Europe

Italy strands rescue ship Lifeline as EU refugee summit collapses

By Alex Lantier, 25 June 2018

This is only one of the horrors taking place in Mediterranean waters between Italy and Libya, as the EU moves to block refugee flows.

Cross party campaign holds pro-EU march in London

By Robert Stevens, 25 June 2018

The pro-European Union march was presented as a “grassroots” movement to conceal its main agenda of facilitating the interests of powerful sections of big business.

UK: Education unions sabotage struggle against academisation and low pay

By Tom Pearce, 23 June 2018

Despite the rhetoric from union representatives, no fight is being waged against the ongoing privatisation of education.

Podemos: Midwife of Spain’s new PSOE government

By Alejandro López, 22 June 2018

Podemos is an indispensable prop of Spain’s new PSOE government, which is pledged to impose EU austerity on workers and hike military spending.

Outrage in Russia over pension reform

By Clara Weiss, 21 June 2018

Ninety-two percent of the population oppose the government’s plan to raise the retirement age.

Merkel, Macron call for more EU militarism at Meseberg conference

By Alex Lantier, 20 June 2018

Merkel and Macron signed an agreement for a drastic expansion of EU militarism and joint attacks on immigrants together with far-right governments in Italy and Austria.

Labour and unions seek to corral social anger over Grenfell fire behind official inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2018

Workers and youth nationally suffer the same devastating austerity, cost-cutting, and deregulation policies, including cuts to local fire services, as those who lived in Grenfell.

UK: Protesters speak at demonstration to mark first anniversary of Grenfell fire

By our reporters, 20 June 2018

Some of those attending the rally marking the first anniversary of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire spoke to reporters from the World Socialist Web Site to express their outrage over the continuing cover-up of the tragedy.

Socialist Equality Party leader Julie Hyland speaks at London vigil to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 June 2018

Around 200 people, including workers, youth and retirees, attended a vigil outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London Tuesday evening to demand the freedom of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

Grenfell Fire Forum endorses vigils to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 June 2018

The Grenfell Fire Forum met just three days after commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the inferno.

Russian authorities ordered destruction of documents on Stalin’s terror

By Clara Weiss, 18 June 2018

Archival material about people who were kept in the Soviet forced labor camp system and subsequently released has been systematically destroyed, on the basis of a secret decree from February 2014.

SEP (UK) meetings on war and censorship: “War preparations are powered by lies”

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2018

Socialist Equality Party (UK) Assistant National Secretary Julie Hyland addressed recent public meetings in England, Scotland and Ireland titled “War, lies and censorship: For the building of a socialist anti-war movement.”

One year since the Grenfell inferno

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 14 June 2018

The refusal of the ruling elite to pursue the real criminals guilty of the Grenfell atrocity is in stark contrast to their determination to silence anyone fighting to establish the truth about events.

After G7 summit, Merkel calls for European rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 13 June 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany “must promote our principles and values in Europe, potentially in alliance with Canada or Japan”

Germany’s Left Party embraces policies of far-right AfD

By Peter Schwarz, 13 June 2018

The Left Party’s congress, which took place in Leipzig over the weekend, was dominated by a bitter conflict over refugee policy.

The dissolution of ETA: A political balance sheet of Basque nationalism—Part two

By Paul Mitchell and Alejandro López, 13 June 2018

This is the second part of a three-part series on the Basque separatist group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna—Basque Homeland and Freedom) announcing its dissolution.

Thousands of jobs to go as UK retail chains rationalise operations

By Barry Mason, 13 June 2018

The latest threats to retail jobs come on top of mounting closures and retrenchments in the retail and food industry.

Spanish Socialist Party Prime Minister Sánchez appoints right-wing cabinet

By Alejandro López, 11 June 2018

The makeup of the new cabinet indicates a restructuring of bourgeois politics even further to the right.

Oxford Union debating society threatened with legal action over censoring criticism of CIA

By Thomas Scripps, 7 June 2018

The February 27 event is not being censored on legal grounds or on the basis that “sensitive information” has been revealed, but because it is deemed necessary to suppress critical opposition to the US security apparatus and its activities.

