Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/399/4864
CWI - who we are - what we fight for
THE COMMITTEE for a Workers' International (CWI) is an international socialist organisation fighting for the interests of working class people and youth across the globe. We believe that it is the nature of the system that we live under - capitalism - which is based on profits and exploitation that leads to poverty, war and environmental destruction.
Capitalism is a world system. To be successful, the struggle against this iniquitous system requires ideas, a political programme and an organisation that is able to unite workers and oppressed people around the globe.
The CWI has affiliated parties and organisations in nearly 40 countries on all continents. These include the Socialist Party in England and Wales and International Socialists in Scotland. Some of our important sections include Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa.
Bob Geldof has said that we should demonstrate 'for those who can't even crawl'. In many of the poor countries of the world, workers are doing far more than crawling: they are standing proud and fighting to change things.
On pages three and four we carry inspiring examples of struggles that are taking place in Africa and Asia and the role that CWI members are playing in these.
Wherever we have members, we play an active part in the struggles of workers and youth. A few brief examples of the campaigns and struggles that our members are involved in are given below.
To find out more go to our website:
AT THE CWI rally Joe Higgins, Socialist Party TD (member of the Irish parliament) will be speaking.
Joe was recently imprisoned for a month for his role in a mass struggle against unfair taxation. Joe and the Socialist Party in Ireland are involved in a wide range of struggles.
In cooperation with the Democratic Socialist Movement (the CWI in Nigeria), they were able to win the case of a Nigerian school student who had been forcibly deported from Ireland. They also took up the issue of over 300 Turkish immigrant workers in Ireland - the Gama workers - who were owed wages. An enormous low-pay racket, carried out by multinationals profiteering from state contracts, was uncovered by the Socialist Party. As a result of the campaign, the workers won thousands of euros in back pay.
In the CWI, our publicly elected representatives, within the trade unions and in parliaments, take only the average wage of a skilled worker to ensure that they live in the same conditions as those that elected them, unlike the privileged political elite.
A message to the G8 from Joe Higgins, Socialist Party TD (MP)
Shielded behind a steel perimeter fence at Gleneagles, the political elites representing the world's most powerful multinational corporations meet in luxurious surroundings to decide on the fate of millions of people.
Outside the G8 Summit, massive protests take place against an unequal and undemocratic world where the richest 200 people have more wealth that the poorest 2.4 billion.
Solutions to global poverty, environmental destruction and war lie not with Bush, Blair and their representatives on the WTO, IMF and World Bank. They serve only the interests of a system where the profits of the multinational corporations will always come before human need. Rather, the potential that exists for an alternative to the G8 and all they represent can be found in the massive demonstrations on the streets of Edinburgh and elsewhere.
United in struggle, it is the global majority of working and poor people who have the power to end war, poverty and environmental degradation by taking the world's wealth, resources and technology into their own hands for the benefit of all in a democratic, socialist society.
The CWI at the anti-G8 protests
International Rally for Socialism
Saturday 2 July, 6pm
Cafe Royal Bistro Bar, 15 West Register Street (behind Burger King at east end of Princes Street).
Speakers include Joe Higgins Socialist Party TD (MP) in Ireland, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary of the Socialist Party in England and Wales and international speakers from Scotland and around Europe.
Sunday 3 July
Come along to find out more about the Committee for a Workers' International and the International Socialists
2pm Quakers Meeting House, Victoria Terrace. Victoria Terrace is a pathway running onto George IV bridge and lies between Victoria St and the corner with High Street.
At the G8 alternatives forum:
Make capitalism history - the case for socialism.
Adam House G, 4.45pm - 6.30pm
Organised by the Committee for a Workers' International, ISR and LFI.
Speakers include Joe Higgins, Socialist Party MP in Ireland
AS WELL as the struggle against privatisation (see page four) the Socialist Movement Pakistan is organising a campaign against domestic violence.
Domestic violence is not a crime in Pakistan. Every man has the right to beat his wife, daughter or sister.
Every year, 5,000 women die from domestic violence.
The main aim of this campaign is to encourage women to organise themselves on a community basis and to develop the awareness of working class women on this issue - a series of seminars and workshops in shanty town areas have been organised.
THE UNITED States Department of Agriculture brought out a report recently that claims that 12% or 36 millions American suffer from hunger.
The Bush regime is waging two wars, one for world domination against its imperialist rivals and the peoples of the world. The other, more domestic, war it is waging against its own poor and working class population.
Socialist Alternative, the United States section of the Committee for a Workers' International, has played a key role in several universities in the anti-war movement and has been very successful in campaigning against military recruitment in High Schools. The US army, desperately in need of recruits to sustain the occupation of Iraq, is going around school grounds, campuses and shopping malls in the poorest areas.
Socialist Alternative is part of 'Students Against the Draft and War' (SADW), a campaign that aims to drive military recruiters off school grounds and campuses.
Socialist Struggle (Maavak Sotzialisti) is the CWI's organisation in Israel with members in all the three biggest cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.
Our members are fighting for a socialist Israel and a socialist Palestine as part of a voluntary, socialist confederation of the Middle East.
We are involved in the struggle to stop the building of the Berlin-style security wall around the West Bank which has led to the confiscation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land. Maavak Sotzialisti members were also involved in a recent demonstration to stop the state-enforced demolition of the houses of over 1,000 Palestinians in Silwan, a suburb of East Jerusalem.
As well as this, Maavak Sotzialisti members have been heavily involved in the struggles against the huge attacks on Israeli working class living standards and the public sector.
The latest government plan for education involves the sacking of over 3,000 teachers in the next three years (which amounts to nearly 1% of the entire workforce) as well as cutting government funding to higher education.
This has led to the arrest of our members during these protests, where the police have attempted to crush the right to protest.
Socialismo Revolucionario (SR) is the Brazilian section of the Committee for a Workers International. SR members have been active in campaigning for free university education for working class young people.
In the unions we have struggled against the reform of the labour law. In the teacher unions we have fought for pay increases and against privatisations.
Following the election of Lula, leader of the PT (Workers' Party) as president of Brazil in October 2002 millions thought their lives would change.
However, the new government continued attacks on the working class and privatisation. We are actively involved in building P-Sol, the party for Socialism and Liberty - a party that aims to bring together the forces for socialism and build a mass base amongst the working class in response to the rapid rightward shift of the PT.
Russia and the former Soviet Union
Since the collapse of Stalinism and the disastrous restoration of capitalism in the 1990s, life in the former Soviet Union has been extremely harsh for working people and youth.
Despite this, we have built the CWI in Russia, and other parts of the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
We work to restore the genuine traditions of revolutionary socialism, campaigning, for example, for independent workers' organisations to fight the neo-liberal policies of Putin and the ruling oligarchs.
CWI members participated in the mass pensioners' protests in Russia, earlier this year, and we are active in the struggle by university students over fees.
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In The Socialist 30 June 2005: