International Notes: Highlights of activities in the world communist movement

BY:Emile Schepers And CPUSA Internet Department| January 12, 2018
International Notes: Highlights of activities in the world communist movement


Ukraine:  Communist youth attacked by neo nazis

On December 25, the Communist Party of Ukraine denounced a violent attack carried out by far right thugs against members of its youth league, the Komsomol.  The Communist Party denunciation blames the attack directly on a group called the “National Corps”.  This organization is headed by Andrij Biletsky, the former leader of the Azov Regiment, a far right militia unit stocked with ultra-violent admirers of Ukrainian collaborators during the Second World War.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party said in a statement:  “Al gangster attacks on members of the [Communist] Party, members of the Komsomol [and] dissidents are carried out directly on instructions of and are financed by political forces that seized power in Ukraine as a result of the armed coup in February 2014.”.  The Communist Party itself is under threat of being declared illegal.

Bangladesh:  Communists, left demand clean elections

Three parties of the left in Bangladesh—the Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the Revolutionary Workers’ Party—met with the country’s Election Commission on December 19 to present a list of 18 demands for changes in election rules.  The meeting was held ahead of Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections, coming up in January 2019 at the latest.  The purpose was to avoid a repeat of the chaos which characterized the last elections, in 2014.

Among the demands presented were: A reduction of the deposits candidates need to run, provision of free compact discs with the names of voters to each candidate, who currently have to purchase this information, and allow online nomination forms.  Furthermore, there should be a requirement that each parliamentary  candidate have been an active member of her or his party for more than five years, that corrupt elements or people who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity not be allowed to run.  There should be more controls over election spending by candidates, including denying the candidacy of anyone who does not submit the required disclosure forms.  There should be a prohibition on injecting religious and other communal differences into the electoral process.

Austria:  Labor Party calls for unified struggle against far-right government

The Austrian Party of Labor (Partei Arbeit Österreichs), one of two communist parties in that country, denounces the new far right wing coalition government as a threat to the basic interests of the working class, and says it can only be defeated by united opposition and class struggle.

As a result of the parliamentary elections of October 19, the right-wing Austrian People’s Party (Österreichiche Volskpartei) of incumbent Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the extreme right-wing Autrian Freedom Party (Freiheitlische Partei Österreichs) of Heinz Christian Strache won 62 seats and 51 seats respectively in the 183 seat parliament.  Kurz decided on a coalition with the Freedom Party rather than the other option open to him, namely to coalesce with the centrist Social Democratic Party.

In the opinion of the Austrian Party of Labor, this is a deadly combination which brings with it an extreme danger for the working class.  The agreement reached between the reactionary coalition partners indicates and “immediate worsening of labor and living standards for the broad majority of the population.  The most important aim is to strengthen the position of capital in the country” with sharply increased work hours, and with the rolling back of hard won labor rights.  The ruling class wants to integrate Austria even more into its European project, abandoning the old “neutrality” idea.  It is above all up to the laboring classes to unite and lead the struggle against these reactionary threats.

Swaziland: Communist Party calls for boycott and disruption of “sham elections”

The Communist Party of Swaziland has again denounced the elections carried out by the regime of King Mswati III and scheduled for September of 2018 as a “sham”, and called for them to be boycotted and disrupted.  Meeting in Mpumalanga, South Africa, the party has been developing strategy for appropriate actions.

The Communist Party points to the fact that in Swaziland “the majority of the people…remain poor, cannot meet basic standards because the economy simpl[y] serve[s] the ruling family and its elites, who [have] exclusive control of political power” through the Tinkhundla system (royal patronage control of public office). The Communist party points to a need to an end to factionalism and infighting among opposition groups. The party calls for greater unity and a reliance on the creativity of the masses to develop new forms of resistance.




    Emile Schepers is a veteran civil and immigrant rights activist. Emile Schepers was born in South Africa and has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. He has worked as a researcher and activist in urban, working-class communities in Chicago since 1966. He is active in the struggle for immigrant rights, in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and a number of other issues. He now writes from Northern Virginia.


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