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(en) IWA* Sections Celebrate May Day and Days of Action

Date Thu, 09 May 2013 14:11:12 +0300


This year IWA Days of Action coincided with May Day. On May 1 and the days immediately preceding it, various actions were held by IWA sections around the globe. The following are a few of the reported actions. ---- Argentina ---- Members of FORA held May Day rallies in a few cities such as Buenos Aires, Neuquen, Rosario and in the Andes region. Members of FORA called on workers to create free unions which will not be part of any compromises and reminded of the tradition of the organization. ---- Brazil ---- Activists of COB-FORGS organized a May Day action in Porto Alegre. ---- They demonstrated, handed out leaflets, had a rally with speakers and played music. COB also organized a rally in Araxa, calling for the reduction of the working week to 30 hours without any reduction in pay and for workers' organization outside of the collaborationist unions.

After the rally they demonstrated through the city and then had a
concert.

Germany

In Dresden, the local FAU marched with the Libertarian Network (Fda,
antifascists and others) in a libertarian May Day. It stopped at many
places along the march, giving speeches and paid special attention to
working conditions in restaurants, an area around which they are
origanizing. In Bonn, members of FAU also participated in a
libertarian May Day. In Berlin, members of FAU marched in a blok in
the mainstream union demo. FAU members also participated in
libertarian or anticapitalist marches in places such as Stuttgart,
Erfurt, Bielefield and Hannover. In Koln activists from FAU had a
literature stand. In some other cities, members of FAU could also be
seen in mainstream union demos. In Frankfurt some comrades took part
in the blockade of a neo-nazi march in that city.

Italy

USI-AIT organized and tool part demonstrations in a few cities in
Italy. In Trieste, members of USI took part in May Day with members of
other libertarian organizations, from the area and from Slovenia. In
Parma, there was a demonstration of base unions organized by USI and
CUB. In Florence, workers of the Carregi hospital, where USI has an
active union, organized their own May Day event, with a rally, picnic
and concert. Other members of USI participated in the various
libertarian May Days held around Italy.

Norway

The NSF made propaganda actions between April 29-May 1, handing out
leaflets, mainly in the center of Oslo. The leaflet called
"International Solidarity against social dumping" was mostly about the
"the race to the bottom" in the aviation sector, but not only. It
spoke about the local situation of SAS and how the company threatened
the workers and convinced the unions to accept cuts and dismissals and
the situation of Norweigan airlines, which threaten to move to Ireland
or another country if the workers don't want lower salaries. Other
situations, like that of the Iberia workers was mentioned the
struggles of the CNT in that airline and of the situation of Alstom
workers in Zamora. On May Day, they also went to the streets with a
May Day leaflet.

Poland

In Poland there were several actions during the action days.

>From 27-30 of April, there were international solidarity actions for
FIAT workers held in Poland and Serbia. This was important because
workers are threatened with job relocation as a way to control their
demands and FIAT moved 1400 jobs to Serbia, where the labor is cheaper
and they will receive subsidies. Activists from ZSP and ASI
coordinated actions at FIAT factories in Tychy, Bielsko-Biala,
Kragujevac and and a car dealership in Belgrade, calling for
international solidarity and action in face of the measure of the
capitalists.

On April 28, there was a protest in Warsaw against plans to evict
people and send them to live in containers in the middle of nowhere.
The protest was met by a counterprotest organized by employees of the
Bemowo City Hall. On April 29, the Education Workers Union in Warsaw
protested against new plans to cut the education budget which would
mean the elimination of some classes for handicapped children,
eliminating the maximum number of children in classes and cutting jobs
and working hours, especially for school caretakers and administrative
staff.

On May Day, members of ZSP in Wroclaw took part in a May Day
demonstration in their city, forming an anarchist blok with people
from CRK social center and the Anarchist Federation. Before the demo,
they leafletted fast food establishments and throughout the day
distributed leaflets and the ZSP newspaper.

Portugal

Members of AIT-SP from Lisbon took part in an anarchist May Day in
Setubal. In 2011 and 2012, the demos in this town were repressed by
the police. As they passed through the working class area where they
were attacked by police in 2011, they chanted that they are back
there, without fear, without the law. People applauded and showed that
they did not forget what had happened. In Porto the comrades organized
a libertarian memorial tour, then they set up an exhibition stand and
a literature table and sang libertarian songs. There was also a street
theater performance against the theft carried out by the government
and bosses.

Russia

In Russia, members of KRAS participated in an anarchist May Day. The
demonstration had many anarchist and social slogans and expressed
support for striking medical workers in Izhevsk, calling on workers to
organize in free unions and fight against capitalism's class war from
above. They distribued copies of ”Direct Action” dedicated to the
struggle against social cuts.

Serbia

Members of ASI participated in solidarity actions with FIAT workers in
Kragujevac and Belgrade. A video greeting with messages of solidarity
was filmed and shown to Polish workers.

Spain

In Spain, the CNT organized their own demonstrations or participated
in demonstrations in cities and towns across the country. Thousands of
people took part in the various demonstrations. As usual, big
demonstrations were held in Madrid and Barcelona. In the Basque
region, the CNT demonstrated in Bilbao, Donostia, Iruñea and Gasteiz.
In these cities, the union will participate in a general strike on May
30, but the union stressed that it needs to show that people are ready
to do more than just have a 24-hour strike. In Valencia the CNT
participated in an anti-capitalist blok, in Cordoba and Sevilla in
alternative union demonstrations. In L'Hospitalet, Teruel, Compostela
and some other towns, CNT participated in a rally with other
organizations.

The CNT of Almeria and Adra, Salamanca, Granada, Pilar de la Horadada,
Cadiz, Extremadura, Valladolid, Toledo, Tarragona, Olot, Palencia,
Vigo, Lugo, Leon and Malaga, among others organized their own
demonstrations, rallies, meals, discussions, concerts and other
events. The different actions were so numerous, it is hard to mention
or describe them all.

In Valladolid, the demonstration was not without incident as the
police started to harrass people and tried to arrest two women. Then,
when the crowd reacted, the police attacked. The CNT of Valladolid
denounced this incident.

UK

Manchester SolFed had an action against Poundland, which uses
Workfare, as part of their continuing protests against the unpaid
labor scheme. It was held on May Day and was part of IWA days of
action against Austerity, Exploitation and Oppression. Members of the
local Anarchist Federation also took part. The activists distributed a
few hundred leaflets at a shopping center with a Poundland shop,
despite being harrassed by security guards.

In UK, most May Day parades were moved to the weekend. In London, some
members of SolFed joined the main union event in Trafalgar Sq.

Actions by Friends and other Organizations

Members of the Anarchosyndicalist Federation in Melbourne took part in
anarchist May Day celebrations. The Friends of the IWA from the Grupo
Germinal in Chile demonstrated on May Day in Talcahuano and in
Santiago de Chile. A few other organizations were invited to
participate in the Days of Action. We received reports that the
Anarchosyndicalist Initiative Romania made a May Day event, handing
out leaflets in Constanta, Timisoara and Bucharest and hanging a
banner on a bridge in Constanta. Also comrades from MASA in Croatia
took part in an anti-capitalist blok in a May Day demonstration in
Zagreb and in Rijeka they organized a demonstration and picnic.

Photos can be seen here:
http://internationalworkersassociation.blogspot.com/2013/05/iwa-sections-celebrate-may-day-and-days.html

* The IWA is the International Workers' Association, a federation of
anarchosyndicalist organizations. More information on the ideas behind
the IWA can be found here: http://www.iwa-ait.org/content/iwa-brochure
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