Western Europe

200 French military deployment against yellow vests

22 March 2019

Youth at global climate protests speak out on capitalism, socialism and scientific planning

By our reporters, 16 March 2019

Reporting teams from the World Socialist Web Site interviewed students who protested in countries around the world for action on climate change.

Corbyn props up May government after more Brexit vote defeats

By Robert Stevens, 16 March 2019

Ever since May took office as a minority dependent on the DUP, she has headed a government of permanent crisis, with her survival dependent on Labour leader Corbyn’s suppression of the class struggle amid a rising tide of anti-Tory sentiment.

Mehring Books exhibits at London Book Fair

By our reporters, 16 March 2019

The Mehring Books stand attracted a great deal of attention and interest, and the association of Mehring Books with the heritage of Trotskyism and its concern with fundamental historical questions was apparent.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 7

German films: Economic and social tensions on the rise

By Bernd Reinhardt, 16 March 2019

The pursuit of naked profit interests and government-imposed austerity dominate an ever broader swath of life. Some of the German films at this year’s Berlinale point to the consequences.

European Central Bank announces major policy reversal

By Nick Beams, 8 March 2019

The decision by the ECB came as a result of what President Marion Draghi characterised as “substantial” downward revision of growth estimates for the region.

Sixteenth week of protests: French “yellow vests” support strikes in North Africa

By Anthony Torres and Kumaran Ira, 4 March 2019

The “yellow vests” again took to the streets to demonstrate against French President Emmanuel Macron as protests mount against Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Mass demonstration by public-sector workers in Berlin

By our reporters, 4 March 2019

Thousands of teachers and social workers in Berlin held a two-day warning strike last week.

UK: The human cost of the right-to-buy housing crisis

By Charles Hixson, 4 March 2019

Local authorities now pay private landlords to house homeless families.

Workers, youth denounce police decision to close investigation of desecration of Marx’s grave

By our reporters, 4 March 2019

“Marx’s ideas are important for showing us how to understand the current world and society… and how to build a new one.”

Deportations from Germany to Maghreb states rise sharply

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 2 March 2019

Deportations from Germany to the Maghreb states rose 35 percent in one year, and 14-fold since 2015.

No to the witch-hunt of Chris Williamson!

Oppose the Blairites’ bogus claims of “left anti-Semitism”!

By Chris Marsden, 2 March 2019

This witch-hunt will not stop at Williamson and a few high-profile figures. A lynch-mob has been unleashed that will inevitably target thousands of Labour members.

British retail sector continues shedding thousands of jobs

By Simon Whelan, 2 March 2019

Some 19,000 high street jobs have been lost or put at risk in the two months since Christmas.

France’s New Anti-capitalist Party sabotages fight against Ford Blanquefort plant closure

By Will Morrow, 2 March 2019

Leading NPA member Philip Poutou, a Ford employee and union official at Blanquefort, is seeking to prevent any fight by workers against the closure.

UK Labour leader Corbyn endorses Blairite call for second Brexit referendum

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2019

This week’s events signify that the Blairites have de facto total control over party policy, just over three years after they were annihilated by Corbyn in the leadership contest.

Attend March 10 Solidarity Vigil in London for Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2019

The SEP (UK) calls on all defenders of civil liberties and democratic rights, all opponents of imperialist wars for regime change, to attend the March 10 vigil and make it known in your workplaces, campuses and schools.

Resolution: Oppose the promotion of eugenics and pseudo-science at Cambridge University!

25 February 2019

The following resolution was adopted by a meeting in Cambridge convened by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), on Saturday February 23, 2019.

Labour right and Tories unite in new parliamentary group

By Robert Stevens, 23 February 2019

The formation of the IG confirms there are no principled political difference between the Tories and the Blairite right—including the dozens of MPs who remain in the party thanks to the refusal of Corbyn to drive them out.

Germany: Public transport strike paralyzes Berlin

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

For much of Friday, all subways and trams in the capital stood still and most buses remained in their depots.

Munich Security Conference

German defence minister advocates German-European war policy

By Johannes Stern, 16 February 2019

Almost 75 years after the end of World War II, the imperialist powers are openly preparing for a new round of military conflicts.

Brexit divisions lead to intensified discussions on Conservative and Labour Party splits

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2019

Theresa May suffered a further defeat in Parliament over her Brexit policy, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was further undermined by a sizeable rebellion by the party’s Blairite right wing.

