INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL
About the World Socialist Web Site
The WSWS is the online publication of the world Trotskyist movement, the International Committee of the Fourth International, and its affiliated sections in the Socialist Equality Parties around the world. It launched publication in February 1998, and has been publishing continuously for the past 22 years.
The WSWS aims to meet the need, felt widely today, for an intelligent appraisal of the problems of contemporary society. It addresses itself to the masses of people who are dissatisfied with the present state of social life, as well as its cynical and reactionary treatment by the establishment media.
Our website provides a source of political perspective to those troubled by the monstrous level of social inequality, which has produced an ever-widening chasm between the wealthy few and the mass of the world’s people. As great events, from financial crises to eruptions of militarism and war, break up the present state of class relations, the WSWS will provide a political orientation for the growing ranks of working people thrown into struggle.
We anticipate enormous battles in every country against unemployment, low wages, austerity policies and violations of democratic rights. The World Socialist Web Site insists, however, that the success of these struggles is inseparable from the growth in the influence of a socialist political movement guided by a Marxist world outlook.
The standpoint of this website is one of revolutionary opposition to the capitalist market system. Its aim is the establishment of world socialism. It maintains that the vehicle for this transformation is the international working class, and that in the 21st century the fate of working people, and ultimately mankind as a whole, depends upon the success of the socialist revolution.
The partisanship of the World Socialist Web Site by no means excludes objectivity or honest debate. We welcome a broad exchange of viewpoints with workers, students and intellectuals who are seeking an alternative to bourgeois politics and capitalist economics. Polemics and debate, the dialectical means by which knowledge and truth are established, are an integral component of the WSWS. Only intellectual integrity and commitment to historical truth are required of those who wish to contribute to the site.
During the course of its more than 20 years of publication, the WSWS has been the authoritative voice of international revolutionary socialism. It has served as the indispensable political and intellectual guide for workers, students and youth all over the world who are seeking to make sense of events in a time of great crisis and human suffering, and to find a genuinely progressive—and, therefore, revolutionary—alternative to a dysfunctional capitalist world that is collapsing into barbarism.
WSWS Chronology: 1998-2013
On the fifteenth anniversary of the WSWS in 2013, the International Editorial Board produced an annual chronology, selected from our archive of more than 45,000 articles up to that point, in order to offer readers a comprehensive overview of the most important events from 1998 to 2013. We urge readers to study this chronology and see how the WSWS reported and analyzed the great events, political issues, social processes and intellectual controversies of its first fifteen years.
EXPLORE THE WSWS CHRONOLOGY
World events since 1998
1998
The Clinton Impeachment Crisis
From the very beginning of the Clinton impeachment crisis, the WSWS drew attention to the underlying class issues and the implications of the right-wing effort to cripple or remove the Clinton administration for the democratic rights of the working class.
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Vadim Rogovin
1998
The death of Vadim Rogovin
Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin, the greatest Soviet and Russian Marxist sociologist and historian of the second half of the 20th century, died of cancer on September 25, 1998, in Moscow.
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Belgrade burns during the attack
1999
The NATO bombing of Serbia
The major imperialist powers launched an unprecedented multilateral war against Serbia. NATO, led by the United States but including forces from Britain, Germany, France, Italy and other allied countries, rained bombs down on the tiny country, the largest fragment of the former Yugoslavia.
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An Australian checkpoint during the occupation of East Timor
1999
Australian intervention in East Timor
The year 1999 witnessed the launching of another neo-colonialist operation by the imperialist powers: the Australian-led and US-backed intervention in East Timor.
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George W. Bush takes the oath of office
2000
The Stolen US Presidential Election of 2000
The outcome of the election was decided in the notorious Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, in which a 5-4 majority ordered an end to the Florida recount and then declared that its ruling could not be used as a precedent for any future action.
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2001
The September 11 terrorist attacks
The initial response of the WSWS, written only hours after the attack, “The political roots of the terror attack on New York and Washington,” condemned the terrorist attacks and placed central culpability upon US imperialism.
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US troops in Spera, Afghanistan, on Nov. 16, 2009 [Credit: U.S. Air force]
2001
The invasion of Afghanistan
From the outset of the invasion, the WSWS exposed the lies of the Bush administration that its illegal invasion of Afghanistan was an act of self-defense in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, less than one month before.
