INTERNATIONAL LABOUR-CZECH REPUBLIC:
ONE MILLION PEOPLE JOIN ONE HOUR GENERAL STRIKE:
Over one million people joined in a one hour protest strike last Tuesday, June 24 against planned "reforms" on the part of the Czech government according to THIS REPORT. The policies of the present government have resulted in rising inflation that has reduced real wages. Further plotting on the part of the government and its "reforms" includes gradually increasing the age for claiming pensions and transforming health insurers and teaching hospitals into private companies. Public transport, aside from the Prague Metro (where employees handed out leaflets in support of the strike but didn't participate due to safety concerns), was paralyzed throughout the country. The strike was larger than the 1994 protests when 500,000 people stopped work to protest changes to the pension system. Teachers and medical workers also joined the strike.
The unions involved included the Bohemian and Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) and the smaller Independent Union's Association (ASO).
THE STRIKE AND THE ANARCHISTS:
The Czech Anarchist Federation supported and participated in the strike, but they felt that it (obviously!) didn't go far enough. This is their statement. The following has been slightly edited for reasons of English grammar and spelling.
Czech Anarchist Federation: Against the reform by the time-unlimited general strike:
Members of the Czechoslovakian anarchist federation (CSAF) are fully supporting the strike announced on the 24th of June and any other protest actions against the government reforms.
---- Members of CSAF are directly joining the strike, according to their possibilities, or expressing their solidarity by other forms of protests. Also we, the anarchists, say NO to these asocial reforms and that´s why we call upon everybody – working people, unemployed people, students, pensioners and the other groups of unprivileged people, to join the strike or express their solidarity with the strikers..
---- Against the reform by the time-unlimited general strike!!
---- (Part of leaflet created by CZECHOSLOVAKIAN ANARCHIST FEDERATION, on the occasion of the strike, declared by the most of the Czech main labour unions against the government reforms)
NOTE: The government reforms in Czech republic are hand in glove with orders and recommendations of monetary institutions and OECD..For the common people it means another enormous increase of their expenses.. The worst measures are for example : food consumer tax increase, introducing charges at the doctor (everybody, even small children and pensioners, now have to pay during the visit of their doctor), raising the limit for retirement, decrease of parental allowances....
Members of the Czechoslovakian Anarchist Federation are fully supporting the strike announced on the 24th of June and any other protest actions against the government reforms.Members of CAF are directly joining the strike, according to their possibilities, or expressing their solidarity by the other forms of protests. Also we, the anarchists, say NO to these asocial reforms and that´s why we call upon everybody – working people, unemployed people, students, pensioners and the other groups of unprivileged people, to join the strike or express their solidarity with the strikers..
Don´t let ourselves to be separated, don´t forget that our strength is in our unity and solidarity.
It is foolish to trust in political parties or supreme labour union leaders. Don´t let them abuse us for their political or power ambition. Trust ourselves and our colleagues!
As the anarchists, we don't think that reforms can be stopped just by one-hour or one day-long strike indeed.The only way out, the only method, how to beat down the government and stop reforms, is a time-unlimited general strike, which would be stopped only at that time, when government will withdraw and abolish their asocial reformative plans and measures.
There are a lot of ways, how to join..
If you can´t stop or quit your job or study for any reason, express your solidarity with the striking people, for example during your journey to work, or by hanging out the banner “ I support the demands of the strikers” in your workplace or window.
If you are unemployed, for example you can occupy and block the building of Bureau of Labour.
Extend the ideas of self-organization, direct action and the time-unlimited general strike.
Create your own posters, stickers, leaflets, street art stencils and set out to the streets. There are offices of political parties in every bigger city. The forms of protest are various : symbolic lockout of these offices, blockades, verbal confrontation of the politicians, throwing rotten fruit or sprayed the walls of their offices..
The struggle doesn´t end with one strike.
Reformist labour unions have no will to stop the recent government reforms. It is not possible to be a responsible part of the capitalist system and at the same time defend the interests of the working people.
The history of social struggles has clearly shown us that negotiations with those, who have the power, is simply pointless.The government will withdraw and annul reformist plans only at that time, when the time-unlimited general strike will take place. The strike, which will threaten the profits of the lobby groups of employers. In fact, especially these groups have the eminent concern over realization of these reforms promoted by the government. At the same time, we will see what the labour unions seek to do – to defend the interests of the working people, or to maintain their soft jobs..