Temporary blog of the CWI

History

“We know our duty. We will fight to the end.” – the life of Leon Trotsky

November the 7th was the 140th anniversary of the birth of Lev Davidovich Trotsky, with Lenin, leader of the Russian revolution. In this article from the Russian section of the CWI, Rob Jones looks at Trotsky’s life.  On 20th August 1940, the Stalinist agent Ramon Mercader attacked and killed Leon Trotsky with an ice-axe at his home in exile in ...

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Poland – the far right and reactionary ideas in Central and Eastern Europe 

The last three months of 1989 saw the transition of Poland from a Stalinist regime to a country led by a “Solidarnosc” led government. Rather than lead to stable developing capitalism, Poland is now governed by the right-populist “Law and Justice” party. Each year on 11th November, Warsaw sees the largest far-right demonstration in Europe.  Paul Smith from Alternatywa Socjalistyczna, ...

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The Berlin Wall comes down as power lay in the streets

On 9th November 1989 the Berlin Wall was pulled down in dramatic scenes. In the latest of our series marking the events of 1989 in Eastern Europe, Ingmar Meinecke of SAV (German section of the CWI-majority), who as a teenager participated in these events, explains what happened.     “Dear friends, fellow citizens, it is as if one has opened the ...

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Tony Mulhearn- Working class fighter and leader

Liverpool lost one of its greatest ever working-class leaders, and a great family man, when Tony Mulhearn passed away at the age of 80 on 7 October. By Hugh Caffrey, Socialist Alternative Tony was in many ways born a class fighter. The appalling poverty of the Liverpool slums, which endured longer than in many other cities, were something that stayed ...

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Iran: When the masses deposed a dictator

The 1979 revolution didn’t have to end in a religious state Forty years ago, in January 1979 the hated Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, fled the country to the U.S. The Shah was driven out by a mass movement led by workers and youth allied with other forces in the countryside. The question of how this initially progressive revolution ...

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70 years since the Chinese revolution

Xi Jinping, China’s somewhat dented ‘strongman’, will preside over a grandiose military display to mark the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution on 1 October 1949. Then, capitalism and imperialism were driven out of China by Mao Zedong’s peasant army, but political power passed into the hands of his Stalinist ‘Communist’ party (CCP). Today the CCP dictatorship rests on fundamentally ...

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Collapse of the Soviet bloc 1989

Revolutionary movement with counter-revolutionary consequences Rob Jones – Sotsialisticheskaya Alternativa (Russia) This article is the first in a series to commemorate the events of 1989 In Poland, on the 13th September 1989, the ‘Solidarnosc’ trade union, after winning an overwhelming majority in an election, formed the first ‘non-communist’ government in the former Soviet bloc since 1948. Two months later the ...

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France 1981-84: from hope to the ‘austerity turn’

Failure of the Mitterand government May 10, 1981. In Paris, 200,000 people gathered at the Bastille, shouting for joy. Scenes of jubilation burst out in all the cities across France. François Mitterrand had just won the second round of the presidential election with 52% of the votes. For the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic (established in ...

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Lessons of the Winnipeg General Strike 1919

By Aiden Sisler, Pete Marlowe and Bill Hopwood (Socialist Alternative, Canada) The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was a crucial event in Canadian history. It is probably the closest the working class in Canada has come, so far, to taking power, albeit in one city. Although it is one hundred years ago, the lessons are rich for workers today and ...

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Australia. 30 years since the 1989 pilots’ dispute

30 years ago, Australia was gripped by industrial unrest that caused major disruption to domestic air travel. Airline pilots squared off against their employers. It was presented as a battle over pay, but really it represented much more. By Anthony Main, Socialist Party (Australia) The airlines were backed to the hilt by the Hawke Labor government, the right-wing media, and ...

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