French Pensions: “Victory is possible against Macron, his reform and his 49.3!”

Statement by the New Anticapitalist Party (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste NPA) of France on Macron’s pension reforms.

The use of the 49.3 by the government is a democratic scandal. [1] It shows the weakness of the government’s social base and of its authoritarian approach. Under the pressure of the movement, despite an agreement with the LR (Republicans: mainstream conservatives) leadership, their members of parliament did not dare vote for the reform. It reinforces the illegitimacy of the government and pushes the mainstream left and union leaderships with positions in the institutions to continue the mobilisation, notably the CFDT. [2] It shows the particularly undemocratic character of the institutions of the Fifth Republic, which allow a minority government to pass a reform. In a way, what has happened is good news for the movement.

The actions that took place throughout the country on Thursday night testify to the anger at the democratic scandal, the repression that has been unleashed, not only against the demonstrations but also against specifically targeted union activists, such as those in the energy sector, and the hardening of the government’s position. Macron and his reform have little support, and the first post–49.3 opinion poll indicates the massive rejection of his draconian action and the depth of the protest, which is not weakening. With the continuation of the mobilisation, it is likely that the government will step up the repression. This will require solidarity and a united response equal to the challenge.

However, nothing is won. The motions of censure will be rejected, and the balance of forces remains uncertain. The movement must take a step forward to win; we can no longer be satisfied with renewable, rolling strikes. The 23rd of March date set for the next national mobilisation announced by the inter-union coordination is too far away. [3] We have to use it to build strikes where there are none by building on the strength of the mobilised sectors. But we need to accelerate the pace so as not to demoralise people and not to leave the most advanced sections of the labour movement isolated.

For us, a victory depends on the combination of different factors:

• Strengthening the rolling strikes, in particular in the public services and state enterprises. In the private sector, it is necessary to broaden the mobilisation to slow down production and put pressure on the employers and their political representatives. Renewable strikes have greatly contributed to destabilising the government. We have to do everything to enlarge them; to make this struggle a daily mobilisation, the movement has to be in the news every day. What we are aiming for is a general strike.

• Continuing the mass demonstrations which show the depth of the movement and its legitimacy. We call for mobilisations everywhere that directly target political power, as the Yellow Vest movement did. The movement must aim to blockade the country. We need a national demonstration in Paris to politically and massively challenge Macron’s reforms and government.

• Responding to the ongoing democratic scandal The government and Macron must go, but we must prevent the far right from ambushing us and gaining the main benefit. It is a question of imposing a policy that starts with the needs of workers, youth, and pensioners and relies on their mobilisations to impose it. We need a government that is as faithful to the interests of workers as Macron’s is to those of the employers. It is the responsibility of all the organisations of the trade union, political, and social movements on the left to discuss all these points. We will work to help set up such meetings as soon as possible.

Beyond that, and more than ever, a political alternative around a project of breaking with capitalist policies is necessary—a rupture for an ecosocialist society.

A victory is possible against Macron and his reforms. We must give ourselves all the means necessary to achieve it.

NPA Executive Committee

16 March 2023


[1] Paragraph 3 of Article 49 of the French constitution allows the prime minister, “after deliberation by the Council of Ministers,” to force a bill through the Assemblée Nationale with no vote. The only alternative to prevent the bill from passing is then to overthrow the government.When the prime minister triggers this procedure, MPs have the option of tabling a motion of no confidence within 24 hours. Le Monde.

[2] The CFDT is the largest French trade union confederation by number of members (875,000) but historically less radical than the CP-dominated CGT to which it comes second in voting results for representative bodies.

[3] The inter-union coordination is composed of eight trade-union confederations/federations (CGT, CFDT, FO, CFTC, CFE-CGC, UNSA, Solidaires and FSU) and four youth organisations l’Union nationale des étudiants de France (Unef), l’Union nationale lycéenne (UNL), le Syndicat général des lycéens (SGL), and the Fédération indépendante et démocratique lycéenne (FIDL).


Reprinted from International Viewpoint: https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article8026  Original article (in French): https://nouveaupartianticapitaliste.org/actualite/politique/une-victoire-est-possible-contre-macron-sa-reforme-et-son-493-0  Main photo credit: Photothèque Rouge /Martin Noda/Hans Lucas

International Women’s Day – “Women’s Rights, Human Rights”

Editorial for International Women’s Day from USA magazine Against the Current, journal of Solidarity US, “a socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization”


Women’s Rights, Human Rights

Afghanistan, Iran, Poland, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi…

These are among the countries and states where ruling authorities take it upon themselves — in a variety of ways along a broad repressive spectrum — to curtail, suppress or outright nullify women’s rights if not their basic personhood. The ways and means of these attacks of course vary widely.

They range from legal and official discrimination, to gendered violence perpetrated with impunity, to rape as a weapon as in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Ethiopian state’s war in Tigray, and more. What’s common to each and every case is that degrading women’s rights — along with those of queer and non-binary people — is central to reactionary forces’ assaults on all human rights.

As for the United States itself, where the battles over abortion and gender are inextricably part of the swirling unresolved political crisis and potential Constitutional meltdown, we’ll also look briefly here at some too little-covered facts of how U.S. policies impact the rights and lives of women outside this country’s borders.

In Iran, the regime is in open warfare against the pop­ulation. The response to the murder of Mahsa (Jina) Amini has become an uprising against the entire apparatus of the “Islamic Republic.” Dictating what women choose to wear is basic to the drive for complete social control of what everyone, especially youth, are allowed to do or dream.

“Women. Life. Freedom!” is a women-led revolution that now engages the struggles of Iran’s youth, Kurdish people and strategic sectors of the working class.

Will it triumph? Right now there’s no way to know. What we can say, even though the murderous brutality of the Iranian theocracy and Revolutionary Guards knows no limits, is that Iran will not return to society’s former half-voluntary compliance with the dictatorship.

In Afghanistan, the most vicious elements of the Taliban — who exercise decisive veto power over the regime —seek to nullify the very personhood of women. Deprived of access to university and even high school education, barred from employment in public service or by international aid organizations, they are left dependent or destitute. Among the results this winter are threatened deaths by starvation or freezing of hundreds of thousands of Afghans whom assistance can no longer reach.

This heartbreak and disaster are fairly well-covered in mainstream media. What’s too easily forgotten, so all the more important to recall here, is that “liberation” of Afghan women served as a pretext for the U.S. and allied invasion following the 9/11 2001 attacks — after imperialist interventions and rivalries from the 1980s on had already brought Afghanistan to the edge of catastrophe.

The delusion of liberating women — or anyone else — in Afghanistan from above and from outside played no small part in the development of the present tragedy.

In Ukraine, not only are rape as well as mass murders of civilians committed by Russian invading forces. Vladimir Putin himself calls Moscow’s war a defence of “traditional values” against such perversions as queer rights and the mythical “dozens of genders” supposedly recognised in the West. Putin’s ultra-reactionary ravings are the natural accom­paniment to the denial of Ukraine’s right to exist, with the genocidal implications of that doctrine. The invaders’ rape and massacre perpetrated against the people of Ukraine feed back into the savage escalation of the already intense repression of LGBT people within Russia.

Closer to Home

If the examples of Iran, Afghanistan and Russian atrocities in Ukraine are the most immediately visible cases of the extinction of women’s rights and the consequences, there are plenty of instances closer to our own situation. The point is not to identify the “worst” case — as such comparisons are essentially meaningless — but to examine some common features.

Take Poland, in the heart of Europe: Extreme restrictions on abortion access have been imposed by the right wing “Law and Justice” party in alliance with the Catholic church. These measures are accompanied — not coincidentally — by severe weakening of the power of the judiciary to limit anti-democratic legislative extremism. That’s also occurred in Hungary’s self-declared “illiberal democracy” and is now well underway in the Israeli state.

Two-thirds of Polish citizens support abortion rights – very similar to the percentage in the United States. Women-led protests have taken to the streets in large numbers in Warsaw and other cities and towns, but so far failed to overturn the government’s measures.

The full toll in women’s deaths and permanent injuries remains unknown. Since 2021 at least two women in publicised cases, Anieszka T. and Izabela Sajbor, died after abortion care was denied even though the foetuses were either unviable or already dead.

In Ireland, popular revulsion over the 2012 death of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied a medically essential abortion until it was too late, led to striking the anti-abortion provision from the country’s Constitution.

In Israel, tens of thousands are taking to the streets weekly against the ultra-racist governing coalition’s move to strip the powers of the Supreme Court. Women’s and queer rights are relatively well-entrenched in Israel — for Jewish citizens — and less likely to be immediately on the chopping block.

The first casualties in this case are the already-vanishing shreds of court protection for Palestinians in the occupied territories, and the (limited) civil rights of Arab citizens including their parties’ ability to run in Israeli elections (which the Supreme Court has reinstated by overruling bans imposed by parliamentary decrees). There are elements in the “religious Zionism” bloc, however, for whom gender and especially queer rights are blasphemy and ultimate targets for extinction under the “Jewish state.”

Central America is a particularly gruesome arena in the women’s health battleground. The new government of president Xiaomara Castro in Honduras promised to loosen the country’s deadly abortion ban, but hasn’t yet succeeded. The situations in Nicaragua and El Salvador are grim: When left wing governments were in power (the Sandinistas in 1980s Nicaragua, the FMLN party elected in El Salvador in the ’90s after the civil war), they failed to take anti-abortion laws off the books.

Nicaragua today is ruled by the right wing presidentialist dictatorship of Daniel Ortega (see “Repression Continues to Grow in Nicaragua” by William I. Robinson, ATC 222) and El Salvador by the reactionary government of Nayib Bukele. Women in El Salvador who suffer miscarriages are subject to prosecution and up to 30-year prison terms, provoking widespread outrage. Not coincidentally, under this repressive regime, water protectors are also being prosecuted (see page 2 of this issue).

The Not-“100% American” Scene

In our own partially democratic country called the United States of America, a woman’s right to control her own body is constrained legally by the state she lives in, practically by her county of residence — where abortion care may be unavailable even if legal — and financially by her capacity to travel if she needs to gain access beyond state lines.

The long, instructive and often heroic struggle for abortion rights and expanded other essential rights and services — against racist sterilization abuse, for adequate paid parental leave and free quality childcare, for birth control and sex education — is discussed by Dianne Feeley in this issue of Against the Current. Much of that feminist liberation agenda remains unfulfilled, of course, especially in the era of neoliberal “free market” dogma, falling real wages and stagnant living standards, and capital’s assault on labour rights and unions.

Following the Supreme Court Dobbs ruling, the right wing aims to hurl women back to the age when unwanted pregnancy, or a pregnancy with complications, meant terror. Where they control state governments, attempts to criminalise medical (pharmaceutical) abortion, out-of-state travel for abortion access, even contraception, are on their agenda — along with ever more vicious assaults on trans youth, banning books and education on Black history and U.S. racism, and other malicious mischief.

What often gets less attention than it deserves is the international impact of the United States’ reproductive rights battleground. “A half-century-old U.S. law is stripping women of rights they are legally entitled to in their home countries,” writes Anu Kumar (“Why is America Preventing Legal Abortions in Ethiopia?” The New York Times, 10/23/22)

The reason is a particularly vicious 1973 post-Roe backlash legislation known as the (Senator Jesse) Helms Amendment, appropriately carrying the name of its sponsor, one of the most racist as well as misogynist politicians in our recent history. It prohibits U.S. foreign aid funding for “abortions as a method of family planning.”

Under a restrictive interpretation that goes beyond even the language of the amendment, Kumar explains, the law “instead incorrectly has been applied as an outright ban on all abortions.” It has also been interpreted to mean that clinics receiving U.S. funding cannot even mention abortion. And even though only U.S. funding is directly affected, in many poor and rural regions “the complication of securing other funding that could be used for abortions is too difficult, which means the entire health facility simply does not offer abortions at all.”

The heavy hand of these restrictions is felt all the more strongly because U.S. funding of family planning overseas amounts to 40-50% of the global total. In Ethiopia, Anu Kumar reports, her organization IPAS (Partners for Reproductive Justice) states that “the United States funded about 30 percent of total family planning foreign aid in Ethiopia from 2018 to 2020, but that funding is spread among more than 45 percent of health facilities in the country.”

Such is the case for example at the Shekebedo Health Centre in southwestern Ethiopia, a country where abortion is legal. The Centre’s partial funding by the U.S. Agency for International Development “has stopped the clinic from offering abortions to Ethiopian women.”

The global harm is enormous, says Kumar: “In countries that accept U.S. family planning aid and where abortion is legal under some circumstances, more than 19 million unsafe abortions occur annually — more than half of the global total” (emphasis added) — resulting in complications including deadly ones like sepsis that claim some 16,000 women’s and girls’ lives annually.

The alternation of U.S. presidential admin­istrations, with Republicans applying more restrictive and Democrats more liberal directives, makes it even more difficult to implement coherent policies.

This is blood on the hands of the U.S. Congress, the grotesquely mislabelled “pro-life” movement, and the executive branch, including president Biden, who at least “could issue federal guidelines to clarify that Helms permits U.S. funds for abortion care in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment” and “ensure that clinics in countries where abortion is legal understand that U.S. rules allow them to offer abortion information and counselling.”

To see what difference a sane and decent policy could produce, consider the case of Benin, an African nation where the number of botched abortions declined after access to abortions was broadened (Elian Peltier, The New York Times, 11/13/22).

While most countries in Africa restrict or ban abortion — South Africa, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Tunisia being among the exceptions — the tide there is slowly turning toward abortion rights, despite fears that the overturn of Roe in the United States may hold it back.

It’s important to say here that the very real authoritarian menace globally and in the United States, with all the murderous attacks on women’s lives, LGBTQ people and (especially in dozens of U.S. state legislatures) transgender young people, is only one side of the picture. Victories are being won, whether large (as in Ireland, Mexico, etc.) or more modest as in U.S. state ballot referenda.

