demonstration this friday in solidarity with ukrainian miners

1 09 2010

Demonstrate outside Ferrexpo’s office in London on Friday 3rd September from 4:30pm at 2-4 King Street, SW1. Click here for flyer.

A major dispute is underway between mineworkers in Poltava in central Ukraine and Ferrexpo Plc, a major player on the global market mainly engaged in mining of iron ore. All three shifts in the open cast in the town of Komsomolsk, of more than 300 workers each are now involved in industrial action. Some railway locomotive drivers and workers on the iron ore concentrating factory have joined in solidarity.

The action started on 1st August at 10am when the workers at the ore-dressing open cast pit started at first with a go-slow and work-to-rule. The action began when haul trucks drivers on their way down to the 305 meter deep quarry reduce speed of the vehicles from normal 40-45 km/h to the more safe 10-15 km/h. Excavator and bulldozer operators, as well as drilling technicians then joined the action in solidarity. Within 24 hours of the workers’ action total rock production had fallen by less than 60% of normal volume. This impact of the workers resistance is continuing. Read the rest of this entry »





poltava miners’ strike

10 08 2010

A major dispute is underway between mineworkers in Poltava in West Ukraine and Ferrexpo Plc, a major player on the global market mainly engaged in mining of iron ore.   All three shifts in the open cast in the town of Komsomolsk, of more than 300 workers each are now involved in industrial action. Some railway locomotive drivers and workers on the iron ore concentrating factory have joined in solidarity.

The action started on 1st August at 10am when the workers at the ore-dressing open cast pit started at first with a go-slow and work-to-rule.   The action began when haul trucks drivers on their way down to the 305 meter deep quarry reduce speed of the vehicles from normal 40-45 km/h to the more safe 10-15 km/h.  Excavator and bulldozer operators, as well as drilling technicians then joined the action in solidarity.   Within 24 hours of the workers’ action total rock production had fallen by less than 60% of normal volume.  This impact of the workers resistance is continuing. Read the rest of this entry »





the unknown revolution: ukraine 1917-21

23 02 2010

Much has been written on the revolution in Ukrainian, on the nationalists, the Makhnovists and the Bolsheviks. Yet there were others with a massive following whose role has faded from history. One such party was the Borotbisty, the majority of the million strong Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionaries, they formed an independent communist party seeking an independent Soviet Ukraine.

Though widely known amongst revolutionary Europe in their day, the Borotbisty were decimated during the Stalinist holocaust. Out of print for over half a century Borotbism by Ivan Maistrenko has now been republished. Maistrenko (1899-1984) was a veteran of the revolutionary movement. A red partisan in 1918-20 he was a journalist and opponent of Stalin in the 1920’s becoming deputy director of the All-Ukrainian Communist Institute of Journalism in 1931. A survivor of the gulag he lived as a post-war refugee in Germany becoming editor of the anti-Stalinist workers paper Vpered. His Borotbism is a thought provoking study which challenges previous approaches to the fate of the Russian Revolution and European revolutions. With the permission of the author we publish below part of the introduction to Borotbism, by Chris Ford. Read the rest of this entry »





new pamphlet: the collapse of the eastern bloc and after

7 01 2010

The latest pamphlet produced by The Commune looks at the regimes which existed in the Eastern Bloc and the state of the working class in those countries today.

The pamphlet features a symposium of critical Marxists from Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, and Bosnia on the twentieth anniversary of the historic events of 1989-91 and the lessons for communists today. Click here for PDF. Read the rest of this entry »





twenty years after the berlin wall fell

16 11 2009

November marks twenty years since the fall of the Berlin wall. This event represented one of the high points of a great mass struggle against the tyrannical order in the Eastern Bloc, and led to the downfall of the Soviet Union. But with the defeats of movements opposed to both these statist régimes and the free market, the popular movements of 1989 are now used to prove there is no alternative to capitalism.

wallfall

Here we present sections of a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc focussing on the struggles of the time, what system really existed in the “communist” countries and what has happened to the working class over the last twenty years. Read the rest of this entry »





issue 9 of the commune

12 11 2009

The November issue of our monthly paper The Commune is now available. Click the image below to see the PDF, or see articles as they are posted online in the list below.

issue9cover

To purchase a printed copy for £1 + 50p postage, use the ‘donate’ feature here. You can also subscribe (£12 a year UK/£16 EU/£20 international) or order 5 copies a month to sell (£4) online here. If you want to pay by cheque, contact uncaptiveminds@gmail.com.

are we ready for a winter of discontent? – by Sheila Cohen

post strike: this is no deal – by Joe Thorne

underground pay deadlock – by Vaughan Thomas

what is the union bureaucracy? – by Alberto Durango

occupation and state building in the new afghanistan – by Jessica Anderson

mixed reactions to cwu-royal mail deal – interview with a communist postman

manchester students build solidarity with post workers – by Mark Harrison

honduras: democracy has not been restored – by Socialismo o Barbarie

month long strike in france: ‘papers for all!’ – interview with Seni cleaners and piece from Où va la CGT?

communism twenty years after the berlin wall fell – interviews with eastern european activists

scottish ruling class: division over union – by Allan Armstrong

obituary of chris harman – by Andy Wilson

university occupations in austria – interview with vienna student activist

question time row: did the straw man really slay the griffin? – by Adam Ford

communist recomposition and workers’ representation – by Chris Ford

‘full and open debate’ on post-no2eu project: ok, when? - by David Broder

building from below: the work of paulo freire – by Dave Spencer

the global commune, january 16th

activities of the commune around britain

 





borys chervonyy: twenty years after the berlin wall fell

12 11 2009

Latest in a series of interviews with communists from the former eastern bloc upon the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

ukrainecomm

Can you briefly introduce yourself/organisation?

My name is Borys Chervonyy. I’m a member of the executive committee of the “Zakhyst Pratsi” (Defence of Labour) independent trade union, a member of the “New Left” movement and a member of the organisational committee of the Ukrainian Left Party (ULP). The ULP is supposed to be an international revolutionary organisation; the program of the ULP will be based on the principles of communism and social liberation in all its forms; and will stand, in particular, on the traditions of Ukrainian left thought. Read the rest of this entry »





volodymyr ishchenko: twenty years after the wall fell

10 11 2009

The third in a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

orangerevolution

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

I am one of the editors of “Commons” (http://commons.com.ua), a Ukrainian left-wing intellectual web-site aimed at filling the gap in quality leftist analysis that might contribute to social struggles here and now, in Ukraine and across the globe. There is a gap between existing leftist theories and the practical work of grassroots social movements, the latter not receiving satisfactory analysis. Local movements often fail to use practical experience and theoretical discussions from other regions of the globe. Read the rest of this entry »





imperialism and the world today: 19th october london forum

17 10 2009

‘uncaptive minds’ public meeting hosted by The Commune

The next of our London forums will be looking at modern imperialism. The coming to power of the Obama administration in the United States has led many people to believe that there will be a change in American foreign policy: yet the western military presence in Central Asia and Latin America is set to increase; the Eastern European nuclear defence shield has been abandoned with the aim of securing Russian support against Iran; and the war in Afghanistan continues unabated.

19thoctober

What is the strategy of imperialist domination today? With the rise of China and India, are there one, two or many imperialisms? What forces really challenge imperialism? Join the debate with speakers:

Andy Higginbottom
Latin America solidarity activist

Marko Bojcun
Ukrainian Marxist and writer on Eastern Europe

From 7pm on Monday 19th October at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, near King’s Cross. See below for map, or email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com for more details. Read the rest of this entry »





imperialism and the world today: 19th october london forum

29 09 2009

‘uncaptive minds’ public meeting hosted by The Commune

The next of our London forums will be looking at modern imperialism. The coming to power of the Obama administration in the United States has led many people to believe that there will be a change in American foreign policy: yet the western military presence in Central Asia and Latin America is set to increase; the Eastern European nuclear defence shield has been abandoned with the aim of securing Russian support against Iran; and the war in Afghanistan continues unabated.