A reply to Britain’s Community Security Trust

By Chris Marsden, 16 February 2019

The following is a reply by Socialist Equality Party (UK) national secretary Chris Marsden to Mark Gardner, deputy chief executive & communications director at the pro-Zionist Community Security Trust.

UK: Anti-Semitism witch-hunt provokes backlash in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2019

The opposition of Corbyn et al. to all attempts to expel the Labour right has once again handed the initiative to the Blairites, despite Labour’s membership in overwhelming numbers hating everything they say and do.

UK rail workers demand reinstatement of conductor sacked for opposing Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 11 February 2019

The SEP and the WSWS warn rail workers that the RMT bureaucracy cannot be trusted to defend the victimised worker, any more than they can to oppose the introduction of Driver Only Operated trains.

The CGT’s “national strike”: French unions seek to strangle the “yellow vest” protests

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

For the unions, the day of action was an opportunity for its base of officials and bureaucrats to meet with “yellow vest” protesters and seek to gain control of their movement.

German workers support rally against mass layoffs in Detroit

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

The WSWS received these messages of support for the February 9 demonstration from bus drivers, auto workers, and a tram mechanic.

John Pilger to speak at March 3 Sydney rally to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 2 February 2019

As well as John Pilger, the Sydney rally will be addressed by SEP National Secretary James Cogan. Cogan will also be the main speaker at the demonstration in Melbourne on March 10.

German defence report sparks hysterical campaign for increased military spending

By Johannes Stern, 2 February 2019

The ruling class and its parties are pursing massive rearmament plans and preparing Germany for war.

An appeal from a UK rail worker for a joint fight of rail, bus and tram workers across Europe

By our correspondent, 28 January 2019

The WSWS has been sent this appeal from a UK rail worker to colleagues employed by state run Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). It calls for a joint fight against its privatised arm, Abellio, which is currently attacking jobs and working conditions across its private UK rail franchises.

Former leader Alex Salmond’s arrest threatens to tear Scottish National Party apart

By Steve James, 26 January 2019

Whatever the outcome of the legal case against Salmond, the SNP is being torn apart by factional infighting.

Fascist deputies disrupt Holocaust memorial in Germany

By Peter Schwarz and Andre Damon, 26 January 2019

On Wednesday, deputies from the neo-fascist Alternative for Germany walked out of a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in the state parliament of Bavaria.

Successful election result for IYSSE at Humboldt University in Berlin

By the IYSSE chapter at Humboldt University, 26 January 2019

The IYSSE increased its share of the vote by a third, from 3.75 percent to over 5 percent, and will be represented by three deputies in the student parliament.

Oppose French unions’ attempts to strangle the “yellow vest” protests!

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 26 January 2019

The Pabloite New Anticapitalist Party’s calls for the unions to take over the “yellow vest” protests amounts to an attempt to strangle growing opposition among workers.

Germany, France step up military, police alliance with Aachen treaty

By Alex Lantier, 23 January 2019

The treaty aims to build a German-French axis as the centre of a European Union rivaling America militarily and planning the repression of workers across Europe.

The Brexit crisis and the struggle for socialism

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2019

The answer to austerity is not a pro-capitalist Labour government dedicated to rebuilding “national unity” across the Brexit divide, but the unification of workers in Britain with the working class across the continent in the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe.

Ford workers at Bridgend in Wales facing 1,000 job losses

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2019

The trade unions act as management partners and are doing nothing to oppose the job losses.

Macron offers “great national debate” as trap for French yellow vest protesters

By Anthony Torres, 21 January 2019

In a letter to the French people, Macron offered a choice of which social programs to cut.

070 Macron and yellow vests

19 January 2019

Factional warfare hots up after collapse of May’s European Union Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2019

Led by the Blairite wing of the Labour, Pro-Remain politicians calculated that the decks would now be cleared for them to campaign for a second “People’s Vote” to overturn the 2016 referendum.

UK parliament votes down Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 16 January 2019

In response to the resounding rejection of May’s proposal, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a vote of no confidence for Wednesday.

France’s mass “yellow vest” protests continue to grow in 2019

By Alex Lantier, 14 January 2019

Demonstrations this Saturday grew significantly compared with last week, amid rising anger at French President Emmanuel Macron.