Most important of all is that everywhere, the fight is on — women along with queer and trans people will not quietly accept oppressors’ and cynical politicians’ denial of their humanity, dignity, agency and rights. The movements are decisive: When the targets of oppression stand up for themselves, they attract allies and solidarity, and their struggles cannot be pushed back into isolation, silence and shame — as so many generations of women have suffered undergoing forced birth or deadly illegal abortions.

The lesson everywhere is that women’s rights, gender and trans rights, queer rights are human rights. They rise or fall together. In a world of rising authoritarian rule and right wing menace, “Women. Life. Freedom!” means all of us.

Source: Editorial March-April 2023, ATC 223  https://againstthecurrent.org/atc223/womens-rights-human-rights/

International Women’s Day inspirational reading: “Dangerous Liaisons: The marriages and divorces of Marxism and Feminism”

For International Women’s Day 2023, our friends at Resistance Books are promoting a book to inspire you – Cinzia Arruza’s “Dangerous Liaisons: The Marriages and Divorces of Marxism and Feminism”.

An accessible introduction to the relationship between the workers’ movement and the women’s movement. The first part is historical, the second is theoretical. Historical examples range from the mid-19th century to the 1970s and include events, debates, and key personalities from China, Russia, the USA, France, Italy, Spain, and Britain. It shows time and again, the controversial, often difficult relationship between feminism and Marxism.

The theoretical questions discussed include the origins of women’s oppression, domestic labour, dual systems theory, performativity, and differentialism. Women’s oppression is a structural element of the division of labour and one of the direct factors through which capitalism not only reinforces its ideological dominance but also organises the exploitation and reproduction of labour. The integration of patriarchal relations and capitalism has led to their radical transformation—in the family, in terms of women’s place in production, in sexual relations, and with respect to sexual identity.



Marxism needs to probe complex processes: ongoing transformations and crises, a global context creating an increasingly feminised workforce, and changing relations between men and women. It is a mistake to submerge gender into class or to believe that freedom from exploitation automatically brings about women’s liberation and the ending of sexual roles. It is equally wrong to think the class question can be removed and gender made the main enemy. The author believes passionately in the need to combine gender and class politics.



Dangerous Liaisons: The marriages and divorces of Marxism and Feminism – Reviews

“Although Cinzia Arruzza calls her aim “modest,” her book is anything but. She provides a masterful survey of the vexed relations between feminism and socialism over the course of more than two centuries. The result is not only a lucid overview but also a penetrating intervention into current debates. Perfectly timed to enlighten new generations of activists and theorists, Arruzza’s book offers the best short introduction to a question that is as relevant as ever today: How, in the wake of a capitalist crisis of global dimensions, can struggles against male domination be made to synergize with struggles against neoliberalism?”


“Dangerous Liaisons offers an acute, critical and refreshingly open analysis of feminist theories and, best of all, links the development of theory to the historical and contemporary political issues facing women activists. A perfect book for students but also for anyone seeking to learn more about the ongoing dialogue between Marxism(s) and feminism(s). Aruzza’s presentation of complicated theoretical debates is fair, accessible, and lively; her wide-ranging historical account hits the highlights (and lows) of feminist engagements with the revolutionary left across Europe and in the US.”


“a well written book and ideal for anyone interested in the political and theoretical history of the relationship between feminism and Marxism.”


Earthquake hits Kurdish regions in Turkiye/Syria

The earthquake that hit parts of the Turkish and Syrian states on Monday is a tragic disaster for millions of people in the region, writes Mike Picken.  Tens of thousands are already known to have died and the scale of human disaster is unfolding every hour.

Many of the worst affected populations are in towns, cities and villages with large Kurdish populations.  Aid is being mobilised by states and governments around the world, but there is a big issue about the Turkish state government and the officially recognised Syrian state governments being used to coordinate emergency support.

The Turkish government of President Erdogan has sought to repress its Kurdish population for decades and with an election originally scheduled for May has increasingly been attempting political attacks and bans on Kurdish-supporting parties and taking military action in Kurdish areas, including invading and attacking Kurdish communities within the neighbouring states of Iraq and Syria prior to the earthquake.  The declaration of a state of emergency gives the Turkish state massive military powers in the affected regions (the Turkish state has the second largest army in NATO after the USA).

The Syrian dictatorship of Assad, backed by the Russian state, has waged a brutal war for a decade with the help of Russian forces against all opposition to the despotic regime, including the Kurdish liberated zone of Rojava that stands as a beacon of hope.

The Turkish state also has an appalling record of mismanagement of funds for emergencies and is now apparently blocking independent aid entering Turkey.  The progressive Turkish party, the pro-Kurdish HDP under threat of being banned, has issued a briefing to Members of the European Parliament that we are publishing below that warns of the role of the Turkish government and the steps European powers need to take to ensure aid goes to those who need it.

Kurdish fighters were the key element of the resistance to Daesh/ISIS in the region in recent years, but the progressive Kurdish movement is under attack by governments around the world who accept the Turkish and Syrian states’ repressive behaviours.

Aid must be independent of the Turkish and Syrian states

The Kurdish community in the region cannot rely on the Turkish or Syrian states to come to their aid in this disaster.  It is therefore urging that solidarity and aid pass through appropriate NGO bodies, particularly Heyva Sor (the Kurdish ‘Red Crescent/Moon’ humanitarian group).  Getting funds to Heyva Sor, which is repressed by the Turkish state, is difficult.  We don’t yet know whether the Disasters Emergency Committee of 14 UK charities is prepared to work with independent Kurdish organisations or whether it will accept the veto of the Turkish state.

So, we are therefore calling for fundraising efforts in Scotland and the rest of Britain to support the efforts of the London-based registered charity the Refugee and Workers Cultural Association which has launched an appeal for fundraising via gofundme as the quickest way of getting monies to support Kurdish and other communities on the ground.  It is also possible to donate from the UK directly to Heyva Sor via its German account.  Links for both these appeals are below.

The main organisations in Britain coordinating solidarity and aid in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake are Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Solidarity Network covering England and Wales.  We urge readers to support these two organisations.  You can also follow developments on the independent news channel MedyaNews.  We also publish below the statement of the Workers Party of Turkey on the disaster (Workers Party of Turkey is a left wing extra-parliamentary party supported by members of the Fourth International in Turkey).

Supporting victims of devastating Earthquake

FERHAT AKGUL is organising this fundraiser on behalf of REFUGEE WORKERS’ CULTURAL ASSOCIATION.

At Gik-Der we are dismayed and heartbroken to hear of the terrible earthquakes that have affected various cities in Turkey, in which thousands of people have tragically lost their lives. Many of our members and wider community in the UK are from areas where the devastation has been worst, and we note with a solemn heart that relatives and those dear to us are among those who have been killed. As we come to terms with this grief and loss, we are equally outraged at the government’s failure to act with any degree of care and decisiveness in preparation for such events, despite continued warnings from the community. Natural disasters like this are not simply acts of God – the devastation and destruction, the loss of life and limb, are unforgivable failures of a state which places no value on lives.

The first and most important foundation for any such struggle is solidarity, and for this reason, we are immediately starting a campaign to fundraise for relief for those effected by this tragedy.

Funds will be sent directly to organisations working on the ground to support the victims.

Update by FERHAT AKGUL, Organiser

Donations are reaching out to those effected. Teams we work with our working tirelessly day and night supporting the victims of the earthquake, even clearing snowy roads to reach the aid to those in need.

GOFUNDME Appeal by Refugee and Workers Cultural Association https://gofund.me/f9db8b43


HDP Briefing to Members of the European Parliament

Instead of monopolising aid, which given the Erdoğan government’s track record of financial mismanagement will simply generate more chaos and bureaucracy, we recommend the following seven-point plan to Brussels:

The European Parliament and the EEAS should, through resolutions, delegations and diplomatic notes, call on the Turkish government to allow all civil society and political actors to participate in humanitarian relief efforts without facing politically-motivated obstruction;

The member states of the European Council should establish and facilitate a joint crisis and recovery group to coordinate relief and rescue operations. The group should include Turkish state and civil society actors such as HD, TTB, KESK, DISK and Egitim-Sen, as well as international institutions.

Grants made to the Turkish state in the context of the crisis should be subject to constant scrutiny to prevent nepotism, embezzlement, and misuse of aid funds.

It should be made easier for aid organised by European charitable initiatives or smaller aid organisations to cross Turkey’s borders.

On 8 February, President Erdoğan declared a three-month state of emergency in ten provinces affected by the earthquake. The government is seeking parliamentary approval for this unprecedented measure. This is unnecessary and will most likely serve to further weaken the opposition in the country, which already faces liquidation in the form of ongoing legal efforts to ban the HDP. The EU and international organisations, should strongly emphasise that it is not necessary to declare a state of emergency and concomitant rule of law, while pointing out that this difficult transition can be managed through alternative legislative mechanisms.

In addition to the political and humanitarian crisis resulting from ten years of war, Syria has suffered major damage in the recent earthquake. Due to Damascus’ obstruction of aid to opposition-held areas, the main routes for aid to enter Syria are via neighboring states. Therefore, it is recommended that all border crossings to Syria be opened so that humanitarian aid can also reach Syria via neighboring states, reaching all regions of Syria including those out of Syrian Government control.

The consequences of this earthquake are long-reaching in nature. Millions of people are affected, not only because of the earthquake, but more generally because Turkish society is in a severe economic crisis. Therefore, longer-term support is needed to help people rebuild their communities and homes. Planning longer-term reconstruction assistance for Turkey should be an crucial issue for the EU and international institutions not only in the present crisis, but also in the months and years ahead.

If you have any further questions about the situation after the earthquake in Turkey or Syria, please do not hesitate to contact the crisis coordination office of the HDP

Earthquake Appeal – Kurdistan Solidarity Network (England/Wales)

Thousands in Turkey and Syria are still trapped from the earthquake and are sending messages to loved ones from under the rubble. The region affected is largely Kurdish. Please donate to Heyva Sor (the Kurdish Red Crescent). They are the main Kurdish charity on the ground carrying out rescue operations right now.

“Today, 6 February, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred in the Pazarcik district of Maraş city in Northern Kurdistan. After that, there was a second earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 in Nurdagi district of Dilok and a third earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 in Islahiye district of Dilok.

These strong earthquakes mainly affected the cities of Amed, Malatya, Urfa, Semsur, Dilok and many other areas in northern Kurdistan, the cities of Adana, Hatay, Kilis, Osmaniye and Kayseri in Turkey, and the areas of Cizre, Euphrates and Shehba in northern and eastern Syria. The earthquake also affected the surrounding countries. As a result of the earthquake, hundreds of citizens have lost their lives and thousands are injured. Thousands of people are still under the rubble. Many houses and buildings have been destroyed, with winter conditions making rescue operations difficult.” – Heyva Sor

More from Heyva Sor and a link to a Direct Paypal donation, or the bank transfer details to their European branch in Germany:


The Direct Paypal donate button link:


As of today, Monday 7th, the day after the earthquakes the death toll has reached 6,000 with the search for survivors ongoing. With at least 8,000 people rescued from debris in Turkey with 380,000 taking refuge in shelters.

Please donate what you can to the ongoing rescue efforts, and share this appeal as wide as you can.

Thank you.

Published by Kurdistan Solidarity Network 7 February 2023  https://kurdistansolidarity.net/2023/02/07/earthquake-appeal/


“Our country does not deserve this cruelty – we stand in solidarity with our people with all our strength”

Statement by the Workers Party of Turkey

Upon receiving the news of the earthquake that shook our country this morning, we in the Workers’ Party of Turkey took immediate action, and rapidly established a Disaster Coordination Center. Since then, we reached out to many compatriots in the earthquake zone and coordinated humanitarian aid coming from citizens in other provinces.

So far, the TİP Disaster Coordination Center has received more than 1500 calls for help. The number of calls reveal the severity of the situation we are facing.

– > In many neighborhoods of the Hatay province, especially in Defne and Samandağ, as well as in provinces Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep and Adıyaman, people have been left to their fate in the harsh winter conditions.

– > In these areas, many buildings, old and new, subcontracted via state tenders under the AKP government -public institutions such as hospitals, dormitories, hotels, AFAD and municipality buildings- collapsed. The pro-government construction companies, and the ministries and directorates which awarded these tenders to them are responsible for the death of the young, the children, and the patients. We demand the prosecution of those who caused the death and suffering of thousands of citizens.

– > Against all the protests of Hatay residents, experts, and environmental activists, Hatay Airport was built on the Amik Plain, and is now unusable. With the cities’ highways and viaducts damaged, it is now impossible to reach Hatay, and tens of thousands of people cannot receive aid.

– > Institutions such as the Turkish Armed Forces and AFAD are tasked with search and rescue and providing food during emergencies. However, under the AKP rule, they have been systematically disempowered, their staff and personnel reduced, and thus they have been rendered useless in search and rescue operations. Besides, many specialized, volunteer search and rescue groups were not allowed to get involved because they couldn’t get the necessary certification issued by the pro-AKP bureaucracy.

– > In the aftermath of the massive earthquake of 17 August 1999 in northwestern Turkey almost 25 years ago, the “earthquake taxes” collected nationwide were not spent on preparing for earthquakes and ensuring the safety of the citizens, but on roads and bridges that the AKP has built in order to generate political gains and enrich pro-government contractors.

– > Our country was hit by two very severe earthquakes during the coldest days of winter. Effective search and rescue in the earthquake region, especially in Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Adıyaman, is virtually impossible. Besides, there is a lack of food and water supply. Our citizens are trying to rescue their relatives from the rubble by digging with their hands, while those who survived struggle in the freezing cold.

– > Our country has been facing a great challenge for hours since the two devastating earthquakes. But the state, the government institutions, specialized experts, means for transportation and sustenance are nowhere to be seen.

The people of our country do not deserve to be abandoned to such despair, nor do they deserve the remorselessness of the government.

We will never forget and never forgive those who abandoned our people to this fate.

We have mobilized with all our power to stand with our fellow citizens who have been left to fend for themselves in these harsh winter conditions.

Our people will heal their wounds through solidarity.

Our fellow citizens will never be alone and helpless.

7 February 2023

Published by International Viewpoint: https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7979


Statement by ecology movements in Turkey- demands for immediate action

Immediately after the February 6 earthquake, one of the biggest in the history of Turkey, a broad meeting of Ecology Organizations in Turkey published this statement:

Our urgent demands from the government, which holds all the resources of the state in its hands, and our call for solidarity.

After the 7.7 magnitude earthquakes centered in Pazarcık, Kahramanmaraş, at midnight on February 6, followed by the 7.6 magnitude earthquakes centered in Elbistan at noon on the same day, more than ten thousand buildings collapsed and tens of thousands of people were trapped under the rubble. In reality, it is the government, which is trying to turn this disaster into an opportunity for its own survival and has declared a state of emergency in the region to this end. Organization of civil initiatives and rank and file solidarity networks are vital to making emergency interventions in the areas of destruction and rebuilding life. It is imperative that the disaster is not magnified by obstructing the aid and solidarity of civil initiatives under the pretext of the State of Emergency!

The state, unable to fulfill its basic duty of organization and coordination, has left the people of Turkey today with the obligation and responsibility to organize themselves.

Our most urgent need today is to weave a solidarity that crosses borders in order to keep alive our people who have lost their living spaces and cannot meet their basic needs in the entire geography affected by the earthquake, especially in search and rescue operations.

First of all, we would like to observe that an earthquake is a natural phenomenon, that it has been going on for millions of years and that earthquakes occur for nature to realize itself and for the earth to complete itself:

The main responsible for the losses of life is this corporatist government, which has left life to freeze under the rubble, and which no longer functions as a social state. Natural phenomena cannot be characterized as disasters, catastrophes or fate to cover up the massacres caused by the capitalist system based on the greed for profit. Humanity has lived in peace with nature for thousands of years, and has built its social life in harmony with nature, taking into account natural phenomena. Houses were built in harmony with the behavior of nature. Now, the governments that nourish the concrete-oriented urban policies imposed by capitalist modernism with multi-storey buildings, thus paving the way for capital to increase its earnings, bear the main responsiblity for these losses.

In the last two hundred years, policies that increase the exploitation of nature and labor have been followed. As a result of these policies, we are facing an ecocide caused by the brutal face of capitalism, which causes destruction and collapse by destroying human and non-human life. The region where the earthquake occurred is a region where many ecological crimes have been committed, such as the construction of hydroelectric dams, thermal power plants, nuclear power plants and airports on fault lines and, as a result, lives have been endangered. The only way to defend life against this destruction is not in spite of nature, but in a reciprocal relationship with nature, in peace with nature, and in solidarity with nature.

We know that there are many things we need to do to build the life we dream of, but today we are faced with an urgent, vital situation that requires us to act without waiting. As you read this, there are still lives under the rubble waiting to be rescued if they are not frozen. While they are fighting for their lives, the construction and mining companies who caused the collapses continue to count their money.

This is our warning to the government, which controls all the resources of the state, about what needs to be done urgently and our public call for solidarity:


1. Mining and construction activities, especially in the region and neighboring regions, should be stopped immediately, and construction machinery and equipment belonging to public and private companies should be sent to earthquake zones for search and rescue operations together with technical personnel.

2. Civilian and military infrastructure and personnel, and private sector airline infrastructure and search and rescue and relief teams should be rapidly deployed to earthquake areas that cannot be reached by road.

3. Buildings such as second residences, hotels, places of worship, including those in neighboring regions, especially reliable buildings in the region, should be put into service free of charge or by using public resources to be used in solving the shelter problem.

4. In order to provide vital needs such as clean drinking water, food, clothing and hygiene products, the mechanisms created by civil society for solidarity should be fully and completely coordinated with public services.

5. Rescue teams should be formed to include living beings other than humans. The work of civilian teams taking initiative in this regard should be facilitated and supported.

6. Since the earthquake occurred in a region with a high concentration of migrants, search and rescue and basic needs should be carried out with full inclusiveness, free from discrimination.


1. Information should be provided on the causes of the natural gas explosions and the fire at Iskenderun Port, which materials were burned, and the chemical and nuclear materials, if any, involved in the fire.

2. An inventory of hazardous, flammable and explosive materials in the industrial facilities in the region should be made; preventive measures should be taken without delay for possible disasters as a result of aftershocks or new earthquakes.

3. More than ten thousand buildings are thought to have collapsed. Work on asbestos, radon and other harmful gases emitted from these buildings should begin as soon as possible to ensure the safety of the people in the region, especially search and rescue teams.

4. Damage assessments should begin on the dams, which control water and are an extension of the commodification work, and necessary measures should be taken to prevent a secondary disaster.

5. It must be determined whether the chemicals in the mines are mixed with water aquifers; necessary measures must be taken.

6. The problems of non-human creatures living in cities and their peripheries, whose habitats we have usurped, regarding nutrition, access to clean and healthy water and shelter must be solved as soon as possible.

7. Damage to electricity and natural gas transmission lines in the earthquake zone, explosions in natural gas lines, security dams in the region, thermal power plants in Maraş and Adana poses great risks.

8. Large energy investments, security policies and fossil fuels that put life at risk must be abandoned.

Our condolences to everyone who is suffering. We are very saddened by our losses, but our sadness does not prevent us from ignoring the cause of the destruction, the slowness of the search and rescue efforts, and the measures that need to be taken to prevent possible further disasters. The state of emergency cannot hide this situation, nor will we allow it to.

In solidarity.

Climate Justice Coalition

Assembly for Unity of Ecology

Republished from International Standpoint 10 February 2023 https://www.internationaliststandpoint.org/statement-by-ecology-movements-in-turkey-demands-for-immediate-action/

Earthquake in Turkey: the state versus the people

What do you do when you are thousands of miles from your family, writes Sarah Glynn on Bella Caledonia, and their phone stops ringing and you don’t know if they are lacking a signal or buried under rubble? This is the situation facing very many diaspora families with roots in the extensive region devastated by Monday morning’s earthquake. Ugur Cagritekin, from Edinburgh’s Kurdish community, told me that around a dozen of his close friends had already flown back to Turkey to try and find their relatives. Many members of his sister in law’s family are beneath the ruins.

Those remaining in Scotland, and in other parts of the Kurdish and Turkish diaspora, are working frantically to try and organise aid deliveries to the worst affected regions. Besides damaged roads and severe winter weather, this task is made much more difficult by the Turkish authorities who insist that all aid must be delivered through AFAD, the government’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. AFAD has been shown to be woefully inadequate for the task it faces, and there are also well-founded concerns over its priorities. Government bodies are known to favour government supporters, and there is no confidence that AFAD will distribute aid where it is most needed. Rather than allow the evolution of local support networks, this top-down approach is designed to make people dependent on, and grateful to, President Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). A record of government corruption makes many wary that aid distribution will be co-opted to boost the image of the government.

Hatice (not her real name), another Edinburgh resident, told me that she has been working with contacts in Turkey to try and organise the delivery of essential equipment that can help some of the hundreds of thousands of people who have had to leave their homes and are struggling to survive in the bitter cold. They are looking for vehicles that can travel through the snow, and for routes where they can avoid having their supplies confiscated by AFAD. Hatice, in common with a very high proportion of Edinburgh’s Kurds, hales from Elbistan. Their hometown, which was very close to the epicentre of the second earthquake that followed eight hours after the first one, has suffered severe damage. Buildings that had cracked with the first quake were brought down completely by the second. Hatice’s mother-in-law is lost in her collapsed home, as are many of her cousins and friends.

Monday’s earthquakes have devasted ten Turkish provinces that are home to around thirteen million people: well over twice the population of Scotland. They have also caused massive destruction in Syria, especially in government-controlled areas and areas controlled by Turkey (including occupied Afrîn). Autonomous North and East Syria is less badly affected, and their Syrian Democratic forces have offered to provide help to all other parts of Syria – however I only have space to look at Turkey here. The scale of the disaster is terrifying. Thousands are already confirmed dead, but with so many more trapped in the destroyed buildings, and the vast majority of these buildings yet to see any rescue equipment, the number is expected to rise into the tens of thousands. Some fear the final figure may be over 100,000.

Three days after the initial earthquake, which caught people asleep in their beds, many places, and especially smaller towns and villages, have yet to see any sign of official help. Local people are trying to remove the rubble that is burying their families and neighbours with their bare hands, but without the equipment to cut and lift concrete this is often impossible. Chances of survival in the sub-zero temperatures are eking away with every passing minute.

Even for those who have escaped the initial destruction, conditions are extremely difficult. The risks from the many aftershocks, as well as dangerous structural damage, makes it unsafe for people to stay in their homes, but AFAD has done very little to supply them with the basic shelter, warmth, and sustenance that they need to survive. Many places are without water and electricity. Checking that surviving buildings are safe for people to return to will be a massive task in itself.

Social media is full of desperate pleas for help, and anger at the absence of the authorities that should be providing it. The response from the government has been to clamp down on people sharing news of what is happening. In an angry television message on Tuesday, President Erdoğan announced a State of Emergency in the affected provinces. The main effect of this, like the national emergency following the 2016 coup attempt, will be to allow much greater government control and suppression of criticism. Erdoğan told viewers that he is keeping a note of all the ‘lies and distortions’ and will open his notebook ‘when the time comes’. Already, twitter has been restricted – although it was being used to provide vital information for search and rescue. Journalists have been detained while reporting from the rubble in Diyarbakir, and investigations are being opened against TV commentators and social media users.

The one organisation that has the equipment, skills, and competence to make a serious impact on the rescue efforts, the Turkish army, remains in readiness to invade Syria, but only a relatively small force has been deputed to help the rescue operation.

Prospects are grim and hopes are fading for the tens of thousands still buried.

A natural disaster in a political context

Before looking at the huge mobilisation by local people in Turkey, and at what people in Scotland can do to help, I want to examine the political context that has massively amplified the horror of this natural disaster. Of course, the focus must be on humanity, but we do need to understand the politics that makes humanity so difficult to achieve, and the political forces that are seeking to exploit the situation for their own, very inhumane, ends.

This natural disaster has taken place in the context of a lethal cocktail of ruthless neoliberal crony capitalism, political corruption, anti-Kurdish racism (which has left infrastructure underdeveloped and attacked political and civic organisation), and an increasingly dictatorial authoritarian regime that will not work with others and will not broach criticism.

Across the affected region, blocks of flats have collapsed like houses of cards. Much of Turkey’s recent economic development was based on a building boom, with contracts awarded to government supporters. Turkey is crossed by major geological fault lines, but in the rush for profits, there was no room for such niceties as observing earthquake design regulations. As a friend who works in disaster planning put it to me, you can have a lot of good regulations and codes, but ‘the snag is in the governance’ and politicians feel that enforcing regulations is not a vote-winning priority and that nothing will happen on their watch.

The neglect of earthquake preparedness has come from the top. After the 1999 Istanbul earthquake, the government of the time brought in what was commonly known as the ‘Earthquake Tax’, which was supposed to pay for disaster preparation. This is estimated to have brought in £3.8 billion pounds, but there is no evidence that this has been spent on making anything safer.

It was not as if the government had lacked warnings. The Chairman of the Chamber of Geological Engineers has stated that they had not only expected an earthquake of this kind but had also submitted a report to the president and government on what should be done in preparation, which had received no response. He described the policies of uncontrolled development as ‘rent and plunder’.

Despite the palpable and massive failure of the government’s disaster response, Erdoğan shows no sense of responsibility, let alone contrition. On Wednesday, when he finally visited Maraş, at the centre of the first earthquake, he told a survivor, ‘The damage is done. These things are part of destiny’s plan.’

We have seen plenty of evidence of this disregard of safety planning before – notably in the lack of vital planes to fight 2021’s forest fires, when, too, Erdoğan seemed more concerned to stamp out negative publicity than extinguish the flames; and also in the mining disasters at Soma in 2014 and Bartın last October, when warnings of dangerous conditions were not heeded, and Erdoğan also provoked anger by putting the blame on ‘destiny’.

The abject inadequacy of both preparedness and response has not spared any of the cities hit, whatever their ethnic makeup or political leanings, but it is also significant that the predominantly Kurdish southeast of Turkey, where much of the damage occurred, has been purposefully left behind in infrastructural development by successive governments. And, in the places where the population voted for the pro-Kurdish leftist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), they have had their elected mayors removed – and often imprisoned – and civic structures that the mayors supported closed down.

When people most need to work together and combine resources, Erdoğan is terrified of allowing any involvement from other political parties in case it earns them support. Again, this is not a new phenomenon. The central government confiscated aid for Covid victims collected by the Peoples’ Republican Party (CHP) mayors of Istanbul and Ankara. An openly HDP delivery of aid to the earthquake areas was seized by the government.

Faced with a disaster of this scale and a response organisation that is clearly unable to cope, most people would have expected the government to turn to the military – the second biggest army in NATO: all the more so as Erdoğan is looking for a popular victory, and what could be more universally popular than an effective response to a major disaster? That he has opted for only a very limited deployment may also be a consequence of his fear of being upstaged. Despite major purges, many in the army do not endorse his turn against Turkish secularism.

The dreadful failures in the government response can also be seen as a product of the arrogance of dictatorship, where one man cannot oversee everything, but others are afraid to criticise: the emperor’s new clothes syndrome.

