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(en) Italy: European Mayday, an internationalist Mayday (it)

From FdCA International Relations <internazionale@fdca.it>
Date Sat, 1 May 2004 15:33:45 +0200 (CEST)

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After many years, Italian workers on strike on Mayday! Fiat Melfi
workers and Alitalia air-transport workers keep on struggling and
demanding autonomy in decisions about their future. At the same time,
thousands of exploited workers from 10 countries in Europe will become
part of the European proletariat within the EU. They will be part of a
European Union which is becoming more and more an institution directed
exclusively by the interests of capitalism. The policies of dismantling
of social, democratic and union rights and the degradation and
destruction of public services are linked with the creation of a
society of control and authoritarianism, a dictatorship of the economy.
>From the numerous summits and meetings, there has emerged the refining
and continuing development of a real social war, waged by the
capitalist and bureaucratic States of the EU against the weakest and
exploited classes throughout the continent. This war spreads
insecurity, social exclusion and marginalization and is particularly
hard on migrants. It is no surprise that the attempts to halt
migrations from the South and the East at the borders (and from 1st May
2004 these borders will be pushed further east) have been accompanied
by tolerance and incentives for casual, undeclared labour which is
nothing short of modern-day slavery.

The speeding-up of these processes and of neo-liberalist policies is
sanctioned by the 1999 Helsinki Pact, with the connivance of the
institutional leftist parties and the union forces within the European
Trade Union Confederation (ETUC/CES): so Euroland was founded on the
submission of the world of labour.

The enlargement of the EU takes place against a backdrop of harsh
disagreements between the member countries of the Union, whose
individual national interests are in conflict both on a military level
(support or non-support for the USA in Iraq) and on an economic level.
While there are those who wish to overcome the differences on the
military front by hurrying along the process leading to a united EU
military force, the divisions on economic lines are deeper. Lasting
economic stagnation, with GNP forecasts of only 2% growth for 2004 and
the crisis in the pact for stability and growth, combined with an
incoherent superiority of the euro with respect to the dollar, are
forcing the central European authorities into a policy of restricting
credit and increasing cuts in the deficits of certain countries (such
as Germany, France and Portugal) which are well above the deficit-GNP
ratio of 3% or of those which are just around the 3% mark (such as
Italy, the Netherlands and the UK). The dilemma between policies
designed to control or reduce the difference and medium-term policies
designed to support growth is, however, having a negative impact on the
future of tens of millions of European workers. The first solution
would result in heavy cuts in public spending (pensions, benefits,
public services). The second solution, far from developing public
structures, would provide incentives for massive privatization in the
most delicate sectors of training, research and innovation. The
enlargement of the EU will not dilute these structural problems - it
will only worsen them.

The temporary strength of the euro over the dollar (which is less a
result of a stagnating European economy but more a result of the
markets punishing the dollar and the USA for its de-industrialization
policies) is leading to harsh consequences for European exports and,
consequently, a crisis in orders with a shrinking of the productive
base or its transfer to countries with lower labour costs.

The extent of this socio-economic situation, though, has been met with
widespread popular resistance, with disputes and demands on a national
level as well as struggles on an international scale.

The class response to the capitalist and state-repressive domination
has been tenaciously expressed on the occasions of the various EU
summits since the latter years of the 20th century. All over the EU
there has been increased co-ordination of truly anti-capitalist and
anti-authoritarian social and political forces based on strategic
demands for improvements in the living conditions of millions of
workers, such as:

* the right for everyone to have stable employment, guaranteed and not
precarious, without discrimination due to sex or place of origin;
* a rapid reduction in all sectors of working hours with no loss in
* an end to policies of temporarization and flexibility of labour which
lead only to workers’ whole lives being enslaved to the interests of
* the defence of wages with a rapid move towards equal buying power in
all countries and the establishment of a general minimum wage
throughout the EU;
* the recognition of social rights with free access by all to
education, healthcare, culture, housing, transport, telecommunications
and with the radical democratization of public services;
* freedom to act and to represent for union organizations and
associations for struggle, without discrimination locally or within
* recognition of workers’ syndical autonomy in collective negotiations;
* unrestricted freedom to strike.

In support of these demands, it is the task of anarchist political
organizations and struggling unions to act in such a way as to ensure
that the various struggles are linked to a desire for social
transformation which would permit the development of a society of
freedom, equality and solidarity, based on the sharing of labour and

The total equality of men and women, the equality of rights for the
young, those in temporary employment, the unemployed, migrants and all
the victims of discrimination at the hands of the State, the struggle
for peace and anti-militarism, the struggle for freedom of expression,
these are all fundamental unwaivable objectives in the activities of
anarchist political organizations and struggling unions within society,
as a component of the exploited classes and a vehicle of the growth of
the revolutionary hopes among the masses.

In this spirit, an internationalist Mayday is being organised by the
Italian Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici in Cremona, at the Kavarna
Social Centre.

In solidarity,



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