Europe

East London fire guts six-storey residential block on eve of Grenfell Tower inferno’s second anniversary

By Daniel O’Flynne, 11 June 2019

The Barking fire confirms the failure of the Conservative government, Labour-controlled authorities and private corporations to end the threat from substandard accommodation and the gutting of fire-safety regulations.

040 Yellow vest interviews

10 June 2019

Greens make gains in Ireland’s European and local elections

By Dermot Byrne, 10 June 2019

Irish results in the European elections showed setbacks for Sinn Fein and the pseudo-left groups.

US and Russian warships nearly collide in the Philippine Sea

By Kevin Reed, 8 June 2019

In an encounter coinciding with a visit to Russia by Chinese President Xi Jinping, a US warship nearly collided with a Russian destroyer on Friday in the Philippine Sea.

Ford to close Bridgend engine plant in Wales, eliminating 1,700 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 8 June 2019

Workers at the plant were given no notice. They were sent home Thursday after receiving a letter saying they will lose their jobs in phases by September 25, 2020.

Despite decline in vote

Far-right Alternative for Germany wins European election in eastern Germany

By Martin Nowak, 8 June 2019

Voters in eastern Germany showed their strong opposition to the established political parties in the European elections held May 26.

Students at Dresden School of Art protest against the far-right AfD

By Martin Nowak, 8 June 2019

The trigger for the protests was the candidacy of library director Barbara Lenk for the AfD in a local election

Social Democrats return to government in Denmark with xenophobic programme

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 8 June 2019

The Social Democrats want to limit immigration from non-Western states and set up reception centres for asylum seekers outside the country.

Free Reis Morris! Grenfell Tower campaigner imprisoned while those guilty of social murder walk free

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 June 2019

Morris’s jailing is a vicious act of class justice aimed at suppressing opposition and protecting those responsible for 72 deaths in the Grenfell Tower inferno two years ago.

WikiLeaks warns US Justice Department preparing more charges against Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 June 2019

The threat of new charges against the persecuted journalist, already facing 170 years in prison, comes amid fresh fears about his health after his father reported a “short notice” medical appointment.

Austrian ruling class closes ranks following collapse of government

By Markus Salzmann and Peter Schwarz, 7 June 2019

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen swore in a “government of experts” Monday to run government affairs until new parliamentary elections planned for this autumn.

Ukrainian president seeks support from Western powers

By Jason Melanovski, 7 June 2019

Ukraine’s president met with EU and NATO officials this week, declaring his commitment to seeking membership in both organizations.

Attend June 9 public meeting in Cambridge: UK Sociologist Noah Carl and the rise of the far right

7 June 2019

The meeting will discuss the issues raised by events at Cambridge University, providing a rebuttal of the claims made by Carl’s defenders and proposing a socialist perspective with which to take on the right-wing ideologues.

French Nutella workers strike, Tram and metro workers’ stoppage in Greek capital

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 June 2019

Workers at the Nutella factory in Normandy have been blockading the plant over demands for a wage increase while Greek tram workers stopped work Monday to protest the Syriza government’s attacks on public transportation.

“Yellow vest” protesters speak on the European elections

By our reporters, 3 June 2019

“I came today to support the people fighting against this government that I am against, and because I want a real democracy,” Jennifer, 31, told campaigners for the Parti de l’égalité socialiste (Socialist Equality Party, PES).

After EU election, Podemos backs Spanish social democrats’ repressive policy

By Alejandro López, 3 June 2019

Podemos aims to join Spain’s social democratic government, which is preparing draconian attacks on social programs and new measures against Catalan political prisoners.

France illegally arming Libyan coastguards to stop refugees from Africa

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 1 June 2019

The policy has been condemned by multiple human rights organizations because of the prevalence of torture, rape, slavery and murder in the camps.

Germany: Left Party suffers massive vote loss in European elections

By Gregor Link, 1 June 2019

The Left Party is rightly perceived, not as an opposition to the reactionary policies of the German government, but as part of them.

UK Labour Party’s civil war blows up in aftermath of European election debacle

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2019

In the absence of any genuine attempt to overcome the divisions sown in the working class by the 2016 referendum, the European elections became a de facto plebiscite on Brexit.

