CWI news in brief

Sweden: CWI members’ homes and office fire bombed

On 24 October the homes of several members of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI, Sweden) as well as a party office in Gothenburg were fire bombed. Fortunately no one was injured but it took firefighters several hours to put the fires out. Only four hours later Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (RS) organised a meeting against the attack with over 70 people attending.

These attacks follow on from the recent horrific racist attack on a school in Trollhättan, as well as arson attacks on six different proposed or existing refugee housing facilities over the past fortnight, and just weeks after the extreme-right Sweden Democrats called on its supporters to take their racist struggle against immigration onto the streets. RS members have instigated an all-night defence patrol, as well as a public meeting and protest event. Support for the party has been impressive. “Now is our time to stand up for RS, that has stood up for us all these years,” a women said.

South Africa: Tuition fees victory

Huge protests by university students in South Africa have halted the ANC government’s planned hike in tuition fees. Members of the Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp – led by CWI, South Africa) and the Socialist Youth Movement (SYM), helped mobilise for the mass student demonstration to the government’s Union Buildings in Pretoria on 23 October.

There, ANC president Jacob Zuma was forced to meet a delegation of students and scrap any increase in fees for next year. However, the demand for free education remains. Wasp and SYM have called for an escalation of the action; a national assembly of all student leaders to form a new mass democratic, accountable student organisation, and for a mass workers’ party on a socialist programme.

Hong Kong: Defending election campaign

Members of Socialist Action (SA – CWI, Hong Kong), assisted by 50 local residents, resisted Police and Highways Department officials removing flags and banners supporting Sally Tang Mei-ching’s (SA candidate) election campaign (while ignoring the pro-government side’s flags and posters nearby).

Sally’s election opponent was seen spying in his parked car while police and authorities tried to close SA’s activity down. However a crowd of local residents prevented police from arresting Sally and her team, amid cheers when police agreed to pull back!