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Workers and youth demonstrate against Jean-Marie Le Pen, May 2002
2002
The French presidential elections
The ICFI issued a statement calling for a working-class boycott of the second-round vote to “deny legitimacy to the electoral fraud and provide a means for translating mass discontent into effective political action.”
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A US air strike against the city of Fallujah
2003
The invasion of Iraq
In March 2003, the world watched on in horror as the US-led “shock and awe” bombing campaign lit up the nighttime sky of Baghdad with billowing clouds of flame and smoke.
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A village near the coast of Sumatra lies devastated after the Indian Ocean Tsunami
2004
The Indian Ocean tsunami
The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami devastated Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, killing nearly 300,000 people.
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New Orleans, flooded after Hurricane Katrina
2005
Hurricane Katrina
More than 1,800 people died as a consequence of the storm, mainly in New Orleans, where levees failed and most of the city was flooded.
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A building bombed by Israeli forces in south Lebanon
2006
Israeli war against Lebanon
In July 2006, the Israel Defense Forces carried out a massive invasion across the Israel-Lebanon border, leading to a month-long conflict that gripped the attention of the world and posed the danger of a far wider regional war.
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Lehman Brothers headquarters in Times Square
2008
Global financial crash of 2008
On Monday, September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest US investment bank, filed for bankruptcy. The 158-year-old icon of American finance collapsed in the midst of a mushrooming crisis of American and world financial markets.
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Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City, following Israeli shelling
2009
Israeli assault on Gaza
In the course of four weeks of brutal and one-sided violence, from late December 2018 to January 2019, Israeli forces killed more than 1,300 Palestinians while losing only a handful of soldiers.
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Protests during the US-backed "Green Revolution" in Iran
2009
Imperialist-backed “Green revolution” in Iran
The June 12, 2009, presidential election in Iran revealed a bitter split within the Islamic Republic’s political elite. Incumbent President Ahmadinejad was declared the winner over several rivals.
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The destroyed house of Sylvia Young, whose three young children were killed in a fire in Detroit, Michigan
2010
Citizens Inquiry into the Dexter Avenue house fire
The SEP campaigned for a citizens inquiry following the deaths of three children in a housefire on Dexter Avenue, Detroit, in March 2010. The fire occurred when the children’s mother, Sylvia Young, was out buying a spaceheater after the utilities provider, DTE, had shut off service in their home.
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UN forces patrol the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
2010
Earthquake in Haiti
On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shattered the impoverished nation of Haiti. The death toll was a staggering 200,000 people, with many buried beneath cheaply-made buildings.
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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard with US General David Petraeus
2010
The June 2010 Labor Party coup in Australia
On June 24-25, 2010, Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted in an inner-party coup. An extensive US network of “protected assets” inside the Labor Party, together with right-wing faction leaders, maneuvered behind closed doors to remove Rudd and install Julia Gillard, the favorite of the Obama administration.
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Fire crews attempt to battle the flames on the Deepwater Horizon off-shore oil rig
2010
The Deepwater Horizon BP Gulf Coast oil spill
On April 20, 2010, the worst environmental catastrophe in US history began with the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well 50 miles off the American Gulf Coast.
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2010-2011
The Committee Against Utility Shutoffs
The growing support for the work of the Citizens Inquiry into the Dexter Avenue house fire in Detroit led the SEP to form the Committee Against Utility Shutoffs (CAUS) in May 2010. The CAUS was a landmark in the fight to mobilize broad sections of the working class in opposition to the Democratic Party and the trade unions.
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2011
Uprising in Tunisia
On January 14, 2011, the longtime US-backed Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in a revolution. The massive protests in the small North African country were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a vegetable cart vendor.
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Demonstrators celebrate in Cairo's Tahrir Square after the announcement of President Hosni Mubarak's resignation
2011
The Egyptian Revolution
From January 25 to February 11, 2011, a revolutionary upsurge of the Egyptian working class toppled a decades-old US-backed dictatorship in the largest Arab country.
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The protests in Wisconsin
2011
Mass protests in Wisconsin
In early February, Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker threatened to call out the National Guard if public workers resisted his anti-worker legislation. Teachers and other public employees responded by walking off their jobs and staging daily protests in the state capitol building, which was occupied by large crowds for weeks.
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A US destroyer in the Mediterranean launches a Tomahawk missile against Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn
2011
The 2011 US-NATO war in Libya
The United States responded to the eruption of revolutionary upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011 by stepping up its intervention in the region through the stoking of civil wars, first in Libya, and then in Syria.
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US leaders watching the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound
2011
The assassination of Osama Bin Laden
In May 2011, the US organized an operation that led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden and several others. This execution-style murder—contemporaneous media accounts that portrayed bin Laden as armed and fighting to the death were later discredited—was followed by the removal of the body and secret burial at sea.
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Occupy protesters in New York City
2011
Occupy Wall Street
The Occupy movement tapped into mass opposition to the extraordinary levels of social inequality in America and around the world. The social and political outlook of those at the core of the protests, however, was hostile to the working class.
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SWAT team doing house-to-house searches in the Boston area [Photo: rilymoskal7]
2013
The Boston Marathon bombing and the police lockdown of Boston
Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the city’s center on April 15, 2013. The attack was utilized by the Obama administration to conduct an unprecedented military-police lockdown of an entire American city.
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Kerry meets with the Opposition on July 25, 2013
2013
The alleged sarin gas attack in Syria: A pretext for war
The imperialist campaign against Syria focused increasingly on allegations that the Assad regime was using chemical weapons against its own people, presented without any evidence.
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2013
The military coup in Egypt
By the end of the July 2013, the Egyptian military dictatorship consolidated itself through a bloodbath of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other anti-coup protesters. The US government endorsed the mass repression, with Secretary of State Kerry claiming the military was “restoring democracy.”
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Edward Snowden
2013
NSA spying and the revelation of Edward Snowden
In 2013, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden released extensive documentary evidence of mass electronic surveillance and violation of democratic rights of the American and world population by the US intelligence state.
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The protest at the Detroit Institute of Arts
2013
The campaign to defend the Detroit Institute of Arts
The Socialist Equality Party and WSWS mobilized support from workers, students and intellectuals throughout the Detroit area and around the world to defend the unique collection at the DIA from its threatened selloff or privatization.
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Euromaidan in Kiev
2014
The coup in Ukraine
In February, 2014, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country’s capital, Kiev, having been forcibly removed from power by right-wing demonstrations backed by US and European imperialism. Yanukovych’s overthrow was the culmination of long-standing efforts on the part of the US to install a pliant regime with close ties to Washington on the borders of Russia.
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2014
The Iraeli war on Gaza
From July-August 2014, the Israeli military pounded the densely populated and impoverished territory of Gaza with bombs, missiles and shells, killing nearly 2,000 people, wounding over 10,000 more and leaving almost half a million people displaced.
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Australian stretcher bearers trapped in mud, Battle of Ypres, 1917
2014
The Australian government’s World War I centenary celebrations
Over four years, beginning in August, 2014, the Australian political establishment conducted a campaign of events commemorating and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the imperialist slaughter of World War I.
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2014
The 2014 Scottish independence referendum
The move for separation from the UK was led by right-wing nationalist forces, whose aim was to transform Scotland into a low-tax cheap labour platform for the benefit of the banks and transnational corporations.
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2014
The US Senate CIA torture revelations
In December 2014, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released a 525-page summary of its voluminous report on the torture of prisoners in secret CIA facilities overseas, conducted between 2002 and 2007.
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The Workers Inquiry
2014
The Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit
The aim of the inquiry was to uncover the social and historical roots of the bankruptcy of Detroit, expose the political and financial interests behind this attack on the working class, and provide workers and young people with the knowledge required to fight back.
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2015
The 2015 Sri Lankan presidential election
The 2015 presidential election in Sri Lanka was a major political event for the working class throughout the region and internationally.
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Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker [Credit: Flickr, The Prime Minister of Greece]
2015-2019
The Syriza government in Greece: The pseudo-left in power
Syriza was swept to office pledging to end EU austerity and was hailed by the middle-class pseudo-left as a “radical” alternative to capitalism. In office, it imposed brutal austerity and carried out the most draconian anti-refugee policy in Europe.
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2015
The Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris
The January 7 terrorist attacks that killed 12 and wounded eight at the editorial offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo were utilized by the French and European political establishment to boost police powers, promote racist propaganda and legitimize fascist parties.
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2015-2020
The UK Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn
The WSWS warned that those hoping a Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn would “provide an alternative to austerity will be cruelly disappointed. The real measure of his campaign must be judged not on stated intentions, but on the essential criterion of the class interests served by the party and the programme he defends.”
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Riot police prepare to kettle protesters at April 9 demostration in Paris
2015-2017
Permanent state of emergency in France
The November 2015 terrorist attack at the Bataclan theater in Paris was utilized by French President Francois Hollande to suspend democratic rights and impose a state of emergency that lasted two years, longer than any time since 1955, during the Algerian war for independence against France.
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Fiat-Chrysler workers in Detroit
2015
The 2015 US autoworkers contract fight
While autoworkers demonstrated immense determination and courage to fight, the resort to gangster-like methods by the United Auto Workers demonstrated that the only way workers can defend their interests is by casting off the dead weight of this corporate-labor syndicate.
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The Flint Water Treatment Plant next to the Flint River
2015
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan
Flint’s population, some 100,000 people, including 9,000 children, was poisoned for 18 months through lead-contaminated drinking water before the official lies were exposed and the city returned to its original water source.
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George Galloway and Nigel Farage (Picture: Twitter/@VirendraSharma)
2016-
Brexit
The SEP called for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum in opposition to all attempts to dragoon the working class behind one or other of the reactionary camps of the bourgeoisie. Our perspective was based upon the independent political mobilisation of the working class across Europe.
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2016
The attempted military coup in Turkey
Factions of the Turkish military organized the failed attempted coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan out of İncirlik air base in southeastern Turkey, a center of over 1,400 US military personnel and hundreds more American contractors, and the largest stockpile of US nuclear weapons on the European continent.
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2016
The US elections
The victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election exposed before the entire world the terminal crisis of American democracy. Such is the degeneration of bourgeois rule that it elevated an obscene charlatan and billionaire demagogue to the highest office in the land.
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An American guided missile cruiser fires a tomahawk missile during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq [Credit: US Navy]
2017
US launches cruise missile strikes on Syria
The Trump administration launched missile attacks against Syrian government forces based on fraudulent and unsubstantiated charges, regurgitated by international media and later disproven by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersch, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against the population.
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2017-
UAW corruption scandal
Leading officials from the United Automobile Workers union accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars is bribes from the auto corporations as they imposed labor contracts that slashed the wages and benefits of thousands of autoworkers.
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2017
The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki autoworkers in India
The Maruti Suzuki 13 were framed up by India’s largest automaker, the police, the judiciary, the Haryana state government and India’s principal big-business parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Narendra Modi and the Congress Party of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, to intimidate workers seeing to defend their rights and conditions.
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2017
The French presidential election
The Socialist Equality Party called for an active boycott of the French elections, which saw a second-round runoff between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
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A destroyed building on UPR Rio Piedras campus
2017
Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
The deaths of thousands of people in Puerto Rico, covered up by authorities for over two years, are searing indictment of the criminal negligence and indifference of both the US ruling establishment and its two major parties, as well as that of the territory’s own governmental authorities.
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Image courtesy of Amnesty International
2017
The US destruction of Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq
The US bombardments of Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, in 2017 were war crimes of horrific proportions. Both cities were reduced to rubble, with collectively tens of thousands of people killed.
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2017
The Catalonia independence referendum in Spain
Spanish paramilitary police mounted a violent crackdown on voters in the Catalonia independence referendum, wounding over 1,000 people. A dozen Catalan nationalist politicians were later sentenced to a decade in jail for sedition in 2019.
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Kevin Spacey in House of Cards
2017
The #MeToo sexual misconduct witch-hunts
The #MeToo “movement,” which has seen the removal of leading artists and other figures on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct alone, has been used to attack democratic protections such as the presumption of innocence and the right to due process.
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