United Nations Special Rapporteur: Julian Assange is being tortured

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 June 2019

Yesterday’s statement by Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, stands as an indictment of all those who have persecuted Assange and sought to poison public opinion against him.

The European elections and the resurgence of the class struggle

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2019

The EU elections revealed the deep discrediting of the political establishment and its imperviousness to growing demands from the working class for political change.

Ruling conservatives, social democrats collapse in EU elections

By Alex Lantier, 27 May 2019

In Germany, France, Britain and other countries across Europe, these parties that once formed a duopoly dominating the parliament failed to win 50 percent of the vote combined.

“Yellow vest” protesters pay tribute at the Communards’ Wall in Paris

By Will Morrow, 27 May 2019

Hundreds marched through the Père Lachaise Cemetery to the site honoring the massacre of thousands of workers and their families 148 years ago.

German Fridays for Future protesters discuss overthrowing capitalism

By our reporters, 27 May 2019

Tens of thousands of young people once again took to the streets across Germany on Friday to protest against climate change.

UK Prime Minister May to quit as Conservative leader June 7

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2019

May came to lead the country in 2016 as a hated figure and leaves it as a despised political failure.

German Social Democrats and “The Left” strengthen domestic security agency

By Markus Salzmann, 25 May 2019

In addition to an increase in domestic secret service staff, the state government wants to strengthen the use of police informers and limit parliamentary control.

Nationalism, militarism dominate final European election debate in France

By Will Morrow, 25 May 2019

Pro-European Union parties attacked the far-right National Rally (RN) on the basis that its turn away from a European army would weaken French imperialism’s ability to assert its interests.

Financial Times hails four years of Syriza rule in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 25 May 2019

To be favourably featured in a leading mouthpiece of the global financial aristocracy is testament to the high regard in which Alexis Tsipras is held in ruling circles.

UK climate change protests: Students speak out against treatment of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 25 May 2019

Thousands of schoolchildren and students demonstrated around the UK Friday to protest government inaction on climate change.

Germany continues deportations to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens, 25 May 2019

Just days before the European elections, the charter flight to the war-torn country exposes the deadly practice carried out by both the federal and state governments.

Grenfell fire inquiry delayed for another six months

By Alice Summers, 25 May 2019

The criticisms of survivors and the bereaved point to the growing recognition of the inquiry’s fraudulent nature and disillusionment with the entire process.

SGP European election candidate Andreas Niklaus speaks to Berlin bus drivers

“A war must be prevented at all costs”

By our reporters, 25 May 2019

Discussions revolved around the connection between the growing danger of a third world war, the policies of the federal government, and the cementing of austerity programmes

The bankruptcy of Lutte ouvrière’s European election campaign

By Alex Lantier, 25 May 2019

Despite growing social anger over the period since the 2002 elections, when it won 10 percent of the vote, the so-called “far left” expects to get only 1 percent.

Incoming Ukrainian president moves to dissolves parliament

By Jason Melanovski, 24 May 2019

Volodmyr Zelensky is seeking to shore up his political position and settle scores with opponents within Ukraine’s oligarchy.

An appeal to young people

Defend the right to tell the truth! Defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 24 May 2019

The following statement is being distributed today at climate change protests across the UK.

“Identity politics has created a prison of the mind…while Julian rots in one which is far more real”

Oxford University student calls for defence of Julian Assange

24 May 2019

The following letter was received from a student at Oxford University who attended the May 12 public meeting in London convened by the SEP, in defence of jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Austria’s “Ibiza Affair” and the rightward shift of the political establishment

By Johannes Stern, 24 May 2019

The very same political forces who are now crying foul over far-right Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache bear chief responsibility for the projected entry of a record number of right-wing extremists into the European Parliament.

Leading Mélenchon supporter backs Le Pen’s neo-fascist National Rally

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2019

Amid an international resurgence of class struggle, the nationalist and petty bourgeois forces in Europe’s “left populist” movement are moving to the right.

999 Brexit/Government crisis

24 May 2019

British Steel collapse threatens 25,000 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 23 May 2019

British Steel’s insolvency threatens to be a virtual coup de grâce against a once powerful section of the working class that has been repeatedly betrayed by the trade unions.

Swedish hearing to extradite Julian Assange delayed until June 3

By Mike Head, 22 May 2019

The Swedish allegations, first issued in 2010, are aimed at blackening the WikiLeaks founder’s name and devising a mechanism to have him dragged off to the US.