19thoctober

What is the strategy of imperialist domination today? With the rise of China and India, are there one, two or many imperialisms? What forces really challenge imperialism? Join the debate with speakers:

Andy Higginbottom
Latin America solidarity activist

Marko Bojcun
Ukrainian Marxist and writer on Eastern Europe

From 7pm on Monday 19th October at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, near King’s Cross. See below for map, or email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com for more details. Read the rest of this entry »





two rare texts on the national question

31 08 2009

by Chris Kane

At The Commune’s successful day-school on the Russian Revolution some debate arose on the national question during the discussion on Ukraine and Hungary. A key point of reference on the national question for communists to this day is the debates which took place amongst Marxists within the Second International and the period of the First World War (1914-1918).

Russian Social Democrats

The national question took on a new importance after the outbreak of the war and the collapse of the Second International. Currents which had taken shape prior to 1914 were forced to reconsider their views and re-articulate positions in light of the crisis of international socialism.

A diverse trend of Social-Democrats, (as Marxists called themselves in this period) argued against the concept of the right of nations to self-determination, including the Polish Marxists Luxemburg and Radek. Today Lenin is seen as the principle defender of the right of national-self determination, and he was supported by the majority of the RSDRP(Bolsheviks) Central Committee. However he was challenged by a strong body of opinion in his own party, its foremost representative being Yuri Pyatakov, and Yevgenia Bosh, both leading Bolsheviks in Ukraine, who in exile in 1915 joined with Nikolai Bukharin to publish the Stockholm-based journal Kommunist. Read the rest of this entry »





saturday’s russian revolution day school in london

27 08 2009

12-5pm, Saturday 29th August, at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street, London

aug29th

In 1917 the Councils of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, soviets, took power proclaiming a workers’ and peasants’ republic in Russia. In the aftermath of the First World War revolutions established Soviet republics in Ukraine, Hungary, Bavaria and Slovakia in 1919. A new Communist International was founded to unite the international struggle to overthrow capitalism and establish a communist society. By 1921 the revolution was in retreat, a process which culminated in the triumph of counter-revolution and Stalinist totalitarianism.

The legacy of the revolutions remain with us to this day, but what does it mean for communists seeking to create a new society in the 21st century? Is it our tradition; were these revolutions a dead end never to be repeated; or does it assist us with a perspective for today? The Commune is holding a summer school to discuss these questions and others. Read the rest of this entry »





leaflet for russian revolution dayschool

11 08 2009

aug29th

Click image for leaflet (two A5) or here for an A4 poster. Full details below.

Read the rest of this entry »





‘uncaptive minds’ day school on the russian revolution

10 08 2009

The historical experience of the Russian Revolution and revolutions in Eastern Europe – our tradition, dead-end or a perspective for today?

In 1917 the Councils of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, soviets, took power proclaiming a workers’ and peasants’ republic in Russia.  In the aftermath of the First World War revolutions established Soviet republics in Ukraine, Hungary, Bavaria and Slovakia in 1919.  A new Communist International was founded to unite the international struggle to overthrow capitalism and establish a communist society.   By 1921 the revolution was in retreat, a process which culminated in the triumph of counter-revolution and Stalinist totalitarianism.

The legacy of the revolutions remain with us to this day, but what does it mean for communists seeking to create a new society in the 21st century? Is it our tradition;  were these revolutions a dead end never to be repeated; or does it assist us with a perspective for today?The Commune is holding a summer school to discuss these questions and others.

12-5pm, Saturday 29th August, at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street, London. Read the rest of this entry »








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