T.O. Weekly Special Report on April 3 International Emergency Meeting Against War

T.O. Supplement to Issue No. 59  

April 7, 2022

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

U.S. medium range self-propelled anti-aircraft missiles MIM-23 Hawk ready to LaunchSee more MILITARY images here:

First Report on the April 3 IWC-Sponsored International Emergency Meeting Against War

• Presentation by Dominique Ferré

• Opening Remarks

– From Nambiath Vasudevan, Co-coordinator IWC

– Daniel Gluckstein, Co-coordinator IWC

• Meeting Participants Speak Out Against War: Highlights of 36 presentations


• Four of the Speeches to the Emergency International Meeting

– Donna Dewitt (US) Contribution

– Mya Shone (US) Contribution

– Ian Hodson (Great Britain) Contribution

– Stefan Cholewka (Great Britain) Contribution

* * * * * * * * * *


The mass grave of hundreds of corpses in Bucha (Ukraine) has revolted the workers and peoples of the world. It is barbarism, with its procession of massacres and destruction In Ukraine … as in Afghanistan, Yemen and throughout Africa.

The workers know it instinctively: this war, like the others, is bound up with the system of capitalist exploitation. The Putin regime is responsible for it, but so are the U.S. administration, its armed wing (NATO) and the European governments.

This war has already had dramatic consequences for the peoples of the world: The soaring prices threaten to plunge hundreds of millions of human beings into famine. It is a pretext for increasing military budgets and accelerating the capitalist governments’ attacks on the workers.

Should the labor movement give in to the sirens of national unity / “sacred union” with the war-mongering governments? Should it give up its independence? Or, more than ever, should it raise the banner of the Workers’ International – of the united struggle of the workers of the world against war and exploitation?

These questions were at the center of the Emergency International Meeting Against War, convened on just a few days’ notice by the International Workers Committee (IWC), whose two coordinators, Daniel Gluckstein and Nambiath Vasudevan, had provided the meeting’s framework: “It is up to the working class all over the world to take charge of the fight for peace. Russian troops, out of Ukraine! U.S. and NATO troops out of Europe! Dismantle NATO! No national unity / “sacred union” with the war-mongering governments! Down with war! Down with exploitation!”

More than 200 activists of all tendencies of the workers’ movement from 47 countries responded by video conference. Thirty-six took the floor after which the draft appeal, submitted 24 hours in advance to the participants [1] after incorporating the last amendments, was submitted for signature. Following is a first report on this important initiative. — Dominique Ferré

* Afghanistan, South Africa/Azania, Algeria, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Korea, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Spain, United States, France, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Morocco, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa/Azania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Togo, Turkey.

* * * * * * * * * *

Opening Remarks

“On May 1, 2022, let us distribute massively our call against war, for peace and social justice!” (Nambiath Vasudevan, IWC Co-Coordinator)

The two coordinators of the International Workers Committee (IWC) opened the discussion. Recalling the preparation of the World Conference against War and Exploitation, for a Workers’ International to be held in Paris on October 29 and 30, 2022, supported by 601 activists from 57 countries, Nambiath Vasudevan recalled that the IWC, founded in Mumbai (India) in November 2016, “has been opposed to war and exploitation since the beginning … War must not divide us: we must return to the class interests of the workers that unite us in all our countries.”

For Vasudevan, Putin’s reactionary war in Ukraine cannot allow us to put aside “the war in Iraq, led by the United States, when Iraq was bombed and never rebuilt. We saw the same thing in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen. We have seen how the United States with Israel seeks to crush the Palestinians in complicit silence at the international level.

Vasudevan warned about the international consequences of the war: “Economic sanctions have consequences in all countries: inflation will affect the whole world. Many trade unions, for example a few days ago in the metal and chemical industries in Germany, stated that they fear the closure of private oil and gas companies in Russia, because at the center of all the policies of the imperialist governments is the search for profits.”

In conclusion, he called to reject “NATO, which wants to encircle Russia” as well as the Russian aggression, “which is not a war to help the Ukrainian people.” This is the meaning of the draft appeal submitted to the meeting “against war, for peace and social justice“, an appeal that he calls upon emergency meeting participants to take up massively in all countries on the occasion of the demonstrations and rallies of May 1st.

* * * * * * * * * * *

“A war of exploiters of all nationalities against the exploited of all nationalities” (Daniel Gluckstein, Co-coordinator, IWC)

The following speaker, Daniel Gluckstein, co-coordinator of the IWC together with Nambiath Vasudevan, recalled that “within the long uninterrupted chain of wars of aggression against the peoples,” this war has the particularity of putting face to face the main military powers of the world equipped with nuclear weapons. … It is a war for markets, to find new fields of valorization for Capital. That is why, for the workers and the workers’ organizations, the true social character of this war prevails over its apparently national character: It is a war of exploiters of all nationalities against the exploited of all nationalities. Putin is rightly accused of being the representative of the Russian oligarchs. But Biden is nothing but the representative of the U.S. oligarchs. Macron and Scholz are nothing but the representatives of the French and German oligarchs.”

This is why, Gluckstein added, this war poses three fundamental questions to the working class.

The first: “The workers and their organizations must reject any concession to chauvinism. Whether it is the Great Russian chauvinism against Putin’s Ukrainians or whether it is chauvinism in the imperialist powers, where a real anti-Russian campaign is unleashed. The working class has the duty to denounce this war as a war of oligarchs against other oligarchs.

From this, what follows is the need for the workers to reject all attempts to unite the workers’ organizations behind the war drive of their own government because it is these same governments that are calling into question the conquests and rights won by the working class. This is why we in France have taken care to add to our slogans the withdrawal of French troops from Africa, who play the same reactionary, imperialist role against the right of the African peoples to self-determination.

Daniel Gluckstein recalled the vote in the European Parliament on March 1, “in which all the MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] of the left-wing parties in France participated unanimously, a vote in favor of support for NATO, for over-armament and aimed at making the workers accept the sacrifices that result from the war effort. On the other hand, for the workers’ organizations, the only acceptable slogan is to say that the billions for the war must be redirected to schools, hospitals and wages. This is a campaign we are engaged in, in France, against our own government.