Collapse of British Steel threatens 25,000 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 22 May 2019

The trade unions and Labour Party have responded to the threat to jobs at British Steel with a predictable outburst of nationalist demagogy.

Banks and multinationals announce mass layoffs in Spain

By Alejandro López, 22 May 2019

The ability of companies to impose redundancies is dependent on the collaboration of Spanish unions.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate against nationalism

By our correspondents, 22 May 2019

While many came to demonstrate against nationalism and racism, the organisers sought to mobilise support for pro-EU parties—the SPD, Greens and Left Party—a week before the European elections.

Socialist Equality Group to hold public meeting in Turkey to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By the Sosyalist Eşitlik, 22 May 2019

The meeting is part of the ICFI’s ongoing international campaign to defend Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Far-right Alternative for Germany sets the tone for German Grand Coalition government

By Johannes Stern, 20 May 2019

With its new legislative package, the grand coalition government of the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) is implementing the policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Spain’s ruling elite mourns former Socialist Party leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba

By Alejandro López, 17 May 2019

The bourgeoisie hailed Rubalcaba because his defence of austerity and violent repression epitomize what it sees as desirable in a ruler.

The US war drive against Iran and the conflict with Europe

By Alex Lantier, 17 May 2019

Amid growing conflicts with its strategic rivals, including its European Union “allies,” Washington is seeking to reorganize Eurasian geopolitics, beginning with a war drive targeting Iran.

Socialist Equality Party in Germany to hold central meeting of European election campaign in Berlin

By the Socialist Equality Party (SGP), 17 May 2019

Prior to the May 18 meeting, the SGP will organise a rally in front of the British Embassy in Berlin to demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

George Galloway tried to become Brexit Party candidate—and failed

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2019

Galloway’s failed attempt to represent Nigel Farage’s party is indicative of how an entire layer of ex-Stalinists and the pseudo-left have become part of a new right.

Speech by Oscar Grenfell

Millions in Australia “view Assange as a hero who is being attacked for revealing the truth.”

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the speech of Oscar Grenfell, a leading member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and national convenor of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, at the May 12 meeting in London in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Clara Campos of the Julian Assange Defence Committee:

“We must act now in mobilising to free him. He is one of us.”

By Clara Campos, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the remarks of Clara Campos, a representative of the Julian Assange Defence Committee, who spoke at the May 12 meeting in London in defense of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Iran conflict intensifies transatlantic tensions

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2019

The European governments are doing all they can to avoid triggering a broader mobilisation against war.

French public sector workers strike against Macron government attacks

By Anthony Torres, 11 May 2019

Over 150 demonstrations took place Thursday against Emmanuel Macron’s “modernization” reform that would overturn conditions for public sector workers established in 1946.

Spain: No “red lines” in talks for a Socialist Party-Podemos coalition government

By Alejandro López, 11 May 2019

Iglesias stressed that during their parliamentary collaboration, both parties were able “to build a relationship of trust” and dealt with each other “with frankness and empathy.”

German Young Socialist leader unleashes storm of debate about socialism

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2019

Kühnert, an unscrupulous careerist, can only pose as a socialist because he relies on the inexperience and lack of knowledge of today’s young generation.

Eugenics advocate Noah Carl dismissed from Cambridge University fellowship

By Thomas Scripps, 11 May 2019

Carl’s dismissal is a victory over a global campaign to revive far-right ideology on university campuses.

Corporate murder: Trial opens of France Télécom executives over worker suicides

By Will Morrow, 10 May 2019

To shrink a workforce legally protected from sacking, executives adopted a covert policy of psychological torture designed to coerce workers to quit or commit suicide.

Germany’s far-right AfD exploits famous artwork to promote Islamophobia

By Sybille Fuchs, 10 May 2019

The use of the painting and its interpretation by the AfD is an amalgam of historical falsification, outright lies and racist agitation, which can quite rightly be compared with the techniques used by the Nazis.

“Unequal Germany”—new study examines regional differences

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 10 May 2019

A key finding of the comprehensive study is that social and economic inequality has consolidated despite economic growth and employment growth in recent years.

