Europe

In July, Wellred Books will release Spain's Revolution Against Franco: The Great Betrayal (available for pre-order now!) The author, Alan Woods, was a participant in the last phase of the struggle against Franco. He explains how a revolutionary movement of the working class defeated the regime – and could have gone further but for the betrayals of the workers’ leadership. The following article by Alan provides a general overview of the events discussed in far greater detail in the book.

In the last period, the Czech Republic seemed to be a relatively politically stable country in the eyes of the global ruling class; with sufficient economic growth, very low unemployment, and even rising wages. This relative stability, sustained mainly by strong German investments, propped up the support for oligarch prime minister and second-richest Czech, Andrej Babiš, and his Berlusconi-style party ANO 2011. But things have changed, and the masses are moving.

The crisis unfolding within the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) is reaching a critical phase, and a deep split is now imminent. The Spanish group of the CWI, Izquierda Revolucionaria, which only joined the CWI in 2017, has already split away and what remains of the Mexican and Venezuelan groups have followed suit. The Portuguese group has also left. To help readers understand what is happening, we take this opportunity to publish two opposition documents from 1991 and 1992, when a heated dispute took place within the Militant Tendency

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On 12 June, the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid certified the request from the US to extradite Julian Assange for allegations of hacking and sharing classified American government documents. We wholeheartedly oppose his extradition and defend Assange’s freedom of speech.

When Theresa May made a tearful resignation announcement in front of Downing Street recently, many posts on social media went viral speaking about the lack of tears from the Prime Minister over Grenfell. In any case, Grenfell families wouldn’t have been comforted by any tears then, and they certainly won’t be now. They want justice.

Our comrades held a seminar from 7-10 June in the countryside in upper Austria. The motto of the seminar was: “The Internationale unites the human race – 100-year anniversary of the Communist International”. With 108 guests from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Britain, Bosnia and, for the first time, Hungary, the event was true to this motto, and was the Austrian section’s biggest Pfingstseminar in many years.

In Britain, all eyes are currently on the Tory leadership contest. But another – far less publicised – race is currently taking place at the same time: that to replace Vince Cable as leader of the Liberal Democrats, who are enjoying something of a revival.

The Labour right wing were fully expecting and hoping for the party to lose a key by-election in Peterborough last week. This constituency voted strongly to leave the European Union, and the press had hyped up Nigel Farage's right-wing Brexit Party, which everybody expected to win the seat. This would've given a boost to the Blairite plotters and Farage's hard-Brexiteer outfit. But on the day, Labour defied expectations and won with an increased majority. Originally published at Socialist Appeal on 7 June.

Alan Woods, editor of In Defence of Marxism, comments on President Trump's recent state visit to Britain. With Theresa May stepping down, Tory leadership contenders have made a lot of noise about how Britain will 'reclaim sovereignty' and 'take back control' after Brexit. But the events surrounding Trump's visit expose this as a complete charade. Far from achieving a favourable trade deal with the USA, the Tory government is preparing the ground for American big business to sweep in and pick at whatever scraps are left of the British economy after Brexit.

A panel dedicated to International Workers’ Day, under the title ‘Workers’ Struggles in the Balkans’, took place in Banja Luka, organised by the Marxist Organisation, Reds: the Yugoslav section of the International Marxist Tendency. For two years, the corrupt trade union leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina, pressured by the ruling criminal political elites, have refused to even take part in the symbolic Workers’ Day action. We decided that this date was a good occasion to talk about the position of the working class, which is being subject to increased exploitation thanks to the anti-worker labour regulations and corrupt unions.

On 28 May, dockers working the port at the Gulf of Fos in Marseille refused to load the Saudi cargo ship, Bahri Tabük, which was intended to carry French arms to Saudi Arabia, whose regime is waging a barbaric war in Yemen.

In France, only one-out-of-two voters went to the polls for the European elections. This is 8 percent more than in 2014 (42 percent), but it still marks a massive rejection of the EU and the political system in general.

The municipal, regional and European elections of 26 May (26M) in Spain have once again confirmed the victory of the left in the general elections of 28 April (28A). In the municipal elections, the most relevant of the three, the left (both the Spanish as well as Basque and Catalan nationalists) got 48.7 percent, while the right (again, the Spanish as well as Basque and Catalan nationalists) received 42 percent.

"A week is a long time in politics”, or so the saying goes. 10 years in the political wilderness must have seemed a lifetime to the Green Party, those lackeys of Irish capitalism who so faithfully served Fianna Fáil as coalition “partners” in the Dáil of 2007-2011. There still exists intense, bitter feeling across much of Ireland toward that government for its criminal decadence and corruption, despite the suffering of ordinary Irish workers in the wake of the financial crash.

As expected, the European elections saw a huge victory for the Brexit Party, which took 32 percent of the vote in Britain. This clearly reflects the frustrations of many people about the paralysis in Parliament and the failure of politicians to agree on a path for Britain’s departure from the EU.

After three years of can kicking, Theresa May has finally run out of road. Giving a teary-eyed speech in front of Number 10 this morning, the Prime Minister announced that she would step down on 7 June. The race to succeed her will begin the following week. Then the fireworks will really begin.

The Saudi ship Bahri Yanbu, which was docked at the port of Genoa to load military equipment to be used in the Yemen conflict, has left Italy without its intended cargo. This represents a great victory for the Genoese dockers, who refused to load the ship, which will now head to Alexandria, Egypt. At the Genoa port, a banner is still waving: "Stop arms trafficking, war on war."

The following is the perspectives document approved by the national congress of Revolutionære Socialister ("Revolutionary Socialists") in March 2019. It lays out the comrades’ analysis of the political situation in Denmark, and offers their predictions about where the class struggle in the country is heading.

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