Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/529/4005

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 April 2008

Global food prices: Anger erupts into mass protests

HUNGER AND malnutrition are getting far worse due to rising food prices. Even those fortresses of global capitalism, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, are worried about food prices rising around the world. Wheat prices went up by 130% in the past year, while rice prices rose by three-quarters.

By Jon Dale and Jan Rybak

World Bank president Robert Zoellick warned that spiralling prices could push a further 100 million people in poor countries into poverty and hunger.

It has been the mounting anger of working-class and poor people that pushed these big business representatives into statements of concern. There have been riots and protests in Egypt, Haiti, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and others of the countries suffering most from this food crisis.

In Egypt, 20% of the 78 million population already lives below the appalling poverty line of US$2 a day, with another 20% hovering just above. Around 4% of Egyptians live in extreme poverty.

Striking workers and youth fought with Egypt's police in the city of Mahalla al-Kubra on 6-7 April. At least two were shot dead. The largest factory in the Middle East, Misr Spinning and Weaving, (and with well-organised and militant workers) was occupied by hundreds of police.

Average household expenditure in Egypt on basic foodstuffs and services has risen by 50% since January. Families are lucky if they eat meat once a month. The staple diet of bread has soared in price despite subsidies, due to the higher cost of imported wheat and corrupt profiteering. In an attempt to reduce prices, President Hosni Mubarak cut custom duties on some imports on 2 April.

In the West African state of Ivory Coast, hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women, demonstrated in the streets of Abidjan against the massive price rises of food and fuel. Police baton charged the crowd and shot live bullets into the demonstration killing one woman.

After two days of mass protest, however, Ivorian president Gbagbo was forced to give in and reduce the price for staple foods and petrol.

There is no 'natural' shortage of food worldwide. In fact, last year's global grain harvest of 2.1 billion tonnes broke the previous record by 5%. Poor weather had an effect on some foods but many food prices are more affected by the taking over of agricultural land for biofuels, by spiralling oil prices and by the grossly unequal distribution of land and wealth.

The growing world economic crisis will hit hardest at the poor, both within nations and globally. The World Bank's emergency measures will at best only relieve the immediate effects of this crisis.

The victory for the workers and poor in the Ivory Coast and the potential strength of protests such as in Egypt worried the World Bank and IMF. They could see that there could be growing demands not just for protests but for wider movements, such as general strikes, against the price rises and the capitalist system that produces them.

Fuller reports on struggles in Egypt and Ivory Coast can be found on www.socialistworld.net

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 16 April 2008:

'We're striking against low pay'

Birmingham strike

Editorial: 24 April strikes: step forward in pay battle


Unison witch-hunt

Unison witch-hunt: Defend 'the four'

Stop the witch hunts!

National Shop Stewards Network


Workplace news and analysis

Re-elect a fighting PCS leadership

News in brief


Global food crisis

Global food prices: anger erupts in mass protests

How the other 0.01% live


Socialist Party election campaign

Elections 2008

Health campaigners fight council cuts

Standing up for socialism: candidate list

Campaign for a New Workers Party - conference 2008


Socialist Party feature

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill: why all the controversy?


Socialist Party news and views

Housing crisis: Britain's house of cards

Tax attack hits low paid workers

Water 'regulators' hide real prices


International socialist news and analysis

Rising class struggles across Europe

Italian election: new Berlusconi victory will provoke mass opposition

France 1968: 10 million workers occupied factories

France 1968: month of revolution by Clare Doyle

The radical life of Martin Luther King


Socialist Students

Portsmouth Activists Academy day of debate


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 April 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Food:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleFood processing workers vote for action against miserly bosses

triangleMagic money tree

triangleCity bosses' £40m bonuses as Number of food banks hits 2,000

triangleCorbyn would limit TV junk food ads

Global:

triangleExtreme weather events and global warming

triangleGlobal finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Global socialism - Report from CWI school

triangleTories forced to publish useless plans on toxic air

Ivory Coast:

triangleProfiting from wrecking the environment

Egypt:

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

World Bank:

triangleCourageous Ebola nurse Salomé Karwah dies

Poverty:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Burkina Faso:

triangle125 years of May Day: Learn lessons of past struggles

Haiti:

triangleCholera epidemic sparks clashes between Haitians and UN troops

Capitalism:

triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

Biofuels:

triangleCan biomass energy be part of a socialist plan of production?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

18/10/17

Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2