83rd Council of Delegates of the FdCA
Reggio Emilia, 28 ottobre 2012
at the MACG6
14 November, first European general strike
Let's build on it and continue it
While the thrust of capital's offensive continues, using the crisis and economic policies to restrict freedom, conquests and rights acquired by the workers over the years, it is increasingly evident the extent to which the current phase is making it even more difficult for forms of associations and collective praxis to emerge on the initiative of the workers.
This is a difficult and apparently hopeless phase, in which we are all involved in an attempt to create more room for political movement and for struggle so that we can work our way out of the quagmire we have been driven into by the restructuring of capital, both economic and financial. A restructuring which is being carried out on several levels and which is continuing to gain from the crisis from an economic point of view, but also from a normative and social point of view. Indeed, capitalism has managed to deregulate labour, helping to push any form of combative, demand-based syndicalism into a corner. It continues to reduce public services such as schools and healthcare and complement them with bilateral bodies into differentiated levels of access on the basis of income. And it is seeking to destroy any social solidarity by means of the scientific destruction of national collective bargaining by sector.
The incompatibility of the workers' point of view is increasingly evident with regard to the new authoritarian framework which involves all working activity, public and private, and whose central axis is hierarchical command over the workforce in terms of rights and pay, both direct and indirect.
And even though this road has been set out in the shade of the complicity of unions and political parties, it is destined to be questioned by its protagonists, who are paying its disastrous consequences. All over Europe, the financial dictatorship consisting of employer authoritarianism and budget constraints is a direct attack on the living conditions of the European proletariat and once again in our history, it is the turn of the workers to take their own destinies, political and social, into their own hands.
On 14 November, workers are called to a Europe-wide strike, the first sign of an international response to an attack being made on the working class of the entire continent, in different but equally harsh forms, by the European bourgeoisie and its governments. The workers must take back their pride of place in the struggles, struggles which will be as radical as the workers themselves are able to make them.
They will have pride of place, over and beyond the union they belong to, finally unifying their demands and their dissent; they will have pride of place over and beyond the fragmentation that exists, over and beyond the logic of each to his own or of testing the waters, as is the case with certain unions who are thinking more about internal politics that the streets, a fine example of the cultural and political subordination of a large part of our union leaderships, but also a confirmation of the different commitment and support needed to fight the restructuring of capital and the effects of this on society in general.
Let it be the workers themselves who stand up to the subordination imposed on them by the ideology of capital and by trade-union collaboration, the residue of twenty years of defeats resulting from a system of now redundant social relations, no longer able to withstand the struggle.
Let it be with a general strike of the workers themselves and not their various unions, one which involves casual workers and students, those made unemployed or redundant, freelance workers and migrants.
Let it be a strike which is built up city by city, in assemblies, a strike which must not end at the end of the day without a definite plan to continue to build more mobilizations.
Let it be a strike that sets out to win back political and labour freedoms, inside and outside the workplace, demanding better pay, hours, rights, equalities, pensions and public welfare, guaranteeing secular public education for all.
All this today seems like a utopia. But only this can avoid a war between the poor, between natives and foreigners, in a framework of widespread precarity into which the first signs of barbarity are working their way and where class solidarity is an increasingly rare sight.
Our task is as ever to stand side by side with the workers, in the workplace and in the streets; because we are working men and women, employees, teachers, agricultural workers, pensioners, students, precarious workers and unemployed, undeclared workers, redundant workers and badly-paid freelance workers - and our status is the changing status of all these categories of exploited workers, those who are paying the cost of what is commonly called the crisis, in order to hide the gigantic looting of economic and environmental resources, rights and civilization that is today being carried out.
Council of Delegates
Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici
Reggio Emilia, 28 October 2012