Germany: AfD leader Gauland and the hypocritical response to Nazi rehabilitation

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 June 2018

At the weekend, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Alexander Gauland again took up the right-wing propaganda campaign to gloss over and relativise the crimes of the Nazis.

Extreme-right Italian government takes shape

By Marianne Arens, 6 June 2018

In Italy, the new government of the Lega and the Five Star Movement is due to take power following a final vote of confidence in parliament on Wednesday.

Merkel calls for EU militarism, financial austerity in reply to Macron

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2018

While Merkel endorsed French calls for militarism and attacks on refugees, she gave little support for Macron’s calls for more investment and guarantees against new debt crises.

UK: Students protest cuts to mental health services and increase in youth suicide rate

By Thomas Scripps, 6 June 2018

As of 2017, one in four adults in the UK each year could expect to suffer some form of mental illness; three quarters of these begin before a person reaches his or her 18th birthday.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 7—The centrist line of the OCI (3)

By Peter Schwarz, 5 June 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

“My mum and my sister were murdered and cremated on 14 June last year”

UK: Final tributes to victims of Grenfell fire denounce corporate and political elite

By Robert Stevens, 5 June 2018

Testimony has repeatedly included denunciations of the ruling elite for the social murder that claimed at least 72 lives last June 14.

SEP holds Paris meeting on 50 years since May 1968 general strike

By our reporters, 5 June 2018

The Socialist Equality Party of France held a meeting on the political lessons of the May 1968 general strike on Sunday in Paris.

Dozens drown in Mediterranean as Europe cracks down on immigrants

By Eric London, 4 June 2018

At least 55 people died at sea over the weekend—the direct product of the anti-immigrant policies implemented by the governments of Europe.

UK: Grenfell victims’ relatives unable to commemorate loved-ones due to government anti-immigration policies

By Simon Whelan, 4 June 2018

Government policies bringing about heartache for Grenfell relatives are having the very impact the government desired—making it more difficult for them to testify at the public inquiry.

Extreme right takes power in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 2 June 2018

The new Italian government sworn in yesterday in Rome is the most right-wing since the fall of the fascist Duce Benito Mussolini in 1945.

The anti-worker program of Italy’s new populist and neo-fascist government

By Marc Wells, 1 June 2018

The policies adopted in the new government's program reflect the neo-fascist character of Lega as well as the law-and-order approach of the Five Star Movement.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 2—The betrayal of the PCF and CGT

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

Relatives’ tributes at Grenfell Tower Inquiry blame government for deaths

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2018

Family members frequently broke down as they remembered their loved ones in moving and emotional scenes.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 1—A revolutionary situation develops

By Peter Schwarz, 29 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

The fight against the far-right Alternative for Germany requires a socialist perspective

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 28 May 2018

The following statement was distributed by the SEP and IYSSE at demonstrations held on Sunday against the fascist Alternative for Germany.

Ireland votes to repeal anti-abortion amendment

By Steve James, 28 May 2018

The result signals a shift to the left among broad sections of the Irish population.

Workers’ unrest in the Netherlands

By Harm Waling, 28 May 2018

Teachers in Dutch elementary schools will strike in the southern provinces on May 30, part of a growing wave of strike actions in the Netherlands.

Testimony to Grenfell Fire inquiry paints devastating picture of social murder

By Robert Stevens, 24 May 2018

The inquiry heard from Hisam Choucair, who lost six members of his family in the inferno and Karim Mussilhy, who lost his uncle, Hesham Rahman.

Ken Livingstone forced out of British Labour Party

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 23 May 2018

The witch-hunt and expulsions within Labour will be held up as an example to follow by right-wing forces all over the world, above all in Israel and the United States.

Italy: Most right-wing government since Mussolini

By Peter Schwarz, 23 May 2018

On Sunday, the protest Five Star Movement (M5S) and the right-wing extremist Lega agreed on a joint government programme.

French public sector workers strike against austerity and attacks on conditions

By Kumaran Ira, 23 May 2018

The strikes and the 130 protests across France are a sign of growing opposition to the militarist and austerity policies of Macron and the European Union.

Members of Windrush generation speak out against UK government persecution

By Margot Miller, 23 May 2018

Governments of all persuasions have deliberately cultivated a climate of fear and intimidation against immigrants.

Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital

By Robert Stevens and Paul Bond, 21 May 2018

The entire narrative concocted by the British government has fallen apart, seam by seam.

Britain’s royal wedding: Recasting the monarchy in the age of identity politics

By Paul Mitchell, 19 May 2018

Markle’s feminism and racial identity provide the basis for the ultimate post-modernist makeover of the monarchy.

UK: Tories seek to defuse anger over Grenfell fire ahead of official public inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 18 May 2018

The claim by the government, backed by Labour, that adding two panel members to the Grenfell fire inquiry will prevent a whitewash is false.

Protests across UK against Israel’s massacre of Palestinians

By our reporters, 17 May 2018

“We need an anti-war movement. We now stand on the brink of a major war.”

New Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan takes belligerent stand on Nagorno-Karabakh

By Clara Weiss, 17 May 2018

Pashinyan’s reckless moves toward military conflict expose the fraudulent character of the Western media coverage of Armenia’s supposed “democratic revolution.”

Striking workers and students in France denounce war, Gaza massacre

By Alex Lantier, 16 May 2018

Rail workers and students protesting selective admissions at universities denounced French bombings in Syria and the Israeli army’s massacre of unarmed Palestinians.

Rome: Buses explode due to lack of maintenance

By Allison Smith, 15 May 2018

Last year, 22 buses were destroyed by fire in the Italian capital and 2018 is already on track to being far worse, with four bus fires in a single month.

Military coup against a Corbyn Labour government discussed by Daily Telegraph

By Robert Stevens, 15 May 2018

That a military coup is again under serious consideration puts paid to the illusions assiduously cultivated by Corbyn and his apologists that a Labour government led by him will inaugurate a new period of reforms.

German militarization and Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal

By Johannes Stern, 15 May 2018

Following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, the German bourgeoisie is intensifying its campaign for militarism, rearmament, and war.

French students blockade universities in struggle against selective admissions

By Guillaume Garnier, 15 May 2018

After the March 22 protest of rail and public workers against the privatisation of railways, students launched a movement to blockade universities across France.

The fraud of Mélenchon’s call for a Franco-Russian alliance against war

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 15 May 2018

Workers cannot rely on an alliance of capitalist powers proposed by pro-war politicians like Jean-Luc Mélenchon to stave off the growing danger of global conflict over Iran.

Lega and Five Star Movement prepare a joint government in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 12 May 2018

In Italy, the right-wing extremist Lega and the Five Star protest movement are negotiating the formation of a joint government. A result is expected at the beginning of next week.

The death of reformism: Corbyn and the “broad left”

By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2018

The following speech was delivered by Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, for the past 20 years.

European powers condemn Trump’s cancellation of Iran nuclear treaty

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 10 May 2018

Trump’s scrapping of the 2015 treaty has revealed deep and explosive divisions between Washington and its imperialist allies in Europe.

House of Lords Brexit revolt hits Conservatives and Labour

By Paul Mitchell, 10 May 2018

Theresa May’s Conservative government suffered another defeat in the House of Lords on Tuesday, as peers voted for an amendment to the European Union withdrawal bill.

Putin begins his fourth term as Russia’s president

By Clara Weiss, 9 May 2018

Putin’s fourth term as president will inevitably be characterized by increasing social struggles in Russia.

Jeremy Corbyn silent on persecution of Julian Assange

By Laura Tiernan, 9 May 2018

It is more than two years since a United Nations human rights panel ruled that Assange’s persecution by the Swedish and British governments amounts to “arbitrary detention” and a violation of international law.

German defence minister calls for faster increase in military spending

By Johannes Stern, 9 May 2018

Since the government’s initial budget was announced last week, there has been an aggressive campaign in politics and the media with the aim of upgrading the German military much faster and more comperehensively.

Defying the trade unions, Air France workers vote to reject contract

By Alex Lantier, 8 May 2018

Workers defied not only threats from Air France and the government, but also from the union bureaucrats, who demanded that they approve the contract.

No solution to Italian government crisis

By Marianne Arens, 8 May 2018

The second attempt to form a government failed on May 3 when the leadership of the Democratic Party rejected a coalition with the Five Star Movement.