Gluckstein concluded by affirming his conviction that this meeting was a continuation of the Zimmerwald internationalist workers’ conference (1915), which brought together those political activists who refused to follow in the footsteps of political and trade union leaders who betrayed the working class, rallying to the war-mongering governments. He quoted the Zimmerwald appeal, which reads I part: “Workers, mothers and fathers, widows and orphans, wounded and maimed, to all of you who suffer from war and by war, we cry out to you beyond the borders, beyond the battlefields, beyond the devastated countryside and cities: proletarians of all countries unite!

* * * * * * * * * *

Meeting Participants Speak Out Against War

“Every night we hear the bombs”

Yuri Glushakov, an activist from Belarus, a few miles from Ukraine, stated: “Every night we hear the bombs, we see the wounded and refugees pouring in. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has provoked the biggest military confrontation on the continent since 1945.” This the consequence, according to Glushakov, “of the neo-liberal policies pursued for 30 years throughout the former Soviet Union, where the capitalist cliques are stirring up chauvinism.” Constantin Cretan, a Romanian mineworker trade unionist, denounced “the Romanian authorities, who have transformed Romania into a transit zone for armaments to Ukraine and where NATO troops are stationed – without the consent of the Romanian people.” But while war and repression dominate today, reads a statement from a group of activists from Russia, “the economic situation is deteriorating. Hundreds of thousands of workers are being laid off. The working class, inevitably, will soon be faced with the need for an organized class struggle for its survival. The pro-imperialist patriotic fervor will fade.”

Putin is responsible … So are Biden and his NATO allies

Our condemnation of Putin and his army cannot be challenged,” states a message from activists in Algeria. But there can be no question of letting NATO, led by U.S. imperialism and its allies, off the hook. On this subject, a representative of the Radical Left of Afghanistan (LRA)in solidarity with the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression,” recalled how 20 years of NATO military occupation led Trump and Biden to organize the return to power of the Taliban, “who have just expelled hundreds of thousands of female students from colleges and high schools.” There is no question of exonerating Putin’s regime, as some leaders of the labor movement are doing, stated Ashraf Jooma of Black Republic (South Africa/Azania), who recalled the positions of V.I. Lenin, who was unconditionally in favor of the Ukrainian nation’s right to self-determination. Faraj Bayrakdar, a former prisoner of the Syrian regime, denounced the collaboration between imperialism and Putin in Syria, “the only country in the world where there are both U.S. and Russian military bases.”

Randy Miranda of the Workers Party of the Philippines (PM) pointed out that “a military confrontation between NATO and Russia would gather all the ingredients for a new world war.” In the face of such a catastrophe, workers cannot accept any divisions, stated Rubina Jamil, General Secretary of the All-Pakistan Trade Union Federation (APTUF): Pakistani workers don’t want war with Ukraine any more than they want war with India, she said: “This is not our war, it’s a war imposed on us by imperialism.”

The war has its origin in the crisis of the capitalist system

The origin of the war is the decaying capitalist system, emphasized Sixto Iturra of the Independent Movement for the Rights of the People (Chile): The “external” wars are linked to the “internal” wars of the capitalist governments against their own working classes, which led to the revolutionary uprising in Chile in October 2019. The same observation was made by Pantelis Kokkinopoulos (Greece): “My country is falling apart… in the parks of Athens, the benches are all occupied by homeless people, young and old! The real enemy of all our peoples is the capitalist system.” Michel Zimmerman, a Socialist Party activist in Switzerland, noted that the consequences of the war on the price of cereals are threatening entire countries with a food catastrophe. This is the case in Bangladesh, as Amlan Demanjee and Baddrudujah Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Workers Democratic Party pointed out. The same is true in Indonesia, as Dian Septi Trisnanti, an activist with the Indonesian Workers Unity Trade Union Federation (FSBPI), explained. Other speakers, such as Henry Togally of the Independent Workers Movement (Peru), denounced the increasing military spending “when it would have taken only a few hundred million dollars to provide access to Covid vaccines for the poorest countries.” The war is also a pretext for a worsening of the assault on workers, stated labor activists in Hong Kong.

Rejecting the “double standards”

The labor movement cannot accept the “double standards” of imperialist governments was another theme of the meeting. Naji Al Khatib, from Secular Palestine, stated: “We, the Palestinians, naturally condemn the Russian invasion, because we are against any occupation, Russian or Israeli.” He denounced the “double standards” shown by the European Union and Biden: “You cannot condemn aggression and occupation in one country and accept it elsewhere.” Liliana Plumeda Aguilar, an activist with the People’s and Workers’ Organization (Mexico), affirmed the same thing: “Mexico has announced that it will welcome Ukrainian refugees, while it closes its borders to refugees from Haiti and represses those from Central America. There cannot be first- and second-class refugees – as if Haiti did not also suffer from military occupation, in this case the U.S. military occupation.”

Africa martyred by foreign occupation and multinationals

Many African activists addressed the fate of this continent martyred by foreign occupation and plunder. Adama Coulibaly, representative of the Pan-African Patriotic Alliance-Burkindi (Burkina Faso), recalled that “the imperialist powers are waging a war by proxy, through terrorist groups, over-equipped, supervised, financed and informed, since the destruction of Libya by NATO in 2011. He also denounced the fate of African students who tried to flee Ukraine. “The presence of French troops has only worsened the security situation. They are there to defend the economic and financial interests of the former colonial power,” echoed Mahoussi Innocent Assogba, a trade union activist in Benin. Richard Hatungimana, an activist with Burundi’s Workers and Democracy Party (PTD), recalled that, “Burundians have been living for decades with the harmful effects of the war, ‘ethnic’ and genocidal in nature, which arose in the wake of membership in the International Monetary Fund in 1986.”

