Friday, July 04, 2008

Molly has previously reported on the limited general strike that has recently occurred in the Czech Republic. Here is a further statement on the part of the Czech Anarchist Federation (Molly Note- the federation retains the name of the "Czechoslovakian Anarchist Federation" even though it is unclear if they have any serious support from the country of Slovakia which separated from the Czech Republic many years ago) on the strike, its aftermath, and the lessons derived. The following article from the A-Infos website has been slightly edited for English grammar and spelling.
Czech Anarchist Federation: The strike is over, what next?
On the Tuesday 24th there was a strike against government reform, announced by a lot of labour unions. According to pre-estimates, almost one million people joined the strike. There was a strike in health services, in railways, transport in many cities was totally or partly stopped, in many factories and bureaus there was no work for one hour, taxi drivers in Prague blocked the airport, farmers blocked the Prague’s artery, and many more...
---- The strikers and the strike-breakers ----
Both trade unionists and unorganised working people joined the strike. Some people didn’t stop their work, however; they expressed their solidarity with the demands of the strikers at least with posting banners in their workplace. The number of people who joined the strike is considerable, no matter how the government tries to play this amount down.
However, in many places we could see the disunity of the working people. The reasons are various. It can be fear of losing job, career, or enforcement. In some cases, the drivers of the city transport even got lump-sum bonuses, if they didn’t join the strike.
We cannot neglect the fact, that after the Bolshevik regime in Czech Republic, there is not any tradition of striking and consciousness of solidarity among the working people.
In addition, mainstream medias in this country have always been directly or indirectly against the labour unions.
Considering all these facts, one million people in strike is good beyond expectations.
The anarchists also joined the strike
CZECHOSLOVAK ANARCHIST FEDERATION (CSAF) has decided to support the strike.
There was a manifesto and critical appeal for joining the strike on the website of CSAF.
The members of CSAF actively joined the strike, not only by direct involvement.
They also notified the public of the anarchist perspective on the government reforms, which are one of the asocial displays of the capitalist system. A lot of leaflets and stickers have been printed.
Some members of CSAF elected quiet support of the striking people in the several hours rejection of their work. Those who couldn’t join the strike directly, supported the protests by dealing leaflets, pasting stickers or by street art.
One of the CSAF regional groups hung out the anarchist flag and banner “General strike against the reforms!” on the bridge above the railway station.
The strike is over, what next?
The labour union leaders claimed the strike was successful. In the number people who joined the strike, it was certainly a success in the conditions we described above.
But we surely cannot talk about any “win”. The government politicians keep, as expected, their arrogance and the hour-long strike underwhelms them. They ignore public opinion on the reforms as well as on the U.S. radar base, which could be built here.
We can hope, this arrogance will raise “healthy” fury instead of resignation, which will be expressed through other strikes and protests.
Union leaders are speaking indistinctly about another resistance to the government reforms .However, will they lead the working people into another strike or will they rather discourage the people from it?
The strike on the 24th of June was successful only at that time. When will other steps follow, preferably the time-unlimited general strike, which the government will not be able to laugh at, anymore.

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