The struggle against militarism and the far right in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 8 May 2018

The following speech was delivered to the May Day rally by Peter Schwarz, Secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International for the past 32 years, and a leading member of the German section of the ICFI.

Belgian prime minister smears filmmaker Ken Loach as “anti-Semitic”

By Paul Bond, 4 May 2018

The pro-austerity premier’s slur demonstrates how baseless charges of anti-Semitism are being used to attack any form of social protest or comment.

Germany: Grand coalition government discusses war budget

By Johannes Stern, 3 May 2018

While there is supposedly no money for social programmes, jobs, pensions and medical care, defence spending next year alone is set to rise by at least three billion euros.

Food factories closing across Britain

By Steve James, 3 May 2018

The looming mass layoffs expose the bankruptcy of all the mainstream parties and trade unions claiming to speak for the factory workers.

Armenian parliament rejects pro-Western opposition leader’s bid to be prime minister

By Clara Weiss, 2 May 2018

The main roots of the political crisis lie in the advanced preparations for imperialist war in the region.

German army rehearses for civil war

By Gregor Link, 2 May 2018

The deployment of the Bundeswehr domestically and the networking of civilian agencies with the police and military are part of a comprehensive rearmament offensive.

Fate of London Stadium epitomises toxic “Olympic Legacy”

Part two

By Paul Bond, 1 May 2018

The former Olympic Stadium, which has already cost taxpayers more than £750 million, represents a legacy of corporate venality, corruption and graft.

French immigration bill attacks right to asylum

By Athiyan Silva, 1 May 2018

The neo-fascist National Front voted for provisions of the bill, marking the first time a French government has passed legislative measures with FN support.

Fate of London Stadium epitomises toxic “Olympic legacy”

Part one

By Paul Bond, 30 April 2018

The former Olympic Stadium, which has already cost taxpayers more than £750 million, has left a legacy of corporate venality, corruption and graft.

“Old Europe” comes to Washington

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 28 April 2018

Fifteen years ago, the European powers opposed the US-British invasion of Iraq. Now they are scrambling to serve as junior partners in the new carve-up of the Middle East.

UK universities being integrated into military-security apparatus

By Thomas Scripps, 28 April 2018

In addition to commercial relations with the military-industrial complex, universities are working closely with the armed forces to provide education and recruitment opportunities.

German Chancellor Merkel and Donald Trump hold tense meeting in Washington

By Peter Schwarz, 28 April 2018

While the meeting appeared superficially friendly, Trump made no concessions on the fundamental issues discussed.

UK: Brexit divisions threaten government defeat

By Chris Marsden, 28 April 2018

The prime minister is under pressure from both sides of her party to clarify her position on the customs union, the mechanism allowing goods to be transported tariff-free between European Union member states.

London residents speak out on Grenfell fire

By our reporters, 24 April 2018

Ten months since the inferno that killed at least 72 people at a housing tower in London, no one has been held accountable.

UK: Report by building research firm reveals scale of criminality that led to Grenfell fire

By Barry Mason, 20 April 2018

No one has been brought to justice for last June’s fire, but a report by a building research body makes clear there is ample evidence to allow for immediate arrests and charging to proceed.

Nearly 30,000 single-parent families made homeless in England in 2017

By Dennis Moore, 20 April 2018

Last year, one third of single parents were affected by welfare cuts, while 39 percent are struggling in low-paid, often insecure work.

UK government’s racist targeting of Caribbean migrants provokes backlash

By Robert Stevens and Thomas Scripps, 19 April 2018

The tightening of immigration legislation was in line with a policy of creating, in Prime Minister May’s words, a “really hostile environment” for “illegal” immigrants.

Germany’s pro-war Left Party postures as a “party of peace”

By Johannes Stern, 19 April 2018

The Left Party in Germany is trying to portray itself as an opponent of war in order to prevent a powerful anti-war movement from developing.

University and College Union sells out UK lecturers strike

By Robert Stevens, 18 April 2018

It was to demobilise opposition to its rotten deal with the employers that the UCU cut the number of universities due to walk out this week, before suspending strike action altogether

Government crisis in the Czech Republic

By Markus Salzmann, 18 April 2018

Under the guise of popular protests in the Czech Republic, reactionary elements are working to advance a policy to strengthen the government along with the ruling class.

