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August 2016

ISR 102 now out—buy it, read it, sell it

Front Cover of ISR Issue 102
This issue of the ISR comes out at a time of political, social, and economic volatility throughout the world: civil war and sectarian violence in the Middle East, social and political polarization in Europe, a contentious election in the United States along with renewed activism around the Black Lives Matter movement, and the growing global threat of renewed economic recession, to mention only some. This issue examines three aspects of these multiple crises—the economic crisis, the Middle East turmoil, and the US elections.

Lee Sustar and Joel Geier examine what has happened to the world economy since the 2007-09 Great Recession and discuss the forces at play that are leading the world into a renewed period of crisis after only just emerging from the last one, despite trillions of dollars of stimulus. As the authors write, “It is a looming crisis that classical Marxist economic theorists would recognize: breakneck competition to build the most technologically competitive factories, a flood of credit to finance the scramble for profits, followed by drop in profits as ever-greater investments yield proportionately smaller returns as too many goods are produced to be sold at a profit.”Read more

Alexandria shipyard workers need your support

Image of shipyard workers holding a sit-in outside a government ministry in Alexandria

More than three years since the military coup that installed the regime of Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian military government has escalated its agenda of increasing austerity, privatization, budget cuts and repression. For Egyptian workers, this has meant price increases on essential services, rising unemployment and stagnant wages.

Since coming to power, the Sisi government has targeted those linked with the 2011 revolution that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak, as well the students and workers organizations that developed further during and after the uprising. But despite the repression, Egyptian workers have continued to resist and are rebuilding the organizations that the regime would rather disappear. Over the last year, large protests have taken place, including those organized by civil servants, doctors and high school students.

In May, workers at the Alexandria Shipyard Company staged a sit-in at the port. In addition to protesting deteriorating wages and inadequate safety procedures, workers are demanding payment of promised bonuses, which the company refuses to honor, permanent contracts for 36 temporary workers who should have received them already by law, health insurance, and the dismissal of the company's general manager.

In response to the action, management locked out the workers, and 26 were arrested and summoned in front of a military court on charges of preventing other workers from doing their jobs, as well as halting production, under Article 5 of the Constitution. Supporters are calling on workers internationally to show their solidarity with the Alexandria Shipyard workers as they face sentencing. Here, we reprint a solidarity statement from Egyptian unionists first published at the Egypt Solidarity Initiative website, along with the call to contact Egyptian government officials to demand the release of the workers.

What you can do

Solidarity activists are asking for supporters of the shipyard workers to contact Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi and Minister of Labor Mohammed Safan and call for the immediate release of the Alexandria shipyard workers:

President Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, Office of the President, Al-Ittihadiya Palace, Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt; fax: +202-2-391-1441; e-mail: and

Minister of Labor Mohammed Safan, 3 Yousef Abbas Street, Salah Salem, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt; e-mail: .

Send a copy of e-mails to . For more information on the latest repression in Egypt and the campaign in solidarity with its victims, visit the Egypt Solidarity Initiative website .Read more

ISO public meetings in August

Every month, ISO branches across the U.S. host public meetings around important political questions. Below is a list of ISO meetings that will take place throughout the month of August.Read more