The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

LO Editorial, October 20:
Strikes and Demonstrations Must Continue and Grow!

Oct 25, 2010

Despite the government’s attempts to minimize them, the demonstrations against the attacks on Social Security pensions are massively followed. Refinery workers, transit workers and railroad workers are on strike. Other sectors could join them. For several days, high school and college students have also been demonstrating. They feel concerned, and rightly because it’s their future which is at stake.

The struggle must continue. The government responds with police interventions against the strikers. Moreover, it acts as if the matter were already settled. It says it will make no more concessions – as if it had made any!

. . .

There’s enough money to pay for current Social Security pensions, just as for health insurance, hospitals, schools and public services, which are falling apart. With the increase in the productivity of labor, the wealth produced in the country has more than doubled in 40 years. Some of this wealth could be used to pay for Social Security pensions, medical expenses and other useful expenses. Instead it goes into profits to increase the income of those who are already obscenely wealthy.

The government could provide the resources the population needs. Instead, it passes more measures favoring the privileged. That is why it’s necessary the workers force the government to change direction.

We need to make the government retreat from its plans to attack Social Security pensions.

To make the government retreat depends on the relation of forces. But the workers are the ones who represent a considerable force. We produce all the riches of this society. Without us and our labor nothing could function. This can be seen in the refineries and transportation strikes.

Yes, the movement against the government bill on Social Security pensions must continue. The demonstrations of October 16th and 19th, which were already a success, can and must be further developed and deepened. But this movement must be only the beginning of a general and explosive struggle.

Why should the wealth the workers produce be taken by capitalists who put society on the edge of bankruptcy through their speculations? Use it to let the population live in decent conditions. Why should the policy of the government consist of saving the bankers and the speculators? Government policy should aim to prevent unemployment and growing misery.

Only the fear of a generalized, explosive struggle will make the government retreat, not only on Social Security pensions, but also on layoffs, unemployment, wages and working conditions.

To make the government retreat, the workers only have to learn to use the immense force they represent.