Erdoğan’s desperation to hold onto power at all costs makes him prioritise perception over reality. The Turkish government has increasingly resorted to stifling freedom of speech, and last year’s Disinformation Law has been widely condemned as a vehicle for censorship and the criminalisation of journalism. Although making political predictions for Turkey has become even more difficult, many must be worrying that if he sees his support falling, Erdoğan might use the emergency situation to postpone the forthcoming election.

The scale of the Turkish Governments failures and of their impacts is staggering, but in trying to understand what could have gone so wrong, I found myself thinking of the Grenfell fire. Turkey’s disaster may be a thousand times bigger, but there are many similarities in the underlying forces and in the attempt to manage perceptions rather than face responsibility.

Inevitably, the lack of effective response – and in many places any response at all – has produced a swell of anger, especially among those who have waited in vain for help to rescue family members trapped beneath the debris. On Wednesday in Adiyaman, where no help had arrived more than two days after the earthquake, the Minister of Transport, and the local governor fled in their cars rather than face the angry crowd. The AKP mayor of Kirikhan has damned his party’s government in front of the collapsed building that buried his children. There is a new axiom being shared round Turkey: It is not earthquakes that kill people, it is states that kill people.

Solidarity from the grassroots

In contrast to the state’s failures, organisations across Turkey have sprung into action, from political parties to community groups. Cars and trucks are bringing aid supplies from all over the country, organised by local groups or even private individuals.

The big municipalities run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party have been coordinating large collections and deliveries of basic aid, with the CHP leader announcing that they will not accept bureaucratic obstacles even if they ‘have to be arrested for finding bread and blankets’. And the HDP, which has fewer financial resources and has been deprived of municipal power, is also managing to get deliveries through despite government obstruction. (The scale of the relief effort is going to make government control increasingly difficult to implement.) 93 trucks of supplies organised by the HDP had reached the earthquake area by Wednesday morning, and Ugur Cagritekin told me that they had received news that five trucks had reached Elbistan where supplies were being delivered to people in need through the coordination of the HDP and the local Alevi centre. They want to take aid to villages as well as the town centre. Some people in the villages have moved from their homes into the relative safety of their more lightly constructed stables, where they can also benefit from the warmth of the animals, but there has been no help from outside.

The HDP’s strength lies in in its ability to mobilise and organise its large network of supporters and sympathisers and like-minded community organisations. As soon as they heard about the earthquake, the party dropped all other plans, set up a central coordination centre, and dispatched leading members to the affected area. Local election centres were transformed into coordination centres, while the youth organisation concentrated on rescue work. They put out calls for solidarity and for people with shelter and food to share with those without, and they helped create a framework to allow people’s natural solidarity to find direction.

I spoke with a volunteer at Rosa Women’s Association in Diyarbakir as she took a break from preparing soup and tea for 200 people taking shelter from the dangers of damaged buildings. She told me that their city (the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan) benefitted from being left wing and thus easy to organise. Even in relatively accessible Diyarbakir, where the devastation is patchy, official relief efforts are seriously inadequate; however, although the HDP mayor and council have been removed (and the mayor imprisoned), HDP organisation remains extremely strong.

Their earthquake relief coordination is the HDP’s philosophy of grassroots organisation and control put into action. When Ertuğrul Kürkçü, the HDP’s honorary president, writes about ‘transforming earthquake solidarity into a social movement’, he is not talking about an abstract idea but a political practice.

Kurdish communities outside Turkey have wanted to send essential supplies too, but there are reports of deliveries being turned back for lack of documentation, or being taken over by AFAD at the border. The consensus, across the Kurdish diaspora, is to call for financial donations to the Kurdish Red Crescent, Hevya Sor, which operates throughout the affected areas – and of course helps everyone regardless of background. Hevya Sor have the contacts on the ground that enable them to get the aid through to where it is needed, independent of government meddling. So far, this fundraising has been focused on Kurdish communities, but the many other people who want to help and are uncertain who to trust, should be reassured that this is an organisation supported by those with most reason to be concerned.

To donate in from the UK please send to Hevya Sor’s German bank account or donate via Paypal:

Account details:

IBAN: DE49 3705 0299 0004 0104 81



Republished from Bella Caledonia: https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2023/02/09/earthquake-in-turkey-the-state-versus-the-people/

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Call for a global counter-summit of social movements to the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings

The Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be held from 9 to 15 October 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco. The IMF is taking centre stage as the multi-faceted crisis that has affected the world since 2020 deepens. It has signed credit agreements with around 100 governments over the past three years. In each of these agreements the IMF demands the continuation of neoliberal policies. At the same time a new debt crisis is developing. It is high time to react.

Established in 1944, the IMF and the World Bank meet mainly in Washington and every three years they meet in a member country other than the United States. Since 1947, the General Meetings of these two institutions have been held only once in Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1973. The choice of Morocco is no accident. This country is considered by Washington and its allies as a good pupil because its government systematically applies the neo-liberal credo of the two institutions and because it supports the inhumane policy of the European Union in terms of migration and asylum.

The international CADTM network (Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debts) will mobilize to actively contribute to making other voices from around the world heard at these WBG and IMF Assemblies, which bring together finance ministers and central bank governors from 189 member countries, as well as representatives from the private sector, academia and NGOs. We propose the organization of a world counter-summit of social movements against these assemblies.

In order to promote unity of action, the CADTM proposes that a common call to this counter-summit be drafted. It is addressed to all movements wishing to join forces in defence of humanity.

Hereafter the CADTM makes known its position with regard to these two anti-democratic institutions and their policies that run counter to the exercise of human rights.

Both institutions continue to promote neo-liberalism and capitalism, which have caused social, economic and ecological devastation on a global scale.

The people of the South, who gained political independence in the late 1950s and early 1960s, have been burdened with the repayment of colonial debts and the odious debts of the despotic regimes supported by the two institutions. The latter prevented the industrialization and endogenous development of these countries in favour of the promotion of export with the active support of the local ruling classes and large foreign companies according to the demands of the global market. The World Bank has financed white elephants with huge loans, large, expensive and unnecessary projects that do not benefit the local population. These factors led to the debt crisis that broke out in 1980. This was used by the IMF and the WB to impose structural adjustment programmes (reduced spending on health and education, privatizations, etc.) and the opening up of the countries of the South to the free movement of capital and goods in a context of capitalist globalization, financialization, free trade and the increasing internationalization of production chains, which reduce the sovereignty of states. The two institutions have thus contributed to the impoverishment of small producers, particularly the small peasantry, the impoverishment of the working class, the casualization of jobs, especially for women and young people, and the private indebtedness of working-class households, particularly through microcredit.

As regards the environment, the World Bank continues to develop a productivist and extractivist policy that is disastrous for people and harmful to nature. Contrary to its promises, it continues to massively finance fossil fuels, which have a disastrous effect on pollution and climate change. The World Bank also finances the construction of large dams that cause enormous environmental damage. It favours the development of agribusiness against peasant agriculture, it supports the massive use of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers responsible for a dramatic loss of biodiversity and soil impoverishment. The World Bank promotes the privatization and commercialization of land for the benefit of large landowners.

The World Bank and the IMF have also contributed to the rescue of the big private banks in the major industrialized countries following the global crisis of capitalism in 2007-2008 through massive public indebtedness accompanied by austerity policies and the destruction of social gains. They have used public debt to generalize the privatization of water, land, forests, mines, fishing grounds and public services, such as education and health.

The decay of the latter has been highlighted by the Covid pandemic. Since the beginning of the health crisis, the IMF and the WB, together with other institutions of big capital and multinationals (G20, Paris Club, etc.), have multiplied initiatives to avoid radical solutions of cancellation through deferment of payment by excluding private creditors, the main holders of the external public debt of the countries of the South. The new payment deadlines coincide with the context created by the invasion of Ukraine and the soaring prices of basic foodstuffs, livestock feed, fertilizers and energy that are hitting hardest the poorest countries already badly affected by heavy flooding and intense drought.

According to the IMF, about 60% of low-income developing countries are already in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress.

Debt suspensions are on the rise. Since 2020, 9 countries have defaulted: Argentina, Ecuador, Lebanon, Suriname, Zambia, Belize, Sri Lanka, Russia and Ghana. Several other countries are close to defaulting, such as El Salvador, Peru, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Pakistan, and Turkey.
IMF and WB lending to low-income countries increased dramatically in 2020 and is expected to remain at a high level for several years. The conditionalities are increasingly binding on the populations.

Both institutions act for the benefit of a handful of big powers and their transnational corporations that reinforce an international capitalist system that is destructive to humanity and the environment. It is urgent to initiate broad mobilizations for sovereign repudiations of the debt and to build a new democratic international architecture that favours a redistribution of wealth and supports the efforts of peoples to achieve socially just development that respects nature.

The organization that would replace the World Bank should be largely regionalized (banks in the South could be linked to it), and its function would be to provide loans at very low or zero interest rates, and grants that could only be given on condition that they are used in strict compliance with social and environmental standards and, more generally, with basic human rights. Unlike the current World Bank, the new bank that the world needs would not represent the interests of creditors and impose market-righteous behaviour on debtors, but would have as its primary mission the defence of the interests of the peoples who receive the loans and grants.

The new IMF, for its part, should regain part of its original mandate to guarantee the stability of currencies, fight speculation, control capital movements, and act to prohibit tax havens and tax fraud. To achieve this objective, it should contribute, in collaboration with national authorities and regional monetary funds (which must be created), to the collection of various international taxes.

The international CADTM network calls on networks, organizations, social and civil society movements in the South and the North to hold a global counter-summit to the IMF-WB Annual Meetings to be held in Marrakech from 9 to 15 October this year. An international follow-up committee will be set up to begin collective preparations for this very important global activist meeting, which could lead to other initiatives for a new international coordination of social movements.

Let’s make the voice of social movements heard in Marrakech next October. We want to demonstrate the power of organized peoples, defend popular sovereignty and promote social and environmental justice.


ATTAC CADTM Morocco, a member of the shared international secretariat of the CADTM network, will work with its allies in Morocco on organizational and logistical matters.

Source CADTM.

The official links to follow the news on the IMF-WB Annual Meetings:

This appeal was originally published by the CADTM network (Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debts): https://www.cadtm.org/Call-for-a-global-counter-summit-of-social-movements-to-the-IMF-WB-Annual

Photo: March against the IMF in Buenos Aires, on the occasion of the 25th of May 2018, Gastón Cuello, CC, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marcha_contra_el_FMI_50.jpg

Iran: Support for the “Woman, Life, Freedom” Uprising – No to Executions ! (Solidarity statement)

This solidarity appeal and the initial signatories, that include members of the French National Assembly and the European Parliament, was originally published on 20 January 2023, in French, on the independent website Mediapart  (mediapart.fr).  This English translation is republished from ‘Europe Solidaire San Frontières’ (ESSF – Europe Solidarity Without Frontiers, an association for international solidarity): https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article65392  It is also available in PDF form in English, French, Kurdish, Persian, German, Spanish and Italian languages (links also here). 

Signatories are still sought – contact info@ecosocialist.scot for how to sign.

Iran: Support for the “Woman, Life, Freedom” Uprising – No to Executions !

Since the murder of Jina-Mahsa Amini on September 16 by the morality police, a popular uprising unprecedented in its scope, depth and duration has shaken the Islamic Republic of Iran. In less than 48 hours, the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom” spread throughout the country, then around the world.

The fight for the fall of the Islamic Republic is on

Soon other slogans flourished: “Death to the dictator”, “Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Supreme Guide”, “Bread, Work, Freedom”, “Poverty, corruption, high cost of living, we will go until the overthrow”.

This radical protest movement brings together women, young people, national minorities, workers with or without jobs, in a total rejection of this theocratic, misogynistic and totally corrupt regime. The uprising is anchored in the long term and affects more than 160 small and large cities. With more than 50% of the population below the poverty line and the absence of elementary democratic and social rights, it is the whole system that the people of Iran want to overthrow.

Calls for strikes are increasing, especially among university teachers, workers in petrochemicals, steelworks in Isfahan, public transport in Tehran and its suburbs, truck drivers… The strikers suffer dismissals , arrests and torture.

Fierce and unlimited repression

To date, the repression has caused more than 500 deaths, including 69 minors, thousands of injuries, more than 19,000 prisoners and missing persons, kidnappings. In Iranian Kurdistan and Sistan Balochistan, the Revolutionary Guards are waging a bloody war against the rebellious population. Kurdish towns are undergoing a state of siege that does not say its name.

The violence of this criminal regime knows no bounds. Numerous testimonies attest to the incredible brutality of the conditions of detention aimed at breaking the determination of the detainees. Of the prisoners are tortured, raped, beaten to death.

In order to create a climate of terror and put an end to protest, the judiciary pronounces increasingly heavy sentences against demonstrators. Despite this, the mobilization does not weaken. With courage and determination, students, young people, women, workers, artists and journalists continue to challenge the regime, and it has decided to take it a step further.

The proliferation of death sentences

For the simple fact of having demonstrated, at least 65 people (including 11 women and five children) have been charged with “enmity with God”, “corruption on Earth”, insurrection or murder. The judiciary connects parodies of trials, without any right of defense and multiplies death sentences.

After the executions of Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard on December 8 and 12, the Iranian authorities proceeded, on January 7, to hang Seyed Mohammad Hosseini and Mohammad Mehdi Karami. Their crimes: having dared to express their revolt in the face of the death of Jina-Mahsa Amini in Tehran or of Hadis Nadjafi in Karaj. The worst is to be feared for those who wait on the death row of Iran’s sordid prisons and more broadly for all prisoners.

The people of Iran must be masters of their destiny

In this context and faced with the spectre of a political and social revolution in Iran, the leaders of the great powers are working, more or less discreetly, for the constitution of a Transitional Council, bringing together all the currents of the opposition of the Iranian right, including the monarchists. These currents, liberal on the economic level and authoritarian on the political level, are the opposite of the dynamics of the mobilizations and the social and democratic aspirations which are expressed in Iran.