On behalf of the Committee for the Democratic and Independent Party of Workers and Peasants (Democratic Republic of Congo), Gustave Kizenga confirmed this point: “The war that is tearing my country apart has caused six million deaths. These are wars orchestrated by multinationals that plunder our country, which they have described as a ‘geological scandal.’ It is urgent that the multinationals and their militias be driven out!” On behalf of the Moroccan delegation, Malik, a labor activist, warned about the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Morocco, “whose objective is to divide the sister peoples of Algeria and Morocco.” Malik recalled that the peoples of Africa “paid dearly with their lives, having been used as ‘cannon fodder’ by colonialism, in 1914-1918 [World War I] and then in Indochina.”

No national unity / “sacred union” with war-mongering governments

Donna Dewitt, former president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO (U.S.), sees the main problem for workers in the U.S. as one where “the capitalists control the two major political parties, and the leadership of the labor movement is subordinate to these parties, funding them instead of organizing workers for wages and working conditions.” Mya Shone of Socialist Organizer (U.S.) expanded this point: “The AFL-CIO leadership has given carte blanche to Biden’s war plans and increased military spending. There are, however, forces in the labor movement that have taken an independent stand.” To this policy of subordination to Biden, both U.S. speakers counterposed the recent victory in the union organizing drive of Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York. In Britain, stated Ian Hodson, president of the Bakery and Food Workers Union (BFAWU), the Labour Party leadership’s support for Johnson’s increase in military spending is unacceptable “when 14 million British people are living below the poverty line.” Having said that, the Labour leadership’s support for Johnson has been rejected by both the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the one-mllion-member Unison union, added Stefan Cholewka, a trade union leader in Rochdale, Britain, and “himself of Ukrainian origin.Monica Grilli, an activist of the Federation of Education of the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labor), noted that the calls for national unity / “sacred union” have received a positive response “from leaders of the CGIL who claim, in adopted resolutions, that the only person responsible for the war in Ukraine is Putin. That’s why I voted against the resolution submitted by the union leadership, which aligned itself with the Draghi government.” In Germany, where Social Democratic Prime Minister Scholz has just added 100 billion euros to the military budget, Claudius Naumann, chairperson of the council of delegates of the Free University of Berlin (Germany), rejected the alignment with the government that the union leadership advocates: “Let us act in the tradition of Karl Liebknecht, who had noted courageously that the main enemy is in our own country!”

The unity of workers will establish world peace

Has the class struggle ended? Have the people failed?” asked a worker militant from China. “No, never. The working class still exists, and the class struggle continues. The Russian-Ukrainian war has shown us how world capitalism oppresses the people, which is why we must persevere in our struggle,” continued the Chinese militant, who is convinced that the union of workers will establish peace. This was what occurred in years past, when millions took to the streets to oppose the dirty war in Vietnam, recalled Brian Ross Ashley, an activist in Canada. Federico Rodrigues, an activist from Portugal, is pleased that Italian dockers and Greek railway workers have refused to load weapons for NATO. Hence the need to address very broadly all layers of the working class, insisted Raquel Varela, activist from Portugal. “In the war, women are on the frontlines,” stated Christel Keiser, national secretary of the Independent Democratic Workers Party (France). “This is the case of both the Ukrainian women who, with their children, suffer from the Russian bombings, and the Russian women who are demonstrating for the return of their sons sent to the battlefront and who suffer repression,” continued Keiser, “who reported on the building efforts for the International Conference of Working Women on October 29 in Paris, opening the World Conference Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International.

Throughout the world,

Against the war,

Let’s Build the Actions on May Day!

–   –   –   –   –

Concluding the meeting on behalf of the IWC coordinators, Daniel Gluckstein invited everyone to sign the declaration of the Emergency Meeting and to disseminate it in as many languages and countries as possible, especially on the occasion of May Day, the International Day of Struggle of the Working Class. A full report of this meeting will be published as soon as possible and delivered as a first contribution to the preparation of International Conference of Working Women and the World Conference Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International of October 29 and 30, 2022, which will gather, in person this time, all those who wish to help the gathering for a Workers’ International.

* * * * * * * * * *

FINAL APPEAL of the April 3 Emergency Meeting

Workers of the world, workers’ organisations, oppressed peoples, let us unite against war and exploitation

Emergency International Meeting Against War, 3 April 2022

We – workers, young people, militants of the workers’ and democratic movements from 40 countries and all continents – take up the words of Jean Jaurès, the historic figure of international socialism, on the eve of the outbreak of the 1914 war: “Capitalism carries war like a cloud carries a storm.”

This formulation is more relevant than ever. Wars are ravaging all the continents. Tens of millions of people have been driven out of their countries. Entire countries are in ruins. Famine is expanding across the globe. We declare without the slightest hesitation: These ongoing wars, and the destruction and barbarism that they unleash against workers and peoples, are the very fruit of the capitalist system based on the private ownership of the means of production and of its decay. It is a system which, in order to reap ever greater profits, shrinks from no aggression.

The war unleashed by order of President Putin on 24 February 2022 in Ukraine is no exception to the rule. Nothing can justify this intervention. This is why we are for stopping this intervention, for an immediate ceasefire, and for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that the major capitalist powers – led by the Biden administration in the United States, the European Union, and the capitalist countries that make it up, in particular Germany, France and Great Britain – who did everything yesterday to provoke this conflict are today doing everything to stoke and fan the flames.

Tens of thousands of troops are massed by NATO on the Russian border, and their numbers are being reinforced week after week. NATO and its member countries are offering Ukraine permanent over-armament and a veritable air shield on its border. In fact, NATO, the United States, and the European Union are co-belligerents. That is why we combine the demand for the “withdrawal of Russian troops” with the demand for the “withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Europe”, the “withdrawal of all foreign occupation troops from all countries of the world”, the “lifting of sanctions”, the “end to all imperialist and neo-colonialist interventions”, and the “dismantling of NATO”.

The current wars reflect the ever-growing appetites of the major capitalist powers, who make no secret of their desire – led by Biden – to plunder the wealth of the whole world that still escapes them, and to control the world economy even more closely. These are the pretexts for the skyrocketing increases of military budgets, to the detriment of the needs of the peoples. Wars abroad combine with the war “at home” that capitalist governments wage against the workers in their own countries.

This war is the final link in the chain of wars that have been ravaging all the continents for several decades, always fomented by the capitalist and imperialist powers, always paid for with the blood and misery of the peoples themselves. The map of wars most often overlaps with the map of the wealth of the subsoil of the countries concerned. This is why we call for the withdrawal of all occupying troops from the countries where they are present.

The workers have no interests in common with the multinationals and the capitalist classes of the different countries. They have no interests in common with their own governments.

We call on all workers and youth, on activists of all origins in the workers’ movement and on workers’ organisations to reject any form of national unity / “sacred union” with the warmongering governments, with the multinationals and the capitalists who provoke wars.

The only unity that is consistent with the cause of peace and social justice is the unity of the workers and peoples of the world.

Down with war, down with exploitation!

Workers of the world, workers’ organisations, oppressed peoples, let us unite against war and exploitation, to impose peace in the interests of humanity!


This appeal was launched at the initiative of the International Workers Committee (IWC), which is organising a World Conference Against War and Exploitation, for a Workers’ International and an International Conference of Working Women in Paris on 29 and 30 October 2022.


Afghanistan:  Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA).

Algeria:  Nadia Yefsah, former Deputy of the Workers Party (PT);  Samir Laribi, member of the secretariat of the Socialist Workers Party (PST) in a personal capacity;  Abdelkader Bentaleb, on behalf of the Organising Committee of Internationalist Socialists (COSI);  Khalid Daim, former member of the OST and co-founder of the PT, member of its control commission;  Fodil H., on behalf of the Youth Circle for Socialism (CJS), trade unionist in the Transport Federation UGTA;  Houria A., internationalist labour activist, first delegate to the Working Women’s International Conference;  Ali Y, labour activist;  Amar Lounas, labour activist;  Amélia H., labour activist;  Aziz R. labour activist teacher;  Azzedine A., internationalist labour activist;  Chafik Amara, labour activist;  Farid H., labour activist, technician;  Farid Touil, labour activist, trade unionist in technical studies;  Fawzi H., labour activist;  Hacène F., labour activist, unemployed;  Hadj F., labour and human rights activist;  Hafid H., trade unionist;  Hamza A., labour activist;  Hassina B., student;  Kamel A., trade unionist;  Larbi B., student;  Mohand H., anti-imperialist activist;  Nadia Sabry, labour activist, journalist;  Omar A., labour activist, teacher;  Rachid Belfadel, labour activist;  Ryad R., teacher trade unionist;  Samia D.,student;  Sofiane E., labour activist;  Tarek H., internationalist labour activist, teacher;  Wahiba S., student;  Samir Aberkane, labour activist, co-founder of RAJ (Youth Action Forum).

Argentina:  Ricardo Sonny Martínez, journalist, writer, former head of Radio Nacional Argentina at Bariloche, correspondent of Télam news agency. 

Azania/South Africa:  Ashraf Jooma;  Mandlenkosi ka Phangwa;  Scelo Mthembu;  Azikiwe Zweni, (Azanian section of the OCRFI);  Thabo Mocuminyane;  Bongani Mazibuko;  Gertude Lebunda on behalf of the National Unemployed People’s Forum (SA);  Mphutlane wa Bofelo, member of the Black Consciousness Movement United (BCMU).

Bangladesh:  Ahad Mohammed Fayez Hossain, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Workers Trade Union Federation;  Sumi Khan, human rights activist;  Amlan Dewanjee, Democratic Workers Party;  Baddrudduja Chowdhury, Democratic Workers Party.

Belarus:  Youri Glouchakov, labour activist.

Belgium:  Gaëtan Coucke, trade unionist, education sector;  Olivier Horman, federal public administration trade unionist;  Roberto Giarrocco, Unity Committee (Eenheidscomité);  Serge Monsieur, President CGSP-VLR Vivaqua. 

Benin:  Assogba Mahoussi Innocent, teacher, trade unionist;  Kounouho Gbéyitin Marcel, Deputy Secretary General of the Union of Human Healthcare Workers of Benin (SYNTRASESH).

Brazil:  Tomaz Wonghon, Former President of the National Federation of Education Workers CNTE);  Pedro Jacobs, head of the Trade Union Nucleus 39 of CPERS/RS (in personal capacity);  Anísio Garcez Homem, activist of the Workers Party (PT).

Burkina Faso:  Adama Coulibaly, on behalf of the PanAfrican Patriotic Alternative/Burkindi.

Burundi:  Richard Hatungimana, President of the Party of Workers and Democracy (PTD-TWUNGURUNANI).

Canada:  B. Ross Ashley, correspondent of the IWC;  Paul Nkuzimana. 

Chile:  Maritza Bastias Parra, political secretariat of the Independent Movement for the People’s Rights (MIDP);  Sixto Iturra, member of the political secretariat of the MIDP.

China:  Zi Yu;  Apo Leong;  an activist in Beijing;  Haige.

Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC):  Patrick Basimise Mupe ; Lucien Faradja Mbinga;  Gustave Kizenga, on behalf of the Committee for the Democratic and Independent Party of Workers and Peasants.

Ecuador:  Pierina Torres, Movimiento Alfaro Vive Carajo;  Guillermo Santana, member of Movimiento Alfaro Vive Carajo.

France:  Daniel Gluckstein, POID National Secretary, Coordinator of the International Workers Committee against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International;  Christel Keiser, POID National Secretary, in charge of the Working Women’ s Commission;  Dominique Ferré, POID;  Olivier Doriane, POID;  Jean-Francois Paty, postal worker, trade unionist;  Maria-Begonia Chambonnet, hospital worker, trade unionist;  Alexandre Herzog, local administration worker trade unionist;  Charles Menet, trade unionist, metal industry;  Marie Horville, teacher trade unionist;  Jacqueline Berrut, trade unionist social worker;  Myriam Hossain, municipal employee trade unionist, childcare;  Jérémie Daire, Federation of Revolutionary Youth (FJR);  Georgick Guellaën, Cherbourg;  Jean-Pierre Barrois, anti-war activist;  Mahel Pierot-Guimbaud (FJR);  Melchior de Rochebrune (FJR)

Germany:  Peter Saalmüller, SPD activist (Idstein), Ver.di trade unionist;  J.S., Ver.di (Leipzig);  Norbert Müller, Ver.di trade unionist (Frankfurt);  Claudius Naumann, chair of the council of shop stewards of Berlin’s Free University, spokesperson of the Ver.di local branch, member of the Committee for a Workers Party and of Internationalist Socialist Group (ISG), German section of the Fourth International (OCRFI);  Anna Schuster, Ver.di, shop steward, Committee for a Workers Party;  Gudrun Hintermeier, trade unionist IG Metall, Sömmerda trades Council;  Peter Hintermeier, trade unionist IG Metall, chair of the DGB trades council of Sömmerda;  Klaus Schüller, member of the National Bureau of AfA (SPD, worker committee), trade unionist EVG, member of the IWC follow-up committee;  H.-W. Schuster, Ver.di trade unionist, shop steward, Internationalist Socialist Group (ISG);  Andreas Gangl, trade unionist Ver.di, strike committee member.

Ghana:  Explo Nani-Kofi, “Moving Africa”

Great Britain:  Ian Hodson, National President, BFAWU (pers. cap);  Steve Hedley, Senior Deputy General Secretary, RMT (personal capacity);  Jane Doolan, UNISON NEC member (pers. cap.);  Rebecca Brookman UNISON NEC member (pers cap );  Mike Calvert, Branch Secretary, Islington UNISON (pers. cap.);  Stefan Cholewka, Rochdale Metropolitan Trades Council, Greater Manchester (pers. cap.);  Jo Rust, Secretary, King’s Lynn & District Trades Council and Independent Borough Councillor in King’s Lynn (pers. cap.);  Charles Charalambous, Former President, Torbay & South Devon Trades Union Council, Editor Labour Internationalist;  Paul Filby, Liverpool, Blacklist Support Group (pers. cap.);  Nick Phillips, Unite member, London (pers. cap.);  Henry Mott, Unite member (pers. cap.);  Ann Green, British Pensioner Magazine (pers. cap.);  Margaret K. Taylor, Treasurer, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Trades Council (pers. cap.);  Doreen McNally, Liverpool Unite Community branch and former spokesperson, Women of the Waterfront (pers. cap.);  Nigel Singh, trade unionist;  Antony Rimmer, Liverpool 47 Surcharged Councillor, Merseyside Pensioners Association, trade unionist (CWU and Unite) (pers. cap.);  Noeleen Grattan Hornsey and Wood Green CLP;  Fiona Monkman Chairperson, Islington UNISON (pers cap);  Audrey Whiten, Merseyside Pensioners Association, Liverpool Against the war (pers. cap.);  Sam Gorst, Independent Liverpool City Councillor, Councillors for Peace (pers. cap.).

Greece:  Dimitris Veliziotis, barrister;  Lenia Chrisikopoulou, artist;  Maryse Le Lohe, pensioner, Αthens;  Pantelis Kokkinopoulos, General practioner, former municipal councillor;  Eleni Pierropoulou, unemployed;  Isaia Karachaliou;  Andreas Guhl, OCRFI member;  Sotiria Lioni, unemployed. 

Guatemala:  Lidia Ángela Santos, teacher.

Hungary:  Judit Somi, working-class activist.

India:  Nambiath Vasudevan, coordinator of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, for a Workers’ International;  Fahad Ahmad, Senior Research Fellow School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai);  Sabina Martins (Goa);  Subhas Naik Jorge, Spark;  Cheruvathoor Denzil , Spark;  Franklyn Dsouza, Spark;  Gausuddin Shaikh, Spark.

Indonesia:  Dian Septi Trisnanti, Indonesia Unity Labour Federation (FSBPI).

Italy:  Luigi Brandellero, worker, Tribuna Libera editorial board;  Marina Boscaino, activist for democratic and social rights, Rome;  Valeria Busicchia, teacher, activist;  Rita Campione, NO to Regionalisation Lombardy Committee (pers cap);  Alessandra Cigna, teacher, shop steward and trade union executive committee member;  Giovanni Cocchi, Bologna;  Ugo Croce, Tribuna Libera editorial board;  Loretta Deluca, teacher, Rifondazione Comunista activist, Leinì (Turin);  Dario Granaglia, worker shop steward and member of the executive board of the FIOM-CGIL trade union;  Daniele Grego, teacher, trade union activist, Turin;  Monica Grilli, teacher, shop steward and trade union executive committee member;  Gianni Guglieri, worker, shop steward and trade union executive board member, Turin;  Andrea Monasterolo, worker, trade union activist;  Agata Pantella, teacher, Turin;  Alberto Pian, teacher, shop steward and trade union executive committee member;  Daniela Pez, member of the regional secretariat Friuli Venezia Giulia of Sinistra Italiana (pers cap);  Claudia Poggio, teacher;  Acqui Terme (Alessandria);  Fabrizio Prestipino, teacher, Tribuna Libera editorial board;  Betty Raineri, shop steward and member of the trade union executive, Turin;  Teresa Silvestri, teacher, Turin;  Elena Troglia, teacher, Turin;  Emanuele Ungheri, Catane;  Lorenzo Varaldo, school headmaster, monthly coordinator Tribuna Libera;  Vanna Ventre, teacher, monthly editor of Tribuna Libera.

Korea:  Jung Sikhwa, trade unionist;  Sang Soo Ha, trade unionist.

