completely unacceptable”, given that the cumulative operating surplus in the higher education sector was now over £1 billion.
Mike McCartney said: “We had a very successful one day strike on 31 October when our members were heartened by the strong support from other staff, students and members of the public.
“The intransigence of the employers, who are sitting on a cash mountain of £1 billion, has not moved us forward. No new offer, other than the existing one per cent, leaves the higher education unions with no choice, but to take further strike action on 3 December.
“The unions are at a loss as to why the meeting under Acas’ watchful eye went ahead with nothing extra being put on the table – it makes a mockery of the concept of negotiation.
“It should be not be forgotten that it is the hard work of higher education staff that keeps Britain in the top ten of the world’s universities.
“While highly paid vice chancellors travel the world, in some style, drumming up student numbers, it is our members that underpin the whole higher education system.”
Unite’s membership embraces technicians, laboratory assistants, administrators and facilities management staff. The union has about 20,000 members in higher education. “
UCU Press release 29/11/2013
“Universities and colleges will be hit with the most widespread disruption for years on Tuesday as staff walk out in a row over pay.
Classes will be cancelled in further education colleges and universities as members of four trade unions take strike action. They are angry that, as the cost of living has risen, lecturers’ pay has been slashed in real terms since 2009.
University staff in UK universities first walked out on 31 October when members of UCU, Unison and Unite took strike action. On Tuesday (3 December) they will be joined by their colleagues in the EIS trade union in Scotland. Meanwhile lecturers at further education colleges in England will be taking their first day of strike action, also in a row over pay.
Staff in universities were offered just a 1% pay rise this year, despite their pay plummeting by 13% in real terms in last four years. Lecturers in further education colleges in England fared even worse when employers offered them just 0.7% to try and compensate for the fact their pay has been cut by 15% in real terms since 2009.
UCU said it was disappointed that talks with the university employers this week failed to bring about any resolution to that dispute. The employers refused to improve the 1% offer that staff rejected and which prompted the strike action. Talks between the union and representatives from further education colleges are scheduled for Monday.
Staff will be on picket lines in towns and cities across the UK from early in the morning, with many then making their way to local rallies in their area. HE Pay Dispute 2013 – Fair Pay in HE.
UCU head of bargaining, Michael MacNeil, said: ‘Staff in universities and colleges are taking strike action to say enough is enough. They have seen their pay slashed in real terms since 2009 and this year’s miserly pay offer, at a time of rising bills, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
‘Staff love their jobs, but their goodwill cannot continue to be taken for granted. Nobody wants to take strike action and lose a day’s pay, but we feel we have been left with no alternative.’ “
This is the first article in the new YCL history series “On this day”. The series will focus on giving an analysis of important, and indeed interesting, historical events of the distant and near past. The aim is to promote discussion, draw lessons from the past and give a Marxist analysis of history as opposed to the ‘Great Man theory’ of bourgeois ‘his-story’. It is also important to celebrate and commemorate great successes and events in the history of the international working class and communist movement. We hope the articles will accumulate into an eclectic mix which is both informative and fun to read.
It so happens that the first article is published today 02/12/2013, 57 years since the the Granma landed on the Playa Las Coloradas in what was then Oriente Province, in the south of the Cuba. Obviously this was an historic moment in the story of the Cuban revolution. By Johnnie Hunter.
The Granma had left Tuxpan in Mexico just after midnight on the 25th of November. Although only designed to carry 12 crew it had 82 members of the 26th of July Movement crowding it’s decks.
The planning and rehearsing for the landing was extremely detailed. Frank Paiz and Celia Sanchez had made preparations on the Cuban mainland for their arrival. Despite this from the beginning they suffered serious setbacks. For a start the Granma arrived two days later than scheduled because it was so heavily overladen. In the first battle at Alegria de Pio with Batista’s troops they suffered very heavy losses and were left scattered in the Sierra Maestra mountains.
However Castro and his comrades managed to regroup to begin what was to be a long guerilla war against the brutal Batista Regime.
The guerilla tactics of the 26th of July were remarkably successful. Throughout their time spent in the mountains mustering forces and skirmishing with the Cuban army they gained the esteem of the local peasants there through strict discipline and respect for their property.
This was of great strategic importance in terms of gaining supplies and keeping supply lines open, but also in terms of intelligence gathering and so as to prevent them from being betrayed to the regime. Furthermore during the later stages of the war and once the revolution had triumphed,there still existed this broad worker-peasant coalition in support of the 26th of July movement.
The attitude and strategy of the revolutionaries with regards to captured pro-Batista soldiers is also impressive in terms of it’s foresight and pragmatism. The 26th of July always sought to avoid executing and always aimed to release surrendered or capture enemy combatants.
I think clearly this says something for the humanity of those brave Cuban comrades, but more materially it was of great symbolic importance in propaganda terms. Plus it meant the next time you engaged these men they were more likely to surrender since they know they will be well treated. Plus if you develop a reputation for massacring surrendered men, in future the opposing forces will be far more minded to fight to the death.