UK: Labour right lines up with government over Syria bombing

By Chris Marsden, 17 April 2018

Yesterday May faced widespread criticism, but largely for having failed to recall Parliament rather than any substantive opposition to the illegal action taken by the US, France and the UK.

EU foreign ministers push for regime change in Damascus following Syria attack

By Peter Schwarz, 17 April 2018

Although the attack on Syria was in clear violation of international law, the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg explicitly endorsed it.

Russian government blocks messaging app Telegram

By Clara Weiss, 17 April 2018

The attack on encrypted communication is part of the international drive by governments to censor the Internet and expand mass surveillance.

UK: Demands grow for May government to hold debate on Syria attack

By Robert Stevens, 16 April 2018

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is due to make a formal statement to parliament today on the Syria airstrikes, but no vote is to take place.

Demonstration against rent increases in Berlin draws 25,000

By our reporters, 16 April 2018

The large numbers participating in the demonstration, which was originally only expected to attract 4,000, illustrates the depth of the anger over unaffordable rents.

US and imperialist allies launch strikes against Syria

By The World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 14 April 2018

All of the governments participating in this new onslaught are crisis-ridden and lack any electoral legitimacy.

War fever grips German media

By Peter Schwarz, 14 April 2018

Die Welt demanded the “eradication of the Assad regime” and the deployment of “hundreds of thousands of soldiers” to Syria to “in the worst case scenario, fight Russians and Iranians.”

Spanish government promotes militarism in schools

By Alejandro López, 14 April 2018

The reactionary syllabus includes the need to respect the army, the police, the flag, the anthem and the King and to uphold the unity of Spain.

New pro-EU party planned to oppose Corbyn and Labour

By Julie Hyland, 13 April 2018

The project intends to “borrow” ideas from “both left and right,” promoting divisive identity politics—based on race, gender and sexual orientation—while championing “wealth creation and tighter immigration controls.”

UK higher education and university staff oppose union sellout ahead of ballot result

By Thomas Scripps, 11 April 2018

There is strong resistance to the University and College Union’s attempted sell-out of the pension dispute by university staff who oppose the bureaucracy’s lying claims.

Students protest against Macron as strikes against austerity mount in France

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 11 April 2018

All over the country, students are occupying campuses and holding general assemblies and demonstrations.

Strikes mount as National Assembly opens debate on French rail privatization

By Alex Lantier, 10 April 2018

Air France workers are taking strike action today over wage demands, after rail workers mounted a fourth day of rotating strikes yesterday.

Right-wing nationalist Orban wins Hungarian election

By Peter Schwarz, 10 April 2018

Expectations that the Fidesz Party would lose support due to corruption scandals and claims by pollsters that the mood in the country was shifting did not materialise.

UK’s Open University to be decimated, as more jobs are eliminated

By Simon Whelan, 10 April 2018

Hundreds of jobs are threatened in the largest restructuring and redundancy programme in university history.

New Anti-capitalist Party seeks to strangle French rail strikes

By Alex Lantier, 10 April 2018

Fifty years after the 1968 general strike, the Pabloite NPA insists workers should take orders from organizations it admits support the attacks on rail workers.

Britain piles on lies to shore up Skripal poisoning accusations against Russia

By Robert Stevens, 9 April 2018

Faced with a devastating exposure of the May government’s concoctions, within the space of a month, the British media is in damage limitation mode.

Spain responds to German court decision on Puigdemont with threats of stepped-up repression

By Alejandro López, 9 April 2018

The court’s decision is a setback for Madrid, which was confident Puigdemont would be returned to Spain and the possibility of 30 years in jail, with the German government’s tacit agreement.

As the unions continue talks with the government

French rail workers, students resume strike action against Macron

By Kumaran Ira, 9 April 2018

The trade unions are coordinating with the Macron government to contain the rail workers’ strike movement against the planned privatisation of the French National Railways.

Bogus anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn and Labour reveals its Zionist agenda

By Jean Shaoul, 9 April 2018

The furore over Jewdas confirms that the three-year-long campaign accusing Corbyn of tolerating anti-Semitism is part of an effort to discredit the entire left.