Mexico:  María de Lourdes Díaz Cruz, LULA – National Movement for Petroleum Transformation;  Israel Cervantes, Bajío workers’ center;  Rosemberg Pérez García, Central struggle committee, Section 40 of the National Coordination of Education workers;  Marisela Ortega Domínguez, MORENA activist;  Elvira Catalina Aguilar Álvarez, Partido del Trabajo;  Catalina Miranda, Section 37 of the National Union of Education Workers;  Jorge Manuel Arcia Nájera, retired, Section 7 SNTE-CNTE;  Russell Aguilar, retired, Section 7 SNTE-CNTE;  Jesús Casillas Arredondo, International Youth Alliance for Socialism;  Fernando Márquez Duarte, trade union activist, UAW local 2865;  Liliana Plumeda Aguilar, Internationalist Communist League (LCI-CORCI);  Abel Salazar Castellanos, LCI-CORCI;  Juan Carlos Vargas Reyes, Nueva Central de Trabajadores (New Workers Central];  Jesús Rangel Ontiveros, Political Organisation of Workers and People, OPT (Baja California);  Raúl Calleja Lacorti, Section 502 of the National Union of Healthcare Workers;  Carlos Niebla, UNTA-BC;  Marco Rojo, UNTA-BC;  Raúl Ramos Sánchez, Workers’ Center, Baja California;  Emma Monserrat García, student;  Cristina Itzel Ramírez Camea, maquiladora worker;  Muriel Ernesto Gómez Alvarado, Central struggle Council Local 40 of the National Coordination of Education Workers;  Gilberto Montes Vázquez, Political Organisation of the Workers and People and workers, OPT (Chiapas);  Fernando Serrano Monroy, General Secretary of the Independent Union of the Colegio de Bachilleres workers (Chiapas) (SITAACOBACH);  Ángel Álvarez Orozco, SITAACOBACH;  Fernando Aguilar Palacios, Organising Secretary of the SITAACOBACH;  Irma Moran Ojeda, activist for the defence of water (Mexicali);  Jesús Adolfo Calleja Lacorti;  Daniel Gómez Meza, Section 40 of the National Coordination of Education Workers.  

Morocco:  Fadoua Idrissi, teacher, unionist;  Mohamed Dahak, retired teacher, Union and Human Rights activist;  Smail Jbari, member of the administrative committee of the Moroccan Workers’ Youth, (JOM/UMT);  Y. Malik, on behalf of the editorial board of Tribune des Travailleurs;  Habil Bourass, student.

Pakistan:  Akbar Khan, General Secretary of the National Federation of Bank Employees;  Taimur Rehman, General Secretary of PMKP;  Rubina Jamil, general Secretary of the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, APTUF;  M. Ilyas;  Nasir Gulzar;  Haroon Younas;  Mian Khalid, Railway workers union workshops;  Samina Fayyaz, APTUF women’s commission;  Malik Humayun, General Secretary, local employees Federation;  Anwer Gujjar, President APTUF;  Yasir Gulzar.

Palestine:  Naji El Khatib, President of the Secular Palestine association.

Peru:  Shabbir Shah, General Secretary of the single union of agrifood industry workers Peru;  Roberto Alvarado Rubiños, Editor of Páginas Libres;  César Augusto Huamán Escudero;  César Salinas Mejía, former union leader of mine workers;  Henry Torres Gallarday, internationalist socialist group, El Organizador newspaper.

Philippines:  Partido Manggagawa (Workers Party);  Randy Miranda, Head, National Organizing Department Executive Committee , Workers Party. 

Portugal:  Raquel Varela, history academic and researcher of the labour movement;  José Casimiro, labour activist, Left Bloc (BE);  João Mota, retired clinic Secretary;  António Cardoso, Viana do Castelo;  Ana Sofia Cortes, BE activist, public sector worker;  Victor Pinto, linguist, O Trabalho activist;  Adriano Zilhão, O Trabalho and BE activist;  José Santana Henriques, O Trabalho and BE activist;  Frederico Rodrigues, youth activist;  Bento Correia, labour activist, BE;  Manuel Carlos Silva, University professor and sociologist, Braga;  Pedro Vicente, architect;  Pedro Carvalho, leader of the union of the north region teachers, Viana do Castelo.

Romania:  Constantin Cretan, mining trade unionist.

Russia:  Group of OCRFI supporters.

Serbia:  Jacim Milunovic, labor activist.

Spanish State:  Reme Martin, activist of the Movement of Retired Workers (MPEH) and trade unionist LAB.

Sri Lanka:  Dasantha Jayalath, Former Assistant Secretary of the Ansell branch of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union; Saman Mudunko-tuwage.

Sweden: Nadezhda Bravo Cladera.

Switzerland:  Ali Korkmaz, industrial unionist; Dogan Fennibay, industrial unionist; Jean-Philippe Faure, worker activist;  Marzia Fiastri, teacher unionist;  Michel Zimmermann, worker activist.

Syria:  Faraj Bayrarakdar.

Togo:  Lawson Messan, national Secretary of PADET/ L’Emancipation.

Turkey:  Mehmet Sadi Ozansü, leader of the IKEP (Workers Party).

United States:  Donna Dewitt*, President Emerita (ret), South Carolina AFL-CIO;  Desirée Rojas*, President, Sacramento Chapter, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO), Sacramento, California;  Sean McMahon, Immigrant rights activist;  Rodger Scott*, Past President, AFT 2121 San Francisco, CA;  Nnamdi Lumumba, State Organizer, Ujima People’s Progress Party (Maryland);  Petros Bein, Maryland;  Lita Blanc*, Past President, United Educators of San Francisco;  Marlena Santoyo, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers;  Alan Benjamin, Socialist Organizer National Organizing Committee;  Connie White*, Member, Continuations Committee of Labor & Community for an Independent Party (LCIP);  Michael Carano, Teamsters Local 348, retired Tallmadge, Ohio;  Mya Shone; Socialist Organizer National Organizing Committee; David Walters*, IBEW 1245 Retired, Pacifica, CA; Dan Kaplan*,  Executive Secretary, retired, AFT Local 1493, Berkeley, CA. (* for id. only).