Jaguar Land Rover announces nearly 5,000 UK job losses in global restructuring

By Robert Stevens, 12 January 2019

Last October, JLR posted losses of £90 million and has seen a collapse in sales by nearly 50 percent in its main and most profitable market, China.

Security personnel at German airports continue protest strikes

By K. Nesan and Marianne Arens, 12 January 2019

The work stoppages make clear the enormous anger of security staff and their willingness to fight.

Was the hack of German politicians data supported by the state?

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 January 2019

Out of all the parties represented in parliament, only politicians from one remained unaffected by the hack: the far-right AfD.

The struggle against austerity and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 12 January 2019

The SEP insists that the answer to austerity in the UK is not the election of a pro-capitalist Labour government, but the unification of the working class across the continent in the struggle for socialism.

Socialist Equality Party takes legal action against surveillance by German secret service

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 10 January 2019

Dr. Peer Stolle, the lawyer for the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, has submitted formal notice in writing to the German Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution, which is published here.

Report: Police gave neo-Nazi rioters free rein in Chemnitz, Germany

By Martin Nowak, 10 January 2019

An internal police report makes clear that although the police were well informed about the activities of the far right in Chemnitz, they did nothing to stop them.

Growing “yellow vest” protests defy French police repression

By Anthony Torres, 7 January 2019

The protest Saturday, the first day of action of French “yellow vest” protesters in 2019, mobilized substantially larger forces than the last protests of 2018.

German media demand accelerated rearmament

By Peter Schwarz, 7 January 2019

Editorials in leading German publications are marked by a mixture of fear and aggression as the new year begins.

UK Integrity Initiative heavily involved in Skripal affair

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2019

Leaked documents indicate that the moves against Russia over the Skripal affair were scripted well in advance.

Demands surge for Britain to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 22 December 2018

John Pilger told an online vigil: “Julian is a touchstone for opposition to so much of what is happening in our world right now—the rise of fascism, the threat of nuclear war.”

UK: Half of Royal College of Nursing leadership re-elected after being forced out

By Ajanta Silva, 22 December 2018

The re-elected union functionaries played a crucial role in selling a rotten pay deal to their members earlier this year, after conspiring with other unions and the government.

Her photos shed light on history: The outstanding work of photographer Maria Austria (1915-75)

By Verena Nees, 22 December 2018

Her work deserves to be exhibited in one of Germany’s or Austria’s major museums, not least because she is the source of the only photographic record of the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family before deportation to Auschwitz.

UK government’s role in anti-Corbyn campaign exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2018

The Integrity Initiative (II), funded by the UK, US governments and NATO, has played a central role in the campaign against the Labour Party leader.

Which way forward for France’s “yellow vest” protests?

By Alex Lantier, 10 December 2018

The critical question is the independent organization of the working class, in France and internationally, in the preparation of a European general strike.

The “yellow vests”: A movement of workers against social inequality

By our reporters, 10 December 2018

In this video, workers participating in France’s “yellow vests” demonstrations explain their demands and appeal for international support.

French government threatens bloody crackdown on “yellow vest” protest

By Alex Lantier and Francis Dubois, 8 December 2018

Amid rising popular support for demonstrations against austerity and inequality, French officials are warning they will stop at nothing to halt the protests.

Still no justice as phase one of Grenfell Tower fire inquiry closes

By Paul Bond, 8 December 2018

The inquiry was never intended to bring the guilty to justice and is being overseen and directed by the very capitalist state apparatus and its political representatives that are responsible for turning Grenfell Tower into a death trap.

UK: University and College Union seeks to demobilise pay dispute

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 8 December 2018

The UCU, past masters at isolating and demobilising struggles over pay and job losses, finally authorised a token pay strike at the end of November—at just six institutions.

Mobilize the working class against Macron!

By Alex Lantier, 5 December 2018

The critical task facing protests against austerity and inequality in France is to expand the struggle more broadly into the French and international working class.

Britain’s highest paid CEO built fortune on online gambling

By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2018

Last year, Denise Coates raked in an obscene £265 million, up from £199 million the year before, based on salary and perks, nearly 10,000 times more than the average UK salary.

French protests spark media demands for Facebook censorship

By Andre Damon, 5 December 2018

Sections of the press in France and the United States have seized upon the “yellow vest” demonstrations to directly demand the suppression of popular opposition on social media.

Bank of England warns “no-deal” Brexit would be worse than 2008 crash

Labour pledges to rescue British capitalism

By Robert Stevens, 3 December 2018

The "worst case" scenario presumes there would be custom checks on the UK’s border for goods, with the UK unable to reach new trade deals with the EU or other countries until 2023.

German trade union federation defends Hartz IV

By Ulrich Rippert, 3 December 2018

The SPD is concerned only with cosmetics and a possible change of name, because Hartz IV is now associated with mass poverty, state harassment, cheap wages and social inequality.

Resolution of the SEP (UK) Fourth National Congress

The resurgence of the class struggle and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party (UK): Part One

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 3 December 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Fourth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, which was held October 27-30, 2018. It is being published in three parts. This is the first part.

Merkel backs Ukrainian provocations against Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 1 December 2018

Chancellor Angela Merkel has sharply attacked Russia at the German-Ukrainian Economic Forum, declaring that Putin is fully responsible for the present conflict.

I object—Ian Hislop’s search for dissent: An exhibition that eradicates socialist ideas and revolutionary action

At the British Museum, London

By Paul Mitchell, 1 December 2018

Would-be satirist Ian Hislop had access to one of the world’s most magnificent collections, in the British Museum, but ends up producing an exercise in political, social and artistic emptiness.

UK Intelligence and Security Committee admits Manchester bomb attack should have been prevented

By Thomas Scripps, 30 November 2018

The evidence points to Abedi having been viewed as an intelligence asset, allowed free rein to participate in jihadist formations aligned with British imperialism.

No to Macron’s maneuvers to strangle the Yellow Vest protests in France

By Alex Lantier, 27 November 2018

The talks Macron is slated to offer today to the Yellow Vest protesters are a trap for a movement that requires a turn to the working class and a revolutionary strategy.

French president bans fuel tax protest in Paris as strikes expand

By Alex Lantier, 24 November 2018

As the government of French President Emanuel Macron moved to ban protests against its fuel tax increase, strikes and demonstrations in support of the protest movement spread across France yesterday.

Left Party in Germany supports the French president’s call for a European army

By Johannes Stern, 24 November 2018

The fact that Emmanuel Macron’s appeal has been applauded by the Left Party speaks volumes about the pro-imperialist and anti-worker character of the organisation.

Black Friday strikes hit Amazon in Europe

By our reporters, 24 November 2018

Amazon workers launched strikes and protests in Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, France and the UK.

European Jewish Association slanders left and urges dialogue with far-right

By Jean Shaoul, 24 November 2018

Central place at the two-day event in Brussels, November 6-7, was given to a session slandering UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters as an “existential threat” to Jews.

No to driver only operated services at West Midland Trains! For a national mobilisation of rail workers

By Michael Barnes, 24 November 2018

Drivers at West Midlands Trains are resisting a coordinated effort by the private train operator Abellio and rail unions to impose Driver Only trains in 2020.

No to the draft in France and Europe!

By Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 23 November 2018

Faced with plans to reintroduce military service across Europe, the decisive question is the construction of an anti-war movement in the international working class.

Amid mass protests, France announces return to universal military service

By Alex Lantier, 20 November 2018

After hundreds of thousands protested anti-worker tax hikes this weekend, the French government announced plans to begin drafting youth as early as next summer.

“Macron is the president of the rich”: “Yellow Vest” protesters speak out

By our reporters, 20 November 2018

Participants in the “Yellow Vest” protests across France, which continued yesterday in a number of regions, talked to the WSWS about why they are demonstrating.

UK: Left groups targeted for decades-long police infiltration

By Alice Summers, 20 November 2018

The long-term police operations against left-wing organisations are an anti-democratic and morally degraded attack and reveal a serious and present threat to the entire working class.

France shaken by mass protests

By Alex Lantier, 19 November 2018

There were cries of “Macron resign” from protesters holding signs saying “No to the president of the rich.”

The only answer to Brexit is the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 19 November 2018

Every faction of Britain’s ruling elite—whether pro- or anti-EU membership or urging some form of continued relations—is viciously opposed to the interests of the working class.

Britain: Reading University flags article on “ethics of revolution” under anti-terror policy

By Tom Scripps, 17 November 2018

The banning of Norman Geras’ essay under anti-terrorism legislation is a police state measure that has, for the first time, targeted an article discussing socialism and revolution.

Netherlands: 10,000 protest pro-corporate government policies

By Harm Zonderland, 17 November 2018

The demonstration was one of the largest since the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) came to power last year.

French riot police attack protests against deadly Marseille building collapse

By Anthony Torres, 17 November 2018

The clashes express the immense social anger over the deaths of eight people in the building collapse on the Rue d’Aubagne.

Scotland: Michelin plans closure of Dundee plant with loss of 845 jobs

Rank-and file organisations needed to organise fight-back

By Steve James, 17 November 2018

French-based transnational Michelin’s decision to close its Dundee tyre manufacturing plant poses workers with the challenge of creating new organisations of struggle.

A terrorist network inside the German Army

By Peter Schwarz, 17 November 2018

The right-wing extremist conspiracy inside the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) is tolerated, covered up and supported by the highest authorities inside the state and politics.

UK: SEP assistant national secretary Julie Hyland addresses social sciences conference on fake news, censorship and war

By our reporters, 10 November 2018

The conference examined ways in which the media has historically been used to condition public opinion in favour of war.

UK government’s crocodile tears over burning of Grenfell Tower effigy backfire

By Robert Stevens, 10 November 2018

Social consciousness has changed as a result of the Grenfell fire. After the callous treatment of the survivors, many saw through the sympathetic posturing of the ruling elite.

French President Macron hails fascist dictator Philippe Pétain

By Alex Lantier, 10 November 2018

Macron’s attempt to rehabilitate Pétain is an unabashed appeal to the far right, which he is cultivating as a base of support amid rising opposition among workers.

“100 years of social partnership”—a sinister celebration of trade unions, employers’ associations and the state in Germany

By Wolfgang Weber, 10 November 2018

On October 16, the German Trade Unions and Employer Associations celebrated the centenary of the Stinnes-Legien-Agreement, which laid the foundation for the suppression of the German Revolution of 1918/19.

EU responds to US midterm elections with calls for military build-up

By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2018

European ruling circles have concluded that US-European conflicts reflect a deeper crisis than they first believed.

Residents oppose official cover-up of Grenfell fire toxic contamination

By Barry Mason, 8 November 2018

Despite evidence of toxicity in soil samples found around the site of the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, the authorities have failed to act to protect public health.

The case of Hans-Georg Maassen and the struggle against police-state repression in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 8 November 2018

The latest revelations surrounding the dismissal of the long-time president of the German secret service, Hans-Georg Maassen, confirms that the German domestic intelligence agency has been run by a right-wing extremist since 2012.

Massive increase in police violence across UK

By Alice Summers, 3 November 2018

Since last year, police firearms operations have risen by nearly 20 percent nationally, with some areas seeing an increase of 53 percent.

Ireland votes to remove blasphemy from the constitution and re-elects Michael D. Higgins as president

By Dermot Byrne and Steve James, 3 November 2018

The collapse of Sinn Fein and the Labour Party, and their eclipse by the right-winger Casey, underscores the urgent need for a genuine socialist party of the working class in Ireland.

France to send aircraft carrier to South China Sea to threaten China

By Anthony Torres, 2 November 2018

Amid growing tensions between the major powers, France’s nuclear-armed aircraft carrier is set to travel next year to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

100,000 people living in unsafe UK tower blocks

By Barry Mason, 2 November 2018

Building surveyor expert Arnold Tarling, who has examined Large Panel System blocks across London, believes they have fundamental structural flaws.

State elections in Hesse mark further defeat for Germany’s grand coalition

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 October 2018

The election result is an expression of the growing hostility towards the grand coalition and its right-wing policies of militarism, state repression and social austerity.

The Unexplained Wealth Order legislation and London’s financial aristocracy

By Thomas Scripps, 30 October 2018

The move will not in any way alter London’s status as a playground for the super-rich and haven for illegal wealth.

Tamil family fight UK plans to deport their seriously ill father

By Simon Whelan, 27 October 2018

Authorities sought to deport Sangarapillai Balachandran, who had been headhunted by a British company due to a severe shortage of civil engineers with his specific skills.

UK: May fends off challenge by hard-Brexiteers

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2018

That May, who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum, was able to seize the day reflects a pronounced shift in ruling circles, who cannot countenance a hard Brexit.