Europe

Rinat Akhmetchin, the Mayor of Norilsk, an industrial city in Russia, has been charged with negligence following a catastrophic oil spill from a local power plant. The spill has been ongoing since 29 May, with over 20,000 tonnes of diesel seeping into the surrounding soil and waterways. On 4 June, the Kremlin issued a state of emergency in Norilsk. The city is situated in Siberia, inside the Arctic Circle, where the local ecology is already severely disturbed due to some extremely worrying symptoms of climate change: a product of the irrational, rotten capitalist system, which is placing the planet in peril.

Last week, Keir Starmer abruptly sacked former leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey from her position as Shadow Education Secretary, on the ludicrous charge of “sharing antisemitic conspiracy theories”. This incendiary move rightly provoked outrage amongst grassroots members.

As society begins to reopen, the ruling class is hoping for a return to ‘normality’. But the future will look nothing like the past. A deep depression looms, threatening to throw us back to the 1930s. We must fight for revolution.

Britain’s care homes have become a killing field for coronavirus. Cuts to the NHS have pushed patients into social care, causing further contagion and fatalities. To fight the pandemic, the whole sector needs to be nationalised.

It has been 34 years since the assassination of Sweden’s prime minister, the social democratic leader Olof Palme, one of the most noteworthy political figures in the history of the country. Gunned down after a visit to a movie theatre without his body-guards, the circumstances around his murder have been mysterious and the investigation mired by scandals. Many had therefore hoped for a solid conclusion to this long-overdue investigation. But all we got was the closing down of the investigation, in a transparent attempt to bury this embarrassing affair once and for all. Thus, this national tragedy yet again ended in farce.

14 June 2020 marked the third year since the sickening tragedy of Grenfell tower, in which years of negligence by Tory-run governments and the Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council led to a fire that claimed the lives of 72 people. The pain of that incident still resonates deeply through the working class. We are still no closer to justice since the last anniversary, with zero arrests of those responsible. And three years on, 23,600 homes occupied by an estimated 56,640 people are still covered in the flammable cladding responsible for the Grenfell fire. 

Since June 6, a mass strike of miners has been going on in the territory of the Lugansk (also known as the Lugansk People’s Republic). A significant number of the striking miners (119 people) are currently underground in one of the mines. 

On 7 June, an event our Russian comrades predicted and the background of which they’ve long explained took place. Elena Shuvalova, one of the most prominent representatives of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in Moscow, was expelled from the party following a manoeuvre by the right-wing party bureaucracy.

A social explosion is brewing in Britain. The pandemic, Brexit, and now the Black Lives Matter movement are throwing the Tory government from one crisis to another. The rottenness of the whole capitalist system is rapidly being revealed.

The Dutch King has apologised for violence committed by the Netherlands during Indonesia’s independence struggle. The crocodile tears of hypocritical elites do not make up for 300 years of brutal subjugation. The only real justice and road forward can come from the expropriation of Dutch capital: the common enemy of the Dutch and Indonesian workers.

The protest movement sparked by the brutal police murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis has spread around the world. In over 20 countries, workers and youth marched and demonstrated against racism, both in the USA and locally. Comrades of the IMT have been participating in these protests, raising slogans for the revolutionary overthrow of the inherently racist capitalist system.

Coronavirus has exposed all of society’s systemic inequalities. Most glaringly, black and Asian communities in Britain have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The social conditions created by capitalism are to blame.

In June 1831, a community of Welsh miners rose up against the ironmasters and defied the might of the British state, seizing control of their town for a full week, and flying the red flag for the first time on British soil as a symbol of workers' insurrection.

In December, left-wing party Unidas Podemos (UP) entered the Spanish government as junior partners of the Social Democratic PSOE. This coalition rested on a slim and shaky parliamentary majority comprising a motley assortment of nationalist and regionalist forces. Two years of rudderless Spanish politics after the fall of Mariano Rajoy thus came to an end. Pablo Iglesias, the leader of UP, hailed this coalition as “the most-progressive government” in recent Spanish history. Yet recent events have dispelled this euphoria. Spain gazes into the abyss

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The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the cynicism, incompetence and brazen dishonesty of the tiny clique who run Britain. The mask has been torn away to expose the ugly face of class privilege. As Alan Woods explains, the public are sick of being treated with contempt. Johnson, Cummings and the rest are destined for the dustbin of history.

The pandemic has triggered the deepest crisis in the history of capitalism. There will be no return to ‘normality’. Consciousness will be transformed forever. We must build the forces of Marxism with a sense of urgency. This editorial by our British comrades explains how they are preparing to meet the new situation. 

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