Saturday, March 22, 2008

XXI International Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist Youth Camp

The XXI International Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist Youth Camp (IAIFYC) will take place from July 24 to August 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event will be held at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and will host political debates, workshops, lectures and cultural activities that will be part of the program of the camp.

The camp, which is held every two years, is organized by the International Preparatory Committee (IPC), which is made up of youth organizations of various countries. The Union of Rebel Youth (UJR) is the Brazilian organization that is part of the IPC, and has the main responsibility for the 21st celebration of the event.

Held since the end of the Second World War, the XXI International Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist Youth Camp has become an important centre of debate on the actions of imperialism and fascism in the world and a vehicle for mobilizing international youth around the struggle for their rights, awakening internationalist feelings and contributing to the builing of socialism. The international camp takes place in countries of Latin America and Europe alternately. The 20th celebration took place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Preparation for the IAIAFYC in Brazil

The IAIAFYC is already mobilizing delegations from 20 countries in addition to preparatory committees in 12 Brazilian states. The committees are open to all anti-imperialist and anti-fascist youth and involve debates and political activities in the states. Registration for delegations who want to present workshops and cultural activities in the camp is open.

Participants should bring camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags, etc.), light jackets and clothes that protect against the rain.

For more information, please contact:

Rio de Janeiro: (21) 9305-3488
Minas Gerais: (31) 9133-0983
São Paulo: (11) 9380-3295
Rio Grande do Norte: (84) 8834-7964
Paraíba: (83) 8815-8215
Pernambuco: (81) 8734-5380
Ceará: (85) 9149-1328
Alagoas: (82) 8875-0330
Bahia: (75) 8812-3109
Pará: (91) 8194-9433
Piauí: (86) 3081-9472
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Greece gripped by pensions strike


Greece gripped by pensions strike
An elderly man looks at a pile of uncollected rubbish caused by a municipal workers' strike in Athens, 18 March, 2008
A two-week refuse collectors' strike has left piles of rubbish on streets

Greece's civil servants are staging a nationwide strike against planned pension reforms, badly disrupting transport and closing public offices.

Trade unions say millions of people are taking part in the 24-hour action, which they describe as the biggest protest so far against the plan.

Greece's parliament is due to vote on a controversial reform bill on Thursday.

It would eliminate most early retirement schemes, merge pension funds and cap auxiliary pensions.

The action is the country's third general strike against the proposed reforms in as many months, and follows a wave of stoppages by workers from various sectors:

  • an ongoing two-week refuse collectors' strike has left piles of uncollected rubbish rotting on streets
  • protest action by power sector workers has caused nationwide blackouts
  • a public transport strike on Tuesday created traffic chaos in the capital Athens.

'Total participation'

Wednesday's strike is paralysing train and bus services across Greece and confined ships to ports.


A number of domestic and international flights were reportedly cancelled, as air traffic controllers also joined the action.

Schools, ministries and banks were closed for the day.

"The participation in the strike is total. We are talking about millions," Spyros Papaspyros, who heads the civil servants' umbrella union Adedy, told Reuters news agency.

In Athens, thousands of people took part in a protest rally, and demonstrations were held in several other cities.

Trade union leaders say the protests could be the largest public gathering in Greece since democracy was restored in 1974.

The government has so far made no comment on the turnout.

"The [pension] law harms all categories of workers, mainly young people entering the workforce who will not have rights," Yiannis Panagopoulos, one of the labour union leaders, told the Associated Press news agency.

"And of course it dramatically reduces pensions for everyone," he added.

Government confident

Re-elected last September, the conservative government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis wants to overhaul Greece's debt-ridden pension system.

It has warned the system faces collapse unless sweeping reforms are implemented.

Under the proposed scheme, more than 100 social security and pension funds will be merged into a handful of funds, cutting administration costs.

The government is also considering raising the retirement age in some sectors, and giving incentives to those who continue working after the retirement age, which currently stands at 65 for men and 60 for women.

The conservatives may only have a majority of two in the 300-seat parliament, but they are confident they will maintain sufficient discipline to pass the legislation, the BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Athens says.

Mr Karamanlis has been in power for four years. Pension reform was one of his main pre-election commitments.

If he fails to push the changes through Parliament, the credibility of his administration will be critically affected, our correspondent says.

Despite the inconveniences, it seems that most Greeks support the strikers.

A survey by the banking unions showed that 71% of the population opposes the pension reforms and 69% supports the strike.
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Pensions strike brings Greece to standstill

Pensions strike brings Greece to standstill

This article was first published on on Wednesday March 19 2008. It was last updated at 13:01 on March 19 2008.
Striking bank workers demonstrate in Athens yesterday

Striking bank workers demonstrate in Athens yesterday. Photograph: Orestis Panagiotou/EPA

Public services were paralysed and dozens of flights cancelled in Greece today as workers took part in a nationwide general strike over government plans to reform the country's debt-ridden pension scheme.

Thousands of people gathered for a mass rally in Athens after walking out of their workplaces in the third strike since December.

Since winning re-election in September, Greece's conservative government has pushed to change the pension system, warning it could soon collapse if it is not overhauled.

Parliament is due to vote on the draft reforms tomorrow. The proposed changes would raise the effective retirement age for women and unify more than 100 pension health funds. Unions say the reforms limit workers' benefits without improving the system.

"The government must not underestimate this public outrage," said Spyros Papaspyros, one of the strike organisers at the civil servants' union Adedy.

Hospital doctors, air traffic controllers, bakers, teachers, journalists and hotel employees joined thousands of rail workers who took part in a 24-hour strike yesterday, bringing the country's transport system to a standstill. Banks and law courts were also shut.

Litter piled up on the streets as waste collectors continued to strike. Meanwhile, a shortage of employees at Greece's main power company has caused rolling blackouts for the past two weeks.

Yiannis Panagopoulos, the head of the GSEE union, claimed "millions" of people were expected to join the protests.

He said the unions would continue to resist the pension reforms even if they were voted into law.

"The battle doesn't stop with the vote on the legislation," Panagopoulos said. "The legislation needs to be implemented when it becomes law. And there resistance will reach its climax."

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Court demand for the closure of Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a “life buoy” for it

Chief Public Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya has filed a court request for the closure of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and demanded a five year ban on political activities for President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. So, we can say that, “while there are mechanisms like these, there is no need for coup d’etat”. After memorandums of General Staff and media wars, now Supreme Court is stepped in.

Power wars between bourgeois cliques, which we call as ruling power centres, are continuing by rising a new stage. Contra and special war policies, which has already become a ruling method of Turkish obscurantism, now want to chasten AKP by this threat. But in fact such an opposition style is just a “life buoy” for the government as it has been before.

The reason was shown as "being the focal point of anti-secular activities". It’s clear that AKP is not a secular party; but are those, who accuse AKP of this, and the republic they claim to defend really secular, or to what extent? High Court of Appeals of Turkey doesn’t have an objection to the Presidency of Religious Affairs and such a foundation could be under the egis of the constitutional guarantee in a “secular Republic”!

Once again we see that each power centre in Turkey has its own “democracy definition”. Lately, Prime Minister Erdogan was declaring the protests of workers and labourers against the liquidation of the social security as “illegal”, today he can talk about democracy and “intervention to the will of the people” because of the court request.

As AKP, its managers and collaborator capitalist class which this party represents are not secular they are also betraying Turkey. Millions of workers and labourers taken action against “social security” draft bill saw the real face of the AKP. And the people will send AKP to the trash of history; not the courts. But, via closure court the power centres against AKP show it as aggrieved and sustain it once more and sacrifice the people to the “Deception and Dilution Policies”.

The real owners of our country and democracy and labour forces will not respect the power games of these enemies of the peoples and will manage to unmask them.

Levent TUZEL
General President

Labour Party (EMEP), Turkey:
Kocamustafapasa Cd. S. Turan Topal Sk. No:2/2 Fatih/ISTANBUL - TURKEY Tel: +90 212 5884332 Fax: +90 212 5884341
Web: E-Mail:
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Sunday, March 09, 2008

PCOF: February 17, Kosovo’s Parliament Proclaimed Independence

The population of Pristina celebrated what it believes to be independence, waving Albanian and U.S. flags. The Serbian populations of Kosovo refuse to be separated from Serbia, whose leaders immediately condemned the secession of this province, which they consider an integral part of Serbia. Tension is rising, threatening to unleash a new Balkan war.

The proclamation of the independence of Kosovo, which Bush calls one of his wishes for years, is the culmination of the process of disintegration of former Yugoslavia.

This process has been encouraged from beginning to end by the Western imperialist powers, in the first place by U.S. imperialism, which wanted to get rid of traces of the Eastern bloc and to weaken, even to eliminate Russia’s influence.

In seventeen years of wars, “ethnic cleansing,” “humanitarian interference,” intense bombardments (78 days of bombing Serbia) and “surgical strikes” causing dozens of “collateral victims,” the imperialist powers have redrawn the borders. They have continued to inflame nationalisms, which were already acute, in order to push the troops of their local allies into forming totally dependent mini-states. All democratic solutions respecting the rights of nations, nationalities and national minorities have been systematically torpedoed by bombs and nationalist manipulations.

U.S. imperialism has formed new bases, militarizing the strategic region of the Balkans. Tens of thousands of NATO soldiers as well as some 2,000 French soldiers have been deployed there.

Most of the governments of the EU and that of the U.S. immediately recognized the independence of Kosovo, where the unemployment rate has reached record highs and where the population lives partly from the money from the Kosovo diaspora. The subsoil whets the appetite of the mining monopolies and the supporters of EU neo-liberalism, such as Kouchner, are salivating at the integration of Kosovo, even Serbia, into the EU of social dumping, free and fair competition, privatizations and the yoke of the “convergence criteria.”

In these conditions, the independence of Kosovo is not good news for the peoples of the Balkans, for it is a new bridgehead of imperialism, in the first place of U.S. imperialism, which is pursuing its policy of destabilization to maintain its hegemony.

In rushing to recognize this independence, Sarkozy is further engaging our country in the politics of destabilization and wars of U.S. imperialism.

Paris, February 20, 2008
Communist Party of the Workers of France
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

EMEP: Military-armed way is no solution. This reality should be accepted

Military-armed way is no solution. This reality should be accepted
Ending of cross-border operation lasting for eight days all of a sudden and returning was not welcomed by media and provocative circles yelling with desire of war. Media Pashas acclaiming blood and terror during the operation have been investigating if USA has insisted on this sudden comeback and Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) has reached its goals totally. And also they keep on not reflecting the voices of the ones who ask for peace and political solution.

Namely they prefer to talk about the details and absurdity of politics implemented over impossibility. The answer of Turkish Army Generals and Prime Minister to demands for peace and political solution is in the direction of parry. It is once more clear that the government has no plans or no proposition except what the soldiers say. On this issue Prime Minister, claiming that he represents the Kurdish and agrees with Generals, has already handed over the bonds named “authority” to Generals and the forces such as USA.

Now we, demanding democracy and freedom and the real owners and representatives of this country, should ask: What have military operation and military ways solved up to now? What has been gained via military operation aside from deaths, hopeless, enmity, serrility and frustration. Is what they introduce as success to bomb mountains and death of 24 soldiers, 3 guards and PKK members?

Will peace at home and peace in the world be built up through such a policy? Is it possible for peoples to live in peace under the guidance of USA, whose existence is a threat for humanity? Here there is nothing in favour of Turkey, peoples in the region, peace and fraternity. Oppression and ignoring the Kurdish’s existence up to now disclosed that the policy not recognising the existence of the Kurdish in our country based on the equal rights had already fallen down.

Government and military authorities should apologise to peoples in our country and in the region and to the families of the people who died because of them. They should act openly taking into account how to gain the confidence of the Kurdish who are in the demand of a peaceful life together. After all it is possible to draw a promising conclusion from all these badnesses. However to be able to achieve this it is necessary to settle an account with falsities in a brave way and to reinforce people with peace and hope messages, not with blood.

We say once again that firstly a foresight and a dialogue relying on the people is needed. The people of this country will certainly manage to live together in peace.


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