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(en) Portugal: Luta Social No.4 - The Teachers' Strike [pt]

Date Mon, 27 Jun 2005 14:28:55 +0300

Whether or not we are in this union or that, we all have the right and the duty
to analyze these actions. We should consider that a strike is not enough, and
could never be, given the present situation.
But at least this strike was enough to show one thing: it revealed the true
face of this authoritarian government, which rejects any dialogue. But we
should also be asking ourselves if the teachers' unions are really at the
required level and if they are up to the fights and challenges that will become
ever more pressing. In this era of neo-liberalism and capitalist globalisation,
it is important to watch the practices of unions - especially European ones -
to see what can we learn from the experiences of others. Would any union in any
western European country ever appeal for workers to go through with such a
difficult strike as this one - at a time when secondary school students are
facing their final exams - without having really listened to not only their
activists, but the whole profession, in plenums and assemblies, where all would
have the right to express themselves and to vote?

Of course not! Because only such broad consultation would ensure the cohesion
to face the repressive acts which would most probably occur collectively(*).

Furthermore, these assemblies would be a decisive factor in the participation
rate in this strike, a real and effective way of mobilizing.

So, the union structures were driven by dissatisfied teachers in general and by
their own membership to declare a strike, but: (1) they didn’t promote, in a
generalized way, assemblies that would ratify the strike proposals and (2)
didn’t made the slightest mobilization effort (they just printed posters and
leaflets, but were not even able to distribute these efficiently!

This says a lot about the comatose state of the unions in this country. And it
has been happening for quite some time now. The fact that the bureaucrats cling
to power is like the captain who chooses to go down with his ship. But, in this
case, without any honour or glory. The analysis is proved correct: they have
been responsible for generations of educated people such as our younger fellow
teachers who cannot see any reason to join a union, which they consider to be
simply fronts for political parties.

But there is another kind of syndicalism, another way to defend our rights and
to relate to each other.

It is alive within anti-authoritarian, non-party dependent, grassroots
syndicalism, anarchist-inspired, committed only to decisions taken in assembly.
It is a syndicalism where there are no "chiefs" or "leaders", only people
mandated by their equals, whose mandate is recallable at any moment on the
decision of the assembly and where bureaucracy and union "professionals" are
not accepted.

(*) In fact, the Ministry for Education is threatening the teachers who went on
strike with disciplinary measures, based upon an illegal "minimal service"

Article from "Luta Social", No.4
Bulletin of the "Luta Social" Anti-Authoritarian Class-Struggle Collective,

The PDF file of the Bulletin can be downloded from Anarkismo.net at:

From: Colectivo Anti-autoritário de Luta de Classes "Luta Social" <luta_social
-A- sapo.pt>

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