Capitalist governments the world over are making the most of the COVID-19 pandemic to criminalise protest and to clamp down on dissent while the real criminals of this pandemic – the bosses – get away with murder. It is vital that the workers' organisations fight back to defend these basic democratic rights.

A revolution is underway in Myanmar. The masses are showing immense courage in the face of brutal violence by the military junta. Workers and youth are preparing to defend themselves and allying with the organisations of oppressed ethnic groups. An armed workers' uprising and an all-out, continuous general strike must be organised to topple the murderous junta!

At the time of writing this article, the Ever Given container ship, owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha and operated by Evergreen Marine, has finally been freed after running aground on the banks of the Suez Canal. The blockage had a major impact on the international economy: the price of crude oil rose, and there was a significant impact on the cost of transporting goods and their final prices. This event could have longer-term consequences, with a chain of effect that is difficult to calculate.

About a year has passed since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Over two million people have died directly from the virus itself thus far. Many more have died from ancillary causes. While the vaccines now in circulation offer a ray of hope for the masses, who are trapped in a cycle of isolation and precarity, the crisis is far from over. Not least because protectionism and “vaccine nationalism” are preventing billions of people from actually accessing these lifesaving resources. When will it all end?

Rosa Luxemburg was born on 5 March 1871. Coincidentally, this was the same year that the workers of Paris rose up and established the Paris Commune: the first ever attempt by the working class to seize power. The euphoria that inaugurated the Commune was short-lived. After a couple of months the Parisian Revolution was smashed by the ruling class in a counter-revolutionary inferno of bullets and blood. In la semaine sanglante (“the bloody week”) that followed its crushing, 30,000 workers were murdered.

Over the past few weeks student protests have flared up at several universities across the country. The immediate cause is the chronic crisis of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. The NSFAS is beset with problems of corruption and mismanagement. As a result, it routinely fails to pay the required funds students need for their education.

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