South African municipal strikers defy unions; strike continues by South African workers at Cell C phones

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 May 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

“We need to save his life. That’s how serious it is”

Pamela Anderson and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief visit Julian Assange in prison

By Laura Tiernan, 8 May 2019

Anderson condemned the state persecution of her friend as a “misrule of law in operation.”

The extreme right in the European elections

By Peter Schwarz, 8 May 2019

The growth of the extreme right is the result of the systematic political, ideological and organisational support provided by the media, the establishment parties and the state.

UK government seeks to deny legal aid to Shamima Begum

By Paul Bond, 8 May 2019

Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked Begum’s British citizenship last year, leaving her and her new-born baby stranded in appalling conditions and stateless.

Germany: FDP Congress tacks to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 7 May 2019

The central message of the Congress was unmistakable: the Free Democrats advocate aggressive international expansion, more corporate deregulation and austerity for the working class.

UK: Renewed Brexit talks deepen splits in both Conservatives and Labour

By Robert Stevens, 7 May 2019

After the Tories lost more than 1,300 council seats last week and Labour also made smaller losses, May and Corbyn stressed that the electorate want Brexit to be implemented.

Britain: National Union of Journalists World Press Freedom Day event ignores Julian Assange

By Paul Mitchell, 7 May 2019

At the NUJ’s World Press Freedom Day event, there was not a single mention of Assange by any of the speakers on the platform, all of whom claimed to be champions of press freedom.

Thousands of jobs threatened at Bombardier plants in Belfast and Casablanca

By Steve James, 7 May 2019

Bombardier’s move is the next phase of a global restructuring necessitated by ferocious competition in the world airline industry.

The German ruling class fears the spectre of socialism

By Johannes Stern, 6 May 2019

What the ruling class fears is the growing social and political opposition of workers and young people, which is breaking out in Germany, Europe and around the world.

Macron government fabrication of “yellow vest” hospital attack in Paris collapses

By Will Morrow, 4 May 2019

The government’s crude fabrication was aimed at casting the “yellow vest” protests as criminal and morally reprehensible, and justifying police state violence.

UK: Defence minister’s sacking escalates Tory crisis amid rising UK/US tensions

By Robert Stevens, 4 May 2019

Williamson was sacked after an inquiry into who leaked the deliberations of a National Security Council meeting that approved Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s participation in the UK’s 5G data network.

Fuel tanker drivers threaten new strike in Portugal

By Paul Mitchell, 4 May 2019

The fuel tankers dispute is the latest manifestation in Portugal of the eruption of the class struggle internationally.

Berlin: Meeting held at Humboldt University to defend Julian Assange

By our reporters, 4 May 2019

On Tuesday, several dozen students and workers gathered at Humboldt University in Berlin to protest the persecution of Julian Assange and discuss the political and historical background to the attack on the courageous journalist.

French Yellow vest protesters travel to London to defend Julian Assange

4 May 2019

Protesters travelled across the English Channel to demand freedom for the persecuted Wikileaks journalist, who was sentenced Wednesday to spend 50 weeks in Belmarsh Prison while he is threatened with rendition to the United States.

After Spanish elections, Podemos pushes for pro-austerity PSOE government

By Alejandro Lopez and Alex Lantier, 3 May 2019

Even as the PSOE’s police-state and austerity policies fuel the far right’s rise, Podemos is asking to join a PSOE government and defending it from criticism on its left.

Fascistic Vox party enters parliament in Spain elections, as social democrats gain

By Alex Lantier, 29 April 2019

Heavy voter turnout reflected, at least in part, significant numbers of people trying to cast a vote to prevent the far right from coming to power.

In naked sellout, union announces end to strike by 300,000 Polish teachers

By Will Morrow and Clara Weiss, 27 April 2019

The union is covering up the fact that it is ending the strike without meeting any of the teachers’ demands by claiming the strike is being “suspended.”

Half of all land in England owned by less than one percent of the population

By Margot Miller, 27 April 2019

The aristocracy and gentry still own 30 percent of the land, while 18 percent is owned by corporations and a staggering 17 percent is in the possession of oligarchs and bankers.

The Spanish elections and the struggle against authoritarian rule

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, Socialist Equality Party and Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 27 April 2019

A struggle against capitalist reaction can only proceed through the building of a new revolutionary leadership in the Spanish and international working class.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

International finance backs Socialist Party in Spain’s April 28 elections

By Alejandro López, 26 April 2019

European Union sources are warning of prolonged political instability and looking to the PSOE and Podemos for an answer.

