Belgium

For the politics of solidarity against terror

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Socialists should give no political space whatsoever to the “reasons” behind the cowardly attacks in Spain and Finland. We condemn these attacks, carried out in the name far-right Islamism and violent jihad. Our sympathies are with those affected.

It seems the attack in Las Ramblas Barcelona was part of a planned attack, by 12 men. This was exposed when a gas explosion in a building killed two men likely to have been making bombs and storing explosives. The Sagra Familia Cathedral may have been chosen as their next target.

The terror attack in Barcelona will possibly prompt a rethink of policing and intelligence across Europe. It may also mean that civil liberties will be further curtailed, and more harassment of Muslim communities.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Mass strikes defend workers’ rights

Author: 

Olivier Delbeke

The strike in France for the withdrawal of the “labour law” is continuing to spread slowly, and this week alone it has won over the waste treatment centres; it is continuing in the refineries; it is supported by thousands of local groups of activists, in particular CGT members, who are active in logistics and transport centres.

Mass strikes against austerity and anti-union laws are continuing in Belgium and France.

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Brussels transport workers take a stand for safety

Author: 

Janine Booth

I have been talking with Brussels transport workers and trade unionists in the aftermath of the 22 March Daesh bombings which killed 32 people and injured hundreds more. Amidst the news reporting and political demagogy, it is important that their voices are heard.

Two workers died in the Brussels airport bombing - one working on check-in, the other in baggage handling. Others were injured, and still more were traumatised by what they experienced: helping the injured and dying, seeing body parts among the baggage. At least 14 passengers also perished.

Transport workers say delays in shutting understaffed Metro caused casualities

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Strikes back on the menu in Belgium

Author: 

Ruah Carlyle

Belgian trade unions are mobilising against ruling class plans to “do a Thatcher”, cutting pensions and workers’ rights, and removing the automatic link between inflation and wage increases.

Following the election of a right-wing Flemish nationalist dominated government last year, Belgian trade unions — divided by political affiliation and linguistic groups — formed a common front and conducted a wave of national demonstrations and regional strikes culminating in a highly effective and well supported general strike on 15 December.

Belgian trade unions are mobilising against ruling class plans to cut pensions and workers’ rights, and remove the automatic link between inflation and wage increases.

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Belgium: general strike on 15 December

Author: 

A correspondent in Liège

The three union confederations in Belgium — the FGTB, linked to the social democratic parties, the CSC, the Catholic confederation, and the liberal-linked CGSLB — have called a general strike for 15 December against the new right-wing government’s cuts plans.

There have been regional general strikes on 24 November, 1 December, and 8 November and a demonstration on 6 November.

The three union confederations in Belgium — the FGTB, linked to the social democratic parties, the CSC, the Catholic confederation, and the liberal-linked CGSLB — have called a general strike for 15 December against the new right-wing government’s cuts plans.

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Tories plan to double cuts

Author: 

Editorial

The Tories’ declared budget plans mean more and more cuts, and at an accelerating rate, in 2015-20.

On top of the £25 billion cut from annual budgets between 2010-11 and 2014-5, they would cut another £48 billion from those budgets by 2018-9.

The Financial Times estimated the numbers from official statistics and the Tories’ declared intention to have the government budget in overall surplus (current income covering both current and capital spending) by 2020.

The Tories’ declared budget plans mean more and more cuts, and at an accelerating rate, in 2015-20.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

La question nationale en Belgique

Actuellement, les revendications communautaires ne sont pas mises en avant sous la pression des masses, bien au contraire. Le terrain communautaire est la plaine de jeux par excellence des politiciens en accord sur la politique d’austérité néo-libérale à mener, mais qui veulent colorer cette politique de leur propre teinte régionale.

Click here to read.

Actuellement, les revendications communautaires ne sont pas mises en avant sous la pression des masses, bien au contraire. Le terrain communautaire est la plaine de jeux par excellence des politiciens en accord sur la politique d’austérité néo-libérale à mener, mais qui veulent colorer cette politique de leur propre teinte régionale.

Around the world: 

Remaking Socialism: From Socialism's Collapse in 1914 to the Foundation of the Communist International in March 1919

THE ECLIPSE OF THE INTERNATIONAL

This account of socialism's eclipse and re-emergence is by Boris Souvarine, a participant in these events and a founder and leader of the French Communist Party.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Elections communales et gauche radicale en Belgique

Percée du PTB et bilan contrasté

Analyser les résultats d’élections communales est toujours une gageure parce que, dans les choix des électeurs, se mêlent des motivations très diverses, allant des questions purement communales aux grands enjeux nationaux. Chercher à tirer des enseignements généraux à partir des résultats des scrutins à Durbuy et à Puurs n’a pas un grand sens. Par contre, les résultats dans les villes – et surtout les grandes villes – donnent des indications intéressantes.

Percée du PTB. Quant au reste de la gauche radicale pendant ce temps? Si elle n’a pas disparu, elle a connu une évolution moins favorable.

Around the world: 

Language: 

Thousands march against Ford closure

20,000 workers marched to protest job losses at a Ford plant in Genk, Belgium, on Sunday 11 November.

4,300 workers face losing their jobs, and workers at the plant had previously responded to the announcement by blockading the factory gates. Sunday’s demonstration saw the campaign turn out to the wider community, as well as mobilising Ford workers from plants in Germany. A delegation from Belgium had visited Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, where they held a demonstration of around 100 workers.

Car workers in Belgium have protested against job losses at Ford.

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Pages