General strike

Greece: the battle lines sharpen

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Last month's general strike in Greece was an impressive response to attempts by the government to crack down on strikes and protests against austerity. Nikos Loudos, a Greek revolutionary socialist, spoke to Despina Karayianni and Mark L Thomas about the developing movement


Last month's general strike seems to have been a big success. It comes against a background where the government has been taking a harder line, attacking strikes and occupations and becoming more vicious. Could you say something about the position of the government?

The government is trying to present itself as a lion, but in reality it's a mouse.

Crisis and resistance in Portugal

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Mark Bergfeld recently attended the congress of the Left Bloc in Portugal and witnessed the general strike there a few days later. Here, he argues that Portugal is currently experiencing its biggest social and political upheaval since the 1974-5 Revolution

A day before the right wing coalition government in Portugal was to vote through its 2013 budget, the German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble met his Portuguese counterpart Vitor Gaspar and proclaimed, "Portugal is on the right path and is, for all of us in the eurozone, a brilliant example that the approach we have been following to stabilise the euro is correct." Schäuble went on to praise the "exceptional job" being performed by the Portuguese government.

Louder echos at the TUC

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It is sometimes said that trade union conferences are merely the echo of the battle rather than the battle itself. If so then the TUC conference is the echo of the echo of the battle.

The TUC is the most conservative part of the trade union movement with most delegates working full time for the unions and several steps removed from the everyday pressures facing their members.

The workers' movement in Egypt

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A call for a general strike in Egypt on 11 February didn't produce the desired effect. Yet the current strike wave shows no signs of abating. Anne Alexander looks at the strengths and weaknesses of Egypt's new workers' movement and the different forces attempting to shape it

Just over a year after the fall of Mubarak, the landscape of the Egyptian workers' movement has changed dramatically. The strike wave shows little sign of running out of energy: the numbers ebb and flow but each month brings new explosions of action. The old state-run union federation has been wounded and weakened but not destroyed.

Eurozone crisis: can Greek workers defy the bankers?

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Greeks must accept austerity, it is often argued, because the alternative would be worse. Sotiris Kontogiannis argues for a workers' default against the bankers

The government and the media in Greece are conducting a scare campaign against the prospect of a default and exit from the eurozone. The measures imposed by the "troika" (the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank) may be harsh, they say. Many people may suffer. But the alternatives are even worse. Without the assistance of the troika, Greece would default on its debts. The state would run out of money. Salaries and pensions would have to be suspended.

Pension Battles

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The autumn is likely to see a renewal of strikes over the assault on public sector pensions. Charlie Kimber looks at the pressures on the big unions to join the fight.

The coalition's assault on the pensions of public sector workers is the most direct and concentrated aspect of its war to make ordinary people pay the cost of bailing out the bosses and the bankers. It is, of course, part of a much wider strategy, involving not just the £81 billion of public spending cuts but also a reshaping of the whole of British society in the interests of capital and profit. And the pensions attack goes alongside a vicious offensive against benefits, jobs and services everywhere.

In the spotlight

The minority movement

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As major industrial struggle seems set to make a return to Britain, Dave Sherry looks at the strategy and tactics of the revolutionary left during the period of intense class conflict which gripped Britain between the end of the First World War and the General Strike of 1926

In 1920 the best parts of the revolutionary left came together to form the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). It was soon put to the test.

Its first big challenge was the relationship between the "official" and "unofficial" wings of the trade union movement and how to work both with and against a newly emerging group of leftwing officials in the face of a deep recession and a vicious state offensive.

Greece: austerity and workers' resistance

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Mark L Thomas spoke to revolutionary socialist Nikos Loudos about the explosive resistance to austerity in Greece


Photo Jess Hurd/Report Digital

Greece is being shaken by repeated general strikes, militant strikes by sections of workers, workplace occupations, mass protests and occupations of city squares.

While the headlines have been dominated by the threat to the eurozone, the attempt to shift the burden of the biggest economic and financial crisis of post-war capitalism onto workers' shoulders has now provoked the highest level of struggle in Europe since the defeat of the Portuguese Revolution in 1975.

Greece and Ireland: A Tale of Two Crises

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Across Europe austerity is being imposed - but it is often met with resistance. Nikos Loudos draws lessons from the explosive struggles of Greek workers, while Marnie Holborow exposes the desperation of Ireland's ruling class, whose neoliberal economy has become Europe's weak link.


GREECE: CRUCIBLE OF RESISTANCE


Greek workers show the way

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