Middle East

After assassinating popular Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last week, the Israeli state would not even allow her body to reach its final resting place in peace. In a shocking act of sadism, Israeli police attacked Abu Akleh’s funeral procession on Friday, using batons and stun grenades against mourners escorting her coffin from a hospital in East Jerusalem to a cemetery in the nearby Old City.

Palestinian Al Jazeerareporter Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead by the Israeli military early this morning, while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. This cold-blooded murder of a journalist – a war crime under the Geneva Convention – further exposes the brutality of the Israeli state, and lays bare the repulsive hypocrisy of its imperialist allies.

The economic crisis gripping Turkey has pushed the Turkish ruling class into a political crisis. Splits and divisions are opening up in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its electoral partner, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). These events are a harbinger of revolution.

We are proud to announce the publication of the ninth issue of the Arabic magazine of the International Marxist Tendency: Freedom and Communism. We publish here an overview of its contents, and an English translation of the editorial statement. You can read the whole issue in Arabic online here

What is being called “Egypt’s #MeToo movement” has made headlines around the world since 2020, with high-profile sexual predators being called out online. Meanwhile, the country’s regime has been pushed onto the back foot on the question of sexual violence and women’s oppression during recent years. This question is bound up with the fate of the Egyptian Revolution. Those who want to rid Egypt of violence against women must turn towards the working class and raise the call: time’s up for Sisi!

The workers of Turkey are beginning to make the ruling class tremble. A strike wave is rapidly spreading across the country. Beginning among some of the most precariously employed workers, it has spread from factory to factory. From 6 January to 14 February, there have been 65 strikes across Turkey, with new strikes erupting every day. As the strike wave has progressed, it has threatened to draw in the heavy battalions of the working class, and has already brought in workers from Erdoğan’s own heartland.

On 30 to 31 January, tens of thousands of teachers went on strike across Iran in over 300 cities, led by the Teachers’ Coordinating Committee. Slogans at the rallies included: “The teacher would rather die than accept [this] humiliation”, “If there was justice, the teachers would not be here”, and: “We do not have cannons and guns but we have the support of the people”. The strike was met with the arrest of dozens of trade unionists. But this has not discouraged the teachers, who have planned weekly strikes this month and threatened an indefinite strike if their demands are not met.

In the past month, there have been over 230 strikes and protests across Iran. Since their national three-day strike from 10–13 December, teachers’ protests, led by a Teachers’ Coordinating Council, have continued across Iran. Sporadic strikes continue among oil workers in Khuzestan, and on a nearly daily basis, there are reports of workers at major factories spontaneously launching indefinite strike action.

This month has seen a relentless series of over 230 strikes and protests in Iran. The most prominent of these was a two-day teachers’ strike on 11-13 December, involving tens of thousands of teachers in hundreds of cities across the country. The regime responded by arresting over 200 teachers and trade unionists.

After nearly 19 years in power, the strongman image of Turkey’s longest-sitting head of state, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is rapidly deteriorating. The world economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered another, severe blow to his crisis-ridden regime.

Since 8 November, thousands of farmers have been protesting in Isfahan, Iran, over the drying up of the Zayanderud river, the major river in the province. They have been calling for the distribution of water reserves to farmers. Having been ignored by the regime, farmers occupied the dried-up riverbed in front of Khaju bridge. In the early morning of 25 November, riot police set the farmers’ tents ablaze: the beginning of a government crackdown against the increasingly militant protests. Clashes between protesters and the regime continued for three days, with 210 arrested, 20 injured and three deaths confirmed.

In the last month there have been over 150 strikes and protests across Iran. This is only the latest strike wave since 2018. The ongoing struggles include oil workers in Khuzestan, the Haft Tappeh sugar plantation workers, miners in Azerbaijan, Khorasan and Kerman, national protests of teachers, and ongoing farmers’ protests among others. All the while, the social crisis in Iran is continuing to plummet to new depths.

As Lebanon’s economic crisis deepens, the Lebanese ruling class continues to manoeuvre and haggle over debt repayment to its imperialist creditors, ignoring the plight of the people. As talks with the IMF stall, it is the Lebanese masses who pay the price. Between fuel shortages, medicine shortages, and hyperinflation, the Lebanese workers and youth face a scenario of complete societal collapse.

The Turkish working class is beginning to move as a series of strikes and protests spread across the country. Factory workers; textile workers; construction workers; health workers; postal workers; service workers; miners; airline workers; press workers; municipality workers; and more have begun fighting back against union busting, unfair contracts, layoffs, dismissals, and unpaid wages.

Since 16 September, more than 2,500 factory workers at the electric appliance company Universal have been engaging in a heroic strike at the industrial zone in 6th of October City, near Cairo. Please read this appeal, and share our solidarity motion (below).

Since 15 July, protests over a severe water shortage in Khuzestan province in Iran have developed into a powerful localised movement, which has now spread to all major cities of the province: Shush, Susangard, Izeh, Dezful, Kut Abdullah, Weiss, Mahshahr, Hamidiyeh, Chamran and several areas of Ahvaz. The regime has declared martial law but this has only had the effect of provoking protests in a further 16 provinces.

On 20 June, contracted oil and gas workers in Assaluyeh went on strike. Since then, more oil and gas workers across Iran have joined the strikes, with over a hundred strikes now ongoing and that number continuing to grow. The workers are demanding: 10 days off after 20 days of work (10-20 scheme), a minimum wage across the sector of 12 million tomans, and trade union rights. These demands have found widespread support in the entire hydrocarbon sector and in the working class at large. Inspired by the oil and gas workers, strikes are breaking out among railway construction workers, truck drivers and steelworkers. All the while, protests by pensioners, teachers, medical staff and farmers

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The surge of the movement of Palestinian youth and workers against Israeli occupation, which culminated in the unified Palestinian general strike of 18 May, is continuing. It is now expressing itself in a growing mood of criticism and anger in the West Bank against the corruption of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which governs parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The PA’s security forces have been brutally clamping down on any manifestation of internal opposition to discredited President Mahmoud Abbas, and the ruling Fatah party. The arrests and beatings of activists and the PA’s active collaboration with the Israeli state in suppressing the ongoing protests have undermined

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On 18 June, the Islamic Republic of Iran held its presidential election, which was met by a widespread boycott by the masses. The official figure for turnout was 48%, with the regime’s desired candidate, Raisi, winning with 61.9%, with blank votes coming second on 12.8%. The real turnout however could have been even lower, with some estimates placing it between 25 and 35 percent. There have been reports of some polling stations being completely abandoned. This was an absolute sham of an election, which saw the lowest turnout and the highest number of blank votes in the history of the Islamic Republic. This comes on the back of a continuous wave of strike action and protests that

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