From the 1953 coup organized by the CIA and the British secret services against the Mossadegh government and its policy of nationalizing oil, to the Guadeloupe conference in 1979 where the heads of state of France, Germany, of the United Kingdom and the United States accelerated the Shah’s departure into exile and decided on his replacement by Khomeini, the great powers have always acted, unsurprisingly, in favor of their own interests against those of the peoples of Iran.

Contrary to the solutions imposed from outside, we defend a real campaign of international solidarity with all those who are mobilizing in Iran to put an end to the Islamic Republic.

To live up to the determination and courage of the Iranian people

The outcome of the current uprising will be decisive for the peoples of the region and the world. It is therefore our responsibility, within our means, to help the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprising achieve its emancipatory aspirations.

Indeed, the repressive machine that is the Islamic Republic will not be broken without a powerful international campaign and without a strong mobilization of world opinion.

• We demand an immediate end to death sentences, executions and the abolition of capital punishment.

• We demand the immediate release of all imprisoned political and trade union prisoners, teachers, students, doctors, artists, activists and demonstrators, etc.

• We demand the establishment of an international committee made up of jurists, trade unionists, journalists and NGOs to carry out an independent investigation into places of detention in Iran.

• We support women’s fight for the right to control their bodies. We demand with them the abolition of all misogynistic laws as well as gender apartheid.

• We support the fundamental and democratic rights of Iranian men and women, whether they are Kurds, Baluchis, Arabs, Azeris, Lors, or Persians.

• We support the workers of Iran in their struggle for dignity, their rights to defend themselves through strike action and the building of trade unions and political organizations.

• We strongly demand from France and Europe the freezing of the assets of the highest leaders of the Revolutionary Guards and the Islamic Republic, including those of the Guide Ali Khamenei and his entourage, the total amount of which is estimated at $95 billion. These fortunes acquired through the plunder of resources, the overexploitation of workers, predation and corruption must return to the peoples of Iran.

• Like what was done against the Russian oligarchs, we demand the freezing of the assets of the Iranian oligarchs.

• We demand the lifting of banking and commercial secrecy in France, in Europe and in the world to block the wealth accumulated by the leaders of the Islamic Republic, the Revolutionary Guards and the companies linked to them.

• We demand the cessation of all industrial, economic and diplomatic collaboration with the Islamic Republic.

As signatories to this platform, we reaffirm our full and complete support for all those who fight in Iran for equality, social justice, democracy and against all forms of autocratic and authoritarian power.

We are at their side by all the means at our disposal, and we are committed to multiplying initiatives of solidarity with the peoples of Iran. Until the victory of this irrepressible revolutionary momentum!


1. Nicole ABRAVANEL, historian EHESS (France)
2. Gilbert ACHCAR, professor SOAS London (England)
3. Christophe AGUITON, alterglobalization activist (France)
4. Mateo ALALUF, professor emeritus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
5. Tassos ANASTASSIADIS, journalist (Greece)
6. Valério ARCARY, National Direction of PSOL, (Brazil)
7. Behrouz AREFI, Socialist Solidarity with the Workers in Iran (France)
8. Janie ARNEGUY, Ensemble ! (France)
9. Rolando ASTARITA, Professor of Economics – Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (Argentina)
10. Manon AUBRY, European deputy LFI (France)
11. Clémentine AUTAIN, Member of Parliament for Seine-Saint-Denis (France)
12. Ludivine BANTIGNY, historian (France)
13. Alain BARON, international commission of the Union syndicale Solidaires (France)
14. Jean BATOU, professor at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
15. Abraham BEHAR, doctor (France)
16. Emma BELLE, British civilizationist, Savoie Mont Blanc University (France)
17. Olivier BESANCENOT, spokesman of the NPA (France)
18. Alain BIHR, honorary professor of sociology, University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (France)
19. Sophie BINET, general secretary of the UFICT-CGT, member of the CGT Executive Committee, leader of the women’s collective (France)
20. Laurence Boffet, spokesperson of Ensemble! (France)
21. Jean-Jacques BOISLAROUSSIE, Ensemble ! (France)
22. Alexandra BOJANIC, international sector of the FTUU (France)
23. Manuel BOMPARD, LFI deputy of Bouches du Rhône (France)
24. Michel BONNIN, director of studies at the EHSS, center of studies on modern and contemporary China (France)
25. Nicolas BOUCHAUD, actor (France)
26. Mickaël BOULOUX, Deputy of Ille et Vilaine (France)
27. Alima BOUMEDIENE, lawyer (France)
28. Tiago BRANQUINO, cultural and political activist, trade unionist, elected politician (Switzerland)
29. Nicole BRENEZ, academic (France)
30. Michel BROUÉ, mathematician (France)
31. David LIBREROS CAICEDO, professor, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
32. Raul CAMARGO FERNANDEZ (spokesman of Anticapitalistas – Spanish State)
33. Ana CAMPOS, doctor (Portugal)
34. Robert CANTARELLA, director (France)
35. Daniel CERIOTTI, nutritionist (Uruguay)
36. Fernando CHARAMELLO, trade unionist (Uruguay)
37. Claude CALAME, historian, director of research EHESS (France)
38. Salavatore CANNAVO, journalist – Jacobin Italia
39. Carmen CASTILLO, filmmaker (France) 40.
40. hélène CHANTEREAU, CGT info’Com trade unionist and Aplutsoc activist (France)
41. Lou CHESNE, ATTAC spokesperson (France)
42. Ramiro CHIMURIS, lawyer and economist (Uruguay)
43. Florence CIARVOLA, Ensemble! (France)
44. Herbert CLAROS, secretary for international relations of CSP Consultas (Brazil)
45. Adrien COLIN, town councilor in Vevey (Switzerland)
46. Eliana COMO, trade unionist, Management Committee of the CGIL (Italy)
47. Jorge COSTA, Bloco de Esquerdo (Left Bloc Portugal)
48. Pierre COUTAZ, international sector of the CGT (France)
49. Léon CREMIEUX, aeronautical trade unionist Solidaires (France)
50. Joseph DAHER, academic (Switzerland)
51. Bruno DALBERTO, trade unionist (France)
52. Christian DANDRES, PS National Councillor (Switzerland)
53. Cybèle DAVID, National Secretary of the Union syndicale Solidaires, in charge of international affairs (France)
54. Sonia DAYAN-HERZBRUN, sociologist (France)
55. Bruno DELLA SUDA, Ensemble! (France)
56. Sophie DESROSIERS, retired lecturer EHESS (France)
57. Bernard DREANO, president of CEDETIM (France)
58. Valérie DREVILLE, actress (France)
59. Penelope DUGGAN, editor International Viewpoint
60. Sabine ENDERS, ATTAC activist (France)
61. Behrouz FARAHANY, Socialist Solidarity with Workers in Iran (France)
62. Patrick FARBIAZ, PEPS (for a popular and social ecology) (France)
63. Silvia FERRARO, councilor of São Paulo, (Brazil)
64. Emmanuel FERNANDES Deputy of the 2nd district of Bas-Rhin (France)
65. Nejat FEROUSE, confederal adviser to the International Space of the CGT (France)
66. Marina FERRERUELA, deputy and parliamentary collaborator (France)
67. Berivan FIRAT, spokesman of the external relations of the Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK-F)
68. Jacques FONTAINE, Ensemble ! (France)
69. Téo FREI, activist of the climate strike (Switzerland)
70. gizelle FREITAS, Councilor of Belém (Brazil)
71. Bernard FRIOT, economist and sociologist of work (France)
72. Mario ROSSI GARRETANO, trade unionist (Uruguay)
73. Franck GAUDICHAUD, historian, University Jean Jaurès Toulouse (France)
74. Sigrid GERARDIN, national secretary in charge of women’s rights of the FSU (France)
75. Paolo GILARDI, teacher unionist (Switzerland)
76. Liliane GIRAUDON, poetess (France)
77. Matheus GOMES, State Deputy, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)
78. Alain GONTHIER, town councillor in Vevey (Switzerland)
79. José María GONZALEZ, Mayor of the city of Cadiz (Spain)
80. Sébastien GUEX, Honorary Professor, University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
81. Murielle GUILBERT, national co-delegate of the Union syndicale
82. Helena HIRATA, sociologist, emeritus researcher of the CNRS (France)
83. Marie HOLZMAN, sinologist and human rights activist (France)
84. 84. Jocelyne HALLER, deputy of the Ensemble à gauche at the Grand Council (Geneva)
85. Ernesto HERRERA, journalist (Uruguay)
86. Norbert HOLCBLAT, economist (France)
87. Carolina IARA, co-representative of the State of São Paulo (Brazil)
88. Chantal JAQUET, philosopher, professor at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France)
89. Claire JOBIN, sociologist, militant of the feminist strike (Switzerland)
90. Samy JOHSUA, member of the Scientific Council of ATTAC (France)
91. Leslie KAPLAN, writer (France)
92. Andy KERBRAT, deputy of Loire Atlantique (France)
93. Babak KIA, Socialist Solidarity with the Workers in Iran (France)
94. Aurore KOECHLIN, sociologist, feminist and anticapitalist activist (France)
95. Isabel KOIFMANN, trade unionist (Uruguay)
96. Pierre KHALFA, economist, Copernic Foundation (France)
97. Jacques KIRSNER, producer and scriptwriter (France)
98. Nicolas KLOTZ, filmmaker (France)
99. Hubert KRIVINE, physicist, (France)
100. Dominique LABOURIER, actress (France)
101. Michel LANSON, retired teacher (France)
102. Michel LAUVERS, historian university Côte d’Azur (France)
103. Michèle LECLERC-OLIVE, Professor of mathematics, sociologist. CNRS (France)
104. Olivier LE COURD MAISON, academic (France)
105. Charlotte LEDUC, LFI-NUPES deputy of the 3rd district of Moselle (France)
106. Irma LEITES, plenaria memoria y justicia (Uruguay)
107. Fred LEPLAT, Anticapitalist Resistance (England, Wales)
108. Elodie LOPEZ, member of the Grand Council of Vaud, Ensemble à Gauche, town councilor, décroissance alternatives (Switzerland)
109. Francisco LOUÇA, economist, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
110 Iza LOURENÇA, councilor of Belo Horizonte (Brazil)
111. Mickael LOWY, director of research emeritus at the CNRS (France)
112. Christian MAHIEUX, international trade union network of solidarity and struggles (France)
113. Jan MALEWSKI, journalist, editor of Inprecor (France)
114) Gilles MANCERON, historian (France)
115. Pierre MARAGE, professor emeritus at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
116. Maguy MARIN, choreographer (France)
117. Gustave MASSIAH, CEDETIM (France)
118. Sonia MEIRE, Councilor of Aracaju (Brazil)
119. Omar MENONI, trade unionist (Uruguay)
120 Roland MERIEUX, member of the animation team of Ensemble! (France)
121. Silvia Fernandes MICHELI, teacher (Uruguay)
122. Anwar MIR SATTARI, ecologist (Belgium)
123. Mathilde MONNIER, choreographer (France) 124.
124 – Robi MORDER, lawyer and political scientist (France)
125) Manuel AGUILA MORA, historian, autonomous university of Mexico (Mexico)
126. Noel MOREL, external relations, network libertarian communist platform (France)
127. Mariana MORTAGUA, member of the Portuguese Parliament (Portugal)
128. Olivier NEVEUX, academic (France)
129. Stanislas NORDEZ, director of the National Theater of Strasbourg (France)
130. Paula NUNES, co-representative of the State of São Paulo (Brazil)
131. Françoise NYFFLER, activist of the feminist strike and deputy of Ensemble à Gauche (Switzerland)
132. Danièle OBONO, LFI deputy of Paris (France)
133. Solenn OCHSNER, trade unionist, feminist strike and climate activist (Switzerland)
134. Andrés OLIVETTI, trade unionist (Uruguay)
135. Annick OSMOND, socio-anthropologist (France)
136. Ugo PALHETA, sociologist (France)
137. Mathilde PANOT, deputy of Val de Marne, president of the LFI group at the National Assembly (France)
138. Ian PARKER, professor University of Manchester (England)
139. Olivier PARRIAUX, professor emeritus at the University of Lyon-Saint Etienne (France)
140 – Henri PASCAL, sociologist (France)
141. Jaime PASTOR, political scientist and director of the review “Viento Sur” (Spanish State)
142. Roland PFEFFERKORN, sociologist, University of Strasbourg (France)
143. Elisabeth PERCEVAL, filmmaker (France)
144. Jean-François PELLISSIER, spokesman of Ensemble! (France)
145. Martyne PERROT, sociologist (France)
146. Serge PEY, writer (France)
147. Nicole PHELOUZAT, sociologist at CNRS (France)
148. Boris PLAZZI, CGT confederation secretary for international relations (France)
149. Christine POUPIN, spokesperson of the NPA (France) 150.
150 – Philippe POUTOU, spokesman of the NPA (France)
151. Stéphanie PREZIOSO, member of the National Council, Ensemble à gauche (Switzerland)
152. Nadège PRUGNARD, author, actor, director (France)
153. José Manuel PUREZA, professor, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
154. Martine RAIS, doctor (Switzerland)
155. Rebeca RIELA, economist (Uruguay)
156. Laurent RIPART, historian at the University Savoie Mont Blanc (France)
157. Teresa RODRIGUEZ, former deputy and spokesperson of Adelante Andalucía (Spanish State)
158. Ema Graciela ROMERO, lawyer (Uruguay)
159. 159. Pierre ROUSSET, internationalist, director of the online newspaper ESSF (France)
160 – Henri SAINT-JEAN, association leader (France)
161. Sara SALEMI, Socialist Solidarity with the Workers in Iran (France)
162. Pauline SALINGUE, spokesperson of the NPA (France)
163. Catherine SAMARY, alterglobalist economist (France)
164. Mariana SANCHEZ, journalist and editor, activist of the SNJ CGT and Ensemble! (France)
165 Cobas SARDEGNA, UNICOBAS (Italy)
166. Jacob SCHÄFER, trade unionist (Germany)
167 Janick SCHAUFELBUEHL, Associate Professor Faculty of Social and Political Sciences University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
168. Marc SCHLESSER, Décroissance Alternative (Switzerland)
169. Houshang SEPEHR, editor of the website Iran Echo – Socialist Solidarity with the Workers in Iran (France) 170.
170 – Yasmine SIBLOT, sociologist (France)
171 Cécile SILHOUETTE, Ensemble ! (France)
172. Francis SITEL, Animation team of Ensemble! (France)
173. Omar SLAOUTI, teacher, anti-racist activist, elected in Argenteuil (France)
174. Alda SOUSA, mathematician, University of Porto (Portugal)
175. Claude STAZAN, CEDETIM (France)
176 Isabelle STENGERS, philosopher (Belgium)
177. Quentin TALON, mathematician, town councilor in Montreux (Switzerland)
178. Daniel TANURO, ecosocialist author (Belgium)
179. Imad TEMIZA, secretary of the Palestinian Postal Service Workers Union (Palestine)
180. Benoît TESTE, secretary general of the FSU (France)
181. Julien THERY, historian at the University Louis Lumière Lyon 2 and president of the Media (France)
182. João TEIXERA LOPES, sociologist, University of Porto (Portugal)
183. Sylvie TISSOT, sociologist (France)
184. Marc TOMCZAK, teacher researcher at the University of Lorraine (France)
185. Pascal TORRE, deputy head of the international sector of the PCF (France)
186. Éric TOUSSAINT, political scientist, Universities of Liège and Paris 8, member of the International Council of the World Social Forum (Belgium)
187. Enzo TRAVERSO, historian
188. Josette TRAT, academic, feminist activist (France)
189. Stéphanie TREILLET, economist, Ensemble ! (France)
190. Anne TRISTAN (France)
191. Aurélie TROUVÉ, Member of Parliament for Seine-Saint-Denis (France)
192. Franco TURIGLIATTO, former Senator (Italy)
193. Charles-André UDRY, economist and director of the website Alencontre (Switzerland)
194. Mario UNDA, sociologist (Ecuador)
195. Miguel URBAN, MEP (Spanish State)
196. Roseline VACHETTA, former MEP – NPA (France)
197. Eleni VARIKAS, professor emeritus at the University of Paris 8 (France)
198. Christiane VOLLAIRE, Philosopher (France)
199. Léo WALTER Deputy of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, parliamentary group LFI-NUPES (France)
200. Thomas WEYTS, SAP – Anticapitalist, (Belgium)
201. Youlie YAMAMOTO, spokesperson of ATTAC (France)
202. Erika DEUBER ZIEGLER, art historian (Switzerland)
203. Jean ZIEGLER, sociologist, internationalist, politician (Switzerland)