The 26th of July gradually increased in strength and gained ground and greater fighting capability. After repulsing Batista’s Ofensiva they launched a counter-attack that inflicted defeat after defeat upon the regime. Batista eventually fled to the Dominican Republic on the first of January 1959. Since then we have seen the Cuban people choose the path of socialism rejecting the yoke of US imperialism. And the achievements of over 50 years of popular struggle in that county have been stunning.
When we look to Cuba today we see a democratic society building towards socialism with the support of the whole Cuban people. Cuba is a country of free healthcare, education, where no one is denied the chance to work. It is a country where they have made great advances in ending inequalities suffered by black people and women, but appreciate they still have distance to go.
The fact that they have achieved this despite naked aggression and the US blockade makes its achievements all the more inspiring. We need only compare Cuba to other Caribbean and Latin American Countries to see the superiority of economic planning. The strength of the Cuban revolution and their determination to resist imperialism has served as a bulwark for the growing progressive tide in South America.
The story of the Granma and the Cuban revolution serve as an inspiration to everyone serious about working class revolution the world over. The lessons of the Cuba’s ongoing struggle to build socialism have been invaluable to the international communist movement. We extend to the Cuban people our greatest support and solidarity and work tireless to end this unjust and illegal blockade. The Cuban revolution will continue to deliver for the Cuban people, and demonstrate to us internationally that another world is possible. Venceremos!
Fidel Castro, My Life. 2008.
Diary of a Combatant, Ernest Che Guevara.
CP General Secretary Robert Griffths on the so called ‘Communist’ Slave scandal on Channel 4 News http://t.co/fBJ5b2xNgk 25/11/2013
If one were to be brutally honest they were more of psychiatric interest than political interest.They had nothing to do with the mainstream leftwing and communist politics of the day. Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain
Today (25th of Nov) marks the international day for the elimination of violence against women. Violence in all its forms is something that effects women (and often their dependents) of all races and backgrounds across the globe. Up to 70% of women experience violence in their lifetime, according to research conducted by the UN. They also note that between 500,000 and 2 million people have been trafficked into slavery and prostitution, of which 80% are women. It is estimated that 130 million women and girls alive today have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
In Britain, violence against women as gone up 8% between 2011 and 2012, while organisations which support women fleeing domestic abuse, sexual violence and trafficking face uncertain futures regarding their funding because of severe budget cuts to central and local government funding. Between 2010 and 2012 31% of the local authority budget for these organisations was cut, and charities have reportedly had to turn many women away, almost 9% of those seeking refuge women as they haven’t the resources to support them. This has meant that support workers have had to suggest other places for women to sleep, such as A&E departments and night buses. To make matters worse, shady security firm G4S have been given the contract to run two Rape Crisis centres in Birmingham and Walsall. These organisations should be state run, and should not be used for private profit.
The YCL wholeheartedly condemns violence against women and girls. We understand it not as naturally occurring phenomena but as being linked to women’s marginalised roll in class society. As communists, we see the oppression of women as both a function and product of class society. It is linked materially to the process of class exploitation as well as operating at a ‘superstructural’ level through oppressive ideologies which serve to maintain class rule by dividing the exploited. The left must work hard to raise the issue of violence against women, set in the context of women’s economic and social subjugation.
The YCL condemns the vicious assault on London Underground workers and the Underground Service. These cuts are ideologically driven and will only serve to damage the service, increase risks to safety and throw one thousand workers on the scrap heap.
The YCL extends solidarity and support to the RMT, TSSA and ASLEF in this struggle. We echo the call – every job matters!
“No matter how this is dressed up by Boris Johnson and his officials, today’s announcement is all about slashing £270 million from the annual London transport budget and the proposed cuts will decimate staffing levels and hit the most vulnerable users of tube services the hardest. The mayor must believe he is some sort of magician if he thinks he can slash a thousand jobs and still run safe services when everyone knows that staffing has already been cut to the bone while passenger demand continues to rise.
“Throwing in the plan for night time operation at the weekends is just a smokescreen to try and camouflage the real issue which is a savage cuts to jobs, access and safety. Any move to run through the night would require huge additional capacity and staffing and wholesale changes to fleet and infrastructure maintenance that would require the agreement of the tube unions and the issue has only been flagged up today as a diversion from the massive cuts agenda.
“Londoner’s should not be fooled. Axing staff and ticket offices is part of the drive to a faceless, automated tube where you take your chances the moment you step onto a station, a platform or a train. That is the real issue we have been confronted with today. “RMT’s position remains the same. We will work with sister unions and the public to fight these plans and that means using every campaigning, political and industrial tool at our disposal and our executive will be looking at a timetable and a strategy for that campaign, including a ballot for industrial action, later today.”