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It was long ago stated that capitalism came into the world dripping in blood and dirt, from every pore, from head to toe. While it has demonstrated that it won’t simply collapse under its own weight, the recent goings-on around the current capitalist crisis have shown that with age it has become even more hideous. Capitalism is now rank with massive state intervention required to simply keep its rotting body moving: through states propping up the financial sector and deepening the colossal attack on the working class.The goings-on that have once again highlighted capitalism’s depravity, are the turmoil – starting in China – that has occurred over the last few weeks on stock markets; including the underlying causes that led to it, and the actions that the ruling classes have taken since then to try and end it, or at least alleviate it.
The recent volatility in world stock markets erupted in earnest in June 2015. In June, the Chinese stock markets began a plunge that has frightened the ruling classes (capitalists, top state officials and politicians) across the globe. This plunge has not yet ended, and so far the Shanghai Stock Market has lost 40% of its value. In the wake of this, stock markets from New York to London have reeled; leading to a roller coaster ride of uncertainty.
On 3 September 1984, the Vaal Triangle, which is located southeast of Johannesburg and was part of the industrial heartland of South Africa, exploded into unrest. A general stay-away from work was called, schools were closed, buses and taxis stood idle and militant protest spread across the country. It was the most significant and large-scale rebellion of the black working class since the Soweto Uprising of June, 1976, and signified one of the final nails in the coffin of apartheid and white minority rule.For the black working class living in the townships across the Vaal Triangle, such as Sharpeville, Sebokeng, Evaton, Bophelong, Boiketlong, Zamdela and others the conditions were very similar to those of today. A slump in the steel industry had led to many workers being retrenched, there were evictions of rent defaulters and bribery, corruption and self-enrichment of local councillors was rife. Councillors’ election promises went unfulfilled and township residents demanded their resignation; allegedly threatening that they would set fire to their houses should they fail to do so.
Thirty-one years later, on 21 April 2015, the Sebokeng Magistrate’s Court in the Vaal sentenced four community activists from Boiketlong to sixteen years in prison each for allegedly setting fire to the local ward councillor’s house and cars during a protest action.
In May this year, Corporate Watch researchers travelled to Turkey and Kurdistan to investigate the companies supplying military equipment to the Turkish police and army. We talked to a range of groups from a variety of different movements and campaigns.Below is the transcript of our interview with three members of the anarchist group Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF, or Revolutionary Anarchist Action) in Istanbul during May 2015. DAF are involved in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle, the Rojava revolution and against ISIS' attack on Kobane, and have taken action against Turkish state repression and corporate abuse. They are attempting to establish alternatives to the current system through self-organisation, mutual aid and co-operatives.
The interview was carried out in the run-up to the Turkish elections, and touches on the election campaign by the HDP, the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party. Soon after the interview took place, the HDP passed the threshold of 10% of the total vote needed to enter the Turkish parliament.
The DAF members – who all preferred to remain anonymous – began the interview by talking about the history of anarchism in the region.
greece / turkey / cyprus / the left Thursday August 20, 2015 18:11 by Enrique Guerrero-López and Adam Weaver
Syriza’s rise to power elicited widespread praise from the left internationally, inspiring renewed enthusiasm for the possibilities and promise of “mass left” party building in and outside the United States. At a rally celebrating Syriza’s electoral victory in Spain, Pablo Iglesias, secretary general of the Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos, declared that “the sun of hope rose over Greece.”
Based on a talk given in Kenya, this article argues that, while official minimum wages and other improvements are welcome gains, they are inadequate in an exploiting system based on the rule of the few. It is necessary to pose the more ambitious demand for a 'living wage,' set by the working class, and to enforce this by building powerful, autonomous, self-managed, conscientised class-struggle movements.Rejecting 'privilege' theories, it argues that all sectors of the working class benefit from demands and campaigns that secure equal rights, equal treatment and equal wages, against divide-and-rule systems, and in which strikers build alliances with communities and users. A 'living wage' movement of this type should be located in a larger project of building a popular counter-power that can resist, and then topple, ruling class power.
Wed 18 Sep, 06:37
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