Photo copyright: DR

Protestors demand justice for assassinated Kurdish activists on streets of Paris – interview with Sarah Glynn, Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan

On 7 January 2023, 25,000 marched through the streets of Paris to demand justice for assassinated Kurdish activists, writes Mike Picken.  The event was initially to commemorate the anniversary of three murders of Kurdish activists in Paris’ 10th arondissement by a Turkish state agent in 2013 but was overshadowed by the assassination of three more Kurdish activists on 23 December 2022 in front of the Kurdish Democratic Center (CDKF) on rue d’Enghien in the same arondissement.   In both assassinations the French state of President Macron has failed to satisfy Kurdish demands for the links with the Turkish state to be exposed and to classify the recent murders as terrorism.

The mass demonstration was supported by the left parties in France and there is a report from Mireille Court of the march in l‘Anticapitaliste, weekly paper of the NPA (Nouvelle Parti Anticapitaliste) issue 644, here (in French).

Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan (SSK) activist Sarah Glynn was also on the march in Paris, and below we republish an interview with her, taken from the Australian ecosocialist Green Left together with pictures by Sarah.  Sarah Glynn also writes a weekly column on the Kurdish struggle on Medyanews that we encourage our readers to follow. 

Events in Scotland in Solidarity with Kurdistan can be found on the Facebook page of SSK here: https://en-gb.facebook.com/ScottishSolidaritywithKurdistan/

The Centre for Kurdish Progress is hosting Newroz celebrations in Edinburgh on Wednesday 8th March 2023, with leading figures from the Kurdish Community, joined by  Members of the Scottish Parliament from SNP, Labour and Scottish Greens (Tickets available here)  

France: 25,000 march in Paris to demand justice for assassinated Kurdish activists

Kurdish protest in Paris January 2023 cr Sarah Glynn
Kurdish protest in Paris on January 7. Photo: Sarah Glynn

large march took place in Paris, on January 7, to demand justice for three Kurdish female activists — including Sakine Cansız, a co-founders of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) — were assassinated by a Turkish gunman in that city 10 years ago. The French government has withheld documents that could prove that the Turkish state was responsible by classifying them “top secret”.

Protests have been held every year to mark this atrocity, but this year’s action was supercharged with anger at another assassination of three Kurdish activists in Paris on December 23. Green Left‘s Peter Boyle spoke to Kurdish solidarity activist and writer Sarah Glynn who participated in the march.

What do you estimate were the numbers at the march and what were the main groups participating?

The organisers estimated an attendance of 25,000. Most were Kurds, and Kurdish organisations had organised buses from different parts of Europe. There were also trade unionists, and representatives from the different left parties, and sympathetic organisations and individuals.

The march started from opposite the Gard du Nord, near 147 rue la Fayette where the three Kurdish women were assassinated ten years ago, and many people took the opportunity, before it set off, to visit the community centre where the three Kurds were assassinated in December. Both places, in Paris’s 10th Arrondissement, were marked by portraits and flowers.

Among the sea of Kurdish flags and placards, there was a sprinkling of trade union flags, and the Union Syndicale Solidaires marched behind their own banner supporting the Kurdish struggle. All the French left parties were represented, with elected members standing out from the crowd with their blue, white and red sashes.

The final demonstration, in Place de la Republique, was addressed by the families of those killed and by leaders of the Kurdish community in Europe, and also by speakers from various organisations (including a representative from France’s Armenian community) and from the mayor of the 10th Arrondissement and political parties.

The politicians not only stressed the importance of a full investigation of both triple murders, but also the need to delist the PKK and stop criminalising Kurdish politics.

Sylvie Jan, co-president of l’Association France Kurdistan observed how public support for the Kurds has grown over the ten years since the first assassination.

We heard some important and strong words, but full the weight of the demonstration was summed up in the final lament, composed and sung by Diyar Mehrovi, a friend of the murdered musician Mîr Perwer.

Kurdish protest in Paris cr Sarah Glynn
Mathilde Panot, La France Insoumise MP addressing the protest in Paris. Photo: Sarah Glynn

French authorities have arrested the person who is alleged to have carried out the latest massacre and suggested that racism was his motive but Kurds and their supporters are not satisfied with this. Can you explain why?

The Kurds have no faith in the French authorities because of their deliberate blocking of the investigation into the 2013 assassinations. The man accused of that earlier attack conveniently died of a brain tumour in December 2016, a few weeks before he was due to go on trial, and the case was closed.

However, there is a wealth of evidence that he was working for the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation and that the French state impeded the investigation, and they have closed access to crucial defence documents. The families of the murdered women began a civil action and managed to get the case reopened in 2019, but the state has refused the request of the judges to declassify the documents.

After the assassinations on December 23, the French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, was very quick to declare that this was the action of a lone gunman – to dismiss any wider conspiracy and so rule out a terrorism investigation. The man who fired the gun was a Frenchman who has also been accused of an earlier racist attack on Somalis, but he was just out of prison, and could have been recruited to direct his violence against the Kurds by someone he met inside. The Kurds argue that there are several circumstances that suggest a planned and targeted attack.

With the approaching tenth anniversary of the first assassinations, this was a significant period, and at the time of the recent assassination there was supposed to be a large meeting at the community centre to plan for last Saturday’s demonstration – thankfully, delayed an hour due to transport problems. An attack at this time could have been an even worse disaster for the Kurdish community.

After shooting into the community centre – and making sure that Evîn Goyî was dead with a second shot – the gunman shot at the Kurdish restaurant opposite the centre, and then went down the road and entered theKurdish hairdresser where he was eventually caught by the workers as he reloaded his gun. The community centre is an important place for the French Kurdish community and all three places are Kurdish. Shops of other nationalities between the restaurant and the hairdresser were not attacked.

The day after the recent assassinations, Turkey’s Home Minister, Süleyman Soylu, stated: “Tayyip Erdoğan will not only purge the terrorists in Turkey, but also the terrorists in the world.”

The Turkish government appears to want Kurds to believe that Turkey is behind this assassination, and to be confident that the French authorities will not investigate this.

In a live broadcast on CNN-Türk in February 2021, the former head of the Turkish General Staff’s Intelligence Department not only admitted that the 2013 assassinations were an operation by the Turkish state, but also called for more of the same, telling viewers, “They also have their elements in Europe. We have to do something in this direction in Europe. I mean, it was already done once in Paris …”

No action was taken then either.

Kurdish protest in Paris 2 cr Sarah Glynn
Kurdish protest in Paris. Photo: Sarah Glynn

What are the barriers to a proper public investigation of the latest and the 2013 atrocities?

It is widely understood that, for political reasons, the French government will avoid any investigation that could implicate the Turkish state.

As in so many other areas, Turkey is allowed to spread their terror with impunity.

Interview originally published by Green Left (Australia) https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/france-25000-march-paris-demand-justice-assassinated-kurdish-activists

Top photo: l’Anticapitaliste, credited to DR

Razem: Building a left alternative in Poland

It is not often realised that among Scotland’s population at the time of the 2011 census Poland was the largest non-UK country of birth, writes Mike Picken in this introduction for ecosocialist.scot. 

This was because of significant migration into Scotland during the period, now closed by the Tory Brexit, when Scotland as part of the EU was a member of the single market and free movement between EU states was possible.  More recent data from 2021 in England & Wales indicates that Poland is the second largest country of birth there, after India.  It should also be remembered that the xenophobic-fuelled Brexit referendum produced not only the assassination of a Labour MP by a racist extremist opposed to EU migration, but the murder of a Polish-born man in Essex and the tragic suicide of a Polish-born young woman in Cornwall following racist taunts

Poland transitioned to EU membership in 2004 and was by far the largest of the former-soviet bloc eastern european states to do so (it is currently the fifth largest EU member state – after the western european states of Germany, France, Italy and the Spanish state). 

But the transition from totalitarian stalinism to free market capitalism was fraught with contradictions.  Despite the government of the right wing ‘Law and Justice Party’ and the rise of far right movements in Poland, there has also been the growth of a small but significant new broad left wing party – Razem (“Together” – also known as “Lewica Razem” – “Left Together”),  formed in 2015 and now holding six seats in the Polish parliament, the Sejm (elected in 2019 as part of a left of centre coalition).   As a left wing party, Razem has had to walk a difficult path between being critical of the capitalist and western imperialist basis of the EU and NATO institutions, while being understanding  of the impact of stalinist totalitarianism on Polish society and the threat posed by Russian imperialism following the invasion of Ukraine.  Razem champions the Kurdish struggle in Poland and is opposed to NATO’s military interventions (see below).  But Razem is also highly critical of many western leftist organisations who have abandoned the Ukrainian people in order to promote what has been called ‘the anti-imperialism of idiots’  by Ukraine ‘Social Movement’ left wing activist Taras Bilous.  Razem has terminated its association with both the Progressive International and DIEM25 movements because of their refusal to defend unequivocally the Ukrainian people.

ecosocialist.scot is republishing below a wide ranging interview with a leading representative of Razem’s international office, Zofia Malisz.  There is much to learn for us in Scotland from this interview, particularly about the need to puncture the sometimes uncritical enthusiasm for the EU that exists in Scotland with an ecosocialist and left wing message, but also how to put across a consistent anti-imperialist message that has real resonance with the populations of Eastern Europe. 

The interview was first published by the Australian ecosocialist Green Left – this version is as republished by International Viewpoint.


Razem: Building a left alternative in Poland


Polish left-wing party Razem (Together) International Office member Zofia Malisz spoke to Green Left’s Federico Fuentes about the party’s history, Polish politics and Razem’s views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (Green Left, 10 January 2023.)

Could you tell us about Razem’s history and politics?

Razem was formed in 2015 by a group of leftist activists with years of experience in the Polish green and feminist movements, along with members of the Young Socialists.

The impetus for creating a new party was two-fold.

One was the frustration that emerged under the liberal Donald Tusk government (2007‒14). Whenever voices started to demand the government focus on social spending instead of cuts and privatisations, Tusk’s response was to say Poland was still in its transformation stage [towards a market economy] and that now was not the time to build up a welfare state.

Frustration grew as neoliberal policies were implemented at breakneck speed to indulge business elites, while people were denied even modest social benefits and public services were being dismantled.

All this occurred as anti-austerity protests were taking place in Greece, something we supported and that inspired Razem.

The other major factor was the protests against the Iraq war and against Poland’s participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. Several activists who went on to build Razem came from these protest movements.

The revelations of alleged illegal US prisons in Poland used to torture al-Qaeda members created huge outrage. Seeing the Polish government bow down to US imperialism unchallenged — and in fact encouraged by the mainstream, including former Solidarność activists — fuelled frustration on the left.

Razem was formed as an expression of this anger and frustration that had built up during the transformation process.