Germany: SGP European election campaign wins support for Julian Assange in Stuttgart

By our reporters, 26 April 2019

Teams from the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) recently spoke with workers and youth in Stuttgart, inviting them to its April 27 election meeting and distributed WSWS material calling for freedom for Julian Assange.

As union seeks to end walkout

Polish teachers speak out on why they are striking

By Will Morrow, 25 April 2019

The main teachers’ union has called for the suspension of the powerful strike to allow students to complete their exams.

Protest in London’s Parliament Square demands release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 25 April 2019

The lively demonstration organised by the Julian Assange Defence Campaign was supported by the Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site.

Grenfell fire survivors forced onto general housing waiting list

By Alice Summers, 25 April 2019

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced the ending of the programme to rehouse Grenfell survivors.

The election of Zelensky in Ukraine and the way forward for the working class

By Clara Weiss, 25 April 2019

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyi won the Ukrainian presidential elections Sunday in a massive repudiation of the incumbent president and the imperialist-orchestrated coup that brought him to power.

Unions scramble to contain Polish teachers’ strike as 40,000 social workers prepare to stop work

By Clara Weiss, 24 April 2019

The teachers’ strike, the first nationwide walkout since 1993, is one of the largest strikes since the restoration of capitalism in Poland in 1989.

Police arrest over 1,000 climate change protesters in London

By Robert Stevens, 23 April 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has issued no statement condemning the mass arrest of peaceful protesters.

Privatisation of UK’s National Health Service escalates

By Ben Trent, 23 April 2019

An investigation found that over 1 million patients were forced to seek alternative treatment in the preceding five years due to the closure of nearly 450 GP surgeries.

Landslide victory for Zelensky over Poroshenko in Ukrainian presidential election

By Jason Melanovski, 22 April 2019

The election results reflect the enormous hostility within the Ukrainian working class toward the right-wing nationalist policies of the Poroshenko regime.

Spain: Podemos manifesto defends constitution, urges coalition with Socialist Party

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2019

The concessions hailed by Podemos were included in the 1978 Constitution to legitimise the filthy compromise between the PSOE and the Communist Party (PCE) with the Francoites, to “forgive and forget” the crimes of fascism.

UK home secretary demands climate change protesters face “full force of the law”

By Laura Tiernan, 20 April 2019

More than 682 climate change protesters have been arrested since Monday.

No to calls for “national unity” after the burning of Notre Dame in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 20 April 2019

The cathedral’s fate is an object lesson in the urgent need for workers to expropriate the irresponsible and parasitic financial aristocracy that dominates official public life.

European election: SGP holds its second campaign meeting in Frankfurt-Main

By our correspondents, 20 April 2019

In Frankfurt, SGP Chairman Ulrich Rippert highlighted the importance of the International Committee of the Fourth International and its perspective of a United Socialist States of Europe.

UK life expectancy continues to fall

By Dennis Moore, 19 April 2019

The fall in longevity appears to be a trend, with an analysis from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries showing a decrease in life expectancy by two months last year and this year by six months.

German government adopts new law to expand immigrant deportations

By Peter Schwarz, 19 April 2019

With its new law, the grand coalition is in effect enforcing the far-right policies of the Alternative for Germany.

Germany: SPD and Greens act as stooges for the far-right in Hamburg

By Sybille Fuchs, 19 April 2019

The coalition which controls the Hamburg Senate is acting as an extension of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) against anti-fascist students, teachers and parents.

Socialist Equality Party intervenes at Paris rally in defence of Assange

By Anthony Torres, 19 April 2019

Socialist Equality Party members intervened at the rally on Saturday in defence of Assange at the invitation of the alternative news site Le Grand Soir.

Polish government vows to fight wage rises as teachers’ strike enters second week

By Clara Weiss, 17 April 2019

Both the Polish government and the ZNP union are trying to isolate the national teachers’ strike and keep it from sparking a broader movement of the working class.

Thin layer of the UK population earn more than £150,000 per year

By Barry Mason, 17 April 2019

Over the last decade, the income and wealth of the affluent upper middle class has skyrocketed at the expense of the working class.