The workers of Pakistan International Airlines have been at the forefront of the class struggle over the last few months. Rob Sewell, the editor of Socialist Appeal, spoke to leading trade union activists at the Lahore airport about their recent battles.

The 2016 presidential election is not like most recent US elections—it is actually interesting and exciting! For the first time in US history, a mainstream candidate who calls himself a socialist and says we need a “political revolution against the billionaire class” is having a major impact.

Mass enthusiasm and interest in the Bernie Sanders campaign has swept the entire planet. As his viability as an electable candidate gathered momentum, a chain reaction of support was unleashed throughout the country.

At the 2015 Labour conference, shortly after Corbyn’s victory, Labour members voted in favour of a Unite motion to only support air-strikes on Syria if they have United Nations (UN) backing. More recently in the Commons vote to authorise this bombing, in the absence of UN support, Diane Abbott, a key Corbyn ally and Labour left-winger, urged caution, saying that “if some MPs are intent on military action, surely their first step should be to pressure Cameron to obtain some kind of UN resolution?”.

America is going through the biggest political upset in living memory, perhaps longer. Never has the American Establishment, having lost control over the situation, been in such a state of confusion.

Even before they started, the so-called peace talks about the future of Syria have collapsed. UN special envoy to Syria, Steffan de Mistura, has called for a “pause” in the talks and a resumption on 25 February. Meanwhile the Syrian Arab Army and its allies have dealt a crushing blow to western-supported Jihadists in northern Aleppo. As the balance of forces shifts in the war, none of the parties on the ground have any reason to take serious steps in the talks.

The recent execution of Al-Nimr, a Shia cleric leader who was arrested on 8 July 2012 during protests, along with 46 other men, mostly Sunnis, highlights the crisis facing the regime. Increased repression indicate a fear of the rulers at the top of an impending movement from below.

“Out with the Old. In with the New”. That was always the encouraging message of New Year. But amidst all the parties and the popping of champagne bottles, there was no sign of any optimism or hope for the future on the part of the ruling class and its strategists. On the contrary, the columns of the bourgeois press are filled with pessimism and foreboding.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of people in the south east of Turkey have seen their home towns and neighbourhoods destroyed in the face of indiscriminate and barbaric attacks by Turkish armed forces. Thousands of innocent people have been imprisoned and hundreds of men, women and children murdered in a barbaric civil war waged by the Erdoğan regime against the Kurdish people of Turkey.

The authorities in Burkina Faso recently announced that they are formally charging Gilbert Diendéré, the notorious former commander of the so called Revolutionary Protection Regiment (RSP), with the murder of Thomas Sankara in 1987. The murder charges relating to Sankara’s death are in addition to the charges that he faces in relation to the defeated right-wing coup that he launched in September. The bringing of this central figure involved in Sankara’s murder to justice represents an important gain for the revolution which broke out in October 2014.

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