On 23 April, 152 comrades of der Funke/l'étincelle (the Spark) – the Swiss section of the International Marxist Tendency – met in Bern to discuss the crisis of capitalism and clarify the tasks of Marxists.

What a huge success! Last weekend, 216 workers, high school and university students took part in the ‘Marxist Autumn School’ in Bern, to educate themselves about Marxist theory, and prepare for the Swiss and world revolution. This was the biggest event ever organised by the Swiss section of the International Marxist Tendency. The forces of Marxism are on the march!

A data leak has revealed that the major Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, has been managing the assets of global oligarchs, corrupt politicians and drug barons for decades. Clients included the sons of former Egyptian tyrant Hosni Mubarak, ousted Algerian dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and Eduard Seidel of the Siemens scandal, the biggest German corruption affair in recent years.

The enthusiasm was palpable at this year's autumn school organised by Der Funke, the Swiss section of the International Marxist Tendency. After nine interesting workshops, the school was closed by a standing ovation lasting several minutes and a huge fighting fund collection. The tremendous success of the school has shown how the revolutionary philosophy of Marxism and the conclusions that flow from it are more relevant and necessary than ever.

A bill to reduce CO2 emissions was rejected by a public referendum in Switzerland. While the demagogic far-right SVP and big oil companies were pushing a 'no' vote for reactionary reasons, in reality, this was a rejection of green austerity. The climate crisis will not be solved by making workers pay, but by expropriating the fatcat polluters and fighting for socialist measures.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

Comrades and supporters from around the world are continuing to put pressure on the Pakistani state to release the Marxist student activist, Rawal Asad, who is still being held on the scandalous charge of sedition and has been denied bail. Meanwhile, protests are ongoing in Pakistan, where comrades, students and workers are demanding that Rawal be immediately released.

The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

On the weekend of 16 November 2018, the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) held its second Francophone school in Geneva. During those two days, more than 70 activists and sympathisers participated in the school, coming from Switzerland, Belgium, and France; as well as Quebec, England and Germany.

Revolution: that was the banner under which Switzerland’s biggest, Marxist weekend school took place on 7-8 October. 100 enthusiastic Marxists from Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany and Austria met in Nidau/Biel in the heart of Switzerland to discuss how to achieve socialism in our lifetimes.

The 15th January decision by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to revoke the cap on the Swiss Franc has sent shivers around the globe. The Euro-Swiss Exchange rate crashed rapidly, followed closely by the SMI (Swiss Market Index) share prices. This marks the end of the stability which has characterised modern Swiss economic history, and the beginning of a new turbulent period.

Switzerland is also being affected by the global crisis of capitalism, with growing pressure on Swiss workers. In the recent elections, although the Social Democrats received the lowest number of votes in 20 years, where candidates posed the real issues facing workers, such as jobs, wages and housing, they did remarkably well. Here we publish an analysis by the Swiss Marxists of Der Funke.

On Saturday, 15 October, in the Paradeplatz in Zürich, the heart of the Swiss banking system, over 1500 people met to express their rage against the power of the banks, against the injustice of the system, against the capitalist crisis. Also in the cities of Basel and Geneva smaller demos of between 100 and 400 people were held.

No country is immune from the class struggle today. Even Switzerland, that country considered a safe haven for the wealth of the world’s capitalists, is feeling the effects of the world economic crisis. Social and class polarisation is taking place and this was clearly expressed at last year’s congress of the Swiss Social Democratic Party (SPS).

Workers and youth are being radicalised in Switzerland and are seeking answers to the crisis of capitalism, but their leaders are not providing those answers. That explains the successful intervention of the Swiss Marxists in recent rallies organised by the trade unions, Young Socialists and Social Democratic Party.

At the beginning of October the Swiss comrades of Der Funke took an important step forward in their work of spreading Marxist ideas in Switzerland by beginning the publication of their journal for the first time not only in German (Der Funke), but also in French (l`Étincelle) and in Italian (la Scintilla). These are the three main languages spoken in the overwhelming majority of the different regions of Switzerland, and this is therefore a very important step for the Swiss Marxists.

The canton Ticino, that part of Switzerland which speaks Italian, and that everyone considers a model of social peace and serenity, has been shaken by a trade union struggle that has no comparison in the recent history of the country. It is the struggle of a very militant section of the Ticino working class, the railway maintenance workers.

The crisis of capitalism is even shaking countries like Switzerland. The heartland of international finance, wealth, “neutrality” and social peace has been rocked by a series of strike actions on the part of building workers. With a growing radicalisation of the Swiss working class and increasing intransigence on the part of the bosses, the stage has been set for serious class battles.

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