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(en) Canada, Anarchist journal Linchpin - Editorial: Build the General Strike!

Date Tue, 29 Jun 2010 10:30:51 +0300

The rich play and the rest pay. That should be the motto of the G20 meetings being held in downtown Toronto this month as the political and business leaders of the 20 largest national economies discuss a range of issues with one underlying question; How are they going to make the workers of the world pay for the international financial crisis? Dubbed “Austerity programs” by their creators these programs are clearly aimed at ensuring “austerity” for working people while leaving the capitalists whose system created the crisis free to accumulate and destroy wealth at will. ---- Ontario workers are told to “tighten our belts”, wages are frozen or cut, strikes and lockouts are being provoked in both the public and private sectors, a wide range of social programs are being slashed and public assets are being sold off at fire-sale prices.

Such a widespread attack on the entire working class can only be successfully responded to by all working class people standing together and using our collective power as workers to withdraw our labour in a general strike.

A general strike is a strike across all industries in a city or region, for example Ontario, that includes both unionized and non-union workers as well as active participation from community organizations. It is a strike by workers as a class against the employers as a class.

There have been general strikes in Canada before, such as the 1919 Winnipeg general strike, the 1972 Quebec, 1976 national strike against wage controls, and the 1996 “Days of Action” all of which saw hundreds of thousands of workers strike together.

This past year has seen a wave of general strikes in response to the economic crisis and governments’ austerity plans in Guadeloupe and Martinique, Greece, Spain, Italy, Romania and a national transport workers strike in South Africa.

General strikes are breaking out all over the world because workers know that individually striking with our union locals, or even our entire union, is not enough to defeat the bosses of multinational corporations and the government. The old labour slogan “One day longer, One day stronger” has to be replaced with “The longer the picket line, the shorter the strike”.

If you agree, then it’s up to us to build a movement for a general strike in Ontario. We will have to push our co-workers, our union’s members, and union local, provincial and national leadership, to declare for an unlimited Ontario-wide general strike. It is our only hope if we want to actually win this fight against the attacks on all workers, public sector, private sector, or unemployed. A struggle that goes beyond merely protesting the bosses and the state to one that seeks to shut this rotten system down. This will require a lot of hard work and sacrifice but it will pale in comparison to what we, and our children, stand to lose for the next generation if we allow the bosses and bankers win. Build the general strike!

Source URL: http://linchpin.ca/content/Work-workplace/Build-General-Strike

[1] http://linchpin.ca/vocab/Strikers-Guadeloupe

Free the Toronto 600!
Build the General Strike!
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