* * * * * * * * * *

Four of the 36 Speeches to the Emergency International Meeting (all the speeches will be published shortly)

• Donna Dewitt (US) Contribution

[Donna Dewitt is the President Emerita of the South Carolina AFL-CIO.]

April 3rd, 2022

Hello to workers around the world from South Carolina in the United States. Thank you to the organizers of this emergency discussion and in particular the opening remarks to guide the discussion. The Appeal to the IWC Conference is powerful and speaks to strengthening a workers’ global unity to end wars and empower a transition to peace. 

The US capitalists control the major political parties and organized labor aligns with the parties, investing vast amounts of money and human labor into their political programs, rather than organizing workers around wages, benefits and workplace safety. In the absence of labor addressing the need to organize, workers must recognize that they own their labor and should demand their worth in wages, benefits and conditions of work in order to provide for their families and communities and to live and work in dignity. Most evident is the recent, tremendous Amazon Labor Union’s victory at the Amazon Staten Island NY warehouse. 

The evidence of global capitalism manifested in the ongoing atrocities of the war in Ukraine, and many other nations, which are addressed in the Appeal, call for immediate action from workers whose interests and concerns are grounded in the people of their country and the world. Workers independence must be a global initiative. The incredible stories of death and persecution of workers, seniors and youth around the world must become a call for all workers to unite in the struggle for peace and human dignity.

* * * * * * * * * *

• Mya Shone (US) Contribution

I speak for the National Organizing Committee of Socialist Organizer in stating that we endorse the draft appeal under consideration today. The clarity about the relationship of capitalism to war — of which Ukraine is the latest example — leads inexorably to its conclusion: “Workers have no interest in common with the multinationals and the capitalist classes of the different countries. They have no interests in common with their own governments.”

At this moment, an anti-war movement has yet to coalesce in the United States. This appeal provides a strong basis for building one and we will distribute it widely.

At this moment, organized labor represented by the AFL-CIO has given carte-blanche approval to President Joe Biden’s war plans and increased expenditure for arms production. There are, however, notable leaders of the labor movement who have taken an independent stand and with whom we can mobilize workers against the war.

Deepening exploitation and repression are all that capitalism has to offer and the working class and oppressed communities in the United States must develop our own political party independent of the two parties of capital.

The United States has the highest level of income inequality in the post-industrial world. The top 10 percent, the richest people in the United States, own almost 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. The adage — “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” — is never more true than in the United States. Nearly one third of the population, 100 million people, live in economic insecurity at the brink of being unable to feed, clothe and provide housing and medical care for themselves and their families.

Yet, year after year, the United States Congress appropriates more than half of the total discretionary budget to the military, $813 billion this year. As a result, the United States with only four percent of the world’s population accounts for 39 percent of all world spending on weapons and military forces.

These legislators also create free trade agreements that destroy industries and jobs, creating vast wastelands of cities and towns. Almost one million jobs were lost forever in the United States as the result of one such agreement, NAFTA.

Enough has been enough! Worker resistance is burgeoning across the United States. There were so many strikes last October that it was hailed as Striketober. Strikes among teachers, health care workers, and factory workers resulted in gains with respect to wages, hours, working conditions, job security, and pensions. Their success has revitalized the working class. We are celebrating today, the first victory in the United States of an organizing drive at Amazon — a victory we envision will lead the way towards others.

I do not have to say to each of you here today that there is no time to lose. As one half of all children in Ukraine have been forced from their homes by war, as one million Central American and Haitian migrants fleeing oppression and economic insecurity have been refused entry into the United States just last year, as 6 million Palestinians still live in refugee camps and diaspora, as 32 million Africans are either internally displaced or refugees, as peoples throughout the world are ravaged by war and exploitation, we speak with one voice to say: workers of the world, workers’ organizations, oppressed peoples, let us unite against war and exploitation – let us create a world that serves our interests, not those of the capitalist ruling class.

* * * * * * * * *

• Speech by Ian Hodson (Great Britain), National President of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU)

The war in Ukraine – like all wars – is a failure; it is normally about power, and always about resources and greed.   

Once again, politicians and their funders, in their pursuit of global domination, have thrown our world into a cycle of despair, destruction and death. We should be in no doubt that the blame for this war lies with them. This is a war between oligarchs and imperialists.

No war is ever decided on the battlefield – it just brings human suffering. It is always negotiations and agreements that resolve wars. But at the moment, we have many macho men prancing about on a world stage, wanting to prolong the war instead of seeking to end it.

It’s clear that the people of Ukraine – like the people of Russia – don’t want this war, and their demands should be heard.

Governments need to stop flooding the area with weapons and start demanding peace. 

After centuries of wars, you would think they would realise that war doesn’t work and try something different. But of course, they know that while wars don’t work for us, they are profitable for them.

In the UK, the Labour Party has moved quickly to occupy the same ground as the Tories [Conservatives] and is calling for more defence spending at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is seeing more than 14 .5 million people here living in relative poverty, which equates to 22 per cent of the population. Of these, 8.1 million are working-age adults and 4.3 million are children. This figure is expected to rise as the greed crisis in the UK kicks in, alongside tax rises introduced by the government.

The British Labour Party has launched an attack on the Stop the War coalition, with threats to a dozen or so Labour MPs that if they didn’t remove their signatures from a statement opposing the war, they would be thrown out of the party. The statement was calling for Russian withdrawal and condemned NATO’s role in creating the circumstances for this war to unfold.

But it should also be said that there is, in my opinion, a political reason for this attack on Stop the War. 

They want to distract people from looking at the reality of the collusion with Russian oligarchs between the Labour Party’s former leader, Tony Blair, and the current advisor to Sir Keir Starmer, Lord Peter Mandelson, who have both had very close relationships with Putin and the oligarchs – just like the government and Johnson’s Conservative Party. Both parties have been in receipt of Russian financial support, which now is at odds with the current rhetoric of Putin being mad and a fascist. 

