Appeal launched - Paris Anti Austerity Rally
Wednesday 26 October 2011, 01pm
An international anti-austerity appeal was launched on 1st October in Paris which saw labour organisation members and office holders from Ireland, Britain, Germany, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France join together. The speakers addressed the internationalist rally in Paris called by the Independent Workers Party (member of the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples).
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The conference was attended by thousands of workers and youth. Representing Ireland at the conference was Mandate Trade Union National Coordinator for Organising, Campaigning and Recruitment, Brian Forbes.
All over the world, faced with the failure of the capitalist system, workers have no other choice than to organise strikes, demonstrations and mobilisations to defeat the destructive plans which governments of both the “left” and right are trying to impose, acting in slavish obedience to the troika and with contempt for the sovereignty of nations.
Mandate’s Brian Forbes spoke at the rally stating: “The current crisis of the system shows no signs of abating but rather it continues to deepen and spread. Its impact is being felt in tens of millions of homes across Europe. Unemployment continues to grow, poverty is spreading. Workers rights are under a constant and generalised attack from employers as they take full advantage of the crisis to press forward their roll back strategy on workers’ rights, wages, terms and conditions.
“Within the European Union the crisis is centred on the euro and the growing mountain of odious, un-payable debt. A burden placed upon the people by the external troika of the EU/ECB/IMF programmes imposed on Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland.
These "programs" are basically the same; the language and terminology are similar. The Portuguese where even given their program in English which was a carbon copy of the one imposed on the Irish state.
“In the Programme for Ireland our internal troika of Fine Gael, Labour Party and Fianna Fail are fully committed to implementing the deep austerity measures which have already resulted in the loss of thousands of public sector jobs. Massive cuts in public spending on health, education and social welfare.”
He continued “The workers' movement in Europe is now facing unprecedented challenges. The political establishments in Ireland, Brussels and Berlin or across the Atlantic have neither answers nor solutions other than to continue to undermine and roll back workers rights, wages, and working conditions. We in Ireland now face the prospect of growing mass unemployment, mass poverty, mass emigration of our youth and the repossession of family homes.
“Cuts in welfare, threats to wage-setting agreements for low-paid workers and the rolling back of public services are all having a severe impact on everyone but disproportionally worse on women in Ireland and throughout Europe.
“We need the social control of capital to ensure that it is invested on socially necessary economic and social development. It is a necessary struggle to regain control over national economic and political sovereignty in order to begin to build a new tomorrow for our Countries.
“That means breaking the grip of the external troika of EU/ECB/IMF over the lives of working people and to challenge the internal troika of the political establishment, bosses organisations and the mass media. We all have given too much already.”
Brian Forbes concluded “Workers internationally must unite. We must seize the moment to mobilise together against the plans of the Troika. We must ensure our voices and protests overwhelm the self serving aims of the Troika. We must together begin to shape a new future for our peoples through international struggle and solidarity.”
The appeal is about legitimate defence. In the name of public deficits which were created by bailing out the banks and speculators, in the name of a debt which is not the people’s debt, these governments of every political hue are driving mankind into barbarism. And, in the name of those same so-called “imperatives”, they want to shackle the organisations of the labour movement to various forms of national consensus or “pacts”.
It is up to the labour movement to put a stop to this race towards barbarism.
· The sole vocation of the labour movement is to defend the interests, demands and aspirations of the exploited and oppressed, and to ensure total independence of action in that defence.
· It is in this way that the labour movement contributes to the overall movement through which the peoples will find the way to free themselves from the dictatorship of the troika (IMF-EU-ECB) and to achieve social justice, democracy and the sovereignty of nations.
Now more than ever, the labour movement's age-old slogan “Workers of the world, unite” must ring out loud and clear. For our own part, acting with full respect for the positions of all and the prerogatives of each of the organisations to which we belong, we commit ourselves to helping to mobilise workers and peoples in unity by campaigning all over Europe, on the demands that we all share:
- No austerity measure can be accepted: withdraw the plans, defend workers' and people's demands!
- The debt is not the people’s debt: cancel it!
- No submission to any consensus on reducing the public deficits: independence of the labour movement!
- Down with the dictatorship of the IMF-EU-ECB troika!