This particularly still concerns the young. Unlike the old Communist establishment or the new liberal elites aligned with business, they did not get the opportunity to enrich themselves during the transformation period.

Entering professional life, let alone starting a family, has become — and still is — a very difficult thing if you are living precariously.

Our co-leaders Magda Biejat and Adrian Zandberg have been highlighting the housing situation, particularly as rent and real estate prices have risen dramatically.

Poland is also facing depopulation, with the abortion ban discouraging women from getting pregnant and high cost of living pressures, which prevent young people from starting an independent life.

In terms of Razem’s politics, I would say one difference between Razem and much of the Western left is that we do not use ideologised language and instead communicate left values organically.

This is because, after the 1990s [with the fall of the Communist regime], even using the word “socialism” became problematic. There was a backlash that the right wing and neoliberals gladly exploited to discredit any ideas of a social state.

This happened despite the fact that Poland’s socialist tradition is much older than the Eastern Bloc’s existence and played a hugely significant and positive role in the building of the Polish independent state. Not to mention that, contrary to what conservative ideologues want you to believe, the ideals of Solidarność were socialist.

Razem was [also] inspired by the modern left approach adopted by Podemos, who demonstrated how to communicate socialist ideas in a different way.

[Podemos] showed that it was very important to find new ways to break up right-wing duopolies. In the case of Polish politics, we have a duopoly between the liberal and conservative right that dominates the scene.

We had to first bring back the left and insert left issues into the centre of Polish political debate. We had to bring back social protest and unionising into everyday Polish political practice — and we succeeded. These were our motivations.

Since then we have engaged in an, at times dramatic, fight for space on the terrain of this duopoly. The duopoly manifests itself as a war of right-wing tribes that is a source of sustenance to their elites. So it was vital for us to avoid the trap of engaging in empty arguments.

Polish liberals reduce every social-political question to whether this helps defeat the conservatives, and vice versa, while never considering any problems on its merit. The Polish people are tired of this ritualistic fighting.

They appreciate the fact that our six MPs instead focus on talking about the issues. Parliamentary speeches by Adrian Zandberg, are something of a hotly anticipated public event because they give a rare sense of getting real among all this ruckus. They resonate because there is anger and people want solutions and real action. And they know they can depend on us for those.

People value Razem MPs showing up early at a strike to support workers’ demands and to facilitate bringing the entitled bosses to the table. This is where we were able to make a difference in several industrial actions in recent years.


Poland is often grouped as part of a conglomerate of far-right authoritarian countries in Eastern Europe. How accurate is this? What can you tell us about the current government?

The same year Razem was formed, a conservative Christian government was elected. They found that the key to winning was to offer something that people wanted, some kind of social benefit — in this case a child allowance — but which the liberals had been refusing to give.

The conservative government only secured a majority because it incorporated social elements into their agenda.

Polish society, when asked about the policies they prefer, most often point to a form of social democracy with solid public services. The conservatives have exploited this need to their political benefit — but have clearly failed to deliver any comprehensive social agenda.

In any case, it is clear that to grab power they did not campaign on banning abortion or dismantling the judicial branch of the state. But right after they came to power, they attacked human rights and the state’s institutions. They started stirring up culture wars in later campaigns, for example, scapegoating and harassing LGBT people.

Yes, these policies are supported by the Catholic Church. The conservative majority owes the Church huge favours — a lot of this stuff happens as a form of a clientelist exchange between the Church and the government. But these are not policies that have majority support.

Polls show the majority of the Polish people want legalisation of abortion and civil unions for same-sex couples. Polish society has been secularising dramatically in recent years. The conservatives have been losing this battle and the rabid reaction of fundamentalist groups embedded in the government’s environment reflects this.

Unlike in Hungary, the Polish government has not been able to undermine the electoral system, and while attempts to take over the judiciary have been largely successful, they faced popular protest.

Moreover, due to the European Union’s resistance to accepting these illegal reforms, the government has hit a wall of Polish EU-enthusiasm.

This is a major difference with Hungary: the government here was not able to find an easy way around the fact that people won’t support any hint of “Polexit”.

Neither will Razem, by the way, as we believe the EU badly needs social and democratic reform, but that Poland should stay and contribute to fostering integration and partnership on the continent.

This fact about Poland being pro-European integration helped defeat the government’s attacks on our checks and balances.

The result was that all the Orbanite moves the government did, including the persecution of women and LGBT people, sparked a wave of unprecedented protest. The protests against the abortion ban were huge and spanned all levels of society.

This caused a dramatic dip in the polls and the conservatives are unlikely to win a parliamentary majority in this year’s elections.

As to the idea of Eastern Europe as essentially authoritarian and full of far-right nationalists, I would say this is the result of decades of dismissing Eastern Europe agency. It is often the default, convenient portrayal in the media that flatters egos in the West.

We all know what trouble Western European countries are in regarding right-wing threats, look at Italy or France with [Giorgia] Meloni and [Marine] Le Pen, or the recent plot by German extremists to overthrow the system.

But somehow the global media and Russian propaganda manage to draw exclusive attention to right-wing authoritarian tendencies in Eastern Europe, obscuring the fact that there are left movements and a progressive civil society, and disregarding the emancipatory and democratising impulse that is well alive in the people. This contributes to the image of Eastern Europe as an especially conservative backwater, hostile to progressive ideas, which is not really the case and certainly is not a constant.

Of course, there are elements of this, but it is being incredibly exaggerated in the West, including within the Western left. Look at Slovenia with Levica, Croatia with Mozemo, Latvia with Progresivie or Poland with Razem, and you will discover inspiring left movements implementing progressive change in their country and municipal politics — and there will be more surprises like that in the future which should be acknowledged.

Particularly regarding Ukraine, it is vital movements such as Social Movement are supported in the context of resistance and rebuilding after Russian aggression is defeated.

How did Razem respond to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? Why does Razem insist on the need to come to grips with Russian imperialism?

Razem had no doubts about how to react given our countries’ common historic experience with Russian imperialism. We had absolutely no doubts that this invasion represented an existential threat to Ukraine, that there could be no compromise, and that our party’s reaction was crucial.

Unfortunately, we were very disappointed with progressive organisations, including ones that at the time we belonged to, that kept silent right up to and after the invasion, and even after the Bucha massacre.

This was disappointing but also, I admit, we may have been a bit blind to an obvious tendency that exists within part of the left to overemphasise US imperialism while letting Russian imperialism off the hook. It quickly became clear a big part of that left is not able to accept what for us are two existential issues: that Ukraine is a sovereign state and that there is such a thing as Russian imperialism.

In contrast, representatives of the left in Poland (Razem), Finland (Left Alliance), Lithuania (Left Alliance), Czech Republic (Alliance For The Future; The Left) and Romania (Democracy and Solidarity Party) met in Warsaw on March 8 with representatives of Ukrainian left organisation Social Movement to listen to them and ask them what they needed. The Danish left (Red-Green Alliance) was not present at the meeting but later indicated their support.

It became clear that we should campaign, first, to support the left and Ukraine’s armed resistance. This was done against considerable pushback from the so-called anti-war movement in imperial or post-imperial Western societies.

We often found that Ukrainian leftists had to fight even for their right to speak at events organised by the Western left. So this was a struggle and remains a vital point: to assert the existence and amplify the voice of the Ukrainian left. Their voice, once heard, inevitably cuts through all propaganda smokescreens — they lead a righteous fight for self-determination against an imperialist aggressor, no doubt about it.

Since then, the unity initiated in Warsaw has extended to other Nordic and Central European left parties, and more recently to left groups in the Balkans. We are building a network to share information not only about our common experience with regards to Russian imperialism but also regarding the process of harsh neoliberal transformation in states of the former Eastern Bloc.

Together with Social Movement and other allies such as the Portuguese Left Bloc or the Swedish Left Party we also launched a campaign to cancel Ukraine’s debt, which is restricting Ukraine’s war efforts and the ability to maintain its economy afloat. We have had some successes: a bill has been passed in the US House of Representatives calling on the US government to influence lenders on behalf of Ukraine, and the issue has also been raised in the UK and European parliament.

This is a campaign we hope to build on as an example of concrete solidarity and outward campaigning. We prefer to offer concrete solidarity, work with parties, trade unions and movements that are accountable to voters, members and the public.

Debates on realist geopolitics regarding multipolarity perhaps drive book sales, Twitter likes and invitations to panel debates, but they do not help the Ukrainian people who fight off genocidal aggression of a neighbour who wagering on neocolonialism in the 21st century.

How do you view the issue of NATO expansionism?

We are clear that the influence of Western militarism is not welcome in Poland. But we recognise that we are in a complex situation. Unlike the left that operates in the heart of an empire, the left in our part of Europe cannot afford to take a purely ideological stance that is divorced from the security realities of the peoples of our region.

On the one hand, given the lack of a proper European security architecture, NATO currently represents the only guarantee of protection for Polish citizens. The vast majority of Poles want this protection, because they know the threat Russian imperialism poses. That is why I do not think that we can honestly talk about NATO expansionism in our region. Instead, what we had was countries desperately applying to join NATO in the 1990s, while the US was initially not so favourable to us joining.

For people in our region, Russian expansionism is the existential threat. And it is Russia that is expanding towards and across our region — by invading Ukraine.

If you look honestly at the history of NATO-Russia relations regarding Europe, you will see it was Russia who regularly step forward first with the will to escalate.

Politically, you can speak of appeasement regarding Western European policy towards Russia in recent decades. Militarily, regarding troop and weapon deployments, you cannot speak of provocation.

On the other hand, Razem has actively opposed any Polish participation in NATO’s contemptuous, hardly legal, interventions, such as in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, etc. Any arbitrary action that is motivated by primitive extractionism or forced upon the alliance members via political pressure from the US is for us the true meaning of “NATO expansionism”. And we oppose it.

We are also clear that such actions have only emboldened Russia, and provided it with precedents to carry out its own brazen imperialist actions.

Razem is aware that there are several imperialisms at play in our part of Europe and that we cannot afford to take sides supporting one imperialism over another.

10 January 2023

Original Source Green Left, 10 January 2023, this version from International Viewpoint: https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7948

Call for solidarity actions with anti-war activists in Russia: To remember is to fight! Against imperial aggression in Ukraine and political terror in Russia!

Statement of the Russian Socialist Movement.

For over a decade, Russian antifascists have commemorated January 19 as their day of solidarity. This is the date when in 2009, in the center of Moscow, the human rights and leftist activist Stanislav Markelov and the journalist and anarchist Anastasia Baburova were gunned down by neo-Nazis.

The murder of Markelov and Baburova became the culmination of the ultra-right terror of the 2000s, which killed hundreds of migrants and dozens of anti-fascists. For many years, while it was still possible, Russian activists held antifascist demonstrations and rallies on January 19 under the slogan “To remember is to fight!”

Today, when the Putin regime has invaded Ukraine and unleashed unprecedented repression against its own citizens who oppose the war, the date of January 19 takes on a new meaning. Back then the danger was posed by neo-Nazi groups, often acting with the connivance of the authorities.

Today, the ideology and practice of right-wing radicals have become the ideology and practice of the Russian regime itself, which is rapidly turning fascist over the course of its invasion of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin is waging war not only against the Ukrainian people, but also against the Russian civil society resisting aggression. The brutal repressions hit, among other things, the left-wing movement: socialists, anarchists, feminists, labor unionists.

Before the New Year, the most famous left–wing politician in Russia, the democratic socialist Mikhail Lobanov, was arrested and beaten. The platform “Nomination” he created united the anti-war opposition in the municipal elections in Moscow in September 2022.

Kirill Ukraintsev, the leader of the Courier labor union and a well-known left-wing video blogger, has been in custody since April. The reason for the arrest were the protests and strikes the couriers organized as they sought to improve their working conditions.

A feminist, artist and anti-war activist Alexandra Skochilenko, who distributed anti-war symbols, faces a long prison term.

Six Anarchists – Kirill Brik, Deniz Aydin, Yuri Neznamov, Nikita Oleinik, Roman Paklin, Daniil Chertykov – were arrested in the so-called “Tyumen case.” They were brutally tortured, seeking confessions in the preparation of sabotage.

Daria Polyudova, an activist of the Left Resistance group, was recently sentenced to nine (!) years in prison for “calls to extremism.” Leftist journalist Igor Kuznetsov has been in prison for a year now, accused of “extremism” for his anti-war and anti-Putin views.

This is a far from exhaustive list of Russian leftists recently imprisoned or persecuted for their beliefs. As Russian activists forced to leave Russia for political reasons, we ask our foreign comrades and all those who care to support the antifascist action on January 19 under the slogans:

No to Putin’s war, fascism and dictatorship!

Freedom to all Russian political prisoners!

Solidarity with to Russian antifascists!

To remember is to fight!

We ask you to send us information about any solidarity actions during the week of January 19-24 – pickets, open meetings, online discussions, and even personal photos with posters – by e-mail at: rsdzoom@proton….

The Russian Socialist Movement

This appeal is also available in French, Spanish, Dutch and Turkish.

Originally published at: https://fourth.international/en/europe/495

Solidarity with the Peruvian people

A statement by the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International

Against the murderous government of Dina Boluarte!

New immediate elections and National Constituent Assembly!

In mid-December, large and combative mobilizations took to the streets and squares of the main cities of Peru, in an uprising motivated by the coup perpetrated on 7 December by the right-wing majority Congress, which first dismissed and then had the elected President Pedro Castillo arrested – through the mechanism of the “decree of vacancy”, a sort of impeachment. The Congress replaced Castillo with his vice-president, Dina Boluarte. Popular mobilizations raised the slogans of new general elections, Constituent Assembly and Castillo’s release. Since then, the coup government of Boluarte, supported by all the bourgeois and reactionary sectors of the country, has strongly repressed those who oppose the institutional coup, with a bloody result blood of 30 dead and 700 wounded, including 300 police. [The numbers are from the Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office].