The media have ratcheted up the anti-Russian rhetoric and are offering a one-sided view of the reasons for the war and the events that are happening in the war. Rather than providing the facts, they are acting as propagandists.

The failure to allow refugees fleeing the war into the UK has been truly appalling. The idea that human beings are having to fill in paperwork to get a visa when running for their lives is truly abhorrent, with neither mainstream party calling for visa-free access.

Contrast that with the openness and the generosity of the UK people, who are demanding that refugees are allowed in, with many offers of safe homes for those fleeing the war. 

But what the Ukraine war has shown is the difference in treatment by our media and political Establishment of those fleeing wars outside of Europe and those inside Europe, who are often referred to as those “that look like us”. Refugees should be welcome from whichever place they are fleeing. We all have a right to safety. 

On 9 April, trade unions in the UK are holding a demonstration in Westminster, to send support to the victims of the war and to offer our solidarity to the independent trade unionists in Ukraine. We will be joined by Ukrainians living in the UK, with a unified call to end the war.

In many ways, the Ukraine war has been a timely distraction for the Tories, allowing them to deflect attention from the failures of dealing with Covid and the illegal activities in Downing Street, where they partied whilst people could not visit dying loved ones.

The war in Ukraine is also useful and is being used to justify the cost-of-living crisis, pushing the idea that the war is responsible for the rising food prices, soaring energy prices and increasing poverty across the UK, when in fact the greed crisis we are facing is due to the deliberate shifting of wealth from those with the least to those with the most.

But it is not the war in Ukraine that is responsible.

It is the political decision-making in Westminster that is responsible for people’s hardship. The explosion in the number of food banks and the increase in homelessness are political choices. Low pay and ignoring tax-dodging is a political choice. Soaring profits of greedy corporations while people are faced with unaffordable bills are a political choice. 

History is repeating itself.

We are facing the same circumstances today that have faced many generations before us, where the wealth of our world is held in the hands of too few men, whose connection and understanding of our lives is non-existent, and that has led to the political representation being bought and paid for – they are purely serving the interests of those greedy few and their view of us.

They see our lives as servants to their needs. As expendable and worthless. 

People need to understand they are not powerless; but change takes courage, and it takes collectivism too.

The best way for our class to protect itself and improve our lives is to organise and build worker-led trade unions that deliver for working people. 

There has never been a more important time for a global movement of labour to come together to build a world that seeks to deliver for all that live in it. A world that offers peace and prosperity, that meets the needs of the population of all who live on this planet.


Solidarity to those victims of war in Ukraine and elsewhere, and to those fighting against injustice and persecution. zes it when they say (I quote):

“Workers in Ukraine and Russia – and across the world – have common interests. Even in this appalling situation, we stand for workers’ unity and internationalism.”

As the Johnson government takes advantage of the war and of the Labour Party leadership’s policy of so-called “national unity” to stage a social war against the working class, they concluded by reaffirming the union’s demands. I quote:

In Britain, we demand that workers do not pay the price for this and other crises such as Covid. Workers should receive pay rises above inflation. We oppose the massive rises in energy prices and call for the re-nationalisation of the gas and electricity companies. We support refuge being given to those fleeing from Ukraine and other war-torn areas. The wealth of the oligarchs and super-rich should be expropriated to help provide the resources needed for working-class communities.”

* * * * * * * * * *

• Stefan Cholewka (GB) Contribution

Dear Comrades,

I am secretary of Rochdale Trades Council in the North West of England.

I would like to talk about the reactions to the war in the British labour movement.

Among the affiliates of Rochdale trades council is the Fire Brigades Union organizing firefighters.

While the leadership of the TUC, like the Labour Party leadership, was totally aligned with the Prime Minister and therefore with Biden and NATO the National Executive Council of the FBU published a statement based on the best tradition of internationalism.

Rather than paraphrasing it, I prefer to read you the main passages. I quote: 

“We oppose and condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We call for an immediate ceasefire and for all Russian armed forces to immediately withdraw from Ukraine. 

The working class has nothing to gain from war and will pay the biggest price, both in Russia and Ukraine. 

The workers of Ukraine and Russia have common interests. 

We stand in solidarity with those in Russia who have protested against the invasion, despite police repression. We support the building of a mass anti-war movement, including among Russian troops. 

We support workers in Ukraine acting independently of the Zelensky regime and building their own organisations and taking independent action. This should include attempts to build dialogue and links with rank-and-file troops in the invading Russian forces. 

We condemn any far right or fascist group, on either side of this conflict (…).”  

The FBU does not forget that a war – a social war – is also being waged inside the United Kingdom by the Johnson government when their statement says: 

“We have no trust or confidence in the Johnson government on this or any other matter. They have demonstrated for more than two years their utter disregard for human life through the deliberate mishandling of the pandemic, leading to the loss of more than 150,000 lives in the UK.”

Yes comrades, our comrades of the FBU are right: the main enemy is at home.

It is also the Labour Party leadership’s full support for the Johnson governments “national unity” policy that the FBU condemned when they say: 

“We condemn the attempts by the leader of the Labour Party to shut down discussion within the Labour Party and to bully and threaten those with different views.”


Most of this clear statement was taken up by the National Executive Council of UNISON, the trade union organizing more than one million members in the public services.

I will not repeat the quotes, but the conclusion summarizes it when they say (I quote):

“Workers in Ukraine and Russia – and across the world – have common interests. Even in this appalling situation, we stand for workers’ unity and internationalism.”

As the Johnson government takes advantage of the war and of the Labour Party leadership’s policy of so-called “national unity” to stage a social war against the working class, they concluded by reaffirming the union’s demands. I quote:

In Britain, we demand that workers do not pay the price for this and other crises such as Covid. Workers should receive pay rises above inflation. We oppose the massive rises in energy prices and call for the re-nationalisation of the gas and electricity companies. We support refuge being given to those fleeing from Ukraine and other war-torn areas. The wealth of the oligarchs and super-rich should be expropriated to help provide the resources needed for working-class communities.”

%d bloggers like this: