By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, express our solidarity with and support for all the workers and the rest of the people in Europe in connection with the Day of Action on 29 September 2010 to resist austerity measures and to demand jobs and real economic growth. We therefore call on all our member-organizations and allies in Europe to participate in the Day of Action.
Responding to the call of the European Trade Union Confederation, tens of thousands of trade unionists from Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France are expected to assemble at Gare du Midi, the south railway station of Brussels at 1130 HRS and then march to the Parc du Cinquantenaire to hold a rally at 1500 HRS.
The Day of Action is spearheaded by trade unions and is at the same time actively supported by left political parties, community organizations, church groups, students and other forces. In specific countries of Europe, strikes and mass protests shall be held in conjunction with the focal mass action in Brussels. A general strike is going to be held in Spain, following the previous examples in Greece and France.
The Day of Action coincides with the meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels. It is a mass mobilization aimed at protesting the rising rate of unemployment, the lowering of wage levels, the attack on pensions and the cutting back of social services as a result of austerity measures being imposed by the European governments.
The European governments are poised to make budget cuts amounting to 200 billion euros, which can result in further job losses. The proletariat and people of Europe oppose the call of the European Central Bank Governor for the strict imposition of severe austerity measures at the further expense of the workers.
Under the guise of economic stimulus programs, the soaring public debts and heavy deficit spending have been incurred for the benefit of the very malefactors that caused the current grave crisis—the finance oligarchy and the monopoly bourgeoisie as a whole. The proletariat and people of Europe are therefore opposing austerity measures and demanding the use of public resources for expanding production and employment.
The austerity measures are hurting the workers, pensioners and communities. They are bound to prolong and deepen the economic crisis. The reduction of employment and incomes for the proletariat and the people will further stagnate and depress the economy. There is no let up in the aggravation of the economic and financial crisis.
Exploitation is the lot of the working class, starting at the workplace with the extraction of the surplus value. Further on, the capitalist class maximizes profit by accumulating capital and reducing the wage fund, thus causing the crisis of overproduction relative to the shrinkage of the market.
In the last three decades of “neoliberal globalization”, the banks, investment houses and major corporations have used growing amounts of debt financing, entailing the speculative creation of money, credit and derivatives, in order to continue making profits and ride over the recurrent and worsening crisis of overproduction and the chronic tendency of the economy to stagnate and the profit rate to fall.
After the dramatic bursting of the financial bubbles, including those related to the subprime mortgages in the US and the spread of so-called collateralized debt obligations in Europe, the states of the world capitalist system have used public money to bail out the banks and the big corporations on the pretext of stimulating the economy.
The bailouts have not resulted in the revival of production and employment. They have only served to improve the balance sheets of the banks and big corporations and to conjure momentarily the illusion of recovery in the financial markets. The fiscal deficits and public debt have ballooned. Now this huge financial bubble is bursting and the states are frantically adopting austerity measures and further passing on the burden of crisis to the workers and the people at large.
States are setting aside huge amounts of funds for debt service and are raising new taxes and fees at the expense of the people and cutting government payrolls and public services. In Europe, the governments openly apply the austerity measures. In the US the federal government is babbling about prudent financial management, while the local states and municipal governments are running ahead in openly applying austerity measures.
In all the imperialist countries, the forces on the Left side of the political spectrum are exposing the real roots of the crisis in the exploitative character and processes of the capitalist system and the forces of the Right are blaming immigrants and migrant workers for the worsening economic and social crisis and are whipping up chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, repression and aggression.
There is a sharpening polarization of society. At the moment, a see-saw struggle is going on between the Left and the Right in electoral contests, resulting in hung parliaments and unstable coalitions of the so-called Center with the Right or the Left. The prolongation and worsening of the crisis in the imperialist countries is stirring up the most reactionary currents as well as the progressive currents against capitalism and imperialism and for a socially just society and for a radical transformation of society up to socialism.