The Boluarte government, puppet of the ilegitimate Congress, has played to stabilize itself by combining harsh repression with a strong media campaign of “pacification” of the country, through which it is criminalizing opponents, justifying arrests and confrontations. Thus, it has reinforced state repression: it has declared a state of emergency at national level since 15 December, resorting to the Armed Forces to contain the demonstrations. On that date, a military massacre took place in Ayacucho, with the use of bullet projectiles, and eight demonstrators were killed. Boluarte is resorting to the political police (Dircote) and the mass media to stigmatize and criminalize the popular fighters and organizes mobilizations for “peace” in some regions, with the social bases of the ultra-right in his crude objective of legitimizing the repressive forces. Thus, in these days, in order to confront a day of struggles and strikes called by the opposition for Wednesday, 4 January 4, the governmen called for a “demonstration for peace” in Lima.

The crisis of the Fujimori political system

The coup and the popular reaction against Congress and the new president are the violent culmination of the political-institutional crisis deepened five years ago, a period during which four former presidents were convicted of corruption (one of whom went into exile, another committed suicide in house arrest) and three, elected by Congress, resigned between 2020 and 2021. The Peruvian tragedy has much of its origin in the current Constitution, promulgated by dictator Alberto Fujimori in 1993, which instituted corporate financing of parties and candidates – which guarantees an almost perpetual majority to the most conservative and pro-business forces – in addition to allowing the Executive to be constantly under the threat of impeachment by Congress.

Elected in an extremely polarized process and with ultra-fragmented political options (31 candidacies in the first round), the rural teacher and union leader Pedro Castillo – candidate of Peru Libre – came to power in June 2021. He governed harassed by a racist Lima elite, the populist ultra-right of Keiko Fujimori (the daughter of the dictator, who confronted him in the second round), a parliament and a coupist press, which have never digested having a trade unionist of peasant origin and from the interior as president. The mass media, the parliamentary ultra-right and the Attorney General’s Office have permanently besieged him, with a systematic blocking of the Executive’s bills, the opening of six fiscal trials in record time against the president and successive motions of vacancies and interpellations. At the same time, the right-wing and ultra-right-wing parliamentary groups prevented a possible Constitutional Referendum and altered the balance of power with constitutional reforms that limited the mechanisms that would allow closing the Congress so hated by the popular majorities. It was absolutely clear that the reactionary majority in Congress sought to overthrow Castillo and regain total control of the Executive.

But, instead of relying on the popular organizations to fulfill the promises of change for which the people voted, Castillo was giving in to the ruling classes, removing progressive or leftist ministers, and incorporating neo-liberal technocrats in his cabinet. In less than a year and a half, he lost the political initiative and tried to decree a frustrated “state of exception”, without any basis or the balance of forces for that. The response to this manoeuvre was the coup of the Congress, which was approved in nine minutes, without the right to defence and ignoring the procedures established in the same regulation of the parliamentary institution. In this way, Peru joins Honduras (2009), Paraguay and Brazil in a history of institutional coups (parliamentary, judicial and media) through which important fractions of the Latin American neoliberal bourgeoisies manage to get rid of governments that bother them or no longer serve them.

Illegitimate government and Congress

Agent of the coup, the current Peruvian Congress has proven that it does not have the democratic legitimacy to continue its administration, besides never having had constituent power. After the vacancy irregularly approved against Castillo on 7 December and the brutal repression of popular demonstrations by the illegitimate government, the removal of Boluarte from office, with a call for new elections for president and a new Congress, is urgently needed.

The profound popular erosion of the Peruvian political system born of Fujimorism requires – as wisely and courageously demanded by those who are rising up against the Congress and the coup President – a new democratic and sovereign constituent process, which will rewrite the rules of the game in favor of the majorities.

The Fourth International expresses its solidarity with the popular mobilizations in Peru and our active support for their demands, beginning with an immediate end to the repression of the protests, the release of all prisoners and a thorough investigation, with international observers, into the deaths, injuries and imprisonment perpetrated by the Armed Forces and police. We call on all revolutionary and progressive organizations of the world to denounce the coup that has overthrown Castillo, the authoritarian government of Dina Boluarte and the Congress coup, in view of the brutal repression they are deploying in the Andean country.





Executive Bureau of the Fourth International

4 January 2023

Originally published on the Fourth International website: https://fourth.international/en/566/latin-america/494

“The Other Davos” – Swiss counter summit to the World Economic Forum, watch on YouTube 13/14 January

The “World Economic Forum” of big business interests kicks off in Davos, Switzerland on 16 January 2023.  For a number of years, ecosocialist.scot’s friends and allies in the Swiss “Movement for Socialism” have organised a counter-summit called “The Other Davos” that focusses on the economic and ecological crises as they affect working class people around the world and presenting ecosocialist alternatives to the global establishment.

The motto of The Other Davos 2023 is “In solidarity against inflation, climate catastrophe & war”.

Guests include Ukrainian-born sociologist Yuliya Yurchenko, Ukrainian activist Tasha Lomonosova (Sotsialnyi Rukh) and Lausanne-based Ukrainian socialist Hanna Perekhoda (solidaritéS); Russian journalist Ilya Matveev (Posle Magazine); economic geographer Christian Zeller (author of Revolution for the Climate); Simon Pirani (author of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption”); the Iranian journalist Mina Khani; activists from RWE & Co. Simon Hannah (Anticapitalist Resistance), Charlotte Powell (rs21) and Taisie Tsikas (rs21) from Great Britain; the Italian trade unionist Eliana Como (Sinistra Anticapitalista); Christoph Wälz (Trade Union for Education and Science, Berlin); the anti-racist activists Simin Jawabreh and Mark Akkerman; as well as the journalists Anna Jikhareva (WOZ), Nelli Tügel and Jan Ole Arps (ak – analyse&kritik).

The event takes place in Zurich and starts on Friday 13 January at 6pm British time, and runs until 7pm on Saturday 14 January.

Some of the sessions will be livestreamed on YouTube and many presenters will be speaking in English, one of three official languages of The Other Davos (the others being German and French).

The full programme is available here:

The Other Davos 2023 > sozialismus.ch

But you can join the YouTube livestreams as follows:

Friday 13 January at 6pm-8.30pm (British time)

Plenary session:“Perspectives of Solidarity in a burning World”
We are currently experiencing a dramatic escalation of the contradictions of capitalist society. War, ecological crisis, inflation and poverty are raising the stakes of the challenges the left is facing. Our answers must inevitably question capitalist power and property relations.

(1452) Plenum: Solidarische Perspektiven in einer brennenden Welt (Das Andere Davos 2023) – YouTube

Saturday 14 January at 9.30am -12 noon (British time)

Workshop: The Iranian Revolution and International Solidarity

With: Mina Khani, Iranian journalist (e.g. at ak – analyse&kritik) and queer feminist in Berlin, and Elisa Moros, feminist activist of the European Network in Solidarity with Ukraine and the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) in Paris.

(1452) Der Aufstand im Iran und die internationale feministische Solidarität (Das Andere Davos 2023) – YouTube

Saturday 14 January at 1.30pm -4pm (British time)

Workshop: Resistance Against War and Neoliberalism in Ukraine

With: Yuliya Yurchenko, lecturer in political economy at the University of Greenwich (UK), author of the book “Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketisation to Armed Conflict”, Tasha Lomonosova, activist of the Ukrainian socialist organization Sotsialnyi Rukh (SR); fled from Kyiv to Berlin in March 2022, and Hanna Perekhoda, from Donetsk, political scientist at the University of Lausanne, activist of solidaritéS and the Ukraine-Switzerland Committee.

(1452) Der ukrainische Widerstand gegen Krieg und Neoliberalismus (Das Andere Davos 2023) – YouTube

Saturday 14 January at 5pm -8pm (British time)

Workshop: For an Internationalist Antifascism!

With Mark Akkerman, active with abolishfrontex/ stopthewaronmigrants, Mina Khani, Iranian publicist (at ak – analyse&kritik, among others) and queer feminist, Tatjana Söding, activist of the Zetkin collective (research group on right-wing extremism and climate justice), and activists of the Movement for Socialism (BFS).

(1452) Plenum: Für einen internationalistischen Antifaschismus! (Das Andere Davos 2023) – YouTube


Please note that times on the programme on the official website are in Central European Time (CET) which is one hour ahead of British Time.

Yet another UN COP Summit last minute deal, but was it worth it … XR Gairloch

Extinction Rebellion (XR) Gairloch latest Climate Crisis Newsletter had a review of the COP 15 Biodiversity summit held in Montreal in December 2022, which we are republishing below.  It is available on the XR Scotland website.  We hope to publish more material on the COP15 Biodiversity event on the ecosocialist.scot website in the near future, and welcome comments and debate.

XR Gairloch Climate Crisis Newsletter No 126 – Editorial

Yet another UN COP Summit last minute deal, but was it worth it……

As is usual with UN COP summits it goes down to the wire and the COP15 Biodiversity summit was no different. A deal was eventually done at 3.30 am on Monday morning, but was it? The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who are one of the biodiverse countries in the world, said it didn’t agree with the document but the COP president just overruled them and declared the deal was done anyway. The DRC were later persuaded by Brazil and Indonesia ( another two major biodiverse countries) to back down and sign the agreement.

So did that mean the deal done at COP15 was a major success? No unfortunately not.

Since the Biodiversity COP summit was first established some 30 years ago, they have failed to accomplish any meaningful gains in its mission. In fact a recent U.N. report showed that not a single target from the summit’s previous 2010 agreement has been met.

This year nearly 5,000 delegates from 196 countries around the world gathered during the December 7-19 summit aiming to secure a new deal: a 10-year framework aimed at saving Earth’s forests, oceans and species before it’s too late.

A last minute deal was agreed which featured 23 action-oriented targets to be delivered by 2030 of which the most important was probably the target of protecting 30% of land and sea, but unfortunately the agreement was thought by many environmentalists to be weak and flawed, some of these being:

  • The targets and actions are not legally binding
  • Weak on how it is implemented and monitored. The agreement is doomed without clear mechanisms for implementing targets, Similar factors were widely blamed for the failure of the last 10-year biodiversity deal, adopted in 2010 in Aichi, Japan, which was unable to achieve nearly any of its objectives.
  • It is said to be the biodiversity equivalent to the Paris 2015 agreement for Climate Change and that has been a failure.
  • The use of weak wording like -“eliminate, phase out or reform incentives, including subsidies harmful for biodiversity” and “progressively reducing” these subsidies
  • Weakened language regarding corporate and non-state disclosure. During COP15, almost 500 companies voiced support for mandatory disclosure of nature-related impacts through the Business for Nature group’s “Make it Mandatory” campaign. However, the final text does not require mandatory disclosure, meaning many corporates will need to involve themselves with voluntary disclosure initiatives.
  • Vague, unambitious language on halting species extinctions at some point before 2050, instead of 2030.

‘Flawed but a turning point for humanity’: Green groups react to COP15’s global biodiversity agreement. Read article.

The fact is human civilisation depends on a healthy and diverse natural environment to survive and flourish. It’s a tragedy that we’re living in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world—and a travesty that the impetus to turn this around just isn’t there. Those with the power to make change are moving too slowly and are pushing the disaster down a road that’s rapidly running out.

UK accused of hypocrisy over environment protection targets.  Read Article.

Scotland’s rarest animals face being wiped out warns expert. Read article.
Is “Nature Positive” the new “Carbon Neutral” of biodiversity greenwash, and why were fossil fuel delegates at COP15?………
What does ‘nature positive’ mean – and can it rally support to stop biodiversity loss? Read article.

Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction……….

The UN biodiversity talks, held every two years, have never garnered the same attention as the world’s main environmental focus – the annual UN talks on climate change.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has slammed multinational corporations for turning the world’s ecosystems into “playthings of profit” and warned failure to correct course would lead to catastrophic results. “We are treating nature like a toilet,” Guterres said. “And ultimately, we are committing suicide by proxy,” with the effects felt on jobs, hunger, disease and death.

As the human population tops 8 billion, the rest of life is being decimated. We’ve destroyed two-thirds of the rainforests, half the coral reefs, and a million species are now facing oblivion, one-third of all land is severely degraded and fertile soil is being lost, while pollution and climate change are accelerating the degradation of the oceans.

Species are vanishing at a rate not seen in 10 million years. As much as 40 percent of Earth’s land surfaces are considered degraded, according to a 2022 UN Global Land Outlook assessment.

196 governments signed the agreement to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 — but scientists say it isn’t enough. For nature to regenerate, and to save our planet’s life-support systems, we have to protect half the Earth, inspired by EO Wilson’s Half-Earth project – and we need a global treaty to enforce action. Currently, 17% of terrestrial and 10% of marine areas are protected so 30% will be a significant increase if it is achieved.

Half Earth Project. See site.

Ultimately, this is about our survival. Even as the planet withers, the chainsaws, diggers, and polluters are charging ahead, pulverising the planet into a barren, lifeless tundra. All in the name of economic growth .

Scientists have warned that with forests and grasslands being lost at unprecedented rates and oceans under pressure from pollution and over-fishing, humans are pushing the Earth beyond safe limits. This includes increasing the risk of diseases, like SARs CoV-2, Ebola and HIV, spilling over from wild animals into human populations.

What happens to the natural world, happens to us all. We are not separate from nature; we are part of it, connected to the very trees, rivers, and oceans that are being decimated.

The COP15 summit in Montreal was regarded as a “last chance” to put nature on a path to recovery. Let us hope that the human race stands by what it agreed at the summit and improves on it to ensure we are not putting a death sentence on nature and ourselves.


Reprinted from XR Gairloch Climate Crisis Newsletter No 126 Climate-Crisis-News-Letter-No-126-xr-gairloch.pdf (xrscotland.org)