Taking French lessons
Katrina Haynes reports on the Weekly Worker fighting fund
A wave of protests involving 40,000 people swept 200 towns and cities in Germany last week as the government announced the highest unemployment rate since the war (ie, 14% or 4.8 million).
These actions follow the inspiring example of the unemployed of France who started the ball rolling in December with militant protests which have clearly worried the Jospin government.
While the actions of unemployed workers in both France and Germany have been backed by the ‘official’ organisations of the workers - the trade unions and left parties - they originated as spontaneous defensive actions. In both countries, the unemployed are in action to defend their living standards against attack.
In Britain, the jobless have been systematically attacked by successive governments and shamefully deserted by the ‘official’ workers’ movement. More and more people are being forced off the unemployed lists and into crap jobs.
We should take inspiration from the spontaneous fight of the German and French workers. We should spread this ‘continental disease’ of militancy. Essential however is a programme which moves beyond simply defensive actions and which can start to integrate the fight into a challenge to capitalist society as a whole.
This is the raison d’être of the Communist Party. That is why, where others have talked about the organisation of the unemployed, we have actually undertaken the active fight for it - both in mass movement form in the 1920s and 1930s and through the Unemployed Workers Charter.
We know that our class in Britain will also produce its inspiring mass action and movement. To ensure this elemental energy is not dissipated in purely defensive action and ultimately squandered, we need to build a proletarian combat organisation. All comrades and partisans of the working class - unemployed and in work - should support this fight. An essential element of this support is financial backing. Rush us your donations now to help build the resistance.
Thanks for last week go to PO (Edinburgh) who donated £20, LK from Peterborough who gave £25, NT (Glasgow) who raised £40 through street collections, and CG from London who sent us £10. We are well on the way to meet our £500 fund target for February - we’ve already raised £235. Keep it coming, comrades!